MAYOR ‘FALLING OUT OF LOVE’ WITH PARK

The Charles Williams estate overlooking the Navesink has fallen into disrepair while borough officials await a resolution of title issues, says the mayor. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A plan for Fair Haven’s first and only waterfront park, to be created on the site of a pre-Civil War home built by an African-American, is “not dead,” says Mayor Mike Halfacre.

“But it may be on life support,” he adds.

Halfacre and the borough council are scheduled to convene behind closed doors later this month to get an update from town Attorney Sal Alfieri on legal matters that have held up the town’s acquisition of the Charles Williams estate, at the Navesink River end of DeNormandie Avenue.

Meantime, however, Halfacre admits to redbankgreen that he’s “falling out of love” with the plan.

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RED BANK ‘SPRAYGROUND’ PLAN UNDER FIRE

bellhavenA proposal for a water-shooting playground at Red Bank’s little-used Bellhaven Nature Area has raised hackles among environmentalists. (Click to enlarge)

swimming-riverBy JOHN T. WARD

Wednesday night’s meeting of the Red Bank Council could be a water-balloon fight of sorts.

Members of the Environmental Commission, an advisory group, say they were alarmed to learn recently that the borough Parks & Rec department is considering Bellhaven Nature Area, a wetland preserve created just eight years ago, as a possible location for a ‘sprayground,’ a play area that enables kids to get deliriously soaked by nozzles built into fixed apparatus.

Lou DiMento – the lone remaining commission member who was involved in the original preservation effort –  and others say they were shocked to learn that the town might pursue a $250,000 Monmouth County Open Spaces grant, which it would have to match, in order to build the sprayground.

“That stunned us,” especially after the borough government told the commission that it couldn’t come up with a few hundred dollars for a sign to designate the nature area, nestled against the Swimming River at the western end of Locust Avenue, DiMento said.

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SCAT SIGNING

jazzinparkA Red Bank employee updates the borough message board at Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard on Monday to tout the free Comcast Jazz in the Park series at Riverside Gardens Park on Thursday nights at 7 p.m., this week featuring Don Carter. There are free movies, lunchtime concerts and songwriter-at-sunset events in the park, too. See the Red Bank Visitors Center website for details. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

TAKING TO THE AIR

skateboarderA skateboarder takes advantage of Monday’s warm weather by practicing ollies at Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park. Tuesday will be cooler, wetter and windier, says the National Weather Service. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

VANDALS HIT RIVERSIDE GARDENS PARK

rbpd-patrolcarThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of November 19 to November 26, 2010. The information appears here unedited.

Attempted Burglary at 52 Evergreen Terrace on 11-19-10. Report of unknown subject(s) attempted to break into the building. Found pry marks on lock and mail slot of door. Sgt. Robert Kennedy.

Burglary occurring between 11-18-10 and 11-19-10 at 58 McLaren St. residence. Victim reported that unknown subject gained entry into residence by smashing glass in rear door of home. Unknown if anything was stolen. Ptl. Robert Campanella.

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FAIR HAVEN OKS RIVERFRONT LAND BUY

fh-williams-house2The longtime Williams family estate, seen looking north on DeNormandie Avenue toward the river.

As expected, the borough of Fair Haven took a big step toward the water last night, approving the purchase of private property for what is envisioned as a small riverfront park, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

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AND THERE IT GOES…

sunningA visitor to Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank enjoys a rare outbreak of sunshine yesterday.

Experts say they have tentatively identified that bright, heat-yielding object seen in the sky Thursday afternoon as something called the sun.

But they don’t expect it to return for a prolonged stay in coming days, making for an iffy to downright wet weekend. Again.

Here’s the forecast from the National Weather Service:

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