Knollwood Teacher Back in the Classroom

By Elaine Van Develde

Fair Haven School District’s sixth grade Spanish teacher Basil Henning is officially off administrative leave and headed back to the classroom.

Without mentioning his name or discussing why Henning was placed on leave from his job at Knollwood School, effective Feb. 15, Superintendent Nelson Ribon addressed the capacity crowd at the onset of Wednesday night’s Board of Education meeting with the news.

“While the situation continues to be investigated, we are satisfied up to this point that a resolution is on tonight’s agenda to end this administrative leave,” Ribon said at the beginning of his superintendent’s report.

Concerning the decision to place this “staff member” on leave, Ribon said that “based on the information obtained up to that point in reference to the rights of that employee and the health and safety of the children, appropriate action was taken on one of our staff members, which was to place that person on administrative leave.”

Ribon thanked parents for their numerous correspondences as well as “patience and understanding to allow the process to run its course” in the 10 days Henning was on leave.

While Ribon did not mention Henning’s name, nor did audience members, it was included in a *correspondence that was sent out to parents on the Sunday evening of Feb. 15 when the leave decision was made.

The 10 days of correspondences he mentioned coincide with Henning’s leave — starting on Feb. 15 and ending after the resolution passed to end the leave at the Feb. 25 board meeting. More specific information will be shared in the future when and if it can be; but, right now, “because this is a personnel matter, we cannot discuss at this meeting or in public.”

Rumson parent Andrea Clurfeld spoke in the stead of several people there seeking more information about the leave. She asked that the board speak to procedure only and if the passing of the specific resolution on the matter to end the administrative leave meant that this teacher would be back in the classroom immediately.

“Yes,” Ribon and board members answered.

And just to clarify, Ribon said, “This was administrative leave, with salary and benefits (intact) … This was not a suspension. That is entirely different.”

Henning’s salary was listed in the April 18, 2013 Fair Haven Board of Education agenda as $49,787. Hired for the  2011-12 school year, Henning was one of 18 non-tenured staff members offered tenure for the 2013-14 year, the agenda item said.

*The letter sent out to parents on Feb. 15 read as follows:

On Sunday, February 15, 2015, Ribon, Nelson < RibonN@fairhavenbe.org> wrote:

Dear Parents & Guardians,

I am writing to inform you that Mr. Basil Henning, a Knollwood School staff member, has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately. We are taking the proper steps to ensure that appropriate coverage is put into place.

Since this is a personnel matter, information regarding this cannot be discussed or shared with the public by our administration or BOE members, nor will it be a part of the public portion of our upcoming Board of Education meeting. If and when it is legally permissible and appropriate, information would be disseminated.

Thank you for your time.

Nelson Ribon

Cravin Haven: Business for Sale

The sign says Cravin Haven is for sale. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
The sign says Cravin Haven is for sale.
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

By Elaine Van Develde

It was a little more than a year ago that Cravin Haven opened its specialty comfort food doors in the Acme shopping center in Fair Haven.

Now, shortly after the owners announced on Facebook that the eatery would close for the month of February for renovations, the business that brought several deep fryer-meets-barbecue goodies together on one heaping sandwich is for sale.

A chalkboard sign on the storefront says so. And a search of businesses for sale confirms that a $1,500-a-month lease of the space that houses the business comes with it. A price for the business (brand) itself was not listed.

The 1,200-square-foot place that made its short-lived mark satisfying some unique and large food cravings is, according to commercial real estate website LoopNet, for sale as a “turn key restaurant,” with more than 40 seats and equipment that is “less than 12 months old.”

When it opened in January of 2014, Fair Havenites Anthony Mazzucca, Matt and Elaine Jones and Michael Mazzucca were partners.

Anthony Mazzucca is the former chef of Val’s Tavern. Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect reached out to him for a comment. As of press time, he was not available.

The other Cravin partners have restaurant backgrounds as well: Michael Mazzucca is the owner of Five Guys franchises, Elaine Jones is the former manager of Playwright Tavern in New York, NY, and her husband, Matt, is managing director of Food Services Ireland, a Cravin Haven opening release said.

According to the sign in the window, those interested in purchasing the business can call 732-809-8034.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

One Special Retro ‘Fair’ Lady

 

Sally Van Develde at the Fair Haven Firemen's Fair in 1969.
Sally Van Develde at the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair in 1969.

Our Retro Pic of the Day serves as a special birthday card to a special fair lady — this editor’s mom, Sally Van Develde.

Today would have been her 92nd birthday. She and her husband Bill moved themselves and their two girls to Fair Haven in 1965, made it their home and quickly fell in love with the town, its people and a couple of unassuming volunteer organizations — like the Fair Haven Fire Department.

They passed on that love of their community to their children. That is why this site, Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect, is dedicated to them.

Chatting and catching up  in the Acme was also one of Sally Van Develde’s favorite things to do. Everyone knew her. Hearing “You’ll never guess who I saw in the Acme today …” was about as comforting as the smell of a good cup of coffee wafting upstairs with the sound of chatter and laughter in the kitchen when friends stopped by to see her.

Seen in this photo, sent by Fair Haven Fire Department life member Ray Bennett, Sally is seen working at one of her earlier Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair nights in 1969.

President of the Fair Haven Fire Department’s Ladies Auxiliary many times over, she later became known as the Grab Bag Booth balloon lady.

In this photo, she is manning the  popcorn popper  in what is now called the Out Back, where all the goodies, like hot dogs, burgers, fries, cotton candy and ice cream are made and served.

Thank you for the gift of raising us here, Sally Van Develde! Happy birthday. You are remembered every single day with every bit of work that’s done on this site.

‘Young Frankenstein’ Coming to RFH

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

Young Frankenstein is coming to the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) stage.

The Tower Players will present the what was officially known as The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein on March 20, 21, and 22. Based on the classic 1974 comedy film, the stage version features music and lyrics by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan.

Young Frankenstein tells the story of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (played by Laurence Morales), a professor at a medical school who leaves behind his fiancée Elizabeth (Eli Rallo) and travels to Transylvania to claim the estate of his grandfather – the creator of the famous Frankenstein monster.

After years spent rejecting his family name, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein is visited by the ghosts of his ancestors who convince him to stay and repeat his grandfather’s experiments.

The castle’s current residents — Frau Blucher (Julia Mosby), Igor (Bailie Stypa), and Inga (Jen Andreacchi) — do their best to help Frederick bring his own monster (Michael Shaw) to life. Then the comedy ensues.

The RFH production features a cast of 42 students in singing, dancing and acting roles.

It is directed by RFH English teacher Suzanne Sweeney, who tailored the script for the high school-age actors and audience. Kasi Ann Sweeney is assistant director, and RFH Tower Players alum Patricia McCarron is the production’s choreographer along with Valerie Herman of Forrestdale School.

Costumes and props are under the direction of Carole Malik. RFH Social Studies teacher Matthew Leddin is overseeing the tech crew of 40 students. The set construction is being supplemented with contributions from the students in RFH Industrial Technology teacher Dino Pagano’s Stagecraft class.

The pit orchestra, comprised of RFH students as well as professional musicians, will be conducted by Music Director Vincent Mottern who is acting as coach for vocal performances as well.

Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase at the café in the RFH gymnasium during intermissions and after each performance. Also offered for sale in the café will be CDs featuring music performed by RFH student-musicians.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, and $6 for students and seniors. Admission is free for RFH students with SGA cards.

To purchase tickets online, visit www.rumsonfairhaven.org and click on Young Frankenstein under Featured News.

For more information about purchasing tickets, please contact Play Production Coordinator Stefania Flecca at sflecca@rumsonfairhaven.org.

The box office will be open for ticket purchases an hour before each performance. Friday and Saturday evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m., and the Sunday matinee will be at 1:00 p.m., in the RFH Auditorium.

Man Indicted on Rumson Sandy Theft Charge

A man who took a $6,200 payment from a Rumson resident in the post-Hurricane Sandy era and failed to deliver and install a generator, as contracted, has been indicted on a theft charge and is facing, if convicted, a three- to five-year sentence in state prison, a release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said.

A Monmouth County grand jury on Monday charged Mark E. Herrneckar, 51, of Riverwood Drive, Toms River, with one count of third-degree theft by failure to make required disposition of property.

Herrneckar, the indictment said, took the $6,200 payment from the Rumson resident in December of 2013 for a generator that was never delivered and installed. Herrneckar never returned the money to the homeowner, either, according to the indictment.

Herrneckar was arrested in December by members of the Monmouth County Superstorm Sandy Fraud Task Force. He is currently free on $5,000 bail, as set by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Joseph W. Oxley, J.S.C.

The case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Andrew S. Fried of the office’s Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Bureau. Fried serves as coordinator of the Superstorm Sandy Fraud Task Force.

The task force processes and investigates all complaints related to the storm. Homeowners or citizens are urged to report complaints via the following:

  • The task force webpage at www.SandyFraud.com
  • Call the task force hotline at (855) SANDY 39.

Knollwood Fifth Grader a Spelling Champ

Can you spell champion?

Knollwood School fifth grader Addie Cope probably can. The 10-year-old Fair Haven resident has just been declared the winner of the school’s second annual spelling bee, according to a Fair Haven School District press release.

Cope won the final round and title on Feb. 2 by spelling the word jocularity correctly, the release said.

The win qualified her to go on to participate in the 31st annual Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune Spelldown to be held at Monmouth University in West Long Branch on March 16 and 17.

Spelldown will feature 8- through 14-year-olds declared champions at their school levels in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties. The winner will move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

“We are so proud of Addie and all of the students who participated in the grade level spelling bees at Knollwood,” Knollwood School Principal Kevin Davis said in the release. “We wish Addie the best of luck at the Spelldown and we hope to see her at the National Spelling Bee.”

Preliminary spelling bees were held in all Knollwood grades (fourth through eighth) to determine grade-level participants prior to the school-wide event.

Competing along with Addie in the Knollwood School Spelling Bee were: fourth grader Annie Kersten, sixth grader Abby Tuorto, seventh grader Aaron Bernstein and eighth grader Bridgette Simpson.

Arresting News: Marijuana Possession, DWI, Contempt of Court

The following recent arrests were reported by Red Bank police. Arrests do not constitute convictions.

• Jeannie Spinelli, 20, of Red Bank, was arrested on Feb. 15 in the area of E. Front Street and charged with possession of a CDS, under 50 grams of marijuana, by Sgt. Juan Sardo.

• James Gorman, 46, of Asbury Park, was arrested on Feb. 14 in the area of Broad Street and charged with DWI (driving while intoxicated) by Lt. Errico Vescio.

• Lori Costello, 43, of Red Bank, was arrested on a contempt of court charge on Feb. 18 by Patrolman Benjamin Springer in the area of Spring Street.

• Maximo Sanchez-Gonzalez, 19, of Red Bank, was arrested on a contempt of court charge on Feb. 18 by Patrolman Shane Dengel in the area of Leonard Street.

• Felicito Bautista-Barrios, 36, of Long Branch, was arrested on a contempt of court charge by Patrolman Thomas Doreumus on Feb. 17 in the area of Mechanic Street.

• Gregorio Rojas-Tlapanco, 35, of Red Bank, was arrested in the area of Monmouth Street on Feb. 17 and charged with hindering apprehension and contempt of court by Patrolman Jhonatan Quispe.

Contempt of Court 

• Timothy Johnson, 29, of Red Bank, was arrested on a contempt of court charge on Feb. 14 by Patrolman Shane Dengel in the area of Monmouth Street.

• Genaro Escalante-Castillo, 23, of Red Bank, was arrested on a contempt of court charge on Feb. 13 by Patrolman Jorge Torres.

• Thomas Bouldin, 30, of Middletown, was arrested on a contempt of court charge on Feb. 12 in the area of Throckmorton Avenue by Patrolman David Smith.

Fair Haven Dock Wrapped in a Snow Blanket

The snow started falling again on Saturday afternoon. And down at the Fair Haven Dock, the Navesink River had transformed into a blanket of snow against an white-out backdrop.

The scene was nothing but a big snow blanket to keep dock die-hards warm with some down-by-the-river serenity.

Take a look at our gallery for a glimpse into the snowy scene. Just click on any photo and scroll. Enjoy and stay warm!

Retro Rumson St. Paddy’s Parade

The first Rumson St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2013. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
The first Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2013.
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Our Retro Pic of the Day serves as a reminder that Sunday marks the start of fundraising events for the third annual Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

This photo captures a scene at the first St. Paddy’s Day parade that focuses on the marching troupe of the Monmouth County Sons of Ireland.

Know anyone?

The first of fundraisers is tomorrow at Val’s Tavern in Rumson from 1 to 5 p.m. There will be music by Kevin Feehan & Friends. The $10 donation at the door includes music, buffet and bag pipers.

Fairer Days with Fair Ladies

Some fair ladies of the Fair Haven Firemen's Fair at the Grab Bag Booth in 2014. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Some fair ladies of the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair at the Grab Bag Booth in 2014.
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Yes, we’re still dreaming of warmer days.

It seems like the lower the temperature plunges, the more many of us wants to be transported to sunny days and balmy nights — and some summer fun.

So, we decided that our Retro Pic of the Day should take us all back again to fair Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair days in 2014 with some more fair ladies, as we like to call them in Fair Haven.

Here are the balloon ladies from the Grab Bag Booth.

See you in a few months, ladies!

Crime Close By: Robbery, Criminal Mischief

The following recent criminal incidents were reported by Red Bank police:

• A robbery on West Bergen Place was reported to have occurred on Feb. 13. An unknown male displayed a handgun, stole cash and a cell phone and fled on foot.

Patrolman Cevin Albert took the report.

• An incident of criminal mischief was reported to have occurred sometime between Feb. 12 and 13 at a West Front Street church. Three spotlights were knocked off a post and broken.

Patrolman Benjamin Springer took the report.

• An incident of criminal mischief was reported to have occurred on Feb. 15. Someone spray painted graffiti in black paint on a vehicle parked on Locust Avenue.

Patrolman David Smith took the report.

History Made: Details on the Big RFH Swim Team Win

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

The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Boys Swim Team has captured the program’s first Group C Central championship.

The third-seeded RFH Bulldogs bested number one seed Lawrence High School with a score of 95-75 to claim the historic win on Feb. 12.

Continue reading History Made: Details on the Big RFH Swim Team Win