May 2009 Archives

'Celebrate Metuchen' a Great Success: Plans for Next Year

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From Council Representative Richard Weber:


Celebrate Metuchen was a very big success!  About 100 people came to discuss and celebrate Metuchen's architecture -- we were thrilled.  Everyone in attendance had a wonderful time.  The representative from Preservation NJ commented on the quality of our exhibitors and said the lectures were something she would expect on a State level, not the local level! 


Again, we were thrilled.  It was a great day in Metuchen. Thanks to all who participated and we welcome those unable to join us to please try to attend next year.   

Mike Edison at the Raconteur TONIGHT!

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Mike Edison's memoir 'I Have Fun Everywhere I Go: Savage Tales of Pot, Porn, Punk Rock, Pro Wrestling, Talking Apes, Evil Bosses, Dirty Blues, American Heroes, and the Most Notorious Magazines in the World' recounts twenty years of druggy adventurism and his parallel careers as a magazine editor, writer, and musician. Edison has also recorded a "beatnik bop and punk rock boogaloo, outerspace soundtrack and spoken word" companion CD, collaboration with rock musician and producer Jon Spencer. He is the long-time drummer for New York cult-garage band the Raunch Hands, as well as being a collaborator of infamous punk rocker GG Allin with whom he wrote a number of songs and recorded two albums. He currently leads his own band, the Edison Rocket Train.


As always, this event is FREE! Books/CDs on sale at the event

Brownies see Green in Action


The following article was submitted by Brownie Girl Scout troop 80962 of Campbell School.  The girls will be bridging to Junior Girl Scouts on Friday. 

As part of Brownie troop 80962's requirements for a Clean Green Power patch, the troop needed to visit an alternative energy site. The troop visited the Livingston Campus Solar Farm at Rutgers University.  Here, in their own words, is that experience:


Brownies at Solar Farm Livingston Campus.jpegBefore we took the trip to the solar farm we had two meetings.  The first meeting we read a story about saving energy.  We learned about new types of light bulbs that save energy.  The swirly light bulbs use less energy than the other light bulbs and they last longer.  The second meeting we made posters about energy conservation and the environment.  The posters showed different ways to help save energy and the environment. One poster showed about car pooling another showed recycling and another showed that we shouldn't release any more CO2 into the air.  The posters were hung in Campbell school.

Brain meets Brawn at The Rac

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The Raconteur was burning more than literary fire on Saturday night.  Those who dared came prepared to accept Alex's arm wrestling challenge at the 1st Annual Santiago Armsport Tourney, so named after the titular fisherman in Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.


From the Raconteur's website, the tournament was...  


Inspired by the grueling twenty-four hour match in Casablanca between the marlin trolling Santiago and "the great Negro from Cienfuegos, who was the strongest man on the docks."   

"They had gone one day and one night with their elbows on a chalk line and their forearms straight up and their hands gripped tight... shadows jumped on blue walls, fingernails bled on black fists, and  men changed referees every four hours so that the officials could sleep."


Hemingway fans and Stallone stalwarts settled into thirty folding chairs for a succession of blustery bouts between contenders like Roland, a mountainous mash-up of George "the Animal" Steele and Over the Top's burly "Bull" Hurley; James "Feel the Bern" Dudley, a husky dark horse; and long haul trucker, er, local bookseller, Alex Dawson. Yes, just an ordinary night at The Raconteur.

Moms to the Rescue with Ideas for Saving Cash

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shoppinglady.gifAccording to our poll a couple of weeks ago, most people in town are keeping their heads above water in this economic climate. But, even if you are treading safely above the disaster line, you can always use a new way to hold on to your cash and not spend as much. Shopping these days has become less of a hobby for most and more of a drudging chore, as budgets are trying to stay in balance. Check out this link for great deals, online and off-line coupons from major retailers that can help when you're pinching every penny you've got. Started five years ago by some enterprising moms, MomsView gives everybody an inside peek at the best deals for consumer goods and groceries (sometimes they even offer manufacturer coupons or store coupons that aren't available to the public). Take a look and happy saving!
The Forum Theatre will present a special Father's Day comedy show on June 21st at 7PM entitled COMICS WITH KIDS, a hilarious night of comedy for GROWN-UPS  starring CORY KAHANEY from NBC's Last Comic Standing, TOM COTTER of The Tonight Show, ROSS BENNETT from Comedy Central and a few surprises. 
... did we mention the free beer?  Keep reading and find out more!

Glenlevit, Glenfiddich, Glen Karlovitch

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Looking for the perfect 21 Year Old Scotch? Deep and rich, a nose bursting with blackberries, apples, oranges, brine, honey, and well-oiled leather?  Metuchenite Glen Karlovitch can help you find the perfect bottle of "Laddie," the best whisky shops, and even help you set-sail on a whisky cruise.


Glen and his brother Jeff are whisky aficionados. A hobby that grew-up BIG (now a full time gig for Jeff) has blossomed into a website (, magazine - The Whisky Life, world travel and intercontinental friendships.  Add to the mix the delightfully descriptive writing of brother-in-law Brett Calish (also a Metuchenite) and you have one fun family venture.


The Whisky Life, self-proclaimed as "the magazine for the new whisky connoisseur" is lovely to look at and a lot of fun to read even if you aren't a fan of dram.  It takes you to village distilleries in Scotland where fine whisky is an art, a family craft passed from generation to generation.  The Karlovitch's present a warm and friendly industry that you begin relating to the warmth in each sip of the fine whisky it brews.


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Tonight at The Raconteur

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MarkDoty.jpeg2008 National Book Award winning poet Mark Doty, one of the five most acclaimed poets in the country, will be at the Raconteur to sign copies of his Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems.


8:00, complimentary wine, books on sale at the event. 

Campbell School Voting Poll Changes for June 2nd Primary

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ATTENTION VOTERS IN DISTRICTS 2, 10, 11 & 12 (Campbell School)


For the June 2nd primary election, the voting districts will be moved from the gym to THE MUSIC ROOM, which can be accessed from the outside of the school building, next to the gym entrance (west side) using either Durham Avenue or the Talmadge Avenue parking lot.


Please direct any questions to the Borough Clerk, Bonnie Lacina, at @ 732-632-8508 OR

RoyChambersinStudio.jpegMetuchen resident, Westfield High teacher, and sculptor - Roy Chambers - will officially open Junebug at 7:00 on June 5th with the unveiling of a commissioned sculpture that will stand in honor of the festival throughout the month of June (next to Metuchen Savings Bank - 442 Main).  Like the Olympic flame, it will signal the Borough's celebration -- of the arts!


According to Junebug event chairperson Linda Vonderschmidt-LaStella  "I always saw a 'signature sculpture'  somehow being part of the event.  A large work like that really becomes a rallying opportunity for photographs...the sheer size of an outdoor sculpture brings weight and vitality to an event!  Last year we just had too much to do to get Junebug on the road;  this year was right.  When I met Roy last year, I knew his work would be perfect."


Roy's work "ranges from sculpture and paintings based on elements of nature and the delicate balance that exists between humans and our environment, to functional pieces made from found wood and recycled materials." 

CPRlogo.jpgKnowing how to properly do CPR on an in-need fellow human being is something that all parents, teachers, coaches, grandparents and just plain folks should have in their arsenal of helpful knowledge. Lisa Garris of Metuchen EMS is sharing her personal expertise and training in the form of an at-home CPR training party. The cost is $25 per person. Host a barbecue AND save some lives at the same time--that party will be the talk of the town for weeks to come!

Contact Lisa Garris of Metuchen EMS at to book your party now!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for MAntczak.jpegWelcome to "Healthy House," my column to help you keep your home healthy and safe. In this feature, I'm focusing on Air Duct Cleaning.


Before you fire-up your AC unit after a long winter, consider cleaning your ducts. Spring is a great time to freshen up your home and your indoor air quality too.  Who wants to inhale dust, pollen, dirt and mold?


What is air duct cleaning?  And why do it?


The EPA warns...If not properly installed, maintained and operated, components in your heating and air system may become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen and other debris.  If moisture is present, the potential for microbiological growth (mold) is increased and spores may be released into your home's living space.  Some of these contaminants may cause allergic reactions or other symptoms in people if the are exposed to them.   A proper air duct cleaning will remove these contaminants. 


Restricted airflow from ducts results in more energy consumption.  By clearing the ducts of debris, the air flows freely through the vent -- thus creating more positive heating and cooling.

Happy Memorial Day


"True heroism is remarkably sober, very un-dramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost but the urge to serve others at whatever cost."   -Arthur Ashe


We honor those who have served our country, past and present.  Happy Memorial Day.


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Memorial Day Origins and the Service of Brave Women

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(My grandmother served as a WAC and this post is in rememberance to her service.)

Excerpted from Women's E-News Service:

Just weeks after the Civil War ended in April 1865, Ellen Call Long organized a women's memorial society to reconcile embittered enemies. Usually named some variant of "women's relief society," groups sprang up in both the North and South that not only memorialized the dead, but also cared for the war's disabled and its widows and orphans. This was the official beginning of Memorial Day rememberances.

On June 22, 1865, these profound, forgiving and future-oriented resolutions were adopted. Their document read in part:

"The object of this meeting is to initiate a Memorial Association . . . that shall perpetuate in an honorable manner the memory of the gallant dead . . .

In no invidious spirit do we come; the political storm that shook our country to its foundation, we hope, is passed . . . We are done with the [Confederate] cause . . . and are willing to do all that women can do to stem the tide of bitterness . . . and angry feelings . . . We will practice and teach forbearance and patience, which must finally bring peace and justice . . . "

Memorial Day 1928

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Photo courtesy of Metuchen-Edison Historical Society.  Click to enlarge offers Raritan River Documentary Film

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osprey.jpgThe wildlife news group this week released "The Raritan: Queen of Rivers," an 8-minute documentary on the incredible story of the longest river solely in New Jersey. The Raritan's recovery over the past two decades, led by Edison Wetlands Association and NY-NJ Baykeeper, among other organizations, has helped create thriving fish populationa and the return of species such as bald eagle, osprey, American bittern, beaver, and harbor seals to the river and its tributaries.


The documentary, produced and hosted by David Wheeler and edited by Melanie Worob, includes interviews with many of the key players on the Lower Raritan River, including Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac, EWA's Robert Spiegel, Baykeeper's Debbie Mans and Greg Remaud, Raritan Riverkeeper Bill Schultz, Bayshore Recycling's Valerie Montecalvo, and representatives from New Jersey WaterWatch and Rutgers University.  

The film can be viewed at

Keller-Williams Sponsors Red Day Clean-up on Main Street


redballoon.jpegRed-shirted people along Main Street with cleaning implements were questioned by a reader about what they were up to. JoAnn Sabatino-Falkenstein wrote a letter to the Mayor explaining what she learned. Her findings show that RED DAY was actually a red letter day for our town. While we are sure that the Mayor will extend appropriate appreciation for their efforts, we, too, wish to send along our gratitude for their helpful actions on behalf of our town.

From JoAnn's note to Mayor Vahalla:


On this beautiful cloudless Thursday, I drove through town and noticed red balloons tied to each meter along Main Street that declared today Red Day, as well as a crowd of people with bags and brooms in red shirts. I had to know more, so I asked whether I had missed some notice of a town activity.



Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for police_badge.jpegAN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE METUCHEN POLICE DEPARTMENT: 


There have been a rash of vehicle burglaries to unlocked cars throughout the Borough:  



§              April 30 (or early May 1) 4 vehicles:  2-Rowland Place, 1-Blair Avenueand 1-Ethel Place

§              May 18 (or early May 19) 11 vehicles:  5 on Home Street, 1-Robbins Place, 1- Woodbridge Ave, 1-Dorian road, 1-Carlton Road


The police would like to get a message to all residents: 


Memorial Day Parade Plans


From the Chamber of Commerce:


johns_flag.jpgOn Monday, May 25th, Metuchen will celebrate with one of the area's longest established Memorial Day parades; originally held on May 30, 1927.  The parade begins at 10:00 a.m., rain or shine, from the Pearl Street parking lot.  It will proceed across Center St., turn right (north) onto Route 27, and right onto Main Street.  It will continue through the tree-lined streets of beautiful Metuchen and turn right onto High Street and then right again onto Lake Avenue where it will end at Memorial Park with a brief ceremony.  The year's speakers will be Rear Admiral Timothy Beard, III of the US Naval Reserve, Reverend Mark McCreary of Second Baptist Church, Middlesex County Freeholder Ronald Rios, and Father John Gloss of St. Francis Cathedral.

Metuchen Environmental Commission Wants You . . . Dogs!


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In honor of war dogs past and present, the Metuchen Environmental Commission invites you and your four footed friend to march in the Memorial Day Parade sponsored by the Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce.


Gather by 9:30 AM on May 25 in the Pearl Street parking lot.  

All dogs must be well behaved, kept on a leash at all times, and walked by an adult. Red, white and blue ribbons are encouraged!

JakeCherry2.jpegTo celebrate the opening of 'Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,' this Thursday night, The Raconteur will host Jake Cherry, the young star of both 'Night at the Museum' and its sequel (opening in Theaters on May 22nd).  The evening will include a screening of the original movie, introduced by Jake, who will also share movie props, photos, and stories of his experiences during filming (and popcorn is included!).


We spoke with Jake a bit about acting and working on the film - here's just a taste of his experience. We hope you're able to make it to The Raconteur on Thursday for more Hollywood-insider fun!


How did you get your start in acting?

My older brother was an actor when he was little and one day his agent asked me if I wanted to try acting. While my brother no longer acts, I've never stopped.

Walk for Ghana: Help to eradicate slavery


The following article was submitted by Metuchen High School student, Sam Gates:

Thumbnail image for Ghanawalk.jpegAt this moment, there are more slaves in the world than there have been in any other time period, and many of these slaves are children, some as young as four years old. It is estimated that there are over 20 million people around the world who are in forced servitude, and an estimated 9 million of them are children.

This is the issue that Metuchen High School's Political Institute Class has chosen to focus on in its project of the year. Last year, the Political Institute class hosted a Walk for Ghana and raised $21,000. This money went towards the saving of five children, who were slaves on the fishing lakes in Ghana. Through the IOM, the International Organization of Migration, the class is hoping to help save more children from slavery this year.

Neighborhood Watch Update


The next Neighborhood Watch meeting is tonight at 7 pm in the Metuchen High School cafeteria. Guest speaker will be a Metuchen police officer discussing the recent scam-related crime in town.

Please continue reading for details on the Neighborhood Watch program sent to us by Director, Arline Zatz:

What's-up with those underage drinking lawn signs??  You've seen them sprouting on lawns all over town.  The signs, with their bars and strong anti-drinking messages, are there to curb the illicit and dangerous drinking that can accompany prom-and-grad-time celebrations.


There has been quite a bit of chatter about the signs and according to Councilman Manley, "They are doing EXACTLY what we hoped they would do.  They've got people talking and that's a good thing."  Justin also provided some background information:


The signs are an effort by the Metuchen Municipal Alliance / Youth Service Board. The Alliance is an entity of the Borough Government that is tasked with handling alcohol and drug related matters within Metuchen.  It is funded by grants from the State managed by the County and a 25% match that the town is responsible for doing each year.  Some towns contribute their 25% from tax dollars but in Metuchen, our entire matching contribution is done through fund raisers. The committee is chaired by Judi Cheung, the Substance Abuse Counselor (SAC) from MHS and Edgar.  I am the Council liaison and Eileen Frowenfeld is the Board of Education representative. There is also a Metuchen police representative and a host of citizen volunteers.

Senior Webelos Scouts Crossover to Boy Scouts

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Fifteen 5th grade Cub Scouts from Pack 69 in Metuchen celebrated their Crossover to Boy Scouts earlier this month.  State Representatives Peter Barnes and Patrick Diegnan; Mayor Jun Choi of Edison; and Metuchen Council Representative Richard Weber (filling in for Mayor Vahalla, who had another commitment that evening) were on hand to acknowledge the boys' accomplishments and offer them congratulations and praise.  Each commended the parents for encouraging their sons' participation in scouting - an organization which strives to develop character and competence in young men. 

Thumbnail image for Forumtheater.jpegThe smell of the greasepaint and roar of the crowd acts as an aphrodisiac for some entertainment-lovers.  But the men, women and children who crowded into the beautifully-appointed Forum Theater Thursday night clearly had high hopes for a community rally to return the theater to its former glory.

Peter and Karin Loewy, owners of the theater, addressed the crowd along with Alex Dawson of the Raconteur, June Vaganek from Metuchen Dance Centre, and Councilman Justin Manley - one of the four councilmen in attendance (Waldron, Morrison, and Weber). After discussing the great past of the Forum and its importance as a cultural hub in not only Metuchen but also Central Jersey as well, the Loewys discussed a very aggressive and full schedule of events planned. These included: Independent, foreign and film series running throughout the year; children's theater programs throughout the year. a full palate of classes taught by experienced professionals for young students; try-outs of shows on their way to Broadway (including Perfect Harmony, a new musical, coming soon); a Battle of the Bands for local rockers; open Mic Nights and a "Metuchen Has Talent" competition; stage and screen play readings; live stand-up performances; and much more.

The Metuchen Pool the IN place to cool off this summer - and memberships are still available.  Join and see all the wonderful improvements that have taken place.  The pool opens for weekends on Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday, May 23rd) and full time on Thursday, June 25th. Opening day will include a Free Family Fun Day when the fun will start at 3:30 pm and continue until 7:30.  Food will be served from 5 pm until 7 pm and a float night will run from 6 pm until 7:30.  The rain date for these festivities is Monday, May 25th.  Both Resident and Non-resident applications can be downloaded from the Metuchen Web Site, under forms. 

Any questions please call the Pool Office at 732-632-8517.

Your First Date


Somewhere between Mother's Day and Father's Day lies the story of your first date.  At a Little League game this past weekend, a few moms shared their stories and a friend suggested I write about mine. We're hoping you do the same (hers involves a mullet). My husband and I are actually celebrating our anniversary today so here's to remembering when... 

BorisBadinoff2.jpegBrian and I met at the Halloween party of a mutual friend - a college buddy of his and work colleague of mine.  The theme was TV Characters and I, about a foot shorter than the friend I went with, was Boris Badinoff to her Natasha. Brian was Moe Howard.  When he called a couple days later to ask me out, I thought hmmmm.... he doesn't really know what I look like without the fedora, unibrow, and mustache -- the reveal could go either way. 

NJ Woes Talk of the Town with Mike Kelly


Listen to this--Mike Kelly of The Record offers some insight on NJ's financial woes:

So what do you think?

Lakeview School Sponsors 5K Run June 6th in Roosevelt Park

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The Lakeview School, a school for children ages 3-21 with multiple disabilities, including cerebral palsy, is holding their first of what will become an annual 5K run on Saturday, June 6, 2009 at Lakeview School in Roosevelt Park, Edison. Lakeview is affiliated with the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities, which provides comprehensive services to infants, children and adults with developmental and related disabilities in our state. The run/walk/funwalk around the lake will benefit their services to the students. Each participant will receive a commemorative tee, a finish line reception, and will be eligible for all raffles and awards at the event.

Entries cost $20 before May 22 and $30 after. Register online at or For more information, contact the Special Events office at Lakeview at 732-549-6187, X539.

Metuchen Little League Night at Patriot Stadium


Photos courtesy of Michael Molfetto

800 or so of your friends and neighbors attended a Somerset Patriots game last Saturday night: Metuchen Little League night. The kids and coaches were invited onto the field before the game and stars from our Buddy Ball league threw the first pitches.

Big Weekend in Town

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Eat your Wheaties folks, there's a busy weekend on tap!  With so many great goings-on we thought a brief summary might be helpful.  You can find more detail in our Community Calendar:



Seussical the Musical at Edgar School

Cultural Arts Coffeehouse with Danny Adlerman


ARC of Middlesex Walk-a-Thon

Seussical the Musical at Edgar School


Metuchen-Edison 25 Mile Bike Tour

Saying Yes: Film premier at Neve Shalom

MHS Students present screening of their own original short films at Metuchen Public Library

Celebrating Metuchen: Caring for our Architectural Heritage

Seussical the Musical at Edgar School

SEUSSICAL opening at Edgar School




Tomorrow evening the curtain rises on Seussical The Musical!  Rhondi and Jim Sabo are at the helm for their ninth show at Edgar - Rhondi handling theatrical direction and Jim the musical direction.  In the midst of opening week mania, Rhondi spoke with us about the show and her dedication to drama at our middle school.


How long have you and Jim been involved with the Edgar theater program?

This is our ninth show at Edgar.  We started when our son Steven was there with Pirates of Penzance.  I always like to choose a show that has a large chorus and several leading and supporting roles.  This way many students can be featured.  Although they must audition, I take everyone who wants to do the show.  That can be very tricky on this tiny stage. 

Metuchen Animator Wins Prestigious Award at SVA


On May 9, the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan gave out its prestigious student awards at the Dusty Film Animation Festival to graduating seniors.Metuchen resident Elyssa ELYSSA DIGIOVANNI won the Human Spirit Award for her film TRADE WINDS. Take a look at her work below and read more about the event here. Congratulations, Elyssa!


Bike Tour This Sunday

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The  Experience Edison-Metuchen Bike Tour is this Sunday May 17th.  The 25 mile tour will be held rain or shine and begins at the Edison Municipal Complex (100 Municipal Blvd) at 9:00 am (arrive at 8:00 if you are planning to register that day).  The tour will end at about 1:00 pm.


Here are some important details:


§              1st 150 riders to pre-register will receive a T-Shirt

§              All participants, adults and children, must have a bike helmet.

§              Children under 14 MUST be accompanied by an adult

§              Registration fee is $5. forms available here

Any questions, please contact Nancy Goldberg, Metuchen Recreation Department at

Forum Theater Town Meeting - REMINDER

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Thumbnail image for Forumtheater.jpegJust a reminder that the Forum Theater town meeting will be held on Thursday evening. Plans to save this Metuchen landmark will be discussed.  You can find the details in our Community Calendar. 

Sacred Spaces Offers Special Program

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singing bell.jpgEvelyn Lisogo's Sacred Spaces yoga studio on Main Street is an oasis of calm from the ascending madness of our outside world. A new workshop being offered by the studio promises to help you create your own "Haven of Tranquility." Learn tio play Tibetan singing bowls, an ancient method of meditation with great healing powers. Take a look at this Yoga and Sound Workshop! This sound could save your life . . . or at least your sanity!

Emily's Bingo Night: A Celebration of Love and Community

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Photos courtesy of Michael Molfetto. For more photos, please click here

After months of hard work, organizers of Friday's Bingo for Emily saw the fruit of their labor come alive in a very happy, successful evening of love and support. All in attendance had nothing but praise for how well everything went. Thanks to all who helped in so many ways.  We love you, Emily! 

Thumbnail image for CIOT-Banner.jpgThe May 2009 Click It or Ticket Mobilization will play a critical role in the effort to keep people safe on our nation's roads and highways. From May 18 - 31, 2009 law enforcement agencies in New Jersey and nationwide will conduct Click It or Ticket campaigns that incorporate zero-tolerance enforcement of safety belt laws with paid advertising and the support of government agencies, local coalitions and school officials to increase safety belt use and defend against one of the greatest threats to us all - serious injury or death in traffic crashes.


Metuchen PD Awarded Grant Money and a New Police Bicycle


Thumbnail image for police_badge.jpegFor the second time, Metuchen PD is among a select group of departments throughout NJ to receive a Cannondale police mountain bike from the Neumann Foundation.


The Neumann Foundation is a charitable organization founded in memory of Essex County Patrolman Keith E. Neumann, killed in the line of duty on August 3, 1989.  He was 24 years old and had been married for only six weeks at the time.  For the past 20 years, the foundation has provided 101 bikes per year to NJ police departments, chosen by information provided in the grant applications describing their bike programs and current needs.  The bikes will be presented on May 20th.  


MPD also recently received a $4,000 grant from the Division of Highway Traffic Safety to enforce seatbelt usage in an overtime capacity.  Buckle-up! 


Both grants were applied for by Officer David Liantonio.   

Neighboring Edison Reforms Environmental Commission

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After many years dormant, the Edison Environmental Commission (EEC) has been re-established through the administration of Mayor Jun Choi.  The EEC recently launched its public involvement by co-sponsoring the 2009 Earth Day Celebration at the Triple C Ranch with the independent, non-profit Edison Wetlands Association with corporate sponsor PSE&G.


". . . the Edison Environmental Commission is excited to build a cleaner, greener Edison," said Nisha Khanna, EEC chairperson.  "Beginning with the Earth Day celebration with Edison Wetlands Association, we will work on a number of green initiatives in 2009 - from recycling to planting trees - to help the families of Edison improve our environment and enjoy nature in our beautiful town."

Walk for Hope.jpegJanna Zuckermann, a JP Stevens 2008 graduate and Girl Scout Gold Award recipient, started the Michelle Offsie Memorial walk, which starts in Edison and ends at Congregation Neve Shalom in Metuchen, at the age of 13.  Rather than have a huge party, Janna chose to do this Mitzvah, or good deed, to mark her coming of age as an adult. Over the years, Janna's walk has raised over one million dollars toward a guarantee that breast cancer patients will not journey alone.  


Way to go, Janna.  If you are free on June 7th and would like to participate, click here for registration information.   Or here for more information on Janna and her remarkable story.

EWA, Baykeepers, Riverkeepers Sue Raritan Bay Polluters

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Terris, Pravlik & Millian, LLP (TPM), on behalf of Edison Wetlands Association (EWA), NY/NJ Baykeeper and Raritan Riverkeeper, recently sent eight entities a Notice of Intent to sue for violating the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Clean Water Act by polluting the sediments of the Raritan River from the National Lead (NL) site in Sayreville. The filing seeks to stop the discharge of hazardous substances and remediate sediments that present a risk to human health and the environment.


The Notice of Intent was sent to NL Industries, Inc.; NL Environmental Management Services, Inc., Sayreville Economic and Redevelopment Agency; O'Neill Properties Group; Sayreville Seaport Associates; the Turnpike Authority; and New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT).  Raritan River sediments present an imminent and substantial endangerment to human health and the environment under RCRA.  Discharge from the North Ditch, located on the National Lead site, is an unpermitted discharge in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Junebug Volunteers Wanted


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Junebuggraphic.jpegWant to be part of one of the biggest festivals in town? 

Volunteers are needed to serve as Hosts or Chalk Walk supervisors - and no artistic experience is necessary!



§           1½ hour shifts

§            Friday evenings in June (June 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th)

§            Between 6:00 - 10:00 pm


Want more info?  Contact Ellis Eisner at 732-494-0628 or

Metuchen's Earth Day: Pitching In and Looking Out

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On Saturday, Metuchen sponsored its very own and very successful Earth Day clean-up all around town. Last week's Earth Day poll results show that serious changes in our lifestyles are adding up and our commitment to the environment, locally and all over, is growing, one green step at a time.

Running Rabbits Hop Back to the Forum Theater This June

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VR-09-1.jpgFor those of you wondering what's up at the Forum, here's some information on the first of their upcoming shows:


Running Rabbit Family Theatre (RRFT) is returning to the Forum Theatre in Metuchen with their beloved production of VELVETEEN RABBIT during the month of June, 2009. The Metuchen Matters calendar lists the individual performances.


This original production is by New Jersey artists  Paul Whelihan and Paul Farinella. "We are very excited to bring live theatre back to the Forum," notes Whelihan, producer of RRTF.  He and Beattie ran the hugely successful children's theatre program in Metuchen until 2005.  "The theatre is a gem, the audiences are terrific.  It's a wonderful opportunity for patrons from around the State to experience some of the finest theatre for young audiences in this exceptional venue!"

Weird NJ Nyuccks about Metuchen Tombstone and The 3 Stooges


2705302842_c4ae66bb60.jpgIn the most recent issue of WEIRD NJ, there is the terrifically twisted tale of a tombstone in the Hillside cemetery that beats just about every tombstone they've ever highlighted in their compendium of terrifically twisted tales. Seems that one James Bechtold, known as "Becky" to his friends and family, was a revered Metuchen firefighter who died, leaving his brothers to construct this unusual gravesite. A lifelong fan of the Three Stooges, and a lifetime believer in the power of laughter, Becky's request was for a tombstone carved with the words "Laugh don't weep, It feels better" with the Three Stooges looking down over him. The original trio of Moe, Larry and Curly peered over the top of the elaborate stone, which had to be sent to China to be carved since the copyright issues in the States gave headstone artists the liability creeps here.

The only part of his last request that wasn't completed was the rubber hose that he wanted attached to the adjoining public street--when cars would pass over the hose, the Three Stooges' theme music would play. Albeit China or the U.S., nobody was going to allow that twisted tune to ring out anywhere near a residential area, so Becky's plan has gone unfulfilled. However, you can go to the cemetery and get a look at the crazy headstone, now becoming a tourist attraction.

So here's a question: given the upcoming Farrelly Brothers' production of a Three Stooges biopic now in pre-production, starring the truly odd trio of Jim Carrey, Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro, would Becky have nyukked until he cried or is he turning over in his final resting spot like the Tasmanian Devil at the sacrilege of it all?

Cruise Nights Heat Up Main Street Summer, Starts Wednesday


Cruise Nights, sponsored by the Metuchen Chamber of Commerce, start tonight, May 6th, on Main Street. Shows for Cruise Nights 2009 are scheduled for the first Wednesdays of the summer months, May through September, with rain dates scheduled for second Wednesdays. During each event, which runs from 6 to 9 PM, 40 to 50 classic cruisers line our shady streets, with owners nearby to pass on interesting info or show off the most authentic or unusual element of a beautiful automobile. Trophies and/or prizes for the shows are being sponsored by: Metuchen Fire Department , Mandell Plumbing & Heating, Antonio's Brick Oven Pizza, Black Belt Institute and St. Moritz Security Services, Inc. A primetime entertainment DJ will be on site as well to provide the music. At the end of the stroll, visitors can cast a vote for their favorite car at the show.


For more information please check

Energy Line Tree Cuttings Major Concern for Council


Along the rights-of-way in Metuchen, there has been massive and unnecessary tree cutting near power lines by a BPU-hired concern called Nelson Tree Cutting, which hails from Ohio, of all places. According to the Borough Council, there is an existing ordinance that requires these organizations to alert the town before cutting down town trees. Citizens in Metuchen, as described by one witness who spoke at the meeting, have taken to laying down on the ground in front of trucks in order to stop the razing of beloved trees on private property as well.

David Frizell suggested that a community letter-writing campaign directly aimed at PSE&G regarding these practices would make a serious response. Councilman Pete Cammarano said that there should be much stricter adhesion to the existing ordinance and that perhaps the town's political presence should be felt by the energy company in order to stress the town's distaste for these practices. Councilman Chris Morrison talked about the cutting on the Greenway and how the remaining limbs and tree debris has to be picked up, with Metuchen footing that bill. Considering that this has been an issue of note in town since this blog launched, Metuchen Matters will follow the process as it unfolds.

Old Franklin School Hosts Beatrix Potter Tea

potter20.jpgThe Duke of Cornwall Chapter of the Daughters of the British Empire in New Jersey held a Beatrix Potter tea at the Old Franklin School on a particularly lovely spring Saturday. Mrs. Jacqueline G. Mock, a rabid Potter fan with a lifetime of experience in all things, places, and events concerning author/illustrator Beatrix Potter, talked meaningfully about the creator of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit," and 22 other children's classics. A slide show of Mock's many travels to all places Potter, in England and Scotland, accompanied an exciting lecture which revealed, among other things, the fact that Potter was considered a superior naturalist as well as a famous author. A raffle and the tea itself lent donations to benefit Victoria Home.

Metuchen On Alert: Our Area's Swine Flu Update


Middlesex County seems to have missed the swine flu epidemic so far. A 12-year-old girl from Somerset County and a 22-year-old woman from Burlington County are the latest victims of the swine flu in New Jersey, state Department of Health and Senior Services commissioner Heather Howard announced on Saturday.  They join five other victims, which were confirmed from CDC reports--three of whom-- a 47-year-old man, a 14-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl -- are from one Burlington County family. A 43-year old Monmouth County woman and a 22-year old Bergen County woman also tested positive.

Local Currency: Could This Work In Metuchen?


BerkShares2006_0007.jpgLittle slips of brightly-colored paper with a town's logo on it pass from consumer to local storeowner like regular money--they're called "local currency" and have been used throughout the United States. This type of exchange has become more and more popular as towns try to encourage their citizens to spend what little expendable cash they have on their main streets, supporting the local businesses instead of driving miles to superstores and giving them money instead.

They work in a similar way to gift certificates but can be used in smaller increments, like real dollars and, atlhough created locally, they are completely legal. Take a look at this CNN story a reader alerted us to and then let us know: do you think Metuchen could use something like this to encourage commerce downtown??

Bingo for Emily is Offically SOLD OUT!

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Organizers are thrilled to announce that all bingo tickets have been sold!  Anyone still wishing to make a donation, please click the ad in the right column of this page for submission information.


  • Friday, May 8th
  • Campbell School Gym (please enter door on Durham Ave side)
  • Doors open at 6:00, bingo starts at 7:00


Reiki: A Voyage in Healing offered in Metuchen

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Reiki_sacred_spiral.jpegReiki, a spiritual practice developed in Japan, offers healing alternatives considered to be a form of complementary and alternative medicine. Reiki Master, Sea, is offering classes this Spring and Summer in Sacred Spaces Yoga Center on Main Street. 


We recently spoke with Sea to get information on Reiki and the training she is offering in town.


What is Reiki?  Are there different types?

Reiki is a system of natural, hands-on healing that positively affects the whole person by use of universal life energy. Reiki is a simple, safe, and effective means of stress reduction, pain management, and deep relaxation. Many experience profound emotional, spiritual, and physical healing from this holistic technique.

Although Reiki is not a substitute for traditional medical practice, Reiki works well with and can enhance many other healing modalities.


There are many different types of Reiki.  In my understanding, all Reiki at its essence is very similar; the differences are mostly in marketing and style.  I teach a "flavor" of Reiki that is flexible, intuitive, and hands-on. The Reiki I teach encourages patience, self-knowledge and openness to intuitive guidance.  I emphasize what works and feels right over rules and what looks good. My Advanced and Master training was primarily in the methods and techniques of the International Center for Reiki Training, founded by William Rand.

Daisies and Brownies Plant Flowers for Earth Day

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Image-8299894-67011953-2-Web_0_bfa1264e38f112058a7694a925b495f4_1.jpgOn Friday, April 24, Metuchen Brownies and Daisies with their leaders celebrated Earth Day and joined the Metuchen Garden Club in their annual beautification program for Memorial Park in Metuchen. By planting flowers to honor those that have served or are currently serving our country, Daisy Troop 80271 and Brownie Troop 81555 learned the proper way to prepare and plant a garden. The Daisies earned their rose petal, which celebrates leanring to make the world a better place. After a flag ceremony, red, white and blue flowers were planted to honor America's military heroes. You can enjoy their hard work at the Memorial Day festivities in the park following the Annual Memorial Day Parade, sponsored by the Metuchen Chamber of Commerce.

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