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CRAVINGS: A LIBRARIAN’S WEEKLY BENTO

Red Bank library director Elizabeth McDermott indulges her craving at Sogo Sushi. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

World traveler-turned-Red Bank Public Library director Elizabeth McDermott has a weekly itch that she scratches at Sogo Sushi on Monmouth Street: a bento box.

“It’s like comfort food to me,” says McDermott, whose previous job as a software consultant for Oracle took her all over the globe.

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RED BANK: HOVNANIAN NEARLY BREAKS EVEN

hovanian hq 071715Hovnanian’s headquarters in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

After a $16.2-million net loss in the year-prior period, Red Bank-based home builder Hovnanian Enterprises just about broke even in its first fiscal quarter of 2017.

The company reported a net loss of $100,000 on a 4.1-percent drop in revenue for the period in results posted Wednesday.

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LINCROFT: A HOME FOR FOLK AT EARTH ROOM

Kirsten Maxwell, above, and Matt Nakoa, below, perform Saturday night at the latest in a series of Earth Room Concerts.

While local folk music artists have occasionally been able to get face-to-face with audiences at annual festivals, coffeehouses and libraries, there just hasn’t been a consistent venue for national folk performers to ply their trade among the rock clubs, cover-band bars and theater-size stages of eastern Monmouth County.

That is, until the folks at Lincroft’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation initiated their series of Earth Room Concerts.

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RED BANK: TWO RIVER PLANS ADDITION

A rendering of the proposed addition to the left of the existing theater and tower above, as seen from the northeast. (Rendering by Kaplan Gaunt Desantis Architects. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The backstage area of Red Bank’s Two River Theater is about to get bigger, if a plan in the works gets a green light from borough officials.

Scheduled for consideration by the zoning board next week, the plan calls for the construction of an architecturally bold addition to the existing theater for rehearsal spaces, costume-making and the building of props and scenery, according to documents on file.

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RED BANK: DOWNTOWN APARTMENTS OK’D

Mayor Pasquale Menna explains his vote to approve the project, a rendering of which is seen on a computer screen in the foreground. At left is board Engineer Ed Herrman. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A proposed 35-unit apartment building in downtown Red Bank won unanimous planning board approval Monday night.

First, however, several critics, including two board members, took parting shots at a process that kept the controversial plan alive for a year after it was rejected by the zoning board.

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RED BANK: POETRY WITHOUT BORDERS AT RBPL

The second-floor reading room at the Red Bank Public Library (above) is the setting for this Saturday’s monthly River Read event, featuring Hungarian-born poet, theater producer and translator Dr. Gabor Barabas (below).

Audience regulars at the Long Branch professional playhouse New Jersey Repertory Company have come to appreciate the pre-show remarks given by the theater’s co-founder Dr. Gabor Barabas — introductions that are often illuminated by the retired neurologist’s recollections of his youth in his native Hungary, his fascination with the mythic popular culture of his adopted country, and his signature exhortation to “enjoy, enjoy the show” (to say nothing of those “deal of the century” subscription pitches).

An author, published poet and dramatist in “his own write” (he narrates his own poem “The Spider” in this animated short inspired by the late artist Louise Bourgeois) the NJ Rep executive producer has also garnered acclaim as a translator, with a specialty in the particularly challenging transition between English and Hungarian. On Saturday morning, March 11, the good doctor visits Red Bank Public Library as guest speaker on the topic of “Poetry in Translation.”

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RED BANK: BASIE PIMPS STAGE TO PRESS

Signage touting the Asbury Park Press brand will be installed in front of the stage and projected elsewhere in the venue before and after shows. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After some 90 years as a lights-down sanctuary from the outside world, visitors to Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre will be greeted by heavy pre- and post-show branding by the Asbury Park Press starting Tuesday.

According to an “exclusive” report about itself Monday, the Neptune-based Press will have its name in lights throughout the entertainment space: in front of the stage, on a drop-down screen, and on the walls before and after performances and during intermissions.

“You will be seeing an act that is performing on the Asbury Park Press Stage,” Basie CEO Adam Philipson is quoted as saying.

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RED BANK: APARTMENTS & EATERY ON DECK

Up for review at Monday night’s meeting of the Red Bank planning board: the Element, seen above, a 35-unit apartment complex proposed for a vacant lot at 55 West Front Street, opposite Riverside Gardens Park. The controversy-stirring plan could go to a final up-or-down vote.

Also scheduled: a proposed makeover for 26 West Front Street, right, last operated as Caliente Cantina, and not long before that, 10th Ave. Burrito Co. The plan calls for the addition of a 1,000-square-foot outdoor deck with views of the Navesink River. Here’s more info about the plan.

And here’s the full agenda for the meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at borough hall, 90 Monmouth Street. (Renderings by Rotwein + Blake, above, and Cahill Studio, right. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: WHELAN RUNNING FOR ASSEMBLY

Red Bank Councilman Mike Whelan and Ocean Township Deputy Mayor Robert Accera Sr. will anchor a ticket headed by state Senator Jen Beck. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After just 14 months on the Red Bank borough council, Mike Whelan is taking aim at Trenton.

The 25-year-old Republican plans to mount a bid to recapture an 11th-District Assembly seat for his party from first-term incumbents Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling, he told attendees at the GOP’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner in Freehold Friday.

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RED BANK: FORMER STAIR FACTORY REFRAMED

The former B&C Stair factory is in the midst of a top-to-bottom renovation.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Having worked his magic in creating a dazzling new gallery downtown last year, art collector Kenny Schwartz has now turned his attention to a factory on Red Bank’s West Side.

There, in the former home of B&C Custom Wood Stairs and Rail, at the corner of Drs. James Parker Boulevard and South Bridge Avenue, the auto dealer is creating a custom-frame shop to serve walk-in customers, major museums and galleries, including his own Detour Gallery, on Clay Street.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? SOME FRESH BOWLS

A Cobb salad, at left, with Genoa pasta, right, and primavera pasta at Fresh Bowl. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

A deja vu feeling came over us as we checked out the new Fresh Bowl, on Broad Street in downtown Red Bank. It resembles its predecessor, Salad Works, in layout, but owner Giuseppe Amato, has made some interesting and tasty additions to what was an all-salad menu.

A Wednesday special of two pasta bowls for the price of one  caught our eye. A bargain such as this is hard to pass up: we can always bring home the leftovers for dinner.

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RED BANK: MOMIX IN THE MIX AT BASIE

Choreographer Moses Pendleton brings his MOMIX dance company back to the Count Basie Theatre on Sunday for a new look at their classic work, ‘Opus Cactus.’

In an interview that appeared in our paperless pages several years back, famed choreographer Moses Pendleton shared his thought that “if people appreciate what I do, if they go out from one of our performances with a little less gravity in their skip, then I’ve been successful.”

Since 1971, when he co-founded the revolutionary Pilobolus dance company, Pendleton has done his part to fight the good fight against gravity — both the stodgy old natural law, and the sort of attitude that too often keeps a “fine arts” institution from having a joyful sense of humor about itself. When he left Pilobolus to forge the meeting of movement and stagecraft magic known as MOMIX, the self-described “avant gardener” renewed his mission of “exploring new and surprising ways to move and bend.” And when the troupe returns to the Red Bank stage of the Count Basie Theatre this Sunday, they’ll be newly exploring one of the works that made them one of the most celebrated forces in modern dance.

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RED BANK: ACLU ENTERS CHARTER BATTLE

CPA Scott Landau turns a drum as business administrator Theresa Shirley looks on during the charter school enrollment lottery last April. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The American Civil Liberties Union has joined two other organizations already waging war on the Red Bank Charter School‘s existence.

The ACLU of New Jesey said Thursday that, along with Fair Schools Red Bank and the Latino Coalition of New Jersey , it would appeal the state Department of Education’s decision earlier this week to allow the 19-year-old school to operate for at least another five years.

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ON THE GREEN: GALLERY OPENINGS

Works by prize winners Joan Myers (above) and Peter Smejkal, (below) are among the featured works in the juried photography show ‘Eyesights,’ opening Sunday at the Guild of Creative Art.

Two highly anticipated annual juried art shows — one of them judged by a couple of Red Bank’s favorite f-stoppers — highlight a self-guided art walk for the month of March on the Greater Red Bank Green.

It begins this Saturday on the sidewalks of downtown Red Bank, where Monmouth Street fixture the Art Alliance of Monmouth County hosts an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. for a pair of group shows organized under the themes URBAN and RURAL.

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RED BANK: CHARTER WINS FIVE MORE YEARS

The Red Bank Charter School campus on Oakland Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank Charter School is good to go for at least another five years, following an extension of its operating charter announced Wednesday night.

The generally expected renewal comes amid an upswell of tension over the school’s existence, in the form of a pending claim of segregation.

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RUMSON-SEA BRIGHT: BRIDGE CLOSING


HOT-TOPIC_03Monmouth County Bridge S-32, better known as a the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge, will be closed overnight from 8 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday for regular
maintenance to the center bascule, Monmouth County officials announced Wednesday. 

Detours will be posted, as the span will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

 

 

RED BANK: CRIMES AND ARRESTS

The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of February 15 to February 28, 2017. This information is unedited. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

CRIMES

Theft: On 02-16-17 in the area of Catherine St the victim reported Chevrolet car keys attached with a remote for the vehicle and a diamond ring with a gold band was missing from the residence. The ring is valued at $500.00. Ptl. Sean Hauschildt.

Theft: On 02-20-17 in the area of Locust Ave the victim reported two solar lights were taken from the property. The solar lights are described as gray in color with a clear bulb valued at approximately $5.00 each. Ptl. Sean Hauschildt.

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RED BANK: DRUG OVERDOSE CASES SOARING

A “heat map” showing the concentration of drug-overdose deaths in Monmouth County last year. (Map by Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

One-hundred-sixty-five people died of drug overdoses in Monmouth County last year, almost double the number just four years ago, the prosecutor’s office reported Tuesday.

Despite the widespread, often successful use of a fast-acting opiate antidote, the number of overdose victims continued to soar last year, rising 35 percent, the agency reported.

Red Bank police Chief Darren McConnell said the number of overdose cases in the borough over the last two years is “ridiculously higher” than he’d seen in the first three decades in law enforcement.

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MIDDLETOWN: DURANG, IN SMALL DOSES

Ever had a weekend of Durang? You know, one of those interludes in which your every human interaction — whether a disastrous date, a stress-inducing so-called vacation, or a simple trip to the store for a can of tuna — borders on the absurdly surreal?

Fortunately, we have the celebrated Christopher Durang, seen at right, to provide a road map of sorts through these needlessly complicated, often over-thought encounters. And beginning this Saturday, we have Middletown’s Monmouth Players at the wheel of the tour bus.

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RED BANK: SQUARING OFF OVER IMMIGRATION

Pro-immigrant protesters, above, outnumbered opponents outside borough hall both before and after Monday’s meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With rallies before and afterward heavily favoring the rights of undocumented residents, Red Bank’s Human Relations Committee voted Monday to oppose “any forced collaboration” between borough police and federal authorities when it comes to enforcing immigration law.

Short of declaring Red Bank a “sanctuary city,” the committee passed, by a 5-2 vote, a resolution that instead calls for town officials to “monitor and challenge” any costs arising from federal efforts to find and deport undocumented aliens.

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RED BANK: TWO HOMEWARE SHOPS CLOSING

Pickett & White, operating at 15 Broad Street for just a year, plans to close, an employee tells Churn. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn small

Two home-themed retail shops that have operated in downtown Red Bank for only about a year are calling it rolling up their welcome mats, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

One specialized in home decor, while the other staked its claim on marinades, sauces and household tchotchkes with a southern American flavor.

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RED BANK: HORNSBY, SKAGGS & HOT SARDINES

Bruce Hornsby, above at lower right, joins fellow Grammy winner Ricky Skaggs for a Monday night matchup at the Basie, followed on Thursday with a much-anticipated appearance by the Hot Sardines, below.

Picture this: you’re a celebrated, Grammy-winning musician and songwriter whose seemingly effortless mastery has seen him move with past the often artificial barricades of classic rock but your most immediate identifier remains the smash hit single that launched you out of the gate a generation ago. And that, fans, is just “The Way It Is.”

Undaunted, Bruce Hornsby continues to embrace that “elephant in the room” signature song with a “vibrantly expansive” new arrangement that stands as one of the highlights of his current tour — an ambitious itinerary that finds him stepping onto the stage of the Count Basie Theatre tonight in the collaborative company of another multi-faceted music maker, his friend and fellow Grammy getter Ricky Skaggs.

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