Hop Sauce adds acclaimed bands

The 3rd Annual Hop Sauce Festival is heatinf-Hopsauce 2015 LM 1g up for June 4 at the Taylor Avenue waterfront in Beach Haven. Last year, 5,000 enthusiasts found good times at spring’s new hot sauce and craft beer festival, which this year is adding acclaimed bands along with artists from last fall’s homegrown Makers Festival.

Jetty, Spice it Up and Shore Point Distribution present the day that doubles as the Jetty Rock Foundation’s largest fundraising event for its charitable organization.

What’s new and notable for 2016 are nationally acclaimed co-headlining acts, The Lonely Biscuits and Craig Finn. And at the new Makeshift Row marketplace, find a cool collection of regional artisans.

The Lonely Biscuits, from Nashville, play soul, funk and pop blended with laidback hip-hop. As MTV’s “College Artists of the Year,” they were making waves on the college music scene while still students themselves.

They have played Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Hangout Fest, Austin City Limits and SXSW. Now it will be Hop Sauce, on the green at Taylor Avenue next to Bay Village and Schooner’s Wharf.

Craig Finn helped put his band, the Hold Steady, on the indie music map by threading lively narratives through his lyrics on five acclaimed studio albums. Most recently, Finn has cultivated his solo work, prompting Pitchfork to call him “a born storyteller who has chosen rock as his medium.”

This year’s music lineup is rounded out by Brooklyn indie outfit Small Black, the raw soul of Trevor Sensor and LBI locals Funk Shway. The festival stage is presented by Volkswagen of Toms River.

A creative draw from another angle will be artisans from Makers Fest, the enthusiastically received festival that debuted last year on a mainland farm. Makeshift Row at Hop Sauce will be a market-style shopping experience with a variety of wares. Their crafts cover handmade and vintage fashion, to woodworking, to photography and fine art, to food and music.

Organizers say the missions of both the Hop Sauce and Makers festivals “align in a shared vision of breeding and celebrating local culture.”

“I am very excited about collaborating with Makers Fest and adding some unique, creative artists to our vendor lineup.” said Regina Lotito, event director and owner of the Spice It Up shop in Bay Village. “They’ll add a new dimension to our own ‘home grown’ festival fare, brews, and hot sauce vendors.

Hot to Various Degrees Chased With Craft Beer

Hop Sauce plays host to 23 epic hot sauces and specialty foods including: Born to Hula, Heartbreaking Dawns, Red Hawk Premium Peppers, Hank Sauce, Whitehouse Station, High River Sauces, Jak Jeckel Pepper Sauce, Voodoo Chile, ‘Cue Culture, World Famous Hot Sauce, the Jam Stand, Gemini Crow, Feel the Flavor-Bonfatto’s Specialty Sauces, Deception Salsa, Fiery Fusions, St. Lucifer’s, Angry Goat Pepper Co., and Defcon, as well as Messy Brine Pickles and the Righteous Felon Jerky Cartel, Lord Dlarney’s Bloody Mary Mix, the Offbeat Gourmet and Bushwick Kitchen.

These sauces are the perfect compliments to the foods being sold at Hop Sauce by local restaurants: Shore Fire Grille, the Black Whale Bar & Fish House, Country Kettle Chowda, Buckalew’s Restaurant & Tavern, El Swell, the Arlington, The Chicken or the Egg, Barry’s Do Me a Flavor, Tuckers Tavern, Sea Shell Resort and Beach Club and Living on the Veg.

And then there’s the craft beer.

“With the expansion of Hop Sauce’s relationship with Shore Point Distribution and the Indie Craft Beer tent, Hop Sauce will offer tasting of some of the best craft brews, ciders and hard sodas from around the country,” invites a festival preview.

Tickets come at three price levels – general admission ($15 if purchased pre-event, or $20 at the gate); craft beer sampling ticket ($40 pre-event and $50 at the gate); and this year’s new VIP tent ticket ($100.)

The VIP tickets give access to the very cool VIP tent sponsored by Igloo Coolers and curated by Party By Design. Holders will get free food vouchers, first tastes, promos from the bands, “and a loot bag full of killer Jetty/Hop Sauce schwag.” Plus, waitresses will serve samples of all the craft beer.

To get tickets at pre-event prices, go to the link at jettylife.com, stop in at Spice It Up in Bay Village, Beach Haven, or stop at the Jetty Flagship Store, 509 North  Main St. (Route 9), Manahawkin.

Online ticket pre-sales are stopped on Thursday, May 26 to ensure that all tickets are delivered in time via U.S. mail.

Patrons must be 21 or older to obtain a craft beer or a VIP ticket. General admission without the beer tasting is open to all ages.

For updates, visit Hopsaucefest.com and follow the official social media outlets:facebook.com/hopsaucefest and @hopsaucefest on Instagram and Twitter.

Over the past two years, the event has allowed the Jetty Rock Foundation, the 501(C)3 charitable organization and nonprofit arm of the local Jetty apparel company to donate over $50,000 to initiatives including local scholarships, a sixth grade eco trip, more than 50 iPads and Chromebooks to grammar schools and the newly formed Jetty Entrepreneurship program at Southern Regional High School.

“Each year we are growing, but staying true to our roots and what we set to accomplish: to give our community not only a day to remember, but a chance to come together and be a part of giving back while having a lot of fun,” said Lotito.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Surf City man indicted on Sandy fraud charges

KevinTrottaA Surf City man has been indicted on charges of committing fraud by applying for Superstorm Sandy disaster funds to which he was not entitled. On Monday, Kevin Trotta, 51, was charged with six others with having filed fraudulent applications for relief funds offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Trotta allegedly fraudulently obtained a total of $12,820 by filing false applications following the storm for FEMA rental assistance and a state grant under the Homeowner Resettlement Program (RSP) on behalf of a relative for whom he had been named power of attorney.

In 2012, Trotta was reportedly living in a home on 10th Street in Surf City that was damaged by the storm. Because the home was not owned by Trotta, it is alleged that he filed false applications on behalf of the relative, claiming that the Surf City home was her primary residence at the time Sandy struck. The state’s attorney’s office alleges that, in reality, the relative’s primary residence was in Tucson, Ariz.

Trotta reportedly filed a joint application on behalf of himself and his relative that led to him receiving a $10,000 RSP grant. The state alleges he also filed an application on behalf of his relative, which led to $2,820 in FEMA rental assistance being paid into a joint account they held. Trotta is charged with third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification.

Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy said the seven individuals charged on April 25 join 57 others who have been charged with this type of fraud since March 2014.

“Under each of these disaster relief programs, it was made absolutely clear that only those whose primary residences were damaged qualified for aid, but these defendants selfishly lied about their situation to divert funding intended for those left homeless when Sandy struck,” said  Lougy. “It’s a sad truth that even in the direst of emergencies, when so many generous people step forward to lend a hand, there are others who will dishonestly exploit an offer of assistance.”

The others charged on Monday included James Avellini, 67, and Susan Horty-Avellini, 65, of Red Bank. The couple allegedly obtained a total of $49,969 by filing false applications for FEMA assistance under the RSP and Sandy Homeowner and Rental Assistance Program grants funded by the New Jersey Department of Human Services. The married couple falsely claimed in the applications that a storm-damaged property that they owned in Lavallette was their primary residence at the time Sandy hit while the couple’s primary residence was in Red Bank and the property in Lavallette was a seasonal home, according to the state. Both defendants are charged with third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification.

Claire P. Sullivan, 55, and Catherine Perry, 57, of Caldwell allegedly fraudulently obtained a total of $22,253 by filing false applications for RSP and the SHRAP grants. In addition, Sullivan allegedly attempted to obtain $77,801 by filing a false application for a grant from the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) Program. Sullivan was awarded $77,801, but no RREM monies were disbursed because she was later determined to be ineligible, according to the state. Sullivan and Perry, who are married, reportedly claimed in the applications that a storm-damaged residence they owned in Seaside Park was their primary residence at the time Sandy hit, while their primary residence was in Caldwell. Sullivan repaid the $10,000 RSP grant, but she is charged with second-degree attempted theft by deception and third-degree theft by deception. Perry is charged with third-degree theft by deception.

The state also alleges that Concetta Curry, 63, of Brooklyn, N.Y., fraudulently obtained a total of $18,883 from RSP and SHRAP. Curry allegedly falsely claimed on the applications that a storm-damaged property she owned in Brick was her primary residence when Sandy hit, but her primary residence was in Brooklyn and the Brick residence was a rental property. Curry is charged with third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification.

Similarly, Leonard Itri, 41, of Philadelphia, Pa., allegedly fraudulently obtained a total of $11,888 by filing false applications following Superstorm Sandy for FEMA rental assistance and  RSP. In addition, he allegedly fraudulently attempted to obtain $77,769 by filing a false application for a grant from the RREM program. He was awarded $77,769, but no RREM monies were disbursed because he was later determined to be ineligible, the state said. It is alleged that Itri falsely claimed in his applications that a storm-damaged property he owned in Ventnor was his primary residence, but it was his seasonal home. He repaid the $10,000 RSP grant. Itri is charged with second-degree attempted theft by deception, third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification.

The Attorney General’s Office is continuing its aggressive efforts to investigate fraud in Sandy relief programs, working jointly with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and the Offices of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“Through these joint investigations with our state and federal law enforcement partners, we’re working to ensure that limited disaster relief funds are allocated to the qualified victims who were hardest hit,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We’re also sending a deterrent message that we hope will reduce this criminal conduct in future emergencies, so relief administrators can focus on recovery efforts instead of policing fraud.”

In many of the 57 cases, applicants also applied for funds from a Sandy relief program funded by HUD, low-interest disaster loans from the SBA or assistance provided by the New Jersey Department of Human Services. The HUD funds are administered in New Jersey by the Department of Community Affairs.

Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.  Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of $10,000.

The new cases were investigated by detectives of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, HUD Office of Inspector General and SBA Office of Inspector General.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Barnegat Bay channel dredging postponed

The contract for dredging four area channels in Barnegat Bay off Barnegat Township and the Barnegat Light area requires that work hold off until after the summer, due to environmental restrictions.

The channels have been shallow since Superstorm Sandy. An earlier advertisement of the contract produced no bidders, but during a re-advertisement, the winning bidder was Great Lakes Dredging, the same company doing the Island-wide beach replenishment project.

The four channels to be dredged, in this order starting Oct. 1, are: Double Creek Mainland Channel starting at East Bay Avenue, Barnegat; Double Creek Inlet; High Bar Harbor Channel; and Barnegat Light Stake Channel, located off the municipal boat ramp in Barnegat Light.

The information was announced at a pre-construction meeting for the project held by the state Department of Transportation on April 21 in Barnegat, attended by Barnegat Township and Barnegat Light governing body members and others.

Dredge spoils for the first three segments of the project will be deposited at a containment site near the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township. Sand from the Barnegat Light Stake Channel will be pumped and deposited to the south of the jetty walkway, between Barnegat Lighthouse and where the walkway bends, officials said.

“Behind the jetty rocks there is a low area where they’re going to spread it out behind the walkway,” reported Barnegat Light Borough Councilman Ed Wellington, who attended the meeting, which was not open to the general public.

Plans call for closing the lighthouse area to the public temporarily in November while the sand is being pumped into its deposit area, contractors said.

According to the construction permit, the project cannot start until after Oct. 1 due to safeguards for young flounder and for submerged aquatic vegetation.

“The N.J. Department of Environmental Protection has rules against dredging at certain periods of the year,” said Wellington. The National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are also involved in the planning process.

The project permit states that dredging is not allowed between Jan. 1 and May 31 to protect the early life stages of winter flounder. Also, dredging is prohibited from April 15 to Sept. 30 due to DEP requirements to protect submerged aquatic vegetation.

The first indication that the public will see will probably be preparations for laying the pipeline near Barnegat around July and August, meeting attendees were told.

Looking at the 52-page packet of maps and plan drawings, Wellington pointed out that the first phase of the dredging will start at the Double Creek Mainland Channel, from the end of East Bay Avenue in Barnegat, northward through four miles of pipeline. The pipeline will be submerged except at four points where booster pumps are needed.

When that phase is finished, the pipeline will be shifted and Double Creek Inlet is next. Then, High Bar Harbor Channel will be dredged. Lastly, the Barnegat Light Stake Channel is slated for dredging at the end of November or the beginning of December.

“All the dredging is going to take place from October through December,” Wellington said.

By removing about 43,000 cubic yards from each area, the new channels will be dredged to a depth of at least 6 feet below mean low water, although some spots may be closer to 7 feet.

All in all, boaters will have to make do with shallow conditions for one more summer. Some of the channels in the bay requiring dredging are considered un-navigable by authorities, Wellington said.

For the most part, “High Bar Harbor Channel and Double Creek Channel haven’t been navigable since Sandy,” he explained. “You have to have a small boat to get through. High Bar Channel is very shallow in spots; you can’t get back there unless you have local knowledge and a shallow-draft boat.”

In the case of the Stake Channel around the municipal boat ramp and dock at West 10th Street, “In the worst spot, our channel is only a couple of feet,” Wellington said. “We’re going to have to go through another season with the shallow channel, but there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s better than having them do it in the middle of summer when we have all of our visitors and all of our boats in the water.

“We were looking at dredging it ourselves, but it would have cost us a lot of money.”

A copy of the charts, titled “Dredging and Channel Improvements” for the four channels, is available for view at borough hall on East Seventh Street in Barnegat Light, Wellington said.

“They do this all over the world. The engineer said, ‘For us, this is more of a pipeline project than a dredging project,’” Wellington reported. “They said, ‘We’re going to spend more time building a pipeline than the actual dredging.’”

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Project at West 14th Street in Ship Bottom nears completion

Infrastructure work at West 14th Street in Ship Bottom between Central and Barnegat avenues is winding down and is expected to be completed by the Memorial Day weekend.

Borough Administrator Brian Geoghegan said the project involved repairing water and sewer lines, and then resurfacing the street after the work is concluded.

He said the project will cost $1 million, with the infrastructure costing $563,500 and the resurfacing carrying a $436,500 price tag. Geoghegan said the latter project would receive a $186,000 reimbursement through a state Department of Transportation grant.

The borough authorized the project in a bond ordinance adopted last fall.

“You do the resurfacing at the end of the project because you don’t want to repave it, then find you have to open up the roads again,” Geoghegan said. “We also asked that while the road was opened if New Jersey Natural Gas needed to get in there, but they didn’t.”

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Beach Haven Volunteer Fire Co. holding triple housing ceremony

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A shiny, red fire truck that made its way to the Beach Haven Firehouse in September, a custom-built water rescue truck that was driven home from Texas in July and a 5-ton flood and forest fire response truck acquired through the New Jersey Forest Fire Service after Superstorm Sandy will all receive a proper dedication at the volunteer fire company’s triple housing on Saturday, April 30, from noon to 7 p.m. The rest of the Island’s fire companies will help members push the vehicles into the firehouse during the ceremony around 2 p.m.

“This has been a tradition of the fire service for a long time,” said Beach Haven Fire Chief Matt Letts.

A parade for the celebration, which starts promptly at noon at the Acme Supermarket in Long Beach Township, will include fire trucks, ambulances and marching units from over 30 different departments across New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Registration and judging will take place at St. Francis Community Center in Brant Beach, from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Trophies will be presented for the best-appearing and best-equipped vehicles as well as a few special awards.

The event, which was originally planned as part of the company’s annual block party during Chowderfest weekend in October, had to be rescheduled due to flooding concerns from a nor’easter. The company’s brand new fire truck, a 2015 pumper built by Spartan ERV in South Dakota, had just been picked up by members at the New Jersey State Firemen’s Convention in Wildwood. It has replaced a former truck that was totaled out due to rust and mechanical failures from Sandy. It has a 2,000 gallon per minute pump, which is more powerful than all the other vehicles the company utilizes, Letts said.

The department has a total of six vehicles and two Jet Skis. The new truck is the first out on all calls.

Alongside the triple housing ceremony, a re-dedication of the original section of the firehouse, which was constructed more than 100 years ago, will also take place during the event. The Rev. Frank B. Crumbaugh of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church in Beach Haven will offer the blessing.

Entertainment will be provided throughout the day by the Rock Lobsters and Under Pressure as well as a DJ. Beer and food from Colonial Village Caterers, which supplies the fire department’s annual turkey dinner, along with fire company merchandise, will be available for purchase.

For more information about the event, visit beachhavenfire.com/housing.php or call 609-492-6007.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Seven Stone to make LBI debut at Nardi’s

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The band Seven Stone has entertained the southern Jersey Shore for more than 10 years but will make its Long Beach Island debut this Friday night at Nardi’s Tavern in Haven Beach. The Mays Landing-based foursome is a solid guitar-bass-drums lineup that specializes in the tried-and-true formula of modern rock, pop hits and ’80s favorites.

The band has recorded a new single called “Single Revolution,” which was mixed and mastered in Nashville and is expected to be released “any minute now,” according to front man Jeff Bugdon. The hope is getting some airplay on local radio stations will garner some extra name recognition and further drive the momentum of the band’s cover career.

A staple of the Atlantic City casino circuit, Seven Stone has opened for heavy-hitting national acts such as Scott Weiland, Bret Michaels, Yellowcard and The Plain White Tees. Its secret to success? Top-notch musicality and energetic, action-packed performance.

Lead vocalist Bugdon is backed by guitarist Rich Fredericks, bassist Mickey Sacco and drummer Guy DeFalco.

The show at Nardi’s begins at 10 p.m.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Barnegat Light taxpayers weigh in on open space

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The Barnegat Light Taxpayers Association surveyed its members to ask what they would like to see at the former Coast Guard housing property between West Sixth and Seventh streets, and the answers are in.

The caveat is that the use must be some sort of “open space” function because the land was acquired by the borough for that purpose at a government auction. The borough’s winning bid of $3,090,000 Sept. 19, 2015 was made possible through funds from the 1 penny tax for open space preservation that voters approved seven years ago.

Sure enough, most suggestions fall in the category of a park “for relaxing in, with benches and trees” and “open space with walking path and plantings,” or some variation on that.

There are anomalies among the answers, such as “a high-class restaurant” that don’t fit the open space stipulations.

The printed list of answers has been presented to borough council by taxpayers association President John Tennyson. Responses to that and other survey questions sent out with the association’s annual membership drive will be discussed at the association’s June 18 meeting at 9:30 a.m. at the first aid squad building on West 10th Street.

“The part of the survey that we wanted to get out early to the mayor was specifically about the Coast Guard property,” Tennyson said.

Mayor Kirk Larson and council members have said they would be glad to receive the responses and will present them to the borough’s open lands committee at an upcoming meeting. The taxpayers association leadership had said they might as well include the Coast Guard property question on the survey along with other questions.

In the meantime, the borough has begun cleaning up the property by demolishing the defunct, detached housing units and pavement.

Architect Robert  Musgnug of Musgnug & Associates, Barnegat Light, is drawing a rendering as a launch pad for discussion at the open lands meeting, whose date has not been set, Larson said. The rendering will include a stage that could be used for concerts, as borough council has discussed.

“The key thing is that it validated the mayor’s position of moving forward at this point, and that’s why we wanted to get this information to him,” said Tennyson, “because his stated objective was to get the land cleared, the buildings demolished, grade it and plant grass seed, and then to have an open space meeting and decide what the next steps of beautification would be.

“Sixty-five percent of the people indicated that they would like a park or some park-like setting, so they validated the direction the  mayor is going,” said Tennyson. “There are the anomalies in there, such as somebody suggesting parking for food trucks.”

Said the mayor,” “It sounds like we’re doing what they want us to do; the majority said they want to watch concerts and have a passive park, where they can play Frisbee or anything like that; anything but a dog park.”

Tennyson said the thought of dogs in the new park brought out “strong feelings, both pro and con.”

Among other suggestions: a playground, a community farm, a running track, a soccer field, a bird sanctuary, historical information, a gazebo, public restrooms, “maybe a movie night once in a while.”

Both taxpayers association members and residents who are not members were included in the survey. There are 460 members of the Barnegat Light Taxpayers Association and 765 members and nonmembers on the association’s email base. There are 1,210 properties in the borough, some of them commercial.

With those background numbers in mind, 353 people had responded to the overall survey by early April. About 170 of those commented on the Coast Guard property question. Since then, about another 100 responses came in, but they did not change the percentages of resulting answers.

Tennyson said the second annual survey “is a very good way for our organization to get a handle on the pulse of all the owners, full-time and part-time.”

He termed taxpayer members as “interested people who want to get involved.” The president said he has seen that even at election times, “we all want the same things; some of us may take a different road to get there.”

Dues are $20 annually. More information can be found on the website barnegatlighttaxpayer.org.

In other activity, the taxpayers association is working on plans to install a mobile library near the front of the post office on West 10th Street later this spring.

The June 18 meeting will start with Long Beach Township Police Officer Megan Keller speaking on IRS phone scams and other community awareness information. Then the full survey results will be introduced ; lastly, the mayor will be available for questions and answers on borough matters.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Barnegat Light proposes summer parking ban along Central Avenue

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Parking regulations will be different this summer on Central Avenue in Barnegat Light: Beachgoers will have to park on side streets rather than on the main road.

The change is one that was talked about since last summer, when the number of parked cars on a weekend became enough to cause what the mayor and others saw as a hazard to pedestrians and cyclists, who had to veer out into the traffic lanes to get around the cars.

From June 1 to Oct. 1, under the ordinance introduced at the meeting, “no one shall park a vehicle at any time” on the “entire length” of Central Avenue. The seasonal ban also applies to West Fourth Street, for the same period.

Second reading and a public hearing are scheduled for May 11 at 5 p.m.

The ordinance drew questions from Central Avenue resident Becky Tarditi, who said the rule could cause “hardship” for owners and residents at three-family properties where visitors, especially those with handicaps, will have to park farther away.

“I think it will bring more safety than hardship,” Mayor Kirk Larson said. “We’ll see how it works this summer.”

Another part of the ordinance is amended to ban trailers, campers or large recreational vehicles from parking overnight between midnight and 5 a.m. anywhere in the borough during the season of June 1 through Oct. 1. Council members have said the ordinance is in answer to construction trailers parked for long periods and also to travel trailers. As the mayor described, “An Airstream sat there all summer long with no license plate, and we had no law against it.”

On another front, forget last month’s proposal to move the dog park adjacent to its present site on West 10th Street; borough council “decided to keep the dog park where it is,” said Larson.

However, a card-swiping system is being implemented in time for the busy season, under current plans outlined in an ordinance introduced on first reading. The system will allow borough officials to set reasonable times when the dog park will be open, possibly at a suggested time of 8:30 a.m. until dark, the mayor said.

Neighbors have been complaining of noise and disruption from people going into the dog park at midnight and all hours of the early morning.

“People have been going in at 5 o’clock in the morning. That’s not going to happen,” Larson said. “All we’re trying to get is a handle on it.

“And we’re hearing all kinds of stories about people getting bitten. If a dog bites somebody, I’ll take them right out of the system.”

Under the proposed new rules, the park will be for use by those who have a dog license in Barnegat Light or in another municipality, said Councilwoman Dottie Reynolds, who chairs the beaches and parks committee.

Barnegat Light residents can register their dog free of charge and receive an annual entry card to the park; however, the cost to nonresidents will be $30 for the season or $10 per week under the proposal.

The registration system sets provisions for control of dogs in the park in the following manner: “Licensed and supervised dogs may run at large upon the lands of the municipal recreation property in the designated dog park area without leash, so long as each dog is properly controlled and monitored to prevent any injury, damage or soil to any person, property or other animal in the area. In the event that a dog attacks any person or other dog, the Borough Animal Control Officer shall take enforcement action as provided by law, and the Borough shall ban said dog from the municipal dog park. The offending dog owner shall further be liable for the penalties provided in this Chapter.”

The subject will arise again when the ordinance comes up for second reading and a public hearing May 11.

The adjacent ball field will get a few adjustments, including 50 feet of 12-foot-high fence down the side. It will be a “regulation-sized” field, the mayor assured.

Kayakers will see new registration requirements and rules for mooring along the bayfront this spring and summer under a new ordinance introduced at the April meeting. The rules will also apply to all “non-motorized” watercraft, such as rowboats. A $10 registration fee will be required. Mooring areas will be limited to 10th to 12th streets, and 24th to 30th streets along the beach. The bay cannot be used for mooring the watercraft from Dec. 1 to April 1.

The ordinance states: “Any person desiring to moor and/or use the Borough’s bayfront area for any boat, kayak or personal watercraft (non-motorized) of any kind may do so only after registering said vessel with the Borough of Barnegat Light.”

One impetus behind the registration is that too many owners of kayaks and rowboats leave them abandoned all winter, or leave the cement anchors littering the area, council members said.

Also, the area has “accumulated a lot of garbage,” Councilman Ed Wellington said, “cinder blocks, old tires filled with concrete, that people used as anchors. In the next month we’re going to start to clean up all that stuff there and put anchors in the area, tied together with chains.”

Public hearing and second reading are scheduled for May 11 at 5 p.m.

Enforcement will start with a note asking owners to register if they have not, Wellington said.

The registration application will ask for a description of the vessel, the owner’s full name, residence address, business address, driver’s license number, boat license number (if applicable), boat state registration number (if applicable), residence and business telephone numbers and an emergency telephone number.

The borough passed a resolution approving a liquor license transfer for the Barnegat Light Liquor Store at 608 Broadway. The applicants are John and Theodora Kiley of Ijamsville, Md., filing under the trade name “The Keepers Barnegat Light Liquor Store.” The current owner is Ellyn Halvorsen.

In other business, the town-wide yard sale is set for May 14. Residents who want to register may do so at borough hall at a cost of $3, which will include two balloons to alert shoppers to the sale.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Barnegat Fire Safety Council may add more members

f-Wildfire Warren Grove BlazeBarnegat Township Committeeman Frank Caputo said he was encouraged about the prospects for the recently formed Wildfire Safety Council, which held its initial meeting on April 18. It will meet again on Thursday, June 9.

Created by a recently adopted ordinance, the panel aside from Caputo includes John Cowie, the fire company’s fire prevention specialist; police Lt. Keith Germain, who is also emergency management coordinator; John Hess, township engineer; and Rico Fischer, construction code enforcement officer.

Also serving are three residents from wildfire risk developments: Nancy Reid, Horizons at Barnegat; James Mihalik, Pheasant Run; and Charlie Thomas, Four Seasons at Mirage. Those residential communities have all received “Firewise” designations through the New Jersey State Forest Fire Service, which encourages communities to develop projects to slow or stop the progress of a wildfire.

“The primary focus of this council will be education and prevention,” said Caputo. “People need to have an understanding and awareness of the wildfire risks. Fortunately, the town has already gotten a jump on this through the Firewise programs, but we can always do more.”

Caputo said it is possible the council could have more members.

“At the meeting, there were people from the Brighton at Barnegat and Pinewood Estates (mobile home) communities,” said the committeeman. “They were ground zero during the (the latest) forest fire, so they certainly are aware of how parts of our town are susceptible to forest fires.”

Caputo was referring to the May 15-16, 2007 wildfire that burned approximately 17,000 acres and forced numerous communities in Barnegat and Stafford townships to evacuate. The massive blaze originated from a flare fired from an F-16 fighter jet at the Warren Grove Gunnery Range.

“I was on the township committee at that time, and that taught us how wildfire management is extraordinarily important,” said Mayor John Novak. “We have so many people living in the Pinelands, so we have to be on the forefront of education and awareness.”

Caputo said he is looking to have a special council meeting where they could perhaps get speakers from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service and other agencies.

“The more people we can get involved from the community, the better off we will be,” he said.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Surf City wants beaches at 20th and 21st Streets fixed

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Because many of Surf City’s dunes were greatly damaged by Winter Storm Jonas in late January, local officials had hoped the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would take care of the repairs and foot the bill. But assistance through the Federal Control and Coastal Emergency Act won’t be available until sometime next year, borough Councilman Peter Hartney stated at the council’s regular meeting on Wednesday, April 13.

The steep dune drop-offs at 20th and 21st streets, however, need to be repaired quickly so the public can safely use the area.

“You’ve got a 12-foot drop there. You’d fall and go boom,” Hartney said.

If the town wants to make the area accessible at this time, the Army Corps has said it’s Surf City’s responsibility to pay for it, the councilman stated.

The town is in the process of applying for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has offered reimbursement through its Public Assistance grant program to state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of eligible public facilities damaged by Jonas. But Hartney expects the town will have to pay for the work itself.

“When we’ve made those applications in the past, FEMA says, ‘You’re not the party responsible for it. It’s the Army Corps of Engineers’ and they already have money for it, so we’re not going to cover you under the disaster act,’” the councilman stated. “It becomes a kind of conundrum.”

Town officials are looking to have the repairs completed by Ocean County through its shared services agreement in the near future.

“We have to kind of wait until mid-May to do the work because the winds need to turn around, and we have to watch how much sand comes back in and how the beach moves in terms of the physics of it,” Hartney explained.

Because the drop-offs are so steep and there’s no sandbar off the beach, the councilman expects the repairs will require extensive labor.

“There’s a big hole there,” Hartney said. “At high tide, the tide comes right up to the dune. So there’s no sand to push to make it accessible. It’s so high that you wouldn’t push off enough sand to do it anyway. So you have to bring in sand and cut the dune down and do a lot more work to it.”

The town had to fund similar repairs to another section of the beach following the nor’easter in 2009 that was later rebuilt by the Army Corps.

Hartney hopes to have 20th and 21st streets included in the town’s remaining replenishment project that’s anticipated to start after North Beach’s eminent domain proceedings. But the DEP has not yet given the town a definitive answer, he said.

“If they just did the replenishment from where the project ended the last time, north of 22nd Street, they would leave that damaged dune from 22nd Street south untouched,” Hartney said. “They would be putting a new beach next to a damaged beach, so I’ve asked them if they’re going integrate that beach into the project.”

In other meeting news, Mayor Francis Hodgson said he had been told by Sen. Cory Booker’s office that there may be some federal money available for dredging Barnegat Bay. Hodgson had sent a letter to federal, state, county and local officials about the matter when residents expressed concern about excessive flooding from Jonas.

“We’re going to follow it through and see what happens. It might help,” the mayor stated, adding that the dredging ban was lifted for Atlantic and Cape May counties. “It seems like they’re sitting up and paying attention, so I imagine they’re having this problem up the whole coast from storm Sandy. Everybody’s complaining about the tides.”

In reference to the proposed sale of the Long Beach Island Grade School, Hodgson said the title would be transferred to Ship Bottom for $9 million, and the cost would be split with the school’s other four sending municipalities.

“For our share, that means we’ll just pay the tax. We don’t get anything for it,” Hodgson stated.

The transfer would require a bond referendum for the remaining funds needed to enlarge and modify the Ethel A. Jacobsen School in Surf City, to accommodate the district’s entire student body. Hodgson said he doesn’t believe taxes would increase.

The town is receiving $325,000 from the state Department of Transportation’s Fiscal Year 2016 Municipal Aid Program for work on Barnegat Avenue. The competitive program received 641 applications, Councilwoman Jackie Siciliano said.

Council members authorized a resolution for a $1,031.37 change order for a reduction in the original contract for repairs to the Department of Public Works roof, which were recently completed.

Council also passed a resolution for repairs to water well 7 for approximately $11,643.

A request by a couple on Eighth Street to move their home into the west side shoulder of Barnegat Avenue this fall for the installation of pilings was approved as well.

Ordinance amendments for zoning filing fees and boat ramp and parking lot fees, as well to disallow the obstruction of a water meter pit, water turn-on/turn-off pit and/or any connecting lines and pipes were all passed on first reading.

Councilman William Hodgson reminded the public that dogs are allowed on the beach only until the end of the month. Seasonal beach badges will be on sale for $25 beginning April 27 and can be purchased at borough hall seven days a week.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Clean Ocean Action releases Beach Sweeps Report

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A list of the 12 most common beach cleanup finds – known as “The Dirty Dozen” – and a tally of unusual items – “The Roster of the Ridiculous” – are included in Clean Ocean Action’s 2015 Beach Sweeps Report, which the nonprofit released last week. Beach Sweeps is New Jersey’s largest volunteer-driven environmental cleanup, and the annual marine debris collection data is used for education, and to fight for better anti-litter programs.

“Over the last 30 years of Beach Sweeps we have seen the types of debris change in quantity and quality, but two things remain the same,” noted COA Executive Director Cindy Zipf. “First, litter, especially plastic, is harmful and even lethal to marine life and it is on the rise. Second, you can always count on the small and the tall to volunteer to help clean up beaches. We call that Jersey Pride. Of course our goal is to have clean beaches naturally by reducing litter, but in the meantime, we are grateful to all: sponsors, beach captains, and volunteers,” who have picked up millions of pieces of trash from the beaches over the course of three decades.

In 2015, COA reports, 6,375 volunteers collected, tallied and removed more than 332,003 pieces of debris from New Jersey’s shoreline during Clean Ocean Action’s 30th Annual Beach Sweeps. Plastics – the majority of which was disposable plastic – comprised the majority of the debris.

“Of the 260,624 plastic items collected, 70.6 percent were single use,” noted Lauren Brajer, COA communications and program coordinator. “This means a plastic item intended for one-time use makes up the vast majority of the largest category of beach litter. This demonstrates that we are a plastic society. We encourage everyone to take our ‘Plastic Pledge’ and kick your daily plastic habits.”

Catie Tobin COA marine science program manager, pointed out that this year, glass bottles made “The Dirty Dozen,” while “The Roster of the Ridiculous” included a vacuum cleaner, half a dollar bill and a kitchen sink.

“While some of these items can make you smile, litter is a serious threat to marine life,” said Tobin. “The legacy of data we have collected is a call to action to reduce sources.”

Marine Academy of Science and Technology senior Kaylie Haberstroh, who has participated in the Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweeps for the past four years, noted, “Every year, I am amazed by how many people come out, and how eager they are to help.”

To learn more about Beach Sweeps, visit cleanoceanaction.org.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Pre-construction Causeway Bridge traffic pattern delayed

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Travel on the Route 72 Causeway Bridge, originally expected to return to its pre-construction traffic pattern this week, has been delayed, according to the state Department of Transportation.

The building of a new bridge as well as rehabilitation of the original bridge is part of an ongoing $350 million construction project.

“Due to last week’s weather, the changeover to the new bridge was delayed along with the implementation of summer traffic patterns,” said DOT spokesman Kevin Israel on Wednesday. “Our crews are working on paving and expect to have one lane over to the new bridged at the end of the week. We are striving to coordinate traffic along multiple contracts of work and, in doing so, trying to avert any travel issues as we open lanes.”

Israel said the DOT will release more complete information on the plans later this week.

Single-lane closures were originally expected to occur until May 14, at which time all lanes were said to stay permanently open during the summer. However, that schedule could now be delayed. To allow for seasonal traffic, construction will at some point move from the north side of the bridge decks to off-bridge work.

The existing Manahawkin Bay Bridge, which is structurally deficient and functionally obsolete after 53 years in existence, will be closed to traffic for rehabilitation when the new span is completed, officials said. Upon completion of the rehabilitation work, it will serve as the bridge for westbound traffic. The new bridge, at 2,400 feet long with a vertical clearance of 55 feet over Manahawkin Bay, will ultimately function as the bridge for eastbound traffic when the project is finished.

The progression is intended to maintain two travel lanes in each direction during busy summer seasons, from mid-May to mid-September, throughout daytime hours and weekends, officials stated. The contractor is allowed single-lane closures overnight and during the off-season, but one lane will always be maintained in each direction.

The new bridge parallel to the existing one over Manahawkin Bay will provide another route on or off the Island in the event that one of the bridges needs to be closed. This design is consistent with Gov. Christie administration objectives to build in strength or redundancy to better withstand future storms, the DOT noted.

The existing Causeway sustained relatively minor damage during Superstorm Sandy, but future storm damage is a concern because it provides the only way for motor vehicles to get on and off Long Beach Island.

Work on the project, which began in 2013, will continue through 2020.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Street bears name of noted Harvey Cedars family

t1200-Vosseller Way HCHarvey Cedars resident John Lloyd Vosseller Jr. figured he was in for some surprises at his recent retirement party, but he sure didn’t expect that the street he lives on would bear his name.

According to an ordinance introduced by the Harvey Cedars Borough Commission, West 84th will be renamed “Vosseller Way.” Earlier this year, Vosseller retired as public works superintendent after nearly 40 years with the department.

Borough Clerk Daina Dale said the two-block road runs from Long Beach Boulevard to the bay.

“There are 12 homes on it,” said Borough Clerk Daina Dale. “We thought it would be a fitting tribute because his family has been there for a long time, and he has also been a fixture in town.”

Mayor Jonathan Oldham, who is the public works commissioner, said Vosseller has “had a long, distinguished career in Harvey Cedars.”

“He knows every water main and pipe in town,” said Oldham. “He is also a longtime member of the (High Point Volunteer) fire company. After storms, you could see him on the beach pushing up sand. He was a tireless worker.”

Vosseller joined the department as a laborer in 1976. He was made assistant superintendent in 1992. Prior to his DPW career, he worked as an auto mechanic at the old Harvey Cedars Exxon station, now known as Harvey Cedars Auto.

A 1968 graduate of Southern Regional High School, Vosseller said his grandfather, Lloyd M. Vosseller, built the West 84th Street home in the 1930s.

“To have this street name for my family is such an honor,” he said. “This was a wonderful surprise.”

A congratulatory resolution presented to Vosseller at the retirement party highlighted his family’s accomplishments, such as his father, Jack Vosseller, taking on jobs as building inspector and zoning officer in 1949 and then becoming tax assessor in 1951. His annual salary as assessor was $450.

“Now we also find as an aside that as of 1954, Jack was Chief of the High Point Fire Department. Upon the resignation of Commissioner (E. Howell) Smith in 1954, Mayor Joseph Yearly and Commissioner Reynold Thomas selected him to fill the unexpired term of commissioner of revenue & finance, so he had to resign his paid positions with the borough.”

The resolution noted that in 1954, Jack was named chief of the High Point Fire Co., and later that year selected to fill the unexpired commissioner of revenue and finance, so he had to resign his paid positions with the borough. His wife, Elsie Vosseller, was appointed tax assessor in his place, a position she filled until her retirement at the end of 1976.

“Jack and Elsie continued to keep the borough functioning, with a little help from a few others, until the Great March Storm of 1962,” the resolution said. “At that time, Jack resigned as commissioner to become the full-time superintendent of public works and water, effective April 1, 1962. This was a position he held until he retired in December of 1977, leaving the DPW in the hands of Arthur Ballinger, with the DPW workers who included Tommy Major, Jack Sabins, Ronnie Acton, and our own John Lloyd Vosseller, Jr. who had been hired in 1975.”

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Buzz about new biz in Stafford Township

f-Stafford Business ConstructionStafford Township is a growing municipality with construction projects going up seemingly here, there and everywhere. Zoning official Bonnie Flynn shed some light on what’s what.

On a shared lot with the Lucille’s Own-Make Candies on Route 72, an expansion of the Lester Glenn Auto Group is moving in.

Over on Martin Truex Jr. Boulevard, an Aldi grocery has been approved between the Sonic Drive-in and the BJ’s Wholesale Club.

With modified approval, the large steel-framed structure on East Bay Avenue between Lube Drx and TD Bank will soon house an Allied Construction retail showroom and commercial storage space. On the other side of TD Bank, a lot has been cleared where an old, vacant house was being occupied and vandalized by squatters and then demolished by the property owner for safety reasons. An office building will take its place.

Meanwhile, on the west side of town, Walters Group is moving forward with its plan to build 102 affordable housing units over by Stafford Preserve.

Addressing rumors about Panera Bread, Chick-fil-A, Dollar General and CVS, Flynn said no approvals have been given for any of them.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Rate up half a penny for Beach Haven School’s proposed budget

A public hearing for Beach Haven School’s proposed budget for the 2016-17 school year will be held at the school on Monday, April 25, at 6 p.m., before the regularly scheduled board meeting. The $2,221,649 total projected budget is an increase of $254,903 from last year’s adopted plan, according to Brian Falkowski, the school’s business administrator.

The amount to be raised by taxation is $1,811,354, which is an increase of $111,637 over the previous year, Falkowski stated. The anticipated local tax rate per $100 of assessed property value is 10.7551 cents. It is an estimated increase of half of one penny from the 2015-16 budget, he noted. The elementary school district annual tax for a home assessed at $700,000 would be $752.857, or $62.738 a month.

School Choice Aid decreased from $164,983 last year to $139,601, Falkowski noted.

New initiatives affecting this year’s budget include $125,000 for building and maintenance projects, he added

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Tax rate stable under 2016 Barnegat Light budget

In a town worth a billion dollars, a $3.3 million budget that keeps the municipal tax rate stable in 2016 was passed by Barnegat Light Borough Council April 13.

“The owner of a home assessed at $783,880, the borough-wide average, can expect the municipal portion of their tax bill to remain flat at $1,662, assuming no increase in assessed value of the property,” said the budget narrative provided by borough Chief Financial Officer Kathleen Flanagan.

The municipal purposes rate in Barnegat Light is 21.2 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, same as in 2015.

An overall increase in ratables was the reason that the tax levy did not have to be raised, Flanagan said.

The 2016 ratable base is $1,000,433,437, an increase of $1.9 million over last year’s figure of $998,457,192.

The 2016 water and sewer rates will remain unchanged from the previous year.

Details of budget appropriations show that the police contract and the amount that the borough pays down its debt service each account for 27 percent of budgeted expenditures for 2016. Next is beaches, at 17 percent, followed by garbage removal at 14 percent. Insurance accounts for 9 percent of the budget.

In dollars, the figures are: police, $605,201; debt service, $598,270; beaches, $367,500; garbage and trash, $315,000; insurance, $189,900; utilities, $116,500; and capital improvement fund, $25,740.

The amount budgeted for municipal purposes totals almost to the penny the same as 2015.

The percentage devoted to debt service raised the only question from the public at the public hearing. Flanagan said the borough is paying down amounts spent on repairs and on the purchase of the Coast Guard property, now renovated as the new town hall.

Last year’s debt service was $305,000 and this year’s budgeted amount is $561,000. “But even with the additional payment that we’re making on the Coast Guard property, we are able to keep the tax rate the same,” Flanagan said.

Looking back five years, the budget for 2012 was $3,071,915. The 2015 and 2016 amounts are both $3,341,612.

Besides revenue from property assessments, a couple of other areas produced more than expected in 2015. Beach badge sales brought in $236,309 when $202,175 had been expected in the budget. Fees and permits totaled $190,442, whereas $136,850 was budgeted.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Health benefits of ionized water

Ionized water with attributed health benefits can be made right at home by a device installed by Dependable Environmental Solutions.

“This is a machine that takes normal tap water and creates alkaline, antioxidant water,” explained Mike Mercadante of DES.

The Enagic machine creates Kangen Water, what Mercadante believes and what many in the science community say is “the best water you can drink.”

“This is FDA and EPA approved. It’s nontoxic. The company is out of Japan; it’s been around since 1974, it’s a multibillion-dollar company selling in 120 countries. And the U.S. is the smallest market,” Mercadante marveled.

That’s because the marketing of bottled water in America is a huge industry. What drinkers of bottled water, and even tap water, in this country don’t know is that much of it is acidic, Mercadante said, proving that in tests given for the public twice a month in his Manahawkin office.

More and more people are learning that the ph balance in the blood is very important to good health. So the water that goes into the bloodstream should be of a healthy balance. That is just one of the basics behind the merit of alkaline water.

“When we’re born, we are born with an alkaline system inside, and as we grow older, through the foods we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, our system becomes acidic,” Mercadante explained.

“The blood system wants this alkalinity in it, because in an alkaline system cancer doesn’t thrive, inflammation doesn’t happen, arthritis doesn’t occur.”

And dehydration is less prevalent, he added, citing medical evidence.

“In the water that we typically drink from our bottled water and tap water, we receive about 20 percent of that water into the hydration of our bloodstream. Because it’s acidic, it doesn’t make its way into our system; it gets released.

“But with alkaline water, we get about 80 percent hydration into our body.

“The great majority of Americans are clinically dehydrated. They don’t know that the water they’re drinking is acidic and it’s not hydrating.”

One way to change that is to eat alkalizing foods, which include a lot of organic, fresh fruits and vegetables. “The other way to do it is to simply drink alkaline water, which will immediately infuse into your body and create an alkaline system inside.”

On an acid-alkaline scale of zero to 14, the home-installed device makes water that tests at the 8 to 9 level. The remaining acidic water that comes out of a separate tap after the processing has other possible uses, such as cleaning vegetables.

The device sells for about $1,500 to $4,500, depending on the model.

Mercadante described what happens when tap water is processed through the countertop device. “When the water goes in, it goes through a carbon filter and then there are eight platinum plates that are electrified that separate the acid and the alkaline in the water.” Chlorine and fluoride are removed as well.

“The machine actually talks to you and tells you what’s going on.”

Other health and environmental benefits are gained.

“There are no more plastic bottles, which is a big thing in the United States; we put 63 million bottles of plastic into our environment daily,” Mercadante noted.

Also, the plastic comprising many store-bought bottles contains a chemical known as BPA, which can leach into the water at temperatures over 50 degrees, Mercadante pointed out.

“What we use is BPA-free plastic, so that there is no leaching.”

The composition of tap water is a subject too complex to detail here, as each municipality’s pipes are of different age and condition, necessitating adding chlorine, for instance. Suffice to use Mercadante’s words that “the government has standards that they have to be under” as to acceptable parts per million of chemicals, “but as the years have gone by, these standards have raised in parts per million to numbers that are crazy from what they were 10 years ago.”

To invite the public to see for themselves how they feel when they drink the Kangen Water, Dependable Environmental Solutions/Dependable Environmental Protection has set up a water store in the office at 16 Jennings Road, Manahawkin.

“Whatever you’re spending on a monthly basis, you can spend here and get better water,” Mercadante invited. “The company says that three out of five people who do that, buy these machines.

“For me, I’m promoting my business by giving people the opportunity to first test the water to see if it makes a difference, and if it does, they can either keep coming to me to get the water, or they can buy a machine.”

DES can be reached by phone at 609-290-6513.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Tree and garden care on the shore with ‘Yo Buck’

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Maybe this winter went on the record books as being a mild one but the worse winter nor’easter, nicknamed “Jonas,” was so bad –with below-freezing temperatures, snow, howling winds and storm-driven salt spray – it has kept Marty Weber and Jeff Poissant, owners of Yo Buck Landscaping, very busy.

Recently, they surveyed the damage at a heavily wooded ocean property on Long Beach Island and had to stake up a number of evergreens that had bent over from the heavy snow load.

“Some will come back fine, other’s won’t,” said Weber. “We had multiple trees that were uprooted. It doesn’t take all that much to uproot a tree growing in the sandy soil.”

Also on their chores list was trimming some browned evergreen limbs that had been hit with sand and salt. Japanese black pine, once the go-to tree for salty environments because of their salt tolerance, are now being attacked by the black turpentine beetle. Weber and Poissant had to cut down two older trees that had first turned completely brown and then lost all the needles and died. The evidence of the beetle was found at the bottom of the tree where the pitch had poured out and formed “sap volcanoes.”

“That’s a sure sign of beetles,” said Weber.

Japanese black pine has two other pests that attack it: a blue fungus and nematodes, which are brought to the trees by another beetle, the pine sawyer. It seems older trees are more susceptible. Many landscapers are now looking for substitutes to use as wind breaks rather then the iconic Japanese black pine.

Yo Buck has had success with Green Giant arborvitae and Leyland cypress trees. Both are fast growers that also have the added benefit of being deer-resistant.

Another tree that is doing well on Long Beach Island is the London plane tree. This tree is also fast growing and has attractive bark patterns that resemble camouflage. It is the second-most planted tree in New York City because it survives urban conditions such as compacted soils.

One of Weber’s favorites is the Nellie Stevens holly. “It does really well and has lots of berries for the birds.”

River birch is another tree to try; its exfoliating trunk is also attractive.

Shrubs that add interest to the garden are the Golden Mop Top cypress with its yellow green fronds that can be trimmed to a ball or left “shaggy.” Inkberry holly grows to the size of a shrub and has black berries that birds love. This is a native plant and well adapted to local conditions.

Yo Buck’s favorite rose is the Knock-Out (trademarked) rose, which adds color to the landscape and is particularly hardy and disease resistant. Rugosa roses are another seaside favorite but are invasive, said Poissant. “They grow great on a sand dune, but in the garden you have to watch them. They will take over.”

Other Island favorites are hydrangeas, crepe myrtle and vitex.

“All flowering plants need sun,” said Weber. “The vitex is a blue spike flower that is a lot like a lilac, and they bloom in June and July, which is when people are here at the shore.”

The landscapers also plant window boxes and annual boarders when conditions are right for added color.

Yo Buck has been working on the Island since the early 1990s. The owners like the niche they have carved out for themselves – keeping plants thriving in a sandy, desert-like environment.

For more information call 609-698 BUCK.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


ReClam the Bay and Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration Program seek volunteers

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The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County’s Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration Program and ReClam the Bay nonprofits are inviting interested volunteers to an open house on Tuesday, April 26, at 7 p.m. at the Cooperative Extension office in Toms River. The open house is to start volunteers on their path to learn to tend aquaculture gardens and grow clams and oysters for reintroduction to Barnegat Bay. As a “certified shellfish gardener,” each volunteer would also be able to teach others about the importance of shellfish in cleaning the water and improving the health of the bay.

ReClam the Bay will be opening two new nursery teaching centers on the bay this summer, one in Island Beach State Park and the other at Traders Cove Park in Toms River.

According to its press release, ReClam last year reached more than 10,000 people with the story of clams and the bay “from the bottom up and what people can do to help from the top down.”

The Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration program is part of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Shellfisheries. The ReClam the Bay nonprofit provides volunteers for the program while the BBSR provides guidance and education to the volunteers.

BBSR and ReClam volunteers raise about a million clams and 300,000 oysters for release in the bay. Last year they started a new project to return bay scallops to the wild, another shellfish once common in Barnegat Bay.

While raising baby clams and educating the public about their value is the primary mission of the groups, they look for members of all ages and talents in teaching, public relations, computer skills and more.

The seven-week spring course to become a certified shellfish gardener is held every Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. An additional course is held in the fall. The spring course is $75 for adults and $35 for college and high school students. To pre-register for the course starting May 3, send checks, payable to Ocean County Board of Agriculture, to Rutgers Cooperative of Ocean County, 1623 Whitesville Road, Toms River, NJ 08755.

The April 26 open house at the office is free. Call 732-349-1152 for additional information.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Former Beachview Farms manager at Sassafras Hill

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Chris Adams, the former manager for Beachview Farms in Manahawkin, recently joined the staff of Sassafras Hill Farm in Barnegat Township in the same capacity. The 27.5-acre farm is located at 1519 Route 554 (West Bay Avenue) and also has a stand set up nearby, at 184 Route 72.

Adams’ position with Sassafras Hill coincides with the business’ move to expand.

“We used to sell exclusively to farms,” said Tina Mueller, co-owner with her husband, Jay Thompson. “But last year we set up at the farm market in Surf City, and we’re looking to sell to the consumer.”

At Beachview, Adams had spent three years cultivating the farm before the owners closed up shop last fall. He said he was pleased with the progress he had made toward his goal, which, all along, was to give people an alternative for fresh produce, to change the way they buy and even perceive food. He took comfort in knowing his education and experience would carry him far, and he is excited about his new opportunity at Sassafras Hill.

Adams said organic food is free of GMOs, genetically modified organisms.

“You also won’t get pesticides and herbicides,” he said. “A lot of people think that pesticides and herbicides don’t get into the food, but a majority of these chemicals are not water soluble, so they do enter the food.”

Adams also stresses the importance of consuming “locally grown food.”

“The quality of food can be harmed if it is shipped all over the country,” he said. “About 40 percent of the food can be lost to waste.”

Mueller said Adams “will be taking Sassafras Hill Farm to new heights.”

“Chris is an accomplished graduate of Delaware Valley University in Pennsylvania as a soil agronomist, horticulturalist, and farmer,” she said. “This combination of academics and practical farming skills accounts for only part of his success in farming. Chris, like Jay and I, is passionate about food and farming, and will spearhead cultivation at Sassafras. We feel confident in relying on Chris’ capabilities and commitment to good, sustainable farming practices.”

Thompson and Mueller purchased the land in 2000, at which point it had never been developed or farmed.

“We had it tested for contaminants and were assured of clean soils,” said Mueller. “We cleared the land while we gradually and sustainably raised its pH, increased its organic matter, and developed its fertility.”

Mueller said 10 to 12 acres are under field cultivation.

“Jay and I began by planting what the land could support and continue to do so,” she said. “This has been a slow but fruitful process. We never forced the land with synthetic fertilizers or the like. We gradually added lime, crushed rock, leaf mold, organic mushroom compost, and planted and plowed in cover crops, also called green manures, to develop natural fertility in the land. Early years concentrated on cover crops such as Alsike clover, winter rye, buckwheat, crimson clover and vetch. We harvested lightly and tilled the remainder in to nourish our soils.”

Mueller said plans call for cultivating more crops such as ginseng, goldenseal and mushrooms.

“We will support our community by offering seminars and events related to agricultural and food education,” she said. “Future plans also include a commercial kitchen in which to teach and to prepare food products from the farm.”

In the spring, Sassafras will be growing radishes, Swiss chard, kale, beets, mixed greens, peas and carrots.

“Then we’ll progress into summer crops with onions, garlic, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, summer squashes, potatoes, watermelon, European melons, wild foraged blueberries, herbs and cut flowers,” said Mueller. “Come autumn we’ll return to the cooler weather spring crops: leeks, pumpkins, winter squash and the like.”

For more information, call Sassafras Hill Farm at 609-698-1110.

Reposted from The Sandpaper