Eve Dropper, One Vote, the ridiculous & the sublime

Way back, decades ago, when newspapers were really newspapers and news stories contained news and not opinions, Eve Dropper’s Around the Halls column in The Courier was the first column read in the paper. We did a survey once, actually at Katz’ Confectionary on Bay Avenue in Highlands. On a Thursday, when The Courier came out, we had someone stationed at Katz simply to watch the folks come in, plunk down their coins and buy the paper, or simply pick up a paper, order coffee at the counter and sit down for a leisurely cup and read. We had our watcher look to see what readers turned to first. Nope, it wasn’t page one. Nor was it page two or three, where all the local political, governmental, and business news was found. One hundred per cent, that’s every one who picked up The Courier, automatically turned to the middle section and read the first column on the left hand side of the right hand page. They weren’t even looking for the editorials…..our opinions based on known facts…what everyone wanted to read was Around the Halls, picking up all the little tidbits of gossip we heard in our quest for and reporting of news. The column was written by none other than Eve Dropper. With the deaths of two great publishers over the last half of the 20th and beginning of the 21st centuries, as well as the demise of newspapers in general, Eve Dropper and The Courier are sadly only memories. However, through this blog, Veni, Vidi, Scripto, I’ve found that people haven’t changed, and Eve Dropper or Intus Fabula as she may have been called in Socrates’ day, is not only alive and well, but she’s eagerly sought after in the hopes she’ll have even more to say! Now, with Facebook and groups on Facebook the newspapers of the day, be patient, Veni Vidi Scripto will have many stories, as will Intus.

So yes, Intus Fabula will opine about the Steve Solop arrest, the big sign he had in front of his business, the dozens of other names that were also given to the Prosecutor’s Office for similar offenses…..and indeed, the importance of a single vote! Intus’ land line has been hopping busy with so many stories since the Solop charges, some of which make him look like a good guy comparatively speaking. Be patient. Keep reading. It’ll be there.

From the ridiculous to the sublime, that new bakery Cookies and Crumbs that opened on West Avenue in Atlantic Highlands, wins you over before you even get to taste the crumb cake! Located next to that spectacular Wood Haven Florist…their flowers last longer in vases than any I’ve ever seen……Cookies and Crumbs offers, like the florist, parking right up to the door, a doorway decorated with gorgeous plants and blooms that simply make you smile. Then inside, it’s hard to tell whether the pristine cleanliness or the bright yet tasteful floor and wall coverings capture your attention next. Or maybe it’s the cheery greeting from the owner or one of the friendly folks working there. Or maybe it’s the baking aromas wafting in the air! Whatever, you’re drawn to the small but filled to the brim showcase with its crumb cakes, croissants, scones and more. The scones by the way, are as diverse as filled with blueberries or cranberries, or how about bacon and cheese! Then the owner will tell you, “oh, there’s more just coming out now!” in case you want something literally fresh from the oven. She’s there early in the morning to get all her batters and dough she’s mixed the night before into the oven, but she still has time to greet a customer, explain what makes each pastry perfect, and share a smile. Only open weekends for now, she’s bound to be a hit and another very welcome business in a town that is so welcoming to so many. Not as great, however, is a comment from a resident at the Atlantic Highlands council meeting that the governing body should use the word cannabis rather than marijuana when deciding what to do about the newly legalized drug and its use or sale in the borough. The truth is, the law is about marijuana. Some cannabis, like hemp, is legal with or without any further action from state or town. Call it what it is. Marijuana, one form of cannabis. That council, once again, deserves so much praise for listening to its residents, non-residents, anyone interested in making the town the best it can be. A two hour long public hearing on providing more parking and 60 people present for that entire hearing shows patience, understanding, and hey! A willingness to really listen to the people!. The same thing happened not long ago when there was another hearing on paving Bayside Drive. The courtesy and understanding by both elected officials and the public is a far cry from what you hear on a regular basis in Highlands where speech of some folks with opinions is strictly limited while others can talk on. One of those residents in Atlantic Highlands, Mark Fisher, deserves a heap of praise on his own, and folks should pay more heed to what he says. As chairman of the parking committee, Mark did an outstanding job of laying out the history the facts, the needs, and the consequences of the borough providing additional parking, and it’s my hope he is truly listened to. But Mark always does all his research, is generous in sharing everything he’s learned, is wonderful at keeping the public informed, and truly is a great promoter of and defender for his hometown. Look for the news story in Veni, Vidi, Scripto on that long but interesting and worthwhile council meeting. Better yet, go to AHNJ.org and rad Mark’s very thorough report on the need for more parking in the business area of the borough.

So we’re now in the pre-primary election day arena, and while conversations and literature will be flying from both sides, the most important thing is for everyone to come out and vote. People have to realize it is their fault if their candidates don’t get elected. Even without a contest, it starts with the primary just to keep candidates alert and aware of what their prospective electors want. In the case of Atlantic Highlands, Councilman Jimmy Murphy already listens to and acts on what voters want, so it’s great to see him ready to take on another term. Joining him this year will be Ellen O’Dwyer, who came so close last time, but is so full of spirit, elan, and energy she’ll be dynamite on Council. Ellen’s also the one who’s been working so hard and been so generous with all those milk pod seeds that will ensure the continued beauty of Monarch butterflies. There are hundreds of girl scouts of all ages as well as local residents who are eagerly watching the growth of the milkpod and the hungry little caterpillars who will thrive on it to become those magnificent Monarchs.

Opposing the Murphy O’Brien team in November, and on the ballot for the other party in the primary, also unopposed, are incumbent Roy Dellosso and newcomer Brian Dougherty. Yes, that’s the same Roy who shelved rumors a couple of months ago that he was resigning before the end of his term, but apparently is not. The same Roy Dellosso who also said he is not running again, but oops, it looks like he is since he got petitions and will be in the June primary. Brian is certainly not new to town or government, he’s a member of the planning board, something that keeps him pretty busy while his wife is equally busy and dedicated as a member of the local board of education. And both kept up with their Atlantic Highlands duties while spending pretty much a good part of the winter in Florida this year.

There’s no primary in Highlands, since the borough is under a non-partisan form of government, which means the local government isn’t affiliated with any political party.


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