December 2010 Archives

Happy New Year!

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newyears.jpgWhether you are spending the day at Tommy's Pond sledding, hitting the Hailey's Irish New Year's celebration (starting at 8:30), catching Nora's Will at the Forum at 7:30 or waiting until midnight to ring in the new year with fireworks downtown, every Metuchenite can find their own way to get rid of 2010 and bring in 2011 with hope and promise. Happy New Year's, Metuchen! 

Thanks for sticking with us this year--we have some surprises up our sleeves for 2011. We look forward to bringing you all the excitement that's bound to be around the corner in the next year!

What Does Your Street Look Like? Snow Plow Update

This is the only time I actually enjoy living on a main thoroughfare in town--Grove Avenue has been very clear for the last few days. However, we have been getting comments that other streets, like High Street, are a big mess. What does your street look like? Send us pictures, if you can, or at least send information about how the plowing situation has gone in your neighborhood. Public Works is closed tomorrow due to the holiday so make sure that you call them today if you are having difficulty driving down your street (they can be accessed in our community listings to the right).

Blizzard Aftermath in Metuchen -- Notices

chris2.jpgWith the 18 inches of snow we got over the last 24 hours, Metuchen is pretty much closed down, except for snowplows roaming the streets. All municipal offices are closed today except for the most essential (aka plowing) and the Library and Senior Center are closed as well. The What's the Scoop blood drive has been rescheduled until Thursday from 2-8PM.

The snow is lovely, you have to admit, and Councilman Christopher Morrisson and his family sent us some lovely snapshots of Tommy's Pond and beyond to mark the occasion. Although the blizzard warning is over, the high winds are causing serious snowdrifts so enjoy the chance to stay home, hang out and enjoy a little extra holiday togetherness. Send us your snowstorm stories!


Merry Christmas to All!

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The Borough of Metuchen is pleased to announce its plans for New Year's Eve.  Thanks to the generosity of Metuchen Savings Bank, a proud member of the Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce, the Borough will once again light up the sky with a New Year's Eve Fireworks Extravaganza set to go off at midnight in the Pearl Street Parking lot on Friday,December 31.

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Weekend Starts January 16

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The Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce, YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge, & South Amboy, New Hope Baptist Church and Second Baptist Church have joined together to offer an opportunity for the community to unite in a "Weekend of Celebration" to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  This year's theme is "The New Birth of Dreamers....Come Dream With Us".

The annual community celebration will begin on Sunday, January 16th, at 3:30 pm, at New Hope Baptist Church located at 45 Hampton St. in Metuchen.    The service will include choir selections, youth recitations, remarks and reflections from local clergy and other special guests.     A free will offering will be collected to benefit the MLK High School Senior Scholarship program.  Light refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the program.  For more information about Sunday's event, contact New Hope Baptist Church at 732-549-8941.

Nora's Will Starts at Forum Christmas Eve

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This story begins when Jose finds out that Nora, the woman he'd been married to for 30 years and then divorced, has committed suicide. The rabbi explains to Jose that due to the celebration of the Passover festivities, together with a few other factors, if Nora is not buried that same day, they will have to wait almost five days to be able to carry out the burial. It turns out that before she died, Nora devised a Machiavellian plan in order for him to take care of her funeral. But she missed something, a mysterious photograph left under the bed will lead to an unexpected outcome which will remind us that sometimes the greatest love stories are hidden in the smallest places. 

Friday December 24       7:30
Saturday December 25   2pm & 7:30 
Sunday December 26     2pm

In Spanish and Hebrew with English sub-titles
Running time 92m
All seats $9  Seniors 65 and over $8

A Message From Mike Patterson & What's the Scoop

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images.jpg"As we approach this busy holiday season, give the gift gift of life. Monday, December 27th... 2pm - 8 pm.. Ice Cream and Pizza for all donors... and Hailey's PINT 4 A PINT!

Happy Holidays to all!"

Sakula Yoga Studio Needs Help for Victims of Perth Amboy Fire

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From Bonnie & Ro at Sakula Yoga:

SaKula Yoga Studio is assisting the Jewish Renaissance Family of Organizations in collecting donations to give to the 32 families who lost their homes due to a fire this past Sunday.  The families are in need of coats/clothing for men, women & children; toys/gifts for children; canned goods, personal items & toiletries.  SaKula will also accept cash donations to purchase gift cards for the families.  Any donations can be dropped off at the studio: 325 Main Street, Metuchen (rear entrance).  Most of the donations will be given to the families at a dinner this Thursday, so the timing is very short.  For further information, anyone can contact me, Bonnie at 732-672-2167 or e-mail us:


Bid Out on Crosswalk Reconstruction


A bid has been put out for the construction of a new crosswalk on Main Street. The bid went out the same day as the last accident.

The notice reads: "The scope of work includes mobilization, the removal of the existing textured crosswalk and in-pavement lighting system, removal/relocation/ installation of signs, installation of a solar-powered rapid flashing pedestrian crossing assembly, roadway excavation, site clearing, construction of concrete curb and sidewalks, clay brick pavers, drainage improvements, utility resets and general site restoration." 

A modernized crosswalk could bring better lighting to the area. Do you think that this action will make the area safer? Or should a police presence be expected to keep drivers alert?

Metuchen Senior Center Trip to Atlantic City December 28

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The Metuchen Senior Center is hosting a bus trip to Show Boat Casino in Atlantic City is scheduled for Tuesday, December 28 leaving from Metuchen First Aid Squad at Safety Place at 9AM and returning at 7:00PM. The cost is $20 per person and includes a return of $30 in slot cash. Not limited to seniors but you must be over 21 years of age to attend. Reservations must be made in person at the Metuchen Senior Center, 15 Center St.  Payment must be made at the time of reservation. Make checks payable to "Borough of Metuchen." Call 732-632-8524 for more info.

Jr Pee Wee Cheerleaders to be Feted at Borough Hall TONIGHT

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Thumbnail image for peewee cheer finals.jpgThe team that did the unthinkable and made its way to a national championship will be acknowledged and feted at Borough Hall on December 20th. If you see any of these girls out in the world, congratulate them on a job well done.

2010 Metuchen Pop Warner Jr Pee Wee Cheerleading Roster

Eve Baliff 

Catherine Buren 

Sophia Caposino 

Alexandra Ciardiello 

Catherine Coleman 

Angelique Dulin 

Koral Heinze 

Jordyn Lebovits 

Tarra Lourenco 

Molly Lunt 

Harmoni McCullum 

Tyshona McLean Van Dyke 

Madison Miller 

Yeaniris Muwakkil 

Paige Plunkett 

Lauren Thumann 

Theresa Tamasco 

Abigail Varga 

Hannah Young 

Head Coach:  Kelly Delabar 

Assistant Coaches:  Sue Heinze and Robin Varga 

High School Demonstrators:  Stephanie Kearney and Katie McPartlan 

Team Parents: Lisa Lourenco & Catarina Young 

Cheer Director:  Melanie Shapiro

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There's been an outpouring of outrage about the accident last week on Main Street when a pedestrian was hit by a car in the crosswalk near the train station. So let's do something with all those ideas, people, and get them to the proper authorities. Here's where you should address your concerns. And if any of you are worried commuters or are interested in going to a borough council meeting and presenting your concerns, contact us here at and we will help organize that effort.

Concerned Metuchenites should contact the Traffic and Transportation Advisory Committee via email:

They should also contact Traffic and Transportation liaison Councilman Pete Cammarano (as found on the Borough website)

Your efforts can make a safer Metuchen so act now!

Christmas Joy for the Community on Sunday

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The Forum Presents Mr. Ray, Naomi Watts & Sean Penn This Weekend

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The Forum Theatre New Jersey's Only Not for Profit Art House 
Specializing in Foreign and Independent Films

Starts this Friday on our screen

Naomi Watts and Sean Penn in 


Friday 7:30 Saturday 5 & 7:30 Sunday 3 & 5:30
Running time 108m

Plame's status as a CIA agent was revealed by White House officials allegedly out to discredit her husband after he wrote a 2003 New York Times op-ed piece saying that the Bush administration had manipulated intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq. As outed CIA-agent Valerie Plame and her diplomat husband Joe Wilson, Naomi Watts and Sean Penn are riveting, with the focus on their relationship, it makes for a compelling drama about two people fighting to stay together.

AND For the kids...On Saturday December 18 at 11:30 we present Mr Rays Holiday Show! General admission is $14 and can be purchased online at Just click on Mr Rays poster to order. Tickets will also be available the day of the performance. Doors open at 11am

Remember Fresh brewed Coffee, Tea and Hot Chocolate are now available at our concession stand!

Sharon Goldman and Holiday Acoustic Fun Tonight at Brewed Awakening

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From Sharon Goldman, Acoustic Night at Brewed Awakening:

It's that time of the month again...time for some great Third Thursday acoustic singer/songwriter action, courtesy of the lovely Manhattan-ite Elaine Romanelli (w/Josh Fox), as well as Metuchen's own Danny Adlerman and special guest Metuchen-ite Ben Luckman! Oh, and a couple of songs from yours truly too. Maybe a little holiday humming! Come on downtown for some terrific tunes, strong (but not too strong) coffee and sweet treats.

Pedestrian Hit in Crosswalk Almost Year After Last Accident

A Metuchen resident Lauren P. was an eyewitness to an accident last night on Main Street. About a year ago, a different commuter suffered very serious injuries when a car ran through the crosswalk, plowing him down. Here's what Lauren had to say about this recent incident:

He was crossing, I was behind him by about 50 feet, having just exited the train and he was hit by a woman who blew through the crosswalk going ~25mph. He bounced up onto her windshield, smashing it, and bounced back onto the street. Several of us called 911 and EMTs came in <2min, and when I left (as requested by EMTs) he was alert but appeared to be in shock. A passing doctor remarked that the man had probably sustained serious injuries, after just a cursory glance . . . the driver was very shaken up. 

I can't believe this keeps happening. I . . . commute on the train every day, crossing through several crosswalks to get to the station. It is terrifying to think that my neighbors in Metuchen have such blatant disregard for crosswalk laws and the pedestrians who use them.

First of all, we send our best wishes to the victim. Second, here's a question for you readers: what do you think can be done to make drivers more aware of slowing down and stopping at crosswalks for pedestrians? It is shocking to think that a law that has been a state law for some time is ignored and broken so many times, with such horrible circumstances. What do you propose can be done to make these crosswalks less dangerous for our neighbors who use them everyday?

Local Metuchen Postal Worker Acknowledged for Helping Neighbor

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Sure, we all like to think that we would help our neighbors if we sensed that they needed it but Joe Padillo really put his money where his mouth is last May when he saved his neighbor's life. This week he was feted at the post office for his valiant behavior. Check out this heartwarming story from News 12

Nice job, Joe! You're definitely on Santa's good list this year.

Martin and Son's Guys' Shopping Night Thursday

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Buddy the Therapy Dog, Metuchen's Best Friend

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Resident Steve Goldfarb brought his brave and helpful dog Buddy to our attention this week. He's a Therapy Dog, assisting people who need a little extra TLC when encountering difficult physical or emotional issues. Steve sent us this info on Buddy, who's available for visits to someone you may know who needs some 'therapy':

"Buddy XV (yes, the 15th Buddy!) is a 4 year old male who spent his first years as a Dartmouth fraternity dog. My son's fraternity has 2 or 3 dogs in residence at any one time and the oldest gets to move out and live with a graduating senior. While hesitant at first at taking Buddy in (my son lives in Manhattan and Buddy would be joining 2 cats in Metuchen), Buddy's first year in Metuchen has turned out spectacularly. Buddy loves both people and animals, even squirrels if he could ever catch one! Neighborhood children adore Buddy. Buddy has made just one TDI visit so far, to a nursing home in Monmouth County. While the patients enjoyed him immensely, Buddy told me that he'd like to be closer to his food and water.

For further information about Therapy Dogs, here is TDI's site:


Raconteur Presents Reading by Local Teen Playwright December 16th

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The Raconteur Bookshop, Main Street, Metuchen, known for its avant-garde performances, readings and visiting authors, will feature a staged reading of  "2,5-pentylsentirate," a new play written and directed by 16-year-old Metuchen resident Kayla Bashe.  The one-time, free performance will take place at The Raconteur Bookshop, 431 Main Street, Metuchen, Thursday, December 16, 2010 at  8PM.

Metuchen CSA Calls For Action Alert to Protect Food Safety Bill

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Tracey and Gideon Gelber help run the Metuchen Community Supported Agriculturegroup. They recently sent us this information regarding a food safety bill that could affect farmers' markets like theirs. A CSA is a group that buys a share of an organic independent farm and supports it by buying produce from them throughout a particular planting season.

Here's their plan:

An issue has cropped up that could use your help. There is a food safety bill already passed by the Senate and now under consideration by the
 House of Representatives that increases the regulation of agricultural
 product from large agri-business operations. The problem is that at the last
 minute the agribusiness lobby is trying to gut amendments to the bill that
 protect small famers, farmer's markets, and organizations like our CSA. If
 you could find the time this week to write to our congressional
 representatives to ask them to include the Tester-Hagen Amendment to
 Bill#S.510 (the amendment that protects family farmers) intact, it will 
really help.

Here's a link to National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition with information on how to take action.  Also, here's a link to for email addresse, or call 202-224-3121 and leave a
 message or Representative Frank Pallone, Metuchen's  congressman.

Martin and Son Jewelers is offering a Guys' Shopping NIght on Thursday, December 16th. "Now that she has made her list and checked it twice, it's your turn . . . " They will offer free gift wrapping while shoppers head off to Hailey's Harp & Pub for special "holiday cheer," with their compliments (but only if you buy something!) Sounds like a good night on Main Street--stop by anytime between 6-9 PM to take advantage of this great offer! Happy Shopping!

Project Graduation Holiday Bazaar at Moss School TODAY

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Do you need affordable and stylish gifts for friends, mothers, daughters, sisters, teachers???

Please join me tomorrow for Project Graduation Holiday Bazaar at Moss School from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm.  All of my inventory (including items from the Holiday 2010 collection) will be on sale.  Proceeds will go towards Project Graduation.

All bracelets (including Swarovski crystal) - $10 - $27
All wallets for men and women - $20 - $59
All Handbags - $40 - $80
All Hair Accessories - 75 cents - $39

There's something for everyone!

Please stop by and tell your friends

Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest This Weekend at the Forum

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Friday and Saturday 7:30; Sunday 4:30

After taking a bullet to the head, Salander is under close supervision in a hospital and is set to face trial for attempted murder on her eventual release. With the help of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his researchers at Millennium magazine, Salander must prove her innocence. In doing this she plays against powerful enemies and her own past. 

Jr. Pee Wee Cheerleaders Take National Prize at Disney This Week

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From Glenn Shapiro, League President:

It was an unusually cold day in Florida but the competition was hot inside the HP Pavillion at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports. On Monday, December 6th, history was made as the Metuchen Pop Warner Jr Bulldogs captured their first ever Pop Warner National cheerleading championship with a first place finish in the Junior Pee Wee small novice division.

Until this year no team in Metuchen's history had ever qualified for the National competition. Having finished first at the Local (Raritan Valley Conference) and South and West Qualifier competitions the Metuchen girls moved on and qualified to compete in Disney by finishing 2nd at the Eastern Region Cheer finals in November. The Eastern Region is comprised of programs from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia and is known for its strength in cheerleading. As only the top two teams in each division qualify it is extremely hard to make it out of Regions and to the National competition in Orlando. At the December 6th competition the Bulldogs competed against one other team from the Eastern Region and the top 2 from each of the other seven Pop Warner Regions from around the Country. They were able to capture the first place finish by finishing above the 17 teams in their division including the Allentown Redbirds, another Eastern Region team, who had finished first above them at Regionals.

If You Missed the House Tour, Take a Look Here

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bilde.jpgThe Annual Holiday House tour sponsored by the BIL is a tradition many Metuchenites can't do without during the season. If you were doing other holiday cavorting on Sunday and missed it, check out this link for a great pictorial of all the lovely homes on the tour. 

Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis Super Success!

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325628_16909952213600.jpgHere are the results from Clare Puerzer, the head of Team Aaron's Army, for the Metuchen Jingle Bell 5K: 

WOW! We had a record-breaking number of attendees at the Jingle Bell 5K today. And Team Aaron's Army had the most team-members -- 51! Woo Hoo! And a lot of the medal-winners came from our team -- yay! If you wanted to donate, there's still time. Remember: Kids Get Arthritis, Too. Support the Arthritis Foundation.

Clink on the link to donate. Race results are here. Congratulations, everybody!

Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas At the Library December 12

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On Sunday, December 12 at 2 PM, there will be a film screening of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas at the Metuchen Public Library, 480 Middlesex Avenue. The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack features 10 ghoulishly delightful songs by composer/songwriter Danny Elfman. The stop-motion animated film is rated PG. This program is open to the public: adults, teens, and pre-teens.  Free snacks will be provided by the Friends of the Metuchen Library.  Admission is free, but it would be appreciated if you were to bring a can or box of non-perishable food for the M.C.F.O.O.D.S. emergency kitchen.

Mimi's, Metuchen's newest dining establishment, has opened their doors. On Wednesday, December 8th, representatives of the Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce will be joined by Metuchen Mayor Thomas Vahalla for an official ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening celebration welcoming Timmy & Mimi Teng, the proprietors of Mimi's.

While Mimi's may be new to Metuchen, it is certainly not new to New Jersey, where they have been turning out delicious meals at Mimi's Gourmet Place in Ocean Township for the past 12 years.  Both Timmy and Mimi are natives of Burma.  They spent several years living in Hong Kong before immigrating to the United States, eventually settling in New Jersey.  Timmy, the head chef, has over 30 years of experience in the kitchen.

While Mimi's does not have a liquor license, they do offer their dining guests the opportunity to bring their own. For your convenience they accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce gift certificates. 

Mimi's restaurant is open from Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm and on Sunday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.  For additional information call Mimi's at 848-260-0777.

After the Tree Lighting, Check out Martin & Sons Special

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Campbell School Beautification Settles in for a Long Winter

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There's a lot to be said for hard work--especially the kind where your hands get dirty. As Jirapon Raders-Chambers and Joanne Sabatino-Falkenstein can attest, hard work combined with the stalwart support of the Metuchen Garden Club, the Campbell/Moss PTO and Ms. Florence Carter, the principal of Campbell School, can turn a ho-hum landscape into the beautiful designation we now see at Talmadge and Durham Avenues.

There are annuals and perennials all along the sidewalks, built-in vegetable gardens, a courtyard fit for teachers to teach in and more. The work, completed over the last four months, is now in a period of stasis, thanks to the colder weather coming in. But their fantastic resuilts are a joy to see. Check out these pictures, from Jirapon, to really see how great it all looks, from donated plants to the edible garden being used in school projects.

Breakfast With Santa Benefits EMS December 5th

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Metuchen EMS will be hosting their Breakfast with Santa fundraiser on Sunday December 5th from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.   Bring the family down to enjoy a delicious breakfast cooked fresh and served by the volunteer members of Metuchen EMS.  Santa will be on hand to visit with the children and will have a special gift for each one!  The volunteer members of Metuchen EMS are looking forward to celebrating this holiday tradition with our friends and neighbors once again.  All proceeds benefit Metuchen EMS.

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From the Chamber of Commerce:

From October 29 through November 19, the Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce presented a crazy display of seventy-plus scarecrows to visitors along Main and New Streets.  Chamber member businesses and/or local organizations decorated and 700 people cast their votes on the Chamber of Commerce website.

Winning scarecrows were officially announced on Sunday, November 28at the Chamber's 57th Annual Winter Festival Parade, where all of the straw friends were paraded on a float through the downtown area, with the winners bearing ribbons indicating where they placed.

The top vote getter was Black Belt Institute for their "karate kid" posed doing a flying side kick with 111 votes.  The second place ribbon went to St. Francis Cathedral School for their "school girl" decked out in full uniform, back pack and all.  Taking third place was the Borough Improvement League for their "high tea hostess" who looked lovely with her earrings, pearls, fancy hat, lipstick and purse, because no respectable high tea hostess would be caught dead without her pearls and lipstick.


Willy Wonka Jr. (the musical) will be performed by the Forum Theatre's Stars on Stage students live on Stage on December 3 and 4 at 7 pm and Sunday December 5 at 2 pm for children from 1 to 100. General tickets are $14 with discounts for groups of 20 or more. To order tickets go to and click on the Willy Wonka poster.

gift.jpgColdwell Banker Residential Brokerage of Metuchen/Edison is hosting their annual Holiday Stocking Project. The project originated for the last ten holiday seasons from Burgdorff Realtors and, when the two offices merged, the project moved to the Coldwell offices, where Kathy Shanahan is coodinating the project. 

Kathy says, "We receive the names of children in need from the Middlesex County DYFS office.  We invite anyone who is interested to drop by our office at 40 Middlesex Avenue, Metuchen and help brighten a child's holiday. Make this a memorable season for the children."

Requests include educational games and toys, gift cards and warm winter coats and hats. All gift items to be brought to the office by December 17th. If you have any questions, please call Kathy at 732-309-7955.

Fencing, Anyone? Library Event December 28th

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On Tuesday, December 28 from 1 PM until 2:30 PM, the Young Adult Department of the Metuchen Public Library will present "An Introduction to Fencing." The free workshop will include demonstrations, floor exercises, and an overview of the equipment, the weapons and the rules of the sport. The hands-on workshop is open to Metuchen residents only, in grades 6-12; participants are encouraged to wear loose, comfortable clothing.  The program is conducted by Jerry Duffey, a coach from the Westfield Fencing Club; the club offers classes on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Students of Duffey, past and present, will be on hand to help in the demonstrations.

This event is paid for by the Friends of the Metuchen Library. Sign up at the Library, 480 Middlesex Avenue, or by calling 732.632.8526. For more information, write

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