RED BANK: SIGN CRACKDOWN SPARKS IRE

RB signs 061214 1Neon signs in store windows at the City Centre strip mall on White Street. Cluck U Chicken, above left, got a warning, but Psychic Advisor Gina on Monmouth Street, below, did not, according to borough records. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb neon 061714A recent crackdown on neon and other illuminated signs that lit up the business community with outrage prompted Red Bank officials to pull the plug on enforcement Wednesday night.

The blitz came to light at the bimonthly meeting of the mayor and council, when Councilman Mike DuPont said he had been besieged with complaints by merchants and restaurateurs over warning letters for signs some of them have had in their windows for decades.

“Many of the restaurants I visited complained bitterly,” said DuPont. “I heard all about it.”

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RED BANK: GREASE IS THE VERB

greaseMaggie Bera and Phil Mazzara co-star in the Phoenix Productions staging of GREASE, going up this weekend at the Count Basie Theatre.

Born in the nostalgia craze of the post-hippie era; brought to the screen during the waning days of disco, Grease the musical gives the people what they want: the 1972 smash that became one of the longest-running hits in Broadway history, fuel-injected with some of the best-remembered songs from the 1978 film. When borough-based Phoenix Productions greases the boards of the Count Basie Theatre for the next two weekends, they’ll be showcasing an energetic young cast in a slick vehicle that’s made to order as a summertime offering from the borough-based troupe. A lot more family-friendly (and a lot less Chicago-specific) than its original stage incarnation, the timeless tale of new-girl-in-town Sandy Dumbrowski (Maggie Bera) and greaser kingpin Danny Zuko (Phil Mazzara) promises to get the customary Phoenix treatment, as the company takes full advantage of the Basie’s scale and star-power for a tunefest that includes “You’re the One That I Want,” “Greased Lightning,” “Summer Nights,” and “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” Ian Laudano (Kenickie) and Jennifer Townsend (Rizzo) head up a supporting cast of Pink Ladies and Greasers in the production that opens Friday, July 11 and continues through July 20.

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RED BANK: SALES SOARING FOR DRONES

Alan Placer of Hobbymasters gives a quick demo of drone flying. Below, a matchbox-sized drone without a camera. (Photo and video by John T. Ward. Click photo to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb drone 070814 2By now, perhaps, you’ve seen the spectacular video shot from within the East River Fourth of July fireworks by a small, remote-controlled helicopter. Or the lovely one of the boardwalk in Ocean Grove and Asbury Park, as seen from a gentle distance above.

Less likely, you’ve seen aerial footage of roof inspections. But Red Bank’s Hobbymasters store is having trouble keeping up with demand for drones from real estate agents and roofers, as well as artists and his customary clientele of hobbyists, he tells redbankgreen.

“They’re outselling remote-controlled planes and cars combined,” he said.

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SEA BRIGHT: CATCHING THE BIG ONE AT YUMI

070614 yumi sb rollThe fresh and aptly named Sea Bright roll at Yumi (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

morsels smallA horde of moviegoers filled the public beach in Sea Bright with assorted lawn chairs and blankets Sunday night. The occasion: the annual Shore Flicks showing of “Jaws,” which was rained out last year.

Keeping in the theme of the evening, dinner before the movie had to be seafood at Yumi on Ocean Avenue.

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RFH CLUB EMPOWERED IN FIRST YEAR

RFH clubFrom left: officers Hope Haywood Alexandra Siwulec, Shoshana Swell, and Sarah Turi celebrate the success of the Global Women Empowerment Club during its inaugural year at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

The Global Women Empowerment club at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School enjoyed a highly successful inaugural year,  with many activities and fundraising events benefitting the cause of improving the lives of women around the globe. The organization, founded by rising seniors Hope Haywood and Alexandra Siwulec, along with Social Studies teacher Christie Ferraris, raised over $3,700 in the course of its first year at RFH.

The group’s most recent fundraising event was an infant-themed candy and baked goods sale which raised over $650 for the Eastern Social Welfare Society (ESWS). The ESWS is dedicated to the welfare of orphans and single mothers in South Korea, and with the funds raised, the RFH club was able to become a permanent sponsor of South Korean orphan. To further the group’s  awareness of issues affecting women living in South Korea, Alexandra Siwulec invited Monmouth County resident Eleanor Falcichio to speak with the members of Global Women Empowerment.  She told the RFH students about her experience in adopting through ESWS, and addressed the social stigma surrounding single motherhood and adoption in South Korea.

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FAIR HAVEN: TWO NOVELISTS, NO WAITING

GaylinAbbottAuthors Alison Gaylin (left) and Megan Abbott top the summer reading list, with a dual in-store appearance at River Road Books this Thursday.

Don’t look now, but some buzzed-about authors walk among us — and sometimes they travel in packs, for appearances at libraries, stores and colleges. On Thursday, July 10, River Road Books hosts another in a “summer reading list” series of special in-store events, when the Fair Haven indie shop welcomes a pair of young novelists who have been getting noticed in all the right places.

An expert on (and in) the mean-streets genre of hardboiled/noir crime fiction, Megan Abbott is the Edgar award winning author of Dare Me (a “Heathers meets Fight Club” story that’s still being talked up as a movie vehicle for Natalie Portman) and The Fever — a just-published thriller of mysterious epidemics and small-town secrets that’s been branded one of the Best Books of Summer by the New York Times.

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RED BANK: INCINERATOR SITE TO GET… WHAT?

rb landfill 070714The former landfill on West Sunset Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03After years of environmental remediation, Red Bank’s former landfill is expected to move forward toward conversion to a park beginning this month.

But what’s proposed for the West Sunset Avenue site? Even Mayor Pasquale Menna says he doesn’t yet know.

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RUMSON: EDGEWOOD HOME PLAN NIXED

 rumson pb 070714A proposal to subdivide the property at 9 Edgewood Place, below, drew nearly two dozen opponents Monday night.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

9 edgewood 070714After three long hearings packed with opponents, a proposal to combine and re-subdivide three Rumson lots for two new homes met unanimous rejection by the planing board Monday night.

At three-quarters of an acre each, the two new building lots, fronting on Edgewood Road, would be nearly identical in area to properties a block away, in the same zone, on Circle Drive.

But citing what several called the unique character of the neighborhood, opponents said the new lots would appear squeezed in on Edgewood, where the homes are so far apart that, one woman testified, children won’t go door-to-door on Halloween because it makes for inefficient trick-or-treating.

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MIDDLETOWN: COP STRUCK IN HIT-AND-RUN

AUTHORITIES_MTOWN2-2014A Middletown cop suffered a hand injury in a hit-and-run while he directed traffic on Route 35 Monday morning, police reported.

Patrolman Thomas Hughes was treated and released from Riverview Medical Center following the accident, which occurred at about 11:08 a.m. at the intersection of Pine Street following a traffic light outage, according to a department news release.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? INBETWEEN BREAKFAST

062014inbetweenThe Inbetween aces the hollandaise sauce on the Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

062014inbetween2Sharing a table at Red Bank’s Inbetween Café is par for the course. This little luncheonette is much too busy to stand on ceremony, and even if you do manage to nab a table, unless there are six in your party, a stranger is likely to sit down right next to you.

Such is the happy situation we found ourselves in on our latest visit to this English Plaza institution. The two young strangers sitting at the table with us were familiar, and yet, I couldn’t place them.

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SHREWSBURY: ‘BOARDWALK’ TO BROAD STREET

NINEtheatricalsThey’re dressed in the photo for a holiday-season presentation, but the troupers of NINE Theatricals have a summertime treat in store, when they bring their original BOARDWALK PLAYS to the county library’s Eastern Branch on Wednesday.

There’s the self-styled doctor who dispenses “Cheap Therapy” to anyone who will listen, on the Ocean City boardwalk. The old friends whose rollercoaster relationship plays out “Under the Elephant” in Margate. And those “Surf City All Stars,” in which audience members are called upon to judge the hopefuls competing in a Long Beach Island talent show. They’re all part of The Boardwalk Plays, a trio of one-acts set in some familiar Jersey locales — and heading up the shore to the Monmouth County Library Eastern Branch on Wednesday evening.

Scripted by Ed Shakespeare (no relation) and Linda Turash, the program is the work of NINE Theatricals, a Shore-based troupe that tours libraries and senior facilities with a repertory of original comedy presentations that include a takeoff on Judge Judy and a program of highlights from the old Carol Burnett Show. With Boardwalk Plays, the folks from NINE will be bringing a new property before the local audience for an intimate performance that begins at 7 pm.

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CLIPPINGS: HOTELIER WITH A VIEW

Kevin Barry, operations manager of the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank, gets the once-over from Clippings on June 26, 2014 as he looks out onto the Navesink River from the hotel patio. (Video by Gerda Liebmann. Click to pause.)

Check out all the Clippings from the Green here.

Gerda Liebmann bio

RED BANK CRIME & ARREST REPORTS

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of June 26 to July 3, 2014. This information is unedited.

CRIMES:

Criminal Mischief between 6-19-14 and 6-21-14 at West Front St.—Apartment house. Unknown actor(s) struck the common front door to apartment building causing glass to crack. Ptl. Garrett Falco.

Theft occurring 6-26-14 at Maple Ave. YMCA. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole an I phone from locker. Ptl. Garrett Falco.

Theft occurring in the Wallace Street parking lot between 6-27-14 and 6-28-14. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole a white Coach pocketbook, which contained cash, credit cards, etc. from inside of parked vehicle. Lt. Robert Clayton.

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BUC BACKERS BORN IN PARENT GROUP MERGE

RBRrbucbackerunificationgroupLeft to right, members of the new Buc Backer Foundation include Judy Bonanno, Ilene Reynolds, acting president Paul Noglows, Cathy Reardon, and Rhea Goldsmith.

The RBR Buc Backer Foundation announced its formation as a new non-profit entity dedicated to supporting Red Bank Regional High School. The new “Buc Backer” Foundation is the result of the merger of four existing RBR support groups, including the Parent Teacher Organization, the Education Foundation, the Booster Club, and the Visual and Performing Arts Parent Group.

“We realized that by combining our efforts, we could have a greater positive impact,” said Paul Noglows, acting president of the new group.

The Buc Backer Foundation is dedicated to supporting and enhancing the whole high school experience for all students. The group is primarily made up of parent volunteers all of whom are united for excellence, opportunity and cooperation at RBR.

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MIDDLETOWN: LOST IN AUSTENLAND

Persuasion 1995 screencaptureCiaran Hinds and Amanda Root star in the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of PERSUASION, one of four Jane Austen-themed films screening Mondays in July at Middletown Library.

Nothing says “summertime” like the stifling manor homes and constricting social mores of Regency era, country-life England. But the classic romantic novels of Jane Austen — dating as they do from an interlude when ladies temporary lost those whalebone corsets — have perennially been a breath of fresh air on summer reading lists, so it’s only proper that Middletown Township Public Library dedicates the Movie Monday month of July to a slate of films adapted from (or otherwise inspired by) the increasingly popular author whose 240th birthday will be marked next year.

It’s a schedule that begins on the afternoon of July 7, when MTPL hosts a screening of Persuasion, the 1995 BBC production of Austen’s posthumously published final completed work. Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds star in the made-for-BBC production, a feature that was noticed for its somewhat grittier, more realistic take on the “prettier” Austen adaptations in circulation around that same time. The film unspools at 2:30 pm inside the climate controlled Community Room, where the rest of the Monday series follows in short order.

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RED BANK: HOT TATERS AND COOL BERRIES

tower-hill-Liberty-

First Presbyterian Church on Tower Hill is the setting for the annual Liberty Extravaganza on Sunday, capping an evening of strawberries and dixieland on the patio. 

Up at Tower Hill Church — a local landmark whose musically minded ministry and town-topping perch make it seem that much closer to heaven — the celebrated Concert Series isn’t always about oratorios, chamber pieces or modern choral compositions. On Independence Weekend, there’s plenty of room for crowdpleasing corn-on-the-cob from the likes of George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin and more, when the Liberty Extravaganza makes its 26th annual stand in a burst of red, white and blue.

Going up this Sunday, July 6, the event centers around the traditional concert of all-American patriotic marches, gospel hymns and popular singalong songs, performed by singers from First Presbyterian Church and the greater Red Bank community, joined by vocal soloists and a brass ensemble. A salute to the armed forces pays tribute to the men and women who have served the nation in uniform, and the evening concludes with the raising of the very grand flag (pictured above). Doors open 6:45 pm for the free 7:30 pm concert, with general seating available on a first come, first served basis. An offering will be taken to benefit the Tower Hill Concert Series.

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RED BANK: CAR FLIPS DOWNTOWN

rb crash 070314Firefighters examine the wreckage after they rescued a motorist trapped in an overturned Jeep Cherokee on Broad Street in Red Bank around 7 p.m. Thursday.

According to police Chief Darren McConnell, Stephanie Todd, 29, of Interlaken was taken to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune in stable condition after her vehicle struck two parked cars and flipped. The accident is under investigation and no charges have yet been filed, he said. (Reader photo. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: MURPHY QUITS COUNCIL

READ MURPHY 102512Read Murphy with television reporters shortly before Hurricane Sandy hit Sea Bright. He’s expected to be succeeded by John Lamia, below, who outpolled him in last month’s GOP primary. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

john lamia 061814A month after coming in tied for second in the Sea Bright Republican primary, incumbent Councilman Read Murphy has resigned, according to a published report.

After about 25 non-continuous years on the governing body, “stick a fork in me. I am done,” Murphy told redbankgreen Thursday afternoon.

He said friction with the rest of the council over both his “unilateral” approach to serving and his request to be hired as the town’s beach manager had taken the “fun” out of the job.

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RED BANK COPS BUST MOTHER & SON

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014Red Bank police arrested a mother and son on drug charges Wednesday, according to Chief Darren McConnell.

Following a monthlong investigation by Lieutenant Robert Clayton, police executed a narcotics search warrant at a Willow Street residence, McConnell said in a prepared announcement Thursday.

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RED BANK: AN O’REE-LY BIG SHOW FOR THE 4TH

matt-oree-band-live-006Matt O’Ree furnishes all the fireworks you’ll need this Fourth, when the Shore’s bluesical legend lights the fuse on another Friday Jamian’s jam.

Not so very long ago the undisputed local capital of fireworks fun (and the occasional short fuse), the greater Red Bank green has opted to keep a lower profile during recent Fourths — but if you’re wandering the downtown streets this Friday night in search of some white-hot sizzle and spark, you just might find what you’re looking for at Jamian’s Food and Drink on Monmouth Street, where Matt O’Ree provides the pyrotechnics.

It’s another entry in an ongoing first-Friday gig at the musically minded Monmouth Street watering hole — one made all the more intense by the seasonal heat, the holiday-weekend vibe, and the fact that it doesn’t get much more all-American than O’Ree, his downright Ree-gal blues guitar technique, and the musically minded crowd at Jamian LaViola’s classically casual watering hole.

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SOGGY START TO HOLIDAY WEEKEND?

Beachgoers beat a retreat from Beach E at Sandy Hook following the cancellation of a weekly concert because of an approaching storm Wednesday evening.

Forecasts indicate that Hurricane Arthur will veer east of the Jersey Shore, but heavy rains will drench the mid-Atlantic region from Thursday afternoon into Friday, July 4. Mostly sunny skies are expected to follow Saturday and Sunday. (Vine video by Gerda Liebmann.)

RBR STUDENT REPRESENTS US IN SO. AFRICA

sam4Red Bank Regional student Sam MacPherson (left) reached the pinnacle in his teenage soccer career, when he was selected to represent his Region I US Soccer Youth Olympic Development Program in the South African International soccer tournament this past spring. (photos by Greateye Studios/ Scott Johnson Photography)

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

America, it seems, may have caught soccer fever, with the US team surviving the “death group” round and advancing on to the group of 16 in the 2014 Soccer World Cup. Could this be the turning point where the US finally embraces the sport that dominates the rest of civilization?

Sam MacPherson, a 17 year old from Red Bank and a rising senior at Red Bank Regional High School, is doing his part to achieve that goal, literally. The RBR soccer forward returned this past spring from an international tournament in Johannesburg, South Africa, with his elite team of 18 players in the Region I US Soccer Youth Olympic Development Program (USSODP). The team was made up of the best soccer players culled from competitive tournaments in 15 states in the Mid-Atlantic to North Eastern United States, inclusive of Virginia to Maine.

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RFH MUSIC STUDENTS HEAD TO VIENNA

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Campbell Lee and Alexandra Siwulec, a pair of rising seniors at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, will participate and perform in the Golden Key Music Festival to be held in Vienna, Austria from August 4 – 11. Both musicians study piano with Marina Strakovsky of Rumson.

Strakovsky encouraged Campbell and Alexandra to take part in the Golden Key Competition, which is open to musicians aged five through 26. Campbell auditioned by submitting a CD of her performance of “Sung Outside the Prince’s Door” by Edward McDowell, and learned this past winter of her invitation to participate. Alexandra, who had been selected as a winner in the 2012 competition, was invited to perform as a guest artist at the 2014 event.

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