The Greater Red Bank Green has never lacked for historic churches and meetinghouses, and beginning this weekend one of its most picturesque places of worship — All Saints Memorial — will be initiating an all-new tradition at the landmark “Old Stone Church” (located at the crossroads of Navesink and Monmouth Avenues, just inland from Route 36). Going on over the course of three days, December 9 through 11, the first annual Winter Festival offers a rain-or-shine range of attractions that include homemade refreshments, handcrafted gifts, kid-friendly activities — and, as a centerpiece, a Live Nativity scene on view at the church’s historic carriage-shed outbuildings.
By JOHN T. WARD
Aided by a trio of specially trained sniffing dogs, environmental detectives have zoomed in on particular locations in three towns that may be at least partly responsible for a recent spike in bacteria levels in the Navesink River, they reported Wednesday night.
At the final Rally for the Navesink event of 2016 organized after a ban on shellfish harvesting from 566 acres of the river last February, a coalition of groups identified specific sites where leaking sanitary sewer lines or septic systems in Red Bank, Fair Haven and Middletown may be contributing bacteria from human waste.
Two days of rain, and one of fog, were expected to end Thursday, initiating a string of partly sunny days through the weekend and into next week, according to the National Weather Service. (Click to enlarge.)
Santa Claus — seen at previous appearances in Fair Haven and Red Bank — maintains a busy schedule this weekend, with no less than six tree-lighting ceremonies on throughout the Greater Red Bank Green. (Photos by Susan Ericson, Peter Lindner)
As has been the tradition for a generation or more, downtown Red Bank got an early jump on the season of lights with its annual Town Lighting event and concert (check out redbankgreen‘s gallery of images from last Friday). But there’s plenty more Greater Green where that came from — and for those of us who simply can’t get enough complimentary hot cocoa, we’ve got the reindeer rundown on a busy weekend of tree lighting ops.
Read on for details on the festive fun in Fair Haven, Little Silverl Middletown, Rumson, Sea Bright and Red Bank.
Clouds over the New York City skyline, as seen from Sandy Hook Sunday afternoon. Tuesday’s forecast includes periods of rain, with as much as an inch of accumulation possible, and gusting winds of up to 36 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
Five months after the series began in response to a sharp increase in fecal coliform contamination, a final Rally for the Navesink event of 2016 has been scheduled.
Organized by Clean Ocean Action and a handful of environmental advocacy groups, the periodic rallies began in June, attracting sizable audiences and offering both science-heavy updates on water quality and practical tips on keeping pollutants out of the waterway.
The forecast for Tuesday, election day, is for sunshine and temperatures peaking in the low 60s, so there’s no excuse in the weather not to vote. Polling stations are open from 6 a.m to 8 p.m. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
A funny scene in the screen comedy Soapdish has down-on-his-luck former TV actor Kevin Kline performing Arthur Miller’s heavyweight Death of a Salesman on the tiny stage of a neon-lit South Florida dinner theatre, to a blissfully oblivious audience of Rascal-riding retirees and dish-dropping buspersons.
On Saturday, November 19, the Shrewsbury-based Community YMCA invites the public to attend a Community Employment Fair, sponsored by CYMCA’s Bayshore Family Success Center. This free event will be hosted at the Middletown Library, located at 55 New Monmouth Road, just east of Route 35 North.
Scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Community Employment Fair will feature over 25 employers from all different departments in retail, healthcare, customer service, food service and more. Job seekers are encouraged to bring multiple resumes and to dress to impress.
The work of watercolorist Michael Scherfen, whose study of the Sandy Hook Lifesaving Station is seen here, is showcased in a special art event at Middletown’s Old Stone Church. Metalsmith Frederick Marshall, an example of whose work is seen below, keynotes a new series of Visiting Artist presentations at Brookdale Community College.
The new academic year at Brookdale Community College signals the start of another slate of events in the Visiting Artist program, now in its fourth season on the Lincroft campus.
Normally hosted in the evening hours, the series returns Thursday with a unique noontime presentation that spotlights the work of jewelry designer and metalsmith Frederick Marshall. The public is welcome as the Montclair-based artist and educator drops in at the school’s Center for Visual Arts (CVA) Gallery, for a discussion of his artistic process that spotlights examples of his award-winning work in sterling silver, brass and 22-karat gold.
The video for “Fighter,” a new song by singer-songwriter Taylor Tote of Tinton Falls, features young cancer survivors, including six-year-old Natalie Grace Gorsegner of Middletown, who with her nine-year-old sister, Hannah, helped Tote write the song.
Recorded primarily at the Middletown Fire Department Company’s Station 8 on Route 35, the video pays tribute to kids who have survived or are battling cancer, 20 of whom appear in it.
All proceeds from sales of the song, available on iTunes, will benefit pediatric cancer research.
By JOHN T. WARD
In 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
Retired teacher Brother James Leahy was apparently beginning his daily walk along Newman Springs Road when he was stuck by a vehicle at the end of the campus driveway, according to the report.
The 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.
Here 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.
By JOHN T. WARD
In an email to supporters Tuesday, the nine-term Republican senator cited “the constraints and frustrations of serving in the minority” and the legislative “process” as factors in his decision.
On Sunday, November 27, the 16th annual Navesink Challenge races, hosted by the Jersey Shore Running Club (JSRC), will take place at Bodman Park, off Navesink River Road in Middletown. Proceeds from the event will benefit Middletown Youth Athletic Association (MYAA), Monmouth Conservation Foundation (MCF), local first responders, and other local non-profit organizations.
Over the years, the race has attracted a steadily increasing number of runners, from 600 a decade ago to nearly double that in 2015. In the last three years alone, the race has attracted runners from 17 states and Canada. Since 2010, the Navesink Challenge has raised more than $60,000 for its beneficiaries.
The Navesink Challenge is celebrated for its location along one of the prettiest courses in Monmouth County, through the woods and back roads of Navesink. It includes two races: A challenging 15K run beginning at 10 a.m., and a 5K run/walk at 10:10 a.m. Both distances feature scenic country roads and several hilly sections through some of the beautiful properties in Huber Woods, and along Cooper and Browns Dock Roads; areas which have been preserved by MCF for the public to enjoy.
With light layers that move easily in the breeze, somebody on River Road in Fair Haven is ready for the cool and gusty weather in Monday’s forecast by the National Weather Service.
Speaking of Fair Haven and weather, after its second rain-out Saturday, the borough’s Trucktoberfest will try again this Saturday, but with earlier hours: noon to 7 p.m. There will also be a Halloween angle, as vendors will allow trick-or-treating at their sites, says Councilwoman Susan Sorenson. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)
The vivid colors of autumn, seen here on Ridge Road in Fair on Thursday, are expected to be a bit washed out Friday, when rain, heavy at times, visits the Greater Red Bank Green. As much as an inch may fall, according to the National Weather Service. which could make the “Battle of Ridge Road” football game between Red Bank Regional and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, in Little Silver, a soggy affair.
The outlook is somewhat better for Saturday, when Fair Haven’s Trucktoberfest — rescheduled from a rainout earlier last month — is slated for Fair Haven Fields. redbankgreen will have more details about that event in a separate post. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
As part of their annual “Go Gold” week during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the generous families, teachers, and staff of Nut Swamp Elementary School PTA in Middletown collectively donated $4,635 to TheTruth365 (via Infinite Love For Kids Fighting Cancer). The money they collected will be put to use by a network of researchers and oncologists in their ongoing quest to develop new treatments for kids fighting cancer. The students — who purchased themed bracelets, emojis and pencils, and wore gold or yellow to support the cause — were left feeling empowered, knowing that they can make a difference.
A cheeky effigy created using pumpkins at the Warwick Gardens complex in Red Bank makes clear that the season we’re in is autumn. But the National Weather Service forecast, including daytime peak temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s through Thursday, seemed to indicate a return to summer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
Press release from Westminster Presbyterian Church
For the fifth year, the annual Field of Flags memorial tribute will take root once again at Westminster Presbyterian Church (WPC) on Saturday, October 15. The moving tribute to honor the fallen heroes of Iraq and Afghanistan will return to the Great Lawn at WPC on Tindall Road in Middletown beginning at 9 a.m., when members of the congregation and the community will gather to place 6,860 flags (compared to 6,841 placed in 2015) to honor every military person who has sacrificed their life in those conflicts.
Area residents, scout groups, and civic organizations are all encouraged to stop by between 9:00 and noon, and set down a flag in memory of a family member or friend who has lost their life in service to the country. The month-long tribute will remain on display and be disassembled after Veteran’s Day, on Saturday, November 19.
Joe 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
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.
By JOHN T. WARD
Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Middletown resident Phil Murphy moved closer to his goal Thursday when a key prospective primary contender decided to sit out the race.
State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said he would not vie for the governorship as Murphy racked up dozens of endorsements from elected officials statewide Thursday, including Red Bank Democrats.
It began several years back as a simple observance of St. Francis Day; a “pet blessing” ceremony conducted in the spirit of the patron saint of those furry, finned, feathered and variously phylum’d creatures with whom we share this planet and, often, our lunches.
But such was the response to the annual Blessing of the Animals at St. George’s-by-the-River, that the Episcopal church in Rumson soon found itself accommodating some 200 dogs, cats, hamsters, turtles, birds, goldfish and numerous other species; up from “30 to 40” at the event’s onset — even flirting for a time with a monthly pets-welcome service in the church’s Parish Hall.
On Sunday, October 2, the historic house of worship on Waterman Avenue again welcomes pets of all shapes, sizes and breeds to be blessed individually by the clergy — with dog owners requested to keep their pets leashed, and even those without an animal companion welcome to attend the service that commences at 2 p.m. Call St. George’s at (732)888-1194 for additional information — and read on for more about another St. Francis observance here on the greater Green; one that’s grown this year to encompass a separate satellite event.