SEA BRIGHT: AWESOME SIGN OF JOY

CLIPPINGS_220Even as artist Jim Kovic put his John Hancock on the brilliant new mural he created in Sea Bright over the past month, passersby couldn’t wait to have their photos taken in front of it.

“‘Awesome’ is the word most people use when they view my mural,” Kovic told Clippings. “Some people say ‘joy.’ This mural brings them joy, you know, after Sandy.”

The mural is at the corner of Ocean and Peninsula avenues. Check out all the Clippings from the Green here. (Video by Gerda Liebmann. Click to pause.)

 

Gerda Liebmann bio

SEA BRIGHT: POSTCARD READY TO BE SIGNED

sb mural 072014 6 jim kovic 072014Artist Jim Kovic, right, puts the finishing touches Sunday on the retro-postcard-style mural he painted on a building at Ocean Avenue and Peninsula Avenue in Sea Bright. On Tuesday, he’s planning to sign the work and host visitors from Benjamin Moore Paints, which supplied the paint both for the mural and the downtown makeover that it caps off.

Click the “Read More” to see details of the mural. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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SOGGY START TO HOLIDAY WEEKEND?

Beachgoers beat a retreat from Beach E at Sandy Hook following the cancellation of a weekly concert because of an approaching storm Wednesday evening.

Forecasts indicate that Hurricane Arthur will veer east of the Jersey Shore, but heavy rains will drench the mid-Atlantic region from Thursday afternoon into Friday, July 4. Mostly sunny skies are expected to follow Saturday and Sunday. (Vine video by Gerda Liebmann.)

SEA BRIGHT: FISH EATERY NOW OPEN

sb fish co 063014The impressive comeback of the hurricane-damaged three-story building at 1054 Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright continues with the soft opening of last Thursday of Sea Bright Fish Company, a restaurant and fish market owned by four members of the Diomede family. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: MURALIST AT WORK

sb mural 063014jim kovics 063014Near the north end of downtown Sea Bright, muralist Jim Kovic, right, is transforming a building wall along Peninsula Avenue into a giant, old-style postcard. “Every great city deserves great art,” said Kovic, of Highlands.

The mural, scheduled for completion in about a week, is part of a downtown makeover donated by paint manufacturer Benjamin Moore. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: PUTTING A BUILDING BACK IN BIZ

christina galinos 052014Christina Galinas outside the Ocean Avenue building she brought back to life. Below, Katy Fraggos, who’s opening a dance-based workout studio on the third floor. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

katy fraggos 052014 2There’s been no shortage of notable comebacks from Hurricane Sandy in Sea Bright, starting with the front-end loaders that tackled six feet of sand on Ocean Avenue a day after the storm.

The recovery marked a milestone six weeks later with the lightning-fast reopening of Bain’s Hardware, which like every other store and restaurant in this oceanfront town was knocked offline by Sandy. And since then, more than a dozen businesses, some of them new, have added to the downtown’s revival.

Nineteen months later, the saga continues, with the reopening in coming weeks of a three-story building that has lined up two tenants brand new to town: a seafood restaurant and a fitness studio.

BONUS: SEE THE PHOTO TOUR OF A BLOCK IN RECOVERY AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE

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SEA BRIGHT: EX-MAYOR MAY GET FIRE STATION

sb fire house 040114 2Two fire trucks have been relocated out of town and another sits beneath a tent since the firehouse, in the background, was condemned. Former Mayor Jo-Ann Kalaka-Adams, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

jo-ann-kalaka-adamsLast we heard from former Sea Bright Mayor Jo-Ann Kalaka Adams, she had just failed to relcaim her old job after an election race that turned in part on property taxes she owed the town.

Fast-forward to now. Kalaka-Adams may start collecting $4,500 a month in rent from the borough for a vacant lot, even though she owes the town $40,000 in overdue property taxes, according to the Asbury Park Press.

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SEA BRIGHT: MCLOONE’S OK’D TO REBUILD

sb mcloone's 110512McLoone’s Rum Runner in Sea Bright, destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, will be rebuilt at its Ocean Avenue location abutting the Shrewsbury River and reopen before summer 2015, according to a report by Word On the Shore. Under plans approved by the planning board last week, the new version of the restaurant will be elevated 10 feet, according to the report. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT MAN GUILTY OF SANDY FRAUD

By JOHN T. WARD

A Sea Bright man pleaded guilty to ripping off the Federal Emergency Management Administration via hotel charges he didn’t deserve, authorities announced Tuesday.

Bill Nagle, 52, of Center Street, admitted to a Superior Court judge in Freehold that he defrauded FEMA of more than $12,000 under a Transitional Shelter Assistance program, according to a press release by Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.

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SEA BRIGHT LIBRARY RAZING SPARKS DEBATE

sb library 1 011214On Sunday, a backhoe sat on the slab where the library had stood until it was demolished a day earlier. Below, an architect’s rendering of a proposed combination library and bathing pavilion. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

SB Pavilion & Library westIn 2011, when concept plans for a remodeled Sea Bright municipal parking lot were drawn up, town officials assured residents that the library building had been left off by accident. It’s not going to be torn down, they said.

Last June, when the council approved spending $70,000 to repair damage to the structure caused by Hurricane Sandy seven months earlier, the action was touted on the borough government’s Resource Center website under the headline, “Sea Bright Library to be Rebuilt.”

But last month, the borough council abruptly reversed course, deciding the library had to go. And on Saturday, the building was hastily demolished, blindsiding supporters who were racing to save it and triggering a debate on social media about the significance of the simple frame structure.

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SEA BRIGHT CELEBRATES COMMUNITY

Dozens of Sea Bright residents gathered for a potluck supper at the firehouse to mark the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy Tuesday night. After sunset, with an onshore breeze whipping the flames like like a flag, they gathered around a beach bonfire next to the ocean that had risen to swamp their town. When Governor Chris Christie arrived, they encircled him, posing with him and getting his autograph. And all night long, they took turns writing messages on a ‘Canvas of Hope.’  (Photos by John T. Ward.)

SEA BRIGHT: ANJELICA’S REOPENS

anJelica's 101113Workers putting finishing touches on the restaurant’s interior last week. Owner Ray Lena, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

ray lena 101113Nearly a year after it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, another of Sea Bright’s stalwart businesses is set to reopen Wednesday night.

“Did I think it would be a year?” said Anjelica‘s owner Ray Lena, while overseeing the installation of a rustic shelf and dealing with a stream of contractors and vendors. “Sometimes, I thought it would be never.”

It was a year of waiting, dealing with the bureaucracies of FEMA and insurance, and four or five months of construction, said Lena, a former sportswriter who opened the restaurant, named for his daughter, 17 years ago.

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RUMSON: CHARGES FILED IN SANDY SCAM

A Staten Island man was in the Monmouth County lockup following his arrest on charges he scammed a Rumson family impacted by Hurricane Sandy out of $37,000, authorities said Friday afternoon.

From a press release issued by Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni:

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SEA BRIGHT TO TAKE IT BACK TO THE BEACH

sb mount sandy 3 112112‘Mount Sandy’ and the small mountain of storm debris are gone from the beach, where Sea Brighters will gather on October 29. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

How does one mark the anniversary of a once-in-a-lifetime storm that destroyed one’s home or business?

In Sea Bright, residents and merchants will note the year-ago devastation of Hurricane Sandy on October 29 with a quiet potluck dinner and a bonfire on the beach to demonstrate their own resilience and determination to recover, recreation director Kathy Morris tells redbankgreen.

“It’s going to be very low-key,” Morris said, “just a place for us to meet, greet and chat.”

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SEA BRIGHT: FOCUS ON STALLED BUSINESSES

A volunteer group wants to help owners of vacant stores spruce up their properties.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

A group of Sea Bright residents is asking the borough to reach out to businesses that have stalled in the post-Sandy recovery process.

With a campaign for sand replenishment, a fundraiser to replace lost beach equipment, an open-house on recovery construction and more efforts already under its belt, Seabrighters Embracing Action – a community group that formed in February to help the town and each other recover from Hurricane Sandy – is now turning its attention to matters of appearance.

“We’re asking the town to enforce the codes when it comes to businesses that aren’t cleaning up,” SEA founder Heather Bedenko said Tuesday night after the bimonthly borough council meeting. Closed businesses “are like black eyes on the town. We have businesses opening up between two half-demolished places,” she said.

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SEA BRIGHT BEGINS LOOKING TO 2020

Borough residents at Monday night’s 2020 session, where FEMA planner Linda Weber, below, took notes. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The scene: a public brainstorming session at Sea Bright’s borough hall.

The purpose: to begin shaping what’s expected to be a long-range process to address housing and commercial needs both in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and in anticipation of another such walloping.

With the floor opened to observations, one woman raised concerns about vacant homes attracting prowlers.

A man’s suggestion that all the utility poles along Ocean Avenue be removed drew a smattering of applause.

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SEA BRIGHT: BROGUE, HEARTH AND PORK ROLL

Alice’s Kitchen takes over  space that was home to downtown fixture Steve’s Breakfast & Lunch. Below, Alice Gaffney with a customer shortly after opening her doors Friday morning. (Photo below by Colby Wilson. Click to enlarge)

By COLBY WILSON

The first time you visit Alice’s Kitchen in Sea Bright, order an Irish breakfast.

That’s on the recommendation of the chef and owner, Alice Gaffney, who’s bringing the food – and an architectural touch – of her homeland to 1100 Ocean Avenue, but doing it Jersey-style.

“We’re going to have Irish soda bread, Irish breakfast, and of course pork roll,” Gaffney tells redbankgreen. After all, “this is the Jersey Shore,” she says.

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SEA BRIGHT PIZZA RETURNS

Sea Bright Pizza five days after the hurricane, above, and back in business, below. (Photo below by Colby Wilson. Click to enlarge)

By COLBY WILSON

Going eight months without the best pizza in town was no easy task, said Sea Bright Pizza customer Wyatt Mulheren.

“I was miserable with out it,” he said.

With each passing month, the hurricane-walloped town of Sea Bright is getting its bite back, as businesses gradually continue to reopen.

Locals are now relishing in the return of their favorite slice of “grandma pie.”

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RED BANK: TA-TA, LAYLA

The vessel had to be torn apart in order for it to be removed. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A sailboat that got stuck at Maple Cove in Red Bank during Hurricane Sandy was finally removed Monday, more than eight months later.

Sammy Fitkin, a supervisor with the post-disaster debris management company Crowder Gulf, had hoped to just float the vessel, called the Layla, out on a high tide. But the tide never got high enough, as it did during the storm that brought it in, and the boat lay against the promenade in the mudflats at the foot of Maple Avenue.

“The water wasn’t here to do it,” Fitkin tells redbankgreen. “So this was our only option.”

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SEA BRIGHT: SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT

Two charities – Sea Bright Rising and Ama Ristorante’s Building Permit Relief Fund – with the common mission of helping Sea Bright victims of Hurricane Sandy rebuild their homes and businesses were the beneficiaries of festivities at Driftwood Cabana Club Monday that culminated in a spectacular fireworks show.

Daylong downpours halted, a rainbow appeared, and a pyrotechnics show billed as New Jersey’s largest this Independence Day week lit up the sky above the Atlantic Ocean and Sea Bright as thousands looked on. redbankgreen was at Driftwood to capture the spectacle. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click the embiggen symbolto enlarge)

 

SEA BRIGHT: OZ FANS PEEK BEHIND CURTAIN

Dr. Oz channeled the Beatles and Bruce in Sea Bright Wednesday. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

There was no yellow-brick road, but local fans of Dr. Oz flocked like Munchkins to EvenTide Bar and Grille in Sea Bright Wednesday to catch a glimpse of the TV personality leading a rock band.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, commonly known as Dr. Oz, is an American-Turkish cardiothoracic surgeon who became a household name through his appearances on the Oprah Winfrey show, subsequently landing his own daytime television gig – the popular “Dr. Oz Show” – in 2009. Though in his regular job Oz mainly focuses on doling out health advice, at EvenTide, he was in full rock-star mode.

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RUMSON: AU REVOIR, V-ZONE

A home on Warren Street in Rumson undergoing elevation in February. (Click to enlarge)

By COLBY WILSON

All homes in storm-battered Rumson have been moved out of the most vulnerable flood zone under new flood-elevation maps released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency Monday.

Mayor John Ekdahl says the revised maps are significantly different than the advisory maps released back in December.

“One of the things that becomes apparent as it effects Rumson is that we virtually lost all “V” zones,” Ekdahl said. “Even Barley Point [Island}, where we lost four homes, was removed.”

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SEA BRIGHT: NEW FEMA MAPS OFFER ANSWERS

A pair of homes undergoing elevation on Center Street in Sea Bright earlier this month. (Click to enlarge)

By COLBY WILSON

Changes to the federal government’s flood risk maps are out, and the revisions are providing relief to anxious homeowners in Sea Bright and elsewhere along New Jersey’s coastline.

The new maps, officially unveiled Monday, show that the Federal Emergency Management Agency greatly reduced the scope of areas in the dreaded zone V, in which homes are said to be imperiled not only by flooding but wave action.

On Monday, Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long told redbankgreen the latest maps showed a “V” zone shift, and that it was good news for residents in her town.

“Nearly all of the homes west of Ocean Avenue were moved back to AE zones,” she said.

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