Long Branch Library announcing upcoming events and programs

Join the Long Branch Police Department in celebrating National Night Out. There will be food, a DJ, dunk tank, rock wall and even touch a truck! The Long Branch Free Public Library will also be in attendance so please come find us! Click on photos for informations

Long Branch council news: cleanup grant called a win for all

By Neil Schulman, Long Branch — The city is getting a grant which will benefit both the Shore House and Jackson Woods Park.

At the July 28 City Council meeting, Council President Anita Voogt said she was delighted that the city had received a $32,000 grant from the Department of Transportation as part of its Urban Youth Corps Summer Jobs Program.

The program provides seasonal employment opportunity for young adults in urban areas. For Long Branch, the money will be going to employ members of Shore House to help clean up Jackson Woods. Shore House’s goal is to provide hope and access to education and employment to those with mental illness.

The DOT says the program funding is enough to employ 10 young adults for the season, a supervisor, and provide supplies.

Voogt said this was a win for everyone.

“The fact we were able to get a grant, not only for the park, but in support of… those dealing with mental illness, I think is just extraordinary,” Voogt said, congratulating all the people who made getting the grant possible.


Rebidding lower Broadway beautification

At the meeting, council voted to reject bids it had received for to improve the landscaping along lower Broadway.

Long Branch received the bids in mid-June, and had expected the winning company to begin work soon. But Mayor John Pallone said they were told that the earliest work could start would be the end of July — and there was no guarantee it could start by then.

The city plans to try again, with a different scope.

“We are still trying to get someone lined up, on a smaller scale,” Pallone said.

Keeping track of ideas

Voogt became Council President at the start of July. Under the Pallone administration, each member of council serves as president for 12 months, except for Dr. Mary Jane Celli, who has always been vice president.

Each president runs meetings slightly differently. Voogt is looking to make some changes to the workshops, where council discusses plans and ideas. She has added sections for new and old business to the agenda.

One thing she’d like to implement is to meet with members of some of Long Branch’s boards and committees, such as the Green Team or Cable Commission. She envisions a brief discussion with the heads one of these groups, perhaps once a month.


Voogt said there are “a whole lot of really good people who are doing some really good work,” and this would be a chance to catch council members up on what’s happening, when it’s time to appoint more members, and generally get more involved. Council would not meet with the Zoning Board of Adjustment or Planning Board this way, since those two groups are considered independent of council.

Joe Ferraina throws hat in the ring…again

By Patty Booth O’Neill - There are three people, out of nine, up for re-election  for the Long Branch Board of Education.

The current nine members, are Board President Tasha Youngblood Brown, Board Vice President Lucille Perez, Avery Grant, Michele Critelli, Armand  Zambrano, Donald Covin, Caroline Bennett, Lauren McCaskill and Violeta Peters. Up for re-election, are Lauren McCaskill, Caroline Bennett and Vi Peters.

People around the city have been asking “Is Joe running? If so does he have a ticket? Is he running for mayor or BOE.? If BOE, which member do you think he’ll try to bump off?  Is he running at all?”

So now we know

The last day to have your name added to the candidate’s list was July 26. In the meantime, Lauren McCaskill has chosen not to run again and Ferraina has added his name along with one other woman for the November 2 election.


William F. Larkin, 74, former Mayor of the Township of Ocean passes

William F. Larkin, 74, former Mayor of the Township of Ocean, of Oakhurst and Kissimmee, Florida, passed away suddenly on July 23, 2021. Bill was born in New Brunswick, NJ, and lived most of his life in Ocean Township. Bill graduated from Asbury Park High School and continued his education at Monmouth College, Caldwell College, and Rutgers University School of Governmental Services.

Bill was predeceased by his parents, William and Gertrude, and his grandson, Sean David. Surviving are his wife, Trudi, and his sons, Ryan Larkin, Esq. and his wife Melisa of Lake Wylie, SC, and Dr. Scott Larkin of Long Branch. He is also survived by his sister, Dorothy Larkin, Ocean Township, and grandchildren, Emma and Daniel Larkin.

As early as 17, Bill evidenced his love of community service when he organized a fund to raise money for the Bodine children, who had lost their parents in a horrific accident. Soon afterwards, at the age of 21, Bill began coaching in the Ocean Township Babe Ruth baseball and Pop Warner football leagues. Many of his former players became long time friends.

In 1987, Bill joined the Township of Ocean Alliance to Prevent Alcohol and Drug Abuse, the Human Services Council, the Recreation Committee, and the Planning Board. These community endeavors led Bill to become further involved as President of the OTHS Booster Club, President of Ocean Township Babe Ruth League, founding Director of the Greater Ocean Township Chamber of Commerce, member of the Business Advisory Board for Cerebral Palsy of Monmouth County, and member of the Leadership Cabinet for Prevention First.

This community involvement was just a precursor to Bill’s desire to become involved in local government and serve his community on a higher level. In 1991, Bill won a seat on the Township of Ocean Council. He eventually became Deputy Mayor in 1999 and was appointed Mayor in 2002, a position he held until his retirement in 2015. His total involvement in local government spanned 24 years. Bill was especially proud of the planning and construction of the new Ocean Township Library and the purchase of the Colonial Terrace Golf Course, which today bears his name.

Bill was awarded numerous honors including the Township of Ocean Chamber of Commerce “Man of the Year” in 1999, and the Metropolitan Dade County, Florida Distinguished Person Award for Service to the community when Ocean Township adopted Homestead, Florida, as their sister city after the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Additionally, he was inducted into the NJ State Mayors’ Hall of Fame in 2013 and the APHS Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in 2014.

Swimming, walking, bike riding, and of course playing golf, were some of his favorite pastimes. In 1983, Bill ran the New York City Marathon, finishing in 3 hours and 35 minutes.

Bill had been employed as a sales representative by Davis Associates of Eatontown.

Bill and his wife, Trudi, retired to Kissimmee, Florida, where they enjoyed visiting Walt Disney World, playing golf, and spending time with new friends.

Bill’s personal and professional accomplishments were exceptional. But the greatest accolades he deserves are as husband, father, Poppy, brother, and friend. His devotion to family and friends was selfless. You could always count on Bill for his steadfastness, quiet humility, and undying loyalty.

Bill’s community, family, and friends in New Jersey and Florida have lost a gem; his sparkle will remain undiminished.

A funeral service will be held at the Fiore Funeral Home, 236 Monmouth Road, Oakhurst, NJ, on Tuesday, July 27th, from 4 PM until 6:30 PM, with a memorial service at 6:30 PM. A celebration of Bill’s life will be held at a later date (TBA).

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Heart Association, Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC, or a charity of your choice in Bill’s memory.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William F Larkin, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.

Jose Montes Lopez, age 82 of Long Branch passes

Jose Montes Lopez, age 82 of Long Branch died on Friday, July 23, 2021 at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch. He was lovingly known to family and friends as “Pepe”.   Born in Yauco, Puerto Rico, he moved to Long Branch in 1962. Pepe was self-employed as a lifelong laborer and landscaper.

He loved his church Iglesia Cristiana Pentecostal on Columbus Place in Long Branch. Pepe was often quiet with his words, but always quick with a laugh and a smile.  He loved growing tomatoes and gardening with his brother on Division Street and playing his harmonica.  Always kind and loving to everyone he encountered.  He truly had a heart of gold, and a smile that would always touch yours.

Pepe was predeceased by his father Jose Montes Ruiz (1992) and mother Maria Cruz Lopez Montes (1997) of Long Branch. His siblings in order of age: David Montes of Plainfield, NJ – deceased on 10/25/2010; Eugenio Montes of Long Branch, NJ (wife Carmen Montes); Ramon Montes of Palm Bay, Florida (wife Maria Montes); Ester Montes Burgos of Yauco, Puerto Rico; Manuel Montes of Toledo, Ohio – deceased 7/23/2011; Lidia Montes of Long Branch, NJ – deceased 1986; Nilda Montes Gonzalez of  North Plainfield, NJ; Onil Montes of Franklin, NJ; Irma Montes Rodriguez of North Brunswick, NJ; Elias Montes of Hamilton, NJ and too many cousins, nieces and nephews to list!

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 28 from 9 am until the time of the service at 11 am at the Damiano Funeral Home, 191 Franklin Avenue in Long Branch. Interment will follow at Monmouth Memorial Park Cemetery in Tinton Falls. The family invites you to leave a letter of condolence by selecting the Tribute/Guestbook link above.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jose Montes Lopez, please visit our floral store.

Regina E. Maps, 88 of Oceanport passes

Regina E. Maps, 88 of Oceanport died on Tuesday, July 20th at Monmouth Medical Center. Mrs. Maps was born in New York City. She moved to Oceanport at 11 years old and remained there her entire life. She graduated Ann May School of Nursing, Neptune. She took a job at Fitkin Memorial Hospital, where she became the Assistant head nurse and also worked as an RN in the emergency room.

Regina served on the Oceanport Board of Education for 9 years and was an officer in the PTA for 10 years. Mrs. Maps worked as a classroom Aide in Oceanport school system before becoming a reading and math aide at Shore Regional High School from 1982 till she retired in 1996.  She was a member of the Oceanport Crafters Club.

In her retirement, she enjoyed painting landscapes, making baskets and doing ceramics. She loved the computer especially playing solitaire and surfing the internet. Reggie enjoyed her retired teachers’ group and attending their monthly breakfast gatherings. She was a 1951 graduate of Long Branch High School, where she was the head drum majorette and would twirl her baton at Long Branch Stadium during the intermission of the stock car races.

Reggie loved her family’s camping trips, traveling the east coast, from Canada to Key West. She and her husband Sherman enjoyed taking their granddaughters 3 different times on Disney Cruises. She loved any movie that starred Patrick Swayze, her favorites were Dirty Dancing and Ghost.  Reggie also loved the movies Grease and South Pacific. Her greatest pleasures were her family. She loved having everyone around the table together.

She was pre-deceased by her Aunt Joan Fisher.

Surviving is her husband of 64 years Sherman L. Maps; two daughters and sons-in-law, Tara and Richard DePue, Long Branch and Lori and Frank Van Brunt, Oceanport; three grandchildren, Caitlin McCarthy, Colleen McCarthy and Paul Van Brunt; and two great grandchildren, Mason and Haven.

Entombment services will be private on Monday at Woodbine Mausoleum, Oceanport. In lieu of customary remembrances Reggie’s family requests with gratitude contributions in her honor to the S.P.C.A., 260 Wall Street, Eatontown, NJ 07724; www.monmouthcountyspca.org. To share a favorite memory or send a message of condolence please visit Mrs. Maps’ page of tributes at www.woolleyboglioli.com.

‘Civil’ Engagement: Creating Inclusive and Equitable Civic Engagement in the Community

Please join the Long Branch Free Public Library for a presentation with Ed Johnson This session will discuss how society views and defines the practice of Civic Engagement and the community’s role in keeping it “civil”.
In this program, Ed Johnson, Mayor Emeritus of Asbury Park, will focus on effective pathways to becoming and staying active as a positive force for change within “the community,” examining fundamental principles of inclusive and equitable civic engagement.

Learn the history of the role that citizen-led civic engagement has played in American History, it’s impact and how we can find new pathways and opportunities to engage members of the community in “civil” engagement.

Ed Johnson is the managing Founder & President of Ed Johnson AP International Consulting. He is a proud and involved resident of the communities of Asbury Park, Monmouth County and State of New Jersey.  Mr. Johnson served his home community as Mayor, Councilman and Chairman of the Urban Enterprise Zone from 1998 – 2013.

Currently, Mr. Johnson is the Senior Executive Officer of Community Engagement / Executive Director of Governmental Affairs and Community Relations at Brookdale Community College. He is also an Adjunct Faculty in Political Science teaching at Rutgers University and as a Visiting Scholar has taught at Monmouth University and Brookdale Community College. As a Political Scientist, Mr. Johnson specializes in American Government, Law & Society and Urban Studies.

Ed Johnson also facilitates Continuing Education Seminars and Civic Programs that focus on Community Building, Stakeholder Relations and Civic Engagement. Mr. Johnson presented a lecture on the 2016 Presidential Election as part of the TNS Talks Lecture Series at The New School in Amsterdam, Netherlands. In December 2015, Mr. Johnson led a 6-day people-to-people cultural exchange project to Havana, Cuba for the 31st Festival Internacional Jazz Plaza La Habana.
If you are interested in registering, please email Lisa Kelly to receive the Zoom login at:  lkelly@longbranchlib.org.  Thursday, July 29th at 7:00pm via Zoom.  www.longbranchlib.org

National Night Out August 3

Don’t miss National Night Out, Tuesday night at Slocum Park on Broadway. So much to do and see and it’s all free!