Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Best of 2008: Merla, Obama, the cat killer and more

The Courier Online is running its countdown of 2008's top stories, with more to come throughout the week.

Click on the headline to check it out.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Long Branch library finds way to help during economic crisis

According to a story by Asbury Park Press reporter Carol Gorga Williams, the Long Branch Free Public Library is responding to recent economic hard times through a new initiative, its Virtual Career Center. The center assists library users in teaching computer literacy, as well as honing existing computer skills.

The center is the culmination of a year-long planning process that included Tonya Badillo, of the Gates Computer Lab.

For the full story, click on the headline to go to the Asbury Park Press.

Could Tuna be returning to Gang Green?

According to NJ.com's John Shabe, the New York Jets may be somewhere the Dolphins' current exec. vice president of football operations, Bill Parcells, lands next season, according to a report at ESPN.com.

Reportedly, Parcells could opt out of his current contract with Miami should the Dolphins' franchise change hands. Published reports say this sale is likely, though, and are speculating about what the next step for Parcells might be.

Parcells is most notably known for his Super Bowl-winning teams with the New Yorkc Giants. However, he is also credited with rebuilding the New England, New York Jets and Dallas franchises. Most recently, Parcells has contributed to what is generally regarded as a strong turnaround for the Miami Dolphin organization, culminating with this year's upcoming playoff berth for that team.

For the full story, click on the headline and go to NJ.com.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Curley may be freeholder candidate again


This is not against Amy A. Mallet, Monmouth ‘s Democratic freeholder-elect, the underdog who beat out Republican John P. Curley by a razor-thin margin of about 350 votes in last month’s historic and nerve-wracking general election that gave her party control of county government for the first time in 23 years.

Mallet waged a strong political campaign. She held her own under some vicious personal attacks by the GOP. Indications are that she will be an active participant in honest and responsible Board of Freeholders-run decision-making So there are no immediate problems there.

But this also is about a lament that Curley, a former Red Bank councilman, was defeated at the polls. He was the first breath of clean, fresh air in the county Republican freeholder candidate ranks in a long time. He ran an election battle that was refreshing and forthright. He was not afraid to tackle ethical issues. . He spoke his mind about GOP insiders, past and present.

Republican leaders didn’t know quite how to handle him. He often was called a “loose cannon”—but some partisan party people found it more advantageous to support him than a Democrat.

Still, it was good to see Curley, another Republican potential officeholder coming to the forefront among the super-special lines of state Sen. Jennifer Beck of the 12th District and Assemblywoman Amy H. Handlin of the 13th District.. Handlin is a former freeholder deputy director who started the county board on a path of much-needed ethical and fiscal reform after the corruption days under the late former Republican Freeholder Director Harry Larrison, Jr. Many Republicans don’t like to talk about those scandal-ridden times and treat them as if they never happened.

Curley said he likes being mentioned in the same company as Beck and Handlin, whom he regards as “two progressive legislators” And the encouraging news today is that Curley is expected to be a freeholder candidate again next year. “I loved every minute” of the campaigning, he said , “and would certainly enjoy doing it again.” . He added: “I continue to stay in contact with elected officials throughout Monmouth in an effort to keep my fingers on the pulse rate of our citizens.” He’s too good to lose.

Things can change in the whole selection process for both parties between now and November--but it appears that Curley coiuld be up against an experienced and formidable foe in incumbent Freeholder barbara mcMorrow. Reports indicate the board's now Democratic majority will name her as director next month to replace Lillian G. Burry.

Curley, who said, “I do not bend to the whims of others,” said he was scolded privately during the campaign by Freeholder Deputy Director Robert D. Clifton and outgoing Freeholder William C. Barham, both Republicans, after he came out publicly in favor of giving a new name to Brookdale Community College’s tarnished Larrison Hall, a county monument to the longtime freeholder director charged in 2005 by the FBI with accepting bribes. He died before the case went to trial. Then U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie led the charge that brought the corruption arrest of 11 officials in the county.

“They told me taking that stand would cost me 500 votes,” Curley stated. And, as it turned out, they may have been right . But that didn’t stop Curley. So you have to admire the guy. He said he “never was concerned about an admonishment, continuing: “Be true to yourself and your beliefs and you never have to look over your shoulder.”

Clifton, through a spokesman, said he never discussed Larrison Hall with Curley. Barham hasn’t been heard from. Curley stands by his story. Interestingly, Beck and Handlin took stands identical to Curley on the new name for Larrison Hall issue.

Curley also took on another heavy-hitter in Malcolm V. Carton, chief county counsel and a former Larrison lieutenant and crony. Curley got the ball rolling to reduce the hourly rate for couny attorneys and to prevent them from being hired as fulltime employees. “This practice costs too much money long-term,” Curley said. And he won’t stop at just hiring a handful. “I believe in shrinking the size of government and not creating more pensioners.” He wants a term limit on Carton’s position. That’s tough talk—but it is in the best interests of taxpayers.

So if Curley runs again for freeholder, it will add to the excitement of next November’s election in Monmouth County. Just think—Christie the reformer might be the Republican candidate for governor on the same ticket with Beck seeking to run for lieutenant governor. And the icing on the cake: Handlin will seek Assembly re-election.

While the economy will continue to be the main issue, with that potent GOP political lineup, voters can be sure that the ravages of corruption that laid this county low in disgrace not too many years ago will not be forgotten and discussed openly. And the symbol of those dark days – an academic building on the county’s community college campus no less—will get another name to herald a new ethical era for the county and the state.

(Arthur Z. Kamin, Fair Haven, is an independent journalist who has taught English and journalism as a Brookdale adjunct instructor.)

Third dead dolphin was pregnant

The third dolphin from a pod washed up in Sea Bright. Sadly, the female bottlenose dolphin was pregnant. The story of the dolphin pod that has unfolded in recent months has been tragic. For the full story, click on the headline and go to NJ.com.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

N.J. ranked 25th in unemployment nationally

According to a CNN/Money rating, New Jersey is ranked 25th in unemployment claims nationally. Then poll noted that the state is currently at a 6.1 percent unemployment percentage.

Click on the headline to go there.

Military doctor from N.J. killed during mortar attack

According to a story by Star-Ledger reporter Sharon Adarlo, Dr. John P. Pryor, a 42-year-old doctor from Moorestown, New Jersey, was killed on Christmas morning by a mortar attack in Iraq. The round reportedly struck his trailer in Mosul. The report noted that Dr. Pryor was probably asleep when the round struck.

For the story, click on the headline to go to NJ.com.

Friday, December 26, 2008

These are the days to remember, for good and bad


My father told me stories about how my family and their neighbors made it through during the Great Depression. He was 10 years old when "things failed" in 1929. I wouldn't be born for another 30-plus years so, other than what he said or what I read, I didn't really know that world.

He told me that when people said, "The Depression was hard times but good times" that they were lying and they weren't, at the very same time.

Dad's memories were of the Irish Ward in Newark, and a time when a few coins in a boy's pocket might as well have been a fortune. There was no big technology and it wasn't so strange to see a tinker using a wagon drawn by a horse. Medicine wasn't what it is today, but my father and his family didn't believe in doctors anyway. But, family was always around and the friendships forged in the poverty of Newark's streets lasted a lifetime. By the late 1930s, Dad's generation was young, strong, independent and ambitious. The end of World War II was when Dad, his brothers and friends finished their education. Some had lived, others had died, but all of them served a cause, and could serve that cause without reservation or doubt because it was right.

At 42, I don't have enough years under my belt to be 'officially old.' But the world looks a lot different through my eyes today than it did 20 years ago. This economy terrifies me. The changes going on in the world are frightening. The very ground beneath our feet is sinking.

When I first became a reporter I was in my late 20s. There was enough opportunity in this industry. There was enough opportunity in almost every industry. In fact, in the world that all of us have lived in, to this point, there was not a lack of opportunity.

But then, one day, we woke up, turned on CNN and started hearing bad news that just wouldn't stop about the economy. It was all intellectual until people had friends or family that started getting laid off. One might be able to ignore the more-than-usual vacant stores if they focused on the road a bit more. But the houses being auctioned off in Middletown, where I work, and Freehold, where I live, were harder to ignore. More people are out of work today than have been for the past 15 years, according to Bloomberg TV.

By now, with new bad news coming around the corner from the retail market and commercial real-estate industry, it seems deluded to say there will be some big comeback that will put everything back in place all at once.

With so much instability, I should be comforted by all our technology, which is a great tool of industry, society and medicine. Likewise, the population today is more educated than at any time in the nation's history. And, those immense corporations that were giants just a moment ago should be reassuring to me. But, none of these things are doing much for my confidence these days. I find myself glad that I live within my means, residing someplace that I can afford, driving an unstylish car I own (and which recently passed inspection), and returning home to someone that is my family.

In general, though, this generation is not as strong as my father's. But, this generation better become stronger. And, by becoming stronger I am not talking about going to the gym. There is no substitute for believing in one's own self, or those around them. Yet, to trust institutions and people that patently cannot be trusted is unsound. Insane trust will not rebuild anyone's life or this tattered economy. Revisiting who we are, where we place our faith, and in whom we place our trust, and then daring to make something better amidst the ruin of an old world – I think that might work. Certainly, it has the advantage of being untried.

The answers to changing things for the better are not inside a financial market, or in some stock index. Those answers are in each one of us, and they are going to involve thrift, vision, hard work, family, loyalty and judgment. In old Westerns, settlers were always rescued by the cavalry coming over the hill to fight back the bad guys. Well, we're all in the cavalry now, and how things turn out is up to each one of us.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Faith becoming more important for some

Star-Ledger reporter Jeff Diamant wrote a story about Tracey Keim, from Metuchen. Ms. Keim is becoming Catholic and has made a choice to move toward faith. Click on the headline to go to the story.

What a Wonderful World

This being Christmas, the late Louis Armstrong sang a great version of "What a Wonderful World."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Winter Wonderland

"Winter Wonderland" by Amy Grant. Merry Christmas to all.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snoopy vs. The Red Baron

It being just a few days before Christmas, here's Snoopy vs. The Red Baron.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The auto bailout

Courier Editor Somdatta Sengupta has penned a piece about the auto bailout for this week's edition of The Courier Online. Click on the headline to go to the story.

Great day trip: Princeton Art Museum

The art museum at Princeton University is truly a worthwhile day trip, which is family friendly and educational for all. As well as featured shows, the museum has an incredible permanent collection that is breathtaking. Click on the headline to go to the link.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hospital cuts hit Southern Ocean

In Stafford, Southern Ocean County Hospital is looking at staff cuts. This is a concern to many area residents, who are concerned about what could happen at either Riverview or Bayshore. Hospital cuts are perhaps the most troubling sign of recent times. Click on the headline to go to the story at the APP.

Homeland security seeks more information

The Department of Homeland Security is soliciting tips. Click on the headline to go to the story at NJ.com.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

NJ.com weighs in on the tough issue

Pork roll or Taylor Ham: NJ.com settles the debate. Click on the headline to go to the story.

Bayshore braces for some very bad weather

According to NJ.com, tomorrow (Friday) is going to bring a good blast of winter. Be ready for winter tomorrow. Click on the headline to see the story.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

State finds probable cause in Schwebel case

Middletown resident Carolyn Schwebel filed a complaint with the state Attorney General this past February.

In a report dated Dec. 1, the state Division on Civil Rights announced that Schwebel did, in fact, have probable cause in filling her complaint, as ruled by J. Frank Vespa Papaleo, the divison’s director.

Schwebel filed the complaint after her dismissal from the Middletown Township Human Rights Commission last December, a committee on which she had voluntarily served for 18 years, most recently as chairwoman.

For the full story, click on the headline and go to The Courier Online by Courier Staff Writer Melissa L. Gaffney.

Promotional video for the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hazlet's plan is on the map

Children are not the only ones submitting wish lists this season. The Hazlet Open Space Advisory Council recently completed its Open Space Recreation Plan that would serve as a wish list of possible properties for preservation, said Annie Eng, who sits on the board.

“We’ve been working on this since [the advisory council] formed about two years ago,” Eng said. “This is the first completed [Open Space Recreation] Plan ever.”

The plan will be submitted to Green Acres for filing, Eng said. Creating such a proposal also gives the township a break on grants from the organization, which is operated through the state Department of Environmental Protection, she said.

For the full story, click on the headline to go to The Courier Online.

Meares opens 'JAM' gallery in Keyport

The "JAM" gallery is set to open in Keyport. Jennie A. Meares is the owner of the gallery. For the whole story, click on the headline and go to The Courier Online.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Legislature may curb scholarships to brightest students

The APP has a story about how the NJ Legislature could curb scholarships associated with a program that gives scholarships to the top 20 percent of New Jersey high-school students. Click on the headline to go there.

'The Wrestler,' filmed in Hazlet, was important to Rourke

NJ.com has a good story about Mickey Rourke, star of the upcoming film "The Wrestler" about a down-and-out wrestler seeking a comeback. Rourke was the star of several iconic 1980s movies like "9-1/2 Weeks," "Barfly" and "Angel Heart," among others.

As an aside, some of the scenes of the picture were shot in a mobile home park owned by Hazlet businessman and recent independent candidate for the committee John Conti. An excellent business person in his own right, Michael Conti, John's son, is the owner of the Shore Cafe, also in Hazlet. He described Rourke as a "class act who was very receptive to fans that approached him while he was in the area filming."

Rourke talks plainly about his career and life in this very good article. Click on the headline to go to the story.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

The late Gene Autry's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Keansburg promotes 5 police officers

Sable Minded blogger Melissa Gaffney has a post about 5 Keansburg police officers that were recently promoted: John White, now detective captain; Gary Kronenberger and Robert Sheehan, to lieutenants; and Wayne Davis and James Nelson, both promoted to sergeants.

Click on the headline to go to the post at Sable Minded.

Rutgers posts win over Delaware in hoops

Star-Ledger staffer Brendan Prunty has a story about how the Scarlet Knights Men's Basketball Team edged out Delaware State 60-55 on the hardwood.

The star of the game was Rutgers senior guard Anthony Farmer. Click on the headline to go to the story at NJ.com.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sandy Hook in pictures

A YouTube collage of Sandy Hook, NJ footage and photos, put to music by composer/musician Herbie Hancock.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gaffney interviews Schwebel about complaint

Courier Staff Writer Melissa Gaffney recently interviewed Middletown resident and human rights activist Carolyn Schwebel regarding her complaint against Middletown Township.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Blackout in Monmouth County

So, what happens when all the lights go out?

A widespread power outage early Tuesday evening led to extreme traffic congestion on nearly every highway in Monmouth County, according to reports.

Officials said a massive electrical failure caused a blackout in the majority of Monmouth County, Northern Ocean County and even towns in Middlesex County.

Reports state the outage is affecting areas from Manahawkin up to Old Bridge, and as west as Freehold.

After experiencing what some described as an “explosion” of a JCP&L transformer, in Neptune Township, at approximately 5:30 p.m., officials are recommending residents stick to back roads and avoid major highways.

An estimated 40,000 residents are without power, while even more are trying to trek home, reports claim.

Both Brookdale Community College, in Lincroft, and Monmouth University, in West Long Branch, cancelled classes for the evening.

Officials are encouraging residents to take extra caution, if driving is necessary.

—Melissa L. Gaffney

NJ.com has good story about power outage

NJ.com has a good story about the power outage, including maps of impacted areas in the state. Click on the headline to go there.

Power outage impacts most of Monmouth, parts of Ocean, Middlesex

There is a power outage going on right now in much of Monmouth County, parts of Southern Middlesex County and Northern Ocean County.

Traffic is a major concern throughout the Greater Middletown Area. There are some lights functioning along Rt. 35 in the township. There is a police presence at key intersections. But, traffic is heavy as literally hundreds of people are stuck on the road during the drive time commute heading toward home.

Notably, power is on in Freehold and the surrounding area. The source of the problem is allegedly a power terminal in Neptune.

The WABC website has a good story about the problem. Click on the headline to go to the site.

N.J. commuters lead commuters with time in car

It will not surprise New Jersey commuters that they lead the nation in the amount of time they spend in their cars commuting. Click on the headline to go to the story at NJ.com.

Sister Elizabeth Garvey promotes the Bayshore Banquet Hall

Courier Staff Writer Melissa Gaffney reported on the Bayshore Banquet Hall yesterday. She interviewed Sister Elizabeth Garvey, the director of the Bayshore Senior Health, Education & Wellness Center, in Keansburg. The banquet hall is physically atop the center and is operated by the center's staff.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Rutgers heads to PappaJohns.com Bowl on heels of big win

NJ.com has a story from The Star-Ledger's Tom Luicci about the Rutgers' Scarlet Knights football team knotting an impressive win against Louisville en route to the PappaJohns.com Bowl, where they will face N.C. State.

Friday, December 05, 2008

McMorrow expected to become freeholder director

According to Michael Mangan, spokesperson for the Monmouth County Democratic Party, Monmouth will have its second female director in history come January 6th. Freeholder Barbara J. McMorrow has earned the support of her fellow Democratic Freeholders to become the next Director of the Board. McMorrow pledged to fulfill the promises she made to the people of Monmouth County by fighting for less costly and more efficient and open county government.

The first female freeholder director was Lillian Burry, who McMorrow will replace in January. Burry, a Republican, won re-election to the board in November, along with Democrat Amy Mallet.

Read about this in more detail in the upcoming edition of The Courier.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Some changes in Courier policy for letter, events and obituaries

The Courier has some announcements in this week's newspaper that have an impact to readers.

Going forward, all letters to the editor need to be submitted to letter.courier@gmail.com. No printed letters, either sent via mail or delivered to the office will be considered for publication.

In addition, the releases submitted for consideration to the Monmouth Scene section of the newspaper must be submitted via e-mail to courier.calendar@gmail.com.

There will no longer be unpaid obituaries printed in the newspaper. Instead, all obituaries for publication must be submitted with a payment of $5 for a maximum of 125 words. Obituaries can be received through the courierreporter@gmail.com address for the moment. But, by next week, there will be a dedicated e-mail address established expressly for this purpose at obits.courier@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Keansburg residents are going to see a 17-cent tax increase

The economy is slowly shaping how residents should plan their finances during the upcoming year. Keansburg Borough are going to see a 17-cent tax increase. According to Financial documents this would be an increase more than 17 cents per every $100. For more on this article click the link above.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

And the count goes on...

The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders election this year goes on as counting continues. Either Republican John Curley or Democrat Amy Mallet will receive the nod in the wake of the Nov. 4 election, which proved to be one of the largest in area history.

Click on the headline to go to The Courier Online.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monmouth evacuation discussed

Monmouth County recently discussed evacuation plans at a Middletown event. Please click on the headline to go to the story at The Courier Online.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Democrats win majority in Highlands Borough Council

Newly elected democrats Rebecca Kane and Christopher Francy voice their agenda for the Highlands community. To read more click on the link above.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Election Results

Atlantic Highlands- Borough Council
REP Peter Doyle 1328 27.95
REP John C. Archibald, Jr. 1368 28.99
DEM Paul J. Cavise, Jr. 1001 21.07
DEM Elizabeth J. Van Deventer 1051 22.12
Write-in 3 .06
Total 4751

Hazlet- Township Committee
REP Christopher Forgione 3231 35.31
DEM James DiNardo 4026 44.00
IND John J. Conti 1892 20.68
Write-in 2 .02
Total 9151

Highlands- Borough Council
REP Frank Nolan 989 22.54
REP Nancy Thomas-Burton 1056 24.07
DEM Rebecca Kane 1225 27.92
DEM Christopher Francy 1116 25.44
Write-in 1 .02
Total 4387

Keyport- Borough Council
REP John M. Ambrose 1287 21.50
REP Clemente Toglia 1188 19.85
DEM Joseph E. Sheridan 1790 29.90
DEM Susan Mary Sefcik 1718 28.70
Write-in 3 .05
Total 5986

Matawan- Borough Council
REP Tom Fitzsimmons 1948 26.08
REP Joseph P. Urbano 1874 25.09
DEM William Malley 1698 22.73
DEM Robert T. Bunyon 1665 22.29
INDC Denis Brady 276 3.70
Write-in 8 .11
Total 7469

Middletown- Township Committee
REP Pamela Brightbill 19961 30.73
REP Tony Fiore 19000 29.25
DEM James Grenafege 12970 19.97
DEM Patricia Walsh 12972 19.97
Write-in 48 .07
Total 64951

Union Beach- Borough Council
REP Michael Harriot 1612 38.36
REP Louis S. Andreuzzi 1524 36.27
DEM Kenneth G. Connors 1044 24.85
Write-in 22 .52
Total 4202

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hazlet Fire Dept. and First Aid & Rescue Squad Raise Money

The Hazlet Fire Department and First Aid & Rescue Squad, along with the Raritan High School Booster Club, and raises money for 3 St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. For more information, click on link above.

U.S. elects first black president

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has defeated Arizona Sen. John McCain in the presidential election of 2008. Click on the headline to go to the story at AP.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Burry, Mallet win in the Beach

Union Beach has reported that Republican Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Democratic challenger Amy Mallet have won in the borough. Burry garnered 1125 votes, Mallet earned 1123, Republican John Curley has knotted 1110 votes and Democrat Glenn Mason has tallied 1064 ballots.

Meanwhile, John McCain defeated Barack Obama in the presidential race there, 1482 to 1182. Republican Senate candidate Dick Zimmer won his contest with incumbent Frank Lautenberg in the borough, 1196 to 1096.

Republican incumbent Mike Harriott and his running mate, Lou Andreuzzi deafeated Democrat Ken Connors. The Republicans tallied 1553 and 1461 votes, while the Deocratic challenger knotted 1003 votes.

Campaign staffers say looking to victory

Courier Editor Somdatta Sengupta took the trip to Freehold to interview staffers at the Mallett-Mason campaign at Democratic Headquarters to see what expectations they had for Election '08.

Falk says voter turnout is strong in Monmouth

Courier Publisher Jim Purcell interviewed Board of Elections Chairwoman Leah Falk on Nov. 4 about this year's voter turnout.

Election worker: ‘People’ the best part of the job


This is Beverley Roman’s first presidential election as an election official—and she loves it.

Roman said the best part of being an election official for Keansburg’s District No. 2 is “meeting the people.”

There are 1,109 voters in District No. 2, which votes at the Newpoint Comfort Fire Company, on Carr Ave. The 871 voters from District No. 6 also vote at Newpoint Comfort.

“It’s been a lot of fun this year,” Roman said. She noted that voter turnout has been especially high this year, with about 30 percent of District No. 2’s voters casting their ballot by 1 p.m.

This year was especially exciting for Roman, who has lived in Keansburg for 30 years. But, because she was born in Canada, it was necessary for her to reapply for U.S. citizenship after new restrictions on immigrants following 2001.

Consequently, Roman became a U.S. citizen for the second time just last year. “It’s really great to be taking part in this election,” she said.

Roman works for an area retailer and has been volunteering as an election official for the past four years. She is also a grandmother to five grandkids and a great-grandmother to one.

“This election is a wonderful chance for them to get to learn about the American system of government,” she said.

Roman noted that, this year, younger voters have been a big part of the large voter turnout.

Roman said she loves the people she works with at the district and that fun is definitely a part of the job. Yet, in a larger sense, she is just glad to be a part of what has turned out to be a very special election season in American history.

Change in America

Aberdeen has never had so many voters in all the years they have seen. Many people are ready for change want Barack Obama. "I have had enough of Bush and enough incompetency," Anonymous sources said. "
"I voted for Obama because I hope he will do everything he said he will do," Aberdeen Resident,Ilene Flaherty said.
Many people voted for Obama compared to John McCain; six out of eight people said they were voting for Obama because they wanted change and wanted a democrat as a president the comments of these people remain anonymous.
"I voted for McCain because he has a lot more experience and also he is against abortion," Aberdeen Resident, Claire Flaherty said.
The two people that said they were voting for McCain because he has more experience under his belt. The other six people said they were ready for some serious change.

Cocuzza: ‘McCain will take this year’s election’

Union Beach Councilman Charlie Cocuzza is out in the streets of the borough making the case for the Republican ticket this year.

“I’m trying to get people out there to vote,” Cocuzza said. “I think John McCain has made a good case over the past several weeks where it regards the direction he wants to take the country.”

Cocuzza said McCain has found a strong voice to make it clear than his administration will be America’s best bet for the future.

“The only poll that matters is the one that is taken after the election,” Cocuzza said. “There are all kinds of polls out there and they cannot be trusted. Today, this poll by the voters is the one that counts.”

Cocuzza confirmed that voter turnout in Union Beach is high. There are approximately 3,600 registered voters in the Bayshore town. According to Cocuzza, he expects a records turn out in Union Beach.

By way of predictions, the long-time Bayshore Republican said he expects McCain to win today, and for the county to vote Republican for the freeholder ticket this year.

Morehead: ‘This is the year things change’

Middletown resident Matthew Morehead is the chairman of the Monmouth County Bayshore Young Democrats. According to Morehead, his organization, which includes 50 young people from the Brookdale Community College Democratic Club, numbers 150 people.

“The youth vote is the vote of this year, and I think the youth will make it known they do not like what has been going on in Washington, or in Monmouth County,” Morehead said.

Morehead said his group and the Brookdale Young Democrats have been organizing for this year’s election for over a year.

“This year the Bayshore Young Democrats and the Brookdale Democrats helped register more than 1,000 people to vote,” Morehead said.

While the youth vote has often been courted in previous years, many experts say it has never been fully realized nationally, and especially not locally. “The difference this year is that it is not indicator where youth is showing up, but many of them. Even early polls in other states show a record youth turnout,” Morehead said.

Morehead credits the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate for president. “There are also the issues of the war, college tuition, housing and the job market that are compelling young people to do their part in deciding America’s future,” he said.

Morehead said he predicts Obama will win the presidency, that there will be major Democratic gains in the U.S. Senate and Congress, and he expressed great confidence in the Democratic ticket in Monmouth County.

“I think this is the year when things change,” Morehead said.

Election Day Traffic

There are no traffic obstructions on Routes 35 or 36 at this time, according to Middletown and Hazlet police.

Decision '08

Check back to this widget throughout the day for updates to the presidential race. Local information will also be posted here as well as at Read All About It, Sable Minded and Courier Online.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Business, Money, and the Waterfront

Togglia and Ambrose, Republican candidates for Keyport Council, are waiting for the economical situation to improve before taxing Keyport's residents for the Waterfront Project. To read more, click on the headline above.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Former Courier staffer published by So New Media

Courier Former Associate Editor Jacklyn Corley has written a book called The Suburban Swindle. The book was published by So New Media and is available on Amazon.

Click on the headline if you want to go to Jacklyn Corley's blog for more information.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

John Ciufo plans Monmouth County in face of economic downturn

With the pending closure of Fort Monmouth, and many job losses, new addition to the Monmmouth County Board of Freeholders, John Ciufo, will work to develop public and private partnership, so businesses may relocate to Monmouth County and bring additional jobs in the area.

For more information, click on headline to read more

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Matawan Aberdeen Mentor our students by making a program

Matawan Aberdeen started a program called MOST, which means Mentoring our students together. The program is two days a week throughout the school year. Pastor Doug Crawley and Matawan Aberdeen Regional School District Teacher, Wayne Spells are the ones who made this program happen. Click on the headline to go to the story at The Courier Online.

Roselli's in West End is a special food experience

In West End, Long Branch, Roselli's presents patrons with a wonderful dining experience that is worth making plans for. The owner is Joe Roselli and the creative chef is Travis Murphy. Click on the headline to go to the story at The Courier Online.

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Bus for Change" for young voters

"Bus for Change" rolled into Brookdale Community College to encourage young eligible voters to vote, and registered a number of students to vote.

to read more, click on link above.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Number of dolphins in pod in Navesink River is decimating

A recent undetermined death, death number 2, from within the pod of 15 dolphins in Navesink River prompts NOAA’s National Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Network to consider relocating the dolphins.

To read more, click on the headline above.

Friday, October 17, 2008

NJ Toll Hike

Gov. Corzine has proposed a total $9.7 billion increase for NJ Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, to fund projects and fix roads.

For more information, click on the headline above

New eatery on First Avenue

There is a new restaurant in the Atlantic Highlands called Mariusz, 1st Ave.

click on the headline to be directed to the page.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jim Purcell guest column for SableMinded

Jim Purcell wrote a guest column for the blog "SableMinded."

Click on the headline to check it out.

Friendship Park Day Sunday

Friendship Park Day will be held on Sunday, Oct. 19, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Friendship Park on Main Street in Keansburg. In case of inclement weather, it will be held indoors at Bolger School. Events and activities include pumpkin painting, spooky stories, magic by Mike, Halloween dancers, games and prizes, and a showing of the movie, "Monster's Inc." There will also be three costume contests. The first costume contest will be at 2:30 for infants to three year olds. The second will be at 2:40 for childrens ages four to seven, and the third will be at 2:50 for children ages eight to ten.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Courier back online

Courier Online is back and hosting some really great articles from our last issue. Check it out at www.bayshorenews.com. Don't forget to come back on Friday for the most updated news about the Bayshore.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Courier Online down for now

The Courier Online is currently experiencing some difficulties. It is slated to be back online within 48 hours. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience.

For now, be sure to check here, Melissa Gaffney's Sable Minded and Alyssa Passeggio's Read All About It for updates on area news.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Elks dance to raise bucks

The Middletown Elks hosted a dance night to raise money for IMPACT, a Middletown-based group, that helps kids with autism. The event was held September 27. To see the story, click on the headline and go to The Courier Online.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

AH Music night

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS - The Atlantic Highlands Arts Council and the Atlantic Highlands Chamber of Commerce are hosting “Music on First” in downtown Atlantic Highlands on Saturday evenings from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in October.

Popular musicians will perform on Edwards Way, across from Cinema 5. Mary McCrink will perform on Saturday, Oct. 11.

For more information, contact Laura Dubois at 732-687-3571 or Kathleen Ligon at 732-337-7549.

Rummage Sale

MIDDLETOWN - Christ Episcopal Church is holding a White Elephant/rummage sale on Saturday, Oct. 11, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The event will be held indoors. Lunch will be available. Christ Episcopal Church is located at 90 Kings Highway.

For more information, contact Janet and Paul at jpchaballa@verizon.net.

This week's edition

Nutcracker Auditions 2008

RED BANK—The Performing Arts Ensemble will be holding auditions in the Galleria, Red Bank, NJ, at 2 p.m. on Oct. 12 and 19, and 5 p.m. on Oct. 9 and 16. You need to only attend one audition.

Dancers of all kinds are needed, including boys and girls, ages 4-12, teens and pointe gymnasts, and male actors. Costumes are provided and no prior dance experience is necessary.

For more information or to schedule an audition, contact Evelyn Gardell at 732-614-5426.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Free flu clinic

The Monmouth County Health Department is holding a free flue clinic on Thursday, Oct. 9 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Cullen Center on Union Avenue, Hazlet.
It is open to women and children.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Diploma mill debate hits Matawan-Aberdeen BOE

The debate between online and traditional higher education has been a debate that has only mutated since the recent revelations of a diploma-mill issue in the Freehold Regional High School District.

Well, some teachers were given raises at a recent Matawan-Aberdeen Board of Education meeting that some parents questioned.

Thursday's Courier will carry on the topic, including commentary from experts in the field, since school officials did not comment.

Friday, October 03, 2008

'Almost' doesn't count

The crane that fell toward Rt. 36 bridge was an "almost accident," according to DOL(Dept. of Labor) spokesperson, Kevin Smith, because there were no injuries. The issue of whether the Division of Public Safety and Occupational Safety and Health law, which requires an injury to be reported, should include reporting public endangerment, is up in the air.

To read the article click http://www.bayshorenews.com/publication/show/2650

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kitty-killer convicted

For those following the cat-murderer case in Aberdeen, Anthony Appolonia pleaded guilty to all 19 counts of animal abuse during a hearing in Freehold on Sept. 29.

Appolonia had obtained cats and kittens from area residents by answering ads in the newspapers, officials said, between October and December of 2007.

Appolonia admitted he would then beat and viciously hit the felines, breaking their bones with his bare hands. Then, he would then drown the cats and kittens in his bathtub, he said.

Monday's hearing was emotional for the people who were conned, some officials in attendance and Appolonia — who began to cry while admitting what he did to the animals.

There will be full coverage of the happenings on page 4 in Thursday's Courier as well as at Courier Online.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Press conference by Democrats

The Middletown Democratic candidates for Township Committee, Patricia Walsh and Jim Grenafege, have unearthed a serious concern for every township resident.

"This township administration has concealed the fact that there are serious environmental concerns where it regards underground oil tanks," Grenafege said.

"This environmental issue not only involves the Town Hall but also the Middletown Cultural Arts Center," Walsh said. "This environmental issue could cost the taxpayers of Middletown literally millions of dollars. And, taxpayers are looking at this problem only because the Republican Administration in this town has ignored this problem and built their projects on poor planning."

According to Grenafege, the press conference, which takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 6 outside the Police Entrance of Town Hall, will include outstanding issues where it regards billing irregularities with Township Attorney Bernard Reilly. "But, the recent revelations about the environmental situation and contamination at Town Hall and the Arts Center are so serious they have to be exposed for the public's perusal immediately."

Monday, September 22, 2008

"Top-heavy" crane

One of the cranes working at the Route 36 Highlands bridge became a bit "top heavy" on Friday afternoon, according to officials, and gave some people a fright.

The web update was posted at Courier Online and will run in Thursday's Courier.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy News

Former Atlantic Highlands Mayor Robert Schoeffling and his wife, Ruth, have announced the engagement of their daughter, Laura Ann, to Gordon V. Fortner, son of Nhu Thi Fortner and the late Milton W. Fortner.

A graduate of Henry Hudson Regional School, Ms. Schoeffling is employed by the Monmouth County Parks System as a personnel clerk in Lincroft. Mr. Fortner is a graduate of Skyline High School and is a licensed aircraft maintenance technician in Dallas, Texas.

"Ruth and I are excited about our upcoming son-in-law. We wish our daughter and her fiance much happiness," Robert Schoeffling said.

The wedding is planned for July 2009.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This week in The Courier

To read more pick up a copy of The Courier at your local store.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Community center in Aberdeen?

There had been some talk in Aberdeen about a new community center for several years. Husky Sports Inc., the organization that wishes to supervise the facility, has been pushing for more attention on the matter. Art Perri of Husky Sports recently explained to The Courier, why this facility is so important to the community. Mayor David Sobel also explained some the logistics that are currently holding such a project back.

The story is on The Courier Online now, so check it out.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11: Never Forget

Today, we remember those we lost.

We honor those who are serving to protect our country.

We are thankful for our blessings.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Write to The Courier

To our readers:

The Courier does not use the old e-mail: editorial@thenjcourier.com. Please write to us at our new e-mail: letters.courier@gmail.com.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Rockets focus on team building

The Rockets varsity soccer team is returning from a 5-8-3 season with a similar starting lineup from last year. However, Coach Ron Poll and captain Patrick Langan said the team is moving in a new direction on and off the field. Read more at The Courier Online.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

In Middletwn, fresh perspective meets old attitude

New to the township government, Committeeman Sean Byrnes is in favor of more community involvement in the budget process. However, Deputy Mayor Pamela Brightbill disagreed. Read more about what went on at The Courier Web site.

Friday, September 05, 2008

This week's edition

Read what's happening in the area in this week's Courier.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Back to School

The Courier has featured a Back-to-School section during the past few weeks that have really highlighted happenings at Bayshore schools.

The first week Courier Staff Writer Melissa Gaffney penned a piece about Keyport's encouragement of healthier eating at school.

Next, Courier Senior Staff Writer interviewed a motivated group of students participating in SkillsUSA at Henry Hudson Regional School.

Last week, Gaffney compiled information on school supplies and Keansburg High Schools ranked improvements.

The final week of the section was today's edition, which featured a piece on the professional development academy at the Hazlet school district.

Check Courier Online for the most recent articles during the next few days.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Cefalo submitted Borgata bill for reimbursement

The coordinator of the Keyport Neighborhood Preservation Program is Carla Cefalo. Courier Staff Writer Melissa Gaffney has a story about a bill from the Borgata Hotel that she submitted to the town for reimbursement. Click on the headline to go to The Courier Online and read about it.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Inside Clamdigger gets new blood as of tomorrow

Well, this is my last planned post on the Inside Clamdigger. The fine folks in the Editorial Department of The Courier will be doing this from now on. It's been swell, and be sure to check out their work on the site.

Blogs and newspapers have a relationship that is still finding its way on many fronts. It's an exciting time for journalists and organizations as they try to piece these things together. In the meantime, it's been a good run for me, so here is some parting thoughts, courtesy of the one-and-only Bob Hope.

All the best, keep coming back. The new staff at The Inside Clamdigger will be back tomorrow.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gulf Coast could be bracing for another one

The Gulf Coast might be expecting another Katrina-like event, according to the AP. Certainly, this is something of great concern, given what happened there before. Click on the headline to go to YahooNews! and read the story.

PBS: A look at Palin in Alaska

PBS did a story awhile ago about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who is now Sen. and GOP Presidential candidate John McCain's runningmate. It's an interesting insight.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Great story of hope, courage in Howell

The APP has a great story about hope and determination. There's a story in today's paper about U.S. Army 1Lt. Brian Brennan, 23, from Howell, who was injured in Afghanistan. Despite some tough breaks, this young man is working very hard to recover. Click on the headline to go to the story.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Keyport's Second Annual 5K to be run on Sept. 20

Press Release

KeyportFest 5K – The Keyport Borough Recreation Commission and the Spanish America Club are proud to present the Second Annual KeyportFest 5K. The major sponsors for this event are IHOP of Keyport, Chick-fil-A and Broadway Bagels of Keyport. The KeyportFest 5K is being held on Saturday, September 20, 2008.

The KeyportFest 5K is scheduled for 8:30 AM and the free Children’s Races get underway at 9:30 AM. The fast and scenic rolling 5K course is USATF Certified accurate and ready for championship records as well as beautiful bayside sight-seeing. All pre-entrants for the 5K are guaranteed a stunning commemorative Race T-Shirt. Pre-entry deadline is September 8, 2008, so you can enter the event early to take advantage of the great low price! Post entries will be taken right up until race time. Sign-ups for the Children’s Races are only taken on race day.

For an application, please visit www.keyportonline.com or www.jsrc.org. For additional information, please call the Race Hotline at 732-739-5145 or e-mail JoeSheridan@keyportonline.com. We’ll see you at the KeyportFest!

NJ.com: McCain set to reveal VP choice

John McCain is set to announce who his pick for VP will be. There seems to be a lot of popular support out there for Mitt Romney. Of course, Tom Ridge is another popular pick, among others.

Click on the headline to go to the story at NJ.com.

Morehead pens piece about young people

Bayshore Young Democrats Chairman Matthew Morehead has written a column about young people and their growing involvement in the Democratic Party.

Matthew is a very involved person who has organized a growing group of Young Dems in Northern Monmouth.

Click on the headline to go to his column at The Courier Online.

Obama accepts nomination; Pelosi closes out convention

Illinois U.S. Sen. Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for president of the United States at Mile High Stadium yesterday. It was a great speech. The convention concluded on a strong note, with Nancy Pelosi encouraging Democrats around the country to work hard for victory.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Clinton hits home run in convention address

Former President William Jefferson Clinton had a big night last night, when he gave a speech at the Democratic Convention. In his address, President Clinton lauded Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama. I saw it, and the speech was a hit.

Passeggio will take center stage editorially

For the next several weeks, Courier Senior Staff Writer Alyssa Passeggio will be writing the editorial in this space.

This is the first time since April 1998, when I started editing the newspaper, that I have done this.

The philosophy of the Editorial Department at the newspaper is that The Courier is usually our reporters’ first steps in journalism, and their first stop along the way, but certainly not their last. Consequently, a great deal of attention is paid to their development as writers, with the idea that after a couple years they will be moving onto writing for daily newspapers, editing weekly newspapers or public relations, as they feel so drawn.

Alyssa joined the staff here at The Courier in May 2007 fresh out of graduation from Georgian Court University, in Lakewood. During her tenure here at The Courier, she has proved truly exceptional in her work ethic, dedication to her coverage area, and development as a news writer.

Alyssa’s coverage of the Highlands bridge, among other storylines, allowed the public to understand that very complex project in a way that was thorough and detailed.

This is the kind of information that voters and residents need to know in order to make informed decisions about their community.

Writing editorials every week is not as easy as it looks. Some weeks, a writer may not have anything at all that they feel all that strongly about. But, taking a stand on issues and saying what one truly thinks is what an editorial should be. Sure, there should be facts and information, but having an opinion is implicit to the editorial: Something is good or it is bad.

When I was a reporter, around the time dinosaurs roamed the world (a.k.a. the 1990s), making public comment was straightforward: I wrote about events insofar as who did what when, and where they did it and why in five paragraphs with short ledes. This is the basic mission of reporters and people that do not enjoy that should probably not be reporters.

Writing editorials is more personal and speaks to the belief structures that people have. In my opinion, it is a great exercise for young reporters, who have had some seasoning, to try their hands at this practice. When everything else is in place with a reporter’s skill set, development of this kind of writing can be an asset. I think this is exactly the case where it involves Alyssa.

Reporters know their areas like the back of their hands. They know the people, the issues and the emerging issues that often take the spotlight in the news. Yet, each of us are residents of a larger community, and reside within a county and a state as well as just a town. Consequently, crafting informed editorials could stretch the skills of a writer in a way that is forward-looking in this industry.

I look forward to Alyssa’s tenure as an editorial voice of the newspaper. I certainly hope that our readers do also.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Inside Clamdigger will integrate new voices

Writers at the Courier have personal blogs, which are intended to give some news and information, insights and opinions about issues and what's happening. The Inside Clamdigger was the second of the personal blogs associated with any writers at The Courier, as it was started by me and I maintained it. Of course, the Bayshore Journalista, Jackie Corley, was the first. Blogs are a way to generate traffic to the main newspaper site (click on the headline to go to The Courier Online), and blogs are a new way to get information out there, relatively speaking.

Some of the ways that blogging can be useful have been identified through this experience, and there certainly has been a lot of activity surrounding area blogs. But all things come to an end. The Inside Clamdigger will continue to operate, giving news, information and opinion. I just may not be the one posting here anymore in a little while, though.

There is a period of transition that will take place, wherein some new voices are going to start being heard at The Inside Clamdigger. In a little while (as soon as we can work the bugs out), I'll stop posting here because it is time. Blogging is a very interesting concept. It's got a lot wrong with it, and a lot right with it. It's a great experiment that I am gratefully turning over to the reporters and interns at Courier.

I'll be sticking around for a couple weeks (in a cyber sense) before I fully turn over the site to these great young people. There'll be more about this before I stop posting altogether. I'll be sure to post a parting message before that happens.

I do appreciate the support this blog has received, and encourage readers to keep on coming back. In my opinion, it will only get better with the fresh blood. The Inside Clamdigger is a nice outlet for news, opinion and information about Northern Monmouth County.

Thanks for stopping by.

Booker will run for second term as Newark's hizzoner

According to NJ.com, Newark Mayor Cory Booker said he will definitely be running for a second term as the city's mayor and affirmed he would not accept a job in the Obama Administration, should the Illinois U.S. senator garner victory at the polls in November.

Click on the headline to go to the story at NJ.com.

CR 537 is undergoing work

CR 537 is a main artery between Western and Northern Monmouth. There is a lot of work going on. The Courier Online has the story. Click on the headline to go there.

Clinton gives unity address at national convention

I stayed up a little later than usual last night to catch a great speech by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Democratic National Convention. It was a great speech. Here is one part of it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Atlantic Artisans hosts "Tri-Fest" on Sept. 9

Atlantic Highlands, NJ – If you, a friend, or family member have ever been touched by cancer or you would like to support cancer survivors then you definitely want to join us Tuesday, September 9th,, 2008 for “TRI-FEST” to eat, shop, educate.

Atlantic Artisans, Always Elegant Gift Baskets and Posh on First of 68 First Ave. mini-mall are hosting an event to raise money for “Team Survivor” a non-profit organization that provides free exercise and health education and support programs for women affected by cancer.

“Tri-Fest” will take place at 68 First Ave. Atlantic Highlands, NJ on Tuesday September 9th from 6:30pm-9:00pm. A $10 donation is asked and you will receive a goodie bag filled with more then ten dollars with of goodies. You will be entertained by live music donated by Sherilyn and Frankie, a local duo that perform around the area and are about to release their first album. Delightful treats by Chef Raymond Prezelomski will provide the energy need to enjoy “Tri-Fest.

A chance to win donated items from Belinni shoes, IM=X Pilates, Sherman and Sons Jeweler and many other merchants in the area. But, that is not all you get for your $10, there will be a presentation by Team Survivor and Dr. Julie Page of Page Chiropractic on nutrition and exercise for a healthy you.

Plus, 10% of all purchases during “Tri-Fest” will go to Team Survivor and this will also help Nance S. Ciasca of Atlantic Artisans raise money for “Team Survivor” as she competes in the Danskin Triathlon. That’s a huge amount of food, fun and goodies for your ten dollar donation so, please come on out for a night of fun and help us support a good cause.

If you can not make it and still would like to support the cause you can send checks made out to Team Survivor/BCRF to Atlantic Artisans 68 First Ave, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716. So SWIM, BIKE or RUN to “Tri-Fest” September 9th from 6:30pm-9pm. For more information call 732-291-0100 or www.atlanticartisans.com. Please note there are a limited amount of goodie bags so come early.

Are pigs pets...in AH or anywhere else?

Courier Senior Staff Writer Alyssa Passeggio has a good story about an Atlantic Highlands pet controversy at The Courier Online. The question is pretty straightforward: Can potbellied pigs be pets that are permitted under the law in town?

There are good sides of this argument on both sides, in my opinion, but at the end of the day a decision has to be made. I won't spoil the ending on this one. Click on the headline to go to the story.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Velasquez gives lowdown for 2008 Rutgers season

Star Ledger reporter Vin Velasquez has shot a great video that includes interviews with Scarlet Knights Kenny Britt, Capt. and QB Mike Teel and San San Te, among others. The players talk about their expectations for the 2008 season.

Traffic lights on Highlands bridge

Courier Senior Staff Writer Alyssa Passeggio has a great story about lights on the Highlands bridge during construction. Certainly, the bridge hasn't gotten any safer due to the ongoing improvements. Click on the headline to go to Read All About It, by Alyssa Passeggio.

Courier TV is added to website

The Courier Online has added a new feature to its lineup--Courier TV. As well as presenting videos on YouTube, The Courier Online now has the ability to show its own digital features. This is good for a lot of reasons, among them is the length of features can be expanded (YouTube is sort of a problem after 3 minutes) and, very shortly, commercials can be sold on this medium. We're working the bugs out, but this is an exciting innovation for us here. Start looking for additions to this part of the site in the next week. Click on the headline to go there.

Minard visited by Bush, given key to city at home

Courier Editor Somdatta Sengupta penned a great piece about Union Beach resident Michael Minard, an injured veteran from Iraq. Sgt. Minard was visited by President George Bush during his rehabilitation. He has also been given the key to the city by Union Beach Mayor Paul Smith. This is a wonderful story about hope overcoming adversity. Click on the headline to go to The Courier Online.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Have a great weekend!

As the summer is starting to wrap up, I really suggest trying to grab as much of it as is left. Taking that advice myself, I'll be back blogging away on Monday. In the meantime, here is Louis Armstrong's classic "What a Wonderful World." Thanks for coming by and have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Area legislators help out the Food Bank

Congrats to Sen. Sean Kean and the 11th's legislative delegation for helping out at the Food Bank. The Food Bank is a great organization that can use the support. Click on the headline to go to the story at The Courier Online.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gannett cuts 120 jobs in Jersey

Gannett Co. Inc., which operates six newspapers in New Jersey (the Asbury Park Press among them) has eliminated 120 full- and part-time jobs from its organization. A company spokesman has credited deteriorating economic times as one reason for the move by the company.

This announcement by Gannett comes weeks after Advance Publishing, which operates several newspapers in New Jersey (the Star-Ledger among them) announced that the company could close, among other options, by Sept. 1.

My take on it: Print is changing. Newspapers have to redefine themsleves and how they operate or they will die or change hands. Synergy between printed and online products are going to mean a lot in the future. I think the market for news has changed, and newspapers are just sluggish about reacting to that change and finding a new way to carve out a living. The Star-Ledger and the Asbury Park Press, for all of their popularity or lack thereof in certain circles, are great Jersey papers. It's always a shame to see these things happen.

Click on the headline and go to the story about the APP.

Committee honors Dailey as employee of the year

The Middletown Committee recently honored township Superintendent of Motor Pools Howard Dailey as the town's employee of the year. Mr. Dailey went into public works in 1974. Mr. Dailey manages about $400,000 worth of township assets in the motor pools, and apparently is doing a great job.

He was honored recently by Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger and the Middletown Committee. Click on the headline to see the story at The Courier Online.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Simply Sable has M'town meeting story about Fitzgerald

Jim Fitzgerald is a Middletown resident who is mad as heck and doesn't want to take it anymore where it involves trash being thrown near his yard. Click on the headline and go to Sable Minded for the very lively YouTube about this.

Caption: Neither Kevin Smith or Jason Mewes were accused of throwing any trash in, near or by Mr. Fitzgerald's house. This is just a shameless use of a good stock photo I have.

County Rt. 537 in Colts Neck to close for paving

Monmouth County Press Release

In Colts Neck, the Monmouth County Roads Department will begin milling and repaving County Route 537, between Laird Road and Hominy Hill Road at 6 p.m. on Monday, August 18. The work will be performed for the rest of the week from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m.

Motorists should expect some delays and use the signed detours. The work schedule is weather dependent. If an adjustment to the work schedule is necessary, updates will be posted to the county’s Web site at www.visitmonmouth.com.

Improvements on Route 537 are anticipated to be as follows: Monday, August 18, Milling West of Route 34; Tuesday, August 19, Milling East of Route 34; Wednesday, August 20, Milling & paving East of Route 34; Thursday, August 21, Paving East of Route 34; and Friday, August 22, Paving West of Route 34.

“The county resurfaces about 20 miles of roadway each year,” said Freeholder William C. Barham. “The Route 537 project is part of the county’s efforts to responsibly maintain its roadway infrastructure and to keep traffic moving.”

In total, the county maintains of approximately 380 miles of roads, 980 bridges and culverts and 200 traffic signals.

Good morning to the Bayshore

Since it's sort of a slow morning in the Bayshore, I thought I'd post the Beatles' "Good Day Sunshine." I'll post a new update about meeting coverage from last night after 1 p.m. In the meantime, you can't exactly go wrong with John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Holocaust Center hosts survivors of the St. Louis

The story of the SS St. Louis is a powerful one. It was an ill-fated voyage in 1939, where German Jews were literally set adrift from their country. It is one of the earliest tales of terror during World War II. Today, at the Student Life Center at Brookdale Community College, the Holocaust Center is hosting the 11 survivors of that journey that started with 1,000 souls so long ago. I will be posting more about this. In the meantime, Courier Staff Writer Melissa Gaffney will be writing a piece about it in this week's upcoming Courier.

Click on the headline to go to the center's website.

As an FYI: I also bumped into Etzion Neuer, the regional director of New Jersey for the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL is simultaneously hosting a workshop for campus police and security people from around the state about hate groups today. For more information about the ADL, they have a website at: www.adl.org. The ADL is a great organization and doing some fine work. I saw some of the materials they were using for the presentations and they were very powerful.

Interesting match-up happening in 3rd District

John Adler is the Democrat running against longtime GOP incumbent Rep. Jim Saxton this year. The APP has an interesting story, which is notable because of the undertones it expresses.

Times have gotten difficult for so many that 'change' seems to have become something of a theme. There are some tough issues at the bottom of a 'change' vote, which asks for something different than 'more of the same.' It's going to be aninteresting year.

Click on the headline for the APP story.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Will be posting again on Monday

I'll be posting again on The Inside Clamdigger as of Monday. In the meantime, there are regular updates at The Courier Online, just click on the headline to check them out.

In-between then and now, in-keeping with summer on the Jersey Shore, click on the YouTube to see some nice work someone put together for a "Surfin' USA" video. Have a great weekend, be sure to check out some area beaches.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sandy Hook: An ideal summer getaway

This is a great video about Sandy Hook that gives a wonderful overview of not only the park but the surrounding area. But, where it involves recent bridge construction, it pays to show up early and have a little patience where it involves traffic.

M'town celebrates its vols in ceremony

The Middletown Committee honored its volunteers for various boards and commissions yesterday at Croydon Hall. Courier Staff Writer Melissa L. Gaffney has this story in te upcoming edition of the newspaper next week. In the meantime, there's a brief at The Courier Online. Click on the headline to go there.

CAPTION: Middletown Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger was at the event last night, along with Deputy Mayor Pamela Brightbill.

NJ.com has Rutgers football update

The Scarlet Knights are going to be kicking off their season in a few weeks. NJ.com has all the latest team updates. Click on the headline to go to the story.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tribute to teams, fans for upcoming season

With the NFL kicking off the season in just a few weeks, it seemed like the right time to present an old school musical tribute to the fans and the teams that someone sent me a link for.

Obama: People need a break from politics

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic contender for the presidency, recently talked about his extra-long primary and the lack of a pause before going into campaign mode against Sen. John McCain, the Republican contender for president.

K'burg funeral director dies at 65

Bill Cousin, 65, was the manager and funeral director at Ryan Home for Funerals, in Keansburg. Sadly, he passed away on Aug. 3. Mr. Cousin died at Jersey Shore Medical Center, in Neptune. He moved to the area in 2001, when he took up residence in Hazlet.
Click on the headline to see the story at The Courier Online.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A 501(c)3 in the making?

Union Beach resident Sgt. Michael Minard was injured in Iraq on Oct. 1, 2007. He was a vehicle commander who served with the 1-2 SCR Striker Brigade. He is a married father of two who has been a real example of good citizenship. It is unfortunate for Sgt. Minard that he lost both legs above the knee during his injury.

However, Sgt. Minard's family and the community are really rallying behind this young man, who is 27. According to Sgt. Minard's sister-in-law Danielle Muller, there is talk about a foundation being set up to help soldiers coming home who are coping with serious injury, like Sgt. Minard's. Notably, retired Reserve First Sergeant Frank Wells, who sits on the council over in the borough, has been very helpful to the family.

This is obviously a great cause. If anyone is interested in helping this along, please reachout for Danielle at (732) 739-8703. She is a very dedicated person and there aren't enough great things to say about this wonderful family.