Forrestdale’s Fisbowl of Communication

It’s all about opening up lines of communication — getting a good look from the outside in, like a fishbowl.

That was the impetus behind the annual Fishbowl Event that’s been held at Forrestdale School in Rumson now for a decade. And the latest Fishbowl was no exception.

Continue reading Forrestdale’s Fisbowl of Communication

Rumson Police Report Burglary, Theft, Vandalism, Assault & More

The following incidents and arrests were reported by the Rumson police. An arrest does not constitute a conviction.


• On March 24, Special Officer Berger took a report of an altercation between juveniles at a Rumson Road address.

• There was a report on March 1 of vandalism to a mailbox at a home on Edwards Point Road.

Special Officer Class II Morse took the report.

• There was a report on March 1 of vandalism to a vehicle on Holly Street. The caller reported that the spark plugs of the vehicle were loosened.

Special Officer Class II Morse took the report.

• There was a report on March 2 of harassing phone calls being made to a West River Road business.

Patrolman Ciambrone took the report.

• An attempted wire fraud was reported on March 5 by an Edwards Point Road resident.

Patrolman Gaynor took the report.

• There was a report on March 16 of a stolen license plate from a Wardell Avenue resident.

Special Officer Class II McCurdy took the report.

• A theft of jewelry and tools was reported by a Park Avenue resident on March 17.

Patrolman Torres took the report which was turned over to Detective Christopher Isherwood for investigation.


• Nicholas Aarseth, 24, of Sea Bright, was arrested by Patrolman Torres on March 13 and charged with DWI (driving while intoxicated).

Aarseth was released pending court.

• Robert Toros, 36, of Philadelphia, PA, was arrested by Special Officer Class II Morse on March 22 and charged with simple assault.

Toros was released pending a court date. Patrolmen Gaynor and Ciambrone assisted in the arrest.

• Robert Toros, 36, of Philadelphia, PA was arrested on March 22 by Special Officer Class II Morse on a contempt of court charge.

Toros was transported to Monmouth County Correctional Institution. Patrolman Campanella assisted.

• Christopher McKnight, 28, of the Lincroft section of Middletown, was arrested by Special Officer Berger on March 24 on a contempt of court charge.

McKnight posted bail and was released. Lt. York assisted.

• Theresa McGroarty, 24, of Oceanport, was arrested on March 24 by Detective Christopher Isherwood and charged with receiving stolen property.

McGroarty was released on a summons pending court.

• Michael Carter, 23, of Sea Bright, was arrested on March 31 by Detective Christopher Isherwood and charged with receiving stolen property.

Carter was released on a summons pending court.

• Paul Procopio, 27, of Eatontown, was arrested on March 31 by Detective Christopher Isherwood and charged with burglary, theft and receiving stolen property.


Retro Williams-Robards Estate

With the Monday demolition of the more than century-and-a-half-old Williams-Robards home on the Navesink River in Fair Haven, Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect is featuring  the home in its Retro Pic of the Day.

The colonial was the last remaining one of its kind on the river in the borough and the surrounding area.

The home was demolished as part of an agreement with the state to procure grants to purchase the property.

It will be preserved as a passive recreation park.

A Heap of Fair Haven History

By noon on Monday, all that was left of the historic Williams-Robard estate in Fair Haven was an old television, a couple of mattresses, a laundry basket, and a chunk of foundation on a heap of scrap.

The 160-year-old waterfront DeNormandie Avenue home that freed slave Charles Williams built — and made home to his immediate family and Robards family descendants — was demolished to make way for a passive park was  on the banks of the Navesink River in Fair Haven.

The acquisition of the property has been in the works, via several funding avenues, for the better part of a decade.

The borough finally acquired the 6.9-acre property in the fall to preserve a rare swath of waterfront open space for future generations to enjoy, rather than letting it be sold to a private developer and closed off from public access.

The house, officials have said, was in too much disrepair to preserve. Also, as part of the deal for procurement of funding for the $1.2 million acquisition, borough officials had to agree to demolish the home.

The most recent owners, the Robards descendants, had lived in the house since 1855.

“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.

It was her wish to pay that forward, Lucarelli had said. A plaque commemorating the Williams-Robards families will be erected on the site with a recounting of its history, Lucarelli said at the announcement of the acquisition in the fall.

Click here for the story of the acquisition.

— Photos and story by Elaine Van Develde 

Donovan’s, Dunes & Diehards

— Photos by Elaine Van Develde

Sunday was true to its namesake. The sun was out … and bright.

So, people hit the beach in Sea Bright — a sign that spring had finally sprung.

While the sun was like a siren calling all beach bums back, upon hitting the beach, there was a chill in the blustery air.

So, some stuck it out, bundled up and taking advantage of the wind with kites, others abandoned the beach-going idea.

However, there were a few things to take notice of — like the bit of progress being made to bring Donovan’s Reef back, and the dunes sprouting up all over.

Donovan’s, the longtime Sea Bright summer classic for Rumson-Fair Haven area people and beyond, was flattened by Hurricane Sandy.

There were all sorts of rumors circulating that it had been sold, then the ownership announced that it would be rebuilt with a target date of last Memorial Day.

There’s a Tiki hut and accompanying thatch umbrella at the base of new staircases and it looks like there may be some hope for some sort of resurrection this summer. We’ll see.

And the dunes that were planted across the beach — some by the Fair Haven Garden Club — to stave off erosion are really taking hold.

Check out our photo gallery above for a glimpse into the day and the progress. Click on any photo to enlarge. 

Finishing Up Fair Haven Streetscape

By Elaine Van Develde

The uncharacteristic March cold staved off progress for a bit, but with the spring warmth come the finishing touches of the Fair Haven Streetscape project.

And with the final phase of work, that will continue for about another three weeks, comes a minor traffic delay, with one lane closed, during daylight hours on River Road.

“We’re executing the rest of the Streetscape East program,” Mayor Ben Lucarelli said. “We started last fall at around Buena Vista Avenue on the north side, just to get that last part of the project started, then winter kicked in.”

As with the rest of the Streetscape project that spans from the business section by the Acme and now through to the Rumson border, sidewalks are being replaced on both sides of River Road and the consistent historic-looking lighting is being installed.

The last part of the east portion of the project is under construction on the south side of River Road, from Buena Vista to Oak Place, or roughly 911 River Road where the Shrewsbury Yacht Club sits, Lucarelli said.

Next, the project will be competed on the north side of River Road in the same area.

Don’t Forget: Dog Days at Church

It’s that time again — time for church at St. George’s-by-the-River to go to the dogs … and all other four-legged critters.

Today, Saturday, will be the second Bring You Pet to Church service at 5 p.m. at the Rumson Episcopal house of worship.

The pet-friendly services are being held once a month, on the second Saturday.

Check out our slideshow of the first event by clicking here. Oh, and don’t forget to click on the icon in the lower right corner to enlarge.

Police: $1.2K Worth of Merchandise Stolen & More

The following recent criminal incidents and arrest were reported by the Shrewsbury police:


• A shoplifting of $1,176 worth of merchandise from Anthropologie on Broad Street was reported on March 29.

Patrolman Tracy Polk is investigating.

• A shoplifting of $439. 80 worth of merchandise from Staples on Broad Street was reported on March 31.

Patrolman Ralph Latham is investigating.


• Jay D. Patten, 35. of Red Bank, was arrested on April 2 in the area of Sycamore Avenue and charged with theft, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, paraphernalia and a hypodermic needle by Patrolman Tracy Polk.

Rumson, Fair Haven Business Buzz

All it takes is a drive around the Rumson-Fair Haven area to see that there’s a lot of business news around the towns.

Some retail spaces have been cloaked in brown packing paper with and/or without some sort of literal sign of change. Others have interesting temporary venues and yet others are just starting out and telling their story via social media.

Here’s the business buzz in the Rumson-Fair Haven area:

Fair Havenite, Handmade Haven and Your Karma is Rockin’ owner Melanie Stewart 

The jeweler/crafter is selling her wares right now out of the Oceanic Library in Rumson.

After leaving the short-lived brick-and-mortar location on River Road in Fair Haven, Stewart and her husband David have been crafting and selling wherever the opportunity presents itself.

They told Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect back in October that it’s proven more cost-effective to have a traveling venue.

So, when there was an opening at the library in Rumson, Melanie, according to a Facebook post, created like crazy and set up shop.

Her creations will be there through the end of the month.

From Melanie Stewart:

“Please shop at the Oceanic (Rumson) Library the month of April. They are featuring my jewelry and wreaths and will receive a donation for each purchase you make!

Anyone from the public is welcomed to visit and shop! 109 Avenue Of Two Rivers Rumson, 07760 732-842-2692 for hours ~ Photos of creations that are featured with price list. Thank you!”

Cravin Haven, Fair Haven

Carolyn Beamish Furguson, of the Fair Haven Business Association, tells Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect that the popular Avon-based vegan restaurant, Seed to Sprout, will replace Cravin Haven.

Cravin Haven, the short-lived, super-sized deep fryer-meets-barbecue sandwich spot in the Acme shopping center is now completely shut down.

The eatery, for which owners gave all indications that there would be a remodeling with possible reconfiguration in business in February, not so long ago sported a sign that said the business was for sale. The 1,200-square-foot space was listed for lease at $1,500 per month as a turn-key restaurant with equipment.

Now the windows are covered with brown packing paper. The inside is not empty and the sign remains, but it is still listed as one of two in the plaza for lease on

Cravin Haven’s website, though, gives no indication that the business has folded. It still says that it is only closed for renovations. There is information about off-site catering. Click here for more information.

Empty storefront Acme plaza

The other unit for lease, the 900-square-foot 560 K, is next to the laundromat Wash House, a few doors down. It is empty and windows are not covered.

The information on loop says now that rental rates for both are negotiable.

Replacement for Doc Shoppe?

The spot where the Doc Shoppe sat for years, in the other section of the Acme plaza fronting River Road in Fair Haven, is also for lease.

The Doc Shoppe relocated to a larger store in Red Bank last year.

The roughly 900-square-foot store is for lease through Metro Commercial Real Estate at 856-866-1900.

Fair Haven River Road business district

And in the Fair Haven business district east of Fair Haven Road, there’s been an announcement by Lisa Tave Taffin on social media that physhions, a “fashion-forward fitness apparel and accessories boutique” is opening in May at 813 River Road.

A Rumson Locals resurrection or closure?

Seemingly since the dawn of time, or roughly four decades at least, the spot at 91 East River Road in Rumson was Butler’s Deli. It was a frozen-in-time stop for anyone from old-timer townies to teens to grab those classic breakfast and lunch sandwiches and sides.

Butler’s closed in 2013 when then owner Paul Stout retired. Then well-known Rumsonite Dave Ciambrone opened Locals in the same spot in January of 2013.

Ciambrone is no stranger to Rumson business, having owned Murphy’s Tavern at one point and part of the family that owned Val’s Tavern for most of its existence.

There was a rumor that Butler’s was coming back. The sign on the door has said “Sorry, We’re Closed.”

Who knows? Mayor John Ekdahl said he isn’t certain, but did hear the rumor. The eatery, he said, has been closed since the beginning of the year.

And, it looks like the day after the photo was taken of Locals cloaked in brown packing paper with a “Sorry, We’re Closed” sign on the door, it was revealed that former owner Paul Stout is coming out of retirement to reopen as Butler’s Market. Soon. Stay tuned.

Across East River Road in Rumson at gourmet food stop, et al …

A sign on the window at 114 East River Road says, “For Rent.”

No further information was available at the site that was formerly Le Bon Panier.

The et al eatery now has a location in Highlands. There was a plan for et al to have two locations, in Rumson and Highlands, after renovations. But the sign indicates otherwise.

Time will tell.

What would you like to see at one or any of these business locations?

Fair Haven Police: Borough Business Burglar Nabbed, Connected to String of 30

A Freehold Borough man linked to a Fair Haven business burglary/theft has been linked to a string of more than 30 similar cases spanning Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties and is being held at Monmouth County Correctional Institution on $113,000 bail.

Isiah Casrell, 28,  was arrested along with an alleged co-conspirator, Rachael Lovely, 33, of Newark, at 1:30 a.m. on April 5 in Holmdel, police said. The two were allegedly leaving the scene of a commercial burglary there when they “were spotted and stopped on State Route 34 in the area of the border of Aberdeen Township and Marlboro Township by Marlboro Township Police Officer Johnathan Gramcko,” a release said.

The Holmdel burglary was found, by a multi-jurisdictional police task force, to allegedly be one of more than 30 that occurred in the three-county span in the past few months.

Fair Haven Police Detective Stephen Schneider, a member of the task force, said he signed specific complaints against Casrell in connection with the March 19 burglary of Distinctive Toys, 595 River Road.

As a result, Casrell was charged by Fair Haven police alone with: criminal mischief, burglary and theft of movable property. His bail on the Fair Haven charges alone was set at $30,000 with no 10 percent option, set by Judge James M. Newman, according to police.

In addition to the Fair Haven burglary/theft, Casrell, Schneider said in a release, “was responsible for committing numerous commercial burglaries in the following jurisdictions: Marlboro, Howell, Aberdeen, Colts Neck, Holmdel, Ocean Township, Plumsted Township, Old Bridge, Berkeley, Upper Freehold Township, Manalapan and Shrewsbury Borough.”

Concerning the alleged burglaries throughout the three counties committed by Casrell and Lovely, detectives from Monmouth County’s Marlboro, Howell and Holmdel Township police departments charged the two with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of burglary tools, theft, burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary and criminal mischief.


Arresting News Nearby: Contempt

The following arrests were recently made by Middletown police on contempt of court charges and violations of court orders: 

• Peter Dickson, 20, of Hartshorne Road in the Locust section of Middletown, was arrested on March 24 by Patrolman Adam Vendetti on contempt of court warrants issued by the Middletown and Holmdel municipal courts.

He was released after posting $1,500 bail.

• Darren Mensch, 38, of Schelly Drive in Middletown, was arrested on March 24 by Detective Daniel Sullivan for shoplifting and on a contempt of court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court.

He was held on $5,500 bail, set by Judge Richard Thompson.

Continue reading Arresting News Nearby: Contempt

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