RED BANK: SEEKING EQUALITY, THEN AND NOW

rb equality 021014 2On the panel were longtime housing advocate Flo Apy, at left above; former borough Councilwoman Sharon Lee; and Monmouth University history professor Walter Greason. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

rb equality 021014 1Dozens of listeners turned out at the Bates Lodge in Red Bank Monday night for a panel discussion on the continuing struggle for racial equality in America.

With its mixed neighborhoods and ownership of businesses by African-Americans, “Red Bank in the 1950s was a hallmark of what was possible in terms of integration,” said Monmouth University history professor Walter Greason, one of three panelists.

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RED BANK: ICE RETURNS TO THE NAVESINK

After a three-year absence, four-inch ice retuned to our beautiful Navesink River over the weekend, enabling members of the storied North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club to take at least the smallest of their racing toys out for a spin. Larger craft, along the lines of the Rocket, that were more typical in the early decades of the 134-year-old Red Bank club, will have to wait for ice in the eight-inch range.

The ice also enabled skaters and plain old pedestrians to take a stroll on the river and  check out the Fiddler, a lobster boat anchored at mid-river and now hemmed in by hard water.

Club members hope to host a regatta named for longtime club member John Darling next weekend, and the National Weather Service forecast looks favorable for the ice to remain. For word on its condition, call the club’s iceline at (732) 747-5665. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

FAIR HAVEN SPARED IN SUIT OVER RACE DEATH

fh tour 091513 2Racers during last September’s Tour de Fair Haven. Cole Porter, below, died after an accident in the first race that day. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

cole porterA lawsuit by the estate of the Shrewsbury man who died after a crash during the Tour de Fair Haven last September does not name Fair Haven as a defendant, contrary to an earlier report that the town would be sued for $10 million.

A civil complaint filed Wednesday on behalf of cyclist Cole Porter‘s widow and two children instead names the race organizer, event sponsors and the race official Porter slammed into on September 15, resulting in injuries that led to his death less than three weeks later.

With litigation pending, Mayor Ben Lucarelli said he he does not expect the popular event to return for a sixth running this year.

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‘EVERYTHING WAS RIGHT’ IN CYCLIST’S LIFE

meg porter 2 111113Megan Porter at her Shrewsbury home earlier this month. Her husband, Cole, below, on the morning of his fatal accident. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

cole porter 091513He was going to win this one, his widow says.

Six years into a personal gut job, Cole Porter had transformed himself from a heavy-smoking, overweight electrician and handyman into… well, as his wife, Megan, put it, in a comically theatrical voice, “Cole Porter, you are ironman!

Ironman as in triathlete: swimmer, biker, runner. He’d gone all-in, and with such infectious energy that she followed his lead, as their two young daughters later did, too. It was something they all did together now. Even Faye, at age 10, had already completed an adult sprint tri.

At age 38, though, Porter had decided he would focus on cycling for the coming year. And onlookers that sunny September morning in Fair Haven should not have been fooled by all his laughing and chatting at the starting line – so much in fact that a race official asked him, please, sir, can we have your attention? That was just Porter being his irrepressible self. Inside, he carried a determination to win.

And, as if right on script, as the pack of whirring racers completed the first lap of the first race, Porter was in the lead when he spotted his three “girls” standing on the sidewalk.

Megan raised her camera and snapped a photo as he approached. He was smiling that smile that had captivated her from the day they met.

Seconds later, there was a crash.

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FAIR HAVEN: SERIOUS CRASH AT BIKE RACE

fh tour 091513Racing action at Sunday’s Tour de Fair Haven following the first-race accident. (Click to enlarge)

just_in1A rider in the first race of Sunday’s Tour de Fair Haven series of bike races was seriously injured in a crash, police confirmed to redbankgreen.

The rider, whose identity is not yet being disclosed, was transported by MONOC helicopter to the trauma center at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune following the collision shortly after 7 a.m., according to Sergeant Jesse Dykstra.

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RED BANK: ZIMMERMAN VERDICT REACTIONS

redbankgreen‘s Sarah Klepner gathered these reactions on Red Bank’s West Side Monday to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in killing of Trayvon Martin.

George H. Brown, Red Bank: “It speaks for itself. I don’t understand how he could be killed under those conditions. He was unarmed. How did Zimmerman decide to shoot? Did he just assume that if Martin didn’t survive there’d be no repercussions? It shows how far we are from what should be.” (Click to enlarge)

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SHEEHAN AT 20: AS FAST AND FUN AS EVER

Nearly 1,400 runners made fast work of the 20th annual George Sheehan Classic in Red Bank on Saturday before heading down to Marine Park for a traditional post-race celebration.

The event, launched in Asbury Park as a 10k (6.2 mile) run and now trimmed to a 5k, honors Dr. George Sheehan, a longtime Red Bank physician, writer and champion of running, who died in 1993.

Race results are here.

RUMSON: SPRING SPLASH

Hundreds of hardy swimmers took to the perfect-70-degree waters of the Navesink River from Rumson’s Victory Park for the eighth annual Nav-e-Sink Or Swim distance festival Saturday morning. Funds raised were to be donated to a Melanoma Awareness campaign. More photos after the jump… (Click to enlarge)

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LITTLE SILVER: A 5K THAT’S READY TO RUN

The leaders near the turn onto Rumson Road during the 2011 edition of the race. Below, race co-organizer Dawn Wilcox at the RBR track. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

All along, even as the higher-profile Sheehan Classic has gradually shortened over the years from a 6.2-miler to half that distance, the Little Silver Classic has always been what it is today: a five-kilometer (3.1-mile) run.

Back when the first edition of the race went off, in 1993, “it was a more realistic distance, and more popular,” said borough resident Dawn Wilcox, who co-directs the event with Karen McCormick..

That’s not only because the shorter event is something more casual runners can tackle, but because it’s more family-friendly, enabling parents to run with their teenagers or even kids as young as nine years old, she said. And that’s in keeping with the atmosphere of the event, a fundraiser for the Little Silver PTO.

But make no mistake, said Wilcox: “It’s a real race. Legitimate racers want to do it.”

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A SHORTER, SWIFTER SHEEHAN

Thirteen hundred runners and walkers finished the 19th annual running of the George Sheehan Classic in Red Bank and Little Silver under sunny skies and mild temperatures Saturday morning. It was the first edition in which the race was trimmed to a five-kilometer (3.1-mile) distance, from five miles.

Highlights included a man running up Tower Hill while talking on a cell phone, a drum-pounding Uncle Sam at the top of the hill, and a wayward walker who made a wrong turn and got briefly lost.

Broad Street was reopened to traffic at 10:06 a.m., the earliest ever for the event, though six minutes later than race organizers had set as their new goal.

Race results are here.

RACING SCANDAL SPREADS TO RED BANK

Video purporting to show cars racing to a Ferrari rally in Red Bank in 2010. (Warning: crude language. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

An explosive scandal alleging that New Jersey State Police led a high-speed caravan of luxury cars down the Garden State Parkway to Atlantic City last month took a twist Monday with the revelation of another such excursion in 2010.

That one, according to a report Monday by the Star-Ledger,  involved a caravan of hot cars headed to a Ferrari car show in downtown Red Bank.

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DOC SHEEHAN RETURNS FOR ANNUAL CHECKUP

sheehan-finish-2009The finish line at the 2009 George Sheehan Classic, and this year’s course, below. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

geosheehancoursemap1If there’s one thing Red Bank won’t be short on this weekend, it’s foot traffic.

As in, like, 6,000 feet stomping through the downtown Saturday morning.

Among New Jersey’s most anticipated proceedings on pavement, the George Sheehan Classic brings harriers in swishy shorts and squishy sneaks by the hundreds from as far away as Zimbabwe to the streets of Red Bank, Little Silver and Fair Haven.

A literally well-heeled borough tradition, the five-mile main event sparks the sweaty anticipation of crossing the finish line for a sweet cash prize (for the elites) and coveted bragging rights (all others).

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DIVERSITY PLEDGE MAKES ROOM FOR ATHEISM

inclusive-signRed Bank has adopted a diversity statement as a “tremendous strength and asset to the community.” (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The Red Bank Human Relations Committee must’ve thought it had all its bases covered when it drafted a diversity statement and sent it along to the borough council for adoption last week.

But even though it was a “wonderful gesture,” said resident Stephen Mitchell, the statement, which highlights the borough’s acceptance of diversity, was missing one contingent to make it fully embracing: non-believers.

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TOUR FINDS ITS PLACE IN FAIR HAVEN

fh-bike-4The riders were serious, no matter their level of experience. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

fh-bike-5

Last Sunday’s Tour de Fair Haven went a long way toward solidifying the borough’s place among bicycle-racing aficionados as the real deal, race organizer Michele Berger tells redbankgreen.

With more than $15,000 in prize money this year — a fivefold increase from the $3,000 handed out at the inaugural 2009 edition of the event — the tour attracted an estimated 525 racers, or about 100 more than anticipated, Berger said.

One came from Switzerland, another from New Zealand, and every state east of the Mississippi is believed to have been represented.

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CHURNING UP THE NAVESINK

trafficTraffic was heavy in Maple Cove Sunday as rowers came and went during a morning of races. Below, scullers heading out to the start line. (Click to enlarge)

shells

The Navesink River Rowing club marked the end of its summer youth program with an in-house and invitational regatta that turned Red Bank’s Maple Cove into a busy depot for skinny boats Sunday.

The Sprints on the ‘Sink series of races for quads, doubles and singles drew dozens of racers, including a sculling contingent from Westfield.

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ANOTHER CLASSIC GOES INTO THE BOOKS

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.

Under a sparkling blue sky, the 17th annual running of the George Sheehan Classic attracted thousands of runners, walkers and spectators Saturday morning.

Some 1,550 runners completed the five-mile course that ran through Little Silver and Fair Haven before ending where they began, in downtown Red Bank.

James Gathoga of Newark finished first, with a time of 24:44:31, and Noel Brock of Toms River was first among women for the fourth year in a row, at 28:35:59.

Complete results are here.

SHEEHAN: 4,000 FEET POUNDING 26,400 FEET

sheehan-2009Runners charge the finish line during the 2009 edition of the five-miler. (Click to enlarge)

geosheehancoursemap1Event: The Sheehan Classic five-mile race, one of the nation’s top 100 races, according to Runner’s World Magazine, which starts on Broad Street in Red Bank and goes through Little Silver and Fair Haven before ending back where it started.

Participants: Some 2,000 runners, as well as participants in a two-mile health walk, a five-mile wheelchair race and kids running distances of 50 yards to a half-mile.

Conditions: sunny, with temperatures heading toward 80 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

The Other Race: Seeing how fast the organizers can break it down to allow traffic to resume its flow through downtown Red Bank.

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LIBRARY BOOKS MARQUEE RUNNERS, WALKERS

library-runnersWarming up to raise money for the Friends of the Red Bank Library are, from left, Brian Hanlon, library director Debbie Griffin-Sadel, Beth Hanratty, children’s librarian Sam Quintas, Audrey Oldoerp and — not quite ready to hit the asphalt — Christian Oldoerp. (Click to enlarge)

This year’s George Sheehan Classic will feature at least 15 marquee runners and walkers.

No, not ‘marquee’ in the sense of elite. These are folks who will be risking blisters and sunburned shoulders in an effort to raise money for a marquee signboard they hope to see installed in front of the Red Bank Public Library on West Front Street.

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FAIR HAVEN GEARS UP FOR BIKE RACE

fh_detour1a1Detour de Tour: Signs on River Road alert motorists to Saturday’s planned shutdown. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

As he was driving through Fair Haven last week, Michel Berger got a sense that his brainchild, the Tour de Fair Haven, is going to be a success this weekend.

He was following a young man decked out in a full cyclist ensemble test-driving the weekend’s route on River Road. He caught up and spoke to the rider.

“He said, ‘This is a great route. I’m happy we have a chance to do this around here,'” Berger said. “You could tell he was really getting ready for Sunday.”

That’s when at least 75 bicyclists of all ages and skill levels will be seen zipping through Fair Haven competing in the first Tour de Fair Haven, a dual-purpose event that Berger, a Fair Haven resident from France, dreamt up last year to promote cycling to children.

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