A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Turtle Tales

My neighbor is always asking me if I've seen any turtles in the backyard. We live on Treasure Lake in Cliffwood Beach and have a lot of turtles back there. They sit and sun themselves on fallen trees and along the shore. I've not noticed any underfoot and haven't been trudging through the lake lately to note their presence back there. I saw a red-headed woodpecker nesting in our tree, and I heard a belted kingfisher, but just didn't notice any turtles.

Now and then we get large snapping turtles wandering the neighborhood looking to lay eggs. They definitely don't want to be messed with. They'll rear up repeatedly and hiss at you. They have a very long neck, able to reach 2/3rds the length of their shell, so be very careful around them.

Once I came upon a roughly 20 lb snapper sitting in the middle of the road at the corner of West Concourse and Brookside Drive. I got out of the car and tried to scare her out of the road, but the beast reared up and scared ME off. (As for my previous qualifications for turtle wrangling: Once in Monterey, California, I succeeded in chasing a huge, flat sea turtle back into the water from a small bridge in El Estero Park. The turtle must have weighed well over a hundred pounds.) Truth be told, I was no match for a Jersey snapping turtle.

With all of the sad videos I've been seeing lately showing marine life suffering the ill effects of oil in the Gulf, I thought I'd look for something about our local turtles. I found this high quality You Tube video of someone's April 2010 turtle spotting expedition in New Jersey. The video includes the capture and release of ten turtles in five varieties.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jakeabob's Acquires Permits, Contractor; Promises to "Be Back Soon"

I took a drive to Union Beach tonight to see what the story is with Jakeabob's Bay, which was seriously damaged in a March 2010 storm. There's a Corona beer banner out front saying We will be back soon! By the door there is a sign for Artisan Home Improvements. Out front on the road is a dump truck belonging to Artisan Construction of Laurence Harbor. In the window there are construction permits dated 18 May 2010 and 8 June 2010 for dining room and deck repairs and suppression system replacement. There is also a dumpster/container permit dated 17 May 2010. The restaurant looks untouched so far but the owner's intentions are clear. I wouldn't expect the restaurant to be re-opening before Labor Day, but maybe before Thanksgiving?

Maybe The Independent or APP could do a story? Or the owner or friends could comment in this space or write the author? There is considerable interest in the region but there's been no reporting to date that I can find.

NJT Trains Running Late

NJT Trains Running Late this morning. The barrage of public announcements on the sta platform at Aberdeen is nearly unbearable.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Allybank Tells Us Through a Child's Eyes

I absolutely love this commercial!

Move Over Law -- Do You Know What To Do?

I was driving by the Aberdeen firehouse on Lloyd Road at Church Street when I noticed their sign had a message about a MOVE OVER LAW that I should know about. I had never heard of it, so I came home and did a bit of research.

Lots of police officers, rescue workers, and tow truck operators are injured or killed at America's roadsides by drivers who aren't paying attention to the situation ahead of them. Nearly every state in the Union has now passed a Move Over Law, which requires you to change lanes or slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle at the side of the road.

The State of New Jersey's Division of Highway Traffic Safety and Move Over America each have information on the law, including the public service announcement below:

Samaha's Country Farm Market - My First Visit This Year

I made my first trip this year to Samaha's today.  They are featuring their own green beans and squash. Their corn will be ready in about a week-- one of the owners said it's a very early crop this year. In the meantime, they are bringing in a large supply of corn, peaches, and tomatoes from other New Jersey farms, plus lots of other great stuff. Check them out for bedding plants, too. Their farm's on Lloyd Road just south of Garden State Parkway Exit 117A. They're open daily from 8 am to 6 pm throughout the summer. They'll have limited hours after Labor Day until Halloween.

MAPL Update - 27 June 2010

  • Summer hours begin next week. The Matawan Aberdeen Public Library (MAPL) will operate on Saturdays from 9 am to 12:30 pm beginning 3 July. Other hours remain the same.
  • The MAPL Summer Reading Program has begun. If you've not registered yet, do so. You'll get a free tote bag and can enter to win weekly prizes whenever you return a book.
  • The library will be closed for the Fourth of July holiday (Sunday) and on 5 July (Monday).
  • Friends of MAPL have launched a membership drive. If you didn't receive an application form in your new tote, you can pick one up at the checkout desk. Be sure to fill it out and turn it in.
  • Friends of MAPL are hosting the ongoing book sale across from the checkout desk. Hardcover books are only a dollar; paperbacks and children's books are only 50 cents. There are even some audio books and videos for sale. A flood of used books and recordings are arriving daily, so save a bundle during these difficult times by checking the Friends of MAPL Sale first for your media needs. (Book donations are currently solicited. Drop them off in front of the reference desk.)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Little Twist & Shout at the Old Bay

The Hey Bulldog Band, a Beatles cover band, played recently at the Old Bay in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Looks like crowd and band alike had a great time. Check the band's YouTube channel for other videos of Hey Bulldog playing live gigs. And keep an eye on the New Brunswick Rocks website for upcoming events in that rockin' town. They have some sort of VIP club you might even want to join.

Branch Libraries Winnowed to Trim Regional Budgets; Local Library Friends Organize

When push comes to shove, county branch libraries are closed unless the towns contribute cash. Look at what is going on around Charlotte, North Carolina, for example. Here's another Charlotte story: "Time to Say Goodbye: Carmel Branch Closes Its Doors." And another story. In Boston, the city is granting local municipalities a short grace period while the towns decide how else to use the buildings that house libraries being closed next year.

MAPL is not the only library gaining Friends of the Library groups in these troubled times. A library group in California is incorporating to protect its library and advocate for its interests.

MAPL Trustees Schedule Special Meeting; Building Fund Reserves and Library Itself on the Block

I just received this notice for a special meeting of the library trustees on Wednesday 30 June at 7:30 pm. All the hot button issues (except the elevator) will be discussed.


In accordance with the Open Public Meetings Law (N.J. S. A. 10:4-6), the Matawan Aberdeen Public Library Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, June 30 2010 at 7:30 p.m. in the Aberdeen Town Hall, 1 Aberdeen Square, Aberdeen NJ 07747.

Return of monies from the library’s reserve accounts to the municipalities, meeting with the Monmouth County Library System, the status of the search for the new library director and personnel issues will be discussed. Action may be taken.

Note that the meeting is scheduled to be held at Aberdeen Town Hall, not in the library basement. This municipal venue favors the elected officials on the board, in my opinion. And since they are the ones who want to apply the "dormant" monies in the library's building fund to other purposes and then give over the library to the county and be done with it, maybe the venue for Wednesday's meeting should be challenged by members of the board who support the current library development plan? Since the board couldn't meet without public notice, how was this alternate venue approved? Presumably Greg Cannon, Township Councilman, offered the location because a County Freeholder is expected to attend, but what was the process under which his offer was accepted? The notice of meeting is adequate, but I don't see how the change in location could be decided outside of a public meeting of the members.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Maloney's Pub Offers Beer Dinners, Tastings, 60+ Taps

Maloney's Pub & Grill in downtown Matawan is trying to become the regional champion of draught beers. I heard yesterday that they have 70 beer taps and are aiming for 92. A posting at  Chowhound yesterday suggested that Maloney's has at least 60 beers on tap. They have beer dinners and tastings, according to my daughter and comments at Pubcrawler and Yelp.

Given all this, you'd think Maloney's promotional posture would be just as remarkable, but it isn't. The website has a nice framework but lacks content. The beer lists are  blank pages and there are no online promos for the beer tastings and dinners. If this place wants to be big with the beer aficionados, how can I visit Beer Advocate and find no listings for Maloney's beer events on their calendar? One would hope that the website is under construction and will soon be ready for primetime, but it could just as easily languish because adding content turned out to be too much work.

Bravo for trying to bring the beer crowd to Matawan. Just be sure to invest adequately in advertising and web presence as well as in taps.

Karma and A Good Upbringing

I try to stay positive, but sometimes events take me to a dark place. I'm still down after the unthinkable happened last weekend. So who stole my grass seed from the driveway? Yeah, I know. I can't believe it either. So horrible. A sign of the end times.

Today the cashier at Dunkin Donuts gave me $17.12 change of my $20 bill for a $4.88 coffee and snack. When I gave her the $2.00 back, a businessman nearby said, "Well, you don't see that anymore." I told him I was only concerned about bad karma. Actually, I'm rooting for the abovementioned travesty of justice to catch up with a certain grass seed thief.

In the meantime, I'm on the lookout for an unreasonably lush lawn among the neighbors.
Emily Grove At Keyport Twilight Series Tonite

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

4-Story Development Would Cast Shadow on Downtown Matawan, Residents Say

Three years ago, an out-of-town developer bought the old Foodtown building on Main Street between Little Street and Maiden Lane from another out-of-towner for $1.5 million. According to APP, Emlenrich LLC has big plans for that section of the borough, including three floors of condos over ground level retail space. A couple of simple Google searches give one the impression that Emlenrich LLC was formed specifically for this project and has no other presence in the property development industry. The biggest clue is that all online references to the company for the past three years involve this one project.

As for the principal developer, I found a Ricardo Hernandez in a NJIT brochure who could be a match. Don't you just love land development in New Jersey? The guy in the brochure is described as follows:

Ricardo Hernandez is a Real Estate Analyst, Developer, Project Manager, and Architect with expertise evaluating potential acquisitions and developments through financial modeling, and market research. Mr. Hernandez has an Architecture degree from Simon Bolivar University (Caracas, Venezuela) and a Master of Science degree from Columbia University (New York, NY). Advance courses from MIT Center for Real Estate (Boston, MA) and Urban Land Institute (Washington, DC).

The project has not been presented to the Borough because the paperwork wasn't in order for a June Planning Board meeting, so it will likely be presented in August. Residents don't seem to be pleased with the project, based on APP interviews.

Below is an aerial view of the land in question. Check out the APP article for an artist's rendering of the proposed project.

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Getting to the Heart of the Matter

The Independent writes today about the new Goodwill Industries store in Aberdeen. As I mentioned in this blog at the end of May, I'm not so excited about the signal it sends having a Goodwill store fronting the Cliffwood neighborhood. I agree it's better than having a vacant building, but a Goodwill store sets the tone for future development of the area. It affirms local beliefs that Cliffwood is for poor people.

What do Exit 117 and public transportation have to do with the corner of Route 35 and Cliffwood Avenue exactly? If Goodwill was seeking a convenient site for donations near Exit 117 and public transportation, it would have placed its store in Hazlet. No, I think demographics alone had everything to do with the placement of the store in Cliffwood. Just like demographics played a key role in placing hundreds of COAH housing units on County Road, which also happens to be in Cliffwood.

To be sure, the new Goodwill store will be in Cliffwood, not Cliffwood Beach. And not in the heart of either.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Signs of Comity

The Aberdeen Township Council is taking some small but welcome steps towards establishing a more collaborative relationship with local businesses, according to a township press release. For a start, a joint committee of government officials and business owners will look at township ordinances regarding commercial signage to see how the regulations might be revised to be more business-friendly. Another committee will seek ways for government and business to work together to promote Aberdeen Day and other events. There is much to do in this regard, so I hope the council is serious about this effort.

BTW: If you are wondering why the press release emphasized that Councilman Drapkin's business is outside of the town limits, you might want to ask a particular local tire salesman about why that sort of caveat was necessary. Local businessmen should be able to serve on the Council, not just work on its committees.

An Outing to Manhattan's East 7th Street

My daughter and her boyfriend invited me out after work last night. We met at McSorley's Old Ale House at 15 East 7th Street near Cooper Union in Manhattan. It's a really old pub -- established in 1854. They serve ale in  pairs of mugs and only in dark or light. The old pictures on the wall, sawdust on the floor, and dust thick on the overhead lights all give the place some interesting charm. We didn't stay long, though. We went down the street to Jimmy's No. 43, a bar in a brick cellar. Great atmosphere and an interesting collection of drafts and bottles. We had an appetizer of sausages and mustard that was quite tasty. The place isn't obvious to passersby -- down a set of steps with little signage -- but it seems to be popular with locals and those few tourists who discover it. Afterwards we went around the corner on Second Avenue to grab some Belgian fries at Pommes Frites. They fry fresh potatoes and put them into paper cones with accompanying sauces or cheeses. I had a Vietnamese sauce that was yummy.

The whole outing was on one block in Manhattan. I took the No 6 train to Astor Place and it was an easy walk to East 7th. Burp Castle is a bar on the same block that has a oddball theme you might find fun. I peeked in at my daughter's recommendation but it wasn't on our agenda. Another time.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Open Your Wallets for Football

APP published a news article today announcing the groundbreaking for the James C Dwyer, Sr Memorial Alumni Park at the Matawan Regional High School. I expressed my views on this memorial back in May, but the project already had an architect and a timeline and cute little bricks for donors to buy and put their names on, so any comments were moot at that point. It's called being on the fast track.

How long was this issue available for public discussion before the architects and planners were paid and municipal officials recruited for grand openings? This foregone conclusion of a park certainly took me by surprise and I watch local news pretty closely.

It is truly maddening that people are ready to open their wallets for football and not for the schools.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Aberdeen Zoning Waivers Sought for Tab Ramos Sports Center Parking

The agenda for this week's Aberdeen Township Zoning Board meeting includes new business involving an applicant's request for waivers to provide 103 parking spaces behind an 8 ft high fence for Tab Ramos Sports Center patrons. I'm sure the residents on and near Blair Street are excited to learn more about this, only the latest episode in an ugly story.

New Jersey Looking at Ways to Cut Existing State Pensions

The NY Times says Governor Christie's Administration is seeking ways to legally cut the pension benefits of current state retirees, not just future hires. The administration says such cuts are imperative to avoid a collapse of the state pension system in the next decade. But I'd say such cuts would fall neatly into Christie's reckless slash and burn policy aimed at saving taxpayer dollars at any cost. If you're a state pensioner, be mindful that the Tea Party is looking to reduce your check.

Gearing Up for Mission Matawan 2010

The time is fast approaching once again for the annual community service project known as Mission Matawan. Those who wish to volunteer to help the elderly and poor with small paint jobs, yard work, and minor repairs to their homes can come out to registration night this Wednesday 23 June 2010 at 7 pm at the First Presbyterian Church in Matawan. Those who show up for registration night will get a Mission Matawan 2010 iron-on applique for their shirt.

If you can't make it Wednesday, simply show up at the church at 8 am on one or more of the work days scheduled between Saturday 26 June and Saturday 3 July. Check out the bottom of the church's Mission Matawan page for various required volunteer registration forms and youth permission slips.

Donations to the program are also welcome. Make your tax deductible check payable to First Presbyterian Church and mail it to 883 State Highway 34, Matawan, NJ 07747.

Aberdeen Area Restaurants Update - June 2010

Here's my occasional update on local restaurants.
  • Yesterday's Restaurant on Route 35N in Hazlet was pretty much destroyed as the result of a fire in March. The place has now been gutted as they proceed to rebuild. I've never been a fan of the place.
  • Park Place Diner on Route 34 in Aberdeen finally has its new sign. I like the signage on the building better, frankly, but the old sign at the street definitely had to go.
  • Rita's Italian Ices on Route 34 in Matawan is closed. Our choices for ice cream and Italian ices now include Ice Cream Palace and Ralph's Italian Ices (Aberdeen Shopping Center, Route 34 in Aberdeen), K's Brain Freeze (near corner of Route 79 and Route 516 in Matawan), Little Scoops (Stop & Shop Center on Route 34, Aberdeen), Carvel (Route 34 in Aberdeen), and Friendly's (Route 35 in Hazlet).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bayshore Barrel Rolls

A fixed wing stunt plane pilot was practicing his/her aerial acrobatics for a couple of hours this morning over the Raritan Bay at Cliffwood Beach. The pilot is no doubt part of the Red Bull Air Race scheduled for this weekend at Liberty State Park in Jersey City. A live feed is available online and part of the race will be televised tomorrow. (Click the photo of the plane to see a video about the air race.)

Manning the Waterstop

The George Sheehan Classic was held this morning in Red Bank. One of the lesser known aspects of this footrace is the volunteer effort to man waterstops. For nearly fifteen years, my wife and daughter have been joining my wife's friends from the now-defunct Prudential Property and Casualty Company in Holmdel in providing water to runners on Hance Avenue at Waterstop 3. Some of her friends have been handing out water cups for 25 years, when the race was held in Asbury Park. More and more, the task is being adopted by the next generation. My daughter even brought her boyfriend along. A great time was had by all.

Matawan Police Chief Continues to Dangle in Wind

A personnel review process continues against the Matawan Police Chief, according to APP. The local press isn't exactly enlightening the public on what's happening in this case, choosing instead to dig into the Chief's EEO complaint against the Borough as if that has something to do with his current situation. The local and county governments are leaving the Chief to dangle in the wind while they decide what to do. In the meantime, the Chief is being stripped of his perquisites, one by one, suggesting to the public that the charges are something more than political drama. I'm sure these things take time, but leaving the public to speculate on the matter is a negative for the Chief. The borough and county should get on with it and the press should dig a little deeper.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Aberdeen Council Presses for Savings in School Administrative Salaries

The 18 May 2010 Aberdeen Council minutes are now available online. The main item on the agenda was the Council's nearly half million dollar cut to the MARSD annual budget in response to the voters' rejection of the proposed budget at the polls. The Council accepted Superintendent O'Malley's recommended cuts but added a $150,000 cut in administrative salaries to show their displeasure at what they saw as profligate spending by the Board on school district executives.

It is clear from the public comments portion of the minutes that neither MARSD nor the Council wrestled with the details, instead finding blocks of cuts they could live with and that would satisfy an angry public. When Mike Abend pointed out an incongruity in Social Security cost savings associated with recommended salary cuts, the township attorney explained that the Council wasn't privy to the details of its committee's work with the Superintendent on the budget overhaul. The Mayor explained that the Superintendent had presented numbers he made up and could live with. Councilman Greg Cannon pointed out that NJ Law requires a line by line accounting of the recommended cuts but the Council cannot compel MARSD to apply the cuts as designated. It will be interesting to see whether MARSD accepts the criticism of its heavy administrative salary load and cuts that portion of its spending this year. I certainly don't expect Mr O'Malley to reject his salary increase.

The Council turned down Beaver Place residents' request for immediate road repairs in their Cliffwood Beach community. The Mayor and Mr Cannon visited the location and agreed work was needed, but the $210,000 cost cannot be absorbed by the current budget. The work is already scheduled for 2012.

News reports suggested that the Council was extending the fishermen parking exception indefinitely at Cliffwood Beach, but the minutes say the exception will last only until 30 June, the end of the current fishing season.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

News Updates as of 16 June 2010

  • The Independent just published a picture of the seining event at Cliffwood Beach on 29 May.
  • Patricia Hillyer, science instructor at MAMS, has won a position in the prestigious Department of Energy ACT teacher mentoring program. The Independent says Mrs Hillyer will spend the next three summers at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory as part of her ACT award. You might recall from a March 2010 article in this blog that Mrs Hillyer took her science class to PPPL,where they took second place in a regional competition.
  • Matawan Borough Council recognized members of the Matawan PD for their efforts related to a major car accident on Route 34 at Peter's Fishery, per The Independent.
  • See a list of Rock n' Music Idol winners from the VFW's recent competition in CentralJersey.com.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Air and Gas Technologies to Build First LNG/CNG Fueling Station in East

Air & Gas Technologies of Cliffwood Beach is to join North Star LNG of Evanston, Wyoming in the construction of the first LNG and CNG fueling station east of the Mississippi, according to Waste Age. Enviro  Express of Bridgeport, Connecticut has contracted this project, which begins immediately and should be completed by October.

The US Dept of Energy has an Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center that allows you to search for local LNG fueling centers. I see no LNG fueling centers within 500 miles of Cliffwood Beach, something that Enviro Express apparently aims to fix.

Read more about AGT at CompanyDatabase.org

Samaha's Country Farm Market 2010

Samaha's Country Farm Market on Lloyd Road in Aberdeen is set to open on Wed 23 June 2010.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Freaks of the Colbert Nation

I'm still shaking my head at a remark Stephen Colbert made on his show last Thursday night. I'm not sure if his audience is hip, shell shocked, or racist. He was "moderating" a debate between Global Post writer Mark Starr and Washington Post commentator Mark Fisher. At one point, Fisher described World Cup soccer players as the greatest athletes in world. "They're not freaks of nature," Fisher comments, alluding to American basketball players as monstrously large in comparison to soccer players. Colbert asked him,"What IS a freak of nature?" to which Fisher responds,"Someone who's 7 feet 5 and 365 pounds." Colbert was mock outraged, saying, "FREAK OF NATURE??!" adding calmly," They prefer to be called African-Americans." This statement prompted a loud gasp from the audience and some laughter. Colbert pressed on, undaunted, accusing Starr of saying something offensive.

Colbert was evidently linking Fisher's remarks about freaks of nature and large African-American basketball players, but even the 9/11 Commission would have been hard pressed to expect anyone to connect those dots and find the joke. But I've been looking for discussion of this joke and have found hardly anything. Commenters to The No Fact Zone found Colbert had been totally in character and feared that his remark would be taken out of context. I thought it was a reach and inappropriate, especially when a viewer needs a AAA road map to find the joke. Why has there been no significant back and forth on what Colbert said?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Touch of Cliffwood at Firemen's Park

This colorful artwork appears on one of the dugouts at the Oak Shades ball field at Firemen's Park on Lloyd Road. Produced by students of Cliffwood Elementary School, the mural stresses the importance of community, nature, physical activity, reading, and relaxation.

MAMS and MRHS Librarians Restored?

According to a reliable source, the Matawan Aberdeen Regional School District will retain Jessica Emili as MAMS media specialist and hire a replacement for Kathleen Eovino, who is retiring at the end of this year. The tentative plan to have Ms Emili fill both roles part time was a non-starter. Sounds like incredibly good news.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Keyport Twilight Series - Saturday 12 June

Update: The Keyport Twilight Concert Series was held Saturday evening at 7 pm featuring Cat Cosentino, Emily Grove, and Anjelia & the Boy.

This free event was held in the mini-mall on West Front Street opposite Espresso Joe's and had over a hundred in attendance.

Check out the artists' My Space sites to hear and purchase their music. After the show, you might want to drop by McDonough's Bar just down the street.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Aberdeen Council to Hear Public Tuesday on Glassworks

Ten days ago, the Aberdeen Township Council introduced and unanimously passed Ordinance 14-2010 for first reading on a major redevelopment plan involving the Anchor Glass property on Cliffwood Avenue, according to a detailed article in The Independent. The Council will take up the ordinance for second reading next Tuesday, 15 June, at which time the public can offer input. Somerset Development has been the named redeveloper since September 2006. The plan sounds rather interesting, based on what I've read in the above article. What are the pros and cons of this plan?

Looking back at the 1 June Council meeting, I noticed Ordinance 84-2010, which pays Lucas Brothers of Morganville just under $225,000 to do something called the Route 35 Crossing Project. I've not read anything about this project and the ordinance provides no details. Can someone offer some details on this?

The 1 June agenda also included a couple of ordinances changing the wording of local affordable housing codes and land development ordinances. It would be nice if such ordinances included an interpretive statement, like public referendums have when they appear on a ballot.

Lake Matawan Photo

Lake Matawan in reflective repose

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Court Jester - 15th Anniversary Celebration

The Court Jester in Matawan is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary with 1995 prices in a special menu available from 6 to 13 June. They dropped their usual specials during this offer.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Keyport Twilight Series - Saturday 5 June

African Americans in the Matawan Journal - 14 June 1935

The Second Baptist Church of Matawan was to celebrate its 23rd anniversary from 24 to 30 June 1935 at its location on Orchard Street near Church Street, according to a Matawan Journal article published seventy five years ago. Preachers were to include the Reverend George Crawity, of Lakewood; the Reverend E T Carter, of South River; the Reverend W A Parham, of Freehold; the Reverend N S Hargrave, of Keyport; the Reverend W H Hebron, of Eatontown; and the Reverend Hall of Atlantic Highlands, who would deliver the anniversary address on the last day. The pastor of the church at the time was the Reverend W J Hutcheson. The clerk was Samuel J Harrison.

14 June 1935, page 2, column 1

News Updates as of 6 June 2010

  • Permission for fishermen to park along Lakeshore Drive during off hours has been extended, per The Independent.
  • Rock n Music Idol competition finals will be held at the VFW in Cliffwood Beach on Sunday 6 June 2010 at 5 pm, according to NJ.com. (The newspaper mistakenly labels the competition as being based in Old Bridge. It is actually being held in the Aberdeen portion of Cliffwood Beach.)
  • Serious NY Eats reviewed Shanghai Bun, a restaurant near the Aberdeen McDonald's on Route 34. Chowhound readers gave it absolutely awful reviews for several years, but the most recent postings suggest the place is under new management and the food is much better. Might be worth checking again if you've written them off.
  • The Independent has a photo of some MRHS students warming up for the 40th NJ State Teen Arts Festival, which was held at Monmouth University on 27 May. Local finalists included the MRHS Dance Team and Aime Serrano and Jessie Zygmaniak in Visual Arts. The MRHS spring musical Curtains was also competing. Bernadette Complido's work was selected for the NJEA calendar.
  • The local food pantry is to benefit from an interfaith effort in Aberdeen, per APP.
  • The Matawan Aberdeen Regional School District is going to keep one of the two librarians it had planned to terminate due to budget cuts. The middle school librarian will work part time at the high school, according to several sources.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Espresso Joe's Sponsoring The Wag, Kacie Baker Tonight on W Front ST in Keyport

Espresso Joe's will be hosting another free Saturday night music event on the mini-mall on West Front Street tonight starting at 7 pm as part of the Keyport Twilight Concert Series. Musical guests include The Wag, Kacie Baker, Sheli Aarden, and newcomer Michael Dante Summante.

View Larger Map

Pols Apart on MAPL Board

Wednesday night's meeting of the Matawan Aberdeen Public Library Board of Trustees included an interesting flair up between its two municipal politicians and the rest of the board. As part of their never ending effort to reduce our two governments' financial obligations towards the library, Mayor Paul Buccellato (Matawan) and Councilman Greg Cannon (Aberdeen) met in March with Ken Sheinbaum, Director of the Monmouth County Library to see what cost savings might be experienced through the absorption of our library into the county system as a branch. The two pols kept this little fact-finding trip to themselves, at least until May, when the county library announced at its May meeting that the MAPL trustees were exploring the option of becoming a county branch.

The balance of the board members, most of whom are municipal appointees, voiced their concerns that 1) the board had been represented to the county library by a delegation of its members without the board's prior approval, and 2) that the board was not even told after the fact about the meeting. Board members pointed out that Mr Sheinbaum had visited the trustees last fall and had made it pretty clear that there were no cost savings in becoming a county branch. The board worked past this momentary rift by agreeing to accept an offer to meet with Freeholder Director Lillian G Burry and Mr Sheinbaum to learn more about becoming a county branch. This would be a special public meeting of the trustees, which could be held as early as mid-June. Watch for a public announcement of the special meeting.

Beyond giving the library to the county, supporting legislation to diminish or remove entirely the obligation of municipalities to fund their local libraries, and becoming much more personally involved with the local board and its activities, Buccallato and Greg Cannon are also eyeing $400,000 that the board is holding as restricted funds designated for capital improvements. According to the Strategic Plan, these funds will be used to capitalize development of the library facility. The pols see the funds as dormant and accessible for redistribution to the municipalities to provide taxpayer relief, while others on the board see the funds as coming into play once a restriction on the land given to the library many years ago expires in a year or two. No one can summarily remove the restriction on these funds, which make up nearly 60% of the library's cash holdings, but you can be sure an effort will be made to redirect their use in coming months.

Other news from the trustees meeting:
  • The search committee expects the library will have a new director no later than October. The interim has agreed to stay until the new director is in place as long as the process isn't protracted. The committee has met with the professional headhunter they hired and a timeline for completion of the search is being fine tuned.
  • The board has learned that the library's endless need to repair its air conditioners and elevator could be in part the result of an inadequate level of power service to the building.
  • The board is having a number of the library's electrical outlets and switches moved. A couple of outlets need to be moved so shelving can be properly installed.
  • The library is having problems with people keeping their cars in the parking lot. The board is exploring getting a Matawan ordinance authorizing the library to have vehicles towed.
  • The board is contracting with Add-A-Link Fence Co to repair sections of fence damaged by a vehicle in the parking lot.
  • The elevator repair company showed up but needed to order parts. Stay tuned. The first stage of repairs will be someday soon. Really.
After the meeting, I spoke with Kathleen Eovino, the Matawan Aberdeen Regional School District's representative on the MAPL Board of Trustees. She said that neither Superintendent O'Malley nor the MRHS Principal Ruscavage has spoken to her personally on the occasion of her upcoming departure as high school librarian and, by extension, about her replacement on the library board. Hurt and disgruntled, Mr Eovino commented that they haven't even told her to be sure to turn the lights out when she leaves.  Ms Eovino hopes to finish out her tenure as a trustee by completing her work on the search committee for a new director.

It is more than a shame that  MARSD will no longer have a professional librarian at either its high school or middle school. People with children will surely think twice about buying a home in Matawan or Aberdeen when they look at how the school district undercuts its students in favor of tax relief.

BTW, the MAPL webmistress desperately needs to update the online roster of the board of trustees.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Fun Day Off in June

I had the day off today, so my daughter and I went to the Twin Brook Golf Center in Tinton Falls today to play miniature golf. The 18-hole course is interspersed with waterfalls and flowing streams. There's even a cave at the ninth hole. I was on my game today, I must say. From there we went to Belmar and had lunch at the Boathouse Bar and Grill. We were hot from playing golf, so we ate inside, but it was a bit dark. I'd recommend eating at a table on the patio out front. On our way home we stopped in at the Matawan Starbucks, where my wife joined us for coffee. My wife and I are having pizza in tonight while my daughter and her beau head out to Red Bank for the evening.

Blues Band at Matawan Library

Blues Band at Matawan Library Sat 5 June at 2pm. Register today!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Construction has closed sbound Rte 35

Construction has closed sbound Rte 35 exit onto Main ST at Keyport. Detour at carwash.