FALL INTO ACTION FOR 28th BEACH SWEEPS

Trash from Atlantic City Sweeps_April 2012Over 65 coastal and waterfront sites, from Cape May to Middlesex Counties, will be cleaned by teams of volunteers during the annual Fall Beach Sweeps effort this Saturday, October 19.

From press materials furnished by Clean Ocean Action

More than 65 sites — including several in Red Bank, Sea Bright, and neighboring communities — will be descended upon by teams of volunteers this Saturday, October 19, as Clean Ocean Action (COA) invites citizens and organizations to participate in the 28th Annual Fall Beach Sweeps.

“Clean Ocean Action is excited to continue to integrate Beach Sweeps into the Waves of Action program, a year-long initiative to recover and restore the NY/NJ coastline after the devastation of Sandy,” commented Catie Tobin, Clean Ocean Action Ocean Advocacy and Education Fellow.

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INTRODUCING: CLASS ACT

CLASS-ACT_MIDDLETOWNToday, redbankgreen introduces a new occasional feature called Class Act.

Class Act reports news about local young people who’ve moved on to college and beyond to continue their education. We’ll be grouping them by town of residence and posting periodically. The first one is about Middletown residents who recently graduated from college, and one who’s still there, doing some esoteric research.

The feature is one of several new ones we’ll be rolling out on our all-new All Good page, which is dedicated to “news from a brighter future,” with special emphasis on the achievements and good works of kids, volunteers, charitable organizations and others who embody the spirit of a better world for all of us.

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LITTLE SILVER: BASEMENT FIRE INJURES ONE


The fire, at a vacant building formerly used by a landscaping company, broke out in the basement, officials said. (Click to enlarge)

A volunteer Little Silver firefighter suffered a minor injury while combating a smoky basement fire on Conover Place Monday afternoon, the Asbury Park Press reports.

The unidentified firefighter, one of more than 50 from four towns who responded to the 4:30 p.m. alarm, was treated on the scene for a leg injury, Fire Chief Andrew Smith told the Press.

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IN RED BANK’S GARDEN, A GARDENER BLOOMS

Rookie gardener Deb Jellenik shows off her harvest Wednesday morning. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

With backyard gardens around the Green yielding their early-August bounties, redbankgreen stopped by the Red Bank Community Garden to see how its first-year harvest is going. We found Deb Jellenik picking tomatoes and spoke with her about her experience thus far.

“I was a latecomer to the community garden,” says Jellenik, who was one of the last people to reserve a plot at the narrow, borough-owned parcel on Marion Street. But she’d been walking past the garden almost everyday, watching the plots take shape, when her desire for fresh tomatoes for making sauce spurred her to act.

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RED BANK: MONOC SETS RESPONSE TRIAL

A MONOC rig will be based in Red Bank, and respond only to in-town emergencies, during a two-month trial. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

It’s MONOC to the rescue in Red Bank, at least in the near term.

Hoping to address a chronic shortage of daytime emergency volunteers, the borough’s volunteer First Aid and Rescue Squad has negotiated a two-month trial under which the nonprofit EMT operation MONOC will keep an ambulance at the Spring Street station to respond to daytime calls, officials announced Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: COURT GETS ITS GAME BACK

Missing for years, the backboards and hoops at Montgomery Terrace have returned. (Photos by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Basketball hoops said to have been removed after a double shooting in 2007 are back at Red Bank’s Montgomery Terrace apartment complex on the West Side.

The return of the rims was praised by residents, who said the court will give idle youngsters an outlet. Last week, some kids talked about what the change means to them.

“I’m happy they’re back so kids can play here instead of in the parking lot, where people’s cars are,” a boy named Jayron told redbankgreen.

“And it’s good we have a place where we can chill, and hang out, and not argue,” added a girl, Nydasia.

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MIDDLETOWN: TWO FIREFIGHTERS HURT

Two volunteer firefighters suffered minor injuries in an early morning fire that tore through a Middletown beauty spa early Monday morning, according to a report on the Asbury Park Press website.

Police said one firefighter fell through the second floor, and a second was injured in a fall outside the Orange Skye Wellness Spa on Route 35, opposite Pine Street, where the fire was reported at about 3 a.m.  Both firefighters were treated and released from Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, the Press reported.

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SEA BRIGHT: DUNESDAY ROCKS THE BEACH

Continuing its bounceback from the walloping it took from Hurricane Sandy, Sea Bright brought its can-do spirit right to the water’s edge Saturday with Dunesday, a fundraiser for the borough fire and first aid squads.

A daylong series of musical acts entertained from a stage on the beach abutting the Mad Hatter bar, with headliners Brian Kirk and the Jirks playing an electrifying set punctuated by lightning over the ocean. (Photos by Sarah Klepner, Trish Russoniello and John T. Ward for redbankgreen.)

WEEKENDER: ON THE GREEN AND ON THE SAND

Contractors building a new staircase over the sea wall at the Mad Hatter in Sea Bright, where thousands of revelers are expected for the daylong Dunesday fundraiser. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, July 19:

LINCROFT: Royalty graces Brookdale Community College’s Lincroft campus as Shakespeare’s witty early comedy, “Love’s Labor’s Lost,” comes to the Great Lawn. Bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets (rain site: Performing Arts Center). The performance begins at 7 p.m. Park in lot 2. Lawn outside PAC building/Newman Springs Road/Route 520.

RED BANK: The versatile five-piece cover band Pez Head visits the Walt Street Pub for an invigorating Friday night set. The show pops at 8 p.m. 180 Monmouth Street.

RED BANK: Jazz pianist and pocalist Champian Fulton visits the Summer Jazz Café at Two River Theatre, presented by Jazz Arts Project. The series promises a big city club vibe with coffee and refreshments. The show begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are $22. 21 Bridge Avenue.

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NAVESINK RIVER: A PADDLE FOR A FRIEND

Jerry Conway out on the Navesink off Rumson last Sunday, warming up for this weekend’s event. (Click to enlarge)

Done1He’s got a bum shoulder, but that won’t stop Jerry Conway.

Twice in the past two years, the Middletown resident and devoted paddle-boarder has taken on big, open-water challenges to raise money for a cause that’s dear to him: the health of Kevin Kret, a Middletown man who’s been in a coma since a skateboarding accident in July, 2009.

Two years ago, Conway participated in paddle race from Catalina Island to Manhattan Beach, California. Last year, he was part of a team that paddled the Atlantic Ocean along the entire New Jersey coast – about 130 miles over eight days.

So far, he’s raised $25,000 for Kret’s care and for innovative injured-brain research. Conway also paddles to raise awareness about helmet safety.

On Saturday, Conway, 51, and his 19-year-old son Luke, will take on a lesser challenge in our beautiful Navesink River. But it’s lesser, at about 12 miles, only because Conway’s going in for surgery next month to replace his right shoulder.

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FAIR HAVEN: NEVER-ENDING WAR WITH VINES

Jeff Dement gives a lesson in tree identification during Saturday’s walk through the Fair Haven Fields Natural Area. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

The Fair Haven Fields Natural Area Committee is engaged in a quiet, prolonged battle, one of forest versus invasive vines that have become familiar in Monmouth County.
About 20 people turned out Saturday to witness the ground gained in the war on a walk guided by Jeff Dement of the American Littoral Society. He pointed out the different types of invasive plants, including Oriental bittersweet and Japanese honeysuckle.
“The way vines kill is by robbing trees of sunlight,” he said. “The forest is all about competition, usually for sunlight.”

TWO SLIGHTLY INJURED IN TINTON FALLS FIRE

Smoke pours from the house at 85 Reeds Road Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Two Tinton Falls volunteer firefighters were treated for injuries sustained during a noontime fire in Tinton Falls on Thursday, according to a fire official.

Tinton Falls Engine Company #1 Chief Mark Park told redbankgreen that both firefighters were taken to nearby hospitals – one for an unspecified leg injury and the other for heat exhaustion suffered in fighting the blaze, at 85 Reeds Road.

Neither’s injuries were serious, he said, and no one was in the house at the time of the fire, reported at 12:01 p.m.

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SEA BRIGHT: COUNSELING SERVICE AVAILABLE

Greg Russo records an interview with Sea Bright resident Joey, who declined to give his last name, for a video blog. Below, cubicles set up for private consultations in the borough community center. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Six months removed from Hurricane Sandy, Sea Bright residents are still grappling with recovery and rebuilding challenges.

According to the borough’s volunteer coordinator, Frank Lawrence, many residents continue to face an uphill battle with insurance and construction issues, financial woes and severe emotional strain.

To help its residents deal with these overwhelming problems, the borough has partnered with several local and national charities to put together the Sea Bright Resource Center, a place where case managers, counseling services and more are readily available free of charge.

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RED BANK: REMOVING ‘CRAP’ LEFT BY OTHERS

Boris Kofman, above, and Michael Paul Raspanti, below, during Saturday’s riverfront cleanup on Red Bank’s West Side. (Photos by Wil Fulton, above, and Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Duane Bowker stood in the wooded area above the Swimming River in Red Bank and pointed.

“Some roofer, this is his favorite place to throw his crap – and drink beer,” he said. “Over here is a plumber’s favorite place to throw his crap.”

The occasion was Saturday’s cleanup effort by members of the borough Environmental Commission and the environmental nonprofit Clean Ocean Action. They teamed up to tackle a riverbank full of tires and construction debris at the western end of Drs. James Parker Boulevard.

OH, BABY, ANOTHER TODDLIN’ WEEKEND

A video promo for ‘The Electric Baby,’ which opens tonight at the Two River Theater. Author and motivational speaker Selwyn Collins, below, makes an appearance at the Red Bank Public Library on Saturday.

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, April 19:

LINCROFT:  Presented by Make it Better for Youth and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County, “Breaking the Silence, Celebrating Our Voices” concludes the “Day of Silence,” a national student-led action in honor of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and their families and friends taking a stand against bullying, harassment, abuse and more. Performances by Kailynn Barbour, poet, blogger and 2012 recipient of the Lionel Cuffie Award for Activism and Excellence, and the New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus begin at 7 p.m. 1475 West Front Street.

RED BANK:  “The Electric Baby” births at Two River Theatre.  The drama follows three different pairs – a middle-aged couple, ahopelessly devoted lover and the apple of her eye, and a Romanian mother and Nigerian father caring for their child – who discover the ways in which their lives are connected.  The play, by Stefanie Zadravec, runs through May 5. Tickets are $24-$42 and the show begins at 8 p.m. 21 Bridge Avenue.

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BOONDOCKS LOBSTER SHACK WILL BE BACK

Hundreds of food lovers turned out at the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank Thursday night for a fundraiser to help Kelly Ryan rebuild her Hurricane Sandy-damaged restaurant, Boondocks Fishery. The Navesink Business Group organized the event, with participation by restaurants under the Red Bank Flavour umbrella.

Ryan, who had already raised $8,000 toward her $30,000 goal on indiegogo, told redbankgreen that sheetrock went up in her lobster shack – located on the Navesink River adjacent to Marine Park –  earlier Thursday, and she’s shooting to reopen May 14.

The Oyster Point, too, was knocked out by the October 29 storm, returning to normal operations in February. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: GARDENERS FINALLY DIG IN

Members of Junior Girl Scout Troop 1556 working the soil on the first day of planting Saturday. Below, Linda Mulhausen stakes a plot. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

From the intricacies of composting – weeds in or out? – and soil amendments to the development of a satisfactory water plan, the Red Bank Community Garden has finally come into being. And there’s still room for more gardeners.

After political battling last year over where to site the garden, gardeners got oriented last Tuesday night, meeting with RBCG committee members and several local experts who have been part of the two-and-a-half-year process of establishing the facility.

On Saturday, under bright spring skies, the urban farmers tilled soil for the first time.

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SEA BRIGHT DOUSES SECOND FIRE OF DAY

Sea Bright firefighters on the scene of a vacant-house fire at the Carriage House Marina. (Click to enlarge)

A portion of Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright was closed to traffic at midday as firefighters attacked their second blaze of the day Thursday.

A fire at a vacant house on the property of Carriage House Marina, at 1202 Ocean Avenue, was quickly doused following a noontime alarm, said Councilman Read Murphy, a member of the volunteer fire squad.

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SEA BRIGHT: OPERATION SHEETROCK TRIMMED

The rebuilding of a public access stairway over the sea wall is among the projects in the scaled-back volunteer outreach, says coordinator Frank Lawrence, below. (Photo below by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Last month, Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long offered college students an altruistic alternative to the traditional debauchery-laden spring break: come help residents hang wallboard and make other repairs to their storm-battered homes.

Operation Sheetrock,” she dubbed it.

But with spring break now underway or rapidly approaching, few residences are ready for wallboard hanging, and won’t be for at least a few more weeks, according to borough volunteer coordinator Frank Lawrence.

“So many homes don’t have heat or electricity yet,” Lawrence said, “so a lot of the walls inside these houses are holding moisture. If we hang sheetrock over the walls right now, the moisture will be trapped inside, and when the weather warms up, mold will inevitably grow inside the walls. It’s the perfect environment”

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SEA BRIGHT: KNITTING AS SANDY THERAPY

Megan Heath Gilhool first picked up her needles in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, when she was in “full panic mode,” she said. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Move over, yarn spinning and yarn bombing. A new knitting-based activity has entered the region’s post-Sandy lexicon: Yarn Therapy

“I think the whole activity of knitting in itself is extremely therapeutic,” said Megan Heath Gilhool, an artist and prime force behind the newly instated weekly knitting sessions taking place inside Sea Bright’s community center Thursday nights.

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RED BANK: REFLOATING A LOBSTER SHACK

Kelly Ryan at her storm-damaged Red Bank restaurant on Tuesday. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

“When people think of Sandy’s impact on Red Bank, most will say that the town didn’t get it so bad,” says Kelly Ryan, owner of the Boondocks Fishery, a summer-only, open-air eatery that’s been serving lobsters and scallops adjacent to the Navesink River and Marine Park for the past four years. “But I guess they haven’t seen this place.”

“We came back here the day after the storm, and my first reaction was ‘Oh my God, the building is still standing,'” she said. “But once we looked inside, we understood that even though the structure was still up, the insides were completely devastated.”

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CHRISTIE, HUD SECRETARY TOUT SANDY AID

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, center, with local merchant Frank Bain, left, outside the Sea Bright firehouse Thursday. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Governor Chris Christie made yet another stop in Sea Bright Thursday afternoon, this time joined by federal Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan to tout the first allocation of money from a $60 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package passed by Congress last month.

“Just yesterday, I was able to say to the governor, here is $1.8 billion to help this state, and Sea Bright, start on the road to a full recovery,” Donovan said. “The law said we had to get that money out in 60 days, we did it in one-tenth that time – the fastest we’ve ever made an allocation of that funding.”

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SEA BRIGHT TO MUSTER SPRING BREAK MUSCLE

By DAN NATALE

Forget the wet tee-shirt contests and beer-soaked bacchanals of spring break in Florida. Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long has another offer for college students:

Come to the real Jersey Shore to get your hands dirty and your shirt soaked in your own sweat, for a good cause.

Frustrated by Congressional foot-dragging on post-Hurricane Sandy funding, and looking at the prospect of another six months before the town sees a dime of the $60 billion package lawmakers finalized this week, Long said it’s up to the town to rebuild itself. And to do so, she hopes to tap into the good will of people who are aching to help and don’t mind smacking their own thumbs on occasion with a hammer.

“We’re trying organize a volunteer effort that mirrors what happened here two months ago, when thousands of volunteers organized to clean out” storm-wracked homes and stores, Long told a packed town hall meeting Wednesday night. “We want to bring in groups of skilled volunteers that will hang Sheetrock, do subflooring, and do light carpentry.”

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