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RED BANK: LIGHTHEARTED PSYCHIC AT BASIE

Maureen_Hancock“Medium Next Door” Maureen Hancock makes her Count Basie Theatre debut Thursday night.

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.”

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RED BANK: DINER TO REOPEN AS TOAST

  bway diner 072114 1“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

bway diner 072114 2Red Bank’s Broadway Diner, which closed abruptly Monday morning, will reopen as Toast Red Bank, according to a report in the Asbury Park Sun.

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?”

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RED BANK: DINER POURS FINAL CUP

Broadway DinerThe diner will reopen as a new restaurant, an owner says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s Broadway Diner, a gleaming all-night mecca of stainless steel, Formica and neon, has closed.

The Monmouth Street eatery ended an 18-year run owning to the death of one of its owners, Bob Russo, and a restructuring of the business.

By coincidence, Mayor Pasquale Menna and new borough school Superintendent Jared Rumage were the last customers, Menna told redbankgreen.

“We had the last cups of coffee,” he said.

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RED BANK: GALLERY PLAN GETS AIRING

24 clay 061714 324 clay st 071814 1On the agenda for Monday night’s meeting of the Red Bank Planning Board: a proposal to convert the warehouse at 24 Clay Street into an art gallery. Variances are needed for parking and signage. The board meets at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at 90 Monmouth Street. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: SUV WITH $1K INSIDE STOLEN

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of July 10 to July 17, 2014. This information is unedited.

CRIMES

Criminal Mischief occurring at Maple Ave. on 7-11-14. Report of electrical panel cover destroyed by unknown subject(s). Ptl. David Smith

Auto Theft occurring between 7-10-14 and 7-11-14 at Wallace St. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole vehicle described as Chevrolet Suburban 2013. Inside vehicle was $1,000.00 in cash contained in bank envelope. Ptl. Kristin Altimari.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 7-12-14 at Catherine St. Victim reported that unknown person(s) punctured tire on parked vehicle. Ptl. David Smith

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SEA BRIGHT: POSTCARD READY TO BE SIGNED

sb mural 072014 6 jim kovic 072014Artist Jim Kovic, right, puts the finishing touches Sunday on the retro-postcard-style mural he painted on a building at Ocean Avenue and Peninsula Avenue in Sea Bright. On Tuesday, he’s planning to sign the work and host visitors from Benjamin Moore Paints, which supplied the paint both for the mural and the downtown makeover that it caps off.

Click the “Read More” to see details of the mural. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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SANDY HOOK: A HAVEN FROM WIND AND TIDE

the-havenThe Haven takes it to the Hook Wednesday evening as part of a freebie triple-header bill of bands on the beach.

While the Sandy Hook peninsula has soldiered on through the worst that time and tide have to offer, sometimes you just have to pull the plug on those electrified events — as with the short-notice cancellation of the Brian Kirk and the Jirks concert originally scheduled for July 9. But when the elements align, there are few summer music presentations that can compete with the free Beach Concert Series hosted by The Sandy Hook Foundation at Beach Area E — and this Wednesday, the producers have lined up a special bill that offers three times the bands, as well as an extra 30 minutes of music.

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RUMSON: MEET YOU UPSTAIRS

rumson dormer 07011420 ave of two 071614 2In one of the more unusual post-Sandy renovation jobs, the Rumson home of David and Trish Docherty has the lower floors finally re-meeting the dormers, which were been suspended in above the Avenue of Two Rivers lot for several months.

“I don’t want to be around if there’s another hurricane,” a neighbor told redbankgreen during the interim. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: BON JOVI DONATION MISUSED?

murphy-plansRead Murphy in 2011. below, the fire and first aid squads were displaced from their home, which was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. (Photo above by Dustin Racioppi. Click to enlarge)

sb fire house 040114The use of a $119,000 donation by pop star Bon Jovi for a new ambulance in Sea Bright has raised questions, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Nearly two years after Hurricane Sandy destroyed one first aid squad ambulance and damaged another, “some in Sea Bright question how Bon Jovi’s generous donation — originally intended to purchase a new ambulance — instead was used to refurbish an old ambulance and buy a SUV that is used almost exclusively by Sea Bright’s part-time emergency management coordinator,” the Press reports.

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LINCROFT: A SEEGER SESSION, AMONG FRIENDS

Jim_Scott_Pete_SeegerSinger, songwriter and guitarist Jim Scott —seen at right accompanying his friend, the late Pete Seeger — hosts a singalong tribute to the late folk music master Saturday evening at the Unitarian Meeting House.

He counted among his friends and admirers a certain homegrown recording artist whose farmhouse Sessions helped spread the folk gospel chapter and verse to more than one new generation of fans. He was guest of honor at the annual music festival hosted by New Jersey Friends of Clearwater, the Red Bank-based nonprofit inspired by the man’s vanguard work on and around the Hudson River. And when Pete Seeger passed away earlier this year at the age of 94, he left this world not as the larger-than-life icon you’d expect him to have become, but as an extended family member and neighbor who touched the lives of millions.

Among those affected by the folk music master’s time on Earth was Jim Scott — a singer, songwriter, guitarist and collaborator who Seeger himself referred to as “some kind of magician.” A former member of the Paul Winter Consort (he co-wrote their “Missa Gaia/Earth Mass” and sang their anthem song “Common Ground”), and the editor of the anthology Earth and Spirit Songbook,  the recording artist and educator comes to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County in a special “songs and stories” tribute to Seeger that takes place this Saturday night at 7 pm.

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RED BANK: WREMBEL BY THE RIVER

Stephen-Wrembel(1)

French-born “Gypsy Jazz” guitarist Stephane Wrembel is the star of this week’s edition of Summer Jazz Cafe, Friday and Saturday at Two River Theater.

The comparisons to the legendary gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt are pretty well irresistible — after all, we’re dealing here with a European-born guitarist trained in the Gypsy campsite tradition around the French countryside. And then there’s the association with the City of Lights; a love affair that culminated in his recording of the theme for Woody Allen’s hit film Midnight in Paris.

Ask Joe Muccioli, however, and the artistic director of Red Bank’s Jazz Arts Project will tell you that Stephane Wrembel possesses a style all his own; a self-described “Impressionism approach” that finds the Belgian-born (and Brooklyn-based) composer cooking with regional ingredients that range from flamenco fury to guitar-god classic rock. Gigging in support of the recent release Dreamers of Dreams, Wrembel comes to the “black box” space at Two River Theater for a two-night stand this Friday and Saturday, July 18 and 19 — the latest in the 2014 slate of Summer Jazz Cafe events.

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RED BANK: LANDFILL PARK STILL YEARS OFF

ballard 071614Engineer Christine Ballard, above, discusses sampling for toxic substances at the former landfill site. One result of the tests: new warning signs, below. (Above photo by John T. Ward; photo below by Brian Donohue. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb crab sign 071514Red Bank is on track with testing for toxic substances at its former landfill and incinerator, but the painstaking process is unlikely to yield new parkland within the next five years, the town’s engineer said Wednesday.

Meantime, one immediate upshot of tests at the 8.6-acre West Side site: new warnings about eating fish and crabs caught from the adjoining Swimming River.

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RED BANK: TWO RIVER TIMES SOLD

Domenic DiPiero 062714New Two River Times owner Domenic DiPiero watching the fireworks show he hosted for Riverview Medical Center at his mother’s home in Locust last month. Mickey Gooch, below with state Senator Joe Kyrillos, was also there. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

gooch 062714 1The Two River Times, a Red Bank-based broadsheet newspaper with a taste for photos of the moneyed set at society balls, has a new owner.

Domenic DiPiero, president of a borough-based retirement-plan consultancy, has acquired the 24-year-old weekly, the TRT reported in a brief article in the latest edition.

The seller was Mickey Gooch, who with his now ex-wife, Diane, acquired the paper from garrulous television personality Geraldo Rivera a decade ago.

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RED BANK: MAN STABBED

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014A man was stabbed on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank Wednesday night, according to a report by the Asbury Park Press website.

Police Chief Darren McConnell told the newspaper that the victim, who was not identified, was taken by MONOC ambulance to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

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