Lost Amusement Parks of the North Jersey Shore to be discovered at Monmouth County Library

By Muriel Smith

Rick Geffken, author

MANALAPAN –  Noted author Rick Geffken will bring his stories of New Jersey amusement parks to the Headquarters Library Thursday, June 21,  at 7 p.m.

The author of “Lost Amusement Parks of the North Jersey Shore,” and other books on local history will display images from the Library of Congress and local collections documenting how the Jersey Shore was the most famous vacation and recreational destination along the US coast in earlier times.

Geffken, who lives in Farmingdale,  will bring to life through word and photo the families who spent their days on the beaches of the Jersey Shore and their evenings sipping sodas, savoring candied apples and purchasing salt water taffy and souvenirs of their visits to Asbury Park, Highlands, Sea Bright, and other amusement parks. Geffken will also talk about the rides at these amusement parks and the varieties of personalities whose summers were enjoyed along the boardwalk and beach. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 11th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Library, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Eastern Branch of Monmouth Library hosts programs for college bound students and job seekers next week

By Muriel Smith

SHREWSBURY – Programs for parents and college bound students on the application process for higher education and a support group for persons actively looking for jobs are both on tap at the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library next week.

Christian Dapolito of Biondfinancial will present a program aiming at informing parents of the college application process, on Tuesday, May 22, from 7 to 8 p.m.

The session will include student preparation for ACT/SATs, understanding and applying for grants and scholarship, and searching for the right college to meet the student’s individual needs.  For further information on this program, call 866-941-8188.

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Posted: May 16th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Library, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Eastern Branch of Monmouth Library hosts programs for college bound students and job seekers next week

$1.6 million technology improvements to begin at Monmouth County Library

By Muriel Smith

MANALAPAN -A $1.6 million phase one renovation that will bring the 117,000 square foot Monmouth County Library Headquarters to a 21st century technological state-of-the-art transformation will begin by June.

The announcement was made by Monmouth County Library Commission Chair Renee B. Swartz who reported at a commission meeting earlier this month the final details on the extensive program which is being coordinated by Library Interiors of Brick.

“The Commission has been working and planning a proposal for two years,” Swartz said, “and we are confident we have not only contracted a top of the line coordinator to see it through, but also to accomplish the transition with the least amount of disruption for our patrons.”

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Posted: May 14th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Library, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on $1.6 million technology improvements to begin at Monmouth County Library

Freehold Borough’s 9-11 Memorial

By Muriel J. Smith

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photo via facebook

FREEHOLD – Small town America showed how big and magnificent it really is as the borough of Freehold’s Human Relations Committee conducted its Sept. 11 Remembrance ceremony at borough hall Sunday evening.

More than 500 participants and spectators filled the chairs and spilled out into Main Street, which the Mayor and Council had closed to vehicular traffic for the event to hear and see people of all ages participate in the program honoring the 147 residents of Monmouth County who lost their lives in the attacks 15 years ago.

Jane Fields chaired the event for the Committee, assisted by cochairman Gianna Dell’Omo.

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Posted: September 12th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: 9-11, Freehold, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Beck, constituents excluded from “non-political” meeting in Freehold with Sweeney

Senior citizen accosted by Democratic legislators’ staffers

Downey, Sweeny and Houghtaling. photo via facebook from a previous meeting

Downey, Sweeny and Houghtaling. photo via facebook from a previous meeting

Senate President Steve Sweeney held a meeting with public officials and education stakeholders at the Freehold legislative office of Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey this morning to discuss the school funding bill the three legislators are sponsoring.

Houghtaling told MMM about the meeting this morning during a phone call regarding former Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini’s call for him and Downey to join Sweeney in demanding that the U.S. Attorney and NJ Attorney General investigate the NJEA’s alleged extortion of Sweeney. Houghtaling repeatedly said that the Freehold meeting is “non-poltical.”

So why was Senator Jennifer Beck, a Republican excluded? Members of the Freehold Borough Council were invited.  The state senator representing Freehold was not invited?  That sounds like a political meeting with only Democrats invited.   Beck’s spokesman Mike Hughes told MMM that the senator was not invited to the meeting in Freehold.

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Posted: August 5th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News, NJ State Legislature, NJEA, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

A senior day care Center in Havana

By Muriel J. Smith

 

care cxenter dancing (798x800)Visiting a senior day care center in the heart of old Havana was an unforgettable experience. As the oldest in our group of six spending five days in Cuba, and being short of four score in years myself by a couple of months, I was particularly eager to see the health, care, and welfare of senior Cuban citizens.

In spite of the best efforts of caring people, and the inherent happiness of people who have known far better times, it was pathetic.

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Posted: July 31st, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Cuba, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on A senior day care Center in Havana

Cuba: art and music, race and Joann Chesimard, income inequality

By Muriel J. Smith

Photos by Tricia Curtin and Nancy Zockoll

Part Three of a series 

salsa classThey’re a musical group, the Cuban people. They love to dance, are proud of the salsa, automatically start to move rhythmically whenever they hear music, and can dance at outdoor restaurants on cobblestoned streets with abandon and joy.  There are plenty of discotheques and nightclubs in and around Old Havana, and it seems that 90 pesos, about $10 American, is the going fee for entry. The one evening our group of six Americans and eight Cubans decided to go, the club had had a fire earlier in the evening, so the club part was closed. The restaurant, however, was open, but we opted to move on.

There is no doubt there are two different and distinct styles of living in Cuba.

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Posted: July 29th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Cuba, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Cuba: art and music, race and Joann Chesimard, income inequality

Cuba: It’s more than cars!

By Muriel J. Smith 

(photos Tricia Curtin and Nancy Zockoll)

cars Indeed, they really are all there, those classic American-made cars of the 1950s. They’re all over the well paved and not so well paved roads of Cuba, and most of them are taxis.

There are thousands of them, all brightly painted, the sun bouncing off shiny chrome; all with their windows down…pre-air conditioning days, remember…their interiors either plush or vinyl cleverly patched or taped to look good, and who knows what under the hoods to keep them purring, or growling gently as they navigate the streets.  The cars presumably date back to the 1950s when they were new, Cuba and the USA were friends, and Cubans enjoyed a middle class status that enabled them to purchase foreign cars.  For good reason, most chose American rather than Russian vehicles, though some of them were also available during ‘the special period,’ the time in the 1960s when Russia was the alleged friend of Cuba. The vehicles have been handed down from father to son, and with an embargo prohibiting the import of car parts, have been kept in running condition through ingenuity and a strange conglomeration of makeshift and re-made parts.  Cuba is on good terms with Venezuela, so fuel for the vehicles is no problem. Nor do they spend a lot of time or effort on repairing windows that no longer rise or close, given those 90 degree sun-filled days.

But there’s so much more to Havana than cars.

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Posted: July 26th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Cuba, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Cuba: It’s more than cars!

Five days in Cuba

By Muriel J. Smith

friendships1Perhaps the best solution to the problems between Cuba and the United States is to leave it up to the teenagers. Especially if they are teens like Catherine Curtin of Atlantic Highlands and Ava Zockoll of Bay Head.   Because while negotiations are going on at high levels between the bureaucrats of both nations, and compromise and trade-offs are slowly making it easier for Americans to travel there, 16-year old Catherine, a junior at Red Bank Catholic High School designed a week long stay in Cuba’s capital to interact with Cuban teens on the volleyball court. Eager to join her on the expedition were RBC’s girls’ volleyball team captain Zockoll, Ava’s mother, Nancy, and Catherine’s parents, Dan and Tricia Curtin. And me. The Curtins asked me to accompany them on the trip so I could report it for newspapers and magazines.

Life is certainly good.

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Posted: July 25th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Cuba, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Five days in Cuba

MAST gets another Fort Hancock building, Students will have a gym

By Muriel Smith

Osprey Sandy Hook (510x640)MIDDLETOWN – “We’re a long way away from putting a shovel in the ground, but if we’re able to agree on a project plan that meets our needs, and is acceptable to all community stakeholders, it will be a huge step in the future of our program. We really can’t thank Ms. Burry and the Freeholders enough for recognizing our need for a gymnasium, and offering their support.”

That’s what Earl Moore, principal at MAST, the Marine Academy of Science and Technology at Fort Hancok said this week when he learned the Monmouth County Vocational Board of Education and the National Park Service signed a Memorandum of Intent, paving the way  for conversion of Buildings 56 and 23 at Fort Hancock into a new facility.

The announcement, which was signed by all parties involved on Thursday, was made at the Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee meeting at Thompson Park Friday.

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Posted: June 20th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Gateway National Recreation Area, Lillian Burry, Monmouth County News, Sandy Hook | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »