PUBLISHER’S NOTE

hot topicDear redbankgreen reader:

You are no doubt aware that the local-news industry is collapsing, and understand what that might mean for the future of an informed public and for democracy itself.

And yet, redbankgreen has somehow managed to provide original and intensely local coverage of the Red Bank area for 14 years, at no charge.

Yeah, so how’s that work?

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FAIR HAVEN: BRUSH GRINDING SITE GRATES

Escorted to the transfer site by police, an 18-wheeler needed more than five minutes of maneuvering to back into the tight space last Friday. (Video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

A brush-grinding and transfer station tucked into a leafy Fair Haven neighborhood has got to go, neighbors say.

Though Fair Haven officials have touted the operation for years as a model of interlocal sharing and an environmental boon, residents call it a “monstrosity” of noise, dust and dangerous truck traffic.

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RED BANK: KNOCKOUT WEATHER FOR… SUNDAY

Unidentified kickboxers worked out in the parking lot of the Tower Hill Presbyterian Church on Harding Road in Red Bank Wednesday evening.

According to the National Weather Service, the sun will be fighting to be seen over the next two days, but will deliver a knockout Sunday, when it gets to shine and temperatures peak in the mid-70s.

Check out the extended forecast below. (redbankgreen photos.)

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RED BANK: BALLARD REPORTS WIFE’S ‘ARREST’

red bank council zoom 060320 Red Bank Councilman Michael Ballard, highlighted at upper right during Wednesday’s council meeting via Zoom. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

To the growing list of embarrassing videoconferencing moments in the COVID-19 era – energetic children running through home offices, cats on keyboards, spilled coffee – a Red Bank councilman added another: a report of spousal arrest in progress.

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RED BANK: CRIMES AND ARRESTS

red bank policeThe crime and arrest reports below for the months of May, 2020, were provided by the Red Bank Police Department. This information is unedited. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

CRIMES

Theft: Medicine, an old radio, an old Ford car seat and miscellaneous items valued under $150.00 were reported stolen out of the back of a truck on 05/01/2020 in the area of E. Westside Ave. Ptl. Frank Metta.

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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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LITTLE SILVER: RBR CEREMONY STAYS ONLINE

red bank regional rbrAn in-person commencement ceremony “remains impractical,” says Superintendent Lou Moore . (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Though in-person graduation ceremonies can resume starting July 6 under New Jersey guidelines, Red Bank Regional High won’t be holding one anytime soon.

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RED BANK: BASIE PLANS DRIVE-IN CONCERT

Jersey shore favorites Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes will play for an audience watching from parked vehicles. (Video by Basie Center. Click to enlarge.)

Darkened by the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank’s Count Basie Center for the Arts is taking its act to the track.

The storied venue plans to host a July 11 drive-in concert by  Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport on July 11.

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PROSECUTOR: ‘OUR MISSION IS TO PROTECT’

Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni at a community forum on police-involved shootings at Pilgrim Baptist Church in Red Bank in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

redbankgreen hot topicMonmouth County’s top law enforcement official on Monday “wholly” denounced the death of a Minneapolis man that has sparked protests and violence across America.

In a statement posted on the county website, Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni called the death of George Floyd while he was in police custody “murder.”

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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: POLICE-COMMUNITY FORUM SLATED

A Red Bank police officer speaking with a motorist during a stop on Leighton Avenue in 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02With cities across America erupting in violence in recent days over police abuses, Red Bank’s police department plans to hold an online forum on community relations Thursday.

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VIRUS UPDATE: RED BANK CASES LEVELING

Governor Phil Murphy at his daily crisis briefing in Trenton Friday. (Pool photo by Thomas Costello for Gannett. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03For the second day in a row, Red Bank has seen no growth in the number of residents testing positive for COVID-19, Monmouth County officials reported Friday.

At the same time, a longterm care facility that has accounted for most of the borough’s deaths saw one more, the New Jersey Health Department reported.

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RED BANK: TWO FALL FESTIVALS? MAYBE…

red bank oysterfest 2019 The annual Guinness Oyster Fest in September could be followed just three weeks later by the International Beer, Wine & Food Fest, usually held in April. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWith a calendar decimated by the COVID-19 crisis, Red Bank appears to be in for an unusually quiet summer.

But as summer edges into autumn, two of the town’s largest annual food festivals could occur within three weeks of one another, redbankgreen has learned.

Here’s a lookahead at the pandemic’s impacts on the summer calendar.

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VIRUS UPDATE: COUNTY SEES 97 NEW CASES

Since early May, the Monmouth County’s COVID-19 case growth has largely stayed below 100 per day. (Monmouth County data. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Monmouth County’s government reported 97 new confirmed COVID-19 cases among county residents Thursday, as other data also showed the pandemic continuing a monthlong weakening.

 

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RED BANK: TAX SETTLEMENT POSTPONED

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council postponed action Wednesday night on a proposed tax appeal settlement that would slash the assessment on a downtown bank property by almost one-third.

But the delay, requested by Mayor Pasquale Menna, was not motivated by an objection to the terms of the deal, he said.

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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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VIRUS UPDATE: GUV SIGNALS FURTHER EASING

Murphy said the rolling three-day average of new COVID-19 cases continues to decline. (New Jersey Department of Health graphic. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Governor Phil Murphy signaled loosening of COVID-19 restrictions on sporting events and indoor religious services Wednesday.

Separately, Monmouth County reported the number of county residents with confirmed cases of the illness has now surpassed 8,000.

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RED BANK: BIG TAX CUT FOR BANK ON AGENDA

red bank 170 broad 052420The Bank of America branch is identified in the settlement as both tenant and taxpayer at 170 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A drive-thru bank in downtown Red Bank would get a 32-percent cut in its property tax assessment under a resolution up for consideration by the council Wednesday night.

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VIRUS UPDATE: GRADUATIONS TO RESUME

Outdoor commencement ceremonies, like this Red Bank Charter School graduation in 2016, will be permitted, Murphy said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATES below]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Graduation ceremonies can resume starting July 6, Governor Phil Murphy announced in another easing of COVID-19 restrictions Tuesday.

The change follows a three-day weekend in which key measures of the pandemic showed continued improvement over the Memorial Day weekend.

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RED BANK: QUICK PARADE, SMALL DELIGHTS

red bank memorial day 2020 The mini parade rumbles down Spring Street, above.

red bank memorial day 2020A late addition to the calendar, Red Bank’s pandemic-era Memorial Day parade Monday could not compare to last year’s version in terms of spectacle. Still, it offered a thrill to small clusters of borough residents.

Comprising a fire truck and a half-dozen throaty motorcycles, the drive-thru-town parade took some onlookers by surprise, while others were ready and waiting. Check out more photos below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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