Tag Archives: Fair Haven

Honoring Vets in Rumson, Fair Haven

By Elaine Van Develde

“Many of those who were drafted into war many years ago were only seniors in high school. They were so young, their faces looked like dough,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said, explaining the significance of what is dubbed the Doughboy Statue that stands at Memorial Park.

It’s where the Veterans Day ceremony in the borough took place on Tuesday. It’s also where some of those once dough-faced soldiers, now wearing the passage of time and life experience on their faces and in their eyes, gathered to pay tribute to fellow vets, those who have passed, those killed in the line of duty and those still in service.

They gathered in both Fair Haven and Rumson.

In Fair Haven, World War II vet Warner White, recipient of the Purple Heart award and Combat Infantry Badge, made his way up to the mic to speak of his time on the Atlantic French Coast at Utah Beach (D plus 94) and the Battle of the Bulge.

A native of Ohio, White has made Fair Haven his home since 1962.

Modest, as many World War II vets are, White quipped, “Ya see this picture of me here (pointing to the program). They make it look like I’m saluting. I really wasn’t. I was just combing my hair.”

He spoke of his experiences and all listened intently, including the very young, doughy-faced students in attendance.

Also recognized were a couple of the oldest living World War II vets in the audience: Ray Taylor, who served in Korea as well, and Oscar Hille, of the U.S. Army Air Corps. Also still living in Fair Haven, Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect has learned, is 97-year-old World War II vet, Ken Curchin.

In Rumson, special recognition was paid to Jack Donovan Fowler, who was a First Lieutenant in the 7th Armored Division of the Battle of the Bulge.

Captain Daniel J. Edwards was the “presiding officer of the day” for the ceremony and Captain Mike Lilley, of the U.S. Marine Corps, spoke. Lilley, a Rumson resident, is executive director of Better Education for Kids, Inc.

All are the faces of service to the country. There were many thank-you’s and handshakes Tuesday morning. And Mayor Lucarelli called for that and more consideration to be a constant.

“In war there are and (have been) so many casualties and lives lost … Many who served and return have wounds that cannot be seen, such as post traumatic stress disorder and brain trauma …

“If you see a vet, thank a vet. If you see a vet and it seems like he’s having a hard time, understand. Go up to him and comfort him if you can.”

The casualties of the wars … 

• World War I, 115,000 lives lost;

• World War II, 405,000 lives lost;

• Korean War, 36,000 lives lost;

• Vietnam, 50,000;

• Persian Gulf conflicts, 7,000.

Knollwood Students Experience Municipal Government at Work

By Elaine Van Develde

Fair Haven students had a lesson in civics on Monday.

As part of a now annual tradition, the Fair Haven Borough Council conducted one of its meetings at Knollwood School. And the kids learned some things about local government policy that they did not necessarily understand.

For one, members of the governing body told the group that if you want to be heard, you need to speak up and go to meetings.

And, said Council President Jonathan Peters, “It’s always best to approach us first … ask us your question. Don’t yell at us right away. Just ask us what you need an answer to and if you don’t get the answer, then you can yell at us.”

Councilman Rowland Wilhelm called attention to the fact that two women who have lived in the borough for decades, Ruth Blaser and Susan O’Brien, are at every meeting “holding us accountable.”

Like it or not, he said, the two exemplify what residents’ rights are all about. They are usually at every single meeting, “keeping us in check,” he said. Blaser asked council, among other things, if they’d consider having an open public meeting, agenda-free, to get people in town together when more are available, perhaps on a Saturday.

Mayor Ben Lucarelli explained something that he acknowledged many people don’t understand — what type of government their town is working under.

In Fair Haven, for example, the form of government, he said, is that of Borough Council. “It’s a form of municipal government that has a strong council and weak mayor,” he said. “What that means is that the council members are the ones who vote on all the local laws.”

The mayor, if necessary, breaks ties only. He does not customarily vote. He, on the other hand, sets agendas and has veto power.

Council took questions from the student body, many of whom took the opportunity to ask questions.

Some questions included those about pot holes around town, the pending lights at Fair Haven Fields, recycling and open space acquisitions.

Council also recognized its newly-elected member, Aimee Humphreys, and invited her to join them for a first time in executive session.

Check out our photos from the meeting.

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Stay tuned for more council action at the meeting and our interview with Aimee Humphreys.

Veterans Day in Rumson, Fair Haven

By Elaine Van Develde

Both the boroughs of Rumson and Fair Haven will commemorate Veterans Day on the same day, same time — Nov. 11 at 11 a.m..

“The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said.

In Rumson, the ceremony will take place in the usual spot by the war memorial in Victory Park. It will feature members of the armed forces and veterans of various wars as highlighted speakers and participants.

In Fair Haven, the service will take place at Memorial Park. Remaining World War II vets from the borough will be in attendance, the town’s oldest living World War II and Korean War vet, Ray Taylor, 93, will be a featured speaker.

“He’s (Taylor) is a very special man,” Lucarelli said. “It’s always an honor to hear him speak.”

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect will feature photo galleries of both events.


A Little Toilet Paper Mischief


Mischief Night results on Fair Haven Road. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Mischief Night results on Fair Haven Road. Photo/Elaine Van Develde


Maypole? Well, it’s either block-long try at one or a prime example of good ol’ Mischief Night toilet papering.

The guess is the latter. Fair Haven Road really looked like a giant maypole on Halloween day.

The police had issued a warning against using such “materials” to wreak a little traditional, yet, illegal havoc. But, in this case, the culprits eluded them.

Take a look at the close-up portion of the TP in the photo. One ply or two?

Girl Scout Project Earmarks Sandy, Storm Surge Education


An informational sign/map of Sandy and other storm surges' history and protection guidelines was conceived and crafted as a Gold Star Girl Scout project by Fair Haven's Caroline Peters. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
An informational sign/map of Sandy and other storm surges’ history and protection guidelines was conceived and crafted as a Gold Star Girl Scout project by Fair Haven’s Caroline Peters. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

By Elaine Van Develde

Fair Haven Girl Scout Caroline Peters made it through Hurricane Sandy unscathed.

But the teen, daughter of Councilman Jonathan Peters, saw what the storm did to the property of people she knew well and cared about. She watched as it ripped up the iconic Fair Haven Dock, a traditional spot for all those who grow up Fair Haven style.

Continue reading Girl Scout Project Earmarks Sandy, Storm Surge Education

Flash Mob a Halloween Treat at Sickles School


Those at the Halloween Parade at Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven this year got a spooky musical treat when the kids launched into a flash mob of Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Zombie Style.

The concept, a first in the school district, was conceived by parent Bennett Coleman and choreographed by Vanessa Berry, owner/director of Kick Dance Studios in Fair Haven and Rumson, a release from the school district said. The performance involved students in first through third grades dancing up a diabolical storm.

“We had just three rehearsals, and all of the students worked really hard,” said Berry in the release. “This was a great opportunity for the children currently taking dance lessons to show off their moves, as well as for all of the students to enjoy demonstrating what they learned.”

“I thought all of the students were utterly charming,” said parent Susan Culbert in the release. “I was impressed by them.”

The Sickles Halloween parade has been a longstanding tradition. Officials welcomed the new addition.

“I am so grateful to Vanessa Berry for the donation of her time, and to Monmouth Stereo for the donated use of their equipment,” Sickles School Principal Cheryl Cuddihy, costumed as candy Dots, said. “I also want to express my thanks to Bennett Coleman, who was instrumental in organizing this wonderful activity.”

Be sure to check out the video on the Fair Haven PTA Facebook page. Click here.

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?


Dem Breaks GOP Hold on Fair Haven Council

By Elaine Van Develde

The unofficial results are in and they’re showing that, for the first time in more than a decade, the all-Republican hold on Fair Haven’s governing body has been broken.

Newcomer to the local political scene, Aimee Humphreys, has unseated longtime Republican incumbent Jerome Koch.

With what was considered a good voter turnout for mid-term elections at the borough polls, according to Monmouth County Board of Elections’ results tally, Humphreys beat Koch by more than 100 votes — her 1079 to his 963.

The high vote getter in the council race was Susan Sorensen, who won her second three-year seat on the dais with 1,216 votes, or roughly 37 percent to Humphreys’ approximate 33.

Total votes cast for the council race were 3,268.

There were five write-ins. And as “unofficial” results dictate, provision and absentee ballots have not all been counted.

Republican Mayor Ben Lucarelli has won his uncontested bid for re-election with 1,354 votes. There were 25 write-ins.

The last time the GOP hold on the dais was broken was when Joseph Szostak won his independent bid for mayor in 2002. He served one term through 2006 when former Mayor Michael Halfacre won the mayoral election.

He served until 2012, or one-and-a-half terms, when he stepped down upon being appointed by Gov. Chris Christie to serve as director of the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Watch for a follow-up interview with the newest member of the governing body and Sorensen. 

Voting in 2012 in the Wake of Sandy

By Elaine Van Develde

Two years ago, voting in a presidential election in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy became historic for many reasons.

One of those reasons was just the logistics of where displaced people whose towns and selves were handicapped by the storm were voting.

Then there was the notion of getting people out from under their Sandy-plagued circumstances to vote at all.

Well, the turnout was much higher than anticipated. This is how it looked at one polling place in Fair Haven — the firehouse — that took in its Sea Bright neighbors to vote.


Two RFH area girls helped out at the polls at Fair Haven Firehouse during the 2012 elections in the aftermath of Sandy. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Two RFH area girls helped out at the polls at Fair Haven Firehouse during the 2012 elections in the aftermath of Sandy. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

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.


Police: Area Man Arrested After Allegedly Threatening Assault on Fair Haven Girlfriend

The following information was culled directly from police records. Arrests to not constitute convictions.

A young Highlands man, who had active warrants out of Fair Haven for his arrest, was arrested in Highlands on Oct. 29 after “an early morning incident that started in Highlands and ended in Fair Haven,” police records said.

Levi Soza, 24, allegedly threatened his Fair Haven girlfriend, violating a restraining order, according to police records. He was also charged with criminal trespass and burglary.

Soza is currently being held at Monmouth County jail in lieu of $28,000 bail, pending a Nov. 13 court date, according to police.

Fair Haven police also reported the following arrests and incidents for the month of October … 

 A River Road business owner reported an attempted break-in on Oct. 4. Sgt. Jesse Dyksta and Ptl. Koetzner responded and observed what appeared to be pry marks on an outside door. No losses were reported.

Detective Stephen Schneider is investigating.

• Douglas Denoia, 25, of Ocean, was arrested on Oct. 6 and charged with possession of a radio capable of receiving police, fire or emergency medical communications while in the commission of a crime.

Sgt. Jesse Dykstra signed the complaint.

• A Princeton Road resident reported on Oct. 9 that an unknown person had stolen a dry cleaner bag containing clothing from their front porch.

• Jeffrey Kowal Jr., 18, Red Bank, was arrested by Patrolman Eric Patton on Oct. 13 and charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, following a motor vehicle stop.

Kowal was also found to have an active contempt warrant out of Middletown in the amount of $1000. He was released after posting full cash bail, pending a court appearance.

• Sergio Varela-Limon, 25, Highlands, was arrested on Oct. 15 by Patrolman William Logrotteria and charged with driving while intoxicated following a motor vehicle stop.

• A Harrision Avenue resident reported on Oct. 15 that a girl’s bicycle was stolen from their property sometime during the previous evening.

Special Officer II Robert Henne took the report.

• Jeanne Manigrasso, 44, of Eatontown, was arrested on Oct. 29 on the charge of an active warrant out of Tinton Falls in the amount of $1000 following a motor vehicle stop.

Manigrasso was processed and released after posting full cash bail. Special Officer Brooks Robinson was the arresting officer.

• A Third Street resident reported on Oct. 30 that a savings account was opened in her name fraudulently by someone else.

The incident is being investigated by Cpl. John Waltz. No losses have been reported at this time.