FOOD FOR… SPORTS GEAR AND FIELD LIGHTS

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Upcoming: Thursday, August 16

Red Bank Flavour, a culinary campaign driven by the borough’s restaurants and food stores, presents “A Night on the Navesink: A Flavour Summer Soiree” at the Molly Pitcher Inn on Thursday, August 16.

Held at Red Bank’s newly renovated riverfront hotel, the evening, co-sponsored by hotel owner J.P. Barry Hospitality, will offer guests culinary samplings from more than 20 borough eateries, as well as wine samplings, libations and craft beer selections from New Jersey breweries.

A portion of proceeds from “A Night on the Navesink” will benefit Lunch Break and the Red Bank Middle School Athletics Foundation.

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M’TOWN MAN INDICTED IN ALLEGED RAMPAGE

By JOHN T. WARD

A Middletown man has been indicted by a Monmouth County grand jury for a multi-town rampage in which he’s alleged to have smashed his car into one occupied by his former girlfriend and their infant daughter, and for violent assaults on two cops who attempted to arrest him.

Gregory Canova, 38, faces 25 charges including arising from a series of incidents that began with him trying to choke his girlfriend in a motel room; continued with him running her car off the road with their one-year-old daughter aboard; getting into a violent struggle with a Middletown oficer; dragging the cop with his car; smashing his vehicle head-on into a moving police car; and a car chase, according to an announcement Wednesday by the Monmouth County Prosecutor.

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SAVING LIVES, TRANSFORMING THEIR OWN

Karr Mullen, front, and Christopher Faherty at a reunion of former Little Silver EMS Cadets on Saturday. Below, Elizabeth Giblin. (Photos by Connor Soltas. Click to enlarge)

By CONNOR SOLTAS

That Little Silver’s EMS Cadets, the town’s squad of teenaged paramedics-in-training, can manage being on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for an an unpaid lifesaving job might paint them as miracle-workers at a time when free time is scarce as ever and seemingly everyone needs extra cash.

And they are, no doubt, to those whose lives they save.

Yet if you ask the cadet program’s graduates, some of them 10 years older than when they began, there’s more to their story than the boilerplate tale of altruism.

Cadet camaraderie, they say, is what compelled them to stick with such a demanding schedule.

“There’s a special connection you make with others that you can’t understand until someone’s, like, dying in front of you,” said 2004 cadet Elizabeth Giblin, who this year became the EMS squad’s second-in-command, as first lieutenant.

The experience transformed the lives of many cadet corps alums, locals who joined in high school – some of whom continue to be involved with EMS work. To get the full scoop, redbankgreen dropped by the home of Kim Ambrose, of Little Silver’s EMS department, for a reunion of former cadets celebrating the corps’ tenth anniversary Saturday.

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FIVE CHARGED IN ROBBERY BEATINGS, ARSON

Three Red Bank residents face robbery, assault and other charges after a pair of beatings nearly a week apart that ended with one borough man stabbed and another’s SUV left burning in Mohawk Pond, police say.

Last Thursday and Friday, police arrested four men – all admitted or suspected members of the Bloods gang –  and one woman on charges arising out of the attacks, said police Captain Darren McConnell.

The motive in both cases was robbery, and unrelated to gang grudges, McConnell said.

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FAIR HAVEN OPTS FOR ‘COMPLETE STREETS’

The intersection of River Road and Fair Haven Road boasts some key features of “Complete Streets” design, including distinctive crosswalks. (Photo by Connor Soltas. Click to enlarge)

By CONNOR SOLTAS

A crosswalk-ahead sign, a crosswalk sign, a narrowing road, a yield-to-pedestrians sign in the median, a stop sign and a distinctive red crosswalk: all are elements of a “Complete Streets” policy adopted last week by Fair Haven’s borough council.

Echoing the language of a movement that aims to change the concept of streets as existing primarily for motor vehicles, borough engineer Rich Gardella said the policy’s goal is “to provide an attractive and safe access for all users and modes of transportation.”

In particular, that will mean equipping intersections with features like additional crosswalk signs and sand-colored shoulder barriers, all aimed at encouraging motorists to be more cautious around pedestrians, cyclists and the handicapped.

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A BEACH BLANKET “BOLERO” AT TWO RIVER

A “flash mob” of nonprofessional dancers in rehearsal for BOLERO RED BANK at the Two River Theater.

By TOM CHESEK

Addressing a stageful of local residents at Two River Theater last Thursday night, Larry Keigwin framed a pre-rehearsal peptalk with “It’s great how in this digitally saturated age, we’re all doing something together that’s live and interactive.”

The occasion that brought the award winning choreographer together with a group of several dozen Monmouth County neighbors — an eclectic collection that boasts at least one septuagenarian, six or seven primary school kids and a dog — is a project by the name of Bolero Red Bank.

Designed exclusively for the Red Bank area audience, the dance piece uses the magnificent musical merry-go-round of Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero” as the soundtrack to a celebration of the greater Red Bank area — and the things that the people who live here love the most about it. And, when Bolero Red Bank hits the stage of the Bridge Avenue performing arts center this Friday and Saturday night, it will prove to be something of a “day at the beach” for audience and participants alike.

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GOOD VIBES: ALEX AND ANI CRYSTALIZES

Set to open at 12 Broad Street in Red Bank Monday is Alex and Ani, the latest in a chain of jewelry stores whose products, the company says, are infused “with the positive energy that ancients refer to as vital force.”

So is the store itself, located between Urban Outfitters and Zebu Forno: as previously reported by redbankgreen, embedded between the wall studs during construction were  individual crystals, held in place with electrical tape, above right. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: BIKE-HOOP DREAMS

Some of Red Bank’s newly decommissioned parking meters (right) could be retrofitted as lock stands for bicycles. Borough Engineer Christine Ballard tells redbankgreen that officials are awaiting word on a grant that would pay for galvanized iron loop sleeves that slide on to former parking meter posts that have had their heads removed.

Meantime, biking-and-walking advocacy group Red Bank Safe Routes is collecting suggestions from residents on where they’d like to see more bike racks in town. Feel free to add your thoughts in a comment below. (Photo above courtesy NYC DOT. Click to enlarge)

MIDDLETOWN POLICE BLOTTER

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

call-in-the-authorities• James Delucia, age 59 from Main Street in Middletown, NJ, arrested on July 9, 2012 by Patrolman Nicholas Fenezia for Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest. He was released pending a court date.

• Kaity Aviles, age 20, from Port Monmouth Road in Middletown, NJ, arrested on July 8, 2012 by Patrolman Keith Hirschbein on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Keansburg Municipal Court. He was held on $200.00 bail.

• Dawn Villano, age 52, from California Avenue in Brick, NJ, arrested on July 8, 2012 by Patrolman Ryan Riffert on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Eatontown Municipal Court. She was held on $500.00 bail.

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RBR GRAD AND TEACHER HONORED

Gemma Ciabattoni was the highest-ranking Red Banker at RBR this year. (Photo by Connor Soltas. Click to enlarge)

By CONNOR SOLTAS

Honored by the Red Bank mayor and council as the town’s top-ranking high school senior this year was Gemma Ciabattoni – community volunteer, avid English student, varsity soccer player, actress, and big-time Scrabble enthusiast.

Councilwoman Kathy Horgan read a resolution at Wednesday’s council meeting recognizing Ciabattoni for having instilled “a sense of pride in all of the citizens of the Borough of Red Bank as a result of her outstanding achievements.”

Ciabattoni graduated from Red Bank Regional last month with a 97.67 grade point average, having taken numerous honors, advanced placement and international baccalaureate classes.

“Even though I’ve won a lot of scholarly honors, they’re not all they’re cracked up to be,” she told the audience at the meeting, “but being recognized is an honor in it itself.”

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SHREWSBURY CAT COLONY HEADING TO COURT


The feral cat colony is tucked away in the woods behind a day care center and businesses on Avenue of the Commons. (Photo by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Lurking in the woods adjacent to a day care center on Shrewsbury’s Avenue of the Commons is a group of wild animals that may seem out of place in this suburban enclave better known for its burgeoning deer population.

It’s a colony of feral cats that have claimed the wilderness as their own personal scavenging ground – abetted, authorities contend, by two women who feed them at an improvised encampment built several hundred feet into the woods.

Jeanette Petti of Oceanport and Ruth Rapkin of Tinton Falls are scheduled to appear in municipal court Tuesday on charges that they’re illegally harboring the colony in the woods adjacent to the school.

The pair face misdemeanor allegations they failed to obtain vaccinations and licenses for the felines, and that they are maintaining a nuisance on public and private property, according to summonses issued May 8.

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FARM MARKET CULTIVATES A RELAXED VIBE

Artist Matthew Becker comes to town each Sunday to sell his paintings. Below, mushrooms from ‘the Mushroom Capital of the World.’ (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By STACIE FANELLI

A mushroom buffet, freshly picked callaloo and a vegan lunch truck: all are staples for Red Bank Farmers Market customers, many of whom trek dozens of miles week for these delicacies, as well as clothing and art.

Everything, it seems, is homemade, handcrafted, passed down for generations or grown on a farm owned by someone who spent his life savings to buy it. Everything has a story.

Matthew Becker, an artist whose full-time job is running a karma yoga practice, comes every Sunday from Point Pleasant, even though he doesn’t do a tremendous amount of business selling his work. He uses the time to paint and to soak in the market atmosphere.

“I like to spread good vibes around for people,” he said, pointing out the “chill-out trance music” playing from his speakers in the parking lot of the Galleria at Red Bank. “It’s my most relaxing day of the week.”

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SONGWRITERS TAKE ROOT AT THE GARDENS

The alternative/ Americana musical marriage known as The Mastersons inaugurates a new summer slate of free Songwriters in the Park concerts, Friday night at Riverside Gardens.  

The dog-day nights of July and August are that time of year when the waterfront walkways and terraces of Riverside Gardens take center stage in local life — with this Thursday seeing the return of the long-running Jazz in the Park concerts, and the weeks to come offering a packed schedule of free family-friendly movies, free evening Zumba sessions, even a free Comedy in the Park event on August 1.

All welcome diversions for a midsummer’s night, to be sure. But tonight, Friday the 13th, marks the long-awaited return of a series that you’ll find nowhere else but Red Bank — Songwriters in the Park, a slate of top-shelf artist showcases presented for a seventh season by Brookdale Community College listener-supported radio station 90.5 The Night.

While there have always been such things as songwriters busking for beer money in city parks, this songwriters series is an altogether different animal than most beach-towel-and-lawnchair community events —  a format that pairs a genuinely buzzworthy, national-profile act with likeminded local/regional artists. Previous outings have spotlighted such well-known performers as Dramarama, Steve Forbert, Jeffrey Gaines, John Wesley Harding, Bongos frontman Richard Barone and the Smithereens’ Pat DiNizio.

In other words, this is a free concert series that music snobs can really sink their teeth into. And when all the stars in the Sirius sky align — superior sound, great sight lines from anywhere in the park, a gentle breeze off the river and those complimentary Navesink sunsets — it’s as listener-friendly an experience as any you’ll encounter up and down the Jersey Shore. Even the sounds of a busy downtown Friday night (including the occasional ambulance) add to the unique character of the concerts, making for a welcome alternative to the chirp of suburban crickets.

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‘LIVING SHORELINE’ SWAMPED BY LEGAL ISSUE

The foot of Prospect Avenue, where Red Bank plans to rebuild a deteriorated bulkhead, as seen last December. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials consider the idea of a “living shoreline” at the borough library a non-starter, and plan to seek grant money to replace a riverfront bulkhead there and at two other locations.

One day after borough officials described what they said is an insurmountable legal hurdle to the more eco-friendly solution favored by the American Littoral Society and other environmentalists, Administrator Stanley Sickels said the library property would get a new, impermeable bulkhead, as would an adjoining borough-owned parcel and one at the river end of Prospect Avenue.

“So you’re going to bulkhead the library, but you’re also going to bulkhead 94 West Front?” activist Cindy Burnham asked Sickels at Wednesday night’s council meeting, referring to a vacant borough-owned parcel that abuts the library site.

“We haven’t finalized plans, but I believe it would be prudent to do the library, 94 and Prospect Avenue all at once,” Sickels responded. “If we didn’t consider [a natural shoreline replacement] at the library, we wouldn’t consider it at 94.”

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TOWN FIRES BACK IN GAS EQUIPMENT SPAT

Gas utility crews have been working downtown this week to replace gas regulators in pits beneath sidewalks without moving them. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Escalating a dispute over who gets to determine where utility equipment can be installed, Red Bank officials threw another obstacle in the way of a New Jersey Natural Gas plan to relocate unsightly gas regulators from beneath downtown sidewalks to above-ground sites.

A pair of ordinance amendments adopted by the borough council Wednesday night would require the utility, and any other developer, to obtain planning or zoning board approval for any installation that “may impact” a sidewalk.

The changes, officials insisted, were aimed at squaring the language of existing ordinances, and do not create any new hurdles. But the move comes amid a pending lawsuit and other actions in a back-and-forth that pits the borough government and business interests against the gas company.

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CHURN: COMICS, FURNITURE, BURGERS & MORE

The reality show about comic book aficionados is being taped once again at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash as well as at 28 Broad Street, above. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Production of the second, full season of ‘Comic Book Men’ got underway Monday, giving a prominent vacancy in downtown Red Bank something to do for the next 10 weeks while its owners continue trying to attract a more permanent tenant.

The reality show, which had a limited run earlier this year on AMC, is set in Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, owned by filmmaker Kevin Smith, and follows the jostlings of the shop’s employees and customers.

Additional footage, featuring Smith and an Algonquin Rectangular Table of comic book aficionads shooting the breeze, is to be recorded on a sound stage built across the street from the store, at 28 Broad.

That’s the former home of Prima’s Home Café, a furnishings store that vacated back in January, when the building changed hands for $1.175 million, according to property records.

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BULKHEAD PROJECT MAY HINGE ON DEED

Environmentalists want to replace this old wooden bulkhead with a graded, natural one to help preserve wildlife. Below, Tim Dillingham of the American Littoral Society addresses Red Bank’s Environmental Commission Tuesday night. (Photo below by Connor Soltas. Click to enlarge)

By CONNOR SOLTAS

An effort to do away with the dilapidated riverfont bulkhead at the Red Bank Public Library and let it go natural appeared to get washed aside Tuesday night when borough officials raised a legal issue.

Turns out that the 1937 deed that transferred the former Eisner family home to the borough for use by the library requires the town to keep the bulkhead “in good repair,”officials said at a meeting of the Environmental Commission.

Because the deed did not explicitly permit replacing the bulkhead with a more eco-friendly option, the borough may only rebuild the bulkhead, instead of replacing it with a “natural shoreline” favored by environmental advocates, borough attorney Dan O’Hern and administrator Stanley Sickels said Tuesday night.

“The governing body’s action should be to repair it as required by the deed,” said O’Hern. “It’s as simple as that.”

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PINK LINE: RUMSON SAYS ‘PAINT IT BLACK’

The fading pink stripe on East River Road in Rumson, as seen Wednesday morning. (Click to enlarge)

By CONNOR SOLTAS

As it did in the past in Red Bank, a pink road stripe painted on the main drag through Fair Haven and Rumson in celebration of Pink Week back in May is beginning to lose its charm.

“Rumson wants to know when the pink line is going to go away,” said Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl.

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ATTEMPTED BURGLAR FLEES AFTER BEING SEEN

Recent activity reports, unedited, as provided by the Little Silver Police Department.

call-in-the-authorities• June 11- Michael Zduniak, 24, of Howell, NJ, was arrested following a motor vehicle stop for a Contempt of Court warrant out of the Howell Municipal Court. P.O. Joseph Glynn, Jr. made the arrest.

• June 12- An employee of the Citgo gas station on Branch Ave. reported a Theft of Service after a motorist received gas and fled the station without paying. P.O. Michael Lahey and Sgt. Martin Scherzinger investigated.

• June 12- An employee of the Little Silver Family Pharmacy on Church St. reported a Shoplifting after a customer removed a bottle of perfume from the shelf and exited the store without paying for it. P.O. Amanda Arnold investigated.

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SNIFFING OUT A SUSPECT IN CRUELTY CASE

Boss, a pit bull who was abandoned in Red Bank in April, was last believed to be available for adoption at the Humane Society. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Perez_van3Henry Perez is not one to boast. Media shy, he’s cautious to a fault about getting clearance from his superiors before talking to a reporter, and wouldn’t let redbankgreen take a fresh photo of him to replace the one at right, from 2008.

But he’s no wallflower either, and the Red Bank animal control officer, who also carries a badge as a volunteer enforcer for the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, contacted us recently because he wants to get the word out:

If you’re thinking of abandoning a dog or other pet, think twice about using Red Bank as your dumping ground. Because if you do, he may hunt you down.

Don’t believe it? Read on.

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PARK IT: DOWNTOWN BENCHES GET MAKEOVER

Matt DePonti, below, reinstalls a bench on Broad Street in Red Bank last Friday after it was refurbished by his employer, Powerhouse Signworks. Seven benches that had been broken and held in storage were rebuilt, and all the others refinished, bringing the total downtown to about 40, said Powerhouse owner Jim Bruno.

Red Bank RiverCenter paid for the work, which cost just $1,000, said executive director Nancy Adams. (Click to enlarge)

FAIR HAVEN POLICE BLOTTER IN JUNE

Recent activity reports, unedited, as provided by the Fair Haven Police Department.

call-in-the-authorities• 6/2/12

-Sgt. Townshend and Det. Schneider took a report of an Armed Robbery that occurred at a River Rd. business. Chief Breckenridge and Lt. McGovern assisted. DSG. Dykstra is investigating.

-S.O. Murray took a report of two bicycles that were stolen from a Linden Dr. resident.

•  6/5/12

-Cpl. Waltz and S.O. Stenger took a report from a Grange Ave. resident of possible Animal Cruelty. Red Bank Animal Control and the SPCA are investigating.

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