NAVESINK: BACTERIAL HOTSPOTS IDENTIFIED

rally-navesink-113016Zach Lees of Clean Ocean Action talks about tracking bacteria along storm sewers upland from Red Bank’s Marine Park Wednesday night.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Aided 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.

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RED BANK: HOTEL ACCESS PLAN CRITICIZED

hampton-inn-112116An architect’s rendering of the proposed Hampton Inn, as seen from Riverside Avenue, with the existing VNA building at right. (Rendering by Louis Silverstein. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
HOT-TOPIC_03

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.

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RED BANK: RIVER CONTAMINATION UPDATE SET

rb mbc 092214HOT-TOPIC_03Five 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.

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RED BANK: CLINTON COATTAILS HELPED DEMS

rb voting districts 2014Hillary Clinton won every district in Red Bank but the fifth, lifting the party’s entire ticket. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_Plain

She lost at the national level, but Hillary Clinton won Red Bank, and her coattails helped Democrats pull even with Republicans on the borough council Tuesday night, election returns tallied by the Monmouth County Clerk show.

Clinton captured all but one of the but one of Red Bank’s nine voting districts — the fifth — topping president-elect Donald Trump townwide, 2,633 to 1,510. (The figures don’t include mail-in ballots, said borough clerk Pam Borghi.)

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RED BANK: DEMS WIN, GAIN COUNCIL PARITY

yngstrom-110816Erik Yngstrom at Democratic headquarters as the party’s local victory became clear. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_Plain

Knocked from their perch a year ago, Red Bank Democrats gained parity with Republicans on the borough council Tuesday night, as incumbent Kathy Horgan and newcomer Erik Yngstrom routed three other candidates, according to preliminary results.

The clearest loser in the race was incumbent Cindy Burnham, who ran a distant fifth three years after she broke a seven-year Democratic lock on the governing body.

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RED BANK: CANDIDATES AGREE, MINUS TWO

horgan-burnham-110216Incumbents Kathy Horgan, a Democrat, and Cindy Burnham, running as an independent, at Wednesday night’s event at the Pilgrim Baptist Church. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_PlainThe Republican candidates for Red Bank council sent emissaries who watched from the sidelines at a community event Wednesday night.

First-time GOP candidates Brian Hanlon and Kellie O’Bosky Colwell disputed the circumstances under which the event, billed as a “community conversation,” came together, leaving them unable to attend, they told redbankgreen. Their expected absence had been termed an “insult” by one of the event’s organizers.

But the event itself turned out not to be as partisan as GOP chairman Mike Clancy had feared, he said afterward.

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RED BANK: PORTER TEES UP GOP FOR ‘INSULT’

porter 071016Reverend Terrence Porter said Wednesday’s event is intended as a nonpartisan opportunity for voters to see the candidates as individuals. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_PlainThe pastor of Red Bank’s Pilgrim Baptist Church lashed out Monday at borough Republicans, who he said had “insulted” African-American voters in avoiding a candidates’ event planned for Wednesday night at the church.

Reverend Terrence Porter teed up both the current and former GOP chairmen Sean DiSomma for what Porter said was groundless politicizing of an event that was envisioned as nonpartisan from the get-go.

“I’ve never been so disappointed in my experience in Red Bank,” Porter told redbankgreen. Read More »

RED BANK: CANDIDATES TO FACE OFF AGAIN

[UPDATE: GOP Chairman Mike Clancy says Hanlon and O’Bosky Colwell did NOT agree to participate, citing prior engagements.]
 With the race entering its final week, the five candidates for Red Bank council in next week’s election have agreed to square off a second time.

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RED BANK: GOP PAIR SETS “ACTION PLAN”

obosky-colwell-hanlon-101816Republican council candidates Kellie O’Bosky Colwell and Brian Hanlon listen as Councilwoman Cindy Burnham speaks at Candidate’s Night on October 18. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election_2016_Plain

By JOHN T. WARD

“Tired of hearing politicians make vague promises at election time” only to ignore them afterward, the two Republican candidates for Red Bank council unveiled a “six-month action plan” Monday that calls for a freeze on department heads’ salaries and a study of the water utility.

In their plan, first-time candidates Brian Hanlon and Kellie O’Bosky Colwell pledge they won’t seek re-election if they “do not deliver on their promises.”

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RED BANK: SCAVONE FACT-CHECKS BURNHAM

burnham-101816-1Council President Cindy Burnham at the West Side Community Group’s candidate’s forum Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge) 

Election_2016_Plain

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank RiverCenter went on the offensive Wednesday in response to a call by incumbent Councilwoman Cindy Burnham for its elimination.

A day after Burnham, a former Republican seeking re-election as an independent, told an audience that “we need to get rid of RiverCenter,” the autonomous entity’s executive director wrote letter that challenged her on several points, including the sum it collects from downtown property owners.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL CANDIDATES FACE OFF

obosky-colwell-hanlon-101816Republican council candidates Kellie O’Bosky-Colwell and Brian Hanlon at the West Side Community Group’s Candidate’s Night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election_2016_Plain

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank residents brought concerns about property taxes, water costs, downtown development, parks and more to a forum that featured all five contenders for two borough council seats Tuesday night.

In a wide-ranging, two-hour question-and-answer session marked by minimal friction among candidates, incumbent Cindy Burnham, a former Republican now running as an independent, touted her “no” votes on a long series of spending bills while three-term Democratic incumbent Kathy Horgan defended tax increases.

Meanwhile, a trio of first-time candidates — Brian Hanlon, Kellie O’Bosky-Colwell and Erik Yngstrom — staked out positions on the arts, parks and schools at an event that drew about 100 to the River Street Commons senior housing facility.

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RED BANK COUNCIL Q&A: BURNHAM

cindy-burnham-101416Cindy Burnham, independent. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election_2016_Plain

One year after Republicans narrowly displaced Democrats as the controlling party in Red Bank government, ending a 25-year reign, voters return to the polls on November 8 with five candidates to choose from for two council seats.

All five candidates have indicated they’ll participate in the West Side Community Group’s annual candidates’ forum at the River Street Commons at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18. For more information about the event, take it here.

To help voters compare the contenders in terms of personal background and positions on key issues, redbankgreen emailed them identical sets of questions late last week. Here’s what Cindy Burnham had to say in response.

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RED BANK COUNCIL Q&A: HANLON

brian-hanlon-101416Brian Hanlon, Republican. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election_2016_PlainOne year after Republicans narrowly displaced Democrats as the controlling party in Red Bank government, ending a 25-year reign, voters return to the polls on November 8 with five candidates to choose from for two council seats.

All five candidates have indicated they’ll participate in the West Side Community Group’s annual candidates’ forum at the River Street Commons at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18. For more information about the event, take it here.

To help voters compare the contenders in terms of personal background and positions on key issues, redbankgreen emailed them identical sets of questions late last week. Here’s what Brian Hanlon had to say in response.

Read More »

RED BANK COUNCIL Q&A: HORGAN

kathy-horgan-101416Kathy Horgan, Democrat. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election_2016_Plain

One year after Republicans narrowly displaced Democrats as the controlling party in Red Bank government, ending a 25-year reign, voters return to the polls on November 8 with five candidates to choose from for two council seats.

All five candidates have indicated they’ll participate in the West Side Community Group’s annual candidates’ forum at the River Street Commons at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18. For more information about the event, take it here.

To help voters compare the contenders in terms of personal background and positions on key issues, redbankgreen emailed them identical sets of questions late last week. Here’s what Kathy Horgan had to say in response.

Read More »

RED BANK COUNCIL Q&A: O’BOSKY-COLWELL

kellie-obosky-colwell-101416Kellie O’Bosky-Colwell, Republican. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election_2016_Plain

One year after Republicans narrowly displaced Democrats as the controlling party in Red Bank government, ending a 25-year reign, voters return to the polls on November 8 with five candidates to choose from for two council seats.

All five candidates have indicated they’ll participate in the West Side Community Group’s annual candidates’ forum at the River Street Commons at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18. For more information about the event, take it here.

To help voters compare the contenders in terms of personal background and positions on key issues, redbankgreen emailed them identical sets of questions late last week. Here’s what Kellie O’Bosky-Colwell had to say in response.

Read More »

RED BANK COUNCIL Q&A: YNGSTROM

erik yngstrom 031716Erik Yngstrom, Democrat. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election_2016_Plain

One year after Republicans narrowly displaced Democrats as the controlling party in Red Bank government, ending a 25-year reign, voters return to the polls on November 8 with five candidates to choose from for two council seats: one now held by a Democrat, the other by a former Republican-turned-independent.

All five candidates have indicated they’ll participate in the West Side Community Group’s annual candidates’ forum at the River Street Commons at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18. For more information about the event, take it here.

To help voters compare the contenders in terms of personal background and positions on key issues, redbankgreen emailed them identical sets of questions late last week. Here’s what Erik Yngstrom had to say in response.

Read More »

RED BANK: CURLEY, CHRISTIE TRADED F-BOMBS

SB christie long 082813Governor Chris Christie with Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long in August, 2013, just days before lanes to the George Washington Bridge were shut down as part of an alleged campaign of political retaliation. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

WARNING: The F bomb and other profanity appears in this post.

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Bridgegate trial underway in federal court in Newark served up some scatological testimony Wednesday about a purported expletive-packed exchange between Governor Chris Christie and former Red Bank Councilman (now Monmouth County Freeholder) John Curley.

According to various reports, a former Christie staffer, Christopher Stark, described a volcanic phone call between the two Republican pols after Curley referred to the governor as a “fat fuck,” an insult Curley acknowledges he leveled, in so many words.

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RED BANK: JUST A COUPLE OF WORKING SNIFFS

sniffer-dogs-092116-1Scott and Karen Reynolds demonstrate the olfactory talents of Remi, right, and Sable (0bscured) in a conference room at Riverview Medical Center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The 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.

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RED BANK: CLEAN NAVESINK PLAN URGED

navesink-anchor-field-090916The Navesink is safe for boating, but that’s a “low bar” for quality, the group told Red Bank officials in a letter. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A consortium of environmentalists, boaters and fishers is urging Red Bank officials to adopt measures to address recent spikes in bacterial contamination of the Navesink River.

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.

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RUMSON: DOGS ENLISTED IN RIVER CLEANUP

navesink rally 081116 1Clean Ocean Action founder Cindy Zipf addresses a ‘Rally for the Navesink’ audience at the First Presbyterian Church in Rumson Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Their species has been implicated as a likely suspect, but dogs may also be helpful in solving the mystery behind recent alarming spikes in bacterial pollution levels of the Navesink River, environmentalists say.

Canines trained to detect the presence of fecal coliform bacteria have been used to sniff water samples taken from the river, Clean Ocean Action attorney Zach Lees told attendees at a “Rally for the Navesink” held in Rumson Thursday night. And next month, they’re expected to be deployed in Red Bank and Fair Haven, to try to track down land-based sources of the bacteria, which occur in the intestines of warmblooded animals: humans, their pets and wildlife. Read More »

SHREWSBURY: NAVESINK EFFORT UPDATED

sickels schuster 080416Red Bank Administrator Stanley Sickels, left, discussed sewer lines with the DEP’s Bob Schuster after the meeting at Shrewsbury’s borough hall Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Hoping to curb high levels of bacteria associated with human and animal waste in the Navesink River, a New Jersey environmental official offered local mayors and environmental activists evidence of minor success Thursday night.

It involved horse manure.

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RED BANK: GOING TOPLESS, IF NOT BY CHOICE

rb truck v trestle 072516HOT-TOPIC_03Well, there’s one way to cool off in the sweltering heat and humidity: go topless.  And for less-than-attentive truck drivers, the North Jersey Coast Line trestle at Hubbard’s Bridge in Red Bank stands ready to accommodate, as it did yet again early Monday afternoon. It was not immediately known if the man at right was the driver. (Photo by Ken Kalada. Click to enlarge.)

RUMSON: RIVER HEALTH ISSUES DRAW CROWD

CINDY ZIPF 062816Clean Ocean Action founder Cindy Zipf addresses a packed Bingham Hall in Rumson, where the topic was degradation of the Navesink River. Below, a map showing areas where shellfish harvesting is prohibited. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Navesink suspension acreage 011016An alarming rise in bacterial pollution levels of the Navesink River drew more than 100 people to the historic Bingham Hall in Rumson on a humid summer night Tuesday.

Among many questions to be addressed were what’s causing a rise in fecal coliform levels, and how can it be stopped?

“We all know what the smoking gun is: stormwater runoff,” Christopher Obropta, a specialist in water resources with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension.  Read More »