RED BANK: BOARD OKS CANNABIS SITING PLAN

Map indicates areas of town that would be off-limits for cannabis operations and sales with cross-hatching outlined in red. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicA plan to accommodate all levels of cannabis businesses – from growth to retailing – advanced in Red Bank Monday night.

The borough planning board, meeting in person for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, gave the plan its seal of approval, finding no conflicts with the town’s Master Plan.

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RED BANK: FARMER DEFENDS PRODUCE TOSS

red bank farmers market kurt poehlerKurt Poehler at the Red Bank Farmer’s Market in May, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe farmer who trigged a backlash over disposed produce at the Red Bank Farmer’s Market Sunday defended the practice as a normal result of sorting Wednesday.

In addition, an organization that puts surplus produce into the hands of those who need it backed him for donating carloads of fruit and vegetables weekly, including Sunday.

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RED BANK: LUNCH BREAK PLANS $12M PROJECT

Additional facilities and parking would be created on lots adjacent to Lunch Break’s home on Drs. James Parker Boulevard. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Lunch Break, the food security and social services resource, announced the start of a $12 million capital campaign to fund an expansion of its Red Bank home Monday.

An addition to its facilities at at 121 Drs. James Park Boulevard is needed “to accommodate the growing needs of the community,” the nonprofit said in an announcement.

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RED BANK: TOWN TO ZONE FOR CANNABIS

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank will move quickly to set zoning rules on the growth, distribution and retail sale of cannabis, the council informally agreed Wednesday night.

The decision will enable the borough to dictate where cannabis commerce can occur, and eventually generate some tax revenue.

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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: MARIJUANA GROW SITE PROPOSED

The operation would be housed in a warehouse on East Leonard Street, indicated by a star above. (Image from Google Maps. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Jumping in on New Jersey’s legalization of adult-use marijuana, a local homebuilder hopes to win approval for a growing facility in Red Bank, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: LITTLE PROGRESS ON GARDEN

red bank what's going on hereThirteen months after it was abruptly closed over contamination concerns, Red Bank’s only community garden heads into autumn with a crop of periodically mown grass.

But what happened to the neighborhood soil testing that was supposed to be conducted? And will the garden reopen?

redbankgreen’s What’s Going On Here? has an update.

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RED BANK: MARKET REOPENS AS DRIVE-THRU

red bank farmers market red bank farmers marketThe Red Bank Farmer’s Market reopened Sunday, with some changes to limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

The foremost modification: the market is now temporarily a drive-thru only, with customers encouraged to pre-order their purchases.

Kurt Poehler, above, and his crew from Spring House Farms were ready with arrays of colorful fruits and vegetables.

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LITTLE SILVER: ROBERT SICKLES SR. DIES

bob sickles sr. 042208Robert Sickles Sr. riding his cherished 1948 John Deere MT tractor in 2008. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Robert Sickles Sr., the patriarch of a family farm in Little Silver that traces its agricultural roots back more than three centuries, died “peacefully at his home” Monday, according to an obituary posted by Thompson Funeral Home in Red Bank Wednesday.

He was 92 years old.

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RED BANK: CRISIS DELAYS FARMERS’ MARKET

Mother’s Day is still five weeks away, but this year’s edition won’t be accompanied by the customary opening of the Red Bank Farmer’s Market.

George Sourlis, whose family-owned Galleria of Red Bank hosts the popular Sunday market, tells redbankgreen that this year’s start has been indefinitely postponed by the COVID-19 crisis. It will open once the pandemic has passed, he said.

The seasonal farmstand typically runs through November.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: WATCH YOUR VEGGIES GROW


A two-level cluster of shipping containers is planned for the triangular center of the parking lot at the newly remodeled Anderson Building. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njShoppers at the food market planned for Red Bank’s Anderson Building will soon be able to watch some of their produce growing in a shipping container in the parking lot, its owner says.

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RED BANK: CONCERNS AIRED OVER LEAD TESTS

red bank community garden 081219Caution tape signaled the closing of the Marion Street garden in August. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njUsers of Red Bank’s community garden questioned the borough government’s sense of urgency Wednesday night about the presence of lead in soil at the town’s only community garden.

 

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RED BANK: CONTAMINATION SHUTS GARDEN

red bank community garden 081219Caution tape and notices at the entrance to the community garden on Marion Street Monday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank has shut down its sole community garden out of “an abundance of caution” over possible lead contamination, the borough government announced Monday.

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RED BANK: RAYRAP CLEARS FIRST HURDLE

sposaro-121516Developer Ray Rapcavage, seated at right, and his attorney, Armen McOmber, listen as Hudson Avenue resident Anthony Sposaro endorses the Azalea Gardens project. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A year after his last try was shot down, real estate developer Ray Rapcavage won a key approval Thursday night for a new plan to rebuild a shabby half-block on the southeast edge of downtown Red Bank.

On a unanimous vote, the zoning board granted Rapcavage variances for 18 homes fronted by an English garden on Harding Road between Clay Street and Hudson Avenue.

But he’s not yet clear to start work.

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RED BANK: LATEST RAYRAP PLAN IN SPOTLIGHT

RayRap site 121015 2The project calls for 16 townhouses along Clay Street, seen at left above, that would face east into an English garden with two freestanding homes. (Photo from Google Maps. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Will RayRap have better luck this time?

A year after his last plan was shot down, real estate developer Ray Rapcavage returns to the Red Bank zoning board this week hoping to obtain approval for new plans to build homes on half a block’s worth of properties the edge of downtown.

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LITTLE SILVER: A BARNYARD CELEBRATION

ls-barns-101616-10About 100 Little Silver residents, joined by Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagnols-barns-101616-4, celebrated the completion of restoration work on the three barns at the Parker Homestead Sunday.

The structures, the oldest of which is believed to have been built in the 1790s, and the Parker farm site on which they sit are “as important as Jamestown” in the history of America, Mayor Bob Neff told the crowd.

The restoration, funded with a $250,000 Monmouth County Open Spaces grant, was completed after a dispute with a contractor was resolved and a second contractor, Drill Construction, came on board in January, said Keith Wells, a trustee for the nonprofit Parker Homestead 1665 Inc., the nonprofit that oversaw the project. Two carpenters, Joe Rubel and Mike Cerniglia, were credited for work.

Click the “read more” for additional photos. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: RAYRAP SEEKS ‘REHAB’ SITE LABEL

rapcavage 082714Ray Rapcavage, center above, with his wife, Suzanne, and Hudson Street resident Scott Broschart at the Five Corners site in 2014. Below, a detail of the latest proposal for the site. (Architectural rendering by David John Carnivale. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rayrap 061316 1Having been thwarted by the zoning board, developer Ray Rapcavage plans to ask the Red Bank council to designate his assembled properties on the edge of downtown as an “area in need of rehabilitation,” redbankgreen has learned.

If granted, the controversial label would enable Rapcavage to avoid a return trip to the zoning board with his revised plan, though he denies that’s his intent.

Rather, it would create a more “expeditious” route to possible construction on the half-block of properties he’s assembled on Harding Road between Clay Street and Hudson Avenue, Rapcavage said Monday.

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MIDDLETOWN: SHARING SUMMER’S BOUNTY

fresh start 081016donegoodlogoChildren of five families from the River Plaza section of Middletown have been using their summer vacation to grow, and collect from neighbors, produce that they donate weekly to Red Bank’s Lunch Break.

Dubbing their effort “Fresh Start,” the members of the Brett, Carson, Passo, Pipercic and Grissom families have delivered more than 270 pounds of fresh produce to the 33-year-old free kitchen.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RUMSON MAN SENTENCED FOR MARKET CRIMES

A Rumson commodities trader who owned and managed a Red Bank firm was sentenced to three years in federal prison last month for market manipulation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced Friday.

Michael Coscia, owner of Panther Energy Trading, was convicted in Chicago last November in the first-ever federal prosecution for “spoofing” under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the FBI said.

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