AN ANCIENT RITUAL REPEATED

SnappingJohn Tyler of Leighton Avenue sent us this photo of a snapping turtle, one of a pair he found laying eggs in a neighbor’s yard Wednesday. Red Bank animal control officer Henry Perez advised the homeowner not to disturb the area.

According to one source, snapping turtles have been around for more than 40 million years. For more information, here’s a fascinating video showing the egg-laying and birth of baby snapping turtles, and here’s guide to local turtles and amphibians: Download Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of New Jersey (Photo courtesy of John Tyler)

DRIVE THE LANE, IF YOU D.A.R.E.

A hoops squad from the Red Bank Police Department took on all comers yesterday, facing down teams of students, teachers and alumni on the hardwood at the Red Bank Middle School in a two-hour basketball marathon.

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MOVING TOWARD EQUALITY

NAACP 052609NAACP Red Bank chapter president Rev. Henry P. Davis quotes Jefferson to Mayor Pasquale Menna.

Red Bank's governing body recently honored what Mayor Pasquale Menna called "one of our anchor institutions," the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The occasion was the passage of a resolution by the borough council noting this year's hundredth anniversary of the national organization.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal," chapter President Henry P. Davis told Menna at a borough hall ceremony, quoting from the Declaration of Independence.

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IN oRBit: KICKING IT JERSEY-CENTRIC

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Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit turns its sky-eye on an event that brings together a short shelf of New Jersey writers for a night of readings and book signings.

Helen

Saturday’s program — dubbed “Beach Reads: Take Us With You” — promises a four-hour block of pure word-love. Curious readers can take in a murder mystery set in a Highland Park
movie house; vicariously tour the great cemeteries of the Garden State; learn how to speak “Bayonnease;” take a good long
look at our vintage nudist colonies; and
get a preview of organizer Helen Pike‘s latest, a Prohibition tale.

oRBit correspondent Dorothy Creamer has the table of contents for this local-organic event, going on at
the happening little Showroom in Asbury Park.

We then take it over to the Eatontown Playhouse, where the scrappy little storefront stage
hosts the world premiere of a new, original comedy by Jersey-guy playwright
Frank Van Syckel. We’ll tell you how a need to ad-lib and a penchant for
“working blue” led him to create the talk-TV satire called You Can’t Say That.

It’s all spelled out for you in the virtual pages of Red Bank oRBit.

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CHRISTINE McKENNA DIES AT 58

McKenna ChristineChristine McKenna with her daughter, Kayla, and Mayor-elect Pasquale Menna on election night 2006, at left; at right, with Kayla at a sendoff for her husband the following month.

Christine McKenna, the wife of former Red Bank Mayor Ed McKenna, died this morning after a long battle with cancer.

Her death, at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, was confirmed by Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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BLOWING UP THE KABOOM FUNDING MODEL

KaboomcrowdLast year’s show, as seen from Maple Avenue and West Front Street.

First, there will be fireworks in Red Bank this year.

Though organizers of the July 3 KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink recently expressed concern about the future of the event because of a sharp drop in corporate sponsorships, they’re closing in on their goal of raising funds to cover this year’s nut.

But the widespread economic collapse made this year’s production more of a white-knuckle endeavor than organizers have grown used to, as formerly fat-walleted corporate sponsors vanished. That’s prompted a rethinking of how the fireworks show is financed.

This year, organizers are reaching out directly to viewers of the show, which is billed as the largest in New Jersey and fourth-largest in the U.S. as measured in the number of shells fired — more than 10,000, lofted by the estimable Jersey-based firm of Garden State Fireworks.

Landing in some 47,000 area business and residential mailboxes this week is a direct appeal for support from individuals. redbankgreen spoke recently with Peter Reinhart, chairman of KaBoom’s 15-member, all-volunteer organizing committee, about the effort.

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IN oRBit: ROCKENN’ THE BLUES AT JAZZ FEST

Noworbiting_iconRed Bank oRBit's coverage of this weekend's Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival continues today with a big
interview
with Jersey Shore barband bard (and guitar-guy god) Sonny Kenn, who's scheduled to headline opening night on Friday.

Sonny kenn

Those who've followed Kenn through countless gigs at favorite watering
holes like the Walt Street Pub — and back through the decades to the
primordial dawn of the Shore music scene — know him as the kind of performer
who will rock the coziest cubbyhole bar like he's riding the wrecking ball
to Giants Stadium.

And, as we discovered during a three-hour chat at his
fortress of solitude on the borough's Left Bank, he'll expound with
authority on topics that range from vintage blues 78s and surrealist
painters to the origins of Monmouth Mall and Batman's utility belt.

Also today, a reminder that the 30th annual Summer Marimba Festival is in
full swing in Asbury Park — as if you didn't know. We run down the schedule,
and tell you why Shore-based marimba master Leigh Howard Stevens could truly
be the Boss of the multiple mallets.

It's come as you are, and take away as much knowledge as you can use, today
and every day in Red Bank oRBit.

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HOVNANIAN SLASHES LOSS, BUT STILL AILS

HovHovnanian's headquarters on West Front Street.

Red Bank-based Hovnanian Enterprises sharply cut its net loss in the quarter ended April 30, compared to year-prior levels.

But the publicly traded homebuilder continued to slash prices in the face of contract cancellations and write-downs on the value of real estate in its inventory.

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BRAZILIAN JUDGE HALTS BOY’S RETURN

Nine-year-old Sean Goldman won't be returning to his Tinton Falls home today, following a stay issued by a Brazilian Supreme Court justice yesterday, according to multiple news reports.

Hot Topic

The judge suspended a lower court order granting custody of the boy to his father, David Goldman, after an appeal by Sean's Brazilian stepfather and maternal family.

The lower court had ruled Monday that Sean be turned over to the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro to be reunited with his father after a five-year custody battle.

From today's Asbury Park Press:

The decision by Justice Marco Aurelio was in response to a request
by a small Brazilian political party that filed the emergency request
because it believes the boy should stay in Brazil, the supreme court
said on its Web site.

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IN oRBit: CHAMPAGNE DREAMS

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BenjaminWallaceSMALLThe summer reading list continues on our satellite site Red Bank oRBit,
where today’s edition uncorks an exclusive interview with best-selling
nonfiction writer Benjamin Wallace (right).

The author of The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine is making the first of two area appearances this Thursday at River Road Books in Fair Haven. But first, he tells us how he turned the story of the highest price ever paid for a bottle
of wine — and a subsequent controversy over what may be a scam of rare
vintage — into a page-turner with a heady bouquet and strong finish. And
you’ll never guess who just optioned the movie rights.

But if champagne’s your potion, then take it down to Asbury Park, where the
annual New Jersey LGBTI Pride Celebration Weekend 2009 is in full swing this
Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Evelyn “Champagne” King headlines the live
entertainment on Sunday, and we’ve got the rundown on all the major events,
with particular emphasis on an offering that simply cannot be refused: an
interactive screening of the Joan Crawford bile-pic Mommie Dearest at Asbury Lanes — with open bar,free wire hangers, plus pre-show and running
commentary by iceberg queen Hedda Lettuce.

It’s the bonus feature you WON’T find on the DVD, and it’s here today in oRBit.

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MAN ON BASS

Geppetto1Will Dunham, bassist with the Middletown-area band Call Me Geppetto, draws some puzzled looks as he and bandmate Bill Deyback play on Broad Street in Red Bank last Saturday night.

Expect to see more instrument-mounting musicians out on the streets every weekend of the summer, beginnging Saturday afternoon, as the eighth annual Street Life program blooms on the sidewalks downtown.

More info, in case you missed it, is available at Red Bank oRBit.

Geppetto2

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CONVICTED ROBBER GETS 12 YEARS

Hot Topic

A 22-year-old Red Bank man was sentenced to 12 years in prison last week following his recent conviction on charges of robbing the Little Diamond jewelry store on Shrewsbury Avenue in 2007.

That's according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis Valetin, who announced the sentence last Friday in a press release.

Carlos Delevry of Munson Place must serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed by state Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mellaci Jr. before becoming eligible for parole, according the announcement.

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REPORTS: GOLDMAN WINS CUSTODY CASE

Goldmans

David Goldman
of Tinton Falls has won court approval to regain custody of his only child, who was taken to Brazil by the boy's mother nearly five years ago, according to published reports.

"They've been ordered to deliver Sean to the U.S. Consulate at 2 o'clock Wednesday afternoon," Goldman tells columnist Bill Handleman of the Asbury Park Press today. (The undated photo at left shows Goldman, his now-deceased ex-wife, Bruna, and Sean, who is now 9 years old.)

Patricia Apy, the Red Bank attorney who is representing Goldman, tells CNN that she learned on Monday of the Brazilian federal court decision ordering that Sean be turned over turned the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

Apy
also said David Goldman was traveling to Brazil and was expected to arrive
in Rio early today.

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MESSAGE: THIS COULD BE YOU

Rbr crash demo1English teacher Andrew Forrest, left, and guidance counselor
Chris Desiere are stabilized after the roof of their vehicle was cut
off around them.

Red Bank Regional seniors got a graphic demonstration this morning of what can go wrong when people drink and drive.

Emergency personnel from Little Silver and Shrewsbury — with assists from a State Police helicopter and the John E. Day Funeral Home — staged the aftermath of a three-car crash on the school grounds.

A week of anti-drunk-driving educational efforts is planned. The senior prom is Friday night.
 Rbr crash demo2 Students crowd around a hearse containing the body of a victim played by English teacher Scott Ferris.

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IN oRBit: BLUE CATS, RED DOGS, BLACK TIE

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Today's edition of Red Bank oRBit kicks off our coverage of the 23rd annual
Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival with a preview of what to expect this
weekend as the early-season attraction takes over Marine Park with a bill
that features, among many others, veteran saxman Houston Person
(right).

HoustonPersonAs Dorothy Creamer explains, it's an event that's still offering up
three days of free sounds — even in a year that's got
practically all of us singing the blues.

Holding that note, we walk just a couple of blocks, and a world away, to the Monmouth Conservatory of Music, where Vladislav Kovalsky and the MCM faculty
are preparing not one, but two completely free programs of Schumann's music
this Wednesday and Saturday — a fear-free way to enjoy quality classical
music, and a best-kept-secret of local life.

JoelSilvermanLast but not leashed, Diana Moore rings up Animal Planet host and celebrity
dog trainer Joel Silverman (left), who inaugurates the new Book It! Events venue at
The Grove on Tuesday night, with a pets-invited promotional appearance for
his new book 'What Color is Your Dog?' We found out, among other things, that
you'd never treat an orange the way you'd treat a green.

It's all in oRBit, ready for inspection and eager to be taken into a loving
home.

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COUNTY SEEKING NEW-BRIDGE FUNDS

Oceanic bridge 2008The eastern flank of the Oceanic Bridge.

Looking down the road at a $75 million bill, Monmouth County officials have begun angling for federal funds to defray some of the costs of replacing the Oceanic Bridge between Middletown and Rumson, today's Asbury Park Press reports.

The job is one of four long-range, big-ticket projects for which the county freeholders are hoping to get backing from Washington.

 From the Press:

Recently, the Oceanic Bridge was closed at nights while the
counterweights on the drawbridge section were rebalanced. At the end of
the summer, the bridge deck and deteriorated supports are to be
replaced, said Joseph Ettore, county engineer. But county officials
said they'd rather spend that federal stimulus money on the bridge's
full, permanent replacement, estimated to cost $75 million.

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RED BANK POLICE BLOTTER

RBPD suv

Crime reports provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the
week of May 22 to May 29, 2009. This information appears here
unedited.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 5-22-09 at Riverside Ave.—Parking Garage. Unknown person(s) scratched side of parked vehicle with sharp object. Ptl. Deron Ilarraza.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 5-22-09 at Cedar St. Victim reported that juveniles who were playing inside truck damaged the visor by carving graffiti into same. Lt. Michael Clay.

Theft of Services occurring on 5-24-09 at Monmouth St.—Restaurant. Manager reported that party of 60 people left the establishment without paying the bill for the food. Ptl. Michael Zadlock

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