RED BANK: RIVERCENTER RAPPED ON PARKING

RiverCenter’s founding chairman wants the agency to help finance a second garage to go along with the Globe Street facility, above, which is leased to Riverview Medical Center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A discussion of Red Bank RiverCenter‘s 2017 budget Wednesday night focused mostly on how much juice the downtown promotion agency is using to address a parking shortfall.

At the borough council’s semimonthly meeting, two past RiverCenter chairmen suggested the answer is “not enough.”

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RED BANK: NO ACTION ON IMMIGRATION

Protesters outside borough hall on February 27. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See correction below]

By JOHN T. WARD

A controversial proposal to have Red Bank oppose “any forced collaboration” between its police and federal immigration authorities generated no official action by the borough council Wednesday night.

Meeting for the first time since hundreds of protesters from both sides of the national immigration debate packed an advisory committee meeting eight days earlier, the council still had nothing in hand to vote upon, Mayor Pasquale Menna told the audience at the governing body’s semimonthly meeting.

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SHREWSBURY: ‘FOOD FOR FINES’ IS BACK

Press release from Monmouth County Library

As part of National Library Week, the popular Food for Fines program will once again be featured at all branches of the Monmouth County Library system, including the Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury, from April 9 through 15.

The Food for Fines program enables library users to return all delinquent books through an amnesty program, which eliminates the fine in exchange for the donation of items for the library’s Food program.

All canned and boxed products can be dropped in the bins at the Library Headquarters, or any of its branches, with $1 off each fine for each item contributed. All food items are delivered by the library to the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

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M’TOWN: NEW MUSIC MINISTER, NEW PROGRAM

Press release from Westminster Presbyterian Church

Guest performers, new voices in the choir, and an upcoming Christian Contemporary Music Coffee House are just some of the new ideas featured in an innovative music program developed by Erika Sayar, the new Minister of Music at Middletown’s Westminster Presbyterian Church (WPC).

Since joining the Tindall Road congregation last July, the Wall Township resident has revitalized WPC’s Sunday Service music with several new special events and projects.  A guest soloist series has showcased popular Irish tenor Sean Hennessey, the soulful sounds of DeBorah White, and WPC church member/ well-known Shore music scene performer BethAnne Clayton — while all are invited to attend a new public-welcome offering on March 31.

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RED BANK: SNOW?

With springlike temperatures expected for a second consecutive day Thursday, and the annual “spring ahead” seasonal clock change slated for Sunday, the Greater Red Bank Green might be tempted to start packing away its winter gear. But wait: there’s a chance of snow Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Up to four inches was possible, but the most likely scenario was one to two inches, according to the forecast issued early Thursday.

Meantime, Thursday’s outlook was for a sunny day and a high of 57 degrees. (Click to enlarge.)

RUMSON: POLICE BLOTTER

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

Arrests

2/02/17 – Bryan Dougherty arrested Donna Susser, 54, of Rumson for Contempt of Court.

2/02/17 – Grace Maggiulli arrested Kourtney Maloney, 26, of Middletown for Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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SHREWSBURY POLICE BLOTTER

2017_authorities_copcar_sbury2

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of February 25 to March 3, 2017. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

Crimes

Report of Vehicle Burglary in the area of Birch Drive on 2/26/17. Ptl. Ryan Cullinane investigating.

Report of Theft by Deception in the area of Court Drive on 2/27/17. Victim reports unknown subject made false identity claims in order to defraud. Damages totaling $1800.00. Ptl. Daniel DeCristofaro investigating.

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RUMSON: DUCKS DELUXE, AT 4TH ANNUAL EXPO

The work of Pennsylvania-based woodcarver Karl Yankey (above) is spotlighted…and the decoys, shorebirds and wildlife art takes center stage…when the annual Two Rivers Exhibition returns to Rumson’s Forrestdale School on Saturday. 

To fans of a certain “niche” sort of hobby, it’s an event worth traveling hundreds of miles for — while to the more casual enthusiast, it’s a best-kept-secret, right-in-our-backyard bit of local color that, well, beats getting up before dawn and shivering the morning away in some damp and lonesome duck blind.

It’s the Two Rivers Exhibition of Sporting Collectible Art, a happening that comes to Forrestdale School (60 Forrest Avenue in Rumson) for its fourth annual edition this Saturday, March 11. Between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the school’s all-purpose room becomes a gallery space in which some of the region’s finest woodcarvers and wildlife artists get their ducks in a row, in a day hosted by the New Jersey Waterfowl Carvers Association in association with the Monmouth County chapter of Ducks Unlimited.

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CRAVINGS: A LIBRARIAN’S WEEKLY BENTO

Red Bank library director Elizabeth McDermott indulges her craving at Sogo Sushi. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

World traveler-turned-Red Bank Public Library director Elizabeth McDermott has a weekly itch that she scratches at Sogo Sushi on Monmouth Street: a bento box.

“It’s like comfort food to me,” says McDermott, whose previous job as a software consultant for Oracle took her all over the globe.

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RED BANK: HOVNANIAN NEARLY BREAKS EVEN

hovanian hq 071715Hovnanian’s headquarters in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

After a $16.2-million net loss in the year-prior period, Red Bank-based home builder Hovnanian Enterprises just about broke even in its first fiscal quarter of 2017.

The company reported a net loss of $100,000 on a 4.1-percent drop in revenue for the period in results posted Wednesday.

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LINCROFT: A HOME FOR FOLK AT EARTH ROOM

Kirsten Maxwell, above, and Matt Nakoa, below, perform Saturday night at the latest in a series of Earth Room Concerts.

While local folk music artists have occasionally been able to get face-to-face with audiences at annual festivals, coffeehouses and libraries, there just hasn’t been a consistent venue for national folk performers to ply their trade among the rock clubs, cover-band bars and theater-size stages of eastern Monmouth County.

That is, until the folks at Lincroft’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation initiated their series of Earth Room Concerts.

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RBR SOPHOMORE AN OUT-LOUD FINALIST

Red Bank Regional sophomore Shea Grant (second from left) is pictured with Yvonne Scudiery of the Count Basie Theatre, co-finalist Danyal Malik, and Poetry Out Loud program coordinator Kay Potucek during the recent Poetry Out Loud competition at the Basie.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Shea Grant of Little Silver , a sophomore at Red Bank Regional High School, was one of two finalists in the regional Poetry Out Loud competition, held on February 7 at the Count Basie Theatre.

A drama major in RBR’s Visual and Performing Arts Academy, Shea performed three poems for the competition: “Personal” by Tony Hoagland, “Larkinesque” by Michael Ryan, and “Friendship after Love” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

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RED BANK: WESLEYAN HONORS BLACK HISTORY

Press release from United Methodist Communities

Dressed in the tradition of her native Liberia, executive director Gertrude Kehleay (left in photo) greeted an intergenerational, multicultural group of about 100 people, gathered at United Methodist Communities at The Wesleyan for their annual Black History Celebration. All American citizens, they came together on the last day of February to celebrate the history and contributions of African Americans, as well as their ancestry representing nearly every continent around the globe.

Keynote speaker Rev. Darlene Wilson (right in photo) of the Pilgrim Baptist Church in Red Bank, recounted, “Although we dig down deep in February to discover Black History, it is every month…Black History is history.”

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RED BANK: TWO RIVER PLANS ADDITION

A rendering of the proposed addition to the left of the existing theater and tower above, as seen from the northeast. (Rendering by Kaplan Gaunt Desantis Architects. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The backstage area of Red Bank’s Two River Theater is about to get bigger, if a plan in the works gets a green light from borough officials.

Scheduled for consideration by the zoning board next week, the plan calls for the construction of an architecturally bold addition to the existing theater for rehearsal spaces, costume-making and the building of props and scenery, according to documents on file.

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RED BANK: DOWNTOWN APARTMENTS OK’D

Mayor Pasquale Menna explains his vote to approve the project, a rendering of which is seen on a computer screen in the foreground. At left is board Engineer Ed Herrman. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A proposed 35-unit apartment building in downtown Red Bank won unanimous planning board approval Monday night.

First, however, several critics, including two board members, took parting shots at a process that kept the controversial plan alive for a year after it was rejected by the zoning board.

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RED BANK: POETRY WITHOUT BORDERS AT RBPL

The second-floor reading room at the Red Bank Public Library (above) is the setting for this Saturday’s monthly River Read event, featuring Hungarian-born poet, theater producer and translator Dr. Gabor Barabas (below).

Audience regulars at the Long Branch professional playhouse New Jersey Repertory Company have come to appreciate the pre-show remarks given by the theater’s co-founder Dr. Gabor Barabas — introductions that are often illuminated by the retired neurologist’s recollections of his youth in his native Hungary, his fascination with the mythic popular culture of his adopted country, and his signature exhortation to “enjoy, enjoy the show” (to say nothing of those “deal of the century” subscription pitches).

An author, published poet and dramatist in “his own write” (he narrates his own poem “The Spider” in this animated short inspired by the late artist Louise Bourgeois) the NJ Rep executive producer has also garnered acclaim as a translator, with a specialty in the particularly challenging transition between English and Hungarian. On Saturday morning, March 11, the good doctor visits Red Bank Public Library as guest speaker on the topic of “Poetry in Translation.”

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RED BANK: BASIE PIMPS STAGE TO PRESS

Signage touting the Asbury Park Press brand will be installed in front of the stage and projected elsewhere in the venue before and after shows. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After some 90 years as a lights-down sanctuary from the outside world, visitors to Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre will be greeted by heavy pre- and post-show branding by the Asbury Park Press starting Tuesday.

According to an “exclusive” report about itself Monday, the Neptune-based Press will have its name in lights throughout the entertainment space: in front of the stage, on a drop-down screen, and on the walls before and after performances and during intermissions.

“You will be seeing an act that is performing on the Asbury Park Press Stage,” Basie CEO Adam Philipson is quoted as saying.

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RED BANK: APARTMENTS & EATERY ON DECK

Up for review at Monday night’s meeting of the Red Bank planning board: the Element, seen above, a 35-unit apartment complex proposed for a vacant lot at 55 West Front Street, opposite Riverside Gardens Park. The controversy-stirring plan could go to a final up-or-down vote.

Also scheduled: a proposed makeover for 26 West Front Street, right, last operated as Caliente Cantina, and not long before that, 10th Ave. Burrito Co. The plan calls for the addition of a 1,000-square-foot outdoor deck with views of the Navesink River. Here’s more info about the plan.

And here’s the full agenda for the meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at borough hall, 90 Monmouth Street. (Renderings by Rotwein + Blake, above, and Cahill Studio, right. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: WHELAN RUNNING FOR ASSEMBLY

Red Bank Councilman Mike Whelan and Ocean Township Deputy Mayor Robert Accera Sr. will anchor a ticket headed by state Senator Jen Beck. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After just 14 months on the Red Bank borough council, Mike Whelan is taking aim at Trenton.

The 25-year-old Republican plans to mount a bid to recapture an 11th-District Assembly seat for his party from first-term incumbents Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling, he told attendees at the GOP’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner in Freehold Friday.

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RED BANK: FORMER STAIR FACTORY REFRAMED

The former B&C Stair factory is in the midst of a top-to-bottom renovation.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Having worked his magic in creating a dazzling new gallery downtown last year, art collector Kenny Schwartz has now turned his attention to a factory on Red Bank’s West Side.

There, in the former home of B&C Custom Wood Stairs and Rail, at the corner of Drs. James Parker Boulevard and South Bridge Avenue, the auto dealer is creating a custom-frame shop to serve walk-in customers, major museums and galleries, including his own Detour Gallery, on Clay Street.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? SOME FRESH BOWLS

A Cobb salad, at left, with Genoa pasta, right, and primavera pasta at Fresh Bowl. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

A deja vu feeling came over us as we checked out the new Fresh Bowl, on Broad Street in downtown Red Bank. It resembles its predecessor, Salad Works, in layout, but owner Giuseppe Amato, has made some interesting and tasty additions to what was an all-salad menu.

A Wednesday special of two pasta bowls for the price of one  caught our eye. A bargain such as this is hard to pass up: we can always bring home the leftovers for dinner.

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RED BANK: MOMIX IN THE MIX AT BASIE

Choreographer Moses Pendleton brings his MOMIX dance company back to the Count Basie Theatre on Sunday for a new look at their classic work, ‘Opus Cactus.’

In an interview that appeared in our paperless pages several years back, famed choreographer Moses Pendleton shared his thought that “if people appreciate what I do, if they go out from one of our performances with a little less gravity in their skip, then I’ve been successful.”

Since 1971, when he co-founded the revolutionary Pilobolus dance company, Pendleton has done his part to fight the good fight against gravity — both the stodgy old natural law, and the sort of attitude that too often keeps a “fine arts” institution from having a joyful sense of humor about itself. When he left Pilobolus to forge the meeting of movement and stagecraft magic known as MOMIX, the self-described “avant gardener” renewed his mission of “exploring new and surprising ways to move and bend.” And when the troupe returns to the Red Bank stage of the Count Basie Theatre this Sunday, they’ll be newly exploring one of the works that made them one of the most celebrated forces in modern dance.

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LINCROFT: SENSORY-FRIENDLY ‘MUSIC’ AT CBA

Opening tonight, March 3 and continuing through March 11, the Pegasus Production Company staging of The Music Man finds the student-run theatrical company at Christian Brothers Academy revisiting Meredith Willson’s golden-age Broadway classic for a total of six performances inside the Henderson Theatre on the CBA Lincroft campus.

Boasting such showstoppers as “Seventy-Six Trombones,” “Ya Got Trouble” and “Shipoopi,” the tale of how traveling con man Professor Harold Hill brought a much-needed infusion of dreams, schemes, music and romance to the citizens of small-town River City, Iowa has been a perennial favorite on American stages, winning the Tony for Best Musical in 1957 and going on to countless productions in “River Cities” across the continent and overseas. As a special distinction, the Pegasus troupe will be offering a very special performance on Friday, March 10.

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