FAIR HAVEN DISCONNECTS DISPATCH PLAN

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Police and fire dispatch duties will be shifted to the Monmouth County Sheriff’s office, borough officials said.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Abandoning a plan hatched in controversy, Fair Haven won’t be teaming up with Little Silver to share dispatch services after all, borough officials said Monday night.

Instead, the borough will outsource its emergency call operations to Freehold.

After more than eight months of research and discussion with its neighbor to the south, Fair Haven officials  decided to terminate an agreement entered in March to share dispatch services with Little Silver because the radio technology wasn’t working in Fair Haven. Those issues have since been rectified, Mayor Michael Halfacre said, but the council wasn’t fully satisfied.

“The problems have been resolved, but it’s not the type of dispatch that Fair Haven bought into back in February/March,” Halfacre said. “We’re at a juncture now where we have a decision to make.”

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PRESS: RBMS TEACHER’S DEATH ‘SUSPICIOUS’

just_inA 33-year-old Red Bank Middle School social studies teacher was found dead in her Neptune City apartment this morning, and investigators are treating the matter as suspicious, the Asbury Park Press reports.

The newspaper says little information about the death of Jonelle E. Melton has been released by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, pending the completion of an autopsy.

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NEARLY EMPTY COMPLEX MAY GET RESTAURANT

rb-corp-plaza Except for limited office use, Red Bank Corporate Plaza has been empty since completion two years ago.

By Dustin Racioppi

Red Bank’s comeback from the depths of the economic downturn may turn out to be based on an unexpected foundation: pizza.

In recent months, one large pizza restaurant has opened, a second one  has committed to the downtown, and a third, smaller one is rumored to be coming.

Now, a fourth pizzeria appears about to take over a huge retail space in a white-elephant office, retail and parking complex on West Front Street. And this one could have a coveted liquor license.

Leonardo DiMaria, a co-owner a place to be called Pazzo’s Coal Fired Oven Restaurant, tells redbankgreen a sublease on some 4,900 square feet of space at Red Bank Corporate Plaza is “pretty much done. We should be signing the lease Tuesday or Wednesday.”

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UNDAUNTED BY A SOGGY DAY


Mother Nature could have been a touch more sympathetic. But many of the more than 100 residents who signed up to participate as sellers in the second annual Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale stuck to their plans, employing makeshift tarps, porches, garages and their living rooms as selling areas.

Buyers, too, seemed undaunted by the mix of mists, drizzles and rains that fell throughout the day, carting off armloads of treasures from yards and driveways.

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BLOTTER: GOLD CADILLAC SUV STOLEN

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Crime reports provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of September 4 to September 11, 2009. This information appears here unedited.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 9-4-09 at English Plaza parking lot. Victim reported that unknown subject(s) broke off the passenger side mirror on parked vehicle. Ptl. Michael Campanella.

Theft occurring between 9-5-09 and 9-6-09 at Wallace St. Victim reported that unknown person(s) gained entry through sunroof of parked vehicle and stole a brown in color wallet containing debit cards and I.D. Ptl. Heather Publyski.

Stolen auto occurring between 9-5-09 and 9-6-09 at Marine Park. Victim reported that a 2008 Cadillac SUV, gold in color was stolen from parking lot by unknown person(s). Ptl. Michael Campanella.

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SOMEBODY CALL A CAB?

taxi-accident-091309A taxicab somehow wound up on top of the fence outside a home at Branch Avenue and Tower Hill Avenue in Red Bank at about 5:30p Sunday.

No official explanation for what happened was immediately available. (Click to enlarge)

THEY’RE OUT THERE

yard-sale-091209Shoppers perusing the wares under plastic at a home on River Road this morning. (Click to enlarge)

It may be moist-to-soggy weather, but today’s Red Bank Townwide Yard is in full swing, with participating homeowners reporting surprisingly good foot traffic.

Sellers braved off-and-on sprinkles throughout the morning, placing plastic covers over tablesful of goods or, where possible, setting up in garages, on porches and even indoors.

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YARD SALE MAPS & ADDRESSES AVAILABLE

sellerlist_iconThe info pack for Saturday’s rain-or-shine 2009 Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale is now available on the site’s webpage.

It contains the addresses of all participating sellers, a locator map, and some information about what many residents are selling.

Our favorite: a “giant dust ball.” Oh yeah, you know you’ll dig deep for one of those.

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SUNGLASSES AT NIGHT FOR BUCS FANS

rbr_bucs1Football practice under the big bulbs last night at RBR, getting ready tonight’s big game against Spotswood. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s not often that Red Bank Regional students get a sanctioned opportunity to hang out on weekend nights on school grounds screaming and pumping their fists wildly.

This weekend is one of those times. RBR sports kick off with the Maroon and White Under The Lights Weekend as the school’s football and soccer teams invite their potential victims over for games in front of hundreds of crazed fans.

RBR athletic director Louis ‘Del’ Dal Pra says the reason for the nocturnal event, which occurs just once a season, is quite simple.

“What we’re doing is trying to get some school spirit — create a ‘Friday night lights’ atmosphere,” Dal Pra said.

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IN oRBit: RUSTED, AND NEVER SLEEPING

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Here at satellite site Red Bank oRBit, we can vouch that what used to be considered the iron curtain of Labor Day has become as threadbare a concept as the fall TV season — an idea that’s pretty close to meaningless when you consider how packed with stuff these post-Labor weekends have become down the Shore.

Weather permitting, we’re staring down a weekend of street fairs and open-air art fests; of grand opera festivals and skimboard competitions, triathlons and multimedia lectures, flea markets and charity walks and doggie fashion shows and even a late-night, large group nude photo shoot. All this plus the return of the Red Bank Town-Wide Yard Sale — and we’ve got the goods on all of these goings-on, broken down into the categories of “PLEIN AIR,” “PLAYIN’ OUR SONG” and “PLAIN WEIRD.”

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A BUNCH OF GALS WHO TRI, TRI, TRI

ocean-swimMembers of the Jersey Shore Tri Gals take to the ocean on a training swim Wednesday. (Click to enlarge)

Twenty years ago, in the early days of the Danskin Triathlon, it used to take weeks or months for the event to get fully booked with participants.

This year, all 1,000 slots for the Sandy Hook edition of the swim-bike-run women’s series were filled in a matter of hours.

The event, and the clubs that feed racers into it, just keep growing, said Fair Haven’s Pam Mancuso, self-appointed “queen” and co-founder of the  Jersey Shore Tri Gals. The club, launched in 2004 with just four members, now has some 130, 65 of whom will be in the Danskin race.

“A couple of months ago, half these women wouldn’t even put a toe in the water,” Mancuso said of a group of about 18 women getting ready to join her on a training swim in rough surf at Sea Bright earlier this week. “Now, they’re attacking the water.”

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MERRILL BROKER INDICTED FOR FRAUD

authorities2bA former broker at the Red Bank office of Merrill Lynch was indicted by a Monmouth County grand jury yesterday on charges that he swindled $500,000 from more than two dozen clients.

Forty-year-old Steven Severio of Fair Haven is alleged to have persuaded  investors to cash out of some holdings and roll over the proceeds into new investments, for which he promised returns to 15 to 20 percent, according to a statment issued by Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis Valentin.

Instead, Severio desposited the funds into his own account, without making any investments. In some cases, he cashed the checks at a local check-cashing service, Valentin said.

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PHS: WE PAY, AND WILL CONTINUE TO PAY

atrium-siteAn architect’s rendering of the already approved six-story addition hangs on a fence next to the existing 12-story Atrium at Navesink Harbor, on Riverview Avenue.

Apparent confusion over the the impact of a recent court case has officials at PHS Senior Living putting out word that they don’t intend to seek tax-exempt status for the organization’s showcase senior-living project in Red Bank.

The Princeton-based not-for-profit is expected to pay about $360,000 in property taxes this year on Atrium at Navesink Harbor, on Riverside Avenue. Chuck Mooney, PHS’s chief operating officer, says he expects that figure to double on completion of an approved six-story addition to the Riverside Avenue facility, and to approach $900,000 annually if a pending request to take the addition up to 12 floors is approved by the borough planning board.

But no matter how big the project ends up, PHS has not and will not push to have its property removed from tax rolls, Mooney tells redbankgreen.

“We definitely will not be seeking tax-exempt status,” he says. “There’s no basis for it in the law.”

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SEA BRIGHT CHARGES INTO SKIM BOARD FEST

sea-bright-skim-bash-2A competitor goes airborne in last year’s edition of the event, now in its sixth year.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Forget those end-of-summer blues this weekend. Sea Bright’s got some hot beach action lined up, weather forecast be damned.

Hundreds of spectators and competitors from around the country are expected to watch or participate in the sixth annual Sea Bright Skim Bash, a three-day type of fair at the borough beach.

The weekend is centered on the burgeoning sport of skimming, in which contestants run from shore into an incoming wave, mount a small version of a surfboard at the water’s edge and ride waves like traditional surfers.

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WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

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Thanks to Mark Molzon, Lindsey Hintelmann and J.C. Kelly for writing in about last week’s image, which zeroed in on an iron gate festooned with a bunch of grapes.

Each correctly identified the location as a vineyard on the north side of Navesink River Road in Middletown.

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IN oRBit: FORNATALE’S ON FIRST

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For the past four decades, Pete Fornatale has offered one of the most distinctive voices on New York radio as a disc jockey, interviewer and well-nigh legendary collector of oral history and creator of Mixed Bag Radio.

Few observers of rock and roll history have written about the topic with as much passion and clarity. And here in the 40th anniversary season of Woodstock, the longtime WNEW-FM DJ  brings his skills as a latter-day folklorist to bear with a highly anticipated new book called Back to the Garden: The Story of Woodstock, and a multimedia presentation on the subject that he’ll be bringing to a somewhat surprising venue, Bellas Seafood Bistro in the bayshore borough of Atlantic Highlands.

As the first in a special series of Artists’ Lectures arranged by the Atlantic Highlands Arts Council, Fornatale visits Sunday. We talked to the broadcasting great (now happily ensconced at WFUV out of Fordham U) about the Mud People and the Hand People; about the Santanas and the Porta-Sans, the Rockefellers and the storytellers.

It’s all here, as a way of easing into a brilliantly busy September weekend, in Red Bank oRBit.

TOWN: LOT IS TOO SOON, IF NOT TOO MUCH

img_199672The lot at the corner of Maple Avenue and Monmouth Street was paved without a permit, say borough officials.

Red Bank borough employees returned to work after the Labor Day holiday to find they have a new neighbor: a sleek black parking lot on the site of the former Tubby’s Shell station across Maple Avenue from town hall.

That’s a property borough officials have had an eye on as a possible temporary solution to the town’s own shortage of spaces for employees.

But the sudden appearance of blacktop wasn’t a sign of deal having been reached. To the contrary, the lot had been paved without a permit having been issued, says borough Administrator Stanley Sickels.

So a summons was issued to the owner, Stavola Leasing, of Tinton Falls, he says. But prosecution of the summons is “being held in abeyance,” Sickels says.

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POLICE PACT: SIX PERCENT OVER TWO YEARS

rbpd-patchA tentative contract with the collective bargaining unit representing Red Bank police calls for three-percent pay raises this year and next, borough officials said Tuesday night.

The terms of the proposed pact were  approved by the borough council in a brief public session following an extended one behind closed doors.

The contract now goes back to Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 39 for approval, after which the council would vote on it.

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MURPHY: BRING THE CONTRACT — AND A PEN

art-murphy-082409Murphy stewing at the August 24 council session.

Red Bank’s council is expected to introduce a proposed labor contract with the Police Benevolent Association at tonight’s meeting.

It had better, lest it risk the ire of Councilman Art Murphy III. The council’s liaison to the police department was furious that the tentative pact wasn’t ready for a vote last time the governing body met, on August 24.

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BLOTTER FODDER: INMATE FLOODS JAIL CELL

authorities2bCrime reports provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of August 28 to September 4, 2009. This information appears here unedited.

Theft, Criminal Mischief, occurring on 8-29-09 on Oakland St. Victim observed accused sitting inside of parked vehicle and rummaging through contents in car. Damage was found on the dash board where an attempt to remove car stereo. Victim was able to retrieve items stolen from the accused with the exception of a portable Sirius Satellite Radio. Ptl. Patrick Kennedy.

Theft occurring at Maple Ave. on 8-30-09. Victim reported that her red leather Coach purse was stolen which was left on table. Contained inside the purse was a wallet with cash and credit cards, medication, identification, etc. Ptl. Patrick Kennedy.

Criminal Mischief occurring at Monmouth St.—Jail Cell on 8-30-09. Prisoner flooded the jail cell by continuously flushing toilet and also ripped plastic floor mat. Ptl. Ashon Lovick.

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RED BANK’S DISGRACE GOES NATIONAL

The ugly spectacle of hecklers shouting down a woman in a wheelchair in Red Bank last week is getting national play.

Last night, Keith Olbermann of MSNBC’s Countdown played a portion of the video Brian Donohue shot for his online Star-Ledger feature, Ledger Live, during the August 26 town hall meeting held by sixth-district Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. at the Red Bank Middle School.

The topic: national health insurance.

“If somebody were to parody the truly ugly behavior at some of these healthcare town halls, it might read like this,” Olbermann says in setting up the video.

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