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RED BANK: JUNK-FILLED YARD IRKS NEIGHBORS

Clutter fills the front porch at 90 Bank Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The house at 90 Bank Street in Red Bank has been vexing neighbors for years.

It’s surrounded on three sides by a massing of cars, trucks and hard-to-discern clutter. The porch, with collapsing rain gutters, appears to groan under the weight of piled boxes. And the mess continues in the street out front, where neighbors say rusting vehicles have sat for years.

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RED BANK: WHELAN FACING ASSAULT CHARGE

Councilman Mike Whelan on his first day on the dais in 2016. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Councilman Mike Whelan was charged with assault following an incident in the Hamptons last month, redbankgreen has learned.

The charge stems from a confrontation in which Whelan, 27, claims he was attacked in the men’s room of an oceanfront resort in the upscale town of Montauk.

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RED BANK: GOP ATTACKS RIVAL OVER THREAT

Council candidate Michael Clancy at the Red Bank Classic race in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

In the first attack of Red Bank’s 2018 election season, the two Republican council candidates claimed they saw one of their Democratic opponents “cavort” with a man who had made “menacing and threatening gestures” toward one of them at a local government meeting.

 

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RED BANK REGIONAL: $17.9M PLAN ON BALLOT

Frank Neary, who heads RBR’s finance committee, addressing the audience at the council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Voters in Red Bank, Little Silver and Shrewsbury are scheduled to decide the fate of a $17.9 million capital plan for their shared high school later this year.

On Wednesday night, two Red Bank Regional High officials told an audience at the borough council meeting that a December 11 referendum is, in part, critical to maintaining a cash cow: tuition paid by non-district students.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL AGENDA

The council continues its once-a-month summer meeting schedule Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a month off under its summer schedule, the Red Bank council is slated to meet Wednesday evening.

On the agenda:

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RED BANK: DOWNTOWN ‘VISION’ GAINS FOCUS

Consultant Bill Fontana onstage at the Two River Theater Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Downtown Red Bank is safe, clean and friendly, but it’s got problems with parking, store vacancies and its mix of operating businesses.

Those observations, while perhaps glaringly evident to many, were among the findings of a recent survey conducted for business promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter and revealed Monday night.

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RED BANK: A SECOND CAREER IN OLD JEANS

Kattya Torres at her Union Special sewing machine. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After her job as a wireless telecom engineer vanished in a merger, a Red Bank businesswoman has found a second career in eradicating crotch rot.

Ahem: that is to say, the holes that frequently develop in the groin of old jeans some people simply cannot part with.

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RED BANK: COURT NIXES TAX ACTION

The borough’s attempt to revoke Riverview’s tax exemption for two years amounted to a “fishing expedition” in search of justification, the court ruled.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank can’t retroactively revoke the tax-exemption for Riverview Medical Center, New Jersey’s tax court ruled last week.

In attempting to do so, the borough was improperly hoping that a “fishing expedition” in the form of legal action would turn up evidence that the hospital, owned by Hackensack Meridian Health, was being used as a for-profit facility, the court ruled. Read More »

RED BANK: WHELAN CLAIMS HAMPTONS ATTACK

Councilman Mike Whelan, right, with Congressman Chris Smith in Red Bank last September. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Councilman Mike Whelan was involved an altercation in the Hamptons over the weekend in which he says he was attacked, redbankgreen has learned.

Whelan, 27, who serves as Red Bank’s police commissioner, said he was assaulted in a hotel men’s room by a belligerent stranger, and is confident the case against him will be dropped.

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RED BANK: BELLHAVEN PLAN SCALED BACK

Trees were taken down recently at Bellhaven Natural Area in preparation for an observation deck being built there, according to Business Administrator Ziad Shehady. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials have quietly started prep work for a project at a site once mired in controversy: the Bellhaven Natural Area overlooking the Swimming River.

The end result, however will be a “scaled-back” version of a plan that once called for a spray park and triggered loud protests three years ago.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL ADDS MONTHLY MEETING

The workshop sessions will be held in the council chambers. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s local-government groupies and gadflies will have another municipal meeting to add to their calendars starting next month.

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RED BANK: PUPPY MILL LAW WITHDRAWN

The owner of Bark Avenue Puppies on West Front Street had threatened to sue the borough if it enacted the proposed ban on dogs supplied by breeders. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After seven months of controversy, Red Bank’s proposed ban on the sale of “puppy mill” pets was withdrawn over a failure to win council backing Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: DISTRICT GETS FUNDING BOOST

Jobs and after-school programs that were cut this spring are being restored, said Superintendent Jared Rumage, seen at left with board president Fred Stone before a lobbying trip to Trenton in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank school officials have been busy in recent days restoring jobs, programs and contracts eliminated just four months ago.

Under Governor Phil Murphy’s first budget, the borough’s 1,422-student pre-K-8 district saw a 55-percent jump in state aid, which board members said Tuesday night was a cause for both celebration and frustration.

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RED BANK: PLANNING AND ZONING AGENDAS

The planning board is scheduled to resume its hearing on a proposed new building at 96-98 West Front Street, at the corner of Maple Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s planning board may decide Monday night whether to allow a developer to replace two vacant buildings at a major downtown intersection with a new four-story structure overlooking the Navesink River.

And on Thursday, the zoning board takes up a host of changes sought by the landlord for the Sickles Market Provisions store now under construction.

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RED BANK: SAXUM SPREE CONTINUES

Located at Broad and West Front streets, Saxum’s latest acquisition has Urban Outfitters as its sole ground-floor tenant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Morris County-based real estate investment firm has acquired one of downtown Red Bank’s oldest and most prominent commercial structures.

The purchase of the home of an Urban Outfitters store by an arm of Saxum Real Estate is the firm’s third major investment in the town in the past 18 months, and the first for occupied space.

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RED BANK: STATION CRAVES DUNKINS

The station at the corner of Newman Springs Road and Shrewsbury Avenue would be razed and rebuilt to include the doughnut shop. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Five years after their plan to add a 7-Eleven to an existing Shell station in Red Bank was shot down, the site’s owners are going back before borough zoners with a new plan: a Dunkin’ Donuts as part of a gas-‘n-go.

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RED BANK CHURN: VEGAN TAKEOUT OPENS

 Good Karma Café’s new takeout shop, Karma 2 Go, at the West Side Lofts. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallA vegan mecca opens a new takeout shop, a framing business consolidates, and a party-services business holds a moving sale…

Read all about all three Red Bank businesses in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: AFTER SCATHING REPORT, WHAT?

Business Administrator Ziad Shehady in front of the large-screen monitor he uses in staff meetings to track projects. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Now that a scathing review of municipal operations has landed on their desks, what will Red Bank’s leaders do with it?

It won’t go into a drawer to be forgotten, says the newly hired official charged with implementing most of its recommendations. In fact, he says, change is already underway.

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RED BANK: LIBRARY DIRECTOR CHECKS OUT

Red Bank library staff and patrons held a sendoff party last week for the retirement of director Elizabeth McDermott, seen above speaking with public utilities director Cliff Keen.

Monmouth County Freeholder John  Curley, a former Red Bank councilman, presented McDermott with a county proclamation recognizing her for, among other accomplishments, leading the library through the most turbulent period in its 81-year history.

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RED BANK: RATS INFEST NEIGHBORHOOD

Rats were easily evident in the yard of a McLaren Street home Thursday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials promised quick action Wednesday night after East Side homeowners said their neighborhood has been infested by rats.

Worthley Street residents Jeff and Allison Welker, joined by a handful of neighbors, told the borough council that they cannot allow their children or pets into their backyard because of a recurring “fireworks display” of the rodents.

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