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Asbury Park Police Get Involved with Youth

  By JOSEPH SAPIA In response to Asbury Park Police Officer Tyron McAllister’s belted-out instructions, a group of kids lined up and, then, sat down for lunch in the Salvation Army gym. This was a normal day at the city’s Summer Youth Boot Camp, run by an active, but perhaps generally unknown, Police Department unit, the Community Relations Unit. “We promote a positive image for the police department,” said Patrolman Michael Casey, 42, who has been in the unit for six of his 10 years on the department. “We are not only about making arrests. We’re here to improve the…

Thousands Attend Lobster Fest in Bradley Beach

  By JOSEPH SAPIA Bradley Beach’s sixth annual Lobster Fest, held Saturday and Sunday, July 12 and 13, drew its biggest crowd ever, about 40,000 people. That was about 10,000 more than in 2013, said Brenda Connolly, president of the Bradley Beach Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the food and entertainment gathering along the beachfront. “The weather was spectacular on Saturday,” Connolly said. “It got a little iffy on Sunday, but it wasn’t bad.” The chamber was still figuring out how much money was brought in, Connolly said. She said the festival is used as a fund-raising event for the…

Fox, Heron and Deer; Welcome to Shark River Hills

  By JOSEPH SAPIA When Mike Reid was moving to the Shark River Hills section of Neptune earlier this year, he was struck by the wildlife. “The amount of footprints I saw in my driveway,” Reid said. “I saw a red fox go by a house about 5:30 (in the morning),” said Reid, 49. “I see a lot of groundhogs and possums.” And he’s not the only one. Shea Eastwick, 35, who grew up in the Hills, knows there’s plenty of wildlife in the area. “Chipmunks, squirrels, birds, the rabbits, raccoons,” Eastwick said. “Recently, a fox has been stopping by.…

Summer at the Shore: Ready, Set, Go

  By JOSEPH SAPIA On Tuesday, Joanne Letson was planting canna flowers and palms at the “Bradley Beach sign” on the oceanfront. Earlier, she had planted marigolds and begonias in the area. Soon, the B-R-A-D-L-E-Y B-E-A-C-H lettering sitting in the flower bed would be getting a coat of white paint. “I go to the beach frequently,” said Letson, 54, who works for the Bradley Beach public works department. “Probably everyday in season.” In-season is upon us: Memorial Day Weekend. “Start of summer, Opening Day,” said Rick Wlazlowski, 19, a Wall resident who was surfing earlier this week at Avon. “Everything…

These Knights Ride to Raise Money for Charities

  By JOSEPH SAPIA When one thinks of the Roman Catholic men’s group, the Knights of Columbus, one may think of members collecting money for charity on roadsides or dressed in ceremonial costumes of cape, hat with ostrich feathers and sword. But riding motorcycles? In New Jersey, the state Knights of Columbus Motorcycle Ministry has existed since 2008, said Mark “Bozz” Bozzo of Bradley Beach. Since June, the 61-year-old business owner — he owns New Jersey Retractable Awnings in Wall — has been president of the approximately 180-member state ministry. This ministry is just an extension of Knights of Columbus…

Participants Sought for AIDS Walk

  By JOSEPH SAPIA Local organizers of the New Jersey AIDS Walk 2014 are hoping to boost the number of walkers in Asbury Park, one of five sites hosting the May 4 event. In recent years at the Jersey Shore walk, about 100 have participated. This year, representatives of The Center in Asbury Park, a residential AIDs facility on Third Avenue that is hosting the event, are hoping for 250 to 300 participants. Walkers may carry small placards representing those that have died of AIDS or are living with HIV, the virus causing AIDS. “We try to get the numbers…

Spring Finally Arrives After the Longest Winter

  By JOSEPH SAPIA Outside Serpico’s Pizzeria Restaurant in Allenhurst, Anastacio Acevedo sat in a chair, feet up on another one, working his cellular telephone. “First time in a long time decent weather,” said Acevedo, 37. “You can actually sit outside and enjoy it a little. I prefer the heat, the hotter the better.” OK, so Tues., April 1 was not exactly beach weather. But after this winter season’s snow-every-other-day and single-digit-temperature weather, it was at least sweatshirt warm of about 50 to 55 degrees. Additionally, it was sunny with a bluebird sky. “Nice,” said Boris Shambat, 68, an Asbury…

A Game of Chicken in Ocean

  Pictured above – Timmy Koukoumis holds a rooster which he keeps in his yard on Larkin Place in the Oakhurst section of Ocean Township. By JOSEPH SAPIA A game of chicken is being played in Ocean Township and, so far, no one is backing off. The conflict basically surrounds the 15 Rhode Island Reds – one rooster and 14 hens — and their pen and attached coops at the Koukoumis family home at 395 Larkin Place in the Oakhurst section of the township. The specifics: Zoning Officer Jerome P. Donlon says the poultry and their home are farm animals,…

In Bradley Beach: From Honoring to Mourning

  By JOSPEH SAPIA Cynthia Brady, Bradley Beach’s beloved recreation director, died unexpectedly during the Tuesday-Wednesday overnight, within hours of being honored upon her retirement by the mayor and Borough Council. “From honoring her to mourning her in less than 12 hours,” said Mayor Gary Engelstad. The circumstances of her death were not immediately available. By mid-day Wednesday, word circulated around the borough Brady, believed to be in her late 40s, had died. “She was just a terrific, wonderful person,” said Brenda Connolly, who owns an area real estate business and lives in Bradley Beach. Connolly, told of the death…

First the Snow, Cold…Now the Potholes

  By JOSEPH SAPIA In this winter of endless plowable snowfalls and daily high temperatures that are quite low, the weather has been a major discussion topic. So, too, another major topic has been a result of the weather: potholes, basically caused by moisture in the pavement of roadways freezing and thawing. “This year is taking a toll on the roads, no doubt,” said Rich Bianchi, operating supervisor in Bradley Beach’s public works department, adding there is other damage, such as that caused by snowplows hitting curbs. “We’re seeing more potholes than normal,” said John W. Tobia, director of the…

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