Super plunge draws super turn-out

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St. Francis Community Center in Brant Beach hosted its 12th annual Super Plunge on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 7. The event, held to raise money for the community center and the boys and girls Southern Regional High School swim teams, energized 233 people to brave the 39-degree Atlantic Ocean for a splash in, splash out cooldown. Prizes were given for most funds raised, youngest and oldest plunger, best costume and more.

More pictures and video at The Sandpaper.

Barnegat Acme opens with a ‘blizzard’ of activity

A morning snowstorm on Feb. 5 was not going to deter Barnegat Township shoppers from converging on the new Acme supermarket, which opened for business that day at the old West Bay Avenue site of Genuardi’s. Store manager Jon Welch said there was a group of people waiting outside in the falling snow for the doors to open at 7.

One of them was Mayor John Novak, who made the very first purchase – coffee, doughnuts and bagels for an 8 a.m. workshop meeting at neighboring town hall. But when Acme learned that the items were for the staff and public at the meeting, the supermarket insisted it would not charge Novak and said it was a donation.

At 10 a.m., Novak and town officials returned to the Acme for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Township Committeewoman Susan McCabe said the store is “absolutely amazing.”

“It is so beautiful and pristine,” said McCabe, who was mayor when Acme’s takeover of the site was announced last year. “They have large aisles with a huge array of selections. They’re going to have a Starbucks in June. It was a long road to get this here, and now that Acme is here, I hope that the people in town will continue to support and do their shopping here.”

“Instead of going to Manahawkin or Waretown, our residents can shop right here in their own community,” said Novak. “The town has been hard at work trying to get a supermarket, and we’re very pleased to see this day finally has come.”

By early afternoon, after the snow stopped and the skies cleared, the parking lot was nearly filled. Since it had been a little more than three years since the town had a supermarket, many people were eager to give it a look. To mark the opening, Acme was offering special sales and giveaways.

Welch was quite busy moving from section to section to make sure operations were running like clockwork. He formerly ran the Acme in Lincroft in Monmouth County.

“The snow didn’t stop people from coming here,” said Welch. “It’s been a very busy day, a lot of excitement. You can see how happy the people are that we’re here.”

With an employee staff of approximately 200 full- and part-time workers, Acme is now the flagship entity at Barnegat Village Square, which consists of several other businesses and is located right before the Garden State Parkway northbound exit. The 45,000-square-foot site has been vacant since Genuardi’s closed its doors in December 2012.

“Our new store celebrates our customers, and we are thrilled to give them such a new, fantastic shopping experience,” said Acme President Dan Croce in a press release. “From our product selection to the design and layout of the store, our goal was to tailor this store for our neighbors in Barnegat. We’ve created a fresh, new feel to the shopping experience with greater selections, convenience and variety.”

Special features include a full-service butcher block, bakery, floral department, a variety of natural/organic products, salad bar, hot foods bar, fresh pizza from the oven and a lounge featuring a flat-screen TV.

“There will also be expanded grocery aisles, more frozen food aisles, as well as a larger dairy department,” the release said.

The store is donating $1,000 each to Barnegat High School, Barnegat Food Pantry and the St. Mary’s Pantry. In addition, the Barnegat Police Department, volunteer fire company and EMS will each receive $500 donations. Acme is also donating a park bench made out of recycled plastic bags to the township.

“This was long overdue,” said Frank Gambino, a resident of the Four Seasons at Mirage community. “I got here at 9:30 (a.m.), and it was already very busy. People couldn’t wait to get here. I’m also very thankful for their donation to EMS and the other volunteer organizations in town as well as the police.”

“This is a lifesaver for the people living in the adult communities nearby,” said Roger Rysz, who lives in the Horizons at Barnegat development.

Tom LaNeve, who lives in the Windward section, said, “It was a long wait, and I hope the people in town support it.”

“I used to shop at the Genuardi’s, and was not happy when they closed,” said Jeanne Ronan of the Mirage community.“We really needed this badly.”

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Officer of the Year named in Harvey Cedars

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Patrolman Mat Chester was named Harvey Cedars’ “Officer of the Year” during the annual police awards ceremony following the borough board of commissioners meeting Friday. In handing out the award, Police Chief Thomas Preiser said, “Over the past year, Mat has shown that he can balance his law enforcement objectives with his positive community policing objectives.”

Chester was the first to win the award as a special officer, a post he was appointed to in December 2014. During the ceremony, he also was sworn in as a full-time officer and received a certificate of merit as well.

“On two separate occasions, Mat was able to assist a Harvey Cedars resident while gaining access into their home after being locked out and also again assisting them with locating their lost wallet,” said Preiser.

Chester, Preiser and officers Kevin Snow and Chris Oldham received certificates for the work at Surf City Police Department’s first “Trunk or Treat” event.

Sgt. Steve Frazee, Officer Tim Butler and recruit Amanda White received certificates after responding to an incident where a 13-month-old girl suffered burns from hot tea. Preiser said their quick care enabled the girl to recover with little to no scarring.

Preiser presented tax/finance assistant Mary Pat Brearley with a certificate for her “continued dedication and support of the police department,” most notably with her volunteer work during the summer concerts at Sunset Park.

Det. Robert Burnaford presented Preiser with an award of appreciation for his 30 years of service to the department. At the end of the month, Preiser is retiring, and Burnaford will then become chief.

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Reassessment Notices go out in Ship Bottom

Ship Bottom is gearing up for reassessment of all residential and commercial properties to be concluded by the end of the year. Walter Higgins, borough assessor, said the ratio of assessed value to true value is 91.68 percent. The reassessment will result in tax assessments adjusted to 100 percent of market value, which is what the Ocean County Board of Taxation requires.

Higgins said that when he took over as assessor 2½ years ago, his predecessor, Bill Procacci, advised him that such action would be needed in “in a few years.” He said the last reassessment was in 2003.

He said that while the reassessment costs are uncertain, it would be less expensive than a revaluation, which is when an outside company performs the work.

“The borough will have to pay inspectors who will be visiting buildings and appraising the properties,” he said.

Last month, reassessment notices were sent to all residences and businesses. Higgins said that considering many people are seasonal residents, the actual physical inspections of the buildings would not begin until April.

“We will probably be working into the summer,” he said.

He said Superstorm Sandy would likely have an affect on some properties, since various improvements would result in a home or business having an increased value.

“That would be the case with people who raised their homes,” he said.

Higgins said the new assessments would not go into effect until the beginning of 2017

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Beach Haven school dedicated to ‘financial excellence’

Based on its available funds, Beach Haven School is in “very good” financial condition without any outstanding debt, according to its 2014-15 comprehensive annual financial report. In addition to the school’s 2 percent unassigned surplus of $250,000, it has $414,710 in maintenance reserve and $18,607 in capital reserve. The reserves will allow for the completion of some needed facility structural projects, according to Brian Falkowski, the school’s business administrator.

The financial audit, which must be provided by all school districts in the state, was submitted without requiring any corrections from the school’s auditor, Robert Hulsart of Robert A. Hulsart & Co. in Wall Township. He provided no recommendations for the board during its regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

“You can’t get anything better than that,” said Richard Starodub, interim superintendent of Beach Haven School. “That’s the best. That’s an A+ in terms of procedures and practices, and that’s a testimony to the board and the business administrator overall.”

According to the report, the school’s future finances face difficulties as the community continues to expand and state funding is lessened. The bulk of revenues needed to operate the district are obtained from homeowners through property tax assessments and collections. The most crucial aspect affecting the budget is the unsettled situation with state aid, which is currently frozen. The tax levy will need to absorb any increase in budget obligations.

Nonetheless, Beach Haven School has been committed to “financial excellence” for many years, the report states. The school’s system for financial planning, budgeting and internal financial controls is “well regarded.”

“The School District plans to continue its sound fiscal management to meet the challenge of the future,” according to the report.

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Island drivers seeing the light — in traffic light upgrades

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Red lights will regulate traffic in four new spots in Long Beach Township after a safety improvement project is finished by the county on the Boulevard. New signals will be installed at 38th and 64th streets in Brant Beach, 105th Street in Beach Haven Park and 26th Street in Spray Beach, a county press representative confirmed Feb. 2 from information from the Ocean County Engineering Department.

The new traffic lights are part of a multi-phase project at 23 intersections, the county announced, with this phase scheduled to get underway by spring and be finished by summer. At its Feb. 3 meeting, the county board of freeholders is expected to authorize putting the project out to bid.

“This is a large project and will be done in phases so as not to interrupt the summer tourism season on Long Beach Island,” said Freeholder John P. Kelly, director of law and public safety. “When this is completed, we will have improved driver and pedestrian safety at 23 intersections.”

The upgrades at the four streets listed are in the first phase and will be completed before the start of the summer season, Kelly said.

At the 19 other intersections, the upgrades are designed to make existing traffic lights more visible. That will involve “upgrading the existing wire span supported traffic signals to conventional, solid mast arm signals,” county representatives described. “The new traffic signals also have larger lenses and are compliant with all of today’s highway safety standards.”

“This project really focuses on pedestrian safety,” Kelly said. “These signals will include count-down heads,” he said, referring to graphics, “and push buttons to assist pedestrians in getting safely across Long Beach Boulevard.”

Kelly noted that Ocean County has closely worked with Long Beach Township officials in bringing this project to fruition.

“The township was able to secure a federal grant for improvements for pedestrian safety, and they are sharing the cost with the county for this work,” he said. “We are happy to work in cooperation with the Island towns to make these public safety improvements.”

At the Feb.1 meeting of Long Beach Township commissioners, Mayor Joseph H. Mancini answered a question from a resident about the coming project.

“The street (traffic) lights that we have in now are not legal up to current codes,” the mayor explained. “The streetlights that they have in Ship Bottom that extend over every lane, that’s what we have to phase into.”

Ocean County has already completed traffic signal improvements in many of the towns north of the Causeway.

The board of freeholders is scheduled to go out to bid for two additional contracts later this year as part of the multi-year project.

“When we are done, we will have 23 greatly improved intersections, all with traffic signals that are in timed coordination,” Kelly said. “This will be a welcomed safety improvement for our year-round residents and our seasonal visitors.”

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Holgate sand replacement to get state reimbursement

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The state has committed to pay $300,000 toward the cost of post-blizzard sand replacement in Holgate, which is good news because the amount is up from Long Beach Township’s original request for at least $125,000, officials said at the township commission meeting Feb. 1.

In a related but separate announcement at the meeting, the mayor and administrator reported promising progress in their request to have the Little Egg Inlet dredged.

First, leading into that discussion, is the newly trucked-in sand in Holgate, 500 20-ton loads of it delivered from the mainland in the last week of January, and more being placed this week. Neighbors such as Hurley’s at Holgate Motel owner Mary Ann Hurley thanked commissioners for the quick repair.

“The new berm that we put in down in Holgate actually looks better than what was there before the storm,” Mayor Joseph H. Mancini said. “We had 500 loads last week, 750 this week.”

The township will incur some labor costs relating to the project, but the state Department of Environmental Protection has authorized payment of $300,000 for the sand, reported Joseph Lattanzi, township commissioner of revenue and finance.

Said Mancini, “I had the DEP commissioner down last Monday. Over the weekend during the nor’easter we had spoken with Commissioner (Bob) Martin and told him initially that we needed a minimum of $125,000, which he agreed to, and now we upped it to $300,000 because we needed a lot more sand.

“We thought we could push some up and it never came back,” Mancini added, of the sand that can sometimes be bulldozed from the lower beach upward toward the dune.

The total amount of new sand that will be received from the mainland is about 1,300 truckloads, Mancini said. The township has contracted the sand replacement to Phoenix Pinelands Corp., a sand and gravel supplier headquartered in Barnegat. The company delivers the sand when needed, according to a yearly contract with the township.

The broader replenishment project for the south end of the Island, contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., is still scheduled to remobilize in March, said Township Administrator Kyle Ominski.

“They are going to start coming back in mid-March; they’re going to start on 13th-12th Street in Beach Haven and go south … they can expect for early April in the Holgate area.”

At this point, Ominski gave the optimistic update on the township’s request that Little Egg Inlet be dredged. “We’re still working with them to try and get the inlet dredged as part of this project; we think we’re really close to that happening, which would be really good for Holgate.”

Mancini added that “it looks like it’s finally going to happen.”

“We have been lobbying for seven years to get a permit to dredge the inlet. We finally got the DEP and the Army Corps of Engineers to push hard and to use the inlet as a borrow site for the dredging,” the mayor elaborated after the meeting.

“It has our beautiful white sand that can be used on our beaches and it will help navigation and increase the flushing of Little Egg Harbor Bay. It’s a win-win situation and I want to thank both agencies for working with Long Beach Township to bring this to fruition.”

New Meeting Dates, New Swimming Flags

The township commission schedule of regular public meetings has been changed to once a month for the entirety of 2016. The new schedule of 4 p.m. Monday dates in the public safety building, 6805 Long Beach Blvd., Brant Beach, was announced at the February meeting. A 3:30 p.m. caucus in the mayor’s office precedes the meeting.

The schedule of meetings is: March 7, April 4, May 2, June 6, July 11, Aug. 1, Sept. 12, Oct. 3, Nov. 7, Dec. 5 and Dec. 19. A couple of these meetings fall on a Tuesday due to a Monday holiday.

Commissioner Ralph Bayard called attention to a change in the trash collection schedule that occurred after the trash and recycling calendar was printed for residents (the new meeting dates are also different from the calendar listing). The change is that Section 1 residents will have their trash picked up Tuesday, and Section 2 pickup will be Monday. Residents with any questions can call Susan at 609-361-6683 in town hall.

Swimmers and surfers will see new colors of flags indicating safe swimming and surfing conditions, under an ordinance introduced on first reading.

The new “safe” indicator will be yellow for swimming and blue for surfing. The color change would put the township in compliance with the officially accepted colors for lifeguarding nationwide, the township clerk said.

A public hearing and second reading of that and other ordinances is scheduled for the March meeting.

Longtime Court Administrator Helen Jean Robinson, who worked in that capacity for 31 years, has retired. Maureen Daniels has been approved for a one-year term as interim municipal court administrator.

Commissioners also noted the passing of active citizen and Brant Beach Homeowners Association President Bill Kunz. Kunz, 73, was born in the Bronx and later lived in West Milford and West Paterson. He was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army who served during the Vietnam War; he was an usher at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Brant Beach, and he had retired after 27 years from H.H. Cutler Co. of New York as vice president of sales.

“Bill was a true community leader and he was like an encyclopedia when it came to school boards and school taxation and things of that nature,” said Mancini. “We all will miss him.”

Congratulations were issued to Long Beach Township police Detectives Ronald Hullings and Patrick Mazzella for their recent receipt of an Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office distinguished service award. The recognition was for investigative work related to the November homicide investigation in Barnegat Light that led to an arrest of a Colts Neck man.

Water tower projects will continue, with the Holgate tower refurbishment starting, said Commissioner Bayard. The Brant Beach tower is completed except for some cleanup work, he said. A new sewer line is being installed on Joan Avenue.

Among the comments in the public portion of the meeting was one from a Beach Haven Crest resident suggesting the need for “real-time” information about which roads are closed or are passable in the event of flooding. The notices on the Long Beach Township police Internet sites “are advisories,” he said, but real-time updates would be helpful.

The mayor did not disagree, and the administrator said he would mention the idea to the township emergency management coordinator.

Lattanzi added that Facebook has often had the most quickly posted photos on neighborhood flooding, “as unofficial as it is.”

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Barnegat Police warn of IRS scam phone calls

Scams leading people to believe that the caller is an agent of the IRS are more common this time of year, warns the Barnegat Township Police Department. Indeed, residents of senior communities in the township are reporting these calls.

Patrolman Chris Steins, of the department’s Community Policing sector, issued the information below to warn residents of the most common procedures used in IRS scams.

  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
  • Scammers fake the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

“If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do,” Stein said.

If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.

If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.

You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Active lifestyle community could be on shoreline site in Barnegat

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A local developer is looking to build a senior lifestyle community in Barnegat Township at the old site of Shoreline Sand and Gravel, 1111 West Bay Ave. A special presentation will be held on Saturday, Jan. 30, at 11 a.m. at Bonnet Island Estate, 2400 East Bay Ave. in Stafford Township.

Christopher S. Vernon, owner of Mercer Management and Development, will give a project overview, and planners, engineers and architects will be on hand.

“Much of what we have is still in the conceptual stage,” said Vernon. “We’d like to hear from people in Barnegat. This community is going to be an extension of our hospitality business.”

Aside from owning Bonnet Island Estates, Vernon is also the owner of Mallard Island Yacht Club, also in Stafford, and the Stateroom in Ship Bottom, the old site of the Quarter Deck Inn. Vernon plans to turn the Stateroom into a 105-room “Hotel LBI” by 2018.

Vernon said he had no timetable for his yet-unnamed Barnegat project.

“It is going to need approval from the Barnegat Planning Board and the Pinelands Environmental Commission,” he said. “I can’t say yet how many homes we are going to build or what they are going to look like. We have a few ideas, but this is all very preliminary.”

Vernon purchased the Shoreline site through a bankruptcy sale four years ago; the Shoreline company had declared bankruptcy in 2010. In addition, the township committee agreed with a planning board recommendation that the 110-acre site be designated for redevelopment.

“I think we’re proposing a great use for that site,” said Meghan Jacobs, Mercer Management marketing director. “We’re looking at having a clubhouse, swimming pool, ponds, putting greens and other amenities for an active lifestyle community.”

Jacobs said the Jan. 30 event will be held like a meet-and-greet.

“We want to get feedback from the community,” she said. “We’re not in any rush.”

Mayor John Novak said  township officials have had conversations with Vernon during the past two years.

“I was hoping that he would reach out to the community and hold a presentation where people could ask questions,” said Novak. “I felt it was very important for him to find out what the people in Barnegat want before he decides how this active lifestyle community will look.”

Novak said the Shoreline site is “in a state of disrepair.”

“That’s an area that is very much in need of a new look,” said the mayor. “We’ll have to see if he can come up with a plan that will work out for him and Barnegat.”

For more information, email or call Jacobs at 609-290-9209.

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Painting benefits community garden, hunger relief

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The Stafford Community Garden at Manahawkin Lake will benefit from the “green” raised Jan. 31 from a benefit Paint Party. The Hunger Foundation of Southern Ocean thanks everyone who joined in the fun at Hot or Not Yoga Saturday for the Paint Party presented by Easel On Down.

The Hunger Foundation Of Southern Ocean, formerly Southern Ocean County Community Foundation, provides funding to eight area community food banks.

The Community Garden at Manahawkin Lake stands as a way to promote awareness of the need for hunger relief. It also shows how a community can come together to end hunger by planting seeds of hope as well as physically planting seeds, representatives described.

The foundation’s biggest fundraiser is the annual Taste Dinner, which this year will take place April 20 and feature the theme “Bites Of Broadway.”

More information is available at the website

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Beach Haven First Aid responds to nearly 60 calls in January

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The Beach Haven First Aid Squad, which responds to emergencies throughout 10 of Long Beach Island’s 18 miles, from Ship Bottom to Holgate, has been unusually busy this winter season. Since Jan. 1, members have responded to more than 60 calls.

A few weeks ago, a patient was flown to the trauma center in Atlantic City after he “cracked his head wide open” falling down 13 stairs, said Jack Casella, captain of the Beach Haven First Aid Squad.

Members had their first CPR save of the year on Sunday in Ship Bottom.

“He was dead-dead, and after 45 minutes we got his heart started and got him breathing,” said Casella, who has been volunteering for over 35 years.

The all-volunteer organization, which includes divisions in Beach Haven and Ship Bottom, has about 30 members, with 15 active, full-time riding members in the winter months. Some volunteer on the weekends year ’round.

Calls usually reach around 1,100 to 1,200 annually. Members, who also have other jobs, sometimes have to answer 12 to 17 calls a day.

“Nonsense” calls, such as those regarding a broken finger or toe, are the most frustrating for members, said Casella, who also started Surf City EMS with the fire company in 1989.

“That takes an ambulance off the road for a real emergency,” he stated. “People think if they go by ambulance they’re going to be taken care of faster, and it doesn’t always work that way.

“Our calls consist of a lot of different emergencies: cardiac, respiratory, CVA, diabetic, accidents, falls. We have a variety, and we treat everything,” added Casella. “We also had several fly-outs this summer.”

This past year, volunteers responded to a total of 1,113 calls. Six were CPR calls with three saves that walked out of the hospital.

Ten members responded to over 100 calls each.

Man hours for emergencies alone last year clocked in at 3,009.2.

“As a volunteer organization, we put in many other hours: training, drills, meeting both in-town as well as out of town. We spend many, many hours away from our families,” said Casella. “I figure we’re doing something right because we do attract volunteers who are dedicated. We’re very fortunate. We’ve never had to have mutual aid, and we usually have a rig on the road within five minutes. I’m very proud of the people that I work with. We’re all like a family. We’re not like ships passing in the night.”

The organization is the oldest first aid squad in the area, which was established by just a few people in 1939.

“At that time you only needed first aid and CPR,” said Casella. “The closest hospital was in Lakewood, and they used Cadillac ambulances. There was not a lot of room to move in one.

“Things have changed drastically over the years,” he added. “We are now able to do a lot more for our patients. Our rigs are much bigger, and we have all the latest equipment to better serve our community.”

The squad has five ambulances, two beach trucks and one first responder vehicle, all of which are fully equipped.

“Our goal is to answer all calls in a timely matter,” said Casella.

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Fewer cats at shelter since Trap Neuter Return program began on LBI

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The number of cats impounded at the Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter in Manahawkin has decreased dramatically in the few years The Friends of the Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter has hosted its Trap Neuter Return program on Long Beach Island.

A total of 36 cats were brought to the shelter in 2015 compared to 156 cats in 2011, according to Stafford Township Animal Control, which also provides services to towns on LBI, except Ship Bottom and Surf City. The number of cats impounded at the shelter dropped to 105 in 2012, which is the same year the Friends implemented the TNR program on LBI in Harvey Cedars via a mobile veterinary unit. That number decreased by nearly half in 2013, when 51 cats were brought in. In 2014, only 38 cats were impounded.

About 75 percent of all cats in shelters across the United States will be euthanized, said Kelly Karch, Stafford Township Animal Control officer, who addressed Friends volunteers and interested members of the public during a presentation at the Island Branch of the Ocean County Library in Surf City on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

“As the numbers of cats being brought to the (Manahawkin) shelter continues to decrease, one can only hope that 2016 impounds will continue to be at a record low,” she stated, noting Superstorm Sandy likely had an impact on the local cat population as well. “We may never achieve trapping every single cat on LBI, but I believe we are getting closer and closer. The more people becoming aware of TNR and getting involved will make this program continue to succeed.”

The TNR program involves humanely trapping feral cats, having them spayed or neutered, vaccinated and ear-tipped for visual identification, and then returning them to the outdoors, where they are overseen by colony caretakers. Providing water is especially important since there is no fresh water on the Island, said Dottie Reynolds, president of the Friends group.

Trapping is conducted throughout the year, and it is important to housebreak kittens before they become feral, she stated. Feral cats are not domesticated and therefore cannot be adopted. Unspayed female cats can potentially have 18 kittens a year. If homeless, they may get sick or injured and die.

Cats found in poor health or with a communicable disease are put down, though Reynolds said it is only a small percentage.

Since getting involved with the TNR program three years ago, local resident Sue Douthitt has helped about 60 cats and kittens on the south end of the Island, from Peahala Park through Holgate.

“It’s very gratifying because you know they’re out there struggling to survive,” she said.

Out of the 477 calls animal control responded to on LBI this past year, 141 were cat-related. Forty-three cats were impounded at the shelter, 17 were found deceased, 48 of the calls were nuisance-related, six cats were returned to their owners and 23 were taken in for TNR. No cats were picked up or impounded from Harvey Cedars.

The most common complaints are due to cats roaming around on private property, but there is no documented damage for 80 percent of those calls, said Karch.

When responding to nuisance issues in the vicinity of a TNR colony, animal control officers usually inform the resident about different deterrent methods that can be used. The colony caretaker as well as the Friends group are contacted to try to resolve the issue. Arrangements can be made to have unfixed cats spayed or neutered.

A common misconception is that caretakers will get in trouble for having TNR cats or that their cats will be taken away, Karch said. But most animal control agencies support TNR and animal welfare organizations.

“Our department is very involved with the Long Beach Island TNR efforts,” she stated. “We also lend traps and transport feral cats on and off for residents who have decided to become caretakers.”

Smaller TNR efforts are conducted on the mainland as well. Assistance is being provided through Stafford Veterinary Hospital to a group of about 20 cats in Warren Grove. This is animal control’s largest TNR endeavor in Stafford Township, Karch noted.

Discounted TNR services are also provided to the Friends through Barnegat Animal Clinic, Ocean Acres Veterinary Office and Berkeley Veterinary Center.

Fosters that help care for and socialize kittens for adoption are also essential to the TNR program.

“If we have no one to take care of them, we can’t rescue them,” said Reynolds.

Since joining the Friends in 2005, Mary Ensminger has helped foster 120 cats with her husband Rick at their home in the Beach Haven Gardens section of Long Beach Township. She helped bottle feed seven kittens this past spring. Two unfortunately passed away because they were too sick.

Although fostering can be demanding since young kittens need to be bottle fed every two to three hours for the first couple weeks, Ensminger said it is “extremely rewarding because they respond to you immediately.”

“Some people say they really like kittens but don’t really like cats. Well, here’s your chance to have kittens that’ll go off to hopefully their forever homes and turn into cats,” said Reynolds. “There’s a job for everybody, even if you’re allergic to cats,” she added.

For more information about the TNR program, call 609-494-0146 or 609-597-6040. For kitten fostering, contact 609-978-2474, and for bottle baby fosters, call 973-809-1990.

Reposted from The Sandpaper

BeachWheels on Harvey Cedars CDBG agenda

Harvey Cedars is looking to purchase several beach wheelchairs for its Ocean Community  Development Block Grant for 2016. Borough Clerk Daina Dale said the borough commission will hold a public hearing on the grant application at its next meeting, on Friday, Feb. 5, at 4:30 p.m.

“We’ll see what the people in town want,” said Dale. “They can offer other suggestions. If not, then we’ll go with the BeachWheels.”

Dale said the wheels, especially built for disabled people to enable them to maneuver on the beach, cost approximately $1,400 each.

In the past, CDBG block grants have funded handicapped parking spaces and push-button doors at borough hall, a handicapped-accessible fishing pier at Cedars Avenue and walkways at Sunset Park.

Reposted from The Sandpaper

9th District Delegation wants to see ‘death tax’ repealed

Sen. Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove of the 9th legislative district have voiced support for a repeal of New Jersey’s estate tax – commonly referred to as the “death tax” – echoing sentiments in Gov. Chris Christie’s recent State of the State address.

Abolishing both the inheritance tax and the estate tax is  “desperately needed to stop the exodus of residents and wealth from New Jersey to states with more reasonable and affordable taxes,” the representatives noted in a joint statement.

The Transfer Inheritance Tax, as explained on the N.J. Department of the Treasury website,, “applies to the transfer of all real and tangible personal property located in New Jersey and intangible personal property wherever situated in estates of resident decedents. In estates of nonresident decedents, the tax applies to real property and tangible personal property located in the State of New Jersey.”

Meanwhile, “the Estate Tax is imposed in addition to the Transfer Inheritance Tax on the estates of resident decedents. An Estate Tax is payable if the Inheritance Tax paid to New Jersey is less than the portion of the federal credit for state death taxes which is attributable to New Jersey property.”

New Jersey and Maryland are the only two states with both taxes. A number of states have neither tax.

“Seniors can’t help but feel they’re specifically targeted by these taxes,” said the delegation. “To protect whatever nest egg that they have saved to pass on to their family, many seniors are forced to flee the state which often means being separated from loved ones and their home.

“Imposing both an Inheritance Tax and the Estate Tax is a glaring and harsh example of New Jersey’s extreme and, ultimately, self-defeating tax structure. The state legislature should act quickly considering how resentful residents are of the inheritance tax and the estate tax and the fact that businesses consistently identify both taxes as impediments to economic growth.”

The legislators believe a repeal of these taxes would strengthen the state’s economy and improve revenues “by keeping wealth in the state.”

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Ping-pongish winter; Holgate daze wrought by blizzard


This week we just have to talk storm. Oh, quit your moaning, class. I’ll make this as painless as possible – while still whetting your interest whistle.

I have to begin with this winter, overall. I’ll lead in by paraphrasing the immortal words of Dickens. No, not Charles. I’m talkin’ Hal Dickens over on 23rd Street. He waxes poetic with a tale of two winters: It was the mildest of times; it was the iciest of times. Truer words were never spoken – except, maybe, that Hershey still makes the best chocolate in the world.

This winter’s ping-pongishness has global-warming theorists reeling.

During this past mildest-ever December, those doomsayers extolled their own insights by shouting to the rooftops, “The warmth is coming! The warmth is coming! We warned you, blasphemers. Three cheers for us!” Now that one of the nastier and colder Januarys has kicked in, they’re suddenly all, “The cold is coming! The cold is coming! Just like we warned you …” Etc. Etc.

There, I’m done my obligatory global-warming bashing. I will now extend my fully affirmable theory that growingly savage storms are a predictable certainty, far more so than brazenly trying to predict entire globally warmed seasons.

Rehash: Ocean surfaces are demonstrably warmer than ever, leading to evaporation levels through the ceiling. A rising moisture overload means crazed instability in the atmosphere. That spells s-t-o-r-m-s – as a dazed and confused atmosphere tries to shake off whatever the hell is attacking it from down below, i.e. humanity.

I should note here that such atmospheric uprisings can also include Death Valley-grade droughts, as the skies unleash moisture before it can reach those places it traditionally drenches. It becomes a case of wet becomes dry, dry becomes wet … “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!,” per Dr. Peter Venkman.

This is not to say we’ll surely be getting “X” number of wilder and woollier-mammothed storms, come this year or next, or whatever follows “next.” There’s no guessing – though sometimes I still do.

For the umpteenth time: Climate change manifestations cannot be micromanaged … or micro-forecasted. Also, the atmosphere is a card-carrying, first-class croupier. It never offers so much as a hint at what it’ll be dealing out. We won’t know what we’re being dealt until we sneak a peek – and find a seven-card forecast … with all the computer models agreeing that this coming Friday might flush us with a low-pressure system hosting isobars so tightly packed that even Elaine with airport security is afraid to open it up to check for smuggled fluorocarbons. Wow, from the upper atmosphere to Elaine in airport security, which proves just how complicated all this sh …tuff is.

Weather Channel-named Jonas – the Weather Service does not name winter storms – was one highly aggravating storm for us. But – dare I say it? – he was far more drama than damage; more hype than hit; more beach than, uh, barn. Hey, I had to keep the alliteration thing going. Face it; the bloody blizzard just wasn’t a barnburner.

AGGRAVATION, BY NAME: The Blizzard of January 2016 began its swath of aggravation as it inch-wormed across the Southeast and slowly slid out over the ocean. Its sluggishness afforded way too much time for social media devotees to offer I heard/she heard forecasting updates – beginning a frickin’ week ahead of time and building to a deafening crescendo, oft mimicking, “We’re all gonna die!”

Despite data overload, I tried my best to stay within sensible forecast bounds. I was mightily certain Jonas would not be a major ballbuster for all but our dunes and beaches. I did warn from very early on that bad tides were rising for Ocean City and Cape May. The northeast winds with the blizzard were from an angle that clobbers areas south of AC.

For me, the aggravation of a momentarily changed lifestyle and Boulevard-hiding high tides was allayed by some cool visual uniqueness. Based on looks alone, I’ve placed Jonas near (but not within) the top-10 nor’easters I’ve seen over a 50-year storm stretch.

The storm’s out-there look came via its frozen components. Hey, many of you were here. You have to admit that the early-arriving snow and ice, once afloat, added a uniquely Arctic-or-something look to the flooding. The micro ice floes sure spiced up the three million street photos that washed over social media. I got some decidedly bizarre videos of vehicles forcing their way through daiquiri flood conditions.

Far less cool, the Holgate refuge area became, and remains, a freak-sight factory. (More below on that ruinous south end beach hit.)

Another notable chunk of visual uniqueness was exposed as the storm’s 60-mph northeast winds insatiably attacked our lengthy stretches of replenished beachline, particularly the recently-done sectors of Long Beach Township. Cliffs of Dover-like cutaways were left behind for public works to somehow manually repair. The Holgate oceanfront home zone is now getting trucked-in sand for a Band-Aid fix to its never-been-adequate dunes.

By the by, the oceanfront homes in Holgate were never in danger, though the news media had them all but falling into the ocean. Flashing back, I was right there after Sandy and those houses were sky-high on pilings … but safe. The real danger thereabout is when the ocean breaks through and goes after houses to the west.

Which is the perfect segue into the finger pointing being aimed toward Great Lakes Dredging, which seemingly abandoned replenishing LBI in the name of sweeter digs. The pointing has gone from forefinger to middle finger.

UNGREAT LAKES: I have to think that Great Lakes bolting action has risked LBI’s little guys – a group of which I’m proudly one. I live within the Island’s vulnerable midsection, huddled within my ground-level, 200-block, Ship Bottom home of over 50 years.

My entire fight for beach and dune replenishment has never once been with the ocean-fronters in mind. They have enough money to be on their own minds. While many/most of us reside a goodly distance from the ocean’s edge, that doesn’t mean the dunes aren’t heavily on our side, as a line of defense and offering an everyday sense of security.

Yes, the bay can also sneak up and swallow my digs in one fell gulp. However, five decades of LBI storm-life have shown me that bay flooding arrives at a slow slither, escapably so. When the ocean arrives – along with its debris friends – there’s just no going one-on-one with it. The Great March Storm, an ocean-to-bay washover event, forearmed entire houses hither and yon.

About-facing to the upside of the gnarly, 36-hour nor’easter, the Army Corps dunes held like nobody’s business, despite being gouged in some places. That nor’easter was exactly why the dunes and beaches were built – for storms!

It truly pains me to hear those who now rant, “Look, your replenished beaches are gone. What a waste of money.”

Those monkeys must simply hate New Jersey. They are clueless to the fact that if that save-the-beach funding doesn’t come our way, it will go to some Kansas congressman’s supercollider project. Or, more painfully yet, those numbnuts might think that relinquishing the funding for NJ beach replenishment will somehow get them a big refund check from Uncle Sam?! Pardon me until I stop laughing … in a mocking manner.

OK, I’ll back off that ongoing rant by assuring the beaches will soon be inching back, all, “Is it safe now?”

The dunes? What a job they did. If anything, they’ve proven living an LBI lifestyle is better behind big-ass dunes. Let’s make sure they rise back up to their former glory.

THAT SINKING FEELING LINGERS: It might seem like I’m talking as if we didn’t have any serious/major flooding, a la blizzard. We did. Photo proof abounds. We simply didn’t have any catastrophic flooding.

The Island did suffer an insidious degradation, via more stinkin’ sinkin’.

By my thinking, each full-blown flood episode is making future floods worse, by literally weighing down the earth beneath LBI’s feet.

I’ve been fearing that sinking feeling all along. But why would a flood weigh things down more than cars, trucks, houses and really heavy folks?

I’ll answer that with a science shocker: 1 cubic yard of water (yd3) weighs 1,685.55 pounds. Water in flood zones is easily three feet deep. Even the largest and weightiest building have their weight craftily spread out. A flood’s weight crushes downward, holistically. Then, add in the fact the ground is waterlogged. The press down is even more compressive. I have to admit this all points to everything of an LBI nature needing to be on pilings. Geez, there’s a novel concept, right?

HOLGATE DAZE: Holgate, as it was most recently known, is no more … thanks to the storm. Its onetime beach area has, in a weird way, been grown over.

Storm waves to 20 feet quickly ate what little beach was there. It left behind the bones of its meal: miles of grotesquely twisted blackened branches and sickly-yellow bamboo-like root systems. Those are the dead remains of far happier, heavily-vegetated Holgate days.

As of now, buggyists are dead in their tracks. The entrance is closed. Where we once drove to reach Island’s end is now an impenetrable “dead forest” … an obstacle course, offering buggyists no recourse except to turn around and head home – tailpipes between their legs. Here’s hoping the sand returns enough to at least allow low-tide vehicular passage, at the water’s edge. Passage at high tide? Forgetaboutit.

I’m sure there are some folks deriving pleasure from the sudden plight of south end mobile fishermen. Well, you might want to think that thoroughly through. The entire Holgate erosion thing, particularly the washing away of huge tracts of once-vegetated refuge land, could surely open legal books – the ones that base property lines of ownership on the mean high tide water marks.

As of now, huge chunks of the Wilderness Area could be legally reverting back to state ownership.

I do NOT want that. I kid you not. State or township ownership could leave the property vulnerable to real estate shenanigans, though it was pointed out to me that the state does quite decently at running and preserving Island Beach State Park.

INLET AIN’T HAPPENING: Bottomed-out mariners are yet another user-group that wouldn’t mind seeing Holgate split asunder. They somehow envision a new and nearer inlet – right about where the erosion is taking place.

I’d throw it into neutral if I were you, lads.

There is little chance of a new inlet opening in the washover zone. Instant-inlet seekers will instead get more frickin’ sand and silt reaching bayside, further filling in the already shallow channels.

Related E-question: Jay, what’s the reasoning behind this washover lessening the chance of a new inlet forming? Looks to me as if it’s trying to happen.

If all arriving storm energy was being aimed at a small cut-across point, a channel could form. Not happening. In fact, ocean energy is now being further diffused across a massive erosion plain – nearly a quarter mile of what has become a sand wasteland, denuded of all vegetation. What’s more, the erosion is simultaneously filling in meadows and tidelands toward the west. There are signs/markers on the west side of the refuge proving that sand migration. Face it, this erosion is in it for the long run – and until it forms a new Tucker’s Island-type set-up.

Go to – or simply Google “jay mann fishing” – to see this video, showing the astounding post-blizzard washover.

I call the blizzard a “five-year” storm for Holgate. Oh, that has nothing to do with the pretty much inane way scientists try to arbitrarily assign storms a frequency rating. That system can run the gamut from a one-year storm – expected every one year, duh? – to a point where I get dizzy just thinking about it, namely: the million-year storm.

Hey, don’t snicker – or do it very cautiously. Logic alone dictates a 1,000,000-year storm either has, or must, occur. Here’s hoping that sucker already hit – say, a solid 999,000 years ago or so.

My personalized five-year-storm rating for the blizzard is a whole other Holgate animal – and far more affirmable. Mathematically speaking, it pushed Holgate’s erosion ahead by five years. You can see where that’s going, right? It would have taken five years of non-traumatic erosion to do what this storm did lickety-split. (I have no idea why “lickety-split” jumped to mind. For all know it now has a PG rating.)

SNOW DEAD; OWL LIVES: As I hiked the far south end after the blizzard departed, I was trudging through gnarly, dead vegetation when I spotted something roundish and white on the sand up ahead. I stopped dead in my tracks. A dagger’s worth of dread dug into my spine. It sure as hell looked like a very-deceased snowy owl.

Holy, Jack crap! Our darling owl had bit the sand.

And how would I gently break this avian tragedy to insanely sensitive birders and easily tear-jerked souls on Facebook? This would be an owl obit from hell.

Calling on my end-around side, I pondered simply burying the sucker, right there where it crashed. I could then energetically tell folks, “That dang storm chased off our good-old snowy owl. You know, kids, dollars to donuts he’s back up north happily eating lemming by now. … What’s that? Yes, jelly donuts sound like a great idea. Let’s go.”

I inched toward the potentially tragic patch of whiteness – squinting, as to not be over-traumatized upon a close-up look. And, just like that, my dead-owl dread melted away. It was just an owl-shaped blotch of defiant snowfall.

As I moved southward, more and more non-dead-owl snow patches appeared, proving the far south end hadn’t been overwashed. It was whiter and whiter the farther south I went.

Now you wanna know if our snowy owl was happily tucked somewhere within the still-growing dunelands near the Rip. Got me. There coulda been enough snowys on those dunes to open an owl feather-pillow factory; I wouldn’t have seen them. I’ll simply wait for the snow to melt – or the birdwatching heavies to head down there – and then I’ll let you know what’s what. Facebook me to get real-time updates.

As to other Holgate wildlife: I saw fresh, post-storm tracks proving those recently arrived otters were out and frolicking about after the blow. They love their snow. There were also signs of at least two, possibly paired, adult foxes, along with at least one youngster fox. Oddly, there were also some rabbit tracks. I’m betting that cottontail won’t be hanging down there very long – unless it has switched to eating the likes of mussels and periwinkles.

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Acme Market opens in Barnegat


Acme Markets will be celebrating a grand opening on Friday, Feb. 5, at 10 a.m. at its new location in Barnegat Township on West Bay Avenue in the old Genuardi’s supermarket building. Acme will become the flagship entity at Barnegat Village Square, which consists of several other businesses and is located right before the Garden State Parkway northbound exit.

The 45,000-square-foot site has been vacant since Genuardi’s closed its doors in December 2012. The store ceased operations after its parent company, Safeway, was unable to find a buyer. Genuardi’s opened in November 1999; one year later, Safeway assumed ownership.

“Our new store celebrates our customers and we are thrilled to give them such a new fantastic shopping experience,” said Acme President Dan Croce in a press release. “From our product selection to the design and layout of the store, our goal was to tailor this store for our neighbors in Barnegat. We’ve created a fresh, new feel to the shopping experience with greater selections, convenience and variety.”

Special features include a full-service butcher block, bakery, floral department, variety of natural/organic products, salad bar and fresh pizza from the oven.

“There will also be expanded grocery aisles, more frozen food aisles, as well as a larger dairy department,” the release said.

The store plans to donate $1,000 each to Barnegat High School, Barnegat Food Pantry and the St. Mary’s Pantry. In addition, the Barnegat Police Department, volunteer fire company and EMS will each receive $500 donations. Acme is also donating a park bench made out of recycled plastic bags to the township.

Corporate officials, store manager Jon Welch and township representatives will all be on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“It has been a little more than three years that Barnegat has not had a supermarket to call its own,” said Mayor John Novak. “Instead of going to Manahawkin or Waretown, they can shop right here in their own community. The town has been hard at work trying to get a supermarket, and we’re very pleased the day has come.”

According to the Acme Markets website, the company’s origins date back to 1891 with a small neighborhood grocery store in South Philadelphia. Today, Acme operates 107 supermarkets in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, employing more than 10,000 associates. Nationwide, Acme has more than 2,200 locations, employing approximately 265,000 people.

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Injured fisherman rescued off Barnegat Light


A 49-year-old man with an injured hand was pulled off a boat and hoisted into a hovering helicopter 70 miles east of Barnegat Light Wednesday morning.

You can watch the video of the rescue that shows the helicopter poised over the 77-foot fishing vessel Determination, lifting the man up in a basket.

The Coast Guard station at Delaware Bay in Philadelphia got the call about 9:15 a.m., according to a release. A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City arrived, hoisted up the man and took him to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

Determination is based in Rhode Island.

Reposted from the

Accident on causeway bridge ties up traffic for over hour

The Tuesday commute onto Long Beach Island became a traffic nightmare when three cars crashed right before 8 a.m. – likely a result of early morning sun glare, according to Stafford Township Police Ptl. Chris Fritz.

Stafford police responded to the scene at Route 72 and milepost 28, which is the final bridge before Ship Bottom. Investigation revealed the first vehicle, a pickup truck operated by Christopher Potts, 42, of Manahawkin, was stopped in traffic on Route 72, likely for some construction equipment to move across or around the area. His truck was struck in the rear by a vehicle operated by Thomas Bernabeo, 76, of Manahawkin. A third vehicle, driven by Kathy Guerrero, 46, of Tuckerton, struck the rear of Bernabeo’s vehicle.

The crash closed the bridge in both directions for about an hour, causing eastbound traffic to back up about two miles to Mill Creek, Fritz said. Traffic delays continued even after the bridge was reopened as drivers then had to merge where the construction project has narrowed the roadway to a single lane.

Bernabeo and his wife, Patricia Ann, 74, complained of chest pains and were transported to Southern Ocean Medical Center for treatment. Potts sustained a lower back injury and was also transported to SOMC for treatment.

Ptl. Mark Flanagan is the investigating officer.

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Art Notes


Family Fun: Sign up now for Family Fun in the Ceramics Studio, a workshop with Kerith Creo on Sunday, Feb. 8, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences. Registration fee is $45 for one adult and one child plus $30 for each additional person. LBIF members receive special member discounts on all classes.

The LBIF continues its After School Enrichment Program. A session includes four classes; each class meets once a week, 3:30 to 5 p.m. The entire schedule of workshops, classes and events is available online and at the Foundation.

The LBIF is at 120 Long Beach Blvd. in Loveladies, 609-494-1241 or

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In the Libraries: Seniors can drop in at the Long Beach Island branch of the Ocean County Library on Feb. 9 and Feb. 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and practice their watercolors with artist Pat Morgan. Bring your own supplies.

High Bar Harbor artist Linda Ramsay and Barnegat artist Janet Nelson are exhibiting their works in oils and acrylics at the Barnegat branch; Kathy Crocker exhibits her watercolors in the Lacey branch, and a group show of Pine Shores Art Association artists continues at the Stafford branch, featuring Mary Walker Baptiste, Jan Becker, Giorgio Donnarumma, Lee Fricke, Rita Michaelenko, Mary Sinclair and Ilomay Pedicini.

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February Artist: Harriet Fink is the Pine Shores Art Association’s artist of the month. Her work is on display in the gallery with viewing times: Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The gallery is located at 94 Stafford Ave. in Manahawkin. PSAA has ongoing workshops in collage, watercolor, gouache, tempera and pastels.

Sign up now for March workshops: Portrait in Oil with Joyce Lawrence, four Tuesdays from March 8 to 29 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., fee $75/members, $85/nonmembers; Charcoal and Pastel with Danny Ng, March 10 and 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., fee $50/members, $75/nonmembers; two-day acrylic workshop with Janet Nelson, March 17 and 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., fee $50/members, $75/nonmembers; and Watercolor Landscape with Pat Morgan, March 24 and 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., fee $50/members, $75/nonmembers.

To register for classes, send info and check made out to PSAA to Kathy Crocker, 103 First Ave., Tuckerton, N.J. 08087. Call 609-294-3165.

Seasonal artwork by PSAA members is on display in the Visitors Center of the Tuckerton Seaport through March. The Seaport is located at 120 Main St. in Tuckerton. This exhibit is free.

There is something happening almost every day at the PSAA gallery. Ongoing portrait sessions are open to all artists for a nominal model fee, Sunday, 1 to 3 p.m.; Monday, 7 to 9 p.m.  On Thursdays is Life Drawing (undraped model), from 7 to 9 p.m. On Tuesday, 4 to 6 p.m., is Artists Helping Artists; drop in with your supplies for some friendly assistance. Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. is “do your own thing”; artists meet and create their own work.

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Sadly, Noyes Museum Gone: The Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton University in Oceanville has closed, but satellite galleries and the Hammonton Museum Shop are still open.

“The Links 47th Annual Black History Month Art Exhibit” is at the Noyes Arts Garage in Atlantic City through March 29. This year’s featured artist is renowned fine artist/illustrator E.B. Lewis. Lewis’ work will be on view through March 27. The official opening of the exhibition “Imagine” will be held on Feb. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. during the monthly “Second Friday” event that features live music, refreshments and a wine tasting. Second Friday events are always free to the public.

Call for Artists: The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University in Atlantic City is looking for crafters and fine artists for its monthly AC Craft Market, juried by the Fine Arts and Crafts Committee. Find the application and more information online at For more general information, visit

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Artist Opportunity: Amergael is celebrating 100 years of Irish independence with its annual Celebrate Irish Arts in March. Its exhibit at the Long Beach Island branch of the Ocean County library runs March 2 to 30; there also is a one-day show at St. Mary’s Parish Center in Stafford on April 23. The theme of the 2016 show is Saoirse, or “freedom” in Celtic.  All interpretations of “freedom” are welcome. First-time entrants should email a photo of their work to, or for more information call 609-492-6146.

The entry fee is a $10 donation to Amergael or a ¼ page (business card size) journal ad for $25, tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Accepted media include oil, acrylic, watercolor, pencil, ink, chalk, photography and mixed, but work previously exhibited is not accepted.

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Tuckerton limits boats on coastal properties


The Tuckerton Borough Council has proposed an amendment to its ordinance pertaining to boat storage on private property. The amendment would limit the number of motorized, registered boats, including personal watercraft, to two on residential properties located in the R-50 and R-75 zones; that includes most of Tuckerton Beach and Paradise Cove.

The amendment allows boat storage only between Sept. 1 and May 31 (winter storage) and would allow the boats to encroach on front- and backyard setbacks but not side yards.

Tuckerton has struggled to rein in the overabundance of boats on private property ever since Superstorm Sandy left many roads impassable during the emergency because of boats blocking roads.

Councilman Keith Vreeland said the amended ordinance makes the rules clearer and keeps empty lots from becoming boat storage lots.

A public hearing and second reading of ordinance 3 of 2106 are scheduled for the Feb. 1 municipal meeting.

Vreelend, chairman of the legislative committee, also introduced four more ordinances at the Jan 19 municipal meeting. Ordinance 1 of 2016 would amend Chapter 220 of the borough code pertaining to site plan reviews. The amendment would require contractors to supply “as-built plans” and surveys to the construction office before a certificate of occupancy would be granted. “This ordinance will help the zoning officials when they are reviewing the final site plans,” said Vreeland.

Ordinance 2 pertains to outdoor storage sheds, limiting them to less than 100 square feet (100 and over is an ancillary building) and determining their number and location on a site depending on the size of the property.

Ordinance 4 amends the Certification of Occupancy section pertaining to multiple-unit buildings, limiting their inspection to once a year, not each time a tenant moves in or out.

Ordinance 5 pertains to the proper location of fences, requiring an agreement between neighbors on whether a fence will be on or near a property line.

Before being appointed and then elected to the council, Vreeland was a member of the land use board. He also is an architect familiar with property laws.

Ordinances 1 thru 3 should be reviewed by the land use board on Jan. 21; 4 and 5 should 5 be ready for public hearing, second hearing and possible adoption on Feb. 1.

Councilman John Schwartz attended the meeting by Skype and said a portion of the Tuckerton Cove bay shore on South Green Street was very close to the road and might be a candidate for shoreline restoration.

Councilwoman Doris Mathisen read the year-end review of the construction department. The department took in $255,972 in revenue, processed 297 construction permits and did 1,469 construction inspections while the code enforcement department performed 527 inspections.

The Post-Sandy report showed that 142 buildings have been elevated to 12 feet or more and 34 homes were demolished. In total, 196 homes had some sort of flood hazard mitigation since November 2012.

Tuckerton Volunteer Fire Co. Capt. and EMS Chief Dale Eggert read a year-end report of the fire department and noted the call volumes have gone up markedly. “In 2014, the company did 121 fire calls; in 2015, we did 172. That includes mutual aid calls. In 2014, we answered 141 EMS calls; in 2015, we went to 160.

“We are now able to transport patients (to hospitals) if other units are not available. We are now the primary water and ice rescue for Eagleswood Township,” reported Eggert.

The fire company and EMS are now researching ways to add newer AED units to the police department so that all first responder units have the same type of unit.

Eggert estimated the need at three or four units.

Reposted from The Sandpaper