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RED BANK: ROSI LISTING RUSHED THROUGH

An aerial view of the Red Bank Senior Center property, located at 80 Shrewsbury Avenue. (Photo from Google Maps. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFollowing what one critic called “the old switcheroo,” Red Bank’s soon-to-be-unseated council pushed through a measure to include the Senior Center property in a state conservation program Wednesday night.

The 11th-hour, unadvertised move was opposed by Mayor Billy Portman and at least four members of the council that’s slated to take office July 1, setting the stage for possible reversal.

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RED BANK: DEED RESTRICTION SOUGHT

The Senior Center as seen last August. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a failed attempt to preserve part of the Red Bank Senior Center property by subdividing it, the council will try another approach Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: BOARD NIXES CENTER SUBDIVISION

An aerial view of the Senior Center property. (Photo from Google Maps. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s planning board rejected a proposed subdivision of the borough’s riverfront Senior Center property Monday night.

Board members said the plan would cede too much control of the riverfront site to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, when other conservation tools would not.

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RED BANK: PARK DESIGNATION ADVANCES

A satellite view of the Senior Center, where the patio provides a view of the Swimming River. (Satellite image from Google Maps. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council initiated a process to create a new “passive park” behind the Senior Center Wednesday night.

Still unanswered, however, is the question of how big the park might be, and how it would be accessed.

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RED BANK: NEW ‘PASSIVE PARK’ ON AGENDA

A 2021 view of the rear of the Senior Center, which overlooks the Swimming River. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposal to subdivide the Senior Center property to create a “passive park” is on the Red Bank council’s agenda Wednesday night.

Also on the table for the semimonthly meeting are matters relating to parking, parks and a committee name change. Here’s what to expect.

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RED BANK: TURTLES & PLANTS SETTLE IN

Creating the turtle habitat at Bellhaven involved trucking in a special blend of sand. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank’s Environmental Commission has debuted a pair of completed projects spotlighting turtles and water conservation in recent weeks.

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RED BANK: DEP SAYS RIVERS SAFE FOR HUMANS

A cluster of dead bunker in the Red Bank borough marina at Marine Park earlier this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA massive die-off of bunker fish in the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers this spring poses no health threat to recreational users of those waters, environmental scientists said Thursday night.

Meantime, experts are still trying to determine what environmental “stressors” might have turned a bacteria that’s common to the species into a mass killer that has littered shores with tons of dead, putrid carcasses.

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RED BANK: FORUM ON FISH KILL SLATED

A cluster of dead bunker in the borough marina at Marine Park earlier this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Clean Ocean Action and local officials, including Red Bank’s, will get the virtual town hall with New Jersey environmental officials they’ve been seeking to address the recent “severe” fish kill in the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers, the organization announced Friday.

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RED BANK: TOWN HALL ON FISH KILL SOUGHT

Fish carcasses on the shoreline at Maple Cove in Red Bank Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials this week called on the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to host a virtual town hall meeting to address concerns about a fish kill the agency has called the “most severe” in recent memory.

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RED BANK: FISH KILL ‘MOST SEVERE’ OF LATE

Dead menhaden cluster at a Navesink River dock in Fair Haven last week. (Photo by Bernie McSherry. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA massive fish kill in the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers in recent weeks is “the most severe mortality event in recent memory,” but New Jersey environmental officials still don’t know why it’s targeting only one species, Clean Ocean Action reported Thursday.

The environmental advocacy group also pressed the state to remove at least some of the dead fish from Red Bank-area waters.

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RED BANK: MENHADEN DIE-OFF IN SPOTLIGHT

Dead fish littered the Fair Haven boat launch on Battin Avenue last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Clean Ocean Action has called on New Jersey environmental and health officials to hold a virtual town hall to provide updates and guidance for towns along the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers, where massive menhaden die-offs have occurred recently.

“The cause, extent, and magnitude of the die-off is deeply concerning and raising alarm throughout the region,” COA executive director Cindy Zipf and staff scientist Swarna Muthukrishnan wrote Friday. “Feeding the concern is the lack of answers, conflicting answers, and lack of proactive response to the ever-increasing dead fish.”

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MIDDLETOWN: BOATER PULLED FROM MUD

Members of the Red Bank volunteer fire department’s dive team helped a boater on the Swimming River shortly before noon Tuesday. (Photo by Carl Colmorgen. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: SUNSET PARK CONCEPT TO DEBUT

The so-called Sunset Park concept plan includes a soccer field, riverfront boardwalk, kayak launch and other amenities. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank residents will get their first look Monday night at a concept plan for a new park on the town’s long-closed landfill site overlooking the Swimming River.

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RED BANK: RESIDENTS RESIST DUMP-SITE PARK

The audience at the Celestial Lodge Friday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank residents delivered a message to borough officials Friday night about a new park proposed at the town’s long-closed landfill site: not everyone wants it.

At a town-hall-style meeting held at the Celestial Lodge #36 on Drs. James Parker Boulevard, area residents expressed concerns that the dump might never be made safe for public use.

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RED BANK: FISH KILL INVESTIGATED

navesink fish 051415 1Dead fish at the Navesink River Rowing facility in Red Bank in 2015. Another widespread die-off of menhaden, or bunker fish, has been underway in the river in recent days, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is investigating, according to a report by NJ.com.

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RED BANK: PLANTING SEEDS FOR FUTURE PARK

A map showing the extended former landfill site outlined in green. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

We need a skatepark. We need a playgrounds for West Side kids. We need to remember that this is a neighborhood that can’t handle throngs of out-of-town visitors.

Red Bank residents offered those and other suggestions as the process of shaping a new waterfront park out of the former town dump got underway with a community brainstorming session last Thursday 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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RED BANK: LACK OF OXYGEN KILLING FISH

navesink fish 051415 1Dead fish at the Navesink River Rowing facility in Red Bank Thursday morning. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

HOT-TOPIC_03A fish kill in the Navesink River in recent weeks is a result of natural phenomenon, according to the Asbury Park Press.

The newspaper reports that the state Department of Environmental Protection attributes the die-off of hundreds of bunker to a lack of oxygen in shallow water as they’re driven upriver by bluefish.

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RED BANK: BOAT RESCUERS WIN PLAUDITS

altimari 081314Patrolwoman Kristin Altimari checks out her commendation for heroism. Also honored for roles in the rescue were public works employee Josh Schmidt, in yellow, and fire Chief Tommy Welsh, center, with Councilman Ed Zipprich and Mayor Pasquale Menna. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Just four months into her career as a police officer, Red Bank Patrolwoman Kristin Altimari drew praise Wednesday for quick thinking and heroism for helping four young women adrift in a boat on the Swimming River Saturday night.

The 30-year-old former Ocean County high school teacher, who joined the police department in March, was the primary actor in a brief drama involving a quartet of swimsuited teenage girls who found themselves helpless in a one-oared rowboat in the darkness of the Swimming River.

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RED BANK: DRIFTING BOAT PROMPTS SEARCH

rb river rescue 080914 1 rb river rescue 080914 2Draped in firefighters’ coats, four teenage girls were safe in Red Bank Saturday night after losing an oar to a dinghy they’d launched from Conover Lane in Middletown and drifitng in the darkness of the Swimming River. At right, volunteer fire and rescue workers searched the phragmites behind a home on Chapin Avenue hoping to intercept the boat, which landed at River Street with the help of a Red Bank policewoman at around 10 p.m., about an hour after it was reported adrift.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

OVERNIGHT CLOSINGS FOR BRIDGE PLANNED

hubbard  plan 2008A rendering from 2012 shows the new bridge, now under construction, in red, just to the north of the existing span. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

This just in from the Monmouth County engineering department Wednesday afternoon:

Beginning tonight, from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m., the bridge on West Front Street over Swimming River will be closed for the delivery and setting of the beams for the new bridge.

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NEWMAN SPRINGS ROAD SQUEEZE BEGINS

The narrowing of twin Newman Springs Road (Route 520) bridges over the Swimming River got its first test at rush hour Tuesday morning with a long line of vehicles heading eastbound from Lincroft into Red Bank. A project to replace the decks of the two bridges is expected to take six months, with traffic reduced to one lane in each direction for the duration, according to Monmouth County officials. (Click to enlarge)

SIX-MONTH ROUTE 520 BOTTLENECK TO BEGIN

One of two spans will remain open throughout the duration of the project, but with just one lane in each direction. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A taxing season begins Monday night for commuters who use Route 520 to get into and out of Red Bank.

Following the evening rush, traffic across the twin decks of the bridge over the Swimming River, between Hance Avenue and the Garden State Parkway, will be narrowed from two lanes in each direction to one.

Those few souls who traverse the span on foot –  or use it for fishing and crabbing – will be entirely out of luck: no pedestrian access will be permitted at all.

“Motorists should expect delays and are encouraged to plan alternate routes for the next six months,” the county government says in a press release, which is an improvement from last month, when it was warning of an eight-month timetable.

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BOTTLENECK AHEAD AT ROUTE 520 SPANS

Motorists will face a narrowing of the twin bridges to one lane in each direction for up to eight months, officials said. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The heavily traveled Newman Springs Road/Route 520 bridges linking Red Bank and Lincroft are in for a belt-tightening.

The four-lane connectors between Parkway exit 109 and points east will be narrowed to one lane in each direction for up to eight months during repairs, Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone announced in a press release late Wednesday.

Work is scheduled to start on or soon after April 1, with vehicular traffic pared to two lanes for the duration, and pedestrian usage banned, according to the announcement. Weather permitting, the job is expected to wrap up in late November.

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