September 2011 Archives

Metuchen Country Fair POSTPONED

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48th Annual Metuchen Country Fair
POSTPONED on October 1st
due to Weather
Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce Logo and Header


Unfortunately, due to a 60% predicition of rain, 
the 48th Annual Metuchen Country Fair has been

postponed from Saturday, October 1, 2011

until SaturdayOctober 15th


Please note, the October 8th rain date was cancelled

in observance of Yom Kippur.



Please visit for more information!


Please forward this to any friends or family that may have wanted to attend our annual event.


We look forward to seeing you on October 15th!

Demolition for The District Begins Behind old Blockbuster Store

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demolition3.jpgAfter many months of questions about whether the District was ever going to become an actual development, demolition has actually started behind the old Blockbuster Store and, so, the answer is YES! It's finally begun! Check out Borough Council President Pete Cammarrano's pictures at this link. Good news!

New Annex Gallery at Borough Hall to Open October 9th

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The Board of the Rotunda Gallery, the Metuchen Arts Council & the Borough Council of Metuchen are pleased to announce the opening of a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday, October 9, from 4- 6 pm. .

Building on the success of the professional gallery, Metuchen's Gallery at the Rotunda, a student gallery was developed at the request of Mayor Thomas Vahalla.  The Annex gallery will showcase artwork created by Metuchen students from elementary through high school.  Each chosen school will present a three-month exhibit that will change seasonally.  The first exhibit, presented by St. Joseph's High School, will hang from October through December 2011.  An opening reception celebrating the student artists will be held at the same time as the ribbon cutting ceremony.  Art teacher, Christina Canciello, from St. Joseph's High School, states, " Art is a direct reflection of our culture and who we are as a society. Art is a way of telling our story, just as our ancestors have preserved history for us.  Hopefully we have done that too, inspiring others to create and explore the world around us." 

With  liaison assistance from the Rotunda Gallery Board, the students and art teachers will prepare their artwork and present their exhibit to the public.   The Annex is located inside Borough Hall, in the west hallway adjacent to the Rotunda Gallery.  For information regarding either the Rotunda Gallery or The Annex Gallery, please contact this year's Rotunda Gallery Director Amy Brooks,     

Upcoming Events at Forum Theater This Weekend + Beyond!

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This Weekend at The Forum:

SARAH'S KEY on Saturday 5:30 & Sunday at 4pm
Admission $10  Seniors 65 and over $9  Students 17 and under $8 
Rated pg-13  Running time is 1hr 51m 

Saturday October 1 at 7:30  
Crystal Plumage Films and The Forum present a Horror Double Feature!

Both shown in 35mm All seats $13

Visit our booth at the Metuchen Fair this Saturday and win tickets to Jack & The Beanstalk and Mr Rays Halloween Happening!
Jack And The Beanstalk
a musical 
Live On Stage For The Kids!
A crisp, snappy, musical re-telling of the boy who follows the Bean Girls search of fame and fortune! Delightful characters, zany one liners and lot's of laughs! You might find yourself dancing in the aisles with your kids. Performances: Saturday October 15 & 22 11AM Sunday October 16 & 23 1:30
All seats $14 with discounts for groups of 20 or more

October 29 at 11:30am
Mr Rays Halloween Happening!
Mr Ray Returns To The Forum Stage With His Not So Spookey, Halloween Show! A Show Filled With All Of Mr Rays Hits and Some New Tunes As Well.
General Admission $14

The Forum Theatre Wishes All Our Patrons a Happy and Healthy Rosh Hashanah! 

Tickets Are Now On Sale For All Events at    732.548.5600

Metuchen TV/Cable Committee Survey Online--Fill it Out!

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The Metuchen TV and Cable Committee has developed a survey to obtain residents' input on awareness, viewing and programming of METV. The survey also includes questions on Cablevision and Metuchen's website. All residents are encouraged to complete the survey on-line (click here for the survey).

The survey will also be at the Metuchen Country Fair on 10/1. Stop by the TV and Technology Committee booth at the Fair. Thank you for sharing your opinion and suggestions. All surveys must be submitted by 10/31/11.

The second of two public forums on the Superintendent Hiring in the district was held on Thursday night. The report on the findings of the Superintendent forum will be written up and made available to the public within approximately two weeks, although the Board controls the posting logistics, said Gwen Thornton, the mediator from the NJSBA that was hired to help the Board with the hiring process. She discussed details of the process and answered questions for an audience at MHS.

At the second forum, attendees posed the following questions: Based on the first forum and the online survey forms returned so far, what were the characteristics the community (and staff?) were seeking in a new superintendent?  Thornton responded that the profile involved "great experience in running a school district, ability to use data to drive decision-making, high expectations for all students, raising the bar academically and intellectually for all students, and at the same time, providing for well-rounded education . . .  . "  She added that the profile involved "not simply academic excellence but also . . . to have children with experiences in athletics, fine arts, community service . . . [with] character, honesty, integrity-- that's what I'm hearing."

Bill Plympton in Person at The State Theatre Thanks to the Raconteur

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304585_2424508577097_1382979839_32985999_4615523_n.jpgTwo time Oscar nominated animator Bill Plympton screens & answers questions about his latest feature film, Idiots and Angels, and reads and signs his new autobiography, Independently Animated. Plus a special post screening reception in the theatre's upstairs lounge. Come meet Bill! 8 PM, Tues. Sept 27 @ The State Theatre in New Brunswick. Sponsored by The Raconteur with the State Theatre.

Neve Shalom Open House September 25th

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The Forum Announces Exciting New Fall Lineup of Events:

Friday December 16th at 8pm

Among today's great vocal pop musicians, Kenny Vance and The Planotones have voices of original and inviting dimension. The group, Kenny Vance, Johnny Gale, Kurt "Frenchy" Yahjian, Jimmy Bense, keyboardist Chip Degaard, and Tony Gallino on Drums, redefine oldies with vocal authority and freshness. As exemplified by their signature song "Looking For An Echo", their material is influenced by the music of the 50's and 60's, but they consistently bring a unique and musically sophisticated point of view. In this sense they are classicists, opening the eyes of a new generation to a rich historical musical style. With their cool and sultry musical approach, they give a gift to those who are discovering them for the first time!

And For The Kids...Children's Theatre Returns to The Forum Stage with...

Jack And The Beanstalk presented by A Kids Forum.
A crisp, snappy, musical re-telling of the boy who follows the Bean Girls search of fame and fortune! Delightful characters, zany one liners and lot's of laughs! You might find yourself dancing in the aisles with your kids
Saturday October 15 & 22 11AM
Sunday October 16 & 23 1:30
All seats $14 with discounts for groups of 20 or more

October 29 at 11:30am
Mr Rays Halloween Happening!
Mr Ray Returns To The Forum Stage With His Not So Spookey, Halloween Show! A Show Filled With All Of Mr Rays Hits and Some New Tunes As Well.
General Admission $14

Tickets Are Now On Sale For All Events at

MHS Band Marches Forward on Orange Bowl Fundraising

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The Metuchen High School Marching Band and Color Guard sent the following message after a very successful car wash over the weekend, which raised funds that will go towards the $120K tab the band needs to pay in order to take everyone to the Orange Bowl in January. Additional events are forthcoming and details will be posted here as soon as they are made available. This morning the band and guard appeared LIVE on News 12 New Jersey, performing for the morning audience (click here to see it!)  In the meantime, the band sends this missive to its supporters:

Thank you for all your support!  The Metuchen High School Marching Band's first fundraiser, the car wash at Precision Motor Sports this past Sunday was a HUGE success. Thanks for stepping up to help us on our way to the Orange Bowl this January. 

To make a donation to the band, please click this link.

Earthsongs Unveils New Wall Works in Hopewell Township

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"Community," two 100 sq. ft. sculptural wall works, commissioned for the new Capital Health Medical Center in Hopewell Township, NJ will be unveiled Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011, 10am-4pm at the hospital's Open House.  Designed by Linda Vonderschmidt-LaStella and fabricated in her Metuchen studio Earthsongs, the murals reflect the two communities associated with the hospital:  Trenton, the original location, and Hopewell Township, its new home.

Five hundred pounds of sculptural stoneware clay went into the making of the two 6'd. murals.  Designed as mandalas, they are round images that have roots in healing and spirituality across many times and cultures.  The map of each locale forms the 'eye' of its respective mandala.  Around that center are the elements that characterize the community.  And in a lighthearted spirit, extending beyond the outer edges of the mandalas are some of the major roadways, with signs and vehicles along them.  A field of stone surrounds and completes the ceramic sculpture.

For Vonderschmidt-LaStella, this has been an exciting three-year process, beginning in the late summer of 2009 when she submitted credentials and images of previous work to be considered for the commission.  Once selected as a semi-finalist, she worked for three months researching and developing concepts and models to present to Stacy Kent, the Environmental Graphic Designer responsible for the history project, and the hospital's Art Committee.  The actual fabrication of the work required one full year.


Upcoming Events at Forum Theater

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Final Weekend: SARAH'S KEY
Starring Kristen Scott Thomas
Friday 7:30 Saturday 5:30 & 7:30
Admission $10  Seniors 65 and over $9  Students 17 and under $8
Rated pg-13  Running time is 1hr 51m 

Live On Stage For The Kids!
Jack And The Beanstalk

a musical 
A crisp, snappy, musical re-telling of the boy who follows the Bean Girls search of fame and fortune! Delightful characters, zany one liners and lot's of laughs! You might find yourself dancing in the aisles with your kids
Saturday October 15 & 22 11AM
Sunday October 16 & 23 1:30
All seats $14 with discounts for groups of 20 or more

October 29 at 11:30am
Mr Rays Halloween Happening!
Mr Ray Returns To The Forum Stage With His Not So Spookey, Halloween Show! A Show Filled With All Of Mr Rays Hits and Some New Tunes As Well.
General Admission $14

Tickets Are Now On Sale For All Events at

Edgar Child Care Open House Thursday September 22nd

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Edgar Child Care Center, a YMCA child care center, has a limited number of openings for fall enrollment. The center will be hosting an Open House on Thursday, September 22nd from 5:00pm-6:30pm.  The program offers both full time and part time options for Infants through Pre-Kindergarten. The children participate in weekly swim, gym and music programs.  Edgar Child Care Center also offers a 10% discount for families with school age children enrolled in the School Age Program at Metuchen Branch YMCA, conveniently located right across the street. Come tour the facility, meet our teachers and see what your child could be doing today. For more information, call Jennifer, Center Director at (732) 632-8633.


Board of Ed Presents Public Forum re Superintendent Hiring TONIGHT

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From the Board of Education: Superintendent Search -- Public Forums

The Metuchen Board of Education

invites you to a Community Forum

TONIGHT, Tuesday, September 20th

7:30 p.m. Metuchen High School Auditorium


This is the next step in the search for a new superintendent. The meetings will be facilitated by

a New Jersey School Boards Association consultant.


It is an opportunity for you to share your thoughts on the district's strengths and challenges, and the qualities you would like to see in the next educational leader of our school district.


Those unable to attend the forums can share their thoughts in an online survey available on the District homepage at from September 14th until midnight of the 24th.

Janna Morishima + Market Day Present Local Lunchables Sept. 24

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LOCALLUNCH.jpgNews from Metuchen Market Day:

On Saturday, September 24th, at 11:30 am, Janna Morishima, a Metuchen mom and enthusiastic foodie, will give a presentation at the Metuchen Market Day Farmers Market called "Local Lunchables:Lunchbox Recipes from the Farmers Market." The presentation will include demonstrations of how to prepare sandwiches, Asian-style lunches, and healthy snacks, and attendees will receive a handout with recipes and additional tips.

"We are all extremely busy and putting together a healthy lunch every day sometimes seems overwhelming," Morishima says, "but with a little advance planning it can be a snap." All of the recipes Morishima discusses will incorporate ingredients from the vendors at Metuchen Farmers Market.

Morishima and her husband have a first grader at Campbell School, and Morishima is a self-taught cook. Metuchen Market Day is a seasonal, weekly farmers market held each Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm in Metuchen at the corner of New and Pearl Streets, and includes a variety of vendor products ranging from fruit and produce to bread, cheese, meat, eggs, olives, pickles, and packaged foods. For more information, visit

LWVNJ Offers Fall Forum on Public Education

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As our district moves forward on the search for a replacement for County Superintendent of the Year Terri Sinatra, perhaps we can learn something from the League of Women Voters' Fall Forum on public education and charter schools. Check out the September 24th event at this link.

Come to Wine Chateau's Ribbon Cutting Ceremony September 30th

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From Wine Chateau:

Grand Opening and official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will take place on Friday, September 30, 2011, at Metuchen's beautiful new and expanded Wine Chateau.  The official Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will take place at 5:00 PM with festivities immediately following until 10:00 PM. Representatives from the Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce will be joined by Metuchen Mayor Thomas Vahalla as we celebrate with Arun & Saurabh Abrol the opening of their new location. Join us at 85 Central Avenue in beautiful Metuchen for a red carpet event featuring valet parking, hors d'oeuvres, exotic snow cones, and more!

Help the Marching Band Get to the Orange Bowl--Car Wash This SUNDAY

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Help the Metuchen High School Marching Band get to the Orange Bowl. Come to the CAR WASH, SUNDAY, SEPT. 18, from 10am to 4pm at Precision Motor Sports, 330 Lake Ave (next to the Duchess Diner).

They'll wash your car and you donate what you can. They are thrilled to have been chosen to play in the half-time show at the Orange Bowl and they really need all of our help to get  there.  Thanks for your support!

Friday Night Alive September 16th at Neve Shalom

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Neve Shalom will hold a Friday Night Alive - outdoors (indoors if inclement weather) for the entire congregation and community, with or without children - 250 Grove Ave., Metuchen, NJ - September 16, 2011 - 6:30pm - Kabbalat Shabbat service with instruments (in the beginning of the service) and energetic singing. For more information contact Hazzan Levin - 732-548-2238 est. 14.

Sarah's Key at the Forum This Weekend

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At the FORUM this weekend: SARAH'S KEY
 Starring Kristen Scott Thomas 

Julia Jarmond, an American journalist married to a Frenchman, is commissioned to write an article about the notorious Vel d'Hiv round up, which took place in Paris, in 1942. She stumbles upon a family secret which will link her forever to the destiny of a young Jewish girl, Sarah. The more Julia discovers - especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive - the more she uncovers about Bertrand's family, about France and, finally, herself.

Friday 7:30 Saturday 5:30 & 7:30 Sunday 4 & 6pm
 (Rated PG-13) Running time is 1hr 51mins.

The Board of Education and the Superintendent Search has been very much at the top of local news the last two days. A lengthy Board meeting on Tuesday night highlighted the District's data via Board member Dan Benderly and Director of Curriculum Paul Pineiro regarding district performance indicators as well as the results of the district goal "Improving Consistency of Placement/Grading," and high school test results.

The district is having few issues in the area of language arts but Metuchen's math scores are low for schools in all I districts (although Benderly noted an uptick in the last year). Metuchen has grown considerably in terms of sending 97% of its graduates into college, but a high number of these students opted for a two year as opposed to four year colleges. Benderly also acknowledged that the low rate of four-year college attendance does not seem to be in keeping with the higher academic performance overall of our district. "It's something interesting for us to keep our eyes on," he said. He stressed that, although there was an uptick in some scores like SATs in our district, when compared against other districts, Metuchen's scores were not as impressive. Many of these numbers are Metuchen-specific, not gauged against the median scores of other districts so this is only the beginning of this conversation.

A discussion about family income range and its effect on SAT scores was prompted by Board member Ben Small, whose idea to survey the community regarding this issue was encouraged by Board member Jackie Gibson. Mr. Benderly said that he felt that the question that needed to be asked was "Of the 30% who didn't apply to a four-year school, why didn't they?" Board member Jonathan Lifton stated that perhaps what is most important to consider is that if the entire district at every level was focused on the point of improving this particular statistic, great strides forward could be made. Mr. Benderly also discussed the fact that, for an I district, Metuchen has many more families who have two well-educated spouses that have made the decision to survive on one salary only, a lifestyle choice. Economics were at the forefront of the continuing conversation with the community members at the meeting.

The members of the public expressed concern about the low rate of students applying to four-year colleges. Does that mean that they aren't encouraged or supported in such a way as to believe that this is the road for them or is it really a matter of economics and resources that keeps them from pursuing four-year colleges? That then became a major topic for the Forum regarding the hiring of the new district Superintendent that was held last night.

Register for Just Me! Classes at Neve Shalom

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September 17th Events from Woodwild Park Association

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Dave Liantonio Awarded Middlesex County Volunteer of the Year 2011

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Dave Liantonio has been awarded a Volunteer of the Year award for hte country from the Governor's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse for his DARE work and being a liasion to the Metuchen Alliance for 5 years. Read all about it at this link. Congratulations, Dave!

Support Girl Scout Silver Award "Gleaning"

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An Open Letter Regarding the Superintendent's Contract

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At its August 30 meeting, the Metuchen Board of Education approved a job description for the Superintendent search.  The document that was approved, known as Policy 1230, could commit our district to a path of low expectations.  This becomes clear after a review of the current Superintendent's contract. 

To paraphrase, on page 2, Article II, the contract says that the duties of the Superintendent shall be consistent with Board Policy 1230 and that any changes can only be made at the discretion of the Superintendent.  In other words, according to the present contract, if the duty is not in policy 1230--the job description--then the Board can't make the Superintendent do it.

The public has consistently asked that the job description include a track record of quantifiable measures of academic improvement.  When I ask for that, I specifically want to see improvement in generally accepted metrics from the New Jersey School Report Card, for example, the four-year college attendance rate of MHS graduates.  In 2010, Metuchen was the worst district of its kind in New Jersey at getting kids into four-year colleges--48th of 48 "I" Districts--so anyone who cares about getting their children into a four year college should be concerned.  And while our four-year attendance rate has historically fluctuated between 62-74 percent, we have never set a goal to achieve the average level of other I districts, which is 80%.

In response to an ongoing dialogue with the public at meetings, the Board has commendably acknowledged the importance of academic achievement being added to the job description.  But without specifying in the job description that candidates need to have demonstrated academic improvement according to accepted measures, they will not achieve the improvements in performance that are so needed.  As the legendary business writer Peter Drucker said, "What gets measured gets managed."

I am concerned that, with the approval of Policy 1230, the Board may fall into the same trap of giving the new Superintendent a contract that doesn't spell out our needs and leaves us exposed.  To correct this, I hope the Board will include in the Superintendent's contract specific measures used by the NJ Department of Education, including a requirement to improve four-year college attendance rates.  It would be awful to have wasted the taxpayers' money, and worse, left our kids at a disadvantage compared to students from our peer districts in the State.

David Liss

Troop 80743 Need Diapers for Silver Award Project

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Temple Emanu-El of Edison Open House September 18th

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From the Temple:

Temple Emanu-El of Edison invites you to learn about our Temple and education programs at our Religious School Open House on Sunday, September 18 from 10:30am-12:00pm. The program will feature the musician Shira Kline who plays hip Jewish music for kids followed by time for questions & answers. 

Our Religious School program goes from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Our CHAI Curriculum was developed by the Union for Reform Judaism to create a love of Judaism and provide children with the skills to live as well-informed Jews.  The curriculum includes Hebrew, holiday observances, rituals and ethics, and the rich history that surrounds our culture.  Our students also learn to lead parts of the worship service and our programs are further enhanced through music and art.  We are proud to offer special education classes as well.

Jazz Fest at Borough Hall Plaza Saturday September 24th

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Metuchen celebrates the coming of fall with its annual Jazz Fest on Saturday, September 24th at 3:30 p.m. at the Metuchen Borough Hall Plaza on the corner of Main Street and Middlesex Avenue (Route 27) in Metuchen. This free concert is sponsored by the Metuchen Arts Council and is funded in part by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders through the Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage Commission with assistance through a grant provided by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State.

The free, outdoor concert will feature jazz vocalists Derrick Baker and Larry Heinz accompanied by the Steve Kaplan Occasional Trio.  The bill also includes James Dean and his jazz/swing band, the Whiskey Café Groove Cats featuring the jazz song stylist, Carrie Jackson.

The plaza in front of Metuchen's Borough Hall provides a lovely, intimate, outdoor venue to showcase these talented New Jersey musicians.  The public is invited to bring lawn chairs or simply relax on the bench seating that rings the plaza.  In case of rain, the program will move indoors to the Metuchen Senior Center on the corner of New and Center Streets. For more information, please call Nancy Goldberg, Metuchen Recreation Director at 732-632-8502.

Dance to Beat Breast Cancer Event at Curves in Edison Sunday

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From Andrea Orlando:

Join New Jerseyʼs hottest fitness and dance instructors on Sunday, September 18th in Edison to raise money for breast cancer.

This yearʼs 2nd annual Dance to Beat Breast Cancer will take place at the parking lot of the Curves of Stephenville Parkway in Edison. Zumba instructors will lead participants through two exhilarating hours of hip shaking, heart-pumping fun. Included in the lineup are Zumba instructors Serena Powell, Andrea Orlando, Shakira Morgan, Warren Mayorga and Liza Aninipot. The festivities will also include raffles, prizes, belly dancing and a new Polynesian dance presentation. All procedes will go towards the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer which donates money for education, outreach and diagnostic services.

Curves is located at 3 Stephenville Parkway, Edison, 08820, which is at the corner of Park Avenue and Stephenville Parkway. The event will run from 11 until 1, but please arrive at 10:30 if you have not pre-registered. The rain date is October 2. Registration is $20 in advance and $25 the day of the event. To pre-register contact Lilly Tune at (732) 632-2025.

Metuchen Remembers on 9/11

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Julie Walton Shaver kindly shares her photographic moments from last night's memorial service at Freedom Plaza at this link. Thanks, Julie!

How did you mark the 10th anniversary occasion?

Metuchen Edison Historical Society Discovers Piscatawaytown Sept. 17

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The Metuchen-Edison Historical Society invites the public to a program about
our recent research into the history of Piscatawaytown, and the Commons.
 This program is free, and open to the public on Saturday September 17, 2011 3:00pm to 5:00pm at St.
James Church, 2136 Woodbridge Ave. Edison. Parking is available behind the

 In 2010 the Metuchen-Edison Historical Society received a grant from the
 Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission to do a metal detector 
search for artifacts relating to the establishment of the Commons.

Historian Michael Gall, and Society members Walter Stochel, and Jim Halsey
will present the the history of Piscatawaytown, and inform attendants about the recent 
archeological investigation of the Commons.  Artifacts from the
investigation will be displayed.  Afterward, a walking tour of the Commons
and Burial Ground will take interested parties to 

Piscatawaytown, located around the intersection of Plainfield and Woodbridge 
Aves. One of the oldest neighborhoods in Edison, dating from the 17th century, This was the main settlement of the Township 
during the Colonial era.
The Commons behind St. James Church was established in the 1690's and is the
 oldest public park in Middlesex County.

Paradise Custom Glass' Fall Offerings - Register NOW

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Cleat Exchanges Scheduled for Next 2 Saturdays at Town Fields

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Thumbnail image for Cleat_Exchange3_2011.jpg

Neve Shalom Sponsors 9/11 Memorial + Blood Drive

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Neve Shalom will hold a 9/11 MEMORIAL on Sunday, September 11, 2011 8:30am in the Neve Shalom parking lot at 250 Grove Ave., Metuchen, NJ. Included will be prayers, readings and recollections by Rabbi Zelizer. At 8:47am a shofar will recall the first plane crash. At 9am morning minyan will be held inside as will the opening Hebrew School Assembly. 

They will also hold a Blood Drive - In Memory of Michael Allan Thompson, Sunday, September 11, 2011 from 8:00am - 1:00pm - Miller Ballroom, 250 Grove Ave., Metuchen, NJ. Anyone age 16 and over can give blood. Come and save a life. 

Breezes Invites You to Their Ribbon Cutting Ceremony TONIGHT

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A Grand Opening and official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will take place on Friday, September 9, 2011, at Breezes Café & Grill at 5:30 PM. Representatives from the Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce will be joined by Metuchen Mayor Thomas Vahalla as we welcome Eugene Baptiste and Donna McPherson Baptiste to the Metuchen business community. 

There will be a complimentary food and drink tasting from 5:00-6:00 PM followed by dinner service from 6:00-10:00 PM.

Proprietors Eugene Baptiste and Donna McPherson Baptiste, with roots in Trinidad and Guyana, are spicing up Main Street in Metuchen with their authentic Caribbean flavors and home-style cooking. Breezes Café & Grill offers commuters and local residents delicious food and warm hospitality in an inviting and relaxing setting.

Clayhole Brothers Saturday Night at Old Franklin School

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Hello, Artists! The Rotunda Gallery is Calling You!

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The Metuchen Rotunda Gallery is seeking submissions for exhibits in 2012. The deadline for submissions is Sept 30. Submit 10 samples of your work in jpeg format on a disk, along with an artist statement and contact information (including email and phone number). To download a prospectus, go to

Cruise Night Rescheduled Due to Rain

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The Chamber says, "Tonight's Cruise Night is Cancelled.  Due to inclement weather, tonight's Cruise Night has been cancelled.  It is rescheduled for next Wednesday, September 14th."

EPA Hurricane Response Releases Pfizer Toxicity Into Canal

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From Edison Wetlands Association:

With Hurricane Irene's massive flooding followed by a second week of torrential downpours, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is responding by releasing the standing waters from Pfizer's highly toxic American Cyanamid Superfund Site in Bridgewater, NJ, into the adjacent Raritan River and its flood-connected Delaware & Raritan Canal. While the USEPA forcing Pfizer to install carbon bags against the chemicals seeping into the Raritan River was a step in the right direction, urgent action is now needed.  

Several environmental groups including Edison Wetlands Association (EWA), NY/NJBaykeeper, the New Jersey Sierra Club and Raritan Riverkeeper last week called on the USEPA to take emergency measures to secure the leaking toxic waste chemical lagoons.  The USEPA refused to take that step, and is now exacerbating the problem to the already flood-devastated neighborhoods of Manville, Bridgewater, and Bound Brook.  Even worse, the flood-connected Delaware & Raritan Canal also serves as a drinking water source for thousands of New Jerseyans.

According to EWA Executive Director Robert Spiegel, "The USEPA and Pfizer didn't accurately prepare for the oncoming Hurricane Irene, and our worst fears were since realized as the witches brew of chemicals in this leaking toxic waste site are completely flooded.  While USEPA assures us that this site's 200 million gallons of water are safe for discharge into the Raritan River, the truth is that nothing about this leaking toxic waste site is safe.  The USEPA must make Pfizer install floodwater controls and filter the water before it is discharged, and needs to force Pfizer to undertake the cleanup with Emergency Removal.  


Double Feature Under the Stars Saturday the 17th

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The Metuchen Arts Council presents A Double Feature Under The Stars, Saturday September 17th, on Fedar Field, Grove Avenue.  Disney's classic Peter Pan will begin at 7:30pm and Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future will follow at 9:00pm.

Admission is free but donations will be accepted.  Bring your lawn chair, bug spray and flashlights.  There will be a food truck available to purchase refreshments.  Field opens at 7:00pm.

Don't you just love free fun for all ages??

Happy Labor Day, Metuchen!

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happy-labor-day.jpgAt this writing, regardless of the weather predictions for later today, Labor Day (or, in my household, the saddest day of the year, as it brings the end of 'summer' as we know it) has come in the guise of a lovely day. Enjoy!

Here's an interesting link for those of you who wish to know the genesis of this holiday from the U.S. Department of Labor.

No man is born into the world whose work
Is not born with him; there is always work
And tools to work withal, for those who will....
~James Russell Lowell

And good luck to our district students tomorrow, as school begins for the 2011-12 season!

Homerun Summer Ends with Metuchen 8's Big Tourney Win

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The Metuchen 8 year old tournament team finished their season with two solid tournament championship wins. The team's first big win came in the final playoff of the Fords-Clara Barton tournament. The Metuchen 8's sealed their win against Hazlet with a score of 11-9.

Following their first championship win in Fords, they moved through the brackets in the Milltown tournament with strong performances by each of the team players. In both tournaments Jay Harry and Luke Schleck's strong pitching performances led the team, with anchoring support provided by Matthew Rowe, Jack Gaven, Kevin Simonson and Michael Piovoso. Fielding and hitting were integral to the composition of the team and Matthew Fortuna, Zachary Wheeler, Jake Musamanno, Andrew Schugel , Jack Fuccile, and Joseph Faggioni did not disappoint. A special tip of the hat goes to Zach "Zook" Musamanno, the official bat boy for the team.

The highlight of the Milltown tournament season was the perfect game pitched by Jay Harry in the playoff against Milltown. Jay Harry's outstanding performance secured an 11-0 victory over the hometown favorite.

Congratulations to the 2011 Metuchen 8 year old tournament team on a magical season and to their parents and friends for supplying us with these great details and pictures!


Board of Ed Approves Job Description for Superintendent

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The superintendent search is heating up . . . and so are local tempers. At the last Board of Ed meeting, a Board member stormed from the room after confronting a local resident who was asking a question regarding the inclusion of the term "academic excellence" in the job description for the position.  Policy 1230, which is the job description used to determine the qualifications for the superintendent position, now includes the words "student academic achievement." The Board approved the revision, after a lively discussion of the merits of including such a term and why it is important to do so when casting a wide net for the right candidate.

The Board has contracted a consultant from the NJSBA to the tune of $15,000 to help to implement the search and process the results for the board. So far the board is on schedule (see for the search calendar) , although public forums (9/14 and 9/20) regarding what the community in the district would consider viable questions and issues to bring up with any candidates have been scheduled after the process is well underway. However, the Board concurred that the concerns and requests of all interested Metuchen residents would be considered throughout the interview process. The application request deadline is September 9th and all applications must be received by September 23rd. Ads have been placed through the Star-Ledger and a NJ Education organization. Other outlets weren't discussed at the meeting.

When principal spots were opened at the High School and at Campbell Elementary, the Board received many applications but chose to fill those positions from candidates within the Metuchen school system. Given this track record, perhaps one of the questions the community might throw out is does the Board truly believe that great candidates can come to the district from the outside. If you have questions about the superintendent search or comments to make about the process, please forward your emails to members' addresses as on the website. Present Superintendent Terri Sinatra asked that the public take advantage of this opportunity to be part of the ongoing conversation about the future of our school district.

Rec Bowling Program Starts Soon!

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-- Starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling & Julianne Moore

Friday 7:30  Saturday  3pm  &  5:15   Sunday 5pm  &  7:30  Monday (Labor Day) 3pm 
Rated pg-13 Running Time 2hrs
Tickets $10,  $9 Seniors 65 and older, Students under 17 $8

On Saturday at 7:30pm A Special Double Feature...
Presented by Crystal Plummage Films & The Forum

PHANTASM (1979)--
Classic horror film by director Don Coscarelli (Beastmaster, Bubba Ho-Tep) about an evil undertaker that turns the dead into zombie Jawas. This movie scared the hell out of me as a child.
...and  DEATH RACE 2000 (1975) Sylvester Stallone, David Carradine, and Mary Woronov star in this action packed, over the top, exploitation film. Directed by the late Paul Bartel (Mr. McGree from Rock N Roll High School!) Both films will be presented on 35mm and as always, we'll be showing some trailers before the films to get you in the mood. First film starts at 7:30PM

Victor Guarnera Speaks on September 11th Experience at the Library

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On Sunday, September 18 at 2 PM, Victor Guarnera, a longtime Metuchen resident, will speak of his experiences as the Chief Technical Advisor for Security Systems to the World Trade Center, at the Metuchen Public Library, 480 Middlesex Avenue. Mr.Guarnera assisted in the evacuation of 1 World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001. He was one of the last people to leave the North Tower and was an integral part of the coordination of rescue and recovery efforts in the hours and days following. Guarnera was awarded the Civilian Medal for Bravery/ Valor.  The program will be followed by a Q and A with the audience.  Refreshments will be served.  For more information, call the adult services librarian, John Mc Bride on 732.632.8526 or write 

Register for The Forum Kids On Stage Fall Program

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Stars On Stage production of Seussical Jr finishes registration on September 8th from 5:30 to 7pmThis promises to be a very popular show so please sign up as soon as possible. 

Classes Start September 13... Tuesdays 4:30 to 6:30

Otherwise, register by emailing Peter Loewy at or call the theatre at 732.548.5600 and leave a message.

Kids On Stage Fall Program presents:
A Musical. 

Classes are for students from 8 to 13 years of age. No experience necessary, only a desire to learn! 
Tuition is $450 for the 10 week program and $425 if paid in full by September 13.
 Performances are November 18, 19, 20 On The Forum Stage!

I.L. Peretz Community Jewish School Open House September 11th

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The I.L. Peretz Community Jewish School, the secular-humanistic choice in central New Jersey, will host an open house on Sunday, September 11, 2011, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Rutgers Prep, 1345 Easton Ave. , Somerset .

I.L. Peretz offers a Sunday school for children in grades K-7 and a welcoming, inclusive, and diverse community.  Come and learn about our enriching curriculum that covers Hebrew, literature, Jewish traditions, history, music and Israeli folk dance and emphasizes community-based ser vice and social justice activities. Explore how we help our children develop a Jewish identity without being affiliated with a synagogue.  Learn about our weekly Jewish-themed discussions for adults, our unique holiday celebrations and annual retreats at Stokes State Forest . And, come away with great ideas for planning a Bar/Bat Mitzvah that reflects your family's values.  

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