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 Acupuncturists Union Beach, NJ

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:

  • Digestion
  • Hormones
  • Breathing
  • Muscles
  • Nerves & Brain
  • Sex & Libido
  • Body Circulation
  • Organs & Heart

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.

Covering the Basics of Acupuncture in Union Beach, NJ

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.

Acupuncture Near Me Union Beach, NJ

Is Acupuncture in Union Beach, NJ Actually Legit?

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:

  • Neck Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Post-Stroke Aphasia
  • Muscle Pain
  • Lactation Issues
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Vascular Dementia
  • More

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.

What Happens During an Acupuncture Session at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness?

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.

How Many Treatments Until Acupuncture Works?

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.

What Conditions Are Treated with Acupuncture in Union Beach, NJ?

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.

Relief from Chronic Pain

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.

 Fertility Acupuncture Union Beach, NJ
 Best Acupuncture Union Beach, NJ

Migraine Headache Relief

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.

Improved Sleep

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.

 Acupuncture Clinic Union Beach, NJ
 Facial Acupuncture Union Beach, NJ

Better Recovery from Surgery

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.

 Acupuncture Treatment Union Beach, NJ

The Surprising Benefits of Supplementing Physical Therapy with Acupuncture

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:

  • Increased Range of Motion
  • More Effective Long-Term Pain Relief
  • Enhanced Tissue Repair & Healing
  • Better Response to Physical Therapy Due to Pain Reduction
  • Less of a Need for Pain Medications
  • Boosted Mood & Energy
  • Better Quality of Life Overall

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.

 Acupuncture Therapy Union Beach, NJ

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:

  • Professional Athletes
  • Football Players
  • Soccer Players
  • Baseball Players
  • Construction Workers
  • Landscapers
  • Accountants and People Working Office Jobs
  • Public Officials
  • Police Officers
  • More

Combining Acupuncture with Chiropractic Care for Pain Relief and Wellness


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.

 Medical Acupuncture Union Beach, NJ

What are the Benefits of Using Acupuncture with Chiropractic Care?

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.

 Cosmetic Acupuncture Union Beach, NJ
 Cosmetic Acupuncture Union Beach, NJ

What Conditions Can Be Treated with Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care?

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:

  • Sports Injuries
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic Conditions Like Diabetes
  • More

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.

The Premier Choice for Professional Acupuncture in Union Beach, NJ

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.


Latest News in Union Beach, NJ

Building a stronger, more resilient Jersey Shore community

Damage to Union Beach led to one of Superstorm Sandy's most iconic images. - Photos Patsy Lynch/ShutterstockTen years ago this past fall, Superstorm Sandy devastated the community of Union Beach in Monmouth County. You may remember the iconic photo, shared nationwide, of a yellow Union Beach home torn literally in half by the tempest. The storm impacted everything, from the community’s picturesque shorelines to local businesses, and destroyed or damaged more than 20% of the borough’s total housing stock.Union Beach ...

Damage to Union Beach led to one of Superstorm Sandy's most iconic images. - Photos Patsy Lynch/Shutterstock

Ten years ago this past fall, Superstorm Sandy devastated the community of Union Beach in Monmouth County. You may remember the iconic photo, shared nationwide, of a yellow Union Beach home torn literally in half by the tempest. The storm impacted everything, from the community’s picturesque shorelines to local businesses, and destroyed or damaged more than 20% of the borough’s total housing stock.

Union Beach has spent the last decade not only repairing the damage, but also preparing for future storms. While there is still work to be done — including a major shoreline restoration project now in progress — the inroads the community has made should be a blueprint for other communities along the Jersey Shore and throughout the mid-Atlantic region. It’s only a matter of time before Mother Nature batters us again.

Since Sandy raged through the region, structures throughout Union Beach have been elevated to safeguard them against future flooding. Buildings that could not be elevated have been dry-proofed by having their outer doors and lower-level windows sealed. This year, in partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, we’re working to flood-proof the town itself against heavy rains and tidal flooding. We are restoring and preserving what the hurricane took away — our beautiful shoreline.

A beach fill project, which began in March, will involve the addition of 3,160 linear feet of dunes with three berm crossovers, composed of 688,000 cubic yards of sand. The project will make the community’s beach, currently only a few hundred feet, approximately three times as wide and four times as long. Future phases in subsequent years will involve the construction of storm gates, pump stations and earthen levees. We need to be mindful not only of tidal flooding, but of overflowing of the two main waterways that traverse Union Beach and drain into Raritan Bay. When the tide is up, these tributaries don’t flow as well, and heavy rains can prove disastrous. The eventual pump stations will ensure that excess water can be pumped over the levee and into the bay. Along the way, we’re taking steps to mitigate any wetland disturbance and keep the project as “green” as possible.

When will the “next Sandy” hit our shores? Some experts believe that climate change is making severe storms more common. Just two years ago, Hurricane Ida caused record damage and, late last year, Hurricane Ian ran roughshod across western Florida.

Simply put — cleaning up after a big storm isn’t enough anymore. We must prepare for them before they happen. We’re doing our part, and neighboring municipalities such as Long Branch, Spring Lake, Belmar and Deal have also made strides. Among numerous investments being made in New Jersey through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is $20 million to elevate U.S. 40, a main evacuation route for Atlantic City, which will help residents travel safely before a superstorm makes landfall. This and the work we are doing is important — but we’ll need to remain vigilant. Communities that don’t take appropriate measures to safeguard against future storms are virtually guaranteed to face significant hardships down the road.

Charles Cocuzza is the mayor of the borough of Union Beach. Robert Keady and Dennis Dayback are with T&M Associates, a leading national consulting, engineering, environmental, technical services and construction management company headquartered in Middletown.

NJ Veteran Gets Heroes Welcome into New Mortgage Free Smart Home

June 30, 2023UNION BEACH, NJ (MONMOUTH)–On Wednesday, June 28, 2023, hundreds of people gathered in Union Beach New Jersey, to welcome an American hero back into the community.The Tunnel to Towers Foundation held a home dedication ceremony for USMC Staff Sergeant Ben Webb, handing over the keys to a brand new, mortgage-free smart home.“It’s been a long road, a long struggle, many dark days of worry, of wondering, and hoping, of praying, and waiting but not anymore. I never stopped believing this day...

June 30, 2023

UNION BEACH, NJ (MONMOUTH)–On Wednesday, June 28, 2023, hundreds of people gathered in Union Beach New Jersey, to welcome an American hero back into the community.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation held a home dedication ceremony for USMC Staff Sergeant Ben Webb, handing over the keys to a brand new, mortgage-free smart home.

It’s been a long road, a long struggle, many dark days of worry, of wondering, and hoping, of praying, and waiting but not anymore. I never stopped believing this day would come, that I would be able to come home, here in my little corner of the world,” said Staff Sergeant Webb.

Staff Sergeant Webb served four overseas deployments, three to Afghanistan and one to Iraq. During his 15 years of service to his country, he suffered multiple concussions and shrapnel wounds from RPG and IED blasts. He was awarded 3 Purple Hearts and retired in 2017.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s Smart Home Program builds specially-adapted smart homes, giving America’s catastrophically injured veterans some of their day-to-day independence back and delivering them mortgage-free to these American Heroes.

Having a mortgage-free home has improved my life immensely not just mentally, but both physically and emotionally, I’m able to enjoy life again. This home will cater to my everyday physical needs, it is such a relieving feeling,” said Staff Sergeant Webb.

All of the essential features of SSgt Webb’s home, the lights, thermostat, and security system, can be controlled via an app or touchscreens installed around the home. The bathroom is completely ADA compliant and the kitchen features lower countertops and a stove that raises and lowers to wheelchair height.

This year, as we celebrate July 4th, I am honored to hand over the keys to a home that will deliver financial and personal independence back to Staff Sergeant Ben Webb, who has given so much to this country we all love,” said Frank Siller, Chairman & CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

To join the Tunnel to Towers Foundation on its mission to provide these life-changing homes to America’s heroes please go to T2T.org and consider donating $11 per month.

Census 2020: Union Beach had big population loss, but change could be coming

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.

MORE CENSUS: Lakewood sees NJ's highest population growth

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.

MORE CENSUS:Why Aberdeen, Matawan are among fastest-growing towns

“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 jcarino@gannettnj.com.

Fight between Jersey Shore towns over where kids go to high school gets heated

Vile. Demeaning. Illegal. Accomplices.Those are the fighting words being tossed back and forth between two school districts in Monmouth County in a series of letters last month.At issue is a decades-long agreement to have Union Beach schools pay tuition to Keyport for its students to attend high school there. Keyport claims the K-8 district of approximately 600 students has been inc...

Vile. Demeaning. Illegal. Accomplices.

Those are the fighting words being tossed back and forth between two school districts in Monmouth County in a series of letters last month.

At issue is a decades-long agreement to have Union Beach schools pay tuition to Keyport for its students to attend high school there. Keyport claims the K-8 district of approximately 600 students has been increasingly sending its students to other towns — and those other districts are “siphoning away” the students — resulting in strained finances for Keyport.

“This action is hitting Keyport in the pocketbook, as the tuition paid by Union Beach to Keyport continues to drop precipitously, significantly impacting Keyport’s budget and finances,” the district said in a letter sent to the community in early February.

But school officials in Union Beach contend that no official ‘send-receive’ agreement exists and parents say they want better academic choices for their kids.

Public records and archival newspapers show Union Beach and Keyport have struggled with the nature of their sending-receiving relationship for decades, specifically whether or not Union Beach has the right to send its high school students to other districts.

Union Beach even tried to terminate the relationship in a 1984 petition, alleging the Keyport High School program “did not meet the needs of all of its students.” But that request was denied.

Based on comments made by parents during two separate public meetings hosted by Keyport and Union Beach last week, there is still a belief that Keyport High School falls short of certain standards.

One Union Beach parent summed it up: “Why should any parent choose to send their children to a high school built in 1927 that is consistently ranked near the bottom of all high schools in Monmouth County?”

U.S News Rankings show Keyport High School is ranked 299th within New Jersey, out of 424 high schools. The high schools where Union Beach students are going — Red Bank Regional, Hazlet Township, and Henry Hudson Regional — all rank significantly higher.

Public records and reports also show the tuition for out-of-district students in those districts is less than the $18,300 tuition cost Union Beach must pay per pupil in Keyport.

According to Keyport Public Schools enrollment figures, there has been a 27% decrease in high school attendees from Union Beach over the past four years. This has coincided with a 17% drop in tuition received from Union Beach over the same time period. Since enrollment is one factor that determines how much state aid a school district may receive, Keyport officials said they are concerned with how this trend will impact that financial allotment as well.

“When we talk about things like course of study and what things are offered at different schools, imagine the challenges faced by any school where they’re losing over the course of a two year period of time over $800,000 in monies with a small budget,” Keyport consultant Scott Feder said last week.

In the letter sent Feb. 9, Keyport told the community its petitioning the state education commissioner to “address the years of financial harm and the ongoing negative disparate educational impact” to its students. The district said “the improper diversion of students” has also increased the percentage of special education students attending the district.

Without that balance, Keyport High School Superintendent Lisa Savoia said the trend could ultimately limit the district’s ability to expand programs and opportunities for all students.

Union Beach officials fired back with a letter to its own community and a second one to Keyport, saying the renewed fight, which they said came without notice, was driving a wedge between them. Union Beach Superintendent Amanda Lewert also took issue with Keyport accusing the special education students as being “lesser achieving learners who do not bring as much value” to the district.

“Instead of constructive action, you have determined to literally burn the bridge between our two towns,” wrote Union Beach administration and Board of Education members in the Feb. 22 letter to Keyport.

Things weren’t always like this between the two bayside communities, said Keyport Mayor Colette Kennedy. After storm surges from Hurricane Sandy destroyed hundreds of homes in Union Beach and damaged the elementary school, Keyport stood in solidarity, opening up its buildings to all displaced students for the remainder of the school year. And when Keyport experienced its own tragedy with the death of Board of Education president Ann Marie Panzarelli in March 2021 due to COVID, the Union Beach school community provided it support.

“The fact that this has gotten to this point, I can’t even explain the heartstrings it’s pulling…and I’m not oblivious to the fact that it’s rooted from my own municipality, and that’s even more heart wrenching,” Kennedy said in an interview with NJ Advance Media.

The mayor said where Union Beach students attend high school has been “a long standing issue” since at least the ‘70s.

“I think the topic did need to be brought to the fore in both districts and I do think the Department of Education needs to make a final decision. But I absolutely stand by that it could have been done in a different way,” Kennedy said.

The goal of the letter that sparked the latest dispute was not to stoke up discontent, said Joseph Stahley, vice president of Keyport Board of Education. Rather, the board felt “at this stage of the legal action, that we needed to communicate with the Keyport community on what was transpiring and what was at stake,” he said.

Union Beach Mayor Charlie Cocuzza said it’s the opportunity to make a choice about your own child’s education that parents in his town desperately want. He has a seventh grade daughter preparing to enter high school in the next two years. She’s unsure whether she wants to attend Keyport High School and the thought “that choice might be taken away from her” is upsetting, Cocuzza said.

Having a choice of high schools to attend provides children with “the best chance to pursue the educational opportunities that best fit their needs and goals,” said members of Union Beach Memorial School PTA Executive Board in a statement sent to NJ Advance Media.

The matter is still pending in the state Department of Education’s Office of Administrative Law.

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jroman@njadvancemedia.com and @ByJackieRoman.

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David Burke opening new restaurant The GOAT in Union Beach next month

First came a Red Horse. Now, The GOAT.Following the 2021 opening of Rumson's Red Horse by David Burke, the chef and restaurateur will open The GOAT by David Burke in Union Beach in early April.The 110-seat American bistro takes the place of Piero's Italian Restaurant, which closed in the fall. ...

First came a Red Horse. Now, The GOAT.

Following the 2021 opening of Rumson's Red Horse by David Burke, the chef and restaurateur will open The GOAT by David Burke in Union Beach in early April.

The 110-seat American bistro takes the place of Piero's Italian Restaurant, which closed in the fall. Burke bought the restaurant and began renovating in February.

The GOAT is accepting reservations for Easter Sunday and Mother's Day.

Featuring an open kitchen and wood-burning oven, the restaurant will serve modern Continental and American cuisines.

As of press time, the menu was being finalized, but dishes may include Wagyu meatballs with polenta; salmon crudo with peas and pistachio gremolata; and roasted chicken for two with penne flambéed table-side (prices, which also may change before opening, range from $16 to $35).

More:From Korean barbecue to clam pizza: Check out these 11 new Jersey Shore restaurants

More:Why did restaurant workers stay - or leave - during the COVID-19 pandemic?

“Piero’s lasted for 30 years, that says something about the location,” Burke said in a news release about deciding to open a restaurant in the Bayshore. “Somebody went to the Meatpacking District in New York first, right? Somebody had to be first in Asbury Park. There’s a 10-mile stretch of highway that is underserved. There’s a renewed interest in the area.

"People want to get out and dine out, and they are tired of going over to Highway 35 to eat at chain restaurants," he said. "I grew up near here, and I’m very excited about The GOAT."

In addition to Red Horse by David Burke in Rumson, Burke manages Drifthouse in Sea Bright, and owns restaurants in East Brunswick, Fort Lee, Morristown and West New York.

Go: 1411 Route 36 in Union Beach; 732-264-5222, thegoatbydb.com

Sarah Griesemer joined the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey in 2003 and has been writing all things food since 2014. Send restaurant tips to sgriesemer@gannettnj.com


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