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RED BANK: EX-CON HELD IN SHOOTING

anthony sims 2007Anthony Sims in a photo released by police in 2007. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank police have a suspect in custody for last week’s shooting of a man as he sat in a car parked on Willow Street – and the alleged shooter is well-known hereabouts.

Anthony Sims, 25, who pleaded guilty in 2010 to shooting two men at the at the Montgomery Terrace public housing apartments on the borough’s West Side three years earlier, was arrested Monday and charged in the April 9 shooting, Police Chief Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

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SHREWSBURY POLICE ACTIVITY

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of April 4 to April 10, 2014.

AUTHORITIES_SBURY1-2014Report of Burglary in the area of Patterson Avenue on 4/5/14. Victim reports unknown subject(s) removed property from vehicle. Damages totaling $450.00. Ptl. Tracy Polk investigating.

Report of Burglary in the area of Alameda Court on 4/5/14. Victim reports property removed from vehicle by unknown subject(s). Sgt. Michael Gallagher investigating.

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RED BANK: LIBRARY TRUSTEES QUIT EN MASSE

rbpl trustees 3 032714 Of the six board members seen in this photo from a March 27 trustees meeting, only April Klimley, in red at left, remains on the board. Two others who also resigned are not shown. Below, the sign outside the library welcomed back two employees whose rehirings prompted the resignations. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rbpl 041314Overridden last week by the borough council over a controversial budget, six of the eight members of the Red Bank Public Library board of trustees resigned in protest Saturday.

Angered over what they said were factual misrepresentations and position reversals by the Menna Administration that undid a year of “difficult” financial planning, the trustees said in a letter that it “has become apparent that we cannot operate as an effective and independent board as stipulated by the NJ State Library statutes.”

The mass exodus, coupled with the planned departure of library Director Virginia Papandrea later this month and another trustee’s resignation last Thursday, raises questions about short-term leadership at the 76-year-old institution. Moreover, departing board members said the library continues to face a fiscal crisis, contrary to administration claims.

“The numbers still don’t add up,” said trustees President John Grandits. “I don’t see how you’re going to be open in November or December. I don’t get it.”

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SPRING 2014: EAR-FLAPPING WEATHER

rb dog 2 041014A dog checks out the action on sunny Monmouth Street in Red Bank last Thursday. Monday’s forecast is for partly sunny skies, temperatures reaching into the high 60s and plenty of ear-flapping breezes, with gusts of up to 30 miles per hour, weather forecasters say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Here’s the look-ahead for the coming week, from the National Weather Service:

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RED BANK: CROSSING TO BE CLOSED 2 WEEKS

rb bridge ave 041014The busy intersection of Bridge Avenue and Monmouth Street in Red Bank will be closed to traffic for about two weeks starting the morning of Thursday, April 24 for replacement of the NJ Transit railroad crossing. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK CUTTING FARM VENDOR FEE

RB farm mkt 1 051213Red Bank officials introduced an ordinance amendment this week that will allow food vendors at the Farmers’ Market to obtain yearlong health department licenses for $350, instead of paying $50 per week. A vote on the measure, which Mayor Pasquale Menna said would also reduce paperwork at borough hall, was scheduled for April 23. Here’s the amendment: RB 2014-10

The Farmers’ Market, based in the Galleria parking lot, returns on Mother’s Day, May 11, and runs into mid-November.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

WEEKEND: ALL YOUR EGGS, MANY BASKETS

TROUBLE_press_1It’s opening weekend for the Two River Theater Company production of TROUBLE IN MIND, above. Below, the kids from Rockit! polish Janis Joplin’s PEARL as part of the annual Brookdale Guitar Festival. (TRTC photo by T. Charles Erickson) 

Friday, April 11 – Sunday, April 13: 

view_image.aspRED BANK: Although the late Alice Childress is known these days primarily as author of the young adult novel A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich, among her many firsts and foremosts was becoming the first African-American woman to have one of her plays produced in New York. She also became the first female playwright to win an Obie Award, for a 1955 play entitled Trouble in Mind.

On Friday night at 8 pm, Two River Theater Company opens a new production of the comedy-drama directed by the acclaimed Jade King Carroll, associate director for the recent Broadway Streetcar Named Desire. It’s a “backstage” portrait of a multi-racial theatrical troupe, a play-within-a-play about a Southern lynching, and the fireworks that fly when the show’s black leading lady (Brenda Pressley of TRTC’s In This House) questions the inaccuracies and stereotypes being perpetuated by her white director (fellow Two River returnee Steven Skybell).

Surprisingly resonant today, the oft-overlooked play costars Tony winner Roger Robinson (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone), with McKinley Belcher III, Jonathan David Martin, Brian Russell, Hayley Treider, Amirah Vann — and Robert Hogan, the octogenarian character ace of stage and screen interviewed here on redbankgreen, when he starred in Two River’s recent On Borrowed Time. The show continues with performances at 3 pm and 8 pm Saturday, as well as 3 pm Sunday; take it here for schedule details and tickets ($20-$65). Then stick around after Sunday’s matinee show (or drop in free of charge at 5:30 pm), when director Carroll is joined by Pressley, TRTC Artistic Director John Dias, and her longtime associate, Tony winning actor-director Ruben Santiago-Hudson, for a panel discussion on “Modern African American Theater (1950s to Today),” presented as part of Two River’s “Exploration of Justice” slate of special events.

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RED BANK: JAZZ MARKET SEEKS NEW SOLOIST

rb 135 shrewbury 040914Two years after the death of jazz-crazy butcher Ralph “Johnny Jazz” Gatta, his longtime butcher shop on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank has been gutted and renovated. Building owner Donna Reck tells redbankgreen she’s looking for a tenant for the space, which is zoned for neighborhood business.

What type of business would you like to see there? The street gets lots of motor traffic and abuts an area that’s about to get more than 150 new homes, when the West Side Lofts and Station Place projects are complete. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: BURGLAR NETS 10 FISHING REELS

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of March 27 to April 10, 2014. This information is unedited.

CRIMES:
Theft occurring between 3-26-14 and 3-27-14 at West Bergen Place residence. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole his wallet from bedroom, which contained cash, bankcard and I.D. Ptl. Garrett Falco.

Criminal Mischief occurring at River St. on 3-28-14. School bus driver advised that unknown subject threw a rock at bus. Ptl. Jorge Torres.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 3-20-14 at West Front St. Cab driver reported that unknown person intentionally hit the passenger side window with his fist ripping same off. Ptl. Paul Perez.
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RED BANK: COUNCIL REHIRES LIBRARY PAIR

rb council 2 040914Librarians Sira Williams, left, and Elizabeth McDermott embrace after being reinstated to their jobs Wednesday night. Below, trustees Denelle Johnson, left, and Brigid McCarthy with Administrator Stanley Sickels after the meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb council 1 040914Pulling rank on its own appointees Wednesday night, the Menna Administration rehired two of the three full-timers laid off from the public library amid warnings of a financial crisis last month.

During a tense council meeting at which officials characterized the library’s trustees as “intransigent” and “hostile” to administration guidance, borough Administrator Stanley Sickels also presented the outlines of a library budget that he said would yield surpluses this year and next, and enable the facility to restore some hours of operation, which were cut last month.

That’s in sharp contrast to the spending plan crafted by the eight-member library board, which anticipated a shortfall of $131,000 this year and dire consequences next year if the full-time staffing was not reduced.

Two clearly frosted trustees continued to insist that the administration was fixing purported errors that did not exist in the board’s budget and had failed to communicate with the board in recent weeks.

“I don’t understand the adversarial position,” library trustee Brigid McCarthy told the council during a public comment session after the vote. “This problem is much bigger than two jobs. Rehiring these two people will only kick the can down the road.”

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RED BANK: MAN SHOT MULTIPLE TIMES IN CAR

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014A former borough resident was in critical condition after being shot repeatedly as he sat in a parked car in Red Bank Wednesday evening, police said.

Police are looking for a lone gunman who apparently approached the victim and shot him “numerous” times as he sat at the wheel of the car on Willow Street at about 6:45 p.m., said Chief Darren McConnell.

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