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RED BANK: VENEY CHARGED WITH MURDER

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A man who was shot six times as he sat in a car parked in Red Bank almost three years ago was charged with a murder committed in Eatontown 15 months later, the Monmouth County Prosecutor announced Friday.

Perry Veney, 30, a former Red Bank resident whose last address was in Long Branch, was one of two men charged in the murder of Rasheem Palmer, 37, at the entrance to the Country Club Apartments complex in July, 2015, according to a prepared statement by Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? BEST OF 2016

091316redrock3Duck confit tater tots from Red Rock Tap + Grill. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Soul-satisfying soups, beefy burgers, crusty pizzas…

From a year’s worth of lunches good, bad and inedible, PieHole‘s What’s For Lunch? feature picks the Top 10 of 2016.

Click to restaurant names to see complete individual reviews.
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SHREWSBURY: Y HOSTS MLK ESSAY CONTEST

richard-t-smithPress release from The Community YMCA

High school students who are currently participating in programs at The Community YMCA or the Western Monmouth County YMCA are invited to enter an essay contest honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The contest, which has an entry deadline of Thursday, January 5, will present its winning entries at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast on Monday, January 16.

Hosted at Branches Catering in West Long Branch, the 28th annual event co-sponsored by the Shrewsbury-based CYMCA will include readings by the two winning essayists, each of whom will be awarded a $500 scholarship sponsored by Investors Bank and Monmouth County Chiefs of Police Association. Richard T. Smith (pictured), President of the New Jersey State Conference of the NAACP, will be the keynote speaker at the breakfast, scheduled from 8 to 10 a.m.

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ON THE GREEN: WALK INTO THE NEW YEAR

labyrinth_uucmcAn indoor “labyrinth” walk at the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse — and an outdoor excursion in the fresh and bracing air of Sandy Hook — offer opportunities for reflection and community on New Year’s Day.  

sandy hook sign 070415The resolutions that we make on New Year’s Eve may represent 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, some forward-thinking neighbors on the Greater Red Bank Green are inviting all members of the community to start 2017 off on a good foot or two.

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RED BANK: MENNA DEBT IN PRESS SPOTLIGHT

menna-painting-101511-3Mayor Pasquale Menna at work on his River Road home in October, 2011, and at borough hall last June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

pasquale menna 061516Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna borrowed $75,000 from an Eatontown man who’s a “convicted car thief,” according to a report by the Asbury Park Press posted Thursday.

The article does not allege wrongdoing on the part of either Menna or his lender, Louis Lerner III of Eatontown. Instead, it details financial difficulties for Menna that include a $40,000 lien placed on his home by the Internal Revenue Service.

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RED BANK: BURNHAM CASTS FINAL ‘NO’ VOTE

cindy-burnham-122816Council President Cindy Burnham at her final meeting as a member of the governing body Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Firebrand activist Cindy Burnham ended her  term on Red Bank’s council Wednesday night vowing to continue the work that made her its most consistent contrarian.

On her way out, she cast the last in a long series of “no” votes in which she was the lone dissenter.

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CRAVINGS: CELEBRATORY PROFITEROLES

110116o-bistro-profiterole-2An iconic French dessert, a profiterole at O Bistro is what we crave. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

piehole_cravingsRinging in 2017 in Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower sounds romantic, if not so practical.

But Francophiles on the Greater  Green can hoist a glass of (BYOB) Champagne at O Bistro Francaise in Red Bank while dipping a spoon into the best chocolate sauce in New Jersey.
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RED BANK: MENNA WANTS BOLD, GREEN DECK

menna-whelan-110216Mayor Pasquale Menna, left with Councilman Mike Whelan at the opening of the new cancer treatment wing at Riverview Medical Center in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Parking issues once again dominated as the Red Bank council wrapped up its 2016 meeting schedule Wednesday night.

• Mayor Pasquale Menna sketched out a vision for a environmentally and architecturally bold parking garage on the site of the borough’s White Street parking lot.

• A downtown property owner laid out a plan for erecting a prefab garage that he said would be fast and economical.

• The council extended yet again a moratorium on fees charged to developers of new businesses that win variances for parking shortfalls.

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RBR LEADERS MEDAL IN ANNUAL CONFERENCE

fcclaofficialPictured  are the fifteen Red Bank Regional High School students who competed in last month’s 2016 Family Career Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Fall Leadership Conference in Edison. RBR earned two gold, two silver and three bronze awards in categories that included baking, fashion, ecological picture frame and banner creations, and community service, for which the students conducted a food drive at an RBR football game which collected over 500 pounds of food for the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Pictured with the banner that brought them a bronze medal are (left to right, standing with their teacher Sue Eads): Tessa Listo, Karyssa Ellis, Jenna Holly, Molly O’Mara, Abby Beebrick, Sophie Pauso, Summer Smith, Claire Lynch, CeCi McCormick, and Isabel Nalbandian; (kneeling) Allie Van Orden, Ashley Lemmon, Lauren Beebrick, Lauren Keale, Megan Dingelstedt. 

ON THE GREEN: WHERE TO WELCOME 2017

SouthsideBasieNewYrsThe champagne corks are poppin’ as Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes continue a Count Basie New Year’s Eve tradition this Saturday night.

HOT-TOPIC_03Here at the tail end of a year that many people are all too anxious to put in the rear view mirror, there’s still sufficient cause to keep the party percolating right up to the last ball-drop. And in the bars, restaurants and performance spaces of the Greater Red Bank Green, revelers have a choice of options that range from an intimate table at a favorite bistro to a big event that’s become the toast of all New Year’s Eve Extravaganzas in the state of New Jersey.

Here’s a sampling from Red Bank, Fair Haven, Rumson and Sea Bright nightspots.

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RED BANK: PAYOUTS WILL DEPLETE FUND

rb-borough-hall-111316-2Red Bank’s borough hall during a roof replacement job in November. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesRetirements by three senior employees in coming months won’t put an immediate squeeze on Red Bank taxpayers, two municipal officials said Tuesday.

But the departures will all but deplete a rainy day fund created to cushion the blow of outsized payouts for unused sick and vacation time, said Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, who heads the finance committee.

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RED BANK: SICKELS TO RETIRE AT END OF 2017

mancuso-sickels-101716Stanley Sickels, right, with fellow planning board member Dan Mancuso at a meeting in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s top unelected official is hanging up his hat at the end of 2017.

Make that hats. The departure of Stanley Sickels, who serves as the borough government’s administrator, purchasing agent and construction code official, may test a long-debated premise: that replacing him would require more than one hire, at a cost far exceeding his combined salary.

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RUMSON: AN OPEN HOUSE AT DEANE-PORTER

deane-porter-schoolPress release from Rumson School District

On the morning of Wednesday, February 1, 2017, interested parents and their children are invited to attend a Preschool Open House session at Deane-Porter School, the public primary school serving Rumson borough residents.

Scheduled for 9:15 a.m., the hour-long session will allow adult attendees to pick up a registration packet for enrolling their child in the 2017-2018 school year. Children and their parents/guardians will be able to visit classrooms, and kids will be invited to take part in some of the offered activities.

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FAIR HAVEN, LINCROFT: BIG GRANTS LANDED

small_factory_2Special-needs education programs developed by the Fair Haven animation studio Small Factory have been recognized with a substantial grant from the National Science Foundation.

Two small businesses on the Greater Red Bank Green — one in Fair Haven, the other in Lincroft — have been named recipients of major grants from the National Science Foundation.

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BIG TURNAROUND FOR RFH SNOWFLAKE DRIVE

global_womens_empowerment_1Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven High School 

The Global Women’s Empowerment Club at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School recently held a successful Snowflake Drive to benefit 180 Turning Lives Around. Over $400 worth of gift cards and over 400 items were donated to the Holiday Boutique run by the  Monmouth County-based 180, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence in our community.

The donated items helped local families experience holiday cheer despite financial circumstances resulting from domestic violence.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? GOOD GRAVY AND FRIES

121916taylorsams5The Prime “samwich” of sliced Angus beef, with fries and a memorable gravy, at Taylor Sam’s. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?When a reader tells us about a new favorite eatery in Red Bank, PieHole pays attention. And at a recent party, an enthusiastic fan suggested that we hustle over to the two-week-old Taylor Sam’s at 20 Broad Street. So we did.

The interior looks little changed from that of its predecessors at the address, The Spot and Mac Attack Cheesery, but the menu at the newest addition to the downtown restaurant scene is distinctive, owner Scott Spivak tells us.

“Everything is 100-percent from scratch,” he said. The dishes we tried lead to instant fandom as well.
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FAIR HAVEN: ACME CENTER TO GET MAKEOVER

fh-acme-center-122216-1Plans call for the creation of a pedestrian passageway linking the north and south parking lots through the former Laird’s Stationery space next door to the existing Post Office. The “salon & spa” sign is for illustration purposes only. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThe owner of the Fair Haven strip mall anchored by an Acme supermarket plans extensive renovations to the site, according to documents filed with the borough last week.

The plans include dividing the former Laird’s Stationery space in two to create a pedestrian breezeway linking the front and rear parking lots. But they leave unanswered questions about whether other longtime tenants might be forced out, as the owners of Laird’s contend they were.

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RED BANK: TWO RIVER KEEPS THE LIGHTS UP

The luminescent artistry of Lightwire Theater is on display from December 27 to 30 as the Two River Theater hosts the New Orleans-based troupe in a music-infused, family friendly show.

very-electric-xmasWhile we’re not recommending leaving the Christmas lights up into the season of Independence Day fireworks, there’s something to be said for staying plugged in past December 25.

Beginning Tuesday, December 27 — the same day Red Bank observes the Festival of Lights with its official town menorah at the train station — the Two River Theater plays host to the family-friendly touring show A Very Electric Christmas, in a multi-day engagement that marks its first-ever exposure to Shore area audiences.

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RBR HELPS LOCALS, TROOPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

rbr-xmas

Pictured above with a mountain of donated gifts from Red Bank Regional staff and parents are (left to right) BUC Backer  member Judy Noglows, RBR SOURCE Youth Development Specialist Lori Lopez, SOURCE Liaison Claire Harbeck Izzo, and SOURCE Director Suzanne Keller. Below, RBR teacher Cassandra Dorn displays some of the many presents collected by staffers and students for the Tinton Falls nonprofit Linkages.

linkages2016Press releases from Red Bank Regional High School

The Red Bank Regional (RBR) School District conducts numerous community service activities during the holidays, from helping homeless families in Monmouth County, buying livestock to address world hunger, creating holiday cards for kids in hospitals and sending stockings stuffed with sweets to our troops in the Middle East.

But at the same time they also look inward — and through a partnership between the in-school program The SOURCE and the BUC Backer Foundation, RBR helps fill wishes for families within our own school who would otherwise not know such happy holidays.

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SHREWSBURY RESIDENT JOINS BCC BOARD

latonya-brennanPress release from Brookdale Community College

Shrewsbury resident Latonya Brennan was sworn in as the newest member of the Brookdale Community College Board of Trustees during the board’s monthly public meeting in Lincroft on December 20.

An insurance and risk management professional specializing in education, Brennan has previously worked with the New Jersey School Boards Association and the New Jersey Schools Insurance Group. She is also a past president of the Associate Business Members of the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials.

Brennan currently serves as area vice president for Arthur J. Gallagher and Co. Risk Management Services in Princeton. She is among a select group of insurance professionals to hold a Certified School Risk Management designation.

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RED BANK: CRIMES AND ARRESTS

The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of December 7 to December 20, 2016. This information is unedited. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

AUTHORITIES_RB-2016-v3CRIMES

Theft: On 12-06-16 in the area of Bridge Ave the Victim reported a man purse was taken from the vehicle that was parked. The man purse contained Brown leather Wilson gloves, two pairs of prescription Ray Bans, two phone chargers, one brown bi-fold leather wallet containing a NJ driver’s license, 3 credit cards and $200 cash. Also missing were prescription bottles containing Ambien, Ibuprofen, and prescribed Percocet. Total for items taken were $1045.00. Sgt. Juan Sardo.

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RED BANK: BANDIERA AND ‘HOPE’ AT BASIE

bobby_bandiera_and_jon_bon_jovi_at_hope_concert_8_2015Bobby Bandiera, joined here by longtime tourmate Jon Bon Jovi at a past Hope Concert, brings the ninth edition of his all-star benefit show back to the Basie Friday.

donegoodlogoIt’s just about the last of the big holiday-themed entertainment events to take the stage of the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank each December — a frankly awesome rock and roll extravaganza that plants a glittering star atop the tree at an eleventh hour when various Scrooges, Nutcrackers and vocal choirs have scurried off to their last-minute shopping excursions.

Ask Bobby Bandiera and he’ll probably tell you that a dose of charitable spirit is more important than ever in the final countdown to Christmas and Hanukkah — and that the day-to-day survival of our neediest neighbors doesn’t take a holiday break when the rest of the community settles into its family traditions.

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