Of all the things that make Little Silver a special place, its residents are what turn a nice location into a real home town.
So among the news items to follow will be a tip of the hat to some of our friends, neighbors, and public servants. See if you recognize them.
First, however, my yearly reminder: it’s the start of what is predicted to be an above-average hurricane season, so please be absolutely sure you are signed up – and if already signed up, that your contact information is current - with our Two River Alert system, also known as Code Red.
Our emergency messaging system can be life-saving, but it can also help you navigate around town, or alert you to critical safety or health issues. For instance, those who are signed up knew that the water main on Willow that burst at the end of May forced the closure of a key road over the course of two days, and were able to avoid the area.
So please, if you are not enrolled, go to www.littlesilver.org and click on the Emergency Services tab at the top of the home page, or the Code Red button at the bottom left of the home page. You may also call 866-939-0911 or borough hall for assistance.
And speaking of emergencies, the borough in May recognized recently-retired LSPD Chief Dan Shaffery. Chief Shaffery served his entire law enforcement career here in Little Silver, and was for more than ten years chief of our superb department.
In addition to being devoted to providing our residents with a professional, cutting-edge and caring police department, the Chief was also something of a tech whiz, and often consulted with various borough departments about enhancing our technical capabilities.
Friends and colleagues gathered at the end of May in Borough Hall to wish Chief Shaffery well, and present him with a resolution offering our thanks for a job well done, and a career well spent. We extend our best to Dan, Steph and the girls in the future.
In Environmental Commission news, the EC was excited to announce the receipt of an ANJEC grant to install a rain garden at Challenger Field. The grants are hard to come by, so we want to congratulate Bonnie Akey and her team for their persistence over the years.
Rain gardens are depressions often planted with grasses or flowering perennials, and are a cost effective and attractive way to reduce runoff, help filter pollutant and provide food and shelter for butterflies and songbirds.
In addition to the coming rain garden, Challenger and our other parks will soon be equipped with new AED (automated external defibrillator) devices – an effort to keep everyone as safe as possible. Some current AED devices – for response to a cardiac issue – were outdated, and two new locations will be added, so please look for those when you visit our open spaces.
We also strive to keep students safe in our schools, and in cooperation with other sending districts, station an officer at Red Bank Regional High School.
Our current Student Resource Officer is PO Andrew Smith, who recently helped save a life using his advanced emergency response training.
Police Officer Smith, with school security Officer Daniel Hedden, responded to a student who had suffered a significant laceration. PO Smith recognized the wound as a life-threatening arterial bleed, and applied a high and tight tourniquet as our EMS squad responded.
We recently recognized both men during a Borough Council meeting. Thank you Andrew, Officer Hedden, and all those in Little Silver who are there when we need them most.
In a less dramatic but no less important development over at the high school, we’re pleased to announce that Carter Costic of Little Silver is the valedictorian in the RBR graduating class of 2022.
Carter, who will be studying computer science at Princeton University in the fall, is a member of a number of honor societies and has received many honors. He recently won first place in the Database Design and Applications competition held by Future Business Leaders of America, moving on to compete against 200 students across the country.
We congratulate Carter on his outstanding achievement, and wish all of our graduating seniors well; they should all be especially proud of graduating after facing the added challenges of a pandemic during their high school days.
In other scholastic news, we were sad to learn that Point Road School Principal Doctor Pam Albert Devine will be retiring at the end of the school year.
Doctor Albert has been an extraordinary leader and educator during her tenure in Little Silver, always encouraging, always interested, and always devoted to her students. She will be sorely missed, but we know the magic of social media will help us all stay in touch with this great friend to so many in town.
We were also sad to learn that John Heidema will be moving to Maryland after many years in Little Silver, where he serves on the Shade Tree and Environmental commissions.
In addition to his knowledgeable contributions to those groups, John was something of an unofficial town naturalist, and we were pleased to periodically post his emails about his travels on our trails and around town, where he helped educate us about the plants, animals, and ecosystem around us. Recently, John shared a video of a big bald eagle enjoying fish for lunch high up on the branch of a tree near one of our creeks.
Even if you don’t know John, you might recognize him as the gentleman with longish white hair, sometimes walking his dog, but most often with a string trimmer or hedge clipper, walking our open spaces, and improving them so that others could more easily enjoy what John so clearly loves.
We wish John and Karen well in their new location, and thank him for his many years of service.
John would occasionally visit the Parker Homestead, which has been extraordinarily busy with a successful car show, Scout campouts, visits from our second graders, and more. In May, Boy Scout Jack Clausing and crew planted 12 apple trees at the Homestead, bringing back to life the orchard that used to occupy the property.
The Homestead will be open for visits and tours every Saturday in June, July and August, so please take advantage and stop by this historic treasure dating to 1665.
Our Library has also been busy, and we look forward to the improvement of its outdoor patio in the near future, with the addition of a pergola and replacement of the patio surface, using our open space funding.
The patio adds much to the Library’s function as a quiet, wifi-enabled gathering place. We encourage everyone to stop by, pick up a library card, and enjoy the many offerings and advantages of membership.
Lastly, please keep an eye out on July 2 as our emergency services hit the road, boots in hand, in a ‘boot drive’ to raise funding for these all-volunteer groups. Members will be at various intersections around town, so please drive safely.
Remember, these are the folks who spend untold hours training, practicing, and responding to us when we need them. Hint: these boots get heavy with change, so folding money helps lighten the load. Of course, the smallest contribution is appreciated, so please do what you can when you see their friendly faces.
The governing body wishes you all a safe and pleasant summer season. As always, please call borough hall with any concerns, or contact me directly by calling my home phone at (732) 576-8595, or emailing me at [email protected]