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RUMSON: FIRE RIPS SHOWCASE MANSION

rumson fire 042015 2rumson fire 042015 1Fire caused extensive damage Monday afternoon to a Rumson home slated as the showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea fundraiser.

No one was injured in the four-alarm blaze at 76 Buena Vista Avenue, an 1880s-era mansion known as Blithewald. As of 3:30 p.m., three hours after the fire was reported, smoke could still be seen rising through the roof, which had gaping holes in it. There was no immediate official word on a possible cause.

“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said a heartbroken VNA volunteer who asked not to be named, standing outside the Blithewald gate.

The fire is the second tragedy in recent years to strike the VNA event. In 2013, a van shuttling tour participants hit a dumptruck in Rumson, causing at least one serious injury. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: A BARD OF EDUCATION, AT TRTC

LilShakes1A cast and crew of teens from local schools rehearse A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, the annual “Little Shakespeare” production  that presents four public performances this weekend. (Photos courtesy of Two River Theater Company)

They hail from Red Bank Regional, Markham Place Middle School and Rumson Country Day School — and they meet by moonlight in the enchanted woods outside Athens, as conjured by William Shakespeare in his most kinetic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Actually, the forest faeries, passionate young lovers and amateur actors of the Bard’s most magical mystery tour will assemble inside the “black box” performance space at Two River Theater this week. And when the imaginary curtain goes up on this Midsummer Night for 10 performances between April 23 (Shakespeare’s birthday) and May 1, it will mark the latest in a new series of annual productions presented   under a program entitled “A Little Shakespeare.”

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MIDDLETOWN: LATEST ARREST REPORTS

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

AUTHORITIES_MTOWN2Matthew Carscadden, age 35, from Windswept Road in Holmdel, NJ, arrested on April 6, 2015 by Patrolman Thomas Foster for Driving While Intoxicated and Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Injuries. He was held on $5,000.00 bail set by Judge Richard Thompson.

Daniel Labishak, age 20, from Knollwood Drive in Middletown, NJ, arrested on April 6, 2015 by Patrolman Thomas Foster on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was released after posting $500.00 bail.

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RED BANK: TABLE DRESSING AT THE GALLERIA

TableSettingisMyLifeWeddingWalkFrame to Please at the Galleria at Red Bank hosts a display of custom-crafted centerpieces for weddings, kids’ parties and other gatherings by Red Bank artist Katie Benson. Benson will be present at a reception from 6:30 to 8:30 pm Thursday, and the items remain on display at the shop’s hallway kiosk through May 31. A portion of sale proceeds will go to Save US Pets. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

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RED BANK CRIME & ARREST REPORTS

AUTHORITIES_RB3The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of April 9 to April 16, 2015. This information is unedited.

CRIMES

Criminal Mischief occurring at Morford Place parking lot on 4-11-15. Victim reported that unknown person(s) scratched parked vehicle around entire length of auto. Ptl. Jorge Torres.

Theft reported 4-14-15 at S. Pearl St. Report of medication missing from this location, last time the meds were observed was 4-3-15. Ptl. Tanner Shea

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HUBBARD’S BRIDGE ENTERS FINAL MONTH

hubbard's 041715 1 hubbard's 041715 2With one month to go before a self-imposed completion deadline, the new Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown appeared to be making rapid progress last Friday. The semblance of a roadway appeared between the bridge deck and West Front Street in Middletown, above, and parapet walls that line the northern edge of the span were tied into the existing retaining wall of a residential property, as seen at right.

The existing temporary steel span that adjoins the new bridge has been closed to vehicular trafic since the start of the year, but remains open to pedestrians and bicyclists. Monmouth County officials say the new bridge will open May 17. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: SOME FRANK TALK ABOUT JAZZ

RosemaryAbove: Rosemary Riddle Acerra — daughter of the great Sinatra arranger-conductor (and onetime Rumson resident) Nelson Riddle — joins author and music historian Will Friedwald (below) for a new slate of Talkin’ Jazz events hosted by the Count Basie Theatre — a schedule that begins Monday, April 20, and puts the focus on Frank.

friedwaldIf it seems like there’s just that much more of Ol’ Blue Eyes in the pre-summer wind — from two-part HBO documentaries, to countless tributes — it may have something to do with the fact that 2015 marks the centennial birthday of Jersey’s own Francis Albert Sinatra. Then again, it may just be business as usual here in the NY/NJ stomping grounds of Frank’s World; a land where you’re never far from a Sinatra signature song coming from the nearest pizza joint, piano bar, or even public library.

Here in Red Bank, National Jazz Appreciation Month means the reoccurrence of a recently minted (and minty-cool) tradition — the annual Talkin’ Jazz slate of edu-taining presentations, brought to you by the borough-based nonprofit Jazz Arts Project and hosted by that homegrown organization’s artistic director, internationally noted music scholar, conductor and arranger Joe Muccioli. Relocated this year to the Count Basie Theatre‘s Performing Arts Academy rehearsal center at 111 Monmouth Street (the onetime WaWa that until very recently served as headquarters to community stage troupe Phoenix Productions), it’s an offering that begins an abbreviated schedule this Monday evening, April 20 — and that puts the spotlight squarely on Sinatra.

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LINCROFT: LADIES WHO LEARN, LAUGH, LUNCH

Sandra-HeadshotBestselling author and radio personality Sandra Tsing-Loh (above) joins Fox 5 News reporter Teresa Priolo (below) as keynote speakers for the 2015 Women’s Conference, going on Monday at Brookdale Community College.

teresaYou might know her from her numerous (and often humorous) commentary appearances on public-radio platforms like This American Life and Morning Edition. Maybe you’ve read her books, among them Aliens in America, Mother on Fire and last year’s bestselling The Madwoman in the Volvo. And if you’re a regular peruser of The Atlantic, you’ve no doubt encountered her pull-no-punches point of view in such articles as “The Monogamy Trap,” “On Being a Bad Mother,” “The Bitch is Back,” and “Daddy Issues (Why caring for my aging father has me wishing he would die).”

Whether engaging broadcast audiences, riling up letters-to-the-editor types, or occasionally pursuing impulses as a performance artist and musician, Sandra Tsing Loh is a woman of myriad talents and exceptional energies — and on the morning of Monday, April 20, the West Coast native makes an inspired choice of keynote speaker for the 2015 edition of A Women’s Conference, going on between the hours of 9 am and 2 pm at Brookdale Community College.

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RED BANK: BASIE ‘FX’ THE FUTURE OF FILM

Lambert-StampThe Sony Pictures Classics rockumentary LAMBERT AND STAMP is screened as part of statewide student film competition Project FX, with finalists in the High School and College categories showcased at the Count Basie this Sunday, April 19.

They hail from places like Middletown High School South, Christian Brothers Academy and Brookdale Community College — and for a few minutes at least, they’re peers on a par with such Jersey-bred filmmakers, movers and shakers as Kevin Smith, John Sayles, Danny De Vito — even Tom Edison and his Black Maria studio.

The revolution that placed pro-grade videography and editing tech into the hands of aspiring filmmakers everywhere — and the social media mechanism that allows neighborhood auteurs to have their work be viewed by mass audiences — is at the heart of Project FX, the Count Basie Theatre’s statewide film competition for students of New Jersey high schools and colleges.

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LITTLE SILVER: SCHOOL JOBS DEBATED

LS PtRd Sch 010312The two-school district includes the Little Silver Point Road School, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Under pressure from parents, the Little Silver Board of Education will look for “compromise” on a proposed elimination of two school library jobs, president Christian Smith said Thursday night.

Smith’s comment came after more than two hours of discussion over the role of librarians – media specialists, in contemporary terms – and a recommendation by Superintendent Carolyn Kossack that the posts give way in the coming school year to other priorities. Namely, the teaching of so-called STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering and math.

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FAIR HAVEN: CRIME & ARREST REPORTS

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Fair Haven Police Department for the month of March, 2015.

AUTHORITIES_FH23/3- A River Road resident reported that an unknown subject had used her name to obtain and use a PayPal credit card. Fraud report was filed with Ptl. Christian Hostrup to dispute the charges.

03/5-Jordan Rivera, 24, Red Bank was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest following a traffic stop. Mr. Rivera also received two traffic citations for Reckless Driving and Improper passing.  Lt. Joseph McGovern and Sgt. Jesse Dykstra where the arresting Officer.

3/14-Shane Callahan, 21, Rumson was issued three traffic citations after an investigation found him to be the operator of a vehicle involved in a hit and run accident in the Borough. Mr. Callahan was issued the following citations, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident and reckless driving. S/O Brooks Robinson was the investigating Officer. Read More »

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RED BANK: CLASSIC BOATHOUSE PROPOSED

MPAC rendering 041515A rendering of the proposed Marine Park Activity Center shows the existing Monmouth Boat Club at right. (Rendering by Katie Osepchuk. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03One of three proposed plans for the reuse Red Bank’s dormant clay tennis courts calls for the construction of a classic boathouse topped by a catering hall on the Navesink River in Marine Park.

The project, dubbed the Marine Park Activity Center, reflects the traditional river-oriented focus of two groups –  Navesink River Rowing club and the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association – anchored by a structure similar to boathouses in West Windsor and Camden, its proponents said.

redbankgreen detailed another of the three plans, called Red Bank Harbor, on Wednesday. The third proposal consists solely of an individual’s offer to donate $500,000 to the borough for the restoration of the site as a red-clay tennis facility, redbankgreen has learned.

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LITTLE SILVER: MELANIE TO JOIN HALL OF FAME

melanie+hires2Melanie Safka Shekeryk, above, and Red Bank police Sergeant Juan Sardo are headed into the RBR Hall of Fame. (Photo from melaniesafka.com. Click to enlarge)

juan sardo 032614Folk singer Melanie, who won radio fame for her Woodstock-era hits “Brand New Key,” “Beautiful People” and “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain),” is among the next batch of inductees into Red Bank Regional’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame next week.

A graduate of the pre-RBR era Red Bank High in 1964, Melanie – also known as Melanie Safka Shekeryk – is slated to attend the April 24 induction ceremony, according to a school spokeswoman.

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MIDDLETOWN: WHEN THE SUN HITS YOUR EYE

dave delucaIt’s been called the Italian Decade — that pop-music moment between the D-Day invasion at Normandy and the British Invasion of the Beatles and their peers, a time when a resurgent Frank Sinatra staked his claim as Chairman of the Board, and when Dean Martin, Perry Como and Tony Bennett brought a smoothly passionate brand of crooning to radio airwaves, Billboard charts and nightclub stages.

Characterized by songs that range from old-country favorites like “O Sole Mio” and “Volare” to fun novelties like “That’s Amore” (“when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…”), the music of the Great Italian-American Songbook is celebrated in style this Saturday, when singer Dave DeLuca brings his program That’s Amore to Middletown Township Public Library for a free afternoon concert.

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RED BANK: RIVERFRONT REC CENTER PROPOSED

red bank harbor 1 041515Renderings of the proposed Red Bank Harbor plan filed with the borough government on Wednesday. The horseshoe-shaped borough marina is in the foreground above. (Drawings by S.O.M.E. Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank harbor 2 041515Vastly eclipsing the concept of a mere dog run, a startup development firm has proposed the creation of a privately funded, $3.5 million recreation facility on the site of Red Bank’s borough-owned red clay tennis courts in Marine Park, redbankgreen has learned.

Dubbed Red Bank Harbor, the plan drafted by Jetsun Enterprises and filed at borough hall on Wednesday calls for the creation of an enclosed visitors’ center along with an 18-hole miniature golf course, a synthetic ice rink, a boathouse for rental of paddleboats and kayaks, and a concession stand in the park, which fronts on the Navesink River.

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