FAIR HAVEN: NO DUNKIN’ ON OVER EASY

fair haven over easy 061620Over Easy Kitchen plans to open in space vacated by Bike Haven nearly four years ago. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njNo angry crowds, no predictions of traffic jams or children being run over by cars.

A restaurant proposed for Fair Haven’s Acme shopping center had a far easier time winning approval Tuesday night than its prospective neighbor, a Dunkin’ coffee shop that divided the town for months.

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RED BANK: PREPPING FOR PLAZAS

With the first of two unprecedented pedestrian plazas set to debut in downtown Red Bank Thursday night, prep work was underway on Broad Street earlier this week.

Above, a crew from Powerhouse Signs, under contract with Red Bank RiverCenter, installed in-tree uplighting that owner Jim Bruno said he hoped will create a “Greenwich Village vibe” for outdoor diners and shoppers. At right, code enforcement official Frank Woods checked  a sidewalk café for its distance from the curb.  

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RED BANK: COPS SAY SESTITO INTERFERED

Red Bank police dashcam video from the June 3 incident on East Bergen Place. (Red Bank Police Department video. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank’s police chief has asked the Monmouth County prosecutor to review an incident involving Councilman Michael Ballard earlier this month.

The incident, which Ballard reported as it occurred outside his home during a council meeting on Zoom, led to his wife, Rose Sestito, briefly in handcuffs for allegedly interfering with a police investigation, though no charges were filed.

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RED BANK: BACK IN BUSINESS, OUT FRONT

red bank bistro 061520Reopening after almost three months to the day after they were ordered shut down in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank restaurants drew numerous diners to their outdoor tables Monday night.

“It’s like normal – almost,” said Charlie Lyristis, co-owner of Bistro, on Broad Street, above. At right: a note left at tables for customers of Pazzo, on West Front Street.

See additional photos as restaurants resumed with sit-down, outdoor-only service under order of Governor Phil Murphy below.

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ON THE GREEN: RESTAURANTS REOPEN

little silver edie's 061520After a nearly three-month shutdown except for takeout, restaurants on the Greater Red Bank Green began reopening as sit-down, outdoor-only eateries Monday.

Even with the weather a bit on the cool side, “it’s nice to get of the hospital,” said a Riverview Medical Center employee sharing lunch with colleagues at Robinson Ale House in Red Bank, above. Read More »

RED BANK: LANE TO GO ONE-WAY, PARTWAY

red bank boat club denholtz southbankBoat Club Court, seen from Union Street, would become a one-way uphill toward West Front Street, but remain a two-way for a short stretch in the other direction. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA steep and narrow road serving Red Bank’s Marine Park and two Navesink River clubs would become a partial one-way street under an ordinance up for consideration by the borough council this week.

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RED BANK: RESTAURANTS HUSTLE TO REOPEN

red bank danny murphy 061120Danny Murphy, owner of Danny’s Steakhouse, with the safety guide he prepared for his employees. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Their industry battered over the past three months by the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank’s restaurateurs are now scrambling for a toehold on recovery.

With partial reopenings slated to begin Monday, they’re training staff in a host of new hygiene procedures. At the same time, some are also racing to shift operations into two new shopping and dining plazas being created downtown.

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RED BANK: THE VERY PICTURE OF SPRING

Spotted on Spring Street in Red Bank this beautiful spring Friday morning: an instant, and truly lifelike, still life image, pre-framed and ready for hanging. 

Check out more images found by the Accidental Photographer in the redbankgreen archive here. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: HUNDREDS RALLY FOR JUSTICE

red bank rally 060920 Protesters march down Broad Street, above, and observe a moment of silence on Newman Springs Road, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

red bank rally 060920 By JOHN T. WARD

Angry but peaceful, hundreds of protesters marched through Red Bank Tuesday afternoon.

With temperatures nearing 90 degrees, a “Justice for George Floyd” march and rally at Count Basie Fields coincided with the Houston funeral of the man killed by Minneapolis police May 25.

Check out redbankgreen’s photos from the event below.

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RED BANK: COP AIDED EVENTUAL VICTIM

RED BANK BALMER 060820Patrolman Stan Balmer, at right, with a State Trooper on the Parkway early on the morning of May 23. (Screenshot from release by New Jersey Attorney General. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank cop came to the aid of stranded motorist last month in the first of a series of related encounters between police and the driver, who was later shot dead by a State Trooper, authorities said Monday.

Patrolman Stan Balmer, who leads one of the borough’s two K9 teams, was off-duty and enroute home following his shift when he came upon a car broken down in the center lane of the Garden State Parkway in Brick Township on May 23, according to Chief Darren McConnell.

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RED BANK: RETAIL DAMAGE, BUT HOPE, TOO

red bank forge alex montaperto 052020Alex Montaperto in Forge, her English Plaza shop, which hasn’t opened though it’s been ready for nine weeks. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallWith the dust settling from one of the worst economic blows in American history, the damage to Red Bank’s retail scene is starting to come into focus.

Business shutterings and aborted lease deals are on the rise – no surprise – but there are also a few glimmers of optimism.

Read all about some of the changes downtown in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: RACIAL JUSTICE MARCH SLATED

Hundreds marched through town to protest a racist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK PROTESTA “Justice for George” march and rally to protest the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis is slated to be held in Red Bank Tuesday afternoon.

According to police Chief Darren McConnell, the event is being organized by Calvary Baptist Church of Red Bank and an organization called Count the Children.

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RED BANK: REPORT OF SHOT FIRED

red bank policeRed Bank police were investigating a report of a shot fired on the West Side Friday afternoon.

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred around 1 p.m. on West Sunset Avenue between Leighton and Shrewsbury avenues, Chief Darren McConnell told redbankgreen.

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VIRUS UPDATE: STATE’S DEATH TOLL AT 12,049

The trajectory of new cases has shown gradual flattening in Monmouth County. (Monmouth County data. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03With new COVID-19 illness totals showing continued abatement, New Jersey passed another grim milestone as the number of deaths in the pandemic topped 12,000, Governor Phil Murphy said Friday.

At the same time, Murphy lauded state residents for working to “beat the crap out of this virus,” with key indicators down 70 percent or more from peak spread as the state nears “stage two” of an economic reopening.

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RED BANK: BALLARD DUBS COPS ‘AGGRESSIVE’

michael ballardRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard speaking at Pilgrim Baptist Church Thursday night. (Screenshot from Facebook Live. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard on Thursday teed up borough cops for what he called “overagressive” treatment of his wife during an incident 24 hours earlier.

Speaking at Pilgrim Baptist Church for an online forum on systemic racism, Ballard, an African-American, also appeared to suggest he’d been treated unfairly by unnamed officials at borough hall in his role as finance chairman.

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE

hot topicDear redbankgreen reader:

You are no doubt aware that the local-news industry is collapsing, and understand what that might mean for the future of an informed public and for democracy itself.

And yet, redbankgreen has somehow managed to provide original and intensely local coverage of the Red Bank area for 14 years, at no charge.

Yeah, so how’s that work?

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FAIR HAVEN: BRUSH GRINDING SITE GRATES

Escorted to the transfer site by police, an 18-wheeler needed more than five minutes of maneuvering to back into the tight space last Friday. (Video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

A brush-grinding and transfer station tucked into a leafy Fair Haven neighborhood has got to go, neighbors say.

Though Fair Haven officials have touted the operation for years as a model of interlocal sharing and an environmental boon, residents call it a “monstrosity” of noise, dust and dangerous truck traffic.

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RED BANK: KNOCKOUT WEATHER FOR… SUNDAY

Unidentified kickboxers worked out in the parking lot of the Tower Hill Presbyterian Church on Harding Road in Red Bank Wednesday evening.

According to the National Weather Service, the sun will be fighting to be seen over the next two days, but will deliver a knockout Sunday, when it gets to shine and temperatures peak in the mid-70s.

Check out the extended forecast below. (redbankgreen photos.)

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