All posts by Elaine Van Develde

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?

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

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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?