LEGO OF 2012 THIS WEEKEND

ls-legoLittle Silver residents will once again take on the challenge of rendering their town in Legos Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Pardee; click to enlarge)

For the final weekend of the year, some amusements and diversions…

Friday, December 28

RED BANK: Two River Theater hosts a performance of “A Wind in the Willows Christmas” at 12 p.m. and features Grammy-winning Nashville songsmith (and ex-NFL player) Mike Reid in this new take on the adventures of Mr. Toad, Badger, Mole and company. Adult tickets $50-55, 18 and under $25. Repeat performances Saturday and Sunday, also at 12. 21 Bridge Avenue.

RED BANK: Free yoga session at the Red Bank Public Library at 1 p.m. by Amy Richardson. No registration required, bring your own mat. 84 West Front Street.

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SANDY LOOMS OVER HOLIDAY GIVING

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Little Silver – Many of Red Bank Regional High School’s students come from beach towns and were faced with tragedy when their homes were struck by Hurricane Sandy. Some lost everything they owned, including crucial technology needed for their studies.

To help remedy this unforeseen loss, the RBR Education Foundation recently established the RBR Education Foundation Disaster Relief Fund in the amount of $10,000 to provide loaner educational technology such as laptops and calculators to students who lost those important tools in Hurricane Sandy.

Laptops have already been purchased and distributed to those identified with the most urgent need. According to RBR Principal Risa Clay, the technology will remain with the students until they graduate high school and then recycled for other RBR students in need of the technology.

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IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR LAYLA…

A sailboat named Layla was smashed against the Navesink River dock at Maple Cove in Red Bank during Wednesday night’s storm. Reader Len Oppenheim grabbed this photo from Riverview Towers. (Photo by Len Oppenheim. Click to enlarge)

STORM CHARITY DIGS IN FOR THE LONG HAUL

RebuildRecover co-founder Mike Hernandez surrounded by donated materiel in the organization’s initial home: his Sounds to Go DJ office on East Front Street in Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Eight weeks after the hurricane, a grassroots effort to provide necessities to residents of neighborhoods damaged by Sandy is still going strong, and plans to morph into a permanent relief operation, its founders say.

Created by six twentysomething friends who wanted to provide aid on their own terms, Red Bank-based RebuildRecover quickly became one of the Shore area’s most visible and influential nonprofit charities, attracting the attention of The Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who lives in town, and hundreds of lesser-known donors.

“After three days of working with another, really well-known charity organization that will not be named, my co-founders and I decided to take matters in our own hands,” said vice president David Cruse. The idea, he said, was to “create an organization that would provide those in need with direct, immediate help.”

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CHRISTMAS IN SEA BRIGHT

Heartwarming update on Sea Bright’s effort to recover from Hurricane Sandy. The video is  by Montclair State student Noah Smith, who also produced one last month on the challenges faced by business owners in town. (Thanks to Debbie Galant of the New Jersey News Commons for passing this along.) (Click to enlarge)

BUY LOCAL: GIFTS AND STOCKING-STUFFERS

For the home décor lover, a vase in the hottest color of the season, tangerine, for $32 at the Store from River Road in Shrewsbury. (Photos by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

Still have last-minute gifts to buy for the holidays? Look no further than the merchants of Red Bank, Little Silver, Fair Haven, Rumson and Shrewsbury.

There are so many great shops on the Green that it can be hard to know where to start, especially with the countdown to the holidays upon us. So redbankgreen has been scouring the streets and window-shopping for you to make life a easier for harried shoppers. Our latest excursion turned up the following items, priced from under $10 to $20,000 (gulp).

For example, check out “In My Tree,” above, a children’s book by Sara Gillingham and Lorena Siminovich at Kidegories in Shrewsbury. The book comes complete with its own-finger puppet for $8.99.

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RED BANK: EX-NFLER VISITS, BEARING SHRIMP

Celestine and Wallace Woods in their alter-egos as Santa and Mrs. Claus, above, and former pro footballer Jarvis Green, below. (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)

By DAN NATALE

Former pro defensive end Jarvis Green has been on a rampage of goodwill lately, and on Thursday sacked another location with Christmas cheer: Red Bank.

Jarvis, who put in eight seasons with the New England Patriots, is affiliated with a New Orleans-based shrimp consortium that this week joined with the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties to help feed the hungry and spread joy.

On Thursday evening, following a visit to help feed victims of Hurricane Sandy in Ocean County, he stopped in at the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County and Lunch Break, just a couple of doors apart on Doctors James Parker Boulevard, with 100 pounds of shrimp.

“That’s a lot of shrimp,” said Green.

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LITTLE SILVER: COASTAL CHOW OF THE PAST

Author Karen Schnitzspahn with her latest book, and some of her earlier works, below. (Photos by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

For Karen Schnitzspahn, food isn’t just about textures, tastes and smells – it also has deep cultural and historical aspects to it.

The Little Silver writer explores these facets of food in her latest book, Jersey Shore Food History: Victorian Feasts to Boardwalk Treats.

Complete with recipes such as “Mrs. Mulford’s Clam Fritters” and “Jesse Eigenrauch’s Butterscotch Pudding,” and chock full of photographs, the book dishes on food from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s, all along the coast from Sandy Hook to Cape May.

“It’s not just about the pizza, the hot dogs, and the saltwater taffy,” says Schnitzspahn. “It’s the whole cultural thing – the cultural influence and how certain foods became popular.”

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SEA BRIGHT: HARRY’S CLAWS ITS WAY BACK

Lou Jacoubs in the restaurant’s dining room Tuesday. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Another Sea Bright staple gets back in action when Harry’s Lobster House reopens Wednesday night, the first restaurant in the downtown district to do so since Hurricane Sandy.

Owner Lou Jacoubs took redbankgreen inside his newly restored and renovated restaurant, located in the heart the Ocean Avenue strip, for a sneak peek at what loyal customers and curious newcomers can expect from the “new and improved” Harry’s.

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SEA BRIGHT: COUNCIL WAIVES PERMIT FEES

Members of the borough council at Tuesday night’s meeting. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Amid complaints by residents about unresolved insurance claims and other rebuilding delays, the Sea Bright borough council rolled out several measures aimed at getting them back into their homes with less hassle and cost Tuesday night.

Among the moves: a moratorium on construction permit fees for all work related to Hurricane Sandy-related rebuilding and repairs.

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M’TOWN COPS CHASE DOWN ALLEGED BURGLAR

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

call-in-the-authorities• On December 18, 2012 at approximately 11:20 am police responded to a residence on Baldwin Avenue in Middletown in reference to a burglary in progress. Police received a call from a witness who observed a subject breaking into the residence. Patrolman Richard Raike and Corporal Thomas Meckier responded and observed the subject, identified as Julio Ponce, age 31, from Delawanna Avenue in Clifton, NJ, running from the house.

The officers pursued Ponce on foot and were able to apprehend him in the backyard of a residence located on Joycee Court with the assistance of Corporal Bernie Chenoweth. Police were also able to recover the stolen items from the residence.

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RETAIL CHURN: FUR, BOOZE & YOGURT

Steven Corn Furs plans to nestle in at 21 Broad Street, former showroom for Agostino Antiques. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508In:  a century-old fur retailer and a liquor store.

Out: the oldest of Red Bank’s three frozen yogurt shops.

It’s the never-ending Churn…

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RED BANK: PHARMACY CLOSING TODAY

Tom McGrath wishes Mary Respol well on her final day of 26 years working for the Yura family. A passerby checks out the window display, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Sad day at Red Bank’s Professional Pharmacy.

A mainstay for late-night-prescriptions and other medical needs for 61 years, the Broad Street apothecary and gift shop is closing down Tuesday at 10 p.m., and a stream damp-eyed well-wishers and bargain hunters have been flowing through the store to say goodbye to old friends, staffers said.

“We have customers who’ve moved out out town but still come back,” said Mary Respol, the store’s most veteran employee. “It’s family.”

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RED BANK: TEAK CLEARED TO RAISE THE ROOF

The Monmouth Street restaurant plans to offer light fare and cocktails on its second floor, an owner said. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Praised for adding “urban” flavor and criticized for adding to parking woes,  Teak resturant won approval Monday night to build the Red Bank’s first rooftop dining space.

Planning board vice chairman Dan Mancuso, who was on the short end of a 6-2 vote, blasted the expansion, which was alternately described as having a shortfall of 39 and 66 parking spaces.

“I’ve gotta tell you, you’re squeezing every inch out of this property, as the previous owner did,” he told co-owner Charlie Lyristis. “I don’t see this as a win for the town at all.”

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JON STEWART AND BRIAN WILLIAMS SLING IT

News anchor Brian Williams, left, and comedian Jon Stewart traded barbs on the stage of the Count Basie Theatre in a fundraiser for Hurricane Sandy relief. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Long on sarcasm, feigned eye-rolling and Jersey love, the hosts of the nation’s top-rated television shows in their respective categories traded zingers in a conversation about the media, politics and growing up in the Garden State before a packed Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank Sunday night.

In a sparring mood that might have been a continuation of their pre-show dinner at the nearby Broadway Diner, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart and NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams traded insights into their jobs and flashing wit for two hours and 20 minutes, including a Q&A session with the audience.

“Thank you for dropping the F bomb 41 seconds into this,” Williams said to Stewart, who sniped that Williams’ job entailed his being removed from a “vegetable crisper” just in time for each night’s news broadcast.

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SEA BRIGHT: EATING, REFLECTING AND RISING

Chris Wood, as seen in a video, above, and Mayor Dina Long, below, at Saturday night’s event, which raised $130,000 for Sea Bright Rising. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

A hotel in Long Branch was transformed into a showcase of the area’s best culinary talents Saturday night, courtesy of the charity organization Sea Bright Rising and the generosity of local vendors and restaurant owners.

Complete with a live band, charity auction and a video showcasing the relief effort, the sold-out gala, dubbed “The Big Beach Bash,” raised almost $130,000 for Sea Bright’s recovery from Hurricane Sandy, according to the charity group’s Facebook page.

But the real story of the event was perhaps best told by the restaurateurs and merchants whose tables lined the walls of the ballroom of the Ocean Place Resort and Spa. Many were Sea Bright business owners trying to help rebuild their broken beach community joined by owners from neighboring towns looking to lend a hand to friends in need.

Over the lively the noise and, redbankgreen spoke with some of these participating businesses, and here’s what they had to say:

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SEA BRIGHT: CHRISTIE TOUTS FOCUS ON BIZ

Joined by Mayor Dina Long and business owners, Governor Chris Christie unveiled a new cabinet-level office to focus on post-storm rebuilding efforts. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Governor Chris Christie came to Sea Bright Friday afternoon, making his second visit to the storm-ravaged community since Hurricane Sandy struck. But while his first visit was a gesture of support to the beachside borough, this trip was all business.

At a news conference in the borough firehouse, Christie stood in front of a signs from local businesses including Bain’s Hardware, Woody’s Oceanfront Grille and Sea Bright Pizza to announce and lay out plans to help businesses that were affected by the hurricane. These include, he said, the creation of a new cabinet-level position – the Office of Recovery and Rebuilding – and the formation of a business impact assessment group, designed to aid businesses on a personal level.

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RED BANK POLICE CHARGE TWO WITH DWI

call-in-the-authoritiesThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of December 7 to December 14, 2012. This information is unedited.

Theft occurring on 12-11-12 at the corner of Broad and Wallace St. Victim reported that unknown person stole a metal tripod easel sign from corner with writing as follows “Don Francisco Cigars”. Ptl. John Camarca.

ARRESTS:
Elizabeth Hunter, age 24 female of Rumson was arrested on 12-10-12 in the area of Maple Ave. for Poss. of CDS, Marijuana under 50 grams and DWI by Ptl. Stan Balmer and Ptl. Ashon Lovick.

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CHIEF DEFENDS SKATE-LAW ENFORCEMENT

Police Chief Steve McCarthy says skateboarders have put taxpayers on the hook for “considerable” damage in two parks.  (Click to enlarge)

By DAN NATALE

After Red Bank police busted four minors and two adults for skateboarding in a park earlier this month, some locals wondered: don’t the cops have anything better to do?

Well, yes and no, says police Chief Steve McCarthy.

“I know it seems like we have much bigger fish to fry in Red Bank, and we do. We have serious crimes here,” he told redbankgreen in an interview this week. “But [illegal skateboarding] is an issue that has to be addressed.”

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WEEKEND: CHRISTMAS CONCERTS AND SHOWS

Michael Davidman, who’s now all of 15 years old, comes to the Monmouth Conservatory of Music on Saturday.

With Christmas little more than a week away, there’s a full weekend of holiday events all around the Green…

Friday, December 14

FAIR HAVEN: The First Floors House Tour, put on by the PTA, is both a fundraiser for the Fair Haven School District, as well as a collection for Hurricane Sandy donations by Sandy Family Match. Eight Haven homes will be open to tours between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and will each feature cuisine samplings from local eateries. Tickets ($50) will be available for purchase at 248 Kemp Avenue and 85 Grange Avenue. No children allowed.

RED BANK: Free yoga session at the Red Bank Public Library at 1 p.m. by Amy Richardson. No registration required, bring your own mat. 84 West Front Street.

RED BANK: Two River Theater hosts a preview performance of “A Wind in the Willows Christmas” at 7 p.m. and features Grammy-winning Nashville songsmith (and ex-NFL player) Mike Reid in this new take on the adventures of Mr. Toad, Badger, Mole and company. Adult tickets $50-55, 18 and under $25. Repeat performances Saturday at 12 and 7, Sunday at 12. 21 Bridge Avenue.

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SEA BRIGHT: BAIN’S IS BACK IN THE PAINT

Frank Bain working the phone and the computer in the freshly restored paint section of his hardware store. (Photos by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

The rebuilding process in Sea Bright took a big step forward this week when Ocean Avenue mainstay Bain’s Hardware reopened its doors to the public for the first time since Hurricane Sandy hit.

“We opened at noon on 12/12/12 – why go to some concert when you could come down here, right?” owner Frank Bain told redbankgreen Thursday in his newly renovated shop.

Less than seven weeks ago, Bain’s store and every piece of inventory inside of it was destroyed. Now, the half of the store that is currently open looks as though it was never touched by the storm.

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