WOMAN ADMITS DRAGGING DOG WITH CAR

hot-topic rightA woman who was charged with dragging a leashed dog with a car because she didn’t want the animal to soil the car’s interior in August has pleaded guilty, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Citing Victor “Buddy” Amato, chief law enforcement officer for the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as its source, the newspaper says that Stephanie L. Sciscione, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty in Middletown Municipal Court this morning, “admitting she dragged the terrier mix named Marlin by its leash down Locust Avenue, in the Navesink section of the township at about 5 p.m. on Aug. 25 after she located the dog that had run away earlier in the day.”

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CANDIDATE Q&As: SEA BRIGHT

election_2010_qa

Earlier this month, redbankgreen emailed questionnaires to local candidates for public office in towns with contested elections on November 2. We began running the replies last Friday, starting with those from Middletown, where four candidates are vying for two seats on the five-member Township Committee.

We continue today with Sea Bright, where four candidates are seeking two spots on the borough council. The replies are arranged below in alphabetical order. No reply was received from Peggy Bills, an incumbent Republican.

Here’s the Sea Bright ballot: sea-bright-ballot-2010

Tomorrow, the series continues with Rumson, and we’ll conclude Wednesday with Red Bank.

FISHER: BEACHFRONT FIRST CONCERN

sb_fisherNAME Margaret C Fisher – I prefer Meg (Democrat)

AGE 61

OCCUPATION Pediatrician

LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN 8 years

General Questions:

1. What do you see as the top three issues in town?

First – beachfront development

Second – flooding in the downtown area and fear of flooding elsewhere

Third – keeping the budget under control and getting the most for our money

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KELLY: PUT EMPHASIS ON BEACH REVENUE

sb_kellyNAME: Brian Kelly (Republican, incumbent)

AGE: 42

OCCUPATION: CEO of a Solar Design and Installation Company

LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN: 10 years

General Questions:

1. What do you see as the top three issues in town?

The top three issues are 1) continuing to reduce the operating costs for the borough of Sea Bright (fiscal responsibility) 2) completing Phase 1 construction in 2011 for the beachfront facilities. Once we settled a lawsuit with the State DEP earlier this year regarding beachfront access, it allowed us to move forward with the beachfront planning and construction as well as help make additional funds available for beach access projects  3) We successfully completed shared services for our courts (also removed old court trailer) with Oceanport as well as other cost savings shared services for maintenance and fuel contracts, etc… continue to look at shared services with other boroughs and continue with ones that will only save the borough money and either keep or improve the services without losing the benefits of our borough staff.

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LECKSTEIN: IMPLEMENT PAST STUDIES

sb_lecksteinNAME: Marc A. Leckstein (Democrat)

AGE: 37

OCCUPATION: Attorney

LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN: 10 1/2 years

General Questions:

1. What do you see as the top three issues in town?

a) Revitalization of the downtown district

b) Keeping taxes down

c) Consolidation of Public Services

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SPOOKY STREET PARADE

A great Red Bank tradition continued Sunday with the annual Halloween parade from East Bergen Place to White Street. Dustin Racioppi took these photos for redbankgreen.

(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.)

TWO BUSTED FOR HEROIN ON WEST SIDE

hot-topic rightFrom the Red Bank police:

The Red Bank Police Department executed a narcotics search
warrant on Friday evening that resulted in the arrest of two Red Bank
men. The raid at a Bank Street residence was conducted following an
investigation by Det. Robert Clayton into narcotics dealing at the
location.

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LINCROFT PAIR START A FIRE

kellykissDavid Kelly III gets a smooch from his new bride, Kristin Williams, following their wedding Friday evening at St. James RC Church in Red Bank. He’s a fireman in the Lincroft Fire Company, and president of the First Aid Squad; she’s vice president of the fire company. Lincroft’s Tower 200 truck served as the backdrop for their photos. (Click to enlarge)

NEW RUMSON MARKET, SAME OLD FEEL

rumson-marketFormer Rumson Market owner Bill Alcaro, left, chats with new owner Jerry St-Cyr Thursday at the newly-renovated landmark. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It had been nearly a year since Bill Alcaro stepped foot inside Rumson Market Place, the East River Road business he owned for 22 years until back surgery forced him to sell it.

When he left, it still had old refrigerators and creaky wood floors. It was, as borough resident Terry Schaefer Severance put it, “a classic old Rumson neighborhood market.”

On Thursday, when Alcaro walked in for a cup of coffee, he saw the old neighborhood market revitalized — new refrigerators, new floors and all.

“Place looks great,” he said. “It’s beautiful.”

Questions loomed what would happen to the market after Alcaro sold it, but they’re answered now: the Rumson Market is back in business, with an updated look but the same small-town feel.

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CANDIDATE Q&As: MIDDLETOWN

election_2010_qa

Earlier this month, redbankgreen emailed questionnaires to local candidates for public office in towns with contested elections on November 2. Beginning today, we’re running their replies, starting with those from Middletown, where four candidates are vying for two seats on the five-member Township Committee. The committee members, not voters, select the town’s mayor.

Here’s the Middletown ballot: middletown-ballot-2010

The replies are arranged below in alphabetical order. Next week, we’ll have the replies from candidates in Sea Bright, Rumson and Red Bank.

BYRNES: FORM A FINANCE TASK FORCE

mt_byrnes

NAME: Sean F. Byrnes (Democrat, incumbent)

AGE: 47

OCCUPATION: Attorney

LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN:
10 years

General Questions:

1. What do you see as the top three issues
in town?

a. Constantly Increasing Taxes.

b. Poor Governance Structure

c. Marginal Transparency

2. What specifically are you planning to do to address those issues?

The Township’s steady tax increases are the product of poor planning and a refusal to make difficult decisions. We had an increase in our municipal tax levy in 2010 that exceeded 13%. By my calculation, our municipal tax levy has jumped approximately 45% in the last 5 or 6 years. We have no published, agreed upon plan for attacking the categories of spending that drive these increases. We need to create the Finance Task Force I have been calling for since my election 2007, include some of our extremely competent residents who have financial backgrounds and develop a written plan to bring our spending in line with our available revenue. This will mean a reduction in services, but so be it. We can do this without cutting the core services that our citizens need. Non-essential services will be reduced. I have recommended the following measures for the last two years, and I will continue to advocate for their implementation:

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MAHONEY: BUDGET NEEDS BETTER PLANNING

mt_mahoney

NAME: Mary Mahoney (Democrat)

AGE: 56 (do you have to print that?) Yikes!

OCCUPATION: Worked for 18 years as a buyer and showroom manager in the garment center before retiring to raise my family.  For the past 7 years I’ve worked at the Pottery Barn as a Design Studio Specialist and also as a Independent Sales consultant for Silpada Designs.

LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN: over 24 years.

General Questions:

1. What do you see as the top three issues in town?

– Poor planning and execution. Township Committee reacts instead of planning long term. Produces waste and higher taxes.

– Ineffective and inefficient governing.  No defined or specific responsibilities for committee members.

– Misplaced priorities.  Many areas in Middletown are neglected such as the Bayshore area where flooding as not been fixed for over 20 years.

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SCHARFENBERGER: UNIONS NEED TO BEND

mt_scharfenberger

NAME: Gerry Scharfenberger (Republican, incumbent)
AGE: 51
OCCUPATION: Archaeologist, Professor
LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN: 16 years

General Questions:
1. What do you see as the top three issues in town? Property taxes, labor contracts, providing essential services.

2. What specifically are you planning to do to address those issues? 1) Replace property taxes with other sources of non-tax revenue, such as the Recycle2Save program or solar canopies, to essential services; pressure the legislature to remove education funding from property taxes to a dedicated funding source from the state; continue to cut spending and look for ways to shrink local government.
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SETTEMBRINO: CUT NON-ESSENTIAL SERVICES6

mt_settembrinoNAME: Kevin M. Settembrino, (Republican)

AGE: 40

OCCUPATION: Architect, AIA, LEED AP

LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN: 3 Years

General Questions:

1. What do you see as the top three issues in town? Property Taxes, Property Taxes, Property Taxes

2. What specifically are you planning to do to address those issues? Reduce the size of local goverment to a “Needs Based Government” and eliminate all non-essential local government services.  Increase employee heath care contributions to match the private sector.

3. What will be the challenges in getting these goals accomplished? The Mayor’s Toolkit needs to be passed by the State Legislature to allow municipalities to opt out of the civil service stranglehold and to reduce the burden of binding arbitration.

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DESPITE CHATTER, BILLS STILL ON THE TICKET

bill-signRumor in Sea Bright says Peggy Bills is not running for re-election this year, but the council denies that. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Sea Bright’s rumor mill seems to be in full churn right before elections.

Addressing gossip that is “greatly exaggerated,” Councilman Read Murphy said Councilwoman Peggy Bills is, in fact, still running for re-election this year.

Bills, who was not at Tuesday night’s council meeting because of a family emergency and has not been able to be reached by redbankgreen, told Murphy word has gotten around town that she dropped out of the race.

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EMPTY STORE FOR FULL HOUSE? A FAIR TRADE

12-broadThe vacant storefront at 12 Broad will spotlight products that reflect fair-trade principles this weekend. (Click to enlarge)

By TOM CHESEK

It’s probably been several generations since there was such a thing as a house in the heart of downtown Red Bank (the time they moved that old house from the hospital to the Charter School doesn’t count).

You’d probably need to go even farther back to find a house that left the door open to strolling passersby,   a place that invited tourist and townie alike in for a bit of refreshment, some neighborly conversation and a detailed look at a way of life.

Beginning Friday — and for just three days, here in the officially designated Fair Trade Month of October — streetside strollers will have the opportunity to visit the Fair Trade Show House, a storefront space which, while it technically won’t be putting down roots for more than a weekend, aims to send out a message that “consumers can have the best of both worlds; they can live in high style and promote environmental and social justice at the same time.”

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SEEKING A SOLUTION FOR SHADOW LAKE

shadow-lakeMiddletown and DEP officials will meet today to discuss problems at Shadow Lake. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Middletown and state Department of Environmental Protection officials are expected to meet in Senator Joe Kyrilos‘s office today to try and work out an agreement to rectify the township’s longstanding problems at Shadow Lake.

Overgrowth and contamination have built up that last couple years while local and state officials have danced between possible solutions. But with the new state administration, Middletown Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger says he’s hopeful that, with the help of Kyrillos, the two sides can agree on one of two possible solutions that have, in the past, caused a stalemate.

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BOBBY’S BACK, SERVING… TAKE A GUESS

bobby-chiafulloAfter a two-year hiatus, Bobby Chiafullo has returned to the pizza scene. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Bobby Chiafullo had the front door open, the ovens on high and was strapping a tomato-sauce stained apron around his waist when a man came in, noticing the sign outside that read ‘Bobby’s Back,’ and asked if Chiafullo was open for business.

He wasn’t yet, but told the man to order some pizza anyway.

“We’re giving it away today,” said Chiafullo, a barrel-chested man with beady eyes and a perpetual grin.

Chiafullo, who spent 37 years flipping pies on Bridge Avenue before making an exit to the Navesink section of Middletown, wants to make it clear: Bobby’s back.

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LITTLE: ‘SCARED’ PALLONE DODGES FACEOFF

pallone-082509Congressman Frank Pallone meets the press following his raucous town hall meeting on health insurance in Red Bank in August, 2009. (Click to enlarge)

Tea Party-backed GOP congressional hopeful Anna Little‘s camp is charging incumbent Frank Pallone with ducking a faceoff on healthcare scheduled for tonight in Red Bank, the Star-Ledger reports.

Both Pallone’s camp and the sponsor of the event claim, however, that there was to be no debate, and the Pallone had never committed to attend. He cites a scheduling conflict.

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A NIGHT OF HERITAGE

hispanic-heritage1Red Bank Middle School had a strong showing from the community Wednesday night for its Hispanic Heritage celebration. Families of all cultures joined in the action of song, dance and tons of ethnic grub. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi: click to enlarge)

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A HEAPING HARVEST OF GOOD DEEDS

roseharrystevenshoganClockwise from top left: Village People chief Felipe Rose, Blondie bombshell Debbie Harry, funk bassmaster TM Stevens and  actress Siobhan Fallon Hogan are the honorees at the Monmouth County Arts Council’s annual Celebration of Excellence on October 29.

There’s a school Halloween party in which the parents are the ones who get to dress up and have all the fun. A gala affair in which the solid-citizen guests of honor are, to put it mildly, NOT the usual old rich guys with their checkbooks. And a hot-ticket sporting event that not only takes place indoors — it barely loses sight of the office water cooler.

Done1Just because something’s Done Good by the community doesn’t mean it has to be done by the stodgy playbook of gowns, tuxes, and hundred-dollar plates of cordon bleu balanced on bony laps. Here in the season of merry mischief, we’re pleased to bring you a roundup of do-gooder public events with an ever so slightly playful bent — a list that begins this Friday, and continues on into the next few eek-ends.

FRIDAY: Oktoberfest at Ye Olde Allen House. The old Allen place, that historic (circa 1710) house on the corner of Broad Street and Sycamore Avenue in Shrewsbury, becomes a Publick House for one night only, in a benefit for  The Monmouth County Historical Association that offers an evening of “beer tasting and tavern fare” in the spirit of the season. Reserve tickets ($50) at (732)462-1466.

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CAT ORDINANCE BEGINS THIRD LIFE

sb-cat1A trap-spay/neuter-release program could finally get underway in Sea Bright by the end of the year. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s been introduced, amended, scrapped, reintroduced, amended and scrapped again. By Councilwoman Dina Long’s calculation, it’s the most revised ordinance she’s seen in her seven years sitting on the borough council.

Could it be that Tuesday night saw the last reintroduction to Sea Bright’s controversial cat ordinance?

“We hope so,” said Long, who has labored for months to get one passed. “We’ll see.”

Long said she has more confidence than ever that the third time’s the charm for this one, because it was co-written by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which was the source of the delays all along.

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FOR TONIGHT: A CULTURAL CELEBRATION

edgar-sandovalJournalist and author Edgar Sandoval, a native of Mexico, spoke to Red Bank Middle School students Tuesday as part of the district’s Hispanic heritage celebration. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Edgar Sandoval is just the kind of guy Red Bank school officials wanted to speak to students at the middle school during its celebration of Hispanic heritage. He emigrated to the United States from Mexico when he was 16, was a ‘C’ student and, with a little determination and hard work, found success as a journalist and author.

“He’s a living, breathing example of what we have here,” said middle school teacher Luz Nieves. “This is the example. This is what we need.”

Sandoval, a reporter for the New York Daily News, made a stop in Red Bank Tuesday to read from his book, “The New Face of Small-Town America: Snapshots of Latino Life in Allentown, Pennsylvania.” It’s a book that he said can easily be transposed to Red Bank, which has a growing Hispanic population among a mix of other cultures.

“This book is really about what it means to be you in a small town like Red Bank or Allentown, Pennsylvania,” Sandoval told students.

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LOCALS TRASH RUMSON GARBAGE PLAN

rumson-garbageMore than 30 people turned out at borough hall Tuesday to speak out against an idea to privatize garbage pickup in Rumson. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The guys who pick up trash on Mondays and Thursdays in Rumson aren’t your average garbagemen, apparently. In fact, the term ‘garbageman’ is one that Lennox Avenue resident Teresa Connor finds unfit for the group of “smart young men” assigned cleanup duty of the borough’s 2,500 or so properties.

They provide security, they know most people by their first name, she said. One woman said they give her dog biscuits in the morning.

After hearing that the six-man crew was on the employment chopping block, about three dozen residents filed into borough hall Tuesday afternoon to give an earful to the council.

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