Monmouth Civic Chorus offers scholarships

The Monmouth Civic Chorus announced its annual scholarship auditions for vocally talented New Jersey high school seniors planning to pursue higher education. Auditions will be held on Saturday, April 29, in Red Bank by appointment only. The application deadline is April 22 and the application fee is $10.
For information or an audition appointment, call 732-933-9333, e-mail scholarship@monmouthcivicchorus.org or visit monmouthcivicchorus.org and click About and Scholarships.

At least $2,500 in scholarship funds will be available to be awarded to students of outstanding vocal promise. Contestants must be prepared to perform two selections from the standard vocal repertoire (opera, operetta, art songs, oratorio or Gilbert and Sullivan), with at least one selection in Italian, French or German. Show music is not acceptable.

Contestants will be judged on technique, choice of material, poise and musicianship. An accompanist will be provided if needed. Anyone interested in donating to the MCC Scholarship Fund should call 732-933-9333.

Last year, three vocally talented students were each awarded $1,000 – Elizabeth Finnen of Pompton Plains, Alina Eva Flatscher of Princeton, and Kevin Jasaitis of Point Pleasant.  Alexis Peart of Titusville received an honorable mention.

Table Tuesday and tax help at Long Branch Library

On Tuesday, March 28 from 3:30-4:30 p.m, the Long Branch Library will present “Tablet Tuesday,” a free program to help you learn about your mobile devices and explain how to borrow free eBooks and audiobooks from the library.

There is no cost, but registration is required.

Bring your device to the Technology Center at the Main Library on the last Tuesday of each month to learn how to download free eBooks and audiobooks on your tablets, smartphones and computers.

Your devices should be charged and ready to use, but please bring all cords and chargers. To download the free required applications, you will need your usernames and passwords for your Apple, Amazon and/or Google Play accounts.   If you do not have these accounts, the library can help you register.

Also, you can learn how to use Zinio, the Long Branch Library’s free digital magazine service, to download and read new, full-color current magazines on your portable devices.
Hoopla is also available, for free streaming of videos and movies, and for downloading books and comics.

Do you need some help learning the ins and outs of using apps?  The staff can help you figure out how to use a smartphone or tablet.  Other assistance may be offered at the library’s discretion.

Free audiobooks and eBooks are borrowed through eLibraryNJ and you must have a valid Long Branch library card to participate.  Long Branch residents can get a free library card with proof of residency.  A subscription card is also available for $20 per year.

Registration is required for your 30-minute technology session. Please call Lisa Kelly at 732-222-3900, Ext. 2350 to make an appointment.

Free tax prep

It’s that time of year again, and once again the library is offering free assistance to those preparing their tax returns.  From now until April 15 the library will host free tax preparation by certified tax volunteers.

This service is first come, first served, so arrive early and sign-in at the Adult Services desk on the lower level to receive your number, which holds your place in line for the tax preparers. If you are not present when your number is called, you will receive a new number and be placed at the end of the line.

When the maximum number of daily appointments has been reached, the library reserves the right to cut-off additional registrations at that time and you will have to return another day.

Come prepared with all the necessary information to ensure you receive the best, and quickest, service possible. You do not need to be a Long Branch resident to use this service.

Please bring: A copy of last year’s return, Social Security numbers for all tax payers and dependents, final brokerage statements if applicable, all W-2 and 1099 forms showing income, the total amount of property tax paid last year and the amount of mortgage interest paid, any tax booklets mailed to your home and any unemployment vouchers.

You may also need some of this additional information: total medical expenses last year, statement of insurance coverage, total spent on college tuition, total spent on childcare (the name and Tax ID number of the provider), total alimony, and any charitable donations.

Please call 732-222-3900, ext. 2290 or visit www.longbranchlib.org for more information about this and all of the library’s programs and services.

If you are filing electronic tax returns, help is available Tue., noon-5 p.m.; Wed. and Thur., 1-6 p.m.; and Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

If you are filing paper tax returns, the schedule is Tue., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Wed., noon-5 p.m.; Thur., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Fri., 2-4 p.m., and Sat., noon-2 p.m. The library will be closed Fri., April 14.

West End Arts Center starts offering classes this April

Long Branch — Something new and exciting is taking shape in one of the Jersey Shore’s most creative, visitor-friendly neighborhoods… and, beginning this spring, adults of all ages, artistic interests and experience levels can become part of this amazing story through a series of instructional classes in the West End section of Long Branch.
The sessions in performing arts, visual arts and playwriting represent the first public offerings at the all-new West End Arts Center, a complex that’s poised to become one of the Jersey Shore’s cultural jewels. Occupying a full city block in the former location of the West End School, the Arts Center will eventually include two theaters, an arts cinema, an art museum, classrooms and rehearsal spaces, a scenery shop, NJ Rep’s administrative offices and plenty of on-site parking — right in the heart of Long Branch’s West End, a community that’s long been famous for its shops, eateries, art shows, coffeehouses, and venues for original music.
The Arts Center is already open even before the major renovations begin, and aspiring actors, writers, painters and artisans can be a part of this exciting venue beginning this spring when they register for the slate of classes that start the first full week of April.
Included in the Spring 2017 schedule are three programs for actors and performing artists, in Improvisation (Tuesday evenings, April 4-May 23), Actors Gymnasium (Thursday afternoons, April 6-May 11) and Acting Basics (Thursday evenings, April 6-May 11).
Classes range from six to eight sessions, with each program priced at a $300 registration fee. Instructors include acclaimed actor/improv specialist Michael Irvin Pollard and actor-director Gail Winar.
Whether they have a half-finished script sitting in a shoebox or they’ve had work produced on the New York stage, dramatists can benefit from classes in Playwriting for Beginners (Tuesday evenings, April 4-May 9) and Advanced Playwriting (Thursday evenings, April 6-May 11).

Presented for six sessions and priced at a registration fee of $300, the classes are conducted by writer-director Joel Stone, NJ Rep’s Literary Manager and a co-founder of NYC’s Theatre Asylum and faculty member at nearby Monmouth University.

Aficionados of the visual arts can join in the excitement as well, with instruction in The Pleasure of Drawing (Tuesday afternoons, April 4-May 9), Water Media and Collage (Tuesday evenings, April 4-May 9), Metal Clay Jewelry Workshop (Thursday afternoons, April 6-May 11) and Tapestry Weaving (Thursday evenings, April 6-May 11).

Registration is $300 for six three-hour sessions, and instructors include gallery exhibited artist-educators Sven Widen and Lizzi Schippert, potter Barbara Rivolta, weaver Kate Wilt, and multi-media artist Mare Akana, coordinator of West End’s annual Art in the Park event.
Expect even more exciting opportunities in seasons to come, with classes in dance, poetry, and many other visual and performing art disciplines. Things are just beginning to heat up at the all-new West End Arts Center, future home of the expanding and evolving New Jersey Repertory Company. To register, visit www.njrep.org or call 732-229-3166 for full schedule details, and updates on all that’s coming up in West End.

Seashore Spring swim lessons start March 25

Long Branch — Parents who want to make sure their children will be ready for summer can sign them up for Spring Swim Lessons at Seashore Day Camp and School. The 10-week session, which begins March 25, offers a complete range of affordable classes for children just starting out to those who want to improve strokes or times.

“Learning to swim and developing strong skills at a young age is vital – especially for children living at the shore,” Seashore Director and Principal John Villapiano said.
The spring session includes Doggie Paddle for 3 and 4 year olds, Freestyle with Rotary Breathing, Beginning Backstroke and Competitive Strokes (butterfly, backstroke & breaststroke).

According to Villapiano, just about everyone learns to swim in a short amount of time. Using special floats Seashore manufactures and progressing to kickboards, instructors have developed a technique that puts young people at ease in the water and helps them develop the strength, skills and confidence needed to become top swimmers.

“Many of the strongest swimmers at the Jersey Shore took their first strokes in these pools, went on to become captains of their high school and college swim teams and are Division 1 record holders at schools like Yale, Rutgers, Boston College, UCONN and UMASS. One even made it to the Olympics,” he said.

During the school year, lessons are offered weekday afternoons and on Saturday mornings in Seashore’s indoor heated pools at 345 Second Avenue and 404 Broadway campuses in Long Branch. In the summer, lessons are held on Saturday and Sunday mornings at the outdoor pool pavilion.

All spaces are filling fast. To enroll, call Kristin at 732-222-6464 or visit seashorecampandschool.­com.

Eatontown Man Facing Child Porn Charges

FREEHOLD – An Eatontown man was arrested and charged with downloading and distributing child pornography using a computer file-sharing program, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Richard M. Baine, 33, of 20 Lakeview Terrance, is charged with one count of second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child in connection with the Distribution of Child Pornography and third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child in connection with the Possession of Child Pornography.

Baine was arrested following a two-month-long investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Computer Crimes Unit. The charges were filed after detectives executed a search warrant at Baine’s home where various computers and personal electronic devices were seized earlier this month. A forensic examination revealed evidence of child pornography and the use of a peer-to-peer file-sharing program – an online connection of computers allowing the sharing of files directly between the individual users.
If convicted of the second degree charge, Baine faces a sentence of five to 10 years in prison, and a sentence of three to five years in prison if convicted of the third degree charge.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Margaret C. Koping. Baine is represented by Richard Stone, Esq., of Neptune.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

Theater Review: Multiple Family Dwelling a multi-leveled joy

By Madeline Schulman

Long Branch

Multiple Family Dwelling, the new play by James Hindman now playing at NJ Rep, is a compelling play that teaches us multiple life lessons. First, celebrating an 8 year old’s birthday party by getting drunk is inappropriate.

Maria Couch and Dustin Charles in a scene from the world premiere of James Hindman’s “Multiple Family Dwelling” playing March 9 thru April 9 at NJ Rep, 179 Broadway, Long Branch. For information call 732-229-3166 or visit www.njrep.org (SuzAnne Barabas photo )

Kelly (Maria Couch), her husband James (Dustin Charles), her childhood friend Tia (Dana Brooke) and Tia’s fiance Stuart (James Michael Delaney) are all very merry three hours after the end of Kelly and James’s daughter Olivia’s party. Everyone is happy because Tia and Stuart have rented the upstairs apartment of the house into which Kelly and James have poured their entire savings.

Tia and Stuart will live above friends and Kelly and James will get money to take Olivia out of the sub par local public school and enroll her in Catholic school. The happiness does not last long.

Too much merriment loosens Tia’s tongue and inhibitions. She terrifies James with a recitation of all the horrors that can befall a child, causing him to relive nightmares of being unable to save Olivia from a fall.

After Tia taunts Kelly for her “chicken legs,” Kelly brings up Tia’s teenage romance with a boy named David Shaw, leading to unexpected drama. Jealous, hot-tempered Stuart recently took a phone call for Tia from a “David Shaw”. Is it the same person, trying to get back into Tia’s life, and worse, into her bed?

James tries to help with the world’s most awkward lie, claiming that he was “David Shaw,” disguising his voice and giving a phony name to conceal Tia’s surprise gift of a golf club. This solves nothing, and teaches a second life lesson. Smelly messes are hard to cover up.

Later, Tia complains, after Kelly tries to clean up the previous tenant’s pet odors with a pine scented cleaner, that now the apartment smells as though a dog urinated in a forest and was then hit by a tree. James’s lie helps in the same degree.

Unsurprisingly, the night ends badly, and the next few days are no better. Lesson three is that once we start pulling up (metaphorical) floorboards, we might not like what we find. Quarrels in the present lead to secrets from the past, which threaten both the friendship between the two couples and the bonds within the couples.

The acting is uniformly excellent, but to me Dana Brooke has the most chance to make an impression as sad, sexy Tia, unreliable narrator of her own story. Tia reminds me of Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind,” always turning to men, with a hint of desperation, for love and validation. And James Michael Delaney makes opening a bag of pretzels seem like a declaration of war.

The set by Jessica Parks holds one nifty surprise. The play’s revelations also hold surprises, some easier to foretell than others, and you will be waiting with anticipation for the next layer of lies to peel away to the truth below.

NJ Rep is located at 179 Broadway, Long Branch. Multiple Family Dwelling runs through April 9, with performances Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m.

For tickets, call 732-229-3166 or visit njrep.org.

‘Get Wired’ at SCAN Tech Fair

Eatontown — The Social Community Activities Network (SCAN) is hosting its Second Annual “Get Wired” Technology Fair at the Monmouth Mall on Friday, March 24, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (registration 10:00–10:30 am). This exciting technology event is free and open to everyone.

Join SCAN as Bob Gold, CEO, Gold Group covers “How Technology Can Impact Your Relationships” with some interesting, fun and entertaining ways to use technology that makes you feel like your friends and family are with you. His talk will cover a few new technologies that bring your relationships closer.

They will also learn from Kyle Ann Sanicki, RN who will explain why “Technology is the Key.” Kyle is Board Certified in Geriatrics and Congestive Heart Failure and Telehealth Nurse Manager for the Visiting Nurse Association Health Group.

The Fair will conclude with Technology “One on One” breakout sessions providing the opportunity to work one-on-one with technology friendly students from Monmouth University to learn about your electronic devices including tablets, smartphones and laptops.

All participants will be eligible for free drawings with a chance to win an Android tablet, Amazon Dot speaker, and device chargers.
Registration is required. To register, please call 732-542-1326 by March 20th.

Media representatives seeking to cover the event should contact Mike Brady at 732-542-1326.

SCAN is New Jersey’s premier non-profit provider of social education for adults since 1988 and provides quality social resources to the active adults in our community.  For information about SCAN or becoming a SCAN member, call 732-542-1326 or visit the SCAN website at www.scannj.com.

Ready. Set. Build! Modular homebuilding seminar April 1

Eatontown — Monmouth and Ocean County homebuyers are invited to join RBA Homes for an exclusive modular home-buying seminar scheduled for Saturday, April 1 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Sheraton Eatontown Hotel, 6 Industrial Way East, Eatontown.

The event, entitled “Ready. Set. Build! Modular Homebuilding 101: A Seminar for Buyers Looking to Build,” will provide homebuyers with information on the advantages of modular construction, as well as tips for selecting the right builder. Attendees will be able to review available home plans with members of RBA Homes and discuss financing options.

The RBA Homes seminar is free to attend, fills up quickly and very informative.

The seminar is free to attend, though RBA Homes is asking interested homebuyers to RSVP by calling 732-747-3800, as seating is limited.

“The purpose of providing this free program to homebuyers in our area is to help explain the different methods of construction, cost differentials and available options for homebuyers today,” stated Bill Lashovitz, President of RBA Homes.  “Our specialty is custom modular home construction; however, we have successfully built many homes in the area with traditional construction methods.  My team will be on hand at the seminar to answer questions about building, provide information on house plans and features, as well as to discuss financing options for potential homebuyers,” Lashovitz added.

Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. and a light breakfast will be served.

For more information or to RSVP for the Ready. Set. Build! Seminar, please call 732-747-3800, or contact the company via their website for additional details.
Since 1986, RBA Homes has been designing and building custom modular homes throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties in towns like Spring Lake, Sea Girt, Lake Como and Point Pleasant Beach and most recently in neighborhoods like Monmouth Beach, Sea Bright, Bradley Beach and Highlands that were hard hit by superstorm Sandy.  For more information on RBA Homes, to view home plans, or for details on their home construction process, please visit their website at rbahomes.com or call 732-747-3800.

Free English as a Second Language classes at the Long Branch Library

Long Branch — ESL (English as a Second Language) classes are for people who want to learn and improve their English. The Long Branch Free Public Library is offering free classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.  Learn English in a friendly setting and help others while improving speaking and listening skills.
The class is free, but there is a $45 fee to purchase the two required workbooks, which also come with a CD.
The current class cycle is a Level One Beginner class and ends in June, but students are free to join at any point. Speakers of all languages are welcome to participate. The classes focus on vocabulary, speaking and listening skills and will help new ESL students with pronunciation and proper grammar.
The classes’ goal is to help students obtain language survival skills, and participate more fully in the community.
No sign-up is required.  Classes are open to adults (age 16 or over) and no documentation is needed, but some type of photo ID is required.
ESL Classes are sponsored by Community Affairs and Resource Center of Asbury Park.
* * *
Conversation Classes are also offered for Advanced English Learners at the Library
This class is designed to give ESL learners more practice in speaking English in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere, with a focus on communication, fluency and improved listening comprehension.
There is no charge for attendance and registration is not required. Individuals are welcome to attend whenever they can and all adult English learners are welcome.
You can practice your English with other learners on Saturday mornings from 10–11 a.m. at the Main Library, 328 Broadway.

For more information, please contact Kate Angelo, Community Engagement Librarian, at 732-222-3900, Ext. 2270 or by email at KAngelo.LBPL@gmail.com.

‘Love Wins’ documentary to be screened at Film Fest

Long Branch — “Love Wins,”  by award-winning filmmaker and city resident Robin Kampf, and featuring a local Ocean Grove couple, has been selected to be screened at the Garden State Film Festival in Atlantic City later this month.
The film, which profiles Jan Moore and Emily Sonnessa and their decades-long struggle for equal rights and marriage equality, will screen at the Resorts Superstar Theater on Saturday, April 1, at noon.
“Love Wins” won Best Documentary short at the Red Bank Film Festival last July and was a finalist official selection in the Black Maria Film Festival this year.
The film has been screened at several venues in New Jersey to sold-out audiences and is now making the national film festival circuit.
“The film tells a story that is unique, yet one which everyone can relate to,” says Kampf.
“It’s a love story that reflects a time of struggle and changes to our culture and society,” she added.
Robin Kampf is an award-winning writer, producer, director, cinematographer and editor with several years of experience in non-fiction documentary and news/features production.
Kampf began her career in TV production working in local news and features while managing a team of producers for a local TV station. She has also worked in locations and management on several feature films including “Presumed Innocent,” “Bonfire of the Vanities,” “Jacobs Ladder,” among others.
Kampf was recognized by the National Academy of Cable Programmers with 4 National Ace awards for producing as well as receiving “Producer of the Year” from the New Jersey State Cable Television Association. Robin also produced several award winning public affairs programs for the New Jersey Secretary of State’s Office and the 10th Annual Governor’s Awards Television program airing live from the State Theater in New Brunswick.
She currently has owned and operated her own video production company working in all facets of production in cable, broadcast and corporate television. Robin continues to serve as an adjunct practitioner professor teaching studio and field production and editing at several notable colleges and Universities in the tri-state area.
For more information of Love Wins go to rjkmedia.wixsite.com/ lovewins.
For more information on the Garden State Film Festival go to www.gsff.org