From late 2009 through late 2015, I founded and was publisher, collaborative designer, reporter, editor, photographer and advertising/subscription sales and marketing head for my own rolling local news publication, the Riverside Signal, which included probably as many formats, shapes and sizes as can be imagined.
Beginning in January 2016, I was invited to helm a thrice-weekly digital news bulletin operation for Jersey Shore Hurricane News, South Seaside Park.
From concept to execution, working alongside JSHN founder Justin Auciello, we produced a neat little package that included intro and outro tagged photos from the four-county shore area, regular weather news, article and feature lead-ins, event postings, a regional news collection service called Shorepoints plus interchangeable culture and history sections as This Week in Shore History, Coastal Reader, Shore Navigator and Dancing in the Dark.
Beginning in 2007-08, I formed the Beachwood Historical Alliance, a small community group to collect, review and produce multimedia archives on the history of Beachwood Borough, a small community on the lower bank of the Toms River formed in 1914-15 as a newspaper subscription promotion community of the New York Tribune. The effort continues today as BeachwoodHistory.com.
In Winter 2018, I was invited to cover the Monmouth University Peace Corps Program by friend and MU professor, Frank Cipriani.
The Jersey Shore is going to Mongolia!
No, not the group of infamous orange television “Bennies” whose reign of fame many locals can’t wait to fade like a winter tan, but a care package of tangible local “artifacts” collected by Monmouth University Peace Corps Prep Program students that will open the cultural doors and, they hope, minds to what we live, love and do for fun here.
“You can’t send a bagel, you can’t really send a pork roll; you have to find something that represents it,” said MU Peace Corps Volunteer Preparatory Program Prof. Frank D. Cipriani, whose daughter, Emma, is currently serving as a teacher in the federal program where the package will be sent. “Things that people at a school in Mongolia, kids would want to play with or want to touch.”
The feature below, headlined “Downtown Beachwood Block Demolished for CVS Pharmacy” when published in August 2015, covered the past, present and future of the historic downtown Beachwood following years of dilapidation at the hands of lazy property owners, resulting in the taking of most of the main corner away for a franchise, which by then was almost a welcome change from the eyesore it had become.
The following article, headlined “New Seaside Park Funtown Pier Plans Revealed” when published in February 2015, highlighted an oceanfront amusement pier owners plans to recover from Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent fire that destroyed all that stood on the site, in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The details and depth of the piece provided the only insight in the new plans, which were widely shared due to its regional name recognition and associated interest.
The following article, originally headlined “Tom Miserendino, Beachwood Fire Chief & Councilman, 1944 – 2015” when published in June 2015, pulled together archival elements from the fire company and Riverside Signal, plus area leaders’ comments, to honor the passing of a local luminary.
The feature below, headlined “FIRST LOOK: 775-Acre County Open Land Buy at Berkeley/Beachwood Border” when published in September 2015, took readers on the first tour of a unique tract of land purchased for open space preservation after decades of worried uncertainty by local residents on its fate. It also had the opportunity to take advantage of an early 2009 tour I had taken with planners for the site, using its photos, plus the submitted images of ATV riders, by an adjacent resident, who had been causing him concern on the site. Area historian Steven J. Baeli also submitted archival articles from the early 20th century that were used to piece together its past, forming a full picture to readers.
Beginning in 2016, I was responsible for content creation in various formats for Jersey Shore Hurricane News, both its website and social media properties. Some samples of these can be found below (above photo from JSHN Contributor, Jennifer Khordi, a personal favorite):
The following feature, headlined “Playground Built, Dedicated in Memory of Ptl. Jay Marles” when it was published in August 2015, combined photo coverage of the all-volunteer effort to build and name a new Ocean Gate Borough playground after a borough officer who was killed nearly five years earlier. Then as now, it was the sole coverage for the fantastic event and helped boost readership toward the 150k+ per week numbers in subsequent weeks.