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RED BANK: MUSICAL FIREWORKS FOR THE 4TH

Conductor Sameer Patel, below, leads the New Jersey Symphony in an open-air display of musical Americana overlooking the Navesink River from Marine Park Sunday night. (Click to enlarge.)

It’s been five years now since Red Bank heralded the Independence Day holiday with a bang and a kaboom with the cancellation of its long fireworks-on-the-Navesink tradition. But as relatively quiet as things have been of late during the Fourth of July interlude, there’s celebratory music in the air.

This Sunday, two events — one of them a community happening of long standing, the other representing something new down by the riverside — bring the sound and the classic American spirit to the Greater Green.

That something new is a “Sunday in the Park” free performance by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in Marine Park. Before that, the borough’s landmark Tower Hill Church celebrates flag and country with the 29th edition of the annual Liberty Extrvaganza.

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RED BANK: TWO PARKING FORUMS PLANNED

Two public forums are in the works on the question of what to do about parking in downtown Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Residents, merchants and visitors could get two chances to weigh in on downtown Red Bank’s parking crisis — or whether one even exists — at two public events in coming weeks.

Both events were characterized at Wednesday night’s semimonthly council meeting as next-steps responses to five plans presented by would-be developers of the borough-owned parking lot on White Street.

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RED BANK: UNCLE EBENEZER’S PHISH DISH

Brooklyn-based Phish tribute band Uncle Ebenezer migrates into Red Bank for a Friday night jam at Jamian’s.

Mixed in among one of the busiest bar and restaurant scenes in Monmouth County, Jamian’s Food and Drink has long been a nightlife standardbearer in downtown Red Bank.

In addition to weekly gigs by Shore legends Bobby Bandiera and Pat Guadagno, plus reggae masters Random Test and one of the area’s most enduring open-mics, Jamian LaViola’s watering hole adds to its musical menu this Friday with a special catch-of-the-day: Phish tribute band Uncle Ebenezer.

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RED BANK: SANSONE TO TURN UP THE STEAM

Johnny Sansone (left) is joined by guitarist John Fohl (right) for a special “Reckless Steamy Nights” house party that brings a blast of N’awlins heat to Red Bank’s Woman’s Club Friday night.

For the latest in their long-running series of monthly Reckless Steamy Nights live music events, the folks at the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation are cranking up the burners and serving up a fiery gumbo laced with the flavors of New Orleans.

Going up this Friday at the old Anthony Reckless estate (home of the Woman’s Club of Red Bank), the 8:30 p.m. house party throws open the door for a Big Easy bluesman of impeccable credentials: singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Johnny Sansone.

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RED BANK: DEMS BACK ‘PURE’ GARAGE

Councilman and party chairman Ed Zipprich, flanked by fellow Democrats Erik Yngstrom and Kathy Horgan in January. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The three Democrats on the Red Bank council — and a candidate to join them there — endorsed a downtown parking solution that calls for a new White Street garage without additional development Tuesday.

The announcement set the course for a possible head-on collision with the governing body’s three Republicans, who have championed an approach that welcomed the possibility of hundreds of new housing units as well as a parking deck.

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FAIR HAVEN: LIFESAVERS HONORED

Fair Haven resident Christine Eberhard and four emergency responders were recognized with lifesaving awards Monday night for their quick action in saving the life of Greg Strasser, another borough resident, earlier this month.
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LINCROFT: ENVIRONMENTALISM ON THE TABLE

The Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College has settled into warm-weather mode, but with an upcoming slate of summer-class training sessions, outdoor theater, car shows and other special events, things can hardly be said to be getting sleepy.

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FAIR HAVEN: POLICE STATION UPGRADES SLATED

The stationhouse hasn’t been updated since its conversion from a schoolhouse in 1983. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven’s police station is in for a once-in-a generation makeover in coming months.

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SEA BRIGHT: BACK TO THE BEACH @ DONOVAN’S

One of three bars at Donovan’s Reef is a thatched roof tiki bar.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Flip-flop wearing beachgoers can now drink their beverage of choice at any of three separate bars within the confines of the newly re-built Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright. PieHole recently paid its first visit to the sprawling party palace since its resurrection from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

And is this the Jersey Shore? Swaying palm trees and ocean views could easily have your thinking you’re on a tropical vacation.
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RED BANK: SEWER LINE BREAK CLOSES ROAD

Work to repair an overnight sewer line break forced the closure of Shrewsbury Avenue between West Front and Oakland streets in Red Bank early Friday morning. There was no immediate estimate on when the busy stretch of road might reopen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

LINCROFT: ARTISTS FIND THEIR INNER ANIMAL

“The World of the Organ Pipe Wasp” and other works by Donna Payton are among the pieces in the group show ‘Animal Architects’ at the Monmouth Museum.

The paintings, sketches, sculptures, collages and mixed-material constructions now on display at the Monmouth Museum in Lincroft are the work of 11 members of the species homo sapiens. But the inspirations range from the spiral pattern of a spider’s web and the sturdy intricacy of a robin’s nest to the habitats, traps, nurseries, storage facilities and flashy courtship displays built by various insects, arthropods, birds, mammals and fellow aesthetes of the animal kingdom.

Curated and featuring contributions by Donna Payton, the group show ‘Animal Architects: Influences on Human Creativity’ serve as the conversation starter for a summer-long series of events for adults and children. Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: BACK IN THE SKIM OF THINGS

The summertime edition of the annual Skimbash tournament returns to the waters just off Sea Bright, this Saturday and Sunday. (File photo by Peter Lindner)

Although at first glance the array of aerial leaps, spins, and acrobatics have more in common with skateboarding than with surfboarding — and the sometimes slapstick finishes to the maneuvers have the spills running neck-and-neck with the thrills —  there’s little doubt that the event known as  SkimBash is sufficiently serious to attract polished competitors from many hundreds of miles away.

There’s serious prize money at stake, too, when the nationally sanctioned summer edition of Skimbash returns to “the pristine beach and consistently good wave conditions” of the Sea Bright shoreline, for a two-day stay this Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25.

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MIDDLETOWN: PLAY ASKS, ‘SAUCE’ OR ‘GRAVY’?

Middletown Arts Center is the setting for a weekend-long serving of the musical dramedy ‘They Call It Gravy, We Call It Sauce!’

Is it “gravy” or “sauce?” Why do Neapolitans cut off the vowels at the end of words? And just what the heck is “bru-shetta?”

These and other long-simmering issues are placed on the front burner with They Call It Gravy, We Call It Sauce!, a traveling “musical dramedy” that camps out at Middletown Arts Center for a weekend-long engagement that begins Friday night.

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RUMSON: OCEANIC MAKEOVER BEGINS ANEW

Todd Thompson, seated at center, discussing bridge options with other attendees at the Rumson session. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

What should be done about the crumbling Oceanic Bridge between Rumson and Middletown?

Area residents were offered dozens of options Tuesday as Monmouth County officials hit the reset button on an earlier process derailed by a change in federal regulations.

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RED BANK: A LAST ROUNDUP FOR ‘LITTLE JO’

Teal Wicks (right) stars as the title character — with bride and groom Jane Bruce and Eric William Morris as frontier friends — as “The Ballad of Little Jo” enters its final week of performances at Two River Theater. (photo by T. Charles Erickson)

It’s always a pleasure to see the physical space and human resources of Two River Theater Company employed to their full potential, and with the current mainstage musical The Ballad of Little Jo, TRTC artistic director John Dias and company have crowned their 2016-2017 season with a polished production that packs something of a homegrown pedigree; that doesn’t skimp on the quality or quantity of assembled talent — and that speaks to the American soul in all of its conflicted, enterprising, ambitious, messy and often melancholy glory.

Co-written by, developed and directed here by Dias — and adapted from a 1993 film of the same name — the show that made its formal debut some 17 years ago at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre has traced a journey to the Red Bank stage almost as long as that of the real-life 19th century woman whose story (very loosely) inspired it. It’s a journey that enters its final stretch for the time being, as the production wraps its limited engagement with eight more performances, today through Sunday, June 25.

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RED BANK: ATTEMPTED-MURDER TRIAL BEGINS

By JOHN T. WARD

A former Red Bank man who did time for a double shooting in 2007 was in court again Tuesday, this time accused of the 2014 shooting of a man as he sat in a parked car on Willow Street.

But witnesses in the Freehold trial of Anthony Sims have been instructed not to say anything in front of jurors about a second set of charges, in which the victim in this case, Perry Veney Jr., is alleged to have later participated in the murder of Sims’ brother, the Asbury Park Press reported Tuesday.

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SHREWSBURY POLICE BLOTTER

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Arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of June 3 to June 16, 2017. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

Arrests

Asa G. Robinson, female age 24 of South Orange was arrested on 6/5/17 for Contempt of Court in the area of Sycamore Avenue by Ptl. Daniel DeCristofaro.

Katherine R. Stroby, female age 27 of Long Branch was arrested on 6/3/17 for Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance in the area of Broad Street by Ptl. Ryan Cullinane.

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RED BANK: CRIMES AND ARRESTS

The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of June 1 to June 15, 2017. This information is unedited. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

CRIMES

Theft: On 06-05-17 in the area of Monmouth St it was reported an unknown black male took a tip jar from the business. The jar is described as clear with a red lid and contained approximately $100.00. Ptl. Jhonathan Quispe.

Theft: On 06-11-17 in the area of Shrewsbury Ave it was reported a bald black male described as early 40’s, approximately 6 feet, clean shaven wearing a white t-shirt and tan shorts was seen leaving a store without paying for an item. Ptl. Jhonathan Quispe.

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OCEANIC BRIDGE: CONCEPT PLANS ON DISPLAY

The Oceanic Bridge between Rumson and Middletown is in “critical” condition, according to the Monmouth County Engineer’s office, and officials plan to unveil “conceptual alternatives” for its replacement or repair at meetings slated in each town today.

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RED BANK: CRAFT BREWERY, TAKEOUT PLANNED

The former Fameabilia store space will be divided in two to house a craft brewery and a take-out restaurant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[SEE CORRECTIONS BELOW]

By JOHN T. WARD

Nine years after its last tenant departed, and four years after it was approved for restaurant use, a large retail space in downtown Red Bank is slated to get two new tenants, redbankgreen has learned.

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FAIR HAVEN: SCHOOL STARTUP SPINS A PROFIT

Hailey Blum shows off a fidget spinner, joined by Milana Strulowitz and Shane Sullivan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

It’s a rare business that gets to take the summer off. But a startup run by Fair Haven fifth-and sixth-graders has earned some slack time after landing and delivering on a legit $1,000 manufacturing contract this past school year with San Francisco-based Slack.

And it all revolved around a faddish chill-out device called a fidget spinner.

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RED BANK & MIDDLETOWN: T-REX RETURNS

A 15-foot-long T-Rex puppet from Field Station: Dinosaurs, seen here in 2012, returns to the Red Bank Public Library Tuesday. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)

He’s scaly, maybe a bit scary, some 15 feet long, and usually spotted in the company of a singing paleontologist known as the Dinosaur Troubador. He’s the traveling T-Rex from Bergen County attraction Field Station: Dinosaurs, and he’s returning to libraries in Red Bank and Middletown this week.

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RED BANK: AVOIDING THE CRUSH ON THE PATIO

Twilight on the back patio of Jamian’s Food and Drink finds bartender Rick Norman juicing oranges and pouring drinks. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Just down Monmouth Street in Red Bank from the Count Basie Theatre, Jamian’s Food and Drink  is packed before a show. Ticketholders dash in for a quick bite and something from the bar, and waitresses here know how to hustle, ensuring everyone gets in and out quickly.

Known for its varied live music scene, wall of locally produced artwork and surfer roots, it can be a little noisy and crowded inside. But out back, on Jamian’s patio, the vibe changes. Twinkling lights and background rock and roll make it easier to hold a conversation. This is where you’ll find a more relaxed scene. It’s also a good place to watch a game projected onto a big white wall.

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