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RED BANK: VAPE SHOP, GROCERY OPEN

 Smoke Theory features display cases filled with water pipes and other smoking products, as well as a walk-in cigar humidor. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallTwo new retail shops opened in Red Bank this week: a neighborhood grocery on the West Side and a smoke shop downtown.

Read all about them in this winter-doldrums edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: SUPPORT GROUP’S PLAN APPROVED

Family Resource Associates intends to buy and occupy the former home of Red Bank Veterinary Hospital. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A nonprofit that provides therapeutic services for people with disabilities and their families plans to relocate to Red Bank after clearing technical hurdles in the borough’s zoning laws Thursday night.

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RED BANK: NEW IMPOUND LOT EYED

The lot, on Central Avenue, will allow police to store 15 to 20 vehicles, says Chief Darren McConnell.  (Photo by Google Maps. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Motorists whose cars and trucks are impounded by Red Bank police won’t have to travel as far as in the recent past to recover them, under a lease in the works for a new storage yard location.

The deal would also solve a vexing logistical problem for police, Chief Darren McConnell told the borough council last week.

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RED BANK: DEMS TO SEEK PARKING STUDY

Councilman Erik Yngstrom now heads the all-Democrat parking committee.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a post-election lull, Red Bank Democrats plan to bring in a parking consultant to offer guidance on how to fix parking issues downtown, Councilman Erik Yngstrom said Wednesday.

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RED BANK: BURNHAM DISHES AND… OOPS!

Councilman Mike Whelan with Tiffanie Borges at the 2016 Mayor’s Ball, above. Below, then-Councilwoman Cindy Burnham at the same event with Industry magazine’s Anthony Barbera. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s semimonthly council meeting veered into Page Six territory Wednesday night when former Councilwoman Cindy Burnham suggested Councilman Mike Whelan was dating someone other than his longtime girlfriend.

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RED BANK: ‘PUPPY MILL’ BILL DEBATED

Bark Avenue owner Gary Hager cuddles Winston, a puppy brought to the council meeting by one of Hager’s customers. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03An effort to limit the sale of dogs sourced from so-called puppy mills sparked extended debate at the Red Bank council’s first regular meeting of 2018 Wednesday night.

For nearly 90 minutes, supporters of the town’s only puppy retailer, Bark Avenue Puppies, argued that the proposed ordinance would kill the shop and reduce consumer choice while having no impact on the underside of the industry.

Proponents of the bill, however, said such concerns were overstated.

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LITTLE SILVER: OATHS AND ‘BAD POETRY’

Chris Healy, above, and Mike Holzapfel, below, were joined by their wives and sons as they were sworn in as council members. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Delayed a few days by last week’s snowstorm, Little Silver residents turned out on an icy night for the annual government reorganization Monday.

For their trouble, they were treated to Mayor Bob Neff’s state-of-the borough message delivered, as is his custom, in verse.

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RED BANK: CHARTER RESCHEDULES LOTTERY

[UPDATE, January 8, 2018: The enrollment lottery addressed in the announcement below has been rescheduled for 10 a.m., Saturday, February 10, with the application deadline now set at 4 p.m. February 9.]

(Press release from the Red Bank Charter Schoo)

Red Bank Charter School (RBCS), a high-achieving, racially and ethnically integrated, tuition-free preK-8 public school, has announced that the deadline for Red Bank families to submit an application for the 2018-19 school year is 4 p.m. on January 10, 2018.

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RED BANK: STORM BRINGS TICKET BLIZZARD

Oakland Street between Shrewsbury and Bridge avenues had a mix of vehicles that had been dug out, and others that were left untouched as of 6 a.m. Friday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A snowstorm that plopped about a foot of snow on Red Bank also prompted a blizzard of parking tickets Thursday and Friday.

Police issued a whopping 260 tickets during the storm, an apparent one-day record, police Chief Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: DEMS TAP ACTING ADMINISTRATOR

Michael Ballard heads for his seat on the dais after his swearing-in as councilman Monday. Below, Kenneth DeRoberts, a consultant, was named interim administrator through March 31. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Back in control of the Red Bank council, Democrats flexed their muscle Monday on the issue of who will run the day-to-day operations of municipal government now that Stanley Sickels has left the building.

Answer: still to be determined. For the next three months, however, the job of borough administrator will be held by a consultant on local government efficiency.

 

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RED BANK: NEW EMT SERVICE TAKES OVER

Alert Ambulance’s rig will  replace MONOC’s at the former Relief Engine firehouse on Drummond Place starting Monday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Beginning January 1, Red Bank 911 calls for on-scene emergency medical care will be answered by a different ambulance service.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL WRAPS ON BITTER NOTE

At the end of his final meeting on the dais, Stanley Sickels embraces Councilman Mark Taylor as Councilman Mike Whelan looks on. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council ended its 2017 session in acrimony Wednesday night as Republicans accused Democrats of politicizing the replacement of Stanley Sickels as borough administrator.

 

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RED BANK: APARTMENT PROJECT BEGINS

A decade after a nursing home was demolished there, site work has begun on an empty lot near the heart of downtown Red Bank.

What’s Going On Here? Click ‘read more’ to find out. (Photo by John T. Ward.. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: NOW TAKING TAX PREPAYMENTS

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank has joined Belmar, Jersey City and other New Jersey municipalities in encouraging residents to consider reducing the impact of the newly adopted federal tax plan on their wallets.

How? By prepaying local property taxes before the end of 2018.

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RED BANK: ANIMA OPENS, CAFÉ REBRANDS

Women’s clothing store Anima has opened in the former home of a Duxiana bedding shop. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallWe’ve got a new women’s boutique, a new gym and a new name for a restaurant in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: SICKELS LAUDED FOR ‘COMMITMENT’

Stanley Sickels at Wednesday night’s council meeting, above, and on the scene of a fire in September, 2014, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s mayor and council gave a warm, low-key sendoff to the the borough government’s top unelected official Wednesday night.

Over a career in municipal operations that began in 1979 and spanned numerous paid and volunteer roles, Administrator Stanley Sickels was a “consummate professional” who earned a reputation that went “way beyond the reach of Red Bank,” Mayor Pasquale Menna told the audience at the governing body’s semimonthly meeting.

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RED BANK: SICKELS SENDOFF, H2O ON AGENDA

Stanley Sickels at a planning board meeting in 2013. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s most powerful unelected official is slated to get an official sendoff at the semimonthly council meeting Wednesday night.

Also on the agenda: the town’s heaviest water users would be subject to higher minimum charges under a measure slated for introduction.

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RED BANK: CUBAN, TWO POKE EATERIES SLATED

A poke restaurant plans to open at 26 Monmouth Street by February 1. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThis edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn comes bearing food: two restaurants offering Hawaiian poke, and a third with a menu of Cuban dishes, plan to open in downtown Red Bank in coming months.

Also in this report: a pilates gym takes a portion of a long-empty former drugstore, and a pop-up holiday shop… pops up for the holiday season downtown.

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RED BANK: JENSEN ELECTED FIRE CHIEF

Chief-elect Stu Jensen arrives at the Navesink Hook & Ladder house on Mechanic Street following his election Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Amid flashing red lights and sounding horns, Red Bank’s volunteer firefighters marked the election of Stu Jensen as 2018 borough fire chief with a celebration Tuesday night.

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RED BANK: PARKING AGENDA IN TRANSITION

A builder may be chosen to redevelop the White Street lot this month, and a parking study could soon follow. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Amid recriminations and calls for a fresh start, Democrats began taking the wheel in the drive for a possible new parking structure in downtown Red Bank last week.

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RED BANK: IMMIGRANTS PROCLAIM EQUALITY

The ‘Awaken Community’ march through downtown Red Bank culminated with a brief rally at Riverside Gardens Park. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Several hundred marchers took to the streets of downtown Red Bank hoping to preserve rights for immigrants that others don’t believe they are entitled to.

Chanting “Up, up with education, down, down with deportation,” waving American flags and carrying banners that read “Immigrants built this nation,” participants gathered around the Christmas tree at Riverside Gardens Park, where they heard an expression of moral support from the borough police department.

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RED BANK: UNDEFEATED SOCCER TEAM LAUDED

Sporting neckties that many of them learned to tie just an hour earlier, the members of the Red Bank Middle School boys’ soccer team appeared at the borough council meeting Wednesday night, when they were lauded for a second consecutive undefeated season.

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