kaylaRed Bank Regional senior and Red Bank resident Kayla Williams is currently working on an oral history project, in alliance with the Red Bank Library.  

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Each Sunday, area residents flock to the Galleria parking lot to pick the fresh produce at the farmers’ market. Few among the shoppers realize that a similar scene once played out down the road at Marine Park, where boats carried in fruits and vegetables straight from New York City’s markets in the days when Red Bank was an operating port.

That was the memory of 97- year-old Anthony Trufolo, a former Red Bank High School teacher, as recorded by 17 year-old Red Bank resident Kayla Williams, a rising senior at Red Bank Regional High School.

Kayla spent a good part of her summer vacation interviewing and recording the memories of other senior Red Bank residents, in collaboration with the Red Bank Library’s on-going oral history project. She volunteered to participate as she thought it would be interesting and fun.  She found it to be all that and, in her words, “just amazing.”

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The trailer for ‘In Transition 2.0,’ a documentary screening at Red Bank Public Library Thursday evening.

If you’re the sort of person who’s been looking for a hyper-local way to address some of the truly game-changing issues of the day, the volunteers at Transition Monmouth (aka the Greater Red Bank Transition Mullers) have an illuminating and informative way to spend your Thursday evening.

An independently organized part of a global initiative known as the Transition Network, the Red Bank-based nonprofit is dedicated to the creation of “local, self sufficient, and sustainable communities” — a collection of “re-localized” neighborhoods that respond to the global challenges of climate change, economic hardships and dwindling supplies with attention to renewable energy, locally sourced food supplies, and availability of resources.

Headed by Little Silver resident Sarah Klepner — a community activist who helps program the monthly Social Action Film Series at Lincroft’s Unitarian Meeting House — Transition Monmouth is actively seeking interested neighbors who’d like to learn more about this grass-roots effort, and how it all fits in with the planetary big picture. On July 31, Klepner and company invite all residents of the greater Green to the Red Bank Public Library, for a free screening of the documentary featurette In Transition 2.0.

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rb-sidewalk-sale-10-072713It’s the 60th annual edition of a local  favorite – and the organizers of the Red Bank Sidewalk Sale have a special stroll down memory lane built in to this year’s three-day event. 

rb sidewalk sale 8 072713While Red Bank remains an ever-evolving entity — sometimes at a brisker clip than a lot of longtime locals are prepared to digest — one summertime signifier of community life has been soldiering on, uninterrupted, for a frankly amazing 60 years. And in 2014, the Red Bank Sidewalk Sale marks its diamond anniversary  with a three-day thriftarama that takes a look back at some of what’s made this town so great and unique.

Think about it: back in 1955, President Ike was dispatching the first U.S. advisors into an obscure place called Vietnam. The Brooklyn Dodgers were gearing up to finally make “next year” a here-and-now reality. School-age kids were promised trips to that new Disneyland place, if they’d just hold still for the equally new polio vaccine. Folks from nearby communities such as New Shrewsbury flocked to the Carlton Theatre to see James Dean light up the screen in East of Eden. And the Red Bank Register reported that the town fathers were planning a study of the ongoing downtown parking issues (let’s hear one for continuity).

Those decades of borough history won’t be trampled underfoot, as scores of shoppers take to the sidewalks of Broad, Monmouth, Front and White streets in search of figurative “diamonds” — that bargain in a box, that folding-table find, that street-rack steal. This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Red Bank Rivercenter celebrates the occasion with a “trip down memory lane” — and a rolling out of the welcome mat for some exciting new additions to the Sidewalk Sale scene.

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Maggie Rose GIBudding star Maggie Rose is the headline attraction for the Rockin’ Country Festival that commandeers Marine Park for two days and evenings of family-friendly activities, foodstuffs and freewheelin’ sounds this Saturday and Sunday. 

The folks at Red Bank Rivercenter haven’t exactly “rued the day” they first joined forces with special-events promoter Ruthanne Harrison, producer-proprietor of Asbury Park-based Really Unbelievable Events. From the annual Guinness Oyster Festival to the International Flavour Fest, the RUE brand has been attached to some of the best-received mashups of local/ regional music and cuisine in the borough’s long history of destination attractions. This Saturday and Sunday, they’ll be doing it all with a pronounced twang, as the first-ever Red Bank Rockin’ Country and Food Festival takes over the waterfront walkways and natural amphitheater of Marine Park.

Running between noon and 9 pm on June 28, and from noon to 7 pm on June 29, the weekender promises the participation of 20 Red Bank restaurants (some featuring special BBQ and country-picnic favorites for the occasion) — along with a sonic smorgasbord that offers up homegrown and national acts ranging from mainstream Nashville to Shore-based “seagrass” and tattooed hipster Americana. Toplining the out-of-town entertainers is Margaret Durante, a/k/a Maggie Rose, a Maryland-born vocalist (and former auxiliary member of regional Boss tributeers The B Street Band) whose star has been on the ascendant through a string of solo recordings that have included “I Ain’t Your Mama,” “Better,” and the Comcast SportsNet football anthem “Get Ya Game On.” She’ll be performing the sweet-spot Saturday night set at 7:15 pm — part of a duelling-stages diptych of live music, for which the deep-fried schedule details are available right here.

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organicgardenA dozen or so cilantro seedlings and twice as many gardeners were on hand last night at the Red Bank Public Library for a talk on organic gardening. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)


morsels medium

Pick up a bunch of conventionally grown spinach at the grocery store, and there’s a good chance that along with your bag of leafy greens, you’ll be brining home some carcinogens, suspected hormone disruptors and neurotoxins.

That’s reason enough for many to take up organic gardening at home, and it’s a topic that drew a good crowd to the Red Bank Public Library Wednesday night.

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organicWith snow in the forecast, it’ll still be a while before we’re getting our hands dirty. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)


morsels mediumSure, your beds may still have some snow cover. But that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start planning this summer’s garden.

The Red Bank Community Garden is kicking off the the growing season with a presentation by Master Gardener Carolyn Heuser, who will speak on “Vegetable Gardening with an Organic Twist” at Red Bank Public Library.

The event is Wednesday at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

Clarification: This event is next Wednesday, March 5th.  



The Red Bank Community Garden is growing into its second year — and Chairwoman Annie Jones, along with Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, are looking forward to a jam packed 2014 growing season full of educational and inspirational events at the Marion Street Community Garden .

On Wednesday, March 5th at 7 pm, the Red Bank Community Garden will kick off the growing season with the first of many lectures and demonstrations  at the Red Bank Public Library. Master Gardener Carolyn Heuser will speak on “Vegetable Gardening with an Organic Twist,”during the free presentation that starts at 7 pm.

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Above: A cast of local high school students brings A LITTLE SHAKESPEARE: AS YOU LIKE IT to young theatergoers at Two River…while below, Ms. Lauryn Hill appears to have cancelled her (already previously rescheduled) Homecoming appearance at the Count Basie. (cast photo by Ozzie Rodriguez)

laurynFriday, February 7:

RED BANK: If we’ve learned anything from Shakespeare’s As You Like It, it’s that springtime comes in turn to even the bleakest of wintry landscapes. So, with that warming thought in mind — well, that and the caveat that all events described herein are subject to change due to “no enemy but winter and rough weather” — we sally forth once more, where no groundhog dare tread.

While Two River Theater Company carries on with its vibrant and tuneful mainstage production of the Bard’s cross-dressing comedy, a talented troupe of high school performers have put together an intriguing bonus feature inside TRTC’s “black box” Marion Huber space. Adapted and directed by Jason McDowell-Green, A Little Shakespeare: As You Like It is a 75-minute version of the play, aimed at audiences age 9 and up, and designed “to fulfill the not-so-secret grand ambition of Artistic Director John Dias: to have some Shakespeare resonating in every corner of our theater, and to get everyone in our community turned on to the thrill of his exquisite language.” Red Bank Regional students Alicia Moeller and Patrick Monaghan are the lovestruck leads Rosalind and Orlando — and they’re joined in the cast by fellow RBR actors Halle Butler, Raquel Diaz and Alyssa Rogers, plus Michaela Farrell of Red Bank Catholic, and student players from several other Monmouth County high schools. Public performances, for which the actors will also be performing a score of original music by Shanna Jones, are Friday at 7 pm, and Saturday at 12 and 4 pm. Take it here for tickets ($15) and bios of the cast members — or here for tickets to the grownup version of the show that continues this weekend through February 16. 

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lacombe_jacques2Above: Conductor Jacques Lacombe carries the baton to the Basie for the year’s first visit by the NJ Symphony Orchestra, with the internationally acclaimed cellist Daniel Müller-Schott along for the ride…while below, Judith Krall-Russo brings the Downton-y delights of the Edwardian Manor to the MTPL. 

Friday, January 10:

krallrussoLINCROFT: You say you’re feeling cabin feverish after being housebound throughout much of our recent epic weather wackiness? You say you’re still unsure about how best to re-assimilate into mainstream society? Fortunately there’s a way to “stay home” while venturing beyond the garden gate, as the 24th annual winter edition of the Jersey Shore Home Show commandeers the Robert J. Collins Arena at Brookdale Community College for the Shore area’s premier expo of home improvement contractors, vendors and manufacturers. Kicking off Friday between the hours of 4 and 8 pm, the event offers up a strolling smorgasbord of product showcases and demos — a brick ‘n mortar bazaar of everything from spas to sponges, bath stalls to burglar alarms, flagpoles to floor coverings, stonework to solar panels, windows to water treatments, and every helpful/ healthful thing between. Whether you’re a diehard DIY’er or a domestic dilettante, you can get pleasantly lost in this midway of merch and services, checking out the latest super-absorbent shammy or water-repellant shingle. You could even get a back rub — and for the first time, you can get your tickets ($8 adults, $6 seniors, free for age 17 and under) online. The Home Show continues Saturday (11 am – 8 pm) and Sunday (11 am – 5 pm), with free parking in BCC’s parking lots 6 and 7.

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Danu.ColmHenryjpegAbove: Celtic combo Danú brings “An Nollag in Éirinnis” to Santa Basie’s workshop on Friday…while below, young adult novelist Julie Milillo comes home to Middletown for a Saturday discussion of Immortal Sin.

Friday, December 13:

JulieMililloRED BANK: It’s opening weekend for the annual holiday-season family show at Two River Theater, a newly revamped production of the original musical A Wind in the Willows Christmas that mixes Kenneth Grahame’s classic animal characters with “a lot more holiday spirit,” and redesigned costumes that highlight “ears and tails and fur.” Tonight’s 7 p.m. opening is preceded by a special noontime Scout Day preview that allows scout troops a behind-the-scenes look at the production, with games, snacks, photo ops and more. Performances continue at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday; take it here for tickets (adults $20 – $55; ages 18 and under $25) — and keep it tuned to redbankgreen for more on Mr. Toad and friends.

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LorraineDiasZipprichActress Lorraine Stone, Two River Theater artistic director John Dias and Councilman Ed Zipprich are among the Red Bank area notables giving voice to historic American figures in “The People Speak LIVE,” presented free at Red Bank Public Library on Thursday night, December 12.

There’s the escaped slave turned abolitionist and social activist Sojourner Truth, brought to vivid life by local actress Lorraine Stone. The pioneer openly gay elected official Harvey Milk, paid tribute by Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich. The Nobel laureate playwright Eugene O’Neill, channeled by Two River Theater Company artistic director John Dias — and Red Bank Regional grad John McMahon as T. Thomas Fortune, the trailblazing African American journalist whose historic Red Bank home is the subject of an intensive rescue and preservation effort.

These and other fascinating figures from America’s past and present will be making their voices heard inside the Red Bank Public Library on the evening of Thursday, December 12, when the T. Thomas Fortune House Preservation Project joins Frank Talk MultiMedia Network and RBPL for “The People Speak LIVE,” an event in which “community-minded people from the greater Red Bank area” recreate the words of pivotal people in our nation’s history. Hosted by journalist, businesswoman and cable TV host Candace Kelley, the 6 p.m. presentation is based on the documentary film “The People Speak” — itself adapted from the late Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of the United States.”

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billcosby-comedycentral-2013-585x348Revisiting his standup comedy roots, Bill Cosby brings it back to the Basie for a one night stand… while cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty (below) is guest judge for a group show exhibition at the Art Alliance. 

Friday, November 8:MarkAlanStamaty--

RED BANK: His credits include several of the most influential TV series of all time; bestselling books in both children’s and adult markets; a doctorate degree in education, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – and a trophy case that boasts everything from Golden Globes, Grammys, Emmys and People’s Choice Awards, to a Kennedy Center Honor and even the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

If you think that Bill Cosby has pretty much accomplished everything he set out to do and then some, the title of his upcoming Comedy Central concert special (“Far From Finished”) should put it into perspective. So when the Philly-born renaissance guy returns to the stage of the Count Basie Theatre, the smart money says he won’t relax until he’s won over everybody in the room. Having rediscovered his standup-comedy roots in recent times, the man whose long-form stories, skits and savvy observations kickstarted his career in the 1960s brings it back to the Basie for a single 8 pm show. Take it here for tickets ($39.50 – $89.50).

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RBPL-030612Press release from Friends of the Red Bank Public Library

National Friends of the Library Week is October 20-27 this year — and the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library are kicking it off in style, by organizing a “Million Penny Project for the Red Bank Public Library” as a community-wide fundraiser.

The year-long project will raise much needed funds to support the Library (the math: a million pennies equals $10,000). Receptacles will be placed at the Library (84 West Front Street), and at several other locations around Red Bank to collect the change, which will be counted each week by TD Bank on West Front Street.

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Are you a teen who likes to read, or do you know one? Got a hankering to understand what makes fascists tick?

A new reading group for teens kicks off Monday at the Red Bank Public Library. Staffer Stephanie Chadwick, who organized the series, says she hopes to entice teens to participate in discussion with attention-grabbing books like this month’s pick, “The Wave,” a 1981 novel by Todd Strasser, writing under the pen name Morton Rhue.

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7:24 p.m.:
A dozen readers gathered at a long table in the Red Bank Public Library‘s Eisner Room for a discussion of Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” a novel about childhood poverty set in the early 1900s.

When a question arose of whether stereotypes were present in the story, there was a consensus that the librarian character was unlikable. Librarian Patrice Baldino, who led the discussion, chimed in, laughing: “Yeah, the librarian. What was her problem?”

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south-st-2009Activity was brisk on South Street at the 2009 event. (Click to enlarge)


Red Bank’s fourth annual townwide yard sale is still more than a month away, but organizers are already looking at the fifth.

A little early to be planning next year’s, you say?

Not quite. The interval between events is getting truncated by four months.

Once this year’s sale is done on September 24 – a change from the previously reported October 1 date – so is its traditional slot in September, says Friends of the Red Bank Public Library member Audrey Oldoerp. The 2012 edition will be held in May.

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cg-sickelsCommunity garden proponents talk to borough Administrator Stanley Sickels about their proposal after Wednesday night’s council meeting. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


The borough council Wednesday night unanimously adopted a resolution supporting a community garden in Red Bank.

Great, some said.

But when it came down to where the council might allow that garden to sprout, the council maintained a hard position that while it supports a community garden, it doesn’t support one where a group at least 40 strong want it: at a piece of borough property next to the library.

The clash between impassioned members of a community garden group and the council continued Wednesday night, without agreement, and none in sight, on its location.

It was more like a talking-to than a talking-with, as the council offered little feedback to a long line of speakers serving up suggestions, implicating political motives and asking questions that they feel still haven’t been answered.

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rbpl-garden-siteAdvocates are pushing the council to allow a community garden on borough-owned property to the right of the library, above. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


The green thumbs had their rakes and hoes out in force Wednesday night.

An already lengthy Red Bank council meeting carried on about 45 minutes more as elected officials and proponents of a community garden clashed on the proposed location for the first of what the group hopes will to be up to four community-tended gardens throughout town.

Advocates want the start-up site at borough-owned property adjoining the public library site. But officials say it’s the last available piece of public land on the Navesink River, and don’t want to exclude people by turning it into an area of specific interest.

And so a back-and-forth that started in March continued Wednesday, with still no place to plant a seed decided upon.

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hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’ll be an environmental double feature in Red Bank at the end of the month.

The borough’s environmental commission and its subcommittee, the Green Team, will run back-to-back talks on environmental issues on April 28.

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fight2-070310Several fights broke out among teenagers gathered at Broad and West Front streets at the 2010 fireworks. (Click to enlarge)


A waterfront view of this year’s Kaboom fireworks is going to cost you. So will acting out of line.

Following the recommendations of the provisional Kaboom! Task Force, the borough council intends to charge for seating at borough-owned waterfront property — the library, Riverside Gardens Park and Marine Park.

The fee, which hasn’t been established, would help the fireworks committee raise money for the $250,000 display and cover the borough’s expenses for police enforcement and cleanup efforts, Administrator Stanley Sickels said.

In an effort to curtail the number of alcohol-related incidents and “shenanigans,” Red Bank will also bring in more cops and increase fines for offenses including disorderly conduct, urinating in public and having an open container of alcohol, said Councilman Michael DuPont.

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griffin-sadelDeborah Griffin-Sadel is out as Red Bank’s library director. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


The Red Bank library board has closed the book on its library director.

Deborah Griffin-Sadel, who oversaw a major overhaul at the library, is apparently on her way out, although nobody really wants to talk about it right now.

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rb-booksRed Bank library is getting rid of old books and replacing them with updated editions. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


Deborah Griffin-Sadel pulled a book from a shelf of the Red Bank Public Library, as she and her staff have been doing the last couple months, and surveyed it.

It was a French language book, she said, and “the pictures in it were really dated. The lady was dressed up like Jackie Kennedy. Y’know, men walking around in 1950s-era suits.”

The library is scattered with these kinds of artifacts: books copyrighted in the ’60s, reference materials that pre-date Google and tattered classics that deserve better than to be bound with masking tape.

The library’s latest effort to avert its own  obsolescence is to replace those outdated and damaged books with new ones, a move that’s long overdue, said Griffin-Sadel, the library director.

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rb-lib-signRed Bank library installed a new, higher-profile sign on its front lawn Thursday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


Deborah Griffin-Sadel has long believed that Red Bank library is the borough’s best kept secret.

Maybe not anymore. Which would be a good thing, she says.

“We’re trying to get more visibility and let people use our services,” said Griffin-Sadel, the library’s director.

A marquee sign planted on the lawn, she thinks, might do the trick.

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He may be the town’s top dog, but to the dozen or so kids who showed up Saturday to (belatedly) celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday at the Red Bank Public Library, Mayor Pasquale Menna was just a thing.

Thing 1, to be exact.

Decked out in tomato-red shirts, Menna and children’s librarian Samantha Quintas portrayed the menacing characters Thing 1 and Thing 2, respectively, from the famed Seuss work, “The Cat In The Hat.”

Menna might as easily have portrayed  the Chief-In-Charge-Of-Fish, the Mayor of Who-Ville or (ahem) the Drum-Tummied Snumm. Put a tall topper on him, and he might also have been Pat in the Hat.

But, “I’m a thing, I guess,” Menna said to the children.

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