CONTENTS • APRIL 2016 10 CHIEF KUDRICK TACKLES HEROIN PROBLEM
Published by Stilton Company, LLC A Shore News Network publication.
Police Chief Andrew Kudrick’s unique approach to battling heroin problem in Howell.
12 CFC TO ROCK THE FARM IN 2016
PO Box 1056 • Jackson, NJ 08527 p. 1.732.333-3208 f. 732.709.7201 www.shorenewsnetwork.com
Coming full circle to fight heroin addiction. »»p. 10
16 SCOUTS REMEMBER VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE
President, Editor Phil Stilton 732-333-3208 x2 firstname.lastname@example.org
Scout troops plant flowers to remember Monmouth County’s victims of violence.
Vice President, Business Christine Stilton 732-333-3208 x1 email@example.com
20 MUNICIPAL ALLIANCE LIFE SKILLS TRAINING
Vice President Marketing & Sales Andrew Kern 732-333-3208 x 3 Akern@shorenewsnetwork.com
The Howell Municipal Alliance offers life management skills training. »»p. 13
Lakewood leaders turn table on surrounding towns’ reactions to social problems and population overgrowth.
Advertising Design Nadine Demczyszyn 732-994-5112 On the Spot Graphics
26 POLICE & FIRE NEWS
Contributing Writers NEWS & FEATURES Christa Riddle COMMUNITY EVENTS Pat Omandam
22 REACTION TO LAKEWOOD REACTIONS
Community pitches in to support police department, officers return favor with act of kindness. »»p.16
28 IN OUR SCHOOLS Find out what’s happening in the Howell K-8 School District.
SPORTS Eric Meany
30-32 REBEL SPRING REPORT
SUBMIT YOUR NEWS TO HOWELL MAGAZINE
See what’s happening with the Rebels softball, baseball and boys lacrosse teams.
35 HOWELL CHAMBER PROMOTES LOCAL BIZ
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK fb.com/HowellMag
See what’s new at the Howell Chamber Commerce and how the chamber helps local businesses. »»p.35
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HOWELL PAL ONE OF LARGEST IN NATION THROUGH DEDICATED VOLUNTEERS & COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS
BY CHRISTA RIDDLE More than 70 years ago, the National Police Athletics Leagues, Inc. (PAL) opened its first six chapters; to date, there are over 400 PAL chapters nationwide, providing services to more than one million young people between the ages of 5 and 18 years old across 700 cities. Howell’s PAL chapter, which is proudly one of the most extensive in the nation, remains dedicated to PAL’s mission to prevent juvenile crime and violence through providing civic, athletic, recreational, and educational opportunities and resources; cultivating strong positive attitudes towards and relationships with law enforcement officers; and reinforcing the responsible values and attitudes instilled in young people by their parents. Under the leadership of Chris Hill, Howell PAL’s executive director, National PAL president, and a retired sergeant with the Howell Township Police Department, Howell PAL offers over 100 sports, recreational, and educational programs for community members of all ages throughout the year, making it one of the largest and most extensive PAL chapters in the nation. “We strive to offer something for everyone and work in close collaboration with the township, board of education, schools, civic organizations, and local businesses for the betterment of our youth and the entire Howell community,” comments Hill. Howell PAL is unique because it has always worked in tandem with Howell Township, the township’s recreation and police departments, and the Howell public schools. “In most towns, PAL, recreation departments, and schools compete
against one another for youth participants,” explains Hill. “In Howell, it has always been a joint effort, even before we took over the township’s recreation department and many of the school sports and extracurricular activities back in 2010 to reduce costs.” Soon, Howell PAL will be used as a model PAL chapter and will collaborate with other PALs across Monmouth and Ocean counties on how they can expand as Howell PAL has. “We are the only PAL in the nation with a Youth Leadership Council and disaster response team recognized by FEMA. Our team of teen and adult volunteers has assisted with several largescale national disasters and has been noted for its recovery efforts,” informs Harold Foley, Howell PAL’s program director and a retired corporal from the Howell Township Police Department. In the middle schools, Howell PAL runs all of the traditional school sports programs, such as soccer, track and field, basketball, baseball, softball, and cheering. In addition to competitive team sports, they also offer students over 20 different co-curricular activities and non-competitive sports programs that meet three times a week. In addition, Howell PAL is in the process of starting a recreation and activities club that will include more sports opportunities such as kickball, badminton, and volleyball, to name a few. The activities take place after school, so students can utilize the schools’ late buses for convenience. Eventually, Howell PAL would like to expand similar activities into the district’s elementary schools. “We
have theater, yearbook, art, science, and cooking clubs, to name just a few of our many co-curricular activities that address a diverse range of student interests. Students asked for a cooking class, and after we started it, it became our most popular offering. We now have several sessions of our cooking class alone, with a total of 30 to 40 co-curricular sessions across the middle schools,” says Hill. Additional services provided by Howell PAL include adult exercise and special interest programs, Little PALs preschool, the PAL Theater Company, before- and after-school care, Helping Hands Art, PAL’s Pals, and the “Be a Pal” mentoring program. Always looking to grow and serve all community members, Howell PAL has several new programs in the works, including an automotive class on basic vehicle maintenance for teen and adult drivers that will be offered in partnership with two automotive businesses in Howell. There are also
plans for a Legos program, Destination Imagination, and a “learn to be a dee-jay” experience in the near future. Hill and Foley are working to expand their offerings for younger kids, as well as to spread the word about the adult classes they run. “Right now, we are planning a private and public community kickball tournament,” shares Hill. “The rounds of play will culminate in a nighttime final championship game under the lights at Oak Glen Park. Our goal with the tournament is to foster community relationships and provide a chance for townspeople to communicate with and get to know each other and the police force in a fun and relaxed social atmosphere.” For more information on Howell PAL, its community involvement, and its extensive offering of activities, visit www.howellpal.org. Howell PAL can also be reached at 732-919-2825.
APRIL 2016 • HOWELL MAGAZINE • To advertise your business, call 732.333.3208 • WWW.SHORENEWSNETWORK.COM
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POLICE CHIEF KUDRICK TACKLES HOWELL’S HEROIN PROBLEM BY CHIEF ANDREW KUDRICK
Approximately three years ago, heroin and its subsequent crime hit Howell hard. When the prices of opiate-based prescription pain pills skyrocketed, addicts turned to heroin, a cheap, highly-potent street drug, to feed their already-established opiate addiction. Shoplifting, thefts, and residential and vehicle burglaries spiked to record levels. First, we experienced copper and metal thefts, as addicts would sell these materials for money to support their heroin habit; as a result, pawn shops began to emerge in town, providing service to the
criminal element. Making matters worse, during this time, the economy was still recovering, and the staffing of Howell Township’s police force reflected numbers reminiscent of the early 1990s due to downsizing. All of this came together to present an environment ripe for breeding this epidemic. Officers began to see heroin more than marijuana. Although Howell Township is the largest jurisdiction in Monmouth County, covering 63 square miles with 55,000 residents, it still has the feel of a small bedroom community. The crime rate is relatively low compared to other large towns; however, at one point, Howell ranked 19th in New Jersey for substance abuse admissions. Sadly, and I’m not proud to admit it, Howell is probably much higher on that list due to skewed stats because of residential addresses: most of northern Howell has Farmingdale and Freehold residential mailing addresses. Additionally, many of the Ocean County towns surrounding Howell are on the top-ten list for substance abuse admissions. In the fall of 2014, Mayor William
Howell Police Chief Andrew Kudrick presents his Opiate Abuse Initiative at a news interview; Lynn Regan, co-founder of CFC Loud N Clear, discusses Howell Police Department’s Opiate Abuse Initiative to Monmouth County police chiefs
Gotto and Howell’s town council authorized a fulltime police unit to combat the heroin epidemic, and the Crime Suppression Unit
(CSU) grew into a full-time contingent of five officers. This unit was derived from the Crime Suppression Detail I created in 2006 when I served as a lieutenant on the evening shift. When manpower permitted, I would assign proactive officers to a plain-clothes detail to address street-level crimes, and Lieutenant Tom Rizzo continued this detail when he became evening squad lieutenant; he became the obvious choice to head the unit when it went full-time two years ago. Today, the CSU continues this work, now with a strong emphasis on narcotics enforcement. Over the past year, these five officers have arrested more users and dealers, taken more narcotics off the streets, seized more vehicles, currency and guns than the last ten years combined. Highly effective, the CSU officers also train regular patrol officers in the skills of detecting and apprehending criminals. From the start, the Howell Township Police Department took a very proactive response to the heroin problem, specifically by educating the community; although enforcement was an obvious part of the solution, it was not entirely effective because we knew we needed to stop substance abuse before first-time use. With heroin, addiction is immediate with the first use, and prevention-focused education was also essential—not just sending the “drugs are bad” message, but hitting parents with unfiltered, in-your-face information and the harsh realities of addiction. Holding parents directly responsible for the oversight of their children was paramount. In partnership with the Howell Township Municipal Alliance, we held heroin awareness forums at our middle schools, targeted at parents. In addition, CSU officers began visiting the middle schools and high school regularly to speak with students directly in individual classrooms, building rapports with the students while educating them about the realities and outcomes of substance abuse. Another progressive and atypical approach launched in Howell Township was our police department’s social media campaign tar-
geting those we had arrested for distribution. Although we never posted to embarrass even one single user—doing so would be contrary to our goal to provide assistance— we had no problem with humiliating apprehended dealers. As a result, I have witnessed dealers refuse to come into Howell to conduct their business. Although most chiefs would be satisfied with the accomplishment of keeping the dealers out of our community, I am not: Now, Howell CSU officers go outside of the Howell Township borders to pursue them. We want them incarcerated so they cannot
harm anyone else, regardless of where they live. It was certainly time to take a more aggressive and progressive approach to combat this epidemic, and education and enforcement were simply not enough. Arresting users and dealers is only a temporary fix to such a complex problem. As police chief, I knew more needed to be done; however, I did not know what that next step should be. Some other departments across the country had established assistance programs for addicts who came to the police for help, and I knew we needed to target those who were hesitant to ask for help and also convince addicts to seek help and consider treatment. I had learned about the extensive resources the Howell-based non-profit organization CFC Loud N Clear was providing for people in recovery, and it was clear that we needed to get involved in recovery efforts as well. The epiphany occurred on February 1st, when one of our officers was involved in a motor vehicle crash while responding to an overdose. I was fumed! Although the officer’s injuries were minor, the accident had the potential of being fatal, and the worst fear of a police chief is losing an officer in the line of duty. Continued on Page 17
APRIL 2016 • HOWELL MAGAZINE • To advertise your business, call 732.333.3208 • WWW.SHORENEWSNETWORK.COM
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CFC TO ROCK THE FARM AGAINST ADDICTION BY CHRISTA RIDDLE In 2014, New Jersey saw over 65,000 substance abuse treatment admissions, 28,000 of which were attributed to heroin or other opiates. Monmouth County placed at the top of the state’s list—second to Ocean County by 516 admissions—for the total number of substance abuse treatment admissions. Out of Monmouth County, Howell placed in the top five municipalities for substance abuse treatment admissions, behind Asbury Park, Long Branch, and Neptune. CFC (Coming Full Circle) Loud N Clear Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Farmingdale, was started in 2012 by Lynn Regan and her son Daniel, a person in recovery, in response to the heroin and opiate abuse epidemic destroying so many families. After Daniel’s many intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), several in-patient treatment centers, and years of an uphill battle with addiction, the Regan family saw gaps in the treatment and recovery system and realized a need for diverse programs for extended after-treatment care. When Daniel left the safety of his rehabilitation center, he developed a successful recovery system for himself, with the help of his mother. “After a while, people began asking us how we
did it, wanting to start their own recovery plans like mine,” shares Daniel. “My mom and I strongly believe and advocate that everyone deserves access to a comprehensive aftercare program, and out of our passion for this, CFC Loud N Clear was born.” Today, CFC Loud N Clear provides services for substance abuse prevention, intervention, and recovery with a seamless integration of the three, making it a full circle. Recently, CFC Loud N Clear collaborated with the Howell Township Police Department to launch New Jersey’s first Opiate Abuse Initiative, wherein a select group of recovery coaches will be dispatched to the police department’s Narcan opioid reversal calls to advise Narcan recipients on treatment and recovery options and to persuade them to enter treatment. CFC Loud N Clear has also expanded their support system to offer superior and affordable sober living through their B Homes in order to prevent relapse after treatment. Currently, there are two B Homes, one for males and one for females, in the local community, with plans to open more in the future. On March 18th, CFC Loud N Clear hosted “A Night in Havana,” their annual spring gala fundraiser held at the Eagle Oaks Country Club. Over 300 attendees, including elected state officials, How-
ell Police Department’s chief and several officers, Howell Chamber of Commerce members, and top executives from companies such as Verizon Communications, CJS Industries NYC, and JBL Insurance Group. “All funds raised from the evening of festivities go directly to CFC Loud N Clear Foundation programs that provide free services to families suffering from addiction,” advises Lynn, “which include SMART Recovery, AA meetings, our family support group, career and internship opportunities, sober social activities, sober living homes, educational scholarships, volunteer opportunities, outpatient treatment, family retreats and activities, holistic therapies… the list goes on and on. We believe in second chances, and we inspire with passion.” This summer, CFC Loud N Clear will host its third annual Rock the Farm Festival on August 27th, another major fundraiser for the non-profit
organization. Rock the Farm offers a full day of peace, love, and music as participants come together to fight addiction. Rock the Farm will be featured on Fox 5 Chasing News. The family-friendly event will include over 10 hours of live music by local, Indie, and headliner bands, a VIP tent, a security-supervised beer garden, a petting zoo and kids’ zone, over 50 craft vendors, 25-plus food trucks, and many more attractions. For band line-up information, tickets, volunteer opportunities, and sponsorships, visit www.rockthefarmnj. com. For more information on CFC Loud N Clear Foundation, visit www. healingus.org.
APRIL 2016 • HOWELL MAGAZINE • To advertise your business, call 732.333.3208 • WWW.SHORENEWSNETWORK.COM
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SCOUTS PLANT FLOWERS TO REMEMBER 2015 CRIME VICTIMS During National Crime Victims Rights Awareness Week, which was from April 10-16, members of Girl Scout Troop 60526 and Boy Scout Pack 158 Den 2, assisted with planting flowers in front of the headquarters building of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office in Freehold. The planting was to honor the nearly 3,100 new victims of crime last year around the county. Each flower was color coordinated to represent specific crimes from murder to sexual abuse/assault to lost property and everything in between. — at Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. This year’s theme was “Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope”. “To help stop the cycle of violence, we challenge all of you, advocates and allies, to identify who we are missing and how to increase our understanding of ways to better serve these populations. To do this, we must intentionally expand our networks to collaborate with nontraditional service providers, building trust and expanding our ability to reach victims where they are. We must be open to different perspectives and approaches so that we are inclusive in our responses,” said Mia Fernandez, Executive Director of the National Center for Victims of Crime.
Share YOUR local scout news by emailing your photos and news stories to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in next month’s issue of Howell & Monmouth Magazines. APRIL 2016 • HOWELL MAGAZINE • To advertise your business, call 732.333.3208 • WWW.SHORENEWSNETWORK.COM
Chief Kudrick Continued from Page 10 CPR calls are top priority and justify a “code 3,” which means lights and siren with an expedited response. Officers and emergency service responders, including volunteers, race to the scene of an overdose, often for a victim whose condition was self-inflicted by illicit behavior. I am in no way implying that officers should respond differently to an overdose call; however, any injury to an innocent third party that could result from the expedited response would be completely unnecessary and totally avoidable. CPR calls were once a rare occasion; now, unfortunately, they have become a usual occurrence, greatly increasing the inevitability of an innocent party being injured or killed in the process. I turned to social media to share my frustration, and it turned out to be one of the most influential and controver-
sial posts on our Facebook page. It also inspired me to bring recovery efforts right to the scene of the overdose crisis. New Jersey’s Overdose Prevention Act gives immunity from arrest to those suffering from and reporting the overdose, with the purpose of encouraging those present at an overdose to seek immediate medical assistance to limit overdose deaths. Although a very well-intended legislation, it has many gaps that adversely affect law enforcement efforts. For example, current legislation does not account for victims who refuse further medical treatment at the scene. Usually, an officer who arrives at a heroin overdose begins CPR or takes over bystander-administered CPR. The officer then administers the opioid antidote Narcan, and within minutes, the overdose victim is revived into normal condition, as if nothing had occurred, despite the performance of life-saving efforts minutes prior. Narcan administration reverses
the effects of opiates and also places the victim in immediate withdrawal, resulting in an enhanced craving for the drug. However, at this crucial point, the victim is allowed to refuse transport to the hospital for further treatment, and far too many addicts refuse to go to the hospital for various reasons: they often do not want their problem exposed, may not believe they have a problem, think that they can self-detox, or realize their access to the drug will be eliminated. Emergency personnel have no choice but to clear the scene, despite knowing the harsh reality of future heroin use that will more than likely occur if treatment is not sought. I believe that if legislation permitted officers and medical personnel to mandate treatment for overdose victims, rather than allowing them to refuse treatment, the frequency of overdoses would decrease due to a very simple concept: if you reduce the demand, you reduce the supply and you reduce overdoses. Simple, yet no police departments
had a similar program in place, which I realized when I searched for a sample policy to enact. At that point, I decided to create one in Howell, the Opiate Abuse Initiative. As a result, the Opiate Abuse Initiative policy was created in Howell with the purpose of bringing immediate assistance to the scene for those who have suffered an overdose. The optimal time to provide this assistance is at the scene of the crisis. In addition, recovery coaches are now being deployed to the hospitals, as they too have gaps in their current programs. As we extend beyond Howell’s borders to apprehend dealers, we are committed to going beyond to help addicts recover. To learn more about CFC Loud N Clear and its resources, visit www. healingus.org; for more information on becoming a chaplain, email Captain Storrow at email@example.com.
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Howell’s Home for Lincoln.
New 2016 Lincoln
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New 2016 Lincoln Well Equipped Including: 3.7L Engine l V6 l Automatic l ABS Brakes l Satellite Radio l Bluetooth l Heated Front Seats l Power Windows l Remote Start l Traction Control l Power Steering l Power Heated Mirrors l Power Locks l CD l A/C l Keyless Entry AND MORE! STK #G307 VIN #2LGBL36763, MSRP: $46,505
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Our General Sales Manager is waiting to help you now... Route 9 At Route 33 And The Freehold Raceway Mall
Carlos Sousa General Sales Manager
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Howell’s Home for Mazda.
Mazda3 i Sport
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Mazda CX-3 Sport AWD
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Mazda6 i Sport
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Mazda CX-5 Sport AWD
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HOWELL MUNICIPAL ALLIANCE OFFERS FREE LIFE MANAGEMENT SKILLS PROGRAM
BY CHRISTA RIDDLE The Howell Township Municipal Alliance, thanks to the support of Howell Township, has been able to offer its free Life Management Skills Program to Howell Township youth for the past two years on an on-going basis, under the direction of Rob Imperato, founder and CEO of Self-Empowerment Coaching, L.L.C. As a complement to these youth programs, Imperato also conducts free interactive workshops and focus groups for Howell Township parents via webinars, convenient for those on the go. During the Life Management Skills Programs, each comprised of six one-and-a-half-hour-long sessions, fifth, sixth, and seventh graders participate in collaborative activities aimed at building emotional resil-
ience, enhanced coping skills, and a greater sense of self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-worth. “All of this sets the foundation for self-esteem, which is the first line of defense against peer pressure, bullying, and self-defeat,” explains Imperato. “I am happy to share that several youth participants have attended multiple sessions, leading them to an increased role in helping facilitate the sessions. Many have also brought along their friends and peers after discovering the program’s positive impact in their own lives.” At the end of each program, each participant receives a certificate of program completion. Imperato says, “The synergy created in the team participation,
problem solving, and role playing during these programs results in a fun, productive atmosphere while providing a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.” For information on future workshops, parents can visit www.selfempowermentcoachingllc.com. The next parent webinar series, “10 Key Strategies on Parenting in the Digital Age: Guiding Your Child to Resilience and Success,” will consist of five hour-long sessions running weekly from April 20th to May 18th, at 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday nights. Parents can register, free of charge, at www. selfempowermentcoachingllc.com. During the interactive workshop, Imperato will collaborate with parents on identifying their visions as parents and understanding the visions of their children, harnessing the power of choice, communicating with and actively listening to their children, setting goals, taking action, and becoming the catalyst that empowers their children to realize their potentials. According to Imperato, “Parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, financial, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood.” As a certified professional life coach, workshop facilitator, and inspirational speaker, Imperato collaborates with people of all ages, fulfilling his mission, as he states
it, “to help others help themselves” and his vision “for people to see the best in themselves so that they can become the best of themselves.” He is also the author of Parenting in the Digital Age, a book wherein Imperato discusses his passion that “children deserve to be happy from the core, not the store” and presents strategies how parents can better develop communication with their children and strengthen the family bond during this age of technology. The mission of the Howell Alliance is to collaborate with residents, schools, town government, police, businesses, professionals, and other local organizations to prevent drug addiction, underage drinking, and tobacco use, as well as bullying, suicide, and other atrisk behaviors, through promoting public awareness, education, outreach resources, life skills, and positive choices. By providing life skills management programs for community youth and educating parents on how to empower their children to realize success and true happiness, the Howell Alliance supports this mission. “When faced with at-risk situations and difficult, potentially life-changing decisions, our hope is that these programs can help our youth to make positive choices, which leads to positive life outcomes,” says Imperato. “It is very rewarding for me as the facilitator to see these young people feeling good about themselves and knowing that they have the power of choice.”
MAYOR GOTTO: MUNICIPAL ALLIANCE MAKING A DIFFERENCE BY PHIL STILTON The Howell Township youth, the Howell Township Municipal Alliance (HTMA) addressed the township council recently. HTMA co-chairs Christa Riddle and Howell Township Police Officer Michael Pavlick were in attendance at the meeting. “The biggest goal for this year to get out into the community a lot more. Many people don’t know what the alliance is. I wasn’t quite sure until I got involved,” Pavlick said. “We’re going to try to get to as many youth events as we can and try to talk to the kids about the dangers of drugs, alcohol abuse
and other topics we have.” Pavlick said that you can expect to find HTMA volunteers this year at youth sporting events and invited members of the community to join the alliance and volunteer to help or provide ideas on how they can better serve and connect with the community. “We’re always looking for volunteers,” he said. “We’re for the prevention of substance abuse, suicide, bullying and anything prevention to protect the youth of our town,” Riddle said. “We do a lot of prevention programs through schools, the town,
police and mayor and hope to see you at our events.” “Over the last couple of years, I have had the pleasure of working with Christa and Mike,” Gotto said. “I wanted to thank them for everything you do.” Gotto said the partnership between the township, the police department and the HTMA has allowed the township to connect to the community and deliver prevention focused public service announcements. “You’re really making a difference in the lives of our citizens,” Gotto added. “Thank you.” “The leadership in this town has always taken an active role in prevention, and recent events have
made us more aware that additional work is still needed,” Gotto wrote in the January edition of the Prevention Press. “We work closely with Chief Kudrick and the task force created within the police department so we hear first-hand what is really going on in our community regarding substance abuse. This allows us to collaborate with the Howell Alliance to implement effective prevention strategies specifically aimed at the problems we face as a community. There is no cookie-cutter solution that works in every town. Every municipality has its own dynamic due to location and demographics.”
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LAKEWOOD LEADERS OFF BASE WHEN BLAMING NEIGHBORING TOWNS FOR PROBLEMS OUR COMMUNITIES FACE TODAY BY PHIL STILTON
Lakewood Mayor Manashe Miller
Although Toms River Mayor Thomas Kelaher is being besieged by the Lakewood Orthodox community leaders and press over his use of the word invasion to described the real onslaught of Orthodox Jewish Realtors based out of Lakewood disturbing the peace in the northern section of the town and others, members of that community are also engaging in their own word-twisting and hurtful speech. In this week’s Lakewood Shopper, a report slamming Kelaher and the residents of Toms River stated, “Toms River is a town plagued by drugs, crime and urban decay. Lakewood too has suffered from drugs and crime from Toms River expanding over the border and spilling into Lakewood.” “It would behoove Mr. Kelaher to focus on real problems facing his community, rather than focusing his efforts on promoting ethnic tension,” the report continued. But facts obtained from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office this week dispute the claim that drugs from Toms River are spilling over into Lakewood and data received from the prosecutor’s office over the past 12 months suggests the opposite is the truth. Drugs from Lakewood are plaguing Howell, Jackson and other nearby communities. It has been the case for many years. It’s hard to imagine that Lakewood’s drug problem is borne in Toms River...or Jackson...or Howell.... or any other surrounding community. On August 15th of last year, Lakewood drug dealer Johntel Thomas was indicted for distributing; In October, Lakewood resident Octavious Jenkins was stopped driving
his Mercedes Benz in Toms River carrying $2,500 in proceeds from his illegal drug transactions after he was caught dealing in Toms River by undercover police officers. Later, police raided his Lakewood Township home where they uncovered Jenkins’ crack distribution operation. Two years ago, 13 Lakewood residents were arrested in a raid at a Lakewood Apartment complex, found to be a major source of heroin distribution in Northern Ocean County and southern Monmouth County. Dawn Rosser, another Lakewood resident was arrested in a sting that also nabbed nine other Lakewood gang members who were all charged and convicted of running a massive drug distribution operation. The operation was the result of a multi-agency effort led by the FBI. In February, a butcher-knife wielding man chased another down Route 88. In March of last year, a Lakewood man was charged for the death of the son of Seaside Heights Mayor William Akers. In August, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s office conducting a drug search at Jackson Liberty High School, in an effort to combat the flow of drugs from Lakewood, which starts at the border of the high school grounds into the school. The OCPO said that operation was part of an “incredible simultaneous operation” that also uncovered a tri-state drug distribution ring that extended from New York City to Philadelphia with many conspirators from Lakewood. To say Toms River’s drugs are spilling into Lakewood is a farce that has no factual backing nor do any police actions over the past two years support that claim. Instead, they show clearly that Lakewood is central in many large scale drug distribution operations in Ocean County. That epidemic lies squarely on the shoulders of Lakewood Mayor Manashe Miller and his lack of attention towards the problems plaguing Lakewood’s African American population.
It was just shy of one month ago that a man and member of one of Lakewood’s prominent families offered a homeless man $5 to pour a cup of hot coffee on his head. It was Lakewood where a rabbi received a 10 year prison term for offering to orchestrate violent kidnappings to force men in that community to honor their wives divorces. Lakewood is rife with violent crime, gun crime and gang violence like no other town in Ocean County, which Howell happens to border. Just last month, a fire in a home being used as an illegal dorm burned down. Fortunately, nobody was injured, but the headline could have easily been “Teens Found Dead in Illegal Dorm Fire”. Lakewood officials for decades have turned a blind eye to extremely dangerous housing problems. Lakewood’s school system is a train wreck. Funds are gobbled up to support your community’s sexual segregation of children while non frum children flounder in one of the most ill-managed school districts in New Jersey. So as the leaders of Lakewood continue to condemn Toms River and Jackson residents for being threatened because unscrupulous real estate buyers have caused an ongoing public disturbance, Lakewood is not the model society for the rest of the county to look up to, no matter how much Menashe and other community leaders want us to believe in his damning letter to Mayor Thomas Kelaher. So Mayor Miller, as you point the finger at the wrongs of the communities and leaders around you and throw the “Holocaust” card in the faces of simple homeowners just looking to enjoy their civil liberties and to live in peace and quiet, remember, that was over 70 years ago now. Many of the people you condemn and call anti-Semitic had parents and grandparents who were wounded, maimed and even killed freeing those Holocaust survivors in World War II. Remember, it is America who liberated the concentration camps. It was my grandfather who got shot in the back and nearly lost his hand from grenade shrapnel to free your descendants who were persecuted
by the Nazis (not Americans). As Americans, we hold absolutely no responsibility for what happened in Germany 70 years ago and we never should have you or any other Jewish leader throw that in our faces. The fact is our relatives in Toms River, Howell, Brick and Jackson fought to free yours. They continue to defend Israel even today. Instead of blaming us for that, you should be thanking us. Instead of intimidating us into selling our homes, you should be glad to live with such neighbors whose forefathers risked their lives to free Europe and liberate the Jews at time when the Jews were unable to defend and fight for themselves. Know that when a group like the Nazis emerges again, it is OUR sons and daughters who will take up arms to fight them again. It is our sons and daughters who continue to fight and die against Muslim terrorists worldwide who are eager to destroy Israel. Know that no matter how much you call us anti-Semitic or fear that we are the foundation of the future holocaust, that people like myself who served will rise up to defend your people again, regardless of how much you look down upon us. Remember the people these Realtors are harassing out of your homes are the same people you will call on to defend Israel when the time comes. How dare you or anyone in your community say what is going on is based on religion? I feel Mayor Miller and the media of Lakewood owe an apology to the residents of neighboring towns for the illicit behavior of real estate agents from Lakewood. I feel Mayor Miller owes an apology to the mothers and fathers of children who died from heroin overdoses, where the product entered into the county and was distributed by residents of Lakewood. When Mayor Miller fixes the train wreck of a town he leads, perhaps then, we can start talking to him and taking his advice on how to run our towns. There was an old saying in Trenton, “What Trenton Makes, America Takes”. It can now be said that “What Lakewood Makes, Ocean and Monmouth County Takes.”.
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POLICE & FIRE
MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS HOWELL POLICE DELIVER BAKE COOKIES FOR COURAGE SMILES FOR TOWNSHIP GIRL
Howell Middle School North Student Council members and advisors prepared several trays of homemade cookies and presented them to School Resource Officer McBride in April as a symbol of their appreciation for the men and women of the Howell Township Police Department. “Cookies for Courage” was originally created by a young girl named Riley Sisk after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Riley was a 6th grade student at
When Lt. Mike Martin saw a small girl in a police uniform in Starbucks, he and Officer Vinny Bonner rolled out the red carpet for her. The officers showed young Christina their police car and spent time with her. It turns out, two years ago, when mom Angela was having a medical problem, Lt. Martin was the responding officer. While paramedics tended to mom, Martin pushed Christina in her stroller as she cried in another room. “She got the thrill of a lifetime today when Lieutenant Martin saw the school when the attacks oc- her in her uniform at Starbucks and had Officer Bonner come by with his curred. She developed the idea to police car,” Angela said. “That meant a lot to me that day and it stuck with have a meaningful event that hon- me how helpful my town’s police officers are.” ored all the first responders and to remember the sacrifices that were made. “The kids stayed late after school to make all the cookies and took the time to write several thank you cards,” Chief Andrew Kudrick said. “It’s nice knowing that these kids, their families and the school really appreciate us and are thankful for what we do.”
THE LAST STRAW: DONKEY PHOTO PROMPTS CHIEF TO BLOCK APP Before the scene of an accident involving Howell Township Police Officer Sean MacDonald was clear, the Asbury Park Press posted a news story depicting a donkey in
the back seat of a police car as a stock photo for the story. The photo was first used in a December 2015 USA Today story entitled “Hauling Ass: Officer Picks up Donkey in Car”. Chief Kudrick didn’t think the photo was funny and neither did many residents in town who blasted the paper for their choice of photo. “The APP has been removed from all of our notifications due to their unprofessional and biased reporting of law enforcement,” Kudrick said. MacDonald needed to be extricated from his vehicle and was treated for his injuries. He has since made a full recovery.
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IN OUR SCHOOLS
JOINT BASE SAILORS VISIT NEWBURY SCHOOL STUDENTS
BY HOWELL K-8 The students of Newbury School spent the morning of March 2nd with the sailors from the Joint Base (McGuire – Dix – Lakehurst) to celebrate Read Across America Day in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Captain Bergen, Command Master Chief Parker, and over 20 naval sailors came to Newbury School
to read with students. An assembly was held after breakfast where Master Chief Parker spoke to the students about the importance of reading and then introduced the Base Commander, Captain Christopher Bergen. Captain Bergen spoke for several minutes with the students about the importance of reading in chasing their dreams.
Following the assembly, student council representatives escorted the remaining naval guests to the classrooms, where they read to each individual class. Two Howell Township Schools were fortunate to host published authors this week. Margie Palatini,
author of Piggie Pie, visited Greenville School to share her books and discuss the publishing process, thanks to the Greenville PTO. At Adelphia School, Beth Ferry, author of Stick and Stone, read to each individual classroom between March 7-11.
Howell Township middle school students attended the annual Technology Student Association New Jersey state conference.
REBELS BASEBALL LOOKING TO IMPROVE IN 2016
BY ERIC MEANY 2015 was an up and down year for the Howell High School baseball team. The Rebels came out of the gate strong but faltered late, winning four of their first five games before losing six of their next eight and finishing with a 10-12 record. They had an 11-1 win over St. Rose in the first round of the Shore Conference Tournament before falling to Jackson Memorial in the second round, and their season ended
with an 8-3 loss to Hillsborough in the first round of the NJSIAA Group 4 Central tournament. When Howell opens its 2016 season on the road against Manalapan on April 1, seventh-year coach Eric Johnson will begin the task of trying to guide a talented mix of returning players and newcomers to a more consistent campaign. In 2015, infielder Connor Fey and outfielder Connor Boyle were
named to the Shore Conference All Class A North team. Boyle graduated last year and is now playing at Alvernia University, a Division III school in Reading, Pennsylvania. He went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored in his first collegiate game, a 17-13 loss to Randolph-Macon on Feb. 20. Fey is a senior this year, as are other key contributors such as pitcher/outfielder Brian Chaballa and infielders Troy Miller and Thomas Scanlon. Three members of this year’s team have already signed on to continue their baseball careers in college. Chaballa has accepted a scholarship to pitch for St. John’s, Miller has committed to play for Division III Salisbury and Scanlon is slated to join Division III Rutgers-Newark. Pitcher Austin Kroeger, who led the 2015 Rebels in wins, ERA and saves, is now a freshman at DeSales University. He was roughedup in his first college start, giving up six hits and five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings against Trinity University on March 11. In Howell’s 11-1 Shore Conference Tournament win over St. Rose last May, Dan Matrisciano hit two home runs, Fey hit another and Chaballa
pitched a six-hitter and struck out five. It was the biggest offensive output of the season for The Rebels, who suffered a 2-1 loss to Jackson Memorial in the quarterfinals three days later after taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Two days later their season ended with an 8-3 loss at Hillsborough in the first round of the NJSIAA Group 4 Central tournament. Howell held a 3-2 lead after three innings in that game before the Raiders scored six unanswered runs the rest of the way. Johnson, who was a member of the 1994 Howell team that won the Group 4 Central title, would love to steer the Rebels to a successful regular season and a deep run in the playoffs in 2016. And though the Shore Conference Class A North division will likely be dominated once again by Christian Brothers Academy and Middletown South, Fey, Chaballa and their teammates will start with a clean slate and a chance to write their own story once the season begins. Photo by Matt Manley, Shore Sports Network
REBELS STRIKE OUT AUTISM On Saturday, April 16, high school baseball teams from across the Shore Conference played to Strike Out Autism. For the Rebels, Jimmy Barnes (Left) threw out the first pitch of the day to Manchester catcher Jerry Laird. Laird also went on to win the game’s most outstanding player award. In the game the 5-1 Rebels defeated Manchester 5-3, but the big win was off the field where teams across Ocean and Monmouth Counties raised money for autism awareness and support within their schools.
DIVISION CHAMPION REBELS LOOK TO REBUILD OFFENSE Many of the players who made up the heart of the offense that powered the Howell High School boys lacrosse team to a 13-4 record and a share of its first-ever Shore Conference A Division regular-season title in 2015 have already picked up where they left off last year. Unfortunately for fourth-year coach Anthony Bonjavanni and the 2016 Rebels, those players are now finding ways to put the ball in the net at the college level. After distinguished high school careers at Howell, attacker Mark Buannic had four goals and an assist through his first four games with Eastern University and midfielder Zach Ornstein was named the America East Conference Rookie of the Week after his first two games with SUNY Albany. Closer to home, midfielders Ryder Verdoni and Evan Wesley and attacker Jake Sherman are teammates once again with 2013 Howell graduate Tyler Verdoni at Georgian Court University. Through five games this season Ryder Verdoni had four goals and two assists and Sherman had five goals for the Lions.
“I think it speaks to the program here,” Bonjavanni said of his former players’ continued success. “We’ve been able to build kids up so that they’re not just going to be successful for the twoand-a-half months that they’re with us, we’re trying to set them up for success after they leave here. I think that is one thing that we will pat ourselves on the back for a little bit.” Further evidence to validate Bonjavanni’s assertion can be found in Philadelphia, where 2013 Howell graduate Alec Dambach continues to excel at Chestnut Hill College. Dambach, the Rebels’ all-time leading scorer with 306 career points, led the Griffins with 10 goals and five assists through the first four games of this season. “Those seniors last year were privileged to be under him for two years,” Bonjavanni said of Dambach. “Then that kind of translates to two years later we graduate kids like Mark Buannic, Zack Ornstein and Jake Sherman. And those kids have the accomplishments they have because they had guys prior to them kind of setting the example and expectations.” Last year’s seniors, including goalie
Ian Colmorgan and defender Anthony Pozsonyi, led Howell to an unprecedented 10-1 start during which the offense averaged more than 12 goals per game while the defense allowed fewer than six. But the postseason was not kind to the Rebels, as they suffered an overtime loss to Jackson Liberty in the first round of the Shore Conference Tournament and a 9-8 defeat at the hands of Eastern Regional in the first round of the NJSIAA Group 4 South Tournament. Bonjavanni, a 2005 Howell graduate who played lacrosse at Richard Stockton College, doesn’t think last year’s team should be judged on the basis of how its season ended. “Last year, when we look at everything holistically, it really was the best season our program has ever had,” Bonjavanni said. “I think it’s unfair to those kids to look back on it negatively in any way.” Looking forward to the 2016 season, which begins at home against Robbinsville on March 30, Bonjavanni will lean on a few returning players to lead the way. These include seniors Nic Rossi, Kevin Bailey and Jason Kenny
along with juniors Nico Lorenzo, Drew Bukowiec and Jack Noone. And with Colmorgan having graduated, Bonjavanni expects sophomore Nick Roberto to emerge from a preseason competition to earn the starting goaltending spot. Rossi, a midfielder, was selected along with Buannic and Sherman to the Shore Conference All-Division First Team for Class A North in 2015 and will serve as the Rebels captain this season. He and Bukowiec, an attacker, are the only two starters from last year’s Howell team to still be with the squad in 2016. “When you graduate all but two starters, there’s a lot of open spots,” Bonjavanni said. “We’ve got a lot of young kids and we’ve got some seniors who have been sitting behind some really good players from the class before them, so our starting lineup on day one may not be the same three weeks later. “We want to preach competition and we want to preach that you’ve got to earn it and you’ve got to bring it every day.”
WEST POINT RECRUIT MONTGOMERY LEADS YOUNG TEAM OF REBELS INTO THE 2016 SOFTBALL SEASON
BY ERIC MEANY A trio of returning seniors form the heart of the batting order for the Howell High School softball team this year, and they powered the offense to a prodigious output over the season’s first four games. But the next four games proved that a lineup featuring five starting sophomores is bound to experience some growing pains as the season moves on. Things couldn’t have started much better for the Rebels as they opened their season on the road with a 19-3 win over Manalapan on April 1. Sophomore shortstop Stephanie Maxson announced her presence in the starting lineup with authority, hitting three home runs and driving in seven runs to lead the offensive outburst. Howell also got production from its seniors, as Vivian Montgomery contributed three hits while Paige Eckert and
Bridget Coulahan had two hits each. “They are the undisputed leaders of the team,” fifth-year coach Tricia Savino said of Montgomery, Eckert and Coulahan. “They have given so much to the program and I just hope the younger players can learn from their effort day in and day out.” The Rebels went on to win three of their first four games, with the offense averaging nearly 13 runs per game in the process. But after that came a rough patch that saw Howell lose its next four games, with the offense cooling off and the pitching combo of senior Alexis Ruiz and junior Linda Rizzo having trouble shutting down the opposition. The offense is unlikely to stay cool for long with West Point recruit Montgomery, who led the Shore Conference last season with a .609 batting average, setting the table at the top of the order. She is followed by junior Haylie Barnes, last year’s starting shortstop who moved to centerfield to make way for Maxson, then Coulahan and Eckert.
The loss of seniors Taylor Mennie, Alexarae Rizzo and Sabrina Rittweger from last year’s team made room for the onslaught of sophomores that fill out the rest of the lineup. “They all had different paths,” Savino said. “Third baseman Mackenzie Vogler started only in the field last year but has already hit two home runs this season. DH Lauren Ordemann split between JV and Varsity last season but has settled in nicely against varsity pitching this year. Hailey Polisano was used primarily as a pinch runner last year but came on to lead the team in RBIs in preseason scrimmages to cement her spot. Cassidy Predale was last year’s JV pitcher and won the first base job with a terrific preseason in the field and at the plate. And Maxson was the leading JV hitter last year. She waited her turn and has exploded with four homers already.” While the lineup is set, the pitching has been less so this year. Ruiz, the returning starter, has been yielding more innings to Rizzo lately, but neither has been overwhelming. Even so, Savino, an utterly dominant pitcher during her playing days at St. John Vianney, has only positive things to say about the pair. “Alexis performed better than her numbers showed in her first year as the starter in 2015,” Savino said. “She has the knack for being a big-game pitcher and her calm demeanor seems to settle the defense. Linda Rizzo voluntarily does
the scorebook when not pitching and is always studying a batter’s tendencies for when she gets called on to go in.” As for former Rebels, Mennie is thriving as the starting left fielder for Brookdale Community College. The freshman is leading the Jersey Blues in hits, doubles and home runs while posting a .495 batting average through 30 games. Brookdale third baseman Jacquie Coulahan, a 2014 Howell graduate, is batting .370 with 15 RBIs and 18 runs scored through her first 29 games. Annemarie Bartow, also from the Howell class of 2014, is leading Immaculata University in all major offensive categories for the second consecutive year. She was the Colonial States Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year last season, and so far this year is batting .564 with 14 doubles, six home runs and 31 RBIs in 24 games. Alexarae Rizzo is now a freshman at Drew University. The catcher saw a lot of playing time early in the season for the Rangers, and collected her first college hit with an RBI double in a 14-7 win over Eastern Nazarene on March 7. Two more Howell graduates, junior Kelly Hardiman and senior Stephanie Grainger, are on the roster at Georgian Court University. Hardiman is the starting first baseman for the Lions, and is leading the team in hits, doubles and runs scored while batting .290 through 40 games.
This winter, the 10U Howell Hawks were crowned U11 Mid-Monmouth basketball champions.
HOWELL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE A USEFUL RESOURCE TO HELP SHOPPERS WITH LOCAL OPTIONS Howell Chamber of Commerce member Red Moon Pizza celebrated their grand re-opening ribbon cutting ceremony in April, 2015 after the June, 2014 fire forced them to close for almost a year.
BY CHRISTA RIDDLE Shopping at independent, locally-owned businesses infuses more revenue back into the community over shopping at businesses with absentee owners. When community members support local companies instead of chain retailers, they help stimulate the local economy, as local business owners and employees are likely to spend their earnings patronizing other local companies, and businesses based in the community tend to buy their supplies and inventories from vendors nearby. Community-based businesses also use local utility
companies and suppliers. Additionally, shopping locally positively impacts the environment by reducing the waste and energy associated with processing, packaging, shipping, and transportation. When looking to shop locally, a town’s chamber of commerce can serve as a great resource for finding local businesses to patronize. The Howell Chamber of Commerce, a not-for-profit organization with over 230 members, keeps an updated “Directory of Members” that is easily accessed on their website, www. howellchamber.com. “The focus of
2015 Howell Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation scholarship winner Rachael Wilkins.
our chamber is to foster and support a partnership between local businesses and community members through promoting positive business practices and being an active part of the Howell community,” says Susan Dominguez, Howell Chamber of Commerce’s executive director. In the near future, the Howell Chamber of Commerce will publish a printed member directory booklet to be distributed at various locations throughout the town, further promoting shopping locally. “The Howell Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to our member businesses, as well as our community as a whole,” explains John McGeehan, the Howell Chamber of Commerce’s current president and community relations coordinator for CentraState Healthcare System. “Howell Township is a great place to do business, and the Howell Chamber has embraced economic development, a strong educational system, and a great quality of life. We continue to be one of the state’s most active chambers, always looking to create new opportunities for members to grow their businesses. Our recent ‘Shop Local’ campaign is just one highly successful example.” Members of the Howell Chamber of Commerce pay membership dues, which, along with event admission fees, finances the chamber’s operating expenses. With a focus on networking and member education, the Howell Chamber of Commerce offers its members weekly networking “Breakfast Bonanzas,” ribbon cutting ceremonies, “Lunch and Learn” seminars, evening networking events, an annual bowl-a-thon and dinner dance, many discounted advertising opportunities, and joint chamber events along with other local chambers of commerce. Members also have access to the CentraState Community Health Plan, which enables small to mid-sized employers and professional practices to pool their combined enrollment and
claims experience to realize the benefits of a self-funded health care plan. “I have been a member of the Howell Chamber of Commerce for many years. Besides the obvious business-to-business contacts that are always beneficial, I really believe that involvement in chamber activities that benefit the quality of life of everyone in Howell is the most gratifying benefit of membership,” shares George Krebs, immediate past-president of the Howell Chamber of Commerce and president of Shore Business Solutions. “The chamber makes a difference and makes Howell a better place. It’s a win-win for everyone.” As active parts of the Howell community, many Howell Chamber of Commerce businesses support local civic and youth organizations, such as the Boy and Girl Scouts, school PTAs and PTOs, youth sports federations, and Howell High School’s Rebel Yell chorus. The Howell Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation proudly grants scholarships to selected graduating high school seniors each year based on their submitted applications and essays. “I have experienced many benefits of Howell Chamber of Commerce membership and involvement, including personal professional growth, familiarity with local businesses, new customers, and many professional contacts,” comments John Thompson of Quickie Print and Copy Shops, a long-term Howell Chamber of Commerce member. For more information on the Howell Chamber of Commerce, shopping locally, or chamber membership and events, please visit www. howellchamber.com or call the chamber office at 732-363-4114.
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