RED BANK: LANDFILL PARK STILL YEARS OFF

ballard 071614Engineer Christine Ballard, above, discusses sampling for toxic substances at the former landfill site. One result of the tests: new warning signs, below. (Above photo by John T. Ward; photo below by Brian Donohue. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb crab sign 071514Red Bank is on track with testing for toxic substances at its former landfill and incinerator, but the painstaking process is unlikely to yield new parkland within the next five years, the town’s engineer said Wednesday.

Meantime, one immediate upshot of tests at the 8.6-acre West Side site: new warnings about eating fish and crabs caught from the adjoining Swimming River.

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BUILDING THE RANKS OF FEMALE ENGINEERS

jacki flor 041814Jacki Flor on the site of the Sea Bright municipal parking lot reconstruction, which she’s overseeing, and Christine Ballard, giving a presentation in Red Bank below, say their interest in solving mechanical problems was nurtured when they were girls. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

c ballard 52609Of the 565 towns and cities in New Jersey, only 19 have female municipal engineers. And two of them serve towns on the Green: Christine Ballard in Red Bank, and Jaclyn Flor, in Sea Bright.

Municipal engineers are the brains behind public infrastructure, designing everything from crosswalks to sewer lift stations. They pursue grants to pay for ballfields and bulkheads. And they serve as emissaries, navigating the often choppy waters between zoning board applicants, contractors, elected officials and taxpayers.

In that realm, a woman’s point of view and way of communicating can often be helpful, Ballard said.

“There have been a lot of men doing this for a long time, and I’m sure they did it well,” she told redbankgreen. But “there’s been a wonderful transition to women in government,” and it turns out that other women are “sometimes better at translating projects, and why we need to spend a million dollars to fix the water plant,” to diverse constituencies, she said.

In fact, the broader field of engineering could use many more women, which is why the American Association of University Women and the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore are putting on an event at Brookdale Community College on Saturday to encourage girls to consider careers as engineers.

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RBR TECH STUDENTS EXCEL AT STATE MEET

TSAwinnersRBR Academy of Pre-Engineering students recently excelled at the TSA State competitions held at the College of New Jersey. Pictured are first-place winner Alisa Orsini; Brad Tully and Austin Turner, who with Ian Stafford (not pictured) won second place; and first-place winner Huston Migdon. All five students will go on to compete in the TSA national competition in Washington D.C.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

On April 2, students from Red Bank Regional High School Academy of Pre-Engineering (PLTW) competed and excelled in the New Jersey State Technology Student Association Technology (TSA) Competition, held at the College of New Jersey.

More than 1,600 students from throughout the state participated in this year’s competition, for which the theme was “The Spirit of Innovation.” RBR students brought home several first place wins. Huston Migdon of Bradley Beach, took first place in Prepared Presentation, and Alisa Orisini of Shrewsbury won first place for Flight Endurance. For her entry, Alisa had to build, fly, and trim a model airplane to make a long endurance flight inside a contained airspace.

The team of Ian Stafford (Little Silver), Austin Turner (Union Beach) and Brad Tully (Belmar) took second place in System Control Technology. They worked to develop a systematic solution to a problem, and build a computer controlled model to represent and illustrate their solution.

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MATCHING GIRLS WITH ENGINEERING CAREERS

Women who are currently working, teaching or studying in the male-dominated field of engineering will interact with area Girl Scouts on Saturday, April 26, to encourage them to consider a career in the field.

“Inspiring Girls in Engineering” is the morning portion of a daylong Girl Scout event to be held from 9 am to 3 pm at the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College. Activities includes a fun engineering activity as well as a chance for the girls, all fifth and sixth graders, to ask questions of female engineers or engineering students.

“Only 16 percent of engineers are women,” pointed out Susan Monroe, assistant professor of mathematics at Brookdale, adding that girls traditionally have shied away from the “STEM” fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“By bringing girls onto a college campus where they can see meet and interact with women in the field, the hope is they will come away thinking, ‘these students look like me. I can do this’.”

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FAIR HAVEN SCIENCE STARS SHINE AT MU

Attachment-1Left to right: Knollwood School teacher Kristen Levy is pictured with sixth-grade students Leila Maldonado, Kira Fleischer and Jake Downie, during the Stars Science Competition held recently at Monmouth University.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

This past December, a group of observant students at Knollwood School in Fair Haven noticed a large number of their classmates coughing and sneezing their way through the day.

“Why is everyone so sick?,” they asked themselves. “And what can be done about it”?

The students — eighth-grader Reed DiCenso and sixth graders Aaron Bernstein, Jake Downie, Kira Fleischer and Leila Maldonado — suspected a link between inadequate hand-washing and the spread of viruses.

After conducting research, collecting and organizing their findings, and assembling data, the group made a compelling presentation at the 2014 Stars Science Competition at Monmouth University in West Long Branch on January 11.

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FAIR HAVEN: A WALK IN THE WOODS

fh fields tour 1 102313fh fields tour 5 102313Seven-year-old Anna Gredell, above, took careful notes as Jeff Dement (center in photo at right) of the American Littoral Society detailed elements of a holly leaf at the Fair Haven Fields Natural Area Wednesday afternoon.

The occasion was one of several ‘tree walk and talk’ tours that the society, in conjunction with local conservationists, offers each year at the 40-acre borough-owned preserve. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

WEEKEND: IDEAS, MUSIC, FOOD, ART & TRUCKS

kirk jirks 2 100211Local faves Brian Kirk and the Jirks, above, return for the fourth Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival on Sunday. Below, Touch-a-Truck parks it at the Red Bank Middle School Saturday in a fundraiser for the Monmouth Day Care Center. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, September 20:

IMG_0008 (745x1024)LINCROFT: Carpe diem at TEDxNavesink, where attendees will get to experience 25 live talks in addition to livecast sessions from the “TEDxCity2.0” conference. TED is a nonprofit organization devoting to sharing “Ideas worth Spreading.” The nine-hour day is filled with sessions on topics like redrawing our oceans, repicturing paradise, remapping the self and more. The sold-out event runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Brookdale Community College Performing Arts Center and is followed by a light reception. Newman Springs Road.

RUMSON: The second annual Canterbury Arts: A Tapestry of the Arts show features works by New Jersey artists, with all proceeds going to Outreach Grants to benefit Lunch Break, Family Promise, HABcore, 180 Turning Lives Around and more.The three-day exhibition kicks off Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Saint George’s-by-the-River Episcopal Church. Tickets include a wine, beer, and hors d’oeurves/dessert and admission to all days of the show. Reserve tickets in advance. Tickets are $10 day admission, $40 reception (in advance), $50 at the door. 7 Lincoln Avenue.

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RED BANK: STOCKING LUNCH BREAK’S PANTRY

With kids from the Rockit Youth Music Program providing a soundtrack, volunteers sorted donations at the Red Bank Middle School for a Lunch Break food drive Saturday. The event, marking the organization’s 30th anniversary, targeted a goal of  30,000 pounds of food. (Photos by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

RBR GRAD AND TEACHER HONORED

Gemma Ciabattoni was the highest-ranking Red Banker at RBR this year. (Photo by Connor Soltas. Click to enlarge)

By CONNOR SOLTAS

Honored by the Red Bank mayor and council as the town’s top-ranking high school senior this year was Gemma Ciabattoni – community volunteer, avid English student, varsity soccer player, actress, and big-time Scrabble enthusiast.

Councilwoman Kathy Horgan read a resolution at Wednesday’s council meeting recognizing Ciabattoni for having instilled “a sense of pride in all of the citizens of the Borough of Red Bank as a result of her outstanding achievements.”

Ciabattoni graduated from Red Bank Regional last month with a 97.67 grade point average, having taken numerous honors, advanced placement and international baccalaureate classes.

“Even though I’ve won a lot of scholarly honors, they’re not all they’re cracked up to be,” she told the audience at the meeting, “but being recognized is an honor in it itself.”

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BELLHEADS PICK UP A SIGNAL FROM THE PAST

It was an evening of I-thought-I’d-see-you-heres as an overflow crowd of more than 100 attendees – a preponderance of them white-haired, and many once employed by Bell Labs – turned out in Little Silver Thursday night to hear author Jon Gertner discuss his book, “The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation.”

The unexpectedly strong turnout necessitated the relocation of the event from the borough library to the nearby municipal courtroom, where it was still SRO. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

IN LITTLE SILVER, REDIALING OLD BELL LABS

Award winning tech and business journalist Jon Gertner visits the Little Silver Public Library Thursday to discuss his book THE IDEA FACTORY: BELL LABS AND THE GREAT AGE OF AMERICAN INNOVATION. (Photo by Leslie de la Vega/ Penguin Books)

By TOM CHESEK

It’s not at all hyperbole to suggest that in its heyday, Bell Labs was where The Future took shape.

The list of accomplishments claimed by the Murray Hill-based research and development arm of AT&T included some of the genuine building blocks of modern life (transistors, lasers), game-changing milestones of the Computer Age (the UNIX system, C programming language, Information Theory) and a whole lot of landmark work in the fields of radio astronomy, fiber optics, solar cells and satellite communications.

Close to home, its local connection — both via the company’s major presence in Monmouth County, and the caliber of people it attracted to this once relatively sleepy corner of New Jersey — impacts our lives in ways that are as here-and-now as the handheld mobile device that you may be reading this on, and as shrouded in wonder as the very origins of the universe.

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MIDDLE SCHOOL LEADS THE WAY

pltwRed Bank Middle School teacher Elizabeth Willoughby oversees students doing research in a new program called Project Lead the Way. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Reading from a textbook and writing down answers on a test are all well and good, but at Red Bank Middle School, they’re just two ways to acquaint students hands-on with concepts in math, science and more.

That’s where Project Lead the Way, a national initiative to spark “ingenuity, creativity and innovation” within students, comes in.

“It’s really trying to mold and influence this generation and fill a gap that’s been left in America,” said Chris Ippolito, one of two teachers involved in the program. “This is like a supplement to math, science, engineering, et cetera.”

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DOUBLE DUTY FOR HOSPITAL OB-GYN STAFF

RiverviewtwinsA string of mutiple births kept hospital staffers busy recently.

Today’s Asbury Park Press reports that Riverview Medical Center had a streak going this autumn: a spate of twin births.

From the article:

In an eight-week period from September to late October, 11 sets of twins were delivered at the Red Bank hospital.

As chairwoman of obstetrics and gynecology at Riverview, Dr. Marilyn Loh-Collado oversaw the arrival of these multiple bundles of joy into this world.

“There was no rhyme or reason to it,” Loh-Collado said. “It was just kind of strange.”

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THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON GODS

HumanistsDr. Julian Paul Keenan speaks at the Red Bank Humanists Darwin Day event, held Sunday at the Red Bank Charter School.

In honor of international Darwin Day, the Red Bank Humanists hosted a lecture yesterday by Julian Paul Keenan, Director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Montclair State University on what he called “the evolutionary connection between religion and deception.”

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TALKING MONKEYS: ON DARWIN & RELIGION

Darwinday08graphic

You will be forgiven, in a secular sense at least, for not knowing that there’s something called ‘Darwin Day.’

A dozen years ago, there was only one known celebration of Charles Darwin’s birthday — Feb 12, 1809. Now, if we may be so droll, the event has evolved into something with global reach. Some 850 events are said to have been held last year. And somehow, you missed every last one of them.

Well, here’s your invite to this year’s. On Sunday, Feb. 10, the Red Bank Humanists will host a Darwin program featuring a lecture by Julian Paul Keenan, Director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Montclair State University. He’ll take up the topic, “Exploring the Evolutionary Connection Between Religion and Deception.”

A Q&A and, yep, birthday cake will follow.

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JULIA PRYDE REMEMBERED

Juliapryde1

Middletown North graduate Julia Pryde was remembered by people who knew her as a carefree individualist who loved to swim competitively and cultivated a strong interest in ecology and water quality issues, according to a story about her in today’s Asbury Park Press.

Pryde was among the 32 students and faculty members slain by a student gunman Monday morning at Virginia Tech, where she was in a graduate science program.

“She was always having a good time,” said [friend and neighbor Nicole] Malone, 20, now a student at La Salle University in Philadelphia. “She was never really upset about anything; she never had a frown on her face.”

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HANDLIN EIGHTH IN SCIENCE CONTEST

People_in_the_news

Eighteen-year-old Daniel Handlin of Lincroft finished eighth in the Intel Science Talent Search competition completed yesterday in Washington.

For his work developing a cheap-yet-accurate way of tracking satellites, Handlin — a senior at the High Technology High School, also in Lincroft — won a $20,000 scholarship.

From the Star-Ledger:

Handlin, the son of Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-Monmouth), said being a “Star Trek” fan led to an interest in space from an early age. His sophomore year, he began researching ways to track satellites with a commercially available night-vision scope, a camera and two low-power telescopes.

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