squad9The all-volunteer Fair Haven First Aid squad, members of which are pictured here performing an emergency procedure drill, has put out the call for men and women to join the ranks of the community first responders.

According to an alert circulated recently by the Fair Haven First Aid Squad, Getting an ambulance crew together during weekdays especially has gotten tough. Several of our members have retired and moved away; others have taken jobs outside of town.

The all-volunteer organization, a satellite unit of the Fair Haven Fire Company, is in particular need of “daytime members” — and it’s looking for men and women, 18 years of age or older, to join a crew that “respond(s) to roughly 500 calls each year, as well as supporting community events like Fair Haven Day and Harvest Fest.”

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The YMCA New Jersey Youth and Government Program will be sponsoring statewide service opportunities for high school students on December 14, 2013. Participants will be given the chance to volunteer their time and resources to soup kitchens, food banks, and hospitals across the state of New Jersey. This “Day of Service” will aim to empower youth and enable them to make a difference in their communities by aiding others.

This will be the youth leadership program’s third “Day of Service,” coordinated by the student leaders of the program. Previous participants have been from towns, high schools and YMCAs throughout the state. Collectively, over 200 teenagers have participated in the two prior “Days of Service.” Their contributions to their communities through this avenue has promoted and assisted over 15 separate soup kitchens and food banks.

To register or learn more about the opportunity, the interested public can email Program Director Michael Gallagher at, and keep themselves updated on the program’s Facebook page:


meg porter 2 111113Megan Porter at her Shrewsbury home earlier this month. Her husband, Cole, below, on the morning of his fatal accident. (Click to enlarge)


cole porter 091513He was going to win this one, his widow says.

Six years into a personal gut job, Cole Porter had transformed himself from a heavy-smoking, overweight electrician and handyman into… well, as his wife, Megan, put it, in a comically theatrical voice, “Cole Porter, you are ironman!

Ironman as in triathlete: swimmer, biker, runner. He’d gone all-in, and with such infectious energy that she followed his lead, as their two young daughters later did, too. It was something they all did together now. Even Faye, at age 10, had already completed an adult sprint tri.

At age 38, though, Porter had decided he would focus on cycling for the coming year. And onlookers that sunny September morning in Fair Haven should not have been fooled by all his laughing and chatting at the starting line – so much in fact that a race official asked him, please, sir, can we have your attention? That was just Porter being his irrepressible self. Inside, he carried a determination to win.

And, as if right on script, as the pack of whirring racers completed the first lap of the first race, Porter was in the lead when he spotted his three “girls” standing on the sidewalk.

Megan raised her camera and snapped a photo as he approached. He was smiling that smile that had captivated her from the day they met.

Seconds later, there was a crash.

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Sky SSOA Award 007From press materials furnished by Rumson-Fair Haven Regional HS

The Shore Soccer Officials Association announced that Rumson-Fair Haven Regional HS senior Schuyler DeBree (pictured) has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the John Cobb Girls Senior Excellence Award.

Presented each year since 1993 to one female and one male soccer player from Monmouth County, the awards are based on nominations from the honorees’ coaches, and are bestowed upon students who are “proven to embody the finest qualities of a scholar/athlete including demonstrated sportsmanship, playing ability, and scholastic achievement.”

Schuyler received the award plaque at a ceremony held on Thursday, November 14 at Hemingway’s Cafe in Seaside Heights.

RFH Girls Soccer Coach and Physical Education Instructor Mary Beth Coleman, who nominated Schuyler for the award, lauded her leadership qualities and commitment to community service.

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It was nippy outside Sunday evening, but at Red Bank’s Red lounge, it was a place to Go Naked. Dozens came out to the third annual Go Naked and Check Yourself fundraiser and (ahem) educational event held to raise awareness about skin cancer, breast cancer, testicular cancer and other detectable ailments. Once again, Red Bank’s Sugarush cupcakes and Sweetest Sin lingerie shops put the bounce in the event, which had previously raised more than $20,000 for health-related charities. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)


UCI-tony-macdonaldTony MacDonald, director of Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute, is the guest speaker at a November 25 event hosted at Brookdale Community College, by Red Bank-based NJ Friends of Clearwater.

From press materials furnished by New Jersey Friends of Clearwater

A guest lecture on the challenges facing protectors of coastal life and habitats. An ongoing volunteer cleanup effort at a local brook; a community planting of erosion-inhibiting beach grass — and of course, the annual holiday party.

It’s all on the coming weeks’ schedule for New Jersey Friends of Clearwater, the Red Bank-based grass roots nonprofit best known for its summertime Clearwater Festival of music, vendors, and environmental education. The all-volunteer organization established in 1974 (as Monmouth County Friends of Clearwater) is a year-round endeavor for the people who conduct beach clean-ups, teach sailing skills, deliver presentations at area schools, and help spread the word on controlling pollution, here in a region where extraordinary natural resources have shared space with one of the nation’s most concentrated population centers.

The year-end flurry of activity begins this coming Monday, November 25, when the Environmental Club at Brookdale Community College teams with NJFC and  the Monmouth County chapter of the NJ Sierra Club for a presentation on Environmental Challenges to the World’s Oceans, featuring Tony MacDonald, director of the Urban Coast Institute at Monmouth University.

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bud white 3 091013Charles ‘Bud’ White of Little Silver gets his first look at the Barefoot Bulletin in decades. Below, page one of the August, 1945 edition, dated five days before the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. The entire set of bulletins is now archived online. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


August 1945 Barefoot p1Seventy years ago, just about halfway through what was then proving an epic war fought on multiple fronts around the globe, a bunch of “the boys overseas” began getting mail from a Red Bank woman named Margaret Rullman.

They all knew her, or knew of her:  she was the wife of a prominent surgeon in town. And she knew all of 29 of them, or their families. Each of her recipients was an original member or connected to the Barefoot Yacht Club, an informal gang of river rats who had been sailing, skating and hanging out on the Navesink River for the past decade, since they were pre-teens.

Rullman – aided by Katherine Lippincott, mother of one of the boys, and Louise Sayre, whose daughter Barbara was the group’s only female – called her monthly missives the “Bare Foot Bulletin” in their honor, later shortening the first two words into one. The initial edition went out in September, 1943, and began with a parody of Joyce Kilmer’s poem “Trees:”

I think that I shall never see

An outfit like the BFC [Bare Foot Club]

A group that did in summer wear

A nest of seaweed in its hair…

Then Rullman got right down to the business at hand, which was letting the boys elsewhere know what was going on at home while also keeping them current on what their companions around the globe were doing in the war effort – information gleaned from their own letters sent stateside.

Over the next 29 months, including six editions after the war’s end, Rullman delivered the homefront news in snappy, affectionate, ‘you remember this guy’ prose that belied the awful carnage and heartbreak of war.

Charles ‘Bud’ White, now 90 years old and living in Little Silver, was one of the Barefooters, on Navy Patrol Craft Escort 856 in the South Pacific, far from his home on Red Bank’s Elm Place, when the letters started arriving.

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ymcaplaygroundIt took a team of 200 volunteers less than eight hours to build a new playground at The Community YMCA on Saturday, November 2.

Press release from The Communty YMCA

A dream is now a reality for children in Red Bank, as their drawings were turned into a new playground on Saturday, November 2. In less than eight hours, a play space was built at The Community YMCA’s Family Health and Wellness Center with the help of more than 200 volunteers from The Community YMCA, Good Neighbor Pharmacy and the non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground —which was made possible by funds donated by Good Neighbor Pharmacy and matched by its parent company, AmerisourceBergen — will serve hundreds of children in the community for years to come.

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HannahonePictured (from left to right) are VISIONS volunteers Hannah Burke, RBR student Hannah Haugenes of Little Silver, Anna Weissman (leader), and Dione McClenaghan constructing one of the five dog houses built for the ASPCA in Turkey Creek, Mississippi.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
Red Bank Regional High School student Hannah Haugenes of Little Silver, a creative writing major in the school’s Academy of Visual & Performing Arts, is fascinated by other cultures and believes in the importance of community service. She is also working toward an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma in the high school’s IB program. So when she contemplated how she would spend part of her summer vacation, Hannah was very excited to join a Visions Service Group (VISIONS) for a week of community service in the country’s Gulf Coast region, an area that still bears the scars of Hurricane Katrina.Working with 19 other high school students and guided by five chaperones from around the United States, Hannah helped revitalize community gardens, renovate houses, reinforce a bridge, and even build doghouses for a local animal shelter. She also served meals to the homeless and other people in need, in the historic community of Turkey Creek, Mississippi.Hannah states, “It was cool being in such a different place and learning about its rich history.”

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


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


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


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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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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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.)


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)


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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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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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)


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.”


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


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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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)


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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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)


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.