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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.…

Playing in the Band at Your Home or Business

  By DON STINE Most of us are familiar with the traditional Salvation Army brass ensembles that are common around Christmas time. But now you can bring that ensemble to your business or home. The Salvation Army’s traditional brass ensemble, with high-level musicians, is willing to play for five minutes to an hour in an effort to raise money to help fund the organization programs throughout the upcoming year. “There is no verbal presentation. We just play traditional Christmas and holiday music, including well-known songs like ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ and ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,’ ” said Major Carl Carvill,…

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…

2 Asbury Park Organizations Receive County Arts Grants

  Monmouth Arts recently announced its ArtHelps Local Arts Program Grant Awards for Fiscal Year 2016. The Asbury Park Musical Heritage Foundation was one of the organizations receiving a grant along with the Premier Theatre Company of Asbury Park. These grants help Monmouth Arts meet its mission to enrich the community by inspiring and fostering the arts. These grants will result in over 3,000 high quality, low cost art events including art exhibitions, concerts, dance, theater, film and festivals throughout Monmouth County, reaching over 800,000 people. Twenty two groups submitted grants requesting a total of $244,006. The awarded grants totaled…

The Waverly in Neptune Hosting a Foodie Fest

  Food, fun and the chance to experience the lifestyle of a resort-like rental community with upscale amenities will be on the menu on Sat., Sept. 26 during The Waverly at Neptune’s “Foodie Fest.” From noon to 4 p.m., interested renters from near and far are invited to come sample delicious treats from a variety of food trucks and local eateries. Tours of the Monmouth County community’s stunning new-construction apartments, landscaped grounds, clubhouse, pool, and more will also be available. Guests can see for themselves why The Waverly is the hottest new rental community at the Jersey Shore, and have…

Tour Eco-Friendly Businesses, Homes and Gardens

  If you’re ready to make your home or business more environmentally friendly you might want to take the first-ever Monmouth County Eco Tour scheduled for Sept. 26 and 27. The tour includes an Ocean Township tea room, Tinton Falls rain gardens, bee hives and pesticide-free gardens. The tour is sponsored by the Monmouth Transition Group and local environmental commissions. The tour will visit homes, businesses and farms where green practices are conducted: solar panels, backyard gardens, beehives, mushroom harvesting, rain barrels, cisterns, businesses that recycle 100 percent of their waste, up-cycled crafting, and more. “I am very glad this…

Deer Problem in County. Oh Dear!

  By DON STINE The growing deer population in Ocean Township is becoming a problem and a special symposium will be held in the near future to see what can be done about it. “We recognize the problem and are aware of it. There are plenty of deer out there and something needs to be done for the safety (of animals and people),” Mayor Christopher Siciliano said at a recent council meeting. Ocean Township will host the symposium on how to handle the deer problem in the near future and will invite representatives from adjacent municipalities, such as West Long…

County to Celebrate Archives Day Oct. 3

  The excitement is building for the Monmouth County Clerk’s 2015 Archives and History Day. County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon invites everyone to start the celebration early, beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters. “Archives Week is designed for history buffs and preservation enthusiasts who want to get the celebration started before the main event on Saturday, Oct. 3,” said Hanlon. “This year’s theme is the World War I era from approximately 1910 to 1920. Archives Week will feature special movie screenings and seminars for young and old to have a more in depth look at…

New Leadership Award Will Honor Former County Clerk

  Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon has announced the creation of the annual “M. Claire French Award for Leadership in Historic Preservation.” French, Hanlon’s predecessor, was County Clerk from 1997 until her retirement on April 1, 2015. During French’s 18-year tenure, she oversaw the modernization of the Clerk’s Office, including digitizing county records and the electronic reporting of election results, as well as the expansion of the Office’s services with Monmouth County Connection Office in Neptune Township. “Claire was an outstanding leader and public servant for more than 30 years, 18 years as clerk. We want to recognize and…

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…

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