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RED BANK: GROWING TOURNEY RAISES $15K

RED BANK, NJ, rivalry series, touch football, flag footballA Fair Haven ball carrier looks for an opening against Rumson, and cheerleaders go airborne, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK, NJ, rivalry series, touch football, flag footballA flag-football tournament that grew out of a pickup game in Little Silver marked its 17th anniversary last Friday with gridiron contests for kids, women and men from eight towns.

Along the way, the event, now held in Red Bank, raised $15,000 for Lunch Break, the social services organization based just a block away.

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RED BANK: SEMI-PROS MAKE BASIE HOME TURF

FC Monmouth plans to play its five home games this spring and summer at the borough stadium. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A newly formed semi-pro soccer team plans to play the home matches of its inaugural season this year at Count Basie Fields in Red Bank, the club announced Tuesday.

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RED BANK: EASTER EGG HUNT HOPS TO BASIE

This year’s edition of the Red Bank Easter Egg hunt, traditionally held at Eastside Park, will be held Saturday at Count Basie Fields to make it easier for more families to attend, according to Parks and Rec Director Charlie Hoffman.

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RED BANK: TURF HOLDING UP, SAYS SICKELS

rb-basie-turf-120516-5Rubber-crumb exposure at midfield and the sidelines, below, of the football field at Count Basie Fields is not indicative of the type of turf failure reported elsewhere, says the borough administrator. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb-basie-turf-120516-6Failing artificial-turf playing fields made by an industry-leading manufacturer are not an issue in Red Bank, according to borough Administrator Stanley Sickels.

three-day investigative exposé by NJ.com earlier this week reported that hundreds of turf fields across the United States were beginning to deteriorate long before the eight-to-ten-year life expectancy touted by the Canadian manufacturer, FieldTurf. The company knew about the failures but hid them as it continued to sell the fields, at prices often exceeding $500,000, the report alleged.

But the fields installed by the company at Count Basie Fields here are holding up well, Sickels told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: OUT BACK AND UP ABOVE

Luis 082116 8SUMMER-SCENESThe billboard-topped backsides of buildings familiar to Red Bank regulars caught the eye of Summer Scenes photographer Luis Enrique Santamaria Delgado last week.

His photo shows the rear of 2 East Front Street — known for its pedestrian passageway linking the downtown with Union Street and Marine Park  and the shingled rear of Seldin’s Trinkets and Jewelry, at 2 West Front. Brick, wood, delicate clouds and a vapor trail combine to create a visually engaging scene.

The photo is the six in the Summer Scenes series. The others may be viewed here (Photo by Luis Enrique Santamaria Delgado. Click to enlarge)

LUIS DELGADO BIO BOX

RED BANK: RIVER OF LIGHT

luis 081416 3SUMMER-SCENESThe latest photo in our Summer Scenes series by Luis Enrique Santamaria Delgado captures a spectacular interplay of sunlight and clouds above our beautiful Navesink River, as seen from Marine Park in Red Bank.

The photo is the fifth in the series. The others may be viewed here (Photo by Luis Enrique Santamaria Delgado. Click to enlarge)

LUIS DELGADO BIO BOX

RED BANK: LIGHTING THE WAY

luis 080816 3
SUMMER-SCENES
Luis Enrique Santamaria Delgado was on his way to soccer practice at Count Basie Fields in Red Bank when he came up this luminous fence and shaded path last week.

“I liked how everything was looking, like how bright it was,” he says. “It seemed to me like it will be a great photo.”

This shot is the fourth in Luis’s series of Summer Scenes. If you missed the others, you can catch up here (Photo by Luis Enrique Santamaria Delgado. Click to enlarge)

LUIS DELGADO BIO BOX

RED BANK: COUNCIL WRAP-UP

rbcs 061015Seventh-graders from the Red Bank Charter School presented a report on “serving a healthy town,” and Mayor Pasquale Menna, below, returned to the dais after heart surgery. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

pasquale menna 061015Here’s some of what went on at the semimonthly meeting of the Red Bank council Wednesday night:

• Mayor Pasqule Menna presided over his first meeting following a month away following open-heart surgery. He thanked Council President Art Murphy for filling in for him at various events, and for “chauffering me around – ‘Driving Mr. Daisy,’ I suppose,” he said.

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BATTER UP, FOR FREE RB SUMMER CLINICS

From press materials by Red Bank Parks and Recreation 

SUMMER BASEBALL FLYERRed Bank boys and girls who are interested in sharpening their baseball and softball skills still have time to register for a program of free clinics, presented by the borough Parks and Recreation department.

Scheduled to begin this Saturday, August 2, the four-week program will continue weekends through August 31 at Count Basie Fields, and will include a combination of skills work and intra-squad scrimmages. All sessions are offered free of charge, and registration is as easy as signing up at the field, on the day of the clinics.

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RED BANK REC GEARS UP FOR SPRING

Installers laid down rubber pellets as the base for the new artificial turf at Count Basie Fields in January. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

With the first day of spring less than a month away, Memone Crystian, director of Red Bank’s Parks and Recreation department, knows the throes of winter will soon be replaced by… other types of throws.

Her department has crafted a packed schedule of recreational sports for kids in Kindergarten through 8th grade to enjoy on brand new turf in coming months at Count Basie Fields. And in addition to the traditional baseball, softball and soccer offerings, lacrosse will be on the agenda.

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ON THE AGENDA: PITCHFORKS, TURF & MORE

Proponents of a Red Bank community garden try for another bite of the apple with their request to farm a portion of the public library property, above. (Click to enlarge)

The agenda for the bimonthly meeting of Red Bank’s council Wednesday night is a busy one.

On the docket:

• Red Bank RiverCenter comes in for approval of its annual budget. No details have yet been provided. Last year’s spending plan, like the two that preceded it, totaled $512,000. The business promotion agency, which manages the borough’s state-chartered Special Improvement District, is funded by a surtax on commercial properties within a defined zone and gets no money from borough coffers.

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MORE FAUX TURF SLATED FOR BASIE FIELDS

The additional fields would be striped primarily for soccer, lacrosse and field hockey, unlike the existing football and soccer field, above. Below, a visual provided by officials of the plan last year. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Sixteen months after the debut of an artificial-turf football field at Count Basie Fields, Red Bank officials are planning to ramp up the facility’s ongoing modernization this year.

A final vote by the borough council on a $1.6 million bond ordinance scheduled for next week is expected to clear the way for the $2.1 million project, which would add a synthetic-turf little league/softball field and a baseball field overlain with a multiuse field marked for lacrosse, field hockey and soccer play.

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BELLHAVEN PARK NEEDS TLC

bellhaven-parkRed Bank officials are seeking funds for the Bellhaven Park nature area on Locust Avenue. Below, a map from the 2006 waterfront plan. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

swimming-riverBellhaven Park, an oft-overlooked waterfront parcel in Red Bank’s inventory of natural areas, could use a little help — any kind of help, says borough Engineer Christine Ballard.

Sequestered away from the public eye at the western end of Locust Avenue, it’s never gotten the kind of use or attention from residents that other parks see. Now, general neglect at the park, designated as a passive natural area, has led it to become a little bit too natural, said Mayor Pasquale Menna.

The Swimming River has swallowed up at least half of a floating dock at the park, and the heavy brush of native and invasive species has made some winding paths almost impassable.

“It’s like a jungle down there,” Menna said. “It needs to be accessible and safer. Even our own (police) patrols can’t even go in there because of the overgrowth.”

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EXTRA EYES, PATROLS SET FOR RED BANK

rgp-trash13A bench at Riverside Gardens Park, where vandalism and littering have been growing problems. Debris in the pole-vault box at Count Basie Fields, below. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

basie-litter1In response to a surge in vandalism on borough property this summer, Red Bank officials are looking into video surveillance as a way to fill gaps in already heightened police presence and serve as a deterrent to would-be scofflaws.

Video could be just one part of a multiprong effort by the borough to curb public defacement and all-around mistreatment of public property, police Captain Darren McConnell said.

Police have stepped up their presence at Riverside Gardens Park in recent weeks, he said. They’re also cracking down on curfew laws for teenagers. And because the council earlier this week called out littering at Count Basie Fields as a growing issue, cops will make rounds there more often.

“The regular patrols will be stepped up quite a bit,” McConnell said. “It’s really only Riverside Gardens Park and Count Basie Fields that are having the issues, and they’re not even the same groups hanging out there, but they get the most use.”

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“BATTER UP” AT BASIE FIELDS

batter-up-2010-cA challenger in last year’s Batter Up home run derby. (Photo courtesy of Laurie Barrett Dalton; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

There are two reasons baseballs will be flying all over Count Basie Field this Saturday.

One, the Red Bank Elks Lodge 233, which already has a successful basketball free-throw competition for borough children in the winter, wants to expand its offerings. Two, Kevin Blaine has an itch.

“I’m a grandfather now,” said Blaine, a lifelong Red Bank resident and Elks member. “I’ve got this free time and I’ve still got this itch to go out and do things with kids in the community.”

Hence, the Elks’ “Batter Up” contest, a home run derby this Saturday open to kids between 5 and 15 years old.

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THE WEEK IN REARVIEW: MAY 8-14, 2011

dinerA painter finishes off a welcome sign in the window of Broadway Diner. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A roundup of articles appearing last week here on redbankgreen is below.

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MORE TURF MAY COME TO BASIE FIELDS

scan-22An engineer’s rendering of the proposed upgrades to Count Basie Fields. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank is hoping to go grassless at Count Basie Fields.

Borough Engineer Christine Ballard is submitting a $500,000 state grant application to help pay for a $2.2 million turf renovation to two fields plus a half-mile gravel path along portions of the park’s perimeter.

If the borough can pull in funding for the project, Basie fields would be completely composed of the synthetic grass. Six months ago, the borough opened up its near $900,000 turf football and soccer field.

Unlike that project, the scope and price tag for this project is twice as large. But the borough intends to fund it in a similar way, Ballard said.

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BOYNTON JABS OFFICIALS AT WEST SIDE MEET

celstial-meet1

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Freddie Boynton might as well have laced up his old boxing gloves for this face-off.

The former boxer, who’s taken a role in retirement as a voice of Red Bank’s West Side, didn’t pull any punches when borough and elected officials made a trip to the Celestial Lodge Tuesday afternoon to address a grab bag of concerns from residents. But nearly an hour was dominated by one topic — access to Count Basie Fields — and Boynton and other residents, on the way to a compromise on extending the park’s hours, used Administrator Stanley Sickels and elected officials as punching bags for criticism.

“Our children are being locked out,” Boynton, a former borough employee, said. “We’re being treated like we’re animals over here.”

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