74° Mostly Cloudy

RED BANK: ‘BOBFEST’ OF DYLAN, WAR & PEACE

A promo video recaps the history of the annual Bobfest salute to Bob Dylan, which returns to the Count Basie Theatre Thursday night.

When he first offered an impromptu birthday toast to Bob Dylan during a 1999 set at the old Downtown Café in Red Bank, Jersey Shore “saloon singer” supreme Pat Guadagno didn’t harbor any thoughts of making Bobfest an annual thing, let alone an ever-expanding phenomenon with a life and passionate following all its own.

Read More »

SANDY HOOK: A FREE FUNDAY ON THE HOOK

The historic lighthouse at Sandy Hook is one of the man-made and natural highlights of Sunday’s Ocean Family Fun Day.

Closing in on Memorial Day weekend, which marks the return of entry fees at Sandy Hook, the folks at the Hook-based local chapter of the American Littoral​ Society are offering sightseers of all ages one last pre-season opportunity to enjoy the peninsula’s many natural and man-made wonders this Sunday.

Read More »

RED BANK: LIBRARY MARKS PAST, EYES FUTURE

The heirs of manufacturer Sigmund Eisner donated his West Front Street mansion to the library, which opened there on April 15, 1937. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Continuing its comeback from a period of drastic retrenchment, the Red Bank Public Library plans a celebration of the borough’s past Saturday with the reopening of the Local History Room, which was put off-limits due to staff cuts three years ago.

The second-floor room’s return to part-time action is one piece of a daylong schedule of events to mark the institution’s 80th year in its home overlooking our beautiful Navesink River.

Read More »

ON THE GREEN: AUTHORS SERVE UP MEMORIES

George Severini of Dorn’s Classic Images (above left) joins co-author Rick Geffken for a Thursday evening presentation keyed to their book “Lost Amusement Parks of the North Jersey Shore.”

A must-see presentation on some of the most fondly remembered attractions of our local Shore — and not one but two encore appearances by a best-selling beach-read favorite — are booked in this Thursday, May 11 for galloping gourmets and nostalgia buffs alike.

It begins tomorrow afternoon at Red Bank’s Molly Pitcher Inn, during the Fourth Annual Scholarship Luncheon for the Northern Monmouth County Branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) — an affair at which members of the community are invited to join in an afternoon filled with fun, good food and the opportunity to hear from the New York Times bestselling author, Mary Kay Andrews.

Read More »

ON THE GREEN: A TIME-TRIPPING WEEKEND

The Allen House in Shrewsbury’s Historic District is just one of many history-kissed homes, museums and houses of worship open for public perusal during the annual Weekend in Old Monmouth.

It’s a step back in time that includes Little Silver’s Parker Homestead — at more than 350 years of age, a house that’s every bit as old as the colony of New Jersey; the homes and graves of rebel patriots and Tories alike; and centuries-old structures that have served as worship houses, museums and even venues for some Reckless Steamy Nights.

If it’s the first Saturday and Sunday in May, this must be the Weekend in Old Monmouth — and if you’re sufficiently curious about the rich history of the place where you live, there’s never been a better time to get acquainted with the Greater Red Bank Green’s historic sites.

Read More »

RED BANK: A FORTUNE HAPPY HOUR

The T. Thomas Fortune House, as it appeared in November and as it’s expected to appear after rehabilitation. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Not so many months ago, the T. Thomas Fortune House in Red Bank was a place whose own fortunes were in doubt, prior to the announcement of a development deal (reported here in redbankgreen) that set the deteriorating structure on the path to a new life as a community resource “dedicated to human rights, journalistic integrity, (and) advancement for all people.”

The announcement was certainly a happy one for the volunteers of the T. Thomas Fortune Project Committee — and on Thursday, May 25, the nonprofit entity hosts “a festive night out to celebrate the rebirth, now underway, of the National Historic Landmark and support the opening of our soon to be T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center,” as well as the legacy of the pioneering 19th century African American journalist T. Thomas Fortune.

Read More »

RED BANK: HOMEBUILDER EYES FACTORIES

A cluster of industrial buildings between Catherine Street, above, and River Street would be razed for new brownstones, according to the prospective builder. Part of the site abuts the Cedar Crossing homes, seen in the distance above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A block of factory buildings on Red Bank’s West Side, including some old millworks and a former guitar factory, could give way to new housing in coming months, redbankgreen has learned.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: ACME CENTER MAKEOVER OK’D

Three renderings of the proposed monument sign that proved a sticking point for planning board members. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A makeover of Fair Haven’s dowdy Acme shopping center won borough planning board approval Tuesday night, but minus a proposed slab of signage that dominated a three-hour meeting.

Read More »

SANDY HOOK: RAMBLE, ANGLE AND STARGAZE

Jeff Dement of the American Littoral Society invites anglers of all ages and skillsets to a Surf Fishing Clinic, Saturday morning at the northern end of Sandy Hook.

There’s a rare opportunity to see a corner of the local coastline that’s usually off limits to public eyes; a tutorial in recreational surfcasting; opportunities to gaze at some heavenly bodies under cover of night; and a celebration of earthly treasures in creative expression.

And it’s all all happening in the days and evenings to come on the Sandy Hook peninsula.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

RUMSON 8TH GRADER TAKES A STAND

Press release from Rumson School District

In a recent event hosted at Monmouth University, eighth grade student Sarah MacGillis of Forrestdale School, competed in the regional level of National History Day, a non-profit education organization that engages over half a million middle- and high-school students around the world annually in conducting original research on historical topics of their choice.

The theme for this year’s competition was “Taking a Stand in History” — and Sarah’s entry, titled “Britain’s Failed Stands For Nationalism,” was a colorful and engaging display that highlighted Great Britain’s involvement in the Treaty of Versailles and its impact on the Middle East today – an ambitious and impressive project. Congratulations on a great job to Sarah, who will also be presenting her project at Forrestdale School’s “Enrichment Showcase.”

SOMEONE’S IN LITTLE SILVER’S KITCHEN

The historic Parker Homestead is one of nine exceptional homes open to the public on May 4, during the Little Silver Kitchen Tour.

Mark your calendars for Thursday, May 4, when The Little Silver Kitchen Tour offers the public a close-up look at nine exceptional kitchens in the borough, ranging from one of the oldest in Monmouth County (the 350 year old Parker Homestead) to the home of House of Cline designer Amanda Haytaian.

Between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., the self-guided tour will also highlight the talents of area builders, decorators and florists, with attendees will be treated to culinary delights from some of Monmouth County’s finest chefs.

Read More »

LINCROFT: HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE AT BCC

SLC_autumn_1000x380Press release from Brookdale Community College

On the evening of Monday, January 30, the Center for Holocaust, Human Rights and Genocide Education (Chhange) at Brookdale Community College will host an International Holocaust Remembrance Day Program on the Lincroft campus.

Scheduled for 7 p.m., the program is held in memory of Dr. Seymour “Sy” Siegler, a former Red Bank teacher and Brookdale psychology professor who co-founded Chhange in 1979. Siegler passed away on October 4, 2016.

Read More »

RUMSON: A HISTORY LESSON FOR RCDS KIDS

Storyteller-StudentsStoryteller Len Cabral address students at Rumson Country Day School in January 17 assembly. In addition to learning about Dr. King, the students learned about their school’s history during a special Scavenger Hunt event on January 20.

Press release from Rumson Country Day School

On Tuesday, January 17, the students of Rumson Country Day School attended a special assembly to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A gifted orator, Dr. King used the power of words to inspire others and to achieve seemingly impossible goals. The overall theme of the assembly focused on the values that Dr. King’s legacy upholds, specifically kindness, which parallels the qualities of character that are the cornerstone of the RCDS experience.

The main event featured Len Cabral, an internationally acclaimed storyteller who has been enchanting audiences with his storytelling performances at schools,  libraries, museums and festivals since 1976.

Read More »

RED BANK: NO LEAD IN WATER, OFFICIAL SAYS

al larotonda 011117Alberto Larotonda brought his ruptured water line, complete with a connector made of lead, to the council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Extensive testing of Red Bank water has found no evidence of lead contamination, despite the presence of lead pipes serving some homes, a borough official said Wednesday night.

The remarks by public utilities Director Cliff Keen, made during the council’s first semimonthly meeting of 2017, came after a resident showed off  a water service line with a lead connector that was recently excavated outside his Spring Street home.

“For more than 20 years, I’ve been drinking out of a lead straw,” Alberto Larotonda told the council.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

SANDY HOOK: BACKERS RALLY TO SAVE HOUSE

sandlass-house-renderingThe Sandlass House, reimagined as a museum, above, and as seen in July, 2015, below. (Rendering by Anderson Campanella Archictects. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See update below]

By JOHN T. WARD
sandlass house 070415 4

A group of preservationists trying to save the last remnants of a long-forgotten Sandy Hook beach resort from the wrecking ball.

Dubbed the Jersey Coast Heritage Museum at Sandlass House, the group has begun circulating a petition calling on the National Park Service, which owns the house as part of Gateway National Recreation Area, not to knock it down, and allow them to turn it into a museum.

Read More »

LITTLE SILVER: MU PROF JOINS PARKER BOARD

Parker_HomesteadThe nonprofit organization governing the ongiong restoration of the historic Parker Homestead (above) has named Monmouth University faculty member and historian Melissa Ziobro (below) to its Board of Trustees.

Press release from Parker Homestead-1665

ziobroThe Parker Homestead-1665 has named Melissa Ziobro to its Board of Trustees. A Specialist Professor of Public History at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, Ziobro currently teaches courses in Public History, Oral History, and Museums and Archives Management.

Her service to the University includes administration of the Monmouth Memories Oral History Program. Earlier this year Ziobro began recording the oral history of Parker Homestead by interviewing Robert Sickles Sr. — nephew of Julia Parker, who deeded the property to Little Silver — about his memories of Julia and life on the Homestead.

Read More »

RED BANK: VAN ZANDT LINEUP TO ROCK BASIE

van-zandt-guadagno-111416-1Steven Van Zandt and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno on stage at the Basie Monday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

basie-marquee-111416A four-night campaign of classic rock shows curated by E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt in coming months will help drive a $20 million expansion Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, officials said Monday.

But the names of the acts to be spotlighted in the series remained under wraps at a press conference held on the stage of the Vaudeville-era venue.
Read More »

ON THE GREEN: AUTHOR! AUTHOR! AUTHOR!

amy-ellis-nutt-julie-otsukaPulitzer winner Amy Ellis Nutt (above left), National Book Award finalist Julie Otsuka (right), and historical novelist James L. Haley (below) are among the celebrated wordsmiths appearing in the coming days at events in Shrewsbury, Fair Haven and Lincroft.

james-l-haleyThere’s a Pulitzer Prize winner who trained in the trenches of Jersey journalism. A novelist whose credits include a PEN/Faulkner Award and a National Book Award nomination. And a celebrated historian turned master purveyor of “ripping yarn” page-turners.

Apparently the Greater Red Bank Green hasn’t gotten the memo that books are dead, because the joy of reading, and the highly anticipated appearances of some high-profile authors, are alive and well in the coming days and nights.

Read More »

RUMSON: SIGN OF CHANGE

russell-bettes-110416
wyb-021269As part of the rebranding of Rumson’s What’s Your Beef restaurant, new owner Marilyn Schlossbach had the sign removed last week, and in the process uncovered evidence of a past identity of the place: Nolan’s. 

A quick search of the Red Bank Register archive indicates the business operated as Jack Nolan’s, a “gay ’90s night club,” in the early 1960s, but wound up in receivership. 

Read More »