Kenneth_Lacovara_at_dig_site_of_DreadnoughtusFamed paleontologist Dr. Kenneth Lacovara — pictured with the bones of Dreadnoughtus schrani, the titanic dinosaur he discovered in Argentina in 2005 — comes to Brookdale Community  College for a Science Mondays presentation on Dinosaurs in NJ…Still.

They called it Dreadnoughtus schrani — the most massive creature ever known to walk the earth; a titanosaur of the Upper Cretaceous period whose fossilized bones were discovered and excavated between 2005 and 2009 (and made public to great acclaim in 2014) by a team under the direction of Drexel University professor Kenneth Lacovara.

While the big-dig discovery in Argentina (and the subsequent determination that this huge specimen had not even reached its full-grown size) made Dr. Lacovara and his colleagues legitimate science superstars, the Jersey-native paleontologist and geologist is quick to point out that there are many more discoveries to be made; much to be learned — and, when he visits the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College this Monday evening, April 27, he’ll be making the point that there are Dinosaurs in NJ…Still.

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WagTyronneAbbyDoodleMiddletown band the Wag takes the air, and canine aerialists Tyronne and Abbydoodle take a curtain call, as the Monmouth SPCA’s Dog Walk and Pet Fair returns to the Brookdale campus for its 21st edition.

It’s one of the most eagerly anticipated early-autumn events on the greater Red Bank Green — repositioned, for the second year, as a middle-of-spring event. Returning for its 21st edition on Saturday, the annual Monmouth County SPCA Dog Walk and Pet Fair commandeers the campus of Brookdale Community College for a colorful five-hour festival (10 am – 3 pm).

Co-sponsored by Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, the fundraising walk is simply the centerpiece of a slate of activities for adults, kids and canines, highlighted by vendor booths, adoption and microchip clinics, 50/50 drawing, food, face painting, doggie agility ring, “pupparazzi” photos, “cutest tricks” contest and even a “Canine PUPtials” wedding chapel. There’s live entertainment as well — including the return of a faithful favorite act, and what promises to be the final Dog Walk appearance by one of the most crowdpleasing acts on the pet-fair circuit.

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LilShakes1A cast and crew of teens from local schools rehearse A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, the annual “Little Shakespeare” production  that presents four public performances this weekend. (Photos courtesy of Two River Theater Company)

They hail from Red Bank Regional, Markham Place Middle School and Rumson Country Day School — and they meet by moonlight in the enchanted woods outside Athens, as conjured by William Shakespeare in his most kinetic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Actually, the forest faeries, passionate young lovers and amateur actors of the Bard’s most magical mystery tour will assemble inside the “black box” performance space at Two River Theater this week. And when the imaginary curtain goes up on this Midsummer Night for 10 performances between April 23 (Shakespeare’s birthday) and May 1, it will mark the latest in a new series of annual productions presented   under a program entitled “A Little Shakespeare.”

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Sandra-HeadshotBestselling author and radio personality Sandra Tsing-Loh (above) joins Fox 5 News reporter Teresa Priolo (below) as keynote speakers for the 2015 Women’s Conference, going on Monday at Brookdale Community College.

teresaYou might know her from her numerous (and often humorous) commentary appearances on public-radio platforms like This American Life and Morning Edition. Maybe you’ve read her books, among them Aliens in America, Mother on Fire and last year’s bestselling The Madwoman in the Volvo. And if you’re a regular peruser of The Atlantic, you’ve no doubt encountered her pull-no-punches point of view in such articles as “The Monogamy Trap,” “On Being a Bad Mother,” “The Bitch is Back,” and “Daddy Issues (Why caring for my aging father has me wishing he would die).”

Whether engaging broadcast audiences, riling up letters-to-the-editor types, or occasionally pursuing impulses as a performance artist and musician, Sandra Tsing Loh is a woman of myriad talents and exceptional energies — and on the morning of Monday, April 20, the West Coast native makes an inspired choice of keynote speaker for the 2015 edition of A Women’s Conference, going on between the hours of 9 am and 2 pm at Brookdale Community College.

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Lambert-StampThe Sony Pictures Classics rockumentary LAMBERT AND STAMP is screened as part of statewide student film competition Project FX, with finalists in the High School and College categories showcased at the Count Basie this Sunday, April 19.

They hail from places like Middletown High School South, Christian Brothers Academy and Brookdale Community College — and for a few minutes at least, they’re peers on a par with such Jersey-bred filmmakers, movers and shakers as Kevin Smith, John Sayles, Danny De Vito — even Tom Edison and his Black Maria studio.

The revolution that placed pro-grade videography and editing tech into the hands of aspiring filmmakers everywhere — and the social media mechanism that allows neighborhood auteurs to have their work be viewed by mass audiences — is at the heart of Project FX, the Count Basie Theatre’s statewide film competition for students of New Jersey high schools and colleges.

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Davy KnowlesManx bluesmaster Davy Knowles is the main-man musical guest at the 18th annual Brookdale Guitar Show – merely the biggest of several special events on campus this Sunday.

By all traditional expectations a quiet day on campus, this Sunday promises to keep the Route 520 roundabout out front of Brookdale Community College humming with visitors to the sprawling Lincroft complex.

All members of the general public are being welcomed as BCC hosts its annual Spring Open House between 12 and 2 pm, inside the Robert J. Collins Arena. Current high schoolers and the career-changing curious are invited to learn about the more than 50 degree and certificate programs offered at the county college, with guided tours available and faculty advisors from all departments on hand to answer questions about course curricula, scholarships, grants, financial aid, job training and four-year programs.

Also on-site will be representatives from partner universities such as Georgian Court and Rutgers, available for questions on streamlined transfer agreements and discounted tuition. Complimentary refreshments will be furnished by Brookdale’s Culinary Education Center, and parking for the event is available in lots 6 or 7. Take it here for more info — and take it around the corner for more happenings on campus this April 12.

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merill_hogeFormer pro footballer Merril Hoge, Seal Team Five commander Captain Tom Chaby and The Program’s CEO Eric Kapitulik are the special guests, as the 2015 Victory Road Leadership Speaker Series comes to Brookdale Community College on Tuesday, June 2, with a registration deadline of May 1.

Press release from Brookdale Community College
On the afternoon of Tuesday, June 2, the Robert J. Collins Arena at Brookdale Community College  will host three fascinating men; each of them sharing personal experiences and lessons in expanding one’s reach and influence — and in empowering those around you to evolve alongside — as leaders playing an important role.

When the kickoff event of the 2015 Victory Road Speaker Series comes to the BCC campus, it will center around the theme Breaking Boundaries Beyond Expectations — with the focus on the men and women who have made profound life and work progress, often in the face of substantial adversity, while cultivating new leaders and building a winning culture.
Commanding  Officer of Seal Team Five, Captain Tom Chaby, will speak on Failure Is Not An Option; CEO of The Program, Eric Kapitulik, will discuss Leadership and Overcoming Adversity; and Former NFL Star, ESPN Analyst, and cancer survivor Merril Hoge will show how to Find A Way.

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RENT BCC PACRENT is going up again, as Brookdale’s Performing Arts Center presents a homegrown production of Jonathan Larson’s game-changing musical beginning this Friday.

It won a Best Musical Tony and a Pulitzer Prize; ran for a dozen years on Broadway; has single-handedly been credited with reinventing the modern American musical —— and has spawned a legion of followers who’ve been branded everything from “the most passionate” to “the most annoying” of fanbases.

It’s Rent, Jonathan Larson’s magnum opus (set in the once-forgotten but fast-transitioning landscape of Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the AIDS-ravaged end of the 20th century) that borrowed the framework of Puccini’s La Boheme — and that became a genuinely game-changing Broadway sleeper, fueled by real grass-roots buzz, burgeoning social media, and the mind-bogglingly sudden death of its creator on the eve of the show’s first preview.

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Preferred-ParkingA guy who stutters and a guy with Tourette Syndrome walk into a room — but for once, they’re not the set-up for some sleazy old-school joke. In fact, this time they’re the ones who are controlling the situation and dispensing the punchlines.

Drew Lynch (whose stutter derived from a vocal-cord-paralyzing sports accident) and Samuel J. Conroe (a veteran comic who’s had “the twitchy kind” of Tourette’s his entire life) constitute the comedy duo known as Preferred Parking. And they’ll be parking it at the Warner Student Life Center at Brookdale Community College this Tuesday afternoon for the latest installment in the Laugh at Lunch series of entertainments sponsored by the Student Life and Activities committee at BCC.

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Press release from Brookdale Community College

On Friday, April 10, the Brookdale Community College Black Student Union will partner with the Monmouth Ocean County Pan Hellenic Council to host the first Minority Male Initiative program on the college’s Lincroft campus.

Scheduled to begin at 8:30 am, the free conference will include workshops and an expert panel discussion centered on the benefits of earning a college degree, and the unique challenges faced by black and Latino males in higher education.

According to a 2012 report by the National Center for Education Statistics, only 34 percent of black males earned a bachelor’s degree within six years of enrollment in college, as opposed to 59 percent of white males.

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disobedience_imageThe story of WWII hero Sousa Mendes gets a public airing with a free screening of DISOBEDIENCE, Monday night at Brookdale Community College.

The name of Raoul Wallenberg has been taught in history classes for generations. — and thanks to Hollywood, we know the name of Schindler and his list. But the name Aristides de Sousa Mendes do Amaral e Abranches is anther story entitrely.

On Monday, March 23, the story of the World War II era Portuguese consul — a hero who defied the orders of his government by illegally granting visas to an estimated 30,000 refugees (including approximately 10,000 Jews) in occupied France — will take center stage during a free presentation at Brookdale Community College.

Hosted at BCC’s Student Life Center — and co-sponsored by the Center for Holocaust, Human Rights and Genocide Education (Chhange), the Brookdale International Education Center, and the Sousa Mendes Foundation — the 6:30 pm program combines a public-welcome showing of the feature film Disobedience: The Sousa Mendes Story with an illuminating example of living history.

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BunnyThe locally based creators of the book and toy package THE BUNNY WITH THE BASKET AND THE GOLDEN EGG visit Brookdale College this Thursday — and hit the trail for additional appearances in Little Silver and Shrewsbury — during the lead-up to the Easter holiday.

If the secular merchandising part of the Easter holiday is all about the Bunny, then attention must also be paid to the Chicks — specifically, the three Monmouth County women who formed Just Three Chicks LLC, a partnership that’s been hitting the bunny trail of late to promote its first book-and-toy project, Bunny with the Basket and the Golden Egg.

Created by a trio of Rumson-based “authors, moms and friends” (Jennifer Diehl, Shauna Murray and Lisa Rettino), the Bunny with the Basket storybook is illustrated by Little Silver resident Brian Meulener — a former advertising art director and current dental student (his father is Little Silver’s own Dr. Carlos Meulener) who studied art with the late and legendary Evelyn Leavens.

This Thursday, March 19, the Just Three Chicks partners will join the Easter Bunny for a 4 pm in-person appearance at the Scroll and Pen Bookstore (inside the Student Life Center at Brookdale Community College) — part of a busy slate of promotional appearances that range from Manhattan to Manasquan, with upcoming stopovers at Sickles Market (Sunday March 22, 2 – 4 pm), Little Silver Public Library (Tuesday March 24, 3:30 pm) and the Williams-Sonoma store at The Grove in Shrewsbury (Saturday March 28, 10 – 11 am).

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Press release from Brookdale Community College

On Sunday, April 12, Brookdale Community College will hold its annual Spring Open House from 12 to 2 pm, inside the Collins Arena on the Lincroft campus.

High school students, career-changers and residents of all ages are invited to explore the more than 50 degree and certificate programs offered at Brookdale. Visitors can meet with faculty and advisors from every college department and take a guided tour of the campus.

Staff will be on hand to discuss available scholarships, grants, financial aid, job training opportunities and four-year degree programs.

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LEcareerfairCommunity members speak with local law enforcement representatives during the 2014 Law Enforcement Career Fair at Brookdale Community College. 

Press release from Brookdale Community College 

The third annual Law Enforcement Career Fair and tribute to first responders will be held on Friday, April 3 from 9 am to 2:30 pm at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft.

Representatives from federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies will be on hand to answer questions and promote careers in their respective organizations. Participating agencies include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, multiple state police departments, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s and Sheriff’s offices, and the Eatontown and Ocean Township police departments.

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AJ Melnick GodspellAJ Melnick heads a youthful cast as Jesus, as the Monmouth Players present their production of GODSPELL inside the Navesink Arts Center. (Photo courtesy of Monmouth Players)

The 2014-2015 season of shows from Monmouth Players continues apace at the Navesink Arts Center — the reborn and rebranded former Navesink Library at Monmouth and Sears Avenues in Middletown — with a busier-than-ever slate of entertainments that hasn’t let a little thing like a particularly rotten winter spoil its fun. When the figurative curtain went up this past weekend on the latest community production from the long-running troupe, veteran watchers of the Players were treated to something rare indeed: a musical.

Continuing through March 22, the Players production of Godspell matches the 1971 perennial from songsmith Stephen Schwartz (Wicked) with a cast of fresh faces — many of them brand new to the Navesink company that’s been in business since before its current executive producers (Lori and Paul Renick) made their own entrances on the world stage. Based on parables from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the show that birthed the hit “Day by Day” puts forth an age-of-Aquarius message of love and tolerance via an eclectic score that ranges from folk-infused pop to vintage vaudeville — and it’s a spotlight opportunity for one prominent member of the company who’s “happy to be joining a community comprised of such fanciful characters.”

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adam nagelThe profile photo of the Twitter user identified as “the Sports Guru,” who Curt Schilling said posted offensive comments about his daughter, is the same one used on Facebook by a Brookdale student named Adam Nagel. Both accounts have since been removed.  (Click to enlarge)

[See update below regarding student’s affiliation with the radio station.]


HOT-TOPIC_02Brookdale Community College suspended a student Monday after retired baseball great Curt Schilling outed him as one of at least two Twitter posters who tweeted sexually offensive statements about Schilling’s daughter last week.

The student, who was not identified by the school, was among two or more Twitter users who suggested they would sexually assault Schilling’s daughter, Gabby, after her father announced that she would be attending college Salve Regina University in Rhode Island and pitch for the softball team.

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marathonPress release from Monmouth County Parks System

Missed the deadline to pre-register for the Monmouth County Park System’s E. Murray Todd Half Marathon?  No problem.  The Park System will accept on-site registration starting at 7:15 am on race day — this Sunday, March 1.

With a start time of 9 am, the annual 13.1-mile race commences from the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College , and takes runners through residential areas of Lincroft, Holmdel and Colts Neck.  Race-day registration costs $50 per runner.

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Press release from Congregation B’nai Israel

Carole BasriOn Tuesday, March 10, Congregation B’nai Israel (CBI) in Rumson will welcome guest speaker Carole Basri for a special event. A lawyer, filmmaker and expert on international relations, with a particular interest in Iraqi history, Basri will speak about the ethnic cleansing policies of the Middle East, beginning with the Jews and including the recent ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) persecution of Christians, Kurds, Yazedis and Shiite minorities. She will also show clips from her documentary films.

The 7 pm program is open to the public and refreshments will be served. Admission is free for members of CBI, Red Bank Hadassah and chhange. The non-member fee is $5. Advance registration for the program is requested by March 5 at

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DiggingWhole3Brookdale Community College student actors Adam von Pier of Fair Haven, Emily King of Colts Neck, Marissa Williams of Red Bank and Frank Mendoza of Middletown rehearse DIGGING THE WHOLE, the interactive family musical opening at BCC’s Performing Arts Center on February 27. 

Press release from Brookdale Community College

Beginning on the morning of Friday, February 27 and continuing through March 8, the Performing Arts Center at Brookdale Community College will present the interactive, family friendly musical Digging the Whole.

Written by Mark Schaeffer and featuring music and lyrics by Rita Z. Asch, the 1988 play tells the story of Slag Heap, a soda-drinking, TV-watching character who builds a new home for himself in the middle of the woods. One evening Slag Heap is visited by Raccoon, Deer, Owl and Oak Tree, who put him on trial for littering, disturbing the peace, attempted murder and other crimes against nature.

While the woodland creatures serve as judge, prosecutor, bailiff and court clerk, the audience is recruited to serve as jury. At the conclusion of the play, audience members must decide whether Slag Heap is innocent or guilty.

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craig adamCraig Ferguson returns to the Count Basie on Monday night — while Adam Mamawala is Tuesday’s featured performer for this month’s edition of Laugh at Lunch, on campus at Brookdale.  (Ferguson photo by Michael Becker)

One’s a young Jerseyan whose comedy often revolves around his family’s South Asian heritage, and the culture clashes that tend to work their way between the generations. The other’s a Scottish-born veteran whose apparent inability to fully comprehend the American experience (this despite many years as a fixture on our TV screens) forms the delightful basis of his standup craft. Considered together, they’re an evening out/ morning after study in comic contrasts.

While he may have just ended his decade-long run as host of CBS’s Late Late Show — a Peabody Award-winning bully pulpit in which he took the art of the chatfest monologue to places it may never be taken again — Craig Ferguson remains highly visible on the syndicated game show Celebrity Name Game, a fitting forum for his absurdist adlibs and “outsider” brand of humor. He’s also making his presence felt on the theater standup circuit once more — and on Monday, February 9, the actor, screenwriter, filmmaker, novelist (and onetime presenter of a UK archaeology series) returns to the Count Basie Theatre for a whistlestop on his “Hot and Grumpy” Tour. It’s a 7:30 pm showtime, for which tickets ($25 – $95) can be reserved right here.

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peytonlistThe Guest List: Disney Channel series JESSIE co-star Peyton List comes to the campus of Brookdale College on Sunday, as special attraction at a day-long “Kidabaloo.”  

“Are your kids going crazy stuck inside in the cold weather?” ask the producers of Kidabaloo, the daylong “explosion of fun, laughter and excitement” that commandeers the Collins Arena (on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College) this Sunday, February 8.

A presentation of the Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, this first-ever event pairs a panorama of all-seasons, all-ages activities with a spacious indoor setting — BCC’s Robert J. Collins Arena, a venue with enough run, hop and tumble room to accommodate everything from remote control car races and live animals, to moon bounces and a demonstration by the team from Olympiad Gymnastics.

There’s more in store between the hours of noon to 5 pm — including face painting, balloon animals and costumed characters by Chubby Penguin Parties; arts and crafts; a visit with the Frost Buddy Ice Princesses at Sparkle Diva Studios; video games in the Gamin’ Ride truck, and lessons in cupcake decorating, juggling and tightrope walking. There’s also an event stage, where Kidabaloo welcomes a special guest star from the TV’s Jessie.

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TimDillinghamAmerican Littoral Society exec director Tim Dillingham (pictured here with piping plover pal) is the special guest speaker, during a public-invited event hosted by the Brookdale Community College Environmental Club on Monday evening.

If Dr. Seuss’s character The Lorax speaks for the trees, then in Tim Dillingham the native species of our coastal waterways have an articulate advocate who’s proud to “represent the fish.”

As Executive Director of the American Littoral Society since 2003, Dillingham has been a vocal and visible steward for the mission of the environmental organization first founded in that pre-Earth Day era of 1961 — whether donning suit and tie as a gubernatorial appointee to high-level advisory councils and panels, or wading into the region’s waters to conserve the ecological connections between horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds. On Monday evening, January 26, the director ventures inland for a visit to the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College, where he’ll assess the health of New Jersey’s ocean environment — and the always-uneasy relationship between inhabited coastlines and uninhibited seas — in a free, public-invited meeting.

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36th-invite-cropped-bottom-e1420475703761Works of art in all manner of 2D and 3D media are spotlighted in the main gallery of the Monmouth Museum, as the 36th annual Juried Art Exhibition keynotes the new year beginning with a Saturday reception. 

It’s a local art event that’s served to “ring in the new” each January since the Carter-country year of 1979 — but even if the Monmouth Museum has played host for each of its 36 editions, it’s really been only five years since the Museum took the reins of the annual juried art exhibition founded by the Monmouth Arts Council.

Beginning with a free reception and awards ceremony this Saturday from 4 to 6 pm, the group show assembles one of the most eclectic collections of “emerging artist” creatives — working in a variety of genres and media, and hailing from all over New Jersey and the great big garden beyond.

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Press release from Brookdale Community College

Tim Dillingham, Executive Director of the American Littoral Society, will discuss the health of New Jersey ocean environment and the uneasy relationship between inhabited coastlines and uninhibited seas on January 26 at Brookdale Community College.

The 6 pm meeting, open to the public, includes members of the BCC Environmental Club and the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Sierra Group.

Specifically, Mr. Dillingham will focus on the need to restore and protect coastal habitat after Hurricane Sandy, and he will explore several defensive strategies for predicted sea level rise in the future.

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AnnWeiss.Headshot._SKPress release from Brookdale Community College

Community members are invited to take a rare look into the lives of Holocaust victims during a public presentation at Brookdale Community College on Monday, January 26.

Scheduled for 7 pm in the Navesink rooms of the Student Life Center building, the program features researcher and writer Ann Weiss (pictured) in a presentation of some of the more than 2,000 personal photos she uncovered during a trip to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in 1986.

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