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 »

WHAT TO DO IN WINTER? ROW, OF COURSE

nirSalvador Tecalero, in the foreground, is one of more than 60 members of Navesink Indoor Rowing. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

John Crilly made a bold move four years ago. He had a vision, one that was put into focus by his rowing students at Navesink River Rowing, a goal Crilly felt he needed to realize.

“They came up to me and said, ‘Mr. Crilly, what are we going to do in the wintertime, because we want to be competitive in the spring?'” he said.

That’s where the bold move came in. Crilly owned an ergonomic rowing machine, but having students take turns on it wasn’t going to work.

“I went to my wife and asked her if it’d be OK if we could tap into the home equity to buy five more,” he said.

In the first year of Navesink Indoor Rowing, Crilly worked with a dozen students using the six machines. Today, the club has some two dozen machines utilized by more than 60 members from all over Monmouth and Ocean counties — most of them high school kids, but with a strong adult contingent mixed in. Crilly says it’s the only indoor rowing club in the area he’s aware of.

And he’s still got a home.

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‘COUSIN EDDIES’ DO A CHARITY CRAWL

eddiecon11A cadre of ‘Cousin Eddies’ made their way around Red Bank Saturday night in a successful bid to get loopy and raise some money. (Photos courtesy of Robert Kern. Click to enlarge)

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Eighteen area men took to Red Bank’s bars and restaurants dressed in bathrobes and trapper hats Saturday night.

In a twist on Santacon, a somewhat raunchy gathering of faux Santa Clauses held annually in New York and elsewhere, the men did a pub crawl dressed as their favorite movie character: “Cousin Eddie,” from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

Led by Chris Kenny of Shrewsbury and Dave Carr of Rumson, the mostly thirty-something robesmen hit more than a dozen watering holes on both sides of town, eating, indulging in cold beverages and shaking a pail all along the way to raise money for the Monmouth Day Care Center.

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LOUNGING AT THE LIBRARY

mon-libA library patron pulling down free wifi over coffee at the new café Thursday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The Monmouth County Eastern Branch Library in Shrewsbury is trying to elbow its way past the big-box booksellers like Barnes & Noble and Borders, where a visitor these days might laze on a plush couch with a cup of coffee and a laptop while perusing a potential purchase.

Well, you can do that at the library now, too.

The county branch will cut the ribbon tomorrow on its newest addition: the Lion’s Den Café, a second-story lounge that overhangs the vast literary collection below. It’s a spot where one can grab coffee or lunch and get into a book in typical library quietude.

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HOT SEAT: MAN ESCAPES BURNING HOUSE

bank-st-fire-2The fire was fully involved when firefighters arrived on the scene. (Photos supplied by a redbankgreen reader. Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The timing of Friday afternoon’s two-alarm house fire on Bank Street in Red Bank couldn’t have come at a more inconvenient time for James Green.

He was, um, on the commode.

“I don’t know what happened,” said Green, who has been staying with his friend at 13 Bank Street since May. “I’m in the bathroom, the alarm goes off and the house is burning down.”

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SHREWSBURY: BURDEN OUTPOLLS WRITE-INS

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Donald Burden, the sole candidate to replace Terel Cooperhouse as Shrewsbury Borough’s mayor, fended off 82 write-in votes — nearly eight percent of the total — for other candidates to secure the job, according to the Monmouth County Clerk’s office.

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SHREWSBURY MULLS BOW HUNT FOR DEER

shrewsburydeerDeer on the lawn of an Elm Lane residence earlier this month. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Most mornings, Brian Hall wakes up to find the motion sensor outside his home flashing. He’s gotten accustomed to it, much as his wife, Suzanne, has gotten used to her flower garden doubling as a feeding trough.

In the year-and-a-half that the couple have lived off Sycamore Avenue in Shrewsbury, deer have been as much a part of their neighborhood as the people who live next door.

“There definitely is a lot of deer,” Brian Hall said.

Now, as the ubiquitous artiodactyls appear to be causing a larger threat to public health and safety, the borough council is looking to residents for input on how to bring the increasing deer population under control.

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FANCY FOOTWORK AND A FLOORSHOW

perry_487_ir

Meet Perry Jo. When he’s not busy tending to the toes and (ahem) other parts of customers at his pedicure and waxing salon, Estella Nails, on Broad Street in Shrewsbury, the athletic Jo takes it to the hoop.

The hula-hoop, that is.

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ORGANIST CHARGED IN CHILD SEX ASSAULT

just_in1The organist at the Presbyterian Church at Shrewsbury is facing charges arising from an alleged sexual assault of a child, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office.

Kenneth Clayton, 65, of Red Bank, who also serves as the church’s choir director, was arrested September 17 by Red Bank police and charged with second-degree sexual assault and second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor. A Superior Court judge set bail at $100,000, according to first assistant prosecutor Peter Warshaw.

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PAIR CHARGED IN SHREWSBURY BURGLARY

screen-shot-2010-09-24-at-11116-amA Keansburg couple was arrested on charges of burglarizing a Shrewsbury home hours after speaking to the owner about a car she was selling, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Kevin Finucan, 44, right, was found inside the Samara Drive home at about 12:45p Wednesday after the homeowner returned home to find Finucan’s female companion, BillieJo Barbour, 39, outside.

From the Press:

The homeowner recognized Barbour because she was with Finucan earlier in the day when the pair approached her about a car that was for sale in her driveway, according to police Capt. Timothy Spencer.

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M’TOWN MAN CHARGED WITH CHECK FRAUD

call-in-the-authoritiesA Middletown man was arrested yesterday on check-kiting charges that authorities say defrauded a Shrewsbury bank branch of nearly $93,000.

Sandy Masselli, 48, was held on $100,000 bail and ordered to surrender his passport as a condition of being released, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, which announced the arrest Thursday afternoon.

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POLICE PAY IN SLEDGER SPOTLIGHT

hot-topic rightSunday’s Star-Ledger had an eye-opening article on police salaries in New Jersey.

Analyzing 2009 pay data from police departments throughout the state, the Sledger concluded that

the average municipal cop in New Jersey is paid 80 percent more than the average resident, and three of 10 made at least $100,000 last year. In addition, police tend to be paid the best in small towns with little crime.

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OUTAGE CAUSES TRAFFIC, CLOSURES, BEER

outage-trafficA Fair Haven police officer directed traffic Monday afternoon at a light at the Fair Haven-Little Silver border. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A malfunction at a Tinton Falls substation is believed to be the cause of yesterday’s countywide power outage, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Locally, power started being restored within 75 minutes of the outage, but many homes and businesses also went for hours more in the dark, forcing some closures and snarling traffic on the area’s main roads.

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KALISH GETS FIRST BIG-TIME HOMER V. YANKS

screen-shot-2010-08-07-at-113203-amFormer Red Bank Catholic standout Ryan Kalish continued his incandescent debut week in the majors last night by getting his first home run against the New York Yankees, at Yankee Stadium, for the Boston Red Sox.

Kalish, who grew up in Shrewsbury, had struck out on three pitches each in his first two at-bats. But in the sixth inning, with one on, the left-hander drove the first pitch over the fence in right-center field.

The Bosox website has video of the shot, with the announcer saying, as Kalish is congratulated by his teammates, “Kalish took a low fastball and just golfed this thing on a line out of Yankee Stadium, into that Yankee bullpen.”

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RBC’S KALISH MAY START V. YANKEES

Ryan Kalish in an interview in June, before he was called up to Boston to start in left field for the Red Sox. (Video from Cox Sports New England)

Shrewsbury product Ryan Kalish has been on fire this week, his first in major league baseball.

Five years after going straight to a Boston Red Sox farm team from Red Bank Catholic, Kalish was called up to Fenway Park from his post in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to start against the Detroit Tigers last Saturday. In his first trip to the plate, he drove in a run with a single that shattered his bat.

Since then, he’s been “superb,” says the suburban Beantown Daily News Tribune. Going into last night’s game against the Cleveland Indians…

He was 7-for-13 in his first four games, and his batting average of .538 is the highest in Red Sox history through four games – Ted Williams is now third with a .444 average while Morgan Burkhart is down to second with a .533 mark.

Last night, he went 1-for-3, bringing his average to .471.

Tonight, locals are hoping to see their hometown standout under the lights at Yankee Stadium in the kickoff of a crucial series between the archrivals.

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SYCAMORE AVENUE DETOUR

sycamore_080110A message board outside Shrewsbury’s municipal complex on Sunday.

Motorists who use a busy stretch of Sycamore Avenue in Shrewsbury may encounter a detour Monday.

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TRADER JOE’S PLANS SHREWSBURY STORE


The specialty food store has filed plans to take over more than 12,000 square feet in Treasure Island Plaza, according to a report.

After a brief dalliance with Red Bank three years ago, Trader Joe’s, a foodstore chain with a reverential following, appears to have settled on Shrewsbury instead.

So reports the Asbury Park Press, which says the California-based company has filed plans to take space in the Treasure Island Plaza shopping center on Route 35, next door to Staples.

Plans on file with the borough indicate Trader Joe’s will take over three existing storefronts to create a 12,026-square-foot store, the Press reports. No estimated opening date was reported, and a company spokeswoman told the newspaper she could no confirm the information.

But don’t expect to find bottles of Two-Buck Chuck there. The store won’t have a liquor license, the Press says.

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RED BANK GIVES LAST OK ON RBR CUTS

hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A week after delaying a vote on reductions to Red Bank Regional‘s failed $24 million budget, the borough council gave the green light on $270,500 in recommended cuts at a special meeting Tuesday night.

Sports, clubs and programs are spared in the new spending plan, but eight positions will be eliminated, Superintendent Howard Lucks tells redbankgreen.

“It did include eliminating positions. It included a wage freeze [for Lucks]. It included a reduction in force,” Councilman Michael DuPont said.

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SHREWSBURY, LITTLE SILVER OK RBR BUDGET

shrewsburyHere’s lookin’ at you, Red Bank; Shrewsbury Mayor Terel Cooperhouse. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank Regional‘s fiscal fate is now in the hands of Red Bank’s governing body, which will be the last of the school’s three sending districts to vote on the high school’s failed $24 million budget.

Both Little Silver and Shrewsbury councils gave unanimous approval to $270,500 in cuts to RBR’s 2010-11 spending plan Monday night, capping off several weeks of discussions aimed at reducing the bottom line after voters rejected the budget.

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COUNCIL WANTS MORE INFO ON RBR CUTS

rbr-signRBR will likely have more layoffs and program cuts since its budget failed last month, officials warn. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The Red Bank Borough Council wants more specifics before it votes on a resolution that would call for additional layoffs and program cuts at Red Bank Regional.

Voter rejection last month of the high school’s $24 million budget has already resulted in layoff notices to 70 employees, according to one report. But faced with approving an additional $270,500 in reductions on Monday night, the council held off, members said, because there wasn’t enough information from school officials on how that figure was reached.

“Where’s the $270,000 from? What number is that?” a visibly peeved Council President Art Murphy asked Councilman Michael DuPont, who heads the borough finance committee. “That’s what I want to know.”

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RED BANK STORES SHINE IN MAG’S POLL

downtown-rbA recent view down Broad Street in Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In addition to Democratic bent and hyperlocal news sources, Red Bank and Maplewood can add one more item to the list of things they have in common: garnering the most attention from New Jersey Monthly’s readers in the magazine’s annual “Best of Jersey” poll.

Red Bank businesses came away with three No. 1 votes in the shopping category, but also showed well in other classes and earned a bunch of nods as runners-up. Maplewood, in Essex County, dominated the poll, getting the most votes for six shopping categories.

Overall, Red Bank and the redbankgreen coverage area had a strong presence in the magazine’s feature story this month.

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SATURDAY IS DRESS-UP DAY AT LIBRARY

dressesChecklist for this weekend’s visit to the library: some fiction, perhaps in the pages of Wolf Hall. Some real-life stuff with unreal characters, a la The Politician. A DVD or two.

Oh, and maybe a short little spaghetti-strap dress from Vera Wang.

A dress? Sure, why not?

The Eastern Monmouth branch of the Monmouth County Library in Shrewsbury will hold its third annual “Sweet Seconds Prom Dress Swap” from noon to 4p Saturday.

It’s an event that mixes swap meet rules with charity to offer formal and semi-formal women’s attire for events like proms, spring dances or a fancy day on the town. Read More »