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LITTLE SILVER: BRIDGE CLOSING PLANNED

LS detour plan 010916Commuters who travel between Little Silver and Oceanport via Oceanport Avenue are in for some changes to their routine.

Beginning on or about January 12, the Oceanport Avenue bridge will be closed from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays for several weeks of repairs, according to Oceanport police. Detours via the nearby Goosenck Bridge will be in effect. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

LITTLE SILVER: SEEDS OF A TOMATO DYNASTY

083014 sickles tomato1083014 sickles tomato3For the third year in a row, Michael Mansfield of Oceanport won the the biggest homegrown tomato contest at the annual Sickles Farm Market weigh-in on Saturday, with a 4-pound, 2-ounce giant.

This time, though, Mansfield was “tickled,” according to his wife, Linda, to finally meet 88-year-old Minnie Zaccaria, right, the Long Branch tomato breeder whose hybridized seeds Mansfield uses to grow his juicy monsters.

First prize was a $100 gift certificate to the Little Silver market. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

 

 

 

RED BANK MAN INDICTED IN BREAK-IN SPREE

AUTHORITIES_RB1-2014A Monmouth County grand jury indicted a Red Bank man Thursday on charges related to spate of burglaries and thefts over a three-month period last year, including two in his home town.

In the earliest of the cases, Mario Sciacca, 34, of Drs. James Parker Boulevard, was charged with breaking into a home in Oceanport on August 25, and with stealing a gas-powered leafblower in West Long Branch on September 5.

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IT’S ALL A MATTER OF TASTE IN CUPCAKE CITY

Photos by Stacie Fanelli. To enlarge the slideshow, click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Late in 2009 and into 2010, a sign in a window on West Front Street indicated a new specialty shop, Cake Red Bank, would be moving in soon, teasing the palates of passersby.

It never came.

But then, amid a series of pounding snowstorms that buried the area, a couple from Manhattan brought baked batter to the table in a nook on East Front called Sugarush, offering an array of cupcakes and confectionaries. It appeared  that Chris Paseka and Jesse Bello-Paseka had firmly staked their frosting knives in the ground.

Little did they know that two prospective cupcake merchants were greasing mini foils in preparation for their own cupcake outlets within blocks of Sugarush. Within a matter months, Red Bank, a town of 1.7 square miles, has become home to three cupcake shops — the Pasekas’ Sugarush, Cupcake Magician and Mr. Cupcakes — setting the stage for a turf war.

But several months in, the rivalry has shaped up as plain vanilla, with owners playing nice and customers, apparently welcome to options, having largely formed their own opinions and allegiances, showing that even in a small market, it’s possible to find a niche within a niche.

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FIVE BUSTED WITH FAKE I.D.s AT BAR

brannigansBrannigan’s in June. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A handful of 20-year-olds were arrested for trying to get into a Red Bank bar illegally last week, police said.

With the cooperation of staff at Brannigan’s, police arrested five people — three from Middletown — with fake driver’s licenses who were trying to get into the Wharf Avenue bar, Captain Darren McConnell said.

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MOTORISTS SWEATING DETOUR IN STRIDE

ls-trafficTraffic at Rumson Road and Branch Avenue in Little Silver was stop and go Friday morning. Below, a detour map from New Jersey Transit. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

ls-detour-mapIt’s the first full day of Little Silver’s traffic shuffle, as work on the New Jersey Transit crossing at the borough train station begins an estimated two-week blockage of a main artery through town and into Shrewsbury.

Amid the vexing backups on area roads in sweltering heat, commuter tempers seem to be cool for now.

“It wasn’t as bad as I thought, which is surprising,” said Elena Acuna, who commutes by rail to New York City three times a week. “We’ll see. It’s just kind of annoying.”

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LITTLE SILVER SQUAD WANTS A LITTLE HELP

ls-emsLittle Silver EMS crewmembers Mike Very, Liz Uliano, Chris Faherty and  Carolyn Bogdon hope to bring in a few new volunteers at an open house Sunday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Some things are certain if you join Little Silver’s EMS squad. Sirens, stretchers and blood are a given.

Other things, not so much.

Like meeting your future spouse or, working alongside your uncle who never intended to join, but liked the idea of driving an ambulance – both of which happened to Liz Uliano.

“That’s a story that a lot of people have, like, oh, I just want to drive,” said Uliano, the 22-year-old squad vice president. “Then they get addicted.” She got to know her fiancé, police officer and EMS captain, Peter Giblin, through the squad.

Uliano and the other volunteers in Little Silver want more people addicted. So they’ve planned a day to showcase the squad in hopes it will bring on new members to help carry the call load.

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JAZZ & BLUES FEST BUSTS ITSELF IN THREE

stage2The 2009 edition of the festival was the last at Red Bank’s Marine Park, and there are no signs of a return. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Festival, once a summer staple in Red Bank that was unceremoniously scratched off the calendar and has since been on a wayward journey for a permanent home, is taking the show on the road this year.

After a stint on the pavement at Monmouth Park, the festival’s foundation announced it’s taking a totally different direction — three, actually — making one-day stops over three months in as many towns.

“It is what it is right now,” festival organizer Dennis Eschbach told redbankgreen. “We’re going in a different direction this year.”

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WOMAN ARRESTED FOR SWIPING CREDIT CARD

just_in1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

An Oceanport woman was arrested for credit card theft and making fraudulent purchases at local stores, Little Silver police said.

On Wednesday, police arrested Ursula Pappas, 36, for her alleged crimes as an employee at a Little Silver business.

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OCEANPORT LEADERS: WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

oport-boro-hallOceanport officials defend their town’s handling of Sea Bright’s caseload. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The court service agreement between Oceanport and Sea Bright is working just fine, say Oceanport officials, who took issue with negative comments made last week by Sea Bright Councilman Read Murphy.

Murphy said the pact, under which Oceanport handles Sea Bright’s municipal court cases, hasn’t worked out financially, and in terms of logistics is a nightmare.

But Oceanport councilmen Joe Irace and William Johnson say they hadn’t heard any feedback like that in Oceanport — and still haven’t. They read  about it on redbankgreen, and say they were “dumbfounded” by Murphy’s characterization.

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COURT SHARING SPARKS DEBATE

sb-oport-sign1Sea Bright officials dispute how well a new shared service with Oceanport is working out. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

There are  two ways Sea Bright officials describe one of its latest shared services agreements with a nearby town: just fine and a nightmare.

Nearly six months into an agreement to have Oceanport provide municipal court services for the borough, there’s a divide on the council whether it’s really working. Councilman Read Murphy says no. Mayor Maria Fernandes says yes.

“Nobody’s happy over there,” Murphy said.”People think it’s a joke.”

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JAZZ & BLUES CROWD MISSES MARINE PARK

jazz-and-bluesFestivalgoers enjoyed dancing in the parking lot, but many missed the banks of Marine Park as the home for the Jazz & Blues Festival. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

For the first time in years, Red Bank’s Marine Park saw no hordes of music lovers — or rain — on the first weekend in June.

That’s because what was once known as the Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival instead set up camp Saturday and Sunday in the parking lot of Monmouth Park in Oceanport, this time under the broader label of the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Festival.

It isn’t often that redbankgreen ventures beyond the confines of this virtual town square, but considering a landmark event was all but forced to pack up and move to a different venue, a trek to Oceanport to check in with folks to find out what they thought of the 2010 edition of the festival was in order.

The reviews weren’t exactly glowing.

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