potty-truckA worker loads a portable toilet onto a flatbed on Monmouth Street Monday morning as part of the final post-Kaboom Fireworks on the Navesink cleanup.

George Lynch, a supervisor in the Red Bank public works department, said  an all-out effort by employees resulted in the debris-free reopening of Marine and Riverside Gardens parks by 7a Saturday.

By 9a, “you hardly knew something had happened” downtown, event chairman Peter Reinhart told a meeting of the borough special events committee Monday.


Existing brick sidewalks along Fair Haven Road, above, will be reset after the street and curbs are redone. Concrete sidewalks will be replaced with brick at the town’s expense.

Fair Haven’s on-and-off affinity for brick sidewalks is on again as preparations begin for a repaving of Fair Haven Road, a thoroughfare that once glistened with oyster shells.

But the business of looking back while looking ahead isn’t limited to reanimating the quaint look of centuries past. Some residents think the town should reimburse them for personal outlays for sidewalks of both brick and concrete that are of a more recent vintage.

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Every so often in Red Bank oRBit, we get to bring you an exclusive interview with a genuine legend of show business— and today’s edition features a chat with one of the true originals, the single-name sensation known to millions as Madame.


An industry evergreen and a polished performer, Madame took the country by storm when she teamed up with the late Wayland Flowers for a string of memorable TV appearances that included a stint on Solid Gold, her own sitcom and countless episodes of Hollywood Squares.  When Wayland passed away twenty years ago, she went into seclusion for a while — but she’s back with “a new man on her arm,” and a new cabaret act called It’s Madame with an E, a show that makes the first of two area appearances this Thursday night.

From there we take it to Riverside Gardens, where we detail the new season of Jazz in the Park concerts beginning this Thursday. While we’re there, we’ll run down the schedule of free movies, the upcoming oldies series, and, for good measure, all of the free outdoor music that’s going around in nearby places like Long Branch, Keyport and Sandy Hook.

Take a penny, leave a penny — it’s all on the house, and only in the free-est of free media: Red Bank oRBit!


kaboom-711Friday night’s crowd overtook the parking lot of the 7-11 at Maple Avenue and West Front Street, among other viewing spots.

Red Bank police and other officials plan a debriefing this week to review the handling of Kaboom Fireworks on the Navesink security after large crowds put emergency personnel on their heels Friday night.

Of particular concern was a post-event crush of revelers at the train station, where many of the 20 arrests made that night occurred, said Capt. Steve McCarthy. Nearly all the arrests were for disorderly behavior.

Also on the table is what might be done about the throngs of visitors who annually crowd the West Front Street entrance to Riverside Gardens Park.

At this morning’s borough special events committee critique of the fireworks show, Capt. Darren McConnell said the KaBoom crowd was so thick opposite the park that an emergency might have resulted in injuries or even a fatality.

“It was to the point of being unsafe,” he said. “It was the worst I’ve seen in 20 years.”

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just_in1Rumson police are investigating the cause of an accident Friday night in which an SUV rolled over on Bingham Avenue shortly after the conclusion of the annual fireworks show.

The driver, a Middletown woman whose name was not released by police, was treated and released that night from Riverview Medical Center, according to Chief Richard Tobias.

Tobias said the SUV was heading northbound on Bingham  shortly before 10p when it struck three parked cars and a fourth vehicle heading south before rolling over one and half times, coming to rest on its roof.

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Just in case the past weekend’s lovely weather was too much for your rain-addled sensibilities, today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit offers up a few suggestions from the Great Indoors of our fair Shore.


First, we take it to Book It! Events in Shrewsbury, where Kim and Jacquie are preparing to welcome another special guest author — columnist and memoirist Kelly Corrigan, whose new book The Middle Place juxtaposes her personal cancer struggles with sketches of her life as a mother, a daughter and a sister — that Middle Place between generations from which so much inspiration is drawn. The best-selling writer comes to The Grove this Wednesday evening for a personal appearance and book signing.

From there it’s down to Deal, where the Axelrod Performing Arts Center is the starting point for the fourth annual Jersey Shore Film Festival, an extended event that previews Wednesday and opens officially on Sunday with a pair of full-length documentaries on the past, present and future of education. We’ve got a rundown of the highlights for this year’s JSFF, which continues through July 19 and includes a slate of Jewish-themed offerings that range from Darren Aronofsky’s maddeningly paranoid Pi, to Al Jolson in the original Jazz Singer.

Also a reminder to look to The Orb each week for the details on the new season of free outdoor family films going on at places like Riverside Gardens (where Madagascar screens tomorrow evening) and the Sea Bright beach (where the first Ice Age movie plays to the beach chair and blanket set, also tomorrow). We’ll have updates also this week on the other exciting things happening at Riverside Gardens, including Thursday’s Comcast Jazz in the Park series, and the Friday slate of Songwriters in the Park — including an interview with series keynoter Steve Forbert. All here in the pixelated pages of Red Bank oRBit!



Longtime readers of redbankgreen comments may be familiar with the postings of ‘Dan.’

Whether or not one agrees with him, he’s clearly an evidence-driven guy (or maybe a woman — who knows, right?). He looks to outside sources of expertise and often cites it in his comments. And if someone else offers up some documentation in support of an argument, he’s likely to check it out and see how it squares with that person’s characterization of it.

That approach was evident last week, when Dan replied to another commenter, “Just Sayin,” under our story, ‘Alleged West Side Shooter Rejects Plea Deal.’

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halfacre-1-01-08Now in his third year as mayor, Mike Halfacre has set his sights on a seat in Congress.

After months of testing-the-waters fundraising, Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre plans to make his run for Congresss official on Tuesday.

The conservative Republican has scheduled press conferences in his hometown and in Trenton to announce his challenge to incumbent 12th-district Democrat Rush Holt next year.

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sb-whale-1The mammal came within 15 feet of the shore, witnesses said. (Photo courtesy of Stephen Smith)

A whale made a rare appearance in the Atlantic Ocean off Sea Bright near sunset Sunday, witnesses said.

The animal spent about half an hour within 50 feet of a north shore beach club, appearing listless and occasionally raising its tail out of the water, they said.

It got as close as 15 feet to the beach, said Stephen Smith, a Middletown resident who shot some photos.

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After spotty rains earlier in the day, the skies above Red Bank cleared in time Friday for the annual Kaboom Fireworks on the Navesink display, which once again drew tens of thousands of visitors to town.

As usual, redbankgreen was there to document the event. Here are 99 shots taken before, during and after the fireworks. See how many faces you recognize, and be sure to tell your friends you saw ’em here.

Oh, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to see it return next year, please consider making a contribution to KaBoom here.

To enlarge the slideshow, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To get back here, hit your escape key.



A shot from last year’s show.

just_inRed Bank Fire Marshal Stanley Sickels, who decides whether the fireworks are safe to go or not, tells redbankgreen that the Kaboom Fireworks on the Navesink show “absolutely” will go on tonight.

Only winds over 20 mph or a “torrential” downpour will derail that plan, he says.

“We’ll shoot right through [a less than torrential rainfall] if we have to,” he says.

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Food, fireworks, forgetting where you parked: it’s the biggest event of the year in Red Bank, drawing an estimated 100,000 people for one of the nation’s largest fireworks shows.

First, the weather forecast, as of 6a Friday:

Today: A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80. West wind between 6 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 63. West wind around 9 mph.

So conditions would appear to be favorable for tonight’s Kaboom Fireworks on the Navesink. An official decision will be made about whether to go ahead with or postpone the event at 2p; see below for more info.

If it’s a go, the annual challenge of getting into Red Bank, finding a viewing spot and getting out of town is on, too. Here’s some guidance on how to make the best of it.

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colleen-curry3That’s a question asked about Red Bank in a provocative blog post by Colleen Curry, a lifelong borough resident and newly minted Villanova alum.

On her blog, Chef? Writer? Red Head, Curry — a former redbankgreen intern — challenges the endlessly recited mantra that Red Bank is a “hip” town, at least as it applies to her cohort.

She writes that except for the bar scene, there’s little evidence of twentysomethings participating in the cultural offerings around town.

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A recreational vessel speeds past the barge carrying the KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink display as it nears the Oceanic Bridge en route to Red Bank Thursday afternoon.

A second barge is scheduled to anchor just west of the bridge early Friday morning. The two vessels serve as platforms for simultaneous fireworks displays just a few miles apart.

img_8777gifThe barge, in from Staten Island, heads upriver to Red Bank.


Star-Ledger ‘vodcast’ maven Brian Donohue, leveraging his hometown ties to Red Bank to avoid the ride to Newark this morning, shot today’s edition of Ledger Live on the banks of the Navesink.

Topic? Fireworks.

The first half of the video is an interview with Peter Reinhart, chairman of KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink scheduled for 9pm Friday in Red Bank. Rain date is Saturday, same time.

The second half is about the Santore family of Garden State Fireworks. They’re the folks who are throwing up the display, which Chris Santore tells us is one of the nation’s 10 largest.




The pre-show crowd at Riverside Gardens Park last year.

With KaBoomsday just a day away, and all concerned bravely trying to view the glass as 70 percent empty — that’s the optimistic side of a 30 percent precipitation forecast —  today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit complements our own ongoing coverage of KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink with a look at the live entertainment being presented on two full fully equipped stages in Marine Park and Riverside Gardens.

It’s a lineup that includes Josh ZuckermanJobonannoKirk & the Jirks and more, all of them experienced hands at lighting the party-fuse for an all-ages “captive” audience.

Despite the decrease in dollars from corporate sponsors, it’s a show that’ll go on with no discernible cutting of corners, thanks to the stepping up of individual donors and a heartening volunteer response that met and even exceeded the staffing needs of the organizing committee. Worth a couple of oohs and aahs, right there.

From there we take it down to the Asbury Lanes, one of our favorite fringe haunts and the site of a July 4th art happening called Oh Say Can You Screen! As Dorothy Creamer explains, it’s a celebration of the “affordable and accessible” art of screen printing, curated by one of our favorite “galleristas,” Sarah Potter, in collaboration with DJ Sweet Swedersen. And what can be more all-American than tater tots, Pabst Blue Ribbon, dancing to old records and that All-U-Can-Bowl deal?

All this plus a myriad of reasons to excuse yourself from that barbecue reunion of laid-off co-workers — here and now in the  pixelated pages of oRBit!


chris-santoreChris Santore of Garden State Fireworks overseeing the loading of the KaBoom barge at a dock in Staten Island earlier this week. The barge is scheduled to come upriver to Red Bank on today’s 4p tide; a second barge heads to a spot near the Oceanic Bridge off Rumson early Friday morning. (Photo courtesy of Tommy Welsh)

Everywhere you look, it seems, New Jersey towns and cities have scaled back or canceled their annual Independence Day fireworks shows.

Today’s Star-Ledger is among the latest media outlets to detail the economic fallout on fireworks shows.

But here in Red Bank, the KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink display will go on Friday night, barring an unexpected windstorm or drenching rain — in which case it will be moved to Saturday night.

The only real difference from past editions of the event is that organizers will be out soliciting contributions to close a deficit for the $200,000 spectacle, people involved in the planning say.

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The state funds will pay overtime for additional traffic enforcement for one month.

Red Bank police expect to roll about 20 additional street patrol shifts this month under a state grant awarded yesterday, Capt. Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

The borough was one of 75 municipalities awarded a $4,000 grant under the state Division of Highway Safety’s new ‘Obey the Signs or Pay the Fines’ initiative to help local cops reduce common motor vehicle violations.

The idea behind the program is to boost driver awareness of violations such as failing to come to a full stop at an intersection, passing on the right, speeding and tailgating, says McConnell, who heads the department’s traffic safety division.

By having many towns throwing additional resources at enforcement simultaneously, “you get the synergistic effect,” McConnell says. “It’s better in terms of getting the message out to people.”

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rbpd-patchCrime reports provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of June 19 to June 26, 2009. This information appears here unedited.

Criminal Mischief was reported on 6-19-09. Victim stated that his vehicle was given to valet parking in the area of Monmouth St. restaurant. When vehicle was returned unknown person(s) had keyed both sides of vehicle causing long scratches. Ptl. Dawn Shields.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 6-19-09 at Cedar Street. Unknown person(s) threw a large piece of concrete through the driver’s side window breaking the glass and striking the doorframe of passenger side door. Ptl. Gary Watson.

Theft from vehicle reported on 6-20-09 but occurred on 6-17-09 in the area of Central Avenue. Victim reported that a GPS Unit had been stolen from her car. Ptl. Thomas Doremus.
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It’s a signifier of summer on the Jersey Shore — the annual Fourth of July concert by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes at the Stone Pony, a tradition as crucial to local life as, well, the New Year’s Jukes shows at the Count Basie.


In today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit , we talk to Southside Johnny Lyon for a preview of what audiences can expect  at this year’s show, which kicks off a season of  larger-scale entertainments at the Pony’s SummerStage this Thursday.

We also get on the phone with Jukes guitarist Bobby Bandiera, who, as the Hardest Working Man in Shore Business, just got off the road with Bon Jovi and will do the Jukes thing following a special concert tonight at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal, even as he prepares his next Rock ‘N Soul Revue extravaganza in Red Bank.

It’s all there in oRBit, the local entertainment website that gets the interview, grabs the story, and gets there first!


shrewsbury-ave-accident At least two people were taken away in ambulances after an accident left a car overturned in front of the Wilde Rover rugby clubhouse on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank this morning. (Photo courtesy of Nancy Pechinski)

10:30a update: Red Bank police tell us only one person, the 46-year-old driver of the flipped car, was taken to the hospital with non-serious injuries.

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Back in late May, redbankgreen told you about an effort to spruce up a weed-choked traffic island at the intersection of Bridge Avenue and Monmouth Street in Red Bank in time for Memorial Day.

That deadline was missed. But with the Independence Day weekend approaching, we can report that the triangular patch is looking much better, adding a touch of color opposite the train station in time for the extra trainloads of visitors expected for the KaBoom fireworks show Friday night (rain date is Saturday).

The garden is courtesy of Red Bank RiverCenter, the town’s business-promotion entity.



Yeah, this one has to be among the blurriest photos redbankgreen has ever published. But it’s the best shot we got as Gov. Jon Corzine headed back to his awaiting motorcade from the Buena Place home of former Red Bank Mayor Ed McKenna, right, following a fundraiser McKenna hosted for Corzine’s re-election effort Tuesday night.