NEITHER SNOW, NO RAIN, NOR MOLD…

Img_8893Sneak peak at the interior of the Westboro Post Office during renovation work this spring.

Like the check one waits for the mail carrier to deliver, the Westboro Post Office on Shrewsbury Avenue will arrive. Just not quite when expected.

The facility, at the intersection of Oakland Street, is set to reopen tomorrow, four months later than expected. It’s been closed since November 2005, when an employee complained about mold and mildew.

The reopening is sure to be a relief for West Side residents, many of whom who were forced to go out of town or contend with parking issues at the Broad Street post office for their mail needs.

Residents and business owners from Fairview, River Plaza and elsewhere were also frequent users of the storefront facility.

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CAN WE GET A DECAF BON JOVI, PLEASE?

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Pop star Bon Jovi is suing the Ocean County-based maker of an energy drink called Mijovi for trademark infringement, the Asbury Park Press reports today.

The suit against was filed after the singer and Middletown resident previously known as Jonathan Bongiovanni from Sayreville came across the product at Zebu Forno, the Press’ David Willis reports.

From the story:

But after Bon Jovi saw a can of Mijovi for sale in a Red Bank cafe in January, his lawyers sent [Marcos] Carrington, the founder of Manchester-based The Mijovi Co., a letter demanding that he stop using the name Mijovi.

“It is just unfair,” said Carrington, 37, of East Brunswick. “It is unfair because Mijovi has nothing to do with Bon Jovi.”

The name was inspired by his girlfriend, Jovita Saenz, he said.

The suit continued even after Carrington introduced himself and Saenz to Bon Jovi at an unidentified Red Bank restaurant “to try to clear up the matter and explain the company’s origins,” the Press reports.

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BANNON OUT, TYLER IN, ON GOP SLATE

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By LINDA G. RASTELLI

Six weeks after the primary election but well before the real start of this year’s race for Red Bank council, the Republicans have changed their slate.

Leighton Avenue resident John Tyler has replaced Mary Ellen Bannon as one of two party representatives seeking a pair of three-year terms.

Bannon, we hear, stepped down because she’s getting married and the council race was too much additional burden for her to carry. We were unable to locate her for comment.

Tyler and his wife, Krishna, have been in the forefront among West Side residents lobbying for the revocation of Best Liquors’ alcohol distribution license. The store is located two doors down from their home on Leighton Avenue.

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CAN PISCOPO KEEP STRIDE WITH THIS?

Here’s pianist Tony DeSare playing some electrifying stride piano on ‘Fly Me to the Moon‘ during his Jazz Arts Project show earlier this month at the River’s Edge Café.

DeSare, along with Bruce Williams on alto sax, will back Joe Piscopo (yes, you read that correctly; click on his name for more) for his two sets Saturday night at the café, at 35 Broad Street.

A multi-instrumentalist himself, Piscopo includes a straight vocal tribute to Frank Sinatra, not to mention some comedy, in his performances, we’re told.

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SHARMA GOES ON OFFENSE

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By LINDA G. RASTELLI

Feeling intense heat as a result of last week’s bust of an employee for the alleged sale of beer to a minor, Best Liquors owner Sunny Sharma broke his months-long silence this morning to defend the employee and his store.

“I do check IDs,” Sharma told redbankgreen. Referring to a security videotape of the July 10 incident involving 19-year-old customer Javier Lopez-Ruiz, which he did not show us, Sharma said, “You can see on the camera that he had a Mexican consul ID, issued by the Mexican embassy. He showed legal ID.”

That’s not what the police report says. Lopez-Ruiz (who police Capt. Steve McCarthy says is a Middletown resident, not a Red Bank one, as previously reported) was arrested, and Best Liquors clerk Balvinder Singh was issued a warrant for selling Lopez-Ruiz a 12-pack of Modelo Especial beer without asking for any proof of age.

The police report said Lopez-Ruiz had no ID in his wallet when he was stopped on his bicycle or on his person when he was searched later. (Download supplemental_charges_and_specifications_71207_with_exhibits_redacted.pdf)

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WHAT’S HAPPENING LAST WEEK AND NEXT

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The upside, from the glass-is-half-full perspective, is that the new Red Bank Parks & Rec summer guide just now hitting mailboxes contains plenty of listings for events that haven’t happened yet.

We’re talking a full roster of concerts and movies in Riverside Gardens Park, a car show, StreetLife and theater performances.

Cynics, though, might immediately notice that the summer’s half over, and a number of the events listed in the guide are already history.

Among them: the KaBoom Fireworks of July 3, and an appearance at Songwriters in the Park by the artist featured on the program’s cover, Ari Heist. He played last Friday.

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MINGLING AMID THE BLING

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Taking a lesson from art gallery openings, a Broad Street jewelry store is planning to bring a party atmosphere to nighttime shopping this summer with the addition of in-store live music, food and special events.

Hamilton Jewelers is hosting a series of Thursday-night events over the next four weeks with focus on wine, cognac and fine fashion. Two of them, including this week’s, are open to the public; the others are invite-only.

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TARVER BIDS ADIEU TO RED BANK, IN SONG

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After 31 years in Red Bank, entrepreneur, education activist and occasional singer W. David Tarver is leaving town. And he’s going out in style.

Tarver tells redbankgreen that he and his wife, Kishna, are packing up their house at the Bluffs on West Front Street for a move to Birmingham, Michigan next month.

The time and circumstances are right, he says. His daughter, Stacy, just graduated from New York University. His son, Aaron, graduated from Red Bank Regional last month and will be heading to college at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Tarver’s brother and 85-year-old mother live near the Detroit suburb.

But before he leaves, Tarver has a couple of pieces of musical business to attend to.

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NEXT STOP FOR SUNNY: TRENTON

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The front in the battle between the Borough of Red Bank and Best Liquors shifts to Trenton later this month, when the state Alcoholic Beverage Control division will decide “whether there is an overriding public interest” in immediately terminating the store’s liquor license, according to a notice sent to lawyers for each side yesterday.Download 71607_abc_order_scheduling_hearing.pdf

The hearing is scheduled for 10a July 25 at the office of the ABC director. The burden of proof is on the borough, a deputy state attorney general wrote in the notice.

Meantime, store employee Balvinder Singh is due in Red Bank Municipal Court on July 19 to answer a summons for selling beer to a 19-year-old on July 10. The store was under surveillance at the time. Download supplemental_charges_and_specifications_71207_with_exhibits_redacted.pdf

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ZIPPRICH LANDS NATIONAL ENDORSEMENT

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The race is on.

The first press release (that we know of, at least) in this year’s race for Red Bank council has Democrat Ed Zipprich landing the endorsement of Democracy for America, a Burlington, Vt.-based political action committee founded by former Vermont governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean. (Download zipprich_dfa_endorsement.doc)

Zipprich is seeking the one-year unexpired term created with the resignation in January of Kaye Ernst, and will line up againts seat holder Grace Cangemi.

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ANOTHER BUST IMPERILS BEST LEGAL CASE

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You’d think, as one wag at Borough Hall puts it, that anybody who works at Best Liquors “would be carding his own grandmother” these days, with the store’s license revocation up on appeal before the state Alcoholic Beverage Control division.

But just two weeks after the Borough Council unanimously voted to yank its license, Best is in trouble anew for exactly the kind of alleged practices that have landed it in its present legal jeopardy.

On Tuesday night, Red Bank police arrested a 19-year-old borough man “as he had just purchased alcohol” at the Leighton Avenue establishment, according to a statement issued by Capt. Stephen McCarthy. Police also cited store employee Balvinder Singh for making the sale. Both men are due in municipal court July 19.

The episode has prompted borough officials to move for an immediate end to liquor sales at the store.

“Simply put, this licensee cannot be trusted to run its business in accordance with the law,” borough attorney Tom Hall said in legal papers filed with the ABC yesterday.

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LESSONS LEARNED, HE’S BACK IN THE GAME

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Andrew Gennusa was just 21 years old when he and his brother, Jason, founded Manhattan Bagel Co. with a single store in in a Middlesex County strip mall.

It turned out to be a the start of a heady ride. The company went public and saw its stock soar as the business grew to a chain of nearly 400 stores, most of them franchises.

The flame-out was nearly as spectacular. A decade into its run came millions of dollars in losses, a called bank loan, bankruptcy and a sale to new owners.

Two years later, the Gennusas were out, and the company they founded sailed on to become part of a food company that last year did $390 million in sales.

But Andew Gennusa has come back, too, only much more quietly. In 2001, he and his brother became partners with Basil T Leaf’s Victor Rallo Sr. (now deceased) and Victor Rallo Jr. in a tiny shop on Bridge Avenue called Zebu Coffee, named for a hump-backed ox.

Today, the business is called Zebu Forno, and it’s no longer just a coffee shop. And having bought out his partners, 41-year-old Andrew Gennusa is ready for a return to the… well, not exactly the big time, but something bigger than what he’s got, and yet smaller than what he once had.

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TANKER AGROUND OFF SANDY HOOK

The Associated Press is reporting that an oil tanker has run aground off Sandy Hook, but so far no sign of leakage has been seen.

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The Star-Ledger has an item on this.

The vessel is said to be carrying more than 450,000 barrels, and stuck between Sandy Hook and Coney Island.

No injuries have been reported.

From the AP story:

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WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

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The seemingly unstoppable Colmorgen kids — siblings Bob, Carl and Kathy Lou — triple-teamed the latest ‘Where.’

This is one avid trio. Now we hear that even young Mother Colmorgen has caught ‘Where’ fever from her children, none of whom is under age 60.

In conversation, a couple of readers told us they didn’t bother sending in answers because they figured it was so “obvious” that the picture was taken on Broad Street that we’d be swamped.

Well, the building is on East Front Street, not Broad, and we weren’t exactly swamped. Those may be related facts.

To be more specific, its a closeup of the cornice atop 23 East Front.

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BAUER LEAVES STATE GIG FOR PRIVATE ONE

Virginia Bauer, who rallied Congresss to enact tax breaks for families of Sept. 11, 2001 victims after her husband died in the attack, is leaving her post as state Commerce secretary to take a job with the real estate firm Mack-Cali Realty, according to today’s Star-Ledger.

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The Red Bank resident, then living in Rumson, came into the public eye in the weeks immediately following the attacks. Nearly two years later, she was picked by then-Gov. Jim McGreevey to head the state lottery.

A year ago, she moved to the Commerce, Economic Growth and Tourism Commission at Gov. Jon Corzine’s request. Three months ago, she was tapped by Corzine to become a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. She joined the port’s board just last month.

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FLIP-FLOP ON BRICK?

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Two months after it shot down a request by some business owners to preserve brick sidewalks in the downtown district, Fair Haven’s Borough Council is now determined to replace a stretch of faux-brick pavers in front of nearby Memorial Park with real brick.

A flip-flop? No, says Mayor Mike Halfacre. Even though the sidewalk in question abuts concrete walkways within the park itself, and the new scored-concrete walkway of the business district is just yards away, this patch of earth is deserving of brick, he says.

“This is a park, not a commercial district,” one that is home to memorials to war veterans and victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, Halfacre says. “There’s certainly more incentive to accomodate people’s desires with a park.”

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SEXUAL ASSAULT IN PARKING LOT REPORTED

A 21-year-old Howell woman was sexually assaulted in the municipal parking lot between Wallace and Mechanic streets early Sunday morning, the Asbury Park Press reports today.

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The attack occurred shortly before 1:30a as the woman and a friend were approaching the victim’s car, the Press says, citing Capt. Steve McCarthy as the source.

From the story:

As the victim opened her car door and tried to get inside, the man grabbed her around the waist, the captain said.

She sat down in her car and began to kick him, police said.

The man then assaulted her, McCarthy said.

She continued to kick him, and he ran away, toward backyards on Mechanic and Mount streets.

Her friend called police. The incident was over within minutes, police said.

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WEST SIDER INTERRUPTS BLACK-BAG JOB

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A Tinton Falls man is in the county lockup following an incident in which he was caught carrying black trash bags full of loot from an unoccupied West Westside Avenue house last Friday night, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Sixty-one-year-old Rufus Monroe Jr. was spotted by a neighbor leaving the back yard of the property at about 10:50p with the bags, the Press reports. The neighbor, who was not identified, called after Monroe to stop, and when he didn’t, gave chase.

The samaritan apparently had a cell phone with him, because the newspaper says he called police to tell them what was happening.

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DON’T HONK IF YOU LIKE THIS ONE

Having adopted a measure to cut back on nightlife noise from restaurants and bars in the business district, the Red Bank Council last night turned its attention to a quality-of-lifer in residential areas: late-night car honking.

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The problem, given the tenor of the comments by councilmembers, appears to be largely, but not exclusively, one of taxis — both legit and gypsy — blaring horns for fares.

“It’s been increasing, especially in West Side neighborhoods — taxicab companies waking up everybody at all hours of the night,” said Mayor Pasquale Menna. “People have a right to expect quiet in their homes at night.”

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HALF A LOAF FOR EACH SIDE IN SUPER SPAT

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Middletown schools chief David L. Witmer should be docked six months pay instead of being fired for padding his expenses and misleading the school board, an administrative law judge ruled yesterday in a recommendation to the state Education Commissioner.

According to the Star-Ledger, both sides claimed the ruling by Administrative Law Judge Joseph Martone dealt them partial victories, but each will file objections to the decision.

From the Ledger:

The judge found that Witmer indeed attempted to obtain unauthorized benefits, violating the terms of his contract. Witmer lied to the board on one occasion, he ruled.

But that did not justify his removal as superintendent, the judge said.

“His conduct and actions do amount to an attempt to obtain something of value to which he was not entitled,” Martone wrote. “(But they) do not establish Dr. Witmer’s unfitness to discharge the duties and functions of his office.”

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