Long Branch Police Officer assaulted in line of duty

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr

Just before 2:00 in the morning on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 a city police officer was viciously attacked and knocked unconscious.

Jason Roebuck, Long Branch Public Safety Director, stated that Officer Michael Monahan was on routine patrol when he noticed several subjects with flashlights near an abandoned building. The location of that structure is on the corner of Westwood and Bath avenues.

Monahan, who is a 13-year veteran of the department, radioed that he had suspicious individuals and gave his location. According to Roebuck, Monahan left his patrol car to investigate. That is when the individuals fled.      “Officer Monahan gave chase on foot, and apprehended one subject, before being struck on the back of his head and knocked unconscious,” added Roebuck.      Responding officers were unable to communicate with Monahan on the radio, so they  became worried. When the officers arrived they located his patrol car, but still had no visual on Monahan who was not answering.     Immediately officers started searching the area, which is a large grassy field around the abandoned building.

“They finally located Officer Monahan by the light given off by his flashlight. He was found face down and unconscious. He was transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center where he remains under observation for a head injury,”  Roebuck said. “We are hopefully and optimistic for a full recovery.”      In 2008, Officer Monahan was at Pier Village to assist another officer on a first aid call. He noticed a man in the ocean stuck in a rip current and being pulled out to sea. Monahan, recognizing the danger and in disregard of his own personal safety, immediately ran into the water. He battled the currents and rescued that man, saving his life. He was presented a Merit Award by the 200 Club of Monmouth County. Monahan was also honored as Police Officer of the Year, twice. He is an active trilithon athlete and has competed in Ironman competitions.

During those early morning hours the K-9 Units from Tinton Falls and the Monmouth County Sherriff’s Office responded and assisted the many officers and detectives looking for the individuals who attacked Monahan. Police are looking at videos from nearby homes, apartments and businesses to see if that will help in the identification of the attackers.

“This is an active investigation at this point, and we are working to bring these subjects to justice, said Roebuck.

Anyone with information about this crime, please reach out to DET Joe Spitale of the Long Branch Police Department at 732-222-1000, or DET Pam Ricciardi from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office,” .     Crime Stoppers is also offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of any suspect.  The number is 1-800-671-4400.

Adopt a Pet for the week of Sept. 15-21

Here are some of the animals in our area looking for forever homes:

State ballot casino question called bad for Oceanport

By Neil Schulman
Oceanport — Elected officials in the borough are frustrated that central New Jersey, especially Monmouth Park, is being ignored in the battle over whether to allow casinos to be built outside of Atlantic City.
In November, voters will be asked to approve a state Constitutional amendment that allows two casinos outside Atlantic City. Oceanport officials like the idea of casinos, but say that as currently written, it’s bad for the town.

As a result, they’ve been contacted by groups lobbying for both sides.

“Within the last two weeks, both the mayor and I have been reached out to by Our Turn New Jersey, which is the yes side, and Bad Bet New Jersey, which is the no side,” Council President Joseph Irace said at the Sept. 1 Borough Council workshop.
Irace said last year, Oceanport had passed resolutions supporting casinos outside of Atlantic City, as long as there were provisions that the revenue stream helped Monmouth Park. Currently, the plan — which isn’t even part of the vote — only calls for a tiny fraction to be given to horse racing.

“It’s not even close” to what’s needed, he said.

Mayor Jay Coffey said he wasn’t impressed with arguments from either side.

“Our Turn New Jersey – as far as I’m concerned, it should be Our Turn North Jersey,” he said.

A provision in the amendment is that the casinos would have to be more than 72 miles from Atlantic City, as the crow flies.

“Why 72 miles? Is it someone’s favorite football player?” Coffey asked sarcastically. The real reason is because Monmouth Park is 69 miles and Freehold Raceway is 72 miles, and Atlantic City doesn’t want the competition.

But these casinos, slated for East Rutherford and Jersey city, would be less than 14 miles apart. Coffey said he sees no reason why those two can towns take competition, but Atlantic City can’t.

He wondered if Oceanport should pursue “an order to show cause” for that 72-mile limit.

Similarly, the argument given by Bad Bet NJ struck the mayor as outdated. They tried to argue that gambling’s illegal outside Atlantic City.

“I said gambling’s legal outside Atlantic City,” Coffey said. Every state but New Jersey now allows casinos. “We don’t have anyone at our borders which prevents us from leaving the state.”
Many New Jersey residents no longer go to Atlantic City.

Google Maps says that a trip from Long Branch to the Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia, Harrah’s in Atlantic City, and Empire City Casino in New York all take about 80-90 minutes without traffic.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Commission reports that the smallest casino in the state took in $30 million in revenue last year, and the most successful took in $389 million. Coffey said that the city of Yonkers received $19.2 million from its share of the revenues last year.
It’s only Atlantic City which is not doing well.

“They’re gambling in droves in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Maryland and Delaware,” Coffey said.

Where’s central Jersey?

Part of the problem is that this proposal has been largely hashed out by politicians from south Jersey, who seek to protect Atlantic City’s interest, and North Jersey, which is interested in helping cities there.

“Central Jersey just disappeared,” Coffey said. “We don’t benefit at all.”

Monmouth Park, he said, has a large parking capacity, and already attracts people who want to make wagers. Other sorts of gamblers make perfect sense here.

But getting the proposal changed to benefit Oceanport or other central Jersey locations is difficult in Trenton. Senate President Stephen Sweeney is from South Jersey, and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto is from North Jersey. For a bill to be introduced, at least one of them must give their blessings.

To make matters harder, Governor Chris Christie has shown preference to Atlantic City over the state’s racing industry. Before he took office, casinos there donated roughly $30 million to the tracks to supplement purses, with the understanding tracks would not seek their own casinos.

Following a 2010 report on the state’s gaming industry from a commission run by Jon Hanson, Christie said the casinos no longer needed to help the track. The state still owns the track, but has given the management over to a private group.

“Monmouth Park has taken a hit in the last couple of years,” Coffey  said.

Irace said that originally, talks on the new casinos suggested 10 percent of the proceeds would go to horse racing. But that number has slipped down to much less.

Even that amount isn’t in writing. It would be set by the “enabling legislation” written if voters approve the proposal. And with North and South Jersey in control of Trenton, Oceanport isn’t optimistic about what it will say.

“We’re going to have one bite at the apple,” Irace said. If the referendum passes in November “we will never have a casino at Monmouth Park.”

For more Oceanport news pick up this week’s edition of  The LINK News.

Housing for homeless vets plan moved one town over

Freeholder Lillian Burry and John F. Downing, CEO of Soldier On, the private nonprofit organization committed to ending veteran homelessness, unveiled further plans for the proposed $17 million ratable to be located on an approximate 10-acre property on Essex Road, Tinton Falls, at a gathering of local, county, state and federal officials at Eagle Oaks Country Club Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Burry has been championing the proposition for the past five years, challenging every obstacle and offering alternate proposals to keep the proposal alive. The new community within Tinton Falls will not only provide housing for homeless veterans, but offer 21st century technology in construction of units estimated to cost approximately $275,000 each.

First proposed to the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA), of which Burry is a member, for a section in the Eatontown area, the initial plans were scrapped when the nonprofit organization’s bid for land on the former army installation was rejected by FMERA last year for being too low.

Undaunted and pursuing other potential sites, Burry met with Tinton Falls Mayor Gerry Turning, Councilman Gary Baldwin and other municipal leaders, and the group found the acreage close to Seabrook Village which appeared to meet all the needs of the proposed community. Announcement of the selection of the site and the proposal was officially made at the Aug. 17 meeting of FMERA, and Tuesday’s announcement laid out more plans and proposals.

Downing, who started the organization in 1994 to end veteran homelessness, gave a brief history of the Soldier On veterans programs, which include both permanent and transitional housing, as well as mental health, substance abuse, dental and medical services, legal assistance, employment, education and transportation services. Soldier On has a presence in five states, including Massachusetts where it originated, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Mississippi.

In New Jersey, Soldier On provides services to veterans in eight counties, including Monmouth, with the State Office in Hamilton in Mercer County.

Downing said the Tinton Falls site for housing is ideal in every aspect, from location in an attractive community, access to recreational activities and support from other veterans to the availability of areas where the veterans can provide community services.

Under the Solider On program, Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans limited equity cooperative housing communities are established. Each community is named for the former Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs and highly decorated army veteran who completed two tours of duty in Vietnam before being named Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs from 2003 to 2009.

Downing said the Tinton Falls community would have between 50 and 100 units, in attached homes designed to blend in with the area and built using sustainable building and energy models that enable the residents to maintain lower energy costs and ensure low upkeep costs. Veterans in the housing purchase an equity stake in their homes, funding which is then held in trust and available to be returned to them should they move out. Remaining funding is financed through grants, foundations, and federal and state programs, with the veterans paying monthly fees for the affordable housing, as well as providing community service in the area. There will be 16 units in each building, with the buildings being two or three stories in height. Each unit will be an average of 450 square feet, with both efficiency and one bedroom units included.

Most of the homeless veterans who will be served by this new housing are single, Downing said, and coupled with the single bedroom construction, the new housing also will not have any impact on local school systems.
In the manner of condominium type housing throughout the country at all price levels, there will also be a number of ancillary buildings and conveniences, the CEO pointed out, including a laundry, a cafeteria, and a shuttle stop for transportation which is

Bus trip to LGBTQ march

Asbury Park — On Sunday, October 2, 2016 the Hotel Tides will be chartering a bus to Washington, DC to join the LGBTQ United March Against Gun Violence as part of the “Keep the Flame Burning” initiative.
The LGBTQ United March Against Gun Violence was in response to the ongoing gun violence and specifically the recent attack on the LGBTQ community in Orlando.

“Keep the Flame Burning” is a group formed by LGBTQ community leaders of Asbury Park following the massacre. It’s core objective is to raise awareness and funds to promote the end of gun violence.

The bus trip will cost $50 per person and the will depart from Hotel Tides at 7 a.m.  The rally will take place from noon-5 p.m., and there is an expected return to Asbury Park at 10 p.m.  The price per person will include a boxed lunch.

Anyone interested in attending should RSVP to Ryan@­hoteltides.com by September 11.

Hotel Tides is located at 408 7th Avenue.

More talk before redevelopment; second look for new buildings?

By Neil Schulman
Sea Bright — The Borough Council has delayed accepting a report on whether three properties, including the former Sea Bright School, qualify as an area in need of redevelopment.
A resolution on the agenda at the Sept. 6 Borough Council meeting will be held. The issue will be discussed more extensively at the Sept. 15 Borough Council workshop.
“It’s my understanding there’s still a lot of questions on this,” said Councilman Marc Leckstein.

The councilman, who supports the concept, believes that there are a lot of misunderstandings about what this would entail.

According to the resolution, in June, the Cofone Consulting Group prepared a report on the three unused downtown properties, and whether they qualify, under state law, as “areas in need of redevelopment with the power of eminent domain” under state law.

The use of eminent domain, the ability of the government to take private property, has been controversial in New Jersey for the last decade or so.
“Sea Bright has never gone down this road before,” said Mayor Dina Long, though she said something similar had been investigated, and proved unpopular.
“The community almost blew itself up 15 years ago,” she said.

But Leckstein said that involved potential residential projects. This involves only commercial districts. And one of the buildings, the former schoolhouse, has sat unused for decades.
“I am sick and tired of looking at that building,” he said.

Alternative architecture
On Sept. 27, Sea Bright residents will vote in a referendum on whether to approve $12.9 million in bonds to build two structures to replace structures ruined by Superstorm Sandy, including the beach pavilion, firehouse, police department, and library.

While FEMA and insurance would pay much of the costs, taxpayers would be on the hook for more than $5 million. Residents who think that’s too much held the process for this referendum.

And Mayor Long said that even if it’s approved, she wants to address their concerns, re-examining their plans to see if any savings can be made.

“Should there be an affirmative vote… the borough will immediately engage a review architect,” she said. That architect will look for cost savings. (By law, the borough can’t spend money on the project until after the referendum.)

While council unanimously agreed to hire the architect – if the referendum passes – Councilman Charles Rooney thought that it would make more sense to go out to bid first.
He said that the $12.9 million figure includes contingencies and options, and he wouldn’t be surprised if the final project comes in significantly lower in costs. “We need to see what the real numbers are,” he said. “You’re going to compromise the building before you know what it really costs.”If the referendum is defeated, then council will need to figure out what to do. Officials say they suspect either way, the October council workshop will be dedicated to that.

More news about Sea Bright in this week’s edition of The LINK News.

Playwriting and acting courses in West End arts center

Long Branch — New Jersey Repertory Company has announced it will present playwriting and acting classes this fall in the new West End Performing Arts Center.

Gail Winar, an actor, director, producer and university professor will teach Intro to Acting.

Calling all aspiring writers and actors. Now is your chance to take your talents and skills to the next level. Beginners to experienced, anyone can apply and everyone has a story to tell and a dream to fulfill. NJ Rep is offering Intro to Acting, Advanced Acting and Playwriting courses taught by accredited professionals in their field.

Engage your mind, free your imagination and challenge yourself by learning the art of acting. Learn improvisational skills by using traditional theatrical techniques. Writers of all levels are encouraged to learn playwriting basics and practice techniques for effective storytelling. Write short plays, develop your inner writers’ voice and have your play read on stage!

NJ Rep’s Literary Manager Joel Stone will teach Playwriting October 20 and October 27; November 3, November 10, November 17, December 1 and December 8 from 6:30 pm–9:15 pm. The cost for 8 classes is $275.

Joel Stone is formerly the artistic director of Off-Off Broadway’s The Theatre Asylum.  On May 17, 1998, his play Horrors of Doctor Moreau (published by Samuel French, Inc.) became the first script-in-hand reading to debut at New Jersey Repertory Company. Several of his other works have been presented at NJ Rep as well.

From 2000-2002, he was the Theatre Education Coordinator for the New York City Board/Department of Education. In 2014, he was the Director/Mentor of the award-winning NJ Rep Young Playwrights Project, “Shelter from the Storm,” where local high school students wrote short plays about Hurricane Sandy.

For the past three years, he has been an adjunct professor of playwriting in the English Department at Monmouth University and recently joined the Theatre Department to teach improvisation.

Gail Winar will teach Intro to Acting October 19, October 26, November 2, November 9, November 16, November 30, December 7 and December 14 from 6:30 pm–8: 30 pm. The cost for 8 classes is $275.

This class is a fun way for beginners to dip their toes into the actors’ pool. Learn basic acting skills and techniques to loosen your core and get into character by performing technical exercises, cold readings, script analysis, improvisation, and scene performances.

Winar is an actor, director, producer and university professor. She has a BFA from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts; certificate from the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain; and an MFA from the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting/GWU.​

She has toured throughout the US and Europe, and performed regionally across the country.  She originated roles in the world premieres of Trans Scripts at 59E59 and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; Missa Solemnis at the Barrow Theatre; Beyond Gravity at New Jersey Repertory Company and What I Heard About Iraq at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

She has also performed in, literally, hundreds of live corporate events, industrials and workshops for Sony, IBM, General Electric, Bristol-Myers and Deloitte & Touche – just to name a few.

Winar is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at Kean University in Union, NJ and Marymount Manhattan College in NYC, and has taught for the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute/NYU, CUNY, Columbia Teacher’s College, Vassar College, Stockholm University, and the Jakarta International School in Indonesia.

She is a Master Teaching Artist with the Roundabout Theatre Company on Broadway, conducting hundreds of theater arts residencies each year for middle schools and high schools throughout the five boroughs.

Wendy Peace will teach Acting in the Afternoon October 18, October 25, November 1, November 10, November 15, November 29, December 6 and December 13 from 3:00 pm–5:00 pm.  The cost for 8 classes is $275.

Deepen your acting chops and take your craft to the next level by honing your skills and learning character development, script analysis, monologue study, contemporary and classic scene studies.

Advanced Acting, also instructed by Wendy Peace, will be October 18, October 25, November 1, November 10, November 15, November 29, December 6 and December 13 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. The cost for 8 classes is $275.

Peace has appeared as Melinda in Robert Caisley’s Happy and Alice in The Housewives of Mannheim, a role she went on to play in Indianapolis, Santa Barbara and Off-Broadway. She has also worked extensively regionally and on national tour in the USA, Canada and the UK.

Other favorite roles include Elmire in Tartuffe (in French and English), Adriana in Comedy of Errors, Kate in Taming of the Shrew, Pam in The Poetry of Pizza, Lady M in Macbeth, and Claudius in an all-female version of Hamlet.
Over the last two years she has performed eight characters in Robin Rice Lichtig’s solo show Listen! The River in New York, Edinburgh and London.

She has directed several productions, including winners of one-act play festivals. Wendy was the Program Director for the NJ Rep Young Playwright’s Project. This award-winning program saw eight New Jersey high school students write plays in response to Hurricane Sandy.
To sign up for classes, contact 732-229-3166 or visit www.njrep.org and fill out an application online.  All courses will be held at the West End Performing Arts Center located at 132 West End Avenue, the former West End School building.

Monmouth Freeholders guarantee $35M for Fort Monmouth plan

Ocean Township — The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders has provided final approval to guarantee $35 million in notes and bonds through the Monmouth County Improvement Authority (MCIA).

The funding will be used to revitalize the former Fort Monmouth property which has been closed since 2011.

The authorization of the County guaranty took place at the Board of Chosen Freeholders meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 24 at the Ocean Township Municipal Building after a public hearing.

The County authorization will allow the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) to purchase 560 acres of property, located in Eatontown and Oceanport, from the United States Army as part of its Phase II redevelopment plan.

“The Phase II project has an estimated market value of more than $90 million. The entire Fort Monmouth property encompasses 1,126 acres across the boroughs of Eatontown, Oceanport and Tinton Falls, with the total improved value estimated at $1 billion over the next ten years. The potential impact of this redevelopment on our residents is enormous,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, the County freeholder representative on the FMERA board.

The closure of Fort Monmouth resulted in the loss of nearly 5,000 jobs and 15,000 ancillary jobs. County officials say FMERA actions have already started to create new jobs with the possibility of significantly more over time. CommVault’s new world headquarters, located on the Tinton Falls section of the former fort, currently employs 900 individuals with plans to employ 1,600 more.

Trinity Hall, a private, all-girls college preparatory high school is scheduled to open on the Tinton Falls section, too. In addition, Monmouth County operates several facilities on the base.

FMERA’s goal is to develop 1,585 housing units; 300,000 square-feet of non-profit, civic and government and educational space; 500,000 square-feet for retail; and 2 million square-feet dedicated to offices, research and other commercial uses.

Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone said, “The closure of Fort Monmouth had a deep impact on employment in Monmouth County and New Jersey. The Fort Monmouth Revitalization Authority is doing the work necessary to deliver new jobs on the property. People are already being employed at new facilities and business. Others will be hired to either build new structures or rehabilitate existing buildings. In both cases, immediate and long-term employment opportunities will be available.”

“This is the right decision for Monmouth County. By guaranteeing these bonds we are helping to support the three boroughs and everyone in Monmouth County. The $90 million estimated market value of the project makes this a good investment in the future of our county. Monmouth County’s AAA bond rating should also provide a favorable lending rate for FMERA,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, liaison to the MCIA.

Freeholder Gary J. Rich, Sr. said, “I am pleased that we have taken this critical step to jump start the potential of this valuable Monmouth County real estate. We are confident that this positive action will assist in the successful redevelopment of this important economic engine.”

Freeholder John P. Curley was the lone dissenting vote for the bond authorization, arguing that he wanted the local municipalities, who will benefit the most from the project, to be involved in guarantying the bonds.

“The financial structure of the deal should include the participating municipalities ensuring equity of financial obligation, and the ultimate say in the decision-making process. The municipalities should have the ultimate say in the land use of their communities as designed in their respective master plan” said Curley.

Yeshiva to open on Logan Road

By Jonathan Weber
Ocean Township — A few signs still remain along the sidewalks on Logan Road, but it will no longer make a difference – “No Dorm on Logan Road” is finished. Yeshiva Gedola Na’Os Yaakov has won its appeal in Federal Court in Trenton, thus ending a two-year battle for the school to dorm rabbinical students in their late teens and early 20s.

Twice, the Township of Ocean Board of Adjustment turned down their application, the second time after Judge Freda Wolfson ordered the Board to reconsider the decision on the Talmudic academy (school to ordain rabbis). Along with right to open the facility, the school is asking for one million dollars in damages.

The Board had 180 days by law to decide if Na’Os Yaakov could dorm 96 students at the 1515 Logan Road site, but the hearings became contentious — over a thousand people showed up to complain at some meetings — and the process dragged on for 511 days. The municipal building couldn’t contain everyone requiring the sessions to move to the gymnasium in Ocean Township High School.

The overwhelming feeling of those who opposed the school centered around a fear the Township of Ocean would turn into another Lakewood. Charges of anti-semitism flew and residents took to social media like Facebook to show their disdain.

The town has a large Modern Orthodox population, but this affair seemed to go more against the Chassidic wing of Judaism that resides in the Ocean County township.

The Yeshiva appealed the no vote in Federal Court and the whole process suddenly changed. No longer would the Yeshiva have to prove their school was beneficial, but under federal law, which supersedes the state statutes, the religious use of the site meant the municipality would have to prove it was not beneficial.
The land use provisions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (known as RLUIPA) protect individuals, houses of worship, and other religious institutions from discrimination in zoning and land-marking laws.
The building has been home to several religious institutions in the past and was used in this past school year as an elementary school with about 100 students. When it housed the Deal Yeshiva, fifty high school students were dormed.
Asked if the town will appeal the latest decision from the US District Court, Mayor Christopher Siciliano stated, “Since this was a RLUIPA case, the chance for a successful appeal is slim, and thus, we will not gamble and risk the possibility of an enormous settlement if we were unsuccessful. We have a responsibility to the entire community to minimize the damage of this ruling. As it stands now, they are demanding damages of nearly $1 million dollars which we will mediate within 60 days of this order.”
Na’Os Yaakov will be limited to 80 students, not the 96 they sought and students will not be permitted to have cars on campus. Additionally, the windows in the study hall will have to remain closed when it is in use so as to minimize noise.
The mayor did succeed after six hours of negotiations in having the Yeshiva stick to their original site plan.
Yeshiva Gedola Na’Os Yaakov currently operates in Lakewood with a smaller student body and with the students dormed off campus. They wanted the Ocean location to give the students intense study of the Talmud, the collection of rabbinic writings that contains the religious authority of Orthodox Judaism.

Mayor’s statement
Siciliano issued the following statement after the ruling:
Unfortunately, the application was judged as a RLUIPA case rather than a “zoning” issue. This severely limited our ability to defend this and consequently the actions and statements from the enthusiastic and concerned residents trigged such a case. I feel their comments and actions were unfairly used against them.
In this application there certainly were inappropriate comments on social media; however, those comments were from a population that was not limited to Ocean township residents. In addition, just as there are rights in our constitution protecting religious freedoms, there are also rights protecting free speech, no matter how abhorrent it may be.
I am proud of our Board of Adjustment, whose decision of denial would be upheld in the normal appeal of zoning denial. This case, however, is under the jurisdiction of  the Federal Court and imposes the standards of RLUIPA, which turns the tables and requires the objectors or the Board to show a compelling reason to deny the application, rather that the applicant having that burden. The Court found that there was no “compelling” basis for denial of the application.

I was afforded the opportunity to appear in Trenton to discuss face to face with the Rabbi and his “Team” of attorneys the need for them to adhere to the site plan as previously presented. After six hours, I was successful in getting them to demur or accept my suggestions to comply.

It’s important for people to understand that since it was judged as RLUIPA and not a zoning case, that the Mayor and Council were not in any position to negotiate, compromise or anything of the sort. The ball was in their court and the best we could do was to ask them to please comply with the site plan, which, after six hours, eventually they did indeed agree to.

I am expecting that we will live harmoniously with the yeshiva.

I personally believe that our lives will not change one bit from this application, and that we will be good neighbors.

I did demanded an apology from the applicants attorney for remarks he made in the Asbury Park Press the other day saying, “The people of Ocean Township are small minded.”  His statement WAS UNCALLED FOR AND OFFENSIVE! (The) rabbi did however reach out to me and apologize, saying that he did not agree with the attorney’s statement and he too was offended! He wants to work with us as a good neighbor, promoting fellowship and community spirit.

Fort deal good for Eatontown’s future

By Coleen Burnett
At the August 24 meeting of the Eatontown Borough Council, things were generally pretty quiet.

So Mayor Dennis Connelly took advantage of a light schedule to again voice his pleasure at the expected Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders vote — which would take place the next day —  that would guaranteeing up to $35 million in notes and bonds to help redevelop Fort Monmouth through the Monmouth County Improvement Authority (MCIA).

During the Freeholders’s Aug. 25 meeting in Ocean Township, the board voted 4-1 to approve the bonds and notes.  Freeholder John Curley was the lone dissenting vote on the board.

The mayor had high praise for the Freeholders, particularly Freeholder Lillian Burry, who sits with Connelly on the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) and whom he called a “driving force” in getting the measure passed. “This loan should expedite some of the pending sales, along with helping to facilitate faster transactions with the new property sales,” he told the Council.

“As I said prior, this loan came with the stipulation of the transfer of the Avenue of Memories to Monmouth County, with the intent that the roadway would be open for passenger traffic within the next couple of months. The opening of this roadway should not only help ease the traffic on the surrounding roadways, but may also bring interest for the available properties on Fort Monmouth”.

The measure also gives Connelly high hopes for the eventual construction of the proposed mixed-use Town Center along Route 35. Included in that Town Center would be a cultural arts center, which he says would be a centerpiece for the transformation of the Fort.

“The creation of this {center} would help advance the overall vision of the Fort, which is to create a vibrant community where residents can live, work, and play,” he said.