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CHURN: SHREWSBURY TO GET FAST GREEK EATS

89 ns rd 033015Greek Eats has signed to take the corner space, at right above, at the three-store 89 Newman Springs Road, now under construction. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508For about five years, Red Bank restaurateur George Lyristis has been developing an idea for a casual fast-food restaurant based on his ethnic heritage, he tells redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

Well, the time has come to make the concept real, he says. With the sale of their Zoe Bistro in Little Silver, effective Wednesday, Lyristis and his brothers Charlie and Taso are planning to open a new place called Greek Eats in Shrewsbury in coming months.

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RED BANK: GOP TAPS NEWCOMERS FOR RACE

taylor whelan 033015 1Mark Taylor, left, and Mike Whelan, center, with GOP Chairman Sean Di Somma outside borough hall Monday night. Democrats Mike DuPont and Art Murphy, below, on election night 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

dupont murphy 110612Red Bank Republicans, hoping to leverage gains in the last two municipal elections, have set their sights on control of the borough council for the first time in 25 years.

And as in the last election, when all-but-unknown Linda Schwabenbauer emerged as the top vote-getter in a field of four candidates, they’re putting their bets on political newcomers.

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RUMSON: A HOUSE THAT YOUTH BUILT

habitatPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

The Habitat for Humanity Club at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School has been officially named an affiliate campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity International. RFH, one of only two official campus chapters in Monmouth County, was recently awarded a disaster services grant totaling $11,100 from Habitat for Humanity International and State Farm Insurance.

The RFH Habitat for Humanity Club, with over 110 student members participating in builds, clean-up projects and fundraising, provided a boost to the campaign by applying for and receiving the grant. The money will be presented to Habitat for Humanity/The “House That Youth Built” by a representative from State Farm, which has been a supporter of Habitat for Humanity since 1994, and will be used by the Club for the “House That Youth Built,” a youth-based service project for the Henn Family of Middletown Township.

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RED BANK: THE PLAYWRIGHT’S THE THING

RubenTonyMadeleineTwo River Theater welcomes five playwrights to the stage — including, from left, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tony Meneses and Madeleine George — to discuss what it takes to bring a script from paper to production, in a free event Wednesday.   

They’re the people from whom it all springs — the bravura performances, the award-winning costumes and sets, the audience-dazzling technical effects — although a good half the time you won’t even find them lurking around the catering tables on opening night.

But if playwrights privately grouse that they often get even less respect than a Rodney Dangerfield rap record, there exists in Red Bank at least one local cubby of culture where the Word is given its due. And on Wednesday, a diverse and distinguished group of dramatists will gather to discuss the never-easy process through which the scripted idea becomes a fully realized moment.

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RED BANK CRIME & ARREST REPORTS

AUTHORITIES_RB3The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of March 19 to March 26, 2015. This information is unedited.

CRIMES

Theft occurring at Chapin Ave. on 3-20-15. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole an I-Phone, credit card and debit card from desk area. Inv. Jorge Torres.

Attempted Burglary reported on 3-22-15 at Alston Court residence. Victim reported that unknown person(s) attempted to gain entry, but failed. Observed pry marks on exterior sliding glass doors and bilko doors leading to basement. Also there was a screen cut on rear window of residence. No entry gained. Sgt. David Hicks.

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RED BANK: LIBRARY AVERTS PREDICTED CRISIS

rbpl 1 102113Dire forecasts made by library board members who resigned a year ago have not panned out, officials say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[Article updated with post-publication comment below]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Nearly one year after a mass resignation by trusteees over budget issues that they said imperiled its future, the Red Bank Public Library hasn’t collapsed into the river it overlooks.

Nor has it been swamped by red ink. In fact, the institution is doing quite well, says its new director, Elizabeth McDermott, who recently accepted the job on a permanent basis – after first rejecting it – largely because of the turnaround she helped guide.

“The building didn’t fall down,” McDermott told redbankgreen earlier this month, following a meeting at which the board approved a new $1 million budget. “In fact, we’re growing.”

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FAIR HAVEN: KIDS DO LUNCH WITH VIPs

20150311_115509Press release from Fair Haven School District

“Lunch with a VIP,” a yearly event that is highly anticipated by students and their guests, was once again a rousing success at Viola L. Sickles school in Fair Haven.

Sponsored by the Fair Haven Parent Teacher Association, the event offers students the opportunity to enjoy lunch, treats, and fun activities with a special guest “Very Important Person” from their life. This year’s “Lunch with a VIP” was held from March 11-13 for first, second, and third graders respectively.

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RED BANK: SOMEONE’S IN THE KITCHEN

JBJThe JBJ Soul Kitchen on Monmouth Street is the setting for a special Spring Into Healthier Cooking event starring chef-nutritionist Diane Henderiks.

jbj menuProclaiming that “the warmer weather is finally here!” (and that “it’s time to put the cold weather and comfort foods behind us”), nationally noted nutritionist Diane Henderiks commandeers the kitchen — Jon and Dorothea Bon Jovi’s JBJ Soul Kitchen, that is — for a special Tuesday evening event during which “America’s favorite culinary nutritionist shares her expertise, tips and secrets of how to cook healthy without sacrificing flavor.”

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RED BANK HAIR SALON MARKS 25 YEARS

indulgence 2Indulgence Salon in Red Bank marks its 25th anniversary. (Click to enlarge)

(Press release from Indulgence Salon)

indulgenceIndulgence, the full service hair salon, on Wallace Street, is celebrating its 25th year offering year offering beauty services to the local community, ranging from initial consultations to full color to great cuts.

The talented stylists at Indulgence bring more than 30 years of combined experience and countless hours of continuing professional development to each consultation with a client.

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LINCROFT: LUNCH AT THE INN

032115 lincroftinn2A pastrami Reuben  at the Lincroft Inn served in the antique dining room, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

032115 lincroftinn1From outside, the Lincroft Inn, located on Newman Springs Road in the Lincroft section of Middletown, appears a lot like many of the buildings in the strip malls surrounding it: blandly contemporary.

But step inside, and the exposed rafters and wood-paneled walls exude an Old World charm that’s real, because it dates back to 1697, according to the backstory provided in the vast tome of a menu.

As PieHole discovered on a recent What’s For Lunch outing, the inn offers a range of dishes, from elegant Continental fare to a grubby Jersey favorite: a porkroll and cheese sandwich.

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CHURN: SUSHI, GOWNS, YOGA & CHOCOLATE

toki 032515Toki Japanese Cuisine takes over the former home of the Broadway Grille, at Broad and Monmouth streets. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508This edition of Retail Churn is chock full o’ news, including:

• the opening of a sushi restaurant in the heart of downtown Red Bank

• the closing of a specialty clothing store

• a change of plans for a chocolatier

and more, right around the corner…

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HUBBARD’S BRIDGE: IT’S GETTING THERE

hubbards bridge 031715hubbard  plan 2008Parapets similar to those on the nearby Route 35 Cooper’s Bridge were being installed on the new Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown last week, as seen from the existing temporary steel span, which has been closed since the start of the year but remains open to pedestrians and bicyclists.

Despite the harsh winter, the Monmouth County Engineer’s office still expects the new bridge, which spans the Swimming River at West Front Street, to be completed by May 16, a spokeswoman tells redbankgreen. (Photo above by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: RIVER RANGERS ARE GO FOR 2015

Swimming RvrpaddleThe borough-based Navesink Maritime Heritage Association (NMHA) has announced that its celebrated River Rangers canoeing program for children ages 10-14 is now open to registrations for Summer 2015 programs in July and August.

Each five-day program runs Mondays through Fridays, 8:30 am to 1:30 pm, beginning with the week of July 6-10 —  and continuing with sessions on July 13-17, July 20-24, July 27-31, August 3-7, and August 10-14.

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LINCROFT: GO CAMPING AT A COUNTY PARK

Press release from Monmouth County Parks System

The Monmouth County Parks System, headquartered at Thompson Park in Lincroft, has announced that its family campground at Turkey Swamp Park in Freehold Township will be opening for the season on Wednesday, April 1.

Located on Georgia Road, the campground features 64 wooded campsites; 52 of which can be reserved, while 12 are available on a first come, first serve basis. All campsites are pull-through, and offer water and electric hookups. The facility features drinking water, a dump station, picnic tables, modern restrooms with hot showers and laundry, as well as fire rings for charcoal cooking and campfires. Families are sure to appreciate “quiet hours,” from 10 pm to 7 am.

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RED BANK: INDIE THEATER, UPSIDE THE BASIE

basie marquee 1 090213Those in the know count the upstairs rehearsal room as another cool space at the Basie. Below, Lorraine “The Wisdomkeeper” Stone. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

wisdomkeeperObservers of the Red Bank arts scene could tell you that some of the most interesting stuff often happens one flight above street level (think of a place like McKay Imaging Gallery) — and the same notion applies to the Count Basie Theatre, where the landmark building’s second-floor “Studio 99” rehearsal space represents a hidden-in-plain-sight venue for events that are intimately scaled in relation to the venerable venue’s famous auditorium.

It’s a place that’s hosted past offerings from Dunbar Repertory Company, the African American community stage troupe founded by Brookdale Community College faculty member (and participant on the Basie board) Darrell Lawrence Willis Sr. This Sunday, Studio 99 presents the first of three “professional staged reading” theatrical presentations from the Dunbar fold in spring 2015.

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RED BANK: BEFORE THE ALBUM DROP

JESSE_MALINSinger-songwriter Jesse Malin makes an in-store performance and signing appearance at Jack’s Music Shoppe this Sunday — an event at which fans can pick up a pre-release copy of his new album, NEW YORK BEFORE THE WAR.

As one of the last area outposts of that bulwark-against-boredom that is the neighborhood indie record store, Jack’s Music Shoppe continues to hold down the fort on the tradition of the live, in-store appearance — and this Sunday, March 29, the downtown landmark will be hosting a special acoustic performance by NYC-based singer-songwriter (and onetime D Generation frontman), Jesse Malin.

It’s a rare up-close-and-personal opportunity to catch the rock troubador before he departs these shores for a spring/summer European tour — and it’s also a chance for fans to get their hands on Malin’s new album New York Before The War, two whole days prior to its official release date.

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RED BANK: LONG-VACANT BUILDING SOLD

67 broad 031415After a seven-year vacancy, 67 Broad Street has a new owner, who says he hopes to have a tenant in by summer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508A gaping, long-term and somewhat mysterious vacancy in the heart of downtown Red Bank appears to be nearing an end.

Jeweler Joe Romanowski, who owns two stores on Broad Street, has purchased the building at 67 Broad, next door to his Poor Cat Designs boutique, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has learned.

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RED BANK: TREE ENSHROUDED IN… PLASTIC?

hudson tree 032615Why was there a plastic sheet hanging in a tree on Hudson Avenue in Red Bank Thursday morning? We haven’t the foggiest. So here’s your chance to write your own caption… (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

MIDDLETOWN: ARREST REPORTS

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

AUTHORITIES_MTOWN2Jeffrey Kowal, age 18, from Rutledge Drive in Red Bank, NJ, arrested on March 10, 2015 on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was held on $1,000.00 bail.

Wayne Carhart, age 36, from Church Street in Belford, NJ, arrested on March 10, 2015 by Patrolman Michael Reuter on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Holmdel Municipal Court. He was held on $2,000.00 bail.

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RUMSON’S VELCAMP IS ‘UNSUNG HERO’

jack velcampPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

During the January 20 meeting of the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional Board of Education, RFH freshman Jack Velcamp was presented with the 2014 “Unsung Hero” Award from the Jersey Shore Chapter of the New Jersey Football Officials Association (NJFOA).

NJFOA Shore Chapter Member Dennis Heard presented Jack with the award, which was created in 2005 to honor football players and students who demonstrate dedication in the face of adversity. The annual honor is funded by the Manasquan Elks.

The son of Marianne and Joe Velcamp of Rumson, Jack has a form of dwarfism known as Achondroplasia that prevents him from participating in the game of football. Nonetheless, he has made positive contributions to the RFH program – first as a waterboy, and now as head of sideline operations. He also works with the RFH basketball program and Head Coach Chris Champeau.

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RED BANK: MORE PAID PARKING OK’D

rb monmouth st 031015The plan enables the town to charge for parking on parts of Bridge Avenue and Monmouth Street that have long been subject to two-hour parking limits, which merchants say were not enforced. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Over the objections of business owners and nearby residents, the Red Bank council approved a controversial plan to expand the paid parking zone in the central business district Wednesday night.

The go-ahead came on a rare tiebreaker vote by Mayor Pasquale Menna after a 3-3 deadlock among council members, one of whom, Council President Art Murphy, moved and voted in favor of the plan by phone.

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RED BANK: GALLERY STYLE IN GOTHAM

Bill Mack GaryRelief sculptor Bill Mack and painter Gary Welton will appear at Red Bank’s Gotham Restaurant during a Friday/Saturday stand.

In between displays of Batman-related memorabilia and other popcultural artifacts, visitors to Gotham Red Bank have been treated to an ongoing wall exhibit of “relief sculptures” by Bill Mack. And just as the Minnesota-based artist’s creations tend to dip a toe into the dimension beyond their frames, so will Mr. Mack himself leave his Minneapolis homebase for a two-day, in-person Broad Street sojourn that takes place this Friday and Saturday.

The mustachioed Midwesterner, whose website touts his standing as “the world’s preeminent relief sculptor,” will be joined for a total of four  Meet the Artist sessions by a fellow Minnesotan, whose work has also graced the walls of Gotham — the self-described “painter of movement” Gary Welton.

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RED BANK FINANCIAL ADVISOR INDICTED

evan kochavEvan Kochav seen in a frame from a promotional video for Marcus Evans.  (Click to enlarge)

A financial consultant said to be have been based in Red Bank was indicted Tuesday on charges he stole more than $560,000 from investors.

The indictment of 33-year-old Jersey City resident Evan Kochav, handed down by a grand jury in Trenton on Tuesday, comes five months after the state Bureau of Securities slapped Kochav and his firm with a $2 million civil fine for defrauding investors.

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FAIR HAVEN SCHOOLS CELEBRATE SEUSS

seussStudents at Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven listen intently as they try to guess the identity of a “mystery reader” during the school’s birthday celebration for Dr. Seuss.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Even a cranky “Grinch” would have been smiling at the Fair Haven School District’s birthday celebration for beloved author Theodor Seuss Geisel — the writer and cartoonist (1904-1991) best known under his pen name, Dr. Seuss.

The extravaganza at Sickles School kicked off on March 2 – Suess’s birthday and “Read Across America” day — with a “Birthday Celebration” assembly.  Kindergarten-through-third grade students, attired in red and white in honor of the Seuss character “The Cat in the Hat,” listened as faculty members, onstage but hidden by the curtain, acted as “mystery readers.” When challenged to guess the teachers’ identities, the students succeeded “one hundred percent.” The entire assembly then took part in a spirited rendition of “Happy Birthday to You.”

The fun continued as Guest Readers from the community visited classrooms to share Dr. Seuss books. Guest Reader Kevin Davis, Principal of the fourth-through-eighth grade Knollwood School, read a few of his favorites to third graders. Another celebratory event at Sickles was the creation of a “Books Will Build You Up” music video (which can be viewed here), featuring students and staff celebrating the joys of reading.

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