SANDY HOOK: ENTRY FEE HIKE PROPOSED

sandy hook 3 052613The per-car fee would jump to $20, from $15, under the proposed hike. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Beachgoers may have to pay 33 percent more to enter the Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook next summer.

A proposed fee increase would boost the daily vehicle rate to $20, from the present $15, and the seasonal rate to $100, from $75.

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: SUMMER FOR SALE

SB beach 061614sb mural 072014 6This should take the chill out of a rainy March Monday: thoughts of sunny days on the sands of Sea Bright.

Full-season beach badges for the coming summer are still available at half price: $50. The discount ends Thursday. To get yours, visit borough hall, at 1167 Ocean Avenue, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: MARINE SANCTUARY BLASTED

rb nms 031616 1With the basement meeting room already full, an overflow crowd gathered on the library’s main floor hoping to be allowed in Wednesday night. Below, the sanctuary would include Sandy Hook Bay, the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers and their tributaries. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD 

Sandy Hook Bay National Marine Sanctuary 2The main proponent of a “marine sanctuary” that would include some 12,500 acres of northeastern Monmouth County waters found himself pounded by wave after wave of criticism Wednesday night.

With 75 or so commercial and recreational fishermen, clammers, hunters and others packed into a basement meeting room at the Red Bank Public Library, and a comparable number turned away due to crowding, maritime historian Rik Van Hemmen got a cold reception for his proposal for a Sandy Hook Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which he hopes will win federal approval.

“We’ve got enough layers of bureaucracy,” Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, told Van Hemmen. “This is going down. We’re going to fight it.”

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: IDEAS SOUGHT FOR PARK SITE

Sea bright anchorage park 2sb anchorage lot 040507What should become of Anchorage Park, the 1.2-acre sliver of riverside land at the foot of the Route 520 bridge in Sea Bright?

Acquired by the borough after Hurricane Sandy left the Anchorage Apartments uninhabitable in 2012, the now-vacant site may be eligible for grant money. But first, borough officials are asking for public input: should it be developed, along the lines of the concept shown above? Planted with grass and left at that?

A public discussion of the matter has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. at borough hall. The regular council meeting will follow at 7 p.m. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

 

ON THE GREEN: MARINE SANCTUARY PROPOSED

Sandy Hook Bay National Marine Sanctuary 2An effort to create a “water-based equivalent of a National Park” covering Sandy Hook Bay, the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers and their tributaries is the subject of upcoming informational sessions, one of which is scheduled for Monday night.

If enacted by federal authorities, the Sandy Hook Bay National Marine Sanctuary would  add more than 12,500 acres of public-use parkland to eastern Monmouth County, according to proponents. Among them are the Navesink Marine Heritage Association, whose website has extensive information on the proposal.

Tonight’s presentation is slated for 7 p.m. at Crawford House at Tinton Falls. The Red Bank Public Library plans to host another on March 16 at 7 p.m. (Click to enlarge)

SANDY HOOK: BACKERS HOPE TO SAVE HOUSE

sandlass house 070415 2The Sandlass House, at the entrance to Sandy Hook, is the subject of a campaign by a new preservation group, whose logo is shown below.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
save sandlass logo

The last remnant of a Sandy Hook beach club that was the subject of a Fair Haven man’s nostalgic documentary earlier this year now has a support group.

Chris Brenner tells redbankgreen that his video gave rise to an effort to save the Sandlass House, which overlooks  the Shrewsbury River from the site of a long-demolished resort called Highland Beach and is slated for demolition.

Supporters plan to press their case for preserving the structure this Friday in Shrewsbury.
Read More »

RUMSON: BLITHEWALD RAZED

76 buena vista 081815rumson fire 042015 2Five months after a devastating fire, the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald was demolished Monday.

The 132-year-old home, on Buena Vista Avenue, was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea when it burned down in April. Investigators ruled the cause of the blaze accidental. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: STREETSCAPE PROJECTS PLANNED

rb schiff lot 081315The fence and sign bordering the onetime Steinbach’s department store parking lot on Broad Street, above, will be transformed into a landscaped seating area, shown in an aerial concept drawing below.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

133 broad 081215Two Red Bank parking lots are in for some dolling-up.

RiverCenter, the downtown promotion agency, plans to spruce up the former Steinbach’s parking lot on Broad Street with landscaping and benches, and to replace two stone pillars at the north entrance to the English Plaza lot, officials said in a presentation to the borough council Wednesday night.

And RiverCenter is working on a streetscape plan for a portion of White Street, including the southern entrance to English Plaza, said executive director Jim Scavone.

Read More »

RED BANK: DO YOU MISS THE FIREWORKS?

In 2010, KaBoom became three-day event, increasings costs that were not matched by donations from viewers and sponsors. But it sure was fun. Here’s a replay of that year’s spectacle.

HOT-TOPIC_01It’s kind of a red-meat question, one that seems to come up at every backyard barbecue on the Greater Green this time of year: Is Red Bank better off without its longtime fireworks show?

By tradition, the borough’s Independence Day fireworks were held on July 3. The show, branded KaBoom in its last years, was billed as the fourth-largest Independence Day fireworks celebration in America in terms of the number and size of shells lofted into the sky above the Navesink River.

Read More »

SANDY HOOK: LOST RESORT REVIVED ON VIDEO

Chris Brenner, below, made the above video to shed light on a vanishing piece of Sandy Hook history.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

chris brennerFair Haven resident Chris Brenner was fishing the Shrewsbury River one day last summer when low tide exposed the vestiges of a pier on the western side of Sandy Hook.

Brenner knew what the pier had been: part of a sprawling resort called Highland Beach that thrived for some 80 years years at that location. His mother, Jill, and late father, Ted, had even met there in the 1940s, at a popular bar called the Bamboo Room.

But looking to his right, as a stream of cars brought visitors across the Route 36 Azzolina Bridge to a park that’s now part of the federal Gateway National Recreation Area, Brenner wondered to himself: How many of those people even know what was once here?

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: FINDING GOLD(FISH) AT THE FAIR

sb fair 051415 2sb fair 051415 1 A gaggle of girls celebrated their goldfish prizes at a stand at the Sea Bright Firemen’s Fair on opening Thursday. The event, which features a Ferris wheel, continues through Sunday in the former Peninsula House lot on Ocean Avenue. All proceeds go to benefit Sea Bright Fire Rescue and the borough’’s recreation repartment. More info here. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

 

SEA BRIGHT: ALL FIRED UP FOR THE FAIR

sb-fire-fair-1-2009-500x375The Sea Bright Firemen’s Fair returns Thursday for a four-night stand of rides, music, games and great views.

On paper, the four-evening Sea Bright Firemen’s Fair would seem to have pretty much exactly what you’d expect of any small-town fundraiser carnival: the trucked-in rides, the games of chance, the food vendors, the local music.

But to residents of the greater Red Bank Green, the annual fair always meant something more, signaling as it does the start of the summer fun season, every bit as much as the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair bookends the other side with one last bittersweet blast against the encroaching back-to-school blues.

Read More »

RUMSON: BLITHEWALD GARDEN IN PHOTOS

rumson blithewald 1 rumson blithewald 3The April 20 fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald, which was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase in the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea fundraiser, occurred the same morning that landscapers had put the finishing touches on a yard design called the Secret Garden.

Red Bank-based Siciliano Landscape, which oversaw the project with a landscaper from Marlboro, has posted a gallery of before-and-after photos of the garden, along with a link for those wishing to donate to the VNA. The now-canceled home tour was to be the nonprofit organization’s largest fundraising event of the year. (Photos courtesy of Siciliano Landscape. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: SOAKING IN THE FLAVOUR

rbiff 042515 20042615 rbflavourfest11Thousands of strolling-and-eating springtime revelers flooded the White Street parking lot for the annual Red Bank International Flavour Festival on a cool, partly sunny afternoon Sunday.

As usual, redbankgreen was there to capture dozens of sweet and savory moments. Are you in one of our photos? Check out the full array below.  (Photos by Susan Ericson, Trish Russoniello and John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Read More »

RUMSON: FIRE RULED AN ACCIDENT

rumson fire 042015 3Monday’s fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald appears to have been accidental, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office.

Spokesman Charlie Webster told redbankgreen on Thursday that investigators believe the fire began in a wall between a guest room and an en-suite bathroom on the second floor. But they were unable to determine if a live electrical circuit or equipment was the cause, he said.

At the time of the fire, Blithewald, on Buena Vista Avenue, was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea fundraiser fundraiser, which was to have begun Saturday but has now been cancelled. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RUMSON: FIREFIGHTER’S VIEW OF BLAZE

Here’s a Sea Bright firefighter’s view, courtesy of a helmet-mounted camera, of Monday’s fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald.

A message on the Sea Bright Fire Rescue Facebook page says this about the footage:

“We feel that releasing this film will not only give the public insight on what we do but will allow our brothers and sisters of the service an opportunity to better both themselves and ourselves in the future. The members made multiple attempts to try and gain control of the fire with an interior attack but were subsequently driven back. Please excuse some of the language as the guys were in the heat of the moment.”

 

RUMSON: ‘TOUGH SPOTS’ MADE FIRE DAUNTING

RUMSON FIRE 042115 2Blithewald as seen Tuesday morning. An area of the roof between two dormers showed heavy damaged, as seen below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

RUMSON FIRE 042115 1The fire that caused extensive to a 132-year-old Rumson mansion Monday proved a challenge to volunteer firefighters, some of whom were on the scene nearly seven hours, Chief Kevin McCarthy tells redbankgreen.

“It’s a big, older house, so there’s lots of tough spots to get into,” said McCarthy. “It took a while to get it all mopped up.”

There was no official word on a possible cause of the blaze. McCarthy referred questions to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, where a spokesman said information was not immediately available Tuesday morning.

Read More »

RUMSON: FIRE RIPS SHOWCASE MANSION

rumson fire 042015 2rumson fire 042015 1Fire caused extensive damage Monday afternoon to a Rumson home slated as the showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea fundraiser.

No one was injured in the four-alarm blaze at 76 Buena Vista Avenue, an 1880s-era mansion known as Blithewald. As of 3:30 p.m., three hours after the fire was reported, smoke could still be seen rising through the roof, which had gaping holes in it. There was no immediate official word on a possible cause.

“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said a heartbroken VNA volunteer who asked not to be named, standing outside the Blithewald gate.

The fire is the second tragedy in recent years to strike the VNA event. In 2013, a van shuttling tour participants hit a dumptruck in Rumson, causing at least one serious injury. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: APARTMENTS RAZED FOR PARK

sb anchorage 013115sb pole 110512Sea Bright’s Anchorage Apartments, left uninhabitable by the converging waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Shrewsbury River in Hurricane Sandy, were demolished Saturday.  Using Green Acres funding, the state plans to buy the complex, at the anchorage of the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge, and turn it into a 1.2-acre park. At right: during the October, 2012 hurricane, a utility pole became lodged in one of the first-floor units. (Photo above by Kenny Katzgrau. Click to enlarge)

 

 

SEA BRIGHT: SO LONG, SUMMER THRONGS

sh beaches 090114 2sb surfer 090114 1Beachgoers thronged the sands of Sandy Hook, above, and Sea Bright, right, on a hot, muggy Labor Day that marked the unofficial end of summer Monday. For locals, of course, a new season of free access to wide-open beaches begins.

More photos after the jump… (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: DONOVAN’S COMEBACK DELAYED

sb donovan's 040214The site of Donovan’s Reef in April. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

An ambitious plan to reopen a prominent Sea Bright bar by July 4 won’t meet its goal, the Star-Ledger’s website reports.

Bob Phillips, an owner of Donovan’s Reef, tells nj.com that the effort has been frustrated by his inability to obtain a loan from the federal government.

Still, the business, destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012, will reopen in scaled-down form this summer, with completion of a permanent new structure as early as November, Phillips tells the news organization.

Read More »

RED BANK: STREET FAIR BUSTLES

The spring edition of the Red Bank Street Fair drew hundreds of visitors downtown on a warm and sunny afternoon Sunday. The event was a fundraiser for the Police Benevolent Association and the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: WEDDING WALKERS BRAVE CHILL

rb wed walk 033014 5rb wed walk 033014 2Some 215 soon-to-be-married couples and their attendants endured a wet, chilly few hours Sunday for the latest edition Red Bank Wedding Walk, which puts the services of several dozen wedding vendors on display. A trolly and a hot beverage made the going a bit easier for one participant, above.

The event, the first since a Superior Court ruled last October that New Jersey must recognize same-sex marriage, attracted a number of same-sex couples, including a set of grooms-to-be who won one of the event’s prizes, according to officials at Red Bank RiverCenter, the organizer.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: DONOVAN’S TO REBUILD

donovan's 2 110312Donovan’s Reef as seen five days after Hurricane Sandy, above, and in better days, below. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Donovan's 10-07 2Smashed to splinters by Hurricane Sandy, Sea Bright’s venerated beachfront bar, Donovan’s Reef, will make it’s return this summer, an  owner tells redbankgreen.

The comeback, approved earlier this week by the borough planning board in a unanimous 8-0 vote, could begin with an the opening of tiki bar as soon as May 15, said Bob Phillips, who co-owns the business with two partners.

“Their mentality is, ‘We need you more than you need us,'” Phillips said of the board’s members.

Read More »

JOURNO’S RED BANK HOME IN SPOTLIGHT

rb fortune house 3 061213T. Thomas Fortune, below, will get a month of honor in February. Meantime, efforts to save his home on Doctors Parker Boulevard continue. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

T. Thomas FortuneNo sharp elbows were thrown. The words ‘Maple Cove‘ weren’t even mentioned.

In her first working session as a member of Red Bank’s otherwise all-Democrat borough council Wednesday night, Republican Cindy Burnham‘s debut act was to introduce a resolution designating February as T. Thomas Fortune Month in the borough.

The anondyne measure won unanimous approval, and opened up a discussion of where things stand with the house that Fortune lived in a century ago.

Read More »