July 2009 Archives

YoungChefs.jpegMetuchen residents Lisa and John Weidmaier own Young Chefs Academy, a cooking school located in Hillsborough. Their ever-expanding palette of classes offer fun and interesting opportunities for children to exercise both  cognitive skills and their taste buds while learning lots about healthy eating! Here's what Chef Lisa has to say about their programs:


What attracted you to the Young Chef franchise?


We were looking at an investment opportunity that was fun,  different, and connected to the community.  There is no better way to be  connected to a community than through the kids.   The franchise itself  was created by individuals that shared the same philosophies and values as we did.

ComedyandTragedy.jpegThe well known Preschool Experience and Enrichment Academy (463 Main Street) will partner with two local artists, Ann Marie Mullen and Beth Lucas, to offer dramatic arts classes for children ages 6-16 years, starting this fall.


"The Kids Theater Experience will introduce the joy of theatrical arts and creative expression in an age-appropriate, intimate, and encouraging way"  said program director Ann Marie Mullen. "Our philosophy is to incorporate fun, creativity and essential social skills for the older child through expression in theatrical arts. We hope to provide a positive and fun outlet for children."   


REGISTRATION:  Click here  to register online or visit the open house on August 13th, 18th or 19th  from 6-8pm at The Preschool Experience school on Main Street (next to the Swim Shop).  Students and their parents are welcome to attend, check out the school, and meet the teachers.

Childrens Programming at the Forum Theater TODAY and Sunday


The Forum Theater hosts one final performance of Running Rabbit Theater's THE SWORD IN THE STONE on Wednesday, July 29th at 1 PM, Paul Farinelli's unique take on the legend of King Arthur told through an original musical score.

On August 2nd, GREAT SCOTT IT'S MAGIC, a rousing magic show for kids presented by professional magic man Scott Drukker, takes over the main stage. The show is interactive, making it perfect for kids of all ages. Among the live animals that help Scott make the mystical a reality is Thurston, a parrot with a vocabulary of over 200 words.

Tickets are on sale at the Forum Box office and online, too! Take a look at their family ticket packages to save money, time and make the event more fun for Mom & Dad!

From Kathy Liss at the Metuchen Public Library:

The Young Adult Department of the Metuchen Public Library, 480 Middlesex Avenue, is offering three Writing Workshops for Metuchen residents in grades 6- 12. Call the Library on 732-632-8526 or write the YA Librarian at KLiss@Lmxac.org to register for any or all of the following free classes--keep reading for detailed info!

Summer Concert Series Under the Stars

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Thursday evenings in August, 8:00; Senior Center Parking Lot (or inside should it rain)

Bring your chairs and some dinner or a snack


night sky3.jpegAugust 6th:    Blue Number Nine

August 13th:  Blue Roux

August 20th:  The James Street Band

August 27th:  The Kootz


Presented by Metuchen Recreation and Cultural Arts Commissions. Sponsored by The Metuchen Savings Bank and the Middlesex County Cultural Heritage Commission/Board of Chosen Freeholders through funding from the NJ State Council on Arts. 

District at Metuchen Update



Renaissance Properties appeared at the Planning Board meeting last week to review slight changes to the number of parking spaces and unit counts and also to discuss plans for a fountain centerpiece that will be a focal point on Central Avenue, as it runs through what will be The District.


If all goes according to plan, Renaissance will have a final resolution from Metuchen at the end of August.  At that point, notification and permit application submission to all other parties (Middlesex County, The State of NJ, Department of Transportation, DEP, State Soil Conservation, etc) will begin.  It is expected that those approvals will take an additional eight or nine months.  Once received, construction will begin.  As mentioned in our earlier story, Building D, where Boro Hardware now stands, will be the first built.


Here are some artist renditions of what the four buildings will look like.  All are side views except for the second view of Building D, which is the view from Middlesex Avenue.     

Emily, a happy update from Aunt Kate

Emily0709.jpegI've been asked to write a  little something to let the many Metuchen Matters readers know about Emily's progress. If you are one of the hundreds of "fans" of Emily's and get my emails, you know when Aunt Kate writes an update, it is unfiltered, unedited and unapologetic. I am not sure how the following biased, un-objective, totally out there next few paragraphs will sit with you, but, hey, this is just a little summary about our life over the past 11 months and where we are now.

Raymond John Salon EMS Fundraiser a Success

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RJfundraiser.jpegFrom Lisa Garris, President, Metuchen EMS:


'At the cut-a-thon, Ray and his staff raised $1387.00 for Metuchen EMS.  We are extremely grateful for their support and generosity.  They gave up their Sunday off to come-in and raise funds for us.  It was a lot of fun spending the day with such a wonderful bunch of people.  We also appreciate the generosity of the Bulldog Deli for donating refreshments for the event!'


In this photo: Ray DiTomasso, Lisa Garris, Deputy Chief of Operations Warren Brooks and the stylists who participated: Patty Buckley, Michelle Tannura, Sue Telepan, Kelly Kelsheimer, Danielle Illario, Maryann Quinn, and Gina Walsh.

Little League, Big Lesson

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Thumbnail image for Metuchencap.jpegAs summer tournament baseball comes to an end, here's a story about sportsmanship. Danny Flaherty, a player on the 10-year old tournament team, and his small act of kindness, struck a chord with league officials and brought home an important message about the game.


From District 10 Official, Jeff Georgiana:


'As our District 10 Tournament is coming to a close, I would like to let everyone know of one of the best shows of sportsmanship that I've seen in years...

Olympic Swimmers to grace the waters at MMP

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olympic rings.jpegFrom Melissa Karlovitch of the Metuchen Municipal Pool Swim and Dive Team:


'There is some very exciting news and events this week at the MMP!  On Friday July 24th, we will have an Olympic mini swim clinic from 9:00 - 10:00 for all of our athletes. The clinic is being offered by two former Olympic swimmers;  American & World record holders Janel Jorgensen and Craig Beardsley,  who now serve on the Board for Swim Across America. Practice will start as usual at 8:00 am for 11& older, with the clinic starting at 9:00. The 9:15 practice group should arrive at the pool by 8:50 to for the clinic which will begin promptly at 9:00.    


There is no cost to participate. Swim Across America is doing this in appreciation for the extraordinary efforts of our swimmers who, in the past two years, have raised over $15,000 for cancer research by swimming over 180 miles.


Thank you to all who participated & volunteered to make this special practice possible for the team!'  


Olympian Bios: 

Bye Bye Stop & Shop

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Here are a few photos of the demolition in process.  YAY!  (Thanks for the pictures Margie)

Angelo Donato, Jr., Chief of Metuchen Auxiliary Police, Dies

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From Councilman Chris Morrisson:

Flags at Borough Hall are at half mast today, following the death this weekend of  Angelo Donato, Chief of the Auxiliary Police Department and former head dispatcher of the Police Department. A wake will be held at Costello's on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm  & a funeral service will be held at Costello's on Thursday at 10:30 am. Costello's asks that if you are anticipating attending the funeral service that you arrive early.  After the funeral service, those in attendance will be asked to walk down to the Police Department and the hearse will do a final drive by.

Fire Destroys Fire-Proof Materials Factory in Edison

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edison factory fire.jpgOn Sunday, the Schundler Company, described as a 'horticultural manufacturer,' took a serious hit when fire did heavy damage to their Edison buildling.

The perlite and vermiculite aggregates that are created there have been used in fire-proofing products for decades. According to their website, "[These are used for]  fire-proof plasters. Traditionally "plaster" had been

Grandparents' Day Show at Forum Sunday July 19th

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grandparentsdayhmpg2.jpgOn July 19th, Sunday, at the 3PM show of THE SWORD IN THE STONE, a musical rendering of the life of young King Arthur, grandparents get in FREE! This original musical will be  presented by the Running Rabbit Theater Company at the Forum Theater TODAY. It is Grandparents' Day, so admission will be free for each one that attends. Allow your child to share this unique experience with someone special at this show only!

Change in Policy - Registration Required


Since our launch in October, we have wrestled with the question of whether or not to require registration from those who comment on the site. Our goal has always been to give voice to all ideas, concerns, and discussions. We are  grateful to our thoughtful readers for not only chiming-in, but also presenting topics of their own that have led to action in our community. 


For a number of reasons, we are now requiring posters to register with a screen name. We hope that you will all continue to utilize the comment boards with the same frequency and we look forward to a safe and productive dialogue between all members.


We also hope you will continue to challenge programs and policies, ordinances, and the decisions and actions of those who lead, all to promote change that will help Metuchen grow in a spirit of community. Your passion may inspire people to become part of the solution; our town would be in trouble without its volunteers.


And, we hope that those who hold leadership positions in the many organizations of town will accept online discussions as a form of community participation and both respect and consider your feedback.

Friday at the Pond with Will - FREE!


Shrew.jpegFrom Councilman Morrison and the Cultural Arts Commission:


TONIGHT:  There is a free live performance of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew tonight at Tommy's Pond - starting at 7.  If it rains, the play will be performed at the Senior Center. The performance runs just over an hour.

Although the weather hasn't always been cooperating to the fullest extent of its heat-creating best this season, there has been plenty of rays to catch while enjoying an afternoon at the beach . . . or pool. Speaking of pool, what do you think of the Metuchen Municipal Pool post-sprucing-up? Lost IDs aside and despite the lack of certain members' names on the membership list, some things have changed for the better.

So tell us . . . what happened? Did you join the pool or not? Did you decide to go somewhere else, even though the pool commission swore that this year would be better? For those of you enjoying the pool, would you rate it much higher than you would have last year? The new pump seems to be working just fine, it's fun to swim without pulling your hair out trying to stuff it into some skintight cap and the new umbrellas are like blue-and-white mushrooms sprouting from the green grasses, making a very pretty picture.

Tell us your stories and let's let the Pool Commission know whether or not their changes and maintenance have made a difference in your enjoyment of this community site and if they have indeed paid attention to their members' needs.

According to a letter from Buckeye Partners, L.P., from Emmau, Pennsylvania, as published on the Borough Website, vegetation clearing around petroleum pipelines is being planned for our area "over the next several months." Read on to see what's up or check out www.buckeye.com for further information. If your property is involved, you will be hearing from a contractor called Laurel Ridge Land Clearing, Inc. prior to the work that needs to be done.

Check This Out--METV ON DEMAND


From Councilman Justin Manley:

'The effort is the culmination of years of effort on the part of Rich DeSimone and is jointly funded by the Borough and the Board of Education (60% - 40%). It's just one of many improvements to the Borough's web offerings I hope to see over the next few years.

METV announces a new VIDEO ON DEMAND system available on the Borough web site! Don't have cable? Missed a meeting? Want to see Board of Education meetings? Want to see other Borough programs covered by METV? A great deal of that content is now available on the Borough's new VOD system. More will be added as we go forward.

Go to the home page and scroll to the bottom. www.metuchennj.org.

Thanks to Rich DeSimone who heads up METV and all the folks who worked on this!

Art in the Garden Tour: July 18th

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Art and theater among the beauty of area gardens - is there a better way to spend an afternoon? 


From the edisonarts.org website:


'Six residential gardens in Edison and Metuchen will be open to the public on Saturday, July 18th for the Fourth Annual "Art in the Garden Tour". From its beginning, the tour has been a popular local event that has grown to attract visitors from around the state. Tickets are $20 and cover admission to all six gardens plus refreshments. Children under 10 are Free!


Our theme "Tots On Tour" includes activities, song and poetry designed for young children. At the starting location, each child that finds a magic blue pebble and tosses it into the "Make a Wish Fountain " will receive a nature inspired craft to take home! Mom, Dad, Grandparents - bring the little ones with you!'


And from Metuchen artist and Junebug Chairperson Linda Vonderschmidt LaStella:

Magical Metuchen Moments: 4th Grade Marionette Show



There's been much talk about how our schools might improve - and that input has been vital and important.  But, there's a lot of good stuff going on in Metuchen too.  Hats off to the great projects some of our teachers have shared with their students.  First, Campbell School teacher Mrs. Canter's 4th grade marionette show:


A synopsis from 4th grader and participant, Collin Draper:

large_obamacorzine.jpgWith over 50,000 requests for tickets, the Corzine 09 Campaign has sent an email to all respondents in which campaign manager Maggie Moran states that the venue has been moved to PNC Bank Arts Center and that not all those who received confirmations of their reservations will actually be given the opportunity to come see the President next Thursday. If you received the email, make sure that you answer your phone over the next couple of days--and if you don't get to go this time, the campaign is stating that there will be additional events with the President which they will be allowed to attend. Stay tuned!


WHEN:   Thursday, July 16, 2009

WHERE: The Forum Theatre; 8:00am - 9:30 am

WHAT:    Strategies for Downtown Survival

• Techniques, Tips & Tools for Individual Businesses

• Leveraging Budgets with Co-op Marketing

• 10 Things You Need to Know About Your Downtown Economy 

Light Refreshments will be Served (Compliments of Metuchen Savings Bank)

For Free Registration, please Contact: Lorraine Mulligan (732) 549-4452 ext. 6343


bilde.jpgAlthough Chris Christie has said that he won't be inviting newly-resigned Alaskan Governor and Republican VP Candidate Sarah Palin to stand with him in any pre-election appearances, Governor Jon Corzine has reached into his bag of campaign tricks and announced that President Barack Obama, Palin's former opponent, will be at his side on HIS campaign trail. At noon on July 16th at Rutgers campus in New Brunswick, at the Voorhees Mall lawn, the first sitting president to speak in the area since 2007 will rally in support of the governor. This opportunity for you to hear the president speak requires a little online registration time but, if they are available, all ticket reservations are free to the public.

Check out this link: http://www.mycentraljersey.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200990701008 for more information.

The Edison Wetlands Association sent us this information::


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) will be hosting a meeting to discuss the formation of a Community Advisory Group (CAG) for the Woodbrook Road Dump Superfund Site in South Plainfield.  The meeting will be held Wednesday, July 8, 2009 at 7 PM at the South Plainfield Senior Center at 90 Maple Avenue in South Plainfield.   


The CAG will bring the nonprofit Edison Wetlands Association (EWA) and local community members together to push for a timely and thorough cleanup of this Superfund Site near the Edison border.  The Woodbrook Road Dump Superfund Site is an inactive solid waste disposal area where dumps operated from the 1940s until 1958.  EWA discovered broken, leaking PCB capacitors in 1999, and the resulting USEPA sampling found soil, sediment, and groundwater contamination.

Mike Patterson asked area high school arts students to go nuts on the wall in the alleyway next to What's the Scoop and some very talented members of J.P. Stevens arts honor society did just that! In their universe, Da Vinci's Mona Lisa enjoys a large cone and, instead of the apple that masks the ubiquitous bowler-hatted gentleman of Magritte's SON OF MAN, there is instead, yes, another ice cream cone. Check out the very colorful alleyway next time you're on Main Street and see how many of these artistic reinventions you can recognize! The offer is still out to other high schools so let's hope some bright young artists get a chance to go all Basquiat on the grey stone this summer.

Harry Potter Film Festival today at the Library


From the Metuchen Library:


The Metuchen Public Library is officially kicking-off its summer programs today with an all day Harry Potter Film Festival. The library will open early and close late so that all 6 films can be screened.  This event is sponsored by the adult department and run by librarian John Mc Bride, who also runs a wonderful foreign film series (which will begin next week). The summer programs for adults, teens, and children are all free and open to the Metuchen community.


Visit the library website for more information.

EMS Fundraiser set for July 12th


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for MetEMSpatch.jpegRaymond John Salon, 150 Main Street, is hosting a Cut-A-Thon on Sunday, July 12th from 9 am to 3 pm.  All proceeds will benefit Metuchen Volunteer Emergency Medial Service.  No appointments are necessary.  Shampoo/cuts will cost $25 and basic manicures $7. For more information call the salon at 732-548-6131. 

This just in from the Forum:



·         Acting & Improv
·         Scene Study
·         Theatre Games
·         Music Theatre Ensemble
·         Story Theatre
·         Mr. Ray's Train To Rock
·         Stand-up Comedy
·         Screen Writing
·         Dance

Classes for ages 5 & up.  All levels of experience welcome! The Forum will offer classes for performers of all skill levels and ages, taught by top instructors who are in the biz!  All of our students get to perform in the FORUM STARS SHOWCASE, right on the Forum stage on Main Street, Metuchen. Keep reading to see the different levels of participation . . . and more cool stuff, too!. 
Questions? Call 732-548-5600 or email us at kidscount@forumtheatrearts.com.

Happy Independence Day!



Pack-up the kids and the lawn chairs (or a blanket), Metuchen resident Edward Logue, former Supervisor of Music and Band Director at Metuchen High School, will conduct the band at this special patriotic event. 


The Brio Symphonic Band will be performing marches, vocal and trumpet soloists, folk tunes, movie favorites, and other traditional and classic band music. The band is made-up of musicians from the Central New Jersey Musician's Union, Local 202-373 AFM. 


Mr. Logue is a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College and the University of Arkansas and, since his retirement in 1995, he has worked as a free-lance percussionist in the area.  He organized and conducted the Metuchen Gala Centennial Concert and the Metuchen 9/11 Memorial Concert. Mr. Logue has also been musical director to several Plays-in-the-Park productions.

Bunting on Borough Hall


Bunting.jpegThe bunting  currently  hanging on Borough Hall is in honor of Bob Drake, a retired police sergeant who passed away last week. He served the department for 25 years and retired  25 years ago.

St. Francis Graduates 75th Class

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StFrancisClass of 34.jpeg








St Francis Cathedral School recently graduated its 75th class.  The first graduating class, pictured here, had 15 students (and they are shown with Father John Foley who became Monsignor and remained at St Francis until he died in 1970). Two women from this photo, Margaret Breen (Norman) and Ann Salamone are still alive and attended the school's 80th anniversary this past September.  More about alumni later in the story.


The school opened in 1928 with 81 students in the same building currently in use (although there were two subsequent additions, which you will notice from the slightly different-color brick). The class of '09 had 41 graduates and enrollment continues to be strong.  Over 510 students are expected in September (pre-K - 8), with a waiting list in several grades.

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