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Election result: Official

This post under this headline was updated on June 24, 2021.

  • Colleen Bianco BEZICH = 2,367 — 20.5% — Elected
  • Kevin ROCHE = 2,113 — 18.3% — Elected
  • Frank TROY = 2,092 — 18.1% — Elected
  • Adam PUFF = 1,651 — 14.3%
  • Jeff KASKO = 1,129 — 9.8%
  • Mark RUSC = 1,097 — 9.5%
  • Daniel ZHANG = 662 — 5.7%
  • Kathryn RAICZYK = 360 — 3.1%
  • Write-in = 65 — 0.6%
  • Registered voters = 10,741
  • Total voters = 4,377
  • Votes cast = 11,536

Image: Norman Rockwell, Election Day, 1944.  (Photo: Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.)

Election result: Unofficial

The tallying of votes at the Borough Hall has been completed.

This is NOT the final result! Some Vote by Mail and Provisional Ballots remain to be counted.

The top three candidates, in order, at this time:

  1. Colleen Bianco BEZICH = 2009
  2. Frank TROY = 1810
  3. Kevin ROCHE = 1795

The above numbers will increase over the next day or two.

Votes per candidate, in ballot order:

  1. Frank TROY = 1810
  2. Kathryn RAICZYK = 296
  3. Colleen Bianco BEZICH = 2009
  4. Jeff KASKO = 990
  5. Kevin ROCHE = 1795
  6. Adam PUFF = 1436
  7. Daniel ZHANG = 557
  8. Mark RUSC = 920
  9. Write-In = 66

Total voters at this time = 1730

Image: Norman Rockwell, Election Day, 1944.  (Photo: Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.)

Election result: Coming!

Watch the tally live: HERE.

Unofficial results for the May 11, 2021 Board of Commissioners election in Haddonfield will be posted here as they become available, likely around 9pm this evening.

The numbers posted tonight will include:

  • Votes cast in person today at the ten polling places in Haddonfield.
  • Vote by Mail ballots returned by mail and processed to date, and
  • Vote by Mail ballots deposited in one of Camden County’s secure drop boxes and processed to date.

Some voters who received Vote by Mail ballots were under the impession that they would be able to vote in person (i.e. at a voting machine) at their polling place. That was not the case. Such voters were able to cast Provisional Ballots at their polling place, if they wished. Ballots cast provisionally will be added to the tally on Wednesday and Thursday, after they have been verified, along with Vote by Mail ballots postmarked by 8pm today and received on or before Thursday, May 13.

If the unofficial result posted tonight includes margins that are extremely close, it is possible that the final result could be different from the posted, unofficial result. The Borough Clerk is scheduled to take the canvas of votes on Friday.

Image: Norman Rockwell, Election Day, 1944.  (Photo: Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.)

NJPen publishes election guide

In advance of tomorrow’s Board of Commissioners election, NJPen.com invited each of the eight candidates “to tell the electorate a little about themselves ahead of the polling.”

Read the candidates’ statements and responses to NJPen.com’s questions HERE.

Correction: Vote by Mail Ballots

The Voter Guide for the May 1, 20211 Board of Commissioners election, published in the April 30 issue of Haddonfield Today, contains an error with respect to Vote by Mail ballots.

The guide lists four options for voting by mail. In fact, there are only three:

  • Mail your ballot. (Recommended as soon as possible. Ballots postmarked as late as May 11 will be counted.)
  • Place your ballot in a secure County drop box. (The nearest is outside the Haddon Township Municipal Building, 135 Haddon Avenue).
  • Take your ballot to the Board of Elections office in Blackwood.

The fourth option — taking your Vote by Mail ballot to your polling place on Election Day — is NOT available for the May 11 election. (It was an option for the November 2020 General Election, and may be in the future. But it is not an option for the 2021 Board of Commissioners election.)

Commissioners must respect approval process

To the Editor, fom Eileen Stilwell, Potter Street

The mad rush for final approval of the borough’s first affordable housing project before the May 11 election appears to be over.

On April 21, the Haddonfield Preservation Commission tabled the developer’s application to build 20 affordable apartments in the parking lot behind borough hall until its next regular meeting on May 19, despite pressure from the Borough and developer, Community Investment Strategies of Lawrenceville.

Armed with a team of lawyers and land-use professionals, CIS badgered HPC at the virtual meeting for a positive vote, so it could seek final approval from the Planning Board on May 4, seven days before the municipal election. HPC had no legal counsel that night to help clarify some of the complex issues. Members of HPC declined to vote, citing an incomplete application and an unclear vision of what precisely the developer planned to do within the historic district.

Any attempt by the borough to bypass the HPC and go directly to the Planning Board before the election in order to lock down one of its largest and most significant housing projects in decades, in my opinion, would be a grave abuse of power.

A potential end run for the developer might be to seek planning board approval  based on the footprint only of the Snowden project, excluding facades or relevant information about public safety, or the project’s ability to blend with and preserve the integrity of  the historic neighborhood. The presentation, no doubt, would suggest that HPC’s approval is anticipated at its next meeting.  Should this occur, I would urge HPC members to find some other way to serve their community, since such action by the borough would indicate their services  would no longer be needed.

Why have an historic commission if you ignore it? Why waste the enormous time volunteer board members invest in each application? Perhaps, it should be disbanded, if it is nothing but window dressing.

Should the commission decide to bypass the HPC, it should be done by public vote, so voters know which of the two incumbents running for re-election voted in favor.

Should they follow the rules — signaling that they, not the developer, are in charge — they should be applauded for their judgment.

Students to return to school

On Monday, April 19, 2021, students in Haddonfield Public Schools will return to school, full-time, in-person, for the first time in a year.

Suerintendent of Schools Chuck Klaus previewed the momentous development in letter to parents, guardians, staff, and students on March 31:

When our students and staff left school on March 16, 2020, most of us could not imagine they would continue in a virtual learning model through the end of the year and return to school in a hybrid model in September. The abrupt shift required schools to quickly re-imagine how to best deliver virtual instruction and serve our students. And of course the continuation of the pandemic required many additional changes in the areas of PPE, cleaning, ventilation, meal deliveries, athletics, and more.

Today we are approaching the point we have been anticipating for many, many months: initiating Phase III, bringing ALL tudents to school, all day, five days per week! (Of course, students and families may continue to choose the 100% virtual model through the end of this school year.)

The Leadership Team of Haddonfield School District has been working on this plan for months, anticipating the time when safety and health conditions would allow us to move forward. The following pages will show the new Phase III schedules, set to begin April 19th (grades 1-12) if major indicators continue to improve. (Preschool and kindergarten will continue in their current schedules.)

It is important to note, however, that the schedules for the original hybrid model (cohort A attending Monday and Tuesday, cohort B attending Thursday and Friday), the Phase II combined-cohort model, and the contingency model (if schools are forced to close by state or county mandates) are still contained in these pages. If health conditions worsen, we might have to return to one of these more restrictive schedules.

We appreciate the difficulties and the stresses placed on students, staff and families over the last year. We also realize that each of us has unique circumstances, perspectives, and feelings about how best to return to school. During this process, the Phase III model was explored and reviewed with feedback from families, students, staff, community members and frequent consultation with our district physician and nursing staff. As always, our planning must balance safety, instruction, and operations in a way to provide the best solution for all 1,500 families and 350 staff members in our district.

One new COVID-19 death; total now 15

The addition on Friday of a female in her 80s to the list of Haddonfield residents who have succumbed to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, brings Haddonfield’s death toll to 15.

To date, 587 local cases have been reported by the Camden County Department of Health, an increase of four from yesterday.

The addition of six public school cases on Thursday brings the district tally to 173.

Commissioners schedule new Bancroft hearing

The Commissioners announced today that they will hold a public hearing related to Bancroft on Tuesday, April 27, during their regular meeting already scheduled for that date.

The Commissioners were ordered to hold the hearing by Superior Court Judge Nan S. Famular. She is presiding over a dispute between the Borough and a group of residents that includes two former mayors, Jack Tarditi and Tish Colombi. She is requiring the Commissioners to re-do the portion of their January 16, 2018 meeting relating to the adoption of an amendment to the Bancroft Redevelopment Plan.

The reason for the “re-do” is that the Judge said she cannot evaluate the plaintiffs’ claims because the minutes of the Commissioners’ January 16, 2018 meeting did not note their specific reasons for approving amendments to the redevelopment plan. She ordered the Borough to record this “re-do” and provide her with a transcript.

Here is the Borough’s notice for the meeting:

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN
 that, as directed by the Honorable Nan S. Famular, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, in her “Order Denying Motion to Vacate Ordinance 2018-01 Without Prejudice and Remanding to Borough for Further Proceedings” dated as of April 1, 2021, the Board of Commissioners of the Borough of Haddonfield (the “Borough”) will hold a Public Hearing at its regularly scheduled public meeting on April 27, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. to be conducted via Zoom, a video and teleconferencing service, regarding Ordinance 2018-01 of the Borough, at which the Borough Commissioners shall place on the record their specific reasons for approving the “Bancroft Redevelopment Plan”, as amended January 16, 2018, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-7(d) and (e).

During the week prior to and up to and including the date of such meeting, copies of Ordinance 2018-01 will be available at no cost via the Borough’s website at www.haddonfieldnj.org, by email request to the Borough Clerk at dbennett@haddonfield-nj.gov, and during regular business hours at the Administration Office of the Borough Hall, Room 101, for the members of the general public who shall request the same.

INSTRUCTIONS TO ATTEND/OBSERVE MEETING:  Members of the Public are welcome and encouraged to participate in the electronic meeting. The meeting will be held via Zoom. There are two options to join the meeting 1) through the Zoom App via a smartphone, computer or tablet via video link, or 2) phone audio using the following Zoom meeting access information:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83041911942?pwd=dCtxSUt5Q2xKVE5LVlZCWFFVRUZ0UT09

Meeting ID: 830 4191 1942
Passcode: 329789

Telephone:  Call # 1-301-715-8592; 1-312-626-6799; 1-646-558-8656; 1-253-215-8782; 1-346-248-7799; or 1-669-900-9128
Meeting ID/PIN: 830 4191 1942

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:49-2, as amended, further notice is hereby given that the purpose of the forgoing ordinance is to amend the “Bancroft Redevelopment Plan” to reflect as set forth in Exhibit 3 to Ordinance 2018-01.

Videos of Commission candidate forum

Videos of the Board of Commissioners Candidate Forum, held on Monday, April 12 and sponsored by the Haddonfield Civic Association, may be viewed on the Association’s website, HERE.

There are separate videos for the opening statements, each of nine questions posed to the eight candidates, and closing statements.

The questions, asked of the candidates in random order by Janet Fisher-Hughes, the moderator provided by the League of Women Voters, were:

Question 1: What policy or advocacy differentiates you from the other candidates?

Question 2: Of the three commission seats – public works, public safety, and finance – with which of these areas do you think your strengths most closely align?

Question 3: What are your plans for improving infrastructure in town, such as fixing deteriorating roads and curbs or upgrading and modernizing borough-owned buildings?

Question 4: What will you do to improve Haddonfield’s sustainability plan?

Question 5: As commissioner what are your plans for providing tax savings to residents through shared services, cost savings, and/or revenue generation?

Question 6: What will you do as commissioner to improve communication, community engagement, and increase transparency of town decisions and actions?  As commissioner would you publicly get behind a pledge to record and post all public meetings?

Question 7: One issue facing the township is the resolution of the former Bancroft site.  What are your priorities and vision for the site?

Question 8: What is your position on the land swap between the Board of Education and the Borough to make Radnor Field Green Acres space?

Question 9: Many residents in town are concerned with the speeding that constantly takes place on the main roads and many of the connecting residential streets. What will you do about this ongoing problem?

COVID-19 has hit 1 in 20 locally

With the addition of two males and two females to the list of Haddonfield residents who have been confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, the local tally hit 579 today. That’s 49.94 individuals for every 1,000 of population (based on the 2010 Census) — or 1 in 20 residents.

A total of 14 Haddonfield residents have succumbed.

The Public Schools have reported 166 cases.

Tonight: Commission candidates forum

A forum for candidates for the Haddonfield Board of Commissioners will be held tonight, via Zoom.

Sponsored by the Civic Association and moderated by a representative from the League of Women Voters, it will run from 8 to 10pm.

To see the forum live on Zoom, you must register in advance. Go HERE.

Candidates will explain why they are running or seeking re-election. They will discuss their platform and answer questions submitted in advance.

Civic Association Forum: New date, times

A special note for those who marked their calendars based on details published in recent print versions of Haddonfield Today.

The Civic Association changed the original date of its Board of Commissioners Candidate Forum from Monday, April 19 to Monday, April 12.

It changed the original start time from 7pm to 8pm.

And, to accommodate the large number of questions it received fom the community, it recently changed the end time from 9:30pm to 10pm.

SO … Monday, April 12 from 8 to 10pm.

To see the forum live on Zoom, you must register in advance. Go HERE.

Candidates will explain why they are running or seeking re-election. They will discuss their platform and answer questions submitted in advance.

The forum will be moderated by a representative from the League of Women Voters.

1.      The forum will start with a minute-and-a-half opening statement by each candidate.

2.      A question-and-answer period will follow.

3.      If a question is directed to a particular candidate, s/he will have a minute and a half to respond.  The other candidates will have the opportunity to respond, and will have one minute to do so.

4.      Candidates may decline to answer questions.

5.      If a question is directed to all candidates, or if the moderator decides the question should be answered by all candidates, each candidate will have one minute to respond.

6.      Each candidate will have a minute-and-a-half for a closing statement.

7.      The statements and answers will be timed by a League of Women Voters member.

April COVID-19 tally: 16 cases, 1 fatality

For the first six days of April, the Camden County Department of Health has reported 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Haddonfield, and one fatality, that of a female in her 80s.

These additions bring the local tally to 558 cases and 14 deaths. One in 21 Haddonfield residents have been confirmed as having contracted COVID-19 since March 2020.

The public schools have reported one new case in April: A female juvenile student at Central School.

A case for placing a cell tower at the Public Works facility

By Mayor Neal Rochford

I believe every Haddonfield resident should have strong and reliable cell service.

For years, Haddonfield residents have come to me and voiced their frustration with the poor cell reception in town. This issue has only grown more apparent as so many of us have shifted to working from home during the past year. With or without COVID, work from home is here to stay and Haddonfield residents need reliable cell service to ensure that we can maintain the communication needed to be successful in our jobs. Residents also need reliable service to stay in contact with family, handle emergencies, participate in remote learning, and so much more. Capacity needs to be upgraded in order for Haddonfield not to fall behind in the Information Age.

In 2017, the Commissioners were given an opportunity to remedy this issue when we were approached by Verizon to build a new cell tower, which would greatly enhance the cell coverage throughout Haddonfield. The Commissioner of Public Works at the time worked with Verizon to find an ideal location for the tower, eventually agreeing on a site at the Public Works facility. The site is isolated in an area used for storage and the view of the tower would be minimal as there is plenty of tree coverage. Verizon determined that the site would greatly improve cell coverage in areas of Haddonfield with poor reception.

A contract was worked out and signed off between Verizon and the Borough. We made a mistake in handling the process. The project should have gone out for a bid to lease the site and awarded by resolution. The Borough should have been more inclusive in presenting the tower project to the community. 

I believe the Borough should proceed now to have the tower built with better communication with our residents. It may not happen in the short time I have left in office, but I feel strongly that it should be addressed quickly. No matter where the Borough decides to place the tower, there is going to be some opposition. I believe the greater public good is being served by improving cell coverage in Haddonfield.. 

Let’s look at some of the opposition to the tower:

The tower would emit radio frequencies that cause health problems: Studies by the FCC, FDA, National Cancer Society, World Health Organization, and Canadian Government have found no evidence of adverse health risk from the towers. The amount of RF signals coming off the tower is well below FCC guidelines. Thousands of towers sit on government buildings, hospitals, universities, and private buildings throughout the country without issue. I have never received a complaint from a resident about ill health effects caused by the other cell towers in Haddonfield, including the one at the water tower that has been in place for years.

The tower would only benefits Verizon customers: Verizon would be required to sublease the tower to other carriers. Everyone who has cell service in Haddonfield would benefit.

The Borough did not get a good deal: Some have claimed that Verizon or a similar carrier should be paying hundreds of thousands per year to lease the land. Based on our research, there is no evidence to support a significantly higher lease than what was negotiated.

The tower will adversely affect home values: The real estate market in Haddonfield is strong, with home listings often selling in a matter of days and with multiple offers above the asking price. I have not received one concern from a Realtor that a tower near a residential neighborhood would cause home values to drop. In fact, I have spoken to Realtors that have told me that some home buyers test to see how strong cell service is in the home before buying.

The cell tower is being placed in a park: The proposed tower would be sited in the Public Works facility next to a wooded area. The Public Works facility is so isolated that many residents are not aware of its location. The area is currently used for storage that would be moved to another location within Public Works. Very few people ever venture into this area and the trees in the park area will block much of the tower from public view. 

Deed restrictions: There have been other issues such as deed restrictions on the site that can be resolved. The parcel in question has changed back and forth with the County several times in the last century. Several times in the last fifty years the Borough has worked to untangle the Public Works facility in the deed from the County when it was conveyed to the Borough. 

In conclusion …

I hope everyone will take a good look at the proposal and see that the benefits of a cell tower far exceed any negatives. It won’t benefit future generations if Haddonfield is known as a great town with lousy cell service.

Haddonfield should embrace this opportunity to strengthen our connectivity for the future. Part of the mandate for the Commissioners — present and future — is investing into the infrastructure of Haddonfield, including strong, reliable cell and data service for everyone!

It is my hope that the candidates and future commissioners will show leadership on an issue that affects the quality of life for everyone in Haddonfield.

Candidate runs afoul of veterans’ group

NJPen has reported that Mark Rusc, a Board of Commissioners candidate, “faces a cease-and-desist from Disabled American Veterans over his use of its seal.”

Rusc is a disabled veteran and a member of the organization. “However,” writes NJPen publisher Matt Skoufalos, “DAV forbids its membership from explicitly supporting candidates or giving the appearance that the organization supports any candidate.”

Rusc has used the image on his website, lawn signs, and Jeep.

Read the NJPen story HERE.

Denim departs. Wanda waltzes in.

Denim BYOB, a restaurant at the rear of 116 Kings Highway East, is closing. Owner Dave Murray has arranged for Anthony Lipot, formerly of Braddock’s Tavern (Medford) and The Black Swan (Princeton), to take over the space. He will open Wanda BYOB early in April.

READ ALL ABOUT IT — HERE, courtesy of Matt Skoufalos and NJPen.com.

Meet the Candidates: March 29

This event was originally scheduled for March 24. It was postponed because of inclement weather.

Haddonfield Advocates for Affordable Housing is inviting members of the community to meet with Adam Puff, Kevin Roche, and Mark Rusc, three of the residents who are seeking to be elected to the Board of Commissioners.

The Meet & Greet will be held in the Snowden Parking Lot, behind the Borough Hall, on Monday, March 29 from 5:30 to 7pm.

The lot is the site of a proposed 20-family affordable housing project.

Each candidate will make a brief presentation, then respond to questions from the audience.

The sponsors say, “Mask up!” and “Bring a chair.”

Questions? Email Eileen Stilwell, HERE.

Basketball in the Season of COVID-19

By Lauree Padgett Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today

Photo: Four of Haddonfield’s five starters from this season are juniors and will be back on the court in December. Left to right, Tom Mooney, #11 (holding the ball); Matt Leming, #21; Matthew Guveiyian, #4; and Carson Wolfe, #2. Photo by Lefteros Banos, Athletic Director

When the Haddonfield boys basketball team lost, rather soundly, to Camden in the Group 2 South Jersey championship last March 9, the term “COVID-19” was just getting into the everyday vernacular of our country and the world. No one could have expected that, 2 days later, just as all the teams that had made it to the state semifinals were preparing to take to the court for the thrill of advancing to and participating in the state championship games, all sports—from professional to collegiate and high school on down—would come to a screeching halt. As improbable and impossible as that shutdown seemed at the time, that was just the beginning of a year that often would make people feel like they were trapped in a nightmare they couldn’t wake up from or were forced to be characters in some combined sci-fi–horror movie that never got to the closing credits.

I was lucky that my job as managing editor for a publishing company in Medford never missed a beat. I started working from home on March 17 and have now been doing so for more than a year. I think early on, most of us expected that by summer 2020, life would be back to normal. Discussions with my boss and then an announcement from my church, both in the middle of summer, came as a one-two punch: My boss, also the president of the company, said he did not see most people coming back to work until there was a vaccine, and the leaders of my church made the decision to keep doing virtual services through 2020, which meant no in-person Christmas celebrations. Although my friends and family largely remained unscathed in any serious way from COVID-19, for which I am profoundly grateful, the thought of being mostly isolated (I am single and live on my own) indefinitely hit hard. Then at some point as summer turned into fall, I had a sinking thought: Suppose there wasn’t going to be a 2020–21 high school basketball season?

Basketball, hands down my favorite sport, although baseball comes in a close second, has been the highlight of my winter for decades. It makes the short days and cold, long nights bearable and gives me something to look forward every week from mid-December to at least early March. When I’m asked, “What’s your favorite season?” I reply, “Basketball.” What would get me through a COVID winter, I wondered, if basketball didn’t happen at all?

As I wrestled with this possibility, I tried to hold out contacting our favorite (not to mention South Jersey’s best) coach, aka Paul Wiedeman, until November. I came close, but I caved and emailed him on Oct. 30 after I had heard that players’ parents might be in the stands and hoped press might also be allowed. As usual, I got a quick reply that said, in part: “As of today, there will not be any fans, including parents, allowed in the gymnasium for games. The state is going to revisit this policy before the season begins. I do not know if the media can come to games either. It’s going to be a delicate balancing act trying to complete an indoor winter season. I do believe each home game will be live-streamed by the Athletic Department.” He added that my streak (of attending at least one home game a year since 1969) was going to be seriously tested, but noted, keyboard in cheek, that since there would be no playoffs again this year, the Dawgs would be the reigning Group 2 state champs for the 4th year running. Lefty Banos, the HMHS AD, also confirmed the no- fans-in-the-stands status later in November: “I am sorry but as of now we do not plan on having any people at games besides players, coaches and refs.” He told me if anything changed, he would let me know.

At some point before 2020 came to its inglorious end, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy did announce that indoor high school sports could resume with very limited capacity in the gyms and other venues. For Haddonfield basketball, that meant that practices were to start up in early December and the first game was listed on the schedule as being an away game on Friday, December 18 versus Haddon Township. That never happened. The new plan was that the season would start on January 11 with the first game on January 26.

When I checked in with the coach on January 18 for a roster, this I got this unwelcome update: “So far we have successfully completed 7 days of practice uninterrupted. Our opening game against Haddon Township on January 26th has already been postponed and moved back to February because of COVID concerns on their part. Fams are still not allowed to be in the gym except for essential personnel. I do not think that is going to change this season.” Ending on an upbeat note, Wideman told me that the players were practicing hard and were “just excited to be in the gym playing basketball.”

I was also excited to unexpectedly get another email from Lefty on Jan. 19. It was short and very sweet: “No fans but we are allowing press with media credentials at our home games.” I quickly alerted David Hunter I would need a new badge and shared the good news with the Dawgs’ coach, who quipped, “The streak continues.”

But COVID wasn’t finished upending the season. On January 23, I learned that a JV Dawg had tested positive, and since freshman, JV, and varsity practiced together, everything basketball-related, including obviously games, had to be put on hold for 2 weeks. February 5, the players were allowed to be together again, which did not give them much time to prepare for what would finally be their first game of the (2020–) 2021 season, that twice postponed away matchup against Haddon Township.

Amazingly, Haddonfield ended up playing all 15 of its allotted games, although more than a few times, before actually happening, the opponents for a game changed, sometimes more than once. The Dawgs would go 12–3. After losing their first two Colonial Conference games to Haddon Township and Sterling, the team went on to win 12 out of their next 13, losing only one more time on the buzzer to Woodrow Wilson.

I have already done weekly recaps of the games themselves, but this season seemed to deserve one more article with the main theme being: Were those 15 games and all that transpired on and off the court to compete in them worth it? To get a variety of perspectives, I went to Paul Wiedeman, Lefty Banos, Mark Hershberger, Jeff Holman, and Dawg senior Justin Kasko. Each of them, along with my own experiences, helped me come up with an answer.

How COVID-19 affected the 2020–21 season goes back to the summer and fall. As Wiedeman put it, “The normal routines of preseason basketball heading into the 2020–2021 season were severely disrupted by the COVID-19 guidelines and protocols set by the state of New Jersey. In the past, we would have summer workouts twice a week at the high school, and our team would participate in the Haddon Heights summer league. We did not meet in person the entire offseason. … As a coaching staff, we felt it was in the best interest not to have any contact with the players because of the virus. We did, however, put [together] personal workouts that included skills and drills as well as conditioning.”

Justin Kasko told me, “Not having the summer practices and our normal fall league was definitely a large challenge for the team. For me personally, I took the cancellation of both as a sign to get out and work on my game” He acknowledged, however, “personal workouts just aren’t the same as official practices and preseason leagues, and those are crucial times for our offense and chemistry to build, which was a major challenge for the team overall.”

There was a bit of an upside, although I don’t think he’d call it a plus, for Kasko being on his own to prepare for the season. “This off-season, I was motivated to put the most work in as I could. … Putting in the offseason work is a regular thing for athletes at Haddonfield, especially our basketball program.” He said that going into his senior year combined with lots of downtime due to COVID from last year, he was extra motivated in his offseason workouts. Kasko also confirmed something I suspected from watching his shot choices this season: “My three-point shot was definitely one of my main off-season focuses.” And it paid off. In those 15 games, he made more treys than he did (or possibly even attempted) the previous season, and they often came at crucial points in a game.

Kasko admitted that the news about the shortened season was tough to take. “When Coach revealed our 15 game, no-playoffs schedule to the team, it was 110% rough to hear as a senior. Being told that you won’t be able to compete in a high-stakes playoff game again is a hard pill to swallow, and definitely made me reflect on the playoff games I got to play in last year a lot more. Although it was pretty disappointing to hear ‘no playoffs,’ I was relieved to finally have confirmation of any type of season, which was a bit of a silver lining.”

That silver lining still had some dark clouds when the season started even later than anticipated. As Wiedeman saw it, “The 2-week COVID quarantine to begin our season was just another challenge our program had to deal with that was frustrating for the players and coaches.” Kasko added, “When we got shut down at the beginning of the season, it was a gut punch for all of us.” However, his fall soccer season’s playoffs had just been cancelled a few weeks prior, so Kasko had been through it before and knew the 2-week downtime protocol. He said, “I obviously had some doubt, but stayed optimistic about our season following through, and it did!”

 In that 2-week COVID-19 detour, the team and the coaches met together with Google Meets just to keep the players engaged with each other and to go over some concepts and plays. That wasn’t exactly an ideal way to get ready for the first game. “It is not the same as practicing on the court and getting the continuity and conditioning that help our team compete,” Wiedeman explained. “It definitely was a factor leading into our games against Haddon Township and Sterling. We were a little rusty, especially with our shooting and knowing our plays and where we should be on the court with our execution.”

It was that lack of practice time that Wiedeman felt was the hardest part of the season. “What has made our teams compete so well over the years was our ability to out execute other teams by knowing their schemes and personnel. We did not have that luxury this year, as our season was very truncated.

Kasko saw the lack of practices impacting the team in another way. “[B]etween the cancellation of summer practices and preseason leagues as well as the postponement of our season for 2 weeks, it was extremely challenging to build chemistry for us, as we had a lot of new guys this year. It is hard to build rapport with new teammates in general, but having extremely limited time on the court together was extremely impactful on our chemistry in our first few games.”

After those two losses to the Hawks and the Silver Knights, it was almost like a switch had been flipped. That it happened that quickly was a bit unexpected for Wiedeman. “I was surprised how well the team started to gel and play so well together to finish out the season. As stated earlier, we did not really have much time practicing and sharpening our skills and preparing for each opponent. I give all the credit to the players for being so resilient and playing so hard every single game. They were a very competitive group of players who really enjoyed playing with each other.”

One of the questions I asked Kasko had to do with what I saw as his heightened energy on the court this season, which goes hand in hand with Wiedeman’s overall assessment of the team. “I think the aggressiveness definitely came from being held off of the court for a while, but mainly because that’s the way seniors from last year’s team and 2 years ago taught me how to play. I saw how successful that was in winning games the past 2 years, and I just wanted to try and implement that type of aggression and play style to some of the new younger guys this year so that they can play like that next year.” It is worth pointing out that in addition to the stellar coaching staff Haddonfield has had since the mid-70s, this mindset of passing it on from player to player, team to team, year to year, is the reason why Haddonfield is usually the team to beat in the conference, in non-league games, and ultimately in the playoffs.

There are a few more comments from the coach and his senior starter to share, but now I want to switch to how it was for Mark Hershberger, longtime announcer for boys and girls basketball games, this season. He had a mixture of thoughts and reflections.

“Surreal season sitting three rows above my normal spot … and not next to the highly entertaining and always-on-his-game Jeff Holman! A big part of the enjoyment of doing the PA work is talking with Jeff throughout the game. With masks on and at distance … was that really Jeff on the clock? Looked a little like Pierce Brosnan. … Hmmm. Before doing the first game, I had some reservations about how strange it might be barking names and actions to cardboard faces and players only. But, after that first “Dawgs’ ball” or “Threeeeeeee Mooooooooooooney!” I settled back into the routine quite well.

“Of course, the dogs were not turnin’ and burnin’ as in years past and music on time-outs and at the half was not allowed, but, knowing that, on most games (girls and boys), there were anywhere from 100 to 150 people watching the live video stream on YouTube, I felt a sense of importance in letting the viewers know what is happening. In all honesty, as a former high school and college player myself, when you are on the floor working hard, you barely notice the crowd or announcers at all. So, did it affect the players? Probably not. I hope they were pumped up during player announcements, though. Maybe that helped to get their engines running!”

Interestingly, a former player himself in high school and college, Wiedeman did feel the empty gym, and then still minimal fan presence (players were allowed to have 2 family members at each home game starting on February 6, which is the first game I attended as press) did affect the team. “Not having spectators to begin the season … had an impact because of the energy you would get from the crowd was missing. It was easier for me to get the players’ attention on the court and call out our plays. I did miss not having the student body, my family and players family members not being able to be in person every game.”

On that point, Hershberger agrees with the coach. “I missed seeing parents, extended families, friends. …” Some other downsides to this COVID-19 season Hershberger lamented were the missing halftime super shootouts and another year of no banquet for the teams. Maybe there is still hope for that banquet …

Wiedeman expressed another difficult part of the season: “[A]lways thinking in the back of your mind, ‘Will our season be shut down at any moment because of the virus?’” He felt “the players were just so happy and enthusiastic about playing that they did not worry about the virus as much as I did.”

Overall, Hershberger saw a lot of good come out of a season that he and I both initially had some qualms about. “Fifteen games! It could have been three. It could have been zero. For the two senior boys and seven senior girls, it was a solid chance to build lifetime memories of their final year on the court at Haddonfield Memorial. As well as the fabulous Haddonfield cheerleaders” (you have to imagine Hershberger saying this in his deep, resonate, expressive voice) “making more noise this year than most years! It was so desperately needed! So, way to go Dawgs! You persevered! You rocked the Dawghouse!”

As for Wiedeman, he really did not have any specific expectations for this season because of the COVID-19 restrictions that limited the number of games and eliminated postseason games. In his mind, “It was not about winning championships, it was about participation. Our goal was playing all 15 games allowed by the NJSIAA and we miraculously accomplished it.”

From his point of view, it was definitely worth having a 15-game modified schedule even with all the COVID restrictions in place. Why? According to Wiedeman, “It was about giving our student athletes some normalcy by allowing them to have a season. They could see their friends, and I think it helped them physically, mentally, and [in their] social health.” Wiedeman believed that once the team was practicing and playing games, it enabled the players and coaches to at least temporarily forget all about the challenges that everyone’s lives have gone through with COVID.

Wiedeman’s AD, Lefty Banos echoed those sentiments. “We are so happy the boys were able to have a season regardless of how short. Memories will last a lifetime.”

Memories of games gone by was something Justin Kasko mentioned as well. “When I look back on the past two seasons, I can tell you that it went by extremely quickly, and although we’ve had some big-time games over the past couple of years, that win in the playoffs against Heights [the Group 2 South Jersey semifinal win last March that gave Paul Wiedeman his 500th win as the coach of the Dawgs] will always be a great memory, and even though we lost to Camden the next game, just the atmosphere of that game was fun to be a part of and very memorable for me. Additionally, as much as I love the game of basketball and will miss it tremendously, no doubt what I’ll miss the most is going to work and into battle with my teammates.”

Jeff Holman has been a fixture at Haddonfield Memorial High School for about as long as I have been going to basketball games. Not only is he the winningest boys and girls high school tennis coach in the country, he has been an English teacher (if you like my writing, you can thank him in large part) and is now a guidance counselor. When I have gotten feedback from him in the past for my articles, it’s usually about what makes Haddonfield teams and players excel or Paul Wiedeman’s coaching abilities so exceptional, since he’s witnessed both through the years from his vantage point as the scoreboard operator. This time, I wanted to know what he thought about winter sports such as basketball taking place during COVID-19.

Here is what he told me: “I do believe the benefits of having a basketball season clearly outweighed the risks. I make that comment as one of Paul Wiedeman’s HMHS colleagues, as the counselor for many of the players in the basketball program, as the clock operator at home games, and as a coach who was fortunate to have a fall season after COVID-19 cancelled all spring sports. Unquestionably, there is a connection between exercise and physical and mental health. The 2021 basketball season not only kept the players physically active, but also provided an antidote to the isolation of virtual learning by enabling the players to stay connected with their friends, an opportunity that the seniors and any athletes who lost the 2020 spring athletic season especially appreciated. I am certain that the players along with their coaches and parents are proud of the team’s achievements: improving substantially throughout the season, winning 12 of the last 13 games, and overcoming the challenges that the pandemic presented. These athletes will never forget the 2021 season and will proceed through life with an enhanced sense of resilience and self-efficacy because of everything they accomplished.” 

It seems fitting to let the Dawgs’ senior starter have the final words in response to my “Was it worth it?” question. “No matter how many games we had played or how many practices we had completed this year, my answer wouldn’t change, and that answer is that it wasn’t a waste of a season at all. Although we didn’t get to compete at the level we wanted to, it was still a blast being with my teammates out there every day and trying to pass off as much as I can to the young guys for the coming years.” Kasko just completed campus trips to University of Pittsburgh and University of Dayton, his two top choices, last weekend. While he will not be competing at the varsity level in college wherever he ends up, he “will 100% be playing club or intramural sports.” He will also be keeping up his skills in basketball, soccer, and baseball, the three sports he has played at HMHS.

So, it seems that no one I interviewed has any doubts that this shortened hoops season, played in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, was anything but worth it. And even though I watched 10 out of the 14 games (it would have been 15 had West Deptford had someone streaming the game Haddonfield played on their court—just sayin’) from the comfort of my own home, the four games I was able to watch live had added meaning, and not just because it kept my attendance streak alive. It brought me some much-needed normalcy in a year that has been anything but. Thanks to all those who made this possible, from Lefty Banos and Paul Wiedeman and his coaches and players, to Mark Hershberger, the multi-talented Jeff Holman (or was that really Pierce Brosnan?), and the Haddonfield cheerleaders, as well as the guys who scanned my temperature at the hallway outside of the gym, and all the parents who came out to support their boys. You were bright lights in the winter of our discontent. I can’t wait for a full season to start this December!

COVID-19 has struck 1 in 22 residents

The addition today by the Camden County Department of Health of two confirmed COVID-19 cases in Haddonfield — a male in his 20s and a female in her 60s — brought the total number of cases locally to 527. Based on a population of 11,593 (2010 Census), that represents one case for every 22 residents. The Department has reported 13 fatalities among Haddonfield residents.

Tomorrow — March 20, 2021 — marks the one-year anniversaryof the first reported COVID-19 case for a Haddonfield resident, and also of the signing of Gov. Murphy’s stay-at-home order.

Ballot positions set

Borough Clerk Deanna Bennett conducted a drawing today (March 18) for ballot positions in the May 11 Board of Commissioners election.

The ballot positions will be:

  1. Frank Troy
  2. Kathryn Raiczyk
  3. Colleen Bianco Bezich
  4. Jeff Kasko
  5. Kevin Roche
  6. Adam Puff
  7. Daniel Zhang
  8. Mark Rusc

Meet the candidates: March 24

This event, originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 24, has been postponed to Monday, March 29, because of inclement weather.

Haddonfield Advocates for Affordable Housing is inviting members of the community to meet with Adam Puff, Kevin Roche, and Mark Rusc, three of the residents who are seeking to be elected to the Board of Commissioners.

The Meet & Greet will be held in the Snowden Parking Lot, behind the Borough Hall, on Wednesday, March 24 from 5:30 to 7pm.

The lot is the site of a proposed 20-family affordable housing project.

Each candidate will make a brief presentation, then respond to questions from the audience.

The sponsors say, “Mask up!” and “Bring a chair.”

The rain date is Monday, March 29.

Questions? Email Eileen Stilwell, HERE.

Meet the candidates: April 17

Jersey Java & Tea will host a Meet the Candidates session on Saturday, April 17.

Seven of the eight residents who are seeking to be elected to the Board of Commissioners will be at tables outside, from 9am to 12n, to discuss their candidacy with voters.

Jersey Java & Tea is located on the corner of N. Haddon Avenue and Redman Avenue.

Date set for Candidates Forum

The Haddonfield Civic Association has set the date for a Candidates Forum, in advance of the Board of Commissioners election on May 11.

The event will be held on Zoom on Monday, April 12 from 8 to 10pm, and will be moderated by a representative of the League of Women Voters.

Eight candidates have filed petitions to run in the election. The Board of Commissioners has three members who serve concurrent four-year terms. Two incumbent commissioners are seeking to be re-elected: Commissioner Jeff Kasko and Commissioner Colleen Bianco Bezich. Mayor Neal Rochford announced recently that he will not seek a new term.

The other candidates are Adam Puff, Kathryn Raiczyk, Kevin Roche, Mark Rusc, Frank Troy, and Daniel Zhang. Kathryn Raiczyk was a candidate in the November 2019 election to fill the unexpired term of Commissioner John Moscatelli.

The Civic Association says the forum will give candidates an opportunity to “explain why they are running for commissioner or seeking re-election” and to “discuss their platform and answer questions submitted in advance from Haddonfield residents only.”

To request an invitation to the Zoom event, or to submit questions, go HERE.

Detailed information about the election is available on Haddonfield[dot]Today under the heading COMMISSION ELECTION. Current topics include:

COVID-19 cases in schools top 150 mark

The listing on March 9 of one new confirmed case of COVID-19, in a male juvenile from Central School, took the tally of cases in the public schools to 150. The addition of two others on March 14 set the current total at 152 — 65 males and 87 females.

Of the total, 116 are students and 36 are staff.

The breakdown by ages is as follows

  • Juvenile — 29 (M 11, F 18)
  • 10s — 87 (M 50, F 37)
  • 20s — 10 (F 10)
  • 30s — 8 (M 1, F 7)
  • 40s — 9 (M 1, F 8)
  • 50s – 7 (M 1, F 6)
  • 60s – 2 (M 1, F 1)

The breakdown by school is as follows:

  • District – 2 (M 1, F 1)
  • Central – 19 (M 9, F 10)
  • Haddon — 23 (M 4, F 19)  
  • Tatem – 10 (M 5, F 5)
  • Middle — 40 (M 18, F 22)
  • High — 56 (M 27, F 29)

Active cases:

  • Central — 2 students
  • Haddon — 1 student, 1 staff
  • Middle — 2 students

Commissioner Kasko will seek new term

Commissioner Jeff Kasko has filed paperwork to run in the May 11, 2021 Board of Commissioners election. The filing deadline for candidates’ petitions was yesterday (Monday, March 8).

A 20-year resident of Haddonfield, Kasko is seeking re-election after serving two terms as Deputy Mayor and one term as Mayor and Commissioner of Revenue and Finance.

He released the following statement today:

“After discussions with residents throughout town, I’ve decided to run one more time for Haddonfield Borough Commissioner, so that we can complete the work that is underway to both preserve and improve Haddonfield for current and future residents,” Kasko stated.

Kasko intends to focus on the experience he brings as an elected official, long-term resident, dedicated community volunteer, and father of five, as well as his accomplishments and initiatives as a member of the Board of Commissioners.

“I look forward to discussing important issues and projects over the next two months, including public health and safety during a pandemic, municipal spending and taxes, infrastructure and storm water improvements, Bancroft redevelopment, affordable housing, and welcoming families, seniors and diversity in our town,” said Kasko.     

Prior to serving as Commissioner, Kasko served on the town’s Zoning Board, as well as a board member of the Haddonfield Civic Association and Haddonfield Lions Club.  He has volunteered many hours as a Lion, Haddonfield Little League coach, Youth Basketball coach and Christ The King parishioner, and has served as the Commissioner’s representative on the Library Board, Human Relations Commission, Planning Board, Municipal Alliance, and the Partnership for Haddonfield.

Kasko is raising five sons, all attending or graduating from Haddonfield public schools.  He is employed as a senior licensing and regulatory analyst with the N.J. Department of Health.  Kasko is a graduate of Purdue University (B.A.) and Rutgers University (M.P.A.).

Eight will vie for three Commission seats

Eight Haddonfield residents have filed petitions to run in the Board of Commissioners election scheduled for Tuesday, May 11.

They are:

  • Colleen Bianco Bezich
  • Jeff Kasko
  • Adam Puff
  • Kathryn Raiczyk
  • Kevin Roche
  • Mark Rusc
  • Frank Troy
  • Daniel Zhang

Mayor Neal Rochford announced yesterday (March 7) that he will not be a candidate.

Two of the candidates — Colleen Bianco Bezich and Jeff Kasko — are incumbent commissioners; only one of the other six — Kathryn Raiczyk — has run for public office in Haddonfield before, at the Board of Commissioners special election in 2019.

Boys Basketball Weekly Wrap-Up: Mar 7

By Lauree Padgett Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today

I was going to start off this last weekly wrap-up (I’ll do a short season overview next week that I’m hoping will include comments by Coach Paul Wiedeman, among others) by saying I’d never seen the Haddonfield boys basketball season end on a winning note, but then I remembered I had seen that once before: on March 17, 1973, when the team won its first state championship, upsetting Orange 76­–67. Since this was in the pre-Tournament of Champions era, that last game was, indeed, a thrilling victory. In all the ensuing years—or should I cringe inwardly and type “decades”?—every game that has finished off a Dawgs’ season, even the ones that culminated in six more state titles that proceeded the inaugural one on St. Patrick’s Day, ended in defeat as the Dawgs lost in a Tournament of Champions matchup.

So, I have to tweak what is now not my lede to note that it has been 48 seasons since I last witnessed Haddonfield players walking off the court with a W and still having their season come to an end. But, the home game on Saturday, 3/6 against the Glassboro Bulldogs was the fourth game the team played in this last week of competition. So, let me back up and start with the first game on March 1 against the Red Devils of Rancocas Valley Regional High School.

The Red Devils blazed to a 4–0 lead at the outset of Monday night’s game on the Dawgs’ court before Matt Guveiyian got the offense rolling for Haddonfield with a 3, and after a Dawg steal, Justin Kasko showed nice hustle to pull down an offensive board. Matt Leming was fouled in his resulting shot attempt, and he made 1–2 from the line to tie the game at 4 all with 5:24 left in the first quarter. After few trips up and down the court with neither team able to break the tie, Leming hit his first 3 of the game to put the Dawgs up 7–4 with just over half the quarter remaining. Leming would pull down the defensive board at the other end, then with 3:19 on the clock, Kasko knocked down a 3 to make it 10–4, good buddy. (If you’re too young to get that reference, you can always Google it or ask Siri.)

Rancocas Valley got back in scoring mode with a trey to get to within 3, 10–7, with 2:01 left in the quarter, but Guveiyian swooshed in another 3 to push the Dawgs back in front by 6, 13–7 with a minute and change to go. After Haddonfield did not score in its next possession and Rancocas Valley turned over the ball, the Dawgs had one more shot to finish out the quarter. Of course, it was a 3, this time from Leming on a feed from Guveiyian 3.1 seconds ahead of the buzzer, to put the Dawgs up by 9, 16–7 going into quarter 2.

It would take more than 2 minutes for a point to go on the board in the second. This was due to a few missed shots by Haddonfield and Rancocas Valley’s difficulty in getting any shots off thanks to their opponent’s stifling defense. Finally, at the foul line with 5:44 showing on the scoreboard, Kasko got 1–2 to drop, giving his team a double-digit, 17–7 edge. That did not last long as the Red Devils finally got a shot off and into the net. At the other end Dante Del Duca hit one from behind the arc, making it 20–9 with 3:45 left in the half. The offense on both sides largely shut down for the next 3-plus minutes. The Red Devils would only get 1 more point from a foul shot, but the Dawgs only mustered 2 more points off a nice jumper by Tom Mooney a few seconds ahead of the half-time buzzer. This gave the Dawgs a 12-point, 22–10, advantage as the teams headed off the court.

As was mostly the case all season, it was quarter 3 when the Dawgs had their biggest offensive output. Thanks to Carson Wolfe, Haddonfield finally got their inside game going. Aside from the jumper by Mooney that finished off the first half, all of the Dawgs’ scoring in the first 2 quarters had come from 3’s or foul shots. Wolfe went up and in four times, including a nice cross-court maneuver that kicked off the Dawgs’ third quarter. Haddonfield did get two more baskets from behind the 3-point line from Leming as well, and he and Guveiyian also dropped in a pair of free throws. When the quarter was over, the Dawgs had double the points of the Red Devils and were in control 40–20 going into the 4th.

Mooney got hot in those last 8 minutes, knocking down a 2, a 3, and then 2 from the foul line. Matt Kouser, who as a freshman has seen quite a bit of court time, also hit a 3 and a 2, and at the end of the quarter, when Coach Wiedeman had taken all the regulars out, another freshman, Darragh Roddy, ended the Dawgs’ offense with a 3. When the final horn sounded, the Dawgs had bedeviled Rancocas Valley, beating them by 28 points, which was 1 point more than the Red Devils scored themselves. The final was Haddonfield, 55, Rancocas Valley, 27. With his four 3’s, Matt Leming led the Dawgs with 15 points. Although Leming was the only Dawg in double digits, eight players contributed to the team’s offense.

A night later, the Dawgs were at Collingswood. No matter what kind of team Collingswood has, I think longtime Haddonfield fans get an uneasy feeling when the Dawgs and Panthers meet up, especially when it’s on the Panthers’ turf. Even though the Dawgs had won their first matchup versus the Panthers by 16, I wasn’t expecting it to be that easy this go-round. And it definitely wasn’t.

The game started off well enough, with Matt Leming getting one of his trademark corner 3’s barely 15 seconds into the match. Messy passing and out-of-bounds calls resulted at both ends of the court before Collingswood got its first 2-pointer at the 4:37 mark to make it 3–2, Haddonfield. Leming pulled down an offensive board and sent the ball back up and in for 2, and it was 5–2, Dawgs. Good “D” caused a Panthers’ turnover, but the Dawgs were unable to score, and then with 3:19 left in the first, the Panthers knocked down a 3 to tie it at 5. A drive by Tom Mooney off a feed by Matthew Guveiyian pushed the Dawgs back in front 7–5 with 2:47 to go.  After a missed shot by Collingswood, Carson Wolfe got a bucket in the paint also off a pass by Guveiyian to give the Dawgs a 9–5 lead. A Dawg foul sent the Panthers to the line. One shot dropped. Mooney was fouled under the Dawg basket, and he also made 1–2, so when the quarter ended 51.9 seconds (I’m all about the details) later, the Dawgs were still up by 4, 10–6.

The second quarter did not start off as well for the Dawgs, who had possession, as the Panthers notched a steal and a bucket, and with only 14 seconds gone, they were within 2, 10–8. Second verse, same as the first: 20 seconds later, the game was tied at 10. And while Collingswood’s third straight basket did not come off a steal, nevertheless, with 6:41 on the clock, the Panthers had gone ahead 12–10. Then, after another Dawg turnover, Collingswood hit a 3 to go up by 5, 15–10, at the 5:42 mark.

A pickoff by Haddonfield got the Dawgs the ball back after a bad pass temporarily gave possession to Collingswood. An offensive board by Guveiyian gave Leming a chance to nail a 3, making it a 2-point game, with the Panthers still on top 15–13 with 4:48 left in the half.

Play resumed after a timeout by Haddonfield. Unfortunately, Collingswood would get the next 4 points of the game, 2 from the foul line and one off a basket. With 2:45 remaining in the quarter and the Dawgs down by 4, Guveiyian launched a 3, and it was now a 1-point game, with the Dawgs trailing 18–19. Again, Collingswood got a basket, and the Dawgs found themselves in the hole 18–21 with 2:27 left. A scramble for the ball resulted in an out-of-bounds call against the Dawgs after a missed Dawg shot. After a few kick-ball calls (and Dy Heine nowhere to be seen), Guveiyian stole the ball, and a 3 from Leming tied the game at 21 with 1:10 left in the half. After another pickoff by Haddonfield, the Dawgs were going for the final shot, but waited a tad too long, and when the ball finally went up, it was off. So, the teams left the court with the game still tied at 21.

The second half made me glad I was not at the Collingswood gym, because I started getting very wound up, to put it mildly, from my seat in front of the computer screen. What had been somewhat annoying attempt in the first half of the game by Collingswood to slow its tempo became beyond exasperating in the second. After Haddonfield got a basket thanks to Leming after its first possession ended in a turnover, the Dawgs were back in front 23–21 with about 5:41 on the clock. A steal from Mooney and his subsequent 2 made it 25–23, Haddonfield, about 40 seconds later. When more than a minute ticked off the clock without Collingswood even attempting to make a shot, I wrote in all caps in my notepad, “SHOOT THE BALL!!!”

Before that happened, Collingswood got charged with a foul, but the Dawgs did not score, and a rebound attempt went out of bounds off the Dawgs. The Panthers didn’t eat up too much clock before attempting to score their next possession, but the shot did not go in. Leming got the board and Mooney took a shot. The contrary ball went up, rolled on the rim, and went in the wrong direction at the 2:34 mark. Collingswood went into ball hold mode for about 20 seconds and then caught the Dawgs napping, as they got 2 on a nicely set up shot with 2:14 on the clock to get back to within 2, 25–23. The Dawgs missed a chance at the foul line to get those points back, and even after getting the offensive rebound, could not get a shot to drop.

Wolfe had an aggressive steal, Collingswood got charged with its second foul of the half, a jump ball kept possession with the Dawgs, but again, nothing came of it on the scoreboard. With about a minute left, Collingswood tried something a little different—NOT—and held the ball, going for the last shot, and luckily, did not score either. So, going into the last quarter, it was still 25–23, the same score it had been at the 2:14 mark of the third quarter.

The game and the ball went back and forth for almost 2 minutes before Collingswood’s 2 tied it up at 25 apiece with 6:04 left in the game. A nice cut going into the paint by Justin Kasko gave the Dawgs back the lead 27–25 with 5:49 on the clock. At the Collingswood end of the court, the Panthers were lurking, lurking, lurking and not doing much else. When a shot was made, it did not go in the net, and Kasko and Mooney pulled down the rebound. Collingswood got charged with its fourth foul of the quarter with 4:17 to go. Guveiyian went up and in and did not score. No foul was called, but at least he stayed upright and in the game. (That comment will be expanded upon shortly.) With just under 4 minutes to play, the Panthers scored and tied the game at 27.

A Haddonfield turnover prompted Coach Wiedeman to call for a timeout with 2:30 remaining. After Collingswood inbounded the ball to resume play, Kasko picked off the ball after good overall D by he and his teammates. Haddonfield turned the tables on Collingswood and took some time off the clock by working for an open shot. Their patience paid off as Mooney drove in for a 2 off a feed from Wolfe, and with 1:37 left in regulation, the Dawgs had gone back up 29–27.

A near pickoff by the Dawgs turned into a 3 by the Panthers, who reclaimed the lead for the first time since the first quarter, even if by the slimmest of margins, 30–29, with 1:11 to go. Mooney made a good effort to put the Dawgs in front again. Even though his shot did not go in, he was fouled. He made 1–2 from the line to tie it at 30 with 56.6 seconds to go.

Haddonfield committed its third foul of the game with 41.0 on the clock; 13 seconds later, a jump ball call kept the Panthers holding onto the ball, but their coach called a timeout. I was expecting a play that would have Collingswood whittling down the clock, but instead, there were still 17.9 seconds showing when the Panthers attempted a shot that did not go in. Kasko secured a big defensive board and Wiedeman called a timeout. Haddonfield inbounded the ball, and since Collingswood still was under the limit, committed a foul to force Haddonfield to inbound the ball again with 12.6 seconds to go. The Dawgs and the ball were in motion, and when time was almost out, Guveiyian drove in under the basket. His shot did not go in, but everyone was expecting a foul call. Instead, the buzzer sounded rather than a whistle being blown. I wrote down on my pad. “No foul?? Paul [Wiedeman] is livid. Me too.” As the live stream focus cut to Wiedeman taking the refs to task, I didn’t notice how gingerly Guveiyian got up off the floor (the collision initiated by the Panther guarding him sent both players sprawling onto the hardwood). As it turned out, Guveiyian went back to the trainer, not the huddle.

When the game went into a 4-minute OT, Guveiyian was sitting with ice on his ankle and knee area, and Dante Del Duca was on the floor in his stead. Haddonfield had possession and inbounded the ball. Wiedeman called out his instructions, and with 3:33 on the clock, Kasko executed a nice reverse layup, making it 32–30, Dawgs. The Dawgs were riled up after the last play of regulation and seemed determined to make sure the game did not need a second OT. They pressed Collingswood at the other end and the Panthers lost the ball. Del Duca went up and in for 2 and the Dawgs were now leading 34–30 with 2:52 left in OT.

Kasko pulled down a defensive board but the Dawgs turned it over. This time, Kasko got the ball back to his team by taking an offensive charge with 1:47 on the clock. With 1:08 on the clock, Weideman called a timeout. Haddonfield did not score, and with 42.5 seconds left, Haddonfield was charged with its 7th foul of the half, sending Collingswood to the line for a 1-1 opportunity. The first shot did not drop in, and the Dawgs got the board, but with 20.5 seconds left, Collingswood stole it back. There was then a scramble for the loose ball, which Haddonfield won with 12.3 seconds left. Before a second even had time to tick off the scoreboard, Del Duca was fouled. He also stepped to the line with a 1+1 opportunity. His first shot swooshed in. So did his second, putting the Dawgs up by 6, 36–30.

Even though Collingswood had basically run out of time, a timeout was taken. After Haddonfield got charged with a foul, another timeout was called for with 10 seconds to go. The Panthers’ shot did not go in, not that it would have mattered. This time when the buzzer sounded, there was a winner: Haddonfield. In the 4-minute OT, the charged up Dawgs had put 6 points on the board when in the 8-minute 4th, they had only managed 5. And equally as important, they held the Panthers scoreless.

Matt Leming finished the game with 15 points. Thanks to the low score, no one else on the Haddonfield squad reached double digits. I had been getting updates about Matt Guveiyian while the game was still in action (it pays to be close friends with a player’s Nanny, aka Debbie Vermaat), so I knew he was headed for an X-ray. The good news came back that he had suffered a sprain and nothing more serious, but it still resulted in a deep bruise that kept him in the stands watching his teammates play the last two games of the season.

As if that were not enough excitement, word came Thursday afternoon (3/4) that the away Sterling game had been canceled. In fact, the frosh, JV, and varsity games had all been canceled. It turned out that the Silver Knights were shut down for the rest of the season due to COVID exposure. The rematch (Sterling had won round one 64–55) was supposed to determine the outcome of the Colonial Conference Liberty division. If Sterling had won, they would be the sole winner. Had the Dawgs come out on top, the teams would have shared the crown. Probably back in the day when snow was more likely to upend a would-be title game, rules were established that should this kind of cancelation occur without the game able to be rescheduled, the teams would still share the crown. I’m sure this upset Sterling more than Haddonfield, since the best outcome for the Dawgs would have a split, not sole possession of first place.

So, there was no game at all on Thursday. Instead, I was nearly simultaneously getting contradictory reports about the remainder of the Dawgs’ season—if there was even one left. One source was telling me the scheduled Saturday game had been canceled and the Dawgs’ season was over. However, my other source told me the Dawgs were going to now host Winslow Township at 4 on Friday afternoon (varsity only) and the game on Saturday was still at home but the opponent was going to be Glassboro not Bordentown. Source number 2 proved to be more reliable. The funniest part of all this was the two people who were providing me with conflicting information are related!

With the schedule seeming to be in constant upheaval, I decided if I wanted to make sure I saw one more home game, I’d better go to the Friday game in case the Saturday game was nixed at the last minute. The gym was even emptier than usual, as some parents were not able to get there because of the one-two punch of it not being set up until Thursday afternoon and the early start of 4 p.m. I did not know anything about the Winslow Township Eagles (who had very green unis). In the first quarter, it seemed that the teams might be fairly well-matched. After Carson Wolfe got the first point for Haddonfield from the foul line, Winslow got a bucket to go up 2–1 with just less than 2 minutes gone. And that’s how the score would stay for the next 3-plus minutes until Tom Mooney’s feed to Wolfe resulted in a bucket, putting the Dawgs—briefly—out in front 3–2 with 3:17 to go in the quarter. But a basket and a foul shot added 3 to the Eagles’ score, putting them on top 5–3 with 2:33 on the clock.

A jumper from Matt Leming tied it at 5 with 2:16 left. Justin Kasko stripped the Eagles of the ball about 12 seconds later, and after some nice ball movement under the Haddonfield basket, Wolfe scored off a twofold feed that went Kasko to Mooney to Wolfe. With 1:44 to go, the Dawgs were ahead again by 2, 7–5. But the Eagles landed a 3 with 47 seconds left to retake the lead by 1, 8–7. About 11 seconds later, the lead swung back to Haddonfield’s favor as Mooney went up and in to make it 9–8, Haddonfield, and that would be the final basket of the quarter for either side.

In the second quarter, Wolfe continued his nice driving into the lane for baskets. His first came off a Del Duca assist and put the Dawgs up by 3, 11–8, with 6:47 on the clock. A Haddonfield steal put the ball back into Wolfe’s hands, and this time, not only did he score, he got fouled. His shot from the line when it, and with 6:30 to go, the Dawgs were now up by 6, 14–8. The Dawgs got their third 2 of the quarter as Matt Kouser got into the act to push the Dawgs’ lead to 8, 16–8, with 5:11 left in the half. After a timeout, the Eagles still were having trouble finding the net, and the Dawgs went a bit cold as well thanks to a few turnovers that resulted from some passing miscues. Winslow Township got its first—and only—basket of the second quarter with less than 2 minutes remaining in the half. It was a 3 and make it 16–11, Haddonfield.

In the final 1:53 of the half, the Dawgs went on a mini run, putting 10 points on the board. Kouser got things started with a 3. After a traveling violation was called on the Eagles, Tom Mooney glided up and in for 2, and it was 21–11, Haddonfield, with 1:02 left. This time the Eagles lost the ball out of bounds and it was Kasko who drove into the lane for 2. He was fouled as well, and his free throw increased the Dawgs’ advantage to 24–11 with 48.2 seconds left. The Eagles didn’t turn the ball over their next possession, but their shot did not drop in, and Kasko secured the rebound. The Dawgs handed the ball back to the Eagles on a 5-second call, but it was still Haddonfield who got the last basket, this one by Del Duca, just ahead of the buzzer. As the teams left the court, the Dawgs were in command of the game, up by 15, 26–11.

After putting 17 on the board in the second quarter, the Dawgs upped it to 24 in the third. This was due in large part to the cluster of 3’s Haddonfield knocked down. Leming did a hat trick while Del Duca and Kouser each added one. Mooney contributed 7 on two buckets and three foul shots. So while the Eagles offense kicked in a bit, going from 3 in the 2nd to 13 in the third, the Dawgs had twice as many (and 1) on the board—50 to 24—when the third quarter came to an end.

Before Coach Wiedeman cleared the bench in the 4th, the Dawgs added 16 more points to their total. Mooney put up another 7, this time on a 3, a 2, and two foul shots. Kasko, Del Duca, and Jack Deegan each got a 2-point bucket, and Kouser got this third trey of the game. The final score was Haddonfield, 66, Winslow Township, 34.  Four Dawgs hit double digits: Mooney led the way with 18; Leming and Kouser each had 11; Wolfe finished with 10 points, all coming in the first half.

About 18 hours later, the Dawgs were back on their home court for their final game of the shortened season. Their record was 11–3, and they had won 11 of their last 12 contests. Hoping to keep them from making it 12 out of their last 13 games were the Bulldogs of Glassboro. Worth noting was that Dawgs’ coach Paul Wiedeman had both his senior captains, Justin Kasko and Jack Deegan, starting the game.

For the first 8 minutes of the game, the Bulldogs were outpacing the Bulldawgs. They scored the first 5 points of the contest, starting with a 3 and the following it with a 2 at the 5:17 mark. After Justin Kasko pulled down an offensive board, Matt Leming began his 3-point shooting spree to make it 5–3, Glassboro. I say “spree” because about 30 seconds later, his second trey put the Dawgs up by a point, 6–5, with 4:14 on the clock.

The Dogs made 1-2 from the foul line to tie it at 6 with 3:44 to go in the first. Although Deegan  pulled down an offensive board, the Dawgs lost the ball on a steal that resulted in a bucket for the Dogs, and with 3 and change in the quarter, Glassboro was back on top 8–6. This time Kasko pulled down an offensive rebound and then made a nice move to go up and in, tying the game again at 8 with 2:27 to go.

Kasko dove for a loose ball and got it, but the Dawgs were called for traveling. Tom (oh, heck, it’s the last game I’m writing up), Tommy Mooney got it right back on a steal. He passed it to Dante Del Duca, who had just come into the game. Dante Del Duca gave it back to Kasko, who scored, flipping the lead back to Haddonfield, 10–8, with 1:07 on the clock. The teams exchanged turnovers, then Haddonfield failed to score its next possession. A 3 by Glassboro put the Dogs in front by 1, 11–10, and Haddonfield’s shot ahead of the buzzer did not find the net.

The second quarter began with the Dawgs and the Dogs exchanging 3-pointers. Leming got his third and then Glassboro hit a bomb from way behind the arc, keeping the Dawgs behind by 1, 13–14, with a little more than a minute gone. The Dawgs got called for a moving violation and the Dogs got a shot off that did not go in. Mooney’s shots from the foul line edged Haddonfield back to a 15–14 lead with 6:30 to go in the half, but a 2 by Glassboro put the Dawgs behind the Dogs 16–15 with just under 6 to go in the half.

After a missed Dawg basket and a Dog timeout and turnover, Leming hit his fourth 3 of the half, which was the result of some nice ball movement. That made it 18–16, Haddonfield. That was followed by a nice steal by Del Duca. He was fouled en route to the basket. He made 1–2, and with 4:21 on the clock until halftime, the Dawgs were up by 3, 19–16 … but not for long. The Dogs got a field goal to cut that lead down to 1, 19–18, and then retook the lead, 20–19, off a Dawg turnover.

Haddonfield failed to score, but Mooney got the offensive board and Del Duca nailed a 3, and with 3:07 left in the half, the Dawgs had once again seesawed back in front, 22–20, with 3 and change left in the 2nd. Neither Dog nor Dawg scored for a few trips up and down the court, but thanks to a pickoff by Matt Kouser, Carson Wolfe was able to go up and in, giving the Dawgs a 4-point, 24–20, lead at the 2:04 mark. That was fleeting, as the Dogs answered with a basket to pull to within 2, 24–22 and then with 1:20 on the clock, Glassboro pivoted back on top 25–24 on a 3.

Kouser answered with a trey of his own, and with exactly 60 seconds remaining in the half, the Dawgs had regained the edge, 27–25. After Haddonfield missed two chances to score, a non-shooting foul was called on Glassboro, giving possession back to the Dawgs. Just ahead of the buzzer, Mooney let the ball fly and it sailed into the net, putting the Dawgs up 29–25 as the teams left the court.

That tight, exciting game disappeared in the third quarter, as the Dawgs put up 18 points to the Dogs’ 9. Kasko led the way with 9 points: Four came from the foul line, one from behind the arc, and one in the paint. Leming got his 5th trey of the game, Kouser got his second, and Leming also hit one from the foul line. When quarter 3 came to an end, the Dawgs had added some space between them and their opponents and were ahead by 13, 47–34.

For the first time all season, I believe, the Dawgs really went to town in the last 8 minutes. They poured 29 points into the net, 18 of them coming off 3’s. Mooney had a pair, Kouser got his third of the game, and Del Duca got his second. Leming finished his trey-fecta by hitting his 6th and also got a 2-pointer. When Mooney’s second 3 of the quarter, which was waaaay out there, made it 68–39 with less than 3 minutes remaining in the game, Wiedeman started to clear the bench, but he left his two seniors, Kasko and Deegan, on the court. Deegan got fouled with 2:35 on the clock and stepped to the line with a 1+1 change. He sent both shots into the net, making it 70–39, Dawgs.

Even the substitutions kept the scoring going. Freshman Darragh Roddy sank 1–2 from the foul line, and junior Sean Beane went in the lane for a basket, making it 73–45, Haddonfield with 1:01 left in the game. After Kasko pulled down a defensive rebound, his coach called a timeout so he and Deegan could exit the game to a standing ovation as their careers as Haddonfield basketball players came to an end. It was a shame more fans weren’t in the gym, but those who were let Kasko and Deegan know how much their Dawg days on the court had been appreciated.

The last points of the game came, like the first points did, on a 3, this time by Beane. In between Leming’s first and Beane’s, there were 13 other baskets from behind the arc. The final score of the final game was 76–45. Nine players contributed to that tally. Leming, aided by his 6 3’s, led the way with 21 points. Mooney knocked in 14, and Kasko finished with 13.

I’ll write more about this unusual and shortened season next week, but for now, I’ll close by saying after losing their first two games, the Dawgs got into a groove and ended the season 12–3. Well done, Dawgs!

Mayor Rochford to retire at end of term, in May

Haddonfield Mayor Neal Rochford has announced that he will not seek re-election to the Board of Commissioners. The election, for three commissioners serving concurrent four-year terms, is scheduled for Tuesday, May 11.

Mayor Rochford posted the following message on his “Haddonfield Mayor Neal Rochford” Facebook page today:

“Dear Friends,

“I am announcing that I will not be running for another term on the Haddonfield Board of Commissioners. As I look forward to embarking on my next chapter, I leave proud that I was able to serve three portfolios: Finance, Public Safety and Public Works during my time in office.

“It is our engaged community that makes Haddonfield truly a special place. Without a doubt, the appeal of Haddonfield is due to the contributions of countless residents who volunteer on boards and committees around town. I leave with a sense of pride, knowing that Haddonfield has continued to be the go-to town in the region for visitors and residents alike.

“One of the best aspects of Haddonfield’s elections is that they are nonpartisan. I hope that this tradition is not diminished by the strongly polarized political environment we are currently living in. I wish the future commissioners all the best as they continue to work together on the issues that will define Haddonfield for generations.

“While there are many people I would like to recognize, I want to give a special thank you to the borough employees who are the backbone of the municipal workings. Working alongside you all has been a wonderful experience.

“Lastly, I give a heartfelt thank you to the community for allowing me to serve as your commissioner and mayor. It has been my honor to serve my community and I have wonderful memories of my time as commissioner and mayor.”

  • * * * *

Neal Rochford first ran for the Board of Commissioners in 2001, placing fifth in a field of eight. (Tish Colombi, John Reisner, and Jack Tarditi were elected that year. Having received the highest number of votes, Tish Colombi became the mayor.)

Neal entered the fray again in 2005, and placed third in a field of five. (Colombi and Ed Borden served with him for the next four years.) He took on the Revenue & Finance portfolio.

He came fourth in a field of six in 2009 — Colombi, Borden, and newcomer Jeff Kasko formed the Board of Commissioners at that time — then returned to the board in 2013 with Kasko and newcomer John Moscatelli. Rochford took on the Public Affairs & Public Safety portfilio.

At the 2017 election, Kasko, Moscatelli, and Rochford ran unopposed. As the recipient of the largest number of votes, Rochford became the mayor. He continued as Director for Public Affairs & Public Safety until a special election was held in November 2019 to fill the unexpired term of John Moscatelli, who had resigned that summer. (Rochford and Kasko appointed Robert Marshall to serve as interim Commissioner until the election.) When Colleen Bianco Bezich was elected in November 2019, she took on the Public Affairs & Public Safety portfolio, and Rochford picked up Public Works, Parks and Public Buildings.

Neal Rochford was active in many community matters before he first ran for office, involvement that was recognized publicly when he was named Citizen of the Year in 2003. He was a key member of the committee that established First Night (the New Year’s Eve celebration) in the late 1990s, was treasurer for the HATCH (dinosaur sculpture) Committee, and served as president of the Rotary Club of Haddonfield.

Boys Basketball Weekly Wrap-Up: Feb 28

By Lauree Padgett Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today

The Haddonfield boys basketball team had another busy week, playing four games, three of them against Colonial Conference opponents and one a last-minute switch. I’m not sure how the players are doing it, as I’m getting a bit tired just watching them and filling up my scorebook and notepad. Maybe it has to do with the fact that they are all 40-plus years younger than I am!

This past week began with a Monday home game versus the Red Raiders of Paulsboro. Because Dawgs and the Raiders are in different Colonial Conference divisions (Haddonfield is in the Liberty and Paulsboro belongs to the Patriot), the teams only face off once a season. Since the matchup is always toward the end of conference play, it’s usually a big game as far as the standings go. In this pandemic-altered season, the game didn’t have quite the same impact, but I expect no one tuning in to the live stream or watching from the nearly empty benches in the Haddonfield gym was taking it lightly.

The action began with the Dawgs and Raiders exchanging 3’s, with Haddonfield’s coming from Matt Leming. The Raiders would take a quick lead after a Dawg turnover, but the game would be tied at 5 at the 5:15 mark on a slam by Matt Guveiyian. After a pickoff by Carson Wolfe and a jump ball that went Haddonfield’s way, Guveiyian had another dunk to put the Dawgs up 7–5, but the Raiders got 2 to knot it again, 7 all, at the halfway point of the quarter.

After Haddonfield missed two chances to score, Paulsboro hit another 3 to go back in front 10–7. I thought Leming got his second trey with the help of a friendly bounce, but the shot was called off, and I was never sure if Haddonfield was charged with a foul or a travel. But after a block shot and rebound by Guveiyian, Leming did get his second 3 to make it 10–10 with 39 seconds on the clock. No doubt Paulsboro’s coach wanted the Raiders to hold the ball and go for the last shot, but Justin Kasko’s tough “D” caused a Raiders turnover, giving the Dawgs the chance for the last basket. With 4.2 left, Guveiyian went up and in for his third bucket in 8 minutes, putting the Dawgs up by 2, 12–10, as the quarter ended.

The big story of the second quarter was that the Dawgs upped the pressure and the defense and held the Raiders to a single basket, which wasn’t scored until the 4:32 mark. That made it 17–12, Haddonfield, which had already gotten 5 from Matt Kouser: The 2 came off on a nice bounce pass from Dante Del Duca and the 3 came just ahead of the Paulsboro field goal. For the rest of the quarter, it was all Haddonfield at both ends. The rest of the 13 points the Dawgs put on the board came from a feed Tom Mooney to Kasko and then another pair of 3’s from Leming. When the teams headed off the court at the half, the Dawgs had a 13-point, 25–12, lead.

The Raiders found their offensive mojo in the third quarter and scored 14 points, more than their first half total. However, the third quarter was also the best offensively for the Dawgs, who put 19 points on the board. After Paulsboro hit 3 on its second possession to make it 25-15, Kasko got two straight baskets for Haddonfield to make it 29–17, Dawgs. A 3 by the Raiders got the Dawgs’ lead down to single digits, 29–20, but Kasko answered with a 3 to get that double-digit advantage back, making it 32–20 with 4:19 left in the quarter.

Guveiyian, who had an impressive game offensively and defensively, made an amazing save of a ball that the Dawgs almost lost, and after Kasko pulled down an offensive board, he got his third 2 of the quarter, pushing the Dawgs’ lead up to 14, 34–20. Haddonfield got the ball back after a bad pass by Paulsboro, which set in motion a nice piece of ball movement: Leming to Guveiyian to Del Duca, whose drive upped the Dawgs’ lead to 16, 36–20, with 2:23 remaining in the quarter. Kasko’s 5th and final basket of the quarter made it a 38–20 game before Paulsboro managed to get a foul shot.

A full timeout by the Paulsboro coach did not help much, as the Raiders came out of it only to throw up an air ball. Mooney grabbed the ball and dished it to Guveiyian, who went up and in. After picking off the ball, Del Duca went coast to coast and scored, and with 1:28 to go, the Dawgs had doubled the Raiders’ input and were cruising 42–21 with about 90 seconds on the clock. Neither team scored until Carson Wolfe drove in after another display of sharp, tight passing to make it 44–21, Dawgs, with about 16 seconds left, and that is how the quarter ended.

As has been the case a few times, the Dawgs were outscored, only by a point this time, though, by their opponents in the 4th quarter. The Dawgs, thanks to a pair of threes by Del Duca and one by sophomore Teddy Bond, as well as buckets by Guveiyian and Leming, plus a foul shot by Wolfe, put 14 on the board to the Red Raiders’ 15. That made the final score Haddonfield 58, Paulsboro 36. Four players finished in double digits: Leming led with 14, Kasko had 13, and Guveiyian and Del Duca each had 10. I try to keep up with other stats as I go along, such as rebounds, steals, and blocked shots, but I know I’m not as accurate with them as I am with points. I’ll defer to the Courier Post recap, which reported that in addition to his 10 points, Guveiyian pulled down 10 rebounds, six assists, and five steals. I also credited him with four blocked shots.

Next up was a rematch against the Eagles of West Deptford the next night, 2/23. If it feels like these two teams just played each other, it’s because they did: On 2/19, Haddonfield won by 27 points, 64–27. Believe it or not, the outcome was almost exactly the same on the Eagles’ home court. Read on to see what I mean.

One aspect of this version of Haddonfield vs. West Deptford that deviated from the first script was that although the Dawgs jumped out to a 6–0 lead on 3’s by Tom Mooney and Matt Leming, the Eagles hung in there, scoring the next 6 points on a basket and a 1-point conversion from the foul line and then a 3 of their own, tying the game at 6 with just under 2 minutes left in the quarter. Carson Wolfe got in on the 3-point act to make it 9–6 at the 1:26 mark, and neither team scored again before the first quarter buzzer sounded.

West Deptford would get the first bucket of the second quarter, but Wolfe rattled in a nice jumper, was fouled in the process, and made his foul shot, making it a 12–8 game with just a minute gone. Wolfe was just getting warmed up, as he would score again after a pickoff by Mooney and a quick reaction by Justin Kasko to secure the ball. This basket would boost the Dawgs’ lead to 14–8. The Eagles lost the ball on a foul, the Dawgs didn’t find the net, but a backcourt violation by West Deptford returned possession to Haddonfield, who again got off a shot that didn’t drop.

This time, Mooney took matters into his own hands, stealing the ball and then swooshing in a 3, giving the Dawgs a 17–8 advantage with just under 5 minutes to go until the half. At the other end, Matt Guveiyian pulled down a board, passed it to Wolfe, who fed it to Mooney, who this time went into the paint for 2, netting the Dawgs their first double-digit lead of the game, 19–7, with 4:21 on the clock. West Deptford broke their drought with a basket, but a few plays later, the Dawgs got the double-digit lead back on a 3 by Matt Kouser, making 22–10 with 3 minutes and change remaining in the quarter.

After West Deptford was called for a travel, Kasko went up and in with a well-executed reverse layup on a feed from Dante Del Duca. Good pressure defense, which the Dawgs exhibited all game, caused another Eagle turnover, and with just under 2 minutes left in the game, Kasko delivered again, this time from behind the arc, making it 27–10, Dawgs. The Dawgs stole the ball again, but this time failed to score. At the other end, the Eagles got only their third basket of the quarter, but after Haddonfield’s shot did not go in, Wolfe got the ball back and went in for his 7th point of the quarter. When the buzzer sounded at the end of the first half, the Dawgs had the Eagles up a tree, ahead by 17, 29–12 after putting 19 points on the board.

In the third period, the Dawgs did even better offensively, although so did the Eagles. Led by Leming’s 3-point barrage—he knocked down a trio of them—2’s by Guveiyian, Mooney, and Kasko, and a pair of foul shots by both Mooney and Kasko, the Dawgs entered the 4th quarter up by 23, 48–25. Even though Dawgs’ coach Paul Wiedeman cleared the bench before the game was over, his subs put the ball in the basket, with sophomore Teddy Bond again showing off his 3-point range and junior Jon Bucci getting his first varsity bucket of the season.

The final score was 63–37, which was a point off from round one, which Haddonfield won 64–37. Nine players contributed to those 63 points, and four of the five starters reached double digits: Wolfe and Mooney had 14; Leming had 12, all from 3’s; and Kasko had 11. After starting off the season 0–2, the Dawgs had won 7 straight and were now 7–2, an impressive turnaround.

Before I move onto the Dawgs’ third, and toughest, game of the week, one more note about the West Deptford game: I want to give two thumbs up to the pair of high school students who did the play-by-play of the matchup. I didn’t write down their names, but the young men behind the microphones not only did a nice job overall describing the action on the court, they had a lot of good things to say about how Haddonfield played as a team and the abilities of individual Dawgs. Sometimes when you get the “home” feed, the announcers fawn over their own players and have nothing good to say about the opposition. Kudos for these two, who acknowledged the talents of Haddonfield while being supportive and encouraging of their own team.

In this odd season of ever-changing dates and teams, the Dawgs were originally set to have a 4:15 away game versus who I think was supposed to Burlington Reginal High School. Or was it Northern Burlington? I can’t say for sure, as that game was canceled, and it’s now off the schedule altogether. Instead, the Dawgs headed to Woodrow Wilson to take on the Tigers. It was a “Grrrrr-eat” game, although I would have preferred a different ending.

Unlike the West Deptford game, the two people calling the game were adults, who represented the D2 Sports Network and had not called a Woodrow Wilson, or obviously a Haddonfield, game yet. So that put them a bit in a disadvantage from not knowing the players on either squad. I actually thought the Eagles’ duo did a better job, but what was bugging me most throughout the contest was the D2 pair taking turns ever so often to say, “This is shaping up to be a good game.” OK, during the first quarter, or even the second, this was a fair assessment. But at the 2-minute mark of the last quarter, enough! Everybody watching knew how great a game this had become …

But I am getting ahead of myself. In the first two quarters, it was a close contest, but the Dawgs stayed ahead of the Tigers for most of those 16 minutes. In the initial quarter, the Dawgs did this by relying largely on the 3. Matt Leming tied the match at the 5:59 mark with a trey. Tom Mooney put the Dawgs up by 1 hitting 1–2 from the foul line, and after the Tigers went up 5–4, Carson Wolfe’s 3 made it 7–5, Haddonfield with 2:38 left in the first.

Mooney’s floater put the Dawgs back up by 2, 9–7, after the Tigers had evened it up on a basket. Then, after a pickoff by Justin Kasko, Mooney nailed a 3 (I love that he made a 1, a 2, and a 3 in that order) to make it 12–7, but Woodrow Wilson hit a 3 at the buzzer to make it a 2-point, 12–10, game.

By the end of the half, the Dawgs had increased that edge, but only by a point, and only added 8 total to their score, which came on a pair of baskets by Matt Guveiyian, a 3 by Matt Kouser, and a foul shot by Kasko. When play started in the 3rd, it was 20–17, Haddonfield, and everyone watching (except apparently the two men doing the commentating) knew the Dawgs and Tigers were in a tooth-and-nail battle that was liable to go down to the last few possessions. Or maybe even the last shot …

 In the third, Woodrow Wilson upped its offensive play, putting 19 on the board to Haddonfield’s 12. The game was going back and forth for most of the third quarter, as the teams traded buckets of the 2 and 3 variety. After a 2-pointer by Leming nudged the Dawgs back in front by 1, 26–25, with 3:15 showing on the clock, the Tigers rattled off a pair of unanswered treys, making it 31–26, Woodrow Wilson, at the 1:49 mark, which was the biggest lead either team had had all game. A big 3 by Guveiyian made it 31–29, Tigers, with 1:40 left in the quarter. Good defense on the sideline by Kasko and Guveiyian forced Woodrow Wilson to call a time-out with 1:28 left. That worked, as the Tigers nailed another 3 to go back up 34–29.

The Dawgs did not score during their next possession, but with 35 seconds to go, the Tigers lost the ball out of bounds, and Leming got his second 3 of the game to make it 34–32, Woodrow Wilson with 18 seconds showing on the clock. Right ahead of the buzzer, the Dawgs got charged with a foul, and unfortunately, it was called on a Tiger who had been shooting behind the arc, meaning he stepped up to the foul line with 3 shots to take. He made two of them, which was a bit deflating for Haddonfield, as it put Woodrow Wilson back up by 4, 36–32, going in the final 8 minutes of the game.

For most of the 4th, Woodrow Wilson kept Haddonfield at bay. Every time the Dawgs would start to rally, as when Kouser’s 3 got the Dawgs to within 3 again, 38–35, early in the 4th, the Tigers would answer with a few buckets in a row. One off a steal at the 6:00 mark gave Woodrow Wilson its biggest lead of the game, at 42–35. While a pair at the line from Kasko made it 42–37, a basket at the other end made it a 7-point, 44–37, Woodrow Wilson advantage again.

After a few possessions in which neither team scored, a scramble for a loose ball sent Woodrow Wilson to the foul line with 4 and change left in the game. Neither shot dropped, and that’s when the game started getting really intense. Leming hit a 3, cutting the deficit to 4, 44–40, with 3:35 on the clock. Another Haddonfield foul sent Woodrow Wilson to the line with a 1+1 opportunity (make the first, get a second shot), but again, the ball did not make it into the net. Haddonfield picked a bad time to turn over the ball, but Wolfe got a defensive board and Leming hit another huge 3, this time cutting the gap to 1, 44–43, with 2:11 left in the game.

Woodrow Wilson’s coach called a time-out seconds later. Thanks to pressure D by Guveiyian and Wolfe, the Tigers lost the ball with 1:57 on the clock. After a non-shooting foul was called on the Tigers, Leming made Dawg fans go nuts with his third 3 of the quarter, putting the Dawgs back on top, 46–44, for the first time since midway through the third quarter, with 1:05 left. The Tigers had an immediate response with a 3 of their own, putting them back on top by 1, 47–46. With 35.1 seconds to go, the ball went out of bounds off Woodrow Wilson. Mooney’s clutch 2 gave the lead back to Haddonfield, 48–47, and with 21.4 left in the game, Woodrow Wilson called another time-out.

To no one’s surprise (not even the commentators), the plan was for the Tigers to run the clock down before going for that last shot. The Dawgs were doing their best to keep them from having any outside or inside pathway to the basket while at the same time not committing a foul. With the clock winding down to a few seconds, a shot was finally made, and it did not go in. But it ricocheted to the right of the basket, into the hands of one of the Tigers’ best shooters. Off balance, just ahead of the buzzer, and somehow managing to eye it between the looming arms of several Dawg defenders, the shot hit the rim, paused on it, and rolled in. The Tigers had fought off the Dawgs to claim a 1-point, 49–48 thrilling victory.

I can never decide if it’s worse to lose a game by 10 or 20 or at the buzzer. And knowing that Haddonfield has hit more than its share of buzzer beaters (Mike DePersia, Camden. Need I say more?), it’s hard not to give a tip of the cap to the Tigers for almost letting the Dawgs steal a game away that it looked like they were going to win without nearly as much drama.

Leming’s 3 onslaught (he had five) made him high scorer for Haddonfield with 17. Mooney was also in double figures with 10. This game snapped the Dawgs’ seven game win streak and put them at 7–3 for the year.

Next up was an away game on Saturday, 2/26, at Lindenwold, a member of the Patriot division of the Colonial Conference. I am sure both Dawg and Lion fans were quite dismayed to tune into Lindenwold’s YouTube channel to find out no one was there streaming the game. Thanks to the High School Sports page on NJ.com, I can give you some of the particulars. The Dawgs started a new winning streak, beating the Lions 52–41. Tom Mooney and Carson Wolfe led the Dawgs’ offensively, with 17 and 11 points, respectively Matt Guveiyian pulled down 7 boards, and Justin Kasko, 5. Wolfe had three assists and Guveiyian, 3. I also heard from a reliable source that the refs called in the vicinity of 40 fouls, which made the game not a lot of fun to watch for those who were in attendance, which is a small consolation to those of us who did not get to watch it live-streamed.

Believe it or not, the Dawgs have their last four games of the season this week, beginning tomorrow, 3/1, with a home game against Rancocas Valley Regional High School at 7. Then it’s back-to-back Colonial Conference away games, both at 5:30. First up are the Collingswood Panthers on Tuesday, 3/2. Then it’s the Silver Knights of Sterling, one of the two Colonial teams to have beaten the Dawgs this season, on Thursday. Let’s hope both those games are shown live. The last game of the season is back at Haddonfield on Saturday, 3/6. It’s a 1 p.m. matchup against Bordentown Regional High School.

Go Dawgs!

COVID-19: Local tally hits 500

The addition today of a male juvenile and a male in his 40s to the list of Haddonfield residents confirmed to have contracted the novel coronavirus brought the local total to 500 persons. That number represents 43.13 residents per 1,000 of population (2010 Census), or 1 in every 24.

The Camden County Department of Health has attributed the deaths of 11 Haddonfield residents to COVID-19.

To date, 145 cases have been reported by the school district: 111 children and 34 adults.

Bezich to seek new term as commissioner

Colleen Bianco Bezich, who was elected to fill the unexpired term of Commissioner John Moscatelli in 2019, and currently serves as the Borough’s Director of Public Affairs & Public Safety, has announced that she will be a candidate in the municipal election on May 11.

She released the following statement to Haddonfield[dot]Today on February 22.

“In early 2019, a surgical procedure left me bed & couch-bound for several weeks,” Bianco Bezich said when explaining the genesis of her first run for office. “Shortly thereafter, Commissioner Moscatelli resigned, and former Mayor Tish Colombi’s call-to-action for young women to get off our backsides and run for office immediately came to mind. It was if she was speaking directly to me – because getting off my own backside quite literally presented more challenges than most could comprehend.”

Bianco Bezich received 1730 votes in that election, defeating appointed incumbent Robert Marshall, who was supported by Colombi, by over 350 votes.

“In 2019, I worked tirelessly to become the second female Commissioner in our Borough’s history – and I could not have done it alone. I had active, engaged, & committed volunteers supporting me” Bianco Bezich said. “Importantly, I was received with open arms by many lifelong Haddonfield residents, but newer residents also felt they were deserving of a seat at the table, and my candidacy resonated with them.”

Bianco Bezich has one (1) son, Luca, who will eventually attend Tatem Elementary. She works full-time as a lawyer, counting land use, local government law, real estate & small business representation among her practice areas. She also serves as general counsel of Be Films, LLC and Five Story Media, the video production companies that she and her husband Anthony Bezich operate from their Tanner Street studio.

“I’ve spent almost two (2) decades working in local government, from helping to create the Partnership for Haddonfield nearly 20 years ago, to drafting & negotiating redevelopment agreements, to arguing the legality of local land use ordinances in court,” Bianco Bezich stated. “I was the most experienced & qualified candidate in 2019, and that remains true in this cycle, too.”

In addition to her volunteer service as a Borough Commissioner, Bianco Bezich is a member of the Haddonfield Celebrations Association, a Board member of LUCY Camden, a member of the Supreme Court of New Jersey District IV Ethics Committee, and an active member of the Haddonfield Lions Club. She also serves as a pro bono attorney for Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and volunteers with the Alzheimer’s Assoc. Delaware Valley Chapter, as well as the South Jersey Perinatal Cooperative. Before joining Board of Commissioners, she was a member of the Haddonfield Zoning Board of Adjustment.

When addressing her first year in office, Bianco Bezich acknowledged that the pandemic impacted many of her plans. 

“I had to adjust my expectations & shift my priorities, because we entered a time of great uncertainty, and confronted very real risks to health & safety,” she said. “But I am really proud of what I was able to accomplish and set into motion, despite the pandemic. Even in this incredibly challenging climate, I worked diligently on behalf of our residents & business owners, and I hope they’ll support me this May so that I can continue to do so.” 

In her launch video, Bianco Bezich identified some of her most significant accomplishments of 2020 as new & improved public safety initiatives, obtaining grant funding for stormwater management, developing a new affordable housing policy that utilizes existing housing stock, and creating a micro grant program for the Borough’s small business community.

“I truly love where I live, and live where I love,” she said.

The Borough of Haddonfield is a Walsh Act municipality, which functions as a non-partisan commission form of government. The three (3) Commissioners serve concurrent four-year terms.  As such, all three (3) Commissioner seats are up this year. The Commissioner with the highest vote count traditionally serves as mayor.  The municipal election is scheduled for Tuesday, May 11. 2021.

Those interested in learning more about Colleen Bianco Bezich’s campaign can connect here:

Boys Basketball Weekly Wrap-Up: Feb 21

By Lauree Padgett Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today

When last we left the Haddonfield boys basketball team, they had pulled their record to .500 with a solid win against Collingswood on 2/13. Due to the COVID-delayed start of the season and then more COVID-related setbacks, that game was only the team’s fourth of the season.

This past week, the Dawgs played three home games versus fellow Colonial Conference teams. I’ll provide the highlights for each. Spoiler alert: The Dawgs are now on a 5-game winning streak.

With the shortened season, the Dawgs hosted Haddon Heights on Tuesday, 2/16, only 5 days after earning their first win of the short season against the Garnets on the Garnets’ court. What would the rematch look like?

Well, to be blunt, it was an ugly first quarter. Haddonfield did not put a single point on the board, not even from the foul line. The Garnets didn’t do much better. After knocking in a 3 within the first minute, they also went scoreless for the next 7-plus minutes.

I’m sure most of the smattering of parents and others in the gym, including yours truly, were thinking that the game from the Dawgs’ end had to improve in the next 8 minutes. But after Heights scored a 3 and a 2 to go up 8-0, I was looking down at my scorepad wondering what had happened to the team that had looked so much more in sync versus Collingswood 3 days earlier. Turns out, they were there, but it took them a while to warm up.

Junior Dante Del Duca entered the game as the 2nd quarter started and proved to be the spark that got the Dawgs going. He gave Haddonfield its first point of the game from the foul line at the 5:29 mark, but that still meant the Dawgs were trailing by 7, 8–1. Coach Paul Wiedeman thought this was a good time for a timeout, and whatever wisdom he must have imparted verbally or on his handy whiteboard, it worked. Junior Matt Guveiyian and senior Justin Kasko pressed the Garnets into a travel, and at the other end, Del Duca swooshed in a 3. Now it was an 8–4 game.

After a blocked shot by Kasko, Del Duca continued his scoring ways, going up and in for a layup after stealing the ball off the Haddon Heights inbound play. Now the Dawgs were only down by 2 with just over 4 to go in the half. Neither team scored for the next few minutes, but when a shot finally made it into the net, it was a 3 from the Dawgs’ freshman, Matt Kouser, who also had come in off the bench, and with 1:39 on the clock, the Dawgs finally had a lead, albeit 1 point, 9–8.

Again, neither team scored for a few plays, and with less than a minute to go, Haddon Heights was in possession of the ball and running the clock down, hoping to get the last shot of the half and retake the lead. However, the best laid plans of mice and Garnets … led to a turnover with 3.7 showing on the clock. (Speaking of the clock, if anyone has been wondering, yes, Jeff Holman is that masked man behind mission control again, although his partner in crime, Dawgs’ play-by-play man Mark Hershberger, is not sitting in his usual position beside Holman. Instead, Hershberger is calling the shots, so to speak, a few rows back, but has had to put his trademark catch phrase, “Get ‘em while they’re hot, … Dawgs” on simmer.)

Back to the action. After giving up two fouls and whittling the clock down to 1.0, Heights called a timeout, and it seemed unlikely the Dawgs would have time to get off a shot from the inbound. Unlikely or not, Kouser got the ball and let it loose. As the buzzer sounded, it went into the basket for his second 3 of the quarter, putting the Dawgs up by 4, 12–8, as the teams headed off the court for halftime.

From putting up a big 0 on the board in the first, the Dawgs exploded for 25 points in the third quarter. Fifteen came off five 3’s: three by Guveiyian and one each by Del Duca and junior Matt Leming. Guveiyian, Del Duca, and another junior, Carson Wolfe, all had 2’s. And Leming and junior Tom Mooney each made a pair of free throws. (Speaking of Mooney, our versatile point guard, although our announcer has dropped the “my” off his first name, perhaps at the behest of the player himself, I’m still calling him “Tommy” out of habit. Well, mostly out of habit.)

Along with finally getting the ball into the net, the Dawgs were also helping to keep the Garnets from getting as many good shots off. While Heights got the first basket of the third to pull to within 2, 12–10, the Garnets did not get a second ball to drop for another 4 minutes. As the quarter came to an end, the Dawgs had more than tripled the Garnets’ score and were in control 37–12.

Haddon Heights actually outscored Haddonfield 24–17 in the last 8 minutes, but by then it did not matter, and also, the Dawg starters and first-off-the-bench players got to watch the game for the last few minutes. When all was said and done, the Dawgs had won by 18, 54–36. Fittingly, Dante Del Duca, who kick-started the squad in the second, finished as high scorer for Haddonfield with 14 points. Matt Guveiyian, helped by his trio of treys in the third, had 12.

Due to another round of winter weather, the Dawgs’ matchup with the Eagles of West Deptford got pushed back a day and was played at an earlier time of 4:30 at Haddonfield on Friday, 2/19. This was probably Haddonfield’s most consistent showing of the early season. And it was put in motion by its two seniors, Justin Kasko and Jack Deegan, who are also the team’s co-captains. While Deegan comes off the bench regularly and always gives good minutes, he is not a starter. But as is tradition on Senior Night at Haddonfield, Coach Wiedeman honors his graduating Dawgs by having them play the opening quarter.

While the Eagles jumped out 3-0 on their first possession, senior co-captain Kasko, who had almost picked the ball off ahead of the 3, sent a 3 in at the other end to tie it at 3 apiece. Matt Guveiyian (who I have called “Matthew” all his life, and yes, I do mean all his life; we met in the hospital a few days after he was born, although he may not remember that as well as I do) kept the 3’s rolling in, and with 6:32 on the clock put the Dawgs up by 3, 6–3.

After a full pickoff by Kasko, Deegan added to the scoring with a nice layup, making it 8–3 Haddonfield with about 3 minutes gone in the first. A layup and foul shot by Mooney would push the Dawgs’ lead to 8, 11­–3, before the Eagles landed another shot in the rim to make it 11–5. After a few missed scoring opportunities by the Dawgs, the Eagles hit a 3 to get to within 3, 11–8, with just under 2 minutes to go. Kasko got a roll on a drive under the basket to push the edge back to 5, 13–8. A travel by West Deptford gave Haddonfield back the ball. Another Dawgs’ shot rolled on the rim but this time didn’t drop, but a steal by Mooney gave the Dawgs another shot, which also did not go in. The quarter ended on a blocked shot by Kasko and a 3 by Mooney to give the Dawgs an 8-point, 16–8, advantage going into the second quarter.

The Dawgs improved on their first quarter scoring by 4 points, thanks in large part to the offensive contributions by Carson Wolfe, who alone outscored West Deptford 10–6. Wolfe hit a 3, three 2’s and also got one from the foul line. While adding 20 points to their score, the Dawgs held the Eagles to a miserly 6 points, and at the half, the Dawgs were up by double digits, 36–14.

In the third quarter, the Eagles matched their combined first half points, knocking in 14, outscoring the Dawgs, whose offense cooled down a bit, by 4. Even so, going into the 4th quarter, the Dawgs were still up 46–28. The Dawgs picked up their play at the offensive end in the last 8 minutes, putting up 18 to the Eagles’ 9, giving the Dawgs a 27-point, 64–37 W.  Six of those 18 4th-quarter points came from a pair of 3’s from Mooney. Those 3’s meant that for four straight games, the Dawgs hit 10 baskets from behind the arc.

Mooney, who had 8 in the first half and 12 in the second, was the Dawgs’ high scorer with 20.  Wolfe was right behind him with 16. All five starters and four who came in off the bench combined for Haddonfield’s 64 points.

The final contest of the week for Haddonfield was on Saturday, 2/20, against the Haddon Township Hawks. You may recall that a mere 13 days earlier, the Hawks had broken a very long (40-plus-years in the making) losing streak against the Dawgs by defeating them at their home nest 38–30. I was hopeful that the Hawks’ losing streak would start anew in their rematch.

At the outset, it seemed my wish had a reasonable chance of coming to fruition. Matt Leming got the Dawgs on the board with a 3 off a nice feed from Justin Kasko. After a jump ball gave possession back to Haddonfield, Leming did it again, this time off a dapper pass from Tomm—er, Tom Mooney, to make it 6-0, Dawgs. The Hawks got on the board off a way-too-easy layup, but Matthew Guveiyian got a 3 with a roll, putting the Dawgs up by 7, 9–2, with 3:44 left in the quarter.

About 90 seconds later, after neither team had added to their total, a questionable call gave Kasko his second foul of the game and sent a Hawk to the line. He made both shots, edging the Hawks closer, at 9­–4. Kasko had to take a seat, but his co-captain and fellow senior Jack Deegan came in and promptly got a bucket on another assist from Mooney, making it 11–4, Haddonfield, with 1:44 to go in the period. With 34.2 seconds on the clock, the Dawgs picked up another shooting foul, and again, the Hawks picked up a pair from the free throw line. After the Dawgs did not score, Haddon Township hit a 3 just ahead of the buzzer, closing the gap to 2, 11–9.

The second quarter seesawed back and forth. Haddon Township got the first basket to tie it at 11 with just under a minute gone. Mooney was fouled attempting to drive into the basket and made 1–2, tipping the lead back to Haddonfield, 12–11, with 6:35 remaining in the half. Neither team scored on their next few trips up and down the court, as Haddon Township went 0-2 from the foul line and Haddonfield’s shots from the field also did not drop.

A nice drive up and in by Mooney broke the mini-scoring drought and with 4:25 on the clock, gave the Dawgs a 3-point edge. For about 40 seconds, that is, until the Hawks hit a 3 to even things up at 14 with 3:38 to go. The Hawks had a ball rim out, and Matt Kouser, who had come into the game in the second quarter, hit a 3, making it 17–14, Dawgs, with 2:39 left in the half. However, after getting the ball back on a travel violation against the Hawks, the Dawgs failed to take advantage of it and did not score. Instead, Haddon Township got the last two baskets of the half and were up by 1, 18–17, as the teams left the court for the half.

The third quarter started with Haddonfield inbounding the ball, but no points came off it. Haddon Township got their offense going right away with a 3, boosting their lead to 4, 21–17, with 6:36 on the clock. At the other end, Mooney went in the lane for 2, cutting that lead in half, but 60 seconds later, the Hawks nailed another 3 to take their largest lead, going up by 5, 24–19, with just under 5 minutes left in the quarter.

Carson Wolfe picked a good time to get his first basket of the game and was fouled while doing so. His free throw got the Dawgs back to within 2, 24–22, with 4:45 on the clock. The Hawks had a quick answer, but just as quickly, Kasko got his first 2, and it was back to a 2-point, 26–24, Haddon Township lead, at the 4:14 mark. After both teams missed shots and lost balls out of bounds, Haddon Township took a timeout with 2:53 left in the third. After the inbounds, Haddonfield was charged with a foul, and when play resumed this time, the Hawks hit yet another 3, reclaiming a 5-point, 29–24, lead with 2 minutes and change on the clock. Mooney connected the ball with the net, cutting that to a 3-point, 29-26, edge with just under 2 minutes remaining.

After Haddonfield got charged with two more fouls, Kasko stole the ball and was fouled himself. His shots made it a 1-point, 29–28, game with 1:38 showing on the scoreboard. The Dawgs stole the ball again, and it then went out of bounds off the Hawks with 1:25 left in the third. A pretty jumper by Wolfe put the Dawgs out in front for the first time in the second half, 30–29, with 1:02 showing on the scoreboard. A blocked shot by Haddonfield led to a jump ball call, and the possession arrow returned the ball to Haddon Township. A Hawk basket also gave them back the lead, 31–30, but Mooney responded with a shot just ahead of the buzzer, and with 8 minutes left in what was proving to be the Dawgs’ most exciting match of the season, Haddonfield was up by slimmest of margins, 32–31.

Quarter 4 started with Haddon Township inbounding the ball … and getting called for a travel. A bad pass was rescued by Kasko, and Mooney was fouled attempting to score. His foul shots pushed the Dawgs’ lead to 3, 34–31, with only 40 seconds gone. Guveiyian picked up his second foul by osmosis (the ensuing look on his teammate Kasko’s face was priceless), but Haddonfield got the ball back on a steal, and Guveiyian went in the paint for 2 after a nice dish by Kasko, giving the Dawgs a 5-point, 36–31, edge with just about 6:30 to go in the game.

After another pilfered ball by Kasko, Haddon Township was called for its 6th foul of the half, but Haddonfield could not capitalize, turning the ball over with 5:54 left in the game. The Hawks got 2 to get back to within 3, 36–33, but Guveiyian answered with a 3 at the opposite basket, making it a 6-point, 39–33, game with 5:26 on the clock. After a Haddonfield timeout, a Haddon Township bucket made it 39–35, Dawgs, with 5:01 left. The Dawgs missed a few shots, then got called for a foul. At the Hawks’ end, a loose ball caused quite a scramble, with Kasko coming up with it on the floor and calling a timeout with 3:01 remaining.

Haddonfield did not get a good shot off, but their defense was stellar, as the Hawks were stuck on the perimeter without an open shot or a way into the basket. Finally, a ball from behind the arc went in … and out. Matt Leming, who was just back into the game, got the big rebound. In the near empty gymnasium, it was not hard to hear Coach Wiedeman yelling, “Hold the ball,” as the clock ticked down to less than a minute. With 54.4 seconds left, Wiedeman called a timeout to talk over the strategy.

Almost as soon as the ball was inbounded, it became clear that the Haddon Township strategy was to foul Haddonfield so the Dawgs could not keep holding onto the ball without shooting. This was the Hawks’ 7th foul of the half, setting up a 1+1 opportunity, which, for the uninitiated, means if the player taking the foul shot makes it, he gets to take another. With 51.2 on the clock, Mooney stepped to the line. Mooney, who is usually reliable on the line, did not get his shot to drop. Leming and Wolfe combined for an offensive board to give the Dawgs back the ball only to have Haddonfield turn it over.

Before the Hawks had time to set a play, Guveiyian swiped the ball and passed it to Wolfe, who was fouled with 26.1 seconds to go. It was still a 1+1 opportunity. Wolfe’s first shot went in, but his second did not, making it a 40–35 game. At the other end, the Hawks found an open man behind the arc who hit a 3. Now, with 18.0 showing on the clock, the Dawgs’ lead was down to 2, 40–38. Haddon Township called a full timeout.

After inbounding the ball, Guveiyian got it back and was immediately fouled. It was the 9th of the half for the Hawks, meaning it was still a 1+1 situation. Guveiyian stepped up to the line with 14.1 left in the game and his team up by 2, meaning it was still a one-possession game. He released the ball, which fell into the net. The crowd—all 50 or so of us—went wild. His second shot also was nothing but net and put the Dawgs up by 4, 42–38.

The Hawks did not have time to waste, and their shot did not hit the mark. Guess who got the rebound and was immediately fouled again? That’s right. Guveiyian. Now that the Hawks had hit 10 fouls, the Dawgs were in the double bonus, meaning Guveiyian automatically had 2 shots. And again, he made both, giving the Dawgs a 44–38 lead and leaving the Hawks with only 3.6 seconds, not enough time to battle back again. When the horn sounded, the Dawgs had officially won their 5th straight game, and their 5th game overall, to go 5–2 in the Colonial Conference.

Thanks to his 4th quarter offensive heroics, Matt Guveiyian finished as the Dawgs’ leading scorer with 12. Tom Mooney, who had an equally important 3rd quarter, finished with 11. Five other Dawgs scored to help secure the W.

Next up is a home game versus the Red Raiders of Paulsboro Monday, 2/22 at 7 p.m. That will be followed by road games versus West Deptford on Tuesday, also at 7, and then an early nonconference Thursday game on 2/25 at 4:30 against Northern Burlington Regional High School.

My Journey: Citizen of the Year Joe Serico

Haddonfield Citizen of the Year Joe Serico was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club’s weekly meeting on February 17, 2021. He shared these prepared remarks with Haddonfield[dot]Today.

Good afternoon, ladies and gentleman of Rotary. Thank you very much for extending me an invitation to speak with you today.

I am exceedingly grateful to the Haddonfield Lions Club for recognizing me with this prestigious award as Haddonfield’s Citizen of the Year. This award has been bestowed on an amazing group of local citizens, many of whom I have known personally. I am humbled to be included in such exemplary company. I am not so certain that I am deserving in this pandemic year, when there are so many worthy health care workers, caregivers, and others who put their lives on the line daily. I am very appreciative nonetheless.

When [Rotarian] Cheryl [Laney] approached me about speaking today, I was flattered by the invitation but a bit perplexed as to what my focus might be. In our conversation, Cheryl asked me what people, places, and events encouraged my involvement in community activities.

As a boy growing up in the New York City borough of the Bronx, I never gave much thought to the Little League and CYO coaches who surrounded me, the volunteer ladies and men who worked alongside me at the hospital, and the many adults who gave freely of their time and treasure to support church or synagogue activities in our neighborhood. More obvious to me was the dynamic that ruled city life: local government officials were professional politicians paid for their services and aspiring to higher office. There were no local garden clubs that I could recall, as the Parks Department oversaw all the green spaces. What I knew growing up and in my first two teaching positions was nothing like what I would experience beginning in 1987.

It was in coming to work in Haddonfield that I experienced the exceptional commitment citizens can make to a community. In my first year at Haddonfield Memorial High School, it was evident that parents played a unique role supporting the schools. Sure, some schools have booster clubs and parents have some limited involvement in supporting teams that their children play on, but HMHS was different. At the High School, parents undertook major events like the Senior Fashion Show, the After-Graduation Party, Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, back-to-school breakfasts, and the hosting annual back-to-school nights. Beyond this very substantial commitment, parents were equally willing to become partners in school decision-making. They served on multiple school committees on scholarships, curriculum review, school advisory councils, teacher recruitment, and strategic planning. Equally committed were the selfless men and women who served on the Board of Education, most of whom had children in the schools. They undertook tasks like negotiating contracts, overseeing personnel decisions, and making decisions about facilities — decisions that put them squarely in the public eye. They devoted enormous amounts of time and energy assisting in overseeing the operation of the schools.

These volunteer women and men were nothing short of inspiring in their effort and commitment to support the school. I had never been exposed to anything like that. When they accepted a seat at the table, they were willing to commit many hours and do the heavy lifting that such work required. To this day I remain very grateful to PTA Presidents Jeanne Runne, Linda Giudice, Nancy Wills, and Julie Vick, who were role models for what engagement in the community could look like.

That commitment to volunteerism was everywhere you looked. HMHS students were also deeply involved in service activities. Organizations like the National Honor Society, Interact, and perhaps a dozen other clubs had a focus on community service when I arrived at HMHS. Today that number is even larger than when I left the High School nineteen years ago.

If I needed further evidence that service was a deeply ingrained in the culture of this community, I needed to look no further than the civic leaders who I deeply admired: Bill Reynolds, Gene Kain, Tish Colombi, and Jack Tarditi. The town was blessed with role models that a neophyte leader could look to. My very first encounter with our current mayor, Neal Rochford, occurred when we worked together at a children’s venue on a very frosty First Night.

Haddonfield provided both the environment and the opportunity for me to get involved in three key organizations that led to my increased engagement in the community: the Haddonfield Educational Trust, the Haddonfield Alumni Society, and the HMHS Beautification Committee.

As Assistant Superintendent and later a community member, I have been fortunate to serve for several years as one of the members of the Haddonfield Educational Trust board. The Trust has the responsibility for managing the Haddonfield Memorial High School Scholarship Fund and distributing established scholarships to graduating seniors. The Trust has supported several School District projects in the past few years, including the Turf Field project, playground renovations at both Central and Elizabeth Haddon schools, the “Lights, Camera, Action” project, and the HMHS Beautification Project in 2018 and 2019. The HET board has supported these major initiatives through individual donations and their annual Golf Tournament. In addition, the HET has annually sponsored and supported Teacher Innovation Grants to promote excellence in teaching and learning in the Haddonfield Public Schools. The HET has also tended to some short-term needs of the schools like supplying head-sets for teachers to assist with virtual learning and to support school clubs in going to national competitions. It has been a pleasure to serve alongside dedicated fellow volunteers like recent presidents Sarah Tambussi and Dave Larkin, and current president Adam Puff.

When the Haddonfield Educational Trust needed a liaison to the Alumni Society, I was happy to serve in that position. In large measure this propelled me into a much larger role working with the alumni community. The Haddonfield Alumni Society — especially Tom Baird and Wayne Hunter — allowed me to take on more responsibility in the organization.

Finally, Maureen Eyles, a BOE member at the time and an alumna, initiated a committee to improve the exterior spaces at the High School. Maureen asked me if I would serve as the chairperson of the committee. It was Maureen’s vision that saw the possibility of a collaboration among the Haddonfield Educational Trust, the Alumni Society, and the Beautification Committee.

Much of the work of the Beautification Committee has been completed. I discovered that a person with little background in development was going to find raising $200,000 quite a challenge. So, this effort became a series of projects, large and small, that evolved continuously over two years. Fortunately, there were extraordinary folks who contributed throughout the process to different phases of the project. Maureen Eyles and Joanne Connor joined with David Hunter to publicize our early efforts. Some individuals like Gwen Hotaling, who did a pop-up art show, and Jamie Grookett, who organized a fifth grade service project at Elizabeth Haddon School, made their mark. Other larger organizations stepped up, including the Haddonfield Educational Trust, which agreed to pledge up to $25,000 of the proceeds from their golf tournament for two successive years. Golf chairpersons Chrissy Nelson Del Duca and Jack Tarditi were a dynamic duo who relentlessly worked to achieve these financial targets.

Another fundraising project emerged from a conversation some months before the project started. Alumnus Brad Spence, highly acclaimed chef/partner at Amis Trattoria, expressed an interest in doing an alumni event. Brad has been no stranger to supporting the schools, serving as the driving force in the highly successful Central School Spaghetti Dinners. Brad suggested a pig roast. I could not say “yes” fast enough and proposed that we do this event in support of the Beautification Project. Brad was all in. He sourced the pig, roasted it, made all the accompaniments, and served it. Other alumni stepped forward to help make this event a success. Dan Smith, vice president of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, set up the bar and made specialty cocktails. Drew Perry and Brian Needham of Double Nickle Brewery contributed the beer; the Albericos — Carolina, Michael, and Tom — supplied the wine; Christy Bowman provided a sound system and Doug Legnola the music; and Lisa and Chris Wolschina opened their home as the venue. For two successive years, the pig roast raised some $36,000, which the HAS contributed directly to the Beautification Project.

Much of that alumni contribution can now be seen in the Legacy Walk that resides in the newly reconstructed stadium plaza. The Alumni Society purchased brick pavers for all of the 108 Lifetime Achievement Award winners and the 200 or so members of the Athletic Hall of Fame.

The Legacy Walk also commemorates several other team championships achieved by boys’ and girls’ basketball, tennis, cross country and football, as well as numerous alumni and community members. This is an ongoing effort. Families, alumni, and future Hall of Fame members and Lifetime Achievement Award winners will continue to be recognized on the Legacy Walk. The beautiful designs for nearly all these outdoor spaces were rendered by landscape architect, Lynn Raus, a Haddonfield parent. She was at my side from the beginning of this project through today. I owe her the largest debt of gratitude for her exceptional vision and for giving so much of herself to this project.

The Board of Education provided the impetus for another project by giving the committee permission to honor cross-country and track coaches Nick and Maureen Baker for their exceptional achievements over forty-plus years at HMHS. A committee of track alumni — Tom Brennan, Colin Baker, Tom Herdelin, and coach Dave Stewart — worked tirelessly to reach out to track and field athletes from many decades, and they came through in a major way to support the efforts to have the HMHS track named for the Bakers. Many bought benches, trees, and pavers that expressed their appreciation for the Bakers and their dedication to the program. In the spring of 2019, we had an alumni barbecue and officially named the facility the Baker Track.

I was not surprised that the community and especially the alumni community would support the beautification efforts. In fact, alumni giving is one of our town’s best-kept secrets. On Senior Awards Night, the Alumni Society and the classes of 1953, 1956, 1963, 1971, and 1982 all offer scholarships supporting students in continuing their academic careers. In addition, numerous individual alums or their families have established trusts or make gifts that are directed to scholarships. Alums were responsible for more than $150,000 of scholarship awards for the 2020-21 academic year, and an additional $300,000 of awards to be spread over the remaining three years of college. This is an extraordinary achievement which reflects the exceptional generosity and goodwill of our alumni. The alumni and community support for the Beautification Project has been exceptional, with gifts ranging from $25 to $25,000.

As you might expect, the pandemic has put quite a crimp in the kinds of activities that the HAS has thrived on for several years. Our annual Happy Hours scheduled in spring and late fall had to be cancelled, as was the HET Golf Tournament and Pig Roast. Several reunion classes had to postpone or cancel their events in anniversary years like the 25th, 35th, 50th, etc. The trustees of the HAS began to think of some ways that we might reconnect with the alumni community despite our inability to meet safely face-to-face. We created some interactive Zoom events like beer and wine tastings. Modeled after the Master Class website, the trustees proposed and instituted an Alumni Master Class where our talented and highly successful graduates created short classes to share their expertise, demonstrate their skills, or talk about their experience in their given field. To date they have been well received. Upcoming on February 19: Dave Guggino, a New York-based dancer and choreographer will lead a session entitled, “No Judgment, Just Move”. Dave promises to show us a move or two that are certain to embarrass our children. On February 27, Ben Axler, founder and CIO of the Spruce Capital Management hedge fund will present on “The GameStop Drama and Investing in Today’s Market.”

I suppose that it would be gratifying enough just to see the sketched designs for gardens or a stadium plaza come to fruition and improve the HMHS campus spaces. I am especially grateful that I am able to give back in some small measure to the place where I enjoyed a work life that was so personally fulfilling for me. I recognized in coming to Haddonfield that I enjoyed the gifts of a wonderful student body, a talented and caring faculty, supportive parents, and a community that highly values education. What I could not appreciate when I arrived was how deep and meaningful the connections to students, parents, and faculty would become. For me, one of the great joys in working with each of the three organizations was reconnecting with these talented, accomplished, and caring adults who are so willing to support the schools.

While the work on the Beautification Project is nearly finished, we will continue to add to the Legacy Walk and accept gifts toward the Sarah Tarditi Gallagher Garden that will take shape between the A and C buildings. The BOE has decided to expand on the Gallagher Garden to more fully utilize that space and to build an outdoor classroom.

As we go forward, one project worthy of further consideration sits squarely in front of the High School. Some time ago, David Hunter met me at the flagpole and suggested that it might be a good idea to include the restoration of the base of the flagpole in the Beautification Project. Unfortunately, the base has deteriorated significantly in recent years. While I really liked David’s idea, frankly I was a bit too timid to consider adding another piece to the project. Now, I would like to get it off the back burner. So, in the next several months, you may hear a bit more about that project. Keep us in mind if it is something you feel you can support.

Thank you for inviting me to speak with you today and to share this story. I appreciate your time and all that Rotary does for the community.

Male resident succumbs to COVID-19

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that the death of a Haddonfield resident — a male in his 50s — has been attributed to the novel coronavirus. This brings to 11 the total number of local residents who have died of COVID-19.

The health department also added two residents to the list of those who have tested positive: a female in her 10s and a male in his 20s. The total number of cases for Haddonfield now stands at 485 — about 1 in 24 residents.

The Haddonfield death was one of 15 county-wide that the health department reported today. In commenting, County Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. said:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families as we mourn the passing of 15 additional members of our community due to COVID-19. Even with cases falling, we must continue to take preventative measures to protect the most vulnerable members of our community. In the coming months, we may begin to see life return to something resembling normal with the continued rollout of vaccinations. Until then, please continue to wear a mask, social distance, and work with our contact tracers when they call.”

Historic home burns in two-alarm fire

Courtesy of Matt Skoufalos, njpen.com

A historic Haddonfield home was badly damaged by a two-alarm fire that drew a heavy response from several area fire companies.

Units responded to the 500 block of Coles Mill Road around 5:45pm Friday [February 12], said Haddonfield Fire Chief Lou Frontino.

The occupants of the home were evacuated safely, and no injuries were reported, the chief said.

However, the fire took some time to subdue.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Boys Basketball: Know the team; watch them play

By Lauree Padgett. Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today.

Without the benefit of the roster that hangs on the wall by the entrance to the gym, it’s tough to put all the new faces with the numbers and figure out who is who. Here is the current roster to help Dawg fans get familiar with the 2021 team.

  • 21 Matt Leming — Junior — 6-3 Guard               
  • 2 Carson Wolfe — Junior — 5-11 Guard               
  • 4 Matt Guveiyian — Junior — 6-4 Forward            
  • 11 Tom Mooney — Junior — 6-2 Guard                
  • 22 Justin Kasko — Senior –6-4 Forward            
  • 5 Dante Del Duca — Junior — 6-2 Guard                 
  • 15 Jack Deegan — Senior — 6-4 Forward          
  • 3 Sean Bean — Junior — 5-10 Guard                
  • 13 Teddy Bond — Sophomore — 6-4 Guard              
  • 20 Matt Ventola — Junior — 6-1 Forward          
  • 24 Jon Bucci — Junior — 6-3 Guard              
  • 25 Christian Raymond — Junior — 6-1 Guard              
  • 32 Matt Kouse — Freshman — 6-2 Guard              
  • 33 Evan Rohifin — Junior — 6-2 Forward          
  • 35 Darragh Roddy — Freshman — 5-11 Guard  

Unless you are related to a player or are a member of the press (woohoo!), current COVID-related restrictions do not permit fans to attend games in person. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t watch games in real time or after the fact. Happily, for all hoops fans out there, the host school is providing a live feed of each game — varsity, JV, and frosh — via its athletics’ YouTube channel.

For a list of Colonial Conference YouTube channels, go HERE. Click on the desired school to be taken to that channel.

To access the Dawgs’ schedule. go HERE. Keep in mind that it will change as the season evolves … meaning, check the day of each scheduled game to make sure it’s still on and the time is still accurate. The weather forecast for this coming week could impact one or both of the upcoming home games.

And while there is nothing quite the same as being in the gym to cheer on your team, I will admit that sitting in a comfortable chair instead of going out in the cold, dark of winter to drive to a school to watch a game isn’t a bad deal. That being said, I am also grateful that I have the opportunity to see the Dawgs play at home from my own little corner of the gym, dubbed “the press” area.            

The long road back for Haddonfield Boys Basketball

By Lauree Padgett. Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today.

No one could have anticipated that when the Haddonfield Dawgs’ 2019–20 season came to an end on March 10, 2020, in a South Jersey Group 2 championship loss to Camden, it would be a few weeks short of a year before the team took to the court for an actual Colonial Conference contest. While the COVID-19 pandemic brought the New Jersey 2020 basketball state semi-finals to a screeching halt a few days later and would go on to upend sports on all levels, that spring, I doubt few people aside from maybe infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci weren’t thinking that by the fall of 2020, life, including high school sports, would be back to normal. Sigh.

The original Dawgs 2020–21 schedule had the first game happening on Friday, Dec. 18th versus Haddon Township. That schedule did not last too long before Governor Phil Murphy halted all winter (indoor) sports activities until mid-January. January 18, Dawgs’ coach Paul Wiedeman replied to an email of mine, saying in part, “So far we have successfully completed 7 days of practice uninterrupted. Our opening game against Haddon Township on January 26th has already been postponed and moved back to February because of COVID concerns on their part. …  Guys are working real hard in practice and are just excited to be in the gym playing basketball. I hope we can play all 15 games this year.”

Fifteen games, for those of you who don’t keep basketball stats memorized, would be exactly half of what the Dawgs played last season when they finished 25–5. Sectional playoff games were eliminated (meaning the 2019 Dawgs are still the reigning Group 2 state champion!), although individual conferences, such as the Colonial, could have their own playoffs. The number of non-conference games allowed, normally capped at 11, was also reduced.

But alas, per COVID-19 protocols, the Haddonfield squads had to then stop practicing for 2 weeks, pushing back the opening game even further. Finally, on Feb. 6, which, by this same date in 2020, the Dawgs played game 19 in their schedule, the team took to the court at Haddon Township. No fans were in the stands. The only people in the gymnasium were the players and their coaching staffs, the refs, and the other essential personnel, such as those running the clock/scoreboard and providing the audio and video feeds.

That first game showed just how much the delays and setbacks had impacted the Dawgs, who only brought back two players with starting varsity experience: senior Justin Kasko and junior Tom Mooney. The game was tied 5 all after one quarter, and the Dawgs had a 3-point, 14–11 lead at the half that they built up to a 19–13 advantage early in the third quarter. However, the shots stopped dropping and those quick 5 points would be the only ones that went on the board for the team in the remaining minutes of the quarter. (If I could tell you the time on the clock when the Dawgs made it 19–13, I would, but the Haddon Township feed did not provide a scoreboard, nor did the announcer think to provide any time updates.) When the quarter ended, the Dawgs were behind by 2, 19–21. Mooney and junior Carson Wolfe did help boost the Dawgs’ 4th quarter points, scoring two buckets each, but when the final buzzer sounded, the Hawks had beaten the Dawgs 38–30. According to the Courier Post, Haddon Township had not accomplished this feat in 48 years!!! The Retropsect was more, uh, circumspect, and reported it had been more than 40 years since the Hawks had secured a W versus the Bulldogs.

Game two of this shortened season took place 3 days later at Haddonfield. The Silver Knights of Sterling road into town and put it to their Colonial nemesis all four quarters, leading by 5, 11–6, after the first 8, upping that lead to 8, 31–23 at the half, and taking that to a double-digit advantage of 50–35 at the finish of the third. The final score was Sterling, 64, Haddonfield, 55. And although the Dawgs were now 0–2, those last 8 minutes gave a glimpse of what the team might be capable of, as five players—Wolfe, Mooney, juniors Matt Leming and Dante Del Duca, and freshman Matt Kouser—had scored to put 20 points, to Sterling’s 14, in the net. The team had also hit 10 three-pointers during the game.

Thursday, 2/11, the Dawgs went up the highway (Kings Highway, that is) to take to the court against another longtime rival, the Garnets of Haddon Heights. Last year, the Dawgs and the Garnets split their pair of conference games and then faced off for the third time in the South Jersey Group 2 semi-finals. That nail-biting 35–33 win, secured on a nifty poach of the ball and a layup by Dawg Connor Fell, also gave Paul Wiedeman his 500th as Haddonfield’s coach.

On one hand, the stakes weren’t quite so high in this matchup as they had been the last time the teams had met. On the other hand, no one wanted to see the Dawgs start off 0–3. (Or, as Vic Wiedeman reminded me when we passed each other in our cars in our Voorhees neighborhood and rolled down the window to chat, lose 4 games in a row, counting the Camden game.) From the outset, it was clear the Dawgs were not going to let that happen. Unlike the first two games, the Dawgs scored the first 5 points of the match on a 2 by Wolfe and a 3 by Leming. Heights got 2 back from the foul line, but the Dawgs scored the next 5, in a second verse same as the first, but in reverse order: a 3 by Leming and a 2 by Wolfe. Heights got another point from the free throw line, and Wolfe closed out the scoring for the quarter with his third bucket, putting the Dawgs up by double digits 12–3.

The Dawgs never looked back. Heights did score a bit more (7 points) and Haddonfield a bit less (9 points on another 3 from Leming and two more drives by Wolfe) in the second 8 minutes, but going into the half, the Dawgs were leading by 9, 19–10.

The Dawgs really stepped on the offensive gas in the third quarter, putting up 25 points to the Garnets’ 5. Wolfe knocked in 7 on a trio of 2’s and a foul shot. Leming got his fourth and fifth 3’s of the game (he would finish with 6 of them and a total of 22 points). Justin Kasko showed that he had been honing his 3-point shot in the offseason, swooshing in 2 along with as a basket from the foul line, and Dante Del Duca got into the 3-point act as well. Going into the last 8 minutes, the Dawgs were definitely in control, ahead by almost 30 points, 43–15.

Heights finally found its shooting range in the 4th, outscoring the Dawgs 18–11, but the Dawgs still won by a decisive 26 points, 54–28 to secure their first win of the 2021 season. In addition to Leming’s 22, Wolfe finished with 13 and six other players contributed to the total.

Saturday, 2/13 was the day I had pegged to go to a home game in person. As it turned out, it was the first game family members (two per player) were also allowed in the stands. (The Dawgs’ athletic department, under AD Lefty Banos, did a great job arranging the seats, assigned by numbers marked on the benches, so that social distancing protocols were followed. While families did chat a bit during halftime and as they were exiting the stands, I think everyone felt safe.) The foe was the Collingswood Panthers, always a tough team to beat. Could the Dawgs get another win to get to the .500 mark?

Well, Collingswood got the first bucket of the day at the 7:25 mark of the quarter 1. The Dawgs got on the board to tie it off a nice feed from junior Matthew Guveiyian to Tom Mooney. Then after rebounding a board at the other end, Guveiyian hit a 3 to put the Dawgs on top 5–2. The Panthers got 2 and then the Dawgs got 2 more on a nice drive by Kasko, putting the Dawgs up 7–4 with 4 minutes and change to go in the quarter.

Collingswood got to within 1 point on a basket its next possession, then went up by 1, 8–7, on a steal and a slam at the 3:22 mark. The next score of the game would come on a 2-point bucket by Leming, who was fouled. His shot at the line went in to put the Dawgs back on top by 2, 10–8. He got another 3 in one shot to push the lead up to 13–7 with 1:44 to go in the first.

Collingswood ended their mini-scoring drought with a 2, but Leming answered with another 2 and Mooney drained a 3. The Panthers got another basket, but Mooney hit another 3, and the first quarter ended with the Dawgs up 9, 21–12.

Both teams scored a bit less in the 2nd quarter, but the Dawgs were still able to build onto their lead, putting 10 more points on the board on 3’s by Mooney and Kasko and the equivalent of one by Leming, who was fouled beyond the 3-point arc and made all of his resulting foul shots. Mooney also added a point from the foul line, and going into the half, the Dawgs were ahead 31–17, with their solid D having held the Panthers to 5 points.

The third quarter was a little more evenly matched, as the Dawgs again got 10 on the board but this time the Panthers got 7. Still, going into the last 8 minutes, the Dawgs had a comfortable 41–24 lead. Sometimes that comfortable edge can vanish, as a team starts to lose a bit of momentum. However, thanks to Matt Kouser, who played a good part of the 4th and send in a trio of treys from way out there, and Mooney, who drove in for three consecutive layups, the Dawgs put 15 more on the board. The Panthers took a bit of an advantage of Wiedeman clearing his bench and actually outscored the Dawgs by 1 point, but it did not change the outcome. The Dawgs won their second straight by a 56–40 margin.

For the third straight game, the team combined for 10 3’s. Tom Mooney knocked in 18, Matt Leming, 16, and 7 Dawgs contributed to those 56 points.

So, what happened between the first two games, when the Dawgs lost by 8 and 9 points, respectively, and the second two games, when they won by 26 and 16, respectively? In my mind, it was almost like a switch was flipped. A team that looked tentative at best versus Haddon Township and even for the first three quarters against Sterling, with no one really taking charge, was in control from end to end of their games versus Heights and Collingswood. A parent I was in touch with put this about-face into perspective after the Heights victory: “That 14-day quarantine and coming back into games with virtually no practice time was tough. They are getting their rhythm back,” he noted, adding, “Great to see that win!”

And I think that is really the right takeaway. Teams returning most of their starting lineup from the previous year probably are in somewhat better shape than teams who are bringing in players who don’t have a lot, or even any, varsity minutes under their unis. Between the long delay of the season at the outset, and then the 2-week quarantine just as the Dawgs were getting ready to play ball, the players lost valuable time interacting with each other as a unit. How can a team gel when the players and coaches are isolated from each other? The short answer is, it can’t.

By the end of the Sterling game and then the full matchups against Haddon Heights and Collingswood, the players started being more in synch with each other. Turnovers started decreasing on their end and passing and assists picked up. Balls started dropping into the net instead of clacking off the rim or the backboard. Defensively, through great double teaming, pressing, and quick hands, the Dawgs started turning the tables on their opponents, forcing them to turn the ball over before getting shots off.

I’m not predicting that the Dawgs are now going to win their remaining (if the schedule holds up) 11 games, which doesn’t count the Colonial Conference Tournament. But I think the team is finding its mojo, now that they can really be a team again and under the in-person tutelage of one of South Jersey’s greatest coaches, Paul Wiedeman. And in a season that has been like no other, that counts for a lot.

Come back on Monday night (February 15) for:

  • Getting to Know the Team
  • How to Watch the Games, Live or Later

May 11 election to be in-person, not by mail

NJ Governor Phil Murphy announced on Monday (February 8) that this year’s May municipal elections would be held in person, rather than by mail, as was the case for the 2020 general election last November.

During his daily news conference, he said:

“Today we are announcing that … the municipal nonpartisan elections scheduled for May 11th will be conducted in person. As always, voters will have the ability to request a vote-by-mail ballot for any reason. We will ensure that all in-person polling places adhere to proper health and safety protocols including face coverings, social distancing, and frequent sanitation.

“We are able to take this step as our COVID numbers are headed — I emphasize headed — in the right direction and we are optimistic that these trends will continue, especially as more residents get vaccinated and the weather also becomes warmer. This is very different than the situation we confronted last summer, when we had to make a decision on the November election, knowing that our models showed a huge surge of COVID cases in the fall, which unfortunately, came to pass. While we are not making a decision on the June primary elections at this point, we are optimistic that we’ll be able to conduct in-person voting in June as well.”

Kevin Roche submits petitions for Commission election

A corporate investment professional who has lived in Haddonfield since 2013 filed petitions today to be a candidate in the Haddonfield Board of Commissioners election to be held on May 11.

In a statement released after delivering his petitions to the Borough Clerk, Kevin Roche said he has decided that now is the time to get involved in a deeper way and approach the issues of Haddonfield with “a fresh perspective.”

Roche said he and his family were drawn to Haddonfield because of its sense of community, schools, and the diverse activities available for families. 

“I love this town,” he said, “and want to do everything I can to ensure that the decisions made today benefit the town twenty years from now. Living in Haddonfield has given my family so much, now it is time to pay it forward.”

According to his website – kevinroche.org – Roche will focus on working to develop solutions for issues such as housing, open space, and aging infrastructure.

He believes he is uniquely qualified to address the financial decisions that need to be made pertaining to Bancroft as well as finding and creating alternative revenue opportunities for the Borough.

Roche is founder and CEO of LHT Consultants, which provides creative financial solutions for families, private businesses, and foundations. He is also a professor at Drexel University and an advisor to the Drexel University Venture Capital Club.

He volunteers with the Community Foundation of South Jersey and Haddonfield Crew. When his son was younger, he was actively involved with Haddonfield Youth Basketball.

Roche is the fourth resident to submit petitions with the Borough Clerk or file forms with the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission, or both. None of the incumbent Commissioners has publicly revealed their plans with respect to the election.

Mark Rusc files election forms with State of NJ

Mark Rusc, a Haddonfield resident who serves as chair of the Historic Preservation Commission, filed forms with the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission on Wednesday (February 10), documenting the formation of a campaign committee for the Haddonfield Board of Commissioners election on May 11.

He has not yet submitted petitions to the Borough Clerk.

Rusc’s forms note that Jonathan Prebich will serve as campaign chair, and Luis A Hoz de Vila will serve as treasurer.

Rusc is the third resident to submit petitions with the Borough Clerk or file forms with the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission, or both. None of the incumbent Commissioners has publicly revealed their plans with respect to the election.

One new COVID-19 death; tally now 10

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that the death of a male in his 90s, a resident of Haddonfield, has been attributed to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. This brings the number of Haddonfield COVID-19 fatalities to 10.

The Haddonfield School District added two cases today, a female juvenile student at Tatem School and a male student in his 10s at the Middle School. The total number of cases reported by the district now stands at135: 58 males and 77 females; 107 children and 28 adults.

Second candidate files for Commission election

A five-year resident of Haddonfield has become the second person to enter this year’s race for the board of commissioners, scheduled for May 11.

Francis T. Troy joins Adam V. Puff, who submitted petitions to the borough clerk on January 25, having filed a certificate of organization for his campaign committee with the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission on January 4. Troy filed his certificate on January 28.

On his website – votefranktroy.com – Troy notes that after “years of military deployments and corporate relocations, I jumped at the chance to move to Haddonfield back in 2016.”

He says his focus — “sustainable policies for our future” — serves two purposes. “The first is seizing opportunities to make needed changes to our Borough, without forgoing our rich history and culture. The second element is doing this in an environmentally-sound way so that our children inherit a better world.”

Troy asserts that with “nearly 3 decades of private and public experience leading large organizations focused on energy-efficient design,” he is “uniquely qualified to do this.” He is a vice president at Albireo Energy, which provides building automation and energy services for commercial and institutional buildings.

Troy served as an officer in the US Navy for six years. His overseas deployments included the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf.

He is a volunteer member of the Haddonfield Zoning Board of Adjustment.

COVID-19 has hit 1 in 25 residents

With the addition today of a female juvenile and a male in his 40s, the number of COVID-19 cases reported by the Camden County Department of Health for Haddonfield residents rose to 464. That represents 1 case for every 25 residents, based on the 2010 Census population count of 11,593.

For comparison, the rates for both Camden County and New Jersey are 1 case for every 14 residents.

Camden County’s total number of reported cases as of today was 36,607, with 938 deaths. Across New Jersey, 626,645 cases and 19,384 deaths.

The Haddonfield School District has reported a total of 131 cases: 103 children and 28 adults.

Joe Serico named Citizen of the Year for 2021

Joseph G. (“Joe”) Serico, a principal at Haddonfield Memorial High School for 20 years who was beloved by students and teachers alike, has been named Haddonfield’s Citizen of the Year for 2021.

The announcement was made by Mayor Neal Rochford tonight during a Zoom meeting hosted by the Haddonfield Lions Club.

Joe Serico was the high school’s principal from 1987 to 2006. Subsequently, he served as the school district’s assistant superintendent responsible for curriculum and instruction. He then took a teaching position at Rutgers University Camden in the Department of Public Policy and Administration.

He currently serves as a trustee of the Haddonfield Educational Trust, which works to enhance educational excellence of the public schools, and as president of the Haddonfield Alumni Society.

One of the letters submitted in support of Joe Serico’s nomination detailed his many contributions to the community:

“In Haddonfield, there are quiet and humble people who volunteer countless hours because they believe in this community, and they want to create an environment where people can be connected. Dr. Serico has served our community for many years, but his commitment to making connections during COVID should especially be highlighted …

“In 2020, Dr. Serico remained committed to strengthening the bonds of our community, despite a global pandemic that made face-to-face reunions, fundraisers and meetings impossible. He is connected to alumni of all ages, and he was inspired to tell the stories of the HMHS alumni who were courageously battling the coronavirus in front-line medical positions. He tracked people down, made appointments to interview each person, and then sat down to write their stories, to share their good work with the entire alumni community. It was so inspiring to read about the good work being done by our brilliant and kind-hearted classmates. I think that each of those stories helped to connect all of us, and helped to build hope during a challenging and lonely period of time.

“Dr. Serico has continued to build community virtually, with online beer tastings and other networking events. His newest creation is a MasterClass series starring notable HMHS alumni. The live lectures are free to attend, and allow alumni to reconnect over Zoom to learn how to create the perfect cocktail, to play guitar, or other specialty expertise. Such a clever idea, and a perfect example of how Dr. Serico works so hard to celebrate the accomplishments of others, while quietly and humbly staying behind the scenes. The Master Class series also demonstrates Dr. Serico’s innate kindness and generosity: all alumni are welcome and included, regardless of age, location, or circumstance. Especially during COVID, events like this are so important to our mental health.”

Joe Serico’s other accomplishments include:

  • Managing the fundraising and concept for the Sarah Tarditi Gallagher outdoor Study Garden at HMHS.
  • Single-handedly organizing a campaign for former cross country and track athletes to dedicate the HMHS track and stadium concourse for beloved coaches Nick and Maureen Baker. Hundreds of former athletes contributed to the $100,000 project.
  • Creating energy around a campaign to look at our high school facilities as a campus, and engaged thousands of people to give time and money to build “an aesthetically pleasing campus environment for students, faculty and community that encourages reflection, inspires creativity, promotes community and respects the environment.” Courtyard plantings and beautification of the front of the school were completed in 2020.

“[His] work should not be unnoticed. Haddonfield needs people like Dr. Serico: people who have ideas for how to make our community stronger AND who do the work to see those ideas through. … Dr. Serico is one of our town’s constant unsung heroes, and in any year his regular volunteer efforts would/should probably be enough to make him a [Citizen of the Year] nominee. As the selection committee reflects on superhuman volunteerism on behalf of this Borough, you need to know that the quiet and humble Dr. Serico has been quietly working on multiple projects that will leave a lasting legacy in our community for years to come.”

COVID-19: New death brings local total to nine

The Camden County Department of Health today reported the death of a Haddonfield female in her 80s, and attributed the cause of death to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

This is the third local death in a week. The Department of Health reported the death of a Haddonfield male in his 90s on January 22 and that of a female in her 90s on January 20.

The Department also reported two new COVID-19 cases today: a male in his 10s and a female in her 50s. Haddonfield’s tally now stands at 454 — about one in every 25 residents.

The Haddonfield School District has reported a total of 124 COVID-19 cases in the schools — 54 males and 70 females. Of that total, 98 are students and 26 are staff.

Lifelong resident is first to file for Commission election

Haddonfield Board of Commissioners candidate Adam Puff delivers his nominating petitions to the Borough Clerk, Deanna Bennett.

A lifelong resident of Haddonfield is the first candidate to file petitions for this year’s Board of Commissioners election. 

Adam Puff said he hopes to be the voice, resource, and problem solver for every resident and local business owner who has ever asked, ‘Why isn’t it getting done?”

In particular, he plans to focus on a prompt resolution to the future of the Bancroft property; addressing residents’ concerns about stormwater, streets, and trees; encouraging innovative approaches to supporting and promoting the business district; improving borough communications, and ensuring transparency in decision making. 

Puff sums up his focus in three words: “Pride. Progress. Partnership.” 

A 2000 graduate of Haddonfield Memorial High School, Puff and his wife Jessica are raising their three children just a few blocks from where he grew up, and where his parents still live. An accredited investment fiduciary, he is the founder and CEO of Haddonfield Financial Planning, located at 205 N. Haddon Avenue.  

Puff is an active member of the Lions Club, serves as president of the Haddonfield Educational Trust (a non-profit dedicated to enhancing the excellence of Haddonfield’s public schools), and is a board member of both the Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust and the Partnership for Haddonfield (which manages the downtown business district).

“For 39 years, I’ve benefited from many wonderful things this community has provided,” Puff said. “Volunteering with these organizations is one way I’ve been able to give back. But now I’d like to put my interests and ideas to work at the municipal level.”

Haddonfield’s Board of Commissioners has three elected members who serve concurrent four-year terms. The next election is scheduled for Tuesday, May 11. 2021. Traditionally, the candidate who receives the most votes becomes the mayor. 

Puff said that his campaign slogan, “Let’s Go, Haddonfield!” is designed to reflect the energy and enthusiasm he will bring to the board of commissioners. 

“Haddonfield needs those qualities right now,” Puff says, “to help develop innovative solutions for the new realities posed by the pandemic and the economy.” 

“I’m ready, willing, and able to serve,” he said, “and I hope the voters of Haddonfield will give me the chance.”

The campaign’s web address is AdamPuff.com. The Facebook page is @AdamPuff2021.

Citizen of the Year: Tuesday, January 26

The Haddonfield Area Lions Club will award its Citizen of the Year honor for 2021 during a Zoom presentation at 7:30pm on Tuesday, January 26.

Established in 1973, the award goes to a resident who has volunteered their time to make the community and the world a better place. Past winners include Robert A. Turner, Gene Kain, Jack Tarditi, Tish Colombi, and Robert Parsons. A full list of past winners is on the Haddonfield Area Lions website, HERE.

Because of the pandemic, this year’s presentation will not include the Lions’ annual breakfast or a State of the Borough address by the mayor. However, Mayor Rochford will present the Citizen of the Year award, virtually.

Join the Zoom meeting HERE.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87240232408?pwd=NCtlb2RDdmpkVHRML3NZWkJYWm9Pdz09

To Dial in: 1 646 558 8656
Meeting ID: 872 4023 2408
Passcode: 707977
Help Desk – Al Schmidt 609-471-8298

Haddonfield man charged in Capitol seige

A Haddondield resident was arrested on Thursday in connection with the storming of the US Capitol on January 6.

Patrick A. Stedman, 32, was charged with disorderly conduct and illegally entering the Capitol grounds.

The FBI’s affidavit for the case states that the bureau received tips from some of Stedman’s former high school and college classmates. Read it HERE.

The affidavit notes that Stedman posted videos of the storming of the Capitol on his Twitter account, which has more than 25,000 followers, in real time. It notes that some show him in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and that on the afternoon of January 6 he posted on his Twitter account: “I was pretty much in the first wave, and we broke down the doors and climbed up the back part of the Capitol building and got all the way into the chambers.”

During a court hearing in Camden on Thursday, US Magistrate Judge Karen William released Stedman on an unsecured bond.

COVID-19: Second local death in three days

The Camden County Department of Health reported today the death of a Haddonfield male in his 90s, and attributed the cause of death to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

This is the second local death in three days. The Department of Health reported the death of a Haddonfield female in her 90s on Wednesday, January 20.

Today’s fatality brings the Haddonfield death toll to eight.

The Department also reported one new COVID-19 case today, that of a male in his 60s. Haddonfield’s tally now stands at 444.

The Haddonfield School District reported three new COVID-19 cases today, all in the High School: a male in his 10s; a female in her 30s; and a female in her 40s.

To date, the District has reported 121 cases: 52 males and 69 females; 96 students and 25 staff.

Judge reinstates Bancroft lawsuit

During a Camden County Superior Court hearing today, Judge Nan S. Famular agreed to a request by a group of Haddonfield residents, among them former mayors Jack Tarditi and Tish Colombi, to reinstate a suit they had filed in 2018 against the Borough of Haddonfield and its commissioners, objecting to aspects of the proposed redevelopment plan that failed to promote senior housing. 

Tarditi and the other plaintiffs had withdrawn the suit in 2019 without prejudice — meaning they retained the right to reinstate it in the future — based on a settlement agreement in which the Borough committed to the development of age-restricted housing at the site.

The plaintiffs requested reinstatement of their case because, they claimed, the commissioners had failed to abide by the settlement, which was spelled out in an order entered by Judge Famular in October 2019. The order noted that the borough would take steps to achieve and promote age-restricted housing on the site.

The borough’s attorney alleged that the borough had been unable to find a viable alternative to the “age-targeted” townhomes proposed by the site’s designated redeveloper, despite efforts to do so.

In the suit filed in March 2018, the plaintiffs called for the revised redevelopment plan the commissioners adopted in February 2018 to be set aside, and for the original Bancroft redevelopment plan to be reinstated. The 2018 plan called for fewer design restrictions and increased floor area per townhome — changes the developer had requested. The Planning Board voted overwhelmingly against the developer’s requests, but the commissioners set their objections aside and adopted the revised plan.

It is not known at this time if the Planning Board will schedule a hearing on the developer’s pending application until the issue is resolved in court. Judge Famular has not yet set a date for a hearing on the plaintiffs’ reinstated suit.

Civic Association to host health panel

The Haddonfield Civic Association will hold an online health panel discussion, titled Taking the Pulse of Our Community, on Wednesday, January 27 at 7pm.

Designed to inform Haddonfield residents, the discussion will focus on COVID-19 in our town, the vaccine, coping during the pandemic, the effects on our community, and the path forward.

The panel members will be:

  • Scott Woodside, Public Health MSN, MBA RN
  • Chuck Klaus, Superintendent of Schools
  • Jason Cutler, Chief of Police
  • Neal Rochford, Mayor

The 60-to-90-minute discussion, on Zoom, will be moderated by the Civic Association president, Joe Levine.

To join the discussion, go HERE.

To submit questions in advance, go to the Contact page on the Civic Association’s website – HERE. If your question is directed to a particular panelist, include that person’s name.

Citizen of the Year to be named on Tuesday night

The name of Haddonfield’s Citizen of the Year for 2021 will be announced during a special meeting hosted by the Lions Club on Tuesday, January 26, starting at 7:30pm.

Normally, the announcement is made during the Mayor’s Breakfast, held annually on a Saturday in January at the Presbyterian Church. Because of the pandemic, this year’s gathering was canceled.

Join Zoom meeting HERE.

  • Meeting ID: 872 4023 2408
  • Passcode: 707977
  • Dial in 1 646 558 8656
  • Meeting ID: 872 4023 2408
  • Passcode: 707977
  • Help Desk – Al Schmidt (609) 471-8298

Planning Board cancels Bancroft hearing

The Haddonfield Planning Board has canceled a special meting, scheduled for Tuesday, January 26, at which it would have considered a development application for the portion of the Bancroft property on the Cherry Hill side of Hopkins Lane.

The action was taken, apparently, after questions were raised about apparent legal deficiencies in the application.

The application proposes the construction of 80 market-rate townhomes and 10 affordable units.

The Historic Preservation Commission completed its work on the application on December 30, 2020, a necessary prerequisite for Planning Board consideration.

One new COVID-19 death locally

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that the death of a female Haddonfield resident in her 90s has been attributed to COVID-19. This brings to seven the total number of fatalities locally; the first Haddonfield death was reported on April 18, 2020.

The Department of Health also reported today seven new cases among Haddonfield residents: Males in their 10s, 20s, 50s (2), and 60s; and females in their 10s and 60s. The Haddonfield tally now stands at 441.

The average confirmed-positive rate for January is 4.70 cases per day — 94 cases in 20 days — the highest since March 2020, when the first Haddonfield case was reported. The rates for December and November were 3.84 and 2.80 cases per day, on average, respectively.

COVID-19: Schools add eight cases

The Haddonfield School District today added eight new confirmed cases to its list of students and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total number of those infected to 116.

Gender:

  • Male — 50
  • Female — 66

Age:

  • Child — 93
  • Adult — 23

Level:

  • District — 2
  • Elementary — 41
  • Middle — 32
  • High — 41

One-day record for new COVID-19 cases

Haddonfield set a new record on Friday (January 15, 2021), when the Camden County Department of Health reported 11 new confirmed cases among Haddonfield residents. The local tally, which hit 400 on Thursday, now stands at 411.

The report today included six males (10s x 2, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s) and five females (J, 10s, 30s, 60s, 70s). The deaths of six Haddondfield residents have been attributed to COVID-19, the most recent on December 8.

The rate of infection in Haddonfield is 35.45 per 1,000 of population. That’s more than one per 30 residents.

Camden County’s total rose today above 33,000. It now stands at 33,084, with 833 fatalities. The county’s infection rate is 64.41.

For New Jersey: 555,299 cases and 18,229 fatalities. The statewide infection rate is 63.16.

Haddonfield’s public schools surpassed the 100 mark on January 5. The tally of cases now stands at 108: 48 males and 60 females. With 23 cases so far in January, the public schools are on pace to set a record for the number of new cases in a month. (December 41; November 40.)

In commenting on the latest report on Friday, County Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. said, “Over the last seven days, we are averaging approximately 290 new cases of COVID-19 per day, an 11 percent increase from Jan. 1. While this surge hasn’t appeared to hit our community quite as hard as the post-Thanksgiving spike, no one should feel good about where we are with regards to viral activity. New Jersey set new records this week for daily cases, and 158 lives have been lost in Camden County in just the last 30 days. Please continue to treat this pandemic with the caution it deserves. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and social distance.”

COVID-19 has hit 1 in 30 residents

Today — January 11, 2021 — the number of COVID-19 cases reported for Haddonfield residents reached 389. Based on Haddonfield’s population of 11,593 (2010 Census), that translates to 33.55 per 1,000 or 1 in 30 persons.

Camden County today hit 62.28 per 1,000, based on a population of 513,657. New Jersey’s rate is slightly lower: 60.62 per 1,000, based on a population of 8,791,894. (2010 Census)

Haddonfield’s toll is split 206 males, 182 females, and 1 unknown.

The age group most affected is the 10s: 41 males and 40 females, a total of 81 youth between the ages of 10 and 19.

Obituary: Mayor William W. Reynolds Jr

On January. 4, 2021, age 81 of The Evergreens in Moorestown, formerly a longtime Haddonfield resident, husband of the late Mollie (nee Hartman); Beloved father of William W. III (Rena) of Fort Myers, Florida, James M. (Joy) of Collingswood NJ and Rebecca Reynolds of Highland Park NJ; Loving grandfather of Isaac, Henry, Graham and Emilia; Dear brother of Ned and Jack (Monique) Reynolds.

Above all, Bill was a man deeply committed to his family and his community. Son of a longtime superintendent of Haddonfield’s public schools, he graduated from Haddonfield Memorial High School in 1957 and Lafayette College in 1961. He went on to earn a Masters from Harvard University and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. After completing his studies and working as an administrative assistant dean at the Graduate School of Education at Penn, he became the principal of the Bancroft School in Haddonfield. During that time, he was elected to the Haddonfield Borough Commission and served as mayor from 1973 to 1977 – a victory which he attributed to people confusing him with his father (with whom he shared the same name). He unsuccessfully ran for county freeholder in 1978, at which point his political career ended after his wife told him that he could keep an elected office or her, but not both. He made the right choice. 

Bill went on to found Reynolds and Schaffer Associates, a consulting firm that provided marketing, fundraising and strategic planning services to nonprofit corporations. In 1997, he left the consulting business and became the founding director of the Center for Management and Entrepreneurship at Rutgers University School of Business in Camden where he served until his retirement in 2010. In 2006/7 he was asked to serve as interim dean of the Rutgers Camden School of Business while the university searched for a permanent successor.

Outside of work and politics, Bill served the Haddonfield community and greater South Jersey in myriad ways. He was a lifelong Rotarian and taught the men’s bible class at Haddonfield United Methodist Church for more than 20 years. He spent 43 years on the board of the Haddonfield Public Library, 28 years as president. In 1983 he and a few other like-minded citizens founded the Haddonfield Foundation, and he served as its president from 1983 until 2003 and as a board member until 2010.  For many years he served as the moderator of the annual Town Meeting hosted by the Haddonfield Civic Association. Bill also served significant stints on the boards of the Camden County YMCA, Respond, Inc., the Evergreens retirement community in Moorestown and, more recently, on the national board of ACTS Retirement Life Communities.

A gentle and patient father, he was never short on advice when asked, but never imposed his opinion (or will) on his children, even in their most wayward moments. As his kids grew into adults, he and Mollie liked nothing better than staying up late over drinks to hear of their latest adventures and exploits, perhaps learning more than they wished but accepting all news with grace and equanimity.

When Bill retired in 2010, it was to care for his beloved wife, Mollie, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. It was in this period of his life that his commitment to service became most manifest, as he lovingly tended to Mollie’s needs through her death in 2019. Affectionately known by his grandchildren as “Granther”, he was perhaps happiest watching his grandchildren on the baseball diamond, the soccer field, the basketball court and the dance stage.  He was also an avid fisherman who stalked the beaches of New Jersey, most often in the company of his close friend and first cousin, George Trotman.

Due to Covid, Bill’s Services are tentatively planned for April 2021, please check www.KainMurphy.com for information updates. Interment, private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in honor of Bill may be made to The Haddonfield Foundation, PO Box 555, Haddonfield NJ 08033 (www.haddonfieldfoundation.org)

Arrangements by Kain-Murphy Funeral Services of Haddonfield NJ. 856-429-1945 www.KainMurphy.com

Bill Reynolds, former mayor, dies at age 81

William W. Reynolds Jr, who served as the mayor of Haddonfield from 1973 to 1977 (and as the commissioner for public works, parks, and property), died on January 4, 2021. He was 81.

In recent years he was resident of Acts Retirement Community in Moorestown (formerly The Evergreens, for which he served as a board member for many years).

Bill Reynolds was born in Haddonfield — literally — in the family home. His father, known as “Bull” Reynolds, was in turn a teacher, the principal of the high school, and the superintendent of the school district.

In addition to serving as an elected official, Bill Reynolds was a member of the Public Library’s board of trustees for 43 years (28 of them as president) and a charter member of The Haddonfield Foundation (25 years as president).

A longtime member of the Rotary Club, he was honored with life membership in 2019.

He was named Haddonfield Citizen of the Year for 1998.

A funeral notice will be published here, when available.

January 6 Update: The date of death was corrected, to January 4, 2021.

January 6 Update: The obituary is here..

New Year message from the mayor

The following message, from Mayor Neal Rochford, was posted on the Borough’s Facebook page on December 31.

This year has been like no other. No one could have expected our lives and our way of living to change so rapidly, the way it did with the Covid-19 virus: schools closing, businesses interrupted, widespread unemployment, sports, and an entertainment shut down. Also a byproduct of the pandemic: social isolation and families that cannot see one another.

At the borough, us commissioners had to take drastic action to preserve services that are vital to our resident’s well being. Police, fire, EMT’s service, trash collection, storm remediation, borough hall services, and the library needed to continue. Our borough employees were instrumental in keeping services ongoing. With their cooperation, the borough has been able to meet our goal to serve our residents despite the many hurdles presented by Covid-19. The borough will continue to preserve vital services during the pandemic.

In the next year, I expect the first quarter to be challenging. The virus will continue to infect large numbers until the new vaccines take hold. Please continue to follow mask rules, hand washing recommendations, and social distancing. I urge everyone to obtain the vaccine when it becomes available to you. I would take the vaccine today if I could, however, I will not do so until our police, fire, EMTs, and public works crews receive the vaccine first.

Heartfelt thanks to so many individuals and families who have stepped up to volunteer and help out others. There have been many initiatives from our residents to assist others that need help during the pandemic with food, clothing, and services. Your support of the business district has been instrumental in keeping shops and restaurants open. Another group that deserves recognition are our families with school-age children and educators who have had to transition to a remote learning model. You are awesome for adapting to a new model of teaching.

Let’s make 2021 the year of normal again. In the spirit of positivity, share something that you are grateful for. I’ll start by saying that I am grateful to serve our borough and for all the volunteers that make this town great. Wishing you and your families a Happy New Year!

CER postpones classes

Haddonfield Community Education & Recreation (formerly, the Haddonfield Adult School) announced today that it has suspended operations.

In a message to teachers and students, the CER board wrote:

“Thank you for the dedication, flexibility and creativity you’ve shown during this unprecedented time of remote learning. After much consideration, the Haddonfield CER board has made the difficult decision to postpone all classes. The cost was too high, the enrollment too low and the future too uncertain. We are optimistic as we look ahead to the time when we are learning together again.”


All public schools pivot to remote learning

Chuck Klaus, Haddonfield’s superintendent of schools, announced today that all public schools will operate remotely from Monday (December 21). He sent the following message to the school community:

The decision was made earlier today that Haddonfield School District will be moving to full virtual instruction beginning Monday, December 21, through Wednesday, December 23. The decision to include the entire district is based on additional positive cases that were reported this weekend.

This decision was made after consulting with the Camden County Department of Health. Factors included 32 positive cases in the last 14 days and 13 in the past five days, two of which required contact tracing with an unknown source of origin. We are also waiting for test results from roughly 12 students. Keeping the safety and wellness of our students and staff as our top priority, we believe implementing the full virtual model is the optimal way to proceed.

“Principals will provide building-specific schedules.  

“We did all that we could to keep in-person instruction intact; from increased PPE measures to closing only specific classrooms or individual buildings, but the sheer volume of new cases and the knowledge of several pending tests brought us to this challenging decision We believe a district-wide move to a fully virtual model is in the best interest of the health of our students, families and staff.”


One new COVID-19 death in Haddonfield

The Camden County Department of Health today reported that a Haddonfield woman in her 80s has succumbed to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Her death brings the total of Haddonfield fatalities to six (three males and three females).

  • April — Male 80s
  • May — Male 90s
  • June — Male 70s
  • August — Female 40s
  • September — Female 70s
  • December — Female 80s

Now new cases were reported today. The total number of cases locally stands at 250, representing 21.56 per 1,000 of population — about 1 case for every 50 residents. (Comparison: Camden County 43.68; New Jersey 42.89.)

The Haddonfield Public Schools have reported 48 cases to date: 40 juveniles and teens and 8 adults. The Middle School accounts for 13 of the cases; the High School for 23.

COVID-19 cases hit 250 — 1 for every 50 residents

The Camden County Department of Health today reported 15 new COVID-19 cases for Haddonfield — five each for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The total number of cases locally now stands at 250, representing 21.56 per 1,000 of population — about 1 case for every 50 residents. (Comparison: Camden County 43.15; New Jersey 42.26.)

The average number of new cases per day for December, so far, is 3.14, surpassing the rate for all of November (2.80 cases per day), and triple the rates for October and September (0.9 and 0.93 respectively).

The deaths of five Haddonfield residents have been attributed to COVID-19. The most recent was reported on September 30.

Cases for male residents outnumber those for females, 136 to 114. In the lower age ranges, the male/female split is about even, but there is a dramatic difference is the 50s: 31 males to 12 females.

The Haddonfield Public Schools have reported 48 cases to date: 40 juveniles and teens and 8 adults. The Middle School accounts for 13 of the cases; the High School for 23.

Schools to return to hybrid model

As planned, Haddonfield Public Schools will return to the hybrid model on Monday, December 7.

Superintendent Chuck Klaus sent the following message to members of the school community today (Thursday, December 3):

Since the decision was made to shift to five days of full-remote instruction at the beginning of this week, we have been monitoring both local and regional COVID numbers.  This included a meeting with the Camden County Department of Health and the Camden County superintendents.  Based on the Southwest Region remaining classified as “High Risk or Orange” and low incidents reported for Haddonfield students and staff, we are confident that the schools will be safe, and we will return to the hybrid model on December 7, as planned. 

The decision for a temporary move to full-remote learning was a difficult one, and today’s decision to return to in-person instruction has been no less challenging. Ultimately, this decision rests upon our confidence in the schools being safe environments and our strong belief in the value of in-person instruction. 

The November 25th decision to close schools for five days was made in part to reduce any potential need for widespread quarantines after the holiday break. In order to remain open for the remainder of December, we must promote a “community first” mindset. The school district implores families and staff members to complete daily screening forms with care and accuracy. If any student or staff person has symptoms of COVID-19, they should stay home and attend school remotely.  Additionally, if you have been exposed to an individual who is symptomatic and/or exposed to those designated as close contacts, especially in your own household, you must not come into our schools.

These difficult times require difficult decisions. Ultimately our goal is to remain in our hybrid model for the remaining 13 school days of December. This can best be accomplished if we all take responsibility and are cautious about potentially exposing others.

November’s COVID-19 tally: 84

The surge in the number cases reported by the Camden County Department of Health for Haddonfield in November reflects the dramatic increases for the county, the state, and the country as a whole. The total for November — 84 (46 males and 38 females) was essentially equal to the numbers for July (18), August (11), September (28), and October (28) added together.

The age group with the highest number of reported cases in November was the 10s — 37 (21 males and 16 females). The public schools reported 30 cases in the 10s in November (27 males and 13 females). Next highest? The 50s — 12 (8 males and 4 females).

As of November 30, the total number of cases reported for Haddonfield stood at 228 (123 males and 105 females). The breakdown by age group is as follows:

  • Unknown age — 7 (Male 6, Female 1)
  • Juvenile (under 10) — 8 (M 5, F 3)
  • 10s — 64 (M 32, F 32)
  • 20 s– 42 (M 20, F 22)
  • 30s — 23 (M 12, F 11)
  • 40s — 25 (M 13, F 12)
  • 50 — 35 (M 25, F 10)
  • 60s — 8 (M 3, F 5)
  • 70s — 8 (M 7, F 1)
  • 80s — 7 (M 1, F 6)
  • 90s — 1 (F)

The Camden County Department of Health has reported the deaths of five Haddonfield residents due to COVID-19:

  • 40s — 1 (F)
  • 70s — 2 (M 1, F 1)
  • 80s — 1 (F)
  • 90s — 1 (F)

As of November 30, the infection rate among Haddonfield residents was 19.67 per 1,000. For comparison, the rates for Camden County and New Jersey both stood at 38.37 on November 30. The transmission rate for New Jersey was 1.11.

For Camden County as of November 30 — 19,708 cases and 607 deaths.

For New Jersey — 337,304 cases and 15,164 deaths.

United States — 13,536,216 cases and 267,987 deaths.

Schools to be 100% remote from November 30

The recent dramatic rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Camden County, Haddonfield, and the Haddonfield public schools has led the School District to decide to return the elementary schools and Middle School to remote instruction for at least one week, beginning Monday, November 30. The High School has been in 100% remote mode since November 16.

The District sent the following message to the school community this evening (Wednesday, November 25):

“The Camden County Department of Health has communicated to us that our COVID Activity Level Index (CALI) score falls into the category of “High Risk,” which is indicated by a CALI score of 3. Additional information was provided pointing out that Camden County ranks near the highest Case Rate and Percent Positivity in the state.  The New Jersey Department of Health has asked school districts to consider additional precautions while faced with so many new cases in our area (COVID-19 Regional Risk Matrix). 

“With an expected surge after the Thanksgiving weekend and with an emphasis on the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff, and families, the decision has been made to take a cautious approach and create an “intermediate” period of time in which to evaluate the impact of the holiday weekend. Therefore, beginning Monday, November 30, 2020, Haddonfield School District will return to full remote instruction until December 7, 2020. This applies to elementary, middle and high school students.  A review of the district and regional numbers will be made on December 3, 2020, and the status of our instructional model will be re-evaluated at that time.  Based on those numbers, we will decide either to continue full remote learning or to return to the hybrid model.  If the decision is made to extend full remote learning, considerations of best practices to support at-risk students will be implemented.

“The decision to take this intermediate step was not made lightly, but it was made with the hope that we can bring the students back to school later in December.  

“We understand and value the impact of in-person instruction. Over the next several weeks, we ask everyone to participate in behavior that is safe and includes practices to stop the spread of COVID-19. It is our hope that the regional numbers decline and return to in-person instruction occurs as quickly as possible.” 

COVID-19: Schools stay the course

Superintendent of Schools Chuck Klaus sent a message to parents and staff this afternoon (Saturday, November 21), advising them that although Camden County has raised the COVID-19 transmission risk from yellow to orange, the school district will remain in its current hybrid model — for the time being.

Here is the superintendent’s message:

Good afternoon, Haddonfield parents and staff,

Friday afternoon, Dr. Priolo and I participated in a conference call with the Camden County District Superintendents, the Camden County Superintendent of Schools, and Dr. Nwako, the Camden County Public Health Coordinator.  The purpose of this call was to inform school leaders of the fact that Camden County COVID-19 rates of transmission have shifted from the Moderate Risk “yellow” zone to the High Risk of transmission “orange zone.”

Below is a summary of how our school district will proceed moving forward.

  • For the time being, school district operations will remain in our current hybrid model. We fully understand the importance and benefits of in-person instruction, and our goal is to remain in-person, with mitigation efforts in place, as much as possible.
  • However, if positive cases surge in any school, or if regional numbers continue to rise into the “Very High Risk” Category, we may have to close a building or the entire district and return to full remote instruction as indicated by the department of health.
  • I will receive an update on the transmission rates next Wednesday, November 23rd, and will continue to keep you informed.

We are committed to keeping you informed of all county and/or state communication we receive related to COVID-19 rates of infection so that you can prepare for child care and family obligations. We appreciate your continued efforts to practice all recommended behaviors such as mask-wearing and hand washing and to help us to keep our children in school.

Have a good weekend, and stay safe. 

Guess the Vote contest: We have a winner!

In the October 30 issue of Haddonfield Today, we invited readers to participate in a “2020 Presidential Election Guess the Vote and Win a Chance to Win One Million Dollars!” contest.

Entrants submitted their guesses for the total number of votes they thought would be cast by Haddonfield registered voters for the two main candidates: Biden # + Trump # = Total #.

The number of registered voters for this election, provided to us in advance of the election, was 10,718. (The number on Camden County’s official statement of results, published on November 16, is 10,589.)

Guesses ranged from a low of 6,580 to a high of 10,568. The actual total was Biden 5,725 + Trump 2,421 = 8,146.

The closest entry, without going over — 8,126 — was submitted by Jill Ballard of Haddonfield. Her prize? A New Jersey Lottery “$1,000,000 Riches” ticket and a $100 gift card for Denim BYOB in Haddonfield.

Congratulations, Jill! And thank you to all who participated.

Special Board of Health meeting

A special meeting of the Haddonfield Board of Health will be held on Tuesday, November 24 qt 8:30pm, or directly following the scheduled meeting of the Board of Commissioners, whichever is later.

To register to attend the virtual meeting, go HERE.

Election results for Haddonfield

The Camden County Board of Elections has posted final tallies for the November 3 general election.

2020 registered voters = 10,589 — Comparison: 2016 = 9,778 (8.29% increase)

2020 ballots cast = 8,380 (79.14% of registered) — Comparison: 2016 = 7,099 (72.60%)

President

  • Trump = 2,421
  • Biden = 5,725
  • La Riva = 3
  • Jorgensen = 74
  • Blankenship = 8
  • Hammons = 7
  • De La Fuente = 5
  • Hawkins = 24

Board of Education (uncontested – 3 candidates for 3 seats)

  • Vecchio = 5,755
  • Hoag = 5,754
  • Paoli = 5,799

State Question 1 (Legalize marijuana)

  • Yes = 5,429
  • No = 1,864

State Question 2 (Property tax deduction for veterans))

  • Yes = 5,340
  • No = 1,811

State Question 3 (Redistricting schedule for census)

  • Yes = 4,593
  • No = 2,395

Plays & Players’ cabaret

Like most performing arts organizations in the region, throughout the state, across the country, and around the world, Haddonfield Plays & Players has suffered greatly from being forced to go dark during the pandemic.

But theater types are nothing if not creative and resourceful. To raise sorely needed funds, the local troupe of thespians will present a livewatch, virtual cabaret titled “It’s Only Intermission” on Saturday, November 21 at 7pm.

The show will feature more than 30 performers singing selections from popular past productions, as well as from the upcoming season.   

Plays & Players’ goal is  to raise $10,000 to help ensure the theatre’s future and enable it to plan its 2021 season with confidence. The line-up for the new year includes: The Last Five Years, Art, The Shadow Box, and Songs for a New World, plus a few special programming surprises.

Performers scheduled to participate include Megan Balne, Tommy Balne, Andy Bochetter, Evan Brody, Taylor Brody, Abby Brown, Pat DeFusco, Trisha Dennis, Arielle Egan, Amanda Frederick, Nick French, Tami Funkhouser, Jake Gilman, Matt Goodrich, Joe Grasso, DJ Hedgepath, Nicky Intrieri, Andrew Jarema, Ava Kapelus, Allison Korn, Ben Lipitz, Faith McCleery, Christopher McGinnis, Annie Raczko, Jasmine Roosa, John Sayles, Cassidy Scherz, Emma Scherz, Tess Smith, Dave Stavetski, Darryl Thompson, Justin Walsh, Dana Weiss, and Gabrielle Werner.

To register for the livewatch, go HERE. To donate directly, at any time, go HERE or text GIVE to 856-208-7111, or mail a check to Haddonfield Plays & Players, PO Box 145, Haddonfield NJ 08033.

Since 1934, Haddonfield Plays and Players has provided quality community theater at an affordable price to a wide range of Delaware Valley audiences, as well as a creative outlet for non-professionals – all in an atmosphere of personal and social enrichment that is open to all persons with a commitment to non-profit theater.

Highest single-day COVID-19 report

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that ten Haddonfield residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19: two males in their 10s, a male in his 40s, two males in their 50s, and a male in his 70s; a female in her 10s, two females in their 20s, and one female in her 30s.

This brings the total number of cases for Haddonfield to 191, with five fatalities. The increase of ten, from yesterday, is the largest since the first Haddonfield case was reported, on March 20.

The magnitude of the dramatic increase in reported cases since November 12 — 39 in seven days — prompted the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education to issue a joint statement today — HERE — calling on members of the community “to protect our friends, families, and neighbors so that we can all pull through this challenging time.”

Also today, the Haddonfield School District reported one new case: A female in her 310s at the Middle School. (Note: Cases reported by the District typically fall within those reported by the County, though not necessarily on the same date.)

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 16,218, with 588 deaths. For New Jersey, 289,562 cases with 14,843 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,812 probable deaths.

Rates per 1,000 of population are: Haddonfield 16.48; Camden County 31.57; New Jersey 32.94.

The transmission rate in New Jersey — a key metric — now stands at 1.43 (up 0.01 from yesterday). This is the highest it has been for some months, and reflects the situation across the country. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1.0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

A message from the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education

The following message to the community was issued this afternoon (Wednesday, November 18 at 4pm):

Dear Haddonfield residents, business owners, students, and visitors,

We are deeply concerned about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on our entire Borough. We have all experienced hardship in the past nine months and made sacrifices. In addition to the loss of five (5) of our own residents, many have lost loved ones to the virus or witnessed the deterioration of a family member’s health, while others have lost their businesses or sources of income. Months of isolation have become another source of stress and mental health challenges. For those who live with pre-existing conditions that make them especially vulnerable to the virus, the fear of impending illness can also be debilitating. These realities cannot be overstated. 

Unfortunately, the number of cases in the Borough is rising exponentially, and the burden of protecting our Haddonfield residents and neighbors rests with all of us. It is time to come together as a community to help one another stay safe. If we wish to keep our schools and businesses open, we must follow the Governor’s Executive Orders and CDC guidance to remain socially distant, wear masks, practice good hygiene, and stay home when we are sick. Indoor gatherings are not safe right now, nor are large outdoor gatherings. We must be vigilant and proactive in preventing community spread. 

As the holidays approach, we will all continue to be challenged by the realities of COVID-19. Now is the time to work together as a community and lead by example. We must remain apart now, so that we can come together again. There is a vaccine on the horizon, but it is not here yet.  As we await solutions such as the vaccine, it is up to us to protect our friends, families, and neighbors so that we can all pull through this challenging time. 

Sincerely,

The Haddonfield Board of Commissioners

The Haddonfield Board of Education

COVID-19: NJ lowers numbers permitted to gather

In response to a surging second wave of COVID-19 cases, Gov. Phil Murphy has placed new limits on the numbers of people who may gather, both indoors and outdoors.

With some exceptions, the maximum number for indoor gatherings is 10, or 25% of a room’s capacity, whichever number is lower. For outdoor gatherings, the maximum number has been cut from 500 to 150.

Details are HERE.

COVID-19 case total heads higher

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that six Haddonfield residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19: four males in their 10s, a male in his 20s, and a male in his 30s.

This brings the total number of cases for Haddonfield to 181, with five fatalities.

Also today, the Haddonfield School District reported four new cases: A male in his 10s at the Middle School and three males in their 10s at the High School. (Note: Cases reported by the District typically fall within those reported by the County, though not necessarily on the same date.)

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 15,884, with 588 deaths. For New Jersey, 285,519 cases with 14,817 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,801 probable deaths. The number of new deaths reported today — 38 — is the highest daily number for the past four months.

Rates per 1,000 of population are: Haddonfield 15.61; Camden County 30.92; New Jersey 32.48.

The transmission rate in New Jersey — a key metric — now stands at 1.42 (up 0.02 from yesterday). This is the highest it has been for some months, and reflects the situation across the country. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1.0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Public access to School Board meetings to remain virtual only

During its meeting on November 12, the Board of Education announced that it hoped to enable a limited number of members of the public to attend future meetings in person.

However, new restrictions on indoor gatherings announced by Governor Murphy on Monday, November 16, have led the board to reconsider its plan. The board announced today that “[a]lthough certain gatherings are exempt from this restriction, the Board has determined it is best to postpone the inclusion of community members until the Governor lifts these restrictions.”

The board will continue to meet in person. Members of the public may join meetings live, via the district’s YouTube channel, HERE.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 19, at 7:30pm.

COVID-19 cases climb

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that 12 Haddonfield residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, during the past three days (Saturday, Sunday, and today).

Also today, the Haddonfield School District reported four new cases. (Note: Cases reported by the District typically reflect those reported by the County, though not necessarily on the same date.)

Today, the County reported positive tests for a male and a female in their 10s (on Saturday); a male juvenile, a male in his 10s, four females in their 10s, and a male in his 50s (on Sunday); and a male in his 30s, a female in her 40s, and a female in her 50s (today).

This brings the total number of cases for Haddonfield to 175. Within that total, more or less (see note), are 29 cases reported by the School District.

(Note re “more or less” — In at least one case reported by the School District, the person who tested positive was not a resident of Camden County, so would not have been included in the county’s report. Also, county reports for those in their 10s may include teenagers who are no longer in the school system.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 15,784, with 588 deaths. For New Jersey, 281,493 cases with 14,779 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,801 probable deaths.

Rates per 1,000 of population are: Haddonfield 15.09; Camden County 30.73; New Jersey 32.02.

The transmission rate in New Jersey — a key metric — now stands at 1.40. This is the highest it has been for some months, and reflects the situation across the country. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1.0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

New feature: Public school stats for COVID-19

About two weeks after we launched Haddonfield[dot]Today, on March 21, 2020, we added a feature under the COVID-19 header titled “LOCAL STATS.”

We update it most week days, adding any new cases and fatalities reported for Haddonfield, along with numbers for Camden County and New Jersey, for comparison purposes.

Today, as Haddonfield experiences a dramatic rise in the number of cases reported for residents in their 10s, we added a second feature under the COVID-19 header: “PUBLIC SCHOOL STATS.” As with the Local Stats, we will update this feature whenever the stats change.

The School District reported its first case on September 22 — a male juvenile at Central Elementary. Three cases were reported in October, and 25 cases have been reported so far in November.

Faced with these rapidly increasing numbers, the School District pivoted to all-virtual learning on Monday, November 16. Details HERE:

High School pivots to 100% virtual model

Haddonfield Memorial High School will change its instruction model from hybrid (part in-person, part virtual) to full virtual, effective immediately and until Monday, November 30.

Superintendent Chuck Klaus sent the following message to the public school community this afternoon (Sunday, November 15):

“We have had to revisit the decision communicated yesterday as we received information about an additional positive test with no contact tracing to previous cases, several potential positive cases awaiting test results, and staffing concerns. Additional factors are the significantly decreased number of students physically in school due to quarantine and the increased request for full virtual instruction. The educational benefit with significantly more students virtual and fewer students in person also played a key role in this decision. Keeping the safety and wellness of our students and staff as our top priority, we believe implementing the full virtual is the optimum way to proceed.

“Specific details regarding the full virtual schedule, material pick up, and scheduled in-person meetings will be coming from Mrs. McHale.

“This decision was not arrived at easily. We hoped to stay the course and continue to offer in-person instruction; however, it became evident that the best course of action is to address the current spread by taking these precautionary steps. Over the next 14 days we hope to see lower numbers of COVID+ results at HMHS so that we will be able to return to the cohort model on November 30. 

“If the numbers continue to remain at their current level, we will have to reconsider the return date. To that end, it is imperative that our students follow all safety measures while not in school.

Please note: the elementary schools and middle school remain open in the hybrid model.

COVID-19: Six students test positive in two days

Students at Haddonfield’s public schools managed to avoid contracting the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, during the first few months of the pandemic, but things have changed.

The first case — a male juvenile at Central School — was reported to the School District by the Camden County Department of Health on September 22. In October, three cases were reported. So far in November, the total is 14 students and three adults (presumably teachers and/or staff members).

Six students (included in the 14 noted above) were reported yesterday and today alone: Four females in their 10s on Friday (one at the Middle School and three at the High School); and two males in their 10s on Saturday (both at the High School).

In each of its notifications to parents, guardians, and staff, the School District has stated, “Based on currently available information, this individual did not likely contract the virus in school.”

Local, regional COVID-19 cases climb

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that seven Haddonfield residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. This is the largest single-day number since the first Haddonfield case was reported on March 20.

Of the 19 cases reported for Haddonfield so far in November, 18 were reported this week (Sunday 8 thru Friday 13). November’s numbers are on pace to eclipse easily those for September and October (28 each).

Today, the County added four males in their 10s (2), 30s, and 40s; and three females in their 10s, 20s, and 40s. Yesterday, the County added two males (10s, 50s) and two females (10s, 40s). The next report will be issued on Monday.

The Haddonfield School District today advised parents, guardians, and staff that it received notification from the Camden County Department of Health of four new cases: a female in her 40s at the Middle School and three females in their 10s at the High School.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 15,004, with 588 deaths. For New Jersey, 270,383 cases with 14,721 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,801 probable deaths.

Rates per 1,000 of population are: Haddonfield 14.06; Camden County 29.21; New Jersey 30.75.

The transmission rate in New Jersey — a key metric — now stands at 1.32. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1.0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today most weekdays.

In commenting on today’s report, Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. said, “We have to respond to this crisis immediately. In the last four days, we have had more new cases than we had throughout the entire month of September. The one thing we need more than any other public health measure right now is universal mask wearing. This minor inconvenience can literally be the difference between life and death for countless Americans. I know it is hard to accept that we are seemingly sliding backwards and not progressing out of this crisis, but we can make this period less painful by taking every precaution to protect others. Wear a mask, social distance, do not attend indoor gatherings, and work with contact tracers when they call.”

Board of Education election: Write-in votes

In the election on Tuesday, November 3, three candidates ran unopposed for three seats on the Board of Education: Thomas Vecchio, Lynn Howard Hoag, and Heather Paoli.

Some voters favored other candidates, and wrote in one or more of the following names. (The names are published here as posted on the Camden County website, capitals, typos, and all. Example: Caroll Stoner and Carroll Storer.) Some candidates whose names were written in received multiple votes.

  • Aime Franco
  • ALLIE SCANELL
  • Allison Hamblin
  • Amy Austin
  • Amy Crutchfield
  • Amy Goodworth
  • Angela Melzi
  • ANTHONY SEIBERT
  • Beatrice Mangelli
  • BETH GLEMAN
  • Beth Glennon
  • Betsy Brown
  • Bob Marshall
  • Bob Parsons
  • BRENNAN SEIBERT
  • Brian McGary
  • Brian Mistretta
  • Bridget Polse
  • Caroll Stoner
  • Carrie Lacy
  • Carroll Storer
  • Chiara Picitti
  • Christina Schultz
  • Colleen Camperson
  • Craig Kimmel
  • Cynthia Abbett-Gathey
  • Dan Blanchard
  • DAVE Huennergarth
  • David Reader
  • DiVito
  • E. Scott Cooley
  • Elizabeth Ward
  • Ellen M. Stone
  • Ellen Stone
  • Ernest DelDuke
  • Gene Mariano
  • Gene Maviano
  • Gene Maviavo
  • Glenn George
  • GLENN MORAMARCO
  • Greg Gudis
  • Jack Davita
  • Jack Devita
  • Jack Devita, MD
  • Jack J. DeVita
  • Jack Tarditi
  • Jacqueline Miller
  • James Poliero
  • James Zinsky
  • Jason Miller
  • Jennifer Galbogly
  • Jennifer Mangelli
  • Jennifer Menta
  • Jesus
  • Jim Louis
  • JOHN SILVESTRI
  • Joseph Glennon
  • Karinne Linonfr
  • Kevin Camperson
  • Kevin Malearney
  • KYLE ERDNER
  • Laura Jaslow
  • Laura Malcarney
  • Lisa Hurly
  • Lynn Hoag
  • Lynn Santilli
  • Maria Maguire
  • Marsha Marshall
  • Mary Fagan
  • Matt Ritter
  • MATTHEW SAINT
  • Melissa Tatty
  • Melissa Whitcraft
  • Michael Kriet
  • Neil Cummins
  • No confidence
  • Olivia Otto
  • Olivo Otte
  • Patrick Mooney
  • Patty Twitchell
  • Richard A Super
  • Richard Super
  • Robert Little
  • Robert Pincilo
  • Russell B. Miller
  • Sandy Stauss
  • Satwick Seshaei
  • Satwiksesh-asa
  • SEAN SEIBERT
  • Steve Olimpio
  • Thomas Vecchio
  • Tits Mc Sprinkles
  • WILLIAM FONSHELL

.

Celebrate Friendsgiving on November 12

The Partnership for Haddonfield is inviting area residents to “get a jumpstart on your holiday gift list during Friendsgiving – an all-day holiday shopping event – in Downtown Haddonfield on Thursday, November 12, from 11am to 9pm.”


“As a special holiday treat, shops and boutiques will offer previews of this season’s favorite gifts. Enjoy lunch and/or dinner at our restaurants, or stop to taste some wine or beer (bring the food there).”

Hours vary, so check ahead.

Schools report three new COVID-19 cases

The Haddonfield School District today sent notices to parents, guardians, and employees, notifying them that there are three new cases of COVID-19 in Haddonfield’s public schools: a female in her 30s at Elizabeth Haddon Elementary; a male in his 10s at the High School; and a female in her 10s at the Middle School.

These new reports bring to 10 the total number of COVID-19-positive cases reported to the Haddonfield School District by county departments of health.

Previously reported were:

  • September 22 — Male juvenile at Central Elementary
  • October 2 — Male 10s at the Middle School
  • October 9 — Female 10s at the High School
  • October 23 — Male juvenile at Tatem Elementary
  • November 2 — Female 20s at Haddon Elementary (Gloucester County resident, presumed positive)
  • November 7 — Female 20s at Haddon Elementary
  • November 8 — Female 10s at the High School

These reports do not necessarily track day-by-day and case-by-case with reports from the Camden County Department of Health (as posted most weekdays on Haddonfield[dot]Today). For example, the school district may have reported a case a day or so after the county did. Also, when a person is identified by the county as “Male 10s,” for example, that does not necessarily mean that the person is a student in the Haddonfield public schools, or even a student. He could be a 19-year-old graduate.

Today, the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania’s PolicyLab recommended “that in areas with rapidly accelerating transmission rates (such as the Philadelphia region) schools, or families voluntarily, revert students to online learning beginning Nov. 16 until 7-10 days after Thanksgiving. This move to virtual learning should be prioritized for students in middle and high school.” 

The recommendation continued: “It is likely that in the coming weeks, transmission in schools and around school-related activities will contribute to increasing community spread during the height of this crisis.”

Read the full post HERE.

Second HMHS student tests positive for COVID-19

The Haddonfield School District announced this afternoon that second High School student has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. This brings to seven the number of members of the public school community who have contracted the disease.

Superintendent of Schools Chuck Klaus sent the following letter to parents, guardians, and staff today

This letter is to inform you that an individual at Haddonfield Memorial High School has tested positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Contact tracers will be using timelines based on the onset of symptoms and dates of positive test results. If there are individuals identified as close-contacts, whether the contacts happened in school or elsewhere, they will be notified by the district and/or the Camden County Department of Health, most likely within the next 24-48 hours.

Here are all of the details that we are permitted to share at this time:

  • The individual is a female in her 10s in Cohort A.
  • The individual was symptomatic beginning Wednesday, November 4.
  • The individual was tested on November 6 and received notice of a positive COVID test on Sunday, November 8. According to guidelines, there is a “look back” period beginning two days prior to either the administration of a positive test if asymptomatic or two days prior to symptoms with a positive test. In this case, the “look back” is Monday, November 2.
  • Based on currently available information, this individual did not likely contract the virus in school.

The District is coordinating closely with public health officials and following CDC, state, and local health department guidelines in order to assure the health and safety of our community.

Cleaning and disinfecting of all exposed areas are completed daily. The school is also taking extra precautions to prevent the introduction and spread of viruses and other germs and is cleaning frequently touched surfaces daily. The status of this situation is fluid, and we are monitoring it closely.

We understand the level of concern regarding COVID-19. We encourage parents and students to continue following the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention promoted safeguards, such as:

  • Staying home when you are sick;
  • Washing hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds;
  • Covering coughs and sneezes and properly disposing of tissues;
  • Limiting close contact with people who are sick and not sharing food, drinks, and utensils;
  • Practicing social distancing;
  • Wearing a face covering while in school, (additional mask guidance);
  • Continuing to monitor your health for symptoms.

As always, we appreciate our community’s support and cooperation. We have shared all of the information that we are permitted to share publicly at this time. If there is additional information to share, we will do so under the guidance of our medical team and the Camden County Department of Health. You can assist us by remaining vigilant but sensible in your approach to dealing with this health concern. Below are some resources that might be helpful.

RESOURCES
a) NJDOH COVID-19 Information for Communities and the General Public:
https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_community.shtml
b) Get the Facts about Coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
c) Symptoms of COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptomstesting/symptoms.html
d) Testing: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/index.html; https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/testing e) How to Protect Yourself: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-gettingsick/prevention.html
f) What to Do if You Are Sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/stepswhen-sick.html

Fundraiser for former fire chief, crossing guard

A fundraiser to benefit Haddonfield resident George Cox and his family will be held at King’s Road Brewing Company on Monday, November 9 from 4 to 10pm.

George was seriously injured when he fell from a ladder on July 4. His family is now struggling to cover medical and other costs associated with his rehabilitation.

George Cox served as Haddonfield’s fire chief for many years. In retirement, he worked as a crossing guard outside the Central and Middle schools, and would have resumed his post in September, but for the accident. An armed forces veteran, George is a member of the American Legion Post 38. He is also a long-time member of the Rotary Club and the Celebrations Association. His service to our community was recognized in 2017, when he was named Haddonfield’s Citizen of the Year.

For safety and social-distancing reasons, the fundraiser will take place in three shifts:

  • 4 to 5:45pm
  • 6 to 7:45pm
  • 8 to 9:45pm

Seating at King’s Road Brewery will be available both inside and outside. A to-go option is also available.

Tickets, at $40 ($75 per couple), will include one drink ticket, food donated by Denim BYOB, and dessert. To purchase tickets, go HERE.

Those unable to attend may donate online, HERE.

Photo: George Cox (second from left) with his Citizen of the Year 2017 plaque. Also pictured: Bob Stokes (Lions president); Mayor Jeff Kasko; Mayor’s Breakfast master of ceremonies and former mayor, Jack Tarditi.

Local resident wins window contest prize

A local woman who says she has “never won anything in my life” is the winner of the “lucky shopper” part of a Halloween window display contest sponsored by Haddonfield Today.

Leah Pappas of Haddonfield won a Trick-or-Treat bag filled with gift cards contributed by the 19 stores that participated in the contest. Leah voted for the Meserall Vision & Hearing window. She received her prize, valued at $475, from Fred Meserall on Saturday.

Norris Barber Company, located at 53 Kings Highway East, received the most votes in the contest — 130 — and won a full-page color ad in Haddonfield Today. Three other stores each received 100 or more votes:

A total of 676 valid votes were recorded for the 19 participating stores and restaurants.

Update: Board of Education election

The election-night most recent count for the uncontested Haddonfield Board of Education election on November 3, 2020, was updated late on Saturday, November 7..

The new numbers are:

  • Thomas Vecchio 5,285
  • Lynn Howard Hoag 5,299
  • Heather Paoli 5,332
  • Write-In 440

We will report the official count when it becomes available.

In Haddonfield, 1 in 80 now COVID-19 positive

The addition today of a male in his 20s to the list of Haddonfield residents who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus brought the infection rate for our community to 12.50 per 1,000 of population (145 residents out of 11,592*) — or 1 in 80.

Haddonfield has recorded five fatalities.

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today most weekdays.

Norris Barber Co wins window display contest

One of Downtown Haddonfield’s newest businesses has been named the winner of the window display contest sponsored by Haddonfield Today as part of Haddonfield’s Haddyween celebration..

Norris Barber Company, located at 53 Kings Highway East, racked up 135 votes and won a full-page color advertisement in Haddonfield Today.

The runners-up were Haddonfield Theater Arts Center 120 votes, Melange Boutique 117, and Maison Marcellé 100. A total of 676 valid votes were recorded for the 19 participating stores and restaurants.

One lucky shopper has won $475 in gift cards contributed by the participating businesses. The name of the winner is being held until they have been notified by the store they voted for, Meserall Vision & Hearing.

We thank the stores and restaurants that participated in this contest — a first — and the hundreds of shoppers who voted for their favorite window. We’ll do it again next year!

Update: Board of Education election results

CORRECTION (November 7): The post below contains an error. The number of votes for Lynn Howard Hoag should have been reported as 4,553.

A new update (November 8) contains new numbers for all three candidates, and for write-ins.

The election-night vote count for the uncontested Haddonfield Board of Education election on November 3, 2020, has been updated.

The new numbers are:

  • Thomas Vecchio 4,523
  • Lynn Howard Hoag 5,553
  • Heather Paoli 4,577
  • Write-In 346

We will report the official count when it becomes available.

COVID-19: Haddonfield vs other municipalities

The number of COVID-19 cases in a municipality is not particularly meaningful in isolation. Relating the number to the municipality’s population, however, makes fair comparison possible.

For example, the five Camden County municipalities with the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, as of November 3, 2020, are:

  • Camden 3,311
  • Cherry Hill 1,690
  • Gloucester Township 1,338
  • Pennsauken 1,217
  • Winslow Township 915

The municipalities with the highest number of cases, per 1,000 of population, are:

  • Camden 42.81
  • Lindenwold 38.27
  • Woodlynne 37.94
  • Lawnside 34.63
  • Pennsauken 33.91

The five Camden County municipalities with the lowest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases — excluding Pine Valley and Tavistock, both of which have 0 cases — as of November 3, 2020, are:

  • Hi-Nella 6
  • Audubon Park 9
  • Gibbsboro 28
  • Lauren Springs 35
  • Chesilhurst 36

The municipalities with the lowest number of cases, per 1,000 of population, are:

  • Hi-Nella 6.9
  • Audubon Park 8.8
  • Haddon Heights 9.37
  • Magnolia 11.29
  • Haddon Township 11.76

As of November 3, 2020, Haddonfield had 144 confirmed cases of COVID-19. With a rate per thousand of 12.42, it ranked 26th of the 37 municipalities in Camden County. Of the 14 municipalities with a population greater than 10,000, it ranked 13th.

Three local COVID-19 cases; County-wide numbers rise

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that three Haddonfield residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19: a male in his 10s, a female in her 20s, and a male in his 50s. This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 144, with five fatalities.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 12868 (up 348 since Friday), with 580 deaths (no change). For New Jersey, 240,997 cases (up 4,474) with 14,564 confirmed deaths (up 46 since Friday) and an additional 1,793 probable deaths.

Rates per 1,000 of population are: Haddonfield 12.42; Camden County 25.05; New Jersey 27.13.

The transmission rate — a key metric — now stands at 1.28. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1.0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today most weekdays.

In commenting on today’s report, Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. said, “Spread of COVID-19 is continuing to increase, and we are seeing more new cases each week compared to the week before. We need everyone to return to the mindset we had in March. We can stop the spread of coronavirus without shuttering our economy again, but it will take the committed effort of each of us. Do not gather indoors, wear a mask whenever you are around others, maintain social distance at all times possible, and work with our contact tracers when they call. This is going to be another difficult period in this pandemic, but we can lessen its impact if we make the right choices.”

Haddonfield’s tally for October was identical to that for September: 28 cases. In October, however, the larger number of cases was in the 50s and above (10 in October vs 2 in September); the lower number was in the 40s and below (18 in October vs 26 in September).

The numbers recorded for those in their 10s and 20s dropped from a total of 20 (10 and 10 respectively) in September to 14 (7 and 7 respectively) in September. But for those in their 50s, the number increased dramatically, from 1 in September to 7 in October.

Haddonfield’s total of 144 cases is made up of 77 males and 67 females. The largest number of cases are in the 10s and 20s: 27 (11 male, 16 female) and 32 (17 male and 15 female) respectively. The next largest number of cases is in the 50s: 23 (17 males and 6 females).

Haddonfield has recorded only 5 cases for residents in their 80s (1 male, 4 females), and 1 case for residents in their 90s (1 female).

The most recent COVID-19-related death of a Haddonfield resident was reported on September 30.

If you haven’t voted yet …

Question: Are you registered to vote? To check if you are registered, go HERE.

If No. If you are not registered, you cannot vote.

If Yes …

Question: Do you have a ballot?.

If No. If you are registered but do not have a ballot, or if your ballot has been misplaced, torn, or incorrectly marked, you may apply for a replacement ballot in person at the Camden County Board of Elections, Elections and Archive Center, 100 University Court, Blackwood. Open Monday, November 2 from 8:30am to 4:30pm. On Tuesday, November 3 from 6am to 8pm.

If Yes. If you are registered and you have a ballot, you can return it in any one of the following five ways.

Option 1: Mail Ballot

You may mail your ballot to the address on the form. It must be postmarked on or before Tuesday, November 3 and be received by the Camden County Board of Elections on or before Tuesday, November 10.

Option 2: Place Ballot in Drop Box

You may place your ballot in a secure drop box at any of 13 locations in Camden County any time after you receive it, up until 8pm on Tuesday, November 3. (The locations are accessible at all hours, are well lit, and are monitored by video surveillance cameras.)

Drop boxes near Haddonfield:

  • Audubon — Municipal Building, 606 W. Nicholson Road
  • Cherry Hill — Camden County College-Rohrer Campus (rear of parking lot), 1889 Marlton Pike East
  • Cherry Hill — Municipal Building, 820 Mercer Street
  • Haddon Township — Municipal Building, 135 Haddon Avenue

Option 3: Deliver Ballot to the Board of Elections

You may deliver your ballot in person any time before 8pm on Tue Nov 3 to Camden County Board of Elections, Elections and Archive Center, 100 University Court, Blackwood. Open Monday, November 2 from 8:30am to 4:30pm. On Tuesday, November 3 from 6am to 8pm.

Option 4: Deliver Ballot to Your Polling Place

You may take your ballot in person to your polling place between 6am and 8pm on Election Day, Tue Nov 3. 

Option 5: Vote at Your Polling Place

You may vote in person at your polling place between 6am and 8pm on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3

BUT NOTE: You will be provided with a provisional paper ballot and your vote will not be recorded officially until after Election Day and until it has been determined that no other ballot was submitted in your name by mail, drop-off, or in person.

To check your District number and the location of your polling place, go HERE.

  • Districts 1, 3, 5 — Methodist Church
  • Districts 2, 4 — Mabel Kay Senior Center  
  • Districts 6, 7 — Elizabeth Haddon School  
  • Districts 8, 9 — Lutheran Church

Guess the vote … and win!

If at first you don’t succeed … guess again.

By David Hunter, Publisher

In the mid-1980s, my wife and I volunteered to run a booth at the Tatem School Fair. We called it “Guess Again!” and it was based on my memory of fairs at my elementary school – fêtes, we called them – thirty-odd years before. 

A parent would put a piece of string in a glass jar, tighten the lid, and stroll around the school grounds offering a big prize to anyone who guessed the length of the string. My friends and I lined up to pay our money and guess. If we failed, we went to the end of the line to try again. And again. When we decided we’d spent enough on that losing proposition, we moved on, to the parent with a glass jar filled with beans. 

I don’t remember who won any of the big prizes – if, in fact, anybody did – but I do remember that it was a lot of fun. And I remember being impressed by how confident my friends and I were that we would win on our next guess, despite repeated failures.  

In preparing for “Guess Again!” 

at the Tatem Fair, my wife and I saved 

up empty juice bottles for months, and entreated our neighbors to do the same. By the day of the fair we had about 50 bottles filled with loose candy, marbles, sticks of gum, barrettes, toy soldiers, plastic dinosaurs, and the like. 

Kids stood in line to pony up a quarter for three guesses. At each incorrect guess, we would say, encouragingly, “Good try! Guess again!” And, with supreme confidence, the children would – until they ran out of money. 

Occasionally, a contestant would hit the number. Everyone would 

cheer and we’d make a big fuss. We’d write the winner’s name on a card and staple it to the backboard for all the world to see. By the end of the day all of the prizes had been won, and “Guess Again!” had made a lot of money for the fair.

The experience of running “Guess Again!” and of being a contestant at my own school’s fêtes gave me insight into the addictive nature of games of skill and chance. Who among us does not believe, with a lucky penny poised over a brand new scratch-off, that we have a winning ticket? (After all, “Someone’s got to win.”) And who among us, even though our most recent ticket was a “non-winner,” is not willing to try again? 

Which brings us to The Election. 

To help cut the tension a bit, we’re inviting readers to participate in our “2020 Presidential Election Guess the Vote and Win a Chance to Win One Million Dollars!” contest. Simply guess the total number of votes that will be cast by Haddonfield registered voters for the two main candidates:

• Biden = ? • Trump = ? • Total (Biden + Trump) = ?

For this election, Haddonfield has 10,718 registered voters. 

Entering is easy, and free. Go HERE.

The big prize? A New Jersey Lottery “$1,000,000 Riches” ticket. But since your chance of winning a million is about one in a bazillion, we’ll add a $100 gift card to Denim BYOB, in Downtown Haddonfield.

Deadline: Tuesday, November 3, at 8pm. (Sorry, but you don’t get to guess again.)

______________________

RECENT HISTORY: For the 2016 Presidential Election, Haddonfield’s official numbers were: 

• Clinton = 4,458 • Trump = 2,170 • Total (Clinton + Trump) = 6,628. (9,778 registered voters.)

Fine Print: One entry per person age 18 or older. The winner will be the entrant who guesses the closest to the Total, without going over. The tie-breaker will be the number of votes (closest, without going over) for the winning candidate and then, if necessary, the losing candidate. The numbers used to determine the winner will be those posted on the Camden County website, after the dust settles, under “Precinct Canvass By District.”

Last chance to enter Window Display Contest

Voting in the Halloween Window Display Contest, sponsored by Haddonfield Today, will end at 5pm on Sunday (November 1).

The goal of the contest is to help drive foot traffic to the downtown and into stores and restaurants.

The store that gets the most votes will win advertising in Haddonfield Today. But one lucky shopper (voter) will win as well – a Trick-or-Treat bag filled with $475 in gift certificates from the 19 participating businesses:

  • A Little Whimsy 
  • Ahead of the Pack
  • Edible Arrangements
  • Haddonfield Donut Company
  • Haddonfield Fine Jewelers
  • Haddonfield Floral
  • Haddonfield Theater Arts Center
  • Happy Hippo Toys
  • Home on Haddon
  • Inkwood Books
  • Jay West Bridal
  • Maison Marcelle
  • Melange Boutique
  • Meserall Vision and Hearing
  • Mirano’s Barber Shop
  • Norris Barber Company
  • Pizza Crimine
  • Sweet T’s Bakeshop
  • The Paper Trail

Stop by these stores to check out their window displays. Note that some have embraced the “Haddyween” theme by incorporating dinosaurs into their displays.

To vote, scan the QR code on the poster in the windows of participating stores. (Note that you need to be age 18 or older to participate, and that you are limited to one entry per email address.)

Two males (40s, 50s) test positive for COVID-19

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that two Haddonfield residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19: a male in his 40s, and one in his 50s. This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 141, with five fatalities.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 12,520 (up 95 since yesterday), with 580 deaths (up 5). For New Jersey, 236,523 cases (up 1,976) with 14,539 confirmed deaths (up 7) and an additional 1,793 probable deaths.

Rates per 1,000 of population are: Haddonfield 12.16; Camden County 24.37; New Jersey 26.63.

The transmission rate — a key metric — now stands at 1.26. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1.0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today most weekdays.

Two new COVID-19 cases: Juvenile, teen

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that two Haddonfield residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19: a male juvenile, and a male in his 10s. This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 139, with five fatalities.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 12,425, with 575 deaths. For New Jersey, 234,547 cases with 14,539 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,793 probable deaths.

Rates per 1,000 of population are: Haddonfield 11.99; Camden County 24.19; New Jersey 26.40.

The transmission rate — a key metric — now stands at 1.25. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today most weekdays.

Trick-or-Treat signs for residents

The Borough has designed signs that residents can place at the front of their homes to indicate whether they are participating in trick-or-treating of not.

The signs can be downloaded here for printing, and also obtained at the Borough Hall, on the table in front of Room 101.

For the PARTICIPATING sign, click HERE to download.

For the NOT PARTICIPATING sign, click HERE.

Two more stores join window display contest

Haddonfield Donut Company and Jay West Bridal have joined 17 other downtown stores that are participating in the Halloween Window Display Contest sponsored by Haddonfield Today.

The goal of the contest is to help drive foot traffic to the downtown and into stores and restaurants.

The store that gets the most votes by 5pm on Sunday, November 1 will win advertising in Haddonfield Today. But one lucky shopper (voter) will win as well – a Trick-or-Treat bag filled with $475 in gift certificates from the 19 participating businesses:

  • A Little Whimsy 
  • Ahead of the Pack
  • Edible Arrangements
  • Haddonfield Donut Company
  • Haddonfield Fine Jewelers
  • Haddonfield Floral
  • Haddonfield Theater Arts Center
  • Happy Hippo Toys
  • Home on Haddon
  • Inkwood Books
  • Jay West Bridal
  • Maison Marcelle
  • Melange Boutique
  • Meserall Vision and Hearing
  • Mirano’s Barber Shop
  • Norris Barber Company
  • Pizza Crimine
  • Sweet T’s Bakeshop
  • The Paper Trail

Stop by these stores to check out their window displays. Note that some have embraced the “Haddyween” theme by incorporating dinosaurs into their displays.

To vote, scan the QR code on the poster in the windows of participating stores. (Note that you need to be age 18 or older to participate, and that you are limited to one entry per email address.)

Let’s hear it for Haddyween!

OpenSouthJersey.com is publicizing a number of activities in Haddonfield related to Halloween. Locally, the site has branded the initiative, “Haddyween.”

Details on two scavenger hunts may be found on the website – one sponsored by the Historical Society and the other by The Allison Nagle Team at RE/MAX One. Scavenger hunt cards are available to diners at The Bistro, on the corner of Kings Hwy and Tanner.

Families are being encouraged to create scarecrows for their front yards. Information about getting the ingredients may be found on the website, along with details of a planned townwide scarecrow walk.

Through Sunday, November 1, downtown shoppers can vote for their favorite Haddyween window displays. One lucky shopper will win a Trick-or-Treat bag of gift cards contributed by participating businesses. The business that gets the most votes will win free advertising in Haddonfield Today, sponsor of the contest. 

The Happy Hippo has a wide variety of dinosaur-themed toys, and there may even be an appearance by a friendly dinosaur on the corner of Kings Highway and Haddon Avenue. Visit Inkwood Books for dinosaur and Halloween-themed reading fun.

DiBartolo’s new European-style pâtisserie will be baking up something special – stay tuned! 

Photo opportunities for families by the bronze sculpture will be available, including a guest appearance from the artist himself, John Giannotti. At 11am on Saturday, October 31 he will talk about the process of creating the sculpture. 

King’s Road Brewery will feature a Haddy-themed beer for the occasion – “Hadrosaur Hop Giant.” It will be released on Saturday, October 31. Then, when the sun goes down, King’s Road will screen Jurassic Park on the outside wall of their beer garden (weather permitting).

All across town, thru Saturday, October 31, Haddonfield residents and visitors can enjoy the spirit of the holiday with these and other Haddyween happenings.

Female in 50s tests positive for COVID-19

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that a Haddonfield resident — a female in her 50s — has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 136, with five fatalities.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 11,715, with 566 deaths. For New Jersey, 222,193 cases with 14,438 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,789 probable deaths.

Rates per 1,000 of population are: Haddonfield 11.73; Camden County 22.81; New Jersey 25.02.

The transmission rate for New Jersey — a key metric — now stands at 1.13. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today most weekdays.

Three female residents test positive for COVID-19

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that three Haddonfield residents, all females, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19: one is in her 30s and two are in their 50s. This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 135, with five fatalities.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 11,691, with 562 deaths. For New Jersey, 221,205 cases with 14,425 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,789 probable deaths.

Rates per 1,000 of population are: Haddonfield 11.39; Camden County 22.32; New Jersey 24.52.

The transmission rate — a key metric — now stands at 1.14. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today most weekdays.

Vote for favorite Halloween window … and win!

To help drive foot traffic to the downtown and into stores and restaurants, Haddonfield Today is sponsoring a Halloween Window Display Contest thru Sunday, November 1.

To date, 17 stores have signed on as participants. Each contributed a $25 gift card to a Trick-or-Treat bag that one lucky shopper will win on Monday, November 2. Value: $425.

Shoppers age 18 and older can vote by scanning the QR code on posters in the windows of participating stores, and at their cash registers. One entry per email address.

The store that garners the most votes will win a full-page color ad in Haddonfield Today. If the store’s display features dinosaurs – in keeping with the Happy Haddyween theme – it will win an extra half-page ad. 

Check out the windows of these stores, then vote!

  • Ahead of the Pack
  • Edible Arrangements
  • Haddonfield Fine Jewelers 
  • Haddonfield Floral Company 
  • Haddonfield Theater Arts Center
  • The Happy Hippo
  • Home on Haddon 
  • Inkwood Books
  • A Little Whimsey 
  • Maison Marcellé
  • Melange Boutique 
  • Meserall Vision and Hearing 
  • Mirano’s Barber Shop
  • Norris Barber Company
  • The Paper Trail 
  • Pizza Crimine
  • Sweet T’s Bakeshop

Two females (10s, 80s) test positive for COVID-19

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that two Haddonfield residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19: a female in her 10s, and a female in her 80s. This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 132, with five fatalities.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 11,467, with 562 deaths. For New Jersey, 217,804 cases with 14,413 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,789 probable deaths.

Rates per 1,000 of population are: Haddonfield 11.39; Camden County 22.32; New Jersey 24.52.

The transmission rate — a key metric — now stands at 1.18. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today most weekdays.

Bancroft update

The Board of Commissioners released the following statement with respect to the Bancroft property on Wednesday, October 13.

The Board of Commissioners has spent several months communicating with Two Hopkins Lane Urban Renewal, LLC (“2HL”), the designated redeveloper of the Bancroft site, in an effort to spur the productive re-use of the Bancroft site.  2HL has recently submitted site plans for the Bancroft site, seeking approvals to construct a proposed redevelopment project consistent with the terms of the redevelopment plan and redevelopment agreement between the Borough and 2HL.  

The filed site plans (the “2HL Plans”), which are on file within the Community Development Office, are nearly identical to those submitted in 2019. The 2HL Plans will be made public on the Borough website once deemed complete in accordance with applicable land use laws, and may also be obtained by residents via request pursuant to the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”).  Importantly, the 2HL Plans will be subject to multiple public hearings. The 2HL Plans were already under review by the Historic Preservation Commission (“HPC”) back in 2019, when the review process was halted due to litigation. HPC will now convene a sub-committee to re-examine the 2HL Plans this fall. After appearing before HPC and receiving their Certificate of Appropriateness from the Planning Board (“PB”), 2HL will then apply to the PB for site plan and subdivision approvals. The Borough anticipates that the Planning Board will hear the 2HL Plans during the fourth quarter of 2020.

As always, the Board of Commissioners will continue to pursue the productive re-use of the Bancroft site in a manner beneficial to the residents of the Borough, and will provide regular updates to the public moving forward.

The page on the Borough’s website titled “Bancroft Site – Redevelopment Plan” may be accessed HERE.

Another three COVID-19 cases

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that three Haddonfield residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19: males in their 30s, 50s, and 70s. This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 130, with five fatalities.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 11,413, with 562 deaths. For New Jersey, 216,994 cases with 14,408 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,789 probable deaths.

Rates per 1,000 of population are: Haddonfield 10.96; Camden County 22.11; New Jersey 24.32.

The transmission rate — a key metric — now stands at 1.16. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

Four new COVID-19 cases

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that four Haddonfield residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19: a female in her 10s (on October 11), a male in his 20s (October 11), and two females in their 20s October 10 and 11). This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 124, with five fatalities.

The female in her 10s is a student at Haddonfield Memorial High School. The School District advised parents and staff of that news on Saturday. Read Superintendent Klaus’s letter HERE.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 11,308, with 559 deaths. For New Jersey, 215,085 cases with 14,394 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,791 probable deaths.

Rates per 1,000 of population are: Haddonfield 10.70; Camden County 22.01; New Jersey 24.22.

The transmission rate — a key metric — now stands at 1.16. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

HMHS student tests positive for COVID-19

A student at Haddonfield Memorial High School has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The School District was notified of the case late on Friday afternoon, by the Camden County Department of Health.

This morning, Chuck Klaus, the superintendent of schools, sent the following letter to parents, guardians, and staff:

This letter is to inform you that an individual at Haddonfield Memorial High School has tested positive for
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The District received verbal confirmation from the Camden County Department of Health of this positive case at approximately 4:30 PM today. Contact tracers will be using timelines based on the onset of symptoms and dates of positive test results. If there are individuals identified as close-contacts, whether the contacts happened in school or elsewhere, they will be notified by the district and/or the Camden County Department of Health within 24-48 hours.

Here are all of the details that we are permitted to share at this time:
● The student is a female in her 10s (between 10 and 19) in Cohort 1 (A).
● The student was last in school on Tuesday, October 6.
● The student participated in after-school athletics on Monday, October 5 through Thursday, October 8.
● The student is asymptomatic.
● The student received notice of a positive COVID test on Friday, October 9. According to guidelines,
there is a “look back” period beginning two days prior to the onset of symptoms, which in this case is
Wednesday, October 7.
● Based on currently available information, this student did not likely contract the virus in school.

The District is coordinating closely with public health officials and following CDC, state, and local health department
guidelines in order to assure the health and safety of our community.

Cleaning and disinfecting of all exposed areas are completed daily. The school is also taking extra precautions to
prevent the introduction and spread of viruses and other germs and is cleaning frequently touched surfaces daily.
The status of this situation is fluid, and we are monitoring it closely.

We understand the level of concern regarding COVID-19. We encourage parents and students to continue following
the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention promoted safeguards, such as:
● Staying home when you are sick;
● Washing hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds;
● Covering coughs and sneezes and properly disposing of tissues;
● Limiting close contact with people who are sick and not sharing food, drinks, and utensils;
● Practicing social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart);
● Wearing a face covering while in school, (additional mask guidance);
● Continuing to monitor your health for symptoms.

As always, we appreciate our community’s support and cooperation. We have shared all of the information that we are
permitted to share publicly at this time. If there is additional information to share, we will do so under the guidance of our
medical team and the Camden County Department of Health. You can assist us by remaining vigilant but sensible in your
approach to dealing with this health concern. Below are some resources that might be helpful.

RESOURCES
a) NJDOH COVID-19 Information for Communities and the General Public:
https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_community.shtml
b) Get the Facts about Coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
c) Symptoms of COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptomstesting/symptoms.html
d) Testing: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/index.html; https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/testing e) How to Protect Yourself: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-gettingsick/prevention.html
f) What to Do if You Are Sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/stepswhen-sick.html

COVID-19 Update: Camden County stats

The Camden County Department of Health reports new COVID-19 cases and fatalities, and running totals, each weekday.

On Wednesday, October 7, the Department reported 38 new cases, for a total of 10,954. On a worldwide basis, that number places Camden County between Finland 11,049 and Guinea 10,863.

No new fatalities were reported today. The Camden County total stands at 559, placing the county between Nepal 578 and Myanmar 510 on a worldwide basis.

Most deaths reported in Camden County have been associated with long-term care facilities. Of the 559 total fatalities, 340 (60.82%) have been reported from long-term care facilities. The total represents 337 residents and 3 staff.

Cases reported from long-term care facilities total 2,059 — 1,452 residents and 607 staff. That total represents 18.80% of cases county-wide.

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

A prehistoric twist on Halloween

A number of Haddonfield businesses and community organizations are working together to provide local residents and downtown shoppers with a new twist on Halloween, and a fun and safe way to enjoy the holiday.

It’s “Haddyween” and it will offer a variety of activities and events from Saturday, October 10 thru Sunday, November 1. Many will incorporate not only traditional Halloween imagery but also the town’s beloved Hadrosaurus foulkii sculpture, “Haddy.”

Haddyween will kick off on Saturday (October 10) at the Farmers Market, where Haddonfield residents will be able to pick up supplies for making scarecrows. During the following week, members of the Markeim Arts Center will set up scarecrow displays throughout the town, with a goal of having all displays in place by Friday, October 16.

Haddonfield Today will sponsor a window display contest for Haddonfield businesses, from Friday, October 16 thru Sunday, November 1. Downtown shoppers will be able to vote for their favorite Haddyween window display, and one lucky shopper will win a Trick-or-Treat bag of gift cards contributed by participating businesses. The business that gets the most votes will win free advertising in Haddonfield Today.

Two Halloween-themed scavenger hunts are under way, one sponsored by the Historical Society and the other by the Allison Nagle Team of RE/MAX One Realty. Information and materials will available at the Farmers Market on Saturday, October 10, 9am to 12n. Note: This will be the last day of the Farmers Market’s 2020 season.

Toys and Books: Happy HippoToys will have a wide variety of dinosaur-themed toys on display and available for purchase. (Stay tuned for news of an appearance by a friendly dinosaur on the corner of Kings Highway East and Haddon Avenue.) Also, visit Inkwood Books for dinosaur and Halloween-themed reading fun.

DiBartolo’s new European-style patisserie – opening soon right in the center of the downtown — will be baking up something special for Haddyween.

Special photo opportunities for families will be available at the Haddy sculpture throughout the period of the promotion. On October 31, the sculptor himself will be in attendance. From 11am, John Giannotti will share personal stories about the creation of the bronze sculpture.

King’s Road Brewery will feature a Haddy-themed beer for the occasion. “Hadrosaur Hop Giant” will be released on Saturday, October 31. After the sun goes down, King’s Road will screen Jurassic Park on the wall of their outdoor beer garden (weather permitting).

Haunted Haddonfield Tours: A local authority on haunting and the haunted will lead the Historical Society’s Haunted Haddonfield Tours this October. Bill Meehan will conduct tours on Fridays, October 16, 23, and 30 and Saturdays, October 17, 24, and 31. A rain date is planned for Sunday, November 1. Tickets are $15 ( $10 for children 12 and under). Proceeds benefit both the Historical Society and the Public Library. Tickets must be purchased online, HERE.  

Learn more about Haddyween and other fun events at Open South Jersey.

Two new COVID-19 cases

The Camden County Department of Health reported two new COVID-19 cases late last week for Haddonfield residents: a male in his 20s (October 1), and a female in her 20s (October 2). This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 118, with five fatalities. The latest fatality was reported on September 30, a female in her 70s.

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

One new COVID-19 case today

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that a Haddonfield resident has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19: a male in his 20s. This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 117, with five fatalities.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 10,721, with 555 deaths. For New Jersey, 205,889 cases with 14,340 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,787 probable deaths.

The transmission rate — a key metric — now stands at 1.16. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

COVID-19: Another Haddonfield resident succumbs

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that a female Haddonfield resident in her 70s has succumbed to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The total number of deaths locally now stands at five — three males and two females.

The number of cases reported for Haddonfield residents is 116 — 64 males and 52 females. One person in 100 in Haddonfield now has been confirmed positive for COVID-19. (116 out of 11,592*), a milestones reached yesterday (September 29) when a male in his 10s was added to the list of Haddonfield residents who have tested positive.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 10,674, with 555 deaths. For New Jersey, 205,275 cases with 14,335 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,787 probable deaths.

The transmission rate — a key metric — rose today to 1.15, down from 1.139 yesterday. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

  • 2010 Census

In Haddonfield, one in 100 are COVID-19-positive

The addition today of a male in his 10s to the list of Haddonfield residents who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus brought the infection rate for our community to 10.00 per 1,000 of population (116 residents out of 11,592*) — or 1 in 100.

September has seen that highest number of cases, per month, since the Camden County Department of Health listed Haddonfield’s first case — a male in his 40s — on March 20. With one day left in September, this month’s tally stands at 27 — 23% of the six-month total.

Haddonfield has recorded four fatalities.

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

  • 2010 Census

Ambulance Association launches fund drive

The Haddonfield Ambulance Association has served our community, around the clock, for 82 years.

Staffed by two NJ state-certified emergency medical technicians. the Ambulance responded to more than 1,000 calls in 2019 – an average of three a day.

The Association launched its Annual Fund Drive recently, seeking financial support from the community to help pay for medical supplies, training, equipment, and, when required, the purchase of a new vehicle.

Donations are tax-deductible, and may be mailed to Haddonfield Ambulance Association, 15 N. Haddon Avenue, Haddonfield NJ 08033. An online option is available, via PayPal, at haddonfieldambulance.org.

First Baptist to open for in-person worship

The First Baptist Church of Haddonfield is planning to reopen for worship on Sunday, October 4, with an in-person service at 11am.

All wishing to enter must pass through a no-contact temperature checkpoint at the entrance to the building (the ramp doors), complete a health check, and apply hand sanitizer. Face masks must be worn at all times.

The only open areas will be the sanctuary, Middleton Room, rear hall, main floor powder room, and Skylight Room.

Certain pews will be roped off to maintain social distancing. Worshipers may sit with in family group. Children must remain seated in the sanctuary with their families at all times and must be masked.

Pew cushions and upholstered pieces have been removed. Those who need a cushion should bring their own, but must take it when they leave.

Bibles and hymnals have been removed. Bulletins with the Order of Service will be preset in the available pews. Pre-packaged communion sets will be in the pews on Communion Sundays. Offering plates will not be passed during the service; there will be a receiving box for offering envelopes in the rear of the sanctuary.

There will be no fellowship hour.

Those planning to attend are asked to check email as the date approaches to confirm arrangements, or call 856-429-2326 and for a voicemail message.

The building will be closed after the Sunday service, cleaned, and remain closed for the remainder of the week.

COVID-19 fatalities: Adjusted

On September 21, the Camden County Department of Health announced a downward adjustment to the number of Haddonfield fatalities, from 7 to 4. The change was part of a county-wide adjustment, made as 27 out-of-jurisdiction and “possible” cases were removed from the tally. No further information was available at that time.

Details of the adjustment are now known.

Previous

  • 40s — 1 female
  • 50s — 1 male
  • 70s — 1 male
  • 80s — 1 male, 1 female
  • 90s — 1 male, 1 female

Adjusted

  • 40s — 1 female
  • 70s — 1 male
  • 80s — 1 male
  • 90s — 1 male

COVID-19: Three new cases

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that three Haddonfield residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19: a male in his 50s (on September 26), a male in his 20s (September 27), and a female in her 80s (today). This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 115, with four fatalities.

(Recap: This time last week, the Health Department announced a downward adjustment to the number of Haddonfield fatalities, from 7 to 4. The change was part of a county-wide adjustment, made as 27 out-of-jurisdiction and “possible” cases were removed from the tally.)

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 10,636, with 552 deaths. For New Jersey, 204,107 cases with 14,316 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,791 probable deaths.

The transmission rate — a key metric — now stands at 1.12. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

Newcomers kick off new season

The Haddonfield Newcomers Club will kick off its 2020-21 season with two outdoor, socially distanced barre classes for club members on Friday, September 25 at 5pm and Sunday, September 27 at 9am

The classes, to be conducted by Barre3 Cherry Hill, will be held at 70 Lane of Acres, Haddonfield.

The Haddonfield Newcomers Club is open to residents of the borough, and the barre classes are open to all experience levels.

To register for Friday, go HERE.

For Sunday, go HERE.

Ethics complaint filed against Commissioner Kasko

Five Haddonfield residents have filed an ethics complaint against Commissioner Jeffrey S. Kasko.

The complaint alleges that as he was being arrested, following an incident outside his home in February 2019, Kasko improperly “attempted to use his official position as elected commissioner to secure more favorable treatment from the Haddonfield Police Department” by asking an officer at the scene to allow him to speak with the police chief.

The complaint, which was filed with the Local Finance Board, claims Kasko’s request violated a state law that prohibits the use of an official position to secure “unwarranted privileges or advantages.” The board is part of the NJ Department of Community Affairs. Kasko is Haddonfield’s Commissioner of Revenue & Finance, and serves also as deputy mayor.

Among those filing the complaint were two former mayors, John J. Tatditi Jr. and Letitia G. Colombi.

The five residents allege that Kasko made “a clear attempt to utilize his position as an elected official in an attempt to obtain from the chief more lenient treatment than he was receiving from [a police officer at the scene].”

Kasko was charged with ten offenses, among them aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage. After being arrested, he was taken to Camden County Jail and was held overnight. In May 2010 he was admitted to a pretrial intervention program.

COVID-19: Cases up (5); fatalities down (3)

Today was an unusual day, number-wise, for COVID-19 in Haddonfield.

The Camden County Department of Health reported that five Haddonfield residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus: four on Saturday and one today. On Saturday: a male juvenile, two females in their 10s, and a female in her 20s; today: a female in her 10s. This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 111 — 9.58 cases per 1,000 of population.

At the same time, the Department announced a downward adjustment to the number of Haddonfield fatalities, from 7 to 4. The change was part of a county-wide adjustment, made as 27 out-of-jurisdiction and “possible” cases were removed from the tally.

In a statement accompanying the announcement, the County noted, “Patient information provided at the time of their passing is often incomplete and/or inaccurate. The Health Department investigates every suspected death caused by COVID-19 for accuracy after it has been reported. Over the course of these investigations, the Department has updated inaccurate records so that they contain correct, up-to-date information. As a result of these efforts, the breakdown of deaths per municipality has changed.”

For Camden County, the total number of cases now stands at 10,451, with 547 fatalities. The number of cases represents 20.35 per 1,000 of population.

New Jersey passed a milestone today, as the number of cases rose to 200,154 — 22.53 per 1,000 of population. The number of deaths stands at 14,274, with another 1,791 suspected.

The transmission rate for New Jersey — a key metric — rose today to 1.12, up from 1.07 last Thursday. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

Female resident in 70s has COVID-19

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that a Haddonfield resident — a female in her 70s — has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 106, with seven fatalities.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 10,307, with 574 deaths. For New Jersey, 198,361 cases with 14,266 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,791 probable deaths.

The transmission rate — a key metric — rose today to 1.07, up from 1.06 yesterday. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

Shopper rewards: Two days left

Shoppers will be rewarded with some extra “green” for shopping and supporting small businesses and food/beverage establishments in Downtown Haddonfield, through Friday, September 18.

Shoppers who visit the Downtown for in-store shopping and in-person dining this week can email a copy of their original dated receipts from their purchases — September 14 thru 18 — to the Information Center at infocenter@haddonfieldnj.org to receive 20% back (up to $100) on total dollars spent, in the form of a Haddonfield gift certificate mailed to their homes. All receipts must be redeemed via email on or before Wednesday, September 23.

“This is our way of showing our community how grateful we are for their ongoing support of our shops and restaurants, especially during this year,” explained Remi Fortunato, Partnership for Haddonfield Retail Recruiter.

There is a limit of one offer per person, so the Downtown encourages everyone to send all of their receipts in one email. This offer has no cash value and is not valid for online sales. Participants must be age 18 or older. Reward gift certificates can be used town-wide until October 10, 2020.

Downtown Haddonfield has continually been promoting ways for everyone to shop and dine safely, via the “Haddonfield Cares” campaign, which focuses on the importance of wearing masks while in the Downtown, practicing social distancing, and frequent hand sanitizing.

COVID-19: Teens drive numbers up

The Camden County Department of Health reported three new COVID-19 cases for Haddonfield today, all females age 10 to 19.

There are now more cases in the 10s since July 1 than in any other age bracket. The 20s have the most cases overall, however, with 22 since the first Haddonfield case was recorded, on March 20.

The total number of local cases now stands at 105, with seven fatalities.

For Camden County, the total number of cases is 10,230. The number of deaths remains at 569. For New Jersey, 197,404 cases with 14,254 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,789 probable deaths.

The transmission rate — a key metric — remained steady today, at 1.06. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

Haddonfield tops 100 COVID-19 cases

The number of Haddonfield residents who have contracted the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, topped the 100 mark today, after the Camden County Department of Health reported three cases: a female age 10 to 19 and two males in their 20s.

The total number of local cases now stands at 102, with seven fatalities.

For Camden County, the total number of cases is 10,200. One death was added to the tally today, for a total of 569. For New Jersey, 196,968 cases with 14,245 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,789 probable deaths.

The transmission rate — a key metric — dropped slightly today, to 1.06. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

A “thank you” to school custodians

The Haddonfield School District posted this “thank you” on its Facebook page today:

UNSUNG HEROES PART I

It is of paramount importance that we take some time to thank the unsung heroes of the last 10 days.

We had a successful opening that enabled us to get our students back in school for the first time in six months. Tim McFerren (Director of Facilities) and his crew along with Lisa Chadwell and the Prichard (custodial) staff worked frantically, efficiently, and effectively to get the schools ready. They had to be problem-solvers, focused and forward-thinking, as they anticipated issues that might arise. They worked long hours and came in on days off to make sure that the buildings were ready. This often back-breaking work made it possible for teachers and students to walk into safe and clean buildings.

We heartily thank Tim and his team of Kenny Lambert, Rick Sparks, William Fisher, Klaus Henkel, Stephen Kocher, Jeff Lee, Matt Soulliard, Rob Wisnewski, Steve Hale, Patrick Mickles, and Merced Valenzuela.

Job well done!

One new COVID-19 case: Female in 20s

The Camden County Department of Health reported on Friday that a Haddonfield resident — a female in her 20s — has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 99, with seven fatalities.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 10,104, with 568 deaths. For New Jersey, 196,337 cases with 14,238 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,789 probable deaths.

The transmission rate — a key metric — dropped today to 1.07, down from 1.09 on Friday. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

COVID-19: Haddonfield nears 100 cases; County tops 10,000

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that three Haddonfield residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19: a female in her 40s (September 5), a male in his 30s (September 6), and a male in his 20s (today). This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 98, with seven fatalities.

In Camden County, the total number of cases passed the 10,000 mark today, and stands now at 10,013. Two deaths were added to the tally today, for a total of 568. For New Jersey, 194,667 cases with 14,213 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,783 probable deaths.

The transmission rate — a key metric — rose today to 1.10. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

Board of Ed says “thank you”

This message, from the Board of Education, was posted on Monday, September 7.


As the sun sets on the Summer of 2020, we wanted to take a moment to recognize our staff who have
been on the job under extraordinary uncertainty to plan for this very different school year.

Simply put, our administrators completed a staggering amount of work to prepare for the many possible
eventualities as months flew by and the guidance repeatedly changed. They worked into the nights and
over weekends, postponing personal time to ensure that our system would be as close to ready for
tomorrow as possible.


We would also like to recognize our teachers and staff who were integral to the process of finding
solutions and paths forward. Our fine educators make the crucial leap from planning to engaging our
children with the highest level of integrity.


Tomorrow we will open schools in a new and unprecedented way. Some changes will be inconvenient
and difficult, others will result in a new way to view education and may result in wonderful
advancements for our future.

Please take a moment to say thank you to your teachers and administrators for being ready for this
challenge, and let’s start this extraordinary school year …

  • with a positive attitude,
  • with a growth mindset,
  • with appreciation,
  • and with patience.


Good luck to all in the 2020-21 school year.

COVID-19 stats for Haddonfield

Key statistics as of September 2, 2020

  • * 2010 Census
  • ** Date reported by Camden County Department of Health

CASES = 92

  • Haddonfield (92 / 11,592*) = 7.94 cases per 1,000 of population
  • 30th out of 37 municipalities in Camden County
  • 14th out of 14 municipalities with population greater than 10,000
  • _____________
  • Camden County (9,836 / 513,657*) = 19.15
  • New Jersey (192,973 / 8,882,190*) = 21.73
  • _____________
  • Juveniles — 1 ( 1 female)
  • 10s — 11 (7 males, 4 females)
  • 20s — 16 (9 males, 7 females)
  • 30s — 12 (5 males, 7 females)
  • 40s — 14 (8 males, 6 females)
  • 50s — 15 (12 males, 3 females)
  • 60s — 7 (2 males, 5 females)
  • 70s — 5 (5 males)
  • 80s — 3 (3 females)
  • 90s — 1 (1 female)
  • Unknown ages — 7 (6 males, 1 female)
  • _____________
  • March 20, 2020** — First case (male in his 40s)
  • July 2, 2020** — First teen case (male)
  • September 1, 2020** — First juvenile case (female)

DEATHS = 7

  • April 18, 2020** — Male in his 80s; Female in her 80s (Marlayne Elise Ances, 88, on April 16)
  • May 4** — Male in his 50s; Male in his 90s
  • May 27** — Female in her 90s
  • June 17** — Male in his 70s
  • August 21** — Female in her 40s (Lynn J. Hensel, 41, on August 19)

Three new COVID-19 cases in Haddonfield

The Camden County Department of Health reported yesterday that three Haddonfield residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19: a male in his 10s, a male in his 20s, and a male in his 30s. This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 92, with seven fatalities.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 9,836, with 564 deaths. For New Jersey, 192,595 cases with 14,181 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,783 probable deaths.

The transmission rate — a key metric — rose yesterday to 0.96, up from 0.92 on Tuesday. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

First juvenile case of COVID-19 reported

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that another Haddonfield resident, a female younger than 10, has contracted the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. This is the first juvenile case reported for Haddonfield, and it brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 89, with seven fatalities.

The first teen case in Haddonfield was reported on July 2 — 15 weeks after Haddonfield’s first COVID-19 case. Since July 2, a ten teens have tested positive: 6 males and 4 females. During the same period, only two residents older than 60 have been added to Haddonfield’s tally of cases.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 9,810, with 564 deaths. For New Jersey, 192,290 cases with 14,170 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,780 probable deaths.

The transmission rate — a key metric — rose today to 0.92, up from 0.90 on Monday. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

Message from Superintendent Klaus

I would like to first welcome all families, students and teachers to the 2020-21 school year at Haddonfield School District.
We are now a week away from our return to school for the fall of 2020. It would certainly be an understatement to say this is a different opening than those we have experienced in the past.

I am sure all of us could rattle off a litany of differences as well as things we wish were different! Notably, some of these challenges have required our administration team and teacher leaders to spend countless summer hours to develop, revise, publish, and republish our return to school model.

Sometimes I feel as though we have spent the last six months talking about the changes caused by the “new normal,” but today I’d like to take a moment to look at how many things are still the same.

As a school district, we continue to uphold our commitment to providing high-quality education to your children. We maintain high expectations for our students, teachers, and administrators. We anticipate a year that – in spite of opening with 50% capacity – will close with all of our students in school all day. These are our goals, and we believe that a prudent start will help us to achieve them.

As in every summer, a great deal of focus was placed on growth and improvement. What may have gotten lost in the shuffle this summer are the many accomplishments of the last 10 weeks not connected to COVID-19.

  • Curriculum has been rewritten and revised. HSD continually invests in improving and modifying curriculum in all areas. Among other revisions, two main areas of focus are improving the middle school Gifted and Talented program and adding mandated LGBTQIA+ standards. Additionally, we invested a great deal of work in designing professional development specifically connected to distance and virtual instruction based on what we learned in the spring.
  • The vestibule projects at Elizabeth Haddon and J.F. Tatem Elementary Schools are 95% complete and 100% functional. We are waiting for delivery of a few final items before we can call them complete.
  • Cameras have been installed in the interior and exterior of all district buildings. This adds an additional level of safety.
  • With the help of the Haddonfield Educational Trust, the area behind the stadium has been upgraded. What was once an expanse of blacktop is now a showpiece for spectators to experience at school events.
  • Work has started on a new air-handling unit tower at the high school. Connected to this project will be the addition of an outdoor classroom and a garden seating area providing an outdoor extension to the cafeteria.

We also continue to work on our three strategic plans. We will nurture our students and teachers by providing social-emotional training and support. We will continue to empower by investing time and training into innovative teaching strategies and learning environments. Finally we work to inspire everyone to embrace cultural competency and pursue social justice as we build on lessons learned at our June Town Hall meeting. The target date for our next open forum is early October.

Last, please take a look at our website. If you have any questions at any time during the school year, please look at the top middle of the web page under “Contact Us” where there is an “Ask a Question” tab that you simply click on and ask us any question(s) you wish. We will get you an answer as quickly as we can. Have a wonderful school year, everyone. Welcome back!

Another teen tests positive for COVID-19

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that a Haddonfield resident, a male age 10 to 19, has contracted the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases for Haddonfield to 88, with seven fatalities.

The first teen case in Haddonfield was reported on July 2 — 15 weeks after Haddonfield’s first COVID-19 case. Since July 2, a ten teens have tested positive: 6 males and 4 females. During the same period, only two residents older than 60 have been added to Haddonfield’s tally of cases.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 9,787, with 562 deaths. For New Jersey, 191,960 cases with 14,165 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,780 probable deaths.

The transmission rate — a key metric — rose today to 0.90, up from 0.77 on Friday. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

Fall Ball

Haddonfield Little League has opened registration for Fall Ball, in three divisions:

Kid/Coach Pitch

  • Learning to Pitch from the Mound at 46 Feet
  • Focusing on: Situational Baseball, Defensive Outs, Proper Base-Running

Minor League 

  • 100% Kid Pitch
  • Catcher Skill Development
  • Pace of Play to Complete 6 Innings

Major League

  • 50-70 Field Dimensions: Pitching Mound at 50 Feet, 70 Feet Between Bases
  • Stealing with Leads, Pitcher Balks, Same Way MLB Plays!

All games will be in Haddonfield.

Registration is open HERE through Monday, September 7 (Labor Day).

Blood Drive: September 3

Grace Church will host a Red Cross blood drive on Thursday, September 3, from 2 to 7pm.

To make an appointment, go HERE, or call 800-733-2767.

As a “thank you,” those donating blood will be given a $5 Amazon gift card.

Two new COVID-19 cases

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that two Haddonfield residents — a male in his 20s and a male in his 30s — have contracted the coronavirus, COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases for Haddonfield to 87, with seven fatalities.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 9,673, with 558 deaths. For New Jersey, 190,613 cases with 14,141 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,780 probable deaths.

The transmission rate in New Jersey has dropped to 0.78. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

COVID-19: One new case

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that another Haddonfield resident, a female in her 50s, has contracted the coronavirus, COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases for Haddonfield to 85, with seven fatalities. The most recent fatality was reported last week — a female in her 40s.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 9,620, with 554 deaths. For New Jersey, 190,021 cases with 14,124 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,829 probable deaths.

The transmission rate — a key metric — is headed in the right direction. Today, it dropped to 0.83, from 0.85 yesterday. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

One new COVID-19 case; NJ transmission rate down

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that another Haddonfield resident, a female in her 30s, has contracted the coronavirus, COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases for Haddonfield to 84, with seven fatalities. The most recent fatality was reported last week — a female in her 40s.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 9,603, with 554 deaths. For New Jersey, 189,719 cases with 14,120 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,829 probable deaths.

The transmission rate — a key metric — is headed in the right direction. Today, it dropped to 0.85, from 1.04 on Friday. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

New business open; others move, expand

“While 2020 hasn’t quite turned out the way we anticipated,” the Partnership for Haddonfield noted in a recent news release, “it has not stopped businesses from locating and expanding in Downtown Haddonfield.”

The Partnership’s retail recruiter, Remi Fortunato, commented: “Earlier this year, we welcomed new businesses and expansions of current businesses in our Downtown. I am thrilled to announce that, even with the challenges of 2020, we are continuing to see new businesses choose Downtown Haddonfield as their home and some of our existing tenants announce the expansion of their spaces.”

The Partnership, which is the management corporation for the Haddonfield’s business improvement district, provided the following list of businesses that are new (some yet to open), have moved to new locations, or have expanded at their existing locations.

NEW

A Little Whimsy 136 Kings Highway East — A children’s boutique.

A Pair of Jacks Collectibles 9 South Haddon Avenue — Offering antiques and collectibles – something for everyone! www.pairofjackscollectibles.com

All Smoke and Mirrors Hair Studio 69 Ellis Street — One of Downtown Haddonfield’s newest self-care salons.

BodyBlast Personal Training 7 North Haddon Avenue — BodyBlast Personal Training gives clients the right mix of strength, power, and functional training to achieve a specific goal. Even while you’re stuck at home, you can get BodyBlast Personal Training’s easy-to-follow training and nutrition programs and online coaching. www.bodyblast.net

Button Shy Games 6½ Kings Highway East — Button Shy is an independent, family-owned, small publisher of wallet games that does things a little bit differently. www.buttonshygames.com

The Creative Shutter Photography 138 Kings Highway East, Suite 103 — Specializing in family, children’s portraits, custom cake smashes, engagement, weddings, and boudoir. www.thecreativeshutter.com

Crepe N Shake 472 North Haddon Avenue — Delicious crepes and shakes are making their way to Downtown Haddonfield!

Crust N’ Fire 51 Kings Highway East — Offering authentic brick oven pizza, burgers, salads, health bowls, and more! www.crustnfirepizzamtlaurel.com

Diana Alexis Dance Academy 421 North Haddon Avenue — Providing instruction on current styles of dance along with the classical training that is needed to thrive as a dancer. Also offering a variety of ballet classes for every level. www.dianaalexisdanceacademy.com

DiBartolo Bakery 115 Kings Highway East — DiBartolo Bakery, founded in 1969, serves the finest cakes & pastries while specializing in modern cake creations, and delivers old-school customer service. They also offer a full line of gluten-free and nut-free products. www.dibartolobakery.com

Endless Smiles Photography 12 South Haddon Avenue — Portrait photography studio specializing in newborn, maternity, first birthday, family, and milestone sessions. www.endlesssmilesphotographysj.com

Mia’s Meals Falafel Bar 3 South Haddon Avenue — Mia’s Meals is a home-based meal prep service.

Morgan’s Cookie Crush 123 Kings Highway East — Discover a love for cookies at this new food/beverage boutique! www.morganscookiecrush.com

Norris Barber Company 53 Kings Highway East — Offering a line of clothing, accessories, jewelry, hair and beard products, home décor, and of course, haircuts and straight shaves. www.norrisbarbercompany.com

Pizza Crimine 139 Kings Highway East — Pizza this good should be a crime! www.facebook.com/PizzaCrime

Sugarlove Studio 40 Tanner Street, Suite 1 — Photography studio specializing in newborns and mamas-to-be, as well as children and families. Work can be done either in Downtown Haddonfield studio or on location using natural light. www.sugarlovestudio.com

William Heritage Winery Tasting Room 127 Kings Highway East — Wine tasting room offering an intimate version of the William Heritage Winery estate tasting room. The entire portfolio of award-winning wines will be available for purchase on location. www.heritagewinenj.com

The Bread Board Plus (Expanding) 605 North Haddon Avenue, Suites A, B, C — Proudly serving Haddonfield for 35 years, The Bread Board Plus is expanding! A charming café offering cold and hot sub sandwiches plus all-you-can-eat soup and salad bar. The family-friendly shop will now occupy Suites A, B, and now C at its location on Haddon Avenue. www.breadboardplus.com

NEW LOCATION

Haddonfield Theater Arts Center 33 Kings Highway East — With the need for social distancing, Haddonfield Theater Arts Center is going to necessary lengths to ensure the safety of its students and staff, and thus will be expanding to a larger location within the Downtown for this upcoming season. www.haddonfieldtheaterartscenter.com

Inkwood Books 106 Kings Highway East — Downtown Haddonfield’s full-service, independent seller of new books has moved across the street to an expanded location. Offering online orders with choice of curbside pickup or delivery. www.inkwoodnj.com

Meraki Market 140 Kings Highway East — Offering affordable and unique home decor, gifts, plants, and crystals. Design services also available.

The Nail Café 413 North Haddon Avenue — The Nail Café moved to a new location on Haddon Avenue in Downtown Haddonfield!

EXPANDING AT EXISTING LOCATION

Garaguso Classical Martial Arts 16 North Haddon Avenue — Haddonfield’s premier classical martial arts academy is expanding! www.garaguso-karate.com

In The Kitchen Cooking School 10 Mechanic Street — In its original location, In The Kitchen now offers event rental space, and incubator space for small business start-ups.

Valente’s Cucina 7 Kings Court — Valente’s Italian Specialties is transforming from an Italian market into an Italian Restaurant – Valente’s Cucina. Still in its original location, Valente’s Cucina will be transforming into a BYOB restaurant offering outdoor dining. www.valentescucina.com

The Partnership for Haddonfield thanks all who have shown support to the businesses by shopping online, purchasing online gift certificates, taking part in virtual experience classes, or choosing curbside pick-up, take-out or delivery from our business establishments. 

For more information visit www.downtownhaddonfield.com.

One new COVID-19 fatality; one new case

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that a Haddonfield resident, a woman in her 40s, has died from complications related to the coronavirus. In addition, a male in his 70s has tested positive.

This brings the total number of Haddonfield fatalities to seven. A total of 83 residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

For Camden County’s 37 municipalities, the total is 554 deaths and 9,539 cases. For New Jersey: 14,112 deaths and 188,817 cases.

[The statistics above are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day, under the COVID-19 header.]

Voting Info: Register to vote

To check if you are already registered to vote in New Jersey, go HERE.

To register to vote in New Jersey, you must:

  • Be a United States citizen.
  • Be at least 17 years old, though you may not vote until you have reached the age of 18.
  • Be a resident of the county for 30 days before the election.
  • Be a person not serving a sentence of incarceration as the result of a conviction of any indictable offense under the laws of New Jersey or another state or of the United States.
  • Complete a Voter Registration Application and/or Party Affiliation Form, available HERE. The form also is available in Room 101 of the Borough Hall, 242 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield.

Completed forms may be submitted to the Borough Clerk at the Borough Hall or mailed or delivered to the Camden County Board of Elections, Elections and Archive Center, 100 University Court, Blackwood NJ  08012. Regular hours: Weekdays from 8:30am to 4:30pm.

The deadline to register to vote for the General Election on Tuesday, November 3 is Tuesday, October 13. (The Camden County Board of Elections will remain open later than its regular 4:30pm closing time on that date.)

Library board to meet

The Haddonfield Public Library’s board of trustees will meet via Zoom at 8am on Tuesday, August 25, 2020.

To join via Zoom, register HERE.

To watch on the Library’s YouTube channel, go HERE at the appointed time. Questions can be asked via the Chat feature.

School Board to discuss opening procedures

Two new policies covering procedures necessary for the opening of schools for the 2020-21 school year will be discussed and potentially approved during two meetings of the Board of Education, on Thursday, August 28 and Thursday, September 3.

Each meeting will begin at 7pm and may be attended virtually on the School District’s YouTube channel … HERE.

Time will be provided for comments and questions from members of the public.

Two new COVID-19 cases

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that two Haddonfield residents — a male in his 50s and a female in her 30s — have contracted the coronavirus, COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases for Haddonfield to 82, with six fatalities.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 9,488, with 552 deaths. For New Jersey, 188,427 cases with 14,097 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,829 probable deaths.

The transmission rate in New Jersey — 1.06 — remains above the key threshold of 1.0. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

Conversation on affordable housing

The Borough Commissioners will host a conversation on affordable housing and what it means in our community on Monday, August 24, 2020 at 7pm.

To register on Zoom in advance, go HERE.

Meeting ID: 825 1860 9356

Passcode: 029134

Unclaimed bicycles up for bid

The Borough will conduct an auction of abandoned, unclaimed bicycles on Saturday, October 17.

The auction will take place at the Public Works facility, 555 Centre Street.

Items to be auctioned may be inspected from 8am, for one hour. The auction will begin at 9am.

Commissioners introduce 2020 budget

During their regular meeting on August 17, 2020, the Borough commissioners introduced the municipal budget for 2020.

The budget proposes total expenditure of $19,181,684.00, of which $12,232,816 will be raised through property taxes. The proposed local purpose tax rate is 0.5284 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation.

For the owner of a property assessed at the borough average of $ 488,481, local purpose taxes will be $2,581, an increase of $26 over last year’s taxes.

Two other examples:

  • Property value = $ 244,241. Taxes = $ 1,291. Increase = $14.
  • Property value = $ 732,722. Taxes = $ 3,872. Increase = $40.

Local purpose (municipal) taxes represent a little over 17% of the total property tax bill.

Apart from employee salaries, benefits, and pension payments ($8,634,733), which make up 47% of the budget, the largest expenditures include stormwater improvements ($2,995,000) and the Borough’s annual road program ($2,240,000).

The Budget Recapitulation document is available HERE.

A public hearing on the budget will be held during the Commissioners’ regular meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, after which the Commissioners may vote to adopt.

Zoning Board to meet

The Haddonfield Zoning Board of Adjustment will meet, courtesy of Zoom, on Tuesday, August 18 at 7:30pm.

You can join the meeting HERE.

The meeting ID is 860 6229 8883.

Password: 626524

Access the agenda HERE.

Commissioners to meet

The Borough commissioners will hold a regular work session on Monday, August 17 at 4pm.

To attend virtually, register in advance HERE. Access the agenda HERE.

They will hold a regular meeting on Monday, August 17 at 7pm. The agenda will include the annual municipal budget.

To attend virtually, register in advance HERE. Access the agenda HERE.

Villa Rosa to close

The owners of Villa Rosa Italian Restaurant at 51 Kings Highway East announced on Friday (August 14) that they will close their business on Sunday.

The restaurant operated at the top end of Kings Highway, adjacent to the Speedline, for several decades, before moving to its present location two years ago.

“After 33 years of serving our amazing communities,” the owners wrote on their Facebook site on Friday afternoon, “we are saddened to announce that tomorrow, Saturday August 15, will be our last day in business.

“Due to the long-lasting impacts of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to permanently close. This Pandemic has really hit our business hard, and as hard as we tried to stay afloat, some things just aren’t meant to be. Thank you to all of our guests for your loyalty & for keeping us in business for so many years. You have all become family to us! We will miss you all! But it’s time to search for new horizons & see what the future has in store for us. We appreciate everyone’s support during these hard times.”

Fans of the restaurant responded in droves, with the result that the restaurant ran out of dough to make pizza. “We want to thank EVERYONE who came out today or called in to show your support! We’re sorry if we couldn’t take care of all of you today; we got slammed with orders, BUT we will be open all day Saturday from 11am-11pm.” the owners wrote on Facebook.

One fan – Alex Kadar – set up a GoFundMe site, with a goal of raising $100,000.

READ MORE: “Last Bites: Haddonfield Bids Farewell to Villa Rosa After 32 Years” by Matt Skoufalos for NJPen.com

COVID-19: New state rules for closing schools

The NJ Department of Health released new rules today (August 13) for closing schools in response to positive tests among students and/or teachers.

The 19-page document includes the following:

  • When one or two people (students and/or teachers) are diagnosed with the coronavirus, all who had close contact with them could be required to stay at home for 14 days.
  • If two people (students and/or teachers) in different classrooms test positive, the entire school could be closed.

Access “COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Local Health Departments for K-12 Schools” HERE.

NJ teachers call for remote learning in all schools; Governor responds

On Tuesday, August 11, the New Jersey Education Association called on Gov. Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Education to direct all New Jersey public schools to open remotely this fall.

The New Jersey Association of School Administrators and the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association joined the NJEA in making the call.

“For months, New Jersey educators and administrators have been working tirelessly to find a way to safely bring students back into school buildings in September. Now, with less than a month remaining before schools are scheduled to reopen, it is time to reluctantly acknowledge that goal is simply not achievable. Reopening schools for in-person instruction under the current conditions poses too great a risk to the health of students and schools staff. The question of whether and when to reopen for in-person instruction is first and foremost a public health decision that cannot be left in the hands of nearly 600 individual school districts. The stakes are too high, and the consequences of a wrong decision are too grave. That is why we are calling on Gov. Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Education to direct all New Jersey public schools to open remotely this fall. We fully support and share the governor’s goal of moving to in-person instruction as soon as the science and data say we can do so responsibly and when the resources are available in our school buildings to do it safely.

“We wish it could be different, but the facts are not in our favor. Our nation is in the middle of an uncontrolled pandemic. Our state, while doing better than many others, has not yet stopped the spread of this virus, particularly among the same young people who are scheduled to return to school in under four weeks. New Jersey’s communities are still at risk, and putting students and staff inside school buildings, even with exceptional precautions, increases that risk.

“We have seen what is happening elsewhere in the country where, within a few days of opening, schools are having to transition to remote learning following outbreaks of COVID-19. Every day, through research and the experience of other states, we are learning more about the effects of this disease on children and their ability to contribute to community spread.

“We have repeatedly asked for universal statewide health standards, which have not been provided. Despite the tireless efforts of all school stakeholders, districts have struggled to meet even the minimum standards that were provided. Inadequate levels of funding, staffing, equipment and facilities will result in inequities in the level of safety afforded to all New Jersey students.

“We urge the governor to act quickly and decisively. We need the rest of the summer to focus our attention and resources on building the most effective remote learning plans possible. While remote education cannot replace in-person instruction, we believe that a carefully planned, well-resourced remote education plan is better than the dangerous, uncertain in-person alternative currently available to us.

“We also need consistent statewide guidance to allow us to focus on addressing critical equity issues. From closing the digital divide to ensuring that students have access to adequate nutrition to figuring out how to provide critical individual therapies and specialized educational services, there will be many challenges ahead. We will be better able to address those issues by all districts starting in a virtual environment, rather than investing our time and scarce resources in a likely unsustainable in-person beginning of the year.

“We remain committed to getting back to in-person instruction as soon as it is safe. It is not safe yet.”

On Wednesday, August 12, Gov. Murphy announced that school districts that cannot meet health and safety standards for safe in-person instruction will begin their school year with all-remote learning.

Public and non-public schools must certify to the Department of Education that they are able to meet the state’s standards for safe in-person instruction. If they cannot, they will be required to provide remote learning for all students.

Charles A. Sayre, revered pastor, dies at age 100

The Reverend Dr. Charles A. Sayre, the senior pastor at Haddonfield United Methodist Church from 1965 to 1990, died peacefully at home on Monday, August 10, 2020. He was 100.

He was revered not just by the church’s congregation but also by thousands of residents of Camden, where he planted and nurtured numerous seeds, and by fellow members of the Rotary Club of Haddonfield, of which he had been a devoted member for 55 years.

In a note to members of the congregation on August 11, The Reverend Chris Heckert wrote:

“It is with a sense of profound loss that I share that Rev. Dr. Charles Sayre passed away of natural causes, surrounded by his family, and entered into God’s eternal rest yesterday, August 10th. Rev. Dr. Sayre served as the Sr. Pastor for 25 years, from 1965-1990. In that time he had a massive impact for the witness of Jesus Christ in our church, community and greater world, in helping people to live into the kingdom of God, on earth, as it is in heaven. Under his leadership, HUMC grew exponentially, and expanded its mission and ministry into Camden with the founding of Respond, Inc. Beyond the local church, he was a leader in the United Methodist Church worldwide, as he was elected to the Methodist World Council, and served as the lead clergy delegate to the General Conference for 8 quadrennia. Upon his retirement he remained an active resident of Haddonfield as an influential friend, leader, Rotarian, and mentor to countless people. On April 19th, 2020, he celebrated his 100th birthday, remarking how blessed and happy he was to be surrounded by loving friends and family via Zoom.

“Although we grieve his loss, may we share the profound gratitude that Dr. Sayre held in his heart. During both of my visits with him this past week, he reiterated how thankful he was for his life, for his loving family, and for this church community. Just this past Sunday he listened to our worship service online and shared with me afterward that he believed that serving Haddonfield UMC is the best job in Methodism. For each life that has been touched, inspired, blessed and enriched by the ministry and witness of Rev. Dr. Charles Sayre, we now carry his mission of leading others to follow Jesus Christ within our hearts and our lives.

“During this time I ask that you keep his daughters Jill, Judy, and their entire family in your prayers. A graveside service will be private for family only, but we will share plans for public celebration of his life at a later date as they develop. Gifts in his memory may be sent to the church with “In memory of Charles Sayre” in the memo line, or an accompanying note. Gifts made in his memory will benefit the Lucile B. Sayre Meditation Garden across from the church.

“One of Dr. Sayre’s favorite hymns of faith was “It is Well with my Soul,” which offers these words of comfort:

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

“Because a life lived for others has now transitioned into God’s eternal, loving embrace, may we find God’s comfort and peace. Because of Dr. Sayre’s leadership, loving heart and friendship to many, may we say now, ‘it is well with my soul.'”

Gotta sing!

Treble voice singers aged 8 to 18 are invited to join ChildrenSong in a summer workshop in voice development on Zoom for four days from Monday, August 24 thru Thursday 27. 

There are three divisions: 

  • Children’s Choir (grade 3 to 5) 5:30 to 6:30pm
  • Youth Choir (grade 6 to 12) 6:30 to 7:30pm
  • Select Choir (grade 8 to 12) 6:30 to 8:00pm.

Auditions are required for those interested in participating in the Select Choir program. Auditions are NOT required for the other two programs. 

Singers will develop vocal technique, learn how to read music, create a virtual performance, and meet new friends with similar interests! 

This program is free and can be accessed anywhere via Zoom. Registration is required, at childrensong.org/events.

In normal times, ChildrenSong’s home base is at the Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Haddonfield.

Easy access to school reopening info

The Haddonfield School District has added a new tab on the home page of its website: Reopening.

The drop-down menu provides access to a variety of topics related to the district’s planning and plans for school in September:

  • HSD Reopening Plan
  • Revised Calendars
  • July 16th Reopening Presentation
  • Community Feedback Summary
  • Parent Survey Results
  • Staff Survey Results
  • District Health Standards and Procedures
  • FAQs for Parents
  • FAQs for Staff
  • NJSIAA Fall Sports News
  • NJ DOE “Road Back” Guidance
  • Haddonfield School District Plan for Instructional Continuity
  • Haddonfield’s Philosophy of Virtual Education

Access the district’s website HERE.

Gracie’s owner passes, after fall at home

Anthony J. Maniscalco, the owner with his wife Nancy of Gracie’s Water Ice & Ice Cream, located in Kings Court, Haddonfield, died on Thursday, August 6, 2020. A GoFundMe appeal to benefit his family stated that he was on life-support, after having fallen down stairs at home.

A resident of Runnemede, formerly of South Philadelphia, Anthony Maniscalco was 66.

He is survived by his wife Nancy (nee Porrini), sons Anthony and Nick, and daughter Michelle; and by grandchildren Nicholas, Jaden, Jaxx, and Gia Maria; also by his sister Rita Falcone (John), nephew John Falcone, Jr, and niece Denise Benatti (Jimmy).

A viewing will be held at Gardner Funeral Home, 126 S. Black Horse Pike, Runnemede, on Tuesday, August 11 from 8:15 to 10:15am. A funeral mass will follow at 11am at Holy Child Parish, St. Teresa Roman Catholic Church, Runnemede.

Interment will be private. Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105.

Original news story (August 5, 2020) on Haddonfield[dot]Today: HERE.

A number of Haddonfield merchants, including Valente’s Cucina and Sweet T’s Bakeshop — both located in Kings Court — will be donating 20% of their proceeds on Thursday, August 13 to a fund to benefit the Maniscalco family. Check Haddondield[dot]Today on Wednesday and Thursday for a list of participating merchants.

Review of Boys Basketball, 2019-20 (5)

Dawgs Hit the Heights

By Lauree Padgett for Haddonfield Today

Part 5 of 5: The Last Dance With Camden?

On Monday, March 10, thanks to Beth Cerrato, who had also gotten me a hard-to-come-by ticket, I was on a school bus filled with the team’s family members heading to Woodrow Wilson for another showdown between Haddonfield and Camden. Unlike the previous three years, the game was not decided on a last-second shot. Although they never gave up and kept hustling and diving for loose balls all the way through to the final minute of the last quarter, this year’s Camden team proved too much for the Dawgs. As Camden handed them only their fifth loss out of 30 games, the Dawgs saw their season come to an end, with the final score 70-42. But that 28-point differential didn’t matter. It did not define their season, and at its conclusion, I was as proud of these boys as I was after any other game I’d been to all season.

In an unexpected way, the boys were lucky that their season came to an end as a result of a defeat. Most of the remaining eight public and four parochial teams who were supposed to advance to the state semis never got to play those games. COVID-19 saw to that. So, technically, Haddonfield still holds the title as the reigning Group 2 state champion. But even though the team didn’t quite reach that height this year, in going 25-5, winning yet another Colonial Liberty title, and giving their coach his 500th career victory, this group of highly competitive and highly committed young men far exceeded expectations. And in doing so, they once again proved just how unwise it is to ever underestimate a team helmed by Paul Wiedeman.

End-of-Year Speech: 2019–20

In an “odd coincidence,” as our coach put it, the day I reached out to Paul Wiedeman to ask him if he wanted to include any comments in my wrap-up article, he had just written what appears below. While it’s not the same as hearing him deliver it in person (nor is it quite as long as it would be in person!), it seems fitting that this article should conclude with our incomparable coach’s comments about this amazing season

From Coach Wiedeman

In what many would describe as a rebuilding season for the 2020 Haddonfield Boys Basketball Program turned out to be business as usual for the Haddons. With a team graduating six of their top eight returning players, many South Jersey teams, including all of the Colonial Conference, were excited to take advantage of a “perceived” weakened team. However, you cannot place a value or quantify the importance a program has with a strong culture, character, and competitive spirit that makes Haddonfield student/athletes so successful every single year.

This was a special group of athletes who exemplified all the above traits from Day One in the preseason all the way until the final buzzer in the SJ Group Two Finals. I cold not be any more prouder of a team that I coached in my 21 years at Haddonfield High School than this unit in 2020. With their dedication, resiliency, worth ethic, and team-oriented style of play, they were able to win 25 games, capture the Colonial Conference Liberty title, and compete in the SJ Group 2 title game. It was an amazing transformation to watch this team develop and mature throughout the course of the season. They did it playing selfless basketball on offense, and relentlessly defending every possession on defense. Our amoeba-style zone defense was so effective, we allowed the fewest total points in all of South Jersey. We allowed an average of less than 40 points per game that became a source of pride for our coaches and players.

Some memorable moments from the 2019–2020 season include winning on the road, and coming from behind in both cases against West Deptford, and Sterling, to clinch the outright Colonial Conference title. Two unbelievable comeback wins against arch rival Haddon Heights. The first one in the regular season on the road, making up a huge deficit in the fourth quarter with Stevey McClane having the court sense to find a diving Ben Cerrato for the game-winning layup. Then two and a half months later, we meet Haddon Heights in a rubber match for the right to go on for the SJ Group 2 finals. Ben hits a clutch 3 in the corner to tie the game at 33 apiece. Heights calls timeout with around 7 seconds left on the clock. We devise a different defensive look we just put in the day before. Heights tries to throw an ill-advised cross-court pass that Conner Fell anticipates so perfectly well. He intercepts the pass and races down the other end and lays the ball in to give us the lead and ultimately the win. What a perfect way for our seniors to play their final home game and defeat Haddon Heights after being away at Cherry Hill East for the past 2 seasons.

Our seniors were the backbone to our success this year. We had great senior leadership, as they led through their voices and their choices. Their voices were always loud and infectious, inspiriting positive enthusiasm and body language during practices and games. The message they communicated was team first and the individual second. They helped the underclassmen understand the culture and style of play that makes the program successful. They choices were always doing the right thing on and off the court. They were role models as students in the classroom and as players performing in practice and games. They were invested in each other and on their craft to make the whole better than the individual parts. It made the season so enjoyable to coach such hard-working, attentive, and respectful players. The senior class has left an indelible impression on not only the coaching staff but also the Haddonfield community. These six seniors have kept a standard of excellence in their four years that includes: 4 Colonial Conference Liberty titles; 2 SJ Group 2 titles, 2 NJ Group 2 State Championships, only the second graduating class to appear in 4 SJ Group 2 finals, and finally, 109 career wins. I want to thank the seniors for their years of sacrifice and dedication to the program. You will be missed. I want to thank the entire program, including the coaches, JV and Freshmen teams, the booster club, the team managers, and the entire Haddonfield community.

My only regret is not having an end-of-the-year banquet, where we can all meet together one final time and share the wonderful memories together in person. There is so much more I would want to share in person, especially thanks to the booster club parents, for team dinners, concession stands, half-court shootouts, meals on the bus, etc. You make this a first-class operation that I do not take for granted. Hopefully, when life returns back to normal, we can all get together as a group one more time. Take care.

For Part 1, click HERE.

For Part 2, click HERE.

For Part 3, click HERE.

For Part 4, click HERE.

Review of Boys Basketball, 2019-20 (4)

Dawgs Hit the Heights

By Lauree Padgett for Haddonfield Today

Paul celebrates with his dad, Dave, kids Matt and Sara, and wife Sue.

Part 4 of 5: 

The win at Sterling not only got us the Colonial Liberty crown, it put the Dawgs at 21-3 with two nonleague games remaining before the South Jersey Group 2 playoffs began on March. 3. First up was an away game versus the Burlington County Technical Institute (BCIT)-Westampton Panthers. In the first, the Dawgs got behind almost immediately, down 2-6 with 3:16 left in the quarter. A 3 and a 2 by Gos put the Dawgs up 7-6, but a layup by Westampton with less than 30 seconds put them back on top 8-7. As the buzzer sounded, Coach Wiedeman could be heard telling his team there had been too many turnovers in the first 8 minutes. And he was right.

Boosted by a trio of treys by Steve McClane, one that started off the Dawgs’ offense in the second and one that ended it, Haddonfield had turned that 1-point deficit into a 6-point, 20-14, lead, at the half. The Panthers mounted a comeback in the third, putting up 11 points to the Dawgs’ 9, and as the last quarter began, the Dawgs’ lead had been cut to 4, 29-25. That lead disappeared altogether as BCIT scored the first two baskets, and at the 6:38 mark, the game was tied at 29 all. But Gos answered with a 2 to push the lead back to 2, 31-29 on the Dawgs’ next possession. Nothing happened offensively for more than 2 minutes. With 4 and change on the clock, McClane secured a defensive rebound, and that was followed by a big 3 by Gos, giving the Dawgs a 5-point, 34-29, edge with 4:04 to go. The Dawgs got the ball back only to lose it on a Westampton steal and basket, closing the Panthers’ gap to 3, 34–31, with 3:23 left in the game. McClane picked a good time to hit his final 3 — he would have five total — of the game, to double the Dawgs’ lead to 6, 37-31. Again, the Panthers’ responded with a basket to get back to within 4 again, 37-33, with just under 2 minutes remaining. The Dawgs’ finished out their scoring on the foul line, with Gos converting both ends of two 1+1 opportunities with 14 and then 2 seconds left. Another buzzer trey by the opposition made it a 41-36 final. And it gave Haddonfield its 22nd win of the season.

It’s always good to head into the playoffs with momentum from a win, and that’s what Haddonfield and its fans were hoping for when the 11-14 Burlington Township Falcons came to town to wrap up the regular season on February 27. Those hopes were not to be realized, however, as the Falcons, who looked big and athletic during warm-ups and lived up to my assessment after the game tip-off, clipped those aspirations, pulling off a 52-48 win. What hurt the Dawgs was a badly executed second quarter. Although only trailing by 1, 8–9, when the second quarter began, the team only managed to put 3 points on the board—all off foul shots—while the Falcons added 15 to own a 24-11 lead at the half. In the last 16 minutes, the Dawgs’ found their shooting, outscoring their first-half total by 2, putting 13 points on the board to the Falcons’ 8, but they were still down by 8 heading into the 4th. That’s when their inability to make a field goal in the 2nd really came back to haunt them. Despite doubling their score by knocking in 24 points, with Gostovich leading the way with 11, it was not enough, as the Falcons’ 20 points enabled them to hold onto the lead and walk away with a 4-point W.

The Playoffs — And a Rematch for the Record Books?

When the South Jersey Group 2 seeding came out on February 14, no one was too surprised that Haddonfield, then at 18-3, drew the #2 slot behind Camden. What was a bit unexpected, three weeks after the seedings came out, the Dawgs were sitting at 22-3 going into that first round game. If they advanced to the semi-finals, which would be the round-three game, they could be going up against none other than Haddon Heights in their quest to reach the 25-win mark. Twenty-five wins for this Dawg team was not something many people, including me, had been contemplating as the season began. In and of itself, a 25-win season is an quite an accomplishment. But for this team, it would be more than an accomplishment, it would net Wiedeman, in his 21st season as head coach at Haddonfield, an impressive, to say the least, milestone: win number 500 of his career.

At some point earlier in the season, as the Dawgs kept racking up wins, it started to occur to me that what had seemed improbable at best at the outset of the year — 25 wins — actually had a chance, slim perhaps, of occurring. I wasn’t sure who else besides me knew this. Dawgs and Wiedeman nerd that I am, I have been keeping a running tally of the Dawgs’ record, season by season, starting with the younger Wiedeman’s debut at Haddonfield during the 1999–2000 season. That year, the rookie coach and former Bulldog took his team to the Group 2 state finals. Although they came up a bit short, the team still finished the year with a 21–8 record. With my season-by-season summary, I knew that with his win-loss record at 475-112, as the 2019-20 season loomed, Wiedeman was 25 victories away from 500. What I did not expect was that this team was going to give him a real chance of getting to that 500 plateau.

But in early February, as the W’s kept rolling in, it did not take a math wiz, thank goodness, to be able to calculate that win 500 was becoming within reach. I decided to share this info with Beth Cerrato, Ben’s mom, who was in charge of the booster club, just in case … About the time the Dawgs’ got win 20, Beth texted me. Was I sure Coach Wiedeman only needed five more wins to hit 500? Uhhh … I was pretty sure, but pretty sure wasn’t going to cut it. So, I pulled out my yearly summary and my past few scorebooks, where I list the schedule for the year, the results, and note any significant happenings, such as a player reaching 1,000 points. And there was the information I needed! On January 14, 2017, in a 71-30 thrashing of Triton, Wiedeman got win number 400. All I had to do was count each win from then on and I would make sure my current win total was accurate. After I gave myself a scare by initially counting that Triton win instead of starting with the next win, I was able to reply to Beth that, yes, I was 100% sure Paul was five wins away from 500.

When the Dawgs were sitting at 21-3 going into the games with BCIT-Westampton and Burlington Township, Tom Betley, another Haddonfield boys basketball junkie and another person who knew how close Wiedeman was getting, told me he was hoping the Dawgs would win both games, so that if Haddonfield and Haddon Heights met up in the semi-finals, the added pressure of going for Wiedeman’s 500th would be off the team’s shoulders. I agreed, but had a feeling, and actually an itch, to have that potential game be the setting for 500. Wiedeman’s 200th win had come in the South Jersey Group 2 finals against Colonial nemesis Collingswood in 2007, and it seemed fitting, perhaps even destined, that his 500th would come against another Colonial rival.

But first the Dawgs, not to mention the Garnets, had to get to that semi-final contest. Up first for Haddonfield on March 3 was Pennsauken Tech, touting a not-too-intimidating record of 9-12. The Tornadoes didn’t exactly get blown away, because the Dawgs had a low-offense production, only scoring 14 points in the first half, to the Tornadoes’ 6. It wasn’t until the 4th quarter, thanks to a pair of 3’s by Gos and one by Cerrato, that the Dawgs put double digits — 17 points — on the board. The final, lackluster score, was 37-21.

In the round-two quarter-finals versus Point Pleasant Boro, the team picked up the pace a bit. Against yet another team who were called the Panthers, the Dawgs pounced to a 16–5 lead after 8 minutes of play, spurred on by a trio of 3’s by Gos and a pair of 2’s by Cerrato. The baskets didn’t fall quite as easily in the second quarter, but at half, the Dawgs were still up by 8, 25-17. In the third, Gos added 8 points on field goals, and Cerrato hit a 3, giving the Dawgs a 37-22 lead going in the last quarter. They matched their first-quarter tally, putting 16 on the board, with Mooney and Kasko leading the way with 6 points each. The final score was 53–28. The Dawgs were advancing to the South Jersey Group 2 semi-finals. Would they need to find a way to beat Heights again to reach the finals and give their coach win number 500? Oh yes!

Haddonfield vs. Haddon Heights, the Rubber Match: March 7 at Haddonfield

Although a highly anticipated game, and an extremely nerve-wracking one on a few levels, the third battle between the Dawgs and the Garnets was going to play out to be another game in which neither team made it to 40 points. And like the first contest in January, the last basket won it in the closing seconds. A bit out of order as to how I posted it on Facebook the next night (spoiler alert: that’s because I was out celebrating that night), here is a recap of the game, focusing mainly on the second-half action:

This was not a high-scoring game, but that meant every point mattered. And it meant Dawgs who don’t always get a lot of points needed to step up when called on. In the first half, junior Justin Kasko made three field goals. In the second quarter, he accounted for 2 of Haddonfield’s 4 points, [which] meant the Dawgs were only trailing by 3, 13-16 going into the half.

Heights got the first points of the second half from the foul line to increase their lead to 5, 18-13, but Kasko answered with a basket to get his team back to within 3, 18-15, with 6:06 on the clock. Heights got back to the foul line, this time sinking 1-2, at the 5:55 mark to make it 19-15.

While Haddonfield’s defense was keeping Heights from getting the ball in the net, their own offense was not resulting in good looks. “Somebody needs to step up,” I muttered after Heights lost the ball out of bounds. And that’s exactly what sophomore Tommy Mooney did. First, he went in for a layup. Although he didn’t score, he did get to the foul line and hit both shots. This got the Dawgs to within 2, 19-17, with 3:02 showing on the scoreboard.

But the Garnets got those points back on a wide open shot. Senior Ben Cerrato answered with a bucket to make it 19-17, Heights, with 2:35 to go. Senior Steve McClane hustled to intercept a bad pass, landing on his back but making a pass behind him to Fell. Mooney, looking for the open man, couldn’t find one and decided to take the shot himself. It dropped in and with 1:55 remaining in the third quarter, the Dawgs had tied it at 21.

After a timeout by Heights, the Garnets ended up losing the ball on a misfired pass. This time, McClane went up and in to put the Dawgs ahead 23-21, with 1:17 on the clock. The Dawgs pressed Heights on the bench side line and the Garnets lost the ball out of bounds. Cerrato’s drive in the paint with 48 seconds to go pushed the Dawgs’ lead to 4, 25-21, and although there were several more plays in those 48 seconds, no one scored again, and going into what would be the final 8 minutes of one team’s season, the Dawgs were still up 25-21.

Heights had possession to start the 4th, but a blocked shot and then a rebound by senior Andrew Gostovich set up what looked to be Gos’ second trey of the game. To the dismay of all the Dawg fans, a foul was called ahead of the shot, so the basket did not count. What followed was, as I scribbled in my notepad, “a mess.” The Dawgs lost the ball, got it back, and lost it again, and to add insult to injury, Heights scored and was fouled. The foul shot cut the Dawgs’ lead to 1, 25-24 with 6:21 left in the game.

Cerrato picked a perfect time to nail his first 3 of the game, pushing the Dawgs’ lead back to 4, 28-24, with 5:53 left. Heights was fouled and converted 1 of 2, and after knocking the ball out of bounds during the Dawgs’ next possession, then picked it off for an easy 2. Now the Dawgs were clinging to a 1-point lead. Mooney gave the Dawgs a bit of breathing room from the foul line, again making both shots, and making it a 3-point, 30-27, lead with 4:37 to go.

That 3-point edge was short-lived at the Garnets scored at the other end of the court, getting to within 1 once more, 30-29, with 4:18 on the clock. Neither team was able to score the next few times up and down the court. Heights committed a non-shooting foul with 2:10 left in the game, then knocked the ball out of bounds. The Dawgs were suddenly having a hard time in-bounding the ball, and the Garnets took advantage, stealing the ball and scoring to retake the lead, 31-30, with 1:50 left.

The Dawgs failed to score and the Garnets scored again. and with 1:27 on the clock, the Dawgs were down by 3, 33-30. After a Dawgs’ timeout, Gos’ shot went in and out. A jump ball gave possession back to Heights with 1:05 remaining and in the stands, Dawgs’ fans were getting a bit uneasy. There was another loose ball, and almost every player on the court dove for it. Haddonfield came up with it, but another shot missed the net.

With 46.6 seconds left, Heights lost the ball out of bounds on solid D by Haddonfield. In the right corner, Cerrato got open and sent the ball up—and in, tying the game with 35 seconds left. The Dawgs’ fans were on their feet. Heights took a timeout with 22 seconds left to set up what was probably going to be their last scoring drive of the game. Whatever that play was, it was not supposed to include senior Connor Fell, [Haddonfield’s] toughest defender on the court, sensing a pass a split second before it happened, snatching the ball, and doing something he rarely does — going in for a layup — to put the Dawgs in front by 2 with 6 seconds left.

Heights still had a chance, especially after the refs called a foul on what should have been a back-court violation on Heights, but by then there was .6 seconds left on the clock. Although the Heights player’s near-midcourt heave came a little closer than expected, it missed its mark and the game was over. The Dawgs had once again fought off the Garnets in the final minutes of the 4th quarter to steal, literally this time, the win, showing everyone in the gym what it means to never, ever give up. As the buzzer sounded and the home crowd whopped it up, students rushed on the court and started the celebration even before the two teams could do their obligatory handshakes.

Although he is usually one to shun the spotlight, when the attention rightfully turned to our masterful coach, Paul Wiedeman, he was all smiles as his team, coaching staff, family, friends, and fans took turns congratulating him. The booster club had big black cutouts of a 5, two 0’s, paw prints, an exclamation mark, and a big basketball that read “Coach Wiedeman’s 500th Win.” The coach happily posed for shots with his wife, Sue; kids Sarah, Abigail, and Matthew; and then his dad Dave and brother Vic, as well as his team and coaches. When I got a chance to go up to him, he asked, half-seriously, I think, “Are you sure this is my 500th win?” As I heartily assured him it was, he added, “You’ve been here from the beginning,” a fact that I am very lucky to say is true. Tom Betley, who knows just about everything there is to know about South Jersey high school basketball, is pretty sure Paul is now the youngest South Jersey coach, perhaps the youngest in the whole state, to reach 500 wins. Who knows how many wins — and titles — he and his teams will collect in the years to come.

As I watched the festivities on the court, it was quite touching to see how excited the players were, not just to have beaten Heights again in the last seconds, but especially to have given their coach win number 500. In fact, many of their parents, who graciously asked me to join them and the boys at the usual place of victory celebrations, P.J.’s, told me how determined the team was to make sure win 500 came this season, not next, and at their hands. Beth Cerrato shared a conversation she had with the one of Paul’s assistant coaches after the Point Pleasant Boro game. Apparently, he and the rest of the assistant coaches were not sure whether to tell the players that Wiedeman would be going for his 500th win in the next round, as they didn’t want to put any extra pressure on what was already going to be a big-time contest. The assistant coach was quite surprised when Beth informed him that the boys already knew the next win would be 500, and since they had found out it was within reach this season, securing it for Wiedeman had become their goal along with winning the Liberty conference and making it back to the South Jersey finals. This win assured that all three of those goals had been reached.


For Part 1, click HERE.

For Part 2, click HERE.

For Part 3, click HERE.

PART 5 of 5 will be published on Friday, August 7.

Gracie’s owner seriously injured in fall

A GoFundMe campaign was launched today to provide financial assistance for the family of Anthony Maniscalco, co-owner with his wife Nancy of Gracie’s Water Ice & Ice Cream, in Kings Court.

The appeal states: “Anthony Maniscalco, husband of Nancy and owner of Gracie’s Ice Cream in Haddonfield fell down the stairs and has brain damage. He is currently on life support. We are raising money to support the family through this very difficult time.”

The campaign was set up by Marcello De Feo who owns and operates Valente’s Cucina, next to Gracie’s. Its goal is $5,000.

Just six hours after it was launched, the total stood at more than $1,800.

To contribute, go HERE.

Review of Boys Basketball, 2019-20 (3)

Dawgs Hit the Heights

By Lauree Padgett for Haddonfield Today

The Dawgs pose for a group photo to celebrate their come-from-behind win over Sterling on February 20, which gave them sole possession of the Liberty division of the Colonial Conference crown. The team has either won the Colonial Conference outright or shared it for the past nine seasons! Photo: John Fell.

Part 3 of 5: What’s in a Name – And a Gene Pool?

I have known Matthew Guveiyian his whole life, although I confess, I did not really learn how to properly say his last name (“Gu-VAY-an”) until this year (and his little sister Sara had to coach me through it). I actually met him for the first time when he was still a newborn in the hospital. That’s because his nana, Debbie, is one of my closest friends. I have known his mom, Leigh Anne, since she was in single digits. I met his dad, Mike, when he and Leigh were dating in high school. (And yes, I was at their wedding.) But, it is actually with Gary Vermaat, Matthew’s pop pop, who is husband to Debbie and dad to Leigh, where this multi-generational hoops story starts. Gary, you see, played basketball for Haddonfield in the early, pre-Dave Wiedeman coaching days, 1970s. I saw him on the court when I would go root on my sister Carol’s then boyfriend Wayne Grear, although Gary graduated a year after Wayne, in 1971.

Jump ahead to 1983, when, newly graduated, I returned from James Madison University (hey, hey, what do you know, Aiden Bell!) back to my hometown. Without a “real” job, I started getting pocket money babysitting and doing child care for events at Haddonfield United Methodist Church. Sweet little Jamie Vermaat, second daughter of Gary and his wife, Debbie, a Georgia import, was one of the young ones I watched during a young mother’s Bible study. That’s how I got to know Debbie.

By the time the last two Vermaat siblings, Jessica and Kelli, were in high school, Debbie and I were BFFs. So, of course, when Jessie and Kelli started playing basketball, I watched them, just like I’d watched their dad more than 30 years earlier. In 2005, the Lady Dawgs, with junior Jessie and sophomore Kelli, won the Group 2 girls state basketball title, the same year the boys won their second of three straight state titles. In 2006, to show support for the girls and the boys, I went to all the home games, so I could see both teams play an equal amount of times. (Being the true friend she is, once in a while Debbie would say, “The girls game isn’t going to be much of a match, so why don’t you go watch the boys game?”)

In 2010, the Guveiyian clan, which now included Matthew, Andrew, Ryan, and baby Sara, moved to California for Mike’s job. But in the summer of 2018, the family moved back, again for Mike’s job. Since I knew Matthew and Ryan were very involved in hoops (now so is Andrew, and Sara may end up outdoing them all, if you have seen her during the half-court shootouts), I started getting excited thinking of Matthew, who was starting his freshman year in 2018-19, playing for the Dawgs. I managed to get to one freshman game, and when his coach Dave Epstein, saw me, I think he inwardly cringed a little bit, thinking, “Oh no, she’s starting to come to freshman games now.”

This season, when Matthew, who started off his sophomore year on the JV squad, got called up to varsity, I got to see his first game versus Collingswood on February 6. Two days later at Paul VI, I admittedly went a little crazy (hence the blurry image) when he came in off the bench in the 4th to swoosh in a 3 – and nearly made another one before the game ended. At my age (I’ll turn 59 not long after the 2020-21 season starts), I’m not sure if I’ll make it to see one of Matthew’s kids play hoops, maybe even for Haddonfield, but I’m going to give it my best “shot”! For now, I’ll settle for cheering on my third generation of Vermaats in the persons of Matthew and his siblings.

The History of My Dawg Obsession: It’s All Kevin Eastman’s Fault

Did you ever wonder how I became the one of the Dawgs’ biggest fans as well as the unofficial historian from the mid-70s through to the current season without ever having played basketball or having a child who played? Well, it all started with one player, my (now) brother-in-law, Wayne Grear (class of 1970). But during Wayne’s senior year, I had just turned 8, which made me a bit too young to stay interested in all four quarters of any given game.

Two years later, Dave Wiedeman took over as Haddonfield’s head coach, and that season, junior Kevin (aka “Jake”) Eastman began to really shine. That coach and that player were about to change the course of basketball at Haddonfield and South Jersey and to initiate my devotion, some might call it my obsession, to the team and the game. Jake’s senior year, Haddonfield’s season ended in stunning fashion, with he and his teammates, who included Kirby Wood, Chris Whitten, Tom Hare, and Tom Betley, upsetting the highly favored Orange team 76-67 to capture the school’s first-ever state boys basketball title. Sixteen years later, in 1989, Haddonfield went for and captured its second state title, “nuking” Newark Tech in the very crowded Rider University gymnasium, still coached by Dave Wiedeman and featuring Paul Wiedeman, Doug Stewart, Matt Maloney (who would make it to the NBA!), Lionel Coleman, and Charlie Weiler. I was sure Kevin would show up to cheer them on. He did, and I made sure to say hello, stepping, I’m sure, on many toes, as I pushed my way over to him.

On February 9, 2020, 47 (what!?) years after he left an indelible mark on the basketball court at Haddonfield, Kevin was very belatedly inducted into the Al Carino South Jersey Boys Basketball Club Hall of Fame. Aside from leading Haddonfield to that first state championship and becoming the second player in the school’s history to surpass 1,000 points, Kevin went on to play hoops at the University of Richmond (where a scholarship was named in his honor). From there, he would go on to coach at the collegiate level at schools such as Washington State, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, Colorado State, and Virginia Commonwealth. He also served as a college AD; ran a highly successful youth basketball camp for many years; was an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics, including 2008, when they won their most recent NBA championship, and the Los Angeles Clippers, where he also worked in the front office as an executive; served as an executive for Nike; is a highly sought-after public speaker; and has authored Why the Best Are the Best, a book you may recall was presented at last year’s boys banquet to each of senior player. Sorry not sorry if I’m gushing.

Here is some of what I shared on Facebook about the evening:

I credit Kevin and Co. for my nearly lifelong love of basketball, particularly at the high school level. I should point out, even if it goes without saying, that I don’t root for just any high school team, but ever and only the Haddonfield Bulldogs (Dawgs). Some of my happiest memories, going all the way back to that March [1973] state championship game at Princeton, have to do with watching the Dawgs play. I have met so many great families while cheering on their sons, grandsons, and nephews. … And it all goes back to one of my first heroes, Kevin Eastman, who, four decades later, is still one of my heroes and favorite people.

So it was a privilege to sit with Kevin’s wife, Wendy; brother John and sister-in-law Gretchen; Dave and Paul Wiedeman; and talk basketball with Tom, Kirby, and another favorite player, Dennis Crawford, tonight. Kevin is a gifted public speaker, and knows how to keep your attention. He said, “Dave Wiedeman told me something a little earlier tonight, and I want to tell him he is wrong.” He paused so we could all wonder, “What on earth is Kevin going to publicly correct his former coach about?” And then he continued. “Dave told me I was the one who started to turn Haddonfield into one of South Jerseys’ great basketball programs. But it wasn’t me, Dave, it was you.” I would say they deserve equal credit. Kevin raised the bar for what being a tremendous player on the court and even better person off the court looks like. Dave set the example of what it means to be a tremendous coach not just based on win-loss records, but more importantly based on how his players represented their team and their school and the kind of people they have become. And now Paul Wiedeman is carrying on that winning tradition and mentoring of young men that his father began.

Haddonfield vs. Haddon Heights, the Rematch: February 11 at Haddonfield

On February 11, it was time for the second Dawgs-Garnets game, this one taking place on the Dawgs’ home turf. After the 2-point defeat to Moorestown, the Dawgs had won three in a row, were sporting an 18–2 overall record, and were still registering a 0 in the Colonial Conference standings’ loss column. Everyone in the stands rooting for the Dawgs were hoping that would still be the case after this game … But, alas, it was not.

I actually had a bad feeling about the game’s outcome as I saw the members of the Garnets’ varsity squad entering the gymnasium while the JV match was still in progress. It was apparent to anyone who saw them come in that these young men were on a mission to avenge their last-seconds’ loss at Heights in January. Still, for a while, it looked like the Dawgs weren’t going to let that happen.

The Dawgs were up by 2, 11-9, after the first quarter, thanks to baskets by Connor Fell, Justin Kasko, and Andrew Gostovich, who also hit a 3. It was not a good sign, however, when the Dawgs only mustered 5 points in the second quarter. However, since that’s all the Garnets put up as well, going into the half, the Dawgs were still holding onto that one-basket, 16-14, lead.

Heights’ offense was starting to heat up, though. In the third, they outscored the Dawgs 12-7 to take a 26-23 edge into the last 8 minutes. However, a last-minute comeback was not in the cards this time, as the Garnets built that lead up and claimed a 37-30 victory, getting the Dawgs back for that tough home-court loss a month earlier.

So, now the Dawgs were 18-3 overall and 12-1 in the conference t. Would Haddonfield — not to mention their coaches — let that loss define their season or impact the five regular season games, including three against conference opponents, that remained? The next two and a half weeks would show us what this team was really made of.

The Homestretch

Two nights later, on February 13, the Audubon Green Wave came to town. In early January, the Dawgs had crushed the Wave, scoring twice as many points as Audubon. But after the game against Heights, when the Garnet players had definitely outplayed the Dawgs, how would Paul Wiedeman’s team respond? Here are excerpts of my post-game FB summary:

The game started out well, and the Dawgs jumped out to an 8-2 lead before the Wave started knocking down some 3’s. Their third trey in a row actually put them in front 13-12 with about 2:15 left in the quarter. However, Tommy Mooney answered with a 3 at the other end and put the Dawgs back on top 15-13. A 3 by Andrew Gostovich make it 18-13, another 3 by Gos made it 21-13, and then Connor Fell, who is always hustling, grabbed a rebound off a missed Audubon shot and went to heave it—and got fouled. So literally with no time on the clock, he went to the free throw line by himself and made 1 foul shot, a second foul shot, and a third foul shot, giving the Dawgs an 11-point, 24-13, lead after 8 minutes.

Audubon wasn’t about to give up, though ,and kept scoring in, uh, waves, in the 2nd. The Dawgs never gave up the lead, but Ben Cerrato had to leave the game for a bit after going down hard and coming up limping. And the Dawgs were already short one starter, as Justin Kasko was home with the stomach flu. Still, Alex Kadar and Steve McClane put in some extra minutes and kept the Dawgs going. Although Audubon outscored Haddonfield 18-13 in the 2nd half, the Dawgs were still up, but only by 7, 37-31, when the teams headed to their locker rooms at the half.

Cerrato, who happily came back in the game at the end of the 2nd quarter, got the first bucket of the second half. After Audubon got a 2 at the other end, Kadar and Mooney hit back-to-back 3’s to push the lead back to double-digits, 45-33. Audubon got two 3’s as well, but Gos scored the last two baskets of the third, going up and in for 2 and then hitting one of his trademark 3’s. With 8 minutes to go, the Dawgs were up 50-39.

The Dawgs would get 7 of their 15 4th quarter points from the foul line. While Audubon never stopped playing hard, every time they got the deficit under 10, Haddonfield would answer. The closest the Wave would get would be 56-48 with 3:41 left in the game. When the horn sounded, after Coach Wiedeman had cleared the bench, the Dawgs had earned a scrappy, 65-49 W.

Next up was the Dawgs’ second game against West Deptford. In game 1, Haddonfield had needed OT to eke out a 41-39 win. As with Audubon, the Dawgs started out in front, up 15-10 after the first quarter. However, the Dawgs could only muster two baskets, both by Ben Cerrato, in the second, which meant the teams headed into the locker rooms at the half with the Dawgs down a point, 19–20. The Eagles would come out flapping, putting 5 points on the board before the Dawgs got one at the foul line thanks to Justin Kasko. Foul shots by Andrew Gostovich made it 22-25, West Deptford, but the Eagles made 2 foul shots of their own to go back up by 5, 22-27. An off-balance shot by Cerrato made it 24-27, but the Eagles got the next 5 points to push the lead up to 8, 32-24, with 47 second left in the quarter. Tommy Mooney’s 3 got the Dawgs back to within 5 again, 27-32, going into the final 8 minutes. And those 8 minutes started with the Eagles inbounding. Here is a close look at how those minutes ticked down, as I recapped them on FB:

While the Eagles did not score, the Dawgs got charged with an offensive foul to immediately give the ball back to WD. Luckily, Steve McClane stole it right back and went up an in for 2, cutting the lead to 3, 32-29. However, the next 3 points went on the board for the Eagles off a field goal and then 1-2 from the foul line. But second verse, same as the first: McClane stole the ball and went in for a layup, pulling the Dawgs to within 4, 35-31.

The Eagles got those points back on two foul shots, but then on back-to-back possessions, first Ben Cerrato and then Tommy Mooney converted both foul shots, and with 4:56 on the clock, the Dawgs were within 2, 37-35. A basket by WD got their lead back to 4, 39-35, but a drive by Mooney chipped that edge back to 2. There was a scramble on the floor for the ball, McClane grabbed it, and Haddonfield called timeout. However, the Dawgs lost the ball — I’m not even sure what happened. I just heard a lot of Wiedemans complaining about the call. But, WD then lost the ball under their basket right after they in-bounded it.

With 3:54 left to go, it was time for one of our big guns to step up and hit a 3 from the corner. And that’s exactly what Cerrato did, putting the Dawgs on top for the first time since the end of the second quarter, 40-39. The Eagles, who were getting rattled, lost the ball on good “D” by the Dawgs, but in their haste to get to the basket, they lost the ball as well. And then as is often the case, the player who turned the ball over tries to overcompensate and commits a foul. With 3:09 on the clock, WD stepped to the foul line with a chance to reclaim the lead. And as Dawg fans breathed a collective sigh of relief, neither shot dropped in.

At the other end, WD was called for a foul, sending Cerrato to the line for a 1+1 opportunity. He cleanly sank both shots, giving the Dawgs a 3-point lead, that WD promptly reduced to 1 on a field goal, and with 2:49 remaining, it was a 1-point, 42-41, game. This was not the time for a bad, cross-court pass, but that’s what happened when the Dawgs got the ball. However, WD very kindly returned the favor at their end, and with 2:35 to go, McClane launched a 3 from the corner, and the Dawgs were on top 45-41.

A foul that Connor Fell and the rest of the Dawgs did not agree with sent WD to the line. Although they had the double-bonus, only 1 of 2 shots dropped in, and with 1:44 remaining, it was 45-42, Dawgs. Mooney, who is getting adept at drawing fouls, did just that and headed to the line for a 1+1 with 1:29 to go. His first shot went in, but his second did not. Still, it put the Dawgs’ lead back to 4, 46-42.

After the Eagles did not score, neither did the Dawgs, and WD got the ball back. There was a near-steal and then the ball looked more like a superball, bouncing all over the court until the Dawgs got ahold of it and called timeout. Haddonfield would score the final 4 points of the game thanks to stellar foul shooting by Mooney, and when the buzzer sounded, the Dawgs had found a way to turn it up a few notches and seize the victory away from the Eagles. The final score was 50-42.

Thanks in part to going 7-8 on the line in the 4th, Tommy Mooney finished with 15 points. Ben Cerrato also put 15 points on the board.

This gave the Dawgs their 20th win of the season. If they can get another road win Thursday at Sterling (5:30 game), they will win the Colonial Conference outright.

Thursday, February 20, fans piled into the gym at Sterling. The Silver Knights, you may recall, were supposed to be in the run for the Liberty Colonial title. Now, it was down to two teams: the one playing Sterling this night and Haddon Heights. Heights had already lost two games in the Liberty division: one to Haddonfield and one to West Deptford. If Haddonfield beat Sterling, the Dawgs would win the Liberty crown outright. If we suffered our second defeat in the division, we would have to share the title with Heights.

As I noted at the outset of my Facebook game wrap-up, it was another slow start for the Dawgs, who didn’t seem to be too energized about what they were playing for. They trailed by 5, 8-13, after the first quarter, and 8 minutes later, were down by 6, 19-25. A win that seemed likely at the outset was not looking as certain as the Dawgs headed to the locker room at the half.

Let’s pick up the action as the second half begins with a bit of my FP post:

Kasko started the third off all fired up. He went in on a backdoor cut for 2, then blocked the ball at the other end. When Sterling in-bounded it, he knocked it back out of bounds off the Knights. That led to a 2-pointer from Cerrato with an assist from Kasko. And with not even a minute gone, the Dawgs were within 1, 25-24.

Sterling got 2 back at the foul line, but after a steal by Gos, Steve McClane grabbed an offensive board and went up and in, making it a 2-point game, advantage Sterling, again, 27-25. Sterling got the next two baskets to go back up by 6, 31-25 with 3:35 to go in the third.

A few plays later, Cerrato showed how hard he hustles and how tough he is, as he dived for the ball, saved it from going out of bounds, and then crashed into the Dawgs’ sideline chairs. Connor Fell, another tough-as-nails Dawg, pulled down an offensive board, fed it to Cerrato, who laid the ball into the net.

Nobody scored for a few plays, then Gos stole the ball and didn’t give up when his layup did not fall in, driving back in the lane and making sure the ball dropped this time. His field goal at the 56-second mark made it 31-29, Sterling. Fell and Gostovich procured another steal, but the ball went out of bounds at our end with 34.4 on the clock. Sterling did not wait until the clock ran down to make a shot, and even better, it did not go into the net. The Dawgs brought the ball down and were causing anxious adult fans to start counting down, afraid the team wasn’t going to get a shot off. They needn’t have worried. With 3.0 on the clock, Cerrato danced into the lane, got the bucket and the foul. His foul shot put the Dawgs up 32-31, and that’s how the third ended.

But it wasn’t time to start celebrating yet:

If Dawg fans were hoping for a stress-free 4th quarter, they were out of luck. The lead kept changing. Sterling got the first 3 points on a foul shot and a field goal to take the lead back, but Gos hit a 3 to give the Dawgs the edge, 35-34, at with 6:33 left in the game. …

To skip to the good stuff I’m going off the FB post, and picking up the action a few plays later, as Cerrato stepped to the foul line. His shots gave the Dawgs their biggest lead of the game, 37-34 at the 6:33 mark … only to have a 3-point Silver Knight bomb tie it at 37 all. But off a big offensive board by Fell, Gos nailed a 3 to put the Dawgs back on top 40-37 with 2:30 left in the game. After that big bucket, the team was not going to let Sterling get any closer than 3 again. Foul shots by Gos and Tommy Mooney made it 43-37, and it was only a last-second trey from Sterling that cut the final score to 3 points again, giving the Dawgs a 43-40 victory that secured the Liberty crown.

And now it was time to celebrate. Kudos for the Sterling athletic staff for allowing the opposition to stay on the court for lots of hugs, congratulations from family and the rest of the happy and relieved Dawg fans, and many photographs. With a record of 15–1, the Dawgs had finished on the top of the Colonial heap in a year they weren’t even considered viable contenders.

For Part 1, click HERE.

For Part 2, click HERE.

PART 4 of 5 will be published on Thursday, August 6.

Gov. Driscoll named to NJ Hall of Fame

The New Jersey Hall of Fame has announced that Alfred E. Driscoll of Haddonfield will be inducted as a member of the Class of 2019. He was New Jersey’s 43 rd governor – and first two-term governor – serving from 1948 to 1954.

A 1921 graduate of Haddonfield High School, Driscoll served as a member of the Haddonfield Board of Education, Board of Commissioners, and the Historical Society. He was one of six recipients in the inaugural class for the Haddonfield Alumni Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award, in 1994.

He spearheaded the adoption in 1947 of a new constitution for New Jersey that, among other things, ended racial segregation in the state’s public schools.

Alfred E. Driscoll died in 1975, at age 72, and was buried in the Haddonfield Baptist Cemetery. Descendants own and occupy homes on Hopkins Lane, including Birdwood, the white house on the bend, and elsewhere in town.

Hall of Fame inductions are normally held at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park. This year, the Hall will host a virtual, pre-recorded ceremony on TV, radio, and social media on Sunday, October 18.

The Class of 2019 will have 29 members, selected from 50 nominees (among them, Margaret Bancroft) including Oscar-winning actress Anne Hathaway, Giants quarterback Eli Manning, and Grammy-winning gospel singer Cissy Houston.

The Hall of Fame announced the list of the 2019 inductees today, on its Facebook page, HERE.

Each year, the Haddonfield Civic Association recognizes individuals or organizations that have made a lasting, positive impact on Haddonfield in a volunteer capacity, presenting them with the Alfred E. Driscoll Community Service Award.

Photo courtesy of John Giannotti.

Review of Boys Basketball, 2019-20 (2)

Dawgs Hit the Heights

By Lauree Padgett for Haddonfield Today

Part 2 of 5: Dawgs Keep Streaking Along

Three games later, after easy victories over Ocean City High School in the Seagull Classic (the Dawgs won 46-29, and Ben Cerrato scored 24) and Audubon (the Dawgs won 66-33 and Andrew Gostovich scored 23, 21 off 3’s), Haddonfield had its first of two games versus its fellow Liberty division team, the Eagles of West Deptford. This initial meeting on January 8 was at the Dawgs’ pound.

Digging again into my Facebook posts, here is my recap:

It was a barn-burner game between the Haddonfield Dawgs and the Eagles of West Deptford tonight. Going into the 4th quarter, the Dawgs sported an 8-point lead on their home court … but couldn’t hold it. We went into OT tied at 36. It was a stressful period [4 minutes], but the Dawgs hung in there with tough defense and a big 2 from Andrew Gostovich and an equally big pair of foul shots from Conner Fell. [The final was 41-39.] The Dawgs are now 7-1 overall and 4-0 in the Colonial Conference. Ben Cerrato led the Dawgs with 19 points, and “Gos” finished with 16. Up next is a home game next Tuesday night versus Sterling.

Ah yes, Sterling. Sterling was allegedly another one of the “to-beat” teams in the Colonial Conference for the 2019-20 season. On January14, in the first of its pair of games versus the Silver Knights, Haddonfield again was playing host. Here is my game summary capsule:

The game was close throughout. After 1, the Dawgs were up by 3, 14-11; at half-time, they held a 5-point, 26-21, advantage. Going into the last quarter, they were ahead 37-33. But thanks to some stellar foul shooting by Tommy Mooney and four baskets under the bucket by Ben Cerrato, the Dawgs walked away with a 55-43 victory. Cerrato finished with 17 points, Andrew Gostovich with 15, and Mooney with 14. This was the Dawgs’ 7th W in a row, which improves their record to 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the Colonial Conference. Nice going, boys!

After thundering over the Herd at Woodbury on January 16, beating them by 38, 58-20, thanks in part to putting 28 on the board in the last quarter, Haddonfield played Gateway at home on January 23. This wasn’t a game in which anyone was expecting the Gators to give the Dawgs much trouble. And as expected, the Dawgs won easily, outscoring them by more than 40 points. But this was a noteworthy game for a few reasons. Here is how I described it in my Facebook post:

So, some history was made tonight at the Haddonfield boys basketball home game versus Gateway. First of all, we had a female ref for I believe the first time in a varsity game. She called a good four quarters.

And then, at some point in the third after senior Andrew Gostovich had drained another 3, I heard Dave Wiedeman in the stands behind me saying, “I wonder how many 3’s he has? He must be near the record.” So, I looked down in my scorebook and counted.

Me: Dave, he has 7. What’s the record?

Dave: 9

Me: Who has it?

Dave: One of your boys after Brian [Zoubek].

Me (after thinking for about 1 second): Greg? Greg Steinberger?

Dave: Yeah, that’s it, Greg Steinberger.

And then just to make things more exciting, Gos swooshed in #8. With that, the 3rd quarter ended with Andrew alone outscoring the poor Gators by 26-19, with eight treys and a 2-pointer, and the Dawgs overall up by 35.

Gos must have known he was closing in, as he hit #9 to tie Greg almost right after the clock started ticking in the 4th. With about 4:30 showing on the scoreboard, in went #10, and with that, the Dawgs record set by Greg in 2007 was eclipsed. [Upon further review, it was determined that Greg had shared this record with Blake Wilson, who first recorded nine 3’s in a game a few years ahead of Greg.]

Well done, Gos!! And speaking of well done, that’s pretty much sized up what the Gators were by the end of the night, well done, as the final score was 74-33, Haddonfield. The Dawgs remain undefeated, at 8-0, in the Colonial Conference, and are now 12-1 overall.

Saturday, January 23, it was time for the annual Jeff Cooney Classic. This year, Haddonfield was taking on Highland Regional. By the half, Highland hadn’t even broken into double digits and the Dawgs were up by 15, 21-6. The final score would be 63-41. Tommy Mooney had 19 points and Ben Cerrato had 21 along with eight boards.

To finish out the month of January and push their overall record to 15-1, the Dawgs would face the Red Raiders of Paulsboro at home and trek to Overbrook to take on the Rams. Although the Dawgs started out a little sluggish against the Rams, trailing by 3, 7-10, after 1, they were up by 3 at the half, 17-14, and ended up winning by 13, 46-33. Paulsboro, on the other hand, was a test of the team’s tenacity that I alluded to earlier. Here is my FB wrap-up:

Jan 28

It was a real nail-biter at Haddonfield tonight, where the Dawgs hosted the Red Raiders of Paulsboro. The two teams were in a tight game through the first 3 quarters. In fact, they were tied at 12 after the first 8 minutes and tied at 21 going into the half. But Paulsboro went on a run in the 3rd and had a 6-point lead with 1:46 to left in the period. That’s when Steve McClane hit a 3 to make it 34-37, and then after Connor Fell, who is a Bulldawg in every way on the court, picked off the ball, McClane went in for 2 to make it 36-37. But Paulsboro would get the last basket to take a 3-point lead into the final quarter. Luckily, Andrew Gostovich wasted no time in swooshing in a 3 to tie it at 39, and after another Fell pick-off, Gos followed with another 3 to put the Dawgs back on top, 42-39. And amazingly, Paulsboro would only put 5 points on the board in those last 8 minutes. The Dawgs had a pair of 3’s by McClane to help seal the deal. When the buzzer sounded, the Dawgs remained undefeated in the Colonial Conference, with a come-from-behind 52-44 win. They are now 9-0 in the conference, 14-1 overall, and haven’t lost in over a month. Gos led all scorers with 19. McClane scored all 11 of his points in the second half. Next up is a road trip to Overbrook for an early (5:30) game on Thursday.

The Dawgs were riding a 14-0 streak when they met up with Moorestown, the team that had knocked them out of first round of last year’s Tournament of Champions, beating Haddonfield by 1, 60-59, and giving our guys only their second, and final, loss of the season. Needless to say, the Dawgs and their fans were looking for a little payback when the two teams met up again on February 1 at the Holy Cross Academy Shootout. Well, after 32 minutes, two things had been proven: It sure hadn’t been redemption — Haddonfield lost again — and it most certainly hadn’t been a shootout – the final score was 27-25, Moorestown. I was not able to make the game, although several friends kept me updated. So, I’ll borrow a bit from the Inquirer’s recap, written by Chris Melchiorre and titled, “Quakers Out-Defend Dawgs in a Grinding Battle.” After putting 4 on the board and keeping the Quakers off it after 1, both teams managed 7 in the second quarter, giving the Dawgs an 11-7 lead going into the half. In the third, the Quakers outscored the Dawgs by 3, 9-6, so going into the last quarter, they were only down by 1, and not for long. As Melchiorre put it, Moorestown led, 27-22, with just over a minute left before a three-pointer by Andrew Gostovich set up a tense final minute in which Haddonfield rimmed out on two would-be game winners.” Crud! Ben Cerrato put up 16 of his team’s 25 points.

Now 15-2, the Dawgs showed their mettle by coming out strong the next two games versus Colonial opponents: their only matchup against Lindenwold and round two against Collingswood. Both were at home.

Here is part of my summary of the Lindenwold game:

Feb 4

The Lindenwold Lions came to the Dawgs’ den tonight for a Colonial Conference match. And it took a while for the Dawgs to tame them. …

The Dawgs [up 30–24 at the half] started to wear down the Lions a little more in the third. Cerrato got three buckets, Tommy Mooney went up and in twice, and Kasko got another 2 and another 3, so going into the 4th quarter, Haddonfield was up by double digits, 48-33. … When the horn sounded, the Dawgs had won 63-49 to remain undefeated (11-0) in the conference. It was a good way to rebound off a tough, defense-oriented 25-27 loss to Moorestown on Saturday. Gos finished with 17, Cerrato with 15, and Kasko with 12.

The February 6 game against Collingswood was Senior Night. As I noted in part on FB:

We honored six Haddonfield players: Aiden Bell, Ben Cerrato, Connor Fell, Andrew Gostovich, Alex Kadar, and Steve McClane. All six played significant minutes and contributed to the Dawgs’ pounding of the Panthers. But no one contributed as much to the 62-31 final score as Cerrato, who knocked in 27 points and pulled down lots of boards at both ends. Sophomore Tommy Mooney finished with 13, swooshing in 9 on treys and 4 on a few nice layups. … The Dawgs are now 12-0 in conference play (with four conference games remaining) and 17-2 overall.

Then it was time for another Saturday nonleague game. Here is some of my FB recap:

Feb 8

The Dawgs had probably the shortest road trip of the year, heading down the highway to Paul VI for the Showcase tournament. The game was at 11:30 a.m., which is not the team’s favorite time to take to the court. Their opponents were the Red Devils of Rancocas Valley Regional High School. Out on the court the Red Devils looked big and athletic. And even though the Dawgs got possession off the tip-off, the Dawgs did not score. After the Devils did not either, Ben Cerrato secured the rebound, but the Devils picked off the ball and scored. They would not get another point off a field goal the rest of the quarter. … [When] the first quarter ended, the Dawgs were up 14-4.

The second quarter was even worse if you were a Red Devils’ fan. The Dawgs’ stifling defense held them to one made basket – a 3. Meanwhile, the Dawgs just kept scoring. Mooney hit his third 3; Andrew Gostovich got his first, as well as a 2-pointer; Justin Kasko scored two buckets on a pair of nice backdoor feeds, the first from Connor Fell, and the second from Mooney; and Cerrato also had two buckets in the paint. At halftime, the Dawgs were in control, up 30-7. … When the buzzer sounded to end the game, the Dawgs had still won by 18, 53-35 to improve their record to 18-2. Ben Cerrato finished with 14; Tommy Mooney, 13; and Andrew Gostovich, 12. And sophomore Mattew Guveiyian got the first basket of his varsity career, a 3 from the left side. My nostalgic sidebar below explains Matthew’s Dawg genealogy, tells you just how long I have been going to Haddonfield boys basketball games.

For Part 1, click HERE.

PART 3 of 5 will be published on Wednesday, August 5.

Another storm … More trees down

Warwick Road near East Cottage Avenue was closed today after trees and power lines were brought down by strong winds and gusts.

A tree fell on power lines on Princeton Avenue, causing the road to be closed.

A large limb fell across Redman Avenue at Haddon Avenue (next to Jersey Java), causing the road to be closed.

In front of The Haddon Fortnightly, the upper part of a large tree crashed to the sidewalk, hitting the residential building next door. The clubhouse appears to have escaped damage. (Photo on left shows “before.”) A plaque at the base of the tree carries the inscription:

  • Memorial Tree
  • George Washington Bicentennial
  • 1732 — 1932
  • The Haddon Fortnightly
  • Registered
  • American Tree Association

Review of Boys Basketball, 2019-20 (1)

Lauree Padgett, the Number One fan of Haddonfield boys’ basketball, has filed her review of the 2019-20 season, for publication exclusively by Haddonfield Today.

Celebrating Coach Paul Wiedeman’s 500th win: Tommy Mooney, Aiden Bell, Coach Wiedeman, Ben Cerrato, Assistant Coach Brian Stafford, Andrew Gostovich, Steve McClane, Connor Fell. Photograph courtesy of Tom Kadar.

Dawgs Hit the Heights

By Lauree Padgett for Haddonfield Today

Part 1 of 5: Eye on the Goal

Basketball is never far from my mind, even in the nine long months between mid-March and mid-December. However, on Thanksgiving Day 2019 at the traditional Haddonfield-Haddon Heights gridiron matchup (which hasn’t been much of a contest recently), I wasn’t thinking about hoops as I watched the Red and Black start pulling away from the Garnet and Gold. However, when the Dawgs’ lead was becoming insurmountable, two Heights fans a few rows behind me decided to look ahead to, and apparently take some solace in, the upcoming winter sports season.

Said one Garnet fan to the other, “Well, at least Haddonfield won’t be much of a threat in basketball this season,” alluding to the fact that almost all the players who had taken the team to back-to-back state titles in 2018 and 2019 had graduated. “Yes,” was the reply, “Heights, Sterling, and West Deptford are going to be the teams to beat in the conference this year.”

After hearing this assessment, but without turning around, I said in a loud voice, “Never underestimate a team coached by Paul Wiedeman.” I’m not sure they took my warning seriously then, but three-plus-months later, I wondered if my words came back to haunt them.

Dawgs in the Hunt

But it wasn’t just two guys from Heights who weren’t giving the Dawgs much of a chance in the upcoming season. In the Inquirer’s preseason South Jersey boys basketball poll, the Dawgs didn’t even make the “Under Consideration” section. That changed within the first few games, and then on January 14, Haddonfield broke through to the No. 10 position, sporting a 7-1 record. Keeper of the Top 10, Phil Anastasia, noted, “Remember Haddonfield? … Haddonfield, which in 2019 won its second straight state title, … landed in the Top 10 for the first time this season, courtesy of a six-game winning streak that includes dramatic victories over Colonial Conference rivals Haddon Heights and West Deptford.” For the rest of the season, the Dawgs stayed in the Inquirer Top 10, going as high as the 5th spot on February 11, when they were 18–2, and finishing their 25–5 season back at No. 10.

Schedule Results — Overall Record: 25–5

Colonial Conference: 15-1

  • 12.20.19: Dawgs beat Collingswood 37–30
  • 01.03.20: Dawgs beat Haddon Heights 39–38
  • 01.06.20: Dawgs beat Audubon 66–33
  • 01.08.20: Dawgs beat West Deptford 41–39 in OT
  • 01.14.20: Dawgs beat Sterling 55–43
  • 01.16.20: Dawgs beat Woodbury 57–40
  • 01.21.20: Dawgs beat Haddon Township 44–26
  • 01.23.20: Dawgs beat Gateway 74–33
  • 01.28.20: Dawgs beat Paulsboro 52–44
  • 01.30.20: Dawgs beat Overbrook 46–33
  • 02.04.20: Dawgs beat Lindenwold 63–49
  • 02.06.20: Dawgs beat Collingswood 62–31
  • 02.11.20: Dawgs lose to Haddon Heights 30–37
  • 02.12.30: Dawgs beat Audubon 65-49
  • 02.18.20: Dawgs beat West Deptford 50–42
  • 02.20.20: Dawgs beat Sterling 43–40
  • Nonleague: 7-3
  • 12.21.19: Dawgs lose to Timber Creek 49–59
  • 12.27.19: Dawgs beat Egg Harbor Township 49–39
  • 12.28.19: Dawgs beat Woodrow Wilson 68–35
  • 01.05.20: Dawgs beat Ocean City 46–21
  • 01.18.30: Dawgs beat Millville 60–39
  • 01.25.20: Dawgs defeat Highland Regional 63–41
  • 02.01.20: Dawgs lose to Moorestown 25–27
  • 02.08/20: Dawgs beat Rancocas Valley Regional 53–35
  • 02.25.20: Dawgs beat BCIT–Westampton 41–36
  • 02.27.20: Dawgs lose to Burlington Township 48–52
  • South Jersey Group 2 Playoffs: 3-1
  • 03.03.20: Round 1: Dawgs beat Pennsauken Tech 37–21
  • 03.05.20: Quarter-finals: Dawgs beat Point Pleasant Boro 53–28
  • 03.07.20: Semi-finals: Dawgs beat Haddon Heights
  • 03.10.20: Finals: Dawgs lose to Camden 42–70

Many of those 25 wins were noteworthy, some for milestones, not just the victories themselves. Even so, I’m going to zip through many of those games, often borrowing from my Facebook post-game synopses even for the ones I give more ink too, but I particularly want to highlight a trio of contests – coincidentally all against the same team, if that isn’t too big a hint – that showcased the Dawgs’ tenacity and ability to never give up and to bounce back after tough defeats.

A New-Look Team

It’s always a bit of a challenge for me to get back into reporter mode at the start of any season. Admittedly, it was great to be back home again in the boys gym — although I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the Cougars’ gym at Cherry Hill East, where the Dawgs, on their borrowed home turf, went undefeated over two seasons. But even though I was back in “my” seat, I was missing some familiar faces on the court and in the stands.

What’s more, I was having some trouble keeping track of all the new starters and first guys off the bench. Who was number 11? Was that Steve McClane? Or Tommy Mooney? Usually, there are a few new uniform numbers to memorize, but this year, the only returning player with deep varsity minutes was senior Ben Cerrato, #25. Seniors Connor Fell, #2, and Andrew Gostovich, #23, had come in off the bench a lot the prior season, and I had caught them in JV games, and #22, Justin Kasko, looked familiar. Oh, and #33, Alex Kadar, was back on the team! But for the first several games, I was flipping back to the roster Coach Paul Wiedeman had provided me in mid-December more often than not to keep who was who straight in my mind – and on my notepad!

First up was not a home game, though, it was Collingswood away. I got an appreciated ride from my travel buddies Vic and Lynne Wiedeman, as December 20 was a pretty cold night! But it proved to be hot in the gym. Even with a vastly different lineup than the year before, the Dawgs didn’t have too much trouble keeping the Panthers at bay, and they won by 7, 37-30. So, for a team not expected to be a Colonial Conference contender, the Dawgs were off to a good start! In fact, the Dawgs, who, did I mention, were not expected to be one of the top teams in the conference, won their first 12 games against their Colonial advisories. Their only loss in what would end up being a 15-1 run through the conference would be to … well, more on that later.

The Dawgs Get on a Roll and Keep on Going

After that good start versus Collingswood, the Dawgs faltered a bit in the second game of the season, losing to Timber Creek by 10, 49-59. But they won both games they played in the Haddons Invitational, first defeating Egg Harbor Township by 10, 59-49, then making mincemeat out of Woodrow Wilson, putting 30-plus more points on the board than their opponent, handily winning 68-36.

Haddonfield vs. Haddon Heights, Round 1: January 3 at Haddon Heights

Then it was time for another conference game, another away matchup, this time at Haddon Heights, on January 3, the first of the New Year. Because I was going to try to watch some of the JV game (I had a vested interest; more on that later) and arrived quite a bit ahead of the 7pm varsity start time, I was not expecting to have trouble parking. However, I ended up way past the football field on First Avenue. When I got inside, I looked for a spot with some Haddonfield fans, and although it wasn’t behind our boys’ bench, where I usually try to sit for most away games, I took a seat. A bit later, I was very happy to be at this locale, as none other than Dyl Heine and Lew Evans, 2019 Dawg alums home for the holidays, who had come to cheer on their team and one of their biggest rivals, ended up directly in front of me.

This is what I had this to say in my Facebook post after the game:

Dawg Update: Well, there were 2:10 minutes left in the game. Haddonfield, at Heights, was down 10 points. And then 7, then 4, then 1, and then we went up 1! Final score, 39-38, Dawgs!! Whoop, whoop, whoop!!!

While short and sweet, covering the major details, as the first of Haddonfield’s three battles against Haddon Heights, the game deserves a bit more detail here, even though the first 29 minutes, there was not a lot for Dyl, Lew, and the rest of us to actually cheer about.

The Dawgs did get the first bucket of the game, a nice drive by sophomore Tommy Mooney after neither team had scored during its first possession. However, the Garnets would get the next 7 points on three 2’s and then a foul shot, and with just under 2 minutes left in quarter 1, the Dawgs were trailing 2-7. Ben Cerrato got his first points of the New Year on a trey to make it a 5-7 game, but Heights would get the last basket of the quarter and take a 9-5 lead into the second quarter.

In those next 8 minutes, the Dawgs got more points on the board, thanks to a pair of 3’s by Andrew Gostovich (aka Gos) and one by senior Steve McClane. Meanwhile, Heights got fewer, so going into the half, the Dawgs were only down a bucket, 14-16. I was feeling optimistic as the teams left the court, as often last year, the third quarter was when the Dawgs would kick up the offense and defense.

However, the Garnets came out determined not to give the Dawgs that chance. They hit two 3’s and a 2 in the first 80 seconds of the second half to take a double-digit, 24-14, lead. Not surprisingly, Paul Wiedeman called a timeout. A foul on the Garnets off a Haddonfield inbound sent McClane to the foul line. He made both shots to briefly get the Dawgs to within 8, 16-24. I say “briefly” because Heights came back with a 2 and a 3 to go up by 13, 29-16 at the 4:59 mark.

A nice maneuver in the paint by Cerrato made it 18-29, and a failed hot-shot attempt at a slam by Heights kept it an 11-point Garnet advantage. McClane set up the next score by Haddonfield by hustling for a jump ball that favored Haddonfield, and with 2:13 to go in the quarter, he hit a 2-point bunker to cut the Dawgs’ deficit to 9, 20-29. Heights answered with yet another 3 to push the lead back to double digits, 31-20. But just ahead of the buzzer, Cerrato picked off the ball and went in for 2, so the third quarter ended with the Dawgs down by 9, 31-22.

The last 8 minutes of the game did not begin well if you were rooting for the visitors, as the home team promptly nailed a 3, giving the Garnets a 12-point, 34-22, lead. The Dawgs didn’t get their first points of the quarter until after a few more trips up and down the court, but they were off a 3 from Gos and came off an inbound pass, making it 25-34, Heights. A steal by senior Alex Kadar set up a 3 from Cerrato, and suddenly the Dawgs were making inroads, closing the gap to 28-34 with 5 and change left in the game. In the stands, the Dawg fans were beginning to make some noise.

Heights was called for a travel with 5:07 to go, but Haddonfield could not capitalize on it. A wild hot potato loose ball ended up in Heights’ possession, but to no avail, as the Garnets lost it out of bounds. After the Dawgs failed to score, Heights managed to get three offensive boards, succeeding after the third one to get the ball in the basket. Although the field goal resulted in a foul on the Dawgs, Heights couldn’t convert at the line, and with just under 4 minutes to go, the Dawgs were behind by 8, 28-36.

A blocked shot gave the ball back to the Garnets, who parleyed that into another basket, but again missed the ensuing foul shot. Still, their lead was back to double-digits, 38-28, with 3:31 on the clock. A turnover off a bad pass gave the Garnets back the ball, but after a missed shot, there was no second-chance basket, as Gostovich grabbed the rebound. An official timeout was called at 2:44 after an injured Haddon Heights player had to leave the court. Haddonfield missed another basket, but McClane stole the ball, which ended up going out of bounds off Heights, and with 2:11 remaining in the game, the Dawgs were still down by 10. As I waited for play to resume, I had the fleeting thought of the Dawgs being down by double-digits in the 2019 South Jersey Group 2 final against Camden with about the same amount of time remaining. Would this current crop of Dawgs players remember and use that game as a “bench”mark about how to never give up?

They would! Mooney started this comeback with a 3, and with 1:53 showing on the clock the Dawgs were down by 7, 31-38. McClane, who had a big game at both ends of the court, swiped the ball again, and Heights answered with a foul. The Dawgs kept getting the offensive rebound after their shots weren’t going in, and finally, the Garnets got a foul called that sent Cerrato to the line. He uncharacteristically missed both shots, but Gostovich picked him up by grabbing the offensive board and swooshing in a 3, to make it a 4-point, 34-38 game with about 80 seconds left. Suddenly, the Dawgs and Heights were in a battle.

With 1:06 left in the game, Wiedeman called a timeout. If it was the play he set up, it worked brilliantly, as after passing the ball around and around, whittling about 30 seconds off the clock, McClane, in the corner, let the ball fly. It arched up … and in! With 33 seconds left, the Dawgs were back to within 1, 37-38. In the stands, I jumped up and down and used the heads of Heine and Evans to show my excitement by (lightly) pounding on them.

This turn of events prompted a Heights timeout with 33 seconds on the clock. The Dawgs were trying to press with tight D at the other end of the court, but pressed a little too tightly and were charged with a foul. With 22.5 seconds remaining, Heights had two chances to add to its total, and missed both. With a huge assist from McClane, Cerrato went up and in for 2 with 14.9 on the clock, putting the Dawgs up, 39-38, for the first time since the first basket of the game by Mooney. The Dawg fans went wild (and no, I did not give either Dyl or Lew a concussion with more head banging). Heights called another timeout. The Dawgs stole the ball back, and Cerrato found himself back on the line for a 1+1. The ball did not drop in, but with 5.8 seconds to go, Heights let the clock run down before attempting its final shot of the game. It did not go in the rim and the buzzer sounded. Haddonfield had done it again, perhaps not in the same venue, but all the same, this group of players pulled off an upset that would foreshadow just what this team, not predicted to do much, could actually accomplish with hard work, self-determination, and the best high school coaching staff this side of the Delaware. (Maybe even the Mississippi.)

Ben Cerrato finished with 14, Andrew Gostovich with 12. In the final 8 minutes, the Dawgs put 17 on the board, thanks to five treys and a 2, and held the Garnets to 7 points.

PART 2 of 5 will be published on Tuesday, August 4.

Planning Board to meet

The Haddonfield Planning Board will meet, courtesy of Zoom, on Tuesday, August 4 at 7:30pm.

Join the meeting HERE.

Meeting ID: 832 4889 0112.

Password: 498549

The agenda, when finalized, may be accessed HERE.

COVID-19: Another teen tests positive

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that a Haddonfield female, age 10 to 19, has contracted the coronavirus, COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 77, with six fatalities, and the total number of teens affected to eight.

Haddonfield’s youth (ages 10 to 19) escaped the virus until the beginning of July. Then:

  • July 2 — 2 males
  • July 17 — 1 female
  • July 21 — 1 female
  • July 22 — 1 female and 1 male
  • July 25 — 1 male
  • July 29 — 1 female

Totals: 4 males, 4 females

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 8,781, with 538 deaths. For New Jersey, 180,766 cases with 13,923 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,875 probable deaths.

The transmission rate in New Jersey is 1.14. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

NJ lawmakers propose remote start (only) to school year

Three New Jersey lawmakers plan to introduce a bill that would require school districts to keep their buildings closed and provide virtual learning only for the first few months of the school year. The potential reopening of schools would be evaluated on a monthly basis after October 31.

One of the sponsors of the bill is Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, one of two representatives for District 6, which includes Haddonfield. She is the deputy speaker of the Legislative Assembly and chair of the Education Committee.

For details, go HERE.

Board of Ed: Incumbents are only candidates

By the deadline for filing to run in the 2020 Haddonfield Board of Education election — Monday, July 27 at 4pm — only three candidates had submitted petitions: Lynn Howard Hoag, Heather Paoli, and Thomas Vecchio. All three are incumbent members of the board.

The election will be held on Tuesday, November 3, the same day as the general election.

School District releases plan for the fall

During a Board of Education meeting on July 28, 2020, the Haddonfield School District released its plan for a return to school in the fall, within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The public schools are scheduled to open on Tuesday, September 8.

The plan — “On the Road Back” — presents three models:

  • Model A – A Hybrid learning plan that includes some in-person learning and some virtual learning.
  • Model B – A Virtual learning plan for students whose parents or guardians choose to not send their children to school.
  • Model C – A Contingency plan for 100% virtual learning, in the event that state or county agencies mandate school closures.

A PDF of the plan is available HERE.

A message from Superintendent Chuck Klaus, addressed to parents, guardians, staff, and students, introduces the plan:

When our students and staff left school on March 16, 2020, most of us could not imagine they would continue in a virtual learning model through the end of the year. This abrupt shift required schools to quickly re-imagine how to best deliver virtual instruction and serve our students.

Today we are approaching the start of the 2020-21 school year. Once again, we are facing a challenge we could not have foreseen one year ago, to start a new school year that will look different than any we have experienced before. To this end, over the past months, the Leadership Team of Haddonfield School District has been focused on developing a plan to safely reopen schools in September in a way that will meet the needs of all of our students and our dedicated staff.

We appreciate the difficulties and the stresses placed on staff and families over the last five months. We also realize that each of us has unique circumstances, perspectives, and feelings about how best to return to school. During this process, many different models were explored and reviewed with feedback from families, students, staff, community members and frequent consultation with our district physician and nursing staff. Ultimately any reopening plan must balance safety, instruction, and operations in a way to provide the best solution for all 1,500 families and 350 staff members in our district.

It comes as no surprise that developing a re-entry plan has been complicated by the complexities of guidelines and information that seem to change daily. In June, the New Jersey Department of Education released a recovery document (“The Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan for Education”) outlining priorities to guide this process. Paramount among them is addressing factors that will meet the needs of our families, students, and staff while ensuring a safe and healthy environment in which to learn. Just last week, the NJDOE released updated guidance, as did the CDC; each new update and change has the potential to require us to rethink and rework our plans.

The work to balance all factors and forge an effective plan required collaboration and effort from many individuals. In addition, a Steering Committee and several Action Teams, were created with members representing administration, the Board of Education, staff, parents and community members. The July 16th Board of Education meeting was held to share options and to obtain comments and questions so that all stakeholders would be heard. As a district we approached this with an open mind and a sincere desire to elicit feedback from anyone and everyone who will be impacted by the reopening plan. The result of this work is spelled out in this document, “Haddonfield School District: On the Road Back.”

Within this document, families and staff will find information about our guiding principles, the process followed, instructional models, FAQs, and contingency plans for distance learning in the event schools may need to be closed during the upcoming year. Haddonfield School District takes our responsibilities to our families, staff, and community seriously. We understand our obligation to meet the safety and educational needs of our students and staff. We have a proud history of providing our students with a high quality education, and we are committed to maintaining those standards. As a result, the return-to-school plan outlined in this document provides a balance of ensuring a safe and healthy environment while also providing access to a quality education.

Two new COVID-19 cases: Male teen, female 40s.

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that another two Haddonfield residents have contracted the coronavirus, COVID-19: a male age 10 to 19 identified on Friday, July 25 and a female in her 30s on Saturday 26. (Camden County reports weekend numbers on Mondays.) This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 76, with six fatalities.

Haddonfield’s youth (ages 10 to 19) escaped the virus until the beginning of July. The first cases were reported on July 2: two males. Then: a female on July 17; another on July 21; and another on July 22. A male also was reported on July 22, and this latest case on July 25. The total now stands at seven.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 8,698, with 538 deaths. For New Jersey, 179,812 cases with 13,884 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,920 probable deaths.

The transmission rate in New Jersey jumped from 0.90 on Friday to 1.09 today. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

Adult School rebrands

The Haddonfield Adult School announced today the formation of Haddonfield Community Education & Recreation.

Its goals are to meet the learning interests and needs of the residents of the Haddonfield area, specifically:.  

  • Provide Haddonfield and neighboring communities with opportunities for learning and personal enrichment.
  • Offer a wide variety of courses and programs that appeal to learners of all ages.
  • Be the first choice for community learning in the Haddonfield area.
  • Meet the changing needs of the community.

Haddonfield Community Education & Recreation says it is “committed to maintaining our excellent program for our community residents,” and that it looks forward to “opening online in the fall.”

Class of 2020: Ready to change the world

By Rachel Bonnet, President, Haddonfield Memorial High School Class of 2020

Good evening to my fellow classmates, friends, families, teachers and administrators. I hope you have all been safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. A special thank you to all of you who serve as front line and essential workers. I would like to begin by thanking my classmates. The relationships and experiences  we have all shared throughout our many years together have been incredible and I am so proud to have grown up beside each of you and call you my friends. Secondly, I would like to thank our teachers, administrators, coaches,  the Haddonfield community and our families for all your support and guidance and for providing our class with such a rich and rewarding experience. You have helped us grow in so many ways to become the people we are today.

This certainly is not the ending to our Haddonfield educational experience anyone could have imagined.  When we left school on March 13, we did not expect it would be our last day together at HMHS. It ended far sooner than we would have liked, in the midst of a global pandemic which continues to impact our lives. Our class was not able to enjoy so many senior year experiences that would have brought us even closer together, such as our Disney trip, Prom, spring sports, Arts in the Courtyard, performing arts exhibitions and as you can see even a normal graduation. We did not get a chance to say proper goodbyes and thank yous to one another and to our amazing teachers. However, this pandemic has required everyone to make sacrifices, and one of ours was the end of our senior year. We understand we had an important role to play in reducing the spread of Covid-19 by social distancing which meant foregoing all of the wonderful events that were planned at the end of our senior year. By doing this we helped to save many lives! While it saddens all of us that we weren’t able to laugh together, hug each other and enjoy the end of our senior year together, our class will move forward beyond this pandemic and continue to grow together even as we go our separate ways. 

This global pandemic has become part of our class’s identity, however it will not define us. Our class is so incredible and our contribution, impact and participation in our community is too great to be overlooked. 

Before the pandemic arrived, our identity as a class had already been forged. We are a class reflecting so many abilities and strengths, interests, and passions. Our character embodies honesty, integrity, goodness and commitment to others. We have experienced and grown so much together. We have laughed and cried together, we have celebrated and grieved together, we have succeeded and failed together, and we have grown to become a remarkable family together. We have brought our spirit, collective abilities and energy to enhance the culture of the HMHS community as our class raised and contributed almost $23,000 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation over our four years of spirit week successes. We have committed ourselves to service in so many ways. We have participated in mission trips and have supported people and communities within Haddonfield, the surrounding communities and villages overseas. We have worked on environmental initiatives, fed those who are hungry, built homes for those without shelter, and engaged with our senior citizen community in many supportive and rewarding ways. Haddonfield has nurtured us and guided us to become successful students, artists, musicians, actors, debaters, athletes, leaders, gamers, app-builders, environmentalists, social justice advocates and community service providers. Our incredible class spirit reflected how much we enjoyed coming together and celebrating each other. In just the last month of school, the gym was packed for exciting late season basketball games and wrestling matches, many sectional and state titles were won, and the drama club entertained us with an amazing performance of Hello Dolly. Our class is incredibly multidimensional;and has truly left its mark. We have shared a great experience at HMHS and we have so much to share with, and learn from the world as we move forward.

Together, we have accomplished so much. We are strong and capable people, with the ability to do whatever we set our minds to. As we move into the world, we need to make it a better place. We have a responsibility to learn and understand and then to act to effect positive change. A few weeks ago, the world witnessed George Floyd murdered at the hands of a police officer. Systemic racism and injustice continue to be prevalent in the United States. People should not be advantaged or disadvantaged based on the color of their skin. We must fight for equality. 

In addition to advancing systemic and structural social justice reforms, we need to care more about our planet. We must learn how to live sustainably and to address the steadily increasing temperatures of the earth. Informed by science, we need to act on behalf of our planet, ourselves and future generations. 

Our lives must be informed by truth. It is our responsibility to be informed by truth, to promote truth and make decisions based on truth. 

We have an obligation to stand up and to speak up — to use our voices to make our country the place that we want it to be. It may seem as though individually, our voice is small, but we can not underestimate how far our voices can carry and the incredible change that we can make.

To bring about change, we now have a responsibility to make our voices heard. We need to vote. Vote locally, vote in state elections, VOTE in the presidential election.

The Haddonfield Memorial class of 2020 steps beyond these walls with hope, excited to embrace an uncertain future. We remain resilient and optimistic, understanding we are prepared and ready to change the world. The future looks bright!

Congratulations Haddonfield Memorial Class of 2020!

School Board filing deadline: July 27

Haddonfield residents interested in serving on the Board of Education have just a few days to collect the required number of signatures for their petition. The filing deadline is 4pm on Monday, July 27.

Three seats will be in play, each with a three-year term. The incumbents are Lynn Hoag, Heather Paoli, and Thomas Vecchio.

The election will be held on Tuesday, November 3, the date of the general election.

On July 1, 2020, Governor Murphy signed into law A-4037 that would require an electronic process for the collection of petition signatures and their submission for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

For information, go HERE. The petition is available HERE.

The New Jersey School Boards Association has an online video series for school board candidates,“Ten Things Every School Board Candidate Should Know before Taking Office”. The series contains important information for candidates and newly elected board members.

COVID-19: Four more cases. July bad for teens.

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that four more Haddonfield residents have contracted the coronavirus, COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases locally to 73, with six fatalities.

Two of those added to the list today are age 10 to 19 — one male and one female. In addition, a female in her 30s and a male in his 40s were added.

Haddonfield’s youth (ages 10 to 19) escaped the virus until the beginning of July. The first cases were reported on July 2: two males. Then: a female on July 17; another on July 21; and another on July 22. A male also was reported on July 22.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 8,455, with 528 deaths. For New Jersey, 177,645 cases with 13,787 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,920 probable deaths.

The transmission rate in New Jersey remains unchanged from yesterday, at 0.90. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

Summer Sale: From sidewalks to the street

The following is derived from a statement sent to members of the business community by the Commissioners and the Partnership for Haddonfield on Wednesday, July 22.

The Board of Commissioners and the Partnership for Haddonfield are excited to announce that the 2020 Super Summer Sale will be held Thursday, August 6 through Sunday, August 9.

In celebration of this inaugural event, which builds on the success of our historic Sidewalk Sale, Kings Highway will be closed to vehicular traffic from PATCO to Haddon Avenue on Thursday, August 6th, and Friday, August 7, from 11am to 7pm.

In order to maintain the health and safety of our community, no retail merchandise will be permitted on the sidewalks between PATCO and Haddon Avenue. Instead, Borough officials are working to provide a specific plan that will permit merchandise to be displayed and sold on the Highway by each retailer, with direction as to the placement of displays in order to maintain social distancing and provide for an adequate fire lane in the event of emergency.

Outdoor dining will continue to be permitted on existing, designated sidewalk areas. Dining tables are not permitted in the street during the Sale.

We hope that this “new” event will promote Downtown Haddonfield as the wonderful destination that it is! Please join with Borough officials in adhering to State-issued guidance: masks and social distancing are to be encouraged and we hope to do so in a friendly, positive manner that is both welcoming and celebratory.

Your safety and that of our entire community, as well as our visitors, is of the utmost importance. Where possible, arrange for contact-free payment options, provide access to hand sanitizer and disposable masks, and frequently sanitize high-touch points. Remind customers to touch only what they intend to purchase as you welcome them back for shopping this summer!

On Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9, the Super Summer Sale will be in-store only. Sales on the sidewalk and in the street are prohibited on those dates, as the road will be open for vehicular traffic. We are grateful for your continued presence in our Borough, and hope that the Sale is a huge success!

Republican Club to meet

The Haddonfield Republican Club will hold its next monthly meeting on August 12 at 7pm.

Now that the Borough Hall has reopened, the club is able to meet in the auditorium. Those attending are asked to enter via a side door.

Masks will be worn and social distancing protocol will be observed.

Commissioners to meet

The Borough commissioners will hold a meeting and budget work session on Monday, July 27 at 8pm. Action may be taken during the meeting.

To attend virtually, register in advance HERE.

National honor for Haddonfield

USA Today conducted an online contest recently, inviting members of the public to vote for the Best Small Town Cultural Scenes in the United States.

Ten towns were included in the poll:

  • Chautauqua, New York
  • El Dorado, Arkansas
  • Haddonfield, New Jersey
  • Nashville, Indiana
  • Occidental, California
  • Perham, Minnesota
  • Point Pleasant, West Virginia
  • Saratoga Springs, New York
  • Sheridan, Wyoming
  • Staunton, Virginia

When the votes were tallied, Chautauqua took top honors, with Haddonfield the runner-up.

In commenting on the award, Mayor Neal Rochford said, “We in Haddonfield pride ourselves in our one-of-a-kind Downtown experience with beautiful tree-lined streets and well-preserved historic buildings that now are home to over 200 businesses. We hope that this continued recognition will encourage those who haven’t experienced our historic town, to come and visit for the day when in the Delaware Valley area.”

The Art of Beer

The Markeim Arts Center will present the third of three Art of Beer classes on Tuesday, August 18.

Titled Fabulous Fall Beers, the class will enable participants to sample and discuss five different fall beers – some of the best seasonal suds for fall.

Participants will have the option of participating via Zoom or outside King’s Road Brewery, if weather permits.

For more information and to register, go HERE.

Food Drive on August 26

The First Baptist Church will hold a food drive on Wednesday, August 26 in support of the Food Bank of South Jersey.

Those who wish to donate non-perishable food items are asked to stop by the church’s parking lot between 10 and 11am.

Monetary donations may be made payable to “Oaklyn Community Food Pantry” and dropped off on August 26 or mailed to the First Baptist Church at 124 Kings Highway East. (Write “Food Drive” on the envelope, to ensure that your donation will be correctly assigned.)

Questions? Call Chip Chapman at 856-795-1727.

Movie Night canceled

“Out of an abundance of caution due to evolving safety guidelines for public gatherings,” Haddonfield Plays & Players has canceled the Beach Blanket Movie Night showing of “Mamma Mia!” originally scheduled for Friday, July 24.

But, they add … “Stay tuned for soon-to-be-announced future programs!”

Virtual arts and crafts for kids

The Markeim Arts Center is offering virtual classes with the theme, “Under the Sea.”

The classes, for ages 6 to 12, will give students the opportunity to create artwork inspired by the ocean and animals that live in the ocean.

During each class, participants will create 2D and 3D crafts using items typically found around the house.

Classes will be held via Zoom on Monday, July 27 through Friday, July 31. There will be two one-hour sessions each day, starting at 10am and 2pm.

For more information and to register, click HERE.

Creative exercises and challenges for teens

The Markeim Arts Center is offering virtual lessons in Creative Exercises and Challenges.

The classes, for ages 12 to 17, aim to help students break out of an art block, think in new ways, and get into the creative head space. Each lesson will present a new drawing challenge, and together everyone will create their own piece. 

The Markeim says that students will “learn several tips and tricks, as well as plenty of resources to motivate, inspire, and keep you challenged in a fun and informative format.”

Classes will be held via Zoom on five Tuesdays starting July 28, from 3:30pm – 4:30pm.

For more information and to register, click HERE.

Produce vouchers for low-income seniors

Camden County is providing vouchers to enable low-income senior citizens to purchase fruits, vegetables, and herbs at Springdale Farms in Cherry Hill.

The face value of each voucher is $5 and they are available in sets of five. Seniors may use vouchers singly or in combination, but no change will be given if the purchase total is less than the total value of the voucher/s being used.

In income limit is $22,459 if single and $30,451 if married.

To request vouchers, call 856-858-3220 or 856-858-3884. Vouchers will be mailed to approved recipients.

Vouchers are valid through November 2020.

Two new COVID-19 cases

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that two females, one age 10 to 19 and one in her 40s, have contracted the coronavirus, COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases for Haddonfield to 69, with six fatalities. Four of the 69 are in their teens.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 8,426, with 514 deaths. For New Jersey, 177,256 cases with 13,763 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,974 probable deaths.

The transmission rate in New Jersey remains unchanged from yesterday, at 0.90. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

Super Summer Sale: August 6 to 9

Faced with the impracticality of holding its summer sidewalk sale during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Partnership for Haddonfield is planning a Super Summer Sale with loads of hot bargains and comfortable, cool, indoor shopping.

The dates are Thursday, August 6 through Sunday 9.

This annual one-of-a-kind shopping event is a treasure hunter’s dream and has become one of the most anticipated events in the Downtown. Heating up Haddonfield’s fine shops and boutiques will be exciting specials and discounts throughout the beautiful Downtown business district along Kings Highway and our charming side streets – which include Mechanic Street, Ellis Street, Tanner Street, Haddy Lane, Kings Court, and Haddon Avenue.

Shoppers can also enjoy al fresco dining at select Downtown restaurants, or grab a refreshing summer treat such as ice cream, gelato, iced coffee, and more while hopping from shop to shop.

“This year has brought challenges as well as new ways for us to provide unbeatable customer service to our visitors,” said Remi Fortunato, retail recruiter for the Partnership for Haddonfield. “We’re looking forward to the return of our Summer Sale, and to welcoming everyone to shop, dine, and discover our beautiful Downtown,” she continued.

The Downtown is adhering to Governor Murphy’s guidelines by requiring visitors to wear masks indoors, not only for their safety, but for the safety of others around them. Masks should also be worn outdoors when six feet of social distance cannot be practiced, Social distancing should be maintained between visitors wherever possible, and hand sanitizing protocols should be practiced.

New COVID-19 case: Female teen

The Camden County Department of Health reported on Friday, July 17 that a female age 10 to 19 has contracted the coronavirus, COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases for Haddonfield to 67, with six fatalities. Three of the 67 are in their teens.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 8,337, with 514 deaths. For New Jersey, 176,551 cases with 13,710 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,974 probable deaths.

The good news today is that the transmission rate in New Jersey has dropped to 0.90, below the key threshold of 1.0. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

NJ to permit all-remote learning

NJ Gov. Phil Murphy announced today that parents who have concerns about sending their children back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic will have the option to choose all-remote learning.

He said the Department of Education will release details later this week.

This news comes as the Haddonfield School District is soliciting feedback from parents, teachers, and members of the community on its draft plan for school in the fall.

Titled “On the Road Back,” the draft plan details two options:

  • Model 1 is based on 100% capacity
  • Model 2 is based on 50% capacity.

The basis for the two models is the District’s belief that schools and education are essential:

  • We value the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff
  • Children benefit from being physically present in school — Learning — Achievement — Socially

The district’s goal is to develop a plan for a September return to school that balances and maximizes those factors.

Read the draft plan HERE.

Submit comments HERE.

Based on feedback and continued research, the district’s Leadership Team will prepare a new model and present it during the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, July 28.

A video of Chuck Klaus’s presentation to the July 16 Board of Education meeting may be viewed HERE.

Draft plan for reopening schools

During the Board of Education meeting on July 16, 2020, Superintendent Chuck Klaus presented the School District’s draft plan for reopening the public schools in the fall.

The district is now soliciting feedback from parents, teachers, and members of the community on the draft plan.

Titled “On the Road Back,” the draft plan details two options:

  • Model 1 is based on 100% capacity
  • Model 2 is based on 50% capacity.

The basis for the two models is the District’s belief that schools and education are essential:

  • We value the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff
  • Children benefit from being physically present in school — Learning — Achievement — Socially

The district’s goal is to develop a plan for a September return to school that balances and maximizes those factors.

Read the draft plan HERE.

Submit comments HERE. Those interested in commenting should note that time is of the essence.

Based on feedback and continued research, the district’s Leadership Team will prepare a new model and present it during the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, July 28.

A video of Chuck Klaus’s presentation to the July 16 Board of Education meeting may be viewed HERE.

Two new COVID-19 cases. Transmission rate hits 1.0.

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that a male in his 20s and a female in her 60s, both Haddonfield residents, have contracted the coronavirus, COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases for Haddonfield to 66, with six fatalities.

In Camden County, the total number of cases stands at 8,311, with 514 deaths. For New Jersey, 176,501 cases with 13,691 confirmed deaths and an additional 1,974 probable deaths.

Of particular concern is the news today that the transmission rate in New Jersey has hit a key threshold: 1.0. (A transmission rate of 1.0 means that, on average, each new case will produce one additional new case. When the transmission rate falls below 1,0, it’s a good sign. When it rises above 1.0, it’s cause for concern.)

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day.

COVID-19: Camden County passes two “grim” milestones

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that the number of cases of COVID-19 in the county is now above the 8,000 mark, and the number of deaths attributed to the coronavirus exceeds 500.

Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. released the following statement:

“This pandemic has been marked by one grim milestone after another. Today, we announce with a heavy heart the loss of 22 additional Camden County residents, bringing our total number of victims to over 500.

“The toll of this pandemic has been absolutely devastating. Hundreds of families in our community have been torn apart by this virus, and news from around the country raises fears that we will continue to face additional loss of life in the weeks and months ahead.

“The only way to prevent this from happening is to continue following the guidance of public health officials. Wear a mask, social distance, avoid large gatherings, and stay home if you are sick.

“This fight has not been easy, and it is not getting easier, but we can win the war against this virus if we work together and individually take responsibility for the health and wellbeing of those around us.”

Key stats for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated each weekday on Haddonfield[dot]Today, under the COVID-19 header.

Female in 20s tests positive

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that a Haddonfield female in her 20s has been confirmed positive with the novel coronavorus, COVID-19.

The addition of this case brings the Haddonfield tally to 64 confirmed cases, with 6 fatalities.

Stats for Haddonfield are updated each weekday on Haddonfield[dot]Today, under the COVID-19 header.

Video: Racism in Education (a town hall)

On June 29, 2020, the Haddonfield School District hosted an online Town Hall on Racism in Education – how race affects the experience of students (current and alumni), faculty, staff, and community members in Haddonfield schools.

The district’s goal was to hear about the experiences of the community, and ask questions that will guide the district in its future work. 

The meeting was led by Dr. Shelley Zion, Professor of Urban Education at Rowan University. Dr. Zion has been working with district administrators, teachers, and staff for two years.

More than 100 people attended the online meeting, a video of which may be viewed on the School District’s YouTube site, HERE.

Zoning Board to meet

The Haddonfield Zoning Board of Adjustment will meet, courtesy of Zoom, on Tuesday, July 21 at 7:30pm.

You can join the meeting HERE.

The meeting ID is 892 4091 1514.

Password: 593680

The agenda, when finalized, may be accessed HERE.

Planning Board to meet

The Haddonfield Planning Board will meet, courtesy of Zoom, on Tuesday, July 7 at 7:30pm.

Join the meeting HERE.

The meeting ID is 892 4091 1514.

Password: 593680

The agenda, when finalized, may be accessed HERE.

Summer Reading Challenge

The theme of this year’s national Summer Reading Challenge at public libraries is “Imagine Your Story” – a celebration of fantasy, mythology, and fairy tales.

The Haddonfield Public Library suggests that this summer is the perfect year to visit a land far, far away. 

The fun will begin on Monday, July 6. The library will be using Beanstack to manage the challenge, and is offering “lots of great prizes.”

For more information and to sign up, visit Beanstack HERE.

Primary Election, Tuesday, July 7

For this election, ballots were mailed to registered voters.

If you returned your ballot by mail, you do not need to go the your polling place on Tuesday, July 7.

If you did not return your ballot by mail, you have three options:

  1. Mail your ballot on or before Election Day. Ballots postmarked on or before Election Day and received by July 14, 2020 will be counted.
  2. Go to your polling place (see list below) and vote a paper Provisional Ballot. Polling places will be open from 6am to 8pm.
  3. Drop off your ballot at any one of six locations in Camden County (see list below), by 8pm.

NOTE: You CANNOT drop off the ballot you received in the mail at a polling place. You MUST use one of the three options listed above.

Polling Places in Haddonfield:

  • Districts 1, 3, 5 — Methodist Church
  • Districts 2, 4 — Mabel Kay Senior Center
  • District 3 — Methodist Church
  • District 6, 7 — Elizabeth Haddon School
  • Districts 8, 9 — Lutheran Church
  • District 10 — Borough Hall

To find the location of your polling place, go HERE.

Ballot Drop-Off Locations in Camden County:

  • Audubon Municipal Building
  • Camden County Administration Building, Camden
  • Camden County Board of Elections
  • Camden County College, Cherry Hill
  • Chesilhurst Municipal Building
  • Gloucester Township Municipal Building

To find the addresses of these locations, and more detailed information, go HERE.

A message from the Mayor

An Independence Day message from Mayor Neal Rochford

This upcoming 4th of July will be bittersweet for me.

The Haddonfield 4th of July celebrations are something I hold near and dear to my heart. For me, it’s the little things like watching families with small children heading up to the parade with their decorated bikes, seeing the chairs put out before the parade so that people can get a great view, and feeling the energy from the community groups lining up for the parade.

When I had the pleasure to lead the parade with my fellow commissioners, it fills me with pride in seeing children sitting on the curb with the American Flag. The shout-outs and the waves from familiar faces make my day! I’ve even been called out for slowing down the parade because of my tendency to try and say hello to everyone.

I’ve always enjoyed the neighborhood floats, no matter what the topic. Does anyone remember the Martha Stewart in jail float? Or the time Roberts Ave had everyone dress up as Mayor Tish Colombi? In the 2000 year I had gotten a group together and we did a theme of the Y2K bug that no one understood. We came in last place but still had a blast!

My hometown pride is overflowing with appreciation that I can live and serve in such a wonderful community. To me, there is nothing like a parade to remind us to celebrate our past and to show our patriotism. Together, it’s a time for our residents to celebrate our independence.

This year, because of the Covid-19 virus, many events have been canceled. While it’s hard to imagine no parade and fireworks this year, the committee’s decision to cancel is the right one in my opinion, due to the large crowds. The traditional activities will be back in the future and better than ever.

As the governor continues to open the state back up, I would like to thank everyone during this very stressful period for your teamwork and patience. Please continue to support the Haddonfield business district, as they have truly suffered during the lockdown

.Lastly, I thank the Celebrations Committee for their work and dedication to organizing the events for over 50 years. This group works all year to bring the best parade and firework display in South Jersey, and deserve our heartfelt gratitude.

Four new COVID-19 cases (two are teens)

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that four Haddonfield residents have been confirmed positive with the novel coronavorus, COVID-19.

One is a male in his 50s; one is a female in her 50s; and two are male, ages 10 to 19. Until this report, the youngest Haddonfield residents identified as having contracted the virus were in their 20s. This is also the highest number of Haddonfield cases reported in a single day.

The addition of these four cases brings the Haddonfield tally to 63 confirmed cases, with 6 fatalities.

Stats for Haddonfield are updated each weekday on Haddonfield[dot]Today, under the COVID-19 header.

Change to Friday’s recycling, yard waste schedule

The article published on page 17 of the Haddonfield Today issue of June 26 to July 10 about trash, recycling, and vegetative waste pick-up on Thursday, July 2 and Friday, July 3 was incorrect. (Our apologies!)

The following is correct:

If you normally put your RECYCLING AND VEGETATIVE WASTE out on Friday, put it out in time for collection on Thursday (July 2) instead.

If you normally put your TRASH out on Friday, put it out in time for collection on Friday (July 3) as usual.

Two residents test positive for COVID-19

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that two more Haddonfield residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 — a female in her 40s, on June 27; and a male in his 50s, on June 29.

This brings the total of confirmed cases for Haddonfield to 59. The number of Haddonfield deaths remains unchanged, at 6.

The number of cases represents 5.09 per 1,000 of population. By comparison: Camden County 14.83; New Jersey 19.28.

A Patriotic Home Hunt for Fourth of July

The Borough is encouraging residents to celebrate Independence Day by decorating their homes for a Patriotic Home Hunt.

Judges will drive by on Saturday, July 4, and winners will be announced on Sunday, July 5. A list of entrants will be published, so residents can “drive, ride, or walk around town and enjoy.”

Townwide gift certificates will be awarded.

The sign-up deadline is June 30. To sign up, go HERE.

Markeim seeks financial support

The COVID-19 shutdown has dramatically affected the Markeim Arts Center’s ability to conduct classes, camps or galleries – all of which supply much needed funding to pay our staff and overhead operational costs. While our board of directors has cut back on everything we can, we find ourselves in dire need of funds to continue even skeletal operations at Markeim. Your support of the Markeim Arts Center today could save this community cornerstone.

We are calling upon our artists, current and former members, students, camp families and all our patrons to HELP Markeim continue our nearly 65 years as the heart of Haddonfield and the home to arts in our community. We appeal to you – if you’re in any position to do so at this time – please consider becoming a member or renewing your membership, or consider making a one time gift to Markeim. 

Membership starts at just $45 for individuals; members are given discounted rates for classes, camps and gallery fees throughout the year. Your financial support enables us to hire staff to conduct classes and run camps that are the backbone of Markeim as a community organization, as well as pay the overhead to keep our space functional for galleries and private rentals – all revenue streams that keep us afloat. We cannot tell you just how much your membership patronage and gifts mean for our organization.

During uncertain times, Markeim will continue to support the hope, inspiration and courage that the arts provide for our community. Some examples of how we have been fostering our community’s artistic spirit can be found on our Facebook page, where we regularly post children’s art tutorials, have launched a virtual art gallery and have just announced registration for an all new virtual Art of Beer summer series. We hope to bring more programming as we are able, both virtually and once we are able to safely reopen.

The safety and health of our staff and patrons of Markeim remains our number one priority, which is why we remain closed as of this writing. We will continue to comply with all government guidelines to reopen when it is safe to do so, as we continue to do our best to bring the arts to the residents of Haddonfield and all of our surrounding communities.
Your donation tells the world that you value the arts, especially in Haddonfield. Every membership and donation counts, no matter the amount!

We will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves. To learn more, information is available at markeimartscenter.org and on our Facebook page.
Thank you for your support!

Shade Tree review of June 3 storm

On June 26, 2020, the Borough published the following statement on its website.

Shade Tree Commission Review on June 3, 2020 Storm

On June 3, Haddonfield experienced 2 storms that took down many trees, both public and privately owned, created significant damage throughout town, and left over one-third of our residents without power.  While our Department of Public Works (DPW) continues the cleanup from these and other storms, here is a summary of what happened that day, what the Borough is doing to mitigate the future impact of similar events, and actions you, too, can take regarding your private property.

The 2 storms that day were significant wind events.  Twenty-four Borough-owned street trees fell due to unusually strong wind gusts, including 3 trees brought down when larger trees fell against them.  Another 4 trees were subsequently taken down as DPW inspections indicated that they were starting to uproot.  Five to ten more street trees will be taken down over the next months, as DPW inspections showed that they will not survive the extensive storm damage to their canopy, trunk or root structure.  This does not include the additional trees that toppled in our public park spaces.  Finally, although the Borough does not track trees growing on private property, we know that many privately-owned trees came down in the storm or are being removed due to damage.

Weather reports classified these storms as “derecho,” an unusual, long-lived, straight-line wind storm associated with fast-moving severe thunderstorms.  Furthermore, this spring alone, there have been at least 2 other damaging storms: the first, in April, brought down more than 15 public and privately-owned trees in the Tavistock, Greenmount and Concord Drive area; and another this past weekend when 3 street trees fell, at least 3 private trees came down onto our streets and utility wires, and countless branches lay scattered on the roads.

What is going on?  These recent storms have brought down many younger, healthy trees.  When a tree is in full leaf, its canopy acts as a sail, resisting unusually strong, continuous straight-line wind gusts until it can no longer.  Then, limbs break or trees go over.  Like hurricanes, other storms that move up our coast from the south, pose further challenges.  The trees have grown to resist the usual prevailing winds from the west but coastal storms push and twist the trees in new directions.  The June 3 storms brought down one of our oldest trees, the Black oak growing on the water plant property on Lake Street, and one of our youngest, the 2017 Arbor Day Honey locust tree growing by the Central School playground.  The Black oak was felled by the strong winds; the Honey locust was simply blown in half.

Residents need to evaluate and manage the trees on their own property.  Learn to identify your trees, particularly the oaks and ash, so that you can monitor their condition.  If you hire an arborist to advise you, make sure that the arborist is either ISA-certified or is a NJ-licensed LTE (Licensed Tree Expert).  While you will need an arborist if you decide to lighten the canopy of a large tree, you can also help by removing any evergreen English ivy growing up its trunk and into its canopy.  Non-native English ivy weakens and kills trees by preventing sunlight from reaching the tree’s leaves, weighing down branches in wind or ice storms, and encasing the trunk so that the tree bark begins to rot.  Finally, if you are taking down a tree, please look at the Recommended Tree Planting Species List on the STC webpage for suggestions of small, medium and taller hardy native trees to support our birds and native wildlife, help us shade and cool our air and enhance the economic value of our properties.  The Tree Care section of the Haddonfield Shade Tree Commission webpage on the Borough website will have more information within the week on tree identification, ivy removal, pruning mature trees and recommended trees to plant.

The Borough is working to address this new climate-based challenge to our trees.  Currently, the Borough removes on a planned basis 150 to 200 trees annually, relying on DPW inspections, observation and our street tree inventory.  Tree removals are now the primary job of our Borough tree crew, supplemented by contractors for the largest trees.  Ten years ago, we began removing our pin oaks and red oaks as they started to succumb to bacterial leaf scorch.  Several years ago, we started to lose our white ash and green ash to disease and then the ‘exotic’ emerald ash borer insect.  With the help of our trained, volunteer Haddonfield Branch Managers, we have twice evaluated the condition of the ash tree population, using this information to guide our tree removal priorities.  We know that our Sugar maples, a more northern native species, are failing rapidly due to our warmer climate.  Silver maples and Norway maples, popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s as fast-growing replacements for the American elms lost to ‘exotic’ Dutch elm disease, are relatively short-lived species that are being taken down now.

Five years ago, the Borough changed its species and planting policies.  We select species that can grow in our warming climate and are not vulnerable to the wide list of current diseases and pests; we have not planted pin oak, red oak and ash for more than a decade.  Trees are selected to better fit the planting space, with species that fit in narrower sites and under the overhead electric wires common in Haddonfield.  We no longer plant by driveways, close to underground utilities or within corner sightlines.  Finally, just as we are planting a wider variety of trees, we are also planting no more than 80 trees annually to spread out our future risk.

Our goal is to ensure Haddonfield’s streets remain tree-lined and safe.  The Borough and the Haddonfield Shade Tree Commission know that we must continue to increase our preparedness for the challenges ahead.

Black Lives Matter speeches

A newly formed coalition of high school student leaders from Haddonfield, Collingswood, Woodlynne, Pennsauken, and Haddon Heights held a stand-in, march, and vigil in Haddonfield on Wednesday, June 24.

The activity, sponsored by SJ Students for Black Lives, had three components:

  • A stand-in (4 to 4:30pm) – with posters, signs, and artwork mourning Black lives lost to police brutality, and demanding justice for Black citizens — along sidewalks on Kings Highway East, from the PATCO line to Haddon Avenue.
  • A unity march (4:30pm to 5pm) along Kings Highway East from Haddon Avenue to the High School.
  • A gathering (5 to 6pm) at the High School, with speakers, poetry, song, and an 8:46 period of silence in honor of George Floyd.

Here are links to speeches given by some of the speakers at the High School:

Two hometown candidates for NJ Hall of Fame


At this time each year, the New Jersey Hall of Fame invites members of the public to vote for deserving New Jerseyans for induction into the Hall of Fame. There are ten candidates in each of five categories: Arts & Letters, Enterprise, Performing Arts, Public Service, and Sports.

This year, two Haddonfield luminaries are candidates, both in the Public Service category: Margaret Bancroft (1854-1912) and Alfred E. Driscoll (1902-1975). 

  • Alfred E. Driscoll graduated from Haddonfield High School in 1921. Among his many distinguished accomplishments, he was New Jersey’s first two-term governor, serving from 1947 to 1954. In Haddonfield he was a member of the Board of Education, the Board of Commissioners, and the Historical Society. He was one of six recipients in the inaugural class for the Haddonfield Alumni Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award, in 1994.
  • It is worth noting, given the times, that it was Governor Driscoll who spearheaded the adoption in 1947 of a new constitution for New Jersey that, among other things, ended racial segregation in the state’s public schools.
  • Margaret Bancroft was a pioneer in special education. She founded the Bancroft Training School in Haddonfield in 1883. Her specialized program for special education students was the first of its kind in the country. Today,based in Mt. Laurel, it provides a wide array of programs throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

To vote, go HERE

Voting is open through Tuesday, June 30. Inductees will be chosen by July 15. The individuals receiving the most votes in each category will be automatically inducted. Honorees will be formally inducted in a virtual induction ceremony in October.

Last chance to order tees

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a devastating impact on small businesses in Haddonfield. Many have closed temporarily; others are operating at greatly reduced levels. 

To help keep some cash flowing, several business owners created “Haddonfield Here For Good!” It’s a way for residents and others to support and show appreciation for their favorite businesses.

The concept is simple: Go online and purchase a $20 tee-shirt. All shirts have the “Haddonfield Here For Good!” graphic on the back, while each participating business has its own logo on the left chest. (Haddonfield[dot]Today is one of the participating businesses. Order our shirt HERE.)

If you can’t decide which business you want to support, order the generic “Haddonfield” shirt, or make a donation. 

The promotion will end on Tuesday, June 30.

$10 from each sale goes to the business. The more shirts sold, the more money the business gets. 100% of proceeds benefit the small businesses of Haddonfield and all monies collected in the general fund will be divided equally among participating businesses. 

As of June 10, more than $30,000 had been raised for Haddonfield businesses.

When Downtown Haddonfield gets back to normal and retail returns, there will be special events where everyone will be invited to wear their Here For Good shirts. 

Shirts can be purchased online at HaddonfieldHereForGood.com.

One new COVID-19 case

A male in his 70s was added on June 21 to the list of Haddonfield residents who have contracted the coronavirus.

The tally now stands at 57 cases and 6 fatalities.

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day, under the COVID-19 header.

Downtown shopping incentive

For two weeks from Monday, June 22, patrons of Haddonfield shops and restaurants can earn a 20% rebate on their in-store purchases.

To claim the rebate, shoppers and diners email a scan of their original receipts to the Haddonfield Information Center — infocenter@haddonfieldnj.org — along with their name and mailing address. In return, they will receive a townwide gift certificate for 20% ($100 maximum) of the total of their receipts ($500 maximum).

There are restrictions:

  • A limit of one offer per person.
  • Personal shopping and dining only. No online sales.
  • Must be 18 or older to participate.
  • Receipts must be dated June 22 to July 5, 2020 and must be submitted by July 31, 2020.
  • Gift certificates must be used on or before September 1, 2020

Farmers Market open for walk-up

From Saturday, June 20, the Haddonfield Farmers Market will operate on a walk-up basis. Ordering in advance is still available, but is no longer required. The current list of vendors is HERE.

This year, the market is located in the Archer Law parking lot, at 33 East Euclid Avenue. Shoppers who drive are asked to park in nearby streets or the PATCO lot, since the lot needs a lot of room to accommodate social distancing.

The market is open from 9am to 12 each Saturday, rain or shine, through October 10.

Face masks for shoppers (who maintain social distancing) are desired, but not required. Vendors and Farmers Market personnel will be wearing face masks and gloves. The Market’s guidelines are HERE.

Summer theater camp

Haddonfield Plays & Players has developed a virtual OnStage Camp that offers “flexible and age-appropriate options for kids ages four to 17 that can be done at home, down-the-shore or wherever the road may take you and your family this summer!”

The camp will have virtual masterclasses, workshops, and performance opportunities for the Stage Teenies, Stage Kidz, and Stage Players programs.

Camp starts on Monday, July 6. Registration is open HERE.

COVID-19: Haddonfield snapshot

As of Friday, June 19, the Camden County Department of Health had identified 56 Haddonfield residents who have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. The earliest case was that of a male in his 40s, on March 20; the most recent, a female in her 60s, on June 18.

To date, 6 residents have succumbed to the virus. Males: one in 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s. Female: two in 80s, 2 in 90s.

The breakdown of cases by sex and age is as follows:

  • 20s — 4 male, 4 female
  • 30s — 3 male, 4 female
  • 40s — 7 male, 5 female
  • 50s — 8 male, 1 female
  • 60s — 2 male, 3 female
  • 70s — 2 male
  • 80s — 3 female
  • 90s — 2 female
  • Unknown age — 6 male, 1 female
  • Unknown sex– 1

The confirmed cases rate for Haddonfield is 4.83 per 1,000 of population. (For comparison: Camden County = 13.67; New Jersey = 18.97). Haddonfield ranks 32nd of the 37 municipalities in the county. Hi-Nella 4.60, Gibbsboro 4.40, and Haddon Heights 3.61 have lower per capita numbers than Haddonfield. Pine Valley and Tavistock have 0 cases.)

[The statistics above are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day, under the COVID-19 header.]

Students plan Black lives stand-in, march, vigil

A newly formed coalition of high school student leaders from Haddonfield, Collingswood, Woodlynne, Pennsauken, and Haddon Heights is planning to hold a stand-in, march, and vigil in Haddonfield on Wednesday, June 24 from 4pm to 6pm.

The activity, sponsored by SJ Students for Black Lives, will have three components:

  • A stand-in (4 to 4:30pm) – with posters, signs, and artwork mourning Black lives lost to police brutality, and demanding justice for Black citizens — along sidewalks on Kings Highway East, from the PATCO line to Haddon Avenue.
  • A unity march (4:30pm to 5pm) along Kings Highway East from Haddon Avenue to the High School.
  • A gathering (5 to 6pm) at the High School, with speakers, poetry, song, and an 8:46 period of silence in honor of George Floyd.

Social distancing measures will be followed. Participants should wear masks and bring water.

Those who cannot join in person are encouraged to follow SJ Student for Black Lives on Instagram for ongoing events and education.

The group encourages supporters to donate to The Lucy Outreach Foundation — a youth empowerment program working in Camden. Connect HERE

Commissioners’ meeting: June 23

The Board of Commissioners will hold their scheduled June 23, 2020 meeting via video, beginning at 7:30pm.

Members of the public who register HERE may watch, and participate at appropriate times. Those who register will receive instructions and a personal link by email. Instructions also will be provided for those who prefer to listen by phone.

Those intending to ask questions or make comments are asked to email Sharon McCullough, the borough administrator, in advance, at smccullough@haddonfield-nj.gov. Include name and street name for the record.

The webinar ID is 651-193-219.

Restrictions lifted for recreation, sports

Acting in accordance with state guidelines, the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education have lifted state-imposed restrictions on organized recreational activities and non-contact sports on all fields in Haddonfield, beginning on Monday, June 22, 2020.

Basketball courts will be opened for non-contact practices beginning on June 22, and for contact practices and competitions on July 6.

Playgrounds remain closed at this time.

For the rules relating to the use of athletic fields, go HERE.

One new COVID-19 case

A female in her 60s was added today to the list of Haddonfield residents who have contracted the coronavirus.

The tally now stands at 56 cases and 6 fatalities.

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day, under the COVID-19 header.

Message from the superintendent

OFFICIAL, from Incoming Superintendent of Schools Chuck Klaus

As I write this, we are closing in on the final hours of the extraordinary 2019-2020 school year. Putting it mildly, this year has stretched many of us to our limits.

Here in Haddonfield, we have made the best of a challenging situation, not just for our schools, but for our entire community. I am proud of the way we all adapted to unexpected, and frankly abrupt, changes from in-person to at-home schooling. THANK YOU to everyone on the staff, to all of our students, and to the families who supported these changes with good humor and great care. Thank you.

Today, two topics weigh heavily on my mind.

First … In the aftermath of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, Board members and administrators have received communication from a group of alumni and community members concerned about how Haddonfield has approached equity, inclusive curriculum, anti-racism education, and diverse hiring practices.

I am not at all surprised and am honestly proud that Haddonfield alumni, parents, and community members have strong feelings on these topics. Board President Adam Sangillo penned this letter to those who reached out. In it, Mr. Sangillo points out what has been done, what is being done now and what is planned for the future; however, we are at a point where looking at what we have done and are doing is not enough. We must take a fresh look at our goals and programs with a lens focused on equity and a promise that the work we are doing is designed not to simply address and reduce racism, but that is proactively anti-racist. We don’t have all the answers on how to achieve this goal, but we are committed to work actively to grow and promote this stance. We are committed to providing our students with the avenues and opportunities to become allies and accomplices in developing a proactively anti-racist environment.

To this end, we are redoubling our efforts by scheduling a “town hall meeting” planned for June 29th at 6:00 p.m. led by Dr. Shelley Zion, Executive Director of Rowan University’s Center for Access, Success and Equity. District administrators, staff, and interested community members will be available to discuss concerns and a vision for the future. Details of the meeting format will be emailed and will be posted on the HSD website in the near future.

While we still have far to travel, we have started on this journey. In January and February of 2019, we launched the district’s Long-Range Strategic Plan (LRSP). One of the three major goals is Cultural Competence. We have worked hard to improve our curriculum, our professional development and our overarching awareness of many issues related to equity and racism. Please feel free to examine what we have posted online on this subject. I welcome your input, and I encourage you to participate in the process. I look forward to hearing from you on June 29th.

Second … what’s next? The uncertainty of what school will look like in September looms large. We have already started discussing how to prepare for what may lie ahead. The short, immediate and truthful answer is that we simply don’t know. All New Jersey districts are looking to the Governor and to the state Department of Education for guidance so that we can prepare, but as of this date, we have little information. I can tell you that we are trying to make plans, and we are hoping that state guidance will come sooner rather than later.

This week, I began to form committees to attempt to make reasonable plans for the options for fall 2020 that we can currently imagine. These committees include teachers, administrators, parents, and community members. The committees are:

  • Instruction – how do we best deliver instruction in the event we must continue distant or blended learning?
  • Social and Emotional Learning – we must put supports in place for students and staff who have suffered anxiety, trauma or loss during this time.
  • Facilities – how buildings and classrooms might be used effectively and safely; what does hygiene look like in September?
  • Communication – keeping staff, students, families, county and state offices and the community well-informed.
  • Health – what precautions and accommodations will be required in the fall if we return to the classrooms?

The chair of each committee has started the process of developing his/her Action Teams to address each area of focus.

As we work through different scenarios and make appropriate plans, we will keep all school families informed. Thank you for your confidence and your patience!

Rowan, Delaware are grads’ top choices

Members of the Haddonfield Memorial High School Class of 2020 plan to attend more than 100 different universities and colleges in the fall.

The top choices?

  • 9 students each — Rowan University, University of Delaware
  • 7 students — Rutgers University – Camden
  • 6 students — Temple University
  • 5 students — Gettysburg College, Saint Joseph’s University, Stockton University
  • 4 students — Catholic University of America, College of Charleston, Drexel University, James Madison University, University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University

One new COVID-19 fatality

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that a Haddonfield resident, a man in his 70s, has died from complications related to the coronavirus.

This brings the total number of Haddonfield fatalities to six. A total of 55 residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

For Camden County’s 37 municipalities, the total is 428 deaths and 7,422 cases. For New Jersey: 12,769 deaths and 167,703 cases.

[The statistics above are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day, under the COVID-19 header.]

Public Library open, for pick-up

The Public Library has reopened for curbside pick-up of materials ordered online, by phone, or by email.

Pick-up hours are:

  • Mon Tue 11am to 1pm, 2 to 4pm, 5 to 8pm
  • Wed 8am to 1pm, 2 to 4pm, 5 to 8pm
  • Thu 11am to 1pm, 2 to 4pm, 5 to 8pm
  • Fri 8am to 1pm, 2 to 4pm
  • From June 27, the Library will be open on Saturday:
  • 11am to 1pm, 2pm to 4pm

The Library is closed on Sunday.

To order materials:

When materials are ready for pick-up, the Library will notify you. Follow all directional signs and instructions from library staff.

If you drive to the Library:

When you arrive, text the name of the person you are picking up for and the make and color of your vehicle to 856-761-5074. A Library staff member will place your materials in your vehicle’s trunk.

If you walk to the Library:

When you arrive, text the name of the person you are picking up for and the fact that you are on foot to 856-761-5074. A Library staff member will place your materials on a table for you to pick up.

  • When you return items, place them in the bookdrop. Returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours.

Valedictorian: Live for today

By Stephen Kasko, Haddonfield Memorial High School Valedictorian 2020

A wise man once said, “What is today, but yesterday’s tomorrow?”

That man was none other than Mr. Eugene Krabs, proprietor of the Krusty Krab, who taught our generation the value of hard work and financial responsibility. What may seem like an insignificant, off-handed comment from a kids’ cartoon show actually has an important meaning: it is easy to repeatedly put off fulfilling your hopes and dreams until tomorrow without realizing that tomorrow may never arrive.

Throughout high school, we have been taught that our current lives are nothing more than preparation for something bigger, whether it be college or a career. We become so focused on the destination that we lose our appreciation for the journey that gets us there. So today I hope to reflect on the journey that got us to this moment and why we need to appreciate it more.

I think we can all agree that our journey through high school would not be possible without the love and support of many people. First, I’d like to thank our administrators who have truly put their all into helping us through this unique senior year. I’d also like to thank all of the senior parents for the love and support they’ve given us over the years. Especially you mom and dad, I never could have done it without you. Without all of them, none of us would be the people we are today.

Next, I want to say thank you to my friends and classmates for all the great memories. And finally I want to thank all the teachers and coaches at HMHS for their time and dedication they’ve given over these four years. Thank you Coach Baker for teaching me that Don’t Walk signs are optional. Thank Mrs. Pracher for teaching us the art of cooking bacon during class. And thank you Señora Rodriguez for teaching us the value of teamwork when completing homework assignments.

As we all know, no journey is complete without its share of both ups and downs. I’m sure we’re all proud of our accomplishments these last four years, however, every achievement follows a certain amount of setbacks. For example, before making the varsity cross country team I had to learn the consequences of falling backwards during a run on a rainy day in bright blue shorts. Before getting into Madrigals I had to fumble through a series of scales I could only sing if castrated in front of TMills. And before earning a red pencil in Dr. Sohn’s chemistry class I had to learn that no one ever seems to forget the time you spilled concentrated phosphoric acid on your lab partner.

As a class, we’ve shared many amazing moments, like winning hallways our sophomore year, getting a brand-new senior lounge, and countless sectional and state championship titles. Likewise, we’ve also experienced our not-so-amazing moments, like suffering through rain at every class dance, reacting just a bit too harshly to the StopIt assembly, and a controversial end to our final rec hall.

There’s also the small individual mistakes, like forgetting your keycard and getting locked out in the breezeway, getting kicked out of the library for playing games, getting kicked out of the library for talking, getting kicked out of the library for eating on the wrong side, or, my personal favorite, getting kicked out of the library for moving a chair.

So although the road can be rocky, some of our best moments are actually during the journey, not at the destination. I never actually read Walden in English, but Sparknotes tells me that Henry David Thoreau once said “Live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find eternity in each moment.” So go out and live for today before it becomes tomorrow.

I’ll miss you guys.

COVID-19: Presbyterian Church shuttered

A member of the staff of the First Presbyterian Church, admitted to the hospital on Friday, subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. Upon receiving that news, church officials closed the building indefinitely.

“From this point on, the church is off-limits to all,” Associate Pastor Nikki Passante wrote in an email Monday to Church members and friends. “We implore you to refrain from entering the building for any reason. While it is unlikely that surface contaminants will infect you, we don’t want to take that chance. We care too much for you.”

“It’s important that we continue to care for one another by wearing masks and practicing social distancing, along with self-isolating when necessary,” the pastor wrote. “While we may be weary of these sorts of guidelines, the virus is not weary in the least. What is inconvenient for us, is life threatening for others.”

New director of special ed. appointed

During their meeting on June 11, the Board of Education approved the appointment of Dr. Carmen Henderson as the director of special education for the Haddonfield School District, from July 1, 2020.

The District released the following statement about the appointment today (July 15).

Dr. Henderson is a familiar face in Haddonfield, having worked as an LDT-C (Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant) and as a Child Study Team case manager for the district for the past year. She steps into a position formerly filled by Dr. Gino Priolo who was approved as Assistant Superintendent in May and whose official start date is also July 1.

“We are very fortunate to have gotten to know Dr. Henderson during this past year,” said Priolo. “She has been a valuable and caring member of the special education team and brings many years of training and experience to the Director’s post. It is rare to find someone who is not only a skilled clinician, but who also combines keen vision and leadership skills with an empathic lens. I am confident our students, staff and families will benefit from her leadership.”

Henderson began her educational journey at Fairleigh Dickinson University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master of arts in Teaching. She received a certificate of graduate studies in Learning Disabilities from Rowan University and later earned her Ed.D. in Special Education Leadership from Gwynedd Mercy University. Her thesis topic was “Factors Contributing to the Over-representation of Black Elementary Students in Special Education in Suburban Public School Settings, June 2018.”

Henderson is board certified as an educational diagnostician, a child development specialist, a teacher of supplemental instruction in reading and math grades K-8, an elementary teacher grades K-5, a preschool-grade 3 teacher, a student assistance coordinator and a school administrator. She has served as an LDT-C in Pennsauken, Burlington, and Lawnside Public Schools. In Pennsauken, she was also the chair of the Child Study Team, and in Lawnside she was the 504 coordinator. An adjunct professor at Rowan University, Henderson has also coordinated Rowan’s LDT-C program.

In addition to her experiences working for various school systems, Henderson has owned and operated her own consulting business since 2007, Carmen Henderson Educational Consulting in Cherry Hill.

“Dr. Henderson is a committed professional whose knowledge and expertise are only outpaced by her passion for children,” said incoming Superintendent Chuck Klaus. “She is the ideal person to continue our mission to be a leader in educational inclusivity for our children with special needs.”

Currently a resident of Cherry Hill, Henderson and her husband have an eighteen-year-old son who will be attending Fisk University (Nashville, Tennessee) where he has signed a letter of intent to play on the men’s soccer team. Henderson takes particular pride in the accomplishments of her son, because of the journey their family has taken, raising a child with special needs.

“My roles – both as a parent of a child with special needs and as a clinician – have provided me a view through a unique lense as well as deep passion for special education,” Henderson said. “It is my intention to continue to enhance the current inclusive practices and student interventions in the Haddonfield Public Schools. I am very pleased to be a part of the Haddonfield community because the consistency and quality of the services provided to our students are aligned with what I expect as a parent and a practitioner.”

COVID-19 update

On Thursday, June 11, the Camden County Department of Health added two Haddonfield residents to the list of those who have contracted COVID-19: a male in his 50s and a female in her 40s. 

That addition brings the local tally to 54 cases and 5 fatalities.

The breakdown of cases by sex and age is as follows:

  • 20s — 4 male, 4 female
  • 30s — 3 male, 4 female
  • 40s — 7 male, 5 female
  • 50s — 8 male
  • 60s — 2 male, 2 female
  • 70s — 2 male
  • 80s — 3 female
  • 90s — 2 female
  • Unknown age — 6 male, 1 female
  • Unknown sex — 1

Giraffe sculpture gets a name!

The 15-foot tall sculpture of a giraffe, installed by Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust in the Tatem Memorial Garden on May 6, 2020, now has a name … Tumaini. (“Tumi” for short.)

Selected from more than 200 entries received by the closing date of May 31, the winning name was submitted by Elizabeth Asher, 11, a sixth grade student at Haddonfield Middle School. Tumaini means “hope” in Swahili. The contest judges said they felt that word was particularly appropriate, in these challenging times.

The name submitted by another sixth-grader, Lilah Mallemat, 11, was chosen as the runner-up: Peanut Butter.

Elizabeth will receive a family package of four tickets to the Philadelphia Zoo; Lilah will receive a five-foot stuffed giraffe.

The prizes will be presented, and the name will be officially announced, at 10am on Friday, June 12 at the Children’s Sculpture Zoo (within Tatem Memorial Garden, at the corner of Kings Highway East and Evergreen Lane).

RELATED STORY: Giraffe sculpture arrives in Haddonfield

Borough Hall to reopen on June 15

More than two months into sweeping statewide lockdowns to combat the coronavirus, the state is about to begin Stage 2 of its recovery.

Within that context, Haddonfield’s Borough Hall and Public Works facility will reopen to the public on Monday, June 15.

Social distancing guidelines will apply at entrances and in lobbies and corridors. Contact between Borough employees and members of the public will be at the doorways of interior offices, which will be covered by transparent protective material.

Members of the public who prefer to not enter the Borough Hall may leave documents in the box at the front entrance.

Limited retail, dining from June 15

More than two months into sweeping statewide lockdowns to combat the coronavirus, the state is about to begin Stage 2 of its recovery.

Outdoor dining and nonessential retail stores in New Jersey may reopen, with restrictions, on Monday, June 15.

NJ Biz recently published details of how the reopening is intended to work, HERE.

Salons and barbershops may reopen on Monday, June 22. Youth summer programs may begin on July 6.

Haddonfield’s Borough Hall and Public Works facility also will reopen to the public on Monday, June 15, with restrictions.

Pub trivia – online!

The Public Library will become the “Pub” Library for an hour from 7pm on Thursday, June 18, when it will host a contest on Zoom, open to all, to identify Haddonfield’s titan of trivia.

There will be three rounds of general knowledge questions. Participants can play as individuals or as teams. 

Registration is required, on the “Pub” Library’s website, HERE.

One prize will be awarded: Bragging rights.

HMHS Drama Club livestream

In partnership with the Haddonfield Educational Trust, the High School Drama Club will present an evening of showtunes on Thursday, June 11 at 7pm. (This event was originally scheduled for June 4.)

Titled “Places! At Home,” the event will be livestreamed on the Drama Club’s YouTube channel, HERE.

Admission is free, but viewers are asked to donate to the HMHS Auditorium Improvement Fund, on the Trust’s website, HERE.

The Trust also is planning a golf tournament for August 17, 2020, at Tavistock Country Club. (Stay tuned.)

This Haddonfield Today news story sponsored by Lisa Wolschina & Associates (Keller Williams Realty).

Online business chat

Members of the board of the Partnership for Haddonfield – the management entity for the business district – will host a Zoom “chat” on Thursday, June 11, starting at 8:30am.

The purpose is to enable business owners to discuss “anything and everything” that’s on their minds.

The meeting ID is 862 7462 3319 and the password is 511650.

Board of Commissioners meeting

The Board of Commissioners will hold their scheduled June 9, 2020 meeting via video, beginning at 7:30pm.

Members of the public who register HERE may watch, and participate at appropriate times. Those who register will receive instructions and a personal link by email. Instructions also will be provided for those who prefer to listen by phone.

Those intending to ask questions or make comments are asked to email Sharon McCullough, the borough administrator, in advance, at smccullough@haddonfield-nj.gov. Include name and street name for the record.

The webinar ID is 268-123-851.

One new COVID-19 case

A female in her 20s was added today to the list of Haddonfield residents who have contracted the coronavirus.

The tally now stands at 50 cases and 5 fatalities.

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day, under the COVID-19 header.

NOTE: Prior to today (June 8), the most recent update was on June 2. Severe storms on June 3 caused power and Internet outages that prevented us from updating this site, until now.

Retail, outdoor dining can reopen on June 15

Governor Phil Murphy announced today that New Jersey will enter Stage Two of its restart and recovery plan on June 15, 2020. (Read the plan HERE.)

That stage provides for the reopening of non-essential retail businesses. Barber shops and salons will be able to reopen on June 22.

Here is the major portion of the statement released today be the governor’s office:

Guided by strict protocols from the New Jersey Department of Health, as well as input from the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission and complementary Advisory Councils, Stage Two will include outdoor dining for restaurants and indoor, non-essential retail as of June 15th. Beginning on June 22nd, barber shops and salons will be able to reopen. In the period to follow, New Jersey will work toward the gradual opening of personal care, gyms, and health clubs, at reduced capacities as the stage progresses. All of these activities will be allowed pursuant to strict health and safety guidelines that will be issued in the coming days. New Jersey ended maximum restrictions and moved to Stage One on May 18, 2020.

“As we move through Stage One of our strategic restart and recovery process, public health data continues to demonstrate our collective success in flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations,” said Governor Murphy. “It is with these favorable metrics, coupled with expanded testing capacity and contact tracing, that we can responsibly enter Stage Two of our multi-stage approach to recovery. Our economic restart must instill confidence among our residents and visitors that their safety, and that of their families, is our number one priority. I encourage all New Jerseyans to continue their vigilance in keeping themselves and their communities safe by social distancing, wearing face coverings, washing hands frequently, and limiting gatherings.”

STAGE 2: Restrictions are relaxed on activities that can be easily safeguarded.

Phased-in businesses and activities, with adherence to safeguarding and modification guidelines, include:

  • Outdoor dining (beginning on June 15th)
  • Limited in-person retail (beginning on June 15th)
  • Hair salons and barber shops (beginning on June 22nd)
  • Youth summer programs (beginning on July 6th)
  • In-person clinical research/labs
  • Limited fitness/gyms
  • Limited in-person government services (e.g. – Motor Vehicle Commission)
  • Museums/libraries

All workers who can work from home should continue to work from home.

Precautions that apply across all stages include:

  • Clinically high-risk individuals who can stay at home should continue to do so.
  • All residents and businesses should follow state and federal safeguarding guidelines:
  • Wash hands
  • Wear masks in public
  • Respect social distancing
  • Minimize gatherings
  • Disinfect workplace and businesses
  • Minimize gatherings 
  • No mass gatherings

New Jersey will move toward subsequent stages based on data that demonstrates improvements in public health and the capacity to safeguard the public, including:

  • Sustained improvements in public health indicators, including new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, individuals in intensive care, and ventilator use;
  • Substantial increase in testing and contact tracing capacity;
  • Sufficient resilience in New Jersey’s health care system to include adequate bed capacity, ventilators, personal protective equipment, and workforce;
  • Widespread safeguarding of workplaces;
  • Widespread safeguarding and capacity of child care, schools, and mass transit;
  • Continued public compliance.

If public health indicators, safeguarding, or compliance worsen on a sustained basis, New Jersey will be prepared to move back to more restrictive stages as well.

Two new COVID-19 cases

A male in his 70s and a female in her 60s were added today to the list of Haddonfield residents who have contracted the coronavirus.

The tally now stands at 49 cases and 5 fatalities.

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day, under the COVID-19 header.

Police statement on racial conflict

The following message, from Police Chief Jason Cutler and Commissioner Colleen Bianco Bezich (Director of Public Safety) was posted on the Police Department’s Facebook page on Saturday, May 31:

This week, the Haddonfield Police Department was deeply saddened and disturbed by the murder of George Floyd. Over the past few months, as we also mourned the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, we have sought to process these horrific crimes and confront the racial injustice that motivates similar actions in communities throughout our country. We do not condone the actions or omissions of the officers involved in these events. Instead, we condemn them.

Our Department encourages open communication between officers & citizens in order to build and sustain community partnerships & trust. In upholding our mission, we strive to interact positively with our entire community, and create lasting relationships that enhance law enforcement, crime prevention & quality of life. This community policing philosophy means that in the coming days, weeks, and months, we will engage in more outreach and an ongoing dialogue about racial injustice, including the ways in which our own law enforcement officers can and will improve our capacity to recognize and respond to incidents of racial bias.

To those who are angry, frustrated, hopeless and in mourning, we hear you — and we are here for you. We encourage everyone in our Borough of Haddonfield to partner with us as we move forward.

Message from incoming superintendent Klaus

OFFICIAL from Haddonfield School District on May 29, 2020

We all have heard that “as one door opens, another closes.” This is something I am particularly aware of as we begin to close the 2019-20 school year. As I open the door to my new position as Superintendent of the Haddonfield School District on July 1, and as I close the door on my two-year service as Assistant Superintendent, I am proud to say we are also closing the door on our New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC) review.

As you are probably aware, NJQSAC is the New Jersey Department of Education’s monitoring and self-evaluation system designed to ensure that students are provided a high-quality education and safe learning environments while the district is fiscally responsible to the community. Many view NJQSAC as a “cross your i’s and dot your t’s” process; that is simply not true. The NJQSAC process requires districts to be evaluated in five areas: Program and Instruction, Governance, Finance, Operations, and Personnel. Generally, review occurs on a three-year cycle; however, Haddonfield had experienced a nearly 10-year exemption based on student performance scores. In the fall of 2018, Haddonfield School District (HSD) was found to be subpar in four of the five regulated areas, only passing Governance based on an appeal.

There were many questions as to how such a high achieving and successful school system could perform so poorly. In short, our five schools were siloed. Each school performed well based on focused students, dedicated staff, and supportive families. What was lacking were the systems in place to guarantee that the level of services provided to our students would continue and grow. The challenge, starting in the summer of 2019, was to put in place the systemic changes necessary. This would require the cooperation and efforts of all HSD staff members.

I am proud to say that, over the last 18 to 20 months, HSD staff members rose to the challenge. Central Administrative Office procedures were honed and corrected. Building-level administration and office staff developed systems that centralized data, curriculum, training, and record-monitoring. Teachers across the district revisited, rewrote, and published a rich and rigorous curriculum. All of this resulted in revised NJQSAC results with HSD passing in every area. This did not come easily. The focus and efforts of everyone in the organization was necessary for HSD to grow, improve, and impose systemic changes that will guarantee continued growth for the district. At the conclusion of this two-year process, I am happy to say HSD is ready for new challenges in the future.

An additional note. As we look to close the door on one school year and open the door on another, building principals have been working to create safe and efficient processes for the closure of school. Each principal has been developing plans to collect school-owned materials and return student materials left in school buildings, provide transitional support for grades five and eight, and to organize ceremonies to honor promotion from fifth grade and eighth grade as well as high school graduation.

Also it should be noted that, while we are still four months away from the opening of the new school year, we have already started to discuss ways in which we can support our students academically, emotionally, and socially as they return to school in the fall, whether that return is “in-person,” virtual, or a blended format.

The finish line for 2019-20 is in sight. We have three weeks of remote education left, and I am confident our staff, students and families will wrap up the year with as much energy, creativity and perseverance as they have demonstrated since March 17. I am proud to step into my new role and to work with all of you.

Rally to open local stores

Haddonfield business owners and residents are planning to hold a repeat of the Re-Open Haddonfield Rally held on Kings Highway at Haddon Ave recently.

Those attending that gathering, on Saturday, May 16, advocated for the re-opening of local businesses and churches.

The next rally is planned for Saturday, May 30, 

from 12n to 1pm, at Kings Highway and Haddonfield Avenue, outside Jay West and The Happy Hippo.

Those planning to attend are urged to bring American flags. Signs are welcome; some will be available. Face masks and social distancing are encouraged.

Town to salute HMHS seniors

The Civic Association is encouraging residents to make some noise at 6pm on Saturday, June 13 to salute the High School Class of 2020.

The Association is asking parents, friends,  neighbors, and grads to gather on sidewalks or in parked vehicles in front of their homes. (Grads are encouraged to wear caps and gowns.) A blast from the Fire Department’s horn at 6pm will signal the start of a four-minute celebration (one minute and one blast for each year of high school), Hoopin’ an’ hollerin’ an’ the bangin’ of pots an’ pans.

Don’t have a grad? Join in anyway! It’s a townwide salute. 

Register now for child care

During its meeting on April 30, the Board of Education awarded a contract for before- and after-school care to AlphaBEST Education Inc, a North Carolina-based company serving 45 districts (415 schools) in 13 states.

AlphaBEST will take over from Haddonfield Child Care on July 1.

Registration for before- and after-school child care during the 2020-21 school year will open on Monday, June 1.

The service is available to Haddonfield families with children in kindergaren through fourth grade.

Register at alphabest.org/haddonfieldnj.

Gino Priolo named assistant superintendent

During its meeting on Thursday, May 28, 2020, the Board of Education named Dr. Gino Priolo as Assistant Superintendent for the Haddonfield School District. He will assume the role on July 1, 2020.

The text below is from the statement released by the Board following its vote to approve Gino Priolo’s appoinement.

Priolo brings 25 years of educational experience to this position. Originally a special education teacher and then principal in the Cherry Hill School District, he first came to Haddonfield as principal of Tatem Elementary School in August 2005. In August of 2011, Priolo became the principal of Haddonfield Middle School, and in 2014 he became the Director of Special Education for the district.

“Over the past decade, I have worked with Dr. Priolo as a fellow administrator and have grown to admire his professionalism, thoughtfulness, and collaborative nature,” said Charles Klaus, incoming Superintendent of Schools. “He is a student-centered and experienced leader who understands the importance of visiting issues from the perspective of all stakeholders. He is not afraid to ask hard questions and is always willing to provide answers to those same questions.”

Priolo earned his bachelor’s degree from Rowan University (Teacher of the Handicapped) and his master’s from Temple University (Master of Education/Educational Administration). In 2010, he earned his Ed.D. in Educational Administration, also from Temple University.

During 16 years as an administrator in Haddonfield, Priolo has accomplished a great deal. Among many other achievements, he developed district-wide Response to Intervention (RTI) protocol, designed and implemented character-focused Community Meetings, created and implemented a district-wide formative assessment writing plan for students in grades K-5, created the area’s first course on ethical use of technology entitled Digital Citizenship, and earned (middle school) designation as a No Place for Hate School by the Anti-Defamation League. In 2014, Priolo was selected as a delegate to represent N.J. at the National Race to the Top summit in Washington, D.C., and also served on an advisory committee for the NJDOE AchieveNJ.

As Director of Special Education, Priolo developed and implemented K-12 intervention for reading and dyslexia support in both general and special education classes and implemented the initiative that resulted in 14 district teachers earning Wilson Level I Certification/Dyslexia
Specialists designation. He served as the district chairperson for the Strategic Plan for SocialEmotional Learning, leading the implemented of Yale’s RULER program, and he created Community-Based Instruction programming at elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Overseeing special education in a district known for its high rate of inclusivity (over 91% of students with special needs spend 80% or more of the school day in general education), Priolo was the 2019 recipient of the N.J. Coalition for Inclusive Schools Honors Award.

“Dr. Priolo has seen the district from many angles and has an excellent working relationship with the administrative team and staff,” said Adam Sangillo, Board president. “The Board is pleased with this choice, and we look forward to supporting our new administrative leadership team as we continue to strive for excellence in nurturing, inspiring and empowering every learner.”

Priolo resides in Hainesport, N.J. with his wife of 20 years, Dawn, and his four children, who range in ages from 17 to 5. In his spare time, he enjoys exercising, coaching youth sports and is an avid music lover.

Three new COVID-19 cases

A male in his 30s, a male in his 70s, and a female in her 80s were added today to the list of Haddonfield residents who have contracted the coronavirus.

The tally now stands at 47 cases and 5 fatalities.

Statistics for Haddonfield, Camden County, and New Jersey are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day, under the COVID-19 header.

HMHS Drama Club livestream

In partnership with the Haddonfield Educational Trust, the High School Drama Club will present an evening of showtunes on Thursday, June 11 at 7pm. (This event was originally scheduled for June 4.)

Titled “Places! At Home,” the event will be livestreamed on the Drama Club’s YouTube channel, HERE.

Admission is free, but viewers are asked to donate to the HMHS Auditorium Improvement Fund, on the Trust’s website, HERE.

The Trust also is planning a golf tournament for August 17, 2020, at Tavistock Country Club. (Stay tuned.)

This Haddonfield Today news story sponsored by Lisa Wolschina & Associates (Keller Williams Realty).

One new COVID-19 fatality

The Camden County Department of Health reported today that a Haddonfield resident, a woman in her 90s, has died from complications related to the coronavirus.

This brings the total number of Haddonfield fatalities to five. A total of 44 residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

For Camden County’s 38 municipalities, the total is 313 deaths and 6,429 cases. For New Jersey: 11,339 deaths and 156,628 cases.

[The statistics above are updated on Haddonfield[dot]Today each week day, under the COVID-19 header.]

Three-quarters of the deaths in Camden County (232) have been reported from the county’s 56 long-term-care facilities. Resident cases (1,092) and staff cases (358) account for one-fifth of the 6,429 cases in the county.

Haddonfield’s 44 cases are made up of 26 males, 17 females, 1 unknown. The age distribution is:

  • 20s — 6 = 3 male, 3 female
  • 30s — 6 = 2 male, 4 female
  • 40s — 11 = 7 male, 4 female
  • 50s — 6 = 6 male
  • 60s — 3 = 2 male, 1 female
  • 70s — 0
  • 80s — 2 = 2 female
  • 90s — 2 = 2 female
  • Unknown — 8

The breakdown for Haddonfield fatalities is 3 male (50s, 80s, 90s) and 2 female (80s, 90s).

NOTE: This post was updated on May 28. “Unknown — 8” was added to the table.

Affordable Housing meeting

A number of residents who are concerned about the Borough’s plans for an affordable housing project behind the Borough Hall will meet at the site on Thursday, May 28 at 7pm.

“Construction is slated to begin in July, so there is no time to waste,” they say. “Come see for yourself how oversized and poorly planned it is.

“Get informed and help us improve the project so new families are not warehoused in an undesirable space. Haddonfield can do better than this.”

Since the group will be “camped in the parking lot,” it is suggested that those who attend should “bring a chair.”

Memorial Day — modified

Photo: Dan Colombi (U.S. Air Force, Vietnam) and former mayor Tish Colombi at the Baptist Cemetery.

Memorial Day in Haddonfield typically is marked by a number of events:

  • On the Friday before Memorial Day, an assembly at Memorial High School that includes participation by members of Post 38. With all schools closed in compliance with Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive orders relating to the coronavirus pandemic, that event was canceled. Even so, members of the HMHS Student Council produced a ten-minute video to mark Memorial Day 2020. Link to it HERE.
  • The dressing of graves (i.e. the placing of American flags) of men and women who served in the Armed Forces, in the Baptist and Methodist cemeteries. Usually, this is done on the Friday before Memorial Day. This year, rain forced a postponement to today (Sunday, May 24).
  • A breakfast for Legionnaires and invited guests at the Post 38 headquarters on Veterans Lane. This year, that popular event has been canceled.
  • The raising and lowering of the American flag at Post 38 HQ, and the tolling of a bell — once for each member of the Post who died during the past twelve months. A modified form of this ceremony will take place tomorrow (Monday, May 25) at 9am.
  • A parade on Kings Highway, from the Presbyterian Church to the High School. This year, that event has been canceled.
  • A ceremony at the War Memorial at the front of the High School. Canceled.

Memorial Day this year was to have featured a display of 3,837 poppies, cascading from the wall of the school building behind the war memorial, in tribute to fallen New Jersey service members of World War I. That installation has been postponed to October. Details HERE.

At 3pm, members of the brass section of the Haddonfield Pick-Up Band will join with trumpeters and buglers across the country to play Taps on front porches, in a salute to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who died in America’s wars. Read details of Taps for Veterans HERE.

Pick-Up Band member Tom Reiter plans to play at the corner of West End Avenue and Euclid, in tribute to Tom Patton, founder and longtime director of the Pick-Up Band — and Legionnaire (U.S. Army WWII) — who died in June 2019.

This Haddonfield Today news story sponsored by Jack and Barbara Tarditi, and Conner Strong & Buckelew Insurance & Risk Management.

HMHS Memorial Day video

During “normal” times, students at Haddonfield Memorial High School spend part of the Friday before Memorial Day participating in a variety of activities related to the holiday. On the day itself, members of the Honor Society read a portion of “In Flanders Fields” during the American Legion-sponsored observance at the High School.

Not this year.

To take the place of the regular Memorial Day activities, the Student Council has produced a ten-minute video, viewable HERE.

This Haddonfield Today news story sponsored by Professional Printing Services, 116 Haddon Avenue. 856-429-8644.

The return of high school sports in New Jersey

By Mary Liz Ivins, President, NJSIAA Executive Committee; Chair, NJSIAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Task Force

In my decades as an educator and school administrator, I’m hard pressed to find a situation as challenging as what we face related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last few months have been painful on many levels, from the heartbreaking loss of life to the millions who have suffered emotional and economic loss. It’s been a harrowing time for everyone. For our students, their lives will be forever changed, from the disruption of academics, to loss of physical contact, to missed social and community opportunities. For our spring sport athletes, both here and around the country, the missed season is understandably upsetting.  While the loss of spring play is disappointing, there remains hope for many future opportunities to compete, and that should be our focus moving forward.

As president of the NJSIAA, my primary goal is the safe return to interscholastic play as quickly as possible.  We remain optimistic that school activities, including sports, will return in the fall – for students’ physical and mental well-being. With every positive step, we get closer to this goal.  As I write, recommendations from the NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) Sports Advisory Committee are being circulated and studied and teams of education and medical professionals from around the country — including experts in public health, sports medicine, pediatrics, and others – are developing return-to-school and return-to-play protocols that will ensure everyone a safe return both to school and play. We’re optimistic that these steps will help our kids get back to school and back on the playing field in the fall.

To help ensure that we achieve our objective of a safe return, the NJSIAA has formed, and I will chair, an NJSIAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Task Force. This task force will work with NJSIAA’s member schools, the NJ Departments of Health and Education, the NFHS Sports Medical Advisory Committee and other leading authorities, to provide the association with the best, most up to date guidance to allow New Jersey high school student-athletes to return to athletics as soon as safely possible.

The goal of the task force is to identify and implement both general and sports-specific modifications that will be required by NJSIAA member schools.  In the short-term, our efforts will be focused on returning the fall athletes to their sports for the 2020 season.  The committee will include Kathy Whalen, NJ Department of Education, Dr. Lakota Kruse, medical director, NJ Department of Health, Division of Family Health Services, and members of our medical advisory committee, including Dr. Jack Kripsak, chair of the NJSIAA Medical Advisory Committee, Dr. Damion Martins, team physician and director of Internal Medicine to the New York Jets and a member of the NFL COVID Taskforce, and Dr. Rob Franks, a team physician for USA wrestling and team consultant to the Philadelphia Phillies. NJSIAA assistant director Tony Maselli will serve as the NJSIAA liaison.

In the near-term, NJSIAA strongly believes that students – both as individuals and a team — are well served by appropriate, virtual interaction with their coaches and we will continue to facilitate these important connections.

For all those with a passion to return to play, we ask that you continue your efforts and follow all relevant guidelines, including social distancing and wearing of masks. The fewer cases there are today, the greater the likelihood we will play in the fall.  And as we navigate the next few months, it is important that we prepare to be flexible with a new normal. Of course, the timing of our return to school will ultimately be determined by the State of New Jersey. And, it’s important to keep in mind that going back to our school buildings won’t necessarily guarantee an immediate return of athletics. It’s possible that some sports will follow different schedules than others.

During times of uncertainty, it’s not uncommon for rumors to circulate. Often, even well-intended suggestions can trigger an “infodemic” of mis-information. When it comes to high school sports in New Jersey, please reference only reputable information sources, including New Jersey state agencies, the NJSIAA, or the official channels of your school district.

Many obstacles remain. Hard work, patience and flexibility will be required, and at times some may feel deflated. But I’m confident that together, we will help get our kids safely back in the game.

This Haddonfield Today news story sponsored by Haddonfield Financial Planning, 205 Haddon Avenue. 856-795-0471.

Board of Commissioners meeting

The Board of Commissioners will hold their scheduled May 26, 2020 meeting via video, beginning at 7:30pm.

Members of the public who register HERE may watch, and participate at appropriate times. Those who register will receive instructions and a personal link by email. Instructions also will be provided for those who prefer to listen by phone.

Those intending to ask questions or make comments are asked to email Sharon McCullough, the borough administrator, in advance, at smccullough@haddonfield-nj.gov. Include name and street name for the record.

Plays & Players suspends 2020 season

The executive board of Haddonfield Plays & Players today notified its patrons, actors, crew, staff and extended theatre community that it had “made the difficult decision to suspend theatre operations through summer.”

“Unfortunately, this means that all summer programming including our productions of PicnicNight at the OscarsNight of 1000 Plays and 24-Hour Play Festival, as well as our OnStage summer camp program, will not go on as planned.”

The board said it will re-evaluate the remainder of the season during its meeting in September.

“We recognize that, now more than ever, we need to stay connected — with our craft and with each other,” the board said. “We are working on creative new ways to bring you performance opportunities and entertainment experiences and we welcome your suggestions!”

The announcement concluded: “This is only intermission. We are appreciative of your continued support as we plan our next act. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.”

Connect with Haddonfield Plays & Players HERE.

A call to shun tee-shirt knock-offs

Organizers of the Haddonfield Here For Good campaign, which is raising funds to support local businesses through the sale of tee-shirts, have identified three websites that are selling bootleg copies of their copyrighted design.

They urge Haddonfield residents and others who are planning to purchase shirts to shop ONLY on HaddonfieldHereForGood.com.

Bob Hochgertel, one of the organizers of the campaign, said “The problem, of course, is that none of the monies paid to these pirate online stores will ever make it back to our downtown small businesses.”

The three sites selling the bootleg shirts are:

In addition to tee-shirts, the sites are selling other Haddonfield Here For Good-branded merchandise, including sweatshirts, hoodies, cell phone covers, and shopping bags. Some are available in a variety of colors.

Teechip.com has a “Report this campaign” link where interested parties can report intellectual property violations. Teecandal.com and Rocktee.store — which are essentially identical sites — have DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notices that describe how to report intellectual property infringement.

“We are taking prompt and aggressive action to address this egregious infringement of our rights,” Hochgertel said.

Three residents test COVID-19 positive

The Camden County Department of Health today added three Haddonfield residents to its tally of those identified as COVID-19 positive: A male in his 40s, a female in her 40s, and a male in his 60s.

These additions bring the local total to 43: 19 male, 15 female, and 9 unknown. (Eight of the nine unknown were added by Camden County on May 13, as the result of a reconciliation of county numbers with state numbers.) The gender and age breakdown is as follows:

  • 20s — 3 male, 3 female
  • 30s — 2 male, 4 female
  • 40s — 7 male, 4 female
  • 50s — 5 male
  • 60s — 2 male, 1 female
  • 80s — 2 female
  • 90s — 1 female
  • Not known = 9

Police designate pick-up areas for stores

To facilitate curbside pickup, takeout, and delivery for retail businesses and restaurants in compliance with Gov. Murphy’s Executive Orders 107 and 143, the Haddonfield Police Department has marked a number of “stopping” zones along Kings Highway East, between the Speedline and Haddon Avenue.

These zones are identified by red plastic bags on parking meters, and signs reading “No Parking 7am — 10pm. Curbside Pickup Only.”

Shoppers may stop in these zones for the purpose of picking up merchandise, food, and beverages that were ordered in advance. The maximum stopping time in any one spot is five minutes.

Parking paces where the meters are covered with green bags are available for regular parking.

Farmers Market now taking orders

Eight vendors have signed on for the 2020 version of the Haddonfield Framers Market – Order Online / Drive In / Pick Up.

The market will be held, rain or shine, from 9am to 12n each Saturday through October 10, in the parking lot of Archer Law. Enter off Euclid Avenue.

Orders MUST be placed and paid for in advance HERE. Walk-up service is not available.

The vendors who have signed on, so far, are:

Duffield’s Farm Produce

Free Haven Farms

Muth Flower Farms Other Avenues Skin Care

Sara’s Produce

Sorbello Girls Farm

Stillwell Farms

Whispering Orchards Farm & CSA

Stores may resume limited operations

Non-essential retail businesses in Haddonfield and through the state may re-open for the curbside pick-up of goods on Monday, May 18, pursuant to an executive order signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on May 13. The interior of stores must remain closed to the general public, in accordance with the governor’s previous orders with respect to retail operations.

The state’s announcement is HERE.

The full text of the executive order is HERE.

A number of Haddonfield establishments jumped the gun, taking advantage of the pleasant spring weather and increased pedestrian traffic on the weekend to make it clear that they were open for business.

At noon on Saturday, about a dozen business owners gathered on the sidewalk outside The Happy Hippo toy store to call for an immediate lifting of all restrictions. They had responded to a May 14 email from Guy Elzey III, a local real estate broker and landlord of 25 businesses in Haddonfield:

“A newly formed group called ‘Save Haddonfield – Reopen New Jersey’ would like to invite you to a protest rally in the center of beautiful, historic Haddonfield in support of our terrific local restaurants, shops and cafes (the four (4) corners of Kings Highway and Haddon Avenue). All attendees are encouraged to bring American flags, wear their masks, stand 6 feet apart and carry a sign. This historic intersection was often a crossroads of the American revolution and Saturday, Haddonfield business people will be pushing back on a dictator governor who would rather spend time fancying himself as a world leader and speaking to the President of Israel, rather than spending time considering the economic plight of wonderful NJ communities like Haddonfield. Just like the King of England heard America’s voice loud and clear in London, it is our hope that our dictator governor in Trenton will hear loud and clear the voice of Haddonfield business people.”

Four more residents test positive

One female in her 40s and one in her 90s were added on May 15 to the tally of Haddonfield residents identified as COVID-19-positive. A female in her 20s and a male in his 40s were added on May 16.

Those additions bring the local total to 40: 17 male, 14 female, and 9 unknown. (Eight of the nine unknown were added by Camden County on May 13, as the result of a reconciliation of county numbers with state numbers.) The gender and age breakdown is as follows:

  • 20s — 3 male, 3 female
  • 30s — 2 male, 4 female
  • 40s — 6 male, 3 female
  • 50s — 5 male
  • 60s — 1 male, 1 female
  • 80s — 2 female
  • 90s — 1 female
  • Not known = 9

Commenting on the current status of the pandemic in Camden County, Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr said, on May 17:

“Every day that this pandemic continues is an opportunity to strengthen our resolve and implement effective mitigation strategies into our daily lives. We have not yet won this war. While I know that the large majority of Camden County residents have been extremely vigilant during this crisis, I want to again implore our entire community to take this fight seriously. We must all continue to exercise stringent social distancing if we are going to defeat this virus, and as more of our economy reopens, the onus will be on each of us to safely choose when we should be around others and how to protect ourselves those nearby. This is still a real threat, but we can recover if we continue to fight with the tools at our disposal.”

Farmers Market to open May 23

After notching their most successful year to date, organizers of the Haddonfield Farmers Market were looking forward to getting the 2020 season off to a fast start in Kings Court on Saturday, May 16. Then along came COVID-19.

Undaunted, the committee has arranged to hold a call-ahead-for-pick-up market each Saturday in the parking lot of Archer Law, off Euclid Avenue, starting on Saturday, May 23.

Since many 2019 vendors have signed up to participate, shoppers can look forward to a wide selection of fruit, vegetables, flowers, and other locally sourced items. 

Visit the Market website HERE for details.

COVID-19 update

On Wednesday, May 13, the Camden County Department of Health released new data for the 38 municipalities in the county that were the result of a reconciliation of its numbers with those maintained by the State of New Jersey. 

The new tally put the number of COVID-19-positive cases for Haddonfield at 36, and the number of fatalities at 4. 

Two fatalities were recorded on April 18 (one male and one female, both in their 80s) and another two on May 4 (a male in his 50s and another in his 90s).

Before Haddonfield’s total number was adjusted upwards on May 13, by 8, the age and sex breakdown for cases not resulting in death was as follows:

  • 20s 3 male, 2 female
  • 30s 1 male, 4 female
  • 40s 5 male, 1 female
  • 50s 5 male
  • 60s 1 male, 1 female
  • 70s
  • 80s 1 female
  • Not known = 4

Another two cases were added on May 15: One female in her 40s and one in her 90s.

Tennis courts are open

The Borough commissioners have removed the Centennial Tennis Courts from the list of recreation facilities that are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. There are restrictions, however:

  • The courts will be open from 8am to 8 pm daily for singles play only. Doubles matches, group tennis, and lessons are not permitted.
  • Players must wear gloves, and are encouraged to wear masks.
  • Participants must remain at least six feet apart.
  • Individuals may not congregate at the entrance to the courts or on the courts themselves.
  • Players must schedule their matches HERE. Walk-on matches are not permitted.

CDC Guidance for Opening Up America Again

Below is the introduction to a document prepared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that provides guidance on how to safely reopen businesses and institutions. A link to the complete document follows this introduction.

Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework

This implementation guidance provides tools and resources to assist decision makers to implement the Guidelines for Opening Up America Again framework. Guidance is provided to monitor local conditions (transmission, public health, and healthcare system capacity) and adjust mitigation strategies over time to effectively contain outbreaks and minimize negative side effects of more significant restrictions on commerce and education.

It begins with steps that all Americans need to take in every community. From there, it outlines core capacities needed In communities to respond to and manage cases as well as delineates key metrics to monitor community mitigation efforts. All of the guidance is anchored to the phases of the Opening Up America Again framework.

The appendices contain more detailed tools for communities such as indicators to better track and adjust mitigation efforts as well as comprehensive mitigation guidance organized by phase gag by setting. Finally, there are user-friendly decision trees to help leaders make informed decisions about reopening. A companion community leader’s guide to further enable implementation activities accompanies this resource.

Access the 68-page document HERE.

Virtual history tour

The Historical Society has created a new virtual tour of Greenfield Hall, its headquarters.

The tour includes brief videos about the history of Greenfield Hall and some of the artifacts in the Society’s collection. These vignettes are titled Bonecrusher Bicycle, Fire Buckets, Hearth and Stove, Potty Chair, and Samplers.

Connect HERE to view the videos.

Tax deadline now June 1

During their meeting on Tuesday, May 12, the Borough commissioners changed the date for payment of property taxes without penalty from May 31 (a Sunday) to Monday, June 1.

The regular due date for second quarter tax payments was May 1. The commissioners extended the usual grace period to the end of the month, at 0% interest, provided payment is received on or before May 31, 2020. That “drop dead” date is now June 1.

The commissioners’ action recognizes the financial difficulties some residents are experiencing, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Property taxes that are not paid by June 1, 2020 will be subject to interest at the rate of 8% per annum up to $1,500 owed and 18% per annum over $1,500, calculated from the due date (May 1) until the date the payment is actually received.

Although the Borough Hall is closed to the general public, payments can still be made “in person” by placing them in the black mailbox in front of the building. Place the tax bill and check in an envelope marked “Tax Office.” The box is emptied daily. 

Paying by mail? The address is 242 Kings Highway E, Haddonfield NJ 08033.

Fourth of July celebrations canceled

In normal times, Haddonfield celebrates the nation’s independence with a celebration downtown and fireworks on July 3 and a parade on July 4.

But these are not normal times.

The Haddonfield Celebrations Association, the not-for-profit community group that plans and raises funds for these and several other annual events, has decided that a public celebration of America’s independence will not be practical in 2020.

“We’re disappointed, of course,” said Ken Tomlinson, the Association’s president, “but we decided it was best to be safe rather than sorry.”

Arrangement for the fireworks and parade are typically made several months in advance. “Each year, we pay deposits to vendors and bands,” Tomlinson said, “but it didn’t make sense to do that this year, since there are many unknowns, and many decisions are out of our hands.”

Tomlinson said the Celebrations Association recognized that its decision will disappoint not just residents, but many others from throughout the region.

“Hundreds of out-of-town folks come to Haddonfield for our spectacular fireworks and one of the best parades in the Delaware Valley,” he said. “We will look forward to welcoming them back in 2021.”

Commission meeting set for May 12

The Board of Commissioners will hold their scheduled May 12, 2020 meeting via video, beginning at 7:30pm.

Members of the public who register HERE may watch, and participate at appropriate times. Those who register will receive instructions and a personal link by email. Instructions also will be provided for those who prefer to listen by phone.

Giraffe sculpture arrives in Haddonfield

Photo: Susan Baltake

After a traffic-stopping ride through downtown Haddonfield early this morning, a 1,000-pound, 15-foot tall bronze giraffe was installed in the Children’s Sculpture Zoo, within Tatem Memorial Garden, at the corner of Kings Highway East and Evergreen Avenue.

Now all he needs is a name. To suggest a name, enter on the Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust’s website, HERE, through May 31.

HMHS Athletics ranked #1 in NJ, #14 in US

A CBS-owned website that specializes in coverage of American high school sports has ranked the athletics program at Haddonfield Memorial High School number 1 in New Jersey and number 14 in the United States.

MaxPreps calculates its rankings by assigning points for state championships and runner-up finishes and by factoring in the popularity of each sport, size of each state, state enrollment divisions, and the number of schools in each state enrollment division. Points also are awarded for national rankings, where available.

This school year, Haddonfield athletes brought home state championship trophies for boys’ cross country, girls’ indoor track, boys’ swimming, and girls’ swimming. They were state runners-up in girls’ field hockey and girls’ cross country.

The state rankings are HERE. The national rankings are HERE.

School’s out!

Students in New Jersey will not return to their brick-and-mortar schools any time soon. Governor Phil Murphy today ordered all schools in to remain closed for the remainder of the school year.

Public schools will continue to provide remote learning for students to allow districts to meet the state-required minimum of 180 instruction days.

In a statement released in conjunction with his order, Gov. Murphy said, “This is a difficult decision and I know that many students, parents, and staff would like to be able to return to school. However, I have been unwavering on the message that we need to make decisions based on science, not emotion. And while New Jersey is making great strides in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, science tells us that at this point, we can’t safely re-open our schools.”

The governor’s complete statement is HERE.

Two more COVID-19 deaths

Among the 48 new COVID-19-related deaths reported today by the Camden County Department of Health were those of two male residents of Haddonfield: one in his 50s and one in his 90s.

The reporting period covers April 13 to 30 — hence the relatively high daily tally. It is not known how recently these two residents succumbed.

The total number of deaths of Haddonfield residents attributable to the novel coronavirus now stands at 4.

In Camden County, Haddonfield ranks relatively low with respect to cases reported. It is 30th out of 37 municipalities (27 cases vs. 3,542 county-wide), and 13th out of 14 municipalities with population greater than 10,000 (2.33 per 1,000 versus 6.85 county-wide).

Two Commissioner work sessions

The Borough commissioners will hold work sessions on Monday, May 4 and Wednesday, May 6.

The May 4 meeting, to be held through Zoom at 7pm, will be closed. The commissioners will conduct interviews for an Affordable Housing developer.

The May 6 meeting, at 3pm, will be accessible to members of the public on GoToMeeting. Link HERE. The webinar ID is 559-612-083.

Crows Woods woods are open

Following Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement on Wednesday that state parks will reopen on Saturday, May 2, the Borough commissioners announced on Friday that the walking path and wooded area of Crows Woods will be open for public use from 6am on Saturday.

The park will close at 6pm each day. Parking will be limited to the lot next to the concession stand.

All other fields, playgounds, concession stands, bathrooms, and pavilions in Haddonfield will remain closed.

In their statement, the commissioners noted: “Visitors must practice social distancing and stay six (6) feet apart from others (social distancing is not required for immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners). No organized group activities, activities involving contact with others, or sports are permitted. If residents & visitors do not abide by these restrictions, the Commissioners may be forced to close the path and wooded area once again, so we ask for your cooperation and thank you for your understanding. All dogs must be on leash.”

School Board statement on child care

OFFICIAL from Haddonfield School District on May 1, 2020

Haddonfield School District Selects AlphaBEST Education to Deliver Before- and After-School Child Care

After careful consideration, the Haddonfield School District (HSD) voted to end its contract for before- and after-school care with Haddonfield Child Care, a local non-profit organization that has served our community for many years. The community, building leaders, administration, and Board of Education (BOE) are very grateful for their service to our children and greatly appreciate the contribution they have made to the Haddonfield community. As difficult as the decision to change providers is, we must consider multiple factors when making an informed decision, especially during such unprecedented times, such as efficiency of offering, quality and consistency of programming across the district, and the ability to meet the unique needs of all students. The BOE and administration have held ongoing discussions with HCC for several months since the Request for Proposals began.

After a thorough search process, including reviews of proposals, in-person interviews, reference checks, and careful deliberation by a committee of ten members, the District has chosen to award the contract to AlphaBEST Education. AlphaBEST has received exemplary reviews from other contracted districts. They have a well-designed curriculum developed to give students the opportunity for enrichment, with no additional cost to families, as well as the flexibility to enjoy downtime in a safe, relaxed environment.

AlphaBEST’s staff training program is extensive and ensures consistency in programs designed to meet the individual needs of our children. Additionally, they offer the same affordable rates our families are accustomed to while guaranteeing the district a minimum of $55,000 for the use of facilities. In the past, the district has not received any funding for the use of facilities for the child care program. Along with providing better programming at equal or lower cost to families using child care, taxpayers greatly benefit from the expertise and the cost-sharing contract of a national organization that runs child care programs for schools across the nation, including New Jersey. Further, we are pleased that AlphaBEST is committed to hiring staff from our current child care program, HCC, to help make the transition for our children seamless. AlphaBEST, HSD and the BOE are all dedicated to maintaining the strong community connections Haddonfield values while ensuring fiscal responsibility and quality of services.

“We are excited to be working with the Haddonfield community and families,” said Judy Nee, CEO of AlphaBEST. “We also know how difficult change can be, and we are committed to working closely with the school district and community to make this a smooth transition. Our New Jersey locations are some of our most successful sites, according to our families – a tribute to the level of expectation and support our dedicated local teams receive. We will be surveying Haddonfield families soon to learn more about needs, ideas and suggestions.”

Like all changes, the transition to the new before and after-care program will be an adjustment, but we are hopeful and confident that this change will enrich the lives of our students and benefit our families.

____________

DOCUMENTS

BOE President Sangillo’s presentation, April 30, 2020

School Board approves 2020-21 budget

OFFICIAL from Haddonfield School District on May 1, 2020

On Thursday, April 30, 2020, the Haddonfield Board of Education approved a $37.4M budget for the 2020-2021 academic year.

This dollar amount represents a $735,000 or 2% increase from last year. Haddonfield residents living in a home valued at $500,000 will see an annual increase to their property taxes of $62.

Board Secretary Michael Catalano made a presentation that highlighted, among other things, additions to instructional staff due to projected enrollments; supplies and training for the new AP Capstone Program; professional development for math instruction in grades K-8; the expansion of the district’s 1:1 Chromebook program to include grades 5 and 11; new classroom furniture that will support flexible learning environments; staff training for project-based learning; and capital improvements such as the new C-wing Air-Handling Unit addition.

“Creating the annual budget is a difficult balancing act for Board members,” said Adam Sangillo, Board President. “We try to be mindful of the community’s heavy tax burden and yet we must provide appropriate funding so that our students can thrive and achieve.”

Catalano went into some detail about numerous expenditures in the area of Safety and Security. The district will continue to fund a Student Resource Officer at Haddonfield Memorial High School (HMHS) as well as the Raptor Visitor Management System that was installed in all school buildings last year. In progress are security projects including new secure vestibules in Tatem and Elizabeth Haddon Elementary Schools; window covers for all interior classroom doors; and the RULER emotional intelligence program initiated last fall to support the district’s Social-Emotional Learning goals.

“RULER stands for recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotions,” said Dr. Gino Priolo, Director of Special Education and Co-Chair of the Social-Emotional Learning Committee. “Teaching the adults and students in our schools how to recognize and manage emotions is equally important to the physical plant hardening plans that the district has undertaken over the past two years. When we improve school climate and address our social and emotional skills, we can identify mental health issues more readily and ultimately make our schools safer places to teach and learn.”

New Security expenditures include a digital floor-mapping system for first responders navigating our buildings in a crisis; security cameras throughout our district; and a new Student Assistance Coordinator/Crisis Counselor (SAC) who will work with students who are identified as being at risk, again for the purpose of identification and intervention before problems can occur.

“The new full time SAC position replaces a part-time social worker position,” said HMHS Principal Tammy McHale. “This person will offer staff training, will develop procedures for various crisis situations, will design programs and will provide counseling for students and parents.”

“We are completely aware that the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic could change state funding drastically,” said Sangillo. “We are going to be hyper-vigilant in our planning over the next few years as we see how the intermediate and long term impacts of this unprecedented time unfold.”

_____________________

DOCUMENTS

Chuck Klaus appointed superintendent of schools

OFFICIAL from Haddonfield School District on May 1, 2020

On Thursday, April 30, 2020, Charles Klaus was approved to become the Superintendent of Schools for the Haddonfield School District. He will assume that role on July 1, 2020. 

Klaus became the Acting Assistant Superintendent in June 2018, when then-Assistant Superintendent Michael Wilson took a medical leave. Klaus served under Dr. Lawrence

Mussoline, becoming Assistant Superintendent in May 2019 upon Wilson’s retirement. Last month, on March 12, Mussoline announced his resignation, and the Board posted the Superintendent’s job internally.

“Chuck Klaus has served as Assistant Superintendent for two years,” said Board President Adam Sangillo. “The Board got to know him not only as a hard worker but also as someone who shares our vision of the future. We are confident that Chuck will lead us in the right direction to best serve our students, families, faculty, and staff.”

Klaus came to Haddonfield as an English teacher in August of 1994 after teaching for seven years in Maple Shade. He advanced to English department facilitator in 2004, and became the high school’s Assistant Principal in 2008. After a one-year post as Principal of Central Elementary School, Klaus returned to the Haddonfield Memorial High School (HMHS) as Principal in 2011.

“I had the pleasure of working with Chuck for one year as the Dean of Students,” said HMHS Principal Tammy McHale. “He is extremely knowledgeable and practical, and he has an innate ability to always put students first. I was extremely lucky to have him as a mentor and even luckier to consider him a friend.”

In addition to being a teacher and administrator, Klaus was the varsity wrestling coach from 1993 through 2009, winning numerous commendations including earning the “most wins by any coach in the school’s history” as well as being district 28 Coach of the Year four times. He was Assistant Director of Carl Adams summer wrestling camp for 27 years and also served as a coach for Haddonfield track and cross-country programs. For six years he served on the Executive Committee of the NJSIAA (New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association) and was president for the 2017-18 school year. Klaus was inducted into the South Jersey Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2011.

“Chuck cares deeply about Haddonfield: our students, our staff, and our families,” said HMHS English teacher Corinne Welsh. “He knows how to navigate our systems, and he works carefully and creatively to ensure things run as smoothly as possible. I’m glad he will be at the helm during this challenging period.”

Currently a resident of Haddon Township, Klaus raised three children who attended Haddonfield Schools.

“My journey back and forth across the district to where I am now has caused me to view my responsibilities to my students with several different lenses,” Klaus said. “Although each step has moved me further from the joyous days of working side-by-side with students, I am grateful that my administrative roles allow me to impact the academic, social, and emotional growth of more and more Haddonfield students.”

A new provider for school child care

Believing that it is a “best practice” for any organization to look at the changing landscape of offerings and evaluate service providers on a regular basis, the Board of Education to decided some months ago to explore options for before- and after-school child care programs in Haddonfield.

This is not something, it is believed, that has ever been undertaken with respect to Haddonfield’s child care program. The board saw it as a necessary step in offering the best options for students, families, and taxpayers.

Child care providers (including Haddonfield Child Care, the current provider) were invited to present proposals for the board to review. Seven companies submitted proposals and were interviewed on March 11 by a committee of three board members, four principals (elementary and middle), assistant superintendent Chuck Klaus, board secretary Mike Catalano, technology director John Miller, and superintendent Larry Mussoline. 

After narrowing the field to two providers, members of the committee conducted reference checks. (Site visits were not possible because of the COVID-19 pandemic.) 

During the board meeting on April 23, Chuck Klaus reviewed the selection process and recommended that the board contract with AlphaBEST Education Inc, a North Carolina-based company serving 45 districts (415 schools) in 13 states. New Jersey districts served include Hopatcong, Millburn, Mount Olive, Stanhope, and Warren.

During its meeting on April 30, the board voted to approve the proposed contract with AlphaBEST, effective July 1, 2020. 

Police launch “Haddonfield Helps” initiative

The Haddondfield Police Department has launched a program that enables residents to request assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program is intended to help alleviate hardships such as food insecurity, mobility/accessibility challenges, and isolation.

Residents may request assistance for themselves or on behalf of friends or neighbors.

Police officers will work in conjunction with Nancy McCrudden, the Senior Center Coordinator, to connect those seeking assistance with the appropriate social service agencies, volunteer organizations, Borough staff, or other sources of access and assistance.

To initiate a request for assistance, click HERE.

Alternatively, call the Police non-emergency number – 856-429-3000 – and mention the need for help due to the pandemic. As always, call 911 in case of emergency.

The best way to cheer yourself

Well aware that many of her students have been missing their classmates, and are unhappy at the prospect of even more weeks of separation from them, Central School first grade teacher Katie Burns took a cue from Mark Twain:

“The best way to cheer yourself is to try and cheer somebody else up.”

She compiled video clips of her students singing “Happy,” written by Pharrell Williams for the soundtrack of the animated film Despicable Me 2. (“Happy” was the best-selling song, worldwide, of 2014.)

The result is HERE.

One family’s reflection on remote education

From the April 24, 2020 School District Newsletter

As week five of remote education comes to a close, we all may have reflected on the challenges of state-mandated school closings and the ups and downs of teaching and/or learning at home. The experiences of each teacher, administrator, counselor, aide, therapist and coach vary of course, just as every student and every family could share different stories about their daily lessons and school work.

What follows is just one Haddonfield story, highlighting one family’s experience with two particular elementary teachers. We know there are many, many other excellent teachers, and we have heard about hundreds of other positive remote education experiences. But the perspective of this story is a little bit different, coming from parents who are also Haddonfield teachers.

The Miller family consists of parents, Mike Miller, who teaches history at the high school and Jessica Miller, who is the Central-Middle School media specialist and technology coordinator; and two boys who attend Tatem Elementary School. Before spring break, Jess and Mike shared these reflections with their children’s principal and HSD administrative team. What follows is part of their thoughtful message.

Click HERE to read the rest of the story.

Plays & Players revises line-up

The show must go on … “in July!” says Haddonfield Plays & Players.

The local community theater released the following statement on April 25, 2020:

While the theatre is temporarily closed in adherence with state and federal guidelines, we’re actively working behind-the-scenes to adjust our season schedule accordingly.  

We’re pleased to announce that Picnic will be our first show upon reopening. Set in Kansas during the lazy days of summer, the show has appropriately been rescheduled to run this summer from July 16 through August 1. Please note that based on social-distancing guidelines at the time of the performance, this show may be converted to general admission seating to accommodate any necessary restrictions. 

Our production of Young Frankenstein, originally slated for summer, has been removed from the 2020 season. We’re looking for future dates to reschedule that production.

Given this scheduling change, the Box Office will be contacting season ticket holders and single ticket holders of Picnic and Young Frankenstein to discuss options. We appreciate your patience as we work through any necessary accommodations.  However, if for some reason you do not hear from us by May 15th and need to update your ticket arrangements, please email the box office at boxoffice@haddonfieldplayers.com

We are continuing to monitor the evolving situation and will keep you informed of any additional scheduling updates. We miss our theatre community and look forward to resuming our high-quality programming soon!

Board of Ed launches “Board Bulletin”

From the April 24, 2020 School District Newsletter

In March, members of the Board of Education (BOE) Communications Committee got together to discuss the possibility of creating a new document designed to share information with Haddonfield families and the community at large.

The committee members are: Jaime Grookett (chair), Adam Sangillo (BOE President), Lynn Hoag, and Linda Hochgertel.

Each document will be brief and will be posted the week following each voting meeting of the BOE, once per month. The “Board Meeting Bulletin” will feature information about recent votes and issues as well as upcoming topics of public interest. It is intended to be a more informal, accessible way for the community to learn about Board discussions and decisions as well as why these decisions are made.

The first (March) Board Meeting Bulletin was posted on April 3rd under NEWS on both the district website and on the BOE website. The second (April) will be posted by May 5th.

“We hope to provide the community with a quick and easy way to get a summary of the issues that are currently being discussed at board meetings,” said committee member Lynn Hoag. “Additionally, the bulletin allows us to connect those issues to the district’s strategic plans and goals.”

The district newsletter will continue to be emailed and will provide additional information, school stories, administrative news, and more details about issues and school events.

[Publisher’s Note: Links to School District Newsletters are in the Documents section of Haddonfield[dot]Today.]

Message from Superintendent Mussoline

OFFICIAL from Haddonfield School District on April 24, 2020

We have been communicating with you throughout this unprecedented time in our lives. We know you understand the Governor closed schools in New Jersey until May 15th “at least.” You all understand that he may opt to try to open them after May 15th or keep them closed. We have no idea what his decision will be. We have no guidance as to what that opening may look like. We all trust it will be based on scientific data and the health and safety of everyone.

Over the weekend, I read through the surveys you completed for Dr. Murray. They were as expected. Many praised the efforts of our school system to gear up for online learning so quickly. Many others expressed concerns such as too much work, too little work, not enough face-to-face time, the real fear of lost learning, and maybe just total disillusionment over the whole world situation we are all in where parents are expected to work at home, have the proper meals ready, quarantine inside, and help teach children. Daunting tasks; all of them.

Those of us in education knew that we could sustain this new learning system for a short period of time. A longer period of online learning would be daunting for all of us. We are a traditional school system, custodial in nature, educative by design. Children come to school each day, stay for a period of time, are taught face-to-face, and go home. They do that 180 times during a school year. Taking that system and transitioning 200-plus teachers and 2,800 students into a full, online, K-12 cyber school with one day to plan was a very heavy lift. This world was thrust upon all of us without much warning. No directional signs are (or were) up and the street lights are off all over the place in this pandemic society. So, as many of you said in the survey, this is a time to praise all of us making the best of this situation. Health care workers. Emergency personnel. Grocery store workers. Small business and restaurant owners. Truck drivers. Educators. And so many others who are trying to work through this situation, making the best of these difficult times.

Let’s do this in the next few days. Take some time to thank your child’s teacher(s). Take some time to thank your child’s principal(s). Take some time to thank a Board of Education member. Go out of your way to do that. I know you all know this fact, but everyone above took a brick-and-mortar, traditional school system, and transformed it into an online learning environment overnight. They did it without review packets, without paper assignments being laboriously sent home, and without saying we are simply going to review while we are not learning traditionally. The people above created a total cyber environment where we are continuing with lessons to the best of our abilities, picking up where we left off over a month ago. Again, I know you understand this, but what your Board of Education, principals, and teachers created was nothing short of a miraculous learning environment in your school system. Because of the teachers, the principals, and the Board, Haddonfield is a leader in their pandemic educational plan in the state and even the nation. Take some time to thank them all for their forward-looking leadership and work in these unparalleled times.

There is a lot of information [in the April 24, 2020 School District News] for you to read over detailing the unrivaled environment we are all experiencing. Enjoy the newsletter. In the next newsletter, Mr. Chuck Klaus will take over this column. I can’t tell you how excited I am about that fact. Chuck is as honest as the day is long and as skilled a leader as I have ever seen.

Best wishes to you all.

Larry Mussoline PhD
Superintendent of Schools

Video of School Board meeting

A video of the Board of Education’s meeting on Thursday, April 23 is available HERE.

The next meeting — the annual Budget meeting — will be held (virtually) on Thursday, April 30 at 7pm. That meeting can be watched, live, on the Board’s YouTube channel, HERE.

Haddonfield COVID-19 update

The number of Haddonfield residents identified as COVID-19 positive has remained unchanged for seven days, at 25. Over the same period (April 17 to 23), the tally in Camden County has risen by 624. from 1,808 to 2,432.

The highest number of cases reported is in Camden: 620 (8.02 per 1,000 of population). The highest number per capita is in Woodlynne: 12.09.

The deaths of two Haddonfield residents were reported on April 18. The fatality tally for Camden County stands at 97.

New Jersey cases are just 11 shy of 100,000, at 99,989. The state has recorded 5,368 deaths. New Jersey ranks second in both categories, nationwide, to New York (>263,000 and 15,740).

Violent winds fell large tree

Winds that ripped briefly through Haddonfield on Tuesday afternoon brought down a large tree on W. Summit Avenue, between Warwick Road and Chews Landing Road.

The tree fell onto a car parked on W. Summit, opposite Evans Avenue.

Commissioners’ COVID-19 update

OFFICIAL from the Board of Commissioners on April 19, 2020.

On the evening of April 18, 2020, the Board of Commissioners learned that two Haddonfield residents have died due to COVID-19. Sadly, one man and one woman, both in their 80s, have succumbed to the disease The Commissioners extend their deepest sympathies to the families of those who have passed away.   

As our community mourns, and many struggle with challenges such as caring for or being away from ill loved ones, financial burdens & limited social interaction, we remind everyone that NJ Mental Health Cares, the state’s behavioral health information and referral service, will now also offer help to anyone dealing with anxiety and depression related to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak. Residents can call 1-866-202-HELP (4357) for free, confidential support between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week. 

Additionally, local COVID-19 testing access will be expanding in the coming week, as the Rite Aid in Barrington will operate a testing site beginning Monday, April 20th The address of the location is 501 Clements Bridge Road, Barrington, NJ 08007. The site will be open for testing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. The site will utilize self-swab nasal tests overseen by Rite Aid pharmacists. Testing eligibility is based on guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which can be found via this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html

The Borough will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.  Residents can also access county & state-wide updates via https://covid19.nj.gov and https://www.camdencounty.com/service/covid-19-updates-and-preparations/

Two residents succumb to COVID-19

Among the 22 new deaths reported by the Camden County Department of Health on Saturday (April 18) were those of two Haddonfield residents, a man and a woman both in their 80s. No details are available at this time. (A Haddonfield woman in her 80s was reported on April 5 as having contracted the virus; a connection with the resident who died has not been reported publicly.)

The total number of fatalities reported in Camden County now stands at 80. The spike yesterday was the result of a catch-up in reporting over the past several weeks, since the first death was reported on April 2. The county uses three sources for its notifications.

Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. responses to the significant loss of life this pandemic has caused the residents of Camden County.

“I’m at a total loss for words today. The fatalities reported from our county Medical Examiner, the state electronic death records and funeral home directors was hard to process based on the toll it took on our community. The families impacted will be in our thoughts and prayers tonight and into the future as this pandemic grinds on,” Cappelli said. “Right now it is important to remember that we need to continue to fight this virus with the best tools we have, in other words, we need to double down on our mitigation efforts so we can flatten the curve and we need to work hard to flatten the curve of this virus. Even though the news is grim today I believe our efforts are yielding real results.”

The Department of Health also announced 100 additional positive cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).That number does not include any Haddonfield residents. The Haddonfield total stands at 25.

Schools closed thru May 15 …

… at least.

On Thursday, April 16, NJ Gov. Phil Murphy ordered schools in the state to remain closed until Friday, May 15. His order covers public and private schools, preschools, and colleges.

Murphy first ordered schools to close on March 18, for at least two weeks. Later, when extending that closure to April 17, he said he would not reopen schools until medical experts tell him it’s safe.

The governor said he’s heard from parents of high school seniors about academics, sports, and other experiences students are missing.

“I have nothing but complete sympathy,” Murphy said, “[but we] cannot be guided by emotion. We need to be guided by where the facts on the ground, science and public health take us.”

A prolonged decline in infections and fatalities would be required before crowded buildings such as schools can reopen.

Haddonfield public schools are scheduled to end the 2019-20 school year on Friday, June 19.

New way to support stores

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a devastating impact on small businesses in Haddonfield. Many have closed temporarily; others are operating at greatly reduced levels. 

To help keep some cash flowing, several business owners have created “Haddonfield Here For Good!” It’s a way for residents and others to support and show appreciation for their favorite businesses.

The concept is simple: Go online and purchase a $20 tee-shirt. All shirts have the “Haddonfield Here For Good!” graphic on the back, while each participating business has its own logo on the left chest. (Haddonfield[dot]Today is one of the participating businesses. Order our shirt HERE.)

If you can’t decide which business you want to support, order the generic “Haddonfield” shirt, or make a donation. 

$10 from each sale goes to the business. The more shirts sold, the more money the business gets. 100% of proceeds benefit the small businesses of Haddonfield and all monies collected in the general fund will be divided equally among participating businesses. 

When Downtown Haddonfield gets back to normal and retail returns, there will be special events where everyone will be invited to wear their Here For Good shirts. 

Shirts can be purchased online at HaddonfieldHereForGood.com.

Interest rate on overdue taxes set at 0%

During their special meeting on Tuesday, April 14, the Borough commissioners set the interest rate at 0% for property taxes paid after the due date of May 1, 2020 but on or before May 31, 2020. 

Their action was in recognition of the financial difficulties some residents are experiencing, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The due date for second quarter tax payments is May 1. The Borough grants a ten-day grace period and does not charge interest on payments received during the grace period. The commissioners’ action effectively increases the grace period by 30 days – but only on property taxes for the current period. The 0% rate does not apply to any back taxes.

Property taxes that are not paid by May 31, 2020 will be subject to interest at the rate of 8% per annum up to $1,500 and 18% per annum over $1,500, calculated from the due date (May 1) until the date the payment is actually received.

Although the Borough Hall is closed to the general public, payments can still be made “in person” by placing them in the black mailbox in front of the building. Place the tax bill and check in an envelope marked “Tax Office.” The box is emptied daily. 

Paying by mail? The address is 242 Kings Highway E, Haddonfield NJ 08033.

COVID-19 numbers stay steady

Camden County health officials today adjusted the number of Haddonfield residents who have tested positive to the COVID-19 virus from 22 to 21. Haddonfield has not had a new confirmed case for three days.

Haddonfield’s rank, compared with other Camden County municipalities, dropped dramatically today — from 17th to 24th. Haddonfield has 1.81 confirmed cases per 1,000 of population. The county average is 2.44 (1,255 confirmed cases and 29 fatalities).

Easter drive-by at Brandywine

For more than an hour and a half, more than one hundred cars looped the circular drive of Brandywine Living on Warwick Road on Friday, April 10.

Why? So dozens of residents, unable to leave the premises or receive visitors at Easter because of COVID-19 regulations, could wave to children, grandchildren, pets, pedestrians, and perfect strangers who came with decorated cars and handmade signs.

A local online organization, Haddonfield Parents, lead by resident Megan York Parker, partnered with Brandywine’s director of community relations, Kim Fasolo, to develop the event. Haddonfield resident and nearby school administrator Erica DeMichele dressed in her own Easter Bunny costume for the occasion.

Photos by Debbie Troy Photography. Access photo gallery HERE.

Masks for all!

Statues in downtown Haddonfield are now protecting themselves and others from the spread of COVID-19. One example: “Stanley the Witness,” at 137 Kings Highway East.

Stuart Harting, founder and chair of the Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust (HOST), which has placed more than two dozen sculptures around the town, has outfitted a number of sculptures with protective masks. In addition to “Stanley” … “The Mailman,” outside the Post Office, and “Steadfast and Loyal,” at 116 Kings Highway East.

Check them out … from a safe distance.

Seasonal fun: A virtual scavenger hunt

To help Haddonfield families celebrate the season, the Borough is sponsoring a Virtual Scavenger Hunt. The 18 items on the list range (in alphabetical order) from a birds’ nest to a yellow flower.

When you’ve completed the list, email your name, telephone number, and mailing address to Commissioner Colleen Bianco Bezich: cbbezich@haddonfield-nj.gov. The deadline is 12n on Monday, April 13.

One entrant, chosen at random, will win a town-wide gift certificate.

To share the Hunt with friends on social media, use #HaddonfieldHunt.

Easter Sunday Services

NATIONAL

  • 11:15am – Worship Service
  • National Cathedral, Washington DC
  • Video link HERE (website).

BAPTIST

  • First Baptist Church of Haddonfield
  • 11am – Worship Service.
  • Audio link HERE (website). Video link HERE (Facebook).

CATHOLIC

  • Christ the King Catholic Church
  • 9am
  • 10:30am
  • Video link HERE (website).

EPISCOPAL

Grace Church in Haddonfield

6:30 am – Sunrise Worship

Video link HERE (Facebook).

LUTHERAN

  • Lutheran Church of Our Savior
  • 10:30am
  • Video link HERE (Facebook).

METHODIST

  • Haddonfield United Methodist Church
  • 9am – Contemporary Worship
  • 10:30am – Traditional Worship
  • Video links HERE (website) and HERE (Facebook)

PRESBYTERIAN

  • First Presbyterian Church of Haddonfield
  • 10 am
  • Video link HERE (website)

Good Friday musical selections

The First Baptist Church of Haddonfield will provide a a 30-minute livestream of music by Robert Gardner on Friday, April 10 at 12n. The Facebook livestream may be accessed through the church’s website, HERE.

Audio-only version will be available on the website following the livestream.

Special Commissioners Meeting

A special meeting of the Board of Commissioners will be held on Tuesday, April 14 at 7:30pm.

The meeting will be held electronically, through GoToMeeting.

To watch the meeting:

1. Well before the meeting, check your computer’s compatibility with the system HERE.

If you get the “Looks good! You can join a webinar.” message, click on “Try a test session” and follow the directions to download and test the app.

2. A few minutes before 7:30pm, go HERE to connect.

Historic Preservation Commission meeting

The next meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission will be held as scheduled on Wednesday, April 15 a5 7:30pm. The meeting will be held electronically, through Zoom.

To watch, go HERE. Enter Meeting ID: 906 941 448 and Password: 202678.

To listen, call one of three numbers – 646-558-8656, 253-215-8782, or 301-715-8592. Enter Meeting ID:906 941 448 and Password: 202678.

Oriental Pearl reopens

After closing its doors for about two weeks in response to Governor Murphy’s call for New Jersey residents to “stay at home,” the Oriental Pearl Restaurant has reopened, on a limited basis.

The restaurant will provide curbside pick-up for orders phoned in (856-427-6985), Tuesday thru Sunday from 11:30am.

The Bistro, which initially offered curbside service, recently joined a number of Haddonfield restaurants that have closed indefinitely.

UPDATE: This post initially reported that Nicky B’s Pizza had closed indefinitely. In fact, it remains open.

Pastor warns of gift card scam

The Reverend Jenni Ovenstone Smith, the rector of Grace Church in Haddonfield, has reported that hackers posing as pastors are asking people to purchase gift cards to assist those in need.

She said that in at least two instance the fake emails purported to come from her.

“Scams in which hackers create false accounts posing as pastors are continuing,” she wrote in a message to her congregation. “These are not from me!”

She provided the following advice:

“Firstly, do not go out. Especially at this time when all advice is to stay home even from what might be considered an ‘essential errand,’ if possible. Don’t go to the store! And don’t respond to the email, or make purchases online. This is a scam.

“Secondly, even during ordinary times, you may expect requests for outreach assistance to come from direct Grace communication channels such as this ‘Grace Notes’ mailing, or on the web. Thank you to those who received these emails and knew to check first, as this request seemed unusual.”

Pastor Jenni concluded by writing: “While we realize that there are those exploiting our vulnerability and our compassion right now, I am grateful we have each other to strengthen and support the real efforts of love and care that sustain us in Christ at this time.”

Lions name Youth of the Year

The Haddonfield Area Lions Club has chosen three outstanding Haddonfield Memorial High School students to receive its William G. Hansen Youth of the Year awards. The honor is given to students showing empathy and compassion through their many years of volunteer service.

“The applicants were outstanding and we wish we could have chosen them all,” said Debra Nussbaum who chairs the Youth of the Year Committee with Ellen Ragone. “These students were all busy with academics and activities, but they made helping others a priority.”

  • Stella DeMarco is the president of the HMHS Leo Club “She has been instrumental this year in helping me behind the scenes in planning events and serving as a role model for other Leos,” said Maggie Gammie, the High School’s faculty advisor to the Leo Club. 
  • Elliot Ryan has mentored and tutored children in Camden since 2015 He is also a volunteer at the Historical Society of Haddonfield and is a student board committee member for the Haddonfield Japan Exchange. 
  • Charlotte George is vice president of Play it Forward, a music volunteering club where members give free music lessons to students in Camden schools She is also on the school’s Peer Bias Committee.

The Lions also recognized four other HMHS students for their extensive volunteer work: Max Cass, Kyle Dailey, Carly Griffin and Rebekah Vielehr.

The awards will be presented at a Lions Meeting when the virus quarantine ends.

COVID-19 count stands at 14

According to Camden County officials, the number of Haddonfield residents diagnosed with the novel coronavirus as of April 4 is 14. Residents in 30 of the county’s 37 municipalities are infected. Haddonfield ranks 10th in the county, with 1.21 cases per 1,000 residents.

Second COVID-19 death with local link

A longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Haddonfield, Rachel Ann Avery, has died from what is suspected to have been the novel coronavirus COVID-19. A resident of Cherry Hill, she died on April 2, 2020, at age 75.

Click HERE to link to obituary.

COVID-19 tally now at eight

The Borough Commissioners have reported that as of March 31, 2020, there are eight cases of Haddonfield residents with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

In a statement the Borough’s Facebook page, the Commissioners said, “We ask all residents to recognize the critical importance of social distancing. While we may be physically isolated, we are together in spirit — including gratitude for all those on the front lines of this crisis, and the desire to keep our family, friends & neighbors safe.”

Information about COVID-19 is on the Borough’s website.

Spring Cleanup starts April 6

The Borough’s annual Spring Cleanup will begin on Monday, April 6.

For four weeks – until Friday, May 1 – the Borough will relax the rules with respect to the amount of trash that residents may place at the curb for pick-up on their trash day. (The normal limit is six items.) Other rules remain in force.

Spring Cleanup is intended to encourage residents to clean out attics, basements, garages, and yards. For additional details, see HERE.

COVID-19 hits home

The Reverend Chris Heckert, pastor of the Haddonfield United Methodist Church, reported today that a longtime parishioner, Maria Fedele, died on Monday, March 30, a victim of the novel coronavirus.

She was the mother of Rosalie Fedele, a Haddonfield resident, and had been a member of the church since 1981.

A memorial service will be held on a date to be set. Gifts “in memory of Maria Fedele” may be sent to Haddonfield United Methodist Church, 29 Warwick Road, Haddonfield NJ 08033.

King’s Road to resume beer delivery

An executive order issued by Governor Murphy on March 16 included a provision that, for the first time, permitted breweries such as King’s Road Brewing Company in Haddonfield to deliver their beer. Previously, sales had been limited to on-premises and carry-out.

But that order was changed on March 21, and the ban was reinstated … until today, when the March 21 change was rescinded.

In response to the ban, King’s Road had reduced its days of operation to Thursday through Sunday. Managing director Bob Hochgertel said that, for some breweries, the ability to deliver could make the difference going under and weathering the COVID-19 storm.

New days and hours for delivery and curbside pick-up at King’s Road are likely to be Wednesday through Sunday, 1 to 6pm.

Two more residents test positive

Camden County officials have added a Haddonfield man in his 20s and a woman in her 30s to the list of county residents who have tested positive for the new coronavirus. This brings the Haddonfield total to date to four.

Name that giraffe!

While you’re quarantining at home, here’s something fun to do online.

Since we’re all locked down due to COVID-19, Sculpture Month events planned for April have been postponed … and the Name the Giraffe contest has been extended, through noon on May 31.

The 12-foot-tall bronze giraffe will be installed in Haddonfield’s Children’s Sculpture Zoo (within the Tatem Memorial Garden, Kings Highway East and Evergreen Avenue) at a date to be announced, with a formal dedication and the giraffe’s name – contest winner’s name – announced.

Enter here: Name That Giraffe.

While Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust welcomes input from all, near and far, the winning name will be selected from those submitted by Haddonfield residents and students.

Stay tuned… and stay safe!

Public Schools update

OFFICIAL from Haddonfield School District on March 23, 2020

On Saturday, March 21, New Jersey’s Governor Murphy announced a statewide “stay at home” order as of 9pm that evening.

This revised order prohibits all gatherings and directs the closure of “all non-essential retail businesses to the public,” with some exceptions. Here is the video of his announcement.

Here in Haddonfield, we will continue to provide the highest level of remote instruction possible, moving forward in compliance with Gov. Murphy’s latest directive.

In direct response to Governor Murphy’s message, we share the following important information with Haddonfield’s parents.

  • A stay-at-home lifestyle and remote instruction are likely to continue well beyond the original estimate of two weeks. We should plan to follow his directive until further notice and into the foreseeable future.
  • Beginning Monday, March 23, all school district buildings will be closed with these three exceptions:
  • Haddonfield students in need of a free bag lunch may still come to the Chestnut Street entrance (“the flagpole doors”) of the Haddonfield Middle School between 11am and noon, Monday through Friday.
  • Our technology team will be responding through email and phone to requests for assistance Monday thru Friday from 7am through 5pm. We will make every effort to assist any student technical issue remotely. If a face-to-face meeting is required, an appointment can be set for Monday through Friday between 11am and noon at the Middle School. See details for contact information below.*
  • The Board of Education building, closest to the Central school playground and PATCO tracks, will be manned with a skeleton staff from 9am to 2pm Monday through Friday.

As previously stated, as long as we are engaged in remote instruction, all athletics and extracurriculars are cancelled.

Please keep in mind the borough’s state of emergency: borough and school district playgrounds, fields, and courts are all closed.

Although we are working from home, we are committed to supporting you and our students. Teachers, EAs, principals, technology staff, counselors, nurses and others are available when you need assistance.

  • Your teachers have shared their office hours with you.
  • Our principals are a great resource for information: