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Archive for March, 2009

EDISON—The township launched a new emergency response radio program last week, directly linking 26 schools, JFK Hospital, Menlo Park Mall and the Job Corps to the police department’s communications center.

“Hopefully, these radios never have to be used, but our response will be better and our community is safer because we have them,” said Mayor Jun Choi.

The radios will be put in the hands of key supervisory personnel at each facility. In the case of an emergency, the radio enables the facility to be in direct contact with Edison Police Department communications center where the emergency communication can be patched through to the responding units whether it is a police car, ambulance or fire truck.

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ELIZABETH—Dexter Strickland of Rahway has been named to participate in the 2009 McDonald’s All American High School Basketball Game.  Strickland, a point guard for St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, will be a member of the Boy’s East Squad team along with 24 other top national boys’ basketball players in the country. 

“What began as our commitment to having a men’s All American team thirty-two years ago has blossomed into a great part of the game,” said Rahway McDonald’s owner/operator Ed De La Cruz. “We believe in our student athletes and take pride in all of their hard work and dedication to this great sport.  Our local McDonald’s family looks forward to seeing him shine at the game this year.”

The 32nd Anniversary of the Boys Game will tip off at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, and will air live on ESPN.

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 mccormacRecreational Activities, Health & Fitness Programs, And Educational Events Showcase Youth Month 

By Mayor John McCormac

Just like kids growing out of their wardrobe, the 2009 Woodbridge Township Youth Month celebration has expanded with more exciting events and programs for kids and young adults than ever before.   

This year, our township-wide Youth Month gets started on April 2 with the Colonia High School Senior Class play “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and goes right through April 28 with the Student Works Art Show at The Barron Arts Center.  In all, more than 60 events geared to young people will take place at the Woodbridge Community Center, the YMCA, The Barron Arts Center, and Township libraries, parks and schools.   

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NEWARK—The North Jersey Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® will host the 2009 Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure®, the largest series of 5K run/walks in the world, on Sunday, April 26, from 8 a.m. – noon in Essex County Branch Brook Park, Newark.  The race is designed to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research and education, screening and treatment programs for underserved and uninsured women throughout northern New Jersey.  

Honorary chairs of this year’s Race for the Cure are Joseph DiVincenzo, Essex County executive and Jeffrey Vanderbeek, chairman and managing partner of the New Jersey Devils. 

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EDISON—Led by math teacher Benjamin Patiak, four students from The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison took part in a 14-hour mathematical modeling competition on Saturday, March 7. 

Christopher Georgevich of Elizabeth, Saheela Ibraheem of Piscataway, Manish Kewalramani of Edison and Sahil Zubair of Scotch Plains competed against students from Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Rhode Island, and local New Jersey schools including East Brunswick High School, Perth Amboy High School, Piscataway High School, Westfield High School, Summit High School and more.

Patiak explained that “the Wardlaw-Hartridge team was charged with the 2009 M3 problem: ‘$787 Billion: Will the Stimulus Act Stimulate the U.S. Economy?’ The W-H team determined which among the elements of the $787 billion package are most likely to produce improvements in employment. They also need to know how quickly these elements would produce results and if there is a need for a second stimulus package.”

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CARTERET—The borough will receive $100,000 towards construction of Carteret’s highly anticipated health center, Mayor Dan Reiman and county officials announced last week.

The project, which was first announced in 2007, is now through its planning stages, according to Reiman, and with approximately $10.6 million in funding secured to date, a ground-breaking has been scheduled for April 21.

Because of overwhelming county and state support, the project has evolved beyond its initial design to incorporate “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) elements during construction and the daily operation of the facility. These include:

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CLARK – Cub Scout Pack 30 and Boy Scout Troop 330 are already planning this year’s annual Earth Week Rahway River clean-up event. The scouts and other volunteers will work together to remove litter and debris from the Rahway River on Saturday, April 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This year, the cleanup will focus on a section of the North Branch of the Rahway River upstream and downstream of the dam at Winfield Park. Organizers hope to have enough volunteers to work as far upstream as the Garden State Parkway and as far downstream as the Rahway River Park in Clark and Rahway.

Volunteers will assemble at the parking area adjacent to the waterfall of the Rahway River by the dam at Winfield Park at 8:45 a.m. The county provides gloves and garbage bags, and the scouts solicit donations of donuts, bagels, coffee, bottled water and handwipes for participants. Volunteers should wear jeans, long-sleeved shirts, gloves and boots. Each participant is also asked to bring a standard five-gallon bucket with a handle to carry debris and transfer it to the large garbage bags.

For more information, email rivercleanup@comcast.net. Last year, more than 250 people volunteered their time to help in the effort.

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 popcornby Michael S. Goldberger, film critic  

Because in truth there is humor, in “I Love You, Man” there is hilarity. Mining an untapped wealth of philosophy about male friendship, director John Hamburg, who co-wrote the screenplay with Larry Levin, sprinkles his farcical little gem with profundity. He signaled his talent in “Along Came Polly” (2004). But this is his breakthrough film. 

Starring Paul Rudd as Peter Klaven, a prospective bridegroom who suddenly realizes he hasn’t a best friend to stand up for him, there is a casting off of convention. Indeed, iconic classics like “Gunga Din” (1939) have long celebrated the great sacrifice and devotion comrades in arms are capable of exhibiting. But something was always amiss. 

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BROOKLYN—From April 4 to May 10, Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) celebrates Hanami, the Japanese cultural tradition of viewing and cherishing each moment of the cherry blossom season, from the first buds to the pink blossoms that fall like enchanted, delicate snow.

During Hanami, visitors can track the cherry display using Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s award-winning website’s CherryWatch feature, and on Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m., take a Seasonal Highlights Tour focusing on the ethereal beauty of cherry blossoms. The Zagat-rated Terrace Café will offer a selection of special Japanese entrées throughout the season, and the Garden Gift Shop will present an exceptional Hanami Collection at the Gift Shop, both in the garden and online at shop.bbg.org.

Popularly referred to as “New York’s rite of spring,” the garden’s two-day cherry blossom festival, Sakura Matsuri, is scheduled for May 2 and 3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, with over 50 performances, demonstrations, and exhibits—many of which are new and especially created for the dynamic weekend celebration. Visitors of all ages are welcome.

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RAHWAY—Citing increased demands on his private security business, Freeholder Chester Holmes announced he would not seek re-election to a fifth term on the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Holmes, a popular Rahway resident who will have served more than 49 years in the public sector as a former police officer, former Rahway Councilman, former Council Chairman, and Union County Freeholder, said that while he plans to leave the board at the end of his fourth term on Dec. 31st, he plans to continue to doing what he has done his entire life, being an advocate for Union County.

“I may be leaving elected office, but I will continue to serve my community in any way I can,” Holmes said, with a smile. “I have been fortunate to meet so many wonderful people in public life over the years. It has been a pleasure serving all our residents throughout this time. I would like to thank all for their support. I tried my best to provide you with the type of dignified, responsible leadership that you deserve. Public service is a privilege, and one I’ve never taken for granted.”

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Wrestling Team Takes Third—The Middlesex County College wrestling team boasted a great season, finishing third at the national tournament in the Division III category for two-year colleges. The tournament, held in Rochester, MN, was held Feb. 26-28. The squad also finished third in the Garden State Conference Tournament held at Gloucester County College in February. With the trophy from the national tournament are, kneeling, from left: Gabriel Roman, Jr. (Perth Amboy), J.C. Francobandiero (Edison), Ezequiel Flores (Lakewood). Standing, from left: Assistant Coach Gene Lezark (East Brunswick), Assistant Coach Donny Carruth (Burlingon Township), Justin Persico (Middletown), Jason Fonzi (California), Matt Ellery (Middlesex), Mike Conway (Old Bridge), and Head Coach Mike Malinconico (Edison). Justin Persico was named all-American. (Photo courtesy of Middlesex County College)

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Soccer Champs

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Soccer Champs—The Thunder soccer team won first place in the junior boys division. Pictured are the winning team with coach Jose Monroy, Jr. and Mayor Richard Gerbounka. (Photo courtesy of the Linden Department of Public Property and Community Services)

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NEW BRUNSWICK—The Middlesex County Clerk’s Office is hosting a passport fair in New Brunswick on Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. to provide passport information to U.S. citizens and to accept passport applications.  

The Middlesex County Clerk’s Office is joining the Department of State in celebrating “Passport Day in the USA”, a national passport acceptance and outreach event. 

On June 1, 2009, U.S. citizens must present a passport book, passport card, or other travel documents approved by the U.S. government to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land borders and sea ports of entry. 

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CRANFORD – During the month of April, Union County College offer a free job training course to all Union County residents. All residents over the age of 18 are eligible to participate in this program. The career training course will be available to those who need to support a family, are a recent high school graduate looking for work, or a retiree who wants to earn a small income.

The course “Customer Service and Sales” will be offered from April 6 to May 4 at the Plainfield Family Success Center at Plainfield High School. The course will run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This course will prepare attendees for jobs in sales and customer service related positions. As well, the course will help attendees identify their personal skills, improve their resume, and set career goals. Union County College certificates will be distributed at the completion of the course.

To learn more about these free courses or to register, contact Vanessa Torres-Holmes or Joe Oliver at (908) 355-4444. The Plainfield Family Success Center at Plainfield High School is located at 925 Arlington Avenue.

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Making — and sticking to — a household budget can help you conserve cash and limit your credit needs in tough economic times. There are some traps, however, that can bust your budget quickly, despite your best intentions. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) offers the following advice to avoid making these mistakes:

Mistake #1: Not Having a Budget

When you create a budget, you add up the amount of net salary and other money you expect to receive during the month then total what you need to spend on necessities, such as rent or mortgage, food, transportation, savings and other costs. Once you subtract your expenses from your income, you can save or spend whatever remains. Just remember not to spend more than what is left. If you do, you’ll have to borrow from next month’s budget to cover the overage, setting you back in the future.

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