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LINCROFT: A FREEDOM RIDER VISITS BCC

bernard-lafayette_JPEGNoted civil rights activist the Rev. Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr. will give a free talk at Brookdale Community College on February 23. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr.)

Press release from Brookdale Community College

On the morning of Tuesday, February 23, noted activist and author the Rev. Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr. will meet with local students and discuss his experience as a core leader of the 1960’s civil rights movement, during a free talk at Brookdale Community College.

Lafayette’s talk, scheduled for 11:30 am and titled “Your Life: A Celebration of Peace and Social Justice Yesterday and Today,” is open to all members of the public. It will be held in the Student Life Center building on the BCC campus.

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RUMSON: A PAGE-TURNER OUT OF HISTORY

pam-jenoffPress release from Congregation B’nai Israel

Novelist Pam Jenoff served as Vice Consul for the US State Department in Krakow, Poland and is an expert on Poland and the Holocaust.  On the morning of Sunday, February 28, Pam Jenoff speaks at Congregation B’nai Israel in Rumson about the role her State Department experiences played in shaping many of her novels.

Jenoff’s internationally best-selling debut novel The Kommandant’s Girl was based on actual events and was cited by Publisher’s weekly for its “luminous simplicity….”and hailed as “a breathtaking debut. “  This poignant Holocaust story – a suspenseful “page-turner” – is on the reading list of several area Book Clubs.  Jenoff’s talk will be followed by book sales and author signings.

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FAIR HAVEN: OLD BUILDINGS TO BE JOINED

810 River Road elevation 120915 2Architect Matt Cronin’s design would link the two River Road buildings shown below with a new glass-filled central section. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

fh 810 812-14 riv rd 120815A plan to connect a pair of 150-year-old structures in Fair Haven with a window-filled central addition elicited unanimous praise from the planning board Wednesday night.

ForeFront Incorporated, a web tech firm headquartered in a stately Victorian two doors away, intends to use the conjoined buildings as expansion office space, company principal Michel Berger told the board.

With a patio, yoga space and “mom’s room,” it’s designed to attract millenial coders and developers to his company, where the average employee is 24 years old, Berger said.

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SHREWSBURY: BOROUGH’S ‘STORY’ UPDATED

burden gefken 112315 3Mayor Don Burden and co-author Rick Geffken at the Shrewsbury Municipal Complex. The Bonanno Farm on Sycamore Avenue, preserved under an easement, is visible in the background. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

story of shrewsbury 112315 2The 350-year history of Shrewsbury Borough, a vestige of a vast township that once extended from Raritan Bay to Little Egg Harbor, has a new chapter.

With the tiny borough getting ready to celebrate the 90th anniversary of its incorporation in 2016, two avid amateur historians — Rick Geffken and Mayor Don Burden — last month debuted a new edition to the definitive history of the town, adding in information on the past half-century of rapid transformation.

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RED BANK: A VERY GOOD YEAR FOR FRANK FANS

PicopoFloydDeanaJersey guys Joe Piscopo and Uncle Floyd Vivino join Dino’s daughter Deana Martin for a special Sunday afternoon Sinatra Centennial Birthday Bash.

In case you haven’t heard, December 12 marks the 100th anniversary of the humble Hoboken debut of Francis Albert Sinatra — the beyond-iconic “Chairman of the Board” whose birthday is the second most celebrated such affair on the twelfth-month calendar page.

It’s an occasion that’s being observed in swinging style from “New York, New York” to “”LA Is My Lady” and every casino cocktail lounge, piano bar and pizzeria in between — with a certain house right here in Red Bank a crucial part of the proceedings.

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LITTLE SILVER: RBR’S 1975 VICTORY RECALLED

RBR 120875A photo from the Red Bank Register’s December 8, 1975 coverage of the championship game, and a team photo from the 1976 yearbook, below. (Click to enlarge)

rbr bucs 1975

Forty years.

It’s been that long since Red Bank Regional was a state football champion.

On Saturday night, the undefeated Buccaneers (11-0) have an opportunity to end the drought when they face the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional Bulldogs (9-2) for the NJSIAA Central Group 3 title in Piscataway.

While the Bulldogs have racked up trophies — a win Saturday would be their third consecutive state championship — the Bucs haven’t tasted football glory since 1975.

But what glory it was. As reported by the now-defunct Red Bank Register, that season’s Central Jersey Group II  title game was something of an epic battle. RBR and Hightstown “tore at each other like fighting roosters” for four quarters before the Bucs emerged with a 46-44 win — their 28th straight victory.

The game is still regarded as “one the best games ever played in the history of New Jersey playoff football,” according to a “10 Things You Need to Know” about this year’s game published earlier this week by NJ.com.

Wednesday’s Asbury Park Press ran an article in which an RBR player and two coaches reminisced about the game — with a detour to Vince Lombardi’s grave in Middletown.

Below is the Register’s coverage the day after RBR’s victory, including an article by Rich Nicoletti, perhaps better known to some redbankgreen readers as the longtime keeper of the red clay tennis courts in Red Bank’s Marine Park.

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RED BANK: BASIE PLANS MASSIVE EXPANSION

Basie expansion 1 102615An architect’s rendering of the expanded Count Basie Theatre includes additions on the east and west sides of the existing structure. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

just_in1Red Bank’s Vaudeville-era Count Basie Theatre is in for a massive, $20 milion expansion that will turn it into a “creative campus” dedicated to the performing arts in coming years, officials said Monday.

Incorporating adjoining properties acquired in recent years, theater officials plan to “move toward our longtime vision of an entire city block dedicated to the performing arts,” Tom Widener, chairman of the theater’s board of trustees, said in an announcement released Monday morning.

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RBR POSTS FIRST WIN OVER RBC SINCE 2004

navitsky run 101615Red Bank Regional QB Jack Navitsky tore off a 58-yard sideline run for a score, sealing the Bucs’ 24-21 victory over Red Bank Catholic in Little Silver Friday night. Check out the Shore Sports Zone video here, and then hop over to SSZ for complete highlights(Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone)

FAIR HAVEN: CHURCH COMES DOWN

fh church 101615 1img_3737100809The former Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in Fair Haven, seen in an archive photo at right, was razed this week as part of a plan by Kolarsick Builders of Rumson to construct three homes on the site, at the corner of River Road and Church Street.

The steepled church, built by volunteers in 1967, had seen its congregation dwindle, and was closed in 2009.

The ashes of 45 deceased parishoners interred in the church’s memorial garden were relocated to a cemetery in the Navesink section of Middletown in April, 2014. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

ON THE GREEN: HOW WE LOOK FROM ABOVE

nj.com census map 101615A new interactive map developed by NJ.com, the website of the Star-Ledger, enables users to zoom down to nearly the street level to show where every one of New Jersey’s more than 8.9 million residents lives, as well as the race and ethnicity of each, according to the 2010 Census.

The map doesn’t pinpoint the exact address of every resident: that would be creepy, wrote NJ.com reporter Stephen Stirling. Instead, developers at NJ Advance Media “created a dot for each person of each race within each Census block, and scattered them randomly throughout their representative geography,” he said. The result, said Stirling, “is the most detailed look at race in New Jersey possible with information available today.”

The effect is highly detailed image that shows while the state is the most diverse in the nation, the Greater Red Bank Green is a near monoculture of whites (represented by blue dots) outside Red Bank’s West Side, which is home to dense concentrations of Hispanic and African-American residents. And even those two groups are somewhat segregated, the data suggests. (Screen grab from NJ.com)

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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RED BANK: STATE BIDS FOR FORTUNE HOUSE

rb fortune house 100614 1The home of pioneering human rights journalist T. Thomas Fortune has been vacant for many years. Below, an undated photo of Fortune, who owned it from 1901 to 1911.  (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

T. Thomas FortuneThe state of New Jersey has thrown its support behind efforts to save a historic Red Bank structure by offering to acquire it, redbankgreen has learned.

Two members of the borough Historic Preservation Committee said the state Department of Environmental Protection, though its Green Acres program, has made a purchase offer to the owners of the crumbling T. Thomas Fortune house on Drs. James Parker Boulevard.

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RED BANK: LIBRARY WANTS YOUR TWO CENTS

rbpl 1 102113The Red Bank Public Library is conducting a survey to help shape a strategic plan and the future of the institution. Input is welcome from frequent users, occasional visitors and even though who’ve never stepped inside the West Front Street facility. The survey, available in English and Spanish, is available here.

RED BANK: PRESERVATION EFFORTS LAUDED

65 wallace 091515The home of Paul and Nancy Cagno, at the corner of Wallace and Mount streets, above, and the circa 1903 mansion that’s now the office of Smallwood Wealth Management, at 199 Broad Street, below, were among the four structures cited. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

199 broad 091515Three Broad Street buildings and a home in the historic district won kudos from the Red Bank Historic Preservation Commission at a ceremony Tuesday night.

Kicking off what members hope to become an annual series, the commission honored property owners in four categories for “adding to the value of Red Bank by adding to the character” of the town, in the words of Chairwoman Michaela Ferrigine.

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SANDY HOOK: BACKERS HOPE TO SAVE HOUSE

sandlass house 070415 2The Sandlass House, at the entrance to Sandy Hook, is the subject of a campaign by a new preservation group, whose logo is shown below.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

save sandlass logo

The last remnant of a Sandy Hook beach club that was the subject of a Fair Haven man’s nostalgic documentary earlier this year now has a support group.

Chris Brenner tells redbankgreen that his video gave rise to an effort to save the Sandlass House, which overlooks  the Shrewsbury River from the site of a long-demolished resort called Highland Beach and is slated for demolition.

Supporters plan to press their case for preserving the structure this Friday in Shrewsbury.

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