HALFACRE: NOBODY TOLD US

hanceriver-050510Detours will be in effect for most of this month at Hance and River roads in Fair Haven, borough officials say. (Click to enlarge)

Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre is miffed again.

Two weeks after complaining that borough residents served by the Red Bank water utility had no advance notice of a rate increase, he says the borough was caught off guard with road construction work that Monmouth County started Tuesday “without any notice to the Borough of Fair Haven, and without our input.”

The work, it seems, will require sporadic detours at the busy intersection of River Road and Hance Road over most of the month, he says in a post on his blog.

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RESIDENTS SWEAT BUDGET DETAILS

rb-budget-042810Participants in last night’s Q&A on the Red Bank budget pick up info packets. (Click to enlarge)

Red Bank officials held a marathon budget walk-through before a standing-room crowd at borough hall Wednesday night, laying out the rationale for a plan that calls for a property tax increase and the possibility of furloughs for government employees.

Over the course of three and a half hours in an increasingly stuffy council chambers, they also addressed every one of 90 suggestions put before them by former GOP council candidate Kim Senkeleski, who had gathered the ideas for submission.

Given their opportunity to speak, though, audience members most wanted to talk about wringing some tax money out of the borough’s outsized population of nonprofits.

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GREEN TEAMERS CLEAN UP

green-team1Volunteers from the United Methodist Church participated in the annual event along East Bergen Place, above, and in the East Side parking lots, below. (Click to enlarge)

green-team-2-042410Those folks you saw pulling crushed soda bottles from the weeds and picking up cigarette butts from Red Bank gutters on Saturday were volunteers.

As part of an annual cleanup effort in the downtown, congregants from the United Methodist Church on Broad Street joined with members of the borough Shade Tree Committee to collect trash and install mulch around trees.

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ATRIUM TRIMS HIGH-RISE PLAN

atriumA proposed addition to the Atrium, at left, would be built between the existing structure and the neighboring Riverview Towers, right. The parking lot in the foreground, bound by Riverside Avenue and West Front Street, is slated for upgrades by the Atrium’s owner. (Click to enlarge)

The owner of a luxury senior citizens’ high-rise in Red Bank has curtailed its plans to nearly double the size of the facility with a proposed 12-story addition on Riverside Avenue, redbankgreen has learned.

Instead, Springpoint Senior Living — formerly PHS Senior Living, and before that, Presbyterian Homes — will revert to an older, approved plan for just six stories, says Springpoint chief operating officer Chuck Mooney.

The move was driven largely by economics, Mooney said. But it was also taken to head off a battle with residents of the neighboring Riverview Towers high-rise, he acknowledged.

“We are concerned about having a protracted series of hearings” at the zoning board, Mooney said.

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NEW CROSSWALK LAW DRAWS MIXED REAX

crosswalkerA woman crosses Mechanic Street at the interesection of Broad in downtown Red Bank Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A new, statewide vehicle-related law went into effect Thursday, with the aim of improving pedestrian safety. But will it?

Drivers must now completely “stop and stay stopped” when someone is in a crosswalk, according to a campaign launched by the state Attorney General’s office. Prior law said yielding would do, but officials cited increased fatality rates as the cause to tighten down on drivers. Violating the law carries a fine of $200. (Pedestrians may also be cited and fined $54 for failing to use due care when crossing.)

redbankgreen spent a good part of the sun-splashed day posing a question to folks in Red Bank and the surrounding area: Do you think this law will actually make your town safer?

We got a mixed bag of responses.

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ROAD CLOSURE COULD LAST A MONTH

nav-riv-rd-collapse-2Runoff from Poricy Brook Pond undermined a culvert, causing the road to collapse, officials said. (Click to enlarge)

A portion of Navesink River Road in Middletown could remain closed to traffic for up to a month following a partial collapse earlier this week, Monmouth County officials say.

A culvert carrying water from Poricy Brook Pond beneath the county-owned road failed late Wednesday, forcing a shutdown between Route 35 and Hubbard Avenue.

Officials tied the failure, which has forced traffic detours in both Middletown and Red Bank, to recent heavy rains.

“Navesink River Road adjacent to Poricy Brook Pond is essentially an earthen dam with two pipes running underneath,” Freeholder John Curley, liaison to the county’s Department of Public Works and Engineering, ” said in a prepared statement issued by the county PR office. “As the height of the pond rose, it put added pressure and velocity on the water passing underneath the road. The supporting soil was undermined and the road to settled.”

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COLLAPSE SHUTS PART OF NAVESINK RIV. RD.

nav-riv-rd-collapse-040110A view west along Navesink River Road Thursday morning. (Click to enlarge)

Police in Middletown and Red Bank are asking motorists to plan alternate travel routes following a “partial collapse” of Navesink River Road in Middletown.

The collapse occurred between the North Jersey Coast Line railroad tracks and Hubbard Avenue, according to an alert issued by Middletown spokeswoman Cindy Herrschaft.

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‘MOISTURE-RICH’ MARCH EXITS WITH A ROAR

rumson-rd-033010Rumson Road just west of Bellevue Avenue in Rumson offered a water hazard for motorists late Tuesday afternoon. (Click to enlarge)

The good news: the torrential rains of the past three days are just about over.

The better news: warm and sunny days are forecast to bloom with April, following one sopping wet month.

How wet, in relative terms? From the Asbury Park Press:

David Robinson, state climatologist and professor of geography at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, said the estimated 9 inches of rainfall so far this month easily shatters the 7.8-inch record set in 1912.

“I have never seen such storms, Robinson said. “The big story this spring is the relentless, slow moving, moisture-rich powerful storms. Twenty years from now, we’ll be talking about the storms of 2010.”

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RIVER ROAD GETS OVERSTIMULATED

fh-river-rdA stretch of River Road in Fair Haven, seen looking east here, will get upgrades thanks to federal stimulus money. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

How do you get more money from the federal government than you ever dreamed of, or even asked for? Tell ’em you don’t want it, apparently.

It worked for Fair Haven, which, led by anti-stimulus Republican Mayor and Congressional candidate Mike Halfacre, recently received $886,000 in stimulus funds — nearly double the borough’s original request of $480,000 for its “River Road West Streetscape” plan.

The borough was notified by the Federal Highway Administration in February it was receiving the larger-than-asked for sum, Halfacre says on his blog.

The 12th-district House candidate also defends accepting the money, despite his belief that the $787 billion stimulus package passed by President Obama last year was “pork-laden” and would be “ineffective.”

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BUILDER FLOATS WEST SIDE STRIP MALL

crossonscornerAn architect’s concept for a shopping center at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard in Red Bank. The view is to the southwest. (Click to enlarge)

A Red Bank builder plans to go before the borough planning board next week seeking feedback on a project that’s still in the “concept” phase: a shopping center on Shrewsbury Avenue at Drs. James Parker Boulevard.

General contractor Russ Crosson requested the hearing, at which board members are expected to offer their concerns, but won’t hold an up-or-down vote, says planning office director Donna Smith Barr.

Crosson tells redbankgreen he’s trying to determine if it’s worth going ahead with a formal proposal.

“We’re going to put it in front of them,” says Crosson, whose office is in a house he recently gutted and restored on Wallace Street. “If they say no, I can massage some other ideas.”

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FEW SIGNS OF LIFE ON BROAD

shovelingA man tackled the heavy snow at the corner of Harding Road…

Red Bank’s main business thoroughfare was all but shut down by midafternoon Thursday by the third major storm to hit the region this month.

But as always, there were signs of life. Click ahead for some more pix of what redbankgreen saw on a walk down Broad Street.

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CHARGES FILED IN ACCIDENT

copter-12Red Bank and Riverview Medical Center emergency workers transfer Alla Tsiring to a helicopter for transport to Neptune Monday. (Click to enlarge)

The driver in the accident that left a pedestrian pinned beneath an SUV on Broad Street on Monday has been charged with motor vehicle violations, Red Bank police say.

Meanwhile, the victim remains hospitalized in Neptune.

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ACCIDENT VICTIM IN CRITICAL CONDITION

copter-22A medical emergency helicopter lifts off from the parking lot at Count Basie Fields late Monday afternoon en route to Neptune. (Click to enlarge)

A 44-year-old office worker is reported by Red Bank police to be in critical condition after being run over by an SUV on Broad Street Monday afternoon.

Alla Tsiring, a borough Staten Island resident, was helicoptered to Jersey Shore Medical Center shortly before 5p after having first been transported by local first-aiders to Riverview Medical Center. The transfer took place in the parking lot at Count Basie Fields.

The accident left Tsiring trapped beneath the vehicle, which was driven by a borough resident, 37-year-old Diana Palma, police Captain Darren McConnell said in a prepared statement issued this morning.

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PEDESTRIAN RUN OVER BY SUV

accident-022210Emergency personnel work to free the victim, who was trapped beneath the vehicle that struck her.

An unidentified pedestrian was struck by an SUV at Broad Street and East Bergen Place in Red Bank at about 2:30p today.

After being struck, the victim, a woman was trapped underneath the vehicle.  She was extricated by emergency personnel and transported by ambulance to a hospital.

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SNOW-JAMMED? TELL THESE FOLKS

hot-topic rightMore than a week after the second of two blizzards walloped the Red Bank area, pedestrian access to many crosswalks remains blocked by deep piles of snow left by plows.

The folks from Safe Routes to School want to help.

A handful of them took to intersections around Red Bank last night to clear paths through bulwarks of snow, ice and slush that seem to be going nowhere for a while, even with yesterday’s temperature in the high 30s.

“The warmth has made it easier to crack through to the bottom ice, but it’s still a slushy mess,” says organizer Marc Dostie.

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