January 2010 Archives

Another Pedestrial Victim of Careless Driving

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A commuter on his way to the train station was hit by a pick-up truck while crossing Grove Avenue from Woodbridge Avenue Friday morning.  More detail here.

Friends said a police officer actually saw the incident and was able to summon help immediately and issue a Careless Driving ticket to the driver. 

Our streets are crowded with so much busy activity.  Drivers and pedestrians, please keep aware.

From Blue Dog Media Services:


Emsile of Metuchen joins READS as director of construction


C.J. Emsile of Metuchen has joined Real Estate Advisory and Development Services Inc. as its new director of construction.


Emslie previously worked for WDF Inc., a subsidiary of GreenStar Services Corp., from 2006 through 2009. He brings to READS his experience as a project manager and site superintendent for a variety of construction projects, including civil and heavy construction, as well as, school reconstruction. (continue next page)


Demirjian of Edison joins READS as new office manager


Mary Demirjian of Edison is the new office manager and benefits administrator at Real Estate Advisory and Development Services Inc. 


Demirjian, who joined the organization in November 2009, brings more than 20 years of experience in supervising and overseeing the general operations of an office.  She comes to READS from the Metuchen YMCA, and previously had worked for Whittle Communications in New York. (continue neext page)

MHS & Edgar Scores Affected By Higher State Testing Standards

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This report from the Star-Ledger gives the statistics for the NJ No Child Left Behind scores and some of our local schools scored lower than expected in one out of 41 areas for the first year since the program's inception. The article suggests that this is because of higher state standards--so, if the standards are changing, what changes need to be made soon to bump the scores in the next round of testing? Paul Piniero, Principal of Moss School and Curriculum Director for the District, discussed this occurrence at the Board of Education meeting as well as the Campbell/Moss PTO meeting on Monday night--he said that, basically, these schools, which have a braod range of students, including a very active special education program, are not able to have all students reach a median score on state tests because the performance levels of the students vary so intensely. But Piniero said the district is using this as an opportunity to revisit some of the departments which service these students to ensure that they are getting the best help possible.The Board of Education is in the midst of budget discussions at this time and had a marathon session last night, with a meeting that ran until 11:20 PM.

Nobody wants teachers to "teach to the test" --but if the state continues to follow these archaic programs, our school district and all others will have to keep putting all our eggs, our unique eggs, into one giant basket. And the district will have to continue to be as creative as possible in finding the balance between the well-rounded student we all hope our schools will put forth and the perfect tester that the state wants delivered to them in order to keep our funding flowing.

Edison Memorial Tower Raises Millions for Renovation

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thomas-edison-memorial-tower-museumjpg-6b9159910712e665_large.jpgGiven the shoddy museum shack and crumbling tower on the premises, one wouldn't consider the Edison Memorial Tower acreage to be a leading historical landmark in the state. But a recent influx of donations has led to bigger and better plans for this important location--clearly, 2010 may turn out to be Edison's best year yet.

A Word to Parents on the Dangers of Perscription Drug Abuse

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From the Metuchen Municipal Alliance:


Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem and this video details the pitfalls and what you can do to safeguard against it.  We at the Municipal Alliance are very concerned with getting the word out to Metuchen parents about the effects of drugs and alcohol on teens in our town.


Thank you for your consideration.



Q&A: Kat Davis, Theater Games Teacher, at the Forum

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This is the second in a series of Metuchen Matters profiles about Forum instructors . . . as we'd like to help bring visibility to the revival of this historic Theatre and its goal to enhance our community's access to the arts through live performance theatre, musicals, concerts, films and more.

Q&A with Forum Theatre teacher, Kat Drinane Davis

When did you begin teaching at the Forum?

·        I taught classes at the Forum for three years - from 2002 - 2005, so when I heard that they were hoping to re-start the education program, I was delighted! 

·        This past fall, I taught Theatre Games and Stories for grades 1 - 3. There were 8 children in the class, and they each contributed a unique imagination and personality!

Benefit Concert for Haitian Relief in Highland Park January 30

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Sing for the Children of Haiti, A Benefit Concert for Haitian Relief
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Highland Park High School
102 South 5th Avenue
Highland Park, NJ

Support the people of Haiti to find shelter, food, water and clothing. A one night concert by local artists at the Highland Park High School auditorium. Admission requires a donation at the door to charities supporting Haiti relief (minimum request $15 for adults and $5 for children). Also,

*Silent Auction (Thank You Highland Park Merchants for your donations)
*Art Show
*Bake Sale (donated by Baked & Frosted and caring individuals)
For more information contact Jenni Chapman at
jenni@throughthemoongate.com or 732-729-9344

Movies, Auditions at Forum This Weekend

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The Forum has a busy schedule this weekend: besides bringing back THE YOUNG VICTORIA for a second round of screenings, the Arts Center will be holidng auditions for upcoming Showcase productions, including Disney's CINDERELLA and GREASE. Check out http://www.forumtheatreartscenter.com/ for all the details.

Neve Shalom Nursery School Open House January 25-29

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From Martha Mack, Director, Neve Shalom Nursery School--

"Neve Shalom Nursery School invites you and your child to our Open House January 25th - 29th. Please call for an appointment for your personal tour of our facility.  We are a NAEYC accredited, child-centered Jewish nursery school serving the needs of children ages 2-1/2 through 5 years old (Pre-K).  We also offer 'Baby & Me', 'Mommy & Me', and 'Just Me' classes. For more information please contact Martha Mack, Nursery School Director, at (732) 548-2238 ext. 17 or via email mjmack@aol.com. Neve Shalom Nursery School is located at 250 Grove Avenue, Metuchen NJ."

Benihana of Edison (across from Menlo Mall) is collecting goods for Haiti. They are collecting items such as clothing, shoes, tents, sleeping bags and toys for the Haiti earthquake relief fund. NO FOOD WILL BE COLLECTED AT THIS TIME. The collections have already begun and will be going for 1-2 weeks depending on the response.




Join Greg T on Thursday morning from 6am-10am at Benihana in Edison. Greg will be collecting items such as clothing, shoes, tents, sleeping bags and toys for the Haiti earthquake relief fund.

Benihana Edison is located on 60 Parsonage Rd in Edison, New Jersey across from the Menlo Park Mall (732) 744-0660

Q&A: Jana Siciliano, Screenwriting Teacher, at the Forum

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The Metuchen Forum Theatre is gearing up for a new semester of creative arts classes, beginning the first week of February. Instruction in stage acting, improvisation, scene study, stand-up comedy and screenwriting as well as music lessons will be offered to both children and adults of all ages.

This is the first in a series of Metuchen Matters profiles about the Forum instructors and classes, as we would like to help bring visibility to this historic Theatre's revival and its goal to enhance our community's access to the arts through live performance theatre, musicals, concerts, films and more.

Q&A with Forum Theatre teacher, Jana Siciliano

What class will you be teaching at the Forum?

 I am teaching various Screenwriting classes for children, for teens and for adults. I'm a working screenwriter and have an MFA in film from Columbia University--my latest screenplay is making the rounds, so I think I offer both practical and creative guidance for young writers. Often, people think that screenwriting would be a challenge for young children, but I have taught it privately and kids are very open to the format. It is easy and accessible and it further enhances all the elements of good writing that kids are learning in their Language Arts classes.  And, it is fun! You can work your story out by acting it out. I've had students who are actors who really enjoyed screenwriting for that reason--communicating cinematically is an active experience!

Ribbon Cutting for SaKula Yoga Studio January 21st

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From the Metuchen Chamber of Commerce:

On Thursday, January 21, 2010, Metuchen Mayor Thomas Vahalla will join representatives of the Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce for an official ribbon cutting ceremony welcoming Bonnie Beresford and Rozanna Marinucci of SaKula Yoga Studio.  Join us at 325 Main Street at 4:30 pm as we cut the ribbon, learn about the classes being offered and the team of instructors, and enjoy light refreshments.

SaKula Yoga Studio is the brainchild of two local yoga students who have been practicing yoga for several years.  The word "SaKula" is derived from the ancient Sanskrit language.  It is comprised of two words:   Sa meaning "born, with or from" and Kula meaning "clan, family or community".  SaKula is "Born from Family, Friends and Community."

Community Nursery School Open House January 29

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Community Nursery School, at 270 Woodbridge Avenue, Metuchen, which is located next to the Metuchen train station, is holding an Open House on Friday, January 29th, from 9:30AM-11AM and from 1PM-2:30PM. Parents are welcome to tour the classrooms along with their preschool-age children to learn about their programs and meet the teachers as they interact with students in the classroom. CNS offers half-day programs for children aged 2 1/2 to 5 and, as Audrey Kowalski, the school director, says, "We are confident you'll feel at home in our warm and friendly environment." If you have questions about their programs, call the school at 732-491-2240 during school hours. School registration for next year begins on February 1st.


Neighborhood Watch offers Self Defense Class

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From Officer Nancy Phibbs of the Metuchen Police Department:


Officer Ken Bauer and myself are pleased to announce the much awaited Self Defense Class for the Metuchen Neighborhood Watch Program:  Feb 4th,  7pm at Metuchen High School.  The class will be taught by our own Corporal Tony Carro. We are looking forward to see everyone there.

Gas Explosion Shuts Down Route 27 in Edison

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An early morning gas leak led to an explosion of a commercial building and numerous evacuations of homes and businesses in the area today. Part of Route 27 is shut down as a result. Here's more information.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King!

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pageheading_mlkday_quote.gifIn honor of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who would have been 81 this year (his actual birthday is January 15th, of course), this holiday is considered a National Day of Service. For information on how you can celebrate Dr. King's legacy by offering a helping hand to your community, check out the Bonner Fund site for New Jersey students--encourage your child to become a leader in his or her community and carry on the "dream" that Dr. King had, a dream that is slowly being realized in greater ways each year.

Moss School Kindergarten Orientation February 3rd

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Parents of all Metuchen children who will have reached the age of five by October 1, 2010 are invited to a Kindergarten Orientation. Classrooms will be open from 7:00-7:30, immediately followed by a meeting where parents will have the opportunity to obtain information regarding the Kindergarten curriculum and registration procedures.


WHEN:      Wednesday, February 3rd at 7:00 PM

WHERE:    Moss School All Purpose Room; 16 Simpson Place      


This orientation is for adults only. Children will be invited to visit the classrooms at a later date. 


Any questions, please call the school at (732) 321-8700 ext. 1000

13 Photos by Judy Weinberg-- Reception at Rotunda January 16th

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Hooplight.jpgJudy Weinberg is the latest Metuchen artist to have a one-woman show at the Gallery at the Rotunda in Borough Hall. "13 Photographs" opened on January 4th and will run through March 31st. On Saturday, January 16, an artist's reecption will be held in the Rotunda and Weinberg will be available to walk the guests through the exhibit herself.

The thirteen photographs in this exhibit are mostly digital images. Often using her Canon EOS, Weinberg is able to capture spur-of-the-moment inspiration as she explores places, exotic and familiar. "Sometimes it's the conflict of what is occurring in that moment in that place that overtakes me and so I take a picture," she explains about her favored method of work.

Duchess Diner Reopening--Officially!--This Sunday at 4PM


Come to the Duchess Diner and join Jim and members of the Metuchen Borough Council as they reopen one of Metuchen's oldest eating establishments at 4PM on Sunday, January 17th. Have a snack and celebrate the return of a town landmark!

Casino Night is Next Friday - January 22, 2010

It is not too late! Please get your reservation in today for Casino Night! Don't miss the chance to support our schools and win fabulous prizes. Some of this year's prizes include: iPod Touch, Yankee's Box Seat tickets, Rangers tickets, Nets tickets, One Year Family YMCA membership, Weber Charcoal Grill, Vera Bradley bags, Mets tickets, numerous restaurant gift certificates, Metuchen Pool Family membership, complete auto detailing, Knicks tickets, Disney World Park Hopper tickets, $250 toward Metuchen Recreation camps and programs, photograph packages, and much more! Click on the following link or copy it into your web browser to access a reservation form. If you are unable to attend, please consider buying a raffle ticket. Email metuchencasinonight@yahoo.com and we will deliver them to you!

   This is the biggest fundraiser of the year and benefits all Metuchen district schools!!

The Young Victoria at The Forum This Weekend

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51orGuWJCdL__SL500_AA240_.jpgGolden Globe Nominee Emily Blunt turns in a winning performance as Queen Victoria in The Young Victoria opening this weekend at The Forum Theatre

Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 5PM, 7PM and 9PM, Sunday at 5PM and 7PM
Tickets $8 for adults; Seniors $7

For more information on the film, check out the film's official UK site at this  link.

For more information on the Forum, click through their ad on this page

Metuchen High Senior Arrested in Bomb Threat Case

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A Metuchen High senior has been arrested in connection with the bomb threats at the school in December.

Help for Haiti--What we can do to counteract the devastation!

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Many different agencies are already presenting a myriad of ways in which you can help the thousands of people who were affected horribly by the devastating earthquake in Haiti--click here and help in whatever way you can.

Blood Drive at the Library, Sunday the 17th

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From the Metuchen Public Library:


On Sunday, January 17th, the Metuchen Public Library (480 Middlesex Ave) will sponsor a blood drive through the American Red Cross from 9 AM to 3 PM. For your convenience, you can make an appointment to donate blood by calling Alison Liss on 908-705-5034. You are also encouraged to register online at: www.membersforlife.org/pennj/schedule/login.php (enter sponsor code 9434).  Please feel free to drop in at the Metuchen Public Library to give blood on the day of the drive even if you do not have an appointment.


The need for blood is ongoing.  The supply isn't.  Every two seconds, over 43,000 times a day, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Can you give the gift of life?  In order to donate blood, one must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good health.

CQE to address Board at tomorrow night's Board of Ed meeting

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From Citizens for Quality Education:

Tomorrow night's Board of Education meeting promises to be a meeting of tremendous importance: discussion of the high school principal search; the introduction of baseline data for the 10-11 budget process as well as some old business, like transportation, capital projects and full-day kindergarten.  The budget process should be very interesting in a year with municipal increases, promised reduction in state aid and a new governor with a dim view on sending any aid out of Trenton.


CQE will present its advocacy issues for the year at this meeting, after being denied a small meeting with the superintendent, which was the process in prior years.  


Jim Jaques, CQE president, will address the Board during the public comment session at the end of the meeting. He will discuss ( CQE%20Advocacy%202009-2010.pdf) from the New Jersey School Report Card database; including college attendance rates, SAT scores, length of the school day, and AP enrollment rates, as they relate to the overall focus on academics in the school district. We encourage anyone interested in academics in Metuchen to attend the meeting and take part in the discussion.

n229667289159_3654.jpgMy niece sent me a Facebook message about it and I didn't believe her at first. No HGTV or Food Network anymore? After an angry rant about greedy cable providers, I did what any good TV fanatic would do--I complained to Cablevision and to Scripps Network (via Facebook) and asked them to settle their disputes quickly and completely.You can check out some local stations (like WPIX 11 in our area) to get some of those networks' shows for free (those creative types are way sneaky!)but if you want real action, either join this Facebook group or call your cable provider directly to complain. This is the answer I recently got from Cablevision:


Pedestrian Safety - A Runner's Perspective


Our roads are crowded with both pedestrians and drivers.  Lately we've seen a few incidents where the two have collided.  A reader suggested we get a runner's perspective on safety and so we have. We have responsibilities to each other.  Here's how one local runner tries to stay safe:

I run early, so will sometimes where a reflective vest.  Not very often.  I stay safe by running into the flow traffic rather than with traffic (i.e., looking at you vs. my back to you.)  All of my accidents and close calls have been running with traffic - I've had people turn into a grocery store RIGHT into me running (and I'm not fast); I've had people edge up behind me, slow down and honk like crazy; I've even have had people edge out into my way when they see me.  


None of these things happen when I run against the flow of traffic and drivers can see me. My only safety issue is overcurious drivers who can't believe I'm running on the street and who inadvertently edge toward me inadvertently, or  people pulling out from a side street (since they are looking the other way.)  Running in the street actually helps because it gives me more time to react and be safe.  I did have one close call when running on the sidewalk: I went to cross the street and someone didn't stop at the cross walk (the one on Main Street at the corner of Highland - where people never seem to stop at the crosswalk).

School District Extends Vaccination Clinic to Public

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H1N1 Vaccination Clinic
Jan. 12, 2010

The Metuchen School District has graciously agreed to host a final H1N1 vaccination clinic using vaccine already on hand.
In cooperation with the Middlesex County Department of Health, the clinic will be on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at Metuchen High School from 3:30 to 5 pm for students who need the second dose and for school district and borough personnel including all Borough first responders. From 5 pm  to 7 pm the clinic will be open to the public. There is no charge. The clinic remains subject to CDC guidelines and persons who do not meet the CDC criteria my be turned away.

Hailey's Sponsors First Annual Beer Dinner January 18

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Thumbnail image for Hailey's 009.jpgJoin us on Monday night January 18th for a great Beer Dinner and some beer education by the Master Pub Scout Mr. Kurt Epps

Hailey's Harp and Pub First of Many Beer Dinners
January 18th: 6:30-9:30
$50 per seat: 45 people max MC: Kurt Epps, The Pubscout

Melon with Prosciutto
Corned Beef and Cabbage Rolls
Potato Leek Soup
Mixed Greens with Citrus Salad
Beef Rib Roast with Fresh Rosemary
"Kicked Up" Jameson Strawberries
Rsvp: 732-321-0777
Also see the PubScout for more details and updates:

St. Francis Cathedral School to host OPEN HOUSE

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Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year from the school community at St. Francis Cathedral. 



We will host an open house for new families on Wednesday, January 13 from 9-10:30am in pre-K through 8th grade.  School will be in session during open house, so we request that only adults visit school at this time.  There will be a second open house on Sunday, January 31 from 1-2:30pm when children and families are most welcome!  Please call 732-548-3107 with any questions or visit online at www.stfranciscathedralschool.org The faculty and students look forward to meeting you.

Newly-elected Council members Richard Weber and Sheri-Rose Rubin will be sworn in for their new terms on the Metuchen Borough Council tonight at 6PM at Borough Hall. This is the first meeting of the Council for 2010 and will cover the reorganization of the Council, including voting on a new Council President..

Following the Reorganization Meeting, the newly sworn-in Council Members will thank their supporters in person at LOLA Latin Bistro, which is located at 140 Durham Avenue.

PSATs . . . Now What? FREE Standardized Test Prep at Library

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On Wednesday evening, January 13 the Princeton Review will offer a FREE seminar at the Metuchen Public Library (480 Middlesex Avenue) beginning at 7 PM.  The ninety minute workshop is designed to help 10th and 11th graders better understand the test and its scoring.  The program will also cover how to create an admissions timeline of other standardized tests necessary for the college application process. Participants will learn some test-taking strategies to help them improve future exam scores. Registration is required as seating is limited. Call 866-TPR-PREP or the LIbrary at 732-632-8526 to sign up. Parents are heartily encouraged to attend with their children.

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