Reminder: No Overnight Oceanic Bridge Crossing

Rumson-Fair Haven area residents were reminded in Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect’s weekly update on Monday that starting Tuesday night, and every night through April, 30, the Oceanic Bridge will be closed for repairs overnight from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m..

The bridge will be open during the day, with alternating single-lane closures from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Monmouth County officials advise taking alternate routes or be forewarned that traffic will be delayed during these hours.

From the latest county release … “The Oceanic Bridge schedule, weather permitting, Sunday through Friday mornings, from (on or about) March 24 to April 30 will be:

• 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. — both bridge lanes open to all traffic;
• 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — single lane closure with alternating lanes of vehicular traffic;
• 2 to 6 p.m. — both bridge lanes open to all traffic;
• 6 to 10:30 p.m. — single lane closure with alternating lanes of vehicular traffic.

Arrests Nearby: DWIs, Marijuana Possession & More

The following recent arrests were reported by Red Bank police. An arrest does not constitute a conviction.

• Tara Thurber-Snyder, 34, of Bradley Beach, was arrested on March 20 in the area of Mechanic Street and charged with defiant trespass by Patrolman Ashon Lovick.

• Gilberto Cruz-Hernandez, 30, of Red Bank, was arrested on March 18 in the area of Bridge Avenue and charged with contempt of court by Sgt. Juan Sardo.

Continue reading Arrests Nearby: DWIs, Marijuana Possession & More

Fair Haven Mourns Special Police Officer Robert Henne

With few words, Fair Haven police have announced that they are in mourning over the death of Special Officer Class II Robert Henne.

The announcement came over the Facebook page of fellow officer Jeff Jarvis on Monday night, whose cover page told of  the retirement of badge number 216 — Henne’s.

“Rest in Peace Officer Robert Henne,” Jarvis’ Facebook post said. “End of watch, March 23, 2015.” He had died unexpectedly at his Fair Haven family home earlier in the day on Monday.

Henne was a 2010 Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School graduate. He was a high school athlete and police explorer as a teen. He rose up in the ranks of the Fair Haven Police Department from explorer to Class I officer and then Class II.

Henne received his promotion to Class II distinction in December of 2012 and was lauded by officials and colleagues for his professionalism and camaraderie. He was also a Fair Haven fireman.

The flag at Fair Haven Police Department headquarters, and throughout town, is at half staff.

RIP, Officer Henne.

A tribute to Officer Henne will follow.

— Elaine Van Develde 

Looking Back & Saying Happy 96th to Fair Havenite Evelyn Murphy

What else can we say? A longtime —  very longtime — Fair Havenite turned 96 on Sunday!

So, what else could we do but make Evelyn Murphy our Retro Pic of the Day (and slideshow).

No, Evelyn no longer lives in Fair Haven, but her spirit, and those of many like her, just seems to live on. And we’re grateful.

It doesn’t ever seem quite right to this day to go to the Acme and not see the flaming red-haired beauty rounding a corner and always ready to chat.

This lady is mom to seven children, all of whom graduated from RFH. Thanks for your contribution to Fair Haven life, Mrs. Murphy!

To life, l’chaim, special lady! Here’s to covering your 100th!

Thanks to the Murphy family for the photos from Facebook!

Crime Close By: Theft, Criminal Mischief & Burglary

The following recent criminal incidents were reported by Red Bank police:

• There was a report of a burglary at a White Street business on March 16. An unknown person gained entry by prying a door open and reportedly stole approximately $200 in cash. Several coins and the cash register drawer were on the floor at the scene.

Patrolman Thomas Doremus took the report.

• There was a report of criminal mischief March 15 on Newman Springs Road. The victim reported that someone keyed his parked vehicle.

Patrolman Michael Zadlock took the report.

• There was a report of criminal mischief March 15 on Newman Springs Road. The victim reported that someone keyed his parked vehicle.

Patrolman Michael Zadlock took the report.

Continue reading Crime Close By: Theft, Criminal Mischief & Burglary

Editor’s Notes & the R-FH Area Week Ahead

Happy Monday, Rumson-Fair Haven area friends and fans!

OK, so spring has not exactly sprung as we would have liked quite yet, but it looks like there’s hope of some sort, soggy as it may be, for a rise in temps as the week progresses. Please!

In the meantime, it’s a chilly start to the week today.

There are Borough Council meetings in both Rumson and Fair Haven this week. Fair Haven’s meeting is Monday night at 7 p.m. at Borough Hall. Click here for the agenda. Rumson’s meeting is Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. at Borough Hall. Click here for that agenda.

Taking a look back at last week, here are some tidbits from the notebook the likes of which your editor is going to start sharing on a weekly basis:

Continue reading Editor’s Notes & the R-FH Area Week Ahead

Police: Shots Fired in Rumson Deemed Target Practice

By Elaine Van Develde

When it was reported to police that shots were fired in a Rumson home on Sunday evening, where they were called to an unrelated incident the night before, it turned out that friends of the homeowner were engaged in a makeshift target practice in the basement.

“Yes, they were shooting a .38 handgun into the wall of the basement — using a plywood target — of an Auldwood Lane home,” Rumson Police Detective Christopher Isherwood said on Monday morning. “The nanny heard the (numerous) shots and called police around 6:30 p.m. Police from the surrounding area — Fair Haven, Little Silver and Red Bank — and the (Monmouth County) Sheriff’s Office responded. Rumson police had responded to an incident at the same home the night before.”

Upon further investigation, police determined that there was no connection between the two incidents and that there was no violent use (or intent) of the gun. “No injuries,” Isherwood said.

They also discovered that one of the men involved in the target practice had a warrant out for his arrest.

Robert Toros, 36, of Philadelphia, PA, was charged with contempt of court and transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in lieu of $2500 bail, set by Judge Richard B. Thompson, Isherwood said.

Further charges may be lodged against those involved in the practice, Isherwood added, because, among other things, such a use in a residential area is prohibited by borough ordinance.


Remembering RFH’s Dewey Robinson

RFH teacher Dewey Robinson circa 1977 Photo/RFH yearbook
RFH teacher Dewey Robinson circa 1977
Photo/RFH yearbook

As the Fair Haven community mourns the loss of Jeanetter Crowell, our Retro Pic of the Day takes Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) alumni back to her son, Dewey Robinson, who taught and coached at the high school for many years and predeceased his mother.

Known for his kind compassionate, level-headed and relatable demeanor, people offering condolences over the passing of his mother couldn’t help but comment on the son.

“Dewey was a very good man; I am sure she played a large part,” said Fair Haven resident Brian Drazin on the post announcing Mrs. Crowell’s death.

“What a great teacher Dewey was and there is always a strong and wonderful woman behind every great and wonderful man,” Tamera Partington Dinklage said.

Share your memories of Dewey Robinson with us. RIP, Jeanetter Crowell.

Services for Fair Haven’s Jeanetter Crowell Set


“Fair Haven has lost one of it’s pillars,” Fair Havenite Chris Brenner said on the borough’s Facebook page when the March 14 death of Jeanetter Crowell was announced.

Remembered as a top-notch seamstress, designer, gracious lady, friend, neighbor, wife and mom, comments flooded the page in remembrance of the 60-year Fair Haven resident who will be honored at a 10 a.m. Saturday viewing at Child’s Funeral Home in Red Bank followed by a noon service at the Fisk Chapel A.M.E. Church, 38 Fisk St., Fair Haven.

“She was the first friendly face to welcome us to Fair Haven many years ago, and I can’t imagine our neighborhood without her,” said Jeanetter Crowell’s neighbor Kevin Ryan in a memorial post of his own. “When I started working as the NJ child advocate, she came to my swearing-in, gave me a big hug and whispered in my ear, ‘stay close to Jesus.’ I’d like to think that’s her walk now, and one so richly deserved. Rest in peace sweet lady — we will miss you.”

And there were many more posts recounting her kindness and gentle, welcoming nature.

“Another piece of Fair Haven history gone,” John Olexa Sr. said. “RIP.”

“… So loved her, she was always so sweet when she came in to pay her taxes, borough tax collector Dale A Connor said. “She will missed.”

“She always opened her home to me whenever I came to town,” Nerphrita Norris said. “Had many good conversations with her. She was a part of my village.”

“Another passing of a good soul,” Carolynn Bruce Sickerman said.

Jeanetter Crowell was born on April 9, 1924 in Sumter, SC. The child of Reverend Jake Glisson and Lila Samuels Glisson, she graduated from St. Michael’s High School and attended Morris College in South Carolina.

Retired from Standard Awning Company, she “worked tirelessly on behalf of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union,” her obituary said.

Always seen around town ready to lend a hand wherever she could, Jeanetter is remembered as an avid volunteer in the church as a Sunday school teacher and as a pastor’s steward for the Steward board of Asbury Park’s Allen Chapel and Fisk A.M.E. Church Chapel.

In the community, she was involved in the PTA, Eastern Star, Democratic Party and was founder of the Ventures Club, a group that offered mentor and scholarship programs.

Once married to Powell Robinson, she was the mother of deceased Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School teacher Powell D. Robinson III, known as Dewey Robinson. She is survived by her daughter Rochelle Robinson Hendricks, according to her obituary on

Other than her son, Jeanetter was also predeceased by: her parents; her brothers, Abe, Luther, Jake, Jessie, Cliff, Joseph, Frank, James and Thomas; husbands, Powell Robinson and Curtis Crowell.

Besides her daughter, she is survived by: her sister, Leola Martin; daughter-in-law, Erika Robinson; grandchildren, Gioia and Matt Hermann, Talia and Sean Coles, Samson Hearn, Nygia Hearn, and Kiana Robinson; great-grandchildren, Alexandra and Josephine Hermann, Landon and Ronan Coles; special sister-in-law, Evelyn Cruz, and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.

Jeanetter Crowell will be laid to rest at Monmouth Memorial Park, Tinton Falls.

The R-FH Area Weekend: RFH ‘Young Frankenstein,’ ‘Godspell’ & a Wedding Walk


This weekend in the Rumson-Fair Haven area is all about theater and brides.


For tonight, Friday, take note that Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Tower Players’ production of Young Frankenstein has been postponed to Sunday night at 7 p.m.

• Curtain time for the Monmouth Players’ production of Godspell is 8:15 p.m.

Continue reading The R-FH Area Weekend: RFH ‘Young Frankenstein,’ ‘Godspell’ & a Wedding Walk

Will You Love Tank Furever?


Tank, at the Monmouth County SPCA, lends a hand and needs a home. Photo/MCSPCA website screenshot
Tank, at the Monmouth County SPCA, lends a hand and needs a home.
Photo/MCSPCA website screenshot

Our featured four-legged friend up for adoption this week is Tank.

Tank is a 2-year-old, 63-pound mix who is trained and understands basic commands.

“I lean up against you for affection and pets,” the post on Monmouth County SPCA’s website says. “I am very gentle with treats.”

Tank likes other dogs and loves to watch dinner being made.

Check this guy out on the MCSPCA website and connect with many of his friends who also need homes.


Fair Haven Mayor: ‘I’m Up to the Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets’

Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli and native Fair Havenite Dickson Mercer, speech writer for U.S. DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx Photo/courtesy of Ben Lucarelli
Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli and native Fair Havenite Dickson Mercer, speech writer for U.S. DOT Secretary Foxx
Photo/courtesy of Ben Lucarelli

By Elaine Van Develde

To know Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli is to know that he is an avid bicyclist and troubadour for safe bike and pedestrian travels. It’s also to know that the cycling he loves has taken two of his friends, people he cared for and admired, in the past two years, and walks across the street took two other members of the community before them.

So, the issue of bicycle and pedestrian safety on the streets where he lives hits home in more ways than one for Mayor Lucarelli.

Councilman Jerome Koch succumbed to injuries he sustained in a tragic accident with a motor vehicle while riding his bicycle last year. And triathlete Cole Porter died in 2013 after a mishap in the Tour de Fair Haven race when he collided with a race officiator on a closed borough-wide course.

Besides Lucarelli’s friends falling victim to fatal bike accidents, in the early 2000s a man was killed when hit by a car crossing River Road.  A woman was killed in 2009 crossing the same main street in the same area of the 1.6-square-mile borough.

So, when the mayor was offered the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets, he eagerly accepted and headed to a summit “to identify and remove barriers to improving non-motorized safety” last week in Washington D.C..

The mayor is passionate about the idea of safely integrating pedestrian and bicycle traffic with motor vehicles. For him, that passion emanates from those focal home-base tragedies to encompass a community, even worldwide spectrum.

“We have people utilizing the roads right now and bad things are happening,” Lucarelli said on Wednesday. “It’s been very difficult (trying to come to terms with Porter and Koch’s deaths). To a certain extent, the effort I am putting forth with everything I’ve got is to honor both Cole and Jerome.”

While the mayor pointed out that there was a distinct difference in the cyclist tragedies — Porter’s being on a closed, motor vehicle traffic-free course — the legacies of the two are a persistent source of motivation. He was in the race Porter was in, yards away; and he had passed Koch on the road not long before before his accident.

“Jerome was just a regular guy — a father, a grandfather — out riding his bike around,” Lucarelli said. “It was an accident, an extremely tragic one that hit me hard. Unfortunately, it was also an example of how society is not yet acclimated to the integration of bikes in the flow of motor vehicle traffic — a growing, natural trend that’s becoming more and more necessary.”

For Lucarelli, it’s all about the general populace growing in accordance with a simple measure that keeps pace with ever-changing demographics, community revitalization, a healthier environment and pure economics.

And, for him, the mission begins at home, where his heart is.

Now after attending the Safer People, Safer Streets summit, Lucarelli says he’s even better prepared to be an ambassador for pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly streets his own town and promoting the innovation in the surrounding area. And he is equipped with what he sees as a trove of  information he’s anxious to share.

“While in American society the motor vehicle is the predominant mode of transportation, almost to a debilitating degree, there is now a greater demand to use roads for bicyclists and pedestrians, so that demand needs to be facilitated,” Lucarelli said. “Society’s changing in this direction and I think it’s for the better for everyone. We have to learn to use the roads in a more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly way. Suburbia needs to wake up and find these facilities.”

The mayor explained that statistics show that as the population increases, the demands on the infrastructure become more strained.

For instance, according to U.S. DOT estimates, the country’s population is slated to increase 25 percent in the next 30 years, or by about 80 million people, up from roughly 319 million.

In 2013, according to U.S. DOT statistics, there were about 4,300 vehicle-pedestrian accidents that resulted in death. The same year, there were 471 fatal vehicle-bicycle accidents.

Both the federal and state DOTs recognize that the shift becomes a more natural one with the statistic change and encourages nationwide involvement to the extent that, Lucarelli said, many of the grants available will be given more liberally to the municipalities that embrace the concept.

“It makes sense. There’s not enough money, or room, to widen roads to accommodate the coinciding increase in vehicular traffic,” he said. “So, we need to rely more on a combination of mass transit, pedestrian and bike traffic so that vehicular traffic is reduced. When bicycle and pedestrian lanes are added to roads, and people acclimate to knowing they are there, it’s for the better.”

In Europe, Lucarelli noted, the acclimation has been historically consistent. Europeans are less reliant on cars as a chief mode of transportation and more on bikes, so the roads are naturally more bike- and pedestrian-friendly.

And it’s cheap to make the change, he said. It involves, in most cases, a bucket, or few, of paint. As part of the state DOT Complete Streets initiative, bike lanes are painted onto the existing main roadways with what’s dubbed sharrows, on-road signage to signal narrowing.

It’s also much more difficult to get a license to operate a motorized vehicle, including motorcycles, he noted. The licenses are graduated with the power of the vehicle. For instance, he said, it would take six years to get a license for a 100 horsepower motorcycle in France, whereas in the United States it’s more a matter of months, if that.

And in Europe, where cyclists outnumber drivers, there are no helmet laws, just by virtue of the fact that drivers are naturally more aware, Lucarelli said.

“Here, in the United States, you need a vehicle to survive,” he said. “So, the standards are different.”

And the U.S. DOT is busy fulfilling what officials there have said is a salient need to bring bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly travel to the states.

For the immediate area, including Sea Bright, Rumson, Fair Haven and Red Bank, the mayor said he’d like to see a marked main roadway paths for cyclists in stretches from one bordering town the other.

The roads are county roads, so that must come with county road improvements. Fair Haven has been implementing its own Streetscape program for the past several years. The NJ DOT Complete Streets end of it he said he hopes to see come to fruition by 2016.

And he’s been adamant about pushing it.

“The change is happening, the DOT is backing it and we’re going with it,” Lucarelli said.


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