RED BANK: AN ICE START TO WINTER

rb-ice-sculpture-122016A passerby snaps a photo of an ice sculpture Foley Prep installed this week outside its office at the corner of Broad Street and Peters Place in Red Bank Tuesday. But even with the official start of winter with the solstice at 5:44 a.m. Wednesday, how long will the sculpture last? The National Weather Service forecasts that daytime temperatures through Sunday, Christmas Day, will be in the mid- to high-40s. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

ON THE GREEN: RAIN AND FOG DEPART

red-bank-fog-113016Patches of fog lay over Red Bank and the Navesink River Wednesday, as captured from Riverview Towers by a photographer who wished to remain uncredited.

Two days of rain, and one of fog, were expected to end Thursday, initiating a string of partly sunny days through the weekend and into next week, according to the National Weather Service(Click to enlarge.)

ON THE GREEN: GUSTY RAIN IN FORECAST

sandy-hook-nyc-112716Clouds over the New York City skyline, as seen from Sandy Hook Sunday afternoon. Tuesday’s forecast includes periods of rain, with as much as an inch of accumulation possible, and gusting winds of up to 36 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE

nyc-skylinePuffy clouds lingered after several days of rain, but the view of Sandy Hook and the Manhattan skyline from the Route 36 bridge over the Shrewsbury River was unimpeded Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday’s forecast by the National Weather Service calls for ample sunshine and temperatures peaking around 84, but rain may return Thursday and Friday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi. Click to enlarge)

COUNCIL: RED CARPET TO REPLACE RED TAPE

sogo-sushi-072011New procedures are expected to expedite openings and expansions by restaurants, like Sogu Sushi on Monmouth Street, and other types of business. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Welcome to Red Bank, business owners. Please take note of the red carpet in front of you.

That’s the message borough officials are delivering, fresh off the arrival of a bulleted report on cutting down administrative hindrances and other processes that drive prospective restaurateurs, shopkeepers and others to the ledge.

Ordered in response to the clamor of businesses and developers who’ve long blasted the borough for being difficult, and at times, torturous, to deal with, the months-long investigation by an ad-hoc ‘red-tape review committee‘ included multiple discussions with borough officials, business owners and the downtown promotion agency RiverCenter.

“The bottom line is the welcome mat is out, the screen door is open,” said Councilman Mike DuPont, who led the review. “You can have a cup of coffee with the mayor and everybody who’s here.”

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MOTORISTS SWEATING DETOUR IN STRIDE

ls-trafficTraffic at Rumson Road and Branch Avenue in Little Silver was stop and go Friday morning. Below, a detour map from New Jersey Transit. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

ls-detour-mapIt’s the first full day of Little Silver’s traffic shuffle, as work on the New Jersey Transit crossing at the borough train station begins an estimated two-week blockage of a main artery through town and into Shrewsbury.

Amid the vexing backups on area roads in sweltering heat, commuter tempers seem to be cool for now.

“It wasn’t as bad as I thought, which is surprising,” said Elena Acuna, who commutes by rail to New York City three times a week. “We’ll see. It’s just kind of annoying.”

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STEAMY AND SPECTACULAR IN SEA BRIGHT

On a steamy July 4 with a clear view of New York City’s skyline in the background, Sea Bright put on a dazzling display for thousands on the beach Monday night. While kids danced at the water’s edge and adults sat on blankets staring at the sky, Dustin Racioppi was grabbing the photos.

To enlarge the photo display, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To return to redbankgreen, hit the escape key.

COAST GUARD: MISSING BOAT CALL A HOAX

just_in1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended a 10-hour search that started early Tuesday morning for four missing boaters who reported their boat sinking off Sandy Hook Bay, and are now treating the call as a possible hoax, a federal felony.

The call cost Coast Guard assets — and by extension, taxpayers — about $88,000.

Along with state and local agencies that included Sea Bright, Fair Haven and Rumson, the Coast Guard searched about 600 square-miles in the area of Sandy Hook, but found no evidence of the reported-missing sailboat, Courtney Lynn, or its four passengers, a release from the Coast Guard said.

“We were not able to find a sign of persons in distress or any kind of debris,” said Petty Officer Second Class Jetta Disco, who is based in the Coast Guard’s New York City battery.

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VALET, ROOFTOP DINING ON SUMMER MENU

park_it_021By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Sticking to their “open for business” push, Red Bank officials are working to roll out the red carpet for diners and drivers this summer season.

At Wednesday night’s council meeting, Mayor Pasquale Menna introduced two proposals to separate Red Bank from its primary Shore competitors, Asbury Park and Pier Village in Long Branch, and align itself more closely with places like Georgetown and New York City: valet parking and rooftop dining.

“It’s another step we’ve taken to indicate that Red Bank is open for business,”said Councilman Mike DuPont, who is leading a “red tape review” committee to make it easier for businesses to move into town.

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‘ROLLERCOASTER’ FLIGHT FOR RUGBY TEAM

flightmap_01A scheduled four-hour flight home from Barbados turned into a 12-hour ordeal for members of a Red Bank club and other passengers Sunday. Here’s a portion of the route the plane followed, from Boston to New York, courtesy of FlightAware.com

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It was supposed to be a fairly quick, stress-free jaunt; a routine flight home for most of the Red Bank-based Monmouth Rugby Football Club following a rare overseas match in Barbados.

Even after American Airlines Flight 1384 to New York made an unexpected reroute to Boston, player John Russoniello and his teammates were feeling jovial, despite the prospect of having to spend the night in Beantown, he said. This was around 8:15p, just about five hours after the plane left the Caribbean.

“We joked that we hoped the Sam Adams brewery was still open and we could get a beer,” said Russoniello, 25.

But things got hellish shortly thereafter.

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LOCALS ARRESTED IN SEASTREAK TIX SCHEME

[SEE UPDATE BELOW]

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Four men were arrested Wednesday for selling fake boarding tickets for the SeaStreak commuter ferry, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said.just_in1

Three of the men are locals, and all were charged with second-degree theft by deception, second-degree conspiracy, fourth-degree forgery and fourth-degree uttering a forged instrument.

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