RED BANK: LOWERY FUNERAL AWASH IN BLUE

red bank monsignor lowery funeral 120519 State Police officers were among the hundreds of worshippers, clerics and law enforcement personnel who packed St. James Church in Red Bank Thursday morning for the funeral mass of Monsignor Philip A. Lowery.

Lowery, who led St. James Church in Red Bank for three decades, died last Thursday. He was 70 years old.

In recognition of his 23 years of service as Head of Chaplains for the New Jersey State Police, the service drew a large contingent of blue uniforms, as well as a giant U.S. flag over Broad Street. Even members of the clergy couldn’t resist the urge to take photos of it.

On Wednesday, Governor Phil Murphy, who was expected to attend the service, ordered flags be lowered to half-staff Thursday in Lowery’s honor. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

red bank monsignor lowery funeral 120519

RED BANK: MONSIGNOR LOWERY DIES AT 70

msgr philip loweryMonsignor Philip A. Lowery, who led St. James Church in Red Bank for three decades, died early Thursday morning. He was 70 years old.

Lowery’s death was announced on the Red Bank Catholic High School Facebook page. Mayor Pasquale Menna told redbankgreen that his death occurred at 12:01 a.m. on Thanksgiving at Riverview Medical Center.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL HONORS SOCCER TEAMS

Mayor Pasquale Menna and the Red Bank council honored the middle school girls’ and boys’ soccer squads Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Press release from Red Bank Schools)

The Red Bank Middle School soccer teams are striving toward their school’s mission statement of B.I.A. (Best in America) by being B.I.L. (Best in League). For the first time ever, both soccer teams were able to win first place in the Jersey Shore Athletic League, in the same year, bringing great pride to their school and community. First year athletic director, Isaac Nathanson stated, “It’s simply amazing that both our teams were able to accomplish such a task. This shows tremendous growth in our athletic programs at the Red Bank Middle School.”

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RED BANK: EX-CHEF FOUND NEW WAY TO SERVE

red bank jorge torresWith his son, Aydin, looking on, Jorge Torres embraces his wife, Lauren, after being sworn in as a police sergeant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA former chef became the newest sergeant on the Red Bank police force Wednesday night.

The promotion of Jorge Torres was one of several ceremonies that led the borough council’s semimonthly meeting Wednesday night.

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FAIR HAVEN: VOTERS TO DECIDE $15.6M PLAN

fair haven knollwood school 052219.Architectural renderings of the proposed additions to the Knollwood School (above) and Sickles School. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fair haven schools sickles plan 052219Fair Haven residents are scheduled to vote Tuesday on a $15.6 million plan to create classrooms and improve security at the borough’s two schools.

But first, they’ve got to go to the right polling station.

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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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FAIR HAVEN: RIVER RATS LOSES TAX CASE

fair haven river rats River Rats’s home at the northern end of Battin Road. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven’s River Rats organization is not entitled to a property tax exemption, even though it’s a registered nonprofit run by volunteers, the New Jersey Tax Court ruled last week.

The organization tells redbankgreen it will appeal the decision.

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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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LITTLE SILVER: Q&A WITH NEW RBR PRINCIPAL

red bank regional julius clarkNew RBR Principal Julius Clark in downtown Red Bank last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njMany students at Red Bank Regional High School will recognize the new principal when they arrive at the Little Silver institution next month.

Completing a loop of sorts, Julius Clark returns to the area where he worked for 13 before departing for what turned out to be a one-year stay at a district in Mercer County.

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RED BANK: BIG NIGHT OUT AT BASIE FIELDS

red bank national night 2019red bank national night 2019A MONOC helicopter paid a visit, hundreds of burgers were served and police Chief Darren McConnell got dunked repeatedly as Red Bank police hosted their annual National Night Out Against Crime community barbecue Tuesday night.

For the first time since its inception, the event was held at Count Basie Fields rather than the borough hall parking lot. The change of venue brought in dozens of games and safety demonstrations, created a carnival atmosphere and prompted many to comment that the location was ideal.

“This is our crown jewel,” Councilman Michael Ballard told redbankgreen. “Why wouldn’t we have it here?”

Officials credited Patrolwoman Dawn Shields for organizing the event, an effort that included wrangling up donations of food and sponsors. 

Check out redbankgreen’s photos below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: FIREFIGHTERS KEEP FREE Y ACCESS

red bank ymcaThe Red Bank nonprofit says no families of kids now in a free membership program will be turned away. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s volunteer firefighters will get to keep their free memberships to the local YMCA, the organization announced Wednesday.

Police will still have to pay, though now at a discount, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit said. But there’s no change to the plan unveiled last week to end across-the-board free memberships for borough schoolchildren.

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RED BANK: MENNA ‘IRATE’ OVER YMCA ACTION

red bank pasquale mennaRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna speaking at the the Memorial Day ceremony last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna on Thursday blasted a decision by the Community YMCA to end free memberships for borough schoolchildren and emergency first-responders.

Menna went on the offensive after the Y’s “unilateral” action, which he said was made without any advance notice to or discussion with his administration.

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RED BANK: KIDS, RESPONDERS LOSE FREE YMCA

red bank ymcaThe Red Bank YMCA says affected families can apply for subsidies to replace the free memberships. Below, the letter sent to parents of children in the Healthy Kids program. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank YMCA letter 061919Red Bank’s schoolchildren and emergency first-responders will lose their free access to the borough YMCA in September.

The Maple Avenue nonprofit’s executive director, Katie McAdoo, tells redbankgreen the change was driven by its need to be “accountable” to funders.

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FAIR HAVEN: $15.6M SCHOOLS PLAN UNVEILED

fair haven schools sickles planNew classroom space and other facilities, shown in blue, would be built on a vacant lot adjoining the Sickles School, said Superintendent Sean McNeil, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fair haven schools sean mcneil Fair Haven residents would get classrooms to allow for full-day kindergarten as well as improved security under a $15.6 million plan officials unveiled Wednesday.

The typical homeowner would also get a tax increase of as much as $566 per year if a public referendum on the plan passes muster with voters in September.

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RED BANK: PARKING, NEWS RACKS AND MORE

red bank news racksNews boxes outside the Post Office on Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s borough council is expected to introduce an ordinance Wednesday requiring alternate-side parking throughout town.

Also on the agenda: a law to regulate news racks, and honors for an educator who is retiring.

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FAIR HAVEN: SCHOOL REFERENDUM ON TABLE

Sean McNeil, center, with fellow superintendents Brent MacConnell of Shrewsbury, left, and Red Bank’s Jared Rumage at a school funding discussion in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven’s two-school district plans to hold a facilities bond referendum in September, Superintendent Sean McNeil announced earlier this week.

How much spending does the board hope to win approval for? How will the funds be used? Stay tuned, says McNeil.

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