RED BANK: COUNCIL HONORS SOCCER TEAMS

Mayor Pasquale Menna and the Red Bank council honored the middle school girls’ and boys’ soccer squads Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Press release from Red Bank Schools)

The Red Bank Middle School soccer teams are striving toward their school’s mission statement of B.I.A. (Best in America) by being B.I.L. (Best in League). For the first time ever, both soccer teams were able to win first place in the Jersey Shore Athletic League, in the same year, bringing great pride to their school and community. First year athletic director, Isaac Nathanson stated, “It’s simply amazing that both our teams were able to accomplish such a task. This shows tremendous growth in our athletic programs at the Red Bank Middle School.”

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RED BANK: IN LIMBO, ‘DREAMERS’ HEAD TO DC

red bank daca dreamersCristian Aparicio, Deysi Avila and Itzel Perez Hernandez have all attended Brookdale Community College under their status as DACA ‘Dreamers.’ (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWhile the Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday on the Trump Administration’s move to rescind protections for undocumented young immigrants, a busload of them from Red Bank planned to be out on the streets of Washington, D.C.

The court’s decision “is make-or-break” for them, said Itzel Perez Hernandez, a 26-year-old borough resident who is among the some 700,000 ‘Dreamers’ still afforded protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA.

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FAIR HAVEN: KNOLLWOOD HONORS VETERANS

fair haven wwII veteran ray taylorKnollwood School students line the hallway to welcome special Veterans Day honorees. Ray Taylor, World War II veteran, stops to say thank you. (Fair Haven Public Schools)

(Fair Haven schools press release)

Current students were not enrolled when Knollwood School in Fair Havenb established the Wall of Honor as a way to recognize alumni who joined the Armed Forces. None were alive when the Gulf War broke out. Few students know the origin of the common peace sign, understand the war-related significance of poppies, or deeply appreciate the way “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” evolved to become Veterans Day.

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FAIR HAVEN: HARVESTFEST DRAWS A CROWD

The pumpkin-painting table at Fair Haven PTA’s HarvestFest.

(Fair Haven PTA press release)

More than 300 people turned out to enjoy HarvestFest on Saturday, Oct. 5. This highly successful, annual fundraiser celebrates autumn and Halloween while raising money to further the mission of the Fair Haven PTA.

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RED BANK: EX-CHEF FOUND NEW WAY TO SERVE

red bank jorge torresWith his son, Aydin, looking on, Jorge Torres embraces his wife, Lauren, after being sworn in as a police sergeant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA former chef became the newest sergeant on the Red Bank police force Wednesday night.

The promotion of Jorge Torres was one of several ceremonies that led the borough council’s semimonthly meeting Wednesday night.

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FAIR HAVEN: VOTERS TO DECIDE $15.6M PLAN

fair haven knollwood school 052219.Architectural renderings of the proposed additions to the Knollwood School (above) and Sickles School. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fair haven schools sickles plan 052219Fair Haven residents are scheduled to vote Tuesday on a $15.6 million plan to create classrooms and improve security at the borough’s two schools.

But first, they’ve got to go to the right polling station.

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RED BANK: RUMAGE REFLECTS ON FIVE YEARS

JARED RUMAGE, red bankSuperintendent Jared Rumage wished middle schoolers a nice holiday weekend on the Friday before Memorial Day in May. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s school district still faces stiff financial challenges, but is “without question” in all-around better shape than it was when he arrived five years ago, says Superintendent Jared Rumage.

And as he did at a presentation last week, Rumage is hoping to leverage the narrative of that improvement to win voter approval of a $6.75 million referendum in November.

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RED BANK: $6.75M REFERENDUM PLANNED

RED BANK primary school Red Bank Primary School, with a newly completed fire access road at left, would get a new roof if the November 5 measure passes. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A referendum on $6.75 million worth of school improvements will be on the ballot for Red Bank voters in November, under a plan approved by the board of education Tuesday night.

The project won’t increase property tax bills, officials said.

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LITTLE SILVER: Q&A WITH NEW RBR PRINCIPAL

red bank regional julius clarkNew RBR Principal Julius Clark in downtown Red Bank last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njMany students at Red Bank Regional High School will recognize the new principal when they arrive at the Little Silver institution next month.

Completing a loop of sorts, Julius Clark returns to the area where he worked for 13 before departing for what turned out to be a one-year stay at a district in Mercer County.

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RED BANK: NEW TRACK, NEW DEAL FOR BASIE

red bank count basie fields trackWorkers removed the track at Count Basie Fields last week to prepare for the installation of  a new surface. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Catholic High School will increase its contribution for upgrades at Count Basie Fields under a new cost-sharing arrangement approved by the Red Bank council last month.

Payments by the school, which uses the facility as its home football stadium, will help fund replacement of the cushiony running track, a project that got underway last week.

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RED BANK: FIREFIGHTERS KEEP FREE Y ACCESS

red bank ymcaThe Red Bank nonprofit says no families of kids now in a free membership program will be turned away. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s volunteer firefighters will get to keep their free memberships to the local YMCA, the organization announced Wednesday.

Police will still have to pay, though now at a discount, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit said. But there’s no change to the plan unveiled last week to end across-the-board free memberships for borough schoolchildren.

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RED BANK: MENNA ‘IRATE’ OVER YMCA ACTION

red bank pasquale mennaRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna speaking at the the Memorial Day ceremony last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna on Thursday blasted a decision by the Community YMCA to end free memberships for borough schoolchildren and emergency first-responders.

Menna went on the offensive after the Y’s “unilateral” action, which he said was made without any advance notice to or discussion with his administration.

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RED BANK: KIDS, RESPONDERS LOSE FREE YMCA

red bank ymcaThe Red Bank YMCA says affected families can apply for subsidies to replace the free memberships. Below, the letter sent to parents of children in the Healthy Kids program. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank YMCA letter 061919Red Bank’s schoolchildren and emergency first-responders will lose their free access to the borough YMCA in September.

The Maple Avenue nonprofit’s executive director, Katie McAdoo, tells redbankgreen the change was driven by its need to be “accountable” to funders.

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FAIR HAVEN: $15.6M SCHOOLS PLAN UNVEILED

fair haven schools sickles planNew classroom space and other facilities, shown in blue, would be built on a vacant lot adjoining the Sickles School, said Superintendent Sean McNeil, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fair haven schools sean mcneil Fair Haven residents would get classrooms to allow for full-day kindergarten as well as improved security under a $15.6 million plan officials unveiled Wednesday.

The typical homeowner would also get a tax increase of as much as $566 per year if a public referendum on the plan passes muster with voters in September.

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FAIR HAVEN: SCHOOL REFERENDUM ON TABLE

Sean McNeil, center, with fellow superintendents Brent MacConnell of Shrewsbury, left, and Red Bank’s Jared Rumage at a school funding discussion in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven’s two-school district plans to hold a facilities bond referendum in September, Superintendent Sean McNeil announced earlier this week.

How much spending does the board hope to win approval for? How will the funds be used? Stay tuned, says McNeil.

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RED BANK: HOOPS, A PARADE, PIRATES & MORE

red bank middle school girls basketballThe Red Bank Middle School girls’ basketball team was honored for an undefeated season. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank, nj, done good,The Red Bank  council’s filled-to-bursting agenda Wednesday night included a ton of feel-good news and event lookaheads.

Here’s a quick recap.

 

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RED BANK: PETER NOBLE DIES

red bank peter nobleFormer Red Bank Board of Education President Peter Noble died Tuesday night. He was 68 years old, said Mayor Pasquale Menna.

“We lost one of the best last night,” Menna said at the council’s semimonthly meeting Wednesday evening.

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LITTLE SILVER: SPORTS CUTS SPARK OUTRAGE

RED BANK REGIONAL BOE 032019Heavy turnout forced the relocation of the RBR board meeting to the media center, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Regional students and parents packed a board of ed meeting Wednesday night in a bid to save the ice hockey and golf programs from a budgetary axe.

With a preliminary spending plan calling for a 6.5-percent tax increase, board members defended the cuts as necessary before parents appeared to coalesce around a plan to save the sports through outside fundraisers.

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