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MIDDLETOWN: SATURDAY NIGHT WITH PUNCH

Fighters squared off at CBA last Saturday. This weekend, the survivors advance to the next round at the Police Athletic League facility in Middletown. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Two fighters, one not yet old enough to drink, dance around the center canvas of an elevated ring, gymnasium lights shining down on them as they trade uppercuts and jabs, each desperate to avoid elimination as a boisterous crowd eggs them on.

Welcome to the world of the Golden Gloves, an old-school, 85-year-old amateur boxing tournament that provided a springboard to such notable pugilists as Mike Tyson, Joe Lewis, Evander Holyfield, and a certain young fighter named Cassius Clay.

After a stop at Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft last weekend, the annual New Jersey Golden Gloves tourney continues at the Middletown Township Police Athletic League facility Saturday night.

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WEEKEND AHEAD: PUSH, STRETCH & SLITHER

Push is at the Downtown tonight.

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, March 29

RED BANK: The Woman’s Club of Red Bank hosts the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation‘s Juke Joint Johnny’s Birthday Bash to raise money for the JSJBF and Woman’s Club Scholarship programs. The Anthony Reckless estate will be open for a night of entertainment and relaxation. Guests can sit on the porch or roam through the beautiful rooms of the estate while listening to jazz and blues music in a warm setting. The event is BYOB and light snacks will be served. The event will run from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. and admission is a suggested $10 donation. 164 Broad Street.

RED BANK: There’s free yoga at Red Bank Public Library, with a session led by Amy Novak from 1 to 2 p.m. No registration is required, but you will need to supply your own mat. 84 West Front Street.

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MORANA: SCHOOL TAX COULD’VE BEEN WORSE

By WIL FULTON

Red Bank’s school board unanimously approved the borough’s 2013-2014 school budget at the Thursday night before a small group of residents and school officials at the primary school.

The spending plan weighed in at $13.2 million, up $522,503, or 4.1 percent, from last year. The increase might have topped 8 percent, had the district chosen to employ “banked cap,” a method that allows districts to exceed the state-mandated limits on budget growth, said Superintendent Laura Morana.

But “when we thought about the impact [the tax levy] would have on households, and families for community members in Red Bank, we decided it was too high,” Morana said. “We wanted to be responsive to the needs of our children – meeting their educational needs, having the appropriate personnel, supplies and technology – but at the same time, we needed to think about the members of our community, and really think about the impact on the community.”

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RED BANK: SNIFF THIS, LITTLE DOGGIE

SNIFF Pet Candles: made for dogs, but enjoyed by owners, too. (Photo by Alexis Orlacchio. Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

In this week’s edition of Window Shopping the Green, we follow our nose over to the Galleria Red Bank and Megan Prenderville’s Paws for a Cause pet accessory kiosk.

The kiosk features SNIFF Pet Candles – aromatherapy candles for dogs, created by Jennifer Mohr, who claims to develop scents to improve the quality of life for man’s best friend.

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R-FH BUDGET: R TAX UP, FH, DOWN

Rumson resident Joe Kopel raises a few questions with the R-FH board Tuesday night. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

With six residents in the audience, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High board of education ok’d a $16.9 million spending plan for 2013-’14 that increases taxes on Rumson property owners and reduces them for Fair Havenites.

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SEA BRIGHT: FEMA TOUTS UPLIFTING STORY

A new video on the FEMA website features a two-family townhouse on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright that emerged from Hurricane Sandy will almost no damage. (Click to enlarge)

What saves homes from destructive hurricane flooding? The builder of a Sea Bright two-family that came through Sandy with barely a scratch credits building above code standards, according to a new video produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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LITTLE SILVER PUTS OLD JUNK TO NEW USE

Participants in the e-waste drive dropped off loads of disused electronics for recycling or refurbishment. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Little Silver’s Environmental Commission collected more than two truckloads of outdated VCRs, personal computers and other things electronic at the town’s first-ever Environmental Day Saturday.

Held at the Woman’s Club of Little Silver, the daylong event feature an E-waste recycling collection. All the collected electronics are to be recycled or refurbished, with the refurbished computers going to create labs for schools and children in need, courtesy of non-profit organization Computers for Kids, according to commission member Susan Murray.

“We even had a one man pull up in a stretch-limo to drop off some of his old computers,” said fellow member Bonnie Akey. “Now that’s commitment.”

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LITTLE SILVER: BUSTED PIPE CLOSES STORE

A busted sprinkler system supply line poured water into the produce section of the Little Silver A&P supermarket shortly after 8 p.m. Monday, forcing an evacuation of the store, said Fire Chief Andrew Smith. Signs posted on the doors indicate hopes for a mid-afternoon reopening Tuesday.

The store was briefly closed by a partial roof collapse after a snowfall in December, 2011. (Click to enlarge)

RBR BUDGET SAILS TO PASSAGE

By SARAH KLEPNER

Red Bank Regional’s board of education unanimously passed the district’s 2013-2014 budget last week, with no comment from the public.

The 50-minute meeting Thursday night was sparsely attended, with fewer than 10 in attendance, including staff and teachers.

This year’s budget is 1.5-percent smaller than last year’s, which amounts to shrinkage of just over $403,000, for total spending of $26.6 million.

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RED BANK: BRIDAL SURGE REPORTED

Once again, brides-to-be, accompanied by female attendants and the occasional fiancé, flooded the streets of Red Bank for the annual Wedding Walk extravaganza Sunday. The RiverCenter-orchestrated event highlights goods and services available in town, from banquet halls to photo framing.

Among the hundreds of participants was Alyssa Hopkins of Piscataway, who said she came away with “lots of ideas” for her big day and was delighted to find a shop that would rent table lanterns for her wedding reception, sparing her a costly purchase. “What am I going to do with 200 lanterns?” she said. (Click the embiggen symbol to enlarge the photo display.)

SHREWSBURY: BURGLARY TRY REPORTED

Activity reports for the period of March 16 to March 22, 2013, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department.

call-in-the-authorities• Report of Theft at 1001 Broad Street on 3/19/13.  Victim reports wallet taken by unknown subject(s).  Ptl. Tracy Polk investigating.

• Report of Burglary in the area of Beechwood Drive on 3/19/13.  Resident reports unknown subject(s) entered shed and removed bicycle.  Ptl. Tracy Polk investigating.

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DETERGENT THIEF MAKES CLEAN GETAWAY

call-in-the-authoritiesThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of March 14 to March 21, 2013. This information is unedited.

Shoplifting incident occurring on 3-18-13 at Broad St grocery store. Victim reported that unknown male shoplifted laundry detergent and a two other items and fled the store without paying for same. Ptl. David Hicks.

Theft occurring at Riverside Ave. residence on 3-18-13. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole medication from residence. Lt. Richard Mangold.

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RED BANK: ADAMS QUITS RIVERCENTER HELM

Nancy Adams with RiverCenter vice chairman Tom Fishkin, center, and board secretary Michael Warmington in 2011. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The top job at downtown promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter is vacant following the abrupt departure of Nancy Adams as executive director Friday.

Adams announced her resignation in an email to redbankgreen, describing her departure as neither a firing nor a forced resignation but as an amicable split with RiverCenter’s board of directors.

“It was a mutual thing,” she said in an interview Saturday. “Overall, I think the board was very happy with what we did to move forward from economic devastation.”

But she cited “ruffled feathers,” scapegoating and what she said was a relatively short lifecycle for heads of state-chartered Special Improvement Districts among her reasons for leaving.

Readie’s Market Café owner Tom Fishkin, one of three board members whose meeting with Adams Friday prompted the resignation, attributed the move to “some creative differences” and a desire for a “fresh start.”

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RBR TEACHERS, BOARD RESUME TALKS

Teachers and board members returned to the bargaining table Thursday night. (Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

More than two years into a drawn-out negotiation process, including almost a year-and-a-half of slow-paced mediation, Red Bank Regional High’s teachers’ union and the board of education were once again face to face Thursday night.

The first bargaining session in months, held behind closed doors following a regular board meeting, capped a rather dramatic couple of weeks in which teachers gathered several times in silent displays of unity at morning drop-offs of students.

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MIDDLETOWN CUFFS MAN TWICE IN ONE WEEK

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

call-in-the-authorities• John Minnick, age 55, from Bruce Road in Red Bank, NJ, arrested on March 11, 2013 by Patrolman Greg Buhowski for Driving While Intoxicated. He was released pending a court date.

• Bartlett Lentini, age 24, from Carpenter Street in Red Bank, NJ, arrested on March 11, 2013 by Patrolman Anthony Bumbico and Patrolman Richard Fulham of the Quality of Life Unit on warrants signed by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force for Possession of Heroin, Distribution of Heroin and Distribution of Heroin within 1000 feet of a School Zone. He was held on $70,000.00 bail set by Judge Mary Casey of the Holmdel Municipal Court.

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SEA BRIGHT: RECOVERY GETS PERSONAL

Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long, seen rallying her constituents in November, admits the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has begun to weigh on her. Social services agencies are beginning to address the emotional and psychological needs of storm victims. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Less than half in jest, Sea Bright’s can-do mayor acknowledged Wednesday night that the emotional and psychological strain of Hurricane Sandy recovery have taken a personal toll.

At a town hall meeting held in part to promote outreach programs to help residents map out their own rebuilding plans, Mayor Dina Long told a packed community center that five months after the storm all but obliterated the borough, the challenge of piecing it all back together sometimes gets to her.

“I have to admit I have a new favorite saying that’s in direct contrast with my old favorite saying, which was, ‘Do,’” Long said. “My new favorite saying goes something like this: ‘I feel like my head is going to explode! Do you guys feel like that?”

Groans of approval from the crowd showed the frustration was mutual.

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LITTLE SILVER: ROAD OUTAGE NEARLY OVER

The closure of Seven Bridges Road in Little Silver, which began last July, is nearing its end as Monmouth County wraps up a bridge-replacement project just north of Point Road.

Mayor Bob Neff reported recently that the county has assured town officials that the contractor on the job is working weekends in order to meet the targeted April 15 reopening date. (Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: TALKING BULKHEADS, TRASH

A portion of the Shrewsbury River bulkhead in Sea Bright, as seen from Rumson four days before Hurricane Sandy. The house at left collapsed in the storm. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

At a borough council meeting relatively light on agenda business, Sea Bright residents and business owners took the floor Tuesday night to voice concerns on a plethora of issues, including bulkhead adequacy and the large amount of debris still apparent throughout the storm-battered community.

Angelica’s Restaurant owner Ray Lena pressed the council on its plans regarding the bulkheads along the Shrewsbury River, stressing that he believed a reinforced and rebuilt bulkhead could be key in guarding against future flooding.

“The streets are constantly flooded. Every time there’s rain or a high tide, it affects all the businesses and everybody in town,” he said. “To me, it should be priority number one. If you had a blank slate here and I was a developer, even if I was going to build homes on stilts, my first question would be what are we going to do about the bulkheads? We’re at risk, it’s as simple as that.”

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ON DECK IN RED BANK

A welder prepares for the placement of a precast concrete panel at the parking deck under assembly at the site of the MW West Side Lofts project on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank Tuesday morning.

When finished, the complex, which is to surround Danny’s Steakhouse on three sides, is to include 92 luxury residences, artists’ workspaces, shops and a Triumph Brewing Company restaurant. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: A PRE-AISLE BRIDAL STROLL

A bride-to-be and her entourage pass a begowned model at Barbizon School of Modeling at the 2012 edition of Wedding Walk, above, and the trolley that makes the walk a bit less, um, pedestrian. (Click to enlarge)

Having hit on a good thing, Red Bank turns into Bridesville once again Sunday, swapping the green of last weekend’s Saint Patrick’s Day for miles of satiny white.

The occasion is Wedding Walk, and the idea is promote the town’s dozens of wedding-related vendors – caterers, liveries, photographers and more – as a one-stop fulfillment center for every bride-to-be’s Big Day needs.

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FAIR HAVEN: CLEMENTINE CYCLING TAKES OFF

Just three days after opening, Clementine’s early morning classes, like the 10:15 above, were nearly full. (Photo by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge.)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Effie Drossman was a Wall Street trader when she fell in love with stationary cycling.

“It was 20 years ago,” she said. “I took my first spin class and I was hooked. Trading was stressful and it became the one thing that could get me focused and in the zone. It was my time.”

Two decades later, Drossman’s passion for cycling became the basis of a new business venture with the opening last week of Clementine Cycling Studio at 611 River Road in Fair Haven.

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DUI CHARGED IN SHREWSBURY ACCIDENT

Unedited police activity reports for the period of March 9 to March 15, 2013, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department.

call-in-the-authorities• Report of Motor Vehicle Accident in the area of Rt. 35 and Sycamore Avenue on 3/10/13. Driver Theodore R. Sizer, male age 25 of Little Silver was arrested for Driving Under the Influence. No reported injuries. Ptl. Tracy Polk investigating.

• Resident reports Credit Card Fraud by unknown subject(s) at multiple locations on 3/12/13. Damages totaling $1,024.00. Ptl. Derek Myers investigating.

• Report of Bomb Threat at 5 Meridian Way on 3/14/13. Unknown subject placed call to facility threatening a bomb in the building. All residents were safely evacuated and building was thoroughly searched for explosive devices with negative results. NJ State Police Bomb Squad, Monmouth County Prosecutors Office, D.O.D Police, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Long Branch PD, Wall PD and Middletown PD all assisted with the search.  Sgt. Michael Gallagher and Det. Sgt. Robert Turner investigating.

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