ON THE GREEN: ONE POLLING PLACE PER TOWN

red bank, nj, voting boothTowns on the Greater Red Bank Green and beyond won’t see much in the way of traditional voting Tuesday.

With the Democratic and Republican primaries occurring during a pandemic, voters have been encouraged by election officials to cast ballots by mail.

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SHREWSBURY: Y OFFERS WATER SAFETY TIPS

Lifeguards play a key role in ensuring a safe environment for swimmers at pools and public beaches, says the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County. (Photo by Joshua Reed.)

[Press release from the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County]

It’s now the busy season at beaches, pools, and lakes, and the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County is reminding parents, caregivers, and everyone in our community to make water safety a priority.

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RED BANK: SUNSHINE AND STORMS FORECAST

red bank marine park 070520Sunlight danced on the Navesink River, as seen from Marine Park in Red Bank Sunday afternoon, capping a summery Fourth of July holiday weekend

The workweek gets underway Monday with more sunshine, and temperatures in the low 90s, but followed by possible thunderstorms in the evening, according to the National Weather Service. Check out the extended forecast below. (Photo by John T. Ward.  Click to enlarge.) Read More »

RED BANK: MENNA ADMITS FOOD TRUCK ERROR

pasquale menna 031120Mayor Pasquale Menna on Locust Avenue in March. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna says he will recuse himself from future discussions of food trucks following questions raised by redbankgreen about work he did for the owner of a proposed site of a mobile eatery.

Menna, a private practice lawyer, did not disclose his connections to the property owner during Wednesday night’s council workshop meeting, when he revived the dormant issue of food trucks. But he said the omission was unintentional.

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RED BANK: YMCA PIVOTS TO HELP IN CRISIS

Crystal Rubins, membership director at the Red Bank Family YMCA, helps staff a food drive to support area residents served by Lunch Break in Red Bank. (Photo by Joshua Reed.)

[Press release from the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County]

The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County pivoted immediately when its facilities shut down in March as the COVID crisis started. The gym floors, exercise spaces and pools were vacant, but employees and volunteers jumped into action to respond to critical community needs.

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RED BANK: GIRL SCOUTS OFFER COOKIE RELIEF

Lunch Break clients will enjoy tasty Girl Scout cookies donated by Investors Bank. (Photos by Andrea Plaza.)

[Press release by Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore]

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore delivered a mountain of Thin Mints, Samoas and other flavors of beloved Girl Scout cookies donated by Investors Bank to Lunch Break in Red Bank as part of an initiative to thank local heroes and share comfort with the community during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

Lunch Break team members help unload 1,000 ‘boxes of love’ for Lunch Break clients.

One thousand boxes of the tasty treats were dropped off at Lunch Break on Friday, June 26 and will be shared with families served by the nonprofit, which provides food, clothing, life skills and fellowship to those in need in Monmouth County and beyond. Another 9,000 boxes of cookies donated by Investors Bank are being delivered to five other organizations in support of the Girl Scout Cookie Relief Fund.

The fund was launched to encourage local businesses and other supporters to donate cookies for Girl Scouts to distribute to essential workers, volunteers, and other local causes. So far, more than 90,000 Girl Scout Cookies have been delivered, and with Investors Bank’s donation, the fund will top 100,000 cookies.

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore is grateful for the $50,000 donation from Investors Bank to share 10,000 “boxes of love with everyday heroes on the front lines of the pandemic caring for our community,” said CEO Eileen Higgins.

“Support for the Girl Scout Cookie Program enables Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore to provide leadership programs and experiences to girls in both Monmouth and Ocean counties,” Higgins noted, adding that Girl Scouts were in the midst of their annual cookie program when the health crisis hit, halting community cookie booths and in-person sales, resulting in a large inventory of cookies.

Gwen Love, executive director of Lunch Break, said the organization appreciates the generous donation of delicious cookies that will be enjoyed by individuals and families.

Five other organization receiving the remaining 9,000 boxes of cookies donated by Investors Bank are:

• Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of New Jersey, based in New Brunswick. CASA of NJ is part of a national network of nonprofit programs that advocate for children removed from their families because of abuse or neglect.

• Disabled American Veterans Department of New Jersey has 34 chapters and is dedicated to helping create better lives for veterans. They work alongside other nonprofits and advocacy organizations to fulfill their promises to all the men and women who have served.

• HomeFront of New Jersey in Lawrenceville, whose mission is to end homelessness in Central New Jersey by harnessing the caring resources and expertise of the community.

• Ocean Mental Health Services, Toms River, which offers a comprehensive continuum of mental health services that promote full participation in community life.

• RWJ – Barnabas – Community Medical Center Campus in Toms River, which is working to advance innovative strategies in high quality patient care, education, and research to address both the clinical and social determinants of health.
Anyone interested in supporting the Girl Scout Cookie Relief Fund can visit, GSFun.org/CookieRelief.

About Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore
Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore serves more than 10,000 girls ages 5-18 in Monmouth and Ocean counties, providing a time-tested leadership experience that inspires and motivates them to take action for themselves and their communities. For 108 years, Girl Scouts has helped girls become women of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. For information on how to join, volunteer, partner, or donate, visit gsfun.org or call (800) 785-2090.

RED BANK: MURPHY ‘PAUSES’ INDOOR DINING

Patrons of the Dublin House in Red Bank gather at its outdoor Temple Bar on June 20. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Tapping the brakes on his economic restart effort, Governor Phil Murphy indefinitely postponed a planned resumption of indoor restaurant dining Monday.

The move is “prudent” in the face of rising COVID-19 infection rates in other states, Murphy said at his daily briefing on the pandemic.

He also cited “overcrowding, a complete disregard for social distancing, [and] very few if any face coverings” at some New Jersey bars that he did not name.

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RED BANK: NEARLY NEW CALLS IT QUITS

After 27 years in business, Janice Brown has closed the Nearly Newly clothing store on Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallAfter a career as a Pan Am stewardess, Janice Brown found her second act in 1993 as a Red Bank retailer, selling stylish vintage clothing.

But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown has decided to close the shop.

Read all about the end of the Nearly New Shop and other changes downtown in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: PLAZAS RETURN FOR WEEK TWO

red bank broad street plazared bank broad street plazaAfter a widely praised start last week, pedestrian plaza dining and shopping on Broad Street in Red Bank returns for week two starting Thursday night.

Under the economic restart effort, Broad Street between West Front and Wallace streets is closed to vehicles from 3 p.m to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday evenings, and Monmouth Street between Broad and Maple Avenue is closed all day Sunday.

But after daytime sunshine, the weather forecast for Thursday evening is iffy, with evening showers possible, according to the National Weather Service.

What happens if it rains? Does the street reopen to vehicular traffic? No, and merchants make the call for themselves whether open, close or resume operations when passing summer showers threaten, as detailed by redbankgreen here.

Here’s the extended forecast for the Greater Red Bank Green.

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VIRUS UPDATE: MONMOUTH DEATH TOLL AT 700

Monmouth County COVID-19 Fatalities 062320.pngOne hundred of Monmouth County’s fatalities have been reported since June 1. Below, a map shows the number of COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 population by county; the statewide figure is 147. (New Jersey Health Department data. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

COVID death rate per 100,000 by county 062324.pngOne hundred days after its first reported death from COVID-19, Monmouth County has now seen 700 fatalities in the pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy’s administration reported Tuesday.

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RED BANK: SALONS REOPEN

With the restoration of some personal-care services after three months, hair growers and stylists in Red Bank were eager to get back together Monday.

Gus Carter, owner of Gus’ Barber Shop on Shrewsbury Avenue, took it down to the scalp for customer Jimmy (last name withheld), above, and Tiffany Colelli at Hair & Co. on Monmouth Street, freshened up the color of Tricia Nelson’s locks.

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ON THE GREEN: ECSTATIC LEAPS INTO SUMMER

Summer arrived on the Greater Red Bank Green (and, possibly, elsewhere) with the solstice Saturday evening, and redbankgreen found no shortage of local folks ready to demonstrate their joy with an ecstatic jump.

Among them, as you’ll see if you scroll all the way to the end, was an infant and her family with something special to celebrate. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge. Jump to feel young.)

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RED BANK: FOG, SUN, RAIN & BAGPIPES

Though the outlook for performances remains hazy in the lingering pandemic, members of the Pipes and Drums of the Atlantic Watch met under foggy conditions in the parking lot of the Red Bank Middle School to rehearse Thursday evening, generating a sound that cut through the mist.

The Greater Green heads into the weekend with a dense fog advisory in effect until 10 a.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service. And for the rest of the weekend – which includes the official start of summer, at 5:44 p.m. Saturday – expect a spotty mix of partial sunshine and threats of thunderstorms.

Check out the extended forecast below. (Video by John T. Ward.  Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: PREPPING FOR PLAZAS

With the first of two unprecedented pedestrian plazas set to debut in downtown Red Bank Thursday night, prep work was underway on Broad Street earlier this week.

Above, a crew from Powerhouse Signs, under contract with Red Bank RiverCenter, installed in-tree uplighting that owner Jim Bruno said he hoped will create a “Greenwich Village vibe” for outdoor diners and shoppers. At right, code enforcement official Frank Woods checked  a sidewalk café for its distance from the curb.  

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RED BANK: COPS SAY SESTITO INTERFERED

Red Bank police dashcam video from the June 3 incident on East Bergen Place. (Red Bank Police Department video. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank’s police chief has asked the Monmouth County prosecutor to review an incident involving Councilman Michael Ballard earlier this month.

The incident, which Ballard reported as it occurred outside his home during a council meeting on Zoom, led to his wife, Rose Sestito, briefly in handcuffs for allegedly interfering with a police investigation, though no charges were filed.

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