Edward Van Embden
Hometown: Millville, NJ
Birthday: May 17, 1984
Bio: Edward Van Embden was born and raised in Millville, NJ, a city with a population of about 27,000 in Cumberland County. Still a young lad, Edward moved with his family to neighboring Vineland, where he lived and attended school, including Vineland High School, before going to college. Though Millville and Vineland share a rivalry born more than a century ago, Edward was able to avoid any potential conflicts that may have arisen from being a resident of both towns at various points in his life by befriending locals and assuring them that their town was superior to the other.
After graduating high school in 2002, Edward took his talents to The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Pomona, NJ. He attended an assortment of classes before deciding that if he was going to get a degree, he was going to get one in Literature. Some would say that a degree in literature is akin to a degree in book reading, though Edward doesn't mind. He completed his senior thesis and detailed the role of children and poverty in Charles Dickens' novels - though he will decline to discuss Dickens at length if asked - and graduated in 2006.
Prior to graduating, Edward took a job with the Press of Atlantic City, a newspaper covering parts of five counties in southern New Jersey, in the sports department, where he stayed for two years. Eventually, Edward was hired as a municipal reporter and for more than three years he covered news in Cumberland County, specifically his hometown, Millville. There, Edward covered numerous news areas, including government, courts, schools, crimes, religion, and the Glasstown Arts District, oh, and of course the rivalry between Millville and Vineland on occasion, too.
With his college sweetheart and fiance Diane living too great a distance away, Edward decided it was time to pick up roots and look for another job. As luck would have it, Patch.com, a rapidly expanding internet startup looking to cover real local news and put it on the internet, advertised editor positions in Monmouth County, which Edward was familiar with through Kevin Smith films. He applied, got the job, and is now living in Red Bank.
Extraneous life details, such as the time Edward got detention at Sacred Heart Elementary School in Vineland for doing nothing wrong, were omitted for brevity's sake.
At Patch, we promise always to approach the news as objectively as possible and adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible because human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal their beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable.
I believe myself to be the only true Independent in the entire country. While Democrats insist on calling themselves Independents when the Democratic Party is in majority control of the government, and while Republicans insist on calling themselves Independents when the Republican Party is in majority control of the government, I remain firmly entrenched in the middle.
I dislike war, but I support our troops. I prefer small government, but demand necessary services from it. I object to most things Homeland Security Act related, which include wiretaps, free speech zones, and violations of our Civil Liberties. I am upset that "for our protection" has led to patdowns of grandmothers and babies at airport checkpoints, and public surveillance cameras popping up in communities across the country with little to no objection from the public.
Things I like are peace, freedom, and net neutrality among other things.
I am agnostic. Faith is a wonderful tool when used properly.
Local Hot-Button Issues
I'm new here, so for a while I'm going to lean on you folks to let me in on the secrets. Revitalized downtowns, however, are something I am all too familiar with. They are wonderful, yet fragile things that need to be coddled in order to survive. Some folks see the value in maintaining the identity of their town in the face of encroaching development and pressure from large, outside retailers, others don't. Both positions are pragmatic.