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LINCROFT: PARK IT HERE, FOR MUSIC ‘N ART

BlueTrainLive musical performances by acts including Peter V and Blues Train (above), plus displays of art by Grace Modla (below) and others, are on the bill this Saturday and Sunday, during the Creative Arts and Music Festival at Thompson Park.

Grace ModlaIt doesn’t tend to get the sort of advance press accorded parking-lot-packing events like Red Bank’s Riverfest and recent Beer Wine and Food Fest — but if you’re on the lookout for a casual, comfortable mid-spring weekend’s event in a setting that offers plenty of breathing room, free parking, free admission and a chance to join in the arty fun, you’d do well to check out the Creative Arts and Music Festival, the 2016 edition of which sets up at Thompson Park for a two-day stay, beginning at 11 a.m. this Saturday, April 30.

A presentation of the folks at the Monmouth County Park System, the rain-or-shine event spotlights the sights and sounds of some of the county’s most creatively oriented citizens, including an indoor stroll-through expo of some 20 visual artists and crafters. Also included: a slate of 14 musical acts on two stages (and in a variety of styles), with a schedule inside the park’s Theater Barn programmed by the nonprofit organization Musicians on a Mission.

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RED BANK: ICE CREAM VENDOR TO RUN STAND

rb rgpark 090513In recent years, the Riverside Gardens concession booth has been open only during borough events in the park, and managed by borough employees and volunteers. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A local ice cream business has won the right to run the rarely open concession stand in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park.

Gracie and the Dudes Organic Ice Cream, which has a seasonal store in Sea Bright and one in Long Branch that’s open year-round, won council approval Wednesday night to lease the borough-owned facility for two years.

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LINCROFT: 4-H HOSTS YOUNG ANIMAL EXPO

4HKids are invited to pet baby animals, play games and make crafts during a Young Animal Expo at Thompson Park on Saturday, May 7. Presented by The Monmouth County 4-H Association’s Livestock Club and the Monmouth County Park System, the free event runs between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The County 4-H and the Park System have also announced the dates for the 2016 Monmouth County Fair, with this year’s event scheduled for July 27 – 31. 

LINCROFT: HERE COMES SUMMER 2016

Mon Co Parks directoryPress release from Monmouth County Park System

This summer, go on Butterfly Walks, play Zombie Laser Tag, and enjoy an Ice Cream Sundae and Boat Tour with the Monmouth County Park System. Other upcoming offerings include an Evening Watercolor Workshop, Summer Solstice Paddle, and Graveyard of Ships Kayak Tour.

Check out the Park System’s summer issue of its Program Directory for these and other upcoming arts & crafts, nature, recreation and sports programs.  Available in most county parks on Friday, April 29, the Summer 2016 Program Directory lists all Park System special events and programs offered during June, July and August at local sites including Thompson Park and Sunnyside Equestrian Center (Lincroft), Bayshore Waterfront Park (Port Monmouth), Tatum Park and Deep Cut Gardens (Middletown).

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RED BANK: PARK THIS WAY

rb parking 041916LicPlate1Council President Cindy Burnham, left, and downtown business owners Wendy Jones and George Lyristis gathered to watch the installation of a new parking sign at Broad Street and Wallace Street in Red Bank Tuesday morning. All three expressed hope that better signage for the underutilized East Side lots will relieve pressure in the White Street and English Plaza lots. 

Red Bank Flavour, a consortium of downtown restaurants, picked up the$1,500 tab for the sign; Burnham said she hopes to have the borough install six more.  (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

LINCROFT: BURNHAM COPS TO ‘ARROGANCE’

HOT-TOPIC_01Former Brookdale Community College president Peter Burnham, who went to prison for defrauding the Lincroft institution, is out and talking about what led him there, NJ.com Tuesday.

“There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and I crossed that line,” 71-year-old Burnham told an audience at the annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges in Chicago last week, NJ.com reported, citing and earlier account by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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RED BANK: MORE PARKING AT BOROUGH HALL

rb parking 04136106 monmouth 080814Workers are putting the finishing touches on a parking lot expansion at Red Bank’s borough hall, which now has a dozen new parking spaces, above. The additional spots are on the site of a borough-owned house, right, that had been used for records storage and as a police gym. The house was demolished in 2o14. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: LONE PARKING SIGN TO GO UP

rb wallace 041416 1Below, a rendering indicates the size and height of the sign, but not the actual location; it’s to be installed on a lamppost at Broad Street and Wallace Street, above.  (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb parking sign 041316 3After years of clamoring by merchants and others, downtown Red Bank is about to get new signage indicating the existence and location of its underutilized East Side parking lots.

“Signage” as in a single sign.

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MIDDLETOWN: A CURTIN CALL FOR FRIENDS

Cathy-CurtinCatherine Curtin, co-star of the hit Netflix series ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, visits Middletown Library on April 30 for a “Meet the Actress” event dedicated to the library’s projects and programs.

Press release from Friends of the Middletown Township Public Library

On the Emmy winning Netflix dark comedy series Orange Is the New Black, Catherine Curtin quickly made a vivid impression as Wanda Bell, the manipulative and mean-spirited Corrections Officer that the native New Yorker describes as “the wrong person in charge;” a “jealous, intimidating, bitchy and angry” martinet who rules her little realm by playing it any which way but nice.

When Curtin visits Middletown Township Public Library on Saturday, April 30, however, she’ll find herself receiving a warm and heartfelt welcome by a roomful of friends — the Friends of the MTPL, hosts of a “Meet the Actress” fundraiser dialogue event dedicated to funding the programs of the library at 55 New Monmouth Road.

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SHREWSBURY: BIG LAUNCH FOR LI’L TECHIES

Press release from Monmouth County Library

A new tech tool, Playaway Launchpad, has been introduced in the Children’s Department of the Monmouth County Library.

Available in all 13 library branches — including the Eastern Branch on Broad Street/ Route 35 in Shrewsbury — these child-friendly tablets are pre-loaded with ten high-quality, ad-free learning apps grouped by age and grade level. Each simple-to-use bright orange tablet has a 7-inch high-definition touch screen, and is durable enough to withstand heavy use by little hands. Each has a unique theme, which may include princesses, animals, dinosaurs, transportation, art and more, in subject areas that help build English language arts, math, and science skills.

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M’TOWN: CALLING KID CONSERVATIONISTS

Press release from Monmouth Conservation Foundation

It is a melancholy thought to imagine a world without butterflies, hummingbirds, or the flowers and plants that we depend on them to pollinate. Two of our most vital pollinator species, honeybees and butterflies, are in decline — a decline fueled by the development of our natural lands.

In response, Monmouth Conservation Foundation has created an awareness campaign to take action on the issues facing these critical species through the launch of Kids for Conservation/Project Pollinator. The project, which launched with a county-wide art student art contest, continues with two public-invited events, the first of which will take place on Friday, April 22 at Sickles Market in Little Silver.

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ON THE GREEN: AUTHOR! AUTHOR! AUTHORS!

Jersey Shore CookbookFrom guided tours of the great restaurants, landmark buildings and vivid VIPs in our local communities, to the resting places of the most storied European monarchs, the month of April is a Book Fair of opportunity for anyone interested in a cracking-good nonfiction read — and the days and nights ahead offer readers numerous opportunities to meet and chat with the people who bring you the books, at locations all around the greater Green.

It’s a slate of events that kicks off this Thursday, April 7, in the surprising setting of Sea Bright’s Ama Ristorante — a venue that comes into sharper focus with the revelation that the 6 p.m. event is a cocktail-hour reception for The Jersey Shore Cookbook: Fresh Flavors from the Boardwalk and Beyond. Author (and founder of Jerseybites.com) Deborah Smith will be on hand to sign preview copies of the soon-to-be-released volume, a collection of recipes from some of the Shore’s most popular restaurants and eateries (Ama included). Also featured is an insider’s guide to navigating the local foodscape, as well as “the effects of Superstorm Sandy on nearly every establishment in the book and what it took to come back after the devastation.” Attendees at the two-hour reception will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a complimentary beverage, a demo by Ama Executive Chef Charles Lesbirel, plus a $15 gift card — and tickets ($50 per person; $75 per couple) can be reserved at (732)530-9760.

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RED BANK-M’TOWN: BRIDGE PAVING DELAYED

hubbard 091615 4HOT-TOPIC_03So, how’s the final paving of Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown going? It’s not, apparently.

Contrary to multiple alerts about overnight closings from Monmouth County, which owns the bridge, as well as from the two towns the bridge connects, paving work that was to have been done this week hasn’t been, with the latest postponement occurring on Thursday.

A county spokeswoman offered no reason for the inactivity, but said the county is on track to complete all work on the new West Front Street span by the end of April. Meantime, the overnight closures for the paving work have not yet been rescheduled, she said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK-M’TOWN: BRIDGE WORK NEARS END

hubbard's 033016HOT-TOPIC_03The paving of Hubbard’s Bridge on West Front Street between Red Bank and Middletown will require an additional night of closure between 8 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday, according to an alert from Red Bank borough. Monmouth County officials had previously expected the work to be finished Wednesday night. Motorists are advised to plan alternate routes.

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RED BANK-M’TOWN: BRIDGE WORK PLANNED

hubbard 091615 3

Hubbard’s Bridge on West Front Street between Red Bank and Middletown will be closed for paving from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to an alert from Red Bank borough. Motorists are advised to plan alternate routes (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)