RED BANK MAN DIES IN MOTORCYLE CRASH

AversanoJoseph Aversano with his prized Ford, which he dubbed the Broad Street Bomber.

A 26-year-old Red Bank man died Friday when he lost control of his motorcycle and collided with a truck on the Long Island Expressway.

Joseph Aversano worked in the securities industry in Manhattan and was passionate about motor sports. A friend, Jessica Paviluk, tells us he was also devoted to Red Bank, his home for the past three years. He’d recently had a Ford Model A he owned rebuilt, and he named it the ‘Broad Street Bomber.’

“After a year of waiting for this thing to be rebuilt, he had been cruising around Red Bank the past couple of weeks,” Paviluk tells us.

The car was rebuilt by Mel Stultz of Neptune, a well-known restorer of classic wheels. The photo above was taken the day Aversano got the car back from the shop, Paviluk says.

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TRT: ANSORGE WINS ON APPEAL

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The Two River Times reports this week that publisher and advertising executive Claudia Ansorge has won a reversal of her DWI conviction.

Superior Court Judge Paul Chaiet, sitting in Freehold, ruled from the bench on Wednesday that the state had not made its case beyond a reasonable doubt when Red Bank Court Judge William Himelman found Ansorge guilty of driving while intoxicated in an April, 2006 accident that resulted in the death of a Riverview Medical Center employee.

From the report, by the TRT’s John Burton:

“You can’t find her guilty simply because there was an accident,” Chaiet said. Given the evidence, including a review of the videotaped interview of Ansorge taken that night [by police], “This court cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt she violated the statute,” concerning drunk driving, Chaiet ruled.

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ECHOES OF THE PAST ON THE WALL AT ECHO

West_front_streetTravis Radcliffe’s ‘Monmouth Street,’ one of 18 of his pieces on display at Echo through the end of the month.

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One glance at the above painting, and we were transported back to the lonely world of Edward Hopper. There’s an echo of Hopper’s Early Sunday Morning, isn’t there? And not just in subject matter.

“Hopper is a very big influence,” says painter Travis Radcliffe. In his own work, “there are a lot of pieces that are kind of peering into the subject’s mind while they’re in a contemplative state.”

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NEW BRIDGE: WIDER, HIGHER AND PAID FOR

Rb_sideMiddletown_sideHubbard_planThe leading candidate for a replacement bridge — seen above in red — could be built with minimal shutdowns of the existing structure, proponents say. Top left, a rendering of the bridge with a pocket park on the Red Bank end, next to Red Bank Marina. Top right, a view from Middletown. (Click images to enlarge.)

A new West Front Street bridge over the Swimming River could be built while the existing temporary structure, erected in 2004, remains open, Monmouth County officials told a gathering of area residents at the Red Bank Senior Citizen’s Center last night.

Dressed up with stylized lamps and other touches to resemble the nearby Cooper Bridge, the gently curving new Hubbards Bridge would be 220 feet longer than the existing one, they said. With 10 feet of clearance above the water at high tide, it would also be 1.5 feet higher above the navigation channel, giving small-craft boaters some extra headroom as they come and go, they said.

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RED BANK SHOWS ITS RACING RED

Racingferrarif430Here they come, parking guaranteed: some six dozen Ferraris are due to assemble on Broad Street Sunday as part of a private event hosted by Hamilton Jewelers.

By TOM CHESEK

It’s a delicate dance, this business of securing a primo parking space on the busiest blocks of downtown Red Bank. And at some point, chances are good it’s had you seeing red.

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Make that Italian racing red — the primary color on display around the borough business district this Sunday afternoon, as upwards of 75 — that’s right, seventy-five — Ferrari “supercars” are scheduled to take part in an event the likes of which have never before been seen, even here in ever-upmarket Monmouth County.

With a 2008 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti retailing for as much as $312,000, the “Raduno D’Eleganza” rally puts tens of millions of dollars’ worth of extreme high-end Continental carcraft — all of it sporting the legendary marque’s distinctive “Cavallino Rampante” stallion insignia — out for display along Broad and Monmouth streets.

It’s a sight guaranteed to make your Caddy Escalade look like the overweight Chevy Tahoe you always kind of suspected it was.

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WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

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The stone lion with the wagging tongue of last week (you didn’t see it wag? Look again) turned out to be a bit of stumper.

Taking “a wild guess,” Beth Gilmartin wrote in that it was from the Courts of Red Bank office complex on Maple Avenue. Sandra Talarico thought it might be… well, here’s her email:

There are at least 2 houses on Seven Bridges Rd in Little Silver
with a pair of lions out front. One house is at the bottom of
Silverside Ave (riverside bottom). The other is further north on
Seven Bridges on the west side of the street.
Is it either of these?

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BASIE CAN HAVE A LOT, IF IT WANTS IT

Basie_facadeImg_0470The facade of the small building next door to the theater was the last piece to go; now there’s just a hole in the ground. (Facade photo courtesy of Wendy Spencer)

A small, ivy-swaddled office building that stood next door to the Count Basie Theatre was demolished last week. In its place will rise… well, nobody knows yet, apparently.

Near-term, the lot at 95 Monmouth Street will be used as a staging area for construction equipment and materials during a planned four-month interior renovation of the theater, scheduled to begin June 30. After that, the lot is likely to remain empty for at least the next three years.

Basie CEO Numa Saisselin tells redbankgreen that’s how long the theater has to decide if it wants, and can afford, to acquire the lot from a group of angels who bought it simply to keep anyone other than the Basie owning it.

According to Saisselin, “four or five” members of the board of the Count Basie Foundation got together and bought the site for $2.1 million.

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GOOCH TAKES AIM AT EX-COLLEAGUE

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Rumson billionaire Mickey Gooch and his partners are suing a former employee of their Wall Street brokerage for allegedly poaching 22 staffers while still at the firm, the Asbury Park Press reports.

In their suit against Donald Fewer of Colts Neck, Gooch and his partners claim damages of $220 million as a result of a drop in the price of GFI Group shares when news of the mass exodus hit the street.

From the Press:

The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court in Monmouth County, said Fewer joined GFI as head of the credit derivatives trading desk in 1996 and was made a senior managing director in 2000, entitling him to millions worth of stock options.

But in January 2005, after GFI went public, the company named another partner, Colin Heffron, president, and Fewer became resentful, the lawsuit contends.

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A MUST-SEE THURSDAY IN RED BANK

Jimmy_vivino2Jimmy Vivino appears in Red Bank Thursday night.

By TOM CHESEK

Guitarslinger extraordinaire Jimmy Vivino can appear to be everywhere at once.

You know him from his standing… er, sitting… gig with The Max Weinberg 7 on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. But he also he maintains membership in combos ranging from the Vivino Brothers (alongside sibling saxman and fellow Weinberger Jerry Vivino), Al Kooper’s ReKooperators, the 60s trib trio Prisoners of 2nd Avenue, and nearly a dozen other one-offs, side projects and happy accidents.

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And oh yeah, he’s also a charter member of those world-class WannaBeatles, The Fab Faux — with whom he’ll be performing in the all-star band’s annual fundraiser at the Count Basie Theatre on June 28.

Tomorrow night, the Jersey-bred guitar guy goes straight from his Conan taping to a special appearance at the Downtown nightclub in Red Bank.

But why does Vivino continue to play these little jam gigs in little bars, staying up til the wee small hours and making wee small money, when he’s one of the most in-demand session and touring musicians in the observable universe?

Alas, the oRBit desk was unable to track Vivino down for this story. But musicians who know him say Vivino’s got that just-tell-me-where-to-be attitude about playing — and the snugger the room, the better.

“It’s my understanding that Jimmy still loves playing the smaller, more intimate venues,” says Chris Masi, music booker for the Downtown.

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SUMMER SOUNDS, IN THE LAND OF THE FREE

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By TOM CHESEK

Picture this: a summer event with your choice of first-come/first-served seating. No parking lot shuttle queues or “parent daycare” zones. No turnstile patdowns. No confiscated cameras, water bottles, umbrellas or Pringles packs. And best of all, no platinum-club pricing levels or service charges. It’s all FREE, so you low-budget Lotharios and daddy-track Don Juans can do your cheap-night-out thing.

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The fact that the talent on display would not be out of place at your local wings-and-brewskis watering hole, your cousin’s wedding — or, in at least one case, your grandparents’ first date — is immaterial. It’s Free Concert Season here in the greater Red Bank oRBit, and the keynote sounds of summer are wafting forth from our bucolic parks and seabreeze-kissed beaches to some of the region’s loveliest parking lots. This means that our local municipal governments, the people who normally incur your wrath for not filling in potholes on Waverly Place, are now endeavoring to fill your warm-weather evenings with music.

The slate of sights and sounds at Riverside Gardens Park previews on KaBoom night with a performance by Tim McLoone and kicks off in earnest on July 8 with the first in a series of free late-model movies (the Comcast Jazz in the Park and Songwriters Showcase offerings start up soon thereafter).

In the meantime, there’s plenty of free music in the days to come, at locations orbiting the Jersey Shore’s favorite beach-free destination — so grab the freshly-webbed lawn chairs and the broken-in blankets; enjoy the complimentary sunsets and the prime people-watching opportunities.

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POWER FAILS DURING OUTAGE DISCUSSION

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By SUE MORGAN

An official of Jersey Central Power & Light came to Fair Haven’s borough council meeting last night to explain why the power keeps going off when — you guessed it — the power went off. Twice.

Then, about halfway through a grilling of JCP&L area manager Jim Markey by Fair Haven officials came word that a thunderstorm had also knocked out power at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, leaving about 600 people attending an awards ceremony in the auditorium in darkness.

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SLEDGER: TRTC’S WEAVER IS BEST, TWICE

Murder_mystery_marriage_225The cast of Mark Twain’s A Murder, A Mystery and a Marriage, with Erin Weaver at right.

Star-Ledger theater critic Peter Filichia, working up a Jersey version of the Tony awards, considers Erin Weaver of the Two River Theater Company this season’s best musical actress.

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In fact, though he gave no awards to the TRT’s highly praised and commercially successful production of Macbeth, Filichia was full of encomiums for the Red Bank theater, giving it a “regional theater award” and handing out gold to its artistic director, a lighting expert, and the full cast of one production.

Weaver was called out twice, once as Best Leading Musical Actress for her role in Mark Twain’s A Murder, A Mystery, and A Marriage, which was directed and co-written by her fiancé, TRTC artistic director Aaron Posner, and once for her role as Emily in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, also directed by Posner.

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UNDICI IN NYT: ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 10…

Redbankgreen_screenThe name is Italian for ‘eleven,’ as in 11 West River Road, Rumson.

The Jersey section of yesterday’s New York Times dropped in at Undici in Rumson and came away favorably impressed by the new Tuscan-themed eatery.

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Actually, reviewer David Corcoran writes that Victor Rallo’s new eatery (he also owns Basil T’s Brewery and Italian Grill in Red Bank) “made us melt.”

In a laudatory piece with a few notes of hesistation, Corcoran says chef Giovanni Atzori, a 45-year-old native of Rome,

delivers solid, straight-ahead, high-priced favorites that don’t break any molds but do go down nicely with the atmosphere

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NEW RECORD FOR SHEEHAN: DONE BY 10:25A

Img_0460Hinck_philThe last pieces of the race timing equipment being dismantled at 10:15a; race director Phil Hinck, right.

It may not be entirely disruption-free.

There was, for example, the matter of the woman in labor attempting to reach Riverview Medical Center by car as a throng of runners crossed West Front Street enroute to a post-race party down at Marine Park.

But the George Sheehan Classic road race has got to score well for event efficiency.

At 10:15 Saturday morning, less than two hours after the five-mile race went off, Mike Tierney at No Joe’s was experiencing his busiest day of the year, and every sidewalk table at the River’s Edge Cafe was also taken, mostly by people in running clothes.

The streets themselves, though, were free of runners and walkers, except for Phil Hinck and members of his crew. Hinck was in the middle of Broad Street near Wallace Street overseeing the last few items on his post-race to-do list.

“Looks like we’re going to beat our record,” he told redbankgreen.

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HUBBARD’S BRIDGE ON THE DOCKET

Cimg6909The temporary deck of the bridge was erected in 2004.

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Four years after its deck was replaced with a temporary metal structure, the West Front Street Bridge is again facing shutdown — this time so a permanent replacement can be built.

The Monmouth County Engineering Department, headed by Joe Ettore, has scheduled two public information meetings this week to discuss “the improvement alternatives” of the bridge, also known as Hubbard’s Bridge, which links Red Bank to the River Plaza section of Middletown. It crosses the headwaters of the Navesink River where it is fed by the Swimming River.

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YEAH, BUT WILL THE LIGHTS BE ON?

From Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre’s blog, re tonight’s borough council meeting:

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JCP&L will be at our meeting Monday.

They are going to attempt a dog and pony show about heat waves and trees hanging over wires. It ought to be pretty entertaining.

Please come out to comment and express your feelings abouyt the reliability of their service.

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COPS: SUSPECT’S BROTHER HAD HAND IN IT

Img_9556The scene on Route 36 in Eatontown, where police from Red Bank and other towns apprehended a motorist in connection with a bank robbery in Middletown.

Authorities have now arrested the brother of an Eatontown man already in custody on suspicion they were both involved in the June 4 robbery of a Bank of America branch in Middletown, the Asbury Park Press reported Friday.

Christopher A. Greenfield, 43, of Eatontown, was charged with robbery, theft and conspiracy to commit robbery on Thursday, prosecutors said.

Police had stopped him within an hour of the robbery, but it took another eight days to build the case against him, police said.

The arrest came five days after his brother, Glen Greenfield, 45, was arrested in Long Pond, Pa., where authorities said he fled after the robbery.

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BLOTTER REPORT

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Entries in the Red Bank police log from June 6 to June 13. Items are unedited.

Theft occurring on 6-6-08 at Maple Ave.—parking lot. Victim reported a smashed car window and GPS unit was stolen. Ptl. Paul Perez.

Theft occurring on 6-6-08 at Leighton Ave. Victim reported that unknown person(s) removed 40 white aluminum gutters, 12 ft. in length from back yard where they were stored. Ptl. Jorge Torres.

Criminal Mischief occurring between 6-1-08 and 6-10-08 at Monmouth St. Victim reported that unknown subjects deployed graffiti on building. Ptl. Beau Broadley.

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NOT FADING AWAY, JUST RADIATING

Band_photo_5The 2008 edition of Blondie celebrates the 30th anniversary of its classic album Parallel Lines Tuesday at the Count Basie.

By TOM CHESEK

Blondie, one of the best live acts ever? Come again?

This is a group of people, after all, who share little common ancestry with the great jam bands or the guitar-god gorgonzolas of the monster tour era. Great live bands aren’t supposed to come riding in on a setful of pop-chart singles. They’re not supposed to dole out the ‘tude like they work in some overpriced restaurant, and they’re certainly not supposed to mess with our expectations — not if they plan on being able to play the lucrative corporate-party circuit.

Blondie — these days, the core of Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke, plus a rookie outfield of hungry young contenders — bring all this to the table, and then some. They bring the hits, each of them revved up just a pitch-shift past the way it sounded on CD. They bring Chris and Debbie’s cooler, crueler tweak on the Captain and Tennille dynamic. And they bring their perennial secret weapon in drummer Burke, a professor in controlled chaos who, in songs like “Dreaming,” weds the punk-smash ethic of Keith Moon with the wall-of-sound wonder that students of early-60s radio hits have tried to bottle for eons.

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They also bring a surprising bag of tricks that allows them to pepper their hit parade with left-field covers from the likes of Roxy Music, the Ramones and the Rolling Stones — keeping you off balance while they triangulate in for the kill. If they were “artists,” you’d say they were challenging you. If they were Springsteen, you’d be texting the set list to your brother-in-law.

Well they’re not Springsteen, but long before Harry set up house on a relatively quiet spread just seconds beyond the borders of Red Bank, this most successful of CBGB’s fabled Class of ’77 were hardly Shore-shy — by some accounts, the band even visited the Stone Pony as early as late 1975/early 1976. And when they take the stage of the Count Basie Theatre Tuesday night, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers will be marking a milestone from their own platinum-plated history, while staking out their own piece of Basie history on the eve of an extended home-improvement hiatus.

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SATIRE + NERVE = NEWTON’S LAW AT R-FH

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Were they cut from a lesser bolt of corduroy, we might expect some snarkasm about this article from the four young men behind the Errant Notice, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High‘s totally, totally unauthorized student newspaper.

For starters, they might wonder why it took redbankgreen so long to get around writing this piddling, insight-free feature about them, given that they’d granted us an interview back when the picture above was taken —?? in freakin’ January.

But we’re confident that they’ll utter no such digs—?? not in print, at least. Why? Well, for one thing, they’re all graduating next week and are no longer making monthly runs to Kinko’s, where they mass-produced their four-page broadsides.

More importantly, while the self-styled ‘Ernie Newtons’ behind this year’s volume of the Errant Notice may be clever and cutting and seemingly wired to mock, they are also gentlemen. In fact, they showed us a most civilized time back when they invited us into their swamp. Only they hadn’t told us it would be a swamp.

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ANOTHER FAST FINISH FOR SHEEHAN RACE?

Numbers2_3Some of the torsos seen at the finish line in 2006.

For the 15th time since it was moved from Asbury Park, shortened to a five-miler and re-christened, the George Sheehan Classic is set to take over Red Bank’s downtown for a couple of hours tomorrow.

Literally, a couple.

If the pattern of the recent past holds, all evidence of the 8:30a main race will have been cleared from Broad Street before most retailers have cracked the lids of their morning lattes.

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MARTHA STEWART.. AND BOBBY FLAY!

Bob_sickles_2Bob Sickles

Bob Sickles and some of his employees from Sickles Farm Market found themselves on a television sound stage in the Chelsea section of Manhattan a couple of months back when who should walk in but Martha Stewart.

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Before they’re sellers, Sickles and his crew are buyers — both of food and garden products, the store’s two lines of business. And when the producers of “The Next Food Network Star,” a reality show, went looking for people who apprise and buy food products wholesale, they invited the Sickles team in to join colleagues from Balducci’s, Whole Foods and others on the show.

Their role? To do what they do at trade shows and on the loading docks of their businesses: hear pitches from sellers of new food products, taste the goods, ask questions and give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

Superstar chef Bobby Flay is the show’s host, and on this episode, the contestant had to come up with a product using a simple russett potato.

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MAN FACES DWI CHARGES IN FAIR HAVEN

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Today’s Asbury Park Press has details about that motorist Mayor Mike Halfacre wrote about on his blog yesterday, the guy who is alleged to have nearly struck emergency workers at the scene of downed wires.

Charles Hermansen II, 46, was charged with drunken driving, assault by auto,
aggravated assault, eluding a police officer, and driving with his license revoked,
police Lt. Joseph P. McGovern said. He was released Thursday after posting $7,500 bail, police said.

Police said Hermansen bypassed barricades that had been set up to keep traffic away from some downed power lines near River and Hance roads. When he was initially stopped by a firefighter and a JCP&L employee, they suspected he was drunk and ordered him to shut off his car ignition, McGovern said.

Instead, police said, he gunned the car and drove down Hance Road where he narrowly missed a patrol car operated by Patrolman Jeff Jarvis.

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