RED BANK: O’SCANLON BEATS RED-LIGHT CAMS

declan o'scanlon 111714 1 Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon in his Red Bank office Monday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

declan o'scanlon 111714 4After five years of pedal-to-the-floor critiques, Red Bank-area state legislator Declan O’Scanlon appears about to beat a ticket.

Or, to be more precise, the 13th-District Assembly member from Little Silver is on the verge of killing automated red-light ticketing of motorists, a system for which he holds back almost nothing in the way of condemnation.

“Sanctioned theft” he calls the system. “Robbery.” “Injustice.” And no, he’s never gotten one of the tickets, he tells redbankgreen.

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RUMSON: DOLL FANCY AND A DASH OF HISTORY

111614 girlstea5111614 girlstea1In honor of Jewish Book Month, dozens of girls gathered at Congregation B’nai Israel in Rumson Sunday for a tea party centered on American Girl character Rebecca Rubin.

The doll’s fictional backstory is that she’s the American-born daughter of Russian immigrants living on New York’s Lower East Side in 1914. And for some of the real girls in attendance, the event was an occasion to dress up like Rebecca, while others emulated different dolls in the American Girl line, including a Nez Perce Native American doll named Kaya from 1764. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge.)

 

LITTLE SILVER: RBR’S KELLER HONORED

Suzanne KellerSuzanne Keller, Red Bank Regional’s Director of the SOURCE program was recently honored by the Latino American Association of Monmouth County at its Twenty First Award Banquet, held on October 24.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School  

Suzanne Keller, Freshman Academy Supervisor and director of The SOURCE program at Red Bank Regional High School, was recently celebrated by the Latino American Association of Monmouth County as an Honoree at its Twenty First Award Banquet held in West Long Branch on October 24.

Through her work at RBR’s School Based Youth Service Program, Ms. Keller has helped further the dreams and aspirations of the school district’s Latino students. One of her many responsibilities includes administering and fundraising for the Andrew Kroon Memorial Scholarship Fund. In her collaboration with the Latino American Association and the Community Affairs Resource Center, more students are able to achieve their goal of higher education. She also coordinates a mentoring program in the community to help graduates succeed at college and to develop to their full potential.

The Latino American Association of Monmouth County is a non-profit organization established to provide scholarships to college bound students. Several RBR graduates received scholarships at the banquet event, including Veronica Perez, Mariela Reyes, and Jocelyn Rojas.

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LITTLE SILVER MULLS FIRST LIQUOR LICENSE

ls council 111714Residents packed Monday night’s borough council meeting, many in support of a referendum on the license question.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Little Silver voters may face a non-binding referendum next year on whether the town should issue its first-ever license for on-premise consumption of alcohol.

That possibility appeared to gel into likelihood Monday night on the heels of a builder’s request, backed by a 500-signature petition, asking the borough council to make allowance for a family-style restaurant that serves alcohol.

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RED BANK: LITTLE PINK (HAUNTED) HOUSES

Ghost BrosT Bone Burnett, John Mellencamp and Stephen King are the creative crew — and Gina Gershon co-stars — as GHOST BROTHERS OF DARKLAND COUNTY takes its cross-country tour to the stage of the Count Basie Theatre on Tuesday, November 18.

It’s the most curious collaboration since the Wilburys rode the range — a three-for-all that pools the talents of a working class rocker turned Americana exponent (John “Cougar” Mellencamp), an Oscar winning music director/ record producer (T Bone Burnett), and the Springsteen of supernatural fiction (Stephen King). While they’ve had their misfires at the multiplex (Falling from Grace, Maximum Overdrive), there remained but one arena for these Kings of Most Media to conquer: the legitimate “theatah.”

Tomorrow night, November 18, the Count Basie Theatre is the (allegedly haunted) host venue, as the national touring production of Ghost Brothers of Darkland County commandeers the stage for an 8 pm one-nighter. Featuring a book by King, songs by Mellencamp, and “eerie blues ‘n’ roots” music direction by Burnett, the “Southern Gothic supernatural musical” is but the most visible manifestation of a cross-platform phenomenon that also includes a hardcover book, e-book, album download and “deluxe” edition of the aforementioned. And, even if none of the Ghost partners are promised to be in attendance at the Basie (Mellencamp will be there for an April 2015 concert that sold out in a flash), the production boasts some star wattage of its own.

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RBC: TWO CASEYS ON SSZ GAME BALL BALLOT

Two Red Bank Catholic football players are in the running for a Week 10  Shore Sports Zone play-of-the-week game ball following the Casey’s first-round 62-7 playoff blowout of Bishop Eustace Friday. Linebacker Mike DeMonte and running back Tommy Spernal are among five Monmouth and Ocean county players on the ballot, with another eight players up for overall performance. Voting is open to the public. Check back here on Wednesday to learn who won.

LINCROFT: CAMPUS ARREST VIDEO GOES VIRAL

Video of Jeffrey Michel’s arrest on the Brookdale campus Friday. (Video posted by Vincent Cordero)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Video of the arrest of a Freehold man on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College last Friday has gone viral, with numerous commenters claiming it shows overly aggressive policing.

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RED BANK: A ‘TRAILBLAZER’ GETS HER DUE

rb dedication 111414Descendants of Katharine Elkus White and local officials at Friday’s dedication of the roadway in Marine Park to the late mayor and ambassador. White, seen below in 1948. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

katherine-elkus-white-1948Amid reminiscences of a “strong-willed” woman countering the casual sexism of the day, Red Bank’s first and only female mayor, Katharine Elkus White, was honored Friday when the road in Marine Park was named for her.

In a brief ceremony on a cold, blustery afternoon, some of White’s descendants joined local officials in unveiling a wooden sign designating the loop road as “Ambassador Katharine Elkus White Circle.”

 

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SHREWSBURY: CYMCA SEEKS HOLIDAY HELPERS

cymcaCommunity YMCA Counseling and Social Services team members Danielle Bossert, Christina DeAngelis and Heather Soto with wrapped presents for the Adopt-A-Family Program in 2013.

Press release from The Community YMCA

Needy families in Monmouth County will be able to have an enjoyable holiday, through a pair of seasonal programs coordinated by The Community YMCA —  Adopt-a-Family, and Giving Tree.

Local residents and businesses are invited to join the CYMCA’s Shrewsbury team in making the holidays brighter, by donating toys, books, clothes and other gifts for area families. The families are served through the Y’s Counseling and Social Services branch, which provides support services and counseling to children and families who are victims of abuse, neglect, in the foster care system or have special needs.

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RED BANK: TURK ON TOWER HILL

Gordon_Turk_4_x_6_res72dpiHe’s toured across three continents, appeared at Carnegie Hall, and performed live concert broadcasts for NPR, in addition to many other professional accomplishments and accolades. That said, Monmouth County music lovers are instantly familiar with Gordon Turk as artist in residence and “house organist” at Ocean Grove’s Great Auditorium, where his summertime series of free recitals have introduced generations to that local landmark’s spectacular (11,000 pipes strong) Hope-Jones Organ.

This Sunday evening, November 16, Gordon Turk journeys from The Grove to The Hill — Tower Hill Church, aka First Presbyterian Church of Red Bank — to perform on the church’s pipe organ. The first in a new season of Tower Hill Concert Series events, the 7 pm program finds the virtuoso exploring the possibilities of the 3-manual, 52-rank Reuter instrument via selections both sacred and secular.

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RFH ADVANCES IN QUEST FOR SECOND TITLE

With a domineering 35-7 win over A.L. Johnson at home, the defending state champion Rumson-Fair Haven Bulldogs advanced in their quest for a second straight title Friday night.  Shore Sports Zone has the video highlights, including more stellar play from sophomore quarterback Mike O’Connor.

The Dawgs are at home again Friday night against Cinnaminson in a game to determine who goes on for the 2014 state title.

RBC VAPORIZES BISHOP EUSTACE, 62-7

Coming off a stunning overtime loss a week earlier, Red Bank Catholic’s football squad put the pedal down and never let up as the Caseys demolished Bishop Eustace at home Friday night, 62-7.  Rich Chrampanis of Shore Sports Zone has the highlights.

The Caseys are at home next Friday night against the winner of St. Joe’s of Montvale v. Camden Catholic for the non-public Group 3 state semifinals.

RED BANK: A ONCE AND FUTURE CLASSIC

David Lee HRHFRASIER co-creator David Lee (left) returns to Red Bank to direct a young cast of pros (including Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, right) in the Two River Theater Company production of CAMELOT. 

Even as Red Bank’s own Phoenix Productions offers up a supremely silly take on the legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table — courtesy of Monty Python’s Spamalot — the professionals at Two River Theater are getting serious about “The Once and Future King,”   beginning with Saturday’s first preview performance of Camelot.

The 1960 golden-age musical from the songwriting team of Lerner and Loewe — a Broadway costume classic that originally starred Richard Burton, Julie Andrews, Roddy McDowall and Robert Goulet — is already an unorthodox choice for the Two River team led by John Dias and Michael Hurst. But a closer look reveals a production that loses the brooding middle-aged actors in favor of a dynamic young ensemble of just eight players — even as it preserves the award winning score that gave the world “How to Handle a Woman” and “If Ever I Would Leave You.”

Directing the show that opens on Friday, November 21 and runs through December 14 is David Lee, the Emmy winning sitcom impresario (Frasier, Wings) whose previous Two River outing was the celebrated Present Laughter from two seasons back (he also re-teamed with some of the original Frasier cast for a fundraiser presentation on the Red Bank stage). He’s working with an awesomely experienced cast that includes Oliver Thornton, a young veteran of London’s West End (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Rent) who’s making his American stage debut as Arthur — plus Nicholas Rodriguez (Disney’s Tarzan) as Lancelot, and (as the man-you-love-to-hate Mordred) Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, who shared the Broadway stage with Angela Lansbury and Elaine Stritch in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. Tony nominee Steve Orich (Jersey Boys) directs a live ensemble of seven musicians.

The Drama Desk at redbankgreen spoke to David Lee about the pros and cons of parades, pageantry and pointy hats. Read on…

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LITTLE SILVER: SANDWICH SWAP AT GIANNI’S

111214 giannis1The Neopolitan Panini served on fresh house-baked bread at Gianni’s. Below, the spacious dining room.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

111214 giannis3Lunchtime at Gianni’s Pizzeria in Little Silver is busy. Between the hours of 11:30 and 2:30, the tables fill up with people from all walks of life. Mothers with small children stop in for a slice while truckers pull over to pick up an order of subs or a full pie.

Helping PieHole watch its waistline, Jeff Lopez, the always-smiling counterman and pizza maker, suggested the Neapolitan Panini ($8.95).

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LINCROFT: BROOKDALE OKS MASS LAYOFF

HOT-TOPIC_03Brookdale Community College in Lincroft will lay off 210 employees next summer, according to a report by the Asbury Park Press.

About 250 staffers, students and alumni packed a “boisterous” hearing to protest the move on Thursday, according to the report. But the school’s board of trustees, citing a growing budget hole, approved the layoffs, which are to be followed by new hirings, app.com reports.

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RED BANK: CARLO’S OWNER BUSTED FOR DWI

buddy valastro 112513 2‘Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro at the opening of Carlo’s Bake Shop in Red Bank a year ago. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Buddy Valastro, star of TVs’s Cake Boss and owner of the year-old Carlo’s Bake Shop in Red Bank, was arrested on drunken driving charges in New York City early Thursday, according to media reports.

NJ.com, quoting prosecutors at Valastro’s arraignment Thursday evening, reports that Valastro told cops, “You can’t arrest me! I’m the Cake Boss!”

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RFH VIES FOR STATE TITLE ON EBNER’S BIG D

Rumson-Fair Haven’s  field hockey team plays for a state championship on Saturday, and a big part of the squad’s best season in school history is six-foot-one Catie Ebner. Rich Chrampanis’ new video-based website, Shore Sports Zone, has a profile of the Villanova commit on the eve of the Lady Bulldogs’ Group 2 final against Madison. The title game will be played at Bordentown Regional at noon. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone.)

RED BANK: HAIR, ART, FOOD, MUSIC, CHARITY

ciccotello_headshotArtist Mike Ciccotello offers a glimpse into his DAYDREAMS, during a November 22 art event at Salon Concrete in Red Bank.

Press release from Salon Concrete

For the latest in a series of art and cultural events hosted at Salon Concrete, the downtown Red Bank hair studio teams with artist  Mike Ciccotello for a new exhibit entitled “Daydreams.”  Comprised of different mediums, acrylic, oil, skateboard pieces, as well as pen and ink, the collection of artworks is a snapshot from the artist’s mind; “a glimpse into his daydreams.”

The opening reception of “Daydreams” will be celebrated on Saturday, November 22 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at Salon Concrete, 123 Broad Street.  Attendees will have the opportunity to view a display of Ciccotello’s work while experiencing a preview of Spring/Summer haircuts and color crafted by Christine Zilinski’s Salon Concrete team. Guests will also enjoy music from DJ Foggy Notion, appetizers and tastings from Hostess Helper and The Cheese Cave. The event is free and open to the public.

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MIDDLETOWN: A THREE-DAY TASTE OF ITALY

raguActor and playwright Frank Ingrasciotta performs his Off Broadway solo show BLOOD TYPE: RAGU at Middletown Arts Center on November 15 as part of a new series of Savor the Arts events.

It’s called Savor the Arts — “a series of culture-specific events that blend performances with culinary tastings, exhibits, workshops, armchair travel presentations and more” — and it’s a multi-sensory whirlwind that begins this weekend, when the Middletown Arts Center (MAC) invites the public to immerse itself in the culture of Italy (and, by extension, the Italian-American experience).

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RED BANK: FAITH, COFFEE AND CANDOR

Rabbi Marc KlinePress release from Monmouth Reform Temple

Ever wonder how it is that so many different religions all expect to heal the world on only their own terms? Every religious denomination has published studies demonstrating how modern America is running from organized religion. There is a reason for this phenomenon: organized religion spends more time perpetuating itself than offering relevant paths for the expression of faith. Whatever your denomination, there are core values that we share and which should lead us into a better respect for one another.

Every Sunday afternoon at 4 pm, Rabbi Marc Kline of Monmouth Reform Temple is inviting all members of the public, of all faiths (and even “ye of little faith”) to do just that — during a series of free, “no holds barred,” non-denominational open conversations presented (not at a house of worship, but in the neutral territory of a favorite neighborhood coffeehouse) under the name “This Is About Faith!”

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RED BANK: PARK LOOP DEDICATION PLANNED

rb marine park 082814katherine-elkus-white-1948Completing an effort launched by resident Carl Colmorgen two years ago, Red Bank officials will dedicate the roadway loop in Marine Park to late Mayor Katherine Elkus White at 3 p.m. on Friday with the installation of a plaque.

White, seen here in 1948, White was the only female mayor in the borough ‘s history, holding the office from 1951 to 1956. She later served as the United States Ambassador to Denmark. White died in April, 1985 at the age of 78. (Photo above by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: THE BRIGHT SIDE OF ARTHUR

Arthur_&_his_Laker_GirlsKing Arthur (Michael Chartier) is attended to by the Laker Girls in MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT, the very silly musical opening at the Count Basie Theatre this weekend, as the season-capping entertainment from Phoenix Productions.

Ah, Camelot — the wise and good King Arthur; the glory that was the Round Table. The Lady of the Lake and her Laker Girls; the “schlapping” fish, the nasty rabbits, the holy hand grenades and the Knights Who Say “Ni.”

Wait, what? Actually if it’s the classic Lerner-Loewe musical Camelot you’re looking for, take it to Two River Theater for the all-new production that goes up in previews November 15. But if, on the other hand, you’re in the market for as irreverent a Broadway tunefest as has ever made off with the holy-grail Tony, head down Monmouth Street to the Count Basie, where Monty Python’s Spamalot holds court for the next two weekends.

The season finale offering from the Basie’s resident nonprofessional stage troupe Phoenix Productions — one that represents the borough-based company’s first visit to the hit show “ripped off” by Python’s Eric Idle from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail — the 2005 crowdpleaser has become a fast favorite of school and community players across the land. Opening on Friday night, November 14, and continuing through Sunday, November 23, the production boasts a rather unique connection to local Arthurian lore and legend.

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RED BANK: SENIOR INDICTED FOR ARSON

HOT-TOPIC_01A 70-year-old Red Bank man was indicted for an arson spree in which he’s alleged to have started four fires in less than an hour last July, according to a document released Thursday by the Monmouth County Prosecutor.

Gabriel Ramos, of South Pearl Street, had volunteer firefighters responding to small fires at four addresses in the vicinity of the train station, police Chief Darren McConnell said shortly after the July 11 spree.

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RED BANK: RAPCAVAGE REVISES PROPOSAL

rapcavage plan 2 081213 A proposed market, above, at Red Bank’s five corners, seen below, would have two apartments on the second floor instead of commercial space under an amended plan. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb rapcavage 081614The developer of a proposed greenmarket and 20 homes on the edge of downtown Red Bank has modified his plan to address concerns of nearby residents, he says.

Ray Rapcavage’s project, dubbed ‘Renaissance Village,’ still calls for 20 homes and a grocery story taking up half of a block bounded by Harding Road, Clay Street and Hudson Avenue.

But two of the residences would now be apartments above the market. And parking for the remaining 18 homes would be accessed via a single driveway, eliminating numerous curb cuts and preserving street parking, he told redbankgreen Wednesday.

“The plans have definitely been improved,” Rapcavage said. “A lot of these elements come from the feedback of people who were kind enough to come and take a look at” the proposal.

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LOCAL MEN CHARGED IN MD. HOME INVASION

call-in-the-authoritiesTwo Red Bank-area men reported to be brothers were arrested in Millersville, Maryland Monday on charges related to an alleged home invasion, according to news reports.

Ronald Roy, 38, of Highway 35, Red Bank, and Michael Roy, 37, of Bayside Parkway, North Middletown, were held on burglary, gun possession and assault charges after a woman reported they tried to force their way into her mobile home in pursuit of her 29-year-old husband, who was not present, according to a report by WBAL-TV.

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