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October 25th - November 7th , 2013 // VOL. 1 // ISSUE 13


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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013


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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

OCEAN COUNTY Toms River and Mantoloking to Pursue Eminent Domain for Dune Project

by Phil Stilton TOMS RIVER - The governing bodies of Toms River and Mantoloking last week voted to pursue eminent domain proceedings against property owners in those towns who have yet to voluntarily sign easements to make way for an Army Corps of Engineers dune building project. On Tuesday, the Toms River Township council voted unanimously to take action against those they have dubbed the “Gang of 16”. The ordinance authorized the township to use legal action to obtain private property along the ocean front to build the dunes. It allows the town to negotiate and purchase properties, but also allows it to use other means including condemnation and eminent domain. “We have given our beach front homeowners every reasonable offer at granting easements and have dealt with them in good faith. This paves the way for us to use eminent domain to acquire the land needed for the dune work in our Town. We cannot allow a few homeowners to get in the way of such an important project,” said Council President George Wittmann. Mayor Thomas Kelaher said, “The refusal to sign an easement is a total disservice to those whose homes were flooded and is a continued threat to those who live near the waterfront.”

Prior to the council’s vote, Mayor Kelaher told the council and members of the audience that the dune project is vital to the safety of not only the barrier island property owners, but to those who reside in the township’s Barnegat Bay coastal neighborhoods. Kelaher said that a general from the Army Corps of

Wittman added. “Because the dune would have protected the township and we would have had sufficient beach front area to absorb the shock of the waves.” Wittman said lack of dunes allowed the Barnegat Bay water level to raise as much as five feet during the storm. That same night, in Man-

Engineers told him, while standing atop the Mantoloking Bridge after the storm, “If our plan had been in place none of this would have ever happened.” Kelaher said he expects all of the easements and judgments against holdouts to be in hand by March of 2014 and that the Army Corps of Engineers expect to begin their dune building project in June. “If this dune system was in place during Hurricane Sandy, the devastation that had impacted our community would not have occurred,”

toloking, which was also hard hit by Sandy, officials voted on a similar measure. Mantoloking Mayor George C. Nebel said that there was plenty of opportunity for his town’s dune holdouts to come to an agreement in the ten months since Sandy. Mantoloking’s eminent domain ordinance also paves the way to take action against the 7 homeowners there who have refused to allow the easement. 121 easements have been obtained already in the town.

County Announces Bay Blvd. Project TOMS RIVER - Ocean County is expected to award a contract for the reconstruction of portions of Bay Boulevard in the Ortley Beach section of Toms River Township and Lavallette. “One mile of this roadway was badly damaged as a result of Superstorm Sandy,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety. “We modified the road extensively following the storm so it could at least be used by motorists. Now we will rebuild it to make it stronger and safer.” The contract is expected to be awarded to P&A Construction Inc., Colonia, in the amount of $2,296,891 at the Board’s Oct. 16 meeting. The project will include reconstructing Bay Boule-


vard from Route 35, Toms River Township to Princeton Avenue in Lavallette. The reconstructed roadway will remain a divided roadway with one lane running north and one lane running south with shoulders. The drainage systems that were compromised as a result of the storm will be rebuilt at the beginning of the project because it ties in with the state drainage system. Damaged areas of the roadway will have the pavement section rebuilt. And, the entire road will be milled and overlayed with a new riding surface. As a result of Superstorm Sandy, Bay Boulevard suffered extensive damage including sink holes, portions of the road washed away

into lagoons, gas and water utilities were damaged as were drainage systems including drainage outfall pipes being washed away. Because of the damage the southbound lane has not been in use since the storm. The county anticipates reimbursement, in part, for the project from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “Ortley Beach was one of the areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy in Ocean County,” Kelly noted. “The reconstruction of the roadway will help in the recovery of the entire area.” Construction is planned to start in late fall with final paving being completed in early fall 2014 after a mandatory summer construction shut down.

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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013


Howell Chapel Continues Aid for Sandy Victims and More by Carly Kilroy SILVERTON - Almost one year after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc along the shore, Cornerstone Calvary Chapel of Howell continues to operate its mobile soup kitchen here as a place where those still dealing with the affects of the storm come for comfort, friendship and a hot meal. “It’s a place where they can relax. They can come out and not have to worry about feeding their families... because everyone here is family,” volunteer Sean Smith said. That family atmosphere grew out of volunteers taking the time to learn more about those patronizing the kitchen by listening to their, sharing in their highs and lows, celebrating birthdays and practicing their faith over the past 11 months. “We have people who aren’t just Sandy victims,” Mr. Smith continued. “We have homeless people who are living in the woods. We have people who have lost their jobs living in their car.” Donald Denaro, who has been the cook at Cornerstone Calvary since the early post-Sandy days when they were serving three meals a day, six days a week, said the soup kitchen has allowed people affected by the storm to connect with one another

and bond over common hurdles they might have otherwise faced alone. “They talk to other people who have the same problems and then we try to work with them,” he stated. Today the kitchen serves just four dinners each week, but still it is a reminder that the recovery process still inhabits many area residents’ daily lives. “There are still people coming in whose houses weren’t finished - still people coming in because their kitchen isn’t working yet,” noted Mr. Denaro, who said he always has food on hand to feed his 30 to 50 regulars and anyone else who comes in thanks to various food pantries and local businesses in the area that consistently donate food and supplies. “We can feed a hundred people at a time,” he added. The mobile kitchen was donated by a Cornerstone Calvary Chapel in California,

said Pastor Chris McCarrick of Cornerstone Calvary Chapel in Howell, adding that besides the post-Sandy work, it also served those in need in the southern Gulf of Mexico area following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and in Joplin, Missouri after devastating tornadoes struck in 2011. “That kitchen has seen its days,” he said. “It’s been a great blessing and it’s been helping a lot of people.” Though the need for meals among Sandy victims continues to dwindle here, the pastor said he still planned on feeding those in need. “We are probably going to continue to do something once or twice a week just because we see the need with the homeless and even low income people,” he stated, noting that he hoped the work he and his church members have undertaken would eventually lead to a Toms River chapter of their organization.

Toms River Celebrates Fall with Downtown Harvest Festival TOMS RIVER - Washington Street in Downtown Toms River was abound with fun all day long on Saturday, October 19th with hayrides, inflatable rides, pumpkin decorating and events. There were plenty of competitive challenges including apple cider donut eating contests for children and adults, a scarecrow decorating contest and a homemade fall desert competition. For the adult males, there was a beer garden, complete with big screen televisions to watch the football games. The event was sponsored by Morgan Stanley.

Photos by Erik Weber


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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

Amazing V Halloween Magic Show

The Traco Theater hosted local magician The Amazing V in their Washington Street location while the Harvest Fest carried on outside. Children delighted in the seasonally-themed tricks, treats and magical feats that helped kick off the spooky season here in Toms River. ERIK WEBER / OCEAN SIGNAL Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin of the 10th Legislative District presented the 14th Annual "Excellence in Education Award" during a ceremony recently at the Walnut Street Elementary School in Toms River to second grade teacher, Raymond Roe. “Mr. Roe has established an admirable reputation at Walnut Street Elementary School where he excels in classroom management and supports his students learning in an enthusiastic and creative environment. It is an honor to present the Fourteenth Annual Excellence in Education Award to such an outstanding educator,” stated Senator Holzapfel.

John Everett: Hometown Boy, Army Veteran and Painter New Show Opens at Virginia Perle Art Gallery

by Carly Kilroy TOMS RIVER - Award winning artist and township native John Everett was back home last weekend to kick off the opening day of his latest art exhibit, “Encore: Recent Works of John Everett,” currently being shown at the Virginia Perle Art Gallery on East Water Street here. The retired Army Lieutenant Colonel humbly greeted and spoke with guests about his paintings as they walked through the room that will be displaying his work until November 16th. “I like this because I’ve seen a lot of people that I haven’t seen in years. It’s been fun,” Mr. Everett said. Though he picked up painting right after he graduated from West Point in 1973, due to the demands of his career and raising a family, he said he was forced to put down the brush and put his hobby on the back burner for a while. “About 12 years ago, my wife was looking through some of the earlier stuff I did that was stuck way in the attic and said you should pick up your paint brush again and see what you can do,” the lieutenant colonel recalled. “So I did.” His work has since been featured at the Yogi Berra Museum, nominated for a People’s Choice Award, and is permanently displayed at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. At first glance, those who visit the gallery exhibit may have trouble trying to describe Mr.

Everett’s style, but that’s only because he doesn’t actually have one. “I try not to have one because I want to do different things. I try different styles and try to be good at all of them,” he said. As one peers closer at Mr. Everett’s work, one can see how much he enjoys experimenting with different types of paints, compositions, and textures while also alternating between subject matters, including landscape, sailing, sporting and figurative pieces. “I paint from photographs. Primarily from pictures that I take. It’s not exactly the same as the picture, but I use that as the basis,” he said, adding that the time to complete each

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piece varies between an afternoon and as long as seven months. “Sometimes I’ll leave something on my easel and I’ll go back to it every day, look at it and see – ‘Well, I don’t like this,’ or ‘This isn’t right,’” the lieutenant colonel said. Painting has become a way for him to put aside the heavy workload he faces as a senior executive responsible for information technology for the FBI. “Painting is therapy for me because I can come home at night and decompress,” Mr. Everett said. The Virginia Perle Art Gallery is located at 96 East Water Street in downtown Toms River and is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 4 pm or by appointment. For more information, please call (732) 244-4300 or visit them online at


The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

Clowns, Zombies and Witches on the Scare Trail at Bey Lea by Phil Stilton TOMS RIVER - For the third year, the Toms River Township Department of Recreation hosted their annual Bey Lea Golf Course Haunted Hayride. Dozens of area students donned costumes and face paint to scare the nearly 1,500 visitors who were treated to a night of free frights, milk and cookies. The event is the brainchild of Jared Tate, the director of the Toms River Recreation Department. Mr. Tate said after hosting the successful annual Halloween magic show


event in past years, the recreation department found their event had become too big, so he looked to find a way to accommodate more people and the hayride was born. “We did the hayride in 2011 and it had a great turnout, so we knew we had to do more,” he said. “This year we had a great turnout and a lot of volunteers to help us.” Until the final ride, hundreds of guests waited on line for the nearly 20 minute ride through the golf course in pitch blackness as zombies, crazed clowns and escaped asylum patients scared the wits out

of those who dared. Tate and his assistant director, Robert DiBiase ensured the operation went smoothly and that everyone who showed up was able to enjoy the free ride and refreshments provided by the department. “This year’s turnout was the biggest,” Mr. DiBiase said. “Everyone did a great job and the rain held off. “ Adam Silversmith, Director of Youth Services in Toms River said the displays along the trail were created by Toms River Regional Schools Students in the Together Everyone Achieves More

(T.E.A.M.) program. run by Mr. P., Robert Petruski. The displays created this year by T.E.A.M. students included a zombie wedding, Disney princesses, witches, a haunted beach scene, zombie tennis a hospital and clowns. The students, throughout the year work on various community projects to earn school credits through the T.E,A.M. program. One hundred seventeen T.E.A.M. volunteers participated in this year’s event, all working on their own makeup, costumes and themed areas. Donuts were donated by Delicious Orchards and 1,500 cookies were donated by Shop-Rite and Stop & Shop. Bey Lea Dairy donated milk to wash it all down with.

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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

Saying Goodbye Forever to Stewart’s Root Beer in Toms River by Phil Stilton TOMS RIVER - Another piece of Toms River history has gone away as Stewart’s Root Beer on Route 37 closed their doors forever on October 6th. While Coney Island has its famous Nathan’s Hot Dogs, Toms River and Ocean County, for decades, have had Stewart’s Root Beer, a drive up fast food restaurant on Route 37, known more for its cold glass mugs of Stewart’s Root Beer, hot dogs and french fries. Until the day the restaurant closed, food was served in the same style and with the same preparation as it was when it opened in 1967. The building was modeled after the original Stewart’s Hot Dogs’ first franchise location in Huntington, West Virginia, built in 1932. Just as much as the restaurant was known for its great drinks and great food, it was also known for its waiters, who dressed in referee uniforms. Each season, owner Toni Lyn Kartikis-Barnes said the restaurant served between 400 and 500 cars on

a typical summer day. It was a hands on family operation for her sister Carole Ann and their mother. “I dress all of the food that comes out of the kitchen myself,” she said. Her grandfather was the owner of the original Stewart’s in Toms River. A jug handle is all that remains of the original store. Soon, the current store will join it in the pages of local lore, making way for perhaps a 7-11 convenience store. “You came here and it was nostalgic,” she added. History is important to her. She said her favorite part of the summer was knowing that her restaurant was helping to contribute not only to the town’s history, but to the memories of countless vacationers over the years. Although the Toms River restaurant is gone, Stewart’s will always be a part of the American fabric. Other locations exist at the shore. There’s a newer restaurant on the bay front in Seaside Heights and locations in Howell, Point Pleasant and Tuckerton. One of the more notable Stewart’s is located on the

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boardwalk in Wildwood, featuring two floors with an open air deck on the roof. Stewart’s got its start in 1924 when Frank Stewart opened up his first drivein in Mansfield, Ohio. He opened the stand as a summer job to supplement his income as a school teacher. Initially, Stewart’s sold only root beer and popcorn. As the brand grew in popularity, Stewart began to expand. It is rumored that in the early days, he added more salt to his popcorn to generate more soda sales. The news of the closing in Toms River came as a shock to the restaurant’s many loyal fans. “[I] can’t believe it’s just going to be gone,” said patron Lindsay Contreras. “Everything good from our history is being sold out to corporate America... it is so sad.” “It was a yearly tradition we would stop there on the way in and the way out. It’s a hell of a thing that we’re losing another icon,” said fan, Jeffrey Babcock. Not many people were looking forward to the restaurant’s potential replacement, a 7-11.

“Stewart’s Root Beer and hot dog or a 7-11 root beer and hot dog? I shudder to think,” said Andy O’Beirne. After learning of its sale, Clem Farulo, owner of Steaks Unlimited in Seaside Heights said had he known it was for sale, he would have bought it to keep it alive. A possibility perhaps? Local artist, Greg Hinlicky, who makes artistic creations out of Superstorm Sandy debris said he would like to see the building saved and perhaps relocated to a different location. For three generations of children, Stewart’s was not just a restaurant, it was a landmark that let you know you were just a few minutes away from a day at the beach in Seaside Heights, Island Beach State Park or Seaside Park. “I remember that when we were just little kids going to the beach from Brick,” said Audrey Keim. “We’d come down Fischer and you know you were close to Seaside.” For others, it will forever be a part of their memories of summer here at the Jersey Shore.

Photos by Cameron Wuestoff/the Ocean Signal taken the night of Sunday, October 6th, the final night that the Stewart’s Root Beer drive-in on Route 37 in Toms River was open for business as the staff said farewell to their summer home away from home.


The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

State Approves Downtown Parking on Both Sides of Main Street by Phil Stilton TOMS RIVER - If you’re old enough, you might remember parking on both sides of Main Street in Downtown Toms River between Washington Street and Water Street. Last week, Toms River officials woke up to newly painted parking spots on the west side of Main Street for the first time in many years. It was a request made by Downtown Toms River two years ago, to create a few more parking spaces downtown, but also a nostalgic move to bring back something that has been lost for decades. Jodi Aslessandrine, the executive director of Downtown Toms River said his organization made the request back in November of 2011, but the seemingly minor request got lost in the Trenton shuffle


and was never addressed. In a letter, Alessandrine , at the suggestion of fellow downtown business owners, requested the State of New Jersey to add the new spots on the west side of the road. Being a state managed road, they were at the mercy of Trenton. It wasn’t until local legislator James W. Holzapfel and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno got involved that DTR got the spots they wanted. In total 8 new spots were painted, but 3 were lost on the eastern side of the road to allow for a larger right turn lane onto Washington Street. Alessandrine said that those spots represent just a portion of what has been proposed to promote future growth downtown. Another request, this time to the township council has been made to add 16

to 23 new parking spots on Robbins Street and a pedestrian square west of Washington Street where the Wells Fargo building currently stands. “We are in talks with the real estate investors to demolish the building and create a pedestrian walk and to construct 9,000 square feet of new retail space,” Alessandrine said. “Above the retail space, there could be 30 to 40 apartment units, making downtown a place where people would want to live.” As far as the small step of adding new spaces, it came as a surprise to him. “We were told it was going to be done in September and we came out to see the state had striped the spots this week,: he added. “I have to thank the Lt. Governor for getting this done for us after a year or so of it not really going anywhere at the state level.”

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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013


Brick Council Meeting Goes South

by Phil Stilton BRICK - This year’s Brick Township council and mayoral elections have gone from bad to worse to just plain dirty as politicians used the last meeting prior to the upcoming election to bicker and fight with each other over campaign flyers distributed by their opponents’ campaigns. Brick Republicans complained that flyers distrib-

File Photo: Brick Democrat Club Candidates for 2013. uted by the Democrats crossed the line for criticizing numerous politically appointed jobs, several worth over $100,000 per year, including benefits. Brick Democrats said the flyer was in response to a previous claim by Republicans concerning the health benefits of Democrat councilman John Ducey. The

issue? Ducey, who takes no salary for his position as councilman receives benefits from the township. It’s something not taken lightly by his opponents, Joseph Sangiovanni and Domenick Brando. Both Sangiovanni and Brando receive taxpayer funded healthcare plans at their respective appointed township jobs. Brando works at the Brick Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) and Sangiovanni works for the Brick Township School District. What the Republicans say is more important in this election is that Ducey misled voters into thinking he won’t take benefits. Ducey fired back, stating that he said he would take either benefits or salary, but not both. Another campaign flyer

distributed by Republicans claimed Ducey has nearly a dozen government jobs. Ducey, a lawyer, said he is hired by multiple municipalities for his legal work, but the sum of all income in those jobs netted him just $10,000 in 2012. In a public records, search of public employees, no results were found for John Ducey. That same search reported $106,000 in income by Mr. Sangiovanni by Brick Township and Brick Township Board of Education and $69,816 for Mr. Brando through his job as a councilman and a position at the Brick MUA. Taking matters to another level was a campaign flyer from the Democrats that named Sangiovanni’s daughter Bianca, who billed the township for $22,500 as a public defender. The Democrats claimed Ms. Sangiovanni overbilled the township while Mr. Sangiovanni claimed the billing was in line with the billing of other legal services in the township.

Former Brick Tax Preparation Business Charged with Filing $4.4 Million in False Claims TRENTON - The two owners of a tax preparation business that claimed millions of dollars in fraudulent tax refunds on behalf of inmates at various New Jersey prisons were arrested in Laurel, Del., U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) arrested Kamal J. James, aka “Bro Messiah Aziz El,” and Crystal G. Hawkins, aka “Sis. Crystal Gabri El,” at Hawkins’ residence on a criminal complaint charging them with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. The pair operated Release Refunds, a purported tax preparation business – previously based in Brick, N.J., and now in Seaford, Del. – through which they solicited New Jersey prison inmates as clients and then filed thousands of fraudulent tax returns on their behalf. James’ and Hawkins’ conduct allegedly resulted in hundreds of

thousands of dollars in illicit profits and an actual tax loss of approximately $1.7 million. James and Hawkins appeared in Trenton federal court this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert. During the proceeding, the government alleged that marijuana plants and a firearm were found in the Laurel home during the arrests. James was detained following the proceeding and Hawkins is expected to be released on a $250,000 bond. According to the complaint unsealed today: Between October 2011 and October 2013, James and Hawkins conspired to defraud the United States out of millions of dollars by creating and filing income tax returns that were based on bogus income and withholding information. James and Hawkins used their purported tax preparation business as a vehicle to carry out the scheme.

To execute the scheme, James and Hawkins sent Release Refunds “promotional” flyers to inmates at various New Jersey prisons offering tax return preparation services. The pair asked inmates interested in Release Refunds’ services to provide basic identification information and to sign Income Tax Returns and other IRS documents, but not to include any information about their income or withholdings. James and Hawkins then filled in the missing income information on the return forms, fabricating the inmates’ earnings to trigger fraudulent and inflated refunds. During the course of the investigation, an undercover IRS-CI agent posing as an inmate in a New Jersey prison submitted a completed Release Refunds form and sent it to James and Hawkins. They then sent the “inmate” blank income tax forms and other IRS documents and in-

structions to sign the documents. James and Hawkins did not request any financial information from the undercover agent before preparing three fraudulent tax returns – including false income information that James and Hawkins provided – to be filed on behalf of the agent for tax years 2010 through 2012. The fraudulent returns resulted in several thousand dollars in refunds and a $1,485 fee for the defendants. In total, James and Hawkins caused approximately 2,432 fraudulent tax returns to be filed during the relevant time period, claiming approximately $4,402,288 in improper refunds, of which the United States paid approximately $1,779,910.16. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the amount of the gain or loss from the offense.

Lt. Governor Visits Brick Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno was the guest speaker at the Monday, October 21st meeting with State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff where the pair discussed the Department Of Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division and other programs important to Brick’s senior citizen population. The State of New Jersey has set up a website for people to search for their unclaimed funds. Visit to find out if your money is being held and is available for you to claim.

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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

New Jersey Announces Army Corps Dune Project Schedule TRENTON - Governor Chris Christie along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced the schedule for critical Army Corps beach and dune construction projects that will reduce risk to lives, properties and infrastructure by rebuilding 44 miles of New Jersey coastline and providing the state with the most comprehensive and continuous coastal protection system it has ever had. “Superstorm Sandy proved that beaches and dunes built to Army Corps’ design and construction standards did their job – they protected lives and property,” said Governor Christie. “These new projects will fill in the critical gaps, providing protection to areas that were vulnerable when Sandy hit.” “Governor Christie and I are grateful to the Army Corps for working closely with the State to move these projects forward on an accelerated schedule,” said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin. “It is vital to begin these projects as quickly as possible.” When the projects announced today are completed, most of New Jersey’s Atlantic Coast communities will have protections that meet Army Corps’ standards. These projects complement numerous other Army Corps projects that have already been undertaken to restore beaches damaged by Sandy. “All of these projects are critical to reducing coastal storm damage risks for those who live and work in coastal New Jersey,” said Brigadier General Kent D. Savre, commanding general and division engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers North Atlantic Division, which worked closely with the Christie Administration in developing the schedule. “The Army Corps is committed to continue working closely with the state of New Jersey, as well as leveraging all of our organization’s capabilities to deliver these projects as expeditiously as possible.” Schedules of project agreements and construc-

tion start and completion dates depend on multiple preparatory and regulatory steps, including securing necessary permits and easements, among other things. Through strong collaboration between the State and the Army Corps, DEP is preparing for construction on the following schedule: Project agreement: January 2014: Projected construction start: April 2014: Beach Haven, Long Beach Township and Ship Bottom on the Long Beach Island portion of the Little Egg Inlet project area Project agreement: January 2014 Projected construction start: April 2014 Bay Head, Berkeley, Brick, Lavallette, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant Beach, Toms River, Seaside Heights and Seaside Park within the Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat Inlet project area Project agreement: March 2014 Projected construction start: June 2014 Allenhurst, Deal, Loch Arbour and the Elberon section of Long Branch within the Sandy Hook to Barnegat Inlet Section I project area Project agreement: May 2014 Projects in these areas were previously designed and congressionally authorized but not constructed due to a need to secure funding, a lack of easements, or both. Congress has appropriated $1 billion for these and additional flood protection projects for New Jersey as part of the comprehensive Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013. The majority of the projects are being fully funded by the federal government. The execution dates of the project agreements coincide with the dates that the DEP anticipates securing and being able to provide the Army Corps with easements on all public and private real estate required for construction and ongoing maintenance of the beach and dunes. In order to meet these dates, the easements may be received by DEP through voluntary donation or through a condemnation process which would begin in advance of these dates.

Projects that the Army Corps has already undertaken since Sandy include: Ocean County: Brant Beach, Harvey Cedars and Surf City. Nearly 500 easements are still outstanding in this northern Ocean County area, or about half of the 1,000 easements needed statewide. Governor Christie has taken aggressive action to secure outstanding easements required for all of the projects, signing an Executive Order under the authority of the state’s Disaster Control Act that authorizes the state to secure remaining easements, not provided voluntarily, through eminent domain. “These holdouts should by now realize there is no windfall waiting for them,” continued Governor Christie. “After Sandy, there can be no justifiable argument for anyone to avoid doing what is right. Now is the time for all remaining beachfront property owners to step up and do the right thing for their neighbors, for their communities, and, for their own protection.” Beyond the coastline, the Army Corps is conducting a comprehensive study to evaluate flood-prone regions in New Jersey. The Christie Administration last month announced a collaboration of six New Jersey colleges and universities to develop flood mitigation strategies for areas of the state that were heavily impacted by Superstorm Sandy and may be vulnerable to future flooding. It is expected that the analyses will help inform the Army Corps comprehensive study, among other things. For information on the university studies, visit: newsrel/2013/13_0091. htm For a map of upcoming Army Corps project areas, visit: dep/docs/nj-fed-coastal. pdf. For Sandy project information from the Army Corps of Engineers, visit the New York District’s Sandy website at www.nan.

Jersey Shore Boyz Finish 4th at Senior Olympics

CLEVELAND, OHIO - The Jersey Shore Boyz, a 65+ softball team from Brick Township finished fourth at this year’s National Senior Games. Edward Sofield, former commander of Brick VFW Post #8867 said of the experience, “We played pretty well and went deep into the tournament.” The Jersey Shore Boyz played against teams from Delare, Pennsylvania and Rochester, before losing 13-6 to the Rochester Classic’s 65+. In the previous game, the Boyz shutout Sylvania 15-0. In a bronze medal slugfest against the City of Crossville, TN, they lost 21-18. Yes, it was softball, not football.


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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

Tallying Terror for a Good Cause Scary Rotten Farms’ Season Benefits Childhood Cancer Fight

by Carly Kilroy BRICK - Anyone who has waited in line for Scary Rotten Farms, here, knows the anticipation alone of Sinister Sneed and his posse of psychotic clowns terrorizing you can be just as overwhelming as the haunted attraction itself. “I can see people in the line terrified because they are building up in their head what could happen. I think it’s more theater of the mind than anything else,” owner Wayne Dickenson said. Scary Rotten Farms is now in its third year of frightening patrons with their “Sinister Sneed’s Chaotic Carnival of Chaos” and “Inbred and Nearly Dead” attractions, and judging by the board they proudly display at

the beginning of the attraction, it’s safe to say they are pretty good at it. “We keep track on the board of how many people have chickened out,” Mr. Dickenson said. That’s not the only thing the haunters at Scary Rotten Farms keep track of during the night. Next to the tally of people who have needed to be let out of the attraction is also a tally of people who have, for the lack of a better phrase, wet their pants. “It’s funny because as you’re scaring them, they’ll tell you – ‘Oh my God, I just peed my pants!’ They announce it like it’s a badge of honor,” the owner said, though not even an announcement as priceless as that can cause this elite group haunters to break character. “My theory is,

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they’re paying for this haunt, so we will not get out of character. We will continue to torment.” A good haunter knows how to read the customers coming through, added Mr. Dickenson, including who they are going to get the best reaction out of and how they are going to do it. “We will get as close as possible and let you know we’re there,” he said, noting that even though they strive to keep the attraction tasteful, they do have to appeal to the expectations

of today’s children and young adults. “When we were younger, there were certain things that would scare us that now the kids would laugh [at].” An attraction as detailed and realistic as this one doesn’t just pop up over night, and the owner said preparation starts in June, with the final step of dress rehearsal on opening weekend. On that weekend, “if you buy a combination ticket you’ll get that ticket back. So, you can

come back again any night we’re open,” he stated. Tickets for each of the two attractions are sold at the door for $14 each or $22 together. Part of the proceeds goes to Oceans of Love, a Toms River-based organization that aids Ocean County children who have been diagnosed with cancer. For more information, please visit Scary Rotten Farms online at www.


The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013


Athleticism, History and Fun Combine for Second Annual Beachwood Races

by Erik Weber

BEACHWOOD - Runners, families and costumed Star Wars fans once again convened on the Beachwood waterfront and bluffs area for the second annual Beachwood 5K and One Mile Fun Run in what can only be described as a unique corner of the seasonal shore running circuit. Organized by the Beachwood Recreation Commission, this second year’s event again took


place on a mild, hazy autumn day with an overcast sky above and the first wave of fallen, colorful leaves below. The first event, the One Mile Fun Run, kicked off at the now-traditional starting point of Clubhouse Road between the Mayo Park Playground and wedding gazebo on the bluff overlooking Beachwood Beach. As the runners - mostly children plus parents alongside or pushing strollers - lined up, they were joined by members

of the NorthEast Remnant Garrison of the 501st Legion: Vader’s Fist “Imperial Costuming Organization” decked out as Star Wars characters to cheer the group on their journey. Though some appeared surprised by their presence at the race, those in the know were aware that Darth Vader was being played by Recreation Commission Vice Chairman Lance Starmer and that his group is an all-volunteer orga-

nization formed among fans to both promote the films and raise funds and attention to shore community events, charity groups and local pediatric hospitals. As those “fun runners” set off on a truncated course through the borough’s historic riverfront and early 20th century bungalow neighborhood, many more participants began arriving to stretch, jog and get ready for the full five kilometer course that snaked its way back and forth on a full set of residential streets with nautical names and among the original homes that gave Beachwood much of its character and charm. Councilman Steve Komsa, who is also liaison to the recreation commission, noted the hard work and many months it takes to get such an event ready for the growing masses that have started to come back

again. “Turnout gets stronger every year and our goal is to make the Beachwood 5K a premiere race in Ocean County,” he said, adding thanks to the volunteers and many race sponsors, including the Lamp Post Inn in nearby Pine Beach, which provided the after-race meal to all participants. Ron McNabb, a commission member, noted that the annual race now has “runners come from all over - as far away as California, Florida and states in-between, and we enjoy showcasing Beachwood for people who have not discovered it yet.” At the fun run finish line at Beachwood Beach’s parking lot, former longtime Pine Beach Mayor Russell “Russ” Corby reported that he bested his previous year’s time by a full minute while at the same time Beachwood First Aid Squad members Will Stockham and Robert Brown mockset up a stretcher out the back of their waiting ambulance to (Continued on page 15)

Photos by Erik Weber

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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

Police Officers Awarded Citation Bars for Sandy Work

“Sticker Shock” Warns Against Giving Alcohol to Minors

by Erik Weber BEACHWOOD - The Beachwood Municipal Alliance, in a partnership with the St. Barnabas Health 'DART' Coalition, Beachwood Police and Sawyer's Liquors, here, arrived early to work last Saturday morning with a team of teens ready to show their vigilance against underage drinking.

Beachwood Races

(Continued from page 14) joke that they were all ready for him. Next, the main event as runners from across the region and country lined up for their chance at a top time or personal goal. Along course streets, on porches and on lawns, residents stepped out to view and cheer them on as they ran by, and girls from Beachwood Brownie Troop 229 stood at the ready alongside Neilson Monument Park on Barnegat Boulevard with cups of water to quench their thirst. Former Beachwood Police Chief Jack Moody even set up a humorous sign at the edge of his property, located at the top of a long incline before dipping down to the beach entrance and finish line. The name he gave his part of the course? “Heartbreak Hill.” At the finish line, the top three male runners included 31-year-old Beachwood native and now-Tuckerton resident Kristopher Neff in first at 17:54.3; 33-year-old Toms River resident Matt Cookson in

Armed with handfuls of red octagonal stickers adorned with words alerting buyers of the illegal act of purchasing alcohol for anyone under the legal age of 21, the group set to work and within a short time, store owner Will Patel looked out at a small sea of angry red dots throughout his establishment. "The intention is to create awareness to the communisecond at 18:46.3; and 26-yearold Jackson resident Anthony Guevara at 20:07.6. Top three female runners were 49-year-old Toms River resident Carolyn Rodgers at 21:46.7; 26-year-old Manahawkin resident Mary Blais at 22:18.5; and 31-year-old Bayville resident Beth Merrill at 22:31.4. The Mayor’s Awards, which go to the highest ranking current Beachwood male and female residents, were awarded by Mayor Ron Roma to 26-year-old Chris Vargovic, who had a time of 21:02.6; and 24-year-old Jen Musumeci, with a time of 22:33.5. For more results from this race, please visit Proceeds from the event went to benefit the recreation commission’s various youth-oriented programs borough-wide throughout the year. For information on how to help the commission, please call (732) 286-6000 ext. 287. Photos by Erik Weber

Harvest Beach Bonfire - Nov. 2nd BEACHWOOD - The annual harvest bonfire event held at Beachwood Beach was moved from Saturday night, October 26th to Saturday night, November 2nd from 6 to 9 pm due to the unexpected break with over seven decades of tradition by the Toms River Fire Company No. 1 to move the annual Halloween parade from October 31st to the

Saturday before Halloween. Kids’ costume contests, howling contests, a disc jockey, food vendors, the bonfire and much more fun await residents and their families at this year’s event. For many decades, the holding that parade on Halloween had many local communities announce trick-or-treating to occur the night before, on Octo-

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ty [and] hopefully change the attitudes of some parents who think it's okay," said Beachwood Municipal Alliance Coordinator Geralynn Roma. "By getting the youth to participate, it creates awareness as well that it is illegal for them to drink alcohol, and of course it's not healthy and there are many consequences." She noted that it was the second time participating in the program - an earlier event took place in the same location in May, targeted for prom season - but that Beachwood was the first community in Ocean County to be a part of it. "We'd like to do it another time throughout the school year if we can, but we haven't crossed that bridge yet," the coordinator added, thanking Mr. Patel for allowing them to continue holding it in his establishment.

Kristopher Neff, Top Overall and Top Male Runner

Carolyn Rodgers, Top Female Runner

by Erik Weber BEACHWOOD - At last week's council meeting, here, Beachwood Police Chief Robert L. Tapp called upon officers in his department to receive thanks and accolades for their meritorious work in the preparation for and aftermath of last October's Hurricane Sandy, which severely damaged this borough's riverfront areas, flooded homes in low-lying areas, knocked power out to much of the grid through dozens of downed trees, wires and exploded utility transformers for weeks, and generally caused havoc for officials, first responders and residents as they scrambled to mitigate their own personal impacted lives plus care of hundreds of stranded area residents temporarily housed in Toms River Intermediate South on Pinewald Road. "As we approach the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, I would like to recognize the efforts all those officers who worked through one of the most devastating storms our community has seen in decades," said Chief Tapp. "During this event many of our officers had to leave their families home, without power at their own residences and with very little phone contact due to the lack of cell service during

the storm. Officers were tasked with maintaining a mindset that they had a job to do but were always mindful and concerned for their own families as well. Our officers were put on mandatory 12-hour shifts to cover what needed to be handled in our community which included long term power outages, countless trees and power lines down, road closures, traffic signals out and of course flooding issues. Officers were tasked with going home after a 12-hour shift, attending to their families needs, taking a cold shower due to lack of power and then returning to work to serve those in our community. I am certainly proud to work with and lead such dedicated officers." "I would also like to commend the efforts of all the volunteers from the Beachwood Fire Department, Beachwood First Aid Squad, OEM members as well as the local residents that assisted in countless ways," he continued. "And the work efforts by Beachwood’s Department of Public Works was second to none. Our community pulled together to overcome the effects of the storm as we saw neighbors helping one another in various ways. We have worked to rebuild our community, some of which is still ongoing, and Beachwood is a better place today as a result

of everyone's efforts." Although we were not alone in this effort, the professionalism, dedication and sense of community service displayed by our officers deserves recognition," the chief added. "As a result, we will be awarding all those officers that worked during Hurricane Sandy 2012 with a department citation bar commending them for their efforts during the event." Those honored with citation bars included Retired Chief William Cairns, who ran the department through the storm and until his retirement earlier this year; DSG. Glen DeMarco, Sgt. Bruce Harris, Sgt. Frank Melillo, Det. Sean Langan, Ptl. Adam Griesemer, Ptl. Daniel Altman, Ptl. Phillip Schena, Ptl. Allen Magory, Ptl. David Bowden, Ptl. Dennis Allen, Off. Thomas Prince, and Off. Chad Anthony. Those not present at the meeting but who would receive their awards later included Sgt. Derek Mussari, Ptl. Adam O’Connor, Ptl. Keith Meissner, Ptl. Justin Apel and Ptl. Gina Bruno. Mayor Ron Roma and members of the governing body echoed Chief Tapp's words of praise and thanks for the officers and all responders and volunteers who worked through the hurricane and the weeks that followed.

Jen Musumeci, Mayor’s Award ber 30th, and instituted a long tradition of ‘double dipping’ by some ambitious youths and families to trick or treat locally on that night and then in a community farther away on the 31st. Last year the parade was not held due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, also a break from tradition in what was to be its 75th consecutive year. For more information, please call (732) 286-6000.


The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

PINE BEACH Council Briefs by Erik Weber The following are news and actions of the Pine Beach governing body from their early October meetings.

Council Concerned Over Weak Bulkheading

Councilman Matthew Abatemarco expressed growing impatience with the length of time it was taking to receive funds to begin the bulkhead reconstruction project along the eastern shoreline of the Toms River, particularly at the foot of Cedar Avenue, where he feared a single, powerful nor’easter could wipe out the remaining structure already damaged by its age and last October’s Hurricane Sandy, and compromise Riverside Drive there. Mayor Lawrence Cuneo agreed with his concerns and noted that as a resident of Riverside Drive to the east of the Pine Beach Yacht Club, where work is most needed, he was also concerned that a heavy storm could do the same in front of his home. “I think we’re getting pretty close to losing that roadway,” said Mr. Abatemarco, who questioned

whether it would be possible to kick start the project under an emergency appropriation. Chief Sgro stated that he was aware of other municipalities who had bonded out for monies to immediately begin municipal repairs in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, but who were now stuck hoping that the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] would reimburse them those costs. Mayor Cuneo stated that he had reached out to Borough Engineer Jack Mallon and hoped to have a closer timetable in the near future. “Even if a storm doesn’t get it, ice is going to...,” started Councilman Barry Wieck. “...tear it right out,” finished Council President Richard “Ritty” Polhemus.

Water Rates Increase Expected for New Well & Meters

Chief Financial Officer Mary Jane Steib reported to the governing body that due to the capital improvement projects of installing a new well to replace a secondary, failed 50-year-old one and upgrades to the water meter system, borough residents could expect to see an in-

crease of their annual cost by between $56 to $100 per year, depending upon whether the borough is able to receive financing spread over one or two decades. She noted that they were seeking first to acquire the 20-year loan, which would be eligible to have a portion of it forgiven and only increase annual water rates by $56. Councilman Robert Budesa asked whether either increase would be enough to cover the new well and upgraded metering system through those two decades. Mrs. Steib confirmed they would unless something else unexpected happened to the system within that loan period that would result in another capital improvement project, but added that it was not possible to predict. John M. Sgro, borough administrator and police chief, noted that he thought the 20-year loan could have up to 25 percent forgiven if approved.

September Police Activity

Chief Sgro reported police activity for the month of September, including 267 calls for service.

Lynn Hargrove, police department secretary, attended training for continued records management, and Chief Sgro reported a more one-onone experience with residents who attended the annual River Lady luncheon sponsored by the Pine Beach Municipal Alliance, adding that he was able to directly answer questions about drug and alcohol awareness at the event, including the borough’s participation in the regular drug ‘take-backs’ at the police station below borough hall where people can drop off old prescriptions, the next of which will be taking place Saturday, October 26th from 10 am to 2 pm. The chief further asked residents to drive carefully through the fall season, as children were back in school and walking to and from the bus stop and school grounds, Halloween was coming soon with many trick-ortreaters expected in the evening hours of October 31st, and wet leaves would create dangerous tire traction hazards that would require drivers to increase their stopping distances.

Pine Beach Chapel Offers Safe Halloween

Mr. Wieck reported that Pine Beach Chapel, on Hillside and Huntington avenues, was offering par-

ents a safe Halloween stop for youngsters on October 31st with little bags of candy to be distributed to the costumed creatures who stop at its door.

And in other news of the governing body:

- Mayor Cuneo reported that they had received correspondence from a resident of Riverside Drive who had complaints about the length of time it was taking to build a new home between her residence and the former site of Admiral Farragut Academy’s Radford Hall, stating that heavy machinery and equipment had been stored at the site while work continued slowly over the past couple years. The mayor noted that as long as work did not drop off for more than a six-month period, the borough did not have any ordinances or laws that prevented a property owner from making improvements to their land in the form of construction under an approved building permit, and added that the equipment was often stored toward the rear of the property when not in use. • the governing body received correspondence requesting it review the Ocean County Hazard Mitigation Plan on its official website at www. o c e a n c o u n t yh m p . c o m , which is allowing stakeholder review and input until November 15th. • the borough received a 44 out of 50 score on the state’s annual best practices checklist, which is approximately where it has scored in previous years.

• Mr. Wieck is spearheading an effort to research landlord-tenant ordinances that would address any current or future chronic problem properties where the police are regularly called. The governing body is currently reviewing a possible model for one they may introduce in November. • an ordinance was introduced to increase boat fees to $600 per boat slip season lease and include one parking permit and two single-day ramp permits. An annual fee for boat ramp usage will be $125 if purchased before April 15th and $150 if after. A yearly commercial use permit can be acquired for $1,000, and a daily fee - which includes parking - for $25. • Chief Sgro reported that he was working with his Local PBA to install several clothing donation bins at the elementary school and the public works yard for which they would receive $1,500 each annually that would be used to pay for materials in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program they sponsor each year at the school. • Mr. Wieck reported that he also attended the River Lady luncheon cruise with Chief Sgro and the municipal alliance, adding that “it was a most enjoyable day and the weather was absolutely perfect.” • Mayor Cuneo asked residents to consider attending some local sports games this fall season to support the youth who participate in them and see some great amateur sports in action.

Ducks are regularly seen holding up the already slow-moving traffic along Riverside Drive between Cedar and Station avenues – as can be seen here last Saturday - as they waddle over to a small feeding area set up by a bungalow resident there. ERIK WEBER / OCEAN SIGNAL


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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

SEASIDE PARK NJDOT Holds Route 35 Information Session by Carly Kilroy SEASIDE PARK - Residents here had the chance to voice concerns over projected plans for the Route 35 reconstruction project at an informal information session held October 8th at in council chambers. “The unexpected benefit of Superstorm Sandy is that now we have the reconstruction,” said Mayor Robert W. Matthies, who added that 80 percent of the approximate $265 million cost would be covered by the federal government. Also present at the session was New Jersey Department of Transportation’s [NJDOT] Director of Community and Constituent Relations, John Case, and members of the NJDOT’s Community Outreach Team, who gave a quick rundown of the project before opening the floor to residents for questions. “One of the things that many people had concerns about were parking spaces, and rightfully so,” noted the mayor. During several council meetings prior to the NJDOT information session, dozens of business and property owners approached the governing body with myriad concerns over the loss of parking spaces along the center part of Route 35, known here as Central Avenue, citing that it would result in a drop in business, the pushback of parking into the suburban cross-streets, and other related issues. According to Mr. Case, Seaside Park is projected to lose 63 parking spaces in the current plan, dropping the total number here from 927 to 864. “There needs to be some tweaking and council defi-

nitely recognizes that,” Mayor Matthies said. Governing body members stated that they would write a resolution for changes to the project, which is expected to be present to the NJDOT around the end of November. Residents are encouraged to present their concerns to the council before the resolution is completed. Although changes could be suggested, Mr. Case pointed out that some issues may not accommodated due to safety concerns. Residents at the meeting were also looking for more information about the addition of two pump stations on both 8th Avenue and L Street. Jeffrey Lanigan of the NJDOT’s Community Outreach Team said that once the construction of the pump stations begin it would take four to five months to complete, after which time the system would be able to withstand sixand-a-half to seven inches of rain. The current system was only able to manage up to two-and-a-half inches before last October’s Hurricane Sandy, and today

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as a result of damage from that storm can only handle a half inch. Residents can also expect water coming out of the new pumps after a storm to be much cleaner than the water flowing into the bay now, he added, as it would be transported underground through the pumps’ filtering process instead of running off of local roads. NJDOT’s Lisa Ginther noted that even though the new pump stations will help the problem of spot flooding, their sole intention is to minimize or eliminate general stormwater flooding along the state highway. “We just want to make sure that you know that some of the localized flooding that you have will not totally be relieved through this system,” she said. Any residents who still have concerns over the project may contact the NJDOT’s Community Outreach Team by calling their round-the-clock hotline at (732) 230-7356 or emailing Restore.NJ35@dot.state. “I enjoy the conversation and it is very important that the conversation continue,” Mayor Matthies said at the close of the meeting. More information can be found at the project site at

The History of Funtown Pier by Mark Davidson SEASIDE PARK - The amusement center at the southern end of the Seaside Boardwalk, known for more than half a century as Funtown Pier, traces its beginnings back to 1915. That was the year Joseph Vanderslice opened a beachfront pavilion on the boardwalk at Porter Avenue, straddling the border of Seaside Heights and Seaside Park. The business closed after one summer season and was acquired by Frank Freeman, who renamed the pavilion Freeman's Amusements. Mr. Freeman brought in a Dentzel Carousel; later, between 1920 and 1930, an outdoor deck with more rides was added, with the Carousel inside the pavilion as Freeman’s centerpiece. In the 1940's operation was passed to J. Stanley Tunney, who was presently the mayor of Seaside Heights. (Mr. Tunney’s name should be familiar to all who visit Seaside; the westbound Route 37 bridge across Barnegat Bay was named for him upon its completion in 1972.) Early in the morning of June 9th, 1955, a fire broke out along the southern end of the Seaside Boardwalk, traced originally to a faulty neon sign but later thought to have started in an unnamed business nearby. Flames were pushed by 50 mph winds. The fire destroyed four blocks of Boardwalk including 50 concessions, as well as Freeman's Amusements. Along with all other rides, the landmark Carousel at Freeman’s was lost in the 1955 fire. Frank Freeman soon found a temporary replacement for the Carousel, until a permanent one was found at Coney Island, New York: a beautiful Marcus Illions machine with hand-carved wooden animals, originally constructed in 1917. The new Freeman’s Carousel was purchased for $22,000, with costs for moving and restoration totaling another $20,000. During the restoration, many of the animals were painted by Mr. Freeman himself. This carousel remained a major attraction on the Seaside Boardwalk for over 30 years until it was broken up and sold in pieces in 1990. Its replacement was a modern Carousel with fiberglass animals, manufactured by Chance Rides. The new Carousel operated for over 20 years until it was lost in the September 2013 fire. Eight blocks to the north at the midpoint of the Boardwalk in Seaside Heights, Casino Pier had grown into a competitor for Freeman’s by the mid- to late 1950s. In response, Mayor Tunney gathered a group of local businessmen to develop a new amusement area called Funtown USA at the Boardwalk’s southern end. Construction began in 1956, and Funtown USA opened in the Spring of 1957. The Boardwalk ran through Funtown to Stockton Avenue, two blocks into Seaside Park, but it wasn’t like the Boardwalk to the north with a single row of businesses on one side and beach on the other. The new Funtown was

a grid of buildings lined with wooden walkways. The new owners rented out much of the space to concessionaires who brought in food stands, games, shops, restaurants and bars, which ran along the two main lines of Boardwalk; rides were closest to the ocean side upon what was now called Funtown Pier. Notable early rides included the Haunted Castle dark ride, Train ride, Sun Valley, Rock-O-Plane, FlyO-Plane, a Circle Swing of Rocket Ships, several children’s rides from the Allen Herschell company, and a Wild Mouse roller coaster. In 1961 Funtown purchased a Herschell elevated monorail, which attracted more than 71,000 riders in its first five weeks of operation, at 35 cents a ride. With success coming so quickly, Funtown USA teamed with local business and created a promotional marketing group called the Funtown USA Association, which aimed to draw more people to Seaside and its Boardwalk than ever before. During the 1970s, thrill rides from Europe where rotated in and out regularly. Memorable rides were the Supersonic Roller Coaster, and later the Jet Set coaster (identical to the Schwarzkopf Jet-Star coaster at Casino Pier), Polyp, Himalaya, and Bayern Kurve. In 1977, under the ownership of Mike Brown, Funtown Pier constructed a $2 million Log Flume ride from Arrow Development. Flume rides were very popular at major regional theme parks that were opening across the country during this period, and this Log Flume at Funtown was the largest of its kind. The crowds responded enthusiastically and, at $1 per ride, things were looking up for Funtown. In 1989 Funtown Pier was purchased by William Major, who set forth on an improvement program and continued to expand the Pier’s attractions for many years. Mr. Major’s first additions were a 120-foot-tall giant Ferris wheel and a compact looping roller coaster. As further expansion planes were considered, space became an issue; sadly, the popular 1977 Log Flume fell victim to its record-breaking size and sprawl, and was reduced to half its original course in order to make room for more attractions. Eventually, in 1997, the Log Flume was removed completely. In 2000, the Tower of Fear, an S&S drop tower, was added, along with a small version for the kids. Numerous kids’ rides were also added in the early 2000s, as well as a walkthrough Haunted House. (To satisfy Seaside Park’s height restrictions, both the Ferris wheel and Tower of Doom were placed toward the northern end of Funtown Pier, above Porter Avenue in Seaside Heights.) A custom-made family roller coaster, the Funtown Family Flyer, was introduced in 2002. Later, a vintage steel Wild Mouse coaster from the 1950s was acquired and was given a complete refurbishment to modern structural and operating

standards, and premiered as the Mighty Mouse in 2005. Funtown’s success wasn’t completely based in its rides and attractions along the Pier. Many of the businesses are well known and have developed loyal followings among millions of vacationers and locals. Names such as the Berkley Sweet Shop, Maruca’s Tomato Pies, and the original Kohr’s Frozen Custard (with no less than four locations throughout Funtown) are well known and revered in Seaside and everywhere. Along with restaurants and bars all along the west side of Funtown and Ocean Terrace, from the Beachcomber to the Sawmill, these businesses transcended the seasonal nature of Boardwalk commerce and have adequate draw among the local population to enable them to operate in all seasons. Other eating establishments, shops, and game arcades along the Boardwalk to the north have followed and now operate weekends yearround. Funtown’s darkest day arrived on October 29, 2012, when Superstorm Sandy slammed into the coast of New Jersey. Eighty percent of the Pier and virtually all rides were destroyed by the storm. Most of Funtown USA’s businesses and the surrounding Boardwalk infrastructure survived, although with flooding and some damage to buildings, and were able to operate through the 2013 summer season; Funtown Pier, however, was a near-complete loss. William Major proclaimed he would rebuild, bigger than ever. He began the application process with state regulators to expand the width of the Pier by 300 feet, heading further east toward the ocean. The new, bigger, better Funtown Pier could be ready to entertain its first guests as soon as 2015. Once again, the unthinkable happened. On September 12th, 2013, subfloor wiring which had been stripped by salt water immersion during Superstorm Sandy sparked a fire, which was fanned by winds and spread northward. The fire destroyed nearly five blocks of Boardwalk – two blocks in Seaside Park, two and a half in Seaside Heights - and over 50 businesses were lost, along with what pieces remained of Funtown Pier. Funtown USA was put back to the ashes from which it was created, following the 1955 Freeman's fire. Resilient as ever, merchants resolved to rebuild. As quickly as three weeks after the fire, some businesses had started up again in temporary alternate locations. Once again, William Major stated his intention to rebuild Funtown Pier, stronger than ever. In a twist of irony, the demolition company owned by Mr. Major was able to contract for the debris removal and disposal after the fire, which brought income to help recover some degree of his losses. A lot of good things were created after the 1955 fire. What good things may come again?


The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

SEASIDE HEIGHTS Columbus Day Parade Marches into its 22nd Year by Carly Kilroy

SEASIDE HEIGHTS - A little rain never stopped people from coming out and enjoying the Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival held here for the previous 21 years, it didn’t for this year’s 22nd annual event, either. “It rained on Friday and it was not too nice on Saturday, but last year it actually rained while we were marching,” Millie Aprea, a member of the parade committee said on Sunday, October 13th. Even though the parade itself is traditionally held every Sunday morning, the Italian festival with vendors, food stands, and entertainers begins on Friday

morning and lasts well into Sunday night. This year the rain started to roll through on Friday, but the skies cleared up just in time for participants to march down the Boulevard in Seaside and enjoy the last day of the festival. “Today is just perfect,” Ms. Aprea said, adding that she joined the parade committee because - like many of her fellow members - her love for Italian heritage is strong. “I am a very proud Italian even know I was born here

in the United States,” she said. Several committee members stated that they anticipate the event all year. “Today is the best day. Some days it’s better than Christmas,” committee member Carol Tramutola - who has been on the board for 21 years - said. “I’m Italian, I love my Italian heritage. It’s something that I just love doing.” Evey year the committee invites a performance group from Italy to come stay for one week and participate in various Columbus Day parades in the area in addition to per-

forming at the festival, she added, and the entire parade committee makes sure the group feels right at home during their stay in America. John Giavatto, a parade trustee and former Italian teacher from the area, generally sticks with the group all week and acts as their translator. “They’re invited out to dinner almost every night of the week,” Ms. Tramutola said. This year the folk group Lo Zampognaro Lagaro from Pomarolo, Trento was chosen to come participate in the festivities. “This is our first time in America,” performer Verena Tovawi said. The group sang and danced all night as if they were celebrating back at their home of Northern Italy. Their authentic charm enamored their curious audience as they drew in small crowds of spectators who seemed to be unable to pull themselves away from the performance. “It’s a great weekend. People just need to come and enjoy it,” Ms. Tramutola said.

Seaside Heights Ends Summer on a High Note by Christine Quigley SEASIDE HEIGHTS - It was a summer to remember in Seaside Heights in 2013, but not for the right reasons. After rebuilding its entire boardwalk after Superstorm Sandy, the borough was faced with the reality that not as many people were coming back as they had hoped. Rentals, sales and revenue were down across the boards. To make matters worse, just as things were starting to look up for the borough, the September 12th fire once again brought the community to its knees. But Mayor William Akers and the Seaside Heights Business Improvement District did not let all of that get in the way as they closed the summer out on a high note, with a full boardwalk and action packed schedule of hosted events. In September and October, the borough hosted the New Heights Festival, BBQ Fest by Sea, a BBQ competition, biker rally, Columbus Day Parade, Seafood Festival and one of the biggest antique car shows at the Jersey Shore, hosted by the Ocean County Vintage Automobile Museum of Point Pleasant. Once again, the town now goes back into rebuilding mode this winter to try it again in 2014.

Top: Bike Rally at Hooks; Judges at the barbecue festival’s barbeque contest; The Vintage Automobile Museum hosted the annual Seaside Heights Car Show; Seafood Festival. Photos by Phil Stilton / the Ocean Signal.

by Pete Smith SEASIDE HEIGHTS - Marsha Dionisio, the 4th grade teacher at the Hugh J. Boyd, Jr. Elementary School in Seaside Heights was one of six teachers chosen in a Teacher of the Year contest sponsored by People Magazine, announced October 16th. Mrs. Dionisio said she entered the contest in the summer, telling her story of the displacement of her students after Hurricane Sandy. The whole of the Boyd School spent most of the 2012-2013 school year using makeshift classrooms and supplies at Central Regional High School. Mrs. Dionisio was displaced for over 8 months from her home in Ortley Beach. In addition to being in the magazine, Mrs. Dionisio was also honored by an appearance on the Katie Couric Show, and was treated to an all-expense paid visit to New York City, as well as cash prizes that will benefit both her and her students. “It was really an amazing experience,” she said.


Mrs. Dionisio Featured in People Magazine; Katie Couric Show

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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

ISLAND HEIGHTS National Juried Trompe l’oeil Exhibition Comes to Peto Studio Museum by Christa Riddle ISLAND HEIGHTS Dating back to the Victorian era, this tranquil coastal community has attracted many artists with its serene landscape of sloping bluffs, relaxing beaches, and inspiring views of the Toms River and Barnegat Bay. A perfect niche in which to work as well as live, artists began calling the quaint town their yearround home after initially visiting for summer retreats. John Frederick Peto was one of the first artists to fully reside in Island Heights after spending much time in the area during summer visits. Leaving the Philadelphia art scene in search of a quieter, family-focused life that still lent itself to his painting, Peto designed and built his family home in 1890, soon followed by his studio. Upon moving to Island Heights, Peto played cornet for the Island Heights Methodist Camp Meeting for income to support his household while he still continued to paint, although mostly in anonymity. Today, the restored Peto home and studio serve as the John F. Peto Studio Museum, a preservation of and tribute to the artist’s life and work. Peto painted in trompe l’oeil, or “fool the eye” style, a form of painting that portrays realistic still-life appearing three-dimensional in perspective. Although the phrase trompe l’oeil came to be during the 1600s, use of the technique dates back to ancient Greek and Roman times and includes the work of many renowned artists in addition to Peto. Peto’s work capture everyday objects, with the artist mastering the trompe l’oeil style of perceived dimension. Several of Peto’s paintings are permanently displayed at the John F. Peto Studio Museum, thanks to local private collectors, while others are also exhibited in

well-known museums throughout the United States, such as the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The furniture in the museum belonged to Peto and his family, and many of the objects Peto used as models for his paintings are on display, arranged as they would have been when Peto painted them. The Peto family lived in the house for over 100 years, until the death of Peto’s granddaughter in 2002. In 2005, the Peter R. and Cynthia K. Kellogg Foundation purchased and restored the Peto residence in line with Victorian style of Peto’s time. In addition to educating visitors about Peto, his life, and his work, the John F. Peto Studio Museum features works by other area artists. It also hosts painting workshops and juried art exhibitions, such as the current National Juried Trompe l’oeil Exhibition showcased September 28th through December 31st. The museum’s first national show, it represents 26 artists from 17 states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Virginia, Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Washington, Oregon, and California. Of the 61 total pieces of art included in the exhibit, 17 are three-dimensional. In the show, artists’ media include oil, colored pencil, ink, acrylic, gouache, and variations of clay and paper. “We expanded upon the oil paint on canvas used traditionally in trompe l’oeil paintings, allowing competing artists to use other media to create the three-dimensional effect,” shared Harry Bower, co-curator of the museum alongside Joseph Eichinger. “Due to the great response to the show this year, we plan on doing it again next year.” The show started with a call for

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entry, with each artist submitting four entries, and at the end of August, the John F. Peto Museum staff selected the 26 featured artists who would compete for first, second, and third place awards. The final award selections were juried by Audrey Lewis, associate curator of art at the Brandywine River Museum. “All of the works in the exhibition are successful in achieving the trickery and deception inherent in trompe l’oeil, engaging the viewer in the act of looking by evoking and confounding expectations,” said Ms. Lewis. “Some are witty and playful, some cerebral, and others more poignant and nostalgic.” In the end, Lewis chose Golden Gloves by Gary Erbe of New Jersey as first place winner; Keep on Painting by Juile Angela Theresa of Massachusetts as second place winner; and Seeds in the Forest by Claudia Tarantino of California as third place winner. “In reviewing this remarkable selection for the top prizes, I have looked for artists who, while perhaps paying homage to the great trompe l’oeil masters of the past, have also strived to distinguish themselves, offering something new and exciting to the audience. My criteria [were] craftsmanship, concept, innovation, and complexity,” added Ms. Lewis. For more information on the John F. Peto Studio Museum and the National Trompe L’oeil Exhibition, as well as Peto’s life and work and the upcoming Abbey Ryan painting workshop November 9th and 10th, visit, or call 732929-4949. Museum hours are Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with special times and tours available by appointment. The museum is located at 102 Cedar Avenue in Island Heights.

Upcoming Events Stories Around Island Heights

The special five-part storytime series, "Stories Around Island Heights," kicks off Wednesday, October 30th, with stories, songs and activities in a different location each week for preschoolers and their parents. The schedule is as follows: October 30th at 10:30am – Ocean County Artists’ Guild November 6th at 10:30am – Island Heights Pavilion November 20th at 10:30am – Island Heights Volunteer Fire Co. December 4th at 10:30am – A New Corner Deli December 11th at 12:15pm – Shore Ballet School Those interested are asked to call the library at (732) 270-6266 for more information or to register. Registration is also available on the county library website at

Afternoon of Shopping

On Saturday, November 2nd from 11 am to 4 pm, enjoy an afternoon of shopping at the Island Heights Grade School on Lake and Simpson avenues. Over 30 local artisans and businesses will be on hand with toys, concrete benches and yard art, candles, stationary, stained glass, jewelry, hand-made quilts, specialty foods, pottery and many more interesting items for sale. Delicious home-made food and baked goods will also be available for purchase, gift baskets will be raffled hourly and a 50/50 will be held. Questions? Call (732) 929-2646 or e-mail Proceeds benefit the Island Heights Cultural & Heritage Association and Cottage Museum.

ago and resulted in an initial book, in 1995, on their origins, artists and value. The program - taking place Monday, November 18th at 7 pm in Fellowship Hall of the Island Heights Methodist Church - will feature Ms. Gallina's collection and latest book, which is a collector's identification and value guide of Christmas pin jewelry. All are invited to bring their Christmas pins to share. This event is open to the public and includes free and delicious homemade refreshments.

Christmas Pins Program

Back by popular demand, local resident Jill Gallina will present the Island Heights Cultural and Heritage Association's November program on Christmas pins, which she researched many years


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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

Summit Avenue Beach Bonfire Last Saturday night, dozens of children and their families enjoyed a special bonfire at the beach put on by the borough recreation committee and supported by the Island Heights Volunteer First Aid Squad, who stood watch over the fire area.

Featuring marshmallow roasting, many bendable neon glow sticks, Halloween candy and toys and an eclectic mix of modern rock blasting from a sound system set up in the gazebo by Yosi, borough children ran, laughed and enjoyed sips

of hot chocolate and apple cider on the cold sand as night drew darker and Halloween nearer. Curfew will be 8 pm for youths under the age of 18 except if traveling to or from work from Friday, October 25th through Thursday, Octo-

ber 31st. Trick-or-treating will take place from 4 pm to 8 pm on October 31st, though borough officials asked residents to expect the likelihood of children starting earlier than that time when Island Heights School lets out for the day.

Photos by Erik Weber


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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013


Muscle Cars, Model-Ts and More - 8th Annual EMS Car Show a Success

by Christa Riddle OCEAN GATE - Last Saturday, the Ocean Gate Volunteer Fire Aid Squad hosted their eighth annual car and motorcycle show at First Aid Park with much success. A total of 230 cars and motorcycles and about 750 spectators came out to support the fundraiser event and enjoy the day’s festivities, which included food, music, vendors, raffles, entry awards, and a tricky tray auction. As their largest fundraiser of the year, this squad of volunteers relies on the money they bring in to support them so that their first aid services can continue to support their community. “Most people don’t realize that we almost fully support ourselves. On our own, we pay for our fuel, building operating costs, building and equipment maintenance, equipment purchas-

es, first aid supplies, training, and uniforms,” said Julie Trovato, trustee and wife of member and car show coordinator Jack Trovato. “We rely on donations to keep us going. All of the money we raise at our car show each year goes to the squad so we can keep serving our community.” The family-oriented event continues to grow each year, which the Trovatos attribute to their willingness to listen to the feedback of event participants. “We had a few requests for vegetarian food selections, so in addition to the 150 pounds of regular chili we make, we also added vegetarian chili and veggie burgers,” said Mrs. Trovato. “We want everyone to enjoy the day and have a good time. We keep our food prices low so families can afford to come and eat.” A sausage sandwich vendor was another addition this year. The Trovatos reflected back to their first car show and their shock when cars were already lined up by 8 a.m. for a 12 p.m. show. “We had to keep running out to get hard rolls and coffee. It was packed early on, and we weren’t ready. Although we had been to a ton of car shows ourselves, running one is completely different,” said Mr. Trovato, a lifetime car buff who got the idea for the fundraiser after seeing how well other car show fundraisers had done to raise money for different causes. “Now, we have bagels and breakfast sandwiches from the grill and plenty of coffee. Cars start rolling in as early as 6:30 a.m. and we are ready.” The Trovatos are also members of the East Coast Car and Truck Club. Annually, the show has an average of about 250 cars that participate in the event. This year, 60 awards were given out in multiple categories, including classic car, modern car, classic commercial/ truck, modern commercial/ truck, motorcycle, emergency vehicle, and TV/movie car. Specialty awards include squad’s choice, mayor’s choice, best appearing Mopar, club participation, and the Officer Jason Morales Memorial Award, given to the 4X4 vehicle chosen by the Ocean Gate Police Department.

Photos by Erik Weber The first year, the car show raised $5,000 with 140 cars in attendance; this year, the event grew to raise around

$8,000. The squad solicits participants through flyer (Continued on Page 23)

Halloween Parade OCEAN GATE - The Ocean Gate Volunteer Fire Company's Annual Halloween Parade will take place on Sunday, October 27th at noon, with signups held from 1 to 3 pm at the firehouse on East Arverne Avenue the day before, Saturday. The parade route begins in front of the Ocean Gate Yacht Club and proceeds south on Ocean Gate Avenue, ending at the firehouse. Refreshments will be served and awards given after the parade ends, with categories including cutest, funniest, scariest, most unusual and best overall.


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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

Car Show (Continued from page 22) distributions and announcements on private, state, and national car club websites and social media. The event is free to spectators, and participating cars and motorcycles pay an entry fee of $12 with pre-registration, or $15 if registering the day of the event. Food sales, vendor table rentals, and event and award sponsorships also help bring in funds. This year, sponsors included Shop Rite, Green Mile Landscaping, Ocean Gate Collision Center, Cosmos Auto Recyclers, and many others. Squad volunteers also wanted to send out a special thank you to friends and families that volunteered their time to help out the organization that day. The Ocean Gate Volunteer First Aid Squad is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization and a registered NJ Charitable Organization; all donations are tax deductible. They have been serving their community for over 60 years and respond to about 300 to 500 calls a year. Julie and Jack Trovato have been active in the squad for over 20 years, with Jack serving as the captain for 10 years. The past year has proven to be particularly challenging for this volunteer organization, as donations have decreased due to a tough economy and the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy that damaged about 60 percent of the town’s residences. The Trovatos’ house was all but destroyed by the hurricane; many other members suffered severe damage to their homes, as well as lost memorable and household items and vehicles. However, their dedication to the squad and their volunteer efforts to help their community have not waivered, even as members have weathered their own difficult times. “Our car show this year became particularly important due to a decrease in donations,” stated Mrs. Trovato. “We need money now more than ever to keep our EMS going.” For information about the annual car and motorcycle show, as well as other fundraisers, visit their website, www.oceangateems. org. Anyone interested in volunteering for the Ocean Gate EMS or making a donation to the organization can complete the necessary paperwork online. The car show is also on Facebook under Ocean Gate EMS 8th Annual Car Show.

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Photos by Erik Weber

Bus Trip to NYC OCEAN GATE - Mayor Paul Kennedy has announced that a limited amount of tickets remain for the borough fundraiser bus trip to New York City on Thursday, December 12th, to enjoy the Radio City Christmas Show and shopping in Manhattan.

Buses leave borough hall at 8:45 am sharp, the show takes place at 2 pm and buses will leave the city at 7 pm, leaving plenty of time for lunch, shopping and sightseeing before and after the show. Tickets are $86 per person and include bus,

show ticket and gratuity. Seats are in the first mezzanine. All checks should be made out to the Borough of Ocean Gate. For more information, please call Mayor Kennedy at (732) 269-3166 ext. 28. Only 112 tickets are available for the two buses running, and seats are selling fast. First paid, first in.


The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013


Indoor Flea Market Opens; Over 1,900 Shoppers on First Day

by Carly Kilroy

Mayor Joseph Champagne continued his tradition of honoring students with high achievements on a monthly basis during the governing body’s October caucus meeting, held on October 14th. ERIK WEBER / OCEAN SIGNAL


SOUTH TOMS RIVER - From fine antiques and hand crafted jewelry to homemade pastries and fresh grown produce, you can find just about anything at Pickers Warehouse USA, Ocean County’s newest indoor flea market. “We’re called the flea market unleashed,” Curt Palmero, one of the partners of Pickers said. Located on One South Main Street here, just footsteps away from downtown Toms River, owners are proud of it being one of the most versatile and cleanest facilities in the area. “We’re an indoor market place for crafters and small businesses. Businesses that are either too small to have their own retail space or don’t want the expense of the over head of insurance, utilities, or marketing. We include all of that here,” Mr. Palmero said. The fact that Pickers Warehouse USA handles all of the advertising for the businesses located in the indoor flea market is what the market partner believes to be the real selling point for the facility. “We do the marketing for people, that’s our biggest differentiation,” he said. Pickers Warehouse USA is open Thursday thru Sunday from 8am to 5pm, all year round. Spaces are always available for anyone interested in opening up a

stand, and potential vendors can choose whether they want to purchase a space just for the day, the whole weekend, or for the entire year. Spaces cost $30 daily or $25 per day if vendors decided to sign up for the whole month or year. One vendor at Picker’s Warehouse USA, Robert “The Sole Man” Bedea , said he’s already enjoying the space that Mr. Palmero and his partners put together. “They’re pretty much out to see everyone succeed. They have a good vision,” he said, show-

ing off his ‘Soles,’ or handmade leather slippers. “They’re part moccasin, part slipper, and part flip flop,” the vendor stated, adding that he began selling his handmade shoes and similar products on the Asbury Park boardwalk this past Memorial Day, but had to find a new place to sell his merchandise now that the boardwalk season is coming to an end. “It’s a brand new venture,” Mr Bedea said. As far as the Pickers Warehouse USA opening weekend is concerned, he said he saw hundreds of people coming in and out of the facility all weekend supporting the local vendors, a fact verified by market partners who placed the first day patron numbers at over 1,900 plus 14 new vendor sign-ups. “I think there has been a fairly good response throughout the community,” the moccasin vendor stated. For more information on Pickers Warehouse USA, visit them online at www.

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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

Manitou Park, Pinewald Fire Companies Join for Trap Shoot

by Erik Weber LACEY - Last Saturday, around 40 members and participants from the Pinewald Pioneer and Manitou Park volunteer fire companies converged here at the Groundswipers Rod & Gun Club on Lacey Road for a pig roast and trap shoot that raised funds to benefit both organizations. Located about midway between the Garden State Parkway Exit 74 and Dover Road, the club - which features ample grounds for trap shooting, picnicking, barbeques and a concrete block clubhouse with in-

door facilities - is open to the public and a common meeting ground for both the veteran hunter and casual sport shooting enthusiast. While Pinewald Pioneer has held fundraising events here in the past, Manitou Park Volunteer Fire Company’s Pat Piccoli, a past chief, stated that this was the first time they tried to host the event together. Donations came in from Fire in the Hole Pig Roast and BBQ, a Bayville-based barbeque catering company that specializes in pig roasts and donated their time, trimmings and talent while

Photos by Erik Weber

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the companies purchased the two pigs cooked for the event meal; Toms River’s Camona Bolen Home for Funerals, who provided the event tickets; and the rod and gun club itself. “The total raised was about $1,500 and each company split it,” said Mr. Piccoli. “Next year we hope to do a lot better and start a little earlier to get donations.” The fundraising event, like the rod and gun club itself, is open to the public and membership is not required. For more information on the Groundswipers Rod & Gun Club, visit them online at www.groundswipers. com. Anyone interested in joining the Manitou Park or Pinewald Pioneer fire companies can find them online by searching their names or calling Mr. Piccoli at (732) 597-8379.


The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013


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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

JACKSON Walk To Remember

by Phil Stilton JACKSON-In September and October, Jackson Elementary School students across the district participated in a “Walk to Remember”, hosted by Mr. Barry Rosenzweig, or as students know him, “Mr. R”. Mr Rosenzweig hosts the walk annually in partnership with the school district as a day of remembrance for America’s military veterans. Students are introduced to the importance of military service and to the sacrifices that have been made by millions of Americans to preserve the freedoms we all enjoy. “It doesn’t matter when you served, whether it was wartime, peace time, army, navy or coast guard,” Mr. Rosenweig told students at Holman Elementary School. “What matters is that they served to defend our country.” At each school, Mr. R led a walk to remember as

he was joined at times by students’ family members who have served in the armed forces. He instructed the students on how to pay their respects to a veteran by placing their right hand over their heart and to say, “Thank you for your service.” Although October has no formal veterans remembrance holidays, Rosenweig said the month is chosen because in May

and November, months commonly associated with Veterans Day and Memorial Day, students are busy in testing cycles.

Did you know? The United States was involved in the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1975. Nearly 40 years later, 1,350 American servicemen are still listed as either a Prisoner of War or Missing in Action (POW/MIA).

Switlik Elementary School students show their patriotism with Mr. R. on September 26th at the Walk to Remember.

From Sicily to Jackson; Mona Lisa Pizzeria Celebrates Three Years of Old Country Recipes by Christine Quigley JACKSON-Three years ago, Peter and Sal Como made a big decision in their lives, to open Mona Lisa pizzeria in Jackson Township. The two brothers were previously the owners of Mona Lisa Pizza in Annadale, Staten Island, but sold that restaurant nearly 10 years ago. With family living in Jackson, they wanted to bring their family’s Sicilian recipes to Jackson Township. When the opportunity to open a restaurant at their Five Corners location opened up, the Como’s knew they had to do it. Since opening, Jackson residents have embraced their Staten Island influenced menu and Mona Lisa has become a fixture in the Jackson restaurant community. It’s a labor of love for the Comos who commute each day from their homes in Staten Island. Why Jackson? Peter said, “We have

cousins and family here in Jackson and we wanted to open the restaurant here after they told us they missed old fashion Staten Island type food and service after moving to Jackson.” Their menu is based off of family recipes handed down through the generations, directly from Sicily. Born in the seaside resort of Castellammare del Golfo, Siciliy, off the coast of Italy, Peter moved here with his family when he was 7. After running his very popular restaurant in Staten Island, he knew with the large amount of Staten Island natives moving to Jackson over the years, his menu would catch on quick. As for Jackson, Peter said,

“Jackson is a town of great people who have been very nice to us since we opened our restaurant. It’s a very quiet community, but the people who live here know good food when they taste it. They have been very supportive of our restaurant and we hope to be able to serve them for many years to come.” Peter and Sal would like to invite you to come to Mona Lisa to celebrate their 3rd anniversary together and to say thank you.

Former Jackson Mayor Running for Freeholder Former Jackson Township Mayor and Police Commissioner Joseph Grisanti is running for office again. Grisanti is vying for the office of Ocean County Freeholder. Jackson has been void of representation on the county board for many years, but Grisanti hopes that Jackson voters come out to support him on election day. “There’s a lot of things go-


ing on at the county level that impact Jackson,” Grisanti said in a recent interview. “I think having a 5-0 majority for over 20 years is not healthy for the county. When a majority rules for that long, they become complacent.” Grisanti also said the current board is lacking when it comes to tackling issues important to Jackson. “They continue to ignore

the problems of northern Ocean County including Jackson and Lakewood,” he said. “We have a lot of county roads in Jackson and with the amount of fatalities over the years they should get more attention than they get.” Mr. Grisanti, a lawyer, is also a former FBI agent and is a prosecutor in several Ocean County municipalities.

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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

Recycle By Erin Stilton As paper goes to waste, Another tree does too. If we don’t stop this, All trees might be through.

Holman 5th Grade Poet Among Twelve State Finalists JACKSON-Erin Stilton, a fifth grade student at Holman Elementary School, was recently recognized as a winner of the annual NJ Recycling Poetry Contest. Erin, along with 12 other winners from the state, were formally acknowledged during a ceremony at the Jumping Brook Country Club. The contest is hosted yearly by the New Jersey Department of Energy for children in grades 4 through 6. There were thousands of entries submitted in 2013. The winning entries will be featured in a calendar that will be distributed to schools and government offices throughout the state. Erin is the first student from Jackson Township to be chosen as a finalist since the contest began in 1990’s, according to the New Jersey DEP. As a second grader, Erin was an invitee at the annual Young Author’s Conference, sponsored by the New Jersey Reading Asso-

ciation and has maintained a nearly perfect straight A report card throughout her elementary school education. Erin is the daughter of Ocean Signal Digital Media Editor, Phil Stilton. You might say she has an advantage over her peers being the daughter of a newspaper editor, but Mr. Stilton said, “Poetry was never something I excelled in. Police blotters and technical manuals–yes–so I can only credit the Jackson School District and the teachers at Holman Elementary School for expanding her horizons and introducing her to a writing form I would venture to say she did not learn at home.” In May, Erin published an article for the Ocean Signal newspaper as her school project for “Take your Sons and Daughters to Work Day”. The article was about the ongoing projects by the Jackson Department of Public Works as the town

It takes 700 years for plastic to decompose, Over one million for glass, If we litter these materials, Landfills will fill up too fast.

November Picks at the Library Teen Advisory Board Tuesdays,November 19th, & December 17th, 7 PM. Earn volunteer service hours by helping to plan library programs for teens and children, make book displays, decorate the Jackson library, and other duties as assigned. Grades 7 - 12. Must fill-out a volunteer application. Lenape Culture Monday, Nov. 11, 7:00pm. Beverly Friend, of Cherokee Heritage will present a variety of authentic artifacts, crafts and clothing to ex-

plain Lenape Daily life, beliefs and history and creative expression. Teen Volunteer Afternoon Friday, November 22, 3pm. Serve your community and earn volunteer hours by helping kids with crafts at the library. Grades 6 - 12. Afternoon Movie Thursday, November 14, 2pm. For Veterans Day we present a film celebrating the glory of the fighting forces. Inspired by Hasbro’s classic naval game, Battleship.

Paper Airplanes Thursday, November 7, 2pm. Grades K - 3. School is out. Come in for National Aviation History Month for a story and craft. Also, we’ll be having a paper airplane throwing competition.

It’s easy to recycle, Just throw them in a bin. The town comes and takes it, This makes us all win. Recycle glass and plastic, Aluminum and more. Reduce, reuse, recycle, And protect the Jersey Shore.

readied the parks for the 2013 season. The Ocean Signal strongly supports and encourages student journalism and literacy. To publish your child’s works in the Ocean Signal, please email news@ The Ocean Signal also welcomes news about student academic achievements.

Hearing on Orthodox High School Moved to Jackson Memorial NOTICE: The hearing by the Jackson Township Zoning Board for the application of a new private high school on November 20th has been moved to the auditorium of Jackson Memorial High School. The meeting begins at 7pm on Wednesday, November 20th.

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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

P OLICE B LOTTER Hard Drives and Laptops Stolen from Firm That Audited AshBritt Overbilling

POLICE: Jackson Man Hid Camera Inside Gym Bag at YMCA; Possibly Recorded Children

Matthew Wolny TOMS RIVER-Sources close to the investigation into Matthew Wolny’s charges of distribution of child pornography said today that he hid a camera inside his gym bag and recorded children in the locker room at the Ocean County YMCA, here, over an undisclosed period of time. Mr. Wolny, 35, of Maryland Drive in Jackson, then transferred and shared images and video he captured on the internet, according to the source who requested not to be identified. He was arrested on the morning of September 26th after a two-month-long investigation. Related Ocean County Crime News: Computers & Laptops Stolen from Office of Firm that Audited AshBritt’s Finances During Hurricane Sandy Cleanup. In the early morning hours of September 26th, the investigation led detectives to the Maryland Drive residence. Ocean County High Tech Crime Unit Detectives, with assistance from the Jackson Police Department, executed a search warrant and found he was allegedly actively manufacturing, trading, and possessing thousands of child pornography files, including graphic pictures and movies. When presented with a copy of the arrest warrant, Mr. Wolny attempted to fight his way out of the residence and was quickly taken into custody by Ocean County detectives and Jackson patrol officers. Prosecutor’s Office Detective David Brubaker charged Mr. Wolny with one count of 2nd degree Manufacturing of Child Pornography, 2nd degree Distribution of Child Pornography, and 3rd degree Possession of Child Pornography. Jackson Police charged him with Resisting Arrest and Obstruction. Bail was set at $100,000 no 10% by the

Honorable Judge James Blainey. The charges were authorized by Assistant Prosecutor Hillary Bryce, and Mr. Wolny was lodged in the Ocean County Jail but posted bail on September 30th and was released. Digital evidence, cell phones, a .44 caliber handgun, and his vehicle were seized for possible forfeiture. Al DellaFave, spokesperson for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office said he could not comment on the details of the investigation, but would neither confirm nor deny that Mr. Wolny used a hidden camera to capture the images he distributed on the internet. A request for comment from Ocean County YMCA President Rodger Koerber on Saturday has not yet been returned. The case will be prosecuted under the new enhanced Child Pornography law, which took effect on August 14th of this year. The law enhances the penalties and grading of child pornography offenses by raising Possession of Child Pornography from a 4th degree to a 3rd degree offense, and creates a presumption of imprisonment for those who possess more than 100 files containing child pornography. Distribution of Child Pornography is a strict liability offense if it occurs on a peer-to-peer file sharing network, and Distribution of over 25 files carries a mandatory period of parole ineligibility. Mr. Wolny is employed by the Howell Township School System in Monmouth County as an IT Technician. He is a volunteer Assistant Marching Band Director at Brick Memorial High School and a member of the Ocean County YMCA. NOTE: The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office is encouraging anyone with additional information in this case to contact Detective David Brubaker at 732-929-2027 x 5329. The media and the public are reminded that criminal charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Under the terms of his bail, Mr. Wolny is not permitted to have contact with children under the age of 16.

TOMS RIVER-Toms River Police are investigating a breakin at the offices of the Louis Berger Consulting Group at 10 Allen Street in Toms River. According to Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy, the incident occurred sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday on the morning of October 9th. “Unknown suspects used a rock to break a glass window on the first floor on the south side of the office building,” said Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy. ”The window was unlocked and entry was made into the offices of Louis Berger Consulting Group.” Mastronardy said the burglars were able to take a Samsung laptop computer, a Toshiba laptop computer, three external hard drives…and three gold wedding rings. Louis Berger Consulting Group was the state appointed monitor which uncovered discrepancies in AshBritt’s billing services after Hurricane Sandy. The firm was the author of the report which discovered discrepancies in AshBritt’s mile-

age calculations. AshBritt, Inc. was the debris hauler responsible for removing and disposing of that Sandy-related debris, while three debris-removal monitors, Arcadis U.S., Inc., the Louis Berger Group, Inc. and Witt O’Brien’s, LLC, were responsible for monitoring the services provided by AshBritt to these Ocean County municipalities. Billing miscalculations during the audit topped $300,000. The office building at 10 Allen Street in Toms River was used by several displaced municipal organizations, including the Borough of Seaside Park after Hurricane Sandy. It also houses the headquarters of the Law offices of Gilmore and Monahan. On Sunday, Mastronardy said there are no signs of foul play and the break-in had similar characteristics of previous downtown commercial breakins where laptops were stolen. Officer Chris Leighton is investigating the incident. Also investigating are Detective John Turner and the Ocean County sheriff’s Department.

Ocean County Criminal Indictments – Oct 16-17, 2013 Wendy S. Schoenberg, 39, and Brian E. Thelin, 43, both of Brick, were indicted on Possession of Heroin and Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute. The indictment stems from an incident in Little Egg Harbor on May 8, 2013. Mr. Thelin was also charged at the time of arrest with Operating a Motor Vehicle During a Period of License Suspension for a Second or Subsequent DUI. Brendan A. Haff, 21, of Havre De Grace, Maryland, was indicted on Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, as well as Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in Seaside Heights on May 18, 2013. William Shelby, age 28, and Diane Cannito, age 48, both of Lacey Township, were indicted by an Ocean County Grand Jury for third-degree possession of heroin and third-degree possession of heroin with the intent to distribute in a quantity of less than one-half

ounce. Defendants Lauren Jaegge of Lacey Township, age 23, and Brendan Gallivan of Ocean Township, age 25, were charged with third-degree possession of heroin. This investigation was conducted by the Lacey Township Police Department. An Ocean County Grand Jury has returned an indictment against Johnathan McDonald of Toms River, age 25, charging him with third-degree possession of heroin, third-degree possession of heroin with the intent to distribute in a quantity of less than one-half ounce, and third-degree distribution of a heroin in a quantity of a less than one-half ounce. Erika Engedal of Toms River, age 21, Guglielmo Ferrigno of Toms River, age 45, and Luigi Guardascione of Island Heights, age 48, were also charged with third-degree possession of heroin. The investigation was conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Group.

Jackson Man Arrested for Impersonating Police Officer On Thursday October 10, 2013 a subject was arrested and charged with Impersonating a Police Officer after investigating circumstances involving a motor vehicle stop. On October 5, 2013 at 051 hours, Officer Derek Gorski conducted a motor vehicle stop with a 2012 Nissan Maxima with darkly tinted windows for motor vehicle violations. The officer then conducted a further investigation after the driver had identified himself as working surveillance with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and doing undercover work with the Division of Criminal Justice regarding narcotics investigations. It was determined that the driver had been involved as a student in an internship program with the DCJ but was no longer in-

volved with the program. Amir Haidi, age 20 of Jackson, NJ was charged with Impersonating a Police Officer. He was processed and released on summons pending a court appearance. During the investigation, it was discovered that Mr. Haidi was also a suspected of impersonating a police officer in another incident in June, 2012. During that incident, it was reported that he was operating a gray or black 2005 Ford Crown Victoria and attempting to make motor vehicle stops in the area of Goldweber Avenue. The investigation is ongoing and anyone who may have been approached by this subject identifying himself as a police officer is asked to contact Officer Derek Gorski at 732928-1111.

Orthodox Rabbis Who Used Kidnapping and Torture to Force Divorces Arraigned in Court

TRENTON-Bail hearings in the case against a group of Orthodox Jewish Rabbis who ran a “Divorce for Hire” kidnapping and torture ring in Ocean County and New York City were held last week. Jay Goldstein, aka “Yaakov,” Moshe Goldstein, Avrohom Goldstein and Simcha Bulmash were arrested last week and charged in connection with an alleged scheme to kidnap and torture Orthodox Jewish men to obtain forced divorces. According to the state, the men conspired to unlawfully seize, kidnap and abduct Jewish Orthodox men in order to threaten and coerce them to consent to divorce. What the men didn’t know was that the last ‘case’ they took in August of 2013 was from undercover FBI agents. On August 7th, Martin Wolmark and Mendel Epstein participated in a conference call with FBI agents to discuss the possibility of performing a forced divorce. A week later, Epstein met with undercover FBI agents in Ocean County to discuss the kidnapping of a purported husband of an undercover FBI agent. In September, the pair took the FBI agent acting undercover to a location in Middlesex County to determine whether whether or not it was a suitable location for the kidnapping. On October 2nd, the pair then traveled to Rockland County in New York to receive authorize the use of violence in the forced divorce. Six days later, they met with an FBI agent in Kings County to discuss logistics for the kidnapping. The FBI broke up the operation on October 9th when Epstein and Wolmark met Ariel Potash, Moshe Goldstein, Binyamin Stimler, David Hellman, Simcha Bulmash, Avrohom Goldstein and Sholom Shuchat at the Middlesex County location to execute the kidnapping, torture and forced divorce. According to Jewish law, in order to effect a divorce, a husband must provide his wife with a document called a “get”. Divorces may only be granted by the husband, but a woman who cannot secure the ‘get’ from her husband has the right to sue her husband in a rabbinical court called a “Beth Din”. If the husband refuses the court’s demand, he may be

Rabbi Martin Wolmark. subject to penalties, but may ultimately continue to refuse, which is known as a ‘agunah’, according to the state. Epstein and Wolmark, both Jewish Rabbis charge women and their families thousands of dollars to obtain gets from their husbands. In some cases, with the use of violence. In the FBI operation, an undercover FBI agent posed as an Orthodox Jewish wife whose husband was unwilling to consent to a divorce. A second FBI agent posed as her brother who was willing to pay for the kidnapping to force a third agent, posing as the husband, who would not grant the divorce. During the operation, the FBI recorded calls between the undercover agents and the suspects. In one phone call, after explaining the process to the agents, Wolmark stated, “You need to get him to New York where someone can either harass him or nail him. Plain and simple.” At a subsequent meeting, Epstein told the agents, “Ya know, this is an expensive thing to do. It’s not simply; we’re talking…basically what we are going to be doing is kidnapping a guy for a couple of hours and beating him up and torturing him and then getting him to give the get.” Epstein suggested that a cattle prod should be used on the husband. “If it can get a bull that weighs five tons to move,” he said. ”You put in certain parts of his body and in one minute, the guy will know.” He admitted to performing a kidnapping every year to year and a half. The cost of the divorce, according to Epstein would run the wife approximately $70,000. $10,000 would go to pay off the rabbis on the rabbinical court to approve the kidnapping and up to $60,000 to pay for the ‘tough guys’ who would perform the beating and kidnapping,


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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013

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The Ocean Signal | October 25th - November 7th, 2013


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Ocean Signal - October 25th, 2013 - Vol. 1 Issue 13  

The thirteenth edition of the Ocean Signal, this digital version of the print edition is a complement to the online news source, www.OceanCo...

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