Author Archive: Kire

Warren County Built a Courtroom Wrong. Freeholders Won’t Admit Fault.

There has been a dispute in Warren County for the past few years, ever since they built a courtroom with a pillar that blocks the defense tables’ view of the jury and witness stand.

How can a defendant be afforded a fair trial if his lawyers are not allowed to see the witness stand, much less a jury?

It was a boner of a move by the county to pay for a courtroom that can’t be used, but these things happen.

There have been too many delays in an already crowded courthouse. It’s a very frustrating thing. Anyone who has made a similar mistake can sympathize, but the all-GOP freeholder board should have known better.

The rules were available to the county and to the architects they hired when they decided to build it anyway. They should admit their mistakes and rebuild. But no, here come the talking points: “It’s about taxpayer money!

The County’s solution?

A state senate bill proposal would give the County the power to decide that denying a defendant’s right to full access to the courts is “suitable” solely because they don’t want to be responsible for raising the money to fix it.  

Man, convicted of murder in 1886, still needs pardon

Up here in Hackettstown, there was a very famous murder case in 1886.

A woman named Tillie Smith was “outraged and murdered” on the campus of the Centenary Collegiate Institute. That is the word the papers at the time used for rape. Even though they toned down the word, the story definitely had an effect on its audience.

Not long after her body was found strangled, the Prosecutor ran out of leads.

Unfortunately for the janitor at the college, James Titus, he made a sexually suggestive comment about young Ms. Smith to another young man that night.

Mr. Titus’s father had committed suicide when he was 15. He was a nervous little guy. The newspapers had their man.

More over the fold.

Free James Titus Apology Postcard

The Free James Titus Movement Has Begun

How do you free someone who has been dead for 57 years?

Write to Governor Corzine and tell him about James Titus (b. 1857 – d. 1952).

Titus served almost nineteen years doing hard labor in the New Jersey State Prison because he was a little guy prone to panic attacks and the newspapers in New York, Trenton and Philadelphia wanted somebody to be caught for the rape and murder of Tillie Smith in Hackettstown, NJ on April 8, 1886.

You can do everything you can to spread the word that James Titus needs a Presidential Pardon.

Show compassion for troubled person – LTTE

Show compassion for troubled person

Express-Times – Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I’ve been thinking a lot about the man who was arrested for taking a bath in public in Belvidere. He had been living in his car outside the Warren County Courthouse for several months after he lost his house. Finally, The Express-Times reported he had had enough and tried to get the filth off of himself in public because he thought he had nowhere else to go.

I met this man over the summer, just a few weeks before the incident. So I read the article with interest. He had a sign on his car window that said he was running for Warren County surrogate because he didn’t like the way Susan Dickey had handled his case after the last of his parents died. He had a genuine tin-foil helmet in his backseat.

I am not writing to continue the ridicule that this man has surely received since his face appeared on the front page of the paper under the headline, “Naked man arrested.” I am sorry if this letter has that effect on him. The real intent of this letter is to encourage readers to be more compassionate to him. I certainly hope his accusations are false, but if some of them are true, I hope the officials who made the mistakes will read this and do their jobs in an exemplary manner in the future. With the economy going the way it is going, one thing is certain: We are going to encounter more cases such as this.


Independence Township

Vandals Can’t Stop Celebration in Hackettstown

I love getting published. Especially when the letter I write is an awesome one like this one.

Vandals can’t stop celebration

Express-Times – Sunday, January 25, 2009

Did anyone see me dancing in the streets at the Gazebo on Main Street in Hackettstown on Inauguration Day? I had an “Unidos con Obama/Biden” sign with me. Thank you to so many people in the cars, vans, trucks and big tractor-trailers who beeped, waved and blew their horns and sirens at me! Only about a half a dozen people in 45 minutes refused to look at me, gave me a frown or some other negative look.

I am sorry someone felt it necessary to tear down the sign I had put up on my corner in Independence the following morning. They left a lot of it up there, so they were obviously not interested in cleaning up the community. When is this going to stop in Warren County? When will the Obama opposers learn that they can’t just go around breaking any law they feel like in order to stop what is going to happen in the next four years?

Oh well, the real work begins now. Viva Obama and God bless America!

Erik B. Anderson

Independence Township

Thank You! – Statement from the Grewal Family of Hardwick, NJ

The following is a statement to supporters of the Grewal Family, who signed up at the Hardwick Township Unity Rally on November 15th, which was held in response to the cross burning incident on their lawn on November 6th.

The cross was wrapped in a bed sheet that their daughter had made to celebrate Barack Obama’s victory earlier that week.

Arianna, Alina and Gary would like to thank you for participating in the Hardwick ?Unity March,? physically or in spirit.   Thanks for caring!!!  The ?Yes we care chant? still rings in our ears.  Your support by being here goes a long way in restoring our faith and belief in our community and our wonderful country.

The rally was a powerful message, especially to Arianna, that we are not alone as she starts to live her normal life again.

The hundreds of people who were here sent a very strong signal that such bias and racist crimes are not accepted in the world we live in now.  We are all Americans and as Americans we are free to choose our beliefs, our values, our religion, where we live and whom we vote for.  No citizen has the right to dictate to others how they should live. If these cowards thought we were going to roll over and play dead they had another thing coming.  They WILL catch them and bring them to justice.

Again, thank you for your sincere support and have a wonderful holiday season!!

The Grewals

The link below is a moving video of the Hardwick Unity March put together beautifully by Robert Daniel II, LEPOCO Peace Center…

“We are choosing hope over fear. We’re choosing unity over division, and sending a powerful message that change is coming to America” OBAMA Jan.2008

Links to previous Bluejersey diaries over the fold.

Hackettstown police need support

A letter from Brian Facarra, President PBA Local 369 wrote a very important letter to the editor in today’s Daily Record:

The Hackettstown PBA Local 369 is very proud of the longstanding relationship that exists between our officers and residents. Because this relationship is so important to us, we now ask for your help.

The Hackettstown Police Department has dipped to a manpower level not seen since 30 years ago. We fear that this lack of officers may jeopardize important programs and levels of service. Even worse, we believe that the safety of our residents and officers is being compromised. Future retirements will bring our manpower levels even lower. This dangerous situation must be corrected now.

Please read over the jump:

Cross Burnt in Hardwick: Community Sings

Unity March in Hardwick, New Jersey

In defiance of a cowardly act of ignorance and intimidation a community comes together to march for peace and form a circle of hope.


On the evening of the 2008 U.S. Presidential elections, an eight-year-old girl created a banner which read “President Obama – Victory ’08!” With a little help from her parents the banner was hung in their front yard. The next night the banner was stolen. Later it was returned, wrapped around a cross and on fire. On Saturday November 15th, a march and rally, organized by a group of concerned citizens and supported by the Warren/Sussex County branch of the NAACP, took place.

Speakers included Elaine Koplow, Gary Grewal, Kevin Duffy, Talia Young, and Melvin Warren.

The song “Heal the World With Me” was written by Andy Rajeckas and sung by Gwynne Michaels.

Watch the Video Over the Jump

Community gathers to support Grewal family after cross-burning in Hardwick Township

Greetings, Everyone-

This is the Sunday Express-Times article about the event that happened up here in Warren County yesterday. There is a long discussion of it over the fold. I would be honored if you could read as much as possible of it. Perhaps there could be even more discussion in the replies.

Community gathers to support Grewal family after cross-burning in Hardwick Township

Sunday, November 16, 2008


The Express-Times

HARDWICK TWP. | Eight-year-old Arianna Grewal may have been frightened after a burnt cross was found in her yard days after the election, but all that seemed far away Saturday afternoon as hundreds gathered to send a message of unity.

“I’m so touched by how many people care about what happened,” Arianna said following the rally held on her front lawn.

Participants from New Jersey and Pennsylvania arrived at the Hardwick Township municipal building for a 1-mile march to the Grewal residence.

Residents carried signs declaring messages of unity and erupted into the chant, “Yes we care!”

“The cowards that did this should know they are a minority,” Gary Grewal said. “Even Mother Nature is on our side,” he said, noting the warm weather.

Grewal and his wife, Alina Grewal, said the turnout they witnessed Saturday exceeded all expectations.


Discussion below the fold.

This is still kind of surreal, but I accept.

This is kind of surreal, but I accept this job offer from Carol McKinney, who has the head coach of my brother’s baseball team on top of Schooley’s mountain, where we grew up.

My father, B. Bruce Anderson, of Albert Lea, Minnesota — whose memorial flag flies high over eight baseball fields in Palmer Park in Long Valley — was Carol’s assistant coach for at least one season when we were growing up on top of Schooley’s Mountain, which I understand is the 2nd highest point in NJ.

I seem to remember someone saying that High Point was geographically the highest point of elevation on the East Coast, which would make the mountain we call home, the highest elevated spot in the United States on July 4, 1776. His flag is down in Long Valley, which is the Indian name for that part of Washington Township, Morris County, but his spirit is, and always has been, right at the top of Schooley’s Mountain.

I should know this. I studied a lot of Geography in college. Can someone help me out? Oh well…sigh…

Anyway, here’s the job offer I got not too long ago: