FALL INTO ACTION FOR 28th BEACH SWEEPS

Trash from Atlantic City Sweeps_April 2012Over 65 coastal and waterfront sites, from Cape May to Middlesex Counties, will be cleaned by teams of volunteers during the annual Fall Beach Sweeps effort this Saturday, October 19.

From press materials furnished by Clean Ocean Action

More than 65 sites — including several in Red Bank, Sea Bright, and neighboring communities — will be descended upon by teams of volunteers this Saturday, October 19, as Clean Ocean Action (COA) invites citizens and organizations to participate in the 28th Annual Fall Beach Sweeps.

“Clean Ocean Action is excited to continue to integrate Beach Sweeps into the Waves of Action program, a year-long initiative to recover and restore the NY/NJ coastline after the devastation of Sandy,” commented Catie Tobin, Clean Ocean Action Ocean Advocacy and Education Fellow.

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OCEAN AVENUE WORK NEAR COMPLETION

sb-roadworkThe state Department of Transportation is expected to wrap up a months-long roadwork project on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright this week. The work, which got started in early March, includes resurfacing the roadway between the bridges that connect the borough to Rumson and Highlands, and installing new curbing, borough Administrator Maryann Smeltzer said. Targeted completion date is Wednesday, she said. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

THE PAWS BEFORE THE ROUNDUP

sb-cat-011111A cat takes a stretch on an old Buick ragtop at the Chapel Beach Club in Sea Bright Tuesday morning. An ordinance approved late last month created a trap, neuter and release program that will go into effect this year for the borough’s wild and homeless cats. (Click to enlarge)

DOUBLE DUNK TO START ’11

mad-hatterOne of two ocean plunges will take place at the Mad Hatter in Sea Bright Saturday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

So you’re planning your New Year’s morning and thinking you’d like to do something stupid. Look no further.

All you have to do is decide where you’d like to execute your first questionable decision of 2011 — Sea Bright or Asbury Park.

Keeping with tradition sprouted eight years ago at Donovan’s Reef, two separate groups of locals will host New Year’s Day plunges into the Atlantic to raise money for charities.

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SEA BRIGHT: GOP SURFS TO VICTORY

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The future of beachfront development in Sea Bright will stay in the hands of those who started making plans for it.

Incumbent Republicans Brian Kelly and Peggy Bills thwarted a challenge by Democrats  Meg Fisher and Marc Leckstein in Tuesday’s election.

Like Kelly, Fisher made beachfront development a top campaign priority. But it was Kelly, who heads the borough’s Smart Growth Committee and has been involved in drafting plans for a waterfront restaurant and pool club, who voters picked to continue to work toward the goal of bringing more revenue into the borough via the municipal beach.

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CANDIDATE Q&As: SEA BRIGHT

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Earlier this month, redbankgreen emailed questionnaires to local candidates for public office in towns with contested elections on November 2. We began running the replies last Friday, starting with those from Middletown, where four candidates are vying for two seats on the five-member Township Committee.

We continue today with Sea Bright, where four candidates are seeking two spots on the borough council. The replies are arranged below in alphabetical order. No reply was received from Peggy Bills, an incumbent Republican.

Here’s the Sea Bright ballot: sea-bright-ballot-2010

Tomorrow, the series continues with Rumson, and we’ll conclude Wednesday with Red Bank.

FISHER: BEACHFRONT FIRST CONCERN

sb_fisherNAME Margaret C Fisher – I prefer Meg (Democrat)

AGE 61

OCCUPATION Pediatrician

LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN 8 years

General Questions:

1. What do you see as the top three issues in town?

First – beachfront development

Second – flooding in the downtown area and fear of flooding elsewhere

Third – keeping the budget under control and getting the most for our money

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KELLY: PUT EMPHASIS ON BEACH REVENUE

sb_kellyNAME: Brian Kelly (Republican, incumbent)

AGE: 42

OCCUPATION: CEO of a Solar Design and Installation Company

LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN: 10 years

General Questions:

1. What do you see as the top three issues in town?

The top three issues are 1) continuing to reduce the operating costs for the borough of Sea Bright (fiscal responsibility) 2) completing Phase 1 construction in 2011 for the beachfront facilities. Once we settled a lawsuit with the State DEP earlier this year regarding beachfront access, it allowed us to move forward with the beachfront planning and construction as well as help make additional funds available for beach access projects  3) We successfully completed shared services for our courts (also removed old court trailer) with Oceanport as well as other cost savings shared services for maintenance and fuel contracts, etc… continue to look at shared services with other boroughs and continue with ones that will only save the borough money and either keep or improve the services without losing the benefits of our borough staff.

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LECKSTEIN: IMPLEMENT PAST STUDIES

sb_lecksteinNAME: Marc A. Leckstein (Democrat)

AGE: 37

OCCUPATION: Attorney

LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN: 10 1/2 years

General Questions:

1. What do you see as the top three issues in town?

a) Revitalization of the downtown district

b) Keeping taxes down

c) Consolidation of Public Services

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TIME TO GET WET

sb-firetruckSea Bright Fire Department’s newest addition. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Since buying a new fire truck this summer, Sea Bright’s fire department has put it to work, dumping water on fires from Monmouth Beach to Highlands.

Now it’s time for the department’s ladder truck to get wet.

On Saturday, the department will initiate its half-million dollar apparatus with a wet-down at the station, replete with typical firehouse party stuff: food, drinks and a pig on a spit.

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POSSIBLE ARSON SEEN IN SEA BRIGHT FIRE

hot-topic rightA beach club cabana fire resulted in a brief closure of Route 36 in Sea Bright Wednesday night, according to a report by the political blog MoreMonmouthMusings.

The blaze, at the Driftwood Cabana Club, was being investigated as a possible arson, Councilman Read Murphy says in a video interview shot by blogger Art Gallagher.

Called in as a possible beach bonfire at 10:07p, the fire was “spinning out over the top of the buildings” when borough police arrived, Murphy says. “It turned out it was a cabana, fully involved.”

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COURT SHARING SPARKS DEBATE

sb-oport-sign1Sea Bright officials dispute how well a new shared service with Oceanport is working out. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

There are  two ways Sea Bright officials describe one of its latest shared services agreements with a nearby town: just fine and a nightmare.

Nearly six months into an agreement to have Oceanport provide municipal court services for the borough, there’s a divide on the council whether it’s really working. Councilman Read Murphy says no. Mayor Maria Fernandes says yes.

“Nobody’s happy over there,” Murphy said.”People think it’s a joke.”

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WHILE INLAND WILTS, SEA BRIGHT SPARKLES

Remember the summer of 2009? When it rained the entire month of June?

Or how about the repeated snowstorms that got dumped on us this past winter?

Well, it may be hot now, but for beach lovers and boaters, the summer of 2010 is shaping up as a smactacular bonanza. That was in full evidence in the tiny burg of Sea Bright this weekend.

Photographer Peter Linder wandered the streets and strands of Sea Bright for redbankgreen on Saturday, and this is what he saw. And we get to enjoy it all over again!

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COUSINS DROWN AT SEA BRIGHT

A Red Bank man and his cousin from Sea Bright drowned at Sandy Hook’s Gateway National Park Saturday, and the Red Bank man’s brother was in critical condition after attempting a rescue, the Asbury Park Press and the Star-Ledger reported over the weekend.

The Sledger reports that Miguel Angel Romero-Leon, 30, of Red Bank, died after trying to save Gonzalo Romero-Tlamintzi, 33, of Sea Bright, who also died in the waters off Plum Island, a sandbar on the bay side of the Sandy Hook peninsula. They were taken to Monmouth Medical Center where they were pronounced dead after the 4:30p incident.

Romero-Tlamanintzi’s brother, Martin Romero, 30, of Red Bank, remained in intensive care Sunday after bystanders Bobby James of Woodbridge and Howard Morris of Columbus, Ohio, brought him to safety,  National Park Service spokesman John Warren told the Press.

“I know bystanders performed CPR on him,” Warren said.

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SUMMER ARRIVES ON A TIDE OF SMILES

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Ahhh, hot and sparkling at the Jersey Shore: This is the payoff, isn’t it, for all those blasted snowstorms we endured over the winter?

For those who were otherwise engaged, the summer solstice occurred at 7:28a Monday, marking the start of a season that, for those of an outdoorsish bent, is as important to one’s mental health as it is to the regional economy.

To mark the day, redbankgreen‘s Dustin Racioppi and Trish Russoniello roamed the Green, cameras in hand, and captured some juicy slices of life, from people at play to a high school graduation to some of the many ways folks find to stay cool between Red Bank and Sea Bright.

Enjoy the pix, folks. And here’s to a terrific summer.

OUTLOOK: A SMATTERING OF SPATTERINGS

sb-flowersThese sun-hungry bloomers sprouting near the sea wall in north Sea Bright Wednesday evening may be in for repeated dousings in coming days, according to forecasts. (Click to enlarge)

The phrases “mostly cloudy” and “chance of thunderstorms” spatter the weather forecast for the next five days in the Red Bank area.

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THE BRIDGE TO SUMMER SUCCESS?

highlands-bridge1The state DOT has plans to ease traffic jams at the Sea Bright-Highlands bridge construction site this summer. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In 34 years doing business on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright, Steve Garelli says he’s learned one thing when it comes to preparing for the summer rush, which is unofficially upon us this Memorial Day weekend.

“It’s all about the weather,” said Garelli, owner of Steve’s Breakfast & Lunch.

But in recent summers, Garelli, like many other business owners in the seaside hamlet, has learned one more thing: cranes and dump trucks can wipe out abundant sunshine rather quickly.

The construction of the Route 36 Highlands bridge, which connects Highlands to the Sea Bright/Sandy Hook peninsula and funnels traffic into the Gateway National Recreation Area, plagued local businesses last summer and wreaked havoc on motorists.

Now that the 65-foot high bridge is near completion — two lanes are operational, and two more are being added — local merchants are hopeful, but skeptical, that traffic will flow better, both on the road and in their stores this summer.

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CHRISTIE: NO TO LNG & DRILLING PROJECTS

sb-christie-2-042210Governor Chris Christie at Surfrider Beach Club in Sea Bright Thursday, flanked by his daughter Brigit, former Gov. Tom Kean and DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. (Photo by Tim Larsen; click to enlarge)

There will be no oil rigs visible from New Jersey’s beaches, and no man-made islands or floating pipelines to transfer liquefied natural gas from ship to shore under his watch, Governor Chris Christie vowed Thursday.

At an oceanfront beach club in Sea Bright to mark the fortieth Earth Day, Christie said that while natural gas is a critical piece of the state’s energy future, “for as long as I am governor, this administration will oppose any application for liquefied natural gas,” according to the Asbury Park Press.

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FORECAST: JUST BEACHY

sb-sand-pileKelly and James Rossano of Red Bank play on a sand pile in Sea Bright as Lily Rusis of Rumson pets the Rossano family dog, Darla, last Friday. (Click to enlarge)

Sunny, sunny, sunny and oh-so-unseasonably warm.

That’s the forecast for the next three days, as temperatures are expected to reach into the high 60s today and peak in the low 80s Wednesday before partial cloudiness moves in Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

Here’s the outlook for the coming week:

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GREEN DAY ON THE GREEN

redbankgreen hit the streets and taverns from Red Bank to Sea Bright Wednesday in search of St. Patrick’s Day celebrants, and found no shortage.

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