RED BANK RED BRICK

2-broad-081809The plastic sheathing that had covered a scaffold on the east side of 2 Broad Street in Red Bank for months came down this week, exposing the structure’s original red brick for the first time in decades. The building, built around 1875, is to house an Urban Outfitters store slated to open later this year.

Our photo was taken from the semi-enclosed balcony at 7 Broad. (Click to enlarge)

HALFACRE: BEAT THE RUSH ON ‘OBAMACARE’

hot-topic1 Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre, who’s running for Congress in 2010, has scheduled a public forum on President Obama’s national health insurance plan — to be held 90 minutes earlier, and in the same place, as one hosted by the incumbent Halfacre hopes to unseat.

Halfacre’s campaign today announced what’s billed as the “Open to All Town Hall” scheduled for Wednesday, August 26, at the Middletown Arts Center.

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RED BANKER CHARGED IN BREAK-IN SPREE

just_inA Red Bank man has been arrested and charged with conducting a spree of out-of-town burglaries as far away as Millburn, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Thirty-year-old Miguel Dela Carrera was arrested by Millburn cops at his Linden Place home last week, assisted by police from Red Bank and surrounding towns, though no burglaries in the borough have been linked to him.

According to the Press, police say Dela Carrera drove to Little Silver, Tinton Falls and elsewhere to commit his alleged crimes.

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IN oRBit: PEARLS, CURLS & FRANK TALK

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Today’s Red Bank oRBit brings you an interview with Marybeth Maida — Red Bank resident, Borough Education Foundation vice president, mom and media professional — to say nothing of active, dynamic, even innovative cancer survivor.

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In tandem with her good friend and cosmetics industry insider Debbie Kiederer, she’s also the author of Beauty Pearls for Chemo Girls, the world’s first guide to makeup, wigs, skin care, nutrition and spiritual wellbeing aimed at women who are undergoing chemotherapy. Marybeth and Debbie have chosen Red Bank’s own Frank Talk Art Bistro and Books for their first-ever promotional appearance, and they’ll be signing books and introducing their new website Saturday afternoon — followed at Frank Talk by a “Naturally You Hair Mixer” presided over by sibling success stories (and natural hair care experts) Candace and Palisa Kelley.

It’s all here, in the one place that tops the summer reading list at the virtual beach — Red Bank oRBit!

THE NEW LAWN ORNAMENT

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What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind…

OK, so discarded sugar substitute packets were not what English romantic poet William Wordsworth had in mind when he wrote the ode Intimations of Immortality from Reflections of Early Childhood in 1807.

But our Accidental Photographer came upon this vignette on River Road in Fair Haven earlier this week, and suddenly, we were back in English Lit 101.

MAN HOSPITALIZED AFTER WEST SIDE BEATING

An 18-year-old man was in stable condition with head trauma at Riverview Medical Center Wednesday afternoon following a beating he took from an unknown number of assailants Tuesday night, Red Bank police say.just_in

The discovery of the victim, at his parent’s home on Shrewsbury Avenue, followed two other reports of attacks on the West Side that had police scrambling.

Police Capt. Steve McCarthy, the department spokesman, tells redbankgreen that the department “had a number of calls about large fights” within little more than half an hour.

The first, at 10:30p, had officers looking for evidence of an attack in the vicinity of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. Parker Boulevard. They found none, McCarthy said.

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BLOTTER: KNIFEPOINT ROBBERY REPORTED

policewindowCrime reports provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of August 7 to August 14, 2009. This information appears here unedited.

Criminal Mischief occurring at West Front St. between 8-5-09 and 8-6-09. Victim reported that unknown person(s) broke the back windshield of parked vehicle and also scratched the paint in several places. Ptl. James DePonte.

Theft occurring at West Front St. Bar on 8-7-09. Victim reported unknown person(s) stole pocketbook which contained cash, camera and Ipod. Lt. Richard Mangold.

Robbery occurring at Mohawk Lane—Count Basie Park on 8-8-09. Victim reported that while walking in the park a black male early 20’s, 5’8”, thin, short hair wearing a red bandana covering mouth and facial features came up to her with a knife demanding money. Suspect fled on foot with the victim’s backpack which contained cash, debit card and I.D. Ptl. Michael Campanella.

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IN oRBit: OUNCES OF PREVENTION

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Today’s Red Bank oRBit has a preview of a benefit concert happening Friday night at the Two River Theater — a fundraiser for the Monmouth County-based nonprofit Prevention First and its slate of programs designed to stave off the effects of violence and substance abuse in our local communities.

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Given the organization’s focus on youth, it’s only fitting that they’ve assembled a concert ticket that spotlights some of the most awesomely talented teenaged performers on the Shore’s famous music scene — a ticket headlined by Quincy Mumford (right), the high school senior who’s received raves for musical sophistication and beyond-his-years wisdom. We talked to the busy Quincy (he played three gigs in three places last Saturday), who shares the stage with a pair of Red Bank Regional students — Cara Salimando and recent grad Phoebe Holiday Ryan — both of whom you’ve met in our pixelated pages.

Before all that, however, a reminder about tonight’s special reception and lecture on T. Thomas Fortune, going on at the Red Bank Public Library, where an exhibit of Fortune-related memorabilia continues into September. It’s a rare look at the influential work of the famous African American journalist and editor, who lived in the now-historic Fortune House in the early years of the 20th century, and we’ve got the details up here, where the air is cool and clean, in oRBit!

SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES DARROW CONTRACT

morana-darrowAdministrator Annie Darrow, foreground, with Superintendent Laura Morana earlier this year.

Red Bank’s Board of Ed last night approved a one-year contract with a four-percent salary bump for Administrator Annie Darrow, the Asbury Park Press reports.

The board also accepted an anonymous $70,000 donation, the paper reports.

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HALFACRE HALF-OK WITH STIMULUS MONEY

halfacre-bikerMayor Mike Halfacre in 2008.

With his town having  just landed a whopping $477,000 in federal stimulus money, one might think that Fair Haven mayor and congressional aspirant Mike Halfacre is in a bit of political quandary.

Halfacre, you see, rarely misses an opportunity to bash the Democrat-spearheaded spending plan.

Charles Gibson just asked: What’s in massive stimulus for you?” Halfacre posted on Twitter back in February. “My answer: Not a damn thing!”

That was a couple of weeks after he wrote a blog post in which he called on “all Republicans” to oppose the economic bailout then up for a vote on the Hill. He termed it a “pork-laden and, by most economists’ accounts, ineffective stimulus package.”

Last week, Fair Haven learned it had won approval for the full cost of replacing sidewalks on River Road from Fair Haven Road west, past the Acme supermarket.

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MANSION-TO-OFFICE PLAN OK’D IN SQUEAKER

28-leroyNew owner Charlie McCague says he spent $50,000 to restore the slate-and-copper roof of the structure and will preserve the clapboard exterior and interior layout.

After a vote that sharply divided the borough planning board, one of Red Bank’s most distinctive old mansions is going commercial.

The century-old Victorian at 28 LeRoy Place is to become an accountant’s office after a vote on the conversion split the board 5-4 Monday night.

Those in favor cited the fact that the structure is in a professional office zone and argued it would serve as a buffer between nearby homes and the “abomination” of the former Sun Bank at the corner of LeRoy and Broad Street.

Those opposed said they were concerned about “creeping commercialism” and a “domino effect” leading to other homes on Leroy being turned into offices on the strength of an approval.

“No,” said Councilwoman Sharon Lee, when called on to vote. “It constitutes an assault on our historic homes.”

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BUMPER TO BUMPER ON MADISON

madison-clipper1Mary Ann Hance of Madison Avenue with her damaged car Tuesday morning.

Red Bank police are investigating hit-and-run incidents in which two cars parked about 75 yards apart on Madison Avenue ended up with their front bumpers torn off Monday night or Tuesday morning.

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IN oRBit: BRUCE, BACK ON THE BOARDWALK

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That’s cabaret crooner and top-shelf nightclub entertainer Eddie Bruce (right), the Philly-based star whose acclaimed appearances in Manhattan and AC haven’t stopped him from making the Shore part of a balanced diet of regional touring. The singer — who some of you might recall as the original host of the 1980s Philly TV show Dancing On Air — brings his special tribute to the artistry of Tony Bennett back to Tim McLoone’s on the Asbury boardwalk this week, and today’s Red Bank oRBit has a fun conversation with this young performer who’s got a surprisingly long history in show business.

A New York City serenade of a different sort is going on over at New Jersey Repertory Company, where the hard-hitting drama The Rant opens later this week as the latest original new work on display at that fighting professional stage. Penned by a former caseworker for NYC’s Civilian Complaint Review Board (the people forever caught in the no-man’s-land between the city police and the public), the play looks at the elusive “truth” of a  tragic shooting incident, through the perspectives of a harried caseworker, a grieving mother, a police officer and a tabloid reporter. We talked to director Jesse Ontiveros in an attempt to piece it all together: we hand it all back to you, fair and balanced, and you decide, only in Red Bank oRBit!

‘NOT THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD…’

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Once again, we’re glad to see so many good candidates for Comment of the Week in our files from last week. Thanks to everyone who posted something.

The comments we highlight here need not be shining examples of argument and the art of persuasion. Spelling, grammar and punctuation aren’t all that important, either. What we’re looking for is civility and a sincere interest in contributing to discussion of public issues.

The comment below was posted by “Lesley” beneath our article about the Cedar Crossing affordable-housing project getting $400,000 in a construction grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.

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PALLONE PLANS TOWN HALL ON HEALTHCARE

hot-topic1Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. has scheduled a town-hall style Q&A about health insurance reform for Tuesday, August 25 in Red Bank.

But Pallone, a Long Branch Democrat who chairs a House subcommittee with responsibility for oversight of Medicare and other health-related matters, is facing pressure to find a larger venue than the council chambers at borough hall for the meeting.

Red Bank resident Krishna Tyler, on behalf of the vacationing GOP council candidate Kim Senkeleski, is circulating an email calling on recipients to contact Pallone’s office to ask for a change of locale.
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TOWNWIDE YARD SALE REGISTRATION OPENS

cimg858420090813Coming into view in Red Bank: block after block of tables groaning under the weight of good, used stuff.

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Registration is now open for the second annual Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale, scheduled for Saturday, September 12, rain or shine.

redbankgreen has created a new yard sale website to serve as the clearinghouse for information about the event, which last year drew thousands of visitors to more than 150 homes across town.

The site features articles about yard sales, with more to come. We’ve also got the registration form that residents must submit in order to have their addresses, and select items they’re selling, listed in an information packet that will be distributed to shoppers the morning for the event. The registration fee for sellers is $10.

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A QUIET LUNCH INTERRUPTED BY FAME

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What’s the story here? There is none, really.

redbankgreen‘s accidental photographer came across this crew of Tinton Falls public works employees having lunch recently at the Mid-Monmouth Industrial Park, and we decided to make them famous just for the hell of it.

Hey, they keep the streets clean, right?

WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

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A handful of readers correctly identified the location of last week’s image, which showed a humanoid figure made of welded-together car parts.

We were sorry to learn, though, that Tom Kilgannon, who made the sculpture, died last December. He was 53 years old.

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IN oRBit: THURSDAY’S THE NEW FRIDAY

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Today’s Red Bank oRBit has early word of a couple of new happenings going on around the borough business district, where Red Bank RiverCenter is getting ready to launch a new series of Third Thursdays promotions — a monthly slate of sales incentives, in-store promos and outdoor entertainment designed to turn your Thursdays into something resembling the new Friday. We’ve got the details for you, in advance of next week’s debut.

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We’ve also got a way-in-advance look at a special event that’s being cooked up for later in September: A Taste of Red Bank, a self-guided, pay-one-price tour of some 30 participating borough bistros. We’ve got an up-to-date list and all the links you’ll need to get started on your savory stroll.

But if Thursday’s the new Friday, then it looks like Saturday’s going to have to do the work of both Saturday and Sunday, as the annual Clearwater Festival — that edu-taining and environmentally themed summer celebration presented by the newly rebranded New Jersey Friends of Clearwater — marks its tenth year in Asbury Park.

Here in 2009, the Red Bank-based Friends have condensed the event into a one-day affair, with an all new FREE admission policy and a lineup of talent that’s highlighted by folk legend Oscar Brand (pictured) and pedigreed bluesman Guy Davis.

All this and more choices for the weekend, coming up over the next couple of days, not only in Red Bank — but only in Red Bank oRBit!

PARKS SERVICE REJECTS SANDY HOOK FIRM


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A decade-long effort to derail a redevelopment plan that would transform Sandy Hook‘s Fort Hancock into a convention facility notched its biggest victory to date yesterday.

The National Park Service, which oversees the history-rich property, yesterday canceled a lease agreement with Sandy Hook Partners, finding after a review that the firm, headed by Rumson developer James Wassel, didn’t have the financial wherewithal to make the project happen.

Opponents of the redevelopment plan hailed the decision as a victory of public interests over private ones, but lamented that it was overdue. The Wassel group was repeatedly given extensions over the past eight years to secure sufficient financing, and the issue has been heavily litigated.

“Hallelujah. What took so long?” asked Peter O’Such of Fair Haven, as quoted by the Star-Ledger. O’Such is a member of Save Sandy Hook, which sued Wassel’s agency and the National Park Service over the contract.

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IN oRBit: CALLING ALL ‘PARKER POSEYS’

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Today’s Red Bank oRBit takes it down to Long Branch, the better to toast the memory of West End’s greatest contribution to our popular culture (after the Windmill) — the late 20th century author, activist and all-around wit Dorothy Parker.

dotsmall1A member of the legendary Algonquin Round Table, an Oscar-lauded screenwriter and one of the most-quoted poets, columnists and storytellers in American history, Mrs. Parker never made much mention of her Jersey Shore roots. But for the past several years a dedicated group of fans have carried a torch for this founding mother of the Vicious Circle, gathering at the local library for a program of readings, skits and book signings, followed by some serious cocktail action and a justifiably famous Dog Parade that includes canine costumes and an honest-to-God “Blessing of the Pets.”

There’s also an invitation to all “Parker poseys” to take part in a Dorothy Lookalike Contest, open to everyone regardless of “age, gender or hat size.”

So park it right here —  at the big round table known as Red Bank oRBit.