Search Results for: white street parking

PLEASE FEED/DON’T FEED THE METERS

Meter1It wasn't hard to find visitors pumping coins into meters in Red Bank's White Street lot at lunchtime last Saturday. Above, Nicole Collman of Manalapan, left, with Rebecca Route of Jamesburg.

With some fanfare, Mayor Pasquale Menna announced at last month's 'Economic Summit' that parking in downtown Red Bank would be free on Saturdays and Sundays for the rest of 2009.

Meters4Never mind that it was already free on Sundays. The move to free slottage on the busiest shopping day of the week was welcomed by merchants as a small but significant move to make the town more competitive in a tough economy.

But one month after the meter moratorium was imposed, visitors to town are still feeding the meters on Saturdays. And some of them want to know why no one told them don't have to.

"Oh, that stinks," said Mirelynne Meiser of East Brunswick, when informed she'd just unnecessarily put six quarters into a meter. "That really stinks."

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RBPD SEEKS ‘DECOY’ PEDESTRIAN FUNDS

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Cross5From top, as Elizabeth Schwartz tries to cross Broad Street, both a northbound black Jeep and a southbound white pickup truck continue through the crosswalk. The silver pickup was waiting to turn when she entered the crosswalk. (Click to enlarge)

Cross the streets of downtown Red Bank on foot often enough, and it can seem they're ignored at least as often as they're honored.

We're talking about those moveable yield-to-pedestrian signs placed in the center line of Broad, Front and other streets.

redbankgreen recently stood and watched, camera in hand, as numerous motorists ignored both the yield signs and the human beings whose rights — and safety — they're meant to protect.

"It definitely bothers me," says Elizabeth Schwartz, of Shrewsbury, after we watched her get cut off crossing Broad Street in both directions. "That's what they're there for — everyone should know that by now."

A Riverview Medical Center employee who declined to give her name because she's not authorized to speak for the hospital tells us that she's even had police cars and parking authority vehicles roll by while she was in the crosswalk.

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MENNA: ‘DARN CLOSE’ TO GARAGE FIX

MennaMayor Pasquale Menna speaks as RiverCenter executive director Nancy Adams looks on.

Through all the reports that things are worse elsewhere and exhortations that merchants find “opportunity” in the current recession, the topic that the 300 or so people who attended Tuesday night’s ‘economic summit‘ on Red Bank’s commercial woes most wanted addressed, apparently, was parking.

Mayor Pasquale Menna came through, first with an announcement that parking at metered spaces would be free on Saturdays and Sundays for the rest of 2009, and then with hints that the parking garage many merchants have clamored for may move back onto the town’s agenda after several years’ absence.

His past opposition to a parking deck at the site of the White Street municipal lot, he says, has always been based on this insistence that it not be paid for by taxpayers, and that it be “self sustaining.”

Now, he says, “I believe we’re pretty darn close to a number of different scenarios which will alleviate those concerns,” he said to applause near the end of the two-hour event at the Count Basie Theatre.

Menna’s comments followed an emphatic “yes” from Jerry Zaro, chief of the state Office of Economic Growth,  when asked if such a garage might qualify for federal or state stimulus funds.

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RED BANK POLICE LOG

Unedited entries from the desk log of the Red Bank Police Department for the week of December 5 through 12.

Theft occurring on 12-6-08 in the area of White Street. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole her brown leather purse which was hanging on a concrete post. Purse was later located in parking lot by victim minus cash and gift cards which had been inside of purse. Ptl. Paul Perez.

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Criminal Mischief occurring on 12-6-08 at English Plaza Parking Lot. Victim reported that unknown person(s) had deliberately torn off the driver’s side mirror on outside of vehicle Ptl. Patrick Kennedy.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 12-7-08 at Monmouth St. Report of a window in a business being smashed out by a brick. Entry was not gained. Ptl. Michael Campanella.

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SICKELS: RESPONSE TO OUTAGE ‘EXCELLENT’

Img_534272_3Volunteer firefighters and first aid squad members stood by at the Liberty Hose firehouse on White Street during the widespread power outage Tuesday evening. (Click to enlarge)

Burglar and fire alarms went off all over town, prompting the police chief to keep one shift working past quitting time and call in additional personnel to deal with the obvious emergency.

Traffic at major intersections was moderately chaotic, until fire police arrived to direct vehicles, and workers from the public works department deployed barricades and temporary four-way stop signs at major crossroads.

Two men were briefly trapped at the second story in elevators — one at the Red Bank Middle School, the other at the Riverside Towers high-rise — before being rescued by firefighters.

The blackout of 2008 turned out to be far less than it might have been. Temperatures were moderate, in the low 50s. And at just over 90 minutes for much of Red Bank, it was nothing like the hellish five-day series of outages and brownouts that followed a transformer fire near Newman Springs Road in early July, 1999, a period in which temperatures soared close to 100 degrees.

But Tuesday night’s outage served as a good test for emergency response personnel, and the performance was “excellent,” according to Fire Marshal Stanley Sickels.

Elevatorelvis_2Custodian Elvis Ventura was all smiles as he emerged from the elevator in which he was briefly trapped at the Red Bank Middle School.

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GALLERY PLANS CENTENNIAL EXHIBIT

Stairsshadows_5x_7Cheerleader5x7“Stairs and Shadows,” above, by Warner White of Fair Haven, might have made a good ‘Where Have I Seen This?’ (See below for location.) At right, a shot by an unknown photographer; the young woman is believed to be June Evans of South Street, whom the McKay Gallery is trying to locate.

Weather-permitting, the heart of downtown Red Bank will be thronged on November 28, as it is the night following every Thanksgiving, for the annual tree lighting and Holiday Express concert.

Now, Bob & Liz McKay, owners of a photo studio and art gallery upstairs at 12 Monmouth Street, have decided to throw an additional attraction into the festive mix: the opening of an exhibit of photos and paintings to celebrate the borough’s centennial.

The display will offer a range of viewpoints, from decades-old photos from the Dorn’s Classic Images collection to shots taken in recent weeks expressly for this show.

Artists include “people who have never shown in their lives all the way up to George Tice, an internationally famous fine art photographer,” Bob McKay tells redbankgreen.

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SILLY SEASON COMES TO RED BANK

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Red Bank’s annual Halloween Parade, pulled together as usual by the Parks & Rec department, filled Broad Street with a whole lotta cute and scary under a brilliant autumn sky Sunday afternoon.

As is the custom, the event wrapped up in the White Street municipal parking lot for distribution of treats and judging of costumes and floats. But not before a bunch of guys in monkey suits heading to a wedding found themselves mistaken for parade participants (see below).

The photos enlarge when you click on them. If you see a friend or neighbor’s pic, be sure to let them know.

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BLOTTER: TEEN SKATEBOARDER ARRESTED

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A rundown of crimes entered in the Red Bank police blotter from August 1 to August 8. Items are unedited.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 8-3-08 at Riverside Parking Garage. Victim reported that upon returning to parked vehicle discovered the rear driver side window broken. Ptl. Nicholas Maletto.

Criminal Mischief, Simple Assault, Poss. of a Weapon. Incident occurred on 8-3-08 at Peters Place. Victim reported that male subject smashed out driver’s side window of vehicle with a baseball bat while he was sitting in same. Glass shattered and cut the victim’s arm. Sgt. Michael Frazee.

Theft occurring at Broad St. on 8-3-08. Victim reported that she inadvertently left her purse in shopping cart, left the area, returned and money and cell phone were missing from purse. Ptl. James DePonte.

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SIDEWALK SURFING ’08: BEST. SALE. EVER.

Img_1272The scene on Broad Street at the 2006 edition of the event.

By TOM CHESEK

There was that friend of ours who found a shrink-wrapped, never-played, original 1963 pressing ( released the day JFK was shot) of the Phil Spector Christmas Album, in a box of old discs at Jack’s.

More than one other whispered of a long-neglected storage space inside the old Kislin’s sporting goods emporium, where vintage leather jackets and mod 1960s accessories awaited discovery by a dogday-morning earlybird in search of some gear-grabber’s grail.

If you’ve lived in or around Red Bank for any length of time, you or someone close to you has just such a “sidewalk story.” And even if half of those tales are total hooey, it’s always fun to think that a truly historic get — a bargain in a box, a folding-table find, a street-rack steal — lies just past that lady blocking your view of the 2007 calendars and novelty napkin rings.

As the folks at Red Bank RiverCenter prepare to present the 54th edition of the annual Red Bank Sidewalk Sale this weekend, it’s making perfect sense to avoid the beach and do some sidewalk-surfin’ instead — with approximately 100 merchants taking to the streets in what’s being billed as “the best sale ever,” and dozens of dining establishments standing by to serve. There’s also live entertainment, courtesy of an expanded edition of the weekly Street Life outdoor concerts — and did we mention that parking on downtown streets and municipal lots is fabulously free for the duration of the event?

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CRIME REPORT

Red_bank_police_carCrimes reported between July 11 and July 18, as recorded by Red Bank Police Department. Entries are unedited.

Criminal Mischief occurring White St. on 7-12-08. Victim reported that unknown person(s) scratched her motor vehicle on sides and hood with what appeared to be a sharp implement. Ptl. Beau Broadley.

Theft occurring on 7-13-08 at Monmouth St. Owner of business reported that cash was stolen from register, no signs of forced entry. Ptl. Jorge Torres.

Criminal Mischief in the area of Prospect Ave. and Spinnaker Way occurring between 7-12-08 and 7-13-08. Report of street signs, speed limit signs and no parking signs being damaged by unknown subject(s) Sgt. Michael Furlong.

Criminal Mischief occurring at White Street between 7-13-08 and 7-14-08. Unknown person(s) dumped several beer cans and broke glass bottles in entrance to business. Ptl. Thomas Doremus.

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CRIME REPORT

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Red Bank Police activity log entries from June 27 through July 2. The log is unedited.

Burglary reported on 6-27-08 at W. Bergen Place—Vacant Resident. Owner reported that entry was gained by breaking window and removing air-conditioner. Stolen were electrical fixtures, 8 wall sconces and one crystal chandelier, various set of china, glassware and linens. House was broken into again on 6-28-08 and various items were stolen. Ptl. Jorge Torres.

Theft occurring at Spring St. on 6-27-08. Victim reported prescription pills being stolen from her purse. Ptl. James DePonte.

Theft and Criminal Mischief occurring on 6-28-08 at Bodman Place. Employee stated that she heard and saw an unidentified white male subject breaking into the wine refrigerator in the hallway. Stolen was 2 to 5 bottles of wine unknown price. Sgt. Frank Bitsko.

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POLICE BLOTTER

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Entries from the Red Bank police logs from June 13 to June 27. Items are unedited.

Theft reported on 6-13-08 which occurred at River St. between the dates of 6-4-08 and 6-5-08 a lap top computer was stolen from one of the rooms. Ptl. Jorge Torres.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 6-14-08 at West Sunset Ave. Victim reported that a group of juveniles were throwing rocks at him while on a motorcycle driving down the street. Rocks did damage the engine and bottom of gas tank. Ptl. Gary Watson, Jr.

Theft occurring on 6-14-08 at Monmouth St. Three male subjects left the establishment without paying for their food order. Ptl. John Camarca.

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LAST WEEK’S RED BANK POLICE ACTIVITY

From the police log, May 30 to June 6. Entries are unedited.

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Theft occurring at Leighton Ave. on 6-1-08. Victim reported that while unloading trays of food from vehicle and carrying them into the house, four juvenile subject(s) unknown stole one tray of food and fled. Ptl. Beau Broadley.

Criminal Mischief reported on 6-3-08 in the area of Peters Place. Report of a school bus being damaged by unknown person(s), front windshield was smashed by throwing rocks. Ptl. David Smith.

Theft occurring on 6-3-08 at Chestnut Street parking lot. Victim reported that the driver’s side left window on parked vehicle had been broken by unknown person(s). Stolen from vehicle was a GPS unit, make Magellan. Ptl. James DePonte.

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COUNCIL RUNDOWN: BOATS, AWNINGS…

Img_8646Councilwoman Grace Cangemi says residents should have warnings before nearby hydrants are flushed, resulting in discolored water flowing through taps.

Some highlights from last night’s bimonthly meeting of the Red Bank council:

TEACHERS OF THE YEAR: In addition to primary school teacher Pat Moss, who was spotlighted here yesterday, this year’s honorees were middle school third-grade teacher Stacy Curcio; third-grade teacher Matt Strippoli of the Red Bank Charter School, and social studies teacher (and Red Bank native) Steve Johnson of Red Bank Regional.

AUDIT: Independent auditor Dave Kaplan gave his annual assessment of the borough’s finances and record-keeping, both of which he finds in good shape, though with four “relatively minor” cautions, one of which centers on the timely approval of council minutes. (Until last night, the borough clerk’s office was more than a year behind in getting the minutes of meetings together; now, the most recent minutes approved are from the July 9, 2007 session.)

Kaplan noted also that tax collections last year slipped a tad, to 97.09 percent from 97.99 percent, which he attributed to economic conditions. “People are just a little slower in paying their taxes,” he said.

BOATS AND CARS: There was a discussion of a request regarding parking on Union Street from the Monmouth Boat Club. As is somewhat common at council meetings, the agenda gave no hint of what the boat club had asked for, and nobody on the council bothered to fill the audience in, but it seemed to involve the removal of or deactivation of parking meters.

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RED BANK POLICE LOG

Entries in the borough police logs from May 16 to May 23. Items are unedited.

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Criminal Mischief occurring at Catherine St. on 5-16-08—Victim reported that unknown person(s) shattered car window. Ptl. Gary Watson.

Criminal Mischief occurring at West Sunset Residence between 5-17-08 and 5-18-08. Victim reported that unknown person(s) entered unoccupied residence and threw paint on walls and floors of upstairs bedroom. Ptl. Paul Perez.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 5-18-08 at Water Street business. Owner reported that unknown subject(s) shattered front door window to the business. Ptl. Robert Kennedy.

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BLACK COMEDY, AND OTHER BASIE SELLOUTS

Lewisblack1Hold onto your lederhosen, Little Kraut: Lewis Black darkens the stage for two nights this week in the latest of a string of sold-out shows at the Count Basie Theatre.

By TOM CHESEK

You would think this was a sweet point in time to be Lewis Black.

The gravel-voiced gadfly — already a household name thanks to his “Back in Black” vignettes on The Daily Show — has much to hype this season. His new weekly TV show Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil just made its debut on Comedy Central. A forthcoming book, Me of Little Faith, is poised to blow the lid off this organized-religion thing. And he continues to sell out venues across the USA with his own Black-label blend of vein-popping vitriol.

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So why, then, is Lewis Black not smiling? Why does “the most indignant, exasperated man in America” continue to rant, rave and rail against the many real and/or imagined indignities, hypocrisies and stupidities of modern American life?

Because we wouldn’t have it any other way — and when the Yale-educated social activist slash leather-jacketed curmudgeon takes to the soapbox with his high-decibel, slightly Tourettes-inflected stand-up act, there’s no finer music.

Having consistently filled the house in recent years, Black and his longtime opening act John Bowman return to the boards of the Count Basie Theatre for not just one but two sold-out shows, tomorrow and Wednesday night. If past Basie gigs are any indicator, Black will tweak topics both global (wars on terror, prez-candidates in peril and public figures in spectacular freefall) and strictly local (both comics have been known to have some fun with the name of Red Bank’s landmark restaurant The Little Kraut) — with a salvo of bunker-busting F-bombs and all the surgical delicacy of a pair of explosive-charge bolt cutters.

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RED BANK CRIME REPORTS AND ARRESTS

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The following are entries in the Red Bank police logs from March 14 through March 20. The information is supplied by the police department and is both unverified and unedited.

Theft occurring on East Newman Springs Rd. on 3-14-08. Victim reported that while in a parking lot she left her wallet in shopping cart, left the area and upon returning the wallet had been stolen. Contained in wallet were cash and credit cards. Ptl. James DePonte.

Theft occurring at Spring St. residence between 3-13-08 and 3-14-08. Victim reported that unknown person(s) stole two solar light posts off of front porch. Det. Robert Clayton.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 3-15-08 at Spring St. parking lot. Victim reported that unknown subject(s) flattened all four tires on parked vehicle and also keyed vehicle around the entire perimeter of vehicle. Ptl. David Smith.

Theft occurring at Spring St. on 3-15-08. Victim reported that unknown subject(s) entered parked vehicle and stole a Dell Laptop computer and two Apple I-Pods. Ptl. David Smith.

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PRESS: RIVERCENTER IN DECK TALKS

Img_5942The borough parking lot on White Street, as seen last September.

Here’s a story that will gladden the hearts of many Red Bank retailers and restaurateurs while no doubt raising hackles in other quarters.

The Asbury Park Press is reporting that:

Developers have been talking to officials of the RiverCenter downtown alliance about reviving plans to build a parking deck in the business district.

Nancy Adams, RiverCenter executive director, said that they’ve had talks with a developer about a deck, which would have retail shops and residential units on the front of the structure and parking in back.

“There are talks that are out there of potential projects that could fill the bill, and we’re exploring things as much as possible,” Adams said. “It is all very preliminary.”

Press reporter Larry Higgs doesn’t identify the developers, and the article makes no mention of Trader Joe’s, a beloved specialty grocery chain that admirers liken to Whole Foods Market, only with smaller stores.

Last September, redbankgreen reported that representatives of Trader Joe’s and a development firm had met with Adams’ predecessor, Tricia Rumola, as well as Borough Administrator Stanley Sickels, to explore the possibility of building a store with a parking deck above it on the White Street lot.

Since then, Sickels told us as recently as earlier this month, he hasn’t heard anything more from the chain. Company officials haven’t returned repeated phone calls.

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A ROLL OF TAPE, BUT HOLD THE CHERRIES

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We thought we had a big scoop when we reported back in July, 2006 (yes, newbies, redbankgreen is that old) that Ben & Jerry’s was planning to open a store on White Street.

The western end of the block, which sees relatively little foot traffic past Clearview Cinemas, would come alive with new businesses, triggering a land rush, we speculated. And things would only heat up if the long-debated parking garage was ever built on the White Street municipal lot.

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Well, that vision gradually melted away. Though a sign touting the ice cream purveyor’s anticipated arrival stood for months in the window of a vacant storefront at 68 White, the butter pecan, cherry Garcia and Chubby Hubby frozen desserts never materialized.

But now, at least, the storefront is no longer vacant, thanks to the constant churn of retail establishments downtown, which are born, trade spaces and die with sometimes alarming frequency.

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PLANNING BOARD TO BUONA SERA: MANGIA

Buona_seraBuona Sera’s plan to expand into the space now used by Fins and Feathers was approved by the Planning Board earlier this week.

It doesn’t have a single parking space to offer its customers, but Buona Sera Ristorante has gotten a greenlight from borough planners for an expansion that will boost its capacity by 148 seats.

In lieu of parking, the restaurant at the corner of Maple Avenue and Monmouth Street will be required to make a one-time $70,000 contribution to the borough parking fund, said Planning and Zoning Director Donna Smith Barr.

The Planning Board gave unanimous approval to the restaurant’s expansion Monday, despite reservations by the Visual Improvement Committee of Red Bank RiverCenter, the downtown promotional entity.

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IN TOWN | IN OCTOBER: WEEK ONE

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For lovers of offbeat films, it’s one of the best things about living in or near Red Bank.

For student filmmakers, it’s a rare opportunity to get their work up on the big screen in front of an audience of more than just classmates and family members. Ditto, frankly, for many of their older counterparts.

And for folks simply looking for intelligent cinema that’s out of the ordinary, the selection could hardly be better.

We’re talking, of course, about the annual Red Bank International Film Festival, which kicks off tomorrow night and runs through Sunday at the Clearview Cinemas on White Street.

This year’s slate of more than 50 films, long and short, offers a range from amusing to heavy, with emphasis on chuckles and some tongue-in-cheek-macabre thrown in for bonus yuks.

“All in all, I think it’s a very tight film festival,” says Marc Leckstein, president of the Freedom Film Society, which puts on the festival, now in its seventh edition. “It’s got basically anything anyone would want.”

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ON DECK: A TRADER JOE’S AND A GARAGE?

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It is perhaps the single most contentious issue in Red Bank: whether the downtown needs a parking garage.

Merchants, in general, say yes. They complain that a shortage of street and lot parking is choking their businesses and undermining broader efforts to capitalize on the town’s sterling reputation as a cultural and shopping destination.

Building a garage that significantly increases the number of parking slots in the central business district is the best thing Red Bank could do to preserve its stature among New Jersey downtowns and stave off threats from Pier Village in Long Branch and other emerging marketplaces, proponents say.

But many residents say no way to a parking deck — not if they have to pay for it with higher property taxes.

Efforts by the Democrat-controlled council to convert the borough-owned White Street lot to a parking deck attracted large, angry crowds in 2001 and 2005. The latter attempt called for a 570-car, $11.8 million structure. Both times, the idea was shelved.

The solution, many agree, is some form of public-private deal in which a developer carries the financial risk and the town gets both revenue and more slots.

Finally, a plan along those lines may be in the works. And it involves a high-profile retailer that has done this sort of thing before elsewhere.

redbankgreen has learned that representatives of Trader Joe’s, a wildly popular chain of specialty food stores with affordable prices, met with borough officials two weeks ago to explore the possibility of building a store with a parking deck above it on the White Street lot.

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MERCHANTS AND MAYOR TEE UP LOITERERS

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Mayor Pasquale Menna lashed out last night at “little juveniles” from out of town whom he blames for recently grafitti-bombing the public library and loitering in front of stores near West Front Street and Maple Avenue.

His remarks came amid a series of complaints by merchants at last night’s borough council meeting that packs of young people are hanging out in front of stores and damaging property, particularly at the City Centre Plaza shopping center, the 7-11 and the parking lot next to the Commerce Bank.

“These are not our kids,” Menna said. “These are the rich kids from other towns.”

Not so, said Mark Harry, whose wife runs a hair salon at City Centre, where he said employees have been harassed by loiterers, including at least one incident in which a young adult sought to exchange sex for cash.

“Some of those kids wear Red Bank Regional jackets,” Harry said. “Don’t tell me it’s not Red Bank.”

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PRIMED PUMPER

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Now-Second Deputy Fire Chief Joe Forgione had just put the license plates on the Liberty Hose Co.’s new pumper last November 7 when, “next thing we knew, the fire call comes in,” he said.

The alarm was for a blaze that heavily damaged a house on South Pearl Street. “Everything worked well, so it’s been tested,” Forgione said of the vehicle.

Today, the 2,000-gallons-per-minute pumper is being formally inaugurated at the borough-owned firehouse on White Street.

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LAST-MINUTE BRICK THROWN INTO PLAN

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By LINDA G. RASTELLI
When you’re redoing a downtown, as rookie Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre is discovering, you can’t please everyone.

Exhibit A: the borough’s streetscape plan, which calls for the sidewalks from Memorial Park to Oak Place to be redone in white concrete stamped with a herringbone pattern, and for the installation of faux Victorian light fixtures. River Road in the vicinity of Fair Haven Road will be repaved.

Everyone agrees the sidewalks need replacing “They’re in terrible condition,” says Halfacre, “like downtown Beirut in some places.”

But now, at the eleventh hour, some business owners are pushing for brick instead of concrete. On Monday night, hours after construction on the job is scheduled to start, they plan to ask the Borough Council to allow them to opt out of the concrete solution, at their own expense.

It could be a tough sell. If construction is delayed by plan changes, finishing the work for Memorial Day weekend as other merchants insist may not be possible. Retailers are still smarting over the 2005 reconstruction of the bridge over Fourth Creek, just a few hundred feet west of the intersection, which all but shut off downtown traffic for months.

“The business owners are very sensitive about traffic flow,” says Halfacre. “They’re afraid [if construction impedes access again] their customers won’t come back this time.”

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