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ON THE GREEN: FREE FILMS UNDER THE STARS

NGL_16blindside5Quinton Aaron and Sandra Bullock star in a free Sunday night screening of ‘The Blind Side’ at Fair Haven Fields. Red Bank’s Movies in the Park lineup includes a July 21 airing of ‘Beetlejuice,’ below.

beetlejuiceIt’s still the best summer-movie deal under the setting sun and stars; a moveable feast of (basically) family-friendly, free flicks excitement that lights up the big inflatable screen and blockbuster sound system at parks and beaches all over Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Presented by Shore Flicks, it’s a cinematic slate that makes its seasonal return to the greater Red Bank Green this Sunday starting at Fair Haven Fields.

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RUMSON: IN COMMUNION WITH THE ANIMALS

rumson dog mass 031415 1rumson dog mass 031415Mass celebrants weren’t all equally attentive to Reverend Ophelia Laughlin at a pets-welcome worship at St. George’s-by-the-River in Rumson Saturday. About two dozen dogs, and a hamster named Hamstie, at right, attended the new regular service, which the church plans to repeat  on the second Saturday of each month at 5 p.m. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RUMSON: PETS WELCOME AT CHURCH SERVICE

100514 beast blessing11Reverend Ophelia Laughlin blesses a dog at St. George’s-by-the-River’s annual St. Francis Day event last October. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

StGeorgeThe Vatican may be fuzzy on whether animals get into heaven, but an Episcopal church in Rumson says they’re certainly welcome at services.

St. George’s-by-the-River will start offering a monthly worship next month at which all pets are welcome, associate pastor Reverend Jeff Roy tells redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN, RUMSON: ALL’S FAIR

StGeorgeSt. George’s by the River in Rumson is the scene for Saturday’s Canterbury Fair, the annual celebration of friendship, family and summer that begins at 9 am. 

While summer doesn’t officially begin for another week, the much anticipated annual event known as Canterbury Fair is too good to wait another moment. Now in its 66th year at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Rumson, the rain-or-shine celebration of “friendship, family and summer” offers a range of activities for kids (including a petting zoo, clowns, games, face painting, and more), food (a Tea Garden with baked goods, a Grill Team purveying burgers and dogs, and a lobster salad luncheon), plus a silent auction and the “infamous White Elephant Sale” boasting “jewelry, electronics, sporting goods, gently loved children’s games and clothing, homemade gourmet treats, plants & flowers and thousands of books for all ages.” Proceeds help support a selection of locally based outreach and charitable organizations, and it all happens between the hours of 9:30 am and 2:30 pm at 33 Waterman Avenue, so arrive early for the best bargains — and call (732)842-0596 for more information.

At 2:30 pm, the day is still young — and there’s plenty of time to head over to Fair Haven, for another great local event on summer’s doorstep.

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STARTING LINE FOR GIRLS ON THE RUN 5k

gotrsv_logoOn Sunday, June 8, the Junior League of Monmouth County will present their first annual Girls on the Run 5K event in Fair Haven, as part of what’s being described as a transformational physical activity-based positive youth development program for girls in grades 3 through 8.

Scheduled to commence 9:30 am at Fair Haven Fields on Dartmouth Avenue, the event begins with 8 am packet pickup and registration, and runs a USATF Certified course with two water stops along the way, as well at the finish. Awards will be given out to first, second and third place winners in the various age categories.

The race is the “celebratory” culmination of a ten-week Spring 2014 Girls on the Run program that began on March 24, and is designed “to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.”

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WEEKEND: 60 MORE HOURS OF WINTER FUN

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Above: A cast of local high school students brings A LITTLE SHAKESPEARE: AS YOU LIKE IT to young theatergoers at Two River…while below, Ms. Lauryn Hill appears to have cancelled her (already previously rescheduled) Homecoming appearance at the Count Basie. (cast photo by Ozzie Rodriguez)

laurynFriday, February 7:

RED BANK: If we’ve learned anything from Shakespeare’s As You Like It, it’s that springtime comes in turn to even the bleakest of wintry landscapes. So, with that warming thought in mind — well, that and the caveat that all events described herein are subject to change due to “no enemy but winter and rough weather” — we sally forth once more, where no groundhog dare tread.

While Two River Theater Company carries on with its vibrant and tuneful mainstage production of the Bard’s cross-dressing comedy, a talented troupe of high school performers have put together an intriguing bonus feature inside TRTC’s “black box” Marion Huber space. Adapted and directed by Jason McDowell-Green, A Little Shakespeare: As You Like It is a 75-minute version of the play, aimed at audiences age 9 and up, and designed “to fulfill the not-so-secret grand ambition of Artistic Director John Dias: to have some Shakespeare resonating in every corner of our theater, and to get everyone in our community turned on to the thrill of his exquisite language.” Red Bank Regional students Alicia Moeller and Patrick Monaghan are the lovestruck leads Rosalind and Orlando — and they’re joined in the cast by fellow RBR actors Halle Butler, Raquel Diaz and Alyssa Rogers, plus Michaela Farrell of Red Bank Catholic, and student players from several other Monmouth County high schools. Public performances, for which the actors will also be performing a score of original music by Shanna Jones, are Friday at 7 pm, and Saturday at 12 and 4 pm. Take it here for tickets ($15) and bios of the cast members — or here for tickets to the grownup version of the show that continues this weekend through February 16. 

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FAIR HAVEN: ARBORCIDE AT NATURAL AREA

fh-nature-areaNature enthusiasts want the borough to fund restoration of a mistakenly cleared-out area at the Fair Haven Fields Natural Area. Below, the affected site. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

fh-nature-area1

Several years of toil by nature-loving volunteers was undone in Fair Haven last month when borough employees mistakenly destroyed some 150 baby trees, officials said Monday.

Sometime last month, public works employees, while doing routine maintenance at the Fair Haven Fields Natural Area, errantly bushwhacked about 150 small trees planted to protect the area from Asian Bittersweet vines, an invasive species that had destroyed at least 20 percent of the area’s plant life, said volunteer Richard Magovern.

Now, what was once a well-fortified thicket of small trees is an open patch of green, a visible chink in the armor used to fight off an invasive adversary.

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OH DEER, THEY’RE EVERYWHERE…

dsc_4059A deer crosses a street in Shrewsbury at dusk last year. Fair Haven officials say they’re watching Shrewsbury’s effort to curtail its deer population. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Last year they were eating tree seedlings out of Stephen Knowlton’s yard on Church Street in Fair Haven. This year he’s having a hard time keeping a patch of lilies.

Elizabeth Lilleston, Fair Haven’s code enforcement officer and a resident of Woodland Drive, says she sees them daily roaming the street.

And Mayor Mike Halfacre, who also lives on Church, snapped a picture on his cell phone last week of one chomping on his neighbor’s grass.

If Fair Haven’s deer population isn’t controlled, Knowlton warned, “they’re going to be sleeping on our front lawns.”

Like towns across New Jersey, the borough is now facing a tricky problem: an apparent rise in deer wandering into the residential areas of town, and few options to thin the herds.

“I don’t know what we can do short of a hunt,” Halfacre said.

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PAPERWORK PUTS FAIR HAVEN PLANS ON HOLD

rvr-rd-westThe River Road west streetscape is holding up a line of other projects in the borough. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Mike Halfacre, Fair Haven’s mayor, one-time Congressional hopeful and triathlete may add another exploit to his list: author.

No, not really. But, more than a year after pulling in big bucks – under a stimulus program whose existence he opposed – from the federal government for a major facelift to the west side of River Road, Halfacre says he’s got plenty of material for one.

“I will write a book someday about shovel-ready projects,” he said.

Perhaps it can be a Bildungsroman on working with the federal government, one that Halfacre said has produced small mountains of paperwork – and a backlog of other projects “all being held up by trying to do River Road west.”

“I cannot tell you how frustrating it is,” Halfacre said. “It’s a mess. I mean, even our president laughed at the shovel-ready projects a couple weeks ago.”

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BUSY SPRING AHEAD FOR FAIR HAVEN

mccarter-parkMcCarter Park is among a number of properties in line for upgrades in Fair Haven. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

When, or if, we ever thaw out from this relentless winter, Fair Haven’s got a lot of work to do. And almost all of it is free of charge to the borough.

Mayor Mike Halfacre told redbankgreen there’s a slew of projects on the horizon that will boost the quality of life in town, from field renovations to street upgrades.

“There’s a lot of stuff coming up, but not a lot of stuff happening” right now, he said.

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ROUGHING IT IN SHALLOW CENTER FIELD

fhcamping1Fair Haven Fields during last Friday night’s campout, organized by the borough parks and rec deparment. (Photos by Peter Lindner; click to enlarge)

fhcamping3Several dozen Fair Havenites took part in the annual overnight campout held at Fair Haven Fields recreation area last Friday night.

Or at least, that many started out. It’s not unusual for there to be an outbreak of packing-up and starting of cars around 11p as folks decide that they prefer the comforts of home.

Still, “it appears that no one was lost to starvation, wolves or the woods at the camp out,” Mayor Mike Halfacre wrote on his blog.

BREAKING PLEDGE, HALFACRE SEEKS 2ND TERM

halfacre-tatCan he leap his own pledge in a single bound? Mayor Mike Halfacre’s calf tattoo, bearing his initials and those of his wife and children. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Mike Halfacre’s days in politics aren’t over yet. And he’s willing to break a longtime pledge to prove it.

just_in1Following his withdrawal from the District 12 Congressional race last week, the Republican tells redbankgreen that he’s running for a second term as mayor of Fair Haven in November.

“Yes I am,” he said. “I’m running for mayor in 2010.”

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FAIR HAVEN RENAMING POND FOR BENNETT

barbara-bennettBarbara Bennett at the pond at Fair Haven Fields natural area to be named in memory of her late husband, Dery Bennett. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It must have seemed right to someone, because the idea was floated: call the pond in the preserve area of Fair Haven Fields “Derickson Waples Bennett Pond.”

But to Barbara Bennett, the suggestion was a misguided attempt to pay tribute to her late husband, who passed away December 15 at 79 years old. Not only would it bother her, but it would likely leave visitors wondering, “Who the heck is Derickson Waples Bennett?”

“I said, ‘Oh no, that’s not it at all,'” Bennett said. Because nobody besides perhaps his mother and the tax man knew who Derickson Waples Bennett was. “Dery,” on the other hand, rings a bell with the locals and many tuned into the environmental scene, and often elicits a smile or a fond memory.

That’s why Barbara Bennett is happy with the simplicity of “Dery’s Pond,” which will be the new name of that spot in the woods she and her late husband spent decades visiting at least once, and often three times, each day. The borough council plans to introduce an ordinance making the name change official on Monday.

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