A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

2010 Matawan-Aberdeen Idol Approaching

The Matawan Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce has posted information about this Tuesday's Matawan-Aberdeen Idol singing contest, including some write ups on the contestants. The festivities, part of the 2010 National Night Out, will be held 3 August 2010 from 6 pm to 9 pm at the corner of Ravine Drive and Main Street in downtown Matawan.

Speaking of singers, have you heard the latest Quiznos ad with singing kittens? It's a cult favorite. 5 4 3 Toasty! I miss having a Quiznos shop nearby. What's up, Q?

News Updates as of 31 July 2010

  • Jaysi Rodriguez of Matawan, 31, has admitted to repeatedly sexually assaulting one of her young special needs patients at the facility in Franklin, New Jersey, where she worked, according to APP. Prior to this job in Somerset County, Rodriguez worked at various health facilities in Monmouth County.
  • Community Bible Fellowship is hosting a summer camp that is keeping scholastic skills up for Aberdeen-Matawan area kids during the long school break, per APP. The camp has 44 students grade 3 to 8.
  • Aberdeen Council seeks $1 million Green Acres grant to acquire 183 acres of Freneau section for parks, a section of the Henry Hudson Trail, and other public lands, according to The Independent.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

2010 National Night Out

Aberdeen is joining the 2010 National Night Out on 3 August, according to a Township news release.

Nemo Asian Fusion and Sushi Bar, Keyport

There's a new Asian fusion restaurant on West Front Street in Keyport. Check out the reviews of Nemo at Yelp.

MARSD Grants Tenure, Promotions to Some Administrators

APP says Susan Irons has been granted tenure as Matawan Aberdeen Regional School District business administrator and board secretary, while Margaret DeLuca has been promoted to Deputy Superintendent.

Life goes on, I guess, but doesn't this focus on rewarding school administrators for their thriftiness feel a tad abrasive?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Our Western Virginia Vacation

A couple of weeks ago, we spent our vacation at our timeshare at Woodstone Meadows, part of the Massanutten Resort in the mountains near Harrisonburg, Virginia. The downtown is about twenty minutes away. It's being revitalized with some great places to eat and drink. The local eateries we visited this trip included the local microbrewery Cally's Restaurant and Brewing Co, and Jack Brown's Beer and Burger Joint. We had drinks at the fashionable Clementine Cafe, then played trivia downstairs at the Ethiopian restaurant Blue Nile.

We ate twice at our favorite -- the Local Chop and Grill House on West Gay Street. The place looks like an industrial seed company from the outside, but it was renovated and stylized in 2009. The first time we got there after 9 pm, so we ate off the bar menu. The bar, just inside and to the left, has a musical decor, with modern art with musical instrument themes mounted on brickfaced walls. A fireplace in the corner suggests the bar would be a cozy spot in the winter. A small stage, wooden dance floor, and sound system come into play when live bands perform on weekends.  They had $2 sliders (bison, salmon, chuck, chickpea, lamb, and duck); we each had three plus some fries. We shared calamari and aranchini de riso for appetizers. We enjoyed some of the roughly two dozen beers on tap.

We returned to the Local Chop and Grill House for their dinner selections. Their dinner menu has a dozen or so meat choices, which you pair with a cooking method, a dipping sauce, and two sides. My wife had a chicken breast with the seasonal black pepper rub and arugula pesto dipping sauce. I had a pork chop with the house's salt, pepper, paprika and cumin rub and mango bbq dipping sauce. We started with a superb 2008 bottle of Jefferson Vineyards pinot gris. For appetizers I had a corn chili and my wife had a salad. We finished dinner with dessert and coffee for a fantastic meal. The restaurant has a nice loft up to the right, some seating on the main floor, and a welcoming covered porch with jet black torch lights spaced periodically along a rail that encloses outdoor seating.

We did the beer dinner at Massanutten's Conference Center, where Paul Hansen served as our beer sommelier for a wonderful multi-course meal with carefully selected brewed accompaniments. We also had a few meals at the resort's Fareways Restaurant, which had live music.

During our stay, we took advantage of the resort's fully equipped gym, did some swimming, and played miniature golf. We dropped by Le Club and played air hockey, a Ninja Turtles video game for four, then a few rounds of pool, and plenty of rounds of an ice hockey game.

Lest we fear anything during our stay, the resort uses Hawk Security Systems Inc (We keep an eye on the creeps so you can get your sleep).

Manna House Car Wash

Manna House plans to host a car wash fundraiser this Saturday 31 July 2010 from 9 am to noon at its 640 Cliffwood Avenue location in Cliffwood. They're also looking for a part time maintenance employee.

Nice website, Manna House!

View Larger Map

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Too Close For Comfort?

Based on my reading of the Zoning Board agenda for its upcoming meeting, lots of folks want permission to build closer to the edges of their property than zoning rules allow. Undoubtedly the Zoning Board looks at each case carefully. And neighbors may come in and lodge their concerns about building plans. But who really wants to be the stick in the mud who keeps someone from building that deck or pool they've always wanted? I mean, why poo-poo a new jacuzzi just because its construction would put it a few feet too close to a property line? Case by case, I'm sure it is hard to hold the line.

Presumably these setbacks have some basis in safety and aesthetics, right? If the house next door catches fire and your deck is only two feet from the fence, is your house going to burn down, too? If your neighbor decides to begin selling Amway, should he be able to erect a commercial sign in his front yard? Zoning variances aren't automatic, nor should they be. But many get approved. Too many? Who's to say?

In the current agenda,, for example, Yeshiva Gedolah in Cliffwood wants to increase its student body by more than half, to 141 students, prompting the addition of variance requests to those already pending. Both the Yeshiva and a commercial truck painting company want to have signs up that aren't otherwise permitted, so they need use variances. There are three decks in New Business, and a deck and jacuzzi variance can be found in Continued Business.

MAPL has a couple of interesting books on zoning.

The Complete Guide to Zoning: How Real Estate Owners and Developers Can Create and Preserve Property Value, by Dwight H Merriam. (2005: McGraw-Hill). Its Chapter 21 (pg 217) focuses on variances.

Zoning Administration in New Jersey for Zoning Boards of Adjustment, Planning Boards, Governing Bodies, and Zoning Officers, by William Martin Cox. (1980: Rutgers University)

Rose Hill Cemetery, Tombstone Inscriptions and Index

Matawan Aberdeen Public Library maintains a copy of Rose Hill Cemetery Tombstone Inscriptions and Index, compiled and published by Carolyn B Heuser of Freehold in 1995. This self-published work of 110 pages contains a brief history of the cemetery, an index, a listing of inscriptions, an index to the cemetery's interment book, and a list of veterans and other servicemen buried in the cemetery, sorted by war.

On page 3 of her book, Mrs Heuser writes:

Rose Hill Cemetery was established in 1858 on land purchased from James Fountain. Mr Fountain and 13 other area residents were the first shareholders. The cemetery is situated on the east side of Ravine Drive near its intersection with Middlesex Road, and about a mile from Main Street. It is close to the Cheesequake area of Old Bridge Township as well as the Cliffwood Section of Aberdeen Township. Many from these areas are buried here. The uniqueness of Rose Hill is its topography. From the highest point, one can view Raritan Bay and the skyline of New York City. It was believed to have been a lookout area for the local Leni Lenape tribe and arrowheads and other evidence of Indian activity have been found at Rose Hill.

There are over 700 plots, although not all have stones on them, arranged in 11 sections. There are some stones weathered by age that cannot be read. Over the years, mismanagement, lack of interest by descendants of plot owners, and vandalism have led to vegetative overgrowth and broken stones. In 1986, a group of interested plot owners and nearby residents began an aggressive campaign to maintain the cemetery properly.

Hopefully, MAPL will consider getting the author's permission to scan this full record onto its web site. It would be a fine addition to the library's online genealogical and historical reference collection.

News Updates as of 25 July 2010

  • Kayla Killian of Cliffwood Beach achieved the Honors List for the spring term at Fairleigh Dickinson University, per the Bayshore Courier News.
  • Is it always going to take nearly three weeks to post approved minutes of MAPL Board of Trustees meetings? The June minutes are still not up and they were presumably approved on 7 July. The May minutes were posted at the end of June. And, btw, who is listed as Director on the board roster on the website?
  • Today is the last day of the Monmouth County Fair! APP says there are cooling stations set up to keep you from getting overheated. To be honest, I stayed home Saturday due to the predicted sweltering temps; our July fair is hot enough when the weather's cooperative. Now they're calling for rain on Sunday.
  • I saw SALT and Inception this weekend. Both are fast paced, tightly woven thrillers. I think I kept up with the logic in both pretty well, but it was a lot of work. I've had my dose of movies for a while.  My wife and I were trying to place the guy who played Arthur - Joseph Gordon-Levitt. IMDB says he was the kid in Angels in the Outfield, but I think I remember him best from 3rd Rock. His recent stuff includes GI Joe.
  • The signs are up and running at the new Goodwill Store at Cliffwood Avenue and Route 35 N.
  • Did you realize that the 84 Lumber store in Cliffwood shut its doors? Just another vacant store near that bad luck intersection of Route 35.  Apparently the vacant lot where the old Burlew's Pizzeria used to stand and construction of a more workable intersection, plus a bunch of other improvements are all waiting on a state roads project that now may never happen. It seems unlikely that Trenton will fund the project, which has been planned for some time.
  • The Firemen's Fair runs this week in Keyport beginning Monday 26 July, per APP. Check out the festivities, which include music and food & drink and fireworks.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

MU Pollster Says Christie's 44% Approval Due to Begrudging Dem Support

Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray, a guest today on News 12's New Jersey Power and Politics, attributes Governor Christie's 44% approval rating to Democrats "begrudingly giving him credit for doing something that needed to be done, that is reign in state spending." Murray pointed out that Christie's disapproval rating is also 44%, which is in part due to unpopular budget cuts that "people are crying about." Murray says the lackluster numbers also have to do with voter reluctance to stamp their approval on Christie's approach before they see a cut in their property tax bills.

Murray and hosts Laura Jones and Jim McQueeny believe that the only thing voters want from their government is tax relief. Maybe it's true that many Jersey voters care only about the money in their pockets, but I suspect that results from fear in bad times. It's much like the run on the bank scene in "It's A Wonderful Life."

Maslow's hierarchy of needs suggests that you can't think much about your quality of life when you don't have a secure roof over your head. But that doesn't mean quality of life issues aren't worth discussing and considering in our current situation; people are just distracted and fearful. Too few teachers, expensive public transportation, reduced public services, such as closed libraries and reduced public assistance to the poor, are quality of life issues that we need to be weighing, and not just in the context of how funding will affect our pocketbooks. If that's the reality, then God help us. Potter wins.

I don't know, maybe we can't expect quality assessments of our life in Jersey from a couple of news anchors, but Murray should certainly be able to muster more complex thoughts about what's happening in our state than what he offered today.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Aberdeen Adjusts Density of Affordable Housing Plans

The Independent says Aberdeen Town Council recently amended its affordable housing plans based on the passage of S-1 legislation in early June. According to the NJ State League of Municipalities, the State Assembly has yet to move the legislation forward, so I'm not sure that there was any basis for local tinkering with COAH requirements, if that is indeed what has been done. CJSLM clearly wants to see COAH disemboweled, allowing local municipalities more leeway to make affordable housing determinations, but the law isn't changed by passage of a Senate version of a bill alone. Am I missing something? The adjustments Aberdeen has made to COAH housing density sound reasonable but may be premature.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monmouth County Fair starts Tomorrow

The 2010 Monmouth County Fair opens on Wednesday, July 21 at the East Freehold Fairgrounds, Kozloski Road, Freehold.

If you missed the Fourth of July fireworks you will want to be sure and make it to opening night. At $7, its a cheap date and lots of fun.

The fair hours this year are Wed - Fri 5 - 11 pm, Saturday 11 - 11, and Sunday from 11 - 6 pm.

I look forward to one day seeing an American Red Cross booth there, but alas I'm told this won't be happening until the fees are waived.

Cliffwood Goodwill Store Update

There are 5 or more big trucks at the Goodwill store today.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vacation of a Portion of West Concourse

This Tuesday's Aberdeen Town Council agenda includes an amendment to the Revised General Ordinances of the township that involves the "vacation of a portion of West Concourse". Curious about this oddity, I wrote to Councilman Greg Cannon. He explained that Lori Ann Kenny, of 38 West Concourse, is absorbing a twenty foot strip of township land between Lot 341 Blocks 10 and 11. It seems that the surveyor who revised the official tax map in 2001 erroneously included the township land in her lot and block. Mr Cannon explained, "Because she has paid all her taxes and taken care of the land and because the township has no interest in paying to maintain the narrow strip of property and has no use for it, we have agreed to vacate the property and officially deed it to Ms. Kenny. In return, Ms. Kenny will pay all the legal fees and transactional costs to become the legal owner of the strip of land. Also, we will place a restriction in the deed prohibiting future subdivision given the merger."

Old Currency

I found an old ten dollar bill (like this one, but in worse shape, I figure) in my wallet today while paying for chips and snacks at 7 Eleven. (Don't judge.) The currency is from the Series of 1934 C signed by Secretary of the Treasury John W Snyder and Treasurer of the United States W A Julian. It was issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York just after World War II -- sometime between 1946 - 1949.

One online vendor would be selling a nicer copy of my sixty year old bill for $22.00 if they had one in stock. Another vendor is selling what they have in stock for from $20 to $30.

I'm a collector by nature, but it's hard to put ten and twenty dollar bills off to the side just to look at once in a while in this economy. I figure the bill surfaced for the same reason -- someone probably tapped his or her collection to get something to eat or seek medical care. I guess I'm relatively well off if I can buy chips and snacks once in a while and leave my coin collection intact.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Espresso Joe's hosted another fine evening of music on the West Front Street mini-mall tonight in downtown Keyport. I caught Vinny Kyne and company and thoroughly enjoyed their style.

Grant Levin, 79, Dies in Hendersonville

Grant Levin died Thursday near Hendersonville, North Carolina, per Blue Ridge Now. He was born in Perth Amboy and graduated Rutgers and Temple. He worked as a dentist until he retired in 1987. He lived in Matawan for more than thirty years.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cops in Crosswalk to Put Brakes on Violations to New Law

The NJ Office of the Attorney General has issued grants of $8,000 each to selected police departments across the state to begin a federally-funded summer enforcement program that aims to get NJ drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, according to a state press release.

Drivers have been required to stop for pedestrians in NJ since 1 April 2010, as reported in this blog several months ago. We've had several deaths resulting from pedestrians struck in crosswalks over the years, so Aberdeen and Matawan residents should appreciate and support this new law.

Expect "Cops in Crosswalks" to begin in Red Bank, New Brunswick, and Piscataway very soon and run through September.

By the way, no one seems to mention which federal agency provided the funding for these state grants. When I searched "Cops in Crosswalks" on the US DOT website, the search engine asked: Did you mean "Corps in Crosswalk?"

Christie Cuts Force End to BayKeeper Oyster Restoration Project

BayKeeper is struggling to prevent its Keyport oyster restoration project from becoming an indirect victim of Governor Christie's budget ax. According to APP, the NJ DEP is forcing BayKeeper to shut down a series of promising experiments in the Raritan Bay off Keyport because the DEP has inadequate funds to meet a US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requirement that the oyster beds be guarded against poachers. The integrity of the fisheries of the Hudson River Estuary is just one more loss we face in our quality of life here in New Jersey under the current administration due to its severe budget cuts.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shortfall of Applicants Makes MRHS Academies Costlier

Reading between the lines of a recent Independent news release, it seems that the much-ballyhooed academies initiative at Matawan Regional High School is about 17% off the mark on projected growth in student interest for the upcoming school year. School administrators are pleased with the number of applications for biomedical studies, but they're not so happy to see that incoming students looked elsewhere in the county for established programs preparing them for careers in business and the performing arts.

For now administrators are blaming a lackluster recruitment effort and growing pains. It's unclear that there is sufficient evidence to support these or any other theories of why recruitment was low, nor is there evidence that proposed remedies will fix things next year. If we're going to run academies, I'm of course supportive of choosing only the most qualified students in order to maintain high program standards. I also believe our students will continue to be smart enough to pick the best programs around and that this freedom to choose will drive them to other schools if better prospects exist. We might very well be kidding ourselves if we think we can promote our business and arts academies over other offerings if they legitimately pale in comparison to existing programs. Wemust be honest about our offerings or we'll continue to pay dearly for vacant seats.

This fall's academy class sizes are either at the low end of an estimated participation range or actually below that anticipated range. And we all are painfully aware that class size is a major cost factor in education today. The bottom line is that a dearth of qualified applicants can make the academies program a costly proposition in years to come, whatever the cause.

MRHS to Host 33rd US Army All-Shore Classic on 16 July at 7 PM

Football stars from Monmouth and Ocean counties will butt heads at Matawan Regional High School on Friday evening at 7 pm in the 33rd US Army All-Shore Classic, according to Atlanticville. You can read up on the match up at The Blitz. Joe Martucci is head coach for the Monmouth All Stars.

Jolly Mouse Craft Show Seeks Vendors for November Event

Aberdeen Township is seeking vendors for the 26th annual Jolly Mouse Craft Show, which will be held 6 November 2010 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Lloyd Road School. Proceeds from the event support the Hazlet - Aberdeen - Matawan Therapeutic Recreation Program, known locally as the HAM Rec Program. For thirty years, HAM Rec has been providing year round activities for the developmentally disabled in our area ages 7 and up. For more information about the program, see the Summer 2006 Aberdeen Township Newsletter, which happens to feature several detailed articles about the program.

It would be nice if the Townships and Borough dedicated pages on their websites to HAM Rec. It could be based heavily on details drawn from content in the Aberdeen Township newsletter items already available, with any necessary updates. Also, sometime in September it would be good to replace the item seeking vendors with a promotional piece devoted to attracting customers to the show.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Red Bank Toy Drive to Benefit Manna House

The Cel-ebration Animation Art Gallery will be running a show beginning 17 July called "Art and More at the Jersey Shore," according to The Hub. During the show, which runs through 4 September, the gallery will be hosting a toy drive to benefit Manna House of Cliffwood Beach. Be sure to patronize the gallery to say thanks for offering a helping hand to battered women. And drop off a new unwrapped toy to do your part if you can.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Matawan Cyclist Killed on Route 18 Sunday

Joseph McCabe, 24, of Matawan, was killed in a motorcycle accident on Route 18 in East Brunswick on Sunday, per NJ.com.

Planning Board Making COAH Changes

The Aberdeen Township Planning Board has scheduled a special meeting for Wednesday to do something they've chosen not to explain regarding afffordable housing. Don't you just love these non-descript agendas? Nothing like being informed. The Township as usual meets the letter of the sunshine law, but not the spirit.

They also plan to hear Southland Corporation's request to convert their 7-11 at Lloyd Road and Route 34 into a dry cleaners.

Water Restrictions Eased But Not Removed

New Jersey American Water has revised its water use restrictions imposed on 3 July. The new policy allows us to water our lawns on an odd/even schedule. You can read more about it at NJ.com.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Time to Enter 2010 Monmouth Co Fair Photo Contest

The Independent says you can submit photographs on 18 and 19 July for the 2010 Monmouth County Fair photo contest.

Friday, July 9, 2010

In Their Shoes

Put yourself in an eleven-year-old's shoes and pretend you're walking to MAMS. You have to make your way from the apartments on Aberdeen Road or Sutton Drive. You walk along Matawan Avenue and have to contend with overgrowth that forces you into the street. Or in the winter the snow is high on the sidewalk, plowed by the township into the only safe spot to walk.

These are problems for any kids who have to walk to school in our district. What's the Board of Education's role in making sure the way is clear for MARSD kids to make it safely to school all year round? What about the two local councils? The process is a failure, if there is one.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Local Families: Schenck, Ten Eyck, and Ronson

My wife had a chat this week with Grace McGuire of South Atlantic Street in Aberdeen. At 101 years old, Grace is one of the oldest residents of our town. Born Alice Grace Schenck, she was the daughter of William (July 1869) and Mary (Sherns) Schenck (Oct 1874) of Matawan Township. Her father was a foreman at the water works in the 1920 Federal Census. She had sisters Catherine (Oct 1895), Sarah (Dec 1898), Madista (abt 1900), Algie (abt 1904), and Lena (abt 1906) and a brother Henry (abt 1902). Grace says her brother Henry was swimming in Matawan Creek the day the shark attacked in 1916.

In the 1930s, Grace worked for Harry Teneyck Ronson and his wife Doris, who ran a Matawan appliance store at 283 Main Street for many years. The 1930 Federal Census shows Ten Eyck (22 yrs old) living with his parents, Harry (62) and Ella (56) Ronson, in Madison, Middlesex Co, NJ. The 1920 Federal Census also shows Ten Eyck (12) living with parents Harry (50) and Ella (45) Ronson, in Madison. The earlier census shows Ten Eyck's father as a truck farmer in Matawan. Harry's parents were from England. Harry, Ella, and Ten Eyck were all born in NJ.

Teneyck' s wife, Doris, chaired the Business and Professional Women's Club of Matawan in 1959.

I visited Rose Hill Cemetery and found the Ronson family graves together along the last left turn before the lily pond:

DORIS POOLE RONSON (1914 - 1970)

ELLA TEN EYCK RONSON (1872 - 1969)

Ella was the daughter of Jacob and Annie Ten Eyck, all of whom appear in the 1880 Federal Census in Madison, NJ. I found Ella's parents' family stone in the same graveyard. (Instead of turning left before the pond,you'd turn right and follow the low path along the woods. The graves are along the road to the right)

NOV 29 1819 - JUL 6 1894

MAY 22 1834 - FEB 7 1914

JUL 23 1817 - MAR 6 1905




Below the Tunis Ten Eyck side of the stone was a long, flat grave belonging to Jennie E T Kipp, 1876 - 1916. She could be Jacob's daughter Jane Ten Eyck, who was age 3 in the 1880 Federal Census.

The Fourth of July in Matawan, 1932

I found this Red Bank Register article dated 13 July 1932, which mentions Matawan's Fourth of July festivities that year.

Matawan staged one of the most interesting Fourth of July celebrations in its history. The first event on the all-day program was a baseball game in the morning between the Matawan post of the American Legion and the Matawan firemen. It was played on the Matawan high school field and was witnessed by a crowd of enthusiastic fans. This spirited battle ended in a tie, with the score 6 to 6.

The parade, which was scheduled to start at Memorial Park at 12:00 o'clock was delayed two hours by a steady downpour of rain, but at two o'clock the parade, which included fire companies of Matawan, Keyport and Hazlet, the American legion post, Girl Scouts, a George Washington float, three bands of music, the celebration committee headed by Mayor Edward W. Currie and members of the borough council, was on its way. Both sides of Main street were lined with people.

Immediately following the parade the crowd flocked to Lake Lefferts, where aquatics sports listed on the day's program were contested. By the starting time, 3:30 o'clock, over 4,000 people lined the banks of the lake. A band on a float tied to the east bank, kept the spectators in good spirits throughout the afternoon with national marches and modern music. Through the courtesy of TenEyck Ronson, the judges' float was equipped with a radio hook up to assist the master of ceremonies, Mayor Edward Currie, in announcing the results of the various sport events to the large gathering.

The first event, a fifty-yard dash for girls, was won by Emma Croce, with Vera Hoelzer coming in second and Muriel Brown third. Time, 60 seconds.

Boys' (under 14 years old) 50-yard dash was won by Dayton Wilson of Keansburg. Albert Griffiths of Matawan was second and Frank Veary of Matawan third. Time, 44 4-5 seconds.

The 100-yard dash for girls over 14 years was won by Claire LeFavre of Matawan. Carolyn Kortenhaus of  Cliffwood was second and Helen Chocha of Matawan third. Time, 1 minute, 54 seconds. The 100-yard dash for boys under 14 was won by John Riley of Keansburg, with Joe Dorner of Newark second and James Riley of Keansburg third. Time, 1 minute, 36 seconds.

The two-man relay race for 100 yards was won by Melvin Carman and John Reilly, with William Sergis and J Parprota second. Time, 1 minute, 13 seconds.

The fancy diving contest for boys was won by Vito Scadis of Matawan with Clifford Reeve and Thomas MacDonaid, both of Matawan, second and third. Helen Chocha and Jane Cortenhaus carried off the diving honors in the girls' affair.

The three-quarter mile race for boys was won by Jake Parprota of Parlin. William Sergis of Matawan second and George Clayton of Matawan third. Time, 13 minutes, 5 seconds. The three-quarter mile race for girls was won by Miriam Thorsen of Matawan with Claire LeFavre of Matawan second and Dorothea Hotailng of Matawan third. Time, 18 minutes.

The boys' canoe tilting contest was won by Vito Scardis handling the tiller with Peter TenEyck at the paddle. The team of Shirley VanBrakle and Reba Disbrow won the girls' canoe tilting affair and as an added attraction a duel between the two winners was staged. After half an hour of desperate struggling in the canoes between Shirley VanBrakle and Vito Scardis the judges called it a draw. Both teams received medals. The canoe race was won by Dernberger and Barrette and Ryder and Clayton second and the TenEyck brothers third. The barrel rolling contest was won by William Dernberger. The canoe tug-of-war was won by Lefferts and Sergis. In the evening there was a display of fireworks at 10:00 o'clock.

Miss Hazel Warnock left last week for a camp at Beach Arington. Miss Ann Laird, daughter of Councilman and Mrs.Laird, is spending the summer at a camp in Maine.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Jo Wymer Plays Keyport 2010 Twilight Concert Series

After spending the afternoon and early evening at a picnic at our friends' house in Marlboro, my wife and I went to hear the last act at the Twilight Concert Series at Keyport. Singer songwriter Jo Wymer was playing a few covers and some of her own music. I particularly enjoyed her rendition of Superstitious.  She also did a rendering of Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited; she said a version of the song performed live by Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, and Bruce Springsteen particularly inspired her.

Check out her live demos of Boulevard and I Can Tell at her My Space site to get a feel for her sultry blues sound. Happy birthday, Jo!

A Few Are Pulled From the Abyss

Three MARSD janitors who were fired recently with nearly 25 years of service and left to the wiles of outsourcing may be rehired under a sidebar deal between the school board and the union, according to The Independent. It's great news for three families but little solace for countless others cut loose to an impersonal hell.

NJ Transit Offers Special Train Pass to Red Bank Fireworks

NJ Transit is offering a one-day only train pass valid as far north as Aberdeen-Matawan train station to get you to the fireworks in Red Bank and back again on 3 July for $6. If you're worried about traffic congestion and limited parking in Red Bank, come to Aberdeen and take the train. There will be plenty of extra trains, but plan ahead. Buy your passes early to avoid the expected lines. And be sure to get to Red Bank early enough to enjoy the day's festivities.

Independent Digs Deeper on Tab Ramos Parking Situation

The Independent has a detailed article about the Heather Glen Homeowners Association's dispute with the Tab Ramos Sports Center. It discusses the new fence being added as a buffer and how the neighbors don't think it will be enough to quell the noise. This blog recently discussed zoning waivers being sought by the center.

Independent Interviews Ricardo Hernandez re: Main Street Development

The Independent interviewed the architect of a condo development proposed for downtown Matawan at Main and Little Streets. The article contains many more details about the developers than a recent APP article, but it lacks the local commentary included by APP. See my recent blog article based on the APP piece. A public hearing is scheduled for 2 August 2010 at 7:30 pm at Matawan's Unified Planning and Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Your Name Here Forever

The Matawan Football Alumni are building their memorial. And you can be a part of it. Forever. They're running an ad in The Independent. Those of you who have adequate tax savings, please call 732-705-5309 and be a brick. I mean: Buy a brick.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Thomas Edison State College Will Not Merge with Rutgers

George Pruitt, President of Thomas Edison State College, recently announced in a letter to alumni that Governor Christie has backed off on his plan to merge the college into Rutgers University. Truly good news for the school.

Township Seeks to Purchase $3 Million in Equipment, Vehicles

Aberdeen Town Council's 6 July 2010 agenda includes several bond issues for the purchase of a total of approximately $3 million in municipal equipment and vehicles. Nearly a third of the total is to be directed to sewer and water, while two million will go for communications, signals, and information technology and vehicles. CME Associates has been selected to provide engineering services for the Route 35 water main crossing project. The Council also plans to go into executive session to discuss "Potential Litigation - COAH & Negotiations."

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kaboomfest is Fireworks and Fun in Red Bank

Fireworks are being canceled across the country due to budget cuts, according to USA Today. The Associated Press says people understand and aren't complaining. Neither the Matawan Borough website nor the 1 July 2010 online edition of The Independent makes mention of fireworks scheduled on Lake Lefferts this year. If a rumor doesn't pan out that there will be fireworks on Saturday 3 July, we will have to hit the road to celebrate. This weekend's alternative for fireworks and fun is Red Bank. Check out kaboomfireworks.org for more information about what they are calling Kaboomfest. Be sure to buy a raffle ticket to support the show.

Snapshots of the Keyport Waterfront - Late June 2010

Some photographs of Keyport's waterfront.