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Asbury Park Audit Report Includes Record Highs for Parking, Beaches

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI Asbury Park Auditor David Kaplan presented his annual report on the 2017 Asbury Park audit saying, “Everyone should be extremely proud of the progress this city has made.” Kaplan said both the beach utility and the parking utilities had record highs, referring to total revenues, but also said there is always room for improvement. The beach utility was up by $100,000 with Kaplan saying it is now a self funding utility. The parking utility ended the year with $4.8 million net balance. “The city’s financial health is very good,” he said. Kaplan also praised city…

Former Asbury Park Official Remembered

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI Flags at Asbury Park’s City Hall flew at half mast this week to honor former assistant city manager and Pop Warner coach, James Famularo, 52, who died tragically in a fire in his Park Avenue home on Mon., July 9. He was at home looking for his wife, Shonna, when the fire broke out Monday afternoon and he was overcome by the smoke and flames. Meanwhile, Shonna, was on the second floor and jumped off the balcony breaking her leg. Famularo was remembered this week as a one-of-a-kind, intelligent, community-minded, respectful and a fierce advocate for the…

Around City Hall…

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI The City Council announced at its recent meeting that the Bangs Avenue parking garage will be free on the first Saturday of every month until September. The hours are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m It is hoped this will be an incentive to increase business in the downtown area during the summer season. The Springwood Park Summer Music Series is now underway but there are two other free music venues during the week. On Wednesday MOGO Korean Fusion Tacos on Cookman Avenue sponsors music and the Asbury Park Concert Band and as in past summers the Jazz Band will be playing…

In Asbury Park: More Popularity More Problems

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI Several Asbury Park business owners spoke at this week’s City Council meeting about the crowds causing disruption and destruction to storefronts and vestibules. Jan Sparrow, owner of Words Bookstore, said although the bar scene is “better” there is already a bigger influx this year, especially of college age or those in their 20s who are impacting the downtown area. On a Saturday night they are impacting people who want to eat and the walk around town, Sparrow said. “We are closing at 8 p.m because we felt uncomfortable last week,” she said Sparrow said there kids who are rowdy…

Medical Cannabis Dispensary Sought in Asbury Park

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI A group of Monmouth County residents are working on a proposal to bring a dispensary for medical cannabis to Main Street in Asbury Park. Peter Hunnewell, a principal and team leader, introduced his team at an informal information session at the Asbury Hotel last week to provide information to businesses, investors and stakeholders. A team of doctors has joined the venture as medical advisors including Asbury Park physician, Dr. Angelo Chinnici, and four other physicians in varying fields such as neurology and obstetrics. Hunnewell estimates it will most likely take  between 18 months to two…

Chase Proposes Moving to Main Street in Asbury Park

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI Another bank may be coming to Main Street in Asbury Park and will replace the Dunkin Donuts now located at Sunset Avenue. The Planning Board voted to recommend sending the proposal to amend the Main Street Redevelopment Plan to the City Council for review to allow Chase Bank to move in. Conditions were attached to the vote including accessories to the bank must include a walk up ATM and a drive up ATM that exits onto Sunset Avenue. The existing curb cuts must remain which allow for access from Main Street but exit onto Sunset…

The Challenge of Summer Parking in Asbury Park

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI Asbury Park is bracing itself for a summer onslaught of visitors, following two previous summers when parking became scarce on weekends as beaches, downtown businesses and restaurants thrived. The installation of parking meters in the city has been very successful. Over the last five years more than $5 million has been transferred to the city’s general fund. City Transportation Manager Michael Manzella and Mayor John Moor sat down to discuss ways the city will be dealing with summer tourists and help them navigate the beachfront and downtown areas with ease. New at the beginning of…

Interfaith Gala Event Honors Founder and Hospital Chief

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI A gala celebrating the 30th anniversary of Interfaith Neighbors drew a crowd of 400 to Monmouth University’s OceanFirst Bank Center to honor two luminaries of the Jersey Shore: Joseph Mamora and John K. Lloyd. Memora is founder and executive director of Interfaith Neighbors and Lloyd is the co-chief executive officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. Both men are retiring this year. The event, Decades of Dedication Gala, was held June 14 and will support Interfaith Neighbors’ programs. New Jersey Natural Gas, Jersey Mike’s, and Hackensack Meridian Health were lead sponsors of the event. The event brought…

New Look for City’s West Side Community Center

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI There is a transformation happening on DeWitt Avenue in Asbury Park as the West Side Community Center gets a new coat of paint, new landscaping and fencing and a new gymnasium floor. Volunteers from such diverse organizations as Neighborworks, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch came to the center on Fri. June 8 working all day to make the old new again. The more than 100 volunteers climbed ladders with paint brushes, planted flowers and installed new fencing. Inside, the old, warped gymnasium floor was pulled up by a bobcat and plans for a new floor…

City Woman Raises $6,000 for Beach Badges for Asbury Park Families

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI Family beach days are a tradition up and down the Jersey shore but in Asbury Park where 37 percent of families are living under the poverty line, paying for beach badges is just not possible. Asbury Park resident Lisa Marie Cramp said after listening to neighborhood children telling her, as she headed to the beach, that they would like to go too but can’t afford it, she decided to do something about that. She set up an online GoFundMe page to raise money for beach passes, collecting $6000 in just nine days. Her goal when…

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