If you're new to holistic healing, acupuncture may seem intimidating. You might be wondering how needles pressed into your skin could possibly make you feel better. Wouldn't someone pushing a needle into your back be painful? As it turns out, acupuncture is far from painful and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after treatments for chronic pain and for regulating issues relating to:
In fact, acupuncture has been studied and practiced for over 2,500 years and, more recently, has been researched and supported by many scientific studies. While acupuncture may not be a "miracle" treatment for every type of pain or condition, it has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of issues, from depression and allergies to morning sickness and cramps.
Acupuncture is a therapy in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that aims to balance the body's energy, called qi, which flows through pathways called meridians. This balance is crucial for overall wellness, as disruptions to qi can lead to health concerns. According to TCM, inserting small stainless-steel needles into specific points called acupoints along the meridians can help rebalance the flow of qi and restore overall health.
These acupoints are believed to release certain chemicals when stimulated, which can trigger an immune response and promote physiological homeostasis. Recent research suggests that this therapy may help alleviate symptoms of various health ailments.
In fact, the National Institute of Health conducted a survey on complementary health approaches, revealing that acupuncture usage in the United States has increased by 50 percent between 2002 and 2012. As of 2012, 6.4 percent of American adults have reported using acupuncture as a form of treatment.
One of the most common questions from new patients interested in acupuncture typically revolves around whether it really works or whether it's all "new age" malarky. We get it - for most folks, the thought of inserting stainless-steel needles into one's back, arms, or neck sounds loony. However, with the ever-increasing popularity of acupuncture in New Jersey and other locations, numerous studies centering on acupuncture's effectiveness have taken place.
Extensive research has been conducted on the effectiveness of acupuncture for various conditions. A February 2022 analysis published in the BMJ, which evaluated over 2,000 scientific reviews of acupuncture therapies, revealed that acupuncture's efficacy is strongest for:
Additionally, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), acupuncture is most effective for pain relief in cases of chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, lower back pain, and tension headaches. Additionally, a review of 11 clinical trials found that acupuncture may also alleviate symptoms associated with cancer treatment, as noted by the NIH.
When meeting with your acupuncturist for the first time, they will discuss your condition with you before conducting a physical examination to identify areas of your body that might respond to acupuncture. The needles used in acupuncture are incredibly thin, sterile, and disposable, with your acupuncturist inserting them at different depths ranging from a fraction of an inch to several inches.
Acupuncture needles are less painful than medical needles used for vaccines or blood draws. This is because acupuncture needles are thinner and solid, not hollow. During the treatment, you may experience some muscle sensations like dull aches or tingling.
Your practitioner will ask you to report any deep heaviness or numbness, which are positive signs that the treatment is working. Depending on the condition you're treating and the supplemental treatments you're undergoing, like physical therapy, acupuncture needles will remain in place for several minutes or up to 30 minutes.
Once your first acupuncture treatment is finished, it's normal to feel extra relaxed and calm. For that reason, some patients like to arrange for a ride home after their first or second session. With that said, you shouldn't experience much pain at all, and it's quite possible for you to return to work after acupuncture.
This is another common question that we get at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness. The simple answer is, "It depends." While we understand that that's not a satisfying answer for some, it's important to understand that every patient is different. Everyone has different bodies and, by proxy, different bodily conditions and issues that need to be addressed.
During your initial consultation at our office, your licensed acupuncturist will go over your needs and goals as it relates to acupuncture therapy. Once your therapist has a good sense of the scope of your needs, they can give you a loose idea of how many sessions you'll need.
Generally speaking, most patients have appointments once a week. Others may require more or less frequent sessions. It's important to note that the full benefits of acupuncture may not be immediately evident after the first or even the second session. It's common for normal patients to undergo up to five treatments to realize the full benefits of acupuncture.
There's no question that acupuncture is more popular than ever as a non-invasive, non-addictive way to reclaim balance and well-being. But what types of conditions can this traditional therapy help alleviate in the modern world? Advances in acupuncture techniques and applications have resulted in some very promising benefits.
Did you know that regular acupuncture treatments can help reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis? In May 2017, a meta-analysis was published, which studied approximately 18,000 patients with chronic pain, such as low back, neck, and shoulder pain, knee OA, and headache or migraine. The analysis found that the benefits of acupuncture therapy in reducing pain lasted for more than 12 months.
That's wonderful news for athletes and other people who push their bodies daily to accomplish goals or bring home money for rent and bills. In fact, many medical experts consider acupuncture as a viable option for managing chronic pain in conjunction with traditional methods like physical therapy and chiropractic care. The idea behind this approach is that acupuncture may trigger the body's natural healing response to alleviate pain.
When a licensed acupuncturist in New Jersey inserts an acupuncture needle, it penetrates your fascia, a connective tissue that wraps around your organs and muscles. Like a slight tickle on your arm, your body realizes that something is happening and responds by delivering lymph fluid, blood, and other important nutrients to speed up healing in affected areas like your knees, back, neck, joints, and more.
If you're like other people who suffer from migraines, you know that once one of them hits, it can be next to impossible to function properly throughout the day. Fortunately, acupuncture in Union Beach, NJ may be a viable solution if you have to endure migraines often.
A study conducted in 2009 by the Center for Complementary Medicine at the University of Munich analyzed 11 studies involving 2,137 patients who received acupuncture treatment for chronic tension-type headaches. The researchers concluded that acupuncture could be an effective non-pharmacological solution for frequent headaches.
The study compared the effects of acupuncture sessions with sham acupuncture and no treatment at all. Both groups that received acupuncture treatment, whether needles were placed randomly or strategically, reported a reduction in headache symptoms, while the control group reported no change. The group that received real acupuncture treatment also reported a decrease in the number of headache days and intensity of pain in a follow-up survey.
For individuals who struggle with insomnia and other sleep disturbances, acupuncture is a promising therapy. Although sedatives are commonly prescribed for insomnia, long-term use can lead to negative side effects such as dependence and excessive drowsiness.
A study conducted on 72 participants and published in Sleep Medicine in 2017 found that individuals who received acupuncture three times a week for four weeks experienced significant improvements in sleep quality and anxiety compared to those who received sham acupuncture.
Similarly, a review of 30 randomized, controlled trials found that acupuncture was more effective in improving sleep quality and daytime functioning than sham acupuncture.
While many patients choose acupuncture as a way to avoid surgery altogether, those who need surgery also use it for improved recovery. Because, at the end of the day, recovering from surgery is no easy feat. Patients may experience various symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, pain around the incision, restlessness, sleep troubles, constipation, and sore throat.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, healthcare providers may use acupuncture as a way to alleviate some of these symptoms and help with healing. A study published in Integrative Cancer Therapies in January 2017 involving 172 participants found that patients who received acupuncture after surgery reported significant improvements in sleep, anxiety, pain, fatigue, nausea, and drowsiness.
Did you know that supplementing physical therapy with acupuncture and vice versa can have profoundly beneficial effects for patients in New Jersey and across the country? If you're like most, chances are you didn't.
The truth is that acupuncture and physical therapy have both been proven effective in reducing pain and inflammation. While many people view them as separate methods, combining the two modalities can produce a synergistic effect that enhances pain relief and delivers long-lasting benefits to patients.
Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and abilities, from children to elderly adults, to help them overcome physical limitations and improve their quality of life. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists help treat a wide range of conditions, from neck pain and spinal cord injuries to back pain and arthritis.
To effectively reduce pain and treat tissue injury, a combination of acupuncture and physical therapy can be very helpful. Acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation and release muscle tightness and trigger points, allowing the patient to better receive manual therapy or exercise-based physical therapy techniques. In doing so, acupuncture can actually create a window of time that allows your body to respond better to other treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, such as physical therapy and chiropractic care.
There are many benefits of combining physical therapy with acupuncture in Union Beach, NJ, including the following:
You may be wondering, "Are there any studies showing these benefits?" As it turns out, there are many. One such study, published on the NIH's website, was conducted on patients suffering from frozen shoulder.
Patients who received acupuncture experienced a significant reduction in pain, while those who underwent physical therapy saw an improvement in range of motion. However, the best outcome was observed in patients who received a combination of both treatments, with reduced pain, increased their range of motion, and improved quality of life. This study highlights the potential benefits of using acupuncture and physical therapy as complementary treatments for frozen shoulder.
It makes sense, then, that people from all walks of life are combining acupuncture with chiropractic treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, including:
At New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, our doctors, practitioners, occupational therapists, and physical therapist specialize in a range of therapies and treatments. Much like physical therapy and acupuncture, combining chiropractic care with acupuncture therapy gives patients a new way to reclaim their mobility, reduce chronic pain, and maintain a healthy quality of life.
Chiropractic care and acupuncture in Union Beach, NJ are natural healing practices that don't rely on drugs to improve the body's health. They focus on correcting imbalances in the body's structural and supportive systems, promoting natural healing, and ultimately leading to better health. These practices have a proven track record of helping patients improve their quality of life and overcome physical difficulties.
Integrating chiropractic and acupuncture as a dual-modality treatment offers the most efficient solution for removing blockages from the body, promoting balance, and accelerating healing. Rather than using these treatments sequentially, a combined approach allows for maximum benefits at one time.
Chiropractic targets subluxations in the nervous system through manual adjustments, facilitating the central nervous system to promote healing, while acupuncture removes blockages that may hinder the body's internal balance. Together, these treatments work synergistically to optimize energy flow and restore harmony in the body.
When our physical well-being becomes imbalanced, and our innate healing mechanisms are compromised, illnesses can manifest. The integration of acupuncture and chiropractic practices can effectively address a wide range of health conditions that they individually target, such as:
Curious if combining chiropractic care or physical therapy with acupuncture is right for your body? The best way to find out is to make an appointment at our sports rehab clinic in New Jersey. Once our team of medical professionals has a chance to evaluate your conditions, we can explore the best options to provide the most relief in the shortest amount of time possible.
New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness consists of a team of athletic trainers, chiropractors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and other professionals. We're very proud and passionate about caring for our patients, many of whom are suffering from debilitating conditions like back and neck pain, plantar fasciitis, sports-related injuries, and more. If you're trying to get on the road to pain relief and recovery, acupuncture may be the non-surgical solution you need to reclaim your life. Contact our office today to learn whether this exciting treatment is right for you.732-526-2497
When does a kid become a goat? The farm animal needs a full year. The GOAT, David Burke’s restaurant in Union Beach, took nearly as long. When I first visited last July, the 3-month-old kid with the swaggering acronym had not yet established an identity.A few months later, it had developed a sassy confidence and a neighborhood following. (And soon thereafter, made NJM’s ...
When does a kid become a goat? The farm animal needs a full year. The GOAT, David Burke’s restaurant in Union Beach, took nearly as long. When I first visited last July, the 3-month-old kid with the swaggering acronym had not yet established an identity.
A few months later, it had developed a sassy confidence and a neighborhood following. (And soon thereafter, made NJM’s list of favorite Italian restaurants.) The house bruschetta of the day set the tone: rosemary scented, teasingly salted, served with plush house-made ricotta and peppery house-cured beef bresaola. Other daily bruschetti have boasted house-made mozzarella and toppings like prosciutto, shrimp or crab.
Burke and Carmine DiGiovanni, the executive vice president of culinary operations at David Burke Hospitality, keep the menu big and varied. That way, says Burke, “twice-a-week regulars never get déjà vu.” From the wood-burning brick oven come signature thin-crust pizzas, which most patrons start with. The wild-mushroom and truffle pie combines three cheeses, including house-made mozzarella. The Angry Butcher, a Burke signature, is blanketed with pepperoni, prosciutto, chorizo, peppery arugula and chili-spiked honey. Star pizza, folded into an eight-pointed star, bursts with ricotta and pepperoni.
The palate-pleasing chopped salad—“really a chopped antipasto,” in Burke’s description—involves julienned salami, provolone, Parmesan, tomato, chickpeas, cucumber and olives. To round out the textures and flavors, Burke adds butternut squash and fresh fig, with garlic-rubbed avocado toast on the side.
Burke grew up half a mile away, in Hazlet. “I’d pedal past this building on my bike all the time,” he says. “First it was an Irish bar. The parking lot had more motorcycles than cars. Then it became Piero’s, which lasted 30 years, dishing out spaghetti for the kids and scallopine for the parents. And then it sat empty. I felt it was waiting to become the fun, modern trattoria that Route 36 was in need of.”
Burke himself designed the GOAT’s festive, block-pattern carpet (“a mod patchwork,” he calls it) and commissioned lighthearted paintings by Monmouth County artists of goats decked out in sunglasses and trim suits. Varied seating areas invite diners “to choose your own Italian dining style,” he says: beer and bites at the four-sided bar; pizza at private-feeling high-tops in view of the brick oven; family tables by the windows; or plush seats in the air-kissy, date-night front section.
The GOAT’s half-dozen pastas are all worth trying. (I did.) Burke’s take on Rome’s iconic spaghetti carbonara is properly cheesy, eggy and bacon sassed, but with orecchiette (“little ears”) subbing for spaghetti, and a half-pound, shelled lobster tail lording over the dish, fit for the Roman sea god, Neptune.
Casarecce, rolled pastas shaped like cinnamon sticks, underlie lump crabmeat and tender, shredded guanciale pork cheek caressed by lemon-garlic gremolata sauce. Frilly edged malfaldine pasta mates well with a rustic Tuscan ragù of rabbit meat (done like pulled pork) with prosciutto, caramelized onions, peas, mascarpone and Parmesan.
Pasta dishes are entrée size, but hearty mains beckon. Seafood scampi spotlights hefty Gulf shrimp. Barnegat scallops deliver the enticing Sicilian flavors of pignoli, raisin and fennel. Lamb shank braised in Barolo with creamy butternut squash and farotto (farro painstakingly stirred like risotto) makes a deeply satisfying winter entrée. It’s so hearty, it begs to be shared. Trade bites with a tablemate who orders the umami-rich beef short ribs with mushroom mac and cheese.
Flaming chicken harkens back to the days of Piero’s, which “made a show of flambéeing their penne alla vodka,” Burke relates. The GOAT’s brined and roasted all-natural half chicken emerges theatrically in Flintstone mode, its drumstick skyward. A server ignites the moat of Pernod jus. Flames leap for a riveting 30 seconds, crisping the skin and conferring a hint of smoke on the chicken and its accompanying tomato-Parmesan risotto.
Barolo-braised lamb shank features butternut squash, kale, mushroom farotto and almond gremolata. Photo by Laura Moss
The GOAT’s à la carte sides are hard to resist. Brussels sprouts with bacon, apple and maple, anyone? But dessert awaits. Someone in your party should order the GOAT cake, which flaunts chocolate mousse over a brownie bottom with almond buttercream and a canopy of cajeta, goat-milk caramel. Another sure bet: chocolate-chip ice cream sliders lavished with marshmallow goo.
A fun celebration of the restaurant’s name is perched atop the GOAT cake. Photo by Laura Moss
I asked Burke if he really thinks the GOAT is the greatest Italian restaurant of all time. “Maybe, but that’s not the meaning,” he replied. “I wanted the name to capture the local personality: smart, stubborn, naturally cool, always looking for something good to eat. Just like a goat.” Plus, he said, “I liked the way ‘meet me at the GOAT’ sounds.”
Plenty of folks are meeting at the GOAT. Its 110 seats are filled most nights with, says Burke, “people from along Route 36 and inland, and lots of Staten Islanders. Imagine,” he marvels. “They’re paying Verrazzano Bridge toll to eat Italian food here in Union Beach.”
According to the 2020 U.S. Census, no Monmouth County municipality lost more of its population over the past 10 years than Union Beach, which experienced an 8.4% decline in residents since 2010.You don’t need a demographics expert to explain why. Superstorm Sandy flooded 80% of the borough’s homes in...
According to the 2020 U.S. Census, no Monmouth County municipality lost more of its population over the past 10 years than Union Beach, which experienced an 8.4% decline in residents since 2010.
You don’t need a demographics expert to explain why. Superstorm Sandy flooded 80% of the borough’s homes in 2012. More than 400 of its 2,200 housing units wound up demolished.
“We lost between 9% and 10% of our tax base with Sandy,” borough administrator Bob Howard said.
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Some of that’s been rebuilt; some hasn’t. The census showed a 5% decrease in Union Beach’s housing units from 2010. The borough’s current population is 5,723, down from 6,245 a decade ago.
“The housing stock that’s being rebuilt is a lot different than what we had here originally,” Howard said. “Back 100 years ago, when the town was first populated to a great extent on 25-foot lots, that was much smaller than what is being built post-Sandy.”
A big change is coming. A long-awaited Army Corps of Engineers flood-control project finally is underway. The beach berm and dune system, which was first approved in 2007, “will affect Union Beach greatly in the future,” Howard said.
“Our beachfront area will be three to four times the size it is,” he said. “Phase one is due to go out to bid in the next couple of months. We’re acquiring the real-estate easements that are necessary now.”
The project will change the flood-zone designation of the Brook Avenue area, which was walloped by Sandy, from a “V zone” (most hazardous; subject to wave inundation) to an “A zone” (susceptible to overflow, but not the increased damage of wave action).
“There is not much area in Union Beach left to be developed,” Howard said. “This is our one tract of land where we will see additional housing in the near future hopefully.”
How much housing, exactly?
“I hate to make a prediction,” Howard said. “Developers have come in to speak to the borough about developing the parcel, and they’ve come in with a very high amount of units, which is understandable coming from them. But we have not had anybody come to the planning board yet for anything official. I would say it will be a significant amount of housing.”
Given how long it’s taken to reach this point, Howard said he could not pinpoint a timetable for construction.
“I would say within a couple of years,” he said.
The result could restore Union Beach’s population to pre-Sandy levels.
“Over the next 10 years, with all the people moving from the cities to the suburb areas and the Army Corps project changing our bayfront area considerably, yes we are very optimistic about that,” Howard said.
Jerry Carino is community columnist for the Asbury Park Press, focusing on the Jersey Shore’s interesting people, inspiring stories and pressing issues. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gress House Holiday Light Spectacular in Union Beach, a longtime holiday staple of Monmouth County's Bayshore region, has been silenced on social media following a Facebook hack.The illuminated display at the Gress home at 14 Johnson Ave. will be back this year. The Gress family, however, is unable to get the word out via social media.“I am really struggling without having that page up and going," said Brandon Gress. "Usually now’s the time that we’re hyping people up, like, &lsquo...
The Gress House Holiday Light Spectacular in Union Beach, a longtime holiday staple of Monmouth County's Bayshore region, has been silenced on social media following a Facebook hack.
The illuminated display at the Gress home at 14 Johnson Ave. will be back this year. The Gress family, however, is unable to get the word out via social media.
“I am really struggling without having that page up and going," said Brandon Gress. "Usually now’s the time that we’re hyping people up, like, ‘Oh, we’re getting ready’ and ‘Make sure you check us out in December’ and all that stuff. And it’s unfortunate that we’re not able to do that.”
Gress' personal Facebook page, which he uses to operate the Gress House Holiday Light Spectacular page and publicize his annual display, was found to have been hacked, then deactivated, in September, as first reported by The Star-Ledger.
Attempts to verify and reactivate his account, including submitting his driver's license and passport to the social media juggernaut, have been unsuccessful. He's now been dealing with this for two weeks.
“I’m beyond frustrated with Facebook,” he said
Gress and his mother, Lori, have been decorating the family home for more than a decade. Preparations are already underway for this year's light show, which is typically turned on the weekend after Thanksgiving.
In recent years, the Gress House Holiday Light Spectacular has hosted the "Decorations for Donations" program to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network in Mountainside, raising thousands of dollars for the organization, Gress said.
In an interview with the Asbury Park Press in 2021, Gress said they rotate through their collection of light-up molds; last year it was heavy on snowmen. The home has been featured on ABC's "The Great Christmas Light Fight."
He has "always been obsessed with Christmas lights," he said in 2021.
"My family was so into going to look at everybody else's Christmas lights. I wanted to do that for other people," Gress said. "People drive by and see it, and they're excited. That's why I do it. We are now part of so many of their memories."
Union Beach was among the hardest hit towns during Superstorm Sandy, and News 12 New Jersey’s Tony Caputo spoke with the man who was fire chief when the storm hit – and the events of that night are still very emotional for him.“A lot of our friends, family members, people that I grew up with that don’t live here anymore because they lost everything and there’s just nothing to come back to,” says Robert LaBerta.Floodwaters filled about 80% of the properties and Union Beach streets, rend...
Union Beach was among the hardest hit towns during Superstorm Sandy, and News 12 New Jersey’s Tony Caputo spoke with the man who was fire chief when the storm hit – and the events of that night are still very emotional for him.
“A lot of our friends, family members, people that I grew up with that don’t live here anymore because they lost everything and there’s just nothing to come back to,” says Robert LaBerta.
Floodwaters filled about 80% of the properties and Union Beach streets, rendering fire trucks useless, not to mention the risk was too great to first responders themselves, even as calls for help poured in.
“I recognize the addresses that came in, the names of the people, and we just knew that no matter how hard we tried we just didn’t have enough resources to rescue everybody,” says LaBerta. “We got a call of somebody that said they were holding their baby up over their head and their house as the water was coming up. People saying that they heard people in the water screaming for help. It’s really haunting.”
Not one person lost their life in Union Beach in the storm. LaBerta credits the first responders who were on duty helping anyone they could, even if it was just by communicating and keeping them calm, all while many had no idea if their own loved ones were still alive. But why does he think so many residents decided to stay and not evacuate?
“We had a false alarm a year before, I believe it was Irene, and, you know, we weren’t everybody that that one was going to be bad and it just passed us by, so a lot of people figured it wasn’t going to be as bad as it said it was going to be,” says LaBerta. “You have lifelong residents here who know they grew up here in their homes, they didn’t want to, they felt they were going to make their stand here.”
They all made it, even though some were literally carried out of their flooded destroyed homes.
A $50 million flood mitigation project led by the Army Corp of Engineers is also in the beginning phases to prevent future flood damage in Union Beach like that was seen in Sandy.
For several decades, the vast majority of Union Beach students attended Keyport High School when the time came to leave eighth grade.That is no longer the case, and the reason why is at issue in an acrimonious legal battle between the two school districts.Keyport has filed two petitions with the New Jersey Department of Education “regarding the violation of the send relationship to Keyport by Union Beach,” as Keyport Superintendent Lisa Savoia wrote in a recent letter to families in her district. The ...
For several decades, the vast majority of Union Beach students attended Keyport High School when the time came to leave eighth grade.
That is no longer the case, and the reason why is at issue in an acrimonious legal battle between the two school districts.
Keyport has filed two petitions with the New Jersey Department of Education “regarding the violation of the send relationship to Keyport by Union Beach,” as Keyport Superintendent Lisa Savoia wrote in a recent letter to families in her district. The first petition was filed in 2019, and a new one was filed this past December.
The goal of the petitions is twofold, according to Savoia. First, “the commissioner can order the Union Beach School District to honor the relationship and send high school age students to Keyport High School,” she said in an email to the Asbury Park Press.
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Second, the 2021 petition “is also seeking to have the commissioner address the years of financial harm” caused by Union Beach, Savoia’s letter to parents stated. Specifically, the petition seeks “compensatory damages” from Union Beach and other local districts that have been receiving Union Beach students.
Why? Because the resulting enrollment dip at Keyport High School triggered an accompanying decline in state funding. How steep? Funding figures shared with the Asbury Park Press indicate a drop of $600,000 from 2020-21 to 2021-22 (from $2.8 million to $2.2 million, or 21%).
Where are Union Beach students attending high school? Here's a rundown: Keyport High 124; Red Bank Regional 87; Henry Hudson Regional 10; Raritan 6; out-of-district placements 16; Monmouth County Vocational Schools 12.
Union Beach Superintendent Amanda Lewert did not respond to an interview request from the Asbury Park Press.
She did, however, post a sharply worded reply on her district’s website. It did not deny that Union Beach students are attending other public high schools. It did, however, deny the existence of a send-receive agreement and expressed “complete and utter disgust at Keyport’s demeaning tone about Union Beach students.”
Keyport’s original petition was filed in August 2019 and named the Hazlet and Henry Hudson school districts as respondents (for allegedly being unlawful recipients of Union Beach’s students) along with Union Beach. A second petition was filed two months ago, Savoia said, because the 2019 petition’s progress was “significantly delayed by the pandemic impact on administrative hearings” and “because information obtained in discovery revealed the extent to which Red Bank Regional was involved.”
Savoia told the Asbury Park Press that “information obtained in discovery so far confirms that Union Beach has opted to use taxpayer dollars to pay tuition to send students who belong at Keyport High School to Hazlet, Henry Hudson and Red Bank Regional, while most special needs students (from Union Beach) are sent to Keyport.”
The result, Savoia contends, is a massive financial burden on Keyport — causing cutbacks that are damaging to all students at the high school.
In their letter posted on the Union Beach school district’s website, Lewert and Union Beach Board of Education President Angela Cocuzza called Keyport’s explanation involving students with functional or developmental disabilities “vile and despicable” and “revolting.”
Savoia pushed back against those terms.
“Union Beach is unequivocally wrong in their characterization of how we view our students with disabilities,” she wrote in an email to the Press. “Keyport wants equity for all Keyport High School learners. The intent of the petition is to protect the interests of all of our student population to assure a robust and inclusive school environment in which all students have the opportunity to interact and access our programming.
"Without that balance, the trend could ultimately limit our ability to expand programs and opportunities for all students. This would cause a substantial negative impact on the quality of education received by all pupils remaining at Keyport High School, which includes students from Union Beach.”
Ultimately, this tug-of-war comes down to whether Union Beach is legally bound to send students to Keyport High School. Keyport’s 2021 petition contends that “Keyport and Union Beach entered into a written sending-receiving relationship in 1964, and that sending-receiving relationship has continued to exist since that time.”
Keyport officials say there are only narrow exceptions to this agreement — for example, if another high school offers programming that Keyport does not.
Union Beach says no such agreement exists.
This has to be sorted out by the state Department of Education. If the pace of the 2019 petition is any indication, it could be a while before there is a resolution.
Jerry Carino has covered the New Jersey sports scene since 1996 and the college basketball beat since 2003. He is an Associated Press Top 25 voter. Contact him at email@example.com.