RED BANK: FOOD WRITER SUSAN ERICSON DIES

Susan Ericson, notepad in hand, at New Corner Pizza in Red Bank in 2014. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Food writer Susan Ericson of Red Bank died Friday at home under hospice care after a lengthy illness. She was 66 years old.

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RED BANK: BROADWALK DRIVING RECOVERY

Broadwalk bars vehicular traffic to enable restaurant expansions into Broad Street between Front and White Streets. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWith the second season of Red Bank’s Broadwalk about to begin in earnest – weather permitting – downtown merchants say the pedestrian dining and shopping concept is doing what it’s intended to do: improving their receipts.

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RED BANK: ‘RE-ENTRY’ THROUGH THE KITCHEN

State Senators Declan O’Scanlon, left, and Vin Gopal flank ex-Governor Jim McGreevey as he speaks with Re-Entry participants at Soul Kitchen Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

“Nobody should be defined by their worst decision,” former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey said on a visit to Red Bank Thursday.

That’s particularly true for ex-felons who may never have learned the basic skills needed to become self-sufficient members of society, he said.

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RED BANK: DEP SAYS RIVERS SAFE FOR HUMANS

A cluster of dead bunker in the Red Bank borough marina at Marine Park earlier this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA massive die-off of bunker fish in the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers this spring poses no health threat to recreational users of those waters, environmental scientists said Thursday night.

Meantime, experts are still trying to determine what environmental “stressors” might have turned a bacteria that’s common to the species into a mass killer that has littered shores with tons of dead, putrid carcasses.

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RED BANK: CHARTER QUESTION PUT ON TRACK

Mayor Pasquale Menna, upper left, addressing the council during its meeting via Zoom Wednesday night.(Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA push for a possible change in Red Bank’s form of government cleared its first formal hurdle Wednesday night.

The borough council, sharply split on other issues, unanimously agreed to the introduction of an ordinance that would put a two-part public question on the November ballot: whether a commission should be created to review the borough’s 113-year-old form of government, and if so, who should serve on it.

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RED BANK: AGENCY CALLS FOR $9.3M YARD

A Google Maps satellite view of the public works yard and adjoining property to the east, roughly outlined in red. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank should move quickly to bond for an overhauled public works facility, according to a recommendation adopted by the Redevelopment Agency Tuesday evening.

Estimated cost, including the acquisition of property adjacent to the Chestnut Street site: $9.3 million.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON AGENDA, AND NOT

red bank saxum 176 riverside aveA rendering of Saxum Real Estate’s approved but not-yet-built plan for 176 Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA controversial plan to job out Red Bank’s in-house animal control service is expected to be tabled Wednesday night.

Here’s what’s on the agenda for the semimonthly meeting of the mayor and council.

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FAIR HAVEN: COUNCIL HIGHLIGHTS

Closed since early in the pandemic, Fair Haven’s borough hall and library will reopen June 7, administrator says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A new council member, a call for budget cuts, a planned reopening of borough hall and a pandemic ponytail were among the topics at what might have been the last Fair Haven council meeting of the pandemic Monday night.

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RED BANK: HIGHRISE GETS NEW POOL & NAME

The new pool and poolhouse at the former Riverview Towers. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank riverview towers 091319Three years after their swimming pool mysteriously popped out of the ground, residents of a Red Bank riverfront highrise got a closeup look at its $3.5 million replacement Monday night.

The 53-year-old Riverside Towers, at 28 Riverside Avenue, has also been rebranded as the Navesink Riverside Residences and Marina.

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RED BANK: ANIMAL CONTROL VOTE SCHEDULED

Henry Perez with opossums orphaned when their mother was hit by a car in 2016. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicHowls of protest are expected Wednesday night when the Red Bank council considers a proposal to scrap its in-house animal control service.

In addition to eliminating the position of animal control officer, held for the past 18 years by Henry Perez, the council would shift the work for the second half of 2021 to the Monmouth County SPCA, a change opponents say would delay responses.

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RED BANK: FORUM ON FISH KILL SLATED

A cluster of dead bunker in the borough marina at Marine Park earlier this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Clean Ocean Action and local officials, including Red Bank’s, will get the virtual town hall with New Jersey environmental officials they’ve been seeking to address the recent “severe” fish kill in the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers, the organization announced Friday.

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RED BANK: ‘GOOD LIFE’ CHURNS INTO TOWN

Melvin and Anita Pierce outside their healthy-eating restaurant at 60 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallSweethearts since high school, a Shrewsbury couple has staked a claim in downtown Red Bank with their first-ever business venture.

Read all about them and other news in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: APARTMENT HEARINGS DELAYED

After revisions, a plan to build a house in front of the existing four-family at 70 Locust Avenue was approved. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Much of Red Bank’s zoning board agenda was scrapped Thursday night, when hearings on plans for several large apartment projects had to be rescheduled.

But the board got some work done, approving a plan for new house single-family  house on Locust Avenue.

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RED BANK: CENSURED, GREGORY QUITS RBHA

red bank charter mark gregory 021820Mark Gregory at a Red Bank Charter School meeting in February, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA Red Bank Housing Authority board member resigned this week, one month after the board censured him for “wanton disregard for his fellow commissioners.”

Mark Gregory’s resignation, accepted by the board at its monthly meeting Wednesday night, was the second by a Republican member in less than a year.

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RED BANK: MASTER PLAN UPDATE BEGINS

A southward view of Broad Street from 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank embarked on a full-scale rewriting of its Master Plan for the first time in 25 years Monday night.

At a meeting via Zoom that lasted less than 12 minutes, the planning board initiated what could be a two-year process of rethinking the town’s zoning for the next generation.

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RED BANK: APARTMENT PLANS NEAR VOTE

Ten apartments would be built above new stores at 273 Shrewsbury Avenue under a pending plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njTwo multi-use developments that would add 42 apartments to the market top a busy Red Bank zoning board agenda this week.

Also on the board’s busy to-do list Thursday night: review revised plans for new house in front of an existing one on Locust Avenue.

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SHREWSBURY: YMCA NAMES BOARD MEMBERS

Top row: Latonya Brennan, Ming Chen, Lori Ferguson and Marilyn Grabowski. Bottom row: Itzel Perez Hernandez, Glenn Alonzo Richardson and David Stout.

[Press release from the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County]

The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County is pleased to announce the addition of seven new members to its board of directors, including three area residents.

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RED BANK: CALVARY BAPTIST ISSUES APPEAL

Press release from Calvary Baptist Church

Calvary Baptist Church was established in 1884 and is the first African-American Baptist Church in the town of Red Bank. Calvary, in 1886, purchased the old house of the First Baptist Church and moved it to a new location (corner of Bridge Avenue and River Street). That building was lost by fire and, as such, the current build was newly erected. Calvary has been a part of the Red Bank community for over a century.

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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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