Independent News Briefs, May 26

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The Matawan Borough Council has adopted an ordinance which ends a shared services agreement for municipal court services with Hazlet and establishes an agreement for those services with Aberdeen Township.

Councilman Brett Cannon said the agreement with Hazlet was in place for a number of years.

“The agreement came up and it was talked about a number of times … we share a school district with our sister town Aberdeen, we share sports linked with our sister town, and we have other shared services agreements with Aberdeen, and it just didn’t make much sense to continue to work with Hazlet, especially with costs that were not saving the taxpayers any kind of money,” Cannon said.

“With this agreement, anyone who is issued a ticket in Matawan will have their case heard in the Aberdeen Township municipal court,” he said.

In other business, Matawan council members authorized the promotion of Class II Special Law Enforcement Officer Shawn Ramcheran to police officer and authorized the hiring of Lyndsay Merola as a police officer. They will replace officers who retired from the Matawan Police Department.


The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County presents “Eric Mendelsohn: Synagogue Architect with a Vision” on June 6 at 2 p.m. Admission is free (donations are welcome). To make a reservation and receive the Zoom link, call 732-252-6990, email [email protected] or visit

Between 1946 and 1953, the American, German-Jewish architect Eric Mendelsohn built four synagogues in the Midwest which were the crowning conclusion of his career through tumultuous times, according to a press release.

In his book “Eric Mendelsohn’s Synagogues in America,” photographer Michael Palmer records in detail these four Mendelsohn synagogues, located in Saint Paul, Minn., Saint Louis, Mo., Cleveland, Ohio, and Grand Rapids, Mich.

Palmer will use his photographs as the foundation for a discussion about Mendelsohn, his Jewish identity and his architectural mission. He is a photographer whose work has explored the architectural legacy and relevance of the German-Jewish exodus from Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, according to the press release.


The Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners would like to spread awareness about the Spotted Lanternfly, which is an invasive plant-hopper that can affect agricultural crops that are important to the county.

The Spotted Lanternfly feeds on the sap of more than 70 different plants. As the insect feeds, it excretes a honeydew that can attract bees, wasps and other insects. The dew can also lead to a buildup of fungus on plants, outdoor furniture and other surfaces, according to a press release.

Signs that the Spotted Lanternfly has affected plants include: plants that ooze or weep and have a fermented odor; a buildup of sticky fluid (honeydew) on plants and on the ground under infested plants; sooty mold on infested plants.

Inspect trees and plants for signs of this pest, particularly at dusk and at night when the insects tend to gather in large groups on the trunks or stems of plants, and inspect trees (in particular, tree of heaven), bricks, stone and other smooth surfaces for egg masses.

If the Spotted Lanternfly is found, residents can go to report a sighting.


Local leaders with experience in business, law, education and accounting were recently elected to the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore Board of Directors.

The new board members, appointed on May 12, will serve two-year terms and support the organization in guiding its strategic direction to fulfill its mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place, according to a press release.

The new board members are:

• Sara E. Brown, Manalapan, executive director of Chhange, the Center for Holocaust, Human Rights and Genocide Education;

• Laura Coccaro, Lincroft, chief of staff for the Office of the CEO and iCIMS leadership team;

• Anne M. Davis, Brick Township, an attorney specializing in business law, real estate, family, civil litigation and personal injury;

• Charles Ford, Freehold, superintendent of the Monmouth County Vocational School District;

• Judie Saunders, Red Bank, a lawyer who has worked on behalf of clients accused of serious crimes and individuals who have suffered sexual, physical and psychological injuries;

• Jay Whalen, Wall Township, chief accounting officer of Commvault.

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore serves approximately 9,000 girls between the ages of 5 and 18 in Monmouth and Ocean counties.


The Count Basie Center for the Arts, Red Bank, has launched its “Back To The Basie” initiative, anticipating increased capacities and a resumption of normal operations following more than a year of shuttered and reduced operations as a result of the COVID-9 pandemic, according to a press release.

“Vaccinations and a year of careful preparation and research have brought us to the precipice of allowing our patrons, students and community back to the Basie,” said Adam Philipson, president and CEO, Count Basie Center for the Arts.

“The last 15 or so months have been a challenge for our nonprofit organization, but with support from the community and an array of performing artists, we have been able to squeak by with drive-ins, outdoor concerts and limited capacity shows onsite,” he said.

Four new shows were announced on May 19 for the Basie Center’s Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre: Comedian Nate Bargatze (late show on Oct. 3); Bianca Del Rio (Oct. 27); MasterChef Junior Live! (Nov. 15); and The Price Is Right – Live (Feb. 23).

Tickets are on sale now. Count Basie Center members get first access to tickets for most shows. Visit