RED BANK: BURNHAM STILL FIERCE ON COVE

rb parking 041713The parking lot at Maple Cove, as viewed from the library property on West Front Street. Below, Councilwoman-elect Cindy Burnham with borough Administrator Stanley Sickels at a recent fire department event. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sickels burnham 120313Cindy Burnham may have broken the Democratic lock on Red Bank’s council, but she hasn’t abandoned the pet cause that got her there, or her style of defending it.

At several borough council meetings since winning election in November, Councilwoman-elect Burnham has stood at the commenters’ microphone and sparred with nearly all of her future colleagues on the governing body over the fate and history of Maple Cove, the town’s sole public Navesink River access. Burham is widely credited with having saved the site, at the north end of Maple Avenue, from possible development.

As she has for years, Burnham insists that the incumbents secretly want to sell the property to Hovnanian Enterprises, which owns abutting real estate. The latest evidence of the council’s intent, Burnham says, is the administration’s scheduling of a public forum on Monday, December 30, over whether to remove the site and another one at the public library from the town’s Recreation and Open Space Inventory, or ROSI.

One by one, as they have in the past, the Democrats insisted they do not, and – despite her repeated claims to the contrary – never have had plans to sell the site.

Read More »

WEEKEND: WHAT ARE YOU DOING OLD YEAR’S?

RibeyesThe Ribeye Brothers (above) bring their scrappy brand of “detached garage rock” back upside the Dub for a Sunday night see-off to the Year That Was. The annual performance of BLACK NATIVITY, below, finds room at the inn on the Count Basie stage for a Saturday matinee here in 2013. 

Friday, December 27:

blacknativityFAIR HAVEN: “Musicians love playing there,” said our old friend Siegfried “Sigi” Schock one recent night. “They get a great crowd; there’s cheap beer… AND you get paid.”

As it happens, that best-kept-secret venue is not some Flavor of the Month nightspot, but none other than the Knights of Columbus Red Bank Council 3187 in Fair Haven. The hall, at 200 Fair Haven Road, has been the scene for some successful benefit concerts in the past, although it’s also true that the KofC books bands on a consistent basis throughout the year. Tonight, between the hours of 8 and 11:30 pm, Council 3187 hosts singer-guitarist Robert Ender and his combo — familiar from well-received gigs at the Red Bank Guinness Oysterfest, the Dublin House, D’Jeet and other Shore area shindigs. Then on January 24, Sigi and his bandmates in Ziggy Shock keep the partyball rolling into Twenty-Fourteen.

RED BANK: It’s the FINAL weekend at Two River Theater for the remade/ remodeled family musical adaptation A Wind in the Willows Christmas — a production about which one wise hyperlocal stated, “it’s a show that’s succeeded in finding its heart.” Performances continue Friday (12 and 7 pm) and Saturday (12 and 4 pm), with a closing matinee at noon on Sunday. Take it here for tickets (adults $20 – $55; ages 18 and under $25) — and here for our review of the show, on redbankgreen.

Read More »

WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

Where_122613

Where Have I Seen This? wraps up 2013 with… a window on the future? A bit of light in the darkness? A cliché barrel whose bottom has been scraped?

If you know a better description, or – better yet – Where the above photo was taken, please send an email to wherehaveiseenthis@redbankgreen.com.

Read More »

RUMSON: ELECTRICAL FIRE DAMAGES HOME

rumson fire 122513 2A firefighter battling the blaze next to the chimney on Christmas Day. (Photos from Sea Bright Fire Rescue Facebook page. Click to enlarge)

Rumson fire 122513 1Fire damaged a Rumson home and sent two volunteer firefighters to the hospital Christmas Day.

Rumson fire Chief Jymm Fenn tells redbankgreen that the fire, at 7 Briarwood Drive, caused by faulty wiring, results in significant damage to the two-story structure.

Read More »

JUKES RING HAPPY NEW YEAR; HAPPY B’DAY NJ

SouthsideBasieNewYrsSouthside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes ring in the new year for the 15th time at the Count Basie Theatre on Tuesday, December 31 — a date that also sees the Basie cutting the ribbon on the first “pop-up store” dedicated to New Jersey’s 350th birthday campaign.

From press materials furnished by Count Basie Theatre

The New Year’s Eve performances by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes at the Count Basie Theatre have become a 15-year Jersey Shore tradition — and at Tuesday night’s countdown concert, the Basie will kick off New Jersey’s 350th birthday celebration year with the opening of the first official New Jersey 350 Pop-Up store, commemorating three and a half centuries of life in the Garden State. A group of dignitaries will be cutting the ribbon on the Pop-Up in a ceremony at noon on December 31.

The Red Bank store will be located onsite at the Basie, just next door to the theatre’s Carlton Lounge. The Pop-Up stores will travel to venues and events around the state throughout 2014.

NJ350 Pop-Up stores will specialize in merchandise with a unique New Jersey focus. Featured products are what curators have dubbed “Jerseyana.” Included are the “Jerseyopoly” board game and “Goodnight Jersey” children’s book, as well as NJ350 and state-branded merchandise; educational items; items specific to the history of Red Bank and the Count Basie Theatre; Governor Chris Christie’s popular state-silhouette lapel pin and more. The Red Bank location will remain open through January 6, 2014.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN WARMS TO POND OFFER


Schwenker’s Pond, on River Road, empties into Shippee’s Pond and then the Navesink River. The long-vacant Doremus house, below, was demolished earlier this month. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

doremus-houseThe last time developer David Carr tried giving Schwenker’s Pond to Fair Haven, borough officials pretty much told him to go jump in it.

Then-Mayor Mike Halfacre and the borough council, citing cleanup costs and other potential liabilities, rejected the offer.

But that was seven years ago. Today, the borough appears far more receptive to the offer.

Read More »

WEATHER: THIS IS WINTER?

navesink fog 122313 2Clouds above and clouds below as fog lay like a blanket on our beautiful Navesink River Monday morning, as seen from the home of a redbankgreen reader from Riverside Towers in Red Bank. Expect rain, possibly heavy at times, and temperatures in the mid-50s, according to the National Weather Service. (Click to enlarge)

LITTLE SILVER: FIRST WALK THROUGH HISTORY

ls parker 122213 2

ls parker 122213 3Dozens of visitors toured Little Silver’s Parker Homestead, which opened to the public Sunday for the first time since it was deeded to the borough in 1996. Among the displays was a Parker family genealogy tree hung on a door, at right. The Rumson Road farmhouse, dating to the early 1700s, and three barns built in the 1800s are facing extensive restoration. (Click to enlarge)

MIDDLETOWN: ARREST IN DRUG ROBBERY

AUTHORITIES_MTOWN2•Middletown police released the following on Friday afternoon regarding a robbery Thursday evening:

On December 19, 2013 at approximately 6:45 p.m. the Middletown Police Department responded to a report of an armed robbery at the Rite Aid Pharmacy located on Newman Springs Road in Lincroft, NJ. The suspect, Jayson Turegano, age 24, from Hurley’s Lane in Lincroft, NJ, entered the store and jumped over the pharmacy counter. Turegano then grabbed the pharmacist, placed a scissor blade to his neck, threatened him and demanded Oxycodone pills. He then fled the store with a bottle of pills.

Read More »

RED BANK: JEWELER FEELING THE VIBE

alexandani 2 122013alexandani 1 122013Alex and Ani, the Red Bank jewelry store with crystals embedded in its walls for positive spiritual energy, has been feeling the spirit of the season in recent days, with so many customers that it has to limit the number who can enter at any one time, said store employee John Pal, who was manning the door Friday afternoon. Amanda Warnock, right, was there for some more bracelets. (Click to enlarge)

 

PIEHOLE: A CHRISTMAS FEAST

tiki sunsetThere’s a whiff of the sea to go with your evening cocktail at the newly opened Tiki Bar at Driftwood in Sea Bright.  (Click to enlarge)

PIEHOLE logoredbankgreen’s PieHole is all about local food and drink. If you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet or followed us on Twitter, you may have missed some of these recent stories…

PieHole sat down with some Italian moms to learn what you need to know to buy, roast and eat chestnuts.

• When it comes to the main ingredient of a Philly cheese steak, Silvio Fabbri of Umberto’s in Fair Haven has no patience for “cheap ****.”

Read More »

RED BANK: LEE BOWS OUT

sharon lee 121813Sharon Lee at her final council meeting Wednesday night, above, and below with her son, Devon Ramsay, on election night. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sharon lee 110513Sharon Lee was three years old when her family moved from its longtime home in Red Bank to Germany. Six years later, when the family was abuzz with talk about “going home,” she was confused, she said. She couldn’t remember any other home.

“I finally understood when I got here,” the borough native said Wednesday night, in her final session as a borough council member.

Read More »

WEEKEND: A HOMECOMING FOR NJ SUPERSTARS

jacquie1It’s a Count Basie Homecoming for JACQUIE LEE — seen here performing at a 2012 Rockit! concert in Red Bank — when the VOICE runner-up who wowed everyone from Jennifer Hudson to Lady Gaga returns as part of A SOULED-OUT CHRISTMAS on Saturday. Meanwhile, Ms. Lauryn Hill (below) has rescheduled her Sunday “Homecoming” show at the Basie to February 7, 2014.

Friday, December 20:

RED BANK: “Life can get pretty hectic and crazy the week before Christmas,” says Gerda Liebmann, the internationally exhibited multimedia artist who established Gallery 135 in the second-floor space shared by Red Bank Community Church. With that in mind, Liebmann comes to The Oyster Point Hotel for a special opening event that “gives everyone a chance to take a little step back from the madness, and enjoy some artwork that hopefully will induce a little serenity into their holiday season.”

view_image.aspThe artist will be present for a Friday evening reception (6 to 8 pm) for a display of encaustic paintings — an ancient technique that uses beeswax, resin and pigments melted together — that includes a set of banners based on the Christmas narrative, and abstract paintings (on wood and paper) that include tea and tea leaves. The paintings remain on display at the Bodman Place hotel through the end of December, and are available for purchase as a unique Christmas gift — call Gerda at (732)687-3580 for more info.

RED BANK:  One week after celebrating the feast days of Our Lady of Guadalupe with a procession that brought hundreds of marchers out on a frosty Red Bank evening, the Music Ministry at St Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church takes it indoors — with a special Christmas concert presented in association with the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library. The 8 pm event,   a performance of Handel’s Messiah and traditional Christmas carols, spotlights the Trenton Diocesan Festival Choir and Orchestra under the direction of Shawn T. Mack — with soloists Lauren Walters (soprano), Jody Doktor (mezzo soprano), Justin Gonzalez (tenor), and Wilbur Lewis (bass). Call (732)747-0813 ext. 10 to reserve tickets ($20.00 adults; $10.00 students). Church doors open at 7 pm as part of a silent auction and raffle of gift baskets, to benefit the Friends of the RBPL and their work on behalf of the Library.

Read More »

WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

Where_121913B

‘Tis always the season for Where Have I Seen This?, the year-round test of your knowledge of landmarks on the sparkly place we call the Green.

Do you know Where this week’s photo was taken? If you’d like to guess, please send an email to wherehaveiseenthis@redbankgreen.com.

Read More »

SHREWSBURY BLOTTER

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of December 7 to December 13, 2013.

AUTHORITIES_SBURY1Report of Theft by Deception in the area of Meridian Way on 12/12/13. Victim reports being contacted via telephone by unknown subject claiming they had won a sweepstakes. Victim was asked to mail out cash in order to claim prize. Sgt. Michael Gallagher investigating.

Arrests

David P. Rakowski, male age 34 of Clarksburg was arrested for Contempt of Court on 12/8/13 in the area of Broad Street by Sgt. Adam Cerminaro.

Read More »

RED BANK: FIXX GETS 20-DAY SHUTDOWN

fixx 102113The settlement of charges calls for the West Front Street bar to meet a list of conditions involving security. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank nightclub Fixx, the scene of two sprawling street melees earlier this year, will close for 20 days next month under a deal approved by the borough council Wednesday night.

When it reopens, on or after January 21, the West Front Street bar will have to beef up security, report monthly to the police chief and hand over a list of the names of banned or ejected patrons, among other measures, Mayor Pasquale Menna said shortly before the council unanimously approved the deal.

“This demonstrates the seriousness, the severity and, pardon the pun, the sobriety with which the council is looking at this,” Menna said.

Read More »

RED BANK: NEW CHIEF TAKES COMMAND OF PD

darren mcconnell 2 121813Darren McConnell chats with Mary Ellen McCarthy, the widow of late Red Bank Police Chief Steve McCarthy, shortly before his swearing-in as McCarthy’s sucessor Wednesday evening.

McConnnell, 44, joined the department as 19-year-old patrolman, shortly after his graduation from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, and served most recently as a captain. He’ll earn a starting salary of $133,414 to oversee the 40-person department.

Also sworn in were four new patrolmen, including Cevin Albert, a Red Bank native who has worked in the department since 2008 as a dispatcher. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RUMSON: OXFORD WAS TO GO FEMALE

61 so ward rumson 101413The house at 61 South Ward Avenue has been occupied by Oxford House since August. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Officials overseeing Rumson’s Oxford House were planning to turn the four-month-old addiction recovery facility for men into one serving addicted women and their children by the end of the year, redbankgreen has learned.

What will become of that plan is unclear, however, in the aftermath of a purported second drug overdose at the house in nine weeks and the filing of a borough lawsuit that slams Oxford House as a failure on its own terms and a danger to the neighborhood.

Read More »

RUMSON: APPARENT OD SPARKS LEGAL ACTION

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02Rumson officials have launched an effort to evict the residents of an addiction-recovery house following what Mayor John Ekdahl called an apparent drug overdose there early Tuesday morning.

Ekdahl said the town filed suit in Superior Court in Freehold Tuesday afternoon asking for an order that Oxford House residents, at 61 South Ward Avenue, clear out immediately, and that Oxford be barred from using it as a home for drug addicts and alcoholics.

The action follows the overdose death of an Oxford House resident on October 13 and a medical emergency involving another resident shortly before dawn on Tuesday.

Read More »

RED BANK: McCONNELL TO BE NAMED CHIEF

darren mcconnell 081612Captain Darren McConnell is expected to be named chief of the Red Bank police department at Wednesday night’s borough council meeting, redbankgreen has learned. McConnell has been the officer in charge of the department since the September 23 death of Chief Steve McCarthy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

KIRK PLAYS SANTA, WITH HITMAKER HELPERS

LurieKirkKimballBandleader Brian Kirk (center) brings his Jirks back to the Basie stage on December 23, in a Santa for Lunch Break benefit that boasts the chart-topping voices of Elliot Lurie from Looking Glass (left), and Bobby Kimball from Toto (right).

By TOM CHESEK

Over the course of some two decades working favorite watering holes up and down the Jersey Shore — and building a solid following as a go-to group for weddings and corporate events — Brian Kirk & the Jirks have kept the party percolating by specializing in one thing: that attention compelling, wildly eclectic genre known as Other People’s Hit Songs.

This coming Monday, when the guys best known for their long tenure at Sea Bright’s much-missed Donovan’s Reef leave the bars behind for the grand proscenium of the Count Basie Theatre, they’ll be calling in reinforcements on the hitmen front — The Nerds, whose entertaining shtick and awesome chops have broken them out into the big world beyond Jersey. They’ll also welcome a couple of guys from out of town — the sort of men whose names and faces might not be known to all, but whose professional lives are all about The Hits. Who own The Hits.

The occasion is Santa for Lunch Break, a benefit for the borough-based nonprofit Lunch Break of Red Bank, and a sequel to last December’s sold-out Santa for Sea Bright event that raised crucial funds for the seagrass-roots organization Sea Bright Rising. Billed as a “variety show format” with “energetic music, bad jokes, and a little bit of ‘Bruce’ for a great cause,” the 8 pm concert follows in the spirit of Dunesday, the summertime series of beach-bash benefits that the enterprising Kirk maintained even after Superstorm Sandy dispatched Donovan’s to Davy Jones’ Locker — and that drew many thousands of faithful (including an enthusiastic Mr. Springsteen) to its open-air funraisers for neighbor families and community causes.

For the December 23 show in Red Bank, Kirk and his crew will share the stage with a couple of classic voices who are sure to strike a chord with anyone who never left home without a transistor radio or Walkman. Bobby Kimball is the vocalist whose time in Toto resulted in such Top Five hits as “Hold The Line,” “Africa,” and the Grammy winning “Rosanna” — while Jersey guy Elliot Lurie is none other than the singer and songwriter behind Looking Glass, and one of the most recognizable lite-rock bar anthems in all of human history, the 1972 Number One smash “Brandy.”

The Party Committee at redbankgreen spoke to busy bandleader (and owner of Red Bank-based Key Telecom Inc.) Brian Kirk as he made continued preparations for Santa’s wild ride.

Read More »

RUMSON: EMERGENCY REPORTED AT OXFORD

oxford house 121713Oxford House on South Ward Avenue at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A medical emergency at Oxford House, the controversial addiction recovery residence that opened in Rumson without public notice in August, had neighbors buzzing about a possible second overdose there Tuesday.

Police Chief Scot Patterson tells redbankgreen that paramedics were called to the house on South Ward Avenue sometime after 5:30 a.m. on a report of an unresponsive person inside. Paterson said he did not know the nature of the emergency.

“All I know is that when the person left, he was alive and being treated by paramedics,” Paterson said.

Read More »

A SECOND ‘WIND’ FOR A NEW TRTC TRADITION

Willows 2Becca Ayers (Mrs. Otter), William Thomas Evans (Dr. Badger) and Mike Faist (Mole) co-star in A WIND IN THE WILLOWS CHRISTMAS, the original family musical now onstage in a new encore production at Two River Theater. (photos by T. Charles Erickson; click to enlarge)

By TOM CHESEK

In an interview that appeared here last year on redbankgreen, composer Mike Reid had this to say about his working habits — and the creative process that spawned A Wind in the Willows Christmas:

“I just kind of let it rip, to remind myself of the saying that the first thought is the BEST thought. Let the initial impulse be your guide!”

Reid — the 1970s-era All Pro defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, turned Grammy winning Nashville singer-songwriter — must have had a change of game plan at halftime, as he and his creative partners (lyricist Sarah Schlesinger, book writer Mindi Dickstein) have returned to Red Bank with a re-imagined version of Willows, the original family show they developed for Two River Theater Company in 2012.

Now playing at Two River Theater through December 29, the musical (adapted from the familiar animal characters and tales by Kenneth Grahame) has been restaged with a new cast, new director, new production design, and a newly highlighted focus on the element of Christmas. And — as befits a simple story of one wetland creature’s quest for a home — it’s a show that’s succeeded in finding its heart.

Read More »

SNOW CARPETS THE GREEN AGAIN

rb snow 121713Snow made for some wheel-spinning and tentative driving on the Red Bank-area Green Tuesday morning, as seen above looking east along Pinckney Road in Little Silver. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Once again,there’s some significant variation in the forecasts:

National Weather Service:
Rain and snow, becoming all rain after 1pm. High near 38. Southeast wind around 7 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Total daytime snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

Weather Channel:
Snow this morning will transition to snow showers this afternoon. Some rain may mix in. High 34F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Snow accumulating 1 to 3 inches.

Read More »

RED BANK: WALGREEN’S AIRS TRAFFIC PITCH

walgreen's 121613Walgreen’s developer Marc Steinberg talks about the proposed store’s traffic flow with nearby resident Mary Todt during a break in Monday night’s planning board hearing. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Traffic would be a lot worse if a convenience store were built at the former Rassas Buick site in Red Bank instead of the Walgreen’s that’s proposed, a consultant for the pharmacy chain says.

Both are permitted uses at the former car dealership property on Broad Street, traffic engineer John Harter testified at the borough planning board Monday night.

Still, nearby residents pressed Harter on how the store could do anything but worsen traffic flow through an junction that the state Department of Transportation has given a failing grade for motorist delays.

Read More »