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RED BANK: BURNHAM WINS ZONING CASE

cindy burnham 121814Cindy Burnham with her attorney, Ron Gasiorowski, at Thursday night’s zoning board hearing. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The fix wasn’t in – not this time at least.

Cindy Burnham, the lone Republican on the Red Bank council who often lambastes the Democratic majority for what she contends are back-room  development deals, went before the zoning board Thursday night seeking an OK for a new garage and back porch for her home at 71 Wallace Street.

She came loaded for bear.

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RED BANK: COLORFUL SHAPE-SHIFTERS @TRT

th-vhc-orangesTHE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR and other stories by Eric Carle are brought to colorful life on the stage of Two River Theater by the puppeteers of Mermaid Theatre. (Photo by Margo Ellen Gesser)

It represents a departure from past Holiday Family Show productions at Two River Theater, in that it’s not a homegrown production in the spirit of 2012-2013’s A Wind in the Willows Christmas. It’s also a limited engagement that offers just three days of public performances — nearly all of which are sold out at this point.

That said, the touring production known as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites fits in nicely with the pro-literacy theme of past Two River offerings, being based upon a trio of works by the prolific children’s book creator whose vividly illustrated fables have delighted “kids of all ages” for nearly 50 years.

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RUMSON: MENORAH LIGHTS THE NIGHT

121714 menorah11121714 menorah2Congregation B’nai Israel’s menorah lit up the second night of Hanukkah in Rumson Wednesday evening. Rabbi Jeff Sultar led the group of more than a hundred congregants in two prayers, one for each candle. Many of the children took part by holding signs reminding everyone of the different parts of the prayers. They then proceeded inside to a symbolic meal of fried potato latkes,  jelly donuts and spinning dreidels while Rabbbi Sultar made his way to the Red Bank train station to light the menorah there.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: GO TELL IT ON THE HILLTOP

ChristmasConcert-960x300Matthew Van Dyke directs the 50-voice Tower Hill Choir in a free, public-welcome performance of traditional Christmas choral music, Saturday evening at First Presbyterian Church. 

From the sacred to the secularly sophisticated, lovers of classical music — which is to say, music other than the classic rock sounds that permeate the Count Basie Theatre in the nights to come — can find comfort and joy in a pair of back-to-back events that are offered free of charge this Saturday, at two of Red Bank borough’s most musically minded institutions.

The music begins at 4 pm on the afternoon of December 20, at a venue that remains one of the community’s best kept secrets — the Monmouth Conservatory Of Music, host for the latest in an acclaimed series of public-welcome guest artist concerts. December’s spotlight falls on a special program of Baroque era chamber music, as composed by J. S. Bach, Diego Ortiz, Frescobaldi, Mayone, Scarlatti and Graupner — and performed by a pair of Russian-born specialists: violist Elena Kraineva, and pianist Raisa Isaacs. The international touring artists and educators perform in the casual and quite convenient setting of the MCM’s downtown White Street all-purpose room — just steps from the hustle/bustle of that last shopping-season Saturday in Red Bank, but a world and an ocean of time away from the Yule Log’s slow-burn, high-pressure smolder and spark. Best of all, admission’s by free-will donation exclusively, and the hour-long program leaves plenty of time to catch a bite, maybe do a bit of shop, and head up the hill to the next must-see event.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL BUSILY CLOSES OUT YEAR

jane eigenrauch 121714Retired librarian Jane Eigenrauch gets a goodbye hug, above, and Councilwoman Juanita Lewis reacts to a tribute at her final meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

juanita lewis 121714At its final scheduled meeting of 2014, the Red Bank council killed a $2.2 million bond ordinance to pay for new water meters amid warnings that a shortage of existing devices could delay new construction in 2015.

The council also:

• approved a new labor agreement covering nearly half the municipal workforce

• extended a moratorium on fees some developers have to pay for parking deficiencies.

• bid adieu to one of its own members

• and honored a newly-retired librarian who had been the borough government’s longest-serving employee.

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RED BANK: EV CHARGER SWITCHED ON

rb ev space 121614 1park itAfter a false start involving an enabling ordinance, Red Bank’s first  public charging station for electric vehicles is now legally approved and switched on, borough officials said.

Located outside borough hall at 90 Monmouth Street, the station doubles as a parking space for plugged-in cars, at $2 per hour, juice included. As elsewhere in town, however, the parking fee is waived through December 25. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

 

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RFH: BRIGGS WINS TOP SSZ SCHOLAR-ATHLETE

Rumson-Fair Haven’s Tucker Briggs had 102 tackles in his senior season, finishing his career with 212 and a role in back-to-back state championships. Even more impressive: his grade point average (4.7) and SAT score (2380, which puts him in the 99.95 percentile of the test’s takers). Those numbers and more earned Briggs the Shore Sports Zone trophy for Scholar-Athlete of the Year at a banquet dinner at IPlay America in Freehold Tuesday night.

Shore Sports Zone has all the video highlights from the season-capping event, including Nick Cella’s touchdown run of the year for Red Bank Catholic and RFH’s championship game defensive player of the year, Sam Eisenstadt. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone.)

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RED BANK: SANTA BASIE, HURRY DOWN

Tim Kirk Love BobClockwise from top left: Jinglebell fundraiser concerts featuring Tim McLoone’s Holiday Express (December 18), Brian Kirk and the Jirks (December 20), Darlene Love (December 21) and Bobby Bandiera (December 22) provide the driving soundtrack to the holiday homestretch in the nights ahead.

The countdown to Christmas 2015 represents anything but a wind-down at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, where a fast-moving flurry of high-profile benefit concerts promises to keep the place buzzing like Santa’s workshop-slash-fulfillment center during the holiday homestretch.

From the most big-hearted of local music mainstays, to the vintage hitmakers whose records landed on many a Boomer-era wish list — and on into the next generation of Shore scene stalwarts — the Basie boards will resound with a Wall of seasonal Sound, every note of it dedicated to a great cause and an all-’round generosity of spirit.

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PROSECUTOR: NO WRONGDOING IN ARREST

Video of Jeffrey Michel’s arrest on the Brookdale campus last month. (Video by Vincent Cordero)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The viral-video pepper-spray arrest of a Brookdale Community College student last month was done in “full compliance” with law enforcement guidelines, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office has concluded.

In fact, the officers involved might have been more aggressive in their arrest of Jeffrey Michel without overstepping guidelines established by the state Attorney General, an official in the professional responsibility unit of the prosecutor’s office wrote in a December 8 letter to Brookdale’s dean.

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RED BANK: BURNHAM, RAPCAVAGE ON AGENDA

rb rapcavage 081614A proposed market and 20 homes at Red Bank’s five corners, above, returns to the zoning board Thursday night. Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, below, also has an application on the agenda. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

burnham 3 010114A proposed greenmarket and 20 homes on the edge of downtown Red Bank returns to the zoning board this week, four months after it was pulled back by the developer for revisions.

Also on Thursday night’s agenda: a request by borough Councilwoman Cindy Burnham to build a garage behind her home on Wallace Street.

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LINCROFT: BOSS BOOK PARDNER @BROOKDALE

Outlaw Pete Caruso“Outlaw Pete” illustrator Frank Caruso, at right with Bruce Springsteen in a recent “Daily Show” appearance, brings their book to the Brookdale Community College campus Thursday.

Its author flat-out declares that it’s not technically a child’s bedtime story, even if its many inspirations include the “Brave Cowboy Bill” tales he used to hear as a young child. He’s also forthcoming about the notion that he “didn’t have much to do with it,” although he’s dutifully promoted the project in venues that range from Jon Stewart’s Daily Show to the Times Book Review.

Still, the fact remains that the new book Outlaw Pete takes its title and its text from Bruce Springsteen’s song of that name, a gunslinger epic that opened his 2009 long-player Working on a Dream. As illuminated by artist Frank Caruso, the eight-minute song becomes an illustrated fable of what Springsteen describes as “a man trying to outlive and outlast his sins.” And on Thursday, December 18, the artist comes to the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College for a signing event at the school’s Student Life Center building.

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LITTLE SILVER COP CHARGED WITH ASSAULT

just_in1A Little Silver police officer was charged with simple assault Friday following an alleged domestic violence incident in Sea Bright a day earlier, authorities tell redbankgreen.

Joseph Glynn, Jr., 26, was issued a summons in his hometown of Middletown for a disorderly persons violation after the purported victim reported the matter to police there, according to Charlie Webster, spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office.

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RED BANK: HUMBUGS RULE!

Scrooge John WatersScrooge scowls again, as Nebraska Theater Caravan rolls into Red Bank for its annual staging of A CHRISTMAS CAROL — but not before filmmaker and Bad Tastemaker John Waters X-plains why he LOVES Christmas. (Waters photo by Greg Gorman)

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear here, to all who fear that the Count Basie Theatre has momentarily joined the perceived War on all that jingles and jollifies: John Waters absolutely LOVES Christmas — the “compulsive desire to give and receive perverted gifts;” his “religious fanaticism for Santa Claus, and an unhealthy love of true crime holiday horror stories.”

With a track record of forty-plus years as an author, lecturer, sometime actor, Bad Tastemaker authority and director of game-changing underground/ indie films (from Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble to the happy crossover of the original Hairspray) — and fresh off a modern-day odyssey that spawned the book Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America — the man in the pencil mustache makes his Basie debut on the night of Tuesday, December 16.

Succinctly entitled A John Waters Christmas, the 8 pm show finds the Baltimore-born raconteur riding into Red Bank “on his sleigh full of smut” with a one-man show that “puts the X in Xmas” — and for which tickets ($29 – $129) can be reserved right here. It so happens that Waters’ Bad-Santa sleigh will be sliding in fast on the ice-tracks of Junie B in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells — a playfully titled but family-friendly touring stage show (adapted by Allison Gregory from the children’s book series by Barbara Park) in which “sassy first-grader Junie B. Jones and her classmates embark on a hilarious adventure that packs a message about the joy of giving.” Take it here for tickets ($20 – $25) to that 4 pm performance — and around the corner for more holiday humbug.

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RED BANK: FOUR-MONTH CLOSURE NEARS

hubbard 2 041812The path of the new Hubbards Bridge between Middletown, on the left, and Red Bank is marked in yellow. (Click to enlarge)

HOT-TOPIC_03Commuters who use the bridge connecting Red Bank and Middletown via West Front Street may want to come up with alternate plans.

Starting today, Monday, Monmouth County plans to subject Hubbard Avenue “and other roads on the Middletown side” of the span to intermittent lane closures between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., the county said in an announcement Monday morning.

The closures are part of the prep work for a four-month closure of the bridge that begins on January 2.

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RED BANK: RESTAURANT TIPS STOLEN

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of December 4 to December 11, 2014. This information is unedited.

CRIMES

Burglary, Theft occurring on 12-5-14 at Drummond Avenue residence. Victim reported that unknown person(s) gained entry into house through window, ransacked contents. Stolen was a Samsung TV and two pair of sneakers. Ptl. Gary Watson.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 12-6-14 at Chapin Avenue. Taxi cab driver reported that after dropping off three unknown males at above location, discovered the back of driver’s seat had been cut with what appeared to be a knife. Ptl. Michael Zadlock.

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