There may still be rubble on the ground in Union Beach and Sea Bright, but this week the night skies are going to glimmer festively in the recovering towns. The two boroughs will glow with epic holiday fireworks displays, big shows that are actually sparking concerns about traffic and crowd control.
Tonight, thousands of shells will be launched from a barge near the Driftwood Beach Club in Sea Bright, creating a fantasia of sparkling lights on the water for a charity fundraiser. Although spectators must purchase tickets to watch at the Driftwood, the patriotic pyrotechnics can be viewed for free at the public beach and other spots around town.
“This is either the first or second largest show in New Jersey for the holiday week,” said August Santore of Garden State Fireworks, a company that has produced hundreds of shows, including KaBoom, a Fourth of July fete in Red Bank that was discontinued last year.
Santore said, “It’s going to be a mirror show of what we did in Red Bank.”
The owners of the Driftwood are paying for the artistic explosives in Sea Bright, said Karen Irvine, a beach club spokeswoman. They are also hosting a party and concert benefiting Sea Bright Rising. Tickets are priced between $75 (show only) and $335 (including dinner). Irvine said that the Driftwood has been coordinating with local and state authorities to deal with logistics.
“We started with, ‘Let’s do a clambake, a beach bash,’ but the owners wanted to do something even bigger,” Irvine said. “The owners wanted to do something that was going to be memorable. They said we need to celebrate but we also need to recognize that property owners are still not in their homes. The event will help Sea Bright Rising and we’ll also raise money for the building-permit relief fund, which was established to help commercial and residential property owners.”
SAFETY NET FOR SANDY VICTIMS
County-based organizations are weaving together a safety net to help storm victims who have exhausted their financial options yet still find themselves short on what they need to recover from Hurricane Sandy.
The long-term recovery committees established in New Jersey at the recommendation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency aim to plug the holes in funding not filled by insurance settlements, federal grants and other resources. Once the size of those gaps are clear, the recovery groups — funded, in part, with money from the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund — hope to fill them.“We really want to be the back-end funders, so to speak,” said Ted Gooding, chairman of the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Committee. “If you have $70,000 in damage and you got $65,000 from your insurance, we’d like to be the guy who comes in and gives you the other $5,000.”
Disaster case managers will work with storm victims to determine the discrepancy between how much they need to recover from the storm and how much they have received from other resources.
Individuals in Monmouth or Ocean counties who do not have disaster case managers should contact Catholic Charities’ Disaster Response Program at (877)-510-6762. Case managers will try to fulfill each storm victims needs through available resources.
Once it’s determined how much unmet need an individual has, that case will be presented to the long-term recovery committees, said Robert Hodnett, chairman of Monmouth County Long Term Recovery Committee.
“It’s really the last stop in the process for somebody affected by the hurricane,” he said. — Erin O’Neill
HEAT, RAIN BLAMED FOR SLOW START TO FEST
RED BANK — Between heat, humidity and rain, the borough’s first “Sippin’ on the River” event drew less of a crowd than anticipated.
Each day 12,000 to 15,000 people were expected to head to Marine Park for the festival, but in total only about 5,000 were estimated to have showed up during the two-day event, co-organizer Tom Cappello said.Cappello, who owners Gaetano’s restaurant, called the turnout “fair” and said he believed not enough promotion and the weather forecast impacted the low numbers.
“This is our first event, we’re going to learn from it and we’re going to move forward,” Cappello said.
Despite the weather and low turnout, George Lyristis, co-organizers of the event who also owns Teak Restaurant and The Bistro in Red Bank and ZOE Bistro in Little Silver, said he believed the event was successful.
“For a first time event, I think we successfully pulled something off,” Lyristis said. “You can’t predict weather.”
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Red Bank Fire Department and Flavour, the borough’s culinary alliance. — Ashley Peskoe/NJ.com
Want to find out if your favorite beach is staffed with lifeguards this summer or are you trying to find a new beach to go to? Don’t miss our 2013 Shore Guide: Beach Information.
From Sandy Hook to Cape May, find out how much a beach badge costs? Is there parking? What about food? Showers? Changing areas? It’s all here.
AROUND THE WEB
Casinos target younger gamblers with resort-style amenities, the Press of Atlantic City reports
Sandy castle looms large on Shore, according to a report in the Asbury Park Press
Organizers anticipate larger airshow in Atlantic City next year, according to a report in the Press of Atlantic City
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on July 01, 2013 at 8:00 AM, updated July 01, 2013 at 8:06 AM