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

Wednesday December 13, 2017

 

Montgomery News Directory

New Township Ordinance To Regulate E-Cig Sales

Seven people at the spoke at November 29 Montgomery Board of Health public session to regulate e-cigs sales before the board approved an ordinance taking effect January 1. Montgomery currently has just one vape shop, in the Village Shopper


Township Health Officer Stephanie Carey said, "It requires vendors selling electronic cigarettes to get a license to sell them in Montgomery. The basic step is we inventory who is selling, now between seven and nine businesses. If you are selling traditional cigarettes you need a state license, but the state has left licensing of e-cigarettes' sales to municipalities on purpose. We have a training session for the vendors to make them aware of requirements with the ordinance and state law. The purpose of it is to establish an age of sale enforcement program to make sure the products don't fall into the hands of youth,."


Other outlets in town for "e-cigs" include gas stations or convenience stores.


There is now a township fee for vendors; the first year is $600 covering the training program cost and for subsequent years it becomes $300 annually. "That is in line with what a retail or food establishment pays and in line with costs of township inspections and training programs," Carey said.


With two major shopping and retail developments now being built in Montgomery, Carey said new e-cig retailers could be in the town's future but, "As a side of their business." She commented that new liquor stores or convenience stores would then be subject to the fees in addition to their regular food licensing fees. Belle Mead will see a new CVS, and Carey cites the business decision the pharmacy/convenience brand made to not carry and sell e-cigs.


An overarching public health impact drives the new ordinance. Carey said at the November 29 meeting, the Board of Health made its unanimous decision because the township is focused on fighting nicotine addiction, particularly among young people. "Our major goal is to keep kids and teens from these using products and that is the law in New Jersey, 21 is the age of sale. Owners of businesses may say it's just another government regulation but our purpose is preventing teenagers from nicotine addiction," she said.
Montgomery Health Department's educator and coordinator for the Montgomery-Rocky Hill Municipal Alliance Devangi Patel says there's been a consistent number of discussions on regulations over e-cigs. "Residents came to Municipal Alliance meetings to talk with us and ask why a vape shop opened here," she said.


Carey thanked residents who attended the late November hearing and the continued support from Montgomery Township Public Schools and the Municipal Alliance. "We are a very family-friendly community and this ordinance is about protecting kids who are vulnerable to getting addicted to nicotine. Where a lot of e-cig retailers cluster they are drawing on younger people and college students. We give our professional opinions and the purpose of this is it protects kids - that's what Montgomery values. People asked about the role of government regulations, but no one came to the public hearing objecting to the ordinance. It is ultimately a community's decision on what they want their ordinances to be. It is all about the community and enforcing values to make this a better place to live," she said.


The next step for Montgomery Health Department is training for e-cig vendors and township staff to ballast the age of sale enforcement program followed by community education and events. "In 2018 as we get everybody licensed and trained the township will start its inspections process," Carey said.
 

More Featured Articles

Local specialty hospital announces free programs for 2018

 

(BELLE MEAD, NJ: December 11, 2017) Carrier Clinic, the Belle Mead, NJ-based mental health and substance abuse recovery specialty hospital, has announced the 2018 schedule for free anxiety/depression screenings, free alcohol dependency screenings, and a variety of free family support programs.

 

“These screenings and programs are a valuable benefit to our community,” said Dr. Umesh Mehta, Carrier Clinic’s Chief Medical Officer. “One of Carrier Clinic’s priorities is to serve our community’s needs – including making screenings and programs accessible.”

 

2018 Free, Confidential Screenings

All screenings are held at Carrier Clinic, located at 252 County Road 601 in Belle Mead, NJ. Screenings are held on the dates indicated below, 3-7 p.m. Attendees will receive a free, confidential screening and information/referrals for services.

 

Anxiety/Depression Screenings

January 9

March 13

May 8

July 10

September 11

November 13

 

Alcohol Dependency Screenings

February 15

April 19

June 14

August 16

October 18

December 6

 

2018 Free Family Support Programs

All family support programs are held at Carrier Clinic, located at 252 County Road 601 in Belle Mead, NJ. Specific locations on the campus are included below.

 

Weekend Codependency Program

This therapeutic educational and guidance program is for family members and friends whose lives are impacted by another’s addiction.

Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. – 1p.m. in the Amphitheatre on the Carrier Clinic campus.

 

Bright Futures for Kids

This program serves children (ages 4-12) of families affected by addiction. The clinician-led program is designed to help children express their feelings while learning coping skills, instilling cooperation, responsibility, maintaining a drug-free lifestyle, resisting peer pressure, and encouraging positive communication.

Sundays, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Classroom #3 (near Amphitheater) on the Carrier Clinic campus.

 

Parents Support Group

This group, run by Parents Support Group of New Jersey Inc., helps parents to understand and cope with their children’s disease of addiction.

Mondays, 7-8:30 p.m. in the Chapel on the Carrier Clinic campus.

 

Al-Anon Family Support

Facilitated by Al-Anon, this is a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength, and hope in order to solve their common problems.

Thursdays, 7 p.m. in the Chapel on the Carrier Clinic campus.

 

Mood Disorder Support Group

Facilitated by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance in Middlesex County, this group is an informal forum for education, support, and socialization for patients diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorders, or related mood disorders. Families, friends, and others interested in learning about these illnesses or offering support are also welcomed to attend.

Thursdays, 7:30-9:15 p.m. in the Amphitheatre on the Carrier Clinic campus.

 

For more information about these free screenings and programs, as well as other services available at Carrier Clinic, visit CarrierClinic.org.

 

About Carrier Clinic

Carrier Clinic, an independent, nonprofit behavioral healthcare system located in Belle Mead, NJ, specializes in psychiatric and addiction treatment. Carrier Clinic’s system includes an inpatient psychiatric hospital, a detoxification and rehabilitation center, an adolescent residential facility, and a fully-accredited middle and high school for students classified as emotionally disturbed. For more information about Carrier Clinic, visit CarrierClinic.org.  

Hugs for Brady Foundation Honored by General Assembly for Work to Combat Childhood Cancer

 

(TRENTON) – The General Assembly honored The Hugs for Brady Foundation with a ceremonial resolution during last Thursday’s voting session for its work in combating childhood cancer and helping families defray the cost of cancer treatments.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-Somerset/ Mercer/ Middlesex/ Hunterdon), Assemblyman Joseph Danielsen (D-Middlesex/Somerset) and Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset/ Mercer/ Middlesex/ Hunterdon), the ceremonial resolution was presented to Sherrie Wells, co-founder and mother of the foundation’s namesake, Brady Wells, her family and the foundation’s board members.

“Hearing the words, ‘Your child has cancer,’ is one of the worst things that can happen to a parent. Thousands of children in New Jersey are diagnosed with cancer each year, and their families need support,” said Zwicker. “The Wells family turned their tragedy into a way to help children and families battling this devastating disease. This ceremonial resolution honors their selflessness and dedication to finding treatments for childhood cancers, and supporting children and their families.”

Founded in 2009 by Sherrie and Michael Wells to help children diagnosed with cancer, after their son Brady was diagnosed with non-differentiated acute leukemia, the Hugs for Brady Foundation has made tremendous contributions to children’s cancer research and provided both emotional and financial support for families.

“Brady passed away in my arms at just 23 months old from this hideous disease. The first year of his life he was happy, smart, beautiful and healthy,” said Sherrie Wells. “Cancer just suddenly appears and even after a very tough battle, it takes children’s lives. We need to do more to save our children, we need to fund research, and we need to find a cure.” 

Free Flu Vax Clinic Thursday Thursday, December 14, 5PM to 8PM

Otto Kaufman Community Center
356 Skillman Road, Skillman, NJ (next to side entrance of high school)

Vaccinating ages 4 to 104 (under 18 must be accompanied by parent)

Walk-ins are welcome, but for faster service, make an appointment. Call the Health Department at 908-359-8211, x 227 or email health@twp.montgomery.nj.us

It's time to share- time with family, presents-and germs! Protect your family from the flu, in time for the Holidays!

The Centers for Disease Control recommends vaccination against influenza for all people over 6 months of age. The flu shot protects you and those

around you. Flu can be especially serious in seniors, young children, pregnant women, and people with conditions like asthma and diabetes.

The Health Department is giving the quadrivalent flu vaccine which does not contain preservatives, including thimerosal. The vaccine is called quadrivalent because it offers protection against four different flu virus strains that research shows will be most common during this flu season: two influenza A virus strains and two influenza B virus strains.

The flu shot is Free to residents of Montgomery, and the Boroughs of Hopewell, Pennington, and Rocky Hill; first responders; Municipal/District employees, and Medicare recipients. Free-will donations accepted.

Read on the Health Dept. Website at:
http://health.montgomery.nj.us/flu-season-is-here-did-you-get-your-flu-shot-yet/
 

New Monty Rec Website

Montgomery Recreation is pleased to announce our new website www.montgomeryrecreation.com. This site is your one-stop shop for all things Recreation.


The Recreation Department website is still reachable through the top menu of the main Township website at www.montgomery.nj.us and viewers may also access the main Township website from www.montgomeryrecreation.com by clicking on "TWP HOME" to far right in top menu. 

Neshanic Garden Club Meets Jan 25

The Neshanic Garden Club will hold its regular monthly meeting at 9:45 am on Thursday, January 25, at the Station House on Olive Street in Neshanic Station.


The program this month will be "Ohhhh, My Aching Back: Gardening Techniques as We Age," presented by Mary Anne McMillian. Mary Anne is the volunteer program coordinator at Rutgers Gardens, and graduate from the Horticultural Therapy program at the New York Botanic Gardens. She will show specialized techniques that will allow people to continue to garden as they age. The program will include scaling back, using lower maintenance plants, labor saving techniques and use of adaptive tools, raised beds and containers.


Bring a bag lunch. Dessert and beverage only will be served at 12 pm. Prospective members are encouraged to attend. For further information about club meetings, please contact either club co president, Cathy Heuschkel at 908-359-6881 or Kathy Herrington at 908-359-6835. For more information regarding the club, you can visit us at www.neshanicgardenclub.org and like us on Facebook.
 

2018 MHS Girl's Basketball Hoops for Hope Fundraiser Jan 23

The MHS Girls basketball team will be holding Hoops for Hope on January 23, from 5:15 to 8:30 pm during the home JV and Varsity games against Ridge. All of the proceeds from the Hoops for Hope will be donated to the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Princeton in memory of Jane Geary.


Jane was a member of the Montgomery community and Cougar basketball family who passed away two years ago from breast cancer. Last year they raised $3,000 for the BCRC.


The younger girls in the Montgomery Basketball Association will participate in some pregame and halftime activities. Jennifer McGoorty, from the BCRC will be there with information about the center's services. there will be a 50/50 raffle and our wonderful MHS basketball band, cheerleaders and dance team will entertain and energize the crowd. As always, our concession stand will be open.
 

January 2018 Business Profile - La Jolie

La Jolie Salon and Spa recently opened its new and expanded spa and salon in the modern stone, glass, and steel building on the corner of Route 206 (Bayard Lane) and Leigh Avenue. The distinctive building is filled with natural light, has lots of open space (4,500 square feet), and comes with a luxury that simply is not available in downtown Princeton - a parking lot for 25 cars.

"We have free parking for our guests," says La Jolie owner Teresita Villamil with a smile. "This space is a blessing. Our guests will feel welcome from the moment they arrive." Eliminating the hassle of finding and paying for parking, for both the employees as well as the guests, should make everybody feel a little better.

The interior is decorated in soothing, earthy tones that promote relaxation. Client Ranjana Rao of Montgomery says, "I've been in the new facility once so far. The interior reminds me of spas in Singapore. It's very spacious, modern, and yet warm." She adds that she has been "a regular for about eight or nine years. It's great to have La Jolie back in Princeton."

For about 30 years, La Jolie operated out of a space at the corner of Witherspoon and Hulfish streets. Villamil, who purchased the business in 2010, continued to lease the downtown location - until a storm dumped six inches of rain during two hours in July 2016. The equipment and furniture in the basement space was damaged beyond repair.

Villamil operated a temporary "pop up" salon in the Princeton Hyatt Regency while evaluating the damage and considering options for her successful business, which has been rated as one of the top 200 salons in America by Salon Today Magazine for the past three consecutive years.

La Jolie provides regular hands-on skill-based training on hair care, dermatology, mani- and pedicures, waxing, massage, facials, makeup application, hair and eyelash extensions. In addition, employees are offered Dale Carnegie and Ritz-Carlton training aimed at improving customer services, but also on keeping employees from becoming stagnant in their work. Villamil aspires to create a work environment in which her employees are empowered to grow, learn, and advance in their careers.

"We put a strong emphasis on education," she says. "We want our employees to feel connected and appreciated. We want our guests to feel good and look good when they leave.

"The best salons develop and strengthen the skills and confidence of their newest team members while encouraging their seasoned staff to continually stretch," she adds.

Villamil was two years old when she, her parents and grandparents moved from Cuba to America in 1968. She met her future husband, John, at Pope Pius XII High School in Passaic, where they grew up. John and his family also moved to New Jersey from Cuba in the late 1960s.

"We were two hard working kids," she says of herself and her husband of 33 years. "We followed the American Dream." Prior to purchasing La Jolie, Villamil had almost 20 years marketing experience in the beauty industry with executive-level positions with Aveda; GM Collins Skin Care; Avanti; and Davexlabs and L'Anza. "My dream," she says, "was to open my own business."

Villamil gives back by supporting local organizations such as Eden Autism, Dress for Success, and HomeFront.

La Jolie Salon & Spa 163 Bayard Lane Princeton, NJ 08540 | www.lajoliesalonspa.com | 609.924.1188
 

Verizon Gets Cell Coverage Boost

New Nodal Units, Rights-of-Way Approved

On December 7, Township Committee approved a right-of-way use agreement with Verizon Wireless for installations of distributive antennae and network connectors on existing telephone and utility poles. The new installation is intended to "beef up" the cellular signal in the area, according to Township Attorney Kristina Hadinger. Verizon requested this increased network capability in late 2016 concurrently with the now rejected application for a "stealth silo" cell tower on the Staats Farm property along River Road,
Verizon, noted as New York SMSA Limited Partnership on its filings with Montgomery Township, has plans to provide cell service to more customers throughout central Jersey. The recent applications here were for cell towers over 130 feet high. The Zoning Board of Adjustment heard testimony for one at the Nassau Tennis Club property at 1800 Route 206 during the first seven months of 2017.


Instead of a monopole or disguised tower, Verizon's small nodal network equipment, "pots" between 24 and 48 inches high, would go only on existing poles. Hadinger told the Committee the agreement does not provide for installations of any new poles. Hadinger said the township has insurance in place in case the installation by Verizon resulted in any damage to existing infrastructure.


Township Administrator Donato Nieman says the same type of network boost, represented in an application by Crown Castle for distributive antenna systems (DAS) box-like units, was planned in Montgomery in the recent past. Now Verizon has obtained the rights to increase coverage with more equipment on poles.


"That is the trend now with wireless providers doing the small nodes. It does not replace cell towers, it just enhances reception. These small 'pots' go about 1500 feet in either direction to provide around 3,000 feet of network coverage," he told the Committee in early December.  

Zwicker Introduces Legislation to Help Displaced Professionals from Puerto Rico

Zwicker Introduces Legislation to Help Displaced Professionals from Puerto Rico Find Work on Mainland

Bill Would Revise Law on Out-of-State Licenses to Include Professionals from Storm-Ravaged Island

(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker on Monday introduced legislation aimed at helping doctors, nurses, teachers and other licensed professionals from Puerto Rico find work after relocating to New Jersey following Hurricane Maria.

“New Jersey has one of the highest populations of Puerto Ricans on the mainland, and we can expect to see that population grow as our fellow Americans from the island seek safety with family and friends in the United States,” said Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). “As they settle into their new lives in New Jersey, we can help ease the transition by ensuring that men and women from Puerto Rico are able to continue in their professions and support their families here.”

The bill (A-52555) would revise state law regarding the reciprocity process for out-of-state professional and occupational licensing. Currently, licensed professionals from jurisdictions with standards that are substantially equivalent to New Jersey’s may work in their respective industries in New Jersey provided they supply the state with proof that an out-of-state license is valid, current and in good standing.

Zwicker’s legislation would clarify that the law applies not only to residents of the 50 states but also to individuals with licenses from Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia or any other territory or possession of the United States.

Under the bill, verification of licensure must be submitted to the appropriate state licensing board within six months or, in the cases of individuals relocating due to a natural disaster or other catastrophic event, as soon as practicable.

“After losing so much due to Hurricane Maria, people who are qualified to perform a job – and who may have been thriving doing that job in Puerto Rico – shouldn’t have to go through the additional stress of repeating coursework and training here in New Jersey,” said Zwicker. “Any American citizen who comes from Puerto Rico and can prove that he or she already did what’s required to earn a license to work in New Jersey should be eligible to work in his or her field and make positive contributions to our state’s economy.”

The measure was referred to the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee. 

Township & School District Team up to Build New Tennis Court Complex at the Middle Schools

Plans have been approved for the tennis courts between the middle schools (Upper and Lower) to be rebuilt this fall/winter through a shared services agreement by the municipality and the public schools. According to plans, the new tennis courts will be available for student use as well as public use during non-school hours by early next year.


Mayor Ed Trzaska has been advocating for this recreation facility enhancement as part of the Township's ongoing parks improvement initiative. He said, "It really made sense and saved money to work together with the schools. It has been a pleasure to work with the Board of Education and President Rick Cavalli to better meet the recreational needs of residents and students in this way. I'm excited to see the new tennis complex open soon!"


The end of a 40-year lease between Montgomery Township and the Montgomery Township School District was recognized as a window of opportunity by municipal and school leadership. The ten courts located on Burnt Hill Road between the Upper Middle School and Lower Middle School get a great deal of use and have been showing their age of late.


Montgomery Township School District Superintendent Nancy Gartenberg concurred with the mayor. "Both the Township and Board of Education are in need of new tennis courts. Tennis courts are a part of the instructional day for our middle school students and are in high demand after hours by our community partners. Many of our referendum projects were aimed at promoting the health, safety and wellness of our students. We are thrilled to work with the township to restore the maximum number of courts for our community."


Rick Cavalli of the Montgomery Twp. Board of Education helped plan the project. "I have recently adopted the mantra of 'One Montgomery.' The improvement and retaining of the courts, as a core part of a total student experience and central to our residents, was a paramount and unwavering consideration. To have further collaborated with Mayor Trzaska and the Superintendent and her team on this important project is evidence of how government should work for Montgomery and Rocky Hill."


According to Annette Wells, School Business Administrator, the project bid out at $677,400 in August. The Board of Education and the Township will split the cost 50/50 for the project. A shared services agreement was authorized by the Township Committee on December 7.


Eight courts will be completely reconstructed, including new perimeter fencing and nets. The two remaining courts will be repaired and overlaid, also with new nets. There are plans to keep the perimeter fencing around the two courts, since the fencing is in good shape. Lastly, the deteriorated asphalt walkway that leads from the school to the courts will be reconstructed.


Township Recreation Director Karen Zimmerman summed up the project, stating "We are pleased to be moving forward. The tennis courts here have always been popular and we are so glad we are able to work with the schools to improve their quality and better serve the Montgomery public."


Mayor Trzaska added, "I hope this is the first of many joint projects with the schools. There is a lot of opportunity to work together in the future." 

Food For Thought - Gourmet Food?

What exactly is "gourmet" food? By the book, gourmet food is characterized by high quality, accurate preparation, and artistic presentation. Let's tease apart that definition.


High quality. Hmmmmm. So if my hamburger meat comes from one hundred percent USDA prime chuck, from a steer that grazed in a pristine meadow, is my burger gourmet? No, not yet. It has to be prepared with utmost dexterity. OK, so if I season it perfectly, and flawlessly sear it to precisely medium-rare, is it gourmet yet? Oops. Almost forgot. Artful plate presentation. OK, so then I position it on beautiful china on a bed of decorative greens, maybe with some edible flowers around the edge of the plate. Now, is my burger gourmet food? Of course not. But why? We followed all of the criteria?


Because hamburger meat, regardless of quality, preparation, or presentation, is a common item. I submit that what deems a food as "gourmet" is more related to its availability, price, public perception, and clever marketing techniques. In essence, gourmet food has less to do with the food itself and more to do with the sometimes arbitrary forces in the external environment.


Many foods are indigenous to circumscribed areas of the globe and/or are only in season during specific times of the year. Thus, no matter where you are, there will always be some foods that are unobtainable. Moreover, these elusive victuals are less likely to be embraced by the general population since they rarely become a dietary staple. They are prone to be conceptualized as "gourmet" because of their limited accessibility and foreign origins. Yet in their native lands, they may be a simple and unexalted food.


Take the grain quinoa for example. Unless you're a foodie, or of Latin descent, you probably never heard of it. Quinoa is a highly nutritious and tasty grain that has been grown in South America for thousands of years. In fact, it has always been a subsistence crop for poor, rural Andean families. Astute purveyors have touted it as a "super-grain," and market it as a gourmet item with a considerably inflated price. In America, it is usually only found in extravagant restaurants. This would be like some local villager in Tibet paying over one hundred dollars for a meal that included hot dogs.


Undoubtedly, price is a clear differentiator between pedestrian and gourmet food. Sometimes the price is arbitrarily inflated because the item is being marketed as "gourmet," as in the previous quinoa example. Other times the price is high for legitimate reasons, e.g., white truffles. White truffles are rare, in season for only three months, are in high demand, cannot be cultivated, and are labor intensive to harvest. But the reasons a food is expensive are superfluous. The high price, justified or not, immediately separates it from the common man and hence, the common palate. If potatoes suddenly cost four hundred dollars an ounce (like fresh white truffles), they would be elevated to "gourmet" status and would only be found in the most expensive restaurants.


Gourmet food can also be a matter of perception. Generally speaking, humans are more likely to perceive a rare commodity as superior as opposed to an everyday item. As stated, many foods are less available because of their place of origin or growing season. These foods, particularly if they hail from an "exotic" locale (another definition burdened by subjectivity), are more likely to be viewed as special.


Sometimes price alone can influence this perception. We all intellectually know that price does not presuppose quality. But savvy advertisers and marketers also know that intellect often yields to emotion. Psychologically we still possess a tendency to equate expense with an item's inherent worth. This is manifested in everyday mantras like "you get what you pay for," and "it pays to buy the best." Often this is true, but sometimes we are merely inflating the coffers of shrewd businessmen.


Marketing techniques can be employed to manipulate public perception and ultimately revenues. A common ploy is to identify a variation of your product as superior and then sell it at a premium price. The new version may or may not be better, but by selling the conception that it is, a higher price is commanded from the unsuspecting public. Although not considered a gourmet item, a good example of this process is "gold" tequila. Gold tequila is nothing more than regular tequila with caramel coloring added and a higher price. The term "gold" is not an actual tequila designation but nevertheless, the word itself conjures up an air of supremacy. It's this kind of mental gymnastics that results in a product being perceived as exceptional and sometimes "gourmet." At its absurd extreme, there's even a cat food company that endeavors to pass off its smaller canned, more expensive product as "gourmet."


Another example is Angus beef. Angus is nothing more than another breed of cattle. Yet clever marketing has resulted in a perception that it is the zenith of beef. Along with that perception comes a bigger price tag. Angus may be better than the typical beef on supermarket shelves but the price to quality ratio is disproportionate. This is camouflaged however by the little signs decreeing "certified angus" and the fact that it is often housed in its own decorative case, separate from the undistinguished beef.


So I say we need to expand the definition of gourmet food to read something like this: An expensive, seasonal, non-native food, perceived as superior, that under the best of circumstances is also of high quality, accurately prepared and presented with artistic flair. How's that for a gourmet definition?
 

Rocky Hill Brush & Limb Collection Alert

Per the Rocky Hill Bylaws, Article I, Section 167-2 titled "Weeds, garbage and other impediments" - All piles of sticks and branches currently sitting curbside need to be removed from the curb within 48 hours, and disposed of properly by residents. There is no brush and limb pickup again until the spring. Brush and limb pickup dates were posted on the Borough's website on September 20, 2017 indicating two days, October 19 and 20, as the days for pickup.

Please pass this message to your neighbor if they have piles of sticks and branches, in the event they are not signed up to receive Nixle alerts. 

VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT FOR SOMERSET COUNTY PARK TRAIL MAINTENANCE

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County Park Commission Rangers and the Volunteer Park Patrol are seeking volunteers to assist with trail maintenance projects throughout the year.

With the cooperation of the Jersey Off Road Bicycling Association, (JORBA), Rangers and volunteers will be performing trail maintenance at the Sourland Mountain Preserve off East Mountain Road in Hillsborough, New Jersey and Washington Valley Park off Newman’s Lane in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

The mission of the group is to provide a regular maintenance regimen in order to maintain trail conditions to the highest standards possible.

The Sourland Mountain Preserve is 4,000 acres of passive recreation opportunities including hiking, bouldering, mountain biking, birding, and horseback riding. It is rich in natural resources with a variety of stream corridors, geologic outcrops, and an ecological preserve that provides a core habitat for a diversity of plant and animal species.

Washington Valley Park is a 719-acre passive recreation facility that lies along the First Watchung Ridge in Bridgewater Township. The park contains the former 21-acre Bound Brook Elizabethtown Reservoir that is the focal point of the park’s seven miles network of trails. Washington Valley Park offers hiking, mountain biking, and hawk watching. The Park is known as among the premier mountain biking sites in the east.

The maintenance schedule:
Saturday, November 18 at 9:00 A.M. at Washington Valley Park
Saturday, December 2 at 9:00 A.M. at Washington valley Park.

For details call 908-231-0802, ext. 21 or www.somersetcountyparks.org. For cancellations due to weather call 908-285-3800.
 

An Enthusiastic Toast to Champagne

On his deathbed the famed economist John Maynard Keynes lamented, "I wish that I had drunk more champagne."

Every since I learned about that, I have vowed to make sure that I would not be able to say the same thing on my deathbed. Most Americans, unlike the Brits and the French, still consider champagne to be an extra special wine that should only be brought out for any special occasion. So this holiday season take a tip from Keynes and me and stock up on your sparking wine. It's the perfect time for the holidays, and I bet you can go through five or six bottles, maybe more, by the end of the year.


Many Americans are thrown off by bubbly because they think that it has to be an authentic and expensive French sparkler. The French version can be expensive since it's the best, and so people offer it rarely and then save it only for Christmas and New Year's eve.


The answer to the price difficulty is to look for some of the many non-French sparking wines that are now on the market. A host of wine producers now sell bubbly and at many prices. The Italian and Spanish versions are very good and not nearly as expensive as the French version. French producers often make the American bubblies and call the products sparkling wine. Such French big producers as Domaine Chandon, Mumm, and Domaine Carneros now sell American versions of their product, and you can't go wrong with any of them. Those French companies thought so highly of the California sparklers that they opened new businesses in the Napa area just to get into the American market. They brought their top French winemakers to California to keep a close control on what was going on, but then eventually let them do their thing. The French firms have now been in the U.S. for so many years that they know American desires and tastes.


One important warning about serving bubblies is to open the bottle correctly. I almost lost an eye when I was working in France many years ago. At an office party in Paris I opened the bottle incorrectly, and the cork landed just in the area just above my eye. An inch shorter, and I would today have only one eye. A French friend immediately gave me the tips to open the bottle right. First, put your hand firmly on the metal that holds the cork down. Then slightly twist the cork so that it comes out slowly. The cork will then slip out with a slight pop.


I always have two or more bottles of Sparkling wines in my wine cellar because you never know when you will want to pull one out for any particular reason. In my wine cellar right now I have five bottles of bubbles: Piper-Heidsieck, Nicola Feuillette, California Chandon, Prosecco Jaume, Serra Cristaino, and Zonna.


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.
 

New Montynews.com Poll

Our last Web Poll question, "Who do you dislike the most?" was answered by 3,400 viewers. Polls of this sort are generally called "joke polls," and are often good for a laugh, by comparing dissimilar objects and asking for a response.


The Taliban got high marks, at 96.4%. Casting aside such an obviously robo-voted response leaves the real favorites: President Trump at 2.8%, Comcast ( a perennial favorite, if that's the right word) pulled 0.5%, followed by Governor Christie (0.2%), Congress and the Senate, each got 0.1% of the vote.


This month our poll question is more serious: "Do you feel optimistic or pessimistic about 2018?"
To vote, go to our advertiser-supported website, www.montynews.com, and vote.
 

SCLSNJ to Close for Necessary System Upgrade Dec 2 - 4

SCLSNJ’s ten branches will be closed December 2, 3, and 4


(Somerset County, NJ: November 13, 2017) All ten Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) branches will be closed December 2, 3, and 4 to allow for installation of the new checkout and catalog system.


SCLSNJ’s new checkout and catalog system will offer easier searching yielding more relevant results, innovative account management features, effortless integration with eBooks and eAudio, a librarian-curated kids catalog, and an intuitive layout and user experience.


The installation will result in a three day Library closure, but it is worth the wait!


"Our new checkout and catalog system makes locating your next book, DVD, or other items effortless and fun. It is designed with mobile experience in mind and offers a host of self-service options for you including paying fines online, updating account information, and sharing reading lists or saved searches with your friends. Our new system also integrates with many of our popular resources such as eBooks and online magazines. You can even tag your own items to make finding them later a breeze," said Rich Loomis, digital services manager.


"Our new checkout and catalog system will alert you in advance when your library card needs renewing. This way you can renew at your leisure and will always be able to access your account, eBooks, online resources, and never be blocked when placing a hold. Speaking of holds, you will now be able to freeze or suspend your holds for a specific period of time - like when you are going on vacation. Your holds will simply become active again on the day you selected. You will never have to worry about remembering to unfreeze holds again," said Sue Kane, SCLSNJ's Bridgewater branch circulation department supervisor.


Even though the Library’s ten locations will be closed, SCLSNJ’s eBook and eAudiobook collection will be available throughout the three day closure. Visit somerset.overdrive.com and discover and check out over 21,000 items.


For more information about SCLSNJ’s new checkout and catalog system, contact SCLSNJ’s Director of Operations Lynn Hoffman at lhoffman@sclibnj.org.


 

Notes from the Township Administrator - November 2017

As the days grow shorter and the temperature drops the Township is gearing up for winter weather. The Green Avenue Phase II improvements are nearing completion as is the Sycamore Lane Sidewalk project. Work will continue on the Oxbridge/Riverside Wastewater treatment plant consolidation. The sidewalk/walkway project funded by Somerset County should be completed by the end of December. The State of New Jersey Department of Transportation is continuing the Cruser Brook bridge replacement just south of the municipal building on Rt. 206.


The Department of Public Works is getting snowplows, sanders, and brining equipment ready for winter weather. They have spent a significant amount of time over the last month putting up snow fence, patching potholes; crack sealing pavement, and doing some sidewalk repair. The Township is now responsible for well over one hundred and sixty miles of municipal roadway. The Township is now able to track in real time the status of each snowplow route as each vehicle is equipped to report their location and the status of their plow route. This will help us in focusing our resources more effectively and provide with increased accuracy how quickly roads will be cleared for vehicular traffic.


Code Enforcement continues to be very busy with inspections for the new homes and commercial properties being constructed at Country Club Meadows, as well as renovations and additions being completed on existing homes. Inspections are done to insure proper construction in accordance with the Uniform Construction Code as adopted by the State of New Jersey.


As the end of the year approaches the Township staff has completed the draft budget for 2018 and is preparing for the year end closing of finances. At the same time preparations are being made for annual reorganization of the Township Committee in early January 2018.


Holidays are upon and many of us will be attending family dinners and holiday parties. Please drive safely and if you drink don't drive, have a designated driver. All levels of law enforcement will be focusing on DWI enforcement. Here's wishing everyone a safe and joyous holiday season.
 

Rockingham Candle Light Tour Dec 10

On Sunday, December 10th from 11-4, Historic Rockingham, during its annual Candlelight Tour, will celebrate some of the Americans who gave their blood, sweat and tears to defend our unalienable rights. Many of these heroes served in the Continental Army and helped our troops to ultimately achieve the impossible—the surrender of the British Army and the concession of our independence from British rule. Some gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives, and others survived to enjoy the peace. Some served through written or verbal inspiration; others, by deeds done off the battlefield or by carrying vital information and protecting the lives of others, civilians and soldiers alike.

A few of these heroes will be remembered during the tour, with an emphasis on military campaigns in New Jersey. Visitors will be led around the rooms of the historic house by members of the Montgomery Township Live Historians club and hear tales of these brave few, which may include soldiers such as Washington and lesser-known John Glover, members of the Culper spy ring, poetess Phyllis Wheatley and William Lee, Washington’s body guard and personal slave. The candlelight tours will also feature period music by John Burkhalter of the Practitioners of Musick. Holiday goodies and warm drinks will be available in Rockingham’s Children’s Museum, and the Museum Store will be open, with its period toys, local honey, books, Rockingham DVD, quills and tricorn hats.

Because space is limited, tour reservations are required and must be made by calling 609-683-7132 through Nov. 19 or 609-683-7136 after Nov. 19. There is a suggested donation of $5 per person or $10 per family. Tours will be offered at least every half-hour, with 3:30 being the last tour. This program is made possible by the Live Historians, Rockingham Association, the Stony Brook Garden Club and the NJ Division of Parks & Forestry.

Rockingham is located on Laurel Avenue/Kingston-Rocky Hill Road (County Route 603) between Route 518 in Rocky Hill and Route 27 in Kingston. For further information or directions, please call (609) 683-7132 or visit www.rockingham.net.
 

Carrier Clinic Kindred Spirit Gala Raises over $130,000

 

(BELLE MEAD, NJ: November 15, 2017) On Saturday, November 4, Carrier Clinic hosted its annual Kindred Spirit Gala at Princeton Marriot at Forrestal. The event was attended by more than 200 people and raised over $130,000 to support the Belle Mead, NJ-based specialized hospital’s mission to inspire hope and recovery through expert treatment, education, compassionate care, and outstanding service.

 

“The Kindred Spirit Gala gives Carrier Clinic the opportunity to honor those who have demonstrated dedication and commitment to the field of mental health and addiction,” said Donna Zaleski, Carrier Clinic’s Director of Fund Development, Public Relations, and Marketing. “It is an event about bringing together those who believe every person deserves respect, compassion, and the best care possible.”

 

The 52nd Governor of New Jersey Jim McGreevey was recognized at the event with the Kindred Spirit Award. Through his work as Chairman of the New Jersey Reentry Corporation, McGreevey is making a difference in the lives of many, working to provide addiction treatment, sober housing, employment and training, identification services, and linkage to healthcare for formerly incarcerated persons. The clients of NJRC have a 19.7% recidivism rate with an annualized rate of employment of 62%.

 

Bonnie Nolan, Ph.D. was honored at the event with The Codey Award for her trail-blazing efforts to be a stalwart advocate for individuals who are on the fringes of society because of stigma. Dr. Nolan is the Addiction Services Coordinator in Woodbridge Township. She has teamed up with Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac and other passionate leaders to combat the opioid epidemic by implementing the Woodbridge Opioid Overdose Recovery Program in three area hospitals. Through this program, recovery coaches who have “lived the life” of a person struggling with addiction, are notified by police and dispatched to the bedside of a patient who has just experienced an opioid overdose and been saved by Narcan. Early success of the program has led to other surrounding towns to join – now the program serves six area hospitals and five towns, with more continuing to sign on.

 

“We are so grateful to the support of the honorees, attendees, sponsors, and our community,” said Zaleski. “The funds raised will provide life-changing care to our patients – and their families.”

 

For more information about Carrier Clinic and how you can support its mission, visit CarrierClinic.org.

 

About Carrier Clinic

Carrier Clinic, an independent, not-for-profit behavioral healthcare system located in Belle Mead, NJ, specializes in psychiatric and addiction treatment. Carrier Clinic’s system includes an inpatient psychiatric hospital, a detoxification and rehabilitation center, an adolescent residential facility, and a fully-accredited middle and high school for students classified as emotionally disturbed. For more information about Carrier Clinic, visit CarrierClinic.org.  

Ashley Henderson-Huff Memorial Drive Dedication Dec 19

There will be a dedication of a new street sign in honor of former Montgomery High School student, Lt. Ashley Henderson-Huff, MHS '00, at the main drive into MHS at 8:30 am on Tuesday, December 19.
It will be followed by an indoors assembly with students, township and district administrators. Ashley's father, Mark, will also be in attendance.


Ashley, a military police officer who was killed in Iraq in 2006, was the first New Jersey woman to be killed in the war.
 

Montgomery Discarded Christmas Tree Pick-Up Or Drop-Off

The Montgomery Township Department of Public Works will be starting curbside Christmas tree collection on Monday, January 8. Please do not wait to put your tree out, if your section of town happens to be collected first, it is possible that trees placed to the curb after January 8 may not be picked up. This collection takes several weeks and is dependent upon the weather, so please be patient.


As an alternative, you may drop off your tree at the Department of Public Works site, located at 12 Harlingen Road. This site is available for drop off at any hour, or day, starting December 26 until January 31. All trees either to be picked up or dropped off must be free of tinsel and ornaments.


Regular tree limbs/brush may be brought to the Public Works yard without charge but only during the regular Saturday drop-off dates from 8 am to 12 noon. There is a container facility day on January 6.


For more information, contact the Department of Public Works at 908-874-3144.
 

Montgomery Honors its Veterans with Observance

Marking the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, Montgomery Township came together last Saturday to honor its veterans at the Township’s Memorial. Braving chilly but sunny weather, the turn-out at Montgomery Veterans Park was among the highest ever for Montgomery’s 7th annual Veterans Day Observance. Themes running through the day’s events included appreciation of the honorable role veterans have played in our country’s and township’s history and awareness of the issues veterans face today.

“Montgomery is named for General Richard Montgomery, who fought bravely for this country’s freedom and fell during the battle of Quebec during the Revolutionary War in 1775. Our Memorial is here to pays tribute to every known Montgomery resident who has given military service to our country since that time – we thank you,” said Mayor Ed Trzaska.

The event began with moving renditions on the bag pipe by Mike Ahnell. Soon after, a procession moved down Harlingen Road towards the Memorial, led by the Montgomery High School Marching Band and Color Guard, directed by Kawika Kahalehoe. The band was followed by Township boy scouts from both Troop 46 and 850, Cub Packs 185 and 850, and girl scouts from Troops 61215, 60193 and 600099, who later offered special pins to all veterans at the ceremony. First responders and equipment from Fire Companies 45 and 46 and Montgomery EMS closed the procession.

Montgomery Veterans Memorial Chairman and event organizer Michael Maloney, who is a Marine Corps veteran and lay chaplain, offered the invocation and opening remarks. MVMC member Peter Rayner, a Navy Veteran and retired Administrator of Montgomery Township, served as Master of Ceremonies. The event’s guest speaker was Rolling Thunder representative Joseph Kotch, a Vietnam War veteran who served a total of eight years in the Navy. Rolling Thunder is a national veterans support organization committed to helping veterans of all American Wars and educating the public on POW-MIA issues. The perpetually empty POW/MIA Chair of Honor was present at the ceremony. As of October, 2017, there are 82,427 American service members who remain unaccounted for.

Others offering reflections included US Congressman Leonard Lance, NJ Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, Boy Scout Srikar Surapanen, Girl Scout Julia Garaffa, Mayor Ed Trzaska, and Township Administrator Donato Nieman. Also present was Montgomery Township Committee member Patricia Graham, who is a liaison to the Veterans Memorial Committee, former Mayor Donald Matthews, and Township Attorney Kristina Hadinger.

Adding a special touch this year, costumed military reenactors from the Civil War and WWII eras set up realistic encampments and equipment, including jeeps and MASH first aid tents. Reenactor groups included the 6th New York Artillery, 9th Division WWII Historical Preservation Society, and 45th Infantry Division Reenactor Venturing Crew/WWII Recreation Association.

Reenactor Robert Costello, posing as President Abraham Lincoln to whom he bears a startling resemblance, sat silently watching ceremony, flanked by a guard of civil war soldiers. His presence was particularly fitting, as President Lincoln, during his second inaugural address towards the end of the civil war, said that America’s work is: “To bind up the nations wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan …” The Memorial location also boasts a “Gettysburg Address Witness Honey Locust” sapling, planted several years ago, grown from the seed of a still living locust tree which born witness to Lincoln’s address, 154 years ago.

The ceremony closed with retirement of the Colors and Taps. The first verse of Taps was played solo on trumpet by Mati Orlow-Ng, followed by the marching band. A very realistic demonstration of cannon fire using only powder was made by the civil war reenactors group, who took every safety precaution while educating the public.


“Veterans Day is a state of mind and here in Montgomery Township, our remembrance of our Nation's Veterans, their service and great-sacrifice, is a mindset rooted in action well beyond any 24 hour period found on a calendar,” summed up MVMC Chairman Mike Maloney. “We invite and remind everyone, everywhere, to always be mindful of just what has been provided them by our veterans - our yesterday, our today, our tomorrow, as we know it,” he concluded.
 

Opportunities to Serve on Montgomery Municipal Boards

Montgomery residents who would like to volunteer to serve on a municipal board, commission or committee are encouraged to apply for position appointments for 2018.


Montgomery residents serve on many of the Township's over 30 committees. Most of the appointments are made in the beginning of January but vacancies can open up any time throughout the year. Some of the boards meet regularly once or twice a month while others schedule their meetings as they go. Most but not all meet at night. Some are permanent committees while others are ad hoc, created to tackle a specific issue. Besides full member positions, there are alternate and advisory positions available. Depending on the position, terms can be one, two or three years in length.


Mayor Ed Trzaska stated, "Our volunteer boards are invaluable to the Township. Explore the options before taking the plunge by viewing our new web video series."


To learn more about the work of specific municipal boards and com

mittees, view the short video interviews with chairpersons on the VOLUNTEER! page of our web site.
To apply, fill out a Municipal Volunteer Form. The form can be filled out several ways. This is a fillable form which can be emailed. A paper version of form is also available through the Twp. Clerk's Office. The form may be mailed or brought to the Township Clerk's Office, 2261 Van Horne Road, Belle Mead, NJ 08502 or emailed to clerk@montgomery.nj.us. Although it is impossible to appoint every interested resident to a committee, submitted forms are kept on file for when seats open up during the course of the year. For further info, call the Township Clerk's Office at 908-359-8211.
 

Pet Waste Pick-up is the Law

According to Montgomery’s Animal Control Ordinance (Chapter 5-1), the owner or keeper of any pet that defecates on any public or private property must immediately pick up the waste. Proper disposal of pet waste means containment and discard into a regularly emptied trash receptacle, or disposal into a sewage system (ie. toilet) for proper treatment and disposal. It is an unlawful violation of stormwater regulations to drop waste into or allow waste to enter a storm sewer. Roadside storm sewers are NOT the same as sanitary sewers, which flow from toilets to treatment plants. Storm sewers flow rainwater directly to streams without treatment. Leaving waste behind anywhere on public or private lands is polluting, and never allowable. Thank you for your consideration.


Below are the applicable regulations:


5-7 PET WASTE REGULATIONS
a. No owner or keeper of any pet shall cause, suffer, permit, allow such pet to soil, defile, defecate on or create any nuisance upon any common thoroughfare, street, sidewalk, passageway, road bypass, play area, park or any other place where people congregate or walk upon any public property whatsoever, or upon any private property without the permission of the owner of the private property. If any owner or keeper of a pet shall permit the pet to soil, defile, defecate on or commit any such nuisance as aforesaid, he or she shall immediately remove the pet's feces and droppings, which removal shall thereafter be subject to proper disposal as defined hereinabove in Section 5-1.


(Section 5-1 Definition reads: Proper disposal shall mean placement of pet feces or droppings in a designated waste receptacle, or other suitable container, and discarded in a refuse container which is regularly emptied by the Township or some other refuse collector, or disposal into a system designed to convey domestic sewage for proper treatment and disposal.)
5-4 PENALTIES.

Any person who shall violate the provisions of subsection 5-1.2 shall be liable to a penalty of not less than twenty-five ($25.00) dollars nor more than one hundred ($100.00) dollars for the first offense, and not less than fifty ($50.00) dollars nor more than two hundred ($200.00) dollars for each subsequent offense, to be recovered in the manner provided by revised statutes, Section 4:19-15.19, et seq. Any person who shall violate any other provision of this chapter shall be liable to a fine of not more than two hundred ($200.00) dollars for the first offense, and not more than five hundred ($500.00) dollars for each subsequent offense, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty (30) days, or both. Each day in which such violation continues shall be deemed to constitute a separate offense. (Ord. #78-349, S 14; Ord. #99-965, S 1; Ord. No. 08-1272, S 1)
 

COMMUNITY FOREST GRANT

The Shade Tree Committee received a $30,000 Community Stewardship Incentive Program grant from the NJ Forest Service to plant trees on six Montgomery streets as part of the Township's street tree planting plan. Per the grant's requirement, the Township will match the grant with cash and in-kind services of employee and volunteer time. The trees will be planted over the next three years, starting in spring 2018.
 

Montgomery Reminder on Leaf & Yard Clean-up

Stormwater regulations do not permit leaves/branches/brush to be placed in the road or in storm drains. We must ensure the safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians who travel Township roadways and sidewalks.

Montgomery residents are responsible for proper disposal of their leaves/branches. Montgomery Township does not provide a leaf disposal program. Here are some guidelines:
• Please remember to keep leaves out of storm drains and out of the street.

• Follow Montgomery’s yard waste disposal rules for tree branch drop-off. Check the Container Facility and Bulletins pages of the twp. website at www.montgomery.nj.us or contact Public Works at 908-874-3144.

• Use a mulching mower that recycles grass clippings & leaves into the lawn.

• Use leaves as a resource for compost. For tips on how to compost, go to the Public Works section of Montgomery’s website. Somerset County also has large compost bins available for $50 each, a considerable discount to retail price. They also provide seminars twice/year on how to compost. Contact the County Office of Recycling at 908-231-7109.
If you see a violation of State stormwater regulations such as materials being dumped into stormwater drains, call the Montgomery Township Stormwater Hotline at (908) 281-6525. Much more information is available at http://www.twp.montgomery.nj.us/departments/engineering/stormwater-management/
 

Library Fundraiser Took Patrons "Down Under"

Attendees of the twelfth annual Mary Jacobs Library (MJL) fundraiser were treated to the food and wine of Australia and New Zealand. Once again, the November 4 event was sold out, with over 200 people at the library in Rocky Hill. The evening, hosted by the MJL Foundation, included a silent auction and wine pull and, new this year, a photo booth. The event surpassed last years' record in raising $59K, which will help the Foundation fund future improvements to the library building.


Allison Smith provided floral arrangements for each of the serving stations and lights and sprays of eucalyptus for the circulation desk. Smith also provided vintage travel posters which were hung as a backdrop to the wine pull. The flags of Australia and New Zealand, provided by Connie Hallman and Ingrid Yurchenco, were hung behind the circulation desk.


The Blawenburg Café, operated by Rodney and Alicia Mitchell of Rocky Hill, provided the bountiful food for the event. The menu included Desert Oak dusted salmon, crispy pork belly with shrimp and lemon myrtle, meat pie, yam gnocchi with Syrah-braised lamb ragu, and roasted chickpea and vegetable quinoa bowls. Fresh fruit and Bowen mango mousse parfait with pomegranate seeds was served for dessert.
Steele's Wine Cellar at Montgomery Shopping Center, owned by Alana and Justin Steele, provided the wines that accompanied each dish. The food and wine were served by employees and friends of MJL. Matt Robinson, a local guitar teacher, played acoustic guitar and sang throughout the evening. Drea Potocny and Anne Klein of Princeton Photo Booth generously provided additional fun for the attendees.


Jo Szabaga, who chaired the silent auction, noted, "We had the most ever offerings this year - more than 115 items." These included a Baccarat crystal butterfly, Japanese prints, Sourland Spirits gin and a tour of the distillery for ten people, and a share in Orchard Farm Organics. Gift baskets, tickets to local concerts or events, and gift certificates for local restaurants, stores, or services were also available. The auction netted $17K for the Foundation. Szabaga acknowledges the "invaluable support" she received from Nancy Geiger and Holly Kotler.


This year's wine pull offered 120 different wines valued from $25 to $100 for a donation of $25. All bottles were purchased within the first hour, raising over $3K for the library. While two-thirds of the wines were donated by patrons, the remainder was donated by Liquor Locker of Flushing, New York. Denyce Mylson and Joe Olenick organized the wine pull.


The close-knit community of the library was illustrated by three former MJL employees - Jessica Bauer, Brian Holovach, and Cynthia Lambert - who came for the event, although they now work for other libraries. Brenda Fallon, President of the Board of Trustees, explained, "This is a gathering of the community around the library."


Grant Moser and MJL Trustee Cary Dawson were Co-Chairs for the library fundraiser. Regarding the event, Dawson noted, "This might have been the best fundraiser ever. Response to the food and the ambience and vibe were terrific."


Crissy Blanos, President of the Friends of MJL, and Bhawani Shenoy, Administrative Assistant for the Foundation, provided assistance with the evening. Thirty sponsors donated over $29K for the event.
Regarding future enhancements the Foundation could make to the library building, Fallon said, "We're working with the Somerset County Library System to see what their space needs are, and how to best use our floor space."


One of those attending summed up the event by saying, "This is a tremendous showing by the community for a singular event. I'm thrilled to be a part of it."


To make an online donation to the Mary Jacobs Library, go to www.maryjacobslibraryfoundation.org. Donations can be made using PayPal. Donations can also be made by calling the library at 609.924.7073. The Foundation is also on Facebook. The Friends welcome new volunteers to help promote and raise funds for the library and its programs.

 

Smashing Pumpkin Success: Trunk or Treat at MHS Here to Stay

On October 28, Montgomery High School's parking lot was transformed into a much more fun-filled scene than it usually is at the end of a school day.


The second annual Trunk or Treat event drew hundreds of community members into the lot, with a vivid array of Halloween lights on many cars, trucks, SUV's and decorations set up at MHS. This year the time was moved to a 5 to 7 p.m for a better spooky, nightfall feel.


One of the newest town theme activities for families, such as the outdoor summer movie night and FunFest, the Trunk-or-Treat at MHS is sponsored by the Board of Education and Montgomery Recreation. High School students gathered and set up tables for a number of charities they have created projects for, and donations were accepted from participating families.


Among the most popular trunks was the Montgomery Wrestling setup, the EMT and MTPD setups, and others that carried cartoon themes. The MHS Robotics team impressed the youngest ones by bringing back their 2015 robot, and children were able to watch the machinery work to pick up their candy.
Kids also got to enjoy time for arts and crafts, and try their hand tossing a ball into some trunks for a prize. Several MHS students also set up a popular s'mores table and the kids got to pretend to be fish, catching marshmallows on a string with their mouth.


The two candidates for Township Committee, Sadaf Jaffer and David Cheskis, each had individual trunks set up as they met many members of the community. Also Board of Education candidates and current school board members attended.


Not to be outdone was the DJ, as popular hip hop tunes for the MHS students created a dance floor scene playing Halloween classics such as including Michael Jackson's "Thriller," the Addams Family theme song, and "This is Halloween."


Helene Daniels of Montgomery Rec. collaborated with MHS Vice Principal Scott Pachuta to organize Trunk or Treat. She worked to get community organizations involved, and Pachuta coordinated school groups. After the event, Daniels counted the total crowd as the largest turnout Montgomery has ever had for a fall festival.


"We used to have a fall festival where all the nonprofit organizations would set up tables or sell something, the Rec. Department had crafts and we held costume parades, but there really wasn't viability to it. We brought it back and developed the Trunk of Treat. It was an amazing turnout, we are so happy so many residents came out to participate this year and we are focused on making the event bigger and better in 2018," Daniels said.
 

Lend a Help Hand: Donations Sought for the Homeless

Donations can be made through Jan. 19

SOMERVILLE – The holiday season is upon us. For many it is a time to lend a helping hand to people who are less fortunate.

With that in mind, Freeholder Brian D. Levine invites residents to donate personal and clothing items to be included in packages that will be distributed Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, when the county conducts its annual Point-in-Time survey of homeless individuals and families in Somerset County.

Point-in-Time volunteers will interview the homeless as part of Project Homeless Connect. Social service organizations will be on hand to screen clients for relevant services and distribute donated items.

Requested personal items include shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, deodorant, body lotion and feminine hygiene products, as well as new blankets and towels. Clothing items include new hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, socks, underwear, T-shirts, sweatshirts and pants. Other items include bottled water, juice boxes and individually wrapped snacks such as granola bars, crackers, nuts or trail mix.

“Given the difficult economy, individuals and families who already are vulnerable are finding it even more difficult to make ends meet,” said Freeholder Brian D. Levine, human services liaison. “I want to thank the public for their generosity in the past in providing items to be distributed during the survey process; all donations are greatly appreciated.”

Donations can be dropped off weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Jan. 19 at the Somerset County Community Development Office, located on the fourth floor of the Human Services Building at 27 Warren St. in Somerville, NJ 08876. County offices will be closed Nov. 23 and 24 for Thanksgiving, Dec. 25 and 26 for Christmas, Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day and Jan. 15 for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Free parking is available in the visitor’s parking lot on the corner of Warren Street and Veterans Memorial Parkway. Additional parking is available in the parking deck adjacent to 27 Warren St., on the third and fourth floors only. Metered parking is available on Main Street.

The survey is part of a statewide effort to obtain an accurate snapshot of New Jersey’s homeless population in response to a directive from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The data is also used by the county and local non-profit agencies when applying for grants to assist the homeless population.

Collecting baseline data is essential to understanding the causes of homelessness and designing effective responses. Somerset County is required to report the number of people who are homeless at particular intervals in order to apply for HUD Continuum-of-Care funding, which is a competitive grant that provides housing and supportive services to people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Data collection at regular intervals also helps track progress toward reducing homelessness.

For more information, contact the Somerset County Community Development Office at (908) 541-5756 or cdev@co.somerset.nj.us.  

Report From Rocky Hill - December 2017

Halloween went well in Rocky Hill, thanks again to the volunteers on the First Aid Squad and the Rocky Hill Hook and Ladder, who kept the intersections well lit and guarded during as Trick-or-Treaters wandered the streets. Once again the Fire House was a well lit and inviting place for folks to gather and recharge, with, seemingly, record crowds attending.


Possibly in response to the story last month of illegal clammers in the Millstone, a representative from the NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection attended the Nov. 6 Borough Council meeting to find what if anything they could do for the Borough, such as provide grants for special projects.


Former mayor Toby Whitlock suggested that one use for such grant money would be to restore the former Robotti tract, now parkland between the John Shedd building and the Millstone. It could be, "Something other than the eyesore it is if we just had the money to clean it up," he said.


As of early November, no one has been charged with running what is evidently a wholesale clamming operation. On the other hand, a year ago, several people had been caught and charged, so this is evidently a recurring event. More than one person has suggested that the actual market for the freshwater clams is a local restaurant, not some New York marketplace. Stay tuned.


Someone with a very large (60LB+) dog has not been cleaning up after walking through the Greenacres pathways. That's not very nice. Also, valet parkers from a local restaurant have been parking cars in the Greenacres long after sunset, just past the sign which clearly says "No parking sunset to sunrise."
Resident Ken Rizzi returned to Borough Council on Nov. 6 for an update of the Boy Scout Eagle proposal. It was suggested that he walk the proposed pathway with Borough Engineer Bill Tanner and Councilman Mark Sibley to get a better idea of what is actually needed. Evidently, they may need to build a bridge, which, as Mr. Rizzi noted, "May be really expensive."


The NJ State Police report in October a patron dispute at Bank of America, a disorderly persons investigation, and a burglary on Grove Street. There were no car accident reports.


Franklin Township PD were out in force during October, resulting in 76 stops with 45 summonses issued, 11 for speeding. They report that an unusual number of the tickets were for Rocky Hill residents.
CFormer Mayor Whitlock said, "The sme thing happened when South Bound Brook began patrolling years ago. But residents learn pretty quickly."


During October there were 53 moving violations; Municipal Court disposed of 39 cases, including one indictable offense, with a total of $3,759 in results, of which Rocky Hill kept every last penny. Almost enough, noted Councilman Sibley, to cover costs.

 


Councilman Billy dawson, acting as mayor in the absence of Mayor Kartsonis, noted that the average of the unlawfully speeding car violations as noted by the radar signs, was 39 MPH at Montgomery Avenue, and 40 MPH on Crescent Ave.


The Nov. 6 Council meeting ended in Executive Session to discuss the never ending affordable housing case before the courts, which is beginning to look like Jardine vs. Jardine.


Amy Kirtland was sworn in as the newest member of Borough Committee at the Nov. 20 Council meeting.
The Borough drew 2.511M gallons of water from the Municipal Well during October, which is a little less than usual. That's a good thing, as the water main broke at the corner of Crescent and Princeton Avenues during the weekend of Nov. 19. The crew was at work repairing it on Nov 21. Several homes were without water while the repairs were underway. It is an awkward fix, former mayor Toby Whitlock noted, as the water was flowing out of a service box for the gas line.


CFO Joe Monzo noted the 2% raise to Borough employees, retroactive to January 2017. This will result in a whopping $2K paycheck, split 14 ways. This has been the procedure for years in the past, just in case , at the end of the year, there isn't enough for any sort of raise consistent with State law.


And, as is always the case at the end of the year, there was a reshuffling of Borough accounts, as unspent budgetary items were moved around. The State fiduciary law requires a sort of use it or lose it rule, and penalizes municipalities which are too frugal. Consequently, some $37.7K, previously earmarked for South Bound Brook PD, LOSAP, and the Public defender, where cancelled from the 2017 budget, and shifted to be available during 2018. An additional $4K was found in an item for "Public Assistance Trust Funds," a function now taken over at the County level, and which had been carried on the books for years. That was cancelled as well. Which leaves the Borough in pretty good shape financially, and plenty of funds for the employee 2% pay raises.


Borough Engineer Bill Tanner requested $$13,576 fora new gas line to feed the new emergency generator for the Municipal Well. The generator has been delivered but not connected to the slab as yet. The current gas line at the site is too small for the new generator and needs to be upgraded.


There was some discussion of a new to replace and repair municipal fire hydrants. Six at least, are inoperable and will need to be replaced at a cost of $7K - $10K each. Others will need work, but parts are an issue for the 1937-era fireplugs. That will very much be an item for the 2018 budget.


The Rocky Hill Community Group will be holding the annual Tree Lighting Party on Sunday, Dec. 6, from 4 to 6 pm, at the Amy Garrett House.


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.


 

Walking tour of D&R Canal set for Dec. 9

The Delaware & Raritan Canal Watch will hold a free walking tour of the D&R Canal on Saturday, Dec. 9.

The walk will explore the part of the canal park between Alexander Street in Princeton and Carnegie Road in Lawrence Township, a distance of 5.5 miles. A shorter walk of 2.9 miles may also be chosen.

Noted features along this section include Princeton Basin Park, the Port Mercer bridge tender’s house, a side trail to the historic Brearley House, the truss footbridge over Route 1, a canal spillway and the Carnegie Road bridge tender’s house. Canal Watch board member Pamela V’Combe will explain how these sites and others relate to the canal.

Meet 10 a.m. at Princeton Turning Basin Park parking lot off Alexander Street, located between the bridges over Stony Brook and the canal. Carpools will be arranged to allow a one-way walk.

For further information and weather-related updates, contact 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.


Calendar item:
Saturday, Dec. 9: Free guided walk along the D&R Canal between Carnegie Road and Alexander Road, 5.5 miles, with an option for 2.9 miles. Meet 10 a.m. at Princeton Turning Basin Park off Alexander Street, Princeton. Further information: Pamela V’Combe, 609-635-2783 or pjvcombe@gmail.com.


 

Rotary Club of Hillsborough Brings Together Community Volunteers For Troops Abroad

 

 

Hillsborough, N.J. November 27, 2017… This year’s holiday season has officially begun, and there is no more powerful example than the plans underway to send gift packages to American troops serving abroad. Organized by the Rotary Cub of Hillsborough on behalf of Operation Shoebox, the annual event, which will be held Saturday, December 2, from 10:30 AM to 2 PM, at the Hillsborough YMCA (19 East Mountain Road, Hillsborough, NJ), brings together hundreds of community volunteers -young and old- to help assemble the bags and boxes filled with the favorite toiletries and snacks that our service men and women appreciate receiving.

 

“Volunteers not only feel good about joining their neighbors in supporting our troops, but tell us how much they enjoy the event’s lively atmosphere, which includes a DJ, cookie sale, and free hot dogs and refreshments,” commented Anthony Franchini, president of the Rotary Club of Hillsborough.

 

Once again, the event goal is to assemble1500 packages for shipment to our troops in foreign lands. The individual bags are grouped together into small boxes and then into larger containers for shipment. The cost of shipping these boxes to the troops is funded by donations from the Rotary Club of Hillsborough and caring members of the community. Cash donations to off-set shipping costs can be made at the event or sent in advance by check to Operation Shoebox, 152 Route 206, Hillsborough 08844. Donations of appropriate, non-perishable food items, snacks, and toiletries, etc. can be dropped of at the same location.

 

To participate in the packing event, volunteers need only arrive at the Hillsborough YMCA between the hours of 10:30 AM and 2 PM on Saturday, December 2, and Rotary volunteers will provide packing instructions.

 

Operation Shoebox New Jersey, based in Hillsborough, was founded in February 2005. It is an all-volunteer grass roots organization dedicated to collecting donated supplies and shipping care packages to U.S. troops based in Iraq, Afghanistan and other Middle East countries. Operation Shoebox seeks donations of food and personal care items that are placed in personal care packages shipped to members of the US military deployed overseas. Requested items include canned tuna, canned fruit, 1 oz. boxes of cereal, dried fruit, trail mix, granola bars, beef jerky, small bags of pretzels and chips, small tubes of toothpaste, toothbrushes, small packets of moist wipes, soap, deodorant, small canisters of powder and small bottles of shampoo.

 

 

MBA Annual Holiday Social Dec 19

The Montgomery Business Association Annual Holiday Social will be held at the Rocky Hill Inn, a MBA member, on December 19, 2017 at 7PM.

Join us for a night of good food and conversation as we celebrate the past year.

Feast on a variety of delicious appetizers and enjoy your first glass of wine, beer, or mixed drink (excluding martinis) on us! Cash bar is available as well.

Tickets are $35 in advance, and $45 after December 15th, so make sure to get your tickets early! 

GPYO Concert Dec 10

Founded in 1960, the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra is one of the oldest regional youth ensembles in the nation. The Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra mission is to provide high level music performance and education opportunities for talented student musicians and to promote music appreciation within the community. Each year dozens of student musicians from across New Jersey and Pennsylvania take part in the GPYO experience which includes rehearsals, performances, master classes, sectional rehearsals and the annual Concerto Competition.


The Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra will host Senior division winter concert at 3 pm on December 10, at the Performing Arts Center in Montgomery High School. This concert will be a charity event in support of the rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria which devastated the island. Concert is Free. Donations will be accepted by cash or check made to "Hispanic Federation". The concert will feature the Concert Orchestra and Symphonic Orchestra performing pieces by Beethoven, Brahms, Dvorak, Mendelssohn, and Newbold under the baton of Mr. Kawika Kahalehoe and Mr. Christopher Beckett.
GPYO Orchestra rehearsal, on Sunday January 28, 2018, at 3pm will feature all four ensembles and Guest soloist, Mr. Roger Nye, Bassoonist, New York Philharmonic.


GPYO preparatory division ensembles will have their winter and spring concerts, on Jan 20th and May 19th, 2018. The season will conclude with the Senior division spring concert on Friday, June 8, 8pm at Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University. This concert will feature winner of concert competition being held on January 15, and a newly composed piece by Dana Wilson.


GPYO has rolling admissions and have auditions several times a year, in May, June, August and December. For more information, visit www.gpyo.org.