Search Results for: "stanley sickels"

RED BANK: PAST, FUTURE AND A NICE PRESENT

front_cover_2015_dorn's_calendarFrom press materials furnished by Prown’s and Dorn’s Classic Images

It’s that time of year again — that time when thoughts start creeping toward next year, and another 12 months’ worth of little numbered boxes to fill with appointments, commitments, resolutions and reminders.

As has become a recently minted tradition, two of the most time-honored names in the Red Bank community have announced the 2015 editions of their sought-after custom calendars — daily datekeepers that are designed to kindle warm-‘n-fuzzy feelings for anyone with a nostalgic spot for the towns of the greater Red Bank green; even as they help some of the area’s hardworking nonprofits fulfill their mission in the here and now.

Available online and in-store now at Prown’s Home Improvements, the sixth annual Prown’s Olde Tyme Red Bank Area Calendar collects 14 priceless images of local life — this year organized around the theme “Remembering Places of Entertainment.” As David Prown — third-generation steward of the family business that will mark its 90th anniversary next year — put it, “memories will come flooding back” to all who gaze upon the images of good times across the decades. The calendars, which tend to sell out each year, are priced at $12, with proceeds dedicated to the “Number One non-profit entertainmen charity organization,” Holiday Express.

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RED BANK: EV SPACE? HOLD THAT THOUGHT

RB EV CHARGER 110614 2The public charging station, located outside borough hall, remained under wraps Thursday afternoon. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

park itIt seems somebody at Red Bank borough hall was a little premature in telling redbankgreen that the town’s first and only public electric vehicle charging station would go live Thursday.

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SICKELS CITED IN PENN STATE EGGING

garrett sickels 010112[CLARIFICATION: The original version of this story mistakenly reported, in the headline and body of the story, that Garrett Sickels and his three teammates were “arrested.” According to Sickels’ father, Stanley Sickels, they were issued summonses but not taken into custody. Stanley Sickels said all four players maintain their innocence. November 2, 2014]

Red Bank’s Garrett Sickels is among four Penn State football players facing disciplinary action after being charged late Thursday night for egging a campus building.

Sickels, a sophomore defensive end who was a standout at Red Bank Regional, and three teammates were was issued a summons for criminal mischief for throwing eggs at a residential building, according to a report Friday by PennLive.com.

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RED BANK: PRIVATE TRASH PICKUP ON HOLD

rb trash 092414 2The Menna administration will rewrite bid specs and try again, officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank council voted Wednesday night to reject bids submitted by waste haulers aiming to take over garbage pickup for the town’s residents.

Citing inadequate savings, officials said they would rewrite bid specifications for the privatization of trash collection to include a provision that a successful bidder hire the town’s affected solid-waste employees.

The delay sparked sparked an extended and sometimes heated exchange among Republican council candidate Sean Di Somma, borough Administrator Stanley Sickels and two councilmen over what Di Somma called “foot-dragging” on an issue he believes could save taxpayers money.

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RED BANK: CHARGING STATION TO GO LIVE

rb charging 092614The charging station, the borough’s first, has been bagged since completion of the Monmouth Street reconstruction project last year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

park itA long-completed but never activated electric vehicle charging station on Monmouth Street outside Red Bank’s borough hall won’t be idle much longer, town officials said Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: MATTRESS MAVEN PICKS UP K9 TAB

michael fux 2 081211Michael Fux, above on Broad Street  in 2011. His donation cleared the way for the addition of Rugger, an 11-month-old German shepherd, to the RBPD. (Rugger photo courtesy of RBPD. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb k9 rugger 092414 3The Red Bank police department has a new, four-legged member, thanks to mattress millionaire Michael Fux.

A fundraising drive launched earlier this month to create a new K9 unit came to an abrupt end Wednesday night when the town council accepted a $38,000 donation from Fux (pronounced ‘fyooks’) and his wife, Gloria Rubin, to cover nearly the entire cost of a police dog, a specially equipped vehicle to transport it and training for the dog and his handler.

The dog has already been acquired. He’s an 11-month-old male German shepherd named Rugger by his new master, Patrolman Stan Balmer. The two are off to 16 weeks of K9 school in Long Branch starting Monday.

“We’re already bonding,” said Balmer, a former rugby player, or “rugger,” as he showed off cellphone photos of his new partner.

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RED BANK: ROOF FIRE VEXES CHIEF

rb fire 091814 1Firefighters closed off a portion of Broad Street to fight the blaze. One peered into a wall cavity abutting the roof, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A hard-to-locate rb fire 091814 2fire apparently started by roofers prompted the shutdown of a stretch of Broad Street in Red Bank Thursday afternoon.

Emergency personnel responded to smoke alarms from 50 Broad, home to the A Time to Kiln pottery class shop, and an adjoining building at about 4:10 p.m., said Fire Chief Tommy Welsh.

Volunteer firefighters then spent about an hour on the roof and inside second-floor offices, where they cut into walls in search of the source of hazy smoke, he said.

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RED BANK: CRITICS HOSE SPRAYGROUND PLAN

gasienica 081314Kathleen Gasienica, an environmentalist and next-door neighbor to the nature area, brought a boatload of visuals to bolster her critique of the plan. Borough Engineer Christine Ballard showed a photo of a similar sprayground in Middlesex County.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb spray park 081314A steady stream of critics blasted a plan for a sprayground at Red Bank’s Bellhaven Nature Area Wednesday night, citing environmental, economic and safety issues.

The controversial project, in the works for nearly three years, divided backers and opponents along familiar lines at a bimonthly borough council meeting, where Engineer Christine Ballard unveiled the most detailed plan yet for the Locust Avenue facility.

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RED BANK: MAKING SPACE FOR MORE PARKING

106 monmouth 080814A borough-owned building next to Red Bank’s town hall on Monmouth Street is set to be razed this weekend. Administrator Stanley Sickels said the removal of the house, which has been used for records storage and as a police gym, should clear the way for about eight more parking spaces. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: SIGN CRACKDOWN SPARKS IRE

RB signs 061214 1Neon signs in store windows at the City Centre strip mall on White Street. Cluck U Chicken, above left, got a warning, but Psychic Advisor Gina on Monmouth Street, below, did not, according to borough records. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb neon 061714A recent crackdown on neon and other illuminated signs that lit up the business community with outrage prompted Red Bank officials to pull the plug on enforcement Wednesday night.

The blitz came to light at the bimonthly meeting of the mayor and council, when Councilman Mike DuPont said he had been besieged with complaints by merchants and restaurateurs over warning letters for signs some of them have had in their windows for decades.

“Many of the restaurants I visited complained bitterly,” said DuPont. “I heard all about it.”

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RED BANK: TENNIS, TRESTLE, PARKING & DOGS

rb tennis 102912The Red Bank clay courts during Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012, above. Below, a truck stuck under the West Front Street railroad trestle last week. (Photos by Peter Lindner and Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb stuck truck 052314 2Tennis enthusiasts pelted the Red Bank council over the lack of progress on rebuilding the town’s cherished clay courts Wednesday night.

At its bimonthly meeting – conducted over the loud hum of temporary air conditioners while the borough hall HVAC system gets an upgrade – the governing body also took up issues ranging from the vexing train trestle on West Front Street to beagle rights.

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RED BANK: FLUSHING AWAY TAX DOLLARS

HOT-TOPIC_03Somebody flushed a mop head down a toilet.

That feat of hydraulic waste removal and others, including the flushing of a towel, led to a three-day crash of a Red Bank sanitary sewer pump earlier this week that will cost taxpayers at least $30,000, officials said Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: FIREHOUSE SOLD, USE UNKNOWN

morgans 042914With his brother, Michael, looking on, John Morgan gives borough Administrator Stanley Sickels a deposit for the firehouse purchase. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

liberty hose 070612Red Bank’s former Liberty Hose Company firehouse may soon have the second owner in its 103-year history.

Brothers Michael and John Morgan, owners of several prominent downtown properties, acquired the two-story, red brick structure at an auction that drew no other bidders or onlookers other than redbankgreen Tuesday morning.

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RED BANK: LIBRARY TRUSTEES QUIT EN MASSE

rbpl trustees 3 032714 Of the six board members seen in this photo from a March 27 trustees meeting, only April Klimley, in red at left, remains on the board. Two others who also resigned are not shown. Below, the sign outside the library welcomed back two employees whose rehirings prompted the resignations. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rbpl 041314Overridden last week by the borough council over a controversial budget, six of the eight members of the Red Bank Public Library board of trustees resigned in protest Saturday.

Angered over what they said were factual misrepresentations and position reversals by the Menna Administration that undid a year of “difficult” financial planning, the trustees said in a letter that it “has become apparent that we cannot operate as an effective and independent board as stipulated by the NJ State Library statutes.”

The mass exodus, coupled with the planned departure of library Director Virginia Papandrea later this month and another trustee’s resignation last Thursday, raises questions about short-term leadership at the 76-year-old institution. Moreover, departing board members said the library continues to face a fiscal crisis, contrary to administration claims.

“The numbers still don’t add up,” said trustees President John Grandits. “I don’t see how you’re going to be open in November or December. I don’t get it.”

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RED BANK: COUNCIL REHIRES LIBRARY PAIR

rb council 2 040914Librarians Sira Williams, left, and Elizabeth McDermott embrace after being reinstated to their jobs Wednesday night. Below, trustees Denelle Johnson, left, and Brigid McCarthy with Administrator Stanley Sickels after the meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb council 1 040914Pulling rank on its own appointees Wednesday night, the Menna Administration rehired two of the three full-timers laid off from the public library amid warnings of a financial crisis last month.

During a tense council meeting at which officials characterized the library’s trustees as “intransigent” and “hostile” to administration guidance, borough Administrator Stanley Sickels also presented the outlines of a library budget that he said would yield surpluses this year and next, and enable the facility to restore some hours of operation, which were cut last month.

That’s in sharp contrast to the spending plan crafted by the eight-member library board, which anticipated a shortfall of $131,000 this year and dire consequences next year if the full-time staffing was not reduced.

Two clearly frosted trustees continued to insist that the administration was fixing purported errors that did not exist in the board’s budget and had failed to communicate with the board in recent weeks.

“I don’t understand the adversarial position,” library trustee Brigid McCarthy told the council during a public comment session after the vote. “This problem is much bigger than two jobs. Rehiring these two people will only kick the can down the road.”

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RED BANK: TRUSTEES PAN BOROUGH BUDGET

barbara withers 032714Barbara Withers, a resident of the Atrium at Navesink senior complex, implores the board to preserve a book-delivery service for its residents. Below, board president John Grandits, left, with Mayor Pasquale Menna outside the library meeting room. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

grandits menna 032714A plan by the Menna administration to rewrite the proposed Red Bank Public Library budget and undo the recent layoff of half its staff got a cold reception from the library trustees Thursday night.

One or two of the suggested changes, such as leaving the soon-to-be-vacated job of the library director unfunded, appear to be “illegal,” trustee Brigid McCarthy told a packed meeting of library supporters.

Still, Mayor Pasquale Menna, displaying obvious frustration with what he called “drama” surrounding the borough’s recommendations, said the standoff can and will be quickly resolved, even if he has to take unilateral action.

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RED BANK: LIBRARY LAYOFFS MAY BE REVERSED

rbpl sale 2 020213The fate of jobs for three full-time librarians is still up in the air. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank officials said they are working toward a budget fix that might undo the layoff of half the staff at the borough library two weeks ago.

At Wednesday night’s borough council meeting, administrator Stanley Sickels said he and borough CFO Eugenia Poulos had developed an alternative to the library’s budget that might “maintain the full-time staff.”

Now, attention turns to the eight-member library board of trustees, which gathers Thursday night in what may be its best-attended meeting in history.

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RED BANK: FIREHOUSE AUCTION FIZZLES

rb liberty auction 032514No bidders emerged at Tuesday’s auction, conducted by attorney Sean Byrnes, left, and Administrator Stanley Sickels. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01A discontinued Red Bank firehouse failed to spark interest at the minimum bid when it went on the block Tuesday morning.

The auction of the former home of the Liberty Hose Company, vacated late last year over needed upgrades that the borough says it cannot afford, was over in five minutes, as no voice bids or sealed bids were made.

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RED BANK: KICKING TIRES AT THE FIREHOUSE

rb liberty 2 031314rb liberty 1 031314Red Bank Administrator Stanley Sickels, at right, leads prospective bidders on a tour of the former Liberty Hose firehouse on White Street in Red Bank Thursday afternoon in advance of an auction the property scheduled for scheduled for Tuesday, March 25, at 10:30 a.m. Minimum bid is $475,000; bidding requirements are here, and the building is being sold “as-in,” Sickels said. For 103 years, the building was home to the Liberty Hose Company, which now shares space with the first aid squad on Spring Street.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: BURNHAM REOPENS WATER VALVE

horgan burnham 022614Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, right, listens as Councilwoman Kathy Horgan reads an Environmental Commission resolution that denounced any move to privatize Red Bank’s water utility. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

New Red Bank Councilwoman Cindy Burnham‘s recent suggestion that the town sell its water utility got a thorough hosing Wednesday night.

Two weeks after discussion of $2.2 million capital improvement bond prompted Burnham to call for privatization of the water system, Burnham sat stone silent through a critique of the idea Wednesday night – and then voted in favor of the bond.

By Thursday morning, though, the council’s lone Republican was talking again, calling opposition to her suggestion an “attack” by the Democratic majority.

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RED BANK: WALGREEN’S GETS GREEN LIGHT

walgreen's 021914 1Walgreen’s developer Marc Steinberg greets neighborhood supporters after winning plan approval. Below, the revised site plan, at left, called for a smaller structure than the prior proposal, at right. The building was also  moved slightly from the property lines along Garfield Place and Broad Street. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

walgreen's 021914 2After six months of hearings and a close call with defeat, a proposed Walgreen’s store won approval from the Red Bank planning board Wednesday night.

The 6 to 2 vote came after store developer Marc Steinberg revised his  plan by shrinking the proposed building and changing its placement on the site of the former Rassas Buick auto dealership on Broad Street, at the southern gateway in the heart of town.

The vote also followed passionate pleas by neighbors, one of whom said Steinberg had “bent over backwards” to address their concerns, while others called the changes “token” measures.

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RED BANK: TRASH PICKUP MAY GO PRIVATE

rb garbage truckTrash pickups by borough employees could end this year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank residents could see the end of local government trash pickups this year.

In a move that contemplates a switch to private cartage, the borough council authorized a solicitation of bids for garbage and recyclables collection and disposal at its bimonthly meeting Wednesday night.

The vote on the measure was 5 to 1, with Councilwoman Juanita Lewis dissenting.

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RED BANK: WALGREEN’S TO REVISE PLAN

josephine menna 012314Josephine Menna, an aunt to Mayor Pasquale Menna – who recused himselfqueries Walgreen’s lawyer Marty McGann. Below, site owner Aaron Rassas confers with his team during a break. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

aaron rassas 012314The developer of the proposed Walgreen’s pharmacy in Red Bank yanked the plan from what appeared to be certain defeat Thursday night.

With a motion pending to reject the proposed 14,200-square-foot store, the lawyer for the developer Marc Steinberg asked the borough planning board for time to revise the proposal to meet concerns that the building would be too close to the streets at the longtime site of the now-closed Rassas Buick dealership.

“I think I’d feel like I was living in a prison if I had to look at that,” said board member Barbara Boas, referring to a 135-foot-long, 30-foot-high windowless wall that would run along Garfield place, just four feet from a sidewalk.

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RED BANK: RIVER USERS SAY KEEP COVE LISTED

rb hearing 1 123013Borough Administrator Stanley Sickels, in foreground, listens during the comment portion of the hearing. Below, Michael Humphries of Fair Haven called for an alternative to the borough’s proposed delisting. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb hearing 2 123013Hoping to safeguard Red Bank’s only direct public access to the Navesink River, Maple Cove users and preservationists packed a meeting Monday night to combat a plan that would remove the site from the town’s inventory of preserved lands.

For more than three often-contentious hours, a standing-room audience challenged the borough rationale for the proposed delisting of two town-owned riverfront properties.

Their fear: that contrary to official assurances, the changes would clear the way for one or both sites to be sold for private development.

“The property is not being sold. It is not being turned into condos,” borough engineer Christine Ballard insisted at the outset.

Yet many of the commenters clearly weren’t buying that assertion.

“People feel it’s a first step to something nobody here wants,” Michael Humprhries, of Fair Haven, said of the proposed delisting. “There should be some way of satisfying the public that keeps that piece of property accessible.”

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