RED BANK: CHANGES EYED AT BASIE FIELDS

Under the proposal, most of Henry Street would be eliminated and a new playground built alongside Mohawk Pond. (CME Associates graphic. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A street that effectively serves as shortcut past the main entrance to Count Basie Fields would be closed to traffic under a concept plan discussed by the Red Bank council Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: BELLHAVEN GETS HOSED AGAIN

Bellhaven Wetland Map 1Critics contend the Bellhaven sprayground has little popular support.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03It wasn’t on the agenda, but a proposed water playground on Red Bank’s West Side spewed back to the fore Wednesday night.

At issue: whether to keep spending money on prep work for the controversial four-year-old project, which has been temporarily derailed by the discovery of heating oil in the soil.

Counting at least three prospective “no” votes on the six-member council, Republican Cindy Burnham asked: “Why do we continue to use taxpayer money to pay [engineering consultant] T&M Associates for soil testing and permits?”

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SHREWSBURY: ILL FAWN FOUND AT SCHOOL

The male, just a few days old, checks out healthwise, according to the Humane Society. (Click to enlarge)

[See correction below]

An ailing baby deer was found in the playground of the Shrewsbury School Creative Learning Center in Shrewsbury Wednesday morning, borough animal control officer Henry Perez tells redbankgreen.

The fawn, “just a few days old,” was lethargic and undernourished, Perez said.

The deer’s mother was nowhere to be seen, he said.

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SEA BRIGHT PLAYGROUND TAKES SHAPE

The playground-to-be at Sea Bright’s municipal beach. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

The Sandy Ground Project Memorial Playground in Sea Bright, built to honor and pay tribute to the victims of the horrific Newtown School shootings, has broken ground, but is still more than a month away from being completed, according to borough Recreation Director Kathy Morris.

The Foundation to Save the Jersey Shore and the New Jersey Firemen’s Mutual Benevolent Association are spearheading a project called “The Sandy Ground Project: Where Angels Play” that aims to create 26 memorial playgrounds across the state, dedicated to those who lost their lives in the December school slaughter. Sea Bright is the first town to receive a memorial playground, this one dedicated to Ann Marie Murphy, a special education teacher who lost her life in the shooting.

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TOWN WILL PURSUE SPRAYGROUND FUNDS

kramer-ballardLocust Avenue resident Leigh Kremer addresses the council as borough Engineer Christine Ballard listens. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Over the concerns of environmentalists, Red Bank will pursue grant funding for a ‘sprayground‘ in a riverside marsh that could end up costing $500,000.

A vote by the borough council Wednesday night to authorize a bid for a Monmouth County Open Spaces grant of $250,000, which the town would have to match, followed heartfelt appeals by West Side parents for a place for children to play and by others concerned about illicit activity in the overgrown Bellhaven Nature Area, at the western end of Locust Avenue.

“Our children on the West Side have nowhere to go,” River Street’s Rose Sestito, a mother of five and foster mother of three, told the governing body during a public hearing on the grant question. “Please consider the children.”

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