THE VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE

Rumson_dolphinsRumson_dolphins_2_2Motorists took advantage of bridge-opening intervals to get out of their cars and look at the dolphins feeding in the Navesink just west of the Oceanic Bridge Sunday evening. Except for the river itself. the bridge is the only publicly accessible location from which to view the dolphins. But there’s no sidewalk on the west side of the bridge, and authorities, concerned about safety, have asked that pedestrians stay off that side. (Click photos to enlarge)Img_4564

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VOTERS & CHIEFS SCORE TRIBORO COP SHOP

Fh_ls_rumsonImg_3899Img_3889The standing-room crowd watches a power-point presentation on the merger proposal; Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, left, who initiated the idea, addresses the crowd, and Fair Haven Police Chief Darryl Breckenridge listens.

Elected officials exploring the idea of merging the police departments of Fair Haven, Little Silver and Rumson got off with a series of stern warnings from their constituents last night.

A crowd of about 150 squeezed into Little Silver’s borough hall to demand that the mayors of the three towns provide greater transparency on the process and hold a referendum before consolidating the three departments, which now employ a combined 46 officers.

And in a public display of dissent that’s rare for the three cozy bedroom communities, the police chiefs of all three departments said that even a take-it-slow approach proposed to test a possible merger would hamper their ability to provide adequate coverage of their towns.

“We would lose manpower” even in the first phase of the plan, under which existing, informal sharing of police resources would be fomalized, Little Silver Chief Shannon Giblin told redbankgreen at the conclusion of the two-hour meeting.

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WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

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We heard from three of our ‘Where’ regulars and a newcomer on last week’s image, but none was able to properly identify the location.

Carl Colmorgen and Alex Turoczi both thought it showed construction fencing on Riverside Avenue in Red Bank, while Jenn Woods and Manny Carabel guessed it was taken at the clay courts in Marine Park.

Jenn and Manny were closer, both geographically and use-wise, if that’s a word. Answer: the Sea Bright Lawn Tennis and Cricket Club in Rumson.

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YES, IN THE NAVESINK: DOLPHINS

Rumson_dolphinsDining al fresco on the west side of the Oceanic Bridge, under the admiring watch of nearby boaters, were these two members of the pod. (Click to enlarge)

Maybe they got bored just shuttling back and forth in the Shrewsbury River for three weeks.

The dolphin pod that became a tourist attraction in Sea Bright has moved, for now, into the Navesink River west of the Oceanic Bridge, about three miles away.

Last night, they were feasting opposite the Rumson-Fair Haven border, where boaters say huge schools of bunkerfish — a favorite of he Atlantic bottlenose dolphin — have been seen in recent weeks, much as they have been in the Shrewsbury.

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DOLPHINS IN THE NAVESINK?

Img_3168If they show up, don’t feed ’em. So says this NOAA sign posted on the pier at Marine Park in Red Bank.

rebankgreen has been following up — fruitlessly, thus far — reports that the dolphin pod that has transfixed visitors to Sea Bright in recent weeks traveled up the Navesink River today, perhaps as far as Red Bank.

We got onto this story when a parking lot attendant for Ship Ahoy beach club in Sea Bright told us this afternoon that the dolphins had broken their usual pattern of going north and south in the Shrewsbury River and had headed west into the Navesink.

Shortly thereafter, Rob Mehler, a bridge operator on the Oceanic Bridge, between Rumson and Middletown, told us he was informed when he came on duty today that dolphins had gone under that span early this morning and had not returned.

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TRI-TOWN COP SHOP ON THE TABLE

A proposal to consolidate the police operations of Fair Haven, Little Silver and Rumson will be up for public discussion July 9, Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre reports on his blog today.

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The governing bodies of the three towns will meet at 7p that night at Little Silver Borough Hall to hear a presentation by Patriot Consulting of Monmouth Beach, the consultant hired last August to look into the efficacy of a merger of the three peninsula departments.

A $40,950 grant from the state paid for the work.

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EXACT SAME SHOW, 1/20TH THE HASSLE?

Rumson_fireworks3The view from Victory Park in Rumson last year.

Hey, it was bound to get out anyway.

For the second year in a row, Rumson will be home to a spectacular July 3 fireworks display to rival that of its far more famous neighbor, Red Bank.

No, check that. It doesn’t rival Red Bank’s kaboomery; it matches it. Exactly.

Same shells, fired at exactly the same time, to the same music, in a skyfire display run off the same computer program by the same world-famous fireworks company, Garden State Fireworks.

“The two shows are absolutely the same, but 3.5 miles apart,” Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl tells redbankgreen. “I have trouble communicating that. People are incredulous when I tell them.”

Incredulous, perhaps, because the Red Bank show — billed as the state’s largest — is believed to turn some 150,000 pairs of eyeballs to the sky over the Navesink River, while Rumson’s rookie effort attracted just 7,500 pairs, and a proportionally smaller traffic jam.

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DOLPHINS A SEA BRIGHT SENSATION

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From boats, land, docks and bridges, everybody wants to get a gander at the dolphins, it seems.

“We were just saying that mothers are probably telling their kids, ‘no dolphins if you don’t finish your dinner,'” one woman quipped as she awaited the return of the mammals to the vicinity of McLoone’s Rum Runner in Sea Bright last night.

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DOLPHINS IN NO HURRY TO LEAVE

Dolphins_bridge2DolphinleapWith a clear shot at the Highlands-Sea Bright Bridge — the gateway to Sandy Hook Bay — the dolphins instead chose to extend their stay in the Shrewsbury River late Sunday afternoon.

Two weeks later, they’re still here.

The pod — or pods, depending on who’s talking — of an estimated 15 to 20 dolphins that showed up in the Shrewsbury River on Father’s Day continued shuttling back and forth between two bridges through the weekend.

All the while, they feasted on the ample supply of Atlantic menhaden in the waterway, according to a marine mammal specialist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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WATERCRAFT SHADOW THEIR EVERY MOVE

Dolphins5A sailboat under power gets close to the dolphins between Sea Bright and Highlands late Friday afternoon.

Trailed and often surrounded by big boats, small boats and personal watercraft, a pod of dolphins moved back and forth in the upper Shrewsbury River late Friday afternoon.

When the dolphins neared the gateway to Sandy Hook Bay and the sea — the Highlands-Sea Bright bridge — they reversed direction, and several of the vessels did so too, only to be joined by more jet skiers and small boats.

A State Police marine patrol boat that had been in the river about 90 minutes earlier wasn’t visible.

Meanwhile, on land, some people expressed anger about the boaters and what they considered harassment of the dolphins. “I can’t believe how incredibly selfish they’re being,” said a woman waiting in the parking lot at McLoone’s Rum Runner restaurant, a favorite gathering spot for dolphin watchers.

Kerry Gowan, Sea Bright’s animal control officer, said she’d seen three people jumping off a boat into the river where the dolphins were swimming Thursday evening, and when she called to them to stop, “they flipped me off.” So she called the State Police.

“We’re now taking registration numbers” off boats, she said. Fines for harassing the dolphins start at $2,000 and can include an immediate seizure of a vessel, she said.

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PRESS: DOLPHINS BEING ESCORTED NORTH

Dolphins2Dolphins in the Shrewsbury River near the confluence of the Navesink yesterday.

The Asbury Park Press reports that the dolphin pod in the Shrewsbury River is heading north.

The U.S. Coast Guard and state Marine Police [are] giving them an escort and keeping recreational boaters away from the dolphins as they head north toward the bay.

Officials hopeful they will reach the bay today.

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BOATERS STILL CROWDING DOLPHINS

Dolphin_boatSome boats are zooming past the dolphins in the Shrewsbury River; this one idled near the pod this afternoon.

Boaters continue to navigate the Shrewsbury River without regard to the presence of a pod of stray dolphins in the waterway, people who’ve been observing the mammals say.

“You get these knuckleheads zooming through here,” says Sea Bright resident Andrew Mencinsky, whose home backs up on the river.

During a mid-afternoon visit today, redbankgreen saw three boats pass the pod about a quarter-mile north of McLoone’s Rum Runner restaurant. One idled to a near-stop on the Sea Bright side of the channel, but two others ran right through the area where the dolphins had been just seconds earlier. One was moving at a moderate speed, and another at high speed.

No law enforcement vessels were present at the time.

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SUMMER SQUALL

Sea_bright_stormMoisture-laden clouds roll in over Sea Bright in this view from the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge Tuesday afternoon.

Isolated showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue into this evening.

Wednesday’s forecast, according to the National Weather Service: Sunny, with a high near 82.

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DOLPHIN ‘EXTRICATION’ PLANNED

Img_0888When the dolphins are out, “It’s just boats, boats, boats parked out there,” says Ruben Nagy of McLoone’s Rum Runner.

Amid rising concern about their safety, a pod of dolphins will be led out of the Shrewsbury River toward open water before the Independence Day holiday if they don’t leave on their own, redbankgreen has learned.

Bob Schoelkopf, director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, says federal and state marine agencies yesterday came up with a plan to “extricate” the dozen or more bottlenose dolphins out of concern that a flotilla of recreational vessels arriving for the holiday would seriously endanger them.

“Unfortunately, there’s a narrow window of opportunity,” Schoelkopf says. “We’re expecting 20,000 or so boats on the water [in the vicinity], so that’s a problem.”

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DOLPHINS DRAW A CROWD

Dolphins1_irThe view Saturday as the dolphin pod frolicked near McLoone’s. (Photos by Colleen Curry)

By COLLEEN CURRY

Beachgoers were not the only ones invading the Jersey Shore this weekend, as a pod of bottlenose dolphins was seen swimming and jumping up and down the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers.

But authorities are concerned that gawkers in watercraft may get too close to the pod of deep-sea mammals.

“The juveniles in the pod have never before seen land, and the boats and jet-skis are very threatening to them,” Bob Schoelkopf of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine tells redbankgreen.

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GOOCH TAKES AIM AT EX-COLLEAGUE

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Rumson billionaire Mickey Gooch and his partners are suing a former employee of their Wall Street brokerage for allegedly poaching 22 staffers while still at the firm, the Asbury Park Press reports.

In their suit against Donald Fewer of Colts Neck, Gooch and his partners claim damages of $220 million as a result of a drop in the price of GFI Group shares when news of the mass exodus hit the street.

From the Press:

The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court in Monmouth County, said Fewer joined GFI as head of the credit derivatives trading desk in 1996 and was made a senior managing director in 2000, entitling him to millions worth of stock options.

But in January 2005, after GFI went public, the company named another partner, Colin Heffron, president, and Fewer became resentful, the lawsuit contends.

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UNDICI IN NYT: ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 10…

Redbankgreen_screenThe name is Italian for ‘eleven,’ as in 11 West River Road, Rumson.

The Jersey section of yesterday’s New York Times dropped in at Undici in Rumson and came away favorably impressed by the new Tuscan-themed eatery.

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Actually, reviewer David Corcoran writes that Victor Rallo’s new eatery (he also owns Basil T’s Brewery and Italian Grill in Red Bank) “made us melt.”

In a laudatory piece with a few notes of hesistation, Corcoran says chef Giovanni Atzori, a 45-year-old native of Rome,

delivers solid, straight-ahead, high-priced favorites that don’t break any molds but do go down nicely with the atmosphere

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SATIRE + NERVE = NEWTON’S LAW AT R-FH

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Were they cut from a lesser bolt of corduroy, we might expect some snarkasm about this article from the four young men behind the Errant Notice, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High‘s totally, totally unauthorized student newspaper.

For starters, they might wonder why it took redbankgreen so long to get around writing this piddling, insight-free feature about them, given that they’d granted us an interview back when the picture above was taken —?? in freakin’ January.

But we’re confident that they’ll utter no such digs—?? not in print, at least. Why? Well, for one thing, they’re all graduating next week and are no longer making monthly runs to Kinko’s, where they mass-produced their four-page broadsides.

More importantly, while the self-styled ‘Ernie Newtons’ behind this year’s volume of the Errant Notice may be clever and cutting and seemingly wired to mock, they are also gentlemen. In fact, they showed us a most civilized time back when they invited us into their swamp. Only they hadn’t told us it would be a swamp.

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BUSY NIGHT FOR FH EMERGENCY WORKERS

Img_9666Firefighters and other rescue personnel on the scene of a fire at Rumson Road and Buena Vista Place in Rumson last night.

Wow, who needs reporters when there’s blogging Mayor Mike Halfacre?

In a post on his site today, Halfacre gives the rundown on a busy night for his town’s police, fire and rescue squads. They had a hand in dealing yet more power outages (for the third day in a row) as well as a house fire in Rumson and a possible DWI in which a two people were nearly hit by a car.

The post is headlined “Oh, What a Night,” and begins:

Last night at about 8:00 p.m. the Fair Haven Fire Department, First Aid and Fire Police responded to a “mutual aid” request from Rumson due to a house fire in that town. Immediately after clearing from that fire at approximately 9:40 p.m., another call came in, for a fire on a telephone pole at the corner of Hance and River Road. The electric wires had separated, causing the power outage that most of town suffered from.

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SWIM SWUM

Img_9142Swimmers emerge from the Navesink River, heading right to finish the 1.2-mile race and left to continue on for the second lap in the 2.4-mile challenge.

Dozens of competitive swimmers took to the Navesink River at Victory Park in Rumson Sunday morning for the third annual ‘Nav-E-Sink or Swim’ distance races to raise awareness of the dangers of melanoma.

Results are to be posted here.

Click images to enlarge.

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NOT QUITE THE FIRST MOONWALK, BUT…

Img_8586Rare species sighted: Rumson Dems Michael Steinhorn, left, and Fred Blumberg march in the town’s Memorial Day parade.

“This is history being made here,” Michael Steinhorn was shouting from the middle of West River Road Monday.

He was referring to his participation, with running mate Fred Blumberg, in Rumson’s Memorial Day parade — a presence he says was the result of a “settlement” with the borough.

As previously noted, the council candidacies of Democrats Blumberg and Steinhorn constitute a political anomaly in Rumson, where Republican domination would appear to be all but complete.

No non-Republican is believed to have won elective office in the town’s 101-year history, and nobody can recall a Democrat having run for mayor or council since at least as far back as 1972.

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BODY IN RIVER; NO CRIME SUSPECTED

State Police investigators don’t suspect foul play in connection with the death of a man whose body was found in the Navesink River Sunday, the Asbury Park Press is reporting.

The corpse of 71-year-old James Roffler of Little Silver was discovered on a sandbar behind the Rumson police station by kayakers. The case was turned over to the State Police because of the location of the body.

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R-FH FIVE TAKE ON EUROPE, AND WIN

Img_6864The R-FH Euro challengers: from left, Sam Wilson, Robbie Trocchia, Margot Keale, Steven Fuschetti and Jennifer Lapp.

If you think understanding the U.S. economy is a brain-buster, try overlaying its complexity with currency exchange rates, European history and social trends unique to a post-Cold War continent.

That, in a thumbnail, was the starting point for five sophomores from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High who competed as a team in something called the Euro Challenge last month.

Euro

Then they had to develop their teamwork, public speaking and time-management skills, preparing themselves to answer arcane questions under the gun about the “decoupling” of the U.S. and European economies, among other arcane topics.

This for a group of kids who didn’t know their CPI from their GDP at the start of the school year.

Well, cutting to the chase: after two grueling and nerve-wracking days of competition, the R-FH team took first place among 47 teams from seven states in a final held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in late April.

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