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SHREWSBURY: SOLAR RECHARGES CHURCH

20130430-130451.jpgReverend Antonio Parenti, right, and congregant Ken Walsh with the church’s new money-saving solar power system. (Photo above by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

First Assembly of God Church in Shrewsbury describes itself as a “multi-cultural congregation who welcomes and values people from all walks of life.”

Now, thanks to some significant environmentally friendly upgrades, the church can claim to be stewards of the earth, decreasing its environmental footprint and in the process blazing a “green” trail that they hope others will follow, according to Reverend Antonio Parenti, senior pastor.

ho first proposed the idea to install photovoltaic solar panels, which convert the sun’s rays into usable electricity, on the roof of the church and it’s office building.

“We’ve definitely become more environmentally conscious in the past few years,” Parenti, who is in his ninth year at the First Assembly, told redbankgreen in his office, adjacent to the Sycamore Avenue church. “Number one, the panels will serve to make the buildings more environmentally friendly, and number two, over time they will save us money – allowing us to use our funds for God more efficiently and effectively.”

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SEA BRIGHT: ANOTHER RESTAURANT REOPENS

Another Sea Bright business is back, six months after Sandy. Below, Amanda and Ming Zheng in their New Super Golden restaurant. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

In the minds of Sea Brighters, each business that reopens in this storm-walloped town is another step toward their goal of getting the beach community back to normal in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Late last week another longstanding establishment was able to open its doors again.

“Everything about Sea Bright was great before, and hopefully the town remains that way now that we are all starting to come back,” said Amanda Zheng, who owns the 20-year old New Super Golden Chinese restaurant with her husband, Ming.

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CHEECH & CHONG’S NEXT MOVE: A BASIE DATE

Reunited once more for their most ambitious tour in over 25 years, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong take it to the boards of the Count Basie on May 1 for an evening of  mirth, music and munchie-inducing classic routines.

By TOM CHESEK 

Is this any way to observe 420 Day? If you’re the elder stoner statesmen Cheech and Chong, you’ve spent that nationwide celebration of cannabis culture in seemingly uncharacteristic fashion —  up before the sun, doing tightly scheduled rounds of press, and interfacing with fans on social media platforms that range from Facebook and Twitter to Pinterest and everything short of Christian Mingle.

Truth be told, Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong have a collective work ethic that’s seen them embrace new tech, new formats and new channels of distribution almost as fast as they’re dreamed up — and, with their first big tour in over 25 years now underway, the Grammy-winning kings of most media have a lot of lost time to make up.

On Wednesday, Cheech and Chong’s Third Reunion Tour finds the gold-plated “cult” stars of stage, screen and stereos heading into Red Bank for an 8 pm appearance at the Count Basie Theatre in which the pair recreate many of the classic, bongwater-basted sketch routines from their smash comedy records of the 1970s — a post-Woodstock era that routinely saw single releases like “Basketball Jones,” “Earache My Eye” and “Sister Mary Elephant” crashing the Top 40 charts (and causing as much angst among radio programmers as among parents of the nation’s easily corrupted youth).

It’s a debut for the duo, in the borough that claims a couple of their spiritual offspring — Jay and Silent Bob — as “homegrown” favorites. It’s also a chance for the veteran comedy team to promote the first new Cheech and Chong project in a generation — the soundtrack to the feature-length Cheech and Chongs Animated Movie!, with nine all-new songs augmenting a cartoonified collection of vintage vignettes from such discs as Cheech & Chong’s Wedding Album, Los Cochinos, and Big Bambu (coincidentally, Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie! kicked off its tour of screenings and podcasts on 4/20).

With Marin having stretched his mainstream chops in recent years (through projects that ranged from playing cops on network TV series to producing a series of children’s music albums) — and with Chong’s intermittent screen appearances overshadowed by a controversial 2003 federal prison sentence (documented in detail here) for selling drug paraphernalia online — the stock characters of the street-savvy Chicano and the eternal hippie look to take on new dimensions of time and tide and life experience.

4/20 came and went without a scheduled phone interview — but an apologetic Chong called the Comedy Desk at redbankgreen the following evening to bring us up to date. Flip the record over for more, man…

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CAB DRIVER IN RECENT CRASH FOUND DEAD

The taxicab driver charged with drunken driving after a collision in Lincroft a week ago was found dead in his Red Bank apartment Monday morning, borough police said.

Police were summoned to the Monmouth Street home of John Curtis, 39, after his landlord found him dead at about 8:25 a.m., said Captain Darren McConnell.

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RED BANK: REMOVING ‘CRAP’ LEFT BY OTHERS

Boris Kofman, above, and Michael Paul Raspanti, below, during Saturday’s riverfront cleanup on Red Bank’s West Side. (Photos by Wil Fulton, above, and Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Duane Bowker stood in the wooded area above the Swimming River in Red Bank and pointed.

“Some roofer, this is his favorite place to throw his crap – and drink beer,” he said. “Over here is a plumber’s favorite place to throw his crap.”

The occasion was Saturday’s cleanup effort by members of the borough Environmental Commission and the environmental nonprofit Clean Ocean Action. They teamed up to tackle a riverbank full of tires and construction debris at the western end of Drs. James Parker Boulevard.

FAIR HAVEN: SPRING, 2013

Fair Haven Road alongside Fair Haven Fields offers a flowery feast of pink this time of year, as seen looking south toward Ridge Road on Monday.

Expect Tuesday’s weather to be mostly cloudy, with a high near 58, says the weatherbot. The outlook for Saturday’s Townwide Garage Sale is sunny and mild. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: TOWNWIDE SALES AND BENEFITS

More than 100 homes participated in the annual event. (PhotoS by Alexis Orlacchio.)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Shoppers searched the yards of their neighbor’s collectible-littered lawns in pursuit of their perfect possessions Saturday during the sixth annual Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale.

“It is a beautiful day, and people love a good bargain,” said Friends of the Red Bank Public Library President Beth Hanratty.

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LITTLE SILVER: SPRING, 2013

A mute swan makes a striking display as it stretches its wings on a creek next to Seven Bridges Road in Little Silver on Saturday. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: VALET SIGN SWIPED

call-in-the-authoritiesThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of April 18 to April 25, 2013. This information is unedited.

Theft occurring between 4-18-13 and 4-19-13 at East Front St. Bar/restaurant. Owner reported that unknown person(s) removed cash from behind the bar. Ptl. David Hicks.

Theft reported on 4-20-13 at West Front Street Antique Center. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole a drawer from an antique cabinet, which makes the value of piece less. Ptl. Stanley Balmer.

Theft occurring at Broad St. on 4-21-13. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole a valet sign from in front of business. Ptl. David Hicks.

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SHREWSBURY POLICE REPORTS

Activity reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of April 19 to April 26, 2013.

call-in-the-authorities• Report of Harassing Phone Calls on 4/26/13. Resident reports receiving multiple telephone calls over an extended period. Ptl. Derek Myers investigating

Arrests

• Ashan S. Canty, male age 34 of Jersey City was arrested on 4/25/13 for Contempt of Court in the area of Broad Street by Ptl. Tracy Polk.

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SEA BRIGHT: SHAKING OFF SANDY

Six months after it was all but obliterated by Hurricane Sandy, Sea Bright is gradually getting back on its feet, as evident in the extensive repair and rebuilding underway.

redbankgreen photographers Peter Lindner and John T. Ward teamed up to create this slideshow of images of the town before, during – Lindner gets the credit for all of those – and after the historic October 29, 2012, storm, with the final shot in each grouping taken over the weekend of April 27 and 28, 2013.

RED BANK: FLAVOUR FEST FEEDS THRONGS

Does Red Bank know how to eat or whut?

Mais oui! As proof, thousands of visitors jammed the White Street parking lot Sunday for the second annual Red Bank International Flavour Festival, bringing appetites not only for food, served up by two dozen of the town’s restaurants and food stores, but for dancing and general bonhomie.

redbankgreen was there with its point-and-shoot. Were you? Check out our collection of 75 snaps if you’re unsure.

Up next: Sippin’ on the River, in June.

ONE ARRESTED IN BRAWL AT RBR v. R-FH GAME

A Rumson man was arrested following a melee during a baseball game at Red Bank Regional High in Little Silver Saturday afternoon, police said.

Patrick Maisto, 49, is alleged to have assaulted a player during a bench-clearing brawl, Little Silver police Lieutenant Bob Frank tells redbankgreen.

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TINTON FALLS MAN CHARGED WITH DOG ABUSE


A Tinton Falls man is facing eight charges of animal cruelty for allegedly wrapping the muzzles of two dogs with duct tape and punching a puppy in the head, law enforcement authorities said Friday morning.

Joseph A. Valentino, 41, of Cherry Street, is alleged to have abused three dogs from September, 2012 through February 2, 2013…

“…when he wrapped the muzzle of Stitches, a one-year-old Bullmastiff, with duct tape and trimmed the nails on the dog’s paws using a power tool despite the animal being fearful of the nail trimming; choking Stitches to the point of the dog’s tongue turning blue and abusing the animal to the point it defecated on itself,”

according to a press release issued by Victor “Buddy” Amato, Chief Humane Law Enforcement Officer at the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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RUMSON: COPPER FROGS TO PERK UP THE YARD

At Bain’s in Rumson: outdoor furniture and frog sculptures. (Photo by Alexis Orlacchio. Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Looking to add some levity to the yard? Hop over to Bain’s Outdoor Living in Rumson to see Beau Smith’s chic home décor frog sculptures.

Store owners Tom and Donna Bain came across Smith’s sculptures featured in a magazine. They contacted the artist, interested in selling his pieces.

“They actually drove down to Atlanta to get some of my work and sell it in their store,” said Smith.

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RED BANK: FASHION OPTIONS ABOUND

Denim shorts on display at Dor L’ D’or, above, and a summer dress, below, at Emilia. Further below: a boot at Do L’ Do’r. (Photos by Lola Todman. Click to enlarge)

By LOLA TODMAN
Red Bank Charter School Intern

Women’s fashion is on the rise in downtown Red Bank. It may not be Paris or Milan, but you may have noticed new stores such as Lucki Clover and Bella Chic Boutique joining not-much-older merchants Dor L’ Dor, Rue RoyaleUrban Outfitters and stalwarts Backward Glances and CoCo Pari.

Or you may even be a customer of Emilia, one of three side-by-side women’s clothing stores to open on Monmouth Street in little more than a year.

So the pressing question is: why?

“Options,” said Blaise Lucarelli, manager of Dor L’ D’or, which opened in mid-2010. “When there are different types of women, there need to be options.”

Because of that need, there are also many different stores designed around age ranges, affordability, specialty clothing and other things that may define a specific type of female, said Lucarelli.

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ON THE GREEN: A FULLY-BOOKED WEEKEND

A weekend of belly-busters and bargains awaits visitors to Red Bank’s International Flavour Festival on Sunday, above, and the Townwide Yard Sale on Saturday, below. (Photo by Alexis Orlacchio. Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, April 26:

LINCROFT: Score some points at the “Hoops for Hope” basketball tournament to support the Community YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign and Dreams for Kids at Brookdale Community College.  The night consists of a series of basketball matches between the Dreams for Kids All-star team, featuring current and former NFL players, and community teams including the Red Bank Police Department, Red Bank Charter School, Red Bank Catholic Girls Varsity Basketball Team and the Monmouth University Women’s Basketball Team. Other activities include a VIP reception with the NFL athletes, NFL store, student performers, gift and silent auctions, a 50/50 raffle and community organization booths. Tickets prices vary and family packs are available; purchase them online or at the door. “Hoops for Hope” runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Robert Collins Arena. Newman Springs Road.

RED BANK: “The Electric Baby” continues its run at Two River Theater.  The drama follows three pairs – a middle-aged couple, a hopelessly devoted lover and the apple of her eye, and a Romanian mother and Nigerian father caring for their child – who discover the ways in which their lives are connected. The play, by Stefanie Zadravec, runs through May 5. Tickets are $24-$42 and the show begins at 8 p.m. 21 Bridge Avenue.

RED BANK: Sing your heart out at “Rock N Roll Karaoke,” a weekly happening hosted by the band from NYC’s Arlene’s Grocery. Attempt to master the vocals and music of classic rock favorites at The Downtown. The event begins at 10 p.m. 10 West Front Street.

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SLEDGER: FAKE-FARMER LAW NEEDS TEETH

A recently enacted state law aimed at culling ‘fake farmer‘ landowners “will eventually give local tax officials the power to force out fakers,” but doesn’t go far enough, the Star-Ledger says in an editorial published Friday.

Championed by state Senator and Red Bank resident Jen Beck – who won her seat in 2007 after a battling an opponent she tagged as a fake farmer – the reform bill signed by Governor Chris Christie this month goes too easy on wealthy individuals, developers and owners of office parks who took advantage of the old law to duck some $95 million a year in local taxes, the Sledger says.

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SANDY HOOK TO REOPEN MAY 1

All facilities are expected to be open after Memorial Day, the park service said in an announcement. (Click to enlarge)

Closed to the public since Hurricane Sandy hit on October 29, Sandy Hook is expected to reopen next week, federal officials said Thursday.

And in a change from earlier post-Sandy recovery plans for the battered peninsula, visitors will have access to all six beaches after Memorial Day, according to a press release from the National Park Service.

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RED BANK: A QUIET NIGHT WITH THE BUDGETS

By WIL FULTON

It was a tale of two tax plans in Red Bank Wednesday night as the mayor and council advanced the 2013 budgets for both the municipality and RiverCenter on a relatively light agenda.

The borough budget – proposed at $21.2 million and containing a 7.7-percent tax increase, to 52.9 cents per $100 of valuation – was originally scheduled for an adoption vote at the session. An adoption vote is now anticipated at the May 8 meeting, said borough CFO Coleen Lapp.

Meantime, the spending plan, which would have the owner of a home assessed at the borough average $396,000 paying $2,054, is subject to possible changes, she said.

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RED BANK: RIVER VIEWS

Enjoying our beautiful Navesink River on a warm spring afternoon Wednesday were an osprey, above; a fisherman on a paddleboard, right; and crossing squads of girls’s and boys’ rowers, below, all seen from a dock on Haddon Park in Red Bank.

The weather Thursday should be just as warm, with sunshine and temperatures reaching the mid-60s, but possibly too windy for rowers and paddlers, with gusts up to 16 mph, according to the National Weather Service. (Click to enlarge)

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SUSPECT ARRESTED IN GAS STATION HOLDUP

This just in from the Middletown PD:

On April 23, 2013 Detective Kelly Godley of the Middletown Police Department arrested Darius Williams, age 24, from Witmer Place in Long Branch, NJ, for Armed Robbery, Possession of an Imitation Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose and Theft as a result of the April 18, 2013 armed robbery of the Raceway Gas Station located on Highway 35 in Middletown.

The arrest came after Detective Lieutenant Raymond Chaparro and Detective Sergeant Jeff Pilone of the Long Branch Police Department located a vehicle that matched the description of one used in an armed robbery of a liquor store in Long Branch on April 22, 2013.

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DWI, ASSAULT CHARGES FOR CABBIE IN CRASH

This just in from the Middletown PD:

On April 23, 2013 at approximately 8:30pm Middletown Police responded to a two car motor vehicle crash at the intersection of Newman Springs Road and Half Mile Road in Lincroft during which three people were injured.

Patrolman Michael Reuter conducted an investigation and determined that a taxi cab driven by John Curtis, age 39, from Monmouth Street in Red Bank, NJ, was travelling east bound on Newman Springs Road and failed to stop for the red light at Half Mile Road. The cab then struck a vehicle driven by Edward Stratton, age 55, from Arbor Drive in Howell, NJ.

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RED BANK: EAT THE WORLD, ON WHITE STREET

It’s one of the inarguable upsides of immigration: the tickling of America’s taste buds. And visitors to Red Bank are among the beneficiaries this Sunday as the White Street parking lot morphs into a smorgasbord of border-crossing cuisines for the second annual International Flavour Festival. Sponsored by Red Bank RiverCenter, the event highlights the output of grilles, ovens and stoves of two dozen Red Bank restaurants and food retailers, with live entertainment and thousands of friendly faces from noon to 7 p.m. Rain date: May 5.  (Click to enlarge)