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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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. 

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RED BANK: GHOSTLY, AND PARTLY TRUE, TALES


dublin-display-092716-2A framed photo in a locked display case at Red Bank’s Dublin House Pub may have been turned around by a ghost, according to Pat Martz Heyer, below.
 (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

pat-martz-heyer-092316In her self-published new book, “13 Ghostly Tales and Yarns of the Navesink River,” Patricia Martz Heyer recounts the history of the house that’s now home to Red Bank’s Dublin House Pub: its origins on the Middletown side of the river and two subsequent relocations over the years.

Along the way, the place seems to have acquired a non-paying tenant, in the form of a generally benign if somewhat mischievous ghost named Mrs. Roberta Patterson. Read More »

ON THE GREEN: SPOOKY WALKS AND TALKS

FortHancockThe batteries and buildings of Sandy Hook’s Fort Hancock, above, are the setting for a nocturnal ghost-walk sponsored by the American Littoral Society Friday night. Middletown’s fabled “Spy House,” below, hosts a Thursday night lecture on the legendary Jersey Devil. 

seabrook-wilson-houseHere in this history-haunted neck of Olde Monmouth, the Halloween season offers several spine-tingling opportunities to share some of the more curious legends and lore of the Garden State, in settings that range from well-lit modern facilities to those shadowy corners just off the beaten path.

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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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ON THE GREEN: A FORTUNE IN HISTORIC VALUE

mumford fortune 072716 2The Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library in Shrewsbury hosts an exhibit about Red Bank’s T. Thomas Fortune House, seen here during a student tour in July. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.) 

Press release from T. Thomas Fortune Project Committee

The fourth annual T. Thomas Fortune Birthday Celebration (a fundraiser hosted recently at the Oyster Point Hotel under the title “Fortune . . . Telling the Truth”) kicked off a string of events to highlight the restoration of the T. Thomas Fortune House, a National Historic Landmark, into the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center.

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RED BANK: A BOATLOAD OF WOOD & HISTORY

ruffini-boat-100616-7Joe Ruffini in the salon of the Naval War College, where a photo of onetime visitor John F. Kennedy hangs. The”admiral’s barge,” below, will be among the wooden boats on display at the Monmouth Boat Club Saturday. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

ruffini-boat-100616-2A year later, Joe Ruffini is still in the “pinch me” phase, not quite able to believe his good luck.

After a brief online bidding war, the Red Bank roofer ended up owning a well-maintained, 50-foot wooden yacht, built for Navy admirals, that has hosted at least two American presidents.

On Saturday, the public will get a chance to step aboard, when Ruffini’s prize goes on display as part of a wooden and classic boat show in Red Bank.

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