Everything from the Branch Avenue traffic lights, to the annual Halloween Parade, to the Little Silver 5k (and its young champion) occupied our busy community this past month. Here is an update and a quick look back:
First, reactions to the traffic lights on Branch Avenue at Rumson Road and White Road have ranged from pleas to make them permanent, to demands that they be removed. We want to know what you think.
As most will remember, Monmouth County installed them when it replaced the bridge near Point Road School on Seven Bridge Road. The lights were meant to accommodate the traffic flow caused by the detour around the bridge closing, which directed cars to Branch Avenue.
With the bridge having been replaced, and the detour just a memory, the County needs to determine whether to keep the lights in place.
To assist the County in making that decision, your Governing Body has scheduled a special meeting on Monday, December 9 at 7 p.m. at the Markham Place School cafetorium. We will ask our police to be there, along with the County engineering department. I’d like to invite anyone with an interest in the topic to attend.
In addition, we have included in the November Newsletter (go to "Borough Newsletter" menu tab on left side of this page, see page 4) a brief, unscientific survey on the issue. Whether or not you attend the meeting, please feel free to complete the survey and mail or deliver it to Borough Hall.
Looking back, the Fire Department in October hosted its annual Halloween parade, followed by cider and donuts at the fire house, courtesy of the Ladies Auxiliary. That capped a busy month for the LSFD, which also hosted an open house after the Little Silver 5k. Plus, of course, they answered every call for help - as usual.
And speaking of answering every call, the Little Silver Emergency Medical Service named Elaina Caldera their Responder of the Year. Elaina, also a member of the Fire Police, has answered over 110 calls since being certified at the end of March. Thanks to Elaina and our all-volunteer EMS for all you do.
The EMS was on standby at the Little Silver 5k, which benefits the PTO. Little Silver’s own Catherine Wimmer took the women’s title with a time of 19:46. She just turned 12 (she was 11 when she won), so look for more great things from Miss Wimmer. Her coach, Robert Cavanaugh, won the men’s division.
Thanks to Dawn Wilcox and Caren McCormack for organizing the race – the Borough’s 20th.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge the one-year anniversary of the arrival of Sandy on October 29. The Borough continues to assist those in need, and hosted a mobile Governor’s Cabinet on October 23 to answer questions about grants, rebuilding, and other issues related to recovery. Visit the Borough website, www.littlesilver.org, for updates.
We also continue to host CPC Behavioral Healthcare at the Women’s Club every Thursday. They provide counseling to Sandy victims, and recently added a second counselor to accommodate the need. The service is free, and you can walk in or call 888-671-8203 for an appointment.
I’ll close as always by asking anyone wishing to volunteer in some capacity to let me know. I can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or my home phone at 732-576-8595 (hopefully back in the house by the time this Newsletter is delivered).
Please remember to honor our veterans on Veterans Day, and on behalf of your Governing Body, best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!
The past few weeks have brought out the best in our volunteers, employees and residents. Here are some highlights of their excellence in thought, initiative and elbow grease:
Memorial Park looks great, and its butterfly garden is now a nationally-certified Monarch Waystation. Volunteers Linda Goff, Stephen Surico, Sandy Surico, Liz Hanson, and Paige Vlahos deserve special mention for tending the park’s gardens and decorating the memorial area in observance of September 11.
You might also have seen volunteer extraordinaire John Heidema in the park, and traveling our walking paths, string trimmer or clippers in hand. The town is the better for his constant tending.
And our playing fields and public buildings shine with the hard work of our Department of Public Works. Neat and trim. Give our guys in the yellow safety shirts a shout-out when you can.
Little Silver also continues to enjoy an excellent relationship with our colleagues in Monmouth County government. Two recent examples are the county’s reconstruction of the railings along the bridge on Seven Bridge Road near Paag Lane, at our request, and the addition of an “Opposing Traffic has Extended Green” sign at the Branch/Willow intersection.
Resident David Apy suggested the sign. In less than 24 hours of my receipt of the suggestion and review by our police chief, the county committed to installing the sign, and had it up within a week.
I’d also like to recognize the contribution of Gerry Deverin to our Recreation Program. Gerry, a long-time resident, was only 48 when he passed away this spring. He was a coach, supporter and friend of the rec lacrosse program.
In his honor, rec lacrosse players Aidan Lynch and Annabel Martin were awarded the first Gerry Deverin Spirit Award for their hard work, dedication and leadership. Our recreation volunteers and Doug Glassmacher were to honor the Deverin family at the annual one-pitch softball tournament in September.
Little Silver can also be proud of Matt Rosen, a resident and senior at RBR High School, who was accepted to the prestigious All-National Honors Ensembles sponsored by the National Association for Music Education. Matt will perform in the concert band in Nashville, Tennessee.
Lastly, if you find yourself at the Library, please say hello to our new part-time library technician, Emily Mazzoni. Emily is in her final year of study in the Masters of Library Science program at Rutgers University.
Emily will spearhead the new Teen Library Group, which she will develop along with Lori Parisi, the media specialist at Markham Place School.
I’ll close as always by asking anyone wishing to volunteer in some capacity to let me know. I can be reached at email@example.com, or at my home phone at 732-576-8595 (we’ll be back in the house one of these days, I’m sure). On behalf of the Governing Body, have a great Autumn season.
As Labor Day approaches, your governing body hopes that you were able to take advantage of all that Little Silver had to offer this summer, including the return of the band concerts at the Gazebo.
With the arrival of September, fall recreation activities are filling the ball fields, and other activity around town continues to make Little Silver the vibrant, family-oriented small town we all enjoy.
For instance, some of you may have noticed that the sign in front of Borough Hall has been replaced. For years, Little Silver was fortunate to have had a wonderful, wood-and-brick structure for posting important information.
For those of you who don’t know, Henry Scaccia donated that sign, which allowed for the placement of block lettering to announce events, or to advise of important deadlines. Just another example of a caring citizen helping out his town.
With the deterioration of that sign over the years, and the advent of computer-controlled signs with greater space, the borough has installed a new sign that will allow the communication of more information more quickly – something that gives us a critical advantage in an emergency, for instance.
Mr. Scaccia’s sign has been commemorated with a photograph, and the stone bearing his family name has been preserved, so that his generosity can be appreciated in perpetuity.
You may also notice some activity soon at the Parker-Sickles Homestead. That historic property, dating to the 1600s, is being spruced up. And, with a generous grant from Monmouth County, the outlying barns are being stabilized and renovated.
The Parker House Committee, chaired by Monte Edwards, has been working hard with the borough to move that project forward. A charitable corporation has now been formed that will lease the property from the borough, and will raise funds to operate it as an historic, educational facility, as Julia Parker wished when she left it to the borough.
We would ask residents to steer clear of the property while work is ongoing.
Over at Point Road School, two new classrooms were added during the summer, making room for full-time kindergarten this year. That is a first for Little Silver, and superintendent Carolyn Kossack tells us that the addition will help Little Silver schools continue to provide the excellent education they’re known for.
And speaking of education, many of you enjoy our library, which has provided excellent service to its customers over the years. Key to that operation has been on of our Little Silver Library assistants, Gail Spencer.
After 30 years of service, Gail will retire on September 30. While we hate to lose her, we wish Gail well in retirement. On Thursday, September 26, the library will host an open house from 1:30-4:30 (with refreshments) to wish Gail well. Please stop in.
Lastly, I want to remind everyone that many of your friends, neighbors and residents continue to struggle with rebuilding issues and other Sandy-related circumstances.
Please be patient as these residents struggle with their loss. For those interested in funding to raise their homes, the deadline for applying for a state grant is September 15. Please go to www.littlesilver.org ., where you will find application information.
In another emergency-related development, we have begun sending letters to all new residents advising them of the ability to sign up to receive emergency notifications. To do so, go to www.littlesilver.org and click on the Two River Alert button, or stop in at Borough Hall to pick up a form.
One other reminder for our Sandy survivors: the Borough is continuing to host CPC Behavioral Healthcare on Thursday nights from 5-8 at the Women’s Club, and in fact has added a counselor to accommodate the need. The service is free to the town and to our residents. You may walk in or call (888) 671-8203 for an appointment.
I’ll close as always by asking anyone wishing to volunteer in some capacity for their town to let me know. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org , or at my home phone at 732-576-8595 (nope, still not back in the house, but checking messages). On behalf of the Governing Body, we wish you safety, happiness and prosperity this season.
It’s not always easy to spread the word about Little Silver events. So this month I want to let you know that you need look no further than your own hometown for summertime action!
First, after several years’ hiatus, we’re bringing outdoor summer concerts back to Little Silver. Grab a chair or a blanket, friends and family, and come enjoy the local talent and a summer’s evening.
The two events will take place at the Markham Place Gazebo. There is no admission fee.
On August 4, Chuck Lambert, the “Sultan of Swag,” will play the blues, accompanied by Little Silver’s own accomplished vocalist, the lovely and talented Susan Haugenes.
And on August 18, John Luckenbill and Sons Big Band will return to the gazebo to play a variety of selections from across the musical spectrum. The band plays venues at the Shore and around the state, and was a tradition here for years.
The Luckenbills, as well, are homegrown Little Silver and Shrewsbury musicians, and very accomplished. John’s dad was able to teach even me to play the trumpet at Point Road School more than 40 years ago, so you know that this family has talent!
The bands strike up at 7 p.m., weather permitting. Thanks to the Recreation Committee for putting these events together.
Speaking of recreation, if you are looking to get the kids out of the house, or to enjoy the outdoors yourself, I’d recommend our walking trails. The new creekside trail extending from Branch Avenue to Woodland Street now has colorful signs, thanks to the Environmental Commission and student designers Anjali Narang, Jack Dengler, and Maggie Mullaney.
But if the summer heat’s too much for an outside adventure, or if indoor activities are more your thing, please check out the Borough Library, located on Prospect Avenue next to Borough Hall.
You’ll see a notice in the August Newsletter about the children’s summer reading program, but there is one for adults, as well. Grownups: read five books this summer, and win a prize! Visit librarian Anita O’Brien and her helpful volunteer staff at the Library to sign up.
And while you’re there, take a look at the beautiful artwork on display by Roberta Carter Clark, a Little Silver resident and noted water color and oil artist. The works may be purchased, and the Library – which relies heavily on donations - receives 30 percent of any purchase.
Plus, the library has free wi-fi. It’s a busy place, with frequent children’s activities, book discussions, and visiting writers and artists. Ask Anita to put you on their mailing list.
There are other activities listed in the August Newsletter and here on our website. Please visit those sources of information for the latest offerings.
I’d also like to remind everyone once again to register with CodeRed for emergency notifications. If you haven’t done so already, click on the Two River Alert-CodeRed button, a red button located on the right-hand side of the home page here on the website. Or pick up a registration form in Borough Hall. You can call CodeRed directly at 866-939-0911 for assistance.
One other reminder for our Sandy survivors: the Borough is continuing to host CPC Behavioral Healthcare on Thursday nights from 5-8 at the Women’s Club. The counseling service is free to the town and to our residents. You may walk in or call 888-671-8203 for an appointment.
I’ll close as always, by asking anyone wishing to volunteer in some capacity for their town to let me know. I can be reached at email@example.com , or at my home phone at 732-576-8595 (nope, still not back in the house, but checking messages). On behalf of the governing body, we wish you a pleasant summer season.
Boaters: Watch For Floating Debris!
Now that warmer weather is approaching, the Mayor and Council wish to remind boaters and others who enjoy the Shrewsbury River to keep an eye out for Sandy-related debris.
The state Department of Environmental Protection and its contractors are moving forward with debris removal, and expect that the NJDOT channels in our area will be assessed in early May. Removal is tentatively scheduled for mid-May through the end of May.
However, the DEP advises that various factors, including weather and the amount of debris located, may throw this timetable off, so continued vigilance is recommended. Those concerned about debris can keep an eye on the DEP's website
The site will post regular scheduling updates.
Anyone who spots floating or submerged debris should report it to
Timothy Riecker, an emergency management specialist with Dewberry Engineers Inc., one of the contractors handling waterway debris removal, advises the borough that everything on and beneath the water is very dynamic.
"Boaters should be very alert and travel at low speeds in shallow areas." he says. "As a general rule, boaters should stay in DOT Navigation Channels and deeper waters as much as possible. Even in those areas, tides may carry floating debris in, so being alert is very important."
This year’s Borough Council reorganization saw some new faces on the dais and around the meeting room as the governing body reorganized for the New Year. I had been asked by some to commemorate the occasion as I did last year, with a poem. I don’t claim credit for being much of a poet, and in fact the somber ending to 2012 and the issues that many of our residents continue to deal with initially left me without much enthusiasm for a celebration.
In fact, on reflection, Little Silver’s people gave us all much to cheer in 2012, even during the worst of times. This is a town that will endure, because when the chips are down, our residents, employees and volunteers come through. Every time. Here is the address I delivered to those assembled at Borough Hall.
Where’s the poem, when we’ve been hurt, by Sandy’s wet attack?
Where’s the joy, when Frankenstorm, slouched in, took Santa’s sack?
Jon Bitman’s loss, had left us low, before she came ashore;
His passing hit us hard indeed, then Sandy gave us more.
A snow storm came before the power, came back to light us up -
No heat, no gas, no house, for some, no spoon, no plate, no cup.
Here’s the thing – we’re here tonight, planning for the year.
FEMA grants to help rebuild; our streets, at last, are clear.
Our people gave us confidence, Les Mathis stood his ground;
Dan Kelly takes his place this year, though Les will stick around,
Our firemen, our EMS – they answered every call,
Exhausted at the firehouse, from caring for us all.
With Frank Salerno at the helm, Pete Gibson at his side,
We got folks out, before the worst, the others safe inside.
Chief Dan took charge to guard our homes, the bad guys stayed outside,
While the ‘M’ states gave us troops to help - their smiles eased the ride.
Their chainsaws sharp – but safety first – our roadmen cleared the way;
Jim Gannon’s guys kicked butt, for us - improvement, day by day.
We volunteered, we looked to help; Wyoming came to town.
A truck with clothes, for those in need, they sure got spread around.
This year we’ll build on what we’ve done, so much was much improved,
Though finances were held in check, with austere measures moved.
Ball field ‘potties,’ as Suzy’d say, facilities built for all,
Emergency communiqués improved, long before the fall.
A quarter mil for Parker House, the county helped us out;
A safe new bridge, new woodland paths – please come check them out!
On council, Richard Scott, M.D., joins the borough’s leaders,
We welcome him, and others too, new faces, new ideas.
We’re smarter now, we learned a lot, though much is left to do,
Build up, or not? We’ll help our folks, to navigate the gloom.
So down, not out, and never fear, our people brought us through,
For there’s the poem, and strength this year – you - our Little Silver crew.
I wish each and ever one of you a joyous, healthy and prosperous 2013. I will close as I always do, by encouraging everyone with the time to volunteer to help your town in some way. And if you ever have an issue or a concern, a comment or a criticism, please call me at home at 732-576-8595, or send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.