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FAIR HAVEN: FIREMEN’S FAIR TURNS 58

Oh yes, Mr. Teapot, the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair returns for its 58th annual edition starting Friday.

It was the late summer of 1960, and even as storm watchers were keeping tabs on a tropical depression named Donna, the thoughts of most folks were with squeezing the last bit of enjoyment out of another hard-earned vacation season.

The American Football League was still a week or two away from kicking off its first game, and precious few people were aware of a little band named the Beatles, but taking advantage of a change in state laws governing raffles and midway-style games of chance, volunteer firefighters in launched an event that returns for its 58th annual edition this week: the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair.

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ON THE GREEN: CATCH THESE OUTSIDE

The reverb-drenched surf rock sounds of  the Sharkskins close out the concert season on the Fair Haven Municipal Dock Thursday night.

From star-kissed surf and free-range country to plein-air pickin’ and fresh-air film, the season of outdoor diversions remains very much in effect on the Greater Red Bank Green. We’ve got the roundup of public-welcome events under the summer sky — and over the next seven days and nights — all of them free as a breeze.

It all starts tonight, weather permitting, with the latest installment of the Summer 2017 Movies in Riverside Gardens Park series, sponsored by Red Bank Parks and Recreation and brought to you by Shore Flicks.

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FAIR HAVEN: BEACH READ ON RIVER ROAD

Best-selling novelist Patti Callahan Henry comes to River Road Books Wednesday with her latest, ‘The Bookshop at Water’s End.’  

The swimsuits and summer gear may have already been supplanted on store shelves by back-to-school items and other mellow-harshing signifiers of autumn’s advance, but at River Road Books in Fair Haven, the season of the “summer read” remains very much in effect, with more than enough sun-dappled and seabreeze-kissed titles to fuel a thousand oceanfront excursions.

The last bastion of independently owned bookstores on the Greater Red Bank Green continues its decade-plus history of guest-author appearances when best-selling novelist Patti Callahan Henry drops by Wednesday evening with something of an affirmation that summer, and its literary contents, remain alive and well.

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IN THE AIR: FREE MUSIC, MOVIES AND MORE

Week two of this summer’s Movies in the Park series in Red Bank features an entry from the ‘Star Wars’ catalog. Below, Layonne Holmes fronts the Motor City Revue in a return to Sandy Hook Wednesday.  

There’s a chance to imagine yourself as part of the biggest franchise in film fantasy history. Some power pop on the dock. A heat-blast of Latin-flavored jazz in the park. A little beach-music soul on the sands. And one of the world’s most beloved plays on yonder grassy knoll.

It’s all going on beneath the setting sun and stars of the Greater Red Bank Green — and all fabulously free of charge in the evenings to come.

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FAIR HAVEN SCHOOL HONORS MARINE

L-R: Former Marines Fred Dispensiere and Joe Perrotto welcome Matthew (Matt) Valko to the Wall of Honor at Knollwood School.   

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Recently, Matthew (“Matt”) Valko completed his U.S. Marine Corps boot camp training and headed to the Combat Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. But before that, the native of Fair Haven had another important milestone to address, at the middle school from which he graduated in 2010.

Matt’s photo has now been added to the Knollwood School “Wall of Honor,” featuring graduates who are proudly serving their country in the armed forces. Located prominently in the main hallway of the school, the Wall of Honor was commissioned in 2011 by co-chairs Betsy Koch, an eighth grade science teacher at the school, and Joe Perrotto, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

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FAIR HAVEN: WAG ROCKS THE DOCK

Middletown-based powerpop purveyors The Wag open a new season of free concerts in Fair Haven this Thursday evening, on the borough’s municipal dock. 

Some music is simply born of, and belongs to, the most dimly lit grottoes and claustrophobic corners of the nocturnal club-crawler’s world — not so The Wag, the Middletown-based band that emerges into sunlight each year around this time; taking to the season of open-air concert events (including the Clearwater Festival, the Red Bank Street Life series, and of course the annual Monmouth County SPCA Dog Walk) like ducks take to water.

Appropriately enough, The Wag will be partying with the waterfowl, plus other local fans and fauna, when they help inaugurate a new season of Fair Haven Dock Concert events this Thursday, July 6.

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FAIR HAVEN TEEN AIMS FOR OLYMPIC GLORY

Nikolas Swidryk, a 17-year-old junior at RFH, is one of the top cadet and Junior Olympic recurve archers in the country.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Nikolas Swidryk, a junior at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, has “hit the mark” as a recurve archer, and is now closer to his dream of Olympic glory.

The 17-year-old son of Michelle and Dr. John Swidryk of Fair Haven is one of just 18 male athletes selected for the 2017 Junior Dream Team, consisting of the top cadet and junior Olympic recurve archers in the country.

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FAIR HAVEN: A GALLERY OF FUTURE ARTISTS

A large crowd of visitors admired an array of art created by students in grades K through 8 at Sickles and Knollwood Schools at the April 25 Fair Haven School District Art Show.

The event was organized by borough art teachers RoseAnn LaBrocca, Jessica Data and Chris Dudick.

Above, Sickles School first-grader Jude Burkhardt and third-grader Brody Burkhardt with Brody’s mixed-media painting. At right, Sickles School third-grader Celia Cope and her mom Carolyn admire Celia’s “Kitty Kitty Love” papier-mâché creation.

AN EARTH DAY ARMY AT FAIR HAVEN FIELDS

On Earth Day, April 22, an army of more than 60 volunteers descended upon Fair Haven Fields for a day of activity that included removal of trash and invasive vines, a clean-up of Dery’s Pond, and plantings of more than 50 seedlings in the Tree Nursery. Pictured left to right in the back row are borough councilman Christopher Rodriguez; Markus Onni (Den Leader, Cub Scouts Pack 127); Shervyn von Hoerl (Cubmaster, Pack 127); Carol Lang;  Matt Lang (Den Leader, Pack 127), and Chris Kopacko, with a group of Cub Scout and youth volunteers pictured at front. A follow-up volunteer day at the Fields will be announced for fall. 

RUMSON: COMMUNITIES TEAM FOR ‘TREE TALK’

Left to right: An April 19 “Tree Talk” conference drew the participation of William Gerth (Shrewsbury), Christian Burns (Fair Haven), Professor Jason Grabosky (Rutgers University), plus Wayne Greenleaf, Steve Barrett, and Kristen Hall (Rumson). (photo by Christopher Rodriguez) 

Press release from Christopher Rodriguez, Fair Haven Borough Council

The local communities of Fair Haven, Rumson, Little Silver and Shrewsbury came together on April 19 as a broader group for a discussion about our trees — the ones that benefit our environment, as well as some we can avoid — in a public-welcome meeting of the Two Rivers Shade Tree Alliance.

During the Tree Talk at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, Shade Tree Commissioners from the four towns hosted and engaging presentation by Rutgers University professor Jason Grabosky. The professor, a local expert in urban forestry, ecology and natural resources, conducted an interactive slideshow presentation, and entertained questions from the dozens of local residents in attendance.

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FAIR HAVEN KIDS MEET THE AUTHOR

Children’s author Patricia Polacco with Sickles School third graders during her recent visit to the Fair Haven School District.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

She is the writer and illustrator of over 115 books, including Keeping Quilt, Babushka’s Doll, The Dream Keeper, My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother, Chicken Sunday (a 1994 President’s Commendation Medal winner), and Welcome Comfort. Her Thank You Mr. Falker was awarded the 1999 Best Book Award by the Association of Dyslexic and Learning Disabled Readers — and in 2013, the Library of Congress and the President of the United States recognized her book Pink and Say as one of the best books written for children in the past 100 years.

A wish came true last week, when New York Times bestselling children’s book author Patricia Polacco paid a special two-day visit to the Fair Haven school district.

Students in fourth, fifth, and sixth grades at Knollwood School spent quality time with the author during presentations on April 3, while Polacco’s visit to Viola L. Sickles School on April 4 included lunch with two students chosen by lottery from each third grade class, along with their teachers.

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FAIR HAVEN KIDS DO LUNCH WITH VIPS

The atmosphere was fun and festive, during the annual “Lunch with a VIP” event at Fair Haven’s at Viola L. Sickles School.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

“Lunch with a VIP” is a yearly event that provides students the opportunity to connect with a loved one during the school day, in a highly celebratory atmosphere. This year’s VIP luncheon was held at Viola L. Sickles School between March 28 and 3, with students from first, second, and third grades sharing tables with the Very Important People in their lives.

During the hour-long celebration sponsored by the Fair Haven Parent Teacher Association, Sickles students and their VIPs enjoyed fun activities and created lasting memories. A questionnaire for VIPs was provided to encourage lunchtime discussion about “favorites” – including color, song, and holiday movie. A photo booth and professional photography by Lara Robby were featured to capture a special moment in time.

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YA AUTHOR VISITS FAIR HAVEN SCHOOL

Press release from Fair Haven School District 

On March 27, award-winning Young Adult fiction author Jordan Sonnenblick visited Knollwood School, and made presentations to students in sixth through eighth grades.

Sonnenblick is well-known for exploring the complicated themes of friendship, family, and real- life tragedy while still managing to be hilariously funny. His books convey a genuine understanding of life as a teenager. Titles include Zen and the Art of Faking It, Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip, Are You Experienced? and Falling Over Sideways.

After Ever After, the sequel to Sonnenblick’s Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie, was the 2011 Middle Grades winner of the American Library Association’s Children’s Literature Award.

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FAIR HAVEN: EARTH DAY VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT

On Earth Day, April 22, residents of Fair Haven and other neighboring communities (Little Silver, Rumson and Red Bank) are invited to join members of the borough’s Natural Area Committee and Shade Tree Commission in a team opportunity to “care for a treasure that improves all of our lives.”

That treasure is the Fair Haven Fields Natural Area, the approximately 40 acre recreational facility whose trails regularly hosts a wide range of open-air activities for community members of all ages (in addition to the occasional warm-weather movie night). And beginning that Saturday morning, the community has a chance to give back to a resource that keeps on giving year-round.

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FAIR HAVEN 7TH GRADER SPELLS VICTORY

Knollwood School Spelling Bee winner PJ Rawlins is pictured with Superintendent Sean McNeil and Principal Amy Romano.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

PJ Rawlins has been announced as winner of the Annual Spelling Bee held at Knollwood School in Fair Haven on January 31. The seventh grader correctly spelled the word “feckless” to claim first place in the school-wide competition for students in fourth through eighth grade.

Competing along with PJ were eighth grader Alex Fratto, sixth grader Will Ross, fifth grader Michael DeFazio, and fourth grader Kate Cusick.

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FAIR HAVEN: BE OUR GUEST AT SCHOOL SHOW

Press release from Fair Haven School District

On the evening of Thursday, March 2, the All Purpose Room at Fair Haven’s Knollwood School will be the setting for  a special one-night-only production of the Disney musical Beauty and the Beast Jr.

Designed for middle-school aged performers, the 60-minute musical is based on the 1994 Broadway production, and Disney’s 1991 animated feature film. The sixth, seventh, and eighth grade cast contains approximately forty students.

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RUMSON, FAIR HAVEN PARENTS GO TO SCHOOL

Press release from Rumson School District

The Tri-District Initiative is a partnership that begins in the elementary and middle schools of Rumson and Fair Haven boroughs, and continues at the separate district dedicated to Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. In the spirit of aligning programs and creating dialog between the students, families and educators, the special services department at each district created a public-invited program under the name Special Education Parent Academy.

This forum features topics that can help parents at each level of the educational process. For December’s meeting, the tri-district team shared information regarding supports and programming for students receiving special education services, as they transition from middle to high school and beyond.

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FAIR HAVEN: A ‘SOUPER’ PARTY FOR THE NEEDY

Press release from Knights of Columbus Council #3187

During Super Bowl 50, young people and groups across the country raised over $10 million in cash and resources for charities through the Souper Bowl of Caring initiative. This national movement is transforming the weekend of the Big Game into the nation’s largest youth-inspired weekend of giving and serving — and here in 2017, America’s young people are working to raise millions more for hunger and poverty-related charities across the country.

The Knights of Columbus – Red Bank Council 3187 will be involved with the Souper Bowl of Caring because it is a simple and meaningful way to unite communities around important issues, such as hunger, poverty and homelessness. The entire community is invited to join the local KofC membership this Sunday, February 5, as we work to reach our fundraising goals during the fun and free-admission event “Minister Steve’s Souper Bowl Party — Help Us Reach the Goal.”

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FAIR HAVEN TEEN ATTAINS EAGLE SCOUT RANK

Michael Frissora Elmer PotterEagle Scout Michael Frissora of Fair Haven (left) is pictured at the BSA Troop 67 Court of Honor with Elmer Potter, who at 90 years of age is Monmouth County’s oldest living Eagle Scout.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Fair Haven resident Michael Frissora has attained the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest possible achievement for a member of the Boy Scouts of America. The award was conferred by BSA Troop 67 Scoutmaster Michael Maier at a Court of Honor, held on January 8 at First Presbyterian Church in Red Bank.

For his Service Project, an Eagle Scout requirement, Michael returned to his “roots” and gave back to Fair Haven’s Viola L. Sickles School, the public primary school where he began his education. Michael’s project was a large garden constructed of recycled wooden pallets and located on a 1,000 square foot lot adjacent to the school.

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REGISTER NOW FOR TWO RIVER LITTLE LEAGUE

9u-trll-east-teamThe season of wintry weather may have descended upon the local baseball diamond, but January means thoughts of “Play Ball!”, as the first month of the calendar year represents registration time for Two River Little League.

trll-logoCome spring time, recreation baseball and softball will be in full swing as TRLL begins its fourth season. Founded in 2013, the league welcomes young residents of Red Bank, Little Silver, Shrewsbury, Fair Haven and Rumson.

Participation in the league has grown each year, and in 2016 the league had its first tournament champion when the 9U TRLL East team (above) won the highly competitive NJ District 19 baseball tournament.

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ON THE GREEN: WHERE TO WELCOME 2017

SouthsideBasieNewYrsThe champagne corks are poppin’ as Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes continue a Count Basie New Year’s Eve tradition this Saturday night.

HOT-TOPIC_03Here at the tail end of a year that many people are all too anxious to put in the rear view mirror, there’s still sufficient cause to keep the party percolating right up to the last ball-drop. And in the bars, restaurants and performance spaces of the Greater Red Bank Green, revelers have a choice of options that range from an intimate table at a favorite bistro to a big event that’s become the toast of all New Year’s Eve Extravaganzas in the state of New Jersey.

Here’s a sampling from Red Bank, Fair Haven, Rumson and Sea Bright nightspots.

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FAIR HAVEN, LINCROFT: BIG GRANTS LANDED

small_factory_2Special-needs education programs developed by the Fair Haven animation studio Small Factory have been recognized with a substantial grant from the National Science Foundation.

Two small businesses on the Greater Red Bank Green — one in Fair Haven, the other in Lincroft — have been named recipients of major grants from the National Science Foundation.

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FAIR HAVEN: STOP-IT COP STOPS AT SCHOOL

Press release from Fair Haven School District

sgt-tom-richSergeant Tom Rich, an internationally recognized internet safety expert known as the STOPit Cop,” shared his message with students and parents at Knollwood School on November 29.

At two daytime rallies for students (in grades 4 and 5, and grades 6 through 8) – as well as an evening session aimed at adults – Sergeant Rich (pictured) shared the consequences of misusing technology, social media, and popular apps such as Snapchat and Yik Yak. Using his own cell phone and an interactive presentation, he demonstrated how students can make their devices safer, during the presentations that were made possible by the Fair Haven PTA.

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FAIR HAVEN: CAN WE TALK JOAN RIVERS?

Joan Rivers' other books include I Hate Everyone ... Starting With Me and Men Are Stupid ... And They Like Big Boobs.Journalist Leslie Bennetts (below) visits River Road Books Wednesday evening for a “can we talk?” session on the career of the late Joan Rivers (above).

leslie-bennettsBefore her sudden passing in 2014 at the age of 81, Joan Rivers seemed to have lived several lives in the public eye. From her training in the hepster coffee houses of Greenwich Village and the challenges of being a “comedienne” in the Sullivan-era standup scene to a spate of late-career activity that included a hit cable TV show — and a tour stop at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre — Rivers acquired new generations of fans as readily as she made enemies in and out of the business.

So writes author Leslie Bennetts in Last Girl Before Freeway: The Life, Loves, Losses, and Liberation of Joan Rivers, her newly published comprehensive study of the star’s “tumultuous, victorious, tragic, hilarious, and fascinating life.” A regular contributor to Vanity Fair magazine and an interviewer of stars, Bennetts visits River Road Books in Fair Haven for an intimate “can we talk?” session Wednesday evening.

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