Tag Archives: feature

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. 

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.

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.

Your Weekend in the R-FH Area

Hey, R-FH area old timers (cringe), remember Mr. Chartier, Knollwood School principal and later Fair Haven district superintendent?

Well, his son, Michael, a longtime area actor, is on stage this weekend in Phoenix Productions’ Spamalot at the Count Basie.

The younger (well, sorta) Chartier is starring as King Arthur in the zany musical adaptation of the classic film, Monthy Python and the Holy Grail. And it’s opening at 8 p.m. at the Red Bank theater on Monmouth Street.

Continue reading Your Weekend in the R-FH Area

RFH Athletes Sign Letters of Intent

Eleven student-athletes from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) signed National Letters of Intent on Nov. 12, National Signing Day, to play intercollegiate sports.

Student-athletes and their respective programs …

• Hannah Anderson – Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois – cross country
• Cooper Cuje – University of Maryland/Baltimore County – lacrosse
• Catie Ebner – Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania – field hockey
• Kate Fahey – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan – tennis
• Anna Finn – Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut – lacrosse
• Rachel Lehnert – Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey – cross country
• Morgan Maguire – Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia —baseball
• Samantha Sabino – University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire – basketball
• Emily Schissler – Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio – lacrosse
• Grace Stant – Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania – basketball
• Jillian Swikart – Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania – lacrosse

The National Letter of Intent serves as a binding agreement between student-athletes and their intended collegiate sports programs, and marks the final step in the recruitment and commitment process.