Search Results for: Ben Forest

RED BANK: FOREST LAUNCHES MAYORAL BID

Ben Forest, above, hopes to unseat three-term Mayor Pasquale Menna, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The 2018 race for Red Bank mayor got underway Wednesday with the announcement by West Side activist Ben Forest that he would challenge incumbent Pasquale Menna for the Democratic party’s endorsement.

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RED BANK: SCOUT LEADS BENCH PROJECT

zack forest 040415 2green paint 040415Zack Forest of Red Bank, at right above, got help from 11-year-old Alex Pane, and other members of Boy Scout Troop 67 (Tower Hill) over the past two weekends as he completed a community service project required for certification as an Eagle Scout: refurbishing benches and picnic tables at Mohawk Pond and Eastside Park.

Why work on benches? “Because they needed to be done,” said Forest, a 17-year-old junior at Red Bank Regional, who worked with the borough DPW on the project.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

FAIR HAVEN: TALES FROM THE BLACK FOREST

HollyBlackBlack in Blue: the fantasy worlds of Holly Black converge at River Road Books in Fair Haven, where the award-winning author materializes for a Sunday afternoon reading and signing appearance keyed to her latest novel, THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST.

Her many fantastic works of fiction for kids and Young Adults include the illustrated adventures of The Spiderwick Chronicles, (basis for a 2008 movie of that name) as well as the Curse Workers and Modern Faerie Tale trilogies. Her glittering trophies on this plane of existence include the prestigious Newbery Medal for kid-lit, the Andre Norton Award for YA sci-fi, and a finalist recognition for comicdom’s sought-after Eisner Award.

On a more localized level, Holly Black can claim provenance right here in eastern Monmouth County — and on Sunday, January 18, the West Long Branch native and NY Times chart-topper comes home for an afternoon drop-in at River Road Books in Fair Haven — an appearance timed to the publication of her latest novel, The Darkest Part of the Forest.

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FOREST ALONE IN K-8 DISTRICT RACE

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Ben Forest has an excellent chance of keeping his seat on the Red Bank Board of Education in tomorrow’s election: he’s the only candidate on the ballot.

Unfortunately for the board, there are three open seats; two other members have retired, saying they were too busy to serve again. Unless the positions are filled by write-in candidates, board president Janet Jones will appoint replacements.

Although he doesn’t seem to need a platform, Forest generously obliged us with one anyway: “Great schools run efficiently.”

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THAT’S YOUR NAME? HERE’S A SEAT

The results are finally in from last week’s Red Bank Board of Education election, which were delayed by a snafu.

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In addition to the previously announced victor Ben Forest, an incumbent, winners were write-in winners Ann Goldman
of McLaren Street and Marjorie Lowe of Wall Street, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Three seats were open, but only Forest formally declared an interest in having one. He got 352 votes.

But because of multiple spellings of names of write-in candidates, officials could not immediately sort out who might have won the two seats that went unsought on the ballot.

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RED BANK: CHARTER RACE SET

On the ballot in November: whether to review Red Bank’s form of government, and who should do it. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

It’s official: Red Bank voters will have 11 candidates to choose from when they elect a five-member charter study commission in November.

Also on the ballot: a referendum on whether the study itself should be conducted.

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RED BANK: DUPONT FILES FOR CHARTER SEAT

mckenna dupontMike DuPont, right, riding with law partner and former mayor Ed McKenna in the Red Bank centennial parade in 2008. (Photo by John T. Ward and Chris Ern. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

UPDATE: After publication of this article, redbankgreen learned that John Jackson filed a petition with the borough clerk for a candidacy Tuesday afternoon. This update also adds John Gosden as a resident known to be gathering petition signatures.

Former Red Bank councilman Michael DuPont has made the November election for charter study commission a race.

DuPont told redbankgreen he filed his candidacy petition Wednesday morning, making him the sixth declared candidate for a seat on a five-member body.

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RED BANK: FIVE UNITE AS CHARTER SLATE

Running as a team, clockwise from upper left: Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Mark Taylor, Kate Okeson, Scott Broschart and Ben Forest. (Photos by John T. Ward and Chris Ern. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Five self-described “forward-thinking” Red Bank activists have united in pursuit of seats on Red Bank’s charter study commission in the November election.

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RED BANK: STORM KNOCKS HUNDREDS OFFLINE

JCP&L reported 303 Red Bank homes and businesses remained without electrical service Friday morning following a storm Thursday afternoon.

According to police Chief Darren McConnell, winds from Tropical Storm Elsa took down trees on on Leighton Avenue (above) and River, Tilton, Catherine, High and McClaren streets, bringing down power lines. Several landed on homes, but none caused severe damage, he said.

As of 6:30 a.m. Friday, JCP&L estimated all customers in the borough to be back online by 8:30, according to its outage map.

Check out the extended forecast here. (Photo by Ben Forest. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: NO LOCAL TAX INCREASE IN BUDGET

A screengrab from Wednesday’s virtual meeting, which was chaired by  Councilman Hazim Yassin, top right. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

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Red Bank property owners will see no increase in the local tax rate under the budget introduced by the borough council Wednesday night.

The governing body also finalized a plan for a charter study referendum that several commenters referred to as “historic;” eliminated the job of animal control officer to make way for the Monmouth SPCA; and tabled the hiring of a new executive director of the Redevelopment Agency.

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RED BANK: STILL NO MOVEMENT ON REFORM

Mayor Pasquale Menna speaking with activist Ben Forest in 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Nearly three years after they briefly moved to the fore, calls to reform Red Bank’s government and electoral process have yet to yield noticeable results.

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RED BANK: GOP ‘PLACEHOLDERS’ ON BALLOT

jonathan maciel penney 102419Jonathan Maciel Penney speaking as a candidate at the West Side Community Group forum in 2019. (Photo by Ben Forest. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Republicans announced two “placeholder” candidates for borough council in the November election Monday.

Party Chairman Jonathan Maciel Penney said he had filed campaign papers for himself and Christine Stout.

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RED BANK: SENIOR & REC PLANS REVIEWED

A concept plan showing facilities at the southern entrance to Count Basie Fields includes an indoor basketball court. (Screenshot from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank Redevelopment Agency began sorting through concept plans for possible new senior citizen and recreation facilities Tuesday.

Added to the “fix it now” demand by advocates of a stand-alone Senior Center was a new one: leave the outdoor basketball courts at Count Basie Fields alone.

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RED BANK: LOCAL DEMOCRATS RUPTURE

Then-candidates Kate Triggiano and Hazim Yassin at the Mayor’s Ball in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Already showing cracks, the Red Bank Democratic party’s facade ruptured Monday night with the announcement that political newcomers will challenge two incumbents for their council seats.

Days after holding a virtual re-election fundraiser attended by Governor Phil Murphy, Kate Triggiano and Hazim Yassin opted to bypass the local party nomination process controlled by Councilman Ed Zipprich as they seek second terms, saying he’s on a vendetta that “reeks of boss politics.”

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RED BANK: CENTER DEBATE CONTINUES

Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, center of bottom row, prevailed on a resolution regarding the Redevelopment Agency. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njSarcasm and insults flew Wednesday night as the Red Bank council yet again clashed over the future of the mothballed Senior Center.

This time, residents provided much of the ire. Read More »

RED BANK: JOURNALIST JOHN F. BURTON DIES

John F. Burton at the Red Bank Mayor’s Ball in 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

John F. Burton, a longtime chronicler of Red Bank-area people, government and more, died Sunday.

The senior reporter for the weekly Two River Times had battled illness for the past three years.

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RED BANK: DEMS ERUPT OVER SENIOR CENTER

The Senior Center has been out of commission for most of the past two years following a pipe leak. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njTension among Red Bank Democrats over the future of the borough’s Senior Center erupted in public over the weekend.

Joined by Mayor Pasquale Menna, four of the council’s six Democrats lit into the other two, one of whom is the party chairman, as having “placed their own popularity over what’s best for our residents and taxpayers.”

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RED BANK: YASSIN MOVES TO COUNCIL FORE

Councilman Hazim Yassin at a council meeting in February, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter a year of butting heads with most of his fellow Democrats, Red Bank Councilman Michael Ballard lost his seat on the budget-shaping finance committee Friday.

He was displaced by first-term Councilman Hazim Yassin at the borough government’s annual New Year’s Day reorganization meeting. Read More »

RED BANK: GOP PAIR QUIT COUNCIL RACE

jonathan maciel penney 102419Jonathan Maciel Penney speaking at the West Side Community Group forum last October. (Photo by Ben Forest. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Both Republican candidates for Red Bank borough council seats in November’s election have formally dropped out of the race.

As a result, incumbent Democrats Michael Ballard and Ed Zipprich appear to have a clear glide path to re-election. Read More »

RED BANK: SCHOOLS ‘READY TO ROLL’

The traffic flow at the middle school will be reversed to enhance social distancing during student drop-off and pick-up, Rumage said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWhile some 180 school districts throughout New Jersey are pursuing plans for all-virtual instruction, Red Bank’s is on track to open September 14 under a plan that puts students into classrooms two days a week, Superintendent Jared Rumage said Tuesday.

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH ASKS FOR LEAK PROBE

Councilman Ed Zipprich, left, at a press conference held by Governor Phil Murphy at Riverview Medical Center in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich said he has asked for an investigation into a leak of emails in which Business Administrator Ziad Shehady suggested Zipprich was out to “sabotage” the bidding for a new trash hauling contract.

Separately, friction between Shehady and Councilman Michael Ballard flared up again at the council’s workshop meeting Wednesday.

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RED BANK: GOP CLAIMS WEST SIDE ADVOCACY

jonathan maciel penney 102419Jonathan Maciel Penney speaking at last week’s West Side Community Group forum. (Photo by Ben Forest. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

ELECTION 2019In an effort to break the Democratic lock on the Red Bank council, this year’s Republican candidates have set their sights squarely on a Democratic stronghold: the West Side.

At events and in campaign literature, Allison Gregory and Jonathan Maciel Penney have sought to align themselves with minority groups and residents threatened with displacement from the West Side as a result of gentrification.

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RED BANK: RUMAGE REFLECTS ON FIVE YEARS

JARED RUMAGE, red bankSuperintendent Jared Rumage wished middle schoolers a nice holiday weekend on the Friday before Memorial Day in May. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s school district still faces stiff financial challenges, but is “without question” in all-around better shape than it was when he arrived five years ago, says Superintendent Jared Rumage.

And as he did at a presentation last week, Rumage is hoping to leverage the narrative of that improvement to win voter approval of a $6.75 million referendum in November.

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RED BANK: $6.75M REFERENDUM PLANNED

RED BANK primary school Red Bank Primary School, with a newly completed fire access road at left, would get a new roof if the November 5 measure passes. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A referendum on $6.75 million worth of school improvements will be on the ballot for Red Bank voters in November, under a plan approved by the board of education Tuesday night.

The project won’t increase property tax bills, officials said.

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