RUMSON PLANS TO RAZE FORMER POLICE HQ

rumson-pd-0707101The property will be sold as two building lots, officials say. (Click to enlarge)

By EVAN SOLTAS

With its new municipal complex completed, Rumson plans to demolish its historic Center Street police station and sell the land as two residential lots, borough officials say.

The borough intends to raze the now-vacant station, which has long stood out among its residential neighbors, and sell the land as building lots that conform to residential zoning law, according to Mayor John Ekdahl.

In the process, the town hopes to pocket as much as $400,000 from each, and use the proceeds to pay down debt incurred from relocating police headquarters, officials said.

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COURT ORDERS MORE BEACH ACCESS AT CLUB

sb-beach-club-071110The club was the last holdout defendant in a lawsuit dating back four years, and lost. (Click to enlarge)

A state Superior Court in Freehold has ordered the oceanfront Seabright Beach Club to give nonmembers access to more than 15 feet of beach above the tide line.

The state Department of Environmental Protection, which filed suit against the club, the borough and eight other private clubs in 2006, announced the ruling on Friday.

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THIEF STEALS SMOOTHIE MIX. VANILLA.

rbpd-patchThe crime reports appearing here were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of July 2 to July 9, 2010. This information appears here unedited.

Theft occurring on 7-2-10 at W. Bergen Place. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole a bicycle described as blue in color Electro Lite Beach Cruiser from the driveway. Ptl. Ashon Lovick.

Theft occurring between 7-1-10 and 7-3-10 at Shrewsbury Ave. Unknown person(s) stole a Garmin GPS unit from parked vehicle. Ptl. Thomas Doremus.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 7-4-10 at Bridge Ave. Report of damaged light pole in parking lot, base was broken off. Ptl. Patrick Kennedy.

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NOT AN EMPTY SPOT IN THE LOT

In spite of wilting heat, the eighth annual Liberty Hose fire company car show drew some 320 exhibitors and several thousand spectators to the White Street municipal lot in Red Bank Sunday. We’ve got pix.

The event raises funds for scholarships.

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TRADER JOE’S PLANS SHREWSBURY STORE


The specialty food store has filed plans to take over more than 12,000 square feet in Treasure Island Plaza, according to a report.

After a brief dalliance with Red Bank three years ago, Trader Joe’s, a foodstore chain with a reverential following, appears to have settled on Shrewsbury instead.

So reports the Asbury Park Press, which says the California-based company has filed plans to take space in the Treasure Island Plaza shopping center on Route 35, next door to Staples.

Plans on file with the borough indicate Trader Joe’s will take over three existing storefronts to create a 12,026-square-foot store, the Press reports. No estimated opening date was reported, and a company spokeswoman told the newspaper she could no confirm the information.

But don’t expect to find bottles of Two-Buck Chuck there. The store won’t have a liquor license, the Press says.

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TRTC NAMES NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

johndiasJohn Dias will be learning the ropes at Two River Theater, when he takes his post as the company’s new artistic director in August.

By TOM CHESEK

After a talent search spanning nearly five months, Red Bank’s Two River Theater has named an advocate for “bold new American plays” as its artistic director for the 2010-2011 season, the company announced yesterday.

John Dias comes to the professional stage troupe with a formidable folio of credentials that includes a 12-year stint as a producer and dramaturg with the New York Shakespeare Festival/Joseph Papp Public Theater. He is also the founder of a production company dedicated to bringing daring new works from around the world to New York, and has served on the nominating committee for the annual Tony Awards.

According to PR director Deeksha Gaur, Dias will be “spending time at the theater, getting to know the organization and meeting the local community” prior to his first official workday on August 16. He’ll also reportedly be moving to Red Bank from New York City before the start of the new season, which kicks off in late September with the ensemble piece Intimate Apparel.

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BOARD KICKS SANDWICH SIGNS TO THE CURB

sandwich-board3Sandwich board signs have made recent appearances on Red Bank’s streets despite being prohibited under current borough law. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

If Red Bank businesses are allowed to put sandwich board signs on their sidewalks this year, it won’t happen with the support of the borough’s planning board.

Rejecting, by a 4-1 vote, a recent proposal by the council to revive an old ordinance that permitted the signs outside stores and restaurants boroughwide, board members said the move is in conflict with the objectives of the town’s master plan and would impede pedestrian traffic and accessibility.

“I don’t think it really conforms to our master plan, and I think it would be more of a public hazard than public good,” acting chairman Guy Maratta said.

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NOVELIST GETS UNDER THE MARITAL HOOD

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Journalist, novelist and proud blogger Debra Galant parks it at NovelTeas on Bridge Avenue this Saturday for an event keyed to her new book CARS FROM A MARRIAGE. (Photo by Frances Pelzman Liscio)

By TOM CHESEK

When the 2010 Liberty Hose Red Bank Firefighter 8th Annual Car Show takes over downtown Red Bank’s White Street parking lot this Sunday, classic car-noisseurs know just what to expect — from the bodacious Dagmars of a Chevy Bel Air and the perky nacelles of a Mercury Turnpike Cruiser to the more equine musculature of 60s ponycar projects like your Mustangs, Camaros and ‘Cudas.

A day earlier and a few blocks west at NovelTeas Authors Aromas & Gifts, all eyes will be on a Galant — not the long-running bestseller of the Mitsubishi product line, but Debbie Galant, a woman who’s been as much a part of the suburban landscape as the sensibly sporty sedan with whom she shares a name.

The self-described author, mogul, mother, wife — a transplant from Virginia to north Jersey’s verdant green — is parking it at Kim Widener‘s book salon/ tea room/ gift boutique for something of a literary “car show,” an event that’s keyed to the recent publication of Cars from a Marriage, an “auto-biography” that “explores marriage through the lens of the various cars that the couple owns during their 20 years together.”

It’s the third novel (Rattled and Fear and Yoga in New Jersey are the others) for the former New York Times columnist; a regular contributor to national magazines who’s best known around the ‘green as the founder and editor of Montclair-based Baristanet — an acclaimed and award-winning news website that’s been an inspiration to many a placeblogging hyperlocal, including, ahem, redbankgreen.

And now, the light goes green on seven questions for Debra Galant…

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KABOOM: AUTHORITIES REVIEW SECURITY

kaboom-njt3-070310Hundreds of visitors packed a waiting area at the Red Bank station for a northbound train after the fireworks, and transit personnel directed them into double-decker railcars, below. (Click to enlarge)

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Though numerous fights and other incidents broke out downtown, authorities assessing last Saturday’s KaBoomfest say things went particularly smoothly at the Red Bank train station, thanks to the addition of trains and security personnel.

That’s in contrast to a year ago, when the station was the site of a crowd surge, long waits and numerous arrests for disorderly behavior.

And considering the number of people in town, estimated at more than 120,000, the violence that broke out elsewhere was quelled rapidly without any injuries to bystanders or police, according to Red Bank Police Captain Darren McConnell.

“There were many incidents, but they were isolated, and they were put down pretty quickly” by cops or civilians, he said.

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KABOOM POSTMORTEM: WHO GOT BUSTED

kaboom-rbpd-070310Police at White Street and English Plaza after the fireworks. (Click to enlarge)

Here’s who was arrested by Red Bank police and assisting-department police on the night of the fireworks and early morning Sunday, according to borough police:

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TRUCKS WILL ROLL AT BASIE BENEFIT

truckstedeschiallisonmurphy

Derek Trucks (left) and Susan Tedeschi bring their all-new big band to the Count Basie Theatre for a special fundraiser show Friday night. (Photo by Allison Murphy)

By TOM CHESEK

When Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi roll on in to the Count Basie Theatre this Friday for a show to benefit the facade facelift and other ongoing restoration projects at the Red Bank venue, it will be a family affair.

The husband-and-wife pair, who tend to collect Grammy nominations like other people collect utility bills, are  on the road in support of Truck’s appropriately named Roadsongs set, and they’ve put together a big new touring supergroup for the occasion — complete with entourage that includes their summer-vacationing kids, ages 5 and 8.

The family angle is standard operating procedure for Trucks, who at 31 is already a 20-plus years’ veteran of the major concert stage. Having served a very public apprenticeship in The Allman Brothers Band (where uncle Butch Trucks has steered that firetruck for 40 years), the prodigiously talented kid with the bottleneck slide technique of the old masters was a full-fledged member of one of the world’s most respected organizations by the age of twenty — and had already played on stage alongside the likes of Bob Dylan and Buddy Guy.

Trucks will be bringing a full lifetime of musical experience and experimentation as carry-on luggage when he returns to the Basie stage; with no expectations other than a constantly surprising set that moves with ease from blues to rock to jazz (catch Tedeschi and Trucks here in their recent collaboration with Herbie Hancock) to traditional Indian music, a special passion.

Trucks and Tedeschi will be meeting VIP ticketholders at a pre-show reception in the Basie’s Carlton Lounge on Friday evening. In the meantime, we’ve got ten questions for Mr. Trucks, just ‘cross the road.

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PARK IT HERE FOR FREE MUSIC & MOVIES

thespringstandardsThe Songwriters in the Park series brings the Spring Standards, above, and former Bongos member Richard Barone, below, to Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

richardbaroneIt’s been the backdrop for more wedding party photos than any local scenery this side of the “hobbit” pergola at Deep Cut Gardens, the setting for school commencements, and the preferred parking place for the borough’s distinctive holiday ice boat. A place for kids to congregate on weekend nights, and a place for candlelit vigils and makeshift memorials in the days following 9/11.

Ever since Riverside Gardens took shape on the former site of the long-gone apartment house of the same name, a generation of Red Bankers has wondered how they ever got along without the West Front Street park along the Navesink. No more so than in the weeks after the end of the school year, when the waterfront walkways host a beach-blanket brigade of neighbors in search of some music and movies, under the setting sun and stars. It all comes to you courtesy of the hardworking folks at the borough’s Department of Parks and Recreation, working in concert with sponsors and co-organizers public and private.

It’s that warm and breeze-kissed time of year when the municipal government — the people who normally incur your wrath over not filling in potholes fast enough — gets to fill your evenings with music and all-around good vibes.

Beginning this week, Riverside Gardens will see the return of three proven and popular attractions — Movies in the Park, Jazz in the Park and Songwriters in the Park — all presented free of charge (with complimentary river sunsets) throughout July and much of August. It’s a slate of entertainments that was preceded by an appetizer in the form of June’s LunchMusic series — and the menu continues, right after the break.

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WATER EMERGENCY CONFOUNDS LOCALS

water-emergencyRumson is among local towns being asked to conserve water. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

High temperatures and a lack of rain prompted the area’s leading water supplier to declare a water emergency over the holiday weekend with little warning, leaving some residents and local officials puzzled.

On Saturday, New Jersey American Water issued a mandate restricting all non-essential water usage, such as watering lawns and washing cars, to its customers, many of whom are in redbankgreen‘s coverage area.

But without the typical media blitz from the PR departments warning people of the risk of a water emergency, the restrictions came as a bit of shock to some.

“The odd thing to me is that we wound up in sort of a critical situation without any water,” said Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl. “Normally, there’s some build up to a water crisis, and in this case, we didn’t have it.”

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LAST WEEK’S POLICE BLOTTER ENTRIES

authorities3The crime reports appearing here were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of June 24 to July 2, 2010. This information appears here unedited.

Burglary occurring at Newman Springs Road on 6-25-10. Victims reported that unknown subject(s) gained entry into residence thorough window and broke an inside door down, ransacked drawers. Stolen was jewelry. Ptl. Jorge Torres.

Criminal Mischief on 6-26-10 at Linden Place. Victim reported that unknown person(s) ripped off the side view mirror on parked vehicle. Sgt. Frank Bitsko.

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HOMES WITHOUT JUICE AS TEMPS SOAR

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Electrical service was out for some customers of First Energy Corp. — parent of JCP&L — in Fair Haven and Rumson this morning as temperatures were expected to crest at nearly 100 degrees.

As of 6:30a, First Energy’s online outage map indicated fewer than 500 homes without power, but doesn’t specify if that’s the total per town or collectively in the region.

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KABOOM: BRILLIANCE BEFORE & AFTER DARK

It seems that KaBoomfest is becoming two events in one: a night of drunken rowdiness, largely among teenagers who hang out on Red Bank’s West Front and Broad streets during the fireworks, and the traditional night of family-oriented entertainment.

These photos capture the brighter side of the event, from the smiles of festivalgoers to the gunpowder wizardry of the folks at Garden State Fireworks, who paint the sky so brilliantly.

Thanks to Peter Lindner for the barge pix and shots of the Friday night concert in Marine Park.

To enlarge the photo display, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To get back to redbankgreen, hit your escape key.

VIOLENCE MARS FIREWORKS SHOW

fight2-070310Two unidentified young men were part of a melee that broke out at Broad and Front streets moments before the fireworks show. (Click to enlarge)

fight1-070310

A number of fights erupted during the celebration of the 51st annual Red Bank fireworks show Saturday night.

Police said they had arrested an estimated ten persons by 11p Saturday, mostly on disorderly behavior charges related to alcohol consumption.

No arrests were believed to have been made, however, in connection with a brawl involving eight or ten teenage males at the town’s busiest intersection — Broad Street at the juncture of East and West Front streets — just minutes before the fireworks show began.

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FIRST NIGHT OF THE FIREWORKS FAIR

KaBoomfest, the new three-night slate of events leading up to the 51st annual Red Bank fireworks show Saturday night, kicked off Thursday night with the opening of a traveling amusement park on West Front Street, opposite Riverside Gardens Park.

Photographer Peter Lindner was there for redbankgreen. Were you? He may have caught you in his pixels, so check out these pix. And please remember: this is a community-supported event, so look for those yellow buckets and Kick in for KaBoom!

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ANOTHER COURTYARDS PLAN WINS VARIANCES

light-mass-marks-070110As Ray Mass (background) and Deborah Marks listened, zoning board member Vincent Light details his objection to granting variances for the proposed Courtyards at Monmouth housing project, below. (Click to enlarge) courtyards-at-monmouth

Less than a year after a new zone was created at Red Bank’s train station to encourage a mix of high-density housing and retail activity, the borough zoning board last night greenlighted a plan that could put even greater density, but no stores, on a vacant Monmouth Street lot.

The move, on a 5-2 vote, was driven by a desire to see something built on a lot frequently described as an eyesore and the belief that adding retail space in a town with numerous store vacancies was the wrong way to go, said board members who favored he plan.

“Yes, it’s a very dense project,” said board chair Lauren Nicosia. “But this is a property that hasn’t been developed and that Red Bank needs to be developed.”

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