31° Overcast

MIDDLETOWN: POETIC VOICES PLEASE

CoraGreenhillAcclaimed British poet Cora Greenhill visits the Middletown Library on Monday, December 1, in an event hosted by the Red Bank Writers Group.

As her official bio states, “She lives in the Peak District in middle England, and in the Greek Island of Crete. Her poetry is strongly influenced by these places as well as other parts of the world, such as Africa, where she has traveled.”

So what brings Cora Greenhill to the greater Green this week — specifically Middletown Township Public Library, where the British wordsmith makes an exceedingly rare Stateside appearance on Monday, December 1? As it turns out, she’s visiting family right here in Red Bank — and when The Red Bank Writers Group got wind of those plans, it became necessary to engineer this opportunity for the poet (whose most-visited themes include feminism, spirituality, the natural world and global cultures) to meet some of her American fans, make new friends, and sign some copies of her books.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: KOCH CRITICAL AFTER CRASH

jerome koch 112811Councilman Jerome Koch speaking during a council meeting at the Knollwood School in November, 2011. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

just_in1Fair Haven Councilman Jerome Koch was critically injured in a bicycling accident on River Road Saturday afternoon, according to Mayor Ben Lucarelli.

Koch, a retiree who has served on the council since 2006, was riding westbound near Elm Place when he swerved into the traffic lane and was rear-ended by a vehicle at about 3:30 p.m., Lucarelli said.

“It was a severe impact,” said Lucarelli, who arrived on the scene moments later.

Read More »

MIDDLETOWN: A SWIFT SUNDAY IN THE PARK

navesinkstartAnd they’re off: the leaf-laden trails of Middletown’s Bodman Park are the scene for the start of the Navesink Challenge, the 14th annual edition of which hits the ground running on Sunday, November 30. 

As outdoor activities go here in the greater Red Bank Green, it’s what you might call a late-season arrival. How late? Well, consider that pretty much every other open-air happening from this point comes equipped with funny sweaters, caroling kiddies, and complimentary cups of hot chocolate.

As a serious sporting event for local runners, however, the annual Navesink Challenge is a drop-everything occasion — that pursuit of the perfect gift for Aunt Hortense will have to wait. When the 13th edition of the late-autumn tradition hits the ground this Sunday, November 30, the day promises a great turnout, generous support, and funds raised for a great cause — in this case, the programs of the Middletown Youth Athletic Association.

Read More »

AROUND THE GREEN: WHERE’S SANTA?

TubaXmasAbove, Tuba Christmas toots exclusively at Middletown Arts Center on  the evening of December 7 — while below, Santa (seen in a past appearance at Red Bank’s West Side Tree Lighting ceremony) will be making the scene all over the Green in weeks to come.

Santa LindnerThe first official sightings are expected to start filtering in tonight, when the Santa Express rolls out of station stop Little Silver on its way to Red Bank — but even if you miss Santa and Mrs. Claus at the annual Holiday Express Concert and Town Lighting ceremony, there are numerous other opportunities for an audience with The Big Red One in and around the greater Green, beginning as early as Saturday afternoon, November 29.

Read More »

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 November 13 to November 20, 2014. This information is unedited.

CRIMES

Criminal Mischief occurring on 11-13-14 on Herbert St. Victim reported that someone had thrown a brick through the window of their residence. Ptl. Gary Watson Jr.

Burglary, Theft occurred on Leighton Ave on 11-13-14. Owner reported that unknown person(s) entered the unoccupied residence and removed jewelry and approximately $15.00 in currency. Ptl. Patrick Kennedy.

  Read More »

RBR ENDS SEASON AT 5-5 WITH LOSS TO LB

Red Bank Regional’s varsity football team quintupled last year’s win total, ending the season with a 5-5 record, but the closer was downbeat as the Bucs fell to Long Branch, 28-14, in their traditional Thanksgiving matchup. Siddique Palmer had a big game for RBR, but the Bucs couldn’t contain Dahmiere Willis, who racked up 295 yards and three TDs enroute to the single season Shore Conference rushing record of 2,589 yards.

Shore Sports Zone has those video highlights and more, including a thrilling come-from-behind win by Middletown South over Middletown North. South will face Jackson Memorial for the state Group 4 championship at Rutgers next Saturday.

RUMSON: CHANUKAH CELEBRATION AT CBI

hanukkahPress release from Congregation B’nai Israel

On Wednesday, December 17, bring a flashlight and your family menorah to Congregation B’nai Israel (CBI) in Rumson  to celebrate Chanukah, the eight day festival of light. Join local leaders Rabbi Jeff Sultar, Cantor Dov Goldberg and CBI’s SHMA Religious School children at 5 pm for festive prayers and songs as they light the large outdoor menorah on the grounds of the synagogue. The community is invited, and there is no charge to attend.

After the outdoor menorah lighting, all are invited inside for a Chanukah dinner and celebration. The dinner will begin with a group lighting as each family lights their own menorah (candles will be provided free of charge by CBI sisterhood).

Read More »

RFH SLIPS IN MUD BOWL

It was a cold, wet affair as Rumson-Fair Haven and Shore Regional met in the first “Devil-Dawg Bowl” in West Long Branch Wednesday night. Turnovers were key. A Dawgs fumble on fourth and short in the final quarter set up the game’s longest run, a 23-yard romp by Doug Goldsmith to seal a 13-0 win for Shore. Shore Sports Zone has the video highlights.

Both schools play for sectional titles on December 6th at Kean University.  Shore Regional (10-1) takes on South Hunterdon at 10 a.m. while RFH (8-3) is the nightcap, taking on Delaware Valley at 7 p.m.

The Devil-Dawg Bowl is expected to be the start of a new tradition for RFH, replacing a longtime Thanksgiving rivalry with Red Bank Catholic.

RED BANK: LIGHT THERAPY FOR BLACK FRIDAY

Tim and tree lighting with Karen CTim McLoone keynotes the season of lights in downtown Red Bank with the traditional Holiday Express outdoor concert on Black Friday.

tim-grinch-band-rblightingCharlie Brown, Ralphie, Rudolph – not a one ever concerned himself with the concept of “Black Friday” in their day. And when Red Bank celebrates its annual Holiday Express concert and Town Lighting this Friday night, it will do so with a curious new mission: to take back the purity, and the sanctity, of Black Friday.

Read More »

RED BANK: STATION TO BE NAMED FOR O’HERN

rb station 112514 1The Red Bank train station will be dedicated to the memory of late Mayor and state Supreme Court Justice Dan O’Hern. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

After a four-year, $1.6-million facelift, the scaffolding is down at the Red Bank train station, revealing a spiffy new Victorian-era depot.

On Friday, the station will get a new identity to go along with the new roof, restored windows and gingerbread trim.

Read More »

THURSDAY & FRIDAY: THE FORECAST

rb rain 112614 1Broad Street in Red Bank, looking north from the Post Office through a rain-blurred windshield Wednesday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Amid talk of a northeaster – or, as the Pepperidge Farm voiceover guy might say, a ‘nor-eastuh’ – dumping snow on much of New Jersey, here’s the weather outlook for the greater Red  Bank Green for the next few days…

Read More »

THANKSGIVING: TWO PLACES TO EAT FOR FREE

lunch-breakVolunteers will once again serve a traditional spread at Lunch Break, above, while Surf Taco is offering food from its menu of Mexican dishes. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

110914 surf tacoAt least two Red Bank institutions are going out of their way to make Thanksgiving inclusive for all, even those who can’t pay.

Details are below…

Read More »

RED BANK: STEPPING UP FOR LUNCH BREAK

Donating_Check_to_Lunch_BreakPress release from First Presbyterian Church at Red Bank

Recently, Tower Hill Church (The First Presbyterian Church at Red Bank) donated $8,725 raised from its October 18 Rummage Sale to the rebuilding campaign of the borough-based nonprofit Lunch Break. The donation goes directly to Lunch Break’s “Step up to the Plate” capital campaign for their expanded facilities and endowment on Drs. James Parker Blvd in Red Bank.

In addition, Tower Hill Church opened up its industrial kitchen over the last few months, for Lunch Break to use daily to prepare hot meals while its new kitchen and dining room are under construction. The Lunch Break staff is due to return to their new facilities in mid-November.

Read More »

RED BANK: A CUP (OR TEN) OF CHEER

ZAEH_SNC_SHOT7-6The assembled male voices of Straight No Chaser mix up a holiday punch on the stage of the Count Basie Theatre this Friday, November 28.

This Black Friday evening, November 28 — even as the Santa train pulls into town, and Holiday Express flips the switch on a singalong season of carols ranging from sacred to silly — the stage of the Count Basie Theatre will ring out with the sounds of a vocal organization that bridges the gap between the secular and the seasonal, in the days before the Basie becomes the area’s unofficial capital of Christmas.

Making their Red Bank bow — and continuing the Happy Hour Tour that takes them from coast to coast (and from Honolulu to Helsinki in the months ahead), the 10-piece, all-male a cappella group Straight No Chaser arrives on the momentum of their fourth studio release Under the Influence, and its special “Holiday Edition” that includes the novelty collaboration with Kristen Bell, “Text Me Merry Christmas.”

Read More »

RED BANK: KAYAKER’S MOM URGES VEST USAGE

rb kayak safety 112414One of the signs that Joan Civile has offered to the town as part of a campaign inspired by the death of her son, David, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

david civileFour years after a Tinton Falls man disappeared while kayaking in the Shrewsbury River off Little Silver, his mother is on a campaign to ensure nothing like that happens again.

David Civile was 26 years old, “in great shape,” and excited about the kayak he’d purchased just three weeks earlier, his mother, Joan Civile, told the Red Bank council Monday night. The November morning that he put in at Little Silver Point Road, he’d just purchased waterproof pants.

“He just thought he was safe,” she recalled. “He said, ‘Mom, I’m in a river. If it’s bad, I’ll just come back.'”

Read More »

WHAT YOU WANT IS OFF THE MENU

112014 temple2Pineapple cashew fried rice: available, but not on the menu, at Temple Gourmet. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

morsels mediumWhile waiting for friends at Temple Gourmet Chinese in Red Bank recently, PieHole perused the menu and listened to our waitress describe the specials. But what, we wondered, had those people ordered?

A nearby table held a gleaming platter of golden fried rice lavished with sweet pineapple, golden raisins and cashew nuts.

It turns out to be a dish the kitchen will whip up for anyone who orders it. The secret?  You just have to know it exists.

Read More »

RED BANK: RESIDENTS PAN COUNCIL RESPONSE

kirsten ramirez 112414Kirsten Ramirez speaks with police Captain Mike Clay after Monday night’s council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01Red Bank residents put elected officials in the hot seat Monday night for their response to two shootings on the West Side earlier this month.

Addressing Mayor Pasquale Menna and the six-member council at a bimonthly meeting, West Westside Avenue resident Jill Burden criticized what she called a “lack of communication or even acknowledgement” of the concerns of neighbors following the shootings, which occurred less than two days apart.

Read More »

RUMSON: NOT ALONE, NOT AFRAID

Fraidy_ReissPress release from Congregation B’Nai Israel

Fraidy Reiss was 19 years old when her family arranged for her to marry a man who turned out to be abusive. For the next 12 years, with no education and no job and a family that refused to help her, Reiss had nowhere to turn. Defying her husband and relatives she applied to and then graduated from Rutgers University, at age 32. With a degree in journalism, Reiss was hired as a reporter for the Asbury Park Press, eventually getting promoted to the paper’s elite investigative-reporting team and going on to have a career as a private investigator. With a job, money and confidence, Reiss was able to get divorced, win custody of her children and get a restraining order against her ex-husband.

On Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 10 am, Congregation B’Nai Israel (CBI) in Rumson is pleased to announce that Reiss will speak at a Breakfast Event sponsored by CBI Adult Education and Ezra committees, as well as Red Bank Hadassah. Reiss will not only speak about her inspiring personal journey but also about the organization she founded, Unchained At Last, the only non-profit in the United States that provides free legal and social services to help women of all religions leave arranged and forced marriages.

Read More »

RED BANK: TREE’S UP

112414 tree2holiday tree 112314Donated by the Clay family of Holmdel, Red Bank’s 2014 Christmas tree arrived at Riverside Gardens Park overlooking the Navesink River on Sunday. Becker’s Tree Service and Powerhouse Signs did the installation. The lights and trimming will go on this week courtesy of Investors Savings. Red Bank RiverCenter, which organized the display, says the tree will be lit and decorated in time for the annual Holiday Express concert and townwide light-up Friday night.  (Photo above by Susan Ericson; right photo courtesy of Red Bank RiverCenter. Click to enlarge)

LINCROFT: A MAJOR VOICE, A BIG READ

JuliaAlvarezPeteSmithIN THE TIME OF THE BUTTERFLIES author Julia Alvarez visits Brookdale Community College on Tuesday, in the culmination of The Big Read 2014 slate of events. (Photo by Pete Smith)

Inspired by the 1960 murders of sisters Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa Mirabal — founders of the Dominican underground movement that opposed the rule of dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo — the novel In the Time of the Butterflies marked the 20th anniversary of its original publication this year, by being selected as the subject of the second annual Big Read initiative for Monmouth County.

While the setting for the book by Julia Alvarez is specific to the Dominican Republic in the 1950s, the themes — freedom, equality, human rights — are universal. Beginning early last month, the slate of Big Read events organized by The Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education (Chhange) at Brookdale Community College went well beyond the printed page, encompassing art exhibits, musical performances, screenings of the 2001 Butterflies feature film, and a program of dramatic readings at Red Bank’s Two River Theater.

This Tuesday, November 25, The Big Read 2014 comes to a head with a visit by Julia Alvarez herself, as the author travels to BCC’s Lincroft campus for a pair of personal appearances.

Read More »

RECIPE: A “FAMOUS” THANKSGIVING SIDE

casey pesceChef Casey Pesce tells PieHole that his family celebrates Thanksgiving with a surprisingly throwback menu. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels medium

When a top area chef’s restaurant menu features such sensational and creative combos as goat cheese fritters with apricot preserves and truffle honey and butternut squash pizza with Brussels sprouts, carmelized fennel and ricotta, you’d imagine that his Thanksgiving table would feature at least a few dishes that push the boundaries of traditional American turkey day fare.

But if we’re talking about Casey Pesce, the masterful culinary mind behind d’jeet in Shrewbury, you would be mistaken. Pesce celebrates with a Thanksgiving dinner right that could have come right out of a 1950’s Better Homes and Garden Cookbook.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: PARCC IT HERE FOR THE FACTS

PARCCPress release from Fair Haven School District

Based on the core belief that assessment should work as a tool for enhancing teaching and learning, PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessments will be administered to Fair Haven students in third through eighth grade in March and May of 2015 — and this past November 12, parents of Fair Haven students received a wealth of information about the program during the “PARCC Parent Presentation.”

Focusing on the newer, more rigorous “Common Core Standards” which have been adopted by New Jersey and 46 other states, PARCC assessments are designed to gauge how students are progressing in school and whether they are on track for postsecondary success. The assessments, which cover the areas of Mathematics and English Language Arts, will also provide teachers with the ability to identify students who may be falling behind, therefore requiring extra help.

LITTLE SILVER: AN AVID AUDIENCE AT RBR

avidtwoPress release from Red Bank Regional High School 

Seven years ago, Red Bank Regional High School implemented a national college preparatory program called AVID (Advancement through Individual Determination) to help students challenge themselves to perform their best academically. All of this preparation has paid off, since all AVID students have taken at least one AP or IB course, the most challenging classes offered at RBR.

This year, the successful program has entered a new phase; one where seniors, who are in the fourth year of the program, lead the important “tutorology” segment aiding the lower classmen.

The program is different than tutoring in the traditional sense. As RBR senior and AVID student, Khalia Smith explains, “When the students have a question, the tutor does not answer it, but asks them questions using their own notes, homework or textbooks. This way we guide them so they can use these methods to find the answers themselves.”

Read More »