MAYOR’S VOTE HALTS TREE-LAW SAW

hot-topic rightAfter almost a year and a half of on-and-off debate, an effort to trim Fair Haven’s tree-protection ordinance failed Monday night, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Mayor Mike Halfacre, who votes only in the event of a council tie, cast the decisive vote, halting  amendments pushed by Councilman Bob Marchese that would have made it easier for property owners to remove trees.

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HOLIDAY EXPRESS TO USHER IN THE SEASON

holiday-express-2010-2Scenes from the 2010 Holiday Express concert. (Click to enlarge)

holiday-express-2010-1The newborn 2011 holiday season moves outdoors with a bang of a snare drum and a blast of white light on Broad Street in Red Bank Friday night.

That’s right, it’s time for the 18th annual Holiday Express concert, complete with a bustling Santa parade, a sudden toss of sparkle into the roadside trees and familiar, feel-good seasonal tunes by Tim McLoone and his stage-sprawling band of musicmakers.

And it all kicks off a season of Gingerbread Walks, Horse & Carriage Rides, Holiday Harmonies on the streets and more, including a new, movable feast sponsored by the town’s restaurants called Holiday Flavour.

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CHRISTMAS TREE STAYING PUT

dub-tree-2008A hasty push to move Red Bank’s traditional Christmas tree to Riverside Gardens Park for the coming holiday season failed Thursday night as town officials balked over questions about proper review.

Gripes from the public led downtown promoter Red Bank RiverCenter to ask the borough council for permission to relocate the tree – shown at right being removed after the 2007 season – which has been displayed for years in the Monmouth Street courtyard of the Dublin House, said executive director Nancy Adams.

“We’re getting complaints every year from residents to move it someplace that, frankly, is not a bar,” she said. “We want to make the residents happy.”

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WEEKEND WRECKS LEAD TO DWI CHARGES

impaled-092611A street sign impaled a tree on Broad Street as a result of predawn accident that destroyed a utility pole and led to a shutdown of the road for several hours Sunday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two motorists face charges of drunk driving after their involvement in accidents four hours apart over the weekend, Red Bank police said.

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CASE OF ALLEGED TREE ‘MURDER’ CONTINUES

35-nav-rumsonConstruction of a 5,000-square-foot home is underway on the Navesink Avenue site that neighbors claim was improperly clear-cut. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A dispute between neighboring property owners over the removal of trees from a Rumson building site took on the air of a trial Monday night.

But the planning board wrapped up a three-hour hearing without a verdict… er, decision… on whether borough officials allowed builder John Tsakiris to get away with a wholesale tree “murder,” as alleged by neighbors Rick Jones and Cindy Zipf.

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RUMSON TREE TUSSLE RESUMES

Rick Jones, who shot this video in August, and his wife, Cindy Zipf, claim flooding in their neighborhood was worsened by clear-cutting that the town should not have allowed.

A dispute over the removal of trees from a residential building lot in Rumson continues in public Monday night with neighbor expecting a “show down” with a developer, she and her husband say in a press release.

Borough officials, however, contend that Cindy Zipf‘s claim that They turned a blind eye to a wholesale “murder ” of trees on Navesink Avenue is unfounded.

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FAIR HAVEN: TREE LAW IN FOR TRIMMING

fh-boro-hallThe councilman most opposed to the ordinance says he’s open to compromise, but still itching to repeal it. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

On Monday night’s borough council agenda in Fair Haven: another attempt to retool the controversial tree-protection law.

Whether it actually goes to a vote is a separate matter.

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FAIR HAVEN TREE ORDINANCE DIES

zoe-gallagherZoe Gallagher, 13, had rallied support for the measure after trees on a Poplar Avenue property were cut down to make room for two houses. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

A proposed local law that would have required property owners to notify neighbors of plans to remove trees failed to gain passage in Fair Haven Monday night, the Asbury Park Press reports.

The proposal had pitted residents who wanted to preserve greenscape against others who saw the law as an affront to property rights. Councilman Ben Lucarelli argued that requiring a person who wants to remove a single tree to notify their neighbors is excessive regulation, the Press reports.

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THIS WEEKEND: WESTSIDE TREE LIGHTING

westside-tree-2008A scene from last year’s edition of the Westside Community Group tree lighting. (Click to enlarge)

It doesn’t draw nearly the crowd of its downtown cousin, but what the annual Westside Community Group holiday tree-lighting event lacks in spectacle it more than makes up for in intimacy.

Brevity, too.

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A NIGHT ILLUMINATED BY SMILES… AND HATS

Yes, the traditional Holiday Express concert and illumination of downtown Red Bank combined once again to make for a great-sounding and dazzling extravaganza Friday night.

But it might be said that the real scene-stealers were the hats. With the wind whipping and temperatures dropping to the low 40s, Riverview Medical employees were out there giving away free pairs of knit gloves. But what about the all-important noggin? If you couldn’t have a kid sitting on your shoulders, the second-best way to keep your head warm was a stylish chapeau, perhaps with a trim of fur or a sprout of antlers.

As always, redbankgreen was there to thoroughly document the event, and culled this grouping of 75 shots from the hundreds taken. Enjoy, folks. And please let your friends know you saw them here.

To enlarge the photo display, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To get back to redbankgreen, hit your escape key.