All posts by Elaine Van Develde

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

A Look Back at the Puff in RFH Powder Puff Football

The role reversed cheerleaders of RFH Powder Puff Football 1977. Photo/RFH yearbook screenshot
The role reversed cheerleaders of RFH Powder Puff Football 1977. Photo/RFH yearbook screenshot

It’s that time of the year — the time when all good Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) football enthusiasts take to playing the game a different way.

This particular tradition may not die hard, but how it was back in the day decades ago, in 1977, the girls played a junior vs. senior game as they were cheered on by a strange gaggle of senior guys.

The above picture includes four who are still pretty well-known in the area.

Here are your hints: one is now a retired Fair Haven police officer and still a resident, another is a former Fair Havenite and Rumsonite who runs his business out of Fair Haven, another is a Rumson dad with his own brood of RFHers, and yet another is the owner of a popular restaurant in Sea Bright that used to be Ichabod’s, this class’ favorite hang-out, post-graduation, of course.

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.”

 

 

A Rewind to Oktoberfest

It's become a new tradition to get costumed to the hilt for Oktoberfest in Fair Haven, as these festive festival goers demonstrated in October. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
It’s become a new tradition to get costumed to the hilt for Oktoberfest in Fair Haven, as these festive festival goers demonstrated in October. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Do you remember this year’s Oktoberfest?

If not, here’s a refresher. This group of costumed Oktoberfest celebrants seems to have gotten bigger by the year.

There’s a lot of authentic lederhosen in the group.

For a full look back, check out the original gallery by clicking here.

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.

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?