dPOD PLAN GETS CHILLY RECEPTION

IMG_667172 NOAA’s Trevor Spradlin addresses the audience at an open seminar on the dolphins Tuesday night.

It was science versus passion as marine mammal experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
sought to explain last night why they don’t intend to evacuate five remaining
Atlantic bottlenose dolphins from the Shrewsbury River in advance of a
possible freeze.

But the effort failed, in the view of some of the 100 or so people who showed up for a seminar on the dolphins’ plight at Monmouth University.
Again and again, non-experts pressed the scientists to put aside their
hydrophonic measuring measuring devices and dolphin diet studies to just act — by luring, herding or carrying the dolphins out to sea.

“Are you saying the plan is basically to watch these animals die?” asked Victor Amato, chief law enforcement officer of the Monmouth County SPCA,
who said he’d had dolphins perish in his arms. “All the [prey] in the
world isn’t going to help these animals once that river freezes over.”

“I
don’t need to see that,” snapped Scott Longfield of Fair Haven, when a
scientist displayed a bar chart in an attempt to answer one of his
questions. Like others, he insisted on action.

Read More »

COPS SEEK ASSAILANT IN SLASHING

Just_InRed Bank police are investigating an assault in which an East Sunset Avenue man said he was slashed across the throat by a knife-wielding acquaintance in his home Monday night. 

The police haven't released the name of either man yet. The victim had "serious" wound to his neck but was treated and released from Riverview Medical Center this morning, said Capt. Steve McCarthy.

Read More »

NEIGHBORS: BOOZE STORE WOES CONTINUE

Ross. johnJohn Ross addressing the Red Bank Council last night.

A decision on whether the borough can shut down Best Liquors may not come from the state Alcoholic Beverage Control division before the end of February, assistant borough attorney Tom Hall said at Monday night's Red Bank Council session.

And even then, store owner Sunny Sharma still has an another avenue of appeal.

The news added to the frustrations of Leighton Avenue neighbors of the store, who said they had laid off on calling the police over noise, litter and drug violations in recent months only because they thought their ordeal was at last near an end.

"The process just keeps going," said John Ross, whose home faces the West Side liquor store. "At what point do the citizens' rights to a normal life outweigh this guy's rights? We are prisoners to what this man has done," he said, referring to Sharma.

Read More »

COUNCIL WEB DEAL ‘STILL IN DISCUSSION’

BoroughwebsiteThe homepage of the borough website.

The Red Bank government's plan to hire web design and management firm C3 Citizen Communication Center for $2,000 a month appears to be in slow-download mode following a second round of criticism.

At the borough council's bimonthly meeting last night, information technology specialist Jim Willis of Harrison Avenue characterized the model used by C3 as a "roach motel for data," in which information such as council agendas is entered but can't be shared across new technologies, such as Google calendar and news sources such as redbankgreen.

[Disclosure: Willis provides tech services to redbankgreen and its companion site, Red Bank oRBit.]

Willis said the deal would also shackle the borough to a vendor for the term of a contract and force it to build its website anew if the contract isn't extended.

"Proprietary software is synonymous with vendor lock-in," Willis said. Under the proposed deal, the borough wouldn't own the software but have a license to use it, and "if the borough wants to change vendors in the future, we will be right back where we are today, except we'll be tens of thousands of dollars poorer."

Read More »

WORKING TO FULFILL THE DREAM

Song

Choristers
and visitors raised their voices in song during a commemoration of
Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the First Presbyterian Church.

By LAURA KOSS

In the same church where Martin Luther
King Sr. preached in 1971, a group of Red Bank-area ministers led more
than a hundred area residents in a lively tribute to his slain son last night.

Guest speaker Rev. Donald Warner – a longtime Red Bank Regional High superintendent who now lives in Florida – reminded the audience of mankind’s “history of killing the dreamer.” But addressing the late civil rights leader whose birthday is celebrated as a federal holiday next Monday, Warner said, “we will fulfill your dream.”

Read More »

NYT: ICE ROCKET READY TO ROAR

RocketIn case you missed it…

The New Jersey section of the New York Times had a feature story yesterday on the Rocket, the monster ice boat (shown at right) that’s been restored by members of the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat and Yacht Club down on the Navesink River.

From the article, authored by Red Bank’s own Colleen Dee Berry:

The Rocket, a behemoth Class 1 iceboat with a backbone of 50 feet and
900 square feet of sail, is poised to take the ice, after a lengthy and
loving restoration. There hasn’t been an iceboat of this size on the
Navesink in decades. “Pray for ice,” said John Holian, president of the
nonprofit Rocket Ice Yacht Foundation. “We need 10 to 12 inches.”

And speaking of ice…

Read More »

CRIME LOG FOR WEEK OF JANUARY 2

RED BANK PD

The following information about crime activity for the week of January 2 through 9 was supplied by the Red Bank Police Department and appears here unedited.

Burglary occurring on 1-2-09 at Broad St.—Jewelry Store. Alarm was activated by unknown person(s) Upon arrival of the owner and the police it was observed that a large whole on the north side of building was broken through by unknown person(s) No entry was gained into the business. . Ptl. Nicholas Maletto.

Theft occurring between 1-29-08 and 1-2-09 at parking space on West Front St. Parking authority reported that two parking meters were stolen along with the posts by unknown person(s). Ptl. Robert Campanella.

Criminal Mischief occurring at Waverly Place residence on 1-3-09. Victim reported that unknown person(s) broke windowpane in door. Ptl. George Travostino.

Theft occurring on 1-1-09 at Monmouth St.—Train Station. Victim reported that a bag of clothing and jewelry which was placed on ground next to phone booth was stolen by unknown person(s). Ptl. Jorge Torres.

Read More »

REPORT: DOLPHINS LEAVE, THEN RETURN

H-SB bridge
According to the stranding center, three dolphins passed under the bridge twice yesterday – once to enter Sandy Hook Bay, at right, and then to return to the river.

Three of the five Atlantic bottlenose dolphins said to remain in the Shrewsbury River after a half-year’s visit headed out into Sandy Hook Bay over the weekend before returning to the upper stretch of the river, according to a report from the Associated Press.

To do so, the dolphins had to twice pass under the Highlands-Sea Bright Bridge, which activists and elected officials have said the animals were loath to approach because of construction noise.

The return of the dolphins to the river was attributed to their being “apparently frightened by construction noise near the bay” after the trio had traveled some 1,000 to 1,500 yards into the bay, according to the Asbury Park Press.

The source of the noise was not specified.

Read More »

SPARROWS’ SENSE OF SNOW?

Sparrows2 A flock of sparrows took shelter beneath a car parked on Broad Street in Red Bank Friday afternoon. What do they know that we don't?

The National Weather Service has a winter weather advisory in effect for the Red Bank region from 7a to midnight Saturday.

What's that mean? From the NWS:

LIGHT SNOW COULD ARRIVE BEFORE NOON IN THE COUNTY & BECOME
STEADIER & HEAVIER DURING THE AFTERNOON. SLEET. FREEZING RAIN
AND RAIN SHOULD MIX IN WITH THE SNOW TOWARD EVENING.ESPECIALLY
CLOSER TO THE COAST. A WINTRY MIX OF RAIN. SLEET.FREEZING
RAIN & SNOW SHOULD OCCUR DURING THE EVENING BEFORE PRECIPITATION
CHANGES BACK TO SNOW BEFORE ENDING.

FINAL SNOW & SLEET ACCUMULATIONS SHOULD AVERAGE BETWEEN 2 AND 5 INCHES WITH THE HIGHEST AMOUNTS WELL INLAND.


Read More »

WE’RE ALL CONNECTED, OR ARE ABOUT TO BE

DoinkA tow rig operator gets ready to hitch a cable to an AT&T truck that got jammed under the railroad trestle on West Front Street near Hubbards Bridge in Red Bank this morning.

Traffic was being detoured to Route 35 and there appeared to be minimal delays when redbankgreen took this pic at 9:45a.

Email this story

CEDAR CROSSING PLAN BREEZES TO OK

Cedar crossing plan Planner Paul Szymanski testifies on behalf of the developer about the proposed project at Thursday night’s zoning board meeting.

A 36-unit affordable housing project envisioned alongside a rail yard on Red Bank’s West Side sailed to unanimous approval by the borough zoning board in less than two hours last night.

The board had called a special meeting for the purpose of hearing the proposal because the non-profit developer, Red Bank Bank Affordable Housing Corp., was under the gun to enhance its chances of obtaining construction funding from a program administered by Monmouth County.

Despite deficiencies — such as a 13-space parking shortage and complete absence of recreation space — that have ensnared other applications, board members praised the plan for advancing the goal of home ownership for low-and-moderate income families who are otherwise priced out of town.

“It’s nice that finally somebody’s doing something for the people and not for their pocket,” said board member Chris Ferrigine.

Read More »

OXLEY SQUEAKS BY IN WALL

It took a tiebreaker vote by the newly elected Wall Township mayor, a Republican, to hand the job of town attorney to Monmouth County GOP Chairman and former Sheriff Joseph Oxley last night, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

People in the news (large)
The appointment follows a $4,000 contribution to the successful campaigns of the two GOP township committee members who voted in favor of hiring Oxley, the Press says.

The donation was from a fund controlled by a lawyer who until just days before the Nov. 4 election was a member of the North Jersey law firm where Oxley is now employed, the Press reports.

The Oxley pick was made over the ‘no’ votes of Jeffrey W. Foster and Clinton C. Hoffman, “independent minded Republicans” who wanted the town to stick with Mark Kitrick, a Democrat, as attorney, says the Press.

The Wall Township flap mirrors one in Sea Bright, where Oxley is also under consideration for the borough attorney’s job by the new 5-1 GOP majority. Democratic Mayor Maria Fernandes told redbankgreen last week that the majority’s preference for Oxley over longtime attorney Scott Arnette is “pay-to-play at its worst.”

Read More »

dPOD DOWN TO FIVE, AND FALLING

Dolphin110908
A dolphin in the Shrewsbury River in November.

Federal marine life authorities say only five of the original 16 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins that set up house in inland waters here last June remain, and that more are likely to die.

One dolphin has died and six others are unaccounted for since Dec. 17, when a team of scientists assembled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration restated their collective belief that the animals could survive the winter in the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers.

The remaining animals appear to have lost weight in recent weeks, NOAA reported yesterday. Still, the agency is holding off on any interventions to drive, lure or relocate the dolphins to the open sea, where they might follow their traditional winter migration toward the waters off North Carolina.

From the NOAA announcement:

NOAA expects additional mortalities or live strandings among
the remaining animals may occur as the winter progresses. We also
continue to believe that these animals are not candidates for
intervention and relocation. We are working with members of the
Northeast Stranding Network as well as other private marine mammal and
wildlife conservation organizations to strengthen emergency stranding
response in the area in the event that a stranding occurs.

Read More »

MYSTERY SOLVED, SIS-BOOM-BAH

Connors_juneJune Connors (nee Evans) strikes a familiar pose at the McKay Gallery last month. The original shot is below. (Photo above courtesy Liz & Bob McKay)

She’s frozen eternally in a moment of school-spirit optimism, a girl in cheerleader regalia from another era.

But even after her picture went on public display as part of a Red Bank centennial event in late November, the show’s curators, and the artist who supplied the image, didn’t know for sure who she was.

Now, the mystery has been solved, and the woman who was that girl has been reacquainted with the image. 

Read More »

GALLERY JOINS DOWNTOWN EXODUS

AsherneimanEmily Asher Neiman works the room at an opening in September.

By TOM CHESEK

Veteran observers of Red Bank’s commercial streetscape know that the
phenomenon known as “the Retail Churn” goes into overdrive each January,
regardless of the general economic forecast.

Now, with the entire nation — and much of the world — in
uncharted economic seas, the phenomenon has returned to our local streets, with the already departed (Fameabilia, DesignFront, Nibus, ME) to the winding
down (New York Trend, Bellini Shoes), as well as those, like Bella
Mystique boutique, that promise to return at a new location.

Add Asher Neiman Gallery to that last category. According to proprietor Emily Asher Neiman, the
gallery will be relocating later this year — as will Emily and her
boyfriend, web design wiz Simon Abramson — to an as-yet-unspecified address in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn.

Read More »

SMITH CLOSING ‘WESTSIDE’ STASH

Secret stash
Fans gather at the Stash for a 2006 appearance by Kevin Smith.

Filmmaker Kevin Smith is closing the Los Angeles version of the Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash store, according to reports.

As reported on News Askew, the official organ of Smith's film / comic book / toy marketing empire, the shop is falling victim to the "tough economy." [Update: The item, which was available on the News Askew site early Tuesday morning, appears to have been subsequently removed.]

There's no word at this hour on the outlook for the Red Bank original at 35 Broad Street. Blogger Peter Sciretta, who first reported the closing of the LA store on /film, says the Red Bank store is "still going strong" after a decade of operation.

Read More »

WELL, ONE UNIT WAS FINISHED

216_pine_place216 Pine Place in Middletown.

A redbankgreen reader with a nose for financial hanky-panky calls our attention to a house for sale in the River Plaza section of Middletown.

Turns out this is the home built by two defendants in a pending $2 million fraud and forgery case. Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis Valentin’s office says $730,000 was diverted from the eight-unit Union Street Village condo project in downtown Red Bank to construction of the year-old house on Poricy Pond.

An open house was held over the weekend. Our intrepid reader emails us:

I live around the corner from Pine Place in Middletown. Yesterday I saw an open house for sale on 216 Pine Place. It was a beautiful new house decked out to the nines with views of Poricy pond, huge gourmet kitchen (four dishwashers, three frigs…), flat screens in every room, coy pond/waterfall, hot tub, sauna…

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT GOP COURTS EX-SHERIFF

By SUE MORGAN

Members of the newly-installed Republican majority in Sea Bright are hoping to land Joseph Oxley, their party’s Monmouth County chairman, as borough attorney, redbankgreen has learned.

If they succeed next month, it would mark the second such plum for the former Monmouth County Sheriff, who took the reins of the county GOP last June, succeeding Adam Puharic.

Oxley

Oxley (shown at left) would replace Scott Arnette, a Democrat who served as Sea Bright’s attorney for 16 years and, before that, four years as a councilman.

Thought Oxley was not formally nominated at Saturday’s annual borough government reorganization, newly-chosen Council President Jack Keeler confirmed that the 5-1 majority is seeking Oxley, who served as sheriff for 12 years prior to becoming party boss.

The idea to bring in Oxley “just came out of the interaction between the five Republican members,” Keeler told redbankgreen. “We asked for ideas and suggestions and that consensus evolved in the process of negotiations.”

Mayor Maria Fernandes called the move “purely a poor choice.”

Read More »

TRANSIT VILLAGE, STIMULUS FUNDS SOUGHT

Img_624772Mayor Pasquale Menna.

In the face of an historic economic downturn, Red Bank is trimming pay for its planning and zoning board attorneys, looking at a five-percent, across-all-departments budget cut and trying to hold the line in contract talks with its two public employee unions, says Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna.

The borough will also soon unveil measures aimed at making it easier for small businesses to set up shop in town by eliminating red tape, he says.

But the local government will need a hand from the state and federal governments if it is to keep pace with necessary road, sewer and other capital projects, Menna told a packed-house audience at Thursday’s annual borough government reorganization.

In particular, he says the borough will be angling for a slice of the Obama administration’s stimulus program.

And a key piece of that would be a “transit village” designation and the construction of a commuter parking garage at the train station, Menna says. He told reporters after the meeting that he had reached out to NJ Transit officials and encouraged them to build a garage at the station, but that the idea so far has been a non-starter.

Read More »

FACES AT RED BANK’S REORG

Img_6240Ed Zipprich and Juanita Lewis make their New Year’s Day debuts as elected officials.

Running mates Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, who drubbed their Republican opponents in the November election, were sworn in as council members at yesterday’s annual reorganization of Red Bank’s governing body.

After nine years in the majority, Democrats now hold all six seats, just as they did for the decade prior to the election of Jennifer Beck in 1999. She’s now the state Senator for the 12th district.

Councilman Art Murphy, who was unable to attend the meeting because of a family commitment, was re-elected council president.

Here are some more pix from the event:

Read More »

READY FOR SCHOOL? BOARD HAS YOUR SEAT

Img_6292Be prepared for at least two meetings monthly if you’d like to serve.

Got some ideas about how to improve the Red Bank school district? Ready to shed the anonymity of redbankgreen comments and put your money where your mouth is?

The board of ed has a pair openings to fill.

One is a result of board veep Juanita Lewiselection to the borough council, which took effect yesterday. Her board term expires in April 2009. By statute, one may not serve on both the board and council.

The other seat was held by Ann Goldman, who was elected as a write-in candidate in 2007 and has submitted a letter of resignation for personal reasons. Her term expires in April 2010.

Read More »

FLIP OF COIN ENDS TIE IN FAIR HAVEN

Coin

Councilman Jon Peters was elected president of the Fair Haven Council yesterday after Mayor Mike Halfacre tossed a coin to break a 2-2 tie, today’s Asbury Park Press reports:

The vote was split between veteran Councilman Jerome Koch, who was re-elected in November, and Peters.

Councilman John Lehnert seconded Koch’s nomination, but then abstained from the final vote.

Halfacre said he flipped the coin to avoid alienating anyone.

Read More »

CROSSING PATHS

Img_6269Jet planes etched a pair of vapor trails in the crisp, cold sky beyond St. James RC Church in Red Bank late Thursday afternoon.

The National Weather Service forecasts cloudy skies, a chance of snow showers before 3p and a high temperature of 38 degrees today. Little or no acumulation is expected.

Tomorrow: sunny skies, high of 40. The forecast is here.

Email this story

WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

Where_010109_ir2

Where Have I Seen This?’ returns this week after taking a Christmas holiday — it’s first break since we launched redbankgreen on June 1, 2006.

So where does ‘Where’ go on vacation? We’ll never tell. It’s a secret. Let’s just say noWhere and everyWhere…

Read More »