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Archive for January, 2009

RAHWAY—On Thursday, Jan. 22, Rahway High School held its first “Poetry Slam,” showcasing the talents of students enrolled in the creative writing elective taught by English teacher Kimberly Kiefer, as well as several other students.  The event drew an audience of more than 100 people, and is the first of more to come.

Kiefer is proud of the efforts put forth by all who participated. “There were over 100 students, from every ‘group’ here at RHS on a cold January night,” she said. “I am swept off my feet by the encouragement and support they showed one another as they shared their work.  I am already planning April’s Slam.”

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Rahway High School sophomore Charisma Blackwell reads original poetry to an audience of more than 100.

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RAHWAY—The parish family of St. Thomas the Apostle Byzantine Catholic Church is busy preparing for their 22nd annual Slavonic Festival on Saturday, Feb. 21. The chefs and cooks are preparing dinner specialties and baking nut and poppy seed rolls each week.

The festival features homemade ethnic dishes such as stuffed cabbage, pierogies, kielbasa and sauerkraut subs. The dining area waiters will serve platters of beef goulash and chicken paprikash along with hearty soups.

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pastBy Diane Norek Harrison

RAHWAY-I received this in an email: “Here is one I don’t remember, the Rahway Clay Pits. I just came upon a picture of (it) them while looking through photo albums around town. Where were the clay pits located and what did it come to be?”

If anyone can share what they know of the Rahway clay pits, please do. Where were they and what is there now? There is so much out there from the past, I’m hoping to hear lots of it! 

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popcornBy Michael S. Goldberger, film critic 

The great thing about Patrick Tatopoulos’s “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” is that you really don’t need to pay attention. Sure, it’s complicated as logarithms, its dramatis personae a hodgepodge of vampires, werewolves and combinations thereof. But if you’re under fifteen you know all about it; over fifteen, you couldn’t care less.

Therefore, the latter should feel free to bring their needlepoint. There’s nothing like some lively crocheting while ghouls slice and dice each other in black-hearted content. And hey, here’s a chance to get a jump on those taxes…but a very, very little book light, please, and no calling your accountant/brother-in-law Manny on the Ameche.

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baseballMOUNTAINSIDE—The Union County Baseball Association will induct two former Elizabeth sports stars into the Union County Baseball Hall of Fame during award ceremonies on Sunday, Feb. 8.

The new class of Hall of Fame inductees includes Anthony Candelino of Elizabeth, Ben Candelino of Elizabeth, Dom Guida of Summit, and Bill Howard of Berkeley Heights, who are being recognized for their outstanding contributions to our national pastime on the baseball diamonds of Union County.

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pastby Diane Norek Harrison

PERTH AMBOY-WOODBRIDGE-This is from my own research dated 1884. If anyone has more information on the area clay pits or what is now built on them, please send it for another column.

 W.H.P. Benton’s clay pits are situated on the low ground west of Perth Amboy road, and the railroad and south of the one of Mr. Phillips. It was opened some eight years ago.

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Rahway Track Stars Headed To New York—The Rahway High School Boys’ Track Team’s 4×400 relay qualified for the prestigious 102nd annual Millrose Games to be held at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 30.   This only the second time in school history a team from Rahway has qualified for the Millrose Games—the first and only other time Rahway’s track team qualified was in 1981.  The 4×400 relay team that is headed to the Millrose Games this year consists of seniors Russell Jenkins, Chris Whyte Ricky Draughn, and Chris Brown.   According to assistant track coach and teacher Leon Bunion, “This is a major accomplishment.  We are incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of this particular group of young men, as well as each and every athlete involved in Winter Track at Rahway.” (Photo courtesy of Rahway High School)

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WOODBRIDGE—All-star student scholars from Woodbridge High School will challenge Bergen County Academies in the first round of the 12th season of Cablevision’s The Challenge, an academic quiz show designed to test students’ knowledge in a Jeopardy-style format. 

Taking The Challenge—The academic team from Woodbridge High School will face the team from Bergen County Academies in the first round competition of Cablevision’s The Challenge.  Pictured during a break in taping are (left to right) Laurel Petersen (academic advisor), Timothy Peitz (academic advisor), Andrew Shapiro, Charles Kreisel (team captain), host Bryan Jenkins, Brett Wiewiorski, Kierstan Carter and Kathleen Cruz (team alternate).

Taking The Challenge—The academic team from Woodbridge High School will face the team from Bergen County Academies in the first round competition of Cablevision’s The Challenge. Pictured during a break in taping are (left to right) Laurel Petersen (academic advisor), Timothy Peitz (academic advisor), Andrew Shapiro, Charles Kreisel (team captain), host Bryan Jenkins, Brett Wiewiorski, Kierstan Carter and Kathleen Cruz (team alternate).

The first round match-up between Woodbridge High School and Bergen County Academies will air exclusively on News 12 New Jersey at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31, and Sunday, Feb. 1. The Challenge, hosted by News 12 New Jersey anchor Bryan Jenkins, can also be viewed anytime through the convenience of video on demand (VOD) through News 12 Interactive, located on iO TV channel 612.

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ELIZABETH—Thirteen youths from Community Access Unlimited (CAU) journeyed beyond their dreams when they attended the presidential inauguration Jan. 20.  The at-risk teenagers traveled to Washington, D.C. to witness the inauguration of Barack Obama but left envisioning a brighter future for themselves, as well.

 

Huddling in the early morning hours in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20, members of Community Access Unlimited are warmed by the excitement of the inauguration. (Photo courtesy of Community Access Unlimited)

Huddling in the early morning hours in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20, members of Community Access Unlimited are warmed by the excitement of the inauguration. (Photo courtesy of Community Access Unlimited)

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ELIZABETH –– On Tuesday evening, the Elizabeth Board of Education formally dedicated the district’s newly-opened, state-of-the-art Juan Pablo Duarte-José Julián Martí School No. 28.  The ceremony was held in the auditorium and was attended by school and district representative, as well as local, county and state dignitaries.

The namesakes of School No. 28, Juan Pablo Duarte, known as the “Father of Dominican Independence,” and José Julián Martí, a Cuban writer and philosopher,  are well-respected patriots in the Dominican and Cuban communities, who dedicated their lives to promoting freedom and independence in their respective countries.

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ELIZABETH – Union County Manager George Devanney’s $449.3 million 2009 budget proposal includes a 4.95 percent tax increase at a time when many households can ill-afford it.

Devanney’s proposal includes some spending and service cuts. He anticipates a $740,000 annual savings from shuttering the unprofitable Oak Ridge Golf Course in Clark.

An additional $4.6 million in annual savings is expected through retirements and unfilled vacancies in the sheriff’s and prosecutor’s offices, among others, and anticipated layoffs in three departments. Devanney’s budget proposal calls for at least 28 layoffs and the elimination of 55 seasonal positions.

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CARTERET—Angelo Carbonaro of Boy Scout Troop 88 recently completed his Eagle project which consisted of rebuilding and painting the retaining wall at Father Milos Park in Port Reading.  Working with his fellow scouts, leaders and family members, Carbonaro also restored several signs and benches, planted shrubbery, painted the basketball nets, wall and benches.

New Eagle Scout Angelo Carbonaro of Carteret poses next to the restored Father Milos Park sign. (Photo courtesy of Fred Gerstler/Boy Scout Troop 88)

New Eagle Scout Angelo Carbonaro of Carteret poses next to the restored Father Milos Park sign. (Photo courtesy of Fred Gerstler/Boy Scout Troop 88)

A total of 425 man-hours were needed to complete this project with help from 25 volunteers.

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PERTH AMBOY – A 9-year-old girl escaped an attempted abduction Saturday morning at St. Mary’s School on Mechanic Street, authorities said.

The girl’s mother told police that she dropped off her daughter at the school gymnasium and watched the girl go into the building, police said.

The girl walked down the hallway to her CCD class when she was stopped by a man who told her the classes were cancelled, police said. The man then grabbed the girl and took her across the street to the church, police said.

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ELIZABETH—A close political associate of Mayor J. Christian Bollwage was convicted of bribing a housing official last week in federal court.

Ray Vella, 33, of Elizabeth, owner of Pavel Construction, was found guilty of trading cash payments for more than $650,000 in contracts.

The verdict brings to a close a bid-rigging and kickback scandal that crippled a program meant to renovate dilapidated houses in Linden. Vella is the fifth and final suspect found guilty in a scheme that abused a federally-funded program to provide new roofs, siding and other home improvements to low-income and elderly residents to reward favored contractors.

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PERTH AMBOY – Two men were charged last week in the fatal stabbing of a 22-year-old man near the Perth Amboy waterfront in June.

Fulgencio G. Monasterio of Carteret and Bernaldo Martinez of Perth Amboy were charged with the June 22 murder of Jesus Ramirez, who was stabbed behind a warehouse on High Street. Both men had been in custody since June on charges that they lied to investigators.

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