Scharfenberger ‘officially’ welcomes “The Situation” to Middletown

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino of MTV’s Jersey Shore fame, and his family opened a tanning salon in Middletown yesterday.

MMM is not in the habit of giving free advertising to people who drive Lamborghinis, and the company did not respond to our ad pitch, so we did not cover the ribbon cutting.

But NJ.com and USA Today-Monmouth/Ocean edition couldn’t resist the spectacle.

Gerry Scharfenberger is the only member of Middletown’s Township Committee of non-Italian American descent.  Gerry did the honors at the ribbon cutting and said the right things.

“The goal is always to fill vacant storefronts, so whenever that happens it is a positive thing,” he said. “And if the star power they have is able to help them and the other businesses here, that’s even better.”

But the expressions on Gerry’s face in the pictures at NJ.com tell another story, which prompted MMM to look further into the situation.

Why wasn’t Mayor Stephanie Murray presiding on the high profile ribbon cutting?  She finds the situation offensive.

“While I wish the business  success for the sake of the existing businesses in the shopping center, I don’t personally support Mr. Sorrentino as his insensitivity and disrespect toward women (calling women “grenades” for example), is appalling and offensive, Murray said, “Additionally, as an Italian-American who loves and lives at the Jersey shore, the image Mr. Sorrentino projects is equally offensive.”

Committeeman Tony Fiore is also not happy with the situation.

“While Mr. Sorrentino has the right to open a business anywhere he chooses, Mr. Sorrentino has done nothing to help promote a positive image of the Jersey shore or Italians who live or visit the Jersey shore,” Fiore said,  “In my view no self respecting Italian who grew up in NJ, lives at or loves the Jersey shore would help promote his business. While I wish him like any other business in Middletown success, he shouldn’t expect Middletown to embrace the circus that he is bringing to the Middletown.”

Fiore and other Middletown officials were caught off guard by Sorrentino’s announcement that he intends to film a reality TV show at the tanning facility, thus the “circus” the committeeman reverenced. Fiore said he is looking into the permitting required, if any, for television production in the township.

Additionally, Fiore said there were multiple complaints from grocery shoppers at the Shop Rite that shares the mall where the tanning salon is located, that parking was difficult during the tanning salon’s grand opening.  Debbie Durante, manager of the Shop Rite said she received no complaints and wasn’t aware of an impact the grand opening had on yesterday’s receipts.

USA Today-Monmouth/Ocean reported that the business endeavor is part of Sorrentino’s recovery from drug addiction.

He said that this year was finally the right time to take on running a business, after battling drug addiction and his bad boy image.

“I got a second chance to continue to pursue my dreams — on and off the screen,” he said.

If Sorrentino, a Monmouth County resident, were to use his celebrity to help Monmouth County and all of New Jersey battle the heroin, molly and ecstasy epidemic, he would find the community much more supportive of his dreams.

Posted: March 2nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Middletown | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

6 Comments on “Scharfenberger ‘officially’ welcomes “The Situation” to Middletown”

  1. Middletowner said at 10:35 am on March 2nd, 2014:

    Is Massell Italian?

  2. Art Gallagher said at 10:36 am on March 2nd, 2014:


  3. And I thought said at 12:51 pm on March 2nd, 2014:

    it was going to be a slow news day for Art.

  4. Scharfenberger ‘officially’ welcomes “The Situation” to Middletown | The Save Jersey Blog said at 1:20 pm on March 2nd, 2014:

    […] By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com […]

  5. WOW really said at 4:33 pm on March 3rd, 2014:

    Talk about trying to kill a business before it gets off the ground.

    It’s a tanning salon owned by Sorrentino, and relatives,as I understand it. His Relatives, correct me if I am wrong, had Nothing, Zilch, Nada, to do with the TV show Jersey Shore.

    He has partnered with this Franchise since 2011, and no “childish behavior” has emerged.

    How many want to be judged for the rest of their lives based upon their behavior in their early 20’s from a TV show? Did he act like a fool at times, sure. Was it a ridiculous show, to me , yes. To many teens- it was a ritual to watch the train wreck. It was entertainment to those who tuned in weekly.

    On the other hand, His behavior on “Dancing with the Stars” proved he also can behave like an adult. He was a gentleman to the women, and well received by all of the contestants and many TV viewers.
    Yet no mention of that persona.

    Every business deserves a fair shake from the Township Committee, regardless of their personal opinions.If the business proves otherwise, then there is room for comments, if it becomes a true detriment to the town.

    I can guarantee not all Italians feel the same as the 2 township committee members, nor do all residents in the town. Give the kid a break.

    If one does not like Sorrentino, is one thing, but labeling all the other business owners and relatives as not worthy of people patronizing their business is irresponsible of a committee member. It’s just not right or just.

    Best of luck to the new business in Middletown. I’d rather the township committee members pass judgement on reality, not upon what “could be” or “just because” Or better yet, keep it to themselves.

  6. Lori Anne Oliwa said at 5:27 pm on March 18th, 2014:

    I wish my client Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino the best, and WOW’s comments above are correct. The salon is family-owned and operated and is part of an agreement with the franchise, who also employs the reality star. I applaud anyone’s efforts to start and operate a business, and despite my heritage, I do not take personal offense to antics depicted in a show. Anyone of intelligence knows anyhow that one person or group of people do not portray a whole race or nationality. What I am upset about is I had to read in the media that my efforts to promote the grand opening of this business were not supported by people or a town that I have done much volunteering for and have run events pro bono for. Someone could have at least told me why after my years of service that nobody of Italian descent from the Township Committee was attending. And thanks a lot to Art Gallagher, whom I have done nothing to, for making a mockery of me and my business.