RED BANK: VOLUNTEERS STOP DRYER FIRE

rb-fire-112316Volunteer firefighters quickly stopped a dryer fire in a house at 141 Drs. Parker Drive in Red Bank shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday. The house is located behind the Celestial Lodge and has no street frontage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: UPDATES ON WATER

rb-meter-swap-110216-1An installer with National Metering Services installing a new wireless meter in a Red Bank home earlier this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

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Some quick updates on Red Bank water…

The stinky, dirty water that affected some customers earlier this month has been corrected, borough officials tell redbankgreen. But they’re being cautious about turning on the tap too quickly.

And with the townwide water-meter replacement project underway, users should be alert to a change in their billing.

Details on both below.

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RED BANK: HOLIDAY EXPRESS TO LIGHT IT UP

112715holidayexp32Tim McLoone, at left above, and the Holiday Express band get some help kicking off another silver-bells season on the sidewalks of Red Bank at Friday night’s annual Town Lighting concert. Jackie Evancho (below) brings a program of holiday songs and hits to the Count Basie stage. (Photo above by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge) 

jackie_evanchoIf it’s accomplished nothing else during its quarter century of continuous service, Red Bank’s annual Town Lighting ceremony has successfully wrested the idea of “Black Friday” from visions of crushing chaos at the mall to one of sing-along harmony in a walkable-wonderland setting of merry commerce and activity.

When the lights are ceremoniously lit in downtown Red Bank for the 24th consecutive year this Friday evening, it will come not a moment too soon for an extended community that really does need a little Christmas, right this very minute. And summoned once more into service like a jinglebell-jukebox Justice League will be Holiday Express, the big traveling winter wall of sound whose founder and skipper Tim McLoone has helped sound the keynote and flip the switch on a generation’s worth of festive occasions in the heart of Red Bank’s downtown diorama.

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RED BANK: LOT OWNERS CAN NOW TRY AGAIN

55 w front 062016The vacant lot at 55 West Front Street, opposite Riverside Gardens Park. (Photo by Google. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Eight months after they were rejected by the Red Bank zoning board, the owners of a vacant lot in downtown Red Bank can now try again to win approval for a 35-unit apartment building on the site.

That’s the upshot of an ordinance adopted by the borough council Monday night after yet another tiebreaker vote by Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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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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RED BANK: HOTEL ACCESS PLAN CRITICIZED

hampton-inn-112116An architect’s rendering of the proposed Hampton Inn, as seen from Riverside Avenue, with the existing VNA building at right. (Rendering by Louis Silverstein. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
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After years of litigation and other delays, a proposed Hampton Inn at Red Bank’s northern gateway returned to the borough planning board Monday night — and quickly ran into opposition.

Board member Guy Maratta sharply criticized a plan to allow vehicles to turn left into the Route 35 site across two lanes of southbound traffic that he said averages 60 miles per hour.

“Somebody is going to die, mark my words,” Maratta told the traffic engineer for the applicant, Rbank Capital.

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SHREWSBURY POLICE BLOTTER

AUTHORITIES_SBURY-2016-v3

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of November 5 to November 18, 2016. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

Crimes

Report of Shoplifting in the area of CVS, Broad Street on 11/10/16. Victim reports unknown subject removed merchandise. Ptl. Ralph Latham investigating.

Report of Theft/Forgery in the area of Obre Place on 11/11/16. Victim reports known subject forged checks for personal gain. Ptl. Angel Marrero investigating.

Report of Theft in the area of Shadowbrook Road on 11/1/16. Victim reports property taken without consent. Damages totaling $200.00. Sgt. Adam Cerminaro investigating.

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RED BANK: BASIE PARKING DEAL YIELDS GAIN

mike-whelan-110416Councilman Mike Whelan outside borough hall earlier this month.(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1It may not seem like much, stacked up against a $22.4 million budget. Still, it’s like finding money on the ground, says first-year Red Bank Councilman Mike Whelan.

A deal Whelan initiated that gives the Count Basie Theatre access to the borough hall parking lot across Monmouth Street has netted the borough nearly $14,000 since it went into effect earlier this year, he says.

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RED BANK: HAMPTON INN RETURNS

hampton inn 062016Architect Lou Silverstein with a rendering of the proposed hotel, at center above, as seen from the Middletown side of Cooper’s Bridge. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
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Almost six years after it was first proposed, a Hampton Inn at Red Bank’s northern gateway remains nothing more than an abstraction, existing solely as mountain of engineer and litigation documents.

The developer hopes to finally turn it into a seven-story reality.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? HAPPY HOUR RIBS

111516saltcreek2A plate of baby back ribs from Salt Creek Grille’s happy hour menu.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Timing is everything, especially when it comes to grabbing a good meal. Sometimes, the afternoon just gets away from us and before we know it, lunch is an unfulfilled yearning. What to do?

Salt Creek Grille, the craftsman-style restaurant at the foot of the Oceanic Bridge in Rumson, shows a 5 p.m. opening on its website. But happy hour is served from 4 p.m. to 6:30, and it’s a terrific bargain.
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RED BANK: SETZER JUMP-STARTS BASIE LINEUP

brian-setzerStray Cat topcat turned big-band ringmaster Brian Setzer, above, tunes up Santa’s souped-up sleigh — and Beat Root Revival (below) lights the way — as the season of nearly non-stop holiday music at the Count Basie Theatre commences Monday.

beat-rootThe official tree has yet to find its base in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park, and the horse-drawn carriages and surrogate Santas have yet to be sighted on the downtown streets.

But the elves at the Count Basie Theatre, the Greater Red Bank Green’s unofficial Capital of Christmas, already have their workshop in overdrive on a packed slate of Christmastime confections that runs right up to the doorstep of the New Year.

 

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RED BANK: SOIRÉE KICKS OFF HOLIDAY SEASON

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rbba-111716-4The first-ever Holiday Soirée thrown by the Red Bank Business Alliance at the Molly Pitcher Inn turned out to be quite the affair, as more than 300 attendees packed two ballrooms to sample small plates, dance, bid on artwork and generally kick off the holiday-party season. In the process, the RBBA raised some $19,000 for two nonprofit organizations — Jason’s Dreams for Kids and Clean Ocean Action.

Check out redbankgreen’s photos below to see who you know. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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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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LINCROFT: A MEETING OF VOICES AT UUCMC

United WE SingA scene from a past edition of “United We Sing,” the 16th annual presentation of which returns to Lincroft’s Unitarian Meetinghouse this Sunday, November 20.

At a time when it seems the various voices of the American choir are in discord, each shouting out a different tune, it seems more than ever that we could use a little bit of “United We Sing.” And as if on cue, the event of that same name returns to Lincroft this Sunday for a session that encourages neighbors to “come together from our different cultural and faith traditions, to proclaim and celebrate our rich diversity.”

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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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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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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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RED BANK: CRIMES AND ARRESTS

The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of October 31 to November 14, 2016. This information is unedited. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

AUTHORITIES_RB-2016-v3CRIMES

Theft: On 10-31-16 the Victim report theft to her vehicle in the area of Riverview Plaza. The victim report that sometime between 10-25-16 and 10-26-16 a radar locator was stolen from the vehicle. The approximate value of the radar locator is $400.00. Ptl. Sean Hauschildt.

Criminal Mischief: On 11-03-16 in the area of Bank St. the victim reported that eggs were thrown at their home and car on or around 10/31/16. Ptl. Cevin Albert.

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RED BANK: RETURN OF THE GREAT PRETENDER

pretendersChrissie Hynde, seen here with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys in a screen grab from the video for ‘Holy Commotion,” returns to Red Bank with her 2016 edition of the Pretenders for a Thursday night concert.

Last time Chrissie Hynde trod the boards of Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, two years ago, the face, voice, heart and soul of the Pretenders offered up a showcase of her debut long-player Stockholm, chased by a lip-to-label spin through the mega-classic 1979 Pretenders LP, its fab 45s and deep-cut classics “Brass in Pocket,” “Kid,” “Stop Your Sobbing,” “Mystery Achievement” and “Precious”).

Bolstered by the accrued good-will generated by the album and road itinerary, the Hall of Fame rocker entered a Nashville studio earlier this year with Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach for some sessions intended to yield her sophomore solo release. But something surprising must have happened inside that soundproofed space, as “those driving guitars, ragged-but-righteous arrangements, tough-yet tender lyrics delivered by the most beautifully distinctive voice of a generation” (according to the press notes) suggested nothing less than that the Pretenders were back.

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RED BANK: VAN ZANDT LINEUP TO ROCK BASIE

van-zandt-guadagno-111416-1Steven Van Zandt and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno on stage at the Basie Monday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

basie-marquee-111416A four-night campaign of classic rock shows curated by E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt in coming months will help drive a $20 million expansion Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, officials said Monday.

But the names of the acts to be spotlighted in the series remained under wraps at a press conference held on the stage of the Vaudeville-era venue.
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RUMSON: SURF TEAM WRAPS UP FIRST SEASON

emily-grossarth-101316-1elizabeth-sullivan-101316Rumson-Fair Haven Regional’s surfing team recently wrapped up its first season of existence, giving nine girls and 21 boys a chance to indulge their passion for the sport in a structured program. Freshman Emily Grossarth, above, who placed second overall in the women’s division at the National School Surfing Association High School Championships last month, will compete at the NSSA Nationals in California in June. 

“I’m kind of sad when I’m out of the water,” said sophomore Grace Lehman, of Rumson. Unlike other sports, “you’re not worried about the score, or how much time is left in the game,” she said. “It’s just you and your friends in the water.”

The team, which practices on the beach opposite Via Ripa in Sea Bright, resumes in the spring, said coach Kevin Pfister. Meantime, here’s a video lookback at the debut season. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: BURSTING WITH KINDNESS

rb-dance-for-life-111316-5rb-dance-for-life-111316-6First came the “freezemob,” as hundreds of orange-clad participants stopped in poses of kindness on a stretch of Broad Street in downtown Red Bank. Then came the “flashmob,” as music was cranked up and the mob broke into joyous dance.

The occasion was the fifth annual ‘Dance for Kindness,’ a campaign to support random acts of kindness that involved 100 locations around the globe Sunday. redbankgreen trained its lens on the local edition; please check out the additional photos below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.) (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge) Read More »

ON THE GREEN: AUTHOR! AUTHOR! AUTHOR!

amy-ellis-nutt-julie-otsukaPulitzer winner Amy Ellis Nutt (above left), National Book Award finalist Julie Otsuka (right), and historical novelist James L. Haley (below) are among the celebrated wordsmiths appearing in the coming days at events in Shrewsbury, Fair Haven and Lincroft.

james-l-haleyThere’s a Pulitzer Prize winner who trained in the trenches of Jersey journalism. A novelist whose credits include a PEN/Faulkner Award and a National Book Award nomination. And a celebrated historian turned master purveyor of “ripping yarn” page-turners.

Apparently the Greater Red Bank Green hasn’t gotten the memo that books are dead, because the joy of reading, and the highly anticipated appearances of some high-profile authors, are alive and well in the coming days and nights.

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