AMID WRECKAGE, SEA BRIGHT STARTS ANEW

Mayor Dina Long at the annual reorganization of borough government Saturday. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Though it was an eventful, tumultuous year in this small beachside community, Sea Bright’s 2013 mayor-and-council reorganization meeting brought no major shakeups Saturday.

“We thought it was important at this time to keep things consistent,” Mayor Dina Long told redbankgreen shortly after she began her second year at the helm of local government.

“We definitely didn’t want to create new obstacles at this time,” she said. “We just wanted to help everyone and everything return to normal, or the ‘new normal’ as it should be called, because things will never be quite the same after Sandy.”

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JERSEY OFFICIALS BLAST SANDY FUND CUTOFF

Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long with Governor Chris Christie in Sea Bright on November 9. Both have joined in on bipartisan condemnation of inaction by the GOP-controlled House. (Click to enlarge)

State and local officials, including Republicans, are expressing outrage Wednesday over Congressional inaction, attributed to the GOP majority, on a $60.4 billion aid package for communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

From the Star-Ledger’s NJ.com:

Gov. Chris Christie ripped into House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) today for delaying a vote on billions in federal aid for recovery from Hurricane Sandy.

“There’s only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: The House majority and their speaker, John Boehner,” said Christie at a press conference this afternoon.

Christie, who gave the keynote address at the Republican National Convention last summer, said Congress traditionally puts politics aside for disaster relief but that House Republican leadership had put politics “before our oaths to serve our citizens.”

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SEA BRIGHT TO SHARE IN MILLIONS FOR SAND

Federal money will be used to replenish beaches in Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Sea Bright is in for some sand to replenish oceanfront beaches torn into by Hurricane Irene last August.

Congressman Frank Pallone of Long Branch announced Wednesday that the borough, along with neighboring Monmouth Beach, would share in $12.3 million worth of federal funding for sand replacement.

The work, to be 75-percent paid for by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is expected to begin in the fall, Pallone said in a press release.

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GOOCH DROPS CHALLENGE

Diane Gooch has abandoned her quest for a recount in her GOP primary race against Highlands Mayor Anna Little, the Gooch campaign said in an announcement this afternoon.

just_in1The Rumson millionaire and vice chair of the Monmouth County Republican Party says she supports Little, with whom she shares the goals of smaller government and lower taxes.

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LITTLE CLAIMS WIN; GOOCH WANTS RECOUNT

hot-topic rightNewspaper publisher Diane Gooch is asking for a recount after an apparent loss in the Republican primary for the 6th district to Highlands Mayor Anna Little. according to various reports.

Little, with Tea Party backing an only a fraction of millionaire Gooch’s campaign treasury declared victory Wednesday after a vote tally from Tuesday’s balloting showed her leading Gooch by 105 votes, the Asbury Park Press reported.

Later in the day, the Star-Ledger said 79 votes separated the two candidates, and that Gooch would seek a recount.

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SIPPRELLE WINS; LITTLE LEADS GOOCH

hot-topic rightIt’s not quite tea time in the two congressional districts covering the Red Bank area.

In the 12th district, Tea Party-endorsed Dave Corsi failed in his bid against Princeton millionaire Scott Sipprelle for the Republican nod to take on incumbent  Rush Holt.

Corsi, of Oceanport, won his home county of Monmouth by a vote of 3,345 to 2,577, but came ups short elsewhere and fell by a vote of 8,930 to 7,575, according to the Star-Ledger.

Meanwhile, the outcome of the battle between Rumson newspaper publisher Diane Gooch and Highlands Mayor Anna Little for the GOP nod to challenge incumbent Frank Pallone in the 6th district was unclear early this morning.

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RED BANK’S DISGRACE GOES NATIONAL

The ugly spectacle of hecklers shouting down a woman in a wheelchair in Red Bank last week is getting national play.

Last night, Keith Olbermann of MSNBC’s Countdown played a portion of the video Brian Donohue shot for his online Star-Ledger feature, Ledger Live, during the August 26 town hall meeting held by sixth-district Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. at the Red Bank Middle School.

The topic: national health insurance.

“If somebody were to parody the truly ugly behavior at some of these healthcare town halls, it might read like this,” Olbermann says in setting up the video.

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SLEDGER TOWN HALL VIDEO

Here’s Star-Ledger video reporter Andre Malok’s takeaway from Tuesday night’s town hall meeting of federal healthcare reform, held at the Red Bank Middle School.

An Asbury Park Press video is here.

If you missed it, here’s the redbankgreen article.

HOSTILE CROWD SHOUTS DOWN PALLONE

img_1265-2With the auditorium inside already packed, a crowd of more than 1,000 people snaked around the front yard of the Red Bank Middle School awaiting its turn inside. Three consecutive seatings were required to accommodate the turnout, with the final session beginning at around 10:30p.

Some came to yell ‘Get a job’ at their congressman. One came to ask him if he was a communist. Another spent $14 on a cab ride from Middletown to declare her own candidacy for his seat, on the platform of “if everybody gave up meat and chicken, people wouldn’t get sick.”

In the aggregate, most of the 1,300 people who swamped Tuesday night’s forum on a proposed federal health insurance plan came to vent their anger over the plan’s expense and expected impact on their continued access to quality medical services.

Through it all, sixth-district Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., a Democrat, stood his ground on the auditorium stage at the Red Bank Middle School, unwavering in his defense of the plan.

“I don’t believe that the majority are opposed to this,” he said, speaking of his own constituents, prompting one of many cascades of boos heard over the course of three seatings.

img_1515-2Attendees pro and con on health insurance reform tried to out-sing each other on ‘God Bless America’ prior to the start of the second session.
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