June 2009 Archives

Mrs. Florence Carter, 6th grade Language Arts Literacy teacher at Edgar Middle School, has been named principal of Campbell School.  

 

World Languages teacher Susan LaFauci was appointed acting vice-principal of MHS while vice principal Bruce Peragallo serves as acting principal until Mr. Novak's replacement is named.

 

Kevin LoPresti and Christina Spring were named as new Kindergarten teachers at Moss School.

Stop & Shop: Demolition has begun

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An eyesore for too long, the old Stop & Shop building is one step closer to being history; the demolition process has begun.  We've learned the contractor is currently working on asbestos removal and capping all of the utilities. Once that work has been completed, they will need to submit paperwork for demolition.

 

Renaissance Properties has construction of the first District at Metuchen building slated for Spring of 2010 - depending on 'market conditions.'   

Soda Can Pop-Tops; Worth Their Weight in Love

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Poptop.jpegThe girl scouts of the North Edison Metuchen Service Unit collect aluminum pop-tops from beverage cans as a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House.  Gathering them from home and family parties, they proudly bring them to each troop meeting.  Scout Marisa Redding takes responsibility for collecting and storing the tops collected by the entire unit and taking them to Ronald McDonald House in New Brunswick.

 

Last year, the service unit collected 240 pound of pop tops.  Considering the weight of an entire empty soda can is only .5 ounces, that's a whole lot of pop tops.

BariQuinn.jpeg 

Little Bari Quinn of Daisy Troop 80763 collected and donated 25 pounds of pop tops herself!   She asked her dad to please set-up collection bins near the vending machines at work and the result was a tote that weighed almost as much as her.  

 

Thanks for reminding us just how mighty little can be!

Thumbnail image for KAdlerman.jpegArtist and illustrator Kim Adlerman may be familiar to many of you due to her children's books and her warm-hearted willingness to share them (and her love of creating) with our kids in school, at the library, and the Raconteur - to name just a few.  But Kim's body of work goes far beyond what you may recognize from the pages of those lovely books.  Be sure to find her at What's The Scoop this evening, where you will see her quick smile and good humor are as inviting as her talent and the lovely work she shows. 

 

We spoke with Kim to learn more about the many dimensions of her craft:  

Final Friday of Junebug: Special Events to Attend

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Junebug has been fabulous this year; the talented artists, interactive events, and wonderful music have filled the streets of town with lots of people and good times.  Sadly, the last evening of the festival is tomorrow and there are two events to take note of:  The Pet Parade starts at 7:30 (7:00 registration) in the South Main Municipal Lot and ChalkWalk at the Forum will let you be creative AND learn more about Forum plans to start showing movies in July (and what you can do to help).     

 

Read on for more information INCLUDING how you can vote for the films you'd like to see on the Forum's big screen:

tsc_header_photos.jpgMetuchen Town Soccer is running their annual registration campaign for the fall soccer season. There is an additional fee if you apply after June 30th so get your application in, online, before the deadline.

The club is also looking for businesses who would like to sponsor a soccer team.  Your company name will be printed on the back of your team's shirts, and will also appear on the game schedule for your team's division, on the schedule for photo night, and on the club web site. Sponsorships are $100.

 

Click here to get all the information and file your registration.

Main Street Bollard Takes a Hit, Needs A Bandaid

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You may have noticed driving into town that the Main Street bollard, that lovely median that introduces our town to traffic coming off Route 1, has suffered a nasty takedown. A drunk driver mistook the median for a parking space and plowed into it last weekend. But what will happen to the bollard, the welcoming pineapple sign and the lovely brick median that took so long to have constructed? We are sure that the  town is on it. (Powers-that-be, are you on it? )

IT'S COMING! A PUB IS COMING!

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Thumbnail image for Hailey's Logo.jpegBy the end of August, new business owners Chris and Jodi Flynn will have transformed the space where Sawadee's has been into Hailey's Harp & Pub, an authentic Irish public house filled with friends, food, spirits, and craic (read on for more about that).

 

We spoke with general manager Victor DeLusso and learned all about what this much desired addition to Main Street will be all about - what might be on the menu, on tap, and in store.

Woodwild v. Borough: Change of Venue Motion Filed Friday

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In Inwood Hill Park , in upper Manhattan, an angry person with an axe did a George Washington on a grove of lilac trees. The police are on the lookout for the culprit and the public is up in arms over this particular "arborcide." In Metuchen, New Jersey, our own snafu concerning trees and strangers in the night (or day) at Woodwild Park sent the borough and the Assocation to take their corners in a courtroom this past Friday.

The Woodwild Park Association's attorney has filed a motion for change of venue, which will be decided by Judge Francis of Middlesex County Superior Court. An attendant at the scene said that Attorney Frizell waited patiently through many an additional court case to be heard before the borough's case was discussed on the docket. The borough is paying for the Borough attorney to prosecute the men in question.

Swim for a Cure Swimathon - This Sunday at the Pool

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The Metuchen Municipal Pool Swim Team will be starting Father's Day with a with a commitment to helping folks in need. Collaborating with Swim Across America, they will be swimming to raise money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment. Since 1987, SAA has raised over $25M through a variety of swim events.  This is the second year MMP has hosted the fund-raising event.

 

Team swimmers, divers, life guards and Master swimmers will do as many laps as they want (or can) and sponsors have committed to donations based on the number of laps they do. The team has a goal of swimming 100 miles.  Whether an athlete does 1 lap or 100, every lap by every participant counts and will bolster the group effort.

A Mother-and-Son Artistic Team

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For the past six years, Lynda Woodworth has made the study of art a priority in her life and has been experimenting with various media - mostly oil painting, inks, and charcoal.  One of the many talented artists showcasing work at our Junebug ArtFest, Lynda was kind enough to share some background on her art, her background, and her inspiration.

THIS JUST IN: Superintendent's Update on Swine Flu Case

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Superintendent Terri Sinatra just called and gave us this up-to-the-minute information on the swine flu issue in Metuchen:

At present, only one case of swine flu was confirmed and this student has actually received the okay from the family's pediatrician to return to school. There is another unconfirmed case in which the child has been kept home from school and will probably not return, as the law requires a 7-day absence from school and there are not even that many days officially left in the school schedule. Superintendent Sinatra called us from Campbell herself to tell us that she is sending a notice with this information through backpacks this afternoon and a telephone alert is being administered immediately.

On a personal note, Mrs. Sinatra called just as I was hanging up with my own personal pediatrician and they both told me the same medical protocol for this ailment: once a child exhibits actual symptoms, the child can be treated with the same over-the-counter analgesics and dietary changes that would accompany any other flu diagnosis(children with underlying health issues may need further treatment). My pediatrician added that the exposure period is three days so if your child has been exposed and is not sick at this time, there is a good chance that they will not succumb to the flu.

Information On Swine Flu at Campbell School

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This just in from Emergency Management Coordinator James Graziano via Councilman Richard Weber (thanks, Richard!):
 
There are two confirmed cases of swine flu at Campbell School. Considering there is only one school week left, it is unlikely that school operations will be affected by the flu this school year. I have been in touch with the Superintendent of Schools. The Board of Education is following established protocols. Students with flu symptoms are to remain out of school for at least 7 days following the onset of symptoms. The guidance from the CDC and the NJDHSS on school closing is as follows:
 
School closure is not advised for a suspected or confirmed case of novel influenza A (H1N1) and, in general, is not advised unless there is a magnitude of faculty or student absenteeism that interferes with the school's ability to function.
Please advise members of your various agencies to continue to observe common sense flu prevention measures: 
 1) Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow, not into your bare hands when you cough or sneeze.
2) Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
3) Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
4) Avoid close contact with sick people.
5) Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
6) If you get influenza-like illness symptoms, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Junebug Inspires a Look Back at WPA Contributions in Area

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Thumbnail image for 19wpa_span.jpgIf you believe that artists help to hold up a mirror to the society in which they live and work, then our Junebug festival offers a wide variety of perspectives on our contemporary world. Economic hard times have often inspired great art--and perhaps none more so than throughout the existence of the Works Progress Administration, an FDR brainchild that helped employ out-of-work craftspeople in the arts to help beautify, identify and celebrate the good things that the hard times of the Depression couldn't destroy. Writers created landmark guides to states and cities and visited former slaves to record their memories. Artists painted murals and created public sculpture for everyone to enjoy.

The spirit of inspiration struck in Metuchen, where the WPA writers put together a 1939 history of the town and in Edison, in an eccentric and lovely fountain near the Roosevelt Park War Memorial off Woodbridge Avenue (see sculpture, top right above). These are some of the close-range historical heirlooms which we have been left by forebears who rose up despite financial strife and took the FDR Administration's lifeline with both hands. Check them out, either at the library or at the park itself. In the spirit of the Junebug, don't forget the past but please enjoy the present!

Metuchen High Principal Focus of BOE Meeting TONIGHT

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Now that Mr. Novak has decided to leave his post as Metuchen High School principal, the search is on for a new admnistrator and, with that, comes a very specific set of guidelines for the filling of that position. Superintendant Terri Sinatra will address thse guidelines and explain the vetting process this week at the Board of Education's meeting Tuesday, June 16th at 8 PM in the Metuchen High School cafeteria. The event will be carried live on METV but if you have any particular questions or concerns related to this process, your attendance is requested.

Dedication Ceremony for Mr. G. Tuesday at Campbell School

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On June 16th at 3 PM, the pavilion at Campbell School playground will be dedicated to Robert Gugliara, retiring principal of the elementary school and longtime teacher and administrator in the Metuchen district. The public is invited to attend--there will be some surprises in store for "Mr. G" and his long-time service will be celebrated as a plaque will become part of the pavilion station in tribute.

Fuce5 a big success!

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Love, friendship, community spirit, and healthy living all came together on Saturday morning as the Fuce5 wove its way through the borough.  The event was a big success with 588 race registrants and dozens of volunteers coming together to celebrate the life of Mike Fuccile.  A special thanks to Novita for graciously hosting the perfect staging site for registration, music, and refreshments; and the police and fire departments for ensuring safety along the route.  

 

Congratulations to the organizing committee; you did an amazing job!

 

Many of the 588 registrants were families with children who participated in the race.

 

Top three finishers and their times:

Frank Francobandiero (18:47)

Ken Vercammen (18:58)

James Gorman (19:36 and the 14-18 year old winner)

 

Top finishers and times by age group:

 

19 and over

Frank Francobandiero

18:47

 

Ken Vercammen

18:58

 

Mark Chiusano

19:40

15-18

James Gorman

19:36

 

Keith Anacker

20:32

 

Jacob Lucas

23:07

10 - 14

Kevaan Chaudry

23:16

 

Brendan Ward

25:15

 

Ian Lawson

26:40

9 and under

Kevin Coventry-Cox

24:36

 

Liam Walker

26:59

 

Jack Bradley

29:31

 

Photos of the day can be found on Fuce5.com

Also, here are photos of Pack 69's water station

Moss School enrollment for the 09-10 class is 169 students, up from approximately 130. Seven half-day Kindergarten sessions have been approved for the '09-'10  school year.  At Monday's PT Council meeting, the impact of this large incoming Kindergarten class on Campbell School the following year was asked but not yet addressed.  There are always more 1st graders than kindergarteners in the public school system as children do transfer to Campbell from private, full-day kindergarten programs.  It is not yet known if enrollment numbers are up because there are more children in town or if fewer children are attending private kindergarten programs.   

 

The retirement of two principals, John Novak at Metuchen High School and Robert Gugliara at Campbell School, is also being addressed. 'Mr. G.' submitted his resignation with a proposal for transition, and so the search for his replacement is well under way and planned to be complete by the end of the school year.  There are  currently 13 semifinal candidates: 3 internal, 10 external. The selection committee is made up of administrators and teachers: Mrs. Sinatra, Mr. G., Mr. Pineiro, Mr. Peragallo, Mrs. Sharkey, Mrs. Keers-Nolde, and Mrs. Donahue.

Local Astronaut to Twitter from International Space Station

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medium_mp.jpgIf you're a fan of Twitter and your fingers are nimble enough, you might want to "tweet" to a new friend this weekend. In outer space!

Our local NASA astronaut (doesn't every county have its own astronaut?)  Edison native Mark Polansky is going to be twittering from space this weekend as he brings a new experiment module to the International Space Station. Yes, in space, really.

He will not be streaming live or anything--but he will Twitter and download the "tweets" to Mission Control and they will get them online for youto check out. So get pithy and have the longest-distance conversation you may ever have in your life!

Meet Metuchen's Cartoon Goddess: Lauren Rabinowitz

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One of the great aspects of Junebug is discovering the many wonderful artists in town - the abundance of talent. Lauren Rabinowitz (a.k.a. Cartoon Goddess) is one of those artists. Her work, and her charm, are light and happy and full of color. You can meet Lauren this Friday evening between 8:00 and 8:30 at the Westerhoff School of Music and Art. We were lucky enough to chat with her a bit and are happy to introduce you to her now:

 

PSE&G Tree Pruning - Have any complaints?

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pseg_logo,jpeg.gifHave you seen the Nelson Tree Service trucks in town?  PSE&G has begun their process of clearing tree limbs in contact with power lines. 

 According to the Environmental Commission:

  

We have  received numerous complaints from residents regarding the very poor quality of the work performed by the contractor hired by Public Service (Nelson Tree of Ohio NOT of NJ). We've added a link from our webpage for residents to complain to the Board of Public Utilities, which regulates Public Service, if they see excessive or unnecessary damage to the trees.

 

PSE&G has requested a permit from NJDEP for tree trimming and vegetation management in the wetlands. The Borough Environmental Commission has written a letter to NJDEP regarding the permit, expressing concerns for protection of the borough's canopy.  

 

If you have any complaints, this is a good time to express them.

Skylands Bank Hold-Up Causes Car Chase, Robber Caught

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A man from Staten Island was chased down Route 18 after holding up the Skylands Community Bank in Metuchen right after it opened. Take a look here for the details of a police car chase that shut down traffic for miles yesterday. The pursuit continued on Route 1 South into New Brunswick, and then onto Route 18 South in East Brunswick, police said. At one point the officers attempted to stop the vehicle near the Woodbridge Avenue overpass in Edison, police said, but the driver refused.

Metuchen Police Office David Liantonio added that the quick thinking of the bank manager played a big part in catching the thief.  Bank employees activated the silent alarm immediately.  Once the man left the bank, the manager looked out the window and saw he was driving a silver SUV with a cardboard sign over the license plate that said "lost plate." She also reported which direction he turned when leaving the bank.

The Metuchen PD dispatcher immediately radioed the Middlesex County hotline notifying all neighboring communities to be on the look-out for the silver SUV.  A special Edison/Metuchen hotline was notified as well.  Two Edison police officers, one stationed on each side of Route 1, were placed on alert and spotted the SUV as soon at it passed the Home Depot shopping center, which is where the low-speed pursuit began. 

You are hereby invited to attend the release party for the exciting new (#4 and counting!) release from Metuchen's own Mr. Ray. The Heldrick Hotel in New Brunswick (across the street from the George Street Playhouse and the State Theater) is the place to be from 11AM to 1 PM on June 14th. Check out this video for further information and a look at WELCOME TO THE MUSIC ROOM.

Metuchen Savings Bank, in collaboration with the Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce, will host Metuchen Cares: an Economic Forum for local businesses on Thursday, July 16, 2009 from 8:00 am to 9:30 am at The Forum Theatre Cultural Arts Center at 314 Main Street, downtown Metuchen.

 

Metuchen Savings Bank has engaged the JGSC Group to offer the Community Insights ™ program for retail businesses, restaurants and commercial property owners in the Borough of Metuchen. Their featured speaker, Joseph Getz, has spent 25 years helping some of the nation's most successful retail developers achieve that status.  Over the course of his career, Joe has pioneered programs to gauge shoppers' perceptions, define consumers' wants and needs, and discover untapped opportunity in retail shopping centers and downtown neighborhoods.

The zoning board recently denied a subdivision request from the owners of the property at 84 Orchard Street. There is no avenue within our municipal government for a zoning board decision to be appealed.  Thus, the owner is appealing this decision in the NJ court system and vows to take it all the way to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

What does a subdivision do to a neighborhood like Orchard Street, to a community like Metuchen? Are there any positives or is it just a negative situation all around?

Junebug Sculpture Unveiled

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Junebug Sculpture 09 001.JPGThe Junebug Sculpture, the signature piece of this year's festival created by artist Roy Chambers, was unveiled on June 5th.  Made entirely of recycled materials such as a discarded tuba, the legs of a discarded swing set, copper piping from Roy's sink, and old plastic bottles (to name just a few), it's a beautiful piece that will stand near Metuchen Savings Bank for the duration of the festival. (and my photo does NOT do the piece any justice!)

See more of Roy's work, and the work of many other resident artists, at the Artist's Studio Tour on the 12th! 

 

What did you think of Junebug? We would Love to know!

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So, for those of you who didn't have talent shows and dress rehearsals to attend last night and braved the rain for a little culture, how did Junebug go?  Regardless of the nasty weather, there were exciting events galore to make even the yuckiest night a sunny one for the participants. Please feel free to share your experiences here and let us know how it all went down last night. We look forward to next week!

Junebug Weather-Related Changes for TONIGHT

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From the Chamber of Commerce:

 

Junebug weather-related updates for TONIGHT ONLY.  Please click the Junebug icon to the right for event details:

 

Events that will remain the same:

Open Mic events

Indoor art  displays

Ribbon Cuttings and Openings:

Rotunda Gallery at Borough Hall 6pm; Unveiling of the Junebug Sculpture by Metuchen Savings at 7pm;  What's The Scoop ribbon cutting at 8pm

Meet the Artists events will still take place

Brewed Awakening performance is on

The Westerhoff School of Music & Art performances will still take place.

 

Events that have been moved or altered:

Entertainment scheduled for the "Main Stage" now at the Senior Center (15 Center St.)

Entertainment at Borough Hall now at the Old Franklin School (491 Middlesex) 

The artist scheduled to be at Classic Travel & Tours will show at WOW Cafe & Wingery.

 

Events that have been cancelled:

Outdoor interactive arts events, outdoor art displays and demonstrations are cancelled. Performances scheduled for any location other than those listed above are cancelled.

REMINDER: MHS WALK FOR GHANA THIS SUNDAY

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Just a reminder that this Sunday is the MHS Walk for Ghana. Here is the key information and a link to an earlier story providing more detail.

 

  • ­              1:30 Walk starts at Metuchen High School
  • ­              Walk is through Metuchen
  • ­              Games and food at end of walk
  • ­              Donations are welcomed and appreciated in any size
  • ­              All families welcome, you can walk, run, scooter, stroller, anything
  • ­              All money goes to saving child slaves
  • ­              It costs over $4,200 to save one child-slave

 

 

100_3565.jpgWith serious refurbishments done, new paint all dried and those gigantic blue and white umbrellas marking some shady spots for relaxing from what we hope will be rampant sunshine this summer, the Metuchen Municipal Pool has had two weekends of glorious weather to help celebrate its opening. The Pool Commission has planned a great summer of activities, which includes the following events to mark on your calendar (Menus will be posted for food events as they occur). Read on for the full schedule of seasonal events. Membership applications are still being accepted, either at the pool or at Borough Hall.

Barking up the Junebug: Bring Your Pets to the ArtFest

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Junebug wants your pets to take part in a Walking, Crawling, Prancing, Slithering Parade! 

 

Þ          When: Friday, June 26, (Weather Permitting)

Þ          Pet Registration: 7 pm -  Pet Parade: 7:30 pm  - Prizes Awarded: 8 pm

Þ          Where: South Main Street Municipal Parking Lot

Þ          A $5 donation is suggested and all proceeds go to the Metuchen EMS

 

  • Contest for Best Junebug-Themed Pet Costume!
  • Pet-Inspired Literary Contest for Children!
  • Dogs and Cats Available for Adoption!
  • Enjoy Live Music Nearby at Express Automotive!
  • Pet Portraits Taken by Frey Sen Studio at Registration

 

IMG_0655.jpgThe following was submitted by  Linda Vonderschmidt-LaStella, Rotunda Gallery Director:

 

RotundaGalleryInsignia.jpegTuesday evening, most of the artists who have work in the Rotunda Gallery inaugural show gathered to hang their work. Mike Bransfield, of the new Gallery Board, and I marked spots for anchors and John from DPW did a solid job of installing them. The hanging was really wonderful.  Most people brought family members.

 

Basically this first exhibit includes a single piece of work by each artist who has volunteered on the Junebug Committee,13 in all.

  

This first exhibit will hang until Sept. 30.  The next exhibit will open Monday, Oct. 5.  The plan is for the exhibits to be Seasonal;  these first two are "invitational's".  The real rhythm and schedule will begin Jan., 2010.

 

We will prepare a prospectus with all the details about applying in the next week or so for anyone interested in exhibiting at the Rotunda gallery.  Basically, we are asking that all submissions come to us by mid-September. The Board will do a review in early October and set the schedule for the coming year.

Who does she think she is?

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WDSTSIposter.jpeg

EVERYONE EXPECTS WOMEN TO CHOOSE

...but what if you didn't?

 

80 percent of enrollment at the School of Visual Arts is women but 80 percent of the artists featured in museums are men.  Click here for a trailer of and information about an amazing documentary on women in art, the struggles, expectations, discrimination. 

 

We're afraid we've missed all regional showings but maybe we can find a way to get it back to a local theater.  We've contacted the production company, let's see what we can do!

 

nit.jpegLice is making its way through the schools again.  When I was in grade school it seemed like maybe you'd hear of one kid with lice every couple of years - maybe.  Now, each year we get the dreaded lice-notice in the homework folder...  'Lice was detected in your child's classroom...'  Panic.  Like the plague, you worry about everyone in the family, your home, your belongings, and you know you're in for a week of extreme home sanitizing. 

 

And you feel dirty.  But the fact of the matter is lice don't care if you're clean or dirty.  Some people say lice don't even LIKE dirty hair.  Others say they jump from backpack to backpack in the classroom, or when you share brushes or batting helmets, and yet others say hugging and head-to-head contact is the only way lice will transfer hosts. There are a lot of stories out there.  (Click here for an article that outlines the myths and expert-advised treatment options.)

 

Moms in town who dealt with the problem have shared their solutions.  A couple used professional services and others tackled lice on their own using similar methods. If you get that terrible call from the school nurse, we hope their experiences help. 

 

Jan's Story:

JUNEBUG BEGINS THIS FRIDAY! There's something for everyone in the family!

Get your children involved in these  ACTIVITIES FOR ALL, INCLUDING THE KIDS.

Also click the Junebug icon in our far right column for more event information.

 

EVERY JUNEBUG EVENING BETWEEN 8:00 - 8:30 Meet & Greet the artists downtown

 

June 5:   

Junebug Shakers:  Mallory Leonard, a Kean University Art Education student, will lead visitors in creating Junebug Shakers.  Mallory is bringing the supplies, but you should bring your imagination to create mischievous, noise-making little Junebugs.   

Location:  Borough Hall (500 Main St.) 6:00 - 9:00 pm

 

Chalk Walk:  Make your mark on Metuchen by creating interesting artwork with chalk.

Location:  Forum Theatre (314 Main St.) 6:00 - 9:00 pm

 

Mural Painting:  Join local artist, teacher and founder of Creative Images, Patricia Woods, in creating a mural.

Location:  Outside of Creative Images (1 Pennsylvania Ave.) 7:30 - 8:30 pm

 

continue reading for remainder of activity dates:

Thumbnail image for kline2.jpg

Two new classes in the performing arts, one in acting in comedies and the other in screenwriting,  are being offered this summer at Middlesex County College. "Comedy Acting" will be  taught by award-winning actor Richard Kline, best known for his role as Larry, the neighbor on  the classic sitcom "Three's Company." These non-credit courses will be held in June on the Edison campus. Read on for additional information.

homephoto02.jpgCarolyn Gioia of PAX Program of Academic Exchange is a community coordinator for an operation that welcomes students from all over the globe to spend either a school year or a semester in the U.S. with a host family. At present, a wide variety of deserving young scholars are looking for homestay opportunities in Metuchen. Young couples, single parents and "empty nesters" are welcome to apply as hosts. Japan, Korea, Sierra Leone, Georgia, Ukraine, Italy and many other nations from all parts of the world participate in this program. Gioia remarked that the motto "Everyone Smiles in the Same Language" is a powerful tool for promoting international accord.


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