Red Bank Regional sophomore Elijah Nishiura, center, chats with Environmental Commission chairwoman Laura Bagwell, left, and Carl Alderson, a marine resources specialist at NOAA, after the council voted to restore the rotting library bulkhead, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
A hotly opposed proposal to rebuild the bulkhead at the Red Bank Public Library won approval from the borough council Wednesday night, though the new structure may now incorporate elements of a so-called living shoreline favored by environmentalists.
Then again, the matter could be headed to court if the hybrid approach fails appease the library’s next-door neighbors, whose lawyer continued to imply that he’d sue if anything less than an abrupt wall along the library’s Navesink River frontage is constructed.
“The merits of the living shoreline are neither here nor there,” Michael Vitiello, the attorney for the Corinthian Cove condos, told the council before it voted on the issue. “My clients feel that if you remove the bulkhead… we are no longer going to have lateral support for our earth.”
While Red Bank remains an ever-evolving entity — sometimes at a brisker clip than a lot of longtime locals are prepared to digest — one summertime signifier of community life has been soldiering on, uninterrupted, for a frankly amazing 60 years. And in 2014, the Red Bank Sidewalk Sale marks its diamond anniversary with a three-day thriftarama that takes a look back at some of what’s made this town so great and unique.
Think about it: back in 1955, President Ike was dispatching the first U.S. advisors into an obscure place called Vietnam. The Brooklyn Dodgers were gearing up to finally make “next year” a here-and-now reality. School-age kids were promised trips to that new Disneyland place, if they’d just hold still for the equally new polio vaccine. Folks from nearby communities such as New Shrewsbury flocked to the Carlton Theatre to see James Dean light up the screen in East of Eden. And the Red Bank Register reported that the town fathers were planning a study of the ongoing downtown parking issues (let’s hear one for continuity).
Those decades of borough history won’t be trampled underfoot, as scores of shoppers take to the sidewalks of Broad, Monmouth, Front and White streets in search of figurative “diamonds” — that bargain in a box, that folding-table find, that street-rack steal. This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Red Bank Rivercenter celebrates the occasion with a “trip down memory lane” — and a rolling out of the welcome mat for some exciting new additions to the Sidewalk Sale scene.
Beginning tonight, from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m., the bridge on West Front Street over Swimming River will be closed for the delivery and setting of the beams for the new bridge.
Gee whiz, you’d think they were besties or something. Scenes from the latest edition of Red Bank’s Dog Days of Summer series, held Tuesday night. The next one is scheduled for August 19, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Monmouth Street. (Video by Gerda Liebmann. Click to pause.)
Check out all the Clippings from the Green here.
Jamie Gordinier, a highly touted linebacker at Red Bank Catholic, will get to play his senior year without having to deal with pesky recruiters, now that he’s given an early decision to attend the University of Miami after he graduates from high school. Here’s the story from Rich Chrampanis of the new video-based website Shore Sports Zone. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone. Click to enlarge)
April may be National Jazz Appreciation Month — a fact driven home locally and yearly by Joe Muccioli‘s Talkin’ Jazz series at the Count Basie Theatre — but things really heat up jazzwise in this Basie-birthing borough during the month of July, an interlude during which several weekends’ worth of Summer Jazz cafe events at Two River Theater are keynoted by open-air Thursdays at Riverside Gardens’ Jazz in the Park series.
The 2014 slate of outdoor concerts (presented by Red Bank Parks and Recreation Department) continues on the evening of July 24 in a classically cool vein, when drummer Darwin B. Oden and his combo return to the banks of the Navesink for some improvisatory, exploratory sets ‘neath the setting sun and stars. The music kicks in at 7:30 pm (weather permitting; call Parks and Rec at 732-530-2782 for day-of-show updates); bring lawn chairs or blankets, and dress comfy casual — then go home, get dressed for a sophisticated night on the town, and reconvene at Two River for an extra special Friday and Saturday session.
As reported by redbankgreen last month, the strings program in the Red Bank school district is facing extinction because of budget cuts. The school board and parents are looking for ways to keep it alive. Meantime, a handful of students from the program plan to play a selection of folk tunes, including “Go Tell Aunt Rhody,” at 2 p.m. this Saturday in front of Toad Hollow, at 9 Monmouth Street, in an effort to call attention to the effort. The video below, made by parent Wayne Woolley, is another part of that effort.
Wouldn’t it be nice to give them a big, curbside audience to encourage them? You might also bring your checkbook or cash, in case you feel inspired to help in that way. For more info, contact Cathy Costa at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Its scientists and policy experts may be thought leaders on issues of global warming and ways to head it off. But on the matter of the Navesink River bulkhead at the Red Bank Public Library, Harvard University can’t be bothered to speak, it appears.
Harvard’s continued silence almost a year after Mayor Pasquale Menna reached out to the university for help on a legal issue is about to cost Red Bank taxpayers and, environmentalists contend, result in a wrongheaded fix along the shoreline.
A controversial plan to rebuild the crumbling bulkhead, rather than allow for the restoration of a natural shoreline, is expected to move ahead Wednesday night.
It’s time for “finality” on the issue, which involves insurance and liability issues as well as environmental ones, Menna told redbankgreen Monday.
Even as artist Jim Kovic put his John Hancock on the brilliant new mural he created in Sea Bright over the past month, passersby couldn’t wait to have their photos taken in front of it.
“‘Awesome’ is the word most people use when they view my mural,” Kovic told Clippings. “Some people say ‘joy.’ This mural brings them joy, you know, after Sandy.”
The mural is at the corner of Ocean and Peninsula avenues. Check out all the Clippings from the Green here. (Video by Gerda Liebmann. Click to pause.)
A passerby checks out new signage being installed Monday for Gotham, a speakeasy-themed gastropubc that won approval from the Red Bank zoning board last week with no objections voiced by onlookers.
The club, which takes over the former Hamilton Jewelers space at 19 Broad Street, is expected to open by October, and will feature regular comedy, jazz and DJ shows, partner Joseph Squillaro tells redbankgreen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
McLoone’s Rum Runner, a Sea Bright favorite since 1987, was demolished Monday, nearly 21 months after it was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Owner Tim McLoone has approvals to rebuild the restaurant, which adjoins the Shrewsbury River, with greater elevation, and plans to reopen by next summer. (Photo above by Janet Dorgan. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Sergio Furnari’s “Lunchtime on a Skyscraper – A Tribute to America’s Heroes,” will sit atop a parapet at the rear of the Clay Street building, says Wanderlust Gallery owner Ken Schwartz, who also plans to add mad dashes of color in the form of murals to brighten up a drab stretch of garages and parking lots.
“I didn’t look at this as signage,” Schwartz told the planning board, which unanimously granted him variances for murals he plans to have painted on the long-vacant warehouse. “I look at it as the building itself being a piece of artwork.”
You needn’t possess a sixth sense, second sight, or psychic gift to divine that live appearances by the breed of professionals known as Spirit Mediums are among the most consistently popular offerings booked into the Count Basie Theatre.
As the Basie’s veep of operations Izzy Sackowitz notes, the venue has historically done well with such personalities as John “Crossing Over” Edward, Lisa “Voices from the Other Side” Williams and Theresa “Long Island Medium” Caputo — figures who’ve ditched the magic-shop turbans and crystal balls in favor of a conversational style that “establishes a real rapport with the audience,” he says. “There’s a sense that these people come from very ordinary backgrounds, and they share something in common with the viewer.”
On Thursday, the Basie stage hosts the local debut of Maureen Hancock, the self-styled “internationally renowned Spirit Medium, intuitive, teacher, lecturer, Holistic Healer, and author of the bestselling book, The Medium Next Door: Adventures of a Real-Life Ghost Whisperer.”
“Sorry, closed” is all sign in the door tells patrons of the Broadway Diner, where some 40 workers were shocked to learn they’d lost their jobs Monday. Below, workers emptying out the kitchen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD & SUSAN ERICSON
Following renovations, a reopening is expected in about about eight weeks, the Sun reported, quoting Amy Russo, Toast’s founder and the daughter of one of the diner’s owners.
Russo could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon, and an employee at her Asbury Park restaurant said she would probably not comment.
But the sudden closing in Red Bank stunned customers and employees alike.
“I just found out half an hour ago that I don’t have a job anymore,” an employee told a customer who had asked what she’d do now. “Can you imagine?”