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DRIVER LEAVES EX-BOYFRIEND FLAT-FOOTED

A 21-year-old Fair Haven man was treated at a hospital Tuesday after his ex-girlfriend accidentally ran over his foot with her car, Red Bank police said.

The incident, witnessed by other motorists, occurred at Maple Avenue near West Front Street at around 4 p.m., said Captain Darren McConnell.

That’s when the man, whose identify was not released, followed his former girlfriend from a nearby bank and attempted to speak to her when she was stopped at the traffic light, McConnell said.

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JA, YOU CAN GET A REAL DANISH HERE

The Danish flag and lighting fixtures add to the atmosphere of the industrial space in the Galleria. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

In the 105 years since its construction, the Galleria of Red Bank has had a revolving door for local business owners. Built as a uniform factory and presently  home to a spa, an “intuitive specialist,” a framing shop, restaurants and more, the brick building now touts a newly opened coffee shop.

However, to simply say ‘coffee shop’ is to the put the Danish Café in the same league as dime-a-dozen Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts shops.  Instead, husband-and-wife owners Claudi and Lone Kofod, above, are trying to expand American palates with a taste of Denmark’s delectable wienerbrød (pastries) and authentic frokost (lunch) dishes.

The Kofods are from the small island of Bornholm, population 42,000, where they were both born and raised. Married 27 years, they moved to the States three months ago on an investor visa to conquer the challenge of operating their own business in America.

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RED BANK: WELSH FARMS BURGLARIZED

call-in-the-authoritiesThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of July 20 to July 27, 2012. This information is unedited.

Burglary reported on 7-20-12 occurring at River Road. Report of house being entered while resident was away. Residence was ransacked and stolen were wedding rings and a social security check. Ptl. David Smith.

Burglary occurring o n 7-23-12 at E. Front St.—Welsh Farms. Police responded to alarm activation and found the front door to be smashed; unknown subject(s) gained entry. Cash taken from cash drawers lying on floor. Inv. Robert Campanella.

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HOTEL LAWSUIT III: THIS TIME, IT’S PERSONAL

Lawyer Ron Gasiorowski clashing with Councilman Mike DuPont last week, above, and relaxing at Zebu Forno on Monday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

As an attorney, Ron Gasiorowski is used to verbal conflict. It’s inherent in the adversarial work of representing a client’s interests against someone who’s doing the same.

But as he prepares to file his third lawsuit against Red Bank over a proposed Hampton Inn, Gasiorowski is stewing over the reception he got when he appeared before the borough council last Wednesday.

Not the way he was treated by borough Attorney Dan O’Hern, who challenged him on procedural points at nearly every turn, but did so respectfully, Gasiorowski told redbankgreen last week. And likewise not by Mayor Pasquale Menna, who despite his resistance to Gasiorowski’s point of view, “is always a gentleman,” he said.

No, Gasiorowski said, he was put out by the the third lawyer up on the dais: Councilman Mike DuPont.

“In 40 years of practicing law, that was the most unprofessional and rudest I’ve ever been treated,” said Gasiorowski, a 71-year-old former Marine captain.

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RED BANK: CLEAN COMEDY ON A BLUE RIVER

LAST COMIC STANDING semifinalist Erin Jackson, top, headlines Red Bank’s first-ever Comedy in the Park event, while (L-R) Tim Belford, emcee Chris Covert and Matt Perkins set the stage for the free show Wednesday night.

By TOM CHESEK

Like somewhat more ornery (and somewhat less romantic) cousins to the vampires of legend, stand-up comics are true creatures of the night — or, more to the point, creatures of the nightclub. Which is why, day or night, it’s unusual to find them doing their thing in the Great Outdoors, breathing in the fresh atmosphere, swatting away junebugs and skeeters like so many Chuckle Hut hecklers.

On Wednesday night, however, Red Bank Parks and Rec offers up something that few if any have attempted here in the season of beach chairs and blanket bleachers: an open-air Comedy in the Park event that lets loose its crack-up Krakens in the pleasant waterfront setting of Riverside Gardens Park.

As “free-range” as it is free of charge, the 8 pm program is headlined by Erin Jackson, a season six semifinalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and a frequent sighting on Comedy Central, BET and TV Guide Channel. The daughter of Washington, DC will be joined on the bill by a contingent of Jersey Jokers — among them a familiar figure who’s fast becoming an impresario in local laugh-maker circles.

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SEA BRIGHT OFFICIAL DENIES MAKING THREAT

By JOHN T. WARD

[Update: please see the editor’s note at the end of this article.]

Sea Bright Councilman C. Read Murphy, right, is due in municipal court next month on a citizen complaint of harassment.

Perry Feigenbuam, of Asbury Park, claims Murphy threatened him in front of witnesses outside an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright on June 9.

Murphy, though, claims Feigenbaum has been stalking and harassing Allison Peduto, the daughter of a late friend and Feigenbaum’s ex-girlfriend.

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FUNK AND STANDARD HEADS NORTH ON BROAD

Patti Siciliano plans to relocate her 14-year-old store to 7 Broad. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Funk and Standard, a retailing stalwart through Red Bank’s economic ups and downs, is planning to vacate its longtime home and reopen next month farther north on Broad Street.

Owner Patti Siciliano tells redbankgreen she’ll close the clothing and novelty store, as well as its 18-month-old Yummy Yummy Good Stuff juice bar, on Tuesday in preparation for a move to a below-the-street space at 7 Broad Street, between Red restaurant and Blue Water Seafood.

Hoping to take over the vacated space at 40 Broad is Greene Street Consignment, a high-end clothing consignment shop with seven stores in the Philadelphia area, according to documents on file at borough hall.

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MIDDLETOWN MAN CHARGE WITH SEX ASSAULT

Recent activity reports, unedited, as provided by the Middletown Township Police Department.

call-in-the-authorities• James Koenig, age 55, from Brainard Avenue in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on July 22, 2012 by Patrolman Keith Hirschbein on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was released after posting $100.00 bail.

• Peter Zagajec, age 39, from Branson Drive in Lincroft, NJ, arrested on July 22, 2012 by Patrolman Anthony Gigante on Contempt of Court warrants issued by the Middletown, Manchester and Tinton Falls Municipal Court. He was held on $1,499.00 bail.

• Regina Hayden, age 57, from Morgan Drive in Middletown, NJ, arrested on July 22, 2012 by Patrolman Ryan Riffert for Simple Assault, Terroristic Threats, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose. She was released pending a court date.

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WARNING: DON’T GIVE TO ‘DUTCHESS’ OF JAZZ

Shoppers at this weekend’s Red Bank Sidewalk Sale have reported getting hit up for donations by a woman misrepresenting herself. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Officials are warning Red Bank shoppers and merchants not to fall for a pitch from a woman who claims to be soliciting funds for a local music foundation.

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NEW PLAYING FIELDS TAKE SHAPE IN RUMSON

Gouged out of a slope, new bleachers took shape at Rumson Country Day School on Ridge Road Thursday. The seating will overlook newly separate natural-turf football and soccer fields that are expected to be ready when school reopens in September, according to an official for the contractor, Precise Construction of Freehold.  (Photos by Connor Soltas. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK SIDEWALKS HEAT UP WITH DEALS

If it’s a sweltering weekend in late July, it must be time for the annual Red Bank Sidewalk Sale. Now in its 58th edition, the event features bargains galore from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m, to 5 p.m. Sunday. Parking is free in the lots but not curbside. (Click to enlarge)

OUT OF LITTLE SILVER: A COUNTRY TROOPER

Singer, songwriter and Little Silver native Greg Trooper opens for Clint Black at The Y’s Goin’ Country for Kids benefit concert Saturday night at the Count Basie.

By TOM CHESEK

While he doesn’t usually make the short list of well-known musicians who’ve called the Jersey Shore their home, Little Silver native Greg Trooper has an uncanny knack for being on the scene wherever music happens — or is just about to happen.

The 56-year-old singer and songwriter was present and accounted for when the NYC folk clubs summoned forth a bold new crop of performers in the 1970s and ’80s. He was at large in Austin when that Texas town was tearing up the country music rulebook — and in Nashville when a next-generation Music City began to attract veteran Shorecats like John Eddie and Garry Tallent.

On Saturday, Trooper returns to Red Bank — the setting of many an after-school hangout back in the day — for a major benefit concert presented under the name Goin’ Country for Kids. A fundraiser for the Strong Kids Program at THE Community YMCA, the 8 pm show at the Count Basie Theatre finds Trooper appearing in support of country superstar Clint Black — himself a momentary son of the greater Red Bank green (and if you don’t believe us, check the NJ Wall of Fame at Murphy’s on Broad Street).

The solo acoustic set is expected to draw from his 25-year catalog of recorded work — a discography that includes 2011’s Upside Down Town, in which the darker vocal tones of the mature Trooper make a gritty but satisfying fit with a lyrical style that was always world-weary and wise beyond the composer’s years. The acclaimed songwriter’s songwriter would see his vivid vignettes interpreted by performers from Steve Earle (“Little Sister”) and Vince Gill (“We Won’t Dance”) to Lucy Kaplansky (“The Heart”) and Billy Bragg (“Everywhere”).

Working with such sought-after producers as Buddy Miller, Dan Penn and Tallent, Trooper has employed sensibly spare arrangements (spotlighting fiddles, pedal steel, accordion and some quietly intense guitar) in a way that presaged what we now call Americana — even as it avoided the potential embarrassments of Opryland fad and fashion.

redbankgreen has some Q’s and A’s with Trooper below. If you missed the Clint Black interview earlier this week, thumb it over to here.

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AN OASIS OF COLOR

The traffic island at Monmouth Street and Bridge Avenue in Red Bank, home to a rail-crossing gate, was lush and bright with well-tended plantings Thursday. Anybody know who gets the credit? (Click to enlarge)

THE AXEMAN COMETH

An unidentified axe-wielding man, one of two on the scene, chops away at a tree that fell across Harding Road just east of Spring Street in a thunderstorm that blew through the Green Thursday evening. (Click to enlarge)

COUNCIL RAISES HEIGHT LIMIT AT HOTEL SITE

Attorney Ron Gasiorowski, with a rendering of the proposed Hampton Inn hotel he opposes, awaits the start of Wednesday’s Red Bank council meeting. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two months after the Red Bank zoning board ruled that a proposed hotel on the site of a former Exxon station exceeded the height limit for its zone, the town’s governing body boosted the limit Wednesday night.

After a contentious hearing that was widely seen as a prelude to a third lawsuit over zoning changes affecting the site the of the proposed Hampton Inn, the borough council gave unanimous approval to a trio of ordinance amendments, one of which would allow a building 82.4 feet tall, or seven stories, in the zone.

Though characterized by council members and council Attorney Dan O’Hern as an attempt to clarify rules affecting the town’s entire waterfront development zone, the most immediate impact of the change is eliminate the most significant obstacle to the proposed hotel, eyed for the juncture of Route 35 and Rector Place at the foot of Cooper’s Bridge.

“I, too, am of the opinion that we need another hotel here, one that is affordable,” Councilman Mike DuPont said after sparring repeatedly with the attorney representing the hotel’s foremost objector.

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RED BANK ‘N BLACK, PERFECT TOGETHER

Clint Black’s portrait at Murphy Style Grill Wall. Black returns to the area where he lived as an infant when he headlines the Count Basie Saturday.

By TOM CHESEK

Pay a visit to Red Bank’s Murphy Style Grill and you’ll encounter muralist Andrew Sabori’s Wall of Fame panorama featuring famous people from New Jersey. Take a closer look and you’ll probably wonder why — nestled in with familiar homegrown heroes like Jack Nicholson, The Chairman and The Boss — you’ll find the black-hatted country music superstar Clint Black.

Although he forged his traditionalist sound in the honkytonks of his Houston hometurf — and despite venturing forth into much of the world from his present Nashville base of operations — Black can claim a pedigree on the greater Red Bank green, where he was born 50 years ago and, according to some sources, where his family briefly resided prior to young Clint’s first birthday.

On Saturday, July 28, the platinum-plated singer, songwriter, producer and occasional actor makes a Red Bank homecoming of sorts, when he headlines The Y’s Goin’ Country for Kids — a benefit for The Community YMCA and a show that finds the Count Basie Theatre  also playing host to another local boy gone country: Little Silver native Greg Trooper.

It’s a road stop that holds special significance for Black, whose 25-year recorded catalog has garnered him more than a dozen number one hits, a trophy case of awards and his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Having met all the Nashville milestones (and dueted with everyone from Waylon Jennings to Monty Python’s Eric Idle), the AMA Favorite New Artist of 1990 entered the new millennium with some of the most intriguing music of his career. He’s also co-starred in a series of family-friendly Flicka flicks, guested in movies and countless TV shows, composed original music for the upcoming stage extravaganza Aussie Adventure, and continues to serve as honorary chair for the nonprofit research and awareness organization International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF).

Scroll on down for our interview with the Man Named Black, and tune in Friday for our interview with show-opener Greg Trooper of Little Silver.

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1.21 JIGAWATTS OF ENERGY IN THE PARK

Back to the Future,” Red Bank Rec’s first free, outdoor movie of the summer, rolled into Riverside Gardens Park Tuesday night with bunch of complementary events in tow.

High humidity didn’t discourage visitors from checking out the “time machines,” like the one at right, brought by the DeLorean Mid-Atlantic Club for the screening. Kick Cancer Overboard gave away a free cruise to a family affected by the disease, and a food drive collected for local food banks such as Lunch Break and RAINE. And a flash mob dance routine from Life Vest Inside, a Brooklyn non-profit that promotes kindness, added to the festivities, above.

Up next in the film series, hosted by Shore Flicks: “The Brady Bunch Movie.” The full schedule is here. (Photo by Danielle Tepper. Video by Stacie Fanelli.)

FORMER BROOKDALE PREZ COPS TO FRAUD

Peter Burnham, who resigned as president of Brookdale Community College last year amid questions over his lavish pay and perks, pleaded guilty Tuesday to defrauding the school out of $40,000, the Monmouth County Prosecutor announced.

Burnham, of Colts Neck, also admitted bilking the federal government and Monmouth University out of $20,000 in student aid after he quit in discgrace, according to Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Grammiccioni.

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EXIT STAGE LEFT FOR BASIE EX-CEO

Numa Saisselin at the Basie in 2011. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Numa Saisselin, a former stagehand who led the Count Basie Theatre back to fiscal health after decades of mismanagement and physical decay, only to be nudged out of his job last month, is leaving the Red Bank venue, he announced Tuesday.

Saisselin will become president of the Florida Theatre, a 1,900-seat circa 1927 stage in Jacksonville, Florida, he told friends in an email.

With what he called “very mixed emotions,” Saisselin wrote that “although the opportunity to work in a bigger venue in a bigger market was irresistible, it will still be hard to leave the Basie after 10-1/2 years of great work with so many of you.”

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A FRESH APPROACH AT LUNCH BREAK

In addition to its customary slate of hot meals, clothing, social services referrals and job counseling, Red Bank’s Lunch Break is now distributing fresh produce and flowers grown by local gardeners.

The free Gardeners’ Market is open from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. every Tuesday through September. Growers who wish to contribute  are asked to drop off their produce on Monday afternoons or early Tuesday morning at Lunch Break’s home, on Drs. James Parker Boulevard. For more information, call 732-747-8577. (Click to enlarge)

SAILBOAT SMASHED IN RIVER HIT-AND-RUN

Employees at Carriage House Marina in Sea Bright look over the Nonsuch catboat that they say was damaged beyond repair in the crash. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Sea Bright couple is asking for the public’s help in finding the boater who smashed into their prized sailboat while it was moored in the Navesink River off Red Bank this weekend.

Wendie Elovich and her husband, Tim Slaight, believe their 22-foot Nonsuch catboat, which was anchored in the mooring field off the Monmouth Boat Club, was struck by a fast-moving motorized vessel sometime between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

“It looks like it washed up on a beach in a hurricane,” said Lance Cunningham, owner of Carriage House Marina in Sea Bright, where the sailboat was towed Monday morning. “It’s a wonder it didn’t sink.”

Elovich says it’s a wonder someone wasn’t killed. In fact, she wonders if someone wasn’t.

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SOUNDS ALL OVER TOWN

Red Bank offered a sprawling buffet of delights for music lovers Saturday night as the Brookdale Big Band, right, laid down a smooth bed of Basie, Ellington and other greats at Riverside Gardens Park in a benefit for the borough library, while Attractive Nuisenze, above, and Tri City Jazz, below, were among the handful of acts buskingthe sidewalks  as part of the summerlong StreetLife program. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: GARDEN LAMPS VANDALIZED

The crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of Jul 13 to July 20, 2012. This information is unedited.

Theft occurring between the dates of 7-10-12 and 7-13-12 at South Street. Victim reported that unknown person(s) gained entry but not forced into residence and stole a credit card, camera and a Toshiba laptop. Ptl. John Camarca.

Criminal Mischief occurring between 7-13-12 and 7-14-12 at Leonard St. Victim reported that unknown person(s) punctured all four tires on parked vehicle. Ptl. Nicholas Maletto.

Criminal Mischief occurring in Marine Park on 7-14-12. Report of graffiti deployed to several pieces of park equipment by unknown subject(s). Ptl. John Camarca.

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MIDDLETOWN POLICE BLOTTER

Recent activity reports, unedited, as provided by the Middletown Township Police Department.

call-in-the-authorities• Gary Colyer, age 28, from Hwy 9 in Old Bridge, NJ, arrested on July 15, 2012 by Corporal Douglas Wiatrak for Eluding, Driving While Intoxicated, Disorderly Conduct and Obstructing the Administration of Law. He was released pending a court date.

• Eric Krzykowski, age 33, from Main Street in Middletown, NJ, arrested on July 14, 2012 by Patrolman Robert McNair for Simple Assault. He was released pending a court date.

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