Crews Remove "Ritacco Center" Sign

Down comes the name that was hidden since last October

The sign is down.

The words “Ritacco Center,” hidden behind a white cover for almost a year, were removed from the the Ritacco Center yesterday.

Sign crews were seen removing the signage yesterday morning, part of the transition to . The arena is on the Tcampus, on Old Freehold Road.

The cover over “Ritacco Center” went up shortly after former Superintendent Michael Ritacco resigned last October, the same day of , accused of a multi-million kickback scheme with an insurance broker.

According to federal prosecutors, his trial was again rescheduled from January to April, the fourth rescheduling of the trial.

Pine Belt Automotive Group bought the naming rights to the arena, a contract previously held by Poland Spring. Pine Belt's five year contract cost $500,000.

Pine Belt will pay $100,000 each year of a five-year contract for the right for the 3,500-seat arena to bear its name. The Toms River Regional School Board approved the contract at its June meeting.

This was after two attempts to solicit bids for the naming rights, said Toms River Regional Business Administrator William Doering. Both a Feb. 23 and a March 23 bidding netted .

The cost of installing and creating the new Pine Belt signs for the arena became an expense for the district, Doering said previously. The contract signed by Pine Belt had Toms River Regional paying for the sign. Doering said the cost was approximately $26,000, in a contract to Girtain Sign of Toms River.

"That will cover all the changing of the signs," Doering said at the August school board meeting. The district has been removing previous signage of "Ritacco Center" and "Poland Spring Arena" from the campus.

Mike Hunt October 18, 2011 at 11:28 AM
SHOULD PUT UP A "Gov.Christie 2nd.comming of Christ" sign for all to see
Mac October 18, 2011 at 11:56 AM
Silly me. I hadn't had my second cup of coffee before my last post, so not all the cobwebs were cleared yet. I've been involved with the Parkway leadership and the new $50.00 'Oops penalty' toll over at the Point Pleasant Patch all day yesterday, so I guess I needed a bit of time to refocus. I realized I didn't really need to chase the Governor down for the schedule. The Ocean County Freeholders partied with Ritacco regularly, so I'm sure they know the plans for the relocation of the Ritacco sign. I'll just ask the head of the Freeholders, Joe Vicari. He's running for re-election next month, so I know he is full of information to share. Usually, he's much more available during campaign season, but he seems to be a bit shy this time. Maybe he's just tired from the stress of all the Ritacco planning. Hope he wakes up in time for the next Freeholders meeting. Otherwise, I'll have to rely on Jim for some answers.
Greg October 18, 2011 at 12:09 PM
It is about time that the Poland Springs signs finally come down. After all they were getting all kinds of free advertising. Hopefully the taxpayers of the Toms River Regional School District will not be fleeced again like they were by Poland Springs.By that I mean that they never fulfilled their contract to pay for the naming rights. But, then again with Mr. Ritacco in charge one has to wonder if either a. there was ever a signed contract with them or b. did that money go the way of the insurance money? Now, about the Ritacco sign coming down how come it took them almost a year to take that eyesore down and while they were at it did they take those blue signs that are in the parking lots down? Mr. Doering, how are you and the rest of the BOE going to reassure the taxpayers of the district that we are not going to be fleeced again? As you know there is VERY little trust in what we are being told! And, please don't give us that buzz word "transparency" crap because we aren't buying! And, we don't want TRRSD "fuzzy" math either.
George October 18, 2011 at 12:32 PM
Mayor Kelaher and Freeloader Vicari are always "centered" on Ritacco and Christie, so they're delivering the old sign to a campaign rally where they'll give it to Mike as a going away present (10 to 15 years). FOURTH rescheduling of the trial -- now April?! Justice delayed is justice denied. Mike's still free, spending taxpayers' money.
Ray C. October 18, 2011 at 01:03 PM
Here's some fun: use the Internet Anagram Server to come up with alternate uses for the letters in RITACCO CENTER: http://wordsmith.org/anagram/anagram.cgi?anagram=ritacco+center&t=1000&a=n Most politically relevant anagram: Intact Coercer
H.HEMMES October 18, 2011 at 01:07 PM
Is Ritacco collecting his pension during this rescheduling / delaying of the trial? If and when the trial does come, will any ruling be indefinitely rescheduled so Ritacco can continue to dupe the taxpayers of Toms River as well as New Jersey?
Catherine Galioto (Editor) October 18, 2011 at 01:22 PM
I added some information to the article about the cost of the sign removal/installation.
Pat October 18, 2011 at 03:33 PM
It should never been called the Ritacco Center in the first place.
justiceforall? October 18, 2011 at 03:55 PM
Thanks Patch for making something out of nothing. I thought that in the USA people have the right to a trial before they are publicly hung out to dry. It's time for the people of TR to let the justice system work, get over personal vendettas, and get on with thier lives.
Mac October 18, 2011 at 03:57 PM
Your sentiment is noble. However, it's hard for a community to be overly objective when almost is a witness.
Mac October 18, 2011 at 03:58 PM
that's almost everyone - sorry
Mattie October 18, 2011 at 06:10 PM
Pat, that is so true - on so many levels...
SystemIsBroken October 19, 2011 at 02:07 AM
Save the sign! Wew may be able to reuse it! Maybe after the trial this winter we can rename the gymnasium... in Levanworth!
Barry Fleckmann October 19, 2011 at 01:25 PM
"It should never been called the Ritacco Center in the first place." - Pat. THAT was a point that was made MANY, MANY, MANY, MANY times on Bob Levy's "Topic 'A'" radio-show, on Sunday mornings!! Levy played "butt-boy" to Ritacco until the day the FBI agents finally took Ritacco away in handcuffs. He was practically Ritacco's enabler and bodyguard.
Penileimplants October 19, 2011 at 04:22 PM
Fleckmann Center
Denise October 19, 2011 at 04:25 PM
You're absolutely right. I never agreed with putting his name on that arena. How about we just call it the T.R. North Arena for good since the name changes so often? The businesses can call it what they want and still pay us the money, but the rest of us can call it TRN Arena.
Denise October 19, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Well our justice system isn't working very well when the trial has to be postponed numerous times! Money talks!!
Paul Brush October 19, 2011 at 05:13 PM
There was an movement a while back to rename the center after PFC Vincent Frassetto,a TRHS North graduate and football player, who was killed in Irag in 2006. The school retired his football jersey #90 in 2007. Maybe it's time to revisit that suggestion. Seems fitting to me.
Tired of the status quo October 19, 2011 at 07:00 PM
Come now Mr. Brush, You know the only reason that PFC Frasetto's football jersey was retired because of the unselfish and relentless work of Kathy Lazaro. It was her and the veterans who worked so hard and fought so hard when Mr. RItacco wanted no part of it. Again it was Kathy Lazaro who brought it out at a public meeting and finally won that honor for this brave young man. Personally I feel that the gym should just be called The Arena at Toms River North.
careless fills October 20, 2011 at 01:59 AM
The fish rots from the head.
KC October 21, 2011 at 05:08 AM
The words RAT & CON come to mind.


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