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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IN RED BANK, MAKING A LOT OF A LITTLE

Long the home of a car dealership and later approved for an office building, the parcel is now the site of a valet-only parking lot. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After 15 years as a vacant eyesore, a property at a gateway to Red Bank has been transformed into a spiffy new… parking lot.

Serving the Atrium at Navesink Harbor senior citizens’ luxury high-rise on Riverside Avenue, and accessible only to its valet drivers, the parking lot is the first of a long line of development ideas for the site to be completed.

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Q FOR GOP: WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

candidatesWestside Community Group president Amy Goldsmith, right, discusses the debate format with candidates Juanita Lewis, Joe Mizzi, Grace Cangemi and Ed Zipprich. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

election_2011_wdebatesRed Bank’s Republican contenders for borough council were on the defensive Wednesday night as their opponents, and some voters, pressed them on their perceived sudden re-emergence as election day looms.

Resident David Prown asked GOP candidates Grace Cangemi and Joe Mizzi how confident taxpayers should feel in their representation, given what he characterized as their low profile between last spring’s candidacy announcement and now. Several questioners pressed them on the point of view that the pair say is missing from the current all-Democrat council.

In the evening’s most heated moment, incumbent Ed Zipprich called his opponent’s criticisms of the current council “absolutely ridiculous,” and said Cangemi, a former council member, hadn’t appeared at a session of the governing body since she lost a re-election bid in 2008, though she had pledged to serve as a watchdog.

“What have you done for the town in the three years since you walked out the door?” he asked.

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RIVERSIDE NURSING HOME, APARTMENT COMPLEX ORDERED EVACUATED IN RED BANK

chapinBuses and ambulances on the scene at Chapin Hill at Red Bank nursing home preparing to move 113 patients, many of them wheelchair-bound. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

just_in1Authorities ordered the evacuation of the low-lying Chapin Hill at Red Bank nursing home Saturday as Hurricane Irene neared, packing winds of 90 miles per hour in North Carolina yet leaving the anxious Jersey Shore eerily calm.

Also affected by an evacuation order was the 40-unit Locust Landing apartment complex on Locust Avenue, Tommy Welsh, coordinator of Red Bank’s Emergency Management Committee, tells redbankgreen.

A 1 p.m., two buses and an ambulance were on the scene of the nursing home, on Chapin Avenue near the Newman Springs Road bridge over the Swimming River, preparing to relocate 113 patients.

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DIG IN & SAY ‘CHEESE’

atrium-shovel2-061411As PR agents all over northern Monmouth County know, redbankgreen avoids groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings, presentations of giant checks and other phoney-baloney ‘news’ events. But if more of them yielded delightfully silly images like this one, from Tuesday’s groundbreaking at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor in Red Bank, we might change our policy. Thanks to photographer Manny Carabel, who took the shot from his 10th-floor apartment next door at the Riverview Towers. (Click to enlarge)

ATRIUM ADDITION HITS GROUND RUNNING

atrium-lotA makeover of the vacant lot in the foreground is slated to begin shortly after the start of construction of six-story structure between the two Riverside Avenue high-rises in the distance. (Click to enlarge)

[See corrections at the bottom of this article]

Construction of an addition to the upscale Atrium at Navesink Harbor senior-citizens residence in Red Bank is expected to start next week with nearly all 60 units spoken for, according to officials at Springpoint Senior Living.

Long before the build-out is complete, however, an eyesore lot at the fork of West Front Street and Riverside Avenue will be transformed into a green-trimmed parking area for use by Atrium residents – and attended by valets, says company chief financial administrative officer Chuck Mooney.

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FOR RETIRED CARPENTER, IT’S HAMMER TIME

hammersFrank Scordo with one of his favorite conversation pieces, a double-handled hammer. Some 1,200 tools from his collection are on display at the Shrewsbury Historical Society. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

For many retirees, the entry into the golden years is a chance to travel, spend more time on the golf course or play the spoiling grandparent.

But for retired carpenter Frank Scordo, post-employment means keeping up with a hobby that, for most, might just instantly pound the brain’s snooze button: cultivating a collection of hammers.

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FAIR HAVEN SENIOR SCAMMED FOR $14K

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI authorities3

A Fair Haven senior citizen was bilked out of $14,000 recently by a person pretending to be his or her grandson, police said.

Police were alerted to the scam Thursday, when a senior said that a person identifying himself as a grandson made five phone calls over three days claiming he was in need of help.

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FAIR HAVEN HOUSING PLAN DRAWS BACKLASH

senior-housing1Developer Kevin Hughes, right, watches Fair Haven’s council meeting as neighbors voiced complaints over his proposal to add age-restricted housing in town. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s facing kind of a conundrum, says Mayor Mike Halfacre, of the Fair Haven council’s role in weighing an informal proposal for age-restricted housing in the borough.

On the one hand, the council has been asked to create an overlay district to allow higher densities in a neighborhood just off River Road, a move that might in turn fill a longtime need in town for more housing for the borough’s senior population.

But doing so carries the potential of leaving a bad taste in the mouths of neighbors.

Even though the proposal from builder Kevin Hughes is in what Halfacre called “step A, minus one,” some neighbors are already hoping to derail it. At a Tuesday morning meeting specifically relocated to the borough’s youth and senior center in order to accommodate the older population, area residents obliged with a solid half-hour of bristling to the council.

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POLICE BLOTTER

policewindowThe crime reports appearing here were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of May 28 to June 4, 2010. This information appears here unedited.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 5-29-10 at Allen Place. Victim reported that unknown person(s) keyed both sides of parked vehicle, leaving long scratches. Ptl. David Smith.

Criminal Mischief occurring on Windward Way between 5-29-10 and 5-20-10. Reports of 4 mailboxes and posts being removed from ground along with two stop signs and two street signs being torn down by the front entrance to complex. Ptl. David Hicks.

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FAIR HAVEN REC HEAD THRIVES, FULL-TIME

fh-hoffman

Charlie Hoffman just finished his first year as Fair Haven’s first full-time recreation director. Borough officials think the investment has paid off in spades. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

As mayor of Fair Haven, Michael Halfacre catches a lot of flak for decisions he and the Borough Council make. That was no different last year when the council decided to hire a full-time recreation director; Halfacre says there was a lot of collective grumbling going on.

But once Charlie Hoffman, a fresh-faced 29-year-old, stepped into that full-time role and got to work, the naysayers suddenly got quiet, Halfacre said.

“I’ve not heard a single complaint from anybody,” he said. “His on the job performance has been tremendous.”

Hoffman has been on the job for a little more than a year now, and all one needs to do is take a look at the borough’s existing and new recreation programs to see the impact Hoffman’s had in his inaugural year, his backers say.

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GRANDVILLE CONVERSION GETS GREEN LIGHT

grandview-towersThe owner wants to create five new units in the 91-unit building.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Compromise sealed the deal to move forward with plans to renovate Grandville Towers from apartments to condominiums, which gained approval from the Red Bank zoning board Thursday.

After more than a year of occasional hearings, presentations and a little haggling — particularly over affordable housing requirements — the Morford Place building’s owners got the OK to convert Grandview’s 91 apartments and overhaul the first floor by adding new condos and facilities.

“This is a winner,” board member Kevin Moss said.

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PHS: WE PAY, AND WILL CONTINUE TO PAY

atrium-siteAn architect’s rendering of the already approved six-story addition hangs on a fence next to the existing 12-story Atrium at Navesink Harbor, on Riverview Avenue.

Apparent confusion over the the impact of a recent court case has officials at PHS Senior Living putting out word that they don’t intend to seek tax-exempt status for the organization’s showcase senior-living project in Red Bank.

The Princeton-based not-for-profit is expected to pay about $360,000 in property taxes this year on Atrium at Navesink Harbor, on Riverside Avenue. Chuck Mooney, PHS’s chief operating officer, says he expects that figure to double on completion of an approved six-story addition to the Riverside Avenue facility, and to approach $900,000 annually if a pending request to take the addition up to 12 floors is approved by the borough planning board.

But no matter how big the project ends up, PHS has not and will not push to have its property removed from tax rolls, Mooney tells redbankgreen.

“We definitely will not be seeking tax-exempt status,” he says. “There’s no basis for it in the law.”

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PHS WANTS MORE AIRSPACE, PLUS PARKING

Phs prc

The owner of the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, center, wants to add six stories to a planned addition, and to use the lot in the foreground for parking. Riverview Towers is at right; the addition is to go between the two highrises.

Before it has even put a shovel into the ground for a long-delayed six-story addition, PHS Senior Living is asking Red Bank for permission to double the size of the planned project on Riverside Avenue.

If approved, the addition-to-the-addition would boost a portion of the new structure to the same height as the nonprofit's existing 12-story tower of high-end senior apartments, formerly known as Navesink Harbor and recently retagged the Atrium at Navesink Harbor.

To sweeten its request for variances, Princeton-based PHS is promising not to build an approved office building on a triangular site at the intersection of Riverview Avenue and West Front Street, according to Chuck Mooney, PHS's chief operating officer. Instead, the lot would be used for parking.

The plans, though, may meet resistance from residents of neighboring Riverview Towers. Shareholders in the luxury highrise co-op are scheduled to meet tonight to decide whether to give the PHS request their blessing.

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FAIR HAVEN MAN NAMED IN ALLEGED SCAM

Call in the authoritiesA Morris County judge today froze the assets of a Fair Haven investment adviser who is alleged to have swindled an elderly client out of $9 million over a decade, according to reports by the Star-Ledger and Morristown’s Daily Record.

Superior Court Judge Theodore Bozonelis today ordered Marshall Smith not to transfer any of his assets pending further notice.

According to a civil suit filed by Leonard Frederick, his 93-year-old client, Smith was fired from his job at Cantone Research Inc. in Tinton Falls earlier this month afer admitting to his employer that he had sold Frederick non-existent financial investments over the prior decade.

The suit also names Smith’s wife, Holly, as a defendant. Monmouth County records show the Smiths own a property on Fair Haven’s Kemp Avenue assessed at $894,200.

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BOROUGH HALL GOING TO FOUR-DAY WEEK

Hot TopicRed Bank employees who work in borough hall at 90 Monmouth Street will have to start packing their workweeks into four days starting in June as part of an effort to cut utility costs.

The move, approved by the borough council on Monday, is expected to save up to $3,000 a month in air conditioning and heating-related expenses, says borough Administrator Stanley Sickels.

The effort is envisioned as a trial for the summer but may be continued if the savings materialize as expected without adversely affecting the delivery of services, Sickels says.

“If it works out, we’ll keep doing it,” he says.

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MENNA: GRANDVILLE SENIORS PROTECTED

Grandville_towersOwner PRC Group is seeking permission to convert the 91 rental units at Grandville Towers to condos.

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna tells today’s Asbury Park Press that senior-citizen tenants of Grandville Towers won’t be forced to move if the building’s owner succeeds in its effort to convert the building to condos.

“Anyone who applies for it will receive protected senior citizen status, they would not be forced to move,” Menna tells Press reporter Larry Higgs, adding that owner/developer PRC Group of West Long Branch told officials if the conversion is approved, they would follow borough rent leveling board guidelines.

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CONDO CONVERSION PLAN FAILS

Img_4589

A proposal to convert the Colony House apartments on Bodman Place into upmarket condos was shot down by the Red Bank zoning board last night, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

From the Press:

It may have been a lack of 42 parking spaces that killed the proposal.

Plans called for a total of 88 spaces , 68 of them on the Colony House site on Riverside Avenue and another 20 spaces in a lot to be created off site.

That issue was raised by residents of the nearby Mara Vista Condo Association, represented by attorney Sean Byrnes.

“We will have a situation like New York City where people will drive around looking for parking, double park and look out their windows for a space to open up,” Byrnes said. “Sixty-eight spots (on the site) worked in 1958, it doesn’t in 2008.”

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FROM RADIOMAN TO ‘SNL’ TO MEMOIRIST

Herbert_2Herbert Holzberg

By LINDA G. RASTELLI

The 15 minutes of fame Andy Warhol envisioned for everyone appears to have arrived, somewhat late in life, for Sea Bright resident Herbert Holzberg.

A veteran of two wars and owner of a successful company that sold radio equipment to broadcasters, Holzberg felt he hadn’t achieved all his goals when he retired. So he began acting professionally at age 68, gaining small parts on Saturday Night Live and two soap operas.

In his self-published autobiography, “I Want to Sing,” the 81-year-old grandfather takes readers through his military service in World War II and the Korean War as a Merchant Marine radio operator (“The U.S. government admired my work so much, they brought me back for an encore,” he writes) and his subsequent career. Also included: anecdotes about his colonoscopy and a delayed flight.

Holzberg has been married to his wife, Shirley, for 53 years and has two grown sons, Bruce and Andrew. He’ll be signing his book at the Sea Bright Public Library at 2p this Sunday. redbankgreen sat down with him this week for a chat.

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BEDBUGS INVADE SENIOR LIVING COMPLEX

The Wesleyan Arms senior citizens housing complex on Wall Street is battling an infestation of bedbugs that took hold in late October, this week’s issue of the Bayshore Independent reports.

Bedbug

A resident of the six-story, 60-unit building told the newspaper that an exterminator sprayed the place and gave a presentation on the quarter-inch insects, which hide in mattresses and bed linens and feed on sleeping humans at night.

From the story:

“We’re assisting residents as needed both during and after this extermination process,” said Cynthia Jacques, vice president of Housing for United Methodist Homes (UMH), in a statement released Nov. 15. “We continue to provide whatever is necessary to eradicate this problem and to assure that our residents, employees and guests have a secure environment in which to live, work and enjoy.”

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