RED BANK: FOURTH-GENERATION BIZ CLOSING

red bank 17-21 west sT.The home of Sanford Auto Body, at the corner of West and Wall streets, will be razed to create parking for the nearby Red Bank Corporate Plaza, the sellers say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After almost 80 years banging out dents and straightening frames, a Red Bank auto body shop is headed to the scrap heap.

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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: 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: INTERPRETERS TO AID POLICE

red bank translator program juan sardoBorough resident Karla Ortega, left, translated remarks by Lieutenant Juan Sardo into Spanish as Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, right, looked on at last week’s council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njIn what may be a first in New Jersey, Red Bank police will be able to draw on a team of local volunteers to help them bridge language divides in dealing with the public.

A new program championed by first-term Councilwoman Kate Triggiano will make volunteer interpreters available to help police in their normal duties as well as at community events, she said.

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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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RED BANK: SHREWSBURY AVENUE TO GET $1M

red bank shrewsbury aveFlashing beacons to help pedestrians cross Shrewsbury Avenue would be installed at Locust Avenue, above, and two other intersections. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njShrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank will get $1 million worth of pedestrian-safety and streetscape upgrades under a grant award announced Friday.

New streetlamps are also to be installed along the roadway, where dozens of existing fixtures have been out of commission for years.

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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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RED BANK: HOOPS, A PARADE, PIRATES & MORE

red bank middle school girls basketballThe Red Bank Middle School girls’ basketball team was honored for an undefeated season. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank, nj, done good,The Red Bank  council’s filled-to-bursting agenda Wednesday night included a ton of feel-good news and event lookaheads.

Here’s a quick recap.

 

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RED BANK: SHEDDING LIGHT ON SHREWSBURY

red bank shrewsbury avenue lampsStreetlamps on both ends of a crosswalk at Catherine Street are among dozens along Shrewsbury Avenue awaiting repairs. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njPedestrian safety issues rose to the fore again at the Red Bank borough council’s latest meeting.

As they have often in the past, conditions along Shrewsbury Avenue in particular sparked outrage.

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LITTLE SILVER: SPORTS CUTS SPARK OUTRAGE

RED BANK REGIONAL BOE 032019Heavy turnout forced the relocation of the RBR board meeting to the media center, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Regional students and parents packed a board of ed meeting Wednesday night in a bid to save the ice hockey and golf programs from a budgetary axe.

With a preliminary spending plan calling for a 6.5-percent tax increase, board members defended the cuts as necessary before parents appeared to coalesce around a plan to save the sports through outside fundraisers.

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LITTLE SIVER: RBR TEACHERS BLAST MOORE

RED BANK REGIONAL LOU MOORESuperintendent Lou Moore at Wednesday’s RBR board meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe union representing teachers at Red Bank Regional accused Superintendent Lou Moore Wednesday night of running the three-town high school district with an “authoritarian” approach and a “general lack of integrity.”

The bombshell accusations were made at a board of ed meeting hours after the Red Bank Regional Education Association’s members “overwhelmingly” cast a no-confidence vote against Moore, said math teacher Sunny Lenhard.

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RUMSON: INCOME & WEALTH RANKINGS SOAR

rumson nj hedge 2015Rumson is now one of America’s top 20 wealthiest towns, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

In a ranking of average annual household income, the business news organization said the borough had an average of $303,542, and ranked 19th nationally, up from 38th in 2018.

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RED BANK: A SUPERLATIVE COUNCIL SESSION

Red Bank Primary School students, reprising a recent performance at the borough Senior Citizens’ Center, regaled the audience at Wednesday night’s council meeting with four songs, including ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” from the Disney musical ‘Mary Poppins.’

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RED BANK: GIVING PLAY-BY-PLAY A TRY

Would-be sports announcers listen to Monmouth U Eddy Occhipinti, below, in a Parks & Rec class at the borough library last week.

[Red Bank Parks & Rec press release]

Thirteen Red Bank youngsters with dreams of a future in sports broadcasting participated last week in ‘Sports Broadcasting,’ the first part of a two-week workshop produced by the Red Bank Department of Parks and Recreation.

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RED BANK: FRESH FASHION ON THE RUNWAY

Red bank rec fashion 012919
Red bank rec fashion 012919Putting a bow on a three-week ‘Fifth Avenue Fashion’ course offered by Red Bank’s Parks & Rec department, 10 young designers showed off their creations at a red-runway fashion show at the Senior Citizens’ Center Tuesday night.

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RBR: FORUM ADDRESSES IMMIGRATION CRISIS

brenda codallos, itzel perez, michele alcaldeImmigrant advocates Brenda Codallos, left, and Itzel Perez listen as attorney Michele Alcalde speaks at RBR Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe political conflicts that rage over immigration will eventually be settled by today’s young people, who overwhelmingly believe immigrants are good for America, a guest speaker at Red Bank Regional High said Thursday.

Until then, however, the fears of immigration opponents must be met with data that demonstrates the economic benefits of immigration, he and others said.

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RED BANK: WINTER WONDERLAND ON BROAD

red bank, nj, broad streetA synthetic-ice rink will be installed on Broad Street between Wallace and White streets, above. Below, an example of one of the vendor’s giant snow globes. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank, nj, winter, ice rink, snow globeA stretch of downtown Red Bank will be turned into a one-day winter wonderland complete with skating on Sunday.

Dubbed ‘Winter on Broad Street,’ the plan also calls for a walk-in snowglobe families can use for selfies and a shopping bazaar featuring locally made items.

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