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A STRAWBERRY KISS FOR YOUR VALENTINE

020916taste3A Strawberry Kiss, by Taste manager/bartender Meagan Davis. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

It’s Valentine’s Day, and you’re out to make an impression on a certain someone. A romantic cocktail is a good start, but first you have to figure out what that moving spirit is.

An experienced bartender and now manager at Taste, in the Galleria Red Bank, Meagan Davis has a few ideas about what might set hearts fluttering.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A SONNY’S SANDWICH

020616sonnys1The Greenwich Village, a Sonny’s sub filled with Italian ingredients. Below, Kenny Gambella. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

020616sonnys4Just days after opening its doors without fanfare, Sonny’s Sandwich Shop on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright was bustling last Friday.

Owners Kenny and Kelly Gambella bring a little of their Staten Island culinary roots to the Jersey shore, naming their new “baby” after their year-old son, Santino, known as Sonny.

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RED BANK: CHARTER OFFICIALS DEFEND PLAN

foss pennotti block 021016Charter school Principal Meredith Pennotti, flanked by trustee Roger Foss, left, and business administrator David Block, at Wednesday’s press conference. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

An enrollment lottery weighted to give economically disadvantaged kids a better shot at getting into the Red Bank Charter School should help address racial and ethnic disparities with the borough school district, charter school officials said Wednesday.

In a wide-ranging press conference held at the Oakland Street school, they also rebutted much of the criticism directed at their controversial expansion plan, which would double enrollment over three years, to 400 students. And they maintained that allegations of “segregation” resulting from charter school policies, and negative impacts on the local district’s finances, were aired and put to rest, more than a decade ago.

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RED BANK: FOREIGNER RETURNS TO BASIE

foreignerSilver-haired Mick Jones leads the 2016 edition of classic rock institution Foreigner back to the Basie for a Monday date-night dose of acoustically arranged chart-toppers. 

From the Department of Everything Old is New Again, the Count Basie Theatre reports that Foreigner, the classic rock institution that regularly ruled both FM and AM waves in the late 70s and 80s, is “on a major roll right now” — owing to the download and streaming activity that accompanied their onetime Number One “I Want to Know What Love Is” when that 1984 ballad was featured prominently on the season finale of Orange is the New Black.

A summer 2015 tour with Kid Rock also served to introduce scads of new fans to the band/brand co-founded by guitarist Mick Jones back in the heyday of the corporate rock cash machine that gave us Journey, Boston, Toto and more. And when Jones and company return to the Basie Monday night for the latest in what’s working out to be an annual stand in Red Bank, they’ll be following up last winter’s sold-out electrified session with a special set that delivers “The Hits: Unplugged.”

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LITTLE SILVER: RECENT CRIMES AND ARRESTS

AUTHORITIES_LS-2016-v2Recent crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Little Silver Police Department.

January 4– A resident from Hickory Ln. reported Identity Theft after discovering that an unknown person(s) attempted to open credit card accounts in their name. P.O. Michael Lahey investigated.

January 6– A resident from Laurel Dr. reported Theft after discovering that an unknown person(s) stole cash from their wallet that was accidentally dropped in the CVS Pharmacy parking lot. P.O. Peter Giblin investigated.

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RED BANK: NJSO PLAYS IT TO THE HILTY

Megan HiltyBroadway bombshell Megan Hilty (above) is the special guest Valentine of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra for a Friday night Count Basie concert. Carolyn Wong (below) takes the Sunday solo spotlight with the Monmouth Symphony.  

CarolynWong_violinistThey’re Playing Our Song, goes the old cliche governing the next-dance maneuvers of young lovers and senior lovebirds alike. But while the right tune blared from a tinny little speaker still does the job nicely, one can’t help but think that those truly heart-fluttering moments can only really be expressed by a full 40-piece complement of strings, brass, woodwinds, keys and kettledrums.

With that in mind, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra returns to the stage of the Count Basie Theatre Friday nigh for an event that’s designed to loosen up those starchy, itchy tuxes and gowns.

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RED BANK: GOP HOSED ON WATER VOTES

cindy burnham 021016Council President Cindy Burnham, sitting in for the absent mayor for the first time, recused herself from the meter bond vote on advice from borough Attorney Jean Cipriani, right. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Amid criticism by taxpayers, the new Republican-led Red Bank council approved two bonds totaling $3.7 million to pay for a municipal well and water meters for every property in town Wednesday night.

Both bonds won unanimous approval, though Council President Cindy Burnham, who recused herself over what was described as a potential conflict of interest, said she would have voted no on the meter issue.

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RED BANK: BEACH BOYS RETURN TO BASIE

Beach Boys 2016Charter-member Mike Love leads the 2016 edition of the Beach Boys back to the Basie for a winter’s night of summer vibrations.

“The Count Basie‘s a great place to play,” pedigreed Beach Boy Mike Love told redbankgreen prior to one of the band’s frequent-flyer appearances in Red Bank a few years back. “We play new venues, and we play old places… we do 125 to 150 shows a year. Beats working!”

It’s been about 50 years since the American institution known for keeping the summer alive effectively split into two hemispheres during the landmark Pet Sounds sessions: the studio-sandbox residency of Brian Wilson (who’s scheduled to bring his golden-anniversary Pet Sounds salute to the Basie in September) and the hard-touring, crowd-pleasing roadshow skippered by Love. A polarizing figure, energizing frontman, and boosterizing flagwaver for a spectrum of environmental, political and spiritual causes, Love leads the Beach Boys back to Monmouth Street this Thursday night.

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RED BANK: WATER BONDS UP FOR VOTE

rb water 102215Two bonds totaling $3.7 million in debt for a new well and water meters are up for possible adoption vote. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Two bond ordinances and a plan to buy new water meters for nearly all Red Bank properties dominate the agenda for Wednesday night’s council meeting.

Facing a deadline for action, the council is expected to hold an adotion vote on two bonds totaling $3.7 million to pay for upgrades they say will help the town avoid  restrictions on water usage and new connections to the water system.

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ON THE GREEN: COASTAL FLOODING CONTINUES

sb flooding 020916LS seven bridge flooding 020916Coastal flooding was widespread on the Greater Red Bank Green Tuesday morning. Trucks and cars powered through deep water on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright, above, and flooding closed Seven Bridge Road just north of Paag Lane in Little Silver, right. And once again, the Navesink River flooded the Monmouth Boat Club in Red Bank, below.

The National Weather Service forecasts tidal inundations won’t be as extensive in the Tuesday night and Wednesday morning high tides.  (Photos above and right by Bob Kern. Photo below by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

rb mbc flooding 020916

SHREWSBURY POLICE BLOTTER

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of January 20 to January 31, 2014.

AUTHORITIES_SBURY-2016-v3Crime Reports

A report of Criminal Mischief was reported by a male in the area of Broad St. on 1/20/2016. Ptl. Ryan Cullinane investigated.

A report of Theft of Services was reported by a male in the area of Newman Springs Rd. & Shrewsbury Ave. on 1/21/2016. Ptl. Daniel DeCristofaro investigating.

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ON THE GREEN: SNOW IN FORECAST, AGAIN

rb snow 020516 3snow forecast 020816A forecast of up to three inches of snow on the Greater Red Bank Green didn’t quite pan out Monday — we got flurries that amounted to zip. But, undeterred, the National Weather Service is now forecasting up that to five inches of snow may fall between Monday night and early Wednesday morning, with the “most likely” snowfall total pegged at about two inches, as seen in the forecast map at right (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK CRIME & ARREST REPORTS

AUTHORITIES_RB-2016-v2The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of January 28 to February 4, 2016. This information is unedited.

CRIMES

Criminal Mischief occurring on 1-30-16 at Central Avenue. Victim reported that 9 parked vehicles were damaged, having their windows smashed out by unknown subject(s). Ptl. Benjamin Springer

Criminal Mischief occurring on 1-31-16 at the Galleria Parking Lot. Victim reported that unknown person(s) keyed parked vehicle. Ptl. Ashon Lovick

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RED BANK: TALKING ‘BOUT JERSEY ARTISTS

evelyn-leavensThe late Red Bank artist Evelyn Leavens (above) is among the creative people showcased in ‘New Jersey Artists Through Time,’ a new book by Middletown-based author and artist Tova Navarra that inaugurates a series of events at Red Bank Public Library.

NJ Artists Thru TimeA quick flip through the newly published New Jersey Artists Through Time reveals a number of creative people whose lives and work were well known here on the Greater Red Bank Green. There’s the late lifelong Red Banker Evelyn Leavens, profiled here a few years back; Jim Gary, legendary maker of dinosaurs from repurposed auto parts; Mike Quon, painter of stylized local landmarks; plus Riccardo Berlingeri, Grace Graupe-Pillard, Judy Martin, Bob Mataranglo, and George Tice.

They’re all there, sharing space with the likes of superstar sculptor George Segal, celebrated printmaker Jabob Landau, and Emmy-winning courtroom artist Ida Libby Dengrove, in the first such study to come along in over 50 years. The books is just the latest of more than 30 published titles for its Middletown-based author — artist, photographer, educator, journalist, former Asbury Park Press art critic and registered nurse Tova Navarra — and the subject of the first in a new series of free ‘Author Talks’ events at Red Bank Public Library, this Wednesday.

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RED BANK: SWAMPED AT THE BOAT CLUB

RB SWAMPED CAR 020816rb swamped truck 020816It seems someone neglected to check the tide charts when leaving a red pickup truck in the parking lot shared by the Monmouth Boat Club and North Shrewsbury Ice Boat and Yacht Club in Red Bank. This reader photo, snapped at 7:40 a.m. Monday shows a red vehicle swamped by the Navesink River. The National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood warning (Reader photo above. Photo at right by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)