EXTRA EYES, PATROLS SET FOR RED BANK

rgp-trash13A bench at Riverside Gardens Park, where vandalism and littering have been growing problems. Debris in the pole-vault box at Count Basie Fields, below. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

basie-litter1In response to a surge in vandalism on borough property this summer, Red Bank officials are looking into video surveillance as a way to fill gaps in already heightened police presence and serve as a deterrent to would-be scofflaws.

Video could be just one part of a multiprong effort by the borough to curb public defacement and all-around mistreatment of public property, police Captain Darren McConnell said.

Police have stepped up their presence at Riverside Gardens Park in recent weeks, he said. They’re also cracking down on curfew laws for teenagers. And because the council earlier this week called out littering at Count Basie Fields as a growing issue, cops will make rounds there more often.

“The regular patrols will be stepped up quite a bit,” McConnell said. “It’s really only Riverside Gardens Park and Count Basie Fields that are having the issues, and they’re not even the same groups hanging out there, but they get the most use.”

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MENNA LOOSENS HIS TIE, SORT OF

menna-meetRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna Saturday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

He didn’t share any secret recipes or crack too many jokes, and didn’t even loosen his bright pink tie. But Mayor Pasquale Menna got about as informal as he was going to Saturday.

For Menna, the opening meetup in what’s billed as a series of weekend chats was a chance to let his hair down — in the metaphorical sense, at least — an opportunity he took to pat the borough’s employees on the back, recommend a shred job to the state constitution and ponder his daily reading habits.

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MULCH ADO ABOUT MAPLE COVE, AGAIN

11A request for mulch at Maple Cove digressed into a clash between Cindy Burnham and council members Tuesday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

When Cindy Burnham and other volunteers, part of the ad hoc Friends of Maple Cove group, ended a yearlong spat with the Borough of Red Bank and secured a deal to designate a one-acre patch at the foot of the Navesink River on Maple Avenue as a natural area with waterfront access, the understanding was that Burnham and company would maintain the parcel.

So says the town council.

Burnham maintains a different recollection.

“The only reason the Friends of Maple Cove came out to do anything was because you guys wouldn’t,” Burnham told the council Tuesday, following a request that the borough donate a half-truckload of mulch to the site.

The request triggered a kerfuffle between Burnham and the governing body over who should take care of the property, a question that never was answered.

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WAY DOWN IN THE HOLE

manhole1A Red Bank public works employee assists in sewer line maintenance work at the intersection of Broad and Wallace streets late Sunday night. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

RED BANK: DELAYED SPRING SPORTS POSSIBLE

basie-snowSnow mounds in the parking lot at Count Basie Field, among other athletic fields in Red Bank, may cause a delay in the start of spring sports programs. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A little over a week ago, the problem was snow and ice. Now, it’s what happens when snow and ice melt.

The unusually large amount of snow that fell this winter, plus freezing temperatures, could delay the opening of spring sports in Red Bank, officials said in an announcement on February 18.

Now?

“The fields are all snow-less at this point,” Councilman Ed Zipprich, who is liaison to the public works department, said. “The problem right now is the rain.”

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