RED BANK: NO DECISION ON RAYRAP PLAN

rayrap 090315 1A house at the corner of Harding Road and Hudson Avenue, above, is one of five that would be demolished if  the plan is approved. Below, neighbors examined exhibits during a break in Thursday’s hearing. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rayrap 090315 3After a nine-month pause, Ray Rapcavage returned to the Red Bank zoning board Thursday night with his plan to create 22 homes on the eastern edge of the downtown.

Given the passage of time, plan revisions and the fact that three members weren’t on the board when hearings began 13 months ago, the Rumson-based builder agreed to start his presentation anew. But after some two hours of testimony, the hearing adjourned again without a decision. And it won’t resume for at least six more weeks.

Read More »

RED BANK: RAYRAP HEARING TO RESUME

rb rapcavage 081614rayrap hudson 011515More than a year after it began and nine months after the last session on the topic, the Red Bank zoning board’s hearing of Ray Rapcavage‘s plan to transform most of a block on the edge of downtown into 22 condos and townhouses is scheduled to resume Thursday night.

As reported by redbankgreen, Rapcavage recently revised the proposal — previously dubbed ‘Renaissance Village’ and now called ‘Le Belle Vue Village’ — by dropping a plan for a market on Harding Road.

The hearing — which comes after just two sessions, held in August, 2014 and January, 2015 — is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at borough hall, 90 Monmouth Street.

A hearing on plans to build 37 apartments at 55 West Front Street has been postponed to September 17, according to the meeting agenda. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RUMSON: BLITHEWALD RAZED

76 buena vista 081815rumson fire 042015 2Five months after a devastating fire, the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald was demolished Monday.

The 132-year-old home, on Buena Vista Avenue, was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea when it burned down in April. Investigators ruled the cause of the blaze accidental. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: RAYRAP DROPS MARKET FROM PLAN

rb rayrap 072915Above is architect David Carnivale’s rendering of the six-unit condo building on Harding Road that would replace the previously planned market. Below, architect Cathy Zuckerman’s rendering of the condos proposed for Clay Street and Hudson Avenue. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rayrap hudson 011515Builder Ray Rapcavage has dropped his plan for a greenmarket as part of of a proposal to redevelop a block on the edge of downtown Red Bank, redbankgreen has learned.

In yet another in a series of revisions, plans filed with the borough show that instead of a 4,300-square-foot organic fruit and vegetable market fronting on Harding Road, Rapcavage now plans to erect six condos.

Read More »

LITTLE SILVER: OFFICE BUILDING PLANNED

ls smith site 070615A warehouse-style office building is planned for the vacant lot on Willow Drive near Branch Avenue. Below, council members examining developer Ray Smith’s plans Monday night. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LS council 070615After years of contamination, bankruptcy and idleness, one of Little Silver’s most troubled properties may finally be getting a makeover. But first, the owner wants a zone change.

A plan for a “warehouse-style” office structure to be built on Willow Drive by commercial real estate broker and developer Ray Smith got a warm reception from the borough council during the workshop portion of its meeting Monday night.

Read More »

BON JOVI TO HOST CLINTON, BUT WHERE?

Bon Jovi house2Bon Jovi’s Middletown home, above, as seen in 2008. Below, Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea, with Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna and former mayor Ed McKenna in 2011. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

bon-jovi-mayorsPop star Bon Jovi is planning to host a fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to a report by NJ.com.

The report doesn’t give the location of the event, but notes that the pop star and his wife, Dorothea, live in Monmouth County.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: FITNESS, FASHION AND FLOWERS

lisa tave 052915Lisa Tave shows off the gym bag she created, which gave rise to her new shop of the same name: Physhion. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven’s quaint downtown saw the debuts of a pair of fresh retail faces last month:

Physhion, a boutique specializing in workout wear that doubles as all-day clothing.

• The Pink Peony, a flowers-and-gifts shop that also offers party-planning services.

Read More »

RED BANK: KAYAKER’S DEATH INSPIRES ALERT

maple cove sign 050615david civileA new water-safety sign was installed Wednesday at Red Bank’s Maple Cove, a popular Navesink River put-in spot for kayakers and canoeists.

With the help of Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, the sign was donated by the parents of David Civile, right, a 26-year-old Tinton Falls man who disappeared while kayaking in the Shrewsbury River off Little Silver in November, 2010. His remains were found two years later.

Signs donated by the David P. Civile Foundation for Boating Safety Awareness have also been installed in Little Silver, Fair Haven, Rumson and elsewhere in Monmouth County.

Read  more about the foundation’s efforts here. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RUMSON: FIRE RULED AN ACCIDENT

rumson fire 042015 3Monday’s fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald appears to have been accidental, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office.

Spokesman Charlie Webster told redbankgreen on Thursday that investigators believe the fire began in a wall between a guest room and an en-suite bathroom on the second floor. But they were unable to determine if a live electrical circuit or equipment was the cause, he said.

At the time of the fire, Blithewald, on Buena Vista Avenue, was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea fundraiser fundraiser, which was to have begun Saturday but has now been cancelled. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RUMSON: FIREFIGHTER’S VIEW OF BLAZE

Here’s a Sea Bright firefighter’s view, courtesy of a helmet-mounted camera, of Monday’s fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald.

A message on the Sea Bright Fire Rescue Facebook page says this about the footage:

“We feel that releasing this film will not only give the public insight on what we do but will allow our brothers and sisters of the service an opportunity to better both themselves and ourselves in the future. The members made multiple attempts to try and gain control of the fire with an interior attack but were subsequently driven back. Please excuse some of the language as the guys were in the heat of the moment.”

 

RUMSON: ‘TOUGH SPOTS’ MADE FIRE DAUNTING

RUMSON FIRE 042115 2Blithewald as seen Tuesday morning. An area of the roof between two dormers showed heavy damaged, as seen below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

RUMSON FIRE 042115 1The fire that caused extensive to a 132-year-old Rumson mansion Monday proved a challenge to volunteer firefighters, some of whom were on the scene nearly seven hours, Chief Kevin McCarthy tells redbankgreen.

“It’s a big, older house, so there’s lots of tough spots to get into,” said McCarthy. “It took a while to get it all mopped up.”

There was no official word on a possible cause of the blaze. McCarthy referred questions to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, where a spokesman said information was not immediately available Tuesday morning.

Read More »

RUMSON: FIRE RIPS SHOWCASE MANSION

rumson fire 042015 2rumson fire 042015 1Fire caused extensive damage Monday afternoon to a Rumson home slated as the showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea fundraiser.

No one was injured in the four-alarm blaze at 76 Buena Vista Avenue, an 1880s-era mansion known as Blithewald. As of 3:30 p.m., three hours after the fire was reported, smoke could still be seen rising through the roof, which had gaping holes in it. There was no immediate official word on a possible cause.

“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said a heartbroken VNA volunteer who asked not to be named, standing outside the Blithewald gate.

The fire is the second tragedy in recent years to strike the VNA event. In 2013, a van shuttling tour participants hit a dumptruck in Rumson, causing at least one serious injury. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RUMSON: SHOTS LEAD TO CONTEMPT CHARGE

By JOHN T. WARD

AUTHORITIES_RUMSON2A Philadelphia man was in custody Monday after firing a pistol inside a Rumson residence Sunday night, police said.

But Robert Toros, 36, was charged with contempt of court and not for any violations relating to the discharge of the gun, though additional charges may be brought, Detective Chris Isherwood told redbankgreen Monday.

Read More »

RUMSON: GUNFIRE IN HOME INVESTIGATED

By JOHN T. WARD

AUTHORITIES_RUMSON2Rumson police were questioning two people Sunday night following an incident in which a gun was fired multiple times inside the basement of a home here.

No one was injured in the incident, which came less than 24 hours after a domestic dispute at the same address, on Auldwood Lane, Chief Scott Paterson told redbankgreen.

Read More »

RED BANK: BURNED HOME TO BE REPLACED

23 madison planrb fire 102214 1Five months after she was awakened by a smoke alarm and escaped to see her house go up in a ball of flame, a Red Bank woman won approval to replace the structure Thursday night. 

Designed by architect Ron Grammer, Joan Raymond’s new Craftsman-style house on Madison Avenue retains the original footprint. The plan met no opposition at the zoning board hearing.

A mother of three grown children who was alone at the time of fire, Raymond was unharmed, but lost her cat to the blaze, the cause of which was never definitively determined. She hopes to be in her new home by Christmas, she told redbankgreen. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: BLAZE DAMAGES HOME

RB fire 031915 2The fire did heavy damage to the house at 93 River Street. The roof at the rear corner of 95 River, at right above and left below, also briefly caught fire. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

RB fire 031915 1No one was injured as Red Bank volunteer firefighters quickly knocked down a blaze that had tongues of flame shooting out of two sides of a house Thursday morning.

The occupants of the home at 93 River Street, between Shrewsbury and Leighton Avenues were not present when police on patrol noticed smoke and called in the fire at around 11:15, said police Chief Darren McConnell.

Read More »

RED BANK: RESCUED DEER SAVED – AGAIN

DEER 022815 14The doe allowed caretakers to swaddle it in blankets for several hours Saturday evening, above. Below, the doe struggling to escape the frigid Navesink that afternoon; the deer at left drowned. (Photo above by Stan Balmer, below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

deer 022815 9A deer saved in a dramatic rescue from the frigid waters of the frozen Navesink River Saturday was released later that night – but only after veterinary professionals suggested it be euthanized, redbankgreen has learned.

Second Deputy Fire Chief Pete DeFazio said personnel at the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls told him and other emergency volunteers that the hospital had no facilities for the deer, which while uninjured, was cold and immobile, and would probably be euthanized.

“I said, ‘why, after we went to all this trouble, would you euthanize it?'” DeFazio told redbankgreen Monday evening. “How can you kill this thing after all we went through to save it?”

Read More »

STUDENT SUSPENDED FOR SCHILLING TWEETS

adam nagelThe profile photo of the Twitter user identified as “the Sports Guru,” who Curt Schilling said posted offensive comments about his daughter, is the same one used on Facebook by a Brookdale student named Adam Nagel. Both accounts have since been removed.  (Click to enlarge)

[See update below regarding student’s affiliation with the radio station.]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02Brookdale Community College suspended a student Monday after retired baseball great Curt Schilling outed him as one of at least two Twitter posters who tweeted sexually offensive statements about Schilling’s daughter last week.

The student, who was not identified by the school, was among two or more Twitter users who suggested they would sexually assault Schilling’s daughter, Gabby, after her father announced that she would be attending college Salve Regina University in Rhode Island and pitch for the softball team.

Read More »

RED BANK: DEER RESCUED FROM FROZEN RIVER

Video of the rescue as the boat goes out a second time and brings in a deer. Below, the two deer in the channel they created as they tried to escape. (Video and photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

deer 022815 3One deer was rescued and another drowned after they fell through the ice on the Navesink River off Red Bank Saturday afternoon.

The dramatic rescue of a doe followed an all-out effort by local fire and first aid volunteers assembled on the dock of the Oyster Point Hotel, on the Red Bank side.

Read More »

RED BANK: COPS HAVE ‘PERSON OF INTEREST’

rb assault 020215 2The two victims were in a house set back from the street behind a screen of greenery on East Bergen Place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

just_in1The two men found badly beaten and semiconscious in a Red Bank house Monday had apparently been assaulted sometime Sunday night or early Monday morning, police said.

Police Chief Darren McConnell told redbankgreen at 2 p.m. that detectives were interviewing one “person of interest” in the case but not looking for any other suspects as they sought to learn the circumstances in which the two men were assaulted.

Read More »

RED BANK: TWO MEN SEVERELY BEATEN

rb assault 020215 1The two victims were in a house set back from the street behind a screen of greenery on East Bergen Place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

just_in1Two men were found “severely” beaten and semiconscious in a Red Bank house Monday morning, police said.

Little information was available at 12:30 p.m., as police cars and ambulances lined the street, between Branch Avenue and South Street.

Read More »

ON THE GREEN: FREEZE FOLLOWS NONBLIZZARD

snow 012715 15A view west on River Road in Fair Haven Tuesday as snowfall in the blizzard that wasn’t ended. Area schools were scheduled to reopen Wednesday on delayed starts as temperatures hovered in the single digits, when factoring in wind chills. Some roads will be slippery, local officials caution. Temps are expected to peak at about 32 degrees during the day, according to the Weather Underground. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

GREEN: NONBLIZZARD STILL NEEDS SHOVELING

snow 012715 9snow 012715 2The blizzard that wasn’t  still left a mess ‘o snow. And even with the lifting of a statewide travel ban Tuesday morning, non-binding requests by local officials that residents stay off the roads appeared well-heeded. A noontime spin through the Greater Red Bank Green found county roads mostly clear, but local streets somewhat difficult to navigate.

By 1 p.m., the snowfall had ended, the sun was burning through a haze, and temperatures appeared headed to a balmy 30 degrees – if the forecast can be trusted. And local residents took to their shovels and sleds, just as they would after any snowstorm. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Read More »

RED BANK: ‘BLIZZARD’ NOW A ‘WINTER STORM’

Blizzard 012715 2 Blizzard 012715 3Winds whipped the flags at Elks Club #233 at about 4:15 a.m. as a heavily hyped “blizzard” dropped the first half-foot of a previously expected two feet of snow on the Red Bank region Tuesday.

But weather forecasters downgraded the event early Tuesday from a blizzard to a ‘winter storm,’ and now expect just three-to-five more inches of snow as snowfall tapers off by 3 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)