RED BANK: PICKUP ROLLS IN CRASH

RED BANK nj accidentA pickup truck wound up on its side and missing a wheel, but no serious injuries occurred in a two-vehicle accident on Maple Avenue at Irving Place at about 2:45 p.m. Friday, said Red Bank police Chief Darren McConnell. Details were not immediately available. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: VEHICLE CLIPS UTILITY POLE

RB ACCIDENT 062216 2A piece of a utility pole was left dangling in air after the lower portion was struck by a vehicle on Mpale Avenue near Monmouth Street in Red Bank Wednesday afternoon. Information on the crash was not immediately available, but there appeared to be no injuries resulting, said a person on the scene. As of 3:38 p.m., police had closed off northbound Maple Avenue between Chestnut and Monmouth Street to facilitate repairs.  (Reader photo. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: RR XING TO CLOSE TWO NIGHTS

rb rr crossing 100614Broad Street at the New Transit grade crossing in Red Bank will be closed to vehicular traffic two night this weekend for track maintenance and repair work. The closings are scheduled from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday and again from 8 p.m Saturday through 8 a.m. Sunday, said spokeswoman Nancy Snyder. Motorists should plan alternate routes. Rail travel will not be affected, she said. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK ZONERS NIX TRAINING OFFICE

Shore House consultant Pauline Nicholls, board president Susan Sandlass and attorney Phillip San Filippo at the zoning board hearing. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Red Bank officials Thursday night rejected a request by a nonprofit to provide job training to people with mental illnesses at a facility on Maple Avenue.

The borough zoning board, taking up an appeal, unanimously agreed with borough Planning Director Donna Smith-Barr’s earlier determination that Shore House would need a variance before it could offer its services at 135 Maple, amid a stretch of onetime elegant homes that now serve as offices for lawyers, architects, doctors, and other professionals.

“I like your program,” board chairwoman Lauren Nicosia told Shore House representatives. “I just don’t like it there.”

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DIGGING FOR ICE CREAM?


11:04 a.m.
A crew hired by the borough digs out the worn curb on Peters Place in Red Bank. (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

The borough has been trying to get the sidewalk replacement and repaving job started for a week, but coincidentally, to the dismay of these construction workers, it didn’t begin until the hottest day so far this year.

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KABOOMERS TOUT RETURN TO ‘FAMILY’ SHOW

kaboom-wfront-2010Spectators watching the  2010 fireworks from outside the Red Bank Public Library. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The weekend extravaganza that is Kaboomfest kicks off Friday night, a three-day indulgence on the banks of our beautiful Navesink that includes rides, amusements, live music and one breathtaking pyrotechnics show that qualifies as one of the country’s largest.

There’s a lot to soak in of the borough’s lauded tradition, from parking to security, to where to catch the show and how to beat out after it’s done.

Your friends at redbankgreen have got you covered, and the articles below touch on all the facets of the show. Below is a shrunken version of those stories, providing a snapshot of what this weekend is all about.

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A GUIDE TO KABOOM, COMING & GOING

LargemapDowntown will be closed to traffic beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The train is the easiest way in and out of town the night of the fireworks, coordinators say. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

rb-trainIn addition to a powerhouse fireworks show, one guarantee for Sunday’s KaBoom event in Red Bank is the logjam of crowds and traffic that comes with it.

Tens of thousands of visitors stream into town by car, rail, on foot and by bike. Gridlock on the periphery of the central business district is likely before the show. Your “secret” path out of town afterward? Forget about it. It’s taillight city everywhere.

Below is a comprehensive rundown on what to expect, where to go and how to get in and out of town with the same amount of hair you came with.

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STUDENTS GO OFF THE DEEP END AT THE Y

y-swimmers11Swimming lessons for borough third-graders were offered as part of a larger program to expand the Community YMCA’s public outreach. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Here’s a stat you might think unlikely for a riverside town like Red Bank, just a short drive from the beach: 95 percent of third-grade students in its charter and primary schools did not know how to swim, according to the Community YMCA.

That began to change over the past month.

On Thursday, the Y held the last of a series of free, month-long swimming lessons for all borough third-graders. And what a difference that month made.

“The first week, everybody was very tense. We had to hold some kids’ hands. A couple of the kids in level one would hold on for dear life,” said Rebecca Rivera, the Y’s safety coordinator. “And now they’re jumping right in.”

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COUNCIL STILL DUG IN AGAINST GARDEN SPOT

cg-sickelsCommunity garden proponents talk to borough Administrator Stanley Sickels about their proposal after Wednesday night’s council meeting. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The borough council Wednesday night unanimously adopted a resolution supporting a community garden in Red Bank.

Great, some said.

But when it came down to where the council might allow that garden to sprout, the council maintained a hard position that while it supports a community garden, it doesn’t support one where a group at least 40 strong want it: at a piece of borough property next to the library.

The clash between impassioned members of a community garden group and the council continued Wednesday night, without agreement, and none in sight, on its location.

It was more like a talking-to than a talking-with, as the council offered little feedback to a long line of speakers serving up suggestions, implicating political motives and asking questions that they feel still haven’t been answered.

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PARKING PERMITS MAY BE NEEDED AT COVE

maple-cove-lot1Workers had installed curbs at the Maple Cove parking area by midday Friday, and plan to repave it. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

park_it_021Free parking may soon be a thing of the past at Maple Cove, Red Bank’s popular free launch for kayaks, canoes and rowing shells.

The borough, which is repaving a parking area at the site, may reinstate permit parking there, borough Administrator Stanley Sickels tells redbankgreen.

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PEDESTRIAN SAFETY MEASURES SLATED


Front Street between English Plaza and Washington Street will get a number upgrades aimed at making pedestrians safer, a Monmouth County official said.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Upgrades to one of Red Bank’s more troubled traffic areas will be in place next year, possibly by this time, Monmouth County officials told the borough council Tuesday.

In an overview of the planned enhancements, Kevin Nugent, of the county engineering office, said about $600,000 worth of work will go into the stretch of East and West Front streets between English Plaza and Washington Street — a highly-traveled section that’s seen more than 100 accidents in recent years.

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YMCA GETS OK FOR SHRUNKEN PLAN

harrisonCongregation Beth Shalom, led by Rabbi Dovid Harrison, won concessions from the Community YMCA. An architectural plan, below, shows the south face of the proposed remodeling (top) and east facade along Maple Avenue. (Click to enlarge.)

elevationsAfter months of contentious hearings that prompted a lawsuit against the Borough of Red Bank, the Community YMCA finally won approval to increase the size of its 40-year-old Maple Avenue health facility.

After a four-and-a-half hour hearing that was light on objections from the public, all seven members of the zoning board voted to approve the plan, which would increase the size of the facility by 56 percent, to 86,000 square feet.

It would also, for the first time, allow traffic to exit the facility directly onto busy Maple Avenue, which doubles as state Highway 35.

But not on the Sabbath.

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YMCA SCALES BACK EXPANSION PLAN

cymcaTalks between Community YMCA officials and Red Bank’s zoning board led the Y to shave 15,000 square feet off a proposed expansion at the Maple Avenue health facility. (Click to enlarge)

Almost 10 months after a protracted hearing process that led to a rejection and lawsuit, the Community YMCA will return to the Red Bank zoning board this week with a dramatically scaled-back proposal to expand its Maple Avenue health facility, redbankgreen has learned.

Andrea Plaza, the Y’s vice president for family health, said closed-door settlement negotiations with the board resulted in the nonprofit making significant changes to the scope and appearance of the proposed expansion.

The talks resulted in “a better plan,” Plaza said.

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DANGEROUS INTERSECTION UNDER REVIEW

petersA police officer is now stationed at Maple Avenue and Peters Place following crossing guard John Mego’s departure. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

One of Red Bank’s busiest intersections is getting a safety review from local officials following the departure of one of its crossing guards over safety concerns.

They didn’t broach the topic Monday night until Audrey Oldoerp, a mother of three, pleaded with the council to make the intersection safer.

“If a crossing guard feels  the intersection is unsafe, how can my children and I cross with any peace of mind?” Oldoerp asked.

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CITING RISKS, MEGO QUITS CROSSING GUARDS

j-megoJohn Mego’s last day as a crossing guard is today. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

He’s in line to be Red Bank’s next fire chief, but a rainstorm last week convinced John Mego that the risk associated with being a crossing guard in town isn’t for him anymore.

Saying he’s “tired of being a hood ornament,” Mego’s last day directing traffic is today.

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Y ZONE CHANGE QUASHED BY COUNCIL

rb-councilCongregation Beth Shalom Secretary Sara Breslow speaks against a proposed zoning ordinance at Monday’s council meeting. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s borough council voted 4-1 against a contentious ordinance amendment that would have made the Community YMCA a permitted use at its longtime location Monday night, effectively ending the organization’s recent bid to expand the Maple Avenue facility.

It very well may be the council’s most expensive vote this year, according to Mayor Pasquale Menna.

“My only admonition is that it’s going to be really costly for the borough. I can’t guarantee what happens,” he said.

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MAPLE AVENUE LIGHTS TO BE TWEAKED

hot-topic rightRed Bank police will roll out a portable flashing sign warning motorists not to block intersections at the north end of Route 35/Maple Avenue, Captain Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

But fixing traffic tie-ups in the vicinity of new traffic lights at West Front Street and the West Street/White Street intersection “is less a matter of enforcement than it is about the timing of the lights,” McConnell says.

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NEW LIGHTS CAUSING HEAVY PROBLEMS

Rt35 fixNorthbound Maple Avenue traffic backed up during work at the West Street/White Street intersection last May. The completion of the job hasn’t alleviated the problem.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Those shiny new traffic lights on the north end of Maple Avenue seem to be having and unintended effect: rather than ease the flow of traffic, the lights are actually impeding it, according to resident Carl Colmorgen, or anybody who gets stuck in the daily a.m. logjam on nearby Monmouth Street.

Colmorgen brought up the issue at Monday night’s bimonthly Red Bank council meeting, saying that a study, or enforcement, or something needs to be done to get the issue fixed.

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MENNA PLEDGES END TO COVE CONTROVERSY

maple-cove-kayakersKayakers putting into the Navesink River at the Maple Cove Sunday evening. (Click to enlarge)

An ongoing battle over a couple of benches and sign proposed for installation on public property at Red Bank’s Maple Cove may be headed toward a peaceful conclusion.

Then again, it could be that Mayor Pasquale Menna just thrust himself into the middle of the conflict, which has increasingly pitted the borough administration against a group of kayak and canoe enthusiasts.

Today’s Asbury Park Press reports that Menna “committed to getting the sign and benches installed by the end of the year” after being asked about them by the newspaper.

The pledge would appear to conflict with assertions by the borough administration that it is handcuffed by state Department of Environmental Protection regulations regarding the waterfront site at Navesink River terminus of Maple Avenue.

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