SUV FLIPS IN RUMSON

rumson-rx-accident2Watched by onlookers, below, emergency responders pulled a woman from her car after it flipped over on West River Road in Rumson. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

One woman was taken to the hospital today after she flipped her sport utility vehicle in Rumson’s business district Monday morning. rumson-rx-accident1

Despite the scary looking scene, with the car resting on its driver’s side in the middle of the road, the unidentified woman appeared to make it out of the accident with no major injuries.

The cause of the accident is not yet known, authorities said.

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FAIR HAVEN POLICE BLOTTER

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

fhpd-badgeReports from the Fair Haven Police Department for the month of July appear unedited below.

7/2/11

-Brenda S. Thomson, 50, of Rumson was arrested and charged with D.W.I. by Ptl. Hostrup.

7/3/11

-Todd R. Gundersen, 32, of Middletown, NJ was arrested and charged with possession of C.D.S. (Heroin) and possession of a hypodermic needle by Det. Dykstra. Mr. Gundersen was also held on outstanding warrants for contempt of court.

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RED BANKER HOLDS TILLER FOR CLEARWATER

thewagtraveler-097a_1293715884Think global, act local: Middletown-based band The Wag is among the Shore area acts taking the main stage at the 36th annual Clearwater Festival, scheduled for August 20. (Photo courtesy of  Larry Russo)

By TOM CHESEK

“We’re not just putting on a big party each year,” says Ben Forest. “Although of course it is — a party with a purpose.”

Forest, vice president of the Red Bank-based nonprofit NJ Friends of Clearwater — and a man with an irresistibly evergreen, treehug-friendly name — is referring to one of the Shore’s most successful marriages of music and message: the annual Clearwater Festival, the 36th edition of which returns Saturday, August 20.

Red Bankers know Forest as a long-serving member of the borough’s board of ed; as an active voice (with wife Amy Goldsmith) for West Side residents — and as a Mac computer specialist who keeps the often inscrutable machinery of local businesses, schools and media living to fight another day. For nearly a quarter century, he’s been a volunteer and an officer of the local chapter of Clearwater — the organization established in the 1970s as a vehicle for carrying the mission of Pete Seeger’s original enviro-awareness group to the shores of the Raritan Bay and the local Atlantic coast.

Naturally, Forest’s exalted position as Clearwater’s Committee Liaison for Environmental Policy — an office through which he’s been able to bend the ear of governors, members of Congress and the head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency — hasn’t prevented him from pulling down duty as a flipper of burgers, collector of trash and de facto roadie during past presentations of the Clearwater Fest. With this year’s free event fast approaching, the predicament — unlike some of the region’s waterways — couldn’t be more clear: Clearwater needs volunteers.

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CONCESSION STAND BUSTED INTO. TWICE.

riverside-concessionThe concession stand at Riverside Gardens Park on West Front Street. (Click to enlarge)

The crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of July 29 to August 5, 2011. This information is unedited.

Theft occurring at Wallace St. on 7-30-11. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole, cash, credit cards. I.D. and driver’s license from her purse, which was in residence. Ptl. George Travostino.

Theft occurring at West Front Street-Riverside Gardens on 7-30-11. Report of a metal security shutter on concession stand in the park had been pushed open and entry gained. Unknown person(s) stole cookies and candy. Ptl. Patrick Kennedy.

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COPS PROBE BANK STREET HOMICIDE

9-bank9-bank-door2Red Bank police and investigators from the Monmouth County Prosecutors office are investigating a homicide committed at 9 Bank Street at around 3 a.m. Sunday. Glass from a broken window and storm door litter the front porch, right. Sources tell redbankgreen two victims were stabbed, and one died, but official confirmation and details were not immediately available. (Click to enlarge)

VISITORS WARM TO VALET SERVICE

valetvalet1Red Bank RiverCenter‘s experiment with downtown valet parking got off to a slow start last Friday night, below, but things picked up Saturday night, above, said Phil Bopp, who manages the operation for Citi Park, the contractor.

The service, which costs $10, is available on Friday and Saturday nights until 2 a.m. through September. The valet station is on Broad Street near Mechanic Street. (Photo below by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

WEINBERG GETS OK FOR ESTATE CARVE-UP

max1Max Weinberg at Middletown’s planning board hearing Wednesday night. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Turns out you can break the ties that bind.

E-Street Band drummer Max Weinberg barely persuaded an apprehensive Middletown planning board Wednesday to lift a deed restriction it had imposed eight years ago to prevent him from further subdividing his 16.2-acre Navesink estate.

Using words like ‘hardship’ and ‘discrimination,’ Weinberg’s team of legal and planning experts argued that the deed restriction, which Weinberg agreed to at the time, had stuck him and his family with an unfair burden.

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ARCADE (BEEP!) RUNS THE BOARD (BWOOP!)

yestercades003An artist’s rendering of the ’boutique’ video game arcade planned for 80 Broad Street. Below right, owner Ken Kalada shares a laugh with zoning board member Tom Williams after the board’s unanimous approval. (Click to enlarge)

ken-kaladaAs a Pac-Man-loving preteen in Lincroft, Ken Kalada used to weep, he said, because his father wouldn’t allow him to visit a video game arcade in Eatontown because it was too seedy.

By the time he was 12, though, Kalada was collecting video games and pinball machines of his own, acquiring them via Usenet groups before eBay was a gleam in anyone’s eye. He was also spending time soaking up the atmosphere at a a retro pool hall that opened in the Galleria at Red Bank in the ’90s.

Neither experience, he said, wrecked his morals. In fact, people of his cohort – he’s 29 – and up to their late 40s are deeply nostalgic for the Mario Brothers and other electronic games of their youth, he said.

To answer that need, Kalada intends to transform a 2,800-square-foot former clothing store on Broad Street in Red Bank into a “boutique” video game lounge, one that’s open as late as 2 a.m. to satisfy the joystick cravings of eternal adolescence.

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DRUG SWEEP NETS THREE RED BANKERS

just_in1Three Red Bank men were among more than 30 suspects arrested in a massive law enforcement sweep focused on the sale of heroin and assault weapons, authorities said Thursday.

Russell Vann and Charles Dixon, both 54 years old, and Raymond Jackson, 41, were caught up on drug distribution charges in raids led by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office over the past month, the agency said in an announcement.

All three were alleged to have been “midlevel” drug dealers in a hierarchical” syndicate run by a Long Branch man, who was also arrested. No street addresses for Vann, Dixon and Jackson were immediately available.

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PROSECUTOR: BAN TWO FIREFIGHTERS

hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The prosecutor in the case of three firefighters convicted of charges in a firehouse scuffle last year wants at least two of them barred from their line officer positions within the department.

“The state believes they should not be allowed back into their positions,” said Little Silver Prosecutor Mike Halfacre, who is also the mayor of neighboring Fair Haven. “Forfeiture (of their positions) in my eyes, and in the state’s eyes, is automatic.”

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RESIDENTS READY TO FIRE BACK AT AVAYA

four-ponds1Four Ponds architect Ned Gaunt gave the first look at color drawings of the proposed homes at the former Avaya property in Lincroft. Below, an opponent of the plan in a t-shirt worn by many in the audience. (Photos by Stacie Fanellii. Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

four-ponds-opponentAs a development company’s team of professionals continued to lobby for approval by Middletown’s planning board of a major residential community in Lincroft, opponents of the plan anxiously waited their turn Wednesday night.

That time is still weeks away, as testimony on the proposed redevelopment of the former Avaya property continued with more traffic study findings and the introduction of the 342-unit housing plan’s schematics that were met with familiar boos in a crowded meeting room.

Waiting patiently for their turn on the floor, three residents who’ve hired an attorney to counter the studies and findings by representatives of Four Ponds Associates sat listening to details of the unfolding plan to convert the 68-acre property from commercial to residential use.

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SAFETY PUSH MAKES IT TO MASTER PLAN

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

bicyclist1Red Bank’s team of two-wheeled street safety activists earned a small victory Monday night in their effort to make borough paths safer and more accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians.

As anticipated, the borough planning board voted to incorporate a lengthy bike and pedestrian safety report and recommendations into Red Bank’s Master Plan, the principle guiding document for development in town.

With the addition of the “Red Bank Bicycle/Pedestrian Planning Project” report, the group’s vision of shared streets and consideration of walkers and non-vehicular riders in future planning is coming into focus.

“We’re hoping (Red Bank) is safer and more community friendly,” said Jenny Rossano, one of the founders of Safe Routes Red Bank, whose members pulled in a non-cash grant to prepare the 106-page report. “We’re hoping people will walk and bike more, and that makes a community better.”

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BELLHAVEN PARK NEEDS TLC

bellhaven-parkRed Bank officials are seeking funds for the Bellhaven Park nature area on Locust Avenue. Below, a map from the 2006 waterfront plan. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

swimming-riverBellhaven Park, an oft-overlooked waterfront parcel in Red Bank’s inventory of natural areas, could use a little help — any kind of help, says borough Engineer Christine Ballard.

Sequestered away from the public eye at the western end of Locust Avenue, it’s never gotten the kind of use or attention from residents that other parks see. Now, general neglect at the park, designated as a passive natural area, has led it to become a little bit too natural, said Mayor Pasquale Menna.

The Swimming River has swallowed up at least half of a floating dock at the park, and the heavy brush of native and invasive species has made some winding paths almost impassable.

“It’s like a jungle down there,” Menna said. “It needs to be accessible and safer. Even our own (police) patrols can’t even go in there because of the overgrowth.”

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NATIONAL NIGHT OUT: RED BANK

rb-nno5rb-nno2Red Bank’s National Night Out celebration, a sun-soaked evening held in the borough hall parking lot, featured many fixings of a community coming together: a walk around town, tours of the police station, games, a handshake with a cop or two and char-grilled burgers.

Cops did it all Tuesday night. They flipped burgers, ran fingerprints, put the “drunk goggles” on golf cart-drivers and monitored the speed of young flamethrowers tossing a baseball.

Images from the evening’s festivities after the ‘read more’ button. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

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NATIONAL NIGHT OUT: FAIR HAVEN

fh-nno3fh-nno1What’s better: petting a drug-sniffing dog, shaking hands with McGruff the Crime Dog or sinking Mayor Mike Halfacre in the dunk tank?

It was a close call at Tuesday night’s National Night Out observance in Fair Haven, as kids lined up for all of the above — and the line to soak Halfacre was pretty long. More pics below. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

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ROLLERBLADER ASSAULTED ON SKATE HOME

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

mtown-cop-carsA man rollerblading in the area of Brandywine Way in Middletown was assaulted by three men Sunday, police said.

According to Detective Lieutenant Steve Dollinger, the unidentified victim was rollerblading home from a friend’s house when a car with three men in it drove by and the men started yelling obscenities. The car then pulled over and the three got out and attacked the victim, knocking him to the ground and hitting him in the head and face, Dollinger said.

Police were able to track down the car and arrested the three suspects — two from Keansburg and another from Port Monmouth — and charged each with simple assault.

Details and additional reports from Middletown police appear unedited below.

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TREE ‘MURDER’ ALLEGED IN RUMSON

c-zipfCindy Zipf, right, shows residents photos of her neighbor’s property, which she says was clear-cut of its trees. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The quest by a Rumson couple to prove that local officials negligently allowed the “murder” of numerous trees on a residential building lot drew a packed house of lawyers, experts and crestfallen neighbors to Monday night’s planning board meeting.

With their appeal of tree-removal permit granted by Frederick André, the borough’s tree conservation officer, Clean Ocean Action founder and executive director Cindy Zipf and her husband, Rick Jones say they hope to win an acknowledgment that mistakes were made and stricter enforcement of a tree-protection ordinance.

A lawyer by their side, Zipf and Jones paged through a sheaf of documents showing, they argue, that the property next door to their home at 37 Navesink Avenue was the site of a “murder of trees” that violated the ordinance.

The alleged slaughter could have been prevented had André, who is also the planning board’s secretary, properly done his job, they say.

“The tree conservation officer failed to implement basic procedures. The tree conservation officer allowed a clear-cut at 35 Navesink Avenue,” said Andrew Provence, a lawyer with Ansell, Grimm and Aaron. “What happened at 35 Navesink is plainly a clear-cut. To call it anything else is an insult to this borough, this board, my clients and the people of Rumson.”

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RED BANK: RAID NETS 450 HEROIN DOSES

just_in1Here’s the full text of an announcement released Tuesday morning by Red Bank police:

On Tuesday morning members of the Red Bank Police Department
executed a search warrant at a Drummond Avenue residence. The warrant was obtained following a month-long investigation by Det. Robert Clayton and Sgt. Michael Frazee of the department’s Anti-Crime Unit.

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MAN REVIVED AFTER LIGHTNING HIT

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

[Editor’s note: This story contains updated information from Gateway National Park at 11:30 a.m.]

just_in1A man who was struck by lightning in a brief, violent storm on Sandy Hook was resuscitated after prolonged lifesaving efforts late Monday afternoon, authorities said.

An earlier version of this report on redbankgreen said the victim had died.

The unidentified man was at Beach B on the ocean side of the peninsula when he was hit by lightning at about 5:53 p.m., according to Gateway National Park spokesman John Warren.

Family members had tried unsuccessfully to revive the victim, but park emergency personnel were able to, Warren said.

“He was alive when he left Sandy Hook” in a Sea Bright First Aid ambulance, which took him to Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Warren said. “I believe our employees made that possible.”

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STOKABOKA, ADAMS IMPORTS GOING UNDER

stokaboka-072811Stokaboka Surf and Skate will likely close its doors for good by the end of the weekend, says owner Mike Boylan. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

rcsm2_010508An outgoing economic wave is claiming two stores on Monmouth Street in Red Bank: Board and beach outfitter Stokaboka Surf and Skate and Polish stoneware boutique Adams Imports.

Stokaboka, a destination for rail-riders and beach bums, cleared out a majority of its merchandise in this past weekend’s sidewalk sale, and will likely lock the doors by the end of this weekend, owner Mike Boylan tells redbankgreen.

“It’s more of an economy and internet thing,” said Boylan, who operated the store for six years with his wife, Kathleen. “There’s just a lot on the internet I just can’t compete with.”

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POPPING THE QUESTION

Accompanied by a pair of StreetLife performers, a feeble-voiced Steven Galapo proposed to his girlfriend, Nathalie Salem, on Broad Street in Red Bank Saturday night.

Did she say yes? Play the video to find out.

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A NIGHT OUT FOR RED BANK, FAIR HAVEN

natl-night-out-20101Scenes from the 2010 National Night Out in Red Bank. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

4858647381_f526d98d6b_m1

It’s one night of the year where the badge and blue shirt come to represent something a little less  fear-inducing, when the local fuzz trades in authority to bond with those it protects over burgers and dogs.

National Night Out, the community outreach program that spans police departments coast-to-coast, gets going in select towns on The Green Tuesday night, a fitting lead into the lazy days of summer’s end when many families are preparing for another school year.

“It’s good to get everyone out. It shows the kids they don’t have to be afraid to interact with the police,” said Stephen Schneider, a patrolman in Fair Haven. “We’re not just out there writing tickets and telling them to put their helmets on. We’re there for everybody.”

Besides, who can resist a sanctioned chance to dunk a cop with a fastball?

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