On November 13th I had the pleasure of attending for the first time the NJ Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The Class of 2014 was inducted at the Asbury Park Convention Hall, and it was a very fun night out. I was there as a member of the press, and covered both the red carpet arrivals and the show itself. I have to thank NJ Discover for taking me with them, since the organizers don’t accept simply bloggers, just accredited organizations.
The most popular red carpet guests were cast members from the Sopranos. Vince Curatola (Johnny Sacks) arrived first and was very friendly with the media. Then Aida Turturro (Janice Soprano) spent a lot of time really loving the attention and talking to everybody. Vincent Pastore (Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero) was also cool and not in a rush to leave his media friends. The FBI Agent Guy slipped unnoticed since nobody knew who he was. Tony Sirico (Paulie Walnuts) was last to arrive and while friendly as well, he seemed to be still in character.
In Asbury Park, a post card purported to be from Asbury Park Democrats, LLC has been mailed to voters with Senator Cory Booker’s endorsement of A-Team candidate for mayor Redmond Palmer.
Booker took to twitter to deny he endorsed anyone in the race. Asbury Park Democratic Chairman Joe Grillo took a break from his fledgling campaign for Monmouth County Freeholder to say that the Asbury Park Democrats have not endorsed anyone in the mayoral race.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor should investigate this incident. It is similar offense to the 4am robo call in the 13th legislative district primary in June of 2013 for which Leigh-Ann Bellew’s campaign manager Dwayne Horner was indicted.
ASBURY PARK — For weeks, I’ve been blasting the A-Team slate for taking custody and control of hundreds of vote-by-mail/absentee ballots, with their supporters and paid operatives delivering them to voters. The voter then completes the ballot and mails it back for counting — or the A-Team delivery person can even take them back. It’s absurd.
The A-Team led by Mayoral candidate Remond Palmer is on track to deliver 500 of these ballots, known as vote-by-mail [VBM] ballots. That’s the election right there. Of course, this law was originally for invalids or shut-ins who had trouble getting their mail and wanted an absentee ballot. The A-Team is trying to drive hundreds of votes through that loophole.
I’ve consistently said they’re doing it wrong. In fact, we went down this road last year, with the Board of Elections disqualifying 250 ballots the A-Team organization delivered to voters in the 2013 election. A Judge agreed and said the applications for the ballots were flawed and the ballots can’t be counted.
A twenty-two year old Asbury Park man was arrested today and charged with the early Monday morning shooting of a Neptune Township woman.
According to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Diquan Speights is charged with one count each of first degree Attempted Murder, second degree Burglary, second degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and second degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose. Speights is currently being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold Township, on $650,000 bail, as set by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Francis J. Vernoia, P.J.Cr. Judge Vernoia also ordered Speights may not return to the scene of the crime and may not have any contact with his victim, as part of a condition of bail.
Neptune Township Police received a 911 call at approximately 4:28 am, reporting a female was shot inside 1827 Bangs Avenue, Apartment 5A. Neptune police immediately responded to the apartment and located the 22- year-old female with a gunshot wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital where she remains in critical but stable condition.
There’s a New Theater Company in town. The world and Monmouth County can never get enough theater,so, in May of 2014 The American Poetry Theaterwas created by Rich Quatrone along with dedicated collaborators/members Ryan Ward, Mary Kelly and the WisdomKeeper herself, Lorraine Stone.
Asbury Park – An overflow crowd of Asbury Park residents attended the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders meeting in the city last evening to rally the county’s governing body to save the north end beachfront property known as Bradley Cove.
iStar Financial, the city’s master developer, owns the development rights to the site and has a proposal to build 15 town homes on the property. The Asbury Park Council passed a resolution earlier this month to apply for Green Acres funding to preserve the property.
The freeholders were sympathetic to the public outcry to prevent the development, but made it clear that the ball is in Asbury Park’s court. Prior Asbury Park administrations sold the development rights to the property and approved a tax abatement to support the development. Community members are now trying to undue that deal, and seem be hoping that Freeholder Board has the power to make that happen.
In a column in the current issue of the triCityNews, Freeholder Director Lillian Burry said that one of her opponents in the coming election was right when he accused Burry of not supporting “agricultural and farmland preservation in “coastal” towns. “It’s for the same reason I don’t support beach replenishment in Upper Freehold and Millstone. There aren’t any beaches there, just as there aren’t a lot of farms in Red Bank or Long Branch or Asbury Park.”
Burry points out that there in only one parcel in the region qualified for the farmland preservation program, in Long Branch, and that the owner of the property has not applied to sell the development rights to the program which is funded by municipal, county and state dollars.
At issue is beachfront property at the north end of Asbury Park that is slated for residential development. There is some vocal opposition to the proposed development and Democratic Freeholder candidate Joe Grillo is trying to jump on that band wagon to get traction in his fledgling campaign against Burry and Deputy Freeholder Director Gary Rich.
Enhanced enforcement is the best first step to addressing our crime issue in Asbury Park. With over 80 police officers in a City that is a little larger than one square mile, we should be better able to police our streets.
What has worked in other communities would also make me feel safer in my neighborhood; a clear strategy to deal with gang violence, police walking/biking the beat more often, and stricter code enforcement. As this is essentially police work, the Asbury Police Department must lead this effort. The development of a comprehensive plan should also involve the City Council, community activists, the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office, the State Police, and it must be made public.
As gang members commit our most violent crimes, a specific gang intervention component is key. This strategy must focus on putting the hardcore gang leaders in jail and lower level members into intervention programs outside of Asbury Park. A few model programs suggested by community members that have found success in other urban areas include the Highpoint Interventionstrategy, Counterinsurgency Cops that employ a block-by-block approach, Cities United, and Violence Interrupters.