A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

George E Hamilton, Matawan Native, Dies in Virginia

George E Hamilton, a Matawan native, died on Wednesday in Fishersville, Virginia, according to an obituary in the central Shenandoah Valley's News Leader. The obituary says he was the son of George Dilled and Ada Marie (Ellison) Hamilton.

OneWorldTree shows a George G and Ada Marie (Ellison) Hamilton with several living children. (I suppose the G stands for Gilead, his grandfather Archibald's middle name and the obit is wrong.) The 1930 Federal Census shows George G age 17 living with his parents, Elton and Lydia Hamilton, and George's many siblings in Olean, New York. Elton was a car inspector at a car shop at the time.

It's unclear how George and Ada ended up in Matawan by the time of young George's birth on 14 September 1946. The deceased served in the US Army's military police during Vietnam. He worked for the now defunct computer printer manufacturer Genicom prior to his retirement.


I went to Hazlet yesterday to see Unstoppable, a movie based on a true story of a runaway train. The film tells a story based in Pennsylvania, while the actual incident (see CNN story A and CNN story B from May 2001) occurred in Ohio. The runaway train was designated AVR 777 in the movie but in real life was marked CSX 8888 and is now known among train buffs as Crazy Eights, according to PennLive and Wikipedia.

Matawan Huskies Crush SJV 42-7

Twenty-eight unanswered points by the Huskies in the second quarter of Saturday's game against Saint John Vianney ought to help the APP move Matawan to the top of its Top Ten rankings. Matawan's 42-7 victory, reported by The Star-Ledger, certainly puts the boys in a better mental state for next week's state championship game than Rumson-Fair Haven's Thanksgiving Day loss against RBC.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

History: Rose Hill Cemetery Sexton Threatens Thief, 1895

The 23 November 1895 edition of The Matawan Journal, page 3, contains this interesting story about Robert P Harris, sexton of Rose Hill Cemetery, whose single barrel breech-loader was stolen from his tool house. Harris suggested that he knew the thief and planned to release some delicate information about him if the gun was not returned promptly.
Better Take That Gun Back

This advertisement for the sexton's services at Rose Hill Cemetery was found on page 4 of the same edition.

African Americans in the Matawan Journal - 23 November 1895

The only mention of African Americans in the entire 23 November 1895 edition of The Matawan Journal is this small report on the front page:

In a recent Saturday night brawl at Red Bank one Cummings had his throat slightly cut from his left ear to his windpipe by an unknown colored man, who effected his escape.

MRHS Fall Drama - It's A Wonderful Life

The Matawan Regional High School's 2010 Fall Drama is It's A Wonderful Life, with showings at the Anne Hannah Auditorium on Thursday 9 December at 7 pm, Friday 10 December at 8 pm, Saturday 11 December at 8 pm, and a matinee on Sunday 12 December at 2 pm. Evening performances are $8.00, and the Sunday matinee is a bargain at $4.00.

Aberdeen Tree Lighting

Aberdeen Township has blocked off five hours on the evening of Thursday 2 December 2010 for a holiday festival starting at 7 pm. I can't find any information online as to what goes on at this event, much less where it is being held. I presume it is a Christmas tree and menorah lighting, maybe with some singing, snacks, etc. And presumably it will be held at town hall. But you know what happens when you presume?

Keyport had its tree lighting this evening, funded by the Keyport Council through its budgetary support of the Keyport Business Alliance. There was scant promotion of the Keyport event, just like in Aberdeen. I suppose the business community has had nothing to do with the tree lighting in Aberdeen. But, even if they were in charge of it, the Matawan-Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce hasn't promoted anything since Matawan Day way back in August, so the event likely wouldn't have been promoted in any case. Hopefully someone will provide more details and soon.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Red Bank Catholic Defeated Rumson-Fair Haven 40-14 on Thanksgiving

Rumson-Fair Haven High School, Matawan's rival for the 2010 state championship, was solidly defeated by Red Bank Catholic on Thanksgiving morning, according to APP. This is Rumson's eighth defeat in a row at the hands of RBC, who ran well against Rumson's defensive line. Check out Red Bank Green for a detailed article filled with photographs of the game.

As an aside, the APP newspaper article mentions that Rumson made a mistake three years ago, resting all of its starters against RBC in preparation for state championships against Carteret. RBC humiliated Rumson 61-0 as a result. With its 33-7 score late in the 4th quarter, Thursday's game may have chalked up less points but was only marginally less humbling for the Bulldogs.

On Saturday, I'm sure the coach will remind our Huskies to catch the ball in front of them before they turn to run for the goal. Maybe he'll point to the Bulldogs as an object lesson?

King's Speech Not Available for Mere Mortals

I was hoping to see the highly praised film King's Speech today, but it is only showing in Manhattan for now. That's utterly maddening. Red Bank is showing that guy stuck between a rock and a hard place for 127 hours. (For some middle school level humor, check out Merriam-Webster for the odd assortment of words they suggest as rhyming with crevasse. My favorites include badass, Black Mass, degas, haul ass, jump pass, and kelp bass. Future poets will want to take note.)

Colin Firth plays King George VI, a stutterer who is uncomfortably thrust into power when his brother, Edward VII, abdicates to marry a Catholic girl from Baltimore. World War II is upon England and the new radio medium puts the king in the audible spotlight, so a speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush is recruited to help George overcome this obstacle. Check out NPR's Fresh Air to read and/or hear more about the film and its director, Tom Hooper, who was recently  interviewed by Dave Davies. Davies plays an incredible clip from the film where the therapist provokes the king to claim his rightful voice.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

When the Day Breaks - New CD by Matawan's Joe Whyte

The Aquarian Weekly reports that singer-songwriter Joe Whyte has released a new CD after nearly three years. His style is Americana/folk. Check out the detailed review. Whyte, currently living in New York City, was once a resident of Matawan.

SeeClickFix: Physician, Heal Thyself

I posted an issue at SeeClickFix, a website where people can express their concerns about local road hazards, pot holes, missing or errant signage, etc.My complaint is that the Garden State Parkway sign on Route 35 North at Keyport doesn't provide enough notice to be in the left lane to enter the Parkway at Exit 117, especially for drivers unfamiliar with that stretch of roadway.

Ironically, I suppose I should submit an issue to complain how SeeClickFix has Matawan and Aberdeen divided up. If you search for Aberdeen, NJ, they send you to their Matawan, NJ page, but their map of Matawan defines the Borough alone. They list Cliffwood, Cliffwood Beach, and Strathmore as distinct municipalities. I guess their product has a few bugs.

She's Gone and It's Our Loss

Jan Rubino's suspension from the Matawan-Aberdeen Board of Education on ethics charges is in the news again because her opportunity to challenge the 15 November verdict has passed. The judge's decision therefore goes into effect immediately. This leaves Ms Rubino's position empty through the end of her term in April 2011. She has said she will not seek re-election.

The initial complaint against Ms Rubino claimed she had sent some re-election campaign emails to district employees, an ethics violation. She supposedly admitted that her personal mailing list likely included a few friends who worked in the district, but she couldn't confirm one way or the other because she'd deleted the correspondence. Joey Warren got the ball rolling on eventual charges against Ms Rubino via a blog article he posted less than a month before the official ethics complaint was filed. Mr Warren claimed to be entering the "political fray" of the school board because of this and other "machinations" by Ms Rubino and her ilk. It was time to take sides.

It's unclear whether Mr Warren's entree into local school board politics was manifested in his lodging this complaint, but I suppose so. He surely envisioned Ms Rubino's censure for ethics violations would come and go, justice would prevail and they could blithely continue to joust over various and sundry minutia of school administration. Surprised by the recent verdict, Mr Warren complained of the "unjust punishment" meted out against Ms Rubino when the judge chose a six-month suspension instead of his carefully considered and less impacting censure. But it is what it is. As Mick Jagger famously said, " You don't always get what you want."

Now that Ms Rubino has been put through the wringer for two years and then hung out to dry, are we any better off? I'd say no. She has been one of the biggest advocates for our schools since my college-age daughter was in elementary school, always putting hard work and social skill together to make our schools a better place. I certainly feel we've lost more than we've gained in this vain effort at justice. Ms Rubino had plenty to contribute to our district in years to come, but now she's gone. I hope she finds an alternate way to serve the community. If not, it's our loss.

History: Diphtheria in Matawan, 1910

Horse blood once produced diphtheria antitoxin

This Thanksgiving, we can be grateful that diphtheria is a thing of the past in our community. One hundred years ago today, the front page of The Matawan Journal ran the obituary of 20-year old Alfred Clark of Matawan, who had died of pneumonia. The paper reported that Mr and Mrs George W Clark were "greatly afflicted" after a month of illness and death among their children due to a diphtheria outbreak. Their 3-year old Stanley had died at the end of October 1910, and 18-year old Delia (Cordelia) was currently sick. To top it off, the funeral couldn't be held at the Clark home due to a health quarantine.

The 1910 Federal Census for New Jersey taken 3 May 1910 showed George W (42) and Mary E (35) Clark living on Morristown Road in Matawan Borough, along with children George W Jr (19), Alfred J (18), Cordelia M (17), Annie C (12), Myron E (10), and Stanley H (4).  At the time of the census, George and Mary had been married 20 years. Only six of the mother's eight children were still living, not including the deaths that took place in October and November. George was occupied as a tile presser at a tile factory.

The first successful vaccine against diphtheria wasn't produced until 1913. Before that, antitoxins derived from horses were administered and breathing tubes inserted in patients to facilitate breathing as their air passages closed. In the 1920's, even after a vaccine was available, up to 200,000 annual US cases of diphtheria resulted in as many as 15,000 annual deaths, mostly children.

Fifty-two years ago, a 6-year old Cliffwood student contracted the disease, according to a front page article in The Red Bank Journal of 23 December 1958. Neither he nor any of his siblings had been inoculated and were therefore immediately quarantined by officials. Today, with routine inoculation of children and the prevalence of antibiotics, the incidence of death by diphtheria has become rare.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Matawan and Keyport Food Pantries Featured in Independent

There's a nice article in The Independent describing the work of our area's two most prominent food pantries. The need for donated food has increased markedly in our region since 2008, so give generously if you can. It's great to hear that local religious organizations continue to provide volunteers to collect and distribute food to this growing segment of our community.

Aberdeen NJ Life wishes its readers a happy Thanksgiving. Be sure to cherish family and friends, count your many blessings, and pray for peace.

Monday, November 22, 2010

APP Top Ten Keeps Matawan Football in #2 Slot

The Asbury Park Press claims the Huskies barely survived their battle with the Warriors on Saturday evening, resulting in their continued ranking of Lacey (#1) over Matawan (#2) in this week's APP Top Ten.

Matawan plays SJV on Saturday and will face Rumson - Fair Haven at the Central Jersey Group II state championships at Kean University on Saturday 4 December at 3 pm. See the full NJSIAA championship schedule at NJ.com.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Huskies Defeat Warriors

Final score Huskies 26 Warriors 14. The team came to the stands after the game and stood quietly as the band played the school song. Finals will be in early December.

Referees Hog the Ball

Third quarter clearly went to the refs, who called countless fouls. With 9 min left in the game, Huskies lead 20 to 14. Warriors are threatening.

Huskies Lead at Half in Semi Finals

Matawan 14 Manasquan 7 at the half.

Matawan Manasquan Game Ready to Begin

Huskies and Warriors are about to begin their semi final match at Matawan.

Friday, November 19, 2010

History: Professionals and Businessmen of Matawan, 1880

Here's the list of professional cards appearing down the left column of the cover of the November 20 1880 edition of The Matawan Journal. I've included in italics my research from the 1880 Federal Census. (The census appears to have incorrectly labeled these mostly Borough addresses as being in the Township.

Professional Cards

Law Office of William L Terhune,
Removed to former office of H S Little, Matawan, NJ
Foreclosure of mortgages, and other legal business promptly attended to.
The 1880 Federal Census shows Wm L Terhune, 62 yrs old, born in NJ to NJ parents, lawyer, living in Matawan Township as head of household with his wife Margaret, three children, and a servant Bridget Concommons. (District 113, dwelling 141,  family 144, image 13 of 56)

Law Office of Rens W Dayton
Matawan, NJ, Office opposite the Bank.
The 1880 Federal Census shows R W Dayton, 37 yrs old, born in NJ to NJ parents, lawyer, head of his household in Matawan Township, with wife Lizzie, brother James B, sister Martina Dayton, and a 19 year old English servant named Mary A Glancy. (District 113, dwelling 100, family 103, image 10 of 56)  

Jehu B Applegate, Attorney-at-Law,
Office two doors above Farry's hotel, Matawan, NJ
The 1880 Federal Census shows Jehu Applegate, 25 yrs old, born in NJ to NJ parents, lawyer, living in Matawan Township as a boarder in what appears to be the Farry Hotel. John H Farry, 50, born in NJ to NY parents, is the landlord, who lives there with his wife Delia, five children, and two boarders. (District 113, dwelling 156, family 159, image 15 of 56)  

E W Arrowsmith, Attorney-at-Law, Matawan, NJ
Solicitor and Master in Chancery, Freehold, NJ
Office over Hartshorne's Clothing Store
The 1880 Federal Census shows Eusebeus W Arrowsmith, 35 yrs old, born in NJ to NJ parents, lawyer, living on South Street in Freehold as head of household, along with wife Mary, five children, and a 16 yr old servant Mary E Trimble, born in Illinois to Irish parents. (District 106, dwelling 6, family 9, image 1 of 41) His unusual first name likely derives from Eusebius of Caesarea, who was a significant Christian historian at the time of the writing of the Nicene Creed.

Doct. J G Shackelton, Physician and Surgeon,
Office at his residence, Main Street, Matawan
Office hours: 7:30 - 8:30 am; 1:30 - 2:30 pm and 7:30 - 8:30 pm
The 1880 Federal Census shows J G Shackelton, 43 yrs old, born in NJ to a father born in NJ and mother born in PA, physician,  living in Matawan Township as head of household, along with wife Cordelia, two daughters, his mother-in-law Frances S Rose, a 22-yr old servant named Mary Ann Mears born in NJ to Irish parents, and a 23-yr old English hostler named William H Hopla, (District 113, dwelling 76, family 78, images 7-8 of 56) Note that a hostler is archaic in American English and means groom or stableman.

Doct A Jackson, Physician and Surgeon, Matawan
Office opposite the Presbyterian Church
The 1880 Federal Census shows Andrew J Jackson, 36 yrs old, born in NY to English parents, physician,  living in Matawan Township as head of household, along with wife Ella V, 21-yr old step-daugher Mary K Crane, and 15-yr old servant Annie Dowd, born in NJ to Irish parents. (District 113, dwelling 71, family 73, image 7 of 56)

C S W Baldwin, Dentist, Matawan, NJ
Successor to J P Geran
Nitrous oxide gas administered.
Artificial teeth made of gold, rubber, or celluloid plain.
Filling a specialty. Has practiced seven years.
Keyport on Thursday and Fridays.
The 1880 Federal Census shows Charles S W Baldwin, 30 yrs old, born in VT to VT parents, dentist,  living in Matawan Township as a boarder at the Glenwood Institute, along with wife Mary G. (District 113, dwelling 71, family 73, image 29 of 56) The principal of the institute, Charles Jacobus, 40, was listed as head of household, and was living with wife Lizzie and three children. The household included four teachers (Frank E Guild, 26; Mary P Pinney, 31; Minnie Bachelder, 27, and J Fred Smith); a cook (Mary Kemp, 43), a servant (Ella Haley, 15), seven students, and 3 boarders.

J P Geran, Dentist
Associated with Dr Shannon, 64 Greene Avenue, cor Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
At Freehold, Fridays and Saturdays
The 1880 Federal Census shows Josiah P Geran, 48 yrs old, born in NJ to NJ parents, dentist,  living in Matawan Township as head of household, along with wife Phebe L and son Carroll. (District 113, dwelling 83, family 85, image 8 of 56)

A Geran, Dentist
Opposite Farmers Merchants Bank, Matawan, NJ
The 1880 Federal Census shows Ackerman Geran, 53 yrs old, born in NJ to NJ parents, dentist,  living in Matawan Township as a widowed head of household, along with a 10-yr old daughter Melissa and his sister-in-law Margaret A Hayes. (District 113, dwelling 115, family 118, image 11 of 56)

Frank H Slater, Washington Hall Pharmacy, Matawan
Drugs, Medicines, Chemicals, Toilet and Fancy Articles,
and all other goods usually found in a first class pharmacy.
Physicians' prescriptions compounded with especial care.
The 1880 Federal Census shows Frank H Slater, 25 yrs old, born in NY to a father born in NY and mother born in VT, druggist, living in Matawan Township with his widowed father Franklin Slater, 57 yrs old, minister as head of household. A couple of Frank's siblings and an in-law are living in the minister's home. (District 113, dwelling 90, family 92, image 9 of 56)

Business Cards

Gilbert McDermott, Matawan, NJ
Commissioner of Deeds and General Agent in Fire Insurance and Real Estate
Houses and lots for rent and sale. Sales of property on commission solicited.
The 1880 Federal Census shows Gilbert McDermott, 34 yrs old, born in NJ to NJ parents, life and fire insurance agent, living in Matawan Township as head of household with his wife Mary E. (District 113, dwelling 98,  family 101, image 9 of 56)

E H Dominick, Watchmaker & Jeweler
At Stencil's on Main Street, one door above Spring Street, Matawan.
Watches and Jewelry repaired and warranted. Orders for goods received,
at prices lower than they can be bought in New York.
N B - All work done on the premises. 35 years at the business.
The 1880 Federal Census shows widower Edward H Dominick, 69 yrs old, born in NY to NY parents, occupied in watch repair, living in Matawan Township as head of household with an infant son Ainsley (born Nov 1879) and a 45-yr old housekeeper named Alice Compton. (District 113, dwelling 244,  family 252, image 23 of 56)

John N Disbrow, Constable and Auctioneer, Matawan, NJ
Attends to the collection of all claims.
The 1880 Federal Census shows John M Disbrow, 62 yrs old, born in NJ to NJ parents, constable, living in Matawan Township as head of household with his wife Lydia, a widowed daughter Mary A Johnson and her son Edmund, and a son Root working for the railroad.. (District 113, dwelling 148,  family 151, image 14 of 56)

George W Bell, Master in Chancery, and Commissioner for the State of New York
Office at the drug store opposite Farry's Hotel, Matawan.
Special attention given to drawing deeds, mortgages, wills, leases, etc, etc.
The 1880 Federal Census shows George W Bell, 66 yrs old, born in England to English parents, druggist, living in Matawan Township as head of household with his wife Laura, a 31-yr old son Americus clerking in his store, and 24-yr old son Frank, lawyer.  (District 113, dwelling 98,  family 101, image 15 of 56)

Thos J Cloke, Attorney-at-Law, and Master in Chancery, South Amboy, Middlesex County, NJ
Office cor Broadway and David Street
The 1880 Federal Census shows Thomas J Cloke, 30 yrs old, born in NY to English parents, life and fire insurance agent, living in South Amboy as head of household with his wife Clara E and a daughter Nellie. (District 145, dwelling 7,  family 7, image 1 of 31)

Frank Bell, Attorney-at-Law
Office - McKinney's Building, Room no 1, Keyport, NJ
Attention give to the collection of claims.
See George W Bell, above

CB Sea Walk in the Home Stretch

The 3,300 foot Cliffwood Beach seawall, which runs from Lakeshore Drive to Beach Drive, has been topped with a scenic walkway and has or soon will be provided ADA-compliant rails and ramps, expanded parking, and new signage, according to The Independent. Two-thirds of the nearly $375,000 funding for this new Sea Walk comes from Monmouth County development grants and open space programs, while the rest is being paid for by the Township. I'll try to visit the site this weekend and update this article with some photos and personal observations.

Update: I walked the seawall from Lakeshore Drive to just past Treasure Lake. There's no new parking, ramps, or rails just yet, but the seawalk is impressive. I took some snapshots (see below). 
Lakeshore Drive end of the Cliffwood Beach seawalk looking towards Keyport.
Lakeshore Drive end of Cliffwood Beach Seawalk, looking westward.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

History - Shiloh's Vitalizer, November 1880

I saw this advertisement on page 2 of the Matawan Journal of 13 November 1880 and thought it worth recording here.

A Strange People

Do you know that there are strange people in our community, we say strange because they seem to prefer to suffer and pass their days miserably, made so by Dyspepsia, and Liver Complaint, Indigestion, Constipation, and General Debility, when SHILOH'S VITALIZER is guaranteed to cure them. Sold by Geo. W Bell, Druggist.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

History: Mount Pleasant House, 1880

The 13 November 1880 edition of The Matawan Journal, makes the following reference to a hotel in Mount Pleasant, part of Matawan Township:

A sign in front of the Mount Pleasant House announces a "chop house" in connection with the hotel. Oysters are supplied in every style, and meals can be procured at all hours. This will prove a special accommodation. (pg 2, col 4)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cliffwood Beach - Missing Dog and Burglaries

A Cliffwood Beach (Old Bridge) family is seeking the safe return of their shepherd/lab mix, Huggle. The American Humane Society is offering a $1,000 reward for the return of the dog, which the organization suspects was stolen from the family's yard.

At the same time, Cliffwood Beach (Aberdeen) is experiencing a rash of burglaries. Aberdeen Police have alerted residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity. (Sign up for CODE RED to receive such alerts.)

Charlie Brown's Steakhouse in Matawan to Close

CB Holdings of Mountainview is closing 30 of its nearly 60 restaurants nationwide, including Charlie Brown's Steakhouse on Route 79 in Matawan. Two-thirds of the restaurants to be shuttered are in New Jersey. Today's announcement, details of which can be found at the Newark Star-Ledger, is bad news for the 1,400 employees affected by it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Matawan Ordinance 34-70 to be Revamped

The Independent says Matawan is looking to revamp its Highway Improvement zoning ordinance to spur local development. ClerkBase provides information about it under Chapter XXXIV Development Reulgations. I've copied Matawan ordinance 34-70 below so you can have a look at what they are considering modifying. You'll have to go to the Matawan Aberdeen Public Library to look at the Master Plan to see the areas of the borough covered by HI zoning. The Independent doesn't attempt to label those areas and you won't find a zoning map online.


a. Permitted Principal Uses.

1. Retail business establishments limited to the following: hardware, paint, glass and wallpaper stores; department stores and variety stores; dry goods stores; food stores, dairy stores and retail stores; apparel and accessories stores; furniture, home furnishings and equipment stores; radio, television and music stores; restaurants and taverns, but not including drive-in refreshment stands where food, drink and confections are served outside of the buildings or where food is intended to be consumed in cars parking on the premises; drug stores; liquor stores; antique stores; book and stationery stores; sporting goods, bicycle and hobby stores; jewelry stores; cigar stores and news dealers; camera and art stores; luggage and leather goods stores; franchised new motor vehicle dealers which provide not less than two thousand (2,000) square feet of interior floor space devoted to display of new motor vehicles and appropriate space for service, parts and office facilities; and farm and garden supply stores, provided that no merchandise is displayed or stored outside of a fully enclosed building.

2. Personal service establishments limited to the following: banks and fiduciary establishments; credit agencies, security and commodity brokers; real estate and insurance offices; holding and investment company offices; laundry and dry cleaning pick up stores; photographic stores; barber and beauty shops, shoe repair shops; garment pressing, alterations and repair shops; miscellaneous repair shops other than automotive; motion picture theater other than outdoor; dance studios and schools; medical and health services, excluding veterinarian services; legal services; engineering and architectural services; accounting and bookkeeping offices; business offices; funeral homes; electrical supply stores; nonprofit clubs, lodges and fraternal, civil service or charitable organizations; and order centers or stores.

3. Public or quasi-public areas, such as municipal parks, playgrounds, buildings and uses deemed appropriate and necessary by the Borough Council, and churches, synagogues and other religious buildings and uses for worship but excluding schools and auditoriums.

b. Permitted Accessory Uses.

1. Other uses and structures customarily incident to a principal permitted use.

2. Public and private parking.

c. Conditional and Prohibited Uses.

1. Conditional Uses.

(a) Necessary public utilities and services as per Section 34-77.

(b) Hospitals as per Section 34-80.

(c) Eleemosynary, charitable and philanthropic institutions as per Section 34-81.

2. Prohibited Uses.

(a) Correctional or detention centers.

d. Off-Street Parking. In addition to the provisions of Section 34-43, the following provisions shall be adopted as the required Highway Improvement District parking regulations of the Borough.

1. Parking facilities may be located in any required yard space but shall not be less than ten (10) feet from any street line. Ingress and egress to the parking area shall be a minimum of fifteen (15) feet and a maximum of thirty (30) feet in width

and shall not cause a hazardous condition to exist. The area shall be illuminated during operating hours if they occur after sunset. The illumination shall be shielded from streets and adjoining residential properties, if any.

2. All parking spaces provided for business uses in this section may be located on a lot within four hundred (400) feet of the public entrances of the building they are intended to serve, but only if it is determined by the Unified Planning Board that it is impractical to provide the required parking spaces on the same lot with the building they are intended to serve.

3. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent collective provision of off-street parking facilities by two (2) or more buildings or uses located on adjacent lots, provided that the total of such off-street parking facilities shall not be less than the sum of the requirements for the various individual uses computed separately in accordance with the standards contained in Section 34-43.

4. All off-street parking areas shall be hard-surfaced with a bituminous concrete or concrete pavement and graded and drained as approved by the Borough Engineer.

5. Parking shall be subject to Unified Planning Board site plan review as stated elsewhere in this chapter.

e. Landscaping and Buffer.

1. Landscaping, consisting of attractive trees, shrubs, plants, natural or synthetic grass lawns and decorative stone or rock gardens within the Highway Improvement Districts, shall be shown on site plans and shall be maintained as required in this chapter.

2. Wherever a parking plan in the Highway Improvement District has a capacity of one hundred (100) or more cars, a landscaping plan shall be submitted with the site plan to the Unified Planning Board indicating a minimum of five (5%) percent of the total land area for parking maintained in decorative landscaping, such as planting islands or focal points.

3. Wherever a use permitted in the Highway Improvement District abuts a residential zone, a solid and continuous landscape screen shall be required as per Section 34-41. In addition, the following buffer requirements shall apply in the HI District:

(a) In the event that the width of the parcel at the building line exceeds one hundred (100) feet and adjoins a residential property, the buffer area shall be increased by ten (10%) percent of the footage exceeding the initial one hundred (100) feet at the building line to a maximum buffer of fifty (50) feet.

(b) In the event that the average depth of the parcel exceeds two hundred (200) feet and adjoins a residential property, the buffer area shall be increased by ten (10%) percent or the average depth exceeding the initial two hundred (200) feet to a maximum buffer area of fifty (50) feet.

(c) In addition to such buffer planting, the applicant or owner shall erect on the buffer area a fence six (6) feet in height for the purpose of protecting the residential property from litter, debris, light glare and other such nuisances that would disturb the enjoyment and peaceful possession of the residential property. Such fence shall not be less than seventy-five (75%) percent solid and shall be located only as shown on the site plan approved by the Unified Planning Board.

4. Guaranties.

(a) Whenever landscaping, seeding and/or buffer area planting is required under this subsection, or any section of this chapter or by an approval of the Unified Planning Board or Borough Council, as the case may be, the same shall be planted prior to the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy for the use on the property; provided, however, that when the season or weather conditions do not permit such plantings to coincide with the completion of the buildings or structures, same shall be accomplished with a time to be specified in the issuance of such Certificate of Occupancy, based upon the season of the year when issued.

(b) No Certificate of Occupancy shall be issued for any use requiring landscaping, seeding and/or planted buffer area under this chapter, or as a condition of any approval under this chapter, unless the owner shall have filed with the Borough the performance guaranties herein required, sufficient in amount to cover the costs of such required plantings, including replacement thereof and maintenance thereof for a two-year period.

(c) Ten (10%) percent of the total estimated costs of all such plantings, as aforesaid, shall be deposited in cash or equivalent with the Borough Treasurer, conditioned upon the proper planting and seeding (where such has not already taken place) and maintenance for a period of two (2) years, and/or assurance that the same will survive two (2) growing seasons or be replaced if same should die within such time. Such deposit, or any portion thereof in an amount as certified by the Borough Engineer and approved by the Borough Council may be expended by the Borough if the owner shall fail within thirty (30) days after written notice to make such plantings, or replace dead or dying trees or shrubs, as the case may be, or to provide additional plantings which are deemed necessary to meet the requirements of such approval. The Borough shall be obligated to return only the unexpended portion of the deposit to the applicant upon the completion of all required plantings and survival through two (2) growing seasons, as aforesaid.

(d) The balance of the performance guaranty may be in the form of a performance bond, which shall be issued by a bonding or surety company approved by the Borough Council, a certified check or cash deposit or any other type of surety acceptable to the Borough Council and approved as to form by the Borough Attorney.

(e) The posting of a performance guaranty as set forth above shall not relieve the owner from the obligation to perform nor shall such guaranty preclude the Borough from revocation of the Certificate of Occupancy where the owner fails to perform.

5. In the event of a discrepancy between the buffer requirements of this section and Section 34-41, the more stringent regulation shall apply.

f. Fences.

1. Where fences are to be installed as part of an initial application involving a building or other structures, the same shall be shown on the site plan, and the nature of the proposed fence shall be described.

2. Barbed wire and electricity charged fences are specifically prohibited, however, barbed wire may be permitted to be installed above a height of six (6) feet on customary security type fences, if permission therefor is specifically granted by the appropriate authorities.

3. All fences must be erected within the property lines, and no fences shall be erected so as to encroach upon a public right-of-way.

4. Every fence shall be maintained in a safe, sound, upright condition.

5. Spite fences are specifically prohibited, as are fences made from used or discarded materials not usually associated with fences, such as but not limited to doors, old lumber and the like.

g. Signs. See Section 34-44.

h. Driveways. The following standards shall apply for driveways within the Highway Improvement District.

1. Driveways shall enter the road system as nearly as possible to ninety (90°) degrees.

2. The number of driveways provided for the site directly to any road shall be as follows:

(a) For a length of site frontage of less than three hundred (300) feet, there shall be no more than two (2) driveways.

(b) For a length of site frontage three hundred (300) feet or more, the number of driveways shall be specified by the Borough Unified Planning Board, upon receipt of advice of the Borough Engineer.

3. All entrance and exit driveways to the road shall be located to afford maximum safety to traffic on the road.

4. Where a site occupies a corner of two (2) intersecting roads, no driveway entrance or exit may be located within fifty (50) feet of the intersection of the curb lines when extended.

5. No part of any driveway may be located within five (5) feet of a side property line. However, upon application to the Unified Planning Board and upon approval of the design by the Borough Engineer, the Unified Planning Board may permit a driveway serving two (2) or more adjacent sites to be located on or within five (5) feet of a side property line between the adjacent site.

6. Where two (2) or more driveways connect a single site to any one (1) road, a minimum clear distance of twenty-five (25) feet measured along the right-of-way line shall separate the closest edges of any two (2) such driveways.

7. For a driveway having a two-way operation, the driveway will intersect the road at an angle as near ninety (90°) degrees as site conditions will permit, and in no case will be less than sixty (60°) degrees.

i. Buffer.

1. There shall be a twenty-foot buffer area along any side line or rear line which abuts the residential zone. If the area is substantially screened by natural trees and growth, the same shall be left in its natural state. If the area is not substantially screened in its natural state, it shall be planted with shrubs and trees so as to provide an adequate screen from the residential properties.

2. In the event the width of the parcel at the building line exceeds one hundred (100) feet and adjoins a residential property, the buffer area shall be increased by ten (10%) percent of the footage exceeding the initial one hundred (100) feet at the building line to a maximum buffer of fifty (50) feet.

3. In the event the average depth of the parcel exceeds two hundred (200) feet and adjoins a residential property, the buffer area shall be increased by ten (10%) percent or the average depth exceeding the initial two hundred (200) feet to a maximum buffer area of fifty (50) feet.

j. Lot Area and Yard Requirements. See Section 34-60.

k. Abandonment.

1. If a nonconforming use of land, premises, building or structure, or any part or portion thereof, has been terminated or discontinued for a period of two (2) years, such nonconforming use shall not thereafter be reestablished, and all future use shall be in conformity with the provisions of this chapter. Such termination or discontinuance of the active and continuous operation of such nonconforming use, or a part or portion thereof, for such period of two (2) years shall be presumed to be an abandonment of such nonconforming use, regardless of any reservation of an intent not to abandon same or of an intent to resume active operations.

2. If actual abandonment in fact is evidenced by the substantial removal of buildings, structures, machinery, equipment and other evidences of such nonconforming use of the land and premises, the abandonment shall be construed and considered to be completed within a period of less than two (2) years, and all rights to reestablish or continue such nonconforming use shall thereupon terminate.

(Ord. No. 98-21 § 304-70)

Huskies Win Central Jersey Group II Quarter Finals; Semi Finals Friday Against Warriors

(1) Matawan beat (8) Monmouth Regional 34-6 on Saturday night, thereby moving a step closer to the Central Jersey 2 championships, according to APP.

In the other contests:
  • (4) Manasquan squeaked past (5) Roselle 33-32
  • (3) Rumson-Fair Haven soundly defeated (6) Ewing 42-13
  • (7) Carteret upset (2) North Plainfield 27-20
According to the Star Ledger, the official repository of NJSIAA sports brackets, the semi-finals will be held this Friday 19 November. (Times and locations to be announced.) UPDATE:  Star-Ledger has changed the date of the Matawan-Manasquan game at their site to Saturday 20 November at 6 pm at Matawan. The Rumson game is now listed as being tonight at 7 pm but the venue is TBA.
  •  (1) Matawan will face (4) Manasquan.
  •  (3) Rumson-Fair Haven will play (7) Carteret. 
Matawan last played Manasquan at the College of New Jersey in December, defeating them 28-12 for the state championship.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

PJR Building Lumber Co Showroom/Warehouse on RTE 34 South of Lloyd RD

PJR Construction is constructing a large facility (6,000 sq ft retail showroom, 30,000 sq ft warehouse) on 4+ acres along Route 34 near Van Brackle for Dykes Lumber.

Aberdeen 34 Properties, LLC, dba Dykes Lumber, went before the Aberdeen Planning Board several times over the past year and a half regarding this construction project. I couldn't locate an online record of their first presentation to the Board, but it revisited the submission in May 2009 and memorialized its approval of the plan in July 2009, per its 20 May 2009. and 15 July 2009 agendas. The Board recently approved solar panels for the flat roof of their warehouse, per its Oct 2010 agenda. The Aberdeen Shade Tree Advisory Board consulted on the project in 2009, according to that Board's 2009 annual report.

Construction on Dykes Lumber Co facility is ongoing
PJR Construction of Freehold has considerable equipment on site for this 4+ acre project
The Lloyd Road/Route 34 intersection construction project backs up traffic past the lumber company construction site to Van Brackle Road and beyond

Red Cross Volunteers Learn Disaster Kitchen Operations

Merri-Makers Caterers is providing space at its Raritan Center facility this weekend for the American Red Cross to provide disaster kitchen training to its volunteers. Almost two  dozen men and women from our communities are spending Friday evening, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning learning how to handle food services when they are called to volunteer at a Red Cross disaster shelter.  Donations to the Red Cross supported the purchase of the Spirit of America, a mobile food services center on hand for the training. Below are some photographs of the rig and this weekend's training event.

Red Cross volunteers arriving Saturday morning from regional chapters throughout the State of New Jersey
Spirit of America - rig parked outside Merrimakers at Raritan Center
Spirit of America - closeup of side panel message
Classroom in Merrimakers warehouse
Spirit of America - food service work area
Spirit of America - food processor
Spirit of America - stacked ovens
Merri-makers tour for Red Cross trainees learning about commercial food preparation and service

Friday, November 12, 2010

Top Tomato Superstore Open in Holmdel

The new Top Tomato Superstore on Route 35 in Holmdel opened yesterday, 11 November 2010. They are supposed to feature a quality butcher, deli, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Users at Chowhound have been discussing this store's expansion from Staten Island into central New Jersey for about two years with a general consensus of ho hum, let's go to Wegman's. Hopefully customers will be more pleased with the offerings and service at the Holmdel store than the Freehold reviews would portend. If you've visited, please share your impressions here.

UPDATE: I dropped in at Top Tomato on Saturday afternoon. The store is much different from a usual grocery store because the typical aisles are relegated to the back quarter of the operation. You can see across most of the rest of the place, except for the deli counter in the center. Also, there are numerous stations around the store: a place for meats, for breads, for seafood, for cheeses, even a place for olives. They also have a cafe in the corner, a coffee grinding area, and a jewelry vendor. 

They have a fountain near the entrance and a sign saying they don't use any gimmicks, an odd juxtaposition. I didn't see any hand baskets for shopping, only carts; a number of customers were walking around with their hands full of items.

I almost walked away from the deli counter because I saw a lot of Take A Number slips on the counter and a customer number lit in red behind the counter, but no Take A Number dispenser. Bad arrangement. One of the deli workers saw me looking perplexed and grabbed the sale before I could get away. Good job.

My dealings with the deli revealed some staff to be capable and knowledgeable sales personnel while others seemed unfamiliar with the products around them and how to market them. There must have been six men behind the deli counter today. A bit chaotic, but nobody had to wait, I have to admit. I could have had three or four of them serving me at once if I asked. I had two. I don't imagine the store can afford to overstaff the store long term. You'll certainly get some attention over the next week or so.

Top Tomato Superstore in Holmdel opened on Veterans Day 2010
The crowd at the Deli at Top Tomato was behind the counter
The meats counter at Top Tomato in Holmdel
Fruits are neatly stacked, probably too neatly.
Olives & Pickles get a touch of Venice at Top Tomato in Holmdel
The Cafe at Top Tomato, as seen through the nearby fountain

Memories of the Old Matawan Station

I still remember buying my monthly train ticket in the old Matawan station. The manager was fired back in the 1980s for fraud involving the monthly stickers he would affix to the paper tickets. He figured out a way to cheat the system. I imagine he got caught up in an audit.

The wooden floor was dry and worn. Lots of cigarette butts fell through the slats. The accommodations were spartan.

The railroad straightened and leveled the tracks passing the station and added a fence to keep people from crossing the tracks. I used to have to use the train`s steps from ground level to board the train.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

5th Annual Matawan Turkey Trot and Fitness Walk

Matawan Borough is hosting its Fifth Annual Turkey Trot and Fitness Walk on Saturday 27 November 2010, according to Jersey Runner. The race begins at 10 am at Terhune Park, per APP and will be followed by a kiddy race. Terhune Park is located on South Street between Main and Broad Streets in Matawan.

Proceeds go to the improvement of Matawan's parks. Non-perishable food products will be collected for the Matawan Food Pantry.

Early registration is over, but you can still register ($20) online or by mail (5K Turkey Trot, Matawan Borough Hall, 201 Broad St., Matawan, N.J. 07747) or after 8 am on the day of the event.

Check out the event's Facebook page and a short video from last year's race.

O'Malley Updates

The Star-Ledger has a full write up on Richard O'Malley and his move to schools superintendent at Edison. I didn't realize that while he was MARSD superintendent, he was simultaneously serving as mayor of Raritan Township; he is currently serving as deputy mayor.  (Each of those jobs pays more than $500/mo, according to NJ.com.)

The Asbury Park Press applauded O'Malley's schools budget achievements in Matawan. But a few years of his style of fiscal conservatism combined with an ax wielding Governor Christie have gotten Raritan Township into a fiscal mess. Of course they blame the unions for excessive pension costs and salary increases, but hundreds of thousands of dollars in cuts in state aid ordered by Governor Christie combined with several years of squeaky tight municipal budgeting are the true proximate cause of their troubles. O'Malley and the Raritan Township Committee repeatedly voted for budgets lower than the 2% cap allowed by the state, so with no flexibility in their bare bones budget they had to raise taxes by 9%. And next year they anticipate cutting staff. They've requested an exception to the state cap and are like totally upset about having to raise taxes so sharply. Check out this Star Ledger article for more information.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Aberdeen 2010 Leaf Pickup Schedule

Aberdeen Township presents its leaf pickup schedule in its online calendar. Here's the rundown:
  • Week of 8 November: Cliffwood, High School section, Heritage Estates, Storyland, Woodbrook, and Strathmore sections W, B, and C.
  • Week of 15 November: Oak Shades, Freneau, and Strathmore sections I and J.
  • Week of 22 November: Cliffwood Beach, Heather Glen, Santa Fe, and Strathmore sections A, D, F, N, and O.
  • Week of 29 November: Cliffwood, High School section, Heritage Estates, Storyland, Woodbrook, and Strathmore sections W, B, and C.
  • Week of 6 December: Oak Shades, Freneau, and Strathmore sections I and J.
  • Week of 13 December: All sections.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Matawan Native Making Films

Robbie Bryan, a Matawan native, has made a film called "Choose." See Central Jersey for a review of the movie and some background on the filmmaker. "Choose" doesn't appear at IMDB yet, but the site has a small blurb dated July 2010 about the production being underway.

Huskies (8-0) to Face Falcons (4-4) in Playoffs

The Asbury Park Press reported heavily today on Matawan Regional High School football, the newspaper's #1 ranked team. The Huskies defeated New Brunswick today 43-0 and are set to face Monmouth Regional in the Shore Conference playoffs.

The fight hardly seems fair. The Falcons have only competed in two playoffs in their history. And they had lost four in a row coming into Saturday's match. APP more than suggests that Monmouth is unlucky to have been last seed:  Monmouth's reward for getting in is defending Central II champion Matawan (8-0). The Huskies have the Shore's longest current winning streak at 16.

Let's hope Matawan can stay focused and deal with the Falcons before thinking about the Shore championships.

Flapper Bathing Beauty Up for Bid

There's an interesting photograph for sale at eBay of a young woman in a one-piece bathing suit posing on the sand at Cliffwood Beach. The seller says the photo is dated July 1929.Bidding starts at $7.99.

I've never seen an image of Cliffwood Beach like this before.The woman is standing in front of an eight-foot high wooden fence or barrier with rough-hewn pier pylons supporting it. Is that part of the old boardwalk? Can someone confirm that this photo could have been taken here at that time?

I think I see a thermos bottle and some other items to her right, possibly on a blanket. There are some other items behind her in the sand. Perhaps she is a girl from New York City who came down by train for a bit of fun at the shore?

O'Malley Grabs Bigger Paycheck in Edison

The Asbury Park Press reports that Richard O'Malley, Superintendent of Schools for Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District, has accepted a job heading the Edison schools beginning in February. He'll be tapping them for $210,000 per year plus all sorts of bonuses. Some consider his tenure here to have been a success, but IMHO the man is soulless and Ill be glad to see him go.

2010 Jolly Mouse Craft Show Well Attended

I visited the Jolly Mouse Craft Show at Lloyd Road Elementary School on Saturday. I found a nice gift for my daughter at the Norene's Needles booth. And I got some ideas for unique Christmas gifts for my great nieces at the Amazing Graces homemade dolls booth. (Special orders for these one of a kind dolls can be phoned in to 732-441-0329.)

Amazing Graces

My wife caught up with Jane Johnson and Bernadette Hammond near the auction in the cafe. They are officers in the Hazlet/Aberdeen/Matawan Therapeutic Recreation Program, the organization receiving the proceeds from the craft show. So far the funds raised at the past 26 annual shows have helped the group purchase two 15-passenger vans and one 26-passenger bus. The funds also provide scholarships for students to the summer camp program.

Norene's Needles

The recreation program runs from Mid-March until Mid December. The summer camp program starts in the last week in June and runs through the first week in August. Those with special needs age 7 to adult participate.

The organization is a nonprofit and largely funded and run by the parents, but the three municipalities also provide significant support. For instance, the group uses the Swim Club in Hazlet at no cost. The group has bowling nights at Airport Plaza in Hazlet, cooking classes at the United Methodist Church of Matawan in Aberdeen, and exercise classes at the Aberdeen Community Center. The group sponsors trips to Dorney Park, Cape May, Sandy Hook, and the adults even visit Atlantic City.