Elaine Van Develde
Hometown: Fair Haven, NJ
Birthday: Aug. 6
A veteran, award-winning writer and actor, you've probably seen
Elaine Van Develde somewhere: either with pen, notebook and camera in hand at a local event; or oddly costumed and wielding a weapon or plopping poison in someone's drink as a suspect character in an interactive theater murder mystery.
The native Fair Havenite's journey to journalism began when an unwitting writing professor at Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, told her that it might be a good idea to pursue a career in the field, because she had a knack. Those were the days when it was cool to trudge uphill in a storm and sport a reporter's fedora to get the story ... or get to class and daydream about it, anyway.
Elaine took the professor's advice to heart. Post-Pittsburgh, she wrangled with which writing career direction to take and eventually made her way to the arena of local journalism. She has since been on staff at several weekly newspapers — the Courier, Hub, Independent, Atlanticville, Link News, Coaster, Two River Times and Edison/Metuchen Sentinel — and covered just about every municipality within a 50-mile radius, including the largest in Middlesex and Monmouth counties, Edison and Middletown.
Her coverage of Middletown and Tinton Falls garnered her first-place awards in Coverage of Government, Feature Writing and Special Subject Writing from the New Jersey Press Association.
Middletown was the first town Elaine covered in her early reporter days. She continued to pick up where she left off in the municipality for different publications throughout her career. Elaine is thrilled to, once again, be back "home" in Middletown with Patch and looks forward to providing the people of the township with quality coverage. She's just a little disappointed that she can no longer threaten her restless teen with the civics lesson/punishment rolled into one of attending an endless township meeting.
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 am and always have been issue-driven rather than party-driven.
I was raised Catholic; but, aside from the slew of funerals I've attended, haven't been to church since Father Hickey bellowed, "Separate and behave!" from the pulpit to my giggling adolescent cousin and me. For mother's sake, though, I do find myself making the sign of the cross, crafting deals with God and riddling myself with good old fashioned Catholic guilt. No matter what, I do always try to do the right thing and maintain a spiritual sense.
Local Hot-Button Issues
Death and taxes ... What else is there?