DOLPHIN WATCH 2012: YES, THEY’RE BACK

A dolphin breaks the surface of the Navensink River off Victory Park in Rumson Sunday, above. Right, boaters oohed and aahed at the sight of the sleek animals. Don’t crowd them, though; federal law prohibits interference with the animal’s natural behavior, and harassment is punishable by fines of up to $10,000. (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

DOLPHINS BACK IN NAVESINK

Dolphins in the Navesink west of the Oceanic Bridge in 2008. (Click to enlarge)

Dolphins have been seen feeding in the upper Navesink River this weekend, prompting recollections of 2008, when debate raged about what, if anything, should be done to save a pod from the impending start of winter.

Red Bank’s Joe Ruffini reported seeing about six dolphins from his boat off Fair Haven Saturday, and members of the Navesink River Rowing club said four small dolphins were in the water off Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank early Sunday.

Read More »

SUMMER SAIL

Young competitors prepare to drop their sailboats into the Navesink River from the dock at Monmouth Boat Club at the annual Junior Sweeps in Red Bank Wednesday. The two-day event, attracting more then 100 competitors in three classes, wraps up today. (Click to enlarge)

HOTEL LAWSUIT III: THIS TIME, IT’S PERSONAL

Lawyer Ron Gasiorowski clashing with Councilman Mike DuPont last week, above, and relaxing at Zebu Forno on Monday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

As an attorney, Ron Gasiorowski is used to verbal conflict. It’s inherent in the adversarial work of representing a client’s interests against someone who’s doing the same.

But as he prepares to file his third lawsuit against Red Bank over a proposed Hampton Inn, Gasiorowski is stewing over the reception he got when he appeared before the borough council last Wednesday.

Not the way he was treated by borough Attorney Dan O’Hern, who challenged him on procedural points at nearly every turn, but did so respectfully, Gasiorowski told redbankgreen last week. And likewise not by Mayor Pasquale Menna, who despite his resistance to Gasiorowski’s point of view, “is always a gentleman,” he said.

No, Gasiorowski said, he was put out by the the third lawyer up on the dais: Councilman Mike DuPont.

“In 40 years of practicing law, that was the most unprofessional and rudest I’ve ever been treated,” said Gasiorowski, a 71-year-old former Marine captain.

Read More »

SAILBOAT SMASHED IN RIVER HIT-AND-RUN

Employees at Carriage House Marina in Sea Bright look over the Nonsuch catboat that they say was damaged beyond repair in the crash. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Sea Bright couple is asking for the public’s help in finding the boater who smashed into their prized sailboat while it was moored in the Navesink River off Red Bank this weekend.

Wendie Elovich and her husband, Tim Slaight, believe their 22-foot Nonsuch catboat, which was anchored in the mooring field off the Monmouth Boat Club, was struck by a fast-moving motorized vessel sometime between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

“It looks like it washed up on a beach in a hurricane,” said Lance Cunningham, owner of Carriage House Marina in Sea Bright, where the sailboat was towed Monday morning. “It’s a wonder it didn’t sink.”

Elovich says it’s a wonder someone wasn’t killed. In fact, she wonders if someone wasn’t.

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

BOATERS MARK RIVER TOWN’S CENTENNIAL

Fair Havenites took took to the beautiful Navesink River for a day of celebratory boat races in honor of the town’s nautical heritage as part of its ongoing centennial Saturday.

Photographer Peter Lindner was out on the water for redbankgreen.

A SOLSTICE SUNSET

8:24 p.m.Closing out the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun descended over the Navesink River, as seen from Red Bank Marina. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

Read More »

A BELATED DAD’S DAY GIFT

5:47 p.m.: Father’s Day arrived slightly late for Maria and Kenny Sutherland, brother and sister, who celebrated the occasion on the water Wednesday, instead of Sunday, with both their parents.

After a day on the Navesink River and New York Harbor, dear old dad gave himself a present. He “left us to clean the boat,” Maria said. (Photo by Connor ‘Solstice’ Soltas. Click to enlarge)

Today, redbankgreen engages in a bit of Sol Searching as we chase the sun across the Green on the longest – thanks to the Summer Solstice – and, by coincidence, so-far-hottest day of the year. Please check in regularly to see where we’ve been. Suggestions? Send ’em here, please.

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE RACE

6:05 a.m. The frontrunners in Monmouth Boat Club‘s annual solstice race make a U-turn just east of the Oceanic Bridge.  Taking off just before sunrise in Red Bank, they finished in daylight.

The solstice race, once Navesink River Rowing‘s traditional first of the season, is the second race this year in a biweekly series among the “Rowing Fleet” of the MBC. The two rowing organizations are intertwined today as members of both join in the fun.

“Our speeds are so different that there is usually little actual competition,” said Jim Shelton, fleet captain. “Rather, the ‘competition’ is more frequently against our own individual record.”

(Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

Read More »

VOLUNTEERING: TWO RIVER CLEANUPS SLATED

Our beautiful Navesink, as seen from Marine Park in Red Bank Wednesday evening. (Photo by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Done2This weekend, area residents will take to the water as part of two individual cleanup events in an effort to keep the Navesink River beautiful and litter-free.

Those who are proud to call Red Bank and Rumson home based on the river’s picturesque expanse are asked to give a couple hours’ worth of time and exertion in order to protect it.

Both events are rain or shine, except in the case of thunder and lightning. All volunteers must wear closed-toed shoes; unlike a beach cleanup, volunteers may have to walk through bushes and shallow parts of the river to retrieve garbage.

Read More »

TRI DRAWS 400 COMPETITORS

Nearly 400 athletes gathered in Marine Park bright and early Sunday for the Red Bank Triathlon, a swim-bike-run competition of Olympic and sprint distances that took them down a coned-off West Front Street, up Riverside Avenue and into Middletown and Holmdel.

Jonathan Winter of Highland Park took first place overall, finishing the Olympic race – a 1.5k swim in the Navesink River, a 40k bike ride and a 10k run – in 2 hours, 2 minutes and 13 seconds. Full results are here.

redbankgreen photographer Stacie Fanelli was there.

Read More »

TESTING THE WATERS

Navesink River Rowing member Katya Hanson, above, gives some guidance on oar handling to Susan Skeans at the Red Bank club’s annual open house on the Navesink Saturday. At right, Ann Marie Carton of Middletown, a college rower who joined NRR for summer, tunes up. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK FIREFIGHTERS DOWN TWO TRUCKS

Members of the Navesink Hook & Ladder recently tested a surplus tower truck from Middletown for fit in their Mechanic Street firehouse as a potential loaner. See video at redbankgreen‘s YouTube channel or on Facebook to see how that went. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Already handicapped by the failure of its aerial ladder truck, Red Bank’s volunteer fire department is now facing an interim during which it will also be without its sole tower truck, redbankgreen has learned.

The 11-year-old tower – a vehicle with an 93-foot extendable platform from which firefighters can train water onto a fire from overhead – is due for maintenance that could take it out of service for a week or more, says borough Administrator and Fire Marshal Stanley Sickels.

The outage means that the borough would have to rely on mutual aid from Middletown in the event of a hard-to-reach fire, with possibly delayed response times, for both tower and ladder service, said Sickels.

“And in a fire, ever second counts,” Sickels said.

Read More »

FIRE TRUCK PRICE COULD REACH $1 MILLION

The new truck would be garaged at the Navesink Hook & Ladder Company on Mechanic Street, replacing a vehicle whose ladder failed last year. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank taxpayers are facing a cost of up to $1 million to replace an aerial ladder truck, town officials said Wednesday night.

The borough council introduced a $1.1 million bonding ordinance to pay for a new rig, which would replace a 25-year-old truck whose ladder components failed during routine maintenance last year, said Fire Marshal and Administrator Stanley Sickels.

Replacement parts are not available, and the vehicle is no longer compliant with national firefighting equipment standards, he said.

Read More »

PED/BIKE RAMP PLANNED FOR NEW BRIDGE

Monmouth County Engineer Joe Ettore traces the path of the planned walkway, which continues off the proposed new bridge (in yellow) and up a series of ramps along the the west side of the rail line to Shrewsbury Avenue. Below, an elevation rendering of the bridge.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Monmouth County officials say they have solved the daunting sidewalk-to-nowhere conundrum they faced in designing a new bridge to connect Red Bank and Middletown at West Front Street.

The fix? Create a walk-and-bike path that will bypass the narrow rail trestle on the Red Bank side, Monmouth County Engineer Joe Ettore said Wednesday.

In what was billed as a preview of a fuller public presentation to come in the spring, Monmouth County Engineer Joe Ettore told Red Bank’s mayor and council that the revised plan for the new Hubbards Bridge also calls for a construction timetable that will detour traffic around the span for just three or four months of the projected 18-to-24-month buildout.

And when it’s all done, the borough will end up with a new parcel of green space overlooking the upper Navesink River, he said.

Read More »

RUMSON ALSO LIKELY TO SCRUB FIREWORKS

Scenes from the 2011 Rumson fireworks show, which was synched up with the Red Bank display upriver. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

As go Red Bank’s Independence Day fireworks, so go Rumson’s.

For five years, the two towns put on simultaneous, mirror-image fireworks displays just miles apart on the Navesink River.

But the decision announced Wednesday by the KaBoom Fireworks organizing committee to shelve the Red Bank show in all likelihood means there also will be no fireworks anchored around the Oceanic Bridge between Rumson and Middletown this year, Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl tells redbankgreen.

“We’re probably not going to be able to go ahead,” he said.

Read More »

RED BANK FIREWORKS CANCELLED; SECURITY COSTS, INADEQUATE PUBLIC FUNDING CITED

Scenes from the 2011 fireworks show, when police presence was ramped up following widespread brawling and drunkeness in 2010. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s largest public event, the annual KaBoom Fireworks show, is off for 2012 and facing steep barriers to a return, organizers said Wednesday morning.

The nonprofit show’s executive committee, after several months of mulling, concluded about a week ago that the costs and challenges of staging the event, which draws an estimated 100,000 visitors to the borough each July 3, could not be met this year, chairman Tim Hogan told redbankgreen.

“It was a victim of its own success,” Hogan said, with increasingly bigger crowds  drawn to what was billed as the fourth-largest Independence Day fireworks celebration in America in terms of the number and size of shells lofted into the sky above the Navesink River.

“It was a big event,” he said. “It was a challenge to control the crowd and make sure we were providing security to the folks who came.”

Read More »

BON JOVI OPENS CRIB TO TV CREW, AND YOU

Bon Jovi’s mansion on the Navesink River, as seen in 2008. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Person to Person,’ a TV program of bygone days that featured live interviews with – and often, tours of the homes of –  Marilyn Monroe, John F. and Jackie Kennedy, Marlon Brando and other big names of half a century ago, returns to the airwaves next week with a drop-in at the Middletown home of pop rocker Jon Bon Jovi, CBS News announced Thursday.

The comeback episode, to air Wednesday night, also includes tours of homes owned by two other “legends of today:” actor George Clooney and investment sage Warren Buffett.

Read More »

PRESS: DWI CHARGED IN MIDDLETOWN CRASH

An Ocean County resident is facing drunken driving and other charges, as well as possible deportation, following a three-vehicle crash that seriously injured another man in Middletown Tuesday night, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Meanwhile, Robert H. Reimann, 54, of Atlantic Highlands, remains hospitalized at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Npetune, where he was flown by helicopter after being trapped in his car for an hour following the 6 p.m. collision on Navesink River Road, the Press reports.

Read More »

IN RED BANK, MAKING A LOT OF A LITTLE

Long the home of a car dealership and later approved for an office building, the parcel is now the site of a valet-only parking lot. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After 15 years as a vacant eyesore, a property at a gateway to Red Bank has been transformed into a spiffy new… parking lot.

Serving the Atrium at Navesink Harbor senior citizens’ luxury high-rise on Riverside Avenue, and accessible only to its valet drivers, the parking lot is the first of a long line of development ideas for the site to be completed.

Read More »

2011 TO BLOW OUT ON CLOUDS

Canada geese flying over the white-capped Navesink between Fair Haven and Middletown Wednesday. (Click to enlarge)

The wind that whipped the Green over the past two days has blown through, leaving mostly cloudy skies as 2011 winds down.

Here’s the forecast from the National Weather Service:

Today: A slight chance of snow showers after 4pm. Increasing clouds, with a high near 39. West wind between 10 and 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35. Southwest wind around 7 mph.

Read More »

WEINBERG AGAIN DRUMS FOR A BUYER

A video listing for the Weinberg estate. Below, Max Weinberg at a Middletown planning board hearing in August. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

[See update at bottom of article]

By JOHN T. WARD

max-weinberg-080311Four months after winning an OK to re-subdivide his estate, Bruce Springsteen drummer Max Weinberg has again put the Middletown spread up for sale.

And he’s dropped his asking price by more than 10 percent from a year ago, according to the Friday’s Wall Street Journal, which first reported the offering.

Read More »

DOCK PLAN MAKES WAVES IN FAIR HAVEN

scire-dock-2-112911A Hance Road homeowner hopes to nearly double the length of his Navesink River dock, above. An engineer’s plan, below, details the additional length, as well as the boat lifts and jet-ski port that would be added. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

scire-dock-112911A proposal for a private dock extension that would nearly double the length of an existing Fair Haven pier is in the crosshairs of at least two environment watchdogs.

Documents filed with the state Department of Environmental Protection show that homeowner Pat Scire plans to build an 82-foot-long, 8-foot-wide floating-dock extension at 1 Hance Road. The new structure would be flanked by a pair of boatlifts and a  jet-ski port.

In addition, Scire proposes to rebuild 354 linear feet of bulkheading.

While they support the bulkhead plan as necessary to combat erosion, Ralph Wyndrum and Richard Huff, chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the borough environmental commission say the dock raises safety and other issues.

Read More »