By Eric Colvin The first ever concert series at Riverfront Park started last weekend in the borough, when hundreds of residents flocked to the water to enjoy an evening of live music. “The weather turned out to be perfect,” Point Pleasant Mayor William Schroeder said this week. “There was a great turnout and the evening went off without a hitch.” Resident Frank Pagano, who serves on the Cultural Arts Events and Recreation Advisory Board, spearheaded efforts to make the evening possible. “[Mayor] Schroeder asked me to create an arts council for these types of events,” Mr. Pagano said of a conversation he had with the mayor earlier this year. Shortly after Mayor Schroeder took office at the beginning of the year, he announced a goal to have borough parks more accessibly to residents who wish to hold events. He said he believes the borough’s parks, namely Community Park, at the intersection of Bridge Avenue and Beaver Dam Road, and Riverfront Park, off River Road, were intended to be used for such events as last Friday night’s jazz concert. Although all members have not yet been appointed to the Cultural Arts Events and Recreation Advisory Board, volunteers such as Mr. Pagano made the concert possible. “The commission is evolving,” Mr. Pagano said this week. He said there was minimal advertising, which mainly consisted of volunteers, including himself, who put fliers up in town and the surrounding area. “A lot of people helped to approach local business owners and put posters up,” said Sylvia Ferrie, of Point Pleasant. Point Pleasant businesses such as TravelSmiths, on Route 88, Weisleder Autos, on Burnt Tavern Road, and Little Caesar's, on Bridge Avenue helped to sponsor the event, Mr. Pagano said. Mr. Pagano said the cultural arts committee created the event and enlisted the assistance of the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation to book the artists. The Fins, a jazz and blues band, performed from 7 to 9 p.m. in the park, where close to 300 Point Pleasant residents and others from throughout the area gathered. The band consisted of seven members last Friday night, with four brass players, two guitarists and a drummer. “They were very, very good,” Mr. Pagano said this week. Eileen McCabe, with the Point Pleasant Chamber of Commerce was among the many concert goers. “A lot of people were calling [the chamber of commerce] about it during the week,” Mrs. McCabe said this week. “They all wanted to know about the show.” She said she felt the evening was a great event for Point Pleasant and a great use of Riverfront Park. “It was a really nice night and the music was great,” Mrs. McCabe said. “Everybody brought a chair and sat and enjoyed [the concert].” She said the Chamber of Commerce has begun promoting the next concert at the park, which is scheduled for next Friday, Aug. 18, when Swingadelic, with Gina Fox, will take to the micrphones at 7 p.m. “I think Aug. 18 is going to be a big night,” Mrs. McCabe said. “The concert was a pure success for the cultural arts commitee. I see a lot of growth potential.” Mayor Schroeder said this week the event was exactly what he had in mind earlier this year when he created the cultural arts committee. “I think [events in borough parks] is something we’ve been remiss in having in Point Pleasant for a long time,” the mayor said this week. “I’d like to see more events where you don’t have to leave town to be entertained.” He said Earth Day, which was held in the borough on DATE, was the first, organized event in Riverfront Park and last week’s National Night Out was the second. “I think things like this are good for the town and hope we can do some more next year,” the mayor said. “I’m looking forward to the 18th.” Next Friday’s performers, Swingadelic, will have more of a big band sound than last week’s performance by The Fins. “I was really impressed with the music and it was a nice turnout,” said Councilman Christopher Leitner, who attended the concert. “Everyone seemed to be really enjoying it. “This was the start of what I hope will be a wonderful series of events,” the councilman continued. “There was a strong sense of relaxation and community,” said Point Pleasant resident and planning board member Sylvia Ferrie. “When I looked across there was a peacefulness and harmony in trying times and, for those 2 hours, the music in the air bought a little magic to all. “Everyone was asking when the next one will be,” Ms. Ferrie continued. The next installment of the concert series at Riverfront Park will take place this Thursday nigt, Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. “I’m looking forward to the 18th,” Mayor Schroeder said. Mr. Pagano said the committee plans to continue the series in 2012 and broadening the scope of performances and locations. “We’re considering going to the band shell in Community Park,” Mr. Pagano said of future concerts. He also said the committee is considering performers who would attract a younger audience. Anyone who is interested in sponsoring the series or vendors who wish to set-up, should contact Mr. Pagano at 908-814-2828.
Classic Broadway hits such as “West Side Story,” “Gypsy” and “Fiddler on the Roof,” as well as the recent revivals of “Oklahoma,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “My Fair Lady” and “The King and I” inspired dozens of musical hits that make up The Great American Songbook. In honor of those who made the hits, the Point Pleasant Borough Branch of the Ocean County Library, on Beaver Dam Road, will host the nationally touring showcase, “A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, 1910-1965” from Sept. 7 through Oct. 21. The exhibit looks at the enormously popular collection of songs and songwriters who entertained and inspired America during the early 20th century. The exhibit will open with a reception at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. Maggie Worsdale will perform songs from great Jewish American songwriters, along with a tribute to Sophie Tucker, at 2 p.m. Sid Frank, Museum Educator from the Liberty Hall Museum, will share anecdotes at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3 on the cultural contributions of Jewish New Jerseyans in such diverse areas as sports, politics, law, science, literature and entertainment. Poet, editor and author David Lehman, whose book, A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs was the basis for the exhibit, will speak at the library at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5. Mr. Lehman is also the exhibition’s curator. The songwriters combined a genius for developing a melody and pairing it with the perfect words with connecting with their audience on an emotional level. A high percentage of those writers were Jewish, coming from families that immigrated to America in the 1800s or fled from pogroms and persecutions in Europe at the turn of the century. The songwriters included such well-known composers as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin and Harold Arlen. Singers from the era included Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, Kate Smith, Frank Sinatra, Ethel Merman and Ella Fitzgerald, and their standards were performed by such artists as Benny Goodman and Miles Davis. The exhibit was developed by Nextbook, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Jewish literature, culture and ideas, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The national tour of the exhibit has been made possible by grants from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the Righteous Persons Foundation, the David Berg Foundation and an anonymous donor, with additional support from Tablet Magazine: A New Read on Jewish Life. The Maggie Worsdale and David Lehman programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Point Pleasant Library. The Point Pleasant Borough branch is one of 55 sites nationwide to host the exhibit. The programs, exhibit and reception are free and open to the public, but registration is required. For more information or to register, visit the library’s website at theoceancountylibrary.org, or call 732-295-1555.
Point Pleasant resident Tori Emanuele is in the process of raising money to assist the Bates Family, also of Point Pleasant, as Jeff Bates continues to recover from a bone marrow transplant earlier this year. Ms. Emanuele will run in the ING New York City Marathon this November. Mr. Bates was diagnosed with acute myleiod leukemia earlier this year. He originally received treatment for the disease locally at Ocean Medical Center in Brick and Robert Wood Johnson Hosptial in New Brunswick. In April, Mr. Bates was transferred to Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in Maryland, where he received a half-match bone marrow transplant from his son, Sean Bates. The half-match transplant is a relatively new procedure by which persons can receive donations from donors, such as children, whereas in the past, only a full-match, such as a sibling, was possible. All money raised will go directly will go directly to the Bates’ family to help with medical bills and all expenses related to Mr. Bates’ condition. Anyone interested in donating to assist the Bates’ family can mail a check made payable to Jeffrey Bates to Ms. Emanuele’s attention at 637 Arnold Avenue.
On Tuesday June 7, John Paul Caliendo HS Senior at Point Pleasant Borough HS was awarded the 2011 Rising Star Award for Outstanding Leading Actor for his portrayal of Tevye in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. John will be attending Montclair University with a double major in music and Theater. The 2011 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards presented by the Investors Savings Bank Foundation were created in 1996 to encourage and reward exceptional accomplishments in the production of high school musical theatre. Now in its 16th year, the Rising Star Awards is a statewide competition of New Jersey high school musicals modeled after Broadway’s Tony Awards, and with Paper Mill’s assistance, has been replicated in several regions nationwide. Recognition of outstanding achievement by students and educators were made in the areas of performance, design, direction, choreography, technical production and overall production excellence. The Rising Star Award Corps of Evaluators (comprised of theater professionals, performing artists and designers, and theater arts educators) fan out across New Jersey between January and April to see shows at all 100 entered schools. On June 7, 2011, the Tony Awards-style Rising Star Awards Gala Ceremony was presented on the Paper Mill stage, where the 6 nominees for best actor and best actress performed an excerpt from their nominated show. John was awarded with an engraved crystal award from sponsor Tiffany & Co. In addition, John will advance at the National High School Musical Theater Awards in NYC for an all expense paid training. The National Awards (otherwise known as The Jimmys) is in its third year. 24 other theaters across the country will enter their Lead Actor and Actress into the competition. The program consists of days of workshops and rehearsals and at the culmination, one leading actor and one leading actress will be chosen to receive THE JIMMY AWARD which includes a four year full scholarship to TISCH SCHOOL at NYU. This event takes place at the Minskoff Theatre NY, NY on June 27th at 7:30PM. Tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster at http:/nhsmta.com/pages/tickets.
The Point Pleasant Borough Council and Mayor William Schroeder will meet tonight at 5:30 p.m. in borough hall, as well as tomorrow at 6:15 p.m. and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, and possibly introduce the 2011 municipal budget.
The governing body has until this Friday, June 10 to introduce before facing possible fines from the state.
On Friday May 27, 2011, the Point Pleasant Police Department responded to a residential burglary on Borden Avenue where the victim reported four handguns, an undisclosed amount of ammunition and assorted jewelry stolen from the residence. The burglary occurred between the hours of 8:15am and 4:30pm on May 27, 2011. Also removed from the residence was a black leather bag with two leather handles which also had a leather shoulder strap attached to it. Its believed that the bag was used to remove the weapons from the residence. Residents are encouraged to report any suspicious activity to the Point Pleasant Police Department at 732-892-0060.
Anyone with information regarding the Borden Avenue burglary is requested to contact Officer Dave Scalabrini or Detective Joseph Hynes of the Point Pleasant Police Department.