By John BurtonSEA BRIGHT – There is one less objector, and a continuing number of supporters, as the borough Planning Board continues to hear the application this week for the re-envisioned Mad Hatter restaurant.As the board continued to address the plans to rebuild the popular Sandy-damaged spot, located at 10 East Ocean Ave., the lawyer representing one of the project opponents withdrew the objections.Jeffrey Gale, a Hazlet attorney representing the owner of a now-vacant neighboring property, told the board and crowded audience that his client was satisfied with changes to the plan that address the concerns.Gale’s comments were met with a round of applause by the supporters of the project, causing the attorney to quip he’s been waiting months to hear that applause.Later, Gale said the issue was the concern over the noise that would emanate from the popular shore spot. But given the testimony of a sound expert for the bar at the hearing held earlier this month and the planned changes, “My client is satisfied and ready to let the board do as it may,” the attorney said.Gale represents JMN Holdings, Inc., the owner of record of the neighboring property that formerly had a lumber business before being damaged by Super Storm Sandy in October 2012.Kevin Asadi, the lawyer representing the Mad Hatter’s owners, told the board that the plans changed to include modifying the stereo sound system and installing an 8-foot-high wall, made of half-inch glass, around the second floor rear outdoor deck.Courtney Davis, a borough resident who has attended hearings to support the project, was happy with this development. “Hopefully, they’ll come to their senses,” she said of the other objectors.Davis has been giving out T-shirts reading #MADPRIDE and a number of audience members wore them. “We decided we wanted a visual support and show the Kellys we’re behind them,” Davis said, referring to the bar’s owners.Despite this development, Red Bank attorney Ron Gasiorowski, representing a neighboring homeowner, gave no quarter. Gasiorowski cross-examined professional planner Keenan Hughes, representing the bar. Hughes said the use is permitted and desirable for a downtown commercial zone and would encourage visits to the area and insisted the site isn’t a “nightclub” under state land use definition; it is primarily a restaurant and bar, but will have live and recorded music, Hughes said.Gasiorowski is representing Jennifer Walsh, who lives in the vicinity of this Ocean Avenue location, and has been arguing that the project is too substantial for the property and would be disruptive for the quality of life for area residents.The board will again hear this application on May 19, when Gasiorowski is expected to continue to present professional testimony of a noise expert.Kelly Management Group, LLC, headed up by Scott Kelly, is seeking board approval to construct a three-story, elevated structure, which would have seven parking spaces under it. The three stories would consist of the ground floor with restaurant seating and a retail kiosk for selling T-shirts and sweatshirts and takeout food; the two upper levels would have bars and outside decks. The site would have live entertainment during the busier evenings and a sound system playing recorded music the rest of the time. Kelly said his planned operating hours would be between 11 a.m. and 2 a.m., seven days a week.Supporters say this project would help in Sea Bright’s ongoing redevelopment after Sandy’s devastation to the community. Opponents say the owners are seeking to overdevelop the site which would overtax area parking and be noisy.
It’s only October, but we have a good old fashion showdown in the Murdoch Division of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.Division-leading Nelson Leafs play host to second-place Beaver Valley Nitehawks in the first meeting of the season between the two West Kootenay combatants Tuesday at the NDCC Arena.“It’s exciting the guys are starting to believe, but this will be a good test for us,” said Leaf coach Frank Maida.Both teams enter the contest on a roll to start the KIJHL season.Nelson has won five consecutive games after losing two of its first three — the second setback coming in overtime to Kelowna.In the Beaver Valley, the Hawks, under the guidance of seasoned KIJHL veteran coach Terry Jones, have lost just once in six games and sit only three points behind the Leafs in Murdoch Division standings.“Beaver Valley is a strong, disciplined coached team,” said Maida of the upcoming clash.“Terry (Jones) has been around the league a long time and it looks like he has his team playing very well.”Snipers Ryan Edwards and Chris Derochie along with 16-year-old rookie Craig Martin lead Beaver Valley in scoring.All three players have more points this season than the top scorer on the Leafs, Matti Jmaeff.Last season Beaver Valley dominated the Leafs, winning the season firstname.lastname@example.org
FLAVIEN PRAT, NEVERADOUBT, WINNER: “(Mike) Puype was pretty confident before the race. I didn’t know this horse but the pace helped him a lot and the track was a little bit soft and that helped as well. The pace was pretty fast so that’s good when you’re behind.“He doesn’t look like he’s got a turn of foot but he’s got one pace. I didn’t think I would win but I thought we would be close, third, second.“There wasn’t any bumping (in response to Rafael Bejarano’s claim of foul) It was pretty tough but he was never tired. He won pretty easy today.”VICTOR ESPINOZA, ZINVOR, FIFTH: “He broke too sharp. There were fast fractions and I was trying to relax him but he was a little bit too keen. The outside horse was pushing me and that’s when he got a little aggressive. I wanted him to break clean and be comfortable either on the lead or behind but be relaxed but that never happened. On the first turn he was working too much, too hard and it was just too much for him.”TRAINER QUOTES MIKE PUYPE, NEVERADOUBT, WINNER: “Flavien rode a great race and saved a lot of ground. Tom Hudson, who manages the horses, wanted to go in the race. Tom said, ‘He should go the distance. He’s doing good.’ But Flavien Prat rode the race and it was a great ride. We just took a shot he could cover the distance.“It was a good ride and patient handling and he did a great job with the horse. He had a big abscess in his foot (right hind) a few weeks ago and it took time to get it taken care of. The shoer did a good job, he put a bar shoe on him and got him to where we could get him back to the track to train and it was wonderful.(On running this kind of race in only his fourth start): “He broke his maiden the first time and what a great ride today. We couldn’t be happier with the event.“The second race on the dirt, he was rank, threw his head and didn’t like the dirt. Third race was an open allowance race; it wasn’t a Cal-Bred race. It was a sprint and it wasn’t that bad of a race. Realistically, handicapping the race, I didn’t think any of these horses were that great at a mile-and-an-eighth. We were just hoping the distance would be the equalizer to allow us to have a chance. Remember this, if you look at the history of the Snow Chief and look at the stats, plenty of longshots and maiden winners have won this. You better believe it. It’s because of the distance. There are a lot of good horses bred in California that are fast but a lot that can’t run the full distance and the distance really helped this horse today.(On the inquiry) “There was nothing there. That was a joke of an inquiry.” NOTES: The winning owners are Donald Patrick of San Luis Obispo (SLO Racing); Tom Hudson; and Tony and Suzie Narducci. JOCKEY QUOTES -30-