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It’s December and the Flowers Are in Bloom

  By JOSEPH SAPIA Traditionally, Santa Claus travels by reindeer-pulled sleigh, bundled up against the cold. This year, though, he may travel by surfboard and bathing suit — because it has been warm. Over the last week or so around Asbury Park, highs have been in the mid-40s to more than 60 degrees. Lows have ranged from about just below freezing, or 32 degrees, into the 50s. This weekend, the National Weather Service forecast is for temperatures with a high around 60 degrees. The normal high for Dec. 10, for example, is 46, the normal low, 31, said Richard J.…

New Chamber Office ‘Funky’ and Centrally Located

  By JOSEPH SAPIA For the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce and Harold Daley VFW Post 1333, it is a happy marriage — the chamber renting newly renovated space in the basement of the post at the corner of Lake Avenue and Bond Street. “We’ve learned a lot more in what the chamber is doing for the community,” said Frank Brogna, commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post, adding the new marriage is good for joint efforts between the VFW and the Chamber. “It’s a nice combination of learning what they do, what we do, helping one another.” “This…

Democrat Challenger Wins Seat in Neptune City Recount

  By JOSEPH SAPIA A recount in the Neptune City election shows Democrat challenger Michael Skudera winning a seat on the Borough Council. Practically speaking, the only votes in question were those of Skudera and incumbent Republican Richard Pryor. The recount showed Skudera beat Pryor, 602 to 601, for a three-year, full term on Council. Skudera, who sought elected office for the first time, said he was pleased and noted that the last few weeks were “pretty crazy.” “I liked the experience; I learned a lot about the town and the residents,” he said. “Overall it was a good experience.”…

Vote Count Changes in Neptune City

  By JOSEPH SAPIA In the week after the Neptune City elections, the results for one of two full-term Borough Council seats seemed in doubt — and may still be that way as votes are certified. On Thursday, Nov. 12, the Monmouth Board of Canvassers were to certify the votes, showing Republican newcomer Andrew Wardell and Republican incumbent Richard Pryor with 643 and 600 votes, respectively for the three-year seats. With these results, Pryor edged out Democrat Michael Skudera, who had 599 votes. Finishing fourth was Beryl A. Lyford, 589 votes. The question remains if Democrats will go to state…

Republicans Sweep in Neptune City

  By JOSEPH SAPIA Republicans swept the local election in Neptune City, winning the mayor’s seat and three Borough Council seats. In the mayor’s race for a full four-year seat, incumbent Robert J. Brown defeated Democrat Councilwoman Pamela Renee, 612 to 556. “I was, obviously, very happy, pleased, the residents re-elected me to serve another four years,” said Brown, who has been mayor for five years. Renee could not be reached for comment. In a race for two full, three-year term Council seats, newcomer Andrew Wardell received 612 votes and incumbent Richard Pryor, 566, to win. They defeated Democrat newcomers…

Democratic Challengers Win Assembly Seats

  By JOSEPH SAPIA Democrats Eric Houghtaling, a member of the Neptune Township Committee, and Joann Downey, a lawyer from Freehold Township who has never held elected office, have won the two 11th District state Assembly seats. They defeated Republican incumbents Mary Pat Angelini of Ocean Township and Caroline Casagrande of Colts Neck Township in the Tuesday, Nov. 3, General election. The unofficial votes were Houghtaling, 13,727; Downey, 13,452; Angelini, 13,287; and Casagrande, 13,063. The votes include machine and absentee ballot totals, but not provisional ballots. “Eric and I are both excited about going to Trenton, helping people of the…

Police Officer of Deal and Allenhurst Remembered

  By JOSEPH SAPIA Jeff Henry died just prior to his Saturday day shift on the Allenhurst Police department, doing something that was routine for him. “He was sitting in his car,” said Sgt. Brian Egan of the Deal Police, where Henry formerly worked. “He would do it everyday before his shift — drink coffee, read his paper.” On Saturday, Oct. 31, Halloween, Henry, 44, was doing that at the Asbury Park beachfront when he suffered an apparent heart attack and died, according to the Deal and Allenhurst departments. He was scheduled to begin work at 7 a.m., said Allenhurst…

Asbury Park Overrun by Zombies

  By JOSEPH SAPIA Both the new owner and the old owner of Asbury Park’s zombie walk deemed the eighth annual event, held Saturday, Oct. 10, a success. “It was wonderful,” said city tavern-restaurant owner John “Johnny Mac” McGillion, who recently purchased the rights to the event from founder Jason Meehan. Meehan, who stay aboard to assist, said the event had “a great turnout, (it was) a great event.” Meehan and McGillion estimated the Asbury Park Zombie Walk — which went back to the original name used only in year one — attracted 8,000 to 10,000 people. Of these, an…

Neptune City Dog is Expert at Finding Lost Baseballs, Softballs

  By JOSEPH SAPIA At the Holmes A. Adams Recreation Complex, teams gather to play baseball and softball. “The balls they hit in the woods, they don’t got get them,” said Cathie DiGironimo, who lives next-door to the fields. “You can’t see theM.” But her dog, Simon, sniffs them out on walks. He is a golden retriever of lost baseballs and softballs, gathering, according to DiGironimo’s husband, Frank, an estimated thousand-plus in his seven years. “I don’t know how he finds them,” said Frank DiGironimo, who operates Neptune City Barber Shop at his house on West Sylvania Avenue. At the…

The Zombies Are Coming!

  By JOSEPH SAPIA It is hard to kill the undead — Asbury Park’s zombie walk is scheduled for Sat., Oct. 3 for the 8th consecutive year. Jason Meehan, founder of the walk, has sold the event — the rights, events, Facebook and website sites, and brands — to city tavern-restaurant owner John “Johnny Mac” McGillion. “I think it’s terrific, not necessarilly (that) I’m the owner, but that the Zombie Walk won’t have any problems, financing it and so on,” McGillion said. “It’s a great thing for the town, us and I can’t wait to get it started.” The contract…

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