SEA BRIGHT: AMID TEARS, GUARD ROLLS OUT

Sea Bright’s tent city was largely dismantled by Friday afternoon. Below, Governor Chris Christie speaking with National Guardsmen at the site on November 9. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

After six weeks of assisting displaced residents and first responders with everything from hot meals to extra clothes, Sea Bright’s tent city – created by the US National Guard – is leaving town.

Following a final community meal on Thursday,  National Guardsmen made their move out of the municipal parking lot around 10:30 a.m. Friday, according to Onofrio Moscato, head chef at neighboring restaurant, Woody’s Ocean Grille, Emotions were running high for the Guard as well as volunteers and residents, he said.

“The National Guard was escorted out by the Sea Bright firemen,” Moscato told redbankgreen. “They were hanging out of the windows and waving. It was a special send-off for them. Before they left, they all stood in line and made a final salute, kind of a sign that their mission here was over.”

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AFTER 61 YEARS, PHARMACY TO CLOSE

The store’s pharmacy accounts will be transferred to a nearby Rite Aid, and the gift shop will be closed, the owner says. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Professional Pharmacy, a Red Bank fixture for more than six decades, is closing.

Owner Michael Yura tells redbankgreen that the store’s pharmacy accounts have been sold to Rite Aid and will be transferred to the chain’s Red Bank store on Water Street.

Meantime, the store’s extensive gift and greeting card business will be closed, he said

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RED BANK: CHEATING, FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Christine Zilinski of Salon Concrete styles the hair of Maritza Soler of Port Monmouth last week. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Done2In the days after Hurricane Sandy hit, Red Bank hair stylist Christine Zilinski jumped in as a volunteer to help residents of Union Beach cope with the aftermath.

It didn’t seem like enough, though. Zilinski said she wanted to do more. She wanted to use her strongest skills.

Of course, the answer to what that might mean was right there in her mirror. And it came with a sexy catchphrase: “Cheat on your hairdresser.”

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RED BANK: SEX, POWER AND GENERATORS

The Red Bank council wants JCP&L to send company representatives to any town with more than five percent of its customers experiencing outages. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Electrical utility JCP&L and sexually oriented businesses were foremost on the agenda at Red Bank’s bimonthly council meeting Tuesday night.

Mayor Pasquale Menna and council members began the meeting by putting forth a resolution that will urge the state Board of Public Utilities to look into JCP&L’s handling of Hurricane Sandy-induced power outages. The resolution also seeks to persuade legislators in Trenton to pass measures that will force the power giant to provide each municipality with direct, in-person company representatives in emergency situations.

“During the storm, we effectively became employees of JCP&L.” Mayor Menna said. “We were the only real connection between the people and the company, and that needs to change.”

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BARELY DRESSED FOR CANCER PREVENTION

Supporters packed Teak Restaurant for the second edition of Go Naked & Check Yourself on Sunday. (Photos by Rebecca Desfosse.)

By: REBECCA DESFOSSE

Sugarush cupcakes and Sweetest Sin have done it again. Teak Restaurant was nearly busting at the seams for the second sold-out Go Naked and Check Yourself cancer fundraiser and awareness raiser Sunday night.

Waitresses passed around food, cocktails, and minicupcakes. Lingerie and underwear models, in various states of undress, sold raffle tickets. But partiers weren’t there for the models, of course: they were there to learn how to check themselves for detectable cancers of the skin, testicles and breasts.

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RED BANK: THIS TIME, ELECT TO GO NAKED

Models make their way through the crowds at the inaugural Go Naked and Check Yourself awareness-raiser in 2011. This year’s edition takes place Sunday. (Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

The presidential race may be over, but there’s still one more election this month: Elect to Check, the theme for this year’s Go Naked and Check Yourself cancer fundraiser and awareness raiser.

Red Bank’s Sugarush cupcakes and Sweetest Sin lingerie have teamed up again for the second edition of this popular and slightly risqué event that helps build awareness about detectable cancers.

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SEA BRIGHT READIES FOR RESIDENTS’ RETURN

Aided by the Army, volunteers have built an encampment of tents to serve food and provide other necessities to Sea Brighters when they’re allowed back into town. Restaurateur Chris Wood, below, unloads supplies. (Photos by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Outside a mobile kitchen, a National Guardsman chows down a hot dog before helping young volunteers unload boxes of supplies from a tractor trailer in the heart of a newly erected tent city that’s taken shape in the heart of Sea Bright.

With regulation Army tents, Humvees, makeshift kitchens and grills, the parking lot next door to the borough firehouse is looking more like a refugee camp than the slice of summer heaven that draws thousands of visitors each summer.

But the camp has been built in anticipation of an influx not of tourists but of exiled Sea Brighters, who’ve been shut out of their town since leaving under a mandatory evacuation order in advance of Hurricane Sandy.

Chris Wood, owner of Woody’s Ocean Grille, who has spearheaded an effort to feed first responders, relief workers and volunteers, plans to expand the effort exponentially when residents and contractors begin moving back to town, perhaps as early as Monday.

“We’re going to have it all,” Wood said Thursday, while unloading some boxes himself, “three hot meals a day to anyone who needs them, and a veritable Wal-Mart of supplies and clothing, available to anyone and everyone that needs them.”

Beginning Friday, residents and business owners were to be allowed into the sequestered town on a day basis only, accompanied by contractors, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., said Mayor Dina Long. Also on Friday, Governor Chris Christie was expected to make an 11 a.m. stop in town “to thank the heroes on the ground,” she said.

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BIGGER HOME TO FEED AND CLOTHE THE NEEDY

Lunch Break executive director Gwen Love, with back to camera, gets a hug after the zoning board vote. Below, plans show the expansion to the left of the existing building, which will get a rooftop vegetable garden. (Photo above by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

Red Bank soup kitchen Lunch Break won approval Thursday night for an expansion that will give it some long-overdue breathing room at its packed facility on Drs. James Parker Boulevard, officials said.

With unanimous approval by the borough zoning board, the nonprofit plans to knock down two houses adjacent to existing home and build a two-story, 2,100-square-foot expansion to house administrative offices, a clothing room, a food pantry, and rooms to provide other programs for those in need.

Currently, Lunch Break is operating in extremely cramped quarters, and because of that, “Not only are the volunteers and staff challenged every day, we are not providing the quality of service that we want to for our clients,” said executive director Gwendolyn Love.

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MENNA CHALLENGES RED BANK TO GET FIT

Mayor Menna’s Wellness Challenge kicked off Tuesday with free screenings in the municipal courtroom. (Photo by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

As part of a statewide campaign to promote healthier lifestyles, Mayor Pasquale Menna is getting Red Bank involved in an ongoing project to keep his administration and borough residents fit and feelin’ good.

The Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, an initiative of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, is partnered with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. It works to “equip mayors with the tools to develop and implement active-living initiatives in their communities with the ultimate goal of improving health and reducing the skyrocketing health care costs that come with the obesity problem in New Jersey,” according to the website.

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THIRD GENERATION SETS UP SHOP IN MALL

Sandi Vilacoba demonstrates a core-strengthening device in her new Pilates studio at the Fair Haven Shopping Center. Below, Vilacoba and her grandmother, Ofelia Schwarz, who owns the center. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

A drive down River Road in Fair Haven, with its quaint mom-and-pop shops, can be something of an escape from mainstream consumerism.

But even the borough’s most prominent strip mall, the Fair Haven Shopping Center, anchored by an Acme supermarket, has a family story to it. The Schwarz family’s story.

After nearly a decade of teaching Pilates elsewhere in Monmouth County, Sandi Vilacoba opened her own classical Pilates studio, dubbed The Pilates Project, over Memorial Day weekend. With that, the third generation of her family cemented its ties to the center.

“My grandparents immigrated from Cuba to Fair Haven in 1960 with nothing and built a business from scratch,” said Vilacoba, of Belmar.

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TRADE YA: SWAPPING HOMEMADE FOODS

Food swap organizer Wendy Weiner (right) samples some of April Lippet-Faczak’s hand-milled oats, which were served with toppings such as molasses, chopped walnuts and fresh bananas. Below, Lois Blake’s chimichurri. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

There’s a quiet thrill in making something from scratch, a reassuring sense of independence that comes from throwing together homegrown ingredients to produce something tastier and cheaper than store-bought items.

This is one of the underpinnings of food swapping, which has now made its way to Monmouth County.

Wendy Weiner of Little Silver was first introduced to the concept of swapping when she read an article in the summer 2012 issue of Edible Jersey magazine. A group known as the South Jersey Swappers learned it from a group in Brooklyn, and the trail apparently leads all the way to England.

“As soon as I read it, I said, ‘we totally have to do this,’ ” said Weiner.

Swapping is an easy way to foster sustainability and make participants more “dependent on community neighbors rather than the government,” she said.

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CHURN: SPA, DRESS SHOP AND BLINDS

With her new spa on Broad Street, Alla Shapiro now has two salons in the Woodhouse Day Spa chain. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508In this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn, we’ve got news of a spa opening; a window-coverings business moving to a street-level storefront after a decade hidden away in a basement; and a women’s clothing shop slipping in between two other dress shops.

The spa is Woodhouse Day Spa, at 73 Broad Street, directly opposite Monmouth Street. The space, which is below-ground, has been home to two other spas in recent years — Skinprint Day Spa and SkinScience Aesthetic Medical Spa — both of which turned out to be short-lived. But like any entrepreneur, Woodhouse owner Alla Shapiro believes she can break the pattern and massage her salon to profitability.

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GOOD VIBES: ALEX AND ANI CRYSTALIZES

Set to open at 12 Broad Street in Red Bank Monday is Alex and Ani, the latest in a chain of jewelry stores whose products, the company says, are infused “with the positive energy that ancients refer to as vital force.”

So is the store itself, located between Urban Outfitters and Zebu Forno: as previously reported by redbankgreen, embedded between the wall studs during construction were  individual crystals, held in place with electrical tape, above right. (Click to enlarge)

CUPCAKES GO GLUTEN-FREE AT POSH POP

A passerby checks out the desserts at Posh Pop. (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

His high school sweethearts Krizha Bayacbacao and Matthew Pytel had always dreamed of becoming entrepreneurs. Now, just a year out of college, they’ve already taken an online business to the street.

Their story, culminating with last week’s launch of Posh Pop Bakeshop on Broad Street in Red Bank, begins with a birthday cake.

Pytel, 22, has Celiac disease, which is a gluten intolerance – distinct from an allergy – that prevents him from being able to enjoy most sweet treats. To address this, Bayacbacao started experimenting with recipes while she and Pytel were students at Kean University, and made him a gluten-free cannoli cake.

“She was so proud of it,” said Pytel. “It was one of the first things she made. I love cannoli, so it was chocolate cake with cannoli filling and strawberries on top. It was delicious. That night, we sat down and she was like, ‘Why don’t we just throw something together and see what happens?’”

What they threw together was a website touting gluten-free baked goods, and as luck would have it, it became a little website that could.

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HUMANISTS FIRE BACK IN ‘WAR ON WOMEN’

Pat Barr, a self-described “anti-demonstration demonstrator,” tells fellow humanists about her experiences as pro-choice picketer. (Click to enlarge)

By STACIE FANELLI

In a presentation heavy on how labels are deployed in political battles, Irma Lester wondered aloud whether the term “war” correctly describes what she sees as a recent stripping of reproductive and economic rights from women.

Despite the harsh connotation of a battlefield, she said it “does catch the sense of danger that we’re in today.”

Lester, a professor emeritus of women’s studies at Brookdale Community College women’s, appeared before the Red Bank Humanists on Sunday at the Red Bank Charter School as the special guest speaker for its June forum: “The War on Women: Myth or Reality?”

Whatever terminology backers of women’s rights use to describe themselves and their causes, their conservative opponents are “going to demonize” them, Lester said. “Stick with ‘feminist.’ Stick with ‘abortion.'”

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ACUPUNCTURIST EASES INTO RED BANK SPACE

Heather Poole Smith prepares Rosemary Levine of Manalapan for treatment. Below, a needle goes into another patient’s back. (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By STACIE FANELLI

In a college lecture hall several years ago, Heather Poole Smith’s professor pulled up a picture of a lightning storm on a slideshow. “This is what people think acupuncture feels like,” he said. The next slide showed a serene beach. “This is what it actually is,” he said.

After a decade practicing the traditional Chinese medicine in Middletown, Smith has relocated Ancient Arts Acupuncture to 91 East Front Street in Red Bank, a building she calls a “hidden gem” of Red Bank for its scenic river view.

That’s helpful for her patients, most of whom benefit from a sense of tranquility, she said.

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GIRLS (AND, UM, WOMEN) TO OWN THE NIGHT

Hundreds of women are expected to flock to downtown Red Bank for the inaugural GNO Thursday night. (Photo by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Ladies, it’s time to don a pair of fabulous heels and gather up the girlfriends for a night on the town – Red Bank’s first biannual Girls Night Out is here.

Hosted by Red Bank RiverCenter Thursday night, June 7, GNO will offer women the chance to take advantage of shopping discounts, dining and drink specials all over the downtown area. Participation is free.

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GOING HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH BRAIN DISEASE

Carol Schulte during one of her regular workouts earlier this week.  (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By STACIE FANELLI

Sixteen years ago, Carol Schulte, an aerobic-dancing instructor and all-around fitness nut, walked into a doctor’s office to get an explanation for her stiff arm and inability to hold a cup of coffee to her lips. She walked out with an incurable, lifelong illness.

Afterward, she took a final run down the ski slopes of Vermont.

“That was a pity party,” she said.

But since then, she’s has had little time to feel sorry for herself.

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GIVING IT UP FOR DUWAYNE

Jon Caputi of Red Bank’s Jonathan Salon trims the hair of borough resident Hannah Ludwikowski, 7, as her father, Scott, looks on Monday night.

The Broad Street salon gave 50 $7 children’s haircuts in four hours to raise funds for the medical care of Duwayne Powell, a 9-year-old Red Bank Primary School student suffering from a heart ailment. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

JEWELRY STORE TAKES MONMOUTH SPACE

Ashley Goral will manage Ice, which plans to open soon at 12 Monmouth Street. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508

A primo spot on the sunny side of Monmouth Street in Red Bank is about to get some ice.

Most recently home to Soapmarket, which vacated in January to become an online-only retailer, 12 Monmouth is being outfitted for Ice Costume Jewelry, which hopes to open in just a couple of weeks, store manager Ashely Goral tells redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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WEDDING WALK KICKS UP FOOT TRAFFIC

Models showed off bridal gowns at Sassy Chic Boutique, above, while a passerby did a doubletake at the sight of human mannequin Stephanie Rogers at Barbizon Models during the fourth Wedding Walk in Red Bank Saturday.

Nancy Adams, executive director of event sponsor Red Bank RiverCenter, said the walk attracted about 30 percent more registrants than the March, 2011 edition, with some 600 shoppers thronging the streets in search of dresses, hair styling, DJs, photographers and more wedding-related goods and services. (Click to enlarge)

RIVERVIEW DAY-STAY GETS FACELIFT

With the number of surgeries performed up 20 percent in the past three years, Riverview Medical Center opens the doors to phase one of a $15 million upgrade to its surgical facilities Monday.

Located in the third floor of the Blaisdell Pavilion and overlooking the Navesink River, the Red Bank hospital’s new “surgical day-stay” features 21 semi-private and two private rooms for patient recovery from same-day procedures, replacing a dormitory-style setup.

Due in September are two high-tech surgical suites, which will bring the number of operating rooms to 12 and complete the project. Hospital employees themselves contributed $374,000 to a capital campaign for the project, a spokesman said. (Click to enlarge)

WEDDING WALKERS TO STROLL RED BANK

Matt DePonti of Powerhouse Signworks gets the word about Wedding Walk out above Broad Street last week. (Click to enlarge)

Here come the brides-to-be again, as Red Bank merchants reprise an idea that’s turned into one of the more popular recurring draws of shoppers and diners.

As with the first three editions of this shopping extravaganza, merchants of everything from formalwear to framing, from rehearsal-dinner restaurant meals to riverfront hotel suites will open their doors on Saturday to an expected swarm of soon-to-be-marrieds hoping to nail down details of their big day.

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FROM A RED BANK ALLEYWAY, A PERFECT TAN

Dianne Drewing in the Monmouth Street mews where she plans to open a spray-tan salon next week. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508For most of her life, Dianne Drewing was a tanning nut.

“A perfect day for me was always a day at the beach, tanning with friends or family,” she tells redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn. She even chose a college in Florida in part for the rays.

Then came an awareness of what kind of damage the sun can do to human skin, a lesson amplified when Drewing began noticing its adverse effects on her own skin, which she describes fair.

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