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RED BANK: KEEPING IT ALL UNDER ONE ROOF

Butcher Stew Goldstein is the new owner of 110 Monmouth Street, where Max Olivera and Alberto Bautista, below, plan to open a restaurant called El Azteca Grill next door to Monmouth Meats. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With a butcher shop, recording studio and, until recently, a restaurant under its roof, 110 Monmouth Street could serve as a neat little microcosm of downtown Red Bank.

Now, with butcher Stew Goldstein‘s recent acquisition of the modest-sized two-story brick building, plus a deal to fill the first-floor restaurant vacancy with a new Mexican-American eatery, the tableau seems to have been secured for the foreseeable future.

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ON THE GREEN: ECLIPSING EXPECTATIONS

An historic total eclipse of the sun — well, partial eclipse, in this part of the United States — drew summer vacationers and office workers alike out into cloying heat and humidity across the Greater Red Bank Green Monday.

On sidewalks in downtown Red Bank and the parking lot of the Monmouth County Library’s Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury, among other locales, they donned safety spectacles, craned their necks and oohed and ahhed throughout the slow-motion celestial event, the first coast-to-coast eclipse in America since 1918.

Check out our photos of the skywatchers below. (Photos by John T. Ward and Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: POSTMASTER’S POSTS DRAW FIRE

An status update on the Facebook page of postmaster Michael Angelo Ciano, below, showed an assault rifle with the comment, “Anti-muslim vaccinations.” (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s postmaster has attracted the attention of human rights activists over what they call “vile” Facebook posts promoting racism, misogyny and apparent endorsements of violence against liberals and other groups, redbankgreen has learned.

A United States Postal Service spokesman confirmed that the agency is looking into complaints about photos and comments posted by postmaster Michael Angelo Ciano on his personal page.

“Imagine the work environment in that post office for any employees that are other than white men,” one woman wrote.

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SEA BRIGHT: SNAPPY HOUR AT BEACHWALK

Bartender Erin O’Keefe makes a Long Island Ice Tea while customers, some still in beach garb, make themselves comfortable on the deck over the river. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Timing it just right, PieHole showed up for happy hour at BeachWalk’s Tiki Bar recently to find beers in hand and fishing poles in the Shrewsbury River for a snapper derby competition.

Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright has its fair share of bars, but this might be the only one where you’ll find children and adults competing for bragging rights and the prize of an overnight stay at the attached motel.
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RED BANK: CRIMES AND ARRESTS

The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of August 1 to August 15, 2017. This information is unedited. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

CRIMES

Theft: On 08/03/17 in the area of Bridge Ave it was reported a Stuart Pitman Yield Field Painting valued at $1500.00, Heather Ford Painting valued at $400.00, 2 Antique Brass dog book ends valued at $100.00, a set of Ikea curtains valued at $30.00 and an unknown brand external hard drive were taken while the victims were moving into their new residence. Ptl. Michael Zadlock.

Theft: On 08/05/17 in the area of Maple Ave it was reported a bicycle was taken from a bike rack. The bike is described as a black/grey Giant Mountain bike with a blue pin stripe valued at approximately $500.00. Ptl. Shane Dengel.

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RED BANK: MARCHERS UNITE AGAINST HATRED

Hundreds gathered at borough hall for a rally before a march and vigil, including Mx Rowan, below, who wore a yarmulke with the Hebrew alphabet. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Answering the racist and anti-Semitic shouts heard last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, about 400 Red Bank-area residents gathered Wednesday night to affirm their belief in love over hate.

“We’re all standing here together united in our humanity,” said Hazim Yassin, of the American Muslim Action Network, at a vigil in  Ralph ‘Johnny Jazz’ Park on Shrewsbury Avenue that followed a one-mile march from borough hall. Read More »

RED BANK: BECK BLASTS TRUMP

“There are no ‘very fine’ Nazis or members of the KKK,” said state Senator Jen Beck, seen here at the Mayor’s Ball in 2015. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Republican State Senator Jen Beck on Wednesday joined a chorus of lawmakers condemning President Trump for blaming “both sides” in violent clashes between white-supremacist marchers and their opponents in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.

Beck blasted Trump’s comments as “outrageous,” and called on him to retract and apologize for them.

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RED BANK: Q&A ON ADMINISTRATOR SEARCH

Borough Administrator Stanley Sickels, center, with Councilman Mike Whelan and borough Clerk Pam Borghi last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With the planned retirement of Stanley Sickels, Red Bank officials are on the hunt for a successor to fill the top unelected position in borough government: borough administrator.

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RED BANK: RALLY TARGETS RACISM & TRUMP

Several hundred protesters assembled at Riverside Gardens Park Saturday evening. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Hours after violent clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, about 150 local residents and community leaders gathered in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park for a “unity and peace” demonstration Saturday night.

But unlike a rally held in the West Front Street park one day after the start of the Trump Administration, this one did not avoid mentioning Trump’s name, as several speakers laid responsibility for the day’s outburst of hatred and deadly violence in Virginia on the president.

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RED BANK: CATCH TO TAKE GOTHAM SPACE

Catch will relocate from its present spot at 9 Broad Street to the home of Gotham, five doors away, and will be replaced by a Mexican restaurant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has a plateful of news from the Red Bank food scene, with two food-related businesses closing, one moving and another opening.

Also: pet acupuncture.

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RED BANK: ICE CREAM & A MOVIE

The Gracie and the Dudes ice cream stand in Riverside Gardens Park is the place to be a sultry summer evening. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Riverside Gardens Park, sandwiched between West Front Street and the Navesink River in Red Bank, is a hive of activity on warm summer nights. Swarms of kids stop by to view the boats on the river, catch a glimpse of the sunset and maybe enjoy the weekly entertainment put on by the folks at the borough Parks and Rec department.

Enticed by the aroma of fresh baked waffles being shaped into cones, PieHole finds a place in line to see what everyone is ordering at the Gracie and the Dudes ice cream stand there.

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RED BANK: NO MOVEMENT ON PARKING

The 2.3-acre White Street lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Nearly two months after five builders presented concept plans for a parking solution on White Street, Red Bank officials have yet to schedule a promised public comment session on the proposals.

That appeared to contribute to frustration voiced during the public comment portion of the council’s semimonthly meeting Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: CRIMES AND ARRESTS

The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of July 16 to July 31, 2017. This information is unedited. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

CRIMES

Theft: On 07-16-17 in the area of Wharf Ave it was reported a wallet was stolen from book bag. The wallet is described as a tan colored Tory Burch clutch valued at $100.00. Approximately $1,500.00 cash, a NJ driver’s license, and one Bank of America Debit and Credit Card were inside the clutch. Ptl. Michael Zadlock.

Theft: On 07-17-17 in the area of Bridge Ave it was reported $530.00 Cash was taken from a purse inside a business. Sgt. Juan Sardo.

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RED BANK: RAYRAP HOME PLAN WINS FINAL OK

A yellow border outlines the site of developer Ray Rapcavage’s Azalea Gardens project, with Harding Road at the bottom, Clay Street to the left and Hudson Avenue at right. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Demolition of a house destroyed by fire five years ago could begin as early as this month as the first step toward the creation of a new 18-home community at Red Bank’s Five Corners, developer Ray Rapcavage told redbankgreen last week.

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ON THE GREEN: ‘TORRENTIAL’ RAIN FORECAST

Up to two inches of rain may fall on the Greater Red Bank Green Monday afternoon, with possible flash flooding in the area in green in the map above, according to the National Weather Service.

“Torrential rain falling in a short period of time will result in rapidly rising water levels along streams and creeks and in areas of poor drainage,” the agency said in a statement issued early Monday. “Significant roadway flooding is possible.” (Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: MIDSUMMER NIGHTS AT TEMPLE BAR

The Temple Bar at the Dublin House is a lively spot for music lovers on a warm Sunday evening. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

[Correction: The original version of this post incorrectly reported that Dead Bank was scheduled to play at the Dublin House on Saturday, August 5. They’ll be at Jamian’s Food and Drink that night.]

By SUSAN ERICSON

It’s twilight on a warm summer evening when PieHole strolls over to the Dublin House in Red Bank, taking in the sight of customers finishing their meals in the courtyard out front.

But we’re not here for dinner. Making our way through the side alley from Monmouth Street to the rear of the restaurant, we hear the deep, raspy strain of rock music and the low chatter of customers surrounding the bar named for a famous street in Dublin, Ireland: Temple Bar.

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RED BANK: CHARTER SCHOOL WINS GYM OK

A rendering of the proposed charter school gym, which wouldn’t have room for bleachers, an architect said. (Rendering by Erick Wagner. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank Charter School won approval Thursday night to create a gym in part of a commercial building it plans to buy on Monmouth Street.

In the process, the zoning board hearing on the plan re-exposed some long-simmering resentments harbored by parents who contend the charter school’s existence is a drain on the local school district.

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER TAKES STANCE ON LOT

 RiverCenter took no position on the relative merits of five developers’ concept plans for the White Street lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

It’s 500 or nothing, says Red Bank RiverCenter.

The downtown promotion agency says in an “open letter” to elected officials that it “cannot and will not” support a plan for a parking garage on White Street that doesn’t yield a net gain of 500 parking spaces on the 2.3-acre site — and none of the five plans submitted by would-be developers currently meets that target, it claims.

Mike Whelan, the councilmember who leads the parking committee, called the organization’s statement a “flip-flop” and a “disservice” to the downtown.

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RED BANK: POLE DOWNED ON BROAD STREET

A pedestrian suffered minor injuries when she was hit by falling debris as a FedEx truck exiting the Red Bank Post Office caught overhead wires and pulled a utility pole down on Broad Street at about 4:40 p.m. Thursday, according to police Chief Darren McConnell.

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RED BANK: CRAFT BREWERY LEASES FIREHOUSE

John Cocozza and partners plan to open a craft brewery called Ross Brewing Company in the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse on White Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

In another sign of a possible tsunami of craft beer coming to downtown Red Bank, the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse on White Street has been leased to a startup brewery, the principals said Thursday.

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RED BANK: CLOUDS AND STORMS IN OUTLOOK

After a string of days filled with blue skies and sunshine, clouds over the Atlantic Ocean obscured the sun Wednesday morning, as seen from the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge.

According to the National Weather Service, the Greater Red Bank Green is in for four days of “scattered showers and thunderstorms,” at probabilities of 40 percent or lower, before sunshine returns on Sunday(Photo by Trish Russoniello.  Click to enlarge.)