January 2011 Archives

Board of Education Prepares Difficult Budget for Years ahead

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The difficulties of the U.S. economy are reflected in so many ways in our town--but perhaps none more so than the budgets of the Borough and the Board of Education. Our four-school district has a lot on its plate this year--in creating their next year's budget, they must face a variety of challenges unlike any they have seen in the last few years. Without state aid, the discussions now range to what programs must be cut, minimized or subsidized by families rather than paid for by the Borough. Sure, these are problems facing most school districts around the country--nonetheless, the budget hearings will illuminate just how hard it is to maintain quality in the face of disintegrating economic help. But Metuchen isn't going to back down--instead they are facing their difficulties straight on.

The Budget schedule is here. Next up is a discussion on, among other things, transportation. Bussing is a big issue. At last night's Campbell/Moss PTO meeting, Board member Jonathan Lifton asked that all interested citizens come to the meetings in order to air their views and make sure that the Board can take their suggestions into consideration during this important and very challenging budget preparation.

Snowy Metuchen Courtesy of the Lens of Judy Weinberg

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Snow_1-27-11_Trudy's_House_DSC01777.jpgThanks to Judy Weinberg, intrepid Metuchen photog, out in the slush and snow documenting the beautiful part of this mammoth slam from the weather gods, we receive these lovely pix. Makes me almost forget the seven times my Passat has ended up in a snowdrift in the last two days. Almost . . . thanks, Judy! Check out our Flickr slideshow here.

David E. Tutone Memorial Scholarship Applications Available Now

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From the Metuchen Chamber of Commerce:

The Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the David E. Tutrone Memorial Scholarship (sponsored in part by the Franco Manufacturing Company) to be awarded to a student who is a Metuchen High School or St. Joseph High School senior pursuing higher education in the fall.  Although GPA will be taken into consideration, the emphasis of the scholarship is on community service and volunteerism.

About David Tutrone

Dave became an 'official' member of the Metuchen community when he joined the Franco Manufacturing Company in 1985 as its Corporate Director of Human Resources, with corporate-wide responsibility for recruiting, training and development, labor and relations, fringe benefits and human resource policy administration. 

In 1996, Dave became a member of the Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.  He served as Secretary, Vice President, and Chamber President in 2000, and served on many committees throughout his dedicated years of service to the Chamber.  Dave also acted as the HR advisor on Chamber business matters.  In 2008, Dave was the recipient of the Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award.

Snow #4: Closings

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The Metuchen School District, the Board of Education, the public Library, recycling collection on the south side of town--all closed and cancelled today. Recycling on the south side will occur tomorrow instead. Please make sure you dig out your sidewalks--ugh!--and keep cars off the street if possible to facilitate the plows that will be coming through.  

Food For Thought: The Changing Face of Main Street

main street train station 1961 winter.jpg

With the closing of Alessio's, the Able Lock & Key and Century 21, Main Street is once again changing its face. In light of the difficult economic times, we ask again a simple question: what will it take to support and sustain local business in our downtown sector? What more can we do to keep more of our storefronts from shuttering? The old Metuchen Bike shop has been empty for years. The old drug store, what used to be Lucca's, the space vacated by Charming Nails--these are all viable spaces sitting quiet and empty on the main drag of our town. 

What will it take to fill these spaces again with a quality and quantity of functioning and appreciated local businesses? As we welcome and appreciate new restaurants like Mimi's and the burger place going in next door to Sushi Suzuki, we also wonder aloud: what would happen if rents on Main Street were lowered and these business spaces were ones that various companies were competing against each other to obtain?

What do you think of the changes downtown? Do you think that the town is changing for the better, that these spaces will be filled with local businesses that will outlast and outsell the former occupants? If the town approves building up on Main Street, will there be more businesses rushing in to fill those empty floors . . . or will there be even more available real estate because no one can find the right businesses and the right rents for viable establishments that will help improve the downtown Metuchen landscape?
Check out our conversation on Facebook, too!

Full Day of School Announced for Today Regardless of Snow

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The Metuchen School District has announced that there will be NO EARLY DISMISSAL today, regardless of the snow situation. However, all afternoon and evening classes and clubs are cancelled today except for ZONE, which will have no transportation. Please make pick-up arrangements according to your situation. AND BE CAREFUL OUT THERE! IT'S SLIPPERY!

Join Salta! Jump Into Spanish® at the Metuchen Public Library for a special Spanish Winter Event. Come learn how to Jump! (Salta!) into Spanish with native Spanish-speaking teachers. Children will immerse themselves in stories while picking up new vocabulary, making music with Latin American musical instruments, singing Spanish songs and playing games. Please see the schedule below for days and times:

Monday January 31st                 10:30 am    3s

Tuesday, February 1st               10:30 am    18 mos - 2 yrs

Wednesday, February 2nd          10:30 am    4s and 5s

                                                1:00 pm    4s and 5s

Please call the Metuchen Library at 732 632 8526 to register in advance for these programs.  Space is limited!

For more information about Salta! please call 732 549 7722 or visit www.saltajump.com.

Casino Night Fundraiser for Metuchen District Schools January 28th

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From your Metuchen Parent Teacher Council

MAKE SURE TO SIGN UP TODAY for the most fun and exciting fundraising event of the school year! JANUARY 28th IS ALMOST HERE!
 The 4th Annual Casino Night Schools Fundraiser takes place next Friday night from 7:30-11:30 at the Heldrich Hotel in the New Brunswick Theater District. A professional casino company recreates all the excitement of Atlantic City in beautiful surroundings for a night of games and prizes (your chips are converred into raffle tickets for fantastic prizes, including trips and lots of great gift cards!)  There is also a  50/50  raffle  and, if all $10 raffle tickets are sold, the 3 winners will receive
 $3,750, $2,250 and $1,500 respectively!

Text your friends and put together a great group night out! Please contact:
 Dawn Valovcin: valovcin@optonline.net
 Carolyn Taylor: carolyntaylor@optonline.net
 for further information.

All proceeds benefit the Metuchen Parent Teacher Council, which services all four district schools and provide much-needed funding for supplies and events to benefit all students.


The Rotunda Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of new works by mixed media artist Krista Svalbonas. On Sunday March 6th, 2010 from 2:30-3:00 the artist will be presenting her process and work in the form of an artist talk at the gallery.

Krista's works are easily recognized for their grid-like structure while working with delicate pieces of handmade paper. In this body of work Krista is using encaustic paint, pigment mixed with bees wax and resin, to meticulously combine color, shape and form with the subtle translucence of paper. Krista states that her work "mirrors a conscious and subconscious struggle of thought. Each piece begins in a very controlled fashion, meticulously combining the paper and the wax in an effort to create moments of perfection.These moments are broken by a mark, an unconscious line or gesture, seeking to visually manifest the unseen."

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9am to 9pm.The Gallery is located in Borough Hall, 500 Main St. Metuchen, NJ, 08840

Metuchen Preschool Programs: A Guide for Open House Season

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At this time of year, parents with preschool-aged children are starting the scramble of finding what they feel is the best (and often most conveniently located) nursery school program for their beginning student. Metuchen actually has a plethora of choices so to make it less complicated, we've put together a list so you don't have to! Most schools in the area are sponsoring open houses over the next couple of months so check out this directory of our area's available programs and call for a tour or open house schedules. And if you've already made these key decisions, we want to know what your recommendations and warnings are (be nice), based on your personal experiences at these institutions


Centenary Nursery School
200 Hillside Avenue
Metuchen, NJ  08840

(732) 548-5468


Children First Christian Montessori School- Inc.
10 Jersey Avenue
Metuchen, NJ  08840
(732) 635-1300


Community Nursery School
270 Woodbridge Avenue
Metuchen, NJ  08840
(732) 491-2240


Kinder Kastle Childcare Learning Center
740 Middlesex Avenue
Metuchen, NJ  08840

(732) 321-5558


Little Genius Academy of Metuchen
342 Amboy Avenue # 344
Metuchen, NJ  08840
(732) 516-1444


Metuchen Christian Academy
130 Whitman Avenue
Metuchen, NJ  08840

(732) 549-1020


Neve Shalom Nursery School
250 Grove Avenue
Metuchen, NJ  08840
(732) 548-2238


Petits Enfants Nursery-Day School

17 Oak Avenue
Metuchen, NJ  08840

(732) 548-4335


Preschool Experience
463 Main Street
Metuchen, NJ  08840
(732) 321-1494

Salta! Jump Into Spanish

446 Plainfield Road

Edison, NJ 08820

(732) 549-7722

St. Francis Cathedral Nursery School

32 Elm Street

Metuchen, NJ 08840

(732) 548-3162

The Forum Hosts 40th Anniversary Concert by Jefferson Starship

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starship.jpgFounders Paul Kantner and David Freiberg lead the Jefferson Starship on their 40th Anniversary tour. Longtime drummer Donny Baldwin, Grammy-nominated Broadway singer Cathy Richardson, lead guitarist Slick Aguilar, keyboardist Chris Smith and other special guests will belt out all the greats, including "White Rabbit," "Miracles," "Jane," "Somebody To Love," and more. Plus, EACH ticket holder WILL RECEIVE A FREE SOUNDBOARD DOWNLOAD OF THE SHOW, courtesy of Jefferson Starship - a first for any concertgoer! 
A Stagelight Electric Production.
Click here to hear how great Jefferson Starship still sounds!
Tickets are $40, $35 at the Forum Box Office or online--just click the ad to the right.

St. Luke's Presents New Arts Program for Winter Months

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St. Luke's Episcopal Church is excited to announce the 2010-2011 inaugural season of The Arts at St. Luke's (TASL), with three very different shows in November, January and February. Baby, It's Cold Outside! on Saturday, January 29, at 7 pm features songs from the American songbook. This cabaret evening, with Barbara Gurskey and friends, is their second fundraising event of the season.

Tickets to all performances are $20 each, or you can become an advance supporter of TASL's first season at one of three levels: Sponsor, $50 (one ticket to all three performances and program acknowledgement); Donor, $100 (two tickets to all three and acknowledgement); and Patron,  $250   (four tickets to all three and acknowledgement). All performances take place in Fryer Hall, 17 Oak Avenue, Metuchen. 


Metuchen Schools, Board of Ed Closed Today

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Due to winter weather conditions, all Metuchen district schools are closed, as well as the Board of Education offices. 
mlk park.jpg

Chris Morrisson sent us this speech which he made when Conor O'Mara's Martin Luther King Jr. Park was rededicated. In honor of the great man's birthday tomorrow, we reprint Chris' warm and compelling words and entreat you all to pay a visit to the Memorial, the only one of its kind in the area:

It is my great honor and privilege to speak today as part of the rededication of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Park here in Metuchen.   I would like to thank Conor O'Mara, the Boy Scouts, and the O'Mara family for making this possible.    

One phrase always comes to mind when I think of Martin Luther King, Jr. "That they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."  It is a phrase that always reminds me that we need to look deeper not only into others but into ourselves.  We need to remember there is more to each of us than the color of our skin, the spelling of our names, or the church where we bend our knees. 

Salta Presents Open House Week Beginning January 17th

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From Salta! Jump Into Spanish:

Please join Salta! Jump Into Spanish® for an Open House for our Salta Schoolhouse (for preschoolers ages 2 ½ - 4 ½ ) and KinderClass Programs (for children ages 5-6) the week of January 17th from 9:30 - 11:30 am.  While your child attends a FREE TRIAL class, you can simultaneously tour our center, meet our native-speaking instructors and learn more about our curriculum and friendly immersion technique.

Class sizes are limited to 10, so please call 732 549 7722 or email info@saltajump.com  to reserve your spot today!  www.saltajump.com

On Thursday, January 20, 2011, Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex) will hold a public hearing entitled "Coping with the Governor's Education Cuts." The hearing will give students, parents, teachers, and other members of the community the opportunity to share how the Governor's $1 billion cut to public education has impacted their lives and their schools.

"Governor Christie's cuts to New Jersey's public schools have had a devastating effect on the availability of many educational and extra-curricular programs that our students have enjoyed and benefited from for years," said Senator Buono. "I've been hearing from parents and students alike about the impact of these cuts and feel their stories are vital in order to help gain a full appreciation of the consequences these cuts have had on education."

Who:   Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono

What:  Public hearing entitled, "Coping with the Governor's Education Cuts"

When:  Thursday, January 20, 2011 from 6PM - 8:30PM

Where: Edison High School Auditorium

50 Boulevard of the Eagles

Edison, NJ 08817


Photojournalism Project Looking for Teen Photogs at Library

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The Young Adult Department of the Metuchen Public Library invites all Metuchen residents in grades 8-12 to learn more about The Photojournalism Project at the next meeting of the group on Wednesday, January 26 from 7:30 PM until 8:30 PM at the Library, 480 Middlesex Avenue. The Photojournalism Project began last summer, dedicated to documenting present-day Metuchen through photography so that in 20, 30, 40 years from now, residents in town will be able to look back at "the good old days." The photographs will become part of an archive of historical material which is kept in the Library. 

Besides photographs, the group will create slide shows and video documentaries.

The Photojournalism Project encourages participants to consider shooting houses; an interesting location at different seasons and times of day; people congregating at school, the train station, parades, fairs; people and stores downtown; school events; local sports events; everyday life in 2011; etc. 

Come to the meeting to see if you'd like to join the group. The meetings are led by Kathy Glaser, a NJ certified art teacher. All participants must have a digital camera. This program is a community service project and all participants will earn community service credit for their time. This program is paid for by the Friends of the Metuchen Library. For more information write the Young Adult Librarian at KLiss@Lmxac.org.

Narrated by Matt Damon

'Inside Job' is the first film to provide a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused...  'Inside Job' is the first film to provide a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008. 

Friday 7:30 Saturday 5:30 & 7:30 Sunday 2pm  108m

Exciting things are happening at the Forum! In addition to our movies we will be presenting concerts, comedy, theatre events and children's programming.

Fuce 5K Announces Dates for Annual Family Fun Run/Walk

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From the Fuce 5K Committee--

The date for the Third Annual Fuce 5K Family Fun Run/Walk has been set for June 18, 2011.  The Fuce 5K is an event sponsored by the Fuccile Foundation, a non-for-profit organization striving to raise money for resident families in need. 

"Last year's event exceeded our expectations.  We welcomed over 650 participants and raised $30,000 for three area families, the Almeida Family, with 8 year old Emily who has battled cancer; the McGuiness Family, with 10 year old Danny who lost his fight against Cystic Fibrosis; and the Gossiaux Family, with teenager Maggie who battles non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, " stated Michael Bradley, newly named race director for the 2011 event.  "I am looking forward to heading up the event.  We are also lucky to have long- time active Metuchen resident James Schleck joining the Fuccile Foundation and Race Committee this year."

The race will continue to be dedicated to the memory of Michael Fuccile.  Mike, 36, was murdered on his way to work on September 4, 2008 in Jersey City.  He left behind his wife of ten years, Nancy, and three children, Michael, 9, Jack, 7 and Brooke, 5.  Mike played an active role in his community and, most especially, his children's lives.   To learn more about Mike, visit the website Fuce5.com/Mike.

The race, the Fuce 5K Metuchen Family Fun Run/Walk, will be held Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 8:30 a.m.  The course will begin and end at the Pearl Street parking lot in downtown Metuchen and will wind race participants through the community.

Racers can register in advance either online at www.fuce5.com or by filling out the registration forms found at local Metuchen merchants such as Runner's High and mailing it to Fuce 5 Fund, PO Box 453, Metuchen, NJ 08840.   Families can also register race day from 7-8 a.m.  Early registrants will receive a complimentary race t-shirt.

For more information regarding the race, sponsorship opportunities or volunteering, please contact the committee at www.fuce5.com.  The race committee members are Sally Ayotte, Michael Bradley, Scott Brooks, Stacey Derector, Jay Galeota, Nancy Fuccile and James Schleck.


Additional Closings Today

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The streets are being plowed right down to the macadam and the sun is shining but there are additional school closings today--St. Francis Cathedral School and St. Joseph High School are both closed, as are the Board of Education of Metuchen and the Public LIbrary. Other municipal offices are open today but you should call first before you attempt to meet administrators. Please again make sure that your cars are off the street to faciliate plowing.

Cultural Arts + Westerhoff Offer new Photography Exhibition

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Looking for a cultural afternoon in town with your children this weekend? Check out a new Landscapes and Wildlife Photography Exhibition
 will be presented by the Metuchen Cultural Arts Commission and the Westerhoff  School of Music & Art
 beginning January 16th.

The Gallery
at the Westerhoff School of Music & Art, 5 Calvin Place,  will host the show. An opening Reception with free photo/art workshop for children will take place on January16th from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m
  The exhibition will run until January 23rd.

borohall.jpgMetuchen's public schools will be closed tomorrow, January 12th, due to the ongoing snow situation. As private school and other town closings are announced, we will list them here on the site.

The Borough has issued a snow alert, asking that all residents keep their cars off the street so that the plows can remove snow more easily throughout the night and into tomorrow. The winter weather storm watch is ongoing until tomorrow afternoon.

Be careful out there and enjoy the day off!

Kaplan Test Prep Giving Free Practice SAT/ACT Combo at Library

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On February 5 at 1 PM at the Metuchen Public Library, Kaplan Test Prep will present a free SAT/ACT Combo Practice Test. The 3.5 hour Combo Practice Test helps students decide which test is right for them. Then on Tuesday evening, February 15 at 7:30 PM at the Library, students will receive feedback that compares their performance on each of the analogous test sections of the two exams---for example, SAT math section vs. ACT math section. This is a perfect opportunity to experience both tests. 

To sign up for the Saturday, February 5 Combo test, please visit www.kaptest.com or call 1-800-KAP-TEST. The free test is open to 35 students because of space restrictions. Please register early.


Forum Stars on Stage Registering for Broadway Bound Program

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The Forum Theatre Stars On Stage program has announced its next program--Stars On Stage, Broadway Bound. 

Songs and scenes from classics such as Guys and Dolls to  contemporary musicals, Wicked  and Hairspray have been selected. Large as well as smaller numbers and scenes will be highlighted from some of the most beloved kid friendly musicals of all time!

Registration will be January 17  and 24 from 5 to 7pm. 

You can also email peter@forumtheatrearts.org if you cannot make those times and would still like to register your child. Registration online will also be available shortly.

The Forum Theatre's Stars On Stage Program, New Jersey's Premiere Theatre Training For Kids!
This message was sent by: Forum Theatre Arts Center, 314 Main Street, Metuchen, NJ 08840

MHS and Kids in Production Raise Money for Cancer Saturday Night

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The MHS High School teens are leading the charge on January 8th to raise money to help support two classmates in treatment for cancer.  The fundraiser at the high school includes local bands, candy bingo, face painting, kids crafts, balloon magic and dinner.  Ticket donations are $7.00 for young adults and $10.00 for adults ( no charge for children under 3 ).

In addition to the many teen volunteers, the event is sponsored by many of the local businesses, the MHS Administration, PTO, Metuchen families and Kids in Production. 

Kids in Production is a not for profit organization whose goal is to teach the value of community service and charity work to our next generation.  The officers and directors of this group include names of individuals who have wide recognition for their good work in Metuchen. They include:  Lori Alexander, Beatrice Moskowitz, Dawn Valocin, Amy Collins, Carolyn Taylor, Dawn Ferro and Marie Mathews.

You can get involved by attending the fundraising dinner/fun night this Saturday at the high school from 6:30pm to 10:00pm or make a contribution to:

Kids in Production

C/O Metuchen High School

400 Grove Ave.

Metuchen, NJ 08840

Attention:  Lori Alexander.

For more information please contact Lori at 732-548-2KIP, e-mail - kidsinproduction.com or visit the website http://kindsinproduction.com

Mayor Rings In New Year with Realistic View of 2011's Challenges

The first Borough Council meeting of the new year was filled with strong words and great hope for the future of Metuchen in the face of the difficult economic cirucumstances with which the borough finds itself. After the swearing-in of new Councilpersons, the Mayor's appreciative statements regarding members of the police force, fire department and public works for their recent decent acts ushered in a busy 2011. A new Council president was elected--longtime Councilperson Peter Cammarano accepted the post with gratitude and enthusiasm for the coming year.

A discussion about the Public Works' attempts to keep up with the blizzard's snow removal put the Mayor on the defensive, saying that Metuchen's response to this weather emergency was much better than most towns in our area. Councilperson Justin Manley claimed that larger cities like Jersey City couldn't get their acts together and Metuchen clearly worked as hard as possible to rid most public streets of as much snow as possible. In response to understanding how the system works, the Council debated as to whether or not the Department heads of various public services should be more accessible to the general public which values and needs its services. Councilperson Sheri-Rose Rubin recommended that perhaps visits from the various department heads could be written into the agenda of the Council in order to facilitate a period of time in which the public and the Council could address questions they may have regarding emergency services and other situations that are ongoing. Councilperson Jay Muldoon agreed with the recommendation. The Mayor agreed that a schedule would be created and introduced at the first Borough Council meeting in February.

What would you make the top priority for the Council this year?

Support the newly minted cultural triumvirate of the Metuchen Cultural Arts Commission, The Forum Theatre, and The Raconteur by attending the "Meet the Director" screening of: WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS: A MAN WITHIN W/Special Guest: Director YONY LEYSER
8 PM, Sat. Jan 8
 at the Forum Theater

Hailed as the grandfather of punk and the godfather of the beat generation, Burroughs was a bartender, a private detective, a factory worker, an exterminator, a heroin addict, and a writer. His novel, Naked Lunch, one of the last books to be banned by the U.S. government, remains one of the most recognized literary works of the 20th century. William S. Burroughs: A Man Within is the first and only posthumous documentary about the legendary "Pope of Dope." Narrated by Peter Weller, who played a Burroughs-like character in David Cronenberg's film version of LunchLeyser's portrait of the formidable proto-Beat author is a kind of genealogy of hip that connects Burroughs with many currents of America's outlaw cultural tradition. He was a close friend and sometime lover of Allen Ginsberg, an idol of the Clash, the Dead Kennedys, Iggy Pop, and Sonic Youth. Featuring never before seen footage of Burroughs and exclusive interviews with Pop, John Waters (who calls him "a religious figure"), Patti Smith (who recalls having a crush on him), Gus Van Sant, Laurie Anderson, Amiri Baraka, Jello Biafra, Genesis P-Orridge, Ann Waldman, and David Cronenberg, with a soundtrack by Patti Smith and Sonic Youth.

TICKETS: $12. For advance tickets, click HERE. Please note: THIS EVENT IS @ THE FORUM THEATRE, 314 Main Street, Metuchen, NJ. 

Cupcake Decorating Class at Library January 9

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On Sunday, January 9 from 2 PM until 3:30 PM, there will be a Cupcake Decorating Class at the Metuchen Public Library, 480 Middlesex Avenue, for Metuchen Residents in grades 6-12. In this hands-on workshop, participants will make icing from scratch and learn to use bags and tips to create cupcakes like a professional baker. Make and take a delicious sample home!  Everyone will leave with recipes for cupcakes and icing, as well as a set of tips.  The workshop is free and paid for by the Friends of the Metuchen Library. Registration is limited because of space.  To sign up, call the Library at 732.632.8526 or write KLiss@Lmxac.org.

Kids In Production Fundraiser Saturday Night

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Kids In Production presents a fundraising event, "Stay A While For Maggie & Kyle," on Saturday, January 8, 2011 at Metuchen High School, beginning at 6:00 pm.  The evening will feature live music, food and fun.  Proceeds will help offset some of the prohibitive costs of treatment for two MHS teens battling cancer.

The event is sponsored by Kids In Production in cooperation with MHS Administrators, PTO & Metuchen families.  The food is being generously supplied by local businesses.  For information visit www.KidsInProduction.com or email info@kidsinproduction.com or call 732-548-2KIP.

In our first weeks of winter, we can look back on another gorgeous autumn season in the Dismal Swamp Conservation Area in Metuchen, Edison, and South Plainfield.  Autumn typically brings to mind the beautiful changes in foliage before the trees go bare.  The early sunsets giving way to brisk nights backed by the rich aroma of chimney smoke.  The crunch of leaves underfoot.  Yet by spending much of every day within a single nature area, I get to observe and experience the more subtle changes that accompany the turning of the seasons.  

This fall, a few memorable wildlife sightings were backed with the appreciation of some new patterns revealing themselves in the animals of the Dismal Swamp.  Beavers, a less obvious encounter in years past, were brazen and wanton in their simultaneous destruction and construction this fall, blitzing our streamside woods and scarcely leaving any sapling unshorn.

Forum Theater: No McGuffins Here! A Message from Peter Loewy

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Dear Forum Patrons

Here, my friends, is what the new AMC Menlo Theatre offers. Please read and I'll see you at the bottom of the page. 

Cinema Suites® - Three auditoriums at AMC Menlo Park 12 will feature:
  * Premium, upscale in-theatre dining
--* Extensive menu including Cinema Suites specialties such as Bleu 
Cheese Chips, Blackened Salmon and Lobster Ravioli served on unique 
swivel tables via seat-side service

Fork & Screen® - Nine auditoriums at AMC Menlo Park 12 will offer:
    * Casual, in-theatre dining
    * An extensive menu including Crab Rangoon Dip, Thai Coconut 
Chicken Tenders and Chocolate Loving Spoon Cake served via seat-
side service

AMC Dine-In Theatres at AMC Menlo Park 12 pricing:
    * $10 for an adult movie ticket plus a $15 experience charge for 
> Cinema Suites
>    * $10 for an adult ticket plus a $10 experience charge for Fork & Screen
>    * The $15/$10 experience charge is deducted from meal purchases in 
the auditorium

Okay, I'm back. Now maybe I'm a purest but is this really what movie-going has become? I certainly hope not. Now I'm not holding a grudge --against AMC, they're far too big for my little one screen theatre and 
I do hope they succeed. My only question is, will this enhance their patrons movie going experience? Speaking of "The Experience", do you 
really think paying $4 for a soda, or munching on Crab Rangoon dip,  or Thai Coconut Chicken Tenders while watching Disney's Tangled with 
the kids is an experience? If so they must know something I don't. 

New Year's Resolution # 1: Metuchen Dog Park?

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How about this as a good first New Year's Resolution for our borough?  Metuchen Matters wants to know your ideas on creating a town dog park. Where would it go? Where would the funds to create it come from?

Here's one resident's suggestion:

"Dog parks are usually fenced areas and most have adjoining areas for dogs under 25 lbs and those over 25 lbs. They are unsupervised except for opening and closing. Almost all have a water supply and some benches. They also have garbage cans for poop deposit (in bags). They are very low maintenance and highly appreciated by dog owners. The dogs socialize with people and other dogs and run and play for exercise.

I know there was active talk of a new dog park to be built back in 2009 but nothing seemed to materialize. The minutes of the Dept of the Environment in Metuchen still have a topic "Dog Park" but never any news."

Take a look at these existing parks in New Jersey. Are they inspiring someone to take the lead on this?

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