News Writing & Photography: Land Saved! Touring & Presenting its History

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.

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Weekday Workings @ JSHN

Through 2016 and 2017, 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):

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News Writing & Photography: Building a Playground, Honoring a Fallen Patrolman

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.

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JSHN Waves from the Past – Haunted Mansion, Long Branch Pier, 1978 – 1987

The following is an example of the regional history features often created for Jersey Shore Hurricane’s website, JSHN.org, and shared across social media. Above is an archived photograph I recreated into a pseudo-1980s videogame graphic to evoke the era.

Welcome to JSHN’s Waves from the Past, a browse through shore history’s dustbin of dog-eared and digitized postcards, snapshots, video clips and more.

Today we peek into the history of an instantly popular subject, a famous-to-infamous “dark ride” of the Jersey Shore that spooked and excited many before its untimely demise at the hand of “Lucifer’s flames” in 1987: the Haunted Mansion of the Long Branch Pier.

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News Feature: Town Clerk’s Snapshot Goes Global

The feature here, headlined “Former Beachwood Clerk Captured Iconic Photo Three Days Before Attacks” when originally published in 2011 and 2015 on the anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, put a spotlight for many on the woman behind what has become one of the more widespread images of the World Trade Center in the years since it was destroyed. Each year published, it drew many multiples in average site traffic and continues to provide a good source of information for the snapshot’s story today.

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News Writing: Local Mayor & Council and Hard Lessons of Halloween Tradition

The following article, headlined “Beachwood Reverses Decision, Declares Trick or Treating on Oct. 30th” when published in September 2015, covered a suddenly intense community debate over the traditional trick or treating date. The issue was so hot that the public outcry, coupled with inquiries made for the write-up, caused a reversal in decision even before the final version was published.

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News Writing & Photography: A Darkened Downtown

This unexpected feature, appearing early December 2014 under the headline, “Downtown Partly Darkened by Utility Pole Crash on Water Street,” came to be from being in the right place at the right time. Moments after the end of a township council meeting, I was framing a photo of the holiday lights sparkling on the tall municipal tree when everything went dark in complete silence the moment I pressed the shutter. After gaining my bearings, I was able to pinpoint the source of the outage by following movement at the adjacent firehouse and thereafter captured a downtown different from any normally seen by the public.

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