Tag Archives: Fair Haven

Park to Keep Riverfront Space Open in Fair Haven

By Elaine Van Develde

“It’s been a long, arduous process,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said, “but sooner than later locals will have a park on the riverfront to call their own.”

The mayor and other local, county and non-profit officials brought the decade-long concept one step closer to fruition on Friday when they gathered to commemorate Fair Haven’s acquisition of the property on the Navesink River at the end of DeNormandie Avenue.

Officials have eyed the 6.9-acre $1.2 million swath of land as future passive recreation facility for years now, since the tenure of former Mayor Michael Halfacre. However, for one red-tape reason or another, it’s taken a persistent fight and many avenues of grant acquisition to keep the land that was intended by its owners to remain in the public trust just that — and at the right price.

In the end, taxpayers are contributing $200,750 for the property, “most of which has already been budgeted for,” the mayor added.

The remainder of the funding was allocated as follows: NJ Blue Acres Grant Program paid for the bulk, or $608,750 of it; the Monmouth County Open Space Grant Program kicked in $250,000; and, most recently,  the non-profit Monmouth Conservation Foundation contributed $100,000.

In order to procure the grant money, the borough needed to commit to certain conditions: the home is to be demolished; a passive park with riverfront access must replace the home; there are to be no impervious surfaces; and the park is to be named after the property’s founding family, the Robards with a plaque anchored on the site giving a brief history of the family. The timetable, starting with the demolition, for all of this is slated for the spring of 2015.

This way, it’s guaranteed to be the borough’s “to enjoy for future generations going forward,” Lucarelli said. Once property is acquired as open space, using state, county and non-profit funding, it must stay just conserved as such.

That was the aim of local officials and the property’s original owners from the onset — to keep riverfront access open so that future generations can enjoy growing up Fair Haven style.

Frequently, the mayor has talked about how he grew up in Rumson with “sand between my toes.” The riverfront has been a mainstay for most who have grown up in the area, though the price and taxes of owning property on the riverfront is staggering for those of modest means — as were the Williams and Robards families, whose relatives had made the property their home since the 1850s.

For that reason, Lucarelli said, the descendants of Charles Williams — the free black man of his time who built his home and settled his family at foot-of-DeNormandie spot — felt that if they must sell the property, it would be their wish to preserve it as open space for all to enjoy rather than cloister it as an elite private property.

The most recent owners, the Robards descendants, whose family had lived in the spot since 1855, knew that as well and, for that reason, wanted to keep it open to the public.

“Winifred Robards (who lived there since 1855, when she was 3) was known to invite kids onto the property to play and enjoy it all the time,” Lucarelli said.

Soon enough, they and future generations will.

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Fair Haven Schools’ Writers’ Workshops Aim to Grow Good Authors

The following is an edited release provided by the Fair Haven Schools District:

“When you think you’re done, you’ve just begun.”

That’s the motto of the student Writers’ Workshops at Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven.

And while you may have guessed otherwise, Colleen Doogan told a roomful of surprised parents that her blossoming writers actually get excited when they hear this phrase.

“They view it as an invitation to carry on with a process they thoroughly enjoy,” said Doogan, who is in her first year as the district’s K-3 literacy coach. What does a literacy coach do? She provides support for teachers to enhance their reading and writing instruction.

Doogan hosted a Parent Literacy Lab at Sickles on Oct. 9 for parents of students in Kindergarten through fifth grade to demonstrate how Fair Haven schools’ teachers and administrators are set on growing good writers through modeling, engagement and reflection.

“I know it’s hard to do, but when your children tell a story you should try your best to drop everything and really listen,” Doogan told the parents. “Encouraging the telling of good stories is a key to good writing.”

A former first grade teacher who followed her passion to become a reading specialist, Doogan’s resume includes serving as staff developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University under the leadership of Lucy Calkins. Doogan worked closely with the renowned literacy expert and author, and taught at reading and writing workshops in school districts nationwide.

She described the writer’s workshop at Sickles as “an essential component of a balanced literacy program.”

“The students are learning to develop good writing skills by writing — a lot,” she said. “Even our Kindergarteners are learning the importance of sequence in a story.

“We do what real writers do, because students are motived to write more when they understand that they have an authentic purpose and a real audience.”

Sickles students begin the writing journey in Kindergarten, where they are encouraged to create drawings that tell a story in sequence; and, when they are able, to add words to the drawings.

First graders are provided with writing folders containing papers with space for drawings and sentences. Second and third grade students move on to writer’s notebooks, which they fill with all kinds of writing — storytelling, instructional and historical pieces, to name a few.

When students move on to the fourth through eighth grades at Knollwood School, they further develop their writing skills through a host of instruction and activities.

In the writer’s workshops at Knollwood, students keep writers’ notebooks and publish finished pieces in a variety of genres. These students work on the same types of writing as their Sickles counterparts, but they write with increasing sophistication.

For example, fourth graders create book reviews and personal essays while the eighth graders pen literary essays and “position” papers (bringing together research and persuasive writing).

“The increased availability of digital resources and tools along with the use of Google for Education has allowed some Knollwood students to maintain online notebooks,” said Ellen Spears, the district’s director of Curriculum and Instruction. “Many teachers also encourage students to publish on blogs and also to other authentic audiences.”

As a reward for the completion of all their hard work, Fair Haven students in all grades share their best writing with classmates and parents at yearly events dubbed Writer’s Celebrations.

“All of our students at both schools are being immersed in the writing process,” said Sickles School Principal Cheryl Cuddihy, who compared the experience of learning to write with that of learning to drive.

“You don’t learn to drive by using just the blinker one day and the steering wheel the next,” she said. “You need to experience the car as a whole and improve with practice.”

The parents took part in writing and reflection activities with Doogan and with Literacy Specialist/Kindergarten Teacher Kerry Leahey, and were gifted with writer’s notebooks. But the evening’s best takeaways were the strategies Doogan shared for bringing out the “hidden writer” in every child.

“My wife Danielle and I felt very strongly about learning how to encourage and model good writing,” said Thomas Pantaleo, parent of second-grader Thomas and fourth-grader Lucia. “I thought the workshop was terrific, and I came away with guidelines that will make me a better ‘coach’ for my kids.”

Parent Literacy Lab was the first in a series of events planned during the school year by the Fair Haven Family Institute. The Fair Haven Family Institute was created to provide parents with an inside look at exciting initiatives taking place throughout the school district.

With assistance from the Fair Haven School District Technology Coordinator Pat Young and Technology Support Technician Pauline Clark, the Parent Literacy Lab was live-streamed to a local family that had expressed interest in the event but was unable to attend. The expansion of live-streaming to additional households is planned for the near future.

The Fair Haven Family Institute web page features timely and helpful information including details on upcoming events. It can be found on the school district website at fairhaven.edu.

Upcoming Fair Haven Family Institute presentations include:

• Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC”) on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. in the All Purpose Room at Knollwood School and;

• Google for Education on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at Knollwood School.


Sandy’s Slam to the Fair Haven Waterfront

By Elaine Van Develde

Fair Haven was a luckier victim of Hurricane Sandy’s penchant for whipping up the floodwaters. But neither the dock nor the marina and little beach at the end of DeNormandie Avenue quite stood up to it.

The water level rose above decks and it’s stormy strength ripped up chunks of the borough’s iconic landmarks while it tossed debris all over the place in both spots.

It’s all been put back together since. But, this is what the area at the end of DeNormandie looked like then. Today’s weather brings a hint of it all back.

Fair Haven Dock after Sandy ripped out chunks of it. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Fair Haven Dock after Sandy ripped out chunks of it. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

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!

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!

A Look Back at a Fair Haven Accident

Police activity when a pedestrian was hit by a car on the last night of the Fair Haven Firemen's Fair. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Police activity when a pedestrian was hit by a car on the last night of the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

As the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair was closing up on its final night, the otherwise routine, tame evening was a bit rocked when a pedestrian was clipped by an SUV while crossing the street in the crossing lane in front of the firehouse.

Police cars quickly converged. While the young girl sustained minor injuries and was helped up and across the street, the driver of the vehicle that struck her, Rumson resident Dawn L. Capalbo, was placed under arrest and charged with driving while intoxicated and reckless driving, according to the Fair Haven Police report.

Were you there? R-FH Retro just happened to be. Have any photos of the recent or distant past in the area? Send them over to us at evd@rfhretro.com.

Fair Havenites on a Handmade Business Mission

By Elaine Van Develde

“We give hugs here.”

That’s what you’d get as a send-off from Melanie Stewart if you visited her and her husband David’s Fair Haven store, Handmade Haven, when it first opened last December. And she meant it. The hugs were and still are Melanie’s sincere expression of appreciation for your patronage of all area artisans and their unique wares.

That’s what Handmade Haven was created to do — “connect the community with local and unique handmade creations that have artisan heart and soul,” as its mission statement says. And the two have a special love of all things local, as they are Fair Havenites.

It was right around the Christmas holiday season that the couple opened their store in the borough’s business district on River Road. Since then, the economy has gotten the better of their budget and means to operate their business out of a stationery local store. However, economics have not hampered the couple’s passionate mission to make the most of local artisans’ talent.

Call it a craft shop gone creative caravan, or “beyond the brick and mortar” as a “mobile force for handmade and local.” The two, since moving from the store, have been scouting area markets, fairs, shows and other per diem venues to set up tent, so to speak, and get area artisan’s work shown and sold.

“We just found that we were spending more money on the actual space than we were making or investing in all of this unique work crafted by these talented local people,” Melanie said. “It’s been fun and it’s working well this way. There’s so much talent in the area and it’s so important to support local businesses and artisans.”

The value of buying local is unsurpassed, she added, as it boosts the local economy while putting food on neighbors’ plates and passing the word about their work. Handmade Haven is, in that respect, an artists’ cooperative of sorts.

And there’s quite a variety of unique pieces for sale at the Haven: jewelry, much of which is made by Melanie herself (Your Karma is Rockin’), peace wreaths, decoys by a Rumson police officer, furniture, allergen-free handmade soap, scented candles in old Coke and beer bottles, votives in tree limbs, ceramics, paintings, vintage fabric purses by Stag + Laurel, leather and charm wrap bracelets by Cold Garage Creations, and more.

You can catch Melanie and David at their Handmade Haven tent on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Red Bank Farmers Market in the Galleria parking lot.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the goods from the original store location.

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Melanie and David Stewart of Handmade Haven
Melanie and David Stewart of Handmade Haven


Arresting News in Fair Haven

The following arrest and report information was obtained from Fair Haven police records. Arrests do not indicate convictions:

• Douglas Denoia, 25, of Ocean, was arrested on Sept. 28 by Sgt. Jesse Dykstra following a traffic stop. He was charged with unlawful possession of two knives along with several traffic citations.

Denoia was processed and released after posting $3,000 bail pending a court appearance.

• Paul Ashbridge, 24, of Hazlet, was arrested by Patrolman Dwayne Reevey on Sept. 24 and charged with possession of under 50 grams of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia following a traffic stop.

Ashbridge was processed and released pending a court appearance in Fair Haven Court.

• John Frank, 53, of Fair Haven, was arrested by Sgt. Jesse Dykstra on Sept. 22 and charged with driving while intoxicated following two separate motor vehicle accidents in the borough.

Frank was processed and released pending a court appearance in Fair Haven Court.

• A Haggers Lane resident reported on Sept. 19 that more than $600 was removed from his bank account by an unknown subject(s).

Detective Stephen Schneider is investigating.

• A Brookside Ave resident reported on Sept. 13 the theft of a beach cruiser from the Knollwood School bike rack.

Cpl. Jeff Jarvis took the report.

• Greg Russo, 47, of Rumson, was arrested on Sept. 9 on the charge of having an active warrant out of Bloomfield Township. Russo posted full cash bail before his release.

S/O Brooks Robinson was the arresting officer.

• Pierro M. Coccurellocafolla, 52, of Long Branch was arrested on Sept. 5, by Patrolman Dwayne Reevey, and charged with driving on a suspended license, which was revoked from a previous DWI.

• William Hartigan, 36, of Red Bank, was arrested on the charge of having an active warrant out of Secaucus. Hartigan was released after posting full cash bail. S/O Brooks Robinson was the arresting Officer.

• Zackary Slootsky, 20, of Fair Haven was arrested on Sept. 4 on the charge of having an outstanding warrant out of Fair Haven Borough.

Slootsky posted full cash bail before his release pending a court appearance. S/O Brooks Robinson was the arresting officer.

• Rudolph Kastner, 50, of Fair Haven, was arrested on Sept. 3 on the charge of having two active warrants out of Sea Bright.

Kastner was released R.O.R pending a new court appearance in Sea Bright Borough. S/O Robert Henne was the arresting officer.



Halloween Haven: Spooky Fair Haven Sightings

By Elaine Van Develde

They’re creepy and kooky, maybe a little mysterious and spooky, and, perhaps, altogether ooooky, as the classic Addams Family theme music says. Maybe all of the above. But there’s one thing Halloween decorations in Fair Haven definitely are —  part of a longstanding local celebration of the season.

Yes, fall is in the air and the Halloween spirit is adorning lawns in this 1.4-square-mile suburb. Have you seen them sprouting up all over? We have.

Here’s a sampling of a few in the light of day. Let us know (at evd@rfhretro.com) where we can find more of the most creative, creepy sights and we’ll get over there to grab a photo.

We’ll be adding to the collection; and, Rumson will have its own gallery as well.

In the end, a special Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect prize may be awarded to the winner. Don’t forget to email us your favorites; and Happy Haunting!

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A Rockin’ Oktoberfest 2014

By Elaine Van Develde

Call it a fall fest fit for loyal Fair Havenites.

Hosted by the non-profit Foundation of Fair Haven on Oct. 4, Oktoberfest 2014 drew hundreds to the grounds of Smart Start Preschool on River Road.

There was plenty of authentic German food, provided by Fairwinds Deli, music by Late4Lunch, beer, sangria, 50/50s and aptly costumed partygoers — yes, lederhosen and all.

Proceeds from the now annual event, in its third year, fund future Fair Haven Days.

Glimpse into our gallery to get a taste of what it was all about.

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