Rumson, Fair Haven Reorganizations

It’s status quo for the New Year. Towns reorganize. Newly-elected and/or re-elected officials are sworn in, professionals are appointed and re-appointed, emergency responder line officers are installed and volunteers are named to committees. It’s called reorganization.

It’s also usually status quo for towns to hold their annual reorganization ceremonies on New Year’s Day.

This year, there’s a slight change in the Rumson-Fair Haven area.

While Rumson will still hold its annual reorganization at Bingham Hall, on Bingham Avenue, at 11:30 a.m., Fair Haven’s reorganization will be held, instead, on Monday, Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. in Borough Hall.

In Rumson, Mayor John Ekdahl will officially be sworn into his fourth four-year term as mayor.  In addition, the emergency response line officers will be named and sworn in. And, Ekdahl will give his classic “looking back on 2015” speech.

In Fair Haven, incumbent councilmen Robert Marchese and Eric Jaeger will be sworn in to additional three-year terms. Fire Department and First Aid line officers will be sworn in. Residents and officials will also be named to various committees.

Click here for the full agenda of appointments.


Focus: R-FH Area Landscape Scene 2015

When it comes to landscape scenery, there’s a lot to see in the Rumson-Fair Haven area.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect always tries to seize the moment in a photo when the scene presents itself — and it has countless times in 2015. How could it not? The area, surrounded by the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers and nestled along the Atlantic Ocean, is enveloped with natural beauty.

So, here are the most picturesque scenes captured in the R-FH area in 2015. What a wondrous waterfront world …

Rumson Detour: Bingham & Ridge

If you’re planning on traveling on or around Bingham Avenue in Rumson on Monday, police advise that you plan an alternate route.

New Jersey Natural Gas will be installing a gas main at the intersection of Bingham Avenue and Ridge Road on Monday from  7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., police said. So, the roads at that spot will be blocked off.

The new gas main is slated for the installation on Monday, police said, in an effort to get the major project work completed while Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School and Forrestdale and Deane-Porter students are on winter break and the traffic flow in the area is slated to be far less congested during school hours than usual.

Bingham will be accessible to local residents of the immediate area only, police said. Otherwise, police advise that all other drivers avoid the area.


Something Fishy at Lusty Lobster Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve — almost — and that means the Feast of Seven Fishes for those of Italian descent.

And judging by the hour-long wait line at Fair Havenite Doug Douty’s Lusty Lobster seafood market in Highlands, there are either a lot of Italians in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, a lot of people who are happy to use the excuse to feast on Douty’s fresh seafood or both.

Rumsonite and RFH grad Jennifer Weber Zeller is on line at the seafood market that supplies many favorite area restaurants, such as fellow Fair Havenite and RFH grad Chris Wood’s Woody’s (in Sea Bright and now Tinton Falls). She shared a couple of pics with Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect to show just how a trip to the market on Christmas Eve has turned into a main event.

Not only does the line of people picking up their orders extend nearly all the way down Bay Avenue, but Douty has also apparently supplied some entertainment as well for the wait.

Wood has continually praised the freshness of Douty’s seafood. He, for one, has it delivered daily to his restaurants.  Douty is also an RFH grad.

Sounds like the makings for some sort of impromptu RFH Christmas Eve reunion.

Mangia! And Merry Christmas!

Fair Haven Schools Superintendent’s Resignation: The Background

The resignation of Fair Haven School District Superintendent Nelson Ribon has been common knowledge for about a week, since the Board of Education accepted his resignation at its meeting last week.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect has since requested an interview with Ribon; and he has not yet responded.

He did, however, send a letter out to parents of students in the district.

The complete letter read:

Dear Parents & Guardians,

After several weeks of deep reflection about my professional experiences in our district since 2011, along with the exciting opportunities available to me in the very near future, it was with bitter-sweet emotions that I submitted my resignation, effective July 1, 2016, to the Board of Education nearly two weeks ago. The BOE regretfully approved my decision at this week’s monthly meeting.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the Fair Haven community for nearly five years. I have met great people, developed friendships along the way, and most importantly been a part of the lives of children who have big hearts and great minds.

I will move on with lots of wonderful memories, and proud that the next Superintendent will have a superb leadership team and staff in place, exciting programs and opportunities for all students, a Strategic Plan created with input from a wide representation of stakeholder groups, a vision for the expansion of our schools to work with, as well as tremendous partnerships to foster and grow.

During the next six months, I will continue to move the district forward with the support of our great staff, while assisting the Board with their transition, if and as needed.

I am confident that the Board of Education will communicate their plans for a search in the weeks and months to come.

On behalf of my family, I wish you all a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.

Thank you for your time,
Nelson Ribon
Superintendent, Fair Haven Public Schools
224 Hance Road | Fair Haven NJ 07704

How Ribon ended up in the superintendent’s office:

Ribon, who has a master’s degree and roughly 15 years of experience in education, first came to the district as principal of Knollwood School in June of 2011.

Prior to that, he spent a seven-year stint as principal of Freehold Borough Intermediate School and as a teacher at St. John Vianney in Holmdel and Keansburg.

When former superintendent, Kathleen Cronin, announced her retirement from the district , effective July 1, 2013, a search firm was hired to root out the right choice for her replacement.

After months of meetings and search strategies, the firm’s leader, Rich Morasco, of Little Silver-based Leadership Advantage, announced that Ribon was the choice for the stop administrative spot.

Morasco had said that the new superintendent did not have to live in Fair Haven, but had to act like it, as, in addition to having the pertinent experience and educational background,  having strong community ties had been identified by residents as a critical qualification for anyone vying for the superintendent job.

Ribon, according to state records, earned a salary of $132,500 as Knollwood’s principal. His salary, according to the records went up to $145,000 for the superintendent position.

When first hired, Ribon had said that he was “on cloud nine.”

— Elaine Van Develde


Visions of Two River Computer Elves Fixing Tech Ills

By Elaine Van Develde

It’s that all-too familiar tech nightmare. You’re in the middle of a major project for work. You’re on a deadline. You’re engrossed. Your fingers are typing into a nubby frenzy. Oops.

The computer politely tells you that you need to update the operating system to install a program that you need to get those finishing touches done just right. OK. You click “Continue” and POOF! Everything goes black. Wait. There’s a gray tinge on the screen. A little message pops up and tells you to restart the computer. You do as you are told. Aaaaand POOF!

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Knollwood School Grad Anthony Sciametta’s Wall of Honor Induction

Anthony Sciametta, a 2011 graduate of Knollwood School in Fair Haven, has joined the special ranks of those commemorated with a photo on the Wall of Honor.

Commissioned and designed in 2011 to honor graduates serving their country in the armed forces, the Wall of Honor is featured in a main hallway at Knollwood School. Anthony’s photo was unveiled at a ceremony held on the afternoon of Dec. 16.

Continue reading Knollwood School Grad Anthony Sciametta’s Wall of Honor Induction

Tradition: Santa’s Visit to the Fair Haven Firehouse

Santa and Cole Van Develde at the Fair Haven Firehouse 1990. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Santa and Cole Van Develde at the Fair Haven Firehouse 1990.
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

By Elaine Van Develde

It’s that time of the year for a longstanding Fair Haven tradition — photos at the firehouse with Santa.

This year, Santa’s coming to the firehouse between 1 and 3 p.m. on Sunday.

It’s another Fair Haven tradition you can always count on. So, the Retro Pic of the Day takes us back to Santa at the firehouse when it all started.

I remember …

Continue reading Tradition: Santa’s Visit to the Fair Haven Firehouse