Local LWV wins National Award

During its recent convention , the  League of Women Voters-US  singled out  the LWV of Southern Monmouth County as a national leader in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

LWV member Annette Scott points to the importance of voting

The award comes in recognition of the initiative to register formerly incarcerated citizens on a regular basis at the ReEntry program in Neptune City.

Local League member,  Annette Scott went on to establish voter registration and encourage voter responsibility in the Re-entry programs throughout the state. Reenter–Register– Vote is the message of the program which seeks to build equitable partnerships  with programs such as ReEntry

“The national League has also awarded LWV-SMC  a $500 grant for its proposal  to develop  social media  to reach out to a greater number of  residents and groups” said Peggy Dellinger, League president.  She added  “We encourage voters to visit our website LWVsmc.org for  voter  registration, voter information on Vote 411, videos, upcoming events, important links, and an application to join the  LWV

Today’s Coronavirus News for New Jersey Business

Want a forgivable business loan from the federal government – the deadline to apply is extended. Summer camps and summer schools can resume today. State primary elections are tomorrow.

Want a Forgivable Business Loan from the Federal Government? The Deadline for PPP Loans is Extended – The deadline has been extended to Aug. 8 for small businesses to apply for loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The original deadline to apply was this past Tuesday. But $130 billion remain in the fund. Loans can be forgiven if businesses use at least 60% of the funds for payroll. (NPR)

The Latest Info on PPP Loans – Here is what you need to know about the latest changes to the terms of PPP loans. Businesses that want to qualify for loan forgiveness now have 24 weeks instead of eight weeks to spend PPP funds. The portion of the loan that must be spent on payroll has been reduced to 60% from 75%. Companies won’t be penalized if workers who have been offered their jobs back with the same hours and pay don’t return. (The Wall Street Journal)

How to Get a PPP Loan – Information on applying is here.

More Commuters Means More Mass Transportation – More mass transit options are returning in New Jersey – including more trains, ferries and buses – as New York City moves to its new coronavirus reopening phase. (nj.com)

Outdoor Graduation Ceremonies Are Back– New Jersey schools can begin holding outdoor graduation ceremonies of up to 500 people today as Gov. Murphy continues to peel back coronavirus restrictions. (nj.com)

Summer Camps and Summer Schools Can Resume Today – Summer camps and summer schools in New Jersey can open today, but it is not the same as ever. Restrictions here

For Those Struggling to Pay Rent – New Jersey residents can apply for rental relief beginning today. The state’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program will provide up to six months of emergency rental assistance to low- and moderate-income households that have been affected by coronavirus. (nj.com)

New Jersey Primary Elections are Tomorrow – Voters can find key information here about the candidates and details on where and how to vote. (NJ Spotlight and NJTV News)

You Don’t Have to Vote by Mail – Don’t want to put your ballot in the mail? Here is where the New Jersey primary election drop boxes are. (nj.com)
Get Counted – New Jersey residents can respond to the 2020 Census to ensure the state gets its fair share of federal funding. The Census provides valuable data for businesses, including population trends, growth projections and demographic information. Spread the word! Respond to the Census.

N.J. Coronavirus Cases – New Jersey Residents
(Source: N.J. Health Department)

Total Confirmed Deaths Reported: 13,355, up from 13,224 on Thursday.

Total Positive COVID-19 Tests Reported: 173,402, up from 171,928 on Thursday.

For data on hospitalizations and discharges, click here.

Rutgers to Go Mostly Remote in the Fall – Rutgers University will remain mostly remote for the fall semester due to the pandemic. A limited number of on-campus classes that “benefit from direct access to campus facilities” will take place in-person, including lab work, clinical, and some arts instruction. (nj.com)

Buy From New Jersey Businesses – To promote the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Buy NJ’ campaign, put this ‘postcard’ on your website and share it on social media with the hashtags #BuyNJ and #BuyLocalNJ.

A New Fight for Independence

By Vin Gopal, Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey

Celebrating July 4 this year made us think of how our country is engaged right now in another battle, this time to win independence from an insidious virus that restricts our freedom and threatens our lives.

Like our founding fathers in 1776, we are engaged in a citizens’ war, a long battle that will take the perseverance of every citizen to win. As our state continues reopening, each of us must do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 that threatens our lives and our livelihoods and the future of the New Jersey economy.

While states across America are seeing surges and second waves, New Jersey is holding steady—and that’s in no small part thanks to you. Over the past several months, New Jerseyans have buckled down, wearing masks, social distancing, and doing everything we can to stop the spread of this virus. As our reopening continues, we’ll need to keep that going strong.

We know how exhausting these restrictions have been—believe us, there’s nothing we’d like more than to eat out with friends, head back to the gym, or take back any of the other things we’ve sacrificed. But our well-earned freedom to return to the things we took for granted before the pandemic can be easily lost. We’re seeing it every day on the news in other states that reopened earlier only to pull back because residents too quickly forgot or ignored precautions and new cases of COVID-19 spiked.

COVID-19 briefing

On July 2, the indoor portions of New Jersey malls and casinos reopened, along with outdoor playgrounds, outdoor amusement parks, and outdoor water parks. We were able to enjoy shopping and get our kids back to some of the entertainment they expect to enjoy during their summer vacations. Museums, libraries, aquariums, and indoor recreational facilities also reopened with capacity limits, expanding our opportunities to enjoy a good book, an art exhibit or a walk through our history and cultural past. These venues are restricted to 50 percent capacity. Face masks are required when indoors and social distancing is required everywhere when possible.

You can get back to your gym or fitness center, which were allowed to reopen in outdoor spaces on July 2 and you can get limited individualized training inside the gym by appointment.

This Monday, July 6, parents were able to experience the joy and pride of watching their children graduate in person as outdoor ceremonies began again. You’ll see some changes. Students, guests and school staff will be wearing face masks and practicing social distancing.

Also on July 6, youth day camps and summer programs were able to open. You’ll see differences here, too. Campers and staff should expect to be screened for fever and other signs of illness before being allowed in. Kids can expect to be in the same group of campers with the same staff each day to reduce their exposure to others, and they’ll be eating lunch in shifts to make it easier to social distance. Everyone in the camp should wear cloth face coverings when they can’t stay at least six feet apart and full-contact sports and overnight stays won’t be happening this summer.

We are all suffering from the drag of this pandemic on our lives. But we are in a citizens’ war. If each of us does our part – social distance, wear a face covering, avoid large crowds and frequently wash our hands – we will win our freedom again.

Stay safe.

New Downey Bill Establishes Guidelines for Voluntary Emergency Special Needs Registries

OCEAN TOWNSHIP – Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Freehold) is introducing legislation that would direct the Attorney General, in consultation with a county prosecutor who has established and maintained a voluntary special needs registry, to issue guidelines for county prosecutors to use in establishing voluntary special needs registries, which would be used to provide emergency medical care or assistance to a resident, student, or employee in the county who has a special need.

“It’s often easy for an emergency situation to turn south when the person in need of help has a physical, emotional or intellectual/developmental disability,” said Downey. “If we want to minimize the chance of accidents and empower our first responders to provide the best care and support possible, we need to make sure that they have information on any illnesses, challenges, or triggers that the individual may be experiencing.

COVID-19 Briefing

“This type of system has already seen great success in Monmouth County under the guidance of Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni, and I am confident that this strictly opt-in, self-reporting program will protect patients’ privacy while providing the information that first responders need to de-escalate conflicts, treat stressed or injured patients with care, or otherwise serve and protect the members of our disability community.”

Any information provided through a county voluntary special needs registry would be provided only to a law enforcement officer who is dispatched to the scene of an emergency situation for the purpose of providing medical care or assistance.

The guidelines shall include, but not be limited to:

  1. Methods that will be used to notify members of the public the benefits and availability of the special needs registry;

  2. Information to be included on the registry that would help a first responder provide appropriate assistance when dispatched to the scene of an emergency situation;

  3. Procedures to maintain confidentiality about the information on the registry; and

  4. A requirement to link the information on the registry to the first responder who is dispatched to the scene of an emergency situation.

“We are thrilled that Assemblywoman Downey’s legislation will assist other counties and municipalities in the creation of their own special needs registries and we are honored that our program is being used as a model,” said Monmouth County Prosecutor Gramiccioni. “We will gladly assist any agency who is interested by sharing our experiences, materials, and the tools we used to launch our program. Since the start of our program in 2016, we have assisted more than 1300 citizens with special needs in building supportive bridges with their local law enforcement agencies to provide meaningful assistance and support in times of need.”

Assemblywoman Joann Downey represents New Jersey’s 11th Legislative District in the State Assembly, where she works to make the Garden State more affordable for its hard-working residents. The 11th District includes the Monmouth County municipalities of Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Long Branch, Neptune City, Neptune, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls and West Long Branch.

Outside dining a big hit in Long Branch

 

Long Branch bicycle route revisited

The road from Seven Presidents Park to the Church of the Presidents is widely used by both Long Branch residents and visitors to the city.

Bike route

It is a popular place to bike and walk with historical sites along the way and is referred to as the ‘Seven Presidents Historic Trail’. This route also includes the city/county beaches and Pier Village Town Center. It is heavily trafficked with vehicles, especially during the summer months and has increasingly become less comfortable for pedestrians and bikers alike.

Visit City site for COVID update

In order to identify opportunities for improvement, the Long Branch Green Team commissioned a sub-team to conduct a bike and pedestrian audit. Training on how to conduct the audit was provided by EZ Ride and the audit was conducted by the Green Team. Feedback from a variety of Long Branch City personnel and other community stakeholders was incorporated into the final report

Participants:

● Long Branch Green Team including Faith Teitelbaum, Kathy Buchan, Annette Benanti, Chuck Ficca, Phil Falcone, Rich Catanese
● Michael Sirianni, Long Branch Chamber of Commerce
● Danna Kawut, Long Branch Programs and Events
● Dennis Sherman, Save Ocean Avenue Committee Chair
● Lisa Lee, EZ Ride
● Jessica Lisa, Long Branch Environmental Commission

Back to Business with Long Branch Free Public Library

Scope:
Seven Presidents Historic Trail and Beach Areas (Ocean Avenue from Seven Presidents Park to Museum of the Presidents and Ocean Blvd from Brighton Ave to Matilda Terrace)

 

Summary of Opportunities and Constraints:

Bicycle route map of historical sites

1. The most significant area of concern is for bikers traveling on Ocean Avenue between South Bath Ave and Madison Ave. North and south of this section, bike lanes do exist on Ocean Avenue, but there is nothing in place to connect them through the busiest section of Ocean Ave. Instead, there is very limited room for biking with cars parked along the road and heavy traffic, especially during beach season, travelling both north and south. The sidewalks are also very crowded and there are no designated bike lanes despite a number of cyclists who use this road. The adjacent street, Ocean Boulevard, which runs parallel to Ocean Ave, does not offer a safer alternative.

2. Two additional areas of concern are the Brighton Ave and West End Court intersections. These are heavily trafficked with cars making turns into the West End Business District and/or dropping off beach goers at the designated drop-off points located in this area making it dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists alike. Cyclists, in particular, get squeezed by right turn lanes that leave them with nowhere to proceed.

3. While not as significant a safety concern due to the relatively wide street, there is an opportunity to take advantage of the large grass shoulder on the stretch of Ocean Ave that borders the west side of Seven Presidents Park. While the street does not have a bike lane, there is room to cut a bike/pedestrian path into the grass shoulder without infringing upon the street. Alternatively, opening up a path through the park parallel to Ocean Ave would also work well.

 

Pallone Applauds Passage of Historic Infrastructure Bill

Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) issued the following statement following the passage of the Moving Forward Act:

 

“The Moving Forward Act modernizes our badly aging infrastructure, stimulates our economy, creates millions of good paying jobs, and addresses climate change. Investment in our infrastructure is critical, especially now that millions of Americans have lost their jobs due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill also moves us closer to a 100% clean economy. I’m proud that the Moving Forward Act included key provisions from the Energy and Commerce Committee and my Living Shorelines Act.

 

“This bill will help us rebuild our economy with a more than $126 billion investment in clean energy, energy efficiency and deep decarbonization. It includes $20 billion for a clean energy and sustainability fund and a major investment in clean transportation and the development of an electric vehicle charging network. It also invests over $47 billion in drinking water programs and infrastructure to get pollutants like PFAS and lead out of our water.

 

“This bill will also provide critical investments for my home state of New Jersey, including much-needed funding for transportation infrastructure we use every day, including roads, bridges, and Amtrak. I’m also proud that my Living Shorelines Act was included in this bill, which will provide additional help so communities can use living shorelines to effectively mitigate future flooding while benefiting local economies. Strengthening living shorelines will also improve the local environment by supporting water quality and habitats for local wildlife and fish as well as provide enhanced opportunities for recreation.

 

“The Moving Forward Act also appropriates over $100 billion to fund broadband-related programs, including efforts to connect low-income Americans and students as well as to tribal areas. It authorizes $12 billion to upgrade our frail 9-1-1 infrastructure for the next generation and enacts critical auto safety programs that could save thousands of lives on our roads each year.

 

“Finally, this bill provides $30 billion to upgrade our nation’s health infrastructure and build new infrastructure where needed. This funding will be used to upgrade hospitals and community health centers, improve clinical laboratory infrastructure to reduce wait times for COVID-19 testing results, and increase the overall capacity for community-based care in America.

 

“This is a transformational bill that will rebuild our country and economy for the 21st Century, and if the Senate wants to move our nation forward, it would pass this bill immediately.”

Oceanport BOE notice of change to meeting dates

OCEANPORT BOARD OF EDUCATION
NOTICE OF CHANGE TO
2020 ANNUAL MEETING DATES

WHEREAS, Compliance is required with P.L. 1975, c. 231, with regard to the posting and publication of the Annual Notice.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the following changes to the Annual Notice be adopted, published and posted as prescribed.

Pursuant to P.L. 1975, c.231, notice is hereby given that the Board of Education of the Oceanport School District has
moved to a Committee Structure to include the following committees:
• Education, Technology, Curriculum, Instruction Committee”
•Policy Committee”
• Personnel Committee”
• Finance Committee”
• Buildings & Grounds Committee

WHEREAS, P.L. 1975, c. 231, was amended by P.L.2020, c.11. (A3850/S2294) and approved by the Governor on March 20, 2020, permitting that during a period declared as a state of emergency a public body shall be permitted to perform any of the following by means of communication or other electronic equipment: conduct a meeting and any public business to be conducted thereat, cause a meeting to be open to the public, vote, or receive public comment without being deemed to have violated the provision of P.L.1975, c.231 (C.10:4-6 et seq.) in performingsuch functions by means of communication or other electronic equipment.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that notice is hereby given that the Board of Education of the Oceanport School District will hold the following meetings, including public comment, remotely through the use of electronic equipment:

REVISED 2020 Oceanport Board of Education Remote Regular Meeting Dates

July 22, 2020
August 17, 2020 – Special Meeting Board of Education Retreat
August 26, 2020
September 30, 2020
October 28, 2020
November 18, 2020
December 16, 2020

2020 Oceanport Board of Education Cancelled Committee of the Whole Meeting Dates
July 15, 2020
August 12, 2020
September 23, 2020
October 14, 2020

All scheduled meetings are open to the public. Formal action may be taken at all Regular Action Meetings and Special Meetings. At all Regular Meetings and Special Meetings, the Board reserves the right to retire into Executive Session, and to exclude the public from such portions of the meetings in accordance with the P.L. 1975, c.231, upon adoption of a conforming Board Resolution for Executive Session.

Any changes/additional meetings scheduled will be noticed in the Asbury Park Press, The Link or on the District website https://www.oceanport.k12.nj.us/

07/3/2020    $25

Monmouth University Board of Trustees elected its new slate of officers

At its June 18 meeting, the Monmouth University Board of Trustees elected its new slate of officers and four members with terms beginning July 1. Jeana M. Piscatelli ’01 ’02M was elected chair of the board, the first woman in the university’s 87-year history to hold the position.

Jeana M. Piscatelli

John A. Brockriede Jr. ’07 ’10M and Leslie N. Hitchner will serve as vice chairs, Christopher D. Maher as treasurer, and John C. Conover III as secretary.

Miles J. Austin III ’18, Tasha A. Youngblood Brown ’97 ’03M, Jeremy Grunin, and James S. Vaccaro III will join the board as its newest members.

“I am pleased to welcome these outstanding trustees to our board and extend my deepest gratitude to our trustees who have taken on leadership roles, I am so proud to serve with the first female board chair in our 87-year history, in addition to this talented group of distinguished alumni and business and civic leaders. The depth and breadth of their experiences and professional accomplishments will undoubtedly serve the university well in the years to come. I also want to thank our outgoing chair, Mike Plodwick, and our outgoing secretary, Carol Stillwell, for their leadership, guidance, and dedicated service to Monmouth,”  said Monmouth University President Patrick F. Leahy.

Newest board members Miles J. Austin III ’18, Tasha A. Youngblood Brown ’97 ’03M, Jeremy Grunin, and James S. Vaccaro III