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PARK AT INCINERATOR SITE YEARS AWAY

incinerator-ballard-mennaMayor Pasquale Menna with engineer Christine Ballard of T&M Associates at the incinerator site last Friday. (Click to enlarge)

The work of finally pulverizing Red Bank’s 70-plus-year-old incinerator smokestack to dust could begin as soon as tomorrow.

But replacing the stack and adjoining garbage dump, both long out of service, with a pristine 8.5-acre park overlooking the upper Navesink River may still be years from beginning, borough officials acknowledge.

They don’t know, for starters, if there are drums of waste buried around the incinerator, and will have to x-ray the ground to find out, borough engineer Christin Ballard says.

Even if tests come up clean, though, local officials may face strong objections from neighbors of the West Sunset Avenue property, some of whom envision nothing but trouble at the dead end of their street if a park is created there.

“I’m just afraid that’s going to be a hangout,” Marcelle Seruby, a senior citizen and West Sunset resident for over 50 years, told redbankgreen recently. “I just feel that it’s unsafe for us. The police have enough to do.”

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CANDIDATE’S NIGHT SET

voting-booth-legsTime is running out if you want to do this and aren’t registered.

Amid reminders from local officials that the deadline for voter registrations is nearing, Red Bank’s Westside Community Group has scheduled its thirteenth annual candidate’s night, at which all four contenders for two council seats are expected to appear.

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IN oRBit: BEAU ON THE ASBURY BOARDS

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It’s well along into autumn, when thoughts run to Halloween and pie and those mischief-filled nights leading up to Election Day. But a few miles down the coast there’s still time for one more beach bonfire, one more surf movie night, one more late-season daytripper.

Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit features an interview with none other than Australia’s two-time world surfing champion Beau Young (right), who comes to our fair Shore for the first time this Friday night for special event.

It’s as a singer and songwriter that the recently retired Young pays a visit — and it turns out that Beau knows chords as well as Beau knows boards, since he’ll be showcasing songs from his just-released second album on a program with the acclaimed film Searching For Michael Peterson. It’ll be a rare look at the documentary profile of the troubled 1970s surfing superstar known as “MP,” and it all goes down at a beloved landmark that’s similarly been to hell and back — the historic Carousel building on the Asbury circuit.

It’s all here, as just a taste of all that’s weird and wonderful in the weekend days to come, at the outer limits of Red Bank oRBit.

COUNCIL UNANIMOUS ON DENSITY CHANGES

sen-beckState Senator Jennifer Beck returned to borough hall in a failed bid to halt higher building densities.

Wrapping up more than 18 months of Master Plan review, the Red Bank council Monday night approved the last of a series of zoning changes focused on encouraging multifamily residential development around the train station.

The unanimous OK by the all-Democrat body, with one member absent, came despite an unusual plea for reconsideration from a former council member, state Sen. Jennifer Beck, a 12th-district Republican who still lives in the borough.

“The proposal before you tonight goes against the character of Red Bank,” Beck told the council. Estimating that the new rules could result in up to 600 new residents in a six-square-block area, she added: “I’m not sure the infrastructure is in place, or existing residents are prepared to deal with, that kind of increase.”

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WORKIN’ ON THE, UM, SMALL MUDDY

bridgebarge2_irCounty workers take soil samples from the bed of the Navesink River at Hubbards Bridge last week.

It looks like a cross between Huck Finn’s raft and an oil prospector’s rig.

But a vessel seen off Hubbards Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown last week was there to probe the bottom of the Navesink River for the best locations for the foundations of a replacement for the temporary structure.

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IN oRBit: THE WINE, THE CHEESE, AND YOU

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bartwaltersmallHave that little cellophane-wrapped toothpick at the ready, and let no one stand between you and that last plastic tumbler of merlot.

Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit offers up a virtual wine-and-cheese tour of some half-dozen all-new art happenings going on at the galleries (and museums, and libraries, and even hospitals) of the greater RB oRBit — not to mention more already in progress. Either way, it’s a lot of cabernet and camembert, so watch that wine intake, or this Art Walk will be a Pub Crawl in the morning.

We’ll take you to the Blaisdell Lobby at Riverview Med Center, scene of a fundraising sale starring the Plein Air Painters of the Jersey Coast; to the county library’s Eastern Branch, where an After Hours Celebration walks on the wild side, courtesy of noted sculptor Bart Walter and his big bronze “Wildthings” (as pictured above). We’ll celebrate Asbury Park’s Arts Block with some wonderfully noisy neighbors, and tell you the best places to dodge this Saturday’s anticipated zombie attack.

It’s all here, along with a “Midweek Hangover Helper” roundup of music, film and theater events that should knock you flat into this Thursday —only on the walls of Red Bank oRBit!

STORM GIVES WAY TO SUN

storm-cloudAn ominous cloud, seen from the corner of Maple Avenue and White Street at about 6:20p, brought a brief, drenching rain to Red Bank Monday evening. (Click to enlarge)

The weather outlook for today is delightful, according to the forecast from the National Weather Service.

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 68. Breezy, with a west wind between 11 and 21 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.
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COP NABS DWI SUSPECT AFTER SHORT CHASE

just_inA Red Bank police captain arrested a drunk-driving suspect after a short chase and scuffle on the East Side early Saturday morning.

Jesse Rowe, 21, was charged with DWI, drug possession and other violations after the incident, according to department spokesman Capt. Steve McCarthy.

The arrest was made near the intersection of Mechanic Street and Prospect Avenue, not far from the suspect’s Mechanic Street residence, McCarthy said.

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BLOCK PARTIES CLOSE OUT SUMMER OF ’09

One featured a bounce-around, historical newspaper articles, a playful three-legged dog and the funk stylings of Red Bank’s own Shimmytang. The other was a quieter affair.

But the residents of both Elm Place and Hudson Avenue put a period on the summer in intimate style Saturday with block parties held just a couple of hundred yards apart from one another. The proof is in the pix.

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

HORNING IN WITH ‘TAPS,’ JEOPARDY & QUEEN

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By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

All was calm and quiet on Maple Avenue in Red Bank Saturday night until about 8:15p, when visitors wielding giant rams’ horns started filing into Congregation Beth Shalom.

That’s when a half-dozen children and adults started wailing into the horns, creating a cacophony of deep, hollow blasts and high-pitched squeals, warming up for the annual shofar-blowing contest ahead.

In the end, 10-year-old Zak Dasaro outlasted his peers and Beth Shalom President Israel Mayk, clocking in at 21 seconds for longest toot of the night. Zak later played “Taps” and won the contest for most original blow. But he had stiff competition.

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WSJ: HOV SEEKING DEBT RESTRUCTURING

Img_9341Hovnanian’s headquarters overlooking the Navesink River.

Red Bank-based Hovnanian Enterprises is trying to refinance some $759 million in debt even as other homebuilders are beginning to buy land again, today’s Wall Street Journal reports.

The company’s moves toward a debt restructuring were underway last week when company founder and chairman Kevork Hovnanian died Friday at age 86. The impact of the Rumson resident’s passing on his family’s control of the publicly traded company is unclear, the Journal reports.

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RENAMING HONORS O’HERN’S ACHIEVEMENTS

ohern-dedicationFamily members and other admirers of the late mayor and state Supreme Court justice gathered for an evening ceremony Sunday.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It would have been easy for Daniel J. O’Hern to leave Red Bank and move on to almost anywhere he wanted, his son, Dan O’Hern Jr., said Sunday afternoon to some 30 people on the corner of Shrewsbury and Locust avenues.

The elder man’s resume was impressive, to say the least: Fordham University and Harvard Law School graduate, Korean War veteran, borough councilman and mayor, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Supreme Court Justice.

“With that pedigree, he could’ve punched his own ticket. But he didn’t do that. He came back to Red Bank,” O’Hern Jr. said. “My father never, ever, ever forgot where he came from. He embraced this town with all of his heart.”

In return for his love and service to Red Bank, borough officials dedicated Locust Avenue —the street he grew up on — to him, ceremonially renaming it Justice O’Hern Way.

“It was important, since his roots are on this street,” said Mayor Pasquale Menna. “We thought in our way we could give back, in perpetuity, to him.”

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BLOTTER: FISH SHOPLIFTER NETTED

authorities3Crime reports provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of September 18 to September 25, 2009. This information appears here unedited.

Criminal Mischief occurring at Mechanic St. between 9-17-09 and 9-18-09. Report of graffiti deployed onto the garage door of firehouse by unknown suspect(s). Ptl. Michael Campanella.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 9-20-09 at English Plaza. Victim reported that unknown person(s) shattered the rear windshield of parked vehicle. Ptl. Heather Publyski.

Criminal Mischief occurring at West Front St. between 9-19-09 and 9-2-09. Victim reported that unknown person(s) damaged vehicle by bending back driver’s side mirror and breaking glass in same. Ptl. Jorge Torres.

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RED BANK EARLY-ED PROGRAM IN SPOTLIGHT

tools-nytmag1The article appears in an education-themed edition of the magazine.

The Red Bank school system‘s cutting-edge early childhood education program known as Tools of the Mind is spotlighted in the New York Times Magazine on newsstands today and tomorrow.

Already a magnet for education theorists who come to town to see it in action, the borough program is used by the magazine as a jumping-off point for a detailed discussion of some fairly arcane research into what works and doesn’t work in equipping pre-K and kindergarten students with the ability to learn.

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ON THE SKED: DUELING BLOCK PARTIES

elm-place-signParty central, as both Elm Place and Hudson Avenue residents have block parties in the works for Saturday.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Summer’s officially over, but there’s one last bit of summer-style business to take care of in one particular corner of Red Bank.

That would be the annual block party. On Saturday, there are two within about 150 yards of each other. And one of them is telling other parts of the borough to come on by.

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ON BROAD: ANTIQUES OUT, ARCHTOPS IN

nevada-exchange-2A display of guitars at the Nevada Exchange store on Broad Street. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi. Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Step into Nevada Exchange on Broad Street in Red Bank these days and you’re likely to get a history lesson from a feisty Italian-American woman with a passion for a certain brand of esoteric hand-made guitars. Because unless you’re among the cognoscenti on Depression-era guitars, you probably don’t know the importance of D’Angelico guitars and how they now fit in with Red Bank, at least according to Liz Barulic, the Exchange’s manager.

Barulic is a both a student and teacher of the John D’Angelico story. The late New York City-based luthier hand crafted some of the most coveted archtop guitars in the industry between the 1930’s and 1950s, but didn’t quite have the recognition of, say, Les Paul or Leo Fender. That’s where Barulic and Nevada Exchange come in.

Opened as a hybrid antique shop/guitar store a couple of years ago, the Exchange has in recent weeks converted to sell nothing but reproduced D’Angelico guitars, those slick, hollow-bodied beauties prominently displayed in the store’s Broad Street window.

“Les Paul had 90 long years here. (D’Angelico) only had 59 short years on this earth, and I’m going to keep his legacy alive,” Barulic said.

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IN oRBit: HI-RESNICK IMAGERY

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“It was the last time that New York was any good,”  Marcia Resnick tells us. “Everybody was poor then.”

The legendary fine-art photographer and photojournalist comes to Red Bank on Friday for the opening of Punks, Poets and Politicians, a major retrospective of her work as a chronicler of (and participant in) one of the most seismic shifts in modern American music, art and culture — all of it centered around NYC’s dimmest days, and nearly all of it accomplished on a shoestring budget.

Red Bank oRBit has an interview with the artist (pictured above, alongside one of her portraits of the late Johnny Thunders) in advance of her appearance at  McKay Imaging Gallery. The woman who shot Andy Warhol (and Abbie Hoffman and Timothy Leary and Sid Vicious) tells us of her experiences with famous faces ranging from cult figures like Lester Bangs, to cultural touchstones like Mick Jagger and the ill-fated John Belushi.

It’s all right here, in Red Bank oRBit.

YARD SALE AT SHREWSBURY FIREHOUSE

yardsalesign2Bargain-hunters alert: the 8th-grade class of the Shrewsbury Boro School will hold a yard sale at the Shrewsbury firehouse on Broad Street (Route 35) from 8a to noon Saturday.

Families from the district have donated items for the sale, proceeds from which will go to the class activity fund to help pay for a trip to Washington, DC, and graduation expenses.

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TALKIN’ RATS IN FAIR HAVEN

hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACCIOPPI

The days of sticking a piece of cheddar in the basement to bait a rat into a gory, spring-loaded death-by-trap are over. The best way to get rid of rats is slow and agonizing, but the upside is that it’s a community effort that can bring neighbors together.

So say experts from the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission, who came into Fair Haven Wednesday afternoon to give a few tips to concerned residents about the borough’s apparent rat problem. Rats have been seen near a pond on Fair Haven Road and behind the Acme supermarket, and the commission came to speak at the request of the borough government.

According to commission health educator Sophia Jozil, taking away all the things rats like — food, water, shelter — will eventually push the rats out or kill them. Or at least get them out of sight.

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BOROUGH HALL TO UNDERGO ENERGY AUDIT

rb-borough-hallThe borough acquired and renovated the onetime auto showroom and office building in 1997. (Click to enlarge)

The home of Red Bank’s government is about to get a going-over by a team of energy experts looking for drafts and lights left burning when no one’s around.

Under a $7,947 contract with Steven Winter Associates of East Brunswick, the audit also calls for an evaluation of the Senior Citizens Center on Shrewsbury Avenue.

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