RED BANK: CHIEF FACES PERIOD OF CHANGE

tommy welsh 120313Tommy Welsh arrives at the Westside Hose Company following his election as Red Bank fire chief last week. Below, the borough-owned Liberty Hose firehouse is in the process of being vacated because it needs upgrades the town cannot afford. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

liberty hose 120513 2A new, million-dollar ladder truck, firehouse consolidation and pervasive manpowwer issues are on the table as Red Bank’s next fire chief takes the helm on January 1.

For chief-elect Tommy Welsh, it’s the second time around as head of of the all-volunteer department, having served as chief in 1996. This time, however, the department is on the apron to some of its biggest changes in a generation.

“We’re in the middle of some history here,” he told redbankgreen at a party to celebrate his election last week.

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RUMSON: LEVITTOWN ON A TABLE TOP

gingerbreadhouselady 1

Debbie Bagnell and this year’s output of gingerbread cookie houses. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

PIEHOLE logoThis time every year, Rumson’s Debbie Bagnell becomes “the gingerbread house lady,” and her dining room table is transformed into a miniature Levittown of scrumptious little abodes.

How popular are her cookies at Holy Cross, the school her kids attend? So popular that former Saturday Night Live actress and borough resident Sioban Hogan performs a sketch that parodies the trials and tribulations of going through a year without access to Bagnell’s creations.

Follow the link to the story, only on PieHole, redbankgreen‘s totally awesome food page. And be sure to check out PieHole’s Facebook page or follow its Twitter feed @RedBankPieHole for up-to-the-minute postings.

RUMSON: MEET THE GINGERBREAD HOUSE LADY

gingerbreadhouselady 3Debbie Bagnell of Rumson, aka “The Gingerbread House Lady,” at her dining room table, where she’s building more than gingerbread houses. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

gingerbreadhouselady 2Add up her past 30 or so Christmases, and Debbie Bagnell of Rumson has turned out between 1,500 and 2,000 gingerbread houses.

“I’m part elf,” says Bagnell. “I have a little notch in my ear. So, it’s magic – that’s how this all gets done,” she says, gesturing to a dining room table covered with a miniature Levittown of gingerbread houses.

PieHole spent a snowy morning at Bagnell’s holiday-decorated home getting the inside scoop on mass producing gingerbread houses.

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TOWNS TEAM UP FOR TWO RIVER LITTLE LEAGUE

P1200923Several of the people who were instrumental in establishing the Two River Little League (TRLL) — a new chapter of Little League International encompassing Fair Haven, Little Silver, Red Bank, Rumson and Shrewsbury — are (left to right):  TRLL Board Member John Caruso; TRLL President Chris Kelly; Del Dal Pra, Athletic Director Red Bank Regional High School; TRLL Vice President/Softball Memone P. Crystian, and TRLL Board Member Bob Oakes. (click to enlarge)

From press materials furnished by Marianne Kligman

The towns of Fair Haven, Little Silver, Red Bank, Rumson and Shrewsbury have formed a new charter as part of Little League International.  Known as the Two River Little League, boys and girls ages 9 to 16 can begin signing up January 1 to play baseball and softball this spring. The registration period extends through February 1, and can be accessed at each town’s website. or by visiting the recreational department for each town for registration forms. Younger children ages 5 to 8 will continue to play with their town’s recreational leagues in the existing Peninsula League.

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LITTLE SILVER: WOMAN DRAGGED BY CAR

ls crash 121013The victim’s car continued across Rumson Road from Seven Bridges Road before crashing into a tree. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A 79-year-old borough woman was hospitalized following an auto accident in which she was dragged by her own vehicle Tuesday morning, police said.

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WEATHER TOYS WITH FORECASTERS

rb snow 121013 1Main roads on the Green were clear at midday Tuesday, as seen here looking east along Harding Road from Tower Hill in Red Bank.

Forecasters, meanwhile, seemed in a scramble for clarity on how bad the storm would be. The National Weather Service has upped its estimated accumulation total to 2 to 4 inches – from 1 to 3 inches earlier today. The Weather Underground, meanwhile, has gone in the other direction, changing its forecast to 1 to 3 inches, from 3 to 5 earlier in the day. The Weather Channel has backed down to 1 to 3, from 2 to 4, and Facebook fave Bob ‘Weatherman’ Burger has eased back to 2 to 4 inches in our region, from 3 to 6. All agree it should be over by Tuesday evening, when temps are expected to drop into the 20s. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

UNGRATEFUL, UNRULY & UNDER ARREST

AUTHORITIES_RB2How’s this for gratitude?

After Red Bank police gave an Ocean County man a ride to the to the borough train station Monday evening, he became belligerent and wound up in the Monmouth County lockup.

The incident began with a call from Char Steakhouse, on Broad Street, where a drunken customer was reported to be harassing other patrons, said police Captain Darren McConnell.

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RAISE YOUR VOICES, AT RED BANK LIBRARY

LorraineDiasZipprichActress Lorraine Stone, Two River Theater artistic director John Dias and Councilman Ed Zipprich are among the Red Bank area notables giving voice to historic American figures in “The People Speak LIVE,” presented free at Red Bank Public Library on Thursday night, December 12.

There’s the escaped slave turned abolitionist and social activist Sojourner Truth, brought to vivid life by local actress Lorraine Stone. The pioneer openly gay elected official Harvey Milk, paid tribute by Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich. The Nobel laureate playwright Eugene O’Neill, channeled by Two River Theater Company artistic director John Dias — and Red Bank Regional grad John McMahon as T. Thomas Fortune, the trailblazing African American journalist whose historic Red Bank home is the subject of an intensive rescue and preservation effort.

These and other fascinating figures from America’s past and present will be making their voices heard inside the Red Bank Public Library on the evening of Thursday, December 12, when the T. Thomas Fortune House Preservation Project joins Frank Talk MultiMedia Network and RBPL for “The People Speak LIVE,” an event in which “community-minded people from the greater Red Bank area” recreate the words of pivotal people in our nation’s history. Hosted by journalist, businesswoman and cable TV host Candace Kelley, the 6 p.m. presentation is based on the documentary film “The People Speak” — itself adapted from the late Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of the United States.”

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AN RBR HOMECOMING FOR IRAQ VET, AUTHOR

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Class of 1998 Red Bank Regional (RBR) alumnus Matt Craw of Little Silver answered the call to service in the U.S. Marine Corps after he watched New York’s Twin Towers smoldering from the Jersey Shore.  He returned home suffering the effects of post traumatic stress, and found a way to deal with his pain — through writing, with the resulting book The Song Each Bullet Sings: The Story of Operation Iraqi Freedom Through the Eyes of One Marine serving as an important part of the healing process.

English teacher Andrew Forrest, a fellow alumnus, invited Matt to bring his powerful story to the students of RBR’s Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences — and today, Matt Craw will address the AHSS students to talk about his life as a U.S. Marine during Operation Iraqi freedom — and to discuss how writing can be therapeutic as well as informative.

Presentations will take place in two sessions inside the RBR auditorium, at 10:40 am and again at 1 pm. Copies of The Song Each Bullet Sings are available at Amazon.com, and more on Matt Craw can be found at his official website.

RED BANK: MEAT AND TATERS IN THE LARDER

crockpotIt’s crockpot season, and the PieHole Larder spotted a meat-and-potatoes deal for this week.  (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

With holiday shopping and decorating for Christmas eating into PieHole‘s precious cooking time, we’re ready for some easy crockpot meals.

This week’s PieHole Larder – yes, this is the first you’re hearing about our new feature about unbeatable food bargains – brings you a pair of specials that go together like meat and potatoes.

Because, well, they are meat and potatoes.

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RED BANK: FIXX SETTLEMENT EXPECTED

fixx-ext-082411A tentative deal to settle allegations arising from recent melees has tentative agreement, the mayor says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fixx, the troubled Red Bank nightclub that was facing a license suspension hearing this week, has negotiated a tentative settlement with the borough, redbankgreen has learned.

Mayor Pasquale Menna confirmed on Monday that the deal has led to the cancellation of a trial-like hearing by the borough council that was scheduled for Tuesday evening.

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RED BANK: A DICEY CHAT ABOUT CHOWDA

chowda house 040513PieHole visits Red Bank’s Chowda House to get the chef’s take on New England versus Manhattan. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

PIEHOLE logoHow’s this for warming a cold, grey December day? Today, redbankgreen‘s PieHole food page tucks into two chowders at Red Bank’s eight-month-old chowderhouse, conveniently named the Chowda House.

We chat with chef Glenn Kovacs about what’s behind a decent made-from-scratch chowder, and ask the obvious question: red or white?

Follow the links to the stories, and check out PieHole’s Facebook page or follow its Twitter feed @RedBankPieHole for up-to-the-minute postings.

RUMSON CRASH INJURES TEEN

rumson crash 2rumson crash 1A 19-year-old man was in serious condition Sunday after an early-morning accident in which he drove his car through the foundation of a house “near Hance and Rumson roads” in Rumson, according to the Asbury Park Press. The newspaper reports borough police did not respond to requests for details. The uncredited photos are from the Monmouth County Police Fire & EMS Facebook page, which is not affiliated with any official agencies. (Click to enlarge)

Update, Monday, 10 a.m. from Rumson PD:

The Rumson Police Department is investigating a single car motor vehicle accident which occurred on Sunday, December 8, 2013 at approximately 3:45 am. The operator, Ethan Danzi age 18 of Rumson, was alone in the vehicle when it left the roadway and struck a home located near the intersection of Rumson Road and Hance Rd. in Rumson. Danzi was flown by helicopter to Jersey Shore Medical Center. Fire and EMS Units from the following towns responded and assisted: Rumson, Little Silver, Fair Haven, Sea Bright, Asbury Park, and MONOC. The following law enforcement agencies that assisted at the scene included: Little Silver, Fair Haven, and Monmouth County SCART. The investigation is being handled by Rumson Patrolman Daniel J. Campanella and Monmouth County SCART. Anyone with information is requested to  call the Rumson Police Department at 732-842-0500.

Police have no condition report on the victim, said Captain Jeff Nixon.

RBR’S BRUNSON IS NAMED AMBASSADOR

NSHSS Induction with Claus NobelRBR junior and VPA student Morgan Brunson, Tinton Falls, was recently inducted into the prestigious National Society of High School Scholars. She is pictured above with the organization’s founder and Chairman, Claus Nobel.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Red Bank Regional (RBR) Visual & Performing Arts’ (VPA) major Morgan Brunson of Tinton Falls is a young Renaissance woman.  She sings, dances, plays the flute, paints and takes challenging academic courses while maintaining honor roll.

No doubt these gifts, her extracurricular activities and community service earned her a rare invitation to join an elite group of students known as the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS).  She was recently inducted into the organization by its founder and Chairman, Claus Nobel, who sought to continue his famous family’s legacy of recognizing and rewarding outstanding achievement and inspiring the world’s youth.

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SHOOTING (HOOPS) FOR ELKS, IN RED BANK

Press release from Red Bank Elks

Elks believe that sporting activities for youngsters provide spirited competition, develop character, and help make new friendships.

So the Red Bank Elks Lodge is inviting the local area youth to our free basketball HoopShoot® contest, a free-throw competition, on Sunday December 22nd at 1:30pm at the Salvation Army gym on 180 Newman Springs Road, Red Bank.

The competition is open to boys and girls in three age categories: 8 to 9, 10 to 11, and 12 to 13 (ages as of April 1, 2014). Scoring is based on each contestant shooting 25 free throws.

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RED BANK POLICE BLOTTER

AUTHORITIES_RB2The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of November 28 to December 5, 2013. This information is unedited.

CRIMES:

Theft occurring on 12-1-13 at location of a gym on Maple Ave.  Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole his I Phone.  Ptl. Ashon Lovick.

Theft occurring at  West Front Street Marina on 12-2-13. Victim reported that unknown person(s) entered office and stole power cords, office chairs and various tools. Ptl. Nicholas Maletto.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 12-3-13 at Monmouth St. Victim reported that unknown person(s) broke out rear window of parked vehicle. Ptl. George Travostino.

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RED BANK: A CHAT ABOUT CHOWDA

chowda_house2Red Bank Chowda House chef Glenn Kovacs says good chowder is all about texture and consistency. And clams. Lots of clams. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

PIEHOLE logoWhen you name your restaurant the Chowda House, as Mary and Roy Jennings did when they opened the doors of their Red Bank seafood place earlier this year, it doesn’t matter how good anything else on the menu is: your clam chowder better be a cut above the usual out-of-can fare you’re likely to find at other restaurants.

PieHole checked in with the the Bridge Avenue eatery’s chef Glenn Kovacs to see what’s behind a decent made-from-scratch chowder, and to ask the obvious question: red or white?

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RED BANK: CINNAMON SNAIL PLAN SQUASHED

cinnamon snail 2 051213Red Bank has seen the last of the Cinnamon Snail, at least until next year’s Farmers’ Market at the Galleria, says mobile chef Adam Sobel. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Plans for a mobile food truck to set up in downtown Red Bank on Sundays through December have fallen apart as quickly as they came together.

Vegan chef and Cinnamon Snail owner Adam Sobel tells redbankgreen‘s PieHole that town officials threw up bureaucratic requirements Friday that would be impossible to satisfy in time for the truck to operate in the Monmouth Street parking lot of Teak restaurant, as planned.

An unidentified borough employee told a Snail employee that the truck would need a peddler’s permit, the type of license issued to roving ice-cream trucks, Sobel said Saturday afternoon.

“It seems bizarre that we would have to do that just to operate on a different piece of property,” Sobel said. “It’s silliness.”

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PIEHOLE: LEMONS, TUNA, SPICE AND WHISKEY

mcmahon vena 111413Already rocking the era-appropriate suspenders, Robb McMahon, with partner Heather Vena, is taking Murphy’s Tavern back in time. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

PIEHOLE logoIn case you missed it on redbankgreen‘s PieHole food page…

Murphy’s Tavern in Rumson is returning to its speakeasy roots, so to speak… easy.

• Howard Bernstein’s Spice & Tea Exchange expects to open in Red Bank late next week. Meantime, he’s sharing slightly-used lemons with the Cheese Cave next door.

• What’s For Lunch? How about a tuna sub from Elsie’s in Red Bank?

Follow the links to the stories, and check out PieHole’s Facebook page or follow its Twitter feed @RedBankPieHole for up-to-the-minute postings.

 

RED BANK: A ZESTY NEW NEIGHBOR

spice 2PieHole happened to be on the scene when Red Bank’s new sugar and spice purveyor came looking to give away some lemons leftover from a morning of zesting. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

While out foraging in downtown Red Bank earlier this week, PieHole happened upon a curious giveaway.

“We were dehydrating lemons this morning to make lemon zest,” says Howard Bernstein, carrying a hefty bag of skinned lemons, “and we have no use for the rest of the lemons.”

Bernstein tells PieHole he’s “just waiting on permits” to open his new shop, the Spice & Tea Exchange, on Monmouth Street. He hopes to be opened by Thursday of next week, and is prepping ingredients for the spice blends he’ll be selling.

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WEEKENDER: A NOT YET WINTER WONDERLAND

lennon 120513 4The 33rd anniversary of John Lennon’s death finds a traveling exhibit of the Beatle’s artwork camped out in Red Bank.

Friday, December 6:

RED BANK: In the midst of the holiday cheer, this weekend marks the 33rd anniversary of the murder of John Lennon — and it so happens that the traveling “pop-up gallery” exhibit titled “The Artwork of John Lennon” will be stationed in downtown Red Bank for the occasion. Featuring prints and some 100 pieces from the Lennon collection, the show parks it at 21 Broad Street (formerly Agostino Antiques) for three days beginning December 6. Take it here for a redbankgreen feature with complete schedule details and more.

SHREWSBURY: It’s a rare opportunity to get a close-up look at the buildings in the borough’s state and national designated “Four Corners” Historic District, as the Monmouth County Historical Association conducts Holiday Lantern Tours in the area of Broad Street and Sycamore Avenue. Tours commence at 6 pm and 8 pm, with reservations required ($15 adults; $8 ages 12 and under) available at (732) 742-1277. Christ Church will be serving up dinner (Moravian Chicken Pot Pie!) with seatings at 5 pm and 7 pm, for an additional $10.

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TREE LIGHTINGS TO LIGHT UP THE GREEN

sb-train-4-120512Tree lightings, such as the annual ceremony in Sea Bright, bring light therapy to the Green this weekend. Below, an archived favorite shot from the 2008 Westside tree lighting in Red Bank.

westside-tree-2008Tree lightings! We’ve got ’em, and in such quantities this weekend that you’d think they grew on trees.

Fair Haven kicks things off Friday evening with something old-school traditional — the 5:30 pm arrival of Santa Claus by firetruck, at Memorial Park (across River Road from Borough Hall), followed at 6 pm by the turn-on of the official tree, accompanied by live music from The Band of the Two Rivers. There’s also something new — a Holiday Stroll promotion in which “stores and businesses will be offering shopping, free food and beverages, attractions, and fun for kids throughout the River Road East business district” between the hours of 5 pm and 7:30.

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FIRST AIDERS WANTED, IN FAIR HAVEN

squad9The all-volunteer Fair Haven First Aid squad, members of which are pictured here performing an emergency procedure drill, has put out the call for men and women to join the ranks of the community first responders.

According to an alert circulated recently by the Fair Haven First Aid Squad, Getting an ambulance crew together during weekdays especially has gotten tough. Several of our members have retired and moved away; others have taken jobs outside of town.

The all-volunteer organization, a satellite unit of the Fair Haven Fire Company, is in particular need of “daytime members” — and it’s looking for men and women, 18 years of age or older, to join a crew that “respond(s) to roughly 500 calls each year, as well as supporting community events like Fair Haven Day and Harvest Fest.”

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