MIDDLETOWN POLICE BLOTTER

mtown-cruiserThe following reports of recent activity were provided by the Middletown Township Police Department and are presented here unedited.

• On July 15, 2011 at approximately 11:10 pm Patrolman Antonio Ciccone responded to the area of Navesink River Road in reference to a report of a motor vehicle accident. Upon arrival Officer Ciccone was conducting his investigation when he observed a glass pipe used to smoke Marijuana and a prescription bottle containing Marijuana in plain view inside the car.

Officer Ciccone continued his investigation which resulted in the driver, identified as Charles Blasi, age 20, from Autumn Terrace in Holmdel, NJ, being arrested for Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was processed and released pending a court date.

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BALLEW BUILDING GOES FOR $1.5M

ballewThe three-story structure changed hands on July 1, records show. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The former home of Ballew Jewelers at has been sold, officially severing a relationship with Red Bank that lasted 124 years but sputtered to an anticlimactic end earlier this year.

Through an entity called LLC 36 Broad Street, Rumson resident Michael Morgan paid $1.5 million on July 1 for the three-story building at 36 Broad, according to Monmouth County property records.

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WHAT HEAT?

rumson-boatersIt sure didn’t feel like 97 degrees to the Cavalieri family today. The Staten Islanders, who have a vacation home in the Navesink section of Middletown, launched from Rumson and spent most of the day out on the Navesink River catching every breeze they could, along with seven dozen crabs. “It’s not bad out there,” said Anthony Cavalieri, right. “There’s a nice breeze.” (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

HOOPS UNDER A SLANTING SUN, THEN LIGHTS

boardsblake-hamiltonUnder the aegis of Rumson-Fair Haven boys basketball coach Chris Champeau, ‘Thursday Night Lights‘ hoops action is back at Rumson’s Victory Park for the second summer, with fivesomes that feature top high school, college and even a few pro players.

Jump ball on the first game of four is at 5:45 p.m., admittance is free, and Champeau, who doubles as the announcer, is quick off the dribble with lighthearted humor. (Click to enlarge)

IN DETAIL: ‘BLOWN AWAY’ BY A SHINY CAR

shawn-gattaShawn Gatta applies some elbow grease to a car at Detail Doctor in Shrewsbury. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By EVAN SOLTAS

Bites2_SmallShawn Gatta has spent more than half of his life in the auto-detailing business. The owner and manager of the Detail Doctor on Broad Street in Shrewsbury, Gatta, 42, has been bringing out the best in the cars of his customers since he was a teenager in Neptune.

Since then, it’s kept him so busy that when he’s tried to pursue other fields — real estate, for one — he’s found himself lured back by the “first love” he found in detailing.

“There are other things I would like to do,” said Gatta, “but I’m so consumed by this business.” He’s had a real estate license since he was 19, but he’s never found a spare moment to make a single sale or listing.

Earlier this week, redbankgreen stole some time with Gatta’s lunch break – he works 66 hours a week, by his count – for some insights into the life of a clean-car obsessive.

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STEAMY

cooper-bridgeA fishing party takes shelter in the shade of the Cooper Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown Wednesday. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning to residents of the Red Bank region and beyond, alerting them to the dangers of high temperatures that are expected to linger into the weekend.

The warning, in effect through Saturday night, recommends limiting exposure to the heat, drinking lots of fluids and taking breaks from strenuous work as the mercury jumps to the mid-90s Thursday, with heat index readings around 103. Heat index is an attempt to approximate the perceived temperature when humidity is factored in.

It gets worse Friday. Temperatures are expected to hit 97 degrees, with a heat index of 106.

Here’s the forecast:

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HIGH FASHION

rosa-on-roof-072011Since the recent demise of her Red Bank fashion shop, Bella Mystique, Rosa Davis – famous hereabouts for staging outdoor swimsuit shows featuring local women as models – has picked up work helping Milton Roldan, of R&N Awnings & Canopies in Neptune. And proving that style never takes a day off, Davis turned up on a scorching roof at East Bergen Place and South Street Wednesday in a short, bold dress.

“It’s good advertising,” she tells redbankgreen. “Next, I might try swimwear.” (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK MAN VICTIM OF HIT AND RUN

just_in1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A 26-year-old Red Bank man was seriously injured after being hit by a vehicle whose driver fled the scene Tuesday night, police said.

The accident, which occurred on Route 35 south in Middletown, between Coopers Bridge and Navesink River Road, left the victim, whom authorities are not yet publicly identifying, in critical condition, Middletown Sergeant Fred Deickmann said.

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NEEDLES AND PIPES RULE POLICE REPORTS

middletown-pdBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Lots of drug arrests in this week’s police activity report in Middletown.

In one case, a man left a needle and bag of heroin in plain view at a parking lot, police alleged. In another, a woman’s probation officer found a weed pipe sitting on her table.

More details from MTPD are below. The reports, provided by Detective Lieutenant Steve Dollinger, appear unedited.

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SIDEWALK AND YARD DEALS IN LITTLE SILVER

ls-sidewalk-saleIt’s sale central in Little Silver later this week. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Noticing her neighbors in Fair Haven and Red Bank were finding success with bargain-based weekends, Lori Saybolt decided it was time for business and home owners in Little Silver to unify and get in on the action.

“Other towns have done it and I thought it’d be a great thing to model,” said Saybolt, who helps run the non-profit gift shop The Woman’s Exchange on Church Street  and is president of the borough’s business association. “It just creates a much more of a community experience, so we’re hoping to see a lot more people coming into town.”

Rather than having  the usual sidewalk and yard sales scattered on the calendar, Saybolt went to work pulling them all together for what’s to be the first borough-wide sale, a three-day affair chock full of deals and one ‘Done Good‘ cause. Read More »

COUNCIL: RED CARPET TO REPLACE RED TAPE

sogo-sushi-072011New procedures are expected to expedite openings and expansions by restaurants, like Sogu Sushi on Monmouth Street, and other types of business. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Welcome to Red Bank, business owners. Please take note of the red carpet in front of you.

That’s the message borough officials are delivering, fresh off the arrival of a bulleted report on cutting down administrative hindrances and other processes that drive prospective restaurateurs, shopkeepers and others to the ledge.

Ordered in response to the clamor of businesses and developers who’ve long blasted the borough for being difficult, and at times, torturous, to deal with, the months-long investigation by an ad-hoc ‘red-tape review committee‘ included multiple discussions with borough officials, business owners and the downtown promotion agency RiverCenter.

“The bottom line is the welcome mat is out, the screen door is open,” said Councilman Mike DuPont, who led the review. “You can have a cup of coffee with the mayor and everybody who’s here.”

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PARK IT HERE FOR VEGAN FOOD & A FILM

The trailer for ‘Forks Over Knives,’ which will get two screenings in Red Bank Thursday night.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

While Adam Sobel waits to learn if he’ll be permitted to operate his four-wheeled business in Red Bank on a regular basis, he’ll have his Cinammon Snail mobile food truck downtown for at least a couple of hours Thursday night for a down-to-earth dinner and a movie.

Along with vegan-friendly comrades Patti Siciliano of Funk & Standard, Gail Doherty and Tiffany Betts of Good Karma Café and others, Sobel is taking part in an evening focused on the health benefits of eating the un-American way: organically.

The night revolves around the indie documentary Forks Over Knives, which features T. Colin Campbell, a nutrition researcher at Cornell University who believes degenerative diseases can be prevented, and in some cases reversed, by adopting a “whole foods, plant-based diet.”

Or, as Siciliano, a converted vegan who recently opened an organic juice bar in her Broad Street business, says, “just don’t eat garbage.”

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SCAT SIGNING

jazzinparkA Red Bank employee updates the borough message board at Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard on Monday to tout the free Comcast Jazz in the Park series at Riverside Gardens Park on Thursday nights at 7 p.m., this week featuring Don Carter. There are free movies, lunchtime concerts and songwriter-at-sunset events in the park, too. See the Red Bank Visitors Center website for details. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

FAIR HAVEN BOY RESCUED FROM RIVER

just_in1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Fair Haven firefighters rescued a young crabber after he fell into the Navesink River Monday night, said fire Chief Wade Davis.

Within minutes of receiving the call from the unidentified boy’s mother, firefighters had him out of the water and were treating him for a minor laceration, Davis said.

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COACH ASKS PUBLIC TO KICK IN FOR CLINIC

enricoEnrico Ciabattoni is spearheading an effort to raise money for boys and girls soccer clinics in Red Bank. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A possible solution to a money problem could be as simple as shaking a can or putting an open hand out and asking, ‘Can you spare some cash?’

That’s not how Enrico Ciabattoni wants to do business, though.

The Peters Place resident, trying to raise funds for an end-of-summer soccer clinic at the Red Bank Middle School, is making the kids who want to be part of the camp do the work.

“I wanted it more to be the kids learning to help themselves rather than going to someone and saying, hey, can you give us some money?” Ciabattoni said.

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MERCURY RISING: DON’T BE CRABBY

crabberA crabber keeps cool on the pier at Marine Park in Red Bank Monday. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

We’ve got a series of increasingly scorching days ahead as temperatures in the Red Bank area push upward toward triple digits later this week.

The National Weather Service forecasts temps peaking at around 90 degrees Tuesday, climbing higher Wednesday, and settling in at a stifling 97 both Thursday and Friday.

And there’s no relief in sight.

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AC UNITS STOLEN FROM CONSTRUCTION SITE

rbpd-patrolcarThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of July 8 to July 15, 2011. This information is unedited.

Attempted Burglary occurring on 7-9-11 at St. Mary’s Place residence. Owner of residence heard loud noise and upon investigation saw two black males fleeing from the back door of residence which had been forced open. Nothing reported missing. Ptl. James DePonte.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 7-9-11 at White Street Parking Lot. Owner reported that antenna on parked vehicle was broken off. Ptl. Heather Pubylski.

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BASEMENT FIRE DOUSED IN LITTLE SILVER

just_in1Volunteer firefighters in Little Silver made quick work of a residential basement fire Monday night.

No injuries were reported as a result of the fire, reported at about 11 p.m., at 31 Little Silver Point Road, said Fire Chief James Jiminaro.

Contrary to a report on a commercial pager alert system that firefighters were attempting to rescue someone from the unfinished cellar, no one was in the basement at the time, Jiminaro tells redbankgreen.

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FIVE BUSTED WITH FAKE I.D.s AT BAR

brannigansBrannigan’s in June. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A handful of 20-year-olds were arrested for trying to get into a Red Bank bar illegally last week, police said.

With the cooperation of staff at Brannigan’s, police arrested five people — three from Middletown — with fake driver’s licenses who were trying to get into the Wharf Avenue bar, Captain Darren McConnell said.

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FIRE INSPECTOR INSPIRES DREAD & RESPECT

j-druckerRed Bank Fire Inspector John Drucker and his dreaded cruiser. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

There’s no mistaking the seriousness of a situation when the white-and-red cruiser marked ‘6431’ pulls in front of your home or business.

The man behind the wheel is something of a fate holder, there to deliver good news or bad, to tell what you did right or wrong, to say you’re ready to open for business or that there’s more work to do.

“When the 31 rolls up, they know it’s John,” said John Drucker, Red Bank’s fire inspector and building code official, positions akin to taxman in terms of the dread they inspire.

But Drucker, 53,  says his aim is to make sure a home- or businessowner has followed every step required to complete a project. It’s a job designed to focus on minutia, and can send property owners to their flashpoints. But it’s a job that, once done, has a payoff for everybody involved, he says.

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RAIL CROSSING REOPENS AHEAD OF SKED

ls-rrAn anticipated two-week closure of the railroad crossing at Sycamore Avenue in Little Silver wrapped up after just nine days over the weekend. Work on the North Jersey Coast Line of the NJ Transit rail system began July 7, prompting traffic jams that spread to Shrewsbury. By 6:30 a.m. Saturday, the barricades were lifted, Little Silver police Lieutenant Joe Mazza said. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

PIE HOLES FILLED, SANS UTENSILS

pie71pie61Young fans of New Jersey’s state fruit tucked in with gusto at the annual blueberry festival at Sickles Market in Little Silver Saturday. For the 12th straight year, pie-eating competitions were on the agenda.

Among the contestants was James Culbert, of Fair Haven, at right, who said, after his 60-second bout, “I want to eat the rest with a fork.”

(Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)pie4

THREE CHARGED IN RBR DANCER’S BEATING

sean-montgomery-rbrRed Bank police have charged two recent Red Bank Regional High graduates and a third man in the vicious attack that left a classmate with injuries last month.

Police identified Sean Montgomery, left, of Little Silver and Shrewsbury, as the instigator of  the June 19 beating at a party on Spring Street that left Julliard dance scholar Anthony Tiedeman with a broken jaw that required surgery.

Montgomery, 18, turned himself in last week after police issued a complaint charging him with aggravated assault, said Captain Darren McConnell.

Another classmate, Perry Campanella, whose town of residence McConnell did not have immediately available, and Jahmer Bunch, of Neptune, are expected to appear for arraignment in borough court with Montgomery on Thursday. They, too, are charged with aggravated assault. Each is 18 or 19 years old, McConnell said.

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Y FINISHES A SET, UPS THE CHALLENGE

health-centerThe Y’s new health services center combines cardio and weight machines that had been scattered across two floors. Below, Claire Donohue works out under the guidance of personal trainer Erin Kauri. (Photos by Stacie Fanelli; click to enlarge)

workout

The most extensive interior overhaul of the Red Bank Community YMCA facility in a decade has concluded without the operation missing a beat.

Begun in March, the $1.2 million job occurred even as many of the Y’s 8,000 members continued to work out, often in cramped quarters.

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