RED BANK: COUNCIL OKS HYBRID BULKHEAD

elijah nishiura 072314Red Bank Regional sophomore Elijah Nishiura, center, chats with Environmental Commission chairwoman Laura Bagwell, left, and Carl Alderson, a marine resources specialist at NOAA, after the council voted to restore the rotting library bulkhead, below.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb lib bulkhead 2 071013A hotly opposed proposal to rebuild the bulkhead at the Red Bank Public Library won approval from the borough council Wednesday night, though the new structure may now incorporate elements of a so-called living shoreline favored by environmentalists.

Then again, the matter could be headed to court if the hybrid approach fails appease the library’s next-door neighbors, whose lawyer continued to imply that he’d sue if anything less than an abrupt wall along the library’s Navesink River frontage is constructed.

“The merits of the living shoreline are neither here nor there,” Michael Vitiello, the attorney for the Corinthian Cove condos, told the council before it voted on the issue. “My clients feel that if you remove the bulkhead… we are no longer going to have lateral support for our earth.”

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RED BANK: BULKHEAD REBUILD ON AGENDA

rb lib bulkhead 4 071013Borough residents are on the hook for replacing the library bulkhead, at right, where environmentalists argue a natural shoreline should be restored.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Its scientists and policy experts may be thought leaders on issues of global warming and ways to head it off. But on the matter of the Navesink River bulkhead at the Red Bank Public Library, Harvard University can’t be bothered to speak, it appears.

Harvard’s continued silence almost a year after Mayor Pasquale Menna reached out to the university for help on a legal issue is about to cost Red Bank taxpayers and, environmentalists contend, result in a wrongheaded fix along the shoreline.

A controversial plan to rebuild the crumbling bulkhead, rather than allow for the restoration of a natural shoreline, is expected to move ahead Wednesday night.

It’s time for “finality” on the issue, which involves insurance and liability issues as well as environmental ones, Menna told redbankgreen Monday.

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‘LIVING SHORELINE’ SWAMPED BY LEGAL ISSUE

The foot of Prospect Avenue, where Red Bank plans to rebuild a deteriorated bulkhead, as seen last December. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials consider the idea of a “living shoreline” at the borough library a non-starter, and plan to seek grant money to replace a riverfront bulkhead there and at two other locations.

One day after borough officials described what they said is an insurmountable legal hurdle to the more eco-friendly solution favored by the American Littoral Society and other environmentalists, Administrator Stanley Sickels said the library property would get a new, impermeable bulkhead, as would an adjoining borough-owned parcel and one at the river end of Prospect Avenue.

“So you’re going to bulkhead the library, but you’re also going to bulkhead 94 West Front?” activist Cindy Burnham asked Sickels at Wednesday night’s council meeting, referring to a vacant borough-owned parcel that abuts the library site.

“We haven’t finalized plans, but I believe it would be prudent to do the library, 94 and Prospect Avenue all at once,” Sickels responded. “If we didn’t consider [a natural shoreline replacement] at the library, we wouldn’t consider it at 94.”

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BULKHEAD PROJECT MAY HINGE ON DEED

Environmentalists want to replace this old wooden bulkhead with a graded, natural one to help preserve wildlife. Below, Tim Dillingham of the American Littoral Society addresses Red Bank’s Environmental Commission Tuesday night. (Photo below by Connor Soltas. Click to enlarge)

By CONNOR SOLTAS

An effort to do away with the dilapidated riverfont bulkhead at the Red Bank Public Library and let it go natural appeared to get washed aside Tuesday night when borough officials raised a legal issue.

Turns out that the 1937 deed that transferred the former Eisner family home to the borough for use by the library requires the town to keep the bulkhead “in good repair,”officials said at a meeting of the Environmental Commission.

Because the deed did not explicitly permit replacing the bulkhead with a more eco-friendly option, the borough may only rebuild the bulkhead, instead of replacing it with a “natural shoreline” favored by environmental advocates, borough attorney Dan O’Hern and administrator Stanley Sickels said Tuesday night.

“The governing body’s action should be to repair it as required by the deed,” said O’Hern. “It’s as simple as that.”

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CUPCAKES GO GLUTEN-FREE AT POSH POP

A passerby checks out the desserts at Posh Pop. (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

His high school sweethearts Krizha Bayacbacao and Matthew Pytel had always dreamed of becoming entrepreneurs. Now, just a year out of college, they’ve already taken an online business to the street.

Their story, culminating with last week’s launch of Posh Pop Bakeshop on Broad Street in Red Bank, begins with a birthday cake.

Pytel, 22, has Celiac disease, which is a gluten intolerance – distinct from an allergy – that prevents him from being able to enjoy most sweet treats. To address this, Bayacbacao started experimenting with recipes while she and Pytel were students at Kean University, and made him a gluten-free cannoli cake.

“She was so proud of it,” said Pytel. “It was one of the first things she made. I love cannoli, so it was chocolate cake with cannoli filling and strawberries on top. It was delicious. That night, we sat down and she was like, ‘Why don’t we just throw something together and see what happens?’”

What they threw together was a website touting gluten-free baked goods, and as luck would have it, it became a little website that could.

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PROWN’S 2012 CALENDAR: A MINOR DISASTER

prowns-pix-2-121211A bicyclist passes Prown’s Home Improvements on Monmouth Street in Red Bank, where enlargements from the 2012 calendar are on display. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

prowns-2012-calendar1

Who among us isn’t a sucker for nostalgia? And who can resist gawking at the consequences of Mother Nature’s fury?

David Prown, owner of Prown’s Home Improvement, has decided to combine the two for his shop’s third annual Red Bank-based calendar of old photos.

The limited-edition calendar was “inspired by having an earthquake and a hurricane in the same week (along with some pretty good snowstorms earlier in the year,” Prown tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL

lib-bulkheadThe American Littoral Society would like to replace this old wooden bulkhead with a graded, natural one to help preserve wildlife. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The bulkhead — a battered wooden wall meant to protect the Red Bank Public Library‘s backyard from the Navesink River — is, without question, in need of repair.

What the fix should be is the question.

The American Littoral Society has a suggestion: tear it down and put in a more natural bulkhead, one that will better serve the shorehline ecosystem.

The environmental group earlier this week pitched the idea, which hasn’t been tried in this area, to the borough council.

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