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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? RELIABLE FRIED CHICKEN

Lunch specials numbers 1 and 3 from Chicken Kitchen in Shrewsbury Plaza. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Shrewsbury Plaza in Shrewsbury has seen its share of transition, with businesses coming and going, but the Chicken Kitchen, shoehorned into a spot next to a tile store and a nail salon in the strip mall, can boast that it’s been there longer than most.

Matt Kascsak, the restaurant’s third owner, tells PieHole he was born the same year, 1982, that the restaurant was launched. Working for the second owner, he got a feel for what was good and what could be improved. Which was not a lot, apparently.

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RED BANK: RIVER BACTERIA SOURCES LOCATED

Busted sanitary sewer lines in two locations along Marion Street in Red Bank were significant sources of bacteria winding up in the Navesink off Fair Haven, investigators said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Environmentalists and government officials have found two culprits, just yards apart in Red Bank, believed to be contributing to a spike in human waste bacteria in the Navesink River, they said Thursday night.

And the mystery could not have been solved without a trio of specially trained sniffing dogs, an ecstatic Clean Ocean Action leader Cindy Zipf told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: FOOD FEST TO PACK PARKING LOT

More than 20 local food purveyors will be present  when the 2017 edition of the Red Bank International Beer, Wine and Food Fest commandeers the White Street municipal parking lot this Sunday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

While the recent cancellation of Riverfest has left a hole in Red Bank’s yearly segue into summer, fans of strolling smorgasbords and top-down tunes needn’t wait too long to get their festival fix — as this Sunday, the White Street municipal parking lot will be the scene for the 2017 edition of the Red Bank International Beer, Wine and Food Fest.

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RBR DANCE MAJORS SPRING INTO ACTION

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

On Friday, May 12, at 7 pm, the dance majors of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Red Bank Regional High School present their “Spring Dance Extravaganza” inside the theatre of the school at 101 Ridge Road in Little Silver.

The 7 p.m. show will feature 24 pieces, with RBR dance teacher Cara Scacco, describing the program as “a lot of yearning, emotional lyrical pieces in addition to contemporary, hip hop, ballet, jazz, pointe and tap.”

Choreographers include the students, as well as their teacher and two special guest artists, both graduates of Rutgers University — MaryAlice Crelin, whose “fun sassy commercial jazz piece” for the juniors and seniors will open the show, and Garamh Kim, who is teaching the underclassmen a traditional Korean piece.

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RED BANK: ‘BEAUTY’ ON THE BASIE STAGE

The interlude between the end of April and beginning of May signals the traditional rising up of a real Red Bank institution — Phoenix Productions, the borough-based theatrical company that for more than two decades has presented its musical entertainments on the boards of one of the region’s most legendary stages: the Count Basie Theatre.

This Saturday sees the curtain go up on the first of the 2017 offerings from the Phoenix fun factory — and, it as they did with last year’s season-opening production of The Little Mermaid, the troupe will be delving into the Disney Broadway playbook for a fresh and family-friendly staging of the romantic fantasy perennial, Beauty and the Beast.

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RED BANK: 5K TO RUN AGAIN IN 2018

Runners head down Branch Avenue in the 2015 edition of the George Sheehan Classic, which was cancelled a year later. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Filling a gap left by the departure of the George Sheehan Classic a year ago, Red Bank will again host a 5k race in June, 2018. And this one will be run entirely within the town’s borders.

The borough council gave a green light Wednesday night to the event, which is being organized by the Red Bank Business Alliance.

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RED BANK: SPARKS FLY OVER BUDGET

Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, seen here last May with GOP colleagues Mark Taylor and Mike Whelan, found herself at odds with them, and Mayor Pasquale Menna, Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank adopted its 2017 budget Wednesday night amid some odd political frictions.

Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, who leads the budget-setting finance committee, took clear umbrage at a last-minute critique of the spending plan by Mayor Pasquale Menna. Then, the only ‘no’ votes when it came up for adoption were cast by her two fellow Republicans on the dais.

And before the night was over, Schwabenbauer’s main adversary in this year’s election, Democrat Ed Zipprich, issued a press release commending her.

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RED BANK: A RE-THINK PIECE AT BORO HALL

Amy Goldsmith of Clean Water Action.

Press release from Clean Water Action

On the evening of Tuesday, May 9, the nonprofit organization Clean Water Action will host a public-welcome presentation on its award-winning ReThink Disposable initiative, during the meeting of the Red Bank Environmental Commission.

Amy Goldsmith, NJ Director of National Clean Water Action and a Red Bank resident, will make the presentation at the commission’s 7 p.m. meeting inside Borough Hall.

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LINCROFT: DOGS AND GUITARS ON DISPLAY

The Monmouth County SPCA’s annual Dog Walk and Pet Fair returns to Brookdale Community College Saturday.

This weekend marks the return of two more-or-less yearly events to the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College — the Monmouth County SPCA Dog Walk and Pet Fair and the Brookdale Guitar Show — both of which had their origins in the generally cooler months and have since relocated to rank among the favorite rites of spring on the Greater Red Bank Green.

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RED BANK: SCHOOL TAX TO RISE 3.26 PERCENT

Facilities are growing tighter as enrollment rises, said Superintendent Jared Rumage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank Board of Education approved a $22 million budget that would raise the local school portion of property tax bills by 3.26 percent Tuesday night.

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RED BANK: CHARTER SCHOOL TO BUY BUILDING

The building, in which the charter school now rents space, has several commercial tenants, and another slated to take the retail space formerly leased by Prown’s Home Improvements. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank Charter School plans to buy a commercial building that adjoins its Oakland Street home under a plan approved by the school’s board of trustees Tuesday night.

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LINCROFT: BCC HOSTS FREE CYBER CAMP

Press release from Brookdale Community College

Brookdale Community College is accepting applications for the second annual GenCyber Jersey Blues program, a free, one-week cybersecurity training camp held this July on the college’s Lincroft campus.

The program, funded by grants from the National Security Agency and National Science Foundation, is open to local high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Attendees will engage in hands-on cybersecurity training activities, such as programming a Raspberry Pi computer, and meet with nationally renowned industry experts. Students will also receive a free Raspberry Pi computer, keyboard and mouse to continue their training at the completion of the camp.

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RED BANK: CURTAIN UP FOR BASIE KIDS

Press release from Count Basie Theatre

Each year, the historic Count Basie Theatre welcomes thousands of students to experience live art — and for many, it’s their first or only opportunity to do so. From classical music with modern twists, to the diversity of Asian and African artistry or historical plays like I Have a Dream, the Basie allows students to dream forward through the experience of culture and artistic expression.

Last week, the theatre announced its participation in the OceanFirst Charity Challenge, a crowdsourcing fundraiser which will assist the Basie in raising money for its “Curtains Up For Kids” educational performance program for schools.

Individuals are encouraged to visit thebasie.org and click the “Curtains Up For Kids” icon, which will take them to a page where donations can be taken, and individuals and schools can spin off their own fundraisers to assist the cause.

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FAIR HAVEN: TAXES ON THE TABLE

The February sale of a vacant borough-owned lot on Fisk Street helped keep a lid on property taxes this year, said Administrator Theresa Casagrande.   (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Taxes dominated the Fair Haven council’s semimonthly meeting Monday night, with a borough budget up for adoption and presentations on spending plans by two school districts on the agenda.

Bottom line(s): a drop in the borough levy, a drop in the local school tax, and an increase in the one that funds the regional high school.

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RED BANK: HOMEBUILDER EYES FACTORIES

A cluster of industrial buildings between Catherine Street, above, and River Street would be razed for new brownstones, according to the prospective builder. Part of the site abuts the Cedar Crossing homes, seen in the distance above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A block of factory buildings on Red Bank’s West Side, including some old millworks and a former guitar factory, could give way to new housing in coming months, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: PADILLA ‘WOMEN’ ON THE WING

The cast of ‘The Women of Padilla’ share a cathartic moment in the Tony Meneses play that concludes its world premiere engagement this week at Two River Theater. (photo by T. Charles Erickson)

Beginning with a 1 p.m. performance Wednesday, seven opportunities remain for the general public to catch The Women of Padilla, the latest in an ever-growing portfolio of plays that have made their world premiere on the Red Bank stage of Two River Theater.

Written by Tony Meneses (whose previously produced project here was Guadalupe in the Guest Room), the drama is an ensemble piece that reflects an ongoing commitment by the theater company to develop and promote new works by Latino creators. It’s also a succinct and slightly surreal piece with an underlying universal quality — a glimpse at the home front in a time of seemingly eternal war, as well as the ways in which we find family, build community, and latch onto gossamer wings of hope whenever something important goes missing from our lives.

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RED BANK: A SENSES-FRIENDLY SUMMER CAMP

As part of its 2017 Summer Theater Camp, Red Bank’s Two River Theater will offer its first classes for students with autism ages 10-17, plus a special “sensory-friendly” performance of the play ‘The Way Back Home’ on June 10.

Press release from Two River Theater Company

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, has announced two new initiatives designed to support young people on the autism spectrum, and welcome them to the theater.

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RED BANK: CYMCA HOSTS HEALTHY KIDS

Press release from The Community YMCA

This coming Saturday, April 29, marks the the annual appearance of Healthy Kids Day, a free community event, hosted by The Community YMCA, to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active now and all summer long hosting.

Between the hours of noon to 3 p.m., the Y’s Family Health and Wellness Center (166 Maple Avenue in Red Bank) will be the scene for a fun afternoon in which families will enjoy face painting, Kids Hip/Hop and Zumba, a Teddy Bear Clinic led by Hackensack Meridian Medical Health and Riverview Medical Center’s ER staff, race relay and free throw contests, Giant Jenga, a gift card raffle to local businesses, and more.

Healthy snacks from Wegmans and giveaways will be available. Families interested in a healthy start to summer can sign up for a special priced three-month membership.

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RED BANK: MAKING ALL LOCAL ART STOPS

The new Ani Art Academy America on Broad Street is among the scheduled “art stops” for a Tuesday evening Gallery Gallivant, departing from the Monmouth Street headquarters of Monmouth Arts.

It’s being called a “Gallery Gallivant” — the latest in a series of Red Bank art walks hosted by the folks at borough-based Monmouth Arts, and a stimulating little constitutional for anyone who’s itching for something to do on a normally sleepy Tuesday in town.

One of a slate of offerings designed to give arts aficionados a strolling/rolling perspective on what’s happening in and around the “MoCo” (Monmouth County) Arts Corridor — that scintillating strip of station stops along the Matawan-to-Manasquan stretch of the North Jersey Coast Line — the two-hour guided tour sets sail tomorrow evening, April 25, from the organization’s storefront headquarters at 105 Monmouth Street (the western corner of the Count Basie Theatre building).

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RED BANK: COP PLANS MENTORING PROGRAM

Patrolman Mike Zadlock, who’s spearheading a project called ‘Club 109’ to engage middle school boys. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The boy hadn’t been showing up at school, so a Red Bank police officer was dispatched to the family’s home to make sure everything was OK one day in January.

Nothing was amiss when Patrolman Michael Zadlock arrived. But the boy’s single-parent mother said she simply couldn’t get her son to go to school, and so she would reluctantly leave the pre-teen at home when she went off to work, Zadlock said.

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LINCROFT: PBC HOSTS BREAKFAST AT BCC

Sponsored by Red Bank’s Pilgrim Baptist Church and a coalition of community partners, the annual Shore Region Interfaith Prayer Breakfast is an event designed to “draw together leaders and laity for a time of inspiration, information, encouragement and understanding.”

On the morning of Wednesday, May 17, the 2017 breakfast draws together at a location that speaks to the growing and evolving nature of the event: the Warner Student Life Center on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College.

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RUMSON: RFH ANNOUNCES SUMMER CLASSES

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School has announced its schedule of summer academic enrichment classes for students in and out of district, as well as evening courses for adults.

Summer Session 1 for students will run Monday through Thursday from July 10 to July 20, and Summer Session 2 for students will run Monday through Thursday from August 7 to August 17.

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