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FAIR HAVEN GARDEN: BLACK IS THE NEW GREEN

061514 community gdn WestonCarol Weston in the community garden, where black coverings in different materials can be found among the plants this year. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

053114 fh garden blackThe Fair Haven Community Garden is starting to look a bit like an airport runway.

The slick black blankets that cover swaths of the garden are actually a new-ish technology that several gardeners have chosen to make the backbreaking work of weed control a bit easier.

Some use polyethylene plastic mulch sheets. Others opt for biodegradable coconut fiber sheeting. Still others are experimenting with their own coverings.

Borough resident Carol Weston is trying a woven plastic fiber covering, hoping it will allow fewer weeds and keep the roots moist.

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A “FOUR-PEAT” FOR RFH GIRLS FIELD HOCKEY

RFH FHFive players from the Rumson-Fair Haven Field Hockey squad were named to the Press All-Shore teams, as the RFH girls earned their fourth consecutive “Central A” Division championship. (click to enlarge)

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

It’s been said that “the third time is the charm,” but the fourth time was also the charm for the Girls Field Hockey Team at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

They recently captured their fourth consecutive championship in the highly competitive “Central A” Division with undefeated conference play.

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RED BANK CANDIDATE: KATHY HORGAN

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KHORGANOne of four Q&As with the candidates for two, three-year terms on the Red Bank Borough Council in next weeks election. Kathy Horgan and Sharon Lee, both Democrats, are the incumbents; Cindy Burnham and Sean Di Somma, Republicans, are the challengers. Their answers to redbankgreen‘s questions are unedited.

Name: Kathleen Horgan

Age: 68

Where did you grow up: Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank: 14  years

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SENATE PRIMARY A YAWNER ON THE GREEN

Marjorie and Howard Fox after voting in Little Silver, above. Barbara Crowton, below, voted at the United Methodist Church in Red Bank. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

As Newark Mayor Cory Booker coasted to victory in Tuesday’s special primary voting for the open United States Senate seat from New Jersey, widespread electoral lethargy surrounding the occasion was also evident on the Green Tuesday.

A visit to four polling sites – three in Red Bank and one in Little Silver – over the course of two hours after the heavy rain stopped found fewer than 10 voters in all. Most were glad to share thoughts about Governor Chris Christie’s decision to hold an October election to replace late Senator Frank Lautenberg apart from the November general election, at a cost of $24 million.

Several, all from the 40 and under set, said they were unaware that Tuesday’s primary was specially scheduled.

At the Woman’s Club of Little Silver, Howard Fox and his daughter Marjorie Fox both had strong objections to the special election.

“It was gratuitous to do it this way, ” said Howard.

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A NIGHT OUT FOR RED BANK, FAIR HAVEN

natl-night-out-20101Scenes from the 2010 National Night Out in Red Bank. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

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It’s one night of the year where the badge and blue shirt come to represent something a little less  fear-inducing, when the local fuzz trades in authority to bond with those it protects over burgers and dogs.

National Night Out, the community outreach program that spans police departments coast-to-coast, gets going in select towns on The Green Tuesday night, a fitting lead into the lazy days of summer’s end when many families are preparing for another school year.

“It’s good to get everyone out. It shows the kids they don’t have to be afraid to interact with the police,” said Stephen Schneider, a patrolman in Fair Haven. “We’re not just out there writing tickets and telling them to put their helmets on. We’re there for everybody.”

Besides, who can resist a sanctioned chance to dunk a cop with a fastball?

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MENNA LOOSENS HIS TIE, SORT OF

menna-meetRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna Saturday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

He didn’t share any secret recipes or crack too many jokes, and didn’t even loosen his bright pink tie. But Mayor Pasquale Menna got about as informal as he was going to Saturday.

For Menna, the opening meetup in what’s billed as a series of weekend chats was a chance to let his hair down — in the metaphorical sense, at least — an opportunity he took to pat the borough’s employees on the back, recommend a shred job to the state constitution and ponder his daily reading habits.

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MENNA PLANS RESIDENT MEETINGS

pasquale-menna-2-102110Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

When Red Bank council members take the dais for their regular meeting tomorrow night, they’ll likely start out discussing a potential new law banning vehicle-idling and expanding private contracts for water and sewer connections.

Snooze, right?

But what’s notable about these topics is not necessarily their substance, but their source. They wouldn’t have made it onto the council’s dance card had it not been for taxpayers’ input, be it by way of stopping an elected official on the street or sitting through a council meeting waiting for the regular order of business to wrap up and get to the public comment portion — an often intimidating forum typically taken advantage of by meeting regulars.

So sticking with a credo of an open government with an open door, Mayor Pasquale Menna said he wants more input and more ideas from the borough’s stakeholders. On Saturday, he plans to launch a series of informal meetings aimed at generating just that.

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A YARDFUL OF HOLIDAY SPIRIT

xmas-lights1The holiday decorating at 77 Shrewsbury Avenue isn’t done yet. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

There’s no shortage of Christmas spirit at Natividad Oliveras’s Red Bank home. Just a shortage of real estate.

If you’ve seen her Shrewsbury Avenue residence, you understand.

The front yard is a tightly packed tableau of holiday cheer, with candy canes hanging from her fence and an array of biblical characters, snowmen, Santa Clauses, reindeer and toy soldiers staked in just about every available patch of grass she owns.

“We’re not even done yet,” Oliveras said.

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HORGAN: ENERGY SAVINGS WOULD HELP

rb_horganNAME: Kathleen A. Horgan

AGE: 65

OCCUPATION: Liaison to the Board of Trustees amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research 120 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005

LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN: 11 years

General Questions:

1. WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TOP THREE ISSUES IN TOWN? In walking door-to-door throughout the Borough over the past few months,  residents have spoken to me most often about the following issues:

a. Property taxes
b. Downtown revitalization
c. Pedestrian/bicycle safety

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FAIR HAVEN HOUSING PLAN DRAWS BACKLASH

senior-housing1Developer Kevin Hughes, right, watches Fair Haven’s council meeting as neighbors voiced complaints over his proposal to add age-restricted housing in town. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s facing kind of a conundrum, says Mayor Mike Halfacre, of the Fair Haven council’s role in weighing an informal proposal for age-restricted housing in the borough.

On the one hand, the council has been asked to create an overlay district to allow higher densities in a neighborhood just off River Road, a move that might in turn fill a longtime need in town for more housing for the borough’s senior population.

But doing so carries the potential of leaving a bad taste in the mouths of neighbors.

Even though the proposal from builder Kevin Hughes is in what Halfacre called “step A, minus one,” some neighbors are already hoping to derail it. At a Tuesday morning meeting specifically relocated to the borough’s youth and senior center in order to accommodate the older population, area residents obliged with a solid half-hour of bristling to the council.

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MTOWN BUDGET OUTLOOK: ‘UG-LY’

scharfenbergerMiddletown Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger talks to several dozen residents  who turned out Thursday night for the year’s first public informational meeting. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The state aid numbers are in to Middletown, and Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger likely couldn’t put it more blunt.

“It is ug-ly,” he said.

Schargenberger was speaking to about two dozen residents, who may have showed up to the Middletown Arts Center with other topics in mind, for the first of three neighborhood meetings scheduled for the year.

But the budget seemed to dominate.

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ALSO ON THE AGENDA…

IMG_035072Sutton Commons on Branch Avenue is one of two properties on which tax appeal settlements are up for approval by the Red Bank Council tonight.

An ordinance to bar minors from entering liquor stores unless accompanied by an adult is up for introduction by Red Bank’s governing body tonight.

Also on the agenda: settlements of tax appeals by Sovereign Bank on Broad Street and Sutton Commons apartments on Branch Avenue; and the introduction of measures relating to a bond issue to cover improvements at the borough’s two water plants.

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‘I GET TO BE A PART OF HISTORY’

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Election officials are expecting record turnout today, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Here’s what redbankgreen found in the first hour of voting activity in Red Bank this morning:

6:00a: More than a dozen voters stand in line in the predawn darkness outside the 6th district polling station at the Calvary Baptist Church on Bridge Avenue (above).

After voting, Linda Vega tells redbankgreen that she’s not usually up and about so early.

“I’m excited,” she says. “I get to be a part of history.”

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SHREWSBURY: YMCA NAMES NEW BOARD MEMBERS

New YMCA board members (left to right): top row, Annamarie Cutroneo, Natasha Davis; middle row, Loryn Lawson, Molly Kroon, Jennifer Phillips Smith; bottom row, Susan Harbison and Pamela Scott-Johnson. 

Seven local community-minded professionals from have joined the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County’s board of directors.

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RED BANK: EX-STUDENT LEADS CONSERVATORY

Students perform outside the Monmouth Conservatory’s home on Chestnut Street in 2019. Laura Petillo, below. (Click to enlarge.)

Press release

The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank has named violinist and longtime strings instructor Laura Petillo as Manager of Music Programs at its Academy of the Arts and the Count Basie Center’s Monmouth Conservatory of Music.

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RED BANK: YMCA FORMS ADVISORY GROUP

YMCA COO Jennifer Dunn (center) with Red Bank Family Y Advisory Council members (from left) Suzy Dyer, Chris Curcia, Pat Richter and Luigi Laugelli. (YMCA)

The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County has established a new committee of volunteers to help ensure that all area residents can learn, grow, and thrive at the Red Bank Family YMCA, regardless of their ability to pay.

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RED BANK: DENHOLTZ PLANS MASSIVE PROJECT

Denholtz’s plan would cover several NJ Transit parking lots, as well as company-owned sites. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicDenholtz Properties is negotiating to create a massive new development at the Red Bank train station, redbankgreen has learned.

The company’s plan is dependent on the borough designating a swath of sites around the station as redevelopment area, CEO Steve Denholtz said in an interview this week.

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RBR: STUDENTS BOOST BRIDGE OF BOOKS

National Honor Society members read to young students and gave each a care packages of books. (Click to enlarge.)

Members of the National Honor Society at Red Bank Regional High School recently completed a drive to provide Read Across America care packages to students at Red Bank borough preschools.

The project was “amazing,” said TJ Eyerman, a senior who serves as NHS president. But it also underscored the needs of the Rumson-based Bridge of Books Foundation, he said.

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RED BANK: ZONING BOARD REJECTS PRC PLAN

The latest proposal by PRC called for additions at 141 West Front Street to top out at six stories, as shown at left. The original nine-story plan is shown at right. (Renderings by William Feinberg. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter two years and multiple rounds of scaling back, the air space above Pazzo MMX restaurant in downtown Red Bank won’t be filled with new apartments after all.

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RED BANK: LUNCH BREAK COLLECTS PROMWEAR

(Press release from Lunch Break)

Lunch Break, the food pantry and social service resource center in Red Bank, is accepting formal-wear donations for female and male students from Feb. 1-March 31, 2022 at its facility, 121 Drs. James Parker Blvd., as part of the Sixth Annual Prom Drive and Give-Away.

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FAIR HAVEN: TROMBINO Q&A

On the ballot November 2: Fair Haven council candidate Sonja Trombino. (Photo provided by candidate. Click to enlarge.)

CORRECTION: ALL borough voters in the November 2 election are to cast in-person ballots at the Church of the Nativity parish center at 180 Ridge Road. An outdated list of polling places was incorrectly included in the original version of this post. Apologies to those who were inconvenienced.

Fair Haven voters will have four candidates to choose from when they elect two council members November 2.

Here’s what candidate Sonja Trombino had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to all four by redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: APARTMENTS, CLINIC ON AGENDA

The plan now calls for five affordable units at 120 Monmouth Street, up one, among the 32 proposed. (Image by S.O.M.E. Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter a three-month break, a plan for new apartments on Monmouth Street in Red Bank may get an up-or-down vote Thursday night.

Also on the zoning board agenda: a small expansion of the Parker Family Health Center.

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