May 2010 Archives

Happy Memorial Day (Metuchen 1948)



Photo thanks to the Metuchen-Edison Historical Society.  Click to enlarge

The 2nd annual Lakeview 5K will be held on Saturday, June 5, 2010. The race benefits the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities, which provides comprehensive services to more than 1,000 infants, children, and adults with disabilities throughout the state of New Jersey. The Lakeview 5K is a USATF certified course and sanctioned race.

Saturday, June 5, 2010
Lakeview School, Roosevelt Park- 10 Oak Drive, Edison
8:00AM T-shirt and race number pick-up, and race day registration
9:30AM 5K and Family Fun Walk, Stroll or Roll start

-5K Run/walk fees: $20- pre-register by May 27; $30- after May 27 until race day
USATF member discount: $18- pre-register by May 27; $28 after May 27 until race day
-Family Fun Walk, Stroll or Roll fees: $10 pre-register by May 27; $15 after May 27 until race day. Register online at or print and mail in completed forms to NJID, c/o Lakeview 5K, 10 Oak Drive, Edison, NJ 08837. Make check payable to NJID.

Amenitites include: Commemorative T-shirt, Finish line reception, Raffles, Refreshments, and Awards!
For more information, contact the Special Events Office at 732-549-6187, ext 539

MHS Alumni Day Sponsored by CQE Brings Generations Together

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On Tuesday May 25, 2010, CQE held its 4th annual Alumni College Day. Over 30 graduates from the Metuchen High School Classes of 2008 and 2009 returned to represent their colleges, to speak about their experiences, and to offer advice to their former schoolmates. Four presentations, one to each high school grade, featured a different perspective on how students can prepare themselves for that next steps beyond MHS.

The freshman learned how forming good study habits today would be helpful later on, as well as how to begin thinking about the type of college they'd like to attend in terms of size, location, and offerings. Sophomores and juniors heard sound advice on admissions, from taking SATs to doing community service work, to the importance of visiting schools before applying to them. Some alumni spoke of the benefits of beginning the college application, and perhaps even finishing it, over the summer before senior year. The senior session focused on college life: making friends, joining clubs, reaching out to professors during their office hours, understanding the consequences of underage drinking, and taking responsibility for the everyday details of eating, getting enough sleep, staying healthy and living on a budget. Each session allowed for ample time for questions from the audience.


Buying For Bern June 5th to Benefit Local Resident

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Please join us for a vendor fundraiser, "Buying for Bern," on Saturday, June 5th from 10 am to 5 pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Edison.  This event is in memory of Metuchen resident Bernadette Tardio, who lost her battle with Neurofibromatosis at the age of 41 last week.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the Rainbow Academy Foundation, who will assist Bernadette's family with final costs, and use any additional funds for other local families in need.  Vendors scheduled to participate include Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, Southern Living, Longaberger, Dove Chocolate, CJ Gold Buyers, Tupperware, Stella & Dot jewelry, Avon, gourmet food and more.  The Hall is located at 24 Patrick Street (behind Office Depot off Route 1).  Please stop by and help make a difference.  For more information, please contact or call 732.754.1905.
During the Summer of 2010, the Young Adult Department of the Metuchen Public Library will offer two Community Service Programs for Metuchen residents who will be entering grades 8-12:

BOOK FRIENDS - The Library will pair participants up with a beginner reader. This program is for the mature teen who would enjoy spending time each week with a 1st or 2nd grader at the Library in a supervised program with varied and fun activities included. Training is mandatory and takes place on Tuesday, July 6 at 10:45 until noon. Participants will meet with the young readers on Tuesdays, July 13, 20, and 27 in the mornings.
Four St. Francis fourth graders again won "Best of the Best" in the Celebrate NJ Essay contest. (Celebrate NJ Photos 2010) Of 6,000 entrants statewide, 200 were selected by judges at an awards ceremony on May 4th at Raritan Valley Community College.   Celebrate New Jersey is a program that invites students to explore the places, people, events and resources that make New Jersey a wonderful state. This project was part of an on-line writing program at St. Francis Cathedral School where 4th graders learn to compose written text on the computer in all subjects as part of an initiative to include 21st Century skills in the curriculum. As a reward for their achievement, the CelebrateNJ! program is treating their classes to a night at Patriots Stadium in June.
This weekend The Forum's Stars On Stage Teen Program


Performed by The Forum Theatre's Stars on Stage
Friday May 21st at 7PM
Saturday May 22nd 2pm & 7pm
Sunday May 23rd 3pm

Tickets can be online at
All seats $12

The Raconteur Presents

8 PM, Sat. May 22
2010 OSCAR Winning Director
Introducing/Screening MUSIC BY PRUDENCE
Followed by a Q&A with Williams and a concert by PRUDENCE!

Roger Ross Williams, the first African American filmmaker to win the Academy Award, introduces and screens the film for which he won the Oscar. "Music by Prudence" follows Prudence Mahena, a severely disabled Zimbabwean woman born into extreme poverty and believed to be the product of witchcraft, who transcends hatred and superstition to form an Afro-fusion band called Liyan, in which all eight members are disabled. The screening will be followed by an onstage interview btwn News 12's John Bathke and Williams, an audience Q&A, and a concert by Prudence herself! who's in from Zimbabwe for a slew of interviews with Williams (O Magazine, CNN, NPR, Gail King Show, appearances on The View and Oprah pending, but likely) and the HBO premiere of the film. To see the trailer, click above. 

THE REFECTORY (adj. to the First Presbyterian Church)
270 Woodbridge Ave, Metuchen, NJ 08840. 

Admission: $20. To buy a ticket online, click HERE. Or pop by the shop.

On April 30th, the Metuchen Shade Tree Commission and Mrs. Pata's 4th grade class planted two trees on the grounds of Campbell Elementary School. The maintenance team at Campbell School dug holes to our specifications and the kids backfilled, tamped, watered and mulched the plants! George Fromm, chair of the commission, helped prepare the holes for planting.


From the Metuchen Cultural Arts Commission:

Come on down to the Old Franklin School in Metuchen on Friday, May 21st for the final coffeehouse of the season.  The Metuchen Cultural Arts Commission is proud to present Steve "fiddleboy" Miller, a multi-instrument musician who draws songs from Irish, old time country and Americana traditions.  His own songs range from slice of life stories to love gone wrong to the absurd.  You may know him from his days as the singer/guitarist for the cult classic power pop band "Ambulance".  He also appears with the Irish Pub band "Paddy and the Pale Boys" and as the fiddler/accordionist with the Cajun/Zydeco band "Da Roux".  Joining Stevie will be Martin O'Connor, singer/bassist for the Pale Boys.  You can check out his music at and
The evening begins at 8:00pm on May 21st at the Old Franklin School located at 491 Middlesex Avenue (right next to the firehouse).  Admission is five dollars which includes light refreshments.  Free parking is across the street at Borough Hall.  If you have questions please call 732-632-8502 or go to

Click here to see the flyer. 
Councilman Chris Morrisson took two of his sons and hit the road, with a lot of other people, during the Metuchen-Edison 25-mile bike ride last Saturday. He kindly sent us some reportage on this really fun tradition! Thanks so much, Chris!

From Chris Morrison:

It was a fun event with approximately 150 riders of all shapes and sizes (Free T-Shirts with your $5 registration).  People were riding everything from high-end roadbikes to Mountain bikes to beach cruisers to tandems to BMX trick bikes to Sting-Rays with banana seats and training wheels (that little girl didn't make the whole ride - just a few blocks).  The ride started at the Edison Municipal Complex at 9 a.m. and wound through much of Edison and Metuchen before looping back to the start.  There were rest stops in Edison including the Menlo Tower.  We went through Roosevelt Park and had a brief rest at Metuchen Borough Hall.  We then headed down Main and over the Graham Footbridge before heading back into Edison.
Photos courtesy of Chris Battaglia Photographytheaterexperience.jpg
The Kids' Theater Experience, a premiere acting program for kids of all ages, is the brainchild of Metuchen residents Ann Marie Mullen, an experienced actress and theater professional, and Beth Lucas, a musician and music educator. As mothers and as cultured citizens, they recognized the need in town for a school solely dedicated to the art of acting as a means of self-expression and a self-esteem builder for young children. Metuchen Matters caught up with them to find out how their first season went and what their plans for the future are, including their camps made possible through the Metuchen Recreation Commission this summer.
What is the philosophy behind THE KIDS THEATER EXPERIENCE? What separates TKTE from other "acting" programs?
TKTE was created to offer kids an opportunity to learn the craft of 'acting' as a school year enrichment program here in Metuchen. We wanted the program to introduce the joys of theater to children who may or may not have experience in performing "straight" acting. I wanted to share the extensive formal training and professional "live stage" experience that I have had in a program designed specifically for children. In our classes, we get to know each student as an individual and "cast" them in scenes and/or monologues that feature them as performers. We strive to offer an environment that allows the students to shine as individuals. In addition, the students learn to take and follow direction and work cooperatively with their peers.

junebugbanner.jpgThe Junebug Arts Festival, Metuchen's premier event in the month of June, has announced two very special art contests which are sponsord by two of our mainstay Main Street eateries, Dick's Dock and Alessio's. Dick's is called SOMETHING FISHY and Alessio's is ITALIAN DREAMS. Yes, you can imagine what they are looking for but, Artists, heed the call and check out this link for further information. Only artists 18 years and older are eligible to compete in these contests.

The Forum continues its run of great art house films

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This weekend, The Forum Theatre continues its run of Greenberg from Writer/Director Noah Baumbach (Kicking and Screaming, The Squid and the Whale) and starring Ben Stiller (There's Something About Mary, The Royal Tenenbaums).  For a review click here.  For show times click here.  For the trailer scroll down.

Metuchen Education Foundation Fundraiser at Hailey's

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Did you know that through the contributions of individuals and businesses in Metuchen, the Metuchen Education Foundation (MEF) has distributed over $250,000 in grants to Metuchen public school teachers since 2000? Smart boards, virtual field trips, cultural arts presentations--all are results of the ongoing efforts of MEF to enrich and broaden the scholastic experience for Metuchen's kids.

On Friday, May 14, at Hailey's Pub, a silent auction will take place, sponsored by the MEF. For a $20 admission fee, you will get hors d'ouevres and a complimentary drink and enjoy the company of friends and neighbors while you celebrate  and contribute to the MEF's dedication to our district and its kids. Great gifts like Jets Tickets and  two one-week beach house vacation stays are being auctioned off so you won't want to miss this!

RSVP (not required, but appreciated) to

Edible Garden Speaker at BIL at May 12th Garden Club Mtg

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Want to learn how to start a school or community vegetable garden? Join the effort to beautify and enrich your community with edible gardens! Learn how to start garden projects at schools, libraries, and other places in your town. Hear a presentation and join us for snacks and conversation!

Time: Wednesday, May 12, 7pm-9pm

Where:  Old Franklin School, 491 Middlesex Avenue, Metuchen, NJ

Please RSVP at or call Jirapon at 732-318-4020

Sponsored by: Edible Gardens Project (

Great Egret Spotted at Tommy's Pond on Mother's Day

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On Sunday, Metuchen resident (and Councilman) Chris Morrison spotted what looked to be a Great Egret or Great White Egret at Tommy's Pond.  Quite a rare sight for this area.  Luckily he was able to snap a few great shots of the bird.  You can check them out in the slideshow below.  Thanks, Councilman Morrison, for these fantastic Mother's Day shots!

Saturday night Metuchen will have the distinct honor of welcoming both an Oscar-winning director and her film to the Forum, preceded by a cocktail party at the Raconteur which she will also attend.  Kim Nagy of Wild River Review recently did an interview with Pamela Tanner-Boll and we reprint some of it here:
WRR: Was your mother an artist? 
Tanner-Boll: Well, she didn't think so. I think she was like a lot of mothers from her generation. She was always looking out for our talents.  The dark side was that she pushed us pretty hard. When she got to be older, I found out that she had been taking drawing classes in a local community class. She became head of the Art's Center and did fundraising. So she never gave herself full permission but she was always involved. 
My mother was a stay-at-home mother. I have two sisters and one brother. But I must say she was extremely involved on a civic and volunteer level. She actually became mayor in the 80's!
WRR: In your director's statement, you state your admiration for the work of creative women like Virginia Woolf, Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath--but you also say that their lives scared you. Does creativity take us to a place that is a little bit dangerous--for both men and women?
Tanner Boll: Here's the thing. I think that most people who pursue the arts do so out of a need. I can't remember who said it, but "art is the attempt to solve a problem." A lot of people turn to expression to fulfill this need. Perhaps in the best of all worlds you find that you are not alone in that problem. You might be saying things that a lot of people actually feel. Yet, when you voice them you are making yourself vulnerable to attack.  That's what an artist must do.
To continue reading the article, click below.

header.jpg"Who Does She Think She Is?" is a look into the lives of four women artists--who are also dedicated mothers. Their personal narratives form the basis of a perspective that every working mother can understand--the pull between work and home is a difficult and often painful balancing act. You don't have to be an 'artist,' per se, to get the gist of Boll's undertaking--the film delivers an emotional wallop when you see the ways in which women, particularly mothers, are expected to push and pull amazing loads in order to keep the lives of their families running smoothly, while trying to attest to the pull of the "muse." It's a perfect paen to mothers everywhere, and this is not lost on the sponsors of the program, given that it runs Mother's' Day Weekend.

I loved this film and I think that you will, too. And it's not just for overworked mothers--the focus on the pull of work and family is a topic which contemporary dads, so much more involved in their lives of their families than ever before, can understand, too. I believe that Boll has just started mining what is a potentially endless digging project about what 'parenting' means--we all define it with our own version of sacrifice and selflessness. These women have not drawn any lines and are taking it all on, some with dire consequeneces.

Junebug Fest Needs Volunteers for June programs!

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If you or anyone you know loves the Junebug festival and can volunteer their time, look here and find out how you can help! Volunteers are needed NOW!
On Tuesday, June 22nd, join the Friends of the Metuchen Public Library on a bus trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see an exhibit of the paintings of Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The exhibit is titled "Late Renoir," paintings from Renoir's most "fertile and innovative" period of work.  For more on the exhibit click here.

The cost is is $45/person for seniors (65+) and $47/person for others.  This fee includes the bus trip, museum entrance fee, audio tour and gratuity for the driver.  Please make checks payable to "Friends of the Metuchen Library."  We can only accept payment by check.  Drop off your check at the Circulation Desk of the Metuchen Public Library by no later than June 4th.  Unfortunately, there are no refunds, unless there is a waiting list.

For more information click here, call 732-632-8526, or email

The Raconteur & The Forum Present Academy Award Winning Filmmaker 
Introducing & Screening WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS?
8 PM, Sat. May 8, Screening at The Forum Theater (314 Main Street, Metuchen, NJ)
A woman still has to choose between what she loves and who she loves. What if she didn't?Georgia O'Keefe. Edith Wharton. Janis Joplin. Emily Dickinson. Amelia Earhart. None of these women had children. Who Does She Think She Is?, the new documentary by Oscar winning filmmaker Pamela Boll (Born into Brothels), explores the competing demands of muse and mothering and the struggle to make art while nurturing life. Followed by a Q&A with Ms. Boll and video updates of the five mother/artists in the film.  General Admission: $15 (tickets on sale @ The Raconteur; on sale at The Forum day of). Note: Again, screening is at The Forum NOT The Raconteur.
6:30 - 7:30 PM 
Join Oscar winner Pam Boll @ The Raconteur (431 Main Street, Metuchen, NJ) for some complimentary vino and up-close conversation before the movie. The reception is FREE! for Raconteur Society Members. $10 suggested donation for non-members. Payable at the door. Note: The theater is an easy four block walk from the shop.
By attending the above event, you'll not only see an important film and meet an Oscar winning filmmaker, you'll help to sustain a year of FREE events at The Raconteur and the continuance of art house movies at The Forum.

Recall on Childrens Medications from Johnson & Johnson

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FYI, Parents! Check out this New York Times article and subsequent link to the McNeill site where the recalled products are listed. Supposedly, these particular items contain too much of the concentrated formula for each medication--giving your child the amount specified on the label will result in their taking too great an amount of the product.

New Photos on Site, Thanks to Andy Tytla

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Andy Tytla is a multi-talented friend of Metuchen Matters and sent us the beautiful banner and footer photographs you see on the site. Check out Andy's ad to the right -- he's a super-experienced marketing and internet director who can help you make your website work to the best of its ability! Thanks, Andy, for the photos--we look forward to seasonal depictions of Metuchen from your lenses!

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