To think that someone would search for content after a) they found what they're looking for or b) noticed the obvious end to the page is absurd.
I would be one of those absurd people, and am made very uncomfortable by the extra-long pages.
To your a) : Users will not universally hit your site seeking a single piece of data, and then depart once that goal has been achieved. In that your site is not a yellow pages type reference, but rather a "here's what's going on in our community" site, users are very likely to browse about to update themselves on local matters. People will continue to seek content after they've "found what they were looking for" because they are very likely interested in finding additional information on the same subject, and, curiously, their scroll bars tell them that there is more information somewhere toward the bottom of every page. Maybe useful links, or the missing navbar or something.
To your b) : While your light grey footers do serve to visually indicate the end of content, keep in mind that they are YOUR footers, unique to your site. Your readers are consumers of many other websites beyond asburypark.com, and will come to your site with certain expectations, based on their experiences with pretty much every other site on the Internet. What is more familiar to them: the design of this new local-issues blog, or the visual cues provided by the scroll bar which appears alongside every other window -- browser or otherwise -- in their entire computing experience?
Proportional scroll thumbs provide a strong visual cue about how much content a given page contains, and your artificially lengthened pages subtly say that readers MUST scroll down, at the risk of missing content. Then, of course, the content which they were "promised" isn't there.
The only sites I know of which feature pages that are significantly longer than their content are 1) attempting to hide keywords in black-on-black as an outdated SEO ploy, or 2) badly coded in some way. One of the first things I did when looking at your site was to select-all, to see what was hiding in the empty space at the bottom. While this is likely not what the majority of your readers will think, it wouldn't surprise me if a significant minority of them did. Not the ideal first impression.
Consider, also, the merits of a page's scrolling *stopping* when it hits the content bottom. People who use the page-up/down keys are going to overshoot your footer, as will people (like myself) using trackpads with "side-scroll" regions, or folks who scroll using the wheels of their mice, or rely on alternative input methods. If your pages were only as long as their real content, then there would be a nice firm barrier at the bottom of each page, which prevented people from scrolling into the oblivion of your padding.