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Archive for October, 2008

Gooey Gourds—Fourth graders in Kathy Meier’s Lower School science class dissected pumpkins on Oct. 31 to start their plant unit in science tech. The students count the pumpkin’s creases and seeds and analyze how the number of creases corresponds to the size of the pumpkin. Pictured above: Athena Gerasoulis of Edison and Robyn Stewart of South Plainfield explore the contents of their gourds. Athena is the daughter of Dr. Apostolos Gerasoulis and Ms. Xiaolan Zhang of Edison. Robyn is the daughter of Mrs. Robyn P. Stewart of South Plainfield. Photo by Kathy Meier

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Haunting Prose—Joseph Alamo, a seventh grader at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison, captured the attention of judges with his playful and spooktacular prose and his poem won first place in the Middle School competition. He was awarded a basketful of Halloween treats by his English teacher, Corinna Crafton, before reciting the poem to his peers. Joseph is the son of Joseph and Maria Alamo of Roselle Park. His sister, Katina, is a sophomore at the school. Photo by Michelle H. LePoidevin

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Playing Their Parts — The students from the Blue and Gold club at Franklin School in Rahway worked hard preparing for Franklin School’s mock presidential debate. Travis James played the part of Barack Obama and Sean Penaranda played the part of John McCain. The students presented valuable information to the student body in order to inform students about the presidential candidates and what they stand for.

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Fingerprinting And Forensics—Students in Barbara Drake’s Introduction to Forensic Science class at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison furthered their study of fingerprinting on Oct. 30 when Edison Police detectives Ted Hamer and Matt Lechelt visited to fingerprint the class. After completing the fingerprint cards, the detectives addressed the class on the fingerprinting process, the state and FBI databases, the time it takes for electronic prints to be checked in the database, and why the portable ink is used in the field. The students questioned the detectives about latent prints and learned about “dusting for prints” and the new equipment that has made it nearly obsolete. Junior Yang, a senior from Edison, is pictured above with Hamer. Photo by Michelle H. LePoidevin

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By Michael M. Shapiro

Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Parsippany) recently stated that Senate President and former Acting Governor Richard Codey (D-West Orange) attempted to strong arm him into discontinuing his efforts to investigate a legislative slush fund that was responsible for the now-infamous “Christmas Tree” grants currently under federal investigation.

He claimed that Senator Codey offered him state grant money and threatened him so that DeCroce’s pursuit of information about the slush fund would be stalled. DeCroce agreed to a lie detector test to ‘prove’ his assertions; as of this writing, Codey has not. If DeCroce’s allegations are true, they are not only damaging to Senator Codey and the Democratic Legislature politically, but they have serious legal implications, as well. DeCroce had a responsibility to alert the proper authorities to these allegations when they occurred, not two years after the fact; the public should have been informed in due time, as well.

The issue of the “slush fund” was first brought to the public’s attention approximately one month ago during the trial of former state Senator Wayne Bryant. A Democratic legislative aide testified that some legislators were allowed to spend millions of dollars of the state’s budget at their whim from a fund that required competitive merit-based applications. Codey was acting governor when he proposed the “slush fund” and the Democratic-controlled Legislature approved it while he was serving in the role of senate president.

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By Michael S. Goldberger, film critic

You’ve seen multi-generational, good cop/bad cop tales like “Pride and Glory” before, though perhaps not so predictable and murky. Boy is it gloomy. N.Y.C. streetlights barely illuminate the night; the daytime winter setting is steely gray. Even in the dark of a magazine crime reporter’s office it’s unlikely Scrooge will allow another coal tossed in the stove.

One wishes a sit-down with director Gavin O’Connor. ‘Tell me, sir, the dreariness …is it a metaphor for all the sorrow and misery in the world, while also a stark cold reminder that far too much of the Bronx remains a thug and drug infested killing field? If so, we get it. Only thing, no offense, it’s more depressing than exciting.’

The sordid and seamy tale of police corruption grows beleaguering, its cynicism almost a genre unto itself by now. We’ve come to know the characters. Here it’s Jon Voight as Francis Tierney, Sr., big honcho in the N.Y.P.D., proud not only of his two cop sons, played by Noah Emmerich and Edward Norton, but a son-in-law (Colin Farrell) as well.

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NEWARK – The heating season has started. This year, more than any in recent memory, customers are concerned about how economic uncertainties may affect their ability to manage their bills, including their utility bills. PSE&G wants its customers to know there are specific steps they can take to stay warm and control their heating bill.

The following 12 suggestions will help customers conserve energy and save money:

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