Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day May 3

The Monmouth County Children’s InterAgency Coordinating Council and Allaire Community Farm will host their 3rd Annual Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 3, 4-7 p.m. at the Allaire Community Farm in Wall.

This is part of over 1,100 communities that are raising awareness for the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Children’s’ Mental Health Awareness Day.

This free event will have over 40 community agencies on site offering resources on how to access care for behavioral, emotional, developmental, and substance use needs. Hands on activities and crafts for the family will be offered by agencies and the farm will have their petting zoo, tractor rides, food, refreshments, and live music on site for families.

Those interested in attending at asked to register at the Allaire Community Farm’s EventBrite page. The event is free, but only 300 tickets are available.




Brookdale Alumni Association to honor three at Barringer Awards on May 3

The Brookdale Community College Alumni Association will honor three individuals for their service to students, the institution and their respective communities at the 34th annual Barringer Awards Dinner on May 3 at The Essex & Sussex in Spring Lake.

Dr. David Stout

Dr. Nancy Liu

Dr. Ave Latte

The award, named in honor of former college president Dr. Bob Barringer, is the Alumni Association’s most prestigious honor. This year’s honorees are President Dr. David Stout, Dr. Ave Latte, professor and chair of the Education Department and Dr. Nancy Liu, professor and chair of the Physics Department.



“All three honorees have demonstrated throughout their careers a commitment to excellence and service to students in and outside the classroom,” said Tim Zeiss, executive director of the Brookdale Alumni Association. “On a daily basis, they have helped to inspire and to encourage generations of Brookdale students to persevere in pursuit of their academic and professional goals.”

Dr. Stout has devoted his professional career to furthering the mission of Brookdale Community College in a variety of roles spanning more than two decades, culminating in his appointment as the institution’s seventh president in 2018.

His long tenure with Brookdale began in 1997 as a Learning Assistant in the Psychology Department. Dr. Stout has served in a variety of faculty and administrative roles, including as Dean of the Freehold campus, Vice President for Student Success and Interim President.

Dr. Stout’s commitment to engaging with Brookdale’s many stakeholders is evident throughout his assignments. He has consistently promoted access to a high-quality education, coupled with support services, for Brookdale students and Monmouth County residents. Colleagues know firsthand his commitment to ensuring that students leave Brookdale well on their way to converting their aspirations and goals into reality in their academic and professional pursuits for themselves and their families.

Dr. Stout earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at Stockton University, a Master’s Degree in Psychological Counseling at Monmouth University and a Ph.D. in Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine at Northcentral University.

Dr. Ave Latte began her Brookdale career in 1994 as a Learning Assistant in the Reading and Education departments. She is a professor and chair of the Education Department. She was instrumental in adding the A.S. degree in education for teacher candidates interested in STEM areas. Her work with both the credit and noncredit divisions of the college has brought two community college teacher licensing programs for alternate route candidates to Brookdale.

Dr. Latte’s work with the CTE Career Technology Teacher Licensing program made Brookdale the only college in the state that has the grant and non-traditional program for CTE sectors of a community college teacher licensing program. She helped author the New Jersey curriculum and course for the New Pathways to Teaching program.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Metropolitan State College, her M.S. in supervision, principal, and curriculum development from Georgian Court University and her Doctorate of education in early childhood education from Rutgers University.

Dr. Nancy Liu began her career at Brookdale in 1995 as a professor in the physics department and serves as chair. She is the founding advisor and current co-advisor of the Physics and Astronomy Club. She is also an active supporter of the Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WEST) Club and volunteers as a one-to-one mentor for the WEST Mentor Program.

Dr. Liu was awarded a Gold Star in 2000 and 2004. In 2007, she was nominated by 34 of her colleagues and received the Twentieth Annual Outstanding Colleague Award. She received a Faculty Merit Award in 2004, 2003, 2002, Fall 2001 and Spring 2001.

Dr. Liu has earned her B.S. in physics and M.S. in solid state physics from Jilin University in China. She obtained her PhD in solid state physics from Colorado State University. She has authored numerous papers on her research and has more than 15 published articles. She is active in the physics community as a member of the American Physical Society (APS), American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the New Jersey section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (NJAAPT).

Tickets to the Barringer Dinner are $65 each. Reservations can be made online at For more information, email

New Hotel and Restaurants Hosting Open Call Job Fair

SpinGig has partnered with a NY based Hospitality Group to recruit for their newest location in Long Branch. The new location will be adding 150 hospitality jobs in total and are looking to interview and hire people now.

The Open Call Job Fair will be held on Thursday, April 25th from 10:30a to 6:30p, at The Bungalow Hotel at 50 Laird St, Long Branch, NJ 07740. Bring your resume and be ready to showcase your talents!

The positions available are: Server, Bartender, Cocktail, Runner, Busser, Barista, Host, Cashier, Barback, Cooks, Prep, Porters, Dishwasher.

SpinGig is the fastest and easiest way to find a hospitality job. Based in NY, SpinGig has been helping connect the best restaurants with the best hospitality workers since 2017. To create a free profile go to



E’town schools want to add Class III police for security

By Coleen Burnett

Eatontown — An effort to make Eatontown’s schools a bit safer came under a preliminary discussion at the April 10 Borough Council meeting. It was only a start. But the conversation on placing Class III officers – trained police officers – to patrol the schools got a mostly positive reaction.

Under a proposed shared services agreement that is still being drawn up between the police department, the council and the Eatontown Board of Education, the school would hire a Class III, a retired officer (or officers), who would be armed and have at least 25 years of service as a policeman.

He or she cannot be over 65 years of age.

The program would be entirely run by the police department.

“The success of the program is due to how well they are supervised and how well the program is implemented. That’s why I am very confident that not only is it a necessity these days to have Class III’s in place, but I know it will be implemented properly,” said Eatontown Police Chief William Lucia.

Lucia and School Superintendent Scott McCue stood side by side at the workshop meeting to make their case for the officers. The two told the council the officers would not be involved in day to day discipline. In fact, should a fight break out, the officer would be obligated to call police first.

“They are there for security, and security only,” said Lucia. “If somebody comes in with a weapon, they would be involved… they are not going to run in and put everyone in handcuffs.”

It will also take time to implement.

The idea was first brought up this past January, and subsequent to that a letter was also sent out to parents asking for feedback. (The deadline for comments is April 24.)

“Realistically, the program could not start until next year,” said Borough Administrator Cherron Rountree.

It is also worth noting that the Eatontown police are currently encouraged to stop by the schools during their shifts.

How many officers would be hired is another question. Ideally officials would like four, with one each in the four elementary schools. But it depends on the amount of funding that is secured.

“What’s been {considered} as a possibility is to have two between the four schools and continue to analyze the program,” Rountree said.

During the public comment portion of the regular meeting, some residents said that they were initially against the idea, but had changed their minds.

Eatontown resident Sarah Breslow wondered if it was a good use of funds and if there were any statistics to show that having such officers in the schools would make them any safer.

“Who knows how many times that’s deterred anything from happening?” she said.

Lucia said there was no way of telling — there are few, if any, such statistics available — but he was confident another layer of security wouldn’t hurt.

“If somebody wants to shoot their way in, the only way you’re going to stop them is that there is a good guy inside to shoot at him. There’s no other way.

“What we do is to buy the time for the guys on the road to eliminate the threat. The only way to do that is to have an officer in there, who can return the fire, protect the kids, and give everybody in the school a fighting chance,” said Lucia.

Another resident commented, “It would be a shame if this did not pass.”

“If something happens, it would be on your shoulders,” the resident said.

A public hearing on the ordinance in its final form is scheduled for May 8.



Shore boys crush Toms River South

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr

Well it was evident early on Saturday morning that the boys lacrosse team at Shore Regional High School is one of the best overall squads in the Shore Conference.

He had only one goal in the win over Toms River South, but it was a rocket fired by Terry Carlstrom (24) of Shore Regional.

Shore which plays in the B South division of the Shore Conference is currently undefeated at 3-0 with the thumping 15-1 victory over Toms River South. The Blue Devils scored often and shared the ball, while their defense was aggressive and only allowed one ball to slip past goalkeeper Scott Sirianni.

Leading the offensive attack was Jake Turner with four goals and two assists. Jack McCrae had three goals and two assists, while Tom Bocco had three goals and one assist for the Blue Devils. Gil Goldsmith scored twice and had one assist, while Jamie Mazzacco also had two goals. Rounding out the scoring was Terry Carlstrom with one goal.

Assisting on two goals was Justin Murphy, and Nick Crochet had one assist in the victory

. The Devils played two goalkeepers in the game. Sirianni had four saves and allowed the one goal. Nico Katch had two saves when in the game.

Currently Shore and Lacey are both 3-0 overall in the B South. Division games Lacey is 2-0, while Shore is 1-0. Point Pleasant Boro is in third at 2-0 in the division and 3-2 overall. They are followed by St. Rose, Mater Dei, Barnegat, Donovan Catholic, and Ranney.


City announces summer concerts and car shows

By Neil Schulman

Long Branch — Spring may be in full bloom, but Long Branch is looking ahead to its summer schedule.

Tito Puente Jr., one of the big names to play at the city’s concert series last year, is scheduled to make a return this July.

At the April 10 City Council meting, Mayor John Pallone mentioned that the summer concert schedules have been made available to the public and discussed some of the upcoming events.


Art In The Park

The Memorial Day weekend kicks off with Art In The Park on Sunday, May 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in West End Park. This year, Pallone said, they’ve added a rain date on Memorial Day, May 27.

Come enjoy the work of over 50 juried artists and artisans.

The event is free to the public, and is still accepting entries in various categories. The entry fee is $50. First time applicants must send jpegs of their work to: For information, leave a voicemail at 732-542-1307.


Bands by the Beach

There are three series of summer concerts hosted by the city. The first to kick off is Bands By The Beach, which plays in West End Park on Sundays, 7-8:30 p.m. beginning June 9.

In case of inclement weather concerts will be held in Jack’s Goal Line Stand (149 Brighton Avenue).

Bands to play include:

• June 9 – Philadelphia Funk Authority (dance/party band)

• June 23 – Sandy Sasso & Her Swingin’ Big Band (Big Band)

• June 30 – Chuck Lambert (Blues)

• July 7 – Bob Lanza Band (Blues)

• July 14 – JoBonanno (Spirit of Asbury Revue) – To be held on the West End beach

• July 21 – Billy Hector Experience (Blues)

• July 28 – Peter V Blues Train (Blues)

• August 4 – Eryn & The Whiskey Devils (Soulful vocalist/Guitarist)

• August 11 – SaRon Crenshaw (Blues)

• August 18 – Blues People (Blues)

• August 25 – The VooDudes (Blues, Rock, Country, Zydeco & R&B)


Thursdays By The Sea

On Thursdays, from 7-8:30 p.m., at Pier Village, the following concerts will be held.

In case of inclement weather they will be moved to the Long Branch Middle School.

• June 13 – Tim McLoone & The Shirleys (Rhythm/Blues/Classic Rock)*

• June 20 – The ASAP Band (Party Band)

• June 27 – Moraccan Sheepherders (Groove/Rock/Cover Band)

July 4 – No concert due to Oceanfest

• July 11 – Motor City Revue (Motown/Rock/Soul)

• July 18 – So Watt (Party Band)

• July 25 – The Weeklings (Beatles Tribute Band)

• August 1 – 9 South (Party Band)

• August 8 – After The Reign (Country Band)

• August 15 – The Nerds (Party Band)

• August 22 – Remember Jones (Soul/Pop Singer)

• August 29 – Brian Kirk & The Jirks with Fireworks! (Party Band)

* Because the school is still in session and thus unavailable, this concert only will be rescheduled Sept. 5 in case or rain.


Tuesdays on Broadway

The following concerts take place Tuesdays, 7-8:30 p.m. at the Broadway Bandshell (Behind Brookdale Community College off Third Ave.) In case of inclement weather, concerts will be held in the Portuguese Club of Long Branch (191 Broadway).

• July 9 – Xol Azul Band (Latin Rock Band)

• July 16 – Eco Del Sur (Latin American Music)

• July 23 – Tito Puente, Jr. (Latin Band)

• July 30 – Jersey Sound (Oldies Band)

• August 13 – David Cedeno & His Orchestra (Salsa Band)

• August 20 – Linda Miller & the Girls Next Door (Tribute to Girl Groups)

• August 27 – Swing Sabroso (Salsa Band)


Cruise to the Jersey Shore

Sunday, June 16, Cruise to the Jersey Car Show in Long Branch celebrates its 25th anniversary from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. along the Long Branch promenade.

The event, a benefit for the Ronald McDonald House of Central & Northern New Jersey, will include an array of classic cars, Windmill hot dogs and other treats, music from a DJ and more. Rain date June 22.


West End Cruise Night

The West End Cruise Night & Classic Car Show will be held Sat., Aug. 17, 6-10 p.m.

Take a stroll enjoying the classic cars and hot rods lining Brighton Avenue while enjoying live entertainment, including an opening show by Long Branch’s own Reanna Runge, a 7 p.m. performance by The Coasters (“Charlie Brown,” “Poison Ivy”), and 8:30 p.m. by Shirley Alston Reeves (also known as Shirley Owens, lead singer of the Shirelles.

This event is rain or shine.



Annual Strengthening Families Community Garden Kick-off

Long Branch — Coastal Communities Family Success Center announces its annual Strengthening Families Community Garden Kick-off and Health Fair to be held on Saturday, April 20. This free event will offer families breakfast, garden activities, and an opportunity to register for garden plots, cultivating and growing healthy fruits and vegetables at no cost to them throughout the growing season.

Families prepare seeds at the Family Success Center during the annual Mini Greenhouse workshop.

Monmouth County service providers will be on hand to perform free health screenings, distribute updated program information and let families know about resources available to them. The kick-off will take place at the Community Garden located on 7th Avenue between Broadway and Joline from 10 a.m.-1 pm.

“This parent-child activity is a valuable teaching tool. It provides parents and children the opportunity to grow their relationship and organic vegetables contributing to the urban beautification here in Long Branch,” stated Lisa Wilson, the Center’s Executive Director.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Coastal Communities Family Success Center encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making the community a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children’s social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities.

“April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children,” stated Lisa Wilson, “Everyone’s participation is critical. Focusing on ways to build and promote parents and children is the best thing our community can do to prevent child maltreatment and promote optimal child development.”

All are welcome. If you are a service provider interested in participating in the Community Garden Kick-off and Health Fair or a community member or group who would like to volunteer or register for a plot, please contact Lisa Wilson, 732-571-1670 x302 or Dan McKevitt 732-571-1670 x311, or email them at or

Coastal Communities Family Success Center, formerly Long Branch Concordance, a local non-profit agency established in 2004, works with families in the coastal Monmouth region and the surrounding area helping families succeed. To find out more, visit They welcome the community to tour their office and Family Success Center at 300 Broadway and the Seventh Avenue Community Garden located on Seventh Avenue between Joline and Broadway in Long Branch.








Vin Gopal Civic Association Awards Reception

­­­­­­­­ Patty Booth O’Neill

Long Branch – Awards from the Vin Gopal Civic Association were presented last Wednesday night to four well-deserving individuals at Mar Belo’s for their service to the community.

Dr. Anita Voogt with Senator Vin Gopal

Senator Vin Gopal introduced local politicians who attended the event: Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, Senator Joe Kyrillos, Mayor John Pallone, and Councilpeople Rose Widdis, Dr. Mary Jane Celli, Bill Dangler and Mario Vieiro.

“We have four outstanding honorees who do so much to help the greater Monmouth County area,” Gopal said as he addressed the group.

• Long Branch Councilwoman and Senior Vice President of Brookdale Community College Dr. Anita Voogt was honored with the Community Public Servant Award.

• Jack Morris, Chairman, RWJ Barnabas Health and Co-owner, Hard Rock Casino & Hotel received the Community Leader Award.

• New Jersey Resources, operator of New Jersey Natural Gas Fortune 100 Company received the Community Partner Award.

• Michael Evans, former fire chief of the Wanamassa Fire Department and Volunteer First Responder received the Community Trailblazer Award.

New Jersey Resources, parent company to New Jersey Natural Gas supports over 1000 non profits around Monmouth and Ocean counties. They are known for helping out families who can’t afford their gas bill, mainly for heat during the winter.

Ocean Township’s Michael Evans

“New Jersey Resources help a lot of families in need and residents who are in trouble,” Gopal said. “They have been incredible.”Michael Evans, Ocean Township Officer of Emergency Management, was honored for his service to the city and beyond.

“Michael made sure everyone was taken care of during Hurricane Sandy,” Gopal said, introducing Evans.

“It’s a great honor to receive this award,” Evans said. He added that he was blessed with two parents who taught him not to sit on the sidelines. “They told me to get involved.”

Jack Morris was honored for his compassion towards his tenants who could not pay their rent because of the government shutdown.

In a letter he wrote, Morris told his tenants, “We understand how difficult it will be for you to pay your rent while providing the other necessities for you and your family. To that end Edgewood Properties will defer your rent payment until such time as you receive your wages, as well as waive any late charges.”

“Every email I receive from Anita Voogt and her husband Dennis Sherman is about ways to help different people,” Gopal said. “They do so much for the community.”

“You all know that anybody who stands up here doesn’t represent work they did by themselves,” Voogt said. “I’m very grateful.”

Gopal said 100% of donations made to VGCA go towards scholarships and helping others. “This is all done by volunteers, there are no payrolls,” he said.

There are new programs being added all to VGCA all the time. The most recent is to help out senior citizens who live by themselves and may need a little help with such things as lawn care, snow removal and groceries.

The Vin Gopal Civic Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. They recognize that in our Central Jersey Communities there are many groups who are affected by our unique high cost of living and struggle to maintain their economic independence.

According to their mission statement, “It is the goal of our Association to help those who are the backbone of our communities to maintain a fruitful, independent life by lending a helping hand wherever we can and also by fostering a relationship with other Civic and Religious groups with similar goals in helping our Communities.”

If you feel you need help or know someone who should be recognized, or would like to donate, go to

Vin Gopal with the daughter of honoree Jack Morris, representing her dad who could not attend the event.

Representative from New Jersey Resources