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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH ZAPPED ON ‘ORAL’ TWEET

ed zipprich 081215Councilman Ed Zipprich said there was “no sexual innuendo” in his tweet Trump running mate Pence. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_PlainRed Bank Republicans on Wednesday accused Democratic councilman and party chairman Ed Zipprich of making a not-so-veiled and “bigoted” reference to oral sex about GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence last month.

During the October 4 vice presidential debate between Pence and Democratic nominee Tim Kaine, Zipprich asked on Twitter, “did #mikepence just say he spends time on his knees every day?”

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ON THE GREEN: A FORTUNE IN HISTORIC VALUE

mumford fortune 072716 2The Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library in Shrewsbury hosts an exhibit about Red Bank’s T. Thomas Fortune House, seen here during a student tour in July. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.) 

Press release from T. Thomas Fortune Project Committee

The fourth annual T. Thomas Fortune Birthday Celebration (a fundraiser hosted recently at the Oyster Point Hotel under the title “Fortune . . . Telling the Truth”) kicked off a string of events to highlight the restoration of the T. Thomas Fortune House, a National Historic Landmark, into the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center.

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RED BANK: MURPHY ROLLS, AND SWEENEY SITS

phil murphy 051616 3Phil Murphy in a campaign photo, apparently taken at Edie’s Luncheonette in Little Silver. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Middletown resident Phil Murphy moved closer to his goal Thursday when a key prospective primary contender decided to sit out the race.

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said he would not vie for the governorship as Murphy racked up dozens of endorsements from elected officials statewide Thursday, including Red Bank Democrats.

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RED BANK: MENNA GRIPES HE WAS DISSED

pasquale menna 082416Mayor Pasquale Menna at Wednesday’s council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Things got snippy Wednesday night when Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna claimed he was being dissed by two council members.

A routine discussion over a scheduling question briefly turned into the latest in a recent series of episodes in which the mayor squared off against fellow Democrats Kathy Horgan and Ed Zipprich, and they aligned themselves with the council’s lone independent.

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RED BANK: PARKING PLAN ADVANCES, BARELY

rb white st lot 071916 1A divided council gave the go-ahead for a consultant to develop a concept plan for the White Street parking lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Red Bank moved another step toward a possible answer to its chronic parking woes Wednesday night, but only after Mayor Pasquale Menna cast a pair of tiebreakers that put him at odds with fellow Democrats.

Menna’s votes were necessary after the council’s two lone Democrats joined with its sole independent in raising objections to a $6,500 contract for a concept plan covering the borough-owned White Street parking lot, where merchants and town officials envision a parking garage.

The debate also exposed rare friction between Menna and Red Bank RiverCenter, the semi-authonomous agency that promotes downtown business interests.

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RED BANK: BIG MOVE FOR BASIE BOARD

basie awards 051816 2Press release from The Count Basie Theatre

Amidst its $20 million dollar expansion and improvement plan, the Count Basie Theatre has announced the merging of its Board of Trustees and Directors and the hiring of a new Vice President of Development to join the newly appointed executive leadership team.

As a recognized 501(c)(3) organization, the Count Basie Theatre once operated under the guidance of two governing boards — one overseeing theater operations, and the other the non-profit’s fundraising efforts. With a single Executive Committee under the leadership of Chairman Tom Widener and Count Basie Theatre president and CEO Adam Philipson, the work to merge the boards into one, diverse and powerful force behind the theatre’s ambitious plans for the future have come to fruition.

“This is an auspicious, exciting moment for us at the Count Basie Theatre, said Board Chairman Tom Widener. “Merging the boards creates cohesion, clarity and focus at an important time in our history.”

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RED BANK: FORTUNE HOUSE’S GOOD FORTUNE

mumford fortune 072716 1Developer Roger Mumford leads high school journalism students on a tour of the Fortune House. Below, Mumford with preservationist Gilda Rogers. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

gilda rogers roger mumford 072716

Less than a week after the Red Bank zoning board approved a plan to save it, the still-crumbling T. Thomas Fortune House offered a preview Wednesday of its anticipated role: as a cultural and educational center.

About a dozen high school students from around New Jersey took an exterior tour of the onetime home of pioneering civil rights journalist, who lived in it for a decade starting in 1901 and entertained the leading lights of black culture there. In the process, they also got a lesson in how the interests of preservationists and profit-minded developers might converge.

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RED BANK: FORTUNE HOUSE RESCUE PLAN OK’D

ROGER MUMFORD 072116 1Developer Roger Mumford with an architect’s rendering of the T. Thomas Fortune house as it would appear after restoration. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

A decade-long effort to save an endangered artifact of African-American history cleared a major milestone Thursday night when the Red Bank zoning board approved a developer’s plan to rebuild the T. Thomas Fortune house and create 31 apartments on its one-acre property.

Borough-based homebuilder Roger Mumford, who vowed to restore and donate the house for use as a cultural center before he would seek certificates of occupancy for the apartments, was hailed as the last-chance savior of a vital relic of the civil rights movement that its current owners want to raze. Residents told the board before its vote that Mumford deserved the tradeoff of more than a dozen variances, most of them arising from the apartment plan.

“If a development project has ever given back to the community, it’s this one,” said Kalman Pipo, a member of the borough’s Historic Preservation Commission. “If this project doesn’t go through, we are going to lose this house” to the wrecking ball, he said.

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RED BANK: TAX HIKE TRIMMED ON A TWEAK

rb parking 041316 2A recent deal allowing the Count Basie Theatre to sell parking spots at borough hall on specified dates paved the way to a new budget.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesThe owner of a typical Red Bank home will pay $35 more in local property taxes this year, rather than $40, following passage of the first Republican-led budget in a generation Wednesday night.

The borough council’s unanimous approval of the 2016 spending plan marked the anticlimax to a brief standoff that began when Democrats raised eleventh-hour objections to  what they later called “‘fluff and ‘slush funds” in the GOP budget.

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RED BANK: DEMS TARGET ‘SLUSH FUNDS’

horgan schwabenbauer 101815Council members Kathy Horgan, left, and Linda Schwabenbauer, seen at last year’s Halloween parade, are now at odds over the budget. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesTwo weeks after it was shot down on the mayor’s tiebreaking vote, Red Bank’s first Republican-led budget in a generation faces its next test on Wednesday.

That’s when council members will square off over cuts suggested by Democrats to what they called “‘fluff’ and ‘slush funds.'”

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RED BANK: BUDGET FAILS ON TIEBREAKER VOTE

schwabenbauer menna 052516Mayor Pasquale Menna confers with Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer during the council’s budget deliberation Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesRed Bank’s first Republican-led budget in a generation failed to win approval when Mayor Pasquale Menna cast a tiebreaking vote at Wednesday night’s semimonthly council meeting.

His vote against the spending plan followed a 3-3 deadlock that included a “no” by a member of the budget-crafting finance committee, Democrat Kathy Horgan, whose caught committee chairwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, a Republican, by surprise.

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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 »

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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RED BANK: TWO RIVER TOASTS ARTS ANGELS

Joan_and_Bob_Rechnitz_Ed_Zipprich_Ivan_PolonskyTwo River Theater Company co-founders Joan and Robert Rechnitz were joined on the evening of March 28 by Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich and philanthropist Ivan Polonsky, for the 2016-17 Season Announcement event at Two River’s Bridge Avenue arts center. Some 100 of the stage company’s major donors and supporters attended a special reception in the lobby prior to the 7:30 p.m. program, mingling with TRTC artistic director John Dias, Tony nominated actor-director Michael Cumpsty and other artists involved in the new slate of shows that begin in September 2016. A full rundown of the new schedule, including season subscription information, can be found here. (Photo by Teja Anderson)

RED BANK: ZIPPRICH ZAPPED ON ‘PLAGIARISM’

ballard zipprich 101815Councilman and Democratic party chair Ed Zipprich, right, with Democratic council candidate Michael Ballard at the borough Halloween parade last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election 2015 graphic[SEE UPDATE BELOW ]

An eleventh-hour election email purportedly sent by Red Bank Democratic Party chairman and Councilman Ed Zipprich has drawn fire from Republicans both for its content, which they allege was “word-for-word” plagiarized, and for the method by which it was distributed.

Republican chairman Sean DiSomma and Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer both said Zipprich took an email that Schwabenbauer sent out Monday afternoon in support of the two Republican council candidates and tweaked it into an endorsement of the two Democratic candidates.

Then Zipprich sent his version out to recipients whose addresses he improperly obtained from the borough parks and recreation department, said Di Somma, who called for an investigation by state election authorities.

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RED BANK: KOPKA GRANT FUNDS SCIENCE DAY

Press release from Red Bank Borough Education Foundation

All in the interest of science, the Red Bank Borough Education Foundation presented the Red Bank Board of Education with its second Rosemarie Kopka Memorial Mini-Grant for $2,000, to be used for a Science Day scheduled for June 11 and 12 at Red Bank Primary School.

Borough Councilman Ed Zipprich, who is also RBBEF Vice President, presented the check to Red Bank Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jared Rumage during International Day on Friday, May 29.  Also present for the award presentation were RBBEF President Susan Berke, Secretary Barbara Boas, Treasurer Kathie Panepinto, and Councilwoman Kathy Horgan, who was the founding RBBEF President.

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RED BANK: FOUR MAYORS… AND SOME FRIENDS

lee kuo 050115lock menna 050115The first-ever Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball brought together three ex-mayors, the current one and some 250 of their friends at the Oyster Point Hotel Friday night. Among those in attendance: former Councilwoman Sharon Lee and restaurateur Victor Kuo, above, and Pastor John Lock, with Mayor Pasquale Menna, at right.

Proceeds from the $125-per-head event were earmarked for the Red Bank Public Library and the Parker Family Health Center.

redbankgreen grabbed dozens of photos during the cocktail hour overlooking our beautiful Navesink River. Click the “read more” to see who else was there. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH ARREST VIDEO POSTED

zipprich 110607Councilman Ed Zipprich, left, at Democratic HQ on election night in 2007. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02A video showing Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich under arrest for driving while intoxicated in 2011 is “making its rounds among Monmouth County’s politically connected,” the Asbury Park Press reported Friday.

On its website, the newspaper includes a link to the video on YouTube, but YouTube shows the video as having been removed by the user, who is not identified.

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RED BANK: CYMCA HONORS BOROUGH

Press release from The Community YMCA

CYMCA 1The Borough of Red Bank — and several local individuals — were acknowledged for their long-time support of The Community YMCA, when the organization celebrated its 140th anniversary on September 27.

During the gala event at Camp Arrowhead in Marlboro, CYMCA president and CEO Rhonda Anderson gave homage to Red Bank, longtime host site of the organization’s Maple Avenue facility, by presenting the Community Partner Award to Mayor Pasquale Menna and the members of the Borough Council. Ms. Anderson is pictured at center, with (left to right in photo) Councilman Ed Zipprich, Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, Mayor Menna, and Councilwomen Juanita Lewis and Kathleen Horgan.

More than 200 people attended the annual benefit, which raised over $150,000 to support the Y’s mission to ensure that everyone — regardless of age, income or background — has access to life-changing YMCA programs and services.

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RED BANK: SCHWABENBAUER TO FILL GOP SLOT

linda schwabenbauer 082714Linda Schwabenbauer outside borough hall, where she hopes to win a council seat. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Republicans may not have a mayoral candidate, but they appear to have filled the empty slot on the November ballot for two council seats.

Three months after the shortlived candidacy of Brian Hanlon ended over objections by his employer, political newcomer Linda Schwabenbauer is expected to join local party chair Sean Di Somma in his second consecutive run for council.

Nominally, at least.

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RED BANK: PRIDE AND PRICE(LESS)

philyyTom Hanks’ Oscar winning star turn in PHILADELPHIA screens for free on Tuesday night, capping an evening of Two River Pride at the Count Basie. 

Cynics insisted that filmmaker Jonathan Demme only took on the sensitive project known as Philadelphia to atone for Silence of the Lambs and its cross-dressing, mean-tucking serial killer. But all was forgiven by no less an authority than Oscar, when the 1993 drama — one of the first Hollywood productions to address HIV/AIDS and homophobia — earned a Best Actor award for Tom Hanks, as well as a Best Original Song trophy for Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets Of Philadelphia.”

The film comes to the big screen of the Count Basie Theatre on Tuesday, June 10, as the latest in a long-running series of free features — a screening that also caps the 2014 edition of the annual gathering known as Two River Pride.

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RED BANK: MINTON RESIGNS, HANLON BAILS

burnham di somma 110513Sean Di Somma, above at lower right, on election night last November. Below, Jack Minton, center, with candidate Joe Mizzi and then-Councilwoman Grace Cangemi in 2010. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

minton 110210Once again, a Red Bank Republican council candidate is in the market for a running mate.

This time, though, Sean Di Somma will also have the title of local party chairman as he goes about finding a replacement.

Fellow candidate Brian Hanlon has dropped out of this year’s race against Democratic incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, he told redbankgreen Wednesday, because his employer, Oppenheimer, objected.

And party chair Jack Minton is stepping down, in all likelihood to be succeeded by Di Somma when the the party faithful meet for their annual reorganization meeting this weekend.

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BASIE HOSTS TWO RIVER PRIDE EVENT

MennaZuckermanRed Bank Mayor Pat Menna delivers a special proclamation, and Josh Zuckerman provides the live music, as the annual Two River Pride event comes to the Count Basie on June 10.

Press release from Count Basie Theatre

On the evening of Tuesday, June 10, the Count Basie Theatre will be the setting for Two River Pride, an annual Pride Month gathering that was created for LGBTQ youth and their allies — and that centers on LGBTQ history and celebration, by giving specific voice to area youth.

The event represents a partnership between local civic, cultural, and community leaders and groups, including Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich, Make It Better for Youth and others. Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna will attend, to deliver a proclamation in recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. This year’s event will also feature live music, a sampling of wares from some of Red Bank’s food purveyors, and screenings of three acclaimed shorts from young filmmakers.

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SCIENCE DAY FUNDED FOR RED BANK PRIMARY

ZipprichBenRed Bank Borough Education Foundation secretary and borough Councilman Ed Zipprich (left, with RBEFF’s Ann Roseman at right) presented Board of Ed president Ben Forest with a Mini Grant for a Science Day to be held in June at Red Bank Primary School.

Press release from Red Bank Borough Education Foundation

All in the interest of science, the Red Bank Borough Education Foundation presented the Red Bank Board of Education with a Rosemarie Kopka Mini-Grant for two thousand dollars, toward a Science Day to be held in June at the Red Bank Primary School.

Red Bank Councilman and RBBEF Secretary Ed Zipprich — joined by Ann Roseman, member of both the RBBEF board and the RB Board of Education — presented the check to borough Board of Ed president Ben Forest, as part of RBBEF’s mission to promote the STEAM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) in the Red Bank Public Schools.

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