VIRUS IMPACTS: BOROUGH RESCINDS ORDER

A sign on the door of the Welsh Farms convenience store on East Front Street in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

The following are dispatches from the Greater Red Bank Green as we settle into the widespread shutdowns and upheavals of everyday life prompted by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Included: Red Bank’s emergency order; grab ‘n go meals for kids; Catholic Mass dispensations; liquor deliveries; a coffee shop’s open-door policy, and Fair Haven’s next council session.

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RED BANK: STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED; SEATING AT BARS & RESTAURANTS BANNED

red bank catch 19 031520Customers gathered outside Catch 19 restaurant on Broad Street Sunday afternoon. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See clarification below]

By JOHN T. WARD

this just in redbankgreenRed Bank officials declared a “local state of emergency” Sunday night in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, ordering bars, restaurants and other large facilities to cease operations at the end of the day Monday.

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RED BANK: BOROUGH IN SHUTDOWN MODE

red bank borough hallPublic employees will continue working, but borough hall and other facilities will be closed to the public. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Public access to Red Bank’s borough government buildings will be halted starting Monday to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In an announcement posted on the borough website Friday afternoon, the administration said all public employees will continue to work, serving the public by email. telephone and mail.

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VIRUS IMPACTS: COUNTY HALTS ACCESS

monmouth_county_library_eastern_branch_in_shrewsbury_njThe Monmouth County Library Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury will close, but county parks and golf courses will remain open, under the freeholder’s plan.

Monmouth County officials announced an eight-day shutdown of all public buildings starting Saturday to deal with the looming COVID-19 pandemic.

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RED BANK: ROAD AND PARK WORK UPDATED

Work underway on East Bergen Place last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A messy road project in Red Bank will cost more and take longer to complete than originally anticipated, officials said last week.

Also, the borough plans to seek $250,000 in Monmouth County funding to cover half the cost of a series of improvements to borough parks.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL ADVANCES RIVER CRUISES

The Red Bank Primary School Chorus entertained the council audience with two songs, including this variation on a Woody Guthrie tune. (Video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Red Bank’s Marine Park could once again be the point of departure for commercial cruises on the Navesink River, following council action Wednesday night.

Details on that action, and other news from the council’s semimonthly meeting, are just around the read more corner.

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RED BANK: RIVERSIDE STAND TO OPEN SOON

rb riverside 062016 4WhatsGoingOnHereIt may not appear much is happening at the Riverside Gardens Park concession booth in Red Bank — and for years, almost nothing has, really. But inside, Gracie and the Dudes Organic Ice Cream of Sea Bright has been making progress on a plan to open the stand for regular daily and special-events service under a deal inked with the borough in April, owner Michelle McMullin tells redbankgreen.

McMullin expects to open the stand within two weeks, she said, carrying the company’s full menu of homemade ice cream, sundaes, milkshakes and organic Italian ices. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: TWEET THIS PHOTO

luis santamaria 060816Red Bank Middle School seventh grader Luis Santamaria shows off his photo of baby birds waiting to be fed in their nest before he was honored by the borough council Wednesday night.

The photo was one of four selected as winners in the latest round of seasonal photo contests sponsored by the borough’s Parks and Recreation Department, and earned Luis a certificate as well as a portfolio review by professional photographers Liz and Bob McKay of McKay Imaging Photography on Monmouth Street.

Luis told redbankgreen he takes lots of photos, and for this one, got as close as he could to the birds without disturbing them and snapped the shot with his cracked-screen cellphone. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: ICE CREAM VENDOR TO RUN STAND

rb rgpark 090513In recent years, the Riverside Gardens concession booth has been open only during borough events in the park, and managed by borough employees and volunteers. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A local ice cream business has won the right to run the rarely open concession stand in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park.

Gracie and the Dudes Organic Ice Cream, which has a seasonal store in Sea Bright and one in Long Branch that’s open year-round, won council approval Wednesday night to lease the borough-owned facility for two years.

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RED BANK: CRUISES AND CONCESSIONS

riverside-concessionThe little-used concession stand at Riverside Gardens Park could be open regularly in coming months. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Quick bites overlooking the Navesink River, and pleasure cruises on it, were on the Red Bank council agenda Wednesday night, when the governing body authorized two items:

• the operation of the infrequently used concession stand in Riverside Gardens Park

• the development of specs for riverboat cruises out of Marine Park.

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RED BANK: HUNTING CONDITIONS EGGCELLENT

rb egg hunt 031916 21rb egg hunt 031916 7Escorted as in the past by borough police, the Easter Bunny arrived at Eastside Park in Red Bank Saturday afternoon for an annual Easter Egg Hunt that attracted hundreds of kids, parents… and even a confused robin or two.

Check out our photos after the “read more.”  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: SEASONAL PHOTO CONTEST DEBUTS

JONATHAN BALANZARLIDIA CARRANZA (1)Photos by a Red Bank Middle School student, Jonathan Balanzar, above, and an adult, Lidia Carranza, right, were the winners in the first of a new series of seasonal photo contests sponsored by the borough’s Parks and Recreation Department, director Charlie Hoffmann announced at Wednesday night’s council meeting.

The photos will hang in the department’s offices at borough hall and be posted on the new version of the town website now under development, he said. The deadline for the spring edition of the contest, which is open to all Red Bank residents, is May 30.

Meantime, here’s a colorful photo op: the annual Easter Egg Hunt, which is scheduled for noon on Saturday, March 19 at Eastside Park on Harrison Avenue.  (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: A BIG BUNNY & A BLITZ FOR TREATS

The Easter Bunny hopped into Eastside Park in Red Bank Saturday afternoon, where dozens of kids and parents awaited the second annual Easter Egg Hunt. Here are a dozen photos taken as kids, and some adults, swarmed the field for candy-filled eggs. (Photos by John T. Ward. Mouse-over to pause.)

FAIR HAVEN: SMOKE ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM

Smoking would be banned in parks and other green spaces. (Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Between granting an exception to the tree preservation ordinance and a discussion about putting a sign in front of borough hall, Fair Haven’s borough council continued to debate the merits of a smoking ban in borough parks Monday night.

As currently drafted, a proposed ordinance would prohibit smoking on all non-impervious surfaces in borough green spaces such as Fair Haven Fields and Natural Area. Smoking would be allowed on adjacent hard surfaces, such as parking lots and sidewalks.

In a friendly but pointed back-and-forth, dividing lines that had emerged during earlier talks remained.

“I think it’s a severe overstepping,” said councilman Rowland Wilhelm. “Is it even constitutional?”

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FAIR HAVEN EDGES TOWARD SMOKING BAN

Smoking could be banned, or segregated, in borough parks and at parades. (Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Fair Haven’s borough council engaged in a lively discussion about the pros and cons of banning smoking in parks Monday night.

“It’s a hazardous, offensive habit that doesn’t need to be in public,” said Councilwoman Susan Sorenson, liaison to the recreation commission, which has also been discussing the issue.
“What’s next?” replied Councilman Rowland Wilhelm, a smoker. “I understand it’s negative [behavior]. But you go down that slippery slope, and it opens the door for another governing body to come along and ban something else – sugary drinks maybe.”
“I’m going to vote no, because you’re opening a door that shouldn’t be opened,” he said.

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RED BANK REC GEARS UP FOR SPRING

Installers laid down rubber pellets as the base for the new artificial turf at Count Basie Fields in January. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

With the first day of spring less than a month away, Memone Crystian, director of Red Bank’s Parks and Recreation department, knows the throes of winter will soon be replaced by… other types of throws.

Her department has crafted a packed schedule of recreational sports for kids in Kindergarten through 8th grade to enjoy on brand new turf in coming months at Count Basie Fields. And in addition to the traditional baseball, softball and soccer offerings, lacrosse will be on the agenda.

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MENNA DROPS SUPPORT FOR MENU CALORIES

Less than two days after endorsing a nascent plan to require Red Bank restaurants to list calorie totals for menu items, Mayor Pasquale Menna has withdrawn his support.

In a press release issued late Friday afternoon, Menna cited resistance by restaurateurs as the reason he no longer favors the idea.

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ON RED BANK’S MENU: SMOKING AND EATING

Red, above, and all other Red Bank restaurants may soon be required by ordinance to inform diners of the caloric heft of their meals. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By JOE FISHER

Health was on the minds of Red Bank officials Wednesday night, when the borough council agreed to develop measures that would ban smoking in municipal parks and require restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus.

With restaurants in the RiverCenter business zone said to be on board with the calorie-count concept, Mayor Pasquale Menna said the council should consider making it a borough-wide requirement.

“If McDonald’s can do it, we can do it,’’ Menna said, adding that if the borough chooses to move forward, restaurants would be given ample time – perhaps a year – to comply. “We know it would cost them money,’’ he said.

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