RED BANK: CHIEF ADDRESSES USE OF FORCE

red bank nj policeRed Bank’s police chief hasn’t seen a single case of unwarranted force during an arrest in five years, he tells redbankgreen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s police chief says he reviews every report of force used by members of his department during arrests, and hasn’t found any in the past five years that appear improper.

Chief Darren McConnell’s observation followed the release by NJ Advance Media last week of data on every arrest in which police used force in New Jersey over four years.

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RED BANK: TURF HOLDING UP, SAYS SICKELS

rb-basie-turf-120516-5Rubber-crumb exposure at midfield and the sidelines, below, of the football field at Count Basie Fields is not indicative of the type of turf failure reported elsewhere, says the borough administrator. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb-basie-turf-120516-6Failing artificial-turf playing fields made by an industry-leading manufacturer are not an issue in Red Bank, according to borough Administrator Stanley Sickels.

three-day investigative exposé by NJ.com earlier this week reported that hundreds of turf fields across the United States were beginning to deteriorate long before the eight-to-ten-year life expectancy touted by the Canadian manufacturer, FieldTurf. The company knew about the failures but hid them as it continued to sell the fields, at prices often exceeding $500,000, the report alleged.

But the fields installed by the company at Count Basie Fields here are holding up well, Sickels told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: RESTAURANT SAFETY ASSESSED

Get queasy at the very thought of restaurant inspection records? You might want to avoid this report by NJ.com, which looked at the most recent Monmouth County Regional Health Commission violation reports on all 194 Red Bank restaurants and food stores.

The good news?

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FAIR HAVEN: PROPOSED JERSEY FLAG DEBUTS

Closing out his quest on Flag Day, NJ.com video reporter and Red Bank resident Brian Donohue unveiled the winner of a contest he championed for a new New Jersey state flag Tuesday. And the winning design, chosen from nearly 400 submissions, was by Andrew Maris of Fair Haven.

In the above video, 19-year-old Maris describes the vexillolographical thinking that went into his red, white and blue design in response to Donohue’s bugle call for “a bolder, simpler, more recognizable state flag that New Jerseyans could be proud of.” Maris has also set up an online petition calling for a new state flag. (Click to enlarge)

ON THE GREEN: HOME SALE PRICES

NJ.com published data Thursday showing changes in home values, as indicated by sales, in Monmouth County over the last decade. The average sale price the county in 2015 was $478,821, compared to a statewide average of $397,279, according to the report.

Separately, the news site published a slideshow on the 17 New Jersey towns with average home sale prices above $1 million.  (Click to enlarge)

SANDY HOOK: NUDISTS GET MORE SAND

Any Jersey Shore denizen knows that sand migrates, even as its being used to replenish storm-depleted beaches. But the biggest beneficiary of the millions of cubic yards of sand pumped onshore to Monmouth County beaches in the past two decades turns out to be New Jersey’s only nude beach, according to NJ.com reporter Brian Donohue.

In his latest video post, Donohue informs us replenishment sand has drifted north to clothing-optional Gunnison Beach at Sandy Hook, which has expanded by more than 500 feet over the past two decades and “continues to grow and grow and grow.”

So “even if all that beach replenishment doesn’t offer much long term protection against storms and rising sea levels,” says Donohue, “it certainly makes it easier for timid New Jerseyans to find some space to shed their inhibitions.” (Video courtesy of NJ.com)

 

 

RED BANK: WILLIAMS’ STORY NOT IMPROBABLE

brian williams 121612NBC News anchor Brian Williams onstage at the Count Basie Theatre in December, 2012. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Was news anchor Brian Williams robbed at gunpoint while selling Christmas trees in Red Bank in the late 1970s, as he has repeatedly claimed – including once before a packed house at the Count Basie Theatre?

That question, and some speculation by local old-timers, threw fuel on an already-raging firestorm about the truthfulness of the NBC News helmsman and former Middletown resident, who was later suspended by the network earlier this month for misrepresenting facts about an incident in Iraq.

Brian Donohue, an nj.com writer and commentator, did some legwork on the Red Bank piece of the story. And while he and his colleagues failed to unearth any specific evidence supporting Williams’ claim, he found plenty to refute the rose-colored reminiscences of locals who said it could not have happened because stuff like that just didn’t happen in Red Bank in the 1970s.

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RUMSON: NEW JERSEY’S BEST BAR?

Among the watering holes featured as NJ.com, the website of the Star-Ledger, searches for New Jersey’s Best Bars is Murphy’s Tavern, the Prohibition-era speakeasy hidden in the basement of a Rumson house. Heather Racioppi, who bought the place with fellow Red Bank bartender Robb McMahon in 2005, give NJ.com’s roving reporter Pete Genovese the history. His story is here. (Video courtesy of NJ.com.)

HOT DOG CART AND CHIC EATERY BACK IN BIZ

Hot dog seller Frances Rooney poses for a photo with admirers, including Councilwoman Peggy Bills, at right above. Below, Pat Trama in his restored restaurant. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

One of Sea Bright’s oldest food businesses reopened this week, and one of its newest was scheduled to do so Friday night, two signs that the storm-battered town is cooking up a recovery.

Frances Rooney, affectionately known as “Grandma Hot Dog,”  fired up the gas on her cart this week and was soon attracting lines of hungry and loyal customers.

“My son was the one who really encouraged me to come back out here and start serving people again – sooner rather than later,” she told redbankgreen, “He thought it would be a comforting sight for everyone to see me back in business, up on my feet.”

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RUMSON TEEN’S STORM VIDEO DRAWS TRAIN

A 33-minute video about Hurricane Sandy by a Rumson-Fair Haven Regional student caught the attention of the rock band Train, which will play an acoustic show in Sea Bright as a result, NJ.com reported Wednesday.

Sixteen-year-old Charlotte Nagy videotaped conditions in Sea Bright and Rumson before, during and after the October 29 storm, and folded the band’s music into her production. Now, the San Francisco-based band is planning to play a private show for residents, first responders and their families next week, with the performance to be aired on on VH1 Christmas Day, the website of the Star-Ledger reports.

The effort will spotlight the efforts of Sea Bright Rising, a nonprofit devoted to the general recovery of the town of Sea Bright and care for its residents in the interim.

From the story:

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