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RED BANK: SPORTS SURGE BOOSTS ACADEMICS

Taniaya Morris scoring this season for the Lady Rockets. (Photo by Mark Costa. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Coming off what Superintendent Jared Rumage called “the most successful year ever in the history of Red Bank Middle School sports,” district officials have also harvested some gold about the relationship of athletics and academics, they said recently.

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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: 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: BASIE AWARDS FOR H.S. THESPIANS

Christian Brothers Academy’s ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ presentation at the Basie Awards Wednesday night.

Winners were announced [Wednesday] evening at the 13th annual BASIE AWARDS, honoring excellence in high school theater in Monmouth County.

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RED BANK: PROPERTY TAX UP 4.7 PERCENT

Michael Ballard, who heads the finance committee, with Mayor Pasquale Menna at left, on election night last November. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank property owners may see a 4.7-percent increase in the local portion of their tax bill this year under a budget introduced Wednesday night.

The hike was driven by a drop in revenue, said Councilman Michael Ballard, including a halt by Riverview Medical Center of its customary payment in lieu of taxes.

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RED BANK: SCHOOL TAX HIKE, JOB CUTS LOOM

Jobs and after-school programs are on the cutting block unless the state comes through with an additional $750,000, said Superintendent Jared Rumage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The average Red Bank homeowner would pay about $117 more in taxes to support borough schools this year if New Jersey legislators don’t come through with more funding, Superintendent Jared Rumage said Tuesday night.

Even with the levy increase, the local primary and middle schools could see cuts in staffing and extracurricular programs such as jazz band and the fledgling cross-country track team, he said.

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RED BANK: STATE UPHOLDS CHARTER RENEWAL

The charter school’s main building, on Oakland Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank Charter School does not engage in “segregative” enrollment practices, the New Jersey Department of Education ruled last week in upholding the school’s latest five-year operating charter.

In letter dated April 16 to the charter school, Acting Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet rejected assertions of bias by Fair Schools Red Bank and the Latino Coalition of New Jersey, and found instead that the charter school “is seeking, ‘to the maximum extent practicable,’ to enroll a cross-section of Red Bank Borough’s school-age population.”

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RUMSON: ‘RIVAL’ TEENS UNITE TO SAVE LIVES

The student leaders behind the Ridge Road Run 5K, as seen on Ridge Road, are (left to right): RBR senior Michael Eulner, Shrewsbury; sophomore Claudia Kelly, Little Silver; senior Thomas Lloyd, Shrewsbury; RFH senior Ellie Gibney, Fair Haven; RBC senior Lily Salcedo; RFH senior Teddy Sourlis, Rumson; and RBC senior Courtney Carroll, Middletown. 

[Press release from Red Bank Regional]

The sports rivalries among three Two River schools are legendary.  It is always a super sweet victory when the Red Bank Regional (RBR) Buccaneers can defeat Red Bank Catholic (RBC) Caseys or Rumson Fair Haven’s (RFH) Bulldawgs, and vice versa for all three teams, two of which are located on Ridge Road, and the other not too far away.

However, seven students from all three schools have recently collaborated to use that rivalry to generate a very positive event.

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RUMSON: NAVESINK QUALITY IMPROVES

A view of the Navesink from Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank last month. Below, Bill Heddendorf of the New Jersey DEP discusses the need for additional testing along the Spring Street storm sewer line in Red Bank. (Photo above by Trish Russoniello, below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

An effort to reverse biological contamination in the Navesink River is “working,” and could result in the reopening of closed shellfish beds a year earlier than previously expected, a New Jersey environmental scientist told a gathering in Rumson last week.

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RED BANK: VISCOMI ADDS WILD CARD TO RACE

Viscomi serves on the board of ed, where she leads the finance committee, and is on a number of borough committees. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The 2018 race for two Red Bank council seats looks like it will have a wild card.

Sue Viscomi, a board of education member and former Republican stalwart who has expressed increasing antipathy in recent years to the local arm of the party, has started gathering signatures for a run as an independent in the November election, she told redbankgreen on Monday.

Her entry would appear to add to the challenge for the two presumptive Republican candidates, already facing the prospect of an anti-Trump backlash in a majority Democrat town, and could eat into support for the two Democrats in the race, both newcomers to elective politics.

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RED BANK: HUNDREDS MARCH FOR GUN LIMITS

Joining a movement that arose from the slaughter of 17 students and adults at a Florida high school last month, hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Red Bank Saturday as part of a nationwide ‘March for Our Lives‘ effort to demand bans on assault weapons and other legislation to reduce gun violence in schools.

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RED BANK: AFTER THE STORM

Rapidly rising temperatures began turning more than a foot of snow from an overnight storm into slush and puddles Thursday morning, as seen on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank, above. And on Drs. James Parker Boulevard, the heavy, wet stuff made for good snowman-building.

Click more for other scenes from Red Bank in the aftermath of the spring snowstorm. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: OUTAGES ABOUND AFTER STORM

Downed lines required the closure of the eastern end of Madison Avenue, near Branch Avenue. Below, the JCP&L outage map as of 6:30 a.m. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The fourth snowfall of March, 2018, left more than a foot of heavy snow on ground and thousands of Monmouth County residents without electricity  Thursday morning.

Dozens of homes and businesses on the Greater Red Bank Green had no power as of 6:30 a.m. after the wet snow brought down lines across the region. Schools that had previously announced delayed openings changed plans and called a snow day Thursday.

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RED BANK: PRE-SNOW SNOW DAY

With a northeaster bearing down on the coast, a state of emergency in effect and schools closed, redbankgreen took a quick spin around the Greater Red Bank Green on a pre-snow snow day to find… not much happening Wednesday morning.

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RED BANK: CHARTER AID BOOST SLAMMED

District officials say they may have to eliminate a new cross-country program in order to balance the budget. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank school board members and parents reacted with outrage Monday night to an effective reduction in state aid under funding announced by the administration of Governor Phil Murphy last week.

Though nominally a $178,503 increase for the district, more than that sum is to be relayed to the Red Bank Charter School, Superintendent Jared Rumage said at a board meeting at the primary school.

With the district seeing an effective decline in aid while state funding to the charter school’s rises $1,025 per student, “I think the time has come to have the discussion about running two public schools in Red Bank,” Rumage told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: SPRING ARRIVES AS WINTER STORM

Spring begins Tuesday at 12:15 p.m., and while a forsythia bud on River Road in Fair Haven seemed ready to proclaim the new season Monday, a brewing storm threatened to dump a foot of more of heavy, wet snow on the Greater Red Bank Green Tuesday and Wednesday.

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RED BANK: CHAMPION HOOPSTERS HONORED

Players from the Red Bank Middle School girls’ basketball team, seen here with coach Amy Campbell and boys’ coach Issac Nathanson, won plaudits at the borough council meeting Wednesday night for nabbing their first Shore Athletic League championship in 24 years last month. Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: WALKOUTS GET DETENTION

Fair Haven Superintendent Sean McNeil, seen below at a January event, expressed pride in Knollwood students who walked out, but told them there had to be consequences. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Seventy-two Fair Haven middle school students were ordered to report for detention after participating in a walkout Wednesday to mark the one-month anniversary of a mass school shooting in Florida.

Meanwhile, just half a mile away, hundreds of Red Bank Regional High students observed the nationwide walkout without penalty. But the fact that they were sequestered within the confines of the school stadium, and surrounded by police, irked at least one student.

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RED BANK: MOMS FLOCK TO GUN LAW EVENT

Amy Downey offered cookies prior to the start of a Moms Demand Action orientation meeting that drew a full house to Shapiro’s Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The murders of 17 people by a gunman in Florida last week prompted a hasty new-member orientation in Red Bank Tuesday night for an organization dedicated to what it calls “common sense gun laws.”

Volunteers with Moms Demand Action said the February 14 slaughter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland has unleashed a surge of interest unseen since the group’s founding five years ago in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut murders of 27 children and adults.

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LITTLE SILVER: LAWMAKERS ADDRESS FUNDING

Local residents and school officials, including state Senator Declan O’Scanlon, below, turned out for the event at the Markham Place School. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Dozens of taxpayers and school administrators from the Greater Red Bank Green packed a Little Silver auditorium Wednesday night to press legislators for help with education costs.

 

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