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RED BANK: JIRKS AND SERAPHS UNITE

kirkJirks bandleader Brian Kirk plays springtime Santa with a benefit concert for Middletown’s Mater Dei Prep high school, Thursday night at the Count Basie.

STSemailIn an interview that appeared previously here on redbankgreen, businessman and bandleader Brian Kirk discussed what it takes to put on a big benefit concert — musing to the effect that “maybe I get whatever organizational skills I have from my mother, who used to work as a volunteer at St. Mary’s Thrift Shop in New Monmouth — they ran a tight ship over there!”

A party-starting pro with an ear for a crowdpleasing tune and an eye for a serious cause, the man who produces the annual “Santa for…” shows at the Count Basie Theatre (and who brought us years of Dunesday beach-concert benefits in Sea Bright) returns to the Red Bank stage on Thursday — this time rallying to the aid of Mater Dei Prep, the Middletown-based Catholic high school (and companion institution to both his elementary-school alma mater and that legendary thrift shop).

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MIDDLETOWN: RESCUING THE ‘LOST DOGS’

Spirit of the SatoProject Animal Worldwide partners with Middletown Township Library for a free Wednesday evening screening of the documentary SPIRIT OF THE SATO: The Journey of Puerto Rico’s Lost Dogs. 

From the city streets of San Juan to the most remote beaches, they’re among the most “invisible” of the homeless population. An estimated quarter of a million Sato (local slang for mixed-breed or “mutt”) dogs roam Puerto Rico, often abandoned by their owners and left to fend for themselves in a US territory where spaying and neutering animals is not common practice.

With the 2013 documentary Spirit Of The Sato, filmmaker Ellen La Torre took a quantum leap toward raising awareness of the plight of the Satos — drawing the participation of experts that include original “dog whisperer” Cesar Millan, and focusing on the efforts of Project Animal Worldwide, the Eatontown-based nonprofit organization presided over by La Torre. Partnering with dog-friendly Shore area businesses like Asbury Park’s Wonder Bar and entities like the Monmouth County SPCA, the people from PAW have run “Sato Reunion” missions to Puerto Rico; matching dogs with adopting homes throughout New Jersey and the region — and on Wednesday, April 29, the feature subtitled The Journey of Puerto Rico’s Lost Dogs receives a free screening at Middletown Township Public Library.

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RED BANK: TWO SAVED AFTER BOAT FLIPS

rb h20 rescue 042715 1The sailboat, seen above, righted itself after its two occupants were rescued, a witness said. Below, one of the two people rescued gets some medical attention. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb h20 rescue 042715 2Two boaters were pulled from the chilly Navesink River when their sailboat capsized in brisk winds off Red Bank Monday morning.

The pair were pulled to safety by kayakers, police said.

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RED BANK: JAYWALKING PEDESTRIAN STRUCK

AUTHORITIES_RB3A Florida man was struck by a vehicle when he stepped out into traffic from between two parked cars in downtown Red Bank Saturday, police Chief Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

Benjamin Slepian, 41, of Royal Palm Beach, cracked the windshield of a vehicle driven by Georgeanne Mallett, 67, of Saint Simon’s Island, George, at about noon, McConnell said.

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SEA BRIGHT: AIRING OUT KITES ON THE BEACH

kite-72934kite-72877Crisp blue skies, ocean breezes and beach sand made an ideal setting for the Sea Bright Festival on Saturday. The event, the first of its kind, was one of several aimed at demonstrating that the borough is “more than just a summer destination,” in the words of the organizing Sustainable Sea Bright Committee.

Check out all of redbankgreen‘s photos, below.  (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: SOAKING IN THE FLAVOUR

rbiff 042515 20042615 rbflavourfest11Thousands of strolling-and-eating springtime revelers flooded the White Street parking lot for the annual Red Bank International Flavour Festival on a cool, partly sunny afternoon Sunday.

As usual, redbankgreen was there to capture dozens of sweet and savory moments. Are you in one of our photos? Check out the full array below.  (Photos by Susan Ericson, Trish Russoniello and John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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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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