RED BANK: POWER SWITCH IN THE WORKS

Sample JCP&L bill aggregationBilling for service would continue to come from JCP&L even for those customers who participate in the aggregation plan. (Image by Concord. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

In an effort to head off shocks to residents about anticipated changes to their electricity bills, Red Bank official kicked off a public outreach effort Thursday.

Driving the effort: the borough’s planned entry into the “energy aggregation” marketplace, where the local government serves as a bundler of customers to obtain better rates than those offered by Jersey Central Power & Light.

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RED BANK: ELECTRICITY DEAL IN THE WORKS

red bank jcp&lJCP&L’s power distribution facility adjoining Mohawk Pond in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank officials are considering passage of a law that would automatically turn Jersey Central Power & Light customers in the borough into customers of another electricity provider unless they opt out.

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RED BANK: LIVE WIRE LANDS ON VAN

Charlie Velazquez said he was “still shaking” after his near brush with death. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Middlesex County man said he was “lucky to be alive” after a live electrical line landed on the van he was driving in Red Bank Wednesday morning. Read More »

RED BANK: JUDGE NIXES POWER LINE PLAN

Homeowners living along the line and other objectors packed a public hearing on the JCP&L proposal held at Brookdale Community College last March. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Electrical utility JCP&L has failed to prove it needs a to build a controversial 10-mile long, high-voltage electricity transmission line that would end in Red Bank, a judge has ruled.

The decision, handed down Thursday, represents at least an interim victory for a grassroots effort led by homeowners to thwart the proposed $111 million project.

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LINCROFT: RESIDENTS ZAP JCP&L LINE PLAN

Many in the crowd came with signs and wore stickers indicating the distance of their homes from the proposed power line. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Thwarted from speaking two months ago, hundreds of opponents of a proposed high-voltage electricity transmission line from Aberdeen to Red Bank came electrified with anger Tuesday night.

The occasion was a public comment session at Brookdale Community College on the Jersey Central Power & Light Company proposal, which calls for support poles as tall as 210 feet running for 10 miles along the North Jersey Coast Line railroad, ending at a substation in Red Bank.

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ON THE GREEN: BECK, KYRILLOS OPPOSE LINE

rb njt 041014A view north along the North Jersey Coast Line from the Red Bank train station. The proposed JCP&L power line would be strong alongside the railroad right-of-way on poles as tall as 140 feet. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A controversial 10-mile long, high-voltage electricity transmission line that would end in Red Bank is no more welcome today than it was when it was shelved more than two decades ago, two local legislators said Thursday.

State Senators Jen Beck, of Red Bank, and Joe Kyrillos, of Middletown, jointly introduced a trio of resolutions in Trenton aimed at blocking electricity provider JCP&L from building the line.

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FAIR HAVEN: LUCARELLI BACKS JCP&L PLAN

ben lucarelli 042915 2Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli says the controversial transmission line may help his town avoid a repeat of the long outage experienced after Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli stepped onto a political third rail Tuesday, proclaiming his support for a controversial 10-mile long, high-voltage electricity transmission line that would end in Red Bank.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL TABLES JCP&L STATEMENT

rb train station 062216 3The 10-mile high-capacity power line would run above the Red Bank train station on new, taller pylons and terminate a few blocks south at a power substation, according to JCP&L. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank council tabled a resolution Wednesday night opposing a proposed 10-mile long, high-voltage electricity transmission line that would end in the borough.

Councilman Mark Taylor put the brakes on the measure when he said he hadn’t seen it before the start of the governing body’s semimonthly meeting and wanted a chance to do some research into the issues.

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LINCROFT: DOUBTS ON JCP&L PLAN REMAIN

JCP&L 060716 2Kyle King, an environmental health consultant to JCP&L, was surrounded by questioners at the event.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Plans for a 10-mile long, high-voltage electricity transmission line terminating in Red Bank drew dozens of concerned residents to an information session in Lincroft Tuesday night.

Dubbed the Monmouth County Reliability Project, the 230-kilovolt transmission line is needed to keep pace with demand for electricity, according to Jersey Central Power & Light.

But residents living along its path — the existing New Jersey Transit right-of-way between existing substations in Aberdeen and Red Bank — said they fear it will have harmful health effects and reduce home values.

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RED BANK: WEST SIDE GOES DARK, BRIEFLY

rb outage 051116 2rb outage 051116 1A portion of Red Bank’s West Side, including a stretch of Shrewsbury Avenue, above, was briefly without electricity Tuesday night as a result of a burned wire at Bridge Avenue and Chestnut Street, right. First Energy/JCP&L reported about 427 customers affected in the 90-minute outage before power was restored at 10 p.m.

During the outage, volunteer firefighters responded to a report of a gas leak on a darkened block of Shrewsbury Avenue near Monmouth Street. Fire Chief Chris Soden said no evidence of a leak was detected; other neighbors reported smelling a skunk or marijuana. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

LITTLE SILVER: HIGH WINDS PROMPT OUTAGES

rb outage 040316Crews from JCP&L and Little Silver cleared a fallen tree and electrical line on Branch Avenue, where a service line was torn away from the house at left during a wind storm Sunday morning. The utility company’s outage map showed up to 100 customers in both Little Silver and the River Plaza section of Middletown without power, with lesser numbers in Shrewsbury and Fair Haven.

The National Weather Service had a high-wind warning in effect until noon, with possible gusts of of 50 to 60 miles per hour. And . (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

SPRING ARRIVES. HALLELUJAH.

rb wires 031814WE MADE IT! The winter of 2014, with its seemingly endless snowfalls, ends Thursday with the vernal equinox at 12:57 p.m. Thursday, according to the Old Farmers Almanac. The National Weather Service says temperatures on day one should rise into the low 50s, and skies will be mostly sunny, as they were when a crew of utility workers tackled a job at Monmouth and West streets in Red Bank earlier this week. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK MAY MANDATE GAS-PUMP BACKUPS

By JOE FISHER

With long lines of motorists and generator owners searching for gasoline in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy still a fresh memory, Red Bank officials are taking steps to require filling stations in the borough be equipped with a backup energy source for the next big blackout.

At Wednesday’s borough council meeting, Mayor Pat Menna recommended amending  licensing requirements to mandate that stations have a backup power source by January 1, 2016.

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FAIR HAVEN RATES STORM COMMUNICATIONS

A hard hat signed by Alabama Power line workers was donated to Fair Haven as thanks for the town’s hospitality at Tuesday night’s council meeting. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

In a meeting predictably dominated by issues related to Hurricane Sandy, Fair Haven’s borough council and a concerned public agreed on Monday night: though the local government did well, better communication is needed.

Council members and residents said the town’s officials did a good job of damage control and post-storm recovery efforts, but a lack of effective communications from the borough was the one lingering negative at the governing body’s bimonthly meeting.

“I think the main thing is we need to do a better job communicating,” said borough AdministratorTheresa Casagrande.

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FAIR HAVEN MAKES ROOM FOR SEA BRIGHTERS

Fair Haven voters chatting outside the Youth Center, where all local balloting was moved to accommodate Sea Bright residents at the Fair Haven firehouse. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

Sea Bright residents and other voters displaced by the wrath of Hurricane Sandy were able to exercise their right to vote in Fair Haven this Election Day. Grateful that they were able to vote despite the devastation in their hometowns, voters piled into two polling locations in Fair Haven from all over the state.

Sea Bright residents were instructed to vote at the Fair Haven firehouse, while all Fair Haven residents were rerouted to the Youth Center behind the police station.

Sea Bright resident Kristin Thatcher said she wasn’t inconvenienced at all by the change in polling locations – she was just glad she was still able to vote. Read More »

RUMSON GAS STATION RUNS ON HAND PUMP

CBS News ran this story Monday about Richie Dodd, owner of the Rumson Exxon station. Still without electricity following Hurricane Sandy eight days ago, Dodd and his employees have been pumping gasoline from the West River Road station’s underground tanks by hand-cranked pump into canisters his customers have lined up with.

“You have to do it for the people,” Dodd says. “People have to get their generators going.”

LIGHTS OUT

wharf-wire-110811A police officer directs traffic at Broad Street and East Front Street Tuesday morning.(Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

A blown transformer on Wharf Avenue in Red Bank knocked out power to nearby traffic lights Tuesday morning.

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PATIENCE & GROANS AS OUTAGES PERSIST

1st-ave-rumson-083011A downed tree and electrical lines had First Street in Rumson blocked off 48 hours after the storm. Below, a sign on the locked doors of Trader Joe’s in Shrewsbury. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

trader-joes-0830111Electrical power was restored at Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre’s home late Monday night, about 12 hours after he bought a mobile generator.

But he’s still still in the dark about when the lights will be on in the parts of his town that still don’t have power, he said.

Progress that had been made over the last two years in repairing strained relations between the town and First Energy subsidiary Jersey Central Power & Light “seems to have been completely undone,” as the utility company has failed to keep officials informed about efforts to restore power in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, Halfacre said.

“I have found it incredibly frustrating dealing with JCP&L,” Halfacre tells redbankgreen. “There’s been a complete lack of substantive information.”

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CHURCH, CAR WASH & DELI SWITCH ON SOLAR

butchs-solarThe roof at Butch’s Lube ‘N Wash. (Photo courtesy of Garden State Solar; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It wasn’t long after Paul Stout snapped on the lights at his Rumson business for the first time using solar power that he realized he’d made the right move installing the 48 panels on his roof.

“The first day it was turned on, I saw savings,” said the owner of Butler’s Deli. “It’s immediate.”

Three years, thousands of dollars and 55,000 pounds of unused carbon later, Stout scoffs at the notion that installing solar panels is too expensive or labor intensive.

“It’s the greatest thing in the world,” he said, watching his electric meter dial backwards as the system fed electricity back into the power grid one recent sunny afternoon. “I’m happy with it.”

Stout may have racked up years of savings in the pocket and reduced his carbon input drastically, but others in the area are just discovering the advantages solar energy can bring.

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POLES APART

bentpoleA power company crew was on the scene at midday Thursday. (Click to enlarge)

Three days after redbankgreen reported that a jury-rigged utility pole was again leaning precariously over Broad Street in Red Bank, a Jersey Central Power & Light/First Energy crew arrived on the scene earlier today to begin fixing it.

Coincidence? We don’t think so.

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LEAN TWO?

bent-poleIs it us, or is this thing leaning again? (Click to enlarge)

A leaning utility pole that caused a brief shutdown of Broad Street traffic two months again appears to be atilt again.

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