shrewsbury-fire-061209Firefighters cut through the roof to access the blaze in the attic, as seen from the Allen Street side of the house.

A 28-year-old Shrewsbury man was hospitalized after a fire tore through a Patterson Avenue home during a thunderstorm early Friday morning.

The blaze was the second major fire battled by borough volunteers and those from neighboring towns in less than a week. Last Friday, a fire reported to be electrical in origin destroyed the Memory Bowling lanes on Newman Springs Road, just two blocks from the scene of this morning’s blaze.

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stage2Large crowds turned out Saturday and Sunday after Friday night’s rainout. But construction of a new Marine Park bulkhead, below, could force the festival to relocate next year.

Really, in terms of logistics, it would be much simpler for the organizers of the Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival to set up shop each year in a vast parking lot somewhere in suburbia.

marine-park-bulkheadNo steep, slippery slope of grass to contend with. No mud following the all-but-inevitable rain. No parking nightmares for food vendors, let alone the concertgoers, who number in the tens of thousands over the three-day event.

But the festival loves Red Bank, and Red Bank loves the festival. That is, at least, the official line coming from both event organizers and the borough.

But a massive construction project scheduled to begin in Marine Park soon after the July 3 fireworks may put the mutual lovefest to a test next year.
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Goldmans2David Goldman with his son, Sean, who was taken to Brazil on “vacation” by his late wife five years ago and never returned.

Brazil’s Supreme Court unanimously knocked down one legal roadblock in the possible return of 9-year-old Sean Goldman to his Tinton Falls home yesterday.

But the boy’s repatriation with his father, David Goldman, remains on hold while yet another lower-court ruling in the highly charged international custody battle for the boy is appealed, according to reports in today’s Asbury Park Press and elsewhere.
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Stop the presses, already! Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit has a bona fide scoop regarding Bounty Hunter, the film project that pairs Jennifer Aniston with Gerard ‘300’ Butler. It comes courtesy of Rumson’s own Siobhan Fallon Hogan, who’s just secured a supporting role in the forthcoming feature — and you’ll read it nowhere else but here today!

anistonbutler Speaking of Hogan, she’s got her hands full these days, playing 10 different characters in her new self-penned play The Salty Sea PTA. Watch this space for the whole story on the show, going up next weekend at the Two River Theater — and enter oRBit for a bit of important news that, you guessed it, you’ll read here first.

And then there’s Joyce Carol Oates, the Pulitzer Prize winning author who’s coming to the area for a personal appearance next Tuesday. Just announced by the folks at Book It! Events is yet another bit of hyper-timely news — and, wouldn’t you know, the oRBit desk is once again first on the scene.

We get it now — this is the way the whole internet thing is supposed to work. Put down yesterday’s newspaper and take it to the source that reports, connects and engages — Red Bank oRBit.



finishlineThis weekend marks the 16th annual running of the George Sheehan Classic in Red Bank, the top-rated road race that honors the memory of the late “Philosopher King of Running,” Red Bank physician and best-selling author Dr. George Sheehan. In today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit, correspondent and running enthusiast Laura Schneider  fills us in on the latest details behind this event that attracts some of the top competitive runners in the world — as well as those of us who, like Laura, live just a few paces from the Sheehan’s famously scenic course.

From there it’s down to the Brighton Bar in Long Branch, where another King gets paid tribute — Elvis, that is, courtesy of the commanding baritone of ace rockabilly crooner and recovering bad-boy Robert Gordon, who visits the Shore this weekend for the first time in a dog’s age. We’ve got an “appreciation” of the man who introduced the world to Springsteen’s “Fire” on tap — since, as you might have guessed, he’s not the most accommodating guy to try and interview.

It’s all there, only on the site that makes (and takes) it all personal — Red Bank oRBit!


bowden-georger3Historic Preservation Commission chairman George Bowden spoke about the new Washington Street historic district.

Elected officials approved Red Bank’s first residential historic district Tuesday night at a fast-paced session.

With Council President Art Murphy sitting in for an absent Mayor Pasquale Menna, the borough council also heard a glowing review of the government’s financial systems and cleared the way for a September event at Riverside Gardens Park that had raised concerns. Read More »


hot-topicRed Bank officials are mulling the possibility of making government employees take three unpaid days off by the end of the year, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

The furloughs are on the table because various revenues and fee collections have fallen, borough Administrator Stanley Sickels tells the paper.

Only the police department would be exempt from the impact, he says. Read More »


dolphinshrewsbury060709A dolphin in the Shrewsbury River between Rumson and Sea Bright Sunday evening.

The appearance of an estimated six dolphins in the Shrewsbury River on Sunday — first reported by redbankgreen — gives rise to a number of questions.

Are some or all of them from the pod of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins that camped out in the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers from June 2008  into January of this year?

Are they lost, or do they know what they’re doing in the inland waters? Will they stay into the autumn and winter, even though doing so may prove fatal?

Over the cries of activists who demanded that the federal government intervene and remove last year’s pod, marine mammal experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration argued that the dolphins appeared to be extending their range. Chasing them out of the rivers would interfere with a natural function that has served the species for millions of years, they contended.

Expect the stalemate to resume if the latest group of dolphins decides to again make its summer home in the menhaden-rich waters here. Meantime, here are the answers NOAA spokeswoman Teri Frady provided via email to questions redbankgreen sent her yesterday:

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Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit features an interview with someone who can genuinely be called a Supermom. Better make that SouperMom, as Little Silver’s Farley Boyle has just added to her résumé as a full-time mother of three, reality TV star, nonprofit organizer, professional model and advocate for child safety— by contributing to the recently published  Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms.

farleyboylesmall1In her story “Paying It Forward,” the author talks about the near-tragedy that inspired her to found C.H.A.S.E. for Life — an organization dedicated to awareness and education in CPR and infant/child choking procedures, the very things that helped save the life of her daughter Chase in 2005.

Farley visits River Road Books in Fair Haven Thursday evening, to ladle out some words of wisdom and to serve up some signed copies of Soup for Power Moms of all persuasions.

It’s a piping-hot helping of positive reinforcement, cooked to order by the only website that brings you the people stories behind the printed page — Red Bank oRBit.


Former Red Bank Borough Clerk Ruth Eschelbach died at her John Street home Saturday afternoon, according to Mayor Pasquale Menna.

People in the news

A borough native, she was 89 years old and died surrounded by family, an obituary in today’s Asbury Park Press says.

A full-time mother, she entered the work force in her early 50s as a secretary in borough hall. Seven years later, in 1979, she became borough clerk, according to the obituary. She held the position until her retirement eight years later.

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DrivewaydockDriveway docking will be permitted in season and during hunting and fishing seasons for licensees.

A proposed ordinance that divided boat owners and residents concerned about property values was finally cleared by Fair Haven’s governing body Monday night, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Two of the borough’s six councilmembers voted against the ordinance, which had been in dry dock for nine months. It would permit the storage of any boat up to 21 feet long on a trailer in the driveway of the owner’s home from May 1 to Nov. 1.
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Authorities are looking into the circumstances of the death of a man whose body was found on River Street near the Red Bank Primary School this morning.

They’ve ruled out homicide, police Capt. Steve McCarthy tells redbankgreen.

The identity and age of the deceased have not been disclosed while the Monmouth County medical examiner and the prosecutor’s office look into the matter, McCarthy says.

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Yes, it’s time to dust off the jiggling bottles.

Longtime readers may recognize them from redbankgreen‘s very first post, made June 1, 2006. In that article, headlined ‘Housequake,’ we laid out how we hoped to cause a minor earthquake, without death or injuries, to the local mediascape.

Well, three years later, we’re still here and still shaking things up. Only now, it’s time to do a little in-house housequaking.

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Friday night was a complete washout because of rain. But the Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival in Marine Park dried itself off for two spectacular days and one memorable night under a full moon this weekend, once again winning its annual game of Russian Roulette with Mother Nature.

We’ve got pix, with some StreetLife shots thrown in.

To enlarge the slideshow, first start it, then click the box in the lower right corner of the frame.



Here’s a feature we’re debuting today: the Comment of the Week. The idea is to give a little lovin’ to reader comments that say something well.

It’s not about flawless grammar or spelling, though those are always welcome. Rather, we’re looking for comments that get to the heart of some topic or question in a way that we find admirable, at least relative to that week’s competition.

This first winner was selected in-house at redbankgreen to get things going, but we’re planning to introduce an online voting system whereby readers will nominate and choose. Until then, we welcome nominations via email.

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Keep your head on your shoulders — today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit features an interview with one of our favorite actors, Emmy winner Joe Pantoliano.

joepantolianosmall1You know Joey Pants, of course, from THE SOPRANOS and the Matrix and dozens of other big and small screen adventures — but what you may not know is that the native Jerseyan has emerged in recent years as a leading advocate for mental health awareness and education.

Pantoliano comes to Red Bank’s Two River Theater Tuesday night for a personal appearance sponsored by the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County, in which he’ll screen his Joe-directed documentary No Kidding, Me Too! — a de-stigmatizing look at a shunned topic, and an effort that shares its name with the nonprofit organization founded by the filmmaker.

The director’s been making the rounds, talking about this serious subject in his own inimitable style — but this being oRBit, we give you that “extra set of Pants,” with some thoughts on the likes of Abbie Hoffman and the Three Stooges.

All this, plus Eight Questions for Elvis Costello, only in Red Bank oRBit.


bowling-fireThe fire destroyed the Newman Springs Road facility and shut down traffic for eight hours.

The cause of the blaze that consumed Memory Bowling in Shrewsbury on Friday appears to have been an electrical malfunction, the Asbury Park Press reported Sunday.

“There is nothing suspicious about it,” first assistant Monmouth County prosecutor Peter Warshaw told the newspaper.
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Crime reports provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of May 29 to June 5, 2009. This information appears here unedited.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 5-30-09 at W. Front. St. Report of a broken window in rear of building by unknown subject(s). Ptl. Beau Broadley.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 5-30-09 at Broad St. Report of two flowerpots being overturned and contents on sidewalk by unknown person(s). Ptl. George Travostino.

Robbery in the area of Leighton Ave. and Bank Street on 6-3-09. Victim reported that while riding his bicycle two black males pulled him off the bike and began punching him. The subject(s) reached into pocket of victim and removed cash, then fled the area in a black car. Ptl. Robert Campanella.
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dolphins shrewsbury navesink

A pair of dolphins cross in the Shrewsbury River at sunset Sunday, as seen from McLoone’s Rum Runner in Sea Bright.

The dolphins are back.

A year after 16 dolphins took up what turned out to be a prolonged and controversial residence in local rivers, a pod estimated by observers to include about six animals was seen frolicking in the Shrewsbury River Sunday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, dolphins were reported to have been spotted in Oceanport Creek, much farther south than the pod that visited for seven months last year is believed to have ventured.

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IMG_6268 Three firefighters in a Long Branch FD cherry picker pour water on the smoldering remains of the Shrewsbury blaze late this afternoon. (Click to enlarge)

Some updates from today’s Memory Bowling fire in Shrewsbury:

• The fire is under control but there are numerous ‘hot spots’ of burning material spread throughout the structure, Shrewsbury Fire Chief Pete Gibson tells redbankgreen.

• The cause of the fire is under investigation, Gibson says. Investigators appeared to be keying on electrical conduit that was above a ceiling in the structure’s northeast corner.

• Newman Springs Road between Route 35 and Shrewsbury Avenue remained closed at 5:30p as a demolition crew prepared to knock in the exterior walls of the building. Officials said detours may remain in effect well into the night.

IMG_6281Investigators removed and later took detailed photographs of a burned electrical conduit.

IMG_6304 Melted roof beams and burned pin-setting machines, as seen though an opening at the rear of Memory Bowling.

• The Laurel Street side of the building had already partly toppled on its own, as had the entire roof.

• The building was open for business at the time the fire was noticed, and there was a small birthday party underway, but everyone got out safely, according to Gibson.

• Several firefighters, who responded from a wide area, were treated for smoke inhalation.

IMG_6313 The Laurel Street side of the building collapsed in the fire.


We don’t yet know who he is. But this firefighter was surely feeling the heat of today’s blaze at Memory Bowling in Shrewsbury as flames suddenly tore through the roof just feet from where he’d been standing.

The entire roof later collapsed. So far, there are no reports of injuries.

To enlarge the slideshow, click in the box in the lower right hand corner of the frame.


A Red Bank fireman backs down a ladder as flames erupted through the roof where he’d been standing just seconds before. (Click to enlarge)

Firefighters from Shrewsbury and Red Bank are battling a blaze at Memory Bowling alley on Newman Springs Road late this morning.

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Noworbiting_iconOne of the largest festivals of its kind in the northeastern U.S. kicks off today — weather gods permitting, of course — with the 23rd edition of the Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival, and Red Bank oRBit has the details.

(If you missed our lookback interview with Friday night headliner and Red Bank resident Sonny Kenn, it awaits your visit to our sumptuously appointed archive.)

But the Marine Park musicfest isn’t the only crowdmagnet in town, let alone the greater Red Bank region we like to call, um, the oRBit. This weekend is booked, baby.

From Layonne Holmes at Tim McLoone’s in Asbury Park to Joe Muccioli and his borough-based Jazz Arts Project at the Two River Theater to the Fleshtones at the Brighton Bar, our earhorns overrunneth.

And that’s not the half of it. With ‘Dawg music’ man David Grisman, the New Riders of the Purple Sage, StreetLife on the sidewalks of Red Bank, this joint is lousy with great tuneage.

And all the info you need to take advantage of it is neatly packaged only in one cheeky little website, folks: Red Bank oRBit.


Sun danceDo that sundance thing: a scene from the 2008 edition of the Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival in Marine Park.

Not for the first time, the Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival kicks off this weekend in a staredown with Mother Nature.

And she’s holding a garden hose.

Here’s the forecast from the National Weather Service:

Today: Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 59. East wind between 11 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between one and two inches possible.

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