boondocks1Scenes from a recent Tuesday night at Boondocks. That’s owner Kelly Ryan at upper left with Mike Harper and Megan Prenderville. At upper right is chef Chris Kelber; lower right, the blackened grouper platter. (Click to enlarge)

Think of it as waterfront access for the rest of us.

Anyone familiar with Red Bank’s northern edge knows that river access is at premium. Hotels, private residences and marinas hog most of the Navesink River shoreline. It’s inaccessible to all but the most adventurous from Riverside Gardens Park. And while one might drop a baited line or crab pot from the pier at Marine Park, there’s no getting one’s feet wet — never mind that the pier and promenade are completely off-limits now for a planned reconstruction.

Hell, there’s even a battle raging over how much access the public should have to about 50 feet of frontage at the foot of Maple Avenue.

So it’s no small thrill to find that, after a two-year interval, waterfront dining is back on the Navesink here. And for many patrons of the new Boondocks restaurant, it’s a double thrill to discover that the simple seafood menu is done with panache.

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The new Future Buccaneers Basketball League wrapped up its first summer season at Red Bank Regional High Thursday night.

The league, for incoming seventh- and eighth-graders, consists of boys’ and girls’ teams built in equal numbers of players from Red Bank, Little Silver and Shrewsbury — RBR’s sending districts.

Each team had coaches from at least two towns.

The aim of the league, says co-organizer David Prown, is to forge cross-border friendships among kids, many of whom can be expected to wind up as classmates at RBR and other area high schools.

“It’s definitely a warm-and-fuzzy sort of program,” says Prown, who put the league together with recreation directors Ray Soya of Shrewsbury and Doug Glassmacher of Little Silver.

“The idea is to get kids thinking about high school and the bigger world.”

(Click pix to enlarge)



Brace yourselves for ecstasy, peach lovers.

August in New Jersey means great, lightly fuzzed spheres of sweet, juicy peaches. And we’ve got word on a couple of events meant to put you in a fruit frenzy.

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hot-topic7A Brazilian Supreme Court judge has rejected a request that 9-year-old Sean Goldman be asked to choose whether he wants to stay in that country or return to Tinton Falls with his natural father, the Associated Press reports today.

The decision marks a victory, if only a partial one, in David Goldman’s years-long custody battle over his only child, who was whisked off to Brazil five years ago by Goldman’s then-wife.

Sean Goldman has not been back to the U.S. since then, and his father’s campaign to bring the boy home has become an international cause celebre, attracting the attention of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama.

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rb-comm-ctrSisters Violet, 14, and Yanna Preston, 17, are the first members of the planned community center and will be trained as recruiters. That’s center director Robert Taylor in the background. (Click to enlarge)

Growing up, Yanna and Violet Preston spent countless hours at the Count Basie Learning Center on Drs. James Parker Boulevard in Red Bank.

But the borough-owned building, located next door to their home on Bridge Avenue, has been vacant for the past two years, an interim in which the town twice tried to sell it and failed to attract a single bid.

Meantime, squirrels made themselves at home in the structure, and dozens of kids who used to rely on it as a safe place for educational activities offered by the Community YMCA had to make do elsewhere.

Now, though, a campaign to revive the building by turning it into a  community center is on the verge of completion. And this week, the Preston sisters were not only the first to sign up as members, but have volunteered to serve as youth recruiters for the facility.

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This week’s Where Have I Seen This commingles our weekly appetite for the visual details of our community with a fascination over the endless recycling of the English language.

‘Comingle,’ by the way, appears not to be a misspelling; according to the online version of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, there’s a precendent for rendering it with a single ‘m,’ though it is far more commonly spelled ‘commingle.’

It is, however, a verb, not a noun, as suggested by the above.

Anyway, email us, please, if you know where all this mingling takes place.

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Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit presents the view from the Idiot Spot — the name that standup comedians apparently have for when they’re booked into performing the middle set on a three-comic program.


Actually, Dom Irrera doesn’t mind being the lunchmeat on the standup sandwich — not when he’s playing the Count Basie Theatre for the first time in his long career and sharing the stage with veteran Pat Cooper and newcomer Tammy Pescatelli in a Saturday night three-for-all entitled The Italian Laugh Pack.

In an exclusive interview, Philly native (and LA transplant) Irrera tells us about the places where Italian-American humor does and doesn’t go over; why he considers himself “an equal opportunity ballbuster,” and why simply living in New Jersey can make you Italian.

It’s all here — along with a chillingly prescient Cooper quote from last year about the coming economic crisis — only in the minestrone that is Red Bank oRBit.


ls-snakeOfficer Pete Gibson, left, and Sgt. Martin Scherzinger with the yellow rat snake they caught in a yard in Little Silver earlier today. (Photo courtesy of Little Silver P.D.)

Police in sleepy old Little Silver had an unexpected encounter this morning when they answered a call and found a yellow rat snake in a resident’s side yard.

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Red Bank’s knitters sure know how to have a good time.

Longtime redbankgreen readers may recall our March 2007 feature story about Wooly Monmouth, the Monmouth Street knitting-supply store that doubles as an Algonquin roundtable of sorts for the pointy-needle set.

It’s a place where, one night a week,  food, conversation and the occasional bottle of wine flow amid the constant knitting and purling.

Last night, a handful of the Wooly Monmouth faithful took their moveable feast down the street to the open-air bar/restaurant Jamian’s, for the first of what organizer and Wooly Monmouth owner Dori Cohen Kershner says  will be a monthly event.

Why the change of venue? “I like to knit, and I like to drink,” Kershner says with a laugh.

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pearl-4way Four-way stops would be created at the intersections of Pearl and Chestnut streets and one block north, at Pearl and Oakland streets.

Encouraged by the four-way stop created earlier this year at Bridge Avenue and Chestnut Street, Red Bank is planning a couple of additional foursomes.

Mayor Pasquale Menna nudged the idea into gear at Monday night’s bimonthly council meeting, saying residents in the area of Pearl Street between Oakland and Chestnut streets had asked for the change in their neighborhood, too.

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Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit spotlights an exclusive interview with Will Lee, a familiar face to millions as the lanky bass player of The Late Show with David Letterman lo these many years.


Red Bankers know Mr. Lee equally as well for his work as co-founder and co-frontman of  The Fab Faux, those wondrous WannaBeatles who have become frequent-flyer fixtures at the Count Basie Theatre. Lee and his fellow MockTops — including Jimmy Vivino of the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien — are gracing us once more with a fast return to the Shore and a rare open-air gig this Saturday on the SummerStage set-up of the Stone Pony.

The sought-after session ace (who’s also been visible Shoreside with some relatively low-key jazz gigs) reveals the secret origins of this wildly successful side project, shares some not-guilty pleasures with our readers and lets us know exactly why the Faux fivesome are the true real-deal channelers of Merseybeat magic.

All this, plus an eyeful of  Linda Chorney, one of the savviest songer/singwriters on the local scene, and a performer who’s kicking off a new series of “words2music” mini-concerts at Book It! Events in The Grove at Shrewsbury.

Only in Red Bank oRBit, your satellite outpost of pixelated print.


maple-cove-cleanup-2009Volunteers digging out invasive plants during a cleanup of the riverfront property in May.

Today’s Asbury Park Press takes another look at the tug-of-war over Red Bank’s tentatively-named Maple Cove that’s been going on for more than a year.

The dispute, which has pitted boaters and environmentalists against the borough government, has  centered on what might be done with the half-acre property, which sits at the Navesink River end of Maple Avenue, without running afoul of state Department of Environmental Protection regulations.

One on side are kayakers and naturalists who say they simply want a sign, a bench and a path to the river’s edge. On the other are local officials who say those simple improvements could cost the borough tens of thousands of dollars in DEP compliance measures.

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Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit confirms what you’ve heard — Bruce is back at the Basie, tonight only!

We’re talking Bruce Hornsby, of course — who did you think, Bruce Cockburn? — and those who’ve followed his career past the platinum 1980s know to expect nothing less than the unexpected from this ever-evolving, self-challenging captain of the Steinway and all who sail with it.


Also in oRBit, a conversation with cult-favorite singer and songwriter Rachel Garlin (right), a performer who’s been known to tour the country in a van powered by french fry grease — a feat that’s netted her an underground hit (“Alternative Fuel”) and a spot of honor on radio’s number one maker of chartbusters, Click and Clack’s Car Talk.

The LA-based Garlin rolls into Monmouth County this weekend for a public-invited house party at “Hany’s Place,” a benefit for our pals at the Arts Coalition of Asbury Park (ArtsCAP) and all the things they do to enhance your life — whether or not you live in AP, and whether or not you even know it.

Read all about it, in the paperless pages of  Red Bank oRBit.


chestnut-wiresWires above the Red Bank Armory Ice Complex show the effects of a fire that melted their insulation this morning.

A crew from Jersey Central Power & Light is out on Chestnut Street in Red Bank this morning seeking the cause of a fire that burned the insulation off a two-block length of electrical lines.

The incident, in which a 4,200-volt line was sparking and smoking, caused a shutdown of the street between the railroad station and Pearl Street for about an hour beginning at 8:30a, according to second deputy fire chief John Mego.

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2-10 BroadCan you manage it? The clothing and household-goods merchant is looking someone to run its Red Bank store when the wraps come off at 2 Broad.

Retailer Urban Outfitters, which has been mum on its plans to open a store in Red Bank, has finally acknowledged the move.

It comes in the form of a job posting for store manager at the emporium planned for 2 Broad Street, at the corner of West Front.

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pba-consumer-warning-copy2Red Bank’s Police Benevolent Association, trying to raise money for its charitable efforts, is warning residents of a lookalike, or soundalike, effort.

In a sternly worded notice (at right; click to enlarge) and accompanying letter to borough residents, PBA Local 39 president Robert Campanella  tells residents that any “PBA” phone solicitations they might get aren’t coming from them.

“The Red Bank PBA does not now, and has never solicited donations via the telephone,” Campanella says in his letter.

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Red Bank police are investigating a Friday-night accident on Drs. James Parker Boulevard that resulted in the death of a 14-month-old boy.

According to police, Dsar Cook, of Montgomery Terrace, was struck by an SUV that was backing out of the driveway of a home where the child was attending a party with his father.

The accident occurred at about 7:28p, police said.
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Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit spotlights a guy who’s got the ear of “titans of industry, Hollywood celebrities and leaders from around the world” — America’s Fourth Leading Motivational Speaker, Mr. Donny Clay.


Actually, we couldn’t get the busy self-help guru to sit for a lengthy interview, so we did the next best thing — rang up his good friend Jason Alexander, the star of stage, screen, sitcom and stud (poker) who travels with Clay wherever he goes, including an appearance this Thursday at the Count Basie Theatre.

The actor who will forever be linked (by fan devotion as well as residual checks) to Seinfeld‘s George Costanza discusses the origins of the Donny Clay phenomenon on the corporate-seminar circuit — along with why the self-help set aren’t all phoneys, what he might have done for a living in an alternate reality, and what might have become of the characters from Seinfeld in the age of the life coach.

You can do it; you can click on that link and go to that place and let Donny Clay show you the way; here in Red Bank oRBit!



This week’s spotlight comment is by ‘Ditch Waverly.’

Readers of redbankgreen comments may be familiar with Ditch’s occasional postings. Quite evidently written by a resident of Waverly Place in Red Bank, they’re framed kind of as dispatches from the front porch, but with some wild imaginings and mordant wit thrown in.

Here’s Ditch’s standout comment of last week, from a story about a truck that got stuck under the West Front Street railroad trestle:

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fields-gangsDetective Joey Fields, lower right, with Mayor Pasquale Menna to his left and state Senator Jennifer Beck at center, addresses an audience on the topic of gangs at the Frank Talk art gallery Saturday.

Red Bank has gang members residing within its borders, and properties here have been tagged in spray paint with gang markings.

But the depth and extent of the borough’s problems with gangs are easily exaggerated, a pair of law enforcement officials suggested on Saturday, when they addressed about a dozen residents on the state of gang activity.

Nearly every community in Monmouth County, including high-income towns such as Rumson and Little Silver, has some gang presence, they said. But over recent years, crime associated with gangs has dropped in Red Bank, and authorities watch closely for signs of rebound, they said.

“Here, it used to be out of control,” said Det. Sgt. Tom Nuccio, a former borough detective who now runs the gang task force at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office. “It wasn’t uncommon to have out-of-town help come in on a Friday night to help control the environment. As far as I know, that hasn’t happened in the past ten years.”

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This installment of our regular Red Bank crime wrapup includes two weeks of police reports instead of the usual one. As always, the information below was supplied by the Red Bank Police Department and appears here unedited.

Week of July 10 to July 17, 2009
Burglary occurring at Shrewsbury Ave. on 7-11-09. Victim reported that unknown subject(s) pried the rear door open and gained entry. Taken were money bags from behind display case which contained cash. Ptl. Michael Campanella. Det. Robert Clayton.

Theft occurring on 7-12-09 at 190 River Road residence. Victim reported cash stolen from kitchen drawer. Ptl. George Travostino.

Criminal Mischief occurring at Willow Street on 7-13-09. Victim reported that unknown person(s) broke a window on 2nd floor of building with rocks. Ptl. Michael Zadlock.
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Storms that wreaked havoc elsewhere in New Jersey (and left one man dead from a lightning strike in Newark) went easy on the Red Bank area Sunday night, leaving this bit of rainbow as seen looking east along Madison Avenue.

The National Weather Service forecast for the coming week shows temperatures taking up residence in the mid-80s accompanied by a daily threat of rain and thunderstorms.

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hot-topicRed Bank police arrested two men for having a loaded pistol and on other charges after a brief chase Wednesday.

According to police spokesman Capt. Steve McCarthy, who was involved in the arrest, the pair were stopped on a motor vehicle violation, but already were suspects in another, unspecified case that remains under investigation.

When police attempted to pull over the car in which the two men were riding, the driver veered into a residential driveway on Newman Springs Road, between Carmen Place and Knight Street, in an attempt to flee, McCarthy said.
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