RED BANK: SCULPTURE TO TOP GALLERY

wanderlust 072114 1Sergio Furnari’s sculpted rendering of the 1932 photo, below, will be installed outside the Wanderlust Gallery, which will also be decorated with murals. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

lunch beamThe owner of new art gallery approved by Red Bank officials Monday night plans to feature a sculpture based on one of 20th-century America’s most iconic photographs on its exterior.

Sergio Furnari’s “Lunchtime on a Skyscraper – A Tribute to America’s Heroes,” will sit atop a parapet at the rear of the Clay Street building, says Wanderlust Gallery owner Ken Schwartz, who also plans to add mad dashes of color in the form of murals to brighten up a drab stretch of garages and parking lots.

“I didn’t look at this as signage,” Schwartz told the planning board, which unanimously granted him variances for murals he plans to have painted on the long-vacant warehouse. “I look at it as the building itself being a piece of artwork.”

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RBR GRAD WINS CLARINET CONTEST

OklahomaRed Bank Regional 2014 graduate Matthew Rosen recently returned from Oklahoma as the winner of the prestigious National Clarinet Competition at the University of Oklahoma.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Matt Rosen, who graduated from Red Bank Regional High School in June, continues to soar to new heights as a concert clarinetist. Last month, he traveled to the University of Oklahoma to compete in the National Young Artist Competition as one of five finalists from around the US. He was humbled — and yet ecstatic — to be judged the winner of that competition.

Before an audience that included professional musicians and music educators from around the country, Matt was given the opportunity to play the world premiere performance of a piece written specifically for the competition. As a first place winner, he also received a new clarinet, many clarinet accessories, and a cash prize.

Matt, who plays the bass clarinet and saxophone in addition to the Bb clarinet, will continue to perform throughout the summer; traveling to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to play in the International Clarinet Association Festival, and upstate New York for the New York Summer Music Festival.  He will also attend a week-long chamber group program at Rutgers University. By the end of the summer, he heads off to the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, in Rochester, NY. There he will study music performance with a concentration in clarinet, to achieve his career goal of becoming a musician in a professional orchestra.

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RED BANK: LIGHTHEARTED PSYCHIC AT BASIE

Maureen_Hancock“Medium Next Door” Maureen Hancock makes her Count Basie Theatre debut Thursday night.

You needn’t possess a sixth sense, second sight, or psychic gift to divine that live appearances by the breed of professionals known as Spirit Mediums are among the most consistently popular offerings booked into the Count Basie Theatre.

As the Basie’s veep of operations Izzy Sackowitz notes, the venue has historically done well with such personalities as John “Crossing Over” Edward, Lisa “Voices from the Other Side” Williams and Theresa “Long Island Medium” Caputo — figures who’ve ditched the magic-shop turbans and crystal balls in favor of a conversational style that “establishes a real rapport with the audience,” he says. “There’s a sense that these people come from very ordinary backgrounds, and they share something in common with the viewer.”

On Thursday, the Basie stage hosts the local debut of Maureen Hancock, the self-styled “internationally renowned Spirit Medium, intuitive, teacher, lecturer, Holistic Healer, and author of the bestselling book, The Medium Next Door: Adventures of a Real-Life Ghost Whisperer.”

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RBR HOSTS SIXTH ANNUAL GIRLS’ B-BALL CAMP

Bball_irBeginning Tuesday, July 29 and continuing through Thursday, July 31, Red Bank Regional High School will host its sixth annual Maroon and White Team Girls’ Basketball Camp. As many as 200 athletes, representing over 15 high schools, will take part in the competitive sporting event, which  also functions as a showcase for east coast colleges.  Participating teams are primarily from Monmouth County but also include representation from all over New Jersey, including the state Tournament of Champions winner Shabazz High School in Newark.

According to RBR girls’ basketball coach and Maroon and White camp operator James Young, “The camp offers a great opportunity for high school players to develop and practice their skills over the summer in a competitive environment. It continues to grow in popularity, with the same schools returning each year.

“With the advantage of being one of the only NCAA certified events in the region, students also get exposure for college play and scholarship opportunities,” Young continued. “Over 75 coaches representing over 50 Division I, II and III colleges return every year because they like the format and structure.”

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RED BANK: DINER TO REOPEN AS TOAST

  bway diner 072114 1“Sorry, closed” is all sign in the door tells patrons of the Broadway Diner, where some 40 workers were shocked to learn they’d lost their jobs Monday. Below, workers emptying out the kitchen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD & SUSAN ERICSON

bway diner 072114 2Red Bank’s Broadway Diner, which closed abruptly Monday morning, will reopen as Toast Red Bank, according to a report in the Asbury Park Sun.

Following renovations, a reopening is expected in about about eight weeks, the Sun reported, quoting Amy Russo, Toast’s founder and the daughter of one of the diner’s owners.

Russo could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon, and an employee at her Asbury Park restaurant said she would probably not comment.

But the sudden closing in Red Bank stunned customers and employees alike.

“I just found out half an hour ago that I don’t have a job anymore,” an employee told a customer who had asked what she’d do now. “Can you imagine?”
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RED BANK: DINER POURS FINAL CUP

Broadway DinerThe diner will reopen as a new restaurant, an owner says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s Broadway Diner, a gleaming all-night mecca of stainless steel, Formica and neon, has closed.

The Monmouth Street eatery ended an 18-year run owning to the death of one of its owners, Bob Russo, and a restructuring of the business.

By coincidence, Mayor Pasquale Menna and new borough school Superintendent Jared Rumage were the last customers, Menna told redbankgreen.

“We had the last cups of coffee,” he said.

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RED BANK: GALLERY PLAN GETS AIRING

24 clay 061714 324 clay st 071814 1On the agenda for Monday night’s meeting of the Red Bank Planning Board: a proposal to convert the warehouse at 24 Clay Street into an art gallery. Variances are needed for parking and signage. The board meets at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at 90 Monmouth Street. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: SUV WITH $1K INSIDE STOLEN

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of July 10 to July 17, 2014. This information is unedited.

CRIMES

Criminal Mischief occurring at Maple Ave. on 7-11-14. Report of electrical panel cover destroyed by unknown subject(s). Ptl. David Smith

Auto Theft occurring between 7-10-14 and 7-11-14 at Wallace St. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole vehicle described as Chevrolet Suburban 2013. Inside vehicle was $1,000.00 in cash contained in bank envelope. Ptl. Kristin Altimari.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 7-12-14 at Catherine St. Victim reported that unknown person(s) punctured tire on parked vehicle. Ptl. David Smith

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SEA BRIGHT: POSTCARD READY TO BE SIGNED

sb mural 072014 6 jim kovic 072014Artist Jim Kovic, right, puts the finishing touches Sunday on the retro-postcard-style mural he painted on a building at Ocean Avenue and Peninsula Avenue in Sea Bright. On Tuesday, he’s planning to sign the work and host visitors from Benjamin Moore Paints, which supplied the paint both for the mural and the downtown makeover that it caps off.

Click the “Read More” to see details of the mural. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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SANDY HOOK: A HAVEN FROM WIND AND TIDE

the-havenThe Haven takes it to the Hook Wednesday evening as part of a freebie triple-header bill of bands on the beach.

While the Sandy Hook peninsula has soldiered on through the worst that time and tide have to offer, sometimes you just have to pull the plug on those electrified events — as with the short-notice cancellation of the Brian Kirk and the Jirks concert originally scheduled for July 9. But when the elements align, there are few summer music presentations that can compete with the free Beach Concert Series hosted by The Sandy Hook Foundation at Beach Area E — and this Wednesday, the producers have lined up a special bill that offers three times the bands, as well as an extra 30 minutes of music.
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LUNCH BREAK TAKES IT DOWNTOWN FOR GALA

DrLarryRetired Ranney School headmaster Dr. Lawrence Sykoff, Ed.D. — seen at right jamming with Tim McLoone and Holiday Express — leads his band, the Docs of Rock, to the Downtown for a fall fundraiser supporting Lunch Break of Red Bank.

Press release from Lunch Break of Red Bank

To kick off its October 20 fundraising Gala — and to celebrate more than 31 years of dedicated service to the community — Lunch Break is having a party at the Downtown, and everyone’s invited.

Scheduled for 7 to 10 pm on the evening of August 10, the event will feature live entertainment by the Docs of Rock, founded by Dr. Larry Sykoff, Ed.D. (Ranney School Headmaster Emeritus, Senior Consultant). Guitarist Sykoff is joined by keyboard player Scott Woska, M.D., (Interventional Pain Management); vocalist-veterinary dentist Kristin Scott, D.V.M.; drummer and dermatologist Ken Grossman, M.D., and bass player/ orthopedic surgeon David Lessing, M.D.

It’s a serious night of fun for Lunch Break, the borough-based nonprofit whose executive director Gwen Love said, “Many people think Lunch Break is just a soup kitchen, but we are so much more.”

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? WINDMILL DOGS

windmill dog 070314The dog and truly artful fries at the Windmill. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumMid-July in Jersey. Is there another time-and-place combo that shouts “hot dog” more loudly?

A sweat-soaked, wiener-wanting PieHole took it over to the Windmill on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank for lunch recently, and the place was jumping.

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RUMSON: MEET YOU UPSTAIRS

rumson dormer 07011420 ave of two 071614 2In one of the more unusual post-Sandy renovation jobs, the Rumson home of David and Trish Docherty has the lower floors finally re-meeting the dormers, which were been suspended in above the Avenue of Two Rivers lot for several months.

“I don’t want to be around if there’s another hurricane,” a neighbor told redbankgreen during the interim. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: BON JOVI DONATION MISUSED?

murphy-plansRead Murphy in 2011. below, the fire and first aid squads were displaced from their home, which was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. (Photo above by Dustin Racioppi. Click to enlarge)

sb fire house 040114The use of a $119,000 donation by pop star Bon Jovi for a new ambulance in Sea Bright has raised questions, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Nearly two years after Hurricane Sandy destroyed one first aid squad ambulance and damaged another, “some in Sea Bright question how Bon Jovi’s generous donation — originally intended to purchase a new ambulance — instead was used to refurbish an old ambulance and buy a SUV that is used almost exclusively by Sea Bright’s part-time emergency management coordinator,” the Press reports.

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LINCROFT: A SEEGER SESSION, AMONG FRIENDS

Jim_Scott_Pete_SeegerSinger, songwriter and guitarist Jim Scott —seen at right accompanying his friend, the late Pete Seeger — hosts a singalong tribute to the late folk music master Saturday evening at the Unitarian Meeting House.

He counted among his friends and admirers a certain homegrown recording artist whose farmhouse Sessions helped spread the folk gospel chapter and verse to more than one new generation of fans. He was guest of honor at the annual music festival hosted by New Jersey Friends of Clearwater, the Red Bank-based nonprofit inspired by the man’s vanguard work on and around the Hudson River. And when Pete Seeger passed away earlier this year at the age of 94, he left this world not as the larger-than-life icon you’d expect him to have become, but as an extended family member and neighbor who touched the lives of millions.

Among those affected by the folk music master’s time on Earth was Jim Scott — a singer, songwriter, guitarist and collaborator who Seeger himself referred to as “some kind of magician.” A former member of the Paul Winter Consort (he co-wrote their “Missa Gaia/Earth Mass” and sang their anthem song “Common Ground”), and the editor of the anthology Earth and Spirit Songbook,  the recording artist and educator comes to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County in a special “songs and stories” tribute to Seeger that takes place this Saturday night at 7 pm.

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FAIR HAVEN: GARDENERS SHARE HARVEST

071214 FH garden SkoeMaster gardener Cindy Skoe in the Fair Haven Community Garden. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

070614 FH garden signAmong the plots in Fair Haven’s community garden is an area with two small signs. One reads “UMW,” and  the other declares that Master Gardeners worked here.

The UMW stands for United Methodist Women, from United Methodist Church on Broad Street in Red Bank. The master gardener is UMW member Cindy Skoe, who along with five other gardeners from the group, is growing vegetables with the intent of sharing half the bounty with Lunch Break in Red Bank.

“They have a program on Tuesdays to drop off produce.” Skoe said, adding, “They are very excited to get whatever one can bring.”

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RED BANK: WREMBEL BY THE RIVER

Stephen-Wrembel(1)

French-born “Gypsy Jazz” guitarist Stephane Wrembel is the star of this week’s edition of Summer Jazz Cafe, Friday and Saturday at Two River Theater.

The comparisons to the legendary gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt are pretty well irresistible — after all, we’re dealing here with a European-born guitarist trained in the Gypsy campsite tradition around the French countryside. And then there’s the association with the City of Lights; a love affair that culminated in his recording of the theme for Woody Allen’s hit film Midnight in Paris.

Ask Joe Muccioli, however, and the artistic director of Red Bank’s Jazz Arts Project will tell you that Stephane Wrembel possesses a style all his own; a self-described “Impressionism approach” that finds the Belgian-born (and Brooklyn-based) composer cooking with regional ingredients that range from flamenco fury to guitar-god classic rock. Gigging in support of the recent release Dreamers of Dreams, Wrembel comes to the “black box” space at Two River Theater for a two-night stand this Friday and Saturday, July 18 and 19 — the latest in the 2014 slate of Summer Jazz Cafe events.

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RED BANK: LANDFILL PARK STILL YEARS OFF

ballard 071614Engineer Christine Ballard, above, discusses sampling for toxic substances at the former landfill site. One result of the tests: new warning signs, below. (Above photo by John T. Ward; photo below by Brian Donohue. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb crab sign 071514Red Bank is on track with testing for toxic substances at its former landfill and incinerator, but the painstaking process is unlikely to yield new parkland within the next five years, the town’s engineer said Wednesday.

Meantime, one immediate upshot of tests at the 8.6-acre West Side site: new warnings about eating fish and crabs caught from the adjoining Swimming River.

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RED BANK: TWO RIVER TIMES SOLD

Domenic DiPiero 062714New Two River Times owner Domenic DiPiero watching the fireworks show he hosted for Riverview Medical Center at his mother’s home in Locust last month. Mickey Gooch, below with state Senator Joe Kyrillos, was also there. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

gooch 062714 1The Two River Times, a Red Bank-based broadsheet newspaper with a taste for photos of the moneyed set at society balls, has a new owner.

Domenic DiPiero, president of a borough-based retirement-plan consultancy, has acquired the 24-year-old weekly, the TRT reported in a brief article in the latest edition.

The seller was Mickey Gooch, who with his now ex-wife, Diane, acquired the paper from garrulous television personality Geraldo Rivera a decade ago.

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RED BANK: MAN STABBED

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014A man was stabbed on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank Wednesday night, according to a report by the Asbury Park Press website.

Police Chief Darren McConnell told the newspaper that the victim, who was not identified, was taken by MONOC ambulance to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

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RED BANK: A WALK ON THE WINE SIDE

061914 RB dining al frescoNearly 30 Red Bank restaurants, shops and eateries — including  the Front St. Trattoria, above— will participate in a new summer schedule of Food and Wine Walk events, set to launch this Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

Between the weekend barbecues, the riverside food fests and the many open-air opportunities for grabbing a bite, it can be a bit difficult to digest all the options available to the free-ranging foodie here in the good old summertime.

If Red Bank Rivercenter and Red Bank Flavour have their way, however, we’ll all just be expected to Walk It Off  — and to let our legs and wheels carry us about the borough’s sidewalks and storefronts, for the first in a new monthly round of Food and Wine Walk events.

A self-guided tasting tour that takes in more than two dozen restaurants, specialty shops, taverns and eateries, the inaugural walk runs from 2 to 6 pm this Sunday, with a strolling smorgasbord of wares and fare, from fine wines and eclectic desserts to tapas, sushi and more.

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RED BANK: SEND IN THE COLLINS

bohoGrammy-winning Renaissance woman Judy Collins returns to Two River Theater in a Friday concert presented by MusicWorks.

She’s made her mark in so many places over the course of some 50 years — as a novelist, children’s book publisher, record label exec, Oscar-nominated filmmaker and spokesperson for mental health/ suicide prevention issues — that to brand her a “singer-songwriter” is akin to calling Superstorm Sandy a “post-tropical cyclone.”

While her own compositions have included a tribute to her father and a one to Che Guevara, it’s as an interpreter (more like owner) of other people’s songs — be it Joni (“Both Sides Now”), Dylan (“Mr. Tambourine Man”), Leonard (“Bird on a Wire”), Lennon-McCartney (“In My Life”), Sondheim (“Send In the Clowns”) or Sunday school (“Amazing Grace”) — that Judy Collins has staked her place in the Village coffeehouses and canyon patios of pop music heaven.

Graced with a voice that hasn’t faltered at the age of 75 — and with an activist edge that hasn’t dulled since her association with Abby Hoffman and the Yippies — Collins returns to the main auditorium of Two River Theater this Friday, July 18, for the latest in what’s shaping up to be a string of regular visits to Red Bank.

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RED BANK: ANOTHER PHARMACY PLANNED

39 e front 071514The owner of 39 East Front Street says he’ll replace what he admits is the “ugliest” facade on the block with the conversion to retail. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallAre prescription drugs and shampoos displacing pizza, frozen yogurt and cupcakes as the hot new thing in downtown Red Bank?

A new pharmacy and convenience store has filed plans to open on East Front Street near Riverview Medical Center, even as two other drugstores – a giant Walgreens and an independent – move ahead elsewhere on the East Side.

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HAND IN HAND DINNER DRAWS A FULL HOUSE

katz rechnitzGuest of honor Harvey Katz joined Two River Theater founders Joan and Robert Rechnitz, Rabbi Laibel Schapiro, and Chani Schapiro during last week’s tribute dinner for the community nonprofit Hand in Hand.

Press release from Belfer Communications

On Thursday, June 10th, more than 400 people gathered to honor the teen volunteers of Hand in Hand, a community outreach organization that extends a helping hand to special needs children and their families.

The sold-out tribute event at Red Bank’s Two River Theater also honored Phyllis and Harvey Katz of Long Branch. and Louisa and Marc Liechtung of Wayside. New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno commended the volunteers for making the world a better place through selfless dedication to their community.

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