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RED BANK: DOGS, TENNIS & POLICING

RB DOG DAYS 073013 20Having held a Dog Days of Summer monthly event for two summers in a row, borough officials are now contemplating a year-round facility for dogs to play in. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Should Red Bank establish a place for dogs to play? And if so, where?

And what should become of the borough’s red-clay tennis courts in Marine Park?

Those are among the questions on the table at a meeting scheduled for next week.

Another meeting, scheduled for later this week, concerns crime and community relations.

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RED BANK: SET LOOSE THE DOGS, BUT WHERE?

RB DOG DAYS 073013 22Canines can meet-and-sniff at Dog Days of Summer events, but some dog lovers would like a facility for daily use. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank bends over – if not quite backwards, but with plastic bags in hand – for dogs, with a monthly street-closing festival for man’s best friend in the dog days of summer. But nowhere in town can a dog owner unleash and let Fido run free.

Not legally, at least.

At least three borough council members and the dog-owning mayor think that’s a situation that needs, um, to be fixed.

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IN oRBit: BLUE CATS, RED DOGS, BLACK TIE

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Today's edition of Red Bank oRBit kicks off our coverage of the 23rd annual
Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival with a preview of what to expect this
weekend as the early-season attraction takes over Marine Park with a bill
that features, among many others, veteran saxman Houston Person
(right).

HoustonPersonAs Dorothy Creamer explains, it's an event that's still offering up
three days of free sounds — even in a year that's got
practically all of us singing the blues.

Holding that note, we walk just a couple of blocks, and a world away, to the Monmouth Conservatory of Music, where Vladislav Kovalsky and the MCM faculty
are preparing not one, but two completely free programs of Schumann's music
this Wednesday and Saturday — a fear-free way to enjoy quality classical
music, and a best-kept-secret of local life.

JoelSilvermanLast but not leashed, Diana Moore rings up Animal Planet host and celebrity
dog trainer Joel Silverman (left), who inaugurates the new Book It! Events venue at
The Grove on Tuesday night, with a pets-invited promotional appearance for
his new book 'What Color is Your Dog?' We found out, among other things, that
you'd never treat an orange the way you'd treat a green.

It's all in oRBit, ready for inspection and eager to be taken into a loving
home.

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RED BANK: RACIST SLUR, OR SLIP OF TONGUE?

Sue Viscomi, right, with Hazim Yassin and Kate Triggiano at borough hall in April, 2018. All three ran for council that year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA Red Bank board of ed member faced sharp criticism Thursday for a purported racist rendition of the borough business administrator’s name the night before.

But Sue Viscomi vehemently denied referring to Ziad Shehady as “Mr. Jihad.”

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RED BANK: TWO FALL FESTIVALS? MAYBE…

red bank oysterfest 2019 The annual Guinness Oyster Fest in September could be followed just three weeks later by the International Beer, Wine & Food Fest, usually held in April. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWith a calendar decimated by the COVID-19 crisis, Red Bank appears to be in for an unusually quiet summer.

But as summer edges into autumn, two of the town’s largest annual food festivals could occur within three weeks of one another, redbankgreen has learned.

Here’s a lookahead at the pandemic’s impacts on the summer calendar.

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RED BANK: PAWSING TO KICK OFF SUMMER

red bank dog days 062419 red bank dog daysThe first of two Red Bank Dog Days of Summer scheduled for this season drew several hundred canines and their handlers to  Marine Park on a slightly muggy evening Monday. The next one is slated for August 12.

Speaking of muggy, residents of the Greater Red Bank Green awoke to growling skies Tuesday morning, as a summer rain rolled in for what looked to be a day of scattered showers, according to the National Weather Service. Check out the extended forecast below. (Photos by John T. Ward.  Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: AFTER SCATHING REPORT, WHAT?

Business Administrator Ziad Shehady in front of the large-screen monitor he uses in staff meetings to track projects. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Now that a scathing review of municipal operations has landed on their desks, what will Red Bank’s leaders do with it?

It won’t go into a drawer to be forgotten, says the newly hired official charged with implementing most of its recommendations. In fact, he says, change is already underway.

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NAVESINK: BACTERIAL HOTSPOTS IDENTIFIED

rally-navesink-113016Zach Lees of Clean Ocean Action talks about tracking bacteria along storm sewers upland from Red Bank’s Marine Park Wednesday night.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Aided by a trio of specially trained sniffing dogs, environmental detectives have zoomed in on particular locations in three towns that may be at least partly responsible for a recent spike in bacteria levels in the Navesink River, they reported Wednesday night.

At the final Rally for the Navesink event of 2016 organized after a ban on shellfish harvesting from 566 acres of the river last February, a coalition of groups identified specific sites where leaking sanitary sewer lines or septic systems in Red Bank, Fair Haven and Middletown may be contributing bacteria from human waste.

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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: GET OUT AND STAY OUT

Motor CityLayonne Holmes (right) and the Motor City Revue roar into Sandy Hook as the up-next act in the summer beach concert series. Weather permitting, Tuesday night marks the twice-scheduled debut of Red Bank’s Dog Days of Summer.

rb dogs 061714 6[UPDATE, July 20, 2 p.m. Once again, the Dog Days event is being postponed, this time because of high temperatures, RiverCenter announced. The event is tentatively scheduled to be held Wednesday, July 22, at 6 p.m.]

Gripe all you will about summer traffic, summer crowds, summer expenses: the season for warm-weather diversion can seem especially fleeting when viewed through the frosted panes of our extended polar-vortex winters. And between Tuesday evening and Thursday afternoon, we’ve got a whole range of excuses for getting out of the house, beginning with the latest in the 2015 series of Red Bank Dog Days of Summer .

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WEEKEND: IT MIGHT AS WELL BE SPRING

ice-boat-011011-500x375It’s an open house icebreaker when the nation’s longest-established ice boat club welcomes the public in from the cold for a Saturday of tours and presentations. Below, Bobby Bandiera brings the Rock ‘N Soul Revue back to the Basie for a Brill-iant bow to the hitmaking “American Troubadors.” 

Friday, March 21:

BobbyBandieraHallmarkIIok_zpsc164352eRED BANK: Taking the old recruitment slogan, “Join the Jovi and See the World” to heart, Bobby Bandiera has done his share of  globetrotting as touring guitarist with Bon Jovi. But when the veteran of more than 40 years’ worth of local barband gigs puts in to Shore, he tends to “relax” by staying audibly visible everywhere from the barstool in the corner at your favorite hometown watering hole to the Count Basie Theatre, where he intermittently assembles the jukebox Justice League known as the Jersey Shore Rock ‘N Soul Revue for a special salute to the “American Troubadors.”

When the 11-piece “Basie House Band” reconvenes Friday night at 8 pm, Bandiera and bandmates (including star-quality songbird Lisa Sherman, and Joe Jackson’s longtime bassist Graham Maby) will be paying trib to the great songwriter-performers of what’s commonly called the “Brill Building” era of late 50s-early 60s pop – a teenaged Tin Pan Alley that spawned some of the earliest and most immediately exhilarating work of Carole King (“The Loco-Motion”), Neil Diamond (“I’m a Believer”) and Burt Bacharach (“Baby It’s You”). Tickets ($25 – $99) can be reserved right here.

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WEEKEND: CARNIVAL, NATURE WALK, TRI…

The Sea Bright Firemen’s Fair brings cheer to the oceanside town this weekend s it works to recover from Hurricane Sandy. Folk musicians the Blind Tellers, below, are at the Red Bank Public Library. (Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, May 17:

LITTLE SILVER: Come shop the annual Little Silver Springtime Sidewalk Sale hosted by the Little Silver Business & Professional Association. The sale runs through Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Locations vary.

RED BANK: Stores, restaurants and some unexpected places combine to create a townwide art exhibit for Art Walk. Make your own self-guided tour or shadow docents as they guide the crowd through town. The exhibit runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Here’s the map: artwalk_map_only-1

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OVER A DOZEN FUN WAYS TO HELP OTHERS

fallonmanzomulheren

Hollywood’s Siobhan Fallon Hogan, TV’s Real Housewife Caroline Manzo and Broadway’s Michael Mulheren appear at local fundraisers in the coming days.

There’s a gala for the neediest of our neighbors that’s studded with familiar faces from movie screens and Broadway stages. A sneak-preview of a film from a major studio, raising funds for the arts right in our backyard. There’s even a benefit dog walk, graced by a reality TV star who’d be able to tell us a thing or three about catfights.

donegoodlogoYou don’t need to boast of any showbiz connections to have Done Good for your community — sometimes all you need to do is come on out, take in some lovely early-autumn weather or enjoy some of the best of local cuisine. Cheer on a committed competitor from the crowd, or pound some pavement for a charitable cause. Donate a used book, buy a used book — or bring back those library books, no questions asked.

In this edition of Done Good, redbankgreen pulls together more than a dozen ways that you can be part of something big in the days and nights to come. It’s an opportunity that begins this weekend and continues on through the first half of October — with benefits that will be felt locally (class trips, school sports, food banks, animal rescues, holiday traditions, clean streets) as well as globally (clean oceans).

The Done Good rundown continues, right around the corner.

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PARK IT HERE FOR FREE MUSIC & MOVIES

thespringstandardsThe Songwriters in the Park series brings the Spring Standards, above, and former Bongos member Richard Barone, below, to Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

richardbaroneIt’s been the backdrop for more wedding party photos than any local scenery this side of the “hobbit” pergola at Deep Cut Gardens, the setting for school commencements, and the preferred parking place for the borough’s distinctive holiday ice boat. A place for kids to congregate on weekend nights, and a place for candlelit vigils and makeshift memorials in the days following 9/11.

Ever since Riverside Gardens took shape on the former site of the long-gone apartment house of the same name, a generation of Red Bankers has wondered how they ever got along without the West Front Street park along the Navesink. No more so than in the weeks after the end of the school year, when the waterfront walkways host a beach-blanket brigade of neighbors in search of some music and movies, under the setting sun and stars. It all comes to you courtesy of the hardworking folks at the borough’s Department of Parks and Recreation, working in concert with sponsors and co-organizers public and private.

It’s that warm and breeze-kissed time of year when the municipal government — the people who normally incur your wrath over not filling in potholes fast enough — gets to fill your evenings with music and all-around good vibes.

Beginning this week, Riverside Gardens will see the return of three proven and popular attractions — Movies in the Park, Jazz in the Park and Songwriters in the Park — all presented free of charge (with complimentary river sunsets) throughout July and much of August. It’s a slate of entertainments that was preceded by an appetizer in the form of June’s LunchMusic series — and the menu continues, right after the break.

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IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE KING

Img_2316Runners in the 2007 race take the first turn, at Broad Street and East Bergen Place. Below, a runner celebrates a mighty finish.

Upon his passing in 1993, Dr. George Sheehan was eulogized by President Bill Clinton as “the Philosopher King of running.” He was, for a while there, the most famous person in Red Bank; a remarkable chap whose accomplishments as a physician, philanthropist and father (of twelve!) were trumped on a nationwide scale by his having authored Running and Being — a seminal work of running strategy and philosophy that’s been credited with creating the populist sport as we know it today.

While no trace exists these days of the Doc’s old West Front Street office, his legacy lives on throughout the streets of Red Bank, thanks in large part to an annual two-day happening named in his honor. And it happens again this weekend when the downtown business district and and streets in adjoining Little Silver and Fair Haven become the scene for a competition of the internationally famous and merely passionate — while the waterfront walkways of Marine Park host an expanded set of activities for runners, fans and families.

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HARBOR SEAL LANDS ON SANDY HOOK

The Asbury Park Press today is reporting the landing a harbor seal on a beach at Sandy Hook.

Just_in

It was unclear immediately if the animal was sick, wounded or just taking a breather, but officials were preparing this morning to take it to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine for evaluation.

“Our team sent us some photos of the seal and it looks like it has a little bit of blood around its mouth,’ [center co-director Sheila] Dean said. “We’re going to bring it here and look it over briefly. If it doesn’t need any rehab we’ll release it into a colony in the area.”

The Sandy Hook beaching is the fifth in the last two days, Dean said. Other seals have come ashore in Wildwood, Cliffwood Beach and Brigantine, she said.

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RESTAURATEURS LAY IT ALL ON THE TABLE

Lyristis_george_2The Bistro’s George Lyristis: “You can’t always ask somebody else to fix the problem.”

Business is tough these days for many Red Bank restaurants. And it’s not simply a matter of the winter blahs.

The economy has soured. Would-be patrons are turned off by the perception of aggressive ticketing by the borough Parking Authority, and by real or perceived parking shortages. Competition from Pier Village in Long Branch and even downtown Asbury Park is siphoning off business.

And that’s just the out-of-towner trade. Then there are closings of retail stores and — less noticed — second- and third-floor businesses that supply a steady flow of weekly customers. A doubling of taxes last year after a revaluation has added to the burdens of premium-priced leases.

“You know what it is? It’s the two-, four-, six-person offices,” says Gary Sable, who owns That Hot Dog Place off Monmouth Street. “It’s the parking, it’s the rents. They’re moving out to Tinton Falls, moving out to Wall Township.”

As Zebu Forno owner Andrew Gennusa sees it, the problem is a borough administration that is indifferent to the impacts that soaring taxes and picayune code enforcement have on downtown businesses. “They have a heavy hand in this town,” Gennusa tells redbankgreen.

Conditions, in other words, are widely thought to be less than ideal for businesses that require big capital investments and daily purchases of large amounts of perishable inventory.

So roughly a dozen owners of restaurants, delis and takeout businesses from throughout Red Bank — not just the downtown — have decided to put their heads together to see what they might do collectively for themselves.

At this point, it’s little more than a concept, but they think they may have gotten the ball rolling on forming a restaurant association, an organization that will cater (pardon) specifically to their needs.

“Restaurants bring a lot of business into this town,” says George Lyristis, who owns The Bistro at Red Bank on Broad Street with his brothers Charlie and Tasso. “But we don’t have a voice.”

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