RBPD’S TEAM RED BANK SET TO RIDE TO DC

Team Red BankTheir motto is “We Ride for Those Who Died” — a mission statement and a reminder of the nation’s police officers who died in the line of duty; among them 129 fallen public servants in the year 2015.

When the annual Police Unity Tour bicycling event gears up for its ride to Washington, DC this coming May, among the municipal departments represented in the peloton will be the Red Bank Police, whose Team Red Bank will be pedaling the 300-plus miles from Hamilton, NJ to the nation’s capital over the course of four days (May 9-12).

According to the RBPD’s Ptl. John Camarca, “This bike ride is a not just a fundraiser. It is an event that raises awareness for the police officers who have died in the line of duty — the ones that selflessly gave their lives to protect the lives of others; the fallen heroes that went to work one day and never made it home.”

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LINCROFT: A HANDS-ON PROGRAM AT BCC

BCC Student Life CenterPress release from Brookdale Community College

Community members interested in a new career are invited to attend an information session for a new massage therapy training program at Brookdale Community College, to be held on Thursday, February 4 at 6 p.m. The session will be held inside the Student Life Center building on BCC’s Lincroft campus.

Running from February to October 2016, the hands-on training program will prepare students to become licensed massage therapists in the state of New Jersey. Courses are taught by industry professionals, and include 100 hours of supervised clinical training.

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RED BANK: TAKE US HOME, KATHLEEN

Repeat Basie favorite Kathleen Madigan returns to Red Bank for an encore Saturday evening. Here’s a sample bit

Long before there was an internet bubble and a housing bubble, there was a comedy bubble — the Comedy Explosion, they called it back in the 1980s, when a hole-in-the-wall “chuckle hut” sprouted up in every other vacant storefront, and when even Monmouth Street in Red Bank boasted two brick-wall standup spots at one brief point in time.

While the explosion became an implosion before long, the wreckage produced a hardy new crop of savvy young performers — among them a cheerfully cheeky native of St. Louis named Kathleen Madigan.

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RED BANK: HAMPTON HOTEL PLAN REVIVED

gasiorowski 072512Lawyer Ron Gasiorowski, who has sued to block to the hotel, examines a rendering at a 2012 hearing. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
HOT-TOPIC_03

Five years after it was proposed and nearly two years after it was derailed by litigation, a planned Hampton Inn at Red Bank’s northern gateway is back.

But the controversial plan is still in court.

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ON THE GREEN: A FLEETING TOUCH OF ICE

rb ice 010616After a two-day dalliance with winter, seen Wednesday in the form of an icy puddle on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank, the Greater Green returns to relatively warmer weather in the days ahead, according to the National Weather Service.

Over the next five days, nighttime temperatures are expected to be well above freezing, with daytime temps climbing daily until through Monday, according to the NWS forecast.

Looking beyond that, however, we can expect actual winter to hit us “with a vengeance” later this month and next, according to NJ.com (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

LITTLE SILVER: RBR DANCERS IN THE LIGHT

RBR DancePress release from Red Bank Regional High School

The “Season of Lights” may have given way to the winter doldrums, but on the evening of Wednesday, January 13, the Visual and Performing Arts Academy dance majors of Red Bank Regional High School will be “Dancing in the Dark” during a special event that shines a spotlight on their multi-faceted talents.

Scheduled for 7 pm inside the RBR theatre, the annual Winter Dance Showcase features 18 pieces performed by the 32 VPA dance majors in a variety of genres, including contemporary, modern, jazz and ballet. Most pieces are choreographed by students — including a special tap number to Rihanna’s “Dancing in the Dark,” organized by sophomore Rachel Kline of Red Bank — with two pieces created by professional dancers and choreographers Kimberly Labriola and Noah Gouldsmith, and several by RBR teacher Cara Scacco.

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RED BANK: NO PEDESTALS, NO LIMITS

Art AllianceIt’s UP AGAINST THE WALL at a Saturday evening reception, as a special display of sculpture uses the Art Alliance of Monmouth County gallery itself as a crucial component of the work. 

It’s an installation that lends new meaning to the phrase “support for the arts” — as in this case, the Monmouth Street gallery space of The Art Alliance of Monmouth County is often the one thing that’s holding the featured work of art together.

Opening with a public-welcome reception on Saturday, January 9, the exhibit Up Against the Wall features the work of some of New Jersey’s most innovative creators of three-dimensional pieces; displayed in a way that utilizes “no pedestals…instead, the eleven participating artists will use the existing architecture of the gallery either as a source of support, or as an integral component of their work.”

Remaining on display through February 2, this inaugural Alliance exhibit of 2016 spotlights contributions by Fanny Allié, Michael Benevenia, Riccardo Berlingeri, Maggie Brown, Alison Golder, Seunghwui Koo, Brookdales CC’s Marie Maber, Laura Petrovich-Cheney, Rocco Scary, Katie Truk, and Michael Wiley; an eclectic group whose creations have been seen in parks, libraries, museums, college campuses and even public swimming pools — and whose materials of choice range from steel, wood, fabric, stone and glass to cardboard, found detritus and meticulously folded newspaper.

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RED BANK: MENNA SEEKS PDQ CHARTER REPORT

menna burry 010216Mayor Pasquale Menna with Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry after Saturday’s borough government reorganization. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna hopes to assemble a “blue-ribbon panel” in coming days to quickly assess what he called “one of the biggest elephants in the room:” the Red Bank Charter School’s controversial expansion plan and its impact on taxpayers.

Menna announced the initiative at Saturday’s borough government reorganization, telling a packed room he hoped the seven-member committee would “articulate the issues, the consequences, and the financial impact” of such an expansion for taxpayers.

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HOCKEY: POINT CLAWS BACK TO TIE R-FH

Ryan Carr delivered a hat trick, including the final two goals of the third period, as Point Pleasant came back from a 4-2 deficit in the third to tie Rumson-Fair Haven Tuesday at the Red Bank Armory. Chase Dorworth had two goals for RFH.  Shore Sports Zone was there to bring these highlights.

RED BANK: CYMCA TO HOST OPEN HOUSE

ymca1 The Community YMCA’s Family Health and Wellness Center on Maple Avenue is the setting for an Open House event this Saturday, starting at 11 am.

Press release from The Community YMCA

Every January, nearly 70 percent of Americans make at least one New Year’s resolution, often related to making healthy lifestyle changes. Whatever the resolution, the Y is dedicated to helping everyone live healthier.

For the second year, The Community YMCA and YMCAs across New Jersey have come together to host a statewide Open House, inviting individuals and families to visit their local Y on January 9 and learn how to make positive changes. This year’s event at The Community YMCA’s Family Health and Wellness Center will take place this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The center is located at 166 Maple Avenue.

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SEA BRIGHT: DOLPHIN STAY RAISES CONCERNS

Dolphin longfield Dec 2015 4A stand-up paddler got close to the dolphin in the Shrewsbury River between Sea Bright and Rumson last week. Marine experts say humans and boats should keep away from the animal.  (Photo by Scott Longfield. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Without much public notice, a lone bottlenose dolphin has been plying the Shrewsbury River for the past seven months, according to wildlife advocates who are growing concerned about its safety as temperatures drop and its food supply diminishes.

As it has in the past, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries unit regards the dolphin’s presence as a not unusual, and said the animal appears to be healthy.

But Bob Schoelkopf, founder and director of the independent Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, expressed frustration that NOAA hasn’t done anything to guide the dolphin northward through the strait that leads into Sandy Hook Bay, and that colder temperatures make such an effort more dangerous for humans.

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RUMSON: WRITE-IN CAPTURES R-FH SEAT

rfh vote 020416According to results posted on the Monmouth County Clerk’s website, write-in candidate John M. Caruso was the top vote-getter in a runoff election for a seat on the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional Board of Ed held Monday. On the ballot were Valerie Ferrante and Jada L. Kavanagh, who finished in a tie in voting on November 3. Just 3.4 percent of registered voters came out for the runoff, according to site. (Click to enlarge)

RBR TECH TEAMS TAKE TOP HONORS

teamoneofficialPictured are ten of the Red Bank Regional  students who brought back top honors in several categories at the FBLA regional tech comnpetitions held this past fall.  Front row, left to right: Young Chen, James Szwede, Zach MacLean, Devin Long; back row, left to right: Nicole Ortiz, Makoto Brown, Nick Polis, Bobby Villaluz, Kyle Neary and Andrew Schembor. 

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

This past fall, a number of students from the Academy of Information Technology at Red Bank Regional High School participated in the online tech competitions sponsored by the Central Regional Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). With 19 RBR students qualifying to compete, the results were stunning, as they swept the 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions in four categories, while placing high in several others. The students will be competing at the 2016 FBLA NJ State competitions, which will be held in February at Harrah’s Conference Center in Atlantic City.

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RED BANK: CHILD STRUCK BY VEHICLE

just_in1A 12-year-old Red Bank Charter School student was struck by a vehicle on Monmouth Street Monday afternoon.

Police Chief Darren McConnell told redbankgreen that the girl, a female, was transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune with injuries that were not life-threatening.

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RED BANK: PET SHOP CITED FOR NOTICE ISSUES

just_inA Red Bank pet shop was among more than two dozen retailers statewide cited for violating a law aimed at giving consumers more information about animals for sale, the New Jersey Attorney General’s office said Monday.

Bark Avenue Puppies, on East Front Street, was cited for 50 alleged violations of amendments to the Pet Purchase Protection Act that went into effect last year, according to the state.

Gary Hager, who acquired the shop last summer, told redbankgreen that he had been unaware of the law, and “immediately rectified” the problems upon being notified by the Department of Community Affairs in August.

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RED BANK: MR. PIZZA SOLD; SICILIA CLOSES

mr. pizza slice 010116Two downtown restaurateurs have acquired Mr. Pizza Slice on Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallA non-nonsense staple from the days before Red Bank became flooded with chic eateries, Mr. Pizza Slice has changed hands for the second time in two years.

This time, the buyers are the owners of two downtown restaurants. They closed the pizzeria last week for what they expect will be a month or so of interior and exterior renovations, one of them told redbankgreen’s Retail Churn Monday.

Also closed last week: Sicilia Cafe, on Broad Street, which was acquired by first-time restaurateurs just six months ago.

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LINCROFT: A CHORUS OF APPROVAL

Chorale_Group_wo_conductorThe Shrewsbury Chorale is looking to corral some new voices — and for the next two Tuesday evenings, the public is invited to join in the chorus of community.  

It’s one of those local treasures whose activity in the community extends back nearly 60 years, as the Shrewsbury Chorale prepares to embark upon its 59th season of choral classics and popular repertoire, presented in settings that have ranged from the modestly-scaled historic churches of Monmouth County to the National Cathedral in Washington, DC and Carnegie Hall.

For the next couple of Tuesdays, the community arts organization gets back to its roots, extending an invitation to all interested singers to join in a pair of open rehearsals hosted at the Chorale’s regular Tuesday evening rehearsal venue, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County in Lincroft.

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RED BANK: GOP SHAKES UP TOWN HALL

mike whelan 010216 2Mike Whelan, 24, at his swearing in as Red Bank councilman. Below, Whelan running mate Mark Taylor. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[Correction: The original version of this story misreported the name of the borough prosecutor who was replaced Saturday.]

By JOHN T. WARD

mark taylor 010216 1The first Republican majority in a generation showed up at Red Bank borough hall Saturday with a broom.

Ousted were:

• Borough engineer Christine Ballard, of T&M Associates of Middletown, replaced by Bill White of borough-based Maser Consulting.

• Borough Attorney Dan O’Hern, the son of a former mayor, who was replaced by Jean Cipriani, a lawyer with a Toms River firm headed by the chairman of the Ocean County GOP.

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RED BANK: A SAVE, AND THEN A SWEARING-IN

CHRIS SODEN 010116Chris Soden gives his oath as Red Bank fire chief at the Union Hose Company. Behind Soden are deputies Pete DeFazio, left, and Stu Jensen, partly obscured. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

donegoodlogoChris Soden’s term as Red Bank’s new fire chief got off to a smoky start Friday.

Eight hours before he was sworn into office, Soden and other volunteer firefighters worked their way up six flights of stairs to save a 79-year-old man who’d set his mattress ablaze when he fell asleep with a lit cigarette.

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PILGRIM HAS RED BANK COVERED THIS WINTER

PILGRIM baptistWith the holiday interlude entered into the books for another year — and with the coming of the seasonally chilly weather that somehow skirted us during a disconcertingly mild December — it’s easy to forget that there are still numerous neighbors who are in need of a helping hand this winter, and still many ways in which to help.

Here at the start of 2016, Pilgrim Baptist Church is serving as the setting for the Annual Community Coat Drive, conducted by the grass-roots Community Collaborative Coalition of Red Bank and designed to outfit men, women and children with warm overcoats and other winter-weather wearables. From now through Sunday January 22, the church building at 172 Shrewsbury Avenue is accepting new or gently used coats of all shapes, styles and sizes, to be distributed during a “Project Community Cares Event” going on at PBC between the hours of 9 am and 2 pm on Wednesday, January 27.

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RED BANK: DEER… OR REINDEER?

RB deer 010216With Christmas over, were three of Santa’s reindeer hoping to reunite with Jolly St. Nick in Red Bank over the weekend? Borough resident Charlie Bierly photographed this deer trio in the intersection of Madison Avenue and no kidding — St. Nicholas Place Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Charlie Bierly. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: TWO NABBED IN STATION HOLDUP

rb shell 112113 1File photo of the Shell station on Newman Springs Road. (Archive photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

AUTHORITIES_LS-2016-v2

Two Pennsylvania women were arrested early Saturday morning after they robbed a Red Bank gas station at knifepoint and triggered a pursuit by police from three towns, authorities said.

Red Bank police Chief Darren McConnell told redbankgreen the incident began at 11:34 p.m. Friday, when the pair entered the convenience store at the Shell station at Newman Springs Road and Shrewsbury Avenue, brandished folding knives and demanded cash and cigarettes.

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