LINCROFT: PLAY WRINGS HUMOR FROM PHONE

Dead MansIt begins with that bane of live theater companies everywhere: the persistently ringing phone.

But in Dead Man’s Cell Phone, at Brookdale Community College, the unwelcome noise is not only part of the show: it’s the catalyst that sets off a bizarre chain of connections involving Jean (the woman at the next café table, who answers the call when it becomes evident that the phone’s owner is very much dead) and various family members or acquaintances of the dead guy, Gordon.

Read More »

RED BANK: BELLHAVEN SPLASH PAD SPUTTERS

bellhaven 110915An entrance to Bellhaven Natural Area on Locust Avenue. A proposed playground would be sited within the of loop the path shown above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A controversial plan for a spray park in Red Bank’s Bellhaven Natural Area has all but officially sputtered out.

The borough-owned riverfront lot at the western end of Locust Avenue is still envisioned as the site of a much-needed West Side playground, according to Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, the governing body’s liaison to the parks and recreation department.

But a spray park or a splash pad that shoots jets of water skyward? That’s done, she tells redbankgreen.

Read More »

RED BANK: TENNIS FANS MUSTER FOR COURTS

rb tennis 111015 2The tennis courts, overgrown with weeds since being swamped by Hurricane Sandy three years ago, got a sprucing-up from the borough last week. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03As expected, the Red Bank council derailed an ambitious plan for $3.5 million worth of private development on the site of the borough-owned red clay tennis courts in Marine Park Monday night.

Still, a roomful of frustrated tennis enthusiasts packed the council chambers, many of them holding paper signs urging the council to now restore the hurricane-damaged riverfront courts to playability.

Read More »

RED BANK: MARINE PARK PROJECTS NIXED

rb tennis 081915 2The clay tennis courts at Marine Park as seen in August. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03All three private-sector proposals for the future of Red Bank’s hurricane-damaged Marine Park clay tennis courts should be rejected, a triumverate of borough council members is expected to say in a report next week.

The recommendation to the full council is being made in spite of the fact that one pitch, by startup Jetsun Enterprises, was far and away the winner on paper. But in the court of public opinion, it was over the line, Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer told redbankgreen on Monday.

Read More »

RUMSON: ADULT BOOKS PROMPT R-FH DEBATE

siobhan fallon hogan 101315With emergency lights on because of a power outage, parent Siobhan Fallon Hogan urged parental choice in the books read by teens. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

[UPDATE: See a statement from playwright Ariel Dorfman about this controversy appended to the bottom of this article.]

HOT-TOPIC_03It was a dimly lit and slightly damp night as about 150 members of the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School community politely debated a stormy issue Tuesday: the place of two works of fiction in the curriculum.

Taking turns at a non-working microphone in an auditorium lit by emergency lights because of a power outage, a number of parents challenged the inclusion of two books on reading lists for juniors and seniors because of their adult themes and coarse language.

Led by former Saturday Night Live cast member Siobhan Fallon Hogan, the objectors insisted they were not out to ban or censor the books, but instead to call for a policy that would allow parents to choose substitute reading material they consider “age appropriate” for their children.

Read More »

RED BANK: BURNHAM BLASTS PARK DELAY

rb tennis 081915 2The clay tennis courts at Marine Park as seen last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Five months after three proposals were submitted, the Red Bank council has yet to receive a recommendation on the future of the hurricane-damaged Marine Park clay tennis courts, and may not get one before election day.

That has Republican Councilwoman Cindy Burnham — who redbankgreen has learned was chastised behind closed doors by her colleagues for saying too much about the issue — ramping up her complaints that there’s something “fishy” going on.

Read More »

RED BANK: COUNCIL GIRDS FOR POSSIBLE SUIT

rb tennis 081915 1The clay tennis courts at Marine Park as seen last month, above. Below, an architect’s depiction of the proposed Red Bank Harbor plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank harbor 3 041515Red Bank’s mayor and council held a closed-door meeting Wednesday night to discuss potential litigation over the process that could lead to a makeover of the hurricane-damaged clay tennis courts in Marine Park.

Mayor Pasquale Menna told redbankgreen shortly beforehand that the topics to be discussed by the governing body in executive session included “possible litigation” concerning the tennis court site, though he declined to be more specific.

Read More »

RED BANK: JETSUN DEFENDS PROPOSAL

red bank harbor 1 041515A rendering by architect Mike Simpson of the Red Bank Harbor proposal, as seen from the horseshoe marina at Marine Park. Below, Jetsun principals Doug Booton, Michael Hernandez and Anthony Jude Setaro at the Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball in May. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

jetsuns 050115Jetsun Enterprises is not proposing a “Coney Island” in Marine Park, the startup developer said Tuesday night, in response to criticism by Red Bank Councilman Mike DuPont and comments posted on redbankgreen.

“Comparing our proposal to any large theme park such as Coney Island or Seaside is both illogical and irresponsible,” Jetsun said in a press release. “We are offering small recreational activities for families, not building rollercoasters and ferris wheels. We are extending the existing promenade, not constructing a boardwalk.” Read More »

RED BANK: DUPONT ZAPS JETSUN PROPOSAL

rb tennis 060614 2The red clay courts, idled since Hurricane Sandy, as seen from the Monmouth Boat Club next door. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank Councilman Mike DuPont has signaled he will oppose a proposal for a privately owned recreational center on the site of the borough’s riverfront tennis courts in Marine Park.

Calling the proposal, by Jetsun Enterprises, “10 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound bag,” DuPont wrote in a letter that it “puts every imaginable use down at Marine Park with the exception of not having a ferris wheel” and could turn Red Bank into “Coney Island South.”

Read More »

RED BANK: ACTION EXPECTED ON COURT PLANS

rb tennis 042515 2HOT-TOPIC_03Wondering about the fate of Red Bank’s clay tennis courts in Marine Park, and whether they’ll be saved or replaced by either of two competing proposals to develop the waterfront site?

After nearly two months of silence, the borough parks and rec committee is expected to discuss the issue Monday night, when it could issue its non-binding recommendation to a trio of council members – Linda Schwabenbauer, Kathy Horgan and Ed Zipprich.

The councilmembers, in turn, are expected to meet Tuesday night in a closed session to “score” three proposals, one of which calls for keeping the courts, according to criteria set out in bids. They’ll also weigh comments made at a public forum held in May and afterward, said Schwabenbauer, who expects the committee to make a recommendation to the full governing body by the end of August, she said Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: TENNIS COURT IDEAS VOLLEYED

jetsun 2 052815  An exhibit showed the layout of the Jetsun proposal superimposed an aerial view of the park. Below, MPAC principals Phil Flego, Gayle Horvath and Sandy Talarico make their pitch. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

mpac 1 052815What should be done with the hurricane-damaged red clay tennis courts at Red Bank’s riverfront Marine Park?

For almost three hours Thursday night, area residents offered opinions and teased out details of three formal proposals: one that calls for restoring the courts with a $500,000 donation by a Locust resident, and two that envision real estate development of river-oriented activity centers.

Each had its advocates and opponents, and none appeared to have won the hearts of all 120 people in attendance.

Read More »

RED BANK PUTTING COURT PLANS INTO PLAY

rb tennis 042515 4The courts haven’t been playable since they were swamped by the Navesink River during Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Three proposals for the future of Red Bank’s red clay tennis courts in Marine Park are scheduled for public airing later this month.

The borough council will hold a special meeting on Thursday, May 28, at the Red Bank Middle School for presentations of the three plans. Two of them include ambitious real estate development and river-oriented activities, while the third aims to keep the site as a tennis facility.

Read More »

RED BANK: CLASSIC BOATHOUSE PROPOSED

MPAC rendering 041515A rendering of the proposed Marine Park Activity Center shows the existing Monmouth Boat Club at right. (Rendering by Katie Osepchuk. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03One of three proposed plans for the reuse Red Bank’s dormant clay tennis courts calls for the construction of a classic boathouse topped by a catering hall on the Navesink River in Marine Park.

The project, dubbed the Marine Park Activity Center, reflects the traditional river-oriented focus of two groups –  Navesink River Rowing club and the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association – anchored by a structure similar to boathouses in West Windsor and Camden, its proponents said.

redbankgreen detailed another of the three plans, called Red Bank Harbor, on Wednesday. The third proposal consists solely of an individual’s offer to donate $500,000 to the borough for the restoration of the site as a red-clay tennis facility, redbankgreen has learned.

Read More »

RED BANK: RIVERFRONT REC CENTER PROPOSED

red bank harbor 1 041515Renderings of the proposed Red Bank Harbor plan filed with the borough government on Wednesday. The horseshoe-shaped borough marina is in the foreground above. (Drawings by S.O.M.E. Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank harbor 2 041515Vastly eclipsing the concept of a mere dog run, a startup development firm has proposed the creation of a privately funded, $3.5 million recreation facility on the site of Red Bank’s borough-owned red clay tennis courts in Marine Park, redbankgreen has learned.

Dubbed Red Bank Harbor, the plan drafted by Jetsun Enterprises and filed at borough hall on Wednesday calls for the creation of an enclosed visitors’ center along with an 18-hole miniature golf course, a synthetic ice rink, a boathouse for rental of paddleboats and kayaks, and a concession stand in the park, which fronts on the Navesink River.

Read More »

RED BANK: TENNIS COURTS? YOUR SERVE.

rb tennis 061414Do you have an idea and viable plan for the use of Red Bank’s 74-year-old red-clay tennis courts?

The riverfront facility in Marine Park, out of action since it was wrecked by Hurricane Sandy, are the subject of a request for proposals released Thursday. So far, talk has included restoration of the courts, turning at least two of the courts into a dog run, and a wholesale repurposing of the site as a multiuse, water-oriented recreation facility.

The deadline for submissions is 10 a.m. on April 15. Here’s the 165-page submission packet: RB RFP 032015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: TENNIS COURTS MAY GET BOUNCED

RB TENNIS CTS 020715 1The courts, which adjoin the privately owned Monmouth Boat Club, center, haven’t been playable since Hurricane Sandy. Below, the principals of Jetsun Enterprises – Anthony Jude Setaro, Michael Hernandez and Doug Booton – want to develop the site for new recreational uses. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

jetsun 022315Red Bank’s 74-year-old red-clay tennis courts, out of action since they were damaged by Hurricane Sandy 28 months ago, may be turned into a dog run, at least short-term.

Longer-term, a trio of thirty-something locals hopes to transform the courts, which overlook the Navesink River from Marine Park, into a multiuse recreational facility that would, they say, put money into the town’s coffers.

Either way, the courts may have seen their last volley of tennis.

Read More »

RED BANK: DOGS, TENNIS & POLICING

RB DOG DAYS 073013 20Having held a Dog Days of Summer monthly event for two summers in a row, borough officials are now contemplating a year-round facility for dogs to play in. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Should Red Bank establish a place for dogs to play? And if so, where?

And what should become of the borough’s red-clay tennis courts in Marine Park?

Those are among the questions on the table at a meeting scheduled for next week.

Another meeting, scheduled for later this week, concerns crime and community relations.

Read More »

RED BANK: PUTTING ON A SHOW

A video spotlights some of the detail work that went into staging the Two River Theater‘s season-wrapping play, a production of Noel Coward’s ‘Present Laughter.’ The show, now in previews, opens at the illustrious Red Bank showcase Friday night and runs through June 23. Tickets here. (Click to enlarge)

BRAVOS FOR ‘OPUS’ AT TWO RIVER THEATER

anjanette-hall Anjanette Hall, who plays the wide-eyed new member of a string quartet, at the opening-night reception at the Two River Theater on Saturday. Former ‘Cosby Show’ star Geoffrey Owens, below, plays the cellist. (Click to enlarge)

geoffrey-owens

Opus,’ a piquant drama about a fractious string quartet that’s commanding the mainstage at Red Bank’s Two River Theater Company through November 14, is getting some positive ink.

In the Star-Ledger, theater critic Peter Filicihia calls Michael Hollinger‘s play, which focuses on the effect that a shattered romantic relationship has on the quartet, “bittersweet but delicious.”

“Director Matthew Arbour has orchestrated the 90-minute show with loving care,” Filichia writes.

Read More »