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LITTLE SILVER: TOWN HIRES TOWER LAWYER

The tower looms over homes on Prospect Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Little Silver council hired an attorney Monday night to help it determine if it’s stuck with a new a cell tower that’s dialed up widespread anger in the borough.

As special counsel, Kevin Starkey is expected to start out by reviewing some two years worth of correspondence and other records for guidance on how the governing body might proceed in dealing with the tower’s sole user so far: Verizon Wireless.

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RED BANK: SEWER LINE BREAK CLOSES ROAD

Work to repair an overnight sewer line break forced the closure of Shrewsbury Avenue between West Front and Oakland streets in Red Bank early Friday morning. There was no immediate estimate on when the busy stretch of road might reopen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

LITTLE SILVER: CELL TOWER DIALS UP OUTRAGE

Many in the overflow crowd voiced concerns about health safety and the tower’s impact on property values. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Hundreds of Little Silver residents packed a school auditorium Monday night to give elected officials an earful about their decision to allow a 95-foot-tall cell tower to be built just 500 feet away.

Few appeared placated by either an account of how the tower came to be or the assurances of a telecom engineer that it’s safe.

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RED BANK: AIR RAID SIRENS SILENCED AT LAST

Civil Defense sirens atop a pole on Branch Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

First came the spoken warning of a test, and then, the extended, ear-piercing blare.

During the chilliest part of the Cold War, the weekly tests of the Civil Defense air raid sirens mounted on utility poles across town served as a weekly reminder to Red Bank residents and visitors that the potential for nuclear catastrophe was real, imminent, and that they should be ready for it.

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RED BANK: THREE CRASHES LEAD TO ARREST

A Red Bank woman was arrested Monday after a wild motor-vehicle pursuit by police in which she crashed her SUV three times, taking down a utility pole in the process, Chief Darren McConnell said Tuesday.

The incident began around 5:30 p.m., when Officer Michael Baron, while on patrol in the area of Broad Street and Pinckney Road, saw a white Honda SUV crossing the median into oncoming traffic while heading south on Broad Street, McConnell said in a prepared statement.

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RED BANK: PARTIES TAP COUNCIL CANDIDATES

This year’s council candidates include Democrats Ed Zipprich, left, and Michael Ballard, center, and Republican Linda Schwabenbauer, right. Missing is Schwabenbauer running mate Dana McArthur. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The primary races for two Red Bank council seats will be uncontested in June, with the Democrats and Republicans having firmed up their two-person tickets Monday.

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LINCROFT: RESIDENTS ZAP JCP&L LINE PLAN

Many in the crowd came with signs and wore stickers indicating the distance of their homes from the proposed power line. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Thwarted from speaking two months ago, hundreds of opponents of a proposed high-voltage electricity transmission line from Aberdeen to Red Bank came electrified with anger Tuesday night.

The occasion was a public comment session at Brookdale Community College on the Jersey Central Power & Light Company proposal, which calls for support poles as tall as 210 feet running for 10 miles along the North Jersey Coast Line railroad, ending at a substation in Red Bank.

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RED BANK: VACANT SITES TARGETED

The council plans to impose fees on long-vacant properties “that may not be decrepit” or abandoned, said Mayor Pasquale Menna. After a change of ownership, 1 Broad Street, above, has remained vacant for two and a half years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Owners of vacant residential and commercial properties in Red Bank could face steeply escalating fees for not renting them under a proposed ordinance up for introduction Wednesday night.

 

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RUMSON: UTILITIES TO GO BELOW RIVER

Natural gas and water supply lines are to be tunneled beneath the Shrewsbury River between Rumson Road in Rumson, above, and Sea Bright. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Residents of Rumson and Sea Bright may see an unusual construction project as early as next month, when two utility companies run new service lines connecting the towns 25 feet below the floor of the Shrewsbury River.

Municipal and utility officials said they expect minimal disruption to traffic during the monthlong project, when New Jersey Natural Gas and New Jersey-American Water plan to drill beneath the river from Sea Bright to Rumson and then pull about a quarter-mile of piping across the span.

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RED BANK: PARK, VACANT SITES ON AGENDA

The council may authorize the creation of a concept plan to turn the former landfill at West Sunset Avenue into a park.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council has a packed agenda for its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, including possible progress toward a long-dreamed-of new park on the West Side and some bad news for landlords who neglect vacant properties.

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RED BANK: NO LEAD IN WATER, OFFICIAL SAYS

al larotonda 011117Alberto Larotonda brought his ruptured water line, complete with a connector made of lead, to the council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Extensive testing of Red Bank water has found no evidence of lead contamination, despite the presence of lead pipes serving some homes, a borough official said Wednesday night.

The remarks by public utilities Director Cliff Keen, made during the council’s first semimonthly meeting of 2017, came after a resident showed off  a water service line with a lead connector that was recently excavated outside his Spring Street home.

“For more than 20 years, I’ve been drinking out of a lead straw,” Alberto Larotonda told the council.

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RED BANK: DEMOCRATS REASSERT CONTROL

yvonne-erik-yngstrom-010116Erik Yngstrom embraces his mother, Yvonne Yngstrom, after giving his oath as councilman. Below, Kathy Horgan began her fourth term on the council and was elected its president. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

kathy-horgan-010117Red Bank’s first Republican majority in a generation ended after just a year Sunday, when Democrats regained control of the borough council.

With the addition of political newcomer Erik Yngstrom to the governing body, the Democrats now share 3-3 parity with the GOP on the council. But with the support of three-term Mayor Pasquale Menna as the tiebreaker to any potential deadlock, the Democrats wasted no time in doling out key jobs to partisans.

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RED BANK: UPDATES ON WATER

rb-meter-swap-110216-1An installer with National Metering Services installing a new wireless meter in a Red Bank home earlier this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Some quick updates on Red Bank water…

The stinky, dirty water that affected some customers earlier this month has been corrected, borough officials tell redbankgreen. But they’re being cautious about turning on the tap too quickly.

And with the townwide water-meter replacement project underway, users should be alert to a change in their billing.

Details on both below.

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RED BANK: STINKY WATER PROMPTS CHANGE

water faucet dripRed Bank reversed its seasonal water supply arrangement after complaints about taste and odor. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

After a burst of complaints about stinky, foul-tasting water, Red Bank officials reverted to the municipal water supply earlier this week, redbankgreen has learned.

Now, those officials are waiting for New Jersey American Water Company, which supplies the borough’s water for six months of the year, to clear up an algae problem at the Swimming River Reservoir before resuming the flow, they said.

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RED BANK: CLINTON COATTAILS HELPED DEMS

rb voting districts 2014Hillary Clinton won every district in Red Bank but the fifth, lifting the party’s entire ticket. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

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She lost at the national level, but Hillary Clinton won Red Bank, and her coattails helped Democrats pull even with Republicans on the borough council Tuesday night, election returns tallied by the Monmouth County Clerk show.

Clinton captured all but one of the but one of Red Bank’s nine voting districts — the fifth — topping president-elect Donald Trump townwide, 2,633 to 1,510. (The figures don’t include mail-in ballots, said borough clerk Pam Borghi.)

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RED BANK: DEMS WIN, GAIN COUNCIL PARITY

yngstrom-110816Erik Yngstrom at Democratic headquarters as the party’s local victory became clear. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_Plain

Knocked from their perch a year ago, Red Bank Democrats gained parity with Republicans on the borough council Tuesday night, as incumbent Kathy Horgan and newcomer Erik Yngstrom routed three other candidates, according to preliminary results.

The clearest loser in the race was incumbent Cindy Burnham, who ran a distant fifth three years after she broke a seven-year Democratic lock on the governing body.

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RED BANK: CANDIDATES AGREE, MINUS TWO

horgan-burnham-110216Incumbents Kathy Horgan, a Democrat, and Cindy Burnham, running as an independent, at Wednesday night’s event at the Pilgrim Baptist Church. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_PlainThe Republican candidates for Red Bank council sent emissaries who watched from the sidelines at a community event Wednesday night.

First-time GOP candidates Brian Hanlon and Kellie O’Bosky Colwell disputed the circumstances under which the event, billed as a “community conversation,” came together, leaving them unable to attend, they told redbankgreen. Their expected absence had been termed an “insult” by one of the event’s organizers.

But the event itself turned out not to be as partisan as GOP chairman Mike Clancy had feared, he said afterward.

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RED BANK: PORTER TEES UP GOP FOR ‘INSULT’

porter 071016Reverend Terrence Porter said Wednesday’s event is intended as a nonpartisan opportunity for voters to see the candidates as individuals. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_PlainThe pastor of Red Bank’s Pilgrim Baptist Church lashed out Monday at borough Republicans, who he said had “insulted” African-American voters in avoiding a candidates’ event planned for Wednesday night at the church.

Reverend Terrence Porter teed up both the current and former GOP chairmen Sean DiSomma for what Porter said was groundless politicizing of an event that was envisioned as nonpartisan from the get-go.

“I’ve never been so disappointed in my experience in Red Bank,” Porter told redbankgreen. Read More »

RED BANK: CANDIDATES TO FACE OFF AGAIN

[UPDATE: GOP Chairman Mike Clancy says Hanlon and O’Bosky Colwell did NOT agree to participate, citing prior engagements.]
 With the race entering its final week, the five candidates for Red Bank council in next week’s election have agreed to square off a second time.

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RED BANK: GOP PAIR SETS “ACTION PLAN”

obosky-colwell-hanlon-101816Republican council candidates Kellie O’Bosky Colwell and Brian Hanlon listen as Councilwoman Cindy Burnham speaks at Candidate’s Night on October 18. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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By JOHN T. WARD

“Tired of hearing politicians make vague promises at election time” only to ignore them afterward, the two Republican candidates for Red Bank council unveiled a “six-month action plan” Monday that calls for a freeze on department heads’ salaries and a study of the water utility.

In their plan, first-time candidates Brian Hanlon and Kellie O’Bosky Colwell pledge they won’t seek re-election if they “do not deliver on their promises.”

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RED BANK: SCAVONE FACT-CHECKS BURNHAM

burnham-101816-1Council President Cindy Burnham at the West Side Community Group’s candidate’s forum Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge) 

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By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank RiverCenter went on the offensive Wednesday in response to a call by incumbent Councilwoman Cindy Burnham for its elimination.

A day after Burnham, a former Republican seeking re-election as an independent, told an audience that “we need to get rid of RiverCenter,” the autonomous entity’s executive director wrote letter that challenged her on several points, including the sum it collects from downtown property owners.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL CANDIDATES FACE OFF

obosky-colwell-hanlon-101816Republican council candidates Kellie O’Bosky-Colwell and Brian Hanlon at the West Side Community Group’s Candidate’s Night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank residents brought concerns about property taxes, water costs, downtown development, parks and more to a forum that featured all five contenders for two borough council seats Tuesday night.

In a wide-ranging, two-hour question-and-answer session marked by minimal friction among candidates, incumbent Cindy Burnham, a former Republican now running as an independent, touted her “no” votes on a long series of spending bills while three-term Democratic incumbent Kathy Horgan defended tax increases.

Meanwhile, a trio of first-time candidates — Brian Hanlon, Kellie O’Bosky-Colwell and Erik Yngstrom — staked out positions on the arts, parks and schools at an event that drew about 100 to the River Street Commons senior housing facility.

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RED BANK COUNCIL Q&A: BURNHAM

cindy-burnham-101416Cindy Burnham, independent. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election_2016_Plain

One year after Republicans narrowly displaced Democrats as the controlling party in Red Bank government, ending a 25-year reign, voters return to the polls on November 8 with five candidates to choose from for two council seats.

All five candidates have indicated they’ll participate in the West Side Community Group’s annual candidates’ forum at the River Street Commons at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18. For more information about the event, take it here.

To help voters compare the contenders in terms of personal background and positions on key issues, redbankgreen emailed them identical sets of questions late last week. Here’s what Cindy Burnham had to say in response.

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