WHAT TO DO IN WINTER? ROW, OF COURSE

nirSalvador Tecalero, in the foreground, is one of more than 60 members of Navesink Indoor Rowing. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

John Crilly made a bold move four years ago. He had a vision, one that was put into focus by his rowing students at Navesink River Rowing, a goal Crilly felt he needed to realize.

“They came up to me and said, ‘Mr. Crilly, what are we going to do in the wintertime, because we want to be competitive in the spring?'” he said.

That’s where the bold move came in. Crilly owned an ergonomic rowing machine, but having students take turns on it wasn’t going to work.

“I went to my wife and asked her if it’d be OK if we could tap into the home equity to buy five more,” he said.

In the first year of Navesink Indoor Rowing, Crilly worked with a dozen students using the six machines. Today, the club has some two dozen machines utilized by more than 60 members from all over Monmouth and Ocean counties — most of them high school kids, but with a strong adult contingent mixed in. Crilly says it’s the only indoor rowing club in the area he’s aware of.

And he’s still got a home.

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CBS DROPS IN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF JERSEY

roccaMo Rocca interviewed Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl back during shorts weather for an upcoming piece for CBS Sunday Morning. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

New Jersey, it seems, is always on the defensive. There’s the ‘Jersey stinks‘ stigma, and while we have the small luxuries of pork roll sandwiches and not having to pump our own gas, the Garden State can’t quite get past the perception that it’s a dump with mafia ties and is a breeding ground for ultra-tanned, fist-pumping troublemakers.

In reality, all one really has to do is stop looking at photo galleries glamorizing the bronzed figureheads and TV shows celebrating jaw-dropping indulgence and take a trip to a place without a boardwalk or parkway rest stop.

Like, say, Rumson.

CBS News did, and on an upcoming Sunday morning plans to air a piece showcasing all this affluent community has to offer: shoreline tranquility, a bustling business district, horse-and-carriage rides, speed-boating on the Navesink — you know, the typical wintertime stuff.

But the story is not that CBS made this discovery a half-year ago, nor was it interviewer Mo Rocca‘s yacht club-ish outfit, a pink Oxford and baby blue shorts.

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LIBRARY TURNS THE PAGE ON DIRECTOR

griffin-sadelDeborah Griffin-Sadel is out as Red Bank’s library director. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The Red Bank library board has closed the book on its library director.

Deborah Griffin-Sadel, who oversaw a major overhaul at the library, is apparently on her way out, although nobody really wants to talk about it right now.

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A DELIGHTFUL DISAPPOINTMENT

sb-snowVolunteers clear out a path on a Sea Bright sidewalk. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Frank Bain’s register was humming yesterday, with regulars stocking up on ice melter, shovels and sleds at his Ocean Avenue business, Bain’s Hardware.

“They were more prepared for this storm than the last one,” Bain told redbankgreen.

After a treacherous pounding on December 26-27, locals were on high alert for what was expected to be another foot or so to drop last night.

In comparison to that blizzard, though, this one was a dud.

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THE PAWS BEFORE THE ROUNDUP

sb-cat-011111A cat takes a stretch on an old Buick ragtop at the Chapel Beach Club in Sea Bright Tuesday morning. An ordinance approved late last month created a trap, neuter and release program that will go into effect this year for the borough’s wild and homeless cats. (Click to enlarge)

SCENES FROM AN ‘AVERAGE’ SNOWFALL

Some shots from the central Red Bank taken before dawn Wednesday. 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.

The man in charge of clearing Red Bank’s streets called Tuesday night’s snowfall of about ten inches “average” and said his crews had opened all borough streets by 7a.

“We were lucky,” said public utilities director Gary Watson. “We got less than forecast. This is pretty average.”

The snow was also lighter than that which fell in the blizzard of December 26-27, which paralyzed the town for days.

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MANY STREETS CLEAR IN RED BANK

mon-map-011211A view east along Monmouth Street from Maple Avenue in Red Bank early Wednesday morning. (Click to enlarge)

Fleets of snowplows were out in Red Bank before dawn Wednesday, clearing streets of about ten inches of light, powdery snow.

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PARKING BAN MULLED AFTER $470K BLIZZARD

dscf3067Red Bank officials are looking to make changes to their snow-management plans, including an on-street parking ban overnight. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In the wake of the end-of-year snow dump, Red Bank officials have assessed the disaster they call the worst blizzard in a generation and say they are intent on making serious changes to prevent a repeat of the near half-million dollar mayhem it brought.

First up: informing the public.

Second: an overnight on-street parking ban.

It needs to happen, they say.

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GADFLIES CHALLENGE YMCA SETTLEMENT

bill-meyerThe Red Bank council took heat over the deal from lawyer Bill Meyer. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s litigation with the Community YMCA is near an end, but Mayor Pasquale thinks borough officials may not be finished making trips to Superior Court in Freehold.

After a three-hour meeting that included nearly two hours of grilling by local watchdogs, the council passed a resolution approving a settlement that allows the nonprofit to sell the former borough police state at 51 Monmouth Street to its neighbor, St. James RC Church/Red Bank Catholic High School. The settlement puts to rest the second of two suits that had pitted the Y against the borough.

But comments from the public suggest Red Bank may be in for more legal work.

“I think there’s going to be a challenge to our action,” Menna told redbankgreen afterward.

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AUTHOR DIPS INTO HISTORY OF THE NAVESINK

rik-van-hemmenRik vanHemmen, author of the newly published “A Chronology of Boating On the Navesink.” (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

van-hemmen-coverRik van Hemmen has been all over the world and seen just about every major body of water worth experiencing, from his native Rotterdam, Holland to the  shores of Newport, Rhode Island — the long way and the short.

None has come close to the diversity of the Navesink River, he said, where one can drop a line in the water, hunt for ducks, spot an eagle, boat out to the Atlantic or jaunt up to New York City.

“I found out that the Navesink is really a unique piece of water,” said van Hemmen. “The core of it is it allows so much to be done that you can’t find anywhere else.”

Steeped in all things nautical, to say the least — marine consultant, engineer, boat builder and vice president of the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association —  51-year-old van Hemmen has an appreciation for the Navesink that’s unrivaled.

And he wants others to share his love for what he calls our area’s “zen garden.” So he wrote a book about it.

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SNOW: ARE WE IN FOR IT OR WHAT?

poblanaDee Patel’s grocery store on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank cleared an early path for customers during the December 26-27 storm. (Click to enlarge)

The too-white winter of 2011 is expected to lay a fresh blanket of snow up to 13 inches thick on the Red Bank region Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

It begins around 4p, the forecast says, with light accumulation until about 7p, when the snow dump begins in earnest.

The Red Bank police department has issued a request urging that vehicles not be left parked on-street overnight, to make it easier for plows to do their work.

In addition, there are borough streets for which an ordinance prohibits parking when the road is snow-covered, subjecting vehicles to tickets and towing.

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ICE BOATING SAILS BACK TO RED BANK

ice-boat-011011A handful of determined ice sailers prepared their vessels for an outing from the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club Monday afternoon. (Click to enlarge)

Ice boating is back on the Navesink.

The vessel that serves as the Borough of Red Bank’s official logo image returned to the frozen river for the first time this season, courtesy of a determination by the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club’s safety committee that sailing was safe.

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IN RECOVERY, MAYOR ISSUES CRITICISM

keelerMayor Maria Fernandes, below, issued criticism to Council President William Keeler, right, and suggested holding off reappointing borough Attorney Joe Oxley, left. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

maria-fernandes-2007Sea Bright Mayor Maria Fernandes may have lost a limb, but she hasn’t lost any of her bite.

Fernandes, who’s been recovering from a mild stroke suffered in October, recently had her left leg amputated just below the knee. She’s laid up at Monmouth Medical Center, which prevented her from attending Saturday’s annual borough government  reorganization meeting.

But that didn’t stop her from making herself heard. And Fernandes blasted her elected counterparts via letter.

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BURGLAR TAKES CASH REGISTER

rbpd2 spotlightThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of December 31, 2010 to January 7, 2011. The information appears here unedited.

Theft occurring on 1-1-11 at W. Front St. Two victims reported that unknown subject(s) stole their coats, which they had hung in the coatroom of the restaurant. Ptl. Gary Watson.

Theft occurring between 12-31-10 and 1-1-11 at Bridge Ave. Victim reported that unknown person(s) entered parked vehicle and stole gold coins, a check and pair of sunglasses. Ptl. Matthew Ehrenreich.

Theft and Criminal Mischief occurring on 1-2-11 at Spring St. Victim reported that unknown person(s) broke driver’s side window on parked vehicle, gained entry and stole an IPod. Sgt. Robert Kennedy.

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2011 PLEDGE: BEACHFRONT DEVELOPMENT

b-kellyBrian Kelly was sworn in for another three-year term to the Sea Bright council Saturday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

When Brian Kelly was running for re-election to the Sea Bright council last year, his major aim was to make progress on big plans to develop Sea Bright’s beachfront.

After Kelly was sworn in to his seat on the council Saturday, he said the council is going to make good on that promise in 2011.

“The biggest thing this year will be our vow to complete the phase one priority, which is a beachfront facility,” the Republican said.

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TITLE COMPANY EXEC GETS 12 YEARS IN JAIL

just_in1The owner of a Red Bank real estate title company is heading to state prison for a dozen years for stealing $3.8 million of client funds to fund personal investments, according to an announcement by the state Attorney General.

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WESTERVELT BACK AT RBR AS INTERIM CHIEF

dr1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

As Red Bank Regional‘s school board continues to search for a replacement for Superintendent Howard Lucks, right, a familiar face will step back into the main office.

Edward Westervelt, whom Lucks replaced last year, will resume superintendent duties on an interim basis when Lucks leaves the school on February 1, the district announced Thursday.

“Dr. Westervelt was just here last year, so the board thought it would be a smooth transition rather than bringing an interim superintendent who didn’t have much experience,” said Business Administrator Tina Galvao.

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RED BANK’S LATEST RUSH: CUPCAKES

sugarush guys 2011Jesse Bello-Paseka, left, and Chris Paseka opened the doors to Sugarush just after Christmas on East Front Street. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

rcsm2_010508For years, it was a joke among friends that Jesse Bello-Paseka and his partner, Chris Paseka, should take their hobby out of their Manhattan kitchen and to the public.

The couple, who, until recently did marketing and design work on Broadway, were known for their planning, decorating and baking prowess for private events and parties. But they grew tired of the daily grind in the city, and decided to make a change in lifestyle shortly after they were married this summer.

“A few years ago, we joked that we’d quit our lives, quit the rat race and go to a small town and live our lives kind of stress-free,” Paseka said. “After the wedding, we were like, why don’t we entertain it?”

It’s not quite the stress-free life they imagined — not yet, at least — but the pair is perfectly happy with their reincarnation as a baking and business duo and owners of Sugarush, a new specialty cupcake shop and bakery in Red Bank.

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PROBLEM RUMSON INTERSECTION GETS A LIFT

rumsonRecent changes to the intersection of Rumson Road and Bingham Avenue are expected to reduce accidents and increase sight lines. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The first sign, added about two years ago on Bingham Avenue in Rumson to warn of a stop sign farther ahead, didn’t seem to get the point across to drivers heading south toward Rumson Road.

A second warning, saying there is a stop 1,000 feet ahead, didn’t quite do the trick, either.

“We were still getting accidents,” Mayor John Ekdahl said.

That intersection, he said, has seen the most accidents in town in the last five years.

With the recent completion of improvements made by Monmouth County, Ekdahl hopes the number of accidents will decrease. It’ll be a game of wait-and-see, though.

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DOIN’ GOOD, IN DOLDRUM DAYS

beatlemania1Alan LeBouef (at right, as Paul) leads the Stars of BEATLEMANIA in a fab fundraiser for the Red Bank Rotary Club, at Two River Theater.

Done2In case you haven’t noticed, it’s the January Doldrums for sure. And with most of us variously tapped out, snowed in or plowed under, the conventional wisdom holds that you  simply don’t schedule much of anything in the way of fundraiser events here in the season of slush.

That said, a handful of brave businesspeople and nonprofits are apparently ignoring the memo, offering a variety of constructive reasons to venture gingerly down the sidewalk and out of the house — and maybe just maybe do a little bit of the Done Good deed in the process.

A roundup of suggested January jaunts follows forthwith.

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LOCALS WEIGH IN ON PARKING DECK

dscf3003The White Street municipal lot will be discussed as the site for a revamped parking area. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Earlier this week, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna said he would “stick his neck out” and restart talks on the possibility of a new parking deck getting built downtown, an idea that has proven highly divisive in the past.

More specifically, he talked about appointing a committee to examine alteratives to “surface parking” at the White Street municipal lot, as well as new metering technologies and green initiatives.

What that all means isn’t quite clear yet. But redbankgreen responded by sticking its notebook and camera out to ask people what they think of the suggestion.

On the official front, Red Bank RiverCenter Executive Director Nancy Adams said the borough needs to address the parking shortage while adding much-needed revenue.

“Of course, we would be supportive and work with the borough to achieve that long-awaited parking garage,” she said. “We want it to be something that would be a benefit to the business community, but also the residents.”

Responses from locals and business owners after the jump.

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DPU HEAD: SNOW WAS ‘NOT PLOWABLE’

In an interview, Red Bank public utilities director Gary Watson and supervisor Bob Holiday discuss the challenges of the December 26-27 blizzard. Below, a jagged glacier of snow dumped by municipal haulers at the Navesink end of Maple Avenue. (Click to enlarge)

glacierA fast-falling, heavy snow, stranded cars and eager-to-dig-out residents combined to make last week’s blizzard a tough clean-up challenge, says the man in charge of Red Bank’s effort.

“This was a significant storm,” public utilities director Gary Watson tells redbankgeen in the video interview above. “You can’t compare this with other storms.”

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RED BANK GETS PUT IN A TRANCE

hypnotism-dayA self-hypnotizing exercise. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Without knowing what was going on, anyone walking into The Downtown bar Tuesday evening might have been quite perplexed.

People gathered in front of a speaker on the bar’s upstairs stage, eyes closed and holding index fingers to the top of their heads, while others walked around to different tables set up on the main floor, getting back massages, sampling perfumes and reading up on financial planning.

Was this some sort of Hokey Pokey-bazaar?

It was an educational evening on West Front Street, bringing together the curious, an olio of businesses and a lineup of professionals to mark Red Bank’s first celebration of World Hypnotism Day, an event purposed for networking and clearly defining the oft-misconceived practice of hypnotism.

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