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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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RED BANK: NEW STINK OVER BELLHAVEN COSTS

A 2012 image outlines the extent of wetlands at Bellhaven Natural Area at the western terminus of Locust Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two years after abandoning a controversial “sprayground” proposed for the Bellhaven Natural Area, the Red Bank borough council is moving ahead with plans for a playground at the site.

At its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, the council approved nearly $20,000 in additional engineering costs for the site, a move that prompted fresh objections.

“This is deja vu all over again,” said Bill Meyer, owner of a downtown commercial building. The borough has already spent $73,000  engineering fees on the site, and “that money was burned and wasted,” he said. Read More »

LINCROFT: ENVIRONMENTALISM ON THE TABLE

The Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College has settled into warm-weather mode, but with an upcoming slate of summer-class training sessions, outdoor theater, car shows and other special events, things can hardly be said to be getting sleepy.

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RED BANK: NAVESINK OYSTER STUDY BEGINS

Workers with the American Littoral Society drop a bag of recycled oyster shells into the river from the dock of a Red Bank home Friday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

An effort to restore a once-thriving oyster ecosystem in the Navesink River got off to a small start last week with the help of scraps from restaurant diners’ plates.

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RED BANK: RESIDENTS RESIST DUMP-SITE PARK

The audience at the Celestial Lodge Friday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank residents delivered a message to borough officials Friday night about a new park proposed at the town’s long-closed landfill site: not everyone wants it.

At a town-hall-style meeting held at the Celestial Lodge #36 on Drs. James Parker Boulevard, area residents expressed concerns that the dump might never be made safe for public use.

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RED BANK: FISH KILL INVESTIGATED

navesink fish 051415 1Dead fish at the Navesink River Rowing facility in Red Bank in 2015. Another widespread die-off of menhaden, or bunker fish, has been underway in the river in recent days, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is investigating, according to a report by NJ.com.

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RBR TEENS SWEEP TOP HONORS IN CONTEST

Left to right: Red Bank Regional teacher Federica Proietti Cesaretti  is pictured with her award winning RBR World Language Italian students Taylor Adams , Sirenia Tochihuitl, Raymond Soya and Liam Tyler. 

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Students and teachers at Red Bank Regional High School are always looking for opportunities to improve their skills through competitive engagements. To that end, RBR’s World Language teacher of Italian, Federica Proietti Cesaretti, entered her students in the 2017 competition sponsored by the Italian Teachers Association of New Jersey (ITANJ).

Red Bank Regional competed with with approximately 40 students from eight other high schools, submitting multi-media projects in Italian, tied to the theme of Italy’s response to climate change. When the winners were announced in April. RBR swept all three top awards, taking first, second and third place.

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AN EARTH DAY ARMY AT FAIR HAVEN FIELDS

On Earth Day, April 22, an army of more than 60 volunteers descended upon Fair Haven Fields for a day of activity that included removal of trash and invasive vines, a clean-up of Dery’s Pond, and plantings of more than 50 seedlings in the Tree Nursery. Pictured left to right in the back row are borough councilman Christopher Rodriguez; Markus Onni (Den Leader, Cub Scouts Pack 127); Shervyn von Hoerl (Cubmaster, Pack 127); Carol Lang;  Matt Lang (Den Leader, Pack 127), and Chris Kopacko, with a group of Cub Scout and youth volunteers pictured at front. A follow-up volunteer day at the Fields will be announced for fall. 

RED BANK: RIVER BACTERIA SOURCES LOCATED

Busted sanitary sewer lines in two locations along Marion Street in Red Bank were significant sources of bacteria winding up in the Navesink off Fair Haven, investigators said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Environmentalists and government officials have found two culprits, just yards apart in Red Bank, believed to be contributing to a spike in human waste bacteria in the Navesink River, they said Thursday night.

And the mystery could not have been solved without a trio of specially trained sniffing dogs, an ecstatic Clean Ocean Action leader Cindy Zipf told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: A RE-THINK PIECE AT BORO HALL

Amy Goldsmith of Clean Water Action.

Press release from Clean Water Action

On the evening of Tuesday, May 9, the nonprofit organization Clean Water Action will host a public-welcome presentation on its award-winning ReThink Disposable initiative, during the meeting of the Red Bank Environmental Commission.

Amy Goldsmith, NJ Director of National Clean Water Action and a Red Bank resident, will make the presentation at the commission’s 7 p.m. meeting inside Borough Hall.

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RUMSON: RALLY ‘ROUND THE NAVESINK

Clean Ocean Action founder Cindy Zipf speaks at Bingham Hall during a June 2016 public meeting on degradation of the Navesink River. The nonprofit COA returns to the Rumson community center on April 27, for a followup forum on water quality monitoring and boat pumping stations.  (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In 2016, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection condemned over 565 acres of shellfishing habitat due to bacterial pollution. In response, the nonprofit Clean Ocean Action established Rally for the Navesink — the name for an alliance of 32 locally based organizations, as well as for the series of events that the COA has conducted over the course of the past year.

On the evening of Thursday, April 27, Rally for the Navesink returns to historic Bingham Hall in Rumson — scene of a well-attended public forum in June of last year — for a “Find It, Fix It” presentation that seeks to provide information on pumping station facilities for boat owners, in addition to putting out a call to concerned citizens who wish to assist in the community-wide monitoring of water quality in the river.

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RUMSON: COMMUNITIES TEAM FOR ‘TREE TALK’

Left to right: An April 19 “Tree Talk” conference drew the participation of William Gerth (Shrewsbury), Christian Burns (Fair Haven), Professor Jason Grabosky (Rutgers University), plus Wayne Greenleaf, Steve Barrett, and Kristen Hall (Rumson). (photo by Christopher Rodriguez) 

Press release from Christopher Rodriguez, Fair Haven Borough Council

The local communities of Fair Haven, Rumson, Little Silver and Shrewsbury came together on April 19 as a broader group for a discussion about our trees — the ones that benefit our environment, as well as some we can avoid — in a public-welcome meeting of the Two Rivers Shade Tree Alliance.

During the Tree Talk at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, Shade Tree Commissioners from the four towns hosted and engaging presentation by Rutgers University professor Jason Grabosky. The professor, a local expert in urban forestry, ecology and natural resources, conducted an interactive slideshow presentation, and entertained questions from the dozens of local residents in attendance.

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MIDDLETOWN: FOR EARTH DAY, VISIT A PARK

A “Roving Naturalist” guided tour of Tatum Park’s hiking trails is among the activities scheduled at county parks throughout Middletown Township for Earth Day.

Saturday, April 22 marks the annual observance of Earth Day, and with our not-so-gently-used home planet in need of more TLC than at any time in its history, the Monmouth County Park System is offering several ways to raise awareness of local earth-friendly programs at its sites in Middletown Township.

In addition, Saturday marks the annual return of two popular events at neighboring facilities on Middletown’s Red Hill Road — both of them enhancing the Earth Day experience, and all of it designed to better acquaint local residents with several genuine public jewels of the Greater Red Bank Green.

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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: PLANTING SEEDS FOR FUTURE PARK

A map showing the extended former landfill site outlined in green. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

We need a skatepark. We need a playgrounds for West Side kids. We need to remember that this is a neighborhood that can’t handle throngs of out-of-town visitors.

Red Bank residents offered those and other suggestions as the process of shaping a new waterfront park out of the former town dump got underway with a community brainstorming session last Thursday night.

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