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RED BANK: COUNTY LIBRARY COSTS WEIGHED

rbpl-garden-siteTrustees of the library say local taxpayers would still have to foot the cost of the borough facility on West Front Street, above, with access to fewer resources from Monmouth County. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The question pops up periodically, and did so several times last year in a user survey: would Red Bankers be better off if their library was part of the Monmouth County library system?

According to the Red Bank Public Library’s trustees, the answer is “no,” and it’s not a close call.

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RED BANK: BLOCKING AND TACKLING IN CHINA

mario williams 1Mario Williams demonstrating a block to football newbies in China, above. Below, Williams at the Danish Cafe in Red Bank last November. (Photo below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

mario williams 113015redbankgreen received the following dispatch last week from Mario Williams, a Red Bank Regional graduate who’s now spending a semester at Kean University‘s campus in Wenzhou, in southeast China:

My trip in China has been amazing so far, and I still have 3 months in the semester left. I have so many great stories to share. Today was one of my favorites! My name was apparently mentioned in a conversation recently to someone and, from that, I was invited to Jiù Shān Stadium to help run practice for the newly formed Wenzhou Redbucks Football Team.

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RED BANK: EISNERS PLEDGE $50K TO LIBRARY

rbpl 1 032714Through his foundation, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner below, has pledged $50,000 to the library that bears his family’s name. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

(Press release from the Red Bank Public Library)

michael eisnerThe Eisner Memorial Red Bank Public Library started 2016 with a nice surprise: a letter notifying Director Elizabeth McDermott of a five-year, $50,000 donation to the Foundation for the Red Bank Public Library from the Eisner Foundation.

This is the largest donation yet received by the library foundation, with $10,000 being donated annually for five years.

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RED BANK: COLLEGE STUDENT EYES CHINA

mario williams 113015Mario Williams, seen here at the Danish Café in Red Bank, has his sights set on a semester in China. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Mario Williams was a student at Red Bank Regional a couple of years back when, on a tour of Kean University, he learned the school had a campus in mainland China. Almost immediately, he sensed that he had to go.

“I got the bug that day,” he told redbankgreen this week. Even after graduating from RBR and matriculating at the College of St. Rose in Albany, the idea stayed with him. And after transferring to Kean almost a year ago for financial reasons, “I started asking about it as soon as I got here.”

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RUMSON: BLITHEWALD RAZED

76 buena vista 081815rumson fire 042015 2Five months after a devastating fire, the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald was demolished Monday.

The 132-year-old home, on Buena Vista Avenue, was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea when it burned down in April. Investigators ruled the cause of the blaze accidental. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RUMSON: WORKOUT IN MEMORY OF HENNE

robert henne 032014In honor of Robert Henne, right, a 23-year-old Fair Haven special police officer who died in March, the borough PBA plans a heavy-duty Crossfit “hero workout” challenge on Saturday, July 18.

The daylong outdoor event featuring a 1,000-meter row, sled pull and more – is to be held at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High, where Henne played football and was a member of the track team.

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REPORT: BON JOVI STIFFED M’TOWN ON O.T.

bon jovi 101911Bon Jovi, seen above in Red Bank in 2011. Below, a gate to his home. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

bon jovi house 2008A campaign fundraiser at which pop star Jon Bon Jovi “serenaded” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was held in Red Bank Monday night because Middletown balked at providing police protection for the event at the pop star’s mansion, according to a report.

The conservative Washington Free Beacon claimed Wednesday that the township refused to staff the event at Bon Jovi’s Navesink River Road home because he hasn’t ponied up for $14,000 in police overtime expenses still owed for security provided for a 2008 fundraiser held there for then-Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama.

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RED BANK: BON JOVI “SERENADES” CLINTON

bon-jovi-101911Bon Jovi, seen here at the opening of Red Bank’s JBJ Soul Kitchen in 2011, was back in town to host the former first lady and secretary of state Monday night. Below, an uncredited photo of Clinton posted on the Twitter feed of former New York Governor David Paterson. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Hillary Clinton 062915Jon Bon Jovi “serenaded” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a $1,000-a-head campaign fundraiser in Red Bank Monday night, according to PolitickerNJ.

Actually, the report says pop-rocker, who has a home on the Navesink River in Middletown, “serenely serenaded” Clinton at the no-media-allowed event, held at the riverfront Molly Pitcher Inn.

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BON JOVI TO HOST CLINTON, BUT WHERE?

Bon Jovi house2Bon Jovi’s Middletown home, above, as seen in 2008. Below, Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea, with Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna and former mayor Ed McKenna in 2011. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

bon-jovi-mayorsPop star Bon Jovi is planning to host a fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to a report by NJ.com.

The report doesn’t give the location of the event, but notes that the pop star and his wife, Dorothea, live in Monmouth County.

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RUMSON: BLITHEWALD GARDEN IN PHOTOS

rumson blithewald 1 rumson blithewald 3The April 20 fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald, which was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase in the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea fundraiser, occurred the same morning that landscapers had put the finishing touches on a yard design called the Secret Garden.

Red Bank-based Siciliano Landscape, which oversaw the project with a landscaper from Marlboro, has posted a gallery of before-and-after photos of the garden, along with a link for those wishing to donate to the VNA. The now-canceled home tour was to be the nonprofit organization’s largest fundraising event of the year. (Photos courtesy of Siciliano Landscape. Click to enlarge)

RUMSON: FIRE RULED AN ACCIDENT

rumson fire 042015 3Monday’s fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald appears to have been accidental, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office.

Spokesman Charlie Webster told redbankgreen on Thursday that investigators believe the fire began in a wall between a guest room and an en-suite bathroom on the second floor. But they were unable to determine if a live electrical circuit or equipment was the cause, he said.

At the time of the fire, Blithewald, on Buena Vista Avenue, was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea fundraiser fundraiser, which was to have begun Saturday but has now been cancelled. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RUMSON: FIREFIGHTER’S VIEW OF BLAZE

Here’s a Sea Bright firefighter’s view, courtesy of a helmet-mounted camera, of Monday’s fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald.

A message on the Sea Bright Fire Rescue Facebook page says this about the footage:

“We feel that releasing this film will not only give the public insight on what we do but will allow our brothers and sisters of the service an opportunity to better both themselves and ourselves in the future. The members made multiple attempts to try and gain control of the fire with an interior attack but were subsequently driven back. Please excuse some of the language as the guys were in the heat of the moment.”

 

RUMSON: ‘TOUGH SPOTS’ MADE FIRE DAUNTING

RUMSON FIRE 042115 2Blithewald as seen Tuesday morning. An area of the roof between two dormers showed heavy damaged, as seen below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

RUMSON FIRE 042115 1The fire that caused extensive to a 132-year-old Rumson mansion Monday proved a challenge to volunteer firefighters, some of whom were on the scene nearly seven hours, Chief Kevin McCarthy tells redbankgreen.

“It’s a big, older house, so there’s lots of tough spots to get into,” said McCarthy. “It took a while to get it all mopped up.”

There was no official word on a possible cause of the blaze. McCarthy referred questions to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, where a spokesman said information was not immediately available Tuesday morning.

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RUMSON: FIRE RIPS SHOWCASE MANSION

rumson fire 042015 2rumson fire 042015 1Fire caused extensive damage Monday afternoon to a Rumson home slated as the showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea fundraiser.

No one was injured in the four-alarm blaze at 76 Buena Vista Avenue, an 1880s-era mansion known as Blithewald. As of 3:30 p.m., three hours after the fire was reported, smoke could still be seen rising through the roof, which had gaping holes in it. There was no immediate official word on a possible cause.

“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said a heartbroken VNA volunteer who asked not to be named, standing outside the Blithewald gate.

The fire is the second tragedy in recent years to strike the VNA event. In 2013, a van shuttling tour participants hit a dumptruck in Rumson, causing at least one serious injury. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

A TIE WON’T DO: RBC BUSTS TIE-DYE RECORD

rbc tie dy 031815 1 rbc tie dy 031815 13Four-hundred-fifty-four students and teachers at Red Bank Catholic gathered in groovy casualwear Wednesday morning in an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the “largest gathering of people wearing tie-dye.”

The event was a fundraiser, via $10 t-shirt sales, for the Make A Wish Foundation of New Jersey and dreamed up by senior Kaitlin Rogers of Allenhurst, above. The previous record was 250, she said; RBC’s must still be certified by Guinness.

The school’s annual carnival for Make A Wish, which enables wish fulfillment for young children with serious medical conditions, will be held this year on Saturday, May 16.

More pix below… (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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