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RED BANK: WEDDING WALKERS BRAVE CHILL

rb wed walk 033014 5rb wed walk 033014 2Some 215 soon-to-be-married couples and their attendants endured a wet, chilly few hours Sunday for the latest edition Red Bank Wedding Walk, which puts the services of several dozen wedding vendors on display. A trolly and a hot beverage made the going a bit easier for one participant, above.

The event, the first since a Superior Court ruled last October that New Jersey must recognize same-sex marriage, attracted a number of same-sex couples, including a set of grooms-to-be who won one of the event’s prizes, according to officials at Red Bank RiverCenter, the organizer.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: Di SOMMA TRIES AGAIN

di somma 2 102413Sean Di Somma has paired up with electoral politics newcomer Brian Hanlon for his second council try. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Republican Sean Di Somma is going to try again.

A political novice who last year found himself accused of being a fugitive over a traffic ticket, Di Somma tells redbankgreen he’s running for council again this year.

He’s pairing up with Brian Hanlon to try to take out Democratic incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich in November’s election.

The Di Somma/Hanlon ticket, though, won’t have a mayoral candidate to oppose Mayor Pasquale Menna, who tells redbankgreen he’s going for a third four-year term.

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RFH: PREPPING FOR COLLEGE WITH CREPES

rfh_cooking_club (2)Seniors Leela Srinivasan, Meredith Apicella and Jackie Bruckmann  from Rumson-Fair Haven High School at a meeting of the new cooking club make crepes in the St. George’s kitchen in Rumson. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

The newest addition to Rumson-Fair Haven High School’s extracurricular club list might never have gotten off the ground were it not for a tray of burned pizza rolls.

“I was making pizza rolls,” senior Jackie Bruckmann tells PieHole. “I put them in the oven, and they burned so quickly I said to myself, ‘Oh my God. I’m going to college soon and I need to learn how to cook.’”

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RED BANK: POND CLEARED FOR TROUT SEASON

rb mohawk pond 033014 2rb mohawk pond 033014About a dozen members of Monmouth County sportsmen’s clubs turned out in a cold drizzle to clear debris and phragmites from Red Bank’s Mohawk Pond Sunday morning, in anticipation of this week’s annual restocking of the pond with trout by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Afterward, participants watched a pair of ospreys soar above the pond and a admired a blue heron, right, as it fed a the pond’s western edge. According to the state, the pond is slated to receive a total 960 rainbow and brown trout this season, which opens Saturday at 8 a.m. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

LATINO COMMUNITY URGED TO SHARE STORIES

RuizTanyaAlban(L-R): Director Jerry Ruiz and playwright Tanya Saracho (pictured with actor Carlo Albán during a past edition of the annual CROSSING BORDERS festival at Two River Theater) invite Red Bank’s Latino community to the first in a series of Storytelling Workshops on Saturday, April 26.

Press release from Two River Theater Company 

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has awarded Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, a generous $40,000 grant through the foundation’s Building Demand for the Arts program. The initiative, which launched last year, funds inventive partnerships that create new methods for reaching the public and developing their interest in and access to the performing arts.

Two River Theater will host a residency for Tanya Saracho (an award-winning playwright and writer on TV’s Girls, Looking, and Devious Maids) and director Jerry Ruiz (curator of Two River’s annual Crossing Borders festival of new Latino plays and free community programs) to build demand for theater among Latino audiences. Through the Duke residency, Saracho and Ruiz will create and lead storytelling workshops (utilizing both writing and multimedia) for Red Bank’s Latino community, bringing them into direct contact with the process of creating theater and allowing them to experience the art form as something that is vital and relevant to them. As a result of this project, Two River will commission Saracho to write a play that speaks directly to experiences and challenges that are specific to this community, which will be developed at the theater and directed by Ruiz.

Two River Theater invites Red Bank’s Latino community to participate in the first community workshop on Saturday, April 26, 2014. No experience is necessary to join. The workshops are open to all people who identify as Latino or Latina, regardless of national or ethnic background, and young people, women, and transgender people are especially encouraged to participate. Workshops will include opportunities for the participants to talk, share stories, and play games, using storytelling models devised by Saracho. In addition to the workshops, participants will be invited to events, shows, and programs at Two River throughout the year, all free and at no cost. For information, interested community members should call (732)936-8843.

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RED BANK: WALGREENS RETHINKS STORE PLAN

rassas 032214The former home of Rassas Buick, at Broad Street and Rumson Place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01Just six weeks after a series of contentious hearings won Walgreens an OK to build a store in Red Bank, the pharmacy chain is “reviewing [its] options” on the plan, redbankgreen has learned.

So says Aaron Rassas, the retired car dealer who owns the one-acre Broad Street site where Walgreens planned to build a 10,120 square foot drug-and-grocery emporium.

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PIEHOLE: SEEDS, SALADS, AND MORE BURGERS

trattoria 2PieHole checks out the $8.95 lunch special at Front St. Trattoria. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

redbankgreen’s PieHole is all about local food and drink. If you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet or followed us on Twitter, you may have missed some of these recent stories…

RUMSON CHARGES MAN WITH WEB STALKING

AUTHORITIES_RUMSON2-2014Rumson police charged a Wall Township man with online stalking of more than one borough resident Thursday.

Kevin Brennan, 44, was arrested on a warrant without incident at his home following a “lengthy” investigation to determine his identity and location, police said.

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WEEKEND: WEDDING WALK GETS SAME-SEXY

WeddingWalkMichael Warmington of Red Bank RiverCenter joins a team of Barbizon tour guides in welcoming guests to a past edition of the Red Bank Wedding Walk, which returns to town this Sunday. Wanda Sykes (below) brings her standup skills back to the Basie Friday night. 

Sykes-WandaRED BANK: When the Red Bank Wedding Walk returns to the blushing banks of the Navesink for its latest edition this Sunday, it’ll be a bigger/better-than-ever affair with an historic edge: it’s “encouraging same-sex couples to join us this year and explore all that Red Bank has to offer for the perfect wedding,” according to organizers at Red Bank RiverCenter.

Taking place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., the 2014 event sounds a call to “prospective brides, grooms, partners, their families and friends” to key into the borough’s “fun and funky vibe” as they visit over 40 wedding-related businesses — florists, gown and accessories retailers, bridesmaid and guest attire boutiques, photographers, wedding planners and designers, jewelers, salons and banquet facilities — many of which will be offering promotions, light refreshments and special amenities.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? TRATTORIA’S SALAD

trattoria 1One of our favorite plates of green around the Green: the chicken, broccoli and caramelized walnut salad at Front St. Trattoria. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumIt takes more than a wedge of iceberg lettuce and some ranch dressing to get PieHole excited about a salad.

Sure, anyone can pile on a few slices of grilled rib-eye to make a salad that’s worth eating. But that’s taking the easy way out.

Around the Green, we’ve had a couple of memorable salads that didn’t need to bring steak into the equation. The winter root vegetable salad that we once had at Dish Restaurant in Red Bank stands out because it’s a plate full of vegetables that you don’t often come across – paper thin celeriac and shaved fennel, anyone? – paired with a great citrus dressing.

The other is the excellent chicken, broccoli and caramelized walnut salad from Red Bank’s Front St. Trattoria.

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RED BANK: TRUSTEES PAN BOROUGH BUDGET

barbara withers 032714Barbara Withers, a resident of the Atrium at Navesink senior complex, implores the board to preserve a book-delivery service for its residents. Below, board president John Grandits, left, with Mayor Pasquale Menna outside the library meeting room. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

grandits menna 032714A plan by the Menna administration to rewrite the proposed Red Bank Public Library budget and undo the recent layoff of half its staff got a cold reception from the library trustees Thursday night.

One or two of the suggested changes, such as leaving the soon-to-be-vacated job of the library director unfunded, appear to be “illegal,” trustee Brigid McCarthy told a packed meeting of library supporters.

Still, Mayor Pasquale Menna, displaying obvious frustration with what he called “drama” surrounding the borough’s recommendations, said the standoff can and will be quickly resolved, even if he has to take unilateral action.

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CBI, HAZON OFFER FOOD FOR THOUGHT

nigel-savagePress release from Congregation B’nai Israel

There is a growing interest in the integration of Jewish traditions and values with education about food and the environment — and on Sunday, April 6,  Congregation B’nai Israel (CBI) in Rumson will host one of the most important thinkers on Judaism and the environment.

Nigel Savage, founder and Executive Director of Hazon, will lead a 9 am discussion about the relationship between Jewish texts and practices and the food we eat. Following his presentation, the audience will be invited to participate in small group discussions, facilitated by Savage, about the topic of sustainability as it relates to Judaism. Free and open to the public, the program will be followed by a kosher, organic, farm-to-table brunch.

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RED BANK: ONE LAST SURGE IN NATIVE BLUE?

rbpd clay vescio 032614
Newly elevated Captain Mike Clay, left, and Lieutenant Errico Vescio chat before being sworn to their new ranks Wednesday night. Below, Michael Frazee reciting the oath of lieutenant. Clay’s been on the squad since 1986; Vescio joined in 1999, and Frazee in 1996. Both Vescio and Frazee are Red Bank natives. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

michael frazee 032614Red Bank’s police department completed a “once-in-a-lifetime” makeover Wednesday night with a host of promotions and a pair of new hires.

A new captain – former Lieutenant Mike Clay – four new lieutenants and six new sergeants were sworn to their ranks at a packed borough council meeting. Chief Darren McConnell, who’s held his post for just three months, said the promotions were aimed at putting the future leadership of the department in place.

But the mass elevation also may signal the beginning of the end of a long tradition in American policing: homegrown cops.

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RED BANK: LIBRARY LAYOFFS MAY BE REVERSED

rbpl sale 2 020213The fate of jobs for three full-time librarians is still up in the air. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank officials said they are working toward a budget fix that might undo the layoff of half the staff at the borough library two weeks ago.

At Wednesday night’s borough council meeting, administrator Stanley Sickels said he and borough CFO Eugenia Poulos had developed an alternative to the library’s budget that might “maintain the full-time staff.”

Now, attention turns to the eight-member library board of trustees, which gathers Thursday night in what may be its best-attended meeting in history.

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RED BANK: STASH YIELDS MORE BUDS

rob bruce 101511Robert Bruce at a Glen Goldbaum fashion event in Red Bank in 2011. A regular on “Comic Book Men,” set at the Broad Street store below, he’s about to get his own show on AMC. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

comic book men 072712The Red Bank comic book juggernaut Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash continues to add to its amazing superpowers.

Comic Book Men,” an unscripted TV show about buying and selling comic books that’s based in the Broad Street store, has been picked up for a fourth season by the AMC network, according an entertainment industry report.

It’s also spawned a new show starring borough resident Robert Bruce, a regular on “Comic Book Men.” And it looks like progenitor-of-all-things-Stashian Kevin Smith will get one, too.

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RED BANK: PAIR SHOPLIFTS TWO CASES OF BUD

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of March 13 to March 27, 2014. This information is unedited.

CRIMES:
Theft occurring between 3-12-14 and 3-13-14 at Chapin Ave. Victim reported that unknown person(s) entered garage and stole wallet containing cash and credit cards from parked vehicle. Ptl. Shane Dengel.

Theft occurring at Newman Springs Road residence on 3-14-14. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole computer and a tablet. Ptl. John Camarca.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 3-14-14 at Harding Road. Victim reported that an unknown child threw rocks at her vehicle while traveling. Rocks dented hood and chipped windshield. Ptl. Paul Perez.

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CROWDSOURCED BAR BURGERS

burgerPieHole recaps some of the better bar burger suggestions from our readers. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumLast week’s What’s For Lunch featured the mighty Globe Burger. Our proposition that it may be the best burger in Red Bank naturally sparked some suggestions from PieHole readers about other great burgers on the Green.

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SEA BRIGHT: VOLUNTEERS START HOME REHABS

sb st bernard 1 032614Americorps volunteers painting the framework of Desiree Pierce’s home Wednesday to encapsulate any lingering mold. Below, Pierce and daughter, Gigi Burke, have been displaced from their home since Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sb gigi desiree 032614People who’ve never been through something like Hurricane Sandy don’t understand, says Gigi Burke.

“They don’t understand losing everything,” the 23-year-old Sea Bright resident said. “And then, they don’t understand the process and steps it takes to get back into your home.”

In the 500-plus days since Burke, her two siblings and their mother lost use of their New Street home to the surging Shrewsbury River and Atlantic Ocean, she’s heard “the question” from people who’ve temporarily put her up more than once.

“It was basically, ‘when are you leaving?’ but in a nice way,” she said Wednesday, amid of a flurry of rebuilding activity finally getting underway at her home.

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RBR LEADING YOU TO ’42nd STREET’

42ndStAAt center of photo, Red Bank Regional VPA dance major Bobby Davis portrays Billy, and Eliana Swartz is Peggy, in rehearsals for the RBR musical production of 42nd STREET. 

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

The Red Bank Regional High School Theatre Company invites the public to “come and meet those dancing feet” when they present the iconic “backstage” musical 42nd Street, with 7 pm performances on Thursday, April 3, Friday, April 4, and Saturday, April 5. There will also be a special matinee performance on Sunday, April 6 at 3 pm.

In the Broadway hit adapted from the Depression-era movie musical of the same name (and incorporating songs from other vintage Busby Berkeley films of that era), the dictatorial director Julian March will be portrayed by Justin Giegerich of Brielle. Eliana Swartz of Little Silver portrays Broadway newcomer Peggy Sawyer, and RBR dance major Bobby Davis of Shrewsbury is a show-stomping Billy Lawlor, with Dana Brown of Red Bank as the veteran Broadway star Dorothy Brock. The RBR chorus and dancers round out a cast of three dozen performers in a high-energy production of the popular David Merrick staging, featuring original choreography by Gower Champion.

Tickets ($15 for adults; $10 for students and senior citizens) may be purchased at the door or reserved ahead for large groups by calling (732)842-8000, ext. 217. Click READ MORE for a full cast listing.

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LITTLE SILVER: TIME FOR SPRING GREENS

sickles_garden (1)PieHole catches up with Fran Huber of Sickles Market and learns there’s plenty we can be doing with our gardens right now. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Like many gardeners around The Green, PieHole is just itching to watch our vegetable garden come back to life with tasty spring greens.  A nice plate of lightly-dressed spinach and baby lettuce makes a delicious backdrop for sliced steak off the grill and it’s one of the things we look forward to each spring.

We checked in with Fran Huber in the Sickles Market greenhouse in Little Silver to see what we could be doing this week with our vegetable gardens while we wait for winter to exit the stage.

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CHURN: CIAO, BIAGIO, CESAR & WOULD-BE BBQ

rb 12 broad 032514Biagio Wood-Fired Pizza has departed 12 Broad Street after less than a year and a half in town. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508This edition of Retail Churn reports on the departures from downtown Red Bank of two businesses and the cold feet of one that never opened: a pizzeria, a jewelry store and a barbecue joint, respectively.

Gone, quite abruptly, is Biagio Wood-Fired Pizza. Going, once its home of 21 years is sold, is Cesar’s Creations Jewelry. And never seen was the highly-lauded Local Smoke BBQ, which bailed over the expected costs and delays of setting up downtown.

All three involve Broad Street addresses. We’ve also got news about new boutique coming to Monmouth Street.

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RED BANK: OUTSIDE THE STORM TRACK

rb brine 032514 Brine tracks laid down Tuesday in Red Bank’s Marine Park in preparation for a possible big storm turned out to be an unneeded precaution. The storm blew past most of New Jersey early Wednesday en route to eastern Canada, where residents were bracing for the biggest blizzard in a decade. On the Green, residents woke to find their cars covered in white, but the streets and sidewalks clear of snow. (Click to enlarge)

A DIALOGUE ON THE POPES AND THE JEWS

carol_rittnerPress release from Congregation B’nai Israel

Jewish-Catholic relations, from Pope John XXIII to Pope Francis I, will be the topic on Wednesday, April 2, when Congregation B’nai Israel (CBI) in Rumson hosts guest speaker Dr. Carol Rittner, a Catholic nun and a Distinguished Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

The 7 pm lecture, which is co-sponsored by CBI, the Church of the Nativity of Fair Haven (Nativity) and the Center for Holocaust Human Rights & Genocide Education (CHHANGE) in Lincroft, will include comments from Reverend Robert J.W. Schecker, Pastor of Nativity, and Rabbi Jeff Sultar, spiritual leader of CBI.

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