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NEW YEARS EVE: BARTENDERS HAVE YOUR BACK

110815ryanat the belmonteRyan Matthews, bartender at the Belmonte, has a non-alcoholic cocktail for you. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

morsels mediumSo, what’s the plan for New Years Eve? Will be ringing in 2016 at one or more bars and restaurants on the Greater Red Bank Green?

Your local bartender has some advice on how to stay safe while having an enjoyable celebration. It starts with a plan — and, possibly, a designated driver.
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LINCROFT: WALK, TALK AT THE MEETINGHOUSE

UUCMCNJThe Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse offers an opportunity for quiet reflection on New Year’s Day — and some spirited dialogue every Sunday morning thereafter.  

The resolutions that we make on New Year’s Eve may constitute some bold and fearless talk — but in the cold light of New Year’s Day, it’s not always so easy to walk that walk. Fortunately, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County offers all members of the community the opportunity to start 2016 off on a good foot or two, by “walking the labyrinth” for some moments of quiet reflection and meditation as you begin another journey around the sun with the best of intentions and hopes for the months ahead. The (temporary) labyrinth will be installed inside the Earth Room at the Unitarian Meetinghouse between the hours of 3 to 6 pm on Friday, and there will be light refreshments served up in the nearby Community Room, with all attendees invited to contribute a dessert to this free and all-welcome event.

While New Year’s Day comes and goes in a flash, the UUCMC’s Sunday Dialogs events remain a year-round happening at the West Front Street place of worship — and the long-running lecture series on timely topics will be wasting no time getting down to the matter at hand here in 2016, as the Meetinghouse welcomes guest speaker Russell Binaco to the lectern this Sunday morning, January 3.

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ANTOINE-LED RANNEY TAKES MARTIN CLASSIC

At the Albert E. Martin Classic final Wednesday night, Ranny School freshman Bryan Antoine scored 27 points as the Panthers topped Red Bank Regional, 67-51, in front of a capacity crowd in Little Silver. Antoine scored 88 points in the three games and was named tournament MVPShore Sports Zone has the video highlights.

Earlier in the day, RBR’s girls’ basketball team lost to Holmdel, 52-39, in the final ofthe Bayshore Classic in Holmdel. Those highlights are here. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone.)

RED BANK: MAN LEAPS TO HIS DEATH

grandville-towers2A 40-year-old man who previously resided at Grandville Towers in Red Bank leapt to his death from the building’s 10th floor Monday morning, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. An investigation found no wrongdoing, a spokesman for the office said Wednesday. [Correction: the original report from the prosecutor said the victim was a resident of the building; that statement was later amended to say he was a former resident. (Archive photo. Click to enlarge)

 

LINCROFT: ALEO’S MOVEABLE FEAST

121215aleo3The helpful employees at Aleo Italian Specialties get customer orders out quickly. Below, some of the many gourmet takeout options.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

121215aleo4Stepping into Aleo Italian Specialties in the Acme shopping center on Newman Springs Road in Lincroft, PieHole was immediately hit with a feeling of deja vu.

The aroma of cheese and garlic surrounds you, calling to mind Arthur Avenue, the famous Little Italy shopping area in the Bronx. Then there’s the sight of food — everywhere. Hanging salami and cheese; shelves filled with rustic fresh breads from Brooklyn; imported dry pasta; and deli counters teeming with house-made delicacies. Your mouth waters and you forget what you came in for.

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M’TOWN GIRLS BEAT RBC FOR AILING COACH

With head coach Tom Brennan out indefinitely with medical issues, Middletown South’s girls basketball squad came from behind to beat Red Bank Catholic, 46-43, to reach the WOBM Christmas finals Tuesday. Haley Dalonzo and Stephanie Karcz each scored 13 points, and Alexandra Balsamo blocked a shot in the final second to preserve the victory.  Shore Sports Zone has the video highlights. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone.)

RBR, RANNEY TO FACE OFF IN MARTIN CLASSIC

Sadiq Palmer scored 22 and sophomore Matt Reardon put up 14 as host and defending champs Red Bank Regional topped Central Regional, 58-35, at the Albert E. Martin Classic in Little Silver Monday. 

Meanwhile, with four freshmen on the starting squad, Ranney School, led by Bryan Antoine’s 34 points, ran away from Sayreville, 71-57 in a dunkfest. Shore Sports Zone has the video highlights of those two games and more.

RBR and Ranney are scheduled to battle for the tournament title Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Little Silver. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone.)

RBR MAKES COLLEGE BOARD HONOR ROLL

rbrPress release from Red Bank Regional High School

As detailed in the sixth annual AP (Advanced Placement) District Honor Roll, Red Bank Regional High School was named as one of only 425 school districts in the U.S. and Canada honored by the College Board for increasing access to AP course work, while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams.

Reaching these goals indicates that a district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for the opportunity of AP. To be included on the Honor Roll, RBR had to increase the number of students participating in AP, while also increasing or maintaining the number of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher since 2013.

Red Bank Regional was one of only 36 schools in New Jersey that earned this distinction, and one of two high schools in Monmouth County, the other being Manasquan School District.

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RUMSON PARADE MARCHES ON IN 2016

Press release from Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee

Jack C HowleyThe Fourth Annual Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on Sunday, March 13, 2016, beginning at 1 pm. The day will be complete with music, bag pipe bands, floats, marching bands from area high schools, Irish Step Dancers, classic cars, veteran groups, scouting organizations, non-profit organizations, schools, novelty acts, and area business and civic groups.

Mayor John Ekdahl and members of the borough council enthusiastically welcomed the announcement of this recently established local tradition, first organized in 2013. As she has since the event’s inception, JoAnn Pileggi of Fox 29 News Philadelphia will serve as Master of Ceremonies, and named as the 2016 Grand marshal is Jack C. Howley (pictured), president of Howley Financial Group, LLC and a founding board member and supporter of the Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee.

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RED BANK: JUKES COME HOME TO COUNT BASIE

SouthsideBasieNewYrsSouthside Johnny reignite a New Year’s Eve tradition this Thursday night.

“I’d wish you a merry Christmas,”  Southside Johnny Lyon told Count Basie Theatre crowd during one of the many Hope Concert fundraisers that he’s participated in over the years. “But it would be out of character.”

Maybe Christmas and Southside Johnny are an uneasy mix. This, after all, is the guy who’s been introduced by no less a Santa surrogate than Bruce Springsteen as the Grinch incarnate onstage. But you can hardly call him a holiday humbug in light of the traditional Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes New Year’s Eve party that returns to Red Bank following a one-year hiatus.

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SHREWSBURY POLICE BLOTTER

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of December 4 to December 22, 2015.

AUTHORITIES_SBURY2Crime Reports

A report of assault was reported by a female in the area of Staples Plaza on 12/11/2015. Ptl. Matthew Clark investigated.

A report of shoplifting was reported by a male in the area of Shrewsbury Plaza on 12/16/2015. Ptl. Matthew Clark handled investigation and arrest.

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RBC GIRLS HEAD TO TOURNAMENT SEMIS

With three scorers in the double digits, the Lady Caseys of Red Bank Catholic swamped Manchester, 57-36, in the quarterfinals of the WOBM Christmas Classic in Toms River Sunday. Shore Sports Zone has the video highlights. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone.)

RBR ADVANCES IN MARTIN TOURNEY

Sophomore Devin Cooper poured in 18 to lead all scorers as defending Albert E. Martin Classic champs Red Bank Regional busted open a 24-15 halftime advantage in Little Silver Sunday. The Bucs went on to win, 58-37, and advance to the semifinals against Central Regional Monday afternoon. Shore Sports Zone has the video highlights.

RUMSON: INTERSECTION CLOSED

rumson 122715Motorists in Rumson should avoid the intersection of Ridge Road and Bingham Avenue Monday. The intersection will be “completely closed” between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. as New Jersey Natural Gas begins work replacing a gas main between Bingham and Ward avenues, borough police said in an alert Sunday.  (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

 

FAIR HAVEN / RUMSON: BIKE LANES AWAIT

fh bike lane 121215Both a bicyclist and an approaching a jogger appeared shy recently about using a new bike lane on the Little Silver side of Harding Road, seen here from Tower Hill in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03To go along with their shiny new Christmas bikes, cyclists on the Greater Red Bank Green have a new riding course: 2.8 miles of freshly minted  bike lanes through Rumson and Fair Haven.

Marked with share-the-road “sharrow” icons, heavy white lines and signage, the lanes call attention to the presence of bikers in an effort to improve safety, says Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli, who advocated for them.

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RBR TOPS RBC, 46-40

Sadiq Palmer scored 13 as Red Bank Regional beat Red Bank Catholic in Little Silver Wednesday night. The 2-1 Bucs next face Sayreville in the Albert E. Martin Buc Classic on Sunday. Shore Sports Zone has the video highlights.

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS FOR RBR FAMILIES

givingtreePictured (left to right) at Red Bank Regional High School are RBR SOURCE Director Suzanne Keller, Youth Development Specialist Regina Cochrane, and RBR BUC Backer Foundation member Claire Harbeck Izzo, with the many donated gifts for RBR families in need. 

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Every year, The SOURCE Foundation at Red Bank Regional High School works to make the holidays brighter for its families in need. This year, partnering with the RBR BUC Backers Foundation, The SOURCE was able to quadruple its efforts through the Virtual Giving Tree program. Over $5,000 in gifts was donated within a two-week period that will benefit over 30 families.

“Our clinicians know the needs of our families and we obtain specific information on what our families can use for the holidays,” explained SOURCE director Suzanne Keller. “We would ask for donations among our staff and the school community, by placing the requests on a ‘Giving Tree’ in the school.”

Enter Claire Harbeck Izzo — a BUC Backer member and administrator for the Constant Contact email service — who thought that people might be more inclined to give if the process was simplified online. Through an amazing tool called Sign-Up Genius, Mrs. Izzo created a virtual list of all the specific needs requested by the SOURCE families and linked it to the BUC Backer email list. The slots were quickly and almost completely filled.

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RED BANK: GO TELL IT ON MONMOUTH

Black Nativity 2010A cast of some 45 actors, singers, dancers and community members brings the theatrical gospel celebration BLACK NATIVITY back to the Count Basie Theatre this Sunday, December 27, in the return of a local tradition from Dunbar Repertory Company. (Photo courtesy Richard Krauss)  

When it was first presented to Broadway audiences back in 1961, the theatrical experience known as Black Nativity was little more than a 40-page outline of a script on paper; an adaptation of the Gospel of St. Luke that was infused with the poetry of the Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes. In their fully fleshed form, however, the words came to life through a mix of traditional spirituals like “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” African American dance forms, colorful costumes, and an improvisatory element that encourages local clergy, schoolchildren and public officials to get into the act everywhere that Nativity has become the stuff of tradition, from Savannah, GA to Seattle, WA and numerous points between.

Beginning about the turn of the new millennium, Black Nativity became the stuff of Monmouth County tradition, when Darrell Lawrence Willis Sr. first presented its “powerful message of joy, hope, victory and liberation” at Manasquan’s landmark Algonquin Theatre, in a staging by Dunbar Repertory Company, the producer-director’s grassroots troupe dedicated to presenting the works of African American playwrights. Re-emerging at the Count Basie Theatre in 2010 (where Willis, a now-retired faculty member at Brookdale Community College, has served as a board member for ten years), the production quickly staked out a place as a year-end centerpiece of community life for performing artists and church congregations from all around Monmouth. Following a one-year hiatus, Black Nativity returns to the Basie stage this Sunday afternoon, December 27, for its fifth Red Bank appearance — a re-energized and highly anticipated extension of the Yueltide season, about which Willis found time to chat with redbankgreen.

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RUMSON: R-FH FOOTBALL COACH PUT ON LEAVE

Bryan Batchler 120715 2Rumson-Fair Haven Regional Coach Bryan Batchler celebrates with his team after they won their third straight state sectional football championship earlier this month. (Image courtesy of Shore Sports Zone)

By JOHN T. WARD

just_inRumson-Fair Haven Regional football coach Bryan Batchler has been placed on administrative leave from his job, redbankgreen has learned.

Batchler, who led the Bulldogs to their third consecutive state sectional title with a win over Red Bank Regional on December 5, was placed on leave by Superintendent Pete Righi on December 14, Righi confirmed Wednesday morning. Righi declined to say what prompted the suspension or provide any details about the situation.

The action “involves personnel matters and is therefore confidential,” Righi said.

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HOCKEY: RFH TOPS RBR AFTER BRAWL

The Rumson-Fair Haven Bulldogs raced to a 5-2 lead at the end of one period before Red Bank Regional scored two straight in the second to get within one goal. An on-ice melee resulted in five ejections (3 from RFH, 2 from RBR). Robbie Garavente scored two goals in the third period including an empty netter to put the game away. Watch the Shore Sports Zone highlights from the Red Bank Armory.

LINCROFT: EXPRESS GREETINGS AT CBA

tim mcloone holidayIn what has become an annual tradition at Christian Brothers Academy, over 40 students from CBA and Trinity Hall helped spread some holiday cheer on Thursday, December 17 during the annual Holiday Express Christmas Party. Students and faculty joined Tim McLoone (at keyboard) and the bandmembers and support team of Holiday Express for a day of Christmas fun and dancing, all to help adults with special needs and disabilities enjoy this special time of year. (More photos after the story break)

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RED BANK: BACKYARD BBQ GRILL EXPLODES

rb fire 122215 1A pair of explosions audible from blocks away brought out the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday night. Deputy fire chief Pete DeFazio, responding to a report of an explosion in a propane-fueled barbecue grill at 95 South Street, witnessed the second explosion, which he said sent a flame about 15 feet into the air. He put the resulting fire out with an extinguisher, he said.

The owner of the home, Tim Carr, told firefighters he had shut the grill down about two hours earlier, authorities said. An investigation into the cause was underway. 

No one was injured and there was no structural damage, said Chief Joe Lauterwasser. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: BARTENDER/AUTHOR GOES FOR TWO

brandon zenner 052114whiskey devilsRed Bank bartender-turned-self-published novelist Brandon Zenner, seen here in 2014, is  in the running for a contract with Kindle Scout, an Amazon program in which readers vote on which works get published. An excerpt of the Dublin House barkeep’s second novel, “Whiskey Devils,” may be previewed and voted upon here. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

ON THE GREEN: HOLIDAY WARMTH BY THE CUP

121715booskerdoo2Coffee beans in a Seinfeld-themed Festivus variety can be found at Booskerdoo. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

PIEHOLE-GIFT_MEDStill searching for the just-right Christmas gift? How about something that’s as quick a grab as a coffee-to-go for the coffee or tea drinker on your list?

Iconoclastic caffeine lovers might appreciate a jar of Festivus, a Columbian blend of coffee beans from Booskerdoo on River Road in Fair Haven ($12 for 12 ounces).

Named for the Seinfeld holiday parody, it’s both useful and whimsical. Pair it with a single-serve porcelain drip cone to make the gift extra special.

We’ve got suggestions for tea and cocoa lovers, too, just around the read more corner. Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: HALFACRE JOINS BEER DEALERS

mike halfacre 2007Former Fair Haven mayor Mike Halfacre, who left his job of three years as head of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control division to join a law firm last May, is changing jobs again. He’s just been hired as executive director of the Beer Wholesalers Association of New Jersey. He’ll continue as “of counsel” to the Newark law firm of Genova Burns, working on select matters, he tells redbankgreen. (Archive photo from 2007. Click to enlarge)