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The Zombie Walk May Be Returning from the Dead

  By JOSEPH SAPIA When you think the dead are dead, then you see a zombie…. And reports of the death of the Zombie Walk in Asbury Park may have been greatly exaggerated. The New Jersey Zombie Walk began seven years ago in Asbury Park. Last month, founder and organizer Jason Meehan announced its demise on the Facebook social media site. “It was probably the hardest decision I ever made,” Meehan said earlier this week. “There’s a lot of other things that have to come before the Zombie Walk.” Meehan and his wife welcomed their first child, daughter Maggie, who…

Thousands Attend Oysterfest

  By JOSEPH SAPIA The Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce is still calculating figures, but it appears 11,000 or 12,000 people visited its eighth annual Oyster Festival over the Sept. 11 to 13 weekend. This year, the festival, held near the Carousel building at the oceanfront, had weather ranging from clear on Friday to rainy and windy on Saturday to clear and rainy on Sunday, said Jacqueline L. Pappas, the chamber’s executive director. “Except for the weather on Saturday and Sunday, it was a great festival,” Pappas said. “The weather definitely put a damper on things.” But, overall, people enjoyed…

The One Last Long Weekend of Summer

  By JOSEPH SAPIA Ellen Brahney likes hitting the Avon beach between the Pavilion and the Bradley Beach boundary in the morning. Brahney, who lives in the Shark River Hills section of Neptune, was doing just that the other day. After all, it is still the summer season at the Shore “because,” as she put it, “it’s not Labor Day” yet. But, with Labor Day being late this year on Sept. 7, some kids are back in school and the crowds have diminished. Recalling what she noticed when she left the beach the other day, Brahney said, “There were not…

Zombie Walk Dead; Funeral Services Planned

  By JOSEPH SAPIA The New Jersey Zombie Walk, an Asbury Park fixture which began seven years ago, is dead. Founder and organizer Jason Meehan announced the demise on the New Jersey Zombie Walk Facebook page Thurs., Aug. 20. “Its death was not sudden,” according to the post, “and every attempt was made to revive the deceased. “Untreated issues and complications, both existing and previously unforeseen, put the event in critical condition early this year. Several unsuccessful treatments led to a terminal diagnosis and this subsequent passing.” He suggested various contributing causes: the toll of pulling off Zombie Walk; the…

The Phoenix Will Rise in Ocean Grove

  By JOSEPH SAPIA After a fire destroyed the three-story commercial-residential buidling at 50 Main Ave. in Ocean Grove in February, The Phoenix is rising. Within the next few weeks construction should begin on a new three-story building — The Phoenix — on the site, according to Kurt Cavano, who owns the property with his wife, Janet Mazur Cavano. The two have been Ocean Grove residents for more than 30 years. Now, the Cavanos are in the process of filing for building permits, Cavano said. The new wooden building will be 12,000 square feet over three floors and a basement.…

Making Ice Cream is a Family Affair in Bradley Beach

  By JOSEPH SAPIA There is Mom and Dad Becker. Four boys. The rest is family and business history. The Beckers — JoAnn, 54, Pete, 55, and their four sons, Danny, 30, Dave, 26, Luke, 20, and Jake, 17 — recently opened their third Four Boys Ice Cream stand, at the corner of Ocean and Third Avenues in Bradley Beach. It is a summer season location, opening in May and planning to stay open to about Sept. 15. “We love it here,” Pete said. “People have been so nice,” JoAnn added. “I love the town.” The Beckers, all of whom…

Hazy, Hot and Humid: Enough!

  By JOSEPH SAPIA It was only 9:20 a.m., but the temperature was already up to 83 degrees on a sticky recent day. Paul Jimenez was shooting baskets on the court at the Holmes A. Adams Recreation Complex in Neptune City, but he did not plan on staying long in the heat. “I usually do it in the morning before the sun hits,” said Jimenez, 37, of Asbury Park. “I probably have another half-hour or so and, then, I’m out of here.” Jimenez is winding down summer by looking forward to the coolness of fall. Others are hoping to extend…

Mom and Dad are Both Cops in Asbury Park

  By JOSEPH SAPIA Asbury Park Police Officers Melinda and Mike Casey have the same surname, badge numbers in sequential order — hers, No. 219; his, No. 220 — and have both been on the police department for 11 years. They have been married for even longer: 16 years. “We decided to take the (state) Civil Service test together,” said Melinda, 41. Their scores were close to each other’s, they went to the Monmouth County Police Academy together. “I think we were each other’s support through everything,” Melinda said. “Even now. I think it’s important to have in this type…

Johnny Mac and City at Odds

  By JOSEPH SAPIA In the next month or so, the owner of Johnny Mac House of Spirits said he expects to file legal papers against Asbury Park for holding up his expansion plans. The city Planning Board recently would not give John McGillion, owner of Johnny Mac, approval for Phases 2 to 4 to complete an Irish Village-like design that includes a beer garden until he removes the bric-a-brac — arguably what makes the Main Street tavern stand out — from outside walls and widow coverage. So, McGillion said he will go to court once the Planning Board decision…

Learning About Civil Rights

  By JOSEPH SAPIA The third annual Urban Youth Civil Rights Education Initiative for Asbury Park middle school-age students kicks off Friday, Aug. 7. The group will watch a film on the 1955 beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement — specifically about the white-on-black murder of Emmett Till, 14, in Mississippi and Rosa Parks, a black woman who refused to give up her bus seat to a white person in Alabama. A discussion will follow. Friday’s event is at 9 a.m. at United Methodist Church at the corner of Third Avenue and Emory Street. Participants must be pre-registered or register…

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