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marchese-lucarelliBob Marchese and Ben Lucarelli in Lucarelli’s Red Bank office. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)


This year’s Republican candidates for Fair Haven borough council haven’t gotten caught up in the latest political buzzword “change.” For Ben Lucarelli and Bob Marchese, it’s more of an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality.

But that doesn’t mean the GOP running mates will be able to sit pat if elected to the council. As Lucarelli sees it, change is coming whether anybody likes it or not.  The state’s fiscal problems, he said, will have an effect on small towns like Fair Haven because they’ll lose a big percentage of state aid. He and Marchese are more concerned about managing that change rather than creating it.

“Fair Haven is not broke. The state of New Jersey is broke and shattered,” Lucarelli, owner of Lucarelli Construction Company in Red Bank, said.

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cohen-tikijianMargo Tikijian and Matthew Cohen on River Road. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)


One might think that the historical odds are stacked against any Democrat running for Fair Haven’s borough council, given that none has sat on the governing body since the early ’90s.

But this year’s candidates, Margo Tikijian and Matthew Cohen, see it a different way.

“It’s definitely an uphill battle,” Tikijian said, but noted that on the local level, “it’s not politics. It’s all about keeping the town functioning, running the town smoothly and keeping people happy.”

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img_4699102509Work continues on the planned Urban Outfitters store at 2 Broad Street in Red Bank.


Just a couple hours into Urban Outfitters‘ marathon job fair on Wednesday, there was certainly a deluge at the Oyster Point Hotel. Just not the one that may have been anticipated.

Sometimes in small bunches, but mostly one-by-one, young job seekers dressed in the cutting edge, kitschy fashion that Urban Outfitters specializes in trickled into the Red Bank hotel from a downpour outside.

Over the course of an hour, about a dozen people showed made their way to a second-floor ballroom to fill out applications and interview for positions at the clothing store, which is set to open sometime next month.

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curfew09This year, for the first time since 1998, the Mischief Night/Halloween combo falls on a Friday and Saturday. Does that portend trouble in the form of tissued utility lines, egged front doors and soaped-over car windshields?

Not as far as  Red Bank police are concerned. They say crackdown on teenage after-hours loitering in general, and an annual curfew for two nights bookending Halloween in particular, has reduced problems dramatically in recent years.

Though the borough council’s Halloween curfew resolution is a pro-forma item approved each without much discussion, it has the intended effect, police Captain Steve McCarthy believes.

“Everyone respects it,” he said.

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hot-topic rightPeter Paras, a Red Bank family law attorney who was run over in a by a Jeep in the parking lot of the Galleria shopping and office complex in 2002, took the stand yesterday in the trial of the former client accused of ordering his murder.

From Paras’ testimony, according to an account in today’s Asbury Park Press:

“Out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement,” Paras said, describing his walk across the office parking lot in the late afternoon hours of June 21, 2002. “I know the car hit me. I know the car picked up speed. But it happened so quickly, I couldn’t do anything about it.”

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DON’T go in the house. DON’T look in the basement. And whatever you do, DON’T part with a single discretionary dollar before you visit Red Bank oRBit.

This Halloweekend, the stakes are high, the moon is full (more or less) and the night is neverending, thanks to Daylight Savings Time and a general desire to wring some fun out of 2009 in the late innings. And the oRBit desk has looked to The Orb event calendar for guidance, separating the tricks from the treats, the boutique chocolate from the dollar-store candy corn.

We’ve got the dish and the details on the parades and the parties; the movie marathons and musical madness; the live-action chills and the lantern-lit tours. We’ll take you to our favorite walk-through spookhouse in an abandoned police station, to a costume bash that turns one of the area’s most venerable hotels into a recreation of The Shining — with stops at a satanic sideshow, a zombified Beatles tribute, and even a formal ballet based on Dracula.

It’s all here in the cobwebbed outer limits of  Red Bank oRBit — with more to follow on Friday, as we round up the weekend’s NON-Halloweeny offerings, including a daytripping visit by the “real” Stephen Colbert!


Scenes from the opening night reception at the Two River Theater last Saturday night. 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.

Now in its first full week of stagings, the Two River Theater Company‘s run of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream‘ has already been extended by a week.

The Red Bank company, citing boffo activity, announced the tag-on yesterday.

Star-Ledger theater writer Peter Filichia pretty much raves about the production top to Bottom in a review today.

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patrol-carsCrime reports provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of October 16 to October 23, 2009. This information appears here unedited.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 10-16-09 at Count Basie Field. Unknown subject(s) spray painted graffiti on electrical boxes, water fountain and scoreboard. Ptl. Jorge Torres.

Theft and Criminal Mischief occurring on 10-17-09 at Gold Street parking lot. Victim reported that unknown person(s) damaged the door handle on parked vehicle by prying same, gained entry and stole a Garmin Nuvi portable GPS unit. Ptl. James DePonte.

Theft occurring at Monmouth Street on 10-18-09. Victim reported that a white female, approx. 5’, wearing a black puffy jacket with fur around hood and faded blue jeans grabbed the victim’s wallet while on the train, and then fled after train stopped. Wallet contained cash, credit cards, etc. Ptl. Jorge Torres.
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dscf2141102409The final Mass at was an emotional event for clergy and congregants at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)


Right Rev. George Councell has carried a particular piece of advice with him throughout his career delivering Masses in New Jersey: Say each as if it were your first, say it as if it were your last, say it as if it were your only Mass.

That outlook gave Councell, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey, something of an emotional advantage over the rank-and-file parishioners of Fair Haven’s Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion on Saturday. That was the day Councell came to preside over the congregation’s last-ever Mass.

After 125 years of service, from marriages to Masses, food drives to funerals, the church’s mission in Fair Haven is complete, Councell said. The towering River Road landmark was closed for good following the afternoon service.

“Something precious and wonderful is dying today,” Councell said to the people who filled the pews and spilled out into the benches of the church’s perimeters. “It is an awesome thing to recognize this as the last Mass here at the Church of Holy Communion here in Fair Haven.”

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Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit celebrates the return this evening of Brian Wilson (right) to our right-coast sandbox, with an appreciation of an artist who, pretty much against all odds, finds himself perched at the front of one of the most thrilling live music experiences on the road today.

We’ll look ahead to the Wondermints of the Beach Boys brainiac and his phenomenal touring band — with a look back to his now-legendary 2007 fundraiser at the Basie, when Springsteen and other Jersey Shore pals welcomed Wilson with a Red Bank Red Carpet (and when a surfboard signed by both Brian and Bruce failed to fetch as much as a chance to “Party with David Bryan“).

Big scary friends notwithstanding, it’s all just an appetizer for what’s shaping up to be a very eventful Halloweek, and we’ll help you sort it all out; the trix from the treats and the candy apples from the razorblades, right here in Red Bank oRBit.


A svelte elephant, a dog-eating shark, a human Chia pet and a number of fairy princesses took place in the annual Red Bank Halloween Parade Sunday. redbankgreen has 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.


The ghost of famed WBOO reporter Scoop Haunter showed up at the Red Bank Halloween Parade with his video camera Sunday looking for the real story.

Here are his chilling discoveries…


img_4445102209Ed Niesz of Red Bank at work outside his Branch Avenue home under warm, sunny skies yesterday.

A good day for fence painting gives way to mostly cloudy skies today and drenchy conditions tomorrow before the sun returns Sunday. Or so says the National Weather Service.

Here’s the forecast for our area:

Today: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 61. East wind between 8 and 11 mph.

Tonight: Periods of rain. Low around 55. Southeast wind around 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

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img_44361022091Windows and doors were installed recently on the store’s site at the corner of Broad and West Front Streets.

The scaffolding that encloses the sidewalk is still up, but bit by bit, the temporary plywood sheathing has been coming down, giving passersby a peak into what many regard as the best hope for an economic rebound in downtown Red Bank.

We’re talking about the big new Urban Outfitters clothing and household goods store scheduled to open sometime next month at 2 Broad Street.

Company officials did not respond to a messages seeking verification that the store will open November 19.

But the company’s website has some promising news for jobseekers in the retail sector.

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img_4370102109Jenny Rossano of Worthley Street and her map, below, with half-mile radii drawn around each of Red Bank’s five schools and suggested bike routes in red. (Click to enlarge)


[See editor’s note at the bottom of this post]

A grassroots push for safer ways to get Red Bank kids to school on foot or bicycle kicked off with a well-attended town hall-style meeting at the borough middle school Wednesday night.

A borough resident who makes her living as a civil engineer unveiled a map showing proposed new safe routes to each of the five schools in town. A state Department of Transportation official pledged to help the borough snag as much public money as possible for everything from driver awareness efforts to reconfigured intersections, if necessary. A police traffic safety expert gave a thumbs-up to the initiative as a complement to accident-reduction efforts. And the borough engineer spoke about how it could dovetail with existing efforts to improve walkability in the 1.8-square-mile town.

“We have a lot of momentum already,” said Jim Willis of Harrison Avenue, the principal organizer of Red Bank Safe Routes, at the conclusion of the 90-minute event, which drew several dozen residents and local officials.

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Today, redbankgreen brings you the fourth and final installment in a series of unedited audio interviews with each of the four candidates for two seats on the Red Bank Council up for grabs in the November 3 election.

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ls-station-lotThe lot is owned by NJ Transit but operated by the borough. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)


Fifteen years without repairs have taken a toll on the Little Silver train station parking lot, but the borough has started the process to bring the large commuter space up to snuff.

It could be a long process, though, as bids for all the needed repairs have exceeded the amount the borough is willing or able to spend.

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Who wouldn’t get excited at the mention of the name Dick Hyman? In today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit, we enumerate the ways in which the appearance of the 82-years-young master of music excites interest from all different corners — whether you’re a scholar of traditional jazz, a madman for space-age bachelor pad pop, a patron of the arts or a film fanatic with a woody for the work of  Mr. Allen.

The jazz keyboard giant enters our orbit this Sunday, in a concert at the Axelrod PAC in Deal Park. He’ll be teamed with another extraordinary gent — Dr. Art Topilow (at left in the photo above), the piano ace who also happens to hold down a day gig as director of hematology and oncology at Jersey Shore Med Center. We’ve got an exclusive chat with the man they call Doctor Jazz, in which he heps us to the origins of his association with Dick Hyman as he walks the line between things Hippocratic and hipster-credible.

While we’re down around Asbury way, we’ll attempt to find out why everyone’s selling the place short this weekend — as in the first annual Short Play Festival at the historic Crane House, and the Asbury Shorts festival of indie mini-movies, an event hosted by the new Most Trusted Man in America, MTV’s own Kurt Loder.

It’s all here, with way more to come on a typically Octo-WOW autumn weekend, only in Red Bank oRBit.


authorities3More than seven years after a lawyer was run over by a Jeep at the Galleria Red Bank in an attempted murder, a former client accused of masterminding the crime is about to go on trial in Freehold, the Asbury Park Press reports.

The article doesn’t say why it took so long for the case to make its way to court. But the case is littered with defendants and associates with thick back stories.

Among them is a former Newark cop turned detective who yesterday told Superior Court Judge Ira Kreizman that he wanted to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when testifying, to avoid possible federal or state conspiracy charges. The judge denied the request, saying statutes of limitations had expired, the Press reports.

Attorney Peter Paras, who still has his office at the Galleria, was run over in the parking lot there on June 21, 2002. He suffered a fractured vertebrae and pelvis, broken ribs and head injuries, according to early reports.

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