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RED BANK: A LITTLE BOOK-LABELING PARTY

leighton lib 110915 2leighton lib 110915 1Kate Triggiano, who had a custom-built “little library” built and installed outside her Red Bank home for neighborhood kids last October, plans a book labeling party Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m.

The aim of the event, to be held at Kitch Organic restaurant at 75 Leighton Avenue, is to apply labels to dozens of books donated to the library’s wish list on Amazon, Triggiano said. Participants are asked to bring scissors; kids are welcome if  they’re old enough to help.

Why label? “Because we respect the kids and trust them,” said Triggiano. “Because they cost nice people money. And because we don’t want someone taking them and selling them.”

Dubbed the Little Library on Leighton, the mahogany receptacle, built by custom woodworker David Halbout of Middletown, is in front of Triggiano’s home at 22 Leighton, and features children’s and young-adult literature.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

GET READY FOR A SMOOCHFEST

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Remember those great old Valentines that used to run each year in the classified sections of newspapers? Getting one was a thrill. But just sitting and reading them was a delight, too — a window on the ways people saw their relationships, and a great showcase of love, lust, affection, pathos and laugh-out-loud humor.

On February 14, redbankgreen will launch its first-ever Valentine’s page, which we’re calling Smooch. It’s a place where lovers, swooners and others aglow with amore can send their beloved a special message while proclaiming their love to the world.

But unlike the Valentine’s messages newspapers used to print, this one’s both mess-free and interactive, and comes with nice prizes.

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RED BANK: MEET THE NEW DEPARTMENT HEADS

cliff keen 122315Cliff Keen, above, is the new director of public utilities, and Charlie Hoffmann, below, runs parks and rec. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

charlie hoffmann 122115Recent months have brought some new faces to Red Bank government.

In particular, three departments that residents have regular interaction with, and occasional strong opinions about, are under new leadership: parks and recreation; planning and zoning; and public utilities.

Here’s a quick intro to the new directors.

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RED BANK: LUNCH WITH HOLIDAY EXPRESS

holiday express 121815 2It’s more than just music when Holiday Express pulls into Lunch Break, one of 81 stops the organization will make this holiday season. The Grinch, below, is always along for the ride. (Photos by Kate Beckett, above, and Susan Ericson, below. Click to enlarge)

tim-grinch-band-rblightingWith the Turning Point restaurant providing food for 400, volunteers from Holiday Express plan to make a special stop in Red Bank Saturday.

The non-profit purveyor of music, food, gifts, financial support, and human kindness during the holiday season has scheduled a full-band visit to Lunch Break from 10 a.m. to noon.

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SHREWSBURY: A PLEA FOR LESS-HARSH TALK

planned-parenthoodIn the aftermath of a violent assault on the Planned Parenthood health center in Colorado Springs that left three people shot dead and nine wounded last month, local faith leaders and elected officials plan to gather in support of the organization outside its health facility on Newman Springs Road in Shrewsbury on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. 

In keeping with similar events being held nationwide this week, supporters “are calling for an end to the violent rhetoric that fuels this toxic environment” of anti-Planned Parenthood extremism, said area spokeswoman Casey Olesko. (Archive photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: BIG SHOW POWERS UP SEASON

112715holidayexp44112715holidayexp47Thousands of revelers enjoyed the music, warm weather and fake snow as Holiday Express kicked off another holiday season at the Red Bank Town Lighting Friday night. redbankgreen was there as Santa and Mrs. Claus, Bobby Bandiera and Miss Teen New Jersey set the crowd dancing. Check out our photos by clicking “read more” below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: TREE GETS PARKED & TRIMMED

rb christmas tree 112215rb tree 112315A crane lowered this year’s Red Bank Town Tree into place in Riverside Gardens Park Saturday, as seen in this reader photo taken from the Riverview Towers high-rise.

At right, trimming of the tree got underway Monday morning.

The 30-foot tree was donated by the D’Innocenzio family of Middletown, according to Red Bank RiverCenter, which arranged for the donation and installation.  (Photo at right by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT, RUMSON: SEEKING TOYS FOR TOTS

sbfd toys for tots 2015With an eye toward Christmas, volunteers in Sea Bright and Rumson are planning “toys for tots” drives in coming weeks.

Picking up an effort previously spearheaded by the borough police, the Sea Bright volunteer fire and first aid squads have scheduled a toy drive for Wednesday, December 2, Fire Chief Walter Olenhaus of Sea Bright Fire & Rescue tells redbankgreen.

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CHURN: FAST GREEK AND EASY WEDDINGS

lyristis bros 111615Brothers George, Charlie and Taso Lyristis plan to open Greek Eats on the Shrewsbury side of Newman Springs Road Tuesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIn this edition of Retail Churn:

• Three brothers with a long track record as linen-napkin restaurateurs open a fast-food eatery rooted in their Greek heritage Tuesday.

• A wedding planning business that has its roots in a flower shop throws off a new shoot in Red Bank.

• A ginormous pharmacy chain opens a controversial store here.

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RED BANK: BELLHAVEN SPLASH PAD SPUTTERS

bellhaven 110915An entrance to Bellhaven Natural Area on Locust Avenue. A proposed playground would be sited within the of loop the path shown above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A controversial plan for a spray park in Red Bank’s Bellhaven Natural Area has all but officially sputtered out.

The borough-owned riverfront lot at the western end of Locust Avenue is still envisioned as the site of a much-needed West Side playground, according to Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, the governing body’s liaison to the parks and recreation department.

But a spray park or a splash pad that shoots jets of water skyward? That’s done, she tells redbankgreen.

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LITTLE SILVER: VOTERS SAY ‘BOTTOMS UP’

ls booze 110115 2Referendum proponent Matt Kelly had suggested booze be allowed in the vicinity of the train station.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Little Silver is ready to wet its whistle.

Voters said “cheers” in Tuesday’s election to a referendum that would end the borough’s dry spell dating back at least to Prohibition, according to results posted by the Monmouth County Clerk.

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LITTLE SILVER: BOOZE Q ON THE BALLOT

ls booze 110115 1The town hasn’t allowed alcoholic drinks to be sold by the glass at least since Prohibition. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Is Little Silver ready for a stiff drink?

For the second time in 39 years, voters will go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to allow the creation of the town’s first-ever on-premise-consumption liquor license.

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RUMSON: ADULT BOOKS PROMPT R-FH DEBATE

siobhan fallon hogan 101315With emergency lights on because of a power outage, parent Siobhan Fallon Hogan urged parental choice in the books read by teens. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

[UPDATE: See a statement from playwright Ariel Dorfman about this controversy appended to the bottom of this article.]

HOT-TOPIC_03It was a dimly lit and slightly damp night as about 150 members of the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School community politely debated a stormy issue Tuesday: the place of two works of fiction in the curriculum.

Taking turns at a non-working microphone in an auditorium lit by emergency lights because of a power outage, a number of parents challenged the inclusion of two books on reading lists for juniors and seniors because of their adult themes and coarse language.

Led by former Saturday Night Live cast member Siobhan Fallon Hogan, the objectors insisted they were not out to ban or censor the books, but instead to call for a policy that would allow parents to choose substitute reading material they consider “age appropriate” for their children.

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RED BANK: CHRISTMAS TREE WANTED

112414 tree2Got a spare blue spruce in your yard? Yes, temperatures may still be pushing 80 degrees, but Red Bank RiverCenter has put out a call in the hope that, like the Clay family of Holmdel, who donated the 2014 Christmas tree above, someone will pony up one for the coming holiday season.

The ideal tree is an evergreen at least 25 feet tall and accessible for cutting—not too close to buildings or wires. The tree will be moved at no cost to the donor on or about November 22 for installation in Riverside Gardens Park, RiverCenter said in a news release. For more information, call Jim Scavone at 732-842-4244.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

SHREWSBURY: SHADOWBROOK PLAN ON DECK

shadowbrook-estateThe opulent Shadowbrook facility, which is not visible from any public street, is surrounded by homes and accessed via a single, long driveway, below. (Photo above from the Shadowbrook website; below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

shadowbrook 092615A plan to more than double the size of the Shadowbrook catering facility in Shrewsbury has neighbors concerned about added traffic, spillover parking and noise.

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