ON THE GREEN: TOUCH A TRUCK — OR COPTER

092014 touchtruck19The kids are in the driver’s seat once more this Saturday at the annual Touch-a-Truck fundraiser in Red Bank, while Middletown Day offers an opportunity to get hands-on with a NorthSTAR emergency helicopter (below).

middletown-day-copter“Every kid stops and watches when a police car or fire engine races by,” says Monmouth Day Care Center exec director Heidi Zaentz — and this Saturday, they’ll have an opportunity to get up-close and hands-on with various trucks, tractors, and emergency vehicles — even an emergency Medevac helicopter at a couple of big yearly events that have become major fundraising vehicles in their own right.

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MIDDLETOWN THROWS ITSELF A FESTIVAL

Middletown DayBouncing back for 2015, the annual Middletown Day celebration brings colorful sights, sounds and savor to the grounds of the township’s Parks and Rec headquarters this Saturday.

Mtown day logo 2015The annual Middletown Day celebration returns to the headquarters of the township’s Department of Parks and Recreation (the Croydon Hall facility on Leonardville Road in Leonardo) for a rain-or-shine afternoon of all-ages activity that commences this Saturday at 11 a.m.

It’s an eclectic event that promises everything from bounce-houses to business showcases; live rock music to rock-climbing walls; touch-a-firetruck ops to petting zoo — plus food and craft vendors, Granny’s Tag Sale, kids’ activities, all-ages hayrides and all-for-fun sporting contests and tournaments.

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MIDDLETOWN DAY BOUNCES BACK

mtown-dayMoonbounces and other rubbery, bouncy things were heavily used by children for Saturday’s Middletown Day. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

To the casual observer, Middletown Day was another Middletown Day — music, firetrucks on display, bouncy houses that echo the joyous shrieks of children.

But for a while there, a tough budget season dictated there wasn’t going to be a Middletown Day this year.

A little rallying, though, resurrected the annual tradition before it had a chance to be completely scratched from the calendar.

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MIDDLETOWN DROPS BALLFIELD PLANS

hot-topic rightPlans for the installation of artificial turf playing fields at two Middletown locations have been killed because of fiscal concerns, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

Citing cuts in state aid, expenses from retirement buyouts and unexpected snow-removal costs, Mayor Gerald Scharfenberger announced the nixing of the plans for fields at Croydon Hall and West Front Street last night.

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MIDDLETOWN FIELD DEBATE HEATS TO A BOIL

mtown-meetingAbout 200 residents packed into Middletown Town Hall Monday night to hear about the township’s plans for its athletic fields. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Podium pounding. Yelling. Fingerpointing. The only things missing from Monday night’s Township Committee meeting were pitchforks and torches.

To say the least, the residents are getting restless.

About 200 of them turned out to hear how the town intended to go forward with contentious plans to upgrade two athletic areas to artificial turf and add more fields to them in order to accommodate more sports. Many came to voice their concerns, some to give the committee a stern talking to and others just to grandstand.

It wasn’t for naught.

Because of a potential sale of the project’s engineer, CMX Engineering, the committee decided not to move forward just yet in finalizing plans  to upgrade fields at Croydon Hall and West Front Street Park.

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