Metuchenite Shows Dog At Westminster Show at MSG next week

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Carolyn Pirro and her two year old Smooth Collie, Ch. Special Baby You a Song CGCA, "Cruise" will be among more than 3,000 dogs competing in the events of Westminster Week, which includes the iconic all-breed dog show, its 3rd Annual Masters Agility Championship at Westminster and the Inaugural Masters Obedience Championship.

Twenty year old Carolyn Pirro has been showing dogs since the age of twelve. While she has shown at Westminster before, this is the first time doing so with her own dog. In under two years, Cruise has received all of his points to become a Champion, completed his Advanced Canine Good Citizen title, and passed his herding instinct test, all thanks to the hard work and dedication of his owner handler, Carolyn. When he is not at a show, Cruise enjoys hiking, trips to the beach, and lounging by the TV.

Breed competition in Westminster's world-famous dog show will be held during the day at Piers 92/94. The evening finals (Groups and Best in Show) will be held at Madison Square Garden and televised live from 8-11pm ET on CNBC, Monday, Feb. 15 and on USA Network on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

The dog show is preceded on Saturday, Feb. 13, by the 3rd Annual Masters Agility Championship at Westminster on Pier 94 as part of the "Meet & Compete" event which also includes AKC Meet The BreedsĀ® presented by Purina Pro Plan on Piers 92 and 94 giving Westminster Week a full range of informational and fun dog-related activities.

 For the full Westminster Week schedule, please see www.westminsterkennelclub.orgFor more information, contact: Gail Miller Bisher, The Westminster Kennel Club,, 212-213-3212

quinn1.jpegMM caught up with filmmaker/actor Quinn Shephard as she completes her work on her first feature film, BLAME, shot this summer in and around Metuchen, starring Quinn and Tate Donovan and Chris Messina. The film is in post-production now so here is what Quinn told us about how it's going. Best of luck, Quinn!

1. What state of post is the film in now?
We are currently assembling the edit. I have just completed the first director's cut--from here we will hold a series of screenings as well as be advised by a consulting editor on how to tighten the cut. Following picture lock (the term for when a film is locked into the exact assembly of shots that will be used for release), we will send the film out for color, graphics, sound mixing, and score.

2. What has been the toughest part about the post-production process?
I have always found post-production to be the most satisfying and calming part of making a film. Pre-production is not very creative and a bit overwhelming--production is hands-on and thrilling but also very stressful (production is the only part of shooting where something going wrong can actually ruin a scene, which greatly affects the film). Post-production, specifically the editing process, is very creative and therapeutic. It tends to remind me of writing or completing a puzzle. It's all about shaping the story, tuning into nuances of performance, and building a strong mood and tone. It's also something I can do while traveling. My first pass of many scenes was done on other sets, working between scenes, or in a hotel room. Now my mom and I work together on notes each day, refining the cut.

3. How did shooting in Metuchen help you achieve the look and tone you wanted?

Films like this can only happen in small towns. Nowhere else would I have been able to have the support of so many different people who helped make our locations possible--especially Mr. Peragallo, who championed our project to the Board of Ed with us so that we would be able to shoot at Metuchen High School. I had originally drafted my ideas for the screenplay back when I was only a Sophomore in high school as part of an independent study under the supervision of Mr. Wag. It was largely inspired by my experience doing a local production of The Crucible. Going into production on the film five years later, we had the support of the school system, the custodial staff, Booster Club, teachers, students and alumni! Without that location--as well as the beautiful houses that we shot inside, all lent to us by generous Metuchen-ites who welcomed our crew into their homes--we never would have been able to produce the film. Many of the people who allowed us to film in their homes also ended up helping out on the film in other ways as well--it was a community effort that made it all possible in the end. 

Aesthetically, it was important to me that the location of the town and school felt distinctly wholesome, close knit and all-American. The blue and white color scheme of MHS, with its classic football field and stunning auditorium, was the perfect setting for our story. I was able to rediscover a place I had spent three years (I graduated a year early) of my life in a totally new way. 

4. How difficult was it to direct yourself and are you finding the post process difficult because you are both actor and director?

It was important for me to play the role I did in Blame because the character was so close to me (as an FYI to those who don't know--I make my living as an actress and am pursuing directing alongside that.) Thankfully the film was an ensemble piece and there were a lot of scenes that I was not in. I probably had the most fun directing those because I was able to wear 'one hat' in a sense (and also pants, as opposed to the 1940's wool dresses my character almost always had on!) A lot of the challenges came in big group scenes that my character was a part of--classroom and hallway scenes especially. I would be trying to keep an eye on multiple actors and elaborate choreography while simultaneously staying in character. It was much easier to direct the quiet one-on-one scenes I shared mostly with Chris Messina, because I could just concentrate on him. We did all kinds of crazy stuff to get into the right energy--tons of improv with two cameras, listening to music, even yelling at each other to bring up our anger in a fight scene. He gives great notes too--he just directed his first feature, "Alex of Venice" as well. He is an amazing person to work with--it was so crazy generous of him to come work on my first feature. He's definitely one of those actors who means it when he talks about championing indie films. We were honestly so blessed with our cast--from Tate Donovan, who came to cameo after playing my dad in 'Hostages', to Nadia Alexander, a NY actress who blew everyone out of the water as our lead antagonist. They were all such giving, warm people. Everyone gave it 110%. They made my job so much easier!

It also helped a lot of have my mom, who coaches me and produced the film alongside me, on set watching me on monitor. We share an artistic perspective and she's the only person I'd trust to keep an eye on my vision when I couldn't myself. We make a great team, and having someone with good taste watching your performance is very important when you're multitasking. 

As far as post, I'm very detached from myself as an actor while editing. I edit myself as I would any actor--I want everyone to look  the best they can! 

5. Are you rewriting at all in post?

Yes, a bit, but not significantly. We'll reorder scenes, cut scenes, maybe add a few pickups. But it's a very tight cause-and-effect script, there's not room to disassemble it too much. 

6. When do you imagine being finished? What plans do you have for the film's future life?

We will be starting festival submissions in the Spring or Summer--whenever everything comes together. I don't like to rush post, especially while I'm balancing my time with another career! I want the film to be perfectly polished when it gets submitted to fests--I cringe when I have to show off unfinished work. 

7. What's next for you?

Well, Blame is still taking up most of my time outside of auditions. I've shot two films since the summer as an actor that should be coming out in the next year--'Midnight Sun' and 'Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl'. So look out for those!

Also, you can follow updates on Blame on our social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and tumblr) under the hashtag and handle #blamethemovie

Designer Bag Bingo February 6th for MHS Music Department

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Middlesex County Youth Conservation Corps Taking Applications NOW

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Applications are now being accepted for the Middlesex County Youth Conservation Corps, whose mission is to protect and preserve the more than 7,500 acres of Open Space owned and maintained by Middlesex County. The County recognizes that these natural areas must always be guarded from misuse, polluters and the forces of nature, and needs help in keeping these areas green and safe.


Conservation Corps crew members earn $8.50 per hour and will work Saturdays from April 2 through June 11. Work will primarily take place at County Open Spaces in Old Bridge, Monroe and South Brunswick. Students age 16 and over are encouraged to apply. Applications must be received in the office by Feb. 16, 2016.


"The seasons may change from fall to spring, but what remains the same is that Middlesex County needs help in keeping its environment green and safe," said Freeholder Charles E. Tomaro, chair of the County's Infrastructure Management Committee. "Our Youth Conservation Corps members have been an incredible asset in maintaining and preserving our open spaces and trails."


"The Board of Chosen Freeholders is very proud of the success of this program, and of the efforts of its young workers," said Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. "The youth corps is a responsible and economical way of carrying out our land management goals while introducing young Americans to conservation activities."

Activities include trail building, litter clean-up, invasive species removal and wildlife habitat improvements. Applicants should be enthusiastic, motivated and willing to work and learn as part of a team. Also, applicants must have the capacity to walk several miles and stand for extended periods of time, the willingness to get dirty and work outdoors in various weather conditions and the ability to use various hand tools. 


Space is limited. Interested applicants should send a cover letter and employment application to:
Scott Meyler, Middlesex County Office of Parks and Recreation
PO Box 661
New Brunswick, NJ  08903.

A full job description and a link to a downloadable application can be found at

For more information, call Scott Meyler at 732-745-3064.

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NJSO Brass Quintet in Metuchen February 7

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Go on a Blind Date with a Book at the MPLibrary

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To encourage reading for pleasure and to have some fun during the month of February, the Teen Advisory Board (TAB) of the Metuchen Public Library invites all students in grades 6-12 to:

Go on a Blind Date with a Book!

Here are the Official Dating Rules:

  1. Students are to come into the Metuchen Public Library (480 Middlesex Avenue) between February 1 and February 16 to choose among a number of available books to "take out."  The books are brown-wrapped and carry a unique teaser like "Looking for adventure?" or "Hey! I like the survivor in YOU!" 
  2. Readers are asked not to unwrap their mystery date until they check it out and leave the Library.  
  3. Next comes the date itself! In order to give your mystery book a fair chance, read at least the first 2 chapters, then return it with a brief paper survey (found inside each book) that asks you to "rate your date."
  4. If you and your date get that far, you'll be entered into a contest to win a prize from the Friends of the Metuchen Library.

And who knows? Maybe you'll actually fall in love with an author, a book or an entire series!

For more information contact:  Young Adult Librarian Kathy Liss at

Katherine Liss, MLS
Young Adult Librarian
Metuchen Public Library
480 Middlesex Avenue
Metuchen, NJ 08840

Dragonfly Presents Arms and the Man February 5, 6, 12 and 13

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Temple Emanu-El Events for February

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February 5                Shabbat ALIVE! A joyous and participatory musical service with a three piece band. Join us in song and prayer. Starts at 7:00 pm.


February 6                "The Attack." Part of the Temple Emanu-El's Jews and Judaism in Film Course.  The Attack" is the best kind of anti-war propaganda film, calm in feeling and mood, yet truly 
terrifying in showing the scourge of our age: terrorism, which can strike anybody, anywhere, at any time. It's also a love story, and a film about having it all. And then in an instant, losing everything. Screening begins at 7:00 pm. Open to the community, Cost: $5. Includes facilitated discussion following the film.


February 19             Tot Shabbat!  An age-appropriate Friday evening Shabbat program for younger children up to six years old which also includes a Jewish-themed art/craft session. The program starts at 6 pm. 



Dara Winston

Office Manager
Temple Emanu-El
100 James Street
Edison, NJ 08820

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February at Old Franklin School is Packed With Fun!

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Warm your heart and soul with an amazing array of February events at the historic Old Franklin Schoolhouse in Metuchen, 491 Middlesex Avenue! 

Snowflake Series Children's Concert 
A Puppet Show with Bonnie Duncan

Sunday, February 14, 4 pm
Tickets $5 per person, available at the door.
Hosted by the Borough Improvement League, sponsored by the Metuchen Arts Council.

"The Man Who Would Be King"
Thursday, February 18, 8 pm

483 Middlesex Avenue, Metuchen
Raconteur Radio presents a staged radio play at the Mt. Zion Masonic Lodge.  Refreshments and complimentary cocktails sponsored by the Borough Improvement League.  Tickets are $15 and available online .

5th Annual Borough Improvement League 

Saturday, February 20, 1-4 pm
$10 in advance, $15 at the door
Buy tickets online

Schoolhouse Songwriter Series 
Saturday, February 27, doors 7:30, music starts at 8 pm
It's the first show in the 2nd full season of this musical highlight at the Schoolhouse! An In-the-round, cafe-style evening with top singer-songwriters: Hosted by Sharon Goldman, featuring NJ's Christine Deleon, Peekskill, NY's Fred Gillen, Jr, and Philadelphia's Avi Wisnia. d
Tickets $10 per person, available at the door. Refreshments provided. BYOB! 
Hosted by the Borough Improvement League, sponsored by the Metuchen Arts Council.

Support Competition Dance Team at Joey D's Fundraiser January 27th

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Power Outage Tips for the Storm

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Special Information about Snow Storm Protocol in Borough

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ALL residents are requested to have cars off the street tonight and tomorrow to allow DPW to plow. Special arrangements have been made for the following areas:

The Borough of Metuchen is requesting that residents of Jefferson Park move their vehicles to the Municipal Pool parking lot today and leave them there until the snow stops so that Public Works can plow snow from curb to curb. The senior shuttle will be available to bring you back to your home between the hours of 6 to 7pm. Please leave a shovel in your car in case you have to dig your car out of the parking space. We will plow around the perimeter of the parking area.

The Borough of Metuchen is requesting that residents of Van Buren Avenue and Forrest Street to move their cars into their driveways or to the New Street parking lot behind Antonio's Pizzeria until the storm ends so that Public Works can plow from curb to curb. The senior shuttle will be available to bring you back to your home between the hours of 7 to 8pm. If you move your car to New Street, please leave a shovel in your car in case you have to dig your car out of the parking space. We will plow around the perimeter of the parking area. When the snow is stopped, we will put out a Reverse 911 message with a time that the shuttle can bring you back to your cars.

The Borough of Metuchen is requesting that residents of Victory Court and Roosevelt Court to move their vehicles to the New Street parking lot behind Antonio's Pizzeria today and leave them there until the snow stops so that Public Works can plow snow from curb to curb. The senior shuttle will be available to bring you back to your home between the hours of 7 to 8pm. Please leave a shovel in your car in case you have to dig your car out of the parking space. We will plow around the perimeter of the parking area. When the snow is stopped, we will put out a Reverse 911 message with a time that the shuttle can bring you back to your cars.

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