A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Patricia O'Keefe Retires; New Principal Sought for Lloyd Road Elementary

The online podcast of the 27 June 2011 MARSD Board of Education meeting includes the following interesting pieces of information:
  • Ms Patricia O'Keefe has announced her retirement as Principal at the Lloyd Road Elementary School. (The job is already posted online.)
  • The district has hired two new Vice Principals -- Mr Michael Wells at MRHS and Mr Mark Van Horn at MAMS. Mr Wells begins his duties 1 July 2011; Mr Van Horn on 1 August 2011.
  • The Board has participated in two mediated sessions of negotiations with the Matawan Regional Teachers Association (MRTA), on 27 April and 6 June 2011, and plans to attend a third session on 8 August.
  • The Superintendent of Schools and the Mayor of Matawan (on behalf of both Aberdeen and Matawan) each recognized Kathleen Eovino for her years of dedicated service to the community through her work in the school system and on the board of the Matawan-Aberdeen Public Library. The student representative likewise praised her service and thanked her on behalf of his fellow students. Ms Eovino, in turn, recognized the service of teachers in our district. She also recognized the library board for their efforts. She received a well deserved standing ovation from those in attendance.

Indictment Announced in Shooting of Waitress at Red Oak

The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office has brought an indictment in February's shooting outside of the Red Oak Diner in Hazlet, according to a press release. The victim, a 35 year old Keyport woman working at the diner as a waitress, was found in a flowerbed with multiple gunshot wounds to the face, neck, arm, and upper torso and was transported to the hospital, where she endured several surgeries. The shooter, who allegedly didn't like his ex-girlfriend's reasons for breaking up with him, faces 20 years for first degree attempted murder and other charges. If convicted, he will be required to serve 85% of his sentence before being considered for parole.

Exxon Reopens Near Pizza Hut at GSP Exit 120

Maybe I just hadn't noticed it before, but the Exxon on Laurence Harbor Parkway near the Pizza Hut is back in business. It had been closed for quite some time.

Gas used to be considerably higher there than other places around town, so I used it for convenience sake but never on a regular basis. Maybe this time around, with the Quick Check right across the street, maybe their prices will be more reasonable?

The Exxon never had much of a store, but perhaps that has changed with this new opening? The Quik Chek has a big store.

Convenience getting into and out of their lots will likely be the ultimate deciding factor on which if either of these gas stations customers choose. I suspect that Aberdeen and Matawan residents heading to the GSP in the morning rush will favor Quik Chek. Matawan and Strathmore residents will find it easiest getting in and out of the Exxon. Cliffwood, Cliffwood Beach and Keyport residents better just buy their gas in the morning because getting into and out of either station during the evening rush is problematic.

History: Aberdeen Inn, Matawan, NJ - Part 2

This is a follow up to my recent research article on The Aberdeen Inn of Matawan. Below are some more original citations about the property, including a New Jersey Bell advertisement from 1969 that discusses the first switchboard operators in town.

Aberdeen Inn To Change Hands
W R Cartledge, the present landlord at the Aberdeen Inn, has sold his interests there to Arno Knuecht of Newark and the latter expects to take possession next Thursday upon the transference of the license to him.

Mr Cartledge, it is said, will return to his old home at Camden, where he will take things easy until he feels disposed to re-engage in business.
Source: The 16 Feb 1911 edition of The Matawan Journal, image 2 of 8

List of Signers to Hotel Licenses
Summary: Six local hotels presented a hotel operating license application with an accompanying list of names of local people willing to vouch for the owner's "good repute for honesty and temperance". The list was published by order of the Matawan WCTU. Their names also vouched the need for and conduciveness towards the public good that such an inn or tavern operating in Matawan.

The six hotels and their operators were as follows: Road House (Ellen Sullivan), Eagle Hotel Ann Concannon), Matawan House (James Furey), Mount Pleasant Hotel (Louie Hartenstein), Woodbine Hotel (W A Kennedy), and Aberdeen Hotel (Arno Kunath). The signatories for the Aberdeen Inn were: H D Smith, Thomas A Smith, S C Towler, A V Hulshart, Frances M Lambertson, George Linzmayer, Jr, John J Knuahel, W A Close, John Barney, Frank Tourine, Dayton Stillwagon, Patsy Sarabuchelle, Joseph Poccardta, Luiga Taronici, Pasqualia D'alio, and Abraham D'alio.
Source: The 10 Sep 1914 edition of The Matawan Journal, image 5 of 8

A Kunath Holds Up Goods For Unpaid Bill of $27.50
Last Sunday A. Kunath, proprietor of the Aberdeen Inn, swore out an attachment against five members of the Kline Carnival Show to recover an unpaid bill of $27.50 for board. . . .
Source: The 8 Jul 1915 edition of The Matawan Journal, image 1 of 8

John Reed of Keyport has purchased the Aberdeen Hotel, opposite Matawan railroad station. Mr. Reed conducted this hotel several years ago but now buys it as a matter of speculation.
Source: The 22 May 1925 edition of The Matawan Journal, image 5 of 8

Samuel Mann Will Install One at the Corner of Aberdeen Hotel

Samuel Mann, proprietor of Aberdeen Inn, has equipped the gas and oil station at the corner of the hotel and will give his personal attention to conducting the service station. A little later he proposes to open a restaurant in the hotel where a special cater will be made to lovers of sea food. About September 1, John Reed, who owns the building, plans to open a fish stand in the new store adjoining the hotel proper. Mr. Mann is much pleased with the patronage he is receiving and says he has so many calls for rooms for night lodgings and longer stays that he frequently has to turn people away.
Source: The 7 Aug 1925 edition of The Matawan Journal, image 1 of 8

John F Reed, who formerly conducted the Aberdeen Inn and later a fish market in that building, is preparing to open a fish market in Princeton next week.
Source: The 20 Jan 1928 edition of The Matawan Journal, image 5 of 8

Matawan will soon have another new industry, which will mean even more employment for men and women. In the very near future, the Curedent Corporation of America, manufacturers of the Curedent Tooth Paste, expect to have their plant in order and going strong. The old Aberdeen building at the Railroad Station Plaza has been purchased by the firm and some of the machinery has already been installed. It is said that there is a delay in getting started due to part of the equipment and machinery which is being manufactured in Europe and has not yet arrived.

The main floor of the building has been made into spacious offices for the concern, the rest of the entire building will be used for the manufacture of Cureden, "Cure-a-dent," Tooth Paste. After the weighing and compounding of chemicals, which is done by expert chemists, the ingredients are never touched by human hands, even to the filling of the tubes which contain the paste.

Some of the members of the firm expect to locate in Matawan. S J Oberwager of New York, president of the concern, said that Matawan had impressed him very favorably as not only a splendid location for manufacturing with the fine shipping accommodations, but as a most ideal town to live in. S J Oberwager, who is a well-known dentist in New York, is a brother of Judge C A Oberwager and Dr John Oberwager, Chief Medical Inspector of New York City.
Source: The 24 Aug 1928 edition of The Matawan Journal, image 10 of 10

OBITUARY:William H Perrine
William H Perrine, a former Matawan resident, died at his home in Newark last Saturday. Mr Perrine was the son of James H Perrine, who a number of years ago conducted a saloon in the building now used by the Bell Beef Company. Mr Perrine was a professional athlete and trap shooter, being the winner of a number of prizes both in this and foreign countries. At one time he conducted a hotel at Keansburg, it being the first opened in that borough; conducted the Aberdeen Inn in Matawan for a time, after which he went to Newark, opening sporting headquarters which he conducted until the enactment of the prohibition law, when he headed a detective agency, which business he was the head at the time of his death. He is survived by a wife and a married daughter. He was 72 years of age.
Source: The 9 Nov 1928 edition of The Matawan Journal,image 5 of 10

The porch around the old Aberdeen Inn has been removed and an addition will be built to the rear of teh building for the use of the manufacturing company now in possession of the building. Celluloid novelties will be produced.
Source: The 14 Nov 1930 edition of The Matawan Journal, image 1 of 6

Widely Known Place of Former Days To Be Restored And Improved at Cost of Over $12,000 For USe by "Manny" Einziger; Had Been Factory
Negotiations are underway between Emanuel Einziger of Keyport and The Matawan Bank for the re-opening of the old Aberdeen Inn opposite the railroad station. This property was acquired by the bank some time ago as security on foreclosure proceedings. Mr Einziger is now proprietor of the Monmouth Wine and Liquor Company, located in the old Mansion House at the corner of Main and Broad Streets, Keyport.  Prior to the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment he was proprietor of the Monmouth Furniture Company. . . .Lengthy article, nice summary of hotel's history.
Source: The 30 Nov 1934 edition of The Matawan Journal, image 1 of 14

Aberdeen Inn Razed For Service Station
Demolition of the famed old Aberdeen Inn at Station Plaza in Matawan, is nearing completion. The three story brick structure is being taken down to clear the way for construction of a new service station on the Plaza site.

The Aberdeen Inn was constructed in 1891 by W. A. Close and was conducted as a hotel by Christian Croxon for a number of years. The first telephone booth in Matawan was located at the Aberdeen Inn and the first extension phone ran from from the hotel to the office in the barn of the hotel's livery stable.

In 1928, the building was leased to a New York firm for the manufacture of tooth paste, but when the  venture proved impractical, the building remained unoccupied for some time.  Over the past 30 years, it has been leased to numerous manufacturers.
Source: The 14 May 1964 edition of The Matawan Journal, image 1 of 26

Looking Backward: Sixty Years Ago
Supt. Blodgett has had planking put down between the tracks recently laid across Main St. and the macadam stone has been placed up to the west rail. A carload of Manasquan gravel is in the freight yard for use about the station grounds and a new flag walk is to be laid from the Aberdeen Inn property to the walk leading to the station.
Source: The 26 Jun 1969 edition of The Matawan Journal, image 4 of 20

New Jersey Bell Ad on 100th Anniversary of The Matawan Journal
...in 1891 to be exact, telephone service arrived on the scene. The first telephones linked two local drug stores, one owned hy Dr. E. McKinney at the comer of Front and Broad Streets in Keyport and the other
owned by C. K. Slater on Main Street in Matawan. But until "Central" was set up at Slater's in 1896, calls were handled at a switchboard located in Long Branch.

Mr. Slater and his clerk, Tom Moriarity, served as the first telephone operators in the Matawan-Keyport area. They connected calls when they weren't mixing prescriptions! When the switchboard was moved down the street to the Aberdeen Inn in 1898, John F. Wright, the bartender, alternated his telephone operating with mixing drinks.

Other young men who served as telephone operators at the Aberdeen were George Dominick, Arthur Hawkins, Kobert West and V. V. Close. The '98 telephone directory listed these customers: In Keyport, Thomas R. Brown Estate, A, W. Hoff, Benj. B. Ogden and J. G. Schanck. And in Matawan: C. E. Close, W. A. Close, Edward Farry, N. J. Terra Cotta Co., F. H. Slater and the Matawan Journal.

Young men continued to serve as telephone operators until 1905 when Miss Edna Craven took over the board. As the exchange grew, Miss Winnie Ahearn became the first chief operator. She was succeeded by Miss Rae Hopkins who demonstrated outstanding public service during the blizzard of March 1,1914, when she remained at the switchboard from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday.

By 1916 there were about 500 phones in Keyport and Matawan, and modern phones like this were all the rage. Over the years, the number of telephones continued to climb, and phone styles changed as much as the fashions. Dial service was established in 1958. And now, of coarse, many Keyport and Matawan families are making phone calls twice as fast with convenient tap-the-number Touch-Tone® telephones.

Today, on this 100th Anniversary of this newspaper, we're connecting your calls to almost anywhere in the world. But we're not satisfied with that. Right now we're working on cordless phones so you can make calls on the run and remarkable picturephone® sets so you can see who you're talking to.
Source: The 31 Jul 1969 edition of The Matawan Journal, image 45 of 72

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Freeholders Adjust Speed Limits From Matawan to Middletown

Middletown Patch points out that our Freeholders tinkered with the speed limits on Route 516 at their 23 June meeting. For those unfamiliar with our local roads, Wikipedia provides the complicated tale of how County Route 516 wends its way through our county from Matawan to Middletown. They will soon be writing to let our local municipalities know they have to change the speed limit signs.

The change could be a good thing, but the agenda (and Patch's article) didn't indicate that local municipalities were involved in the decision at all. Given that Route 516 cuts through the heart of multiple jurisdictions, such a change will affect all of us and there should be more transparency.

By the way, Mtown Patch: Your article erroneously states that Route 516 is 40 MPH and that it will now become 35 MPH.  No one is legally doing 40 MPH on Main Street in Matawan. Or on Green Grove in Keyport. The Freeholders' 23 June 2011 agenda shows Resolution 2011-0503 would amend an earlier resolution to reduce speeds for safety's sake. Our twisted little route has 8 different speed limit zones which will now range from 25 MPH to 40 MPH. The issue was considerably more complex than your article reported.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

William Lanzaro, Matawan Native, Dead at 73

Matawan native William Lanzaro, 73, died Monday in Florida, according to APP. He was Monmouth County Sheriff from 1981 to 1995.

Online Images Offline

Online images of The Matawan Journal and The Independent have been unavailable since at least Friday, reportedly due to a server problem at Innovative Document Imaging (IDI), the company that scanned and posted our newspapers for us.

This situation means that when you click on a link to the Matawan Journal in one of my history articles, there will be a long pause and then an error screen will appear saying the long pause was too long.

Hopefully the problem, whatever it is, will be remedied soon. Unfortunately, I had planned to do some research in these papers this week.

UPDATE: The servers are apparently serving again. Functionality is restored.

Red Bank Woman's Body Discovered in Aberdeen

The body of a missing Red Bank woman was discovered near Garden State Parkway mile marker 119 in Aberdeen, according to APP. The authorities have charged her estranged husband in the murder, which is thought to have occurred in mid-May.

The Other Side of the Tracks Is For Lawncare

At the Matawan train station, I see the immigrants hopping into lawn care trucks every morning and I wonder at their lives. We're all dressed up and heading to jobs in the big city, and they're dressed in t shirts and jeans heading out to our yards to cut the grass and trim the bushes. We gawk at each other across the tracks, much like we do when we pass on the streets.

Last week, NPR did a review of A Better Life, a movie about the teenaged son of an illegal immigrant in Los Angeles. The boy thought his father was a chump and a sellout for tending a rich man's garden, and the father couldn't tell his son to do the right thing and steer clear of city gangs because the father was breaking the law every day just living in the US. The movie reminded me of my fear for our region and the children of the many undocumented immigrants in our community and where they are heading.

And then I saw this video (below) tonight by Jose Antonio Vargas, who overcame his legacy as the child of an illegal migrant worker through the help of others, his personal underground railroad. He didn't know he was an illegal until he went to get his driver's license. But his future was tied up in the lie. Mr Vargas, a Pulitzer prize winning journalist, says it is time to have a discussion about immigration. His video and more can be seen at DefineAmerican.com.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Moore's Bar Razed

Moore's Bar is no more!

UPDATE: The rubble is gone. The site has been leveled and a real estate agent's sign has been posted on the now vacant lot.

History: Matawan Railroad Station Photographs, 1905

The R Van Dyke Reid Photograph Collection, available for viewing at the South River Museum, contains 15 photographs of Matawan Station, about half of which are dated 1905 and the balance are undated. The museum, located in the Old School Baptist Church at 64-66 Main Street in South River, NJ, is operated by the South River Historical and Preservation Society.

List of Photographs
  1. George G Worthley's canning factory (1905)
  2. Employees in George G Worthley's canning factory (1905)
  3. H B Hulsart's restaurant (1905)
  4. A view towards Keyport from Matawan railroad station (1905)
  5. Flaked rice factory (undated)
  6. Aberdeen Inn (1905)
  7. Matawan railroad station (undated)
  8. A View Towards Matawan from Matawan Station (1905)
  9. A view towards the railroad bridge from Matawan railroad station (undated)
  10. A view from the railroad bridge northeast towards Matawan railroad station (undated)
  11. Employees of George G Worthley's canning factory (1905)
  12. Employees of George G Worthley's canning factory unloading tomatoes (undated)
  13. Matawan railroad station (undated)
  14. Samuel Fowler, horse, wife, child (undated)
  15. Girl holding books in front of flaked rice factory (undated)
Worthley's Canning Factory

The 8 Nov 1913 edition of the South Amboy Citizen reported the death of George G Worthley, who reportedly expired while reading a newspaper in his office near the Matawan train station. He was 63 years old.  His obituary reads as follows:

George G Worthley, proprietor of the canning factory adjacent to the railroad station at Matawan, expired while reading a newspaper in his office at the factory Monday afternoon. Mr. Worthley was sixty-three years of age and went to Matawan from Long Island City about ten years ago to operate the canning factory. He was associated with the late John Romain, in Long Island City, in the canning business for a  number of years before he went to Matawan. Mr. Worthley resided at Red Bank. He is survived by a widow and one son. He was a son of the late John Abbott Worthley, of Red Bank.

The 22 Oct 1936 edition of The Red Bank Register (image 3 of 30) says George G Worthley's canning factory at Matawan had the capacity to produce 5,000 gallons of catsup per day. The factory ran day and night.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

History: Aberdeen Inn, Matawan, NJ

I researched the online images of The Red Bank Register dated from 1900 to 1909 looking for the term "Aberdeen" and stumbled upon a series of articles about The Aberdeen Inn, a prominent hotel near the Matawan train station. The hotel was built around 1890 and was running strong twenty years later.

I hadn't come across the hotel in my research before. Anyone know where the hotel was located and if the building still exists? The old Matawan train station building is the only large building still around. I've noted below numerous articles in chronological order from the first five of seven pages of my search results at RBR. I'll update this piece from time to time as I locate more details.

Michael Coleman of Morrisville to Move to Matawan

Michael Coleman, who has conducted the hotel at Morrisville for the past year and a half, has leased the Aberdeen Inn at the Matawan railroad station now conducted by Freeholder Charles E. Close. The term of his lease to for three years, with the privilege of a ten years' renewal at the expiration of that time. The yearly rental is said to be $1,000. The central office of the New York and New Jersey telephone company is located in the hotel and this brings in a rental of $300 a year. Mr. Coleman will take possession of the hotel next Tuesday.

The Aberdeen Inn is owned by Augustus Close, a brother of Freeholder Close. It was built ten years ago. For the first three years it was conducted by Christopher Croxson, and since then it has been in charge of Freeholder Close. The hotel has about twenty rooms and its proximity to the railroad station makes it a very desirable stand. The hotel does a very large bar business, besides having a dining room and lunch counter that are well patronized. It also has a good trade in accommodating transient guests. Freeholder Close, the present proprietor of the hotel, retires from the hotel business to engage in a match manufacturing enterprise. He made a trip to Europe last fall to familiarize himself with the match manufacturing business. He has not yet decided definitely where he will locate his manufacturing plant.

The hotel at Morrisville which Mr. Coleman leaves is owned by Thomas Walsh of Seabright. It was built about six years ago and Mr. Walsh conducted it for awhile himself. Afterward it was rented by Humphrey Hayward, then by Louis Steinberg and finally by Mr. Coleman. Mr. Coleman has put the business on a better basis that it has been since the hotel.was built. He took great pride in the surroundings of his hotel and catered to a good class of trade. Mr. Coleman's successor at Morrisville will be William B. Dalton of Long Branch.

Mr. Coleman, who assumes the responsibility of conducting one of the biggest year-round hotel enterprises in the county, has had a rather eventful career. For eleven years he was employed in the stables of the late D..D. Withers, near Holmdel. Afterward he took to the race track, becoming first a stable boy. From stable boy he rose to rider, from rider to trainer and from trainer to owner. He has made a lot of money in his time and he has spent a lot of it. A year and,a half ago he settled down in the hotel business. He finds the hotel business such a congenial occupation that he expects to remain in it the rest of his days. Source: The 6 Jun 1900 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 2 of 16

ABERDEEN INN, Matawan, N. J .

The Aberdeen inn is convenient to the Matawan railroad station and is equipped with BAR, DINING ROOM AND LUNCH COUNTER. The bar is supplied with first-class Liquors, Wines, Beers and Cigars. First-class accommodations for permanent and transient guests. In fact all the accommodations of a first-class hotel.
Source: The 22 Aug 1900 edition of the Red Bank Register, image 14 of 16

Turned Too Short
In turning around at the Matawan station last week with a horse and wagon, Winfield Geran of that place cranked so short that he was thrown from the wagon. The horse ran up on a terrace in front of the Aberdeen inn and broke the wagon. Geran was slightly bruised by the fall.
Source: The 22 Aug 1900 edition of the Red Bank Register, image 13 of 16

Short and Interesting Items From All Over the County

James Wright of Matawan and his wife have been held for the grand jury on a charge of keeping a disorderly house near the Aberdeen inn at that place.
Source: The 22 Aug 1900 edition of the Red Bank Register, image 16 of 16

A woman wanted for general housework and a man to work in a restaurant. Michael Coleman, Aberdeen inn, Matawan, N. J.
Source: The 22 Aug 1900 edition of the Red Bank Register, image 4 of 16

Michael Coleman of the Aberdeen Inn, Matawan, visited W. H. Dalton on Thursday.
Source: The 12 Sep 1900 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 8 of 16

A Coming Clambake
Michael Coleman, proprietor of the Aberdeen inn at Matawan, will give a clambake on Thursday of next week. All the big and little politicians of the county are expected to be present. Besides feasting there will be speechmaking and a general jollification.
Source: 26 Sep 1900 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 5 of 16

The Aberdeen Inn Leased
Michael Coleman has sold his lease of the Aberdeen inn at the Matawan railroad station to William McKelvey of Manasquan and not to James Norman, as has been reported. Mr. Norman was negotiating for a hotel at Long Branch, but the deal did not go through. N. O. McHenry will manage the Aberdeen inn for Mr. McKelvey.
Source: The 3 Jul 1901 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 4 of 20

Blankets And Whip Stolen
Tunis S. Sickles of Holmdel drove to Matawan on Sunday night to take his daughter and her husband to the train. While waiting for the train he put his rig under the sheds of the Aberdeen hotel. When he went to get the rig, two blankets, a lap robe and a whip were missing and no trace of them could be found.
Source: The 9 Sep 1903 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 1 of 16

Fined for Illegal Liquor Selling
William H. Perrine, proprietor of the Aberdeen hotel at Matawan, pleaded guilty in court last Wednesday to an indictment charging him with the illegal sale of liquor. He was fined $150 and costs.
Source: The 11 Nov 1903 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 10 of 16

Matawan Property Sold
M. A. Coon has bought a lot adjoining the Aberdeen inn at Matawan from Mrs. P. Larkin of South River and will build a blacksmith shop on it. Mr. Coon paid $500 for the lot.
Source: The 20 Jan 1904 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 6 of 16

Pig and Chickens Stolen
Samuel C. Towler, who conducts the livery business at the Aberdeen hotel at Matawan, killed a pig a few nights ago and left it in an out-kitchen over night. The next morning the pig was gone, someone having stolen it. The same night someone stole a lot of chickens from Horace Gaskin, who lives near Mr. Towler. There is no clue to the thieves.
Source: The 18 Jan 1905 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 12 of 16

Aberdeen Inn Changes Hands
John Reid of Newark has succeeded William Perrine as proprietor of the Aberdeen inn at Matawan. Mr. Perrine has made no plans for the future.
Source: The 1 Mar 1905 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 16 of 16

A Doctor Has A Runaway
A horse driven by Dr. Ervin of Matawan got scared a few days ago and ran up on the terrace at the Aberdeen inn. The doctor was thrown out, but he was not hurt.
Source: The 1 Mar 1905 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 16 of 16

Man and Money Gone
Alfred Woolley of Morganville, who drives a milk route at Matawan, had a German driving his milk wagon up to last Wednesday. On that day Mr. Woolley went to Long Branch and he instructed the German to meet him at the Matawan station with the wagon after he finished his route. When Mr. Woolley returned home he found his rig under the sheds at the Aberdeen inn, across from the station, but the German had skipped out, taking with him $18 that he had collected during the day.
Source: The 29 Mar 1905 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 10 of 16

Hotel In New Hands
The Aberdeen inn at the Matawan station was reopened to-day under the management of Jack Reed.
Source: The 20 Sep 1905 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 16 of 16

Summary: A multi-vehicle accident on what is now Route 516 between Browntown and Matawan led one vehicle to be repaired at the Aberdeen stables near the Matawan railroad station.
Source: The 25 Oct 1905 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 11 of 16


Last week the prohibitionists of Monmouth county completed their ticket and endorsed Charles E. Close for sheriff. Mr. Close is the Democratic candidate. This is the first time the prohibitionists have endorsed the candidate of another party since 1893, when James A. Bradley of Asbury Park was endorsed for senator.

The fact that the prohibitionists of the county have endorsed Mr. Close is in itself an indication of his high character. The prohibitionists may be considered "cranks" on their especial principle, but their nominees and.the nominees of other parties whom they have endorsed have always been men of high character. The endorsement of Mr. Close by the prohibitionists is thus in itself a testimonial of his high standing as a citizen of Monmouth.

Mr. Close was at one time manager of the Aberdeen inn at Matawan. The hotel is owned by Mr. Close's brother, W. A. Close. The hotel business proved to be very uncongenial to Charles E. Close, and he left it to engage in other and more congenial occupations.

During the time that Mr. Close was manager of the Aberdeen inn it was kept in strict conformity to the law. Mr. Close was particular to have the law observed in every detail, and there was not even a whisper against the manner in which the hotel was conducted. Some Republicans have had a great deal to say about running a man for office who was once a hotel keeper, but the fact that the prohibitionists have endorsed Mr. Close, despite the fact that he at one time conducted a hotel, shows the moral stamina and high character of the man more conclusively than perhaps anything else possibly could.

The Republicans, in their desperation over the antagonism against Mr. Francis which has been manifested by the voters of Monmouth,, are trying to show that Mr. Ciose, because he once kept a hotel, would not enforce the liquor laws and would permit open violations of the Sunday laws. That this is not true is shown by the fact that every hotel man in the county of Monmouth who wants to keep an open bar on Sunday is out working tooth and nail against Mr. Close. The liquor dealers association of Monmouth county is fighting Mr. Close with the same violence with which Dr. Bogardus was fought when he ran for sheriff three years ago. Sheriff Bogardus was elected on a pledge that if he was elected he would force the hotels of Keyport to close their bars on Sunday. He kept his word. The Sunday bars were closed and the men who had been running them were indicted and punished. These men see in Mr. Close's election another three years of closed Sunday bars, and they are bending every effort to defeat him.

If the hotel business is discreditable, as the Republicans intimate it is in Mr. Close's case, how is it that they can support Mr. Francis for sheriff? Mr. Francis is now, and for many years has been, engaged in the liquor business. Mr. Francis's supporters are trying to make the people believe that keeping a hotel, as conducted by Mr. Close, is a discreditable business, but they fail to say that Mr. Francis is now, and has been for years, engaged in the sale of liquor and there is no intimation that he has ever found it an uncongenial occupation.

For myself, I see nothing discreditable about keeping a hotel, provided it is kept according to law. I think it is rather a meritorious thing to run a good hotel and to run it according to law. It seems to me, too, that every hotel keeper in the county who does run his hotel according to law should be the person above all others who should support men who propose to enforce the law. If hotels are to be run wide open on Sundays at Pleasure Bay, or at Long Branch, or at Keyport, or at any other place in the county, it is a direct injury to every hotel keepwr who does obey the law. It is placing an undue competition on men who follow the mandates of the law, as Judge Foster has often said. Illegal liquor selling is an injury to the community where it in carried on ; but it is a direct financial injury to every hotel keeper who obeys the law. Hotel men and liquor sellers who want to run open Sunday bars are not expected to favor the election of officials pledged to an enforcement of the law; but the hotel keepers who do obey the law should be the very men above all others who should strive to elect men who will not act as guardians of law breakers.
Source: Excerpted from the 25 Oct 1905 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 13 of 16

Fire at Matawan
A fire started at the stables of the Aberdeen inn at Matawan on Tuesday of last week. Six tons of hay and a ton of straw were destroyed and the stables will have to be newly roofed. The loss is covered by insurance.
Source: The 4 Jul 1906 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 

New Buildings at Matawan
Harry B. Hulsart of Matawan is planning to build a house and barn on his lot adjoining the Aberdeen inn. The house will be 24 x 30 feet, with a basement. The barn will be 40 x 56 feet with a basement. The buildings are to be completed by spring.
Source: The 30 Oct 1907 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 14 of 16

Three Negroes Held to Await the Action of the Grand Jury.
One day last week Charles Edward Boyce of Matawan was returning home after having taken a load of produce to the Keyport boat. He was accompanied by his father and daughter. At Keyport he was asked to leave a watermelon at the Aberdeen inn at Matawan. On his way he stopped at Oak Shades and he and his father went in Pat Whelan's grocery store. While they were in the store three negroes sneaked up and stole the watermelon from the wagon. The negroes were Howard and Charles Rogers and Jacob Johnson. The child called for her father and Mr. Boyce hurried out of the store. A fight ensued and the negroes struck Mr. Boyce several times. The watermelon was mashed during the fight. Warrants were issued for the arrest of the three negroes and they will be held to await the action of the grand jury.
Source: The 19 Aug 1908 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 4 of 16

Fine Residence for Matawan
H. C. Hulshart has started his fine residence near the Aberdeen Inn at Matawan. The house will cost about $7,500.
Source: The 19 May 1909 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 5 of 16

License Transferred
The license of the Aberdeen Inn at Matawan has been transferred from John Greene to Wright K. Cortledge.
Source: The 26 May 1909 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 2 of 16

A new blue-stone walk will be laid from the Aberdeen Inn at Matawan to the railroad station.
Source: The 4 Aug 1909 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 5 of 16

New Boat on Raritan Bay
W. R. Cartledge, the new owner of the Aberdeen Inn at Matawan, has had his large motor boat brought  from Philadelphia to Keyport.
Source: The 11 Aug 1909 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 5 of 16

Addition to Hotel Building
W. A. Close has doubled the size of the building attached to the Aberdeen Inn at Matawan. The addition is used as a barber shop by George Schmidt.
Source: The 22 Sep 1909 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 5 of 16

Liverymen Build Wagon Shed
The Matawan Aberdeen company, which now owns the S. C. Towler livery stable business, is building a long wagon shed for the use of its patrons.
Source: The 29 Dec 1909 edition of The Red Bank Register, image 5 of 16

Lazy Days of Summer

Aberdeen Township 2011 Budget Approved

Aberdeen Township adopted its annual budget on Tuesday, per APP. The average tax bill related to Township costs is expected to rise about $9 over the year before as a result of a property tax increase from 43.7 cents per $100 of assessed value to 44.1.

Note that this is only part of our overall property tax bill. It doesn't include the cost of running our school system. Our schools budget tends to be about three times the $15 million Township budget, roughly $1.50 per $100 of assessed value. (That's the 2009 figure from the APP; the BOE avoids mentioning the actual tax levy in its annual Powerpoint persuasentations.) So you can just ignore the APP article's reference to how much the average homeowner pays in property taxes in Aberdeen. Don't we wish we were only paying $1,200/year in property taxes?

Women's Rights Targeted in New Jersey

Amy Handlin is supporting a women's health bill promulgated by Republicans in Trenton that would restore some of last year's state aid cuts while excluding funding for Planned Parenthood. The Atlantic Highlands Herald, which seems to be publishing press releases under the guise of news reporting lately, published what looks to be a Republican press release touting the legislation as groundbreaking. More balanced coverage of the story can be found in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Handlin's legislation is just the most recent salvo in a nationwide effort to diminish women's rights under the guise of a pro-life agenda. The Obama Administration is currently wrestling with Indiana over this effort, which is forcing thousands of women to stop obtaining family services and routine health checkups at Planned Parenthood. On Friday a Federal court rejected an Indiana law that restricted the use of Medicaid in that state to fund any services at Planned Parenthood. A New Jersey law will likewise face court action.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mission Matawan 2011 - Day One

I did some rigorous yard work today while volunteering with Mission Matawan in the I Section of Aberdeen. At one place I was removing vines that had overrun an ornamental pine. The vines were three to five inches thick at spots and had  completely overtaken this poor tree. I had to use loppers and even a saw and was up on a ladder part of the time clearing the vines from the ground all the way to above the gutters. It was the oddest thing that the vines were generating branches like they belonged to the tree, complete with leaves. The tree had both pine branches and these other deciduous leafy branches mixed together. My fellow workers started calling it Pat's Tree because I was slaving in that corner of the yard for quite a long time. I'm not sure if I defeated the vines, but I sure brought out a lot of debris. I made some new friends today while working for Mission Matawan and renewed some old friendships.

I dropped off at McDonough's Pub in Keyport on the way home to offer my painful arms and shoulders a couple of Anchor Steam Summer Ales. Then I crashed at home for a few hours sleep. I should be ready to go at another project in a couple of days.

Remember that volunteer work resumes Monday morning and runs through Saturday. Meet in the Fellowship Hall at First Presbyterian Church of Matawan at 8 am any day this coming week if you wish to join in the effort. You'll get breakfast and can make yourself a lunch, then it is off to one of nearly two dozen projects being done this year. You likely won't have to wrestle with a tree. Maybe you'll tangle with a fence!

GSP North Jammed at Aberdeen

Huge traffic jam on GSP North approaching Exit l20. Ambulances on scene.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Train Commuting Nightmare

The Newark Star-Ledger has a good article summing up the major headaches suffered by commuters on the trains the past couple of days. OMG! Two mornings in a row and again last night. Yesterday morning the entire Northeast Corridor had no power, so Aberdeen-Matawan passengers heading to the city were stacked 3 high at Woodbridge and being told at the station to find alternate means to get to their destinations. Last night the monitors at Newark were showing all trains to Aberdeen-Matawan running one and a half hours late. I saw people running from platform to platform trying to find the correct train as the signage was all wrong. One man threw his briefcase into the doorway of one train and shouted angrily down the track to a far off conductor, "Where is this train going?" Commuters' tempers were only just starting to flare last night, mostly patient through it all, but I fear for the worst if the trip in or back is bad again today. As for myself, it's just another steamy summer on the metro area rails. I just turn on my iPod and try to pretend I'm somewhere else.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Teen Place at MAPL, Grand Opening Tuesday

The Matawan Aberdeen Public Library (MAPL) has a newly designated "Teen Place" upstairs with specially purchased tables and chairs. The library is hosting a grand opening of the space this Tuesday evening at 6:30 pm.

Below are some images of the new furnishings plus a copy of the invitation to the festivities.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Just The Way You Are, Bruno Mars

I enjoy the Bruno Mars video Just The Way You Are. It's a bit of a chick flick, and I'm not sure that many people are using cassette tapes anymore, but the artistry in the video is interesting and the concept is fun. There's an annoying ad at the beginning, but I guess we have to pay the piper.


Just like last year, when The King's Speech came out, what looks like one of the best movies of the year isn't showing in our area. Beginners, with Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor, is actually only showing on 5 screens, according to IMDB.What's the use of having arts theatres in our area if they aren't going to obtain and show the rarer quality films for us? The theaters are full of schlock lately -- expensive schlock at that.

UPDATE (23 July 2011): Clearview Theater in Red Bank finally started showing Beginners. The ushers were escorting latecomers to the few remaining seats because the place was sold out for this evening's 7 pm performance.

This seemingly simple film has a complex message about love and relationship. The subtitle, after all, is This is What Love Feels Like. I can name at least ten relationships worth considering from each person's perspective. 
  • The father (Christopher Plummer) and son (Ewan McGregor). 
  • The father and his wife (Mary Page Keller)
  • The father and his boyfriend (Goran Visnjic)
  • The father and his friends
  • The son and his girlfriend (Melanie Laurent)
  • The son and his mother
  • The son and his father's boyfriend
  • The son and his father's dog (Cosmo)
  • The son and his friends
  • The son's girlfriend and her father
The film brings up some topical social questions but only in passing, never to the point that they need to be addressed or resolved. The questions serve to color the mood while the focus of the film remains on the many relationships.

The movie takes a slow pace, which I suspect is to allow the audience plenty of time to dwell on the emotions. It does drag a bit at times. I suspect that the director could have edited out a few minutes of the son's relationship with his girlfriend and not lost continuity. Maybe the fact that the director is telling his own story offers an explanation?

I suspect Christopher Plummer will earn an Academy Award nomination as best supporting actor for his performance in Beginners. While the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010, it didn't open in Los Angeles County until last month, so the film qualifies for consideration for this year's awards.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Monmouth and Ocean Disaster Managers Face Earl 2.0

Last weekend, the Jersey Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross joined local and county disaster relief coordinators in Earl 2.0, a major exercise that tested their abilities to work together to deal with the consequences of a seriously reimagined 2010 hurricane. Last year's Hurricane Earl was reconceived as striking much of the East Coast and causing untold damage. The drill was acted out all along the Eastern seaboard.

The local drill allowed Monmouth and Ocean disaster managers to practice setting up and running a disaster relief shelter at Brookdale Community College, a registered disaster relief center in case of a true emergency. Thirty disaster "victims" helped make the event more challenging by providing the team with practical experience providing an assortment of services to victims with a range of special needs and circumstances. The drill showed the managers to be both professional and competent in accomplishing their duties.

Last winter a disaster shelter was set up a Monmouth Mall when a heavy snow stranded motorists in the area. Preparation for disasters is worth the time. Ask your township or borough officials what specific training they have participated in lately to better prepare for local or regional disasters.

Mission Matawan 2011 - 25 June to 2 July

Mission Matawan will soon be marking its ninth year of regional community service. The group has picked over 20 projects from among applications submitted. Volunteers have signed up for one or more days, as available, to tackle the annual week-long effort, which begins next Saturday. Additional volunteers are of course welcome. Walk-ins will join work teams doing small home repairs, painting, and sometimes rigorous yard cleanup. Dress appropriately for sticker bushes, poison ivy, etc. Bring work gloves if you have them.

Volunteers are already in place for kitchen duty. They will be making breakfasts and lunches for volunteers heading out on jobs. Volunteers will meet in the Fellowship Hall at the First Presbyterian Church at Route 34 and Franklin from Saturday 25 June to 2 July at 8 am. A typical day ends around 3 pm.

For further information, see The Independent, the church website, or call the church at 732-566-2663.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Deaths of Noted Residents

William A McDonough, Sr, of Cliffwood Beach, died at age 73 on Tuesday, according to APP. His obituary says he served in the US Navy aboard the USS Pocono during the Lebanon Crisis. The USS Pocono Association shows Bill McDonough, IC-3 E (1956-1959) among known crew members.

The USS Pocono was among those ships that, in the summer of 1958, supported President Dwight Eisenhower's decision to land a contingent of US troops in Lebanon to protect key facilities from an insurgency thought to have been supported by Egypt and Syria. Operation Blue Bat is now viewed as the first manifestation of the Eisenhower Doctrine.

Formon Brothers ad in 22 Jan 1948 Journal 
According to another obituary in APP, Frederick J Formon, a resident of Matawan from about 1940 until about 1991, died on Monday at age 86 in Florida. Mr Formon served as a gunner's mate in the US Navy in World War II, after which he and his brother William established the Formon Brothers Logging Company in Matawan. They operated that firm for 16 years, then operated a commercial fish bait freezer business in Spring Lake. Mr Formon once served as Fire Chief of the Matawan Hook and Ladder Company.

The Christmas 1952 edition of The Matawan Journal brings holiday greetings from Matawan Logging. Perhaps that is the Formons' business?

Bill Formon was to appear in black face in the annual American Legion show, "The Minstrel and Gay Comedy Show of 1949," according to the 27 Jan 1949 edition of The Journal. 

The 19 Aug 1948 edition of The Journal contains an announcement of Mr Formon's brother William's engagement to wed that fall to Ada Fierro. William was operating his own trucking business at the time. Her wedding shower is covered in the 14 Oct 1948 edition. The wedding date and venue were also mentioned.

Page 5 of the 6 Sep 1945 edition of The Journal confirms that the Formon brothers served in the war.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Matawan Shoots Its Hoops in the Foot, Comes Out Lame

Parents and students were out in force at the most recent BOE meeting, according to APP, to show their support for a sports coach dropped from the lineup at Matawan Regional High School. It seems he said a bad word, or at least that's the word. My word. The school's laydown story is that the job is open to all comers and each year there could be a new coach, and, gosh, this is the year that happened, so take it in stride. Well, that simply doesn't pass the sniff test. Don't tell me that a guy who's been coaching in the district for four years in a row is coincidentally sidelined this year, by chance. I don't have a horse in this race but I hope the school will reconsider the matter. Let the man formally apologize and get it over with. Play ball!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Robocop, Cliffwood Beach Seawall Style

I went down to the shore this evening to see the seawall now that the graffiti was covered or removed. There were a couple of  young teenaged boys walking in front of me. They stopped to check out the mystery telephone pole along the seawall. They walked around it, looking up at the top, studying it. When they continued down the seawalk, I went over and saw that the Township has installed two surveillance cameras to watch the little hoodlums who've been misbehaving. I was so pleased to see this improvement. Kudos to the Township.

I continued along the seawalk. The two young men in shorts and tank tops continued for another couple hundred feet, where they were met by maybe 5 more teens -- a couple of African Americans, one a large,  football-playerish leader type, two white boys maybe 15 years old, and a white girl about 15 as well. 

I walked by and stopped about fifty feet away, checking out the sunset and amazing moonrise. They had an animated exchange about the pole and the cameras. I got the impression from their comments that they might have been scared away earlier by an interactive speaker system on the pole. It seems the police used it to tell them to move along. Could that be true?

Well, they stood and talked quite a while, ousted from their usual haunt and seemingly uncertain what to do about it. The older boys decided to heave large rocks into the high tide, grabbing major stones from along the seawalk and throwing them as far as they could into Raritan Bay. When they picked up the pace and started hurling my taxpayer-funded seawall footings three at a time into the drink, I spoke up, pointing out that the rocks not only served to support the walk,they cost a lot of money. I'm sure I made fans of them. They didn't retreat, though. I mentioned the situation to some nearby fishermen, who seemed willing to keep an eye on our young miscreants.

So far, then, it's a partial victory. The cameras worked. But they just moved the show down the road.

By the way, the dunes are being restored. Every time I go down to Cliffwood Beach, the piles of sand are higher. I gather that the Township has truckloads of sand being brought in from somewhere. It will be a while at this rate, but it is progress. I'm glad to see it. Kudos again to the Township. (The crew left the gate open this evening and someone drove their pickup truck down the road and down near the dunes. That gate needs to be kept locked.)

Speaking of police, I heard that officers in ATFD jackets and the Aberdeen Police with multiple vehicles with flashing lights gathered in front of one of the newish split-level houses on Greenwood Avenue near the pumping station in Cliffwood Beach on Tuesday afternoon. Any thoughts on what that was all about? If they were looking for my still, they didn't find it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Annual Summer Bayshore Seining

Six volunteers from the Bayshore Regional Watershed Council were at Cliffwood Beach on the Middlesex - Monmouth border on Monday to conduct that group's annual sampling of aquatic life at the mouth of Whale Creek, according to the Atlantic Highlands Herald. They used a 50-foot seining net to collect Raritan Bay fish, crabs, shrimp, and other creatures at Aberdeen/Old Bridge, Union Beach, Middletown, and Atlantic Highlands. They have a write up and photos of last year's seining event at their website.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Beer Fest At Maloney's 'til 9 pm

The beer fest is running til 9 pm at Maloney's Pub in downtown Matawan. Come enjoy $4 craft beers on tap and music courtesy Espresso joe's in Keyport. I had an Oskar Blues Ten Tinney Russian imperial stout and a chocolate stout. Yummy! Music by Clan Suibhne and Michael Dante Summonte with Nick Kiefer.

Monmouth County Assists in Clearing Debris From Matawan Storm Drains

Monmouth County and Matawan Borough collaborated to clear debris from storm drain catch basins in the Borough, according to a county press release.

History: Love Triangle Ends in Murder on Sycamore Avenue in Shrewsbury, 1897

The 27 May 1897 edition of The Matawan Journal (page 2, 1st column) carried the following story of a love triangle that turned to jealousy and murder. This article is part of my continuing series on how African Americans have been covered in The Journal over the years.



Jealousy Causes James M Rosler to Shoot David Looker

David Looker, a negro, was shot and killed Saturday night at Red Bank by James M. Rosler, another negro. The murdered man was employed by Joseph Woolley, a Shrewsbury farmer. Rosler is a carpenter, but has for a short time been employed as a janitor at the Shrewsbury Public School, besides doing work for farmers in the neighborhood.

Rosler's wife was the cause of the trouble. The woman was married to Rosler two years ago. According to reports she had been receiving attentions from Looker, who has a wife and family in North Carolina. Saturday night Looker, Blunt Murphy and Mrs. Rosler went to Red Bank. On their way home, and when near the house of Jacob Shutts, where Mrs. Rosler is employed, the party was accosted by Rosler. A few words followed, and then Rosler hit Looker over the head with a club. Mrs. Rosler ran away. Murphy stepped in between the men, when, quick as a flash, Rosler pulled a pistol and shot Looker in the right temple. A physician was called, but the wounded man lived only an hour.

Rosler went to a neighbor's, told them what he had done, and made arrangements with a man to take charge of his work, saying that he expected to give himself up to the officers. Early Sunday morning Rosler was arrested by Aaron Tilton, a constable, who took him to Red Bank and placed him in jail.

About the same time Looker's body, which had lain by the roadside all night, was taken charge of by Deputy Coroner Robert T. Smith of Red Bank.

Constable Tilton took Rosler to the County Jail at Freehold Sunday afternoon and Murphy and Rosler's wife were held as witnesses.


The 18 November 1897 edition provides a more complete rendering of events based on the testimony of witnesses at trial. Rosler had reportedly hidden behind a locust tree near the trolley stop on Sycamore Avenue and emerged wielding a pistol in one hand and a club in the other. "Here you are!" Rosler said to his wife, Looker, and Murphy. He then proceeded to strike Looker repeatedly with the club and shot him in the temple. Rosler was convicted of murder and was awaiting sentencing of 5 to 20 years. The article provided a complete list of the jurors in the trial.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

2 New Businesses at Main Street Village

Two new businesses are set to open at Main Street Village in Matawan this summer. If I'm not mistaken, these shops will fill the last of the vacancies in this shopping center.

Longtime MARSD School Board Employee Dies

Beverly Korthaus, age 66, died on 7 June at her home in Cliffwood Beach, according to her Legacy obituary. She had been employed for over twenty years with the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District as an administrative assistant with the Board of Education.

Beverly was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts about 1945 to Ralph M and Katherine Woolwine. California state marriage records (1960-1985) show that Ralph and Katherine were 63 years old when they got married in San Diego on 26 November 1983. She leaves a husband, Glenn L Korthaus, and several children.

Beverly's father Ralph M Born was born 8 September 1920 in Massachusetts and died in Tucson, Arizona 20 April 1995. He was a chemical engineer for General Electric, according to the 1946 and 1948 editions of Manning's Pittsfield City Directory. Those directories showed the family living at 46 E Housatonic Street in 1946 and 6 Acre Road in 1948. Below is a map showing the East Housatonic address.

View Larger Map

The best candidate for Ralph Born and family in the 1930 Federal Census is a Ralph Born, age 9, living in Prescott, Arizona. His father Charlie was born in New York to German parents. His mother Margaret was born in Illinois to a father in Ohio and mother in Wisconsin. Charlie was manager of the Elks Theatre. His two eldest children were employed at the theatre.

Friday, June 10, 2011

La Costera Taxi, Matawan

According to its 18 January 2011 meeting agenda*, the Matawan Borough Council planned to vote on Resolution 11-01-40, which would grant an operating license to Reynaldo Solano, owner of La Costera Taxi LLC, to run his livery business in Matawan. I've seen the taxis at the Aberdeen-Matawan train station and elsewhere around the area, so presumably they received their license as planned. La Costera Taxi has its offices at 17 Little Street in Matawan, according to their website.

I've not yet used their company for taxi service and have no opinion about them one way or another. One of the competing cabbies dished some serious dirt about them, which I won't repeat here. It doesn't seem to be true from what I can tell. Send me an email with your comments and I'll summarize the results,if any, in an update to this post.

* The Borough of Matawan has failed to publish any minutes on its Borough Council Agendas & Minutes page so far this calendar year. The Council shows 11 agendas for 11 meetings, starting with the reorganization meeting on New Year's Day, but the minutes column is completely blank. That is why I have to resort to citing the agenda and talking around whether the vote went favorably for Mr Solano. Its great that the Borough publishes its bills paid, but the minutes would promote full disclosure.

NJT Gets It Wrong Again

This evening's Matawan train arrived at Newark with signage saying it was heading to Montclair University! I just want some assurance this railroad hasn't lost its mind. I guess that's expecting too much.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Aberdeen and Matawan Council Results, 2011 Primary Elections

The Asbury Park Press provided the results of local 2011 primary elections.

The 2011 primary for Aberdeen Township Council.

I'm not sure who voted on Tuesday or what that says about them, one way or another, but the results say that Democrats earned roughly 40% more votes across the board than Republicans. We'll have to wait and see what happens in November, but the Republicans cannot be pleased.

Robert L. Swindle           156
Gregory J. Cannon          155
Harvey M. Brenner          149
Concetta B. Kelley          146

Kenneth M. Aitken           111
Augustine T. Toomey III  108
Debra Delaney                  107
Sheilah Balavram              105

The 2011 primary election for Matawan Borough

The mayoralty seems to be up for grabs. The Democrat earned 10% more votes than the incumbent. The two council slots could be split this year between the two main parties. The Democrat William Cole earned almost twice as many votes as his partner and nearly15% more than his nearest Republican competitor. Again we cannot know what will happen in November based on the primary, but this result must worry the Republicans.

Mayor (1)
4-year term
Adele Sammarco D 119
Paul Buccellato* R 105

Borough Council (2)
3-year terms
Peggy Devlin Blazewicz D 67
William M. Cole D 114
Tom Fitzsimmons* R 100
Joseph Urbano* R 98

Where Is My Train Going?

The Matawan train arrived today at Newark with signage saying it was heading north to Hoboken. Yesterday it was marked as a Dover train and it arrived on a track marked for a Trenton train. This would be funny if it werent so dangerous. If computers are running our lives, I want NJT computers to know where my train is going, at least roughly. A week ago my Long Branch train arrived as a Trenton train. What's up? I hope the NTSB is looking into this.

2011 Census of Horseshoe Crabs at Cliffwood Beach

The Atlantic Highlands Herald provides a nice detailed article about the recent Bayshore Watershed Council's annual June census of horseshoe crabs at Cliffwood Beach and other points along Raritan Bay in New Jersey.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Secret Agent Dogs Listen to the Page

This week, third graders at Ravine Drive Elementary made the news. Their Listen to the Page online feature (warning: it takes a few moments for the page to load) is discussed in some detail at The Independent. The project is in its third iteration. Personally, I enjoyed Secret Agent Dog. What a wonderful story and the art work was great! Max, Dexter, and of course Fluffy the not so fluffy dog!! Great job.

Two Independents Register to Compete for Monmouth County Freeholder Seats in November

Two additional candidates met the registration deadline Tuesday to run as independents for Monmouth County Freeholder, according to APP. Patrick Noble, 18, the Socialist Party of Monmouth and Ocean County, of Red Bank, and Thomas Markowski, 52, of Spring Lake Heights, will run this November against Republicans Burry and Rich and Democrats Mallet and Shea. Good luck to all!

Monday, June 6, 2011

2011 Primary Election in Aberdeen

Don't forget to vote in the primary election on Tuesday. I must warn you that it's mostly an exercise in civic duty this time round, so you'll want to avoid wasting too much gas going to the polls. I recommend that you plan to vote while heading on a grocery shopping trip. Or maybe you can drop in to vote on your way home from taking the kids to school?

The Asbury Park Press says the lack of choices in this primary marks a sad trend in NJ politics. I agree.

I finally found the 2011 Primary Election sample ballots for Monmouth County municipalities. I only discovered them by using Google. None of the Sample Ballot links at the Monmouth County website function properly. I just checked again and the Sample Ballots link in the blue left margin doesn't work on the County Clerk's main page, the Election Division page, the Official Election Results page, the Records page, or the County Clerk Duties page. Presumably the county's webmaster has blundered.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Paul's Place in Cliffwood

Aberdeen Town Council is voting this week on Ordinance No 5-2011, which vacates the township's interest in building a road in Cliffwood called Paul's Place. The road was penciled in over a hundred years ago but remained only a right of way. Named after Joseph Paul, a local resident and business owner, the road was first plotted in 1910 on the old Rose Farm. It was initially to be called First Street and situated in Cliffwood Heights. It didn't become Paul's Place until 1 June 1968. Based on the wording of the ordinance, the property is located between Lincoln and Stevenson Avenues, not far from where County Road crosses the railroad tracks. The property is being merged into a neighboring lot for a small fee and won't be able to be subdivided. I couldn't find anything about Mr Paul, for whom the road was named. Does anybody know his story?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Word Before the World Passes Them By

A lot of people visited my site this week looking for information about the carnival at St Joseph's in Keyport. I didn't see a street sign announcing the carnival until the event was nearly over. Perhaps a Facebook page and press release would be in order?

St Joe's actually has two websites -- a .org page and an old .com page, so people are bound to be confused about where to find information. One of the websites has an actual carnival link under a Ministries category, but the link is blank. Who was running THAT commitee?? Last year there was a carnival link, but it only contained a plea for volunteers to help with the carnival;there were no details about the event. So I ended up calling the church office last year to get the information I included in my blog article. But that's not the way things should be handled.

The Church is going to have to take the media seriously if they want to be effective in the community. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Newspapers, and Street Signs are all important tools of communication. St Joe's is only a small step ahead of St Clement's, which has no website at all. (I think St Clement's is piggybacking on a Diocesan web network, but all they have posted is basic information -- address and phone.) St Joe's has a stronger web infrastructure, with graphics and buttons, but there is little if any current programmatic content. It's a start to get a site up and running, to be sure, but that's all it is. A start. Not an end in itself.

Maloney's Craft Beer and Music Festival, 12 Jun 2011

Maloney's Pub & Grill and Espresso Joe's are collaborating to have a craft beer and music festival at Maloney's in Matawan next Sunday, 12 June 2011, from 2 pm to 9 pm. Maloney's has over 70 beers on tap, many of which will be selling at a discounted $4/10oz glass during the festival. A number of live music performances are planned. The event is getting some great buzz. For details, see the page set up for this event on Facebook.

20th Anniversary of Murdered South Amboy Child

The Newark Star-Ledger ran a story recently about Timmy Wiltsey, a 5 year old boy from South Amboy whose body turned up at Raritan Center. His mother, who said her son went missing at a local carnival, remains the prime suspect. She reportedly changed her story three times and confessed to filing a false report about being kidnapped by FBI agents.

The article's an interesting read. I still remember the news reports of the missing boy and the discovery of his body not far from where his mother used to work.

Timmy is buried at St Joseph's Cemetery in Keyport.

Monmouth County 2011 Primary Election Sample Ballots; Aberdeen Twp Candidates

I received my Official 2011 Primary Election Sample Ballot in the mail this week. The election is Tuesday 7 June 2011. The polls are open from 6 am to 8 pm.

The Democrats have no nominee for state senator for the 13th legislative district, so watch for a write in campaign. The Republicans are running the incumbent Joe Kyrillos, Jr.

The other categories offer no contests except for possible write in campaigns.
  • The Republicans for General Assembly are incumbents Amy Handlin (District 13) and Declan O'Scanlon (District 12); the Democrats are running Kevin M Lavan and Patrick Short.
  • The Democrats have Michael Steinhorn for Surrogate; the Republicans are running incumbent Rosemarie D Peters.
  • The Republicans have Lillian G Burry and Gary Rich for Freeholders; the Democrats have Amy Mallet and William Shea.
  • For Aberdeen Town Council, the Democrats are running incumbent Greg Cannon and Harvey M Brenner, Robert L Swindle, and Concetta B Kelley; the Republicans are running Augustine T Toomey III, Kenneth M Aitkin, Sheilah Balavram, and Debra Delaney.
 Monmouth County's Election Division has not yet posted the digital versions of the primary sample ballots on its site this year. Lots of my readers like to see the sample ballot online. Unfortunately, as of this writing, the sample ballots link provided by Monmouth County Clerk reverts to the county's Election Division main page without explanation. Perhaps the ballots will be available on Monday? Today was the deadline for the post office to deliver the paper sample ballots to voters, so maybe the county doesn't want to steal their thunder??

Espresso Joe's Selling Hot Dogs

I dropped in at Espresso Joe's on Front Street in Keyport today and enjoyed a couple of beef hot dogs with fresh spicy Jack cheese chunks, salsa, and fresh onions. They came with a free bag of chips. They have lots of toppings to choose from. If you're not a fan of hot dogs, they have a wide assortment of wraps and other stuff to suit your tastebuds. And coffees galore, of course.

I'm using their free wi-fi to submit this blurb. Bring a paper and have a cup of joe with a nice view of the harbor.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The NJ Transit Train Boards Color Coded

The NJ Transit train schedule boards at Newark Penn Station are color coded these days. If you are heading to the shore, look for a blue row on a board like the one above. Blue represents North Jersey Coast Line trains heading to Aberdeen, Long Branch, and Bay Head. When the train is due, a second monitor on the platform will show the train's individual stops with a blue background.

Trains to Metropark and New Brunswick have red rows and backgrounds. Raritan Valley and Amtrak trains have their own colors.

Take advantage of the color code to find your way on the rails.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Aberdeen Musician Raises Money for Food Pantries

A Christian Brothers Academy graduate from Aberdeen is featured in the latest News Transcript. His strong musicianship has led him to local performances at The Brass Rail, which have led him to charity fundraising for community food banks.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

PNC Shuttle Continues at Aberdeen Matawan

The shuttle to PNC Arts Center continues to meet concert goers at the Aberdeen Matawan train station this summer. It's a popular route to an evening's entertainment.