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RED BANK: RACK ‘EM UP

Jeff Regen, a partner in Lucky Break Billiards and Café, gets ready for some eight-ball. The gaming parlor, with five pool tables and a shuffleboard table, opens to the public Saturday night. Lucky Break is at 14 West Front Street in Red Bank.  (Click to enlarge)

MAN BUSTED FOR PROMOTING PROSTITUTION

Recent activity reports, unedited, as provided by the Middletown Township Police Department.

call-in-the-authorities• Joseph Cooney, age 32, from Center Avenue in Leonardo, NJ, arrested on March 27, 2012 by Patrolman John Soltysik on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Ocean Municipal Court. He was released after posting $89.00 bail.

• Mary Belunza, age 50 from Park Avenue in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on March 26, 2012 by Patrolman Anthony Bumbico for Simple Assault. She was released pending a court date.

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SIENA GRILLE CLOSES, FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY

Siena Grille filed for liquidation this week, according to court records. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After weeks of half-off sales seven nights a week, Red Bank’s Siena Grille has thrown in the dishtowel.

The Shrewsbury Avenue restaurant, the onetime home of Sal’s Tavern, filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection from creditors on Tuesday, according to court records.

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THIS WEEKEND, CONSIDER TAKING IT INSIDE

Making the most of a warm spring evening, members of Attractive Nuisenze, of Manalapan, got a jump on Red Bank RiverCenter’s StreetLife auditions by setting up outside the Count Basie Theatre Wednesday night. The weather forecast for the weekend is a bit more downbeat, with cooler temperatures and some rain. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: TRAYVON MARTIN VIGIL SLATED

Councilwoman Sharon Lee, wearing a hoodie in memory of Trayvon Martin, talks with Mayor Pasquale Menna before Wednesday night’s council meeting. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Three Red Bank council members wore hooded garments to Wednesday night’s bimonthly meeting as a local group put out word of a silent vigil next week in memory of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

A poster for the event, called “We Are Trayvon Martin,” encourages attendees to wear hoodies, the type of sweatshirt that Martin was wearing when he was killed in an encounter with a gun-toting resident of Sanford, Florida a month ago.

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RENTERS MAY FACE FULL CPI INCREASES

By JOHN T. WARD

After three decades getting a discount, Red Bank tenants could have to pick up full cost-of-living increases starting later this year.

The borough council introduced an ordinance change Wednesday night that would allow landlords to increase rents by the full amount of the Consumer Price Index published by the federal Labor Department.

Since as far back as 1978 or even earlier, local increases have been capped at 60 percent of the CPI rise when a tenant pays for heat, and 80 percent when the landlord does.

The reason for the change, said Mayor Pasquale Menna, is that no one can remember the rationale for the discount, and no paper trail for it exists, leaving it open to a lawsuit.

“If it were challenged, we would not prevail,” said Menna, an attorney who made his political bones as a tenants’ advocate in the early 1980s. “It’s defective.”

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PITCHFORKS OUT OVER COMMUNITY GARDEN

With organizer Cindy Burnham holding up a photo, Annie Jones argues for allowing residents to garden a 900-square-foot strip of borough property at Maple Cove. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Community garden proponents assailed the Red Bank council Wednesday night for what they termed its “because-I-said-so” opposition to the creation of a farm plot at a borough-owned Navesink River site.

Revisiting the council’s 2011 rejection of a proposal for a pilot garden behind the borough library parking lot on West Front Street, residents challenged elected officials to articulate their opposition to the plan, and left as frustrated as they were going in.

“What we have a hard time understanding is that we haven’t really heard a good reason why not,” Locust Avenue’s Kathleen Gasenica told the governing body.

“It’s very simple,” replied borough Administrator Stanley Sickels. “The council doesn’t share your vision for a garden there.”

“That doesn’t really answer the question,” Gasenica said.

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MARINA OWNER BRACES FOR BRIDGE SQUEEZE

“There’s no money for business interruption,” says Red Bank Marina owner Steve Remaley, below, who also stands to lose land on both sides of the bridge. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Steve Remaley is about to get it from all sides.

As Monmouth County nears its long-overdue replacement of Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown starting early next year, the owner of Red Bank Marina is facing:

•• the loss of a large parcel of land, opposite his shop on West Front Street, where many of his customers park their vehicles and boat trailers

•• the loss of a strip of land on the marina’s main property for the creation of a new pedestrian and bike path to Shrewsbury Avenue

•• up to two years of diminished business, including a stretch of at least three months during which bridge traffic will be shut down entirely.

And that’s the best-case scenario.

“I have no idea what I’m in for,” Remaley tells redbankgreen, leaning on a boat being readied for spring and summer use. “This could be the best thing to ever happen to me, or the worst.”

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ON THE AGENDA: PITCHFORKS, TURF & MORE

Proponents of a Red Bank community garden try for another bite of the apple with their request to farm a portion of the public library property, above. (Click to enlarge)

The agenda for the bimonthly meeting of Red Bank’s council Wednesday night is a busy one.

On the docket:

• Red Bank RiverCenter comes in for approval of its annual budget. No details have yet been provided. Last year’s spending plan, like the two that preceded it, totaled $512,000. The business promotion agency, which manages the borough’s state-chartered Special Improvement District, is funded by a surtax on commercial properties within a defined zone and gets no money from borough coffers.

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FIRE RIPS THROUGH MIDDLETOWN HOME

Flames burn through the roof on the east side of the house. The blaze caused a shutdown of a stretch of Bamm Hollow Road, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A fire that neighbors said was preceded by a loud bang caused heavy damage to a Middletown home early Tuesday afternoon.

Witnesses said the fire appeared to begin in or near debris piled against the east side of the house, at 231 Bamm Hollow Road, near the intersection of Red Hill Road.

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MIDDLETOWN: TEN-POUND POT BUST

call-in-the-authoritiesJust in from the Middletown PD Tuesday morning:

On March 15, 2012 the Middletown Police arrested Jason Randell, age 25, from Patterson Lane on drug charges after the execution of a search warrant at his residence. The warrant was the result of a month long investigation by the Detective Bureau and Quality of Life Unit.

 Police say Randell was receiving shipments of large quantities of Marijuana from California through a package delivery service. Police recovered approximately ten pounds of Marijuana and seized $15,500.00 in cash as a result of the search warrant.

 

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JEWELRY STORE TAKES MONMOUTH SPACE

Ashley Goral will manage Ice, which plans to open soon at 12 Monmouth Street. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508

A primo spot on the sunny side of Monmouth Street in Red Bank is about to get some ice.

Most recently home to Soapmarket, which vacated in January to become an online-only retailer, 12 Monmouth is being outfitted for Ice Costume Jewelry, which hopes to open in just a couple of weeks, store manager Ashely Goral tells redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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PRIMARY SCHOOL BIDS PRINCIPAL FAREWELL

The Red Bank Primary School PTO threw a sendoff dinner in the school cafeteria Monday night for principal Rick Cohen, who is leaving this week to become director of curriculum in the Metuchen district.

“The parent involvement in this school has just been amazing,” said Cohen, 38, who’s been principal for the past six years. “That gives the kids a real sense of belonging and pride.”

Superintendent Laura Morana tells redbankgreen that an interim principal is expected to be named tonight, and that a search committee will commence interviews for a replacement next week. (Click to enlarge)

WOMAN CHARGED WITH DWI, ASSAULTING COP

Recent activity reports, unedited, as provided by the Middletown Township Police Department.

call-in-the-authorities• Theresa Brown, age 28, from Parsonage Road in Edison, NJ, arrested on March 20, 2012 by Patrolman Charles Higgins on a Fugitive Warrant issued by the Broward County Court in Florida. She was held on $100,000.00 bail with no 10% option.

• Antonio Cianflore, age 24, from Fourth Street in Middlesex, NJ, arrested on March 20, 2012 by Patrolman Robert Shannon on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was held on $1,000.00 bail.

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TINTON FALLS COUPLE CLAIM $70M PRIZE

The winners of last week’s $70 million Powerball pot are a married couple from Tinton Falls, the Star-Ledger and other news outlets report.

Joseph and Celeste Tamburello claimed the whopping prize at state lottery offices in Trenton Monday, nine days after Celeste bought the winning ticket at the Little Silver Family Pharmacy in Little Silver, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Today, on her fifteenth anniversary working at a food services company, Celeste plans to give her two-week’s notice, according to the reports.

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WEDDING WALK KICKS UP FOOT TRAFFIC

Models showed off bridal gowns at Sassy Chic Boutique, above, while a passerby did a doubletake at the sight of human mannequin Stephanie Rogers at Barbizon Models during the fourth Wedding Walk in Red Bank Saturday.

Nancy Adams, executive director of event sponsor Red Bank RiverCenter, said the walk attracted about 30 percent more registrants than the March, 2011 edition, with some 600 shoppers thronging the streets in search of dresses, hair styling, DJs, photographers and more wedding-related goods and services. (Click to enlarge)

LITTLE SILVER LADDER THIEF ON THE LAM

Little Silver police are investigating a pair of home burglaries over the weekend, as well as a third incident in which a stolen ladder was dropped by a thief after a dog started barking.

Chief Dan Shaffery tells redbankgreen the three incidents are believed to involve the same perpetrator.

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PRO-LIFERS MARCH THROUGH RED BANK

The Diocese of Trenton and St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church held their annual pro-life march through Red Bank Saturday morning, ending with a prayer vigil at the Planned Parenthood facility on Newman Springs Road in Shrewsbury.

Council members Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich opposed a permit application for the event last month, with Zipprich citing a Virginia law that would require most women seeking abortions to undergo an invasive ultrasound procedure. “I believe religious organizations have funded this attack on women’s rights,” Zipprich said. The permit was approved by a 3-to-2 vote. (Click to enlarge)

CLOTHES REPORTED STOLEN AT HOSPITAL

call-in-the-authoritiesThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of March 16 to March 23, 2012. This information is unedited.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 3-17-12 at Bank Street. Victim reported that unknown person(s) punctured sidewalls of four tires on parked vehicle flattening the tires. Ptl. George Travostino.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 3-17-12 at Washington Street. Victim reported that unknown person(s) threw object at glass screen door breaking the glass. Ptl. Paul Perez.

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MIDDLETOWN: SUSPECT TRIED TO KILL COP


The suspect was apprehended when he crashed his car on Courtney Way after a chase of about three miles, Middletown police said.

By JOHN T. WARD

A Middletown man was charged with trying to kill a township police officer Sunday after an tussle in which the officer was dragged by the suspect’s car, police said.

Corporal Daniel Murdoch remained hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries five hours after the 11:12 a.m. incident, which also involved a motor vehicle chase of about three miles that ended with the suspect crashing his car several blocks away, said department spokesman Lieutenant Steven Dollinger.

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SHREWSBURY WOMAN STRUCK BY CAR

A 67-year-old Shrewsbury woman was seriously injured Friday after she was hit by a car while walking in or near the parking lot of the Trader Joe’s supermarket, police report.

Detective Sergeant Bobby Turner tells redbankgreen that the victim appeared to have been struck in the north end of the store’s parking lot near Avenue of the Commons at about 11:15 a.m.

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BATTLE OVER TREE ENDS WITH REMOVAL OK

The 100-foot tulip poplar, center, became a lightning rod for opinions about Fair Haven’s tree law.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After nearly a year of controversy, a 100-foot tulip poplar that rallied both supporters and detractors of Fair Haven’s tree preservation law is coming down.

With members saying they were swayed by the “compelling” testimony of an arborist last week, the borough planning board reversed itself Thursday night, giving builder Bob Susser of Rumson an OK to remove the tree on the site of a three-home development on Woodland Drive.

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RIVERVIEW DAY-STAY GETS FACELIFT

With the number of surgeries performed up 20 percent in the past three years, Riverview Medical Center opens the doors to phase one of a $15 million upgrade to its surgical facilities Monday.

Located in the third floor of the Blaisdell Pavilion and overlooking the Navesink River, the Red Bank hospital’s new “surgical day-stay” features 21 semi-private and two private rooms for patient recovery from same-day procedures, replacing a dormitory-style setup.

Due in September are two high-tech surgical suites, which will bring the number of operating rooms to 12 and complete the project. Hospital employees themselves contributed $374,000 to a capital campaign for the project, a spokesman said. (Click to enlarge)

$70 MILLION WINNER SOLD IN LITTLE SILVER

One of your neighbors made be suddenly wealthy.

The winner of Wednesday night’s $70 million winning Powerball ticket was sold at the Little Silver Pharmacy, MyFoxNY reports.

From the report:

The winning numbers are 32, 43, 53, 55, 56 plus the Powerball number of 6.

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