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Services for Umberto’s Silvio Set for Tuesday

By Elaine Van Develde

The news of the sudden death of Umberto’s Silvio Fabbri on Nov. 26 was met with an outpouring of sadness.

Fair Havenites have since mourned the man they knew as a friend to the community who never forgot a face, a name or a nugget of information about pretty much everyone who walked through the pizzeria’s doors.

On Friday night, the front of Umberto’s was adorned with flowers, cards, posters, candles and all sorts of tokens of appreciation and remembrance. As tradition holds true in the borough, there was a special farewell posted on the marquee at the Fair Haven Firehouse: “Rest in Peace Silvio … Hanga Loose.”

Inside, the place was bustling with mourners paying their respects to the family as Silvio’s son Anthony flipped dough and gave out pizza for free. It was his way of honoring his father while showing appreciation for the outpouring of love.

Below is a glimpse into one piece of Fair Haven’s sad goodbye to Silvio. Click on the photos to enlarge.

The following is an edited version of Silvio Fabbri’s obituary from the Thompson Memorial Home website:

Silvio Fabbri, 59, of Shrewsbury, died Wednesday Nov. 26.

Born in Monte di Procida Italy, Silvio immigrated to the U.S. in 1976. He served in the Italian Navy on the Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian training ship.

From 1976 to 1984,  Silvio worked in various pizzerias along the Jersey Shore honing his pizza making skills. In January of 1984, Silvio began working for Umberto’s Restaurant in Fair Haven.

He and his brother Michele purchased the business in 1991 and operated it along with his family until the time of his death. Silvio married his beloved wife MaryRose (nee) Katzer in 1987.

He was a avid soccer fan continually following his favorite team Internazionale from Milan. Silvio had a knack for creating his own poetry which always put a smile on people’s faces.

He also had a unique gift of remembering peoples last names and upon entering Umberto’s, that’s how many where welcomed. He was a kind generous man who gave to all who expressed the need. A special town event or a family or friend in need, Silvio was there and did so without wanting anything in return.

He loved the many friends he had made over the years at Umberto’s, and that love was reciprocated by all. One of his great joys was teaching children the art of pizza making.

During Superstorm Sandy, Silvio and Michele remained open without electricity and using only gas to ensure that the people of Fair Haven, and surrounding towns and all emergency personnel had a hot meal when it was needed.

Silvio was known as the unofficial welcoming committee to the newcomers of Fair Haven. Many have recognized him as the first person they met after moving to town. He was a devoted husband, father, brother and uncle to dozens of nieces and nephews.

Silvio was predeceased by loving parents, Antonio and Filomena Fabbri. He is survived by his wife MaryRose; his son Anthony and future daughter-in-law, Melanie DeFranco; his brother, Michele and his wife Lucia and his devoted nephew Tony.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at The Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St., Red Bank. Mass of christian burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, 11 a.m. at The Church of The Nativity, Fair Haven. Burial will be private. Donations to Friends of Silvio, PO Box 8097, Red Bank , NJ 07701 are preferred.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect will be posting a memorial tribute to Silvio.

Fair Haven Councilman Passes Away

 

By Elaine Van Develde

Fair Haven Councilman Jerome Koch died Sunday afternoon, succumbing to critical injuries from a Saturday afternoon bicycle accident, a statement from Mayor Ben Lucarelli said.

Well wishes flooded the Fair Haven Facebook page when it was announced that the longtime councilman had been medevaced to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune Saturday afternoon following the accident.

Then, at about 5 p.m., Koch’s daughter Kristen posted a message thanking people and saying, “My father loved Fair Haven wholeheartedly.”

After her message was posted, indicating a past tense (loved), several others posted messages of sympathy.

Lucarelli issued the following statement at 9 p.m.:

“On behalf of the entire Fair Haven Community, I extend my deepest sympathy to the family of Councilman Jerome Koch, who passed away on Sunday evening from injuries he sustained after being struck by a car on River Road in Fair Haven late Saturday afternoon.

“Councilman Koch was a dedicated public servant who served the residents of Fair Haven for nine years as a member of our Borough Council. More importantly, Jerome was a husband, father, and grandfather, who was dearly loved his by his family.

“His passing is tragic and he will be missed by all who knew and loved him. We send our best thoughts, prayers, and support, to his family during this time of mourning.”

Lucarelli said on Sunday morning that there had been no indication that the accident was anything more than a tragic no-fault incident. The mayor, an avid cyclist, mentioned that he had passed by Koch earlier on Saturday while he was riding with a group of cyclists.

A full investigation was launched involving borough police and the county’s Serious Collision Analysis Response Team, Lucarelli said earlier. Police have not released any further information. No charges have been filed against the driver, an unnamed woman who was driving a BMW with her daughter as a passenger.

Councilman Koch leaves behind his wife Betsy, a teacher at Knollwood School,  Kristen, Kathryn (Katie) and son-in-law Erik Thorvilson, Jerome (Jake), Kerry and granddaughter Grace, the child of Katie and Erik.

“Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers,” said Kristen on the Fair Haven Facebook page at 9:30 p.m.. “My dad passed peacefully this afternoon.”

In addition to his service since 2006 to the borough in his official capacity, Councilman Koch was known for his keen wit and sense of humor.

Having served in the U.S. Army (1973-77), Koch was a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (BA) and Fairleigh Dickinson University (MBA) and was retired from his family business, Karl Koch Erecting Company, according to his obituary.

He was the council liaison to the borough’s Department of Public Works and Fair Haven Fields Natural Area.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect will be writing a tribute to Koch. Anyone who would like to contribute is invited to contact us at evd@rfhretro.com.

 

Fair Haven Councilman in Critical Condition After Bike Accident

By Elaine Van Develde

Following a serious Saturday afternoon bicycle accident, Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli is asking that people keep its victim, Councilman Jerome Koch, in their thoughts as he remains in critical condition at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

The councilman was riding  his bike west on River Road near Elm Place in the borough at about 3:30 p.m. when he was rear-ended by a BMW, according to Lucarelli.

“All indications were that the driver (a woman with her daughter in the passenger seat) was traveling at the speed limit and it has, so far, been determined to have been an accident,” Lucarelli said on Sunday morning.

Koch sustained severe head injuries and was medevaced to Jersey Shore where he remains unconscious and in critical condition.

“His family is with him,” Lucarelli said. “They’re holding up pretty well, considering. I just ask that everyone keep them in their thoughts and prayers.”

Councilman Koch served on the governing body since 2006. In November, he lost his bid for re-election to newcomer Aimee Humphreys and would have left the dais as of Jan. 1, 2015.

 

 

 

 

RFH Students Keep Animals Cozy for Winter

The following is an edited press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School:

Just in time for the winter months, animals at the Associated Humane Society shelter in Tinton Falls were provided with warm bedding thanks to a recent fundraiser.

The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) organization Paws and Claws — dedicated to assisting and spreading awareness of organizations that support domestic pets and wildlife — held a towel/linen drive from Oct. 20 to 31.

Continue reading RFH Students Keep Animals Cozy for Winter

Fair Haven Says Goodbye to Mr. Charlie

Fair Haven Recreation and Special Events Director Charlie Hoffmann bids residents and officials goodbye at the Nov. 23 council meeting. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Fair Haven Recreation and Special Events Director Charlie Hoffmann bids residents and officials goodbye at the Nov. 23 council meeting. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

By Elaine Van Develde

“I call him Charles in Charge,” Fair Haven Borough Administrator said with a smile when bidding goodbye to the town’s well-liked director of the Department of Parks and Recreation and, more recently, Special Events, Charlie Hoffmann.

That was Monday night at the Borough Council meeting, five-and-a-half years after Hoffmann first met Fair Haven and fell in love at first sight.

“When I interviewed for this job five-and-a-half years ago, I had no absolutely no intention of taking it,” Hoffmann said at the meeting. “Someone just told me to come here and practice interviewing. I took a drive around. I was pulled over twice — so, good job with your men, chief — and instantly fell in love with this town. Then I met (then) Mayor (Michael) Halfacre in his Hawaiian shirt and said (to myself), ‘I need to work here.’ It’s probably the best decision I’ve ever made, professionally.”

Since then, Hoffmann worked as the full-time Recreation director until two years ago, when he announced his resignation. The notice was met with such chagrin that Hoffmann ended up staying on part-time transitioning D.J. Breckenridge, now director, into the job. Once that transition was complete, Hoffmann continued until now as Special Events director.

It was a transition that Borough Administrator Theresa Casagrande said was “seamless” for the residents and good for the town.

That’s because, she said, “I think it’s fair to say that Charlie is near and dear to the hearts of the people of Fair Haven. For many people, he was the face of Fair Haven, because they saw him (spearheading events around town) more than us. I think he has done an exemplary job.”

Hoffmann called attention to some new events he brought to the borough that he was particularly proud of, and thanked all those residents and officials, especially Recreation commissioners and council members Susan Sorensen and (former) Bob Marchese, who helped bring them to fruition as standing new traditions: the annual campout, father-daughter dance, grants, concerts on the dock and the centennial celebration, which has now turned into an annual Fair Haven Day.

Saying he was “dealt a great hand here” in Fair Haven, Hoffmann signed off by saying, “The ZIP code 07704 will always have a special place in my heart.”

 

 

 

Meet the Freeholders in Fair Haven

By Elaine Van Develde

If you want to get a glimpse of how county government works, you’ll have your chance tomorrow, Nov. 25, when the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders conducts its meeting in Fair Haven at 7 p.m. in Borough Hall.

The Freeholders make the rounds to different towns each year to provide people with the opportunity.

With this turn in Fair Haven, the agenda, Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said at the Monday night council meeting, is pretty full.

“The mayors from the Two River Council of Mayors will be with me,” he said. “We’ll be representing the complete streets resolutions and urging the county to use complete streets (designs, which include arrow-type signage on the street and bike lanes) in repaving county roads.

“Also, teachers and students from Brookdale will be here advocating  making an appeal for increased county support of the college. It should be an interesting, informative night.”

 

 

Fair Haven Parents Get Informed About PARCC

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

Parents of Fair Haven students received a wealth of information about upcoming Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) at a Nov. 12 PARCC Parent Presentation.

PARCC assessments will be administered to Fair Haven students in third through eighth grade in March (Performance-Based Assessments) and May (End-of-Year Assessments) of 2015.

Hosted by the district’s supervisor of Instructional Programs and Support, Kathy Elgrim, and held in the Knollwood School Media Center, the district-sponsored PARCC Parent Presentation focused on:

• what PARCC assessments are, and what they are designed to accomplish;
• steps being taken at both Viola L. Sickles and Knollwood Schools to prepare all students; and
• how the assessments, taken on individual laptops using Google technology, will appear to students.

PARCC assessments are based on the core belief that assessment should work as a tool for enhancing teaching and learning. They are designed to gauge how students are progressing in school and whether they are on track for postsecondary success.

The assessments, which cover the areas of mathematics and English language arts, will also provide teachers with the ability to identify students who may be falling behind and need extra help.

PARCC assessments focus on the newer, more rigorous Common Core Standards which have been adopted by 47 U.S. states thus far. The New Jersey State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards on July 12, 2010. The three-year implementation phase was completed during the 2013-14 school year.

Students from 15 states, including New Jersey, will be participating in PARCC assessments during the 2014-15 school year.

“The Fair Haven schools have been teaching according to standards for years, and the district’s report cards were redesigned during the 2003-04 school year to better reflect the standards,” said Elgrim. “As a school district, we are already aligned with these key standards —the taking of the assessments is another step in the process.”

In addition to aligning the curriculum — including math and literacy programs — to Common Core standards, the Fair Haven School District is preparing students for the PARCC exams by:

• teaching PARCC technology skills to students in grades three through eight;
• teaching keyboarding skills to students in first through fifth grades
Providing small computer-based assessments to first and second graders; and
• addressing Common Core Standards in Kindergarten classes, and providing Kindergarten students with access to Ipads and Google Chromebooks.

Elgrim noted that seventh graders at Knollwood School were selected to take the PARCC Math Assessment as part of a “field test” during the 2013-14 school year, and are therefore somewhat familiar with the process.

But she stressed that all students in all grades are being thoroughly prepared for the assessments and will be receiving hands-on exposure through the use of laptops with Google technology.

Elgim outlined some of the benefits PARCC assessments offer when compared with the more recently utilized NJ ASK, including a larger number of shorter testing sessions (less taxing on students), extended testing time for all students who require it (50 percent for all students, 75 percent for special needs/classified students), and the potential for school districts and parents to receive data more quickly (once standards for comparison are established).

The data received will allow for comparisons among students and sections, and also between grades and among schools.

NJ ASK will continue to be used for student assessments in the subject of science, and will be administered to students in fourth and eighth grades in May, 2015.

Those in attendance expressed gratitude for the information presented, as well for as the opportunity to ask questions and get a hands-on “feel” for the PARCC assessments using individual Google chromebooks.

“I felt that this was very beneficial,” said Olivia Ross, parent of a second grader at Viola L. Sickles School. “I feel much more informed.”

Additional information on PARCC assessments, including details provided at the PARCC Parent Presentation, can be found on the Fair Haven School District web site (fairhaven.edu) under PARCC.

“PARCC Parent Presentation” was the second in a series of events planned during the school year by the Fair Haven Family Institute. Upcoming presentations include “Google for Education” which will take place on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at Knollwood School.

For additional information on the Fair Haven Family Institute, please visit www.FairHaven.edu.

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.

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.

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 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.