RBR inducts six into Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame

On Friday, April 28, Red Bank Regional High School (RBR) inducted six alumni into its Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. The event was sponsored and organized by the BUC Backer Foundation under the Co-chairs Judy Noglows and Teresa Jahns Hottmann.

The 2017 inductees for the RBR Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame are pictured (left to right): RBR teacher Cassandra Dorn; Red Bank Middle School Vice Principal James T. Pierson; Dr. Erin Curtis, Optometrist; Sergeant Joey Fields, Red Bank Police Department; Dr. Carol A. Penn, physician family medicine and Ramona Johnson, special education teacher, Newark NJ public schools.

This year’s inductees included:
• Carol A. Penn, DO, MA, FACCE, Physician Specializing in Family Practice Medicine, Class of 1974 , Red Bank resident
• Cassandra L. Dorn, Red Bank Regional English Teacher, Class of 1986, West Long Branch resident, formally of Little Silver
• Joey N. Fields, Sergeant Red Bank Police Department, Class of 1987, (formally of Red Bank, and current Tinton Falls resident
• Ramona Q. Johnson, Lead Resource Inclusion Teacher at Hawkins Street School (Newark Public Schools), Class of 1991, Red Bank resident
• Erin M. Curtis, OD, Doctor of Optometry, Class of 1997, formerly of Red Bank, now Tinton Falls resident, Red Bank Business Owner and Doctor
• James T. Pierson, Red Bank Middle School Vice Principal, Class of 2001, Red Bank resident

An induction ceremony took place in the RBR theatre with an audience of RBR students and the alumni’s families and friends.  The inductees were introduced by the RBR Buccaneer Newspaper students who wrote bios on the alumni for a commemorative journal. The Distinguished Alumni then shared their thoughts and thanks with the audience. Senator Jennifer Beck also attended the ceremony and personally congratulate the honorees.

RBR senior Edith Torres introduced Dr. Carol Penn, as “much more than a great doctor, an award-winning dancer/choreographer, and a wellness and yoga instructor but as a teacher and a learner.”  She in turn told the students, “Everything I was able to accomplish was because of creativity” explaining how being a dancer prepared her for going back to medical school in the mid years of her life.

RBR Buccaneer Editor In Chief Ella Brockway was proud to write about and introduce her teacher Cassandra Dorn stating, “In her eighteen years here, she has been named the teacher of the year, and has advised the newspaper, the yearbook, and the National Honor Society, a tireless organizer of community service programs.” Ella added “generations of RBR students will surely point to Cassandra Dorn as their inspiration.” Cassandra Dorn shared her personal journey back to the high school she graduated from and encouraged her students to push themselves outside their comfort zone.

RBR sophomore Jack Davis introduced Sergeant Joey Fields as someone who was always interested in pursuing the betterment of people and how that desire flows to his community work in policing with the town of Red Bank. He told the students that his experience at RBR made his job as a police officer a lot easier and that he continues to have so many positive interactions with his alma mater from being invited to speak at Black History month as a key note speaker to working with the students in the community who attend RBR.

Ramona Johnson, whose basketball sports achievement still stands as the leading scorer in BUC history.  However, it is her work with children that defines her life as a teacher in special education.  She told the students that RBR is the best high school in the world as it is very diverse and helped her to understand people and their backgrounds and gave her the greatest gift of “accountability.”

Senior Alex Sosa introduced Dr. Erin Curtis who returned to Red Bank and continued her own optometrist’s practice so she could forge close relationships with her patients. In her remarks she explained, “I dreamt of my patients becoming my friends, of watching their children grow up and living life together in the Red Bank community.  These relationships, this was exactly my dream.”

RBR sophomore Hannah Nishiura wrote about her middle school teacher James T. Pierson who gives back to his community through his volunteer work as a firefighter, auxiliary police officer, and teacher at the Red Bank Middle School. Mr. Pierson recognized the committee for creating this inspiring event. He encouraged the students to “open their minds to have different friends and friends that don’t look like you and help you be a better you.” He told the students to take advantage of the many course choices, and extracurricular clubs and sports, and to work very hard academically.

The festivities continued with a celebratory luncheon catered by the RBR culinary students. Musical accompaniment was provided by the RBR VPA piano majors.  Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna and Councilman Michael Whelan joined Shrewsbury Mayor Donald Burden and Little Silver Councilman Daniel O’Hern in honoring the inductees with proclamations from their home towns and the State of New Jersey.

Brookdale graduates 2,162

More than 2,000 students graduated from Brookdale Community College on May 12 during the college’s 47th annual commencement ceremonies on the Lincroft campus.
A total of 2,162 students from 21 different countries earned associate degrees from the college, with diplomas handed out during two ceremonies held in the Robert J. Collins Arena. The class of 2017 included 219 distinguished scholars and 31 students with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

A total of 1,165 students earned associate in arts degrees; 527 earned associate in applied science degrees; 427 earned associate in science degrees; 16 earned associate in fine arts degrees; and 46 earned academic credit certificates.

This year’s graduating class was recognized by a host of local and state dignitaries, including Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, Monmouth County Freeholders Lillian Burry, John Curley and Thomas Arnone, the Brookdale Board of Trustees and hundreds of Brookdale faculty, staff and administrators.

Honorary degrees were awarded to Carlos Rodriguez, executive director of the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, and Carol Stillwell, president and CEO of Stillwell Hansen, Inc.

As executive director of the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties since 2012, Rodriguez has led efforts that collect and distribute more than 10 million meals each year through a network of more than 300 programs. He has also led a number of outreach programs and long-term support services such as the food bank’s Culinary Training Program and free tax assistance for residents.

“You are now an example,” Rodriguez told the graduates. “You are now a success that others can mirror, and you are now the strength that others will be able to find in your example. I don’t want to congratulate you; I want to welcome you to a future of many successes. And I hope that, as many have helped you along the way, that you will do the same for your neighbor as you meet them in your long life ahead.”

Stillwell, of Holmdel, is president of Stillwell Hansen, Inc., an award-winning equipment distribution company based in Edison. An acclaimed advocate for female representation in traditionally male-dominated industries, Stillwell has been recognized as one of New Jersey’s top businesswomen four times in the last ten years.

She is also a dedicated philanthropist, working to support local and national organizations such as the Juvenile Diabetes Association, Monmouth Medical Center, the Community YMCA, the Ashley Lauren Foundation and the Brookdale Community College Foundation.

College officials also presented Distinguished Alumni awards to Brookdale alumni Deborah Josko and Brian Hanlon.

Josko, a 1985 Brookdale graduate, has served as associate professor and director of the Medical Laboratory Science Program Program at the Rutgers University School of Health Professions for more than 20 years. Prior to her academic career she worked in the clinical laboratory setting for 12 years specializing in clinical microbiology.

“Graduates, this is not the end. This is just the beginning,” said Josko, whose son Nicholas was graduating from Brookdale on the same day. “And this is my advice to you. Always have three sets of goals going at once: your short-term goals, your long-term goals, and your lifetime goals. And when you achieve a goal, set another one. Always be striving for something, and you will always be working toward bettering yourself.  Congratulations.”

Hanlon, who first studied art at Brookdale in 1979, is a classically trained master sculptor and founder of Hanlon Sculpture Studio in Toms River. He has completed more than 300 public and private pieces for schools, universities, churches, memorial foundations and other organizations across the country, including the New Jersey Gold Star Family Memorial at the New Jersey Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Holmdel and the “Welcome to Ocean County” installation located on Route 37 in Toms River.

Six graduates representing each of Brookdale’s academic institutes were also presented with the 2017 Outstanding Student Award. The honorees, recognized for their exceptional academic and personal achievements, were: Erich Ballard, of Middletown; Tracey Cahill, of Spring Lake; Kelsey Giggenbach, of Howell; Michael Anthony LaMura, of Bradley Beach; Samuel Monroe, of Middletown; and Diana Pauciullo, of Freehold Township.

The ceremonies also featured graduate addresses by elementary education major Teresa Burns and biology and health science major Sameerah Wahab, both of Howell.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 Marvel’s groovy space comedy is a big, dumb, beautiful blast

By Zach Berman

Everyone who grew up in the 60’s or early 70’s remembers where they first saw Star Wars. Until 1976, space operas were unheard of, and were soon deemed revolutionary after George Lucas took the world back to a time long ago and a galaxy far, far away.
Time passed. The world needed a new space franchise to love like Star Wars, but who would have expected that the next Star Wars would star talking trees and raccoons? Not me, of course, but that’s exactly what’s in James Gunn’s 2014 smash Guardians of the Galaxy. Sure, you’d never heard of the comic that spawned the film, but by the end of 2014 you had memorized the funny quips and all the lyrics to Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling”.

I saw Guardians of the Galaxy in a dirty multiplex in Brooklyn, about a month after its’ release. Empty theater, but I laughed out loud and cheered like it was a Comic-Con premiere. This turned out to be the movie that turned me into a movie person, this was my calling card, the one that influenced me the most. So of course, I had to get my butt out to the theater ASAP to see the sequel, Vol. 2.

But first, expectations. Most sequels tend to be not as good as the originals, and even Marvel Cinematic Universe sequels are not exempt from that. I still remember how disappointing Avengers: Age of Ultron was, and because of that movie in particular, I went into Vol. 2 with about the lowest expectations that I had ever had for an MCU film.

So how is it that I walked out of the theater, knowing that this was A: better than the first Guardians? and B: possibly the best MCU movie of the bunch? Let me explain.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 is currently the best MCU film (at least until Spider-Man Homecoming drops in July). Right when cynics started to believe that big-budget entertainment was becoming nothing more than money-sucking and soulless features, along comes this big, goofy, sloppy kiss of a movie.

`This is everything you could possibly ask for from a summer blockbuster; action packed, filled with compelling stories and characters, colorful, hysterically funny, emotional, I could go on and on.

So here is what you need to know. Director James Gunn is back at the helm (he wrote the screenplay as well) and he seems to know his characters better than himself at this point. Everybody is written so impeccably, from leading lad Peter Quill (the charming, snarky, perfect Chris Pratt) to assassin-turned-team player Gam­ora (Zoe Saldana, who never disappoints) to God-knows-what-he-is Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista, proving that athletes can still be great actors).

And then of course, you have the CGI players, headlined by the foulmouthed and condescending Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), and if you thought that Vin Diesel was awesome voicing the talking tree, Groot, just wait until Mr. Diesel cranks up his helium consumption (I think?) to voice a younger version of the character.

The supporting cast is just as sparkling in this one, but the stand-outs are easily the blue-skinned, arrow wielding Yondu (Michael Rooker) and Ego (the reliable Kurt Russell), who claims to be Peter’s dad.

Now to get into the plot, which if I had one tiny criticism, takes a touch too long to get going. There is just a bit too much time spent quipping and making the audience pee in their pants laughing while they have no idea where the movie is headed. However, once you find out the direction that the movie is actually going in, everything makes sense and all is forgiven. Just another cog in Mr. Gunn’s master plan. It all starts with a creatively staged dancing Groot scene to the tune of ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky.”

Then it involves stealing batteries, and planet hopping, and daddy issues aplenty, and you know what? That’s all I’ll say. Some things are just better left unsaid. Just have the first one fresh in your mind.

What I can tell you is that everything you loved about the first one is back in full-force. The colorful visuals and great effects, the laugh-a-minute script with jokes that almost always land (I can count on one hand the jokes that didn’t), and oh, the soundtrack. Or as Peter lovingly calls it, “Awesome Mix Vol: 2.” You have so many great hits that fit this film so well, and artists all over the fame spectrum are featured, with some of the more famous ones being Fleetwood Mac and Cheap Trick.

The music is used everywhere, for comedic and emotional effect, and it works so well every time. It gives the film such a different feel than any other type of movie, and just the combination of the nostalgic references (Pac-Man! David Hasselhoff! Mary Poppins! Cheers!) and great music make it just incredibly enjoyable. And of course, this is the MCU, so stay ‘till the very end.

Now, for the score. This is not an Oscar contender, but in terms of pure enjoyability, I can’t give this any less than a perfect score. This is the third straight movie in the MCU that I have given a perfect score. To really explain it, all I have to say, is when Marvel finds a way to stop knocking my socks off with these movies, I’ll stop finding ways to give them perfect scores. It’s as simple as that.
5 out of 5 stars

Enjoy pizza with the prosecutor in WLB

West Long Branch — Do you have a question for Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni or local law enforcement? You’ll have a chance to ask your questions and also have a slice of pizza on May 30, announced Prosecutor Gramiccioni.

The Pizza with the Prosecutor and a Cop event will be held at Café Villa Pizza, 310 Route 36,  and will include Prosecutor Gramiccioni, MCPO Chief of Detectives Michael Pasterchick, Jr., and officers from area police departments.

Prosecutor Gramiccioni said he has seen the success of the Coffee with a Prosecutor and Cop events that have been recently sponsored through the MCPO and he decided to add this event to bring law enforcement and community members together to discuss issues and get to know more about each other.

“These events open doors for community engagement outside of emergency situations that are usually the reason law enforcement and community members are brought together. Keeping with the spirit of community policing, events like these have successfully contributed to establishing trust between the community and law enforcement. The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office looks to have a role in bridging those gaps,” Gramiccioni said.

Theater Review: & Juliet full of fascinating intrigue and drama

By Madeline Schulman

Long Branch — Robert Caisley, the author of “& Juliet,” having its world premiere at NJ Rep, probably knows all about University Drama Departments, as well as what makes compelling drama. I hope that real life Drama Departments are not as full of dispute, intrigue, and violent anger bubbling below the surface as the one at the unnamed University at which the play is set. However, we can all agree that drama can’t exist without conflict, and the three characters in & Juliet have plenty of that.

Jacob A. Ware and Nadia Brown in & Juliet at NJ Rep. (SuzAnne Barabas photo )

Charlie (Jacob A. Ware), David (John FitzGibbon), and Annie (Nadia Brown) all want something very badly.

Charlie wants to do well as the new Drama Department member with his radical production of Romeo and Juliet. David wants the direction of the play handed back to him. He has worked at the University for thirty years, and does not like being shoved aside for a whippersnapper with no doctorate. Both men want the beautiful corner office with the spectacular view of the campus which Charlie has been awarded.

David assures Charlie, in a honeyed purr (and I have never heard a more honeyed purr than Mr. FitzGibbon’s), that he is fine with Charlie occupying the office, but David also keeps paraphrasing Teyve, singing “If I Were a Jealous Man.”

Nobody wants anything as badly as Annie wants to play Juliet. Already a senior, she has never advanced beyond maids and spear carriers, and she is not to be fobbed off with offers to paint scenery or be Assistant Director (which she sees as a glorified gofer). David, with whom she is suspiciously close, seems to have promised her the part (why else would she be so certain it is hers, since several other girls would certainly be lined up for it?).

Charlie has other ideas. Annie does not fit his idea of Juliet. He is not rejecting her because of her race, which is black, but because of her gender. His radical idea is to stage Shakespeare with all male actors, as in Elizabethan times, and he has chosen a fourteen year old high school boy for Juliet. The part is spoken for, in spite of Annie’s frantic assertion that auditions aren’t until Sunday.

Neither David nor Annie care for Charlie’s scheme. The school is in a small, conservative town, and the sight of two boys kissing as Romeo and Juliet will not be greeted well.

When it is clear that not everyone can get what he or she wants, matters deteriorate. Unwise text messages are sent, even more unwise secrets are confided, and dangerously sharp weapons are brandished.

Nadia Brown is full of passionate intensity, and nicely delineates Annie as herself and Annie as Juliet. Her male co-stars are equally good.

Jessica Parks’s ingenious set looks at first like the back of a plain wooden box marked Romeo & Juliet (a set within a set), but swivels to reveal the beautiful contested corner office.

To sum up, people quietly resolving their differences is good in real life, but people arguing, fighting and maneuvering makes for exciting theater.

As for lessons learned, guard your e-mail password, don’t keep sharp knives in your office, and if you want to put on an all-male production of Shakespeare, know your audience.

& Juliet runs through June 4 at NJ Rep, 179 Broadway, Long Branch. Performances are Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at njrep.org or by calling 732-229-3166.

Ocean Ave to open up for beach access

Long Branch Council announced that they are to open Ocean Ave, running from Brighton to West End Ave. for easier access to the beach.

The street will be one way going north. For more information read the whole story in The LINK News coming out this  Thursday.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month: ‘Sweet Tea’ looks at effects of mental illness on families

By Neil Schulman

On Thanksgiving in 1984, Olivia’s mother cooks an elaborate turkey dinner for her three children, but instead of serving it she buries the meal in the backyard, because she believes the turkey must be offered to atone for their sins.

Wendy Lynn Decker

Soon afterwards, though the family lives in a trailer park, she shows up with elaborate fur coats for herself and her two daughters. A co-worker had loaned her money to fix her car, and Mama somehow decided that meant buy some furs.

 

Thus begins Sweet Tea, a young adult novel by local author Wendy Lynn Decker.

While her relatives say she’s eccentric, nobody realizes, or is willing to admit, that Mama has schizophrenia. And Olivia tries to navigate having a regular teenage life with looking after her increasingly unpredictable mother, who hasn’t been the same since her father died on the same day John Lennon was assassinated.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Decker wanted to talk about her book, which she wrote inspired by her own experiences. Her own mother has schizoaffective disorder, a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

“Having a mentally ill parent is difficult when you’re a kid and don’t understand it,” she said.

In the time Sweet Tea is set, and when Decker was growing up, there were far fewer resources around than there are nowadays.

Today, in addition to her work as an author and publisher, she frequently gives talks about mental illness and the issues around it.

“I want to bring awareness. There needs to be someone to make a change, and create facilities,” she said.

Over the last couple of decades, many of the facilities that treated the mentally ill have shut down. While admittedly many were closed because they were poorly managed, Decker says that many suffering from mental illness now wind up either “in prison or homeless.”

Even when someone is placed somewhere, it’s not necessarily the right placement. That’s the case with Decker’s mother.

“My mother is in an Alzheimer’s home. She’s 71 and she doesn’t have Alzheimer’s. She thinks she’s fine,” Decker said.

The treatment for Alzheimer patients is very different than that for people diagnosed with schizophrenia or other disorders.

Sometimes mental illness needs to be treated differently than other illnesses. Decker says that she’s repeatedly run into trouble due to HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. That law is designed to protect patient privacy, and it’s keeping her from getting access to her mother’s medical records, or from her mother’s doctors discussing their treatments with her.

“As the oldest child in the family, I had to learn” about mental illness, Decker said. “I really was a part of (mother’s treatment) before the HIPAA laws. I was able to help her along every day.”

“The system did fail my mother, and the system fails many.”

She knows many people who are looking at it from the other end. Parents of teenagers with mental illness worry about the fact they’ll lose access to the records when their child turns 18.

While Olivia’s story is based on Decker’s own, she didn’t want to make the book biographical. Decker grew up in New Jersey, but she set the book in the Georgia. While doing research for it, she spoke with area nurses who had worked on mental wards at hospitals there. She found the stories familiar.

“It’s the same everywhere,” she said.

More information on Sweet Tea can be found on Decker’s website, www.wendylynndeckerauthor.­com.

Decker has gone around New Jersey discussing mental illness. If interested in booking her, you can contact Jerry Spathis of Spathis Management and Entertainment, 732-710-1370 or YellowJerrySpathis@aol.com.

The field of writing can be a difficult and discouraging one, but it’s worth it, Wendy Lynn Decker says. Part of the reason she’s started her own publishing label, Serenity, is to encourage authors.

“13 Reasons Why,” a hit on Netflix which looks at teen suicide and has been getting a lot of attention due to opening discussions about a sensitive issue, is based on a novel by Jay Asher. A novel that almost never existed.

Several years ago, Decker and Asher were both associated with a group of writers.

“I was on the board when Jay Asher said, ‘I quit writing,’” Decker recalls. Shortly after that though, a publisher accepted his work, and Asher went on to have a bestseller with the young adult novel.

“It’s encouraging to all of the writers,” she said.

Decker also struggled to get Sweet Tea published, piling up rejections. It finally went to acquisition – when an author is offered a contract – but that fell through.

“I quit for a couple of years, and got encouraged to publish it for myself,” Decker recalled.

And soon after that, a publisher, Booktrope, decided they would pick it up and publicize it under their label Vox Dei, which specialized in Christian works. Decker says that the protagonist is Christian, though she considers this a book for everyone.

Sadly, after helping to provide publicity and support, Vox Dei and Booktrope closed. Fortunately, she maintained the rights and could get it back in print.

Now with her own publishing label, she works to “reach out to those who want to have a book because it’s something they desire,” said Decker. “It’s very, very difficult to get published.”

She currently represents about 10 books.

Decker continues to write. In addition to Sweet Tea, she’s also written The Bedazzling Bowl. She’s published several anthologies with other authors.

She recently obtained her Masters in Creative Writing from Wilkes University, and is working on a couple of manuscripts.

Publishing company helps encourage authors

The field of writing can be a difficult and discouraging one, but it’s worth it, Wendy Lynn Decker says. Part of the reason she’s started her own publishing label, Serenity, is to encourage authors.

“13 Reasons Why,” a hit on Netflix which looks at teen suicide and has been getting a lot of attention due to opening discussions about a sensitive issue, is based on a novel by Jay Asher. A novel that almost never existed.

Several years ago, Decker and Asher were both associated with a group of writers.

“I was on the board when Jay Asher said, ‘I quit writing,’” Decker recalls. Shortly after that though, a publisher accepted his work, and Asher went on to have a bestseller with the young adult novel.

“It’s encouraging to all of the writers,” she said.

Decker also struggled to get Sweet Tea published, piling up rejections. It finally went to acquisition – when an author is offered a contract – but that fell through.

“I quit for a couple of years, and got encouraged to publish it for myself,” Decker recalled.

And soon after that, a publisher, Booktrope, decided they would pick it up and publicize it under their label Vox Dei, which specialized in Christian works. Decker says that the protagonist is Christian, though she considers this a book for everyone.

Sadly, after helping to provide publicity and support, Vox Dei and Booktrope closed. Fortunately, she maintained the rights and could get it back in print.

Now with her own publishing label, she works to “reach out to those who want to have a book because it’s something they desire,” said Decker. “It’s very, very difficult to get published.”

She currently represents about 10 books.

Decker continues to write. In addition to Sweet Tea, she’s also written The Bedazzling Bowl. She’s published several anthologies with other authors.

She recently obtained her Masters in Creative Writing from Wilkes University, and is working on a couple of manuscripts.

 

‘Weekend in Old Monmouth’ guide, map, and story map available

The annual “Weekend in Old Monmouth” event returns the first weekend in May with 48 historic sites throughout Monmouth County opening their doors to visitors all at the same time.  The tour book and map as well as a link to the story map are now available at VisitMonmouth.com
“Weekend in Old Monmouth is a wonderful event for anyone interested in history and architecture,” said Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the County’s Historical Commission, which is the sponsor of the weekend event. “History buffs can travel by foot, bicycle or car to enjoy and experience many of the county’s rich historic places all in one weekend.”

The 2017 tour has gone hi-tech to enable history enthusiasts with an internet connection and home computer or smartphone to take an e-tour of the sites. Through an online Story Map

Tour, each tour site is presented as a “story point” on an interactive map. Interested tour-takers may visit several points on the story map to learn about a tour route. Clicking-on an individual story point will reveal more about a story point.

The sites on the tour are generally operated independently. In addition to the waived fees, the hours of operation are all the same for the two days. Hours for most sites are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 6 and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 7. Tour visitors can see the places in any order and pick up the tour book and map at their first stop.

Three tour sites are new: the Crawford House (c. early 1800s) in Tinton Falls, the Spring Lake Historical Society Museum in Spring Lake and the Stephen Crane House (c. 1878) in Asbury Park.

Highlights of the tour include Victorian homes, churches, lighthouses, museums, agriculture, industry, education and science. Each site contributes to the importance of preservation and history throughout Monmouth County. The tours also represent several historic themes:

Shore: While the tour includes sites on the north, (Twin Lights and Seabrook Wilson House), central (Ocean Grove) and southern shores, (National Guard Militia Museum) the drive along the shore is one of the best ways to feel and appreciate Monmouth County’s relationship to the Atlantic Ocean.

Faith: Architectural gems of each of the last three centuries, 18th century Christ Church in Shrewsbury, 19th century All Saints Memorial in Middletown and 20th century St. Catharine’s in Spring Lake. In addition, Old Tennent Church in Manalapan is closely tied to the Battle of Monmouth and the Friends Meeting House in Shrewsbury represents one of the oldest worship traditions in Monmouth County.

The Revolutionary War: The Revolution is visited here, not only the major sites in the Monmouth Battlefield area, but in lesser known places such as the Burrowes Mansion in Matawan, Marlpit Hall and the Murray Farm, both in Middletown.

Military: There is the National Historic Landmark Monmouth Battlefield in Manalapan and one of the more fascinating, but lesser known museums, the New Jersey National Guard Militia Museum in Sea Girt with museum exhibits and fighter aircraft and tanks.

The County supports the preservation movement annually by awarding grants to historic sites.  Many of the tour locations have received monies in the past.

The annual Weekend in Old Monmouth tour is coordinated by the Monmouth County Historical Commission (Historical Commission). The Historical Commission is dedicated to the preservation of the County’s rich historic heritage. As advocates for the preservation of historic properties, sites and projects, the Commission encourages citizens to be involved as well.
Link area sites on the tour include:

Clean-Up Day in Eatontown

By Coleen Burnett
Eatontown residents once again rolled up their sleeves and got their hands dirty on April 23.
That was the date of the town’s Clean-Up Day, an annual event

Candace Faust, Donna Baginsky, Councilman Al Baginsky, and Cleanup Co-Chairs Joel and Barbara Stark.

where denizens meet up, get their hands on equipment such as  garbage bags, gloves, shovels, rakes and long-handled grabbers, and are sent out to make the borough a little bit cleaner.

There were about 75 people registered for the four-hour event.  Groups were seen all over town, from the Eatontown Museum on Broad Street (where they cleared brush in the Museum’s backyard) to Locust Cemetery on South Street (where the Mingo Jack Society picked up garbage, a tree limb, and other debris).

Mayor Dennis Connelly signing up to do his part

When the work was done, everyone was invited for pizza and soda at the borough’s senior center.