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KABOOM GETS A BOOST FROM THE BANK

kaboom-presserKaboom! Executive Director Charles Moran, right, looks on as Brenda Ross-Dulan of Wells Fargo announces the bank’s donation to the fireworks show. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s annual fireworks extravaganza got some serious firepower Friday.

Wells Fargo bank, which recently moved into Broad Street and has become ubiquitous since taking over Wachovia bank, has made the biggest contribution to Kaboom! Fireworks on the Navesink in the event’s history.

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FROM GARAGE, POP’S PLANS TO HIT THE ROAD

pops-extProduce from the vegetable garden outside Pop’s Garage in the Grove West will be used in dishes. (Click to enlarge)

food

Pop’s Garage, a popular Mexican restaurant on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, opens its third outlet today in the Grove West shopping center in Shrewsbury.

The taqueria is the seventh in a cluster of varied restaurants owned and run by Marilyn Schlossbach, the brains behind Langosta Lounge, another Mexican place on the boardwalk; Trinity and the Pope, offering Cajun dishes in downtown Asbury; the Dauphin Grille, a seafood spot in that city’s Berkeley hotel, and the casual-themer Labrador Lounge, in Normandy Beach, where the third Pop’s Garage is also located.

But this one represents a breakout for Schlossbach, and not solely because it’s located in a highway shopping center. Along with her partner-brother Rich and husband Scott, Schlossbach created the Shrewsbury Pop’s as a prototype for what they hope will grow to into a national franchise.

redbankgreen caught up with 46-year-old Schlossbach – who is also running for state Assembly as a Democrat in the new 11th District – at a pre-opening party in Shrewsbury last Friday for the scoop on her empire-building plan.

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DEVELOPER GETS REPAID, PLEDGES PROGRESS

rog-mumfordDeveloper Roger Mumford is getting his money back from Red Bank, and intends to continue his Lincoln Square project soon as possible. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Roger Mumford is off Red Bank’s torture rack.

After raising a stink over having to pay into the borough’s parking fund last month, the West Side developer is getting his money back — most of it, at least — and plans to get his Lincoln Square project back in action.

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POPPING OFF AT MAPLE COVE

Red Bank’s KaBoomFest kicked off its 2011 fundraising season Thursday night with a tent party on the lawn of Hovnanian Enterprises’ HQ, followed by a sample pyrotechnics show on the Navesink by Garden State Fireworks, which will once again be handling the big show on July 3.

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PINK WEEK: BACK IN THE BLUSH

pink-spillA window decorator handles a faux paint spill in the window of DoubleTake Consignment in Red Bank earlier this week as part of the store’s Pink Bank display. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Stating the obvious here, but Pink Week is upon us again, that time of year when downtowns go blush and flushed in pink, and awareness is unavoidable.

Pink streets, pink flags, pink bracelets, pink windows, pink parties, redbankgreen‘s pink masthead. You get the idea.

But pretending that you’ve somehow missed what this whole thing is about, or you’re new to town, skip below for an explainer of what it all means, why it’s here and how you can join the cause.

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ON THE WEB, RED BANK SITE IS A PRIZE

screen-shot-2011-04-27-at-1218Red Bank’s website won a Monmouth University award for “best interactive website.” (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

If you happen to be looking for old ordinances or minutes from the planning and zoning boards, your mouse may be in for a bit of a workout.

But as far as interaction goes, Red Bank’s municipal website is tops in the Monmouth County, according to Monmouth University.

In its first New Jersey e-Government Awards, the university’s polling institute and public policy program has deemed that of the 53 municipalities in Monmouth County, Red Bank takes the honor for having the best interactive website.

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CABINET CLEAN-OUT SLATED FOR SATURDAY

old-rxLet’s see… almost three years old? Yeah, time to go. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

As you break out the feather duster and crack into the clutter in the attic for your spring cleaning routine, police are reminding residents not to forget about the medicine cabinet.

This weekend, local departments are participating in Operation Take Back, a national effort to collect unused and expired medications from households.

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M’TOWN MEETINGS SET TO KEEP JOBS, MAYBE

hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

As the budget axe looms over 26 jobs in Middletown, the township has scheduled two public meetings in anticipation of coming to agreement with unions in contract negotiations.

That doesn’t mean the meetings will be held, however.

The meetings, scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, are not so much a sign that contract resolutions are imminent as a routine legalities in case agreements are, in fact, reached and ready to be voted upon.

“If the unions don’t come back with an agreement we’re looking for, then the meetings will be canceled,” Mayor Tony Fiore told redbankgreen.

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MULCH ADO ABOUT MAPLE COVE, AGAIN

11A request for mulch at Maple Cove digressed into a clash between Cindy Burnham and council members Tuesday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

When Cindy Burnham and other volunteers, part of the ad hoc Friends of Maple Cove group, ended a yearlong spat with the Borough of Red Bank and secured a deal to designate a one-acre patch at the foot of the Navesink River on Maple Avenue as a natural area with waterfront access, the understanding was that Burnham and company would maintain the parcel.

So says the town council.

Burnham maintains a different recollection.

“The only reason the Friends of Maple Cove came out to do anything was because you guys wouldn’t,” Burnham told the council Tuesday, following a request that the borough donate a half-truckload of mulch to the site.

The request triggered a kerfuffle between Burnham and the governing body over who should take care of the property, a question that never was answered.

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MINGLING FOR LUNCH BREAK

Guests wandered among sale items at Primas Home furniture store on Broad Street in Red Bank Tuesday evening for a cocktail fundraiser for Lunch Break, the feed-everyone-without-questions soup kitchen on the borough’s West Side. The Navesink Business Group and the Eatontown Industrial Park Association get the credit for putting the event together.

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‘BEATLES’ HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE

beatlemanialuciennocelliThe Beatlemania Stage Show — co-starring Lucien Nocelli of Lincroft (right) as John Lennon — rolls up to the stage of Red Bank’s Two River Theater for a fab fundraiser on Sunday.

Beatlemania is coming to Two River Theater for a benefit concert! But wait, didn’t we just publish this story a couple of months ago? Yes, we did — but that was an altogether different foursome of MockTops, and an event (presented by Red Bank Rotary Club) dedicated to an altogether different collection of worthy causes.

You see, The Beatles never really went away — and never ever left the hearts of the people of New Jersey, a state in which most everyone of a certain age treasures a recollection of Sullivan Show ’64 (and which gave the world The Knickerbockers in return). From celebrity tributeers like The Fab Faux to veteran costume acts like The Mahoney Brothers, we need never venture too far afield for our FabFour fix — and it seems that whenever and wherever there’s a charitable cause to be advanced, a medical bill to be paid, a grave wrong to be righted, the Beatles suit up and re-emerge in some shape or form like some semi-retired Justice League.

Here in and around the greater Red Bank Green, that moptopped mania often manifests itself in the host entity of the Beatlemania Stage Show, a two-hour, four-act extravaganza that offers spot-on recreations of Beatles material, ranging from the cheerful chirp of their earliest singles to the ambitious, genre-smashing gotterdammerung of their final studio masterworks.

Co-fronted by Lincroft-based singer, songwriter, guitarist and businessman Lucien Nocelli, the show comes to the Two River stage on the afternoon of Sunday, May 1, in a concert from which proceeds are being dedicated to the nonprofit organization Housing & United Service Inc. of NJ.

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PEDESTRIAN SAFETY MEASURES SLATED


Front Street between English Plaza and Washington Street will get a number upgrades aimed at making pedestrians safer, a Monmouth County official said.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Upgrades to one of Red Bank’s more troubled traffic areas will be in place next year, possibly by this time, Monmouth County officials told the borough council Tuesday.

In an overview of the planned enhancements, Kevin Nugent, of the county engineering office, said about $600,000 worth of work will go into the stretch of East and West Front streets between English Plaza and Washington Street — a highly-traveled section that’s seen more than 100 accidents in recent years.

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READY FOR ARBOR DAY

seedling In early celebration of Arbor Day on Friday and Red Bank’s fifth annual designation as aTree City,” members of the Shade Tree Committee distributed white pine seedlings to attendees of Tuesday night’s borough council meeting. STC secretary Boris Kofman, right, hands a baby tree to assistant borough administrator/public works director Gary Watson. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

SPRING 2011: LAYING DOWN THE LINE

alert-linesA worker from Red Bank-based Alert Traffic Lines, contracted by the borough, does striping to curbs and asphalt downtown Tuesday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

SPRING 2011: POOCH PASSENGER

dscf3003Getting some fresh air at Ward Avenue and Rumson Road in Rumson Tuesday, a canine passenger enjoyed the ride to Sea Bright. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

SHREWSBURY NAIL SALONS BURGLARIZED

estella-break-inEstella Nails was one of two Shrewsbury nail salons broken into the last two weeks. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A pair of Shrewsbury nail salons within blocks of each other on Broad Street were burglarized in the last two weeks, police said.

Nails Plus, at 427 Broad, and Estella Nails, 464 Broad, were targets of overnight smash-and-grabs, Chief John Wilson said.

The burglaries appear to be connected to a flurry of Monmouth County nail salon break-ins, he said.

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RUBBER STAMP NO.1: BON JOVIAL MEALS

A promo video for Soul Kitchen.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Plans by Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation to open a freestanding pay-what-you can community restaurant in Red Bank sailed to approval Monday night, when the borough’s planning board all but rolled out the red carpet for the high-profile rocker’s team of engineers, attorneys and architects.

The OK clears the way for the non-profit Soul Kitchen, the community-minded project led by the pop star’s wife, Dorothea, to break ground on renovations to the three-bay former repair shop near the western end of Monmouth Street.

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RUBBER STAMP NO. 2: BASIE AL FRESCO

basie-plansCount Basie Theatre’s Executive Director Numa Saisselin at Monday night’s planning board meeting. Below, a rendering of the patio addition. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

basie-patioThe Count Basie Theatre‘s latest installment in a multi-year, multi-million dollar enhancement got the green light from Red Bank’s planning board Monday night.

Pending the acquisition of two lots previously on loan from theater pals Friends of The Basie, the landmark venue will pour concrete on a vacant swath of dirt and gravel to create an open-air mingling area for shows, plus parking spots for tour buses, freeing up coveted street space for guests.

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RUBBER STAMP NO. 3: SUSHI SPREAD

irving-chenBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Fans of Red Bank’s only spot for brown rice sushi are about to get some elbow room.

Sogo Sushi, a takeout restaurant with just two tiny tables in its Monmouth Street space, is planning to bust through an interior wall to make room for seating and an expansion to the menu.

On Monday night, owner Irving Chen (right) won borough planning board approval for the plan.

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SHREWSBURY HIT WITH 21 CAR BREAK-INS

hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Adding to a multi-town spree that police say may be the work of one individual or group, at least 21 vehicles were illegally entered and burglarized in Shrewsbury last Friday.

In all cases, the vehicles were unlocked, said police Chief John Wilson.

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SHREWSBURY POLICE OFFICER DIES AT 58

sbury-crepeShrewsbury Borough Hall has funeral bunting displayed in various locations after the loss of veteran officer Alan Morris. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Sergeant Allan Morris, a 25-year veteran of the Shrewsbury Police Department who was transitioning into retirement, passed away suddenly Friday.

The cause is suspected to be of natural conditions, Council President and Police Commissioner Thomas Menapace said. Morris, a sergeant in the department, was 58.

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COURTYARDS PROJECT WINS FINAL OK

courtyards-at-monmouthThe development, fronting on Monmouth, West and Oakland streets, calls for a dozen units for low- and moderate-income buyers. (Click to enlarge)

With a last-minute concession to neighbors, a plan to build 57 residences on a vacant lot near the Red Bank train station won final approval Thursday night.

It’s the third such plan for the property, after two earlier ones ran aground. But a lawyer for the property owner, Amboy Bank, pledged that this one, called Courtyards at Monmouth like its immediate predecessor, will actually get built.

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