MIDDLETOWN MOTORCYCLE CRASH KILLS MAN

just_in1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A 28-year-old man was killed in a motorcycle accident in Middletown Sunday night, police said.

Grzegorz Przybojewski, of Franklin, was pronounced dead on the scene after his motorcycle hit a tree on Everett Road, a release from Lieutenant John Maguire, of the police’s traffic bureau, said.

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WEAVING A WEB OF FULFILLMENT, FINALLY

black-widow1Black Widow Bike Works owner Joy Luv Montefusco, left, and her right-hand man, Mike Jastrzemski, are quietly making a name for themselves in the Red Bank area. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It was June of last year, and Joy Luv Montefusco was within a week of moving to Chicago with old art school friends to pursue poetry. She’d had enough.

Montefusco said she’d faced opposition from the moment she graduated the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Arizona, where she was laughed at for applying for a job at Harley-Davidson because she was a female. But even when she landed a job the company, Montefusco said she didn’t get a workbench to use.

“I worked on the floor, on my hands and knees, for the first four months,” Montefusco, 30, said. “A lot of the guys didn’t even talk to me.” She left the company after she was told she’d never make it as a mechanic, and started her own business, Black Widow Bike Works, in Toms River.

After three years of working long days in a rickety building trying to convince people that she could do top-notch work, Montefusco decided to give up her dream and pack it north. But then her girlfriend pushed her to give it one more shot. Read More »

SUMMER ARRIVES ON A TIDE OF SMILES

To enlarge the photo display, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To get back to redbankgreen, hit your escape key.

Ahhh, hot and sparkling at the Jersey Shore: This is the payoff, isn’t it, for all those blasted snowstorms we endured over the winter?

For those who were otherwise engaged, the summer solstice occurred at 7:28a Monday, marking the start of a season that, for those of an outdoorsish bent, is as important to one’s mental health as it is to the regional economy.

To mark the day, redbankgreen‘s Dustin Racioppi and Trish Russoniello roamed the Green, cameras in hand, and captured some juicy slices of life, from people at play to a high school graduation to some of the many ways folks find to stay cool between Red Bank and Sea Bright.

Enjoy the pix, folks. And here’s to a terrific summer.

MOTORCYCLE RALLY PLANNED

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Members of the Nathan J. Williams Craftsmen Club gathered at the Celestial Lodge earlier this month.

A Red Bank-based motorcycle club is planning its second annual rally to raise scholarship money.

The event is scheduled for 11a to 6p Saturday, May 16 at Celestial Lodge 36 of the Free & Accepted Masons, 141 Drs. Parker Boulevard.

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SUN TODAY, THEN RAIN, RAIN, RAIN

WindyThe wind sends a motorcyclist’s hair flying as she crosses West Front Street in Red Bank on Monday.

Tuesday looks to be a mild, less-windy day than Monday, the National Weather Service forecasts.

The rest of the week, though, may be kind of wet before the sun breaks through again on Saturday, according to the outlook.

Today: Sunny, with a high near 54. North wind between 3 and 11 mph.

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 40. South wind around 7 mph.

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RBPD SEEKS ‘DECOY’ PEDESTRIAN FUNDS

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Cross5From top, as Elizabeth Schwartz tries to cross Broad Street, both a northbound black Jeep and a southbound white pickup truck continue through the crosswalk. The silver pickup was waiting to turn when she entered the crosswalk. (Click to enlarge)

Cross the streets of downtown Red Bank on foot often enough, and it can seem they're ignored at least as often as they're honored.

We're talking about those moveable yield-to-pedestrian signs placed in the center line of Broad, Front and other streets.

redbankgreen recently stood and watched, camera in hand, as numerous motorists ignored both the yield signs and the human beings whose rights — and safety — they're meant to protect.

"It definitely bothers me," says Elizabeth Schwartz, of Shrewsbury, after we watched her get cut off crossing Broad Street in both directions. "That's what they're there for — everyone should know that by now."

A Riverview Medical Center employee who declined to give her name because she's not authorized to speak for the hospital tells us that she's even had police cars and parking authority vehicles roll by while she was in the crosswalk.

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FOR YOUR SAFETY, IF YOU CAN AVOID THEM

Fh signage By SUE MORGAN

They’re a little large, and tend to crowd the sidewalk. Mayor Mike Halfacre says he lost a “$1.79 cup of coffee” when he accidentally collided with one.

The six vivid yellow pedestrian-crossing signs recently installed on Fair Haven’s main drag by Monmouth County also add to a “cluttered” look on River Road, which already has its share of county-mandated signage, locals say.

Still, the borough officially welcomes the signs. Its governing body said so at a recent meeting.

Also welcome: moveable signs placed on the center line of River Road and Hance Road advising motorists to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.

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RED BANK MAN DIES IN MOTORCYLE CRASH

AversanoJoseph Aversano with his prized Ford, which he dubbed the Broad Street Bomber.

A 26-year-old Red Bank man died Friday when he lost control of his motorcycle and collided with a truck on the Long Island Expressway.

Joseph Aversano worked in the securities industry in Manhattan and was passionate about motor sports. A friend, Jessica Paviluk, tells us he was also devoted to Red Bank, his home for the past three years. He’d recently had a Ford Model A he owned rebuilt, and he named it the ‘Broad Street Bomber.’

“After a year of waiting for this thing to be rebuilt, he had been cruising around Red Bank the past couple of weeks,” Paviluk tells us.

The car was rebuilt by Mel Stultz of Neptune, a well-known restorer of classic wheels. The photo above was taken the day Aversano got the car back from the shop, Paviluk says.

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BACK AT THE WHEEL

Picture10Jim Frechette in his Shrewsbury Avenue workshop. (Photos by Jim Willis)

Longtime readers of redbankgreen — or those who’ve discovered the pleasure of exploring our archive — may recognize the name Jim Frechette.

When we first encountered him, Frechette was trapped in a broken body, unsure how he’d gotten that way, and facing an uncertain future as a result of a motorcycle accident.

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SLOW DOWN THERE, BENNY

After a five-day grace period, Sea Bright police have begun ticketing motorists for exceeding new speed limits just north and south of the downtown, the Asbury Park Press reports.

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From the story:

Police today issued 10 speeding tickets during the first six hours of a enforcement campaign meant to compel drivers to follow a newly initiated summertime speed limit on the main thoroughfare here, Ocean Avenue (Route 36).

Signs with the new 35 mph speed limit were posted Thursday north and south of downtown, but the grace period ended 6 a.m. this morning when two officers were tasked with the sole assignment of catching the heavy-footed, Chief William S. Moore said.

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NO ‘POLITICS’ AS MARINES HEAD TO WAR

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At yesterday’s Memorial Day send-off for 87 reservists attached to the Red Bank headquarters of the 6th Motor Transport Battallion, there was little talk of recent polls showing that Americans have soured on the Iraq war.

Nor was there much discussion inside the black palisade fence at Newman Springs and Half Mile roads of the rising sect-against-sect violence, or the terrorism directed at coalition soldiers and American personnel on the ground in Iraq, or the effectiveness of the new Iraqi government in assuming control of its own country.

Those topics were set aside as “politics,” something to be avoided in general, but particularly on this day.

While two gleaming tour buses idled amid the seven-ton green trucks built to haul ammunition and food to the front lines of conflict, the talk among the men and women in sand-colored fatigues was of bringing their fellow soldiers through safely.

The talk among the families and friends seeing the Marines off was of having their own return unscathed eight or ten months hence.

“They can have him as long as they bring him back home alive,” said Maggie Walling of Tinton Falls, referring to her son Tim, a 2005 graduate of Red Bank Regional High School. She said she and her son had “stayed up all night” savoring their time together.

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VON DUTCH GETS INK

Today’s Asbury Park Press has a feature about Victor Conti and his Von Dutch freaky motorcycles shop on West Front Street.

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The year-old business sells custom bikes — excuse us, kustom bikes — that look like something out of a comic book illustrator’s fever dream, with bulbous “soft tail” rear wheels, mile-long extension forks and an unmistakable air of menace to them. They’re true road art.

Not that you’d know it from the Press story, which foregoes any attempt at description in favor of a workmanlike overview of 57-year-old Conti’s longtime love of motorcycles (dating back to the time he was a 12-year-old in Florence, Italy) to the clothing on offer in the store.

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