Monday, February 8, 2016

February 1, 2016 Middletown Township Committee Meeting

At last Monday night's Township Committee meeting a public hearing was held on an ordinance to establish a cap bank to in order to potentially exceed the 2% budget cap . The ordinance was adopted.

Resolutions were adopted to renew some shared service agreements that will allow the township to use a meter to detect lead in paint and another to utilize some health services provided by the county. The Township Committee also adopted a resolution to accept a Planning Board determination that the Belford seaport area is an area that is in need of redevelopment.

A Discussion also took place about increasing fees for recreation activities and the Green Team will apply for grant funds to conduct educational activities, which will allow the township obtain a silver status rating.

As always, you can download a copy of the Meeting Agenda that contains the discussion items and the proposed resolutions and ordinances that were voted on or presented during the meeting. A box around an item is a link, bringing you further into the document to that resolution or ordinance. At the end of the resolution there will be a link bringing you back to the agenda. Attached to this agenda is also the monthly bill list, so that everyone can see how the Township is spending our tax dollars.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Independent: Backpack Crew packs food to help families

There's a good article in this week's Independent about some great people trying to make a difference by feeding hungry kids in Monmouth County. The Backpack Crew 

From the Independent:

By KAYLA J. MARSHStaff Writer

RED BANK — For many families in Monmouth County, the free/subsidized lunch children receive during school is sometimes their main and only meal of the day, according to local officials.

What happens though when they are not in school or are just feeling hungry because they do not have full meals at home?

One local nonprofit is working to answer these questions.

“It is hard to believe that lunch is the best meal of the day for these kids,” said Suzanne Dice, founder of The Backpack Crew. “You never think that it is your own community, that it could be your neighbors.”

The idea for The Backpack Crew came a year after superstorm Sandy when Dice was listening to a local teacher talk about her school and how there were families still struggling to get by.

“My husband and I always wanted to start a program and we talked about it, but it was always just something [to do] down the road,” Dice said.

“This woman was basically asking for prayers for her school and the families who were still trying to get back on their feet from Sandy, and when I heard this story, I was so moved and just felt like we needed to do something.”

Cindy Squassoni, a member of The Backpack Crew team, said she feels after the storm all that was discussed were problems residents were having with insurance companies or other issues.

“I don’t think anyone really heard about the long-term impact that [the storm] had on these families, these people who lost their jobs because of it, who were never homeless before that suddenly were and who could provide for their family beforehand but couldn’t anymore,” said Squassoni. “It was new for them and I think this teacher brought all of that to the conversation.”

Based out of The United Methodist Church of Red Bank at 247 Broad St., The Backpack Crew was founded in October 2013 and is dedicated to delivering weekend groceries to families in need and raising awareness about childhood hunger.

Here is how it works. Families are assigned their own backpack, which is delivered to the school each Friday filled with groceries such as macaroni and cheese, canned vegetables, oatmeal packets, granola bars, peanut butter and fruit cups. In the backpack is two days’ worth of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. The backpack is then returned to the school on Monday to be refilled.

“We have limited space in those backpacks but we make the most out of it and jam as much as we can into those bags,” Dice said.

After starting out with one school, The Backpack Crew has expanded to feed families in five different schools throughout Red Bank, Middletown and Highlands.

“When we were designing this program with the first school nurse, our main number one goal was to keep it private for the families,” Dice said. “We wanted families to feel comfortable in accepting the help. I don’t know any of the families or their names. We know how many adults and children are assigned to each bag since every bag has a number, so we know how many to pack for, but we drop off the bags to the nurse and that is where it ends for us.”...

Continue reading.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Madden NFL 16 Predicts Super Bowl 50 Winner

For the past 12 years EA Sports has been running game simulations using it's Madden NFL video game to predict the eventual outcome of the Super Bowl. In doing so, they have been able to tell us the winners of 9 of the last 12 Super Bowls with uncanny accuracy.

Last year, Madden NFL 15 not only predicted that the Patriots would win the Super Bowl, it predicted that they would come from behind in a last minute comeback to defeat the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 28-24.

It also predicted that:
  • The Patriots would score first - Correct
  • Tom Brady would win MVP - Correct
  • Tom Brady would have 4 touchdown passes - Correct
  • Julian Edelman would catch the game winning touchdown - Correct
Madden NFL 15 amazingly close to other game day stats such as:
  • Tom Brady would pass for 335 yard (he throw for 328, 7 yards shy of total)
  • It was only 3 yards and 1 catch away from perfectly calling Julian Edelman’s entire game.
  • Halftime score 17 - 14 (game was actually tied at 14)
Thus far, last year's Madden game simulation was the most detailed and amazingly accurate one of them all.

For this year's game, which will be played on Sunday, EA Sports Madden NFL 16 once again goes out on the limb to predict the outcome of Super Bowl 50. The game will be played in San Francisco between the Caroline Panthers and the Denver Broncos.

According to the Madden 16 game simulation,Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers dominate the first half of the game by jumping out to a commanding lead of 17-0 over the Broncos. Peyton Manning and the Broncos then flip the game on its head by owning the second half and going ahead of the Panthers 20-17 in the 4th quarter. The game then comes down to game ending, final minute drive by the Panthers to win it by the score of 24-20.

How accurate will this year's game simulation be? Will it be successful in predicting the winner of the Super Bowl for the 10th time in 13 years? We'll have to wait until Sunday to find out.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


February 3, 2016

On the Ropes, He Says He’d "Beat [Secretary Clinton’s] Rear End"

(Trenton) — Leading New Jersey Democrats are expressing disgust at the sexist remarks of New Jersey’s absentee Governor, Chris Christie, who said of Secretary Clinton "I'll beat her rear end.” The remark was captured on video by ABC News.

“This is childish and inappropriate, even for Governor Christie. His poor performance in Iowa and the chaos of the Republican field, do not give him license to ignore basic rules of decorum or to throw all civility out the window,” said John Currie, the Chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee.

Christie’s latest remarks echo a comment he made about another strong, progressive female official, who would not let him have his way. Speaking of Loretta Weinberg, the Majority Leader of the New Jersey State Senate, the Governor encouraged the media to " take a bat to her.”

“I am sure Chris Christie will argue that this is just who he is, but I hardly think that his violent tendencies are a selling point. This kind of demeaning language is unacceptable, and it begs the question: Would he speak of Senator Sanders or Martin O’Malley in these immature, and sexist terms?” asked Vice Chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee Lizette Delgado-Polanco.

Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle also responded, saying, “This is typical. When times get tough, Gov. Christie resorts to name calling, bullying, and one of his all time favorites behaviors -- misogyny. After finishing next to last in Iowa, the only rear end he should worry about is his own!”

Governor Christie’s remarks also lack foundation. While his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is on the ropes after his pathetic, 10th place finish in Iowa’s Republican caucus, Secretary Clinton finished in first place, after energizing and mobilizing tens of thousands of the state's Democrats in support of her candidacy.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, roughly two-thirds of the people who know him best believe he would make a bad president. A solid majority want him to resign from office, and save our state any more embarrassment.

Middletown Crime Index Drops to Lowest Level Since 1969

Middletown Public Information
February 3, 2016

The number of index crimes in Middletown hasn’t been so low since 1969 when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first landed on the moon, the Jets and Mets won championships and Woodstock rocked a small town in upstate New York.

“This landmark reduction in crime reflects Middletown’s unwavering commitment to public safety,” said Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, Ph.D. “It’s a testament to the fact that our Police Department has some of the nation’s finest and most dedicated officers.”

The Middletown Police Department has reported there were 520 index crimes in 2015, which equates to an Index Crime Rate of 7.82 per 1,000 people. Index crime decreased by 9.72% in 2015, down from 576 index crimes in 2014 when the Index Crime Rate was 8.66 per 1,000 people. Overall, the Index Crime Rate has decreased by more than 23 percent since 2013, when there were 677 index crimes and the Index Crime Rate was 10.18 per 1,000 people, said Police Chief R. Craig Weber.

Index crimes are murder and non-negligent homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft, and arson, Chief Weber explained.

“We had to comb the archives and go all the way back to 1969 to find the last time there were fewer than 520 index crimes recorded in Middletown. In 1969 there were 496 index crimes. Although there were 24 fewer crimes 47 years ago, the Index Crime Rate would have actually been higher at 9.18 per 1,000 people because the population was lower,” Chief Weber said. He noted the population in 1969 was approximately 54,000; today it’s approximately 67,000.

Under Weber’s watch, the number of burglaries in 2015 was also at a 15-year low with 86 burglaries reported, which was a 25 percent decrease from 2014. Comparatively, there were
245 burglaries recorded in 1969. There were also 42 cars reported stolen in 1969, compared
to nine cars stolen in the Township during 2015.

“At this point 2015 marks Middletown’s safest year in nearly five decades,” said Chief Weber who took the helm in 2014. “I’m very proud of the outstanding job our officers have been doing. The amazing record-breaking results they have achieved with these historically low crime figures speak for themselves.”

Police attribute some of their success to a more focused approach on crime, including anti-crime patrols. In the last year, patrol and plain clothes officers caught several suspects in the act of committing burglaries. Another factor has been the relentless investigation of criminal activity. For example, detectives were recently able to solve a burglary from 2013 based on fingerprint evidence and arrested a suspect, Chief Weber said. He noted that leveraging advanced technology and improved information sharing are other contributing factors.

“We are very pleased with the downward trend in crime. Middletown is a great town and we appreciate the ongoing support from the community,” said Chief Weber, a life-long resident.

There are nearly 18,000 agencies that report crime statistics to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. Visit to learn more about crime reports.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Middletown Patch: 137% Increase in Middletown Parking Tickets

Well, this is one way to increase revenue in order to balance the budget - MM

Middletown hired a special police officer in 2015 specifically assigned to parking enforcement, the township tells Patch.
Middletown, NJ - If you think Middletown police have been handing out more parking tickets lately, well, you’re right. They are.
The number of parking tickets written by Middletown Township police increased a whopping 137% in the period of July 2015 through December 2015 compared to that same time span a year earlier, July 2014 through Dec. 2014. 
This is according to new data released by New Jersey’s court system, which compiles statistics for every municipal court in the state. The state keeps a record of all criminal court filings, as well as DWI, traffic and parking tickets, said Winnie Comfort, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey court system. 
Middletown officials said the increased number of tickets is because the township hired a Special Law Enforcement Officer last year, specifically assigned to parking enforcement.
“The increase in parking enforcement is primarily due to a change in personnel, which involved the addition of a Special Law Enforcement Officer assigned to parking enforcement,” Cindy Herrschaft, public information officer for the township, told Patch Tuesday. ”Previously, the duties had been handled on a part-time basis by a civilian employee who had other primary duties.”...

Continue reading

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Happy Groudhog Day: Phil Predicts an Early Spring!

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Now, this Second Day of February, Two Thousand and Sixteen, the One Hundred and Thirtieth Annual Trek of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club….

Punxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of All Prognosticators, was awakened from his borrow to the cheers of his thousands of faithful followers….

In Groundhogese, he directed the President and the Inner Circle to the precise prediction Scroll, which translated reads:

The inner circle goes to great ends
To keep me abreast of latest trends
Down in my burrow I never get bored
Riding on my hover board
And I sure have fun flying my drone
But weather forecasting is my comfort zone
Is this current warm weather more than a trend?
Per chance this winter has come to an end?
There is no shadow to be cast,
An early Spring is my forecast!

ICYM - Staten Island Chuck also predicted an early spring today

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Saturday Morning Cartoon: Boba Fett - Star Wars Holiday Special Cartoon

It's been a while since I last posted a cartoon on a Saturday morning. Lately, I've been into all things Star Wars thanks in part to the new movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I found this cartoon on YouTube that was part of the ill advised and now infamous 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special.

This cartoon features the very first appearance of bounty hunter Boba Fett. Unlike many fanboys, I was never a big fan of bounty hunter Boba Fett. This cartoon doesn't change my mind about how I feel towards the character but it does give us a little insight into future events in the Star Wars universe.


"George Lucas is commonly quoted as saying that if he had the time and a hammer, he would personally “smash” every bootlegged copy of the disastrous "Star Wars Holiday Special." However, fans almost universally agree that the best part of the much-maligned Wookie-centric variety show is the Nelvana-produced cartoon segment, directed by Clive Smith. The cartoon features the voices of the original cast, and famously introduces a new character: Boba Fett..."

President Obama's Weekly Address 1/30/16: Giving Every Student an Opportunity to Learn Through Computer Science For All

WASHINGTON, DC —In this week’s address, the President discussed his plan to give all students across the country the chance to learn computer science (CS) in school. The President noted that our economy is rapidly shifting, and that educators and business leaders are increasingly recognizing that CS is a “new basic” skill necessary for economic opportunity. The President referenced his Computer Science for All Initiative, which provides $4 billion in funding for states and $100 million directly for districts in his upcoming budget; and invests more than $135 million beginning this year by the National Science Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service to support and train CS teachers. The President called on even more Governors, Mayors, education leaders, CEOs, philanthropists, creative media and technology professionals, and others to get involved in the efforts.

Seasonal Job Openings In Middletown

Middletown Recreation and Public Works are currently taking applications for seasonal employment. If anyone is interested here are the details.

Middletown Recreation:

Summer Camp Counselor

Summer Recreation Camp – July 11 – Aug 26. Training Week of July 5, 2016.

•Camp Counselors – must be 16 years old on or before 7/1/2016

•Volunteer position, must be 15 years old on or before 7/1/2016

•Inclusion Coaches – a background in special education preferred

•Science & History camps at Poricy Park

The Program consists of the following camps:

•Pioneers – Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten; 5-day program from 9:00am - 12:30pm

•Buccaneers – Grades 1-4; 5-day program from 8:30am - 2:00pm

•Optional After Care from 2:00pm - 4:00pm

•Explorers – Grades 5-7; 5-day program from 8:30am - 2:00pm

•Optional Day Trip on Wednesdays

•Optional After Care from 2:00pm - 4:00pm

•Trail Blazers– Grades 8; 5-day program from 8:30am - 2:00pm

•Optional After Care from 2:00pm - 4:00pm

•Counselor-in-Training—Grade 9; 4-day program from 8:30am-2:00pm

•Science & History Camp—Grades Pre-K-5; 5-day program 9:00am-3:00pm

Apply by Feb 28 for priority consideration. Group interviews begin in March!


•Must be a certified Lifeguard from an accredited agency

•Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from May 27 through September 5

•10:00am – 4:00pm

•Includes Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day

•Will be guarding Ideal and Leonardo Beaches

Middletown Department of Public Works:

Seasonal Public Works

•Park Maintenance -Estimated Start Date: March 2016

•Road Maintenance -Estimated Start Date May 2016


•Must be 18 years old on or before start date

Click on the links above for more information on individual job postings

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Letter: Violations of Snow in Accessible Parking Place Law

NJ law requires that businesses must clean the snow from accessible parking spaces and paths by 24 hours after snow fall has stopped or be fined $500 to $1000 per spot per day.

Violations of this law are rampant and prevent people with disabilities from moving about in the snow and are a hazard to health. The pictures below show sample violations at the Middletown Sunray/Pathmark shopping Center, a medical building at 240 Wall Street in W. Long Branch and Ursula Plaza in Long Branch.

In case you can't find them in the pictures, the buried accessible parking spots are located in front of the blue reserved signs and under the huge piles of snow!

Not only are the spaces not cleaned out, but snow is also pushed into the spaces from other spaces in the lots! Police departments usually are not enforcing thus important law.

Perhaps publicity on the law and fines would increase compliance. The violations are a huge source of "road rage" for me and other people with disabilities who try to travel!

Thank you,

Carolyn Schwebel, Director
Equalizers, Advocates for People with Disabilities

Outside Sunray Drugs - Middletown

Outside a medical building W. Long Branch

Ursala Plaza - Long Branch

Chris Smith's Words Have Consequences

For Immediate Release:


D4CC calls for Chris Smith to cease using the fraudulent smear videos and hateful lies to spread his EXTREME agenda.

Eleven states have found no evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood and eight states declined to investigate. The only people who engaged in wrongdoing are the criminals behind the fraudulent videos.

We are glad they are being held accountable but Congressman Chris Smith NJ (R), Chair of the Congressional Pro Life Caucus, continues to use the videos as justification for pushing his anti-abortion agenda.

Smith's words have consequences.The rhetoric comparing Planned Parenthood to "baby killers" and murderers is what provoked the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado where three innocent people died and left six children without a parent.

As Chair of the Congressional Pro Life Caucus and an elected member of Congress, Smith has a responsibility to rule with integrity and honesty.

Chris Smith Speech on Roe v Wade Anniversary - 1/22/16

Recent undercover videos by Center for Medical Progress have exposed in numbing candor several high level Planned Parenthood leaders gleefully talking about procuring children’s organs for a price, all while altering gruesome dismemberment procedures to preserve “intact” livers, hearts and lungs from freshly killed babies.

Watch the videos yourself at

Learn more about Smith's Voting Record:

District 4 Coalition for Change
P.O. Box 685
Englishtown, NJ 07726

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Letter: Bombs of Hate

The expressed opinions or views of this letter does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MiddletownMike blog:

To the Editor:

Imagine that as you sleepily go out to retrieve your morning newspaper you find a small bag on your lawn. Curious, you pick it up and find that it is a weighted bag with a leaflet. "Harmless trash," you may think. Trash it is, but harmless it is not. It is a small "bomb of hate," meant to frighten you with its message against minorities.

More of these hate notes are now appearing in Monmouth County and throughout the state. The perpetrators seek to frighten their targets and to recruit more members for their groups.

We on the Monmouth County Human Relations Commission deplore this hate literature and the spreading of its vile message. Even though it may not be illegal, it can be dangerous in its purpose of inciting crimes against minority citizens and immigrants.

Silence encourages the tormentors. If you are a recipient, report the incident to your local police department. A littering complaint is also a possibility. If you see someone dropping these bags or in a similar activity, try to get a license number or as much description as possible of the car and occupants.

Our goal is to alleviate the current tensions and conflicts in our communities. Hate groups are attempting to inflame relations with racial minorities, religious minorities, immigrants and between the police and the community.

The Monmouth County Human Relations Commission is available through our Speakers' Bureau: (732) 291-4257; Website:, and bias problem hot line: (732) 303-7666. We ask members of all community groups, both minority and majority, to speak out with us. Do not be silent on these issues. We must defuse these "bombs of hate."

You are welcome to attend our February 1 meeting that will include a discussion of the book, "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates. See "Future Events" on our Website.


John P. Delaney, Chairperson
Carolyn Schwebel, Communications Chairperson
Monmouth County Human Relations Commission

President Obama's Weekly Address 1/23/16: Affordable Care Act is Making a Difference for Millions of Americans

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s address, the President discussed the progress we’ve made because of the Affordable Care Act. As the law’s coverage provisions have taken effect, 17.6 million Americans have gained coverage, and the nation’s uninsured rate now stands at its lowest level ever. The deadline to sign up for 2016 health coverage on the Marketplace is quickly approaching on January 31, and the President encouraged even more Americans to join the more than 11 million people who have already signed up so far this year – and who are enjoying the financial security and peace of mind that comes with knowing you have affordable, portable health coverage.

The Navesink and Two River Theater Present The 2016 Salon Series

The salons will feature guest speakers, audience conversation and plays.

Red Bank, NJ (January 20, 2016) — The Navesink (producers of TEDxNavesink, an independently organized event licensed by TED) and Two River Theater present Conversation + Play, a salon series to be held at the Two River River Theater, 21 Bridge Ave. in Red Bank, NJ.

Salons begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner, drinks and conversation, and are followed by a pre-show talk and Q&A with guest speakers followed by a play at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 per salon with the code NAVESINK50, or $120 for all three sessions with code NAVESINK120. To purchase tickets, call Two River Theater at 732-345-1400 or stop by the box office at 21 Bridge Ave. in Red Bank.
Salon 1: Thursday, February 4, 2016

The salon series begins with guest speaker Frank P. Fury, Ph.D. Dr. Fury’s talk “The Heroine in Modern Drama: (Un)Necessary and (In)Sufficient,” which will investigate the nature of the term ‘heroine’ and traces the evolution of the heroine using examples from prominent playwrights.

Fury is a faculty member in the English department at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ, where he teaches courses in writing and literature. His scholarly interests include 19th and 20th century American literature, modern drama and sports literature.

The evening’s play will be the world premiere of “Lives of Reason” produced by Two River Theater founder Robert Rechnitz and Kenneth Stunkel. Set at an English department faculty party, the play brings audiences inside the world of academia, and what happens when one woman’s secret passions explode. Directed by Jonathan Fox, former Artistic Director at Two River and now Executive Artistic Director of the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara.

Salon 2: Thursday, April 28, 2016
The second salon features a talk entitled “Adventure and Growth in Shakespeare's ‘Pericles’” by guest speaker Sue Starke, Ph.D. Starke’s talk will explore how Pericles is part of a specific Greek prose romance tradition with its own adventure template and hero’s journey. Starke is an associate professor in the English department at Monmouth University. Her research and teaching interests include Renaissance literature and culture, the history of the English language, Victorian literature, genre theory and the intersections of literature and art criticism.

Brought to life with original songs by TEDxNavesink 2016 speaker Rinde Eckert and directed by David Schweizer, this exhilarating and mystical production of William Shakespeare’s play “Pericles” is a thrilling and epic tale of adventure, shipwreck and romance. When Pericles uncovers the king’s dark secret, he is forced to flee his kingdom and navigate the roaring sea and its islands’ lovers, magicians and pirates.

Salon 3: Thursday, June 23, 2016
This season’s salon series concludes on Thursday, June 23, 2016 with guest speaker Bill Ditto and his talk, “Using Antiques & Treasured Family Items to Connect with Your Ancestry,” which will illustrate how family-held items, passed down through generations, are valuable tools when learning about ancestry. Understand why preservation does not need to be an onerous task and discover what items are most valuable to keep, or to give to a museum or historical society. Ditto realized a life-long dream to operate an antiques business when he established West Farms Antiques, after he retired in 2010 from a 40-year career in human services. Bill began collecting antiques 47 years ago as a hobby that continues today, with booths in Riverbank Antiques (Red Bank) and Canvas House Antiques (Point Pleasant Beach). His specialties are silver, early American glass, Staffordshire pottery, 18th and 19th century English and American furniture, and early iron utensils and tools.

With a cast led by Barbara Andres, ten veteran powerhouse actresses will perform all 25 roles in director Jack Cummings III’s production of ‘I Remember Mama’ by John Van Druten and adapted from Kathryn Forbes' novel “Mama's Bank Account,” which is loosely based on her childhood. A beloved American classic reborn, the story centers around a working-class Norwegian family during the turn of the 20th century in San Francisco. Celebrated as one of the ten best theater productions of 2014 in The New York Times and praised as “brilliant…transcendent… magical…a gift and a miracle” by Hilton Als of The New Yorker, this production is truly one to warm the spirit.

Visit for more information.

About The Navesink
The Navesink is a non-profit based in Monmouth County. It is the parent organization of TEDx Navesink and the Brand New J project. TEDxNavesink is a self-organized annual Monmouth County-based TEDx event dedicated to education, community, innovation and “ideas worth spreading.” Each year, a different theme is chosen to build the day of nonfiction theater. Hundreds of businesses and nonprofit leaders, students from local universities and sponsors plan, manage and fund the all-day event. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit

About Two River Theater
Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Directory John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, is dedicated to producing great classics from the American and world stage, creating new plays and musicals for the American theater, and serving its diverse and multigenerational community through unique partnerships and education programs. Founded in 1994 by Joan and Dr. Robert M. Rechnitz, Two River Theater is a member of the League of Resident Theaters, Theatre Communications Group, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, and

ArtPride New Jersey, and has been designated a “Major Arts Institution” by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Visit for more information.

Photo attachment: “Lives of Reason” by Two River Theater founder Robert Rechnitz and Kenneth Stunkel is set at an English department faculty party. The play brings audiences inside the world of academia, and what happens when one woman’s secret passions explode. “Lives of Reason” is directed by Jonathan Fox, former Artistic Director at Two River and now Executive Artistic Director of the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara. Photo by T. Charles Erickson