CLIPPINGS: A RITE OF SPRING IN RED BANK

CLIPPINGS_220Vine video shot outside Prown’s Home Improvements on Monmouth Street in Red Bank on March 23, 2014. Prown’s owner and children’s advocate David Prown tells Clippings he gives away donated sports equipment to Red Bank kids every Sunday in spring. In addition, he says, “people bring me lots of things, from clothes to toys to housewares to find good homes for.” Stuff he doesn’t give away directly gets placed on the curb, and “it ALWAYS goes,” he says. Interested in donating or getting something? Call Prown at 908-902-2203. (Video by Gerda Liebmann. Click to enlarge)

Gerda Liebmann bio

RBR: MUST-SEE VIDEO

Highly-infectious video posted on YouTube Friday by Amanda Tanai and Natalie Christ, students at Red Bank Regional. High school sure is way more fun than it used to be, huh?

FAIR HAVEN: BACK FROM DEATH, WITH THANKS

jay campbell 032014Jay Campbell, center, chats with MONOC paramedics Mike Welsh, left, and Marcelo Aguirre during his visit to the Fair Haven First Aid Squad Thursday night. Below, Campbell poses with his family and the emergency responders who teamed up to save him from cardiac arrest earlier this year.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

jay campbell 032014 2The bug had been making its way through the Campbell residence in Fair Haven when Jay Campbell told his wife he wasn’t feeling well and was heading to bed early that Sunday evening in January.

So a short time later, when Leslie Campbell heard a gurgling sound, she raced to grab the pail she’d used to get her son through the illness. But the instant she reached the bedroom and saw her husband lying with his mouth agape and his eyes rolled upward, she knew something far more terrible than the flu had gotten hold of him.

Minutes later, 59-year-old Jay Campbell was, by the metrics of medicine, dead. But two young cops – responding to an “open-line” call in which the 911 dispatcher could only hear the sound of a woman shouting the name ‘Jay’ – began what became a rapid-response team effort to bring him back to life.

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RED BANK: BOARD DEFENDS LIBRARY LAYOFFS

rbpl board 022714 1The library board of the trustees at a meeting in February. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Responding to “misinformation” and “half-truths… stretched beyond their limits” surrounding layoffs of half the staff at the Red Bank Public Library last week, the library’s board of trustees is pushing back.

In a question-and-answer document prepared by six of eight board members and obtained by redbankgreen, the trustees say that personnel costs accounted for 95 percent of the library budget before the layoffs, which affected six of the 11 staff members.

The layoffs were part of a library “reorganization” that “eliminates our deficit, allows us to right-size the Library for the budget, and sustains the Library for the future,” the trustees say in the Q&A. “The solution implemented [at a board meeting following the layoffs] on March 13 was just one step in a much larger process that began in 2013 when it became clear that even with stringent cuts in expenditures last year, the Library was living beyond its means.”

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RED BANK: LIBRARY LAYOFFS SPARK OUTRAGE

sira williams 031214Laid-off children’s librarian Sira Williams embraces colleague Jane Eigenrauch after Wednesday night’s council meeting. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02Hours after more than half the staff of the Red Bank Public Library was laid off, supporters packed a borough council meeting Wednesday night demanding a financial fix that would maintain the 77-year-old institution’s hours, programming and jobs.

Taking turns at a microphone to recall their own childhood days at the library or of watching their children learn to read there, a string of speakers pressed the council on how the library could find itself facing an estimated $131,000 operating deficit this year, and what the governing body planned to do about it.

“I can’t believe a town as wonderful as ours is facing this crisis,” said Sally Gordon or Windward Way, noting that Red Bank’s cultural assets led to its selection by Smithsonian Magazine as the third-best town in America in 2012. “I urge you, because you have the knowledge and the power, to figure out how we can get past this crisis.”

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RED BANK: LIBRARY PUTS STAFF ON NOTICE

rbpl board 022714 2A meeting of the Red Bank library board in the former living room of the Eisner family last month. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rbpl 2 102113The Red Bank Public Library has put its entire staff on notice of possible layoffs in the face of a looming budget shortfall.

Library director Virginia Papandrea confirmed to redbankgreen Tuesday morning that all 10 staffers, including three part-timers, were advised by letter dated Friday that they could be laid off unless the facility can fill an operating budget shortfall estimated at $131,000.

The move comes as the library faces a whopping payout of more than $70,000 in unused sick time to a retiring employee and a drop in the sum that the borough is obligated under state statute to pay into the facility from property tax collections.

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RUMSON GOES VERDANT GREEN AGAIN

Under crisp blue skies, Rumson rolled donned its finest greenery for the town’s second St. Patrick’s Day Parade Sunday.  (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

RETAIL CHURN: BOOTS, FOOD AND FIT KIDS

•dean ross 030714After 14 years in Fair Haven, Dean Ross is ready to take on double the rent to sell shoes in Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508This edition of Retail Churn reports on these developments:

• A Fair Haven shoe store specializing in Dr. Martens boots hopes to kick some butt in downtown Red Bank – and keep the lights on after other stores close.

• Two high-profile Broad Street restaurants have quietly gone idle.

• A fitness center for kids plans to open next month on Wallace Street.

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RUMSON: REWARD OFFERED FOR LOST DOG

sunnySunny, an 11-year-old Westie, has been missing since she got out of her yard during Sandy reconstruction on South Ward Avenue in Rumson Friday night.

She has no collar but is microchipped. Her owners are offering a $500 reward for her return. Call (732) 383-7236.

[UPDATE, February 27:  The owner has boosted the reward to $1,000.]

RBR SPOTLIGHTS HEROIN EPIDEMIC

rbr drug forum 022014 rb drug forum 022014 2Recovering drug addict Dave Dolan, right, spoke of his rapid descent from model student to heroin user during a forum on teen substance abuse that attracted dozens of parents and kids to Red Bank Regional Thursday night. Now a graduate student at Monmouth University, Dolan was part of a panel of health professionals, parents of addicts and ex-users assembled to discuss the warning signs and responses to drug use.

“We’re not going to arrest our way out of this problem,” said Charlie Webster, a spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, which regards an increase in heroin deaths in the Shore region over the past two years an epidemic.   (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: TRASH PICKUP MAY GO PRIVATE

rb garbage truckTrash pickups by borough employees could end this year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank residents could see the end of local government trash pickups this year.

In a move that contemplates a switch to private cartage, the borough council authorized a solicitation of bids for garbage and recyclables collection and disposal at its bimonthly meeting Wednesday night.

The vote on the measure was 5 to 1, with Councilwoman Juanita Lewis dissenting.

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PESTICIDES MISUSED IN HOUSING UNITS

rbha 021114The Red Bank Housing Authority office at Evergreen Terrace. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection slapped a Neptune pest control business with more than $500,000 in fines and costs last week over its use of dangerous chemicals in homes and restaurants, including public housing apartments in Red Bank.

Zapp Termite and Pest Control was fined $495,000 and had its pesticide applicator licensed yanked for what the DEP said was repeated misuse of chemicals near food; for applying pesticides intended for outdoor use only indoors; and for failing to alert tenants of the presence of the pesticides.

“While we have not received any reports that anyone was directly harmed, the manner in which Zapp misapplied these pesticides had the potential to expose people to harmful levels of these products,” John Giordano, the DEP’s Assistant Commissioner for Compliance and Enforcement, said in a prepared statement dated last Friday. “To make matters worse, the firm repeatedly failed to provide consumers with required safety information that is designed to ensure their safety when these products are used.”

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RED BANK: SAYING GOODBYE TO ‘GRANDMA’

mary boynton 0122314Mary Boynton with some of her freshly awakened toddler charges last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Over the past 30 years, Mary Boynton has wrapped her arms around hundreds of youngsters at the Monmouth Day Care Center in Red Bank.

But one stands out: Anthony, a special-needs child who arrived at the facility on Drs. James Parker Boulevard as a nine-month-old infant, and stayed until he was 10 years old.

When Anthony left, “I cried and cried,” says Boynton.

Expect some tears to flow this week, when the 84-year-old Boynton wraps up her three decades of service at the center to embark on a life in retirement.

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RED BANK: FESTIVE LIGHTS WINNERS NAMED

rb cohen lights 010714A dozen Red Bank kids led by children’s advocate David Prown chose the winners of this season’s festive lighting contest, sponsored by the borough Parks & Rec department and announced at Wednesday night’s council meeting. First prize went to the Cohen family of 32 South Street, above. Prizes included gift certificates to local stores and restaurants, including Prown’s Home Improvement, Boondocks Fishery, Teak and Foodtown. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

LITTLE SILVER: HOMEY TOUCHES FOR 2014

Mayor Bob Neff delivers his state-of-the-borough remarks in verse, above. Below, Pete Giblin is sworn as fire chief as his wife, Liz, who heads the EMS, holds the Bible. (Photo and video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge photo.)

By JOHN T. WARD

LSFD 010614 2It’s unlikely to make it into the Norton Anthology of Poetry, unless there’s a municipal edition.

But Little Silver Mayor Bob Neff’s versified annual reflection on the year just ended manages to inject a touch of cornball mirth and meter into the town’s government reorganization ceremony, as it did Monday night.

Another homey touch: for the first time in the borough’s history, the volunteer fire department and first aid squads are headed, simultaneously, by a husband and wife.

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LITTLE SILVER: FIRST WALK THROUGH HISTORY

ls parker 122213 2

ls parker 122213 3Dozens of visitors toured Little Silver’s Parker Homestead, which opened to the public Sunday for the first time since it was deeded to the borough in 1996. Among the displays was a Parker family genealogy tree hung on a door, at right. The Rumson Road farmhouse, dating to the early 1700s, and three barns built in the 1800s are facing extensive restoration. (Click to enlarge)

LITTLE SILVER: DOOR TO HISTORY OPENS A BIT

LS parker 121613 2A large hearth, uncovered during recent repairs, is among the historic features on display on a tour of the Parker Homestead on December 22. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LS parker 121613 1For centuries, it was a family’s home. Nothing more than that.

Starting out in the early 1700s as a single-room domicile, it grew out, and up, outlasting all but a few homes in the nation it preceded. Eight generations of Parkers warmed themselves in rooms framed by hand-hewn timbers – when they weren’t working the surrounding land, or harvesting ice from the pond just off the front porch.

“These people weren’t rich, or aristocrats,” Little Silver resident and preservationist Keith Wells said of the Parkers, who arrived here from Rhode Island in 1665. “They were just farmers.”

That simple fact may be lost to the thousands of motorists who have passed by in recent decades, perhaps aware only that the stately home on Rumson Road in Little Silver was for some reason “historic,” an entry on national and state registers of such structures.

But on Sunday, December 22, for the first time ever, the public will get to see the inside of the Parker Homestead, now entering what Wells and others hope is an era of significant repair and restoration. redbankgreen got a sneak peek, of course.

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RED BANK: A PARISH CELEBRATES

With temperatures in the low 20s, several hundred parishoners of Red Bank’s St. Anthony of Padua Church celebrated the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe with their largest procession in years Thursday night. Starting at the pocket park at Shrewsbury Avenue and Doctors James Parker Boulevard, the procession headed east and then up Bridge Avenue, where marchers joined hundreds of other gathered in the parish auditorium for a Mass. (Photos by John T. Ward.)

RUMSON: LEVITTOWN ON A TABLE TOP

gingerbreadhouselady 1

Debbie Bagnell and this year’s output of gingerbread cookie houses. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

PIEHOLE logoThis time every year, Rumson’s Debbie Bagnell becomes “the gingerbread house lady,” and her dining room table is transformed into a miniature Levittown of scrumptious little abodes.

How popular are her cookies at Holy Cross, the school her kids attend? So popular that former Saturday Night Live actress and borough resident Sioban Hogan performs a sketch that parodies the trials and tribulations of going through a year without access to Bagnell’s creations.

Follow the link to the story, only on PieHole, redbankgreen‘s totally awesome food page. And be sure to check out PieHole’s Facebook page or follow its Twitter feed @RedBankPieHole for up-to-the-minute postings.

TREE LIGHTINGS TO LIGHT UP THE GREEN

sb-train-4-120512Tree lightings, such as the annual ceremony in Sea Bright, bring light therapy to the Green this weekend. Below, an archived favorite shot from the 2008 Westside tree lighting in Red Bank.

westside-tree-2008Tree lightings! We’ve got ’em, and in such quantities this weekend that you’d think they grew on trees.

Fair Haven kicks things off Friday evening with something old-school traditional — the 5:30 pm arrival of Santa Claus by firetruck, at Memorial Park (across River Road from Borough Hall), followed at 6 pm by the turn-on of the official tree, accompanied by live music from The Band of the Two Rivers. There’s also something new — a Holiday Stroll promotion in which “stores and businesses will be offering shopping, free food and beverages, attractions, and fun for kids throughout the River Road East business district” between the hours of 5 pm and 7:30.

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RED BANK: ANIME FANS GET CREATIVE

anime 1Librarian Stephanie Chadwick with participants in last month’s meeting of the anime club. Below, details of some mangas. (Photos by Isabel Halloran. Click to enlarge)

By ISABEL HALLORAN
Red Bank Charter School Intern

anime 3Four teenagers – Angela, Monteleone, Sam, and Alberto –  gather in a small room at the Red Bank Public Library and sit at a long table.

Across from this table is another lined with manga (pronounced MAHN-guh), Japanese comic books that often have a fantasy or sci-fi theme to them. These books are read from what we in the United States consider back-to-front.

Stephanie Chadwick, teen services librarian and group leader, welcomes the participants to the monthly meeting of the Anime Club and introduces the activity for the day: playing a game she calls “anime-opoly.”

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FROM MEXICO TO DENMARK, VIA PIEHOLE

la esquina1Red Banker Brian McCourt gets it city style at La Esquina. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

PIEHOLE logoIn case you missed it on redbankgreen‘s PieHole food page…

• At Red Bank’s La Esquina, the tacos, tamales, tortas and more aren’t just Mexican – they’re Mexico City-style Mexican. Elias Ayala, who owns the shop at the corner of Bridge and Oakland with his father, explains the difference.

• The owners of Red Bank’s Danish Café, always striving to introduce denizens of the Green to the culture of Denmark, host a Danish Breakfast with Santa this Saturday for kids who like a bit of chocolate and some ho-ho-hos with their morning meal.

Follow the links to the stories, and check out PieHole’s Facebook page or follow its Twitter feed @RedBankPieHole for up-to-the-minute postings.

 

RED BANK: LIGHTS ON

It was a night of jolly good cheer as Santa and Mrs. Claus and thousands of revelers in fun hats thronged downtown Red Bank for the annual town light-up and Holiday Express concert Friday night. The event began with the return of the traditional Santa Express train ride into town from Little Silver after a one-year interruption due to Hurricane Sandy. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)