June 2011 Archives

Thank to Dave Liantonio for this great story:

In an effort to reduce traumatic brain injury in children, Safe Kids Middlesex County of the Level 1 Trauma Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is kicking off its 6th Annual "wheels Under Your Feet? Helmet on Your Head!" Think Positive Campaign - a four-month helmet safety program - in  nine Middlesex County municipalities on June 21.

This helmet safety campaign will reward children who wear a helmet when participating in wheeled activities such as bicycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, or riding a scooter.  Town police officers will give a "summons" to any child "caught" wearing their helmet between June 21 and September 30.  Each summons can be redeemed for free items and enters the child in a raffle drawing.

The helmet safety campaign is part of a statewide education and awareness initiative to promote the expanded helmet law requiring all children under 17 to wear a helmet.

The Rac Presents The Monster Doodle Book + Travis Nichols

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Wednesday, June 29

Half-finished doodles of monsters and other creatures, featuring misshapen bodies, oodles of appendages, and all kinds of gross crud. Finish the monster-shaped alphabet, create a flip-book, comic strip, and more. Drawings can be scary, disgusting, cute, or weird. It's up to you. 
Nichols is a writer, artist, cartoonist, and Texan living in Brooklyn, NY. His comics appeared in Nickelodeon Magazine and Herbivore Magazine. He is the author and illustrator of Punk Rock Etiquette, which was awarded a Blue Ribbon by the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and was nominated by YALSA as one of the 2009 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. He's played in more than a dozen bands, and he loves meteorites and eating watermelon over the sink. FREE! Books on sale at event. 

End of Year Signals Big Changes for School District

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path.jpgCongratulations to all this week's graduates throughout the District! From little ones graduating from preschool and Moss to MHS grads finding their way to college next year, it's a big time of transition. This wave of change is affecting the district in big ways--other than financially, of course, which has already happened. A very serious conversation has sprung up about the planned changes to the UL program at Campbell and there are stirrings of big transformations at the highest ranks of the district ladder. How will everything shake out? We'll keep you posted--for such a tiny town, Metuchen is rarely boring!

Recycle Your Old Lawn Signs and Help the Farmers' Market

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If you have old lawn signage that you do not wish to keep, consider donating them to the Metuchen Farmers' Market so they can recycle them and turn them into shining little lawn beacons letting those who drive through Metuchen that our Market is open and ready for business! Contact us at info@metuchenmatters.com if you have any you wish to give up for this great cause! Thanks!!

The Teen Advisory Board of the Metuchen Public Library will host a Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, June 25 between 10 AM and 12:30 PM for Metuchen residents who will be entering grades 6-12.  The Scavenger Hunt begins in the Young Adult section of the Library, 480 Middlesex Avenue.  Participants are free to hunt the public spaces of the Library for answers to a set of questions and clues. One lucky person will win a $25 gift card; everyone who takes part in the hunt will receive a paperback book of their choice from a wide selection of popular YA titles. Rachel Suss and Kristen Thomas put together a fun time for all!

While at the Library, sign up for the Summer Reading Program where everyone earns books and prizes for reading on their own and for attending YA programs all summer long.  Ask for a contest booklet at the Library. For more information, visit the Library, call 732.632.8526 or write KLiss@Lmxac.org.

Girl Scouts Take Initiative And Fix Up Centennial Park

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Sent to us by reader Simi Best:


The Grand Re-opening ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 25th from 1-3 PM in front of the park (on Grove Avenue in Metuchen just north of the Northeast Corridor train overpass). The ribbon cutting will be at 2 PM; town officials will be present. Snacks and drinks will be provided. The reason for this great event: three girls who took it upon themselves to do their Girl Scout Silver Project and help the town out.

In the Spring of 2010, three Metuchen Girl Scouts - then ages 12 and 13 - noticed a park that had become completely overgrown since opening 10 years earlier as part of the town's centennial celebration, its sign worn and its path barely distinguishable. Thus started a year-long mission by Annie Pahlow, Katie Facchini and Simi Best to restore Centennial Park to its original condition - and better - as their Girl Scout silver award project.


The Scouts and town workers cleared Centennial Park's path of vegetation, spread 60 cubic yards of woodchips, stained tables, and plan to install educational signs. The Department of Public Works worked closely with the girls, which was a tremendous help in making this possible. In addition to Public Works, the Metuchen Recreation Commission, Metuchen Environmental Commission, and Girl Scout Troop 81645 helped to get the park cleaned up and safe for the public.

Great work, Scouts!

Fuce 5K Huge Success--Check out the Pictures!

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Congratulations to the Fuce 5K committee for another super-successful event! Local families will benefit from the funds raised and, clearly, as you can see in these great pictures from Tina DiSano, all the families who particpated benefit from it as well! Thanks to Tina for sending these over--and don't forget! The Fuce 5K Foundation will continue to accept monetary donations so click on their ad on this site to help!

Author Wendy Mass Live at Metuchen Library Tuesday Night

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On Tuesday June 28 at 7:30 PM, Wendy Mass will speak at the Metuchen Public Library, 480 Middlesex Avenue. Ms. Mass is the author of many popular novels for young people, and her books have been nominated for 42 state book awards. Among her titles are The Candymakers, Finally,  Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life (soon to be released as a major motion picture), and A Mango-Shaped Space, which was awarded the prestigious Schneider Family Book Award by the American Library Association.  

A Visit with Wendy Mass will kick-off the Library's 2011 Summer Programs for both the Children's Department and the Young Adult Department.   Books will be available for purchase and signing. This event is free and open to the public; it is geared to a family audience. For more information, call the Children's Librarian, Glynis Brookens, at 732.632.8526 or write the Young Adult Librarian, Kathy Liss, at KLiss@Lmxac.org.  This program has been paid for by The Friends of the Metuchen Public Library.

The Teen Advisory Board of the Metuchen Public Library (480 Middlesex Avenue) invites all Metuchen residents who will be entering grades 6-12 in September to sign up for free summer programs, classes and events.  Registration opens on Saturday, June 4.  All who register in person at the Library on that day between 10 AM and 1 PM will receive a free paperback book of their choice.

Summer programs include a babysitter certification class led by a healthcare professional, a robotics workshop, a songwriting workshop, an improvisations/theatre games class,  a three-session fiction writing workshop, cooking classes in cupcake decorating and pasta making, two book discussion groups (one for high school students and one for middle school students), two community service projects and more! To see the complete list of classes, dates and times, visit www.metuchenlibraryteens.org or stop in at the Library for a YA Summer Programs brochure.

During the last two weeks of August, there will also be college prep programs including a free PSAT practice test (Gr. 10, 11) and a free SAT practice test (gr. 11, 12), a interview workshop for college admissions (grades 11 and 12)  and a college application essay workshop (grade 12 only).

Registration for all programs is required, and classes are open to Metuchen residents only. Space is limited so register early. You may register in person or by calling the Library on 732.632.8526 or by writing the Young Adult Librarian at KLiss@Lmxac.org beginning on Saturday, June 4.


Junebug Looking for Sculptor for 2012 Festival

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Metuchen's Junebug ArtFest Committee is looking for the artist who will create the FEATURED JUNEBUG SCULPTURE for the FIFTH ANNUAL JUNEBUG ARTFEST that will take place in June 2012.  Each year, the sculpture is the focal point of the Junebug ArtFest, and the unveiling ceremony signals the event's official opening.

We are interested to name the 2012 sculptor at this time, since we would like the artist to experience the event first hand before creating the work.  The event has a strong online presence.  You can see information about it (both video and photo) at JunebugArtFest.comFor additional information and to acknowledge interest, please contact Linda Vonderschmidt-LaStella at 732-906-4137 or email earthsongsceramicstudio@gmail.com.

An interesting Facebook survey asks the question: Should Metuchen issue tickets to realtors when viewing a home for sale or potential buyers because of the strict "Resident Parking Only" streets all over town?" What do you think? Check out this link and cast your vote.

Three Great Films at the Forum This Weekend

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3 Exciting Screenings This Weekend Only At The Forum Theatre in Metuchen


A chambermaid and an ex-cop meet at a speed dating event and a romance develops. But during a romantic getaway things suddenly take a dark turn.Guido, a former cop, is a luckless veteran of the speed-dating scene in Turin. But, much to his surprise, he meets Slovenian immigrant Sonia, a chambermaid at a high-end hotel. The two hit it off, and a passionate romance develops. After they leave the city for a romantic getaway in the country, things suddenly take a dark turn. As Sonia's murky past resurfaces, her reality starts to crumble. Everything in her life begins to change - - questions arise and answers only arrive through a continuous twist and turn of events keeping viewers on edge until the film's final moments. THE DOUBLE HOUR, winner of Best Actress at the 2009 Venice International Film Festival, is directed by Giuseppe Capotondi.
Friday 7pm Saturday 5:30 & 7:30 Sunday at 1pm  In Italian with English Sub-titles 95m

Special Junebug Lecture This Thursday Night

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Pool Schedule of Happenings Now Available

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The Metuchen Municipal Pool has released its schedule of events and we have it for you here! Happy Summer, Metuchen!

Bear cubs loose in town

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In town there have been deer spottings and even a few turkeys.  But never bears... until today.  From mycentraljersey.com:

Two bear cubs have been spotted in Metuchen this morning.

Patrolman David Liantonio said police began receiving calls about 7 a.m. of the bear sightings. He said the bears were spotted on Highland Avenue by Maple and Oak avenues and by Harvard Avenue. One cub is currently up a tree on Maple Avenue, Liantonio said.

For the rest of the article click here.

Residents have been alerted to keep their children and pets indoors.  If you have any information on the bears contact the Metuchen Police Department at 732-632-8500.

Metuchen Farmers' Market Opens TODAY

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After you run in the Fuce 5K, why not take a moment and drop by the Metuchen Farmers' Market for some healthy snacks? And if you're there at 11AM, you will be able to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremonies that are due to take place. Congratulations, Market! And welcome!

Junebug Moving Indoors Due to Inclement Weather TONIGHT

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Modified for June 17

Junebug logo cropped



Due to the unpredictable and changing weather forecast for tonight, June 17, the Junebug ArtFest will go on as planned with some modifications.

  • Visual artists scheduled to display their artwork outdoors may still do so at their own risk.
  • Interactive art events will be moved to the Rotunda inside of Borough Hall.
  • Entertainment scheduled at Borough Hall will take place inside of the Old Franklin School (491 Middlesex Ave.).
  • Entertainment scheduled for the Main Stage will take place inside the Senior Citizen Center (15 Center St.).

David Wheeler On Aimee Mann--The Interview

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MM's pal David Wheeler sent us an article while the site was down about Aimee Mann, who performed at the Forum this spring. He interviewed her and made that interview available to us but our server difficulties caused it to be put aside. Recently, he published the same article in The Sentinel so we are linking to it here so you can all see it. Thanks, David, and sorry we missed it first time around!

Tonight, June 16th at 6PM, Mayor Thomas Vahalla and members of the Metuchen-Edison Area Clergy, Metuchen Edison Woodbridge South Amboy YMCA, Metuchen Municipal Alliance-YSB and Metuchen Seniors, Inc. invite you to join them for a Candlelight walk through Metuchen to celebrate Unity in our Community. The event kicks off at Borough Hall @ 6PM with stops at Martin Luther King Park, the Y Corporate Office, Freedom Plaza, Main & New Streets and end at the Metuchen Senior Center, 15 Center Street for some light refreshments. See www.metuchennj.org for more information and details about the Unity in Our Community Poster Contest.


At the most recent Borough Council meeting, Councilman Pete Cammarano, a long-time Metuchen resident, made a fervent plea to the citizens of Metuchen to get involved in the dialogue now going on regarding first-floor residencies in the downtown area. After a presentation by planner Jim Considine and a very vocal negativity from Councilman and property developer Stanley Lease, the Council began what may become a long-range discussion of what would happen to the town if an ordinance passes that allows for ground-floor residencies in or near a business district. So, Metuchen, do you have opinions about this? If so, are you willing to be a participant in the process? As the Councilman said, everyone should be part of the conversation for this very important and possibly game-changing buildling ordinance. Hit the next Council meeting and let them know what you think! 

On this eve of the Fourth of July, let's make sure that democracy is alive and well in Metuchen, New Jersey!

Steve Johnson Memorial Field Dedication a Great Success!

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Check out the link to Paul Spera's photos of the recent dedication of the Steve Johnson Memorial Field in Metuchen. A fantastic community volunteer has been honored with a beautiful field and all good thoughts from the town that benefited from his hard work. 
Tomorrow night is the premiere screening of NJN's hour-long documentary, "Rescuing a River: The Raritan"narrarated by actor Avery Brooks, hosted by Edison Wetlands Association, Rutgers University, Wild New Jersey and Bayshore Recycling.  It will be held on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 6:45 PM at the Metuchen Forum Theatre, located at 314 Main Street, Metuchen, New Jersey 08840.

Thanks for the Crosswalk, Metuchen!

Citizens of Metuchen, your voices were heard, loud and clear! What do you think about the new crosswalk on Main Street near the train station? It's going to keep commuters and all Metuchenites a lot safer. It is even speaks out loud for those who are visually impaired. What do you think? Is it better than you expected?

Harry Potter Extravaganza at the LIbrary in July

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harry.jpgFrom the Metuchen Public LIbrary:

In anticipation of the release of the final Harry Potter film in theatres this summer, the Metuchen Public Library( 480 Middlesex Avenue) is sponsoring the following events:

On Friday, July 1, members of the Teen Advisory Board will present a Harry Potter Extravaganza at 2 PM for Metuchen residents who will be entering grades 4-9.   The event will begin with a trivia game that covers all seven books; participants will compete in teams of mixed ages.  Other activities will include divination, a craft, and a game.  Refreshments will be served and prizes awarded.  Registration is limited.  Sign up by calling 732.632.8526, by writing KLiss@Lmxac.org or by visiting the Library. This program is paid for by The Friends of the Metuchen Library. 

Sandy Skoglund Lecture June 16th As Extension of Junebug

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

 Join the Friends of the Metuchen Library for a bus tour to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

 Special Exhibits Include:


Paris Through the Window: Marc Chagall and His Circle

Now Through July 10, 2011

As a symbol of culture, freedom, and modernity, the city of Paris held a magnetic attraction for artists from Eastern Europe during the early decades of the twentieth century. The exhibition will focus in particular on the paintings that Marc Chagall made between 1910 and 1920, including the artist's early masterpiece Half-Past Three (The Poet), of 1911, which has long been considered one of the great treasures of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Junebug Schedule for June 10th--Rain or Shine!

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The Junebug Arts Fest presents the following events this evening:

                6:00 - 8:00 pm - Interactive Events

1) Wanda from Little Fish Art will help participants create fans and Chinese wooden tops @ Borough Hall

2) Laurie LeFevre Theater for Kids - (6:00 - 7:00 pm) Miss Laurie will coordinate a "Music for Kids" event located in the Convery Courtyard (next to the Cigar shop on Main Street)

                7:00 pm - Pet Parade @ Forum Theatre - Registration @ 6:30 pm

                6:00 - 9:00 pm - Gallery Opening @ the Senior Center - Featuring artwork created by 9 students of Joan Watterson's water color class that takes place weekly at the Metuchen Senior Center. 

Skoglund/Dickson Films Shown - To acquaint ArtFest visitors with the two master artists who will give presentations later in the month (see below), several short films introducing them and their work will be shown on the side street/driveway near 443 Main Street, Classic Travel & Tours

metpool02 opening day 1967.jpg

MM loves to swim, especially on these crazy hot days--and with all district schools closing early tomorrow, we were thinking--could the Municipal Pool grab a few of the lifeguards who will be working during swim practice later in the day and give them a couple of extra hours so the very hot and tired masses of Metuchenites could venture into the pool for an hour or two of cooling down? It would be such a COMMUNITY SERVICE and we'd be most grateful!

EVERYTHING MUST GO at the Forum This Weekend

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Directed by Dan Rush

Will Ferrell stars in this funny and touching adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story. After losing his job and his wife in the same day, a man moves all his possessions, and himself, to his front yard in order to start a new life.

New York Magazine (David Edelstein) May 9, 2011 80 
That lawn with its scraps of a ruined life is a setting both satirical and poignant, and Will Ferrell gives a performance of Chekhovian depth.

Salon.com (Andrew O'Hehir) May 9, 2011 
It's refreshingly honest, depicts the kinds of American lives not often seen on-screen and shows us a familiar star in a striking new light.

Philadelphia Inquirer (Steven Rea) May 12, 2011 
This is an indie film with big stars - but also an indie films with big ideas about bringing real people to life.

Showtimes: Friday June 10 at 8pm Saturday at 5:30 & 7:30 Sunday 1pm
Rated R  Running time 97m

The Forum's Stars on Stage Present Summer Program HONK JR.

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STARS ON STAGE Announces Our Summer Musical Theatre Program for Kids 8 to 13


The show that beat The Lion King out of the Olivier award (the British equivalent to the Tony Award)! Honk! Junior is a contemporary retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's classic story, "The Ugly Duckling" and features a Joseph... Dreamcoat-like score that kids and parents are sure to enjoy.

Classes begin Tuesday July 5. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 to 1pm except the week of July 25 which will be everyday.

Registration is Tuesday June 7 from 5 to 7pm or contact Peter at peter@forumtheatrearts.org to register online. 

Performances will be July 28, 29, 30 and August 1st
Cost for the 4 week program is $450 with discounts for siblings. 

Sorry About the Long Absence . . . But We're Back, Baby!

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MM had some very serious technical issues to overcome in the last couple of weeks  (does it have something to do with Mercury retrograde? Or just dumb luck? No one knows for sure!) but we are back and ready for business!

Big thanks to Bill Memory and Aaron Roberts and Andy Tytla for attacking and eventually solving the big problems! We appreciate your expertise and help! Thanks for sticking with us--please spread the word around that WE ARE BACK, BABY! Happy Summer!

Women Helping Women Wins $15K Grant

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Women Helping Women in Metuchen, founded in 1975 by Rutgers Community Health Center and the National Council of Jewish Women, received a grant of $15,000 for its Depression Treatment and Outreach Program.  The grant provides six bi-monthly community workshops in Central New Jersey to educate women about depression, individual counselling sessions, and a 12-session therapy group for women who prefer group counselling. Congratulations!

In Metuchen, the candidates for Mayor and Borough Council for the Republican Party were decided in the primary election for the party.  The team of Peter Carpena (Mayor), Robert "Bob" James (Council), and Kieran Esposito (Council) ran unopposed.  They are running on issues of Open Government and Transparency with no more rubber stamped agendas. Where the people can take part in the decisions that are going on and can play a role in deciding the direction of the borough. They are for Fair Taxes for the community and believe Metuchen can be made much more Business Friendly, allowing businesses to thrive in downtown Metuchen.  They have many Community Enrichment initiatives planned including Safe & Clean streets, a Senior Center run by the seniors, best Schools policy and keeping the borough family friendly.

Peter Carpena with his wife Marlene, have been residents of Metuchen for 18 years. He has over 35 years of executive and business experience and currently owns "CU Realty Consultants". They have three grown children Jason, Justin and Jaime.

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