The closure of the Oceanic Bridge has made for more traffic and more tickets in Sea Bright.SEA SEA BRIGHT — With the closure of the Oceanic Bridge last month Sea Bright has seen more traffic making its way through the borough. And more traffic means more traffic violations.Police Chief John Sorrentino this week said his officers have issued more traffic summons in the last few months over the same time last year.According to the numbers Sorrentino provided, in Sept. 2011 the department issued 176 motor vehicle violations, compared to 83 in Sept. 2010; in Oct. 2010 the number was 113, and a year later it rose to 128. And from Oct. 17, when the bridge closed for repair work, until Nov. 18, police gave out 184 tickets; while during the same time last year the number was 130.“There’s more traffic coming over,” Sorrentino said this week, explaining the increase. “There are so many people who use that Oceanic Bridge that it is just a higher volume of traffic on Ocean Avenue.”The Oceanic Bridge spans the Navesink River, connecting Rumson to the Locust section of Middletown. The bridge was closed last month for repair work and is expected to remain closed until next May.With the bridge closed, vehicles heading to Middletown, Highlands and Atlantic Highlands must travel over Coopers Bridge in Red Bank or follow the detour signs through Rumson over the Sea Bright and travel north along Ocean Avenue(State Highway 36), to their destination. And as Sorrentino pointed out, “More cars, obviously more tickets.”The majority of tickets the department issued were for speeding and improper use of a handheld cell phone while driving, according to Sorrentino.As for the rise in ticketing, the chief noted, “Sea Bright is basically one street, a state highway,” and “We’re always out there.”“We’re always going to be aggressive when it comes to people who are speeding and on their cell phones,” he said, making it clear violators would be stopped and issued tickets.And that is all right with Mayor Maria Fernandes. “The residents have been complaining that there is a lot of speeding going through town,” especially in the north beach area, where Fernandes lives.Fernandes suspects it is commuters coming over the Sea Bright Bridge on their way to ferry terminals in Highlands and Atlantic Highlands who account for the majority of the speeders.“They step on the pedal to the metal and they’re chatting away on their cell phones,” Fernades said. “I don’t think they realize how fast they’re going; they’re too involved in their conversations.”The speed limit along Ocean Avenue is 40 miles per hour for most of the year, with the state Department of Transportation giving the borough permission to lower it to 35 during the summer months, Fernandes said.A ticket using a cell phone while driving carries a $130 penalty upon conviction, according to Stephanie Seyr, deputy court clerk for the combined Municipal Court for Sea Bright and Oceanport.Fines for speeding range from $85 to $260 and can include the loss of a driver’s license and the issuance of motor vehicle points, starting at two, Seyr said. And while the municipality does earn revenue from summonses, it does not get to keep it all as some of it is distributed to a variety of state agencies and programs.
By Bruce FuhrThe Nelson Daily SportsNow the fun begins.The Kootenay Ice kick off the 2011-12 B.C. Major Midget Hockey League season with plenty of optimism as the interior based squad heads to Vancouver Island for a two-game set Saturday and Sunday in Nanaimo against the North Island Silvertips.And new head coach Mario DiBella isn’t shy about what his goal is for this new group of 15-17-year-old midget hockey players.“We are looking to make the playoffs for the first time in Ice history,” stated the veteran bench boss.That goal will not be easy to achieve after the Ice, under the coach last season of Simon Wheeldon, lost the likes of 18-goal scorer Jesse Knowler of Castlegar and Nelson’s Dryden Hunt to the Western Hockey League and sniper Luke Bertolucci to the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL.However, DiBella believes he has the players ready to fill the skates of the rookie Tier I hockey players.“We have Jake Lucchini (Trail), Darren Medeiros (Castlegar) and Quinn Klimchuk (Castlegar) who are equally as talented as the (Hunt, Knowler and Bertolucci),” DiBella said of his three second-year players.“We’ve also added Mitch Foyle (Fruitvale), Jeremy McGregor (Christina Lake) and Brandon Savaia (Grand Forks) as talented first years that can put the busier in the basket.”The Ice has three grads from the Nelson Minor Hockey Association in Colton Dachwitz, Greyson Reitmeier and late edition Brandon Sookro.Cole Arcuri, thought to be a lock to make the Ice at defence, decided to return to the Okanagan Hockey Association.After the Island trip, the Ice are idle until opening the home part of the season October 8-9 at the NDCC Arena against Okanagan Rockets.The home dates will shift around rinks in the West Kootenay, with stops in Castlegar, Trail and Grand Forks.DiBella likes the idea of showcasing the players throughout the region.“I feel it’s good for the program and it provides home games where the players live,” said DiBella, who has former Nelson Leaf assistant coach Sean Dooley with him behind the Ice bench.The B.CMMHL was established in 2004 to provide elite level 15, 16 and 17 year olds the opportunity to play at a high level within their age group.Each year all Major Midget League teams have the opportunity to compete for the National Midget Championship.Kootenay finished the 2010-11 season in 10th spot with a 8-25-7 record with the Vancouver Northwest Giants winning the BCMMHL firstname.lastname@example.org