Vietnam vets remembered with helicopter dedication

The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation will hold a Remembrance Day Ceremony and Huey Helicopter Dedication on Wed., May 7, 11 a.m. at the New Jersey Vietnam Era Museum, 1 Memorial Lane, Holmdel (off Exit 116, Garden State Parkway).
The guest speaker will be Rocky Bleier, Vietnam Veteran and four time Super Bowl Champion. There will also be remarks by Major General Clark W. Martin, USAF (Ret’d) and Chairman of the NJVVMF; Brigadier General Michael L. Cunniff, Adjutant General of New Jersey; Al Sever, 116th Assault Helicopter Company; Ken Gurbisz, US Army, 1968-1970; and Bob Briant, Jr.; Utility Transportation & Contractors Association.

May 7 was created by legislation in 1991 as a unique day in New Jersey to honor all those who served in the military during the Vietnam Era from 1959 to 1975. As part of this year’s ceremony the Foundation will unveil its newly restored Huey Helicopter at the Vietnam Era Museum.

The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation offers a meaningful and engaging experience that recognizes the sacrifice, courage and valor of Vietnam Veterans and encourages and fosters a thorough understanding of the Vietnam Era including the political, historical, social, cultural and military aspects, which affected the United States, and especially New Jersey.

To learn more about the Foundation and the Huey project, visit njvvmf.org.

Freeholders recognize the importance of libraries, proclaim ‘Library Week’

The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders recognizes the importance of the library system and has declared the week of April 13 as “Library Week” in Monmouth County.
The “Library Week” proclamation was presented to Monmouth County Library Interim Director Judi Tolchin and Program Coordinator Donna Mansfield.

“The Library System constantly strives to provide programs and services that better the community,” said Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the County library. “From weekly movie screenings and art exhibits to assistance with tax preparation and job searches, there is much to do and to see in the Monmouth County libraries.”Children and teen programs can help with homework and SAT/PSAT preparation or help children learn about different cultures and traditions. Or, maybe you want to learn how to play bridge or mahjong.

And of course there are resources for readers – both online and at the reference desks. At the library you can get help with using your e-reader. Maybe you want to borrow a popular novel or a classic; there might be book discussion group to get you involved in the literary community.

“Another example of the Library Systems’ community involvement is the fact that the County library branches are participating in a County-wide food drive for the entire month of April,” said Burry.
Collection bins are available at all Monmouth County branch libraries. Food items suitable for donation are non-perishable, protein-rich foods such as peanut butter, granola bars and tuna fish. Other most needed food items are ready-to-eat canned meals, canned fruits, canned vegetables, instant potatoes, canned and dry soup, canned pork and beans, canned juices, sip-size juices and hot and cold cereal.

“The Monmouth County Library System is a treasure,” said Burry. “It’s more than a building with shelves of books; it is a window to the world. I urge everyone to visit a County library and take advantage of all it has to offer.”

The County library headquarters is located in Manalapan. Libraries with branch status in the County system currently include the Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury, Allentown, Atlantic Highlands, Colts Neck, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Marlboro, Ocean Township, Oceanport, Wall and West Long Branch.
Towns with member status of the County library system include Brielle, Eatontown, Fair Haven, Interlaken, Keansburg, Little Silver, Manasquan, Monmouth Beach, Neptune City, Oceanic (Rumson), Sea Bright, Sea Girt, Tinton Falls and Union Beach.

Residents of towns that are not members or branches of the County library system who would like to have borrowing privileges at County libraries may purchase a County library card annually at a cost of $100.

EMACC scholarship applications available

Applications are now available for the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce (EMACC) scholarships to be awarded in June by the Chamber’s Educational Foundation. Awards of $1,250 each will be made to non-traditional students in three categories — 1) students at least 25 years old and returning to school, 2) college students entering their junior or senior year and/or has completed 60 credits and 3) those pursuing post high school vocational or technical training.

To be eligible, applicants must live or work within the service area of the Chamber — Eatontown, Fair Haven, Fort Monmouth, Little Silver, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Red Bank, Rumson, Sea Bright, Shrewsbury and Tinton Falls — or be employed by a Chamber member regardless of location. The applicant does not have to be a member of the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber but must provide a recommendation by an EMACC member in good standing who is not a family member.
Since its inception in 1998, the EMACC Educational Foundation has awarded over $150,000 in scholarships.

Applications may be downloaded from the Chamber’s website, www.emacc.org.  Completed applications must be returned to the Chamber office no later than Friday, May 5, at 5 p.m.  Awards will be announced in June.

Donations to support these unique awards are always welcome and may be sent to the EMACC Educational Foundation C/O EMACC, 8 Reckless Place, Red Bank, NJ 07701.

Run/Walk for the Blind is back

The 9th Annual Lighthouse Run/Walk for the Blind is back at Sandy Hook. This event, sponsored by the Eatontown Lions Club and supported by the Jersey Shore Running Club, will be held on Saturday May 3.

The starting time is 9:30 a.m. The entry fee is $30, and includes T-Shirt.

Check-in time on race day begins at 8 a.m. Participants can pre register online at www.jerseyrunner.com.

Awards will be presented to the top three male runners and top three female runners plus age group awards. Random prize drawings will be held at the end of the race. Special guests will be the Seeing Eye Puppies from the puppy raiser’s clubs in New Jersey.

All the proceeds from this event go to the NJ Blind Citizens Association and Camp Happiness which provides services to New Jersey blind/visually impaired adults and children. Programs include computer training, art, job search, fitness, crochet, garden and other educational and socialization offerings.

A free summer education program for blind/visually impaired adults has been continuously running at their facilities on Sandy Hook Bay since 1930.

Shots fired in Long Branch

Just after lunch time on a rainy Tuesday afternoon gun shots were heard in the area of Rockwell and Union Avenues in Long Branch. Police quickly responded to the area and started to search the area for the suspected shooters and possible victims.

Public Safety Director Jason Roebuck told The Link News that shots were fired in that area and at this time no reported injuries. Police were out checking the area for evidence of the shooting early this afternoon.

Shots were fired in Long Branch on April 15, around 1:00 p.m. at the intersection of Rockwell and Union avenues

The Link News spoke with a witness who didn’t want his name released. He was on line at the drive thru at McDonald’s which is in that area. This witness stated that he heard gunshots behind him and turned to see pick-up trucks driving at a higher than normal rate of speed and it sounded as if the shots were coming from that truck. According the witness the truck passed a car and actually drove over the curb to get away. The only description he could offer was what appeared to be a Dodge type pick-up, silver or red; he was ducking out of the way.

This was the second shooting in our area today. Early this morning, Freehold Police responded to a shooting report on Ford Avenue. When they arrived at 10:32 a.m. they discovered a 39-year old man with multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune and is in stable condition. The gunman in this incident fled on foot. This shooting took place in the area of the Nestle plant.

Fraudulent Sandy Charity

Funds From Allegedly Fraudulent Sandy Charity, Totaling $225,000, Distributed to Organizations That Will Assist Superstorm Sandy Victims, Following Action Filed by the Attorney General and Division of Consumer Affairs

NEWARK – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman today announced that donations previously made to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Foundation (HSRF), an unregistered charity whose principals allegedly misled donors in violation of the law, have been distributed to legitimate charitable organizations for the aid of Superstorm Sandy victims.

“In response to the suffering caused by Superstorm Sandy, donors flocked to this organization in the hope that their money would help storm victims and repair damaged communities,” Acting Attorney General Hoffman said. “Today, thanks to our investigation and enforcement action, we are ensuring that their charitable good intentions are being carried out.”

A total of $225,000 was distributed last week to four charitable organizations registered with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, and one charitable organization registered in New York State, specifically for the benefit of Sandy victims. The organizations were selected based on their proposals to specifically use the money to help Sandy victims, in accord with the representations that HSRF made to the public when soliciting donations. An additional $100,000 is under final review for distribution in the near future.

“Today’s announcement is a victory for donors who gave generously to help families whose lives were torn apart by Superstorm Sandy,” New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve Lee said. “As we demonstrated in bringing charges against those involved in price gouging and other scams in Sandy’s wake, we will not tolerate anyone who seeks to profit from the suffering of others.”

The initial distribution of $225,000 from HSRF donations, was made to the following organizations:

• O.C.E.A.N., Inc., of Toms River, received $100,000 to construct 12 three-bedroom, single-family homes in Berkeley Township. The homes will be rented to Sandy victims. Placements will be made based on O.C.E.A.N. Inc.’s waiting list for rental housing, as well as on referrals from the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group and Catholic Charities.

• The FoodBank of Monmouth/Ocean Counties, of Neptune, received $50,000 to support its network of food pantries that provide food for thousands of Sandy-affected families.

• The Alliance Center for Independence, of Edison, in partnership with South Carolina-based Portlight Strategies, Inc., received $50,000 for post-Sandy relief projects aiding individuals with disabilities. This will include providing durable medical equipment; the repair or replacement of lifts, elevators and ramps; and other equipment for internal and external accessibility needs.

• Graybeards, Ltd. Based in Rockaway, N.Y., received $25,000 for donations to Sandy-affected individuals in and near the Rockaway Peninsula. This proposal was selected because certain contributions to HSRF were earmarked for Superstorm Sandy relief in New York.

The Divisions of Consumer Affairs and Law filed suit in February 2013 against HSRF and its principals, John Sandberg and Christina Terraccino, alleging the defendants violated the Charitable Registration and Investigations Act, Charities Regulations and Consumer Fraud Act, among other things, by operating an unregistered charity, diverting donated funds into their personal accounts, and misrepresenting that donations where tax-deductible when HSRF did not have IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

In June 2013, the State arrived at a settlement in which a court-appointed Organization Administrator took control of HSRF and its financial accounts in order to distribute all remaining donations and dissolve the organization. Under the court-approved settlement, Sandberg and Terraccino also are permanently barred from soliciting contributions in New Jersey for Superstorm Sandy relief and are barred, for a minimum of two years, from serving in a leadership position in any charitable organization in New Jersey.

Chief Investigator Laurie Goodman, of the Office of Consumer Protection within the Division of Consumer Affairs, conducted the investigation of this matter. Deputy Attorney General Lorraine K. Rak, Chief of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section in the Division of Law, represents the State in this action. Nancy E. Kelly of NE Kelly & Associates, LLC has functioned as the Organization Administrator.

Advice for Consumers

The Division of Consumer Affairs encourages New Jersey consumers to learn as much as possible about any charity before deciding to make a donation. Consumers should:

• Find out whether the charity is registered in New Jersey, or is exempt from having to register. (Certain religious and educational organizations, and charities whose annual income includes less than $10,000 in public contributions and fundraising, are exempt from having to register with the State.)

• Find out how much the charity spent during recent fiscal years on program costs, management costs, and fundraising.

• Learn about the charity’s stated mission.

Consumers may obtain information about a charity in several ways. They can ask the charity itself (reputable charities encourage you to do so), or visit the charity’s website.

Consumers can also obtain this information from the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. Visit the Division’s Charities Registration page; call the Division’s Charities Hotline at 973-504-6215 during regular business hours; or use the Division’s free “New Jersey Charity Search” smartphone app.

Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.

New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Announces Crackdown on 53 Allegedly Non-Compliant Health Clubs

Colosseum Asbury LLC, aka Colosseum Health & Fitness in Asbury Park and Transformations for Women, LLC aka Shore Fit Club & Spa for Women in Oakhurst, made the list.

NEWARK – Just in time to protect consumers seeking to get back in shape after a severe winter, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs today announced administrative actions against 53 health clubs, and has assessed a total of $283,500 in civil penalties, due to the clubs’ alleged failure to comply with consumer protection laws.

“When consumers pay for a gym membership, they need to know the gym will be held accountable for maintaining its side of the contract. That is the purpose of our registration laws and other requirements,” Acting Attorney General Hoffman said. “We are citing these health clubs for their alleged failure to comply with these consumer protection laws.”

The Division of Consumer Affairs, working with the Division of Law, issued Notices of Violation and assessed a total of $165,000 in civil penalties against 31 unregistered health clubs. State law requires that all health clubs which devote at least 40 percent of their floor space to physical fitness services must register with the Division of Consumer Affairs and provide information about their ownership and operations.

Additionally, the Division of Consumer Affairs issued Notices of Violation and assessed $118,500 in penalties against 22 health clubs that are registered but allegedly violated State law by selling longer-term contracts to consumers, without maintaining a required security bond or letter of credit. Under State law, any health club that offers contracts for longer than three months must post a security bond or letter of credit with the Division of Consumer Affairs. This requirement assures a source for refunds to consumers, should the health club cease business or violate their contracts.

New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve Lee said, “With better weather finally approaching, many New Jerseyans may feel inspired to ‘hit the gym’ and get in shape. These consumers deserve the assurance that their health club is operating in compliance with the law – and that they won’t lose money on a long term contract if the health club goes out of business.”

The Notices of Violation allege that the health clubs violated New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act and/or the State’s statutes and regulations governing health clubs. Division investigators conducted the investigation by conducting site visits at 72 health clubs statewide to observe their facilities and business operations, obtain copies of contracts and other documents, and compare that information with the State’s registration records.

The list of 31 unregistered health clubs, including the civil penalty assessed against each, can be found here. Each business was assessed a $5,000 penalty. Two companies – Physiques Unlimited, in Whippany, and Physiques Unlimited II, in Belleville – were assessed total penalties of $10,000 each. The two companies allegedly failed to comply with 2011 Consent Orders in which their owners resolved earlier investigations by the Division of Consumer Affairs and, among other things, agreed not to sell health club services without registering as required by law.

The list of 22 registered health clubs that allegedly offered contracts longer than three months without posting a required security bond or line of credit can be found here. Each business was assessed a $5,000 penalty. In some cases, the Division assessed additional penalties of $250 for failure to conspicuously post a required notification of consumers’ rights, and/or additional penalties of $250 for failure to conspicuously post the company’s state registration record.

The Division of Consumer Affairs has filed administrative Notices of Violation against each of the 53 businesses. In response, each business may acknowledge the conduct, agree to comply with the law, and pay the assessed civil penalty; or request a mitigation conference at which the Division would consider mitigating circumstances before rendering a final decision; or contest the charges and request a formal administrative hearing before the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. If an administrative hearing is held and the Division finds the violations have been proven, additional civil penalties of up to $10,000 for a first violation and up to $20,000 for subsequent violations may be assessed.

Advice for Consumers:

Before signing a health club contract or paying a deposit, consumers are urged to:

Ask a friend or relative to recommend a good health club, then visit the club during the time of day when you would expect to use its facilities. Check to see whether you are satisfied with the equipment’s working order and cleanliness. If possible, talk with health club members to learn their impressions of the facilities.

• Ask for the health club’s State registration number. Then visit the Division of Consumer Affairs’ website at www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov to verify that the club is actively registered.

• If you decide to sign up for a membership for a period longer than three months, call the Division of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey ) or 973-504-6200 to learn whether the health club has posted the security bond as required by law. This security bond assures that a health club would be able to provide refunds to consumers, should the company cease business or violate their contracts.

• Be sure to demand a written contract that clearly indicates the full amount you must pay. State law requires that all health club contracts must be in writing. The contract must conspicuously set forth, on the contract’s first page, the buyer’s total payment obligation.

• Make sure to read it thoroughly and carefully, before you sign. Be sure you are fully aware of the services you will receive, and that you understand all contract terms. After signing a contract, you are entitled under State law to obtain a copy for your own records.

• Know your rights about cancellation. Under State law, the buyer may cancel a health club contract at any time within three operating days after receiving the contract. The buyer’s cancellation must be made in writing, by mail or personal delivery. After cancellation, the buyer is entitled to a full refund within 30 days.


Additional advice can be found in the Division’s Consumer Brief on Health Clubs (also available in Spanish).

Supervising Investigator Murat Botas and investigators Oscar Mejia, Mitchell Bomrind, Roger Hines, Joseph Iasso, Ediz Laypan, and Donna Leslie conducted this investigation.

Also playing an important role in the investigation were the following county consumer affairs investigators: From the Cape May County Office of Consumer Affairs, Dolores Rambo; from the Gloucester County Office of Consumer Affairs, Karen Crumsho and Bob Pandola; from the Hudson County Office of Consumer Affairs, Lynda Kennedy; from the Hudson County Office of Consumer Affairs, Steve Krywinski; from the Mercer County Office of Consumer Affairs, Gino Melone; from the Monmouth County Office of Consumer Affairs, Mary Flaherty and Fred Rummel; from the Ocean County Office of Consumer Affairs, Leo Altobelli, Elena Marcus and Barry Wieck; and from the Union County Office of Consumer Affairs, Deborah Krauskopf and Samary Mejia.

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Koziar, within the Division of Law, represented the State in these matters.

Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.

Officers Carter and Kane deliver a baby boy

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr.

Township of Ocean – Every time a police officer puts on a uniform they never know what to expect. They are charged with the duty of protection of life and property through the enforcement of laws and ordinances. Sometimes the work can be routine, but a majority of the time an officer never knows what to expect when they report to work.

Wednesday, April 9, Patrol Officers Raheem Carter and Kyle Kane were working their shift when they were dispatched to the 7-Eleven store on Deal Road just before 6:00 in the evening. The call was a woman in labor in the back of a taxi according to Detective Lieutenant Kevin L. Faller.

Township of Ocean Police Officers Raheem Carter and Kyle Kane delivered a baby boy on April 9, 2014 in the rear of a taxi at 7-11 on Deal Road

When Carter and Kane arrived they found the woman, who Faller stated was 28-years old and a resident of Lakewood, fully dilated and about to give birth. Emergency Medical Services were also dispatched, but the woman was not going to wait and went into active labor in the back seat of the taxi.

Carter and Kane, who receive training for situations just like this, were able to assist in the successful delivery of a baby boy. Oakhurst First Aid Squad and MONOC paramedics were on the scene shortly after the officers aided the mother and baby boy. Both were taken to Monmouth Medical Center.

Faller stated that officers have not had any contact with the woman since she was transported to Monmouth Medical Center, and they have not provided her name or any other details on the baby boy. Carter and Kane will now be able to wear a special pin on their uniforms of a blue stork holding a baby in a blanket in its beak.

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