RED BANK: FIREFIGHTERS KEEP FREE Y ACCESS

red bank ymcaThe Red Bank nonprofit says no families of kids now in a free membership program will be turned away. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s volunteer firefighters will get to keep their free memberships to the local YMCA, the organization announced Wednesday.

Police will still have to pay, though now at a discount, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit said. But there’s no change to the plan unveiled last week to end across-the-board free memberships for borough schoolchildren.

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RED BANK: MENNA ‘IRATE’ OVER YMCA ACTION

red bank pasquale mennaRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna speaking at the the Memorial Day ceremony last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna on Thursday blasted a decision by the Community YMCA to end free memberships for borough schoolchildren and emergency first-responders.

Menna went on the offensive after the Y’s “unilateral” action, which he said was made without any advance notice to or discussion with his administration.

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RED BANK: KIDS, RESPONDERS LOSE FREE YMCA

red bank ymcaThe Red Bank YMCA says affected families can apply for subsidies to replace the free memberships. Below, the letter sent to parents of children in the Healthy Kids program. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank YMCA letter 061919Red Bank’s schoolchildren and emergency first-responders will lose their free access to the borough YMCA in September.

The Maple Avenue nonprofit’s executive director, Katie McAdoo, tells redbankgreen the change was driven by its need to be “accountable” to funders.

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ON THE GREEN: PINK CHRISTMAS TREES?

RB cherry blossoms 121615They may be outnumbered by Christmas trees, but recent unseasonably warm weather prompted a cherry blossom tree to sprout dainty pink leaves outside the Community YMCA on Maple Avenue in Red Bank, as captured in this photo by reader Mike McMahon. It’s a widespread phenomenon, including on the National Mall in Washington D.C., famous for its cherry blossoms.

With temperatures hovering in the mid-50s, a rainy afternoon was in store for the Greater Green Thursday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. (Photo by Mike McMahon. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: SMOKE ON THE WATER AT THE Y

cymca alarm 102313A smoke condition prompted an evacuation of the Community YMCA in Red Bank at around 6 a.m. Wednesday, sending wet swimmers and other exercisers outdoors. An unconfirmed report attributed the smoke to food burned in a microwave oven. (Click to enlarge)

LINCROFT: Ex-NFL-ERS TAKE IT TO THE HOOP

Former Steelers player Rian Wallace gets some competition in the form of a football for the attention of a young fan. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

It was average Joes vs football pros on the hardwood last Friday night as local amateur and school basketball teams faced off against a “dream-team” consisting of past and present NFL players – all in the name of charity.

The Hoops for Hope event, created by local son turned NFL player Lonnie Allgood and held at Brookdale Community College’s Collins Arena, consisted of a series of quick exhibition games and other activities to raise money for  Dreams for Kids and the YMCA’s Strong Kids program, dedicated to providing underprivileged kids with a healthy lifestyle.

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RED BANK: EX-NFL-ER BRINGS HOOPS & HOPE

Lonnie Allgood getting out the word about Hoops for Hope at the Red Bank Street Fair earlier this month. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Former NFL wide receiver Lonnie Allgood is one of the select few: a Red Bank kid who had the talent and drive to live out the big league dream.

But he didn’t get there on his own, he says. Long retired from the limelight after seven years in the league, he still considers the experiences and people he met at the Community YMCA in his hometown an integral part of his character.

“I spent a lot of time at the Y when I was growing up in west Red Bank,” Allgood told redbankgreen, “and I met a lot of great role models there who really helped me while I was younger.”

Now, he’s trying to give back to the community that made him who he is by inspiring kids to live their lives the right way. On Friday night, the YMCA and Allgood’s charity foundation, Dreams for Kids, are teaming up for their first ever Hoops for Hope event, a basketball tournament featuring Allgood’s professional gridiron star friends squaring off against local hoopsters – including members of the Red Bank PBA, students from Red Bank Charter School, and Monmouth University Women’s Basketball team – all in the name of charity.

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YMCA ADDS THREE TEEN-FOCUSED PROGRAMS

The Y Teen Achievers program, one of the new programs at the Red Bank location, helps prepare local high school students for college and employment, and includes a spring college tour, pictured above. Below, Bryanna Reevey of Fair Haven, right, with Jo Ann Rountree.

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Red Bank’s Community YMCA has a full slate of programs to kick off 2013, including three that are completely new to the location: Y Leaders Club, Girls Circle, Y Teen Achievers. Registration is now open and ongoing for the following three programs:

Y Leaders Club: A national Y program that teaches kids in grades 6  to 9 to become role models and leaders by participating in volunteering and marketing.

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MENNA CHALLENGES RED BANK TO GET FIT

Mayor Menna’s Wellness Challenge kicked off Tuesday with free screenings in the municipal courtroom. (Photo by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

As part of a statewide campaign to promote healthier lifestyles, Mayor Pasquale Menna is getting Red Bank involved in an ongoing project to keep his administration and borough residents fit and feelin’ good.

The Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, an initiative of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, is partnered with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. It works to “equip mayors with the tools to develop and implement active-living initiatives in their communities with the ultimate goal of improving health and reducing the skyrocketing health care costs that come with the obesity problem in New Jersey,” according to the website.

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A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY, A LITTLE BIT MOBILE

A mobile language lab at RBR will be stocked with iPads when it opens in September, thanks to a donation from the school’s fundraising foundation.  (Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

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Come September, Red Bank Regional High School will have a fully operational Apple Mobile classroom for the 2012-2013 school year for its world language classes.

The RBR Education Foundation recently presented the Board of Education with a check for $28,000 to purchase an iPad cart equipped with 35 iPads and three MacBooks with a two-year protection program, as well as a voucher for applications available to “foster the acquisition of foreign language.”

“This level of accessibility into other cultures and languages is completely unprecedented,” said assistant principal Will Smith.

 

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SUIT CALLS 51 MONMOUTH DEAL ‘ILLEGAL’

51-monmouthTwo property owners want the former borough hall returned to Red Bank as a public asset. (Click to enlarge)

As anticipated by Mayor Pasquale Menna, a lawsuit has been filed challenging Red Bank’s settlement of litigation earlier this year over the former borough hall and police station at 51 Monmouth Street.

The suit, filed by Maple Cove activist Cindy Burnham of Fair Haven and lawyer Bill Meyer of Tinton Falls, claims that both the original sale of the building to a nonprofit children’s organization in 2000 and the settlement of litigation over that deal earlier this year were “illegal and improper.”

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YMCA SUES BOROUGH OVER PLAN DENIAL

ymca1The Community YMCA says the zoning board rejection was capricious. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

As expected, the Community YMCA has filed a lawsuit against Red Bank’s zoning board for its decision to not allow the Y to nearly double the size of its Maple Avenue facility, putting the nonprofit at odds with the town on two legal fronts.

The suit, filed on May 18 in state Superior Court in Freehold, says that the board’s resolution denying the Y’s expansion plan “lacks a factual basis for its negative findings and provides nothing more that conclusions unsupported by fact or applicable land use law, ” and therefore makes the board’s decision unreasonable.

The Y is seeking to reverse the zoning board’s decision and win approval of the variance applications and site plan. It is also asking for compensation for the cost of the suit and whatever other relief the court deems just.

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SECOND BOARD REJECTS Y EXPANSION PLAN

menna-goldinMayor Pasquale Menna listens as Marvin Goldin of Temple Beth Shalom asks the planning board to reject the YMCA zoning request. (Click to enlarge)

Six weeks after a proposal to expand the Community YMCA facility came up one vote short at the Red Bank zoning board, an attempt to get the idea back on track ran into a brick wall at the planning board Monday night.

The outcome left Mayor Pasquale Menna isolated by two boards over which he has appointment control. Seven planning board members voted in favor of a resolution finding the Y plan not to be in conformance with the goals of the borough’s Master Plan. Menna alone voted ‘no’ on the measure.

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