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FAIR HAVEN: LUCARELLI BACKS JCP&L PLAN

ben lucarelli 042915 2Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli says the controversial transmission line may help his town avoid a repeat of the long outage experienced after Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli stepped onto a political third rail Tuesday, proclaiming his support for a controversial 10-mile long, high-voltage electricity transmission line that would end in Red Bank.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL TABLES JCP&L STATEMENT

rb train station 062216 3The 10-mile high-capacity power line would run above the Red Bank train station on new, taller pylons and terminate a few blocks south at a power substation, according to JCP&L. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank council tabled a resolution Wednesday night opposing a proposed 10-mile long, high-voltage electricity transmission line that would end in the borough.

Councilman Mark Taylor put the brakes on the measure when he said he hadn’t seen it before the start of the governing body’s semimonthly meeting and wanted a chance to do some research into the issues.

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LINCROFT: DOUBTS ON JCP&L PLAN REMAIN

JCP&L 060716 2Kyle King, an environmental health consultant to JCP&L, was surrounded by questioners at the event.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Plans for a 10-mile long, high-voltage electricity transmission line terminating in Red Bank drew dozens of concerned residents to an information session in Lincroft Tuesday night.

Dubbed the Monmouth County Reliability Project, the 230-kilovolt transmission line is needed to keep pace with demand for electricity, according to Jersey Central Power & Light.

But residents living along its path — the existing New Jersey Transit right-of-way between existing substations in Aberdeen and Red Bank — said they fear it will have harmful health effects and reduce home values.

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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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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. 

COUNTY CREATES SPECIAL-NEEDS DATABASE

sb sign 033016Sea Bright is among the towns that have already established voluntary registries for residents with special needs. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Press release Wednesday by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office:

A comprehensive and voluntary program dedicated to serving citizens with special needs was launched today.

Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni was joined by Sheriff Shaun Golden and the Monmouth County Chiefs of Police to introduce the Monmouth County Special Needs Registry.

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LINCROFT: BURNHAM COPS TO ‘ARROGANCE’

HOT-TOPIC_01Former Brookdale Community College president Peter Burnham, who went to prison for defrauding the Lincroft institution, is out and talking about what led him there, NJ.com Tuesday.

“There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and I crossed that line,” 71-year-old Burnham told an audience at the annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges in Chicago last week, NJ.com reported, citing and earlier account by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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RED BANK: BELLHAVEN SPLASH PAD SPUTTERS

bellhaven 110915An entrance to Bellhaven Natural Area on Locust Avenue. A proposed playground would be sited within the of loop the path shown above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A controversial plan for a spray park in Red Bank’s Bellhaven Natural Area has all but officially sputtered out.

The borough-owned riverfront lot at the western end of Locust Avenue is still envisioned as the site of a much-needed West Side playground, according to Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, the governing body’s liaison to the parks and recreation department.

But a spray park or a splash pad that shoots jets of water skyward? That’s done, she tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: MENNA WANTS OUT OF REVAL

menna 010114Mayor Pasquale Menna called the Press findings “disturbing” and “somewhat surreal.” (File photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02

The Red Bank council took steps to put the borough’s switch to a new property assessment method on hold Wednesday night, two days after an Asbury Park Press investigation found questionable dealings in the Monmouth County program.

Mayor Pasquale Menna told a small audience at borough hall that the Press article raised “troubling” questions about “unholy alliances” at the county level in the creation of the Assessment Demonstration Program.

At the same time, the program “removes a lot of protections” for taxpayers who want to challenge their assessments, Menna said.

“It’s very disturbing,” Menna said at a council hearing, adding later in an interview with redbankgreen that the tangle of relationships uncovered by the Press was “somewhat surreal.”

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VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS NIGH

Election 2015 graphicThe deadline to register to vote in the November 3 General Election is fast approaching. Registration must be completed by Tuesday, October 13.

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, from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday.

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RUMSON, FAIR HAVEN: THEFT SPREE ALLEGED

HOT-TOPIC_01A Red Bank man was indicted Friday for a spending spree financed by credit cards stolen from cars in Rumson and Fair Haven, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office said.

Carl W. Bergen, 53, of 59 William Street, broke into four vehicles in the two towns over the course of a year, beginning in May, 2014, according to the 16-count indictment.

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RED BANK: HERE’S WHY YOU’RE STUCK, AGAIN

rb traffic 081215 4Traffic was heavy on Bridge Avenue and other roads surrounding Hubbard’s Bridge during Wednesday’s morning rush. Below, an unidentified worker carries a granite block, one of many such paving stones and old red bricks unearthed during the first day of work on the intersection on the Red Bank side of the span.  (Photo below by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb hubbard 081215 5Message to motorists stuck in the somewhat-suddenly-worse-again traffic surrounding Hubbard’s Bridge between Middletown and Red Bank: think of the kids.

That’s one spin that officials put on a two-to-three-week closure of the span that was announced late last Friday and took effect Wednesday morning.

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RED BANK: BOE MEMBER SLAMS TAX NOTICE

rb schools 081115Board of ed member Sue Viscomi, left, criticized the borough’s handling of the tax adjustment notice. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesAfter an adjustment by borough officials that nearly doubled an expected increase in the local school tax last month, a member of the Red Bank Board of Education fired back Tuesday night.

Sue Viscomi, who heads the board’s finance committee, said borough taxpayers may have been misled into believing the board approved a 12.74-percent spike in the local school portion of the tax, when in fact it adopted a budget reflecting a 6.95-percent increase in April.

“I personally think it’s irresponsible, what the town did with our tax bill,” she said at a board workshop meeting Tuesday night at the middle school. “We did not vote for a 12-percent increase.”

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RED BANK: TAX BILLS SOAR ON ADJUSTMENT

rb tax 080115 2Though the Red Bank board of ed adopted a budget with a 6.95-percent tax increase, a recalculation based on new data boosted that to 12.7 percent. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesA drop in aggregate Red Bank property values as a result of appeals has sent the local school tax soaring, redbankgreen has learned.

Borough homeowners and other property owners found out about the 12.74-percent spike in the local school portion of the tax when they received their bills late last week, more than three months after the board of education adopted a budget indicating a 6.95-percent increase.

Included with the bills, and posted on the borough website,, was a “message to Red Bank taxpayers” that did not explain why the increase was so much higher than previously reported.

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