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RED BANK: HIPPIES STOKED FOR THE STASH

stockpot kitchen 060316WhatsGoingOnHereA merry band of self-described hippies get ready to reboard their bus, dubbed the Stockpot Kitchen, after a stop in downtown Red Bank Friday.

Traveling America “with the purpose of feeding and supporting everyone, everywhere,” according to their Facebook page, the collective just had to make a stop at Jay and Bob’s Secret Stash, the comic book store on Broad Street, they told redbankgreen. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

COUNTY CREATES SPECIAL-NEEDS DATABASE

sb sign 033016Sea Bright is among the towns that have already established voluntary registries for residents with special needs. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Press release Wednesday by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office:

A comprehensive and voluntary program dedicated to serving citizens with special needs was launched today.

Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni was joined by Sheriff Shaun Golden and the Monmouth County Chiefs of Police to introduce the Monmouth County Special Needs Registry.

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RED BANK: SHEEHAN RACE LEAVING TOWN

sheehan race 061315 136Runners cooling down on Broad Street after last year’s race. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

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Red Bank, it seems, has hosted its final George Sheehan Classic, the road race named for the longtime borough physician credited with fostering the worldwide mania for amateur running.

The five-kilometer event, traditionally held in June, will be merged with the Asbury Park 5k in August, according to a cryptic, two-sentence post on the event’s website.

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GET READY FOR A SMOOCHFEST

SMOOCH_1000x345

Remember those great old Valentines that used to run each year in the classified sections of newspapers? Getting one was a thrill. But just sitting and reading them was a delight, too — a window on the ways people saw their relationships, and a great showcase of love, lust, affection, pathos and laugh-out-loud humor.

On February 14, redbankgreen will launch its first-ever Valentine’s page, which we’re calling Smooch. It’s a place where lovers, swooners and others aglow with amore can send their beloved a special message while proclaiming their love to the world.

But unlike the Valentine’s messages newspapers used to print, this one’s both mess-free and interactive, and comes with nice prizes.

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RED BANK: MEET THE NEW DEPARTMENT HEADS

cliff keen 122315Cliff Keen, above, is the new director of public utilities, and Charlie Hoffmann, below, runs parks and rec. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

charlie hoffmann 122115Recent months have brought some new faces to Red Bank government.

In particular, three departments that residents have regular interaction with, and occasional strong opinions about, are under new leadership: parks and recreation; planning and zoning; and public utilities.

Here’s a quick intro to the new directors.

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TEEN DEPRESSION IS THE TOPIC AT RBR

kevinthreeAuthor, performer, TED Talk sensation and mental health activist Kevin Breel recently brought his important message of teenage depression and awareness to Red Bank Regional High School.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

As the six-foot-six captain of the basketball team, the life of the party and a natural stand-up comedian, the teenaged Kevin Breel lived two lives. One was the confident and outgoing persona that he presented to the world — and the other hid itself away, only to surface in the privacy of his room.

“It was exhausting;” he told a captivated audience at Red Bank Regional High School. “The lie was getting bigger and bigger and harder to change.”

One day, when he felt he had hit rock bottom, he decided to end the charade and picked up his pen to write his suicide note. That was his wake-up call, and somehow he summoned the courage to do the unthinkable: break the taboo, and talk about it to his family. Five years later, the 22-year old author, performer, TED Talk sensation and mental health activist Kevin Breel is still talking; bringing his important message of teenage depression and awareness to audiences from coast to coast — a calling that brought him to Red Bank Regional for a recent assembly.

Breel’s visit was sponsored by The SOURCE, the School-based Youth Service Program at RBR. It was the only high school stop on the current North American promotional tour for his book Boy Meets Depression: Or Life Sucks and Then You Live; published by Random House and released in September of this year. It was also a visit that was prompted by a poignant invitation from RBR senior Julie Cocker, a member of the Youth Council Executive Committee for Society for the Prevention of Suicide in Freehold. Incredibly engaging, funny and self-deprecating, Breel commanded his audience’s attention on a very heavy subject; informing his audience that “This generation not only has the power to change the conversation, but to change the culture.”

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FAIR HAVEN: GIRLS, AND FRIENDS, ON THE RUN

fh race 060615 18fh race 060615 29It was a morning of flying ponytails, the occasional tutu and exultant finishes as hundreds of girls, joined by other runners of both genders, completed the Girls on the Run 5k in Fair Haven Saturday morning.

The race, one of many organized nationally by the Junior League, is the culmination of a 10-week program aimed at teaching girls in grades 3 through 8 life skills and confidence.

redbankgreen grabbed dozens of photos. Check them out to see if you know any of these future world-beaters.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: NEW MOON, NEW WAYS TO HEAL

odetothemoontwoAccording to Eleonora Rachele Zampatti, “All the arts are therapy to heal” — and this Sunday, January 25, the founder of the monthly Ode to the Moon yoga program joins with the Monmouth County-based nonprofit 180 Turning Lives Around for an occasion designed “to celebrate the new moon in the New Year with the benefits of yoga and healing art, in a special event to aid the victims of domestic violence.”

Herself a survivor of domestic violence, Zampatti will present an afternoon of locally sourced art, live music, therapeutic yoga and healthy refreshments — all for the benefit of 180’s programs, and all of it hosted at Renaissance Pilates (8 East Front Street in Red Bank) beginning at 3 pm.

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RED BANK: A DAY OF HEALING ART AND YOGA

OdetoMoon_20141124_204704_294A0186Left to right: Amanda’s Easel program coordinator Cindi Westendorf, yoga teacher Eleonora Rachele Zampatti, vocalist Allison LaRochelle and pianist Samantha La Rochelle will collaborate on a special Healing Art event on January 25 to benefit 180 Turning Lives Around.

Press release from Ode to the Moon Yoga

On Sunday, January 25, Ode to the Moon joins with the Monmouth County-based nonprofit 180 Turning Lives Around in an invitation to celebrate the new moon in the New Year with the benefits of yoga and healing art, in a special event to aid the victims of domestic violence.

Hosted at Renaissance Pilates, the program begins with an art show, featuring the works of local artists as well as participants from 180’s art therapy project Amanda’s Easel, opening at 3 pm. A special one-hour yoga practice — accompanied by live acoustic music, and led by Ode to the Moon yoga teacher and founder Eleonora Rachele Zampatti — follows at 4 pm. A silent auction of the showcased art and other art items follows the yoga class, with refreshments available.

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RED BANK GOES ORANGE AND BOOGIES, KINDLY

rb dfk 110914 1rb dfk 110914 5Who turned out for Red Bank’s contribution to a worldwide ‘Dance for Kindness,’ held on Broad Street Sunday? Among the several hundred orange-clad participants were Amanda Gorfain of Red Bank and her mother, Joanna Leddin of Fair Haven, who rehearsed with others for about three weeks. “It was something we could do together, and a no-brainer to support kindness,” said Gorfain. “Who doesn’t want to be part of a flash mob at the exact same moment that they are doing this all over the world?”

We’ve got tons of photos, plus a neat video, after the “read more.” (Photos by Susan Ericson and John T. Ward.)

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RED BANK TO ‘DANCE FOR KINDNESS’

Video from the Dance for Kindness global event in 2013. The next one, planned for November 9, will include downtown Red Bank, and anyone can participate.

A worldwide “kindness” phenomenon with digital roots in Red Bank is set to return next month.

The folks behind 2011’s pay-it-forward “Kindness Boomerang” video – which was shot downtown and has racked up 30 million YouTube views around the world – are organizing a “kindness freezmob/flashmob” dance in 30 countries on November 9, five days in advance of World Kindness Day. And Red Bank is among the 80 cities participating, say organizers.

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RED BANK: EXIT YOGA, ENTER BALLET

ellen gunn 073014Ellen Gunn in the stairwell at 16 Monmouth Street, where her new ballet studio is set to take the space being vacated by Dancing Foot Yoga. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

16 monmouth 072914It sounds counterintintuitive in these yoga-crazed times: a yoga studio calling it quits, only to be replaced by a ballet studio.

But that’s what’s happening on the third floor of 16 Monmouth Street in Red Bank, where pre-yoga-fad stalwart Dancing Foot Yoga is saying ‘namaste’ for the last time while a classically-trained ballerina is moving in – and hoping to revive a tradition of ballet instruction developed just two doors away.

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RED BANK: LANDFILL PARK STILL YEARS OFF

ballard 071614Engineer Christine Ballard, above, discusses sampling for toxic substances at the former landfill site. One result of the tests: new warning signs, below. (Above photo by John T. Ward; photo below by Brian Donohue. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb crab sign 071514Red Bank is on track with testing for toxic substances at its former landfill and incinerator, but the painstaking process is unlikely to yield new parkland within the next five years, the town’s engineer said Wednesday.

Meantime, one immediate upshot of tests at the 8.6-acre West Side site: new warnings about eating fish and crabs caught from the adjoining Swimming River.

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