IN oRBit: RENEE & JOE, TOGETHER AGAIN

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Now that the agita-inducing quasi-holiday known as Valentine’s Day is bearing down upon us, it’s only fitting that we seek relationship advice from those rare couples who’ve lived and loved and worked together since long before that first mile of internet wiring was strung. In today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit, we take our questions directly to one of the longest-running couples of show business.

Having been introduced by their agent and married on Merv Griffin‘s old TV show, Renée Taylor and Joseph Bologna have certainly gone the distance with each other, both personally and professionally. Married over 44 years, the playwrights/directors/actors (you know her as Fran’s mom on The Nanny; him from My Favorite Year and other major movie roles) are coming to the Count Basie Theatre for a touring performance of their autobiographical comedy show known as If You Ever Leave Me…I’m Going With You!

We’ll talk to this classic team about how their own marriage has resulted in such collaborations as Lovers and Other Strangers; about those transitions from acting to writing and vice versa — and, rest assured, about their own prescription for a healthy married life and working partnership. The secret is just a click away, in Red Bank oRBit!

JAZZ & BLUES FESTIVAL LEAVING RED BANK FOR RACETRACK; RETURN IN 2011 UNCERTAIN

deanna-bogartDeanna Bogart performs at the 2009 edition of the storied music festival. (Click to enlarge)

It’s official: the Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival is leaving town, for this year at least.

The annual three-day event, which traditionally draws tens of thousands of visitors, and at least one good downpour, to the natural amphitheater in Red Bank’s Marine Park, is packing up and moving to Monmouth Park racetrack, forced out by a riverside construction project that town officials couldn’t guarantee would be finished in time for the early June event.

This year’s edition has been pared down to two days — Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6 — and rechristened as the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Festival. It will be held in a parking lot just outside the the entrance to the Oceanport horse-racing mecca.

Whether the festival returns to Red Bank is unknown, organizers tell redbankgreen.
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FAIR HAVEN CUTS ADMINISTRATOR’S HOURS

mary-howellAdministrator Mary Howell at Monday’s council meeting, where her hours were cut and some of her duties were handed off to Clerk Allyson Cinquegrana, in background. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

[EDITOR’S NOTE: See update below]

Less than a year after giving a three-year contract with sweet annual raises to borough Administrator Mary Howell, Fair Haven officials have shaken things up at borough hall with what they call a cost-saving “experiment.”

The council yesterday cut Howell’s hours and salary in half.

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TRT PUBLISHER WEIGHS RUN AT PALLONE

diane-goochDiane Gooch, publisher of the Two River Times and wife of Wall Street gazillionaire Mickey Gooch, is thinking about challenging longtime Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone when he’s up for re-election.

The Rumson resident, who hasn’t before run for office at any level, confirmed to PolitickerNJ.com that she’s considering a run, though she sought to tamp down rumors that she and her husband are willing to put up $2 million to back her.

From the article:

“This is something that we haven’t really figured out yet,” she said. “Any number would be completely wrong. I don’t know what we’re going to spend at this point if I’m going to run.”

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CHRISTIE PUTS M’TWON MAN AT MVC WHEEL

martinezBy TOM HESTER

Does this mean we’ll be treated like visiting dignitaries when we go to renew our driver’s licenses?

Gov. Chris Christie Monday named Raymond Martinez of Middletown, an attorney experienced in arranging White House visits by foreign leaders, as the new administrator of the state Motor Vehicle Commission.

The action fills one of the three remaining openings in the new governor’s cabinet.

Martinez, who will earn over $137,000 annually in the post, brings a unique background to the agency that draws the most ire from New Jerseyans.

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IN oRBit: UGLY, BROKE, AND GOING PLACES

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We media types can never resist the opportunity to hitch our wagons to a rising star — the better to say “we made ’em what they are today.” In Tuesday’s edition of Red Bank oRBit, we’ve got exclusive profiles on a couple of dynamic artists; one of them a young guy making a career move that could only be described as Ugly — and the other a driven performer whose latest all-consuming project has left him Broke Wide Open.

We’ll introduce you to Everett Brothers, the Middletown native (and professional hip-hop dance instructor) who’s poised to take the next step in a burgeoning career — and who can be glimpsed on Wednesday’s episode of the ABC TV series Ugly Betty — a show that, while it’s not long for this earth, also served to give a boost to the career of local singer-songwriter Val Emmich last year.

We’ll also bring you an updated interview with a guy who you’ve met previously in our pixelated pages — Rock Wilk (above), the seriously skilled singer and spoken word artist whose autobiographical powerhouse performance piece Broke Wide Open has evolved into a full-fledged stage play. A frequent visitor to our Shore, the Brooklyn-based Rock will be commandeering The Showroom in Asbury Park this Friday for what’s said to be the final solo performance of the piece, before moving on to the next, ambitiously enervating phase of a project that took shape in and around the bookstores, coffeehouses and guerrilla art spaces of Monmouth County.

You met ’em here first — and you’ll read all about ’em, ONLY in Red Bank oRBit!

WELL, DO YOU, PUNX?

pux_2010If he made a really bad wrong turn, Punxsutawney’s most famous resident might end up here, on the Middletown side of the Navesink River, among the cows near McClee’s Creek.

[Editor’s note: please see update below]

Tuesday is Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Which means it’s time for Punxsutawney Phil‘s annual sunrise photo op outside his burrow for his unintended weather-forecast.

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SELLER BUSTED IN QUICKIE LEMON RESALE

james-malteseMiddletown police arrested a township man for theft by deception and other charges last week after he quickly resold a car he bought as a junker, they allege.

The purported crime was discovered soon after police went to help a Delaware couple whose vehicle broke down moments after they bought it from the suspect, according to an announcement by the department’s spokesman, Lieutenant Joe Capriotti.

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SUPER BOWL-BOUND RBC GRAD GIVES BACK

donald-brown-rbcRBC shows its pride with a banner hung outside the school’s Broad Street entrance.

brown-donaldRookie Indianapolis Colts running back Donald Brown is headed to Super Bowl XLIV this weekend.

Sportswriter Steve Edelson of the Asbury Park Press had a piece over the weekend about the Red Bank Catholic graduate.

It touches on a leadership conference that the Atlantic Highlands resident was organizing for Shore Conference football players even as he was about to be drafted into the NFL last year.

It also zeroes in on Brown’s desire to donate $2,000 to Red Bank’s Lunch Break soup kitchen in the days leading up to the AFC Championship game against the Jets last week:
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GIRL RESCUED AFTER FALL THROUGH RIVER ICE

hot-topic rightToday’s Asbury Park Press reports that a 10-year-old Rumson girl was safely pulled from the frozen Navesink River Saturday morning after falling through the ice.

The Press gives the location as “the floating dock which juts out into the Navesink River” near the Avenue of Two Rivers.

The child, who was not identified by name in the Press, was walking her dog at the time of the incident.

From the Press:

According to the victim, the dog bolted after seeing birds take off from the river and ran off the dock onto the ice. The girl, who was attached to the dog by his leash, was pulled off the dock onto the ice.

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HAPPINESS: A WARM DOG & A WARM FRONT

harleyHarley, the nine-month-old English Bulldog greeter at the Old World Shaving Co., enjoys the relative warmth of yesterday’s temps from her perch on an antique shoeshine stand.

Let’s see: temperatures in the teens late last week and through most of the weekend, shooting up to about 30 degrees yesterday, and aiming higher today and most of this week.

At this rate, we’ll be in Rio in no time, right?

Um, not quite, according to the National Weather Service. Still, it won’t be arctic.

Today: Sunny, with a high near 35. West wind around 11 mph.

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IN oRBit: WIDE AWAKE IN ARTVILLE

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The news that cheese actually promotes healthy sleep should be cause for some concern on the wine-‘n-cheese reception circuit, since patrons of your garden-variety boring art show would be in danger of nodding out into the hummus — but fortunately, over at Red Bank oRBit, we don’t have that problem.

In fact, today’s edition of redbankgreen‘s satellite site for local culture vultures offers no less than ten eye-opening events taking place this week, in all conceivable nooks and crannies of the area’s fertile artscape. It’s a tour that takes in a special Black History Month exhibit, an annual show and sale at a local school, a cowboy-themed display at one of our finer hotels, and a special appearance by The Venerable Lama Pema Wangdak of Tibet (pictured).

All this plus the best of what’s already up on the walls, in and around the greater Red Bank oRBit!