STATEHOUSE: GOPAL, O’SCANLON SCORE WINS


 Vin Gopal and his 11th-district running mates staked out an island of Democratic blue in a sea of GOP red. (Map by NJSpotlight.com.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Middletown resident Phil Murphy was the clear winner in the 2017 New Jersey gubernatorial race Tuesday, in spite of a chilly reception from his home county.

Meanwhile, Republican state Senator Jen Beck of Red Bank lost her 11th-district statehouse seat to Democrat Vin Gopal, and first-term Red Bank Councilman Mike Whelan came up short in his bid for an Assembly seat on Beck’s ticket.

Former Little Silver Councilman Declan O’Scanlon, a Republican, held off a challenge to his 13th-district state Senate seat by Middletown Democrat Sean Byrnes, according to results posted by the Monmouth County Clerk.

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RED BANK: BURRY NAMED TO BASIE BOARD

Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry, seen in a file photo from January 2016, is the newest member of the Count Basie Theatre’s Board of Directors. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Press release from Count Basie Theatre

The nonprofit Count Basie Theatre announced yesterday the appointment of Monmouth County Freeholder and open space / historic preservation advocate Lillian Burry to its Board of Trustees.

Burry was elected to the board as a special meeting to fill a vacancy which expires in June 2018. The board’s annual elections and meeting are held in May.

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RUMSON’S SWARTZ RE-ELECTED LIBRARY CHAIR

Press release from Monmouth County Library

Renee Swartz Lillian BurryDuring its reorganization meeting held recently at the Eastern Branch Library in Shrewsbury, Renee Swartz of Rumson was unanimously re-elected chair of the Monmouth County Library Commission, a position that the popular long time member has held since 1976.

A graduate of Barnard College, Swartz (left in picture, with Freeholder Lillian Burry) dates her interest in the role of libraries back to the early years of her marriage, when she was asked to volunteer as a survey taker for the American Association of University Women, as a way of determining what educational resources would be offered to the growing population of Monmouth County.

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SHREWSBURY: VISITORS COUNT AT LIBRARY

deer-libraryA deer grazing outside the library in June, 2011. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge.)

Press release from Monmouth County Library

More than half a million books circulated. Close to a quarter of a million visitors. An additional 2400 patrons registered. All part of a very busy 2016 at the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library during 2016, as Branch Manager Kim Avagliano reported to the Monmouth County Library Commission at its recent end of the year meeting.

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SHREWSBURY: COUNTY NAMES LIBRARY CHIEF

2015_Library_Commission_w_Tolchin_&_Burry_AugustIn a meeting at the Monmouth County Library’s Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury, Judith Tolchin (third from left in front row) was named director of the library system by the members of the County Library Commission.

Press release from Monmouth County Library System

Judith Tolchin, Acting Director of the Monmouth County Library system since January, 2014 was appointed Library Director at the recent meeting of the County Library Commission, held at the Eastern Branch location in Shrewsbury.

Tolchin, who has been with the library system for 23 years, immediately outlined a vision and her plan of action and expectation for the coming years through a Powerpoint presentation, covering everything from the need and desire for facilities improvements to the headquarters in Manalapan, to grants, corporate sponsorships and other means to raise funds to supplement county taxes that finance the library system’s 13 branches and 14 member libraries.

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RUMSON: CLOSING OUT A HISTORIC CAREER

IMG_1497Monmouth County Historical Association president Linda Bricker greets C. Glenn May, during a recent ceremony honoring his 30 years of service with the MCHA.

Press release from Monmouth County Historical Association

Close to 100 employees, board members, volunteers and friends were in attendance on May 12, during a ceremony honoring C. Glenn May upon his retirement after 30 years with The Monmouth County Historical Association, most recently as Senior Education Coordinator.

The event was held at the Rumson home of trustee Mark and Andrea Aikens. The couple welcomed everyone to their home; introducing MCHA president Linda Bricker (who served as mistress of ceremonies), Association director Dr. Evelyn C. Murphy, Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry, as well as many other representatives of the board, staff and volunteers.

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RED BANK: VAN ZANDT IN THE VANGUARD

van zandtMiddletown’s own “Little” Steven Van Zandt — photographed outside the Count Basie Theatre in 2008 — is one of the inaugural recipients of the Basie’s Vanguard Awards, honoring lifelong devotion to the arts in New Jersey. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

When the students of Rockit! at the Basie take the famous stage of the Count Basie Theatre on Friday for their annual summer concert, A Tribute to Woodstock and The Age of Aquarius, they’ll be sharing the boards with a genuine Rock and Roll Hall of Famer — Middletown’s own contribution to E Street history (and King of Most Media) Steven Van Zandt.

The musician, arranger, producer, actor, writer, director, human rights activist, and international radio DJ will be taking time out from his myriad of projects to accept one of the Basie’s inaugural Vanguard Awards, honoring lifelong devotion to the arts in New Jersey. He’ll be joining his wife Maureen Van Zandt, Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry and Monmouth County Arts Council executive director Mary Eileen Fouratt during a ceremony at the August 22 event.

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BASIE NAMES FIRST VANGUARD AWARDS

van zandtSteve Van Zandt, seen here outside the Count Basie Theatre in 2008, is one of the inaugural recipients of the Basie’s Vanguard Awards honoring lifelong devotion to the arts in New Jersey. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Press release from Count Basie Theatre

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician and actor Steven Van Zandt and his wife Maureen Van Zandt, Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry and Monmouth County Arts Council executive director Mary Eileen Fouratt were named as the recipients of the Count Basie Theatre‘s inaugural Vanguard Awards, honoring lifelong devotion to the arts in New Jersey. The first class of Vanguards will be honored during an event at the Basie on Friday, August 22.

Also that evening, Rockit! at the Basie will present its annual summer concert, A Tribute to Woodstock and The Age of Aquarius. The show will feature curation and input from Mr. Van Zandt himself, and monies raised from the concert will go towards future Rockit! scholarships, the theatre’s bus-in program offering area districts and students a low-cost option to experience the theatre’s cultural programming, and for professional development sessions associated with Mr. Van Zandt’s Rock and Roll: An American Story program.

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