RED BANK: WORRY LINGERS AMONG DREAMERS

Clockwise from top left: Adriana Medina Gomez, Itzel Perez Hernandez, Yaritza Ortega, Karina España and Karla Ortega. (Photos from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAs it became clearer in the weeks after the November 3 election that Joe Biden would become the 46th president of the United States, Adriana Medina Gomez‘s phone began ringing more than usual.

“Among our clients, there was a sense of, ‘OK, Biden won, now what? What can I do to get legal?'” said Medina Gomez, a legal assistant in the Red Bank office of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker social justice organization. “Like immediately, the calls started pouring in about that.”

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RED BANK: HOSPITAL TO OWN GARAGE

The garage, built in 1983, became the subject of a lease-purchase deal between the town and Riverview 17 years later. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njIt’s a mere formality, but Riverview Medical Center is slated to become the owner of Red Bank’s only publicly-owned parking garage Friday.

At its regular meeting Wednesday night, the borough council authorized officials to sign off on a property transfer worked out when the current council president was in middle school.

The deal adds to the nonprofit hospital’s growing portfolio of real estate.

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RED BANK: PRIMARY SCHOOL BACK TO REMOTE

RED BANK primary schoolredbankgreen hot topicAll Red Bank Primary School students, and some in the middle school, will revert to remote instruction Thursday, Superintendent Jared Rumage said in an announcement Wednesday.

He cited a number of COVID-19-related factors as driving the change.

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RED BANK: SCHOOLS DIVERGE ON SCHEDULES

redbankgreen hot topicThe construction fence surrounding an addition at Red Bank Regional High School has come down, in time for a resumption of a hybrid schedule that will bring students back to the Little Silver campus starting Monday, Superintendent Lou Moore announced Thursday.

But in Red Bank borough, RBR’s largest sending district, the primary and middle schools will remain off-limits to students and staff for another month due to the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic, Superintendent Jared Rumage said.

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VIRUS UPDATE: COVID-19 CASES ON THE RISE

Red Bank schools, including the middle school, continued on all-remote learning Monday after a planned return to a hybrid schedule was postponed. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

hot topic red bank nj

By JOHN T. WARD

Governor Phil Murphy warned of a delayed post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 surge Monday, while cautioning New Jersey residents against gathering over the coming holiday season.

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER CHANGES RIPPED

RED BAN RIVERCENTER LAURA KIRKPATRICK 030420RiverCenter Executive Director Laura Kirkpatrick speaks at a council session in March as Business Administrator Ziad Shehady and Councilman Michael Ballard listen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna ripped a proposed overhaul of the bylaws of downtown promotion agency RiverCenter Wednesday night.

With two council members joining his critique, Menna said several of the changes would reduce council and public oversight of the agency, which he called “repugnant.”

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RED BANK: ANDERSON ‘EVOLUTION’ ROLLS ON

The former Anderson Storage building, above. Below, Chris Cole in the space being readied for Glen Goldbaum’s Lambs & Wolves salon.(Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With the opening last week week of Sickles Market and Booskerdoo, Red Bank’s Anderson Storage building has all but completed a transformation in the works for almost two decades.

But for developer Chris Cole, who oversaw the project, it’s just another day at the office.

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RED BANK: PLAZA PLANS REWORKED

princeton parklet 2018 2.jpegA public parklet on Witherspoon Street in Princeton. Red Bank officials plan to allow parklets for designated restaurant use. (Photo courtesy of Planet Princeton. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAmong a series of adjustments, Red Bank’s economic reopening committee has scrapped the Sunday pedestrian plaza on Monmouth Street.

Instead, the Broad Street plaza, which has drawn large turnouts three nights a week since debuting June 18, will become a four-day affair with the addition of Sunday operations starting this weekend, Red Bank RiverCenter executive director Laura Kirkpatrick tells redbankgreen.

At the same time, plans are in the works for “parklets,” or temporary seating structures, to be built in parking spots outside a handful of downtown restaurants, including three that participated in the aborted Monmouth Street plaza effort.

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RED BANK: BACK IN BUSINESS, OUT FRONT

red bank bistro 061520Reopening after almost three months to the day after they were ordered shut down in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank restaurants drew numerous diners to their outdoor tables Monday night.

“It’s like normal – almost,” said Charlie Lyristis, co-owner of Bistro, on Broad Street, above. At right: a note left at tables for customers of Pazzo, on West Front Street.

See additional photos as restaurants resumed with sit-down, outdoor-only service under order of Governor Phil Murphy below.

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RED BANK: PLAZA DETAILS STILL IN THE WORKS

red bank monmouth street 060220Monmouth Street between Broad Street and Maple Avenue would become a pedestrian plaza all day on Sundays as part of a recovery plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njDetails for turning two downtown Red Bank streets into part-time dining and shopping plazas hinge largely on pending clarity from Trenton, borough officials said Tuesday.

On a Zoom/conference call with merchants, borough officials said they need information from Governor Phil Murphy on key issues before they can finalize plans for allotting sidewalk and street space among restaurants, retailers and others.

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RED BANK: HOTEL PLANS PHASED REOPENING

red bank oyster point hotelThe Oyster Point will reopen Monday, while its sibling, the Molly Pitcher Inn, will remain closed. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Easing back to life from its COVID-19 lockdown, Red Bank’s Oyster Point Hotel plans to launch a phased reopening Monday.

But amid uncertainty over wedding and business-event bookings, the hotel and its sibling Molly Pitcher Inn now have to “reinvent” themselves, company vice president Kevin Barry told redbankgreen Friday.

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RED BANK: STREET CLOSINGS FOR DINING OK’D

red bank broad street 032720Broad Street would be closed from the intersection with Front Street, above, to Wallace Street three nights a week under the plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njTwo major streets in the heart of downtown Red Bank would be closed to traffic to allow mid-street dining and shopping under action taken by the borough council Wednesday night.

The economic recovery measure needed lightning-fast approval so the business district “can to be ready the second we get the call” from Trenton about expected loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, said Councilwoman Kate Triggiano.

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RED BANK: DINING ‘PLAZAS’ ON THE TABLE

Customers dining in the sidewalk seating area of Robinson Ale House on Broad Street in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank officials have formed a committee to “creatively expand outdoor capacity for restaurants and retail sales” as the town embarks on a post-COVID-19 recovery.

One idea the committee is expected to chew over: use of public spaces for outdoor dining.

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RED BANK: PICKUP PARKING ZONES SET

red bank pickup parking 051820Downtown shoppers will be able to park in designated spots for quick pickups from restaurants and retail stores throughout town. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

park it 2020

With merchants starting to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown, Red Bank officials unveiled a temporary parking plan Monday aimed at helping them regain an economic toehold.

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RED BANK: STEWARTS DONATE YEAR’S HARVEST

Comedian Jon Stewart and wife Tracey Stewart have donated this year’s harvest from their Colts Neck farm to Red Bank’s Lunch Break to help the nonprofit meet the rising demand for food assistance in COVID-19 crisis. (Video and photo courtesy of Lunch Break. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: FRESH TAKE ON FOOD INSECURITY

red bank kitch organicKitch Organic, on Leighton Avenue, is offering donation-powered “Kitch Kares” deliveries of organic groceries, below. (Click photos to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Kitch Organic in Red Bank plans to roll out a new offering to help fill a void in the COVID-19 crisis: food packages that emphasize fresh vegetables and fruits rather than non-persishables.

The idea: to address rising food insecurity with healthy, organic produce and dairy products, said borough Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, who hatched the idea with Kitch owner Joe Durso.

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