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Archive for December 16th, 2008

UNION COUNTY — A top Democratic Party power broker announced on the Senate Floor Monday that he believed Republican Leonard Lance was the best candidate for Congress in one of New Jersey’s most hotly contested battleground district.

“I really want you to win,” Sen. Raymond Lesniak said he told Lance before the election.

He made the admission on the Senate floor during discussion about a resolution honoring Lance on his departure from the state Senate. “I didn’t want to lose him in this body (the state senate), but he by far was not only the best candidate, but he’s earned it and he deserves it.”

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Christmas Tree IconLINDEN – For the third consecutive year, Santa Claus found time in his busy holiday schedule to stop at Applebee’s Restaurant to have breakfast with underprivileged children. Approximately 65 children, ages 3 to 4 from The Leaguers, Inc. of Elizabeth took part in the holiday event on Dec. 11.

Santa Claus arrived by helicopter, courtesy of Liberty Helicopter, and was escorted to the restaurant by Linden Fire Department Engine #4. Linden police provided traffic safety in the area. Thanks to sponsors Conoco Phillips, Infineum, Dependable Auto Shippers, Linden PBA Local 42, Linden Superior Officer Association, Gilbert Express, Pathmark of Linden and Wal-Mart of Linden, Santa was able to hand out early Christmas gifts to all the children.

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ELIZABETH—Pike Machine Products In Elizabeth has announced it will lay off  71 workers by the end of January while Sears in Woodbridge advised 94 workers that they no longer have jobs, as soaring unemployment has its impact on the local economy.

Russell Weisman, vice president at the Pike Machine plant in Elizabeth said Anthony International, a parent company, has three locations and they are going consolidate the Elizabeth operations with plants in Georgia and at its multi-facility headquarters campus in San Fernando, California.

“They are closing this facility,” said Weisman. “Everybody’s very disappointed.”

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basketball-equipment-03By Jim Whelan

The 2008-2009 basketball season will tip off on Friday, Dec. 19.  Locally, the Union County heavyweights will square off against some of the state’s premiere teams in the Hoop Group Tip Off Classic. 

This will be the last year for both the Watchung Conference and the Mountain Valley Conference.  The NJSIAA, the governing body for New Jersey state’s schools, will create one Union County basketball conference. 

Here is my pre-season pick for the county’s top ten:  

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Visit Of Olympic Proportions—Neil Walker (Olympic gold medalist in medley relay in 2000 and 2004) is flanked by Katie Buchbinder of Scotch Plains and Stephanie Smyczek of Edison at the Breakout! Swim Clinic hosted by the Metuchen-Edison YMCA at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School. Katie is the daughter of Dr. Howard Buchbinder and Dr. Mary Flanagan. Stephanie is the daughter of Dr. Herbert and Mrs. Haydee Smyczek. The girls are members of the Wardlaw-Hartridge Co-Ed Middle School Swimming Team, which is coached by Ardys Sapchin of Piscataway and Kristine Sinram of Edison. Photo by Trisha Malizia of Piscataway

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Carols For Christmas—Saint John the Apostle School in Clark recently held its annual Christmas concert.   All students in the lower grades and the school choir performed under the direction of Tom Pedas, music teacher at the school. Highlights of the concert included the Schubert “Ave Maria” sung by Conor Flood of Scotch Plains, a Polish lullaby sung in Polish by Kasia Bzdyra of Linden,  “The Christmas Shoes” sung by Peter Brine of Union and J.T. Golden of North Brunswick,  and the 45 member choir’s finale of “Do You Hear What I Hear”.  Piano accompanist for the choir was Mel Freda of Cranford.

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