RED BANK: FIREFIGHTERS KEEP FREE Y ACCESS

red bank ymcaThe Red Bank nonprofit says no families of kids now in a free membership program will be turned away. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s volunteer firefighters will get to keep their free memberships to the local YMCA, the organization announced Wednesday.

Police will still have to pay, though now at a discount, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit said. But there’s no change to the plan unveiled last week to end across-the-board free memberships for borough schoolchildren.

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RED BANK: MENNA ‘IRATE’ OVER YMCA ACTION

red bank pasquale mennaRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna speaking at the the Memorial Day ceremony last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna on Thursday blasted a decision by the Community YMCA to end free memberships for borough schoolchildren and emergency first-responders.

Menna went on the offensive after the Y’s “unilateral” action, which he said was made without any advance notice to or discussion with his administration.

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RED BANK: KIDS, RESPONDERS LOSE FREE YMCA

red bank ymcaThe Red Bank YMCA says affected families can apply for subsidies to replace the free memberships. Below, the letter sent to parents of children in the Healthy Kids program. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank YMCA letter 061919Red Bank’s schoolchildren and emergency first-responders will lose their free access to the borough YMCA in September.

The Maple Avenue nonprofit’s executive director, Katie McAdoo, tells redbankgreen the change was driven by its need to be “accountable” to funders.

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RED BANK: BOE MEMBER SLAMS TAX NOTICE

rb schools 081115Board of ed member Sue Viscomi, left, criticized the borough’s handling of the tax adjustment notice. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesAfter an adjustment by borough officials that nearly doubled an expected increase in the local school tax last month, a member of the Red Bank Board of Education fired back Tuesday night.

Sue Viscomi, who heads the board’s finance committee, said borough taxpayers may have been misled into believing the board approved a 12.74-percent spike in the local school portion of the tax, when in fact it adopted a budget reflecting a 6.95-percent increase in April.

“I personally think it’s irresponsible, what the town did with our tax bill,” she said at a board workshop meeting Tuesday night at the middle school. “We did not vote for a 12-percent increase.”

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RED BANK COPS “HAVE AN IDEA” OF SHOOTERS

rb community 122314Residents packed a hastily organized community meeting on the recent shootings Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01Red Bank police believe they know who’s behind a recent spate of West Side shootings, including one Monday night, but are hamstrung by a lack of evidence sufficient to obtain search warrants, Chief Darren McConnell said Tuesday night.

“Do we have an idea who’s doing this? Yes, we do,” McConnell told a packed community meeting at borough hall, less than 24 hours after the latest gunfire, on West Westside Avenue, “but we can’t prove it yet.”

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RED BANK: COMMUNITY MEETING SLATED

just_in1A string of shootings on the West Side, including one Monday night, has prompted Red Bank officials to schedule a community meeting for Tuesday night.

From an announcement sent out by the borough at noontime Tuesday:

Mayor Pasquale Menna and Police Commissioner Arthur Murphy have scheduled a Community Meeting for 7pm tonight, Tuesday, December 23, 2014 in the Council Chamber/Courtroom on the first floor of the Municipal Building at 90 Monmouth Street to address concerns about a recent incident on West Westside Avenue.  Police Chief Darren McConnell will be available to address the situation.

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RED BANK: COPS WERE NEAR SHOOTING SCENE

rb shooting 122314A view east along West Westside Avenue, the scene of Tuesday night’s shooting, in which a parked car was struck by two bullets and at least eight shots were fired. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02Off-duty Red Bank police officers out delivering Christmas presents for the PBA heard the gunfire in Monday night’s shooting on the West Side, police Chief Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

“They were literally a block and half away” and immediately responded to the scene, on West Westside Avenue just a few doors east of Leighton Avenue, arriving even before nearby residents had called in the 8:39 p.m. shots, he said.

By the time they got there, however, the shooter or shooters, and any intended targets, were gone, McConnell said.

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RED BANK: SHOTS FIRED AGAIN ON WEST SIDE

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014By JOHN T. WARD

A vehicle was struck but no one was injured when shots were fired on Red Bank’s West Side Monday night, NJ.com reported.

The shooting occurred within the same three-block area of a November shooting that left two people critically injured and another shooting in which a parked car was shot up in broad daylight two days later.

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RED BANK: RESIDENTS PAN COUNCIL RESPONSE

kirsten ramirez 112414Kirsten Ramirez speaks with police Captain Mike Clay after Monday night’s council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01Red Bank residents put elected officials in the hot seat Monday night for their response to two shootings on the West Side earlier this month.

Addressing Mayor Pasquale Menna and the six-member council at a bimonthly meeting, West Westside Avenue resident Jill Burden criticized what she called a “lack of communication or even acknowledgement” of the concerns of neighbors following the shootings, which occurred less than two days apart.

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