33° Clear

2008 ENDS WITH RAIN, SNOW, WIND & COLD

Wind111308A pedestrian on Broad Street in Red Bank contending with a wet wind in November.

Mother Nature must be trying to meet year-end quotas today.

The National Weather Service forecasts that this morning’s mild temperatures in the high 40s will plummet to the high teens by tonight.

In the process, we’ll see rain, possibly some snow, and winds with potentially dangerous gusts of as much as 55 miles per hour.

Today: Rain before 1pm, then snow. High near 39. Windy, with a south wind 16 to 19 mph becoming northwest between 28 and 31 mph. Winds could gust as high as 48 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 19. Windy, with a northwest wind between 23 and 31 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph.

Read More »

TOKEN TURN-IN ENDS TODAY

Tokens

Today’s the last chance for motorists to cash in their Garden State Parkway tokens.

Today’s Asbury Park Press reports that token holders have brought 180,000 tokens into the New Jersey Turnpike Authority offices in Woodbridge to redeem them, at 33 cents apiece, since the program began. They’ve come in rolls, baggies, envelopes and even a little purple basket, according to reporter Larry Higgs.

By today’s deadline of 1:30p, another 20,000 tokens are expected to be cashed in.

That number pales by estimates of several million tokens still in circulation — tokens [authority spokesman Joe] Orlando figures probably went to the junkyard in the ashtrays and between the seats of cars traveling on that highway in the sky.

“The vast majority of tokens are never to be seen again,” he said.

Read More »

RED BANK MAN WANTED IN SEXUAL ASSAULT

Middletown police are looking for a Red Bank man in connection with an attempted sexual assault on a woman as she lay asleep next to her husband on Christmas morning.

The Asbury Park Press reports that the assailant was known to the victim’s husband as ‘Rodrigo,’ a 22-year-old man he had previously hired to do work around their home.

From the Press:

Around 2 a.m. on Christmas morning, the intruder broke into the house through a second floor bedroom window after he climbed onto a barbecue grill, then onto a roof outside that window, said Detective Lt. Joseph C. Capriotti.

The husband fought with the attacker, who fled from the house through a back door, police said.

Read More »

WE APPROVED WHAT?

RumsonsbbridgeThe Route 520 bridge as seen from the Chapel Beach Club on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright.

By SUE MORGAN

It’s not too much holiday sugar that has Sea Bright and Rumson officials and residents hopped up about a proposed new Route 520 bridge over the Shrewsbury River.

Rather, it’s a statement contained in a Monmouth County Department of Engineering slide show that indicates officials in both towns have endorsed one of five proposals previously presented to replace the nearly 60-year-old drawbridge at an estimated $30 million to $40 million cost.

No official in Sea Bright has ever sanctioned any of five alternatives first presented at a public forum in town in October, 2006, according to both current Mayor Maria Fernandes and her predecessor, Jo-Anne Kalaka-Adams.

Ditto in Rumson, says Mayor John Ekdahl.

“Absolutely not,” Ekdahl tells redbankgreen. “The county has never asked us for our input.”

Read More »

RUMSON GETS $250K FOR PARK EXPANSION

Victorypark2The house at 38 West River Road, visible from the Victory Park gazebo, has been acquired by Rumson for a park expansion.

Monmouth County has awarded Rumson $250,000 toward its $875,000 purchase of land adjoining Victory Park for a westward expansion of the riverfront facility.

The funding will help advance a burgeoning crew program at the site, Mayor John Ekdahl tells redbankgreen. A rowing club was established at the site last year and this year will host a team from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High, he says.

“I know some of the dreamers would hope to build a Schuykill River-style boathouse” on the property, which now features a boarded-up house, Ekdahl says. “I don’t see borough funds going for that,” he adds, but with a private fundraising effort, “it’s not out of the question.”

Read More »

REPORT: DEAD DOLPHIN WAS PREGNANT

Dolphins_rumson_oceanicDolphins near the Oceanic Bridge in mid-July. (Photo courtesy of Mary Fenton)

The dolphin found dead on a bank of the Shrewsbury River in Sea Bright on Christmas was a pregnant female whose stomach was empty of food, according to a report from MSNBC.com.

Those were early findings of a necropsy conducted on the carcass of the animal at the University of Pennsylvania, according to reporter Brian Williams.

The female is the third known member of a pod of 16 to have died. The pod moved into the Shrewsbury in June and later took up residence in the Navesink River, several miles farther inland.

From the report:

Advocates have been worried since cold weather set in that there would not be enough fish in the two coastal rivers for the large pod to eat.

While initial necropsies on two other dead members of the pod discovered so far have found obvious signs of pneumonia, that was not the case with this Christmas Day female.

Read More »

LOOKS LIKE A DAMP WEEKEND AHEAD

BoatwrapBoats ready for rain at Oceanic Marina, Rumson.

Here’s the weekend forecast from the National Weather Service:

Today: Increasing clouds, with a high near 43. North wind around 6 mph becoming south.

Tonight: Rain likely, mainly after 11pm. Cloudy, with a low around 38. South wind between 3 and 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Read More »

SIGNING OFF

SunsetThursday’s sunset, as seen from River Road, Fair Haven.

Speaking of Fair Haven, today’s Asbury Park Press has an article taking a look at the efforts of the Fair Haven Business Association to spark interest in the town’s commercial district.

Email this photo

DEAD DOLPHIN WAS FROM LOCAL POD

DeaddolphinA dolphin found dead on the eastern bank of the Shrewsbury River at the foot of the Highlands-Sea Bright Bridge Thursday morning was a member of the original pod of 16. (Photo courtesy of Robin Dowd)

One of the original 16 dolphins to take up residence in the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers early last summer was found dead yesterday just yards from the gateway to Sandy Hook Bay.

The Associated Press says the nonprofit Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine collected the carcass of an adult Atlantic bottlenose dolphin eight feet long and weighing between 400 and 500 pounds. A necropsy is planned.

According to a Highlands resident, the dolphin was on a small beach on the Sea Bright side of the Shrewsbury adjoining a construction site where the anchorage of the new Highlands-Sea Bright Bridge is now being built.

Its death comes on the heels of the deaths of two dolphins in Sandy Hook and Raritan bays earlier this week. Those animals were not part of the pod that’s been in the rivers since at least June, marine experts said.

Read More »

HOLIDAY LIGHTS & RAVIOLE CROUSTILLANTE

53southFirst place: The Ferreri residence at 53 South Street.

Mayor Pasquale Menna announced the winners of Red Bank’s first (in recent memory, at least) holiday home decoration contest Monday night.

Only nine homeowners nominated themselves or were nominated by others, but Menna said all were “absolutely fabulous.” He added he expects a tenfold increase in nominations next year.

First through third honors came with gift cards from Prown’s Home Improvements and SuperFoodtown; both the first- and second-place winners said they would donate their Foodtown cards to Norma Todd’s Lunch Break.

In addition, Menna — a gastronome who has his own chef’s smock with his first name embroidered on it — said he will prepare a five-course lunch taken from the menu of L’Auberge du Pere Bise in Geneva for the Ferreri family of South Street, whose home took first prize. Councilman Mike DuPont will be a server.

redbankgreen has the house pix; click to enlarge.

Read More »

COUNCIL TIES UP BAGS, HOSPITAL DEAL

RiverviewrubbleThe site of the former Worden-Hoidal Funeral Home on East Front Street, owned by Riverview Medical Center, is not covered by the deal.

After a year trying to knit together a consensus, Councilman Mike DuPont finally got a watered-down version of his plastic bag ordinance passed by the Red Bank governing body Monday night.

Also in the ‘done’ box following the council’s final session of 2008: an agreement under which Riverview Medical Center will up its annual payment in lieu of taxes to the borough.

Read More »

CANGEMI BLASTS CLOSED-DOOR DECISIONS

CangemiGrace Cangemi at her final appearance as a council member last night.

Republican Grace Cangemi closed out her 21-month tenure on the Red Bank Council last night with pointed attacks on Democratics for “behind the curtain” decision-making.

In her final appearance before the council goes all-Democrat on January 1, Cangemi criticized the majority for pulling from the December 8 agenda an ordinance she wanted to introduce. The measure — which she did not describe in detail but said might have saved the town $36,000 — was yanked, she says she was told, because it had not been discussed in the “workshop” portion of any prior meeting.

The requirement that a bill be workshopped, or discussed informally, “apparently was not the case when our water rates were raised 10 percent” last March, she said. She added that an ordinance to increase the number of taxi licenses in the borough was also introduced without a word of mention in any workshop sessions.

In fact, no member of the governing body has publicly taken responsibility for sponsoring the taxi bill, which was withdrawn after an outcry by taxi owners. Officials claimed the bill had been drafted by borough Attorney Tom Hall at the request of borough Clerk Carol Vivona.

“I am greatly disturbed when an elected council person” can’t get a bill posted for vote “because they’re in the wrong party,” yet an unelected official can, Cangemi said.

“I’m sorry — it’s my last meeting — that I have anything negative to say here,” she said.

But her wrath was redoubled a short while later when Councilwoman Kathleen Horgan reported that the council’s education and technology committee was recommending a vendor to build the borough’s new website. Cangemi, a member of the committee, said she had neither been consulted about the choice nor told the of any committee meetings on the topic for the past year.

Read More »

BRUCE, BOJO & MORE ROCK THE BASIE

Bruce Springsteen returned to the Count Basie Theatre last night for an unbilled appearance at the venue he helped refurbish last year.

That presumably multiplied the local-boy-makes-superstardom megawattage already on the stage in the t-shirted form of Jon Bon Jovi, the top name on the storied Red Bank stage for Hope Concert IV.

The holiday season fundraiser — which also featured Southside Johnny Lyon, Bobby Bandiera, Nicole Atkins and Gary U.S. Bonds — raised more than $250,000 for Red Bank’s Parker Family Health Center, the free clinic that BoJo has long championed. Concertgoers also brought more than 10,000 pounds of food donations for the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Read More »

CAR BROUGHT POWER LINE DOWN ON TRUCK

Img_573372A curtain of smoke drifts past Red Bank volunteer firefighters Sunday night. Below, while the trailer burned, at left, onlookers gathered to watch the fire. (Click to enlarge)

Last night’s smoky fire on Newman Springs Road was caused by a minor car accident in which a vehicle struck a guy wire to a utility pole at the Spirits Unlimited liquor store, knocking loose a live electrical wire, police and fire officials said.

The live wire came down on parked tractor trailer, a moving company vehicle that was filled with household goods, setting it on fire, Red Bank Fire Marshal Stanley Sickels tells redbankgreen. The fire in turn set off a series of loud pops and explosions as the truck’s gasoline tank, tires and a motorcycle in the trailer burned, he said.

The driver of the truck was not in the vehicle at the time of the incident, which was first reported as a power outage notification from the Community YMCA at 3:47p. The truck fire was reported two minutes later.

Fire

Read More »

CRIME LOG INCLUDES STOLEN SHOTGUNS

Rb_police_car_2

Entries from the Red Bank Police Department desk blotter for the week of December 12 to December 19. This report is unedited by redbankgreen.

Theft of Services occurring at Monmouth St. restaurant on 12-13-08. Employee reported that male subject left without paying the bill for food ordered. Ptl. John Camarca.

Theft reported on 12-14-08 at S. Pearl St. residence. Owner reported that unknown subject(s) stole two shotguns from residence. Last time the shotguns were seen was approximately two weeks prior to the report. Ptl. Matthew Ehrenreich.

Criminal Mischief reported on 12-17-08 at Monmouth St. Report of two parked vehicles that were scratched by unknown person(s) causing damage to the paint. Ptl. Nicholas Maletto.

Criminal Mischief occurring at Wallace Street on 12-18-08. Victim reported that driver’s side mirror was torn off by unknown person(s). Ptl. Gary Watson.

Read More »

WIND BRINGS A CHILL, AND WARNINGS

Hot_topic

Today’s forecast from the National Weather Service calls for partly sunny skies, temperatures peaking at 29 degrees, and potentially dangerous wind conditions.

A wind advisory remains in effect until 1p today. Sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph and gusts up to 45 mph are expected, which means weak trees, limbs and wires may come down. That, of course, raises the possibility of scattered power outages.

From the weather service, in its customary all-caps warnings voice:

TO THE SOUTHEAST, PRECIPITATION TOTALS SO FAR
THIS MONTH HAVE AVERAGED TWICE THE NORMAL AMOUNT. THE
SUPERSATURATED SOIL WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR SHALLOW ROOTED TREES
TO BE KNOCKED DOWN.

Read More »

PARKWAY CRASH KILLS RED BANK MAN

A Red Bank man was killed early Sunday when the van he was driving on the Garden State Parkway ran off the highway and rolled over in Wall Township, according to news accounts.

Yesterday’s Star-Ledger reported that Frank Martinez, 21, was pronounced dead at the scene a half hour after his 2001 Chevrolet van crashed about 2a.

Martinez’s van was on the southbound side when it veered off the side of the roadway at mile post 96.6 for unknown reasons, State Police spokesman Sgt. Julian Castellanos told the newspaper.

Read More »

DOWNED WIRE IGNITED FIRE, OUTAGE

Img_565172The view west along Newman Springs Road as firefighters battled a truck blaze beside Spirits Unlimited, at center; below, fire still burns beside the shell of a tractor-trailer cab.

[THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED SINCE ITS INITIAL POSTING AT 6:30p SUNDAY]

Red Bank volunteer firefighters and others from nearby towns fought a smoky truck blaze in the parking lot of the Spirits Unlimited liquor store on Newman Springs Road early Sunday evening.

The incident began when a vehicle struck an electrical pole at 4:16p, according to a Jim Markey, a spokesman for electrical utility Jersey Central Power & Light.

At 4:45, the company opened a breaker to make the scene safe, resulting in a loss of power to 486 customers, Markey said.

Img_569172

Read More »

NEITHER RAIN, NOR SLEET NOR SLUSH…

MuckCustomers at the Red Bank Post Office head back out into the slush on Broad Street at noontime Friday.

With this morning’s snow having turned to rain, the Red Bank area is in for a wet, chilly evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Little or no snow accumulation is expected. Instead, we may get between a quarter and half an inch of rain.

Read More »

CONDOS TO GO ON AUCTION BLOCK

MetropolitanThe building, nearing completion, stands on the former site of Dorn’s Photography and several old houses.

The developer of The Metropolitan, a 37-unit condo project on Wallace Street in Red Bank, will auction off 31 of them at deeply slashed opening bids next month.

Just_in

Ad ad in today’s New York Times says starting bids at the event, to be held January 24 at the Molly Pitcher Inn, will be $295,000. As of yesterday, the lowest-priced unit was priced at $601,000, according to the Monmouth-Ocean Multiple Listing Service.

The auction, which is believed to be the first of its kind for a multifamily project in Red Bank since the partially completed homes at the Bluffs on West Front Street were sold nearly two decades ago, is the latest and perhaps more glaring sign of the impact of the realty-based economic slowdown spreading around the globe.

“This is a distress-marketing type of tactic,” said one area broker who asked not to be identified.

Read More »

CLOCK TICKING, SEA BRIGHT HITS THE GYM

Sea_bright_borough_hall
Sea Bright’s town hall will have to make room for a court operation now housed in a trailer out back.

By SUE MORGAN

Less than two weeks before a deadline, Sea Bright officials are sending to a Superior Court judge preliminary plans for a new courtroom to be constructed in a gymnasium in the borough hall.

The plan to move the municipal court from a trailer adjoining the building is the latest offered after more than four years of debate about how to comply with Superior Court Judge Lawrence M. Lawson’s order that the borough meet state standards for court facilities.

Lawson has threatened to take control of court revenue from speeding tickets and other violations if the deadline isn’t met, a move that would divert some $200,000 from the borough’s $4.8 million budget into an escrow account.

To comply, officials have pledged to begin renovations on the one-story structure next to Donovan’s Reef by next summer, according to Councilman Brian Kelly, who head the borough’s Smart Growth Revitalization Committee.

Read More »

RAIN, SNOW, MAYBE SLEET IN FORECAST

Img_6332_2

A winter storm is expected to roll through New Jersey today.

Up to an inch or two of snow may accumulate by tonight, says the National Weather Service, which has a winter weather advisory in effect until midnight.

While much of inland central and northern Jersey may experience a mix of snow, sleet and rain throughout the day, totaling up to five inches of snow by day’s end, areas closer to the Shore are expected to see an inch or less. But a light coating of ice is possible by this evening, as patchy freezing rain and drizzle develop, the NWS says.

Needless to say, that could make for treacherous roads and walkways (reminiscent, perhaps, of conditions seen in the January, 2007 photo of Monmouth Street, Red Bank, above).

Here’s the rundown to Christmas day:

Today: Rain, snow, and sleet before 9am, then rain and snow between 9am and 10am, then rain after 10am. High near 39. Light wind becoming east between 12 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Read More »

IN oRBit: MUSICAL MESHUGAH SORTED OUT

Noworbiting_icon

It’s practically snowing holiday benefit shows out there this time of year, and the music desk at Red Bank oRBit has been working overtime in recent days to keep a clear path for readers.

The offerings include tonight’s Holiday Express extravaganza at the Count Basie Theatre; tomorrow night’s Nancy Scharff concert on that same stage; and Saturday’s Glen Burtnik show (ditto). We’ve had full advance coverage of each, and more goings-on in our Next Seven calendar.

Johneddie

The latest contribution to this effort is today’s piece on John Eddie, a rocker who works so hard he’s booked two gigs in Asbury Park Sunday night with barely time for a diet-and-lime between them. But he found time to chat with oRBit’s Laura Schneider at the Downtown earlier this week, and as usual, we’ve got the whole thing tied up with a bow.

We daresay it’s a level of coverage that no other local media is even set up to provide anymore. But Red Bank oRBit is out there, shovels in hand…. (Hmm, that didn’t come out quite right, did it?) Anyway, please check in before you go out. And don’t forget your scarf!

Email this story