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RED BANK: TURF HOLDING UP, SAYS SICKELS

rb-basie-turf-120516-5Rubber-crumb exposure at midfield and the sidelines, below, of the football field at Count Basie Fields is not indicative of the type of turf failure reported elsewhere, says the borough administrator. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb-basie-turf-120516-6Failing artificial-turf playing fields made by an industry-leading manufacturer are not an issue in Red Bank, according to borough Administrator Stanley Sickels.

three-day investigative exposé by NJ.com earlier this week reported that hundreds of turf fields across the United States were beginning to deteriorate long before the eight-to-ten-year life expectancy touted by the Canadian manufacturer, FieldTurf. The company knew about the failures but hid them as it continued to sell the fields, at prices often exceeding $500,000, the report alleged.

But the fields installed by the company at Count Basie Fields here are holding up well, Sickels told redbankgreen.

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RUMSON: LANGUAGE PANEL THINKS GLOBALLY

world_language_panel_presentersLeft to right: presenters Mark Jeffers, Gianna Maita, and Sue Finley are pictured at the second annual “World Language in Our Community” panel discussion, hosted at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

On November 28, five distinguished guests participated in the second annual “World Language in Our Community” panel discussion, hosted at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. This year’s panelists were Sue Finley, Taylor Forry, Mark Jeffers, Gianna Maita, and Greg Thomas.

Student attendance was optional, and – in a repeat of last year — there was a “standing room only” crowd. The panelists shared their career and life experiences as they related to world languages and cultures, and participated in a follow-up question and answer session.

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RED BANK: DISTRICT CALLS FOR CHARTER END

rbcs 032216 2The charter school’s five-year renewal request is pending with the state Department of Education. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank school district has quietly but officially called for the non-renewal of the Red Bank Charter School‘s official sanction, district Superintendent Jared Rumage confirmed Tuesday.

In an October 13 letter to the New Jersey Department of Education, Rumage told acting Commissioner Kimberley Harrington that the existence of the charter school “greatly inhibits the ability of our schools to meet our goals” and imposes an “unfair financial burden” on both borough and state taxpayers.

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FAIR HAVEN: STOP-IT COP STOPS AT SCHOOL

Press release from Fair Haven School District

sgt-tom-richSergeant Tom Rich, an internationally recognized internet safety expert known as the STOPit Cop,” shared his message with students and parents at Knollwood School on November 29.

At two daytime rallies for students (in grades 4 and 5, and grades 6 through 8) – as well as an evening session aimed at adults – Sergeant Rich (pictured) shared the consequences of misusing technology, social media, and popular apps such as Snapchat and Yik Yak. Using his own cell phone and an interactive presentation, he demonstrated how students can make their devices safer, during the presentations that were made possible by the Fair Haven PTA.

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NAVESINK: BACTERIAL HOTSPOTS IDENTIFIED

rally-navesink-113016Zach Lees of Clean Ocean Action talks about tracking bacteria along storm sewers upland from Red Bank’s Marine Park Wednesday night.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Aided 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.

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FAIR HAVEN KIDS GET ‘THE BLUES’

schuman_hans_image4-1Hans Schuman, executive director of the music education group JazzReach and drummer for the group’s Metta Quintet, was among the musicians who gave a special presentation on Blues music to students from Fair Haven and Red Bank.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

On November 17, third graders from Sickles School in Fair Haven got a lesson in “learning the blues,” in an exciting event at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank.

Accompanied by music teacher Vince Mottern and chaperones, the students attended “Yes Indeed!,” a program (presented by the musical education group JazzReach) that explores the evolution of the blues genre, as well as its impact on American music and history.

After a live performance of blues and jazz music by members of the Jazz Reach Metta Quintet, the Sickles students and their teachers – along with the Red Bank Primary School students and teachers also in attendance – participated in a Q&A session with the musicians as well as musical demonstrations.

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LITTLE SILVER: RBR PRESENTS ‘THE CRUCIBLE’

crucible-rbrBeginning December 1, Red Bank Regional stages Arthur Miller’s American classic play ‘The Crucible,’ including from left cast members Skyler Post, Jay Izzo, Erin McEvoy, Maximum Portman, Samuel Zatorski, and Luke Pearlberg.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Beginning Thursday, December 1, the Theatre Company at Red Bank Regional High School will present Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible as its fall dramatic production.

Set during the time of the infamous Salem Witch Trials of the Massachusetts Bay Colony — and first brought to Broadway in 1953 — the Tony winning drama by the author of Death of a Salesman traced some stark parallels to the anti-Communist “witch trials” of postwar America, and is regarded as a classic that continues to present a bold message whenever and wherever fear runs rampant, neighbor is pitted against neighbor, and the nature of truth itself is called into question.

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LITTLE SILVER KIDS EXPLORE DISABILITIES

wheelchairsGetting around with the use of a wheelchair, and managing everyday tasks with disability-simulating mitts, were two of the activities explored by Point Road School students during Celebrating Different Learning Abilities Day.

Press release from Little Silver School District

handsOn a recent Friday, third grade students at Little Silver’s Point Road School took part in the school’s 10th Annual Celebrating Different Learning Abilities Day. The event was created to educate students about disabilities, as well as to help raise awareness and acceptance of individual differences.

The third grade classes rotated through five rooms, where they learned about different disabilities. In each room the students participated in hands on activities that were specifically designed to give them a glimpse of what it would be like to live with various Physical, Learning, Developmental, Hearing and Vision related disabilities.

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RED BANK: P.R. BATTLE OVER CHARTER SCHOOL

rbcs 032216 2The charter school’s five-year renewal request is pending with the state Department of Education. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The two sides in the recently renewed tussle over the future of the Red Bank Charter School crossed swords in the form of press releases Monday.

First, the Latino Coalition of New Jersey issued a release decrying the school’s use of nearly $40,000 to pay an outside firm for public relations.

That was followed by a press release, issued by that firm on the school’s behalf, questioning the coalition’s standing.

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LINCROFT: CBA INDUCTS HALL OF FAMERS

cba_hof_2016Christian Brothers Academy alumni and faculty recently inducted to the school’s Hall of Fame include (left to right) Sean Duffy Class of ’70, Nicholas LaBrocca ’03, Lawrence Goldman ’84, and Timothy Sewnig. Two championship teams were also named to the ranks of the Academy’s greats. (photo by Larry Levanti/CBA Advancement)

Press release from Christian Brothers Academy

Four deserving individuals and two memorable teams were formally inducted into the Christian Brothers Academy Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

Hosted by the CBA Alumni Association, the fourth annual gala was held at Doolan’s Shore Club in Spring Lake Heights. Led by master of ceremonies Paul Molzon (Class of ’72), each inductee and both teams were introduced to the CBA community with a short video, followed by the awarding of a commemorative trophy and a thank-you speech.

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LITTLE SILVER: RBR TEEN HONORED BY NJ YMCA

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

nicholasofficialIn a ceremony last month, the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance honored Red Bank Regional High School senior Nicholas Villalobos-Best at the organization’s 16th Annual Recognition Celebration.

The Union Beach resident (pictured at center) was among the more than 20 students recognized at the ceremony; a group of teens and pre-teens who, in the words of NJ YMCA State Alliance President Diane Mann, “have demonstrated their character values by volunteering in a variety of ways to serve others through the Y.”

Nicholas was nominated for this accolade by YMCA Community Outreach Director Joann Rountree, who supervised him in the Teen Achievers Initiative, a college readiness club. She explained that Nicholas mentored his peers and always volunteered for activities, including speaking at aYMCA Board Meeting and fundraiser events.

Nicholas was first introduced to the YMCA as a grateful recipient of their Family Success Center.  Four years ago, Nicholas and his family lost everything in Super Storm Sandy. The YMCA’s Family Success Center, along with other charities, helped his family find the resources and networks to assist in their recovery effort.

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RUMSON: A TETE-A-TETE WITH TEBO, AT RFH

tebo-rfhHaitian Artist David “Tebo” Thebaud (center) is pictured with Rumson-Fair Haven Regional seniors Madeline and Theo de Quillacq, who served as Student Ambassadors during his recent visit to RFH.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

He radiates positive energy and endless creativity, and his biggest dream is to help young people with talent realize their own potential. His name is David Thebaud – or Tebo, as he is best-known in his native Haiti – and he arrived at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School on November 14, to meet once again with his biggest supporters.

As he did during his previous visit in 2014, Tebo spoke with students in French and Art classes at RFH. The students learned about Tebo’s creative process, life in present-day Haiti, and the challenges facing his art school, ELT. The students were especially eager to know more about ELT, whose full name in Creole – Espwa lavi pou Timoun – translates into “Hope for Children’s Lives.”

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RED BANK: CHARTER FOES CLAIM BROAD BASE

rbms 121715 1A rally at the Red Bank Middle School last December, shortly after the charter school announced its proposed expansion plan, drew a standing-room-only crowd. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Who’s behind the Civil Rights complaint against the Red Bank Charter School filed with the Justice Department earlier this week?

According to charter school Superintendent Meredith Pennotti, it’s a “small group that seems bent on further dividing the community” with a complaint that she called “meritless.”

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RUMSON STUDENTS HELP PLAN SCHOOL’S I-LAB

forrestdale-ilabThe second phase of the Innovation Lab at Forrestdale School has been designed with input from inspired students, teachers, administration and members of the community.

Press release from Rumson School District

The Innovation Lab at Forrestdale School has completed Phase 1 of its design and construction. Part of a collaborative effort between administration and teachers, the first phase was made possible through a generous donation from the Rumson Education Foundation.

Currently the home of the technology/STEM classroom, which all Forrestdale students are enrolled in, the lab includes a student activity learning area that could be configured in countless possible arrangements in order to meet the needs of the students’ technology and STEM-based activities, as well as a state-of-the-art, touch-screen teacher and student display, and other technologies.

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RED BANK: RIVER CONTAMINATION UPDATE SET

rb mbc 092214HOT-TOPIC_03Five 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.

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LINCROFT: A BIG BAND MILESTONE AT BCC

brookdale-big-bandVocalist Barbara Baron, above, and bassist and Fair Haven resident Gary Mazzaroppi, below, will help the Brookdale Big Band mark the college’s golden anniversary Saturday.

garymazzaroppi_242x350This time last year, the Brookdale Big Band, a crowd-pleasing organization founded by faculty members of Brookdale Community College, took to the stage of BCC’s Performing Arts Center to mark a musical milestone: the 30th anniversary of the inaugural BBB concert in 1985.

When founder-conductor Joe Accurso and company return to the PAC bandstand this Saturday night, they’ll be celebrating an even more glittering occasion: the upcoming 50th anniversary of BCC, the school that rang its first classroom bell in 1967 on what had been until then a horse farm.

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FAIR HAVEN KIDS INSPIRED BY ‘LEAD U’ VETS

knollwood-lead-uKnollwood School students learned about leadership and the sacrifices made by U.S. veterans at the Lead U assembly featuring (left to right) Bill Gaskins, JD Wilson, and Dan Effenberger.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Recently, grade 4-8 students at Knollwood School in Fair Haven got a first-person perspective on life as a member of the U.S. armed forces, during a “Lead U” assembly in the school auditorium.

Created earlier this year by JD Wilson — an Air Force veteran and former classroom teacher — the “Lead U” program is designed to empower students to embrace their leadership potential. The assembly at Knollwood featured Wilson and fellow Air Force veteran Bill Gaskins, as well as Lead U co- founder Dan Effenberger. Held a few days in advance of the Veteran’s Day holiday, the presentation focused on qualities of leadership, respect for veterans, and the many sacrifices associated with deployment.

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RED BANK: GROUPS SEEK FEDS PROBE OF CHARTER SCHOOL FOR STUDENT ‘SEGREGATION’

rbcs graduation 061516 1Charter school Superintendent Meredith Pennotti speaking at the school’s eighth-grade graduation ceremony in Riverside Gardens Park in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[NOTE: This post was updated to include a prepared statement from charter school Superintendent Pennotti.]

By JOHN T. WARD

just_in1A group of parents and Latino rights advocates have asked the federal Justice Department to “investigate and ultimately remedy” enrollment and funding practices at the Red Bank Charter School that they claim make the borough’s public schools the “most segregated” in New Jersey.

In documents released Tuesday, the Latino Coalition of New Jersey and the newly formed Fair Schools Red Bank claim the school and the administration of Governor Chris Christie have violated the civil rights of borough students by failing to address ethnic, socio-econonic and fiscal disparities between the charter school and the public school district from which it was carved out 18 years ago.

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LITTLE SILVER: BUCS SIGN ON THE LINE

rbrsigningfallPictured above during the recent National Signing Day ceremony are  17 year old Red Bank Regional High School student athletes Mason O’Mara (left) and Kevin Paz (right).  The Shrewsbury resident O’Mara signed on to play baseball for George Mason University next year, while Little Silver’s own Paz will play lacrosse for Wagner College.

LINCROFT: CBA COLTS SIGN TO DIV I SCHOOLS

cba_signing_dayStudent athletes from Christian Brothers Academy who signed with Division I college programs on National Signing Day included (left to right) Drake Anzano of Toms River, Joseph Boyle of Avon, Nicholas Casner of Wall, Noah Yuro of Howell  and Christopher Gotterup of Little Silver. Not pictured: Brendan Bodisch of Middletown. (photo by Larry Levanti/ CBA Athletics)

Press release from Christian Brothers Academy

On November 9, six student athletes  from Christian Brothers Academy committed to continuing their academic and athletic careers at Division I colleges, during the first day of the National Letter of Intent early signing period.

Colts representing the Academy’s cross country, golf, lacrosse and track teams signed with their chosen institution on Wednesday, with five of those athletes taking part in the ceremony after school at CBA.

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RFH STUDENT ATHLETES SIGN ON THE LINE

rfh-signing-day-2016Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Sixteen student-athletes from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School took part in the recent National Signing Day. Surrounded by proud coaches and family members, they put pen to paper and made it “official” at an event held in the RFH Lower Library.

A list of the participating RFH students and their programs appears after the break.

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RED BANK: CHARTER CLAIMS NO ‘SEGREGATION’

rbcs 032216 5A five-year renewal of the Red Bank Charter School charter is pending before state education officials. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See update, below]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank Charter School Superintendent Meredith Pennotti went on the offensive Thursday, blasting critics who claim the publicly funded alternate school is responsible for “segregation” of school-aged children in the borough.

In an opinion piece published by the Asbury Park Press’ app.com, Pennotti took aim at what she calls “the same small but vocal group in town” that “kicks into high gear in an effort to shut us down” when the school comes up for renewal every five years, as it has this year.

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LINCROFT: CBA PLAYERS MAKE A GREAT MATCH

cba-pegasus-playersThe Pegasus Players from Christian Brothers Academy (pictured in their 2016 musical production of THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE) return to the school’s Henderson Theater stage this weekend, with the fall dramatic production of Thornton Wilder’s THE MATCHMAKER.

Press release from Christian Brothers Academy

Pegasus Production Company, the student-run theater company at Christian Brothers Academy has been at it again, working hard on their staging of the Thornton Wilder play The Matchmaker. Running for six performances, the annual fall dramatic production is set to premiere this Friday, November 11, and will feature a cast and crew of talent from CBA,as well as several other area schools.

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LITTLE SILVER: A GUEST VIRTUOSO AT RBR

rbr-interstring-christian-howesThis past October 21, Red Bank Regional High School welcomed renowned musician and educator Christian Howes, as a lead-in to the school’s annual Inter-String Concert. The Ohio-based guest artist conducted an all-day workshop that brought together students from Red Bank Middle School and Little Silver’s Markham Place School, working with RBR high school string players and culminating in the concert event that showcased the talents of 65 young musicians.

RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN STUDENT ART SHINES

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

rfh-art-klayton-dal-praRecently, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School announced an initiative designed to shine an even brighter spotlight on student artwork: a project under which the school’s National Art Honor Society (NAHS) and Multiple Disabilities (MD) Program have teamed up to provide beautiful frames for the display of creations by RFH students.

Featured will be paintings and photography by NAHS and MD students. The collection will be rotated regularly, and will be featured prominently throughout the school building on an ongoing basis.

In addition, photographs of works by RFH art students at all levels will be enlarged and placed above the student locker areas.

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