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MIDDLETOWN: ‘GIANTS OF SCIENCE’ POP BY

Their not-so-secret identities include familiar names that span centuries: founding father Ben Franklin, inventor Thomas Edison, anthropologist Dian Fossey and Silicon Valley visionary Steve Jobs. Considered together, they’re the American Giants of Science — a superteam with a mission to rekindle a young nation’s intellectual curiosity in a tech-driven age when scientific inquiry appears under siege.

On Wednesday morning, explorers aged 7 and up are invited to take part in an interactive “whirlwind tour through time,” with the point of departure the Middletown Township Public Library.

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MIDDLETOWN: PLAY ASKS, ‘SAUCE’ OR ‘GRAVY’?

Middletown Arts Center is the setting for a weekend-long serving of the musical dramedy ‘They Call It Gravy, We Call It Sauce!’

Is it “gravy” or “sauce?” Why do Neapolitans cut off the vowels at the end of words? And just what the heck is “bru-shetta?”

These and other long-simmering issues are placed on the front burner with They Call It Gravy, We Call It Sauce!, a traveling “musical dramedy” that camps out at Middletown Arts Center for a weekend-long engagement that begins Friday night.

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RUMSON: OCEANIC MAKEOVER BEGINS ANEW

Todd Thompson, seated at center, discussing bridge options with other attendees at the Rumson session. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

What should be done about the crumbling Oceanic Bridge between Rumson and Middletown?

Area residents were offered dozens of options Tuesday as Monmouth County officials hit the reset button on an earlier process derailed by a change in federal regulations.

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OCEANIC BRIDGE: CONCEPT PLANS ON DISPLAY

The Oceanic Bridge between Rumson and Middletown is in “critical” condition, according to the Monmouth County Engineer’s office, and officials plan to unveil “conceptual alternatives” for its replacement or repair at meetings slated in each town today.

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RED BANK & MIDDLETOWN: T-REX RETURNS

A 15-foot-long T-Rex puppet from Field Station: Dinosaurs, seen here in 2012, returns to the Red Bank Public Library Tuesday. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)

He’s scaly, maybe a bit scary, some 15 feet long, and usually spotted in the company of a singing paleontologist known as the Dinosaur Troubador. He’s the traveling T-Rex from Bergen County attraction Field Station: Dinosaurs, and he’s returning to libraries in Red Bank and Middletown this week.

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ON THE GREEN: SEINE, CLIMB OR KAYAK

It’s Climb Time in Lincroft again as the Monmouth County Park System moves that portable mountain to the grounds of Thompson Park for another free instructional session.  

A chance to take a “drop in” kayak tour of a scenic waterway… a hands-on, close up look at local marine life… and an opportunity to climb a mountain face in Monmouth County.

They’re all on tap in the coming week around those public places that make life on the Greater Red Bank Green a recreational pleasure — and brought to you by the people of the Monmouth County Park System.

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MIDDLETOWN: BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE

Can a butterfly delicately flapping its wings somewhere on Earth set off a chain of world-shaking events half a planet away? If so, it stands to reason that anyone who ignores an opportunity to do some butterfly spotting at Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown is potentially passing up some truly epic levels of excitement.

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MIDDLETOWN: WHEREFORE ART ROMEO? HERE.

For years, it’s been the resident community theater group at a local landmark church nestled in a corner of Middletown. But if that description suggests a slate of shows no more challenging than the umpteenth revival of Arsenic and Old Lace, then let it be known that the Stone Church Players aren’t about to be intimidated by the likes of William Shakespeare.

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RED BANK: NAVESINK OYSTER STUDY BEGINS

Workers with the American Littoral Society drop a bag of recycled oyster shells into the river from the dock of a Red Bank home Friday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

An effort to restore a once-thriving oyster ecosystem in the Navesink River got off to a small start last week with the help of scraps from restaurant diners’ plates.

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RED BANK: JUNE ARRIVES IN FOG

June rolled into the Greater Red Bank Green in the form of an enveloping fog Thursday morning, as seen is in this view of the Navesink River from North Prospect Avenue in Red Bank.

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MIDDLETOWN: A LIFE’S PASSION ON DISPLAY

In his description for “Bad Girl” (above), the late Alexander John Goldenberg stated that the painting “started out as a dysfunctional relationship metaphor for chemotherapy, but as I worked on it, I realized that it was really about the transformation and healing that I’ve been going through for the past year.”

The artist — who transported the seven-by-four-foot wood-panel artwork some 1,600 miles in a nearly nonstop trek to a Michigan competition — passed away one year ago. In celebration of a man “who lived his passion, not cancer,” his family has curated a solo show of his paintings that will be on display beginning Thursday at Middletown Township Public Library.

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ON THE GREEN: MEMORIAL DAY SERVICES

The Veterans Monument on Monmouth Street is the setting for Red Bank’s annual Memorial Day observance, Monday morning at 11 a.m.

[UPDATE: These listings will be updated information is received about changes due to rain forecast for Monday.]

Memorial Day weekend represents the start of the summertime season and, for many longtime residents of our coastal communities, a time to readjust those daily routines and recalculate those normal routes in anticipation of the visiting throngs.

It’s also, of course, a time to remember those who gave their lives in service to our nation, and wherever you happen to make your home here on the Greater Red Bank Green, Monday presents a chance to join the people of your community in honoring their sacrifice. Following is a roundup of Memorial Day observances scheduled for May 29, with rainy-day alternate arrangements listed where available.

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RED BANK: BASIES GO TO RFH, RBC, RBR

Phoenix Productions exec director Tom Martini — pictured fifth from left, during the 2015 ribbon-cutting of the troupe’s new Chestnut Street headquarters — was honored with the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award during the 12th annual Basie Awards on Wednesday night. (photo by Rich Kowalski) 

Students and faculty from five high schools in the greater Red Bank area were honored for excellence in high school theater productions — and the co-founder of a favorite borough-based performing arts company received a Lifetime Achievement recognition — when the 12th annual Basie Awards ceremony took place at the Count Basie Theatre on the evening of May 24.

The big winner among local schools was Red Bank Catholic High School, whose nine nominations for the spring production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Cinderella resulted in three Basie wins: for Shawn Mack (Outstanding Musical Direction), Samantha Siriani (Outstanding Supporting Actress), and Kelly Gemellaro (Outstanding Choreography, shared with Jacqui Fisher for the Middletown High School South staging of The Producers).

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M’TOWN LIBRARY PRIZES SUMMER READING

mtownPress release from Middletown Township Public Library

Middletown teens entering grades 6 to 12 are invited to take part in the Teen Summer Reading Program at Middletown Township Public Library, presented this year under the theme Build a Better World.

From June 26 through August 18, the library is challenging middle and high school students of Middletown to read five books over the summer, with a prize awarded for every book read. Prizes include Applebees Ice Cream Sundae certificates, Chipotle meal certificates, Hole-in-One Golf gift certificates and SkyZone Jump Passes, as well as free books.

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RED BANK: SUNSHINE RETURNS

A rainbow over Red Bank and the Navesink River put a colorful cap on a weekend marked by extended downpours Saturday and an alternating sun and rain on Mother’s Day Sunday.

The workweek begins Monday with mostly sunny skies and lots of wind, with gusts up to 31 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge.)

ON THE GREEN: A TIME-TRIPPING WEEKEND

The Allen House in Shrewsbury’s Historic District is just one of many history-kissed homes, museums and houses of worship open for public perusal during the annual Weekend in Old Monmouth.

It’s a step back in time that includes Little Silver’s Parker Homestead — at more than 350 years of age, a house that’s every bit as old as the colony of New Jersey; the homes and graves of rebel patriots and Tories alike; and centuries-old structures that have served as worship houses, museums and even venues for some Reckless Steamy Nights.

If it’s the first Saturday and Sunday in May, this must be the Weekend in Old Monmouth — and if you’re sufficiently curious about the rich history of the place where you live, there’s never been a better time to get acquainted with the Greater Red Bank Green’s historic sites.

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RED BANK: FISH KILL INVESTIGATED

navesink fish 051415 1Dead fish at the Navesink River Rowing facility in Red Bank in 2015. Another widespread die-off of menhaden, or bunker fish, has been underway in the river in recent days, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is investigating, according to a report by NJ.com.

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RED BANK: RIVER BACTERIA SOURCES LOCATED

Busted sanitary sewer lines in two locations along Marion Street in Red Bank were significant sources of bacteria winding up in the Navesink off Fair Haven, investigators said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Environmentalists and government officials have found two culprits, just yards apart in Red Bank, believed to be contributing to a spike in human waste bacteria in the Navesink River, they said Thursday night.

And the mystery could not have been solved without a trio of specially trained sniffing dogs, an ecstatic Clean Ocean Action leader Cindy Zipf told redbankgreen.

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RIVER PLAZA MAN IN HEROIC RESCUE

A Middletown man was among a group of rescuers who pulled a motorist from a submerged car following an accident in Eatontown Sunday night, according to a report by the Asbury Park Press.  

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