Jetty Rock funds Stafford school’s eco trip to Barnegat Light

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Photo by: Ryan Morrill

The Stafford School District’s environmental field trip to Barnegat Light last week was a hands-on learning opportunity funded by The Jetty Rock Foundation.

Sixth-graders were bused from Stafford Intermediate School to Barnegat Light for lessons in seining, beach profiling, maritime forest explorations and a tour of the historic Viking Village fishing docks. Volunteers with MATES (Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science) led a turtle egg presentation and chaperoned. Lunch was provided compliments of Barry’s Do Me A Flavor, Surf Taco and Kelly’s Old Barney Restaurant.

The foundation – the philanthropic arm of the Jetty apparel brand – was formed in the name of Sandy relief but has evolved and expanded in the last year or two to beautify the environment, foster arts and culture and nurture community initiatives. Lately, the organization places a renewed emphasis on the betterment of local kids and schools. Jetty Rock donated $4,486.28 to the field trip endeavor, bringing the total community-based project donations to $107,704.82 since June 2013.

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Photo by: Ryan Morrill

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Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Reposted from The Sandpaper

The Sandman in Ship Bottom, Mary Lee the shark and wave days

So let me get this straight. We had the first tropical storm of the year, one of the largest beach replenishment projects ever on the East Coast began on LBI, the ocean temps finally broke the 50-degree mark, and a great white shark that has impeccable social media skills has been hanging around off our coast.

What a week for Liquid Lines! Where do I begin?

This is Mary Lee, who paid our local waters a visit last weekend. She was tagged in 2012, at 3,500  pounds. Now she's likely 4,000 pounds, with over 34,000 followers on Twitter.

This is Mary Lee, who paid our local waters a visit last weekend. She was tagged in 2012, at 3,500 pounds. Now she’s likely 4,000 pounds, with over 34,000 followers on Twitter.

I’ll tell you where I begin – with that 4,000-pound carcharias offshore, aka, Mary Lee.

For those of you who don’t know Mary Lee … oh hell, everybody knows Mary Lee. She has over 32,000 followers on Twitter. She got New Jersey all fired up this weekend when she “pinged” off AC, Holgate and then was about 2,000 feet off the beach in Lavallette.

Here at The SandPaper, we’re supposed to cover such toothy oceanic novelties, but you have to love the way the Philly and New York news sources have been tripping over themselves to get to the figurative blood in the water, even though there is no actual blood in the water.

“Hey Ralph, Memorial Day is comin’ up. Do we have any salacious, titillating and journalistically questionable nuggets on da the Jersey Shaw we can run?”

“Da what?”

“The Shaw, you know. Seaside Heights, where we went after that hurricane for tree days, with da rolla costa in the watah?”

“Well, I hear there’s a great white shark and she’s Tweetin’ from the ocean.”

“Oh, dat’s good stuff. A Tweetin’ shark. I’ll bet she’s hungry. Dat’ll go viral. Let’s see if we can get people all worked up unnecessarily right before da tourism season.”

“All right already. I’m on it.”

My favorite headline was on the Gawker-owned blog,, that read, “Hey, New York: A Pregnant Great White Shark Is Coming to Eat You.”

Great …

While this kind of insight into the travel schedule of an apex predator is interesting, I don’t feel the real story here is about some anomaly of a fish looking for a snack. The numbers of great whites are on the rebound. I think the story is that there are possibly great whites without tags cruising through our waters on a regular basis. They don’t make headlines and we never know they’re there. If you want something to be scared of, the recent schools of psycho bluefish are probably more of a risk than Mary Lee.

I’m just waiting for her to photobomb some selfie of a SUP’er showing off his abs …

SHIP BOTTOM’S NEW ACREAGE: If that newly pumped beach reached any farther toward Europe, we’d have to start speaking Portuguesa. The current Ship Bottom beach replenishment project is massive.

Last Thursday, the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection held a press conference on the Fifth Street beach in front of the pipes that were delivering offshore sand to our oceanfront. All of the “dignitaries,” as they were called, were there: assemblymen, mayors, county freeholders, U.S. Army Corps officials and DEP directors.

In the spirit of full disclosure, yes, I am a journalist covering the story, but I have been involved with groups campaigning for better beach replenishment projects for over a decade now. The last several years, I have worked very specifically on the Ship Bottom portion of this whole round of replenishment, which, for the record, is a $128-million, 8.2-million-cubic-yard job, numbers that the state is just tickled pink about. I live in Ship Bottom. I surf in Ship Bottom. It’s where we will pass on our oceangoing traditions to the next generation. I don’t pretend to be an objective observer on this one.

To bring everyone up to speed on some recent history, folks in Ship Bottom noticed some of the steep drop-off and no-sandbar beaches caused by replenishment in other towns the last few rounds of dredge and fill and, with the help of Alliance for a Living Ocean, decided to do something about it. To be specific, they actually organized and bought it to the attention of borough hall instead of just bitching about it on Facebook (although there’s plenty of that too).

Mayor Huelsenbeck listened to the concerns and started a formal dialogue between the town, the DEP and Corps. The result was that the Army Corps would try a 1/20 slope in certain areas to try to mimic the natural slope and get a nice beach for swimming that still protected the Island. Knowing the history of this issue, it was a monumental achievement, and other towns were following suit. Score one for the democratic process. Before I get into this, I will say that the very, very, very, very good news is that in the sections that are finished, there does seem to be somewhat of a sandbar offshore. Even at dead high tide, I saw a few guys surfing a recently pumped beach.

But there is the issue of the size of the beach. Ship Bottom had benefited from the projects in Surf City and Brant Beach. And at the end of April, it was huge – bigger than anyone has ever seen it, with many dunes that have stood through our most historic storms.

But who wouldn’t want a little extra security? The Army Corps explained that it wouldn’t require the scope of the Harvey Cedars project because it was a different dynamic. It wasn’t going to interfere with the sandbar (which also serves to help the project last longer) .There was no need to mess around much past the waterline because the beach was already wide.

Most agreed that would be great to prepare us for future storms, especially since 100 percent of the money was coming from earmarked federal Sandy relief funds. And if you’re the mayor of the town, you take any opportunity to protect your constituency. The Corps has a design template of where they want the beach to be, and a “construction template,” which is where the amount that the ocean will shave off, to bring them to the profile template. So we all figured that the contracted company, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, would just “top us off,” bolster up the dunes and move on down. Everybody wins.

So let me reiterate: The beach was already nearly as wide as the Army Corps’ design template, which was good news to everyone.

When Great Lakes showed up in late April to do that one last survey before the construction began, it found the beaches were considerably bigger than the previous survey. Any local who went up to the top of the dunes noted how the beaches had grown thanks to natural flow, but also projects in Brant Beach and Surf City. But overall, it supported the notion that the beach was already nearly as wide as the Army Corps’ design template.

Common sense would say, “fill us to the design template and take an early lunch, boys. Thanks for everything. The hard hat is a good look on you.” But Great Lakes was contracted to provide 591 cubic yards for Ship Bottom.

If you’re not directly involved, this stuff is harder to understand than field hockey. As a project starts, the amount of sand they pump can change at the last minute, give or take 15 percent without having to renegotiate the bid, if the beach has grown or eroded since the last survey. However, the last survey was early 2013, incidentally, four months after a little storm called Sandy. But now, the town, the DEP and the Army Corps can’t simply ask for less sand at that point because the price of said sand has already been contracted.

The beachfill has begun in Ship Bottom on a fairly wide and healthy beach. So why is Ship Bottom getting so much sand and what can we expect?

The beachfill has begun in Ship Bottom on a fairly wide and healthy beach. So why is Ship Bottom getting so much sand and what can we expect? Photo by: Jon Coen

Put simply, we’re getting 503 cubic yards. The beach will be 130 feet wider and it was huge to begin with. The legal complications meant that to change the amount of sand would require halting the project, which would threaten the funding. It’s a bureaucratic “use it now or lose it” situation. Essentially, Ship Bottom will get 15 percent less sand than we thought, but far more than we need. And folks in town are none too happy about carefully planted and cultivated dune vegetation being buried, although that has been another clouded issue from the beginning. I actually saw guys who had nothing to do with Great Lakes chainsawing through natural growth on the back side of a dune.

The Army Corps project manager told me on Thursday, as the beach was growing exponentially behind him, “We will take as much protection as we can get.” Despite the fact that the beach was already nearly as wide as the Army Corps’ design template, Ship Bottom is getting extra sand. And not knowing when Congress might appropriate the cash for another round in Ship Bottom, the Army Corps wants as many cubic yards as possible, no matter how ridiculous it looks. And right now, it looks ridiculous, despite how beautifully those “dignitaries” described it to the press.

Let’s also not forget the company doing the dredging has a powerful lobby and, despite what our community wants, can essentially hold our feet to the fire so it gets paid every cent. Sometimes, it’s more like our testicles to the shorebreak, but they seem to be getting a little more flexible.

I have to repeat that Mayor Huelsenbeck and the DEP worked really hard with us to get an alternate profile to this project. Yet I worry the modifications will be negligible because of all the new square miles that “Point Arlington” is accruing.

The other silver lining is that the DEP was able to convince the Army Corps to extend the 1/20 experimental slopes to a wider portion. Instead of 1,000-foot long areas of modification from Ninth to 11th Street, and 25th to 29th Street, they will try the modified recreational beach from Fifth to 13th and 23rd Street to 29th. The DEP is shooting for a total of 3,650 feet of modified area.

I got to chatting with one of the dredge company guys and without knowing that I was involved in any of this, he verified that they were doing a 1/20 slope, so no one is just blowing smoke.

The DEP is under the impression that Ship Bottom’s shallow bathymetry will mean that even at 130 feet, it won’t disrupt the sandbar. They say the hopper barge has found some really nice grain size sand offshore and seem confident that the profile will tie into the natural slope a lot better than places like Harvey Cedars.

One thing we have working against us is that it’s almost summer and we will trend out of nor’easter season. So barring an unusually close hurricane this summer, we’re not going to see much sand moving. However, that 130 feet of extra beach is going to start shaving off pretty quickly and Great Lakes still has to work some of the sand around.

I speak for a lot of people when I say I really hope this works out and we don’t develop that steep drop-off like Cedars did or northern Surf City in 2011 when parents packed up their kids and came to Ship Bottom. Ship Bottom hosts more New Jersey families (primarily working class) and day-trippers on our beaches than any other town on the Island.

So I invite those dignitaries to come back down to Ship Bottom in July. I hope they all bring their families. I’ll have a picnic blanket for the Army Corp. I just want them to take off their shoes, stand in the sand with the people who live and love Ship Bottom and see what a bureaucratic beach looks like. We’ll all agree that we are better protected from the next storm, and that’s something. But it will be nice if they are comfortable with their kids swimming there, too. I’ll lug up some extra longboards if Congressman LoBiondo wants to paddle out, but will there be any kind of sandbar? I hope there is, and I’ll say obrigado.

SWELL WRAP: The surf has been typically May-ish these last two weeks, a couple waves, nothing great, but waves. Through the years, we’ve had some fairly historic nor’easters in May. Even last year, we enjoyed some pretty heavy water at the end of month number five, right before we settled into a summertime pattern.

The waves we’ve had came courtesy of that northeast blow at the start of the month. This peaked on Sunday, May 3. While forecasts called for 2- to 3-foot, there were head-high waves and maybe a few just overhead, which was a nice surprise. A few surfers tried their luck in Surf City, but the better option seemed to be the South End, which was grooming it a little more. The better sets were head-high and offered some left wall. No real barrels, but waves nonetheless. The wind was light that Sunday morning but never went properly offshore. We couldn’t buy an offshore wind before this week.

Last week was pretty uninspiring as well. There may have been a rideable wave here and there, but you wouldn’t be able to tell much with that fog. I found a few 1- to 2-footers amid the pea soup on Sunday. Nothing fantastic, but the water is considerably warmer. It spiked to the mid-50s on Sunday.

The wind was light again on Monday and although the temps soared into the 70s, we didn’t have that fog. Days like that will finally help the sun get down into the water column to make a real difference. It was the first real beach day and there was a tiny wave for those who were into it.

“ANA” ’NOTHER HURRICANE SEASON: According to all the meteorology eggheads, this is supposed to be another sleeper of a hurricane season. And really, any year can be a dud or a barnburner, depending on your perspective. If we only saw one hurricane and it only claimed your house, you wouldn’t call it “inactive.” Last year was a slow year, but almost every storm sent us some kind of swell.

This year, which is forecasted to be less active than average, we already had our first named storm. And those pencil-pushing nerds will rightly tell you, that is not a sign that it will be a record season.

Ana started as a non-tropical disturbance, but developed over the Gulf Stream last Friday. She hit tropical storm strength, the earliest named storm since 2003. Ana hugged the southeast coast, not strong enough to cause any real waves or real problems. Then the young lass hit South Carolina and was quickly downgraded. At press time, she did look to be a local moderate wavemaker. I’ll have updates next week, but tropical season is officially open.

EVENTS: I’ve already taken enough of your time, so I’ll be brief this week. On Saturday,WaveHog Surf Shop turns 10 and will be having a party to celebrate. Happy Birthday, ya goofs.

The following weekend is Memorial Day, and yes, it’s early this year, so let’s just get that conversation out of the way now. Beachfill will still be happening in Ship Bottom, so it will be an inconvenience, but the whole project is moving right along.

May 30 is Hop Sauce Fest, which begins with South End Surf N’ Paddle’s Hop Sauce Tune Up race with registration at 9 a.m. Hop Sauce fest starts at 11 a.m. and runs to 6 p.m. The following weekend, June 6-7, is the Lighthouse International Film Festival.

Since the first day of summer falls on a Saturday, there are a whole lot of good things happening on June 20, including the LBI Surf Swap at Brighton Beach Surf Shop, Jetty presenting Mikey DeTemple’s new film at Ron Jon’s and Chris Pfeil’s solo photo show “Staring at the Sea,” in Surf City. All good stuff.

The season has officially turned. Winter is over. The phragmites have finally started growing in, making all the marshes green again, a huge morale booster each May. Next week, you will find Liquid Lines every week in Section II. Enjoy May and don’t do something stupid that will get you bit in the ass. Because if you mess with Mary Lee, everyone will know it.

Reposted from The Sandpaper

BLTA issues resident survey results

Barnegat Light Taxpayers Association polled its 435 members on issues pertaining to the borough and the association, and 79 percent responded. Association President Steve Danatos forwarded the results to borough council May 13 for council members’ information.

One facet of the survey asked taxpayers which topics concern them most about Barnegat Light.

“In our recent membership mailing, over 53% of respondents identified school taxes as an issue of concern – second only (by a slight margin) to open space concerns,” Danatos summarized in an online newsletter.

Of the total membership, 80 are primary Barnegat Light residents, the results noted.

The survey results included 40 comments on Barnegat Light issues and 99 comments on what taxpayers “would like to see the BLTA do more of.”

On the school tax issue, specific comments included “Let’s try to come up with an equitable solution to the school tax issue.” One resident wrote, “Summer residents pay too much for school taxes.”

Regarding open space, one specific comment was “Save the open space by the bay. BL is a lovely place and needs to continue to be a quiet town with no multi-family housing.”  Another noted, “Buy up any available open space; keep Barnegat Light special.”

At the May monthly meeting of Barnegat Light Borough Council, Donato, speaking for the organization, “strongly urged council not to be supportive of separate schools” in the Long Beach Island School District. Citing recently reported costs of $75,000 to immediately repair support timbers at the grade school in Ship Bottom, among other costs and criteria, it would be “ridiculous economically,” and is not necessary for the education of the district’s approximately 300 students, his remarks summarized.

Council has not yet rendered an opinion on whether to support consolidating the district’s two schools. Ship Bottom and Long Beach Township recently adopted resolutions to keep the LBI Grade School open.

* The survey results can be viewed on the “For Residents” page. 

Reposted from The Sandpaper

See LBI from the night sky on May 23

DSC00554The Friends of the Barnegat Lighthouse will host a night climb on Saturday, May 23, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. Volunteers will be on hand to staff the lighthouse and visitors center. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.

Charlotte E. Banks, friends president, said the lighthouse normally closes for the day at 4 p.m.

“We encourage our visitors to bring the family to be rewarded with an amazing panoramic view of Island Beach State Park, Barnegat Bay and Long Beach Island from the top of the lighthouse. People will enjoy a spectacular night sky view. Later in the season, the moonlit skies from the top of Ol’ Barney are unforgettable.”

Banks encourages people to come early, since a limited number of visitors can climb the lighthouse steps at one time. The event has to close promptly at 9.

Additional night climbs are scheduled Saturday, June 20; Monday, July 13; Friday, July 31; Saturday, Aug. 29; and Saturday, Oct. 24. All times are 7 to 9 p.m.

Banks said the June 20 and Oct. 24 events are co-sponsored by Ocean County Parks and Recreation. She said the June climb will also feature live music, and the October event will have a Halloween theme with a campfire and ghost stories.

For more information, contact the park office at 609-494-2016 or log onto

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Annual auction at Barnegat Light Fire Company May 23

Auction at BLFireThe Barnegat Light Volunteer Fire Co. Auction is a Memorial Day weekend tradition that’s a lively get-together with unique items and opportunities. Where else do they auction off fresh scallops from the commercial dock? This year’s spectacular seashore-themed handmade quilt, Broadway shows, and a catered lunch and visit on the porch of a historic captain’s house are just a few of the “prizes” to be won by the successful bidders.

This is the 33rd annual auction, on May 23, that will be sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary.

Doors of the firehouse at 10th Street and Central Avenue open for pre-auction browsing at 5:30 p.m., when hors d’oeuvres are served and a cash bar begins. The auction gets underway at 6:30 p.m., presided over by auctioneer Ron Chaffee.

A donation of $10 supports the local volunteer fire company, and everyone is invited. Auction bidders will be glad to know that credit cards will be accepted for the first time this year.

This year’s auction quilt was donated by “A Friend of the Firehouse,” who would like to remain anonymous. The ladies of the auxiliary are naming the beautiful piece “Seashell Splendor.”

Someone will win an enjoyable lunch on the porch of Marion Oliver Larson’s historic home while the three Oliver sisters tell entertaining stories about growing up on Long Beach Island in the 1930s and 1940s and thereafter. Cocktails will be served, and lunch will be provided by Off the Hook.

Listen to a list of some of the other prizes up for auction, according to one of the organizers: “Elliot Greene from the Shubert Organization has once again donated Broadway show tickets; this year it’s four orchestra seats to ‘Matilda, the Musical,’ perfect to take your child or grandchild to. Viking Village is donating 8 pounds of fresh scallops! Won’t that be a great party! The Sandcastle B&B in Barnegat Light is donating a relaxing two-night stay in a bayfront room this fall. For the adventurous, Skydive East Coast has donated a tandem jump at their location in West Creek. We’ll have gift certificates to most of the local restaurants, as well as art from many of our local artists. A beautiful glass plate was donated by The Spotted Whale in Barnegat Light, and a recycled window with a fused glass cherry blossom branch was handcrafted by Alice Roth, wife of the president of the fire company.”

The borough of Barnegat Light is donating a moonlight tram ride through the Barnegat Light dunes, always a fun event. And that’s just some of the early-received items. The fire company and auxiliary members are looking forward to another good turnout and a fun night.

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Long Beach Twp police warn of rental scams on Craigslist

As the summer season approaches, the Long Beach Township Police Department advises homeowners and renters to be aware of rental scams on the classified advertisements website Craigslist.

“One way to prevent a rental scam is to watermark photos that you use in listings,” township officer Megan Keller recommends to individuals and real estate agencies that rent out homes. “This will limit the ease in which photos are reused on fraudulent sites.”

“If you find that your home or someone else’s has been fraudulently listed for rent,” she added, “there is a process on Craigslist to ‘flag’ the posting. Please check their website for help with this.”

The police ask that residents and vacationers pass this information along to real estate agents, friends, family and acquaintances who might be listing homes for rent or sale, as well as those looking to rent a house this summer.

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Long Beach Twp Floodplain Management Committee annual meeting

Long Beach Township’s floodplain management committee held its annual meeting recently to discuss everything from preventive measures to post-storm mitigation. As the committee’s report states, the municipality “continues to recover from Superstorm Sandy and has incorporated ‘lessons learned’” into its action plan.

Chairwoman JoAnne Tallon, LBT’s Community Rating System coordinator, said Township Engineer Frank Little led the floodplain management committee through the action plan, which featured revisions from last year.

Also in attendance, in addition to Tallon and Little, were township Police Chief Michael Bradley, the municipality’s emergency management coordinator; Andrew Baran, supervisor of the Department of Public Works; municipal clerk Lynda Wells; and residents Carol Beideman, John Connolly, Bill Felix and Warren Fox.

In the preventive section of the plan, it was recorded that the Department of Public Works is responsible for inspection and cleaning of township storm drains, which it does twice per year. Ocean County “was responsible for cleaning out the storm drains on Long Beach Boulevard after the storm and continues to maintain them,” the report states. Both the county and the municipality continue to repair and replace storm drains along Long Beach Boulevard and Beach Avenue with debris grates to prevent trash from washing into the  drains.

In addition, the township continues to promote its “Adopt a Storm Drain” program, information for which is available online at

And, as also noted, a street sweeper is shared among the township, Beach Haven and Ship Bottom.

Under the property protection segment of the plan, it was stated that the building department continues to review and make available copies of elevation certificates. “The preliminary flood insurance rate map, soon to become the new effective map, is in the comments and appeals phase, the last step before adoption,” the report also points out.

As of September 12, 2014, “the township had a total of 112 repetitive flood loss properties on the list. Many of them had been previously elevated and replaced with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) compliant buildings but still had claims as a result of Superstorm Sandy in 2012.”

As of April 20 of this year, 573 substantial damage letters had been issued to homeowners. Of those properties, 238 were raised, 158 were replaced with new buildings, 15 were demolished and are currently vacant, and 163 have not yet been elevated or demolished.

Additionally, in connection to property protection, the township is working with the other five municipalities on LBI to formulate a Program for Public Information. “The committee has been assembled and each town is working on their flood insurance assessment to target the under-insured or uninsured properties,” the report notes. “The joint webpage is to be updated and utilized to coordinate outreach throughout the island.”

Regarding community outreach, the action plan clarifies that outreach booths promoting flood insurance were manned by personnel from the township, as well as other Island communities, at last fall’s Chowderfest/Merchant Mart and Freedom Fest in June 2014. The township’s Office of Emergency Management also continues to host emergency management awareness seminars with various homeowners associations and civic organizations, and holds an annual summer outreach program featuring a meteorologist from the National Weather Service. Updated outreach publications were mailed out to all residents in February.

Also of note, local contractors and architects were invited to a meeting held last March to discuss post-Sandy rebuilding requirements and the preliminary versus effective flood elevation maps. Local ordinance changes, building codes, the National Flood Insurance Program and Department of Environmental Protection requirements were summarized.

The natural resources protection portion of the report explains that the township continues to supply dune grass to residents and scouts for annual plantings. And Little is to update the schedule and locations for the upcoming beach replenishment project, slated to begin soon in Ship Bottom before moving to the township.

In regard to emergency services in the context of floodplain management, the township will be recertified as a “storm ready” community after June, and is registered under the “Register Ready” program by the state for seniors and facilities.

Residents can register for email and text alerts via NIXLE on the township and police websites, and, respectively.

Pertinent information readily available to the public includes flood maps, obtainable from the township building department and the Island library, and access to FEMA’s Region 2 website, which is linked to the township website. In addition, the township OEM will continue to utilize social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to get the word out during emergency events, as it did during Sandy.

As the post-mitigation section of the report notes, the municipality has acquired additional vehicles – two school buses, eight short shuttle buses and eight Humvees – to use in the event of an emergency.

New reentry placards, for homeowners to utilize when returning to the Island following an evacuation, were distributed by mail in February. The placards are effective for five years, “and now have more zones as a result of lessons learned from Sandy,” the report states.

Finally, as a result of adopting the Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps shortly after Sandy, the township became a Class 5 community under the Community Rating System of the NFIP, which translated into a 25 percent discount for homeowners.

 Reposted from The Sandpaper 

Pinta and Niña to land in Barnegat Light

The Niña and Pinta

photo credit:

On Friday, May 22, the Pinta and the Niña, working replicas of two of Christopher Columbus’ ships, will be open for visitors in Barnegat Light. The ships will be docked at Viking Village, 1801 Bayview Ave., until their departure early Tuesday morning, May 26.

Both ships tour together as a new and enhanced “sailing museum” for the purpose of educating the public and schoolchildren on the caravel, a Portuguese style of ship used by Columbus and many early explorers to discover the world.

The Niña was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools. Archaeology magazine called the ship “the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.”

The Pinta was recently constructed in Brazil to accompany the Niña on all of its travels. The new ship is a larger version of the archetypal caravel. Historians have called the caravel “the Space Shuttle of the 15th century.”

The public is invited to visit the ships for a walk-aboard, self-guided tour. Admission charges are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $6 for students ages 5-16. Children age 4 and younger are admitted free.

The ships will be open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. No reservations are necessary.

Teachers or organizations wishing to schedule a 30-minute guided tour with a crew member should call 787-672-2152 or email A minimum of 15 people are required for a tour, with the cost at $5 per person.

For more information, see the website

The ships arrive on Thursday, May 21, and there will be a private viewing of the ships for the media after docking.

 Reposted from The Sandpaper 

Ship Bottom council opposes sale of LBI grade school

The Ship Bottom Borough Council has adopted a resolution urging the Long Beach Island Board of Education to keep operating the LBI Grade School, which has been up for sale for nearly four years.

As the resolution stated, the school, built in 1951, represents “a significant cultural landmark within the Borough of Ship Bottom and has (been) an integral part of the Ship Bottom community for more than a half century. … The school serves as a focal point of the borough that has positively touched the lives of several generations of families in the borough and throughout the district.

“Due to its unique and important role in the borough, the governing body wishes to go on record as supporting the continued operation of the school.”

A certified copy of the resolution was sent to the LBI Board of Education and the mayors of the four other member municipalities: Mayor Kirk Larson of Barnegat Light, Mayor Jonathon Oldham of Harvey Cedars, Mayor Leonard Connors Jr. of Surf City and Mayor Joseph Mancini of Long Beach Township.

At its Monday meeting, the Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners passed a resolution supporting Ship Bottom in its effort to see the continued operation of the LBI School. “We’re going to back Ship Bottom,” remarked Mancini, who said the township plans to send correspondence on the matter to the board of education after final discussions with other LBI mayors.

The school property, approximately 3.9 acres between 19th and 20th streets in Ship Bottom, went on the market in fall 2011 – with the highest bid received earlier this year, according to the board of education. The board is deliberating whether to move forward with the consolidation of the LBI School with the Ethel A. Jacobsen Elementary School in Surf City, which would be expanded. Frank Little, the municipal engineer for all six LBI municipalities, has headed an evaluation of the two schools for the school board review.

At a meeting last month, school board President Jennifer Bott discussed a timeline of the school sale discussion, which began with the district’s budget defeat by voters, and subsequent cuts, in spring of 2010. At that time, “the mayors also asked the district to conduct a feasibility study with reference to consolidation into one school,” said Bott.

LAN Associates was hired to conduct a study in August 2010, and presented a report to the board of education three months later, with a recommendation to sell the LBI School and renovate and expand the E.J. School. As LAN Associates President Kenneth Karle explained during a PowerPoint presentation in early 2011, the feasibility study evaluated the condition and amount of space in buildings, as well as enrollment numbers and trends.

In September 2011, the board voted unanimously to sell the LBI School, and advertised the property with a minimum bid of $9.5 million. The board also contracted an architect to sketch out a projected addition to the E.J. School to house all of the district’s students (from all the Island municipalities except Beach Haven, which has its own school and board of education).

In October 2012, Superstorm Sandy hit, and all the district’s students were moved into E.J. due to damage to the LBI School. Following repairs, the LBI School reopened on March 18, 2014.

The next month, the board met with mayors of the sending municipalities, and agreed to reach out to Owen, Little & Associates to discuss an updated facilities report for the two schools. The company was hired in January to “perform structural, mechanical and electrical evaluations of the district’s buildings to assist the board in its facilities consolidation decision,” the board’s timeline explains.

Little attended last month’s meeting to discuss a summary of costs to upgrade each facility. He and his team arrived at an estimate of approximately $2.7 million to update the LBI School, along with an additional $346,696 for the bus garage. An analysis of the E.J. School, in comparison, led to a final estimated cost of $887,538.

“I think that in the long run, economically, we have to have one school,” Ship Bottom Mayor William Huelsenbeck said Monday. Based on discussions with the school board, he believes that the students could be best-served via consolidation. However, as the borough’s resolution makes clear, he and the council would prefer to see the E.J. School sold and the LBI School remain an operational, expanded, school facility.

“It’s still a viable school” that underwent numerous upgrades following Sandy,” noted Huelsenbeck, who attended the LBI School beginning in third-grade after his family moved to the Island.

The mayor is also concerned about the effect on infrastructure that dozens of new homes would have if the LBI School property is sold to a housing developer.

At the recent board of education meeting, Bott read a letter from the Surf City Council with an offer to pay up to $2.5 million for the E.J. School property. Should that transpire, Huelsenbeck said Ship Bottom would like to buy a segment of the lot, previously owned by the borough, for preservation.

In regard to whether Ship Bottom had considered purchasing the LBI School for use as a new borough hall, the mayor said the price was just too high. The borough hopes, in the next few years, to demolish its current town hall and rebuild in the same location.

 Reposted from The Sandpaper 

LoBiondo votes to repeal ‘Death Tax’

U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (N.J.-2nd) recently voted in favor of H.R. 1105 – the “Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015” – which would provide relief from the estate tax, commonly known as the “death tax.” The tax is levied on the value of a deceased individual’s assets before they are passed to heirs.

“For too long, South Jersey business owners and farmers have been subjected to additional taxation on family holdings when their loved ones have died,” LoBiondo stated. “It is reprehensible that the federal government would seek to capitalize on the death of a family member, often times erasing the hard work and dedication of generations.

“The death tax should rightly meet its death once and for all.”

H.R 1105 would permanently repeal the death tax and was approved by the full House in a bipartisan, 240-to-179 vote. It now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 Reposted from The Sandpaper 

Kubel’s will be on Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown in May

Courtesy of CNN

Courtesy of CNN

Joining the ranks of such far-flung places as the republics of Tanzania and Paraguay, Barnegat Light – specifically, Kubel’s restaurant – has gained distinction as a chosen location for CNN’s “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” a travel adventure and intrigue series.

The show invites viewers to join Bourdain, a “world-renowned chef, best-selling author and multiple Emmy-winning TV personality,” as he explores little-known destinations and diverse cultures around the world.

The new season begins this Sunday, April 26, with Bourdain’s trip to Korea. The episode featuring the Kubel’s segment will be on Sunday, May 31. Kubel’s co-owners Arlene Morrison and Kenny Egan are “excited” and “honored” to have been asked to be a part of it. Morrison said Bourdain had struck her as a nice man – polite, casual and friendly – as he chatted with the owners and chef and shared with them his impressions of the “beautiful beaches” and “great people” that have made the Island so appealing for generations of families.

Morrison agreed the television appearance is a feather in the cap of LBI as a whole, not just Barnegat Light or Kubel’s. “We’re all in this together,” she said.

Morrison described the experience of hosting Bordain and his brother and six-man film crew for lunch one late-January day as “very big. It was huge for us!” The whole thing went very smoothly, she said, and both Bourdain and his producer, Tamara Lodge, were “absolutely terrific” to work with. The party of eight sat in the south dining room, causing relatively little to-do, as the restaurant remained open for business, she said.

In the winter, Morrison received a call from the show’s producer, asking for permission to shoot there, explaining that Bourdain had vacationed on LBI often as a child. His staff had paid a visit to the Island ahead of time, to scope out prospective locations, and Kubel’s fit the bill as a familiar haunt, consistent with the theme of childhood memories at the shore.

Executive Chef Bob Shannon recalled Bourdain and company ate “a simple lunch” of fried clams (by special request), clam chowder, fish and chips, lobster macaroni and cheese and grilled mahi mahi.

Morrison gladly accepted the offer to appear on “Parts Unknown,” she said, because she feels the show depicts the restaurant in the proper light.

The owners will host a viewing party at the bar on Sunday, May 31 at 9 p.m. Stay tuned for details.

 Reposted from The Sandpaper

Kubel’s will be on Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown in May

How FEMA changes will affect flood insurance premiums

Effective April 1, 2015, flood insurance rates and other charges were revised for new and existing flood policies.

The changes taking place in April include rate increases for most policies, an increase in the Reserve Fund Assessment, the implementation of an annual surcharge on all new and renewed policies, an additional deductible option, and an increase in the Federal Policy Fee.

For additional information and details, refer to the “FEMA Flood Insurance Fact Sheet” under Resident Info on our Newsletter and Resources page.

Around-the-clock medication drop off in Harvey Cedars

To help prevent prescription medication abuse, Harvey Cedars has joined the New Jersey Attorney General’s “Project Medicine Drop” initiative. A medicine drop box has been installed in the borough hall lobby by the police headquarters at 7606 Long Beach Blvd.

“Residents and nonresidents may visit the police department at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to dispose of their unused or excess medications,” said Detective Robert Burnaford. “It is an important component of the New Jersey Attorney General’s effort to stop the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs, including highly addictive opiate painkillers.”

He said that through this initiative, the state Division of Consumer Affairs installs secure prescription drug drop boxes at police departments, sheriff’s offices and state police barracks across New Jersey, allowing citizens to safely dispose of their unused, excess or expired prescription medications. Syringes and liquids are not accepted.

“Not only does it prevent the abuse of these drugs, but this initiative also protects New Jersey’s environment by keeping these drugs out of landfills and out of the water supply,” he said.

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs website says the program builds on the success of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Take Back Initiative and the American Medicine Chest Challenge, which was sponsored by the DEA, Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey and the Sheriffs’ Association of New Jersey. Both programs allowed for single-day opportunities to drop off medications, but the new initiative now gives people opportunities for around-the-clock disposal.

“The participating police agencies maintain custody of the deposited drugs and dispose of them according to their normal procedures for the custody and destruction of controlled dangerous substances,” the site says. “They will report the quantity of discarded drugs to the Division of Consumer Affairs on a quarterly basis.”

For more information, call Harvey Cedars police at 609-494-3036.

 Reposted from The Sandpaper 

Stafford Police charge Barnegat Light teens with crime spree

Two Barnegat Light boys, ages 15 and 17, allegedly had quite the “night on the towns” and now it may cost them.

They were arrested by Stafford Township police earlier this month after running amok all night in parts of Manahawkin, Beach Haven West and Barnegat, accused of breaking into businesses, burglarizing and stealing vehicles and fighting with the cops, leaving one officer with a cutup leg.

The police report outlined the series of events. In the post-midnight hours of Sunday, April 5, police tried to catch the kids at Wawa on Route 72 in Manahawkin for attempted shoplifting, but the boys escaped on foot in some nearby woods. Police missed them again at Ray’s New York Pizza on Mill Creek Road, where they had broken in and stolen some items. The boys allegedly got hold of the Bagels and Beyond delivery van from Mill Creek Road, which they ditched with a flat tire on William Cook Boulevard in Village Harbour, then rifled through several unlocked cars in the neighborhood. Police charge the teens then stole a 2004 Lincoln Town Car from a nearby driveway, drove it to the unpaved end of Breakers Drive in Ocean Acres in Barnegat, got it stuck in the soft pinelands sand, then smashed out the windows.

According to the police report, both boys were charged with two counts of motor vehicle theft, two counts of burglary, two counts of criminal mischief and one count of conspiracy.

Upon eventually being caught at a Barnegat Light residence, the younger of the two boys was combative during apprehension and tried to run; the assisting officer, Allen Jillson, took a blow to the leg with a chair, for which the suspect earned himself additional charges of resisting arrest and aggravated assault on a police officer.

The two have been released to their legal guardians and now await their day in Ocean County Juvenile Court.

 Reposted from The Sandpaper 

Long Beach Township holding budget hearing May 4

Long Beach Township will hold a public hearing on its 2015 municipal budget at its May 4 Board of Commissioners meeting. The preliminary spending plan includes a municipal tax rate increase of four-tenths of 1 cent, resulting in an increase of approximately $33 per year for the average household in the municipality.

“We had a very minimal increase,” Commissioner Joseph Lattanzi, who oversees revenue and finance, said at this past Monday’s meeting.

“Our 2015 water and sewer rates will remain flat for this year,” he added.

The total budget increased from about $26,596,000 in 2014 to $26,624,900, and assessment taxes increased from $17,356,000 to $17,840,000.

Lattanzi thanked township CFO Lisa Jones and auditor Brian Logan for their work on the budget.

As Lattanzi also announced, the free shuttle service for LBI will begin Memorial Day weekend, and continue on weekends until going full-time around mid-June. “We use a lot of the school bus drivers, so they’re not going to be available until then.”

Eight buses will run this summer, with service hours likely increasing to 11 p.m. on the weekends.

“We’ll have more of the details once we get some of those things finalized,” said Lattanzi.

Commissioner Ralph Bayard noted that the sewer project in High Bar Harbor is completed, with paving to start later this spring. “They’re working on the sewer project down in Holgate, and hopefully they’ll be finishing that up in the next few months, before the summer,” he remarked.

“They’re working on the bathrooms down in Holgate. That’s been a slow process. We’re continuing to press the contractor because we definitely want those open a few weeks before Memorial Day.”

Mayor Joseph Mancini announced that the traffic lights in the township will be turned on beginning May 18.

Also during the meeting, the board passed a resolution to award a contract for $158,322.55 to All Surface Asphalt Paving Inc. to construct a parking lot in front of the municipal building, where tennis courts are currently located.

According to Commissioner Ralph Bayard, “The bids came in very favorable … (All Surface) came in way under estimate. The engineer’s estimate was about $200,000.

The fence around the tennis courts has already been taken down, and Bayard expects the work to begin this week, with the parking lot closed for the duration. “We expect it to take about a month for them to finish the project,” said Bayard, “so it will hopefully it will be done just before Memorial Day.”

He added, “The better news is that the tennis courts down at the Acme are finished. They’ve been painted, the nets are up. We still have to do a little curbing work and things like that, but people can go down there and park where the Health Department is if you want to play tennis.”

Township Clerk Lynda Wells noted that April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, and citizens are urged “to become involved in efforts aimed at strengthening families and communities and preventing children from being abused and neglected.” May, meanwhile, is Older Americans Month and Paint the Town Pink Month, the latter focusing awareness on the importance of an annual mammogram.

The next commissioners meeting is Monday, May 4, at 4 p.m.


 Reposted from The Sandpaper 

Surf City first to receive Boulevard repairs

The Surf City Borough Council meeting was quick and sweet on April 15. The big news: Surf City will be the first to get work done on Long Beach Boulevard.

“What do you have for us?” Mayor Leonard T. Connors asked Councilwoman Jackie Siciliano.

“Well, Mr. Mayor, it’s been a very busy month for us with roads,” she said.

Siciliano explained that she and Francis Hodgson had met with the Ocean County Board of Engineers. At the meeting, they discussed the Boulevard repaving project. That project began last week, as evidenced by the construction equipment lining the railroad cutout in town. The work will be done in the overnight hours in hopes of expediting the process and not affecting traffic.

Siciliano added that there would be road overlays for Sunset and Shore avenues. That work is expected to be done sometime before summer.

Here are some other highlights from the meeting.

Welcome aboard. Jamie Pitner and Maurice Logue were appointed to the Surf City Land Use Board as alternates.

Late Proclamation. The council proclaimed April 12 through April 18 as National Library Week. Linda Feaster, librarian at the Long Beach Island branch of the Ocean County Library, had been scheduled to give a presentation, but was not present at the meeting.

Repairs. Francis Hodgson said the sanitation department’s new trash truck is under repair.

“What’s wrong with the truck?” Connors asked.

“I don’t know the whole story, but apparently there’s some sort of power drive underneath. When you go through the dump, it hits and can be torn out,” Hodgson said.

Hodgson said the part would have to be either moved or protected.

“It’s not what we paid for,” Connors said.

That time of year. Lifeguard tryouts will be held on May 23, according to Councilman James Russell.

Cuffed. William Hodgson said there was one adult arrested in the month of March. He also reported that there were 30 investigations, almost $700 reported in stolen property, two fire calls and one first aid call during the month.

The police welcomed a brand new car to the force. It’s a Ford Taurus. The ride was received on March 31. It will hit the road around summer; until then, it will be getting tricked out with all of the normal lights and decals.

The force is also accepting applications for class 1 officers.

Get well soon. William Hodgson also mentioned that an officer will be out of work due to a shoulder injury. The officer should be back by the end of summer, according to Hodgson.

Busy month. May was proclaimed as Mental Health Month.  May will also be “Surf Pink” month in order to raise breast cancer awareness.

Speedsters. The entire meeting lasted less than 35 minutes despite some repetition and humorous banter.

“We’re faster than a school board meeting,” Borough Administrator Mary Madonna joked at the meeting’s conclusion, referencing the Long Beach Island Board Education meeting from April 14. “It was two hours last night.”

 Reposted from The Sandpaper

No municipal tax increase in Barnegat Light for 2015

The average home in Barnegat Light is valued at $917,384, but its owners will not pay any more taxes than last year for the municipal purposes budget. The borough council adopted a $3.3 million budget on April 8 with no municipal tax increase for the year 2015.

The average homeowner in Barnegat Light will pay $1,789 to support the borough budget, reported auditor Brian Logan of Suplee, Clooney and Co. That does not include assessments for county or school taxes.

The municipal tax rate is 19.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

At last month’s meeting, Chief Financial Officer Kathleen Flanagan said the borough was able to hold the line on taxes due to a concentration on paying down the debt, plus the fact that ratables increased. The total net valuation of taxable property in the borough is now $1.08 billion.

“Ratables increased by $92 million for the year,” Logan said.

Also announced was that there is no increase in the water/sewer rate this year.

The audience at the public hearing for the budget could read details from several charts and graphs that were handed out.

Last year’s budget was actually $9,180 higher than the 2015 budget. Budgeted in 2014 was $3,350,792, while $2,957,809 was expended.

In the 2015 budget, the largest single expenditure by percentage is for police, which represents 27 percent of the budget ($593,344). Next is the capital improvement fund, at 16 percent ($357,800), followed by debt service ($311,715), garbage disposal ($315,000) and beaches ($315,000), at 14 percent each. Insurance is a 9 percent slice and utilities, 6 percent.

Over the past five years, spending has held relatively stable, one graph showed. Going back to 2011, the amount budgeted was $3.16 million, as compared to $3.34 million in 2015.

On the revenue side, the borough is coming out of 2014 in good shape because 21 percent more revenue was realized than was anticipated. The “fees and permits” line item, along with beach badges, made up most of that. Beachgoers bought $231,713 worth of beach badges, while $202,175 had been anticipated.

Among other business, a $190,000 bond ordinance to fund replacement of beach entrance walkways passed on second reading. Work will start soon, but not all of the ramps will be replaced by this summer.

Another bond ordinance is to appropriate $150,000 for repairs and improvements to the old Borough Hall on West 10th Street. New carpeting and new roof are among the repairs. The building houses the courtroom, tax assessor’s office and an annex station of the Long Beach Township Police Department, which is contracted to patrol Barnegat Light.

Lifeguard tryouts are June 6; applications can be found in Borough Hall, East Seventh Street. Mandatory drug testing will apply this year.

In his police committee report, Councilman Frank Mikuletzky warned residents to beware of a phone call scam from anyone claiming to be from the IRS and stating that you owe money.

“Just hang up on them,” he advised. The IRS only notifies residents by mail, not by phone, he said.

“But a lot of people pay them; they’re scared and do what they tell them to do. And once you do that, it’s gone.”

 Reposted from The Sandpaper

Equipment mobilization for LBI beachfill starting soon

Beachfill contractor Great Lakes Dock and Dredge Co. could begin mobilizing equipment as early as this week on Long Beach Island, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as the Coastal Storm Damage Reduction project is still on track to start later this month.

Dredging operations will commence in Ship Bottom, with pipe landings at Eighth Street and 23rd Street. “From each landing site, construction will first progress north and then flip and progress south,” said ACE Public Affairs Officer Rochette. “Beachfill operations are expected to last 35 days within the borough of Ship Bottom.”

Two dredges, the Padre Island and the Dodge Island, are scheduled for this part of the job. After Ship Bottom is complete, crews will move to southern Long Beach Township, around 106th Street in Beach Haven Park, and then progress south to Holgate. Five pipe landing sites will be necessary for this section of the project.

“A third dredge, the Liberty Island, is scheduled to mobilize to the project site in August 2015 and begin operations in one of the remaining sections of the project,” dependent on the outcome of eminent domain proceedings, as well as weather and overall progress, Rochette noted.

No more than 1,000 feet of beach will be closed as work progresses along the Island; closed sections are “rolling,” said Rochette, and advance as the beachfill progresses. Great Lakes anticipates construction to progress approximately 100 feet per day.

Under the base contract, all work is required to be complete by April 12, 2016, though there are currently options on the contract for further work that, if awarded, could add time to the contract completion date. Weather and mechanical delays may also cause a change in the construction schedule and completion date.

For the duration of the project, “sand will be pumped through a series of pipes onto the beaches within the municipalities of Long Beach Township, Ship Bottom, Beach Haven and a small section of Surf City over a length of 12.7 miles,” the Army Corps explained. “The sand is then built into a dune and berm system designed to reduce potential damages to infrastructure, businesses and homes that can occur from coastal storm events.”

The contract also includes the construction of dune crossovers, dune fencing installation and dune grass plantings.

Ship Bottom Mayor William Huelsenbeck said recently that if there are no last-minute delays or problems due to weather, the Ship Bottom part of the project should be completed in time for Memorial Day weekend. “Dune grass will have to be replanted, but that will be done in the fall,” he stated.

The mayor believes the Ship Bottom work will take less time than in the other municipalities because it already has some areas with a strong dune structure.

“But still,” he noted, “we saw how vulnerable we were after Superstorm Sandy. This work will strengthen our beaches so that we’ll have better protection the next time a major storm hits us.”

The LBI project was only partially completed when Superstorm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore in fall 2012. Prior to that, “the Army Corps completed the initial construction of the project at Surf City in 2006; Harvey Cedars in 2010; and Brant Beach between 31st and 57th Streets, in Long Beach Township, in 2012,” an ACE press release stated. “The Army Corps repaired beaches in Surf City and Harvey Cedars in 2012 after Hurricane Irene, and fully restored the beaches within all three communities after Hurricane Sandy in 2013. The restoration and repair work was funded 100 percent through the Army Corps’ Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies program. The current contract will complete the initial construction of the dune and berm system on Long Beach Island.

“Construction is funded entirely by the federal government through the 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (PL113-2), commonly known as the Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill. Following the completion of initial construction, the project is eligible for continued periodic nourishment.”

Updates on the project will be posted to the ACE website – – as information is available.

 Reposted from The Sandpaper

Equipment mobilization for LBI beachfill starting soon 

Long Beach Blvd work begins in Ship Bottom & Surf City

The Ocean County Road Department is currently leading an overlay project to mill and resurface Long Beach Boulevard, from the Causeway to the northern border of Surf City. Earle Asphalt Co., the contractor hired, will be replacing bad pipes and rebuilding some of the “older, substandard” drainage structures during the next couple of weeks, Ocean County Engineer Frank Scarantino told The SandPaper.

“We determined that the road surface was in need of replacement, and we had some drainage issues that we knew needed to be addressed that were urgent,” he emphasized.

During this phase of the project, cars are not allowed to be parked on the Boulevard in this area from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Any vehicles on the roadway at that time run the risk of being towed by local law enforcement.

Handicap ramp upgrades that require curb and sidewalk construction will take place for a week after completion of the drainage work. Minor modifications to the traffic signals, including push buttons for pedestrians, will also take place. The surface of the Boulevard will be milled down and repaved overnight after Memorial Day. The entire project is expected to be wrapped up before school ends, around June 20.

“It should be pretty easy-going, and they’ll be done with the tough work before Memorial Day, before traffic gets significant,” Scarantino stated.

 Reposted from The Sandpaper

Long Beach Blvd work begins in Ship Bottom & Surf City