Barnegat Light Tourism launches website & plans for next summer

The Barnegat Light Tourism Coalition outlined a successful first year and plans to expand on that momentum at its annual meeting at Kubel’s on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

The open public meeting afforded Barnegat Light residents and merchants the chance to learn more about what this organization was able to accomplish in its first year, as well as what is planned for 2015, officers said.

Scott Sharpless, coalition events coordinator, reported that the first annual “Discover Barnegat Light Day” was a success, and that the event will be held again on July 13, 2015. Plans are in the works for aspects to be expanded, potentially to include a street fair, he said.

The organization launched a website,, designed to highlight all that makes Barnegat Light a unique travel destination on LBI. The site’s listings are still being expanded.

A Beautification Committee has also been added, the coalition announced.

“We continue to strive, as an organization, to market tourism and commerce to our town, which has so many unique aspects to offer both to locals and traveling visitors alike,” said Dan Malay, coalition president.

A Facebook page is online under Discover Barnegat Light.

The website’s “About Us” page says: “The Barnegat Light Tourism Coalition exists to ‘promote and stimulate tourism and commerce’ in our special town. We seek to do this through marketing efforts and by building a membership of like-minded business, civic, and individual community leaders.”

The organization is currently led by: President Dan Malay, How You Brewin’ Coffee Co.; Vice President Ernie Panacek, Viking Village; Secretary, Arlene Morrison, Kubel’s; Treasurer Jennifer Begonia, Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences; Membership Chair Ed Wellington, Barnegat Light councilman; Events Chair, Scott Sharpless, borough councilman; Marketing Chair, Kris Panacek, Off The Hook Seafood.

- Reposted from The Sandpaper, 10/28/14 

LBI beach replenishment project out to bid

beach-nourishmentAccording to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project for Long Beach Island is now out to bid.

Steve Rochette, spokesman for the Corps Philadelphia District, explained, “The solicitation notice is out and prospective contractors are preparing their bids. We are now holding bid opening on Oct. 28.”

A contract is typically awarded approximately two weeks after bid opening, Rochette added.

Beach replenishment will span from the north end of Loveladies south to Holgate. The recently restored beaches of Harvey Cedars, as well as a mile of Brant Beach and all of Surf City except 22nd Street north to the North Beach line, are excluded in the upcoming project.

The estimated time to pump the sand on the beach is 525 days, with additional time needed to construct beach accesses, install storm fencing and plant dune grass. Inclement weather could also play a part in the timetable.

This week, the Corps began conducting routine annual project monitoring on LBI’s beaches, consisting of a survey sled towed through the surf zone to collect topographic data – elevation and position – describing the shape of the beach.

As a sign from Ocean Surveys Inc. posted on the trucks involved in the beach profiling explains, “Sled data (collected using a precision GPS) is merged with hydrographic data collected by a boat, offshore (sonar and precision GPS), and topographic data describing the dunes. The merged data gives the Army Corps of Engineers a continuous topographic profile of the beach from the landward side of dunes to a point about a mile offshore. Profiles are created on offset lines spaced at 500′ to 1500′ intervals along this beach and others on the Jersey Shore.

“The Corps of Engineers will compare data from this survey to data collected on past and future surveys to determine the rate of beach erosion or deposition. The Corps of Engineers will use this data in making engineering decisions about, among other things, beach replenishment.”

Pre-construction surveys will also take place after a contract is awarded and before beachfill work begins.

- Reposted from The Sandpaper, 10/23/14


Barnegat Light chips in for summer shuttle vans

Barnegat Light Borough Council voted to approve a $10,000 payment for the past year’s shuttle bus service through the town, and committed another $10,000 for the 2015 summer.

The resolution to appropriate the money came at the October council meeting, where the vote was unanimous after some discussion pro and con over the past several months.

The shuttle, free to riders, is administered by Long Beach Township as a joint project with the Long Beach Island Chamber of Commerce. It has now operated for two summers.

“The general public in Barnegat Light loves the thing,” said Mayor Kirk Larson. “Every parent of a 15- or 16-year-old loves it. Plus, it takes so many cars off the road. It’s a great idea, and I hope it works.”

In another seasonal matter, Barnegat Light has a different way of handling trick or treat for children’s safety, and that sign-up method will be continued this year.

Residents can sign up at borough hall if they plan to give out candy. They will be put on a list of “Halloween-Friendly” homes. Parents of trick-or-treaters can pick up the list at borough hall.

“Sign up at borough hall and receive balloons to mark your house ‘Halloween Friendly’ and ready for trick-or-treaters,” says the notice on the post office bulletin board and at borough hall.

The list of homes will be available on Wednesday, Oct. 29 and Thursday, Oct. 30 at Barnegat Light Borough Hall, 10 East Seventh St.

Reposted from The Sandpaper, 10/23/14 


Barnegat Light singer shines on ‘The Voice’

t600-NUP_164386_4146On Oct. 6’s primetime television, Barnegat-Light-born Matt McAndrew was the first contestant shown on NBC’s “The Voice.” During his introduction, McAndrew pointed to his first tattoo: an empty box on the back of his wrist. If he signs with a record label, a check will be added to that box.

Then, the episode shifted over to McAndrew’s performing at a blind audition. The judges, “Happy” artist Pharrell Williams, Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine, singer Gwen Stefani and country artist Blake Shelton, had their seats turned away as McAndrew performed. If a seat turned back, McAndrew passed the audition. If not, McAndrew’s clichéd “15 minutes of fame” would be more like two minutes for the time being. If multiple seats are turned, the judges would have to pitch McAndrew to be his coach for the season. If McAndrew wins “The Voice,” he and his coach would be dubbed the winners, making it different than every other talent show. The potential grand prize for McAndrew: a record contract.

Got all of that? Yeah, it was a lot for McAndrew to handle, too.

“I thought I was confident and ready to go, but as soon as the doors opened and I started walking out …” McAndrew said before pausing.

As McAndrew mentions in an interview on “The Voice” website, his knees locked and his confidence dwindled. He said because there had been so much hype leading up to this television appearance, the build-up made the 90 seconds seem much longer.

McAndrew chose the song “Thousand Years” by Christina Perri, a fellow graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He wanted a song he could connect to on an emotional level. He felt the song is beautiful overall, noting the piano and string arrangements. He figured if he could first lose himself in the song, then – hopefully – the judges, audience and everyone else would follow.

About 20 seconds into McAndrew’s performance, Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine turned his chair, indicating that McAndrew had passed this blind audition.

“It stopped being a show, and it turned into something I was thoroughly enjoying,” Levine said during the show after giving a standing ovation following McAndrew’s performance.

Despite his passing this audition within seconds, McAndrew’s nervousness increased as Levine stared him down. Once McAndrew hit the chorus of his song, Pharrell and Blake Shelton also turned their chairs in approval.

“I’ve been waiting for a voice like this,” Pharrell said, pitching himself as McAndrew’s coach following the performance.

From the moment Pharrell and Shelton turned their chairs and McAndrew was singing the chorus, his nerves finally subsided, and he later could describe the moment only as “surreal.”

The Path To ‘The Voice’

“The whole ‘Voice’ thing kind of came out of left field for me,” McAndrew said.

He admitted that during various performances, people would come up to him and suggest trying out for the show. He would shrug off these suggestions mainly because he lacked the confidence to go out on television and kick ass. He also felt the show wasn’t “his scene” because he had a true passion for creating his own music.

However, things have obviously panned out differently for McAndrew. He said the show is, for now, the center of his music career, and he is thrilled to be a part of “The Voice.”

This was possible with a little push from his best friend, Manahawkin resident Matthew Hillblom. Hillblom found out the show had a casting call in Philadelphia.

“He was the one who was like, ‘Dude, you’re in Philly. It’s right in your hometown. Like, you don’t really have any excuse to not do it,’” McAndrew said.

Auditions were held in Philadelphia back in January. Now in October, folks are seeing the benefits of that little push. He stood in front of four stars, three of whom were pitching themselves to be his coach. He selected Levine.

McAndrew could easily list the reasons why he selected Levine as his coach: He’s a “phenomenal” vocalist with a high range, a masterful falsetto and more. All of these are elements that McAndrew wants to work on. He also felt a connection to Levine because of the star’s musical background with Kara’s Flowers, the alternative band that eventually became Maroon 5. He noted the “Beatles lineage” Levine had with Kara’s Flowers.

McAndrew also appreciates what Levine is now – a commercial success with a more pop style.

“He represents what I would love to have as an artist,” McAndrew said. “He has a lot of artistic integrity, but his music is also accessible and reaches a lot of people.”

Levine also had some praise for McAndrew’s singing during the show, saying, “It is genre-less, and I think that’s it’s best quality.”

All kind words aside, we’ll now have to see how far McAndrew makes it.

“The Voice’s” current episodes are not live; we don’t know how far McAndrew makes it. Yet there is one certainty: The show will end. He hopes life doesn’t go back to normal.

McAndrew has put out a debut album, View of the Pines, and he believed it would be his big break after years of effort. He said the album hasn’t been dominating his life – “The Voice” has. But after the show is over, he wants to simply keep writing and performing.

McAndrew’s aspirations have always been high, creating a relentless motivation. While he’s currently sharing an apparent with his mother and sister in Philadelphia, their roots are on the Island.

“I’m from Barnegat Light. I grew up on LBI for my whole life before I went to college,” McAndrew said. “There wasn’t much of a music scene or culture much at all growing up. As you know, it’s pretty dead right now until summertime.”

McAndrew said that for much of his childhood, he tried to figure out who he was. He would just listen to music and walk the beach alone. He also wrote songs and hoped he would be the “one anomaly” that would live his dreams. Looking back, he calls the Island beautiful and a great place to grow up.

“Now, living in Philly, I appreciate it in a different way,” McAndrew said. “It’s just so beautiful. As beautiful and serene as it is, it obviously doesn’t afford you the same opportunities musically and culturally as living in a major city does. But, it was a great, isolated place for me to dream and build on things.”

He wants young people in the area who have similar aspirations to his to keep writing and pursuing those goals and hopes this can build the area’s music culture. He added that he didn’t realize how close Philadelphia and New York City are until he entered college, and he wants kids to realize those cultural hubs aren’t as far away as they appear.

“It’s easy to feel like you’re trapped in the middle of nowhere, but it is easy to get out and do something,” McAndrew said.

Reposted from The Sandpaper, 10/15/14 


Receive a discount on E-Z Pass if you’re over 65!

Did you know that if you’re over 65 you can receive a 10% discount on your E-ZPass tolls in New Jersey?  You can receive a 10% discount on tolls for the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike for travel Monday through Friday.

You’ll need to register online (if you have an E-ZPass account) or complete this form.  They do have restrictions and rules to follow so be sure to check out the E-ZPass Discount Page.

Check out this important money saving opportunity!

LBI & Ocean County Health Departments offer replacement KI pills

The Long Beach Island Health Department will be offering potassium iodide (KI) pills to people who live or work within 10 miles of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station. These areas include: Barnegat Light, Barnegat Township, Beachwood, Beach Haven, Berkeley Township, Toms River, Harvey Cedars, Island Heights, Lacey Township, Long Beach Township, Pine Beach, Ocean Township, Ocean Gate, Seaside Park, Ship Bottom, South Toms River, Stafford Township and Surf City.

If you have received KI pills in the past, check the expiration date. You can receive a replacement for outdated pills. Bring the outdated KI pills for proper disposal.

  • KI pills will be dispensed only for the number of people presently living in the household. One family member may pick up the pills for the household.
  • Bring identification to show that you live or work within the above listed areas – for example, driver’s license, property tax record, utility bill or employee ID card.
  • Anyone allergic to shellfish should consult his or her physician.
  • Anyone allergic to iodine cannot receive the KI pill.

The Long Beach Island Health Department will be distributing the KI pills at its office at 9306 Long Beach Blvd., Peahala Park on the following dates from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Thursday, Sept. 25; Friday, Oct. 3; Tuesday, Oct. 7; and Wednesday, Oct. 15.

Ocean County Health Department will also be offering KI pill distribution on the following dates:

  • Friday, 10/3/14, Lacey Township Community Center, 6 East Lacey Rd., Forked River, 3 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 10/8/14, Ocean County Fire and First Aid Training Center, 200 Volunteer Way, Waretown, 3 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, 10/30/14, the Barnegat branch of the Ocean County Library, 112 Burr St., 4 to 7:30 p.m.

For further information on the LBI program, call 609-492-1212 and ask for a public health nurse. For details on the county health department program, visit or call 732-341-9700, extension 7503.

Reposted from The, 9/25/14


BLTA September Meeting 2014 is a rousing success

The BLTA September 13th, General Meeting was held at the BL First Aid Squad Bldg. and over 80 people showed up to participate.  Several highlights were;

A Revised Constitution and Bylaws were read and approved.  They are available in the Resources section of this web site.

The election of Officers and Trustee’s were approved.  They are: Steve Danatos, President.  John Tennyson, Vice President.  Bruce Allen, Treasurer.  Dick Malacrea, Secretary.  Trustee’s, Lee-Anne Oros and Melinda Decker.

An informative discussion on our Local Regional School District was presented by;

Marilyn Wasilewski, President of the LBI School Board of Education and our representative to the SRSD Board of Education.

Dr. Craig Henry, Superintendent of the Southern Regional School District.

Steven Terhune, Asst. Superintendent and CFO of the SRSD.

Additional information, when supplied by the SRSD, will be posted on this Web Site.


BLTA September General Meeting

We look forward to seeing you at the Barnegat Light Taxpayer’s Association September General Meeting.

September 13th, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. at the First Aid Squad Building on 10th Street.

We are pleased to have as our guest speakers;

Marilyn Wasilewski, President LBI School Board

Craig Henry, Superintendent SRSD

Steven Terhune, Business Administrator SRSD

They will be pleased to answer your questions regarding the Schools portion of your Tax bill.

Refreshments will be served.  We look forward to your company.

Thank you, the BLTA.