All posts by Elaine Van Develde

Getting Festive with Rumson, Fair Haven Tree Lightings

By Elaine Van Develde

It’s time to haul out the community holiday spirit and get set for the Rumson-Fair Haven area kick-offs to the season of Santa and all the festivities that come to town with him.

First, on Friday evening, at 5:30 p.m., Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick will arrive via fire truck at Fair Haven’s Memorial Park on the corner of Fair Haven and River roads. After the initial greetings, Santa will pose for photos with children, according to a release from the Fair Haven Business Association.

The tree will be lit at 6 p.m. and there will be music, food and activities for the kids, the release added.

Throughout the lighting and Santa’s arrival, from 5 to 7 p.m., the release said, there will be a stroll through the River Road East business district during which businesses will be open and featuring a collaborative open house, a newer tradition in Fair Haven.

The business district will be open on Saturday and Sunday for shopping.

Then, in Rumson on Sunday the borough will hold it’s annual traditional tree lighting and festivities in Victory Park.

The event begins at 5 p.m. and will feature, as usual, the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Tower Singers, Deane-Porter’s third grade chorus and Tim McLoone & the Shirleys with members of Holiday Express.

Services Set for Fair Haven’s Councilman Koch

By Elaine Van Develde

The times and place have been set to honor and bid farewell to Fair Haven Borough Councilman Jerome A. Koch, Jr., who died on Sunday after sustaining fatal injuries from a Saturday afternoon bicycle accident in the borough.

On Wednesday, there will be a visitation at Church of the Nativity, 180 Ridge Rd., Fair Haven, from 5 to 8 p.m., according to information on the Thompson Memorial Home website.

A Mass of Christian burial will follow on Thursday at 11 a.m. at the church.

Koch, 63, who moved to Fair Haven in 1975, served on the governing body since 2006. He was retired from the family business, Karl Koch Erecting Company and served in the U.S. Army from 1973-77, according to his biography on the borough website.

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

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.

Click here for Jerome Koch’s full obituary on the Thompson Memorial Home website.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect will be writing a tribute/feature story about Councilman Koch. Anyone who would like to contribute information and/or quotes is invited to contact us at evd@rfhretro.com

FYI on Fair Haven Hirees

By Elaine Van Develde

Fair Haven has hired a new “Special Law Enforcement Officer, Class I” and renewed the temporary contract of its interim borough mechanic.

Both are familiar faces and names in the Rumson-Fair Haven area.

A resolution was passed at last week’s Borough Council meeting, the governing body approving of the hiring of Michael Volker, effective Dec. 1, for the Special Class I position in the borough’s police department at a pay rate of $13 per hour.

The appointment was made at the recommendation of Fair Haven Police Chief Darryl Breckenridge.

Volker, a Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School graduate who lives in Fair Haven and is from Rumson, according to his Facebook page, attends the Academy of Law and Public Safety in Long Branch.

Special Class I officers are apprentices, of sort, who work for police departments and have limited enforcement powers. They go through weeks of basic training in areas such as first aid, motor vehicle laws and do not carry firearms. Class II specials do carry firearms, go through months (rather than weeks) of training and have full enforcement power, but only while on duty.

Council also passed a resolution to hire David Becker as interim borough mechanic for another 90 days at a stipend of $120 a week on top of his regular borough salary in Public Works.

Becker, according to the resolution, had been hired as the interim mechanic for an initial period of 90 days, which has expired.

This 90 days is effective from Nov. 11, 2014 to Feb. 9, 2015.

 

A Retro Look at RFH Football

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Back in the day, in the 1970s, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s big football rivalry game, always against Red Bank Catholic, started just about everyone’s Thanksgiving Day.

People went to the traditional game, then home for Thanksgiving dinner. The homecoming dance was the night before, when all the recent graduates would reunite. And the announcement of the new homecoming king and queen came on the football field at the game’s half-time.

Take a look back with us in the Retro Pic of the Day photos above. Do you recognize anyone on the team? Some are still in the area. Who were the football stars of the day?

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

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.”