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RED BANK: RETHINKING ALL OF MARINE PARK

rich nicoletti 060816 2Longtime Red Bank clay courts tennis pro Rich Nicoletti on the site of the dormant riverfront facility earlier this month. The Monmouth Boat Club is in the background. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
WhatsGoingOnHere

This time of year, scuffing footwork and the thwok of tennis balls would normally be heard most summer mornings down by the Navesink River in Red Bank’s Marine Park, widely considered nirvana among aficionados for its unusual red clay courts.

It was certainly that for Rich Nicoletti, who grew up in an apartment above what’s now the Downtown nightclub just up the hill, and spent decades as the tennis pro at the borough-owned facility.

“These tennis courts were a gem,” said the retired sports journalist, who at 73 estimates he’s spent fully one-quarter of his life at the site. “It was beautiful.”

But 86 years after they opened, the courts may have seen their last match.

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RED BANK: STRAWBERRIES, STARS ‘N STRIPES

hottaters2 copyThe Hot Taters return to First Presbyterian Church on Tower Hill as part of the festivities for the annual Liberty Extravaganza and Strawberry Festival. 

It wasn’t so very long ago that July 3 packed an altogether different vibe than the relatively sleepy pre-holiday interlude we now get in Red Bank. But while the yearly KaBoom fireworks extravaganza last lit things up five years ago, up on Tower Hill, you’ll find another long-running holiday weekend tradition continues to make a glorious noise.

Now in its 28th annual edition,the First Presbyterian Church hosts the yearly Liberty Extravaganza and Strawberry Festival returns Sunday, offering up a selection of delectable homemade desserts and sweet, sweet American music.

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RBR STUDENTS WIN ART CONTEST HONORS

MDCArtawardsofficialDiana Leon Flores of Red Bank, a student at Red Bank Regional High School, was the grand prize winner in the Monmouth Day Care Center Journal art contest in the high school category. Her art submission represents the Goldsmith Foundation ad in the MDC art journal this year, a major fundraiser for the non-profit day-center in Red Bank. In addition to Diana, the other two grand prize winners were fourth grader Denise Cuanteneos Rosas, Red Bank Primary School (primary school category) and seventh grader Matthew Blankley, Red Bank Charter School (middle school category).  All three grand prize winners were photographed by Danny Sanchez for this year’s journal. Pictured with Diana, center, and her teacher, Barbara Beckett, are three of the other ten RBR Students whose artwork was selected to represent the ad sponsors of the journal.  They are (left to right): Amy Ortega Morales, Red Bank and Theresa Decker, Shrewsbury. Not pictured are the remaining RBR contest winners: Elise Bessetti, Nydasia Birch, Devin Cooper, Samantha La Rocca, Guadalupe Rodriguez, Nasira Jones, and Indi Chism. Of the 13 Monmouth County schools that submitted art to the contest, RBR had the most winning entries than any other school.

SHREWSBURY POLICE BLOTTER

AUTHORITIES_SBURY-2016-v3Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of June 11 to June 24, 2016.

Crimes

Report of Credit Card Fraud in the area of Saks Off Fifth, Broad Street on 6/12/16. Victim reports unknown subject(s) attempted to make purchases with a fraudulent card. Ptl. Ralph Latham investigating.

Arrests

Dennis L. Messias, male age 38 of Hollis, NY was arrested on 6/13/16 for Identity Theft in the area of Broad Street by Ptl. Daniel DeCristofaro.

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FAIR HAVEN: ‘NOOKIETOWN’ FOR A NIGHT

nookietown-500x322Author V.C. Chickering visits River Road Books on Thursday for a signing appearance keyed to her debut novel, “Nookietown.”

It’s an erotically charged, sharply humorous, playfully provocative tale that’s already been optioned for a TV adaptation, despite the fact that it represents the author’s first foray into full-length fiction. And it’s been likened to no less a phenomenon than the “Fifty Shades” franchise — minus the BDS&M, plus humor.

When V.C. Chickering visits Fair Haven’s River Road Books Thursday evening, she’ll be reading from and signing copies of her acclaimed new novel “Nookietown” — and perhaps reinforcing the point that the fanciful place known as Nookietown could be as nearby as the bedroom communities we call home.

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RUMSON: RIVER HEALTH ISSUES DRAW CROWD

CINDY ZIPF 062816Clean Ocean Action founder Cindy Zipf addresses a packed Bingham Hall in Rumson, where the topic was degradation of the Navesink River. Below, a map showing areas where shellfish harvesting is prohibited. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Navesink suspension acreage 011016An alarming rise in bacterial pollution levels of the Navesink River drew more than 100 people to the historic Bingham Hall in Rumson on a humid summer night Tuesday.

Among many questions to be addressed were what’s causing a rise in fecal coliform levels, and how can it be stopped?

“We all know what the smoking gun is: stormwater runoff,” Christopher Obropta, a specialist in water resources with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension.  Read More »

RUMSON: ART SHOW RETURNS FOR LABOR DAY

Press release from St. George’s Episcopal Church

Sailing_out_to_Sea,_Mike_Quon,_2-10-16Presenting its fifth anniversary edition in 2016, the annual Canterbury Art Show…a Tapestry of the Arts returns to St. George’s by the River Episcopal Church for a premier local exhibition and sale of juried and non-juried artwork.

The three-day event will take place Labor Day Weekend at the historic church property, located at 7 Lincoln Avenue in Rumson. Event dates are Friday through Sunday, September 2-4, with a preview and Meet the Artists reception on Thursday, September 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Hundreds of attendees and art patrons have enjoyed the Canterbury Art show since its inception in 2011. Each year, over 600 works by artists from all over New Jersey and beyond (including Fair Haven favorite Mike Quon, whose “Sailing Out to Sea” is pictured here) are featured, with 38 new artists participating for the first time this year, according to event chair Coni Lefferts. Proceeds from the sale directly benefit St. George’s-by-the-River and its outreach grants to more than 30 local agencies serving the needy of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

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SHREWSBURY: CYMCA COMBATS YOUTH SUICIDE

Press release from The Community YMCA

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 10 and 24 — and here in Monmouth County, The Community YMCA is taking the lead in a coalition aimed at preventing youth suicide.

The Traumatic Loss Coalition for Youth is a year-round statewide program created to provide support for schools and communities who have experienced suicide or other traumatic loss, and to work together to prevent suicide. The Monmouth County coalition is made up of over 140 members, including school personnel, medical personnel, law enforcement officials and mental health providers.

The Shrewsbury-based Community YMCA was selected in November 2015 to lead the local arm of the statewide network. The program is operated by the Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, and funded by the New Jersey Department of Children & Families, Division of Children’s System of Care.

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RED BANK: BUILDER EYES FORTUNE HOUSE SITE

Fortune future 062816The home of pioneering human rights journalist T. Thomas Fortune would be restored for use as a cultural center, as shown in the architectural rendering above. Below, four views of the four-story, 32-unit apartment building proposed for the rear of the property.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

fortune square apartments 062816After years of efforts by volunteer historians to halt decades of decay, an historic Red Bank residence may be spared the wrecking ball.

Developer Roger Mumford has proposed restoring what he calls the “highly deteriorated” T. Thomas Fortune house on Drs. James Parker Boulevard and turning it into a cultural center.

Mumford’s plan comes with a catch: he wants the town to grant him a host of variances to construct 32 apartments on the site — more than twice the density allowed by zoning law. But he’s billing it as a win for all involved.

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ON THE GREEN: JUICINESS NOT INCLUDED

rb tomato 062816Somebody’s giving away tomato plants on Branch Avenue between East Bergen Place and Brown Place in Red Bank.

Thirsty tomatoes and other plants will like Tuesday’s weather forecast, assuming the stray showers in the forecast come through. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

 

SHREWSBURY: A VERY SPECIAL JULY 4 EVENT

Press release from Monmouth County Historical Association

allenhouseThe first formal showing of an 1880 reprint of the Declaration of Independence will be on display at The Monmouth County Historical Association’s Allen House, during the reading of the Declaration on Monday, July 4 at 10 a.m.

The Monmouth County Library Commission, chaired by Renee Swartz, has partnered with the Historical Association the Shrewsbury Boy Scout Troop, Christ Church, and Mayor Donald Barden in presenting a Fourth of July celebration at Shrewsbury’s  “Four Corners,” the Historic District of buildings at the intersection of Broad Street (Route 35) and Sycamore Avenue. The special observance celebrates the 240th anniversary of the signing the Declaration at Philadelphia.

Swartz said County Library Director Judi Tolchin will bring the unique document to the Allen House prior to the reading of the Declaration, hosted by the Historical Association. The document will be on display outside, weather permitting, near the entrance to the Allen House at 400 Sycamore Avenue.

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RED BANK: FIRE DAMAGES VACANT STORE

rb fire 062716 1rb fire 062716 2Fire damaged a vacant retail building at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Catherine Street in Red Bank at about 8 p.m. Monday evening. The blaze was quickly brought under control by volunteer firefighters. Information about the cause was not immediately available.

The building, located at 203 Shrewsbury, next door to On the Rocks Wines and liquors, was last used as a fish market, but has been vacant since the 1990s. Property records indicate it is owned by Sandyriver LLC of Holmdel.   (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: MAKS & VAL DO IT THEIR WAY

The TV-tested brother act known as Maks & Val, seen her on the Ellen Show in February, bring the dance-infused “narrative of their life story” to the Count Basie for a two-night showcase this week. 

Maks and ValIf nothing else, the long-running network TV sensation “Dancing with the Stars” has helped make even greater stars of the professional dancers whose job it is to lift up the sometimes dubious celebrities they’ve been paired with.

So it is with Maksim and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, the Ukrainian-born brothers and superstars in the world of competitive Latin dancing who have each won first place titles on DWTS. And for two nights this week, Maks & Val will be telling it in music and motion on the stage of the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank.

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RED BANK: LIVING SHORELINE HITS HARD STOP

WhatsGoingOnHererbpl bulkhead 061016 2The new Navesink River bulkhead at the Red Bank Public Library, as seen from the natural shoreline at Maple Cove. Below, a June, 1906 Red Bank Register article reported on Sigmund Eisner’s plans for the property, including the installation of a bulkhead. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
eisner bulkhead June 6, 1906

This month 110 years ago, the Navesink River site that would later become the home of the Red Bank Public Library was about to get its first bulkhead.

Over the ensuing century, such hard-stop bulkheads came to be regarded as a flawed means of protecting shorelines: less effective at blunting storm ravages than natural shores, and unfriendly to marine life. So when it authorized a controversial new bulkhead two years ago, the borough council relented to public pressure and asked that the replacement incorporate whatever elements possible to make it more like a so-called living shoreline.

In the end, however, the new bulkhead, completed this month. is pretty much the same as the old one.

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LITTLE SILVER DAY ENDS WITH A BANG

LS DAY 062516 40LS DAY 062516 17A spectacular fireworks show closed out a beautiful summer day of food, friends and dancing in the infield in Little Silver as the town’s residents gathered at the fields behind borough hall for Little Silver Day Saturday.

redbankgreen grabbed these photos of the merriment.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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MIDDLETOWN FAIR SETS UP FOR 73rd YEAR

St. Mary's FairPress release from St. Mary’s Fair Executive Committee

Regular readers of redbankgreen know the annual Fair Haven Fireman’s Fair as the August event that gives local families one last blast of summer fun before thoughts turn inexorably to school supplies and adjusted bedtimes. But on the other side of what we call the Greater Green — and at the other end of the school’s-out season — another eagerly anticipated carnival has been pitching its tent at the heart of community life for generations.

Back for its 73rd annual edition, The Great St. Mary Fair opens tonight, June 27, running through Saturday, July 2 on the grounds of St. Mary Mother of God Parish in the New Monmouth section of Middletown. Beginning each night at 6:30 p.m., the fair will feature rides and games for the entire family to enjoy.

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COOL INSIDE: A COOKIE MONSTER IN A CUP


HOFFMANS_062416Hoffman’s popular “cookie monster” blue ice cream as used in shake, at left, and a banana split.
(Photos by Trish Russoniello and Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

By SHERRI HALL

hoffman's 4Next up in PieHole‘s summer-long Cool Inside quest for cooling summer treats on the Greater Red Bank Green is one named after a childhood icon.

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RED BANK: TWO SLASHED AT PARTY

AUTHORITIES_RB-2016-v3Two men were slashed by a knife-wielding assailant at a party in Red Bank early Friday morning, police said.

One of the victims, a 46-year-old male, suffered a facial laceration and was transported by MONOC ambulance to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune following the 1:30 a.m. incident, police Chief Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? CREPES WITH A TWIST

062116whippedbites5A savory French crepe served at the charming Whipped Creperie & Dessert Bar.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Americanized crepes? “Why not?” thought Nick Napoletano, who owns Whipped Creperie and Dessert Bar in Red Bank with Erica Lieberman.

Traditional French crepes are served sweet, with sugar, Nutella, jam or a creamy cheese filling. But Napoletano envisioned “an Americanized, savory version,” he tells PieHole. “I wanted to take familiar foods like turkey and cheese and create a more hearty filling on a whole-wheat crepe.”
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RED BANK: COUNCIL ADVANCES RIVER CRUISES

The Red Bank Primary School Chorus entertained the council audience with two songs, including this variation on a Woody Guthrie tune. (Video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Red Bank’s Marine Park could once again be the point of departure for commercial cruises on the Navesink River, following council action Wednesday night.

Details on that action, and other news from the council’s semimonthly meeting, are just around the read more corner.

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RED BANK: RECKLESS RE-LO FOR SENIOR ‘CAFE’

Wesleyan_Cafe_Art_XpressThe Art Xpress program (above) and regular yoga sessions (below) are among the activities for seniors presented by The Wesleyan Cafe. The public is invited to learn more on June 29, when the resource hub moves into its new base of operations at Red Bank’s historic Reckless Estate.

Wesleyan_Cafe_yogaPress release from United Methodist Communities at The Wesleyan

According to a statistic reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, some 11.3 million Americans — almost 30 percent of them aged 65 and older — live alone. Now more than ever, the nation’s graying population needs opportunities for essential social interaction, physical exercise, meeting new friends, and lifelong learning.

Last spring, United Methodist Communities at The Wesleyan, a senior housing community located at 9 Wall Street in Red Bank, opened The Wesleyan Café, a resource hub for the area’s older adults. To meet its increasing popularity and to further increase access, The Wesleyan Café will relocate to the Reckless Estate at 164 Broad Street (the historic Red Bank Woman’s Club building) in the heart of downtown Red Bank. The public is invited to the opening on Wednesday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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MIDDLETOWN: NANCY’S MUSICAL FIREWORKS

Nancy ScharffVeteran denizens of the greater Red Bank Green may remember Nancy Scharff for the annual Christmas extravaganzas she presented in seasons past at the Count Basie Theatre — some big joyous benefits that found the Middletown-based devotional singer, songwriter, musician, choirmaster, producer, conductor, and educator taking on yet another role: that of shepherdess tending to a flock of choral performers, orchestra members, rock bandmates, kid choirs, bell ringers, event volunteers and interactively inclined audience members that numbered in the hundreds.

While those logistically complex events have taken a hiatus in recent times, Scharff remains very much on the scene; as a faculty member with Red Bank’s Monmouth Conservatory of Music, as a busy music-maker who’s even been known to hit the sidewalks as a Red Bank Street Life performer — and as the long-standing music director at King of Kings Lutheran Church, the New Monmouth landmark that’s served as the globally touring artist’s home base for decades.

Nancy’s Christmas shows have long had a summer-season cousin in the annual God and Country Patriotic Concert, the 2016 edition of which returns to King of Kings this Friday evening, June 24.

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LITTLE SILVER GETS ITS FIRST DAY IN THE SUN

TheHaven625741_origThe Haven is among the acts scheduled to perform at the first-ever Little Silver Day, to be held at the recreational field behind borough hall Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

LS Day bannerOthers towns on the Greater Red Bank Green have their official celebrations of self — most notably the annual Fair Haven Day that’s now an annual staple. But on Saturday, it’s the Borough of Little Silver’s turn to shine, as the first-ever Little Silver Day celebration prepares to fill a summer afternoon and evening with music, food, fun, games, fireworks and reaffirmation of community.

Presented by the nonprofit Little Silver Charitable Foundation and hosted at the borough’s center-of-town recreational field (behind borough hall and adjacent to Markham Place School), the inaugural event will be free for Little Silver residents, with nominal fees charged for food and beverages. It’s all happening from 3 to 10 p.m., with a scheduled rain date of Sunday, June 26.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL TABLES JCP&L STATEMENT

rb train station 062216 3The 10-mile high-capacity power line would run above the Red Bank train station on new, taller pylons and terminate a few blocks south at a power substation, according to JCP&L. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank council tabled a resolution Wednesday night opposing a proposed 10-mile long, high-voltage electricity transmission line that would end in the borough.

Councilman Mark Taylor put the brakes on the measure when he said he hadn’t seen it before the start of the governing body’s semimonthly meeting and wanted a chance to do some research into the issues.

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