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Archive for April, 2009

RAHWAY—The Rahway River Association will hold its second annual conference, “State of Biodiversity upon an Urban Landscape” on Friday, May 8, at 8:30 a.m. at the Rahway Library, 2 City Hall Plaza. 

The day-long conference is open to the public for a $40 fee, which includes continental breakfast, lunch, registration materials, and a one year membership with the Rahway River Association. The conference will provide an assessment of the state of the flora, fauna and natural systems affecting the Rahway River watershed and our public lands. To register or for additional information, go to the association’s web site, www.rahwayriver.org.

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ELIZABETH—The fifth annual Play Ball for Miracles went into full swing at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 18, in Warinanco Park, Elizabeth.  

Play Ball for Miracles began in 2005, shortly after Patrick Macnab was diagnosed with a bleeding disorder so rare that it still has no name.  The tournament benefits Children’s Miracle Network, who in turn, distributes the money to local area hospitals that specialize in children’s care.  Over the past four years, Play Ball for Miracles has raised nearly $30,000 for hospitals such Bristol-Myers Squibb Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick and Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside. 

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Wonderful Ethnic Education Day—On April 21, Madison Elementary School in Rahway celebrated W.E.E. Day, Wonderful Ethnic Education Day. Students transformed the school’s hallways into a showcase of world culture.  The school was opened to parents, grandparents, friends and our community friends.  Visitors enjoyed food, music, dance, clothing, arts & crafts, and literature from around the world. Pictured above, fourth grade students representing the country of Ecuador. (Photo courtesy of Madison Elementary School)

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SPRINGFIELD—AAA New Jersey reminds parents, grandparents and caregivers to keep children seated, safe and secure when riding in motor vehicles.

“Studies show that more than 80 percent of children are improperly secured in motor vehicles,” says Michele Mount, director of public affairs for the Florham Park-based Club, certified child passenger safety instructor and chair of the National Child Safety Passenger Board (NCSPB).  “Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children under 14.  Ensuring that a child is properly secured in a car is the best protection a parent can offer.”

To educate parents about how to keep their little ones seated, safe and secure in a motor vehicle, the Club is sponsoring free child safety seat checks at the AAA Car Care Center in Springfield, located at 135 Route 22 East (at Fadem Road) on Friday, May 1 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

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STATE—In response to a swine flu virus that has caused illness in individuals in five states and Mexico, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has increased its statewide surveillance of influenza activity.

To date, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) in 20 individuals in New York, California, Texas, Ohio and Kansas. In addition, hundreds of cases have been reported in Mexico.

No cases have been reported in New Jersey.

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STATE – Even as Gov. Jon Corzine’s approval rating plummets to a record low, liberal Republican Christopher Christie is watching his chance to become New Jersey’s next governor shrink away, according to the latest poll released by Quinnipiac University.

New Jersey voters disapprove 54 – 37 percent of the job Gov. Jon Corzine is doing, the highest disapproval ever measured for a New Jersey governor, according to Quinnipiac University. Corzine’s disapproval is up from 50 – 40 percent in a March 12 poll. He had a 52 – 38 percent disapproval June 11, 2008. Former Gov. James McGreevy also hit a 52 percent disapproval once.

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EDISON—Classes aimed at those who are looking for a job will be offered in June at Middlesex County College. The program, called “Transitions: Job Seekers’ Workshops,” covers preparing for the sudden loss of a job, identifying which industries are growing, networking, resume writing and cover letters. Each costs $25 ($99 for the entire series of five classes).

“With the current state of the economy, we are seeing more and more people who have been downsized, or are concerned about their jobs,” said Lynn Lederer, director of professional and community programs at the college. “These courses can really help as you develop a job-search strategy.”

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Rahway PAL’s 2009 basketball season came to a close on March 21. The teams pictured bewlow emerged as champions in each of their respective divisions.

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The third and fourth grade champs: Coach Lawrence Van Diver, Garrison Armand, Taylor Burkett, Samirah Henderson, Joshua Price, Damian Rodriguez, Mario Rodriguez, Kamaje Tennet, Skyler VanDiver and Jordan West.

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MADISON, Wis. – Two years ago, it was contaminated spinach that sickened thousands of people. This year, it was a nationwide salmonella outbreak, traced to a peanut-processing plant, that killed at least eight people.

Every year, more than 350,000 people are hospitalized and 5,000 die from food-borne illness in the United States. Dr. Dennis Maki, professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, says “it’s time to stop reliving history.”

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roller-skate MIDDLESEX COUNTY— Residents of all ages and abilities can now take advantage of the County’s open-air, family roller skating rink in Roosevelt Park in Edison, the latest recreational offering from the Middlesex County Department of Parks and Recreation.

The rink is open now through June 28. It will be closed July and August and reopen Sept. 4 through Oct. 25.

“The roller rink proved to be a big hit with our residents in its first two seasons and we expect to have an even bigger season this year,” said Freeholder Director Stephen J. “Pete” Dalina, chair of the County’s Parks and Recreation Committee. 

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Clark Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Celebrates Earth Day—Residents, staff members and volunteers at Clark Nursing and Rehabilitation Center all pitched in to help plant flowers to celebrate Earth Day. Pictured left to right are: Anna Vircik, Activities Director Bridget Baldwin and Stella Bialoglow.  In addition to planting flowers, Clark Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has made many efforts to make their home greener, including replacing pumps to reduce water waste, using environmentally friendly cleaning supplies and recycling many products from cardboard to ink cartridges. (Photo courtesy of Clark Nursing and Rehabilitation Center)

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 popcornBy Michael S. Goldberger, film critic  

Save for one twist, one turn and one cliché too many, “State of Play” makes for fairly engrossing entertainment of the nail biting kind. But while perching at seat’s edge as reporter Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) tries to find out if the killer is a military contractor, a congressman or Jeff Daniels’s majority whip, you really aren’t buying. 

It’s more like, “OK, so it isn’t ‘The Usual Suspects’ (1995), but I’m in the mood for a whodunit-intriguer…so I might as well go along for the ride.” Your equivocating fealty is paid back in kind. Via scenes a mite too dark and cloistered, there are thrills and spills. But alas, dear reader, you’ll find no genuine, mind-blowing, conspiratorial chills.  

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 pastby Diane Norek Harrison

WOODBRIDGE-Here are a few memories from Jim Kacmarsky, in response to my Feb. 6 column on the Perth Amboy and Woodbridge clay pits.  

“I grew up in Fords section of Woodbridge, and the clay pits were part of my life. They were at the end of my street (Carlton Street) in Fords. There were many ponds, where I used to catch sunfish and frogs. The main pond was called ‘Catfish Pond’, although I never caught any catfish in it. There were also lots of ponds with green water, that we called ‘acid ponds.’ No life in them – probably toxic waste. There was a ‘No Trespassing’ sign outside with ‘Mc House Clay Company’ on it, and also a US Government Reservation – ‘Keep Out’ sign outside the woods. Last time I visited, there is now a highway through the whole place.

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 trackRAHWAY—The ninth annual PowerBar-sponsored Mayor’s Trophy 5K Run, One Mile Fun Run and Health Walk and 100 Yards Pee Wee Run will be held in downtown Rahway on Memorial Day, rain or shine. 

The first event at 9 a.m. will be the One Mile Run/Walk followed by the 100 yards Pee Wee Run (for ages 6 and under). The main event, the ninth annual PowerBar Mayor’s Trophy 5K Run, will follow at 9:45 a.m. Pick up an application at the Recreation Center or online at www.cityofrahway.com or by calling 732-669-3600.

Entry fees is $15 pre registration and $18 day of event for the 5K Run and $12 pre-registration and $15 day of event for One Mile Run/Walk. Custom made T-shirts for all pre-registered runners in the 5K and One Mile, post registration while supplies last.

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CARTERET—Mayor Dan Reiman and the Borough Council were joined on April 21 by hundreds of local residents for a groundbreaking ceremony making way for Carteret’s highly-anticipated “Health and Wellness Center.”

The project, first announced in 2007, will establish a 36,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art fitness facility, housing a range of resources for health and recreation, along with a number of social amenities. This will be the only such facility in the borough, and the first of its kind in the town’s history.

To date, approximately $11.1 million has been raised for the fitness center through various grants, private endowments, and Developer Impact fees generated by local businesses and litigation settlements. Additional funding is being actively sought from regional businesses and private donors, according to Reiman. Total cost for the facility has been estimated at $12-14 million, which the mayor and Redevelopment Agency expect to have earmarked by the project’s completion in 2010.

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