Jersey Shore News Update

The Jersey Shore News Update is collected from local news sources as of Saturday, March 23, 2013

Jenkinson’s ready for first big events of year

Businesses on boardwalk reopen well before start of summer season

Written by Kristi Funderburk @kfunder
POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Months of planning and construction have made way for thousands of children to run across the sand and flock to the rides this weekend as Jenkinson’s Boardwalk hosts its first big events of the year.

The weeks leading to Palm Sunday and even Easter weekend, occasions that reopen the ride park for the first time since the previous fall, prove busy every year. But this year, Point Pleasant Beach’s biggest boardwalk business had to overcome superstorm Sandy to get ready.

There’s still some work to be done and small changes made, but Jenkinson’s is ready as the season known for new beginnings gets under way, despite Sandy.

Bill Ludewig, manager of Jenkinson’s South Beach Arcade, described the feeling simply.Jenkinson's Boardwalk

“This is a fresh start,” he said.

Sandy flooded stores, ruined attractions and caused power outages that forced a temporary shutdown even for year-round businesses at Jenkinson’s. Jenkinson’s reopened its first attractions, including the aquarium, Sweet Shop, two arcades and Pavilion Fast Food, in early February. See the progress and hear about Jenkinson’s re-opening more attractions by watching the video above. Using our iPhone app? Watch the video here.

This weekend marks the return of the Easter egg hunt and re-opening of the ride park. Easter weekend will bring the annual 2-for-1 ride tickets sale. If all goes as planned, Ludewig said he also hopes to re-open South Beach Arcade, where flood waters ruined the nearly 100 machines.

“The fact that we were lucky with the amount of damage done compared to other places, that does help us bounce back,” said Jenkinson’s spokeswoman Toby Wolf, who added they were aided by a mild winter and that Sandy hit after the summer season.

The egg hunt on Palm Sunday draws about 6,000 kids up to age 10. A total 18,000 colorful eggs will be buried in the sand, each holding a special prize ranging from arcade tickets to shop coupons, unless its a golden egg that represent big surprises like iPods or bikes, Wolf said.

Sandy forced Jenkinson’s to make a few changes this year. Age groups were condensed and the hunt is contained to a section of the beach in front of the aquarium, Wolf said. Portions of the rest of the beach still have to be leveled and sifted, but should be open for Memorial Day weekend, she said.

Easter weekend, including Friday, Saturday and Sunday, also draws large crowds because of the ride ticket sale, when they can buy discounted tickets that never expire, Wolf said. Palm Sunday and Easter weekends mark the official re-opening of the rides.

“They are the first weekends when everything is open. It’s like the boardwalk coming back to life after winter,” Wolf said.

Only the train station felt Sandy’s power because the rides were stored when news of an impending hurricane spread. The station is being rebuilt and is also expected to be open for Memorial Day weekend, Wolf said.

Morris Maze, 29, of Lacey observed the rebuilding efforts on the boardwalk as his family was ending a day at Jenkinson’s Aquarium, one of the first places to re-open after Sandy hit. The rebuilding is a good sign that his kids can count on a summer of rides like they have in the past, he said.

“They’re doing a good job, moving right along. It’s a lot of work to be done,” Maze said. “I think they’ll do it. They’ll work every day if they have to.”

Like Jenkinson’s, many businesses throughout town, even those restaurants close to the water that Sandy’s waves spilled into, are re-opening after the superstorm. The Shrimp Box on Inlet Drive re-opened in early March, Farrell’s Steak and Stout on Broadway re-opened this week, and Red’s Lobster Pot plans an April 17 re-opening.

Because of the storm’s flooding, Red’s will re-open a month later than past years, owner Kitty Stillufsen said. Though it had to come through what she deemed a nightmare, the restaurant is looking forward to welcoming guests for its 20th year in business with new recipes, she said.

Mirroring what she’s seen in others throughout the borough, Red’s is ready to move forward after Sandy, she said.

“The Jersey Shore is getting a lot of attention, and I think it’s going to be better than ever…” Stillufsen said.

Source of this article can be found here:

Seaside Heights boardwalk: Construction continues at a brisk pace

By Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-LedgerSeaside Heights Boardwalk Construction

Resembling a clear-cut forest, the pilings are steadily being built up with joists running the length of the entire boardwalk. Starting Saturday, work will begin hammering down the planks for the final surface.

Vinny Scuzzese, a game operator who has been set up the last few months in a parking lot at the corner of Blaine Avenue and Ocean Terrace, is optimistic about the progress made less than five months after Hurricane Sandy clobbered the Jersey Shore.

“They got the pilings in really quick,” Scuzzese said. “Hopefully they will get the whole thing done in time for Memorial Day so I can open up again on the boardwalk. It’s too windy and cold out here on the street.”

Source of this can be found here:

Two N.J. Shore towns stand divided over new seawall

By MaryAnn Spoto/The Star-Ledger

OCEAN COUNTY — As the wind thrummed and the waves thrashed the barrier islands last week, a yellow excavator clamped its jagged mouth around a 6,000-pound boulder and lifted it gingerly off a flatbed truck. A moment later, the machine pivoted, swinging around to the beach, and plopped the rock like some giant dinosaur egg into its sandy trough.bay-head-sea-wall-sandy.JPGBay Head’s sea wall runs along roughly three-quarters of its beachfront properties, stretching about 4,500 feet. Local officials want to extend it 300 feet south to the town’™s border, but neighboring Mantoloking says it will send floodwaters rushing their way in future storms.

In the middle of the latest nor’easter, Bay Head was beginning to reinforce its sea wall, extending it a quarter-mile south to the Mantoloking border, and their neighbors are not happy about it.

In the decades-old struggle over how to best protect homes on the fragile Ocean County barrier island, post-Sandy recovery efforts have pit residents in one affluent community against another, fighting not only to preserve their multimillion-dollar homes, but over how best to do it.

In one corner are the rock wall advocates — some of Bay Head’s oceanfront residents whose houses were badly damaged by Sandy. At a cost of $2.2 million, they are paying out of pocket to have those 6,000-pound boulders stacked 18 feet high to protect their homes against the next megastorm.

In the other corner, sitting shoulder to shoulder next to Bay Head, is Mantoloking, where dozens of the oceanfront homes were reduced to splinters and dozens more simply disappeared. The residents here are staking the safety of their homes on beach replenishment and man-made sand dunes 22 feet high and 150 feet wide. They are irate with their Bay Head neighbors, claiming the town’s newly lengthened seawall, known as a revetment, will funnel floodwaters their way in future storms, washing out their sand replenishment efforts and wreaking more devastation on their beachfront homes.

“Where does the wall end?” asked George Nebel, Mantoloking’s mayor. “How far do you extend it?”

The existing wall is on about three-quarters of the beachfront properties and stretches about 4,500 feet. Bay Head residents want to extend the wall another 1,300 feet south.
Norbert Psuty, professor emeritus at Rutgers University’s Institute of Coastal Science and an expert in shoreline erosion, says Mantoloking residents are right to be worried about Bay Head’s rock walls.

“It’s a short-term solution. It’s providing them with something intercepting the wave energy and surge,” Psuty said of the Bay Head project. “(But) they’re shifting the wave energy down drift, so they’re affecting their neighbors.”

For its part, Bay Head has decided to go ahead, with or without the blessing of its neighbor to the south. The state Department of Environmental Protection already issued emergency permits for construction of the rock wall, which began last week.

mantoloking-dunes-sandy.JPGThe ocean breached the dunes in Mantoloking during last week’s storm. Rather than extending the sea wall, Mantoloking’s mayor says Bay Head officials should focus on trying to secure the easements now for the replenishment so the two towns could have one continuous dune.David Gard/For The Star-Ledger

DEP Commissioner Bob Martin met with Nebel on Friday to discuss dunes and the sea wall, according to agency spokesman Larry Ragonese.

Ragonese said there won’t be “wall-to-wall sea walls up and down the Jersey Coast” but said the department agreed to give Bay Head residents a permit for the sea wall because its beachfront already had an existing revetment. But he said sea walls aren’t the sole solution to protection from flooding.

“We think sea walls supplement dune systems, but they’re not a replacement for them,” Ragonese said. “You have to have a coordinated effort for a dune system.”

So far, more than 100 feet of the projected 1,300-foot-long wall has been built. It is a process that requires each homeowner to make sure his or her portion of the rock wall lines up exactly with his or her neighbor’s.

At least one Mantoloking resident has decided to throw in his lot with the Bay Head sea wall promoters.

“They’re allowing us to do this. The (state) government is saying, ‘Normally we don’t like revetments, but this is an emergency,’ ” said Michael Becker, who lives five houses from the Bay Head border. “(We) felt we needed protection so water cascading off the rock walls (in Bay Head) would not slide south and damage our homes.”

Becker also credits a 93-year-old wooden bulkhead, constructed when his house was first built, with saving it from Sandy’s wrath. Four other adjacent homeowners in Mantoloking have joined Becker in asking the DEP for permission to build their own revetments.

Two of the wealthier barrier island towns, it’s unusual for Bay Head and Mantoloking residents to square off like this. Both are heavily Republican communities known for guarding their exclusiveness. Bay Head was the setting for a 1984 state Supreme Court ruling ordering coastal towns to open their beaches to nonresidents, but both Bay Head and Mantoloking have often been criticized for discouraging out-of-towners from using their beaches by restricting parking, providing no public bathrooms or forcing daily beachgoers to buy badges in town, while most other communities sell them on the beach.

Hurricane Sandy, however, has caused a rift between the two elite Jersey boroughs.
In Mantoloking, a town that was once vehemently opposed to beach replenishment by the Army Corps of Engineers, townspeople are close to providing all the required easements the federal agency needs to start the work. (The job has been authorized, but not yet funded.)

In Bay Head, where the beaches are wider than in Mantoloking, oceanfront residents aren’t as sold on replenishment and contend a sea wall covered with sand offers better protection.

“I, for the life of me, don’t understand why Mantoloking won’t use that (revetment) as well. It’s proven. We would look exactly like Mantoloking if we didn’t have the rocks,” said Bay Head Mayor William Curtis.

“They’d say, ‘Well, you still got damage.’ Yes, but the rest of the town didn’t get swept away.”

Curtis says the sea wall is just one of a number of steps his town needs to take for shore protection. He said he’s planning a series of public meetings to explain to residents the need for beach replenishment in addition to the walls. But it’s not up to him to say yes or no to the project, he said, because the beach is owned by a quasi-public entity, the Bay Head Improvement Association.

Nebel, Mantoloking’s mayor, says Bay Head officials would do better spending their time trying to secure the easements now for the replenishment so the two towns could have one continuous dune.

Psuty believes New Jersey should have a broader view of dune-building to avoid these squabbles and ensure adequate protection in the future.

“A regional approach is more appropriate. The issues don’t stop at the town borders,” he said. “Having things end at borders may cause additional problems at the borders.”

For now, Becker and his Mantoloking neighbors closest to Bay Head simply want to ensure they have one continuous wall with the town to their north. If they get their DEP permits, they will link them to three other neighbors who also have revetments. They’re not worried about flooding out a fellow homeowner, he said, because next to that last neighbor’s home is an empty lot.

Star-Ledger staff writer Amy Ellis Nutt contributed to this report.

Source of this article can be found here:

Raritan Students Will Help Rebuild Jersey Shore During Spring Break

The Alternative Spring Break program brought Hazlet teens to New Orleans and San Francisco neighborhoods in need in years past.

By Jacklyn Corley

While teens across the state head to sunny vistas or enjoy a week sleeping in late, a group of Raritan High School students will spend spring break giving back to their community.

The 31 students will take part in Alternative Spring Break, an annual program led by Raritan teacher Andrew LaBarbera. The students, with the help of nine adult chaperones, will join Restore the Shore to help the post-Sandy cleanup effort in Ortley Beach and Lavallette. This year’s effort by members of the school’s InteractClub is their third trip to an area in need.

“We were supposed to go to Birmingham, Alabama but after Hurricane Sandy we changed focus and wanted to do something in New Jersey,” LaBarbera said.

In previous years, the club took the Alternative Spring Break program to New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward and to San Francisco. The students assisted in neighborhood revitalization efforts, donating their time and labor on a variety of construction tasks.

While visiting an area of New Orleans devastated by Hurricane Katrina proved an intense experience, LaBarbera said he expects this year’s trip will be particularly challenging because the impact of Sandy hits close to home.

“They’re going to be pushed on every emotional and physical level,” he said.

Students will replace dunes, put up a fence, rebuild a section of boardwalk and work on a small business and home under the direction of construction foreman during the course of the week. The teens will be grouped with other students who aren’t necessarily in the same classes or clubs.

“We try to push students outside their comfort zone and outside of their traditional peer group,” LaBarbera said. “The goal of this trip is for personal growth on all levels.”

The trip will mark the culmination of several months of fundraising efforts. Interact Club members sold 10,000 chocolate bars, held car washes and a spaghetti dinner to raise $30,000 to fund the trip. The money is used to pay for travel expenses and the cleaning and building supplies the students will put to use in Ortley Beach and Lavallette.

For more information or to donate to the Raritan High School Alternative Spring Break program, contact LaBarbera at

Source of this article can be found here:

Construction Jersey shore


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