MIDDLETOWN LIONS, LIBRARY BOOST LITERACY

MTPL LIonsPress release from the Friends of the Middletown Township Public Library

On Wednesday, March 2, the Friends of the Middletown Township Public Library will team up with the Middletown Lions Club to host Read Across America Day: A Celebration of the Wonderful World of Dr. Seuss at Middletown Public Library. Going on between 4 to 7 pm, the free event is open to kids of all ages.

Children and their parents are encouraged to attend this fun, lively and interactive local event in Read Across America Day, an annual nationwide initiative that encourages the love of reading, and that pays tribute to the beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. The event will feature musical entertainment by Disc Jockey Steve Munger of No Limit Entertainment; balloon designing by Rick Jones of White Knight Balloons; face-painting by Christine Conrad of Middletown High School South; button-making; snacks, beverages and dessert cake; free souvenirs; and facilitated group reading circles.

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TREE ‘MURDER’ ALLEGED IN RUMSON

c-zipfCindy Zipf, right, shows residents photos of her neighbor’s property, which she says was clear-cut of its trees. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The quest by a Rumson couple to prove that local officials negligently allowed the “murder” of numerous trees on a residential building lot drew a packed house of lawyers, experts and crestfallen neighbors to Monday night’s planning board meeting.

With their appeal of tree-removal permit granted by Frederick André, the borough’s tree conservation officer, Clean Ocean Action founder and executive director Cindy Zipf and her husband, Rick Jones say they hope to win an acknowledgment that mistakes were made and stricter enforcement of a tree-protection ordinance.

A lawyer by their side, Zipf and Jones paged through a sheaf of documents showing, they argue, that the property next door to their home at 37 Navesink Avenue was the site of a “murder of trees” that violated the ordinance.

The alleged slaughter could have been prevented had André, who is also the planning board’s secretary, properly done his job, they say.

“The tree conservation officer failed to implement basic procedures. The tree conservation officer allowed a clear-cut at 35 Navesink Avenue,” said Andrew Provence, a lawyer with Ansell, Grimm and Aaron. “What happened at 35 Navesink is plainly a clear-cut. To call it anything else is an insult to this borough, this board, my clients and the people of Rumson.”

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