BENT POLE SHUTS BROAD STREET BLOCK

bent-pole-060610The leaner at about 5p Sunday. (Click to enlarge)

A precariously bent utility pole caused Red Bank police to shut down Broad Street between Bergen Place and Pinckney Road beginning at about noon Sunday.

Though the upper part of the pole had been leaning toward the street for some time, the condition had noticeably worsened in recent days, calling for an emergency detour of traffic away from that block, an officer on the scene told redbankgreen.

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GETTA LOADA THAT CANNOLI!

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OK, first, no, the cannoli above is not shown actual size. But if you wish it were, you’re definitely part of the demographic for this new feature, you decadent thing you.

Today, on a sweltering June day, redbankgreen busts open the freezer with the debut of Cool Inside, a sumerlong weekly feature. We’re kicking off this series by turning our eyes — and hanging tongues — in the direction of LaRosa’s Bakery in Shrewsbury.

Every Friday through Labor Day week, we’ll focus on one treat. What’s the selection criteria? Our aim is to call out deep-down, body-cooling desserts and other goodies available locally. Could be an Italian ice, a milkshake, a banana split. We’re open to ideas.

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KABOOM NEEDS BIG BUCKS, BUT WILL GO ON

kaboom-riversideContributions on the day of the show put the 2009 KaBoom fireworks barely into the black, but this year’s edition needs more public support, organizers say. (Click to enlarge)

Independence Day fireworks in Jersey City, Chicago and other major cities have already been canceled, and may yet be doused in Montclair, Bloomfield and elsewhere.

But Red Bank’s KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink display, one of the nation’s largest and most elaborate, will light up the sky as scheduled, weather permitting, organizers insist.

Like relatives of Johnny Jazz, however, they find themselves fighting persistent rumors of the event’s demise.

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LIKE A JUNEBUG ON A GALLERY WALL

picture-5Dub-ble vision: The landmark Dublin House is among the people, places and things rendered in ecstatically bold strokes by illustrator Mike Quon, in a first-ever art installation at NovelTeas in Red Bank.

It’s time once again for a virtual “Artwalk” — come on in, the watercolor’s fine — and what follows here are some picks for the coming days and nights at the storefront galleries and public spaces of the Green.

• FRIDAY: Photographer Michael Hynes at The Monmouth Museum. As part of the Emerging Artists series, the Monmouth Museum (on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College) spotlights a set of compelling black and white images by Middletown-based lensman Hynes — featuring scenes of his native Ireland as well as his adopted home on the Jersey Shore. Hynes is expected to be present at the opening, from 6p to 8p, and he’ll return to the museum on the evening of June 16 for another in its regularly scheduled series of Artist Talks. Exhibit continues during normal museum hours through July 3; check website for admission info.

• SATURDAY: Rahway Art Hive at Jamian’s Food & Drink. The Rahway Art Hive? It’d sound downright sci-fi sinister if it didn’t sound so simultaneously intriguing. Based in our sister city just up the NJ Transit tracks, the creative cooperative (and accompanying art gallery) presents its first Monmouth County “away game” show as the June feature at Jamian LaViola‘s eponymous Monmouth Street bistro, an offering curated as always by Red Bank painter (and Jamian’s mixologist) Travis Radcliffe. Beginning tonight and continuing through June 30, the work of Jim McKeon and company is on display at the restaurant that opens up its inviting “convertible” facade when the weather gets warm. Your host Jamian caters the cool cuisine at a reception at 8p.

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LIBRARY BOOKS MARQUEE RUNNERS, WALKERS

library-runnersWarming up to raise money for the Friends of the Red Bank Library are, from left, Brian Hanlon, library director Debbie Griffin-Sadel, Beth Hanratty, children’s librarian Sam Quintas, Audrey Oldoerp and — not quite ready to hit the asphalt — Christian Oldoerp. (Click to enlarge)

This year’s George Sheehan Classic will feature at least 15 marquee runners and walkers.

No, not ‘marquee’ in the sense of elite. These are folks who will be risking blisters and sunburned shoulders in an effort to raise money for a marquee signboard they hope to see installed in front of the Red Bank Public Library on West Front Street.

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LET’S DO LUNCHMUSIC

lunch-music4The Andreach-Chrepta Jazz Duo opened up the summer-long LunchMusic series at Riverside Gardens Park on Wednesday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A couple of weeks ago, Barbara Ely picked up a flyer promoting  a pairing of food and live music at Riverside Gardens Park, and grabbed a notebook.

“I was writing down everything that was going on in Red Bank because sometimes I miss it,” said Ely, of Middletown.

This particular event she didn’t want to let slip from her radar. She noted the times and called her friend, Pat Wisdom, to make a date.

On Wednesday, the two friends met as planned. They sat in the shade munching on noodles and sandwiches as sounds of the Andreach-Chrepta Jazz Duo wafted on the air to open up Red Bank RiverCenter‘s newest downtown promotion, LunchMusic.

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HOV POSTS ANOTHER QUARTERLY LOSS

Img_9341Hovnanian’s headquarters overlooking the Navesink River at Maple Cove. (Click to enlarge)

The misery isn’t over at Red Bank-based national homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises, despite a brief return to the black two quarters back.

The company reported a net loss of $28.6 million in its second fiscal quarter, which ended April 30,  compared with $118.6 million loss a year earlier.

In its first quarter, the company was profitable for the first time after more than four years of losses. Hovnanian has now lost money in 14 of the last 15 quarters.

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M’TOWN LOOKS TO TRENTON FOR BUDGET HELP

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Middletown officials are hoping to introduce its 2010 budget next week. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A CFO has been hired. The school budget is back in the hands of the board of ed. What else could possibly snarl Middletown officials from introducing a budget for 2010?

A quorum.

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OUTLOOK: A SMATTERING OF SPATTERINGS

sb-flowersThese sun-hungry bloomers sprouting near the sea wall in north Sea Bright Wednesday evening may be in for repeated dousings in coming days, according to forecasts. (Click to enlarge)

The phrases “mostly cloudy” and “chance of thunderstorms” spatter the weather forecast for the next five days in the Red Bank area.

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SCHUNDLER MUM ON TRIP TO WOODSHED

stringsPre-K students playing string instruments greeted Education Commissioner Bret Schundler, in red tie, during his visit to the Red Bank Primary School this morning. (Click to enlarge)

He came, he listened, and he got choked up on his own words about “the vision of a beloved society” that quality education promises.

But one thing New Jersey Education Commissioner Bret Schundler did not do on a visit to Red Bank this morning was talk about a report that he’d gotten a dressing-down over the phone by Governor Chris Christie last Friday.

“It’s a great day to visit Red Bank Primary School,” Schundler said with a smile, when asked if a Star-Ledger report that Christie “tore into” him over a deal with the state teachers’ union was accurate.

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MINOR INJURIES AS BUS FLIPS ON PARKWAY

bus2The bus was traveling in the local lanes, according to Red Bank photographer Peter Lindner, who took this shot and the one below. (Click to enlarge)

A tour bus overturned on the Garden State Parkway in Middletown this morning.

According to CBS 3 of Philadelphia, three of the 30 passengers on board incurred minor injuries in the 5:30a accident, which occurred in the southbound lanes just south of exit 114. The Asbury Park Press, though, reports six injuries out of 30 to 35 passengers.

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FINAL BUDGET HANGS ON CWA FURLOUGHS

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Council President Art Murphy conferred with Attorney Tom Hall during Tuesday night’s special meeting on the budget. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The Red Bank Council introduced amendments to its $19.2 million proposed budget at a special meeting Tuesday night that was over so quickly it was as if the six council members were double-parked out on Monmouth Street.

Of course, the meeting might have been prolonged by input from the public, but there wasn’t any.

Instead, the council will likely adopt the spending plan, which carries a 2.3 cent tax increase per $100 of assessed home value over last year’s rate, on June 14. That means for a property assessed at the average $405,522, tax bills will go up by $93, said Frank Mason, the borough’s financial officer.

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SCHUNDLER PLANS RED BANK STOP

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Department of Education Commissioner Bret Schundler is scheduled to visit the primary school tomorrow. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

New Jersey Education Commissioner Bret Schundler plans on spending a little time checking out what school’s like in Red Bank tomorrow.

At the request of state Senator Jen Beck, Schundler will spend an hour at the primary school getting a glimpse of classroom instruction and will be treated to some music, said superintendent Laura Morana.

What he won’t get, says Morana, is any grousing about the Christie Administration’s budget-slashing, which left the two-school Red Bank district with just $24,000 in state aid this year, not counting funds for its highly regarded pilot pre-kindergarten program.

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ROAD REOPENING STILL A MONTH AWAY

nrrd-060110Repair work underway on the culvert Tuesday morning. The view is toward the south. (Click to enlarge)

“Another round of unexpected delays” will push back the reopening of the western end of Navesink River Road in Middletown to the end of June, Monmouth County officials announced late last week.

The reconstruction of a culvert on Poricy Pond Brook that partially collapsed March 31 has been bedeviled by problems that  included the rupture of a mis-marked water line and a valve failure that caused water to pour into the work zone unabated for days.

“It’s like a comedy of errors,” says nearby resident John Patterson, who says he visits the site almost daily to check on its progress.

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BLOTTER: METER MAID’S VEHICLE BURGLED

authorities2bThe crime reports appearing here were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of May 21 to May 28, 2010. This information appears here unedited.

Theft occurring on 5-21-10 on corner of Bridge Ave. and Oakland St. Victim reported that unknown person(s) entered parked vehicle and removed a Coach purse which contained checkbook, I-Pod Nano, debit card and cash. Ptl. Ashon Lovick.

Theft occurring on 5-22-10 at Bridge Ave.-Restaurant. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole a 17-inch Tosiba laptop from table inside of establishment when left unattended for a few moments. Ptl. Gary Watson.

Criminal Mischief occurring between 5-22-10 and 5-23-10 at Broad St. Victim reported that unknown person(s) smashed driver’s side window in parked vehicle. Ptl. Dawn Shields.

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STEVEN WRIGHT: PERIPHERAL VISIONARY

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Steven Wright takes the stage at the Count Basie Theatre Friday night.

By TOM CHESEK

This shouldn’t come as any surprise, but Steven Wright in conversation comes off sounding an awful lot like Steven Wright in performance — maybe even more so.

We have no doubt that the qualities most associated with the 54 year old comedian — the methodical, mumbly, molasses-paced delivery; the tournament-grade poker face, and the entire physical being that seems an extension of his battered porkpie hat — are the stuff of utmost sincerity.

We also believe that the poker face masks a genuine love of life and sense of wonder — a fully rounded persona that the Oscar and Grammy winning writer, actor and musician carries with him like a notebook of observations. While other standup stars of his era (think of the younger versions of Steve Martin and Howie Mandel) hung their manic shtick up on the bedpost each night, Wright has moved through the decades at his own deliberate pace, never really slipping out of style and never appearing anything other than at home in his lived-in skin.

The performer who was called upon to voice Speed the Turtle in The Swan Princess would be the first to admit that he doesn’t work too fast — his two albums of songs were released 12 years apart, and his second DVD came along more than 20 years after the first — and that when he does hit the road these days, he prefers to “go out for a couple of weeks” rather than do a coast-to-coast blitz. It’s on just such an early-June jaunt around the northeast that the Boston-bred Wright comes to Red Bank this Friday night, as the latest comic legend to tread the boards of the Count Basie Theatre.

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‘KRAUT’ IS OUT AS SAN REMO PLANS MOVE

oakbridge2 Oakbridge Tavern, better known as the Little Kraut, has been sold to the owners of San Remo in Shrewsbury. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Eight months after Dieter Bornemann ended a 30-year run as owner of The Little Kraut, he’s sold his Red Bank building, moved out of the upstairs apartment and is hitting the road for Las Vegas.

Moving into the prominent space at the corner of Oakland Street and Bridge Avenue will be another authentic European restaurant, San Remo, now located on the Shrewsbury side of Newman Springs Road, owner and chef Giovanni Boudour tells redbankgreen.

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