RED BANK: CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR FOR POT SHOP

red bank galleriaThe Galleria’s application indicated the business would be located in space now occupied by Siam Garden. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThree months after Red Bank changed its zoning laws to allow sales of medical marijuana, the borough has rejected its first application for a retail pot shop, officials said Wednesday night.

The denial appears to underscore one of the main problems such a business would have to navigate: limitations on their proximity to schools and parks.

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RED BANK: DEMS GLIDE INTO NEW YEAR

red bank, nj, pasquale menna, wayne hartman, scott calabrese, bob holidayMayor Pasquale Menna prepares to swear in new fire Chief Wayne Hartman, center, and deputies Scott Calabrese and Bobby Holiday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s government turned the calendar page to 2019 with a friction-free reorganization meeting Tuesday that kicked off the fourth term of Mayor Pasquale Menna and gave Democrats unfettered control of borough hall.

Here are some highlights:

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RED BANK: STUDENTS RETHINK MONMOUTH ST.

curtis mcdaniel red bank ,n rutgers student plans monmouth streetCurtis McDaniel discussing the concept plan he co-created, showing an eastward view along Monmouth Street. Below, developer Todd Herman comments on a student pitch. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

todd herman, red bank, nj rutgers student plans monmouth streetAssignment: come up with new design concepts to enliven the stretch of Monmouth Street between the train station and borough hall in Red Bank.

The response: lots of new apartments, rooftop bars, hidden parking decks, pockets of greenery and even an amphitheater across the street from the Count Basie Center for the Performing Arts.

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RED BANK: DEMS ROMP TO FULL CONTROL

red bank nj YASSIN TRIGGIANOCouncilmembers-elect Kate Triggiano and Hazim Yassin embrace on news of their victories Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank, nj election 2018Red Bank’s Democrats regained full control of borough government in an election rout for incumbent Mayor Pasquale Menna and two first-time council candidates in Tuesday’s election.

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RED BANK: PEARL LEE Q&A

red bank nj pearl leeRepublican Pearl Lee is hoping to unseat three-term Mayor Pasquale Menna. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

red bank, nj, election, q&A,

At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

On the ballot are: incumbent Mayor Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Pearl Lee; and council candidates Michael Clancy (R), Allison Gregory (R), Kate Triggiano (D), Sue Viscomi (I) and Hazim Yassin (D).

Here are Lee’s written responses to questions posed to all candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: PASQUALE MENNA Q&A

red bank nj mayor pasquale mennaPasquale Menna is seeking his fourth term as mayor. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

red bank, nj, election, q&A,

At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

On the ballot are: incumbent Mayor Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Pearl Lee; and council candidates Michael Clancy (R), Allison Gregory (R), Kate Triggiano (D), Sue Viscomi (I) and Hazim Yassin (D).

Here are Menna’s written responses to questions posed to all candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: MICHAEL CLANCY Q&A

red bank nj michael clancyRepublican council candidate Michael Clancy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

red bank, nj, election, q&A,

At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

On the ballot are: incumbent Mayor Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Pearl Lee; and council candidates Michael Clancy (R), Allison Gregory (R), Kate Triggiano (D), Sue Viscomi (I) and Hazim Yassin (D).

Here are Clancy’s written responses to questions posed to all candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: ALLISON GREGORY Q&A

red bank nj allison gregoryAllison Gregory is running for council on the Republican ticket. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

red bank, nj, election, q&A,

At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

On the ballot are: incumbent Mayor Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Pearl Lee; and council candidates Michael Clancy (R), Allison Gregory (R), Kate Triggiano (D), Sue Viscomi (I) and Hazim Yassin (D).

Here are Gregory’s written responses to questions posed to all candidates recently by redbankgreen.
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RED BANK: KATE TRIGGIANO Q&A

red bank nj kate triggianoKate Triggiano is on the Democratic slate as a council candidate. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

red bank, nj, election, q&A,

At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

On the ballot are: incumbent Mayor Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Pearl Lee; and council candidates Michael Clancy (R), Allison Gregory (R), Kate Triggiano (D), Sue Viscomi (I) and Hazim Yassin (D).

Here are Triggiano’s written responses to questions posed to all candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: SUE VISCOMI Q&A

red bank nj sue viscomiRunning as the only independent in this year’s council race is Sue Viscomi. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

red bank, nj, election, q&A,

At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

On the ballot are: incumbent Mayor Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Pearl Lee; and council candidates Michael Clancy (R), Allison Gregory (R), Kate Triggiano (D), Sue Viscomi (I) and Hazim Yassin (D).

Here are Viscomi’s written responses to questions posed to all candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: HAZIM YASSIN Q&A

red bank nj hazim yassinDemocrat Hazim Yassin is seeking a council seat. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

red bank, nj, election, q&A,

At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

On the ballot are: incumbent Mayor Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Pearl Lee; and council candidates Michael Clancy (R), Allison Gregory (R), Kate Triggiano (D), Sue Viscomi (I) and Hazim Yassin (D).

Here are Yassin’s written responses to questions posed to all candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: GOP QUESTIONS YASSIN’S RISE

red bank nj hazim yassinHazim Yassin, with running mate Kate Triggiano, at the West Side Community Group candidates’ forum Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

One day after a low-friction debate, Red Bank Republicans went on the attack against a Democratic opponent Wednesday.

The GOP, chaired by council candidate Michael Clancy, posted on Facebook a press release titled “Who is Hazim Yassin?” questioning Yassin’s rapid ascent within the local Democratic party and accusing him of “fraud” on either investors or voters.

Yassin dismissed the attack, telling redbankgreen it was “littered with fabrications.”

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RED BANK: REPORT DOMINATES FACE-OFF

red bank nj council candidates 2018From left, council candidates Kate Triggiano, Hazim Yassin, Sue Viscomi, Michael Clancy and Allison Gregory at the West Side Community Group’s forum Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank, nj, election 2018A management study that found widespread “dysfunction” in Red Bank’s government provided fodder for contenders at the annual Candidates’ Night hosted by the West Side Community Group Tuesday night.

In the case of Pearl Lee, the first Republican to challenge Mayor Pasquale Menna since 2006, it provided the spark for her to run, she said. For Menna, it’s a document he accepts “ownership” of. And all five council candidates alluded to it.

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RED BANK: GOP TO RUN MAYORAL CANDIDATE

Pearl Lee at the Bank Street block party earlier this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Her name has appeared on campaign lawn signs for weeks, but on Tuesday, a Red Bank political neophyte made it official: she’s running for mayor.

Pearl Lee, a retiree and singer from Alston Court, will top the Republican ticket ballot in November’s election. She’ll also be the first GOP opponent of Democratic incumbent Mayor Pasquale Menna since he won the seat in 2006.

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RED BANK: GOP ATTACKS RIVAL OVER THREAT

Council candidate Michael Clancy at the Red Bank Classic race in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

In the first attack of Red Bank’s 2018 election season, the two Republican council candidates claimed they saw one of their Democratic opponents “cavort” with a man who had made “menacing and threatening gestures” toward one of them at a local government meeting.

 

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RED BANK: GOP CHAIR TO SEEK COUNCIL SEAT

GOP Chairman Michael Clancy at last October’s Halloween parade. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

With its two incumbents dropping out, the Red Bank Republican party on Thursday chose its chairman and a newcomer to run for borough council this year, redbankgreen has learned.

Party head Michael Clancy will be joined on the ticket by Bank Street resident Allison Gregory on a ticket in which the mayoral slot will be blank, Clancy said Friday.

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RED BANK: VISCOMI ADDS WILD CARD TO RACE

Viscomi serves on the board of ed, where she leads the finance committee, and is on a number of borough committees. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The 2018 race for two Red Bank council seats looks like it will have a wild card.

Sue Viscomi, a board of education member and former Republican stalwart who has expressed increasing antipathy in recent years to the local arm of the party, has started gathering signatures for a run as an independent in the November election, she told redbankgreen on Monday.

Her entry would appear to add to the challenge for the two presumptive Republican candidates, already facing the prospect of an anti-Trump backlash in a majority Democrat town, and could eat into support for the two Democrats in the race, both newcomers to elective politics.

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RED BANK: MENNA TOPS TICKET AGAIN

Mayor Pasquale Menna at Riverside Gardens Park in September. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Holding off a challenge by activist Ben Forest, Mayor Pasquale Menna secured the top spot on the Democratic ticket in the November election Sunday.

Menna, going for a fourth four-year term, will be joined by two council contenders seeking their first elective office.

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RED BANK: EATERIES SPOTLIGHT STRAWS

Kitch Organic on Leighton Avenue, above, is one of eight Red Bank restaurants participating in a monthlong effort to reduce the number of plastic drinking straws that don’t make it into the recycling stream.

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RED BANK: NEW BELLHAVEN PLAN WINS PRAISE

The new concept plan for Bellhaven Natural Area includes an observation deck, similar to the one shown for illustration purposes above left; playground equipment; and a play area covered with a rubberized safety surface, shown in light green. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two years after residents gave a thorough hosing to a plan for a spray park in a West Side wetlands, Red Bank officials unveiled a new plan for the Bellhaven Natural Area Wednesday night.

This one got a warmer reception.

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RED BANK: RALLY TARGETS RACISM & TRUMP

Several hundred protesters assembled at Riverside Gardens Park Saturday evening. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Hours after violent clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, about 150 local residents and community leaders gathered in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park for a “unity and peace” demonstration Saturday night.

But unlike a rally held in the West Front Street park one day after the start of the Trump Administration, this one did not avoid mentioning Trump’s name, as several speakers laid responsibility for the day’s outburst of hatred and deadly violence in Virginia on the president.

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RED BANK: SANDERS BACKERS BERN TRACKS

rb sanders march 040216 1rb sanders march 040216 5Chanting “feel the Bern” and “this is what democracy looks like,” about 300 Bernie Sanders supporters marched in a drizzling ran through downtown Red Bank at noontime Saturday. Among several petitions circulated was one to get the presidential candidate on the New Jersey primary ballot, for which voting is to be held on June 7. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
rb sanders march 040216 2

RED BANK: SANDERS BACKERS PLAN MARCH

Sanders march route 033116The march is slated to proceed on sidewalks from the train station to Riverside Gardens Park via Monmouth and Broad streets.  (Map courtesy of Google Maps. Click to enlarge)

Election_2016_PlainRed Bank merchants, visitors and residents should be prepared for possible traffic delays as hundreds of supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders are expected to march through the downtown enroute to a rally at lunchtime Saturday.

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RED BANK: A LITTLE BOOK-LABELING PARTY

leighton lib 110915 2leighton lib 110915 1Kate Triggiano, who had a custom-built “little library” built and installed outside her Red Bank home for neighborhood kids last October, plans a book labeling party Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m.

The aim of the event, to be held at Kitch Organic restaurant at 75 Leighton Avenue, is to apply labels to dozens of books donated to the library’s wish list on Amazon, Triggiano said. Participants are asked to bring scissors; kids are welcome if  they’re old enough to help.

Why label? “Because we respect the kids and trust them,” said Triggiano. “Because they cost nice people money. And because we don’t want someone taking them and selling them.”

Dubbed the Little Library on Leighton, the mahogany receptacle, built by custom woodworker David Halbout of Middletown, is in front of Triggiano’s home at 22 Leighton, and features children’s and young-adult literature.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)