VIRUS UPDATES: DATA, OUTBREAKS & TESTING

An Immediate Care COVID-19 testing tent in Red Bank’s White Street lot Monday night. The company has been offering free tests at the site for weeks. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

hot topic red bank nj

By JOHN T. WARD

COVID-19 pressure on Monmouth County hospitals continued to increase in the past week, according to the latest data from the county government.

At the same time, demand for intensive care and ventilators to treat patients with the virus showed slight signs of easing.

Separately, Red Bank Regional High announced a plan for free COVID-19 testing for staff and students.

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RED BANK: RIVERVIEW WATER DEAL DETAILED

red bank riverview 032020 2The agreement ends a lawsuit alleging the hospital illegally connected its Blaisdell Pavilion to the borough water system. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njUnder a “confidential” settlement approved by the borough council last week, Riverview Medical Center will pay Red Bank just $850,000 for water and sewer usage the town contended in a lawsuit was worth at least $5.3 million.

The hospital also will get 10 more years to pay off the obligation, some of which dates to 1984.

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RED BANK: ‘CHRISTMAS STAR’ BRINGS WINTER

Minus their customary caroling, to minimize the spread of COVID-19, neighbors on South Street in Red Bank went ahead with their annual display of luminaria Friday night.

Monday at 5:02 a.m. marked the solstice, the passage from autumn into winter in the northern hemisphere. This year, by coincidence, December 21 is when the two largest planets in Earth’s solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, will appear to nearly merge in the night sky in a rare phenomenon called a ‘Christmas star,’ according to Astronomy magazine.

A clear sky is needed to see the “great conjunction,” but the outlook for the Greater Red Bank Green is less than ideal, as detailed by the National Weather Service in the extended forecast below. (Photo by John T. Ward.  Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: WATER SERVICE AFFECTED

After spending much of a cold day fixing a sewer issue on Broad Street, a crew from Red Bank’s big-plumbing-job contractor, Mark Woszcak Mechanical, was called to the scene of a water line break at South Street and Madison Avenue at about 6 p.m. Friday.

Water pressure was expected to be reduced or cut off for several hours in the immediate area for several hours while repairs were made, said Rich Hardy, a supervisor in the borough’s public works department. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: TRASH PACT, LEAK REPORT OK’D

DeLisa Demolition won the bidding to haul the borough’s trash and recycling for another five years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicMonths later than expected, Red Bank officials agreed this week to enter a new five-year contract for private trash hauling, one that will increase the frequency of recycling pickups.

They also agreed to hire an outside attorney to look into disputed emails about the bid specifications.

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RED BANK: SNOWPERSON WEATHER

While the big kids sledded, two-year-old Mac Messina of Little Silver was fascinated by a snowman at Tower Hill Presbyterian Church in Red Bank Thursday. In Fair Haven, right, siblings James, Catie and Keagan Straine collaborated on their own snowman.

With temperatures not much above freezing until Sunday, the snowpersons may remain a few days, according to the National Weather Service.

Check out the extended forecast, below, which takes us into winter: the solstice will be occur at 5:02 a.m. Monday. (Photos by John T. Ward.  Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: LOOSE LIPS AT COUNCIL SESSION

Mayor Pasquale Menna, upper left, and Councilman Ed Zipprich, center left, seen on Zoom during Wednesday’s council session Attorney Greg Cannon is in second row, third from left. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe final Red Bank council meeting of 2020 included a couple of apparent cases of loose lips.

In one, Mayor Pasquale Menna revealed more than the borough attorney thought he should about the settlement of a lawsuit over Riverview Medical Center’s water bill.

In another, Councilman Ed Zipprich  questioned the qualifications of a newly hired official.

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RED BANK: DURING AND AFTER THE STORM

Red Bank photographer Allan Bass captured Wednesday’s storm-in-progress on Broad Street, above, and in Riverside Gardens Park, below.

Afterward, a resident of Riverview Towers shared the photo at right, a view of downtown Red Bank Thursday morning. (Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: STORM LEAVES COLD, SLUSHY MESS

The first snowstorm of 2020-2021 lived down to billing, leaving behind a heavy, wet mess of slush and puddles across the Greater Red Bank Green Thursday morning.

With snow still falling and strong winds adding bite that drove the feels-like temperature down to the mid-teens, a shoveler faced a long slog at the SuperFoodtown on Broad Street in Red Bank, above.

Slush and sparks fly off a Monmouth County public works plow as it cleared  Broad Street at East Bergen Place shortly after 5 a.m. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

On a brief predawn tour on foot, redbankgreen encountered about six inches of ice-topped snow, with equal depths of slush in roadway gutters and at intersections.

The National Weather Service forecast that the snowfall would end by 10 a.m., bringing less than one additional inch. But the wind, with gusts as high as 40 mile per hour, will continue, imperiling tree limbs and power lines.

Shortly before 6 a.m, the Jersey Central Power &  Light outage website showed 34 Little Silver customers without electricity; fewer than 5 in Red Bank; and none in Fair Haven.

Meantime, a state of emergency issued Wednesday by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy remained in effect.

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RED BANK: MURPHY DECLARES ‘EMERGENCY’

Autumn 2020, meet winter. Ice and fallen leaves shared space alongside Harding Road in Red Bank Wednesday afternoon as the first flakes of an expected snowstorm began coming down.

The National Weather Service dialed back its snow accumulation forecast for the area that includes the Greater Red Bank Green to about three inches by late Thursday morning. It had earlier forecast a total of four or five inches.

Still, with a “significant winter storm” expected to hit northern part of the state with higher totals, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency beginning at 2 p.m. one hour after an early release of state government employees.

(redbankgreen photo.  Click to enlarge.)

ON THE GREEN: WHAT TO EXPECT FROM STORM

A briny mixture to inhibit ice was sprayed onto the roadway on McCarter Avenue in Fair Haven Tuesday in advance of a snowstorm expected on the Greater Red Bank Green starting Wednesday evening.

Though the storm could drop 16 inches elsewhere in New Jersey, the Red Bank region will likely see four or five inches by late Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

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RED BANK: SNOW PARKING ALERT ISSUED

A roofer’s torch generates heat haze on the roof of a building being readied for a gym at Maple Avenue and White Street in Red Bank Tuesday.

Heat and a good roof will come in handy Wednesday, when the Greater Red Bank Green is expected to get hit with the first snowstorm of the season, according to forecasts.

In advance, Red Bank’s government issued a parking alert to residents Tuesday.

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FAIR HAVEN: COUNCIL SPLITS ON FUNDING

Councilwoman Susan Sorensen working a booth at the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair in 2013. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A divided council cleared financing to advance plans for new police and public works facilities in Fair Haven Monday night.

At its final session of 2020, the council also extended the employment of Theresa Casagrande as borough administrator and bid goodbye to Councilwoman Susan Sorensen.

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VIRUS: ICU CASES RISING AS VACCINE DEBUTS

Intensive care bed usage in Monmouth County hospitals rose to 60 Monday, the highest level since May, while hospitalizations for COVID-19 declined to 418, from 446 a week earlier, the freeholders reported. (Monmouth County data. Click to enlarge.)

hot topic red bank nj

By JOHN T. WARD

With an historic rollout of the first COVID-19 vaccine about to begin in New Jersey, “the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter,” Governor Phil Murphy said Monday.

At the same time, hospitals statewide and in Monmouth County are treating rising numbers of patients who need intensive care and ventilators because of the coronavirus, data show.

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VIRUS: HEALTH WORKERS TO GET FIRST SHOTS

Frontline healthcare workers at Riverview Medical Center received cheers from the police, first aid and fire personnel in April. (Photo by  John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

hot topic red bank nj

By JOHN T. WARD

A nationwide rollout of America’s first COVID-19 vaccine is expected to begin Tuesday with inoculations of frontline healthcare workers.

Among them will be employees of Hackensack Meridian Health, the parent company of Red Bank’s Riverview Medical Center, according to chief executive Robert Garrett.

“I truly believe this is going to be the beginning of the end of this terrible pandemic,” Garrett said on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation‘ Sunday.

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RED BANK: MIDWEEK SNOW POSSIBLE

Will  the Greater Red Bank Green be among the areas of New Jersey to get an expected snowstorm Wednesday night?

Eastern Monmouth County appears on the outer margin of a region the National Weather Service expects will get up to five inches of snow overnight into Thursday, mainly north and west of Interstate 95.

Meantime, the Greater Green will see little or no snow accumulation Monday, a generally rainy day when flakes are expected to mix in after 3 p.m. Check out the extended forecast below. (NWS graphic. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: ANOTHER CAR HITS BUILDING

No one was injured when a car plowed into the vacant former VNA headquarters in Red Bank early Sunday morning.

The vehicle struck the same spot hit in a 2017 crash, which neighbors cited in raising safety concerns about a massive development plan for the location.

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RED BANK: HOLIDAY DELIGHTS A-POPPING

Red Banker Mike Quon, below, is among the visual artists and craftsmakers selling their wares in a pop-up bazaar in the former Alfonso’s Bakery storefront on Broad Street. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

The holiday season is popping in Red Bank, with a number of organizations applying the retail ‘pop-up‘ concept in coming days, not just to storefronts but also to entertainments.

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RED BANK: SCHOOLS DIVERGE ON SCHEDULES

redbankgreen hot topicThe construction fence surrounding an addition at Red Bank Regional High School has come down, in time for a resumption of a hybrid schedule that will bring students back to the Little Silver campus starting Monday, Superintendent Lou Moore announced Thursday.

But in Red Bank borough, RBR’s largest sending district, the primary and middle schools will remain off-limits to students and staff for another month due to the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic, Superintendent Jared Rumage said.

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RED BANK: FRICTION OVER WEST FRONT PLAN

A rendering depicts 141 West Front Street upon completion. (Visual by  Feinberg & Associates. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposed development that would dramatically alter a downtown Red Bank block won’t have a significant impact on traffic, a developer’s consultant told the zoning board Wednesday night.

The hearing prompted some friction between the developer’s representatives and a board member, who warned them to “be careful” if they wanted his vote.

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SHREWSBURY: PEDESTRIAN STRUCK & KILLED

The accident occurred on Route 35 near the Avenue at the Common, the prosecutor’s office said. (Google Maps. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Shrewsbury resident died following an accident on Route 35 in the borough Monday night, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Officer reported Wednesday.

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RED BANK: A TOUCH OF WINTER IN THE AIR

red bank sunset 120820Sunset tinted the sky over Harding Road and Prospect Avenue in Red Bank in hues of pink Tuesday, as seen from The Church at Tower Hill.

The Greater Red Bank Green may see its first snow flurries of the season Wednesday, though “a dusting, at best” is likely, according to the National Weather Service. Check out the extended forecast below. (Photo by John T. Ward.  Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: HEARING FOR PRC PLAN TO RESUME

red bank 141 west front garageUnder the proposal, 137 apartments and additional would be built above Pazzo MMX restaurant on West Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njInterrupted by the pandemic, a hearing on a massive development proposed in downtown Red Bank is slated to resume Wednesday night.

The borough zoning board has scheduled a rare special session to review a plan for a nine-story addition atop Pazzo MMX restaurant – but now with 13 fewer apartments than originally proposed.

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