Friday, September 30, 2011

Belmar Marina Sunset

This grey sunset may not make for spectacular photography, but it can be very calming...

Sea Fever by John Masefield (1878 – 1967) [Salt-Water Ballads (1902)]

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea's face, and a gray dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bluegrass Concert at the Library

Yesterday afternoon the Friends of the Hillsborough Public Library hosted a concert by Mark Miklos and the Raritan Valley Ramblers...

Following the show some of the fans met the band...

Food donations from the audience supported the Hillsborough Food Bank.
Photographs courtesy of Susan Gulliford.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bluegrass Concert at the Library Tomorrow

The Hillsborough Library will host a performance by Mark Miklos and the Raritan Valley Ramblers tomorrow, Saturday, September 24th at 2 p.m.

This popular bluegrass music program is free, but audience members are encouraged bring donations of nonperishable food items for the Hillsborough Foodbank.
From the Library:
An afternoon of traditional roots style Bluegrass Music with Mark Miklos and the Raritan Valley Ramblers. Mark's powerful performances have been captivating country music fans everywhere. A favorite performer at country and bluegrass music festivals, Mark has opened for such country music stars as Ricky Skaggs, Leeann Rimes and Lee Ann Womack. The performance is free but we would appreciate your support by donating nonperishable food items for the Hillsborough Township Foodbank. ...Registration is required. Registration can be done using the online library calendar, or at the Adult Services Desk. For more information call Adult Services at 908-369-2200 ext 12

The slideshow photographs were taken at the 2010 show by Susan Gulliford and George Mariasz.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Remembering Mark Singley and 9/11?

The Hillsborough e-news September 9th issue suggested a number of ways that residents might remember the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks including a visit to the 9/11 Memorial at Singley Park - shown in a beautiful photograph.

The HNJJ crew thought that this was a good suggestion for those who would prefer a quiet place to meditate or pray instead of an organized ceremony or event, but after a visit to the memorial, we held off on our recommendation.

The "Singley Park" directional sign on Amwell Road was mostly obscured by vegetation, but we knew the park was somewhere on Woodfern Road. After a few minutes of wandering around the area we came upon a worn broken sign next to Woodfern School identifying Mark E. Singley Park...

A ride up the rutted driveway brought us within sight of an American flag at half-staff and a bench that resembled the one pictured in the e-news...

Maybe refreshing the Memorial would have been a good project for the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance, but that has passed. October 22nd is USA Weekend's Make A Difference Day, but we shouldn't have to wait for a declaration.

Take gardening gloves, pruners,and something to hold the weeds that you pull. There should be some type of working spotlight for the American flag. As for refurbishing the park sign, at least some paint would help, even if you can't repair the whole thing; there is probably some kind of township regulation about this, including approved park sign colors.
Here are some September 5, 2009, photographs of the memorial that were posted on flickr.
For those of you who don't remember Mark Singley, the September 13, 2000 resolution and the proclamation naming the new Woodfern Road Recreational Complex “Mark E. Singley Park” is here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Miss Rose Visits Belmar

Miss Rose here doing another guest post.

In August my people took me to Belmar. We have a friend who let us use her doggie-friendly apartment. Everyone said that we were going to the beach. You can look at the slideshow and judge for yourself whether we went to the beach...

I did get to see the beach.
The second anniversary of my adoption was on Wednesday. As I am now about 10-years-old my humans don't know if I have ever been to the beach...and I'm not telling.

Photographs by Susan Gulliford who also wrote down what I told her to. - Miss Rose

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

HVFC#2: 9-11 Ceremony

On the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the United States, Hillsborough Township Volunteer Fire Company #2 - Unit 37 located on Route 206 - held its annual service recognizing the victims, particularly the first responders, who died that day...

Photographs courtesy of Susan Gulliford.

Monday, September 12, 2011

HTVFC#3: 9-11 Memorial Garden Dedication

Hillsborough Volunteer Fire Company #3 held it's 9-11 Memorial Garden Dedication Ceremony yesterday.

The first responders who died at the World Trade Center 10 years ago were recognized: Station 38 members read the names of the 343 FDNY fire fighters, Hillsborough Police Chief Paul Kaminsky read the names of the 23 NYPD officers, and Station 38 Auxiliary President Diane Nagy read the names of the 37 Port Authority Police Department officers...

The Monument...

The people...

Photographs courtesy of Susan Gulliford.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Somerset County's September 11th Memorial

The slideshow photographs of the Somerset County September 11th Memorial at the corner of Main and Bridge Streets in Somerville were taken by Susan Gulliford during Somerville's Friday Night Cruises over the last five years.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 11th, 2011

Several services commemorating the tenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, 2001 are being held in and around Hillsborough:

In Somerville at 8:46 a.m. the Somerset County Board of Freeholders will host a ceremony at the September 11th Memorial at the corner of Main and Bridge Streets remembering particularly the 39 Somerset County residents who were victims of the World Trade Center attack. The ceremony is scheduled to include a tree-planting, wreath laying Sheriff's Honor Guard, and Somerset County Police Pipes & Drums.

At 10 a.m. Hillsborough Volunteer Fire Company #2 on Route 206 will hold their annual 9/11 Memorial Ceremony.

Hillsborough Volunteer Fire Company #3 - Woods Road will hold its 9-11 Memorial Garden Dedication Ceremony. The garden will open at 11 a.m. followed by a ceremony at 12 p.m. followed by light refreshments.

Norz Hill Farm will open their Freedom Maze to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. They will observe the National Moment of Silence at 1 p.m.
Photographs in the slideshow of the 2002 and 2006 September 11th Memorial services at Hillsborough Township Fire Company #3 courtesy of Susan Gulliford and George Mariasz.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Today's Tuxedo Park KC 2011 Show Cancelled

The Tuxedo Park Kennel Club dog show, scheduled for today, is one of the shows cancelled this weekend due to flooding at North Branch Park in Bridgewater,NJ. Here is a slideshow from last year's show:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

North Branch Park Dog Shows Cancelled

This weekend's entire four-day North Branch Cluster of dog shows has been cancelled due to flooding at the Somerset Park Commission's North Branch Park including:
Thursday, Sept 8 – Three specialty shows: Central New Jersey Hound Association, Non-Sporting Group Club of the Garden State, Big Apple Sporting Society

Friday, September 9 – Tuxedo Park Kennel Club

Saturday, September 10 - Somerset Hills Kennel Club

Sunday, September 11 – Westchester Kennel Club

Usually when I write about dog shows I advise my readers that "dog shows are held in all but the most dangerous weather" so they should plan accordingly. Since the beginning of my involvement in dog shows in 1975 I have never run across a cancelled show so this is another indication of how serious Hurricane Irene and the follow-up rain storms are.

According to the AKC website, there has also been a show cancellation in North Conway, New Hampshire,...another area hard by flooding.

Because our photographer Susan Gulliford was looking forward to this weekend's shows as a break from cleaning out her water-damaged basement and it's contents, we are including a slideshow of her photographs from Somerset Hills Kennel Club shows back to 2004. Once again Blogger has cut off the right side of some of the pictures.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

POTUS: Damned If You Do...

President Obama visited flooded Paterson, NJ, this past week.

It's interesting that if a President travels out of Washington, DC, to another area of the country (or even another area of the world), he is criticized for not staying in Washington and working.

If he stays in Washington, he is criticized for not getting out and seeing other areas.

If he visits an area hit by a natural disaster, he is wasting time and money and causing problems. If he doesn't visit, he is too insular and doesn't understand what is happening outside of the Beltway.

One forum even had commentators arguing about whose flood was worse as the President should have visited the worst one.

Can't win.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Last weekend it rained here in HNJJ territory. It rained a lot.

Before sunrise last Sunday morning the dog wanted to go out. While we were up, we headed down the cellar to check up on the cat's breakfast supply...and were greeted at the bottom of the cellar stairs with several inches of water.

After spending two hours carrying buckets of water up the stairs and making no appreciable difference in the water level, we finally got the sump pump out of the sump pump well and took it outside. After washing it out we found that a red silty mud had jammed the impeller. A good cleaning and it was back working.

But meanwhile...we had a wet cellar rug and all the stuff stored in the basement.

Like all good homeowners who had dutifully paid our insurance bills for nearly a quarter-of-a-century, we telephoned our insurance company, reported our very-first- ever claim, and received a reference number.

Like all bad insurance companies, two days later (about the time that the cellar was really beginning to smell)they declined our claim. They pointed out this exclusion...
"...water which backs up through sewer or drains or water which enters into and overflows from within in a sump pump, sump pump well or other type of system designed to remove subsurface water which is drained from the foundation area..."

They don't even have a sump pump rider available.

Other friends who had the exact same problem and other insurance companies were covered.


Have to go now and move more boxes and carry out more pieces of rug...

To our readers: This would be a really good time to review your homeowner policy.

Friday, September 2, 2011

When It Rains, the Water Has to Go Somewhere

Did the rain and the subsequent flooding this week get your attention?

Good. I’m now going to give you a lesson about impervious coverage. No, no – don’t you turn away! Pay attention!

Hillsborough residents – especially those of us who remember Hurricane Floyd – should worry about the increase in impervious coverage in our town.

Attend a Board of Adjustment meeting and listen to an application for an impervious coverage variance. It always seems like such a little thing and the individual applicants often seem annoyed that they even have to be there for such a minor item.

Just to clarify “impervious coverage” to the uninitiated (after all, I’ve noticed how empty those BOA meetings usually are), it’s when you put something over the dirt that will prevent or substantially reduce the natural percolation of water. Breaking it down further, people put down/construct something that stops rain from draining into the earth where it falls.

Okay, that still doesn’t do it for me. Let’s say a homeowner puts in a cement sidewalk 5-feet wide and 20-feet long. They have just installed 100-square-feet of impervious surface. The rain that would have soaked into that 100-square-feet has to go somewhere. The more impervious surface installed, the more water runoff has to be accounted for.

[I’ve done my best. Try Google or go to Wikipedia under Impervious Surface or talk to an engineer who does this type of work. On second thought, forget the engineer; you’ll only get more confused]

To continue, each building lot has a percentage of its surface that may by ordinance be covered by impervious surfaces – usually, for single-family home residential areas, around 15% to 20%, depending on the zoning laws, use laws, lawsuits, and laws I don’t even know about.

With the number of square feet covered by their home, driveway, sidewalk, and, maybe, a small patio, most homeowners max out on their allowable impervious coverage. That’s when they appear before the BOA for a variance to build that sunroom or the tiny little walkway around the pool.

The majority get their variance, although sometimes they have to scale back their projects. They are often irritated: It’s only a small amount and a man’s home is his castle and why did they bother to ask permission they should have just gone ahead with their project and not even asked and it’s a stupid law anyhow.

Okay, now that you have gotten that out of your system, think about the anxiety you may have felt this week watching the rain fall.

Think again.

Attend a Planning Board meeting sometime when a developer is arguing for an upward change in the amount of allowed coverage in their large subdivisions (just a little bit – maybe 5%) or smaller lots with closer, larger houses. Remember this week’s flooding.

Update: This was first published by the HNJJ on April 18, 2007, but applies(unfortunately) this week. It came to mind as two of the HNJJ crew were spending their third day carrying wet boxes out of their cellar.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fireworks Cancelled

Apparently three-is-not-a-charm, at least when it comes to Hillsborough's Independence Day Fireworks. They were re-scheduled for Labor Day after two weather- related cancellations; they have now been cancelled for the third time and are not being rescheduled.

According to the Hillsborough e-news:

The Fireworks Vendor has notified Hillsborough that the fireworks have been cancelled. As a result of Hurricane Irene, the field conditions are not conducive to having the large trucks drive upon it and that concern was raised by the Vendor. There are also concerns about the weekend weather forecast and it is feared that the event will be cancelled again after having multiple rain dates. These issues, coupled with the fact that the Township is concentrating their efforts on the restoration and clean up after the storm, prompted the cancellation.

Bigger and better Fourth of July fireworks will be established for next year by the event sponsors, Assemblyman Peter J. Biondi and TD Bank.