MIDDLETOWN – They may have raised the necessary money to sustain Mater Dei Prep for another year but it is only one of the hurdles going forward for supporters of the struggling Roman Catholic high school.The next step is to establish Mater Dei Prep as an independent Catholic school, like Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft. Mater Dei Prep currently functions as a parish school overseen by the Diocese of Trenton, according to a committee member.But before that can happen, the school must submit the required paperwork to the state Department of Education, have the appropriate insurance and apply and receive approval from the municipality, along with meeting other administrative requirements and ultimately receiving approval from the Diocese of Trenton.That requires volunteers working with the campaign to establish a separate legal entity, a state registered not-forprofit corporation that will be used as an endowment to administer the donated funding. In the future, supporters hope that endowment will have a role akin to an independent educational foundation, continuing fundraising and assisting in purchasing equipment, helping pay for capital improvements as well as other services, accordingto a committee member who is not authorized to speak for the committee.The school representatives will have to meet with Bishop David M. O’Connell and others from the Diocese of Trenton to discuss the school’s plan for its future. However, no date has yet been set.Repeated calls to the diocese seeking comment on the process going for ward were not returned; nor were calls to the Rev. Jeff Kegley, the school’s executive director and St. Mar y’s Parish pastor, and principal Craig Palmer.The school is accepting registration for the coming year and all the grade levels are scheduling for the 2015-16 year, said the committee member.“We’re doing everything we feel is necessary to open Mater Dei Prep’s doors in September,” Jim Shaw said in an email last week. “We are fully committed to the success of Mater Dei Prep and based on our conversations with current and prospective families, we believe the entire MDP community is as positive as we are.”In simple terms, explained Elizabeth Wulfhorst, public relations chairperson for the Seraph’s Fund, “We’re moving from surviving to thriving.”On Feb. 3, Kegley announced that Mater Dei Prep, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary, would have to permanently close its doors this June due to a longstanding budget deficit, unstable enrollment and the announcement late last year that the diocese would discontinue its financial support.Suppor ters, made up of families of current and former students and alumni, rallied, working to raise the money to sustain the school for the coming year and working on an extended plan for the school’s continued viability.The $1 million number was announced as the needed target to continue operations for 2015-16 and to provide the financial groundwork for the future years.— By John Burton
By Chris Rotolo |ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – If a kid from Highlands who worked at the Quick Stop can make it, so can you.It’s a sentiment that local icon Kevin Smith has used to inspire a generation of independent filmmakers and one that holds weight, considering the Henry Hudson Regional High School alum was in fact an employee of the Leonardo convenience store while he wrote, directed and produced his breakthrough 1994 hit “Clerks.”A champion of independent film and the creative minds behind them, Smith has announced he’ll be coming home next month in support of the Atlantic Highlands-based FilmOneFest, where he’ll lead an intimate Q&A session on Sunday, May 6 at the vintage Atlantic Cinemas.“Whenever Kevin has hosted events like this, he’s always encouraging and supportive of the artists who are there to ask questions of him,” said Corinna Thuss, FilmOneFest managing director. “He’s genuine and speaks from the heart. He’s able to make a connection. That’s why his story continues to inspire. It’s his authenticity. You can’t fake that and it resonates.”Thuss is in her fourth year with the FilmOneFest – a showcase dedicated to two-minute-long films – and alongside festival founder Robert O’Connor and their staff of dedicated volunteers, the Atlantic Highlands native has worked to make the 10th anniversary of this celebration of the short film a special one.“I know 10 years is a special milestone for Robert and everyone involved and being able to have Kevin be part of the celebration speaks to how far this festival has come. We’re at a place now where we can properly host and promote a huge event featuring a filmmaker of his stature.”Smith is home recovering from life-saving surgery after he suffered a massive heart attack Feb. 25 while shooting a stand-up special in California. According to social media posts by Smith, he had a 100 percent blockage of his left anterior descending artery, also known as a widow-maker. His recovery is not expected to affect his attendance at the event.This is the second consecutive year Smith will be headlining a Q&A event in support of FilmOneFest and festival volunteer Janet Petersen is the one responsible for bringing the filmmaker on board.“Kevin has been a longtime friend of mine,” said Petersen, who met Smith in the eighth grade at Henry Hudson Regional School. “We connected from the very beginning. He was always someone that you just felt comfortable around. He genuinely cares about people and I think that’s why he and his work resonates so strongly with audiences.”Petersen, who attended college in California before settling with her family in the borough, became involved with FilmOneFest two years ago when she learned of the event through her volunteer work with the Atlantic Highlands Arts Council.“The Arts Council offers a free summer arts camp that my two boys take part in and I wanted to give back to the organization that has given my kids so much,” said Petersen, a wealth manager at Oppenheimer. “That’s when I gave Kevin a call and mentioned the festival to him. He was on board immediately and asked what we could do.”The “Intimate Q&A with Kevin Smith” is not part of the scheduled FilmOneFest events but rather a precursor to the festivities, as the festival itself is set to take place on July 21.Tickets for the event are limited and can be purchased at filmonefest.org. There are 22 rows of seating in the Atlantic Cinemas theater. Access to premium seating (Rows 2 through 5) is $60, while regular admission seating is $55.Event Prep – The Kevin Smith Tour of the Jersey ShoreKevin Smith is the mastermind behind such revered cult classics as “Clerks,” “Chasing Amy” and “Dogma,” a series of films that showcased the filmmaker’s adoration for his Bayshore roots by filming at least portions of the movies at various Jersey Shore locations.You can prepare for his forthcoming Q&A by taking this Kevin Smith Tour of the Jersey Shore:The Quick Stop: The tour starts where it all began for Smith, at the Quick Stop convenience store located at 58 Leonard Ave. in Leonardo. Smith filmed the majority of “Clerks” inside the shop, save for some street hockey antics on the roof and select scenes at the now defunct RST Video Rental. He also brought “Clerks II” to a heartwarming conclusion at the shop. Head inside to check out the Quick Stop’s “shrine” to Smith and search for the perfect dozen eggs.The Kings Arms Diner: When Ben Affleck delivered a royalty check to Jay and Silent Bob at this Belford eatery back in the 1997 film “Chasing Amy,” it was called the Marina Diner. Located at 553 Route 36, the diner has since been renamed the Kings Arms, but the layout is still the same. Walk inside, head to the left and pop a squat in the third booth on the right.Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash: Stopping by The Secret Stash at 35 Broad St. in Red Bank is a must for any fan on the Kevin Smith Tour of the Jersey Shore. None of his movies were filmed at the location, but you can see memorabilia from the sets of “Clerks II” and “Dogma.”Jack’s Music Shoppe: After perusing the stash, head across the street to Jack’s Music Shoppe at 30 Broad St. where scenes from “Chasing Amy” were shot. You can also sit on the steps of the apartment to the left of the legendary record store, the upstairs abode that Affleck and Jason Lee called home in the 1997 film.Victory Park: Get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Red Bank by heading down River Road to Victory Park in Rumson. It was on the swing set where Affleck and Joey Lauren Adams fell in love in “Chasing Amy.”Silver Ball Museum: One thing you may not have known about God – or Alanis Morissette, who played the supreme being in Smith’s 1999 production “Dogma” – is that the omniscient being is a big fan of ski ball, or at least that’s what Smith led us to believe in his star-studded spiritual satire. God can be seen strolling on the Asbury Park Boardwalk after a ski ball binge at the 1000 Ocean Ave. locale.The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel: In “Chasing Amy” Affleck and Lee play a pair of successful comic book artists who we first see at a local comic convention. The convention was shot in the ballroom at the storied Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel at 1401 Ocean Ave. in Asbury Park.Ocean Ice Palace: After a long day of touring, the last stop on this trek brings you to the historic Ocean Ice Palace. Cool off with a skate or take in a game from the balcony seating above the ice where Affleck and Adams appeared in the climactic scene of “Chasing Amy.”This article was first published in the April 12-19, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.
Perry said when the meeting’s discussion turned to a proposed regional shared service agreement he was immediately intrigued, but admits pulling it off could take some effort, especially when Middletown stands to shoulder a great deal of the operational burden. “What we’re looking to see is if, as employees retire, instead of replacing completely, can the three of us share the costs of bringing in someone new to oversee all of our operations,” Gonzales said. “These are the types of things that will save taxpayers and the towns money. And it aligns with what the state is looking to do.” Perry views the new town hall construction as a possible centerpiece for this regional shared service accord and called it a potential resource for the entire Bayshore community. “We don’t need the state to tell us that shared services are the way to go. We’ve all been doing that already,” Middletown Mayor Tony Perry said. “Reducing duplication and allowing for cost savings to occur is our responsibility.” “We used to use a database so we can seeif Joe Smith had been arrested previously inother municipalities. There is other softwarein use today, but it proves how useful regionalservices can be.” According to Middletown Township administrator Tony Mercantante, the investigation could go out to bid in July. Bayshore area towns share a similar geography and comparable maintenance obstacles. That has some municipal officials pondering the benefits of a regional shared service agreement. “There’s absolutely a benefit to shared services in general, let alone regional collaboration. We would not be doing our job if we didn’t consider it. Fiscal responsibility lies with all of us,” Hubeny said. “Right now, if we want to do work with Union Beach or Hazlet, we can’t, because we don’t have an agreement in place and there is a process we would need to go through,” Gonzales said. “With a joint agreement in place, any town in the Bayshore region could opt in if they wanted to.” County and municipal government reform and the use of additional shared services is a pillar of the state Legislature’s Path to Progress, a bipartisan plan to rescue New Jersey from what Senate President Steve Sweeney called a “fiscal crisis.” In addition to expanding interlocal shared services, Path to Progress calls for pension and benefit reform, leveraging assets to stabilize the pension system, education reform at the administrative level – including the concept of regional districts to create fewer administrative-level employees – and reworking the state and municipal tax structure. According to Gonzales, Highlands is currently using free DCA services for an audit of each of the borough’s municipal departments to determine if future personnel sharing is an option with the neighboring boroughs of Atlantic Highlands and Sea Bright. Last week Middletown broke ground at the future site of its new town hall complex, a 72,000-square-foot facility that will place all municipal operations, including the police department and court services, under one roof. Some think it could work, and one borough administrator says she’s already taking the steps to test the viability. Hubeny said his borough currently works with neighboring Highlands for mechanic work on municipal vehicles, as well as courtroom services. Another agreement is in place for Middletown to handle the borough’s brush and leaf collections. Earlier this month, Middletown announced its plans to investigate the Bayshore’s main thoroughfare, Route 36, as an area in need of redevelopment. The investigation will study about five miles of highway from the border of Keansburg at Palmer Avenue to the intersection of Leonardville Road and Route 36 near Atlantic Highlands. The goal is to create mechanisms that will entice developers to work with tricky properties that remain undeveloped, underutilized or abandoned. “A lot of towns are leaning on Middletown and it’s because of our size and resources. But there’s benefits to us. One of the reasons we’re building the new town hall is because of the potential it creates to expand our shared services. I already see the potential court sharing, which already happens a lot in the Two River area. The more we share, the more we can reduce taxes for residents,” Perry said. Though the investigation is limited to Middletown properties, better collaboration and a pooling of resources could lead to similar research and development in other Route 36 municipalities. Since the meeting, which occurred in May and included representatives of Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Hazlet, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Matawan and Middletown, Gonzales said she has had preliminary discussions with the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to lay the groundwork for an eventual feasibility study. Atlantic Highlands Borough administrator Adam Hubeny is a former police officer who said he’s witnessed the fruits of similar collaborative efforts at the technological level. During a recent monthly meeting of the Bayshore mayors the topic was broached and approximately “90 to 95 percent” of the municipalities in attendance expressed interest in striking such an accord, said Highlands Borough administrator Kim Gonzales. “We investigate every shared service and sometimes proposals don’t get implemented because we don’t see enough of a benefit for the town. For this to work each governing body is going to have to weigh in on what they can bring to the table, Middletown included, and compare it to what they’re getting back. It will be a process, but it’s possible,” Perry said. But a regional agreement could expandthe benefits. The Bayshore mayors are due to meet again Friday, June 28.
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 25, 2016)–A runaway 16 ¼ length first-out maiden winner at 6 ½ furlongs on April 10, Nick Alexander’s homebred Enola Gray heads a field of six California-bred or sired 3-year-old fillies in Saturday’s $200,000 Melair Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.Originally run at Hollywood Park in 1996, the Melair was taken last year by trainer Phil D’Amato’s Sheer Pleasure and will be run for the third consecutive year at Santa Anita on Saturday. HACKTIVISM: Owned and bred by Reddam Racing, LLC, this Square Eddie filly clipped heels late and was placed fifth, beaten 3 ¼ lengths, in Golden Gate’s Campanile Stakes May 1. A maiden winner at a mile on turf here two starts back on March 10, Hacktivisim has run three good races on turf, but it remains to be seen if she can be effective on dirt, as she was well beaten going six furlongs on the main track in her debut here on Jan. 2. Hacktivism, who is out of the Irish-bred mare Prima Creatura, will make her fifth career start in the Melair.THE $200,000 MELAIR STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS Race 4 (of 11) Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PDT SHY CARMELITA: D’Amato’s second entrant, she is also owned and bred by Alexander and is by Grazen, from the Malek mare Malley Girl. A first-out maiden winner at six furlongs Jan. 30, she comes off 4 ¼ first condition allowance win here going six furlongs on May 7. Shy Carmelita, who has shown she can press the pace or come from behind in four sprints, will try two turns for the first time in the Melair. MELAIR IS ONE OF FIVE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH DAY STAKES FOR HORSES BRED OR SIRED IN CALIFORNIA ENOLA GRAY: Trained by Phil D’Amato, Enola Gray is by the Alexander-owned Grazen and is out of his More Than Ready mare, Unsung Heroine. Off at 4-1, she demolished eight rivals with a front-running blitz under Tyler Baze in her debut and will likely employ similar tactics as she stretches out in the Melair. First post time on Saturday is at 2 p.m. Admission gates will open at 11:30 a.m. For scratches, late changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com. ALLSQUARE: A chestnut filly by Square Eddie out of the Decarchy mare, Showtime Apollo, Allsquare, who was bred by D’Amato, is his third entrant in the race. A game maiden winner going a flat mile on turf here two starts back on March 31, she disappointed as the 5-2 favorite in the mile turf Campanile, finishing seventh, beaten four lengths by Cheekaboo. CHEEKABOO: Trained by Peter Eurton, this chestnut filly by Unusual Heat from the Souvenir Copy mare Sandy Cheeks comes off a come from behind win going one mile on turf in state-bred Campanile Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on May 1. Owned by Sharon Alesia, Mike Burns and Joseph Ciaglia Racing, LLC, Cheekaboo broke her maiden coming from off the pace on dirt here four starts back on Jan. 10. With Enola Gray in the lineup, there figures to be a solid early pace and if good enough, Cheekaboo will hope to be flying late. Her overall mark stands at 6-2-2-1, with earnings of $137,680. Enola Gray–Tyler Baze–120Allsquare–Joe Talamo–120Cheekaboo–Rafael Bejarano–124Hacktivism–Mario Gutierrez–120The Spiral Jetter–Santiago Gonzalez–120Shy Carmelita–Martin Garcia–122 THE SPIRAL JETTER: Originally fourth, beaten two lengths by Cheekaboo, this Andy Mathis-trained filly by Don’tsellmeshort, out of the Renteria mare Early Arriver, was placed third in the Campanile Stakes and will try natural dirt for the first time in the Melair. A 2 ½ length open maiden special weight winner going a flat mile on synthetic Tapeta at Golden Gate three starts back on Feb. 7, The Spiral Jetter, who is 5-1-2-1, has been ridden in all five Golden Gate starts by Julien Couton, but will be handled for the first time by Santiago Gonzalez on Saturday.
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has backed Rishabh Pant for Shikhar Dhawan’s replacement in the India squad at ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.”Shikha OUT the World Cup. Get Pant on the plane ASAP. KL Rahul to open and Pant at number 4…” Pietersen wrote on social media.Shikhar Dhawan suffered a thumb injury during India’s 36-run win over Australia on Sunday. The left-handed opener was hit on the thumb as early as the 9th over but he continued to hit a match-winning 117 for India.However, on Tuesday, it was revealed that Shikhar Dhawan had a fracture to his thumb is likely to be ruled out for 3 weeks.Shikhar Dhawan is currently being assessed by Team India physio Patrick Farhat and it remains to be seen how long the in-form opener would take to recover from the injury. The BCCI may decide not to name a replacement if Dhawan can recover in time for the business end of the tournament but the apex body of Indian cricket is unlikely to take the risk.As it turns out, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer, India Today can confirm, are being considered as likely replacements for Shikhar Dhawan.Speaking to India Today earlier on Tuesday, World Cup-winning off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said India can consider either Rishabh Pant or Ajinkya Rahane as a replacement for Dhawan.Harbhajan Singh pointed out that Ajinkya Rahane has been playing county cricket in India and if Virat Kohli’s men are looking for a senior campaigner, then Rahane is a good option.advertisement”He [Rahane] is a very good option to be considered. He has been playing cricket here. He is one of the middle order batsmen to rely on. He has got the technique to bat at No.3, No.4. He was one of India’s best batsmen at the 2015 World Cup. It would be a bad call to ask him to join the team from here itself. I would still like to see the injury as to how long Shikhar Dhawan is gone. You can straightaway have him in the squad after it heals. You want to be fully fit. Shikhar Dhawan himself won’t take a chance. A fracture ideally takes more than 3 weeks,” Harbhajan said.”At the moment, if I have to pick one replacement player, it would be Rishabh Pant or if you want to go for experience, then it would be Ajinkya Rahane.”Also Read | Shikhar Dhawan’s injury opens the door for other teams, says Harbhajan SinghAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Mitchell Marsh on standby as injury scare hits AustraliaAlso See: