February 2011 Archives

Manley Replacement Possibilities Named

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On Tuesday, February 22, the Metuchen Republican Committee provided to the Borough Clerk a list of three names--candidates for the vacated spot of Councilman Justin Manley. The nominees are:

Kieran Esposito, 91 Amboy Avenue.

John Dowd, 33 Homer Place.

Stanley Lease, 28 Franklyn Place

As the committee's spokesperson, Attorney David Sachs, told us, "We expect the council to choose Justin's replacement as soon as possible so that there is no vacancy." The remaining Council members will vote for the new councilperson at their next scheduled meeting--majority wins so stay tuned!

UPDATE: Kyo Morishima Adds New Photo Booth to Repertoire

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KYO2.jpgThe Campbell/Moss PTO Family Dance Night was a huge success and one of the most popular aspects of the event was a new addition by Metuchen photographer Kyo Morishima. With so many families and friends celebrating that night, Kyo and his wife/manager Janna Morishima thought that a photo booth would help to capture the evening's fun. And it did! We share some of our favorite personal shots from the photo booth with you here--if you are interested in having a photo booth at your famiily or school event, contact Kyo through his ad on this site. It's the most fun souvenir your family could have of any special event!


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Tonight, the Forum Theatre Arts Center (FTAC) in Metuchen, New Jersey, in conjunction with Stagelight Electric Productions, will present a series of live performances in an intimate setting, including an evening with Suzanne Vega on February 25th at 8 PM. Tickets are $45 and $35.

It is the first of many upcoming shows, including: 2U The World’s 2nd Best U2 Show (February 17th), Jefferson Starship’s 40th Anniversary show (on March 31st), Frontiers/A Journey Tribute (April 2nd,) THE British Invasion (April 16th), and a soon-to-be-announced line up for the spring and summer.


The Raconteur Presents Jess Row & Emma Straub TONIGHT

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8 PM, Thurs, Feb 24

Jess Row is the author of NOBODY GETS LOST (forthcoming from FiveChapters Books) and the acclaimed story collection "The Train to Lo Wu" (Dial Press). Granta named Row one of the 21 best young American novelists. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a Pushcart Prize and an NEA fiction fellowship. Emma Straub's debut story collection OTHER PEOPLE WE MARRIED is forthcoming from FiveChapters Books. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published by The Paris Review Daily, Barrelhouse, The Saint Ann's Review, Cousin Corinne's Reminder, and many other journals. FREE!Comp wine. Books on sale at event.

Superintendent's Forum on Sports Safety TOMORROW

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A special Sports Safety forum sponsored by the Metuchen Superintendent of Schools will take place on February 24th at the Metuchen High School at 7:30 PM. Parents, teen athletes, coaches and recreation staff members are invited to learn about concussion prevention and screening methods, the importance of pre-participation physicals, proper hydration and spotting cardiac events during games and practice, overuse injury prevention techniques and appropriate gear and equipment. This event is brought to you by a Safe Kids New Jersey grant from Johnson & Johnson, facilitated by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

Live Radio Play at Library by Alex Dawson February 27

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Back by popular demand, Alex Dawson and Raconteur Radio present The Abominable Snowman, a live performance of the classic radio play, on Sunday, February 27 at 2 PM at the Metuchen Public Library, 480 Middlesex Avenue. 

In the highest ranges of the Himalayas, in a realm of perpetual ice and snow, our two headstrong heroes and their loyal Sherpa, Nah Song, are caught in a blizzard, when they suddenly realize that the hulking bear-like biped they've been doggedly hunting is . . . the hunter!   

Everyone is welcome to attend: adults, teens, and tweens. The radio play features Carlyle Owens, Laurence Mintz and Alex Dawson, and it includes costumes, theatrical lighting and sound effects! The Abominable Snowman will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience, and refreshments will be served. This free program is open to the public (Metuchen residents and non-residents) and has been paid for by The Friends of the Metuchen Public Library. For more information, call 732.632.8526 or write KLiss@Lmxac.org.

CQE Letter from Jim Jaques - Presentation at BoE Meeting Tomorrow

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In February of 2009, Metuchen School Superintendent Terri Sinatra held two public forums, which focused on the rigor of the school curriculum and its effect on Metuchen students' ability to succeed beyond high school. The school district's website provided a temporary opportunity for feedback from members of the community interested but unable to attend the forum.

Here are some of the issues distilled from those 2009 Superintendent Forums:

·  Is our curriculum developmentally appropriate and does it address core skills?

·  Does our curriculum provide for effective transitioning between grade levels?

·  Is there balance between in-school and at-home work and instruction?

·  How are our teachers hired and evaluated?

·  With what criteria should we judge Metuchen School District's performance?

·  Are we appropriately challenging students in the "middle 80%"?

·  Is ability tracking appropriate in 3rd grade?

Mike Leigh's Latest, Another Year, at the Forum This Weekend

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 -- The latest celebrated film by veteran Brit director Mike Leigh

Another Year is Mike Leigh's valentine to love in all its forms--his skillful directing is at its peak in this story of a long-married couple and their trouble friends (yes, it's a comedy!) Click on their ad on this site for more information.

Showtimes: Friday 7:30, Saturday 5 & 7:30, Sunday 4pm

U2 Tribute Band at the Forum TONIGHT

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At the Forum: 2U presents a night of music by U2!

Featuring U2 Music from Boy, October, War, The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree, Rattle and Hum, Achtung Baby, Zooropa, Pop, All That You Can't Leave Behind, and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. Even U2's latest release "No Line On The Horizon" is duplicated live as only the most authentic U2 impersonators can. U2 songs, from "Pride" to "Vertigo", "With or Without You" to "New Years Day", "One" to "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "Elevation" to "Miracle Drug", "Out of Control" to "Get On Your Boots" are faithfully recreated live. Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. impersonators make up this incredibly believable U2 Tribute Band.

A Stagelight Electric Production.

Don't take our word for it:

Click here to see them perform live.

Tickets $16

Show Boat Casino Trip for Seniors February 22nd

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The Metuchen Senior Center is hosting a bus trip to Show Boat Casino in Atlantic City is scheduled for Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 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.             

Please make checks payable to "Borough of Metuchen." Call 732-632-8524 for more info.

Catfish Screening & Directors Q & A February 12

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with a Q&A with Directors Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost

We meet New York photographer Nev Schulman, brother of director Ariel, as he unwraps a painting of one of his photos by a young Michigan girl named Abby. They become Facebook friends, which eventually leads to Nev�s online romance with Abby�s older sister, Megan. But as he comes closer to meeting Megan in person, Nev uncovers some unsettling information. The Social Network is about origins, but Catfish, at once narrower and more universal in implication, is about consequences. The story Catfish has to tell, at least in part, is older than the Internet, and certainly not limited to the latest technology. America is the land of spurious, seat-of-the-pants self-invention, and Mr. Joost and Mr. Schulman, a couple of young men with cameras and college degrees, find themselves in a real-life variation on a venerable American theme.
Co-produced by the MCAC, The Raconteur and The Forum Theatre
Showtime: 8 p.m. Tickets $12

What Does Being a Transit Village Do for Metuchen?

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metuchen transit village picture.jpg

Metuchen is one of New Jersey's 20 designated Transit Villages--in statistical analyses recently completed on these twenty towns, there is an association between  the designation and seeing an increase in property values. Take a look at this NJ.com article which stresses that the designation does NOT lead to successful increases of residential values necessarily. However, the designation has helped Metuchen out, according to Mayor Thomas Vahalla, by helping it qualify for and be awarded numerous grants and other funding, which will be helpful to town development.

Photo courtesy of NJ.com

Bald Eagle Flies over Metuchen YMCA Monday

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Eagle.jpgCheck this out--thanks to Chloe Jaques' quick camera reflexes, here's a shot of an American bald eagle taking off over the Metuchen/Edison YMCA yesterday--that's an amazing wingspan, right? No one knows why the eagles (there were two seen) were hanging out in Metuchen, but . . . wow! What a sight!!

The Case for a Four-Year College from the CQE


A letter from the Committee for Quality Education:

One of CQE's priorities in recent years has been to encourage families of those graduates who leave Metuchen High School with the intention of earning a bachelor's degree to have their children begin their studies at a four-year college.  The reason is simple:  There is a far greater likelihood that a student will earn a bachelor's degree if he/she begins at a four-year college, as opposed to at a community college.  

On average, only 31% of community-college students who begin full-time and who set out to get a degree complete it within six years, whereas 58% of students at four-year schools graduate within that time frame.  Furthermore, it is well known that people with bachelor's degrees have greater earning potential and a lower unemployment rate than those who do not.  Workers with a bachelor's degree earn 20% more than those with an associate's degree (translating to over $500,000 of lifetime income), and have 23% lower unemployment.

Over the last 10 years, an average of 32% of Metuchen students did not attend a 4-year college straight from high school.   These numbers are high compared to other New Jersey towns with similar demographics.  There are 48 high schools in Metuchen's demographic category as defined by the state Department of Education, and Metuchen ranks 46th out of those 48 in sending graduates on to four-year colleges (as of 2009, the most recent year available).

Beginning at a community college is not the most efficient way, nor sometimes even the most economical way, of pursuing a 4-year degree, if that's the intention.  Alternatives need to be explored. For example, attending a four-year college and commuting from home could be an option (especially with Rutgers so nearby) or applying for merit money. 

Snow Plows and Resignations at the Borough Council Meeting Tonight

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The look on Council President Pete Cammarrano's face said it all--shock and awe were employed heftily at last night's Borough Council meeting. After a long meeting on many topics, Councilman Justin Manley dropped a big bomb on the proceedings, namely that he won't be seeking another term and that he, not wanting to be a lame duck, has decided to tender a resignation to his station at the next Council meeting.

Discussions on the state legislation regarding public access television stations and a call from the Mayor to the public to write to him or attend the next Council meeting to discuss what could be improved regarding the snow plow situation in town were trumped by the last event of the evening, Justin Manley's admitting that personal and professional obligations are becoming more pressing and that his time and energy for the Council and his jobs within its circle are falling short of his expectations. Manley would have had to apply to run again early this spring.

What do you think about this news? Are you surprised? Once Manley was the only Republican on the Council, did you sense that his energies were being directed another way? Who do you think will replace him and how will this alter further the already-shaken-up Council at this time, when massive budget cuts threaten so much that we've become accustomed to in our small town?

Annual History Celebration This Weekend by Historical Society

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The Metuchen-Edison Historical Society invites the public to its annual Local History Day on Sunday February 13, 2011 from 1:30 to 4:30 at the Metuchen Public Library, 480 Middlesex Ave. Metuchen NJ. 

This year the Society will display some recent items donated to the Society including a phonograph made by Westinghouse in Edison.  Also being displayed will be photographs from the Grimstead, and Glasofer collections of old photographs, maps, and other information.  The Society will also offer historical post cards and publications for sale.

The program is free and open to the public.  Parking is available on Library Place behind the Library.  For more information go to the Society's website: 

www.metuchen-edisonhistsoc.org--The Metuchen-Edison Historical Society was founded in 1974 and maintains an archive of over 10,000 items relating to local history. 


Fred Hall of the DPW Answers Complaints about Snow Removal

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In one particular forum where the public debate has raged regarding the DPW's response to the heavy snow this winter, Fred Hall filed his official statement about this winter's difficult situation. Here is his statement in full:

Please allow me to set the record straight. In order to properly plow and remove the snow from any street in town, we ask that (whenever possible) all vehicles be removed so that we can provide the best service due to you. Last Thursday, the day of the storm every street was plowed. Unfortunately there were certain areas that have been mentioned that were difficult to plow as a result of parked vehicles. To the residents of Jefferson condominiums I apologize for your inconvenience, however we have made several attempts to carefully plow between the narrow path of cars lined on both sides of Newman street. I have been in direct contact with the property management eagerly requesting assistance and compliance so that we could help your situation and expedite a permanant solution. They mentioned to me that they saw the situation before, during and after the storm and agreed with us that the vehicles must be removed and that they have similar complaints with other properties that they manage. 

After days of salting and cautiously scraping we took it upon ourselves yesterday after the ice storm and (without a PD order) we re-plowed every street and gave attention to areas where cars were originally parked. I can not emphasize enough the difficulty and additional work that is involved in dealing with vehicles parked in the street during and after a snow storm, especially one of significant accumulations. Additionally, our department does an excellent job in providing an uninterrupted service to ensure that curbside collection is not hindered in the midst of the storm.

What do you think? Was your street significantly cleared? Have your neighbors been trying this winter to be helpful or not? Send us your story!

Somewhere Screens This Weekend at the Forum

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This weekend at the Forum, the Venice Film Festival's Best Picture winner, SOMEWHERE by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Sofia Coppola: When world-famous actor Johnny Marco ends up interrupting his days of ennui with the arrival of his young daughter, he finds a new lease on real life. Starring Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning. Written and directed by Sofia Coppola. Check the Forum ad to the right for screening times Friday through Sunday.

Orientation For Moss School Now Rescheduled

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Parents of all Metuchen children who will have reached the age of five by October 1, 2011, are invited to a Kindergarten Orientation in the all purpose room at Moss School. Parents will have the opportunity to obtain information regarding the Kindergarten curriculum and registration procedures. The orientation is only for parents. Children will have an opportunity to tour the school at a later date.

Renaming Vidas Field for Steve Johnson

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It's official! After a resolution was put before the Council by George Harry, the president of Metuchen Little League, and Councilpeople Justin Manley and Sheri-Rose Rubin to rededicate and rename Vidas Field for the late Steve Johnson, whose dedication to his sons and their love of baseball benefitted all families of Metuchen Little League. 

For a complete text of the resolution, check out this link.

Phil Saw No Shadow--No School but End of Horrid Weather may be Near

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phil-no-shadow.jpgAll district schools are once again closed today, as well as the Board of Education central offices. The public LIbrary will open at noon but municipal offices are open today.
Metuchen Matters' fervent wish for this day, February 2nd, has been granted, however! Punxsatawney Phil did not see his shadow today so the end of all this snow and ice may be near!

Metuchen Inn Reopens

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The Metuchen Inn has posted an open invitation to the community to attend their re-opening on February 2, 2011. Check out this link for the notice--their website, however, is not up yet but, as soon as it is, we will have a link to that, too! Welcome back, Metuchen Inn!

PSE&G Advises Customers about Power Outages Storm Might Cause

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Check out this link for the PSE&G advisory information which has been issued for our area in regards to the annoyingly slow but supernasty weather that is creeping its way towards our borough. 

Snow #524: Yes, Another Snow Day at School

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Metuchen School District schools, programs and the Board of Education are all closed today. This onslaught of lousy winter weather has prompted the Board to reschedule the year--check out here for the new schedule, with one additional snow day left in the season before days start coming off spring break.

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