LINCROFT: GUN REPORT PROMPTS LOCKDOWN

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Conflicting reports of an armed person at Brookdale Community College led to a brief lockdown of the Lincroft campus Wednesday evening, according to several news organizations.

According to New Jersey 101.5, the lockdown was triggered when one student reported that another had walked onto the campus carrying a BB gun.

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LINCROFT: BURNHAM COPS TO ‘ARROGANCE’

HOT-TOPIC_01Former Brookdale Community College president Peter Burnham, who went to prison for defrauding the Lincroft institution, is out and talking about what led him there, NJ.com Tuesday.

“There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and I crossed that line,” 71-year-old Burnham told an audience at the annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges in Chicago last week, NJ.com reported, citing and earlier account by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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PROSECUTOR: NO WRONGDOING IN ARREST

Video of Jeffrey Michel’s arrest on the Brookdale campus last month. (Video by Vincent Cordero)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The viral-video pepper-spray arrest of a Brookdale Community College student last month was done in “full compliance” with law enforcement guidelines, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office has concluded.

In fact, the officers involved might have been more aggressive in their arrest of Jeffrey Michel without overstepping guidelines established by the state Attorney General, an official in the professional responsibility unit of the prosecutor’s office wrote in a December 8 letter to Brookdale’s dean.

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LINCROFT: CAMPUS ARREST VIDEO GOES VIRAL

Video of Jeffrey Michel’s arrest on the Brookdale campus Friday. (Video posted by Vincent Cordero)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Video of the arrest of a Freehold man on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College last Friday has gone viral, with numerous commenters claiming it shows overly aggressive policing.

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LINCROFT: BROOKDALE OKS MASS LAYOFF

HOT-TOPIC_03Brookdale Community College in Lincroft will lay off 210 employees next summer, according to a report by the Asbury Park Press.

About 250 staffers, students and alumni packed a “boisterous” hearing to protest the move on Thursday, according to the report. But the school’s board of trustees, citing a growing budget hole, approved the layoffs, which are to be followed by new hirings, app.com reports.

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LINCROFT: Ex-NFL-ERS TAKE IT TO THE HOOP

Former Steelers player Rian Wallace gets some competition in the form of a football for the attention of a young fan. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

It was average Joes vs football pros on the hardwood last Friday night as local amateur and school basketball teams faced off against a “dream-team” consisting of past and present NFL players – all in the name of charity.

The Hoops for Hope event, created by local son turned NFL player Lonnie Allgood and held at Brookdale Community College’s Collins Arena, consisted of a series of quick exhibition games and other activities to raise money for  Dreams for Kids and the YMCA’s Strong Kids program, dedicated to providing underprivileged kids with a healthy lifestyle.

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WEEKEND: HEARTS, CRAFTS AND HARMONIES

Kenny Vance and the Planotones bring their supersmooth doo-wop to the Basie Saturday night. Below, quilts will be on display at the Middletown Township Public Library Saturday. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

Friday, February 8

RED BANK: Psychic Lisa Williams will use the Count Basie Theatre stage at 8 p.m. to demonstrate her other-worldly abilities for $35-59 entry tickets. 99 Monmouth Street.

Saturday, February 9

SHREWSBURY: Stop by the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a free workshop with materials to create handcrafted valentines for that special someone. 1001 Route 35 North.

LITTLE SILVER: From 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sickles Market will offer a step-by-step tutorial on how to create beautiful floral arrangements, from assembly to aftercare. For $40, each participant will be able to take home their own five-inch glass cube filled with hydrangeas, gerber daisies, rose, and wax flowers. Space is limited and advance registration plus payment is required. 1 Harrison Avenue.

MIDDLETOWN: Rebecca’s Reel Quilters, an organization specializing in lessons and workshops for quilting enthusiasts, will be displaying their work at the public library at 1 p.m. Admission is free to those wishing to come and admire. The exhibit will continue during regular library hours through March 1. 55 New Monmouth Road.

RED BANK: Kids five years old and up are welcome at a free craft party from 2 to 3 p.m. at Red Bank Public Library, where they can create their very own Valentines, including lollipop flowers and heart-shaped suncatchers. Registration is required. 84 West Front Street.

RED BANK: The Count Basie will host a Valentine concert at 7:30, featuring Kenny Vance and the Planotones, Terry Johnson’s Flamingos, Willie Winfield and the Harptones, Lewis Lymon and the Teenchords, Cleveland Still and the Dubs, Lenny Dell and the Dimensions and The Chantels. Tickets are $40-50. 99 Monmouth Street.

LINCROFT: Brookdale’s Performing Arts Center will welcome jazz pianist Joe Accurso, bassist Gary Mazzaroppi and guitarist Doug Clark at 8 p.m. for a cheap ($15-17 tickets) but jammin’ good time. Newman Springs Road.

Sunday, February 10

LITTLE SILVER: Sickles Market invites parents and kids to spend some quality time together and decorate one large heart shaped sugar cookie and six cupcakes to take home, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Only kids ages 6 to 12. Space is limited and advance registration plus payment ($25) is required. 1 Harrison Avenue.

RED BANK: Red Bank Regional’s THE SOURCE hosts a benefit at Buona Sera for the Andrew Kroon Memorial Scholarship Program for Latino students. The $40 admission includes a fashion show, lunch and coffee bar, plus a 50/50 raffle and raffle basket auction. 50 Maple Avenue.

MIDDLETOWN: The Creative Writing Majors of Red Bank Regional High School’s Performing Arts Academy will put on a free performance at the Main Library at 2 p.m. 55 New Monmouth Road.

RED BANK: The Monmouth Symphony Orchestra will perform at Count Basie at 3 p.m. featuring Haydn, Shostakovich, and Aaron Copland’s ‘An Outdoor Adventure.’ Tickets are $35. 99 Monmouth Street.

LINCROFT: Postponed from last week due to inclement weather, the Chairish the Museum Silent Auction Finale Benefit at the Monmouth Museum features over 50 chairs decorated and designed by local artists, all of which are available for purchase. ‘Libations and light fare’ will be served during the 4 to 6 p.m. event. All proceeds from the $10 tickets benefit the educational programs at the Museum. 765 Newman Springs Road.

RED BANK: First Presbyterian Church will welcome young instrumentalists from Juilliard School and other prestigious academies at 7 p.m. as part of the free Tower Hill Concert Series. 255 Harding Road.

AUTHOR OPENS SERIES WITH HARD TRUTHS

By DAN NATALE

What does it take to become a published author of fiction? Will power, says Aryn Kyle, author of the national best-selling young-adult novel The God of Animals.

Kyle served up sometimes harsh truths on what it takes when she appeared at Brookdale Community College last Wednesday as the first author in this year’s visiting writer series.

“The amount of time where writing is fun is a small percentage,” she told an audience of more than 100 students, faculty members, fans, and aspiring writers. “It’s fun to start something. It’s awesome to finish something. The middle is hard.”

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FORMER BROOKDALE PREZ COPS TO FRAUD

Peter Burnham, who resigned as president of Brookdale Community College last year amid questions over his lavish pay and perks, pleaded guilty Tuesday to defrauding the school out of $40,000, the Monmouth County Prosecutor announced.

Burnham, of Colts Neck, also admitted bilking the federal government and Monmouth University out of $20,000 in student aid after he quit in discgrace, according to Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Grammiccioni.

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HUMANISTS FIRE BACK IN ‘WAR ON WOMEN’

Pat Barr, a self-described “anti-demonstration demonstrator,” tells fellow humanists about her experiences as pro-choice picketer. (Click to enlarge)

By STACIE FANELLI

In a presentation heavy on how labels are deployed in political battles, Irma Lester wondered aloud whether the term “war” correctly describes what she sees as a recent stripping of reproductive and economic rights from women.

Despite the harsh connotation of a battlefield, she said it “does catch the sense of danger that we’re in today.”

Lester, a professor emeritus of women’s studies at Brookdale Community College women’s, appeared before the Red Bank Humanists on Sunday at the Red Bank Charter School as the special guest speaker for its June forum: “The War on Women: Myth or Reality?”

Whatever terminology backers of women’s rights use to describe themselves and their causes, their conservative opponents are “going to demonize” them, Lester said. “Stick with ‘feminist.’ Stick with ‘abortion.'”

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BILLY GETS HIS EVENING, FOR M’TOWN ARTS

billy_016Playwright Billy Van Zandt is in the hot seat for an April 30 fundraiser for the Middletown Cultural and Arts Center.

By TOM CHESEK

No, Billy Van Zandt — to quote the late great Red Buttons and his signature shtick on countless Dean Martin roasts — “never got a dinner.” But on the night of Saturday, April 30, he’ll be getting his very own Evening.

Unlike other Monmouth County folks who went Hollywood in a big way, the comic playwright, producer and performer has, with his longtime collaborator Jane Milmore, maintained a pretty dynamic profile on the area’s artscape — particularly over at the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College, where the Van Zandt-Milmore tagteam has taught, established a scholarship and regularly premiered such new works for the stage as You’ve Got Hate Mail, currently enjoying a hit Off Broadway run at The Triad in Manhattan.

As one half of a bicoastal stage/screen writing partnership, the half brother of Steve Van Zandt spends about half his time here on the greater Red Bank Green — often with his sons and his better half, actress and author Adrienne Barbeau. None of which is to suggest that Billy Van Zandt ever does anything halfway, however.

Scheduled for 7:30p on April 30, An Evening with Billy Van Zandt (it even rhymes with An Evening with Cary Grant) presents the 1975 graduate of the old split-session Middletown High School in an “up close and personal” forum, in which he’s expected to offer advice to aspiring actors and writers — and to share some pretty priceless stories from his travels as a young actor in major motion pictures, and an Emmy nominated writer-producer for sitcoms both legendary (Newhart) and look-it-up (Bless This House).

Moderated by actor Jeff Babey (who, as a member in good standing of the Van Zandt-Milmore stock company, is similarly not known to do things in moderation), it’s a circus that manages to involve everyone from Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra, and Tom Cruise, to Wiliam Shatner, the Wayans Brothers and Andrew Dice Clay — and that’s just for appetizers. It’s also a benefit for the educational programs of the Middletown Township Cultural & Arts Council, hosted at their spacious (and criminally under-utilized) Middletown Arts Center, located just seconds from Red Bank and steps from the township’s NJ Transit train platform. The redbankgreen Drama Desk met up with BVZ at the Broadway Diner recently, to kvetch and ketchup on current events.

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IN oRBit: ONLY SUPER RALPH CAN SAVE US

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nadersmall

Activist. Advocate. Gadfly. Thorn in the side, savior of life and limb, spoiler of presidential elections. Ralph Nader has been called many things in his 75 years, although “novelist” hasn’t been one of them. Until now, that is, with the publication of his first non-nonfiction book.

Promoted as a work of Practical Utopian Fiction, Nader’s new book Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! is a weighty (700-plus pages) and wild story in which an all-star roster of real-life billionaires (including Warren Buffett, Ted Turner and, um, Yoko Ono?) team up to solve the world’s problems, in Naderesque fashion.

Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit is pleased to bring you an interview with this perennial public figure (currently considering a run for US Senate), as he visits Brookdale Community College this weekend in an appearance hosted by BookMark It! Events.

Fasten your seatbelts — and don’t forget to thank Mr. Nader for that — then get ready to Ralph, right here in Red Bank oRBit!