New bake shop, Baked on the Beach, opens in Surf City

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Food has been a passion in Justin and Paige Sheplin’s lives. Now they’re getting a chance to put it into action as the Harvey Cedars couple recently opened Baked on the Beach at 2101 Long Beach Blvd. in Surf City.

“All the ingredients are freshly made here and baked on the premises,” said Justin, who is especially proud of their key lime pie.

He said people could find an assortment of crumb cakes, muffins, pies, brownies and cakes among other delicacies. Customers can also serve themselves freshly brewed coffee.

“As the summer goes on, I’m sure we’ll be offering more selections,” he said.

A sales associate for the LBI Realty Group in Ship Bottom, Justin is a 2002 Southern Regional High School graduate. The Harvey Cedars native said he had worked at Okie’s Butcher Shop (his immediate neighbor to the north) and the Engleside Inn in Beach Haven.

“I have a lot of experience working with food, so we thought the time was right to open our business,” he said. “We’ve had customers come back and new people curious about us because we’re new. We opened right at the start of the summer season.”

Paige Sheplin is a graduate of the Connecticut Culinary Institute in Suffield, Conn.

“She loves cooking and baking,” he said. “Our friends have said they like her cooking, so now she’ll get a chance to use her talents for some new customers.”

Baked on the Beach is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The owners have not decided yet if they will stay open in the fall.

“We’ll see how the summer goes,” said Paige. “If people want us to stay open, we’ll do it.”

For more information, call Baked on the Beach at 609-361-3200.

Reposted from the Sandpaper


First responder/advocate Peter Arnone is remembered

f-Run 18 for PeteBusiness associates, family, friends and the Island’s emergency management squads will pay a final farewell to Peter Arnone, Barnegat Light resident and an electrician by trade.

“Pete has entered eternal rest after a long struggle against cancer. One and half years ago our small island community held a beautiful ‘appreciation benefit’ party for Peter, bringing over 450 people out,’ said his wife, Marybeth Lally Arnone.

“He was so moved by the outpouring of love and support. I recall him saying, ‘I must have done something right.’”

Arnone was a longtime first responder, most recently for the Barnegat Light Volunteer Fire Co. and Barnegat Light Volunteer First Aid Squad for more than 15 years. “He was also instrumental in developing 18 mile emergency services – bridging the gap between all island services, and bringing LOSAP to the Island to benefit volunteers,” noted the web page for the appreciation benefit.

“He brought the Island departments together, inspiring them to communicate, and he worked tirelessly to provide the tools for them to be successful,” Marybeth Arnone said.

“He gave his all, always, to his family, his friends and to his community. He will be dearly missed. We ask that you keep a light on in your heart for Peter as he surely did for us.”

A Mass at St. Francis Roman Catholic Church in Brant Beach will be held for Arnone on Thursday, July 30. A gathering at 10 a.m. will precede a Mass at 11 a.m.

Reposted from the Sandpaper


Harvey Cedars wins LBI Lifeguard Race, first time in over 4 decades

 

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It was an epic win for the Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol this weekend. The squad captured the trophy for the 54th Annual LBI Lifeguard Race – the first time in 41 years. Here are a few pictures of the event, held Friday and Saturday evenings in Barnegat Light. In all, five of the Island‘s beach patrols competed in the race: Barnegat Light, Harvey Cedars (guys in fluorescent green trunks), Long Beach Township, Ship Bottom and Surf City.

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For more pictures, please visit the original article from the Sandpaper.

 


Barnegat Light property sales update

3D Sold houseReal Estate activity in Barnegat Light as of June 30, 2015:

Properties Available – 47

  • Min   $348,500
  • Max   $2,799,000
  • Avg    $807,770

Under Contract – 1

  • Min   $789,000
  • Max   $789,000
  • Avg    $789,000

Sold – 12

  • Min   $419,000
  • Max   $1,775,000
  • Avg    $755,825

 

Submitted by: Melinda Decker, Prudential Zack Shore Properties


August 2 Viking Village Antique Show marks 20 years

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Sunday, Aug. 2 marks 20 years of antique shows at Viking Village, 19th and Bayview Ave., Barnegat Light. With a nautical backdrop of the commercial fishing dock and the 1920s work shacks that now house retail shops, the show features over 65 dealers from around the Northeast.

Set up under tents, the dealers offer many categories: architectural, industrial, garden, nautical, furniture, primitives, shabby chic, tools, coins, estate jewelry, pedal cars, kitchenware, stoneware, collectibles and memorabilia.

Admission is always free to this show, which is held rain or shine.

Plenty of parking can be found adjacent to the show. Or take a free shuttle bus from service that runs Island-wide and makes stops at Viking Village.

To make it easier to pay for all those treasures, an ATM will be located in the parking lot of the adjacent How You Brewin’ coffee bar.

For more information, see the website vikingvillageshows.com, email to vikingshows@gmail.com, or call 609-361-8039.

Reposted from the Sandpaper


Set sail aboard the AJ Meerwald from Barnegat Light

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Sail Barnegat Bay from Lighthouse Marina on the restored oyster schooner AJ Meerwald and cast off for a stunning experience.

The 85-foot two-masted beauty was built in 1928 on South Jersey’s Delaware bayshore, but she’ll be in Barnegat Light from July 31 to Aug. 5.

Join the crew and help hoist the sails, or just relax for two hours and enjoy the scene with 3,562 square feet of sail overhead. Learn about the history of the ship and the oyster industry for which she was built.

The A.J. Meerwald is a hands-on sailing classroom. Designated the state ship, it is owned and operated by the Bayshore Center at Bivalve, a nonprofit organization dedicated to motivating people to take care of the bayshore history, culture and environment.

Public sails will leave from the dock at Lighthouse Marina, Sixth Street and the bay (19 West 6th St.), Barnegat Light, at scheduled times Aug. 1-4.

A Sailor for a Day Camp for children ages 10-13 will be available by reservation for Aug. 5.

A free dockside tour is Aug. 6. See schedule below.

Passengers are welcome to bring food and beverages onboard.

Tickets to ride cost $35 to $45 for adults, $30 to $40 for seniors and $15 to $22 for children, depending on times of sail.

*  *  *

The Free Dockside Tour – visit the ship and meet the crew – is Friday, July 31, from  4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The public sails (reservations recommended) are as follows:

Morning Special Family Sail, Aug. 1, 10 a.m. to noon: Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for seniors (age 60+), and $15 for youth (ages 3-12).

Afternoon Sails, Aug. 1, 2, 3, 4 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.: Tickets are $40 for adults, $35 for seniors (60+). $20 for youth (3-12).

Evening Sails, Aug. 1, 2, 3, 4 from 6 to 8 p.m.: Tickets are $45 for adults, $40 for seniors (60+) and $22 for youth (3-12.)

The Sailor for a Day Camp (ages 10-13) on Wednesday, Aug. 5 costs $70 for the 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. learning experience.

To purchase tickets, or for more information, call 856-785-2060 or visit bayshorecenter.org.

Reposted from the Sandpaper

 


Motorcyclist critically injured in Ship Bottom

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A motorcyclist who was allegedly trying to elude police in Stafford Township was critically injured after colliding with a vehicle in Ship Bottom early last Saturday evening. Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, said Domenico Romeo, 23, of Barnegat Township suffered serious injuries and is in critical condition at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City.

Della Fave said Romeo was driving his 2013 Suzuki on Route 72 West (Eighth Street)  when he went through the red light at Central Avenue and collided with a 2014 Jeep driven by Matthew Richter, 51, of Perth Amboy, shortly before 6:30. Richter was unhurt.

Della Fave said Romeo was ejected from the motorcycle and landed on a nearby median strip. He was then airlifted to AtlantiCare.

He said Stafford police were trying to stop Romeo for speeding and improper lane change on Route 72 East near Marsha Drive. Della Fave said the cyclist drove over the Causeway and continued on Route 72 East. He said when Romeo got into Ship Bottom on Ninth Street (incoming Route 72), he made a left turn on Long Beach Boulevard north and then made another left at Eighth Street in an apparent attempt to get off the Island.

Reposted from the Sandpaper


Surf City and Ship Bottom host back-to-back lifeguard tourneys

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With summer in full swing, lifeguards need to be at the top of their game. As motivation, guards compete against each other in tournaments hosted all over the Island and along the coast. On Friday, July 17, the Ship Bottom Beach Patrol hosted a tournament. On Monday, July 20, it was next-door neighbor Surf City’s turn.

Surf City lifeguard Capt. Mark Dileo made a point to highlight the mixing of the sexes in the competition his patrol hosted. Traditionally, events would be separated between male and female. On Monday, most events required both genders to compete together.

Having this level of equality was crucial to Dileo.

“When I started guarding here – psh, 1984 – we maybe had four women guarding. And, they were on the bay (beaches). Maybe one of them were on the beach,” Dileo said. “It was a real boys club.”

He went on to say that as time progressed, women began to permeate the staff. Members of Southern Regional High School’s girls swimming program were coming onto the staff. Now, Dileo said, Surf City’s patrol has more women than men.

“It didn’t make sense for me to run an open tournament when we’re half women. With a lot of staffs, women are making a larger and larger contribution to the lifesaving, and they should have an equal opportunity to compete,” he said.

To Dileo, lifeguarding is not simply about the strongest person carrying a victim to shore. Water surveillance is a guard’s primary duty in his eyes. This is being proactive as opposed to reactive.

“If you’re doing your job well, you’ll rarely have to go in the water,” Dileo said.

Water surveillance knows no sex. In fact, he said women tend to be better than men at this. Speaking from what he described as a 15-year-old perspective, Dileo said women usually want to keep swimmers between the flags while men would wait a little while and want to show off a bit by making a save.

The second major duty to Dileo is, more obviously, swimming ability. But again, strength is not the main factor in ability. It is speed.

“I’m happy with the makeup of the squad. I have faster swimmers. I have some people that are stronger, some people that are more adept with water surveillance,” Dileo said. “We try to set the beaches up to have one person with a strength in each of these on each beach.”

Many of these skills were on display on Friday and Monday.

The competition in Ship Bottom was originally scheduled to be held last Wednesday, July 15. Potential thunderstorms and rough surf pushed that back until Thursday. Thursday then came along with a wicked northeast wind and messy, strong surf. The tourney was then pushed back another 24 hours. Things settled down on Friday, and the competition was underway.

“It worked out well for us,” Ship Bottom Beach Patrol Lt. Tom Smith said.

That comment also applied to Ship Bottom’s performance on its home surf, with a top-three finish in nearly all of the events. Smith added that his beach patrol was within winning the entire tournament until the final event. Harvey Cedars ultimately walked away with the win.

In Surf City on Monday, Barnegat Light came out in its usual dominant fashion, yet several top-three finishes put Long Beach Township in the mix for the top spot. Barnegat Light would ultimately walk away the victors with Township placing second. The home team, though, did place third.

That is a nice accomplishment when one understands Surf City’s squad.

As the event commenced, Dileo announced to the crowd that this was the first time the event had been held since 2012. He attributed that to Superstorm Sandy. While his borough was not hit too hard by the storm, Dileo said there was little interest in competing from other Island beach patrols in summer 2013. Competition went back on an upswing in 2014, but Surf City still declined to host an event; the borough patrol was not competing much due to the staff’s youth.

“I had 16 new guards last year,” Dileo said. “I was spending so much time training them and keeping an eye on the beach. I felt like I would have compromised the beach to hold a tournament.”

Fast forward to Monday night, and Surf City placed third. Dileo was happy with the results, given that Barnegat Light is “such a powerhouse.”

“All these teams on the Island have become super competitive over the years,” Dileo said. “We would go off-Island 20, 30 years ago and get creamed by the off-Island teams in Seaside. And now, we go off-Island and do really well, whereas they come here and don’t do so well. Long Beach Island, competition-wise, has really climbed the ladder.”

Looking back at Ship Bottom, the patrol has a stacked schedule coming up. There was a major tourney in Atlantic City scheduled for July 21, hosted by Red Bull. Seaside Park, Ortley Beach and Island races, Midway, Island Beach State Park and then Harvey Cedars are all competitions on Ship Bottom’s schedule in the coming weeks.

“So we’re stacked,” Smith said. “It’s a good three, four weeks.”

He can only stay so busy, though.

“I’ve got a little boy now,” he said. “I’m pretty stoked.”

Smith’s son, little Tommy, was celebrating his 8-month birthday on Monday, so Smith was hustling to get back home.

Hosting these events is not a simple task. Smith said selecting events, awards, scheduling teams, writing rules, making T-shirts and mapping courses all go into the planning.

“I work in Tuckerton as a phys-ed teacher; we run this big field day for the kids. This kind of reminds me of a field day on the beach,” Smith said. “I’m used to running events like this. You just have to be organized.”

To add to the busyness of the event, Smith also competed. This was also his first time organizing the event by himself, although he had some help getting sponsors and scorers.

Surf City’s event appeared well-organized, and Dileo was very thankful for the efforts of his staff to have the event over in less than two hours.

“We were really ambitious with getting off eight events,” Dileo said. “We made it right at 8 o’clock. Any later, and we would have started running into the dark.”

Dileo told his squad that on top of his being completely thrilled with how Surf City ran its tourney, having no complaints from competitors or spectators was even larger praise.

Twenty-five members of the squad are in their first or second year of guarding. Keep in mind the borough has only 31 full-time guards. As for those six veterans, Dileo said they were so young at Surf City’s last event, in 2012, that they weren’t in leadership roles.

“All these people never really ran a tournament before,” he said.

Reposted from the Sandpaper


Matt McAndrew returning home to Rick’s

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Big name. Small venue.

Barnegat Light native Matt McAndrew is returning home for a performance at Rick’s American Cafe on Aug. 1.

One night. Two shows.

The fun begins at 6 p.m. when the first show commences. This show is for ages 15 and up and no alcohol will be served. The second show, for ages 21 and older, begins at 8:30 p.m. and Jason Booth will be a special guest.

Tickets are going for $20 and are available on-site or online. Online, at mcandrewricks.bpt.me, there is a $1.69 service fee and possible shipping fees. Want to swing by Rick’s? The place is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m. Rick’s VIPs can get a $5 discount when ordering tickets on-site, though they’re limited to four tickets. Hit up 609-494-8482 for more information.

From October to December of last year, McAndrew was making a name for himself on “The Voice” singing competition. His tats, hipster glasses and curly hair made him stick out among competitors, not to mention his solid singing. He moved viewers with his interpretation of tunes such as Hozier’s “Take Me to Church.” Since placing second on the show, he has signed a record deal. Now the Southern Regional grad will be back home.

Reposted from the Sandpaper



State files eminent domain action against Ship Bottom property

A Ship Bottom property is the target of one of two eminent domain actions filed last week by the Christie administration against beachfront homeowners to secure easements that will enable the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct beach replenishment work.

The property in question is located at 1307 Ocean Ave., between 13th and 14th streets, and is owned by Stephen and Ellen Voda, according to the borough. Because no agreement had been reached, a portion of the property was left untouched during the beach replenishment project that took place in May and June. It was the first leg of a $128 million beach and dune construction project on the Island, now taking place in Long Beach Township and scheduled to finish in March 2016.

The other eminent domain action involved a property in Ocean City in Cape May County.

In a joint announcement, DEP Commissioner Bob Martin and Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said the filings build upon the work the administration has been undertaking to secure the easements necessary to construct these projects that that are vital to protecting families, businesses and infrastructure. The administration has secured 90 percent of the 4,279 easements since Superstorm Sandy struck the state in late October 2012. Still needed are 388 easement agreements.

“Owners of beachfront properties up and down the coast have overwhelmingly stepped forward and done the right thing,” said Martin. “Unfortunately, a few holdouts continue to refuse to provide easements, forcing us to seek condemnation of portions of their properties so we can move forward with projects that will protect lives and property.”

“The property easements we have obtained, and the easements we still seek, are vital to coastal protection efforts that benefit all New Jersey residents,” said Hoffman. “We appreciate that many property owners – clearly mindful of the destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy – have unselfishly donated easements for the greater good rather than engage the state in protracted litigation. But to those who continue to hold out, our message is that we remain committed to acquiring these easements as expeditiously as possible and without paying windfalls at the public’s expense.”

The state said a major help in clearing the way for obtaining easements was a landmark decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court in July 2013, which stemmed from strong advocacy by the state regarding how to determine compensation needed for an already-completed shore protection project in Harvey Cedars.

The ruling enabled the state to obtain an easement from beachfront property owners Harvey and Phyllis Karan for $1 as part of a settlement that ended years of litigation that started when the borough sought an easement from the Karans to build a 22-foot-high protective dune on a portion of their lot. Harvey Cedars used its power of eminent domain to acquire the easement. However, the parties could not agree on fair compensation and the case ended up in court.

A trial jury in Superior Court placed the value of the Karans’ easement at $375,000, and the appellate division upheld that verdict. But on July 8, 2013, the state Supreme Court overturned the jury award and ordered a new trial. In reversing the award, the state’s highest court said homeowners who are subjected to property-taking on behalf of public projects are not entitled to a windfall that disregards the protective benefits of these projects to their own properties. The Karans subsequently settled, accepting $1 as compensation.

State Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Hajna said the Karan matter was a “watershed case” for compensation.

“I think it encouraged entities to seek eminent domain because they wouldn’t have to pay such a large amount for compensation,” he said.

Hajna indicated legal action against other homeowners is possible.

“The governor has made it very clear that we are going to build a statewide beach protection system,” he said. “We were hoping that people would voluntarily turn over the easements, but now we’ve come to the point where we have to act through eminent domain. The governor has clearly stated that we will use any means necessary to get this done.”

Reposted from the Sandpaper


LBI living helps ‘Brand’ to attract corporate HQ to state

Long Beach Island’s desirability is an asset to attract corporate headquarters nearby in New Jersey, says location consultant John Boyd Jr., a principal of Princeton-based The Boyd Company Inc.

“Corporate site selection – and economic development, for that matter – has increasingly become about branding. Companies are asking themselves, ‘Where do our executives want to live?’” said Boyd, whose clients include Fortune 500 firms.

The applicable phrase is “life balance.” A handily located waterfront home that at times could double as a meeting place is not only a haven, but also a smart retreat.

“Executives from around the nation look at LBI as a real gem, a real asset,” said Boyd, whose family are longtime Surf City homeowners. “I can’t tell you how much time I spend with executives from major corporations throughout North America who know about LBI … and it has really emerged over the last decade or so as an alternative to the Hamptons.”

The SandPaper talked with Boyd in conjunction with his Q&A essay below.

The types of projects that New Jersey is competing for include corporate headquarters and IT industry. South Jersey adds potential for data security and drone testing projects.

In its 40th year, The Boyd Company Inc. is one of the nation’s most experienced and trusted corporate site selection firms. Boyd provides independent location counsel to leading Fortune 500 and up-and-coming corporations worldwide.

The firms encompass a range of office, manufacturing, supply chain and service industries. Boyd clients include Chevron, Pratt & Whitney, PepsiCo, Visa International, Honda Motor Co., Hewlett-Packard, JP Morgan Chase, Sanofi, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Dell and TD Canada Trust.

John Boyd Jr. graduated from The College of New Jersey, majoring in political science, in 2001. He is recognized as one of the nation’s top authorities in the field of corporate mobility and economic development, and his views are routinely cited in the nation’s business media. The firm was founded by his father in 1975.

On the plus side in selling the state, Boyd points out comparatively low operating costs, particularly in southern parts of the state. Such focus was directed to ChooseNJ, the state’s lead economic development organization.

ChooseNJ says on its website, “New Jersey offers companies a highly educated workforce (CNBC ranks New Jersey #4 in education), perfect location at the heart of the Northeast (within a day’s drive of 130 million consumers) and unparalleled global access (through world-class seaports and airports.)”

“We did a project for them about a year ago documenting operating costs in New Jersey versus other markets the state is competing with,” Boyd added. “That report is proprietary, but what I can share with you … we documented compelling operating cost advantages in South Jersey, in Ocean County, in Atlantic County and also in Salem County.” Labor costs are competitive, and industrial real estate costs are low, as well.

Pomona On the Map As Federal Drone Test Site

“We project a new wave of corporate investment into Ocean and Atlantic counties. These are projects that will employ folks who live in this community year ’round, particularly the aerospace industry,” Boyd said.

The area is poised to host aerospace projects because the FAA Technical Center in Pomona was designed as one of six sites in the nation approved for drone testing projects, Boyd pointed out.

“Since July 2013, New Jersey was selected as one of six federally designated drone testing centers, and that is something the state should be leveraging to attract new aerospace industry,” he said.

Pomona’s proximity to the Pine Barrens and the ocean played a part in its selection as a drone test site, Boyd added. “They provide a great spectrum for these devices to be utilized, and this designation happened on the heels of Hurricane Sandy, and we look at the role that drones will play for monitoring damage, for monitoring erosion patterns, monitoring dunes, and property damage. Drones are going to play a big role in all of that.”

Asked to speak on weighing challenges of marketing the state against the advantages to siting business here, Boyd noted the state’s need to continue a generous tax incentive program.

“What concerns us, there is a new wave of anti-business legislation on the horizon: paid mandatory sick leave, some new tax hikes that are being debated. There is talk about rolling back incentives in New Jersey. These are all things that would prevent the state from working with some of the dominant trends to attract industry. There are challenges; New Jersey is an expensive place to do business. But for the key industries that the state is realistically competing for – head office projects, corporate headquarters, IT projects, industries that place a premium upon attracting the best talent – for those projects, New Jersey is very much in the game for.

“That’s especially when you factor in New Jersey’s very generous incentive program. The GrowNJ fund is one of the smartest, well-crafted incentive programs in the country, with tax breaks, job hiring credits, workforce training grants, property tax abatements.

“Property taxes are an issue, but Long Beach Island has some of the lowest property taxes in North America, which is very attractive,” he added. He listed as other advantages, “premier international air service out of Philadelphia and Newark airports, highly developed public transportation infrastructure, colleges, proximity to ports, proximity to New York City.

“All of that makes New Jersey on the short list for new corporate headquarters projects. For those types of projects, what we’re saying is the lifestyle advantage on Long Beach Island is yet another attraction.”

*   *   *

The company provided the Q&A below to outline its positions in detail.

What role does LBI have on New Jersey’s branding and business attraction efforts?

The corporate site selection process entails a host of quantitative (cost-related) and qualitative (lifestyle-related) factors. For those projects with a strong emphasis on lifestyle amenities, such as regional and national corporate headquarters, Long Beach Island can be an arrow in the quiver of New Jersey as it competes with other states for new high end corporate investment and jobs.

In the highly competitive economic development arena, New Jersey is focusing its business attraction efforts on the white collar, high tech sector, including national corporate headquarters. In this coveted white collar sector, real estate opportunities for highly paid executive transferees and their families are under the microscope and are influential site selection factors, both for principal residences, second homes, recreational getaways and settings to host corporate as well as family affairs.

LBI distinguishes itself not only by its wonderful beaches, great housing stock, upscale demographics, but especially its strategic location – a convenient drive to the financial capital of the world in New York City along with an even shorter drive to the huge Philadelphia corporate marketplace. This logistical fact-of-life complements well New Jersey’s white collar business attraction efforts just like Sag Harbor does in the Hamptons; La Jolla in the San Diego area; Mercer Island in the Seattle area (a favorite housing market for Microsoft and Amazon executives); Fisher Island in Miami; Newport Beach in Orange County; Cape Cod in the Boston market.

What new industry and job opportunities do you see for Southern Ocean County?

In Ocean and Atlantic counties, we see opportunities for new high tech investment in areas related to data security, drone development and other IT intensive industries. Major players staking out a claim in the drone industry already include the likes of McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Grumman and others. New Jersey is one of only seven states designated by the federal government as an FAA-designated testing center for drones.

Just south of us here in LBI, we have a compelling aerospace precedent in the FAA Hughes Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township, the nation’s only federal lab for air transportation systems. The center already houses a large contingent of engineers, computer scientists and aerospace engineers working on how to safely integrate unmanned systems into the national airspace. The federal government’s historic NextGen program – designed to convert our nation’s air traffic control system from radar-based to satellite-based – is also housed at the Hughes center.  Lockheed Martin’s huge presence in Camden County also makes the statement that the aerospace industry is no stranger to South Jersey.

Do you see revitalization happening in Atlantic City, and how can Ocean County and LBI leverage an AC comeback?

Yes, we do. Competition from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut and New York has done much to devastate the Atlantic City economy. Ironically, competition from newly proposed North Jersey casinos coupled with new dedicated revenue streams from those new casinos to Atlantic City will do much to ensure the survival and rebound of the Atlantic City economy. Many LBI-region residents work in and commute to Atlantic City, and its rebound will have important spin-offs here. Down the road, we see sports betting coming to Atlantic City, which will provide another stimulus for the economy there.

Also, given our unique insights into emerging corporate location and investment trends, The Boyd Co. has been retained by several U.S. cities and states to counsel them on industry attraction strategies, especially “branding,” which is increasingly being associated with a city’s image, business climate and attractiveness for relocation.

One of our long-time clients in the “branding” field is Las Vegas, where we have assisted the Howard Hughes Corp., the City of North Las Vegas and the Nevada Development Authority craft programs to attract new non-casino corporate investment and jobs to the Las Vegas area. Major non-casino employers in Las Vegas include the likes of  Williams-Sonoma, Expedia, Barclaycard, Olin, Ocean Spray and e-commerce firms Zappos and Beyond the Rack. Atlantic City can learn much from Las Vegas in terms of taking proactive measures to help diversify its economy from an over-reliance on the casino industry.

Where do you see New Jersey’s economy going? What are some “hotspots” in New Jersey, and what other development trends are impacting the Garden State today?

In other parts of the state, we see same-day delivery trends from e-commerce firms like eBay and Amazon bringing new distribution warehousing operations into New Jersey, like Amazon’s mammoth fulfillment center in Robbinsville. Another driver here is the booming Port of Newark and the expanding Panama Canal. Financial service industry migration out of New York City to Jersey City is another major trend working in New Jersey’s favor. Ultra-progressive NYC Mayor DeBlasio has done much to damage the city business climate with higher taxes, income redistribution policies and his fallout with the police department amid rising crime statistics in the City.

You spend many days a year traveling throughout North America for your site-seeking corporate clients. When you are here on LBI, what are your favorite places to go and things to do?

My personal connection to Long Beach Island is through my family – father Jack, mother Eileen and sister Alison. We have been summering in Surf  City for 25 years now. It has been a special place to celebrate numerous milestones of family and friends. I especially like the convenience and walkability of Surf City, the Surfside Coffee Shop, Mario’s deli, the Surf City Hotel and the thriving local artistic community here.

As for restaurants, I especially like DaVinci’s and The Arlington, both in Ship Bottom – our discriminating New York friends and business clients hear the buzz of these two places and are making them forget some of their favorite eateries in the Hamptons. On a personal note, my favorite way to unwind from my national travels and business dealings is kayaking on Barnegat Bay, especially watching those spectacular summer sunsets.

The Boyd Company, Inc. is located at 103 Carnegie Center, Suite 300, Princeton, phone 609-681-5670. For more information, the web address is www.theboydcompany.com.

Reposted from the Sandpaper


Promising outlook for turning lane on Route 72

Barnegat Township officials as well as the state legislative team from the 9th District are confident that the state Department of Transportation will eventually create a right-turn lane from Route 72 East into the Brighton at Barnegat and Pinewood Estates entrance.

Mayor Susan McCabe, State Sen. Christopher J. Connors and district legislative aides recently met with the DOT.

“Having been fully briefed by the DOT, we are pleased to report that the department has proposed plans to construct a deceleration lane to improve traffic safety for the residents of Pinewood Estates and Brighton at Barnegat communities,” wrote the legislative team. “Presently, the DOT is conferring with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regarding the permitting process.”

The statement noted that Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf had visited residents of the Pinewood Estates community last summer, at which time local residents emphasized it was an issue of serious concern.

“Residents spoke of the dangers caused by motorists traveling east on Route 72 at high rates of speed who, in many cases, have come close to hitting motorists turning right into the communities or who attempt to pass turning motorists and thereby travel into the lane of oncoming traffic from the west,” the delegation wrote.

Committeeman John Novak said a hazardous situation was created more than 10 years ago when the DOT put in a left-hand turning lane from Route 72 West. However, there was no corresponding right-turn lane from the other direction.

“They didn’t finish the job, and I think instead of improving the situation, they made it worse,” he said. “We need that eastbound turning lane before a tragedy happens.”

McCabe said she was pleased that the DOT has “expressed a commitment to create the right-turn lane.”

“We don’t know when it will start because of the permitting process,” she said. “That could take some time. But at least now we know the state has said it intends to do something about it.”

Last month, the township committee adopted a resolution urging the DOT to remediate the matter. Brighton’s Action Committee also handed the township a petition with approximately 260 signatures requesting the turning lane. McCabe and Novak brought the petition to the attention of Connors and state DOT Commissioner Jamie Fox, along with a copy of their resolution.

Anticipating a crush of holiday weekend traffic, the Brighton group gathered along the highway to spread awareness. Some people held signs that said “Slow Down,” “Don’t Pass” and “Crash Risk Zone” among others.

“We had some favorable responses as most motorists slowed down and some even thanked us,” said Michelle Woodruff, Brighton Action Committee member. “But some drivers had to slam on the brakes. It was most revealing to see how fast traffic is moving at the top of the hill past Pinewood’s firehouse. They barely have enough time to notice turning vehicles and vehicles slowing down.”

However, she said the issue is far from only a Brighton or Pinewood Estates matter.

“This is a resort access roadway and services thousands upon thousands of vehicles only,” she said. “And it is our community’s only entry and exit for residents as well as family members, friends, visitors, emergency services and others. There is no alternate route.”

Reposted from the Sandpaper


Ocean County officials urge visitors to recycle on vacation

As Ocean County’s year-round population doubles in the summertime, so, too, does the waste. While county officials want visitors to enjoy their time in the local area, they also are urging people to be mindful of the importance of recycling while on vacation.

“Whether you are here for the day, the week or the entire summer, recycling while you are in Ocean County is just as important as it is in your own hometown,” said Freeholder James F. Lacey, who serves as liaison to the county’s award-winning recycling programs. “The county and its municipalities all offer a host of convenient recycling programs that can be accessed by summer visitors.”

During summer 2014, more than 23,000 tons of materials were recycled in the county, resulting in towns saving more than $1.6 million because the items did not go to the landfill.

“Recycling comes with many benefits,” said Freeholder Director John C. Bartlett Jr. “It saves landfill space, it protects the environment, and it helps out economically.”

When it comes to summer recycling, Lacey suggests visitors check with their municipalities to find out how the town they are staying in collects recyclables and on what days. He noted that the county’s towns have implemented single-stream recycling, which means all recyclables, such as cans, bottles, newspapers and junk mail, can be placed at the curb in one container. However, recyclables should not be placed in plastic bags.

“Plastic bags can cause problems when materials are being processed at our recycling centers,” Lacey said. “It’s important to put recyclables in receptacles or drop them off right at a recycling center.”

Recycling drop-off venues are easily accessible at the county’s regional recycling centers, including the Southern Ocean County Recycling Center off Haywood Road in Stafford Township and the Northern Ocean County Recycling Center off New Hampshire Avenue in Lakewood. They are available daily around the clock.

Visitors can also recycle cooking oil and cooking grease by depositing it in tanks installed at the centers; those sites are open Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Those who own vacation homes in the county and need to dispose of items that cannot be tossed out in the regular trash are also encouraged to participate in the county’s household hazardous waste collection program, which is held in different areas throughout the summer months.

Visitors and residents using beaches and marinas also should look for the big green igloos placed in visible locations throughout the county.

“When you are leaving an area, we encourage you to deposit your recyclables in the igloo. It is much more convenient than taking them home with you or back to where you may be staying,” Lacey said. “The goal of our recycling program in Ocean County is to make it easy and convenient so people want to recycle.”

Since the county began operating its materials processing facility in Lakewood in 1991, more than 1,400,000 tons of materials have been processed, resulting in a total savings of $99,694,000 by avoiding the tipping fee at the landfill.

The revenue generated from the sale of the material is distributed back to the municipalities through its recycling revenue-sharing program. In 2014, municipalities received $708,394 from the revenue sharing program, Lacey noted.

“Recycling helps us to reuse materials and saves landfill space,” he said. “This is such an important program. We urge everyone to recycle.”

For more information on recycling in Ocean County, visit co.ocean.nj.us/SolidWaste/MainPage.aspx, or call 800-55-RECYCLE.

Reposted from the Sandpaper


Letter to the Editor: from a Barnegat Light resident

Fireworks Menace

To the Editor:

I live at 2506 Central Ave., Barnegat Light. In the past few years, the use of powerful fireworks has increased dramatically on our beaches. These fireworks menace our homeowners and their pets. They also interfere with local wildlife.

The piping plover, a protected shorebird, builds its nest and rears its young on the beaches of Barnegat Light. Is it possible for these protected birds to survive the annual bombardment of illegal fireworks displays that take place on our beaches?

Fireworks are not sold in New Jersey. They are carried across state lines to be used on our beach-side community in a way that can kill or maim this protected species.

I would ask that the beaches of Barnegat Light be considered essential habitat for the piping plover, and that a “fireworks-free zone” be adopted for our beaches.

I ask any federal or state agency tasked with protecting endangered species to consider the very negative impact of illegal fireworks on the piping plover.

I also ask our elected officials to strongly urge the borough of Barnegat Light to immediately enforce the ban of illegal firework displays on our beaches.

Eric Svelling
Barnegat Light

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Amid bee decline, beekeeper stresses need for apiarists

f-Bees LBIF 10

As I pulled on my long-sleeve, collared shirt and pants and tied the laces to my sneakers, I suddenly felt very vulnerable in my attire. Not because I was underdressed (I wasn’t going on a date), and I was obviously covered head-to-toe. Instead, I was going to spend the day in the honeybee yard at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences in Loveladies, with local beekeeper Michael Long.

Of course I was a bit nervous about getting stung. (I once stepped on a bee in a friend’s backyard in elementary school, and my foot blew up like a balloon.) But really, I felt honored to be in the presence of such vitally important pollinators, both bee and man, and I wanted to make a good impression.

Long, who operates Uriah Creek Apiaries in Parkertown, took up beekeeping in 2007. He enrolled in a course at Rutgers University with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture after he suddenly experienced major trouble producing vegetables and fruits in his garden. It was not until he came across a picture of misshapen apples that resembled his own that he realized the problem was that he no longer had bees in his backyard.

“It was always weed, water, sunshine, fertilizer, harvest. I never gave pollination a thought,” he said. “You planted, and the bees would come. Now it doesn’t happen that way.”

Pollen must be moved from a flower’s pistil to its stamen. Otherwise, it will produce ill-formed fruit, or nothing at all.

“It’s flower sex, basically. Pollen is male sperm,” said Long.

Long started with five hives at home in the spring of 2007, and by September of that year he also had a bee yard at a pig farm in Brookville (Barnegat Township) that has been in existence since the 1940s. Brookville never needed beehives up until 2007, Long said, when the area also began experiencing the same pollination issue. He realized it was not a localized problem at his farm, considering the two farms were 15 miles apart.

By the end of that year, Long also picked up a bee yard at Cloverdale Road in Barnegat.

He currently has anywhere from eight to 14 apiaries throughout Southern Ocean County, each of which has anywhere from two to 20 hives. The hives are all in different stages. Some are used for raising bees, others for honey production.

Long maintains eight bee yards and has access to another six.

“I don’t need the farmers as much as they need bees,” he said.

Long had hundreds of bees in his backyard prior to 2005. The only thing he had done differently that year, he said, was plant corn.

In recent years, beekeepers and environmentalists have called on the government to prohibit the use of some of the country’s most used pesticides, neonicotinoids, which became popular among farmers during the 1990s. Neonics, as they are called, are used to coat the seeds of many agricultural crops, including the biggest crop of all: corn.

Organic food also does not mean pesticide-free, Long noted. (According to organic labeling laws, naturally occurring chemicals may be applied to crops.)

“That’s why I do this. People need to know what’s happening,” he added, referencing the public seminars he hosts at the LBI Foundation every Friday in July and August.

He brings participants to the apiary, where the hives remain closed. He also utilizes a single-frame observation hive for the benefit of those who don’t want to go near the bees. It is not practical to keep the bees in the observation unit, so they are later transported back to their original hive.

During the past few decades, bees have been hard hit by habitat loss and by disease, such as those caused by such parasites as varroa mites. It takes about eight months for varroa mites to kill a beehive; pesticides can kill a hive within weeks, Long said.

“The mites are a problem, but not the problem,” he emphasized. Bees’ “immune systems are being compromised; the virus isn’t getting stronger.”

“The problem is the new class of pesticides introduced in the early 2000s. The problem has increased ever since,” he added.

This is bad news for humans because bees are critical to our food supply.

“We need to have beekeepers. They (bees) will not survive without us,” Long said. “There must be something to it because the president took action,” he added.

According to an Obama administration estimate, honeybees alone add $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year by pollinating everything from blueberries to squash. To reverse the bee decline, also known as colony collapse disorder, the administration has introduced an action plan that includes restoring 7 million acres of bee-friendly habitat that have been lost to urbanization, development and farming.

Although many environmentalists say restoring bee habitat is a good place to begin, they are critical of the fact that the administration has not done more to limit the use of neonicotinoids.

Long also pointed to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, a widely used weed killer. Studies have shown that the chemical adversely affects honeybees’ survival instincts.

But the bees were buzzing away last week at the Foundation, where Long cares for two fully matured hives, with 20 frames each.

I expected the hives to be traditional skeps, conical-shaped baskets usually made of coiled straw. But skeps are illegal to use in New Jersey because beekeepers cannot inspect the comb for diseases and pests, and because honey removal often results in the destruction of the entire colony, Long said. He uses standard Langstroth hives where bees build combs into frames, which can be easily removed. This hive type revolutionized beekeeping in America, Long said, when invented in the 1850s by Philadelphia native Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth.

The north hive at the Foundation suffered from a mite infestation earlier in the season, but it was treated and has recovered well, Long said. It currently has about 40,000 bees in it. The south hive has around 60,000 to 70,000 bees and is close to being ready for harvesting honey.

“Summer usually separates the beekeepers from the bee-havers,” said Long.

Just one side of a hive frame had more than 1,000 bees on it, Long pointed out. The other side had over 2,000 in a sealed brood waiting to be hatched.

“The size gets very large. The amount of bees can be daunting and intimidating,” he said, adding that they can sometimes form a cloud.

Long expects to harvest about 30 to 60 pounds of honey from each hive this season.

“Give it a sniff. Smell the sweetness,” he insisted.

Although I felt a bit claustrophobic with the bee veil covering my face, I bent down and stuck my nose toward one of the frames covered in honey (and bees).

“This is money. This is Island honey,” Long said, grinning.

Aside from using bees for pollination, he also generates income from their honey. He harvests only a portion of the honey because it is important to make sure the bees have what they need to eat so they remain healthy, he said.

As a beekeeper, he is always listening to and smelling the bees to make sure they are not ill. It takes a long time and a lot of money to renew a hive.

“It’s easier to make money when your bees are not dead,” he said. “It’s a lot of work; there’s a lot to learn,” he added.

It is also important to be aware of the bees’ activity. They tend to get louder when they are annoyed, which is why we were wearing a veil, Long noted.

“We’re going directly into their house and tearing it apart. Bees sting,” he said.

To keep the bees at bay, Long lit small coal embers to create smoke, which covers the bees’ alarm pheromone. He uses this tactic only in the presence of other people because he normally wants to see the temperament of the bees.

When Long first started beekeeping, he said, he would get a small, localized reaction to bee stings. Now if he is stung, he has no reaction. He believes his body has built up a tolerance to melittin, the venom released during a bee sting.

The best time to gather honey and pollen is during the middle of the day, when most of the bees are out collecting, Long noted. He started collecting pollen from the hives at the Foundation a few weeks ago. Since then, he has noticed a clear difference in the bees’ flower preference. The pollen collected by the bees in the south hive is much darker. Long is conducting a study to determine the Island’s flowering season.

“There’s more than dune grass here,” he said.

A honeybee hive’s inhabitants are divided into three types. Workers, which are females that are not sexually developed, forage for food such as pollen and nectar from flowers; build, clean and protect the hive; circulate air by beating their wings; and carry out many other communal tasks.

The queen lays eggs that produce the hive’s next generation. Larvae are fed from the stores during the winter until they are fully matured by springtime and can begin to produce honey.

There is only one queen in a hive. If she dies, workers create a new queen by feeding a fellow worker a special diet of royal jelly, which enables her to develop into a fertile queen. The queen also controls the hive’s activities by producing pheromones that direct the actions of the other bees.

Several hundred male bees, called drones, live in each hive during the spring and summer. They are barred during the winter months, when the hive goes into survival mode.

I was not nervous going into the apiary until Long warned that the bees should not get “too rambunctious” –should and too being the operative words here.

Eventually, SandPaper Photo Editor Ryan Morrill was stung on the hand and thus marked. So we flew on out of there like expelled drones, never to come back to the hive again.

What a job.

t600-Bees LBIF 03

Reposted from the Sandpaper


Barnegat Light Beach Patrol hosts seventh annual Ocean Mile Swim

t1200-Ocean Mile Swim 6

Two hundred to 300 competitors of all ages and abilities are anticipated to take to the water for this summer’s Barnegat Light Ocean Mile Swim, at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 25, in LBI’s northernmost municipality. Registration is still open online at runsignup.com, at a cost of $25 for the race fee plus a $3.25 sign-up fee. Online registration cut-off is noon on Friday, July 24.

Race day registration, as well as check-in for all swimmers, will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. on the day of the event, on the 16th Street beach.

“At the moment, we have a 10-year-old and a 75-year-old registered, to contrast the difference in ages,” noted race director John Schulze. “Each year we have participants from serious to recreational, and it makes us happy to provide an event for the swimming community.

“The course will go in the direction so swimmers are with the current, and that’s a south to north direction on a majority of summer days. Swimmers will follow a rectangle-like course with a running start from the beach on 30th Street – buoys mark the offshore swimming route – and the race terminates with a water exit and short run to cross a finish line on the 16th Street beach.”

Schulze added, “One thing I get stoked about year after year is watching swimmers at the finish. We have a great crowd on the beach, and the cheering and support you witness is so heartfelt. All spectators can watch as competitors run across the finish line into the timing chute. There is a digital display clock, and we have the area roped off so swimmers can finish unimpeded. The looks on the faces of each competitor is really special. Many swimmers say picking themselves up out of the water and breaking into a run is the hardest part of the race.

“To see the determination of veteran swimmers and the elation of those who just want to finish really makes it worth it to come out and support these swimmers of all ages and abilities. It’s one of the best nights we have on the beaches of Barnegat Light all summer.”

Race safety will be provided by the Barnegat Light Beach Patrol, the Barnegat Light First Aid Squad and the Water Rescue Units of both the Barnegat Light Volunteer Fire Co. and Long Beach Township Police Department.

CompuScore.com is the timing service for the event’s two separate heats.

During check-in, all swimmers will receive a commemorative race T-shirt sponsored by Shore Promotions, a colored swim cap to designate heat assignment and a timing chip.

“Timing chips give greater accuracy to race timing and are contained in a small, waterproof casing, worn on a Velcro strap around each swimmer’s ankle,” Schulze explained. “Many swimmers comment they hardly sense the chip’s presence during the race.  As each swimmer runs across a sensor pad at the race finish, the chip signals the individual’s result in the timing system, and overall results are available online moments after the race concludes.”

An awards celebration will take place on the beach after the results are compiled, with refreshments for all competitors. Medals are awarded to the top three male and female finishers in the following age groups: 14 and under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, and 70 and above. In addition, the overall top three male and female finishers receive plaques, as does the team champion, determined by combined place results of the top four swimmers on a team.

All race proceeds benefit the borough’s beach patrol.

For more information, contact Schulze at 609-290-5918 or johnschulze@yahoo.com. Find race updates on the Barnegat Light Ocean Mile Swim Facebook page and on Twitter at @BLOceanMileSwim..

Reposted from the Sandpaper


Long Beach Township, homeowners hash out beachfill concerns

f-LBT Lifeguards Dredge

Long Beach Township officials contended with a number of beachfill-related questions and concerns from homeowners at last Friday’s board of commissioners meeting, from the schedule to the sand quality to the difficulty for some to get to the shoreline.

The project is now in the Beach Haven Terrace section of the municipality, moving south, but the exact timeline for locations still to undergo replenishment is difficult to predict, Mayor Joseph Mancini pointed out, in part due to dredge availability.

“The beach replenishment is moving ahead. The (U.S.) Army Corps (of Engineers) is moving it all over the place, so we can’t give you a definitive schedule as to where it’s going to go next,” Mancini said Friday. However, after the current segment is complete, “it will be going back to Brant Beach, and it will be going from 57th to 106th Street, and we’re expecting that should happen in September.

“Once they finish that area, the dredges will be going to Beach Haven and heading south to Holgate. In the meantime, we’re waiting on another dredge to come in – mid-fall, we think at this juncture – that will do Loveladies and North Beach.

“So please be patient. It’s jumping around, dredges are breaking, and they change everything daily.”

Contractor Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. began beachfill efforts in Ship Bottom in early May, utilizing the dredges Padre Island and Dodge Island. Work moved to Long Beach Township last month. The Corps’ schedule of replenishment shows the work in the current section ending at 34th Street in late July, then continuing from there to 11th Street in Beach Haven through mid-September.

The schedule for replenishment from 57th Street in Brant Beach to 106th Street in Beach Haven Park has not yet been updated following news that the third dredge set to join operations is undergoing repairs. The Army Corps reported last week that the dredge Liberty Island is expected to return to work on a project off Ocean City, N.J., around July 20. A tentative date for its arrival to LBI is not yet available.

Visit the project website, nap.usace.army.mil, for updated information as the replenishment progresses.

A few homeowners from recently replenished sections of the township spoke Friday about the “double dune” issue in Haven Beach.

“Back in the ’50s, when they built Haven Beach … I guess the first couple houses went 50 feet behind the building line, and back in the day we had a prevailing set-back line,” Mancini explained. “When the dune was installed (during the beachfill project), we saw it was out in the middle of the beach.”

As the dunes stretch too far east according to township officials, they need to be scaled back about 40 to 50 feet, which requires bulldozing the excess sand to the side, but also requires approximately 25 homeowners in the area to sign a new easement to allow for this alteration.

The easement letters should be sent out this week, and, as Mancini said earlier this month, the township doesn’t believe it will have any issues acquiring these non-possessory right-to-use interests from owners who already signed previous easements.

“When we get them all signed, they will be moving the dune back to make it a continuous dune,” the mayor remarked Friday. “We suspect that it will be done before the dune grass (planting) in October.”

Jude Metcalf of Idaho Avenue asked if the dune would be wider than others after the alteration, and Bill Thompson of Mississippi Avenue asked if the dune would still be 22 feet high. Mancini responded that the dune profile would be the same as all the other dunes in replenished areas.

The mayor also acknowledged that the current double dune situation makes it “really tough getting over it right now,” and to remedy this for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities, “the township picked up a John Deere Gator” utility vehicle for transportation to the beach.

As administrator Kyle Ominski explained, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., “We’re going to have a cell phone set up so that people in that area, mainly between 106th and 119th Street, can call that cell phone. … We’ll have a full-time guy on at that time” to pick people up, drive them over the dunes and drop them off on the flat part of the beach. The phone number should be available this week. For more information, visit longbeachtownship.com or call 609-494-1000.

Gerald Heard of Haven Beach, meanwhile, asked if the township has any say in the quality of the sand pumped onto the beaches, which he finds very grainy and full of shells.

Mancini said no, but added, “Number one, it will get better, and number two, we’ve been lobbying to take the sand out of the Beach Haven Inlet, and it looks like we finally prevailed. So we’re hoping that they’ll use some of that on the southern end, and then when they come back in five or six years to touch it up – this is a 40-year job – they’ll take the sand out of the Beach Haven Inlet, which is our good, pretty sand.

“The sand you’re looking at now is the remains of the Harvey Cedar lump, which is where they’re taking it from, and it’s hit and miss. Some places it’s nice and white, other places it’s loaded with shells. But it fits the criteria of the … bid specs. We’re at the mercy of the federal government on this one.”

Tom Beaty of Holgate asked if any areas in the township would be constructed with a slope different from the rest of the project area, which proponents of the modification hope will create a safer shorebreak and bring sandbars back faster. The officials said five spots will see this altered slope, but did not have the locations on hand.

In other township news, Commissioner Joseph Lattanzi said the LBI Health Department will permanently move to the 2100 block in Ship Bottom, into the bottom floor of the new Shackleton and Hazeltine law firm building. “The anticipation for that is right around the first of the year,” said Lattanzi. “It will be a nice, new building.” Until then, the township will continue its trailer lease through ModSpace, for $1,340 per month, in the department’s current location near the Acme Market. The removal fee will be $11,065.

Lattanzi also pointed out that eight buses are running full-time as part of the Island’s free shuttle service, which has seen more than 15,000 riders already this summer. “We’ve had a great response so far.”

The commissioner said Ominski “was instrumental in helping us get an app put together, which is available now on the Android,” via lbishuttle.com, and hopefully soon for iPhones, to help track the buses.

During the meeting’s public session, Bill Hutson of Holgate pointed out that the buses pick up a lot of seniors for shopping excursions.

“It’s a great thing for the Island,”said Mancini.

Commissioner Ralph Bayard, meanwhile, noted that the municipality’s major infrastructure project will start back up in the fall.

The township police department announced a number of upcoming events, including a bicycle safety event and K-9 demonstration at 10 a.m. on July 22 in Bayview Park.

On July 26, LBT PBA 373 will host its annual bicycle rodeo in the municipal parking lot from 10 a.m. to noon, featuring a free bicycle and helmet raffle and a bicycle safety course. Children must bring their bikes to participate.

Aug. 4 is National Night Out – a free community fun night – in Bayview Park from 5 to 9, co-hosted by the LBTPD and the Stafford Township Police Department. In addition to a musical lineup that includes Ted Hammock, Jason Booth and Steel Margarita, National Night Out will feature food and drinks, paddleboarding, K-9 demos, jumbo inflatables, a gaming trailer, dunk tank, photo booth, face painting, balloon animals and various displays.

At 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 7, the PBA will host a special bicycle rodeo in Brant Beach for the Southern Regional School District’s students with special needs.

On Aug. 16, the PBA will hold another bike rodeo for the public from 10 a.m. to noon on West 10th Street in Barnegat Light.

The next meeting of the township Board of Commissioners is Friday, July 24, at 4 p.m.

Reposted from the Sandpaper


Ocean County School Boards’ petition filing deadline July 27

A total of 77 school board seats will appear on the November ballot in various school districts throughout Ocean County. Candidates seeking board seats have until 4 p.m., Monday, July 27, to file their nominating petitions at the Ocean County Clerk’s Office in order to have their name placed on the Nov. 3 General Election Ballot.

Nominating school board petitions can be obtained at either the Ocean County Southern Service Center, located at 179 South Main St. in  Manahawkin, or at the Ocean County Clerk’s main office, at the Ocean County Courthouse, Election Services, Room 107, at 118 Washington St. in Toms River. The offices are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“The Ocean County Clerk’s Office makes every effort to inform potential candidates of approaching filing deadlines,” said Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, who serves as liaison to the county clerk. “Through the office’s website, social media and other avenues, County Clerk Colabella provides the information needed by both candidates and voters.”

All Ocean County school districts opted to move their school board elections from April to November. A law signed by Gov. Christie last year moved the petition filing deadline from June to the last Monday in July, to provide candidates more time to submit their petitions.

A complete listing of all candidates who file board petitions will be available shortly after the July 27 deadline at oceancountyclerk.com or facebook.com/oceancountyclerk.

Candidates seeking additional information on the petition filing process may contact the Ocean County Clerk’s Election Office at 732-929-2153.

“It’s important for candidates to get their paperwork in on time,” Colabella noted. “That is what guarantees their place on the ballot.”

Reposted from the Sandpaper


NJDOT project will improve traffic along Route 72

f-Rt72 Intersection Drone

The N.J. Department of Transportation has proposed its $12 million plan to dramatically reconfigure a 3,700-foot stretch of Route 72, from the Garden State Parkway exit ramp extending east to just past the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant.

The aim of the so-called East Road project is to improve safety and operation and to ease traffic flow on and around East Road, which is the short street that connects Route 72 to Martin Truex Jr. Boulevard between the TD Bank and Exxon station. That intersection, currently signed as Doc Cramer Boulevard, “has been and continues to be a major source of traffic problems in the township,” according to Nina Mullin, assistant to Mayor John Spodofora.

The public was invited to attend an information session at town hall on Monday, July 6, with DOT officials and engineers. The New Jersey No Net Loss Reforestation Act of 2001 required the info session because the project will cause more than one acre of deforestation and reforestation.

Michael Helmlinger is the senior supervising engineer with the Lawrenceville-based firm Parsons Brinckerhoff, which was contracted about a year ago.

“We inherited (the plans) and advanced them to this stage,” he said.

The current estimate for construction is $10 million, Helmlinger said, with an additional $2 million associated with construction inspection/engineering.

Now the project’s final design stage is complete; plans were made available for the public to view. Next begins the potentially time-consuming process of right-of-way acquisition, which involves negotiating with affected property owners on issues of parking and money. Once the remaining permits are obtained – from the state Department of Environmental Protection for freshwater wetlands and flood hazard area – officials anticipate construction can begin in spring 2017, with a projected timeframe of 12 to 18 months.

The existing traffic signal between TD Bank and Exxon will be eliminated and replaced by two new signals, one to the west of TD Bank, with a new extension of Doc Cramer Boulevard that will provide a double left-turn lane to westbound Route 72, and the other signal to the east of Exxon. Each signal will give access to the east-west connector road that runs behind those businesses and in front of the Sonic restaurant. The signals will be synchronized to optimize traffic flow, according to the proposal. New signage for the Garden State Parkway interchange is also proposed.

The DOT proposes to replace the existing jughandle with a new reverse-loop jughandle, widened to three lanes and significantly expanded, to connect to a realigned Martin Truex Jr. Boulevard on the south side of Route 72. One and a half wooded acres will be cleared to create a stormwater retention basin inside the new, larger loop. Two other basins are proposed within DOT right-of-ways on the northerly side of Route 72. The basins are necessary due to the amount of new impervious coverage created by the project, which is more than half an acre.

“When we do construction, we’re obligated to meet current regulations (of the DEP),” Helmlinger said.

Along Route 72, the number of entry and exit points to commercial properties would be reduced, in accordance with the town’s Access Management Plan.

“Improvements along Route 72 eastbound include eliminating access to nine exclusive driveways of six commercial properties and replacing them with three shared driveways and reconfiguring the surrounding roadway network per the AMP,” according to the DOT press release.

Currently, what happens in that section of Route 72 is known as a “weave,” where some eastbound motorists want to move over to exit to the right, to get to the businesses, while other eastbound traffic, coming off the Parkway, wants to get into the far left lane to continue to the beach, DOT Project Manager Bill Birch explained.

The proposed plan would shift lanes on 72 to make room for a new shoulder, to provide safer access to businesses along that segment of corridor. The existing grass median would be replaced by a concrete barrier. The relocation of the driveways would allow those lane changes to occur over a greater distance.

So far, affected property owners have been understanding of the need for improved access, officials said.

Tony Cheng, owner of Element Restaurant, said he has concerns about the impact of the project on his business, especially with regard to losing “half my parking lot,” but he understands it’s “a give-and-take.” He worries the proposed parking rearrangement will be an inconvenience for his customers, who will have to walk farther to the restaurant entrance.

Sometimes, he added, plans “look good on paper” but fail to address simple day-to-day logistics such as how a truck will turn around to empty the trash bin out back.

“I’m willing to give up a little convenience, but not too much,” he said.

Reposted from the Sandpaper