A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Bridges From Ferguson

In many ways, Michael Brown isn't the ideal  poster child for the movement that has blossomed as a result of his death. He and a friend robbed a convenience store. This wasn't a Stop n Frisk gone bad. Maybe he shouldn't have been killed, but he wasn't coming home from Grandma's minding his own business when he was confronted by police, as I've read in some advocacy pieces. 

And Ferguson isn't the exemplar for a community deserving of sympathy. If they voted and participated actively in local government, Ferguson residents would have a police force and municipal government that better represented their interests.

Intractable problems get worked out as people form bridges and become better acquainted. As long as barriers keep communities insular and separate there will be no peace. Michael Brown's death unfortunately will not bring understanding, not to those who see no problem with high black incarceration rates and high male black mortality rates. 

Who knows? Brown's death might cause law enforcement to rethink policing policies that focus on poor, urban areas, thereby filling courtrooms and prisons with young black men. But if that change comes, it will be because of the tumult over his death, not the circumstances. 

Aberdeen has long been segregated by race. One part of town was labeled Africa on an old map. Only participation in municipal government and social organizations, and personal and community bridge building, offer any hope of real understanding and progress. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Route 35 Construction at Cliffwood - Update

NJ DOT funded road construction at the Route 35/Cliffwood Avenue intersection seems to be winding down. Cliffwood Avenue now has three lanes (left, straight and right) coming out of Cliffwood Beach. The final paving job is not done, but new sidewalks and curbs have been added, new traffic lights installed, and some landscaping has been done. The old Burlew's Pizzeria lot seems free of construction equipment and supplies. Amboy Avenue no longer connects with Cliffwood Avenue. Bagelicious should be pleased to have traffic coming and going normally again.

I noticed Monday morning that the land movers had moved to the Route 35/Amboy Avenue intersection and there was digging going on along the McDonald's property. Construction at Amboy Avenue can be expected to last well into 2015. Those of you who switched to Amboy Avenue to avoid the Cliffwood Avenue intersection will now have to rethink that strategy.

Final paving and line painting will likely finish up the project sometime next year.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

2014 Elections - Go Vote!

Elections are being held in Aberdeen and Matawan today.


For US Senate, Cory Booker (D) is up against Jeff Bell (R), Joseph Baratelli (L),  plus 4 other candidates.

For US Congress,  Frank Pallone, Jr (D) is up against Anthony E Wilkinson (R) and Dorit Goikhman (L)


For Monmouth County Freeholder, Lillian G Burry (R) and Gary J Rich (R) are up against Larry Luttrell (D) and Joe Grillo (D)


Aberdeen-Matawan School District offers two board slots for Aberdeen and one for Matawan.

For Aberdeen, Allison Friedman (Bailey Road), Weymouth D Brittingham (Orchard Street) and Todd Larchuk (Ayrmont Lane) are vying for two available seats.  Larchuk is an incumbent. The second slot was held by Dennis Daniels, who is not running.

For Matawan, Africa J Nelson (Main Street) is running unopposed. The slot was held by Charles Kenny, who is not running.


There are two public questions:

1) There's an effort to amend the state constitution to allow courts to hold offenders without bail if they choose. The current constitution requires judges to offer bail.

2) Another amendment to the state constitution would increase the percentage of business tax revenues dedicated to open space preservation, and air, water and soil conservation.