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rb fishing 082614Under sunny skies, an unidentified boater fished the blue waters of our beautiful Navesink River near the Route 35 Cooper Bridge Tuesday. A boatload of sunshine fills the forecast through Saturday, with Sunday expected to be partly sunny and Labor Day giving summer a mostly cloudy goodbye, according to to the National Weather Service. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)


oxford rumson 2 011214.JPGThe overdose death of an Oxford House resident has resulted in charges against a man described by authorities as an acquaintance.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


An Avon-by-the-Sea man has been charged for allegedly supplying the heroin that led to the overdose death of a resident of Rumson’s Oxford House rehab facility last October, the Monmouth County Prosecutor announced Tuesday.

Michael Renna, 25, was charged with one count of first degree strict liability for a drug-induced death and one count of third-degree distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a prepared statement.

News about the death of 25-year-old Christopher Pesce was the first that word that nearby residents had that the recovery residence had opened two months earlier in their residential corner of Rumson, and ignited a firestorm of objections.

It also led to a pair of countervailing lawsuits by the borough and Oxford House, litigation that now appears to be close to settlement.

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UncleFunkyThe men from Uncle Funky commandeer the Red Bank Woman’s Club for a Reckless Steamy Night house party on Friday, August 29.

It’s a house party unlike any other — and a best-kept-secret attraction that’s uniquely Red Bank. Hosted at the historic Woman’s Club on Broad Street and presented by the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation, the long-running series of Reckless Steamy Friday Nights has granted music connoisseurs an intimate audience with American sounds that range from Delta blues, Dixieland and Chicago styles, to West Coast cool and Manhattan cabaret.

For the last-Friday-of-the-month session on August 29, the old Anthony Reckless house welcomes a crew of Red Bank neighbors — Uncle Funky, a five piece combo (Bo Pezzullo on guitar, Mike Bukarica on bass and vocals, Joe Febb on drums and vocals, Jim Beckerman on piano/accordion and vocals and Drew Bolognini on vocals and harmonica) that brings its brand of “bluesy Nawlins rockin’ roots” to the parlor for a visit that offers “roof-raising twists to some of the best songs of all time,” in a manner that “refuses to live in the past…instead, we drag the present down to our level.”

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broad st rb 2 061512A view along Broad Street from 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

HOT-TOPIC_03What’s your favorite New Jersey downtown?

The state chapter of the American Planning Association is asking the public for its input on the question, and Red Bank is among the candidates.

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Recent crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Middletown Township Police Department.

AUTHORITIES_MTOWN2-2014Robert Treadway, age 25, from Central Avenue in Aberdeen, NJ, arrested on August 13, 2014 by Patrolman Stephen Greenwood for Driving While Intoxicated. He was released pending a court date.

Bennett Jones, age 59, from Oakwood Place in Keansburg, NJ, arrested on August 13, 2014 by Patrolman Stephen Greenwood for Simple Assault and Criminal Mischief. He was released pending a court date.

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LittleParadiseThe last outdoor concert of the summer season hits the lawn at Middletown Arts Center, with a Tuesday night performance by Pat Benatar tribute band Little Paradise.

She’s won a shopping cart of awards; platinum-plated an entire wall of her home, and topped more Billboards than a literal flock of seagulls — but when it comes to getting her due in tribute acts, Pat Benatar falls far short of the Beatles, Zep, Floyd, Dead, Springsteen, Sabbath, or even Sublime. That said, if you must see just one Benatar tribute band this summer — let it be Little Paradise, the five-piece salute fronted by vocalist Cathy DaPrato. Armed with a hopper of 1980s-era hits (“Love is a Battlefield,” “Hell is For Children,” “Shadows of the Night” and of course, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”), the band takes it to the north lawn of the Middletown Arts Center (MAC) this Tuesday evening, August 26, for the venue’s final free outdoor concert of 2014.

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Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of August 9 to August 22, 2014.

AUTHORITIES_SBURY1Report of Shoplifting in the area of Spirits Unlimited, 1099 Broad Street on 8/12/14. Victim reports merchandise taken by unknown subject(s). Damages totaling $86.99. Ptl. Matthew Clark investigating.

Report of Credit Card Fraud in the area of Trader Joes, Broad Street on 8/14/14. Victim reports unauthorized purchases made by unknown subject(s). Damages totaling $307.53. Ptl. Tracy Polkinvestigating.

Report of Theft in the area of Victorias Secret, Broad Street on 8/15/14. Victim reports merchandise taken by unknown subjects. Damages totaling $705.00. Sgt. Adam Cerminaroinvestigating.

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082314 fhsidewalk sale1082314 fhsidewalk sale6In conjunction with the start of the Fireman’s Fair, the shops of Fair Haven held their annual sidewalk sale over the weekend. Cloudy skies made Saturday a better day for shopping than sitting on a beach, and from one end of River Road to the other, bargainhunters combed the tables and bins for deals. What did you buy? Who walked away with the steal of the century? (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)


Mr_TooleyMR. TOOLEY is among the paintings by Paul Hansen on display at Shrewbury’s Guild of Creative Art, beginning with a reception on Sunday afternoon.

“Hero worship, I’ve come to realize, is a fool’s folly,” says artist Paul Hansen in describing Under the Influence, a collection of new paintings grouped with photos of artisans of art, music and literature who have influenced Hansen’s work. “I’ve had to supplant what was once hallowed idolatry to authentic admiration…whether fooled by their own guile, or staying true to the course, these artists all had a major influence on me.”

For his third solo show, Hansen sets up shop inside the Guild of Creative Art in Shrewsbury, for an exhibit that opens with a public-welcome reception on Sunday, August 24 from 3 to 5 pm. The show remains on display at the Broad Street gallery through September 23 during regular hours (Tuesday – Friday 8 am – 4:30 pm; Thursday 8 am – 7 pm; Saturday 10 am – 3 pm) — and the reception is one of two special art happenings going on around the greater Green this Sunday.

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082214 fhfair33082214 fhfair11The first night of the annual Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair, which returned Friday night is about neighbors re-connecting, kids returning from summer camp to discuss the upcoming school year behind the firehouse, babies being introduced to a rite of passage, and borough residents seeing one another once again maybe for the first and only time of the year. Most of the kids will go to bed with a sugar high as they all seemed to be carrying cones of cotton candy bigger than their heads. The beer flowed pretty freely as well….same as last year.

The fair continues nightly until August 30, except for Sunday, when it is idle. And out photo coverage continues just around the “read more” corner. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

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rb rayrap 082114 4Audience members reviewing the site plan for a market, condos and townhomes at Red Bank’s five corners, detailed below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


rb rayrap 082114 1 A proposed greenmarket and 20 homes on the edge of downtown Red Bank began what could be an extended series of hearings Thursday night.

The zoning board heard descriptive testimony for developer Ray Rapcavage’s project, dubbed ‘Renaissance Village,’ which calls for a two-story commercial building on Harding Road, 10 condos on Clay Street and 10 townhouses on Hudson Avenue.

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106 monmouth 082114106 monmouth 080814Almost two weeks later than last expected, a borough-owned building next to Red Bank’s town hall on Monmouth Street was razed and cleared away Thursday. A former residence acquired as part of the town’s move from the former borough hall at 32 Monmouth in the mid-1990s, the structure was used in recent years as police gym. The borough is expected to expand the borough hall parking lot into its footprint. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


TheWagWhile the annual Fireman’s Fair turns up the late-summer heat beginning Friday evening, The Wag closes out the season of free concerts on Saturday night, on the borough’s municipal dock. 

It’s the most bittersweet of all summerfun events: the annual Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair, that eight-day extravaganza of sights, sounds and delicious smells that transforms River Road into a festival of lights each August — while at the same time sounding a keynote for the season of back-to-school supplies and summer-love goodbyes.

The oldest (and, many agree, greatest) of all Shore area carnivals puts down stakes for the 55th consecutive year beginning this Friday, August 22, and continuing nightly (with the exception of Sunday, August 24) through Saturday, August 30. Expect all the old favorites to return once more to the fairgrounds surrounding the borough’s firehouse — from the kiddie-ride corridor, midway and “big kid” rides (Zipper, Wipeout, Rainbow), to the fire truck tours, Super 50/50 and “Out Back” snack bar grille. The famous fresh seafood kitchen and dining room — an attraction for which folks start lining up right about now — completes the picture, with funds raised dedicated to the operations of the borough’s century-old volunteer fire department. And, as always, all vendors, volunteers and food prep personnel are hometown neighbors.

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CherrySuedeSocial media-savvy Canadian band Cherry Suede takes it to Molly Maguire’s in Rumson for their sole area appearance, this Saturday night.

The tour itinerary includes Montreal, Toronto, Philadelphia and…Rumson?

Last we checked, the tony Two River borough hadn’t green-lit the construction of any big-city concert hall or Sunset Strip-style rock club. But to the Canadian band Cherry Suede, such details are immaterial in a world where the rules of the music biz are “so last century.” Co-fronted by Randy Young and Randy Scott, the Ottawa-based outfit boasts a foundation of classic-rock sounds — and a fanbase constructed the new-fashioned way; by using social media tools to zero in on the places where interest in the band’s music runs high.

Next step? Take the music directly to the people — and thus does Cherry Suede take the intimate stage of Molly Maguire’s Gastropub for an acoustic set on Saturday night, August 23.

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van zandtMiddletown’s own “Little” Steven Van Zandt — photographed outside the Count Basie Theatre in 2008 — is one of the inaugural recipients of the Basie’s Vanguard Awards, honoring lifelong devotion to the arts in New Jersey. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

When the students of Rockit! at the Basie take the famous stage of the Count Basie Theatre on Friday for their annual summer concert, A Tribute to Woodstock and The Age of Aquarius, they’ll be sharing the boards with a genuine Rock and Roll Hall of Famer — Middletown’s own contribution to E Street history (and King of Most Media) Steven Van Zandt.

The musician, arranger, producer, actor, writer, director, human rights activist, and international radio DJ will be taking time out from his myriad of projects to accept one of the Basie’s inaugural Vanguard Awards, honoring lifelong devotion to the arts in New Jersey. He’ll be joining his wife Maureen Van Zandt, Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry and Monmouth County Arts Council executive director Mary Eileen Fouratt during a ceremony at the August 22 event.

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