RED BANK: MORE SPARKS OVER SENIOR CENTER

The Senior Center offers a rare vantage for Red Bankers to view the Navesink and Swimming rivers, speakers said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s elected officials got an earful from the public about the borough’s disabled Senior Center Wednesday night.

But even as the all-Democratic council unanimously approved a new lease on interim space, sparks continued to fly between its members over the center’s near-term future.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL BACKS IMMIGRANT RIGHTS

Marchers took to the streets of Red Bank in June, 2018 to protest the Trump Administration’s border policies. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

hot topic red bank nj

By JOHN T. WARD

A virtual parade of speakers, some near tears, pressed the Red Bank council Wednesday night to support a host of protections for undocumented immigrants.

“It is never symbolic to acknowledge the humanity of any one person,” said a young woman who identified herself as Carla, Red Bank Regional senior and officer of the school’s Dreamers organization. “Doing so is, in fact, the most radical of acts,” she said.

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RED BANK: CRIME & ARREST REPORTS

The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for December, 2020. This information is unedited; see below for additional information.

CRIMES

Theft: The victim reported several items were stolen from an unlocked garage in the area of Pinckney Rd on 12/14/2020. The items taken are described as a Black & Decker 60 volt string trimmer valued at  $170.00, a Black & Decker 40 volt hedge clipper valued at $155.00, a Scott’s outdoor long hedge clipper valued at $120.00, a Taylor tool branch cutter valued at $58.00 and a Corona super lopper valued at $51.00. Ptl. Ashon Lovick.

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RED BANK: CONTRACTOR DENIES RACIST POST

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicAn animal-control specialist who has a backup role with Red Bank government came under fire over the weekend for a racist post on Facebook.

But Randolph Tashman, who was appointed to provide supplementary animal control services to the borough in 2019, denied to redbankgreen that he wrote the post.

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RED BANK: DEMS ERUPT OVER SENIOR CENTER

The Senior Center has been out of commission for most of the past two years following a pipe leak. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njTension among Red Bank Democrats over the future of the borough’s Senior Center erupted in public over the weekend.

Joined by Mayor Pasquale Menna, four of the council’s six Democrats lit into the other two, one of whom is the party chairman, as having “placed their own popularity over what’s best for our residents and taxpayers.”

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RED BANK: SENIOR CENTER STILL ON ICE

The Senior Center has been out of commission for most of the past two years. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Red Bank’s Senior Center is not for sale, Mayor Pasquale Menna insists.

But two years after extensive damage caused by a burst pipe, multiple questions surround the still-closed Shrewsbury Avenue facility. Among them: will it reopen anytime soon, and will it stay where it is?

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FAIR HAVEN: BOROUGH ATTORNEY REPLACED

Greg Cannon, Fair Haven’s new borough attorney, at a Red Bank council meeting in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njNow in the majority, Fair Haven’s Democrats swapped out the longtime borough attorney Monday night.

On a bipartisan vote at the annual municipal reorganization meeting, conducted via Zoom, the council replaced Sal Alfieri with Greg Cannon, who also serves as borough attorney in neighboring Red Bank.

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RED BANK: YASSIN MOVES TO COUNCIL FORE

Councilman Hazim Yassin at a council meeting in February, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter a year of butting heads with most of his fellow Democrats, Red Bank Councilman Michael Ballard lost his seat on the budget-shaping finance committee Friday.

He was displaced by first-term Councilman Hazim Yassin at the borough government’s annual New Year’s Day reorganization meeting. Read More »

RED BANK: TRAP DOOR PLANS TO BUST OPEN

Trap Door Escape has signed a lease to expand into the former home of Hobbymasters. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThe former Hobbymasters building in  Red Bank will become the site of America’s largest “escape room” entertainment facility if its new tenant has his way.

Read all about his plans, and other downtown comings and goings, in this pandemic-year-ending-edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: MANSION RAZED; MORE LAND EYED

The planning board approved the demolition of 95 East Front Street in July, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njTurning aside pleas by historic preservationists, Riverview Medical Center demolished a 19th-century Red Bank mansion Monday.

Meantime, the hospital is planning to gobble up more real estate, redbankgreen has learned: a vacant lot directly across East Front Street from the mansion.

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RED BANK: AFTER ‘NO-HO-HO,’ CHIMNEY’S A GO

The stainless steel chimney installed at 46-48 Washington Street will be replaced with one the owner says won’t be visible from the street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

It won’t be ready in time for Santa and his reindeer. But an “eyesore” metal pipe chimney on a home in Red Bank’s historic district is slated for replacement following review by the Historic Preservation Commission Tuesday night.

The case illustrated frustrations common among homeowners who live in the district about their absentee counterparts, the HPC’s chairwoman said.

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RED BANK: RIVERVIEW WATER DEAL DETAILED

red bank riverview 032020 2The agreement ends a lawsuit alleging the hospital illegally connected its Blaisdell Pavilion to the borough water system. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njUnder a “confidential” settlement approved by the borough council last week, Riverview Medical Center will pay Red Bank just $850,000 for water and sewer usage the town contended in a lawsuit was worth at least $5.3 million.

The hospital also will get 10 more years to pay off the obligation, some of which dates to 1984.

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RED BANK: WATER SERVICE AFFECTED

After spending much of a cold day fixing a sewer issue on Broad Street, a crew from Red Bank’s big-plumbing-job contractor, Mark Woszcak Mechanical, was called to the scene of a water line break at South Street and Madison Avenue at about 6 p.m. Friday.

Water pressure was expected to be reduced or cut off for several hours in the immediate area for several hours while repairs were made, said Rich Hardy, a supervisor in the borough’s public works department. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: TRASH PACT, LEAK REPORT OK’D

DeLisa Demolition won the bidding to haul the borough’s trash and recycling for another five years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicMonths later than expected, Red Bank officials agreed this week to enter a new five-year contract for private trash hauling, one that will increase the frequency of recycling pickups.

They also agreed to hire an outside attorney to look into disputed emails about the bid specifications.

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RED BANK: LOOSE LIPS AT COUNCIL SESSION

Mayor Pasquale Menna, upper left, and Councilman Ed Zipprich, center left, seen on Zoom during Wednesday’s council session Attorney Greg Cannon is in second row, third from left. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe final Red Bank council meeting of 2020 included a couple of apparent cases of loose lips.

In one, Mayor Pasquale Menna revealed more than the borough attorney thought he should about the settlement of a lawsuit over Riverview Medical Center’s water bill.

In another, Councilman Ed Zipprich  questioned the qualifications of a newly hired official.

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FAIR HAVEN: COUNCIL SPLITS ON FUNDING

Councilwoman Susan Sorensen working a booth at the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair in 2013. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A divided council cleared financing to advance plans for new police and public works facilities in Fair Haven Monday night.

At its final session of 2020, the council also extended the employment of Theresa Casagrande as borough administrator and bid goodbye to Councilwoman Susan Sorensen.

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VIRUS: HEALTH WORKERS TO GET FIRST SHOTS

Frontline healthcare workers at Riverview Medical Center received cheers from the police, first aid and fire personnel in April. (Photo by  John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

hot topic red bank nj

By JOHN T. WARD

A nationwide rollout of America’s first COVID-19 vaccine is expected to begin Tuesday with inoculations of frontline healthcare workers.

Among them will be employees of Hackensack Meridian Health, the parent company of Red Bank’s Riverview Medical Center, according to chief executive Robert Garrett.

“I truly believe this is going to be the beginning of the end of this terrible pandemic,” Garrett said on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation‘ Sunday.

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RED BANK: SCHOOLS DIVERGE ON SCHEDULES

redbankgreen hot topicThe construction fence surrounding an addition at Red Bank Regional High School has come down, in time for a resumption of a hybrid schedule that will bring students back to the Little Silver campus starting Monday, Superintendent Lou Moore announced Thursday.

But in Red Bank borough, RBR’s largest sending district, the primary and middle schools will remain off-limits to students and staff for another month due to the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic, Superintendent Jared Rumage said.

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RED BANK: FRICTION OVER WEST FRONT PLAN

A rendering depicts 141 West Front Street upon completion. (Visual by  Feinberg & Associates. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposed development that would dramatically alter a downtown Red Bank block won’t have a significant impact on traffic, a developer’s consultant told the zoning board Wednesday night.

The hearing prompted some friction between the developer’s representatives and a board member, who warned them to “be careful” if they wanted his vote.

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SHREWSBURY: PEDESTRIAN STRUCK & KILLED

The accident occurred on Route 35 near the Avenue at the Common, the prosecutor’s office said. (Google Maps. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Shrewsbury resident died following an accident on Route 35 in the borough Monday night, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Officer reported Wednesday.

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RED BANK: HEARING FOR PRC PLAN TO RESUME

red bank 141 west front garageUnder the proposal, 137 apartments and additional would be built above Pazzo MMX restaurant on West Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njInterrupted by the pandemic, a hearing on a massive development proposed in downtown Red Bank is slated to resume Wednesday night.

The borough zoning board has scheduled a rare special session to review a plan for a nine-story addition atop Pazzo MMX restaurant – but now with 13 fewer apartments than originally proposed.

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