RED BANK: BAR’S OPEN AT THE OYSTER POINT

The Pearl Restaurant and Lounge reopened late last week for the first time since Hurricane Sandy knocked the hotel out of commission. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

The last time redbankgreen visited Red Bank’s Oyster Point Hotel, a handwritten sign was taped to the front doors telling would-be visitors that the hotel and restaurant/bar would reopen “when it is safe to do so.”

Nearly three months later, the Oyster Point took a step forward in its rebuilding plan with the reopening of its posh Pearl Restaurant and Lounge – much to the delight of regulars and new customers alike.

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RED BANK LIBRARY GETS HUGE CACHE OF CDs

J.R. Ford, left, and Jim Willis roll one of several loads of CDs into the library Friday afternoon. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Several thousand CDs collected by a North Jersey man who had “heartbreakingly awesome taste” in classical music and jazz have been donated to the Red Bank Public Library just in time for a fundraiser for the financially strapped facility.

Library officials, who recently had to cut hours of operation for budgetary reasons, hope to put some, if not all, of the collection up for sale as part of the annual book sale fundraiser scheduled for February 2. In the interim, they’re looking for volunteers who know their Rachmaninoff from Rahsaan Roland Kirk to help sort the cache.

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MIDDLETOWN RAID NABS THREE FOR HEROIN

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

call-in-the-authorities• On January 17, 2013 the Middletown Police Department Detective Bureau and Quality of Life Unit executed a search warrant at a Center Avenue home in the Belford section of Middletown. The warrant was a result of a month long investigation conducted by Detectives Kevin Gardiner and Laurence Schachtel and Officers Raymond Sofield and Richard Fulham into the sale of narcotics from the residence. Police recovered a significant quantity of Heroin from home.

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RED BANK: EXXON V. SHELL ON 7-ELEVEN PLAN

The plan calls for a the convenience store to be built in the northwest corner of the property. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

It’s Shell v. Exxon in Red Bank, and not just over the price of gas.

A proposal by the owner of the Shell station at Newman Springs Road and Shrewsbury Avenue to build a 7-Eleven store where it now has a self-serve car wash has drawn opposition from the Exxon station at the same intersection as well as nearby residents.

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RED BANK: TWO CATHERINE ST. BURGLARIES

call-in-the-authoritiesThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of January 11 through January 18, 2013. This information is unedited.

Theft occurring on 1-13-13 at W. Front St. Victim reported that her purse was stolen while at the establishment and it contained cash and credit cards. Ptl. Nicholas Maletto.

Theft occurring between 1-10-13 and 1-11-13 at Buena Place. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole four BMW stickers from hubcap of parked vehicle. Sgt. Robert Kennedy.

Theft occurring at Broad St. on 1-16-13. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole his bicycle from parking lot, which was described as a Mountain bike, green and purple in color. Ptl. Patrick Kennedy.

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MAN CHARGED WITH DWI & ASSAULT ON COP

A 20-year-old Red Bank man was arrested early Saturday morning after an accident in which his car overturned and a subsequent assault on borough cops at Riverview Medical Center, where he had been taken for treatment of minor injuries, police said.

Luis Crespo, of Shrewsbury Avenue, was charged with DWI and assault by auto following the 11:27 p.m. Friday crash at Pinckney Road and Broad Street.

Police say witnesses saw Crespo speeding west on Pinckney and running the stop sign at Broad, where he smashed into a pickup truck, overturning his own vehicle.

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HARD-HIT SEA BRIGHT FACES BRIDGE OUTAGE

News of the planned closure of the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge had restaurateur Chris Wood lobbying elected officials for a modification Friday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Business owners in Hurricane Sandy-walloped Sea Bright were reeling Friday afternoon on word that Monmouth County plans to shut down the Rumson-Sea Bright (Route 520) bridge for up to a month starting as early as January 28.

“It’s cutting off our lifeline as we’re recovering from a massive heart attack,” said Woody’s Ocean Grille owner Chris Wood, who just took delivery of $50,000 worth of liquor and food in preparation for a planned reopening in the desolate downtown next Wednesday.

“We’re just trying to get ourselves back open,” said Frank Bain,  owner of the recently reopened Bain’s Hardware, “and a very large portion of our customer base comes over that bridge.”

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STABBING SUSPECT HELD ON $1M BAIL

This just in from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office in Freehold:

A Middletown man was arrested Thursday and charged with stabbing a woman inside the Bed, Bath and Beyond store in Middletown, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

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WEEKEND: ELIVII, DANCE, QUILTS, MOSAICS…

Dance majors in RBR’s Visual and Performing Arts program present ‘A Blast from the Past,’ 23 dances choreographed to the music of the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Queen, Madonna and more. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, January 18

FAIR HAVEN: Fair Haven’s Raven and the Peach is the setting for a special fundraiser dedicated to the animal adoption charity Project Animal Worldwide (PAW), with light fare, desserts, gift basket auctions, jewelry bar and a tasting presented in the restaurant’s wine cellar from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $30, with the wine tasting for an additional $15. Call 732-979-6499 to reserve. 740 River Road.

RED BANK: The Elvii return, for the ninth annual edition of what’s become an unshakably shakin’ Basie tradition, Elvis’ Birthday Bash. Soaps actor Scot Bruce (as the younger Elvis) and award winning Mike Albert (as the Vegassy jumpsuit Elvis) team up once again for a Count Basie two-fer at 8 p.m. Tickets are $19.50, $29.50, and $39.50. Call 732-842-9000 to reserve. 99 Monmouth Street.

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MIDDLETOWN STABBING VICTIM ‘CRITICAL’

A 29-year-old Keansburg woman was in stable but critical condition Thursday night after being stabbed repeatedly at a housewares store in Middletown, the Star-Ledger website NJ.com reports.

A 19-year-old suspect, Tyrik Haynes, of Middletown, was in custody, facing attempted murder and other charges in the attack, which occurred at the Bed Bath & Beyond store on Route 35 North.

The victim, who was not immediately identified by authorities, “was taken by helicopter to an area hospital where she is listed in critical but stable condition,” according to the report.

CBS News in New York identified the victim as Kerri Dalton, citing her family as its source. Dalton had a baby with her and was inside the store when the attack occurred, but the child was unhurt, CBS reported.

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RUMSON CHARGES TEENS IN SANDY BURGLARY

Five local teens have been charged for a brazen burglary of a Rumson home during the Hurricane Sandy-induced power outage, borough police reported Thursday.

The arrests of two juveniles and three adults, all from Rumson and Fair Haven, is the latest development in a case that had vexed local officials because it sparked an unfounded rumor of post-storm looting,  police Chief Scott Paterson tells redbankgreen.

“There was just this one incident, but it made it problematic for us,” he said.

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SENIORS GET A NEW TAKE ON BURGERS

Residents and staffers at the Atrium line up for burgers and fixings Wednesday. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

The chef from Beasty Burgers, one of Red Bank’s suddenly-ubiquitous burger joints, popped in at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor Wednesday to showcase his restaurant and teach the senior-citizen residents a thing or two about the state of the modern burger.

Mike Ross gave a short presentation on his innovative menu and cooking methods, and also offered advice on spicing up old favorites while letting the residents and Atrium workers sample some of his delicious burgers and side-dishes.

“Everyone knows that french fries go with burgers – it’s pretty much a given nowadays,” Ross told a packed conference room at the luxury high-rise on Riverside Avenue. “At Beasty, we try to show people that there are so many great complements to burgers besides the standard order of french fries.”

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SEA BRIGHT TO MUSTER SPRING BREAK MUSCLE

By DAN NATALE

Forget the wet tee-shirt contests and beer-soaked bacchanals of spring break in Florida. Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long has another offer for college students:

Come to the real Jersey Shore to get your hands dirty and your shirt soaked in your own sweat, for a good cause.

Frustrated by Congressional foot-dragging on post-Hurricane Sandy funding, and looking at the prospect of another six months before the town sees a dime of the $60 billion package lawmakers finalized this week, Long said it’s up to the town to rebuild itself. And to do so, she hopes to tap into the good will of people who are aching to help and don’t mind smacking their own thumbs on occasion with a hammer.

“We’re trying organize a volunteer effort that mirrors what happened here two months ago, when thousands of volunteers organized to clean out” storm-wracked homes and stores, Long told a packed town hall meeting Wednesday night. “We want to bring in groups of skilled volunteers that will hang Sheetrock, do subflooring, and do light carpentry.”

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BOAT CLUB RECOVERING FROM SANDY

Monmouth Boat Club was inundated by the Navesink River hours before Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey, and the river rose several feet after this photo was taken. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

The home of the Monmouth Boat Club, a Red Bank building that has stood for more than 100 years, is tackling rebuilding post-Hurricane Sandy with a little help from the men who built the place.

“This pine flooring here is the original flooring,” Commodore Leigh ‘Skip’ Bugbee told redbankgreen during a tour of  storied Navesink River clubhouse, which was built in 1895 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. “What’s amazing is that, because there’s no subflooring to it, it can basically withstand any amount of water and let it freely flow back out to the river.”

Even the buckling that was caused will be set back to normal once the heat is turned back on, he said.

“The guys who put it in here really knew what they were doing,” Bugbee said. “We owe them a big thank you.”

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FAIR HAVEN TEENS ARRESTED FOR DRUG SALES

Recent activity reports, unedited, for the month of December, 2012, as provided by the Fair Haven Police Department.

call-in-the-authorities• 12/9/12 Ptl. Hostrup arrested Emily Garrison, 18, of Fair Haven and a 17 year old Juvenile, from Fair Haven subsequent to a traffic stop both were charged with Distribution of CDS, Distribution of CDS within a School Zone, Possession of CDS and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.    Ms. Garrison was released pending Court and the Juvenile was released to a parent.

• 12/9/12 Sgt. Dykstra arrested Shane Callahan, 19, of Rumson for Possession of Marijuana under 50 Grams subsequent to a traffic stop.  Mr. Callahan was released pending court.

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RUMSON: TAKEOUT PLACE REPLACES OLD DELI

Keeping it local, the sandwiches at Locals Creative Fresh Takeout are named for local places, heroes and legends. Below, returnable baskets customers can use to tote lunches to the beach. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A new lunch spot has quietly popped up in the former home of a beloved Rumson deli.

Locals Creative Fresh Takeout soft-launched January 7, offering a menu of sandwiches to-go in a space where Rumsonites lined up for decades at Butler’s Deli, which closed in October.

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FROM TROUBLEMAKER TO SOLDIER

Evan Sanborn before he enlisted in the Army, above, and in a more recent photo, below. (Click to enlarge)

By DAN NATALE

[Editor’s note: an earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Evan Sanborn is beginning his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. In fact it is his first.]

Ever thought about taking your crappy life and fixing it by joining the military? Well that’s exactly what one Red Bank man did.

Last Friday, 20-year-old Private Evan Sanborn, an infantryman in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division, left Fort Drum in New York to spend nine months in Paktika Province on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Sanborn’s departure, honored last month by Red Bank’s mayor and council, marks another step in a self-motivated turnaround for a onetime troublemaker whose teen years were marked by drug use and occasional homelessness.

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CHRISTOPHER CROSS SAILING INTO RED BANK

Grammy’d-up singer-songwriter Christopher Cross comes to Red Bank’s Two River Theater for an Intimate Evenings concert (and a benefit for Sandy Relief) on Thursday.

By TOM CHESEK

To a huge cross-section of humanity, his songs are integrated with the Soundtrack To Our Lives — whether the number one hit ballad “Sailing” was on the turntable during a certain memorable moment in your adolescence, “Ride Like the Wind” was part of the choral curriculum in your fifth-period music class, or you just heard “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” piped into the Shop-Rite not ten minutes ago.

Yet for all of the units he sold back in the 1980s; for all of the awards that have made his trophy case buckle and groan — no less than five Grammys, a Golden Globe, and even an Oscar for that theme to the 1981 Dudley Moore comedy — we tend to know precious little about Christopher Cross.

Even if you do happen to know a thing or two about the smooth-tenor voiced (but low-key as regards his public persona) singer and songwriter, you might be surprised to find that the San Antonio native divides his residential time between his Texas stomping grounds and Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. You probably wouldn’t be at all surprised to know that he continues to release new albums of precision-crafted pop music, and to play dozens of live concerts every year – a line of endeavor that brings him to the stage of Two River Theater this Thursday night, January 17.

The 7:30 pm show is the latest in an ongoing series of “Intimate Evenings” events produced by MusicWorks Entertainment, co-founded by former Count Basie Theatre Foundation CEO Rusty Young. In keeping with the MusicWorks mission, portions of proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Hurricane Sandy Relief Foundation and its network of locally based humanitarian and restoration efforts.

The Pop Desk at redbankgreen spoke to the affable, down-to-earth Cross somewhere between the Moon and Red Bank Borough.

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RUMSON: REAL MAN CLIMBS FAKE TREE

Way up there, in a cell tower disguised as a ginormous tree, an unidentified utility worker made repairs Monday to telecom equipment damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

The tower adjoins Rumson’s public works yard on Avenue of Two Rivers. (Click to enlarge)

LEGRAND REFLECTS ON JOURNEY FROM INJURY

Eric LeGrand with a fan after his speech at R-FH Friday night. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

The newest “honorary members” of the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High community are a football player who suffered a spinal-cord injured two years ago and his mom.

Radiating positive energy from his wheelchair, former Rutgers defensive end Eric LeGrand addressed a packed-to-capacity auditorium at R-FH Friday night, recounting his journey from the injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down.

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RED BANK: CELLPHONE THEFTS REPORTED

call-in-the-authoritiesThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of January 4 through January 11, 2013. This information is unedited.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 1-9-13 at W. Front St.—Parking Garage. Report of graffiti deployed to inside walls of garage by unknown person(s). Ptl. Thomas Doremus.

Theft occurring on 1-8-13 at West Front St. – Gym. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole a red fleece coat and pair of coach sunglasses while at the gym. Ptl. Jhonatan Quispe.

Theft occurring on 1-7-13 at Riverside Ave.—Parking Lot. Victim reported that unknown person(s) ransacked inside of parked vehicle and stole cash from same. Ptl. James DePonte.

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FLU VACCINE IN SHORT SUPPLY

By DAN NATALE

Amid a widespread and virulent outbreak of winter flu, immediate prospects for prevention are slim, local health workers say.

According to employees at the Red Bank Rite Aid, demand for flu shots has jumped dramatically in recent days. Jessica Uddo, an employee in the pharmaceutical department, said that activity jumped from between five and seven flu shots a day to about 15 people seeking shots every hour.

“It’s been crazy,” said Paul Mayer, store manager. “People even came in with medical masks a few times each day.”

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M’TOWN: CONTEMPT, DRUG ARRESTS PREVAIL

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

call-in-the-authorities• Michael Centanni, age 19, from Vermont Avenue in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on January 7, 2013 by Patrolman Anthony Dellatacoma for Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was released pending a court date.

• Frane Pesa, age 21, from Sunset Avenue in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on January 7, 2013 by Patrolman Adam Colfer for Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was released pending a court date.

• Linda Moss, age 51, from Atlantic Highlands, NJ, arrested on January 7, 2013 by Police Officer Lisa Vreeland for Shoplifting and Theft from the Stop and Shop Store. She was released pending a court date.

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