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STARDUST: “There is no greater thing that one can do than to serve other people.” – Beverly Bova Scarano – Hosted by TaraJean McDonald STARDUST: “There is no greater thing that one can do than to serve other people.” – Beverly Bova Scarano – Hosted by TaraJean McDonald(0)YouTube Preview Image

CALICO CAT THRIFT SHOP – STARDUST

“There is no greater thing that one can do than to serve other people.” – Beverly Bova Scarano

The Calico Cat Thrift Shop is nestled in the community of Middletown and is a representation of the town’s dedication to providing food and necessities for the less fortunate. This is where we found Stardust. Beverly Bova Scarano is an avid philanthropist and committed activist for the poor and struggling families in New Jersey. Her passion and drive and her exuberant dedication has inspired so many teens and young adults to join the battle against hunger in New Jersey.

Video: Tour the Calico Cat Thrift Shop and Cupboard & Pantry

For Beverly it all started many years ago when she was a young girl of 21, working at her local town hall in New Jersey. She had just learned that her beloved President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. As a young person she was very inspired by the President and his vision. She always remembered his quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” She had always felt that she had to do something with her life; she wanted to find her purpose and make a meaningful impact in the world. So, after the tragic death of her President, she decided join the Peace Corp. After months of training she was sent to the Philippines to work in the school system teaching English as a second language and helping in the community. When she came back to America after 2 years nothing was the same for her.

Beverly Inspires the Youth to join the Movement to Fight Hunger in their local communities.

How can you help get your children involved with the movement to feed the hungry?

Visit Calico Cat to volunteer for community services, sort food and box food. Getting involved with Boys and Girls Scouts as they promote many of the principles focused on helping in the community. Get involved with a Church or Synagogue that has an outreach program. The Bayshore Lunch Program needs volunteers once a month!

Calico Cat Cupboard & Pantry – Community Outreach Group #732-671-2304,

email: comments@monmouthcog.org

 Interview:

Beverly Bova Scarano, (Philanthropist & Youth Leader)

Janice Liebenow, (Pantry & Cupboard Coordinator)

There are stars all around us in the universe – After stars were formed, the intensity of their energies caused them to explode – their stardust traveled through the universe eventually clumping together to give birth to planets.

The earth is formed from stardust. Our bodies are formed from the earth – so in essence we are all made up of stardust. Every one of us is made up of stardust – the famous and the not so famous; the people who we look up to and admire, and the people who are homeless on the streets. I interview people who shine. Maybe you know them, maybe you don’t. But you are going to learn something about their lives, their passions and what motivates them. And in the end, I hope you realize that we all have the ability to shine, because after all – we are StarDust.

StarDust: “There is no greater thing that one can do than to serve other people.” – Beverly Bova Scarano – Hosted by TaraJean McDonald

TaraJean is a versatile journalist who has produced numerous segments for NJDiscover. She is experienced in Production and Post Production of TV Commercials, Live News Coverage, TV Entertainment Segments and Live Theatrical Events. She runs the gamut from writing to shooting to scripting to editing to post-production. She studied Communications specializing in Advertising at Fordham University, New York City, but her passion for creativity and expression moved her beyond a Bachelor of Arts degree to where she also studied Theatre and Performance at both Fordham and Roundabout Theatre. Her incandescent spirit took her ultimately to the stage and television in Metropolitan New York as an aspiring actress. Along the way, with a few blinks of an eye, TaraJean was married and raising three young daughters. Next, TaraJean harnessed that spirited energy, becoming editor of Our Town, a Monmouth County newspaper and appearing as a TV host for local Channel 77. The next perfect fit for TaraJean was to channel her unlimited energy in central Jersey working with NJ Discover as TV Host, Reporter, Writer and Producer. She consistently brought a special warmth, caring, insight and humanity to her stories and her reputation flourished with on sight reporting about Hurricane Sandy, homelessness and Tent City, pervasive hunger in New Jersey, and Jersey’s iconic music and film scene. She is the epicenter of what’s happening around the county and state. Almost evolutionary, TaraJean went on to co-host NJ Discover LIVE radio and cable TV and still manages time (quintessential juggler) to be Reporter, SpokesModel, Copywriter, Producer, Journalist and now Sr. Editor for Fashion Haunts Magazine.  Blog: YoursTrulyTJ.com

STARDUST:  From Elizabeth to Marlboro to NYC….The Witch of St. Elmora Street – Joey Merlo – written by TaraJean McDonald STARDUST: From Elizabeth to Marlboro to NYC….The Witch of St. Elmora Street – Joey Merlo – written by TaraJean McDonald(0)

StarDust

By TaraJean McDonald

 There are stars all around us in the universe – After stars were formed, the intensity of their energies caused them to explode – their stardust traveled through the universe eventually clumping together to give birth to planets.

The earth is formed from stardust. Our bodies are formed from the earth – so in essence we are all made up of stardust. Every one of us is made up of stardust – the famous and the not so famous; the people who we look up to and admire, and the people who are homeless on the streets. I write about people who shine. Maybe you know them, maybe you don’t. But you are going to learn something about their lives, their passions and what motivates them. And in the end, I hope you realize that we all have the ability to shine, because after all – we are StarDust.

 

From Elizabeth to Marlboro to NYC – StarDust

Joey Merlo – poet, actor and playwright

This past weekend I took a full car ride into the Soho section of NYC to see an Off-Off-Broadway Play. I heard about this talented poet and playwright that wrote a new play called The Witch of St. Elmora Street. He grew up in New Jersey, he attended college in NYC, he travelled to Ghana where he completed his first Documentary and now he lives in Washington Heights and hosts a showcase for artists at Smalls Jazz Club in the West Village. I knew at once this young man was StarDust.

The Witch of St. Elmora Street – by Joey Merlo

There is a fine line between reality and myth that separates the stories Joey Merlo grew up hearing while sitting around his family’s holiday dinner table. Using some of what he heard whispered by relatives and some of what he watched unfold over the years he created a poignant play. This story encompasses an Italian family’s strong bonds along with their ageless traditions and superstitions. Joey was able to create characters that were endearing and at the same time disturbing. When I spoke to Joey after the play, I had to move between audience members who surrounded him with tears and hugs. Joey had touched on the emotions of everyone in the theater. This was immensely due to the storyline of his play, which portrayed both the main characters suffering through the debilitating effects of a broken heart. There is not a person alive who hasn’t lost someone they love or watched someone they love go through the madness that is triggered by a broken heart.

 

Shooting Stars
The talented cast that Joey brought together onstage and backstage came from near and far; two members originally from London, 1 from Ohio and another from the town of Marlboro, NJ. The talented Hair Designer, Ali Tritto, never complained when travelling to NYC and then back home to Marlboro, NJ each night of dress rehearsals and performances, because she knew she had found her niche. She along with the Director and Joey collaborated together to create the memorable styles of each cast member. Lead Actress, Vanessa Kopel, gave credit to Ali’s talents for helping her to bring the character to life on stage. Ali Tritto still works in Manalapan, NJ styling hair at Studio 455 but the doors have opened for her talents to shine in the NYC theater district and movie business. Watch for this shooting star from Marlboro: Ali Tritto.

StarDust Ahead

Closing night was Sunday for this staged play, but Joey Merlo hopes to take the next steps toward bringing The Witch of St. Elmora Street to the big screen. The reviews were astounding, the acting was remarkable and the script was extraordinary. The unforgettable journey this playwright takes us through during his 90-minute play will surely enable it to become a Fresh Tomato hit on the big screen. Keep your eyes out for Joey Merlo and The Witch of St. Elmora Street at Facebook: Wolfpack Theatrics, Instagram: JoeJoeMerlo, www.ElmoraStreet.com.

 

The Witch of St. Elmora Street is by Joey Merlo. Directed by Emylin Kowaleski.  Assistant Director is Brian Pollock. Lighting Designer is Mike Mcgee. Scenic Designer is Brooke Ban Hensbergen. Costume Designer is Lizzie Donelan. Hair Designer is Ali Tritto. Make Up Designer is Lea Maurer. Production Stage Manager is Caitlin Kellermeyer. Tech Director is Aaron Watson. Producer is Jordan Bean, with associate Producer Patrick Taylor. Produced by Wolfpack Theatrics and Dark Matter Productions. Graphics by Alexia Merlo. Photos by Bryan Berrios.

Cast: Caitlin Zoz, Chris Dunlop, Vanessa Koppel, Chinaza Uche, Nathaniel Peart, Nicole Pursell, and Enzo Ferrante.

**************************************************

StarDust: From Elizabeth to Marlboro to NYC article written by TaraJean McDonald   Blog: YoursTrulyTJ.com

TaraJean is a versatile journalist who has produced numerous segments for NJDiscover. She is experienced in Production and Post Production of TV Commercials, Live News Coverage, TV Entertainment Segments and Live Theatrical Events. She runs the gamut from writing to shooting to scripting to editing to post-production. She studied Communications specializing in Advertising at Fordham University, New York City, but her passion for creativity and expression moved her beyond a Bachelor of Arts degree to where she also studied Theatre and Performance at both Fordham and Roundabout Theatre. Her incandescent spirit took her ultimately to the stage and television in Metropolitan New York as an aspiring actress. Along the way, with a few blinks of an eye, TaraJean was married and raising three young daughters. Next, TaraJean harnessed that spirited energy, becoming editor of Our Town, a Monmouth County newspaper and appearing as a TV host for local Channel 77. The next perfect fit for TaraJean was to channel her unlimited energy in central Jersey working with NJ Discover as TV Host, Reporter, Writer and Producer. She consistently brought a special warmth, caring, insight and humanity to her stories and her reputation flourished with on sight reporting about Hurricane Sandy, homelessness and Tent City, pervasive hunger in New Jersey, and Jersey’s iconic music and film scene. She is the epicenter of what’s happening around the county and state. Almost evolutionary, TaraJean went on to co-host NJ Discover LIVE radio and cable TV and still manages time (quintessential juggler) to be Reporter, SpokesModel, Copywriter, Producer, Journalist and now Sr. Editor for Fashion Haunts Magazine.

 

 

 

 

Nightmare in NJ – Halloween 2014 by TaraJean McD. Nightmare in NJ – Halloween 2014 by TaraJean McD.(1)

NIGHTMARE IN JERSEY
Although I love the idea of Halloween and dressing in outrageous outfits, I am not usually a big fan of being scared. Maybe it goes back to my childhood when my sister would race me up the stairs at bedtime and hide somewhere in my room or the bathroom waiting for the perfect opportunity to jump out and terrify me. But this year, with the help of my courageous 11 year old, I decided to see what the fright craze was all about in NJ.

 

Our first visit was to Asbury Park on the evening of the Zombie Walk. Some have called it the largest Zombie gathering in the world.

 

I decided I would dress in a CSI ball cap and sneakers, prepared and ready for a quick escape if necessary. Upon arrival I realized that I would be able to blend in with the hundreds of spectators mixed among the thousands of zombies, which relieved me. I was fully aware that zombies have a tendency to target fearful victims and I didn’t want to be their next meal. My sidekick and I stepped into the slow zombie crawl towards Cookman Avenue alongside an old decrepit man dragging his bloody leg. Looking in either direction I realized that I was surrounded by zombies with bloodied, half eaten faces, dragging their legs and arms and other body parts down the boardwalk.

 

The event was not just for the wild and outrageous lovers of gore, but it was also a fundraiser for brain cancer through the Gray Matters campaign and a blood drive with Central Jersey Blood Center.  I recently learned that over $3000 was raised for Brain Cancer Tumor Center and Camp Jinka – a free summer program offered by the David S. Zocchi Brain Tumor Center for kids and teens whose lives have been impacted by a loved one’s diagnosis of a brain tumor. The evening was a little surreal, and the experience I can take away from this event mostly was the unsettling feeling of what it could be like to actually live through a Zombie Apocalypse. As the sun set on the avenue at Asbury Park the zombies began to spread across the town and meander into some the stores. Bloody old women and half eaten children were standing on lines for cheese fries or a warm pretzel. The sidewalks could not hold all the zombies and they began spilling into the streets, slowly struggling to move in their tattered clothes and face prosthesis. Everywhere we looked decaying groups of people were sluggishly looking for their way home. An eerie night over all, both my little 11 year old and I decided next year we would dress as Zombie warriors and come back to join the crawl.

The following weekend I brought a small group of witches, cats and zombies with me to the Witches Ball in Mount Holly NJ. This event is referred to as wickedly cool and amazingly enchanted. Rather than experiencing the future omen of the apocalypse, we found ourselves propelled into the past within moments as we entered under the archway leading to the Historic Mill Race Village.

As we ambled through the darkly lit streets the atmosphere of magic and mysticism enveloped us. The town had transformed into an old witches haven, with fortunetellers, artists, musicians and vendors. My mood relaxed as I meandered amongst witches and goblins, and men and women of gothic, fantasy, medieval and horror. It almost seemed as though we were all out for an eerie moonlight stroll. After listening to the great sounds of Midnight Mosaic, a local NJ band, we gathered our broomsticks and headed for our next excursion.

 

 

 

The Casola Haunted Hay Ride in Marlboro, NJ on Rte 79 was our final stop for the evening.

Although there were many times I have taken afternoon hayrides through the cornfields, it could not have prepared me for the terrifying darkness that awaited us through the torch lit woods. As the rickety wagon with very little protection slowly waddled down the winding dirt road zombies, ghouls, and axe murderers threw their bodies against the sides of the wagon and clamored on board. They were moaning or screaming or laughing uncontrollably as they moved slowly through the horrified wagon looking for huddling passenger to petrify. Although my little sidekick was shaking in her boots, I felt that I could maintain my composure amongst all these horror film villains. After all, I knew that there was only one figure that could cause my skin to crawl and shatter my bravery. Specifically it was the little demon girl who wore the decaying antique nightgown and used her long dark stringy hair to hide her decomposing face, she was the character from the movie “The Ring”. Luckily, the ride seemed close to the end. Strangely, I sensed a quietness. As I lifted my head from the safety of my daughter’s hooded shoulders, I peeked a look around to see if the eerie villains had abandoned the ride. As I turned to my left I spotted something white and small that seemed to be slowly floating a few feet behind the wagon in the darkness.

As I looked closer my eyes focused on the silhouette of a little girl with long hair wearing a long white night gown following the wagon in her bare feet. My heart stopped. From her pace I was sure she could never catch up to our rickety old wagon. That’s when the wagon came to a halt. I looked at my brave little 11 year old and said, “They have got to be kidding.” Sure enough the little faceless child with the bloody nightgown and dirty feet climbed on board. Not sure how she knew, but she went directly over to me and sat beside me and began to creepily hum a twisted nursery rhyme.

Well…that was all she wrote! I was done and ready to go home.

 

That experience was, after all, my last Halloween adventure for this year. On my list of places I was to visit are some of the scariest and most terrifying in NJ:

 

Six Flags Fright Fest in Jackson

Brookdale’s Haunted Theatre in Lincroft

Asbury Park’s Haunted Hall

Brighton Asylum in Passaic

Field of Terror in East Windsor

Camp Evans Base of Terror in Wall

Ghost Tour of the John Fell House in Allendale

Corn Field of Terror in Egg Harbor City

Fear in the Forest in Browns Mills

Hollowgraves Haunted Manor in Keansburg

Evil Spirits Woods at Emerald Acres in Monrow

Nightmare at Gravity Hill in Jackson.

 

I hope you can choose a place to visit off this year’s October “To Do” list that will help you reach you scare limits this Halloween. Thanks to the creepy little faceless girl in the long bloody nightgown I will be holding off until next year, spending the next hundred sleepless nights regaining my courage.

So, maybe next year I will start with a ghost tour or and haunted asylum (or maybe not).

Happy Halloween!

And post your favorite spine chilling Halloween experiences.

TaraJean McD., NJDiscover.com

NJ DISCOVER SPOTLIGHT: Hudson Valley Environmental (HVE); a vital company in the wake of Hurricane Sandy; what’s helping to make ‘Jersey Strong.’  By Calvin Schwartz   July 9, 2013 NJ DISCOVER SPOTLIGHT: Hudson Valley Environmental (HVE); a vital company in the wake of Hurricane Sandy; what’s helping to make ‘Jersey Strong.’ By Calvin Schwartz July 9, 2013(0)

NJ DISCOVER SPOTLIGHT: Hudson Valley Environmental (HVE); a vital company in the wake of Hurricane Sandy; what’s helping to make ‘Jersey Strong.’  By Calvin Schwartz   July 9, 2013

 

 

 

Sociologically, somehow after Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey emerged from being that place equidistant between Philadelphia and New York City to become the masters of our own fate, identity and destiny. What do I mean? I think Sandy showed the world what we’re made out of; a fierce determination to rebuild and rebound. Yes we are Jersey Strong. The world saw us in action. Prince Harry came by the Jersey shore recently. A week later President Obama and Governor Christie were here together cutting ribbons up and down the shore proclaiming reopening and rebirth.

 

 

In the midst of all the rebuilding energies in New Jersey, showing the world our resilience is an amazing company, Hudson Valley Environmental (HVE) intimately involved in many projects here. Much still needs to be done in Sandy’s aftermath. If you know of anyone still reeling from Sandy and needing any kind of constructive or deconstructive help, by all means get in touch with HVE. They do complete building demolition to simple air monitoring; they care about the people in Jersey; it’s their home state too. Since they are a full-service environmental remediation and demolition contractor, it allows them to take on difficult projects without subcontractors. Simply, this means more control, reducing costs, better quality and safety; they are getting things done quicker, even as we speak.

 

 

 

 

 

What is fascinating to me about HVE and their involvement in the rebuilding of our shore communities is that eight months ago, who really knew about HVE and their capabilities, services or about demolition, remediation, decontamination, deconstruction or dismantling. I always look at the extreme practical side of things.  Hudson Valley Environmental is the only company that has equipment that can raise a house 18 feet and will have a new foundation completed within one week; hugely critical with all the new rebuilding guidelines. HVE has a unique solutions center that is one stop shopping for all rebuilding needs.

This is all crucial to Jersey’s shore citizens. If you think you need any kind of help, big or small, check out HVE.  It is a brave new world and Jersey’s shore is coming back and companies like HVE are no longer invisible but a major part of our strength and revitalization after Sandy.

 

HVE 30 sec TV Commercial.

Hudson Valley Environmental Services  

396 Whitehead Ave   South River, NJ 08882

 732.967.0060

http://www.hvenvironmentalservices.com/

Linda Chorney is Nominated for Grammy in Best Americana Album Linda Chorney is Nominated for Grammy in Best Americana Album(0)

LINDA CHORNEY: My Exclusive Afternoon Interview with an Amazing Grammy Nominated Singer from Monmouth County NJ

 By Calvin Barry Schwartz

 

On the cover of her latest double album, “Emotional Jukebox,” which has just been Grammy nominated for Americana Album of Year, Linda Chorney is pictured holding several one-word signs, describing herself as “cocky, feisty, silly, fearless, elated” and “anxious” to name a few. She is all of the above, as discovered on a recent rainy late October 2011 afternoon with bagels and cups of green tea adorning her kitchen table.

 

Thoughts and emotions swirl around Chorney; songs alone can’t suffice, so she has a blog. Chorney enthusiastically describes her blog video featuring astrophysicist Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson, head of the Hayden Planetarium and the “killer” of planet Pluto. “We met at a party and I decided to interview him on a more human level with a different angle,” she recalls.  Her blogs, like her music, speak a rugged, unbridled Massachusetts-bred individuality. Fascination with science stems from her MIT- PhD father. “If I wasn’t so into music growing up, I might’ve become a scientist,” she muses, adding that her parents supported her music.

 

Making “Emotional Jukebox” was unlike any past album she made (she made six). “Recording in a studio is like being in taxi looking at the meter. But for this album, I had the biggest budget I ever had.”  Thanks to a chance meeting. Back in 2003 when she was doing a show inAspen, an eccentric man approached her, asking if he could send something through the mail. “I gave him a PO Box because I didn’t know what was up.” A few weeks later a wireless guitar and vocal mic arrived.  Turned out that the man was Dr. Jonathan Schneider, aka “The Rock Doc,” who became a life-long friend, supporter, backer and Chorney’s “long lost goofy brother.” In 2010, Dr. Schneider, who minors in music, told theJerseyShoresongwriter:  “I want you to make the album you’ve never been able to make before.” She asserts, “He was instrumental in overseeing this passion project and is one of the most generous kindest people I’ve ever met.”

 

Chorney’s impressive cast on Emotional Jukebox includes Will Lee (Letterman’s CBS orchestra), Shawn Pelton (Saturday Night Live), Leon Pendarvis (Saturday Night Live music director), Jeff Pevar, and Lisa Fischer (back up vocalist with Rolling Stones since 1987) to name a few.

 

“I’ve done six albums and this was the first time I actually did some cover songs from my heroes —  Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Crosby Stills Nash and the Stones.” Her face explodes in animation. “And I had Lisa from the Stones sing on ‘Mothers Little Helper!’  Mick Jagger sang that when he was 25. To have it come from the woman who actually is feeling that drag of getting old (me) brings a whole new perspective.”

 

Chorney also wanted to showcase favoriteJerseymusicians on the album; not only is Lisa Fischer local but also Andy Burton, Hernan Romero, Ralph Notaro, Arlan Feiles, Gladys Bryant, Tony Pallagrosi, Mary McCrink, and Richie Blackwell (of the original E Street Band). Local photographer Danny Sanchez shot the cover.

 

Chorney’s in complete control of every aspect of her music. She did everything for the album — spending a whopping 2000 hours editing with 100 tracks of different instruments; 10 to 20 takes for most tracks of every song, sometimes more. She also fulfilled a long-held dream by writing her first symphony “Mother Nature Symphony” with acclaim from classical Grammy members.  “You’re about to ask me what I listen to,” she jumps immediately, “Classic Rock and Classical.” She exaggerates the last syllable.

 

On “Emotional Jukebox,” her song “Cherries” is a favorite of many. “When you listen, you take a personal journey through your own life,” she offers.  “When I see people cry from that song I think it’s cool! It’s better than a record deal when people say my music has changed their lives.”  It is “Cherries” that is competing for song of the year. After pensive moments and an empty tea cup, she says, “If you’re not with a major label, you can only get so many Grammy votes and I know it’s a long shot.” She sits up in her chair and talks about how “Indies” support each other: “We have our own ‘Indie’ mob to compete withNashville,LAand NY.” Chorney wants just one Grammy on her mantle.

 

During the interview it is hard not to notice yet another unique artistic element surrounding the kitchen. Linda designs and makes her own mosaics for backsplashes and anywhere in the home “by appointment.”  Discover the emotional multi-talented jukebox that is Linda Chorney by picking up a copy of her album, getting a mosaic or reading her electrifying blog. Three remaining bagels went home with this interviewer.

 

Read Linda’s blog at:  lindachorney.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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