December 2011 Archives

Happy Holidays, All! See you in 2012!

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happyholidays_b.gifWhether you are enjoying Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Festivus, Metuchen Matters wishes you all a happy and healthy holiday season and a fantastic New Year (Don't we all deserve it??) We are off to enjoy time with family and friends and will see you all on January 1st, 2012 (unless the earth's axis shifts or Santa gets stuck in Metuchen -- then we'll be sure to get on top of that story). Enjoy!!

Raconteur Christmas Extravaganza Stars Krampus?

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From the Raconteur: 8 PM, Fri. Dec 23

WHO IS KRAMPUS? X-MAS BASH!! The Raconteur's Seventh Annual (and FINAL) Christmas Party!

As an alternative to your basic run-of-the-mill mall Santa (and what is The Rac if not an alternative to everything mall), The Raconteur bring you a holiday hybrid of St. Nicholas and the mythical Alpine figure known as Krampus, played by Michael Jarmus and designed by Tom Savini protege Dan Diana, who did the incredible makeup for our recent Haunted Bookshop and the Raconteur stage production, Nosferatu. According to legend, the ram-horned Krampus accompanies St. Nicholas during the Christmas season. Traditionally young men dress up as Krampus in Austria and southern Bavaria during the first two weeks of December, roaming the streets with chains and bells. $10, includes a supremely weird reading and performance by Krampus, a picture of YOU with Krampus, and a groaning board laden with homemade treats and three different kinds of punch (with and without alcohol). PLUS: from 6 - 8 there will be a special photo session with Krampus for just $5 a pop. Forget the mall this year, put your kid on different knee! All ages!!

The Forum Has Great Ideas for Holiday Fun

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From the Forum Theater:

MY WEEK WITH MARILYN



Sir Laurence Olivier is making a movie in London. Young Colin Clark, an eager film student, wants to be involved and he navigates himself a job on the set. When film star Marilyn Monroe arrives for the start of shooting, all of London is excited to see the blonde bombshell, while Olivier is struggling to meet her many demands and acting ineptness, and Colin is intrigued by her. Kenneth Branagh was superb as Laurence Olivier,
as was the great Judi Dench as Dame Sybil.



Wednesday 7:30 Thursday 2pm & 7:30 Friday 7:30 Saturday at 5:30 & 7:30 Sunday at 2 & 4pm



 

Plus Pay What You Want Movies for the Kids All Holiday Week !!!



Monday December 26      ELF


Tuesday December 27     THE WIZARD OF OZ


Wednesday December 28 Disney's ALICE IN WONDERLAND


Thursday December 29    Disney's Classic DUMBO


Friday December 30         MARY POPPINS



All Shows are at 11AM and there is no admission fee! You can pay what you want or just come and enjoy!

A Very happy and Healthy Holiday Season To All From The Forum Theatre!

New Street Lot Development Moving Forward

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Check out this article in The Sentinel about the New Street lot and the proposals for its redevelopment. Do you think this is a great use of space or just something to add more traffic?

Take A Free SAT Test at the LIbrary December 27th

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From the Metuchen Public Library:
One of the best ways to increase your score on the SAT exam is to take a full practice test!  
On Tuesday, December 27, Kaplan Test Prep will offer a FREE SAT Practice Test, beginning at 12:30 PM, at the Metuchen Public Library, 480 Middlesex Avenue.  Scores will be emailed to students, with no obligation to take a prep course through Kaplan. On the day of the practice test, students should bring #2 pencils and a calculator. Early sign-up for the practice exam is encouraged because space is limited. Presently, early registration is open to Metuchen residents only, who should call the Library at 732.632.8526 or write KLiss@Lmxac.org. ( Non-residents can call 1-800-KAP-TEST to learn if there are openings.)

Dangerous Drivers Cause Concern for Citizens and Downtown Businesses

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Tyreen Reuter is the President of the BIL and a hard-working member of the community and a mother of young children. She believes in supporting local businesses and frequents Main Street for as many of her family's needs as possible. However, that may all change, due to the continuing issue of inconsiderate drivers here in the Brainy Boro. Here's the information she sent to the police after this last incident. If you've had a close call like this, let MM know (either here or on Facebook). Maybe we can all work together towards a solution for this dangerous situation. Thanks to Tyreen for sharing (the picture is her son, whom she dresses in reflective clothing on walks downtown just to make sure they can be seen!! (MM is glad you're okay!)

Dear Office Bauer,

It's Tyreen Reuter again - I dropped off a letter last week about a traffic/crosswalk incident that happened the day before Thanksgiving, and I appreciate your follow-up phonecall afterwards.  It was really great to have such a speedy and considerate response.

Unfortunately, this afternoon I was out with both my boys, and experienced another extremely serious incident.  Perhaps this is just my bad luck to have two such dramatic incidents in less than one month, but honestly, I feel so unsafe at this point that I have decided I will no longer risk our lives by walking downtown.  I don't say this lightly; in the past year I have worked on a few of volunteer efforts specifically designed to attract people to our downtown (the Historic Architectural Scavenger Hunt, Junebug volunteer, Zombie Walk, Hometown Holidays guide, etc.) 

At about 2pm today, I was crossing Main Street in the flashing crosswalk at Highland Avenue, from the "Fresco" side to the "Cartridge World" side.  Both my six-year-old and two-year-old sons were wearing their bright yellow reflective safety vests and "safety cone orange" winter hats.  The younger one was in the stroller.  Again, I waited until cars stopped in both directions, and then carefully entered the crosswalk.  Suddenly, a black sports sedan that was waiting at the light in northbound traffic (about in front of Smoker's Haven, but also partially blocking Highland Avenue) started to accelerate BACKWARDS towards the crosswalk where my sons and I were still crossing.  I started to scream for her to stop, pulled the stroller closer to the car that had stopped for us, and yanked my older son backwards.  There were a couple of other pedestrians on the "Fresco side" that started to yell at her as well, and she finally stopped WITHIN the crosswalk itself.  She then pulled towards her left and quickly made off for the green turn signal at 27/Middlesex Avenue.  I realized later she must have seen the light was about to turn green and decided to make a left instead of going straight or right, and was racing to change lanes in order to make the left turn signal.  Regardless, she was only two or three inches from my son's stroller by the time she finally stopped, even with us trying to get out of the way.  Honestly, if I hadn't been so hyper-alert about cars around me ever since the incident before Thanksgiving, I might never have seen this car until it was too late.  It was pretty clear she didn't check behind her before backing up - and I am sure she didn't realize we were there until everyone started yelling.


Happy Hanukkah, Everyone!

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DAYBREAK Book Signing at Rac December 21st

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John Sayles at the Forum: AMIGO and Q&A

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The Raconteur, The Forum Theatre, and The Metuchen Arts Council will present an evening with filmmaker JOHN SAYLES on Saturday, December 17th at 7:30 p.m. at the Forum Theatre in Metuchen.

Oscar nominee, MacArthur fellow, and the indisputable "Godfather of Independent Cinema," John Sayles, will screen and discusses his 17th feature film, the acclaimed, historic war drama, Amigo, starring Chris Cooper and the legendary Filipino actor Joel Torre, and read from his new novel, A Moment in the Sun, a spectacular work of fiction compared to both Doctorow and Deadwood.  Mr. Sayles will also participated in an on stage discussion with the audience.


Variety Village Holds Key to the Heart of the Holidays

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elf.jpgOn a box of lights found at Variety Village, some shoppers found a very interesting message. Check this out. This is the real secret to the holiday spirit isn't it?
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Neve Shalom Presents Just Me!

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Neve Shalom Nursery School

"Let Your Child's Jewish Education Begin Here!" (250 Grove Avenue)

Metuchen, NJ  08840

(732) 548-2238 ext 13

When your child is ready for more than just

 "Mommy & Me" and isn't quite ready for preschool,

 it's time for. . . . .

"Just Me!"

(ages 24 months to 2-1/2 yrs old)

 

"Just Me!" is held on Wednesdays from 9:15 - 11:15 am for an 8 week session.  It is a natural progression from "Mommy & Me" and a transition class prior to entering the preschool toddler class.

"Just Me!" gives children (and Mommies) the opportunity to prepare for independent nursery learning. The class is just the right length of time for little ones having their first experience away from Mom, and Moms are welcome to stay in the building!

 

3rd Session (8 weeks): 1/4, 1/11, 1/18, 1/25, 2/1, 2/8, 2/15, & 2/22

 

Members: $199 Non-Members: $239

 

Child's Name ______________________Birthday______________

Parent's Name _________________________________________

Address______________________________________________

Telephone #: ________________Cell Phone #:________________

 

Please return form and check to Debbie Jones, school secretary,

your child can "jump in" at any time during the session and we will pro-rate the cost.

Full Weekend at the Forum Coming Up

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This Friday at 8pm
KENNY VANCE & THE PLANOTONES
Up Close and Personal

Tickets Are Going Fast!
Friday December 16 at 8pm The Forum Theatre presents...
KENNY VANCE Up Close and Personal
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!
Reserved seats are $38 and can be purchased online at www.forumtheatrearts.org or at the Forum Box Office 732.548.5600


Saturday December 17th at 7:30 The Forum Theatre, The Raconteur and Metuchen Cultural Commission presents...
AMIGO a film by New Jerseys most noted Writer/Directed John Sayles
Mr. Sayles will be in person at the screening to talk about the film and do a Q&A session with the audience
Oscar nominee, MacCarthur fellow, and the indisputable "Godfather of Independent Cinema," John Sayles, screens and discusses his 17th feature film, the acclaimed, historic war drama, Amigo, starring Chris Cooper and the legendary Filipino actor Joel Torre
Reserved seats are $15 and can be purchased online at www.forumtheatrearts.org at the Forum Box Office 732.548.5600 or The Raconteur Bookshop


Metuchen Marching Band Gets Great Gameday News!

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Thanks to Staci Gil on behalf of the Metuchen High School Marching Band, we have the following information to pass on to you regarding the band's highly-anticipated performance at January's Orange Bowl Game in Florida:

The chart-topping Train ("Hey Soul Sistah") learned that the High School Bands would be performing and requested to have them play and rehearse together! The band directors are SUPER excited as they feel this is yet another opportunity for the kids to experience some exciting and professional musicianship. CBS will be there for the practice sessions for lighting and perspective and the band will learn what goes into a live television production. On the bill are Hey Soul Sistah, a song by Areosmith and one final number. And Metuchen is the only school with blue uniforms so they will be seen easily during the commercial-free broadcast! Get your DVRs set! Congratulations to the band (and, in case this makes you want ot help them out, check out this link for donations to their travel fund).

 

New Year's Fireworks Information

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From the Chamber/Metuchen Savings Bank:

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

Residents and visitors alike are encouraged to check with their favorite Metuchen dining establishment to inquire about their special plans for New Year's Eve and to make dinner reservations early. Support Metuchen Chamber businesses this holiday season. Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce gift certificates make great holiday gifts! They are available in many denominations and are easy to purchase, easy to wrap, and are never returned. There is no fee to purchase gift certificates, they don't lose value, and they never expire.

For more information call the Chamber office at 732-548-2964.

Raconteur Radio Presents Christmas Carol at Library December 18th

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On Sunday, December 18 at 2 PM, Alex Dawson and Raconteur Radio will present a staged production of their original interpretation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol at the Metuchen Public Library, 480 Middlesex Avenue. Raconteur Radio creates the feel of a 1930s radio play with their shows. Their productions feature costumes, props, and sound effects as part of the drama which is interspersed with commercials from the time. After the show there will be a Question and Answer period with the audience and refreshments will be served. This is a family event; all ages are welcome. Seating begins at 1:45 PM. This program is sponsored by The Friends of the Metuchen Public Library

 

EMS Presents Breakfast with Santa December 11th

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The volunteers at Metuchen EMS are firing up the griddle and getting ready to flip some flapjacks for its annual Breakfast with Santa at its headquarters on Sunday, December 11 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Santa will greet the children at 1 Safety Place with the squad with helpers to serve breakfast. He will hand out gifts to children attending the event. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets will be sold at the door.

Bring a New Unwrapped Toy to donate to Toys For Tots and receive a free ticket for basket drawings.
This event is sponsored by Metuchen Savings Bank and proceeds from the Event will benefit Metuchen EMS, which is independent from the borough, to cover the cost of medical supplies, insurance, vehicle maintenance and other expenses associated with providing emergency care to the public. Last year, Metuchen EMS served over 500 breakfasts as part of one of its largest fundraisers.

William Giraldi and BUSY MONSTERS at the Raconteur Saturday

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8 PM, Sat. Dec 10

WILLIAM GIRALDI

Reading/Signing

BUSY MONSTERS

Memoirist of mediocre fame, Charles Homar has a problem: his bride-to-be, Gillian Lee, has nixed their nuptials and fled to the high seas in search of a legendary giant squid, unleashing an unholy heart wreck upon him. In a hell-bent effort to prove his mettle as an American male and win back Gillian's affections, Charlie crisscrosses the nation seeking counsel, confronting creatures both mythic and real--Bigfoot, space aliens, bodybuilders. Echoing a narrative tradition that includesDon Quixote and Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions, Giraldi'sdebut novel is a love story of linguistic bravado that explores American excess, the diaphanous line between fiction and fact, and what desperate men and women will do to one another. William Giraldi'swork has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Georgia Review, The Believer, Kenyon Review, and Poets & Writers. A senior editor at AGNI, he teaches in the Writing Program at Boston University.FREE! Comp wine. Books on sale at event.

 

Upcoming Fundraiser for Orange Bowl Trip -- Save the Date

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  • Descrip
    Save the date...December 19th, One last fundraiser before the Metuchen Marching Band departs for Miami, FL to perform the halftime show at the Orange Bowl on January 4th.

    Please come out with your family for an awesome dinner at Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza at 80 Parsonage Road Edison, NJ 08837across from Menlo Park Mall. Stayed tuned for more details and a flyer. We must present the flyer so we get 20% of sales. 
    We will post the flyer as soon as it's available!

Ding Dong! "Santa's Calling" on December 13

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ist1_2353149-blank-sign-santa-on-white.jpgThis link will get you to the application for Santa's Calling, an annual service from the Metuchen Recreation Commission, during which, from the appointed hours of 6-8PM, "Santa" will call your child and converse for a moment, specifying their wish list desires as well as driving home some parent-approved advice for the coming year. Sign up now so that Santa's Calling you and your little sugarplums on December 17! Applications must be received by December 9th so the Santa Patrol knows how many calls they are going to make!

From the Board of Ed: Here's the Word on The New Superintendent

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NOTE: THIS IS THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE OF THE METUCHEN BOARD OF EDUCATION. MM DID NOT WRITE THIS ARTICLE:

The Metuchen Board of Education unanimously approved the appointment of Mr. Vincent Caputo as the Superintendent of the 2,100 student public school district at the December 6 public meeting. The appointment concludes a vigorous search process which began in July when current Superintendent Theresa Pollifrone-Sinatra, who has held the position for the past eleven years, announced her desire to retire effective January 1, 2012.

In sharing his thoughts on his appointment, Mr. Caputo said, "Metuchen has always placed a high value on its school system. I am honored and humbled to become part of such a fine district."

Board of Education President Eileen Frowenfeld described Mr. Caputo as "a dedicated educator who possesses not only the leadership experience but also the professional qualities and characteristics we hoped to find in our next superintendent."

New Superintendent of Schools to be Announced Tonight

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MM received this message from both Dan Benderly on the Board of Education and CQE -- So, if you haven't already heard, a new Superintendent of Schools will be appointed at tonight's Board of Education meeting.  The following announcement comes directly from the Metuchen School District's website, www.metuchenschools.org:


The Search is over!

The Metuchen Board of Education invites you to attend our public meeting on Tuesday, December 6, when we plan to appoint the next Superintendent of the Metuchen School District. Please join us at 8 p.m. in the high school cafeteria as we welcome a passionate educator to our district.

 

Local Musician Helps Holiday Charities With New CDs

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Rosario Panzarella is a Metuchen resident living two lives. One of them is very musical and he sent us some information about his latest recording for "Kids Need Christmas" - a full length CD raising money for local charities during the holidays. Here's his story:

"[I am a] Lifelong Metuchen Resident, husband, and father of 2 amazing boys.  Proud member of Mt Zion Lodge #135 Free and Accepted Masons of Metuchen.  SR Technical Architect with AT&T Enterprise IT for the last 12 years.  Met my wonderful and very beautiful wife Donna there 10 years ago.  While my day job is in IT, my passion is and always has been music. I sing play guitar, bass and keyboards  Most recently, I have been involved in lending myself to 2 remarkable charities:

I recorded an original version of Oh Holy Night for the charity "Kids Need Christmas" http://kidsneedchristmas.com  That song is part of a full length CD comprised of contemporary, original works by local NJ musicians. "Kids Need Christmas" was founded to raise money to provide gifts for children at Christmas time who may not otherwise receive them due to natural disasters or other tragic events. An American Army, which is a collaborative endeavor with Eric Suky, benefits the notable organization "Homes For Our Troops" http://www.homesforourtroops.org.  100% of the proceeds will be dedicated to this charity, which builds specially adapted homes  for our most severely injured veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.  


The Forum is busy in December! Take a look at the wide variety of programming available for your holiday fun!

For The KidsThe Forum Theatres Stars on Stage students present...SEUSSICAL Jr. Live on Stage
, December 9 at 7pm, December 10 at 11AM & 7PM, December 11 at 2PM
 -- In this fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza, Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (LUCKY STIFF, MY FAVORITE YEAR, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, and RAGTIME) have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie and a little boy with a big imagination--Jojo. "
Reserved seats are $15 and can be purchased online at www.forumtheatrearts.org or at the Forum Box Office 732.548.5600



Friday December 16 at 8pm The Forum Theatre presents...
KENNY VANCE Up Close and Personal
Among today's great vocal pop musicians, Kenny Vance and The Planotones have voices of original and inviting dimension. Reserved seats are $38 and can be purchased online at www.forumtheatrearts.org or at the Forum Box Office 732.548.5600




Hometown Holiday Weekend Guide from the BIL THIS WEEKEND

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Check out this link for all the information about a great weekend of events spomsored by our friends at the Borough Improvement League. Starting with the Tree Lighting, the weekend is filled with BIL fun! Look for the flyer for the Hometown Holiday Weekend Event around town!


Christmas Carol at the Raconteur TONIGHT

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8 PM, Saturday at the Raconteur

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: A Staged Radio Play

Featuring Caryle Owens, Mike Jarmus, Laurence Mintz, Gwen Owens, and Alex Dawson

Adapted from the classic Charles Dickens' novella, the story tells of a misanthropic pinchpenny named Ebenezer Scrooge and his ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation after the supernatural visits of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. To this day, A Christmas Carol remains extraordinarily popular. It has never been out of print and has been adapted to film, opera, and radio (natch). Reservations required! $10 (suggested donation). Sound Effects! Costumes! Theatrical Lighting! 

TD Bank Hit by Robbers in Five Hour Spree

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TD Bank on Middlesex Avenue was one of three banks in MIddlesex County that got hit in a robbing spree that lasted only five hours but made a lot of money disappear. Check out this link.

New Teen Issues Collection at Metuchen Library

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Teenagers with questions about sexuality, bullying, drinking, body image, mental health concerns, and many other age appropriate topics, now have a special collection of resources to go to in the Metuchen Public Library.  Since its recent creation, the Teen Issues collection has already attracted many young readers and is expected to grow even more popular as word of its existence spreads.

Sponsored by the Metuchen Municipal Alliance/Youth Services Board, the collection includes informative and interesting books and pamphlets written especially for young men and women in 6th through 12th grade. The display can be found near the Library Place doors of the Library, at the entrance of the Young Adult (YA)section.

Friends Make Annual Gift to Metuchen Library

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Check out this article on the Friends of the LIbrary and the myriad of ways they have been helping grow our public library over the years. Congratulations and thanks to them for all their help!

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