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LINCROFT: A SUPERSIZED SCIENCE MONDAY

Kenneth_Lacovara_at_dig_site_of_DreadnoughtusFamed paleontologist Dr. Kenneth Lacovara — pictured with the bones of Dreadnoughtus schrani, the titanic dinosaur he discovered in Argentina in 2005 — comes to Brookdale Community  College for a Science Mondays presentation on Dinosaurs in NJ…Still.

They called it Dreadnoughtus schrani — the most massive creature ever known to walk the earth; a titanosaur of the Upper Cretaceous period whose fossilized bones were discovered and excavated between 2005 and 2009 (and made public to great acclaim in 2014) by a team under the direction of Drexel University professor Kenneth Lacovara.

While the big-dig discovery in Argentina (and the subsequent determination that this huge specimen had not even reached its full-grown size) made Dr. Lacovara and his colleagues legitimate science superstars, the Jersey-native paleontologist and geologist is quick to point out that there are many more discoveries to be made; much to be learned — and, when he visits the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College this Monday evening, April 27, he’ll be making the point that there are Dinosaurs in NJ…Still.

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‘BRAND NEW KEY’ SINGER GETS RBR HALL PASS

042415 RBR Melanie5042415 RBR Melanie2Melanie Safka Shekeryk, better known to radio listeners of a certain age as the Woodstock-era singer ‘Melanie,’ visited Red Bank Regional for induction into the school’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame Friday morning. Melanie – seen at center in the photo above and at right with school newspaper staffers Cecilia Gunderson and Amy Cavallo – graduated from the pre-RBR Red Bank High School in 1964.

A self-proclaimed square-peg teenager who has previously described her time at RBHS as “miserable,” the singer found herself surrounded by fan-dads and other admirers as she ate a breakfast prepared by RBR’s culinary arts students. “It’s wonderful what schools have now for kids,” she said.   (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

 

 

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RED BANK: HIGH-END ANTIQUES SHOP DEBUTS

stillwell 042315 2Paul Gallagher, left, and Ron Knox in their new art and antiques shop, which opens Friday.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallRed Bank’s arts and antiques district took a serious hit  with the closing of Monmouth Antique Shoppes to make way for the West Side Lofts residences at the corner of West Front Street and Bridge Avenue three years ago.

Yes, many of the dealers who shared the collective’s space found refuge in the Gizzi family’s Riverbank Antiques just down the street, and the umbrella business found a new home in Asbury Park. But the optics, as they say, were less than ideal. The demolition of the building gouged a huge hole in the district, which for years had thrived in part on the ability of shoppers to stroll from one sprawling emporium to another.

But the change created opportunity, the first fruit of which is detailed in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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LINCROFT: FIRST AIRING FOR EXIT 109 PLANS

exit 109 042315 1C.J. Lagan, at right, studies proposed changes for exit 109 at the township library Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

exit 109 042215 1A proposed reconfiguration of Garden State Parkway exit 109 in Lincroft drew dozens of nearby residents and commuters to the Middletown Township Public Library Thursday afternoon.

According to project manager Maynard Abuan, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority plans to spend $60 million on the two-year interchange rebuild, which calls for:

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RUMSON: FIRE RULED AN ACCIDENT

rumson fire 042015 3Monday’s fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald appears to have been accidental, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office.

Spokesman Charlie Webster told redbankgreen on Thursday that investigators believe the fire began in a wall between a guest room and an en-suite bathroom on the second floor. But they were unable to determine if a live electrical circuit or equipment was the cause, he said.

At the time of the fire, Blithewald, on Buena Vista Avenue, was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea fundraiser fundraiser, which was to have begun Saturday but has now been cancelled. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: COUNCIL OKS NEW HIRE

e mcdermott 042215 2In a budget presentation, library director Elizabeth McDermott said the institution had recovered from events that “devastated” it in 2014. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

At Wednesday night’s bimonthly meeting of the borough council, Red Bank officials authorized a new hire, passed a passel of bond ordinances and got an update on the public library’s finances a year after a mass resignation of board members.

Those agenda items and more get the bullet-point treatment below…

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MIDDLETOWN: EXTENDED EARTH DAY WEEKEND

DeepCutDeep Cut Gardens in Middletown is the scene for the Great Spring Perennial Plant Swap, just one of several special events going on at Monmouth County Park System facilities this Earth Day weekend.

April 22 marked the 45th annual observance of Earth Day — but with our not-always-gently-used home planet in need of more TLC than ever before, the people of the Monmouth County Park System are extending the observance into the coming weekend, offering several different ways to raise awareness of local earth-friendly programs, all while enjoying several genuine public jewels of the greater Red Bank Green.

It starts on Saturday with a couple of special springtime events, and continues through Sunday at Monmouth County Park sites in Middletown Township.

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RED BANK: FLAVOUR FEST BACK IN FAVOUR

RBIFF 042714 32 The Weeklings, featuring Glen Burtnik and Bob Burger, below, are among the musical acts adding savour to the Sunday’s Red Bank International Flavour Festival on White Street. (Click to enlarge)

weeklingsIt’s positioned as a family-friendly, fresh-air celebration of international food, music, wine and beer — and it’s undeniably one of the more popular and successful seasonal attractions to pitch its tent in Red Bank within recent years.

Back for a fourth annual world tour in the White Street municipal parking lot, the Red Bank International Flavour Festival returns this Sunday for an afternoon/ evening session that mixes many of the best-liked attributes of the old-time Red Bank Food Festivals and the latter-day Oysterfests.

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RUMSON: FIREFIGHTER’S VIEW OF BLAZE

Here’s a Sea Bright firefighter’s view, courtesy of a helmet-mounted camera, of Monday’s fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald.

A message on the Sea Bright Fire Rescue Facebook page says this about the footage:

“We feel that releasing this film will not only give the public insight on what we do but will allow our brothers and sisters of the service an opportunity to better both themselves and ourselves in the future. The members made multiple attempts to try and gain control of the fire with an interior attack but were subsequently driven back. Please excuse some of the language as the guys were in the heat of the moment.”

 

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LINCROFT: $60M EXIT 109 REBUILD SLATED

exit 109 042215 5The plan calls for the elimination of the problematic jughandle at Half Mile Road that eastbound motorists now have to use to access the parkway’s northbound lanes. Below, a 2013 schematic of the planned changes. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

exit 109 plans 042215Attention Red Bank area motorists: Exit 109 of the Garden State Parkway is in line for a two-year, $60 million reconstruction,  NJ.com reports.

Work on the Lincroft interchange at Newman Springs Road won’t start until 2017, a spokesman for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority tells transportation writer Larry Higgs.

But the authority, which owns the Parkway, is giving commuters a first look at what’s to come – including a new “flyover” ramp from eastbound Newman Springs Road onto the northbound parkway lanes to replace the dreaded Half Mile Road jughandle – at an information session scheduled for Thursday in Middletown.

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RED BANK/FAIR HAVEN: DEALS BY THE YARD

FH & RBTYS 050314FH & RBTYS 050314 6Attention Fair Haven and Red Bank residents: You’ve got less than two weeks to get your, um, stuff together for the community-wide yard sales in your respective boroughs. Both are daylong events scheduled for Saturday, May 2.

The eighth annual Red Bank Townwide Yard will once again benefit the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library; details and registration forms, are available here. Information about the Fair Haven Town Wide Yard Sale is available here. (Photos by Susan Ericson.)  

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LINCROFT: NEW LEASH ON MCSPCA EVENT

WagTyronneAbbyDoodleMiddletown band the Wag takes the air, and canine aerialists Tyronne and Abbydoodle take a curtain call, as the Monmouth SPCA’s Dog Walk and Pet Fair returns to the Brookdale campus for its 21st edition.

It’s one of the most eagerly anticipated early-autumn events on the greater Red Bank Green — repositioned, for the second year, as a middle-of-spring event. Returning for its 21st edition on Saturday, the annual Monmouth County SPCA Dog Walk and Pet Fair commandeers the campus of Brookdale Community College for a colorful five-hour festival (10 am – 3 pm).

Co-sponsored by Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, the fundraising walk is simply the centerpiece of a slate of activities for adults, kids and canines, highlighted by vendor booths, adoption and microchip clinics, 50/50 drawing, food, face painting, doggie agility ring, “pupparazzi” photos, “cutest tricks” contest and even a “Canine PUPtials” wedding chapel. There’s live entertainment as well — including the return of a faithful favorite act, and what promises to be the final Dog Walk appearance by one of the most crowdpleasing acts on the pet-fair circuit.

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RED BANK: LOT FIXES, BUT NO GARAGE… YET

white-st-lot-102011The White Street lot, home to this weekend’s International Flavor Festival, has long been eyed as a solution to the downtown’s parking woes. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Red Bank officials plan to spend $300,000 in coming months on parking improvements at borough hall and two downtown lots.

But merchants and visitors who’ve been waiting for the movement toward a possible parking garage on White Street will have to wait a bit more.

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RUMSON: ‘TOUGH SPOTS’ MADE FIRE DAUNTING

RUMSON FIRE 042115 2Blithewald as seen Tuesday morning. An area of the roof between two dormers showed heavy damaged, as seen below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

RUMSON FIRE 042115 1The fire that caused extensive to a 132-year-old Rumson mansion Monday proved a challenge to volunteer firefighters, some of whom were on the scene nearly seven hours, Chief Kevin McCarthy tells redbankgreen.

“It’s a big, older house, so there’s lots of tough spots to get into,” said McCarthy. “It took a while to get it all mopped up.”

There was no official word on a possible cause of the blaze. McCarthy referred questions to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, where a spokesman said information was not immediately available Tuesday morning.

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RED BANK: ‘BLUES’ WITH SOMETHING EXTRA

McGreeveyMayorEdRubenFormer New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, former Asbury Park Mayor Ed Johnson and actor-director-playwright Ruben Santiago-Hudson take part in an April 26 panel discussion on Creating Social Change, an event keyed to Two River Theater’s world premiere of Santiago-Hudson’s YOUR BLUES AIN’T SWEET LIKE MINE.

From materials furnished by Two River Theater Company

With its world premiere engagement at Two River Theater, Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine marks the Red Bank return of Tony winning actor, director and August Wilson authority Ruben Santiago-Hudson — this time at the helm of his own original script; one that “brings an unlikely group together, spawning a passionate and explosive debate on America’s relationship to race.”

The second of three shows to make their world premiere at Two River this spring, the production also comes loaded with “extras” that range from downloadable playlists of vintage blues and jazz music mentioned in the script — to a series of on-site offerings that begin on Thursday, April 23 with a special exhibit of items from the Gene Alexander Peters Collection of Rare and Historic African American Artifacts.

On display in the theater lobby between 6 and 8 pm, the exhibit chronicles five critical periods for African Americans within the history of America: slavery; segregation and “Jim Crow;” the Civil Rights Era; the Black Power/Black Student Movement; and the Black Panther Party. Peters, a cultural history consultant and noted collector of rare African American artifacts, will speak about the collection from 7:15 to 7:45 pm, and will be available to answer questions. Take it here for additional information on the exhibit.

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