RED BANK: KIDS SERVE UP GARDEN & MURALS

Students working on a mural in the background as new plants soak up the sun in the community garden at the Coffee Corral. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

On a mostly vacant corner lot in Red Bank that was to have been the home of a new restaurant, the kids have taken over.

In recent weeks, students from the borough’s middle school have planted a community garden behind the Coffee Corral, at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard. Others are in the process of transforming two sides of a garage into lush, coffee-themed murals.

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RED BANK: ANIMAL OPERATION ON THE BLOCK

Animal Control Officer Henry Perez with a bat removed from a Madison Avenue home in 2013. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicIn a move that has animal advocates alarmed, Red Bank is looking at jobbing out its animal control operation.

They say replacing the in-house service with the Monmouth County SPCA would reduce response times and service.

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RED BANK: KIRKPATRICK QUITS RIVERCENTER

RED BAN RIVERCENTER LAURA KIRKPATRICK 030420Laura Kirkpatrick addressing the Red Bank council in March, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

For the second time in just 17 months, the downtown promotion organization Red Bank RiverCenter is losing its executive director.

After just one, pandemic-filled year, Laura Kirkpatrick has resigned as operational head of the agency that manages the borough’s special improvement district, redbankgreen has learned.

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FAIR HAVEN: FINE-TUNING FOR TWO PROJECTS

Architect Margaret DeSantis describing the design of the proposed new police station, at right, and storage facility at left. (Concept by the Goldstein Partnership. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFair Haven moved to the fine-tuning stage on two major redevelopment projects Monday night, offering residents yet another chance to influence the looks of a new police station and a new public works yard.

Both, located in residential areas, continued to draw praise for fitting in.

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RED BANK: CRIME & ARREST REPORTS

The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for April, 2021. This information is unedited; see below for additional information.

CRIMES

Theft: On 04/02/2021 in the area of Monmouth St a theft from a motor vehicle was reported. Victim stated multiple credit cards, an identification card, and $150.00 cash was taken from an unlocked motor vehicle. Ptl. Shane Dengel.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank hackensack merdian chapin 042520An amendment to the parking ordinance would ban parking on the west side of Chapin Avenue, seen at left above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe semimonthly session of the Red Bank council Wednesday night includes a police retirement and some hires, as well as a parking ban.

It also includes approval of a settlement in a type of tax appeal case that enraged commercial landlords two years ago.

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RED BANK: LONG APART, SENIORS MEET ANEW

Dottie Ferris, at right, greeting friends at the event Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Apart for months, Red Bank seniors enjoyed a pandemic-era get-together outside the temporary home of the borough Senior Center Thursday.

“It’s so nice to see everyone and talk, even if you don’t know everyone,” said 92-year-old Dottie Ferris, a resident of the Wesleyan Arms senior apartments on Wall Street, as she sat at a table outdoors. At home, “all I do is watch TV and eat,” she said.

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RED BANK: APARTMENT PLAN DETAILED

A view of the proposed project as seen from the Pearl Street side. (Image by S.O.M.E. Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposal for 32 apartments on Monmouth Street in Red Bank met little resistance when it went to the zoning board for review Thursday night.

The only sticking point, so far: whether to incorporate a three-bedroom affordable unit into the structure or provide it offsite.

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RED BANK: CHARTER REVIEW VOTE SLATED

Authorization of the charter study, and all five seats on it, would be on the November ballot if the council follows through on Wednesday’s informal vote. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[Updated to include borough attorney memo on charter review timeline.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s council informally agreed Wednesday night to have voters decide whether the borough’s form of government should be reviewed for possible overhaul.

The unanimous action by the council, all Democrats, could eventually lead to nonpartisan elections, watering down the party’s long dominance of municipal government.

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RED BANK: ORPHANED RACCOONS GET TLC

For the second day in a row, a wildlife officer was called out to the corner of Brown Place and South Street in Red Bank to care for a raccoon pup that had fallen from a nest about 20 feet above the ground.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON COUNCIL AGENDA

The council meets via Zoom due to pandemic restrictions. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe creation of a commission to examine Red Bank’s century-old government structure is on the table when the council holds its monthly workshop session Wednesday night.

So are renovations to the mothballed Senior Center and the swan song of Business Administrator Ziad Shehady.

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RED BANK: TOWN HALL ON FISH KILL SOUGHT

Fish carcasses on the shoreline at Maple Cove in Red Bank Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials this week called on the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to host a virtual town hall meeting to address concerns about a fish kill the agency has called the “most severe” in recent memory.

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RED BANK: DAMAGING WINDS IN FORECAST

Potentially damaging winds are expected to buffet the Greater Red Bank Green beginning Friday afternoon.

The National Weather Service expects maximum gusts of close to 50 miles per hour between 2 p.m. and 4 a.m. Saturday.

“Damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines,” the NWS said in a warning issued early Friday. “Widespread power outages are expected. Travel will be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.”

Check out the extended forecast below. (redbankgreen photo. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: COUNCIL INITIATES REBUILD

The Senior Center occupies a stand-alone building on Shrewsbury Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council moved to jumpstart repairs to water-damaged Senior Center Wednesday night, one day after a recommendation by the Redevelopment Agency that it do so.

But even enroute to a unanimous vote, the measure churned up bitterness among the all-Democratic governing body.

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RED BANK: NEW PLAN FOR CORNER SITE

A view of the proposed project as seen looking northwest from Monmouth and Pearl streets. Below, a 2011 view of the property, a onetime Sinclair gas station. (Image by S.O.M.E. Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A dozen years after a never-built project won approval, another developer also hopes to revive an idle Red Bank corner with apartments and stores.

The site, at Monmouth and Pearl streets, is just yards away from two other pending apartment-development proposals.

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RED BANK: SENIOR CENTER FIX-UP ADVANCES

The backyard of the mothballed Senior Center overlooking the upper Navesink River. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposal to repair Red Bank’s mothballed Senior Center without adding any new facilities won a Redevelopment Agency endorsement Tuesday evening.

The action could defuse one of the hottest issues in a contested Democratic race for two council seats just six weeks before a primary vote.

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RED BANK: LIBRARY REOPENS, WITH LIMITS

Make an appointment, show up and ring the doorbell for admission. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Easing its way out of the pandemic of 2020-2021, the Red Bank Public Library began allowing visitors into the West Front Street institution for the first time in more than a year Monday.

The new reality, however, requires appointments, masks, limits on usage and self-checkouts, among other limitations.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL TO HIRE SEARCH FIRM

Borough hall remains closed due to the pandemic, so the council will meet again via Zoom. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council will officially start the search for a new borough administrator when it meets this week.

Not on the agenda: a measure to authorize a charter study to review the form of government in place here since 1908.

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FAIR HAVEN: THREE RIVER PROJECTS SLATED

The municipal boat ramp at Battin Road. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Upgrades to Fair Haven’s public boat launch and two pocket parks overlooking the Navesink River may be set in motion by the borough council Monday night.

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RED BANK: FISH KILL ‘MOST SEVERE’ OF LATE

Dead menhaden cluster at a Navesink River dock in Fair Haven last week. (Photo by Bernie McSherry. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA massive fish kill in the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers in recent weeks is “the most severe mortality event in recent memory,” but New Jersey environmental officials still don’t know why it’s targeting only one species, Clean Ocean Action reported Thursday.

The environmental advocacy group also pressed the state to remove at least some of the dead fish from Red Bank-area waters.

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