- Business Resource Fair at LB Arts Center
- Barbara M. Irons passes
- Margaret Mae Fragale, 91 passes
- Saverio “Sam” Todaro, 84 of Long Branch passes
- From the Legislature – Helping Workers and Veterans
- From homeless to a full time police officer in Long Branch
- Four seek three seats in Monmouth Beach
- Monmouth County Commissioner Director Tom Arnone Newsletter
- Listings for Long Branch City-Wide Yard Sale, May 15 & 16
- Addiego, Gopal, Lagana Unveil $235 Million in EDA Grants to Aid Small Businesses, Non-Profits
Born and raised in Long Branch, Barbara graduated Long Branch High School in 1956. Barbara had a long work career beginning at Jersey Shore Bank, Long Branch for over 20 years, then Sal’s Original Italian Deli for 10 years.
Barbara’s pride and joy was her family, she was a loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She will be truly missed by all.
Surviving are her children Barbara Biancone, John Irons IV and his wife Sue, MaryAnn Irons and Jeff England, JoAnn Harvey and Sara Leigh Irons and her husband Joseph Rodriguez; her sister and brother-in-law Rosaria & Michael Beach; 9 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
For messages of condolence, please visit Barbara’s page of tributes at www.woolleyboglioli.com.
KINDLY NOTE: 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.
argaret Mae Fragale 91 passed away Monday May 3, 2021 she died peacefully with her family by her side. She is survived by her sisters Catherine Salerno and Viola Morley; her children Deborah and George, Mario and Carolyn, Anthony, John and Michelle; her beloved grandchildren Amanda, Mario Jr., Travis, Ariel, Anthony Jr., Andrew and as well as great grandsons Joey and Donovan.
Margaret was preceded in death by her loving husband Mario Anthony Fragale in 2005, her daughter Katherine “Kitty” Fragale in 1986 and her granddaughter Nicole in 2014.
Margaret “Peggy” was born in Long Branch, she graduated from Long Branch High School and remained a lifelong resident here. She was self- employed and a homemaker who was dedicated to her family. She enjoyed cooking, sewing, gardening and was also an avid reader. Her great love of reading defined her leisure time and her great strength and optimism guided her throughout her life.
Letters of condolence may be sent through the website at www.damianofuneralhome.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Margaret Mae Fragale, please visit our floral store.
He was employed by Baldanza’s Bakery in Long Branch for 35 years and was foreman for 20 years before retiring in 1991. After retiring, he then was employed as a custodian for the Long Branch Board of Education retiring in 2001. Sam was a member of the Amerigo Vespucci Society, where he held the positions of Counselor, Trustee, and was Man of the Year in 1997. He began his military career in the New Jersey National Guard in 1957, in 1961 received the Commendation for “Solider of the Year” and in 1966 was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant as Tank Commander. Sam was a parishioner of Holy Trinity Church of Christ the King Parish in Long Branch.
He was predeceased by his wife, Mary Lou Todaro and his sister, Maria Benincasa. Surviving are his son and daughter-in-law, Vincent and Debbi Todaro; his brother and sister-in-law, Peter and Josephine Todaro, and 2 grandchildren, Anthony and Amanda.
Visitation will be held on Monday, May 10, 2021 from 4-7 pm at the Damiano Funeral Home, 191 Franklin Ave in Long Branch. Funeral Tuesday, May 11, 9 am at the funeral home followed by a 10 am Mass at Holy Trinity Church. Interment will be at Woodbine Cemetery in Oceanport. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Community Hospices of America Foundation C/O Holisticare Hospice, 685 Kromer Ave, Berwyn PA 19312. 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 Saverio “Sam” Todaro, please visit our floral store.
Last week we introduced legislation to build upon our past initiatives to help active members of the armed forces and veterans. In addition, our legislation to expand the use of Project Labor Agreements (S3414/A5378) was signed into law, providing a pathway to the middle class for hard-working men and women in the building trades.
Prior to its passage, public entities were allowed to enter into PLAs only for building-based projects. Our law expands their use to any public works project that is subject to the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act, including highways, bridge pumping stations, water and sewage treatment plant projects. In addition to creating good-paying jobs for tens of thousands of New Jersey workers, the law contains provisions promoting workforce diversity and will ensure the next generation of construction workers remain the best trained workforce.
While this law focuses on large public works projects, it compliments our previous legislation supporting local small businesses such as designating the last full week of July as “Buy Local Week” and requiring the Division of Travel and Tourism to publish information about farm-to-table restaurants on its website to support local growers and restaurants.
We also have supported women in the workplace by prohibiting employers from asking a potential hire’s wage and salary history. Studies have found on average women earn 80 percent of what men are paid for the same job. Forcing a potential employee to disclose her prior salaries just perpetuated that disparity and our bill, which became law in the last legislative session, prevents employers from doing it.
Last week we introduced several bills supporting the families of veterans that were developed after meeting with a liaison from the federal Department of Defense. Families make great sacrifices too when spouses are serving far away. We owe it to them to make their lives a little easier whenever we can. That’s why we introduced legislation to enable their spouses and dependents to qualify for in-state tuition when the service member is transferred out of the state (A5692). Of our initiatives (A5694) permits children to enroll in school districts in advance of relocating there. We also introduced legislation to establish the “Purple Star Schools Program” in the Department of Education (A5693). The Purple Star Schools Program recognizes public and nonpublic schools that emphasize the importance of assisting children of military families with an award for increasing equity, raising awareness and responding to the unique educational and social-emotional challenges of military-connected students.
We believe these bills will build on our previous efforts such as expanding the definition of “veteran” for the civil service hiring preference by removing length and location of service requirements, and helping convince the NJ Economic Development Authority to expand grant eligibility to veterans organizations in the second round of its COVID-19 recovery funding. In the last legislative session we also introduced (A4042) to establish a price preference program of up to 10 percent of the amount of the contract for service-disabled veteran-owned businesses competing for state contracts. We also passed a law granting honorably discharged veterans the right to obtain a peddler’s license.
When we celebrate Memorial Day this year – a bitter sweet holiday that recalls those who gave their lives in the service of our country as well as the start of summer – let’s all make sure we thank the veterans in our families and among our friends for their service. And let’s welcome the summer season by renewing our commitment to buying from local businesses.
By Luciana Silva- “I was not a student, however I was told about a career fair at Monmouth University and attended with the hope of not only finding a company who would give me a chance but also in a hope I would have a breakfast that morning.
I borrowed clothes to attend the event, and to be clear, they were much smaller than my actual size. You can imagine what that looked like.”
Daniel Cunha was born in Long Branch, but was brought to Brazil by his parents as a child in December of 2002. He returned to the US in 2011 to reunite with his older brother David (Davi) who arrived three months prior. Davi worked 18-hour shifts at a restaurant to bring his younger brother back from Brazil and gave him the opportunity of his dreams of becoming a professional soccer player.
Back then, Daniel’s mind was completely focused on soccer and that was his initial reason to return to US, to play professional soccer. Although he had the opportunity of playing at a professional level in Brazil in 2013, he rejected the offer, as his dream was to play in the US league. He did well while playing at Long Branch High School, and soon after went to Red Bull’s in NY. Ironically, when he received a proposal from a professional league in 2014, he suffered a career-ending knee injury.
Davi dropped out school to work and provide for his younger brother, but he was only 16 years old and was a young boy himself, working extra shifts was still insufficient. “We couldn’t support ourselves and go to high school at the time so I dropped out and continued working a 6am to 12pm shift in a restaurant and then I would also work at night as a butcher. My brother Daniel was going to high school at this time. With no family or friends we had to fend for ourselves and make it work,” he said.
After a while, Davi decided to move back to Brazil leaving Daniel behind as he decided he did not wish to leave in the US. Things grew even more complicated for Daniel. Living on his own at 16 while attending high school was hard. He struggled to get a job and provide for himself and soon became homeless.
Although things were completely chaotic, Daniel would never miss school unless it was necessary, for three reasons; He managed to have good grades, he could keep training to keep his body in shape so he could walk and exercise while going throughout Long Branch streets especially during freezing nights. He also would not skip school so he could feed himself daily. “I was able to feed myself at school during the week and eat on Sunday nights at the local church I faithfully attended,” he said. Daniel would go to some of his school friend’s homes in order to shower and have warm meals during the long breaks and holidays, but would not stay more than two days, as most parents were not comfortable with him at their house and would ask him to leave.
It was Davi’s dream to join any military branch, but not Daniel. “Maybe at times during my childhood I thought about the idea of being a police officer. I liked the idea, however, my mind was completely focused on soccer. But my life completely changed after that job fair offered by Monmouth University where then, being a police officer became my dream career,” said Daniel.
Without knowing the true reality of what his little brother was facing, Davi came back once again to support him and now at the age of 18 he came as a married man.
After being sent to police academy by the Long Branch police department, Daniel then became a Class 1 Special officer making not only Davi, but also the whole family proud. While he didn’t know, Daniel also became a role model for the Long Branch community, and especially for the Brazilian community.
“I met Daniel at the Monmouth University Career Fair Day October 2015. I had met a lot of people that day, so Daniel did not stand out. Daniel was dressed like a college student and only asked basic questions. I didn’t think much of our interaction,” said Captain Joshua Bard from Long Branch police department. “Daniel has numerous great qualities. One that stands out is his strong work ethic. He quickly made that well known. Daniel is also very empathetic and compassionate. Two qualities that will serve him well as a police officer, especially in today’s day of police work.”
Daniel’s life changed completely and he found the sense that he finally found a purpose. Not without struggle, he went through the Police Academy. He managed to still go through several months without actually making a salary, but he at least would have food on a table and a roof to go back to. He also expresses the gratitude he has for the coworkers that helped and still helping him on the daily basis and whom had welcomed him from day one. “The beginning was tough. This was a good thing though since it pushed me to learn the job, as well as to learn how to deal with people with completely different backgrounds on a daily basis. Within the department, I had several people who pushed me to learn and to do well. I was welcomed with open arms from the beginning,” he said.
“It was not until we hired Daniel and did his background investigation, that I learned about Daniel’s life story, and how he was homeless for a period of time. Daniel’s story is inspirational and depicts the classic American Story where anything is possible with hard work, a dream and a little bit of luck,” said Bard.
“Danny has many great characteristics, but even since he was a Class 1 Special with us, we recognized what an incredibly hard worker he is. He brings his best every day and we are never disappointed with his effort,” said Jason Roebuck, Long Branch Chief of Police.
Daniel was the first Brazilian/American officer to be hired by the Long Branch Police Department, which, according to Roebuck strives to reflect the community that it serves and being able to hire him was a great step for the department, as Long Branch has a large Brazilian community. Roebuck continued saying, “We see Daniel as an asset to our department and the greater Long Branch Community. He has learned his job well and has transitioned into helping some of the younger officers as they start their careers. Danny is a guy who always does things right, and he is a great employee who we never have issues with. He is a pleasure to work with.”
When asked, Daniel said, even with the challenges, he would not change a thing. “Although there were some dark times, those times are what shaped who I am today. I believe God has a plan for my life, and all things that happened were necessary for my good, regardless of how hard it was. Oppression and hardship is a positive thing. I am a firm believer that difficulties are what build a person’s character. Don’t let circumstances determine your outcome. Race, location or social status should not be the determining factors of one’s beliefs of his/her own future,” he added.
In Roebuck’s eyes, Daniel added the language capability to the department. “It’s great having someone who is a member of the Brazilian community. He is heavily involved in soccer tournaments and other community outreach programs, which is great to see,” he said.
“I am extremely proud of Daniel. I have gotten to know him very well since 2015. Over that time, Daniel and I had coached a boy’s travel soccer team together. That gave me the opportunity to get to know him outside of work. Working with Daniel as a police officer and on the pitch as a coach has been an awesome experience. I see great potential in Daniel and am excited for his bright future,” said Bard.
The career days have been offered at MU for nearly 30 years, four times a year and are the most popular career program. It has benefited many students by offering them the opportunity of getting a great job or career off the ground. “The advantage to a job fair is that is allows students to meet with many employers in one place and one time, maximizing their networking ability and exposure to potential opportunities,” said William Hill, the Director of Career Services at MU. “Daniel’s experience speaks to what is possible and what can be overcome, when a person is determined to better themselves. I believe much has to do with simply making the right decisions and lots of hard work. Clearly this individual had drive, motivation and focus.”
After a few years drastic change has come to both brothers. Davi was able to pursue his dream and is now also a Long Branch police officer, and together both brothers are Long Branch police officers who are able to help many that before had a very difficult time in seeking help. “I think that God has a plan for everyone and everything, I did everything I could to help my brother achieve his goals and everything I could to have a better life for my wife and family. Nothing is perfect but I am very happy with the outcome so far and I believe that it will only be better in the future,” said Davi. “This also gave me some peace, just the thought that he had made it, gave me a feeling of completion of happiness, not to mention that I was and still am very proud of little brother.”
Daniel, is now married and soon to be a father. We can see this 26-year-old officer happily driving his police car all over Long Branch on a daily basis. “I see myself as a regular young guy who is going through life trying to learn the most out of it, continuously developing myself to become better, and if my story inspires one youth that is struggling at this moment I would be happy. I still remember that throughout the fair, I was told I did not have what it took for any of the jobs. It was only at my last stop that I spoke to Captain Joshua Bard, who was a Lieutenant at the time. He gave me an application and briefly explained how the process works. At that exact moment, I felt a sense of direction and love for something in the sense of a career. And most import, I’m proud to say that I have never given up.”
By Neil Schulman, Monmouth Beach — Three incumbents and one challenger are vying for three seats in the May 11 Commissioners election.
Incumbents David Stickle, the current mayor, and Commissioners Lawrence “Larry” Bolsh and Timothy Sommers, are running for re-election as a group with the slogan “Progress Through Teamwork,” saying they have a group of commissioners who are working together to get things accomplished. They are being challenged by Kristina Schmelz, who says she can bring new perspectives to some of the issues facing the borough.,
Monmouth Beach holds non-partisan municipal elections, Voters choose three commissioners, who select who serves as mayor amongst themselves
2020 saw a major shift in the governing body, as two longtime Commissioners, Jim Cuniff and Mayor Susan Howard, resigned. In November, Sommers and Bolsh were elected to fill out the remainder of their terms through this May in a seven-way race.
Candidates say the issues in Monmouth Beach include the budget, taxes, parking, beach access and other things which will impact the future of the town.
About the candidates
Bolsh, appointed commissioner in March and elected in November, is a 25 year resident of Monmouth Beach, where he and his wife raised three chidren. He has served on the Recreation Committee, Education Foundation and Planning and Zoning Board.
With a degree in accounting, his current role is Commissioner of the Revenue and Finance Department, where he hopes to continue. He said his goal, and his team’s, is to “make sure our financial position remains sound, strong and stable as we move forward with all the things that we want to do.”
Sommers, a lifelong resident of the borough, is a former chief of the Monmouth Beach Fire Company, and has served as an officer. He is also a career firefighter professionally.
He says that his goal is to continue some of the issues he campaigned on in November. Progress has been made in several of this, including the founding of a beach advisory committee that has seen an impact; and working with emergency services in the borough to address their needs.
Schmelz, who grew up in Monmouth Beach, is a former attorney who changed to working for her family’s auto dealership when her children were born. She is a member of the Planning and Zoning Board, and the PTO.
Stickle, who is seeking his second four-year term as Commissioner, has been a resident for more than 30 years. He is a small business owner and has served formerly as fire chief. He says he’s accomplished a lot during his time in office.
Team: Cooperation means progress
Stickle noted that Monmouth Beach has been through a lot since he first became a commissioner. “Over the last four years we have come a long way from a sleepy little town to one that seems to be on everyone’s minds.”
Some of the changes include eliminating plastic bags from stores, replacing the equipment at Griffin Park, installing a rain garden to reduce flooding, and getting more than $1.5 million in grants. Since he’s been mayor, Stickle said that they’ve increased staff at the Bathing Pavilion, hired a zoning officer, and this summer are instituting paid parking for the arts center, in an attempt to help the major congestion problems.
More than that, the Progress Through Teamwork group says that, as their name suggests, they are working well together and have a vision for the future. Stickle said four years ago, the commissioners “were thinking in the short term.” Now they have a five-year plan for road improvements and are addressing some longstanding issues in town, such as improving the sidewalks and curbing. And having a full-time zoning officer saves the borough money over the previous system.
Somers, who chairs the Beach Advisory Committee, said that they’ve been able to gather input from residents on what they want from the beach and how to address issues. The committee’s input is how they decided to implement paid parking at the cultural arts center.
Schmelz: More perspectives help
Schmelz said that she does appreciate much of what the commissoners have accomplished. But she argues that she can bring different points of view to the governing body as an attorney and mother. If elected, she said she’d be happy to work together with the other two successful candidates.
“I’d bring a balance and fresh pers[ective,” she said.
And while Schmelz says overall she appreciates what the commissioners are doing and some of their plans, she believes there’s room for improvement.
For example, she approves of the change to parking at the cultural center, saying that it will make things better for people who live in that part of town. But she feels the plans for beach access could be more thorough. There are plans to charge for access to locations which will now be guarded, but other areas of the beach, and the congestion caused by visitors, need to be addressed.
She also believes residents have a hard time learning what’s happening. Monmouth Beach doesn’t have any official social media, and while it has a mailing list, that’s not frequently used. Some links on the borough’s webpage are outdated.
“I think the commissioners need to do a much better job communicating with residents.”
She also noted that commissioner meetings still aren’t available online, and the only way to see them is to attend in person. “The entire world is up on Zoom,” she said.
One of the biggest areas of disagreement is the budget.
Budget higher this year
One thing that Stickles mentions as an accomplishment is the borough has gone years with no municipal tax increase. That looks like it’s going to change this year.
The 2021 budget calls for an average home, assessed at around $790,000 to pay $489 more per year, a roughly 19% increase.
Schmelz says this is worrying. The borough’s low tax rate is part of its character, and helps seniors and those on fixed incomes stay here. “It’s fundamental to the town.” To her, one of the major duties of a commissioner is to keep the budget in line
But Sommers said that these expenses are needed now. In fact, they were probably necessary years ago, but previous administrations put them off. “Unfortunately, you’re going to pay for that later.” Putting things off more will just make it more expensive in the future, he said.
With their team’s long term plans in place, the Progress Through Teamwork team says it will be easier budget well in the future.
There’s also the question of some items which won’t appear in the budget. Monmouth Beach is due to receive $300,000 federal aid for Covid-19 relief. But the borough hasn’t received the funds yet. Stickle said that the federal government is giving the money to the state, which will distribute it to smaller towns. But when they get the money is still up in the air.
“I do feel it should go to our taxpayers,” Stickle said.
Under the laws for municipal budgets, though, Monmouth Beach can’t use this sort of anticipated money – a grant it hasn’t received before – in the budget. Nor can it use expected funds like parking revenue. While those monies may go to tax relief, they can’t be included in the budget.
Election Date and Time
The Election will be May 11, 6 a.m.-8 p.m., at the Parish Center on Riverdale Avenue.
This will be the first election in New Jersey to test the use of electronic poll books. These replace the use of paper poll books, but do not otherwise affect how you vote.
472 Church St. Sat & Sun.
152 Witmer Place, Sat & Sun
478 Atlantic Avenue, Sat & Sun
190 Chelton Avenue, Sat & Sun
692 Westwood Ave. Sat & Sun
121 Atlantic Ave, Sat & Sun
Shrewsbury Drive, Sat & Sun
555 Patten Ave, Sat & Sun
661 Morford Avenue, Sat & Sun
9 Hope Lane, Sat & Sun
589 Patten Ave., Sat 9am-3pm
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church 535 Broadway, Saturday, 12-3pm
21 Cedar Avenue. Sat
408 Hollywood Avenue, Sat
Senators Dawn Addiego, Vin Gopal and Joseph Lagana today announced they are introducing legislation to provide the Economic Development Authority (EDA) with $235 million for grants to small businesses and non-profits to spur the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our legislation will provide $235 million in grants to help businesses and non-profits who were hit hard by the pandemic and are now deciding when and how to reopen, rehire and ramp up to full operation in the weeks and months ahead,” said Senator Addiego (D-Burlington), the lead sponsor on the bill package.
“The legislation sets aside $30 million specifically for restaurants, and most important, it includes a $25 million fund for the new restaurants, retailers and service providers that we need to fill the vacant storefronts in our downtown business districts left empty by businesses that closed,” she said.
The new $235 million in aid is in addition to the five-bill EDA package that was approved by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor last month. The $235 million aid package has the support of Governor Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.
“The restaurant, hospitality and tourism industries were crippled by the pandemic shutdown last spring and the continuing capacity restrictions that are just now being lifted sufficiently for them to be able to resume somewhat normal operations heading into the summer,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “These new grants will be a big help.”
The Senate legislation provides $120 million for microbusinesses; $50 million for other small businesses and non-profits; $30 million for restaurants, including $10 million for the Sustain and Serve NJ program that supports the bulk purchasing of meals from New Jersey restaurants for soup kitchens and non-profits; $25 million for new start-up businesses, and $10 million for child care facilities. The EDA will announce a grant application process for the programs after the legislation is enacted.
“Small businesses are not only the backbone of our downtowns, but the biggest generators of job growth, and we are going to need that private sector job growth when all of the federal aid and incentives go away in September,” said Senator Lagana (D-Bergen). “We need to do all we can to keep our existing small businesses afloat and help new businesses emerge.”