RED BANK: RAMPING UP CODE ENFORCEMENT

The front yard of a vacant house at 98 East Front Street is overgrown with weeds. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank is cracking down on property-based quality-of-life issues, borough officials said last week.

Word of a ramp-up of code enforcement — including foot patrols — for matters like unmowed lawns and rubbish came in response to a complaint that some residents have been threatened with fines for minor infractions.

Read More »

RED BANK: LONGTIME MUNICIPAL JUDGE DIES

himelman 030316 5Judge William Himelman swearing in a defendant last year.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

people-in-the-newsRed Bank municipal court Judge William Himelman died Thursday, according to Mayor Pasquale Menna. He was 85 years old.

The circumstances and place of his death were not immediately available.

Believed to have been New Jersey’s longest-serving local court jurist in modern times, if not state history, Himelman presided on the borough bench for 38 years. Long past the age at which others in his position retired, he doled out justice to everyone from cellphone-gabbing motorists and drunk drivers to a pair of men who squared off while naked.

Read More »

RED BANK: DOGS, TENNIS & POLICING

RB DOG DAYS 073013 20Having held a Dog Days of Summer monthly event for two summers in a row, borough officials are now contemplating a year-round facility for dogs to play in. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Should Red Bank establish a place for dogs to play? And if so, where?

And what should become of the borough’s red-clay tennis courts in Marine Park?

Those are among the questions on the table at a meeting scheduled for next week.

Another meeting, scheduled for later this week, concerns crime and community relations.

Read More »

LINCROFT: FOUR PONDS PLAN HEADS TO COURT

The Middletown Planning Board last year rejected a proposal for 342 homes on the site of a former Avaya office building. (Photo by Joe Fisher. Click to enlarge)

By JOE FISHER

Organizers of last year’s successful battle in Middletown to stop a 342-unit housing development on a former Avaya corporate offices site are girding for round two: a court appeal by the developer.

In opposing the plan, a group that dubs itself SONIC, for Save Our Neighborhood’s Integrity and Character, hired an attorney and expert witnesses, who argued that Four Ponds Center Associate’s application to the township planning board would adversely impact local traffic, the township school system, and the need to expand sewer capacity at the expense of neighbors.

After a year of hearings, the board rejected the application 9-0 last June, citing testimony of those witnesses as a major factor in the denial.

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT OFFICIAL DENIES MAKING THREAT

By JOHN T. WARD

[Update: please see the editor’s note at the end of this article.]

Sea Bright Councilman C. Read Murphy, right, is due in municipal court next month on a citizen complaint of harassment.

Perry Feigenbuam, of Asbury Park, claims Murphy threatened him in front of witnesses outside an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright on June 9.

Murphy, though, claims Feigenbaum has been stalking and harassing Allison Peduto, the daughter of a late friend and Feigenbaum’s ex-girlfriend.

Read More »

SHREWSBURY CAT COLONY HEADING TO COURT


The feral cat colony is tucked away in the woods behind a day care center and businesses on Avenue of the Commons. (Photo by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Lurking in the woods adjacent to a day care center on Shrewsbury’s Avenue of the Commons is a group of wild animals that may seem out of place in this suburban enclave better known for its burgeoning deer population.

It’s a colony of feral cats that have claimed the wilderness as their own personal scavenging ground – abetted, authorities contend, by two women who feed them at an improvised encampment built several hundred feet into the woods.

Jeanette Petti of Oceanport and Ruth Rapkin of Tinton Falls are scheduled to appear in municipal court Tuesday on charges that they’re illegally harboring the colony in the woods adjacent to the school.

The pair face misdemeanor allegations they failed to obtain vaccinations and licenses for the felines, and that they are maintaining a nuisance on public and private property, according to summonses issued May 8.

Read More »

JUDGE TOSSES CONVICTION IN BRAWL CASE

A state Superior Court judge has overturned the harassment conviction of one of three Sea Bright firefighters involved in a firehouse scuffle 18 months ago, redbankgreen has learned.

In an unwritten opinion, Judge Anthony Mellaci ruled from the bench in Freehold Friday that a municipal court judge had given “misplaced” credibility to the accusers of firefighter Justin Hughes, said Hughes’s attorney, Scott Servilla.

Read More »

PRESS: RED BANK DROPS LOCAL COURT IDEA

Red Bank won’t pursue a proposal floated by Mayor Pasquale Menna to form a regional municipal court with four nearby towns, the Asbury Park Press reports Wednesday.

The reason? The borough’s court is pretty efficient all by itself, bringing in nearly $175,000 more than it spends on salaries and operating costs each year, town Administrator Stanley Sickels tells the Press.

Also, Red Bank “never heard back” from Fair Haven, Little Silver, Rumson and Shrewsbury about the proposal, Sickels said.

Read More »

BURNHAM TO FIGHT MUNI-COURT RULING

By JOHN T. WARD

cindy-burnhamWaterfront activist Cindy Burnham says she plans to appeal a municipal court ruling that she disturbed the peace earlier this year in an incident at the Maple Cove boat launch in Red Bank, which she is widely credited with having saved from development.

After a 90-minute trial last Thursday, Judge William Himelman found Burnham not guilty of criminal mischief, but guilty of disturbing the peace. He fined her $358 plus court costs.

On June 15, borough workers called police to Maple Cove, at the Navesink end of Maple Avenue, claiming that Burham had torn up netting laid down by the town to protect newly seeded grass.

Read More »

MENNA SEEKS FOUR-TOWN COURTROOM

rb-council-chambersThe location of the proposed court is up in the air, says Mayor Pasquale Menna. (Click to enlarge)

By MOLLY MULSHINE

Taking a cue from three other Monmouth County towns, Red Bank’s mayor has invited leaders of neighboring boroughs to consider forming a joint court system to cut costs.

Read More »

TWO SEA BRIGHT FIREFIGHTERS GET BACKUP

sb-firefighter-fightA frame from a video of the firehouse tussle that landed three Sea Bright volunteers in court on misdemeanor charges. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Sea Bright’s fire chief and a borough councilman have asked the judge in an assault case involving three firefighters not to ban two of the brawlers from the volunteer department.

Read More »

SENTENCINGS DELAYED IN FIREHOUSE TUSSLE

One of two videos of a firehouse fight involving three Sea Bright firemen last October. The second video is below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The lawyer for two Sea Bright volunteer firefighters convicted of assaulting a third in the town’s firehouse last year has obtained a delay in their sentencings, which had been scheduled for today.

Brothers Steven Lang, 25, and Peter Lang IV, 33, are facing banishment from the fire company, under a sentence sought by the prosecutor in the case, Mike Halfacre. But defense lawyer William Wilson won a one-month adjournment by questioning whether the town’s governing body really wants to see the Langs kicked to the curb.

Meantime, redbankgreen has obtained the two video views of the October 9, 2010 scuffle, which occurred during a wet-down celebration for a new fire truck.

Read More »

ON THE DOCKET: TINY TOWN’S CASELOAD

img_5919120809By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s municipal court will be adding to its caseload, albeit lightly, beginning next month.

Under a deal finalized by the Red Bank council last night, the borough court will handle all cases for Shrewsbury Township — a landlocked three-street residential development  originally established in support of Fort Monmouth, Borough Administrator Stanley Sickels said.

Read More »