Elberon Library’s 25th celebrated

Long Branch — Celebrate the 25th birthday of the Elberon Branch Library with a Historic Trolley Tour!
The tour takes place Sunday, August 27 from noon to 5 p.m. beginning at the Elberon Branch Library, 168 Lincoln Avenue.

This very special event is co-sponsored by the Long Branch Historical Association and the Long Branch Historical Museum Association.

Ride the trolley and take a guided tour of three of Elberon’s historic sites:  the Elberon Memorial Church, the Ross Island Hut and the Church of the Presidents Museum.

Admission is free and is limited to the first 60 to RSVP. The Tour will conclude at the Elberon branch with a birthday reception.

For more information, please call Lisa Kelly at 732-222-3900, ext. 2350.

Free lunches for children
This summer, the Main Library is offering free lunches for children and teens through the age of 18, through August 25. The food has been provided by Fulfill, formerly the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, with funding from the US Department of Agriculture. The meals will be served Monday thru Friday from noon-2 p.m. Every child will receive a protein, vegetable, fruit and milk.

Meals are eaten in the Community Meeting Room under the supervision of library staff. A family movie appropriate for young viewers may be screened occasionally while the children are eating lunch.  Meals are free and no registration is required.

For more information, please call the library at 732-222-3900.

Police seek info on man who harassed jogger

Ocean Township — Police are investigating a case where a man harassed a female jogger.
According to the Ocean Township Police Department, on July 24, at 5:22 p.m. police responded to Louis Weltz Park on West Park Ave. in reference to a suspicious man.

A female victim reported that a man approached her as she was preparing to jog on a trail and asked her if she wanted to make some money.

He then asked the victim to watch him perform a sex act in exchange for the cash. The victim was startled by what the man had said and ran away from him, subsequently contacting the police.

The man fled the area when officers arrived and was last seen running north towards the woods.

Further investigation by Detective Jesse Orbach revealed a description of the accused as a white male in his 20’s, skinny build wearing a long-sleeve red Rutgers shirt and a baseball hat.

The investigation is ongoing as detectives attempt to locate and identify the unknown suspicious male.

Officers involved in the case include Police Officer Kevin Donohoe, Glennis Polanco, Detectives Jesse Orbach, Greg Martone and Detective Sergeant Patrick Martin.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Ocean Township Police Dept. at 732-531-1800 or the detectives at 732-531-1428.

Eco-Elephant Family Flea Market

Ready to go on a treasure hunt? Then head over to the Monmouth County Park System’s Eco-Elephant Family Flea Market on Saturday,

August 19 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Held at Dorbrook Recreation Area, Route 537, Colts Neck, this event features a mixture of new items, collectibles, novelties, household items and more. For more information regarding the Monmouth County Park System, visit www.MonmouthCountyParks.com or call 732-842-4000.

Kortney’s Challenge a success at Monmouth Park

By Patty Booth O’Neill
The weather was perfect for a fun run, walk, stroll or a horse race on Sunday for the 12th Annual Kortney’s Challenge at Monmouth Park Race Track. A crowd of almost 500 showed up to traverse the two-mile course that wound through Oceanport beginning and ending at Monmouth Park. After the race many attended a Day at the Races, where Jockeys wore pink for the special Kortney Rose race.
There were plenty of activities for kids – tattoos, balloon animals, Italian ice from the Lighthouse and Rook coffee. A $500 50/50 was won by Jill, matched by Paulene and Scott Poyner as a donation to the Kortney Rose Foundation for research efforts through the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium, research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and research at Hackensack Meridian’s Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital.

The top three finishers in each division received awards.

Men’s Master: third place, Rosendo Meza-Soriano, (209) 14:13.3, second, Charlie Horse, (371) 13:33.6, and third place, Charlie Hartman (136) 13:17.4.

Women’s Master: third place Mary Kinch (Bib 155) 15:08.3, second place, Susan Torchia (340) 15:03.5 and first place Tara Barnett, (457) 14:12.2.

Females 13 -29: third place, Gillian Thorp (327) 14:28.8, second Krissy Birdsall, (458) 14:23.4 and first place, Caroline Meany, (203) 13:55.8.

Male, 13 -29: third place Conor Lunny (Bib 176) 11:36, second place, Crispin D.Augusta (61) 10:42.7 and first place Brendan Kirshner, (157) 10:29.5

Boys, 12 & under: third place, Justin Monchinski, (221) 14:22.9, second, Zachary Jersey, (144) 13:41.3, and third place, Liam Barnett, (464) 13:27.9.

Girls, 12 & under: third place, Ava Morgan, (481) 15:07, second, Kassidy Torchia, (339) 15:19.5. Not shown in photo is first place winner Kate Desousa, (73) 12:41.4.

After Kortney passed away in 2006 from a brain tumor at the age of nine, her parents Kristian and Richard Gillette organized the event as a way to deal with their grief. Their first donation was “Kortney’s Playground” at Wolf Hill School Elementary School where she was a student. Since then the KRF has made a donation of over $2,000,000 to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.



Kurt Kuster recalled in Long Branch

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr
Long Branch – In 1976 Kurt Kuster was just like any other kid growing up in the Elberon section of the city. He loved playing dodgeball and hanging with his friends.

Kurt Kuster passed away in 1976 while a student at the Elberon School.

Like many kids of that era, Kuster developed chickenpox and ran a fever. The common treatment was aspirin to help alleviate the fever and muscle aches. However, instead of helping Kurt, the aspirin created what is known as Reye syndrome, which attacks the brain and liver functions.

Complications from Reye syndrome come on quickly and can be severe, from permanent brain damage, coma and death. Unfortunately, Kuster lost his life, but he never lost his friends.

Several years ago the Elberon School was closed as part of the new school construction. Janine Weiner Mincielli, a classmate of Kuster, contacted Dr. Michael Salvatore, superintendent of schools, about the memory stone that was located at the school in honor of Kuster.

“Janine contacted me seven or eight years ago and said before any bulldozer or shovel hits the ground, the memory stone and time capsule need to be dug up and saved,” said Salvatore.

The family of Kurt Kuster gathered at the George L. Catrambone Elementary School in the Elberon section of Long Branch for the rededication of his 1976 memory stone, which was originally placed at the Elberon School, which was demolished for the GLC School.

That day the superintendent sent his staff out to recover the stone. “We immediately located the stone and moved it into storage. However, we are still looking for the time capsule.”

Last weekend Mincielli organized the class reunions of the Elberon School 1976 and the Long Branch High School 1982. Part of the weekend festivities was the rededication of the Kuster memory stone.

“I can say anyone who calls Janine Weiner Mincielli a friend is very lucky, as she is dedicated and relentless in making sure something gets done. We worked very closely in trying to locate a new home for the stone and tree, but every time we dug we hit something. So we finally decided to place it here, along the walkway so students can always see it and remember Kurt,” said Salvatore.

Mincielli, who is a professional event planner, was so nervous that morning that she actually became sick. “You would think as a professional I could handle this, but I’m very emotional,” said Mincielli. She contacted Kurt’s mom, brothers and sisters, who showed up on Saturday morning for the rededication of the memory stone at the new George L. Catrambone Elementary School, which replaced the Elberon School.

“A friend of mine once said that there must be something in the water in Long Branch, because it’s unprecedented for so many kids to remain so fond of each other after all these years,” said Mincieli. As she continued with her speech she began to cry and had to step away. However, several friends and family members shared a few stories. Even Long Branch mayor Adam Schneider spoke to the crowd.

Salvatore stated that one day we all shall pass, but our memory will live on as long as our name is mentioned, and with the rededication of the memory stone Kurt Kuster’s memory will live on for generations to come.

Chicken ordinance pecks through mayor’s veto

By Coleen Burnett
Eatontown — When all was said and done — and there’s been a lot said and done on this issue over the last seventeen months — it was a victory for the chickens.
At their July 26 meeting, the Eatontown Borough Council retained the needed votes to override the mayor’s veto of the so-called “chicken ordinance.” The final vote was 4-2, the same tally as the last vote cast on June 28, when council voted to enact the ordinance in the first place.

In essence, Mayor Dennis Connelly was unable to get any members to change their vote and possibly get his veto to carry over.

Before the matter was finally settled, he made an impassioned plea in an attempt to get the governing body to see things his way. ”This is such a drastic change,” he said. “This affects every single family dwelling in town… when you go in your backyards that should be your sanctuary. Your neighbors shouldn’t invade that property {by their actions}.“We are being laughed at in social media and in the newspapers and on talk radio. It’s been all over the place. We’re a laughingstock over this. People say there are bigger issues {in town} and I agree. There are bigger issues.“Please tell me how this will not cause neighbor disputes. Please tell me how the majority of people in this town are welcome to this change. Tell me how this enhances our town. I really beg you not to put this into effect.”

But during the public comment portion of the meeting, Memorial middle-school student Katie Pharo got up in front of the microphone and thanked Council members Anthony Talerico, Virginia East, Patty May and Al Baginsky for voting in favor of the ordinance, which Talerico and East worked to draft.

She noted that she was a High Honor Roll student an athlete that played three different sports – while also taking care of several chickens.

“I have dedicated so much time and effort into raising them,” she told the council. “They are not a school project. They are a life-long passion.” Her remarks drew a round of applause.
After the meeting, Connelly told the Link he was not surprised by the outcome. “It was expected,” he remarked.

The ordinance contains a series of restrictions designed to ensure that only those who are very serious about raising chickens even attempt the project.

Some of those restrictions are that only single family residences will be allowed to keep the birds, and no roosters are allowed. There are limits on lot size.

There is a $25 permit fee, payable to the Zoning Board. All electrical hookups must be underground, to prevent extension cords from running to a coop via a hookup from the house. No chickens can be slaughtered on a homeowner’s property — they must be humanely removed.

Should a chicken owner sell his property, the subsequent homeowner cannot be grandfathered in. Should the new owner want chickens, the process must start completely over.

National Night Out

National Night out is tonight. It begins at 6pm on Slocum Pl, Long Branch. West Long Branch will also be holding their Night Out at Franklin Lake.

Brookdale to Launch ‘Textbook-Free’ Math Course

Students studying introductory algebra at Brookdale Community College will no longer have to buy a traditional textbook.

Beginning this fall, all students enrolled in the college’s MATH 021 course will be able to download a free copy of a new, digital textbook or purchase a bound copy at Brookdale’s bookstore for $11.

The new course, offered as part of a college-wide Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative, could potentially save students more than $100,000 on textbook costs during the 2017-18 school year, said Vice President for Learning Matthew Reed.

“Students tell us that textbook costs can be a real barrier,” said Reed. “I’m excited that the math department has stepped up and taken the initiative to get that barrier out of the way. Now every student will be able to have the textbook from day one of the semester.”

The initiative was spearheaded by Brookdale math professors Barbara Tozzi and Linda Wang, who were granted sabbaticals in 2016 to research, design and create an OER textbook specifically for the college’s MATH 021 course. The professors also worked with faculty and staff to create new supporting materials including instructor guidelines, tests, homework assignments and review sheets.

The OER course was offered on a limited basis this spring and summer as part of a pilot program at Brookdale’s locations in Lincroft, Freehold and Hazlet. The program will be expanded to all 44 sections of MATH 021 this fall. Projected annual enrollment for the course is approximately 2000 students.

Fawn caught in fence in Elberon

A baby fawn was caught in a fence that happened to be right next to Mayor Adam Schneider’s home. When he saw what was going on he supplied the tools to DPW to free the fawn.

Baby Deer IMG_3197

Crackdown on speeding pulls over 115 in one month

By Neil Schulman
Oceanport — The Oceanport Police Department wants motorists to know they’re serious about enforcing the speeding laws.

At the July 20 Borough Council meeting, Borough Administrator Raymond Poerio reviewed the anti-speeding measures the police had been taking. Over the course of a month, 115 motorists have been pulled over at special stops, he said.

Police have been monitoring parts of Oceanport where speeding appears to be the biggest problem, including sections of Comanche Drive, Main Street, Burnt Mill Circle, Port Au Peck Avenue, and East Main Street.

Since June 20, police have conducted 162 radar details as part of this initiative. Those have resulted in pulling over 115 vehicles.

“If you speed in town, you’re going to get caught. you’re going to get a ticket,” Poerio warned.

“We’re serious about this speeding initiative,” said Mayor Jay Coffey.

He said that if people are thinking about getting around it by speeding down roads not currently being covered, the police will be changing where they monitor.

Paper street vacations?
The borough is considering changing its policy on requests to vacate paper streets from a blanket no to a case by case basis.

Oceanport has recently received a couple of requests to vacate land which has been marked as a public right-of-way but has never been used by the borough.

In the past it’s always said no to these requests, but some officials say they’re open to reconsidering that. There may be some advantages to the borough to releasing these right-of-ways. Since the nearby residents get bigger properties, they will likely wind up paying slightly more in taxes.

Sustainable Jersey is back
Councilwoman Ellynn Kahle would like to bring back Sustainable Jersey. A new committee has been formed, and she is asking the council to recognize it.
Sustainable Jersey launched in 2009. It is a program that gives training and financial incentives such as grants for green programs.

“Oceanport was one of the first communities to become Sustainable,” Kahle said. That was in 2009. During that time, she said, the program helped with an energy audit for the then-borough hall, installing better, more energy-efficient lighting there, an environmental audit which is still used by the Planning Board, and the creation of the Oceanport Community Garden.

The title of a Sustainable community must be renewed every three years, but while work was being done in 2012 to get that designation, Superstorm Sandy hit, and people’s priorities changed to “getting everyone back in their houses,” Kahle said.

Now she wants to re-form the group. Unlike last time, which required significant work from borough employees, the volunteers will be able to handle most of the paperwork and other time consuming efforts associated with Sustainable Jersey, though borough officials will still be able to participate.

The program has never cost Oceanport anything, she said.

“Even the community garden, we did for free.”

Kahle said that Sustainable Jersey will have a table at the End of Summer Festival.

While several resolutions were on the agenda to recognize Sustainable Jersey’s role in Oceanport, some council members asked to hold them until the next meeting, sometime in August, saying they had just seen them. Council voted 4-2 to postpone the votes.