YES, IN THE NAVESINK: DOLPHINS

Rumson_dolphinsDining al fresco on the west side of the Oceanic Bridge, under the admiring watch of nearby boaters, were these two members of the pod. (Click to enlarge)

Maybe they got bored just shuttling back and forth in the Shrewsbury River for three weeks.

The dolphin pod that became a tourist attraction in Sea Bright has moved, for now, into the Navesink River west of the Oceanic Bridge, about three miles away.

Last night, they were feasting opposite the Rumson-Fair Haven border, where boaters say huge schools of bunkerfish — a favorite of he Atlantic bottlenose dolphin — have been seen in recent weeks, much as they have been in the Shrewsbury.

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DOLPHINS IN THE NAVESINK?

Img_3168If they show up, don’t feed ’em. So says this NOAA sign posted on the pier at Marine Park in Red Bank.

rebankgreen has been following up — fruitlessly, thus far — reports that the dolphin pod that has transfixed visitors to Sea Bright in recent weeks traveled up the Navesink River today, perhaps as far as Red Bank.

We got onto this story when a parking lot attendant for Ship Ahoy beach club in Sea Bright told us this afternoon that the dolphins had broken their usual pattern of going north and south in the Shrewsbury River and had headed west into the Navesink.

Shortly thereafter, Rob Mehler, a bridge operator on the Oceanic Bridge, between Rumson and Middletown, told us he was informed when he came on duty today that dolphins had gone under that span early this morning and had not returned.

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TRI-TOWN COP SHOP ON THE TABLE

A proposal to consolidate the police operations of Fair Haven, Little Silver and Rumson will be up for public discussion July 9, Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre reports on his blog today.

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The governing bodies of the three towns will meet at 7p that night at Little Silver Borough Hall to hear a presentation by Patriot Consulting of Monmouth Beach, the consultant hired last August to look into the efficacy of a merger of the three peninsula departments.

A $40,950 grant from the state paid for the work.

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POWER FAILS DURING OUTAGE DISCUSSION

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By SUE MORGAN

An official of Jersey Central Power & Light came to Fair Haven’s borough council meeting last night to explain why the power keeps going off when — you guessed it — the power went off. Twice.

Then, about halfway through a grilling of JCP&L area manager Jim Markey by Fair Haven officials came word that a thunderstorm had also knocked out power at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, leaving about 600 people attending an awards ceremony in the auditorium in darkness.

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YEAH, BUT WILL THE LIGHTS BE ON?

From Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre’s blog, re tonight’s borough council meeting:

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JCP&L will be at our meeting Monday.

They are going to attempt a dog and pony show about heat waves and trees hanging over wires. It ought to be pretty entertaining.

Please come out to comment and express your feelings abouyt the reliability of their service.

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SATIRE + NERVE = NEWTON’S LAW AT R-FH

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Were they cut from a lesser bolt of corduroy, we might expect some snarkasm about this article from the four young men behind the Errant Notice, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High‘s totally, totally unauthorized student newspaper.

For starters, they might wonder why it took redbankgreen so long to get around writing this piddling, insight-free feature about them, given that they’d granted us an interview back when the picture above was taken —?? in freakin’ January.

But we’re confident that they’ll utter no such digs—?? not in print, at least. Why? Well, for one thing, they’re all graduating next week and are no longer making monthly runs to Kinko’s, where they mass-produced their four-page broadsides.

More importantly, while the self-styled ‘Ernie Newtons’ behind this year’s volume of the Errant Notice may be clever and cutting and seemingly wired to mock, they are also gentlemen. In fact, they showed us a most civilized time back when they invited us into their swamp. Only they hadn’t told us it would be a swamp.

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MAN FACES DWI CHARGES IN FAIR HAVEN

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Today’s Asbury Park Press has details about that motorist Mayor Mike Halfacre wrote about on his blog yesterday, the guy who is alleged to have nearly struck emergency workers at the scene of downed wires.

Charles Hermansen II, 46, was charged with drunken driving, assault by auto,
aggravated assault, eluding a police officer, and driving with his license revoked,
police Lt. Joseph P. McGovern said. He was released Thursday after posting $7,500 bail, police said.

Police said Hermansen bypassed barricades that had been set up to keep traffic away from some downed power lines near River and Hance roads. When he was initially stopped by a firefighter and a JCP&L employee, they suspected he was drunk and ordered him to shut off his car ignition, McGovern said.

Instead, police said, he gunned the car and drove down Hance Road where he narrowly missed a patrol car operated by Patrolman Jeff Jarvis.

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BUSY NIGHT FOR FH EMERGENCY WORKERS

Img_9666Firefighters and other rescue personnel on the scene of a fire at Rumson Road and Buena Vista Place in Rumson last night.

Wow, who needs reporters when there’s blogging Mayor Mike Halfacre?

In a post on his site today, Halfacre gives the rundown on a busy night for his town’s police, fire and rescue squads. They had a hand in dealing yet more power outages (for the third day in a row) as well as a house fire in Rumson and a possible DWI in which a two people were nearly hit by a car.

The post is headlined “Oh, What a Night,” and begins:

Last night at about 8:00 p.m. the Fair Haven Fire Department, First Aid and Fire Police responded to a “mutual aid” request from Rumson due to a house fire in that town. Immediately after clearing from that fire at approximately 9:40 p.m., another call came in, for a fire on a telephone pole at the corner of Hance and River Road. The electric wires had separated, causing the power outage that most of town suffered from.

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FAIR HAVENITES DEMAND POWER FIX

Img_7604Mayor Mike Halfacre

The power’s back on in Fair Haven today after two consecutive days of sporadic outages in the midst of record temperatures.

And while Mayor Mike Halfacre and some residents say they can understand the effect of unusually hot or cold weather on a utility company’s ability to deliver electricity, well, they’ve had just about enough, thanks.

In a posting on his blog today, Halfacre says he and borough administrator Mary Howell met yesterday with the local representative for Jersey Central Power & Light, and spoke with him

about not only the immediate need to get power back on, but the longer-term issue of reliability. It seems that there is no season when Fair Haven has reliable power: Hot, Cold, Windy, we lose power.

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SPORADIC POWER OUTAGES CONTINUE

Some homes and businesses served by the Jersey Central Power & Light substation on Ridge Road in Fair Haven are again without power after enduring a more than five hours without juice yesterday.

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We don’t know the number affected, or the geographic extent of the outages. But Mayor Mike Halfacre tells redbankgreen:

There are sporadic power outages. Not the whole town, there are also wires down at Hance and River, JCP&L is investigating.

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POWER OUTAGE HITS AREA

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A power outage — or outages, perhaps — have has hit the east side of Red Bank as well as Little Silver, Fair Haven, Rumson and Sea Bright.

There are no details on the specific cause or extent of the outage other than “substation down.” That’s according to an alert sent out by the Fair Haven police.

Mayor Mike Halfacre tells redbankgreen that the substation on Ridge Road next to Fair Haven Fields appears to be the culprit in his town and Rumson. The facility went down, was repaired and crashed again shortly thereafter.

A resident of Harrison Avenue in Red Bank tells us power was back for about 30 minutes after being restored earlier this afternoon, but went down again and it still off.

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CONVENIENCE, SERVICE, AND PAINT

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Today’s Asbury Park Press pops in at Fair Haven Hardware for a look at what keeps the 55-year-old business going in an era when Home Depot, Lowe’s and and other big-box chains have all but eliminated stores its size.

Owner Harvey Schooman, who was two years old when his parents started the business, tells Press reporter Larry Higgs how the store thrives.

“We’re the 7-Eleven of the hardware industry,” Schooman said. “It’s having what people want when they want it and providing, not good, but superior service.”

In this case, that means no lumber and other large items, but lots small stuff — and paint. Paint sales make up 40 percent of the store’s total, Schooman tells the Press.

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EARLY P.O. CLOSING IRKS FAIR HAVENITES

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There’s been little formal notice to the public, but word of a plan to close the Fair Haven post office at 4p on weekdays is proving about as agreeable to local residents and business owners as the taste of envelope glue.

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In the 60 minutes leading up to the end of the customary business day, there’s still work to be done, locals say.

“To me, it’s very upsetting,” says Dean Ross, owner of the Doc Shoppe. Though his shoe store is just two doors away from the postal facility in the Acme shopping center, he frequently needs to ship packages at the end of the day, he said.

He also feels the curtailment will force seniors and disabled residents with late-afternoon mailing needs to drive to Red Bank, where parking is difficult.

“If anything, they should be extending the hours,” he says of the postal service.

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R-FH FIVE TAKE ON EUROPE, AND WIN

Img_6864The R-FH Euro challengers: from left, Sam Wilson, Robbie Trocchia, Margot Keale, Steven Fuschetti and Jennifer Lapp.

If you think understanding the U.S. economy is a brain-buster, try overlaying its complexity with currency exchange rates, European history and social trends unique to a post-Cold War continent.

That, in a thumbnail, was the starting point for five sophomores from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High who competed as a team in something called the Euro Challenge last month.

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Then they had to develop their teamwork, public speaking and time-management skills, preparing themselves to answer arcane questions under the gun about the “decoupling” of the U.S. and European economies, among other arcane topics.

This for a group of kids who didn’t know their CPI from their GDP at the start of the school year.

Well, cutting to the chase: after two grueling and nerve-wracking days of competition, the R-FH team took first place among 47 teams from seven states in a final held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in late April.

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FUGBY, ANYONE?

Img_6061 Or maybe we should call it ‘rutball?’ The ball would be familiar to rugby enthusiasts, while the format was touch football during a game at Riverside Gardens Park yesterday afternoon. Here, Ryan de Brigard of Fair Haven returns a kickoff for a touchdown.

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‘YOU WANNA PICTURE OF UGLY?’

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Hey, sometimes, all it takes is a line like that to make it onto redbankgreen.

And so it was on Saturday that we met Richie Brister: lifelong Fair Haven resident, onetime mayoral candidate (1992), ex-chief of the fire department and lawn-service guy ready for his close-up.

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TALKING IN THE LIBRARY WITH DESIGNER

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It’s been back up and running since late January, but this Saturday, the Red Bank Public Library plans to hold a grand reopening to mark the completion of a $1.6 million renovation.

The interior design of the facility was done by Globus Design Associates, a three-person firm that specializes in library and museum work and is one of the field’s more accomplished practitioners in this part of the country. It also just happens to be based right here in Red Bank, just a few blocks east of the library. Firm principal Suzan Globus of Fair Haven, a past president of both the American Society of Interior Designers and its New Jersey affiliate, founded the firm 18 years ago.

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redbankgreen spoke recently with Globus about her work on the project. We met in the former Eisner family living room, now the home of the New Jersey collection, which Globus calls “one of the most beautiful public spaces in Red Bank. I just can’t think of another interior in Red Bank equal to this one.”

How did you come to this specialty?

I was a journalist, and had reached my life goal by the ripe age of 25; that was to become a newspaper editor [at a weekly shopper on Long Beach Island]. Along the way I had written sports, I had written for magazines, I had written for TV and for a member of Congress, and the only thing I hadn’t done was to write a book. But I quickly realized I didn’t know anything about anything but writing, and who wants to read that book?

So I decided I should go pursue another interest and then write a book about it, and that led me to a one-year course in interior design, and I loved it. So I said, ‘I’m going to do this properly,’ and I went on to get another four-year degree in interior design, and became qualified by the National Council for Interior Design. [The book idea, she says, fell to the wayside.]

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LONGTIME MERCHANT BILL NOGLOWS DIES

Today’s Asbury Park Press reports on the death Tuesday of Fair Haven resident Stephen “Bill” Noglows of Fair Haven. He was 79.

Prior to his retirement in 2000, Noglows and his brother owned and operated Monmouth Meats stores in Red Bank, Little Silver and Eatontown. They started the business in 1955.

From the obituary:

Bill, the son of Greek immigrant William and Elizabeth Noglows of Long Branch, was born Nov. 9, 1928, on Broad Street in Red Bank. Growing up, Bill worked in his father’s numerous Red Bank-based businesses, including the Red Bank Candy Kitchen, Monmouth Diner and Strand Restaurant.

He graduated from Red Bank Regional High School in 1945 and went on to graduate from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor of science degree in economics in 1950.

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FURNITURE DEALER BOXED IN

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William Neumann, a Fair Haven furniture retailer who’s faced repeated allegations of failing to deliver thousands of dollars worth of paid-for goods, has agreed to be barred from doing business in New Jersey, today’s Star-Ledger reports.

Last week, consumer affairs regulators said they have reached a settlement with Neumann and his companies — for the second time in 2 1/2 years. The consent judgment bars his Fair Haven-based store and internet sites, doing business as The Cabbage Rose, Chelsea Manor Unlimited and Classic House Furniture, from operating in the state.

But it also includes a provision regulating any business Neumann, 61, might open in the future. If he starts another business in New Jersey in the next five years, he must notify the state and post a $500,000 bond for the first year of operation, according to the consent judgment.

“This isn’t a precedent but it doesn’t happen very often,” consumer affairs spokesman Jeff Lamm said Friday, noting Neumann’s history warranted the provision.

Consumer law experts also said such preventive measures aren’t commonplace, but can be effective when dealing with repeat offenders.

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MEET THE NEW SUPER: KATHI CRONIN

CroninKathi Cronin, Fair Haven schools superintendent and Mets fan.

By LINDA G. RASTELLI

Kathi Cronin, a Middletown native and Mater Dei grad, has two passions: public education and the New York Mets. “Hope springs eternal,” she says, referring to the latter, though the idea would seem to apply to both.

An English teacher at Rumson’s Forrestdale School for eight years, Cronin later spent four years each as a Rumson curriculum supervisor, Deane Porter School principal and Forrestdale principal. “I’m on the four-year-plan,” she says.

Cronin took the reins as superintendent for the Fair Haven school district in January. She spoke with redbankgreen recently about why classroom teaching is better now than it ever was, why she won’t be cooking breakfast for teachers, and the secret process of declaring a snow day.

You’re the superintendent in a district with just two schools: the Viola L. Sickles School (pre-K-3) and the Knollwood School (4-8). What are the challenges of this job so far?

One thing I really like about being a superintendent instead of a principal is that you can network. You get to go to meetings and be out with other superintendents. Being a principal is really a lonely job.

There’s always the budgetary challenge of trying to meet the needs of every child. Another challenge is we do have really bright children, and it’s important that we meet their needs.

Enrollment’s up to 1,008 students. Bigger families seem to be moving in. It’s very important to keep our class sizes low. We average about 22 in a class, and once you get beyond 24 or 25, it does become difficult. It’s not like in the ’70s, where the teacher stood up in front of the room and did a lecture and dictated some notes. Teaching is so different now. The teacher acts as facilitator very often. We do a lot of differentiation: In a class of six students I recently observed, the teacher actually had three different homework assignments based on the students’ needs. That’s the challenge — doing that within the budget.

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DYNAMIC DUO OF SPORTS HONORED

EquipkidsMelissa Dominach and Bailey Taft with Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna, left, and Councilman John Curley.

Last month, redbankgreen featured Bailey Taft and Melissa Dominach, seventh-graders from the Knollwood School in Fair Haven who had launched a non-profit enterprise to collect sports equipment for needy kids in Red Bank.

Seriously. With some parental help, the 12-year-olds created a non-profit entity called Equipment for Kids and started drumming up donations of used shin guards, soccer balls, cleats —anything they thought might be useful to the kids enrolled in programs run by Red Bank Parks & Rec.

Melissa and Bailey are apparently quite persuasive. They’ve now collected more than 1,200 pieces of gear, and have no plans to stop.

“We got five bikes that we didn’t even ask for,” said Melissa, not to mention sponsorships from some pretty big names in sports retailing: Athlete’s Alley in Shrewsbury and the chains: Dick’s Sporting Goods, Modell’s and Sports Authority. “Now we hope to expand.”

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INTERSECTION FIX IN THE WORKS

Prospect_harding_planAn aerial view of Harding Road and Prospect Avenue, marked up with possible changes and a data box describing current conditions. Engineers recommended a less extensive fix than the one shown. Click to enlarge.

The troubled intersection of Prospect Avenue and Harding Road has moved up on Monmouth County’s to-do list.

Last night, a pair of county engineers made a presentation to the Red Bank borough council outlining three options for cutting down accidents and improving “level of service” at the juncture — meaning the amount of time a motorist typically waits to get through it.

At peak traffic hours, during the morning rush, vehicle movement from northbound Prospect gets an ‘F’ grade, said assistant county engineer Pete Imperiale. There are no turning lanes, and sight lines are restricted.

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