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RED BANK: DAY CARE KEEPS ON TRUCKIN’

Monmouth Day Care’s annual Touch-a-Truck fundraiser returns this Saturday to the borough middle school. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge.)

From the neighbor’s house to the White House, there’s no denying that big rig trucks, emergency equipment and other heavy-duty machines hold a special appeal for kids of all ages — and when the opportunity presents itself to climb into the driver’s seat, it’s a rare treat indeed.

Ask the staff of Red Bank’s Monmouth Day Care Center and they’ll surely agree that the safely supervised combination of kids and trucks is a winning formula — and when the Touch-a-Truck event returns to the parking lot of Red Bank Middle School this Saturday morning, it will mark the eighth annual appearance of a successful FUNraising vehicle that’s well worth waiting for.

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RED BANK: LIQUOR STORE GETS A REBOOT

The former Yogi’s Liquors, at Drs. James Parker Boulevard and Leighton Avenue, has been rebranded A1 Liquors. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A liquor store on Red Bank’s West Side that had a seedy reputation was getting ready to reopen last week with a new look, a new business plan and a new approach to customers, its owners said.

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RED BANK: HURRICANE JOSÉ HEADS NORTH

With Hurricane José moving northward off the Atlantic coast, the National Weather Service warned of impacts beginning Tuesday afternoon in the region that includes the Greater Red Bank Green.

Along with strong winds and moderate coastal flooding, the Jersey shore could get up to two inches of rain from Monday night through Wednesday, according to the forecast issued early Monday.

Here’s the forecast through the coming week:

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RED BANK: MAN CAUGHT IN CHILD PORN SWEEP

A Red Bank man was among 14 Monmouth County residents arrested in a summer-long investigation focused on online consumers of child pornography, county Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a statement issued Friday.

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RED BANK: WEEKEND WEATHER FORECAST

There was water, in different forms, above and below the New Jersey Transit rail bridge across the Navesink River Thursday afternoon, as seen from the Red Bank side(Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

Looking ahead, the National Weather Service said early Friday that it expects Tropical Storm José to “make a close pass” to the shore Tuesday, possibly bringing coastal flooding along with strong winds. Meantime, here’s the forecast for the Greater Red Bank Green through the coming weekend:

RED BANK: MORE SEX CHARGES AGAINST DOC

A 72-year-old Red Bank pediatric surgeon indicted two months ago on charges of criminal sexual contact with a 17-year-old female patient is is now facing similar allegations brought by three other purported victims, Monmouth County Prosecutor  Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a statement Thursday.

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ON THE GREEN: TWO TICKETS ON THE AISLE

Joseph York (The Prince), Alison Levier (Cinderella) and Gina Teschke (Little Red) are among the storybook characters going “Into the Woods,” when Phoenix Productions stages the Sondheim musical at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre. (Photos courtesy Tom Martini)

On a weekend that marks the official curtain-up for Two River Theater’s season-opening production of A Raisin in the Sun, two of the area’s longest established community stage companies are offering up something for those who get a thrill from first-nighting — with fresh local looks at a couple of Broadway favorites from the 1980s and 1990s.

When last we looked in on Red Bank’s own Phoenix Productions, the resident theatrical troupe of the Count Basie Theatre was marking its turf with a revisit to West Side Story — an early success for the young lyricist Stephen Sondheim, and an indicator of great things to come. When the company’s 2017 season resumes this Friday, September 15, it will once again look to the Sondheim playbook — and to the storybook realm of the Brothers Grimm — with a musical journey Into the Woods.

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RED BANK: POLS PULL U-TURN ON PARKING

The redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot, outlined in red above, will be rescinded in an effort to end a lawsuit and address concerns about building size, borough officials said. (Image by Google Maps. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s search for a downtown parking solution took a U-turn Wednesday night, when the borough council put in motion a plan to derail a pending lawsuit by former councilwoman Cindy Burnham that members say has impeded progress.

In what was also described as a “compromise” between Republicans and Democrats over proposed building sizes , the council agreed to scrap a contentious nine-month-old redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot.

At the same time, it knocked out, without much explanation, three of the five developers vying to build a parking deck, and more, on the 2.3-acre site.

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RED BANK: PARKING GARAGE HEARING SLATED

The council will hold a public forum on proposals for the White Street parking site later this month, says Councilman Mike Whelan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Almost six months after they were submitted and three months after they were the subject of hasty presentations, five proposed plans for the redevelopment of Red Bank’s main downtown parking lot will finally get a public hearing, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: CRIMES AND ARRESTS

The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of August 16 to August 31, 2017. This information is unedited. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

CRIMES

Theft: On 08/20/17 in the area of Maple Ave it was reported that Cash was taken from two separate unlocked lockers. Sgt. Beau Broadley.

Criminal Mischief: On 08/21/17 in the area of Broad St it was reported that the victim’s tires were slashed on the vehicle while parked. Ptl. Michael Zadlock

Theft: On 08/22/17 the victim report several items were taken from the home in the area of Ambassador Dr. The items are described as 1 pair of ½ K each diamond stud earrings valued at $2,000.00, an 18K gold “D” intital letter pendant valued at $1000.00 and a 36” long 14K gold necklace valued at $400.00.  Ptl. Cevin Albert.

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RED BANK: FREE TROLLEY SERVICE PLANNED

The service will use two E-Tuks, electric versions of gasoline-powered tuk-tuks popular in Asia and elsewhere. (Photo courtesy of Scooter Dudes. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Visitors to Red Bank may have a jaunty, environmentally conscious and free means of getting around town as early as a next week, when a new shuttle service hopes to begin operations.

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RED BANK: CHILD SEXUAL CONTACT CHARGED

AUTHORITIES_RB-2016-v2A Red Bank man was arrested last month on a charge of sexual contact with a minor, police reported Friday.

Javier Sandoval-Villareal, of Shrewsbury Avenue, was arrested August 22 for crimes alleged to have been committed several years ago, Chief Darren McConnell told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: BROWNSTONES PROJECT APPROVED

Mumford’s plan calls for the demolition of six existing structures, including the blocklong factory building at 9 Catherine Street, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank real estate developer Roger Mumford won plaudits Thursday night from neighbors — along with zoning board approval — for a 22-unit townhouse project on a West Side industrial tract.

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RED BANK: HOVNANIAN SELLING HOME OFFICE

Hovnanian’s headquarters in Red Bank, as seen from Maple Cove at the foot of Maple Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

[This post has been updated with comments from Mayor Pasquale Menna.]

Eleven years after moving in, dramatically shrunken homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises is selling its gleaming Red Bank headquarters and moving to Matawan, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: RAISIN’ A FAMILY @ TWO RIVER

Crystal A. Dickinson and Brandon J. Dirden share the stage in the season opening production of ‘A Raisin in the Sun.’ (Photo by Lisa Campbell)

While it doesn’t claim anything resembling a formal “stock company” of actors and other creative types, Red Bank’s professional Two River Theater Company has been more than happy to foster some mutually beneficial relationships with a number of recurring players — perhaps none more so than Brandon J. Dirden, the Tony-nominated, Obie-winning stage-screen talent who’s made himself quite comfortable on Bridge Avenue, even as his star ascended on television (The Americans) and Broadway (All the Way, in which he appeared as no less iconic a presence than Martin Luther King Jr.).

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RED BANK: TAILOR, JEWELER, VAPE SHOP…

Jeweler Evan Piscitelli, left, and tailor Vinny Sciortino have teamed up in space on Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn could almost have been ripped from the Red Bank Register of a century ago, with news about a haberdashery, a jeweler, a “gentlemen’s club” tonsorial, a rug store and a smoke shop opening downtown.

Ok, that last one’s more a vape shop, but still. Read on for details.

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RED BANK: GODDESSES FROM BABYLON

The breathtaking paintings of Iraqi artist Saadi Babely go on display at the Oyster Point Hotel starting with a reception Thursday.

He hails from no less storied a place than Babylon — and we’re not talking Long Island. As a professor at Baghdad University and a member of the Iraq Freedom Art Movement, Saadi Babely escaped the regime of Saddam Hussein and its program of persecution of citizens involved in the arts, and would lose two of his siblings to Saddam’s troops. Educated in the United States, he made his way to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and eventually back to America, where the mythological figure of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar would once again take flight in his paintings.

Inspired by the deep history of his homeland while remaining contemporary in style and theme, Babely’s paintings are the subject of the latest art installation at Red Bank’s Oyster Point HotelGoddesses: An Art Collector Shares His Bounty. The exhibit — one of two debuting in town during the coming evenings — opens with a public-welcome reception this Thursday.

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RED BANK: UP NEXT: MUMFORD TOWNHOUSES

A rendering of builder Roger Mumford’s proposed Brownstones at Red Bank project. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank real estate developer Roger Mumford is a busy man these days: restoring the National Historic Register T. Thomas Fortune house and adding 31 apartments to the Drs. James Parker Boulevard property; completing the 12-unit affordable housing project called Oakland Square at the corner of Oakland and West streets; and simultaneously vying for the right to redevelop what’s easily the hottest patch of asphalt in town — the borough-owned White Street parking lot.

Meantime, he’s got another project in the works, one slated to go before the zoning board for review Thursday night: a plan for townhouses on the footprint of old factory buildings just a stone’s throw from his West Side office.

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RED BANK: JJ’S ORGANIC, FUN AND FAMILIAR

Chalkboards list menu options at JJ’s Organic Grill ordering station. Below: waffle sticks. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

The Dugo family is betting that certified organic, non-GMO is the future of fast food, and so far, so good: their month-old Red Bank restaurant, JJ’s Organic Grill, is already becoming a popular choice for foodies.

Healthier alternatives for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a relaxed, no frills environment is what you’ll find here in the former Sicilia space, at the corner of Broad Street and Peters Place.

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ON THE GREEN: ONE ‘ANGRY HOUSE PAINTER’

The Guild of Creative Art mounts a solo show spotlighting works by Paul Hansen this weekend.

Even taking into consideration the generally angry tone of public discourse these days, it’s curiously refreshing to read an artist’s statement that centers around the claim, “art is dead.” And while Paul Hansen goes on to clarify that “art form is everywhere” — including a painted door, a well-swept floor, a rocking chair, and sanding with the grain — he’s not shy about professing that “the combination of years of breathing paint fumes and Viking DNA has brought us to my next show, the ‘Angry House Painter.'”

The solo-show installation of that name takes to the walls of Shrewsbury’s Guild of Creative Art beginning tonight, ushering in an artful interlude that also boasts the continuation of some fascinating featured shows at Detour Gallery and the Monmouth Museum.

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