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MIDDLETOWN: PARK DOCENTS NEEDED

The Visitor Center at Lincroft’s Thompson Park is the setting of a special training session for County Park System volunteers, on March 26.

Press release from Monmouth County Park System

The surroundings include some of the most fascinating natural and historical treasures in the greater Red Bank area — and the experience is great for anyone who enjoys interacting with people, as well as helping to promote the many public assets that make Monmouth County a special place to call home.

On the morning of Sunday, March 26, the Monmouth County Park System invites volunteers ages 18 and up to a special training session at its headquarters inside the Visitor Center at Thompson Park, Lincroft. Scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., the session will outline the responsibilities of seasonal docent/ receptionist openings at six local parks and activity centers.

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RED BANK: SQUARING OFF OVER IMMIGRATION

Pro-immigrant protesters, above, outnumbered opponents outside borough hall both before and after Monday’s meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With rallies before and afterward heavily favoring the rights of undocumented residents, Red Bank’s Human Relations Committee voted Monday to oppose “any forced collaboration” between borough police and federal authorities when it comes to enforcing immigration law.

Short of declaring Red Bank a “sanctuary city,” the committee passed, by a 5-2 vote, a resolution that instead calls for town officials to “monitor and challenge” any costs arising from federal efforts to find and deport undocumented aliens.

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RED BANK: TWO HOMEWARE SHOPS CLOSING

Pickett & White, operating at 15 Broad Street for just a year, plans to close, an employee tells Churn. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

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Two home-themed retail shops that have operated in downtown Red Bank for only about a year are calling it rolling up their welcome mats, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

One specialized in home decor, while the other staked its claim on marinades, sauces and household tchotchkes with a southern American flavor.

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RED BANK: HORNSBY, SKAGGS & HOT SARDINES

Bruce Hornsby, above at lower right, joins fellow Grammy winner Ricky Skaggs for a Monday night matchup at the Basie, followed on Thursday with a much-anticipated appearance by the Hot Sardines, below.

Picture this: you’re a celebrated, Grammy-winning musician and songwriter whose seemingly effortless mastery has seen him move with past the often artificial barricades of classic rock but your most immediate identifier remains the smash hit single that launched you out of the gate a generation ago. And that, fans, is just “The Way It Is.”

Undaunted, Bruce Hornsby continues to embrace that “elephant in the room” signature song with a “vibrantly expansive” new arrangement that stands as one of the highlights of his current tour — an ambitious itinerary that finds him stepping onto the stage of the Count Basie Theatre tonight in the collaborative company of another multi-faceted music maker, his friend and fellow Grammy getter Ricky Skaggs.

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RED BANK: KEEP A SHIRT AND COAT HANDY

It may have been a winter’s day according to the calendar, but with temperatures in the low 70s, Kai McLeod went shirtless during a workout in downtown Red Bank Friday.

By dawn Monday, however, shirts and coats were once again in order as temperatures hovered in the high 20s, with a forecast of increasing clouds and a daytime high in the low 50s, according to the National Weather Service. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

M’TOWN: ALL SAINTS HOSTS ST. PAT’S DINNER

Press release from All Saints Church

All Saints’ Church in Navesink (The Old Stone Church), one of the founding members of the Atlantic Highlands Area Association of Community Churches (AACC), is holding a St. Patrick’s Dinner on March 18 in its Parish House.

The proceeds will support work of the AACC Food Pantry to provide wholesome food for its clientele, as well as to support the outreach efforts of All Saints’ Church.

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LITTLE SILVER SAYS THANKS TO COACHES

Press release from Little Silver Recreation

It’s an occasion when basketball coaches can leave their clipboards at home, and baseball coaches don’t have to lug any equipment to the party. The annual Little Silver Recreation Coaches Appreciation Dinner is a wonderful, fun-filled evening for the town’s volunteer coaches to get together, have a bite to eat, enjoy a few cocktails, and reminisce about the coaching experiences they have had over the years.

The evening of Friday, February 24 was filled with exactly that, as coaches, spouses, and community members gathered at the Little Silver Women’s Club to celebrate the last twelve months of success and look forward to the upcoming spring and summer seasons.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? WAWA’D YA THINK?

110516wawa5Wawa’s Italian hoagie. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Long before a video espousing a similar message (albeit with coarser language) went viral this week,
several PieHole fans strongly urged us to include Wawa in our eternal quest for superior subs.

One eyebrow raised in deep skepticism, we decided to bite, and paid a visit to the ubiquitous convenience chain’s store on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank.

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RED BANK: TWO WAYS TO MAKE ‘MERRY’

Two River Theater hosts two very different takes on Shakespeare’s comedy ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor,’ beginning with Saturday’s first preview of a three-actor free for all. 

When William Shakespeare put quill to parchment and began work on The Merry Wives of Windsor, he probably wasn’t laboring under the illusion he might create something to be dissected by critics and scholars for hundreds of years to come. The more immediate tastes of the popular audience were calling out to him, and with Wives the busy Bard had the opportunity to spin one of his most crowd-pleasing creations — Sir John Falstaff, the portly and roguish companion to the future king in the two parts of his historical drama Henry IV — into a rowdy (and cheerfully out-of-time) little knock-down farce.

Beginning this Saturday night, the Two River Theater offers Red Bank audiences not one but two rather unique takes on one of Shakespeare’s silliest comedies: one an intimately scaled three-actor adaptation that goes in search of the play’s “dark undercurrent;” the other an abridged full-cast version showcasing a talented company of high school age performers.

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RBR HOSTS SPECIAL ‘UNIFIED SCHOOL’ GAMES

Pictured at the recent Buccaneer Unified Club Sports (BUCS) game in which both regular and special education, intellectually disabled students played together as teammates are (standing, left to right) Nick Arnone, Lauren Keale, Zoey Kallerher, Michael Eulner, Stephen Navitzky; (kneeling) Sarah Keale and Diana Santamaria Delgado.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

This past year, Red Bank Regional High School Athletic Director Del DalPra was able to secure a $3,500 grant from the Special Olympics Organization with the aim of becoming a Special Olympics Unified School.

RBR joins over 4,300 middle and high schools in the United States which have adopted this program, in which able-bodied kids play side by side with special education children who are intellectually disabled. According to the Unified Olympic website, “Unified Sports is also an integral part of the Special Olympics Unified Strategy for Schools, which was founded in 2008 and funded through the U.S. Department of Education to use Special Olympics as a way to build inclusion and tolerance in schools.”

The winter basketball program included eight special education students from the school’s “self-contained” program, and 18 regular education students. All were equal participants in the program and all had an equally great time playing a competitive basketball game every Tuesday night over the past two months. The name of the team, BUCS, is an appropriate acronym for Buccaneer Unified Club Sports.

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RUMSON: NOURISH THE THOUGHT

Co-authors and nutritionists Wendy Bright-Fallon and Debbie Peterson visit Oceanic Library Saturday to promote a newly published edition of their popular cookbook, ‘Nourish.’

As longtime friends and collaborators, Debbie Peterson and Wendy Bright-Fallon could claim a few things in common. For one, they each married a local dentist — Debbie to Doug Peteron, of Little Silver Dental Care; Wendy to Red Bank-based cosmetic dental specialist Dana Fallon. They’ve forged professional partnerships with makers of progressive and socially conscious bodycare products. They enjoy a range of hobbies that include reading, sailing, tennis, knitting, gardening and the care of numerous furry family members.

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RED BANK: CHORUS BRINGS LOVE UP THE HILL

Ryan Brandau, right, and the assembled voices of the Monmouth Civic Chorus return to Red Bank’s First Presbyterian Church for a special ‘love’ session this Sunday afternoon. 

Sure, Valentine’s Day was nearly two weeks ago; this old world has taken more than a couple of turns since then, and most of us have long since restocked our inner seasonal aisles with leprechaun cutouts and marshmallow Peeps.

But to Ryan Brandau and the assembled voices of the Monmouth Civic Chorus, the season of Cupid isn’t over until February sighs its last, so when the venerable vocal organization returns to First Presbyterian (Tower Hill) Church of Red Bank this Sunday afternoon, it’ll serve up sounds that are “sure to lift and inspire… the perfect way to extend the spirit of Valentine’s Day.”

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RED BANK: PLAN PANNED FOR LOOKS, PARKING

An architect’s depiction of the Element, as seen from the north side side of West Front Street. (Rendering by Rotwein + Blake. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A new round of hearings on the Element, a proposed 35-unit apartment building in downtown Red Bank, began Wednesday night with concerns raised about parking adequacy and aesthetics.

Mayor Pasquale Menna called the appearance of the structure “bulky and not very inviting,” while several residents challenged a traffic consultant’s claim that the project’s on-site parking was sufficient.

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TINTON FALLS: RANNEY NAMES NEW A.D.

Press release from Ranney School

Natalie (Cocchi) Gorman, a soccer standout and graduate of Red Bank Catholic High School, has been named by Ranney School as its new Athletic Director, effective July 1.

A native of Ocean Township and currently an assistant coach at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, Mrs. Gorman was a Shore Conference star during her own high school years at RBC. She went on to play soccer at West Virginia University (WVU), where as team captain she earned a NSCAA national ranking of #7, a Mid-Atlantic Region ranking of #1, led her team to a spot in the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, and won the BIG EAST Conference Championship in 2006 and 2007—all while being named BIG EAST Player of the Week six times.

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SHREWSBURY POLICE BLOTTER

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Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of February 11 to February 17, 2017. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

Crimes

Report of Theft in the area of William Sonoma, Broad Street on 2/11/17. Victim reports merchandise taken by unknown subject(s). Ptl. Ralph Latham investigating.

Report of Shoplifting in the area of Marshalls, Broad Street on 2/16/17. Victim reports unknown subject(s) removed merchandise. Damages totaling $201.85. Ptl. Angel Marrero investigating.

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RED BANK: VACANT SITES TARGETED

The council plans to impose fees on long-vacant properties “that may not be decrepit” or abandoned, said Mayor Pasquale Menna. After a change of ownership, 1 Broad Street, above, has remained vacant for two and a half years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Owners of vacant residential and commercial properties in Red Bank could face steeply escalating fees for not renting them under a proposed ordinance up for introduction Wednesday night.

 

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RED BANK: BASIE TOUTS ARTS IMPACT OPS

While we normally shy away from “Big Check” photos, this image of Bobby Bandiera (fourth from left) presenting a a $91,000 award to The Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties illustrates the fundraising power of Bandiera’s holiday Hope Concerts, the 2016 edition of which brought in over $200,000 for designated beneficiaries at Foodbank, Two River Theater, and the arts education programs at Red Bank Middle School.

Press release from Count Basie Theatre

The Count Basie Theatre has announced the availability of five Arts Impact scholarships available to Monmouth County high school seniors graduating in 2017.

This year, the Basie will proudly offer five scholarships: the Moser-Taboada Arts Impact Scholarship, the Monmouth Medical Center – RWJBarnabas Health Arts Impact  Scholarship, the Monmouth County Freeholders’ Basie Scholarship for Continuing Education, the Siciliano Landscape Company Arts Impact Scholarship, and the new Steven and Jaime Schultz Arts Impact Scholarship. 

The Monmouth County Freeholders’ scholarship will be awarded to a student attending a New Jersey-based college in the fall. Each will award a recipient $2500 towards their freshman year of higher education. Deadline for applying for the program is 4 p.m. on Friday, March 17.

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RED BANK: BOWLING FOR FOOD DOLLARS

The scene at the newly opened Playa Bowls last Friday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

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This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has news on three downtown eateries: one that’s doing gangbuster business, one that got a recent makeover, and one that’s calling it quits.

Details follow…

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RUMSON: POLICE BLOTTER

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Rumson Police Department for January, 2017.. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

Arrests and Crime Reports

1/10/17 – Donald Schneider arrested John P. Kennedy, 57, of Rumson for Contempt of Court. Mr. Kennedy was released after posting $500 bail.

1/21/17 – S/O II Donald Morse arrested Brittany Maguire, 27, of Red Bank for Contempt of Court. Maguire was released after posting $164 bail.

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RBR CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Pictured above left to right at Red Bank Regional’s Black History Month celebration are event emcee senior Corey Van Huff, Multi-cultural Club co-advisor Odilia Lligui, keynote speaker Lynese Rawlins, RBR Principal Risa Clay, and Multicultural Club co-advisor Karina Tedeschi. Below, RBR Dance majors presented their own original choregoraphy during the program.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

“Education is the key to life,” Lynese Rawlins told her audience at Red Bank Regional High School, as she addressed the student body during the school’s Black History Month observance on February 2.

A college student who recently graduated early from Montclair State University, and who plans to attend law school in the fall, the Class of 2013 RBR grad returned to her alma mater as keynote speaker for the special event.

A high-achieving student at RBR as president of her senior class, captain of the cheer-leading squad and recipient of the NJ Governor’s award in 2013, Lynese serves as a as a local role model and example of how hard work and determination breeds success.

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RED BANK: A ‘VET FEST’ ON THE RIVER

“Medicated” Pete McHeffey is one of the Downtown All-Stars of Red Bank teaming up to raise funds for veterans in a special Wednesday evening event on Front Street.

They’re called the Downtown All-Stars of Red Bank LLC — “a collective of local musicians and performing artists bound together to raise both funds and awareness.” You know them as the folks who entertain regularly at venues that range from your favorite neighborhood watering hole to the summertime sidewalks of Street Life, and in some instances they’re “the people that you meet when you’re walkin’ down the street.”

But every so often these artists convene like some jukebox Justice League, to address a cause dear to their hearts and musician’s souls — and this Wednesday evening, the occasion is a concert and CD release party for those who’ve served in the United States military.

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RED BANK: COAT-FREE IN FEBRUARY

Warm weather made for comfortable busking and strolling in shirtsleeves in downtown Red Bank over the weekend, when daytime temperatures bumped up against or reached 70 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. The outlook for Monday, Presidents’ Day, called for mostly-sunny skies and a daytime peak of about 52. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)