RED BANK: INKY PROBES SEGREGATION CLAIMS

The Red Bank Charter School on Oakland Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Is the Red bank school district segregated? And if so, is the Red Bank Charter School at fault?

An article published Thursday on philly.com, the online version of the Philadelphia Inquirer, probes that question, and whether others among New Jersey’s 88 charter schools are also segregated.

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RED BANK: A WEIGHTED LOTTERY, AND A WAIT

rbcs lottery 042816 2CPA Scott Landau holds a ball he drew from a rotating drum as charter school business administrator Theresa Shirley records its number Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03For the first time in its 17-year history, the Red Bank Charter School conducted a lottery engineered to give socioeconomically disadvantaged children a better shot at winning seats Thursday night.

But for parents hoping to enroll their children, the so-called weighted lottery, meant to address a lack of diversity that critics contend make Red Bank the “most segregated school district in the state of New Jersey,” now gives way to another kind of wait.

That’s because, in effect, there are no openings.

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RED BANK: WEIGHTED CHARTER LOTTERY OK’D

rbcs 032216 1The lottery drawing is scheduled for April 28 at the charter school, on Oakland Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Though its highly controversial proposal to double enrollment was rejected, the Red Bank Charter School has won state approval to conduct a weighted entrance lottery.

Charter school Superintendent and Principal Meredith Pennotti confirmed Tuesday that New Jersey Education Commissioner David Hespe had reversed course on one aspect of his February 29 decision and approved the use of a lottery structured to give socio-economically disadvantaged kids better odds of joining the 200-student school.

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IN FAIR HAVEN, A FANTASY WORLD ON RAILS


Railroad gardener Michael Humphreys could easily crush a dozen buildings if he were to lie across his “grown-ups’ playground.” (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)

By STACIE FANELLI

In Michael Humphreys’ backyard are a covered wagon, a water tower, a livery stable, a totem pole, a sawmill and hundreds more relics of American history. Running through a miniature, imaginary town are his pride and joy: working locomotives built to scale.

Humphreys’ toy train collection, 20 years in the making, came to fruition eight years ago when he moved his family to Fair Haven, fenced in his yard, leveled the ground and built a railroad garden running half the length of his 60 x 35 foot yard.

“Basically, I’m a designer,” he said. “I’m making a theatrical effect.”

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PROWN’S 2012 CALENDAR: A MINOR DISASTER

prowns-pix-2-121211A bicyclist passes Prown’s Home Improvements on Monmouth Street in Red Bank, where enlargements from the 2012 calendar are on display. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

prowns-2012-calendar1

Who among us isn’t a sucker for nostalgia? And who can resist gawking at the consequences of Mother Nature’s fury?

David Prown, owner of Prown’s Home Improvement, has decided to combine the two for his shop’s third annual Red Bank-based calendar of old photos.

The limited-edition calendar was “inspired by having an earthquake and a hurricane in the same week (along with some pretty good snowstorms earlier in the year,” Prown tells redbankgreen.

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HOME-GOODS TOUR STARS ‘UNSUNG HEROES’

queen-vaccum_9John and Rachel Decker of Queen Vacuum are leading the charge to highlight Red Bank’s daytime attractions this Saturday. (Photo courtesy Fran Waldmann)

By TOM CHESEK

“Red Bank is really diverse — but it sometimes gets pegged as a nightlife town,” says Rachel Decker of Queen Vacuum and Sewing Machine, the long-running Monmouth Street business (formerly Graman’s) that she and her husband John have operated for the better part of the past decade.

“While the restaurants and theaters are really wonderful, as a ‘daytime’ sort of business we felt a little left out, in that what we do didn’t fit in with a lot of RiverCenter’s events and promotions,” she says.

As the young, stylish and energetic NextGen owners of the 50-year-old appliance retailer and servicer (John, a former employee of founder Gene Graman, bought the business in 2003; Rachel came on board full time in 2006), the thirtysomething Tinton Falls couple admits to having been a bit jealous of the parade of dining, shopping and recreational happenings that passed by their shop like trains from the nearby NJ Transit platform.

As a member of the marketing committee for Red Bank RiverCenter, however, Rachel “knew that other businesses in town felt the way we did.” Acknowledging that the way to address the problem was to “be constructive rather than complain,” the former graphic designer took the liberty of “pitching a few ideas at ’em” — and when the dust cleared, she found herself appointed chair of the first-ever Only One Red Bank Home Event, a promotion designed to prepare the home-oriented “unsung retail heroes and service businesses” of Red Bank for their long overdue close-up.

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BROTHERS TAKE TOP HOME-DECORATING SWAG

14-catherine First place: 14 Catherine Street, home of Patrick Hussey & Family. (Click to enlarge)

Let the maple syrup flow!

The winners of Red Bank’s annual Holiday Home Decorating Contest have been selected, with winning households taking home half-gallon jugs of maple syrup made in Vermont by Jules Prown, father of event co-sponsor David Prown of Prown’s Home Improvements.

And this year, the top two winners are brothers who own homes on the West Side.

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CALENDAR TAPS RED BANK PHOTO ARCHIVE

dorns-downtown-1951“Wiggie’s Kiddie Center?” A view north on Broad Street in 1951, from the Dorn’s Classic Images archive, is included in the calendar. (Click to enlarge and see Wiggie’s at left)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Two of Red Bank’s most venerable names in commerce have gotten together for a little nostalgia trip into the borough’s past.

It’s a 12-month journey captured in photographs that show Red Bank’s buildings and streetscapes from 1940 to 1979, put into calendar form by David Prown of Prown’s Home Improvement and the husband-wife duo of George Severini and Kathy Dorn Severini oF Dorn’s Classic Images.

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