RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN HELPS UGANDAN GIRLS

Picture 1Members of Global Women Empowerment, a student-run organization based at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, recently coordinated a series of fundraising initiatives benefiting sponsored students in Africa, in addition to several domestic and international nonprofits. 

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Global Women Empowerment, a student organization at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, recently completed a highly successful fundraiser in support of Change A Life Uganda’s program Tuition for Tots-to-Teens.

The fundraising effort, which included the sale of handmade Ugandan bracelets as well as lollipops, raised over $2,000. The collected funds will allow two girls to attend school in Uganda.

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LITTLE SILVER: CYBER WARRIORS IN TRAINING

TeamMaroon1stPictured left to right are embers of Red Bank Regional Academy of Information Technology “Team Maroon” Kyle Neary, Josh Eve, Tyler Birn, Louis DiOrio, Bobby Villaluz (being held up) and Mark Eulner).  The students took first place in the State round of the CyberPatriot competition, among 48 competing teams.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Two teams from the Red Bank Regional High School Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) recently finished first and second in New Jersey in the state round of the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. Both teams now go on to compete in the regional round of the competition, which takes place January 16- 18.

In all, 2,175 teams registered to compete in the nationwide Cyber Patriot tournament, with 48 teams from New Jersey.

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RED BANK: BITING COLD GRIPS THE GREEN

jim barnett 0107159 degrees 010815Jim Barnett walks his furry little friend down frigid Broad Street in Red Bank Wednesday night, when temperatures were hovering around 18 degrees. By early Thursday morning, the temperature had dropped into the single digits, as seen at right – and with the wind factored in, it was seven degrees below zero at 5 a.m, according to the National Weather Service.

The NWS forecasts continued freezing temperatures through Saturday, with a dusting of perhaps half an inch of snow Friday.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: HOMEBUILDERS EYE WEST FRONT

76-78 w front 010715Under concept plans filed by KHov, a building at Maple Avenue and West Front Street, center above, would be replaced by eight townhouses. Less than a block away, a developer is seeking approval for 35 rental units, shown below, on a vacant lot already approved for 27 condos. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

55 w front 010715 2More multi-unit homebuilders have their eyes on Red Bank. West Front Street, in particular.

Two proposals that would add 43 new residences to the stretch of West Front between Maple Avenue and English Plaza have been filed with the borough planning board.

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RUMSON: HAVE TRIV’, WILL TRAV’

nortontrivia2The Third Best Trivia Host in America — Little Silver’s own “Gentleman” Jim Norton — brings his bar-hopping brand of “brain-bending quizzes” to a Thursday Night Trivia stand at Molly Maguire’s. (Photo by Diana Moore)

It’s an interactive entertainment in which “questions range from high brow to high school, and fortune favors the squad with a well-rounded range of knowledge” — a “unique blend of brain-bending quizzes and lighthearted crowd work” that commandeers “the spot where generations of the area’s brightest and most attractive have put their wits on display.” Namely, Molly Maguire’s Gastropub.

Going up at the Rumson watering spot this Thursday night, January 8 and each Thor’s Day thereafter for the foreseeable future, Thursday Night Trivia (TNT) puts a locally sourced, personality-packed twist on a popular attraction for teams of up to eight players (with prizes awarded to First and Second Place groups). The contest is lorded over by “Master of Minutiae, Impresario of the Immaterial” and Little Silver resident Gentleman Jim Norton — recovering title insurance agent; veteran roadie/ tech guy/ sound pro for everyone from Frank Sinatra Jr. to Iggy Pop, and self-described “emcee, scorekeeper, off-the-cuff insult comic and Ombudsman” whose little sideline endeavor has grown to become a favorite weekly draw at taverns and nightspots throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties.

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RED BANK: MIXED ASIAN AMID ROMANCE

122314 oriental3Thick Japanese style udon noodles and a tender steak entree served on a fun, wonky-shaped plate. Below, waitress Yuki explained not only the vast menu offerings but the story of the wall mural. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

122314 oriental1An ancient Chinese myth full of romance and heartbreak is the theme of murals gracing two walls at Oriental Empire, a recent addition to the Red Bank dining scene in English Plaza.

Found amid the murals of the Seven Sisters and the glowing stars, there are earthy wooden tables, stools at a counter with a view of the parking lot, a flat screen TV in one corner and a large hibachi grill.

Like the contradictory decor, the menu also offers choices to suit a myriad of tastes. True to the restaurant name, the food – while decidedly Asian –  is not specific to one country or ethnicity. Chinese, Thai, Japanese, and Indian influences can all be found here, and some of the dishes seem to be a fusion of the different styles and cultures, like the starter of samosas that we shared.

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BARRY LIGHTS IT UP AS RFH TOPS SHORE

Brendan Barry put on a sensational show for the home crowd as Rumson-Fair Haven defeated Shore Regional, 56-46, in boys basketball Tuesday. Barry had seven three-pointers, including one from the next zip code. Shore Sports Zone has the video highlights.

RUMSON PARADE LOSES ‘FEARLESS LEADER’

LarkinThe organizers of the Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade have announced that this year’s third annual march will honor the memory of Michael Larkin, president of the parade’s Board of Trustees and an instrumental figure in the founding of the community event, scheduled to proceed on Sunday, March 8.

A resident of Sea Bright, and President of Michael J. Larkin Associates, a global fundraising and event consulting company, Larkin passed away in late December, while preparations were being made for the first in a round of fundraiser events keyed to this year’s parade — a schedule that kicks off on January 17 with a now-traditional party at Murphy’s Tavern in Rumson.

A co-founder of the the Sandy Hook Foundation and producer of the first three New Jersey Marathons, Larkin coordinated events for national non-profit organizations in the United States, the UK and Bermuda. In addition to the late parade president, the 2015 event will honor a pair of local charities — Jason’s Dreams for Kids, an organization that fulfills the wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses through a variety of fundraising events, and Lincroft-based Special People United to Ride (SPUR), a program that brings both riding skills and life skills to young people through therapeutic equestrian sessions with PATH Certified instructors.

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ACCIDENTAL PHOTO: TRACKING THE WEATHER

hubbard 010615Oh, the irony: Someone put an indoor ski machine out on the curb on Hubbard Avenue in Middletown just in time for the first snowfall of 2015.

The snow should end by 5 p.m. with an accummulation of less than two inches, the National Weather Service says. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: POLICE TO HOLD CRIME FORUM

MCCONNELL MENNA 122314 2Police Chief Darren McConnell and Mayor Pasquale Menna at a community meeting on the recent shootings last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02Responding to requests for increased community engagement, in the aftermath of recent shootings on the West Side, the Red Bank police department has scheduled an open forum for next week.

Here’s the announcement, sent out by borough hall Monday:

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LINCROFT: HOPE FOR SNOW?

winterfestWhen life gives you winter, make Winterfest — the inaugural celebration of which happens at Lincroft’s Thompson Park this Saturday afternoon.

“Cross your fingers and hope for snow!” reads the perky press release for Winterfest, a celebration of the season that arrives at Lincroft’s Thompson Park for a first-ever edition this Saturday, January 10. A presentation of the Monmouth County Parks System, the event is designed to “banish the winter blues” with a wonderland of outdoor activities that range from a Frozen-themed scavenger hunt and broomball games for the kids, to cross-country ski and snowshoe clinics for grownup trekkers (with gear rentals available).

There’s a great deal more to be found under the weak winter sun between the hours of 1:30 and 5:30 pm — including such all-ages diversions as ice skating (bring your own skates), horse-drawn sleigh rides, a snowman building contest and snowball fight — much of it weather-permitting of course, but with enough snowless fun (winter crafts, costume character parade) to make it worth a visit.

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RED BANK: SCHWABENBAUER TAKES OFFICE

schwabenbauer 010415Councilman Mike DuPont snaps a photo as Linda Schwabenbauer, joined by her father, Abe Schwabenbauer, awaits her swearing-in as a council member. Pasquale Menna, below, began his third four-year term as mayor. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

pasquale menna 010415 2One year after Cindy Burnham ended a four-year lock by Democrats, Linda Schwabenbauer became the second Republican on the on the Red Bank council Sunday.

In keeping with recent tradition, however, partisanship was set aside as the annual reorganization of the borough government was marked by pledges of togetherness.

Invoking the way in which college hockey players came to shed their school identities to form the United States Olympic team in 1980, Schwabenbauer said that every member of the six-member council “has a party affiliation or cause, but each of us plays for Red Bank.”

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RUMSON: A TALK ABOUT ‘DEGENERATE’ ART

DAKirchnerPress release from Congregation B’Nai Israel

“Degenerate Art” — or artwork that Hitler saw as a menace to German culture — is once again in the headlines, as looted art troves are discovered in Europe and their provenance hotly debated.  What is the history behind the headlines?  Why were some of the great artists of our time – Chagall, Klee, Kandinsky – targeted and their artwork banned?

On Sunday, January 11, art historian Vivian Gordon will visit Congregation B’nai Israel (CBI) in Rumson to speak on these 20th century masters and their treatment in Nazi-era Germany. The subject of a recent show at the Neue Galerie in New York City, the story of “degenerate” art also has drawn attention from the recent discovery of a huge stash of modern work found in a Munich apartment, and from the film The Monuments Men.

A specialist in European art and a lecturer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art., Vivian Gordon gives private and group tours of the Museums’s permanent collection and special exhibitions. The 11 am presentation, for which advance registration is required by Thursday, January 8, is being co-sponsored by Congregation B’nai Israel, the Red Bank Chapter of Hadassah and CHHANGE.

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SHREWSBURY: THREE BURGLARIES REPORTED

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of December 12 to December 26, 2014.

AUTHORITIES_SBURY2-2014Report of Burglary in the area of Samara Drive on 12/15/14. Victim reports unknown subject(s) entered residence and removed property. Ptl. Matthew Clark investigating.

Report of Theft in the area of Court Drive on 12/15/14. Victim reports property taken from exterior of residence. Ptl. Joseph Barnicle investigating.

Report of Criminal Mischief in the area of Broad Street on 12/16/14. Victim reports unknown subject(s) vandalized property. Damages totaling $200.00. Sgt. Jessica Boyd investigating.

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RED BANK: JCP&L DISPUTES ‘EXPLOSION’ CLAIM

rb fire 010415 1A series of eruptions displaced a manhole cover and bricks outside Red Bank Catholic, above. Below, JCP&L workers on making repairs in the “handhole” early Monday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb explosion 010515 1Were there explosions on Broad Street in Red Bank on Sunday?

Yes, according to eyewitnesses. No, according to a JCP&L spokesman – and the sidewalks downtown are as safe as ever.

Through spokesman Ron Morano, the electrical utility on Monday disputed claims that its equipment had exploded up to four times outside the St. James Church/Red Bank Catholic High complex, as reported on redbankgreen and elsewhere.

The claim that there were no explosions surprised police Chief Darren McConnell, who said he saw two himself as he stood in the cordoned-off stretch of Broad Street shortly after 3 p.m.

“I don’t know what they’re defining as an explosion,” McConnell said. “I saw what happened, and what happened looked an awful lot like an explosion to me.”

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LINCROFT: BCC IS BEST IN SHOW

Home-Show-in-ArenaOnline shopping was never like this: Brookdale Community College hosts the brick ‘n mortar bazaar that is the 25th annual Jersey Shore Home Show, one of a pair of three-day special events happening this weekend on the Lincroft campus. 

It’s a strolling smorgasbord of product showcases and demos — everything from spas to sponges, bath stalls to burglar alarms, flagpoles to floor coverings, stonework to solar panels, windows to water treatments, and every helpful/ healthful thing between.

Now marking a quarter-century as a form of therapy for cabin fever in the drab foothills of the calendar year, the Jersey Shore Home Show returns to the Robert J. Collins Arena at Brookdale Community College for a 25th annual edition.

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MIDDLETOWN: BUSTIN’ INTO THE NEW YEAR

Recent arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Middletown Township Police Department.

AUTHORITIES_MTOWN2-2014Frank Ferraro, age 23, from Fox Road in Edison, NJ, arrested on December 16, 2014 by Patrolman Nicholas Fenezia on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was held on $1,000.00 bail.

John Henkel, age 30, from Jefferson Street in Red Bank, NJ, arrested on December 16, 2014 by Patrolman Ian May for Simple Assault. He was held on $500.00 bail set by Judge Richard Thompson.

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RED BANK: ARE SIDEWALKS SAFE?

The explosions occurred in two transformer pits outside Red Bank Catholic High and St. James Church Sunday afternoon.  (Video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02Red Bank officials are scheduled to meet Monday with power company representatives to determine what caused Sunday’s electrical equipment explosions on Broad Street, Mayor Pasquale Menna tells redbankgreen.

Also on the table, he said, is the question of whether JCP&L’s underground equipment, which runs the length of Broad Street downtown, is safe, he said.

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RBC TOPS CROSSTOWN RIVAL RBR IN HOOPS

Kevin Fazio had 17 points and four other Red Bank Catholic starters were in the double digits as the Caseys topped  crosstown rival Red Bank Regional 71-66 at RBC Saturday afternoon. The Bucs got 18 points from Sadiq Palmer but suffered their first loss of the season as the Caseys bounced back from a loss in the finals of the WOBM Christmas Classic to Toms River North with a divisional victory. Shore Sports Zone has the video highlights.

RED BANK: AN OPEN HOUSE AT CYMCA

ymca1Red Bank’s Community YMCA Health and Wellness Center on Maple Avenue hosts an Open House event on January 10, part of a statewide initiative to promote positive personal change and good health.

Press release from The Community YMCA

It seems nearly everyone has a “New Year’s resolution,” but statistics indicate that less than a quarter of these resolutions are kept.

Creating personal change takes effort, and support. To encourage individuals and families to make their resolutions a reality, YMCAs across the state have come together to host an Open House event at their local facilities on January 10 — including the Health and Wellness Center of the Red Bank-based Community YMCA.

Families and individuals of all ages are invited to the January 10 event, going on between 9 am and 3 pm. Tours of the facility will be available, and for those who decide to sign up for a membership during the open house, the Y is offering the month of January for free.

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RED BANK: POWER BACK ON AFTER EXPLOSIONS

rb explosion 010515 2A JCP&L crew working outside RBC at about 4:35 Monday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02Utility workers restored electrical power to downtown Red Bank Sunday night following a series of underground transformer explosions that sent manhole covers and bricks flying at mid-afternoon.

No one was reported injured in the blasts, which occurred in two curbside service pits located about 100 feet apart outside the Red Bank Catholic High School/Saint James Church complex on Broad Street, with the first of four explosions reported at about 3:06 p.m.

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RED BANK: EXPLOSIONS ROCK BROAD STREET

rb fire 010415 2Smoke billows from one of two manholes on Broad Street Sunday afternoon. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb fire 010415 1A series of explosions in underground electrical boxes rocked Broad Street in Red Bank Sunday afternoon.

No injuries were reported as the eruptions, in front of the St. James Church/Red Bank Catholic High School complex, sent steel covers and bricks flying from two manholes shortly after 3 p.m.

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RED BANK: GAFFIGAN, BEGIN AGAIN

jim-gaffigan copyIt’s another triple-header engagement by Jim Gaffigan in Red Bank, as the family-friendly funnyman comes to the Count Basie for three standup shows on Thursday and Friday.

He arrives backed by some fairly formidable credits — Emmy and Grammy nominations, a Broadway dramatic role, a certification as a New York Times best-selling author. The fact that his topics du jour remain life as a goofy, overweight dad (and an ongoing romance with Hot Pockets and donuts) doesn’t make Jim Gaffigan any less serious about his craft — and when the amiable comic takes his Obsessed Tour to the Count Basie Theatre in the days to come, he’ll be parking it here for an extended engagement that proves Red Bank area audiences are seriously into the standup style of Jim Gaffigan.

The actor-comedian-father of five had already scheduled a pair of Basie shows at 7 and 9:30 pm on Friday, January 9 — and reaction to the bookings was so enthusiastic as to warrant the addition of a third show, a day earlier on January 8 at 7 pm. It’s another feather in the crown for the “King of Clean” whose previous excursion to Monmouth Street was a similarly well-received three-show stand.

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SHREWSBURY: WHERE IS JUDGE GRIMKE?

Louise Knight John GrimkeAuthor Louise W. Knight joins a panel of fellow historians at Shrewsbury’s Christ Church on Tuesday morning,  for an investigation into the somewhat curious burial of Revolutionary War figure John F. Grimké.

It could have been the biggest mystery since the storied disappearance of Judge Crater – were it not for the fact that we already know the answer to the question “Where is Judge Grimké?” In fact, the biggest question surrounding the resting place of John Faucheraud Grimké (1752-1819) isn’t where he’s buried (spoiler alert: it’s Shrewsbury’s Christ Church Episcopal) — but why this Revolutionary War hero and prominent figure in South Carolina history wound up interred here on the greater Red Bank green.

This coming Tuesday, January 6, Christ Church Parish Historian Robert M. Kelly Jr. welcomes a pair of visitors to the 18th century meeting house at the borough’s Four Corners historic district — author Louise W. Knight, and Monmouth University professor (plus “graveyard expert”) Richard Veit. Together, they’ll be teaming up (and welcoming interested members of the public in the process) to delve into the circumstances that brought the prominent member of South Carolina society (and onetime mayor of Charleston, SC) to his final resting place in Monmouth County — an investigation that begins with an outdoor search for the judge’s gravestone, beginning at 11 am.

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