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VIDEO: Lt. Gov. Kicks Off Marketing Campaign at Jenkinson's Aquarium

Also says state working with federal officials to fairly disburse block grants to residents

 

Come to the Jersey Shore for Valentine's Day and then come back in the spring, summer and fall.

That was the message from Acting Gov. Kim Guadagno who kicked off the state's "Show your Love for the Jersey Shore" campaign on Monday afternoon at Jenkinson's Aquarium on the boardwalk.

"Come to the Jersey Shore for Valentine's Day, we're open for business," Guadagno said, standing at a podium just across from the penguins. She said it's crucial that the private-public marketing campaign effort, which is being done in conjunction with other marketing campaigns, gets the message out so the state's $38 billion tourism industry can again be robust.

"The Jersey Shore is a large piece of that industry," she said. "We need to keep our numbers up for day trips and overnight stays."

She said the state's other marketing efforts include signs touting: "New Jersey, State of Resilience," at the Super Bowl and also at an upcoming expo in Chicago in March. "Choose New Jersey" funded those efforts, she said.

She said next week she will promote Jersey Shore tourism in Montreal, Canada. Tourists from Canada are the most frequent tourists who stay overnight, she said.

She said she is hoping the entire Shore region is ready by Memorial Day, but that the state is "shooting for July 4th."

In Point Beach, business and government officials expect the center, commercial section of the boardwalk and its businesses to be fully operational by Easter weekend and for the entire boardwalk to be intact by Memorial Day weekend.

Guadagno and Smith happy to see public-private recovery efforts

Guadagno thanked Point Beach Mayor Vincent Barrella, who was sitting in the front row next to Frank Storino, one of the owners of Jenkinson's.

"The mayor is here and he will be one of the greatest advocates for the Shore," she said. "He told us you have to come back and we're here, mayor, keeping our promise."

Guadagno also praised the owners and staff of Jenkinson's, where staff lived at the aquarium for more than a week and kept all of the animals safe, and where crews are working to restore Jenkinson's Boardwalk in time for the annual Easter egg hunt and 2-for-1 ticket sales during Easter weekend (March 29 through 31).

Rep. Chris Smith, who has been meeting with and in frequent communication with Barrella since the storm, said, "Mayor, thank you for your leadership. I was here two days after the storm and the mayor was everywhere working with his OEM (Office of Emergency  Management Coordinator). Thank you for your tremendous leadership and for your staff."

Smith said he is supporting the message that the Jersey Shore towns, like Point Pleasant Beach and Belmar, where he spent many of his vacations, are back in operation.

"They're back and people need to know that," he said.

When asked about the cost of the "Show Your Love for the Jersey Shore" campaign, Guadagno said. "I'm not sure yet, but it doesn't cost much right now. This is just a precursor to a marketing campaign."

She said that long before Sandy, the state had approved an expenditure of $2.5 to 3 million to promote the Jersey Shore. That allocation, which is separate from the campaign that was jump started Monday, will go forward as planned, she said.

"You punch me and I'll punch you back"

Guadagno noted that states like Virigina and Maryland are doing lots of advertising about how their beaches are in great shape. Sounding more like her boss than herself, Guadagno said, "You know this administration. You punch me and I'll punch you back," she said, getting a laugh.

"We'll focus on our beaches, we'll double down," she said.

Guadagno was acting governor, rather than her usual title of Lt. Gov., because Gov. Christie was campaign fundraising in California for his reelection bid.

Guadagno wants to know why her house is in a V zone

When asked about the local residents who own businesses, but are having trouble re-opening because their homes flooded and they're awash in red tape and confusion, Guadagno said she understands because she is one of the residents who doesn't have the answers on her own home.

"My own home in Monmouth County was moved from an A zone to a V zone and I'm very interested in finding out why," Guadagno said, referring to her home in Monmouth Beach. A "V zone,"

She said she recommends residents read the state Department of Environmental Protection website that has just posted answers to "frequently asked questions" about flood zones. (Click here and download first FAQ in list.)

Regarding helping residents fund renovations and elevations of their homes, Guadagno said state officials are working closely with federal officials to develop a method of fairly disbursing $1.8 billion in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds issued by Congress last week.

"It has to be transparent," she said.

All residents and business owners should register with FEMA and SBA

She urged all residents and business people impacted in any way by Sandy to register with FEMA and SBA to be in a position to obtain any grants or low interest loans that may be applicable.

After the press conference, Elizabeth Mackay, director of the state's Small Business Advocacy office, said the deadline for most Small Business Administration (SBA) loans is March 1, but that businesses who lost revenue because of the storm have until July 31 to apply for SBA "Economic Injury Loans."

Those loans are made to eligible businesses that lost revenue because of the storm, even if they had no flooding or physical damage, said Garth MacDonald, an SBA public information officer, who was at a local meeting last week and also at the aquarium on Monday.

"If we decline a loan, we refer back to FEMA so the applicant can be considered for other grants," MacDonald said.

And any owner of a business, home or car that was flooded or damaged physically should also apply for the low-interest loans, MacDonald said.

He said there are loans available for up to $2 million for businesses, $200,000 to repair or replace homes and another $40,000 for personal property loss. For more information about SBA loans, see the SBA website. To listen to an audio seminar about SBA loans and other important information for businesses, click here. To register with FEMA, visit the Disaster Assistance section of the FEMA website.

Penguins, fish, sharks and the staff that kept them safe through Sandy

Guadagno came early to see the penguin exhibit, which was expanded and officially re-opened in July. The aquarium was closed from just before Superstorm Sandy until Feb. 1.

Some staff members lived in the aquarium for more than a week, from just before Sandy struck, to make sure all the animals stayed safe, and they did, said Aquarium Director Cindy Claus.

The basement of the aquarium, which is below the main level open to the public, flooded and is still not usable, said Claus. The animals that had been there were moved upstairs before the storm, she said.

In a clear illustration of the growing pains of trying to recover from a devastating superstorm that easily chewed through large chunks of boardwalk and flooded homes, a Bobcat crashed through a small section of the boardwalk near the aquarium on Saturday. The section was roped off on Monday.

Toby Wolf, Jenkinson's marketing director, said she didn't know yet if the piece of equipment was manned by a private contractor for Jenkinson's. She and Barrella, in a joint interview with Patch, said they would look into it and hopefully use insurance coverage to help cover the cost of repairing it.

Bob Alou February 12, 2013 at 12:42 AM
Transparent? You mean like AshBritt no-bid contracts and the current triple dip pension scandal. Give me a break. Go back to Trenton and find another pension to latch on to. Many of our leaders today are nothing but Welfare Queens In Cadillacs.
Chief Wahoo February 12, 2013 at 01:29 AM
No she means transparent like the double dipping scam she and Donovan pulled on the taxpayers when Sheriff
Mr. Happy February 12, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Nice to see the Federal and State Government acknowledge the leadership skills of the Mayor of PPB. Like him or not, we are lucky to have a mayor of this caliber leading the town at this point in time. Kudos to the mayor.
Jersey Shore Grinch February 12, 2013 at 02:09 AM
"Leadership" is the process of social influence in which one person enlists the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. That may be a trait demonstrated by a number of people. Barrella isn't one of them. Not even close.
Randle McMurphy February 12, 2013 at 03:03 AM
"The Mayors here and he is one of the greatest advocates of thr shore" were they serving drinks there?, has the Lt Gov been following PPB over the last 4 years. Mayor Barrella must of slipped her a couple bucks to say that comment. Why do we keep getting the 2nd team Lt Gov instead of Christie himself in PPB. Cant someone tell the Governor what day Vinnie works in NY. Im sure he would come that day instead of forcing the Lt Gov to meet him again. I wonder what Frank Storino is thinking sitting next to the Mayor. 1. Maybe Vinnie will slip into the shark tank 2.Wishes Vinnie was sleeping with the fishes 3. Anthony leaves me with a crappy assignment again 4.I wish Dave Bassinder owned the aquarium so I could throw him out.
Karl February 12, 2013 at 03:15 AM
Very true and funny! Hysterical...good one!
Karl February 12, 2013 at 03:18 AM
Oh boy....The local political boys are all out tonight
Karl February 12, 2013 at 03:20 AM
5. How about flushing them all down the toilet.
Beach_N8iv February 12, 2013 at 06:29 AM
It really kills you "people" that the Mayor is doing a great job on the recovery. I may not agree with him on everything but he's doing an outstanding job during this emergency.
Jersey Shore Grinch February 12, 2013 at 11:45 AM
The emergency ended quite a long time ago. This is the aftermath. This town was/is in much better shape than almost any other shore community in Ocean and Monmouth counties. He is now following the lead of just about every other community based on federal and state direction. He is doing his job. That's what he is supposed to do. What has he done that entitles him to a rating of "outstanding"?
Bob Alou February 12, 2013 at 11:52 AM
Help people back into their homes first and foremost. The boardwalk is not important for anything except photo ops for politicians. We can live without it.
Nick Carraway February 12, 2013 at 02:02 PM
What does Chris Smith know about who has done the work in PPB to help it recover? He pops in and out and does the politically correct thing and credits the recovery to the Mayor. PPB has improved since Sandy because of strength of our community, the work done by our people and our charities. We've done it in spite of not getting much help from the State & Fed govt. As for the Mayor's leadership, it's what the locals think that really matters. I don't think that the Mayor has done a good job. I think that his skill set falls short of the ability to move beyond past differences to be able to give people the help they need. The Council had consecutive meetings in November, while we waited for the Mayor to work out a deal with the BW businesses, to repair the boards and settle the lawsuits. Everything is a negotiation with Barrella. He lacks the ability to just do something, because it's right, and leave it to others to respond with their gratitude. The Barrella bloc should've repealed the bar closing ordinance immediately post-Sandy, especially since Tooker says that no one wanted it anyway. Doing that, without any strings attached, wouldve shown a willingness to work together. The BW businesses were going to help the town rebuild the boards. We all know that. Not allowing Martells to use the town lot to rebuild was absurd. The most you might be able to say is that Barrella didn't get in our way of rebuilding, but you can't even really say that.
Mr. Happy February 12, 2013 at 02:19 PM
Interesting to see the defacto PPB Republican Club attorney/spokeman turn on the Republican congressman. I guess the Mayor is doing something right. I'm pretty certain Chris Smith knows good leadership when he sees (witnesses) it. It's nice to the federal, state and local government all working together. Thanks to all.
Opinionated February 12, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Oh if those pols on the outside knew what was going on inside PPB. What do you think they would say and do? I may not live there but I think most would agree that the top three priorities are: 1. Rebuild the town and try to get things back to normal, 2. Rebuild the town and try to get things back to normal, and 3. Rebuild the town and try to get things back to normal. So please tell me, what does the new parking plan do to achieve Nos. 1, 2, or 3? What does all of the infighting and anti-tourist sentiment do to achieve those goals? PPB has a lot healing to do and it's not just from Sandy.
sam February 12, 2013 at 02:35 PM
I was thinking the same thing the shark tank would be perfect no evidence
Nick Carraway February 12, 2013 at 02:48 PM
Mr. Happy, where do you see the "federal, state and local government" all working together? From what I can see, the federal government isn't doing anything to help us, and with those new FEMA maps and restrictions, the federal government isn't doing anything but more damage than Sandy did in terms of everyone's budgets. The State government wants our businesses open because they want to be able to collect the sales tax on our tourists. Barrella's been saying that for years! I think we should all be focused on helping people get back into their homes, especially since the State seems willing to worry about our tourism industry. The party politics garbage seems to be something that we can't avoid on the federal and State levels, but here in PPB, we all know that it's really not a factor. There are a lot of people out there who are willing to put the past behind and focus on the common good regardless of political labels or designations or even past disputes about town issues that really seem irrelevant now that we've had so many homes damaged by flood waters. I just wish that our Mayor was one of them.
Beach_N8iv February 12, 2013 at 04:13 PM
We can???? I have a newsflash for YOU! Without the boardwalk we won't have the Summer crowd. Without the Summer crowd MOST businesses in town will suffer IF they survive at all. Somehow I knew that when the Mayor and Council decided to defy the will of the voters and move ahead with the parking scam there would be no end to the whining down in the Promised Land of District 4.
outofthebeach4now February 12, 2013 at 04:44 PM
This is the same Mayor who tried to destroy the Boardwalk business with his early bar closing and parking plan. I guess it took a devastating storm to make him look good. What a joke he is and will continue to be.
PennyStocks February 12, 2013 at 04:49 PM
by the boardwalk businesses you mean jenkinsons
Karl February 12, 2013 at 04:50 PM
Beach_N8iv, All though I love the boardwalk and really would NOT like to see it go away like some. I disagree, there is plenty of other beach towns without a boardwalk that survives. It might not be the same...but the town would survive.
Nick Carraway February 12, 2013 at 04:54 PM
Beach, I agree with you that we need the boardwalk, and really, PPB would't be the same town without it. But, I don't know whether I'd refer to District 4 as the "Promised Land," at least not these days. You remember that scene in the Ten Commandments where Charleton Heston parts the Red Sea so that the Israelites can escape from the Egptians? Remember what happens to the Egyptians when they try to cross the Red Sea? Yeah, I think that Sandy did something similar to District 4. I think there are a lot of residents in D4 who don't give a rat's behind, as the Mayor would say, about this parking plan. But, because they're too busy trying to put their lives back together, we're not hearing from them. Not that it would matter, anyway, since you know that Barrella and his bloc were determined to put a parking plan back this year. After all, you have to keep Dave C. happy, right?
Karl February 12, 2013 at 05:00 PM
You are all pathetic and the cause of the shape& situations that the town is in. I do live here and I would say you would have a better chance of hitting the lottery then this town healing. What I see going on in the side of what takes place, my advised would be is to run, never look back. The town is nice, but it is just not worth all the back and fourth fighting that takes place.
Karl February 12, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Many different leaders, politicians in this town seems to lack the ability to just do something that they should, because it's right.
Karl February 12, 2013 at 05:07 PM
I apologize for the error. (inside of what takes place)
Bennie for life February 12, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Chris Smith does not know leadership from a rats butt !
VW Driver February 12, 2013 at 05:44 PM
Anyone watch the Lt. Gov in the video ? What happens after Valentines Day ? Do we leave the shore and head for our dentist and Jenny Craig ?
Beach_N8iv February 13, 2013 at 07:20 AM
At least Mr. Cav does a lot of volunteer work and has become a part of our community. I feel bad for these people who have taken a hit but the entitled attitude, the whole "I've moved here and you HAVE to change to make me happy" bit is getting old. Did their real estate agent cover the boardwalk with a tarp when they showed them around?
Nick Carraway February 13, 2013 at 01:31 PM
Beach, I agree that "the whole 'I've moved here and you HAVE to change to make me happy' bit is getting old. With so much devastation caused by Sandy, there are many who long to have their old homes and town back, warts and all. No town is perfect.
Beach_N8iv February 13, 2013 at 02:48 PM
True, but these towns are set up differently. We are not Spring Lake or Sea Girt and most residents can't afford to go through the changes that this town would have to go through in order to become like them.
Gimmie Shelter February 13, 2013 at 08:28 PM
All these people are collecting a public salary to come up with this crap ? What a waste.

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