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RED BANK: COAT-FREE IN FEBRUARY

Warm weather made for comfortable busking and strolling in shirtsleeves in downtown Red Bank over the weekend, when daytime temperatures bumped up against or reached 70 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. The outlook for Monday, Presidents’ Day, called for mostly-sunny skies and a daytime peak of about 52. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

SANDY HOOK BENEFIT RACE RETURNS FOR 2017

Back for a second annual edition on the Sandy Hook peninsula, the charitable event known as Run the Hook returns on Sunday, May 14 with 5K and 10K races for athletes of all abilities — in addition to a way to raise funds for a hard-working local nonprofit, a chance to enjoy some of the best scenery on the Jersey Shore, and “the perfect opportunity for runners to kick off the summer at the beach.”

For the second straight year, the event will partner with Sandy Hook-based Clean Ocean Action as the designated beneficiary, with a portion of all registration fees going directly to COA and its efforts to preserve and improve the quality of New Jersey’s ocean waters and beaches.

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RED BANK: SUNRISE AND WEATHER

Thursday’s sunrise on the Greater Green, as seen from Tower Hill Presbyterian Church in Red Bank: that’s the intersection of Harding Road and Prospect Avenue at lower left.

The day began with temperatures around 30 degrees, and under mostly cloudy skies, with the expected daytime peak around 40 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. But the outlook for Friday through Monday, Presidents’ Day, called for mostly-sunny skies and daytime peaks well into the 50’s. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

ON THE GREEN: HOW MUCH WHITE STUFF?

A coming snowstorm that’s closed schools and government offices is expected to be brief but intense Thursday. As of 6 a.m., with heavy snow reported in northern New Jersey, the rain had just changed to sleet in Red Bank. But the white stuff is expected to begin falling on the Greater Red Bank Green at around 8 a.m. and diminish by early afternoon, with a “most likely snowfall” forecast of 5 to 9 inches, according to the National Weather Service. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

ON THE GREEN: UNUSUAL WARMTH, THEN SNOW

Snow’s coming. Yes, the peak daytime temperature Wednesday is expected to hit 56 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. But that could be followed by “heavy” snow falling at the rate of up to two inches per hour between 3 a.m. and 10 a.m. Thursday.

“The snow should be wet in consistency and therefore will tend to stick to trees and power lines, possibly resulting in some power outages,” the weather service said in a Wednesday morning briefing. “North-to-northwest winds will increase late tonight and Thursday, with gusts in the 30-35 mph range.” (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

ON THE GREEN: NORTHEASTER ARRIVES

rb paddler 012117In chilly, damp weather, a lone paddler took to our beautiful, if grey, Navesink River Saturday afternoon, as seen from Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank.

The new week begins with even less hospitable conditions for paddling, or much anything else: a northeaster. The National Weather Service forecast for Monday and Tuesday expects a northeaster to bring heavy rain and wind gusts as strong as 65 miles per hour, with coastal flooding. Here’s the full statement on the outlook and hazards from the NWS. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: FIRST SNOW LEAVES A LIGHT COAT

rb-snow-010617A light coat of snow and sprinkling lights alongside the Navesink River in Red Bank made for a pretty vignette Friday morning, in this photo taken from Riverview Towers by a photographer who wished to remain uncredited.

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RED BANK: FIRST SNOW 0F 2017 IN FORECAST

rb-brine-010417-2
nws-forecast-010517Red Bank’s streets got a treatment of brine Wednesday in anticipation of the first snowfall of 2017, expected to arrive Thursday evening, leaving one or two inches locally, according to the National Weather Service. Meantime, Thursday is expected to be chilly, with temperatures peaking at about 36 degrees. 
(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

ON THE GREEN: WALK INTO THE NEW YEAR

labyrinth_uucmcAn indoor “labyrinth” walk at the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse — and an outdoor excursion in the fresh and bracing air of Sandy Hook — offer opportunities for reflection and community on New Year’s Day.  

sandy hook sign 070415The resolutions that we make on New Year’s Eve may represent some bold and fearless talk, but in the cold light of New Year’s Day, it’s not always so easy to walk that walk.

Fortunately, some forward-thinking neighbors on the Greater Red Bank Green are inviting all members of the community to start 2017 off on a good foot or two.

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RED BANK: AN ICE START TO WINTER

rb-ice-sculpture-122016A passerby snaps a photo of an ice sculpture Foley Prep installed this week outside its office at the corner of Broad Street and Peters Place in Red Bank Tuesday. But even with the official start of winter with the solstice at 5:44 a.m. Wednesday, how long will the sculpture last? The National Weather Service forecasts that daytime temperatures through Sunday, Christmas Day, will be in the mid- to high-40s. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: O’SCANLON, HANDLIN TO FACE OFF

o'scanlon 031316nj-districtsAssemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, seen here at Rumson’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade last March, announced plans Friday to run for the 13th-District state Senate seat being vacated by Joe Kyrillos.

O’Scanlon’s announcement sets up a Republican primary battle with his 13th-District colleague and fellow Republican Assemblywoman Amy Handlin of Lincroft, who told the Asbury Park Press on Thursday that she is seeking Kyrillo’s spot.

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ON THE GREEN: RAIN AND FOG DEPART

red-bank-fog-113016Patches of fog lay over Red Bank and the Navesink River Wednesday, as captured from Riverview Towers by a photographer who wished to remain uncredited.

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.)

ON THE GREEN: GUSTY RAIN IN FORECAST

sandy-hook-nyc-112716Clouds 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.)

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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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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MIDDLETOWN: KYRILLOS WON’T RUN AGAIN

joe kyrillos 051815State Senator Joe Kyrillos at the opening of the new Hubbard’s Bridge between Middletown and Red Bank in May, 2015. Freeholder John Curley is at left. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03After 28 years in the New Jersey legislature, Senator Joe Kyrillos of Middletown won’t seek re-election in 2017, according to media reports.

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.

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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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SANDY HOOK: ZERO WASTE, MAX FAMILY FUN

Lisa Bagwell PizzaRecycled-materials sculptures by Lisa Bagwell are among the art works featured during the Zero Waste Arts Fest, going on September 17 and 18 at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook.

Press release from Monmouth County Arts Council

On Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18, the Monmouth County Arts Council invites the public to take part in a weekend of free family fun — in which the arts intersect with the wonders of our local environment — during the inaugural Zero Waste Arts Fest (ZWAF).

Going on from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the historic Fort Hancock area of Sandy Hook, ZWAF represents a partnership  between Monmouth Arts and Gateway National Recreation Area Sandy Hook Unit. The event also marks the culminating phase of a larger Gateway to the Arts grant project, a $20,000 award that Monmouth Arts received from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in 2016, to honor both the 50th anniversary of the NEA and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

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ON THE GREEN: PADDLE, SKIM, RUNBIKESWIM

rb paddle day 091414 12All ages and skill levels are invited to take it to the river on Saturday, when Paddle the Navesink Day returns to the Red Bank waterfront, above, while Skimbash brings top Skim USA Pro/Am Tour action to Sea Bright. (Photo above by John T. Ward; below by Peter Lindner)

skimbashThe beach-badge booths are boarded up; the “Bennys Go Home” banners lovingly folded with the care befitting a precious family heirloom. But on the ocean beaches and waterways of the Greater Red Bank Green, it’s still very much Local Summer; a busy interlude of family-friendly festivals, recreational opportunities and other welcome rituals.

The weekend ahead sees the reappearance of three such signifiers of Local Summer living — including the September edition of SkimBash in Sea Bright, and the annual Iron Girl Women’s Triathlon on Sandy Hook.

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ON THE GREEN: BOOMER, BEACH, BOOKS, BUCS

End of Summer PartyThe annual End of Summer Party (above) marks a big-tent bid of adieu for the Sandy Hook Foundation next Friday…while NFL great Boomer Esiason (below) visits Broad Street for a cocktail party fundraiser at Garmany.

Boomer EsiasonA late-summer sendoff out on the Hook…a BBQ kickoff to the gridiron season on the home-team turf…a star-studded celebration of life and fashion at a signature retailer…and a show of support for a hometown resource. All dedicated to raising funds for worthy causes, and all happening in the post-Labor Day interlude to come.

This coming Labor Day Monday, September 5 represents the deadline to reserve your ringside seat for the End of Summer — as declared by the nonprofit Sandy Hook Foundation in its annual casual-attire outdoor benefit gala, which returns on September 9 to the North Beach area of the Hook for a seasonal sayonara that commences at 6:30 pm. With tickets beginning at $150, proceeds benefit the Foundation’s ongoing preservation efforts as well as seasonal activities like the popular Free Beach Concert series, in addition to the environmental awareness and educational campaigns of the Fort Hancock-based American Littoral Society. Promised are “dancing under the stars” to live music from Swift Technique; a buffet dinner featuring seafood raw bar furnished by The Lusty Lobster, and an “amazing auction” of exclusive-experience getaway packages. Take it here for further details; here for tickets, and around the bend for more good deeds and good times.

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SANDY HOOK: JOIN THE 100TH BIRTHDAY BLITZ

sandy hook 070415 1Amateur naturalists, “citizen scientists” and other volunteers are invited to participate in a “BioBlitz” census of species on Sandy Hook, September 23 and 24.

This year, the National Parks Service observes the 100th anniversary of its founding — and as part of the year-long celebration, the federal agency will coordinate more than 100 “BioBlitz” initiatives at parks and other protected lands across the nation.

Out on the Sandy Hook peninsula, administered by the NPS as a unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area, the past several Septembers have seen a local BioBlitz effort coordinated with the Hook-based nonprofit American Littoral Society — and for 24 hours beginning Friday, September 23, “citizen scientists” from all walks of life are invited to be a part of this important annual wildlife census.

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ON THE GREEN: FUN UNDER THE SUN & STARS

rb movies park 072616 2Outdoor movie screenings and canoe rentals highlight a week of outdoor offerings in local parks.

Thompson Park canoePay no attention to those displays of back-to-school supplies, and put aside all thoughts of pre-season football, post-season baseball, and campaign-season roller derby. Yes, the summer of 2016 is still a thing (even at the Rio Olympics, where technically it’s winter), and the parks, beaches and portable stages of the Greater Red Bank Green still offer a plethora of open-air entertainments and recreational options in the coming days and nights — almost all of them free of charge.

It begins tonight, as Shore Flicks returns to Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens with an 8:15 p.m. screening of a truly golden oldie, 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz.” Bring a canned food donation with those folding chairs and beach towels, pick up some cooling seasonal treats from Gracie and the Dudes, and enjoy Dorothy and the Dudes as they once again undertake the screen’s most memorable road trip. Follow Shore Flicks on Facebook or Twitter for up-to-the-minute information on weather-related cancellations or other schedule changes (including a recently added batch of fishy features at Sea Bright’s Municipal Beach) — then take it around the bend for more fun beneath the sun and stars.

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SANDY HOOK: ENTRY FEE HIKE PROPOSED

sandy hook 3 052613The per-car fee would jump to $20, from $15, under the proposed hike. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Beachgoers may have to pay 33 percent more to enter the Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook next summer.

A proposed fee increase would boost the daily vehicle rate to $20, from the present $15, and the seasonal rate to $100, from $75.

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