April 2010 Archives


This Weekend at the Forum - CINDERELLA KIDS

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Disney's Cinderella Kids
Staring The Forum's Kids On Stage

Friday and Saturday at 7PM and Sunday at 2 & 5 PM
All seats are $12
They can be purchased online at www.forumtheatrearts.org or at the door
Forum Theatre 732.548.5600

Next on our screen:
Ben Stiller is
Opens May 7th

Borough Improvement League Sponsors May High Tea

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The Borough Improvement League of Metuchen is proud to announce its annual "High Tea in May" will be held on Saturday, May 1, 2010 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m at the Old Franklin School, 491 Middlesex Avenue, Metuchen. Join the BIL for a Victorian-style Tea, complete with finger sandwiches, cookies, and sweets, in the charming atmosphere of the 200-year old one-room schoolhouse. It's a perfect way to celebrate Mother's Day, and Hats are optional! All proceeds from donations ($10 for adults, $5 for Children under 12) benefit the preservation of the historic Old Franklin School. Contact Tyreen at 732-452-1381 or ayersallenhouse@msn.com for advance reservations (recommended for large parties).

From a reader:

Please post that Metuchenites and others can direct their questions to:  

Tim Greeley
Press Officer
NJDOT Office of Communications
DOT did not provide an explanation, only said that "it has been decided" that the bridge needed to be closed even though the project plan was to keep one lane open.
DOT gave the Boro notice only on a Thursday that they would close the bridge the following Monday.
Metuchenites can also contact the Mayor:  mayor@metuchen.com

bilde.jpgI have a front row seat to the detour traffic from the Route 27 closing between Grove Avenue and Parsonage Road. Living right near Metuchen High School, this is a pretty busy stretch of road anyway but today it has been wall-to-wall traffic and, I sadly assume, that it will be like this throughout the repair process. We never received a notice telling us that this was going to happen until I got a Honeywell call on Friday, as well as a note from concerned Councilmen and the Office of Emergency Management in town. Nothing from the DOT, nothing telling us how this work would alter, quite intensely, the way we could leave and enter our properties off Grove Avenue. We aren't the only ones who aren't happy--plenty of business owners think this is going to cause havoc for downtown as well.

If you have any information on how best to survive this roadwork, the detours and the backed-up traffic, please write to us at info@metuchenmatters.com and let us know how you are going to deal with this for the next six months.

Danny Adlerman presents Open Mic Night Friday

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openmic.jpgCheck out some amazing local talent LIVE on Friday night at Brewed Awakening. From 6:30-9:45, Danny Adlerman will present another in a continuing series of performances that he has been hosting throughout the year at different venues. Performers and audience members alike will delight in the variety and excitement of these great community events. It's an open invitation so enjoy the fun!

Revised Notice of Impact re: Route 27 closing

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From NJ Department of Transportation -- Revised Notice of Impact:


The detour route for Route 27 NB has been modified


Work:  Closure of the Bridge is required due to issues with the adjacent construction. 

Location:  Route 27 / NB & SB / MP 22.89 to 23.07

Municipality/County:  Metuchen Borough / Middlesex County


Impacts:  Route 27 will be closed at the bridge with all traffic detoured. The bridge is expected to remain closed for six (6) months. Detours - Cars on Route 27 SB will be detoured to James Street to Grove Street and returning to Route 27. Cars on Route 27 NB will be detoured to Grove Street to Amboy Avenue to Route 1 NB to Parsonage Road and returning to Route 27.


Trucks on Route 27 SB will be detoured to Route 35 SB to Route 1 SB to Route 287 NB and returning to Route 27. Trucks on Route 27 NB will be detoured to Route 287 SB to Route 1 NB to Route 35 NB and returning to Route 27.


Start Date:  Monday, April 26, 2010

DOT advises that Route 27 will be closed in both directions at the Port Reading Railroad bridge between Grove Ave. and Parsonage Rd. beginning Monday, April 26 at 9 AM. The closure will last for approximately six months. NJ DOT is in the process of installing signs and barricades. Traffic disruptions will cause delays and motorists should avoid the area. All motorists including emergency services should plan alternate routes.

Happy Earth Day! Celebrate with the EWA in Edison Today

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999661-092.jpgIn honor of the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, Edison Wetlands Association (EWA), the Township of Edison, and WildNewJersey.tv are hosting a ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony and tree planting to mark the opening of the Raritan Riverfront Walkway to the public.  This trail will offer extended public access to Edison's seven miles of Raritan Riverfront for the first time in history.  The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 12 PM at the Edison Boat Basin, located at the end of Meadow Road in Edison.

EWA Executive Director Robert Spiegel will join Edison Mayor Antonia Ricigliano in commemorating the walkway trail, constructed with the assistance of EWA and Conservation Resources, Inc.  A ceremonial tree-planting will follow the press conference.  EWA first conceived the vision for this walkway in 2002, and has worked with CRI and Edison Township in recent years to fund, plan, and begin construction on the project.  The walkway, nearly a half mile long, includes a gazebo, interpretive signs, a native butterfly garden, and birding areas.  Bald eagles, osprey, and yellow-crowned night-heron are regularly spotted along the river here.

Results of Election In - Budget Passes


The Board of Education/Budget Election for April 20, 2010, showed a large percentage of voters supporting the now-approved budget for the district for the next year:

YES - 1375
NO - 899

At final count, the four candidates for the three available positions on the Board of Education finished as follows:
Small - 1356
Lifton - 1282                                                                                                                Devries - 1256
Jaques - 1118

Rose de Vries Answers Our 3 Questions for Board of Ed Candidates

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1)  Do you think that the committee which chose the new principal for  the HS took into consideration the comments and suggestions the  community extended the administration during the superintendent's  Forums?  Were you happy with the process?

The administration and the Board of Education utilized community suggestions in the process.  The advertisement that was placed for the High School Principal position included many of the suggestions raised by the superintendent's forum and the on-line survey.

A portfolio was recommended as part of the interview process.  All of the final three candidates that the Board of Education interviewed presented a portfolio for assessment.
Many of the elements listed in the advertisement were included in the candidate's portfolio.
The portfolios were available for assessment by all three committees that took part in the interview.

The first committee was made up of teachers, school building principals, central office administrators and the Superintendent. The second committee consisted of subject area supervisors, central office administrators along with the Superintendent; and, the third committee was comprised of Board of Education members, the Director of Curriculum as well as the Superintendent. The portfolios of the final three applicants were presented to the Board of Education prior to the candidate interviews. During the Board of Education's interview with the final three candidates, their portfolios were taken into consideration along with the community's suggestions on what it was looking for in a high school principal.

Jim Jaques Answers Our 3 Questions for Board of Ed Candidates

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1)  Do you think that the committee which chose the new principal for the HS took into consideration the comments and suggestions the community extended the administration during the superintendent's Forums?  Were you happy with the process?

First, I would like to congratulate Bruce Peragallo on being named the new principal at Metuchen High School. I've had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Peragallo a few times this year, both socially and through CQE. I'm happy with the decision, and I think he will be a good leader for the high school. As for the process by which Mr. Peragallo was selected, Ms. Sinatra assured the community that our suggestions and concerns were accounted for in developing the job description and the selection process. In particular, the public comments from the Superintendent's Forum and the online survey indicated a strong preference for a new principal with a strong focus on academics and proven leadership capabilities. These qualities were a focus in the selection process, so I think it is fair to say that the public's interests were considered with respect to the selection criteria. Another community preference was that the search be national in scope, so that the best candidates could be identified regardless of location. Ms. Sinatra reported that she placed job advertisements in several nationally-recognized industry websites, places where potential applicants would know to look for open positions.

One area in which I would like to have seen some changes in the process is community involvement. The process would have been aided, in perception and in substance, if there had been at least one community volunteer serving on the selection committee. I also would have strongly preferred that the Board be involved earlier in the process, as opposed to interviewing only the three finalists. The Board is the community's elected voice in the educational system, and I believe it would have been appropriate for them to have represented the community's interests during the entire selection process.

That said, I think that Ms. Sinatra did a good job of keeping the public informed, at regular Board of Education meetings, of the progress made by the selection committee leading up to Mr. Peragallo's nomination. So, I do have some concerns with the hiring process, but I believe the committee made a good choice in Mr. Peragallo, and I welcome the opportunity to work with him so that the high school makes progress under his leadership.

Ben Small Answers Our 3 Questions for Board of Ed Candidates

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1)  Do you think that the committee which chose the new principal for the HS took into consideration the comments and suggestions the community extended the administration during the superintendent's Forums?  Were you happy with the process?

Yes.  All (3) of the District's search committees incorporated the comments and suggestions from the public received at the (2) superintendent's forums and the on-line surveys for those members of the community that were unable to attend the forums in person.  The following link to the Metuchen School District website details the process, forum and survey results from the committees. 

The three committees formed were:
1)   Committee comprised of Metuchen teachers, administrators and central office administrators including the Superintendent 
2)   Committee comprised of Metuchen district administrators, supervisors and central office administrators including the Superintendent 
3)   Committee comprised of (7) Board members, Director of Curriculum and the Superintendent
I am very pleased with both the process and the outcome of our Metuchen High School Principal search.  The Superintendent involved the public from the very beginning of the process, performed a nationwide search, prepared an excellent advertisement for the position (which has subsequently been commended and used by other Districts), required a full portfolio from each applicant, had 15 of our very best faculty and administration perform paper-screenings of the applicants, using a rubric approach for consistency, performed three levels of interviews, the last level consisting of the Board, Superintendent and Director of Curriculum and had the very difficult choice of selecting one of the three, highly qualified finalists.  All of which would do a great job as our next Metuchen High School Principal.  There was unanimous consent among the Board regarding the Superintendent's recommendation.  Bruce Peragallo stood out as the best candidate of the three finalists based upon his leadership skills, proven ability as a change agent, Statewide and collegiate experience in curriculum development, vested interest as both a faculty member, resident and parent in our community and most importantly, his focus on making the Metuchen High School students, his first priority.
A CQE (Citizens for Quality Education) member and devoted reader sent us this information, which may be useful to those of you who may have had ballots returned this weekend for additional postage:

I found out that absentee ballots need $1.05 postage because of their new over-sized form.  The envelope says "extra postage needed," so my husband put on an extra stamp, but it came back on Friday.  I took his ballot to the P.O. on Saturday morning.  But I'm afraid that other people's ballots might come back on Monday for additional postage and may not reach New Brunswick by 3 PM on 4/20.

. . . [A]  CQE representative is going down to New Brunswick as usual on Election Day leaving Metuchen at noon to hand deliver any ballots that haven't made it down there yet.  If anyone wants their ballot delivered, they can put it in the mail slot at 202 Dellwood Road before noon on Tuesday.

Thanks again! Don't forget to take this into consideration--every vote counts! Polls are open from 2-9PM on Tuesday at all voting stations in the district. Make your voice heard!

Clothing Drive on Election Day Sponsored by Campbell/Moss PTO

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Don't know what to do with the stuff leftover from your tag sale today? Take it to Campbell School on voting day--wearable used clothing, shoes, belts, handbags, linens, stuffed toys and hard toys are all being collected on Tuesday, April 20 from 3-7PM in the Campbell School auditorium. Support your local school and finish the last of your spring cleaning and vote . . . all at the same time! Who said you weren't a master multitasker??

Townwide Garage Sale On

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From the Metuchen Chamber of Commerce website:

The bridge is still open to cars but trucks over 10 tons will be sent to Route 1 instead so watch out for extra traffic this weekend!

EWA Holds Earth Day Clothing Drive at Woodbridge Mall Saturday

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Edison Wetlands Association (EWA), Re-Purpose New Jersey and Bayshore Recycling Corp. are hosting the first annual Earth Day Clothing Drive at Woodbridge Mall collecting and recycling clothing, shoes and other textiles.  A media event kicking off the clothing drive will be held on Friday, April 16th at 11 AM near the Applebee's entrance of Woodbridge Mall, located at 250 Woodbridge Center Drive in Woodbridge, New Jersey.
From Stay Connected:

Stay Connected Charities Corp. (Sc3) was established in 2009 as a non-profit organization to collect and recycle electronic waste in the New York metro area.  Rich Menziuso, a local resident in town, helped establish bring his nephew's vision come to life.  Peter Pedulla, a high school student of Xavier H.S. in Manhattan, first came up with the idea when visiting Metuchen after a long train ride to see his uncle in town and he journalized in his notebook.  "Manhattan is about buildings but Metuchen is about trees; and Edison's invention connects these two cities.  I look around and I see electronic devices becoming the NY metro areas next biggest problem.  What can I do to help make a difference and stay connected?"

Please join us on the lawn of 125 Amboy on Saturday, April 17th.  We look forward to collecting your unwanted electronics - toys, phones, computers, TVs. etc.  Sc3 is also in desperate need for a mini van.  All profits on resale of these donated goods goes to charities in the local community.
Sc3 is application stages for its 301 (c), so any donation will be tax deductible once the application is accepted by the IRS.
Metuchen-based Kyo Morishima Photography, a studio specializing in documentary wedding and portrait photography, will exhibit at the historic Nassau Inn's annual Bridal Show on Sunday, April 18, from 1:00-3:30 pm.

Kyo Morishima Photography will be donating seven free engagement sessions with matted portrait prints to gift baskets that will be awarded at the end of the show. They will also unveil a special offer for every attendee at the show. Admission to the show is complimentary; more information is available at www.nassauinn.com.

Kyo Morishima Photography is a husband-and-wife team, known for their stylish, friendly approach. Kyo combines nine years of professional experience with a background in fine art; his wife, Janna, worked in publishing before joining him to handle product and graphic design. In addition to weddings, Kyo Morishima Photography shoots corporate events, bar and bat mitzvahs, and other celebrations, as well as specializing in on-location children's and family portraits.

For more information, visit www.kyomorishima.com. To schedule an appointment, call 917-250-6202 or email janna@kyomorishima.com.
Thumbnail image for bruceperagallo.jpg
Bruce Peragallo has made education his career for the last 31 years. It was announced last night at the Board of Education meeting that, after an exhaustive search, the acting principal of Metuchen High School will, as of next year, be the sitting principal of MHS. A longtime Metuchen resident, he is also an active member of the Metuchen Recreation Commission.

He had taught Health and Physical Education for 26 years in various school districts in New Jersey at many grade levels. Bruce was a K-12 Supervisor of Health and Physical Education for four years in the West Orange School District, West Orange.

If you want to know who the new principal of the Metuchen High School is, you will have to attend the Board of Education meeting this evening. Yesterday, the Board of Education announced that the name of the new Metuchen High School principal will be released during the public portion of tonight's Board of Education meeting.  (Note: Even though the Board of Education's meeting calendar labels tonight's meeting CLOSED, that is only for part of the meeting.  There will be a segment open to the public, that's when the announcement will be made.)  The meeting will not be broadcast live for an unnamed reason; it will be aired at a later date.

Who is the person who will take the helm of the most divisive element of our school district during these difficult financial times? Tonight's meeting will be very important given both this announcement and the completion of the important budget considerations that have to be voted upon and confirmed before next week's Board of Education election takes place.

Hopefully the new principal will be available to discuss plans for the future shortly. We look forward to hearing this new member of the adminstration's views on how to make the best possible situation out of the many restrictions placed on the district at this time.

April 24th is Earth Day in Metuchen -- Volunteers Needed

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From the Metuchen Recreation Commission, Metuchen Environmental Commission and the Metuchen Public Works Department:

The Metuchen Recreation Commission, Metuchen Environmental Commission and the Metuchen Public Works Department will be celebrating Earth Day on Saturday, April 24th at 9:00am.  

We will be meeting at the Metuchen Senior Center, Center Street at 9:00am to pickup our work assignments.  We will be cleaning up various park areas in Metuchen.  Volunteers will be served continental breakfast and lunch.  Bring your work gloves and rakes.

FEMA Accepting Applications for Storm Damage Repairs NOW

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From the Office of Emergency Management, Metuchen: 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of New Jersey to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas struck by severe storms and flooding beginning on March 12, 2010, and continuing. Residents of Metuchen may qualify for assistance. Go to  http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov  or call (800) 621-3362 (FEMA) to apply or for additional information. 

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's major disaster declaration issued for New Jersey.

From Alisa Schlief and Bern Bransfield from Friends of the Metuchen Library:

National Library Week begins Sunday, April 11, and will be celebrated with an Open House from 1-5 PM. At 1:30 the new teen corner will be dedicated, and, at 2PM, author Micol Ostow will hold a reading in the community room. During LIbrary week, a winter scene of the Metuchen Library, painted by local artist Edward Wetzel, will be presented. Diane and Richard Wenk, and Betty Buzzi commissioned the painting, in memory of their dear friend, Rosemary Crowley. Rosemary was an active member of the Friends. The Friends of the Metuchen Library, a 501(c)(3) and New Jersey Non-Profit Corporation, continues a long history of service to the Metuchen Public LIbrary. Each year, the Friends make an unrestricted financial donation to the Library.
from director Roman Polanski and starring Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, and Olivia Williams
opens tonight at The Forum.  Check out the trailer:

Showtimes are Friday - 7:00PM & 9 :15PM, Saturday - 1:00PM & 3:15PM, Sunday - 4:30PM & 7:00PM.  All seats $8.  For more info call 732.548.5600
or visit The Forum's website.

The Raconteur Presents Live Music Tonight!

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Tonight, Friday, April 9 at 8:00PM The Raconteur presents QTET.

QTET is jazz-based but reflects the musical diversity (Funk, Afrocuban, Postbop, Swing, Big Band, Electronica) of its co-leaders, Ware & Kaplan. Steely Dan vibraphonist Bill Ware was a founding member of the ground-breaking acid jazz group the Groove Collective and the jazz/theater group the Jazz Passengers, which also featured Tom Waits guitarist Marc Ribot and was frequently fronted by ex-Blondie singer Debbie Harry. Saxophonist Mike Kaplan currently leads his 9 piece horn-proud jazz unit the Mike Kaplan Nonet, and has performed with the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Chico Mendoza Latin Jazz Dream Band. Kaplan has had original arrangements/compositions performed/recorded by the Composers Big Band, Juan Oliva y sus Progressiva, and Orquesta Royal. Also with bassist Ralph Hamperian and drummer Lou Petto. FREE. Comp wine.

How did the Candidates Do?

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If you attended the MEET THE CANDIDATES NIGHT or watched it on METV last night, what did you think of the candidates' responses to the community's questions? Do you think that they offered solutions that were viable for this economy and Metuchen's own needs? Did it help you decide who to vote for? Sign on and let us know what you thought--after all, the elected will be the voice of our school district for the next few years, during some of the most trying economic times we've had in New Jersey. Do you feel like they're walking resolutely into the future or trying to hang on to the past?

MEET THE CANDIDATES NIGHT should be available to watch via METV's Video-on-Demand service shortly.

Four candidates, all of whom have ads and link-thrus you may explore on this site, are running for three available spots in the Board of Elections campaign for 2010, culminating in April 20th's Election Day. Meet the Candidates themselves tonight at Metuchen High School at 7 PM in a panel forum sponsored by the Metuchen Parent-Teacher Council. The event will be aired live on METV as well.

Here is a quick update on the background of the candidates, two incumbents and two newcomers, in alphabetical order--their links are highlighted so that you can access their backgrounds and stands on the issues in their own words:

James. J. Jaques: A research physicist with a young family in Metuchen; President of CQE, Citizens for Quality Education

Jonathan Lifton: Business owner & President of New York Electrical Wholesalers Association, with a young family in Metuchen

Rosemary "Rose de Vries" Schifano:  Proprietor of C.A.P.S. (College Advising for Parents and Students), put two children through Metuchen Public School System; presently on the Board of Education

Benjamin J. Small: CPA, Corporate Controller with a young family in Metuchen; presently on the Board of Education

If you are interested in submitting questions for the Candidates night, you must attend the event and submit them prior to the beginning of the discussion. Plase click through on the above links or on the links in each ad so as to learn more about each candidate and their stands on the issues at hand in this time of financial crisis.

New Exhibit by Local Artists Opens at Rotunda April 6th

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The Metuchen Cultural Arts Commission is proud to present a shared exhibit featuring Kim Adlerman and Robert Stetz. The exhibit will be on display from April 6th - June 30th, with an artist's reception taking place at the gallery Friday, April 9th, from 7:00 - 9:00 PM.  Admission is free.  For more information, contact the Metuchen Cultural Arts Commission, 500 Main Street, Metuchen, NJ (732-632-8540).
For information on the artists, keep reading!

Marqus Blakely wins college slam dunk contest

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Metuchen High School alumnus Marqus Blakely wins the State Farm College Slam Contest.  Check out one of his dunks from the event.

Shred it! April 17th at Edgar Middle School

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If you have stuff you want gone, papers that are out of date,  old phone books and old love letters you should have ditched in high school, you need to get out of your nook, check out the SHRED IT event at Edgar Middle School on April 17th. It's a great way to recycle during this Earth Day season!

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