A unidentified Red Bank teenager, drunk and separated from his partymates, wandered into an Ocean Township home early today, where he noshed on food before passing out in a chair, the Asbury Park Press is reporting.

From the story:

The 17-year-old, who was not identified because of his age, was discovered by police sometime after 5:35 a.m. when a resident woke up to the sound of the family’s dog barking and realized an intruder was in the house. The resident called 911 to report the prowler, police said.

The teen was charged with defiant trespassing and consuming alcohol on private property while under the age of 21.

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Both the Asbury Park Press and the Record of Hackensack have interviews today with Ara Hovnanian, scion and CEO of Hovnanian Enterprises, the Fortune 500 homebuilder headquartered in Red Bank.

On the table in each is the state of the real estate market and the outlook for a turnaround at HOV, which has posted two consecutive quarters of losses and forecasts a third.

From the Press interview, conducted by business writer David P. Willis:

“We’ve seen and weathered and experienced many housing market slowdowns and this is yet one more notch in our quiver of experiences,” [Hovnanian] said. “And it is not uncommon and not to be unexpected to have periods where our profitability not only is less, but in some cases like the last two quarters, where we have the losses.”

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In addition to the mass beach cleanups it organizes twice a year — including one scheduled for tomorrow — a really admirable aspect of Clean Ocean Action is that it maintains a highly detailed log of all the garbage that its volunteers remove from the state’s coasts and waterways.


Why keep such minutiae? Because facts are data that the organization uses to make its case to state and federal legislators in fighting all forms of ocean pollution. And no morsel of data, it seems, is too small to merit the group’s attention.

Here’s the lead from an Associated Press story, via the Asbury Park Press:

What do a plunger, a playpen, a jockstrap, fake plastic breasts, a pregnancy test and five pairs of underwear have in common?

They were among nearly 260,000 items of sometimes bizarre trash that either was left or washed up on New Jersey’s beaches last year. The total: about 40 tons.

The tally included 32,328 plastic caps and lids. Plastics have become increasingly prevalent in recent years, as indicated by this tally, also from 2006:

— Food wrappers or bags (27,147)

— Beverage bottles (15,373)

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Sports fans will have noticed by now that sports coverage is not our thing here at redbankgreen. There’s way too much of it for this little operation to cover, and frankly, other topics interest us far more.

But every once in a while, we duck into the arena when an event or person rises above the routine.


In this case, we’d like to direct the attention of high school football fans — and anyone with an interest in Red Bank Catholic — to ESPN.com. The sports news site has posted a fairly lengthy and highly laudatory profile of former RBC running back Donald Brown II, who’s now entering his sophomore year at the University of Connecticut.

While Ray Rice of Rutgers and Steve Slaton of West Virginia got more attention, Brown “quietly matched his better-known counterparts yard-for-yard down the stretch last season,” ESPN says.

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Big, big turnout for last week’s ‘Where,’ with lots of correct responses.

Answer: Navesink River Road at the corner of Cherry Street, between the North Jersey Coast Line and Poricy Brook Pond.

The photo shows a utility pole dressed up as a candy cane and wrapped in Christmas lights. And not everybody’s a fan, it would seem.

A number of respondents noted, without admiration, that the display stays up year round. One called it “Santa’s Ugliest Holiday Decoration” and said that, after getting spruced up for the big season, it “deteriorates into a disgusting mess for the rest of the year.” Another expressed sympathy for the neighbors, and a third politely asked, “Would anyone care to take it down?”

Wow. Have we got another rusting ladder in a dead tree situation here?

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Two decades after bringing retail sizzle to sleepy Shrewsbury, the owners of The Grove have embarked on their first major breakout effort.

Developer/owner Metrovation started site work last week on The Grove West, a new shopping center just across Route 35 from the existing center.

The move is premised on what appears to be a leasing coup, as Metrovation has landed Billabong to anchor an 8,000-square-foot structure to be built at the the entrance to the site.

The store will be Billabong’s first outside of New York’s Times Square, according to Chris Cole, a Metrovation partner.

Australia-based Billabong sells surfwear, including something called “boardshorts” — which we hear aren’t as uncomfortable as they sound — jeans, tees and other casualwear with a Pacific Island theme. The company is huge in the sponsorship of surfing competitions and a magnet for beachloving teens.

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This one is so astonishing we had to wonder about its veracity. But the background certainly makes it sound plausible.

A press release we came across late Wednesday from News-Antique.com claims that a Lincroft coin dealer has sold a rare nickel for $5 million.

From the release, datelined Santa Barbara, CA.:

“It’s a 1913 Liberty Head nickel, the finest surviving example of only five known specimens that were made under mysterious circumstances at the Philadelphia Mint nearly a century ago,” said Santa Barbara, California coin and jewelry merchant, Ronald J. Gillio, who negotiated the sale to the unnamed collector.

The sellers are Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey and Washington state business executive, Bruce Morelan. In May 2005 they jointly purchased the coin for a then-record price of $4,150,000.

That’s a 20 percent gain in two years.

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The state of New Jersey has extracted a $1 million settlement from Chevron over a 2006 oil spill in the Arthur Kill, and Navesink River oyster beds are among the expected beneficiaries, according to the Star-Ledger.


The $1 million will be used by the non-profit New York-New Jersey Baykeeper to help fund its decade-old effort to reestablish oyster beds in New York Harbor, Raritan Bay, and the Raritan and Navesink rivers, the Ledger reports.

“This is an appropriate settlement, particularly given that the funds will be used to create new oyster beds in an effort to reestablish an important part of the harbor’s ecosystem, ” said Attorney General Stuart Rabner.

Details about the distribution and use of the funds were not reported.

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Here’s an item from an email sent out this morning by RiverCenter:

Phone Solicitation Notice – Important
Someone representing Red Bank PAL (police athletic league) has been making solication calls to Red Bank businesses asking for money for this organization. They are asking for your credit card information to pay for the donation.

According to the Red Bank Police Department, there is no Red Bank PAL, so please do not agree to donate anything to this organization. It does not exist.

Email this story



… a poem as lovely as a tree.

Ten, actually, to replace the nine slaughtered (humanely, it has been persuasively argued) on White Street yesterday.

The replacement trees — Harvest Gold crabapples — are on order and should arrive later this week for planting ASAP, borough arborist Mike Olimpi told the Borough Council and its audience Monday night.

Olimpi and other members of the Shade Tree Committee, including Bill Brooks and Boris Kofman, ran through an extensive presentation, complete with chunks of trunks taken from the White Street trees, to argue for the necessity of taking the trees down.

All nine were Bradford pears, trees that at maturity tend to shed large limbs at the slightest provocation owing to a genetic trait that causes the limbs to grow too close together.

In a nutshell: because of their frail state, they were a hazard to the utility wires they had grown into. They were also a danger to moving and parked cars and to pedestrians on the sidewalk over which they grew.

Olimpi said that if he’d failed to take the trees down, he’d have been guilty of arboreal “malpractice.”

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The results are finally in from last week’s Red Bank Board of Education election, which were delayed by a snafu.


In addition to the previously announced victor Ben Forest, an incumbent, winners were write-in winners Ann Goldman
of McLaren Street and Marjorie Lowe of Wall Street, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Three seats were open, but only Forest formally declared an interest in having one. He got 352 votes.

But because of multiple spellings of names of write-in candidates, officials could not immediately sort out who might have won the two seats that went unsought on the ballot.

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A Monmouth County grand jury has decided not to indict local publisher Claudia Ansorge for her role in the motor-vehicle death last April of a Riverview Medical Center employee, the Asbury Park Press is reporting.

The decision not to indict was made last week, the Press says. Instead, a driving-while-intoxicated summons will be heard in Red Bank Municipal Court, according to the report.

Fifty-nine-year-old Robert F. Lisowsky, a plumber at the hospital, was struck by Ansorge’s car as he attempted to cross East Front Street near the facility on the night of April 19, 2006. He died two days later at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.

Ansorge was not immediately available for comment on the latest news.

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The signs announcing a two-hour parking limit along Maple Avenue have been there so long that they’re faded.

But it seems nobody in borough hall can explain why there was no ordinance putting legal teeth behind the signs. Apparently, there was a widespread belief that such a law existed.

Nor can officials say if anyone was ever wrongly cited for overtime parking, and if not, why not, considering the above assumption.

“By some quirk, they were never legally adopted,” Mayor Pasquale Menna said of the signs at the March 26 borough council meeting. He said he didn’t know when the signs went up, but that they predated his tenure on the council, which began 18 years ago.

Well, whatever the explanation, the free ride on standing still, so to speak, is about to end.

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Acting Gov. Dick Codey is asking for a statewide pealing of bells at noon today to honor the dead in this week’s Virginia Tech massacre, the Star-Ledger reports.


And tonight, friends of Julia Pryde will lead a candlelight vigil for the 23-year-old Middletown North graduate who was among the 32 students and faculty members who died in Monday’s assault by another student, who killed himself.

The Asbury Park Press says the event will be held at 7p at the football field at High School North, 63 Tindall Road.

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Feeling the desire to do something nice for the planet for Earth Day? No, don’t buy it a necktie — it never wears them — or pick up a gift certificate from the Gap. Instead, get some mud in the treads of your Timberlands.

The Navesink and Swimming rivers could use some help. So the Monmouth University and Brookdale Community College chapters of New Jersey Community Water Watch have organized a cleanup of selected stretches of riverbanks in Red Bank and elsewhere.

A free barbecue follows the event at Poricy Park in Middletown, the same place where volunteers are asked to gather Saturday at 10a.

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RiverCenter is looking for some working men and women.

Not for the usual squads of volunteers to help promote the business district, but to share some insights about jobs and the skills needed to do them with students at the Red Bank Middle School.


The school’s fourth annual Career Day, scheduled for the morning of Friday, May 4, is expected to attract local professionals from a variety of areas, including architecture, culinary arts, nursing and home-building.

But more participants are needed, says RiverCenter Executive Director Tricia Rumola, to help expose the kids to as diverse an array of jobs and careers as possible in a three hours.

We at redbankgreen have participated in recent years, talking about journalism and graphic design while sharing table space with a wedding photographer, a marketing executive, a fine artist, a chiropractor and others.

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Want to read the minutes of a recent Red Bank Council meeting online?

You’ll have to wait. The latest one posted on the borough’s website is from February 12, even though the council has had four meetings since then.

There are even more cobwebs on the Tinton Falls site. That borough hasn’t posted updated council minutes since October.

But those two sites are far from the creakiest out there; in fact, they’re actually quite advanced in some respects. Many municipalities the length of New Jersey post little or no information about the workings of local government. Dog-license applications via the web? Sounds like sci-fi. Budgets online? Forget it.

More than a decade after the the first web browser transformed the Internet into a tool anyone could use, local governments have yet to utilize the web as the virtual clerk’s counter that it could be, says Michael Skudera. So he wants to show them how, and give them a shove if they balk.

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At 9:30a Wednesday, Mayor Pasquale Menna was in his law office talking on the phone with redbankgreen about some borough business and trying to get off the line posthaste.

He had an obligation to meet. Back in March, while reading to a pre-kindergarten class at the Red Bank Primary School, Menna had promised the kids that he’d make them lunch, and today was the day to deliver on the promise. But there he was, stuck at his desk getting grilled about some boring ordinance, and he hadn’t even shopped for groceries yet.

Facing a noontime showdown with hungry four- and five-year-olds, Menna quipped that he might have to find a White Castle and pick up a bag of sliders.

But ten minutes ahead of the appointed hour, Menna rolled down the corridors of the primary school pushing an audio-visual cart laden with hot, colorful food that he’d whipped up in his kitchen at home.

“See? You can cook for 23 people in less than a hour,” he announced.

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‘OK, this will be an easy one,’ we’re tempted to say this week. But we won’t, because whenever we do say that, we’re surprised to discover that what we thought was obvious and universally recognized is not.

So, folks, let’s hear what you have to say about the object shown here. Where is it and what is it? Respond via email, please.

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NJ Transit’s board of commissioners today approved a budget that calls for train- and bus-fare increases averaging 9.6 percent, the Asbury Park Press reports this morning from Newark.

The move was depicted as a necessary measure to help close a $60 million gap in the $1.5 billion budget of the agency.

The new fares, which take effect June 1, mean that…

the cost of a one-zone bus ride will rise from the current $1.25 to $1.35. A commuter who rides the train from Red Bank to New York and now pays $301 for a monthly pass will spend about $30 more.

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Middletown North graduate Julia Pryde was remembered by people who knew her as a carefree individualist who loved to swim competitively and cultivated a strong interest in ecology and water quality issues, according to a story about her in today’s Asbury Park Press.

Pryde was among the 32 students and faculty members slain by a student gunman Monday morning at Virginia Tech, where she was in a graduate science program.

“She was always having a good time,” said [friend and neighbor Nicole] Malone, 20, now a student at La Salle University in Philadelphia. “She was never really upset about anything; she never had a frown on her face.”

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