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SEA BRIGHT: DONOVAN’S REBUILD BEGINS

donovan's 052616donovan's 071015 3Obliterated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and revived last summer as an open-air bar (seen at right), Sea Bright’s Donovan’s Reef is finally on track to having a permanent home again, NJ.com reports. The oceanfront watering hole is two weeks into a construction project that’s estimated to take about 10 months, the news site reports.

“I’m looking forward to the return of a Donovan’s that, like the rest of the new Seas Bright, is built to last,” Mayor Dina Long told NJ.com. “Donovan’s is an integral piece of the Sea Bright fabric. Without Donovan’s in Sea Bright, it feels like something’s missing.” (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

R-FH TOPS OCEAN AFTER 11 INNINGS

Jackson Russicci pitched five innings in relief and scored on a walk-off bases loaded walk in the 11th inning to give Rumson-Fair Haven its fifth straight win Monday. Watch the highlights from a well played game at Shore Sports Zone. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone.)

SEA BRIGHT: DONOVAN’S TIKI BAR REOPENS

donovan's 071015 3With new access ramps over the sea wall, the restored tiki bar at Donovan’s was back in business Friday afternoon, as co-owner Chris Bowler announced via the signboard, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

donovan's 071015 1Thirty-two months after it was knocked cold by Hurricane Sandy, a Sea Bright watering hole stirred back to life in limited form Friday afternoon.

Employees of Donovan’s Reef, which had been a magnet to Wall Street millionaires and Side Street store clerks alike, threw open a fenced gate to its beachfront tiki bar shortly before 3 p.m., marking the end of a long, frustrating struggle, its owners said.

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SEA BRIGHT: WHALE OF A DAY AT THE BEACH

sb whale 070515Reader Betsy Lunney photographed a whale feeding in the Atlantic off the Sands Beach Club in Sea Bright Sunday afternoon. Nearby, a reported shark sighting off Driftwood Beach Club prompted police to issue a warning to bathers at about 4:30 p.m., but the warning was cancelled around 8 p.m. with a message that the shark was actually a sunfish. (Photo by Betsy Lunney. Click to enlarge.)

SEA BRIGHT: AIRING OUT KITES ON THE BEACH

kite-72934kite-72877Crisp blue skies, ocean breezes and beach sand made an ideal setting for the Sea Bright Festival on Saturday. The event, the first of its kind, was one of several aimed at demonstrating that the borough is “more than just a summer destination,” in the words of the organizing Sustainable Sea Bright Committee.

Check out all of redbankgreen‘s photos, below.  (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

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BEACH ALERT: RIP CURRENT THREAT HIGH

sb beach 071813Beachgoers taking advantage of the mild early autumn weather are being warned of a high risk of rip currents Wednesday. The National Weather Service says life-threatening rips are expected to result from east wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour and waves of up to seven feet in advance of rain expected to arrive overnight. The rip warning is in effect through Wednesday evening. For more about rips, click here. (Archive photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: DONOVAN’S COMEBACK DELAYED

sb donovan's 040214The site of Donovan’s Reef in April. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

An ambitious plan to reopen a prominent Sea Bright bar by July 4 won’t meet its goal, the Star-Ledger’s website reports.

Bob Phillips, an owner of Donovan’s Reef, tells nj.com that the effort has been frustrated by his inability to obtain a loan from the federal government.

Still, the business, destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012, will reopen in scaled-down form this summer, with completion of a permanent new structure as early as November, Phillips tells the news organization.

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SEA BRIGHT: DONOVAN’S TO REBUILD

donovan's 2 110312Donovan’s Reef as seen five days after Hurricane Sandy, above, and in better days, below. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Donovan's 10-07 2Smashed to splinters by Hurricane Sandy, Sea Bright’s venerated beachfront bar, Donovan’s Reef, will make it’s return this summer, an  owner tells redbankgreen.

The comeback, approved earlier this week by the borough planning board in a unanimous 8-0 vote, could begin with an the opening of tiki bar as soon as May 15, said Bob Phillips, who co-owns the business with two partners.

“Their mentality is, ‘We need you more than you need us,'” Phillips said of the board’s members.

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SEA BRIGHT: CHILLY RECEPTION FOR LNG PLAN

Attendees at the event, held in a tent on the municipal beach, viewed information displays about the project. Below, a rendering of the transfer system. (Photo above by Colby Wilson. Click to enlarge)

By COLBY WILSON

An all-too familiar storm is brewing on the Jersey Shore, as local environmentalists are turning up the heat on Governor Chris Christie to block a liquefied natural gas (LNG) port from being built just miles away from Sea Bright.

Dozens took their frustrations to the Sea Bright beach Thursday night at a “citizen public hearing” held by Sandy Hook-based Clean Ocean Action. At issue: an LNG ocean-transfer terminal, dubbed Port Ambrose. An applicant called Liberty Natural Gas applied last month for federal permits to build the deepwater port 24 miles east of Long Branch in 103 feet of water.

The terminal, handling gas chilled to minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit, would be in different location than one proposed in 2010 and later nixed a year later by Christie.

“Make no mistake, it is déjà vu. You were here before, and this was happening before,” said Clean Ocean Action executive director Cindy Zipf.

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SEA BRIGHT RESIDENTS TO GET ACCESS TODAY

For the second time in four days, Sea Bright residents gathered in a stadium, this time in West Long Branch, to get updates on the storm cleanup Sunday. Below, Mayor Dina Long and Councilman James LoBiondo. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Sea Bright residents were to begin getting greater access to their homes Monday morning, town officials told them at another packed-grandstand meeting Sunday.

Though a massive cleanup and repair of public works infrastructure is proceeding more quickly than initially anticipated, “Sea Bright is not ready to be reoccupied,” Mayor Dina Long said at a townwide meeting held at Shore Regional High’s football field in West Long Branch.

Still, officials hope to allow unimpeded access to residents as early as Friday, said Councilman James LoBiondo, who has headed up the effort to cap leaking natural gas lines and remove hundreds of tons of sand from roadways.

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WOMEN TO SHARE THEIR SONGS AND STORIES

The Woman’s Club of Red Bank is the kickoff site for the three-day event. (Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

What is the value of art? Is it a frivolous hobby or a creative outlet necessary for emotional health?

Coming up this weekend is a three-day fundraiser designed to provoke such musings. The second annual “Women of Song” event is being held to promote the arts in Monmouth County through music, poetry, and performance. It kicks off Friday at the Woman’s Club of Red Bank before continuing on to Ocean Township and Asbury Park over the weekend.

Organizers Maxine Snow and Helen-Chantel Pike co-founded the event, with help from Brenda Wirth and Jenny Woods, to rectify what they saw as a “lack of representation for female talent in the Jersey Shore area,” said Snow.

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HOAX CALL TAB: $330,000 AND COUNTING

An ambulance arriving at Fort Hancock Monday evening, above, joining a growing number at two staging areas. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Calm and collected, the anonymous caller said he was standing in three-and-a-half feet of water on the bridge of an explosion-damaged yacht 17 miles offshore.

In a recording of the mayday call released by the U.S. Coast Guard Tuesday, the male voice goes on to claim “three deceased on board” and 20 “souls” in the water.

The call triggered a massive response that included an intensive air and sea search and an all-hands readiness turnout of emergency first aiders, firefighters and others, most of whom raced to Sandy Hook to help.

But the call, the Coast Guard says, was in all likelihood a hoax. And unless the caller is found and forced to cough up, it will cost taxpayers at least $300,000.

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BOAT EXPLOSION HOAX TRIGGERS PROBE

A State Police helicopter, above, and ambulances, below, arriving at Fort Hancock, ready to transport ‘victims’ of Monday’s purported boat explosion.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Ambulances, including a “mass-casualty” vehicle capable of handling more than a dozen injured at a time, manned by dozens of volunteers from across Monmouth County. Fire trucks. A handful of helicopters standing by, and four others aloft, scanning hundreds of square miles of ocean in a desperate race to effort to help.

All mustered, apparently, on a hoax.

Roughly five hours and an estimated hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses after it began, a search for the 21 “victims” of a yacht explosion at sea that purportedly left up to nine people badly burned was suspended by the U.S. Coast Guard Monday night.

Now, the incident is a matter of investigating who set it all  in motion, the Coast Guard says.

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WOODY’S SURFS OVER TO SNACK SHACK

Customers lined up on Memorial Day, below, at the new Woody’s Ocean Hut in Sea Bright.  (Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Where others have tried and wiped out, Chris Wood is diving into the surf.

The owner of Woody’s Ocean Grille in Sea Bright last week opened a satellite business just yards away from his year-old restaurant, creating what he calls “a glorified snack bar” in a beachfront building that has seen a a lot of churn in recent years.

He thinks the pairing is the secret sauce to outlasting his predecessors at the well-hidden stand.

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MAKING A SPLASH FOR PAROCHIAL ED

The water was calm as hundreds dove in Sunday (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click embiggen symbol in lower right corner to enlarge)

Hundreds of local Catholic school supporters dashed into a relatively warm (47-degree) Atlantic off MerriMakers in Sea Bright on Sunday for the sixth annual Ancient Order of Hibernians’ Polar Plunge.

redbankgreen photographer Peter Lindner went in with the ecstatic throng and came away with this set of images.

WHILE INLAND WILTS, SEA BRIGHT SPARKLES

Remember the summer of 2009? When it rained the entire month of June?

Or how about the repeated snowstorms that got dumped on us this past winter?

Well, it may be hot now, but for beach lovers and boaters, the summer of 2010 is shaping up as a smactacular bonanza. That was in full evidence in the tiny burg of Sea Bright this weekend.

Photographer Peter Linder wandered the streets and strands of Sea Bright for redbankgreen on Saturday, and this is what he saw. And we get to enjoy it all over again!

To enlarge the photo display, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To get back to redbankgreen, hit your escape key.