RED BANK: PARKING, TAXES DOMINATE DEBATE

Council candidates, from left, Dana McArthur, Ed Zipprich, Michael Ballard and Linda Schwabenbauer at Monday’s event at River Street Commons. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The four candidates for two seats on the Red Bank council faced off Monday night in a debate-like forum that focused in large part on parking and tax issues.

The polite exchanges gave residents in attendance a chance to compare a three-term incumbent, a political newcomer, and two candidates who work with numbers all day.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL CANDIDATES TO FACE OFF

rb candidates 102814 1Election_2016_PlainContinuing a tradition now in its 20th year, candidates for office in Red Bank are scheduled to face off and answer audience questions Tuesday night.

Hosted by the West Side Community Group and moderated by group president Amy Goldsmith, this year’s edition features all five candidates for two three-year terms on the borough council.

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RED BANK: WEST SIDE GOES DARK, BRIEFLY

rb outage 051116 2rb outage 051116 1A portion of Red Bank’s West Side, including a stretch of Shrewsbury Avenue, above, was briefly without electricity Tuesday night as a result of a burned wire at Bridge Avenue and Chestnut Street, right. First Energy/JCP&L reported about 427 customers affected in the 90-minute outage before power was restored at 10 p.m.

During the outage, volunteer firefighters responded to a report of a gas leak on a darkened block of Shrewsbury Avenue near Monmouth Street. Fire Chief Chris Soden said no evidence of a leak was detected; other neighbors reported smelling a skunk or marijuana. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: CANDIDATES TOUT THEIR VISIONS

100115rbcandidatesDemocrat Michael Ballard, left, with Republicans Mark Taylor and Michael Whelan with moderator Amy Goldsmith before the forum. Below, resident Jean Cash asks a question. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

100115rbcandidates3With the possibility of their party taking control of the Red Bank council for the first time in a generation, the two Republican candidates said they’ll bring fresh thinking Thursday night.

“For 25 years, Red Bank has been subject to one voice, one leadership,” Michael Whelan said at the annual West Side Community Group candidates’ night, held at River Street Commons.  “When someone has been in power for 25 years, it breeds complacency. What is the incentive to lower property taxes if you’re going to win year after year?”

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RED BANK: CANDIDATES’ FORUM SET

From left at top: Democrats Michael Ballard and Michael DuPont square off against Republicans Mark Taylor and Michael Whelan at the annual Candidates’ Night on October 1. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election 2015 graphicWith the balance of power at stake, election season for two open seats on the Red Bank council kicks into high gear on October 1.

That’s when the West Side Community Group is scheduled to host its 19th annual Candidates’ Night.

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RED BANK: ROAD CLOSING PLANNED


drs parker 080615 2drs parker 080615 1
Red Bank officials plan to close portions of Drs. James Parker Boulevard between Shrewsbury and Maple avenues for paving Friday and Monday, the borough said in an alert Thursday afternoon. Detours will be in place.

The road will be open over the weekend, according to the alert – except for a portion outside the Celestial Lodge that will be closed from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday for the annual Community Block Party. Borough Administrator Stanley Sickels said paving of the portion between Shrewsbury and Bridge avenues will be completed Friday, in time for the event.

Milling and paving of the badly pitted roadway was delayed for months by a dispute with Conrail over repairs a grade crossing, borough officials have said. Conrail has decided not to rebuild the crossing at this time, Sickels said.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: SANTA & KIDS HUDDLE IN THE RAIN

rb tree lighting 120614Santa Claus and friends attempted to find some shelter from the rain as Red Bankers gathered for the annual West Side Tree Lighting at the pocket park on Shrewsbury Avenue Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Ben Forest. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: IT’S SCHWABENBAUER & ZIPPRICH

Election_2014_Plainrb dems 110414Councilmembers Ed Zipprich, center, and Juanita Lewis with former Councilman Ivan Polonsky, right, at Democratic HQ Tuesday night. Linda Schwabenbauer, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

linda schwabenbauer 082714Linda Schwabenbauer only got into the Red Bank council race in August, and didn’t start campaigning until mid-September.

Though she’s lived in town for 10 years, the Republican also had the handicap of being an unknown political entity.

“I’d never heard of her,” said former mayor and local Democratic party sage Ed McKenna, “and I don’t know anyone who had.”

And yet, even as her opponents – and perhaps some supporters – struggled to pronounce her name, Schwabenbauer came away as the leading vote-getter in Tuesday’s election, edging incumbent Ed Zipprich by nine votes and knocking out incumbent Democrat Juanita Lewis, according to the GOP.

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RED BANK: GOP APPEARS TO ADD TO ’13 GAIN

Election_2014_Plainrb gop 110414 1Republican Linda Schwabenbauer, left, with state Senator Jennifer Beck and running mate Sean Di Somma, far right, as returns were tallied Tuesday night. Below, Ed Zipprich, seen at right through a ladder at Democratic headquarters with his husband, J.P. Nicolaides and former Mayor Ed McKenna, at left. (Photo above by John T. Ward, below by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

110414 election1One year after narrowly regaining a toehold on Red Bank government, Republicans will soon have a second representative on the six-member council.

Or so it appeared late Tuesday night.

GOP newcomer Linda Schwabenbauer and Democratic incumbent Ed Zipprich were neck-and-neck in the race for two council seats. And though the two parties differed on vote totals, both candidates appeared to have outpolled Zipprich running mate Juanita Lewis by about two dozen votes.

The clear loser, for the second year in a row, was Republican Sean Di Somma, who conceded defeat early in the evening.

Mayor Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, was elected to a third four-year term. He was unopposed on the ballot.

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LIVE: HOUSE RACES ACROSS THE STATE

Beginning shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday, NJ Spotlight and NJ News Commons will begin posting results for congressional races across the state. For up-to-the minute results, click on a district; you can zoom in and move the map around.

These results are preliminary as precincts report. The colors on the map indicate which party is leading by district: red for Republicans and blue for Democrats. An asterisk (*) indicates an incumbent.
For results for in the race for U.S. Senate and the statewide ballot questions, click here (Map courtesy of NJ Spotlight and NJ News Commons)

RED BANK: ELECTION DAY 2014

RB 2014 ballotRed Bank voters will choose two council members from among four candidates. (Click to enlarge)

Election_2014_PlainWill voters tick down along party lines? Mix & match?

Election season 2014 culminates Tuesday with four candidates on the ballot for two Red Bank council seats, plus an incumbent mayor running unopposed.

redbankgreen will have results as soon as they’re available after polls close at 8 p.m. Meantime, here’s a refresher on the process.

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RED BANK: Q&A WITH SEAN DI SOMMA

Election_2014_QAdi somma 102814Republican council candidate Sean Di Somma. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In Tuesday’s election for Red Bank council, incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, both Democrats, face Republicans Sean Di Somma and Linda Schwabenbauer. Here are Di Somma’s answers to questions sent to all four candidates by redbankgreen.

Name: Sean Patrick Di Somma

Age: 32

Where did you grow up? Bergen County, NJ

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? Almost 3 years

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RED BANK: Q&A WITH JUANITA LEWIS

Election_2014_QA juanita lewis 101308Democrat Juanita Lewis has been on the council since 2009. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In Tuesday’s election for Red Bank council, incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, both Democrats, face Republicans Sean Di Somma and Linda Schwabenbauer. Here are Lewis’s answers to questions sent to all four candidates by redbankgreen.

Name: Juanita Lewis

Age: 48

Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Red Bank.

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? All of my life, except when I went to college, graduate school and when I worked overseas for one year.

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RED BANK: Q&A WITH PASQUALE MENNA

Election_2014_QApasquale menna 102814 2Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, was elected mayor in 2006 after 18 years on the borough council. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In Tuesday’s election, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna is running unopposed for a third four-year-term.Here are his answers to questions sent to all borough candidates by redbankgreen.

Name: Pasquale Menna

Age: 60

Where did you grow up? Italy, Montreal, Canada and Red Bank.

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? Since 1964.

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RED BANK: Q&A WITH LINDA SCHWABENBAUER

Election_2014_QAschwabenbauer 102814Republican council candidate Linda Schwabenbauer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In Tuesday’s election for Red Bank council, incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, both Democrats, face Republicans Sean Di Somma and Linda Schwabenbauer. Here are Schwabenbauer’s answers to questions sent to all four candidates by redbankgreen.

Name: Linda Schwabenbauer

Age: 49

Where did you grow up? Downingtown, PA

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? Since May of 2005 – just shy of 10 years

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RED BANK: Q&A WITH ED ZIPPRICH

Election_2014_QA zipprich 011111Democrat Ed Zipprich has been on the council since 2009. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In Tuesday’s election for Red Bank council, incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, both Democrats, face Republicans Sean Di Somma and Linda Schwabenbauer. Here are Zipprich’s answers to questions sent to all four candidates by redbankgreen.

Name: Edward Zipprich

Age: 54

Where did you grow up? In a small town similar to Red Bank in Staten Island, NY

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? 17.5 years

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RED BANK: GOP CALLS FOR TELE-DEBATE

Election_2014_wDebatesrb candidates 102814 3Republicans Linda Schwabenbauer and Sean Di Somma had a full-house audience at River Street Commons to themselves Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The two Red Bank council candidates challenged the Democratic incumbents to a debate Wednesday, one day after a meet-the-candidates event at which the Dems were no-shows.

GOP contender Sean Di Somma called the absence of Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich “sad and shameful,” adding that they’d “pulled a fast one on Red Bank residents” by canceling at the last minute.

Zipprich told redbankgreen earlier on Tuesday that he was attending to a family medical issue, and Lewis told the Westside Community Group that she couldn’t make their Tuesday event because she was “pulled away on business,” said event moderator Amy Goldsmith.

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RED BANK: NO DEBATE AS DEMS ARE NO-SHOWS

Election_2014_wDebatesrb candidates 102814 1The River Street Commons had a full house for the event, hosted by the Westside Community Group. Alecia Wilkerson, below, asked a question from the audience. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb candidates 102814 2The two Republican candidates for Red Bank council in next week’s election had an open field as neither of their opponents showed up for a debate Tuesday night.

Incumbent Democrat Ed Zipprich was out of town on a family medical issue, and fellow incumbent Democrat Juanita Lewis was “called away on business,”  Westside Community Group president and event moderator Amy Goldsmith said the candidates told her.

That gave Republican challengers Sean Di Somma and Linda Schwabenbauer control of the floor at the 18th annual candidates’ night, held as always at the River Street Commons. Di Somma made frequent reference to the absences, and at one point gave away their chairs to audience members who had packed the former school gym.

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RED BANK: WEST SIDERS MARCH IN PROTEST

rb march 102514 4rb march 102514 2About three dozen protesters marched through Red Bank Saturday morning to object to rising property taxes, a proposed spray park at Bellhaven Nature Area, borough hiring practices and what they termed police “aggressiveness.”

Organizer Freddie Boynton said the event, spotlighting concerns of West Siders, was not meant to be partisan, though it called for “new leadership” at borough hall.  “There’s a lot of frustration on this side of town,” said Boynton, a retired DPW employee. “We’re not being treated like the rest of the town is.”  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: MAN GETS 14 YEARS FOR MURDER

9-bank-door2Broken glass littered the porch of the Bank Street house where Larry Yarbrough Jr., below, was murdered in 2011. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

larry-yarbroughA Red Bank man was sentenced to 14 years in state prison for  stabbing death of another borough resident three years ago.

Four months after he pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and aggravated assault, Jose Olivares-Palma, 26, was sentenced Wednesday for killing Larry Yarborough, 39, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in a prepared statement released Thursday morning.

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RED BANK: ZIMMERMAN VERDICT REACTIONS

redbankgreen‘s Sarah Klepner gathered these reactions on Red Bank’s West Side Monday to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in killing of Trayvon Martin.

George H. Brown, Red Bank: “It speaks for itself. I don’t understand how he could be killed under those conditions. He was unarmed. How did Zimmerman decide to shoot? Did he just assume that if Martin didn’t survive there’d be no repercussions? It shows how far we are from what should be.” (Click to enlarge)

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OLD FRIENDS ROCK THE BLOCK


Generations of  former and present Red Bank residents gathered on Drs. James Parker Boulevard over Saturday for a block-party style “family reunion,” complete with street fair food, jewelry for sale and a band composed of longtime friends playing together just for the occasion.

“Everybody was really raised by a village when we were younger,” said Patty Lewis, who now lives in Ocean. “That’s what makes this so special.” (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)

NEW RESTAURANT COMING TO STATION?

78-bridge-2-121311The exterior of 78 Bridge Avenue, and below, an interior view showing the rear carriage-house doors. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

78-bridge-3-121311

In recent years, it’s been an ironware store, a teahouse and a teahouse-plus – a place, that is, where one might buy and consume food along with hot beverages, but no cooking could occur.

All have failed. But the building’s owners believe the former home of two editions of NovelTeas, located across Bridge Avenue from the Red Bank train station, is ready for a full-fledged restaurant.

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WEST SIDE TO GET PARKING LOOK-AHEAD

menna-danny-murphy-102611Restaurateur Danny Murphy discusses the need for West Side parking with Mayor Pasquale Menna, left, before last week’s borough council meeting. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s West Side appears about to experience a tsunami of new development, if land-use approvals granted by the town are used in the near future.

That’s a big if. The ailing economy has stalled development projects across the U.S., and Red Bank has not been spared.

But a large housing project planned for Monmouth Street near the train station, and two others just blocks away on Bridge –  one of them mixed in with stores and a brew pub – have business owners in the vicinity concerned about a severe parking crunch. And led by a restaurateur, they’ve asked the borough to be proactive in minimizing the adverse impact.

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