RED BANK: CENTER PLANS TO COST $96K

Costs associated with planned repairs to the shuttered Senior Center delayed adoption of the borough budget. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesConstruction plans for repairs to Red Bank’s water-damaged and long-closed Senior Center will cost $96,000, borough officials said Wednesday.

Accommodating that expense into the municipal budget will require a budget amendment and special meeting of the council. But they won’t slow the repair efforts, said acting Business Administrator Darren McConnell.

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RED BANK: LONG APART, SENIORS MEET ANEW

Dottie Ferris, at right, greeting friends at the event Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Apart for months, Red Bank seniors enjoyed a pandemic-era get-together outside the temporary home of the borough Senior Center Thursday.

“It’s so nice to see everyone and talk, even if you don’t know everyone,” said 92-year-old Dottie Ferris, a resident of the Wesleyan Arms senior apartments on Wall Street, as she sat at a table outdoors. At home, “all I do is watch TV and eat,” she said.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL INITIATES REBUILD

The Senior Center occupies a stand-alone building on Shrewsbury Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council moved to jumpstart repairs to water-damaged Senior Center Wednesday night, one day after a recommendation by the Redevelopment Agency that it do so.

But even enroute to a unanimous vote, the measure churned up bitterness among the all-Democratic governing body.

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RED BANK: SENIOR CENTER FIX-UP ADVANCES

The backyard of the mothballed Senior Center overlooking the upper Navesink River. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposal to repair Red Bank’s mothballed Senior Center without adding any new facilities won a Redevelopment Agency endorsement Tuesday evening.

The action could defuse one of the hottest issues in a contested Democratic race for two council seats just six weeks before a primary vote.

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RED BANK: DALPRA TO HEAD PARKS & REC

Louis ‘Del’ DalPra at Red Bank Regional in 2009. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFormer Red Bank Regional High athletic director and coach Louis ‘Del’ DalPra was named director of the borough’s parks and recreation department Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: TOP JOB OPEN AT TIME OF STRIFE

red bank, nj, ken deroberts, pasquale mennaZiad Shehady, left, and Mayor Pasquale Menna listen as consultant Ken DeRoberts, in foreground, addresses the council in January, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe resignation of Red Bank’s business administrator after only three years last week was the result of scheming by political enemies, Mayor Pasquale Menna contends.

Now, a prevailing atmosphere of “dysfunction” will “absolutely” make it harder to fill the town’s top unelected position, he told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: SHEHADY RESIGNS TOP BORO JOB

Ziad Shehady in his borough hall office in June, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[This post has been updated since it was first published.]

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter only three years on the job, Ziad Shehady is resigning as Red Bank’s top unelected official, he told the borough council behind closed doors Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: HOFFMANN LEAVING REC JOB

Charlie Hoffmann with parks attendant Celestine Woods at Riverside Gardens Park in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Charlie Hoffmann, who has directed Red Bank’s parks and recreation department for the past five years, is leaving town.

The announcement of his departure at the council’s semimonthly meeting Wednesday sparked a “pile-on” of praise for Hoffmann’s work, which included organizing everything from sports and cultural offerings to this weekend’s Spring Egg Hunt.

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RED BANK: SENIOR & REC PLANS REVIEWED

A concept plan showing facilities at the southern entrance to Count Basie Fields includes an indoor basketball court. (Screenshot from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank Redevelopment Agency began sorting through concept plans for possible new senior citizen and recreation facilities Tuesday.

Added to the “fix it now” demand by advocates of a stand-alone Senior Center was a new one: leave the outdoor basketball courts at Count Basie Fields alone.

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RED BANK: CENTER BACKERS RALLY AGAIN

Marian Quinn of Manor Drive speaking at the rally. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njInvoking “demolition by neglect” and the prospect of “apartments” on the site, several dozen Red Bankers rallied Saturday to demand that the mothballed borough Senior Center be repaired.

They also momentarily drowned out the grandson of the center’s founder when he took issue with one of the handmade signs posted on the building.

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RED BANK: SHEHADY SLATES PUBLIC FORUMS

Ziad Shehady at borough event in February, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA week after announcing he was stepping down from a position that had become a “lightning rod” for criticism, Red Bank Borough Administrator Ziad Shehady said he plans to host a pair of public roundtables on a wide range of issues later this month.

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RED BANK: SENIOR CENTER DEBATE RAGES ON

A view into the mothballed Senior Center through a window in December. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank council members clashed yet again over the borough’s Senior Center Wednesday night.

Among the issues: a petition demanding that the facility, which has been out of commission for almost two years, be repaired and reopened at its riverfront location.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON COUNCIL AGENDA

Among the many events organizers hope to bring back in 2021: the Red Bank Classic 5k, slated for June 19. A list of event dates is up for approval by the council. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s borough council meets with a busy agenda of financing actions, hirings and more Wednesday.

There’s also something missing, though numerous commenters have demanded it: changes to the meeting protocol covering… public comment.

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RED BANK: MORE SPARKS OVER SENIOR CENTER

The Senior Center offers a rare vantage for Red Bankers to view the Navesink and Swimming rivers, speakers said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s elected officials got an earful from the public about the borough’s disabled Senior Center Wednesday night.

But even as the all-Democratic council unanimously approved a new lease on interim space, sparks continued to fly between its members over the center’s near-term future.

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RED BANK: DEMS ERUPT OVER SENIOR CENTER

The Senior Center has been out of commission for most of the past two years following a pipe leak. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njTension among Red Bank Democrats over the future of the borough’s Senior Center erupted in public over the weekend.

Joined by Mayor Pasquale Menna, four of the council’s six Democrats lit into the other two, one of whom is the party chairman, as having “placed their own popularity over what’s best for our residents and taxpayers.”

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RED BANK: SENIOR CENTER STILL ON ICE

The Senior Center has been out of commission for most of the past two years. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Red Bank’s Senior Center is not for sale, Mayor Pasquale Menna insists.

But two years after extensive damage caused by a burst pipe, multiple questions surround the still-closed Shrewsbury Avenue facility. Among them: will it reopen anytime soon, and will it stay where it is?

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RED BANK: HOUSING UPGRADES PROMISED

red bank housing authority evergreen terraceThe Evergreen Terrace senior apartments and the nearby Montgomery Terrace units would get a more reliable source of funding for repairs, officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Residents of Red Bank’s two publicly subsidized housing complexes will see improvements to their communities under planned funding changes, an official assured them last week.

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FROM RBR TO SENIORS, A SPECIAL SHOW

Left to right: Shrewsbury Homesteader program chairperson Jerry Viracola and Homesteader president Carolyn Alt are pictured with RBR drama majors Maximum Portman, Erin McEvoy, Dixie O’Connell, Davis Bush, Luke Pearlberg, Lily Pena, Gianna Brockriede, Tamia Waddy, Alanah Ramos, Molly Pair, Anthony Campana,  and RBR drama teacher Reuben Jackson.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

On January 12, an entourage of drama majors from the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Red Bank Regional High School showcased their talents during the monthly meeting of the Shrewsbury Homesteaders.
The members of the senior citizens’ organization were treated to a program of original songs, poetry readings and dramatic soliloquies from the works of William Shakespeare. Several cast members from RBR’s recent production of The Crucible recreated a scene from that classic drama by Arthur Miller.

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RED BANK: SENIORS GET DOWN AND DIRTY

rb seniors garden 071416 2rb seniors garden 071416 1Despite wilting heat and humidity, a group of seniors tended the newly installed raised-bed garden purchased by Councilwoman Cindy Burnham for the borough Red Bank Senior Citizens Center Thursday morning.

At right, 98-year-old Edith Blake checks the aroma on a sage leaf from the planter, where seniors have also planted tomatoes, taragon and basil. The planter is set up beside a picnic table so seniors can garden while seated, said Burnham. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: RECKLESS RE-LO FOR SENIOR ‘CAFE’

Wesleyan_Cafe_Art_XpressThe Art Xpress program (above) and regular yoga sessions (below) are among the activities for seniors presented by The Wesleyan Cafe. The public is invited to learn more on June 29, when the resource hub moves into its new base of operations at Red Bank’s historic Reckless Estate.

Wesleyan_Cafe_yogaPress release from United Methodist Communities at The Wesleyan

According to a statistic reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, some 11.3 million Americans — almost 30 percent of them aged 65 and older — live alone. Now more than ever, the nation’s graying population needs opportunities for essential social interaction, physical exercise, meeting new friends, and lifelong learning.

Last spring, United Methodist Communities at The Wesleyan, a senior housing community located at 9 Wall Street in Red Bank, opened The Wesleyan Café, a resource hub for the area’s older adults. To meet its increasing popularity and to further increase access, The Wesleyan Café will relocate to the Reckless Estate at 164 Broad Street (the historic Red Bank Woman’s Club building) in the heart of downtown Red Bank. The public is invited to the opening on Wednesday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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COUNTY CREATES SPECIAL-NEEDS DATABASE

sb sign 033016Sea Bright is among the towns that have already established voluntary registries for residents with special needs. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Press release Wednesday by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office:

A comprehensive and voluntary program dedicated to serving citizens with special needs was launched today.

Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni was joined by Sheriff Shaun Golden and the Monmouth County Chiefs of Police to introduce the Monmouth County Special Needs Registry.

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RBR TEENS SERENADE SHREWSBURY SENIORS

RBR VPA Shrews HomesteadersIn January, the Shrewsbury Homesteaders invited students from Red Bank Regional’s VPA to serenade them at their monthly meeting. Pictured are (back row, left to right) Jalen Willis, Ricci Bigelow, piano teacher Camille Thompson, Pieter Lootsma, Joe Ferguson, Griffin Perry, and (front row, left to right): Shrewsbury Homesteader President Carolyn Alt, Victoria White, Jenna Smith, Danielle Wolf, Homesteaders Program Chairperson Jerry Viracola.

 Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Every month, the senior citizen group known as the Shrewsbury Homesteaders meets at the borough’s historic Presbyterian Church to conduct their business. Sometimes they mix a little pleasure with business — and following a speech by Shrewsbury Mayor Don Burden at their most recent meeting in January, the Homesteaders were treated to the instrumental talents and beautiful voices of Red Bank Regional High School and its Visual and Performing Arts Academy.

The classically trained piano and voice major students performed a variety of their repertoire for the Homesteaders. Griffin Perry performed “The Tempest” by Beethoven; Peter Lootsma played “Sonata N. 14 in C Minor” by Mozart, while Joseph Ferguson offered “Prelude and Fugue N. 17 in Aᵇ Major” by J.S. Bach (all three students are from Little Silver). Pianist Jalen Willis of Neptune City showcased the Jazz genre with “Joes’ Fun Mood Blues” by Joe Utterback.

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