New library Director Virginia Papandrea hopes to draw more teenagers to the facility, she says. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)


Meet Virginia Papandrea, the newly installed director of the Red Bank Public Library. While she made many stops in her career before taking the helm of the borough’s literary and historical center, a desire to end up in a town like this one has always been in the back of her mind, she says.

“For my whole life, I’ve always wanted to work for a small-town, public library close to the ocean,” she said. “I guess you can say that I’ve fulfilled a dream by coming here.”

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call-in-the-authoritiesThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of February 1 to February 8, 2013. This information is unedited.

Attempted theft occurring on 2-3-13 at Chapin Avenue. Victim reported that unknown person(s) cut several locks off of lockers in men’s locker room of nursing home. Unknown what was stolen at this time. Ptl. Paul Perez.

Burglary occurring on 2-5-13 at Catherine St. residence. Victim reported that unknown person(s) gained entry into residence through basement window and stole cash. Ptl. Nicholas Maletto.

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Recent activity reports for the period of February 2 to February 7, 2013, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department.

call-in-the-authorities• Residential structure fire occurring at 469 Sycamore Ave on 2/4/13. Fire determined to be accidental. No injuries. Sgt. Michael Gallagher and Ptl. James Ramsey investigating.

• Harassing phone calls reported by a 55 year old resident on 2/4/13. Ptl. Jessica Boyd investigating.

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The historic blizzard that socked New England over the weekend left a modest and easily conquered five or six inches on the Green Saturday, creating a snowy playland for some children on Monmouth Street in Red Bank, while municipal workers cleared a crosswalk on Broad Street. Light rain and temperatures reaching the high 40s are forecast to begin washing away the white Monday. (Click to enlarge)


The cast and set of AUGUST WILSON’S TWO TRAINS RUNNING, now onstage at Two River Theater. Below, actor Chuck Cooper. (Photos by Michal Daniel)


In an interview with redbankgreen last year, stage/screen actor and director  Ruben Santiago-Hudson told us, “Being involved with the work of August Wilson changes people. People of all colors, all religions, all backgrounds… he brings them into an arena and sends them out changed.”

At the time, the specialist in all things Wilson – a Tony winner for his performance in 1995’s Seven Guitars) –  was at Red Bank’s Two River Theater to oversee rehearsals for a new production of August Wilson’s Jitney. That acclaimed and extended run found Santiago-Hudson assembling a top-notch cast highlighted by fellow Tony winner Chuck Cooper – who also co-starred in Two River Theater Company’s musical premiere In This House – along with Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams.

All of these Wilson veterans are back on the Two River boards this month, as TRTC returns to Pittsburgh’s Hill District for a major new production of August Wilson’s Two Trains Running.

Set amid the social upheaval and forced “urban renewal” of the late 1960s — and playing out in a shabby diner set-designed by Michael Carnahan — Two Trains unfolds as eatery owner Memphis (Cooper) ponders the prospect of the city buying him out of his fast-fading business, home to a gallery of vivid local characters, and workplace of the embittered and elusive object of desire named Risa (Ruff).

Into this dreary tableau come a couple of characters portrayed by actors  making their Two River debuts. Owiso Odera, who worked with the director in a San Francisco staging of Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, plays Sterling, a young ex-convict with an optimistic set of dreams, if not the dollars to fulfill them, and John Earl Jelks, who was Tony nominated for playing an older version of that same Sterling in Wilson’s Radio Golf, appears as the slick numbers runner named Wolf.

The Drama Desk at redbankgreen got delayed a bit by Two Trains Crossing at station stop Little Silver, but managed to pull into Red Bank for a whistle-stop interview with Owiso Odera. Mind the closing doors…

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Kenny Vance and the Planotones bring their supersmooth doo-wop to the Basie Saturday night. Below, quilts will be on display at the Middletown Township Public Library Saturday. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

Friday, February 8

RED BANK: Psychic Lisa Williams will use the Count Basie Theatre stage at 8 p.m. to demonstrate her other-worldly abilities for $35-59 entry tickets. 99 Monmouth Street.

Saturday, February 9

SHREWSBURY: Stop by the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a free workshop with materials to create handcrafted valentines for that special someone. 1001 Route 35 North.

LITTLE SILVER: From 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sickles Market will offer a step-by-step tutorial on how to create beautiful floral arrangements, from assembly to aftercare. For $40, each participant will be able to take home their own five-inch glass cube filled with hydrangeas, gerber daisies, rose, and wax flowers. Space is limited and advance registration plus payment is required. 1 Harrison Avenue.

MIDDLETOWN: Rebecca’s Reel Quilters, an organization specializing in lessons and workshops for quilting enthusiasts, will be displaying their work at the public library at 1 p.m. Admission is free to those wishing to come and admire. The exhibit will continue during regular library hours through March 1. 55 New Monmouth Road.

RED BANK: Kids five years old and up are welcome at a free craft party from 2 to 3 p.m. at Red Bank Public Library, where they can create their very own Valentines, including lollipop flowers and heart-shaped suncatchers. Registration is required. 84 West Front Street.

RED BANK: The Count Basie will host a Valentine concert at 7:30, featuring Kenny Vance and the Planotones, Terry Johnson’s Flamingos, Willie Winfield and the Harptones, Lewis Lymon and the Teenchords, Cleveland Still and the Dubs, Lenny Dell and the Dimensions and The Chantels. Tickets are $40-50. 99 Monmouth Street.

LINCROFT: Brookdale’s Performing Arts Center will welcome jazz pianist Joe Accurso, bassist Gary Mazzaroppi and guitarist Doug Clark at 8 p.m. for a cheap ($15-17 tickets) but jammin’ good time. Newman Springs Road.

Sunday, February 10

LITTLE SILVER: Sickles Market invites parents and kids to spend some quality time together and decorate one large heart shaped sugar cookie and six cupcakes to take home, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Only kids ages 6 to 12. Space is limited and advance registration plus payment ($25) is required. 1 Harrison Avenue.

RED BANK: Red Bank Regional’s THE SOURCE hosts a benefit at Buona Sera for the Andrew Kroon Memorial Scholarship Program for Latino students. The $40 admission includes a fashion show, lunch and coffee bar, plus a 50/50 raffle and raffle basket auction. 50 Maple Avenue.

MIDDLETOWN: The Creative Writing Majors of Red Bank Regional High School’s Performing Arts Academy will put on a free performance at the Main Library at 2 p.m. 55 New Monmouth Road.

RED BANK: The Monmouth Symphony Orchestra will perform at Count Basie at 3 p.m. featuring Haydn, Shostakovich, and Aaron Copland’s ‘An Outdoor Adventure.’ Tickets are $35. 99 Monmouth Street.

LINCROFT: Postponed from last week due to inclement weather, the Chairish the Museum Silent Auction Finale Benefit at the Monmouth Museum features over 50 chairs decorated and designed by local artists, all of which are available for purchase. ‘Libations and light fare’ will be served during the 4 to 6 p.m. event. All proceeds from the $10 tickets benefit the educational programs at the Museum. 765 Newman Springs Road.

RED BANK: First Presbyterian Church will welcome young instrumentalists from Juilliard School and other prestigious academies at 7 p.m. as part of the free Tower Hill Concert Series. 255 Harding Road.


HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, center, with local merchant Frank Bain, left, outside the Sea Bright firehouse Thursday. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)


Governor Chris Christie made yet another stop in Sea Bright Thursday afternoon, this time joined by federal Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan to tout the first allocation of money from a $60 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package passed by Congress last month.

“Just yesterday, I was able to say to the governor, here is $1.8 billion to help this state, and Sea Bright, start on the road to a full recovery,” Donovan said. “The law said we had to get that money out in 60 days, we did it in one-tenth that time – the fastest we’ve ever made an allocation of that funding.”

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

call-in-the-authorities• On February 5, 2013 the Middletown Police Detective Bureau and Quality of Life Unit executed a search warrant at a Campbell Avenue residence in the Belford section of Middletown. The warrant execution was a result of a month long investigation conducted by Detective Kevin Gardiner and Officers Richard Fulham and Anthony Bumbico regarding the sale of illegal narcotics from the home.

Police arrested Daniel Murphy, age 22, for Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana, Possession with the Intent to Distribute Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was also charged with Burglary, Theft and Receiving Stolen Property after police recovered items that had been reported stolen from a vehicle in 2010 as well as street signs stolen from multiple township streets. He was being held at the Monmouth County Correctional Facility in Freehold, NJ, on $20,607.00 bail with no 10% option set by Judge Thomas Scully of the Monmouth County Superior Court.

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Rod Scott addresses Sea Bright residents on post-hurricane home-elevation techniques. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)


Sea Bright residents were greeted with a bit of southern flavor and optimism Wednesday night in the form of two men from the Gulf Coast who guided their communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Tommy Longo, ex-mayor of Waveland, Mississippi, and a home-elevation expert made presentations at the latest in a series of post-storm town hall meetings held in the aftermath of the Hurricane Sandy’s devastation.

Longo, who called his small beach town “ground zero for Hurricane Katrina,” saw more than 95 percent of Waveland destroyed, with the loss of approximately fifty lives.

“There were 32 homes on my street, and now seven years later, there are only three,” said Longo, who served as mayor for 16 years. “Our town was very much like Sea Bright in a lot of ways, before and after the storm. Believe me, I know what you are going through.”

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Regarding last week’s Where, which showed a tumbledown red barn, reader Fred Gill wrote:

Looks like the old Red Barn on Newman Springs Road, Red Bank almost to Broad Street. Backs to the railroad tracks and if it is that site then they use to have weekly auctions there in the early 1960’s.

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Borough architect Adler discussing the beach pavilion plan at Tuesday’s Sea Bright council meeting. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)


A preliminary concept for a new beach pavilion in Sea Bright drew fire at its introduction during Tuesday night’s council meeting.

The plan calls for a two-story beach structure located on the former Peninsula House property, according to borough Architect Robert Adler, although the exact location within that property is still to be determined.

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Monmouth Street will soon welcome a boutique for young girls, specializing in dresses and gowns for special occasions. (Photo by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)


Two new businesses plan to call Red Bank home in coming months: a dress shop for teens-and-unders called Angel’s Gowns, and Pure Barre, a fitness club.

Each will take over a space that’s been vacant for more than half a decade.


The storefront at 71 Monmouth Street, next door to David Levin Salon, will soon be filled with gowns specially made for all the milestones in a young girl’s life.

Owner Maria Paganoni, a fashion designer, moved to Red Bank three years ago from Mexico, where she worked for a clothing company that catered to little girls. She decided to put that passion to work here.

“I think it is necessary to have something like this,” said Paganoni. “There is not anything around the area like this.” Read More »


Red Bank Charter School intern Maya Ghosh at work at Paint A Tee on Monmouth Street. Below, Amanda Annaruma in the laundry room at Hair & Company, on White Street. (Photos by Lola Todman. Click to enlarge)

Red Bank Charter School Intern

For most middle school students, 2:45 to 3:45 p.m on Thursday afternoon is just another class, or time to head home or to sports practice. You wouldn’t expect to see them downtown at a salon, working, but that hour is exactly when you will find Red Bank Charter School student Amanda Annaruma at Hair & Company.

The charter school has a unique program, running for about 12 years, that places eighth-graders in jobs, which explains why students are in town rather than relaxing.

“I intern at Hair & Company on White street,” says Amanda, one of 19 eighth-graders participating in the program. “I guess for now I’m really an assistant’s assistant. I sweep the floor, wash towels, stuff like that.”

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A backhoe begins demolition on the fire-ravaged house, above. Below. furniture salvaged by firefighters. (Click to enlarge)


In a matter of hours, a raging fire ended some 170 years of Shrewsbury history.

A Sycamore Avenue mansion that its owner said dates back to the 1840s was damaged beyond repair in a fast-moving blaze Monday afternoon. By 9 p.m., even as flames continued to burn in the attic, heavy equipment had begun tearing down the wood-frame structure, ripping open canary yellow clapboard and exposing walls with burned artwork hanging on them.

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A view of the fire from the home’s back yard. Below, Shrewsbury firefighters prepare to attack the blaze from above. (Click to enlarge)


More than two hours after after it was first called in, a fire in a Shrewsbury mansion was still underway late Monday afternoon.

At 3:38 p.m., firefighters reported “heavy fire above the front door.”

By then, the blaze had inflicted major damage on the house, a canary yellow mansion set back from the roadway just east of Samara Drive.

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Firefighters from multiple towns were on the scene of a stubborn, wind-fueled fire that broke out in a Shrewsbury mansion early Monday afternoon.

There were reports of “a large amount of ammunition” going off in the house, though the homeowner told firefighters there was no ammunition in the house.

Firefighters were also struggling with inadequate water pressure from hydrants.

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The book sale, which attracted hundreds of shoppers Friday night and Saturday, wraps up today with a $5-a-bag promotion. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)


Delayed by Hurricane Sandy, the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library finally went ahead with the group’s annual used-book sale at the West Front Street facility this weekend.

According to the Friends president Beth Hanratty, the three-day event is designed to bring community awareness and support to the library as well as promote a love of books and reading in general.

“There’s been tremendous support so far today,” Hanratty said Saturday. “We have been thrilled about the turnout.”

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call-in-the-authoritiesThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of January 25 through February 1, 2013. This information is unedited.

Theft occurring on 1-25-13 at West Front St.—Restaurant. Victim reported that a GB Apple I Phone was stolen from coat pocket inside of establishment. Ptl. Michael Zadlock.

Thomas Armstrong, age 31 male of Red Bank was arrested on 1-30-13 in the area of Monmouth St. for COC [Contempt of Court] by Ptl. Nicholas Maletto.

Daniel P. Tapolow, age 26 male of Belford was arrested on 1-28-13 in the area of Rt. 35 North for DWI by Ptl. Heather Pubylski.

Luis Venegas, age 29 male of Red Bank was arrested on 1-27-13 in the area of River St. for Disorderly Conduct by Ptl. Patrick Kennedy.

Michael Palazzolo, age 22 male of Highlands was arrested on 1-27-13 in the area of Broad St. for Disorderly Conduct by Ptl. David Hicks.

Pedro Estrada-Castabeda, age 28 male of Red Bank was arrested on 1-27-13 in thearea of River St. for COC [Contempt of Court] by Ptl. Nicholas Maletto.

Anthony Jules-DeTouch, age 39 male of Red Bank was arrested on 1-26-13 in the area of Willow St. for Attempt to Elude Police, Obstructing Administration of Law by Ptl. Stan Balmer.

Gilbert Davis, age 25 male of Atlantic Highlands was arrested on 1-26-13 in the area of English Plaza for Disorderly Conduct by Ptl. Heather Pubylski.

Kristie Lepard, age 22 female of Middletown was arrested on 1-25-13 in the area of Riverside Ave. for DWI and Poss. of CDS by Ptl. Beau Broadley and Ptl. James DePonte.


The dead reptile was found in a vacant house in the River Plaza section of Middletown.


A four-and-a-half-foot-long Burmese python found dead in a vacant Middletown house last Thursday appears to have been abandoned by its owner, who could face animal cruelty charges, authorities say.

Police, called by neighbors who noticed the front door of 33 George Street had been ajar for several days, found the reptile last Thursday morning. They, in turn, summoned the Monmouth County SPCA.

“What we found was a wooden crate, complete with heat lamps, but the electricity and heat had been turned off, so it’s our belief that the snake succumbed because of the cold,” SPCA enforcement Chief Buddy Amato told redbankgreen Friday.

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Activity reports for the period of January 25 to February 1, 2013, , unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department.

call-in-the-authorities• Theft occurring at 1075 Broad St. on 1/28/13. Victim reports aluminum racks taken by unknown subjects(s) valued at $400.00. Ptl. Tracy Polk investigating

• Theft occurring at 20 Obre Pl. on 1/28/13. Victim reports items taken from purse valued at $100.00 by unknown subject(s). Ptl. Jessica Boyd investigating.

• Pedestrian struck by motor vehicle occurring at 597 Broad St. on 1/28/13. The victim a 67 year old Long Branch resident was transported to Riverview Medical Center with minor injuries. Ptl. Jessica Boyd investigating.

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Red Bank seniors enjoy a spirited round of Super Bowl-themed trivia – with special categories in US presidents and states, for non-football fans – during their monthly trivia game at the Senior Center Friday. Volunteer David Prown, right, served as host for the event, which was capped off with a football-field cake for dessert. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)


Blacktop shows through on the treated portions of Marion Street, above, and the south end of Worthley Street, below, after last week’s snow.  (Photos by Bobby Holiday. Click to enlarge)


A salt brine pretreatment used to retard the formation of roadway ice passed its first test last week, Red Bank officials say.

“So far, so good,” DPW supervisor Bobby Holiday said of the chemical, following a light snowfall last Friday and Saturday.

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The Friends of the Red Bank Public Library three-day book sale kicks off Friday night with a reception, hits its stride Saturday, and concludes with a fill-a-bag coda on Monday. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, February 1

SHREWSBURY: Shrewsbury’s branch of the Monmouth County Library will host Dr. Janice Thomas from Brookdale Community College at 11 a.m. To kick-off the First Friday for Seniors series, Thomas will put on a presentation outlining her trip to India during which she learned about the culture and education system. 1001 Route 35 North.

MIDDLETOWN: Athlete Kyllian Warman returns to her Middletown roots to discuss how she was able to achieve her 2012 New Year’s resolution of running 2012 miles– and plans to run 2013 miles this year – at the Main Library at 2 p.m. Tying into this, she will also share the ways she sets goals and overcomes obstacles. 55 New Monmouth Road.

LINCROFT: Christian Brothers Academy starts its annual art show and sale by hosting a preview celebration from 7 to 11 p.m. The event will feature wine and hors d’oeuvres by Merri Makers, plus live music. The $60 admission also includes reentry to the weekend’s art and antique show. RSVP online here. Newman Springs Road.

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