Great Food for a Great Cause returns for eighth year

Oceanport — Turning Point Restaurants will again partner with the Kortney Rose Foundation (KRF) to hold the 8th Annual fundraiser “Great Food for a Great Cause”  on Saturday, February 25 and Sunday, February 26 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at all 13 Turning Point locations.

Last year, the fundraiser at the Turning Point restaurants raised more than $57,000 for the Kortney Rose Foundation.

Local Turning Point locations include Pier Village in Long Branch, and Little Silver.

Guests at The Turning Point who donate a minimum of $25 to KRF on either of those two days will receive in return a Turning Point gift card good for two entrées during the month of March. All donations will go directly to support pediatric brain tumor research.

Last year, the event generated more than $56,000 for The Kortney Rose Foundation, which raises funds for pediatric brain tumor research for the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Over the years, the Turning Point weekend event has raised in excess of $200,000.

“Year after year our staff and patrons look forward to this fundraiser and their effort and enthusiasm is reflected in the tremendous generosity that is shown at this popular event,” said Kirk Ruoff, who, with his wife, Pam, are owners of Turning Point. The restaurant is one of KRF’s largest corporate sponsors.

“Turning Point and the Ruoffs have been a staple in our efforts to raise money for kids with brain tumors – the number one disease cause of death in children 19 and under,” said KRF’s Founder and President Kristen Gillette. “We are overwhelmed with gratitude from the growing community support for our mission to find better treatments and cures for the more than 3,500 children diagnosed annually with brain tumors.”

KRF volunteers will be at each Turning Point location to answer any questions about the Foundation and its mission.
KRF was founded by Kristen and Rich Gillette in memory of their daughter Kortney, who died from a brain tumor in 2006. Its donations have been allocated to the top brain tumor researchers in the country who have pioneered the world’s first and largest pediatric cancer data cloud and the largest source of brain tumor specimens in the world for use in multi-institutional collaborative trials.

Since inception the foundation has built a playground in Kortney’s name, donated nearly $1.5 million to the pediatric brain tumor research program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and helped establish its world-class Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (

The foundation was also instrumental in passing legislation naming May as brain tumor awareness month in the State of New Jersey.     For more information, visit

See for yourself what the Chamber offers

By Lisa George
We here at the Chamber of Commerce would like to extend an invitation to anyone who is a little bit curious about what the benefits to being a member of our organization brings. Attend one of our networking events where you are sure to meet other professionals from a variety of genres, and you will be able to speak with them about the advantages of being involved with the Chamber.

A big thank you to Paul Dement shown with Long Branch Board of Education member Mary George, and Monmouth University!

The Board of Directors would like to thank Mr. Paul Dement and Monmouth University for hosting our networking event that was held in the Eyas Lounge before the SOLD OUT Men’s Basketball game vs. St. Peters that ended in a great overtime win for the Hawks!

Our next networking event will be hosted by Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant on Thursday, February 23, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Stop down for drink and enjoy the best view in Long Branch. We are happy to help them show off their recently completed renovations.

The Chamber will be hosting our 83rd Annual Business Awards Dinner at the Ocean Place Resort & Spa on the evening of March 24, 2017. We will be honoring Patricia O’Neill from The Link News and John F. Kiely & John M. Kiely from the Kiely Family of Companies as our 2016 Libutti Award winners.

Tickets and Sponsorship opportunities are still available; please contact the Chamber Office for more information 732-222-0400.

The Breakfast Club is our morning networking event that happens on the first Wednesday of every month at Amy’s Omelette House beginning at 8 a.m. We welcome Dr. Tyler Richards from New Life Chiropractic as our Speaker/Sponsor for our MarchMeeting. He will highlight what is new and upcoming in the world of Chiropractic. Our Breakfast Club calendar is full through the end of 2017, and we have a very diverse group of presenters.

We are happy to announce that Monmouth Medical Center is the Premier Sponsor for this year’s Oceanfest Celebration on the

Fourth of July. We are in the process of finishing up the 2017 vendor applications for more information contact the Chamber Office.

Become a member of the Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce and let us help you forge new relationships with other successful business owners.

Genealogy workshop asks: how did I get here?

The Monmouth County Genealogy Society is holding a Spring Workshop at the Colts Neck Reformed Church, 139 Route 537, Colts Neck on Saturday, March 25, from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Two DNA sessions will include “DNA – Are You Who You Think You Are?” by Nancy Bunn and “DNA – Diving Deeper into Genetic Genealogy” by Melissa Johnson.

Mark White will present “Patterns of Migration” and Bev Yackel will provide a guide to “Lineage Societies” and how to apply to them.

Pre-register to guarantee a printed handout – $20 for MCGS members; $25 for non-members.  Make checks payable to Monmouth County Genealogy Society and mail to: MCGS Education Committee, 19 Racquet Road, Wall, NJ 07719.
Sign-in and late registration is at 8:30 a.m. on March 25 and admission will then be $25 for MCGS members and $30 for non-members.

Bring your own lunch; beverages and desserts will be provided.

Walking Club meets every Wednesday

It’s our second week and it’s on for every Wednesday, weather permitting.
Had a lot of fun last week, made it to the end of the boardwalk and made some new friends.
Hope to see you there.

Kim’s kick-off fundraiser

By Teja Anderson

Just ten days after announcing her bid for Governor of NJ, MB resident Kim Guadagno held her very first fundraiser at The Rum Runner in Sea Bright.

Kim appealed to her good friend Marcie Whitlock to throw the  impromptu event the minute she made her final decision to run, the second week in January (although she had talked it over with her family during the Christmas break and had already garnered their support).

That might explain why the invites came out just days before the Friday night affair, prompting many of her fans, friends and neighbors to scramble for babysitters cancel travel and dinner plans and catch earlier trains and boats home so they could be there to show their support.

Although a good many of her well-wishers were griping that they never got the invite to the $100 per person ticket event and would have attended, the upstairs room at Tim McLoone’s latest, restaurant was packed full and everyone wanted to get a photo with or a word in with Kim, who worked the room like a pro in her bright fuchsia jacket.

Kim, whose slogan is “Better,” took the microphone after Marcie introduced her and proved once again to be an entertaining and polished speaker. With statements like, “Trenton has to work for you” and “I support term limits and lower taxes,” Kim drew lots of applause, but it is her affable camaraderie with her audience that always wins people over and makes the

Republican politician so approachable, as once again she gave out her personal cellphone number, joked about half the room knowing what she looks like in a bathing suit and that her headquarters are at Carl Gross’s building over by the Kmart parking lot where everyone present either learned to drive or taught their kids how to parallel park.

Kim is above all else approachable and you can’t help but trust and admire her, regardless of your political views. Kim is also not a mudslinger, which says a lot about her character in this current political climate.

With 283 days left in her campaign, Kim acknowledged, “It is going to take a lot of money” noting that she contributed $10,000 of her own money to launch while her “nameless opponent” for the Democrats put in a whopping $10 million to his campaign (Phil Murphy).

She also recognized that she will need volunteer help and those interested should go to to learn more.

8th Grade Pasta Dinner
This year’s group of MB eighth graders seemed particularly well mannered and polite while serving up the traditional pasta, salad and meatballs dinner to their families and neighbors at the Parish Center in MB last Sunday.
Luckily the weather was nice which always makes the seniors more likely to attend and as usual the gift basket auction raised additional funds to be used by the youngsters for their trip to Boston this spring and their yearbook and graduation costs.

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You can always contact me with story questions or ideas at 917-797-1324 or email me at

Storm and flooding issues discussed in O’port

By Neil Schulman
Oceanport — The borough is planning to once again apply for a grant to change its flood valves — and may proceed with the work even if the grant is rejected.

At the Feb. 2 Borough Council meeting, Borough Administrator Raymond Poerio said that in 2013 Oceanport had applied for a grant from FEMA to replace the valves on its current drainage system with check valves. It was rejected and the borough never reapplied.

Borough Administrator Raymond Poerio and OEM Director Buzzy Baldanza display a plaque given to the borough by FEMA for its work on the Community Rating System, which saves residents money on their flood insurance premiums.


Check valves only allow liquid to flow one way, which means that at high tide water can’t force its way up from a river to the street.

Poerio said that engineers estimate that replacing 50 valves around the borough would cost approximately $1,140,000.

The grant would require a 25 percent match, meaning that Oceanport would have to allocate about $300,000.

Poerio suggested that the borough might want to allocate the money to the capital budget whether or not they get the grant. If the application fails, they can at least identify about a dozen of the more flood-prone valves and fix them. Oceanport could then repeat this process and apply for the grant again.

Mayor Jay Coffey said that the nor’easter the last week of January showed how important these valves could be. When the tide was rising, the storm drains didn’t function well and the streets near water were flooded.

Once water begins to flow out, “it’s gone in 20, 25 minutes,” he said.

Money allocated in the capital budget indicates what the borough plans to bond (borrow) for. It does not need to be actually be allocated if council decides not to undergo the expense.

CRS helps residents save

Because Oceanport takes special steps to deal with flood prevention and mitigation, its residents are saving on flood insurance, Poerio said.

FEMA recently acknowledged Oceanport was part of the Community Rating System (CRS) by sending over a plaque.

The CRS is a voluntary procedure towns can take, following certain recommendations from FEMA. These can range from doing elevation surveys to advising residents of how to better flood-proof their homes.

Anyone in a town with a CRS rating is eligible for an automatic discount on flood insurance. In Oceanport, the average resident saves $177 a year; in total, there are more than $90,000 in savings, Poerio said.

He said that the program was possible because of Borough Engineer Bill White and Office of Emergency Management Director “Buzzy” Baldanza.

Storm trust

At the meeting, Poerio said that council may want to consider setting up a “storm trust,” money put aside that can only be used for storm-related events.

A year with many winter storms can play havoc with a town’s budget. Having a reserve can make a difference to taxpayers, he said.

“It builds you a contingency in case you have a wicked snowstorm or the transmission breaks down on the truck you use for plowing.”

Poerio said that it would relate to a bigger discussion about how surplus is used.

Red Bank man pleads guilty to receiving child porn

TRENTON, N.J. – A Monmouth County, New Jersey, man today admitted downloading sexually explicit videos and images of children to his home computer, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

James Paroline, 27, of Red Bank, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court to Count One of an indictment charging him with receiving child pornography.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Paroline was employed in Monmouth County as an assistant at a nursery school and as a summer camp counselor at a private school. Between Feb. 26, 2015, and March 2, 2015, Paroline accessed a website known as “PlayPen,” an underground online bulletin board and website dedicated to the advertisement and distribution of child pornography. During that period, Paroline logged into PlayPen under the username “jimbobtropolis,” which he had registered with PlayPen using his personal email address, and downloaded multiple videos and images depicting the sexual abuse of children from the website.

The count to which Paroline pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison, a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for June 1, 2017.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked officers of the Red Bank Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Darren McConnell; officers of the Middletown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Craig Weber; and detectives of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni; for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Brendan Day of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.

Walking Club for everyone

Beginning this Wednesday a group will be meeting at The Great Lawn, between Roony’s and Pier Village, to walk the boardwalk.

It is for everyone, to get in some exercise, meet new people, walk with friends. It’s fine if you can’t make it all the way, some wont be able to. It begins at 5:30PM every Wed.

Hope to see you there!

Two men charged in death of missing teen

FREEHOLD – Two Neptune City men have been charged in connection with the murder of 19 year-old Sarah Stern, who has been missing since early December, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni. The arrests end a nearly two month long search for the missing teen, last seen alive on December 2nd

The Neptune City Police Department charged Liam McAtasney, 19, of Neptune City with first degree Murder, first degree Felony Murder, first degree Robbery, second degree Desecration of Human Remains, second degree Conspiracy (to Desecrate Human Remains) and second degree Hindering Apprehension. Preston Taylor, 19, also of Neptune City, was charged with second degree Desecration of Human Remains, second degree Conspiracy (to Desecrate Human Remains) and second degree Hindering Apprehension. Detectives determined that McAtasney was responsible for killing Stern and stealing property from her on December 2, 2016. The investigation also revealed that Taylor provided assistance to McAtasney in moving and ultimately disposing of Stern’s body in order to avoid detection

These arrests are the culmination of an almost two-month investigation into the whereabouts of Stern, who was last seen at her Neptune City residence on the afternoon of December 2, 2016. An investigation was launched after her 1994 silver, four-door Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight, was found abandoned on the shoulder of the southbound lane of the Route 35 Bridge in Belmar. Neptune Township Police were alerted to the vehicle by a passerby. Stern’s deserted car was operational and the keys were found in the vehicle. At that time, no persons were in the area and the vehicle was subsequently towed from the road by the Neptune Township Police Department.

The Neptune Township Police Department contacted the Neptune City Police Department to request a welfare check of the registered owner of the vehicle. Upon arrival at the address of the registered owner, who is a family member of Stern’s, the residence was found unlocked and no one was home. Further investigation determined Sarah Stern was the missing driver of the vehicle and her family did not know of her whereabouts.

As a result of Stern’s vehicle being found unoccupied and on the bridge, the Belmar Water Rescue Team was called to search Shark River for any evidence of her body. The Belmar Water Rescue Team was assisted by the United States Coast Guard, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, the Area Network of Shore Water Emergency Responders Team and the New Jersey State Police. Those assets searched the Shark River with divers, boats and helicopters, but, to date, attempts to locate Stern have been unsuccessful.

On Sunday, December 4th, detectives from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office joined the investigation in an effort to locate Stern. Detectives from the Prosecutor’s Office and the Belmar and Neptune City Police Departments have continued to investigate her whereabouts since that time. The New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have also assisted in this investigation.

Recent developments in the investigation led detectives to McAtasney and Taylor and culminated in their arrests. Anyone with information that may assist in this investigation is asked to contact Detective Brian Weisbrot from the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office at (800) 533-7443, Detective Michael Vollbrecht of the Neptune City Police Department at (732) 775-1615, or Detective John Mahoney from the Belmar Police Department at (732) 681-1700.
The case is assigned to Assistant Prosecutor Christopher J. Decker, Director of the Office’s Major Crimes Bureau.

Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous, but has information about a crime can contact Monmouth County Crime Stoppers confidential telephone tip-line by calling 1-800-671-4400; can text “MONMOUTH” plus their tip to 274637; or, they can email a tip via the website at: Monmouth County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of criminals and fugitives.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and State law.

Theater Review: Incredible actors, equally incredible set make The Jag a thrill ride

By Madeline Schulman
Did W.C. Fields say, “Never work with children or animals,” or should the quote be marked with an asterisk as apocryphal? In either case, we can add “or vintage cars,” because as talented as the three excellent actors in Gino Dilorio’s Jag are, they are constantly upstaged by the beautiful Jaguar which gives the play its title.

Estelle Bajou and Dan Grimaldi in a scene from the “The Jag” playing thru February 12 at New Jersey Repertory Company, 179 Broadway, Long Branch. (SuzAnne Barabas photo)

The car is the centerpiece of set designer Jessica Park’s meticulously recreated garage, and is the physical and emotional bond holding the three characters together.
Leo “Chick” Chicarelli (Don Grimaldi) suffers from macular degeneration, and cannot see to restore the Jaguar. His son, Donald “Bone” Chicarelli (Christopher Daftsios), is an out of work, failed gambler, living under the shadow of his dead brother David, Chick’s openly acknowledged favorite.
Chick and Bone are at odds over the fate of the Jaguar. Bone wants to sell it. He has a buyer who will pay $20,000 for the car if it is in mint condition and drivable by his deadline. Chick wants to keep the car, because tangible reminders of the past are hard to let go of.
Chick cannot restore the car, and he does not trust Bone, so enter Carla Carr (Estelle Bajou), an intriguing bundle of quirks. Carla is a lesbian who falls somewhere on the autism spectrum. She takes everything literally. Again and again, Chick has to explain that a metaphor or simile is a “figure of expression.” She doesn’t understand how to hold a conversation, answering a request for what she would like for lunch with a long dissertation on microwaving frozen pizza. With all her idiosyncrasies, this “fruitcake” is a genius of Jaguar, with an encyclopedic knowledge and an intuitive understanding of what the car needs and how to fix it.
A rapport between Chick and Carla grows into friendship, leaving Bone more of an embittered outsider than ever.
We are interested in learning the characters’ histories and seeing whether Chick and Bone can ever resolve their differences. But we are equally, if not more interested, in seeing whether the mechanical hero (Carla insists the Jag is masculine) will roar into life and flash its headlights for us.
The Jaguar was bought in Maryland, transported by truck to New Jersey, disassembled at a local garage, transported by pieces through the narrow doors of NJ Rep, and reassembled under the eyes of Jessica Parks and technical director Brian Snyder. If Mr. Dilorio or any other playwright is interested, I would willingly watch a play about that!
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The Jag runs through Feb. 12 at NJ Repertory Theater, 179 Broadway, with performances Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m.
For tickets and more information, call 732-229-3166 or visit