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RED BANK: TAX BILLS TO RISE 2.9 PERCENT

Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, a CPA who heads the finance committee. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxes

Typical Red Bank homeowners would see a $x increase in the borough portion of their 2017 property tax bills under a budget introduced at Wednesday night’s council meeting.

For the owner of a home assessed at the town-average $362,342, that means an increase of $57.25 for the year.

 

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RED BANK: ATTORNEY MAKES ISSUE OF CAMERA

Borough Attorney Greg Cannon at Wednesday’s council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Former Red Bank Council President Cindy Burnham blasted borough Attorney Greg Cannon after he redirected a video camera she was using to record the governing body’s semimonthly meeting Wednesday night.

Mid-meeting, while others on the dais were speaking about unrelated matters, Cannon walked from his seat beside Mayor Pasquale Menna to the front row of the audience and re-aimed Burnham’s tripod-mounted camera before returning to his seat.

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SHREWSBURY: DAYCARE CENTER APPROVED

Lightbridge Academy plans to build a facility at Shrewsbury Avenue and Harvard Way. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A rapid makeover of Shrewsbury’s northwestern corner continues with the approval last week of a large new daycare facility.

The borough planning board OK’d a plan by Lightbridge Academy, a franchisor of educational centers for children from infancy to kindergarten, to build a two-story, 11,600-square-foot facility with outdoor play areas on Shrewsbury Avenue.

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RED BANK: LAUNDROMAT & APARTMENTS OK’D

The new structure would be built between a six-unit apartment building, at left, and Juanito’s Market, at right, with all three properties sharing parking in back. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank zoning board approved the creation of a new laundromat and four apartments on a vacant Shrewsbury Avenue lot Thursday night.

But before the project can get underway, grocer and restaurateur Juan Torres will have to reduce a possible tab for water and sewer hookups that could total $562,000.

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RED BANK: HRC HEAD CALLS FOR RESIGNATION

Human Relations Committee Chairman David Pascale, seen above with member Kate Okeson, and his comment on a Facebook post by committee member Michael Clancy, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The head of Red Bank’s Human Relations Committee has asked one of its members to resign for characterizing the testimony of Latino witnesses at a meeting last month as “sob stories.”

HRC Chairman David Pascale also questioned whether member Michael Clancy, who leads the borough Republican party, is committed to the panel’s mission of fostering a “welcoming and inclusive community” after Clancy said he thought he was joining a “nothing committee.”

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RED BANK: TAPAS OUT; CLOTHES, ICE CREAM IN

The short-lived home of a Subway shop at 60 Broad is slated to open as Luigi’s Ice Cream. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See correction below]

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn small

A restaurant departs as an ice cream shop and a clothing store prepare to open in downtown Red Bank, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has learned.

Details below.

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER RAPPED ON PARKING

RiverCenter’s founding chairman wants the agency to help finance a second garage to go along with the Globe Street facility, above, which is leased to Riverview Medical Center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A discussion of Red Bank RiverCenter‘s 2017 budget Wednesday night focused mostly on how much juice the downtown promotion agency is using to address a parking shortfall.

At the borough council’s semimonthly meeting, two past RiverCenter chairmen suggested the answer is “not enough.”

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RED BANK: NO ACTION ON IMMIGRATION

Protesters outside borough hall on February 27. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See correction below]

By JOHN T. WARD

A controversial proposal to have Red Bank oppose “any forced collaboration” between its police and federal immigration authorities generated no official action by the borough council Wednesday night.

Meeting for the first time since hundreds of protesters from both sides of the national immigration debate packed an advisory committee meeting eight days earlier, the council still had nothing in hand to vote upon, Mayor Pasquale Menna told the audience at the governing body’s semimonthly meeting.

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RED BANK: HOVNANIAN NEARLY BREAKS EVEN

hovanian hq 071715Hovnanian’s headquarters in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

After a $16.2-million net loss in the year-prior period, Red Bank-based home builder Hovnanian Enterprises just about broke even in its first fiscal quarter of 2017.

The company reported a net loss of $100,000 on a 4.1-percent drop in revenue for the period in results posted Wednesday.

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RED BANK: TWO RIVER PLANS ADDITION

A rendering of the proposed addition to the left of the existing theater and tower above, as seen from the northeast. (Rendering by Kaplan Gaunt Desantis Architects. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The backstage area of Red Bank’s Two River Theater is about to get bigger, if a plan in the works gets a green light from borough officials.

Scheduled for consideration by the zoning board next week, the plan calls for the construction of an architecturally bold addition to the existing theater for rehearsal spaces, costume-making and the building of props and scenery, according to documents on file.

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RED BANK: DOWNTOWN APARTMENTS OK’D

Mayor Pasquale Menna explains his vote to approve the project, a rendering of which is seen on a computer screen in the foreground. At left is board Engineer Ed Herrman. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A proposed 35-unit apartment building in downtown Red Bank won unanimous planning board approval Monday night.

First, however, several critics, including two board members, took parting shots at a process that kept the controversial plan alive for a year after it was rejected by the zoning board.

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RED BANK: APARTMENTS & EATERY ON DECK

Up for review at Monday night’s meeting of the Red Bank planning board: the Element, seen above, a 35-unit apartment complex proposed for a vacant lot at 55 West Front Street, opposite Riverside Gardens Park. The controversy-stirring plan could go to a final up-or-down vote.

Also scheduled: a proposed makeover for 26 West Front Street, right, last operated as Caliente Cantina, and not long before that, 10th Ave. Burrito Co. The plan calls for the addition of a 1,000-square-foot outdoor deck with views of the Navesink River. Here’s more info about the plan.

And here’s the full agenda for the meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at borough hall, 90 Monmouth Street. (Renderings by Rotwein + Blake, above, and Cahill Studio, right. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: WHELAN RUNNING FOR ASSEMBLY

Red Bank Councilman Mike Whelan and Ocean Township Deputy Mayor Robert Accera Sr. will anchor a ticket headed by state Senator Jen Beck. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After just 14 months on the Red Bank borough council, Mike Whelan is taking aim at Trenton.

The 25-year-old Republican plans to mount a bid to recapture an 11th-District Assembly seat for his party from first-term incumbents Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling, he told attendees at the GOP’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner in Freehold Friday.

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RED BANK: ACLU ENTERS CHARTER BATTLE

CPA Scott Landau turns a drum as business administrator Theresa Shirley looks on during the charter school enrollment lottery last April. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The American Civil Liberties Union has joined two other organizations already waging war on the Red Bank Charter School‘s existence.

The ACLU of New Jesey said Thursday that, along with Fair Schools Red Bank and the Latino Coalition of New Jersey , it would appeal the state Department of Education’s decision earlier this week to allow the 19-year-old school to operate for at least another five years.

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RED BANK: CHARTER WINS FIVE MORE YEARS

The Red Bank Charter School campus on Oakland Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank Charter School is good to go for at least another five years, following an extension of its operating charter announced Wednesday night.

The generally expected renewal comes amid an upswell of tension over the school’s existence, in the form of a pending claim of segregation.

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RUMSON-SEA BRIGHT: BRIDGE CLOSING


HOT-TOPIC_03Monmouth 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: DRUG OVERDOSE CASES SOARING

A “heat map” showing the concentration of drug-overdose deaths in Monmouth County last year. (Map by Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

One-hundred-sixty-five people died of drug overdoses in Monmouth County last year, almost double the number just four years ago, the prosecutor’s office reported Tuesday.

Despite the widespread, often successful use of a fast-acting opiate antidote, the number of overdose victims continued to soar last year, rising 35 percent, the agency reported.

Red Bank police Chief Darren McConnell said the number of overdose cases in the borough over the last two years is “ridiculously higher” than he’d seen in the first three decades in law enforcement.

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RED BANK: SQUARING OFF OVER IMMIGRATION

Pro-immigrant protesters, above, outnumbered opponents outside borough hall both before and after Monday’s meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With rallies before and afterward heavily favoring the rights of undocumented residents, Red Bank’s Human Relations Committee voted Monday to oppose “any forced collaboration” between borough police and federal authorities when it comes to enforcing immigration law.

Short of declaring Red Bank a “sanctuary city,” the committee passed, by a 5-2 vote, a resolution that instead calls for town officials to “monitor and challenge” any costs arising from federal efforts to find and deport undocumented aliens.

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RED BANK: TWO HOMEWARE SHOPS CLOSING

Pickett & White, operating at 15 Broad Street for just a year, plans to close, an employee tells Churn. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn small

Two home-themed retail shops that have operated in downtown Red Bank for only about a year are calling it rolling up their welcome mats, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

One specialized in home decor, while the other staked its claim on marinades, sauces and household tchotchkes with a southern American flavor.

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RED BANK: PLAN PANNED FOR LOOKS, PARKING

An architect’s depiction of the Element, as seen from the north side side of West Front Street. (Rendering by Rotwein + Blake. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A new round of hearings on the Element, a proposed 35-unit apartment building in downtown Red Bank, began Wednesday night with concerns raised about parking adequacy and aesthetics.

Mayor Pasquale Menna called the appearance of the structure “bulky and not very inviting,” while several residents challenged a traffic consultant’s claim that the project’s on-site parking was sufficient.

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RED BANK: VACANT SITES TARGETED

The council plans to impose fees on long-vacant properties “that may not be decrepit” or abandoned, said Mayor Pasquale Menna. After a change of ownership, 1 Broad Street, above, has remained vacant for two and a half years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Owners of vacant residential and commercial properties in Red Bank could face steeply escalating fees for not renting them under a proposed ordinance up for introduction Wednesday night.

 

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RED BANK: BOWLING FOR FOOD DOLLARS

The scene at the newly opened Playa Bowls last Friday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn small

This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has news on three downtown eateries: one that’s doing gangbuster business, one that got a recent makeover, and one that’s calling it quits.

Details follow…

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