East_side_park_turf_reno 6Workers grade soil and lay sod at Red Bank’s East Side Park Monday.

The effort, which included the installation of several inches of clean topsoil, followed reports of soil contaminated with broken glass and other debris having been used at the park and on the football field at Count Basie Fields.

Borough officials say the fields at both locations should be playable within a few weeks. (Photos courtesy of Jim Willis)

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WindyThe wind sends a motorcyclist’s hair flying as she crosses West Front Street in Red Bank on Monday.

Tuesday looks to be a mild, less-windy day than Monday, the National Weather Service forecasts.

The rest of the week, though, may be kind of wet before the sun breaks through again on Saturday, according to the outlook.

Today: Sunny, with a high near 54. North wind between 3 and 11 mph.

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 40. South wind around 7 mph.

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This weekend brings the annual Garden State Film Festival to various points around Asbury Park, and today's oRBit
has the rundown on the movies, the brand-new venues, first-look features and
the special events, including a tribute to occasional Shore resident Johnny Cash
that we'll be examining in detail later this week.

For those of you trying to keep score, no, this isn't the return of either the Red Bank International Film Festival nor the Two River Film Festival, both of which have remained dark-screened in recent months (though we're expecting news on one or both this week).

No, this is the seventh edition of a burgeoning event that this year has a promised appearance by Travolta. Um, again, no, not that one. Joey Travolta, that is,
pictured here.

Anyway, it's all there for you in Red Bank oRBit, with all the bonus features and nonstop commentary you've come to expect.

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Community center72The center is to be housed at the corner of Drs. James Parker Boulevard and Bridge Avenue in a building that was once a bar and more recently served as the Count Basie Learning Center.

Last week, after more than 18 months of discussion, the Red Bank Council unanimously directed the borough attorney to come up with a contract under which the Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County would launch and run a community center on the West Side.

redbankgreen did an email interview with the Robert Taylor, chief professional officer of the Asbury Park-based club, about the project.

Read on to learn what’s in the works.

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The Boss of Bards, that is — poet, critic, translator, essayist,
educator and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, whose international
renown and Shore-guy cred surely make him the Springsteen of verse.

(None of which begins to address that time he guest-starred on The Simpsons.)

Pinsky will be making a Visiting Writers appearance this week at Monmouth
University, and Red Bank oRBit is there to get the scoop. The
Pulitzer-nominated author has a new book forthcoming, and from the preview
he gave us it should be of interest to anyone who’s ever lived (or loved to
spend time) in his hometown of Long Branch.

Read the exclusive interview and get the details on Thursday’s appearance only
— and we mean ONLY — in Red Bank oRBit!

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Police stop72

Unedited entries from the Red Bank Police Department activity log for the week of March 21 to March 27, 2009.

Theft occurring on W Front St on 3/21/2009, Victim reported that stolen from a display case were two sterling boxes, a bracelet, and two broaches. Ptl. John Camarca.

Robbery on White Street on 3/20/2009. Victim reported that upon exiting her car she was pushed from behind and then struck. Personal items were then taken from her purse. Suspects described only as black males wearing black pants, and black hooded sweatshirts. Ptl. Beau Broadley.

Assault occurring on E Front St on 3/22/2009. Victim reported that he was assaulted by 3-5 unknown white males. Ptl. Beau Broadley.

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Naeder, georgeGeorge Naeder outside Starbucks on March 18.

A Red Bank man featured in a redbankgreen article last week about his dog's ability to attract the attention of women was arrested and charged with a sexual offense against a teenage girl, Red Bank police report.

George Naeder Jr., 52, of West Front Street, was arrested last Friday night after a 15-year-old Colts Neck girl told police he had inappropriately touched her while she was holding Naeder's dog, according to department spokesman Capt. Steve McCarthy.

The alleged assault occurred between 8:30 and 9p that night outside the Starbucks on Broad Street, where Naeder's dog, Tiffany, was tied to a lampost, McCarthy says.

The redbankgreen story and photos were published a day earlier after an encounter with Naeder at the same location. He identified himself to us as 'J.R.' Naeder.

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BroadvacanciesMark Ginsberg, below right, will close his Art of Play store on Sunday, adding a vacancy next to the space that was home to the short-lived Nibus clothing store.

After yearning most of last year for foot traffic into his toy and game store, Mark Ginsberg saw evidence of a spending surge as Christmas approached.

Ginsberg, markHe wasn’t fooled. He knew the faces, the tastes and the budgets. These were what in the past might be called “loyal customers,” he says, except for the fact that, eleven months of the year, many of them want nothing to do with the hassle of shopping in downtown Red Bank.

“I have the customer base,” Ginsberg tells redbankgreen. “But after they finished shopping, they’d say, ‘OK, see you next year!'”

Well, Ginsberg can no longer hold on until next year. This weekend, he’s closing his Broad Street shop, Art of Play. And more than anything else, he says parking enforcement is to blame.

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PattiSmithToday’s Red Bank oRBit takes it down to the Asbury Park Boardwalk, where a special
screening of the documentary ‘Dream of Life‘ brings Patti Smith to the stage of the Paramount Theater.

There, the punk poet,
rock icon and subject of the film will be taking questions from the audience. 

Also expected is Steven Sebring, the famed fashion
photographer who directed the project.

Sebring spoke to oRBit on the topic
of Smith, and we’ve got that right here for the price of a single click.

All that, plus the weekend’s music, theater, comedy and more — only in Red Bank oRBit.

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IMG_236072About 150 parents turned out at Red Bank Regional on Thursday night for the second annual 'Surviving the Teen Years' symposium.

Ptl. Peter Gibson, school resource officer, above, was joined by counselors and other law enforcement personnel to talk about the dangers of teens and cars, the Internet, substance abuse and other issues. A simultaneous presentation was held for Spanish-speaking parents, below. (Click to enlarge)
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At Rumson-Fair Haven Regional Thursday night, the student environmental club hosted 'Enviropalooza,' a confab highlighting efforts to reverse the degradation of the planet.

Seniors Melanie Daly and Emily O'Connor displayed their research on horseshoe crabs, above, while juniors Brittany Wheaton and Claudia Rispoli checked out the Waterspirit display. Student artwork made from recycled materials included a gum-wrapper elephant. (Click to enlarge)


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Basie field work72Contractors working on the midfield at Count Basie Fields earlier this week raked out contaminated soil from the same loads used at East Side Park, borough officials confirmed.

Playing fields at Red Bank’s East Side Park, where soil containing shards of glass and other debris was laid down late last year, are scheduled to be resodded tomorrow, borough officials report.

Meantime, some of the same contaminated soil was also used to rehabilitate a portion of the football field at Count Basie Fields, redbankgreen has learned.

Like the field at East Side Park, Count Basie’s has been raked out and will be covered with clean topsoil and fresh sod, says borough Administrator Stanley Sickels.

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River Park (2) Some say the root problem is parking, while others say it’s an imbalance in the store mix in favor of high-end goods and services.

But whatever they identify as the cause of Red Bank’s economic woes, downtown merchants agree that there’s simply not enough foot traffic, even in good economic times, to sustain them.

“Increasing foot traffic is one of the things we hear most about,” says Red Bank RiverCenter executive director Nancy Adams.

Hoping to address the shoeleather deficit, the 18-year-old business promotion organization is hitting the rails. RiverCenter this week unveiled an advertising campaign aimed at selling the town’s cultural variety to potential daytrippers and weekenders who ride New Jersey Transit.

Over monthlong runs in April and September, posters themed “Only One Red Bank” will appear on station platforms along several NJT lines, says Adams.

“Commuters are kind of the demographic we want to reach around the state,” she tells redbankgreen.

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The dean of NJ stage critics — the Star-Ledger’s Peter Filichia — has seen
the future
of regional theater, and her name is Isabel Wallace.


As reported in today’s Red Bank oRBit , the 9-year old fourth-grader from
Little Silver won hurrahs for her performance as the narrator Time in
Melissa Arctic, the musical now playing at Two River Theater (one in which
she alternates appearances with fellow fourth grader Owen Doherty of

Filichia has taken the liberty of mapping out young Ms. Wallace’s career
trajectory — and we’ve got our own take on the show, which you may recall
also co-stars Red Bank Regional senior Phoebe Holiday Ryan in the sort-of
title role.

Elsewhere in today’s oRBit, some other area stages offer up a dose of
musical comedy (The Wedding Singer) and even musical tragedy (Blood
Brothers), just to leave none of life’s bases uncovered — and still leave
you humming the score when it’s over.

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IMG_227872Shane Bruno outside his new shop on West Front Street.

Shane Bruno could use a shave. But give the guy a break.

He’s hunkering down with his girlfriend and partner, Patricia Gilmartin, as they hustle to open their first business together, Old World Shaving Parlor, at 4B West Front Street, Red Bank.

On Wednesday, redbankgreen found Bruno in the half-completed shop, where he built and has started staining three individual chair stalls. When completed, the place will have an early 20th-century air to it, with a hexagonal-tile floor, sepia-toned photos on the walls and bare-bulb Edison lights overhead.

The services, too, will evoke an atmosphere undone by unisex hair salons filled with lucite decor and throbbing music: that of the genteel barber shop, a place for men seeking not manicures and facials but the basics of grooming.

And if all this sounds awfully familiar, it’s the result of an eerie coincidence: the same address was home to Marascio’s Barber Shop through almost the entirety of the 20th century.

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Today’s Red Bank oRBit brings news of a real treat for fans of  Billie Holiday.

Holiday Express/The Shirleys/Springsteen
vocalist Layonne Holmes (right) takes the spotlight at Rumson’s David Burke Fromagerie this Friday night only in a jazz-combo salute to the legendary singer.

Today’s oRBit also spotlights two pairs of comics:

• Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, as they make their sixth trip to Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, a well-planned stop in a
career known for happy accidents and fast thinking.

• And Cheech and Chong, reunited for a big tour that
takes them to Asbury’s Paramount Theatre this weekend — and, from the sound
of things, pleased and proud to be breaking out the same routines that made
weirdly discolored snot shoot out your nose back in 1972.

It’s all in Red Bank oRBit.

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"We did it! We introduced a second consecutive budget lowering taxes. Folks at mtg only wanted to complain about leaf collection. Sigh."

That's from a Twitter post late last night by Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre.

And this is from his blog today:

If you read the papers, you will see that Fair Haven is the only town in the region that has been able to lower taxes two years in a row, despite the fact that we are down over $160,000.00 in state funding over that same period.

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Dostie halloranNeighbors Marc Dostie, left, and Mark Halloran show off some of the debris found in soil laid down recently at East Side Park.

Evidence of glass and ceramic shards in fill dirt installed recently in Red Bank’s East Side Park prompted a call for a criminal investigation at last night’s bimonthly council meeting.

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Students at the Red Bank Primary School getting into the spirit of the day at the unveiling yesterday of new playground equipment. (Click to enlarge. Photos courtesy of Jim Willis)

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DuPontCouncilman Mike DuPont says the finance committee that he heads is still looking for places to cut.

Higher pension costs and an expected increase in tax delinquencies are the main drivers behind a potential increase in Red Bank's local tax rate, borough officials said last night.

They unveiled a 2009-2010 spending plan that would boost the bill on a home assessed at the average $407,000 by $134 for the year, or three-quarters of one percent.

At the same time, they said they're considering steps that could soften the impact on taxpayers, including a one-day-a-week summer furlough for borough employees.

The $19.4 million budget, does not reflect the savings — estimated at $35,000 to $40,000 annually — from layoffs of six part-time employees who will be let go this week, said Councilman Mike DuPont, chairman of the borough's finance committee.

"This is not the final document," said Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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Rb council chambers2The action commences at 7:30p at borough hall.

Red Bank’s proposed spending plan for the coming fiscal year is slated for introduction at tonight’s bimonthly council meeting.

Also on the agenda: approval of a deal to start a community center and a change in off-street parking laws aimed at streamlining rules for businesses when there’s a minor change of occupancy at an address.

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The first weekend of spring 2009 turned out to be a good one for drawing pictures on your friend's jeans, getting the first Italian ice of the season at Strollo's Lighthouse or hauling away on foot what appears to have been the accoutrements of a birthday party, including balloons, a pizza and a bagful of who-knows-what.

We've got pix…

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Rbpd patrol

Crime reports provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of March 13 to March 20. This information appears here unedited.

Theft occurring at Broad St. on 3-14-09. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole her wallet from purse which was located in shopping cart. Contained in wallet were cash, gift cards and ATM card. Ptl. Michael Campanella.

Shoplifting incident occurring on 3-14-09 at E. Newman Springs Rd. Male subject shoplifted a bottle of vodka and left store without paying for same. Ptl. Michael Campanella.

Theft occurring at W. Front St. on 10-15-09. Victim reported that her Verizon Blackberry was stolen while inside the establishment. Ptl. Michael Zadlock.

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Today’s Red Bank oRBit has a look at a couple of hard-touring entities
who’ve habitually made the road their home as they hit the local area this
week on their latest cross-continent jaunts.

Stan Ridgway you probably know as the voice behind enduring new-wave hit “Mexican Radio” and assorted other “alternative” playlist classics; he and
his wife Pietra Wexstun are making some of the best music of their careers
right now, and they’ll be taking a stripped-down “Sandstorm of Song”
selection to the stage of Asbury Park’s Wonder Bar on Wednesday night. We’ve
got a Q&A you won’t see anywhere else.

Named for Thomas Edison’s first-in-the-world movie studio (built right here in
NJ), the Black Maria Film and Video Festival comes for the 18th consecutive
year to Monmouth University for a one night stand that unspools tomorrow.
We’ve got an exclusive preview AND a detailed schedule that you’ll find
nowhere else but…you guessed it, Red Bank oRBit!

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