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FAIR HAVEN: ACME CENTER CHANGES DETAILED

Forman Street resident Bonnie Moore photographs an exhibit used in the hearing. Below, an illustration showing proposed changes to building 1, on the western end of the site. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Overdue for a new look, the 1950s-vintage Fair Haven strip mall anchored by an Acme supermarket is also badly in need of a new parking scheme, its owner told the borough planning board Thursday night.

It would get both by the end of October if the board approves an extensive makeover plan in coming weeks, Dan Hughes, a principal in the company that bought it for for $5.8 million two years ago, told the board.

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RED BANK: ONE-STOP WEDDING BIZ OPENS

The Wedding Establishment takes over a space vacated by Love Lane Tuxedos 13 years ago. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallAs the son of a singer in a wedding band, Mike Hernandez Jr. says he “grew up in the wedding business.” He was there when the band came to the house for its weekly rehearsals, and when no babysitter was available, he’d be schlepped to gigs, killing time behind the drummer.

That, and much more, he says, makes him well-qualified to create something he doesn’t believe has ever succeeded before: a one-stop market for wedding services. And in doing so, he’s ended one of downtown Red Bank’s most enduring vacancies.

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RED BANK: WOMEN UNITE AGAINST (UNNAMED)

rb rally 012117 4Several hundred participants flowed into Riverside Gardens Park for the Greater Red Bank Women’s Initiative Rally Saturday.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb rally 012117 17One day after the start of a new administration in Washington, D.C., hundreds of protesters gathered in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park to push back against its promised agenda.

But if the policies of newly inaugurated President Donald Trump were foremost on their minds, speaker after speaker at the event avoided mentioning him by name.

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RED BANK: WOMEN PLAN ‘NONPARTISAN’ RALLY

riverside-gardens-park-0917162A gathering to reaffirm Red Bank’s “inclusiveness and tolerance” is planned at Riverside Gardens Park the day after the Trump inauguration. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[REPOSTING OF JANUARY 9 ARTICLE, with additional details about who’s speaking.]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A group of Red Bank-area women have obtained an OK to hold an open-air rally for human rights and other concerns one day after the Trump inauguration.

The newly formed group, called the Greater Red Bank Women’s Initiative, won approval Monday from the borough government’s special events committee to hold a rally in Riverside Gardens Park on Saturday, January 21, according to Ellen Herman, one of the organizers.

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RED BANK: WOMEN PLAN ‘NONPARTISAN’ RALLY

riverside-gardens-park-0917162A gathering to reaffirm Red Bank’s “inclusiveness and tolerance” is planned at Riverside Gardens Park the day after the Trump inauguration. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A group of Red Bank-area women have obtained an OK to hold an open-air rally for human rights and other concerns one day after the Trump inauguration.

The newly formed group, called the Greater Red Bank Women’s Initiative, won approval Monday from the borough government’s special events committee to hold a rally in Riverside Gardens Park on Saturday, January 21, according to Ellen Herman, one of the organizers.

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FAIR HAVEN: ACME CENTER TO GET MAKEOVER

fh-acme-center-122216-1Plans call for the creation of a pedestrian passageway linking the north and south parking lots through the former Laird’s Stationery space next door to the existing Post Office. The “salon & spa” sign is for illustration purposes only. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThe owner of the Fair Haven strip mall anchored by an Acme supermarket plans extensive renovations to the site, according to documents filed with the borough last week.

The plans include dividing the former Laird’s Stationery space in two to create a pedestrian breezeway linking the front and rear parking lots. But they leave unanswered questions about whether other longtime tenants might be forced out, as the owners of Laird’s contend they were.

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FAIR HAVEN: A ‘YELP’ FOR PARENTS AND KIDS

alex-skove-cathy-goldin-kidgooroo-102616-1Alex Skove and Cathy Goldin, founders of Kidgooroo, at Booskerdoo in Fair Haven last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Hoping to turn frustration into gold, two women from the Greater Red Bank Green have taken on the challenge of helping parents identify the best available extracurricular programs for their children.

Think of their online service, called Kidgooroo, as a kind of Yelp for harried moms and dads.

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ON THE GREEN: SEVEN GIRLS, OFF TO HELP

2015-ilac-mission-1Seen here on their 2015 trip, seven Red Bank Regional and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional girls plan to return to the Dominican Republic Wednesday. They are, from left, Hannah Horan, Caroline Healey, Paige Borden, Mara Campolattaro, Olivia Turi, Annabel Morris and Maddie Orr. (Photo by Tim Orr Photography. Click to enlarge.)

donegoodlogoA year after helping to build a water line to a remote village in the Dominican Republic, seven seven sophomore girls from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional and Red Bank Regional high schools plan to travel to the Caribbean nation again Wednesday.

The girls, who travel with their fathers and pay their own way, raise all of the funds for their humanitarian missions themselves, according to Mara Campolattaro, one of the participants. All the money raised goes directly to funding projects for things like supplies, local expertise and transportation on the island, she said.

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RED BANK: YO, VOTE FOR THIS PHOTO

rbms-red-ribbon-week-photoRoughly 200 Red Bank Middle School students gathered on the school’s lawn recently to form a red ribbon in support of the national Red Ribbon contest, which touts the anti-drug message of “YOLO – You Only Live Once.” 

The aerial photo, taken by volunteer firefighter Joe Holiday using a drone, has been entered into a contest in which the school is hoping to win $1,000 and an iPad. To vote for the photo, go here. (Photo by Joe Holiday. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: RUMMAGE SALE SLATED

rb-first-baptist-10056-1First Baptist Church of Red Bank plans to hold a rummage sale Saturday. Featuring “racks filled with ladies and men’s slick styles, children’s fine fashions, electronics, furniture, appliances and lots of gadgets,” the sale opens at  8:30 a.m. and continues until 3 p.m.

First Baptist is located at the corner of Maple Avenue and Oakland Street. For more information, call 732 747 0671. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

LITTLE SILVER: A BARNYARD CELEBRATION

ls-barns-101616-10About 100 Little Silver residents, joined by Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagnols-barns-101616-4, celebrated the completion of restoration work on the three barns at the Parker Homestead Sunday.

The structures, the oldest of which is believed to have been built in the 1790s, and the Parker farm site on which they sit are “as important as Jamestown” in the history of America, Mayor Bob Neff told the crowd.

The restoration, funded with a $250,000 Monmouth County Open Spaces grant, was completed after a dispute with a contractor was resolved and a second contractor, Drill Construction, came on board in January, said Keith Wells, a trustee for the nonprofit Parker Homestead 1665 Inc., the nonprofit that oversaw the project. Two carpenters, Joe Rubel and Mike Cerniglia, were credited for work.

Click the “read more” for additional photos. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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LINCROFT: HAUNTED HOUSE CREAKS OPEN

A promo video for the Haunted Theater, which once again invades the Brookdale campus for three weekends beginning this Friday. 

hauntedtheater2015-4We’ve said it before, but while it sometimes seems that the shambling zombies and vamping bloodsuckers of a walk-thru haunted house can’t hold a candle to the horrors of the real world, we do take a strange comfort from the annual appearance of those hooded goblins and snooded ghouls.

So it is here on the Greater Red Bank Green, where Brookdale Haunted Theater creaks open its doors this weekend on what’s become one of the more bizarre local rituals of the calendar year.

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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
donegoodlogo
With 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)