Berkeley Patch Top Ten Stories In 2013

A bed sits in Barnegat Bay off Good Luck Point after Superstorm Sandy           after Superstorm Sandyafter
A bed sits in Barnegat Bay off Good Luck Point after Superstorm Sandy after Superstorm Sandyafter
by Patricia A. Miller

It was a year many in town would rather forget.

Residents battered by Superstorm Sandy struggled and still struggle to put their home and lives together. Many are still financially paralyzed, unable to demolish or rebuild their homes because of delays in federal funding.

Township officials held a series in information sessions during the first eight months of the year, to help bewildered residents through the maze of demolition, raising homes, rebuilding, flood insurance and federal funding.

• Keeping Watch Over a Battered Town: - Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr., Police Chief Karin T. DiMichele and Township Council President reflect on storm that devastated Glen Cove, Good Luck Point, Pelican Island and South Seaside Park:

• Glen Cove couple have nothing but an empty lot after Sandy: Donna and Frank Matusik lost their longtime family home on Maple Street.

Storm Chronicles: A Look Back at October 29, 2012.

• No contest:
The Township Council race for the four ward seats was a non-event. Republican candidates took every seat. They had no opposition, since no Democrats filed to run. Berkeley - once a Democratic bastion - will remain solidly in GOP hands in 2014.

• Boardwalk conflagration: A fast-moving fire that began in Seaside Park and headed north to Seaside Heights destroyed a sections of rebuilt boardwalk, business and gobbled up the Funtown Pier.

• A shocking shooting in Toms River: Six-year-old Brandon Halt died the day after a four-year-old neighbor with access to his family's guns shot the little boy.

• Any day now, any day: Although township officials ordered the owner of the decrepit Beachwood Shopping Center to tear the plaza down shortly after a fire on the night of Superstorm Sandy, the eyesore is still standing. Although Priscilla Oughton is still being fined each day, Township Attorney George R. Gilmore advised the Township Council to give her and potential redevelopers more time to hammer out an agreement. Contractors are on the site, slowly removing metal and asbestos before the center can come down.

• Independent thinkers not wanted::Republican Township Councilwoman Fran Siddons loses her quest for a second term after the local Republican Club refused to endorse her. Siddons later went up against Sophia Gingrich, the club nominee, but lost in the primary election.

• A difficult budget in the wake of Superstorm Sandy:

• An uneasy time to be a a student: Identification card swipe system to be put into soon, along with shatterproof coverings on windows. Both the Berkeley Township and Central Regional schools have armed police officers on duty during school hours.


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