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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ON THE GREEN: BECK, KYRILLOS OPPOSE LINE

rb njt 041014A view north along the North Jersey Coast Line from the Red Bank train station. The proposed JCP&L power line would be strong alongside the railroad right-of-way on poles as tall as 140 feet. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A controversial 10-mile long, high-voltage electricity transmission line that would end in Red Bank is no more welcome today than it was when it was shelved more than two decades ago, two local legislators said Thursday.

State Senators Jen Beck, of Red Bank, and Joe Kyrillos, of Middletown, jointly introduced a trio of resolutions in Trenton aimed at blocking electricity provider JCP&L from building the line.

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FAIR HAVEN: LUCARELLI BACKS JCP&L PLAN

ben lucarelli 042915 2Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli says the controversial transmission line may help his town avoid a repeat of the long outage experienced after Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli stepped onto a political third rail Tuesday, proclaiming his support for a controversial 10-mile long, high-voltage electricity transmission line that would end in Red Bank.

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FAIR HAVEN: McGOVERN TO TAKE LEAD AT PD

FHPD Mcgovern 042016 3Joe McGovern, who’s to be sworn in as chief Monday night, has spent his entire career with the borough police department. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
AUTHORITIES_FH-2016-v3

It’s a cliché, but in terms of police activity, Fair Haven cries out for comparison to Mayberry. Crime is almost nil, and the top two categories of calls involve traffic and residential construction: blocked driveways, dumpster placements and the like.

Still, this bedroom community has undergone a rapid growth spurt. There are hundreds of kids — more than at any time in the town’s 104-year history — and more traffic.

“We’re also one of the only towns left where most of the kids ride bikes to school,” said acting police Chief Joe McGovern, who is scheduled to become chief next week.

Which makes pedestrian safety the number-one issue for police, he said. “It’s our job to make sure they’re safe.”

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FAIR HAVEN: WHAT RESIDENTS LIKE, OR DON’T

fh river rd 042016 2A survey found general satisfaction with the older, eastern business district, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03There are too many street lights on River Road. There aren’t enough on Third Street. New and remodeled homes are too big.

So say some Fair Haven residents in a new and extensive survey of on the physical attributes of the town as it begins mapping out its future.

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RED BANK: OFFICIALS DO LUNCH AT DAY CARE

MDC_8Left to right:  U.S. Dept. of Agriculture administrator Diana Limbacher joined New Jersey Department of Agriculture officials Rose Tricario and Tanya Johnson in a lunchtime conversation with children at Monmouth Day Care Center.

Based on a press release from New Jersey Department of Agriculture

During the observance of Child and Adult Care Food Program Week, Red Bank’s Monmouth Day Care Center hosted several special guests at the MDCC facility on Drs. James Parker Boulvard. Rose Tricario (Director of Food and Nutrition for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture) and Diana Limbacher (Deputy Regional Administrator, U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service) commemorated CACFP) Week with a March 14 visit to Monmouth Day Care Center, where the program feeds breakfast, lunch and snacks to 120 children each day.

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FAIR HAVEN / RUMSON: BIKE LANES AWAIT

fh bike lane 121215Both a bicyclist and an approaching a jogger appeared shy recently about using a new bike lane on the Little Silver side of Harding Road, seen here from Tower Hill in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03To go along with their shiny new Christmas bikes, cyclists on the Greater Red Bank Green have a new riding course: 2.8 miles of freshly minted  bike lanes through Rumson and Fair Haven.

Marked with share-the-road “sharrow” icons, heavy white lines and signage, the lanes call attention to the presence of bikers in an effort to improve safety, says Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli, who advocated for them.

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ON THE GREEN: MAYORS HAVE FUR IN THIS ONE

tim-grinch-band-rblightingAt stake: the dignity of at least two area mayors. (Click to enlarge)

The Battle of Ridge Road will pit maroon against purple in a high-stakes football game between Red Bank Regional and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional high schools this weekend.

But in the aftermath, the mayors of at least two towns will end up dressed dressed in electric green.

That’s because the top elected officials in Fair Haven, Rumson, Little Silver, Red Bank and Shrewsbury have a group wager on the outcome of the NJSIAA Central Group 3 championship game  between the undefeated RBR Buccaneers (11-0) and the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional Bulldogs (9-2): those from the sending towns of the losing team must dress up as the Grinch at a Holiday Express event, Little Silver Mayor Bob Neff tells redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN BIDS GOODBYE TO YOUNG OFFICER

fh flag 032315A flag flew at half-staff outside borough hall Monday night in honor of Robert Henne, below, a 23-year-old special police officer who died earlier in the day. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

robert henne 032014Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli issued this statement Tuesday afternoon:

The Borough of Fair Haven wishes to acknowledge the very sad and untimely passing of Special Police Officer Robert Henne. Officer Henne passed away at his family home in Fair Haven, on March 23, 2015.

Officer Henne grew up in Fair Haven and graduated from Rumson Fair Haven High School. He was also a graduate of the 39th Monmouth County Police Academy.

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FAIR HAVEN: LUCARELLI PUMPS FOR BIKE LANE

ben lucarelli 1 061612Mayor Ben Lucarelli heads to D.C. this week to sharpen his biker-and-pedestrian safety campaign. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Anyone who’s heard Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli talk about biking safety knows it’s an issue he’s passionate about.

And listening to him talk about the biking-and-walking safety program he’s attending in Washington, D.C., this week, you’d think he was charging down to the capitol on two wheels.

“I would, if I had the time,” Lucarelli told redbankgreen on Tuesday.
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A ONCE-IN-A-CENTURY NIGHT IN FAIR HAVEN

Fair Haven’s newly renovated Bicentennial Hall, aka Fisk Chapel, is among the historical landmarks that will play a key role in the borough’s centennial. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

Its 1.7 square miles boast some of the oldest homes on the greater Red Bank Green, and a classic small-town vibe that’s lamentably lacking in much of stripmall America  — but some may be surprised to learn that Fair Haven, New Jersey isn’t a day over 100.

Carved from the former Shrewsbury Township and officially incorporated in March of 1912 (the current borders, adjusted with neighboring Red Bank, date back just a little more than 50 years), the still-young borough that brought us the area’s most iconic Firemen’s Fair (and served as home field for the legendary Vince Lombardi) is scarcely too old to party in style. And this weekend, Fair Haven throws itself a “Night of the Century” celebration that promises to draw “well over a one-hundred neighbors, local business owners and community leaders who love Fair Haven.”

Scheduled for Saturday night at the Raven and the Peach restaurant on River Road, The Party That Happens Only Once Every Hundred Years is being touted as “a very special occasion for everyone who contributes to the life of this town,” in the words of Centennial Gala co-chair Christine Burke Eskwitt.

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LUCARELLI NAMED FAIR HAVEN MAYOR

With his son Enzo holding the Bible and borough Attorney Sal Alfieri officiating, Ben Lucarelli recites the oath of office as mayor Monday night. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Ben Lucarelli became Fair Haven’s new mayor Monday night on a quick and unanimous vote by his colleagues on the borough council.

He was immediately sworn into office to succeed former Mayor Mike Halfacre, who resigned in January to take a job in the Christie Administration as head of the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control .

Uncertainty remained, however, about just when Lucarelli’s mayoralty ends.

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FAIR HAVEN TO RETAIN ZONING BOARD

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

b-lucarelliFair Haven’s zoning board will stay intact, despite a councilman’s call to disband the body last month.

Following lengthy discussions with council, planning and zoning board members, the council decided Monday to maintain the current zoning board, which it acknowledged has a “public relations/perception” problem.

Instead, the bodies will work together to better informing the public of the board’s role, responsibilities and basic processes for those appearing before it, said Councilman Ben Lucarelli, above, who last month asked that it be dissolved because of “unacceptable” behavior he witnessed at a meeting.

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DISBAND ZONING BOARD, COUNCILMAN SAYS

b-lucarelliBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Fair Haven Councilman Ben Lucarelli (right) has been in the construction and real estate business more than 20 years, and in that time has appeared before countless zoning board all over the state.

None has treated applicants as badly as Fair Haven’s, he said.

So after attending last week’s zoning meeting, and being completely appalled by its members’ actions, Lucarelli has made a bold proposal: disband the board and fold its duties into the planning board’s authority.

“I was appalled at the arrogant, condescending, mean-spirited nature of the zoning board,” he said. “This was just a very bad example of how the residents of Fair Haven are being treated.”

And nobody on the council, which at least once before tried to disband the nine-member board, disagreed.

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TEMPORARY ROOF FIX DONE AT SUPERMARKET

acme-openA&P in Little Silver reopened early Friday afternoon after the building’s roof partially collapsed this week. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The A&P supermarket in Little Silver is back in business after a 48-hour shutdown caused by this week’s blizzard.

Contractors worked since Wednesday to shore up the roof of the building, which partially collapsed under the weight of heavy snow, and the store got permission to reopen its doors at around noon Friday.

Within an hour, shoppers wended through the store loading up carts and baskets, moving around a cordoned off section at the south end where the damage occurred.

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