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RED BANK: LOCAL SMOKE SET TO WAFT

local smoke 051816 1Steve Raab, right, with partners Loren Raab, his wife, and Eric Keating, left, outside their new restaurant Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallEntering a crowded Red Bank restaurant field that seems to grow more packed each week, Local Smoke BBQ stands out.

Why? In part because Steve Raab’s new place is at a highly-trafficked corner, making for a convenient stop. Partly because it has its own parking lot, without a meter in sight.

But mainly because it will be the first purely-barbecue restaurant in Red Bank proper, and is run by a pitmaster with an avid following.

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RED BANK: JCP&L REVIVES POWER LINE PLAN

rb bridge ave 041014A view of the North Jersey Coast Line northward from the Red Bank station in 2014. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

HOT-TOPIC_03Jersey Central Power & Light is reviving a plan, mothballed 25 years ago, for a high-voltage electricity transmission line to Red Bank, according to a report by NJ.com.

The 230-kilovolt transmission line would run along the existing New Jersey Transit right-of-way between existing substations in Aberdeen and Red Bank. And it’s needed to keep pace with demand for electricity, the company says.

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RED BANK: TAX INCREASE REDUCED

rb budget q&A 051816 1A half-dozen or so residents, outnumbered by borough employees and officials, attended the budget session. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[Update, May 20: Visuals from this presentation are now available online here.]

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesA controversial increase in parking fees will trim the local property tax increase to less than half that previously anticipated, Red Bank officials said Wednesday.

At the annual informal budget presentation, held at borough hall, Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer said the spending plan scheduled for adoption next week calls for a two-percent tax increase, or about $35 for the year for the owner of a home assessed at the town-average $354,006. Read More »

RUMSON MAN TAPPED AS TRUMP BAGMAN

The driveway to Eisenberg’s West River Road home, as seen in 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election_2016_PlainLewis Eisenberg of Rumson will lead a joint money-raising effort for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and two other organizations, NJ.com reported Wednesday.

The Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign announced Eisenberg’s involvement in the self-professed billionaire’s pursuit of the White House Tuesday night, according to the report.

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RED BANK: ANOTHER RESTAURANT APPROVED

132 broad 040416The Red Lantern restaurant won clearance to open at 132 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The dizzying transformation of downtown Red Bank into a place to dine, for those who can find parking, got another boost Monday night.

The borough planning board approved a plan to convert retail space at 132 Broad Street to a restaurant, despite a shortfall of 25 parking spots.

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LAST DAY TO REGISTER FOR PRIMARY VOTING

Election_2016_PlainThe deadline to register to vote in the June 7 New Jersey Primary Elections is Tuesday, May 17.

Residents of the Greater Red Bank Green may register at their respective town halls during regular business hours, or at the Monmouth County Voter Registration Office, 300 Halls Mills Road, Freehold Township, which will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. to accommodate last-minute registrations in person. 

RED BANK: BURNHAM BEGINS RE-ELECTION BID

burnham party 051516 2

burnham party 051516 1 Having been denied a return spot on the Republican ticket, Red Bank Council President Cindy Burnham, seen at center right, hosted an open party at her Wallace Street home to kick off her re-election campaign as an independent Sunday night.

 “It’s not a fundraiser — it’s a friend-raiser,” Burnham said, quoting one of her daughters, as about two dozen partygoers mingled in chilly weather in her garage and driveway while a live band played. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: COUNCIL OK’S BASIE PARKING DEAL

rb parking 041316 2The Count Basie Theatre, seen at right above, will be allowed to charge patrons park in the Red Bank two areas of the borough hall lot, including the new section, above, with the town getting half the revenue.(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1It’s a scenario all too familiar to civically minded citizens and, ahem, the occasional reporter: you arrive at Red Bank’s borough hall as much as an hour ahead of a government meeting, and already the parking lot is packed with cars belonging to patrons of the Count Basie Theatre across the street. And good luck finding a space nearby.

But now, borough officials say they’ve resolved the turf war that flares up whenever the Basie has an event at the same time as a municipal meeting.

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RED BANK: ‘COMPROMISE’ PARKING HIKE OK’D

rb parking 051116 1Fees for parking in downtown lots would double, to $1 per hour, while metered spots on the street would rise 50 percent, to $1.50 an hour. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Red Bank’s parking fees are going up.

The borough council approved rate increases Wednesday night, billing the action as a “compromise” with downtown business owners.

Still, merchants decried the hikes, which they said will further alienate potential visitors already turned off by metering, aggressive enforcement and costly tickets. Read More »

RED BANK: MAYOR’S BALL II DRAWS A CROWD

philipson menna 050616rb mayors ball 050616 12Mayor Pasquale Menna, above right, welcomed Count Basie Theatre CEO Adam Philipson, left, and more than 200 other guests to the second annual Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball at the Oyster Point Hotel Friday night. Proceeds from the $125-per-head event were earmarked for the borough-based nonprofits Lunch Break and HABcore

Check out the photos from redbankgreen’s drive-thru of the cocktail hour, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RBR STUDENTS PROTEST RESPONSE TO PRAYER

rbr protest 050916 2According to one account, hall monitor Joel Gray, below, was placed on administrative leave after engaging Jazmin Graham, center above, in prayer. She said she had sought Gray’s counsel. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Joel Gray 3For the second school day in a row, Red Bank Regional students staged a demonstration Monday afternoon to protest the school’s purported suspension of an aide for engaging students in prayer.

To date, there’s been no official confirmation of any type of action against 32-year-old hall monitor Joel Gray. Tom Pagano, the interim superintendent at the Little Silver school, declined to discuss Gray’s status with redbankgreen late Friday, citing the privacy of personnel matters. Gray himself has not returned phone messages.

But as they had on Friday, more than a dozen students, placards in hand, stood at the corner of Harding Road and Ridge Road Monday shortly after dismissal, chanting their support for a school employee they say has been mistreated by the administration. Read More »

RED BANK: BOYS, THEIR MOMS, A DOG & MORE

rb mother son 050716 balmer hunterrb mother son 050716 4Red Bank Patrolman Stan Balmer and the police department’s K-9, Hunter, above, were among the role-model guests at the borough parks and recreation department’s first Mother-Son event, held Saturday at the Senior Citizens Center. Balmer recounted that a knife-wielding man dropped his weapon recently only after Hunter was brought into the situation. 

Also offering presentations were 90-year-old World War II veteran Lou Parisi, of Loch Arbor, below; a borough firefighter; and a massage therapist. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

rb mother son 050716 lou parisi 2

RED BANK: TAXPAYER BUDGET Q&A SLATED

rb boro hall 041416taxesFor the 10th year in a row, Red Bank borough government department heads are scheduled to offer presentations on their 2016 budget proposals at a public information session scheduled for Wednesday, May 18 at at borough hall.

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RED BANK: WEST SIDE HOMES NEARLY READY

riversedge 042716 3Several units at River’s Edge, like the one above at the western end of Bank Street, offer expansive views of the Swimming River. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

riversedge 042716 4A long wait is about to an end as builder Charlie Farkouh puts the finishing touches on the most ambitious housing development Red Bank’s West Side has seen in years.

Farkouh tells redbankgreen he’s nearing completion on the 15-unit River’s Edge project, replacing several derelict houses at the western ends of Bank Street and Drs. James Parker Boulevard.

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