The 1st Annual Pound the Pavement for Purple 5K Run/ 2 Mile Walk for Pancreatic Cancer was held Saturday, November 1st and was a tremendous success despite the unpredictable weather conditions presented by Mother Nature. In fact, I believe the cold temperature along with the wind and rain only contributed in helping to make this race not only a memorable one but an extremely positive and inspirational experience.
First and foremost on behalf of Neptune Township Committeeman Eric Houghtaling and me, we would like to thank everyone who worked so diligently on putting this race together and ensuring its success. To begin with, a tremendous thank you to the outstanding joint committee mostly comprised of Neptune Township and Monmouth County employees, namely Michele Narciso, Tiffany Bailoni, Sandra Petersen, Carina Santos, Mike Zarro, Fred Rummel and Darlene Di Leo. Thank you also to Gail Temple and my wife Chickie Arnone who also worked hard on the committee. All of these people were instrumental in helping Committeeman Eric Houghtaling and me bring this effort to fruition.
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.
Dr. Dale Whilden, President of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Assoc, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Sen Jennifer Beck, Gov Chris Christie, Congressman Chris Smith and Neptune Mayor Dr. Michael Brantley cut the ribbon of Ocean Grove’s rebuilt boardwalk
After being twice denied funding from FEMA before finally getting $2.4 million on their second appeal, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association re-opened their boardwalk to the public today with a ceremonial ribbon cutting lead by Governor Chris Christie, Congressman Chris Smith, Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Neptune Township Mayor Dr. Michael Brantley and Dr. Dale C. Whilden, President of the OGCMA.
“Today is truly a great day for Ocean Grove, Neptune Township, Monmouth County, and the Jersey Shore, and a critical step forward in our recovery from Sandy,” said Smith.”This boardwalk is an integral part of Ocean Grove the neighboring Jersey Shore community, a fact we reinforced during our efforts to reverse FEMA’s original decision at the local level—and yet another at the regional level—to deny critical funding.”
NEPTUNE – One night after two Asbury Park men were shot in the township, two more people were reportedly shot here on Monday night. Lt. Scott Cox of the Neptune Township Police Department told the Asbury Park Press that the latest shooting occurred…
Photo credit: Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association
Neptune Township’s beachfront and boardwalk in the Ocean Grove section of the Township might not get the estimated $3 million in FEMA funding needed to rebuild because the property is owned by the private non-profit and religious Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA), according to an article by freelance journalist Caren Chesler published at NJSpotLight.
Neptune Township Committee Member and Ocean Grove business owner Randy Bishop, as well as Michael Bascom, the Township’s CFO are working with OGCMA to pursuade FEMA to pay for the repairs on the stretch of beach that connects the regional shoreline from Asbury Park south to Spring Lake.
In a press release posted on OGCMA’s website, President Dr. Dale C. Whilden said, “The Camp Meeting is fully committed to restoring Ocean Grove’s beautiful beachfront, a keystone of our community as well as a protection from ocean storms, and we’re on track to implement a comprehensive beach and boardwalk restoration plan. With God’s blessing and the assistance of our local, state and federal officials, as well as support from individuals and organizations, our beach will open on Memorial Day weekend.”
Nothing, says Neptune Government 4 All. It is our core belief that having a vote in who your elected officials are, is basic to democracy. Right now, the mayor is a one year (virtually) rotating post! That’s not democracy at its best! And, that’s why NG4A, a non-partisan group, decided to get together and initiate this effort to put a change of government question on the ballot this November.
Right now, the executive and legislative functions are combined and secretive. Who is watching the store? The politicians are in on the deal and the taxpayers are left out. As it stands now, the Mayor is selected behind closed doors. Direct voter election of the Mayor should be the right of the people.
Yet recently, NG4A has seen some disturbing, albeit expected, push back from those same elected officials via comments in the media, in an attempt to keep their system of patronage in place. These elected officials are suggesting this grass roots movement is nothing more than politics,
It’s simply about a change to a better system,” said NG4A’s Luke Tirell. “We’re working to get the question on the ballot and give the voters the right to choose their mayor. We’re already seeing that when Neptune voters learn about the benefits of this change, they overwhelmingly support it.”.
NG4A is also hearing from residents that they would like to have their own neighborhood council members. They would be better able to address the important issues all across Neptune: crime in Midtown, parking in Ocean Grove, speeding in Shark River Hills, as well as development along the Route 66 corridor in West Neptune. To have only five minutes in front of a podium twice a month at a council meeting does not allow residents the opportunity to fully address those needs. Instead, having a Council person from their own neighborhood and accountable to those voters allows for more effective attention to local issues, in addition to the big picture issues.
“Is Neptune Township not right for the same style of government that Old Bridge, Piscataway Township, and many other municipalities use?” asked NG4A’s Charlie Demaria, “Neptune, much like Piscataway, is a very diverse community made up of a number of very different neighborhoods, each with its own unique needs.”
On the NG4A website, www.ng4a.net there is a list of nearly all of those municipalities, both small and large, that use the Mayor-Council form of government.
DeMaria continued, “Neighborhood representation in our local government and direct voter election of the Mayor will result in a more accountable and cost effective government for Neptune taxpayers. Change like this will benefit the taxpayers. It’s not about politics, it’s about empowerment.”
The suggestion that the people’s right to vote for a mayor is outweighed by some small financial cost to place it on the ballot is not right. There actually is no great cost in placing this on the ballot.
Most importantly, over the next few weeks, Neptune Government 4 All will be talking about the benefits of this plan, especially how it will benefit the taxpayers. All you have to do is go to our website, www.ng4a.net to find the fact sheets.
No sound bites, just facts.
Visit www.ng4a.net for more information and let us know that you want to sign the petition. Send a message that you support full democracy and the voter’s right to choose on the November ballot.
This Neptune citizens’ plan for a change to neighborhood representation will put taxpayers first. We can’t afford not to change.
If you are interested in helping this grass roots, non-partisan, initiative, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll see how non partisan we are!
Granny Breslow felt uncomfortable by the religious imagery, the convocation and hymns at her grand daughter’s graduation last year and contacted the ACLU to put a stop to it. Rather than litigate, the Neptune Board of Education negotiated a comprise that required no convocation, that religious banners in the auditorium would be covered and that the cross on the auditorium will not be lit before or during the ceremony.
The tradition was spared but many in the community were outraged that one out of town malcontent could bully the Board of Ed in to altering the ceremony at all. Many felt the Board should not have complied with any of the ACLU’s demands.
In the facebook group that was created to rally public support to keep the graduation at the Great Auditorium, much of the chatter since the deal was made with the ACLU has focused on bringing religious expression into the graduation ceremony. There has been talk of community members wearing necklaces with lit crosses and breaking out in prayer before, during and after the ceremony.
MMM supports the community members in making authentic religious expressions. They should avoid the temptation to hijack the graduation by turning it into an angry protest. Keep the focus on celebrating the accomplishments and the futures of the graduating high school seniors.
The Neptune Board of Education has agreed to cover religious signs and symbols in and outside of the Ocean Grove Great Auditorium, with the exception of the prominent cross on the building, and the ACLU has agreed not to take legal action to prevent the Neptune High School Class of 2011 graduation to take place at the auditorium, according to reports at Neptune Matters and Blog Finger.
The board agreed that this graduation and future ceremonies would be free of religious content, i.e., prayers and hymns.
The agreement clears the way for the 70 year Neptune tradition to continue.
The identity of the ACLU’s client has not been revealed. The complainant has been identified only as the grandmother of a student who graduated last year. MMM has narrowed the identity down to one of two women with the same last name, initial “B.” One an Eatontown resident, the other an Ocean Township resident. So long as this agreement sticks, MMM will cease efforts to confirm the identity of the complainant.
Remember the hullabaloo last summer over News Corp, parent of FoxNews, giving $1 million dollars to the Republican Governors Association? The lefty media made a big deal about it. The Asbury Park Pres, aka Neptune Nudniks, even wrote an editorial condemning the contribution wherein they made a laughable assertion about how “real journalists” work hard to maintain their objectivity.