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A PLAYGROUND GROWS IN RED BANK

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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RFH STUDENTS EARN NAT’L MERIT HONORS

rfh meritRFH students recently honored by the College Board are, clockwise from top left, William Kyle Burnett, Reghan Pattwell, Ralph DelNegro, Jacqueline Gottuso, Connor Swikart, and Leela Srinivasan. (click to enlarge)

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Six students attending Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School have been honored by the College Board for their scores in the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

RFH senior Leela Srinivasan has been named a Semifinalist in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program. The nationwide pool of 16,000 Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

Seniors William Kyle Burnett, Jacqueline Gottuso, Ralph DelNegro, Reghan Pattwell, and Connor Swikart have been named Commended Students in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program.

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R-FH STUDENTS SET TO MIX IT UP AT LUNCH

Peer Leadership Pic Oct 2012Student Peer Leaders at Rumson-Fair haven Regional High School met last year to discuss the Mix It Up at Lunch” event and other activities associated with friendship and respect. Similar activities are planned for this year as well. (click to enlarge)

Students at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School will once again join more than one million others across the country by taking part in the 12th annual “Mix It Up at Lunch Day” on October 29.

RFH has participated in the event, designed to help break down social and racial barriers, since its inception in 2002.

‘Mix It Up at Lunch Day’ is a great way to meet students who you’ve never met before and make new friends,” said Jeremy Susser, a Senior at RFH and a member of the Peer Leaders student organization.

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WEEKEND: POP-UP CHILLS, TOP-DOWN THRILLS

halloween 2011 1The 66th annual Red Bank Halloween Parade assembles on East Bergen Place Sunday afternoon for its colorful walk downtown. Below, the Ghoul Scouts of Brookdale Haunted Theater commandeer the BCC PAC building for two weekends of wild walk-throughs. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, October 18:

haunted-theater-a-haunted-attraction-nj_4009LINCROFT:  The real-life horrors of Hurricane Sandy’s dark and drear aftermath forced even the ghouls and goblins to take a back seat last year — but undead and undaunted, they rise again for another seasonal go, as Brookdale Haunted Theater takes over the Performing Arts Center for two big weekends, in a presentation created and performed by past and present members of the school’s Theater Club program. For a ticket price of $10 ($8 seniors, $5 kids and students), patrons are ushered into the PAC’s auditorium (parking lot 2 on the Lincroft campus), split into groups of 10 to 15, and guided through a winding corridor that features live-action dioramas, scarifying skits and the dreaded POP-UP, which is to horror as the PUN is to humor. The creepy crew runs tour groups through its backstage maze of interactive fright environments beginning 7 pm, Friday through Sunday nights (October 18 to 20 and 25 to 27), with “Not-So-Haunted” Scareless tours for younger crowds running from 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Brookdale staff and students with current ID will be admitted for a bargain-dungeon price of $5, during a special “private screaming” session on Thursday, October 24. Tickets available at the creaking door; more info at (732) 224-2411.

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R-FH GIRLS NOTCH BIG VICTORIES THIS FALL

JesseRigbyCarolineHeinsCaroline Heins and Jesse Rigby were announced as winners at the Monmouth County Girls Tennis Tournament on September 21 and 22.

A major first place finish for the girls’ cross country team this past weekend, and a recent doubles victory in the Monmouth County Girls’ Tennis Tournament, brought home the glory to the girls’ athletics program at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

Senior Carolyn Heins and junior Jesse Rigby, who play as number two doubles on the Varsity Tennis Team at Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School, prevailed in the semifinals over Manasquan High School, at the Tournament held September 21 and 22 at Tindall Park in Middletown. Heins and Rigby were down 8-3 in the 10-point tiebreaker of the third set, and came back to win with a score of 10-8.

Also making it into the semifinals of the tournament were freshman Katie Foos and junior Phoebe Short at number one doubles; junior Sophie Pavluk at number two singles; sophomore Katie Kane at number three singles; and Abbey Weis and Tara Sulak at number three doubles. Freshman Camryn Short, a number one singles player, made the quarterfinals.

The RFH tennis team also made an impact with a 3-2 victory over Marlboro in the Shore Conference Girls Tennis Tournament on September 26, which included a first singles victory by Short over Marlboro’s Hayley Barnett with scores of 6-3 and 6-4. The number-five seeded RFH team prevailed over the fourth-seeded Marlboro team to earn a trip to the semifinals, where they faced the top-seeded team from Holmdel High School. Holmdel prevailed in that match where, according to RFH Tennis Coach Maria Manley, “Our girls played tough and I think we gave Holmdel a scare.”

“As the season progresses, I only see us getting better as a team,” said Manley. “Our net game is improving with every match, and that is what will make the difference.”

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CARNIVAL SETS THE STAGE FOR R-FH VS. RBR

IMAG0602Participants enjoy last year’s inaugural RFH Homecoming Carnival, which was held in the school’s gym due to rain. This year’s event is scheduled for October 4 from 5-8 pm on the school grounds.

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School has announced that its second annual Homecoming Carnival will be held adjacent to Borden Stadium on the RFH school grounds on Friday, October 4 from 5 to 8 p.m.

The Homecoming Carnival is open to the general public as well as RFH students. The Carnival will offer a variety of fun activities for all ages including an inflatable moon bounce, obstacle course, basketball challenge, wrecking ball, Euro bungee, dunk tank, and carnival games. Also featured as part of the festivities will be glitter and henna tattoo artists, a balloon artist, a stilt-walker, music, and more.  Food will be available for purchase at the newly renovated RFH Dawghouse concessions facility.

Admission to the Homecoming Carnival is $5.00, with the exception of RFH students with SGA cards who will not be charged. If inclement weather occurs, the Homecoming Carnival will be held in the high school’s gymnasium.

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SEA BRIGHT TO TAKE IT BACK TO THE BEACH

sb mount sandy 3 112112‘Mount Sandy’ and the small mountain of storm debris are gone from the beach, where Sea Brighters will gather on October 29. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

How does one mark the anniversary of a once-in-a-lifetime storm that destroyed one’s home or business?

In Sea Bright, residents and merchants will note the year-ago devastation of Hurricane Sandy on October 29 with a quiet potluck dinner and a bonfire on the beach to demonstrate their own resilience and determination to recover, recreation director Kathy Morris tells redbankgreen.

“It’s going to be very low-key,” Morris said, “just a place for us to meet, greet and chat.”

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R-FH GRADS EMBARK ON AFRICAN ADVENTURE

20130910_185631Leah Small and Olivia Brown, two members of the 2009 RFH Graduating Class, are heading to Burkina Faso in West Africa to provide Health Care services as Peace Corps volunteers. (click to enlarge)

By Mary Ann Kampfe, RFHRHS Public Relations

Two members of the same Rumson-Fair Haven High School graduating class will be among 39 Peace Corps volunteers heading to Africa this October.

Olivia Brown and Leah Small, both 2009 graduates of RFH, will be providing health services counseling to mothers and their children in Burkina Faso. This small landlocked country, located in West Africa, is a rural region encompassing 105,900 miles.

“This was a welcome surprise and a complete coincidence,” said Brown. “We were recruited out of two different places.”

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WALKING THE WALK FOR WELLNESS IN RB

walkers-102012-500x339Participants in the 2012 Community Walk close the loop on their one-mile stroll through two borough parks. The rain-or-shine event returns to Red Bank’s two waterfront parks on Saturday, September 28. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse)

Press release from Borough of Red Bank

Councilman Michael DuPont, who serves as liaison to the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign Committee, has announced that the group will hold its 2nd Annual Community Walk on Saturday, September 28, 2013.

The walk will kick off at 10 am in Marine Park with a 9:30 registration and will be held rain or shine.  Participants who finish the walk will be given a raffle ticket and will be eligible for prizes including the grand prize of a bicycle from The Red Bicycle.  One adult bicycle and one youth bicycle will be awarded along with gift certificates and more.

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R-FH ENCOURAGES STUDENTS TO ‘BRING IT’

r-fhBy MARY ANN KAMPFE/ RFHRHS Public Relations

Students at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School are now toting something extra to their classrooms along with the usual pencils and notebooks.

This month, R-FH has introduced a new initiative called BRING IT!h. BRING IT! allows students to use their own electronic devices to get a leg up on learning. Devices such as personal laptops, electronic tablets, notebooks, and other mobile devices can be brought to school and connected to the Internet through the district’s WiFi connection.

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LUNCH BREAK FACING SEVERE SHORTAGE

empty pantry

Bare shelves indicate a critical shortage of food items at Lunch Break’s Red Bank facility. The charitable nonprofit that marks 30 years of service in 2013 is putting out the call for more food donations in advance of its October fundraising gala.  (Click to enlarge)

Press release from Lunch Break

Founded in 1983 as the first Monmouth County soup kitchen and pantry by a group of concerned citizens, Lunch Break is currently the largest and most accessible such facility.  Today, Executive Director Gwendolyn Love, her staff, and more than 2,000 volunteers continue that original commitment and so much more — but even as the nonprofit prepares to celebrate 30 years of service to the community, the director points out that “our resources are critically low.”

“With summer vacation over and the push to get kids back to school and the signs of fall popping up everywhere, at Lunch Break the sign of fall is bare shelves in the pantry,” says Love.  “The toughest times of year for us are September and October, as well as February and March, where we face critical shortages. We try to plan for these months, but with the daily increase in demand for our services, when the food is gone, it’s gone.  It’s heart wrenching to plan and not be able to meet the need.”

“Unfortunately, it’s a sign of the times,” said Love.  In a study released last week by the Legal Services of the New Jersey Poverty Research Institute it was concluded that over two million people in New Jersey struggle to meet their basic needs.  This represents a significant increase of over 300,000 since the beginning of the economic recession.

RBR’S KELLER HONORED BY AREA NONPROFIT

SuzanneKellerFollowing a year of extraordinary challenges to the Red Bank Regional community, Suzanne Keller of The SOURCE at RBR has been honored for her exemplary coordination of the school-based program.  (Click to enlarge)

By MARIANNE KLIGMAN
RBR Community Information Officer

Suzanne Keller of Red Bank Regional (RBR) was recently honored by the non-profit Community Affairs and Resource Center (CARC) with its Partner in Youth Development Award, for her work as the high school’s SOURCE coordinator.  The SOURCE is RBR’s School Based Youth Services Program, which provides students with a range of services from quality mental health counseling to learning support initiatives. CARC, formerly the Hispanic Affairs & Resource Center, is a social services organization operating in Asbury Park, Freehold and Red Bank.

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WEEKEND: FEASTS FOR ALL THE SENSES

Guitar slinger Matt O’Ree rocks Jamian’s, and an exhibit of contemporary at at Gallery U are among the weekend highlights. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, June 7

SHREWSBURY: Stay in touch with old friends using new technology. Alexander Saulon demonstrates how to use Skype and Facebook to connect with friends and family by using the guide he created to teach his mother. He will also discuss Internet security issues associated with social media websites. First Friday for seniors starts at 11 a.m. Middletown Public Library, 1001 Route 35.

RED BANK: VASARA, a group exhibition of contemporary art, celebrates its opening reception at Gallery U featuring mixed-media artwork by more than 20 talented artists. The reception runs from 6 to 9 p.m. 80 Broad Street.

RED BANK: Marty & the Martians invade the Walt Street Pub. The show starts at 8 p.m. 180 Monmouth Street.

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RED BANK: GENERATIONS OF MEATY WISDOM

Fourth-generation butcher Ralph Citarella, right, and long-time employee Kyle Powell carry on more than 113 years of meat-cutting tradition. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Bites1_SmallJust as in the Middle Ages, when last names like Baker, Taylor and Miller connoted the trade or profession of the family breadwinner, if “Citarella” were an occupation, it would now mean “dude who knows meat.”

In the late 1800s, Andrew Ralph Citarella left Naples, Italy, to settle in Red Bank, and soon began selling meat off of his front porch.

“He learned to cut meat by just doing it,’ says Ralph Citarella, fourth-generation butcher and current owner of Citarella’s Market, on Prospect Avenue. “Then he sent my great-grandmother [Carmela] to the meat houses [in Long Branch]. She learned the proper way, and then she taught him.

“So she taught my great-grandfather, and he taught my grandfather, and my grandfather taught my father, who taught me. It’s like an apprenticeship. It’s just years of a cutting apprenticeship.”

From the front porch, the first Citarellas moved to a store on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank. Sometime later, the shop relocated to Sea Bright, where Ralph’s grandfather and father, Andy, ran the business. The 1962 flood brought another relocation, to the Little Silver Shopping Center, where Andy ran the store. But in 1979, “he had to get out of there, because at that time it was really run-down, and the rent was going up, so he moved the store” to its current location, said Ralph. “He ‘moved a mile north,’ as he used to put it.”

redbankgreen sat down with Ralph at a picnic table beside the store recently to talk about meat, sauce and what makes a 100- plus-year-old family business tick.

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LET’S GIVE THIS WEEKEND A BIG HAND…

The Two River Theater has a full weekend in store, with a play opening Saturday and a Kids’ Day Sunday. Below, Geri Grey’s photo, ‘Many Hands,’ from the Sprung! show at Gallery U. (Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, April 5:

LINCROFT: Visit Brookdale Community College for the opening reception of Cotillion, the AFA Student Art Show, featuring works by Brookdale’s second-year fine art students. The reception will take place in the Center for Visual Arts Gallery from 5 to 7 p.m. The work will be on display until April 17. 765 Newman Springs Road.

RED BANK: SPRUNG! A group exhibition of contemporary art kicks off opening night at Gallery U. Celebrate and admire the work of more than 18 artists from 6 to 9 p.m. 80 Broad Street.

SHREWSBURY:  The Monmouth County Library hosts “Delectable Desserts: A First Friday for Seniors Program.” Watch the chefs from Atria Tinton Falls demonstrate their culinary skills as they whip up some decadent desserts. Sample the sweets and learn how to make the dishes featured; recipes will be available. Admission is free and the event starts at 11 a.m. 1001 Route 35 North.

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SEA BRIGHT: RECOVERY GETS PERSONAL

Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long, seen rallying her constituents in November, admits the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has begun to weigh on her. Social services agencies are beginning to address the emotional and psychological needs of storm victims. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Less than half in jest, Sea Bright’s can-do mayor acknowledged Wednesday night that the emotional and psychological strain of Hurricane Sandy recovery have taken a personal toll.

At a town hall meeting held in part to promote outreach programs to help residents map out their own rebuilding plans, Mayor Dina Long told a packed community center that five months after the storm all but obliterated the borough, the challenge of piecing it all back together sometimes gets to her.

“I have to admit I have a new favorite saying that’s in direct contrast with my old favorite saying, which was, ‘Do,’” Long said. “My new favorite saying goes something like this: ‘I feel like my head is going to explode! Do you guys feel like that?”

Groans of approval from the crowd showed the frustration was mutual.

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RED BANK STUDENTS TUNE IN FOR TECH JOBS

Students from Red Bank and elsewhere participating in a four-way conference in a telepresence room at AT&T Labs in Middletown, above. Coolspeak founder Carlos Ojeda Jr. addresses the students, below. (Photos by Lola Todman. Click to enlarge)

By LOLA TODMAN
Red Bank Charter School Intern

It was not a conventional office day for AT&T labs around the country Thursday. Instead of heading to their offices to deal with business matters, AT&T employees got ready for their fifteenth annual High Tech Day.

With more than 1,800 Hispanic students participating in 31 locations nationally, High Tech Day is an opportunity for adolescents to learn about the different jobs available in technology. Four of the schools involved sent a total of about 70 students to AT&T Labs in Middletown labs to participate: Red Bank Middle School, Red Bank Charter School, New Brunswick Middle School, and Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School.

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LITTLE SILVER: THOSE FLUTES ARE SUITE

The Festive Flutes performing the theme from the ‘Pink Panther’ films Thursday night. (Video by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

The Little Silver Public Library served up a some aural treats Thursday night via the Festive Flutes‘ presentation of its “Suites for the Sweets” program.

“A suite is made up of a group of short, individual pieces that have a relationship with each other and a theme that ties them together,” Marjorie Koharski, founder and director of the Festive Flutes, said, pre-program “So even though we stop playing, please hold your applause till we finish the suite.”

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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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FLU VACCINE IN SHORT SUPPLY

By DAN NATALE

Amid a widespread and virulent outbreak of winter flu, immediate prospects for prevention are slim, local health workers say.

According to employees at the Red Bank Rite Aid, demand for flu shots has jumped dramatically in recent days. Jessica Uddo, an employee in the pharmaceutical department, said that activity jumped from between five and seven flu shots a day to about 15 people seeking shots every hour.

“It’s been crazy,” said Paul Mayer, store manager. “People even came in with medical masks a few times each day.”

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STEWART, WILLIAMS TAKE IT TO THE COUNT

Locally connected guys Brian Williams and Jon Stewart — pictured during one of the NBC news anchor’s frequent appearances on THE DAILY SHOW — team up on December 16 for a Hurricane Sandy Relief fundraiser at the Count Basie, with tickets going on sale at noon today.

By TOM CHESEK

Ask anyone who’s ever wound up in line with him at Welsh Farms or Super Foodtown. Scroll through those tweets and Facebook posts from your sister-in-law who was seated at the very next table from him at Blue Water Seafood. Remind yourself that of all the refuges in this great land, the most recognized political satirist of our time chose to make his double-wide domicile on the Red Bank side of the Navesink (a scoop first reported right here on redbankgreen). No two ways about it — Jon Stewart is a Local Guy.

Then consider the case of the internationally renowned newsman, whose first job in media was delivery boy for the old Courier weekly in Middletown. A major figure on the national scene, whose interviews are frequently peppered with references to Brookdale Community College, or the former Perkins Pancake House on Route 35. From his days at Mater Dei High School to his time as a volunteer firefighter, Brian Williams remains at heart a Local Guy.

Although the host of The Daily Show and the anchor of NBC Nightly News have sometimes blurred the discussion of “which one’s the journalist, and which one’s the jokester,” the two titans of television have forged a fast friendship over the years — guesting on each other’s shows (with Williams tallying more than 20 shots on Stewart’s cablecast), and joining forces for the occasional tandem appearance. That is, when they’re not variously hosting the Oscars, reporting from war zones, interviewing heads of state, or drawing over 200,000 people to a rally at the National Mall.

On Sunday, December 16, the two locals team up once again for a one-time, one-of-a-kind live appearance — this time on the stage of the Count Basie Theatre, where they’re scheduled to sit down with moderator (and New York Times media reporter) Bill Carter in a free-form event from which all proceeds go to benefit Monmouth and Ocean Counties for Hurricane Sandy Relief, and for which tickets go on sale at noon today, December 5.

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SCHOOL RECALLS BIGHEARTED ALBERT MARTIN

Isaac Coates and Garret Sickels reflect on their classmate and teammate Albert Martin, who died suddenly Monday. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

Moving through the crowded hallways at Red Bank Regional, on the football field or in the paint on the school’s basketball court, Albert Martin cut an imposing figure.

In reality, though, he was six-foot-four and 220 pounds of “teddy bear,” a young man “just coming into his own” as a student and athlete, one with a future full of promise, his fellow students, coaches and others recalled Tuesday.

Less than 24 hours after collapsing during a basketball scrimmage, tearful members of the school community struggled to come to terms with the Red Bank 17-year-old’s sudden and thus-far-unexplained death.

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ON THE GREEN: LINEUP FOR A JINGLY WEEKEND

A horse named Prince makes his way down Broad Street during the 2011 holiday season. Horse-powered carriage rides resume on Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, November 30
MIDDLETOWN: Each year, Poricy Park Nature Conservancy hosts a seasonal shop with the help of a volunteer staff. Entering its 25th season, the handcrafted holiday craft shop runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through December 2. Items for sale include all homemade quilts, jewelry, ornaments, jams and jellies and more. Kids can also get their picture taken with Santa for a small fee. 345 Oak Hill Road.

RED BANK: Free yoga session at the Red Bank Public Library by Amy Richardson at 1 p.m. No registration required, bring your own mat. 84 West Front Street.

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