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FAIR HAVEN: BIKE SHOP CALLING IT QUITS

bike haven 081916Bike Haven will close by the end of September, its owner says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallA second longtime retailer is leaving the Fair Haven Shopping Center.

But unlike Laird’s Stationery, which is temporarily relocating to smaller quarters in the center after getting squeezed out of its home by a steep rent increase, Bike Haven is simply calling it quits, owner Cliff Wittenberg tells redbankgreen. And a rent hike is only the final nail in the tire.

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MIDDLETOWN: SHARING SUMMER’S BOUNTY

fresh start 081016donegoodlogoChildren of five families from the River Plaza section of Middletown have been using their summer vacation to grow, and collect from neighbors, produce that they donate weekly to Red Bank’s Lunch Break.

Dubbing their effort “Fresh Start,” the members of the Brett, Carson, Passo, Pipercic and Grissom families have delivered more than 270 pounds of fresh produce to the 33-year-old free kitchen.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: SENIORS GET DOWN AND DIRTY

rb seniors garden 071416 2rb seniors garden 071416 1Despite wilting heat and humidity, a group of seniors tended the newly installed raised-bed garden purchased by Councilwoman Cindy Burnham for the borough Red Bank Senior Citizens Center Thursday morning.

At right, 98-year-old Edith Blake checks the aroma on a sage leaf from the planter, where seniors have also planted tomatoes, taragon and basil. The planter is set up beside a picnic table so seniors can garden while seated, said Burnham. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

FAIR HAVEN: LAIRD’S GETTING SQUEEZED OUT

budnicks brounley 071116Bob and Rose Budnick outside their store with longtime customer Katherine Brounley. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallTucked into the corner of a Fair Haven strip mall, marked with minimal signage, Laird’s Stationery is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. But locals know it, and know it as a jam-packed emporium of not only paper goods and office supplies, but everything from backpacks to wiffle bats.

“The register never stops ringing,” owner Bob Budnick said early this week, as three customers converged at the front desk to pay for their purchases. “This store is woven into the fabric of a lot of people’s lives.”

But the register is about to stop ringing, here at least, and the business may be doomed, said Budnick and his wife.

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RED BANK: SUGARUSH ADDING CAFFEINE RUSH

amanda porter sugarush 062016Taking over the business from her brother and brother-in-law, Amanda Porter plans to add a café to Sugarush next week. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIt’s not so much that the block on which her business resides is undercaffeinated, by urban standards, that compelled new Sugarush owner Amanda Porter to open a café at the Red Bank desserts shop.

But add to that the fact that she’s got available storefront space; a bakery out back with the capacity to create a whole new, non-dessert treats menu; and is a self-style “coffee snob,” and well, how could she not?

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SHREWSBURY: SPECIAL TORCH HANDED OFF

sbury torch run 061016 2

donegoodlogoWith support from police and other adults, students from the Shrewsbury Borough School carried a Special Olympics torch on a run from one end of town to the other along Broad Street/Route 35 Friday morning.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run involved students in Long Branch, Oceanport and Eatontown, who handed it off to the next town on the route. The Shrewsbury kids, who also raised funds for the Special Olympics, handed it off in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

LITTLE SILVER: OLD-STYLE BASEBALL RETURNS

Monmouth Furnace Base BallIt’s a contest of old-school sporting skills when the Monmouth Furnace Base Ball Club meets the Chesapeake Nine in a Sunday afternoon game at Sickles Field.

Forget the recent rulebook revisions governing base-running during double play situations. Send the DH to the bench; leave the protective helmets in the equipment locker — and if you’re pitching today, be prepared to hurl a complete game, or even work every game on the team’s schedule.

When the Monmouth Furnace Base Ball Club takes to the diamond at Little Silver’s Sickles Field this Sunday, the team will be playing by a somewhat different set of rules than the ones that currently apply to professional-league competition.

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RED BANK: TWEET THIS PHOTO

luis santamaria 060816Red Bank Middle School seventh grader Luis Santamaria shows off his photo of baby birds waiting to be fed in their nest before he was honored by the borough council Wednesday night.

The photo was one of four selected as winners in the latest round of seasonal photo contests sponsored by the borough’s Parks and Recreation Department, and earned Luis a certificate as well as a portfolio review by professional photographers Liz and Bob McKay of McKay Imaging Photography on Monmouth Street.

Luis told redbankgreen he takes lots of photos, and for this one, got as close as he could to the birds without disturbing them and snapped the shot with his cracked-screen cellphone. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: GUN VIOLENCE ALERT GOES ORANGE

Evan Brett Sabo 052516Washington Street resident Evan Sabo, 10, and his mom, Brett Sabo, showed up at the Red Bank council meeting Wednesday night clad in orange to accept a proclamation declaring Gun Violence Awareness Day in the borough, slated for Thursday, June 2. 

Moms Demand Action, which organized the nationwide event, is asking the public to wear orange that day, in a nod to the orange vests hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves. Brett’s involved in the New Jersey chapter, and Evan, a student at the Mastro Montessori School in Shrewsbury, lobbied Mayor Pasquale Menna for the proclamation, Menna said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: BUY A BOWL, FEED A SOUL

bowls 4Artist Gina Navon at work on a bowl for the event, and a sampling of the bowls available for purchase, below. (Photos by Bob McKay. Click to enlarge)

bowls 3For the second year in a row, the Red Bank-based Art Alliance of Monmouth County will host its Empty Bowls Project at JBJ Soul Kitchen this weekend.

A joint fundraiser to benefit Soul Kitchen and the alliance, the event features a sale of one-of-a-kind, locally made ceramic bowls.

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RED BANK: BOYS, THEIR MOMS, A DOG & MORE

rb mother son 050716 balmer hunterrb mother son 050716 4Red Bank Patrolman Stan Balmer and the police department’s K-9, Hunter, above, were among the role-model guests at the borough parks and recreation department’s first Mother-Son event, held Saturday at the Senior Citizens Center. Balmer recounted that a knife-wielding man dropped his weapon recently only after Hunter was brought into the situation. 

Also offering presentations were 90-year-old World War II veteran Lou Parisi, of Loch Arbor, below; a borough firefighter; and a massage therapist. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

rb mother son 050716 lou parisi 2

COUNTY CREATES SPECIAL-NEEDS DATABASE

sb sign 033016Sea Bright is among the towns that have already established voluntary registries for residents with special needs. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Press release Wednesday by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office:

A comprehensive and voluntary program dedicated to serving citizens with special needs was launched today.

Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni was joined by Sheriff Shaun Golden and the Monmouth County Chiefs of Police to introduce the Monmouth County Special Needs Registry.

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