Herewith, a sampling of New Year’s resolutions, and thoughts about New Year’s resolutions, garnered on a recent walk through town.
We call this entry, and the two just below, ‘Loose Ends,’ because we’re taking a moment as the calendar changes to 2007 to update redbankgreen readers on a couple of stories from our first few months in business.
This one concerns roofer Joe Ruffini and the environmentally friendly ‘green’ roof he started building atop his Maple Avenue house earlier this year.
Well, it’s finished, with a flagstone deck, flower planters, a covered ‘fire pit’ table in the center, and irregularly shaped patches of sod in the four corners.
First, in late June, we featured the ladder in a tree in our ‘Where Have I Seen This?’ feature.
Then came the complaints from neighbors. Not funny, they said, in essence. In fact, downright dangerous. Not to mention ugly.
So a month later, we zeroed in on the house at 236 Broad Street to ask: Yeah, what’s with the rusty ladder stuck in the groin of the large, dead tree out front? And why has that ladder, and a taller one tied to the roof of the house, been there for more than a year?
Remember that attempt to flip a house on Madison Avenue we told you about in June?
Well, the house remains unsold 18 months after an investor bought it, at the top of the market, for
$475,000 $450,000. Sara Swanson, the New York woman who oversaw its renovationand lived amid the disarray of constructionis moving on. And the investor who bankrolled the project has decided to keep the house for himself, we’re told.
Last week’s ‘Where,’ we figured, was an easy one. And, in fact, several readers wrote in to correctly identify the image: a fire hydrant wrapped in black plastic on River Road in Fair Haven, near the corner of Lincoln Avenue.
Congrats are in order, by the way, to Susan McLaughlin, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty, for being the first.
What we did not expect though, was this intriguing reply late yesterday from blogging Fair Haven Mayor-elect Michael Halfacre to our inquiry as to why the hydrant appears to be in mourning:
The wrapping is due to a lack of water pressure to those hydrants from the Red Bank water utility. Our FD chose to wrap them, as they are not up to snuff for fighting fires.
The lack of water pressure to the Fair Haven homes served by RB water is an ongoing problem. We are attempting to address it now. (You may read b/t the lines here.)
Larry Higgs of the Asbury Park Press has a story today about how new rules aimed at weeding out conflicts-of-interest at zoning and planning board meetings are being applied.
Does the fact that a board member works at a marina where a an applicant for a variance docks his boat mean the board member should recuse himself? How about when an applicant and a board member live on the same block?
James Brown, the Godfather of Soul and “hardest working man in show business,” has died at age 73.
He was hospitalized Sunday for pneumonia in Atlanta, where he died early Christmas morning, his agent said.
Brown was scheduled to appear at the Count Basie Theatre on Dec. 30. The theatre’s website notes Brown’s passing early “with a profound sense of sadness.” Brown had given a rousing show at the theatre’s 2005 Gala.
Red Bank led all 623 school districts statewide in Hispanic student enrollment growth from 2000 to 2006, according to a report in today’s Star-Ledger.
An analysis by the state’s largest newspaper found that 57.9 percent of students in the Red Bank schools are today Hispanic, up 32.8 percent in the past six years.
Not coincidentally, Red Bank also led the state in terms of percentage decrease in African-American student enrollment, to 28.3 percent of the total, a drop of 26.7 percent in six years.
In three of the cities cited in the articleRed Bank, New Brunswick and Plainfield”Hispanic children are actually replacing the black population in the schools,” the Ledger reports.
Look, you’ve been through this before. So you should know by now whether you’ve got the patience to set up the new computer, digital camera or i-Pod that you’ll be giving or receiving as a gift this month.
For those who don’t, or would simply prefer to sit back and enjoy themselves while someone who knows what he’s doing tackles the job of physical set-up and software installation, computer whiz Dylan Barlett is home for the holidays and ready to lend a hand for a modest fee.
“A gift should make you feel good, not be a source of frustration,” says Barlett, a 20-year-old Little Silver resident. “I want to leave everyone with a stable computer they can use and enjoy.”
From the story:
The West Front Street borough library is now not expected to reopen until March because of asbestos removal and a utility’s delay in installation of new electrical service, library officials said.
“That (electrical work) has been done, but it took a while to get done,” said Jane Eigenrauch, adult services librarian. “The asbestos is in an old chimney area and has to be properly removed, and the schedule is to do it next Thursday or Friday.”
With a couple of critical days left in the holiday shopping season, it would appear that the consensus among downtown merchants is that this year’s cash-register activity, while not booming, is at acceptable levels.
redbankgreen hit the pavement late Wednesday afternoon for a completely unscientific sampling of viewpoints from behind the sales counters.
Here’s what folks were saying.
Today’s Asbury Park Press has a story about an effort to explain what appears to be soaring water usage at the Red Bank Middle School, which tripled in the July-October billing period, to 1,500 gallons per day.
So far, plumbers, public works officials and heating-and-cooling professionals have been stumped. The water meter is working properly, officials say, but there’s no sign of a leak or open tap.