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FROM WEB TO W. FRONT & NOW, MONMOUTH

Dana ujobagyDana Ujobagy, owner of Paw Palace, plans to relocate her shop to Monmouth Street in June.

One of downtown Red Bank’s premier addresses is going to the dogs.

Dana Ujobagy (pronounced ‘you-ja-bayj’), owner of the Paw Palace luxury dog boutique on West Front Street, plans to move her shop and a year-old dog grooming business to 16 Monmouth Street, an ample space that most recently served as home to the Asher Neiman Gallery and, for 24 years before that, Charlotte Scherer‘s Art Forms gallery.

For Monmouth Street, the move represents a potential kick in the
tail after several high-profile tenant departures, including those of Asher Neiman, Red Bank News and Fameabilia. Throughout the business district, some 40 stores were vacant in a recent count by Red Bank RiverCenter.

But for Ujobagy, the move is the latest in a rapid-fire series of expansions in which the former office worker, with no experience in either the Internet or retailing, built a nationally recognized web retailer of dog goodies, bootstrapped it into a thriving bricks-and-mortar store, and last year added a grooming component.

“I’ve always had a vision of where I wanted to take the business,” the 35-year-old Union Beach resident tells redbankgreen.

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WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

Where_04.29.09_IR


Last week, we probably got too obscure for our own good.

Hey, it happens when you're trying to strike a balance between the overly obvious and the impossible-to-identify each week. Every once in a while, you tilt too much in one direction.

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IN oRBit: PINK IS IN, AND ‘BIFF IS BACK

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Pretty in pinkTwo days ago on redbankgreen, we gave you a “you Are there” early morning perspective on
the painting of a pink line down the middle of Broad Street.

The
occasion, of course, was the anticipated start of the third annual Paint the Town Pink promotion. Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit has the rundown on all of the “Pink
Bank” activities in store over the next week, all of them here in town and
all dedicated to early detection and awareness of breast cancer.

With a big
benefit concert, merchant tie-ins, cocktail parties and even a free
screening of Pretty in Pink, there’s enough going on to strike you
positively fuschia.

Also today, another reminder — we simply can’t deal out enough of them —
about the Red Bank International Film Festival program, going on Sunday at
Monmouth University.

Our coverage of the ‘BIFF continues with a look at Red
Bank filmmaker Steve Rogers, and the first in this “driven” director’s
ambitious series of portraits of favorite Jersey towns.

Just follow the line, from here into oRBit.

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RIVER DREDGE FUNDING APPROVED

Oceanic bridgeThe Oceanic Bridge, as seen from the Rumson side.

The Army Corps of Engineers will spend $2.55 million on dredging to improve boat traffic and safety on the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers, the agency announced yesterday.

The funding will come from $4.6 billion in federal funds earmarked for civil works projects under the economic stimulus package signed into law by President Barack Obama in February.

Some $86 million of the $4.6 billion is coming to New Jersey, according to the Corps' list of ready-to-go projects receiving stimulus money.

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PHS PLANS STIRS NEIGHBORS’ RESISTANCE

Atrium riverviewThe extra floors would be tacked onto an addition already approved for the lot between the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, center, and Riverview Towers, right. The lot at left foreground would provide parking for the Atrium.

The six-story six-story addition-to-the addition that PHS Senior Living wants to put on the Atrium at Navesink Harbor in Red Bank isn’t sitting well next door.

Some 50 residents of the luxury Riverside Towers met Monday night to discuss the proposal, and the message was clear, according to board treasurer Fred Gregson: Not in our side yard.

Citing concerns about blocked views, shadows, traffic and the possibility of more high-rises being built nearby on the site of Shrewsbury Manor apartments, residents appeared unanimous in opposing the PHS plan, Gregson tells redbankgreen.

“I don’t see the upside for anybody here, frankly,” he says.

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BOROUGH BUDGET ENACTED

Taxes
Red Bank’s municipal budget for the coming fiscal year sailed to approval Monday night despite the misgivings of several residents.

Kim Senkeleski of John Street questioned increases in salary and health insurance costs. Harrison Avenue’s Jim Willis bemoaned the “increasing cynicism” he said
he detects among his East Side neighbors about local government. And Stephen Hecht of Branch Avenue took aim at tax-appeal settlements, which he suggested were eroding collections.

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In oRBit: ‘NEWGRASS,’ BLUES & JAZZ

Noworbiting_iconRichardMorrisMandolin player and (Rumson-Fair Haven grad) Richard Morris can claim no credit for arranging this Saturday’s appearance of the M Shanghai String Band in Atlantic Highlands, though he’s a member of the Brooklyn-based urban-bluegrass band and a resident of neighboring Highlands.

But Red Bank oRBit‘s interview with Morris in today’s edition does give us entree to the both the wonders of M Shanghai, a shambling dozen or so musicians who found their home in a Chinese restaurant. It’s also an opportunity to highlight the healthy bluegrass community in the greater Red Bank area — and the key role in it played by one of Little Silver’s most
historic locales

From newgrass to old blues, we take it down to the Wonder Bar in Asbury
Park, where the club is hosting a two-night tribute to the late and lamented
Jason’s jazz and blues club in the former South Belmar (now Lake Como).

Among the veteran
blues-hounds on tap are some familiar Red Bank names, including Chuck Lambert, Sonny Kenn — and Phoebe Holiday Ryan, the RBR senior last seen on
our site in Two River Theater’s Melissa Arctic.

Your neighbors are up to some tuneful stuff, today and always in Red Bank oRBit.

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POLICE ACTIVITY LOG

Call in the authoritiesCrime reports provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of April 17 to April 24, 2009. This information appears here unedited.

Auto theft occurring at Broad St. on 4-18-09. Victim reported that his parked vehicle was stolen. Description: 2001 Honda Civic 4-door black. Wallet containing cash and credit card was left inside of vehicle. Ptl. John Camarca.

Burglary occurring at Shrewsbury Ave. residence on 4-19-09. Victim reported that cash was stolen from his wallet which was in a suitcase located in his bedroom. Ptl. Robert Campanella.

Criminal Mischief occurring at E. Front St. residence on 4-21-09. Victim reported that unknown subject(s) broke a window. Ptl. Dawn Shields.

Theft occurring between 4-19-09 and 4-16-09 at West Bergen Place. Victim reported that unknown person stole a Black and Decker push style lawn mower from the rear yard. Ptl. Thomas Doremus.

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AFTER DETOUR, C3 WINS RED BANK WEB JOB

FH website c3Fair Haven residents can sign up for alerts about emergencies as well as ordinary community events, features that will also be incorporated into Red Bank’s website, officials say.

A North Jersey web design firm won approval Monday night to build an Internet site to replace Red Bank’s official government portal.

After a request for proposals drew only two vendor responses, the borough council last night awarded the gig to C3 Citizen Communication Center of Nutley, which has created similar sites for Fair Haven and Middletown, among other municipalities.

Red Bank’s new site, which officials said could be up and running in a matter
of weeks, will replace the existing site while adding new features, says Councilwoman Kathleen Horgan, who led the vendor search.

“We don’t want to keep our old site,” she says. “That’s the whole problem.”

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BOATING OUTLOOK: SEMI-BOUYANT

Video documentarian Bill Day is back with another short, this time focusing on the impact of the recession on boaters and the vendors who depend on them in Red Bank.

Among the locals interviewed are John Matteo and Chann Irwin of Irwin Marine, which is hosting a boat show this weekend.

Day, a borough resident, also shot the video we ran back in early March about an appearance at a Middletown liquor store by John 'Cha Cha' Ciarcia, an actor from 'The Sopranos.'

You can see more of Day's work at his YouTube channel.

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In oRBit: McGUINN’S PIXELATED BACK PAGES

Noworbiting_iconRogerMcGuinnToday’s edition of Red Bank oRBit follows up Monday’s Martin Short interview
with a virtual visit to Roger McGuinn, the founder of The Byrds and Rock and
Roll Hall of Famer whose mastery of traditional folk music is matched only
by his enthusiastic embrace of high-tech DIY technology.

He’ll be appearing
with fellow folkie John Sebastian this weekend at Monmouth University, and
oRBit caught him in a gruff-but-lovable mood at the outset of his current
tour.

Also on tap: a reminder that Donovan’s Reef, that Last-of-the-Mohicans
Monmouth County beach bar, returns for the 2009 season this week following
an unusual winter hibernation and a little “soft” opening this weekend past.
We’re staking out a towel’s worth of oceanfront real estate and saving it
for you, only in Red Bank oRBit.

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PHS WANTS MORE AIRSPACE, PLUS PARKING

Phs prc

The owner of the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, center, wants to add six stories to a planned addition, and to use the lot in the foreground for parking. Riverview Towers is at right; the addition is to go between the two highrises.

Before it has even put a shovel into the ground for a long-delayed six-story addition, PHS Senior Living is asking Red Bank for permission to double the size of the planned project on Riverside Avenue.

If approved, the addition-to-the-addition would boost a portion of the new structure to the same height as the nonprofit's existing 12-story tower of high-end senior apartments, formerly known as Navesink Harbor and recently retagged the Atrium at Navesink Harbor.

To sweeten its request for variances, Princeton-based PHS is promising not to build an approved office building on a triangular site at the intersection of Riverview Avenue and West Front Street, according to Chuck Mooney, PHS's chief operating officer. Instead, the lot would be used for parking.

The plans, though, may meet resistance from residents of neighboring Riverview Towers. Shareholders in the luxury highrise co-op are scheduled to meet tonight to decide whether to give the PHS request their blessing.

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IN oRBit: MARTIN SHORT & RETURN OF RBIFF

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MartinShortToday’s edition of Red Bank oRBit gets a running start on the coming weekend with a focus on two major events.

One is the Count Basie Theatre‘s annual Benefit Concert and Gala —
a swell, street-closing affair for which the board of directors have secured the services not
only of showbiz shaman  Martin Short but his whole gallery of crazies, from
Jackie Rogers Jr. to Ed Grimley.

And so with Jiminy Glick as our
inspiration, oRBit serves up a long version of a Short interview
before anyone else. What, you didn’t think we would?

The other event is the highly anticipated return of the Red Bank International Film Festival — the 2008 edition.

You read that correctly. Seven months late and at least temporarily not in Red Bank, the filmfest has been cut down to a tightly packed 12-hour day of screenings from the customary three. But the cinema showcase lives on, with a new crew, a new website and plans to get back onto the Gregorian calendar. 

Check out these stories and more at culture center, aka Red Bank oRBit, folks.

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SHE’LL BOOST YOUR GARDEN FOOTPRINT

Wendyweiner2Sure beets store-bought: Wendy Weiner in her vegetable garden.

When Wendy Weiner moved to Little Silver from Hunterdon County a little more than a year ago, she hoped to plant a back yard vegetable garden. But the yard didn’t get enough sunshine.

So she created the garden in her front yard instead, on busy Rumson Road. She built four raised beds, which she filled with soil and compost and planted with seeds.

“I just thought, ‘I’m putting it out front,'” she says. Within weeks, the sun-splashed beds were “cranking,” she says.

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12th-DISTRICT PHONE-IN SCHEDULED

District 12The three elected officials have their legislative office at 32 Monmouth Street in Red Bank.

The three 12th-district state legislators plan to hold their first-ever “tele-town hall” Tuesday night.

The one-hour conference call, starting at 7:20p, is being touted by Republican state Senator Jennifer Beck and Assembly members Caroline Casagrande and Declan O’Scanlon Jr. as a convenience for voters who are unable or disinclined to attend on-site forums after a day at work.

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YARD SALE ALERT: OAKLAWN ROAD

Ls yard sale

Former shop owner Susan Ericson's "gigantic, blowout, clean-out-the-house" yard sale has turned into a neighborhood event on her cul-de-sac.

Susan Ericson used to have a store on River Road in Fair Haven called Black Eyed Susans
Kitchen that sold vintage collectibles and small, household treasures.

On Saturday, she'll turn her home inside-out with a yard sale, offering numerous items that used to be in the store "at yard sale prices," she says.

A number of Ericson's neighbors on their cul-de-sac off Harding Road in Fair Haven will be holding sales as well, she tells redbankgreen.

Her own yard sounds like one not to miss. Ericson says her house alone probably has "more stuff to sell than all of the houses" on Madison Avenue, Red Bank, the site of last week's featured sale. "We have everything from antiques and framed
art work to furniture and tons of books — especially cookbooks."

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A WEEK’S WORTH OF WAYS TO HELP

Img_390172Thanksgiving at Lunch Break was on Branches Catering in 2008. On Monday night, the West Long Branch facility hosts some three dozen restaurants to raise funds for the Red Bank soup kitchen.

Done2This long-overdue edition of Done Good — a periodic rundown of what's happening locally in the realms of people helping people and their communities — has tons to choose from for readers looking to lend a hand in the coming week.

It includes a gourmet's-delight event on behalf of Norma Todd's Lunch Break in Red Bank; a beach cleanup and a riverfront cleanup; a swell affair at Garmany on behalf of cancer research; and an opportunity to re-tinge the town in the interest of women's health.

Here are some of the choices:

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FAIR HAVEN MAN NAMED IN ALLEGED SCAM

Call in the authoritiesA Morris County judge today froze the assets of a Fair Haven investment adviser who is alleged to have swindled an elderly client out of $9 million over a decade, according to reports by the Star-Ledger and Morristown’s Daily Record.

Superior Court Judge Theodore Bozonelis today ordered Marshall Smith not to transfer any of his assets pending further notice.

According to a civil suit filed by Leonard Frederick, his 93-year-old client, Smith was fired from his job at Cantone Research Inc. in Tinton Falls earlier this month afer admitting to his employer that he had sold Frederick non-existent financial investments over the prior decade.

The suit also names Smith’s wife, Holly, as a defendant. Monmouth County records show the Smiths own a property on Fair Haven’s Kemp Avenue assessed at $894,200.

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CHUBBY’S GOING FOR THE QUICK FIXX

Chubby'sInstead of razing and rebuilding, Chubby’s will get a sprucing-up aimed at attracting a more mature crowd.

Chubby’s Waterside Café, the increasingly trouble-plagued Red Bank night spot that has been stymied by the economy in its plans for a wholesale makeover, is opting for an interim solution, owner Mike Gilson tells redbankgreen.

The West Front Street dance club for teens and young adults will shut down on Mother’s Day, undergo interior renovations, and open about three weeks later as The Fixx, Gilson says.

“We’ll renovate, clean it up, bring in a new concept” anchored in part on ’80s-themed dance nights, he says.

The change was not entirely prompted by the passage of a recent ordinance banning a mainstay of his business — so called ‘college nights,’ Gilson says. Young crowds drawn to the bar have led to dozens of calls to police over a recent one-year span, and in one incident triggered a donnybrook involving cops from several towns.

Rather, the ban “forced the issue” of modest changes even though Gilson and his investors have approval for an upscale restaurant and catering facility to replace the club, he says.

“I never liked to do the 18-to-21 thing,” he says. “I always thought you were playing Russian roulette.”

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IN oRBit: TWO LENSWOMEN

Noworbiting_iconKimLevin

Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit features  interviews with two photographers, women whose areas of focus could hardly be farther apart. But each is making a book-signing appearance in Red Bank this
Saturday that should stir fans of their subject matter.

Internationally published photojournalist Scout Tufankjian spent two years
covering Barack Obama‘s presidential campaign, from before the official
announcement to the election night victory speech. She’ll be coming to the Two River Theater to discuss and sign copies of Yes We Can, her best-selling
collection of images from the Obama trail.

Little Silver resident Kim Levin, at right, has become known for her pet
portraits, as well as for such books as PhoDOGraphy and Cattitude. Her
latest is Frenemies, an inspirational set of images in which cats and dogs
cohabitate peacefully — and she’ll be signing copies in a late-morning stop
at downtown pet boutique Paw Palace.

Get inside the frame with both shooters, only in Red Bank oRBit.

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LITTLE SILVER WOMAN INDICTED

Call in the authoritiesA Mercer County grand jury has indicted a Little Silver woman as part of a wide-ranging investigation into the alleged fraudulent sale of automobile titles through the state Motor Vehicle Commission.

Fifty-year-old Maryleigh Barbusin was charged with conspiracy, official misconduct and bribery in the second degree, as well as third-degree tampering with public records or information.

According to a statement issued by the AG’s office, Barbusin was the girlfriend of James McElroy, 51, of Livingston, the owner of a West Orange towing company, and worked for the company. McElroy was also indicted.

The charges stem from the indictment of Wesley Starr, 35, of Trenton, a former MVC clerk charged with selling fraudulent motor vehicle titles to various brokers and purchasers, including Barbusin and McElroy.

Starr is accused of circumventing MVC procedures to sell an estimated 378 vehicle titles.

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BRAZILIAN OFFICIAL: SHARE BOY’S CUSTODY

Goldmans2David Goldman with his son, Sean, before the boy was moved to Brazil four years ago by his mother.

A Brazilian official says a federal court in that nation shouldn't give absolute custody to either party fighting over Sean Goldman, the 8-year-old Tinton Falls boy whose father has waged a four-year battle to return the boy to the U.S.

Instead, "top Brazilian human rights official" Paulo Vannuchi says there should be a negotiated end to the disagreement, according to a report by the Associated Press.

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Y PLAN RAISES TRAFFIC CONCERNS

Hot TopicPlans for $8 million in new facilities at the Community YMCA on Maple Avenue in Red Bank have raised concerns about traffic safety, according to today's Asbury Park Press.

The newspaper reports that the Y's expansion project

would add a family-friendly pool and indoor-outdoor sprinkler park; a six-lane lap pool; a modern gym with spectator space and a new indoor track; facilities for a fitness and wellness center; a spinning room; a Wii room; additional parking; a new lobby; and a seniors-only area.

The plan also would renovate the existing teen center, senior citizen and children's program areas and modernize the locker rooms.

In a joint letter, though, residents have called on the borough to link approvals to traffic and parking improvements at the site.

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