A good run

Brick Township Bulletin’s top 10 stories of all time

BY PATRICIA A. MILLER Staff Writer

The Brick Township Bulletin debuted on Nov. 6, 2002. It was chock-full of news, full-page ads, classified and car ads, a testimony to the more vibrant economy back in 2002. It will close on Jan. 28, 2010, the victim of a poor economy and declining ad sales.

We are ending the final edition with the top 10 stories of the years the Bulletin was in print. There were many contenders, but in the end, the most newsworthy stories won out.

We did our best to provide Brick’s residents with quality local news and sports coverage over the years, coverage you couldn’t get from staff-poor dailies or other local weeklies. It has been a pleasure to cover such a vibrant town with so many good people.

Republican Revolution 2003-2010

Control of the Brick government was firmly in Democratic hands for many years under former Mayor Joseph C. Scarpelli. The Democrats enjoyed a 6-1 majority on the Township Council back in 2003, and few expected a major shakeup in the Nov. 4 election. Stephen C. Acropolis was the lone Republican council member. Many in town were stunned when all four Democratic council candidates went down in defeat and the GOP seized control with a 4-3 majority.

New Jersey Museum of Boating Executive Director Robert O’Brien stands between a few of the boats at Johnson Boat Works in January 2008. The non-profit group had planned to move to Traders Cove but had to postpone the project when the economy soured. This photo took first place in the New Jersey Press Association’s 2008 contest. New Jersey Museum of Boating Executive Director Robert O’Brien stands between a few of the boats at Johnson Boat Works in January 2008. The non-profit group had planned to move to Traders Cove but had to postpone the project when the economy soured. This photo took first place in the New Jersey Press Association’s 2008 contest. The GOP-dominated council in 2004 began chipping away at programs that had existed for years and adopted a budget with $754,000 in discretionary spending cuts. Scarpelli staples like SummerFest, HalloweenFest, BoatFest and others were either eliminated or rolled back. Municipal departments were eliminated or consolidated, beach badge and recreation fees were hiked.

Joseph Scarpelli Joseph Scarpelli Many expected Acropolis to win the 2005 mayor election against Scarpelli. The incumbent mayor made a series of missteps before the election, including using a township car on a Vermont vacation and taking consulting job with an engineering firm that had done work in Brick. Scarpelli squeaked by with 184 votes more than Acropolis, in an election where 25,000 voters cast ballots.

But the Democrats also lost two more seats on the Township Council in 2005. Republicans Joseph Sangiovanni and Daniel Toth were elected to their first terms. The loss left Councilwoman Kathy Russell as the lone Democrat on the governing body. The trend continued in 2009, when all four GOP candidates won the available council seats. Russell lost her bid for a fourth term. The Township Council is now all Republican.

Jack Nydam and his attorney Jack Nydam and his attorney Acropolis was first elected mayor in November 2007, to fill the unexpired term of disgraced Democratic Mayor Joseph C. Scarpelli. He was resoundingly re-elected by nearly 6,000 votes over Gregory Kavanagh, his Democratic challenger, in November 2009 to his first four-year term.

The Scarpelli-Nydam debacle The political turmoil in Brick reached its zenith in 2006. It was hard to find Joseph Scarpelli in Town Hall. Many questioned his absence. Scarpelli stunned some and didn’t surprise others when he abruptly resigned on Dec. 8. The mayor submitted a one-sentence resignation letter that said he was leaving for “personal reasons.” The rea- sons became glaringly apparent one month later, when the four-term mayor pleaded guilty in federal court to accepting bribes from an unnamed developer. Scarpelli was later sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. He spent 15 months at a minimum-security facility at Fort Dix and was released in May 2009. He has kept a low profile in town ever since.

Gov. James McGreevey shares some blueberries with Veterans Memorial Elementary School students, whose work led to the adoption of the blueberry as the state fruit. Gov. James McGreevey shares some blueberries with Veterans Memorial Elementary School students, whose work led to the adoption of the blueberry as the state fruit. Scarpelli wasn’t the only Brick official to come under the FBI’s radar. Former Public Works Director John H. “Jack” Nydam began singing like a canary when he came under scrutiny. Nydam’s “proactive cooperation” helped county and federal officials snag Scarpelli on corruption charges. But Nydam was no dedicated public servant. He once faced decades in prison before he pleaded guilty in April 2006 to official misconduct, theft and witness tampering charges. The scuttlebutt in town was that Nydam had worn a wire in conversations with Scarpelli. Nydam was also charged with taking bribes and boat trips from a trucking company and giving more than $40,000 in no-bid contracts to a local landscaper in exchange for $4,000. Superior Court Judge James A. Citta dismissed the bulk of the charges at Nydam’s sentencing in exchange for his guilty pleas to third-degree official misconduct and theft charges. He got off easy with no jail time, but the state Division of Pension and Benefits stripped Nydam of the pension benefits he had accrued during his 14-plus years in the state pension system.

Residents stroll along the 1.7-mile path that encircles the Brick reservoir. Residents stroll along the 1.7-mile path that encircles the Brick reservoir. Warren Wolf

The word “legendary” often precedes Warren H. Wolf’s name. It’s not an exaggeration. Wolf guided the Green Dragons football team through 51 seasons, right from the beginning when the school opened in 1958. He left with a record of 361- 122-11, numbers that will probably never be matched by anyone else. He announced his retirement in December 2008. He had one request: that the Brick Board of Education hire a “Brick boy.” That didn’t happen. An emotional Wolf attended the April 30 Board of Education meeting with about 70 supporters. Wolf demanded to know why the administration had picked Patrick Dowling, a Howell Township resident, as head football coach. The board and school administrators never asked Wolf for his recommendation. Wolf was so upset, he asked the board to rescind his resignation. Board members refused.

Eighty-two-year-old Warren Wolf will embark on a new career this fall when he takes over as head football coach at Lakewood High School. The Lakewood Board of Education was slated to approve his appointment at its Jan. 27 board meeting.

Ocean Ice Palace

Brick Memorial soccer player Chris Cannon is hugged in celebration by Anthony Rucci after the Mustangs defeated Freehold Township for the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV state championship in Nov. 2003. This photo took first place in the New Jersey Press Association’s 2003 contest. Brick Memorial soccer player Chris Cannon is hugged in celebration by Anthony Rucci after the Mustangs defeated Freehold Township for the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV state championship in Nov. 2003. This photo took first place in the New Jersey Press Association’s 2003 contest. Stephen C. Acropolis, who was council president at the time, announced in July 2007 that the township planned to buy the landmark Ocean Ice Palace and 13.34 acres on Chambers Bridge Road for $5.25 million and transform it into a community center. Acropolis said the township had long wanted to buy the site and called the purchase “the opportunity of a lifetime.” Township officials planned to sell the Civic Center buildings and property across the street and put the proceeds toward the acquisition. The move would have consolidated the township recreation and senior services in one location. But then-Mayor Daniel J. Kelly, a Democrat, opposed the purchase and said the public should have a chance to decide in a referendum. A citizens group — StopOverspending — formed and gathered enough signatures to put the matter on the ballot. Ocean Ice Palace owner Joan Dwulet abruptly walked away from talks with the township after nearly a year of negotiations. The deal fell through and the Township Council eventually rescinded the ordinance. While Acropolis said the quest for a referendum was “the one single thing that killed this deal,” Dwulet’s attorney said she “got tired of waiting.”

Financial woes, layoffs

Forty-two township employees lost their jobs on New Year’s Eve in 2008. The township administration and union representatives met many times to come up with compromise settlements, but to no avail. Acropolis urged the Transport Workers Union to agree to some concessions in their new contract. The concessions included contributing to the cost of health care premiums, or pay cuts. Acropolis challenged employees at a tense December 2008 Township Council meeting for a show of hands of who would take a pay cut. “I’m not feeling the love here,” the mayor said.

The layoffs were a byproduct of an anticipated $3.8 million shortfall in the 2009 municipal budget. Township officials tried to cope with a state-mandated 4 percent cap on the amount that municipalities can raise through taxation each year, declining state aid and a drop in revenues.

“I have a bucket of money to use,” Acropolis said in October 2008. “When that money is used up, I can’t spend any more. It’s illegal.”

The township and the TWU reached a contract agreement in early 2009 that called for employees to begin contributing 1 percent of their total salaries toward health care premiums, starting in 2010. The municipal budget dropped for the first time in the township’s history.

Redevelopment

The GOP-dominated Township Council made headway on both the redevelopment of the Traders Cove site off Mantoloking Road and the old Foodtown site on Route

70 over the past several years. The township is slowly recouping the $8 million purchase cost of the Traders Cove site. Acting DEP Commissioner Mark Mauriello came to Traders Cove last June 25 to present Mayor Acropolis with two checks — one for $3.4 million as partial reimbursement for the site acquisition costs and a $1 million check for redevelopment costs. The site, now known as the Traders Cove Marina and Park, is still in the process of being redeveloped. But it was open to the public this summer for fishing, crabbing and picnics.

The dilapidated Foodtown building, long a township eyesore, was razed in September 2009. Township officials are now proceeding with redevelopment plans that will eventually include a hotel, retail and some residential units.

Brick Reservoir

The Brick reservoir, nestled on the Brick-Howell Township border, was officially dedicated for operational use in September 2004. But almost a decade of planning and work took place before the 1- billion-gallon facility opened for business in September 2004. Once an abandoned gravel mining operation, the reservoir land narrowly escaped being home to a 500- home development. Although the site was appraised for $12 million, banks and creditors owed money on the land. The Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority was able to purchase the 120-acre site for $800,000 in April 1996.

The $34 million project was intended to supplement any shortfall from drought conditions or water emergencies. Up to 24 million gallons of water from the Metedeconk River is pumped daily through a 4.7-mile pipeline. Today, the reservoir not only provides Brick with another source of water, it’s also a place where residents can go to relax, jog or walk along the 1.7-mile path.

Brittney Gregory murder Friends and family members of 16-year-old Brittney Gregory began scouring the township when the Brick Memorial High School student went missing on July 11, 2004. Police found her body one week later in a shallow grave in the Greenville section of Lakewood, about two miles from her home.

Brittney accepted a ride to her boyfriend’s house from Jack Fuller, a family acquaintance, the night she was last seen. Fuller, now 43, pleaded guilty on Oct. 18, 2005, to purposefully or knowingly causing serious bodily injury or death, after maintaining his innocence for more than a year. Fuller testified he punched the girl at least twice in the face because she tried to prevent him from smoking crack cocaine after he stopped the car. Fuller said he continued to get high while Brittney choked beside him, blood dripping from her nose and face. The teenager was dead by the time Fuller paid attention to her.

Superior Court Judge Vincent J. Grasso sentenced Fuller to 30 years in state prison without parole on Jan. 13, 2006. Fuller lost his bid for a new trial last Aug. 26, when Superior Court Judge James Den Uyl ruled that Fuller voluntarily waived his right to a trial with the plea bargain. Den Uyl also denied Fuller’s contention that he had received inadequate counsel before he pleaded guilty.

Oyster Creek

Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials gave the 40-year-old Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township a new lease on life when they relicensed the controversial plant for another 20 years, much to the dismay of a coalition of citizen groups, who claim the aging plant is unsafe.

A July 12 unplanned shutdown tipped Oyster Creek into the NRC’s “white” performance indicator. NRC regulations allow nuclear plants no more than three unplanned shutdowns for every 7,000 hours of operation. Oyster Creek’s number of unplanned shutdowns, also known as scrams, was 2.7 during the first quarter of 2009.

NRC officials announced on Oct. 26 that it would step up oversight on the plant because of the number of unplanned shutdowns. Oyster Creek, which went on line on Dec. 23, 1969, is the oldest nuclear plant in the nation.

The blueberry kids

Students at the Veterans Memorial Elementary School saw their yearlong effort to make the blueberry the state fruit pay off in January 2004. Then-Gov. James E. Mc- Greevey came to the school and signed a bill into law. The “Blueberry Kids” studied symbols of New Jersey when they were fourthgraders and noticed the state had no state fruit. They successfully lobbied for support from the Board of Education, the Township Council, the state Assembly, the state Senate and finally the governor. “We know that anyone can make a difference, even children,” student Hunter Fastige said then. “Our voices can be heard when we really have a good idea. Not only can we be a part of government, we know that we are the government.”

To our readers

Due to economic pressures we are all experiencing, Greater Media Newspapers has made the difficult business decision to discontinue publishing the Brick Township Bulletin. While we regret that you will no longer be able to receive this newspaper, we will continue to provide the latest news and information that affects central New Jersey at www.gmnews.com. Thank you for your continued support of Greater Media Newspapers.

Local nurse, student among earthquake survivors

Riverview nurse: ‘I’m not a hero’

BY KIMBERLY STEINBERG Staff Writer

The impact of the devastating Haitian earthquake has affected many area residents, including two locals who survived the temblor, as well as those who are responding with an outpouring of support for the earthquake victims.

Left: Lindsay Doran (front row, second from left) pictured with other Lynn University volunteers at the Food for the Poor Journey for Hope warehouse and feeding center. Right: Registered nurse Florence Germain ministered to victims during the temblor. PHOTO COURTESY OF LYNN UNIVERSITY Left: Lindsay Doran (front row, second from left) pictured with other Lynn University volunteers at the Food for the Poor Journey for Hope warehouse and feeding center. Right: Registered nurse Florence Germain ministered to victims during the temblor. PHOTO COURTESY OF LYNN UNIVERSITY Still feeling the aftershocks of the Haitian earthquake on Jan. 12, Florence Germain sprang into action. Drawing on the skills she learned as a nurse at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, she began to do all she could to help the injured at Portau Prince Airport, where she and family members had been waiting to board a flight back to the United States.

One of the injured was a man Germain encountered outside the airport, whose bones were badly broken and whose foot was attached to his leg by just a muscle, she said.

PHOTO COURTESY OF RIVERVIEW MEDICAL CENTER PHOTO COURTESY OF RIVERVIEW MEDICAL CENTER “There was nothing to do other than to ask the police for bandages,” she said during an interview on Jan. 16. “The man still had feeling in his leg. It’s such a shame that we couldn’t get him somewhere to save it.”

Using her quick thinking and nursing training, Germain, who is believed to have been the only nurse at the airport following the quake that leveled much of Port-au- Prince, used airport rum as an antiseptic and made makeshift tourniquets for people with severed limbs.

Next, the Eatontown resident turned her attention to a 19-month-old baby crying loudly who had sustained a broken arm and was covered in scratches. The baby’s mother was also injured.

“I grabbed iodine and cleaned their wounds. You want to do more, but you just can’t,” said Germain, a nurse in Riverview’s Stroke Unit.

Above: Henri-Christian Louis, president of the Coalition for Haitian American Empowerment of Monmouth and Ocean Counties in Asbury Park, is organizing the relief effort in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake. Below: Donated items were dropped off at the coalition. Above: Henri-Christian Louis, president of the Coalition for Haitian American Empowerment of Monmouth and Ocean Counties in Asbury Park, is organizing the relief effort in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake. Below: Donated items were dropped off at the coalition. At around the same time that Germain was waiting to board her plane, Lindsay Doran left her room and stopped in at the gift shop in the Hotel Montana in Port-au- Prince on Jan. 12, then headed out to the pool area, where she met up with other Lynn University students around the time the earthquake hit.

“My first thoughts were, this isn’t real,” she said during an interview on Jan. 16. “It’s basically a living nightmare.”

Doran, Rumson, believes that going to the gift shop likely saved her life. She and the other students remained on a grassy hill near the site of the hotel that collapsed as a result of the temblor.

PHOTOS BY JACQUELINE HLAVENKA PHOTOS BY JACQUELINE HLAVENKA The students had traveled to Haiti to work with Food for the Poor, a nonprofit that ministers in Latin America and the Caribbean. It was the second trip for Doran, a Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School grad, who had traveled to Jamaica to work with the nonprofit last year.

Doran, 19, was one of 14 students and faculty members traveling from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., on a relief mission titled “Journey for Hope.”

The group arrived on Jan. 11, a day before the 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked the country and demolished the HotelMontana, where the group was staying.

Germain, who is a Haitian citizen, had returned to Haiti on Jan. 5 with her husband, son and five other family members to attend her father’s funeral.

She and family members arrived at the airport at around 3 p.m. on Jan. 12 and were about to board their return flight home to New Jersey close to 5 p.m. when the ground began shaking.

“My first instinct was that a plane was crashing into the airport, then I thought it must be a bomb. I never thought of an earthquake,” she recounted.

The ceiling began to crumble, and Germain covered her 8-year-old son with her body to protect him from the falling debris. Her husband, Kency, grabbed their son and got him outside to safety.

Germain, her mother, brother, sister, nephew and niece were on the second floor of the airport during the quake’s second impact, when more of the building came crashing down.

The scene was chaotic, she said, with people pushing one another in an attempt to flee the collapsing building.

“The doors locked automatically and people started trying to escape,” she said.

Germain’s husband made it back inside the airport to rescue his wife and trapped family members.

“Thank God he came back, because we wouldn’t have gotten out,” she said.

Once outside, Germain and her family were told by Haitian police officers to stay together for safety. They remained outside the airport until approximately 3 a.m. They saw devastation and chaos and could hear the sound of looters nearby.

“We kept hearing gunshots and watched as people pulled their family members from the debris. There were so many bodies,” she said.

Germain has worked at Riverview for eight years, first as an aide and then as a nurse, and credits that training for the care she was able to provide to victims.

“The experience there told me not to panic. I brought the skills I learned and did what I could. I’m not talking about surgery, just preventing infection and assisting, trying to get them help,” she said.

Germain and four family members lost their passports in the confusion and had to go to the U.S. Embassy in Haiti to be granted permission to return to the U.S. There they were given water and spent the day, still feeling the aftershocks.

“The embassy is the only building standing. They did a great job, and I’m very appreciative,” she said.

While at the embassy, Germain was thanked by the family of the man she had assisted the previous day, and on the plane ride home she saw the baby she had helped.

“It’s so sad. That’s why I became a nurse, to help. It’s breaking my heart, this helpless feeling,” Germain said.

She and her family members were transported to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic on Jan. 13. At midnight on Jan. 15, Germain returned to her Eatontown home.

Doran’s roommate and good friend, Brittany Gengel, 19, of Rutland, Mass., stayed behind to nap when Doran left for the gift shop. Doran guessed that Gengel was either in bed or in the shower when the quake hit.

“I’m praying that she’s going to be safe,” Doran said, fighting back tears.

Doran and seven other students survived the earthquake. Four students and two Lynn University professors were still missing as she spoke.

During an interview arranged by the university on Jan 16, five of the rescued students said it was by chance that they found their way to the U.S. Embassy.

“By sheer luck and by sheer blessing, we came to our final destination,” said student Tom Schloemer.

The group that had waited out the quake on the hill ran into U.S. Embassy worker Angela Chaiener, who was dining at the hotel at the time of the quake, and she guided the students to the safety of a U.S. military escort.

“She had a radio and a walkie-talkie, and she became our mother for the trip,” Schloemer said.

“You can’t imagine what the ride down was like, seeing all the bodies and everybody in the streets,” said student Nikki Fantauzzi.

Doran’s group was flown to Santo Domingo on a military transport plane and eventually to Boca Raton, where they were reunited with their families.

The Doran family flew to Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, where they were reunited with their daughter at the Lynn University campus at midnight on Jan. 15.

According to a statement released by the university on Jan 17, rescue efforts are ongoing.

“In Haiti this morning, as in the Dominican Republic, university agents and friends are continuing the work of combing hospital lists, embassy rolls and transportation centers for news of our missing four students and two faculty members,” university spokesman Jason Hughes wrote in an email.

The school contracted with a private company to conduct search and rescue efforts for those still missing.

During a conference call on Jan. 16, Hughes said contractors engaged by the school have been working around the clock at the site of the hotel collapse.

Although she survived unscathed, Germain remains haunted by the tragedy.

“I will never forget the things in my head, the images of bodies everywhere,” she said.

Germain spoke of the importance of helping the Haitian community.

“I would go back. I would’ve stayed if my son weren’t with me. I have family that’s still there, and help has not yet reached them. A lot of help is needed, and timing is limited. People can’t go without food and water. They need more supplies. So many people were hurt, not just those in Port-au-Prince. All of Haiti is affected,” she said.

“God gave me the opportunity to learn to help people, so that’s what I do. If I can apply what I’ve learned, I will,” said Germain.

Back at Riverview, Germain said she has received an outpouring of support from her colleagues.

“I had tons of texts and messages. I went into work on Friday just to thank everybody. I work with great people,” Germain said.

“They gave me a good opportunity here and great experience. I wouldn’t have been able to help as much if it weren’t for the training I received here.

“I’m not a hero. I didn’t do anything a good Samaritan wouldn’t do.”

Within days of the earthquake, an outpouring of support began from across different communities.

Much of the relief effort is being channeled to the Coalition for Haitian American Empowerment of Monmouth and Ocean Counties (CFHAE), a nonprofit community organization in Asbury Park.

Inside their office at 1310 Asbury Ave., the group is launching a movement to engage the public’s help and to rebuild Haiti.

“We have become the center for what’s going on, at least for Monmouth,” Jean Saraison, spokesman for the CFHAE, said on Jan. 15. “We are collecting blankets, clothing, nonperishable food, but the immediate needs are medical supplies, bandages, feminine products and money. Money is the first line of defense.”

So far, the response has been very positive. Food, cases of water and other supplies were stored in the back room of the office, where there is a closet full of donated items, and more continue to pour in.

“To me, that’s a lot,” Saraison said, pointing to cases of food and water. “We just started, and we get this response … that’s amazing. The donations started late last night from individual people. We have 27 cases of water that one person gave.”

Medical aid is also in high demand. Rony Jean-Charles, the coalition secretary, and nurse Myrtha Antoine are organizing a trip to Haiti with youth members of the coalition to help earthquake victims and to rebuild the villages.

The trip will be paid for directly out of pocket, not from the coalition’s budget.

“We are paying for it with our own money, not the money we collect,” Jean- Charles said. “All the money we collect goes straight to Haiti.”

Henri-Christian Louis, president of the coalition, is arranging to ship the aid to Haiti through organizations already established in the region.

Tara Kelly, a spokeswoman for the Jersey Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross, said Friday that Monmouth County has an “enormous” Haitian population, primarily in Ocean Township, Asbury Park and Neptune.

“We have been providing mental health counseling to those people who have been notified that they have lost loved ones,” Kelly said. “We have been a resource for those who are looking for family members. We’ve had an enormous amount of foot traffic, for those looking for people, coming in, that either want to donate or volunteer.”

The 70,000-square-foot facility in Tinton Falls is one of 12 disaster hubs in the country. The Shore chapter is on standby alert, poised to ship relief supplies.

“As we get permission to bring the equipment in, we will pretty much go up the coast to different warehouses and deplete the supplies,” Kelly said.

In Port-au-Prince, communication and travel services are severely damaged. According to the Red Cross, the airport tower is unreliable, and therefore many flights are being diverted, and the cranes needed to unload boats have been damaged.

She said the streets are covered with debris, and rubble and bodies lie underneath the fallen debris.

“Bridges are out, roads are closed, and it is extremely hard to get to the affected areas, but we are doing the best we can,” Kelly said. “We’ve gotten multiple teams of people in the affected areas assessing the damage. We’ve also been asked by the U.S. Navy to supply blood. The shipment went out last night from the military base in Florida. They set up a command hospital on one of the ships outside of Guantanamo Bay, which is housing Red Cross supplies and blood.”

The Red Cross had raised $37 million nationally as of Friday, she said. Out of that number, $9 million came from textmessage donations.

“It far exceeded what we saw in Katrina,” Kelly said.”

Diana Noble, a volunteer with the Jersey Coast Chapter and chairwoman of the Mission Matawan Project at the First Presbyterian Church in Matawan, said the church is encouraging residents to drop off medical supplies and nonperishable food items at the Coalition for Haitian American Empowerment.

“Through the American Red Cross, we have become aware of resources that are available to us,” Noble said. “Our message is to pray, give and act. Some members of the public may feel the need to donate goods and supplies.”

The First Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of Highway 34 and Franklin Street, will also be creating Gift of the Heart baby and hygiene kits that will be shipped to the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) fund, a volunteer-based program enabling congregations and mission partners to assist the needy in times of crisis.

Kits for infants should contain six cloth diapers, two T-shirts or undershirts, two washcloths, two gowns or sleepers, two diaper pins, one sweater or sweatshirt, and two receiving blankets.

Hand towels, washcloths, wide-tooth combs, soap, Band-Aids, nail clippers and toothbrushes are needed for the hygiene kit.

For 16 years, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Keyport has been paired with Notre Dame de Bons Secours, a Haitian parish in Pignon, Haiti. The group supports four schools and sends loans to help local farmers and businesses buy supplies and livestock.

The earthquake, however, has cut off Internet and phone services to the area, which has a population of about 70,000, said Tonie Malone, coordinator of St. Joseph’s Haitian Parish Twinning Program.

“We haven’t been able to reach them, but we think they’re OK because they’re out of the worst affected area,” she said.

The same can’t be said for Matthew 25 House, the group’s clinic in Port-au- Prince. The upstairs area is uninhabitable, but the building’s foundation and lower level appear to be secure, according to an email from missionaries who were at the site when the temblor struck.

“Eventually, three Haitian doctors showed up, I think when they heard we had supplies,” the email reads. “We worked ’til about one in the morning. We were also one of the few houses to have power with our inverters and batteries, so we set up three or four lights on the soccer field to help with the treatment. The hospitals are either badly damaged or destroyed and have stopped taking patients as they are overwhelmed.”

While no one at Matthew 25 House was injured in the quake, others with ties to the group are dead or missing, Malone said.N

arette Charles, a Pignon woman who was scheduled to take over the clinic later in the year, was interning at a Port-au- Prince hospital when the earthquake struck. She has not been seen since, Malone said. Also, Ed Andre, of Asbury Park, one of the group’s committee members, lost his father when his house in Haiti collapsed.

Malone said the group is working on sending money and medical supplies directly to contacts on the island, but entering the country is difficult.

“Ports are destroyed, and the airport and roads clogged,” she said. The annual delegation scheduled for Jan. 26 to Pignon will most likely have to be postponed until later in the year, she said.

Staff writers Daniel Howley, Jacqueline Hlavenka and Tom Shortell contributed to this story.

Much-loved vet ‘feels fantastic,’ hopes to return to practice

Friends, colleagues and clients rally to help Eric Hudson and his family after brain cancer diagnosis

BY PATRICIA A. MILLER Staff Writer

For more than 15 years, Dr. Eric Hudson and his wife, Christina, have faithfully tended to sick and injured animals at their family business, Cedars Veterinary Hospital.

Popular Brick veterinarian Dr. Eric Hudson shares a laugh with wife Christina and his dog Annie at their Cherry Quay Road home. Friends and colleagues have rallied to help Hudson, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in August. ERIC SUCAR staff Popular Brick veterinarian Dr. Eric Hudson shares a laugh with wife Christina and his dog Annie at their Cherry Quay Road home. Friends and colleagues have rallied to help Hudson, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in August. ERIC SUCAR staff The gentle, 6-foot-plus Hudson often sat on the floor to calm a scared or skittish animal. He worked six days a week at his solo practice on Drum Point Road. On the seventh day, neither he nor Christina rested. They went to the office on Sundays to do paperwork and feed the three resident cats who live there.

“He’s wonderful,” Hudson’s office manager, Lynn Conway, said. “Dr. Doolittle is the best way I could describe him.”

The Hudsons’ love of animals doesn’t end at the office. Some of the hurt and abandoned animals Jersey Shore Animal Center workers brought in for treatment ended up at the Hudsons’ Cherry Quay Road home, as permanent members of the family.

Veterinarians from around the state have volunteered their time to keep Dr. Eric Hudson’s practice going while he recovers from brain cancer. More than 1,500 people attended a fundraiser for the popular vet in the fall. ERIC SUCAR staff Veterinarians from around the state have volunteered their time to keep Dr. Eric Hudson’s practice going while he recovers from brain cancer. More than 1,500 people attended a fundraiser for the popular vet in the fall. ERIC SUCAR staff All of their pets — two dogs and four cats — were animal rescues. Their dog Annie, an Australian cattle mix once half dead from anemia, dozed at Hudson’s feet during a recent interview at the couple’s home. And the Hudsons still foster other animals and try to find homes for them.

“They usually wind up in the Hudson home of rehabilitation,” Christina Hudson joked.

“We’ve got the space, what the heck,” Hudson said with a smile. “There’s hope for all who enter here.”

But the man who was an animal person “from the get-go” as a small boy in West Virginia has had to stop practicing, at least temporarily. Hudson, 51, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in August.

When Hudson’s clients learned of his illness, they cried, Conway said.

“Not only is he my boss, he’s a very good friend,” Conway said. “I must have told the story a dozen times a day, and each time it was very upsetting.”

Giving back

And now many of those whose lives were touched by the popular veterinarian are giving back to the family in their time of need. His clients continue to use the practice, now staffed by volunteer veterinarians from around the state.

The couple traveled to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia every morning for six weeks this fall, so Eric could undergo a grueling series of radiation treatments. And each night when they arrived home, dinner was waiting on the table for them, courtesy of their friends from the Metedeconk River Yacht Club and neighbors.

And not just any dinner, Hudson is quick to point out. Gourmet meals.

“The meal would be a person’s signature dish,” he said.

A colleague sent out an email blast to veterinarians informing them of Hudson’s illness. The response was immediate. Vets from all over the state and even one from New York continue to volunteer their time to keep Hudson’s practice going.

“We have three vets who are pretty much the staff,” Christina said. “We’ve had doctors volunteer themselves for a day. Our calendar is filled into March. It’s just been the most amazing thing. The first week he was out of work I didn’t know what to do.”

Dr. Thomas D. Scavelli, director and owner of Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, is one of them.

He and Hudson had discussed various patients over the years. The two men were voices over the telephone. But when he heard about Hudson’s illness, Scavelli didn’t hesitate.

“He calls up and says, ‘What do you need?’ ” Christina said.

“I knew he had a very successful solo practice,” Scavelli said. “His patients were very dependent on him. I said, ‘I gotta do something.’ I run a practice that has 30 vets in it. If I can’t take off, who can? I’ll do whatever I can to help. We’ll try to keep the practice running until he can get through therapy.

“The clients have been very loyal to the practice and still have confidence in his staff and the relief veterinarians,” he added. “He certainly has the will and the determination, as does Chris and his staff. He’s got three wonderful children. They’re a very strong, close family. I think they are doing phenomenally through a very, very difficult time.”

The Hudsons, who have been married for 30 years, have three grown children — Andrew, who teaches biology at Bernards High School; Meredith, who teaches graphic arts at Burlington High School; and Justin, a Wall Township police officer.

“Thank God for my wife,” Hudson said. “She keeps track of everything. She’s like a whirling dervish.”

Conway’s husband, Robert, and other friends quickly went to work making the Hudsons’ home handicapped accessible, including installing guardrails on the walls and revamping the bathrooms.

Hudson hit his lowest point around Thanksgiving, when he reeled from the effects of multiple radiation treatments and had to use wheelchair at times.

“He didn’t have an appetite for a very long time, one of the side effects from radiation,” Christina said

On the mend

But now his appetite is back with vengeance. He’s currently receiving injections of Avastin, recently approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration to treat brain tumors. The tumor has all but disappeared. A wheelchair sits unused next to the pool table in the recreation room.

“I hope I never use it again,” Hudson said.

The tumor affects the left-handed Hudson’s left arm and leg. His physical therapy focuses on retraining his body on his left side.

“I don’t trust myself,” he said. “My shortterm memory is non-existent. My motor skills, I’m not focused … with the way my hand is now.”

And he worries about his clients and patients.

“It’s very uncomfortable to go to someone for 15 years and all of a sudden that person is not there,” Hudson said. “It’s a relationship. After a couple of visits, I know who you are and where you are coming from.”

But he hopes to go back to work eventually, once his memory and weakness in his left leg and arm improve.

“I intend to,” Hudson said. “We have a lot of people praying for us and a lot of support. I want to thank everybody for their support. It’s all been positive. I have no complaints. My memory’s a little screwed up, but I feel good. I feel fantastic.”

The calling

Hudson credits his love of animals to his grandmother back in West Virginia.

“My grandmother was very animal conscious,” he said. “She was a cat lady. I guess I got it from her.”

Hudson’s calling to be a vet came during his undergraduate years at West Virginia University, when he took a course in animal physiology. He did his postgraduate work at the University of Georgia.

“This is what I wanted to do,” he recalled. “I don’t know if I’m ever going to be a vet again, but I’d love to teach a physiology course.”

Hudson never wanted anything more than to be a veterinary general practitioner.

“I used to do surgery when I was well,” he said. “But when there is someone down the road that can do it better, you’re going to offer it to your client. I’m a GP. I’m a gatekeeper now. If I can’t get things to work, we have specialists. I always wanted to be your local vet, where you know your clients, you know your people. I loved being a GP.”

Conway remembers many times when Hudson brushed off or postponed payments because a client didn’t have enough money for treatment.

More than 1,500 people showed up at a Sept. 26 fund-raiser for the family at Windward Beach to help the vet that had helped them so many times, Conway said.

Conway had ordered 1,500 wristbands for the hastily organized event. She ran out.

“I was just floored by it,” she said. “We were giving out blank bands. It was just amazing. I’ve never seen a turnout like this.”

“He has a lot of support in this town,” said the township recreation department’s Daniel Santaniello. “Sept. 26 was almost like a Founders’ Day. It was something special, a lot of people there. It was a good thing for Brick to show how close Brick Township is and a good thing for him to see how everyone appreciates what he did for this community.”

Eager to work

“I want to go back to work,” Hudson said. “Whether my body will cooperate, I don’t know. I miss work. I miss my staff, my pooches and kitty cats.”

“I believe in miracles,” Conway said. “We want him back. Everybody loves him. That’s the bottom line. If we could work for free, we’d still do it for him.”

The Hudsons have medical insurance, but the price of his medications is astronomical and not completely covered. One shot of Avastin is $10,000. Hudson’s staff has arranged a series of events to raise money to offset the cost of the drugs. Applebee’s in Brick Plaza will donate 10 percent of revenues on Jan. 27 for Hudson’s medical costs.

Anyone who wants to donate can also make out a check to “Friends of Eric Hudson” and mail it to Cedars Veterinary Hospital, 120 Drum Point Road, Brick, NJ 08723.

Brick Little League welcomes former Brick National player & parents

BY PATRICIA A. MILLER Staff Writer

Children who belonged to the now-defunct Brick National Little League will still have a chance to play baseball this season, a Brick Little League official said.

“A lot of Brick National kids signed and paid already, so there really isn’t anything for them,” Brick Little League president Rich Soldo said. “Our organization decided to let them play and not charge them again. Let them come in with proof of payment, sign up under a Little League registration form, and they are going to be part of the league. All the coaches, all the kids are going to be involved in any capacity they want to be.”

Many Brick National parents have already paid the registration fee for the 2010 season, Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis has said.

Children who played for Brick National and want to continue playing Cal Ripken Little League ball can also still sign up with Brick American Little League, Soldo said.

“Brick American has been very nice to give them a break on the sign-up price,” he said. “They are not giving it for free.”

Brick Township police are continuing their investigation into Brick National’s books, Capt. John E. Rein Jr. said.

“The question-mark area is, was there a theft or criminal activity involved in this versus, for lack of a better word, shoddy bookkeeping?” Rein said. “There may or may not have been actual thefts that occurred.”

Township Administrator Scott M. Pezarras called for more financial documentation from sports organizations — including proposed budgets, year-end bank statements, and income and expense statements — almost two years ago.

Police launched an investigation into Brick National’s finances in January 2009. Then-league officials were told to get their financial house in order several times during the year, but did not comply, the mayor has said.

If the organizations didn’t comply, they would be barred from using townshipowned fields, Acropolis said.

And while some parents who paid Brick National for this year want refunds, neither the township nor Brick Little League will issue refunds.

The township is not responsible for refunding money owed by a private organization, Acropolis has said.

“There is no mechanism for the township to give taxpayer dollars back to people who paid money into an organization and now can’t get their money back,” Acropolis said.

Brick Little League refers any refund questions on its website to www.bricknational@ yahoo.com.

Soldo said it wouldn’t “be right” to charge former Brick National players again.

“They paid already,” he said. “We are not a business. It doesn’t hurt us. It does put us back a little.”

There will be fundraisers held once the season gets under way, Soldo said.

“We have a good fundraising organization,” he said. “They have tremendous ideas. I think we’ll be doing thing to the fields. We have lots of volunteers. They really want to be involved and fix up the complex.”

Brick Little League has been negotiating with uniform companies to try to get the best price possible, Soldo said.

“Everybody will have a uniform,” he said.

Brick Little League has slated more registration times this week at Hibbard Park on Cherry Quay Road.

The hours are 5-7 p.m. Jan. 22, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 23, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 24.

Some residents, especially those with children who played for Brick National, weren’t aware of the registrations held this past weekend, so more time was scheduled, Soldo said.

“We have a little over 600 so far,” he said. “I think we are going to hit 850 to 1,000. If it’s 1,000 kids, it’s 1,000 kids. We’ll handle it.”

Brick Little League and former Brick National parents have been working jointly on a new set of bylaws, Soldo said.

“We have a bylaw committee between both sides,” he said. “There have been a lot of meetings. I’m very impressed with how they are negotiating and working things out.

think they are almost done.”

But Soldo stressed that allowing Brick National players and parents into Brick Little League is not a merger.

“When you merge something, you have to take over bad debt and assets,” Soldo said. “It’s a blended board, a blended league, and more importantly, a united league.”

Photo


Brick Township High School’s Nick Essington competes in the 200-yard freestyle at the Ocean County swimming championships at the Ocean County YMCA in Toms River on Jan. 9. CHRIS KELLY staff Brick Township High School’s Nick Essington competes in the 200-yard freestyle at the Ocean County swimming championships at the Ocean County YMCA in Toms River on Jan. 9. CHRIS KELLY staff

Poor economy, residents’ input kill school-repairs vote this year

School officials concentrating instead on April 20 solar energy referendum

BY PATRICIA A. MILLER Staff Writer

The Brick Township Board of Education has abandoned plans for a fullscale referendum this year and will instead concentrate on an energy-savings measure.

School officials had originally intended to move forward with a revised school repair referendum in March. But residents who responded to an online survey and attended several public input meetings weren’t enthusiastic, school officials said.

“It doesn’t seem to be a good time financially, economically and with not knowing what’s going to happen with state aid,” schools Superintendent Walter J. Hrycenko said. “It’s not a good time to be pushing this right now.”

Voters here resoundingly defeated all four questions in the $172.9 million Sept. 29 referendum by a 2-to-1 margin. Of Brick’s 81,840 voters, 14,716, or 17.98 percent, went to the polls, according to the Ocean County Clerk’s Office. The district could have received $57 million in state grants if all four questions had been approved.

Board members late last year began working on a revised, scaled-down repairs referendum, held several public meetings on the topic and posted an online survey for residents.

They came to a decision at a recent board retreat meeting where they discussed district and board goals, Hrycenko said.

“No one felt comfortable that the referendum would move forward at this time,” Hrycenko said. “Based on what we saw in the survey and what we heard in the community meetings, the energy-related projects are the ones they were most supportive of.”

Board of Education President Daniel Woska said in a letter posted on the district’s website that the state School Development Authority recently put a freeze on construction grant money. And the state Department of Education is also considering forcing school districts to use reserve funds to offset losses in state aid.

“The [state] fiscal situation isn’t good,” school Business Administrator James Edwards said. “Therefore, we’d be lucky if we were flat-funded. It’s not looking good.”

“That’s what played a role in why the March referendum is not going to happen,” Hrycenko said. “We’d be asking people to approve a referendum with a lot of uncertainties.”

Instead, a solar panel referendum will have “zero tax impact” for voters, he said.

The Sept. 29 referendum dealt with safety and security upgrades; replacing heating and air-conditioning units and lighting in all schools; the installation of solar panels in two middle schools; the expansion of the Primary Learning Center on Chambers Bridge Road, and a massive $90.8 million renovation of Brick Township High School.

“The Board of Education is very committed to the projects proposed in the September referendum,” Woska said. “This is why we decided to first focus on an energysavings referendum in an attempt to decrease the tax burden being passed down to us by the state and generate the additional revenue needed to make building repairs before conditions worsen.”

“We know these repairs have to get done,” Hrycenko said. “We will continue to work on them any way we can. Back in September, we got $57 million in grants. There was no discussion as to whether that money would be there or not. There weren’t all these question marks. It’s not that we are abandoning them. Some repairs will be done in the solar panel referendum.”

The Board of Education has not determined the exact amount or scope of the solar panel referendum yet, Edwards said.

“It’s yet to be seen,” he said. “We have to do an analysis of all the roofs to determine what roofs are ideal for putting solar panels on, how much kilowatts will be generated. We really don’t know the answer to that until more work is done. Once we know what that number is, it will give us a clear indication of how many projects we can do where there is no impact on taxpayers.”

The district would not realize any revenue from the panels until 2011, since bids have to go out and contracts awarded before the panels are up and running, Edwards said.

DEP wants cooling towers at Oyster Creek to protect bay

BY PATRICIA A. MILLER Staff Writer

The state Department of Environmental Protection’s new draft water discharge permit for the Oyster Creek nuclear plant calls for the plant’s owners to build cooling towers, a proposal a company official said will put the plant out of business.

“On several occasions, the NJDEP considered and rejected this kind of closed cycle cooling at Oyster Creek. … reasoning … that cooling towers are not cost effective at Oyster Creek,” said Joseph Dominguez, senior vice president for Exelon Generation. “Indeed, Exelon will have no alternative but to close Oyster Creek if it is ultimately required to construct cooling towers.”

The DEP notified Oyster Creek officials of the proposed changes in the plant’s New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES) permit on Jan. 7. Oyster Creek is located on Route 9 south in Lacey Township.

“The use of cooling towers would result in a much healthier bay,” acting DEP Commissioner Mark Mauriello said. “A healthier bay means a better quality of life for the region’s residents as well as improved recreational experiences for those who visit to swim, fish, crab, watch wildlife or to simply soak up the bay’s beauty.”

The new proposed permit was good news to Save Barnegat Bay Chairman William de- Camp.

“I’m pretty sure this is the biggest victory for the bay in a generation,” deCamp said. “It’s really big. I think people are going to see a difference. When the towers get built within a few years, I think people are going to see a more vibrant and biologically alive Barnegat Bay. We are just thrilled about it.”

DeCamp once referred to the Forked River as the only river in the world that “runs backwards” because of the massive amount of water the plant draws from it every day.

Save Barnegat Bay is just one organization in a coalition of citizen groups that opposed the NRC’s 2009 relicensing of the plant for another 20 years. The coalition has called on the governor and DEP to mandate cooling towers for Oyster Creek for many years.

“When the problem is as clear cut as this one, it’s not a total surprise,” deCamp said. “It took them [DEP] a long time,” deCamp said. “Environmentally we are right and economically it wouldn’t close the plant.”

Oyster Creek has used the current intake and discharge cooling system since the plant opened in December 1969. The plant’s primary source of intake water is the Forked River.

Oyster Creek currently uses intake water for two purposes. The circulating water and service water systems use up to 662.4 million gallons per day to cool the main condenser. The dilution water system uses up to 748.8 million gallons per day to mitigate the thermal effects in the discharge canal to Oyster Creek, according to the DEP’s fact sheet on the plant’s current system

Oyster Creek’s 2005 draft NJPDES permit was issued based on regulations that were in effect at the time. The regulations have since been repealed. The federal Clean Water Act requires that the “best technology available” to minimize adverse environmental effects be used in a particular location.

Dominguez said the new draft permit was only “one step” in the permitting process.

“We are confident that science and common sense will prevail and that the final permit issued by the DEP will not require the installation of cooling towers,” he said.

The DEP based its determination on “significant impingement and entrainment losses” on marine life in Barnegat Bay documented in both historic and current data, according to the report.

Impingement occurs when organisms are trapped against intake screens by the force of the water passing through the cooling water intake structure. It can result in starvation, exhaustion or asphyxiation of marine life, the report states.

Entrainment occurs when organisms are drawn through the cooling water intake structure into the cooling system, exposing them to mechanical, thermal and/or toxic stress, according to the report.

“The magnitude of these losses is due primarily to the location of OCGS (Oyster Creek Generating Station) in a marine environment,” the report states. “Closed-cycle cooling will reduce water intake usage significantly, thereby decreasing impingement and entrainment effects.”

The DEP noted a number of other reasons for the decline in the health of Barnegat Bay, including non-point source pollution loading, nitrogen loading, motorized boat and jet-ski usage, eutrophication, loss of wetland and other estuarine habitats.

“Nonetheless, OCGS is also contributing impacts through impingement and entrainment effects,” the report states. “These plantrelated impacts can be minimized through closed-cycle cooling.”

Oyster Creek’s closure would result in the loss of more than 700 jobs and would cost New Jersey consumers $190 million annually in added electricity costs, Dominguez said.

“The department does not agree that the permittee has substantiated that cooling towers are ‘unavailable’ to OCGS at this time,” the DEP report on the proposed permit states. “As a result, based on the information available at this time, the Department has determined that closed-cycle cooling is an available technology to OCGS.”

Dominguez also questioned the timing of the proposal.

“The administration had four years to consider this draft permit yet took no action until barely a week before the inauguration of its successor,” he said. “At a time when everyone from national police leaders to founding members of Greenpeace and the American environmentalmovement recognize the vital importance of emissions-free energy from the nation’s nuclear plants, this decision in the waning days of the Corzine administration is curious.”

The first public hearings on the proposed draft permit will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Lacey Township municipal building on Lacey Road.

Oyster Creek is the oldest nuclear plant in the United States. It went on line on Dec. 23, 1969.

Frigid weather hampers efforts to move vintage military tank

BY PATRICIA A. MILLER Staff Writer

Call it a mission of mercy. A very cold mission. Six New Jersey National Guardsmen got more than they bargained for when they volunteered to help move a 50-ton M-60 tank from the old Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5698 to its new home at Post 8867.

Top: New Jersey Army National Guard Sgt. Martin Borton uses a blow torch to melt ice off the axle of an M-60 tank before moving it across town to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5698 on Jan. 5. Bottom: Spc. Matt Williams runs a cable to an old M-60 tank in preparation to move it from VFW Post 5698 to VFW Post 8867. Post 5698 closed several years ago. Top: New Jersey Army National Guard Sgt. Martin Borton uses a blow torch to melt ice off the axle of an M-60 tank before moving it across town to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5698 on Jan. 5. Bottom: Spc. Matt Williams runs a cable to an old M-60 tank in preparation to move it from VFW Post 5698 to VFW Post 8867. Post 5698 closed several years ago. For starters, the temperature was 22 degrees when they arrived on the site at 8 a.m.

“It was really cold,” said Sgt. Wayne Woolley, a public affairs specialist for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Lawrenceville.

The National Guard volunteers to supervise moving old military tanks about six times a year, Woolley said.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF NEW JERSEY NATIONAL GUARD PHOTOS COURTESY OF NEW JERSEY NATIONAL GUARD “At one point we used to entirely move the tanks for them,” he said. “We don’t do that anymore. We don’t have the tanks anymore, because the New Jersey National Guard is now a light infantry. We have Humvees, stuff like that.”

The VFW post-to-post move should have been pretty straightforward: make sure the tank can move off whatever spot it’s in, pull it out of the spot, make sure it’s properly loaded onto a commercial flatbed truck, and deliver it safely, Woolley said.

“We find the safest place, then weld all the hatches shut to make sure people don’t get inside the tank,” he said.

Usually a tank slated to be moved has the engine and transmission removed before it is ready for transport

“Normally, although they still weigh about 50 tons, they move fairly easily,” Woolley said. “In this case there was a spot in the axle where there must have been a hole. It filled with water. It filled with a whole lot of water. Gallons and gallons and gallons of water. It was frozen solid. Each time they tried to pull it using heavy equipment, one corner sprocket on the right rear end of the tank wasn’t moving.”

The men decided to test to see if ice had accumulated inside.

“They used a blowtorch,” Woolley said. “Pretty quickly they needed to get a pan, then a tub to catch the water. As soon as they did that, it moved right away. It was far more of a challenge than they anticipated.”

Chris Ross, senior vice commander of VFW Post 8867, was grateful that the soldiers persevered. Ross had a small welcoming party waiting at the post for the National Guardsmen and the tank.

“This tank will stand in front of our post in honor of every veteran and every sacrifice they’ve made,” said Ross, a Marine Corps veteran of the first Persian Gulf War.

Post 8867 grew to about 800 members when Post 5698 closed three years ago due to declining membership.

The tank move represented more than five months of coordination between the VFW and the National Guard.

Why’d they make the move in January?

“We have a war going on,” Woolley said. “The guys who did this ended up having to go to Morrisville, Pennsylvania, to supervise the loading of some equipment going overseas. It was a day they had some availability. And the VFW guys were eager to get it to their new post.”

The M-1 tanks were produced between 1960 and 1975, he said.

Five arrested in police raid

BY PATRICIA A. MILLER Staff Writer

BRICK TOWNSHIP — Police recently arrested five township residents on various drug charges after a monthlong investigation, Capt. John E. Rein Jr. said.

Members of the Brick Police Special Emergency Response Team executed a search warrant at 10 p.m. Jan. 7 at 57 N. Sailors Quay Drive. They seized a quantity of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and more than $1,300 in cash, Rein said.

Arrested and charged were:

Peter Perea, 24, Brick, possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance.

Daniel B. Lees, 20, Brick, possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Steven T. Reedy, 20, Brick, possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jill R. Mulligan, 20, Brick, possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Russell N. Hand, 19, Brick, possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

All were processed and released on summonses. The Brick Police Drug Enforcement Unit and Selective Enforcement Team are continuing the investigation, Rein said.