A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

News Updates as of 31 March 2010

  • An 85 year old struck a man in the crosswalk at Main Street and Route 34, per APP.
  • The recent heavy rains have been an added expense for Aberdeen Township, which has had to pay for police to handle the traffic being redirected onto County Road and Cliffwood Avenue due to flooding on Route 35, according to APP. I don't imagine the state will be funding the construction of a bridge for Route 35 to cross Whale Creek. A bridge or some kind of resolution to regular flooding is long overdue. I hope voters are keeping tabs of all these added costs being levied on our municipal government by Trenton due to cuts in state aid. Reducing state taxes is rather costly at the local level.
  • The above article also says the Township expects to foot the bill to repair the dunes at Cliffwood Beach, which were damaged a couple of weekends ago by heavy winds and waves. In the aftermath of the storm, The Independent said that Township officials were hoping for Federal monies to repair the dunes. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Cliffwood Beach seashore is protected under the federal government's Coastal Barrier Resources Act. I wonder what happened to make the Township think it would have to repair the dunes without Federal money?
  • A bit of kayaking chatter about launching and landing at Cliffwood Beach without interfering with the fishermen and their lines can be found at Kayak Fishing Stuff. This might explain the Lone Adventurer I noticed a week ago Sunday off Cliffwood Beach.
  • Long time Cliffwood Post Office worker Lynda Talmadge died on Tuesday, per obituary. Her parents moved to this area from Maine about 1953, according to her mother's obit.
  • Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer will speak at Brookdale Community College on 6 April at 7 pm at the Warner Student Life Center, per The Independent's Notes Around Town.
  • The Matawan Women's Club is hosting an AARP Driver Safety Program on 14-15 April, per The Independent's Notes Around Town. Check details in the article regarding location and cost.
  • The Monmouth County Sheriff's Office is sponsoring a poster contest for 4th graders in honor of April being National County Government Month. Check The Independent's Notes Around Town for details.
  • Prospects are good for this season's Matawan Huskies boys track team, according to an interview with the team's coach in The Independent.

Obama Courting Republicans on Global Warming Bill

President Obama has been making some environmental compromises of late in an effort to get Republicans on board with a global warming bill. He is opening a large section of the Eastern seaboard (not NJ) to oil drilling, according to today's NYT. And he is promoting nuclear energy development by offering loan guarantees for a pair of Georgia nuclear reactors, the first to be built in the US in 30 years. The Scientific American and Christian Science Monitor have interesting reports you may wish to read. Businessweek focuses on the flow of lobbyist money coming from Southern Co, the expected builder of the nuke plants.

Those of us who consider ourselves environmentalists will have to swallow hard and watch as Obama maneuvers to produce a bill before we're all under a foot of water. The way the weather's been the past couple of days -- lots of soaking rain -- I'm already feeling waterlogged.

Wonder what the next shoe to drop will be? You'll want to stay tuned.

Interim MAPL Director Jeffrey Kesper

Jeffrey Kesper is the new interim director of the Matawan Aberdeen Public Library, filling temporarily the vacancy left by the departure of Susan Pike. (Pictured above during his tenure at NJSL.)

I've dug up seven years of his background. Maybe someone can add a bit more? Jeff was a branch manager in the Ocean County Public Library system in 2003, per Interface. According to the Eastern NJ Regional Library Cooperative and CJRLC, Jeff left Ocean County's Lakewood Branch Library in October 2004 to began serving as head of the Library Development Bureau (LDB) for the NJ State Library. The next year the LDB received the ASCLA Leadership Achievement Award at the American Library Association's national meeting in Chicago. He retired from the State Library at the end of March 2007, per the NJ Library Association. His current work as Interim Director included a tour at the Old Bridge Public Library beginning in August 2008, according to OB Library Board minutes. He is now an interim at MAPL.

NJ State Library's Marketing News includes a reader comment suggesting that Jeff produced a spreadsheet useful for presentations to municipalities concerned for wise expenditure of taxpayer monies. His chart reportedly showed how economical it is for libraries to acquire access to online databases instead of a bunch of individuals buying separate accesses. How utterly pertinent to today's situation. Too bad that bringing up such matters would be a certain ticket to the shortest interim directorship ever.

These are particularly difficult times to be running a local library in NJ. I welcome Mr Kesper, offer whatever support I can give, and wish him all the best during his time here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thomas Edison State College Alums and Students Asked to Take Action

Thomas Edison State College asks that alumni and supporters tell their stories to the governor and assembly members as part of an effort to keep the school from being merged with Rutgers. Here is part of the email I received from George Pruitt, President of the school:

As most of our alumni and supporters already know, the merger proposal was not initiated by either institution. We firmly believe it would destroy the mission of our College, deny educational opportunities to thousands of adult students, increase the cost of education and in no way enhance the economic development of our region.

Please join us by contacting Governor Christie and your local representatives in the state Senate and Assembly and share your story of how Thomas Edison State College changed your life and how the merger will take away opportunities for adult learners that were so critical to you. You also have the option of using a prepared message.

Ideally, we would like you to call and e-mail the governor and your local representatives and share your personal story of how Thomas Edison State College impacted your life. 

Write to the governor and your assembly members

Monday, March 29, 2010

Next Library Board of Trustees Meeting Set for 7 April 2010

According to the Matawan Borough calendar, the next scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Matawan-Aberdeen Public Library will be held at the library at 7:30 pm on Wed 7 April 2010.

Note that the library will be closed on Easter Sunday. (The library's webmaster should update the site for Sunday holidays. In particular, the site should say that the library is open on Palm Sunday but closed on Easter.)

School Board Eliminating MAMS and MRHS School Librarians

As part of the current effort to dismantle education and culture in New Jersey, MARSD announced Monday that they will no longer provide librarians for our middle and high schools. Connie S Paul, Executive Director of the Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative, wrote this weekend to urge Dr O'Malley to reconsider, pointing out a recent Forbes magazine article that stresses the importance of librarians to education. I guess there will be another opening on the library's board of trustees if this decision is not reversed.

The Asbury Park Press has taken Christie's side, based on the editors interview published in Sunday's Press. Their questions were softballs meant to highlight his agenda. Some of the questions were tinged with negative images of teachers, public workers, and their unions. I guess the paper decided to side with the slash and burn taxpayer revolt. Notice that in this interview, all of the things Christie wants to accomplish are tax cuts. There's truly no substance here, just the promise of some loose change in your pocket.

Maybe I'm cynical, but don't you think it is more than coincidence that Christie's doomsday budget cuts are precisely the amount needed from teachers to make this nightmare go away? Even more, did you notice that Christie wants $750 in givebacks from each teacher, the same amount he says teachers pay annually in union dues? What's with his persecution of labor anyway?

2010 Keansburg St Patrick's Day Parade

Keansburg had its annual St Patrick's Day Parade this weekend. Here's a few shots I obtained from volunteers with the American Red Cross, who told me they felt warmly welcomed by the crowd.

A Walk Around Treasure Lake - 27 March 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Major General Charles Lee and the Battle of Monmouth

I don't know about you, but I'm always caught offguard by the after the fact news coverage of the annual re-enactment of the Battle of Monmouth  Well, maybe this year will be different. I've got about a three month head start on this year's festivities. The 232nd Anniversary Commemoration will take place at Monmouth Battlefield State Park on 19-20 June 2010, each day from 10 am to 5 pm. We'll all have to check back at the battlefield website, which promises further details as the event get closer.

In the meantime, what does the Matawan Aberdeen Public Library have for us about the battle? A nice summary of the battle, which took place on 28 June 1778, is the locally published The Battle of Monmouth by Samuel Stelle Smith (Monmouth Beach: Philip Freneau Press, 1964) (974.946 Sm). A more detailed read is also called The Battle of Monmouth, but was written by William S Stryker (Port Washington: Kennikat Press, 1927, reissued 1970) (974.946 St). A pamphlet based on Smith's work is available in pdf format online from the NJ State Library (until it loses its website, that is). There are also plenty of websites that provide useful information about the battle, including History of War, My Revolutionary War, and British Battles.

Besides the fact that the heat killed about as many men and horses as gunfire and bayonettes, the most interesting aspect of the battle seems to have been the questionable actions of Major General Charles Lee. Some think that Lee might have turned to the British side while being held prisoner just before this battle. Others think he disagreed with Washington about attacking the British and did his best to prove his point about the folly of the orders he was given. Yet others thought he was offended at being told to serve under Lafayette, who was only a lad when named a General in the Continental Army. Embittered by his court marshall, Lee died about two years later at age 50.

Along with the citations in Smith (especially pp 24-26), you will want to read George Washington's letter to his brother Jack dated 4 July 1778 included in New Jersey in the American Revolution, 1763 - 1783: A Documentary History, edited by Larry R Gerlach (Trenton: NJ Historical Commission) (974.903), pp 306 - 08. There is also an interesting section in New Jersey and the Revolutionary War, by Alfred Hoyt Bill (Princeton: D Van Nostrand Co, 1964) (974.9 Bi), pp 78-84.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Home Mortgage Troubles? Feds Offer Revised Programs

If you are running into trouble paying your mortgage, the federal government is revising its mortgage assistance program. Check out this page about eligibility. Good Morning America Weekend had a nice summary of the program's new offerings on their broadcast on Saturday. The GMA website has a video of that story (Government 's Mortgage Rescue Plan). It's available at the moment but who knows how long it will be there.

Friday, March 26, 2010

African Americans in the Matawan Journal - 29 March 1935

Below is the second in my occasional series on African Americans mentioned in old articles in the Matawan Journal. My procedure is to publish the first article I find mentioning African Americans in a Matawan Journal dated 50, 75, or 100 years ago.

I'll let you decide whether this article about a performance in nearby Laurence Harbor by an all-colored cast of colored performers from the Second Baptist Church of Matawan, published in a Journal article written 75 years ago this week, leaves you with a more positive or negative impression.

Laurence Harbor P. - T. A. To Sponsor Performance

An entertainment will be held at the Laurence Harbor school tonight under the auspices of the Parent-Teacher Association group of the school. It will consist of a musical demonstration of negro dialect and spiritual songs rendered by an all-colored cast of colored performers under the direction of the Rev. William J. Hutchinscn, pastor, of the Second Baptist Church of Matawan. The Rev. Mr. Hutchinson is also a member of the local P.-T. A.

Proceeds realized on the affair will be turned over to the local school to pay for reference books recently purchased for the use of the children.

Source: The Matawan Journal, 29 March 1935, p. 9 col. 4.

News Updates as of 26 March 2010

  • Men from Cliffwood Beach and Keyport were arrested in Keansburg for fighting in the street, according to APP. The news article doesn't provide the date of the incident.
  • Matawan's police chief, who is under administrative review by the county prosecutor's office, has been granted a paid leave of absence, per The Independent.
  • Huskies Girls Basketball's Alyssa Johnson was chosen for the North team in the Shore Coaches Senior All Star Games held on 24 March at Freehold Township High School, according to The News Transcript.
  • Danny Avella, of Matawan, is a freshman infielder for Monmouth University's Hawks baseball team, according to Atlanticville. Avella attended CBA. Coaches from the Northeast Conference expect the Hawks, who lost some key talent from last year's championship team, to come in second place this year to rival Wagner.
  • Two southbound lanes of Garden State Parkway near Exit 120 were closed Wednesday after debris fell onto cars from an overpass that morning, per MyCentralJersey.
  • A Middletown man caught stripers weighing 18 lbs and 17.5 lbs off Cliffwood Beach last Monday, per NJ.com's Jersey Shore Fishing.
Let me take this opportunity to say that I review the comments received by this blog for appropriateness and post nearly all of them, whether or not I agree with the sentiments expressed. The occasional comment crosses the line, however, and I reject it. For example, I received an anonymous comment today disagreeing with my concerns about the school budget cuts, including the removal of teachers and outsourcing of janitors. I have a fairly thick skin and expect some back and forth on the issues. But this person added a list of selected teachers and administrators and their salaries and suggested  that these individuals were undeserving of their pay and should be let go, etc, etc. I'm not going to post that sort of thing. For those few who push the limits, keep in mind that I cannot edit your comments, nor do I want to, so it is your obligation to maintain adequate decorum if you wish your comments to be published.

Senior Trip to Renault Winery and AC - 20 May 2010

Aberdeen Township is organizing a senior trip on Thursday 20 May 2010. The trip will include a tour of the Renault Winery in Egg Harbor City, followed by a visit to Atlantic City. Buses depart at 8:45 am from the A&P shopping center in Cliffwood and 9:00 am from Temple Shalom at Ayrmont Lane & Church Street in Strathmore. Buses return to Aberdeen approximately 8:30 pm.

Cost for resident seniors age 55+ is $21. If space is available after 14 April, non-resident seniors ($26) may sign up.

Maybe someone can clarify what the township means by "casino & package not available at this time."

State Aid Cuts to Libraries Yield Little but Harm to Cherished Institutions

I Love NJ Libraries says that Governor Christie's budget proposal would cut $10.4 million (74%) in state aid to our public libraries in New Jersey and cause a loss of $4.5 million in federal matching funds. The cuts would cause more than half of public libraries to lose access to the Internet and many would lose their websites and email services. Public library customers would lose access to EBSCOHOST and other useful electronic databases and web services, which are currently subscribed to at a significant group discount by your local library.

According to NJ Today, 250 libraries that receive their Internet service through the state library would have to figure something else out, and the 100 or so libraries whose email services funnel through the state system would also be out of luck. New Jersey's inter-library loan system, a valuable service that allows patrons to borrow books from other libraries in the state, would be shut down in June. The most devastating effect of the cuts would be the loss of electronic databases, which are often used by students to help with their homework. They might not use these services at the library, but you can be sure they avail themselves of them from their computers at home and at school. Ask them. To add insult to injury, state-mandated continuing education for librarians will no longer be funded.

Library Journal points out that New Jersey is not alone in this struggle to keep library services viable. Politicians are attempting the elimination of state aid to libraries in Florida, even though such aid has already been slashed by a third since 2001. The Public Library of Charlotte and Mechlenburg County (North Carolina) is bracing for over 50% less funding from the county, which provides 92% of library operating moneies. With plans to cut $17 million out of the current $31 million library budget, the PLCMC system is looking at 140 employee layoffs and the closing of 12 of its 24 locations.

NJ Knowledge Initiative, which provides many online services to NJ public libraries, is on the chopping block. As of the end of June, you will lose access to the following services:
  • ReferenceUSA:  Detailed information on more than 14 million U.S. businesses, 210 million U.S. residents, 855,000 U.S. health care providers, 1.5 million Canadian businesses, and 12 million Canadian households. More than three million customers world wide use their products and services for direct marketing, telemarketing, market research, sales lead generation, sales planning, customer analysis and credit decisions. Latest update includes connecting to families and businesses that have recently moved to your town. More than 300,000 movers are updated each week. 
  • Business Source® Premier: This is the industry's most used business research database, providing the full text for more than 2,300 journals. Business Source Premier provides full text back to 1965, and searchable cited references back as far as 1998. Journal ranking studies reveal that Business Source Premier is superior to the competition in full text coverage in all disciplines of business, including marketing, management, MIS, POM, accounting, finance and economics. Additional full text, non-journal content includes market research reports, industry reports, country reports, company profiles and SWOT analyses. 
  • Regional Business News™ is a supplemental database for customers of Business Source Premier. With daily updates, Regional Business News provides comprehensive full text for regional business publications (including titles from Crain Communications). Regional Business News has full text for more than 50 sources.
  • Academic Search Premier: Perfect for homework, business and technical research and general use, Academic Search Premier contains unmatched full-text coverage in biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, psychology, religion & theology, etc., as well as a broad selection of popular periodicals covering current events and general interest.
The NJ state budget is not the only library funding at risk at the moment, either. NJ Assembly Bill A-2555 amends the wording of  R.S. 40:54-8 to eliminate the current funding formula and leave the funding of our libraries to the discretion of local municipalities. The bill would even remove the authority of our library's board of trustees by striking the words "or appropriate board" from the current wording. You would have thought that stealing local public library surpluses through the introduction of A-1265 in January 2008 would have sated them for at least a little while!

Like I have said before, this is only the beginning. Please support your local public library, your local public school teachers, and speak up against cuts to public transportation subsidies.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Christie Hosts Tea Party While Squeezing Throats of Our Public Schools/Teachers

I'm not sure which of the current grim news articles on the NJ education budget debate to highlight for you today. You probably need to see The Independent's latest coverage of our area school districts' budget cuts. The rest is just too depressing.

The big news today: Our Governor has tossed an $819 million grenade in our public schools and is now asking our teachers to lie on it to save our wallets. He's liking this too much, don't you think?

The Associated Press says Jeff Henig, a professor of political science at Columbia University, thinks Christie may be just taking advantage of bad times to reduce the size of government. "All governors have to make cuts these days. Some portray this as a painful necessity, and others seem to do it with a certain element of enthusiasm, pleased to use the economic crunch as an opportunity to take steps they wanted to do all along."

As bad as things are, don't be fooled into thinking the harsh measures he is imposing will sate his appetite. Ultimately, our new governor is out to slash and burn, cutting programs that make us a civilized society. This is only the beginning of woes.

If you catch yourself thinking that Christie is just a regular guy trying to fix a bad situation and not a ruthless politician, just remember what the conservative talk show host extraordinaire Rush Limbaugh said about him recently. "Is it wrong to love another man? Because I love Chris Christie." Now that's an endorsement worth noting.

Shout It Out for Your Library!

Famous New Yorkers talk about the importance of free public libraries in their lives.

Memory Book Being Assembled for Susan Pike

Those wishing to contribute a note, picture, or letter of appreciation or personal memories on Susan Pike's retirement may drop them off at the circulation desk at the library in an envelope marked Attn: Laura Beyer.

News Updates as of 24 March 2010

  • A Cliffwood Beach contractor is handling road construction project at Route 12 and Main Street in Flemington, per NJ.com.
  • Fishing at Cliffwood Beach is discussed at NJ Saltwater Fisherman.
  • Which is the real Cliffwood Beach? is the current topic of discussion at Facebook. You may wish to join the Cliffwood and Cliffwood Beach group, which has over 1,300 members and is quite active.
  • I've learned that the Matawan-Aberdeen Public Library is preparing for a new director. The special board meeting was postponed because Susan resigned. Truly a sad state of affairs.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lone Adventurer

I noticed this solitary sailor on Raritan Bay off Cliffwood Beach on Sunday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

African Americans in the Matawan Journal - 24 March 1910

In reviewing the index to the Matawan Journal, I found little reference to African Americans. This prompted me to begin looking page by page at selected editions to see how African Americans were portrayed in the local paper. Unfortunately, I have found a recurring theme of arrest and otherwise ill caricature. To give my readers the gist of what I've seen, occasionally I will publish the first article I come across that mentions an African American in an issue published 50, 75, or 100 years ago that week.

Below is the first in this series, from the Matawan Journal edition published one hundred years ago this week. In it, a drunken black man is tossed in jail for touching the shoulder of a white woman.

Negro Attacks Red Bank Woman

Henry Mills, a Red Bank colored man, who has been employed by Van Dorn & Kirby, the automobile men in East Front Street, Red Bank, was taken to the County Jail at Freehold Tuesday for assault on Mrs. Ida Bray, wife of James Bray, Sr., of Wallace Street, Red Bank, Monday night. Mrs. Bray was walking along Mount Street when she was accosted by Mills, who placed his hand on her shoulder. She gave a scream and ran down the street to her son's home and told of the occurrence. Mills was given a hearing Tuesday morning before Justice Sickles. Miss Mattie Williams, of Red Bank, was standing on Mount Street at the time of the affair, and she also identified Mills as the offender. Justice Sickles fined Mills $30, with the alternative of ninety days in jail for being drunk and disorderly, and on the assault charge held him under $500 bail to await the action of the Grand Jury.

The Matawan Journal, 24 March 1910 Page 2, Column 4

8th Annual Garden State Film Festival Begins Friday

The Asbury Park Press is once again sponsoring the annual Garden State Film Festival at the Paramount Theatre and other venues in Asbury Park. Check the festival website for a list of films and when they are playing, schedules of panel discussions, special events, a list of 2010 honorees, and additional attractions.  There will be a chance to meet the film makers hosted by the Arts Coalition of Asbury Park. Be sure to look for discounts and special offers related to the festival. The site even offers Festival 101, for those who are unfamiliar with film festivals or need a reminder of how they work. Get your tickets because they are going fast.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sand Dune Sheered Away By Winds and Surf at Cliffwood Beach

I went on my routine walk today along the bayshore at Cliffwood Beach and suddenly realized the full extent of the damage to the dunes.

I usually walk on a dirt road that goes from a metal gate along Greenwood Avenue to the dunes near the waterfront. My late dog Eliot would always be anxious to climb over the sandy hill to see who might be on the beach beyond. We were always careful to walk along a designated path across the dune to avoid the dune grass and the snow fence mounted along the crest of the dune to keep it from blowing away.

On my walk today, I could see the Raritan Bay from the path through the woods, a view that used to be obstructed by a large sand dune not two weeks ago.

Looking toward the seawall you can see that the dune is pretty much gone.

Someone has made a vain attempt to restore the dune by placing a small mound of sand in the vast emptiness, but many, many truckloads of sand are gone. Much more needs to be done.

You get a sense of the loss of sand by looking at the cutaways across the bottom third of this view. You are looking west towards the park and Lakeshore Drive. Notice the telephone poles that follow the turn in Lakeshore Drive in the distance. This view would have been of a long dune running parallel to the poles going west. All that material has blown away.

This bunch of small trees held part of the dune. Notice the cutaway, which looks to be nearly two feet tall.

Here's another view.

This is a view from the western edge of the seawall looking towards the Bayview Presbyterian Church on nearby West Concourse. Again you can see the cutaway sand from what used to be a walker's passageway across the dune. That was actually the low point in the dune. It looks to be absent two feet of sand sheered away by the winds and surf.

All that is left is a rocky shore.

Hudson Trail Hike to Begin in Matawan Next Saturday

Meetup is organizing a Make Fitness Fun hike along the Henry Hudson Trail this coming Saturday 27 March 2010 at 9:30 am. The rally point will be at the corner of Broad Street and Church Street in Matawan. "We will be walking south at a 3.0-3.5 mph pace for 1.5 hours."

Health Care Bill Shenanigans Focus of NYT Opinion Piece

Here's an interesting opinion piece on health care bill shenanigans from the supposedly liberal New York Times. Too bad Obama has to rely on Congress to enact his ideas. What a cesspool.

President of Thomas Edison State College Details School's Opposition to Proposed Merger into Rutgers U

The message below is adapted from an email I received from Dr. George A. Pruitt, President, Thomas Edison State College.

Thomas Edison State College is aware that New Jersey is in the midst of the worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression and understands the sacrifice that is required of us, but we do not believe the public interest is served by the enacting of the proposal announced this week to merge our College into Rutgers. We firmly believe that this plan, which was not initiated by either institution, would destroy the mission of our College, deny educational opportunities to thousands of adult students, increase the cost of education and in no way enhance the economic development of our region.

We oppose the proposal for the following reasons:

It Threatens an Important Mission
Thomas Edison State College's distinctive mission can survive only in an autonomous, specialized institution. The College was created in 1972 because prominent educational leaders recommended, and state policy makers understood, that adult students could not be fully accommodated in the colleges and universities that were created to serve 18-22 year olds. This unique purpose was reinforced in the mid 1980s when, under the leadership of Governor Kean, specific funding was provided for Thomas Edison State College that enabled it to become a national leader in developing and providing flexible, high-quality, collegiate learning opportunities for self-directed adults through technology.

It Denies Access
Most of our alumni would not have been able to earn their degrees within the framework of Rutgers' current academic policy. Rutgers limits the number of credits that can be transferred from other institutions. Rutgers limits the number of credits that can be earned through testing and prior learning assessment. Rutgers limits the number of credits that can be earned from military and corporate training. Rutgers has very few programs tailored for adults and very limited experience in delivering online education for adult students. Rutgers operates on a traditional academic calendar (two semesters and summer sessions). Thomas Edison State College begins a new semester each month, enabling students to begin when they are ready and finish when they complete their degree requirements.

It Reduces Affordability
The current annual in-state tuition and fees at Rutgers total $11,874. At Thomas Edison State College, the current in-state comprehensive tuition and fees total $4,815. The current annual out-of-state tuition and fees at Rutgers total $20,456. At Thomas Edison State College, the current out-of-state comprehensive tuition and fees total $6,840. Thomas Edison State College is currently New Jersey's most affordable senior institution of higher education for New Jersey residents.

It Increases State Costs
Thomas Edison State College receives the fewest state appropriation dollars of any senior public institution of higher education; yet, with more than 18,000 students, we are the state's third largest college or university. Our current state appropriation is only $5.3 million. The College is supported mainly through student tuition and fees, which account for approximately 80 percent of its revenues. Our tuition and fees are the lowest in the state among all senior public institutions.

It Impacts the Economic Development of Trenton
The rationale behind the proposed merger is that by combining Thomas Edison State College, the New Jersey State Library and the New Jersey State Museum into a Rutgers campus in Trenton, economic development would be stimulated in our state capital. First, no state funding is being provided to support this initiative. Second, the New Jersey State Library is already a well-managed affiliate of Thomas Edison State College. Third, if the proposal is approved, there would still be a college, a library and a museum in Trenton. Fourth, students that require a traditional classroom experience in Trenton already have access to The College of New Jersey, Rider University, and Mercer County Community College. Fifth, Thomas Edison State College is already involved in important economic development work in the city of Trenton. Finally, both Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer and Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes have expressed opposition to this proposal and have said it is not in the best interests of the city and county.

Red Cross Disaster Relief Needs Your Continued Support

The Disaster Team at the American Red Cross Jersey Coast Chapter has been very busy this past quarter helping victims within our region and throughout the state. The chapter could use some donations to replenish its supplies and to continue to fund its various disaster programs. Check out some of what the chapter has been doing lately:

The chapter is delivering hundreds of clean up kits this afternoon to storm victims in Bound Brook, where the Red Cross has been sheltering victims for about a week.

The chapter provided temporary housing for flood victims rescued by boat from their apartment development along Beers Street in Keyport last week. Be sure to thank the Holiday Inn in Hazlet for their support of Red Cross disaster assistance. They not only provide discounted temp housing through an arrangement with the Red Cross, their staff are ultimately patient and cooperative when disaster victims need community support the most.

The chapter set up a shelter yesterday in Waretown after brush fires in Barnegat forced evacuations.

The chapter provided disaster relief at the Ocean Grove fire a little over a week ago. The Red Cross provides aid to rescue workers as well as victims.

The chapter sent a volunteer to Strathmore Elementary School in Aberdeen to accept a large donation from the students, who conducted a Relay-a-thon fund raiser for the American Red Cross's Haitian Earthquake Relief Fund. The presentation of the check was covered by News 12 New Jersey.

The chapter delivered cots and supplies and helped run several shelters in and near Cape May in response to a disabling snow storm in early February that forced local residents from their private homes and senior centers. Disaster relief involved some volunteers traveling in a blinding snow storm through drifting snow in Red Cross vehicles specially equipped to the task, while others manned a command center 24/7 in Tinton Falls to help coordinate the relief effort.

Volunteers and paid staff meet regularly to coordinate disaster services and plan for future needs. The chapter is designated a regional center because it maintains such a large warehouse of disaster relief supplies. As such, it has forklifts, trucks, disaster relief vehicles, etc. All of these disaster services are delivered at the lowest possible cost, but contributions are still required to maintain the chapter's disaster readiness. Please keep your local chapter of the American Red Cross in mind when considering your benevolent giving.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

MRHS Artists Participate in 2010 Teen Arts Festival

One or more Matawan Regional High School art students have work on display at the Teen Arts Festival at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, according to Atlanticville. The "Figures of Speech" art exhibition is sponsored by the Monmouth County Arts Council (MCAC) and will be on display through 26 March in the CVA Gallery on campus. For more information, see also Red Bank Green's coverage.

It is hard to find Art at the MRHS website using the pulldown menus. I found no Art Club in the high school, and there is no guide to classes by subject matter, so I finally used the Google tool. After considerable searching, I landed on Mrs Barnes' Art Classes web page. It doesn't mention the art festival, only things from last year and the year before. Maybe another art teacher is handling the school's participation in the festival?

It would be great to have a topical directory to classes at the website, much like the activities directory. If there is such a guide, I missed it, so someone let me know where it is.

APP Car Chase Story Misses A Few Points

An APP story tells the story of a traffic stop turned three-town car chase. Unfortunately, the reader is led to believe that the route is being fully detailed, but that is not the case.

I can find the residential neighborhood street in Marlboro where the whole thing started, but the trail quickly turns cold as a major section of roadway and a couple of side roads are left out of the tale. I presume the driver took a local road to Falson Lane and then got onto Texas Road, which briefly becomes Wilson Avenue. The driver would have jigged right on Route 79 and turned left onto Mill Road. At Route 34 the driver would have turned left to head through Matawan past the Buttonwood Manor. Unlike the story in the paper, the driver would have had to travel a couple more miles, not "just beyond" the restaurant, to get to Old Bridge Township, where the vehicle was stopped.

I'm not suggesting that the full routing was necessary in this minor article, but more careful wording could have made it clear that sections of roadway were being skipped over. As for how far it is to Old Bridge from the Buttonwood Manor, again careful wording can mitigate such errors.

MAMS News Update - March 2010

Coach Macomber's boys basketball team at Matawan Aberdeen Middle School has won the Purple Division title at the Run for the Roses Grammar School Invitational Basketball Tournament for the second year in a row, according to APP. Kashaun Barnes was named MVP of the tournament and Jason Dunne and Joe Piscopo received All-tournament Team, according to the MAMS website. The tournament has been sponsored by the St Rose High School Athletic Club in Belmar since 1979.

MAMS took second place among 18 middle schools vying in the New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania Regional Competition of the Middle School Science Bowl Competition, according to the MAMS website. The MAMS Science Bowl team consisted of 4 eighth grade students: Arsch Raince, Eric Ni, Anthony Nesbit, and Tim Makalino, and one 6th grade student, Aakansha Kumar. The event was held at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in Plainsboro on 27 February and 5 March, according to PPPL. Organizers  describe the event as follows: During the Jeopardy-like tournament in which all the categories are disciplines of science, competing teams will be quizzed on biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, earth science, general science, and mathematics. Each team is made up of four students, a student alternate, and a teacher who serves as an adviser and coach.

MAMS science teacher Patricia Hillyer, who took the Science Bowl  team to the above competition, has been selected to participate in the Academies Creating Teacher Scientists (ACTS) program at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, according to the MAMS website.

2010 Keyport St Patrick's Day Parade Pictures - 4

2010 Keyport St Patrick's Day Parade Pictures - 3

2010 Keyport St Patrick's Day Parade Pictures - 2