Marlboro Airport sold to holding company

By MARK ROSMAN

Staff Writer

MARLBORO — The Marlboro Airport, Route 79 at Harbor Road, has a new owner.

In response to an inquiry, the township’s public information office said documents on file at Town Hall indicate that Aletta Denison Genova, acting as executrix of the estate of her late husband, M. Leonard Genova, sold the airport to a group known as Marlboro Holdings LLC in early February.

Attorney Jeffrey B. Gale of Hazlet said he represented Genova in the transaction, but declined to provide any additional information. He said he does not discuss any of his cases with newspaper reporters.

Attorney Ralph P. Casella of Staten Island, N.Y., represented Marlboro Holdings LLC.

Reached last week, Casella declined to name the principals of the group but did say some of the owners are New Jersey residents.

He said Marlboro Holdings LLC intends to maintain the property as an airport and "do everything possible to make it a prime airport facility."

Casella said some renovations have already been made to the restaurant on the airport property.

In conjunction with the change in ownership, a businessman who has operated at the airport for more than three decades said he is being evicted.

Richard W. Fenwick Jr., president of Deep Run Repair and Aircraft Maintenance Corp., said he has been operating his business at the airport for 33 years.

In late February, Fenwick said that he had received an eviction notice from Marlboro Holdings LLC and was told to be off the premises by March 31.

Fenwick, whose brother and sister-in-law, Everett and Dorothy Fenwick, were former owners of the Marlboro Airport, said he doesn’t know why the new owners are telling him to leave.

He said he does not have a lease for his space, having had understandings in place with each of the airport’s previous owners – Ray Preston; then his brother and sister-in-law; and finally with Genova.

Fenwick said he has plans for his company but he declined to discuss them.

Casella said he is not familiar with Fenwick or with Deep Run Repair.

Growing AT&T traffic worries Holmdel

A

n angry Holmdel resident suggested suing Middletown for placing the burden of AT&T’s traffic problem on Holmdel.

At Monday’s Township Committee meeting, Barbara Schucko, Van Schoick Road, expressed her concerns to Mayor Gary D. Aumiller and the committee.

She was speaking on behalf of a group of about 10 people who were also present at the meeting.

"Middletown has constantly built offices on the border of Middletown and Holmdel and then expects Holmdel to deal with the consequences of the increased traffic flow," said Schucko, referring to the county’s plan to make improvements on Red Hill Road and Van Schoick Road in order to ease the traffic burden.

According to Township Engineer Ed Broberg, major improvements are planned at the intersections of Laurel Avenue, Holland Road and Van Schoick Road to help handle increased traffic from AT&T Laurel Avenue facility.

The county plans to widen Van Schoick Road by 5 feet which would not create any environmental impact, said Broberg.

Schucko, who has lived on Van Schoick Road for 30 years, feels that Van Schoick Road residents will unfairly see the majority of the traffic.

"I am concerned that the effects of this plan will send 100 percent of the traffic down our way," said Schucko. "I would like to see a more equitable distribution of traffic before we ruin Van Schoick Road, which is a beautiful residential area."

Broberg agreed with her. "Traffic studies were conducted and your perception is correct," said Broberg. "A large portion of traffic will use Van Schoick Road."

Deputy Mayor Art Davey suggested that interested residents should form a committee and voice their concerns to freeholders, the elected officials who oversee Monmouth County issues.

Davey suggested that Committeeman Terence Wall might head up the committee since he lives in that neighborhood.

Wall agreed afterward that talking directly to the freeholders is a good idea; however, he did not think it would be a good idea for him to head up the committee.

"I plan to call Tom Powers, a freeholder, and put him in contact with the Country Woods homeowners association," he said.

According to Broberg, a conceptual design is being reviewed by the county, and construction is tentatively scheduled to take place next year.

When AT&T broke ground for a major expansion of its Laurel Avenue-Holland Road facility in 1997, the company pledged up to $8 million to upgrade surrounding roads to improve traffic flow.

The first phase of the expansion added 836,000 square feet to the facility, enabling the company to increase the on-site work force by 7,000 employees. During the second expansion phase, another million square feet will be added.

When the second phase is complete, eight new buildings will have been erected at the 262-acre site, plus six parking garage.

— Cindy Tietjen

Holmdel pressing to save DePalma farm

JACKIE POLLACK

State Sen. John Bennett (R-12) and Congressman Rush Holt (D-12) (second and third from left) tour a portion of the DePalma Farm Monday with (continuing from l) Holmdel Deputy Mayor Art Davey and Mayor Gary Aumiller and Larry Fink.

Holt press conference

moved; publicity having negative effect

A

press conference scheduled to be held at the DePalma farm in Holmdel Monday morning was moved to Wind Hill Road after the DePalmas requested that the meeting be canceled.

The 96-acre property, which has been in the spotlight lately, is the largest piece of open space in the northern part of Holmdel and all but 11 acres is to be liquidated in order to satisfy outstanding inheritance taxes.

Holmdel Township Committeeman Joe Speranza spearheaded a project to purchase the land, according to Committeeman Terence Wall, and the Township Committee unanimously decided to submit a bid last Friday to the court.

But, according to Wall, all this publicity has cast a negative light on the DePalmas’ business.

"The publicity is making people think that the farm is going out of business," said Wall. "It should be clear that the farm is fully operational, and is offering the same services they always have."

When township officials showed up at the DePalma Farm at 9 a.m. Monday, family members were caught by surprise.

"On Friday, when I hung up the phone with Congressman Holt’s assistant, I was under the impression that the meeting would be rescheduled," said a member of the DePalma family who did not wish to be identified.

"We did not want the press conference to be held on Monday on our property."

Instead of meeting at the farm, Congressman Rush Holt (D-12), who has been a frequent visitor to Holmdel lately, addressed Mayor Gary Aumiller and other Holmdel officials on the importance of preserving open space on Wind Hill Road, which splits the De Palmas’ property.

Holt supports a bill that would phase out state taxes for family-owned businesses and farms.

"People care about open space, and I think we should go to extraordinary measures to save it," said Holt. "This bill is intended to support what towns and states are trying to do."

Despite the last minute location change, Larry Fink, who chairs the township’s Environmental Commission and is a member of the Open Space Advisory Council, felt that the meeting was productive.

"I think it is an honor to have a congressman take interest in a local issue," said Fink. "If we don’t preserve farms we won’t be able to call ourselves the ‘Garden State.’"

Fink added that although Holmdel has missed opportunities to preserve open space in the past, purchasing the DePalma property is something that Holmdel officials support wholeheartedly.

The acquisition would be in keeping with the township’s open space study, which calls for preserving "at least one large tract in northern Holmdel … for continued use as farmland" and for expanding an existing park or providing a new park in northern Holmdel. It also calls for preserving one large tract in southern Holmdel for continued use as farmland.

Should Holmdel’s bid to purchase the land be successful, the town plans to continue leasing the land to the DePalmas.

According to Wall, the township’s bid, which was submitted March 3, was based on an appraisal and made through attorney James Cleary, who has been appointed by the court to liquidate the property to satisfy outstanding inheritance taxes and distribute the balance to the beneficiaries of Filomena DePalma.

Wall declined to say what the township’s bid was, but said he had heard that bids ranged from $4-6 million.

Cleary circulated a notice to potential developers inviting them to bid for a residential single family development, according to attorney Robert F. Dato, who represents the interests of Patrick, Andrew, Marie and Philip DePalma, and notified Wall, as chairman of the Holmdel Open Space Advisory Council, of the planned liquidation.

According to Dato’s Feb. 10 letter to Wall, his clients object to the sale of the property for residential development and prefer to see it preserved as open space and farmland.

"We encourage the involvement of your council and the township of Holmdel in attempting to preserve this property, and we seek your support in our efforts to discourage nonfarmland development," Dato wrote.

The property, which consists of five lots and is divided by Wind Hill Way, includes three family burying grounds, one of which would require an easement for access if the land were developed.

A total of 83 percent (77 acres) of the land is farmed and 16 percent (15 acres) is wooded, according to the township’s 1999 Preserving Open Space in Holmdel Inventory and Evaluation.

The tract is considered a potential school site in the township’s 1989 master plan.

County ferry project moving along smoothly

der=0 bgcolor=”#D0D0D0″>

This Matawan Creek bridge, which connects Aberdeen and Keyport on Amboy Avenue-West Front Street, is slated to get some temporary repairs. For the story, see page 8.

MIDDLETOWN — The county is forging ahead with Phase I of its Belford Ferry Terminal project and is anticipating that the service will be operational later this year.

At a workshop meeting of the Township Committee on Monday, Monmouth County Planning Board member Kevin Ganson, who is also the project coordinator, gave a presentation explaining the current status of the project while offering the committee a rough timeline for future work.

"We’ve hit a lot of hoops and hurdles because we’re using federal money," he said.

However, Ganson, along with Rich Watson, a project engineer, agreed that the project is moving along smoothly, despite having to meet several conditions set forth by the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The county is currently concentrating on "stabilizing the ground" in front of where the ferry would be accessed as well as by the adjacent landfill area. Ganson also explained how, as part of the stabilizing effort, the county is using dredge materials to cap the landfill area to make the area environmentally sound.

"We’re using as much material from the site as possible in order to limit truck traffic," he said.

As part of the initial phase of the project, the county is concentrating on the development of 500 parking spaces, a pair of docks for the ferry boats, a bridge on the site’s main access road, which has already been completed, and the finalization of construction specifications for the terminal building, which will serve as a loading area.

According to Ganson, the county expects to go out to bid for the construction of the building sometime this month. The building will contain a tower, which will be available to the township’s marine police, and will be located in the upper corner of the site closest to the water.

"This building will not be a monster by any means," Ganson said. "It is to serve as a drop-off point where people can get shelter while they wait for the boats to load."

Members of the committee asked Ganson questions about where the service would go, how much it would cost, and if any other services would be available to commuters within the building.

Ganson told the committee that the ferries will travel to Manhattan, which should take about 40 to 45 minutes, and may also travel to JFK Airport, which may take as little as 29 minutes.

The cost of the service is to be determined at a later date; however, Ganson emphasized that the service is aimed at being competitively priced with other area ferry services.

Members of the committee pointed out that a low cost of $15 to $19 per day for the service might draw commuters who are currently using the train to get to work, which might help alleviate the parking problem at the train station.

Toward the conclusion of his presentation, Ganson told the committee that the county currently has all of its permits in order to continue with the project, although it is preparing a response to the corps’ concerns about the number of available parking spaces at existing ferry sites operated by New York Fast Ferry and Seastreak Ferry in Highlands and Atlantic Highlands.

"The corps wants us to re-examine the parking issue based on Congressman (Frank) Pallone’s letter," he said. "But their argument is based on what-ifs; whereas, we had professional engineers look at this. Right now we have the permits necessary. … We will respond to their concerns, hopefully this week."

Ganson also dispelled questions about whether a N.Y. Fast Ferry service in Keyport, which the Keyport Borough Council is considering, would lessen the need for the ferry service in Belford.

"They have a significant ways to go before that may happen (in Keyport)," he said. "And that service would serve a different ridership. But regardless, this service is to complement existing ferry services, not to compete with them."

Matawan revitalization

entering a new phase

Brookdale program to give town ‘a boost,’

says mayor

MATAWAN — In this tiny borough of historic buildings and a downtown commercial district struggling to make a comeback, there’s a new sense of excitement .

The Borough Council recently approved $3,000 to retain the input of eight architecture students at Brookdale Community College in Middletown under the guidance of Professor Edward O’Neill to create a more pleasing streetscape in the downtown business area.

The inaugural meeting between the students, who will design streetscapes in accordance with guidelines provided by the borough, Mayor Robert Clifton and representatives from the Downtown Matawan Alliance (DMA) and the Matawan Historical Society took place March 1 at the Matawan Community Center.

The study area is along the center portion of Main Street, from Cartan Lane to Summit Street.

"This program with Brookdale is a psychological boost for all of Matawan," Mayor Clifton said.

Although the inaugural meeting drew only about 25 residents, fewer than had been hoped for, more meetings are planned.

One resident questioned the intent of this program, whether it was for aesthetic or business purposes.

"This program will give us the ability to create an ambiance to enhance business," answered Downtown Alliance Director Ralph Treadway. "We’re not competing with the malls, but revitalization will certainly make it more attractive for people to shop in downtown."

"Right now there is a collage of many different buildings, unattractive signage, and unsightly power lines," added Robert Montfort, president of the Historical Society and member of the Historic Sites Committee. "By making it prettier, it will increase business."

The eight Brookdale students are Andrew Burian and Vincent Parise, both Middletown; Glenn Dantuono, Manalapan; Ralph Delia, Long Branch; Shuhel Kawogoe, Tinton Falls; Mark Kinn-Gurzo, Manasquan; Al Stewart, Union Beach; and Keith Wickersty, Marlboro.

Although this project is the first of its kind for these students, former Brookdale architecture classes have worked on similar projects in the North Middletown and Campbell’s Junction neighborhood commercial districts in Middletown and on two different projects in Red Bank.

With the North Middletown project, Middletown was able to secure $150,000 in grants via a booklet proposal submitted by the Brookdale students. For this project, the students will be rendering a similar booklet proposal.

The Matawan target area has a mix of architectural styles, including Victorian, Queen Anne and Colonial. The area just south of the study area, from roughly Summit Street to Route 34, dates almost exclusively to the 19th century, with 80 percent of the buildings having been constructed between 1830 and 1900.

The Downtown Alliance, in conjunction with the Historical Society and the Borough Council, has moved the revitalization program to this stage of dialogue and design, with the Brookdale partnership viewed as the first step in a long-term project.

Currently in Matawan, there is no historic district, and a Downtown Preservation District covers only two blocks. The possibility of a historic area designation is something that will be addressed in the near future.

Fred Sklenar, a Downtown Alliance board member, said that what is presented by the students, called the "deliverables," will be used toward the overall assessment of architecture in the downtown and surrounding areas.

The next phase for the students will be to develop design principles and apply them to the various styles of architecture.

At the next meeting O’Neill said that the students sitting beside him will be the ones to field the questions. He figures about three more meetings will take place, though no dates have been set.

Mid’town teen talent attracts Liza Minnelli

der=0 bgcolor=”#D0D0D0″>

Jennifer Rush Jacobs

17-year-old singer

influenced by Village

School music teacher

MIDDLETOWN — For 17-year-old Jennifer Rush Jacobs, a normal day includes getting up, going to school … and singing with Liza Minnelli.

Yes, that Liza Minnelli, the famous daughter of the famous mother.

Jennifer, a junior at Middletown High School South, discovered her musical voice during a chorus concert when she was just a fifth-grader.

"It was actually my music teacher at Middletown Village School who told me I had talent," she recalled. "I really owe a lot of my thanks to her."

Since then, Jennifer has appeared in every sort of production ranging from a solo performance at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark to performing at Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands.

Jennifer also enjoys performing for kids. This past Valentine’s Day, she performed for disabled children at the Children’s Specialized Hospital in Toms River.

And in 1998, she was a soloist in a "Kids in Krisis" program, which benefits underprivileged kids in urban areas.

"That’s one of my favorite things to do," said Jennifer. "Performing for an audience like that is wonderful."

Jennifer studied voice and drama at the Westminster Choir College, Princeton, and has also participated in a summer youth performance workshop at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

And most impressively she is planning one-on-one sessions with Liza Minnelli, who has agreed to serve as a mentor to Jennifer.

The relationship started when Jennifer was experiencing problems with her voice and was referred to voice coaches who work with Minnelli.

Jennifer’s voice coaches mentioned her to Minnelli, who expressed an interest in meeting the teen-ager.

"The first meeting with Liza was at her apartment" in Manhattan, said Jennifer. "I sang with her for about an hour. It was amazing."

Jennifer calls Minnelli a wonderful person for "taking the time to help out a young performer."

Jennifer’s voice coach, Linda Carroll, calls her an incredible talent. "Not many people have the instinctive ability to take recommendations and advice and put it to work immediately like Jennifer does," says Carroll. "She has remarkable talent for a 17-year-old."

Jennifer trades the compliments, praising her coaches for helping her improve her skills.

"Since working with my coaches, I have been able to extend my vocal range tremendously," she said.

While she sings pieces that best illustrate her range, she is currently looking for songwriters and would love to sing some original music.

Jennifer has many other talents besides singing, including having a black belt in karate.

"Karate is something I got into when I was younger," she said. "And it’s good because when I am traveling alone, I know I am able to protect myself."

As for the future, she has huge plans.

"In five years, I’d like to be signed to a record label and have my own album out," she said. "Then in about 10 years, I’d like to be known as an international recording artist and win a Grammy."

Jennifer’s parents feel she will have no trouble reaching this goal. "Singing is a passion that Jennifer has in her heart," says her mother Kim. "She lives and breathes music and she is very dedicated and driven."

Given her amazing voice and remarkable maturity, Jennifer may well be on her way to making her dreams a reality.

Middletown North

bomb threat a hoax

MIDDLETOWN — Police responded to a bomb threat at Middletown High School North on March 2.

According to police, the school’s secretary received a phone call from a young male at approximately 8:37 a.m., who said that a bomb was going to go off in the school.

Students and faculty members were immediately evacuated while police and members of the fire department searched the school.

No bombs were found and there are no suspects at this time, police said.

Holmdel Theatre Guild

stages ‘Anything Goes’

The Holmdel Theatre Guild, Holmdel High School, 36 Crawfords Corner Rd., Holmdel, will stage the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes.

The show will take place on March 9 at 7:30 p.m. and March 10 and 11 at 8 p.m. in the school auditorium.

Tickets are $7 general admission; $5 for students and seniors and will be available at the door.

For additional information, call the school at (732) 946-1839.

Holmdel pressing to save farm

When township officials showed up at the DePalma farm at 9 a.m. Monday, family members were caught by surprise.

"On Friday, when I hung up the phone with Congressman (Rush) Holt’s assistant, I was under the impression that the meeting would be rescheduled," said a member of the DePalma family who did not wish to be identified.

"We did not want the press conference to be held on Monday on our property."

Instead of meeting at the farm, Congressman Holt (D-12), who has been a frequent visitor to Holmdel lately, addressed Mayor Gary Aumiller and other Holmdel officials on the importance of preserving open space on Wind Hill Road, which splits the De Palma property.

Holt supports a bill that would phase out state taxes for family-owned businesses and farms.

"People care about open space, and I think we should go to extraordinary measures to save it," said Holt. "This bill is intended to support what towns and states are trying to do."

Despite the last-minute location change, Larry Fink, who chairs the township’s Environmental Commission and is a member of the Open Space Advisory Council, felt that the meeting was productive.

"I think it is an honor to have a congressman take interest in a local issue," said Fink. "If we don’t preserve farms we won’t be able to call ourselves the ‘Garden State.’"

Fink added that although Holmdel has missed opportunities to preserve open space in the past, purchasing the DePalma property is something that Holmdel officials support wholeheartedly.

The acquisition would be in keeping with the township’s open space study, which calls for preserving "at least one large tract in northern Holmdel … for continued use as farmland" and for expanding an existing park or providing a new park in northern Holmdel. It also calls for preserving one large tract in southern Holmdel for continued use as farmland.

Should Holmdel’s bid to purchase the land be successful, the town plans to continue leasing the land to the DePalmas.

According to Wall, the township’s bid, which was submitted March 3, was based on an appraisal and made through attorney James Cleary, who has been appointed by the court to liquidate the property to satisfy out-