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ON THE GREEN: LINEUP FOR A JINGLY WEEKEND

A horse named Prince makes his way down Broad Street during the 2011 holiday season. Horse-powered carriage rides resume on Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, November 30
MIDDLETOWN: Each year, Poricy Park Nature Conservancy hosts a seasonal shop with the help of a volunteer staff. Entering its 25th season, the handcrafted holiday craft shop runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through December 2. Items for sale include all homemade quilts, jewelry, ornaments, jams and jellies and more. Kids can also get their picture taken with Santa for a small fee. 345 Oak Hill Road.

RED BANK: Free yoga session at the Red Bank Public Library by Amy Richardson at 1 p.m. No registration required, bring your own mat. 84 West Front Street.

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HOT DOG CART AND CHIC EATERY BACK IN BIZ

Hot dog seller Frances Rooney poses for a photo with admirers, including Councilwoman Peggy Bills, at right above. Below, Pat Trama in his restored restaurant. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

One of Sea Bright’s oldest food businesses reopened this week, and one of its newest was scheduled to do so Friday night, two signs that the storm-battered town is cooking up a recovery.

Frances Rooney, affectionately known as “Grandma Hot Dog,”  fired up the gas on her cart this week and was soon attracting lines of hungry and loyal customers.

“My son was the one who really encouraged me to come back out here and start serving people again – sooner rather than later,” she told redbankgreen, “He thought it would be a comforting sight for everyone to see me back in business, up on my feet.”

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NEW TEEN READING GROUP TACKLES FASCISM

Are you a teen who likes to read, or do you know one? Got a hankering to understand what makes fascists tick?

A new reading group for teens kicks off Monday at the Red Bank Public Library. Staffer Stephanie Chadwick, who organized the series, says she hopes to entice teens to participate in discussion with attention-grabbing books like this month’s pick, “The Wave,” a 1981 novel by Todd Strasser, writing under the pen name Morton Rhue.

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RED BANK: FIAT DEALER EYES TIGHT CORNER

A vacant lot that was last home to a car rental business could be revived as a Fiat dealership, according to plans filed with the borough. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank may be getting a Fiat store.

Representatives of Miglo Motors have submitted plans for consideration with the borough planning office for a dealership that would include a new, 10,000-square-foot showroom at the corner of Newman Springs Road and Broad Street, opposite Dunkin’ Donuts.

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WOMAN CHARGED WITH COP ASSAULT

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

call-in-the-authoritiesOctober 1– A resident from Woodbine Ave. reported Identity Theft when she received a phone call from an unknown female. The female asked the victim if she needed any home improvements done. When the victim replied no, the unknown female told the victim that she has the victim’s birthdate and social security number and dictated it back to her. P.O. Peter Gibson investigated.

October 2– A student at Red Bank Regional High School reported a Theft when his wallet and watch were stolen from his back pack sometime during the day. P.O. Robert Chenoweth investigated.

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COPS BUST THREE FOR HUFFING TOXICS

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

call-in-the-authorities• Joan Cappadona, age 30, from Grove Street in Middletown, NJ, arrested on November 26, 2012 by Patrolman Adam Vendetti for Driving While Revoked. She was being held at the Monmouth County Correctional Facility in Freehold, NJ.

• Karissa Kundert, age 20, from Hudson Avenue in Middletown, NJ, arrested on November 25, 2012 by Patrolman Keith Hirschbein for Unlawful Possession of a Toxic Chemical, Inhalation of a Toxic Chemical and Possession of Alcohol by a Minor. He was released pending a court date.

• Kenneth Brown, age 24, from New Street in Asbury Park, NJ, arrested on November 25, 2012 by Patrolman Keith Hirschbein for Providing Alcohol to Minors, Unlawful Possession of a Toxic Chemical and Inhalation of a Toxic Chemical. He was released pending a court date.

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RUMSON TEEN’S STORM VIDEO DRAWS TRAIN

A 33-minute video about Hurricane Sandy by a Rumson-Fair Haven Regional student caught the attention of the rock band Train, which will play an acoustic show in Sea Bright as a result, NJ.com reported Wednesday.

Sixteen-year-old Charlotte Nagy videotaped conditions in Sea Bright and Rumson before, during and after the October 29 storm, and folded the band’s music into her production. Now, the San Francisco-based band is planning to play a private show for residents, first responders and their families next week, with the performance to be aired on on VH1 Christmas Day, the website of the Star-Ledger reports.

The effort will spotlight the efforts of Sea Bright Rising, a nonprofit devoted to the general recovery of the town of Sea Bright and care for its residents in the interim.

From the story:

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WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

Trish DePonti, the Colmorgen Kids, Fred Blumberg, Pat Noble, Alex Montaperto and Rhiannon Morgan wrote in to identify last week’s Where, which showed the lighted, two-story vestibule of an office building at night.

Only one of them was mistaken.

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SEA BRIGHT: BAIN’S PAINTS ITS OWN FUTURE

Frank Bain outside his Ocean Avenue hardware store, where all the inventory was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

“This isn’t a competition,” said a stone-faced Frank Bain, when asked if his would be the first business to reopen in Sea Bright after Hurricane Sandy.

But checking in on recent activity at Bain’s Hardware, a visitor might conclude that not only was Bain in a race, but one that his life depended on winning.

One late afternoon last week, the Ocean Avenue storefront was a swarm of dust-encrusted laborers, some installing new subflooring even as others continued with interior demolition work. At one point, an impromptu crew, Bain included, picked up and hustled the pieces of a shattered street lamp from the sidewalk out front to the side of the building.

Make no mistake about it: Bain is in a major hurry. With no flood insurance and every item in his 65,000-SKU shop destroyed, his economic life hangs in the balance, he’s the first to admit. “Getting that register ringing again is paramount,” he told redbankgreen.

But he’s driven just as much, he said, by the importance of his store to other businesses and homeowners who themselves are faced with rebuilding challenges. “We are out here working so that we can get back on our feet and help this town as soon as humanly possible,” he said.

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RED BANK: CHEATING, FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Christine Zilinski of Salon Concrete styles the hair of Maritza Soler of Port Monmouth last week. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Done2In the days after Hurricane Sandy hit, Red Bank hair stylist Christine Zilinski jumped in as a volunteer to help residents of Union Beach cope with the aftermath.

It didn’t seem like enough, though. Zilinski said she wanted to do more. She wanted to use her strongest skills.

Of course, the answer to what that might mean was right there in her mirror. And it came with a sexy catchphrase: “Cheat on your hairdresser.”

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SHREWSBURY: PAIR GUILTY IN WILD CAT CASE

Some of the makeshift housing created for a colony of cats behind a preschool in Shrewsbury, as seen last July. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two women were found guilty of fostering a “nuisance” colony of feral cats in a Shrewsbury office park Tuesday.

Jeanette Petti of Oceanport and Ruth Rapkin of Tinton Falls say they will appeal the verdict by municipal court Judge James Berube, as well as his order that they each pay $650 in fines and relocate the colony. That, their lawyer said, would be a “death sentence” for five cats the women feed and provide medical care for.

“We should be considered heroes, not criminals,” for ensuring the health of the wild felines and thus, the community, Petti told redbankgreen after a two-and-a-half-hour trial at a special session of the court.

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APOLOGY ENDS HARASSMENT ALLEGATION

Perry Feigenbaum, above in Red Bank’s courtroom, dropped his citizen’s complaint against Sea Bright Councilman Read Murphy. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

An apology by Sea Bright Councilman Read Murphy ended  an Asbury Park man’s pursuit of a harassment allegation Tuesday morning.

Perry Feigenbaum agreed to drop his citizen’s complaint  alleging Murphy accosted and threatened him on a Sea Bright sidewalk last June after Murphy apologized for what Murphy characterized as a “misunderstanding.”

Feigenbaum told redbankgreen before a scheduled special-session trial in Red Bank municipal court that he offered to drop the case because of “what’s going on in Sea Bright” in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and Murphy’s role in getting the town back on its feet.

“Obviously, that’s a bigger issue,” he said, and the residents of Sea Bright “shouldn’t suffer because he made a mistake.”

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FAIR HAVEN: A LESSON IN GOVERNMENT

The borough council held its bimonthly meeting at the Knollwood School, where student Peter Maris, below, was a particularly engaged citizen. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Students from Knollwood School in Fair Haven got a glimpse of how their local government operates Monday, when Mayor Ben Lucarelli and the borough council held their bi-monthly meeting in the school’s gymnasium, continuing a tradition that started four years ago.

Students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade attended, with the council members introducing themselves and giving a step-by-step analysis and demonstration of each part of the council meeting, as well as the specific duties and powers of the council itself.

Many students readily participated in the “good of the borough” portion of the session, designed to let attendees speak directly with council members.

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ART WALK STIRS RED BANK’S CULTURAL BLOOD

For Saturday’s Art Walk, McKay Imaging, above, offered a mix of photos and paintings. Below, rock photographer Mark Weiss was the star of a show hosted by Frame to Please in the Galleria.  (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)

By DAN NATALE

Artists and art connoisseurs walked and trolleyed the cold streets of Red Bank Saturday night as they explored 11 galleries and several dining locations for the latest edition of Art Walk.

“A gift of art is a gift from the heart” was the event’s tag line, and based on the responses of attendees, it seemed the event offered pieces at affordable prices while raising the level of appreciation for the culture the town cultivates.

“It’s great to have the art walk so people can see the different kinds of art available,” said Pat Corboy, an artist with work available at Frame to Please in the Galleria. “You can buy it and not be a multimillionaire.”

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RED BANK: SIGN STOLEN FROM SIDEWALK

call-in-the-authoritiesThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of November 16 through November 23, 2012. This information is unedited.

Theft occurring on 11-16-12 at Shrewsbury Ave. residence. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole two metal stools and a wooden bench from front porch. Ptl. Garrett Falco.

Criminal Mischief occurring between 11-17-12 and 11-18-12 at Herbert Street. Victim reported that unknown person(s) bent antenna on parked vehicle. Ptl. John Camarca.

Theft occurring on 11-19-12 at Broad St.—business. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole the wooden easel signboard with chalkboard surfaces, which was on sidewalk in front of business. Ptl. Matthew Ehrenreich.

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RED BANK: SCHOOL REOPENS, WITH GOODIES

Greg Martin of Michigan-based Disaster Relief at Work delivered pencil cases for kindergartners, above and below, as well as all other Red Bank Primary School students Monday morning. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

One month to the day after it was inundated by the Swimming River in Hurricane Sandy, the Red Bank Primary School reopened Monday morning.

The event was accompanied by the arrival of a truckload of school supplies donated by residents of Clarkston, Michigan.

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WINTER WONDERLAND ON BROAD STREET

It was a festive night of high spirits, bright lights and rides on big shoulders as Red Bank welcomed in the Christmas holiday season Friday night. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

The turkey’s done, the present shopping has begun, and now the holiday season is officially in full swing in Red Bank. The annual Black Friday Santa Claus sighting, parade to Broad Street, downtown light-up and Holiday Express concert hit the town Friday night to the delight of thousands of area residents.

It was a night jam-packed with events. First, dancers from the Kathryn Barnett School of Dance showed off their fancy footwork to the tunes of holiday classics. Then, the Pipes and Drums of the Atlantic Watch treated the gatherers to the sounds of bagpipes.

Next, it was time for what all the little ones were waiting for: the white-bearded man with the overstuffed bag.

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RED BANK: FIRE RIPS THROUGH RESIDENCE

Below, property owner Lee Jasper Rogers talks with Fire Marshal Stanley Sickels. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fire tore through a Red Bank home and filled a street-level office with smoke Sunday afternoon.

Attorney Lee Jasper Rogers tells redbankgreen he was working in his office at 298 Shrewsbury Avenue when “I heard a popping sound, and when I went into the next room, all I could see was black smoke.”

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SEA BRIGHT: ON TOP OF MOUNT SANDY

Rachel Pedersen and Carolyn Rigby on the Sea Bright sandpile, which attracts dog-walkers and other sightseers. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The beach clubs and bars may be temporarily gone, but Sea Bright appears to have a new, if temporary attraction: ‘Mount Sandy.’

Rising perhaps 40 feet above the ocean beach on which it was built, a giant pile of sand reclaimed from the storm-tossed borough’s streets has been luring sightseers willing to climb its soft face, rewarding them with a bird’s-eye view of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation.

Just yards away, in fact, is a another mountain rising, this one made of discarded appliances, furniture and building materials.

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RED BANK: HOTEL AIMS FOR JANUARY RETURN

The surging Navesink River poured six feet of water into the hotel’s basement, knocking out electricity and other systems. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Almost a month after Hurricane Sandy slammed into the Jersey Shore, Red Bank’s Oyster Point Hotel remains locked and dark, a handwritten note taped to its front door telling visitors it will reopen “when it is safe to do so.”

The riverside hotel’s basement, the operational heart of the facility, was inundated with more than six feet of water in the storm. Even though flood gates were in place, the water levels exceeded them and entered the basement, destroying the electrical and communication equipment, said Kevin Barry, the hotel’s operating manager.

“We have flood gates that were set by the standards of the ’92 storm, but obviously the damage by Sandy was exponentially worse,” he said.

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RED BANK: DISHING OUT THANKSGIVING JOY

Volunteers at the soup kitchen served an estimated 1,00 meals Thursday, including 600 to the homebound, said chef Tyrone Durr.  (Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

The scene at Red Bank’s Lunch Break on Thanksgiving was enough to warm anyone’s heart – volunteers serving heaps of steaming food to those in need, who received it with smiles and words of thanks; a hustle-and-bustle kitchen serving hundreds over four hours; and a proud staff overseeing the operations.

Volunteers were not hard to come by. Executive Director Gwendolyn Love said so many would-be helpers began calling as early as September that she eventually had to cut off the list. She was so happy for each of them coming out to “pour out their love to people who need help.”

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A ROCKIN’ START TO THE SEASON

Thousands of celebrants are expected to pack Broad Street in Red Bank for the Holiday Express concert and tree lighting Friday night. (Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

Just as your post-Thanksgiving torpor has begun to set in, the brand-new holiday season gets a spirited start in Red Bank with a celebration of sight and sound Friday night.

It’s time for the 19th annual Holiday Express concert and tree lighting, which includes a Santa parade, dancing and a display of lights – all on tap starting at 5:30 p.m.

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RED BANK: SEX, POWER AND GENERATORS

The Red Bank council wants JCP&L to send company representatives to any town with more than five percent of its customers experiencing outages. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Electrical utility JCP&L and sexually oriented businesses were foremost on the agenda at Red Bank’s bimonthly council meeting Tuesday night.

Mayor Pasquale Menna and council members began the meeting by putting forth a resolution that will urge the state Board of Public Utilities to look into JCP&L’s handling of Hurricane Sandy-induced power outages. The resolution also seeks to persuade legislators in Trenton to pass measures that will force the power giant to provide each municipality with direct, in-person company representatives in emergency situations.

“During the storm, we effectively became employees of JCP&L.” Mayor Menna said. “We were the only real connection between the people and the company, and that needs to change.”

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