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ON THE GREEN: THAW ENDS LONG COLD SNAP

With a foot of snow atop the Navesink River ice and wind-chill temperatures below zero, visitors to Marine Park in Red Bank hoping to see some iceboat racing had to settle for empty white riverscapes Sunday. On McCarter Pond in Fair Haven, though, skaters found several small shoveled-out areas in which to enjoy the ice, at right. 

The extended snap of bitter cold was expected to end Monday, when daytime temperatures reach about 35 degrees, kicking off a warming trend though the week. But freezing rain could make for hazardous driving conditions in Monday evening. Check out the National Weather Service forecast below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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ON THE GREEN: DEEP FREEZE FOLLOWS STORM

With wind-chill temperatures at 9 degrees below zero and many local streets packed with ice, the main parking lot at the Red Bank train station was nearly empty at 6:15 a.m. Friday, above, but road activity was stirring a short while later on West River Road in Rumson, right.

Check out some additional photos taken from the Greater Red Bank a day after Thursday’s snowstorm below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: FIRST SNOW OF 2018 BLOWS IN

An overnight snowstorm that left about three inches by daybreak may have prompted widespread school closings, but it was just another workday for a man delivering goods to Playa Bowls, above, and a Starbucks barista getting ready for the day’s customers in downtown Red Bank early Thursday. 

What comes next will be anything but ordinary, however, according to forecasters.

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RED BANK: FREEZE BRINGS BURST PIPES

Riverview Towers, a high-rise residential building at 28 Riverside Avenue in Red Bank, is being monitored 24/7 by volunteer firefighters due to burst pipes in the sprinkler system discovered Tuesday morning, Fire Chief Stu Jensen tells redbankgreen. Read More »

STATEHOUSE: GOPAL, O’SCANLON SCORE WINS


 Vin Gopal and his 11th-district running mates staked out an island of Democratic blue in a sea of GOP red. (Map by NJSpotlight.com.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Middletown resident Phil Murphy was the clear winner in the 2017 New Jersey gubernatorial race Tuesday, in spite of a chilly reception from his home county.

Meanwhile, Republican state Senator Jen Beck of Red Bank lost her 11th-district statehouse seat to Democrat Vin Gopal, and first-term Red Bank Councilman Mike Whelan came up short in his bid for an Assembly seat on Beck’s ticket.

Former Little Silver Councilman Declan O’Scanlon, a Republican, held off a challenge to his 13th-district state Senate seat by Middletown Democrat Sean Byrnes, according to results posted by the Monmouth County Clerk.

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RED BANK: DEMOCRATS BACK ON TOP

Ed Zipprich, left, won a fourth term and Michael Ballard, right, won his first as Democrats swept to victory Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two years after losing a generation-long majority on the Red Bank council, borough Democrats are back on top.

Helped by a statewide wave of anti-Trump and anti-Christie sentiment, incumbent Councilman Ed Zipprich won a fourth three-year term Tuesday night. He’ll be joined on the governing body by school board vice present Michael Ballard, after they easily vanquished one-term Republican Linda Schwabenbauer and her running mate, Dana McArthur.

 

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RED BANK: PARKING, TAXES DOMINATE DEBATE

Council candidates, from left, Dana McArthur, Ed Zipprich, Michael Ballard and Linda Schwabenbauer at Monday’s event at River Street Commons. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The four candidates for two seats on the Red Bank council faced off Monday night in a debate-like forum that focused in large part on parking and tax issues.

The polite exchanges gave residents in attendance a chance to compare a three-term incumbent, a political newcomer, and two candidates who work with numbers all day.

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RED BANK: POLE DOWNED ON BROAD STREET

A pedestrian suffered minor injuries when she was hit by falling debris as a FedEx truck exiting the Red Bank Post Office caught overhead wires and pulled a utility pole down on Broad Street at about 4:40 p.m. Thursday, according to police Chief Darren McConnell.

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RED BANK: SECOND-METER ISSUE RETURNS

 Action has been delayed on water meters that would allow Red Bankers to avoid sewerage charges for watering lawns and washing cars, according to the borough administrator. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Where are the water meters that would let Red Bank homeowners irrigate their lawns without incurring sewer charges?

The secondary meters were a hot topic leading up to the borough council’s approval 18 months ago of $3.7 million in bonds to install new primary meters in every home and business, and to cover other upgrades to the municipal water utility.

Since then, though, there’s been little said about the meters — until last week, when the issue sputtered back to life.

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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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