SEA BRIGHT BRINGS ITS FUTURE INTO FOCUS

Frank Lawrence addresses the audience of Sea Bright residents at the Holy Cross gym. Below, Sea Bright resident Louise Golda, left, with Marie Banich, whose mother lives in town. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

“Ask and ye shall receive,” a prophet once famously said. That’s also what the Federal Emergency Management Agency is telling residents of Sea Bright as the town continues to recover from Hurricane Sandy.

About 140 Sea Bright residents gathered Wednesday night at the Holy Cross School gymnasium, in Rumson, along with about 40 FEMA workers, representatives of several non-profit organizations, and Rutgers University planning experts, with the goal of deciding what to ask for.

The Sea Bright 2020 Community Recovery Workshop kicked off a series of meetings between now and November through which residents can contribute to long-term planning for the borough’s turn toward the century’s third decade.

SHREWSBURY: JUVENILES BUSTED FOR BOOZE

Activity reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of August 9 to August 16, 2013.

call-in-the-authoritiesReport of Underage Drinking Party in the area of Borden Street on 8/9/13. Five juveniles taken into short term police custody. All subjects later released to guardians. Ptl. Jessica Boyd investigating.

Report of Theft at Meridian Behavioral Health Center, Shrewsbury Avenue on 8/13/13. Victim reports iPad taken by unknown subjects(s). Property valued at $800.00. Ptl. Tracy Polk investigating.

Report of Credit Card Fraud at Chase Bank, Broad Street on 8/10/13. Victim reports unknown subject(s) removed cash from owners credit card without consent. Damages totaling $1,000.00. Ptl. Myers investigating.

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SEA BRIGHT: SPIKING SUMMER OF 2013

Six teams wrapped up the beach volleyball season in Sea Bright with a tournament Wednesday night. Though the league had half as many teams as last year, Chris Schoonhoven, 32, of Long Branch, right, said that in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, “it’s good to come back and support the town, go to a local restaurant afterward.”

Schoonhoven credits Corey Wagner, 27, of Rumson, who was on the winning team in Lunch Break’s Softball Classic last weekend, with making the league happen this year. “He’s the godfather,” said Schoonhoven. Check out the Sea Bright Beach Volleyball League Facebook page for more info. (Photos by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: RATTLING AND ROLLING TO TOWN

A man who calls himself Black Ivory, right, with a ’67 Chevy Nova, one of his four classic muscle cars, at a car show hosted by Buona Sera restaurant in its lot at Monmouth Street and Maple Avenue in Red Bank last month. Note the presence of a roll bar: “Because she shakes, rattles and rolls,” said Ivory, a DJ. The monthly show returns tonight from 7 to 10 p.m. (Photos by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: READY TO ROCKIT AT THE BASIE

Musicians with the Red Bank-based Rockit program for aspiring rock-n-rollers ages 8 to 18 rehearsed Tuesday for their biannual show at the Count Basie Theatre this Saturday.

Featuring vocalists Emily Ainbinder, 13, and Christine Meisenhelter, 16, the Basie-affiliated program plans to deliver a set of ‘Songs from the City’ – from Detroit (Motown), to Seattle (Pearl Jam) and London (as with Led Zeppelin’s ‘Bron-Y-Aur Stomp,’ above).

Rockit will also be opening for Eric Burdon, formerly of the Animals, at the Basie on August 28. (Video by Sarah Klepner.)

RED BANK: SPEED BUMP FOR WALGREEN’S?

Walgreen’s proposes to build a 14,200-square-foot pharmacy with a drive-thru window on the former site of the Rassas auto dealership. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With hearings on a proposed Walgreen’s pharmacy at the southernmost entry to town scheduled to begin next month, Red Bank’s governing body is moving swiftly to limit drive-thru businesses in town.

The move is not part of an effort to alter or kill the Walgreen’s plan, say both Mayor Pasquale Menna and borough Attorney Dan O’Hern, who serves as a councilman in Little Silver, just yards away from the site. Rather, a proposed change to the zoning law, Menna said, is all about “quality of life.”

Town officials last week introduced an amendment to the borough zoning law that would require any property with a drive-thru be at least 100 feet from a residential zone.

The proposed Walgreen’s, which would be built in a highway business zone at the former Rassas auto dealership lot on Broad Street between Garfield and Rumson places, abuts a residential zone.

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LAWYER ADMITS STEALING HOUSE AND MORE

A former Red Bank-based lawyer faces up to 12 years in prison following his admission Tuesday that he stole a house in Locust from the estate of his late landlord and ripped off clients to the tune of more than half a million dollars.

In a prepared statement, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said the disbarred 39-year-old lawyer, Alex Iler of Atlantic Highlands, pleaded guilty to stealing real property from the estate of a deceased woman and embezzling money from other clients.

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RED BANK: STICKING HIS NECK OUT FOR LAFFS

‘Jeffrey the Giraffe’ greets passersby on Chestnut Street in Red Bank Monday evening, above, and on a recent Sunday, below. His creator, Sergio Navarro, said that Jeffrey – a clothes horse, and no stuffed shirt about it, either is there to simply to amuse. And people do laugh when they see him, said Hector Ceben, who also lives at that address. “It makes me happy,” he said. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

IN THE NEWS: SEA GULL’S NEST, TRAFFIC CAMS

Video from an intersection in Roselle Park, one of six locations cited by Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon as shortchanging motorists on yellow light time, resulting in more tickets tied to camera systems. (Click to enlarge)

Topics of interest covered in local and regional media today…

Tuesday’s New York Times has a feature article on the fate of the Sea Gull’s Nest on Sandy Hook. The restaurant hasn’t reopened since Hurricane Sandy.

From the story:

For a quarter-century, the ritual never changed.

As the sun began to set over Sandy Hook Bay each summer evening, a man with a white beard grabbed a microphone at a seaside restaurant and began talking about pride and sacrifice, patriotism and service. He invoked the nation’s war dead, welcomed visitors from other countries, asked everyone to stand up, take off their hats, hold hands with the strangers at the next table, and give thanks.

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ALL IN A FURRY, SCALY, SMELLY DAY’S WORK

Animal control officer Henry Perez holds the brown bat he caught in the Red Bank home of redbankgreen owners John Ward and Trish Russoniello Monday morning. The bat went off to a lab for rabies testing, and – following Centers for Disease Control guidelines on people exposed to bats in enclosed places while sleeping – Ward and Russoniello went for rabies vaccinations.

Meanwhile, it was day that also had Perez capturing a dying skunk in Shrewsbury and picking up a large, rotting dead fish in Fair Haven. “I’ve been Febrezing myself all day,” he said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: PLAY SERIES UNITES COMMUNITIES

Red Bank Regional student Patricia Martinez, second from right above,with her family at the Two River Theater Sunday. Below, Chilean women talk about the evening’s reading. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

The Latino immigrant experience came to life on stage at the Two River Theater in Red Bank this weekend at the third annual Crossing Borders festival, a free series of Latino-authored play readings and discussions., featuring discussions between audience and actors and director afterward.

Sunday’s play, ‘Ropes,’ which was read in Spanish with an English translation available, was about a reunion between three brothers and their father who had left the family to become a renowned tightrope walker.

“We all loved it,” said Patricia Martinez, a junior at Red Bank Regional High School who has attended the theater’s Summer Theater Camp for the past three years. “The actors were awesome, in and out of character – they were cheerful, funny, and intriguing.”

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RED BANK: FACADE MONEY NOW AVAILABLE

Red Bank businesses with store and office-fronts in need of sprucing up may be eligible for façade-improvement grants of up to $1,850 under a program that Mayor Pasquale Menna is set to detail Wednesday afternoon.

Here’s an announcement from borough hall issued Monday afternoon:

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RED BANK: NEW BRIDGE PARTS STOLEN

call-in-the-authoritiesThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of August 08 to August 15, 2013. This information is unedited.

Theft occurring on 8-10-13 while at East Front St. restaurant. Victim reported that unknown person(s) took her Apple I Phone. Sgt. Robert Gannon.

Theft occurring between 8-7-13 and 8-10-13 on West Bergen Place residence.  Victim reported that while moving out of his room unknown person(s) stole a 32-inch Vizio T.V., X box 360 and two video games. Ptl. David Hicks.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 8-12-13 at Broad St.  Report of unknown person(s) deploying graffiti onto side of business. Ptl. Dawn Shields.

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RED BANK: STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE

Lunch Break executive director Gwen Love and the winners of an eight-team softball tournament held Sunday at Count Basie Fields to raise funds for the Red Bank community service organization congratulate a girl who raised an additional $37 selling lemonade. At right, Sherda Jetwani and tournament organizer Rick Brandt admire the winner’s trophy. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

SHREWSBURY: MUGGING REPORTED

A Red Bank man was taken for cash and a cellphone in a daylight scam attempt that turned into a strong-arm robbery in Shrewsbury Friday morning, police said.

The unidentified victim appeared to have been the target of a ‘pigeon drop‘ scam, in which a con man pretends to have found a large sum of money, said Detective Sergeant Bobby Turner.

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RED BANK: MEDIUM HOT THAI JUST LIKE MOM’S

muang thai 081613A planned expansion of Muang Thai into an adjoining flower shop will provide direct access to the outdoor seating area, below, that now requires a walk around the corner. (Photo below courtesy of Muang Thai. Click to enlarge)

By ROBERT KERN

Muang Thai 4The mark of a Thai cuisine master goes beyond knowing which ingredients to use. Herbs and spices like lemongrass, ginger, chilies and lime leaves – also known as kaffir – need to be handled and selected so they deliver the most flavor.

“Make sure the lime leaves are mature,” said Chanarong ‘Jack’ Pongnoo, owner and chef at Red Bank’s Muang Thai restaurant. “The older leaves have much more flavor.”

Expertise like that is not gotten from books or watching cooking shows, but from long years learning and mastering techniques. Like so many other master chefs, Pongnoo attended the traditional school: his mother’s stove.

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RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN BANK TO BE ACQUIRED

The bank’s five branches, including the one on Broad Street in Shrewsbury, above, will be rebranded as 1st Constitution. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Little more than a year after an internal power struggle, five-branch banking indie Rumson-Fair Haven Bank & Trust has agreed to be acquired by a Middlesex County lender, the two companies announced Friday.

The buyer is 1st Constitution Bancorp, a Nasdaq-traded entity that will pay RFHBT shareholders $7.50 per share, or 0.7772 of a share of 1st Constitution common stock, in a deal valued at $24.3 million, the two company’s said in a press release.

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FAIR HAVEN: GRANNY-GEARING, DUTCH STYLE

Jeanne-Marie Van Hemmen of Fair Haven rides home  from her law office on Bodman Place in Red Bank Thursday. She rides a Dutch bike called an ‘omafiets‘, which she said translates to ‘grandma bike.’

“Commuting in Red Bank is excellent because it’s not hilly,” she says. “It’s totally doable. More people should do it.” (Photos by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: BREAKFAST AND LUNCH, TO GO

Former Sea Bright restaurateur Joanne Garelli leads a food truck in a cross-country reality TV race that plays out this season on the Food Network, starting Sunday.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Wednesday’s Star-Ledger has a feature story about Joanne Garelli, the former co-owner of a Sea Bright luncheonette who’s turned the misfortune of Hurricane Sandy into opportunity.

Having lost Steve’s Breakfast & Lunch to the October 29, 2012 storm, Garelli recently headed up a three-person food truck that made its way across the United States as part of “The Great Food Truck Race,” a reality television series that starts its third season on the Food Network this Sunday night.

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RED BANK: OLD-TIMERS RETURN FOR PARTY

The third annual Red Bank Community Block Party attracted over 500 present and former  residents to Drs. James Parker Boulevard  Saturday. Music, handicrafts, food, children’s rides and information booths greeted the all-ages crowd.

“I think we were actually closer to a thousand,” said party committee president Eddie Russell. Attendees came from Virginia, the Carolinas, Maryland and as far away as California, as well as nearby towns. (Photos by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

SENATE PRIMARY A YAWNER ON THE GREEN

Marjorie and Howard Fox after voting in Little Silver, above. Barbara Crowton, below, voted at the United Methodist Church in Red Bank. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

As Newark Mayor Cory Booker coasted to victory in Tuesday’s special primary voting for the open United States Senate seat from New Jersey, widespread electoral lethargy surrounding the occasion was also evident on the Green Tuesday.

A visit to four polling sites – three in Red Bank and one in Little Silver – over the course of two hours after the heavy rain stopped found fewer than 10 voters in all. Most were glad to share thoughts about Governor Chris Christie’s decision to hold an October election to replace late Senator Frank Lautenberg apart from the November general election, at a cost of $24 million.

Several, all from the 40 and under set, said they were unaware that Tuesday’s primary was specially scheduled.

At the Woman’s Club of Little Silver, Howard Fox and his daughter Marjorie Fox both had strong objections to the special election.

“It was gratuitous to do it this way, ” said Howard.

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MIDDLETOWN: CONTEMPTIBLY LONG BLOTTER

Recent activity reports, unedited, as provided by the Middletown Township Police Department.

call-in-the-authorities James Koenig, age 56, from Brainard Avenue in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on July 28, 2013 by Patrolman Stephen Greenwood on a Non-Support warrant issued by the Monmouth County Superior Court. He was held on $13,603.00 bail.

Phil Craddock, age 21, from West Sylvania Avenue in Neptune, NJ, arrested on July 28, 2013 by Patrolman Anthony Dellatacoma on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was released after posting $1,500.00 bail.

Evan Rosencranz, age 19, from David Drive in Old Bridge, NJ, arrested on July 27, 2013 by Patrolman Donald Coates for Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was released pending a court date.

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FAIR HAVEN: SMOKE ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM

Smoking would be banned in parks and other green spaces. (Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Between granting an exception to the tree preservation ordinance and a discussion about putting a sign in front of borough hall, Fair Haven’s borough council continued to debate the merits of a smoking ban in borough parks Monday night.

As currently drafted, a proposed ordinance would prohibit smoking on all non-impervious surfaces in borough green spaces such as Fair Haven Fields and Natural Area. Smoking would be allowed on adjacent hard surfaces, such as parking lots and sidewalks.

In a friendly but pointed back-and-forth, dividing lines that had emerged during earlier talks remained.

“I think it’s a severe overstepping,” said councilman Rowland Wilhelm. “Is it even constitutional?”

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LITTLE SILVER: BASEMENT FIRE INJURES ONE


The fire, at a vacant building formerly used by a landscaping company, broke out in the basement, officials said. (Click to enlarge)

A volunteer Little Silver firefighter suffered a minor injury while combating a smoky basement fire on Conover Place Monday afternoon, the Asbury Park Press reports.

The unidentified firefighter, one of more than 50 from four towns who responded to the 4:30 p.m. alarm, was treated on the scene for a leg injury, Fire Chief Andrew Smith told the Press.

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