Less than a week after its last overnight closing, the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge will again be closed overnight tonight from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday, according to signage posted this morning. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)
Monmouth County Bridge S-32, better known as a the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge, will be closed overnight from 8 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday for regular maintenance to the center bascule, Monmouth County officials announced Wednesday.
Detours will be posted, as the span will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)
Red Bank officials took another step toward the creation of a long-anticipated new park on the site of the former landfill and incinerator this week.
They also got some promises of help.
By JOHN T. WARD
The planning board’s OK of a six-story, 76-room Hampton Inn at the foot of the Route 35 Cooper’s Bridge came after a last-minute concession by the developer.
Rbank Capital managing partner and would-be Hampton Inn developer Larry Cohen at Monday night’s planning board hearing with an architect’s rendering of the hotel. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
A hotel developer’s long and contentious battle to build a 76-room Hampton Inn at Red Bank’s northern gateway grew longer more contentious Monday night.
It also got a bit deja vu-y when, for the second time in the plan’s six-year history, its chief antagonist, lawyer Ron Gasiorowski, returned, claiming once again to represent a client with legal standing to challenge the plan.
Will a new hotel finally get the keys to Red Bank? After almost six years in litigation and other delays, a six-story, 76-room Hampton Inn proposed on the former site of a Exxon station at the foot of the Route 35 Cooper’s Bridge could go to a vote Monday night.
But first, the plan must overcome the objections of at least one planning board member, who has warned that the hotel’s traffic plan is dangerously flawed to the point that “someone is going to die” if it’s allowed.
By JOHN T. WARD
Aided by a trio of specially trained sniffing dogs, environmental detectives have zoomed in on particular locations in three towns that may be at least partly responsible for a recent spike in bacteria levels in the Navesink River, they reported Wednesday night.
At the final Rally for the Navesink event of 2016 organized after a ban on shellfish harvesting from 566 acres of the river last February, a coalition of groups identified specific sites where leaking sanitary sewer lines or septic systems in Red Bank, Fair Haven and Middletown may be contributing bacteria from human waste.
After years of litigation and other delays, a proposed Hampton Inn at Red Bank’s northern gateway returned to the borough planning board Monday night — and quickly ran into opposition.
Board member Guy Maratta sharply criticized a plan to allow vehicles to turn left into the Route 35 site across two lanes of southbound traffic that he said averages 60 miles per hour.
“Somebody is going to die, mark my words,” Maratta told the traffic engineer for the applicant, Rbank Capital.
The developer hopes to finally turn it into a seven-story reality.
The Sandlass House, reimagined as a museum, above, and as seen in July, 2015, below. (Rendering by Anderson Campanella Archictects. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
[See update below]
A group of preservationists trying to save the last remnants of a long-forgotten Sandy Hook beach resort from the wrecking ball.
Dubbed the Jersey Coast Heritage Museum at Sandlass House, the group has begun circulating a petition calling on the National Park Service, which owns the house as part of Gateway National Recreation Area, not to knock it down, and allow them to turn it into a museum.
Five months after the series began in response to a sharp increase in fecal coliform contamination, a final Rally for the Navesink event of 2016 has been scheduled.
Organized by Clean Ocean Action and a handful of environmental advocacy groups, the periodic rallies began in June, attracting sizable audiences and offering both science-heavy updates on water quality and practical tips on keeping pollutants out of the waterway.
Joe Ruffini in the salon of the Naval War College, where a photo of onetime visitor John F. Kennedy hangs. The”admiral’s barge,” below, will be among the wooden boats on display at the Monmouth Boat Club Saturday. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
After a brief online bidding war, the Red Bank roofer ended up owning a well-maintained, 50-foot wooden yacht, built for Navy admirals, that has hosted at least two American presidents.
On Saturday, the public will get a chance to step aboard, when Ruffini’s prize goes on display as part of a wooden and classic boat show in Red Bank.
By JOHN T. WARD
Sea Bright voters gave landslide approval Tuesday to a plan to rebuild every public structure wiped out by Sandy.
In a special election on a trio of bonding actions taken by the borough council in June, voters by a 2-1 margin backed the plan, which would put two sizable new structures with a combined price tag of $12.73 million at the edge of the municipal beach.
By JOHN T. WARD
The effort to solve the mystery of elevated bacteria levels in the Navesink River is now in the paws of real experts.
Two dogs trained to bark when they smell fecal coliform with a “human signature” have been working the waterfront in Red Bank and Fair Haven in recent days, helping environmentalists and officials source-track fecal coliform contamination, which spikes whenever it rains.
On Wednesday night, the four-footed detectives came to Riverview Medical Center to show several dozen onlookers how it’s done.
Karen Reynolds of Environmental Canine Services with Logan, checking out a storm drain in Bangor, Maine. They’re scheduled to participate in a Rally for the Navesink meeting in Red Bank Wednesday, when environmentalists will discuss plans to clean the river of fecal coliform bacteria, an effort that will involve Logan and two other canines trained to sniff out the bacteria to track its source.
Dip a toe into the first wave of “zero waste” art…stick a finger into the winds of environmental activism…try one’s hand at any of the many recreational pursuits of coastal life as Local Summer continues apace on and near the ocean, bay and riverfront shores of our local parks.
The people at the Monmouth County Arts Council define “zero waste” art as that which uses all available materials; creating new objects of beauty and inspiration from formerly discarded castoffs — and when the first-ever Zero Waste Arts Fest comes to the Fort Hancock area of Sandy Hook this weekend, September 17 and 18, there won’t be a wasted moment or a wasted opportunity for family-friendly fun. Going on from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, the festival highlights partnerships between locally based artists, art galleries and environmental activism organizations, as well as an interactive “live art” project coordinated by Lisa Bagwell (whose recycled-materials sculptures are a colorful and clever commentary on our disposable consumer culture). There’s live music (from Red Bank’s Rockit Live and others), kids’ activities, informative displays from a host of partner organizations, plus giveaways, shuttle bus tours of the Hook, and a whole lot more (including an after-hours Saturday night “1940s swing event” under the stars). Take it here to the All Good section of redbankgreen, for full details on events and entertainers, plus a complete rundown of participating co-sponsors and presenters.
Hurricane Hermine brought pollution in lieu of disaster — and in honor of International Coastal Cleanup Day, United Donations Organization (uDo) is hosting a beach cleanup in Sea Bright this Saturday, September 17.
The uDo organization is working with the nationally recognized, Sandy Hook-based ocean advocacy nonprofit Clean Ocean Action. COA has led one of the nation’s longest running beach cleanup efforts, the Beach Sweeps, which are hosted semiannually and which allow the volunteers to become “citizen scientists” as they record the debris removed.
This effort serves as a leading example for how local businesses and charities can work with local government. The Borough of Sea Bright is showing great support by helping to facilitate the community initiative. By the end of the day on September 17, the beaches of Sea Bright will be cleaned and its dunes repaired.
By JOHN T. WARD
As part of what it calls a “no-blame, find it, fix it” effort, the self-styled “Rally for the Navesink” group of seven organizations delivered a “letter to Red Bank” on the issue at Saturday’s Paddle the Navesink event at Maple Cove.
Ilene Winters and Chris Wood reviewing requests for from Sea Bright Rising in January, 2013, three months after Hurricane Sandy devastated the town. On Friday, Winters and Woods announced that the nonprofit organization was dissolved, having completed its mission after giving out $1.6 million in donated funds to 300 families, 20 businesses and the borough itself.
From the announcement: Read More
This year, the National Parks Service observes the 100th anniversary of its founding — and as part of the year-long celebration, the federal agency will coordinate more than 100 “BioBlitz” initiatives at parks and other protected lands across the nation.
Out on the Sandy Hook peninsula, administered by the NPS as a unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area, the past several Septembers have seen a local BioBlitz effort coordinated with the Hook-based nonprofit American Littoral Society — and for 24 hours beginning Friday, September 23, “citizen scientists” from all walks of life are invited to be a part of this important annual wildlife census.
Crammed in beside desks in a gym repurposed as offices since Hurricane Sandy, dozens of residents attended the meeting. Below, the proposed police, fire and first aid building would include borough offices on the second floor. (Photo by John T. Ward. Rendering by Settembrino Architects. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
With millions of federal dollars possibly at stake, Sea Bright voters debated Tuesday whether to take on the financial burden of rebuilding all of the town’s public facilities wiped out by Hurricane Sandy.
With a pivotal referendum scheduled for September 27, dozens of residents crowded into a gym that’s been co-opted for borough offices since the 2012 storm, largely in agreement that new facilities are needed, but split on costs.
The roofed deck at McLoone’s Rum Runner. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
By SUSAN ERICSON
On a clear day, Tim McLoone‘s newly rebuilt Rum Runner restaurant in Sea Bright offers bird’s-eye views south along the Shrewsbury River past the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge, north toward Sandy Hook Bay, and to the east, beach clubs, interspersed with peeks of the Atlantic Ocean.
Stunning eye-candy aside, PieHole finds another reason to appreciate this back-from-the dead Sandy survivor.