Slowed Travel: Oceanic Bridge Repairs to Begin

The following is an edited  press release from Monmouth County:

Oceanic Bridge repairs are scheduled  to start on Monday morning with an estimated completion date of mid-April; and, with them traffic delays are anticipated with scheduled lane and overnight full bridge closures,

The drawbridge, which spans the Navesink River between Rumson and Middletown, will undergo repair work to its structural steel and concrete deck beginning about 9 a.m..

To complete the work and keep the bridge open to traffic during peak traffic hours, the county has developed a staggered schedule to coordinate repairs with corresponding lane closures and fully operational and closed times.

Single lane closures during the mid-day and early evening hours will facilitate vehicular and pedestrian traffic. A full overnight closure will also be in place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The schedule for fully operational times, lane closures and full closure is as follows:
• 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., both bridge lanes open to all traffic;
• 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. , single lane closure with alternating lanes of vehicular traffic;
• 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., both bridge lanes open to all traffic;
• 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., single lane closure with alternating lanes of vehicular traffic;
• and 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. , bridge closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic

For marine traffic, seasonal rules and scheduling will be in effect.

“This work must be done to keep the Oceanic Bridge in working condition during its regular operating season,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the County’s Department of Public Works and Engineering in the release. “We appreciate the patience of the travelling public while we work to keep the bridge operational and get the necessary work completed.”

The staggered times will allow contractor George Harms Construction Co., Inc,. of Howell, to perform the required work above and below the bridge deck.

Motorists may want to plan an alternate route.

Motor vehicle traffic on Bingham Avenue between Rumson and Middletown should travel east and north through Sea Bright and Highlands to Middletown.

Motor vehicle traffic on Navesink River Road and Locust Point Road in Middletown should travel east and south through Middletown, Highlands and Sea Bright to Rumson.

Looking Back at Oktoberfest with Tiki in Mind

Former Fair Haven Mayor Michael Halfacre sells 50/50s at Oktoberfest 2014. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Former Fair Haven Mayor Michael Halfacre sells 50/50s at Oktoberfest 2014.
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Our Retro Pic of the Day takes us back to a former mayor and Fair Haven Day fundraiser — Michael Halfacre at Oktoberfest 2014.

Oktoberfest is a relatively new annual event in the borough. It took hold in 2012 when officials decided that people enjoyed the centennial Fair Haven Day celebration so much that they’d have one every year in June.

The Foundation of Fair Haven, a (501c3) non-profit organization, was created to raise funds to offset the cost of the day, pay for fireworks, music and keep the food and drink prices low.

Since Oktoberfest has been such a hit, The Foundation of Fair Haven has decided to organize a luau dubbed Tiki Haven that’s slated for Feb. 28.

 

Services for Fair Haven’s Barbara Bennett Set for Saturday

Fair Haven has lost a woman who many have referred to as a treasure of an environmentalist, neighbor and friend whom will be memorialized on Saturday.

A memorial service for longtime, well-known and liked Fair Havenite Barbara Bennett, who passed away after a brief illness on Jan. 24, will be held at Thompson Memorial Home, Red Bank, from 3 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 31.

Barbara, who was predeceased by husband Derry Bennett, the former head of the American Littoral Society, was known as an avid environmentalist and Clean Ocean Action volunteer. She is also remembered fondly as a birder, gardener, painter of nature, reader, New York Times crossword puzzle  , cook and jam-maker extraordonnaire, movie watcher, theatergoer, social worker, friend, neighbor, mom and grandma.

The Bennetts’ front lawn, uniquely flush with colorful perennials, sans the standard grass, was always a view this editor thoroughly enjoyed. In fact, many times a drive to Red Bank involved taking a detour past it just to brighten up the day. It always did the trick. Thanks for that!

” … our neighborhood and the Fair Haven community lost a feisty, energetic and profoundly caring woman,” Barbara and Derry’s neighbor Katy Badt Frissora said in a Facebook post the the Fair Haven page. “RIP Barbara Bennett.”

Born in Philadelphia, PA, in 1935, Barbara graduated from the Shipley School and attended the University of Pennsylvania and then went on to get her bachelor’s degree in English Literature and MSW from Rutgers University, her obituary said.

She married Derry, Derickson W. Bennett, in 1958. The couple had two children, Melanie and Rebecca, who they raised in upstate New York and in Fair Haven.

Barbara “worked as a dialysis social worker at Monmouth Medical Center in the early 1980s and volunteered with at-risk youth in a literacy program in the late 1980s.

She, in later years, became “a tireless volunteer with Clean Ocean Action and spent many years coordinating the annual Beach Sweeps events and editing the newsletter. She also was involved with the stewardship of Fair Haven Fields and volunteered with the Two River Theater,” her obituary said.

“One of her greatest joys was her beloved dog Jersey Girl. Barbara was a terrific cook and put up many a jar of Beach Plum and Spicy Peach jam to our delight.”

Barbara survived by: daughters Melanie Bennett, of Olympia, WA, and Rebecca Bennett, of Seattle, WA, and grandchildren Eric, Adrienne, and Galen.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Clean Ocean Action, P.O. Box 505, Highlands, NJ 07732, the American Littoral Society, 18 Hartshorne Drive, Suite #1, Highlands, NJ 07732, and Lunch Break, P.O. Box 2215, Red Bank, NJ 07701.

RFH Hot Topic: ‘Art, Censorship & Violence’

In light of the recent massacre of 12 staffers at the Paris headquarters of magazine Charlie Hebdo over a cartoon satirizing the Muslim prophet Muhammad, staff at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) held a seminar dubbed Art, Censorship and Violence for students to examine this and other similar global issues from both philosophical and historical perspectives.

The Jan. 13 study hall seminar, organized and hosted by RFH English teachers Erin Burke and Dana Maulshagen, social studies teachers Tom Highton and Mike Emmich, and art teacher Kate Okeson, 25 students opted to participate, a release from RFH said.

“Sometimes certain events occur and they really make you think about what you are doing at school and in your daily life,” Okeson told the students, according to the release. “We are hoping that this is just the start of a series of conversations we can have about what ‘plays out’ as a result of current events.”

Okeson sparked discussion by reading aloud from an Art, Censorship and Violence packet that was given to participants containing informational articles, links, and questions on the topic.

Among the issues addressed were those involving the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, or “freedom of speech,” the release added. Students and staff discussed the ways in which laws of certain cultures and religions can be misconstrued; and, whether anyone has the right to prevent any type of artist from displaying complete creative expression.

Questions the students grappled with: everything from “Does censorship promote ignorance?” to “Is freedom of expression always a good thing?”

“It is always a good idea to put yourself in the mindset of the people creating art, and to have an open mind toward other peoples’ perspectives as well as your own,” said sophomore Rachel Makstein in the release. “That might be a way to more fully understand creativity and censorship and other peoples’ motives.”

The teachers, according to the release, were pleased by the turnout as well as the results of the seminar and hope to plan similar events.

“I think that events like the one in Paris regarding censorship and violence can cause us to question ourselves,” Burke told the students. “But they also spark discussions like these, in which we are asking difficult questions such as ‘What is truly important for us to experience and be aware of?’

“I think we have all learned a lot from one another today, and I hope we can have more discussions like this in the future.”

Going Back to the Blizzard of ’96

Weathering a real storm in 1996 with RFH grad Steph DeSesa.
Weathering a real storm in 1996 with RFH grad Steph DeSesa.

Our Retro Pic of the Day takes us back to a blizzard that was true to its word.

What was dubbed The Blizzard of ’96 hit the Rumson-Fair Haven area with full force in January of 1996. This one lived up to its promise to render everyone in the area immobile.

A state of emergency was issued as the snow piled on and New Jersey was truly shut down this time. The state of emergency happened to take hold in the middle of the funeral of this editor’s mom.

As people were trying to make it off the roads and home or somewhere cozy in time, one RFH grad’s car got stuck at the bottom of a hilly street in Rumson. That RFH grad was Stephanie DeSesa.

Steph was making her way from the interrupted service at the funeral home to a friend’s. She got stuck and had to leave the car and trudge up the hill on Bellevue in Rumson, little Yorkie Sergio in tow, to get reinforcements and, yes, shelter.

What friends saw when they opened their door was priceless — a frozen, snow capped Steph, sense of humor still intact. Steph was a funny woman. Sadly, we lost her at 50 in 2011.

This picture says it all about weathering a real storm, literally chilling out and having fun.

 

Snowfall Scene at Nightfall

By Elaine Van Develde

All was calm in the Rumson-Fair Haven area after the blizzard hysteria settled into nightfall after a manageable snow storm.

People shoveled, walked dogs, sledded down streets and a colorful sunset set in down by the Navesink River.

Life is good and all is well in the R-FH area.

See for yourself.

Click on the arrow in the center of the slideshow above and click on the bottom right corner for a glimpse into the scene set to music. Enjoy!

A Snow Angel Day in the Neighborhood

Snow angels in Fair Haven paved the way to work for an editor. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Snow angels in Fair Haven paved the way to work for an editor.
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

It’s a beautiful day in a Fair Haven neighborhood when a few snow angels shovel out an asthmatic editor on a mission to get some photos.

That’s exactly what happened on a certain block in Fair Haven when yours truly was unknowingly dug out from whatever white stuff fell as a result of the “winter storm.”

No, there was no blizzard. But there was certainly enough snow to bring on an attack while shoveling or at least delay work.

Thanks snow angels! The photos are coming next in a nice slideshow! Stay tuned.

Blizzard Goes Bust: Snow Angel Sabbatical?

 

Snow angels in training take time to chat and play. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Snow angels in training take time to chat and play.
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

By Elaine Van Develde

The snow must go on!

That’s what was continuously predicted for the Rumson-Fair Haven area from Sunday through Tuesday morning by the National Weather Service and climatologists all over. And the preparations — in the name of the boy scout credo and post traumatic stress disorder from Hurricane Sandy — took hold.

An epic blizzard was headed down the shore, according to the experts, and people needed to protect themselves. And they did.

The Rumson-Fair Haven area snow angels and unofficial junior apprentices were poised to help in the dig-out. Store shelves emptied, flashlights were loaded with batteries, fireplaces were stocked with wood, a state of emergency was declared, roads were emptied, local emergency responders were ready and people scurried into their homes at nightfall prepared to be stuck there for days. New Jersey was, essentially, closed. Until now.

In case you haven’t heard, the blizzard threat is no more and hasn’t been since this morning. The state of things outdoors shows it, too. It’s been downgraded to a snow storm. In fact, a winter storm warning is in effect until 3 p.m. today for the Rumson-Fair Haven area.

The National Weather Service, at the height of the threat, predicted up to 33 inches of snowfall over a two-day period and wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour. The forecast now calls for a possible accumulation of 1 to 2 inches today and a northwest wind of 20 to 22 miles per hour. And then the rain may fall before midnight.

But, school’s out today and a delayed opening is scheduled for all districts in the R-FH area. And the snow angels have been busy.

Those in training took a bit of a sabbatical to play, but they’re ready.

Thanks to the angels! Any seniors or people with disabilities who need help with removal should call the police department in Fair Haven and an angel will be sent your way.

The Next Generation of Snow Angels in Fair Haven

 

By Elaine Van Develde

No sooner did the snow start to steadily fall in Fair Haven than some neighbor kids hit the sidewalks in front of their houses equipped with colorful shovels great attitudes.

The gaggle of good little guys and girls got some quality romping and “work” in before it all got too tough to handle.

Between the snowmen, snow piles and festive shovels and grins, it was evident they were next in line for snow angel duty.

Referred to by many residents as snow angels, there is a group of teens in the area who sign up to clear driveways, sidewalks and steps for senior citizens and those with disabilities in town.

Watch out for this group!

Click on any image to enlarge to full size and hit next or previous image for the rest. 

Here Comes the Snow!

By Elaine Van Develde

As the weather outside in the Rumson-Fair Haven area started getting frightful, the view from the banks of the Navesink River was one filled with choppy waters and a blustery dusting of snow.

It all started Monday morning. As forecasts continue to promise piles of the white stuff, it was still stable enough to get out and capture a bit of the clam before the blizzard in the afternoon.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect hit the docks in Fair Haven and Rumson so people could get the picture.

Take a look at the photos above to get a glimpse into the beginning of the 2015 blizzard. Just click on any image to enlarge, and scroll.

Rumson on Blizzard Prep

 

With the predicted blizzard headed the Rumson way, officials are offering advisories on the borough’s website:

• Borough parks will close at dusk;

• There will be no Tuesday garbage collection;

• and Forrestdale, Deane Porter and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School will be closed on Tuesday.

Residents are also advised, according to a post by Councilman Ben Day, that there will be “NO overnight parking on Borough streets or Borough Parking Lots to allow for DPW Crews to clear. Cars left there will be towed.”

Mayor: Fair Haven is Blizzard-Ready

By Elaine Van Develde

“Fair Haven is ready,” Mayor Ben Lucarelli said of the impending blizzard on Monday afternoon.

There was a meeting of all major departments (police, emergency management and public works) at noon, he said, and all equipment is fueled up and ready to go, staff is on alert and well-rested, and supplies have been loaded.

Aside from the postponement of tonight’s Borough Council meeting to Thursday at 7 p.m., the mayor asked that “people please keep sidewalks clear and hydrants free of snow (3 feet in each direction with a path out to the street.”

Fair Haven’s two schools, Knollwood and Sickles, are both closed on Tuesday, according to the district website. There will be a delayed opening on Wednesday, Superintendent Nelson Ribon said in a post on the site.

The bulletin that was emailed to residents who have signed up for borough alerts and posted on the Fair Haven Facebook page is as follows:

“Tonight’s Council meeting is cancelled and has been rescheduled for Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

“Historic Commission meeting has been cancelled for Tuesday, January 27, 2015. Historic Commission will meet again at their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

“Zones 3 & 4 trash service for Tuesday has been suspended. Trash pickup for Zones 3 & 4 will resume Friday, January 30, 2015.
Recycling for all zones has been suspended for Wednesday, January 28, 2015. Recycling will resume next Wednesday, February 4, 2015.
Borough Hall most likely will be closed Tuesday, January 27, 2015 and will reopen as soon as practical on Wednesday, January 28, 2015.

“Please remember to report all power outages directly to JCP&L.
Customers who are without power are encouraged to call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report their outage or click the “Report Outage” link on www.firstenergycorp.com. In the event of severe weather, customers should immediately report downed wires to their utility or their local police or fire department.

“Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity. Extra caution should be used in areas where downed lines are tangled in trees or other debris. Motorists are cautioned to treat intersections with inoperable traffic signals as four-way stops.

“FirstEnergy customers also can subscribe to email and text message alert notifications to receive billing reminders, weather alerts in advance of major storms, and updates on scheduled or extended power outages. Customers can also use two-way text messaging to report outages, request updates on restoration efforts, and make other inquiries about their electric accounts.

“More information about these communications tools is available online at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.

Borough Code 14-6.2 states that no person shall sweep, throw or deposit any snow or ice in that part of the street which has been or is being plowed, swept or cleared by the municipality for the passage of traffic.

“Property owners, tenants or occupants must clear the sidewalk in front of their property of all snow and/or ice within 24 hours after the end of the snowfall or the formation of ice. The path cleared must be a minimum of two feet in width (Ord. 14-6.1).

“If there is a fire hydrant in front of your home or business, please clear the snow around the hydrant. Borough Code 7-10.1 states whenever snow has fallen and the accumulation is such that it covers the streets and highways, an emergency shall exist and no vehicle shall be parked on the streets or highways or portions thereof indicated.

“The parking prohibitions shall remain in effect after the snow has ceased until the streets have been plowed sufficiently and to the extent that parking will not interfere with the normal flow of traffic.”

Communication Tools
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