Tag Archives: Rumson

A Post-Sandy Sunset in Rumson

Sunset in Rumson's West Park after Sandy. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Sunset in Rumson’s West Park after Sandy. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

By Elaine Van Develde

Hurricane Sandy’s waters rushed into Rumson’s West Park section, pushing residents out and leaving lots of devastation behind.

The U.S. Army National Guard’s soldiers were posted at its entrances. There was no passing through for some time.

When the downed wires and felled trees were fixed enough and the floodwaters had subsided, there was a sense of calm, yet eerie stillness in the neighborhood.

This is what it looked like at sunset at the foot of Washington Avenue by the Shrewsbury River’s inlet.

Remember?

GOP Keeps its Hold Streak in Rumson

By Elaine Van Develde

Historically, officials in Rumson can’t remember a time when a Democrat or independent sat on the governing body.

There has, however, been one consistent candidate for Borough Council for many years now — Michael Steinhorn.

This election was no exception. With two seats up for grabs — those of Republican incumbents Benjamin Day Jr. and Shaun P. Broderick — Steinhorn again threw his hat into the status quo ring, attempting to mix it up on the dais.

Garnering 512 votes, or 16.5 percent of the votes this time around, he failed. His campaign was characteristically low profile.

The top vote-getter in the Rumson council race was Day, with 1,313 votes, or roughly 42 percent of the votes. Broderick won 1,265 votes, or about 41 percent.

There were nine write-ins.

Alabama Power: Haven of Heroes

Back Camera

By Elaine Van Develde

When the storm’s rage subsided, the Rumson-Fair Haven area was left literally powerless for nearly two weeks. Then the guys from Alabama Power rolled in to the rescue, quickly being dubbed Hurricane Sandy heroes.

In what seemed like effortless work to them, sorely needed electricity was on and humming away within a couple of days.

Area residents flocked to Fair Haven Fields to feed the crew and heap on the accolades. The Alabama guys met them with smiles and a great service that has gone unforgotten.

Remember these warm smiles?

 

Rumson, Fair Haven Elections: Incumbents Want More Time

By Elaine Van Develde

They apparently just haven’t had enough.

That’s why Fair Haven and Rumson borough council incumbents are running for additional three-year terms on their respective governing bodies — and largely unopposed.

Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli faces no competition for his first full four-year term. Lucarelli filled former Mayor Michael Halfacre’s unexpired term when he was appointed director of the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control in January of 2012. The current mayor then won the uncontested election to finish Halfacre’s term through 2013 in November of the same year.

Newcomer Democratic candidate Aimee Humphreys is vying for one of two seats up for grabs on Fair Haven’s Borough Council. Running a lower-profile campaign, she is attempting to unseat either Susan Sorensen or Jerome Koch, both Republicans, on a platform of lowering municipal taxes and fighting reassessments. Humphreys was unavailable as of press time.

Sorensen is competing for her second term on council and Koch has served since 2002.

The two are running on a platform of experience and track records in office for keeping municipal taxes flat for six years, garnering $3.5 million in grants to offset the cost of capital improvements and more. They say, in their campaign literature, that they would like to “continue to run our borough like a successful business.”

In Rumson, Republican incumbents Shaun P. Broderick and Benjamin W. Day Jr. are vying to keep their seats on council.

Their only competition is Democrat Michael Steinhorn, who has attempted to break the characteristically longstanding Republican hold on the governing body several times and lost.

Steinhorn also ran for Monmouth County Surrogate in 2011 and lost to incumbent and former Middletown Mayor Rosemarie Peters.

The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at all the regular polling places in both boroughs.

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Rumson Rocked by Sandy

Rumson's Piping Rock Park after Sandy blew through. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Rumson’s Piping Rock Park after Sandy blew through. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

By Elaine Van Develde

Remember what things looked like around town two years ago?

While the low-lying areas of Rumson were smacked the hardest by Hurricane Sandy, trees were felled all over town.

They brought wires down with them as they crashed onto various mainstay structures. Piping Rock Park, near the high school, was no exception.

Meanwhile, in the West Park section, no one could get in or out. But, from a distance one could see that the water and wind parked all sorts of debris from Sea Bright on Rumson land along the Shrewsbury River.

There were boats, cabanas and more.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Retro Pic of the Day devoted to looking back on Sandy.

R-FH Area Mischief Night, Halloween Rules

The rumors are not true.

If you heard that Gov. Chris Christie had cancelled Halloween trick-or-treating due to Ebola concerns, you heard wrong. And there’s no Hurricane Sandy to ruin it all this year, either.

Halloween will happen as usual in the Rumson-Fair Haven area.

Curfews for both towns are 8 p.m. on both Mischief Night and Halloween. The rules are the usual.

Fair Haven police have outlined them, just so there is no confusion.

On Mischief Night … 

• There is ZERO tolerance for anyone found out past curfew (8 p.m.);

• Anyone found in possession of toilet paper, shaving cream, eggs, soap, silly string, fireworks and “any other item that could be used for criminal mischief” will find themselves in trouble with police.

On Halloween …

• Trick-or-treaters under 18 and not supervised by an adult must be off the roads by 8 p.m.;

• Never, ever go trick-or-treating alone;

• Exercise caution around strangers both on the street and at homes;

• Do not go inside homes;

• Do not eat candy until you get it home and it is inspected by parents;

•  Wear a highly-visible or reflective costume, walk on sidewalks and walkways and carry a flashlight and cell phone.

The main message: Stay safe, stay out of trouble and have fun!

Happy Halloween!

Rumsonite Indicted on Federal Commodities Fraud, ‘Spoofing’ Charges

A Rumson resident is facing a maximum prison sentence of more than a lifetime and fines in excess of $1 million in connection with commodities fraud and “spoofing charges” that allege he bilked clients of more than $1.6 million.

Michael Coscia, 52, has been served a 12-count indictment for allegedly “manipulating commodities futures prices,” illegally profiting the near $1.6 million as a result of trading orders he placed through (Chicago-based) CME Group and European futures markets within three months in 2011, a release from the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said.

Coscia, owner of the former Red Bank-based Panther Energy Trading LLC, has specifically been charged with six counts of commodities fraud and six counts of “spoofing,” Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert J. Holley, special agent-in-charge of the Chicago FBI office, announced in the release.

Coscia’s 12-count indictment is the first in the nation of federal prosecutions under the relatively new “anti-spoofing” provision that was added to the Commodity Exchange Act in 2010 by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Spoofing is defined as a form of high-frequency trading, or “a form of automated trading that uses computer algorithms for decision-making and placing a high volume of trading orders, quotes, or cancelation of orders in milliseconds,” the release said.

In this case, Coscia allegedly designed two computer programs he has been charged with using “in 17 different CME Group markets and three different markets on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, including gold, soybean meal, soybean oil, high-grade copper, Euro FX and Pounds FX currency futures, to implement his fraudulent strategy,” or spoofing, the release added.

It is illegal, according to the FBI, for “traders to place orders in the form of ‘bids’ to buy or offers to sell a futures contract with the intent to cancel the bid or offer before execution.”

Coscia’s indictment alleges that he defrauded CME Group and ICE Futures Europe market participants between August and October of 2011.

He allegedly started implementing a high-frequency trading strategy, placing large-volume orders that he allegedly intended to immediately cancel before they could filled by other traders.

“Traders and investors deserve a level playing field, and when the field is tilted by market manipulators, regardless of their speed or sophistication, we will prosecute criminal violations to help ensure fairness and restore market integrity,” Fardon said. “This case reflects the reasons why, earlier this year, we established a Securities and Commodities Fraud Section, which is dedicated to protecting markets and preserving investors’ confidence.”

Coscia, a registered commodities trader since 1988, allegedly devised this “spoofing” strategy to create a false impression about the number of contracts available in the market. This strategy, in turn, fraudulently induced other market participants to react to the deceptive market information he created, the indictment says.

In this case, Coscia allegedly designed his programs to cancel the quote orders within a fraction of a second automatically, without regard to market conditions, even if the market moved in a direction favorable to the quote orders, the indictment says.

“He programmed the quote orders to cancel because he did not intend for them to be filled, but instead intended to trick other traders into reacting to the false price and volume information,” the release added.

The history of Coscia’s case, according to the release:

“His strategy moved the markets in a direction favorable to him, enabling him to purchase contracts at prices lower than, or sell contracts at prices higher than, the prices available in the market before he entered and canceled his large-volume orders, it adds. Coscia then allegedly repeated this strategy in the opposite direction to immediately obtain a profit by buying futures contracts at a lower price than he paid for them, or by selling contracts at a higher price than he paid for them.

“As part of the scheme, Coscia’s trading programs looked for market conditions such as price stability, low volume at the best prices, and a narrow difference between the prices at which prospective purchasers were willing to buy and prospective sellers were willing to sell because his allegedly fraudulent trading strategy worked best under these conditions. His trading programs sometimes placed a ‘ping order’ of one contract to test the market and ensure that conditions would allow his strategy to work well.

“Coscia allegedly designed his trading programs to place a ‘trade order’ on one side of the market, intending that the trade order be filled. He profited from his fraudulent strategy by filling the ‘trade order,’ the charges allege.

“He also designed his programs to place several layers of ‘quote orders’ on the other side of the market from his trade orders ― either to buy contracts at a price higher than the prevailing offer, or to sell contracts at a price lower than the prevailing bid ― to create the illusion of market interest.

“The quote orders would typically be the largest orders in the market within three ticks (the minimum price increment at which a futures contract could trade) of the best bid or offer price, usually doubling or tripling the total quantity of contracts within the best bid or offer price.

“Further, Coscia designed his programs to cancel all fraudulent and misleading quote orders immediately if any of them were even partially filled, according to the indictment, because he intended them only to trick other traders into reacting to what appeared to be a substantial change in the market.

“After Coscia filled his trade order through the use of fraudulent and misleading quote orders, he immediately entered a second trade order on the other side of the market and repeated his steps with misleading quote orders, causing the second trade order to be filled. As a result, Coscia allegedly profited on the difference in price between the first and second trade orders.”

Each count of commodities fraud carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and each count of spoofing carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine, according to the release.

Coscia is slated for arraignment on a date to be determined in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Assistant U.S. Attorney Renato Mariotti is representing the federal government.

An indictment is not a conviction. It is only a formal charge that will be tried in a court of law.

 

Looking Back at Sandy Sights

Sandy's block from the bridge to Sea Bright. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Sandy’s block from the bridge to Sea Bright. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

By Elaine Van Develde

It was two years ago that Sea Bright and low-lying parts of Rumson were ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Even after the wind and rain stopped and the Shrewsbury River and ocean parted and drifted back to where they belonged, people were put out of their homes and there was no getting into or out of Sea Bright.

The U.S. Army’s National Guard was called in to help.  Sea Bright residents lined up for a shuttle to take them for a small window of time to grab integral belongings from their ruined homes.

Rumson police and the guardsmen blocked the bridge and food, hot beverages were served as emergency clothing was doled out.

It was a surreal scene for all involved.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect will feature Sandy photos for the next two weeks, until the lights came back on at the time in the Rumson-Fair Haven area.

 

Rumson Revs Up for Halloween

By Elaine Van Develde

Not only is Halloween approaching, but it’s also a historic time of the year for people in the Rumson-Fair Haven area — the second anniversary of Sandy, the superstorm that crippled the coast.

So, as Rumsonites ready for Halloween, it’s also hard to forget Sandy’s wrath. That was certainly scary enough.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect found few decorations in the borough. Take a look and alert us to more (evd@rfhretro.com). In the meantime, notice one Shrewsbury Avenue resident’s creative take on the anniversary and Halloween combined.

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Photos by Elaine Van Develde

Halloween Parading in Rumson & Fair Haven

By Elaine Van Develde

Sunday was the day for all ghosts and ghouls in Rumson and Fair Haven to parade their holiday personas.

Both boroughs hosted the fall festivities on a crisp, sunny day. Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect paid a visit to both.

Take a look at our slideshow of the two events combined. Click on the arrow in the center of the photo below and enjoy!

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R-FH Area’s Halloween Celebrations

By Elaine Van Develde

OK, Rumson-Fair Haven area friends and fans, there will be festivities to celebrate Halloween this weekend!

First of all, there’s a Fair Haven Halloween Egg Hunt, yes an egg hunt, at the park at Sickles School on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. We have no idea what this really means, other than that Mayor Ben Lucarelli said today that “it’s an opportunity to gather everyone at one spot to celebrate Halloween.”

In addition, the borough is hosting its annual Halloween parade on Sunday at 2 p.m., starting at Knollwood School on Hance Road. Line-up starts at 1:30 p.m.

Also on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. is the Rumson Halloween Parade and Party at Victory Park. There will be all sorts of activities and festivities. Line-up is at 3:15 p.m.  There will be a costume contest and prizes and a Mad Science Slime-Making Booth.

Have fun, friends and fans! I’ll see you at the festivities! In the meantime, I offer you a … BOO!