October 2008 Archives

Happy Halloween! Check out the Haunted Bookshop at the Raconteur tonight!

Quoth the Raconteur: "Come see Kafka's Gregor Samsa turn into a clacking black bug as Dr. Moreau's hybrid manimals scrabble and yowl; watch Lovecraft's ghouls eat parts of their own body as the tragic Prince of Denmark addresses the exhumed skull of his deceased court jester and Victor Hugo's hideous Gwynplaine cackles maniacally; participate in the chilling Swiss Alps séance from Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain as a very dead Poe recites The Raven and Mary Shelley's monster is jolted into consciousness.Your guide for the night is Arthur Conan Doyle's Scotland Yard dick, Inspector Lestrade, recently trampled by a rampant carriage. Gallery of Horrors! Cabinet of Curiosities! Chilling Live Music by the Phantom Pianist. Admission: $5 @ the door. Tours are roughly 15 min long. Ages 8 & up."

Ayers-Allen House: A Place Where Halloween is Good and Spooky!


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A few hundred yards from where a Revolutionary War skirmish was fought on June 1, 1777 stands the Ayers-Allen House.  Presumed to once have served as a tavern where British and Americans met to find common ground over a yard of ale, it is said that the ghost of a Continental Army soldier remains. There are also tales of the ghost of a Hessian soldier and the ghost of a mother searching for her son, murdered by the British. Others have seen the spirits of two Native Americans from the tribe of Chief Matochshoning who were hung unjustly from a tree in the yard.  Whatever you believe about ghosts, one thing is certain; our town's most famous haunted house is the best place to be on Halloween!

Slow Down In Our Town: Metuchen Joins Middlesex Campaign

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Germaine and Gary Wyetzner are long-time Norris Street residents. With a home situated at a difficult curve on the Norris Street traverse, they have witnessed several frightening accidents.  As concerned neighbors and the parents of three young children, they do think speeding on their street is a serious issue.


"The Metuchen High School track team runs on Norris and we've called the police twice in regards to kids racing cars up this street without being able to see the curve ahead--when there are runners in the road, the outcome could be worse than a garbage can being hit. It's not just high school kids, though, it's everyone--drivers need to pay attention to the signs to slow down to 15 to make sure they take the curves as slowly as possible." The Wyetzners are among many concerned families in the area impacted by these incidents.


This week the Metuchen Police Department announced a "Slow Down in Our Town" campaign to offset dangers. Houses on Mason and Norris have placed large yellow signs with images of children playing on their streets to impede the fast and furious traffic caused by drivers using these streets as a cut-through.

Raconteur Presents THE THING

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TheThing09.JPG The Raconteur presents a film screening of THE THING, directed by John Carpenter, at 8PM on Thursday, October 30th.  Says The Raconteur: The Thing is a terrifying meditation on paranoia and subzero dread as a group of scientists at a South Pole outpost (led by Kurt Russell) is infiltrated by an alien that assumes the bodies of its victims in very messy ways. Which member of the crew is the alien? The crew doesn't know, and neither does the audience until the creature begins one of its stomach churning transformations.

Admission is FREE with complimentary wine!!

First Snow!

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Thumbnail image for 1st Snow 102808 006.jpgWhile yesterday's temperature didn't reach the record low of 30 degrees set in 1965, we saw our first snowfall!  The big, wet, fluffy flakes were beautiful over the backdrop of the red and yellow of autumn.  Other towns in NJ suffered through power outages and  shoveling but we were simply graced with a peaceful, pretty scene.  

Metuchen Soccer Star Earns Big East Honors

Rutgers Senior Kristen Edmonds (MHS Class 2005) scored two goals and assisted on third in two games over the weekend on her way to making the Big East Weekly Honor Roll.  Her 5 goals and 6 assists this season have helped the Rutgers Women's Soccer team earn a top 25 ranking and a first round bye into the Big East tournament which starts this week.

The Candidates' Debate: More Information to Help You Decide

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Last night before a crowd of about 100, the three candidates for Borough Council took an opportunity to clarify their positions on issues of concern to Metuchen residents:  Managing a budget throughout the tumultuous economic times ahead, traffic, taxes, safety, development, and maintaining and improving upon the quality of life in our town.


Moderated by Ingrid Reed, Director of the New Jersey Project, Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, the 90 minute debate was not contentious nor did it present rebukes to greatly differentiate the viewpoints or plans of one candidate from another.  However, it did provide a forum through which attendees could submit questions and learn where each candidate stands.

MEET TIM: Timothy Dacey, Democratic Candidate for Borough Council

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"I think we have a clearly defined vision for the future [of Metuchen]," Borough Councilman Timothy Dacey has stated about his run for office with fellow incumbent Councilman Pete Cammarano. "[We must] keep this a vibrant town where people enjoy living and where people would like to move to, maintaining the quality of the community . . . "

Timothy Dacey is seeking his second term on the Metuchen Borough Council and is a former member of the Metuchen Parking Authority. He works as Vice President of administration services at Bergen Community College in Paramus and has held municipal positions as diverse as the Director of Public Works & Engineering for Woodbridge Township and the Deputy Executive Director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. Dacey graduated from St. Joseph's High School in Metuchen, received a B.S. at the United States Merchant Marine Academy and was awarded an M.S. from the State University of New York - Maritime College. His wife of 16 years, Lisa, is school psychologist at Campbell. Their son Sean attends Edgar Middle School.

MEET JUSTIN: Justin Manley, Republican Candidate for Borough Council

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If you don't already know Justin Manley, you know his signs.  Giant smiley faces have been lining the streets of Metuchen for months now as Justin has been working tirelessly to get his message out.  Many residents became aware of Justin Manley when they received an e-mail from him regarding the development of the old Stop & Shop area.  But Justin is not a political newcomer--he ran for Borough Council in 1998 and 1999.  Although he lost both times, he says he learned invaluable lessons on how to run and win a campaign.  Last year's election of Councilmen Chris Morrison and Will Waldron, whose joint campaign Justin ran, provides some evidence of this.

A self-described "super geek," Manley created his website www.justinmanley.com himself and has used the Internet extensively in this campaign.  In fact, his work experience is mainly in technology--he presently serves as the Chief Software Architect and Technology Officer for Arch Reinsurance.  He was also a town employee for seven years in the early 1990s. Justin loves Metuchen--he has been a resident for 36 years--and the only thing he considers more important than town is his wife Suzi and their three school-age children.

MEET PETE: Peter Cammarano, Democratic Candidate for Borough Council

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Bringing both a love for Metuchen and a varied and influential background in state government to his candidacy, Pete Cammarano offers Metuchenites a balance of heart, smarts, and determination.  In a recent interview with Metuchen Matters, Pete shared his hopes for Metuchen as well as his plans for how to achieve them. 


A partial-term incumbent, Pete was appointed to fill Tom Vahalla's seat upon his election as Mayor.  He has served on the Planning Board and the Development Commission and is currently a principal in the government relations firm of Cammarano and Hagen, LLC.  A Metuchen High School graduate and resident of 35 years, he and his wife, Diane, are raising their two children in the home where he and his eight siblings were raised.  


Interviews with the Candidates

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We've conducted interviews with each of the candidates for Borough Council and starting tomorrow we'll be posting one each day.  Read and find out what the candidates think about the Metuchen Pool, the new development, traffic, and more.

Jaywalking: Contributing to Congestion?

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Okay, there are things worse than jaywalking.  But is this seemingly low-level offense creating quality-of-life hiccups?  Quite possibly.

As reported in the Star-Ledger:

"The Superior Court judge who issued the landmark ruling ordering testing of New Jersey's electronic voting machines to determine the integrity of the system wants security tightened around the storage of the machines as the Nov. 4 presidential election approaches, according to attorneys who spoke with the judge by teleconference yesterday.

Judge Linda Feinberg ordered the state Attorney General's Office to report back to her Friday about what steps are being taken to safeguard the machines in the warehouses, where they are sometimes stored without guards, and at the polling places on Election Day, according to Penny Venetis, who represents the plaintiffs in a case challenging the reliability of the devices."

Volunteering - What is the Biggest Obstacle?

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Money might make the world go-round but in Metuchen?  It's volunteers.  To truly consider the amount of time sacrificed by the 100's of families committed to making good things happen is to experience vertigo. 


Sports leagues, scout troops, religious groups, art festivals, philanthropic efforts, fund raisers, parents at school, neighborhood helpers - it's all part of what makes small-town life lovely (and big-town life feel small). 

Edison Woman First to Win Million Dollars at Wheel of Fortune

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Michelle Moore grew up in Edison and lived a normal American life, until August 8th. A spin of a wheel, the opening of an evelope, is all it took to transform her from former Jersey girl to millionaire. Moore, now living in California, appeared on "Wheel of Fortune" and hit the jackpot!

orson welles book cover.jpgTonight the Friends of the Metuchen Library will present "An Evening with Robert Kaplow," the acclaimed author of ME AND ORSON WELLES (soon to be a major motion picture directed by Richard Linklater of "Dazed and Confused" fame and starring Zac Efron and Claire Danes). The program begins at 7:30 at the library and Mr. Kaplow, an esteemed author of seven novels and counting, will discuss his multi-faceted career as an author, professor and comedy writer for NPR. The event is free and open to the public.


New Poll Suggests Presidential Race May Be Tightening

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A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey of likely voters was released today and Barack Obama's five-point lead is down from the eight-point edge he held over John McCain when the poll was last conducted two weeks ago. One explanation for Senator McCain's increase is the drop in the number of people that think a McCain presidency will be a third term of Bush's policies. Questioning was conducted Friday through Sunday, so any bump from Colin Powell's endorsement of Sen. Obama yesterday is not fully evident.

Middlesex County, Hold Your Breath: New Emissions Standards Violated

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The national Environmental Protection Agency has issued new air quality standards tightening the limits on lead emission today--standards far higher than those previously in place -- and preliminary data shows Middlesex County is one of 18 across the nation that may already be in violation, officials said.

Metuchen Fund Spaghetti Dinner to Raise Money for Local Families

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Volunteers comprised of area families and businesses, under the leadership of Lori DeCoite, have created the Metuchen Fund/Families for Families, a fundraising effort to assist three local families in the wake of recent difficulties. Since Metuchen is known to be a close and caring community, it's no surprise that families are stepping up to help each other out.


Their first order of business is a family-style spaghetti dinner, on Friday, November 14th, at the Metuchen First Aid Hall (who have donated that space for this event). A fun event is planned. D'Italia of Edison will donate the dinner, which will include bread, salad and the full spaghetti dinner and Young Chefs Academy of Hillsborough will donate the desserts.

Pool Commission Floats a Response to Summer Woes

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metpool02 opening day 1967.jpgMetuchen Municipal Pool members found a short note in their mailboxes this week, laying out the Pool Commission's plans for fixing the issues caused by the faulty filter from this past season. Three key points were highlighted in the note and the overall vibe is that all is now well. But will it be enough to ensure the membership's return?


PHOTO: Opening Day of Metuchen Municipal Pool 1967

(Courtesy of Metuchen Edison History) 

Timeline of US Financial Crisis

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Our community joins the nation, and the world, in one of the most controversial and monumental economic crises in United States history. With the intention of tracking how Wall Street impacts Main Street, here's our timetable of events as they unfold:

Native Son Finds Paradise And We Want In

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As Wall Street continues its perpetual dance between hope and disaster and the average Metuchenite struggles to dodge the whirling dervish of financial uncertainty, one Metuchen native has escaped this grim scenario and headed straight for paradise. David Copperfield, magician extraordinaire, has invested his massive sums in a private series of islands in the Bahamas. The mattress he hides his money under is filled with down and surrounded by palm trees and pink flamingos.

Metuchen Eye-ing Neighborhood Watch Program

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Metuchen Police have announced the return of the Neighborhood Watch program.

A meeting will be held at the Metuchen High School on Tuesday, October 7, 2008, 7 PM, to discuss the implementation of the program and to gauge the public's interest in participation.  After all, it's not called NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH for nothing!

Municipal Pool Gets Back in the Swim

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So what exactly happened to the Metuchen Municipal Pool this season? Rumor ran rampant when the Pool Commission was slow to reveal the causes of the dive area filter malfunction. Will the new management be able to make changes that will assure smooth swimming next year? One thing's for sure--over the next five weeks a new filter is being put into place and serious money is being spent. But is it enough?

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