Monmouth Civic Chorus provides carolers to the community

The award-winning Monmouth Civic Chorus is sending its singers on the road to brighten your holidays with seasonal music.

Groups of carolers are available to add merriment to home, office or community gatherings.  Groups of all sizes are available, from a quartet to a full chorus and a variety of holiday music is offered to entertain your guests.

Past caroling appearances have included Sickles Market in Little Silver, Holiday Harmonies in Red Bank, Pier Village in Long Branch, and Dearborn Market in Holmdel.

For bookings and rates, e-mail caroling@monmouthcivicchorus.org, click “hire us” on the “Contact” page at monmouthcivicchorus.org, or call (732) 933-9333.

The Monmouth Civic Chorus has been called “close to perfect” (Asbury Park Press), “alive and evocative” (The Star-Ledger) and “exceptional” (Red Bank Green). The Chorus is the proud recipient of the 2008

ASCAP/Chorus America Alice Parker Award, and the 2010 Spinnaker Award for Arts and Culture from the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce.

Brookdale student selected as MTVU VJ

Middletown — Following open auditions held at colleges and universities across the country, MTVU has selected Brookdale Community College student and Manalapan resident Sophia Parola as its next on-air VJ.

Photo by Brookdale Community College. Sophia Parola, of Manalapan, has been selected as MTVU’s newest on-air VJ.

Parola, who was selected from more than 300 total applicants for the role, will host a series of paid video projects for the college-oriented cable network over the next year. Her first project was filmed on Brookdale’s Lincroft campus on Nov. 3.

“I am so honored and so excited,” said Parola, an aspiring actress. “I was speechless when I found out I had been selected. I’ve never done anything like this before, but I’ve learned to just work hard and say yes to every opportunity. I’m so glad I did, and I can not wait to get to work.”

Parola applied for the role during an open audition held for Brookdale students on the college’s Lincroft campus on Sept. 12. A 2016 graduate of Brookdale, Parola is currently studying radio and television at Monmouth University while completing a special project in communications media at Brookdale.

She also serves as an on-air host for Brookdale Television and is an active member of Brookdale’s theater program, appearing in the college’s annual Summer Shakespeare Ensemble, FestiVALL student showcase and Haunted Theater.

MTVU, a college-focused sister channel of MTV, is viewed by more than 9 million students at more than 700 college campuses across the country.

Deadly counterfeit oxy pills found in Long Branch

Carfentanil and Cyclopropyl Fentanyl, two fatally-potent synthetic drugs, have been recovered for the first time in Monmouth County, Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

These pills, designed to look like oxycodone tablets, contain a synthetic drug 10,000 times more potent than morphine.

The drugs, recovered in separate police investigations in Long Branch and Holmdel this year and recently identified by State Police lab testing, were illicitly manufactured into pill form and imprinted with markings A/215, simulating oxycodone tablets.

The arrival of Carfentanil and Cyclopropyl Fentanyl is bad news for everybody, especially those suffering with an opiate addiction in Monmouth County. Although these counterfeit pills appear to be oxycodone, they can have deadly consequences,” warned Gramiccioni. “If you are buying these pills on the street, you are playing a deadly version of Russian roulette.”

Carfentanil is a powerful synthetic opiate that is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl. A single granule of Carfentanil, which has been approved only for veterinary uses, can be deadly to humans. The drug is so toxic that a recent Drug Enforcement Administration Safety Alert has been issued to law enforcement officers and first responders who may be exposed to Carfentanil as a result of accidental physical contact or inhalation.

Cyclopropyl Fentanyl, another fentanyl derivative, is intended for neither human or veterinarian use and has been linked to a rash of fatal overdoses in the State of Georgia earlier this summer.

Republicans win big in WLB

By Neil Schulman
West Long Branch — “Actions speak louder than social media,” said Mayor Janet Tucci, explaining why the two Republican incumbents won by a large margin.

Councilmen Fred Migliaccio and Christopher Neyhart celebrate their re-election Tuesday night.

As the West Long Branch Republicans gathered to tally up the results, it soon became clear that the vote was easily going their way.

According to unofficial vote totals from the Monmouth County Clerk’s, Councilman Chris Neyhart received 1,384 votes and Councilman Fred Migliaccio 1,452 to Democratic Challenger Jeremy Strauser’s 840 votes.

“Jeremy Strauser did a Facebook campaign,” Migliaccio said in his remarks on Election Night. He said that his opponent was less involved in the community than the incumbents. “He never coached a team, joined the First Aid Squad, or given any of his time.”

But Migliaccio did say that it was a clean campaign on both sides. Strauser’s concerns – empty stores and speeding on some streets – are legitimate, but unfortunately either beyond the council’s control or have no good solutions.

Speeding on Hollywood Avenue is a concern, but suggestions like speed bumps or calming stripes wind up upsetting the neighborhood because of all the noise cars make when going over them. Council has explored those options in the past, he said.

“We’ve been there already.”
Migliaccio said he and Neyhart were returned to office for another term based on their accomplishments.

“The voters, they know what we do,” he said. “We do it effectively. We get things done.”
He added that while there have been many good governing bodies in West Long Branch over the years, he believes the last two years have been some of the best in borough history.

“I just want to thank you guys for supporting us,” Migliaccio said. “We just do what we can to help out in the borough.”

Neyhart agreed that the current council is running well.

“We try to accomplish as much as we can, all of us.”
Neyhart said that he almost didn’t seek another term, but his family and fellow council members urged him to help.

“Without the support of everybody here, it wouldn’t be the same town,” he said. He quoted mayor Tucci’s often-said remark that they aimed to keep West Long Branch “a great place to raise a family.”
On the West Long Branch Residents Facebook Page, Strauser thanked everyone for their support.

“Congratulations to Council Members Neyhart and Migliaccio on their re-election. They are both fine people who will serve the Borough well,” he wrote.

“It was an honor to be considered and to run. Thank you to all who supported my campaign and voted today. It was great getting to know more of you and learning more about your priorities as fellow residents.
“Our small town faces big challenges, and I know that working together, we can face them head on and succeed.”

Veterans and marching music at Eatontown Museum

By Coleen Burnett
Eatontown — The Eatontown Historical Museum held its fifth annual event to honor veterans on November 5.
To mark the occasion, the lawn in front of the museum was festooned with flags dedicated in the memory of a veteran or an active duty service member. The first year featured fifty flags.

Rich Chiemingo with Eatontown veteran Walter Biernacki. Biernacki is wearing a special medal he got from the government of Saipan for his efforts there during the war.

This year, there were 220 flags featured — 15 of which were dedicated to those from Eatontown who lost their lives in combat.

There was special attention paid this year to the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I.
“Your presence here today is a tribute to those who served and their families,” said Museum President Phyllis Trask.

After the ceremony, many trouped across the street to the Senior Center to see the World War I “Sousa Musical Tribute” led by Rich Chiemingo, one of the leading John Phillip Sousa re-enactors in the country.

Perhaps Sousa’s most famous composition is “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Another famous piece he wrote was called “The Liberty Bell,” though we know it better today as the theme from “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”
“In high school I started to play the sousaphone, and he became a hero of mine”, Chiemingo told the Link. “I admired his morality and patriotism.”

He pulled out a well-worn clipping. “I’ve had a picture of him in my wallet since 1963.”
Chiemingo has portrayed the bandleader “hundreds of times” in 16 years and it never gets old. He loves to watch the reactions on people’s faces.

“He wanted to write music that made you proud to be a great American.”

Big local races in NJ election

By Neil Schulman
Election Day is next Tuesday, and while there are no races for congress or other bodies, there are some interesting ones in New Jersey, including locally.

The state level
Both gubernatorial candidates are from Monmouth County. Republican candidate Kim Guadagno, the current Lt. Governor of the state, lives in

Monmouth Beach, and Phil Murphy comes from Middletown.
In the District 11 races (which include Eatontown, Long Branch, Ocean and West Long Branch in The Link News’ coverage area, incumbent Republican Senator Jennifer Beck is being challenged by Democratic candidate Vin Gopal. For the Assembly seats, Republicans Robert Acerra and Michael Whelan are running against incumbent Democrats Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey.

The 11th District is one of the most closely watched races in New Jersey. In 2015, Houghtaling and Dowling took what had traditionally been Republican seats.

In the 12th District, sitting Senator Joseph Kyrillos chose not to seek another term. Republican Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon seeks to fill his seat. Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R) is running for re-election and Serena DiMaso.

Eatontown
Republican incumbents council members Mark Regan and Donna Mazzella-Deidrichsen are being challenged by Democrats Jennifer Sherod and Bridget Harris.

Voters will also select board of education members, though all candidates there are running unopposed. Barbara VanWagner is seeking a seat on the Monmouth Regional High School board, and Deborah Martinock, Mark Regan Jr., and Shellie Miller are running for three seats on the Eatontown board.

Long Branch
There are five candidates for the three seats. Incumbents Rose Marie Widdis, James Parnell, and Armand Zambrano Jr. are being challenged by Tasha Youngblood Brown, and John Zuidema Jr.

With its non-partisan form of government, council races are not held in November. The next mayoral and council election is May 2018.

Monmouth Beach
Another municipality with a non-partisan government, Monmouth Beach still has board of education elections, though fewer candidates are on the ballot than seats.

Monmouth Beach’s Shore Regional High School slot on the ballot is blank. For the local board, Barbara Kay and Leo Decker are listed, and three seats are available.

Ocean Township
Ocean is another non-partisan community without local elections, but there is one candidate on a ballot to fill an unexpired two-year term: John Napolitani, Sr. Residents might also be interested that Deputy Mayor Robert Acerra is running for Assemblyman.

The board of education is another unopposed election, with three candidates seeking three seats.

Oceanport
In addition to the two three-year terms, there are going to be elections to fill the two-year and one-year terms created by council members resigning earlier this year.

Incumbent council members Richard Gallo and Robert Proto (who was appointed to fill one of the resignations), both Republicans, are seeking three year terms. They will be challenged by Democrats Theresa Falcone and James Rimalover.

Councilman Stephen Solan (R), another person appointed to fill a vacancy due to resignation, will run for the two-year term, challenged by Marie Rimalover (D).

Only one person is seeking the one-year term on the ballot, Republican William Deerin.

In Board of Education races, Thomas Welsh is running unopposed for a slot on the Shore Regional Board. There are three slots for the Oceanport Board of Education, but only two people, Cullin Wible and Lisa Harvey, on the ballot.

Sea Bright
Two incumbents are seeking re-election, but not together. Councilman John Lamia, a Republican, is running with fellow Republican Pamela Ross. And Democratic candidate Charles Rooney has teamed up with independent candidate Jon Schwartz.

Since Sea Bright is a member of the Oceanport school system, they also have the choices of Wible and Harvey for the three seats.

West Long Branch
Incumbent Republicans Christopher Neyhart and Fred Migliaccio are seeking reelection for the two three-year council seats. Democrats are running just one candidate for council, Jeremy Strauser.

Both the Shore Regional and West Long Branch Board of Education races are competitive. In the two seat race for Shore nominees, incumbents Paul Christopher and Ronald O’Neill are being challenged by Christina Brenner. And there are four candidates for the three West Long Branch board seats: incumbents Paul Christopher and Meaghan Cavanaugh are running, as are Mary Orendorff-Gassman and Michael Waters.

RFH Lucas runs over MR Falcons

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr

On Friday night a total of 73 points were scored in the football game held at Rumson-Fair Haven High School. The host Bulldogs scored 48 of those while the visiting Falcons of Monmouth Regional had the other 25 points. Both teams play in the A Central division of the Shore Conference and both had only one loss going into the game.

It was a record book game for RFH senior running back Peter Lucas, who had 24 carries going 299 yards and scoring five touchdowns. He and his fellow Bulldogs racked up 404-rushing yards on 37 carries. In the air Dan Harby completed 9 of 12 passes for 93 yards.

Monmouth Regional had a horrible start to the game. First offensive play had the ball snapped over the head of the quarterback for a loss of nine yards. On the next play they had the ball taken out of their running back’s hands and recovered by Rumson-Fair Haven on the Falcons 19-yard line.
That is when Lucas ran 19 yards for his first touchdown of the game. The extra point by James Hempstead was good and bang the Bulldogs were up 7-0.

However, the Falcons had a big play of their own on their next possession. Ian Fitzgerald broke away for a 79-yard touchdown run. Devon Johnson kicked the extra point and the game was tied at seven.

Rumson-Fair Haven handed the ball to Lucas who chewed up turf and time on the clock. With 4:48 left in the first quarter he ran in from one yard out giving the Bulldogs a 14-7 lead after the Hempstead kick.

In the second quarter the Bulldogs only scored one touchdown. It was a 14-yard run by Alex Maldjian and with the Hempstead kick the lead was now 21-7.

With 1:20 left in the first half and a fourth and one at the Monmouth Regional 34, the Falcons defense held and the ball went over on downs. On the next play Elijah McAllister of Rumson-Fair Haven had a huge sack on Ryan Convery for a Monmouth Regional 14-yard loss.

With 16 seconds left in the half, Convery found Khalil Walker open for a 22-yard reception and first down at the Bulldogs 25-yard line. With no time on the clock Johnson nailed a 44-yard field goal and the Falcons went into the halftime down 21-10.

Start of the second half the Bulldogs had a simple game plan, hand the ball to Lucas. He ripped off a 44-yard run to start the third quarter going to the Falcons 23. With a fourth and two at the Falcons four-yard line Lucas ran in for his third touchdown. After Hempstead made the kick the lead was now 28-10 with 6:58 left in the third quarter.

Monmouth Regional then attempted a trick play, double reverse at their own 30 and the result was a fumble which Christian Lanzalotto of RFH recovered. And a few plays later Lucas ran in for his fourth touchdown. Hempstead was perfect on the kick and the Bulldogs were up 35-10 with 4:42 left in the third quarter.

Monmouth Regional had a 19-yard touchdown pass play from Convery to Johnson with 10.7 left in the third. Johnson made the extra point kick and the Falcons went into the final quarter down 35-17.

Starting the fourth quarter Lucas ran 91 yards for his last touchdown of the game. He ran over, around and bounced off Falcon defenders all night. The extra point kick missed, but the Bulldogs were out in front 41-17 with 11:32 to play.

The last Monmouth Regional touchdown of the game was an eight-yard pass play from Convery to Johnson. The two also teamed up for the two point conversion. Rumson-Fair Haven was up 41-25.

The Bulldogs had one last touchdown in them and that was an 11-yard run by Alex Maldjian and the Hempstead kick made the final score 48-25. Rumson-Fair Haven improved to 6-1 overall and 5-1 in the A Central with their only loss to St. John Vianney in overtime.

Monmouth Regional, which had 172-rushing yards on 21 carries and 98 passing yards on 11 of 20 attempts fell to 4-1 in the division and 6-2 overall.

Next week the Falcons host undefeated St. John Vianney. If Monmouth Regional wins that would make a 3-way tie for first place in the division with Rumson-Fair Haven and St. John Vianney.

Fall Festival, Pooch Parade a big hit in Pier Village

By Patty Booth O’Neill
Long Branch – Saturday was the annual Fall Festival and Pooch
Parade in Pier Village, sponsored by the Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce and Pier Village.

Over 40 adorable (and good natured) pooches entered the costume contest where judges Howard Steel, Barbara Hoffman and Nicole Guilford found it hard to choose the top three winners. But Peanut, with a jockey riding atop, took third. Ginger, dressed in a lovely sports bra workout outfit took second and taking first was Ralph the spider.

The entrance fee for entering the parade was $5 per pooch with a thrilled Humane Society receiving over $200 for their cause.

There were bouncy rides for kids to enjoy and crafts and vendors for everyone. Pier Village shops got in on the fun, handing out candy to trick or treaters, since there were plenty of the because of the Halloween costume parade. Over 200 sweet and scary kids full of imagination paraded around the circle showing off their costumes.

Assistant Chamber Denise Duvelsdorf walked around with a basket of candy for the trick or treaters. Meanwhile kids were greeted by Hello Kitty, Spiderman and Captain America.

“It turned out to be a beautiful day,” said Chamber Director Nancy Kleiberg. “We couldn’t have asked for better weather, and there were so many families enjoying the festivities.”

Deadly counterfeit Oxy Pills seized in Long Branch and Holmdel

FREEHOLD –Carfentanil and Cyclopropyl Fentanyl, two fatally-potent synthetic drugs, have been recovered for the first time in Monmouth County, Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

The drugs, recovered in separate police investigations in Long Branch and Holmdel this year and recently identified by State Police lab testing, were illicitly manufactured into pill form and imprinted with markings A/215, simulating oxycodone tablets.

“The arrival of Carfentanil and Cyclopropyl Fentanyl is bad news for everybody, especially those suffering with an opiate addiction in Monmouth County. Although these counterfeit pills appear to be oxycodone, they can have deadly consequences,” warned Gramiccioni. “If you are buying these pills on the street, you are playing a deadly version of Russian roulette.”

Carfentanil is a powerful synthetic opiate that is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl. A single granule of Carfentanil, which has been approved only for veterinary uses, can be deadly to humans. The drug is so toxic that a recent Drug Enforcement Administration Safety Alert has been issued to law enforcement officers and first responders who may be exposed to Carfentanil as a result of accidental physical contact or inhalation. https://www.justice.gov/usao-edky/file/898991/download

Cyclopropyl Fentanyl, another fentanyl derivative, is intended for neither human or veterinarian use and has been linked to a rash of fatal overdoses in the State of Georgia earlier this summer. https://www.ems1.com/opioids/articles/276131048-Deadly-chemicals-in-Ga-counterfeit-pill-outbreak-identified/

Monmouth University names presidential search committee

The Monmouth University Board of Trustees today announced members of the search committee for the university’s tenth president to succeed Grey J. Dimenna, Esq., who will be retiring on June 30, 2019.

Board Chair Michael A. Plodwick ’82 assembled the committee to oversee the search process. The committee of 17 is made up of 10 members of the Monmouth University Board of Trustees, six of whom are alumni, three faculty members, two administrators, and two students. The university’s Board of Trustees approved the committee membership at its meeting on Oct. 26.

“Selecting a president is one of the most important responsibilities of any board,” said Plodwick. “We are grateful to Grey Dimenna for his continued leadership and we are committed to selecting a president who will propel this great university forward.”

Henry D. Mercer, III ’87, immediate past chair of the Board of Trustees, was tapped to serve as chair of the search committee.

“The formation of this committee is the first step in the process, said Mercer. “The committee offers the necessary diversity of background and experience to effectively evaluate what we expect will be an extremely competitive candidate pool and I appreciate the time and effort their service will require.”

In addition to Mercer, the search committee members include:

Representing the Board of Trustees:

  • John Brockriede Jr. ’07 ’10
  • Karyn Cusanelli ’89
  • Marianne Hesse
  • Leslie Hitchner
  • Chris Maher
  • Erik Matson ’88
  • Thomas J. Michelli
  • Robert B. Sculthorpe ’63
  • Michelle Spicer Toto ’94

Student Representatives:

  • Pooja Shah
  • Matthew J. Yard

Faculty Representatives:

  • Susan Marshall, Ph.D.
  • Eugene Simko, Ph.D.
  • Richard Veit, Ph.D.

Administrative Representatives:

  • Nina Anderson
  • Jon Roos

The committee will issue a request for proposals in the coming weeks with the goal of selecting a search consultant in January 2018. The Board of Trustees expects to choose a new president by February 2019.