Ilene Winters and Chris Wood reviewing requests for from Sea Bright Rising in January, 2013, three months after Hurricane Sandy devastated the town. On Friday, Winters and Woods announced that the nonprofit organization was dissolved, having completed its mission after giving out $1.6 million in donated funds to 300 families, 20 businesses and the borough itself.
The bar in a glass-walled room one patron called “the aquarium” offers panoramic views of the Shrewsbury River. Below right, restaurant principal Tim McLoone with an opening-night guest. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Three and a half years after the original was damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Sandy, McLoone’s Rum Runner reopened Tuesday night in the form of dazzling behemoth of a “jewel box” beside the Shrewsbury River in Sea Bright.
Above the river, actually. Unlike its modest predecessor, which sat barely above high-tide, the new one is elevated to keep all but the lowest part of a stairwell dry even during the worst storm surge, and provide parking underneath at other times, said its designers.
This should take the chill out of a rainy March Monday: thoughts of sunny days on the sands of Sea Bright.
Full-season beach badges for the coming summer are still available at half price: $50. The discount ends Thursday. To get yours, visit borough hall, at 1167 Ocean Avenue, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
What should become of Anchorage Park, the 1.2-acre sliver of riverside land at the foot of the Route 520 bridge in Sea Bright?
Acquired by the borough after Hurricane Sandy left the Anchorage Apartments uninhabitable in 2012, the now-vacant site may be eligible for grant money. But first, borough officials are asking for public input: should it be developed, along the lines of the concept shown above? Planted with grass and left at that?
A public discussion of the matter has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. at borough hall. The regular council meeting will follow at 7 p.m. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Here’s the trailer to “After Sandy,” a new film made over the past three years by Middetown resident Joe Minnella to document the rebuilding efforts at the Jersey shore in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Minnella and Anthony Jude Setaro of Red Bank, who produced the film, are alumni of Red Bank Catholic High School.
To view the full 100-minute film, click “like” at the “After Sandy” Facebook page and you’ll receive a link to the film page at 8 p.m. on Thursday. The film will be available for viewing until 8 p.m Friday. (Click to enlarge)
A pair of Sea Bright business owners — Frank Bain, of Bain’s Hardware, and Alice Gaffney, of Alice’s Kitchen — talk about the approach of Hurricane Joaquin in this short video by Rutgers journalism student Dan Natale of Red Bank. (Video by Dan Natale.)
That question, and some speculation by local old-timers, threw fuel on an already-raging firestorm about the truthfulness of the NBC News helmsman and former Middletown resident, who was later suspended by the network earlier this month for misrepresenting facts about an incident in Iraq.
Brian Donohue, an nj.com writer and commentator, did some legwork on the Red Bank piece of the story. And while he and his colleagues failed to unearth any specific evidence supporting Williams’ claim, he found plenty to refute the rose-colored reminiscences of locals who said it could not have happened because stuff like that just didn’t happen in Red Bank in the 1970s.
On Monday night’s edition of the Daily Show, Red Banker Jon Stewart weighed in on the controversy over NBC News anchor Brian Williams, whose embellished account of an incident early in the Iraq war has drawn widespread media scrutiny. Stewart did not comment directly on a claim by Williams, a former Middletown resident, of having once been robbed at gunpoint in Red Bank, which he made to Stewart himself onstage at a Count Basie Theatre fundraiser in December, 2012. (Click to enlarge)
NBC News anchor Brian Williams, left, onstage with comedian Jon Stewart at the Count Basie Theatre in December, 2012. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Was news anchor Brian Williams robbed at gunpoint while selling Christmas trees in Red Bank in the late 1970s?
The big-money network newsman, who’s in hot water for claiming he was in a helicopter that was hit by enemy fire in Iraq a dozen years ago, claims that he was mugged one night at what’s now known as Veterans Park, at the junction of West Front Street and Riverside Avenue.
Sea Bright’s Anchorage Apartments, left uninhabitable by the converging waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Shrewsbury River in Hurricane Sandy, were demolished Saturday. Using Green Acres funding, the state plans to buy the complex, at the anchorage of the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge, and turn it into a 1.2-acre park. At right: during the October, 2012 hurricane, a utility pole became lodged in one of the first-floor units. (Photo above by Kenny Katzgrau. Click to enlarge)
Caroline Peters on the Fair Haven Dock with her informational plaque describing storm surges. Below, an enlargeable view of her project. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Next summer, when Fair Haven residents return to the placid town dock on the Navesink River for some fishing or light entertainment, they’ll find a new informational display reminding them that the beautiful waterway just underneath them can become an instrument of destruction.
Caroline Peters, a 17-year-old senior at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, created the display in pursuit of her Girl Scouts Gold Award – the equivalent of the Boy Scouts’ Eagle designation, she tells redbankgreen. And the project came about because she sensed that many people had grown complacent about hurricane warnings by the time Hurricane Sandy unleashed its wrath on the Jersey Shore and beyond two years ago.
“I lived through it, I have friends who lost their homes in it,” Peters said following a dedication ceremony last month. “So it’s all about storm surges, and how you can prepare for them.”
A Matawan contractor was sentenced to five years in state prison for taking deposits for Hurricane Sandy related work he never started or completed in Sea Bright, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in an announcement Saturday.
John Martocci, 59, was sentenced Friday on two counts of third degree theft by deception by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge John Tassini.
Mayor Dina Long, center above, helped move tables to accommodate an overflow crowd Tuesday night. John Lamia, below, was sworn to fill the unexpired term of Read Murphy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
A boatload of critical issues came crashing ashore in Sea Bright Tuesday night, as officials and residents wrestled with soaring taxes, where to put a Sandy-wrecked firehouse and more.
Dozens of residents packed a bimonthly borough council with their concerns: a bulkhead ordinance that would require some property owners to raise the level of protection adjoining their homes along the Shrewsbury River; a plan to build a 150-foot tall cell tower just feet from the ocean beach behind borough hall; the timing of repairs to the seawall.
Two matters in particular drew concerted heat: a proposal to rent land for use as a temporary fire station from a former mayor in arrears on taxes, and a 10-percent increase in tax bills, reflecting a whopping 17-percent increase to cover the cost of sending borough kids to Shore Regional High School in West Long Branch.
That one, and other issues, reflected longstanding frustrations.
“Twenty-five years ago, when I first came on the council – it was a subject then,” said Councilman Jack Keeler. “It hasn’t changed.”
McLoone’s Rum Runner, a Sea Bright favorite since 1987, was demolished Monday, nearly 21 months after it was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Owner Tim McLoone has approvals to rebuild the restaurant, which adjoins the Shrewsbury River, with greater elevation, and plans to reopen by next summer. (Photo above by Janet Dorgan. Click to enlarge)
Artist Jim Kovic, right, puts the finishing touches Sunday on the retro-postcard-style mural he painted on a building at Ocean Avenue and Peninsula Avenue in Sea Bright. On Tuesday, he’s planning to sign the work and host visitors from Benjamin Moore Paints, which supplied the paint both for the mural and the downtown makeover that it caps off.
Click the “Read More” to see details of the mural. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
The impressive comeback of the hurricane-damaged three-story building at 1054 Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright continues with the soft opening of last Thursday of Sea Bright Fish Company, a restaurant and fish market owned by four members of the Diomede family. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Near the north end of downtown Sea Bright, muralist Jim Kovic, right, is transforming a building wall along Peninsula Avenue into a giant, old-style postcard. “Every great city deserves great art,” said Kovic, of Highlands.
The mural, scheduled for completion in about a week, is part of a downtown makeover donated by paint manufacturer Benjamin Moore. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Christina Galinas outside the Ocean Avenue building she brought back to life. Below, Katy Fraggos, who’s opening a dance-based workout studio on the third floor. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
There’s been no shortage of notable comebacks from Hurricane Sandy in Sea Bright, starting with the front-end loaders that tackled six feet of sand on Ocean Avenue a day after the storm.
The recovery marked a milestone six weeks later with the lightning-fast reopening of Bain’s Hardware, which like every other store and restaurant in this oceanfront town was knocked offline by Sandy. And since then, more than a dozen businesses, some of them new, have added to the downtown’s revival.
Nineteen months later, the saga continues, with the reopening in coming weeks of a three-story building that has lined up two tenants brand new to town: a seafood restaurant and a fitness studio.
BONUS: SEE THE PHOTO TOUR OF A BLOCK IN RECOVERY AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE
Two fire trucks have been relocated out of town and another sits beneath a tent since the firehouse, in the background, was condemned. Former Mayor Jo-Ann Kalaka-Adams, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Fast-forward to now. Kalaka-Adams may start collecting $4,500 a month in rent from the borough for a vacant lot, even though she owes the town $40,000 in overdue property taxes, according to the Asbury Park Press.
McLoone’s Rum Runner in Sea Bright, destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, will be rebuilt at its Ocean Avenue location abutting the Shrewsbury River and reopen before summer 2015, according to a report by Word On the Shore. Under plans approved by the planning board last week, the new version of the restaurant will be elevated 10 feet, according to the report. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
A Sea Bright man pleaded guilty to ripping off the Federal Emergency Management Administration via hotel charges he didn’t deserve, authorities announced Tuesday.
Bill Nagle, 52, of Center Street, admitted to a Superior Court judge in Freehold that he defrauded FEMA of more than $12,000 under a Transitional Shelter Assistance program, according to a press release by Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.
On Sunday, a backhoe sat on the slab where the library had stood until it was demolished a day earlier. Below, an architect’s rendering of a proposed combination library and bathing pavilion. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
In 2011, when concept plans for a remodeled Sea Bright municipal parking lot were drawn up, town officials assured residents that the library building had been left off by accident. It’s not going to be torn down, they said.
Last June, when the council approved spending $70,000 to repair damage to the structure caused by Hurricane Sandy seven months earlier, the action was touted on the borough government’s Resource Center website under the headline, “Sea Bright Library to be Rebuilt.”
But last month, the borough council abruptly reversed course, deciding the library had to go. And on Saturday, the building was hastily demolished, blindsiding supporters who were racing to save it and triggering a debate on social media about the significance of the simple frame structure.