RED BANK: BALLARD DUBS COPS ‘AGGRESSIVE’

michael ballardRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard speaking at Pilgrim Baptist Church Thursday night. (Screenshot from Facebook Live. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard on Thursday teed up borough cops for what he called “overagressive” treatment of his wife during an incident 24 hours earlier.

Speaking at Pilgrim Baptist Church for an online forum on systemic racism, Ballard, an African-American, also appeared to suggest he’d been treated unfairly by unnamed officials at borough hall in his role as finance chairman.

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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: 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: 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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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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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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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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RED BANK: DINING ‘PLAZAS’ ON THE TABLE

Customers dining in the sidewalk seating area of Robinson Ale House on Broad Street in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank officials have formed a committee to “creatively expand outdoor capacity for restaurants and retail sales” as the town embarks on a post-COVID-19 recovery.

One idea the committee is expected to chew over: use of public spaces for outdoor dining.

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RED BANK: WHITE STREET DISRUPTION FEARED

red bank kristen winters 051820Kris Winters says her White Street shop, Cabana 19, was just getting back on its feet from last year’s streetscape disruption when the pandemic hit. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

park it 2020

A Red Bank construction project looms large for some business owners as they start to crawl out from under one of the worst economic crises in American history.

They’re pleading for “empathy” as they try to avoid a third consecutive blow in one year.

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RED BANK: PICKUP PARKING ZONES SET

red bank pickup parking 051820Downtown shoppers will be able to park in designated spots for quick pickups from restaurants and retail stores throughout town. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

park it 2020

With merchants starting to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown, Red Bank officials unveiled a temporary parking plan Monday aimed at helping them regain an economic toehold.

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RED BANK: JOBS DEBATE SPLITS COUNCIL

red bank recycling center 051420 Robert Greene, left, and John Caine at the Red Bank recycling center Thursday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicA plan to eliminate two part-time jobs at the recycling center sharply divided Red Bank’s all-Democratic council Wednesday night.

Things got personal. During the governing body’s semimonthly meeting, conducted via Zoom, Councilman Ed Zipprich accused Business Administrator Ziad Shehady of retaliation for an earlier action by the union that represents the affected employees.

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RED BANK: ZOOMING IN ON PARKING & MORE

red bank white street lot 040820The White Street parking lot was desolate April 8. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See CORRECTION below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Along with their Netflix and Hulu viewing options during the COVID-19 lockdown, civic-minded Red Bankers will have some Zoom options in coming days.

Among them: a presentation on the redesign of the White Street parking lot.

OK, so it’s not quite ‘Tiger King,’ but hey.

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LITTLE SILVER: RBR REWORKS HEARING PLAN

Contractors installing a new roof at RBR last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Regional High has rescheduled a planned live, in-person budget hearing previously slated for Wednesday night.

In a note posted on the district website late Wednesday morning, Superintendent Lou Moore said the meeting would be rescheduled for May 6, and will be held electronically “to respect everyone’s right to participate.”

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LITTLE SILVER: RBR SETS IN-PERSON HEARING

RED BANK REGIONAL BOE 032019Members of the public arriving for an RBR budget hearing in March, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Regional High, the first school in New Jersey to shut down over concerns about COVID-19, plans to hold a live, in-person board of ed meeting Wednesday night.

The session at the Little Silver school appears to conflict with Governor Phil Murphy’s “stay-home” order issued last month.

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RED BANK: MAPLE COVE ADDITION POSSIBLE

red bank 96-98 west front 041420The property at 96-98 West Front Street is approved for offices and apartments. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank may get a small addition to its riverfront Maple Cove tract under negotiations authorized by council in executive session Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: WHITE STREET ON COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank council 040720 1Officials and council members recite the pledge of allegiance during the borough government’s first-ever digital-only meeting April 7. (YouTube screen grab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

At its second official meeting of the COVID-19 era Wednesday night, the Red Bank council plans to consider awarding a contract to rebuild much of White Street and the adjoining municipal parking lot.

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RED BANK: POLICE BUST UP CAR RALLY

red bank car rally molly 041920Red Bank police busted up a car rally in the parking lot of the Molly Pitcher Inn early Sunday afternoon, police Chief Darren McConnell told redbankgreen.

Police determined that the gathering violated Governor Phil Murphy’s March 21 “stay home” executive order barring a wide range of activities, McConnell said.

“The participants were cooperative and left the area without incident,” he said. (Click to enlarge.)