Sunday, August 25, 2013

NEW ISELIN EAGLE SCOUT

Patrick Brennan of Iselin, on the left, and Bryce Gomes of Woodbridge were awarded the rank of Eagle at a ceremony today.

This afternoon, Troop 31 of Port Reading held an Eagle Court of Honor to honor two new Eagle Scouts. Patrick Brennan of Iselin and Bryce Gomes of Woodbridge both attained Scouting's highest rank.  The ceremony took place at the Iselin Firehouse on Auth Avenue, and it was well attended by many dignitaries, friends and family members who wanted to congratulate the two on their great achievement.  In his remarks, Woodbridge Mayor McCormac congratulated both boys on completing Eagle, and thanked them for choosing projects that helped the Woodbridge Township community. 

Patrick, of Iselin, is a graduate of John F. Kennedy Memorial High School and is attending Rider College.  Bryce, of Woodbridge, is a graduate of Woodbridge High School and is attending Kean College. 

Cheryl, Patrick, and Ed Brennan of Iselin



Monday, July 1, 2013

Wear a Bike Helmet
when riding your bike!

Woodbridge Township Police Department Targets Bicycle Safety
 
WPD To Issue “Safety” Summons For Wearing Bicycle Helmets
~ Summons Good For FREE Ice Cream Cone at Colonia Dairy Maid ~
 
Woodbridge - Mayor John E. McCormac and the Woodbridge Police Department (WPD) announce a summer bicycle safety campaign targeting bicyclists under age 17.  WPD officers on patrol will issue a “safety” summons to bicyclists wearing safety helmets – state law requires children under the age of 17 to wear a bicycle safety helmet while riding a bicycle, roller blades, skateboard or scooter.  The “safety” summons is good for a FREE ice cream cone at Colonia Dairy Maid (1075 St. Georges Ave., Colonia.)

Besides the benefit of possibly getting a free ice cream cone, the other benefit of wearing a helmet is possibly preventing a head trauma if your child has an accident on his or her bike... surely that is also a really good reason to make them wear a helmet...


 
 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

DEER CROSSING?

I've lived here in this same house for 50 years. I've looked across at that same lawn, for the school, for my whole entire life. I have NEVER seen a deer on that lawn before. Shocked the heck out of me, to tell you the truth.


Stay Cool!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Nasty Water -
but it's safe...

1:30 PM, 6/24/13:  I just ran a tub full of water and realized that the stuff coming out of my pipes here in Iselin is nasty brown.  I checked the Middlesex Water Company website ....nothing.  So, I called the Middlesex Water Company's "Hotline."

The phone rang a while before I got someone to answer, but when they answered they were extremely helpful.  The guy said that they are only doing routine maintenance, flushing the pipes, in the area.  The brown stuff is iron deposits.  If I understood it right, the iron deposits build up in the main and need to be flushed out once in a while, but they are not harmful.  Just very unattractive and unappetizing. 

The water company guy assured me that there is NO boil water advisory, and no need for one.  He said the stuff would dissipate soon.  (A lot of it just dissipated into my tub.)

So I guess I have a good excuse for not doing laundry today.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

BEAUTY RECONSTRUCTED: Art Show
going on now!





Woodbridge, New Jersey– The Barron Arts Center presents Beauty Reconstructed: The Art of Marcel Truppa.  The exhibit runs June 8-25, 2013.

Marcel Truppa is an experimental artist who works in collage, watercolors and oils at his Rahway, NJ studio; his hometown since the 1930’s.  Known mostly for his found object assemblage--pieces that recall the great masters of art history--Truppa received his formal training at the Pratt Institute in NYC and is also a graduate of The Newark School of Fine & Industrial Art in New Jersey. In addition to his private works, he enjoyed a long career of Graphic Design & Art Direction in NYC.

His collages present a unification of modern design and traditional art elements; mostly reconfigured masterworks with found objects embellishments.  Inspired by our “throw-away culture,” Truppa assembles a perfect blend of the old & new. Influenced by Cornell, Braque, Schwitters, Man Ray & the Renaissance School, Truppa retrieves, sorts and reconstructs “beauty” from manipulated pieces of tradition & modern culture.

Truppa’s Barron Arts Center Show will showcase the artist’s collages as well as his watercolors and oil works and his most recent bottle collages.
Beauty Recontructed: The Art of Marcel Truppa runs June 8-25, 2013.   RESERVATIONS NOT REQUIRED.

The Barron Arts Center is located at 582 Rahway Avenue in Woodbridge, NJ.
Gallery hours are Monday thru Friday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m.-4 p.m.

The exhibition is sponsored by The Woodbridge Township Cultural Arts Commission chaired by Dr. Dolores Capraro Gioffre with support from Mayor John E. McCormac.

About the Barron Arts Center – Woodbridge Township’s Center for the Arts

The Barron Arts Center, listed on the national Register of Historic Places, recently celebrated its 130th Anniversary. With the support of the Woodbridge Township Cultural Arts Commission and under the direction of Cynthia Knight, the Barron Arts Center offers programming to the public free of charge.

Donations are appreciated and are essential to the continuation of free quality arts programs and exhibits. The Barron Arts Center always accepts donations for
The Mayor’s Food Bank & The Woodbridge Animal Shelter

** Please become a “fan” of the “Barron Arts Center” on our Facebook page to get all of the latest information on upcoming programs and events. Follow us on Twitter for art news from Woodbridge & around the world!**

For more information or directions, please call (732) 634-0413.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

ISELIN RESIDENT COMPLETES EAGLE PROJECT

An Eagle Scout Service Project has just been completed at Matthew Jago School in Sewaren, by Iselin resident Jonathan Schmalenberger of Troop 44, Edison. Now that he has completed his Eagle Project, he hopes to be ready to attain the rank of Eagle early this fall.   Jon attends JFK High School. 

Jonathan choose P.A.C.E., (Program for the Advancement of Children's Education,) and Matthew Jago School for the project because of his affection for the autistic community.

Having family members with Autism and other disabilities and his desire to be a neurologist, it all just gels together to him wanting to make a difference to the special needs community.   He has volunteered for P.A.C.E. for the last 3 years, doing well over 60 hours each of the last 2 years.  Students from all over Woodbridge Township attend special programs at Matthew Jago School.

Jonathan planned the project and organized a group of volunteers, including members of his Troop 44, and members of Troop 143.  They took an empty courtyard and created a safe and attractive play space for the Autistic Preschool there.  He and his volunteers removed weeds and dirt and installed safe rubber mulch, a play house and a climbing toy, and a picnic table for the children to use.  They also painted the panels under the windows, using the colors of Autism.

This courtyard is being dedicated to the P.A.C.E. Program in honor of Charles Shaughnessy who was a member of the Colonia Knights of Columbus, and who did a lot for P.A.C.E.





There will be a ceremony at Matthew Jago School next Wednesday, June 12 at 7:00pm to dedicate the new play space, and it is expected that the Mayor and the Shaughnessy family will be attending, in addition to the Principal, Mr. Patten, and other School District representatives, and members of Troop 44.

Some of the volunteers -- from right, Mary Karafa, Co-President of P.A.C.E; Zack, Preston, Russell, Jake, Jon, Scott Kampe - Eagle Advisor, T44; Michael, Jim Crowell, Scoutmaster, T143; Anthony Calantoni, ASM, T143; Howard Kendrick, ASM, T44; Mel Jellison, Scoutmaster, T44; Krista, Kayla, Peter Romanienko, ASM, T44; Stewart Schmalenberger, ASM, T44; and, in the playhouse, T44's Committee Chair, Manny Coelho.


PHOTO CREDIT for this article - KIM SCHMALENBERGER

Friday, May 3, 2013

Any Cicadas Yet?

Have you seen any Cicadas yet?
This is supposed to be the big year for them - the 17 year cicadas are supposed to emerge pretty soon, and I'm not looking forward to it!

I'm keeping an eye on the map on the Cicada Tracker, which you can find by clicking this link!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Smithereens!!!



The Smithereens did a great show tonight at Woodbridge Middle School... they've still got a great sound, no doubt about it!  They did a few Beatles songs mixed in with some of their old songs and some newer songs.  The only glitch in the evening was a brief power problem that interrupted the performance and it didn't seem to get resolved the first time because it happened again.  Other than that, it was a great show! 




THURSDAY NIGHT OUT -
SMITHEREENS!

The Smithereens are playing tonight at Woodbridge Middle School!

Remember the Smithereens?  I love them!



Tickets will be available at the door,  at 525 Barron Avenue in Woodbridge (the middle school, not the high school!) for $35.00.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Two Kennedy Park Teachers
Finalists in Woodbridge Center Contest!

You can vote for "Top Notch Teacher" in a contest being run by Woodbridge Center.  Of the 8 teachers who made the list for finalist, two are teachers at Kennedy Park School #24!  There is also a teacher from Colonia Middle, Woodbridge High, and then a few out of our district.

Here are the write ups for the two Iselin candidates:
 

Vote today by going to the Facebook Page, HERE!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

An Evening of Ecology Themed Writing
April 25th


“Earth Art”
A Lecture by Dr. Anne Swartz

 

Wednesday Evening
 ~ April 24, 2013 ~ 
7:30 p.m. at the Barron Arts Center

______________________________________________________________________

The Barron Arts Center, 
Hosts “Earth Art”  
Presented by Dr. Anne Swartz. 
Part of the Dr. Stephen Kaplan “A Taste of the Arts” Lecture Series.  
Wednesday Evening ~ April 24, 2013 ~ 7:30 p.m.
Admission is FREE with suggested donation of $5.00 
Reservations Required. Call 732-634-0413
The Barron Arts Center is located at 582 Rahway Avenue Woodbridge, NJ 07095
Dr. Anne Swartz will present her lecture “Earth Art” at Woodbridge’s Barron Arts Center. The Earth Art movement began in the 1960s when artists wanted to get away from making art in the traditional gallery setting and get out into nature. This presentation will examine the beginnings of these large-scale works. Specific projects considered include Alan Sonfist’s Time Landscape in Greenwich Village, Walter DeMaria’s Earth Room in Soho, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s recent The Gates in Central Park.
This program is funded by the Horizons Speakers Bureau of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sagar Vira Honored by College

Sagar Vira, a resident of Colonia, NJ, and a graduate of JFK High School in Iselin, has been named by Oxford College of Emory University in Georgia as the Student Leader of the Month, and has also been selected by the college to be listed in “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.”

Sagar was named Student Leader of the Month by the college for his numerous contributions and leadership abilities.   The Student Leader of the Month Award selections are based on each candidate's performance and demonstrated values like awareness of self and empathy with others, ethical leadership principles and practices, collaboration and problem solving, commitment and action, and ethical engagement and citizenship.

Honi Migdol, Oxford College assistant dean for campus life, announced the selection and shares this excerpt from the nominations for Vira: “While Sagar has been a consistent leader on campus, he demonstrated exceptional leadership and maturity during the Alternative Spring Break trip to New Jersey.”  Sagar, a member of the planning committee, was in charge of service projects for the Alternative Spring Break trip and “worked endlessly” to find ways for students to be helpful while making it a meaningful experience. 

“Sagar demonstrated exceptional leadership in planning a safety day for the children at Lavallette Elementary School,” said Migdol.  “He organized a fire truck, ambulance and police car to all come to the school so that the children would have an opportunity to meet some of the heroes that helped so many of them during Hurricane Sandy.  Over and over, the teachers expressed their gratitude for this project,” continued the college representative.  “While ASB is the most current example of Sagar’s leadership, he has shown his ability throughout the last year.  His freshman year he organized a ‘Pack the Chapel’ event for the Invisible Children organization, and this year he has been instrumental in starting a new service program through the Path Project, that provides after school tutoring for the children in a local trailer park.  Sagar makes sure the volunteers from various school organizations all know what they need to do and provides direction.”

Oxford faculty and staff nominated Sagar for “Who’s Who” along with nineteen other students based upon academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in extracurricular activities and potential for continued success.

In addition to being Student Leader of the Month and on the list of “Who’s Who,”  Sagar is in the Bonner Leadership program and a member of the Honor Council at Emory, a certified Emergency Medical Technician in NJ, and an Eagle Scout.

Oxford College is located on Emory University’s original 1836 campus in Oxford, GA.  One fifth of the students in each Emory freshman class begin their baccalaureate studies with Oxford’s liberal-arts-intensive program.  As juniors, they continue their studies on Emory’s Atlanta campus.  Emory University is known for its demanding academics, outstanding undergraduate experience, highly ranked professional schools and state-of-the-art research facilities.  Emory is ranked as one of the country’s top 20 national universities by US News & World Report.  For information on Oxford College, visit www.oxford.emory.edu 


Saturday, April 6, 2013

YOUTH VOLUNTEER RECOGNITION DAY
Then, STAR WARS!
TOMORROW AT COMMUNITY CENTER

Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac & Municipal Council
Celebrate Youth Volunteer Recognition Day
 
Woodbridge Township Young Adults to be Recognized for Community Volunteerism & Service…  Awards Ceremony Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

If you’re looking to get a close-up glimpse of tomorrow’s local leaders today, stop by the Woodbridge Community Center on Sun., April 7 when Mayor John E. McCormac and the Municipal Council recognize Woodbridge Township young people during the Annual “Mayor’s Youth Volunteer Award Program.”   

According to Mayor McCormac, 50 Woodbridge Township young adults will receive the 2013 Mayor’s Youth Volunteer Award for distinguished community service…volunteer service includes church and community, peer tutors, athletic coaches, hospital aides, clothing and food drive coordinators, first aid and fire squad members, and serving and assisting area homeless.

WHEN:                 SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 2013 ~ 1:00PM – 3:00PM.
 
WHERE:               Woodbridge Community Center
                                600 Main Street – 2nd Floor Atrium
                                Woodbridge

THEN, stay for the STAR WARS EVENT!!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Gorgeous Weekend
To Go to the Park




 Well, you still can't drive through Merrill Park.  At least, not from the Benjamin Avenue side. But that doesn't mean that the park is closed.

I took a walk around the park the other day, and there are plenty of people down there.  You just have to drive in from the New Dover Road side.  You can park near the animals or near the community playground... and I imagine the baseball fields will be busy now too!
 Here are a few pictures of the construction going on... I guess it's still going to be a while.



But, as you can see, the playgrounds are busy...and this section of the road is closed to cars, which means it would make a great place to bring the kids bike riding!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Garage Sale Weekend
and Free Bulk Pick up
coming soon!

WOODBRIDGE ANNOUNCES FREE TOWNSHIP-WIDE

GARAGE SALE WEEKENDS & CURB-SIDE BULK WASTE COLLECTION RETURNS APRIL 6

~~ Advertise Your Garage Sale on the Township Web-Page ~~

www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us

List Your Garage Sale or Find the Best Sale in Your Neighborhood

 
Woodbridge – Mayor John E. McCormac announced the return of FREE Township-wide garage sale weekends and bulk waste pick-up beginning April 6 in Menlo Park Terrace and Fords (Recycling District #5; Zones 1-5).  The Woodbridge Township “Spring Clean-Up 2013” includes permit-free Saturday and Sunday garage sale(s) followed by FREE curb-side bulk waste pick-up.  Go to the Township web page at www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us for the special bulk waste collection schedule.  Residents participating in the garage sale weekend can advertise their garage or yard sale on the Township web page by logging on to: www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us.
 
“The tradition of Spring cleaning continues with the return of permit-free garage sale weekends followed by FREE bulk waste pick-up courtesy of the Township Department of Public Works,” said Mayor McCormac.  “This Spring, let’s step-up our clean-up and recycling efforts - what you don’t sell or give away on Saturday and Sunday - put at the curb for collection by Public Works on the scheduled day for bulk waste pick-up in your neighborhood. And, once again, you can advertise your garage sale on the Township web page free-of-charge – so log-on… advertise your yard sale or find out who is having the best garage sale in town.”
 
The Spring 2013 garage sale weekends and special bulk waste collection returns on April 6 to Menlo Park Terrance and Fords.  The bulk waste collection schedule is organized according to the residential “Recycling District” and “Zone.”  To find your District/Zone for the Spring 2013 Special Bulk Waste Pick-Up and Garage Sale schedule go to pages 5-13 in the 2013 Sanitation/Recycling calendar (which was mailed to every resident in January)… log-on to the Township web page at: www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us (“Trash Collection & Recycling”)… or call Public Works at 732-738-1311 x3035 or 3049.

Spring 2013 Special Collection Guidelines:
Have your garage sale on Saturday & Sunday… what you don’t sell or give away will be picked up FREE the following week.  Place discarded items at curbside after 4:00 pm the Sunday after your garage sale weekend.  The bulk waste items will be collected according to the District/Zone schedule for your street.
 
Bulk Waste Items Include:  Furniture, Wood, Carpeting, Appliances & Mixed Metals.  Concrete, Brick and Block will be collected by appointment only; to schedule an appointment for the collection of concrete, brick or block, call 732-738-1311 x3043.  No Hazardous Waste, Tires, Paint, or Chemicals will be accepted.  The FREE bulk waste collection program is for Woodbridge Township Residents only! 
 
Contact the Woodbridge Township Department of Public Works at 732-738-1311 x3035 or 3049 or log-on to the Woodbridge Township Web page at: www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us for more information about the FALL 2011 bulk waste collection program.
# # #
 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Autism Awareness Day

I got this off Facebook for World Autism Awareness Day.  Please support Autism Awareness.

Monday, March 25, 2013

More Newspaper History


I got this comment in my email today:
 

I believe the Independent Leader was located on Green St in the Woodbridge end of township.   I believe it was the STAR - LEDGER that gave away the parcels of land , or sold them reasonably, with subscriptions to their newspaper.  Thus the name the "STAR-EAGLE" section of town.
 
Lori C-Iselin resident since 1962

 
 
Can you imagine getting a free plot of land with a newspaper subscription?  That would be quite exciting.  I got an umbrella with a newspaper subscription once, and I was excited about that.  Newspapers are upset because no one seems to subscribe anymore -- maybe this is what they need to do again!  lol :)
 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

CLEAN UP ISELIN!

Spring Cleaning is in the air, and it would be great if everyone in Iselin spent a little time to make our neighborhood a little cleaner.  At JFK High School, there is a club called the Eco-Friendly Club, and they wanted to get rid of the litter people see when they first drive into Iselin off the Parkway.  When they found out they weren't allowed to clean up the messy stretch along Route 27, they decided to try another tactic.  This is the story I read in the JFK Newsletter... maybe you will sign their petition, too?


Eco-Friendly Club Petitions NJ Transit 
to Clean Up Exit 131
By: Ms. Danielle Sawyer
The JFKMHS Eco-Friendly club has started an
online petition on Change.org to appeal to NJ Transit
to clean up their property at Exit 131 off of the Garden
State Parkway.
The club members recently took notice of the area,
which is about a half mile stretch covered in litter beginning at the light on Route 27 at the Parkway South entrance/exit and ending at the light at the intersection of Green Street and Route 27 in Iselin.
The club members contacted Woodbridge Township expressing an interest in cleaning up the area in order to give visitors of Woodbridge Township who arrive via Exit 131 on the GSP a better impression of what the town has to offer.
However, students were told that the property belonged to NJ transit and that due to the close proximity to the street and the railroad tracks, it would not be safe for the club to organize a property clean-up. Instead, club members have decided to take a different course of action, petitioning NJ Transit to clean up the property themselves.
The petition,organized by club Vice President Ileana Race can befound on Change.org by clicking HERE.
It features pictures of the property as well as a description of the club’s appeal to NJ Transit. The club will start a heavy campaign toward collecting signatures both online and in person beginning mid-March. If you have not already done so, please visit the link above to sign the petition,and spread the word to everyone you know.  Woodbridge Township residents can unite to get this corporation to take proper care of their property to better represent our community!

This a picture of the Change.org page you will be directed to - please sign the petition, and share - get others to sign too!  Clean Up Iselin!!!
Sign the petition by going HERE!


The Old Newspaper Published on Green Street!

Click HERE to read these old papers!
Thanks to an anonymous comment, I think we have an answer for Landon about a newspaper published on Green Street.  The Independent-Leader was published on Green Street, and there are back issues available for viewing through the Woodbridge Library's web site.  You can see them if you go HERE.

How interesting is this? I spent a while just reading the paper... I love this old stuff.  This was the front page for March 29th, 1940.  If you click on the link it will bring you to the libary web site, where you can find different issues, and even make the pages larger so you can actually see the type.


Of course, it wasn't published in Iselin itself, but it was on Green Street, and I would expect that this is most likely the newspaper Landon was looking for.  And the news wasn't just Iselin, but Iselin news was included. 

Have fun reading, and thank you so much to the person who sent in the answer!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lost Dog

An Iselin friend of mine wrote on Facebook that her friend has a lost dog - if anyone knows anything, PLEASE email me and I'll pass the info along.  This is what she wrote:

"Hey Iselin, NJ people: my friend's dog has been missing since St. Patrick's Day. The friend lives on Elizabeth Ave, between Green and Woodruff streets. So please let me know if you see a pug wandering around in or near the area...or anywhere. Also, he thinks someone probably found the dog by now and is keeping him. Please return him, my friend would really like him back. Contact me if you need more info. Thanks."

Friday, March 22, 2013

Iselin Newspaper Possibilities...

Looking for the answer to a newspaper that may have been published on a 1924 printing press on Green Street in Iselin, I got these emails... anyone have any other ideas to add?

Cheryl wrote in: 
"Was there a newpaper called the STAR.
I remember someone telling me that Star Street in Iselin was developed because a newpaper gave away parcels of land for a subscription to the paper."
I'd heard that too. I have to look into the Star more.  Wasn't it something like the Star Eagle?

 Joe wrote in: "The Atom Tabloid was located on St. George Avenue just south of Chain O'Hills Road in Colonia.  Hope that helps."  That one is definitely close to Iselin... certainly a good possibility.  The Atom Tabloid was definitely my own first thought.

I really don't have the answer - at least not yet.  I will let you know if I find out more, though!

Anyone know of an Old Iselin Newspaper?

I just got this email, and I was wondering if anyone knew anything that could help this guy out:

Hi, I came across your blog while researching newspapers in Iselin.
I am in NC and just bought a gentlemen's one man print shop in Linden last weekend.  He told me the press was originally used at a newspaper in Iselin located on Green Street.  I was hoping you might know or know someone that knows what the name of this paper was.  I am trying to document ownership of the press for historical purposes.  It was made around 1924, its pretty cool. 
Anyway, its probably a long shot, but if you know anyone that could help me, please let me know.  
Thanks
Landon


The only thing that came to my own mind was the Atom Tabloid, but I don't think it was published on Green Street - or was it?
Any other ideas out there? Please write in on the comments or email me at iselin.home@yahoo.com!  Thanks!

glitter-graphics.com

Friday, March 15, 2013

I am so happy it is finally the weekend :-)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Food Drive wraps up at School 26

Members of the Colonia Business Community report to Robert Mascenik School #26 in Iselin to drop-off $11,261.00 to the “Have-A-Heart” food drive campaign.  The 3rd Grade students at School #26 contributed 200 pounds of non-perishable foods to the “Have-A-Heart” food drive.
3RD GRADE CLASS AT ROBERT MASCENIK SCHOOL #26 CONTRIBUTING 200 LBS OF FOOD
 
2013 Food Drive Totals $35,000 in Donations & 25,000 Lbs. of Food
 
Mayor McCormac Cites Support of Township Corporations, Businesses, Restaurant & Hospitality Industry, School Students & Residents
in Successful Effort to Re-Supply Food Pantries
  
WOODBRIDGE – Mayor John E. McCormac today announced that the 2013 Woodbridge Township “Have-A-Heart” food drive collected more than 25,700 pounds of non-perishable food and over $35,690.00 in cash donations to support the efforts of local food pantries in their work to aid needy families throughout Woodbridge Township.  More than 100 Township corporations, businesses, retail outlets, school students, charitable organizations and residents contributed to the 2013 “Have-A-Heart” food drive. 
 
“The ‘Have-A-Heart’ food drive is one of the most important programs that we as a community participate in each January and February.  I am proud to be part of the effort to extend the generosity of the holiday season and to replenish and restock Township food banks,” Mayor McCormac said.  “Hunger knows no season and no boundary.  It’s crucial that we work every day – not just during the holiday season – to collect food as we work to help provide the necessities of life to our neighbors and families who might otherwise go hungry.”
 
According to Mayor McCormac, the annual “Have-A-Heart” food drive, so named because it runs through Valentine’s Day, is launched each January by the Woodbridge Department of Health & Human Services and the “We Feed Woodbridge” Food Bank Committee.  The “Have-A-Heart” food drive, established in 1995, works with area food pantries, churches, parishes, schools, and community and senior organizations to replenish and restock food pantries.  This year, the “Have-A-Heart” food drive issued a “2/14” challenge to Township corporate offices, businesses, retail outlets, food stores, restaurants and hospitality industry, charitable organizations and residents to donate 214 pounds of food or contribute $214 to assist food pantries continue their work in providing food and meals to less fortunate residents and the homeless. 
 
Peter Barcellona, Chairman of “We Feed Woodbridge” reported that more than 200 pounds of non-perishable food (canned goods, pre-package and boxed foods, baby food, paper products, etc.) was collected and sorted for donation by the Third Grade students from Robert Mascenik School #26 in Iselin.  The student food drive program was coordinated by School #26 teachers Kristie Manente and Lora Bucior. 
 
Dr. Robert Zega, Superintendent, Woodbridge Township School District, noted that School 26 teachers and students turn food drive logistics into classroom curriculum exercises with students creating posters, flyers, graphs, and other learning aids that apply lesson plans and problem-solving methods to the project.  Additionally, students coordinate the collection, sorting, packaging and delivering of food products to the food pantries.
 
Significant contributors to the 2013 “Have-A-Heart” food drive include:
·         Colonia Business Community and Colonia Corner newspaper ~ $12,000.00
·         Wegmans of Woodbridge ~ 1,000 lbs. and $214.00
·         Woodbridge ShopRite ~ 3,400 pounds
·         Northfield Bank ~ $2,500.00
·         BCB Community Bank ~ $1,000.00
·         Woodbridge YMCA ~ 2,100 lbs.
·         Goya Food Service ~ 1,000 lbs.
·         FoodTown of Colonia ~ 300 lbs.
·         Indian Food Corp. ~ ~$1,000.00
·         Mr. Raman Shah, C/O IASONJ ~ 2,500 lbs.
·         Central Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts ~ 800 lbs.
 
The food items will be distributed to needy Woodbridge Township families and individuals through the following food pantries:
·         Heavens Helper’s Pantry, 343 Pearl Street, Woodbridge
·         First Presbyterian Church, 20 Middlesex Avenue, Iselin
·         Trinity Episcopal Church, Trinity Lane, Woodbridge
·         Metro Park Assembly of God, 48 Berkeley Blvd., Iselin
·         First Presbyterian Church, 600 Rahway Avenue, Woodbridge
·         St. James Roman Catholic Church, 174 Grove Street, Woodbridge
·         First Presbyterian Church of Avenel, 621 E. Woodbridge Avenue
·         First Congregational Church-Women of Faith, Barron Avenue, Woodbridge
·         St. Cecelia Roman Catholic Church, 45 Wilus Way, Iselin
·         Elijah’s Bread Food Pantry, Ridgedale and E. Prospect Avenues, Woodbridge
 
According to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report, more than 14 million American families – 11.9 percent of all U.S. households – are at some time during the year uncertain of, or unable to purchase, enough food for their family.  The ten Woodbridge Township food banks serve approximately 500 needy families each month.
 
The year-round effort to keep Woodbridge Township food banks stocked continues with food donations being part of every election and Township-sponsored event such as the Woodbridge Wednesday concerts on Main Street, the Mayor’s Summer Concert Series, the Barron Arts Center summer programs and concerts, and other Township-sponsored public events.  Non-perishable foods can be dropped off any weekday at the Woodbridge Township Public Health Center, 2 George Frederick Plaza, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.  Additional food drop-off locations are at Woodbridge Town Hall, 1 Main Street, the Woodbridge Library, 1 George Frederick Plaza, or at the Woodbridge Community Center, 600 Main Street.
 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The New Map of Merrill Park


Here is the whole map.  Basically, the new construction will separate the cars and trucks from the people who want to enjoy walking – a new walking path will be constructed around the circle, safe from vehicles. 
The construction will allow for additional parking and new pedestrian pathways and bridges.
The county hopes to add about 150 new trees and shrubs for the park, replacing those that they are cutting down now.
The park, ball-fields, playground, and animals will be open during construction.  
A sign is in place saying cars will need to find a detour as of February 25th, until the road is fixed.
 


Here is a little closer on the new traffic pattern...  there are lots of details on here that are very interesting.

Should be good - what do you think?

The Official Merrill Park
Press Release


County Modernizing
Merrill Park in Woodbridge


FEBRUARY 19, 2013 -- The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders is proud to announce that it has begun enhancements to Merrill Park in Woodbridge Township to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety in one of the County’s most heavily used and oldest parks. 

“Currently, both pedestrians and vehicles share the same road through the park,” said Freeholder Stephen J. “Pete” Dalina, chair of the County’s Infrastructure Management Committee. “When complete, the project will provide for safer traffic flow through Merrill Park with the use of traffic calming devices, while providing separate, 10-foot wide paved walking paths for pedestrians.”

The project is anticipated to be completed this summer
.
Fences have been erected and some trees had to be removed as part of the first phase of the project with full-time construction to begin at the end of the month. Merrill Park will remain open during construction, with facilities fully-accessible by the public. However, vehicular traffic will be limited during construction. 

“Under the leadership of Freeholder Dalina the County has consistently and successfully modernized our parks throughout the years so that they incorporate the latest in park design and offer the best recreational opportunities for our residents,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Ronald G. Rios.

The project will also add 120 parking spaces, 185 new trees and shrubs, pedestrian paths and bridges connecting core areas of the park. Stormwater retention and infiltration basins will be incorporated as part of the project.

The entrance to Merrill Park from Fairview Avenue and New Dover Road will remain open throughout construction.  The entrance from Middlesex-Essex Turnpike will be closed during construction.  Park patrons are asked to use the Fairview Avenue entrance. 


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

BIG Changes in Merrill Park?




I was driving home from work, to have a quick lunch, and this is what I saw in Merrill Park.  Nope, it's not storm damage... these trees were cut down, and work is being done.

Now, I have no idea what the real plan is here - but I do know that there is a plan.  I should probably know already, right?  I try to keep up with things going on around here.  I did hear rumors about them changing the traffic flow through the park.  And when I talked to some of the guys doing the work, they mentioned that the road was being widened here.  It seems like this side of the circle will be two way traffic, and it won't be a circle anymore.  But I don't have the real answers yet.

I came home with these photos and a lot of questions.  I called the Middlesex County Parks Department, but it is lunch time, so I didn't get anyone to answer the phone - yet.  I'll try again later.

In the meantime, if you know the plan, send me an email and let me know too, OK?  And I'll share it with everyone else who reads this.

Thanks!  Sue at
Iselin.home@yahoo.com