Category Archives: News

Find all the local news updates here

Looking Back at Best Halloween Buds

RUMSON HALLOWEEN BESTIES
These two were thrilled about celebrating Halloween 2014 together at Rumson’s Victory Park. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Talk about just exuding the love of a bestie …

These two girls had a great day together at the Rumson Halloween celebration at Victory Park.

After getting permission to take their pic from parents, they instantly put their arms around each other, plopped their heads together and smiled ear-to-ear.

When this photographer asked, “Are you guys best friends?” They grinned even wider and shook their heads up and down with a big “Yeeees!”

Adorable. It’s likely, as with many in the area, that these two will be friends forever.

Here are a few more … And, take a look back at our slideshow of Halloween in the R-FH area by clicking here.

About the Big RFH Field Hockey NJSIAA Win

It was last weekend, on Nov. 15,  when the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Field Hockey team won the school’s first NJSIAA Group II title.

The girls won the title over Bordentown High School in a 3-2 victory that came on the heels of a historic Shore Conference Title win against Shore Regional High School on earlier in the month.

A small Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect breaking story ran on the day of the NJSIAA Group Title win.

Here are more details about the game, provided by RFH:

Madison Maguire, Peyton McCauley, and Lilly Croddick scored goals for top-seeded RFH, and goalie Anna Babiak had four saves.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the efforts of these girls over the entire season, and certainly in their Group II Final game,” Head Coach Julie Vaccarelli said. “This is another first for the program — we have never before made it to the group final, and to win in our very first appearance is just spectacular.”

The RFH field hockey roster consists of: seniors Abigael Donohue, Catie Ebner (Captain), Molly Lake, Maggi McCann, and Peyton McCauley (Captain); juniors Anna Babiak, Kara Dixon, Bridget Fitzgerald, Maggie Jennings, Madison Maguire, Kiera McKay, Gabrielle Ramirez, Masie Sapnar, and Kate Sustick; sophomore Ali DeVito; and freshmen Lilly Croddick, Emma D’Amelio, Kaitlyn MacGillis, Megan MacGillis, Makenna Maguire, and Molly Nowell.

Looking Back: Another Fair Gentleman

Dave Ballatori, RFH Class of 2006, helps out at the Fair Haven Firemen's Fair. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Dave Ballatori, RFH Class of 2006, helps out at the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

It’s time for some more warm summer thoughts mixed with a little peek into a popular scene and its people.

We’re also sort of answering a challenge.

When we ran our Retro Pic of the Day not long ago that featured Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair regular at the Big Six tent, lifetime Fair Havenite Tom Kirman, it ended up getting more hits than any story or post in the, albeit brief, history of Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect — more than 1,000 and counting.

We also posted a little blurb announcing that fun fact. Dave Ballatori, RFH grad and co-worker of Kirman’s at the tent, gave his own, let’s say, five cents worth on the post and Kirman’s apparent popularity.

If you’ve frequented Fairwinds Deli over the years, as many have, you probably know Dave.

So, let’s see just how popular he is. Will his photo get more clicks or come close to Kirman’s click count?

An Artful Welcome to Fair Haven

 

By Elaine Van Develde

You may have noticed by now that there’s a new look for the light pole banners that line Fair Haven’s own Main Street — River Road.

The banners started appearing in August, the result of a long-thought-out debate over how to best welcome visitors in an aesthetically pleasing way with a lot of local heart.

What a committee ended up deciding was to call on a famous Fair Havenite who has a strong love of the borough and a signature artistic talent to match it — Mike Quon.

“We wanted the banners to be different,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said. “Looking around at what other towns have done, we found that most had the classic blue fabric with white print and once iconic image. We also didn’t want to re-do what we had done for the centennial (which was to hold a contest among the kids and choose a winner). Those banners were blue and white and depicted the Albertina (the signature steam ship on Fair Haven’s logo).

“The committee was looking at clip art and all sorts of other things, none of which seemed to be quite the right fit. Then Mike came to mind. We ended up with the perfect solution — a nice aesthetic to celebrate Fair Haven and a local artist.”

Quon’s hallmark style is his “whimsical” view of favorite places through use of bright colors in what has been dubbed a “bold brushstroke.” He is the son and nephew of original Disney animators. His father, now 101, worked on Fantasia and sketched the original drawing of Dumbo the Elephant.

Last year, he gifted Fair Haven a couple of renderings of iconic spots in town, one being the Fair Haven Dock.

“An especially great thing about these very unique banners is that Mike’s colors are so cheerful,” Lucarelli said. “They will be particularly appreciated as a warm kind of greeting in town when it’s cold and all the leaves are off the trees.”

Quon’s time and talent were donated for the project. The borough paid nominal expenses, such as printing and materials costs.

To learn more about Quon, check out his website at quonart.com.

A Play on RFH’s Past Shows

This was a rehearsal for Neil Simon's 'Plaza Suite' at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School circa 1977. Photo/screen shot of RFH yearbook.
This was a rehearsal for Neil Simon’s ‘Plaza Suite’ at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School circa 1977. Photo/screen shot of RFH yearbook.

As Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) actors readied for their production of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite in 1977, more of the same is happening at the high school now.

The Tower Players are gearing up for their production of Miracle on 34th Street on Dec. 12, 13 and 14.

There’s always been a fall and spring production at the high school.

In the interest of full disclosure, yes, this editor is pictured here rehearsing for Plaza Suite. Regrettably, one of the actors is now deceased — Billy Weithas. RIP, Billy. Lisa Golder and Danny Olshansky are still with us; and both were at the RFH Class of ’78 reunion. Danny even apologized for dropping five pages worth of lines on me, saying he was never an actor and had no idea why he was cast.

I told him then, and will again, it was like a terror train, but you are soooo forgiven! This editor just had to roll a serving cart around the stage for about 15 minutes and just ramble. Good thing I never run out of anything to say! Poor guy.

OK, now the not-so-secret secret is out. Tell us your tale of being in an RFH production.

Email me at evd@rfhretro.com.

Meet the Newest Fair Haven Borough Council Member

By Elaine Van Develde

“Aimee, would you like to join us?” asked Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli of Councilwoman-elect Aimee Humphreys as the governing body went into executive session after the Nov. 10 meeting.

It was slightly a week shy of the newest council member’s election. The next meeting, now an annual tradition, was held at Knollwood School as a civics lesson to students about the workings of the group of people elected to represent them and their parents.

And Humphreys was there and eager for indoctrination into her new post as of the New Year.

Humphreys, a Democrat, is the first to break the all-Republican hold on the Fair Haven dais in a very long time. The last was independent Mayor Joseph Szostak, who won his independent bid for mayor in 2002. He served one term through 2006 when former Mayor Michael Halfacre won the mayoral election.

Since the election, Humphreys has been seen around town. She told Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect at the borough’s Veterans Day service that she anticipated, despite her minority position on the governing body, that “everything will be great.

“We’re all friends. We’ve all lived here a long time and all have the town’s interests at heart. I think it’s going to be a really positive experience. I’m really looking forward to it.”

She no sooner said that when Mayor Lucarelli walked over and welcomed her as a future governing body member and thanked her for being there.

“We’re happy to welcome Aimee,” he said.

 

A Look Back on a Sunny Donovan’s Kind of Day

An empty tiki bar sits on the spot where Donovan's was bustling before Hurricane Sandy. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
An empty tiki bar sits on the spot where Donovan’s was bustling before Hurricane Sandy. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Rumson-Fair Haven area people, it’s cold outside!

So, here’s a peek back to the summer of 2014 on Sea Bright beach to warm you up a little.

The volleyball nets were up, beach bums were sunning, swimming and surfing and a reminder of what’s to come with the rebirth of Donovan’s Reef sat barren on the beach.

The mainstay locals’ beach bar, obliterated by Hurricane Sandy, was slated for a small preview-like comeback over the summer. A tiki bar was set up on the beach but never quite made it to full-swing operational mode.

Word is that the iconic bar will be back in much different form for the summer of 2015.

A Revival: Holy Cross Church

By Elaine Van Develde

When it comes to Holy Cross Church in Rumson, you could say it’s a case of that old Peter Allen song, Everything Old is New Again — and, maybe, vice versa.

The long-anticipated, beleaguered church restoration/expansion project broke ground in the spring of 2013.

When portions at the rear of the 1885 white-shingled house of worship were demolished, leaving only its facade and room for the expansion, the sight of the hollowed, one-dimensional flat structure was a view of a different kind.

The foundation for the expansion was blessed on Nov. 3, 2013.

Since then, a lot of building, recreating the designs of Charles Keely, has been done. Slated for completion by the end of 2014, the compromise of what was originally to be an even bigger Holy Cross is looking nearly complete.

Take a look at our photo gallery above. Just click on any photo to enlarge and scroll through using the arrows to the left or right. 

Past Life of the Atlantic Hotel

IMG_3603

By Elaine Van Develde

It was called the Atlantic Hotel — the spot on Fair Haven Road in Fair Haven where the old Lock Stock & Barrel and Varsity Club sat. It’s now Navoo Grill Club.

As the Atlantic Hotel, the place had a history rich with visits from famous producers, Vaudevillian actors and millionaires who traveled via steamship to the banks of the Navesink River for respite or to entertain some more.

Last year, Fair Haven was given unearthed registers of the establishment dating back to the early 1900s.

On one page, in particular, the registration of Long Acre Quartette decorated a page, noting that it was the Fourth of July, 1908.

The troupe hailed from “N.Y. City” and its members listed their names followed by “and wife.”

Funny how the women were nameless back in the day. Take a look. Do you recognize any of these names?

Rumson Schools’ Chromebook Project to Bring Students into Future

The following is an edited press release provided by the Rumson School District:

The Chromebook Project, an initiative of the Rumson Education Foundation (REF), has been dubbed the largest, most successful project in the history of the foundation and the Rumson School District.

Chromebook will provide state-of-the-art Google technology to all students in Kindergarten through eighth grade at Deane Porter and Forrestdale schools. The project’s stated mission is to provide “1 to 1 Chromebook technology” and “place the future in our students’ hands.”

“We did a lot of research, and the Google Platform is the optimal choice for our new curriculums — including the math curriculum — as well as for the technology phase of our PARCC assessments,” said Ellen Iovino, the district’s technology coordinator. “Our goal was to introduce new technology that was subject-specific and that would best enhance the classroom learning experience of individual students.”

The first phase — providing carts full of Chromebooks to all fourth and fifth grade classrooms, where all subjects are taught by homeroom teachers — is complete.

In the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classrooms, where teachers dedicate themselves to specific subjects, the Chromebooks have been made available for use in Math and Social Studies classes.

Phase Two of the project got a major boost in funding by an anonymous donor, who offered a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $50,000 in funds, and is on track for its targeted completion date of Dec. 31. All funds are in place for this phase.

Plans for Phase Two include:

• Work on the infrastructure at Deane Porter School (for grades K-3) to expand the wireless network;
• The purchase of Chromebooks and carts for use in second and third grades;
• The purchase of additional Chromebooks and cart for use in the sixth grade science classroom (existing Chromebooks and carts will be utilized for seventh and eighth grade science classrooms);
• The purchase of 150 Chromebooks and five carts for sixth through eighth grade language arts classrooms

Iovino noted that computer technology is available for use by Kindergarten students in keeping with the 1-to-1 initiative.

Currently, Kindergarten and first grade students have access to new Deane Porter Media Center desktop computers as well as the Deane Porter Media Center Chromebook cart (with 30 Chromebooks), purchased during the 2013-14 school year through a grant from the foundation. In addition, each Kindergarten classroom contains three desktop computers for use by students.

“The technology is used mostly to apply the skills that Kindergarten students are learning through interaction with their teachers, and we are continuing to explore different technology – perhaps other than Chromebooks – that will best enhance the experience for them,” Iovino said. “But the fact is, the total number of Chromebooks being provided by the Education Foundation exceeds the number of students in our district.”

Thanks to prior Rumson Education Foundation grants, each classroom in both Deane Porter and Forrestdale schools has been outfitted with a projector, ELMO document camera, and laptop for use by the teacher.

The Chromebook Project is a complement to the wealth of technology already available at both schools, which encompasses 125 computers in all. Computers for student use are located in the Study Lab, Computer Lab, Resource Rooms, Libraries, and Media Center.

The Rumson School District plans to host a Technology Night in the near future, where students will demonstrate what they are able to achieve using the new devices.

Days of the Fair and Sizzler

The Sizzler has been a mainstay at the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair for many years.

How many, we’re not quite certain. But, we do know that it was there, and usually on the front grounds in the 1970s, maybe earlier.

Anyone? This year the ol’ classic was in the back near none other than the Zipper, another standard.

This editor still hasn’t gone on the Zipper. I know, chicken! Oh, well. Once a sissy …

The Sizzler has been on the Fair Haven Firemen's Fair grounds seemingly forever. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
The Sizzler has been on the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair grounds seemingly forever. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

 

RFH Field Hockey Victory: NJSIAA Win

They did it!

The girls on the RFH Field Hockey team won the NJSIAA tournament on Saturday with a final score of 3-2.

The victory comes after the team won the first field hockey Shore Conference title on Nov. 2 — an RFH Field Hockey first.

“The top-seeded Bulldogs bested the second-seeded Blue Devils with a score of 2-0″ in that game, a release from RFH said.  The RFH girls were the first team of the 2014 season to hold Shore Regional — winner of the past 15 Shore Conference Title bouts — scoreless.”

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect will update this story when more information and photos become available.