RED BANK: YOUR 15 MINUTES HAVE ARRIVED

rb white meter 112415One of the new 15-minute meters on Broad Street, near White Street(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Street meters, off-street meters, permits, kiosks, an app: now, add one more element to the Red Bank parking mix.

The borough recently installed nine white meters on downtown streets to enable shoppers to park for just 15 minutes, at 25 cents a pop.

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RED BANK: TECHIN’ IT TO THE STREETS

RB parking app 101315LicPlate1File this under “who knew?” Since February, visitors to Red Bank’s business district have been able to use an app to pay for parking from their vehicles via cellphones or tablets, thus avoiding the payment kiosks, which are no fun in bad weather.

But the only public notice of this service that redbankgreen could find was a notice taped to a parking kiosk at the White Street lot.

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RED BANK: PREMATURE ON PAID PARKING?

bridge ave 012915Visitors to Bridge Avenue shops, above, and the western stretch of Monmouth Street may soon have to pay to park. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03After the Red Bank borough council passed a resolution last month authorizing the purchase of pay stations for parking along Monmouth Street and Bridge Avenue, redbankgreen asked: Why? Parking is free there.

No ordinance amendment had ever been passed or even introduced allowing the town to charge for parking outside the central business district. There had been no public debate on whether it should even happen.

That’s all coming, says business Administrator Stanley Sickels.

So why spend $135,308 for 13 kiosks that haven’t been authorized?

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RED BANK: WATER METER FAQ POSTED

rb water meter 120414 1The project would replace more than 3,800 residential water meters by the end of 2015, officials have said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank officials have responded to a demand for transparency into a proposed $2.2 million water meter replacement program by posting a list of frequently-asked-questions on the borough website.

At the December 3 meeting of the council, Mayor Pasquale Menna instructed Administrator Stanley Sickels to post “whatever information” he had on the topic by noon Friday after complaints that the borough was rushing the matter through to a vote.

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RED BANK: BOND INTRO LEGIT, O’HERN SAYS

menna o'hern seal 010114Borough Attorney Dan O’Hern, right, with Mayor Pasquale Menna earlier this year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A push by Red Bank’s Democrat-controlled council to pass a $2.2 million water-meter-replacement bond by the end of the year can move forward, according to borough Attorney Dan O’Hern.

O’Hern tells redbankgreen that Mayor Pasquale Menna’s belated “tiebreaker” vote to introduce the bond last week was permissible, even though the mayor is allowed under state law to vote only in the event of a council tie. The council vote was two in favor and one opposed, with one abstention.

But the abstention, by soon-to-depart Councilwoman Juanita Lewis, was tantamount to a “no,” O’Hern said Monday, citing recent cases involving Newark and Hoboken.

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RED BANK: METER BOND INTRODUCED… MAYBE

rb water meter 120414 2New metering technology would use telemetry, replacing the current system, which requires a borough employee to touch a reading device to puck-shaped interface. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s council barely mustered enough votes to introduce an ordinance for a $2.2 million bond to pay for new water meters throughout town Wednesday night.

Or did it?

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RED BANK: $2.2M METER BOND ON AGENDA

water faucet dripNew metering technology would be more precise than the current system, enabling homeowners to better detect bill-boosting leaks, proponents say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank officials plan to issue $2.2 million in debt to replace water meters in the borough’s 4,000-plus homes and other properties.

The agenda for Wednesday night’s meeting of the mayor and council includes the introduction of an ordinance to authorize a bond to cover the cost of the new technology.

Proponents, including Councilman Mike DuPont and Administrator Stanley Sickels, contend the existing meters are part of a  system that is inefficient and costly to the town. The devices used for the past 25 or so years are also no longer manufactured, they said.

But the council’s lone Republican, Cindy Burnham, says the bond is being fast-tracked for approval by the end of the year in order to head off possible no vote next year, when she’s joined on the dais by councilwoman-elect and fellow Republican Linda Schwabenbauer. Read More »

RED BANK: TEENS HOPE TO BE GAME-CHANGERS

creativ 2 101313Tommy Murray, CJ Bevacqua and Evan Leifman at CREATiV MIND headquarters, in Bevacqua’s bedroom. Below, a duct-taped prototype of their mobile gaming device. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

creativ 3 101313Five years from now, if dreams pan out, a handheld gaming device called CREATiV Mind will be as ubiquitous as iPhones.

And just about then, its creators will be turning old enough to vote.

Based in a prototypically messy teenager’s bedroom on Red Bank’s South Street, CREATIiV Mind is the brainchild of three 13-year-olds who count Steve Jobs and Nikola Tesla among their idols. Just a month old, their prototype product is an awkward mix of high technology and duct tape.

But the three – CJ Bevacqua and Evan Leifman of Red Bank and Tommy Murray of Atlantic Highlands – are serious about building a market-changing device.

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ON THE WEB, RED BANK SITE IS A PRIZE

screen-shot-2011-04-27-at-1218Red Bank’s website won a Monmouth University award for “best interactive website.” (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

If you happen to be looking for old ordinances or minutes from the planning and zoning boards, your mouse may be in for a bit of a workout.

But as far as interaction goes, Red Bank’s municipal website is tops in the Monmouth County, according to Monmouth University.

In its first New Jersey e-Government Awards, the university’s polling institute and public policy program has deemed that of the 53 municipalities in Monmouth County, Red Bank takes the honor for having the best interactive website.

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GETTING SCHOOLED ON CYBERBULLYING

cyberbully1Kevin Clark, who runs Monmouth County’s computer crimes unit, gave a presentation on computer safety at Frank Talk on Saturday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The message Kevin Clark wants to deliver can’t be spread fast enough.

“Think before you click,” says Clark, director of the Monmouth County prosecutor’s computer crimes unit.

On the ‘duh’ scale, Clark’s maxim may be high up there. But when you get into the online world, the advice is still news to a lot of people, especially children and teenagers, he said.

That’s why Clark used the phrase several times throughout his presentation about cyberbullying and Internet safety to a small group of Red Bank dignitaries (and one curious teacher) on Saturday, with the goal of raising awareness to a new-ish brand of schoolyard teasing that has risen to new, dangerous heights in recent years.

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THE DUDES OF HAZARD

rb-walkinghazard1The guys over at Red Bank’s e.d. Design, shown standing at one of Red Bank’s many walking hazards they noticed while taking a smoke break.  (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Over the summer, John Donnelly and Andrew Edelman would step outside their Broad Street office for a cigarette break and take notice of a fairly common occurrence where the concrete of the sidewalk meets the brick, or is supposed to: an abrupt dip. It’s right next to a bench on the west side of Broad, in front of The Bistro at Red Bank.

“There’s this one spot where we always see people trip,” Edelman, 24, said. “And we thought, there’s got to be other places like this in town.”

They were right. The two, who run e.d. design studio, did a little footwork and found more spots that pose what they believe are dangers to Red Bank’s pedestrian population. The result, launched last week in the form of an online compendium of the downtown’s cracks, potholes and otherwise harmful walking spots, is called redbankwalkinghazards.com.

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RBMS HAS EYES ON NO.1 PRIZE

rbms-kids1

Red Bank Middle School students Sandra Paz, Teddy Mitchell and Josh Bruce talk to the media Thursday about their involvement in “eInstruction Is The Key,” a video they made for an international competition. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The Top 10 isn’t good enough for Red Bank Middle School anymore.

Over the last couple years, students have shown the nation they’ve got loads of talent with their rock operas and rap videos that have placed in the Top 10 in education contests. Their videos have won a nice amount of cash for the school district. But this year, the students are taking their talent international, and they have their eyes on a sweet technology makeover for the first place winner.

The middle school has entered its students’ video, “e-Instruction Is The Key,” into the third annual e-Instruction Interactive Classroom Makeover Competition, which draws talent from all over the world to compete for technology upgrades worth $30,000 at the winning school. After placing as finalists the last two years, the Red Bank’s faculty and students have high hopes and expectations for 2009.

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