THE WEEK IN REARVIEW

sb-beach-plowPlowing the sand mounds in Sea Bright. Can summer be far behind? (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Welcome back to another week at redbankgreen. Here’s a glance back at the stories that filled our cyberpages last week.

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FIREWORKS: FEES IN, FINES UP

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

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

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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TASK FORCE: CHARGE FOR FIREWORKS VIEW

umbrellaSpectators, like these in Riverside Gardens Park at the 2010 show, would have to pay a ‘nominal’ entry fee to watch the fireworks, a study suggests. (Click to enlarge)

shouldersBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s KaBoom fireworks may no longer be free — and as freewheeling — as they’ve been in recent years.

The ad hoc Kaboom! Task Force, formed in September to conduct a top-to-bottom examination of the annual event delivered its final report to the borough council Wednesday night.

The diagnosis: change is needed.

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RIVER’S ‘REVELATIONS’ OPEN TO ALL SEPT. 18

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By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Before there was Maple Cove, Jim Crawford didn’t fully appreciate that he lived in a river town.

But not long after the town council designated the undeveloped plot of borough-owned land at the foot of Maple Avenue as an official access to the Navesink River, Crawford became the owner of not one but two kayaks, and is now a river regular.

Same went for Wendy Spencer, who lived for years in Red Bank looking at the river, but not experiencing it. She, too, has a couple kayaks now, and is a frequent paddler.

Recent attention to the little-known river access spot “has opened the eyes of so many people to kayaking and canoeing,” said the American Littoral Society‘s Kathleen Gasienica, a breathing encyclopedia of all things river-related.

But while Maple Cove has begun to attract renewed interest the river, the small beach area will only be one component in a day-long celebration intended to enlighten Red Bankers and others about the natural and recreational wonders of the Navesink.

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PARK IT HERE FOR FREE MUSIC & MOVIES

thespringstandardsThe Songwriters in the Park series brings the Spring Standards, above, and former Bongos member Richard Barone, below, to Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

richardbaroneIt’s been the backdrop for more wedding party photos than any local scenery this side of the “hobbit” pergola at Deep Cut Gardens, the setting for school commencements, and the preferred parking place for the borough’s distinctive holiday ice boat. A place for kids to congregate on weekend nights, and a place for candlelit vigils and makeshift memorials in the days following 9/11.

Ever since Riverside Gardens took shape on the former site of the long-gone apartment house of the same name, a generation of Red Bankers has wondered how they ever got along without the West Front Street park along the Navesink. No more so than in the weeks after the end of the school year, when the waterfront walkways host a beach-blanket brigade of neighbors in search of some music and movies, under the setting sun and stars. It all comes to you courtesy of the hardworking folks at the borough’s Department of Parks and Recreation, working in concert with sponsors and co-organizers public and private.

It’s that warm and breeze-kissed time of year when the municipal government — the people who normally incur your wrath over not filling in potholes fast enough — gets to fill your evenings with music and all-around good vibes.

Beginning this week, Riverside Gardens will see the return of three proven and popular attractions — Movies in the Park, Jazz in the Park and Songwriters in the Park — all presented free of charge (with complimentary river sunsets) throughout July and much of August. It’s a slate of entertainments that was preceded by an appetizer in the form of June’s LunchMusic series — and the menu continues, right after the break.

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SUMMER ARRIVES ON A TIDE OF SMILES

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.

Ahhh, hot and sparkling at the Jersey Shore: This is the payoff, isn’t it, for all those blasted snowstorms we endured over the winter?

For those who were otherwise engaged, the summer solstice occurred at 7:28a Monday, marking the start of a season that, for those of an outdoorsish bent, is as important to one’s mental health as it is to the regional economy.

To mark the day, redbankgreen‘s Dustin Racioppi and Trish Russoniello roamed the Green, cameras in hand, and captured some juicy slices of life, from people at play to a high school graduation to some of the many ways folks find to stay cool between Red Bank and Sea Bright.

Enjoy the pix, folks. And here’s to a terrific summer.

LET’S DO LUNCHMUSIC

lunch-music4The Andreach-Chrepta Jazz Duo opened up the summer-long LunchMusic series at Riverside Gardens Park on Wednesday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A couple of weeks ago, Barbara Ely picked up a flyer promoting  a pairing of food and live music at Riverside Gardens Park, and grabbed a notebook.

“I was writing down everything that was going on in Red Bank because sometimes I miss it,” said Ely, of Middletown.

This particular event she didn’t want to let slip from her radar. She noted the times and called her friend, Pat Wisdom, to make a date.

On Wednesday, the two friends met as planned. They sat in the shade munching on noodles and sandwiches as sounds of the Andreach-Chrepta Jazz Duo wafted on the air to open up Red Bank RiverCenter‘s newest downtown promotion, LunchMusic.

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ADDING LUNCH TO THE SONIC SMORGASBORD

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From left: Matt Wade, A Cool Blues Duo (featuring Chuck Lambert and Susan Haugenes), Kati Beddow Brower and  Virago pack the Tunes-To-Go, as Red Bank RiverCenter inaugurates a new LunchMusic series at Riverside Gardens.

By TOM CHESEK

If you’re a music fan of eclectic disposition, you’ve come to the right place. In fact, on summertime Saturday nights, a carelessly distracted connoisseur could literally stumble over the next big thing on the streets of Red Bank.

Beginning June 5 and continuing Saturday nights through August (save for July 3’s KaBoom fireworks night), the outdoor mini-concert series known as Red Bank StreetLife returns to the the sidewalks and storefronts of the Basie-birthing borough — an open-air musical bazaar produced and presented (as it’s been each year since 2001) by the folks at Red Bank RiverCenter.

It’s a regular sonic smorgasbord of jazz stylers and blues howlers, folk strummers and world drummers, bell choirs and barbershoppers and more, spotlighting performers who’ve competed for the coveted StreetLife slots in a series of judged auditions, as redbankgreen detailed here in April.

Before all that, however, RiverCenter is serving up an exciting appetizer to the season’s musical menu — an all-new Wednesday lunchtime entertainment series that begins June 2 at noon in Riverside Gardens Park and continues through the month under the name LunchMusic.

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RIVERCENTER STEPS UP MARKETING

rivercenter-sign-051310The 2010 budget shows no increase, but reflects new economic priorities, says RiverCenter’s executive director.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Financially, it’s status quo this year at Red Bank RiverCenter. The independent agency that promotes the downtown and West Side special improvement district is working with a zero-increase, $512,000 budget.

Where that money is going, though, is a little different from previous years.

After the borough council gave its approval for the center’s 2010 budget Monday night, redbankgreen caught up with RiverCenter Executive Director Nancy Adams to find out what’s changed in the year’s spending plan.

The folks at 20 Broad Street are stepping up their marketing and advertising of the borough, a move Adams said is much needed at a time when the small businesses are trying to get more traffic through their doors.

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PARK RESTROOMS VANDALIZED

riverside4The restrooms at Riverside Gardens Park were apparently broken into, used and abused recently. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

One needed to get within only a few feet of the restrooms at Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park in recent days to become victim of a most egregious assault on the olfactories.

riverside1

It’s difficult to describe the alien fetor, nor would it be appropriate here, just as it would be to describe what one would have seen upon entering the men’s room.

Suffice it to say that the the sticky floor was the least of it.

The ladies’ room wasn’t much better, according to a redbankgreen reader who alerted us to this situation late last week. She emailed to tell us she’d popped in to use the facilities while jogging, and was “appalled” by what she encountered:

I am an easy going person………to put it simply, it was truly DISGUSTING! It made NJ transit bathrooms look like the Ritz…

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