chapinBuses and ambulances on the scene at Chapin Hill at Red Bank nursing home preparing to move 113 patients, many of them wheelchair-bound. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

just_in1Authorities ordered the evacuation of the low-lying Chapin Hill at Red Bank nursing home Saturday as Hurricane Irene neared, packing winds of 90 miles per hour in North Carolina yet leaving the anxious Jersey Shore eerily calm.

Also affected by an evacuation order was the 40-unit Locust Landing apartment complex on Locust Avenue, Tommy Welsh, coordinator of Red Bank’s Emergency Management Committee, tells redbankgreen.

A 1 p.m., two buses and an ambulance were on the scene of the nursing home, on Chapin Avenue near the Newman Springs Road bridge over the Swimming River, preparing to relocate 113 patients.

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A statement issued by Red Bank’s government shortly before 1 p.m. Friday:

The Borough of Red Bank has begun preparation for the approaching hurricane. This is a strong storm with a potential to cause damage such as fallen trees, street flooding, and power outages. The strongest effects of the storm in our area should be felt from the early morning hours Sunday through Sunday evening.

At this time there are no evacuation orders in Red Bank. Residents are urged to prepare for the storm by having essential items in their home by Saturday morning. This would include batteries, a portable radio, flashlights, food, and drinking water. Do not use candles for light as they could become a fire hazard. Once the storm begins, residents are asked to stay in their homes and not go outside unless there is an emergency. The safest place during a storm of this type is in your own home unless severe flooding occurs in your immediate area. Should the Borough of Red Bank issue an evacuation order, Monmouth County and the Red Cross have set up shelters at certain area high schools, the closest to Red Bank being Holmdel High School. For more information on storm preparedness you may visit the following websites: www.ready.gov and www.visitmonmouth.com

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just_in1Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna issued the following statement shortly after noon Friday:

A Declaration of Emergency is in place in Red Bank.  You will be receiving recorded telephone notifications on our reverse 911 system on your phone and email if you are signed up with our web notification alert.

Residents should prepare by stocking up on essentials at home and avoid any non essential or unnecessary travel.  Outside furniture should be secured.  All shrubbery and limbs left at curbside shall be removed from curbside and placed on private laws and property prior to 6 PM Friday.  Such items in a storm are carried in the storm water basins and clog the system that in turn makes flooding worse.

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irene-sledger-082611Have they got your attention now?

The front page of today’s Star-Ledger is dominated by a single story, headlined “N.J.’s MOST DEVASTATING STORM EVER?’ (Click to enlarge)

From NJ.com, the Sledger’s website:

New Jersey is wearing the bull’s-eye for what could turn out to be the state’s worst storm ever, a Category 2 hurricane packing winds that could reach 100 mph, pushing a wall of water from the ocean as high as 12 feet and spreading floodwaters to inland towns.

Clearly, the newspaper reflects the consensus judgment of experts that we’re in for a potentially catastrophic storm come Sunday as Hurricane Irene lumbers north along the East Coast, with threat levels classified as “extreme” from the Carolinas to New England.


police-blotterRecent activity reports, unedited, as provided by the Middletown Township Police Department.

• On August 24, 2011 at approximately 10:05 pm Patrolman Richard Belmonte was on patrol in the area of Leonardville Road when he observed a subject stumbling and falling to the ground. The officer stopped to check on the subject, identified as a 15 year old, male juvenile from Belford, at which point he detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.

Officer Belmonte continued his investigation and was trying to provide assistance when the juvenile began to yell obscenities at the officer. The juvenile was then placed under arrest for Disorderly Conduct. Officer Belmonte conducted a search incident to the arrest and located baggies containing Marijuana inside a backpack he was carrying.

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Following a similar move by Governor Chris Christie, Monmouth County’s Freeholders declared a state of emergency Thursday night in anticipation of Hurricane Irene‘s arrival here this weekend.

The declaration “will allow the Office of Emergency Management to mobilize all county resources and direct them where they are needed to protect life and property,” according to an announcement from the county press office.

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circuit-breakerKnowing how to shut off your home’s utilities in advance can prevent a natural disaster from becoming a catastrophic event.

From the Federal Emergency Management Administration web page on utility shut-off and safety:

In the event of a disaster, you may be instructed to shut off the utility service at your home.

Below is some general guidance for shutting off utility service.  You should modify the information provided to reflect your shut off requirements as directed by your utility company.

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hot-topic rightThe National Weather Service recommends the following as part of a think-ahead in the event that residents must leave their homes in advance of a hurricane:

Develop a family hurricane preparedness plan before an actual storm threatens your area. If your family hurricane preparedness plan includes evacuation to a safer location for any of the reasons specified with in this web site, then it is important to consider the following points:

If ordered to evacuate, do not wait or delay your departure.
If possible, leave before local officials issue an evacuation order for your area. Even a slight delay in starting your evacuation will result in significantly longer travel times as traffic congestion worsens.

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hot-topic right

Weather experts recommend people in the path of a hurricane make up a plan in advance for ensuring the safety of all members of households.

The National Weather Service says those affected should:

check markDiscuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.

check markLocate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.

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hot-topic rightThe National Weather Services recommends residents in the path of a hurricane put together disaster supply kits consisting of the following:

Check boxWater – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days

Check boxFood – at least enough for 3 to 7 days
– non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
– foods for infants or the elderly
– snack foods
– non-electric can opener
– cooking tools / fuel
– paper plates / plastic utensils

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hot-topic rightWeather forecasters have included the coastal region up to Sandy Hook in the hurricane warning area for Hurricane Irene, the National Weather Service reported Friday morning.

Though Irene’s strength dropped slightly to Category 2, meaning sustained winds below 110 miles per hour, the storm could regain strength as it nears New Jersey, which it is expected to wallop Saturday and Sunday.

Now is the time to be making serious preparations to protect life and property, safety experts say.

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4b-mimi-james1After a six-year run, Mimi James is closing 4B, her women’s clothing boutique, to concentrate on the private-service side of her business. (Click to enlarge)



It’s been a good run, says Mimi James.

The owner of 4B, a women’s clothing boutique in Red Bank, said that even with the sharp economic downturn that began in late 2008, her business has never lost money.

Still, the store that took its name from its original address on West Front Street – it’s now just a few doors away, adjacent to the Downtown Café – will close for good Sunday.

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covertCovert operations: Elsie’s Subs co-proprietor Chris Covert (pictured in his night job as stand-up comic) brings the latest in his ongoing Comedy Night Live series to the Dublin House on Friday, August 26.


Maybe you like your humor DRY, and your subs WET — maybe vice versa. Either way, he’s got you covered.

Most days of the week, Chris Covert presides over one of the most beloved institutions within the Red Bank state of mind — Elsie’s Subs, the 52-year-old Monmouth Street landmark that’s been owned by his wife Tish for over 20 years.

As the steward of a brand about which native Red Bankers tend to get territorial (it’s not uncommon for in-the-know visitors to grab an Elsie’s special immediately after coming in from the airport — and to order a no oil/vinegar “dry” sub for the flight back home), Covert loves nothing more than to keep serving a loyal clientele that consists of “99 percent repeat customers – the best kind there is.”

That said, the honorable earl of sandwich has been known to have his other pursuits and fancies — not the least of which is an artistic bent that’s manifested itself in a series of quirky mosaic portraits, as well as a cutting-edge flair for custom-carved Halloween pumpkins.

As if he weren’t in danger of slicing himself too thin already, this Caravaggio of the capicola has an altogether separate, nocturnal calling — as a practitioner of the art of stand-up comedy, and ringmaster of a regular series of Comedy Open Mic events at the equally iconic Dublin House. It’s to the second floor of The Dub that Covert returns this Friday, August 26, for the fourth and latest in a monthly menu of Comedy Night Live events.

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kramer-ballardLocust Avenue resident Leigh Kremer addresses the council as borough Engineer Christine Ballard listens. (Click to enlarge)


Over the concerns of environmentalists, Red Bank will pursue grant funding for a ‘sprayground‘ in a riverside marsh that could end up costing $500,000.

A vote by the borough council Wednesday night to authorize a bid for a Monmouth County Open Spaces grant of $250,000, which the town would have to match, followed heartfelt appeals by West Side parents for a place for children to play and by others concerned about illicit activity in the overgrown Bellhaven Nature Area, at the western end of Locust Avenue.

“Our children on the West Side have nowhere to go,” River Street’s Rose Sestito, a mother of five and foster mother of three, told the governing body during a public hearing on the grant question. “Please consider the children.”

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fixx-ext-082411Music at Fixx will be cut off at 1:30 a.m. for the next three months under a deal worked out with the borough council. (Click to enlarge)


With its liquor license on the line, Red Bank’s most problematic bar reached a temporary compromise with borough leaders Wednesday night that will give it time to prove it has gotten its chronic problems under control.

Mike Gilson, owner of Fixx on West Front Street, agreed to implement more than a dozen fixes he negotiated with police Chief Steve McCarthy over the past two months in an effort to reduce the need for police presence at closing time. Many of the changes, including beefed-up security Thursday through Saturday nights, have already been implemented, Gilson said.

But one change McCarthy insisted on led to a stalemate: he wanted Gilson to shut off the music at 1:15 a.m. in order to encourage a peaceable wind-down to a 2 a.m. closing. Gilson refused, saying it would kill his business.

“It seems like a small matter to the average person, but we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t think that was a very, very important aspect of our ability to function in this economy,” Gilson’s lawyer, Rob Williams, told the council.

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hot-topic rightRecent activity reports, unedited, as provided by the Middletown Township Police Department.

• On August 23, 2011 Detective Laurence Schachtel arrested Jennifer Franklin, age 21, from Hudson Avenue in Middletown, NJ, for Forgery, Theft by Deception and Theft as a result of an investigation into a theft from a resident on Harvey Avenue where she worked as a home health aide.

Police say Franklin used the victim’s ATM card to steal close to $5,000.00 from his bank account. The victim confronted Franklin at which point she agreed to pay him back. However, police say Franklin used counterfeit bills to make the payments.

Franklin was processed and released pending a court date.

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bellhavenA proposal for a water-shooting playground at Red Bank’s little-used Bellhaven Nature Area has raised hackles among environmentalists. (Click to enlarge)

swimming-riverBy JOHN T. WARD

Wednesday night’s meeting of the Red Bank Council could be a water-balloon fight of sorts.

Members of the Environmental Commission, an advisory group, say they were alarmed to learn recently that the borough Parks & Rec department is considering Bellhaven Nature Area, a wetland preserve created just eight years ago, as a possible location for a ‘sprayground,’ a play area that enables kids to get deliriously soaked by nozzles built into fixed apparatus.

Lou DiMento – the lone remaining commission member who was involved in the original preservation effort –  and others say they were shocked to learn that the town might pursue a $250,000 Monmouth County Open Spaces grant, which it would have to match, in order to build the sprayground.

“That stunned us,” especially after the borough government told the commission that it couldn’t come up with a few hundred dollars for a sign to designate the nature area, nestled against the Swimming River at the western end of Locust Avenue, DiMento said.

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Done3Attention motorcyclists: If you’re a rider who’s interested in supporting military veterans — or if you’ve ever wondered how to maintain your best poker face while riding into a strong headwind — the morning and afternoon of Sunday, August 28 may reveal the answers. [UPDATE: Event rescheduled for Saturday, September 3, because of Tropical Storm Irene]

That’s when Red Bank Elks Lodge #233 joins with some of its brother lodges in Long Branch, Jamesburg and Old Bridge for a fundraising Poker Run.

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