Retro Gathering of RFH Class of ’80 Gals

Fair Haven buddies from the RFH Class of 1980 in 1971 Photo/courtesy of Sandi Richards VonPier
Fair Haven buddies from the RFH Class of 1980 in 1971
Photo/courtesy of Sandi Richards VonPier

The RFH Class of 1980 is having its 35th reunion this weekend.

What better time than to take a look back at some grads of that class?

So, in honor of the Class of ’80 and friendships formed many years ago that are still going strong, the Retro Pic of the Day takes a look back at a 1971 gathering of Fair Haven girls of the class when such bonds were forged.

Nothing like an old buddy.

Who in this crew do you think was considered the best dressed? Remember what the “in” style was then?

Thanks to longtime Fair Havenite Sandi Richards VonPier for this photo contribution!

Police: Alleged Heroin Dealer Busted; $20K Bail

The following recent arrests were made and reported by Middletown police. An arrest does not constitute a conviction.

• Gary Close, 43, of 10th Avenue in the Belford section of Middletown, was arrested on July 20 by Patrolman Adam Colfer and charged with possession of cocaine, possession of under 50 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and on a contempt of court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court.

He was held on $13,000 bail, set by Judge Richard Thompson.

• Jose Bonilla, 44, of Laurel Avenue in Keansburg, was arrested on July 20 by Detective Keith Hirschbein and charged with possession of heroin, possession of hypodermic syringe, possession of drug paraphernalia and loitering to obtain a controlled dangerous substance.

He was released pending a court date.

• Jonathon Hamill, 28, of Baskenridge Drive in Middletown, was arrested on July 20 by Detective Daniel Sullivan and charged with possession of heroin, possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of hypodermic syringe.

He was held on $22,000 bail, set by Judge Richard Thompson.

Continue reading Police: Alleged Heroin Dealer Busted; $20K Bail

Area Man Gets 50 Years for Dealing Drugs, Weapons Out of Restaurant

A 48-year-old area restaurant owner, who was convicted in May on 91 charges stemming from the sale of drugs and weapons out of his eatery, is facing 50 years in prison, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

Long Branch resident Anthony “Nygee” Stevenson, owner of Cristabell’s American Soul Food Restaurant, on Springdale Avenue in the city, was sentenced on Wednesday to the 50 years in a New Jersey state prison with a 26-year period of parole ineligibility after Monmouth County Superior Court Judge John T. Mullaney, Jr. ordered the 91 counts be merged into eight for the purpose of sentencing and the periods of incarceration running consecutively.

Continue reading Area Man Gets 50 Years for Dealing Drugs, Weapons Out of Restaurant

Rumson: Bus Driver Veers Out of Storm-Wrought Electrical Wire Trouble

As the wind whipped up quickly and the downpour soaked the Rumson-Fair Haven area on Thursday afternoon, a bus headed toward Sea Bright got caught up in it all, causing a strange accident resulting in an electrical outage, Rumson police reported.

However, no one was hurt and the lights are back on, authorities said on the Rumson Police Department Facebook page.

During the brief storm, a falling tree branch hit and “severed a high voltage utility wire in the area of West River Road and Bellevue Avenue.

“The wire became entangled in the side mirror of a passing NJ Transit bus. Quick thinking by the driver of the bus kept her and the passengers safe.”

What the driver did, police did not say, but they did report that no one was injured in the incident and West River Road was closed between Bellevue and Popomora Drive while the wire was fixed. A few residences went without electricity for while the repairs were being done.

— Photos and released information/Rumson Police Department

Retro Birthday Boy, Fair Haven Mom

It’s somebody’s birthday.

That person is Doug Newman, who was raised in Fair Haven and runs the Fair Haven Facebook page.

Doug decided it would be a good idea to gather folks together in social media and keep connections forged in the Rumson-Fair Haven area going.

Well, he has done it. The page, which has 2,625 members, or, as he calls them collectively, the “fam.”

Continue reading Retro Birthday Boy, Fair Haven Mom

Getting Crabby with Rumson Police

If you like crabbing and want to contribute to a cause, the Ninth Annual Rumson PBA Crab Tournament may be the event for you.

The event, which involves a crabbing tournament from 6 to 10 p.m. on Aug. 15 costs $65 per boat and proceeds benefit Monmouth County Ducks Unlimited for Wetlands Conservation and Hunters Helping Heroes.

First, second and third place awards will be given for the most crabs caught and a grand prize will be awarded for the largest crab.

There are two more days to sign up, according to a Rumson Police Department post on Facebook. And, t-shirts and sweatshirts are for sale as well.

Call the Rumson Police Department to register or click here for more information.

Retro Rumson Witchy Pals

Witchy best pals in Rumson on Halloween 2015 Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Witchy best pals in Rumson on Halloween 2015
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

The temperature just seems to keep rising like warm thoughts of a cooler day for best buddies.

In keeping with our looks back best of friends and good times in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, today’s Retro Pic of the Day emulates how it all starts — with a buddy and a fun day together.

This one doesn’t go way back, only to October 2014 and Rumson’s Halloween festivities, parade and costume contest in Victory Park.

These two just exuded besties forever — the twin costumes, the laughs and the simplicity of forging a lifetime friendship. They were inseparable and terminally cute.

No, they can’t drive yet, so a future pic heading on the road for a joy ride is a bit far off. Broomstick, anyone?

Coastal Decor’s Anniversary Party

It’s that time again — anniversary party time on Thursday for Coastal Decor in Fair Haven.

And with the River Road store’s annual anniversary/summer celebration comes some socializing, snacking and special prices.

The shopping party starts at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 10:30. “Bring a friend,” the store owners said in a Facebook release.

Coastal Decor is a favorite small business among Rumson-Fair Haven area residents specializing in shore-inspired interior design, furniture, accessories and jewelry.

The Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect Coastal Decor pick of the week for Business Buzz is the sterling silver New Jersey sea glass necklace.

New Jersey sea glass necklace  Photo/Facebook screenshot
New Jersey sea glass necklace
Photo/Facebook screenshot

What’s your favorite Coastal Decor item?


Retro Summer RFH Girls’ Drive into the Past

RFH girls' ride into the summer of '78 ... Stephanie DeSesa, Elaine Van Develde, Debbie Humbert and Daryl Cooper Ley Photo/Elaine Van Develde
RFH girls’ ride into the summer of ’78 … Stephanie DeSesa, Elaine Van Develde, Debbie Humbert and Daryl Cooper Ley
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

There’s nothing quite like a summer drive in a classic car with the top down.

And the drive is all the better if it’s made with best friends. So, as a continuing ode to summer fun of the past at the hands of RFH teens, the Retro Pic of the Day encapsulates the whole idea — best friends, a cool ride and warm memories.

Continue reading Retro Summer RFH Girls’ Drive into the Past

Simple Summer: Rumson Mom-Daughter Beach Walk Bonding

It’s summertime and the living is filled with typical summer activity — and not-so-typical. We’re in the midst of a heatwave.

A lot of people in the Rumson-Fair Haven area have predictable seasonal habits — like vacationing, beach clubbing, beachfront partying, fine dining … any number of things.

Then there are others who have opted to take the opportunity to do some charitable work or just simply take some quality time with the kids — one-on-one.

We ran into RFH grad Daryl Cooper Ley and senior-to-be daughter Becca set to take a mom-daughter stroll on the Sea Bright beach for what mom said was some “overdue quality-time walking and talking.”

Nice. Do you like to keep it simple in the summer? What’s your simple summertime activity? Tell us and/or send a pic to

See you around the towns! Enjoy!

Fair Haven: DeNormandie Park Stalled

There’s been a bit of a delay in bringing one long-awaited passive riverfront park to Fair Haven.

That park is the one slated for the foot of DeNormandie Avenue where the historic Williams/Robards estate sat until April.

After its demolition then, officials figured it wouldn’t take all that long to clear the lot of demolition debris and unhealthy trees before the landscaping plans started to take hold.

Then there was an unforeseen shortage of help in the borough’s Department of Public Works to bring that (clearing and leveling) phase of project to a timely fruition.

“DPW was a little off track on the progress with the park,” Mayor Ben Lucarelli said. “The reason for that was that they have been short on help in the department. There have since been new hires, so they should be able to get back on track.”

In the meantime, people are free to stroll onto the beach by the river there and, when the fencing is removed, they may walk on the property that will eventually house the passive park.

The mayor went on to say that the landscaping plan is well in the works and its implementation will soon follow with the tree removal, turfing and then landscape architecture and finishing touches.

All told, the mayor said, it will realistically take up to another two years to see the completed park with finishing touches.

“We have to wait for the next grant cycle,” Lucarelli said. “We will probably go for a Monmouth County Open Space Grant. We have to close out other grants first and make certain there’s nothing else in the works. If we decide that this project is a priority for the next cycle, it could be done by next spring or so.

“If we get in on the next cycle, it would be another year. But that would be for the full flushing out of the park and all the amenities (such as the landscaping, benches, walkways). The trees (that the arborist decides may be taken) will come down next. It’s clear enough to take a walk on for now and enjoy, though.”

That final phase of  the plan will include a plaque commemorating the significance of Williams family and its Robards descendants and the site.

Charles Williams, a freed African-American slave, built the house on the land that was deeded to him and his family.

Winifred Robards, the last in the family line to live in the home that fronted the Navesink River, was known to invite children to play on her property. She told many that she wanted them to enjoy the riverfront location and it was her wish that the land, when she left, be preserved with public access for all to enjoy.

Taxpayers contributed roughly $200,000 to the acquisition of the $1.2 million swath of land. The remainder of the money to purchase it came from state, county and non-profit grants — all of which were contingent upon a commitment to eternally preserve the land as open space.

— Elaine Van Develde/photos and story