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'Asbury Radio' began as 'Restore by the Shore' on June 1, 2000 as a one-hour a week radio show to serve two purposes: 1) to be an information resource and referral service for homeowners with restoration projects, and 2) to establish an uncensored source of information on the citywide restoration or redevelopment of Asbury Park, to dispel or confirm rumors, explain the complex and, when necessary, raise the alarm.

Why me? I'm Maureen Nevin, but my bylines are in the name I carried for most of my adult life as a journalist, Maureen Nevin Duffy. I was raising two daughters and working part time jobs, while attending Rutgers University full time when I became aware of what was happening to New  Brunswick, NJ, in the name of redevelopment. Many, including historians, urban planners with the university, and merchants, tried to sound the alarm back then, in the early 1980s. But regardless most of the town's character, diversity, history and ethnicity were eventually sacrificed in the process. My first piece for the New York Times was about New Brunswick's redevelopment. It ran on Sept. 6, 1981 and hit the powers involved - the City of New Brunswick, Rutgers University and Johnson and Johnson - pretty hard. Click to read it. The Home News (now The Home News Tribune) held an editorial board meeting with those principals the first working day after that Sunday Times' piece ran. Here's that interview: Click   Note: specific references to The Times piece and direct quote in center column. Caution: If you've been following Asbury's redevelopment closely, you may experience extreme deja vu.

Nearly a year later, The Home News, not initially connecting me with that story, hired me as a stringer. Someone 'downtown' made a phone call to the executive editor one day, but not before I'd acquired quite a beat: covering municipal and school board meetings in Dunellen and Middlesex and later the night meetings of the Somerset County Freeholders, too, all as a part timer. After nearly two years of front page stories and features, and about five journalism awards, as my graduation from Rutgers approached, a friendly editor whispered that I'd better look for other work. Although he'd fought for me, the other editors wouldn't be offering me a staff job on the Home News because of the critical views I'd expressed in that first Times' piece, ironically one of only two critical pieces I ever published about New Brunswick.  

When I moved to Asbury Park in 1999, I looked around to see some very familiar signs. How could I ensure that the people of this city wouldn't lose control of the process the way the people of New Brunswick did? I'm still looking for ways to answer that question every week.