LIGHT POLE DOWNED

lightpole-monmouth-mapleA traffic light at the corner of Monmouth Street and Maple Avenue in Red Bank was out of commission late this afternoon after getting hit by a truck. The truck left the scene. (Photo courtesy of Robert Bruce)

SNOW PUTS A LID ON DOWNTOWN ACTIVITY

img_6133121909Santa Claus had few shoppers passing his perch in the window of Primas Home on Broad Street at lunchtime. (Click photos to enlarge)

After a couple of hours with no snowfall, the flakes have resumed falling on Red Bank in what is widely forecast to be a storm with blizzard-like conditions. Meaning wind and lots of white stuff.

Here’s the outlook from the National Weather Service as of 3:40p:

Late Afternoon: Snow. High near 31. Blustery, with a north wind around 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

Tonight: Snow and widespread blowing snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Some thunder is also possible. Low around 25. Windy, with a north wind between 25 and 30 mph, with gusts as high as 43 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 9 to 13 inches possible.

shoppers121909Foot traffic was modest on Monmouth Street during a midday lull in the storm, but singer Bob Jacques of Shrewsbury was committed to playing on from his spot outside Ten Thousand Villages.

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‘SNOW PARKING, PLEASE, IF IT SNOWS

WindblownWind whips snow off rooftops downtown on Broad Street during a storm on March 2, 2009.

The Red Bank Police Department is asking residents to move their cars to off-street parking overnight and tomorrow in anticipation of a snowstorm that could dump 14 or more inches of snow locally.

The request has been made in the form of a recommendation, because many borough streets are not included in a snow removal ordinance (text below) that prohibits parking of specific streets when the ground is snow-covered, said Acting Chief Steve McCarthy.

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THIS WON’T LAST, BUT IT ISN’T MEANT TO

img_6096121709Gallery mavens at last night’s opening, in the see-through space last occupied by Design Front. (Click photos to enlarge)

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Emily Asher Neiman, who closed her short-lived gallery on Monmouth Street in Red Bank just about year ago, returned to town last night with a new enterprise, one that’s got planned obsolence built in.

Asher Neiman Gallery reopened last night at 21 East Front Street, the former home of outre furnishings (and occasional automobile) retailer Design Front, which closed some months back.

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BIKE GROUP PLANS ART RIDE, OR VICE-VERSA

criticalmass2Some of the participants in Spoke & Art’s inaugural ride in October.

[UPDATE: This event has been indefinitely postponed due to post-storm road conditions.]

Here’s a possible conversation starter: the sight of a people dressed in day-glo and riding bikes through Red Bank. At night.

Kate Okeson is organizing just such an event for Monday night.

Okeson, a Branch Avenue resident who teaches art at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, is the founder of Spoke & Art, a loose-knit effort to promote a variety of community-jelling ideas, including bike riding.

Unlike Safe Routes to School, another new organization but one that takes a conventional approach to securing bike and pedestrian paths to all the schools in town, Spoke & Art is more about mobile art events that spark awareness, Okeson says.

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EVANS OUT AS PARKS & REC HEAD

evans-bobBob Evans at the Red Bank Centennial picnic in 2008.

Red Bank Parks & Rec director Bob Evans appears to be out of a job come January 1.

“It doesn’t look like the reappointment will be made,” Mayor Pasquale Menna told redbankgreen late yesterday, in response to questions over whether Evans had been fired earlier this week.

Menna, citing state regulations regarding government personnel matters, said he could not discuss Evans’ status, except to say that “he’s taking some personal time at this point.”

Evans could not be reached for comment. Two sources say that Evans was “shocked” to be told by borough Administrator Stanley Sickels on Wednesday that he was being terminated for mismanagement of the department.

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BRAZILIAN COURT BLOCKS BOY’S RETURN

just_in1David Goldman’s latest victory in his long battle to repatriate his 9-year-old son from Brazil was shortlived.

That nation’s top court granted a request by Sean Goldman‘s Brazilian relatives preventing the boy’s removal from Brazil until he has expressed his own will in court, a Supreme Court official told the Reuters news agency today.

David Goldman, of Tinton Falls, had flown to Rio de Janiero earlier today on the hope of bringing his son home as early as tomorrow, under the terms of an appeals court ruling yesterday.

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DAD VAIL DUMPS RUMSON; EKDAHL MIFFED

hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The Dad Vail Regatta won’t be coming to Rumson next year after all, officials announced Thursday, much to the shock and disappointment of Rumson leaders who were assured the popular intercollegiate race would be taking place on the Navesink River.

“That is unfortunately true,” Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl said, just a half-hour after he received the news via telephone from Dad Vail committee member Jim Hanna. “I’m not sure what happened.”

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POST OFFICE CUTTING HOURS AGAIN

img_6063121509A cheesy sign with partly-obliterated information announces the change. (Click to enlarge)

The post office on Broad Street in Red Bank is about to get another cutback in its service hours.

A spokesman for the Postal Service confirmed to redbankgreen that the facility will close at 6p Monday through Friday, and hour earlier than present. The change is effective December 26.

Reason? “A significant drop in retail transactions during the last hour of the day,” says spokesman Ray Daiutolo Sr.

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HOV REVENUE FELL BY HALF IN 2009

Hov_hq_81206Hovnanian’s Red Bank HQ, as seen from the foot of Maple Avenue.

Hovnanian Enterprises reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $250.8 million yesterday.

That’s down from a net loss of $450.5 million in the final fiscal quarter of 2008, the Red Bank-based homebuilder disclosed.

In announcing its results, the publicly traded company said revenue in the quarter fell to $437.4, from $721.4 a year earlier. For the full year, revenue fell by half, to $1.6 billion, from $3.3 billion.

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PRESS: FIVE BUSTED IN POT HAUL

authorities3[Editor’s note: See update at the end of this article]

The Asbury Park Press reports that five Red Bank residents were arrested in a raid that netted three pounds of marijuana and $70,000 in cash.

They were arrested on River Street Tuesday in a joint operation involving local police and members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, the newspaper says.

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IN oRBit: MATTERS OF LIFE & DEATH

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There’s an appearance by a local author, whose chronicle of her recovery from a devastating head injury details her experiences between this world and the next. An original musical written by two composer friends as a way of dealing with loss, and the mystery of where it is that we go when we die. A play performed by and for high school kids as a tool to combat teen violence and suicide. Each one a matter of life and death, and all of them taking place this Sunday within the greater Red Bank oRBit.

Today’s edition of our satellite site brings you to the Left Bank of Red Bank, where Kim Widener inaugurates her new NovelTeas Authors Aromas & Gifts with a visit by Noelle McNeil (above), the Little Silver student whose book Heaven Exists is fast becoming a word-of-mouth sensation.

From there it’s over to the Ranney School in Tinton Falls, where CBS exec (and frequent telecommuter to the Howard Stern show) Vinnie Favale of Lincroft offers a sneak preview of songs from his original musical drama Hereafter. Finally, we look in on Ralph Colombino of Eatontown’s Actor’s Playground, who presents another free public performance of William Mastrosimone‘s award winning Bang Bang You’re Dead in Shrewsbury.

It’s all here, the sweet and the hereafter, along with a passel of picks to come in this hectic holidaze weekend, in Red Bank oRBit!

PUTTING THE ‘ARM’ IN PHARMACY

mario-mazzeoMario Mazzeo of Lite Brite Signs in West Long Branch reaches through the R while doing maintenance work on the neon sign of Red Bank Professional Pharmacy on Broad Street earlier this week.

Mazzeo, who specializes in neon signs, says the drug store’s 30-plus-year-old sign, with its exposed tubes, is among the last of a vanishing breed. (Click to enlarge)

BRAZILIAN COURT SIDES WITH GOLDMAN

Goldmans2David Goldman with his son, Sean, who was taken to Brazil by his late wife four years ago and never returned.

A Brazilian federal appeals court has ruled that David Goldman of Tinton Falls should have custody of his son, Sean, who has been living in Brazil for five years, the Associated Press reports.

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BIRDSONG OF THE AMAZON, VIA RBR CHOIR

Check out this video of the Red Bank Regional concert choir’s performance last Friday of “Tres Cantos Nativos dos Indians Krao”, or “Three Songs from the Krao Tribe.”

The piece ends with the singers doing bird calls.

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A TASTE OF INNOVATION AT THE GALLERIA

tasteJanine Hillyer, left, and Ken Kruse, owners of The Melting Pot, are ready to titillate your taste buds with their new restaurant just next door, Taste. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

For years, Janine Hillyer would look over from her view at the Melting Pot, which she co-owns, and see a prime space she envisioned making her own.

She watched it change occupants a couple times — most recently, a restaurant, Savanna, and before that, a coffee shop called House of Coffee. Once Savanna moved out about a year ago, Hillyer and her business partner, Ken Kruse, pounced on the opportunity to make that space their own.

“We would constantly, longingly look over at this place and want to be here,” Hillyer said.

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IN oRBit: FANS BUY ‘BORN TO RUN’ COTTAGE

Rbo_3bIn an exclusive, today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit reports that three Bruce Springsteen fans, including one from Lincroft, have purchased the Long Branch house where the rocker wrote ‘Born to Run‘ and other songs from his 1975 breakthrough album of the same name.

They paid $280,000 for the 828-square-foot West End cottage just so no one else would buy and tear down what they see as a rock and roll shrine.

“We don’t want it to ever be anything than what it is,” co-buyer Kim McDermott tells oRbit, the entertainment news companion to redbankgreen.

PHILLY PAPERS: DAD VAIL MAY NIX RUMSON

img_5128111409Both the Philadelphia Inquirer and that city’s Daily News are reporting today that the Dad Vail Regatta‘s move to Rumson next year may not happen.

From the Daily News:

Officials with the nation’s largest intercollegiate rowing competition – facing new questions about its planned move from the Schuylkill to Rumson, N.J., next spring – are now planning to meet Mayor Nutter and U.S. Rep. Bob Brady tomorrow to talk about keeping the popular event in Philadelphia in 2010 after all.

The mayoral sit-down was arranged last night during an emergency meeting of the Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee – the same group that stunned city officials earlier this fall with the announcement that the rowing classic would move to the Monmouth County town for the May 2010 event.

A source close to the regatta said that moving the race to Rumson was a larger logistical challenge than had been thought and that Brady and Nutter’s recent involvement had demonstrated that the city was dedicated to keeping it here.

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IN oRBit: A VISIT FROM ST. (BURT)NIK

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With the calendar ticking off the days til the 25th, today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit brings you an exclusive interview with a character who, once each year, journeys here from some frozen far-north outpost to set up shop with some crafty helpers — on a mission to bring toys, clothes and essentials to our neediest neighbors.

If you guessed our “get” was Saint Nick, well, that’s close enough for rock and roll, we suppose. It’s actually the saintly Glen Burtnik (right), who returns to the Count Basie Theatre this Saturday night for the nineteenth edition of his long-running Xmas Xtravaganza, an annual Good Samaritan groovefest that’s helped even more people than it’s managed to crowd onto the stage.

A veteran of both Styx and Beatlemania, the hitmaking singer and songwriter (he’s just returned from the Russian front on a tour with the latest edition of Electric Light Orchestra) is also famous for his little black book of big scary friends — an unspecified set of which will be showing up in Red Bank for this weekend’s concert. We’ve got the goods from Glen right here — along with a reminder about a special day of care and feeding at Jack’s Music — in Red Bank oRBit!

HOOKAHS ON WEST FRONT

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Yo, check it out: hookahs! And are those slippers? (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

No, you did not misread that headline, or imagine what you saw as you passed 16 West Front Street in Red Bank recently.

Those were hookahs in the window and lining the shop’s walls.

Joining a gym, an upscale clothing store, a puppy boutique and a modish restaurant/night club along the increasingly trendy West Front strip last month, the owners of Tobacco Paradise hope not only to buck the anti-smoking tide, but to do it with exotic devices associated with lazy afternoons in Middle Eastern cafés and bazaars — not to mention dorm rooms the world over.

“There’s nothing in Red Bank like this,” said Leo Santani, one of the owners. “It’s really a unique type of store.”

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A BIT OF BLUES ON THE GREEN

The tune is called ‘Red Bank Blue,’ and the composer/guitarist is Dave Crowton, 47-year-old lifelong borough resident.

redbankgreen asked Crowton, via Facebook, what makes this a Red Bank tune.

Here’s his reply:
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IN oRBit: WHAT BROWN CAN DO FOR YOU

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Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit does it up in shades of Blue and Brown — courtesy of a boisterous benefit bash that’s toplined by some of the Shore’s finest Blues masters and mistresses, along with a revival of a musical adapted from the works of a true philosopher king of the funnies.

That show is You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the stage adaptation of Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts characters and the latest family-friendly offering from Two River Theater Company. It’s a fresh look at the timeless humor of that most sublime strip, and we’ve got a Q&A with Charlie Brown himself — otherwise known as Doug Hara (above), the actor who, believe it or no, played the manipulative messenger of mischief Puck in TRTC’s recently wrapped production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

After that it’s a break for lunch — an unusually late lunch, on Thursday night down in Bradley Beach, where roots-music impresario Michael Patrick  presents a special Jam Away the Blues benefit for Red Bank’s own Lunch Break nonprofit. With the likes of Sonny Kenn, Matt O’Ree and Chuck Lambert on board, the event’s got cred to spare — and we’ve got the roadhouse rundown, only in Red Bank oRBit!

POLICE NAB FOUR JUVENILES FOR GARAGE FIRE

authorities3Red Bank police took four minors into custody Sunday following a fire in the garage of a vacant Bank Street house on Sunday.

In a press release issued this afternoon, police Captain Darren McConnell said the 10:56a blaze was intentionally set.

Volunteer firefighers quickly quashed the blaze, and no structural damage resulted, he said.

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