Search Results for: "thomas fortune" "red bank"

RED BANK’S FORTUNE PROJECT SPEAKS

TTF houseThe nonprofit that’s working to save the former home of T. Thomas Fortune hosts readings from the words of the pioneering African-American journalist, with events in Middletown, Red Bank, Shrewsbury and elsewhere.

T. Thomas FortuneAs part of Black History Month and the National African-American Read-In, the not-for-profit T. Thomas Fortune House Project will host a series of readings from the works of the pioneering civil rights journalist – and onetime resident of Red Bank – T. Thomas Fortune.

Entitled “The People Speak: the Words of T. Thomas Fortune, ” the series includes public-welcome events at Middletown Township Public Library and Monmouth County Library Eastern Branch, in addition to a student-faculty fundraiser at Red Bank Middle School.

It’s the latest in an ongoing program designed to raise funds and awareness toward the effort to acquire, stabilize and restore the T. Thomas Fortune House, the National Historic Landmark at 94 Drs. James Parker Boulevard where the editor, publisher, poet, author and early civil rights activist resided from 1901-1908.

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RED BANK: Q&A WITH SEAN DI SOMMA

Election_2014_QAdi somma 102814Republican council candidate Sean Di Somma. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In Tuesday’s election for Red Bank council, incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, both Democrats, face Republicans Sean Di Somma and Linda Schwabenbauer. Here are Di Somma’s answers to questions sent to all four candidates by redbankgreen.

Name: Sean Patrick Di Somma

Age: 32

Where did you grow up? Bergen County, NJ

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? Almost 3 years

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RED BANK: Q&A WITH JUANITA LEWIS

Election_2014_QA juanita lewis 101308Democrat Juanita Lewis has been on the council since 2009. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In Tuesday’s election for Red Bank council, incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, both Democrats, face Republicans Sean Di Somma and Linda Schwabenbauer. Here are Lewis’s answers to questions sent to all four candidates by redbankgreen.

Name: Juanita Lewis

Age: 48

Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Red Bank.

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? All of my life, except when I went to college, graduate school and when I worked overseas for one year.

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RED BANK: Q&A WITH PASQUALE MENNA

Election_2014_QApasquale menna 102814 2Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, was elected mayor in 2006 after 18 years on the borough council. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In Tuesday’s election, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna is running unopposed for a third four-year-term.Here are his answers to questions sent to all borough candidates by redbankgreen.

Name: Pasquale Menna

Age: 60

Where did you grow up? Italy, Montreal, Canada and Red Bank.

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? Since 1964.

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RED BANK: Q&A WITH LINDA SCHWABENBAUER

Election_2014_QAschwabenbauer 102814Republican council candidate Linda Schwabenbauer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In Tuesday’s election for Red Bank council, incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, both Democrats, face Republicans Sean Di Somma and Linda Schwabenbauer. Here are Schwabenbauer’s answers to questions sent to all four candidates by redbankgreen.

Name: Linda Schwabenbauer

Age: 49

Where did you grow up? Downingtown, PA

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? Since May of 2005 – just shy of 10 years

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RED BANK: Q&A WITH ED ZIPPRICH

Election_2014_QA zipprich 011111Democrat Ed Zipprich has been on the council since 2009. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In Tuesday’s election for Red Bank council, incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, both Democrats, face Republicans Sean Di Somma and Linda Schwabenbauer. Here are Zipprich’s answers to questions sent to all four candidates by redbankgreen.

Name: Edward Zipprich

Age: 54

Where did you grow up? In a small town similar to Red Bank in Staten Island, NY

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? 17.5 years

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RED BANK AND THE GREEN: HOUSE ADVANTAGE

parker-homestead-2007The 17th-century Parker Homestead in Little Silver is just one of the historic homes on the greater Green taking center stage this weekend. The T. Thomas Fortune House, below, is another. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

rb fortune house 100614 1In a season when we’re all a bit more cognizant of old, dark houses, a birthday celebration designed to call attention to one of Red Bank’s most endangered historic structures — the T. Thomas Fortune House — kicks off a weekend that also offers some rare opportunities to step back in time.

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RED BANK: DEMOLITION HITS FIRST POTHOLE

rb fortune house 2 061213The house, at 94 Drs. Parker Boulevard, was once the home of African American journalist T. Thomas Fortune. Below, a detail of the soffit. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb fortune house 1 061213The owners of Red Bank’s T. Thomas Fortune house ran into the first obstacle Thursday in their controversial quest to raze the historic structure.

Borough planning director Donna Smith-Barr found the Vaccarelli family’s application for a demolition permit incomplete, and kicked it back for more information, she tells redbankgreen.

In itself, the decision itself may barely slow the Vaccarelli’s plan for a decrepit structure that once was the home of the pioneering civil rights journalist Timothy Thomas Fortune. But the request could also face the hurdle of a zoning board review, Mayor Pasquale Menna tells redbankgreen. And the leader of a year-old group formed to save the structure said he is prepared to sue to stop the demolition, if necessary.

“The attorneys I have can have it stayed for 18 months,” said Peter Primavera, director of the T. Thomas Fortune Project. “We’re doing the paperwork right now.”

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RED BANK: FORTUNE HOUSE MAY BE RAZED

The house, at 94 Drs. Parker Boulevard, was once the home of African American journalist T. Thomas Fortune. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A day that Red Bank historic preservationists have dreaded for years appears nearer as the owners of the so-called T. Thomas Fortune house have filed a formal request to demolish the historic structure.

Eighty-six-year-old James Vaccarrelli of Shrewsbury, who owned the house with his brother Anthony, filed for a demolition permit from the borough last Friday afternoon, borough planning director Donna Smith-Barr tells redbankgreen.

Anthony Vaccarelli, 93, died at his Red Bank home last month, according to an obituary published by the Asbury Park Press. James tells redbankgreen that the move was anticipated prior to his brother’s death, as efforts to sell the property in recent years have failed because of the deteriorated condition of the house.

“There’s nothing to save,” said Vaccarelli, who was born and raised in the house, at 94 Drs. James Parker Boulevard. “It’s a shame, but vandals got into it many, many times, even though it was boarded up, and they just wrecked it.”

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BCC HOSTS T. THOMAS FORTUNE SYMPOSIUM

Newspaper editor and former slave T. Thomas Fortune formed the N

Press release from The T. Thomas Fortune Project

On Saturday, June 14, the nonprofit T. Thomas Fortune Project will present a symposium at Brookdale Community College entitled “Shining a Light on Today: The Legacy of T. Thomas Fortune.”

Described as “A Window into the World of Post-Reconstruction,” the symposium will be hosted in the Twin Lights Room of the Warner Student Center at BCC, from 9 am to 1 pm. The day will begin with a continental breakfast, immediately following by a panel discussion. The keynote address will be delivered by Walter Greason, History Professor at Monmouth University.

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RED BANK LEGENDS, PAST & PRESENT

eileen moon 021814Eileen Moon at the Red Bank Public Library, built in the former home of ‘legendary’ industrialist Sigmund Eisner. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Legendary LocalsIn Eileen Moon’s eyes, “personality drives progress.” And as the author of “Legendary Locals of Red Bank,” a newly published book of historical and contemporary profiles, Moon encountered personality galore.

People like Sigmund Eisner, for example, an immigrant who, starting with a single sewing machine, not only built the nation’s largest uniform factory, but helped his employees buy homes, cementing a sense of community.

“It takes a strong personality, and a vision, and a risk-taker sometimes, to change what is into some new evolution of that,” says Moon.

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FEBRUARY IS FORTUNE MONTH IN RED BANK

At their first working session on January 8, 2014, the members of the Red Bank Borough Council unanimously passed a resolution declaring February to be T. Thomas Fortune month in the borough.

The resolution was introduced by Cindy Burnham, who was recently elected to the council. February is nationally designated as Black History Month, and the resolution serves as a formal recognition to a great human rights activist.
Born into slavery, Fortune’s trailblazing rise as a firebrand journalist, publisher and writer rebuked the government’s failed attempt at Reconstruction, which led to the rise of Jim Crow and black code laws. Fortune has been credited with being the bridge to the modern day Civil Rights Movement. In 1880, he formed the Afro American League, which was a pre-curser to the NAACP.

From 1901 to 1911, Fortune resided at the home he called Maple Hill, at 94 West Bergen Avenue (now known as Drs. James Parker Boulevard).  While living there, he entertained such black leaders as Booker T. Washington. He also edited the works of Marcus Garvey while living there.

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JOURNO’S RED BANK HOME IN SPOTLIGHT

rb fortune house 3 061213T. Thomas Fortune, below, will get a month of honor in February. Meantime, efforts to save his home on Doctors Parker Boulevard continue. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

T. Thomas FortuneNo sharp elbows were thrown. The words ‘Maple Cove‘ weren’t even mentioned.

In her first working session as a member of Red Bank’s otherwise all-Democrat borough council Wednesday night, Republican Cindy Burnham‘s debut act was to introduce a resolution designating February as T. Thomas Fortune Month in the borough.

The anondyne measure won unanimous approval, and opened up a discussion of where things stand with the house that Fortune lived in a century ago.

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RAISE YOUR VOICES, AT RED BANK LIBRARY

LorraineDiasZipprichActress Lorraine Stone, Two River Theater artistic director John Dias and Councilman Ed Zipprich are among the Red Bank area notables giving voice to historic American figures in “The People Speak LIVE,” presented free at Red Bank Public Library on Thursday night, December 12.

There’s the escaped slave turned abolitionist and social activist Sojourner Truth, brought to vivid life by local actress Lorraine Stone. The pioneer openly gay elected official Harvey Milk, paid tribute by Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich. The Nobel laureate playwright Eugene O’Neill, channeled by Two River Theater Company artistic director John Dias — and Red Bank Regional grad John McMahon as T. Thomas Fortune, the trailblazing African American journalist whose historic Red Bank home is the subject of an intensive rescue and preservation effort.

These and other fascinating figures from America’s past and present will be making their voices heard inside the Red Bank Public Library on the evening of Thursday, December 12, when the T. Thomas Fortune House Preservation Project joins Frank Talk MultiMedia Network and RBPL for “The People Speak LIVE,” an event in which “community-minded people from the greater Red Bank area” recreate the words of pivotal people in our nation’s history. Hosted by journalist, businesswoman and cable TV host Candace Kelley, the 6 p.m. presentation is based on the documentary film “The People Speak” — itself adapted from the late Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of the United States.”

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SHREWSBURY: YMCA HONORS DR. KING

MLK essay winner Alexandra Lewis is a senior at Red Bank Regional High School. 

[Press release]

It was an unconventional commemoration to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But the theme of love, perseverance and service shined throughout YMCA of Greater Monmouth County’s first virtual event honoring the civil rights leader. Read More »

SHREWSBURY: LOVE TO RECEIVE KING AWARD

Gwendolyn Love, executive director of Lunch Break, will receive the Dr. King Human Dignity Award at the YMCA’s virtual Dr. King commemoration January 15. (Photo by Danny Sanchez.)

Press release from the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County

2020 was filled with uncertainty and canceled events near and far, but the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County is busy preparing for its annual community celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Like so many other important events taking place during the coronavirus pandemic, the commemoration will be a live virtual event hosted on Zoom, Friday, January 15.
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MIDDLETOWN: GEORGE BOWDEN DIES

red bank george bowdenGeorge Bowden, right, with Historic Preservation Commission members Charles Nickerson and Michaela Ferrigine in 2016. Below, Bowden spearheaded the borough’s centennial celebration and parade in 2009.(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank george bowdenGeorge Bowden, once dubbed “the Energizer bunny” of historic preservation in Red Bank, died at home in Middletown Sunday. He was 92 years old.

Galvanized into action in 2001, after the borough allowed the demolition of an old house on West Front Street, Bowden became a champion for old and neglected structures in town.

Not least of those was the T. Thomas Fortune House, which was resurrected from near-oblivion earlier this year, more than a decade after Bowden and others launched a campaign to save it.

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SHREWSBURY: YMCA HOSTS ESSAY CONTEST

Local high school students are invited to participate in the annual YMCA Dr. King essay contest.

The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County is pleased to announce that the annual essay contest held in conjunction with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial breakfast in January has been expanded to all students in Monmouth County.

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MIDDLETOWN: FUNDRAISER FOR BOWDENS

Family and friends have raised more than $12,000 to help two former Red Bank volunteers injured by a fire in their Middletown home earlier this month.

George Bowden, 91, and his wife, Gladys Bowden, 88, were both injured when their condo in the Shadow Lake Village complex in the River Plaza section of the township was heavily damaged by an electrical fire on December 15.

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ON THE GREEN: A FORTUNE IN HISTORIC VALUE

mumford fortune 072716 2The Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library in Shrewsbury hosts an exhibit about Red Bank’s T. Thomas Fortune House, seen here during a student tour in July. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.) 

Press release from T. Thomas Fortune Project Committee

The fourth annual T. Thomas Fortune Birthday Celebration (a fundraiser hosted recently at the Oyster Point Hotel under the title “Fortune . . . Telling the Truth”) kicked off a string of events to highlight the restoration of the T. Thomas Fortune House, a National Historic Landmark, into the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center.

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RBR FRESHMEN DISCUSS HISTORY, HARMONY

Gilda Rogers Sid Bernstein SummerSlamLeft to right: Citizens for a Diverse and Open Society founders Gilda Rogers and Sid Bernstein were joined by performing artist and writer Lorraine Stone as special guests of the Summer Slam program at Red Bank Regional High School. 

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

During the height of summer, the Red Bank Regional High School building is a busy place, with a myriad of educational programming designed to better prepare its students for September. As the largest of those activities, Summer Slam saw 110 students attending a four-week session (operated by school-based youth services program The SOURCE) which infuses academic topics (Math, English, Science, Global Studies) with special events like an athletic team-building challenge coordinated by The Community YMCA, as well as visits from influential community members.

This summer’s two-time guest speaker was educator, author and community activist Gilda Rogers of Red Bank, who during her first visit introduced the students to the ongoing project to renovate the historic T. Thomas Fortune House. She returned the next day to discuss ways students could combat racism; accompanying Gilda for that second meeting was Sid Bernstein of Lincroft, a retired businessman with whom she co-founded the group Citizens for a Diverse and Open Society (CDOS).

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LITTLE SILVER, M’TOWN: LIBRARY LEGENDS

eileen-moon-021814-500x375LEGENDARY LOCALS OF RED BANK author Eileen Moon visits the Little Silver Library on Monday evening…while Next Stage Ensemble brings a little Shakespeare to the Middletown Township biblio.

There’s the pioneering African American journalist T. Thomas Fortune, whose historic home is currently the subject of an intensive rescue effort. Industrialist Sigmund Eisner, whose legacy includes a public library, a Galleria, and a former chairman of the Disney entertainment empire. Trailblazing attorney Florence Forgotson Adams, the father-and-son Drs. James Parker, the Dorns, the Irwins — and famed illustrator James Avati, the “Rembrandt of the Paperbacks” remembered in a 2011 feature that appeared here on redbankgreen.

They are all among the Legendary Locals of Red Bank profiled by veteran newspaperwoman Eileen Moon in her new book, an entry in the series from Arcadia Publishing that the author will discuss in a free Monday night reading/ signing appearance at Little Silver Public Library. Going up at 7 pm, it’s part of a busy itinerary by the equally legendary reporter and editor, who in a recent feature on redbankgreen described her concept of a Legendary Local thusly: “It takes a strong personality, and a vision, and a risk-taker sometimes, to change what is into some new evolution of that.”

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LINCROFT: MAKE YOUR PRESERVATION

Di-Ionno-Headshot_Full-001-featuredStar-Ledger journalist Mark DiIonno is the guest speaker for a Wednesday evening reception “Celebrating Past, Present and Future,” at the county Park System’s Thompson Park headquarters.

“Celebrating Past, Present and Future” is the broad-reaching theme  — and New Jersey’s 350th birthday year is the occasion — as the Thompson Park homebase of the Monmouth County Park System hosts a special opening reception in advance of Thursday’s 2014 NJ History and Historic Preservation Conference at Brookdale Community College.

On Wednesday evening, June 4, an assembly of historians, academics, civic dignitaries and preservation-minded members of the general public will convene inside the Thompson Hall administrative building at the county park on Newman Springs Road, for a 5:30 pm event that should be of interest to anyone who’s interested in the rescue and renovation of such historic sites as Red Bank’s T. Thomas Fortune House, and Little Silver’s Parker Homestead. A benefit for the nonprofit New Jersey History Advocates, the event boasts the participation of a uniquely Jersey voice — that of Star-Ledger ace reporter Mark DiIonno.

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WEEKEND: MOODY BLUE & MINTY GREEN

stPatsThe second annual Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes to the borough streets on Sunday. Below, the Moody Blues.

Friday, February 28:

MoodysRED BANK: From the harmonies of their early, raw recordings to the dramatic sweep and ambitious scope of their orchestral masterpieces – to their repeated reunions, and a new century of crowdpleasing tours – one might be tempted to call them the British Beach Boys.

But the Moody Blues have done what they’ve done without all the meltdowns, litigation, and endless appearances on the county fair circuit of their American cohorts. And this weekend, the longtime trio of Justin Hayward (guitar), John Lodge (bass) and Graeme Edge (drums) comes to Red Bank for two consecutive nights (Friday and Saturday, 8 pm) at the Count Basie Theatre, on a Timeless Flight Tour that promises to mix those lush album-era radio classics (“Tuesday Afternoon,” “Question,” “Ride My Seesaw” and the game-changing “Nights in White Satin”) with more recent vintage oldies (“Your Wildest Dreams,” “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”) and highlights from solo projects past. Leaving the symphony orks at home, the core Moodies are joined by an auxiliary corps of young musicians on keyboards, flute and extra drums. Tickets ($50 – $145) can be reserved right here.

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SAVING A FORTUNE, IN RB REAL ESTATE

fortune-house2011Red Bank’s T. Thomas Fortune House, pictured in a 2011 file photo, is the subject of an ongoing effort to rescue and preserve the property as a community cultural center. (photo by Dustin Racioppi)

From press materials furnished by T. Thomas Fortune Preservation Project

It’s one of only 57 National Historic Landmarks in the state of New Jersey — one of just two related to African American history. Yet for years, the Red Bank property known as the T. Thomas Fortune House has sat boarded up; deemed uninhabitable — even unfit for showing to prospective purchasers — in its current condition.

Here in 2013, an organization known as the T. Thomas Fortune Preservation Project seeks to acquire, stabilize and restore the home at 94 Drs. James Parker Boulevard (formerly Bergen Place), with the aim of developing the Second Empire-style structure into a cultural center that will celebrate the legacy of such borough-based leaders in the arts and community service as William “Count” Basie and the Parker family.

Working in partnership with the Red Bank Men’s Club Foundation and the leadership of the National Landmarks Alliance and Garden State Legacy, the Preservation Project describes its membership as “a group of educators, architects, writers, attorneys, performance artists, and more who have come together to share the legacy of an outstanding figure in American history, for the benefit of all.”

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