75°F clear sky


Community planning director Shawna Ebanks speaking at the library Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)


hot topic red bank njAbout 15 Red Bank residents got a brief seminar in municipal planning and zoning at the public library Thursday night.

But presenter Shawna Ebanks, the borough’s director of community development, steered clear of third-rail issues such as tax abatements.

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A revived Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale raised $700 for the Red Bank Public Library Saturday.

It also and gave sellers and freecyclers a means of getting household goods into new hands.

Among them was Monique McSorley, who moved to River Street with husband, Brad, and their son, James, in June, bringing boxfuls of toys they kept so they might get them into the hands of other children, she said.

“We’re just so glad the town is doing this,” she said.

Above, scenes from Harrison Avenue, top, and River Road. More photos from around town are below. (Photos by Trish Russoniello and John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.) 

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Scenes from the recent installation of enhanced wifi at the library. (Click to enlarge.)

Press release from the Red Bank Public Library

The Red Bank Public Library has been selected as one of 27 libraries and was recently awarded $10,000 of grant funding by The NJ State Library to
support the CARES ACT Mini-Grant for Public Libraries.

The grant award supplemented the cost of an improved WiFi system that is now strong enough to provide service to anyone on the library grounds, inside or outside the building.

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red bank riverside story walk 050320With temperatures rising to the mid-70s, masked visitors to newly reopened Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank strolled the public library’s Story Walk Sunday.

The story for Monday, weatherwise: partly sunny and not as warm, according to the National Weather Service. A good day, perhaps, to read the latest Story Walk installation: ‘The Sun Shines Everywhere,’ by Mary Ann Hoberman.

Check out the extended forecast below. (Photo by John T. Ward.  Click to enlarge.)

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A 15-foot-long T-Rex puppet from Field Station: Dinosaurs, seen here in 2012, returns to the Red Bank Public Library Tuesday. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)

He’s scaly, maybe a bit scary, some 15 feet long, and usually spotted in the company of a singing paleontologist known as the Dinosaur Troubador. He’s the traveling T-Rex from Bergen County attraction Field Station: Dinosaurs, and he’s returning to libraries in Red Bank and Middletown this week.

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Red Bank library director Elizabeth McDermott indulges her craving at Sogo Sushi. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)


World traveler-turned-Red Bank Public Library director Elizabeth McDermott has a weekly itch that she scratches at Sogo Sushi on Monmouth Street: a bento box.

“It’s like comfort food to me,” says McDermott, whose previous job as a software consultant for Oracle took her all over the globe.

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The second-floor reading room at the Red Bank Public Library (above) is the setting for this Saturday’s monthly River Read event, featuring Hungarian-born poet, theater producer and translator Dr. Gabor Barabas (below).

Audience regulars at the Long Branch professional playhouse New Jersey Repertory Company have come to appreciate the pre-show remarks given by the theater’s co-founder Dr. Gabor Barabas — introductions that are often illuminated by the retired neurologist’s recollections of his youth in his native Hungary, his fascination with the mythic popular culture of his adopted country, and his signature exhortation to “enjoy, enjoy the show” (to say nothing of those “deal of the century” subscription pitches).

An author, published poet and dramatist in “his own write” (he narrates his own poem “The Spider” in this animated short inspired by the late artist Louise Bourgeois) the NJ Rep executive producer has also garnered acclaim as a translator, with a specialty in the particularly challenging transition between English and Hungarian. On Saturday morning, March 11, the good doctor visits Red Bank Public Library as guest speaker on the topic of “Poetry in Translation.”

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rb library 1 040913Press release from Red Bank Public Library

This week, Red Bank residents will be finding an envelope from their library amongst all the holiday cards in their mailbox. The Foundation for the Red Bank Public Library has recently sent out its third annual appeal in order to build financial support for the Red Bank Public Library’s many programs and collections. During this season of giving, the Foundation hopes to continue the strong tradition of support shown by the Red Bank community.

While the Red Bank Library receives mandated funding, it relies on the generosity of library supporters to strengthen its financial position, allowing the Library to expand its offerings and better serve the community.

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gilda rogers 072116Gilda Rogers returns as host when the Red Bank Public Library examines the borough’s historic T. Thomas Fortune House in a special edition of ‘Let’s Talk about Race.’

While the community-forum series that she’s moderated at Red Bank Public Library just observed its one-year anniversary, Gilda Rogers is scarcely the first Red Banker to issue the invitation “Let’s Talk About Race.” That distinction may go to T. Thomas Fortune (1856-1928), the onetime slave turned pioneer black editor-publisher and crusading journalist — and this Wednesday evening, September 28, Fortune’s former home (on what’s now Drs. James Parker Boulevard) is the focus of a special discussion on the man named Fortune, and the ongoing efforts to recognize and represent his life’s work to the community.

Regular readers of redbankgreen‘s paperless pages have no doubt followed the story of the T. Thomas Fortune House, the National Historic Site that has fallen into a serious state of disrepair in recent years — along with a newly floated proposal to rehabilitate the deteriorating structure as a public-welcome community center, and centerpiece of a residential apartment development. During Wednesday’s 7 p.m. presentation in the library’s downstairs meeting room, attendees will be brought up to speed on the details of the plan, and how such a resource can best honor the legacy of the activist who was credited as “being the bridge to the modern day Civil Rights Movement.”

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Gilda Rogers BCCGilda Rogers is the guest for the latest in a series of Author Talk events, Wednesday at the Red Bank Library — followed on July 18 by a special presentation at Project Write Now on Bridge Avenue.

Red Bank regulars know her from many different settings, and wearing many figurative hats — from faculty member at Red Bank Regional and coordinator of special community outreach initiatives for Two River Theater, to local talk show host, and onetime proprietor of Frank Talk Art Bistro, a much-missed Shrewsbury Avenue storefront that was as delightfully difficult to summarize as the woman who put her stamp on it.

Writer, activist and producer Gilda Rogers remains very visible around Red Bank in the coming days, beginning with an appearance at the Red Bank Public Library on Wednesday, July 13. Scheduled for 7 p.m., it’s the latest event in the library’s monthly Author Talk series; a session that finds the author of “Arrested Development: The State of Black Achievement and Education in Hip Hop America” discussing her debut as a dramatist, with a work entitled “Supernatural: The Play.”

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backward-glances_LOGO_optLike so many of us, Gilda Rogers had a large collection of family photographs — a chronicle of her family’s history that cried out for something more than being shut away in albums or hidden on hard drives. The solution, according to the writer, educator and cultural preservationist, was to create “Backward Glances,” a line of greeting cards that spotlights her own generational history, sharing her family’s story through some (often artful and compelling) images that have something to offer people of all backgrounds.

On Saturday, June 11, Rogers visits the Red Bank Public Library for a free workshop entitled “Making Memories: Create a Keepsake Placemat from Family Photos.” A tie-in to the current Two River Theater production of I Remember Mama and its themes of family unity, the crafting session offers participants a chance to win two tickets to the play, which continues its engagement through June 26.

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Lisa Bagwell PizzaArtworks sculpted by Lisa Bagwell from discarded plastic items (such as PIZZA, above) are on display now at the Red Bank Library, along with digitally modified images by Lynne Kennedy (whose scene of Middletown’s Mt. Olivet Cemetery is pictured below). 


It’s everywhere at once and all around you, once you choose to notice it — the non-biodegradable detritus that Lisa Bagwell calls “the masses of cartons, cups, plastics and cutlery that passes through the hands of myself and the people around me.”

A resident of Red Bank, and a Long Branch employee in charge of that city’s public gardens, Bagwell can seem to be many places at once herself — as a naturalist for the county Park System, a farm worker, a vegetarian cook, and a volunteer with the nonprofit Clean Ocean Action. In her “spare” time, the Rutgers grad is an artist; one whose sculpture work has been exhibited in spaces that have included the Monmouth Museum, Newark’s Aljira Center — and the Red Bank Public Library, where a collection of her pointedly playful creations is on display now through the month of June.

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050215 ydsales11You just never know what must-have items you’ll find. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

RBTYS 2016 flyer

A press release from the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library:

The Friends of the Red Bank Public Library are organizing the 9th Annual Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale for Saturday, May 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Registration is open and will continue until 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 5

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Jersey Shore CookbookFrom guided tours of the great restaurants, landmark buildings and vivid VIPs in our local communities, to the resting places of the most storied European monarchs, the month of April is a Book Fair of opportunity for anyone interested in a cracking-good nonfiction read — and the days and nights ahead offer readers numerous opportunities to meet and chat with the people who bring you the books, at locations all around the greater Green.

It’s a slate of events that kicks off this Thursday, April 7, in the surprising setting of Sea Bright’s Ama Ristorante — a venue that comes into sharper focus with the revelation that the 6 p.m. event is a cocktail-hour reception for The Jersey Shore Cookbook: Fresh Flavors from the Boardwalk and Beyond. Author (and founder of Jerseybites.com) Deborah Smith will be on hand to sign preview copies of the soon-to-be-released volume, a collection of recipes from some of the Shore’s most popular restaurants and eateries (Ama included). Also featured is an insider’s guide to navigating the local foodscape, as well as “the effects of Superstorm Sandy on nearly every establishment in the book and what it took to come back after the devastation.” Attendees at the two-hour reception will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a complimentary beverage, a demo by Ama Executive Chef Charles Lesbirel, plus a $15 gift card — and tickets ($50 per person; $75 per couple) can be reserved at (732)530-9760.

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rb lib bulkhead 4 071013The crumbling bulkhead of the Red Bank Public Library, at right above, is slated for replacement with a new one, rather than a living shoreline. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Back during the summer of 2014, in a controversial decision reported here on redbankgreen, the Red Bank council opted to rebuild a bulkhead along the Navesink River-fronting property of the borough public library — a move that disappointed proponents of the more environmentally friendly “living shoreline” approach.

How’s this for irony? Nearly two years later, the historic library building on West Front Street plays host this Saturday to representatives of the American Littoral Society, who’ll make a presentation on the many benefits of living shorelines in an age of climate change and increased erosion risk.

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evelyn-leavensThe late Red Bank artist Evelyn Leavens (above) is among the creative people showcased in ‘New Jersey Artists Through Time,’ a new book by Middletown-based author and artist Tova Navarra that inaugurates a series of events at Red Bank Public Library.

NJ Artists Thru TimeA quick flip through the newly published New Jersey Artists Through Time reveals a number of creative people whose lives and work were well known here on the Greater Red Bank Green. There’s the late lifelong Red Banker Evelyn Leavens, profiled here a few years back; Jim Gary, legendary maker of dinosaurs from repurposed auto parts; Mike Quon, painter of stylized local landmarks; plus Riccardo Berlingeri, Grace Graupe-Pillard, Judy Martin, Bob Mataranglo, and George Tice.

They’re all there, sharing space with the likes of superstar sculptor George Segal, celebrated printmaker Jabob Landau, and Emmy-winning courtroom artist Ida Libby Dengrove, in the first such study to come along in over 50 years. The books is just the latest of more than 30 published titles for its Middletown-based author — artist, photographer, educator, journalist, former Asbury Park Press art critic and registered nurse Tova Navarra — and the subject of the first in a new series of free ‘Author Talks’ events at Red Bank Public Library, this Wednesday.

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project write nowProject Write Now invites the public to an unveiling of its expanded Bridge Avenue space on December 1, capping a Giving Poetry Tuesday celebration of the community’s words and voices.

It’s a unique little event that unfolds over the course of a late-autumn weekday in Red Bank, taking place at various locations around town (train station, library, hospital, classroom), and involving the participation of people ranging from Mayor Pasquale Menna and volunteer emergency responders to staffers from Lunch Break and students from the borough’s schools.

It’s Giving Poetry Tuesday, a “celebration of Red Bank’s voices” that finds people from all walks of local life taking part in a collaborative community poetry reading between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1. Organized by Project Write Now, the initiative is an engagingly interactive lead-in to the borough-based nonprofit’s main event: an evening open house unveiling of its new, expanded studio space at 25 Bridge Avenue.

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rb library 1 040913Collectibles can be appraised, and records preserved, during a daylong event at the library. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

History and nostalgia will mix and mingle at the Red Bank Public Library on Saturday, October 17, when an antiques-roadshow-style event crosses paths with a records-digitization project.

One part of the event, dubbed “What’s In Your Attic?” and organized by the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library, connects local residents with expert appraisers to offer value estimates on antiques and collectibles.

The other enables patrons to preserve their own photos, films and other memorabilia on digital media.

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