RED BANK: COATS, BABY ITEMS NEEDED

Mary Pat copy

Winter coats for people of all ages — and essentials for infants — are among the most-wanted items this season, as local businesses and nonprofits distribute food, clothing and toiletries to the neediest neighbors in our community.

This Thursday, December 11, has been designated as the date for a Winter Coat Drive on behalf of Red Bank-based Lunch Break; hosted by Health in Hand Chiropractic and sponsored by One Warm Coat. Between the hours of 8:30 am and 6 pm, coats can be dropped off at the office of Dr. Chris Storti (410 Pine Street in Middletown, off Route 35 North), with other cold-weather necessities — hats, scarves, gloves and mittens — appreciated as well.

From now through the winter season, the management of Resources Real Estate has announced a partnership with Jersey Cares and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (pictured) to collect coats for families in need throughout New Jersey, as part of their 19th Annual Jersey Cares Coast Drive. The four Resources locations have been designated as official collection sites where members of the community can drop off their “gently used” coats. Donors can stop in at any time during regular business hours to the offices in Red Bank (4A West Front Street; Monday-Friday 10-6; Saturday-Sunday 10-4) or Rumson (112 East River Road; Monday-Friday 9-5; Saturday-Sunday 10-4). Donations will also be accepted at the Resources locations in Atlantic Highlands (65 First Avenue) and Monmouth Beach (36-3 Beach Road).

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LINCROFT: FREE PARALEGAL INFO AT BCC

Press release from Brookdale Community College

On the evening of Wednesday, December 10, Brookdale Community College will host a free information session for its award-winning paralegal studies program.

Community members are invited to meet with program faculty, tour campus facilities and learn about the paralegal profession. The information session will be held at 5:30 pm in Room 204 of Larrison Hall on Brookdale’s Lincroft campus. It is free and open to the public.

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RBC BEATS DELBARTON FOR STATE TITLE

Led by quarterback Eddie Hahn and running back Tommy Spernal, Red Bank Catholic steamrolled Delbarton by a score of 45-20 for the state title in Non-Public, Group 3 football at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands Sunday night. Rich Chrampanis of Shore Sports Zone has the highlights. For the Caseys, it was the first state championship in 38 years.

RBC’s win came on day after Rumson-Fair Haven won its division’s top prize for the second consecutive year. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone)

MIDDLETOWN: VERY MERRY MATINEES

Reginald-Owen-right-with-Leo-G-Carroll-as-Marley’s-Ghost-in-A-Christmas-Carol-1938Marley’s ghost rattles old Scrooge in the 1938 MGM treatment of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, one of several holiday-themed films screening for free this month of Mondays at Middletown Library.

The ongoing series of free movie screenings continues apace at Middletown Township Public Library here in December — with the holiday season setting the theme for the next several Monday afternoon offerings, as well as the debut of a New Film Fridays series in the week to come.

Showing at 2:30 pm this Monday, December 8 is the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol, one of the screen’s first full-length treatments of the Charles Dickens chestnut. Produced by top Hollywood studio MGM — albeit with a second-string cast that featured character actor Reginald Owen in a rare starring turn as Ebenezer Scrooge — the film’s not without its charms, even if it creaks and groans in comparison with Alastair Sim’s nuanced 1951 turn in Scrooge. Then on Friday, December 12, the new series kicks off with the final(?) film of the late Robin Williams — A Merry Friggin Christmas, in which a father and grown-up son (Joel McHale of Community and The Soup) are forced to go on a desperate road-trip in an effort to salvage the holiday for their family of misfits. Released just last month, the black comedy screens at 2 pm — with more movie merriment around the corner.

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DAWGS CHOMP THEIR WAY TO SECOND TITLE

rfh o'connor 120614 2Rumson-Fair Haven sophomore quarterback Mike O’Connor takes off on one of his trademark keepers enroute to a big gain as he leads the Bulldogs to their second consecutive state title, with a 21-0 win over Delaware Valley at Kean University Saturday. Shore Sports Zone has all the video highlights. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone.)

RFH DAWGS REPEAT AS STATE CHAMPS

For the second straight year, the Rumson-Fair Haven Bulldogs are the top dogs of Central Jersey Group 2, winning the state title over Delaware Valley at Kean University Saturday.

In sometimes heavy rain, Charlie Volker ran for 161 yards and a score, and the Rumson-Fair Haven defense produced a touchdown and key turnovers in the shutout. And once again,  Shore Sports Zone has all the video highlights. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone.)

RED BANK: NORTH POLE STREETCORNER SOUL

dupreesSee the pyramids along the Nile…or keep it here in Red Bank, when The Duprees appear as part of a Holiday Doo Wop fest on the Count Basie stage. 

It’s a concert event as big as the famous Count Basie stage — and as intimate as a streetcorner in the old neighborhood, especially given the shout-outs to local candy stores, and other landmarks of long-ago Brooklyn, North Jersey and the Bronx. Substitute the corner lamppost with a candy-striped North Pole and you’ve got the Holiday Doo Wop edition of the popular oldies package-show series, coming to station stop Red Bank on Saturday, December 6.

In this latest presentation from promoter LAR Enterprises, a jukebox worth of 1950s (and early 60s) chart-toppers are chased with some period-perfect arrangements of seasonal standards, on a bill headlined by two of the era’s genuine hitmaking machines — Jersey City’s own Duprees (“My Own True Love,” “Have You Heard” and the sublime “You Belong to Me”), and Herb Reed’s 2014 edition of The Platters (“Only You,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” “The Great Pretender”).

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RED BANK: CARRIAGE RIDES & LIVE MUSIC

112914 horseride3112914 horserideHorse-drawn-carriage rides returned for the Christmas season in downtown Red Bank last Saturday as excited children waited to greet the horse himself, who goes by the name of Prince.

Prince will be out every Saturday through December 20, from noon to 3 p.m., buoyed along his route by Holiday Harmonies, a mix of traditional carolers, choirs, brass bands, rock, folk, jazz & blues musicians presented by Red Bank RiverCenter. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

112914 horseride2

 

AROUND THE GREEN: VOICES HEARD ON HIGH

MCC ChrisMillerAbove: Dr. Ryan Brandau leads the assembled voices of the Monmouth Civic Chorus in the annual Christmas program at the Count Basie Theatre…while the New Jersey Chamber Singers (right) visit Red Bank’s United Methodist Church in one of several choral concerts around the greater Green this weekend. (Top photo by Chris Miller)

NJCSIt’s been said that it just wouldn’t be the Yuletide season in Red Bank without the yearly performance of Handel’s Messiah by the assembled voices of The Monmouth Civic Chorus — and while true, it’s hardly the only occasion for Hallelujahs from fans of choral music this weekend. The fact is, Saturday and Sunday offer not one but four separate choir concerts in and around Red Bank, each a labor of love from the area’s most dedicated vocal artists.

It begins on Saturday evening, December 6, with the annual showcase of Holiday Favorites by Shrewsbury Chorale, in the beautiful setting of St. George’s by the River Episcopal Church (7 Lincoln Avenue in Rumson). It’s a selection of seasonal signatures from the venerable vocal organization, now in its 58th season and directed by Maestro Anthony La Gruth. Tickets, available at the door, are priced at $25 for adults; $20 for seniors and students; $10 for children under 12. For more information, or to reserve discounted advance tickets, call (732)513-8413 — and read on for more.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? COMFORT FOOD W/ RIV VU

120414 potpieChicken pot pie at the International Bar in the Molly Pitcher Hotel. Below, the pot pie scooped out of its baking dish. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

120414 potpie3The days of the Mad Men-style two-martini lunch have been over for decades, but there is a staunch holdout in Red Bank where you can still enjoy this throwback indulgence if you have the luxury of time.

With wood-paneled walls, carpeted floor, and a beckoning fireplace creating a dark, masculine, club feeling, the International Bar at the Molly Pitcher Inn makes a terrific traditional martini. A sense of luxurious comfort abounds, and the bar’s menu of standard American choices adds to that feeling of well-being.

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PLAYS OF THE YEAR? YOUR CALL.

Football players from Red Bank Regional, Red Bank Catholic and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional all made the ballot for the first-ever Shore Sports Zone running touchdown of the year, as seen in the highlight reel above.

But wait: there’s more! SSZ also has reels showing best-of nominees in the categories of  TD pass, defensive TD, special teams TD, clutch play and All-Zone TD. The winners, chosen by viewers like you, will be honored at an awards dinner on December 16 at IPlay America in Freehold.

So pop over to Shore Sports Zone, enjoy the great plays and be sure to cast your vote in each category. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone.)

 

RED BANK: LOFTS LAND WEST ELM AS TENANT

west elm 120414The furniture retailer will occupy the ground-floor corner at West Front Street and Bridge Avenue, as shown in this rendering. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallRed Bank’s West Side Lofts project now under construction has landed upscale furniture retailer West Elm as an anchor tenant.

The pending arrival of the store, slated for next August, was at the center of a handful of changes to the massive project the borough zoning board approved Thursday night.

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RED BANK: PHOTOG SHOOTS FROM THE HEART

Kim LevinFrom Meghan at Frame To Please comes word that the shop located inside The Galleria has opened a boutique-gallery kiosk under the name Art from the Heart. Each month, the space will showcase the work of a local artist, with a percentage of sale proceeds dedicated to an “adopted charity” of the featured artist’s choice. For the inaugural display in December, the work of animal photography specialist Kim Levin is on display — and the Little Silver lenswoman has designated a set of her favorite pet rescue organizations as the beneficiary of the collected funds.

TINTON FALLS: EXPRESS NAMES NEW DIRECTOR

Lorrie_Head_shot_DFS-217[3]Press release from Holiday Express

Since 1993, Holiday Express has relied on more than 1,500 volunteers and only four full-time paid employees to deliver music, food, gifts, and financial support to those with the greatest need for the gift of human kindness during the Holiday season and throughout the year. To help make it all possible, the non-profit organization has announced the hiring of Lorrie Klaric as the new Executive Director.

Klaric, who starts immediately, will be replacing Donald Pignataro who announced his retirement in the fall and has served successfully as the organization’s Executive Director since 2006.  Pignataro will remain as the Executive Director until the end of the year to allow for a smooth transition of leadership.

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LITTLE SILVER: DETOUR WOES WORSEN

LS detours 120514A traffic headache of long duration for drivers who use Branch Avenue in Little Silver is about to get worse. Starting Friday at 8 a.m., Branch Avenue will be closed to all traffic between White Road and Rumson Road for continuing utility work, police said.

Detours, shown above, will be implemented, with northbound traffic on Branch Avenue detoured onto White Road and southbound Branch Avenue traffic detoured onto Rumson Road. But expect extensive delays, and plan an alternate route if possible police advise. (Click to enlarge)

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FAIR HAVEN: KOCH RECALLED WITH HUMOR

koch funeral 120414Pallbearers with the casket of Councilman Jerome Koch, below, who died Sunday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Koch 2008Friends and family eulogized Fair Haven Councilman Jerome A. Koch, Jr. with love and humor in the form of some of his favorite aphorisms Thursday, four days after he died from injuries suffered in a bicycling accident on River Road.

Setting aside the “nightmare” circumstances of Koch’s death, one of his four children told a packed Church of the Nativity that her father “would be telling us to knock off with the crying.”

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AROUND THE GREEN: OUTSIDE THE BIG BOX

Bazaar_basketsSilent auction gift baskets await inspection during the recent Holiday Bazaar at Christ Church in Shrewsbury. For those who missed it, there are many more craft shows, artisan fairs and gift boutiques going on around the greater Green this weekend.

There’s an open-house glimpse into the wondrous workshop of a leading Red Bank artist. Unique handcrafted gifts, unexpectedly encountered at a pair of county parks in Middletown. Floral arrangements in Shrewsbury; fine art pieces by the area’s best-known creatives in Little Silver. All around the villages and hamlets of the greater Red Bank Green, a dedicated core of neighbors seeks to combat the seasonal brainfreeze of “shopper’s block;” seeding inspiration for gift-givers who want to think outside the big-box store for the special ones on their list — and it’s all happening this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Just weeks after hosting her annual Art Show and Sale at Mudslingers Pottery, master potter Lauren Bellero takes part in a special Holiday Open House event this Friday, December 5. Between the hours of 3 to 9 pm, shoppers on a quest for something truly unique can visit 12 Oak Street in Lincroft to select from a display of the artist’s award winning pit-fired decorative creations (candle holders, vases, bowls and more) and glazed cookware — or visit the Mudslingers website to make an appointment.

Open for business at picturesque Poricy Park this weekend, the Nature Conservancy’s Holiday and Craft Shop offers up an array of locally sourced wood, pottery, crochet, fine art and home decor items, available for purchase between the hours of 11 am to 4 pm on December 5, 6 and 7. They’ll be doing it all again next weekend too, with shop hours on December 12, 13 and 14 — but there’s much more to see this weekend, with details around the bend.

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RED BANK: CAR VANDALIZED WITH… BACON?

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of November 27 to December 3, 2014. This information is unedited.

CRIMES

Theft reported on 11-30-14 but occurring on 11-27-14 at East Front Street, restaurant/bar. Victim reported that unknown subject(s) stole a jacket which contained a set of keys and an IPad. Sgt. David Hicks.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 11-30-14 at McLaren St. Victim reported that unknown person(s) placed raw bacon on the hood and roof of parked car. Ptl. Nicholas Maletto

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RBC DOMINATES POINT ON ICE

Red Bank Catholic got hat tricks from Evan Hoey and Alec Mintz, plus single goals by Matt Chinnici and Max Weber, in an 8-1 win over Point Pleasant Boro in the Caseys’ home opener at the Red Bank Armory Wednesday. Shore Sports Zone has the video highlights.

RED BANK: THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GOING?

rb portapotty 120414A portapotty on Branch Avenue in Red Bank bedecked in the holiday spirit Thursday morning. Leave your best puns in the comments below. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: METER BOND INTRODUCED… MAYBE

rb water meter 120414 2New metering technology would use telemetry, replacing the current system, which requires a borough employee to touch a reading device to puck-shaped interface. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s council barely mustered enough votes to introduce an ordinance for a $2.2 million bond to pay for new water meters throughout town Wednesday night.

Or did it?

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RUMSON: OF PAWS AND CLAWS

20141115103803_00001Members of the RFH Paws and Claws Club prepare to deliver donated towels and linens to the Humane Society in Tinton Falls.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Just in time for the winter months, animals at the Associated Humane Society shelter in Tinton Falls were provided with warm bedding thanks to a recent fundraiser.

Recently, the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School organization Paws and Claws held a towel/linen drive, during which RFH homerooms collected a total of approximately 150 clean and gently-used bedding essentials for the shelter, which had been extremely low on these supplies.

Club Officers, along with their Advisor Lauren Thieme, delivered the items to the Humane Society.

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RED BANK: LAUTERWASSER TO BE FD CHIEF

rbfd chiefs 120214 1Chief-elect Joe Lauterwasser, right arrives at the First Aid building Tuesday night with his prospective first deputy, Chris Soden, left, and second deputy Pete DeFazio, center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03If there’s one constant that defines the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department, it’s family.

That was evident on Tuesday night, when the 143-year-old department’s annual election night celebration was dominated by names and faces that would have been familiar to attendees generations ago.

“We’re based on tradition,” said ex-chief George Lauterwasser (2002) as he awaited the arrival of the chief-elect, his 30-year-old son, Joe, at the First Aid building on Spring Street with dozens of other volunteers. “We keep it up with the kids. We’re old school.”

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RED BANK: ONE MORE SHINING MOMENT

Camelot_press_photo_2The eight-actor company of CAMELOT — augmented by a heads-on-a-stick ensemble — spend a thrilling day at The Jousts, in the re-imagined musical classic that continues on stage at Two River Theater. (Photo by T.C. Erickson)

It’s a shining kingdom of law and virtue that boasts a population of just eight humans — and only one woman in town, at that. But if the Two River Theater Company production of Camelot seems to be missing a few of its usual fixtures — the dour middle-aged actors, the cardboard castle walls, the pointy hats — what stands revealed at its heart is one of the true evergreen musicals of its (late 1950s/ early 1960s) era, with one of the most sharply delineated triangles in stage history, and a memorably introspective score by the Lerner and Loewe team that previously brought the world My Fair Lady.

Directed here by the Emmy winning sitcom impresario David Lee (Frasier, Wings), this is a Camelot the likes of which you may not immediately recognize — one that dispenses with several of the familiar characters (including Merlin), and which paints over the memory of Richard Harris and other brooding King Arthurs with a fresh-faced cast of young pros that take the story back to basics, against a functionally spare multi-level staging that sometimes substitutes pantomime for pageantry (and, in the percussively choreographed opening moments, a healthy bit of STOMP in place of pomp).

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