PRESERVATIONISTS DEMAND STATION FIXES

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Peeling paint and rotting wood at the Red Bank train station have preservationists worried about “demolition by neglect.” (Click to enlarge)

Red Bank’s Historic Preservation Commission has gone on the offensive against New Jersey Transit, owner of the borough train station, for what it calls apparently “intentional” lack of maintenance.

The agency’s failure to replace a failing asphalt shingle roof or do basic painting on the circa 1875 structure constitutes “demolition by neglect,” leaving the building in “such a deteriorated state that Transit will insist they have no other option other than to demolish the structure,” the commission says in a letter presented to the borough council Monday night.

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IN oRBit: GLOBETROTTERS & GEARJAMMERS

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Today’s Red Bank oRBit features an interview with one of the most accomplished performers you’ve likely never heard of — a vocalist, writer and globetrotting musical ambassador who’s sung for presidents, starred on Broadway, written songs for Streisand by personal request, and even manged to collaborate with the late great Cole Porter.

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As we point out, if Ann Hampton Callaway (right) isn’t quite a household name here, we’re probably just going to need a bigger household to contain all that talent. Callaway (who wrote and sang the theme song to TV’s The Nanny — there’s a point of reference for you! — comes to the Jersey Shore for the first time this Thursday night with a recently-added show at  Tim McLoone’s in Asbury Park. We’re on the scene, natch, to find out everything, including how she got De Niro to do it 50 times, and how she made Gorbachev cry.

On the other end of the musical spectrum, we remind you about a guy whose Great American Songbook skews more to the John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley side of things — George Thorogood, who invades Red Bank’s Basie Thursday night with his Delaware Destroyers, plus 30-plus years of gear-grinding bluesblast favorites and that guitar sound that’s guaranteed to peel the gold-leaf paint off the most genteel of renovated 80 year old auditoriums.

It’s a flute of champagne, with a bourbon/scotch/beer chaser, right here in Red Bank oRBit!

FAIR HAVEN MAY FORGO GRANTS FOR PARK

fh-robards-houseThe property, seen here from the river beach, is at the foot of narrow DeNormandie Avenue, right. (Click to enlarge)

Amid concerns from some residents that Fair Haven is about to create a riverfront park with access issues, borough officials last night forged ahead while throwing a late wrinkle into the plan.

The newest twist: closing on the $1.2 million deal whether or not $500,000 in offsetting grant money comes through first, if at all.

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IN oRBit: FRIENDS, FEUDS & A FULL MONTY

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Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit issues a little bit of a reminder about two high-profile shows on local stages in the coming days — a Wednesday appearance by John Legend and India.Arie (pictured above) at the Basie, preceded by a Tuesday concert at the PNC starring those somewhat less photogenic (but no less legendary) feudin’ pals Crosby, Stills & Nash.

In the case of the Legend show, it’s a chance to see this top-shelf pop act in a cozier setting than his Thursday night appearance at Madison Square Garden. With CSN, it’s an opportunity to catch them before their new album with career fluffer Rick Rubin makes them cool again.

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‘SHE SHARED THE GIFT OF NATURE’

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We had at least three spirited debates running simultaneously on redbankgreen last week. It was good to see this site being utilized in that way.

The issues included the question, posed by a reader, of whether there should be speed bumps/speed humps on Waverly Place (this debate actually carried over from the prior week); the wisdom of Red Bank having allowed a photo shoot of a staged accident to slow traffic on Broad Street for most of a day; and whether Fair Haven should pay $1.2 million for a piece of waterfront property and turn it into a small park.

In all the back and forth there were at least five or six comments that might have been spotlighted  in this space, which is dedicated to calling out thoughtful and civil commentary. So a big thanks is in order to all those readers who contributed in that vein.

The comment below stands out, we thought, for the sense of history and emotion it evoked.

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FERRARI FEVER RETURNS

img_079120090809They weren’t all red.

In fact, they weren’t all Ferraris, as a half-dozen Maseratis and a trio of Lamborghinis mixed in with about 20 Ferraris at Sunday’s ‘Raduna Eleganza‘ (“Elegant Event)’ on Broad Street in Red Bank.

The gathering of big ticket vehicles was the second in two years organized by Hamilton Jewelers as part of a fundraiser that gave lovers of Italian automotive engineering an eyeful — even if the threat of rain kept the number of cars to less than half the 75 that had been expected.

“These guys don’t like to take their cars out in the rain,” one observer noted.

More pix after the jump…

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POLICE BLOTTER

img_082920090809Crime reports provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of July 31 to August 7, 2009. This information appears here unedited.

Theft occurring at W. Front St. on 7-31-09. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole two Pelican Sport Series kayaks from marina. Ptl. Michael Zadlock.

Criminal Mischief occurring at W. Front St. on 7-31-09. Victim reported that unknown person(s) shattered glass in bottom portion of door on building. Ptl. Robert Campanella.

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HEAT WARNING ISSUED

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It’s gonna be a steamy day.

So says the National Weather Service, which is forecasting temperatures in the mid-to-upper 90s. And “temperatures are not expected to be much cooler at the shore,” the agency cautions.

A “heat advisory” is in effect from 10a to 8p today. Meantime, scattered thunderstorms are expected to provide some relief.

Here’s the full forecast for the Red Bank area:

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LOVE, PEACE & TIE DYE AT LITTLE SILVER REC

Little Silver’s summer recreation program closed out today with a celebration of love and peace in recognition of the fortieth anniversary of Woodstock.

The event concluded with a ‘tug of peace’ in which, like, a million kids took on a vastly outnumbered crew of adults and counselors. The kids won, winding up in a heap on the lawn behind the Markham Place School.

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

PARKING ISSUES DOMINATE YMCA HEARING

hot-topic1Parking and traffic were topics A and B as a plan to bulk up the Community YMCA facility in Red Bank went before the borough zoning board last night, according to today’s Asbury Park Press.

Y officials want to add 40,000 square feet of space to the Maple Avenue facility, which had board members wondering about the adequacy of parking, the Press reports:

Board members and engineers debated with YMCA experts about how much parking would be needed to accommodate daily members and special events at the new building, and if 367 spaces the YMCA plans to provide will do the job.

“We don’t know what (the YMCA) will offer and what it will generate in participation. That’s the unknown,” Borough Engineer Richard Kosenski said.

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IN oRBit: A NEAT NEW D’JEET? AT THE GROVE

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It’s been just over a year since redbankgreen‘s homegrown satellite Red Bank oRBit went online, and to mark the festive occasion, we pay a follow-up visit to D’jeet?, the local-organic restaurant and catering company that we profiled on our very first day of oRBitude.

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What a difference a year makes, as it turns out — because the popular business owned and operated by Casey and Jen Pesce has just moved out of its charming but somewhat claustrophobic setting in a cottage just off Route 35 in Middletown and reopens this week in a shiny new location in The Grove at Shrewsbury.

Coming on the heels of the Pesces’ wedding anniversary and the imminent birth of their first child, it’s a move that sees the catering-oriented business evolve into a full service lunch/dinner restaurant, with a seven-day schedule, a staff of 20 and even its own dedicated organic herb garden, located right out in front.

And, as Chef Casey (right) explains to us, the part that’s not subject to change is the founding philosophy of strictly local ingredients, and an ever-changing menu of seasonal delights.

Also in today’s oRBit, a rundown of recommended musical entertainments for Friday, with more to come when you check back Saturday and Sunday. Only in Red Bank oRBit — still here at your service, and in the same location, since 2008!

SMOKE EMPTIES APARTMENT BUILDING

mechanicst-fireThe scene at the rear of the building as seen from the yard of a Washington Street residence.

A brief, smoky fire in the basement led to the evacuation of a 10-unit apartment building on Mechanic Street in Red Bank this afternoon.

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FERRARI FETISH II

ferrari-2008Rbo_3bFor the second year in a row, the roar and flash of an estimated 75 Ferraris will overtake a stretch of Red Bank’s Broad Street on Sunday.

The display of horsepower and sleek design is part of ‘Raduno D’Eleganza,’ a fundraiser hosted by Hamilton Jewelers for the family of a local boy with a rare form of retinal cancer.

We’ve got details over on our sibling site, Red Bank oRBit.

IN oRBit: RESTLESS SPIRITS

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Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit keeps it in the borough’s business district, where Red Bank RiverCenter has a hand in a couple of events that just might have you seeing red — or ghosts, even.

The shades and phantoms come courtesy of Jersey Shore Ghost Tours, who inaugurate a brand new series of Red Bank Walking Lantern Ghost Tours this Friday night, a series that continues through Halloween with a rendezvous point at The Dublin House — home to the famous house haunter Mrs. Patterson (as well as some decidedly robust spirits).

We talk to Tabitha, the woman behind the ectoplasmic excursions, getting the details of how this whole thing came about — along with a preview of a local ghost story from a pretty surprising source.

It’s all there, along with the latest Orb sightings, in Red Bank oRBit!

HISTORY ON THE BLOCK, PIECE BY PIECE

fh-williams-backThe Charles Williams House, dating to the mid-19th century, will be the site of an estate sale on Saturday.

Fair Haven officials expect to hold a final debate and vote next Monday on whether to float a bond to buy and raze one of the oldest homes in town to create a riverfront park.

Meantime, on Saturday, the owners of the house built by free black man Charles Williams in 1855 are planning to sell its contents at what promises to be an unusual yard sale, redbankgreen has learned.

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IN oRBit: BODACIOUS BIVALVES, RIVER READS

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Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit has the update on a couple of quirky local events — one of them on the move, and the other staying right where it’s been for the 15th straight year.

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There’s the newly rechristened River Read Series, a wordy-wise monthly event here in Red Bank that was launched by poet/ merchant marine John Petrolino (right) with the idea of mixing local literary talent with guest authors from around the region. It’s already outgrown its intimate berth at Frank Talk Art Bistro, and, as we report, it’ll be finding safe harbor a few blocks east at The Dublin House — where this weekend’s event will showcase an all-new vibe featuring plenty of room, access to one of the writer community’s favorite pubs, and no cover charge.

We’ll also take you over to Highlands, where the bayside borough is gearing up for the 2009 edition of Clamfest, the four-day festival that celebrates those most bodacious of bivalves in all its steamed, stripped, chowdered, chilled, frittered and fried glory. We’ll run down what’s new (a fancy Wine Bar), what’s back (the Olympic-level shucking competition) and what’s different — such as the All You Can Eat Clam Contest, which in what is perhaps a sign of the times, is now the Most You Can Eat Contest.

It’s all here, served up by the bucket with a little drawn butter and a towelette, in Red Bank oRBit!

MAN IN BLUE

koetzner-dunkedDetective John Koetzner takes a plunge into the dunk tank courtesy of a boy’s well-aimed pitch at Tuesday’s National Night Out festivities in Fair Haven.

Below, Blue Mood provided a late-’60s soundtrack for the event, which is aimed at  strengthening police and community relations to reduce crime. (Click pix to enlarge)

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IT’S NO ACCIDENT

faux-accident-2A photo crew relaxing near the scene of a staged crash in Red Bank this morning.

It looks, at first glance, like a pretty bad wreck.

Nope.

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IN oRBit: BACK FOR ‘1 MORE ONCE’

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Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit proves conclusively that musicians, no matter what they play, just can’t bear to leave the stage without one more encore.

Case in point: Red Bank’s own Joe Muccioli, the jazz impresario, pianist, arranger, conductor and scholar whose Summer Jazz Cafe series drew to a close this past weekend — or did it? No sooner had the last note faded than the man called Mooch decreed a special bonus weekend of jam sessions at River’s Edge Café — sets that promise some “special guests and surprises” from Joe’s formidable Little Black Book of contacts. We’ve got the rundown right here.

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Then there’s The Chronic Sick, the 1980s Jersey Shore punk rock band fronted by snotnose teen (turned high school history teacher) Greg “Gory” Macolino (right). With the Sick’s old records fetching upwards of a thousand dollars apiece on eBay — and pockets of fervent fans springing up around the nation — the time is ripe for the now middle-aged mates to finish their never-completed 1982 album, and hit the road on their first real tour. We’ve got an exclusive interview with the band, on the eve of their show at the Brighton Bar — the legendary Long Branch spawning ground that’s now co-owned by Macolino himself.

Be kind to your bartenders and wait staff; our name is Red Bank oRBit — and we’ll be here all week!

SURFRIDER EXPANSION PLAN REJECTED AGAIN

hot-topic1In a case that hinged on arcane voting rules about planning boards that do double duty as zoning boards, the state Appellate Division has rejected a Sea Bright beach club’s bid to expand its catering business.

The appeals court last Friday overturned a Superior Court ruling that would have allowed the Surfrider Beach Club to add to banquet facilities that had been approved in 1992.

The borough zoning board denied the expansion plan in 2005 over concerns about noise and other disruptions, and the owner, D. Lobi Enterprises, sued.

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‘NATIONAL NIGHT OUT’ EVENTS PLANNED

hot-topic1Citizens and police in both Red Bank and Fair Haven have scheduled events as part of Tuesday’s National Night Out anti-crime and anti-drug-abuse effort scheduled across the U.S.

In Red Bank, elected officials plan to gather at 6p with residents at the pocket park at Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard.

From there, starting at 6:15, participants will walk about one mile to borough hall, where police will have a display of crime-fighting equipment such as a battering ram, ballistic shields and radar equipment.
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ON BUMPS AND HUMPS

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Last week’s article about a plan by Red Bank to install more 4-way stops took a detour.

The discussion in the redbankgreen comments area turned to speed bumps and speed humps — apparently, there’s a difference — and their impacts on the values of nearby properties.

From a reader who identifies himself or herself as ‘Newcomer,” here’s this week’s selection as comment of the week:

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ANOTHER TRUCK STUCK

trestle-truck-080109An NJ Transit worker looks on as a colleague unjams a rental truck from beneath the West Front Street rail trestle Saturday evening.

Yep, it happened again. Read More »