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Montgomery News
A hometown paper
serving
Montgomery Township
and Rocky Hill, NJ

Thursday February 23, 2017

 

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The Montgomery News Moved!

 From 2106 Rte 206, our home for many years, to our new home at the Carriage House, 88 Orchard Rd. Everything remains the same: website, email address, and phone numbers. 

Walking tour of D&R Canal slated Feb. 25

The Delaware & Raritan Canal Watch will hold another in a series of interpretive walking tours of the D&R Canal on Saturday, Feb. 25.

The walk will explore the section of the canal between Griggstown and East Millstone, a distance of 5.6 miles. Participants will have the option of walking part way to Blackwells Mills, 3.5 miles.

The walk, through a lovely section of the canal park, will be led by Canal Watch board member Pamela V’Combe.

Meet 10 a.m. at the parking lot on the Griggstown Causeway between River Road and Canal Road, Franklin Township. Carpools will be arranged to allow a one-way walk.

For further information and weather-related updates, call Ms. V’Combe at 609-635-2783 or pjvcombe@gmail.com.

The nonprofit D&R Canal Watch helps promote, enhance and preserve the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park.
 

Road Closures Due to Damaging Winds

Crews Working to clear Downed Poles & Trees
The following roads are closed today until further notice, while crews are at work:

River Rd (CR-533) is closed between Twp. Line Road & Staats Farm Rd. due to downed utility poles blocking the roadway.

Dutchtown-Zion Rd is closed between Rt. 601 & Pin Oak Road due to downed trees and a utility pole blocking the roadway.

Some power outages have occurred as a result of high winds. Please call 800-436-PSEG to report power issues. 

11th ANNUAL RUN WITH ROTARY 5K AND 1 MILE FUN RUN

The 11th Annual Run With Rotary 5k and 1 mile Fun Run will take place on Sunday, April 30, 2017 starting at 10:00AM. The Montgomery-Rocky Hill Rotary Club is very excited that the event will be held once again at beautiful Skillman Park in Skillman, New Jersey. The 2016 race attracted a record 900 runners and walkers, and the club expects to top it this year. The race is a sanctioned Grand Prix event by the USA Track and Field organization.

Teams are encouraged to enter the Run or Ramble. Ribbons will be awarded to the Most Spirited team and the Best Dressed team. Donations will be made to the top three Recruiting Champs. Additional categories to be recognized include the Cougar Award, the Community Service Award, the Most Courageous Award, and the Family Award. In addition to ribbons, Rotary offers recruiting incentives: $500 donation for the largest team on race day, $350 donation for the second largest team, $150 donation for the third largest team. Donations will be given to the not-for-profit organization of their choice (pending Rotary approval). Teams must be pre-registered. New to 2017... the team with the most online preregistered members as of 12:01am on April 1, 2017 will receive an extra $250. So register early!

We will have the Kid Corral again this year, a safe, supervised area for kids ages 4 to 8 to play and be entertained while their parents enjoy the Run or Ramble.

To become a sponsor, visit our website at www.runwithrotary.org. A special thank you to our 2016 Platinum Sponsors: Mason, Griffin & Pierson, P.C., Morgan Stanley, and Princeton Orthopedic Associates. Also, thanks to the Princeton Healthcare System and to Princeton Fitness & Wellness for helping to plan and market this event and for their expanded presence at the Run.

Registration can be made on line at www.runwithrotary.org now until midnight March 31, 2017 – $27 for the 5K – $15.00 1 Mile Ramble.

The Run With Rotary is the principal fundraising event for the Montgomery-Rocky Hill Rotary Club and its charitable foundation. The Montgomery-Rocky Hill Rotary Club supports many local, regional and international service projects and organizations. As part of its 25th anniversary, the club donated awards in 2015 to these five organizations: the Samaritan Homeless Interim Project, HomeFront, the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, the Crisis Ministry of Mercer County, and the Montgomery Food Pantry.
 

Montgomery EMS Blood Drive on March 18

Montgomery EMS (MEMS) is hosting a Community Blood Drive on Saturday, March 18, 2017 from 9 am to 2 pm at the Montgomery EMS squad building on 8 Harlingen Rd. Belle Mead, NJ 08502.

Please join us to help save lives, by giving blood.

Donors will receive a coupon for a free single cup of Thomas Sweet Ice Cream.

Please contact MEMS & leave your name, phone number and time of your donation at donateblood@mems47.org or 908-359-4112.

Remember to bring Photo ID, eat a good meal and drink plenty of fluids.

Directions to Montgomery EMS can be found on our website: http://www.mems47.org/public_website/directions.shtml

If you have any concerns or questions on medical eligibility, please contact The Community Blood Council of NJ @ 609-244-8365
 

Wade's Army

An amazing group of third grade girls in Montgomery organized a Valentine's Dance to benefit Wade's Army on February 3.


Wade's Army is a non profit organization that raises money for pediatric cancer research. Thanks to their support and generousity they provided an amazing array of baked goods as well as the donations from local local businesses Alfonso's Pizza, The Pretzel Factory, and Mooyah. A special thanks to Princeton Elks Lodge #2129 and to local DJ Jad along with Morgan Moses who entertained nearly 100 elementary school kids with music and activities making for a fun filled evening. The Valentine's Dance raised just over $2,200 with 100% of the proceeds donated to Wade's Army. Little girls can do anything!
 

Neshanic garden Club Meets March 23

The Neshanic Garden Club will hold its regular monthly meeting at 9:45 am on Thursday, March 23, at the Station House on Olive Street in Neshanic Station.


The program this month entitled "Translating Your Ideas into a Floral Picture" will be presented by Arline Pagliaro. Arline is a Floral Designer and NGC member. She attended Fashion Design School and worked in the fashion industry in NYC. She has won several high honored awards from NJ flower shows utilizing her design and creativity in several art forms. She will demonstrate and instruct us on how to create an award winning arrangement.


There's a light luncheon at 12:00 pm. Prospective members are encouraged to attend. For further information about club meetings, please contact club president Marion Nation at 908-359-6317. For more information regarding the club, you can visit us at www.neshanicgardenclub.org and like us on Facebook. 

Notes from the Township Administrator

As spring approaches, construction activity in Montgomery will increase in intensity creating a great deal more work for the Code Enforcement Department. Country Club Meadows has already broken ground on both the retail and residential components of their development.


The retail section is made up of two locations, a 30,000 square foot shopping center located on the south side of Rt. 206 and Belle Mead-Griggstown Road and a 100,000 square foot shopping center located on the north side of Rt. 206 and Belle Mead Griggstown Road. One of the major drugstore chains, CVS, will be a tenant in the larger shopping center. 27 rental apartments will be located above the retail in the smaller center.


148 single-family homes are being constructed on the property west of Rt. 206 and Pike Run. Initially, ten single family homes will be constructed in the first phase of the residential component, with the rest of the homes to be constructed as they are sold.


Madison-Marquette, the owners of the property adjacent to the airport, have an existing approval for a shopping center that was granted in 2007. The market for that type of development has undergone a substantial change. To accommodate the changes in the real estate/shopping center market, the developer has modified its original plan to reduce the overall size of the project. It is designed to be a pedestrian-friendly type of mall with a multiplex movie theatre, restaurants, and retail stores.


As part of the aforementioned project the developer is required to construct loop roads that will connect Rt. 206 and Rt. 518. These loop roads will run through the shopping center, reducing traffic congestion by eliminating some of the turning movements at the Rt. 206/518 intersection and enhancing traffic flow on Rt. 206. These improvements will be coordinated with the redevelopment of the northwest corner of the Rt. 206/518 intersection.


The property owners of those properties are working with the Township to develop a comprehensive plan to redevelop those properties and provide for loop roads to connect with the loop roads constructed by Madison Marquette. When this work is completed it will provide for a pedestrian-friendly gateway into Montgomery.
 

MTPD Advisory: Roads Reopened

The following roads are reopened this morning:

River Rd (CR-533) is reopened between Twp. Line Road & Staats Farm Rd. Downed utility poles blocking the roadway have been cleared.

Dutchtown-Zion Rd is reopened between Rt. 601 & Pin Oak Road. Downed trees and a utility pole blocking the roadway have been cleared.

 

Assemblyman Zwicker's legislative office is seeking volunteers

Assemblyman Zwicker's legislative office is seeking volunteers to help promote and publicize a veterans outreach event that we will be hosting in March. The Veterans Claims Clinic will give veterans, service members, their dependents and survivors the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Veterans Affairs office. Representatives will be available to provide more information about VA benefits and entitlements, assist them in submitting an on-site claim for benefits or provide information about the status of a pending VA claim.

Join the staff during our extended office hours on the following days:

Thursday, February 16 until 7 pm.
Tuesday, February 21 until 7 pm.
Thursday, February 23 until 7 pm.

The office is located at 23 Orchard Rd., Suite 170, Skillman, NJ 08558.
If you would like to join them on any or all of those dates, please email AsmZwicker@njleg.org or call 609-454-3147.
 

Early Birds: Birding with Brad Merritt

Winter is almost over. How have our feathered friends fared? Accompany Rocky Hill resident Brad Merritt on this walk through Skillman Park to see how hardy our local population really is.


Brad is an authority on local birds who has organized and lead field trips for the Washington Crossing Audubon Society for many years. He is enthusiastic about sharing his experience and knowledge. Bring binoculars and wear appropriate boots and outerwear. Trails may be muddy.


A free 1st Sunday in the Park event sponsored by Montgomery Friends of Open Space (MontgomeryFriends.org).

Directions: Meet us Sunday, March 5, 2 pm at Skillman Park, Parking Lot C.
 

14 Stuart Girls Give Locks of Love for Valentine's Day

13 students and one staff member at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, the PS-12 independent girls' day school in Princeton, cut their hair on Tuesday, February 14, 2017, to donate to children with permanent hair loss at Stuart's 17th Annual Locks of Love hair cutting event. Stylists from Metropolis Spa and Salon in Princeton volunteered their time and talents to give complementary haircuts.


Since February 2001, Stuart girls, faculty and staff, and their families, have been growing their hair in order to donate ponytails. The Stuart community has given over 300 ponytails to Locks of Love. The organization uses the ponytails to make human hair wigs for children with permanent hair loss.
 

Acreage Added to Sourland Mountain Preserve

Somerset County and Montgomery Township have purchased 58.25 acres as part of their open space preservation programs.
Post Date: 02/15/2017 11:47 AM

A Feb. 9 closing was held on 58.25 acres of land being deeded to the Somerset County Open Space Preservation Program.

Located at the intersection of Pleasant View Road and Route 601 in Montgomery Township, the property was purchased from owner W. Bryce Thompson IV for $1,980,704. Montgomery Township has agreed to contribute 30 percent of the purchase price towards the county’s acquisition of the property from its Open Space Trust Fund.

“This is another win for the environment in Montgomery,” said Freeholder Mark Caliguire, county open space liaison. “The preservation of this property and other open agricultural land along the lower flanks and foothills of the Sourland Mountain are important. In addition to creating a transition between suburban development and the pristine environment of the Sourland Mountain, they allow for the creation of habitat for many grassland bird species.

“The acquisition of the Thompson property is another in a long line of successful partnerships between Somerset County and its municipalities,” Freeholder Caliguire said. “Preservation is most effective when groups work together to contribute resources and funding toward the common goal of preserving the rich cultural and environmental resource of the Sourland Mountain region.”

"We are pleased and proud that this beautiful farmland with its open vista of the Sourlands has been saved for posterity,” said Montgomery Mayor Ed Trzaska, township open space liaison. “It is truly exciting to close this deal in partnership with Somerset County. Montgomery’s open spaces are integral to its identity; protecting our rural character is one of our core principles. Many thanks to our Freeholders – especially Freeholder Mark Caliguire for leading the process for the county team."

In 2012, the county purchased 256 acres from Carrier Clinic (175 acres in Montgomery and the remainder in Hillsborough), which is adjacent to the Thompson property. Montgomery Township is now working to acquire an additional 15 acres nearby on the opposite side of Route 601, as well as several other tracts of land throughout the community.

The property is primarily an open farm with areas of woodland. The acquisition helps to preserve the bucolic character of the area at the base of the Sourland Mountain, which is a mix of farms and wooded preserved land. The preservation also serves to provide a buffer between the largely undeveloped land to the south in Montgomery and the residential development to the north in Hillsborough. The parcel was preserved in perpetuity as open space and is now part of the county’s Sourland Mountain Preserve, bringing the total preserve area to 6,170 acres.

The property will remain largely in its existing state and the current agricultural use will continue. Somerset County and Montgomery Township will work together to determine future possible passive uses on the property that are most appropriate for the health and public enjoyment of the land.

The Sourland Mountain region is an expansive green swath of intact forest and farmland spanning parts of three largely developed central New Jersey counties. It extends from the central part of Hillsborough Township southwest to the Delaware River in West Amwell, Hunterdon County, and Hopewell Township, Mercer County.

The Sourlands contain over 20,000 contiguous forested acres that protect the water supply to the headwaters of several significant streams flowing to the D&R Canal, Millstone, Raritan and Delaware rivers. The Sourlands support many rare plant and animal species and provide nesting and migratory stopover habitat for over 100 species of migratory birds.

Somerset County began the preservation of the Sourland Mountain in Hillsborough and Montgomery townships in the early 1970s. With the addition of the Thompson property, the preserve now exceeds 6,000 acres, making it the largest park in Somerset County’s 14,450-acre park system. 

Belle Mead Resident Competes In 141st Annual Westminster Kennel Club

Belle Mead resident, Lauren Quatrocchi and her Bulldog, CH Trooper's You Had My Heart From the Start, "Junior," were among more than 3,000 dogs that competed in the events of Westminster Week, which included the 141st Annual Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show in New York City on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 13-14, 2017; the 4th Annual Masters Agility Championship at Westminster on Saturday, Feb. 11th; and the 2nd Annual Masters Obedience Championship at Westminster on Feb. 13th.

Lauren and Junior have been in the ring together since January 2015. In July 2016, Junior earned his AKC Champion title and is currently just several points away from his AKC Grand Champion title. Over the past year, Lauren and Junior have won several Best of Breed Competitions and most recently were awarded a Group 3 placement in the Non-Sporting Group Competition in Oaks, PA. During their time away from the ring, they can be found walking within Pike Run and at our many local parks.

Lauren showed Junior in the All-Breed Show on Monday, February 13th at Pier 94 in NYC. Family, friends, and Junior's breeder Sheryl Schaefer of Regimental Bulldogs in Debary, FL watched via live stream on the Westminster Kennel Club website.

Breed competition in Westminster's world-famous dog show was held during Monday, Feb. 13 and Tuesday, Feb. 14. at Piers 92/94, with live TV coverage on Nat Geo WILD from 2-4 pm ET. The evening finals (Groups and Best In Show) were held at Madison Square Garden and televised live from 8-11pm ET on FS1, Monday, Feb. 13 and Tuesday, Feb. 14.

The dog show is preceded on Saturday, Feb. 11, by the 4th Annual Masters Agility Championship at Westminster on Pier 94 as part of the "Meet & Compete" event which also includes AKC Meet the Breeds(r) presented by Purina Pro Plan on Piers 92 and 94 giving Westminster Week a full range of informational and fun dog-related activities. The finals of the Masters Agility Championship was seen on FS1 on Feb. 12th from 8-10 pm ET.

For more information, contact: Gail Miller Bisher, The Westminster Kennel Club, gail@westminsterkennelclub.org, 212-213-3212.
 

Blawenburg Church's Spring Rummage Sale Getting Ready Now

The Blawenburg Church Spring Rummage Sale won't take place until the weekend of April 7th, but those charged with running this popular event are hard at work already.


The church's Memorial Hall on Route 518 will be the site of the sale, and it's already a busy place. Cleaning, sorting, making room for drop-offs and setting up locations for the hundreds of items that will be available will take several weeks. "It's a lot of work, but we love doing this," says Jean Beachell who manages the rummage sale. "It brings people together from all over the community, and it's a chance for lots of folks to get rid of clutter, especially for those who are planning a move. And it's a great opportunity for people to give a new home to lots of really good things."


The sale will take place Friday and Saturday, April 7 and 8.


If you're one of those who wants to get rid of clutter, or maybe you're moving and you can't take everything with you, you can drop it off at Memorial Hall beginning Monday, March 27th through
Wednesday, April 5, from 9 to 3.


Please, no large furniture or electronics. But clothing and shoes in good shape, tools, home goods, pictures and wall hangings, and sports equipment are all welcome.


Proceeds go to support the church and its missions.


If you have questions about what can be dropped off, call the church office at 609-466-1832, send an email to BlawenburgChurch@gmail.com , or ask on the church's Facebook page.


Blawenburg Church, on Route 518. is a partner in ministry with New York's Marble Collegiate Church. Its regular worship services are at 10 am Sunday mornings.
 

Would You Like To help the Environment?

If you are interested in becoming more involved with Montgomery's open space and doing something to preserve more open space, please contact Sarah Roberts, President of Montgomery Friends of Open Space, at 908-359-4837, or mfosnj@gmail.com.  

Delaware River Wrestling League youth tournament Feb 19

This Sunday February 19 at Montgomery High School, Montgomery Youth wrestling team K-7 will be hosting their annual “Delaware River Wrestling League youth tournament”. This tournament / event will include youth wrestling teams/programs from 12 different towns and states that include, Princeton, Hopewell, Metuchen, Ewing, Trenton, Delaware Valley and PA teams Solebury, SEPA, Truman, Junior Crusaders and Warminster. This will be one of New Jersey largest youth wrestling tournament’s that day, they expect over 400 youth wrestlers!

 

Back in 2000 John Moyle Montgomery resident former high school and college football and wrestler started the Montgomery youth wrestling program because he had a 7 year old son and he wanted him to participate in the sport his father loved. At the time Montgomery HS did not have either football or wrestling. John Moyle went to Montgomery AD director Tony Mascelli knowing the high school was preparing to start a youth football program and “pitched Tony the idea of high school wrestling”. Tony in turn promised John if he builds a youth wrestling program Montgomery 1-8 grades and with board approval wrestling will be added when the new high school was built. In 2000 John Moyle kicked off Montgomery youth wrestling it started with 5 boys, John Zachary Moyle, Anthony, Mathias, Nick Cassar, Dave Berigda ( turns out Anthony became the first Montgomery state champion and wrestles for #1 Penn State 2017, David Berigda wrestles for #4 Virginia Tech 2017 and Nick and John wrestled for Rutgers a national powerhouse wrestling club team ) not bad for the first five kids not knowing at the time we would see this kind of success. Today Montgomery has a middle school team of 22 boys that went 11-1 this year, the high school team has 24 kids and is consistently ranked in Somerset county and finally John’s Montgomery Youth wrestling team that has 32 kids for a total of 78 Montgomery wrestlers. John couldn’t do it without great help, John says “he has been blessed “ to have these coaches and helper’s, this has been the best support he has had since he started the program. John’s coaches are Chris Spaulding who has a local business, Simple Marketing System, Alex Obe, PTS Princeton (Alex wife is a Montgomery school teacher), Nick Corcoran, Jessy DiBlasio, Bill Capuzzi and Jodi Mahoney (team organizer). We have had great success coming out of this “little but growing program” all kids that wrestle in Montgomery youth wrestling are residents of Montgomery it is the only program in town that feeds to the Montgomery middle school and Montgomery high school wrestling teams. 

VES Exhibit on African American History is a Family Affair

Susan Lacy has been principal of Village Elementary School (VES) for 15 years, known to all as Ms. Lacy. For Black History Month, she helped her mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Carter Lacy, set up an exhibit on the history of the New Lincoln School – a segregated but progressive school in Trenton that fostered community and success - in the VES lobby. It is a small subset of an exhibit that Mrs. Lacy installed at the Trenton City Museum, Ellarslie, in 2013.


The New Lincoln School opened in 1924 in response to the overcrowding that occurred due to the Great Migration of nearly six million African Americans from the rural South to cities in the North. Mrs. Lacy’s father left Virginia to work as a chauffeur in Princeton and at Trenton Gas Works (now PSE&G). Her mother, a native of Burlington, graduated from the Bordentown School, which provided manual training for African Americans.


Mrs. Lacy’s parents qualified to rent a townhouse in Lincoln Homes for $21 per month when they opened in 1940. This Trenton development for working low-income African Americans offered a park-like setting and became a tightly knit community. After earning a boiler operator’s certificate, her father was able to pay for his two daughters’ college educations.


The Lincoln School provided support to its community. Local residents were encouraged to use the school library. A doctor and dentist provided checkups and care to the students. The school’s principal, Patton J. Hill, took an active interest in his students, writing college recommendations for them and following them long after graduation. Hill stayed at the school through its integration in 1946 and until his retirement twelve years later.


Mrs. Lacy recalls that every morning the students would sing the National Anthem and then the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Prominent African Americans such as Paul Robeson visited the school. Mrs. Lacy remembers, “It was a good education. Expectations were very high.” Indeed, many of the school’s graduates went on to college and successful careers.


Notable Lincoln alumni include A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., the first African American appointed to a regulatory commission when President John F. Kennedy recommended him for the Federal Trade Commission. He was nominated as a Federal Judge by President Lyndon Johnson and appointed to the United States Court of Appeals by President Jimmy Carter.


The alumni did not forget their school or hometown. Ike Williams, a World lightweight boxing champion, earmarked millions of his earnings for scholarships to graduating Trenton High School seniors. He also had a hardwood floor installed in the Carver YMCA, which served African Americans in Trenton.
Mrs. Lacy graduated from Cheyney State Teachers’ College, which was founded in 1837 and is the oldest institution of higher learning for African Americans. She was honored as alumnus of the year. She later earned a Reading Teacher’s certification from Trenton State Teachers’ College (now The College of New Jersey) and taught in Trenton schools, including Lincoln.


Mrs. Lacy’s husband Bill was also a Lincoln alumnus. He served as a trumpeter in the 427th Army Band – the last segregated army band. After World War II, the GI Bill allowed him to attend the Philadelphia Musical Academy (now University of the Arts). After buying land in Ewing, he built a house and moved his growing family to their new home.


Mr. Lacy became a personnel administrator for the United States Postal Service in Trenton and received national recognition for his work as editor of the Postal Pen, a newspaper for postal employees. And he continued to play trumpet at night and on weekends.


After retiring, Mr. Lacy performed with bands such as Philadelphia’s Clef Club and the Legends of Jazz Orchestra. Ten years later, he finally released his first recording, ‘The Gifts of Life,” with three songs from the Great American Songbook and nine of his own compositions. When he passed away two years ago, people recalled the many times he honored fellow veterans by playing Taps at their funerals, because he felt that they deserved a live bugler.


Reflecting on her parents and their influence on her upbringing, Ms. Lacy notes, “Having a teacher and history buff for a mother and a jazz musician, supervisor, and editor for a father made for an enriching childhood. Education, an appreciation of history, and engagement in the arts were part of the culture of our family.”

Regarding influences that shaped her career, Ms. Lacy explains, “My mother did indeed influence my career in education although that was not my initial career path.” She received a Bachelor's degree in Marketing from Douglass College and Rutgers University's School of Business and began working in marketing. She later earned Master's degrees in teaching and in educational leadership from The College of New Jersey.

Ms. Lacy first taught in Trenton and then in South Orange/Maplewood. After moving into administration, she came to VES to serve as vice principal in 2000. Two years later, she became the school’s principal and has worked diligently to create a warm environment which allows the children to be happy and succeed.

At the end of February, fourth graders will participate in a discussion with Mrs. Lacy about the exhibit, coordinated by VES teacher Sara Grande.


In 2014, Mrs. Lacy was recognized by the New Jersey Historical Commission for outstanding service in preserving and raising public awareness of the history of New Jersey. The Trenton Chapter of the National Society of Phi Delta Kappa (for educators) also gave her an award “for Betterment of Your Community and Fulfilling the Words of the Last Will of Mary McLeod Bethune,” an African American activist. Bethune’s will reads: “I leave you love: I leave you hope; I leave you a thirst for education; I leave you faith; I leave you racial dignity; I leave you a desire to live harmoniously with your fellow men; I leave you, finally, a responsibility to our young people.”


Ms. Lacy thanks the PTA for sponsoring set up of her mother’s exhibit.
 

Parent/Teacher Organizations Benefit Township Schools

The PTAs of the Montgomery Township Schools provide hundreds of volunteers to help with myriad tasks, from running book fairs and shelving library books to organizing room parties and end-of-year field days. But they also provide financial benefits to all of the schools by funding special events and projects, some through grants. This results in a better experience for the students and staff and better–equipped schools.


There are three PTAs for the Montgomery Schools. The PTA for Orchard Hill Elementary School (OHES) and Village Elementary School (VES) is led by President Ashley Friedman. The Montgomery Middle School (MMS) Parent/Teacher Organization (PTO) serves the Lower Middle School (LMS) and Upper Middle School (UMS) and is led by President Christine Petrane. President Lori Huff heads the Montgomery High School (MHS) Parent/Teacher/Student Association (PTSA).

Special events sponsored by the PTA include author visits for each elementary grade. Friedman adds, “We also fund a yearly ‘Experiential Theatre’ production for grades kindergarten through fourth. This year the students saw ‘Journey to Oz’.” At UMS, the PTO sponsors afterschool skypes with authors in the media center. The PTSA sponsored a performance of “Hamlet,” a Holocaust remembrance presentation of “Survivors Speak,” and a mobile Black History Museum.


The PTA paid for science assemblies from the Franklin Institute at both elementary schools. They also ran the Science and Invention Convention with the PTO. Afterwards, the organizations offered a Faraday physics presentation by Rutgers University and a chemistry presentation by Princeton University for the 250 participants.


Grants awarded to teachers allow students experiences or resources that would otherwise not be possible. Friedman explains, “We try to consider those grants that have the largest impact on students and are sustainable in future years. Last year the PTA funded about $25K worth of teacher grants.” Petrane says the PTO awards about $10K in grants per year.

At VES, technology teacher James Dolan was able to teach his students how to program a Lego robot. UMS special education teacher Marci Warboys was awarded a $1K grant to create a “Reluctant Readers Rescue.” These books for “students who struggle significantly with reading” reside on a rolling bookshelf and can be used by any UMS class.

Grants also provide physical improvements to the schools. In recent years, the PTO funded the rock wall at LMS and bought $3500 worth of furniture for the UMS media center at the request of librarian Betsy Wasiak. At MHS, PTSA funds allowed for the installation of a water bottle filling station in the science wing, recommended by biology teacher Christopher Resch. And pole banners welcoming visitors to LMS and MHS were paid for by donations from the PTO ($1800) and the PTSA ($5K).

The PTAs add to students’ enjoyment of school. The PTA runs afterschool Bingo for elementary students, while the PTO runs Fun Friday at LMS. The PTO also donates $500 for supplies for the seventh graders’ Pumpkin Day and $800 to give eighth graders Kona Ice the day before they are promoted. The PTSA provides Rita’s Ice and ice cream for MHS students twice a year.

Funds from the PTO help provide experiences outside the school. Petrane notes, “We give $5K per school per year to cover some of the cost of transportation for field trips.” Fifth graders go to the Philadelphia Zoo while sixth graders go to the Museum of Natural History. At the end of the year, seventh graders go to iPlay America (an indoor arcade) and eighth graders go to Frogbridge Day Camp.

The PTA helps new elementary students when they start school. While volunteers help the students find their classrooms and buses during the first few days of school, the PTA provides every new student at OHES with a communication folder and a backpack tag.

The PTO and PTSA help older students with transitions. At the end of the year, the PTO holds a “Movin' On Up” party for fourth graders and provides $750 for flowers, food, and backdrops for eighth grade promotion. And the PTSA provides refreshments and balloons for the post-graduation reception held in the MHS Commons.

The PTSA rewards MHS students for academic success. Honor roll students can receive rewards such as Bagel Barn gift cards. The PTSA also offers financial assistance to graduating seniors. Volunteers review applications and then interview the applicants. Selected graduates receive scholarships of $500 or more.

The District’s staff benefits from the PTAs’ efforts too. The PTA gives each elementary teacher a stipend to purchase books for their classroom at the book fair. The middle school principals receive $500 from the PTO each year to fund items such as breakfast for teachers on in-service days. Staff appreciation breakfasts are held at all of the schools. And each PTA takes a turn funding a breakfast for the bus drivers during the last week of school.

So how do these organizations pay for all this? Membership fees from parents and students provide a substantial part of their budgets. The PTA raises additional funds through venues such as Box Tops for Education and sales of KidStuff Coupon Books and Charleston Wrap. The PTO holds its plant sale at LMS the week before Mother’s Day. The PTSA sells pizza and other snacks to students after school. And all three groups sell Spirit Wear, such as t-shirts, to students.

Huff sums up the valuable and innumerable benefits that the three organizations bring to the schools. “Our organizations provide for many extras that the school budget would not allow.”
 

Parent/Teacher Organizations Benefit Township Schools

The PTAs of the Montgomery Township Schools provide hundreds of volunteers to help with myriad tasks, from running book fairs and shelving library books to organizing room parties and end-of-year field days. But they also provide financial benefits to all of the schools by funding special events and projects, some through grants. This results in a better experience for the students and staff and better-equipped schools.


There are three PTAs for the Montgomery Schools. The PTA for Orchard Hill Elementary School (OHES) and Village Elementary School (VES) is led by President Ashley Friedman. The Montgomery Middle School (MMS) Parent/Teacher Organization (PTO) serves the Lower Middle School (LMS) and Upper Middle School (UMS) and is led by President Christine Petrane. President Lori Huff heads the Montgomery High School (MHS) Parent/Teacher/Student Association (PTSA).


Special events sponsored by the PTA include author visits for each elementary grade. Friedman adds, "We also fund a yearly 'Experiential Theatre' production for grades kindergarten through fourth. This year the students saw 'Journey to Oz'." At UMS, the PTO sponsors afterschool skypes with authors in the media center. The PTSA sponsored a performance of "Hamlet," a Holocaust remembrance presentation of "Survivors Speak," and a mobile Black History Museum.


The PTA paid for science assemblies from the Franklin Institute at both elementary schools. They also ran the Science and Invention Convention with the PTO. Afterwards, the organizations offered a Faraday physics presentation by Rutgers University and a chemistry presentation by Princeton University for the 250 participants.


Grants awarded to teachers allow students experiences or resources that would otherwise not be possible. Friedman explains, "We try to consider those grants that have the largest impact on students and are sustainable in future years. Last year the PTA funded about $25K worth of teacher grants." Petrane says the PTO awards about $10K in grants per year.


At VES, technology teacher James Dolan was able to teach his students how to program a Lego robot. UMS special education teacher Marci Warboys was awarded a $1K grant to create a "Reluctant Readers Rescue." These books for "students who struggle significantly with reading" reside on a rolling bookshelf and can be used by any UMS class.


Grants also provide physical improvements to the schools. In recent years, the PTO funded the rock wall at LMS and bought $3500 worth of furniture for the UMS media center at the request of librarian Betsy Wasiak. At MHS, PTSA funds allowed for the installation of a water bottle filling station in the science wing, recommended by biology teacher Christopher Resch. And pole banners welcoming visitors to LMS and MHS were paid for by donations from the PTO ($1800) and the PTSA ($5K).


The PTAs add to students' enjoyment of school. The PTA runs afterschool Bingo for elementary students, while the PTO runs Fun Friday at LMS. The PTO also donates $500 for supplies for the seventh graders' Pumpkin Day and $800 to give eighth graders Kona Ice the day before they are promoted. The PTSA provides Rita's Ice and ice cream for MHS students twice a year.


Funds from the PTO help provide experiences outside the school. Petrane notes, "We give $5K per school per year to cover some of the cost of transportation for field trips." Fifth graders go to the Philadelphia Zoo while sixth graders go to the Museum of Natural History. At the end of the year, seventh graders go to iPlay America (an indoor arcade) and eighth graders go to Frogbridge Day Camp.


The PTA helps new elementary students when they start school. While volunteers help the students find their classrooms and buses during the first few days of school, the PTA provides every new student at OHES with a communication folder and a backpack tag.


The PTO and PTSA help older students with transitions. At the end of the year, the PTO holds a "Movin' On Up" party for fourth graders and provides $750 for flowers, food, and backdrops for eighth grade promotion. And the PTSA provides refreshments and balloons for the post-graduation reception held in the MHS Commons.


The PTSA rewards MHS students for academic success. Honor roll students can receive rewards such as Bagel Barn gift cards. The PTSA also offers financial assistance to graduating seniors. Volunteers review applications and then interview the applicants. Selected graduates receive scholarships of $500 or more.
The District's staff benefits from the PTAs' efforts too. The PTA gives each elementary teacher a stipend to purchase books for their classroom at the book fair. The middle school principals receive $500 from the PTO each year to fund items such as breakfast for teachers on in-service days. Staff appreciation breakfasts are held at all of the schools. And each PTA takes a turn funding a breakfast for the bus drivers during the last week of school.


So how do these organizations pay for all this? Membership fees from parents and students provide a substantial part of their budgets. The PTA raises additional funds through venues such as Box Tops for Education and sales of KidStuff Coupon Books and Charleston Wrap. The PTO holds its plant sale at LMS the week before Mother's Day. The PTSA sells pizza and other snacks to students after school. And all three groups sell Spirit Wear, such as t-shirts, to students.


Huff sums up the valuable and innumerable benefits that the three organizations bring to the schools. "Our organizations provide for many extras that the school budget would not allow."
 

Montgomery Dad Bonds with His Daughter over Braids

Many parents wonder how to make time with their children special. Dan Morrison of Belle Mead has found that styling his daughter Alana's hair is a way to be close and make the most of their time together. He and Alana - a first grader at Orchard Hill Elementary School - shared this with other fathers and daughters when they led Montgomery's first Daddy Daughter Hair Factory (DDHF) at Congregation Kehilat Shalom in Belle Mead on January 22, and again on February 5.


By watching videos online, Morrison taught himself how to style his daughter's hair. Although they both enjoyed the process and the results, he later received an added benefit. "When we went on vacation this past summer, people commented on her hair. She then told them, 'My daddy did my hair.' This made me melt."

DDHF was created two years ago by a father in Florida. Morrison explains, "This idea was hatched by Philppe Morgese, who, as a single father chose to focus on the daddy/daughter bond through doing his daughter's hair." Regarding the focus of the program he developed, Morgese explains, "Even a messy braid is still time spent together."

This unique approach to togetherness appealed to Morrison. "As a divorced dad who has our daughter fifty percent of the time, I realized it was a great concept. I thought this experience would prove to be a great avenue to enrich our bond."

Morrison decided to start a DDHF here in Montgomery. "I reached out to Phil, who sent me an instructor guide describing what was needed to start the class. The instructors help each other out. We like to use the saying, 'Iron Sharpens Iron.'"

Recalling their first DDHF in January, Morrison recalls, "The first class was excellent. I had previously known some of the dads, and Alana knew several of the girls, so it made it easier for us. Also, my brother was there to take pictures of the first class."

DDHF's positive influence on Alana means a lot to Morrison. "What I love about DDHF is that it promotes her helping out other people. She loves to talk about what we are doing and realizes the benefit we get by helping others."


Morrison feels that DDHF serves as a reminder that fathers are - and should be - important in their daughter's lives. He points out that several times during his vacation with Alana two years ago, "My five year old daughter was asked where her mom was. There is still a stigma against fathers being active parents."

Explaining the importance of his role as father to Alana, Morrison explains, "I have done a lot of things in my life. However, out of all the things that I have done or that I will do, being a father and a positive role model for Alana is perhaps the most important thing to me. Children do much better when their dads play an active role in their lives."

Morrison hopes that for the participants, DDHF "is just the start of them continuing the daddy/daughter bond. On a personal note, I hope that Alana sees the value in helping others. I think it is also incredibly important for her to see that everyone does things at a different pace, and it is the effort, and the experience, that matters."

DDHF is free of charge to participants. Their motto is "It's not about the braid, it's about the bond." Morgese states, "Having a male rode model is important to teach our daughters how men should be in their life. All girls need that support from a male figure. We need to stay connected with our children."


Summing up his participation in DDHF, Morrison says, "It is so much more than the brushing, braiding, and buns. I am so thankful that Alana and I are embarking on this journey with DDHF and the wonderful dads and daughters."

For more information on DDHF, visit www.facebook.com/daddydaughterhairfactory/. .
 

MHS Athlete of the Month - Julia Hans

Julia Hans is one of the star runners in the MHS varsity winter track team. She specializes in the 3,200-Meter Run, and placed first at the Indoor Track Central Jersey Group Four State Sectionals in both 2016 and 2017. She commented, "It means a lot to win the 3200 at Sectionals two years in a row. Central Jersey Group Four is one of the most competitive sections in the state, so to beat such talented competition is great validation that my hard work is paying off, and is a big confidence booster going into state season."

Aside from the 3200-Meter Run, Julia also enjoys competing in the 1600-Meter Run and the 4x800 Relay.
Entering high school as a "miler," Julia switched to running the 3,200-Meter Event, and quickly fell in love with the new distance. She said, "I love the longer distance events because you are able to find a rhythm in the race, and need to focus on endurance, not just speed."


After winning the County Championships in her freshman year, Julia committed to this event, and has flourished ever since.


Julia's success in high school stems from eight years of hard work, which includes having a healthy diet, drinking enough water, stretching, getting enough sleep and, of course, training. She commented, "I started running with Girls on the Run in third or fourth grade because I always saw my dad waking up early to go for a run or to go to a race, and it seemed like something fun that I wanted to try. Once I got to fifth grade, I joined the middle school team, which had more opportunities for competition." She counts her dad, who ran competitively in high school and college, and a major source of inspiration. He currently accompanies her on runs during the weekends and in the summer. After college, Julia hopes to run marathons like her dad, who has currently participated in seven marathons.


Although Julia has been able to avoid serious injuries in her time on the MHS team, she has been forced to confront mental challenges, saying, "This past Cross Country season, I had a pretty big mental block where I put in my best summer of training yet, and had great workouts at practice, but when it came time to race, the races did not go my way and I was not getting the results I was expecting."


However, thanks to the support of her coaches, teammates and parents, Julia was able to overcome this block, and surged back in the following Indoor Track season to take first in the 3,200-Meter Run at Sectionals.


Despite Julia's individual prowess, her fondest memories stem from the 4x800 Relay, which she anchored at the Central Jersey Group Four State Sectionals last year. As a relay team, she and three other seniors hoped to place within the top six to advance into the State Championship. After strong performances from the three seniors, and a personal best, the team was able to place sixth. She thanks her teammates for pushing her in practice, and her coaches for supporting her.


Julia commented, "On our cool down after the race, we were all so happy and just laughed and smiled, which was fun."


As a junior, Julia is just starting the college application and recruitment process, but does plan to run competitively in the future. In her upcoming senior year and beyond, Julia is sure to leave a lasting legacy for the MHS varsity winter track team. 

Chinese New Year at Pike Run

Every year, Pike Run hosts a popular and widely-attended Chinese New Year's celebration, featuring scores of performers and red decorations befitting the holiday. The celebration was kickstarted by a performance on the dagu, a large Chinese drum, to work up the crowd.


With the audience energized, the next performance of "I Love Pike Run" by a group of ten children was well received. The choreography for the song consisted of swaying and waving arms.
Similarly, the next performance group showed off synchronized choreography, in addition to a stellar rendition of the English song "Happy New Year."


Each performer received a hongbao as a gift at the end of their performances. In China, a hongbao is a customary Chinese New Year's gift, and consists of a red packet envelope filled with money.
The performances following included many young musicians, such as in an orchestral version of the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack. The ensemble consisted of trumpets, saxophones, violins, flutes, clarinets, an oboe, xylophone and cello. Although the conductor was a young woman, the musicians were all middle schoolers, and their talent shone through.


One of the highlights of the night was a performance of "You Raise Me Up" by Zeng Xianyao. His emotional singing and vocal prowess was met with cries of "Zai lai yi ge" (encore), and "Hao!" (good). For his second song, he reverted to his native language of Chinese, and sang, "Where Is the Way," a song from the famous Chinese television series, Journey to the West.


Overcoming technical difficulties, a group of four high schoolers pulled off a difficult cover of "Tonight I Celebrate My Love For You." One of the performers, Elise Wang, commented, "This event is held every year to celebrate the Chinese New Year. I have been going to them since living here, and I think it's really cool because it brings the community together in celebration while broadcasting the talents of the community."


Interspersed between the performances, the hosts held raffles, with practical prizes like waffle makers, automatic hand mixers, and fruit trays.


Seven-year Pike Run resident He Zhangfei, a frequent attendee of the Chinese New Year's party, praised this year's celebration, saying "It was very well-organized, and provided a good opportunity for Chinese people to enjoy the festival and New Year even though they are far away from their homeland and relatives. It's good to pass this tradition from one generation to another."
At the end of the day, audience members and performers alike filed out with broad smiles and arms laden with raffle prizes, already eagerly anticipating next year's celebration. 

Montgomery Fire Company #2 Open House March 29

Have you ever wondered about the people who choose to go into a burning building when everyone else is running out? It might surprise you to find out they could be some of your friends and neighbors. The Fire and EMS emergency services in Montgomery Township are all-volunteer and are always looking for men and women (Age 16 to 80+) interested in helping our community. Membership lets you participate in training sessions, response to emergency calls or supporting the company in many other ways.

Montgomery Township Volunteer Fire Co. No. 2 will be hosting a meet and greet at the firehouse, located at 529 County Route 518, on Wednesday night March 29th from 7 to 9 pm. So pick up a friend or neighbor and come by the firehouse for refreshments and to meet members Wed. night March 29. Everyone is welcome!

More information at www.mtvfc2.com, facebook.com/mtvfc2/, or email membership46fire@gmail.com .
 

Residents Worry over Losing Neighborhood Tranquility with Cherry Valley Road Project

The Cherry Valley Road widening project set for March is causing concern to area residents who worry that it may become a twin to Route 206 or Route 518, with increasing traffic, new bicycle lanes and a sidewalk for the Princeton side planned, not to mention the cropping of 148 trees, mostly taller than 100 feet high.


At a public forum held Wednesday February 15 in Princeton, Montgomery residents asked questions on subjects ranging from the loss of their bucolic neighborhood’s tree canopy to the lack of efforts to curb vehicles’ speeding and heavy tractor-trailers on Cherry Valley Road, issues not specifically indicated with this project.


The existing paved width of Cherry Valley is 20 feet within a 40-foot right of way. The plan is to increase the paved roadway’s width for cars and adding bicycle lanes on either side to 34 feet, in a 50-foot right of way. Vehicle lanes would each be 12 feet, with bike lanes of five feet wide to the right on each side. New sidewalk described as “shared use” on the Princeton side would be six feet wide. Aldo, Cherry Valley will soon have curbs and a new retaining wall will reduce the road’s slope at Cherry Hill.


Princeton’s municipal engineer is Montgomery resident Deanna Stockton., who moderated most of the meeting.


Riparian zone disturbances were outlined by environmental consultants for the Princeton side. As required by NJDEP and its permit for the project, Princeton will need to mitigate the disturbance by replanting another area of riparian zone in its town borders. To the east of the project in a grass field near Rt. 206, a riparian zone was selected to plant new trees.


Princeton Assistant Engineer Alina Ferreira announced that existing roadside ditches will be replaced with an underground storm drainage system. Utility poles will be relocated and set behind the new road’s curb. Existing poles slated for removal were mapped on the plans.


With tree removal work starting March 1, roadway closures are anticipated during work hours of 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, Monday thru Friday. Detours will be posted from Cherry Hill, Ridgeview Road, and Great Road to Route 518 and Route 206. The project length is from Rt. 206 to about 200 feet west of the Cherry Hill Road intersection.


Residents living along Cherry Valley will access their homes as police on-site direct them in and out, but equipment could block their driveways after 9 am.


Temporary and permanent easements are required for this project. Some Princeton residents’ properties will be acquired for the bigger right-of-way. Trees on properties are another sacrifice.


Donald T. Dickson, a longtime resident of Cherry Valley Road in Montgomery, recently returned from Florida to see red numbers spray-painted on trees 22 feet from the road’s right-of-way on his property, including on a maple tree and spruces he planted himself. That left Montgomery and Princeton engineers shocked at the meeting, as both claimed his trees were not set for removals. Montgomery Township Engineer Gail Smith promised to investigate and told him it could be markings from a year ago, when Montgomery did some surveying to update its maps.


Dickson and the other residents were told 148 trees in all would be removed, 145 of which are within the existing right-of-way. Seven trees within three lots are within the future right-of-way that Princeton will be acquiring. A right of entry decree will be obtained first.


Princeton’s Arborist Lorraine Konopka says PSE & G advised her that they trim most of the treetops for years due to their height hitting the utility lines, and many trees along Cherry Valley were in decline or dying and going to need to be removed in the future. Konopka agreed that it sounds terrible and the losses are significant, but she said a lot of the trees aren’t really alive. Ferreira explained the expected visual impact. “The majority of the 148 trees to be removed, 93 of them are six to 18 inches in diameter, but 17 go up over 30 and some over 45 inches. Most of those trees are ash trees. Big trees will be cut to grade to minimize disturbance, and stumps will be removed as part of the roadway project after June,” said Ferreira.


Dickson also proposed an all-way stop-sign or traffic light for the intersection of Cherry Valley and Cherry Hill roads given the limited sightlines there and frequency of accidents. Gail Smith told him this road widening project will greatly enhance the sightlines of drivers.


Sean and Jennifer Cavin, who live on Cherry Valley Road, also urged better safety planning. They asked about speed humps or speed bumps for their road, as they noted Princeton Avenue continuing up to Rocky Hill and on Mercer Road in Princeton. They were told it isn’t an option given new standards; Cherry Valley is a designated “major commuter” connecting vehicles from Pennington and 518 to Princeton. Jennifer Cavin also said a 25 mile-per-hour speed limit should be a priority.


Princeton Police Sgt. Thomas Murray addressed speed surveillance and explained the history of the worst intersection for the town going back 20 years: Cherry Valley Road and Great Road. Its four-way stop was so awkward, eventually a traffic light had to take its place to make travel safer.


“The police departments in Princeton and Montgomery will get a cap on any increased speeding with the wider, newly paved road but I feel it will benefit residents there. Even with improved radar systems in police cars we do not have a place to set up and properly run radar to get the speed tracking we need to get a conviction in court. We’ve talked about widening the road and having drivers see a more open roadway to go quicker, but people speed on Cherry Valley now because they know no police cars are on the side of the road. With improved width our ability to run radar in your area is enhanced,” Murray said.


One resident lamented the loss of trees that barricaded lights from traffic, believing headlights will shine into windows of his house along Cherry Valley later this year.


Another resident asked about installing utility lines underground, but Stockton explained the recent look at underground fixtures for Bank Street in downtown Princeton. An estimate of $70,000 per property to do utilities underground was discussed, and the lines serving residences would mean a new assessment for each based on that. She noted $1.6 million for 600 feet of property in Princeton for Comcast, Verizon and PSE & G installing underground.


Stockton said before the meeting Princeton received bids for the tree removals. A bid award is expected by February 27 with work starting March 1 and to continue until very early April. The total cost of the joint Princeton-Montgomery project will be around $2 million.
 

New Rocky Hill Canal Bridge Delays

Work has temporarily ceased at the Rt. 518 Canal Bridge in Rocky Hill. Locals say no work has been done SuperBowl Weekend.

Steve Shapiro, a spokesman for the NJ Department of Transportation confirmed it, saying in an email, Creosote, a wood treatment chemical, recently was found in the ground and water by our contractor near the CR518 Bridge project. This discovery required us to put a temporary stop-work order in place while we established an environmental plan. Both the NJ Water Supply Authority and the D&R Canal State Park were notified of the situation. NJDOT understands that this project is locally sensitive and we are working as quickly as possible to resolve the issue and complete the reconstruction of the bridge, but these types of unexpected environmental issues demand immediate attention to ensure the safety of the workers and the residents."


Presumably the creosote was from wood used in the original bridge construction, and which leached over time, into the surrounding mud. Since creosote is a major pollutant, it may be of some concern to those who depend on drinking water from the Canal.

The new bridge will be primarily concrete and steel, with little or no wood, treated or otherwise. There is no word on how long it will take for the State to get the project back to work and completed.
 

Griggstown Rummage Sale

The Griggstown Reformed Church will hold their Spring Rummage sale on Friday, April 21, 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday April 22, 9 am to noon.


Griggstown Reformed Church is located at 1065 Canal Road in Griggstown. Items for sale include clothing, small furniture, books, toys and housewares.


Public donations will be accepted Wednesday, April 19 and Thursday, April 20, 9 am to noon and 6 pm to 8 pm.


Please no electronics, computers, large furniture, textbooks, car seats, cribs, mattresses or TV's.
Proceeds help support our various charities. Fill a bag day will be Saturday.
For more information please call Margaret 908-359-3956 or Cathy 359-6881.
 

Dept. of Veterans Affairs Claims Clinic for Veterans March 28

Claims Clinic for veterans, service-members and dependents, "Enhancing the Veteran Experience."
Hosted by Assemblyman Zwicker & Lillie Nuble, Director, Newark Regional Office at Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker's Office, 23 Orchard Road (Room: Atrium, bottom floor), Skillman, NJ.
The event will be on Tuesday, March 28,  Check-in at 8:45 am; light breakfast and refreshments
9 am – 10 am. Claims Clinic 10 am – 2 pm.


Directions: Orchard Road is off of Rt. 2016, north of the Montgomery movie theater. When entering 23 Orchard Road, bear right and head toward the back of the office complex. Parking is located near the field of solar panels.


Who should come? Veteran, Service-members and dependents of who are interested and eligible to receive VA benefits and entitlements. This is a great opportunity to get information about VA benefits and entitlements, submit a claim for benefits or receive information about the status of your pending VA claim.
RSVP to AsmZwicker@njleg.org or call 732-247-3999.
 

Take a Spin into Princeton, Buy and Sell Albums at the Record Exchange

For anyone with an interest in music it's the single spot that comes to mind when you think of downtown Princeton beyond Ivy League university gates and glamour shopping. The Princeton Record Exchange, located at 20 South Tulane Street, established itself as a destination for all things music over 35 years ago, when a small Nassau Street store began an 'exchange' revolution. As the world turns to 2017 vinyl records continue spinning and the store and its brand of customer service, experience, and interactions have thrived.


Princeton Record Exchange resonates across the globe. Folks fly in from everywhere- several from France, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Japan and more- to make a "circuit" of top U.S. record store destinations. They visit Princeton for this business, an experience that's consistently "music to their ears." The store and its far-reaching fan base have been featured in mainstream media, from Rolling Stone and Variety to CNN's list of the Top Ten record stores nationwide, named third overall in 2015. The high turnover in music inventory, with over 40,000 units bought and sold each month, has garnered much attention. Each day up to 30 collections are purchased, ranging anywhere from 10 to 1,000 albums in each. Every time someone walks into the store they find new high-quality, exclusive merchandise for sale. That's been the formula to buck the trend with the industry's paradigm shift from commercialized music to songs downloaded from the internet by computers and phones.


If you're holding an old collection of records, tapes, and CDs or contemplating selling them on eBay, stop into Princeton Record Exchange instead. Appraisals of incoming music and media are easily done in store by full-time experienced industry professionals. Sellers are compensated two-fold as with an exchange market, "the beat goes on." Items first net money, and also there's the chance for music to be listened to again and again.


"Good vibes" created a culture at the Record Exchange as recognized on many cars' rear bumpers with a popular black and white sticker, perhaps rivaled only by the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association's "H2OShed" stickers in Central Jersey. Today Princeton Record Exchange' hopes to break a few barriers between Princeton and prospective buyers or sellers in suburban Montgomery, Rocky Hill, and other towns. The quick driving distance of five miles puts it in the midst of downtown life. Under the leadership of Rocky Hill resident and Princeton Record Exchange's owner Jon Lambert, things picked up. On a random Thursday afternoon one gentleman, "the guy with the huge Beetles' collection," drops into Princeton Record Exchange with items for Lambert and his staff to assess. Minutes later, it's new inventory.


Princeton Record Exchange's in-store team of "good listeners" boost the business and add atmosphere. Nine employees have been with the store for over 20 years apiece. Lambert says an openness to engage with people and all genres of music are key traits he's looked for in staff, along with energy, courtesy and respect.


"I want the store to be fun. We tried to get away from a commodities-driven music store into being here as an event, coming in and exploring titles. You could look at a picture of the ocean or you can jump in; one is pretty and one is exhilarating," he said.


Lambert's life in music sales started in 1982 when there were three record stores in Quakerbridge Mall. He worked at the Listening Booth when he was 18, then at age 20 Lambert's 'first turn' at record store management came when he started working at Beat Geeks on the mall's second floor. "I have been in retail management and specifically music for almost 35 years, with a five-year stint selling A/V equipment at a video store. We sold music there too, records and CDs, but it was consistent with the arts - I love all the arts from reading, music and film, and I grew up steeped in the arts," he explains.


In the 1960's and 70's Lambert's father was a commercial illustrator, having designed many record covers that his son comes across in Princeton Record Exchange inventory. His mother was a writer. On a few occasions Lambert's parents worked on children's books together; mom as the author and dad as the illustrator.


In 1989 Lambert's day-to-day store experience landed him a job at the Record Exchange. Since then he's worked at and then managed the store, for the first 26 years under longtime founder Barry Weisfield, who began the original business in 1975 by selling records at various East Coast locations, driving his van filled with records. The basic philosophy for music sales was born: pricing items to move, well below market value. It's continued to carry customer traffic into the store. In the era of downloads, iTunes and playlists, Lambert says for PRINCETON RECORD EXCHANGE online sales can't beat in-store experiences and variety for customers to discover. He enjoys hearing feedback once visitors turns into regulars.


"We dabbled into Amazon, but I don't want to be a store that culls its best merchandise just to sell it online. I want to be egalitarian and for people to enjoy the experience. I want you to have that chance at finding that piece of gold, and I want you to love the place. I want you to come back and spend hours looking through our stacks," he explains.


Social media and the Princeton Record Exchange.com website turned the internet into a terrific vehicle for engaging of all types of music fans, potential customers and suppliers. Lambert is active on FaceBook with over 13,000 followers, plus there's a Princeton Record Exchange YouTube channel with 70 point-of-view videos about record collections. He calls Princeton Record Exchange, in store and with digital communications, "a mouthpiece for music lovers."


On April 29, the eve of this year's Communiversity festival, Lambert will be presented with the Self-Directed Learning Achievement Award from the Princeton Learning Cooperative. Lambert, who grew up in Princeton, will complete his second full year as Princeton Record Exchange's owner July 31. He admires the local arts scene, classic architecture and park settings of the college town. He says over the decades the independent feel and unique character of businesses across Princeton have been a boost, away from fast food or big box retail of Route 1 and increasingly, Route 206.


"The foot traffic is greathere. I would never want to move into a strip mall or something like that. It's a transient society we cannot be complacent. Being in a walkthrough town we get customers here for 'staycations' or a place they will visit. We thrive with the constant influx of new people who discover us, they walk through our doors and fall in love with the place," Lambert said.


Princeton Record Exchange, 20 South Tulane Street in Princeton, Princeton Record Exchange.com. Call 609-921-0081.

 

Cherry Valley Rd Closed (:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Advisory: Cherry Valley Rd closed today 9:30am-3:30pm between Rt 206 and CR 601 (Great Rd) for utility work. Follow the posted detour. 

MHS Sports Roundup - March 2017

As one of the powerhouse teams of Central Jersey, MHS girls' fencing finished in second at the NJSIAA District II Championships. The team as a whole was a close contender for the first place, only winning six less bouts than Ridge. Individually, Laura Sun and Brenda Yang qualified for the state championships in foil and sabre, respectively. Following the District II Championships, the girls won a meet against Morris Hills, 23-4, and defeated District II Champions Ridge, 15-12, with seven wins on foil and five on sabre. Senior Lizzy Tieu commented, "The season was pretty good this year. We have been going through some rough points since the seniors last year gave us a lot of our depth, but it's nice that we can give a lot more girls a chance at varsity this year. I'm especially proud of the foil squad for getting first in our county and district tournaments, and I look forward to seeing all of our squads at states."


Boys' ice hockey is close to finishing its season, and has a record of ten wins, eight losses and four ties. In a blowout against South Brunswick, the MHS team won 8-1, with goals scored by Tyler Gallagher, Michael Hrudowsky, Jeffrey Lin, Vincent Rodrigo, Dan Seamon and Jack Wagner. A few days later, the team tied Bridgewater-Raritan (3-3) in the first round of the Skyland Cup, but lost the subsequent shootout and failed to advance in the Skyland Cup. Jackson Devine and Michael Hrudowsky were crucial to the Cougars' offense.


MHS boys' basketball has advanced steadily through the Somerset County Tournament, recently winning the second round against Bernards by ten points. The Cougars' top scorer was Matt Remsen, clocking in at fourteen points. Rohan Prakash and Danny Engels. Against Hillsborough, the team suffered a close defeat, 37-42, after losing steam in the second half. Matt Remsen again led the point total with 16 points, followed by Kevin Fromelt with ten points. Danny Engels and Matt Summers also contributed seven points in total.


Despite a disappointing season, girls' swimming has rebounded through the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group A Tournament, beating Hunterdon Central to advance to the final against Hillsborough. In the meet against Hunterdon Central, the MHS girls swept both the 100-meter fly and the 100-meter breaststroke events. The team was aided by a first-place finish in the 200-meter medley relay by Brigid Di Blasio, Michelle and Allison D'Allegro, and Kara Lydzinski.


In a major improvement from the previous season, the MHS boys' fencing team currently has seven wins and four losses. Its victories include meets against West Windsor-Plainsboro North and Hunterdon Central. Senior Myles Chou effused, "Our season has been much better compared to last year, when we only had two wins and eight losses in our meets for the season. The sabres got first in counties, and both the sabres and foils qualified for the state squads. This year we improved on our training by emphasizing footwork and specialized practices unique for each squad. We also tried to structure the practice to more resemble how it is done in an actual fencing club."


Unfortunately, the boys' swimming team was unable to make it past the semifinals of the NJSIAA Section 2 Public B tournament, losing 76-94 to Summit High School. Montgomery was plagued by injuries, leading to absences and slow performances by many of its top swimmers.


MHS wrestling finished its season with eleven wins and ten losses. Against Hackettstown, the Cougars won 45-27, with victories contributed by Matthew Lisanti and Dennis Quinlan in the 120-pound and 138-pound weight categories, respectively.


In a hard-fought game against Pingry, the MHS girls' basketball team was eliminated from the first round of the Somerset County Tournament, 47-53. Despite the loss, the team continues to forge forward in games against South Plainfield and Moorestown.


With all MHS teams close to finishing the winter season, the Cougars next look towards spring teams to take up the baton of success.

 

Report From Rocky Hill - March 2017

What may turn out to be the hidden gremlin in the 2017 Rocky Hill municipal budget is the decision from the NJ State Supreme Court regarding Affordable Housing, an issue looming over most New Jersey municipalities during this century. The Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) is an autonomous agency developed by the Legislature in the wake of the Mount Laurel Decision by the Court in 1985, which determined that some municipalities had been deliberately zoning residential real estate to encourage expensive housing, rather than apartments or less expensive homes, "affordable" to the many working middle class.


This was a nice example of economics: new homes meant more children in the schools, bigger school population means more school taxes. Therefore, they reasoned, make sure zoning encourages new homes to be so expensive that the ratables they provide will offset increased school costs.
Governor Christie tried abolishing COAH by royal decree but the Court held otherwise, and in the subsequent absence of decisive activity and failure to meet deadlines by COAH, the entire administration has been taken over by the courts.


The problem in Rocky Hill, as Mayor Donahue explained at the Feb. 6 Borough Council meeting, is that the Council on Affordable Housing administrators looked at the map of Rocky Hill and saw the preserved open space, such as Van Horne Park, jointly owned by the Borough and Somerset County, and the Greenacres behind Borough Hall, jointly owned by the Borough and the State DEP. COAH thouht of it as developable real estate, rather than dedicated as open space in perpetuity. There may still be some developable real estate, such as the Hayden Tract, the Shafer Tract, and a few other spots, but these are all privately owned. Additionally, much of the Greenacres tract has been exempted by the DEP as wetlands. Otherwise, the Mayor noted, the Borough is 90% built out, but that doesn't enter into the COAH algorithm, which required a certain amount of affordable housing units for a much larger number of open market housing.


Mayor Donahue said, "Every time we deal with them we get something different." Consequently, Borough Council has been meeting for some time in closed session to consider how to deal with this issue. Stay tuned.


Also, it appears likely school taxes will be up this year (see our story on Page 1).
New additions to the Council meeting room is the old school bell, with the embossed date "January 1st, 1884," which was rung at the old school house, located at the corner of Washington Street and Montgomery Avenue, and which is now a private home. The other addition is a large, restored flag, originally flown on April 14, 1866, with the legend, "The day Lincoln was shot and flown at Rocky Hill." The bell turned up in the attic of Borough Hall, the and the flag was a gift from a local family that found it stuffed in a lunch bag.


The next most obvious pressing issue is the Rt. 518 Canal bridge. Although the NJ DOT says it may be open by the end of February, work stopped after the SuperBowl weekend, because of the discovery of creosote contamination discovered during the process of building the new bridge (see our story on Page 1). It's always something with that bridge.


Council transferred funds from 2016 into the 2017 budget to cover 2016 expenses that will come due in 2017.


Council also approved a contract with the County for recycling which will cost homeowners about $23 a year per house. Borough Attorney Albert Cruz said, "It's been steady for at least 10 years."
Borough Council normally meets on the first and third Mondays of each month at Borough Hall on Montgomery Ave., at 7 pm.
For more information, visit www.rockyhill-nj.gov.
 

WASHINGTON CROSSING AUDUBON SOCIETY PUBLIC EVENTS FOR March 2017

Field Trips

· March 11, 2017. “Assunpink Wildlife Management Area,” a free, public birding trip with Washington Crossing Audubon Society
Join Washington Crossing Audubon Society from 8:30 – 11:30 AM on Saturday, March 11 for a free birding trip led by John Maret and Andrew Bobe at Assunpink Wildlife Management Area. This is the time to start looking for migrating waterfowl and other northern-bound birds in this productive local wildlife management area. Directions: East on I-195 to exit 11, Imlaystown. North on Imlaystown Road 2.6 miles to parking area at Lake Assunpink. Contact Brad Merritt (609) 921-8964 for additional information or cancellation updates the evening prior in case of inclement weather. See our website (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) and follow us on Facebook.

· March 19, 2017. “Washington Crossing State Park,” a free, public birding trip with Washington Crossing Audubon Society
Join Washington Crossing Audubon Society from 1:30 – 3:30 PM on Sunday, March 19 for a free birding trip led by Wayne Henderek and Franta Broulik at Washington Crossing State Park. We will walk a few of the trails in the park look for spring migrants and resident birds in wooded areas and adjacent fields. Directions: Washington Crossing State Park is located off of Washington Crossing – Pennington Road in Titusville, NJ. Enter the park and follow signs to the Nature Center. Park at the Nature Center parking lot. Contact Brad Merritt (609) 921-8964 for additional information or cancellation updates the evening prior in case of inclement weather. See our website (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) and follow us on Facebook.

· March 25, 2017. “Cumberland County,” a free, public birding trip with Washington Crossing Audubon Society
Join Washington Crossing Audubon Society on Saturday, March 26 for a free, public field trip led by Brad Merritt to view early spring migrant species in Cumberland County, NJ. We will car pool for this trip, leaving at 7:30 AM from the Rite-Aid at Princeton Shopping Center. The first stop/rest stop in Cumberland County is about 1½ hours from Princeton. Please register with Brad Merritt (609) 921-8964 prior to the trip for carpooling instructions, or the evening prior for cancellation updates in the event of inclement weather. See our website (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) and follow us on Facebook.




Monthly Program

March 20, 2017 (8 PM). Washington Crossing Audubon Society Presents: “Sparrow Tails: Discovering Brown,” a presentation by Rick Wright in Stainton Hall at the Pennington School.
Small, brown and boring – right? Anything but! Join Washington Crossing Audubon Society for a free, public presentation at 8 PM on Monday, March 20 by author, scholar and sought-after lecturer Rick Wright, for tales of daring and danger behind science’s first encounters with some of our most familiar birds. Rick Wright will make sure that we never dismiss any of them as “just sparrows” again.
The program will be held in Stainton Hall in the campus of the Pennington School, 112 W. Delaware Ave., Pennington, NJ. Refreshments are served at 7:30 PM and the talk will begin at 8 PM. The public is invited. Additional information can be found at www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org. Follow us on Facebook.


GENERAL INFORMATION ON WASHINGTON CROSSING AUDUBON SOCIETY
Washington Crossing Audubon Society is a local member chapter for central New Jersey of the National Audubon Society. We have approximately 1300 members, mostly from the five counties of central New Jersey. Our monthly lectures and frequent field trips are free and open to the public. More information about WCAS can be found at the Society’s web site: www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org. Follow us on Facebook. 

McCARTER THEATRE CENTER ANNOUNCES CASTING INFORMATION

FOR CHARLES DICKENS’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL

 

Princeton’s Tony-Award winning Theatre to host a series of information sessions and auditions
in its second annual search for local actors to appear in Dickens’ classic tale this December.

 

PRINCETON, NJ: For a second year, McCarter will be searching for local actors to take part in its

annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

McCarter’s annual tradition of A Christmas Carol now includes a Community Ensemble made up of
local performers—ages 14 and up*—who help bring the story to life. This enthusiastic group performs
alongside the professional acting company and fills the streets of London, dances with the Fezziwigs,
carols at Scrooge’s doorstep, and brings Christmas cheer to every corner of the theater. The 2017
Community Ensemble will include a wide cross-section of the diverse and talented people from the
communities that surround McCarter, people of all ages, physical abilities, races, genders, and levels of experience.

At each Casting Information Session, McCarter staff will introduce you team members, talk about the
auditions, play theater games, and answer questions. All are welcome, no experience or preparation required.

 

INFORMATION SESSION DATES, TIMES, AND LOCATIONS:


Wednesday, February 22
Princeton Public Library Community Room

65 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ

5:30 – 6:30pm (Session 1)

7:00 – 8:00pm (Session 2)

 

Thursday, February 23
Trenton Central High School Visual and Performing Arts Campus

544 Chestnut Avenue, Trenton, NJ

4:00 – 5:00pm (Session 1)

5:30 – 6:30pm (Session 2)


Friday, March 3
The Villagers Theatre Black Box

475 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ

7:00 – 8:00pm

 


Saturday, March 4
Hamilton Area YMCA (JKR Branch) Studios

1315 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road, Hamilton, NJ

1:00 – 2:00pm

Saturday, March 18
1867 Sanctuary at Ewing

101 Scotch Road, Ewing, NJ

10:00 – 11:00am

 


Wednesday, March 22
Hightstown Elks Lodge 1955

110 Hickory Corner Road

East Windsor, NJ

7:00 – 8:00pm

 

 

AUDITION DATES for people ages 14 & up*:


Saturday, April 1
New Hope-Solebury High School Theater

182 West Bridge Street, New Hope, PA
10:00 – 11:30am

 

Tuesday, April 4
Rider University Bart Luedeke Center Theater

2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ

7:00 – 8:30pm

 

Wednesday, April 5
Trenton Central High School Visual and Performing Arts Campus
544 Chestnut Avenue, Trenton, NJ

5:30 – 7:00pm

 

Monday, April 24
McCarter Theatre Matthews Stage

91 University Place, Princeton, NJ

6:00 – 7:30pm (Session 1)

7:30 – 9:00pm (Session 2)

 

Friday, April 28
The Villagers Theatre Black Box

475 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ

6:00 – 7:30pm (Session 1)

7:15 – 8:45pm (Session 2)

*Includes anyone who will turn 14 before December 31, 2017.
Auditions for children ages 5 to 13 will be held in the fall.

More information on A Christmas Carol Community Ensemble casting is available at www.mccarter.org/achristmascarol.  

Police Blotter Jan – Feb 2017

A 24-year-old Hillsborough man was stopped on Jan. 22 by Officer Colucci for a motor vehicle violation and was found to have a suspended license and an active arrest warrant from Highlands Borough Municipal Court. He was arrested, processed at MTPD HQ, and released on his own recognizance with tickets for tailgating, driving with a suspended license, and failure to show his driver's license.


MTPD responded to two burglaries on Jan. 21, the first at a Rt.601 residence, reported at 6:49, when a burglar alarm was activated. Responding officers found a window pried open. The second was at 9:43 on Labaw Way, reported by returning homeowners who found their home ransacked. Both are being investigated by the MTPD detective bureau.


On Jan. 27 at 5:13, MTPD stopped a 33-year-old West Windsor man for improper passing and detected the odor of marijuana in his car. A search revealed marijuana and a pipe, for which the driver was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana under 50 grams, possession of paraphernalia, possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, and improper passing.


An 18-year-old Titusville man was stopped on Rt. 518 for an equipment violation. The officer detected the odor of marijuana coming from the car, and a search turned up a glass bong with the odor of burned marijuana. He was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and a motor vehicle tricket for color of lamps, and violation of the provisional drivers license for hours of operation.


MTPD arrested an 18-year-old Princeton man at MHS on Feb. 7 at 12 pm after he was turned in by school staff. He was found to have under 50 grams of pot and a glass pipe. He was charged with possession of under 50 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.


Officer Ryan Gray stopped a car driven by an 18-year-old Skillman man on Feb. 2 for multiple motor vehicle violations. He was found to have marijuana on him, for which he was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, improper passing, failuer to maintain lamps, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance in a motor vehicle.
 

Cherry Valley Rd Closure

Advisory: Cherry Valley Rd closed today 9:30am-3:00pm between Rt 206 and CR 601 (Great Rd) for utility work. Follow the posted detour. 

"Veterans Appreciation Day"

Montgomery Boys Basketball Game vs. Hopewell

 

Montgomery Cougars Basketball team will square off against the Hopewell Valley Bulldogs at Montgomery on Saturday, February 4 at 1:00 PM.

The game is played in honor our veterans and during half-time there will be an acknowledgement of those who have served in the military. The traveling POW/MIA Chair of Honor, first unveiled at the Montgomery Veterans Memorial last November, will be on display.

Representatives from several veterans organizations, including Rolling Thunder and the Somerset County Office of Veterans Services, are expected to attend. Veterans will be admitted free with I.D. at door. The MHS cheer team will be performing. Show your school, town, and patriotic spirit! All are welcome to attend. The game will be held in the Main Gym at the high school, which is located at 1016 Rt. 601, Skillman, NJ 08558. Don't miss it!

As part of the Booster Club's Annual Pasta Drive for the Montgomery Food Pantry, the following donations are appreciated: Boxes of pasta, cans or PLASTIC jars (no glass please) of pasta sauce, cash donations and or Shop Rite gift cards will be accepted at the doors in front of the main gym.

The same pasta items will also be collected at the following games:

February 2, 7 PM - "Teacher Appreciation Night" MHS vs. Rutgers Prep /Boys Basketball

February 9, 7 PM -"Senior Night" MHS vs. Ridge / Boys Basketball and Montgomery Dance Team

Source: MHS Boys Basketball Team & Booster Club and the Montgomery Veterans Memorial Committee

 

Tree Removal Public Meeting – Cherry Valley Rd Improvement Project

February 15, 2017, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

All interested residents are invited to attend a neighborhood meeting on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 to discuss the Cherry Valley Road Improvement project. The meeting will be held from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in the Community Room of the Princeton Municipal Building located at 400 Witherspoon Street.

The items to be discussed at the meeting include the following improvements:

Tree removal – proposed to commence March 1, 2017 and be completed before April 1, 2017.
Proposed roadway improvements including road widening, curbing, side path on the south side and additional drainage – proposed to begin in summer 2017.
Project permits status.
Project schedule.

This important safety project is a joint project between Princeton and Montgomery Township. More information on this project, begun in 2014, may be found at http://www.princetonnj.gov/engineering/Cherry_Valley_Road.html

Mayor Liz Lempert; Montgomery Township Administrator Donato Nieman; Princeton Arborist; and representatives from the Engineering and Police Departments of both Montgomery Township and Princeton will be in attendance.

If you have any questions or need additional clarification, please contact me or Alina Ferreira, P.E., Assistant Engineer, at 609-921-7077, dstockton@princetonnj.gov, aferreira@princetonnj.gov. To facilitate ease of communication regarding the project, please email jredeyoff@princetonnj.gov to be added to the project email list. 

Scholarship Funds Available at RVCC for Students Interested in Becoming Alcohol, Drug Counselors

 

Scholarship money is available for students interested in enrolling in a Raritan Valley Community College program designed to train them to become Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADCs). The maximum award is $2000 per student.

 

Scholarships will cover approximately four of the six courses in RVCC’s Certificate of Completion in Chemical Dependency program. The classes are required to qualify for the CADC credential awarded by the NJ Department of Consumer Affairs’ state licensing body. Upon completion of coursework, students begin gaining practical experience through placement in a supervised substance abuse setting as they meet the full requirements for certification.

 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for substance abuse counselors was expected to grow by 31 percent from 2012-2022.

 

In response to the rise in addiction and heroin deaths across the state, in 2014 RVCC launched a program to prepare students to become Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADCs), a nationally recognized credential in substance abuse treatment. The College received a $487,444 grant from the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to prepare paraprofessionals working with adolescents and transitional age youth who are at-risk for developing or who have developed a recognized behavioral health disorder. The bulk of the funding must be awarded directly to students to offset tuition and textbook costs to get them into school and on their way to a career in substance abuse treatment. As the program enters the final year of funding, approximately $100,000 remains to support another 40 or so students in pursuing a career in substance abuse treatment.

 

For additional information about enrolling in the substance abuse program or RVCC’s Associate Degree in Human Services/Pre-Social Work, contact Karen Gutshall-Seidman at karen.gutshall-seidman@raritanval.edu.

 

Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 50 years, RVCC is an educational and cultural center that is nationally recognized for its innovative programming, service to the community and environmental leadership. The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, professional development and personal enrichment courses. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.

 

MHS Presents: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum

Montgomery High School presents the award winning musical comedy “A Funny
Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum” on February 24 & 25. This fast
paced farce will have you laughing from the start of the show till the final curtain.
It’s filled with great music by the award winning lyricist and composer, Stephen
Sondheim and includes: “Comedy Tonight”, “Everybody Ought To Have A Maid”,
and “Lovely”, just to name a few.


The show features Leenie Rohmeyer as Pseudolus, Logan Geddes as Hero,
Hannah Reilly as Philia, Logan Reilly as Hysterium, Ethan Kibbey as Senex,
Catie Podell as Domina, Lewis Gall as Erronius, Joey Gutterman as Miles
Gloriosus, Riley Bursh as Lycus, as well as a talented ensemble and stage
crews.


See what crazy things happen when the roman slave Pseudolus agrees to help
his master, Hero, with what seems to be the easy task of setting him up with
Philia, the pretty girl next door.


The musical is Friday, February, 24 at 8:00 and Saturday, February 25 at 2:00 &
8:00 at Montgomery High School at 1016 Rte. 601 in Skillman, NJ 08558.
Tickets are $7 for students and senior citizens, $8 for adults.
For tickets or information, call 609-466-7602 or email: thandschin@mtsd.us
### 

Food For Thought - The World is Your Oyster

In the 1988 movie Shoot to Kill, FBI agent Warren Stantin (played by Sidney Poitier), and mountain man Jonathan Knox (played by Tom Berenger), are deep in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, searching for a killer who’s holding Knox’s girlfriend hostage. Late one night they’re sitting in front of a fire eating what Stantin thinks is a rabbit. Stantin, a city boy, is espousing the benefits of urban life, amongst which are the variety of foods available. He mentions oysters in particular. Knox subsequently informs Stantin that he is not eating rabbit, but marmot, a large rodent. Stanton is horrified and begins spewing expletives. Knox calmly replies: “That’s OK; I think oysters taste like snot.” 

Berenger’s character is certainly not the first to make mucoid references about oysters. And while they may not look appetizing, and texturally are somewhat squiggly, I must sharply disagree with his taste analogy. Fresh oysters have a briny and sometimes, depending on the variety, a sweet flavor.


Oysters are mollusks, one of the two main classifications of shellfish (the other being crustaceans). Mollusks are invertebrates (animals without a backbone), with soft bodies covered by a shell. To further classify, they are bivalves, which means they have two shells hinged together by a muscle.


Oysters are found all over the world. There are three main species. The Pacific or Japanese oyster, the Eastern or Atlantic, and the Olympia, found in Washington’s Puget Sound. Within the Pacific and Atlantic species are many sub varieties differentiated by their place of origin. Due to environmental variation from one locale to another, even identical species can vary in taste. Much like the same grape grown in Napa and Bordeaux will taste differently.


Pacific oysters include Hog Island, Sweetwaters, and Westcott Bay. Atlantic oysters include Wellfleet, Chincoteague, Kent Island, Malpeque, Cape Cod, Indian River, and the coveted Bluepoint, considered the best for eating raw. Bluepoints were originally named for Blue Point, Long Island, but now the term is generally applied to any Atlantic oyster two to four inches long.


Oysters are available year round. There’s an old wives’ tale that states you can’t eat them during any month that doesn’t have an “R’ in its name, namely May, June and July. This is blatantly not true, but raw oysters do taste better in the fall and winter since summer is when they spawn. The smaller the oyster, the tenderer it is. Due to prohibitive shipping costs, and the fact that oysters are highly perishable, you generally find Atlantic and Pacific oysters only at their respective coasts.


It is absolutely imperative that your oysters be fresh, especially if you plan to consume them raw. As with clams, avoid ones that are cracked, or are open and won’t close when tapped. Toss any that fail to open during cooking. They say that you can keep them in a refrigerator covered by a damp towel for up to three days but I strongly recommend you use them within a day. Personally, I always buy oysters and all shellfish for that matter the same day I plan to use them. Oysters are good sources of protein, calcium, niacin, and iron.


Oysters are amenable to a number of cooking methods including steaming, sautéing, grilling, frying and baking. However, I am a purist and ardently prefer them raw on the half shell with cocktail sauce, a little Tabasco, and plenty of lemon juice. And, if you really want to feel like you died and went to heaven, chase those little buggers with some champagne. Champagne and oysters is a classic pairing but a crisp Chablis would work as well. Despite my preference for raw oysters, fried oysters are wonderful too. Here’s my recipe for pan-fried oysters.

Pan-Fried Oysters

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice from about 4 oysters
1 dozen oysters
Seasoned bread crumbs, as needed
Olive oil as needed


First make the sauce by combining the mayonnaise, mustard, onion powder, Old Bay, salt and pepper. Then begin opening the oysters, adding the juice from about four of them into the sauce. The goal is to incorporate as much juice as possible without producing a watery sauce. Shuck the oysters and coat with bread crumbs that you’ve seasoned with salt and pepper. Pour enough olive oil into a skillet to come halfway up the sides of the oysters. Heat the olive oil until it just starts to smoke and fry the oysters for about a minute on each side. Drain and serve. If you like, you could also deep fry them by dropping them into a pot of hot oil.
 

Somerset County Sheriffs Office Advisory

Advisory: All Somerset County Offices Closed - Feb. 9

Due to inclement weather, ALL Somerset County offices are closed today (Thursday, Feb. 9).

This includes Somerset County-operated transportation services, which have been cancelled, and all other offices and programs.

Meals on Wheels clients are asked to use the non-perishable meals sent out earlier in the season. If clients do not have frozen meals, or if they have lost power, they can use Heater Meals, shelf-stable meals that come in an orange box. Directions for heating are on the box. Heater Meals are NOT intended for use in a microwave oven. 

Due to Impending Snowstorm, RVCC to Close Thursday

 

 

Due to the impending snowstorm, Raritan Valley Community College will be closed on Thursday, February 9.

 

All classes and events at all locations are cancelled. 

Town Budget Introduced Quietly

Public hearing and adoption set for March

On February 2, the Township Committee introduced the 2017 municipal budget without delivering a presentation. Mayor Ed Trzaska said the public budget hearing plus budget adoption would take place likely at a future Township Committee meeting instead. The township administration calendar places the budget-intense session for Thursday, March 16 at 7pm.


“I think this is a good way to do it, in order for us to have all that information being given at the one time and having the public being able to chat then,” he said.


When the 2016 township budget was introduced by Township CFO Michael Pitts last May 5, the first line of the presentation stated the town’s compliance with the state’s municipal tax levy cap, unchanging between 2010 and 2015. In 2015 Moody’s Investor Services upgraded Montgomery Township’s credit rating to tier Aa1. That remains on par with other leading municipalities in New Jersey, including Plainsboro Township.


At the early February meeting Trzaska praised Township Administrator Donato Nieman, Pitts, and Committeeman Mark Conforti for their roles in extensive budget development. The mayor credits a “quick and smooth” transition into 2017 thus far and the expected budget to Pitts and Conforti working together often last year.


Nieman commented that this represents the earliest that the municipal budget has been introduced, and Township Attorney Kristina Hadinger joked that work on the 2018 budget started in mid-February.
One step by the Committee, adopting a new ordinance on February 2 after a public hearing, raised the local appropriations ceiling to 3.5%.


“The ordinance provides for Montgomery to exceed budget appropriation limits, providing for a 3.5% cap for the 2017 budget and establish a ‘cap bank’ pursuant to New Jersey state regulation,” said Trzaska.
Nieman said this bears no relation to the 2% property tax cap. The ordinance allows Montgomery to exceed the state’s “market-basket” tax cap which this year falls under 0.5%.


Also on February 2, the Committee approved a resolution authorizing township officials to conduct a “self-review” of the 2017 budget. Nieman explained that every three years the State of New Jersey reviews the township budget. The resolution was needed to allow self-review under law, and the next step will be submitting the resolution to officials in Trenton.


Raises for non-union employees of 1.8% were approved by Committee vote, built into the levels of the 2017 Salary and Wage schedule. Nieman explained the percentage being equal to what was presented to and accepted by unionized township employees for this year. The Committee then voted to accept the union employees Salary and Wage schedule as a separate agenda item.


The Committee also awarded a bid for sewer excavation services to Waters & Bugbee General Contractors, Inc. of Hamilton Township, the low bidder this year. Nieman said that when infrastructure work can’t be handled by municipal Public Works staff, historically Montgomery has bid that out.
The Thursday, March 2 Committee meeting will likely feature a presentation on municipal best practices. Mayor Trzaska recommended it not take place during the same evening as the 2017 budget presentation and hearing. In March the Committee will also hold a public hearing on a refranchising agreement for cable TV provider Comcast.


“In 2001 RCN, now Comcast, was our cable company and we had our franchise renewal at that time. It’s time to renew again and it is Comcast. We are further down the road and there really is no other cable company present here. There will be a public hearing on cable TV on March 6, the public is invited to come in and make any comments, but we have to move refranchising forward,” Nieman explained to the Committee.


Talk on February 2 centered on the lack of local competition for cable in Montgomery. Trzaska asked about the hope of competition, and Nieman didn’t feel it is likely. Former mayor Madrid says a small part of Skillman does have Verizon’s FIOS available but for the most part Comcast dominates the township and surrounding areas. Nieman relayed an issue with offering service to all residents, with CentruryLink operating in the 908 area code and not permitting Comcast to use its telephone poles there. Montgomery Township maintains that Verizon is not offering service in areas due to its own business decision, and nothing is done on the municipal side to prohibit competition.


Only three members of the Township Committee, Mayor Trzaska, Christine Madrid, and Mark Conforti, attended the February 2 meeting. The Committee votes were tallied 3-0 for each resolution and ordinance approved.
 

Montgomery Police Advisory

Advisory: As a reminder, per Montgomery Township ordinance, no parking is permitted on snow covered roadways. 

Three Cheers for Dry Riesling

My favorite white wine is probably Riesling. I also enjoy Chardonnay, another popular white, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer. Riesling, though, is usually my go-to white wine. I first started learning about it many years ago, while working in Germany for a summer after graduate school.
But unfortunately every once in a while, I am surprised and disappointed when I happen to get a Riesling that is a little sweet. There may be the same varietal name on the label, but the taste was not what I had expected. So a Riesling may be a Riesling or may not be a Riesling. I won’t pour a sweet Riesling down the drain, but I am disappointed.


A few weeks ago, I got an email from Randy Agness, a winemaker who makes wine in the Finger Lakes region of New York, which is one of the better growing areas for Riesling grapes. We had met at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester. He said that he had recently been making Riesling and wondered if I would swap a bottle of his wine for a copy of my book Judgment of Paris, which recounts the story of a famous 1976 wine tasting in Paris, when unknown California wines beat the best of France in both the Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay competition. That put California on the world wine map.


I’m always looking for new wine, so I agreed. A few days later, the bottle arrived on my doorstep. The name of the wine was Agness Cellars. It was the 2015 vintage. The surprising thing was the term Semi-Dry Riesling on the label. I immediately thought that meant it was a semi-sweet wine. But when I poured it from a beautiful green bottle, I was surprised that I was wrong. It was dry.


When I tasted it. Wow! It was delightful. Soft, fruity, fresh. A perfect wine to go with the chicken pot pie that my wife had made for dinner. The was not sweet at least to my palate. It was a perfect match for the pot pie. I wasn’t surprised that it had won a double-gold award at the famous Indy Indianapolis Wine Competition.


He told me later that the wine tasted in the range of 1.5-1.8% residual sugar. That to me is a dry wine. I did not get even a hint of any sweetness in his wine.
A few days later, I called Randy to talk about his wine. He told me that he is a new winemaker and this was his first vintage. He does not yet own a vineyard, but buys grapes from growers near where he lives, and Riesling is their top product. Randy said he had made only 100 cases, which he soon sold in shops around the area where he lived. The price was


in the range of $15 a bottle. He’s looking forward to making a larger production this fall, and he is going to stick to Semi-Dry Riesling. I think he’s got a winner, and a good plan for success.
George M. Taber is the author of Judgment of Paris—California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting that Revolutionized Wine and other wine books. 

UMS wins 2nd place at Regionals Science Olympiad Competition


On Wednesday, January 11th, 2017, 35 young scientists boarded the bus all bleary-eyed but excited. Last minute studying and endless chattering could be heard all the way to NJIT, where the Science Olympiad Regionals Competition would take place. This group of talented young students from our very own school, UMS, worked countless hours preparing for this day. As these students walked around campus, pretending to be college students, they observed, competed, and cheered their team on, lifting the spirits high above the clouds.


There were 13 events total, 18 students from our team competing. Groups of students could be seen walking in with tense, nervous faces, and coming out with great smiles. Students worked very hard in their events, trying to do the best they can and applying everything they’ve learned into each event. Those with testing events concentrated on getting as many questions as they can right, checking their cheat sheet occasionally to make sure they were right. Those with building events carefully brought their structure over and made sure they fit the specifications, testing them over and over if possible and making adjustments to their structure. They would anxiously watch their structure as the official testing began, silently praying it would come out well.


In the end, all their hard work paid off, as they came home with a 2nd place trophy and many, many medals around their necks, along with cheers, smiles, and words of congrats.
Thank you to our coaches, Ms. Molinaro, Mrs. Butler, and our Math and Science supervisor, Dr. Herte, for their hard work and support of our wonderful UMS Science Olympiad team! 

Tennis Tournament to Support Montgomery First Responders at the Nassau Tennis Club

Skillman, NJ (January 24, 2017) – Nassau Tennis Club is hosting the 5th Annual Presidents’ Day Weekend Community Tennis Tournament from Saturday, February 18 – Sunday, February 19 at Nassau Tennis Club’s indoor tennis facility located at 1800 Route 206, Skillman, NJ.


The tournament is for adults 18 and over. The event will include Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Singles events for Men and Women at USTA levels ranging from 3.0 to 4.5. The deadline to register for the tournament is Friday, February 10, 2017.


Nassau Tennis Club is suggesting that players make a donation to support Montgomery First Responders (Montgomery EMS, Police Department, Fire Company #1 & #2). For every dollar donated by tournament participants, the Nassau Tennis Club will match up to $2,000.


“Nassau Tennis Club is proud to be part of the Montgomery community and appreciates the hard work and dedication of our First Responders. This tournament is a great way to compete, have fun and give back to the community,” says Benton Camper, Owner & Manager of the Nassau Tennis Club.


Nassau Tennis Club prides itself on being a part of the Montgomery community. The club has donated over $8,000 to our local heroes over the last 4 years.


To learn more, register for the tournament or make a donation, visit www.NassauTennis.Net 

Princeton Day School Announces New Chair of the Board of Trustees: Rebecca Bushnell ’70

Princeton – At its January meeting, the Princeton Day School Board of Trustees elected Dr. Rebecca W. Bushnell ’70 to succeed Barbie Griffin Cole’78 as Chair of the Board of Trustees. Dr. Bushnell’s appointment is effective July 1, 2017.

Professor Bushnell is The School of Arts and Sciences Board of Overseers Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, where she has taught since 1982. Graduating with the Princeton Day School class of 1970, she earned a BA at Swarthmore College, an MA from Bryn Mawr College and a Ph.D in Comparative Literature from Princeton University. She also taught English for a year at the Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr. An accomplished scholar of wide-ranging interests, Professor Bushnell is the author of many articles and eight books, on subjects ranging from Greek tragedy to English gardening. At Penn, she has taught courses on literature, theater and culture, and she received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, and an NEH grant for Teaching with Technology.

Professor Bushnell also has significant experience in academic administration in the School of Arts and Sciences at Penn. As Associate Dean for the Humanities from 1998-2003, she managed academic hiring and budgets in those departments; as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2003-2004, she oversaw the quality of academic advising and education; and as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences from 2005-2014, she was responsible for every aspect of the School’s finances, strategic planning, fundraising, administration, and faculty affairs. She is also committed to supporting nonprofit cultural institutions, as a member of the board of the Morris Arboretum, the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Professor Bushnell and her husband, John Toner, the Executive Director of Renew Theaters, which manages the Princeton Garden Theater, reside in Philadelphia. They are the parents of two daughters, Emily and Ruth Toner.

A member of the Princeton Day School Board of Trustees since 2013, Professor Bushnell serves as a member of the Executive Committee, chairs the Mission Fulfillment Task Force, and has aided Princeton Day School’s fundraising activities. Succeeding Treby McLaughlin Williams ’80 and Barbie Griffin Cole ’78, Professor Bushnell will continue the tradition of alumni leadership of the Board of Trustees.

Barbie Cole ’78 will retire from the Board of Trustees after 17 years of extraordinary service to Princeton Day School. Board Chair since July 1, 2012, Mrs. Cole has led the School through a sustained period of growth and prosperity, placing the school in an enviable position from which to embark on a series of long-range academic, co-curricular, endowment, and facilities initiatives. Through her wise, careful guidance; and in partnership with Head of School Paul Stellato and the Board of Trustees, the School has achieved record levels in admissions applications and selectivity, annual fund, and other forms of support; it has received local, regional, and national recognition for sustainability, visual and performing arts, writing, athletics, and wellness programming; and it has further cemented its leadership role in the community of independent schools. Mrs. Cole’s retirement in June will mark the end of a formal relationship with the School that spans nearly four decades and will coincide with the graduation of her son, George ’17. With her husband, Chris, Barbie Cole is the proud parent of two Panther alumni: James ’08 and Zeeza ’13.

In announcing the news, Head of School Paul Stellato noted, “As Princeton Day School was fortunate to be able to turn to two devoted alumni – Treby Williams ’80 and Barbie Cole ’78 – to lead our School, so it looks now to Rebecca Bushnell ’70 to join that august company. In electing Professor Bushnell, the Board of Trustees has expressed its confidence in her ability to guide our School during this most exciting, promising time and, as she has done at the University of Pennsylvania, to ensure it remains faithful to and fulfills its mission for its students, families, alumni, and faculty.”
 

Letters to the Editor Feb 2107

To the Editor:
There has been a great deal of press about the Women's March on Washington (and its associated sister marches in cities around the country), but much of the focus is on the execution of the march logistics. As women and New Jerseyans, we want to communicate some of the reasons the marchers descended on our capital on January 21.


First, we will march because it is imperative that the world see and understand that majority of American citizens do not condone the behavior, language, and agenda of the next administration.


Second, our voices are stronger in unison. The beauty of our constitution's First Amendment is that it allows us to make our collective voices heard. For too long there has been a misconception that "family values" or "patriotism" are owned only by some Americans. On January 21, we marched to take back ownership of those labels and to promote American values that are inclusive, progressive, and compassionate.


Third, we will march to tell the new administration that despite their every effort, we will not be silenced, and we will be watching their every move. We will not look the other way as they try to change the narrative of many issues that impact our country. We will hold them accountable for the health of the disenfranchised, the education of our children, and the interference of dictatorial nations that would try to influence our policies and destroy our sovereignty.


Last, and most importantly, we march to let elected representatives on both sides of the aisle hear our voices. We want change; we want forward-motion. We do not want to set back decades of progress on civil rights, women's rights, public education, and healthcare. We do not want to become a nation defined by a monument to bigotry in the form of a border wall. We do not want to live in a country that does not respect all of its people.


This country was founded by men who had the fire and spirit to oppose an oppressive regime. Women are now more ready than ever to do the same.
Abby Stillman and Cookie Acot
Belle Mead, NJ

To the Editor,
We would like to express our gratitude to the people of Montgomery Township NJ for their continued support of our emergency services squad. We are very grateful for the 1208 people of Montgomery who contributed to our fund drive. For 44 years, the people of Montgomery have donated generously to Montgomery EMS enabling us to continue to provide free emergency medical services 24/7/365.


As an all-volunteer squad, all the funds we receive are devoted to the supplies and requirements of providing emergency medical services, our total salaries and benefits are zero. During 2016 our 80+ professional members donated to the community over 35,000 hours of being on duty, waiting to respond at a moment's notice, and covering 97.3% of our 1,533 calls.


The faithful and long term support of this community is wonderful and encourages us to continue to believe that we are an important asset to this community. Whether you make a contribution of money or volunteer your time we thank you for your support. We are optimistic that 2017, our 45th year of service to the community, will be a better year for all of you as well as for Montgomery EMS.
John Connacher
President
Montgomery EMS

To the Editor:
It has been a busy start to the new year, and I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and healthy 2017. It is hard to believe that at this time last year I was just starting in the legislature. As a physicist, I had a lot to learn about the world of politics, and this past year certainly has served as a crash course.
During the past 12 months, I have talked to residents of all 14 towns that make up my district, including parents, mayors, local business owners and police chiefs. Additionally, we have assisted numerous families navigate their way through the bureaucracy of state agencies with regards to medical bills, student debt, housing, and tax refunds. We have hosted mobile office hours throughout the district, a job fair for hundreds, a state agency resource fair, and hosted a food drive.


As a scientist, my goal is to grow the "innovation" economy in our state, creating high-quality and high-paying jobs for people of all backgrounds and education levels. As always, everything I do is based upon my guiding principle of making decisions based on evidence rather than ideology or political expedience.
As my second year begins, I encourage you to continue to contact me. We are available to assist you with any issues, and I look forward to hearing your opinions regarding proposed legislation or helping you navigate any problems with state and local agencies.


If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at asmzwicker@njleg.org or 609-454-3147. I look forward to serving you in the legislature this year.
Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker
16th Legislative District
 

Report from Rocky Hill - Feb 2017

Rocky Council held the 2017 Reorganization Meeting Jan. 4 and swore in returning Councilman Phillip Kartsonis, and new Councilman Nark Sibley for three-year terms on Borough Council.


A number of appointments were made to various committees and boards (see the Borough website www.rockyhill-nj.gov). Councilman Kartsonis was unanimously voted Council President.


Mayor Donahue noted the "High level of volunteerism that makes this town strong," and pointed out the many shared services, including schools, police services, public works, health and animal control, and help from Somerset County for road plowing.


Attending the event were several officials, including Freeholders Mark Caliguire and Brian Levine, Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, and Plainfield Committeewoman Keiona Miller.


Following that, Council briskly whisked through a number of Resolutions, including a Consent Agenda, which permitted grouping resolutions together for brevity: rules of order, 2018 reorganization meeting date, fees doe notices, 2018 meeting dates, designation of 2017 official newspaper, and so on.
Council also reappointed the Borough attorney, auditor, engineer, prosecutor, public defender, and Borough planner.


Council passed a resolution noting exiting Councilman Tom Bremner's service from 2010 to December 2016.


One consequence of Somerset County helping at the Mary Jacobs Library is that following the Jan. 7 snowfall, the Library was at the end of the priority chain, and the sidewalks weren't shoveled by Monday morning. However, anyone traveling from Rocky Hill onto Montgomery roads will have noticed how much better Rocky Hill streets were kept clean of snow immediately following the end of the snowstorm.
Meanwhile work proceeds at the Canal Bridge, and they're still saying a February completion date, depending on the weather. The damage to the Rocky Hill economy has been done, however. John Shedd Pottery will be leaving town as a consequence of loss of business. See our story on Page 19..


At the Jan. 18 Borough Council session, Acting Mayor Kartsonis noted the break in the water line on Merritt Lane near Washington Street, repaired within 24 hours.


On that subject, Borough Engineer Bill Tanner suggested that the Borough allocate funds to have the water main valves "exercise" annually, as the repair crew has some difficulty shutting off the valve associated with their repair. The valves have a tendency to seize up unless opened and closed at regular intervals, and he said that there was only one more valve upstream from the one being worked on. "If we closed that it would shut down water for the entire town. The system's not getting any younger. We've had three breaks in the past four years." That could cost as much as $50,000. Meanwhile, Borough residents pulled 2.294M gallons from the Borough well.


Work has begun on replacing Borough Hall windows and doors. Some may have noted the temporary plywood panels on the first floor. Those will be replaced, first with temporary plastic windows, then with the final, historically-appropriate insulated glass windows.


Princeton Avenue needs sidewalk and curbing repair near #4, estimated at $3,738. That will go out to bid soon.


There were ten new traffic tickets during December, and 21 disposed of in Court. Total Court receipts were $2,529, of which Rocky Hill's share was $428.40.


The new radar machine running on Crescent in December showed that average speed for traffic eastbound (the direction it reads) between 6 am and 6 pm was 23.7 MPH. The highest daily average )on December 4) was 29.6 MPH. One oddity is that during those periods when the South Bound Brook PD is patrolling, the average speed drops by one MPH. The second radar display will be arriving soon.


There was some discussion of the use of social media such as Twitter to get out announcements. However, Borough Clerk Donna Griffith threw a bucket of cold water on that idea by pointing out that governments of all sizes great and small (even the Donald) are required to keep a written record of all such announcements. This would be onerous, or as the Donald would say, "Huge, really amazing." Or not. Currently, the Borough uses Nixle, which has some 250 subscribers.


The Jan. 18 Borough Council meeting ended in Executive Session, the subject of which was affordable housing. The NJ State Supreme Court announced on that very day a decision in the long running Mount Laurel Case which would require NJ municipalities to pony up some 200,000 new units of affordable housing statewide, to make up for the difference between the requirements in 1999 and 2015, a period of housing growth statewide. Although Rocky Hill has a requirement to provide affordable housing, it may be that any additional numbers might be insignificant, as there have been only a handful of new homes built in the Borough since 1999. Stay tuned.


The Rocky Hill Rabies Clinic will be held sometime in April, date to be determined. However, pet licenses (dogs and cats) are to be renewed by the owners by April 30.


Borough Council meets on the first and third Mondays of each month at Borough Hall on Montgomery Ave., at 7 pm.


For more information, visit www.rockyhill-nj.gov.

 

Police Blotter Nov-Dec-January 2017

A 22-year-old Hillsborough man was arrested on Nov. 21 at 4:35 am when he stopped on the way to work at the Mill Pond Park, which was closed between dusk and dawn. He was found by MTPD, who also detected the odor of marijuana coming from his car. A search revealed marijuana and a homemade pipe. He was arrested, taken to MTPD HQ for processing, and charged with possession of under 50 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and violating the local ordinance against being in the park after hours.
MTPD and MEMS responded on to a car accident at 263 Wall St at 5:51 pm, when a car driven by a 31-year-old North Brunswick woman, eastbound in the parking lot, was struck by a car driven by a 26-year-old Fallsington PA woman, southbound through the parking lot stalls, who failed to yield to the first car, which left the roadway and struck a tree. The driver and one of the two occupants of that car complained of pain and were taken to Somerset Hospital by EMS. Why Somerset? Because RWJ and UMCP are inaccessible in emergencies at rush hour, thanks to the closed Rt. 518 bridge. Thank you, Gov. Christie, and we'll be glad when you're gone, you rascal you. The second driver was ticketed for careless driving. The first driver was ticketed for driving with a suspended license. Both cars were towed.


Township police arrested a 36-year-old Trenton man on Dec. 13, after a pick-up truck in which he was a passenger, was stopped after it was seen in the area where a burglary in progress had been called in. He was found to have an outstanding $156 warrant from E. Windsor PD. The burglary call was unfounded.


On Dec. 14 at 5:16 am MTPD responding to a call of a car off the road in the area of Belle Mead-Griggstown Rd., found an 18-year-old driver augured into a tree. He said that he was on his cell phone, turning off of Red Oak Way, didn't see the stop sign, and crossed Belle Mead-Griggstown Rd and hit the tree. However, officers detected alcohol on his breath, administered field sobriety tests, which he failed. He was arrested for DWI, under aged driving while intoxicated, failing to stop for a stop sign, illegal use of a hand-held device, careless driving, and failure to produce a driver's license. His car was impounded and he was released to a responsible person with a date in Municipal Court.


Dec. 18. What a busy day! A two-car accident at the intersection of Rt. 601 and Sunset Rd. at 6:43 am resulted when a 48-year-old Hillsborough man, southbound on Rt. 601, attempted to pass another southbound vehicle driven by a 53-year-old Wyandotte, MI man with his blinkers on at the intersection. As the Hillsborough man began to pass, the Wyandotte man attempted to turn left onto Sunset. They collided, and the first car left the roadway and hit a fence. No injuries reported and both cars could still be driven, but the Hillsborough driver was ticketed for improper passing.


Later that same morning, also on Rt. 601 near Elm Dr., there was another two-car accident when a 23-year-old Killingworth, CT driver's foot slipped off the brake pedal and her car struck the one ahead, which had been stopped for traffic, driven by a 29-year-old Skillman driver. Both cars were damaged, but drivable. The first driver was ticketed for careless driving.


A fallen tree branch took down some wires on Rt. 518on Dec. 18 at 2:17 pm, which brought out MTPD and Montgomery Fire Co. #2. The highway was closed until PSEG could respond and move the wire. No injuries reported.


And at 2:32 pm on Dec. 18, another two-car accident, this time on Rt. 533 and the Griggstown Causeway, when a 22-year-old Griggstown man, southbound on Rt. 533, was unable to stop in time to avoid rear-ending the car ahead, which had slowed, then stopped, to turn onto the Causeway. That car was driven by a 40-year-old Hillsborough woman, whose passenger complained of pain and was taken to UMCP by MEMS. Both cars were drivable, but the first car was ticketed for careless driving.


On Dec. 22, MTPD, Montgomery Fire Companies #1 and 2 and MEMS responded to a single-car accident on Cherry Valley Rd. near Ironwood Rd. Arriving MTPD found an overturned pickup truck blocking Cherry Valley, with the driver trapped inside. The westbound driver says he swerved to avoid a deer and the passenger side tires got stuck in the ditch; then the car hit a culvert, which capsized it. The roadway was closed for abut 90 minutes and the driver was taken to RWJH.


A 47-year-old Rocky Hill man was arrested for defiant trespass on Dec. 22 at 8:15 am for panhandling at the 24 Club of Princeton. He had been banned in the past and was back again, for which he was arrested, taken to MTPD HQ, and charged and released pending a court date. However, he was arrested again for defiant trespass at a Montgomery Shopping Center store on Jan. 12. He had been told to leave and don't come back, but he did anyway. He was unable to post bail and now resides at Somerset County Jail pending sentencing.


MTPD arrested a 30-year-old Franklin Township woman on Christmas Eve at 1:23 for having a little too much Merry Christmas spirits on Rt. 206 near Harlingen Rd. when she was seen unable to maintain her lane. She failed a field sobriety test, and was taken to MTPD HQ, where she was charged with DWI, careless driving, refusal and failure to maintain a lane of travel.


At 11 pm Christmas Eve, a 34-year-old Skillman man, stopped by the side of Rt. 206 near Wood Thrush Lane, was found to be intoxicated after he admitted to having been drinking. He failed a field sobriety test and was charged with DWI, careless driving (!), and driving without a license. He was released to a friend with a date in court.


Officer Ryan Gray stopped a car on Dec. 27 driven by a 19-year-old Hillsborough man for inoperable brake lights, and found that the driver had marijuana on him. He was taken to HQ and charged with possession of a dangerous substance, driving with inoperable lights, possession of a dangerous substance in a motor vehicle, and driving with a suspended license.


Icy conditions on Dec. 29 resulted in a series of accidents at the Rt. 518 Bridge just east of Cherry Hill Rd. starting when an eastbound Lambertville driver, whose car slid on the roadway into the path of a westbound car driven by a Kingston resident. A westbound Princeton driver came upon the scene and stopped to call 911. Big mistake. Then her car was hit by an eastbound car, driven by a California resident. The Princeton driver was injured and transported by MEMS to UMCP, who also treated two other drivers at the scene.


A 43-year-old Hillsborough driver had a rude awakening on New Year's Eve at 7:40 am while driving on Rt. 601 just south of Sunset. The 43-year-old Hillsborough driver reported falling asleep before his car drifted off the right side of Rt. 601 before hitting a utility pole just south of Sunset Rd. His car had to be towed and he was ticketed for careless driving.


Officer Jason Larsen arrested a 22-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman, both from Belle Mead, on Jan. 2, 2017 for possession of marijuana when he found their car parked in Mill Pond Park after hours. Both were taken to HQ, where he was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of drug paraphernalia; she was charged with possession of a controlled substance.


On Jan. 7, Officer Larsen stopped a car driven by a 30-year-old South Plainfield man who had an outstanding warrant from Fanwood Municipal Court. He was taken to MTPD HQ, and released ROR with a speeding ticket.


A 38-year-old Belle Mead man, eastbound on Belle Mead-Griggstown Rd. near River Rd. on Jan. 7, lost control of his car, which left the roadway and struck a utility pole. Neither he nor any of his six passengers were injured. He was ticketed for failure to maintain a lane.


Officer Ryan Gray stopped a car on Jan. 8, driven by a 23-year-old Belle Mead man for multiple vehicle violations and found that the driver has drug paraphernalia, for which he was arrested, processed and released pending a date at Municipal Court.