SEA BRIGHT BASH GOES NATIONAL

skimboarder1A contestant hits the water in last year’s Skimbash event in Sea Bright. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In its eight years of wave-hopping, Skimbash has gone from family fun in the suburban seascape of Sea Bright to full-swell national attraction, drawing hundreds of participants and spectators from beyond the state.

This year, the borough is hosting, in addition to its usual end-of-summer contest, a portion of the traveling Skim U.S.A. Pro Tour, which had been held on Long Beach Island for years, said Felecia Stratton, one of the founders of Sea Bright’s Skimbash.

“They said, ‘we love it in Sea Bright. Can we do it there?'” Stratton said of the tour’s organizers. “We were thrilled.”

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SAYING GOODBYE TO HER TOWN

m-smeltzerSea Bright Administrator Maryann Smeltzer will retire at the end of June. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Maryann Smeltzer was born in Long Branch, and for the last dozen or so, has lived with her husband of 39 years in West Long Branch.

Her allegiance, by logic, would be to one of those towns.

Not so for Smeltzer, who’s spent the last 31 years, with a break, making a daily trip up Ocean Avenue to Sea Bright Borough Hall, working her way up from a part-time secretary to borough administrator.

“Whenever I talk about my town, [husband Richard] thinks I’m talking about West Long Branch, but I’m talking about Sea Bright,” she said. “Sea Bright will always be my town.”

Smeltzer, who turns 60 on June 2, will retire from her town at the end of June.

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SEA BRIGHT STARTS CHIPPING IN

cat-microchipPiewacket, a six-year-old ragdoll cat, was one of a dozen pets that were microchipped Saturday in Sea Bright as part of the borough’s new trap-neuter-release program. The partnership with the Monmouth County SPCA will continue throughout the year as workers round up homeless cats, vaccinate and microchip them in order to keep the borough’s feline population under control. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT BONDS TO FIX A CRACK GONE BAD

sb-council-chambersSea Bright’s council chambers is cordoned off with plastic as it’s being used as a temporary storage area for the eastern wing of borough hall.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Sea Bright Borough Hall. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving — and makes you keep paying for it.

It’s that pesky wall with the crack in it that’s revealing itself to be an even bigger headache than anticipated, with every look-see uncovering a new problem.

“It’s just been one thing after another,” said borough Engineer Jackie Flor.

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SEA BRIGHT MAYOR ROLLS BACK INTO ACTION

m-fernandesMaria Fernandes returned to Sea Bright Borough Hall Tuesday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s been a hellish five months for Sea Bright Mayor Maria Fernandes.

She underwent foot surgery at the beginning of September. A week later, she suffered a mild stroke, sidelining her from her official duties. Then, in her recovery, an infection forced her to have her left leg amputated just below the knee.

“It wouldn’t let go,” Fernandes said of the infection. “I suffered like a dog.”

But she says she’s back now, and ready to get to work — not that she was ever that far from it.

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