rbr seniors sendoff 051520 rbr seniors sendoff Teams of teachers and volunteers fanned out across the three sending towns of the Red Bank Regional High School district and beyond to shower surprise love and best wishes on the housebound members of the senior class Friday morning.

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red bank trinity hall 0422120red bank trinity hall 0422120A procession of vehicles made its way through Red Bank Tuesday morning, stopping outside the homes of all seniors from Trinity Hall high school in Tinton Falls to cheer them on with horn toots and lawn signs.

On board a school bus in the parade was the school mascot, practicing social distancing like the students themselves, kept home by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

red bank trinity hall 0422120


sophia gutchinov 2Sophia Gutchinov, above, survived the challenges of the college-application process. Siani Henriques, below, is contending with them now. (Photo below by Isabel Halloran. Click to enlarge)

Red Bank Charter School Intern

Siani HenriquesSophia Dadap, of Red Bank, is a 16-year-old senior at RBR who has done everything she can to make herself attractive to colleges.

 A creative writing major, Sophia has built up her applications by serving as the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. She been been active in many clubs, participates in the National Honor Society, plays sports, does volunteer work and tutors.

Sophia says it’s best to stick with activities like these for all four years of high school to show your commitment and dedication to learning, and show how diversified you are, which colleges like to see.

Still, Sophia has found the process of applying for colleges  time-consuming and challenging.

“The applications are stressful because it can be expensive, having to pay to put an application in at a school,” she says.

She is not alone. Locals seniors are finding that applying for college is hard in many ways.

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senior-housing1Developer Kevin Hughes, right, watches Fair Haven’s council meeting as neighbors voiced complaints over his proposal to add age-restricted housing in town. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


It’s facing kind of a conundrum, says Mayor Mike Halfacre, of the Fair Haven council’s role in weighing an informal proposal for age-restricted housing in the borough.

On the one hand, the council has been asked to create an overlay district to allow higher densities in a neighborhood just off River Road, a move that might in turn fill a longtime need in town for more housing for the borough’s senior population.

But doing so carries the potential of leaving a bad taste in the mouths of neighbors.

Even though the proposal from builder Kevin Hughes is in what Halfacre called “step A, minus one,” some neighbors are already hoping to derail it. At a Tuesday morning meeting specifically relocated to the borough’s youth and senior center in order to accommodate the older population, area residents obliged with a solid half-hour of bristling to the council.

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doris-crissonAtrium resident Doris Crisson, 88, speaks in favor of the valet-parking plan at last night’s hearing. (Click to enlarge)

For the second time in four years, one of Red Bank’s more prominent blights — a triangular, asphalted lot at the fork of West Front Street and Riverside Avenue — has won a makeover.

The first, in 2005, called for an office building to be erected on the site. That never happened. Last night, the borough zoning board greenlighted a new plan to turn the one-acre property into a spruced-up valet-only parking lot to service the Atrium at Navesink Harbor , a luxury senior-citizens’ high-rise and an addition on the opposite side of Riverside Avenue.

The unanimous approval, after a three-hour hearing, was granted over the objections of Sean Byrnes, an attorney for the condo association at the neighboring Riverside Towers high rise. He argued that the Atrium’s owner, PHS Senior Living of Princeton, had underestimated the demand for parking from the site, which he said would add to rush-hour traffic that already rates a failing grade.

“It sounds like a great place to live, but I think they’re bringing their cars,” Byrnes said of the residents. “That lot is going to be a busy place.”

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