New pizza in West End – Pizza on the Stone

A new pizza restaurant (and much more) held a grand opening Friday on Brighton Ave. in West End. Cutting the ribbon was Long Branch Mayor John Pallone (8th from left) along with owner Leirisson De Assis Friton, (6th from left). Employees, Chamber President Michael Sirianni, Councilman Mario Vieira and many Long Branch officials were in attendance.

Watch life video here

Pallone Statement on House Passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) issued the following statement on House passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021:

“For too long, Black Americans have faced systemic racism and unjust force by the police. That is why I cast my vote in support of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. It’s past time to end police brutality, stop profiling, and hold police accountable. The bill bans chokeholds and no-knock warrants. It ensures that state and local law enforcement use body cameras. It also establishes a National Police Misconduct Registry to prevent problematic officers from being rehired. We can never replace the lives we have lost, but we can work together to ensure a more just society for every American.”

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act:

  • Prohibits federal, state, and local law enforcement from racial, religious and discriminatory profiling, and mandates training on racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling for all law enforcement.
  • Bans chokeholds, carotid holds and no-knock warrants at the federal level and limits the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement.
  • Mandates the use of dashboard cameras and body cameras for federal officers and requires state and local law enforcement to use existing federal funds to ensure the use of police body cameras.
  • Establishes a National Police Misconduct Registry to prevent problematic officers who are fired or leave an agency from moving to another jurisdiction without any accountability.
  • Amends federal criminal statute from “willfulness” to a “recklessness” standard to successfully identify and prosecute police misconduct.
  • Reforms qualified immunity so that individuals are not barred from recovering damages when police violate their constitutional rights.
  • Establishes public safety innovation grants for community-based organizations to create local commissions and task forces to help communities to re-imagine and develop concrete, just and equitable public safety approaches.
  • Creates law enforcement development and training programs to develop best practices and requires the creation of law enforcement accreditation standard recommendations based on President Obama’s Task force on 21st Century policing.
  • Requires state and local law enforcement agencies to report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, religion, age.
  • Improves the use of pattern and practice investigations at the federal level by granting the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division subpoena power and creates a grant program for state attorneys general to develop authority to conduct independent investigations into problematic police departments.
  • Establishes a Department of Justice task force to coordinate the investigation, prosecution and enforcement efforts of federal, state and local governments in cases related to law enforcement misconduct.

Gopal / Testa Bill to Increase Funding for Arts, Historical Heritage and Tourism Advances

A bill sponsored by Senators Vin Gopal and Michael Testa that would increase the allocation of revenues from the hotel and motel occupancy fee towards arts, historical heritage, and tourism purposes from 40 percent to 100 percent was passed out of the Senate Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

Under the bill, S-2986, all of the hotel and motel occupancy fee revenues would be allocated as follows:

a) 56.7 percent would go to the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for cultural projects as long as the actual dollar amount allocated is at least $31.9 million;

b) 9.6 percent would go to the New Jersey Historical Commission for historical heritage purposes, as long as at least $5.5 million is allocated;

c) 31.9 percent would go to the Division of Travel and Tourism in the Department of State for tourism as long as at least $17.6 million is allocated; and

d) 1.8 percent would go to the New Jersey Cultural Trust as long as the amount is not less than $720,000.

“The hotel-motel occupancy fee has been around for nearly 20 years, but that dedicated revenue has not always been plowed back into the arts, historic preservation or tourism as it should have been,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “We need to solidify support for these institutions that are so much a part of our state’s identity.

“This bill would make sure all the monies generated would be targeted towards New Jersey artists, historic sites and tourist attractions, where it could then be paid forward by attracting more patrons and tourists and in the process boosting local economies across the state.”

The fund generated approximately $112 million in the 2019 fiscal year.

“With a more dependable, stable funding source, beneficial arts and preservation programs throughout the state will be better positioned to serve New Jersey residents,” said Senator Testa (R-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “Committing a generous portion of the money from the occupancy tax to tourism will create a cycle bringing more visitors to the state, higher room occupancy rates, and additional revenue to pour back into these programs. Cape May County sends almost a half billion dollars in tourism tax to Trenton and only about $1 million comes back in return. It is time to pass legislation so we can invest in our tourism economy to bolster our community.”

Monmouth Civic Chorus Announces 2021 Scholarships

Monmouth Civic Chorus is delighted to announce its annual scholarship auditions for vocally talented New Jersey high school seniors planning to pursue higher education. Due to Covid-19, auditions will be held virtually. The application deadline is April 15, 2021, and the audition deadline is April 29, 2021. Winners will be announced May 13, 2021. There is no fee to apply.

For details and to access the application form, visit:

You may email or call Jenni Blumenthal, Scholarship Committee Chair, at 732-264-8482 with questions.

$3500 in scholarship funds will be available to award to students of outstanding vocal promise. Contestants must perform two selections from the standard vocal repertoire (opera, operetta, art songs, oratorio, or Gilbert and Sullivan), with at least one selection in Italian, French, or German. Show music is not acceptable. Contestants will be judged on technique, choice of material, poise, and musicianship.

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In 2019, four vocally talented students were awarded scholarships: Alexa Chalnick of Freehold won First Place, and Alexis Pappas of Short Hills won Second Place. Emmalee Lafean of Basking Ridge and Madison Wicker of Brick both received an honorable mention.

Anyone interested in donating to the MCC Scholarship Fund should visit or call (732) 933-9333.

Event Summary:

Event title: Monmouth Civic Chorus Scholarship Auditions

Application deadline: April 15, 2021. There is no fee to apply.

Audition deadline: April 29, 2021

Winners announced: May 13, 2021

Details and application:, e-mail, or call Scholarship Committee Chair Jenni Blumenthal at 732-264-8482.


About Monmouth Civic Chorus: The Monmouth Civic Chorus has been called “near-flawless” (Asbury Park Press), “alive and evocative” (The Star-Ledger) and “superior” (Red Bank Green). The Chorus is the proud recipient of the 2008 ASCAP/Chorus America Alice Parker Award, the 2010 Spinnaker Award for Arts and Culture from the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, and a third-place winner of the 2018-19 American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music.

About Ryan James Brandau: Artistic Director Ryan James Brandau has broad experience conducting a variety of choral and orchestral ensembles. In addition to his work with Monmouth Civic Chorus, he serves as Artistic Director of Princeton Pro Musica and Amor Artis, a chamber choir and orchestra in New York City. He has also served on the faculty of Westminster Choir College, where he has worked with the Symphonic Choir, which he has prepared for performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and the New Jersey Symphony. He remains active as a choral arranger, composer, and clinician, whose arrangements and compositions have been featured by choral ensembles across the globe. Ryan received the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the Yale School of Music. Prior to pursuing graduate study in conducting, Ryan attended the University of Cambridge in the UK as a Gates Scholar, earning an M.Phil. in historical musicology. He received his B.A. in music, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.

Monmouth County Park System Plans Summer Job Fair

TINTON FALLS —  Spend the summer working in the parks!  The Monmouth County Park System is looking to hire lifeguards, camp counselors, park and golf course maintenance workers, swim instructors and more for June, July and August. 

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Learn about these summer job opportunities by heading over to the Park System’s Summer Job Fair, held from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 3 at the Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, 2566 Guam Lane, Tinton Falls.

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Please be aware that face coverings are required.  Prospective employees must be at least 16 years of age and a Monmouth County resident. A full listing of summer job openings can be found online at  For more information about the Summer Job Fair, please call 732-842-4000, ext. 4339 or ext. 4219. For persons with hearing impairment, the Park System TTY/TDD number is 711. The Monmouth County Park System, created in 1960 by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, is Monmouth County’s Open Space, Parks, and Recreation agency.

Great summer job opportunities at Monmouth County Park systems

Angeline Elizabeth (“Babe”) Dempster of West Long Branch passes at 84

Babe was born November 30, 1936 in Long Branch.  She worked at JJ Newburys in Long Branch for sixteen years, from 1952-1968, before becoming a stay-at-home mother. After raising her two children, she worked at Cost Cutters for 17 years before she retired in Dec 2006. She served as a lifetime member of the West Long Branch Fire Company #2 Ladies Auxiliary.

Babe loved to knit and spending time with family and friends. Babe was a loving wife and mother. Throughout her life, she particularly treasured her vacations with family in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She was a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church of Christ the King Parish.

She is survived by her two children, William J Dempster, Jr., and Kelly Hanrahan and her husband Jay. She is also survived by her sisters, Joan Campanella, of Oceanport, Shirley Yourie of Long Branch, Carol D’Antonio of Atlantic Highlands, and Joanne Cosentino and her husband Thomas of Myrtle Beach, SC and many nieces and nephews. She was pre-deceased by her parents, Ann and George Perchin, and her husband of 49 years, William J Dempster, Sr.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, February 25th at 1:30 pm at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Long Branch. Private entombment will follow at Woodbine Mausoleum in Oceanport. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Deborah Heart and Lung Center ( or the American Diabetes Association ( ). The family invites you to leave a letter of condolence by selecting the Tribute/Guestbook link above.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Angeline Elizabeth Dempster, please visit our floral store.

John ‘Jack’ Fulton passes

Our beloved father John “Jack” Fulton, 94, of West Long Branch, passed away Thursday surrounded by his family.

Dad was born and raised in Long Branch where he attended Long Branch High School.  He left high school to enlist in the US Navy and was stationed on the USS Kaskaskia, an oiler ship tasked with providing fuel to the Pacific fleet. Following the war, he returned to Long Branch to earn his high school diploma and to marry the love of his life, Grace, in 1948 on Kentucky Derby Day. The two went on to settle in West Long Branch to raise their young family.  Dad would start his career at Fort Monmouth and ultimately spend the next 38 years there as an exemplary employee and family provider, retiring in 1984.

Dad had one passion outside of his family, horses. He appreciated the beauty of a thoroughbred horse and their masterful athleticism.  He sought out time with the horses especially on the backside of Monmouth Park where the horse was the focus.  His lifelong dream of owning a thoroughbred racehorse became a reality nearly 15 years ago when he acquired Jumping Ghost.

That being his only real pastime he used his remaining time maintaining, repairing, and enhancing the home he provided for his family.  None of his daughters can recall ever having a repairman come to our home, Daddy fixed everything and did it as well (or better) as any professional.  If you knew him at all he probably fixed something at your house too! He was nearly 90 before we convinced him to hire a lawn service or stay off of a ladder.

Jack is predeceased by his beloved wife Grace M. Fulton and his four older siblings.

Jack is survived by his heartbroken daughters Joy Kaplan and her husband Joe of Houston, Kathy Gallagher and her husband David of Monmouth Beach, and Cyndi Carpenter and her husband Howard of Elizabeth City, NC; his loving grandchildren Courtney, Sarah, Ryan, Hannah, David, Jane, Max, Staci and Stephanie; his beloved great grandchild Wyatt.  As the last of his generation on either side of the family Uncle Jack was adored and loved by his many loving nieces and nephews their spouses and their children as well.  As his daughters we will remain ever grateful for having had the best Dad anyone could have imagined.  With every breath he took he showed us all how to live a life of quiet dignity leaving the world a better place than he found it.

A special thanks goes to Jack’s caregivers Erin, Ellen, and Cindy.  Each of them added to the quality of his days during his final years facing down the challenges of Alzheimers.

On behalf of our Dad, we request that there are no flowers, “they give our dad a headache.”  Instead, please consider making a donation to the Alzheimer Association, or the Monmouth County SPCA, as he loved dogs more than people anyway.

For the health and safety of all guests, current state and local health protocols of social distancing and the wearing of face masks are being strictly enforced.

Ricardo Colón , 59, of Long Branch passes

Ricardo  Colón , 59, of Long Branch died Feb. 25.  He will be sorely missed.

He was known as a gentle, charismatic wallflower in Long Branch. He frequented local businesses on Broadway and made several friendships therein along the way at the Broadway Loan Company and McDonalds. Many in the community know “Ricky” as a compassionate, kind and tender soul.

He was predeceased by his beloved maternal grandparents: Margarita and Ofidencio Orengo, and his mother and father: Carmen Orengo and Juan Colón .

Surviving are his son Ricardo Colón Jr.,  his grandchildren Jatiana Colón, Aniya Colón, Ariana Colón and Imeir Colón; his siblings and their spouses Eliezer Colón, Carlos Colón, Misti and Edgardo Colón, Carmen Pacheco, Brenda and Raymond Johnson and Neidel Pacheco; his hieces and nephews: Tasha Pacheco, Kearey Jackson, Kayla Colón, Joseph Pacheco, Christan Colón, and Victor Pacheco and his three great nieces: Laniya Wade, Harmony Johnson and Jayda Johnson, as well as numerous beloved aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family he cherished and lived for, who feel the same way.

“See you in Paradise Ricky.”

Janet L. Alessi of Oakhurst passes

Mrs. Alessi was a lifelong resident of the Shore area as well as being a parishioner of Holy Trinity R.C.  Church, Long Branch. Janet graduated from Montclair State College with a degree in Music Education, majoring in piano.  While at Montclair, she was a member of Delta Omicron Pi Sorority. She earned the coveted position to play with  the N.J. State Symphony Orchestra and performed  the Schumann Piano Concerto #3 Cesar Franck Symphonic Variations.

She later studied with  Murray Present and Ingrid Clarfield.  She was active as a pianist and performed locally in benefit concerts and as an accompanist.  She had a private piano studio and taught for many years.   Her passion was music, and she was a gifted pianist.

She was a founding member of the Shore Music Educators Association, the N.J. Music Teachers Association, Music Teachers of America Association, National Guild of Piano Teachers. She also taught music at Forrestdale School, Rumson, before starting a  family.

Janet was predeceased by her husband, Alexander Alessi, in 2011, and her sisters, Mary Ann Lucia Miller and Ellen Lucia Johnson.

Surviving is her daughter, Kristine Alessi, Ocean; and her son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Michelle Alessi, Oakhurst;  two brothers and sisters-in-law, Charles “Lolly” and Terry Lucia and Anthony and Margaret Lucia; her brothers-in-law, Glenn Johnson and Gordon Miller; five grandchildren, Ashley, Thomas and Nicholas Alessi and Marion and Elizabeth Riley.

Visitation is Sat. March, 6th at 8:30 a.m. until the funeral service begins at 9:45 a.m. to be followed by the mass of Christian burial at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Trinity R.C. Church, Long Branch. Interment will follow at Mt. Carmel Cemetery, West Long Branch. In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that contributions in Janet’s name be directed to the S.P.C.A., 260 Wall Street, Eatontown, NJ 07724.

Kindly note, for the health and safety of all guests, current state protocols of social distancing and facemasks are required at the funeral home and at the church.