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ON THE GREEN: NEW RECYCLING RULES

Starting next week, recyclables put out at the curb in plastic bags won’t be picked up in a number of Monmouth County towns. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Monmouth County municipalities are rushing this week to implement new rules to prohibit the use of plastic bags to hold domestic recyclables for pickup.

The change is being driven by China, Red Bank Business Administrator Ziad Shehady tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: BIKE SHARE PLAN IN THE WORKS

Biking in Red Bank —and possibly, Fair Haven and Little Silver — could get a boost under a push to bring a bike-sharing vendor to town. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials are exploring the possibility of allowing a bike-share vendor to offer its services in town, and inviting two neighboring towns to get in on the two-wheeled action, Business Administrator Ziad Shehady told the borough council last week.

 

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RED BANK: WAWA MEGASTORE PLAN YANKED

Former Red Bank mayor Ed McKenna, left, grilled Wawa engineer Mark Whitaker over the proposal at a zoning board hearing in March. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: This post contains comments from site ower Frank Sala, who was unavailable at the time of the original posting.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Wawa’s coffee, subs and gasoline prices may have earned it a devoted following, but a controversial plan to build a supersized convenience store and filling station on Red Bank’s southern border has been withdrawn, redbankgreen has learned.

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RUMSON: NAVESINK QUALITY IMPROVES

A view of the Navesink from Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank last month. Below, Bill Heddendorf of the New Jersey DEP discusses the need for additional testing along the Spring Street storm sewer line in Red Bank. (Photo above by Trish Russoniello, below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

An effort to reverse biological contamination in the Navesink River is “working,” and could result in the reopening of closed shellfish beds a year earlier than previously expected, a New Jersey environmental scientist told a gathering in Rumson last week.

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RED BANK: JUDGE NIXES POWER LINE PLAN

Homeowners living along the line and other objectors packed a public hearing on the JCP&L proposal held at Brookdale Community College last March. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Electrical utility JCP&L has failed to prove it needs a to build a controversial 10-mile long, high-voltage electricity transmission line that would end in Red Bank, a judge has ruled.

The decision, handed down Thursday, represents at least an interim victory for a grassroots effort led by homeowners to thwart the proposed $111 million project.

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RED BANK: TRAFFIC TALK SLOWS WAWA PLAN

The Wawa site plan, with the store at top and gas pump island shown in yellow, calls for the creation of a new center lane on Newman Springs Road allowing motorists traveling in both directions to make left turns. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Like a motorist stuck in rush-hour traffic, a supersized Wawa convenience store and filling station proposed for a problematic Red Bank intersection inched forward Thursday night.

At issue as the zoning board weighs the plan: whether the project would make congestion worse or improve traffic flow near the intersection of Newman Springs Road and Broad Street.

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RED BANK: WAWA TOUTS TRAFFIC PLAN

A site plan for the proposed project shows the store at center, the fueling area as the yellow rectangle, and center lane left-turn markings on Newman Springs Road, at bottom. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rather than worsening conditions for motorists, a proposed Wawa convenience store and filling station in Red Bank would come with roadway upgrades to improve traffic flow and safety near a busy intersection, witnesses told the borough zoning board Thursday night.

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RED BANK: EATERIES SPOTLIGHT STRAWS

Kitch Organic on Leighton Avenue, above, is one of eight Red Bank restaurants participating in a monthlong effort to reduce the number of plastic drinking straws that don’t make it into the recycling stream.

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RED BANK: SUNSET PARK CONCEPT TO DEBUT

The so-called Sunset Park concept plan includes a soccer field, riverfront boardwalk, kayak launch and other amenities. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank residents will get their first look Monday night at a concept plan for a new park on the town’s long-closed landfill site overlooking the Swimming River.

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RED BANK: CHARTER SCHOOL EYES THE WORLD

Red Bank Charter School S students with Principal Meredith Pennotti on International Day.

Classrooms at Red Bank Charter School were transformed into disaster zones as students immersed themselves in a learning experience that combined performance art with history, culture, science and cuisine as part of the school’s annual International Day.

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FAIR HAVEN: INCUMBENTS WIN NEW TERMS

Fair Haven voters opted for one Democrat and one Republican, both incumbents, in filling two open seats on the borough council Tuesday.

Democrat Christopher Rodriguez led the pack of four candidates with 1,148 votes, outpolling Republican Susan Sorensen by 28 votes, according to results posted by the Monmouth County Clerk.

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FAIR HAVEN: BACK TO THE FOREFRONT

After spending the last five months on rails at the back of a River Road, Fair Haven lot, a 150-year old old house-turned-retail structure was slid into place over a new foundation at the front last week.

What’s Going On Here? Read on.

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SANDY HOOK: BE IN ON THE BLITZ

Students of all ages and their family members are invited to participate in the annual “BioBlitz” census of species on Sandy Hook, hosted by the American Littoral Society on Friday.

[CORRECTION: The original version of this post reported the event is occurring Saturday. It’s on Friday.]

It happens every September, around the ocean and bay beaches, coves, trails, and forested areas of Sandy Hook — and for 12 hours beginning Saturday morning, “citizen scientists” of all ages are invited to assist a team of naturalists in the annual census operation known as “BioBlitz.”

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RUMSON: MARINE SCIENCE CENTER PLANNED

A concept drawing of the proposed Monmouth Marine and Environmental Field Station, which would be built atop the existing sanitary sewer pump station in the background. The red star on the satellite photo below indicates the location. (Photo by John T. Ward, map by Google Maps. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A sewage pump station on the Navesink River in Rumson would serve as the foundation, literally, for an ambitious new marine science center announced in Rumson Tuesday.

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LINCROFT: CLEARWATER FLOWS AT BROOKDALE

Jody Joseph and her band close out the musical entertainment on the Seeger Stage when the 42nd annual Clearwater Festival returns to the Brookdale campus this weekend.

The Clearwater Festival is a “party with a purpose,” in the words of Ben Forest, environmental policy/coalitions liaison for the Red Bank-based nonprofit New Jersey Friends of Clearwater. And when the purpose is the care of the coast that’s our home, the mission remains the main attraction of the environmental awareness fair, which returns to Brookdale Community College for its 42nd annual edition this Saturday and Sunday.

But still — what a party!

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SANDY HOOK: SUN SETS ON SUMMER ’17

It’s a big tent event, and a last chance to RSVP, as the Sandy Hook Foundation returns to the North Beach area of the peninsula Friday evening for the annual End of Summer Party fundraiser.

Granted, summer doesn’t officially sigh its last for a couple of weeks — and all those familiar with the rites of Local Summer know that there’s plenty of life after Labor Day here on the New Jersey Shore. But when the Sandy Hook Foundation declares the End of Summer, people take notice and listen — to the extent that the nonprofit’s annual “beach chic” outdoor benefit gala remains one of the most glittering events of the sand-in-your-shoes social calendar.

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RED BANK: NEW BELLHAVEN PLAN WINS PRAISE

The new concept plan for Bellhaven Natural Area includes an observation deck, similar to the one shown for illustration purposes above left; playground equipment; and a play area covered with a rubberized safety surface, shown in light green. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two years after residents gave a thorough hosing to a plan for a spray park in a West Side wetlands, Red Bank officials unveiled a new plan for the Bellhaven Natural Area Wednesday night.

This one got a warmer reception.

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RED BANK: NO OYSTERS, BUT ELUSIVE EELS

The American Littoral Society hung bags of recycled oyster shells from docks on the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers in June to see if they would attract oyster larvae. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After nearly three months, an effort to restore a once-thriving oyster ecosystem in the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers has yet to detect the bivalve mollusk in the waterways, according to an update by the American Littoral Society.

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ON THE GREEN: PARK IT HERE FOR FUN IN SUN

Canoeing on Thompson Park’s Marlu Lake is just one of the diversions available in the great outdoors of the Greater Red Bank Green in the late-summer days to come.  

Paddle a canoe across a picturesque lake… drop a kayak on the clear, calm waters of a scenic waterway…  get an up-close (maybe even hands-on) look at some colorful local wildlife life… and do it all in “stay-cation” style, as the folks at the Monmouth County Park System offer plenty of reasons to keep it hyper-local here in the pre-Labor Day interlude.

These and other activities are on tap in the days to come in those public places that make life in these parts a recreational pleasure — and they begin today at a site that represents the outer limits of what we call the Greater Red Bank Green. Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: OUTCRY HALTS TREE CUTDOWN

Sweetgum trees along Third Street and Cedar Avenue were scheduled for removal to make way for a walking path along the perimeter of the Community Center Fields. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven’s elected officials faced a storm of criticism by residents Monday night over a plan to cut down 10 mature trees alongside the borough’s main ballfields.

By the end of the semimonthly council meeting, the governing body had decided to put the plan on hold and “go back to square one,” in the words of Mayor Ben Lucarelli.

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RED BANK: SECOND-METER ISSUE RETURNS

 Action has been delayed on water meters that would allow Red Bankers to avoid sewerage charges for watering lawns and washing cars, according to the borough administrator. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Where are the water meters that would let Red Bank homeowners irrigate their lawns without incurring sewer charges?

The secondary meters were a hot topic leading up to the borough council’s approval 18 months ago of $3.7 million in bonds to install new primary meters in every home and business, and to cover other upgrades to the municipal water utility.

Since then, though, there’s been little said about the meters — until last week, when the issue sputtered back to life.

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