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RBG_FB-6000What’s this all about? Just a modest little celebration in honor of redbankgreen reaching 6,000 Facebook followers is all. Would you care to join them? Please click here. (Click to ginormous-ize.)

FAIR HAVEN: ‘FAKE DAVE’ GETS REAL, OFFLINE

DaveCicirelliAuthor and Middletown native Dave Cicirelli kicks off the campaign for his just-released ‘Fakebook’ Thursday at River Road Books. 

By TOM CHESEK

His adventures include an attack by a rabid coyote, abduction by an obscure doomsday cult and forced labor on an Amish farm, as a result of his having toilet-papered the farmer’s buggy (he also managed to impregnate and run off with the farmer’s daughter).

He’s Fake Dave Cicirelli, and beginning three years ago, the real Dave Cicirelli chronicled his ersatz odyssey in an epic series of Facebook posts, keynoted by the sudden announcement that he was quitting his job as a successful and award-winning art director in New York in order to embark upon a soul-searching, westbound walking sojourn.

By the time that the Facebook version of Dave returned to Intercourse, Pennsylvania, “to adopt the Amish way of life… leaving the world of Facebook with a heart full of sadness,” he had amassed hundreds of new friends and even a stalker or two — while an increasingly isolated Real Dave was lying low from the world in his former family home.

The River Plaza, Middletown native tells his double-life story with double-edged candor and humor in the memoir Fakebook: A True Story. Based on Actual Lies, to be released Tuesday by Sourcebooks. On Thursday, the first-time author comes to River Road Books in Fair Haven for a 7:30 pm reading and signing appearance that promises to reunite the real-world Dave with several of the Facebook friends who played a part, consciously or not, in the social media saga.

The Local Literary Desk at redbankgreen talked with Cicirelli about playful lies and rippling repercussions, before Oprah or Jon could get to him. Read on…

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BAR PATRONS GO NUTS OVER PEANUT BAN

Bartender Gavino Siciliano sees the end of the roasted-peanut era at Barnacle Bill’s as a sign of an overly litigious culture. Below, a sampling of comments from the restaurant’s Facebook page. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

When tinkering with some traditions, it helps to have a thick hull, the owners of Barnacle Bill’s are learning this week.

The riverfront restaurant, a Rumson institution, opened for brunch Sunday having quietly ended its four-decade custom of giving out roasted peanuts, whose shattered shells would carpet the floor. Owner Todd Sherman said the change was made over concerns over peanut allergies and slip-and-fall claims.

Within 24 hours, however, the restaurant’s Facebook page was flooded with nearly 450 comments – many of them supportive, but most harshly critical.

“Me and my wife were just there last night, this is such bull$***,” wrote a Vinny DiCostanzi. “Having a beer and peanuts while we wait was a tradition.”

A Joseph Costanza wrote: “Thanks! the 1 thing that kept my kids occupied ,as we waiting for a table for an hour and a half, you have removed ,,,, good luck good bye”

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KEEPING IT REAL BY KEEPING IT LOCAL

And now, an important message from the home office. Literally.

Authentically Localredbankgreen has joined with some 30 hyperlocal news sites across America in an effort to remind readers and advertisers of the community-enhancing role that independent news sites play.

Dubbed Authentically Local and including sites from Seattle to Tucson to New Haven, the group’s aim is “to remind readers and advertisers of the value that local ownership and local perspective brings to coverage,” says redbankgreen publisher John T. Ward.

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A CLEAN SLATE FOR redbankgreen COMMENTS

hot-topic rightToday, redbankgreen introduces a new reader-comments system.

Prompted by a rising tide of everything from petty name-calling to outright libel, nearly all of it from anonymous commenters, we’ve flushed our archive of comments posted prior to December 2, when we temporarily halted postings.

We’ve also adopted a registration system in the expectation that it will bring a greater degree of accountability to the commentary. With that, we hope, will be more civil and constructive behavior than we saw in the months leading up to the change.

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RED BANK APPER: DON’T LET BEDBUGS BITE

adam-kotkinAdam Kotkin in his Red Bank office. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Adam Kotkin is freaked out.

As a longtime resident of New York City, it may be hard to imagine that, after years of living and traveling through the petri dish that is the Big Apple, he’d get freaked out by a little outbreak of something like bedbugs.

OK, maybe it’s an epidemic. No, it may be worse.

“They call it an epidemic,” Kotkin, 31, said. “I call it a pandemic.”

So what’s he doing about it, besides avoiding movie theaters and stripping hotel room beds before he even gets his luggage in the door? He’s doing his cyberduty by telling iPhone users where the bedbugs are.

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