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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BACK IN THE GAME

interceptionGeorge Heidelberger heads crossfield on an interception return during Sunday’s flag football game at Red Bank’s Eastside Park. The weekly pickup game returned a week after town officials shut it down over insurance and other issues. (Click to enlarge)

EVANS OUT AS PARKS & REC HEAD

evans-bobBob Evans at the Red Bank Centennial picnic in 2008.

Red Bank Parks & Rec director Bob Evans appears to be out of a job come January 1.

“It doesn’t look like the reappointment will be made,” Mayor Pasquale Menna told redbankgreen late yesterday, in response to questions over whether Evans had been fired earlier this week.

Menna, citing state regulations regarding government personnel matters, said he could not discuss Evans’ status, except to say that “he’s taking some personal time at this point.”

Evans could not be reached for comment. Two sources say that Evans was “shocked” to be told by borough Administrator Stanley Sickels on Wednesday that he was being terminated for mismanagement of the department.

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LITLLE SILVER PARK OK’D FOR FACELIFT

santelle-park1The Dominick F. Santelle Park and Boat Ramp is slated for what Borough Council members say are much-needed renovations. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

There’ll be reason to visit Santelle Park again come spring time, if not just to use it, but to soak in its new look.

Now a forlorn place of cracked asphalt basketball courts, sagging tennis nets and rickety swing sets, the facility will be getting a $298,000 upgrade. The Borough Council gave the approval at its meeting Monday night, and the work will be done by Precise Construction, of Freehold.

“That’s good. It’s a long time coming,” Councilman Jonathan Bittman said, after the council unanimously approved the expenditure, which was allotted in last year’s budget.

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TIME TO PUT THE CHAMPAGNE ON ICE?

incinerator-smokestack

Red Bank officials say they’re now about a month away from tearing down the West Sunset Avenue incinerator stack that has stood as a reminder of the town’s garbage-burning past for several decades.

The town council last night approved a $195,342 contract under which a demolition firm, Nacirema Environmental Services, will remove the stack and the incinerator building at its base.

The Bayonne company won the contact after a sealed-bid process, officials said.

Passage of a resolution approving the deal was cause for cheer among members of the governing body at their bimonthly meeting.

“I’m supposed to bring the champagne” to the demolition, said Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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FAIR HAVEN MAY FORGO GRANTS FOR PARK

fh-robards-houseThe property, seen here from the river beach, is at the foot of narrow DeNormandie Avenue, right. (Click to enlarge)

Amid concerns from some residents that Fair Haven is about to create a riverfront park with access issues, borough officials last night forged ahead while throwing a late wrinkle into the plan.

The newest twist: closing on the $1.2 million deal whether or not $500,000 in offsetting grant money comes through first, if at all.

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