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CARVING OUT A PIECE OF THE LOST PAST

Img_0783Img_0745Rik van Hemmen, above, rough-hews a tulip tree log with a chain saw while Boris Kofman, left, begins shaping one end of what will become a canoe.

A giant tulip tree log that’s been lying on the ground outside the Red Bank Primary School for more than a year has begun its transformation into what local boating enthusiasts and historians hope will become a dugout canoe.

Rik van Hemmen of the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association is leading an effort to build the vessel the way Native Americans are believed to have made theirs in the days of pre-colonial America: by using controlled burning to create a lightweight but sturdy shell.

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RIVERBANK CLEANUP JUST A START

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Trash hauled up from the banks of the Swimming River awaits pickup at the western end of Drs. James Parker Boulevard Saturday.

“No dead bodies” were found, says Boris Kofman, of the Red Bank Environmental Commission, but a handful of car batteries were, “and we only scratched the surface.”

Kofman says word is that a former property owner used to encourage locals to dump junk at the site as a way to shore up a slope.

“It will take some heavy-duty machinery to really clean it up, says Kofman, who took the photo above.

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RED BANK: SOME VOTERS HAD OTHER IDEAS

 Five voters wanted former Republican Mayor Mike Arnone, seen here in 2015, back in office. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Billy Portman may have been the only candidate on the ballot to succeed Pasquale Menna as Red Bank mayor in this month’s election, but 94 voters had other ideas, according to data released by the Monmouth County Clerk Tuesday.

Among the non-candidates receiving write-in votes were two former mayors, a rock guitarist and a recent Red Bank Regional High School graduate.

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RED BANK: TREE PLANTING UNDERWAY

A fall planting of 75 young trees in Red Bank began with a gingko finding a home on Leonard Street Monday morning. 

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RED BANK: BROADWALK MAY RETURN IN JULY

Diners enjoying lunch in the Broadwalk zone in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njDelayed by street a reconstruction project, Red Bank’s Broadwalk outdoor dining plaza will return this summer, borough officials agreed Wednesday.

The informal consensus of the council was the first indication that the downtown car-free experiment, launched in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, would get a third edition.

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RED BANK: HORGAN BAILS; NEWCOMER RUNS

Councilwoman Kathy Horgan greets Mayor Pasquale Menna at the Mayor’s Ball in 2016. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Yet another Red Bank Democratic official is heading for the exit while decrying “divisiveness” stoked by party leadership.

Councilwoman Kathy Horgan told redbankgreen Tuesday that, “with a heavy heart,” she’s not seeking a sixth three-year term.

Meanwhile, a political newcomer has stepped forward hoping to succeed Pasquale Menna as mayor.

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RED BANK: DEMS TO SHARE ‘COUNTY LINE’

Councilmen Ed Zipprich and Michael Ballard at last year’s September 11 memorial ceremony. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

In the rare Democratic primary race shaping up in Red Bank for June 7, all candidates from two opposing factions will share the coveted “party line,” redbankgreen has learned.

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman David G. Brown II has rejected a demand by borough party Chairman Ed Zipprich that only incumbents from the 18-member committee that runs the party be given the preferred ballot position.

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RED BANK: ‘FED UP’ SLATE AIMS FOR OVERHAUL

Among the slate’s members are, clockwise from top left: Wilson Beebe, Suellen Sims, Kate Triggiano, Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Ben Forest, Kathy Horgan, Boris Kofman and Frank Corrado. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Eighteen “fed up” Democratic party loyalists plan to take on what they call Red Bank’s “exclusionary party machine” in the June primary elections, they said in an announcement early Thursday.

Their goals, they said, are to “bring transparency and end divisiveness” within the organization – and unseat Ed Zipprich as chairman.

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RED BANK: RACIST SLUR, OR SLIP OF TONGUE?

Sue Viscomi, right, with Hazim Yassin and Kate Triggiano at borough hall in April, 2018. All three ran for council that year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA Red Bank board of ed member faced sharp criticism Thursday for a purported racist rendition of the borough business administrator’s name the night before.

But Sue Viscomi vehemently denied referring to Ziad Shehady as “Mr. Jihad.”

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RED BANK: BOROUGH SHUTS DOWN PARKS

red bank riverside gardens park 040420.jpgRiverside Gardens Park as seen last Saturday afternoon. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials plan to indefinitely close borough parks starting Wednesday.

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RED BANK: RAYRAP HOME PLAN WINS FINAL OK

A yellow border outlines the site of developer Ray Rapcavage’s Azalea Gardens project, with Harding Road at the bottom, Clay Street to the left and Hudson Avenue at right. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Demolition of a house destroyed by fire five years ago could begin as early as this month as the first step toward the creation of a new 18-home community at Red Bank’s Five Corners, developer Ray Rapcavage told redbankgreen last week.

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RED BANK: MAN CHARGED AS TREE VANDAL

The man police say has been mutilating trees in downtown Red Bank was spotted by redbankgreen doing exactly that on Monmouth Street Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank police have charged an Asbury Park man in a recent vandalism spree that targeted street trees downtown.

Edward Williams, 41, was arrested Friday after being identified from surveillance video yanking out a potted tree on Broad Street during Sunday’s Street Fair to benefit the Police Benevolent Association, when hundreds of people were present, according to Chief Darren McConnell.

 

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RED BANK: MENNA WANTS BOLD, GREEN DECK

menna-whelan-110216Mayor Pasquale Menna, left with Councilman Mike Whelan at the opening of the new cancer treatment wing at Riverview Medical Center in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Parking issues once again dominated as the Red Bank council wrapped up its 2016 meeting schedule Wednesday night.

• Mayor Pasquale Menna sketched out a vision for a environmentally and architecturally bold parking garage on the site of the borough’s White Street parking lot.

• A downtown property owner laid out a plan for erecting a prefab garage that he said would be fast and economical.

• The council extended yet again a moratorium on fees charged to developers of new businesses that win variances for parking shortfalls.

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RED BANK: SANDERS BACKERS PLAN MARCH

Sanders march route 033116The march is slated to proceed on sidewalks from the train station to Riverside Gardens Park via Monmouth and Broad streets.  (Map courtesy of Google Maps. Click to enlarge)

Election_2016_PlainRed Bank merchants, visitors and residents should be prepared for possible traffic delays as hundreds of supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders are expected to march through the downtown enroute to a rally at lunchtime Saturday.

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RED BANK: TAXMAN SEIZES THAI RESTAURANT

Muang Thai 3Muang Thai owner Jack Pongnoo, seated, with Muang Thai staffers last August. Below, the sticker slapped on the restaurant door by state tax officials Thursday. (Photo above by Robert Kern, below by Boris Kofman. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fans of Red Bank’s well-regarded Muang Thai appear to have lost a dining option.

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RED BANK: TAKEDOWN STREET

rb trees 2 100713The stump of one of four Bradford pear trees taken down Tuesday afternoon. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb trees 3 100813Remember the White Street tree slaughter of 2007?

Well, it happened again Tuesday in Red Bank. And as was the case six years ago. it was necessary and justifiable, tree-care advocates said.

The latest takedown, by the Monmouth County Shade Tree Division, involved four mature Bradford pear trees on Broad Street in front of the Verizon switch building and some nearby stores.

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RED BANK: LIVING SHORELINE WINS REPRIEVE

The crumbling library bulkhead, above right, abuts that of the Corinthian Cove condos, at left. Below, resident Tom Labetti of Elm Place makes a point during the public hearing. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

The tide turned abruptly on the Red Bank Eisner Memorial Library bulkhead issue Wednesday.

A $600,000 bond ordinance to pay for a new bulkhead at the site, and one at another Navesink River property, was tabled at the eleventh hour, after having appeared headed to certain approval.

The tabling followed defections by two councilmembers, Kathy Horgan and Ed Zipprich, who said they would side with environmentalists and residents who called for a “living,” or structure-free, shoreline.

“I think we need to explore the issue more,” Horgan said. “During the superstorm, any living shoreline had very little damage and self-repaired itself very quickly.” She also noted that  the Stevens Institute of Technology and the American Littoral Society had previously offered to create the natural shoreline, at no cost to the borough.

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RED BANK: REMOVING ‘CRAP’ LEFT BY OTHERS

Boris Kofman, above, and Michael Paul Raspanti, below, during Saturday’s riverfront cleanup on Red Bank’s West Side. (Photos by Wil Fulton, above, and Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Duane Bowker stood in the wooded area above the Swimming River in Red Bank and pointed.

“Some roofer, this is his favorite place to throw his crap – and drink beer,” he said. “Over here is a plumber’s favorite place to throw his crap.”

The occasion was Saturday’s cleanup effort by members of the borough Environmental Commission and the environmental nonprofit Clean Ocean Action. They teamed up to tackle a riverbank full of tires and construction debris at the western end of Drs. James Parker Boulevard.