Community Bulletin Board: Criterion Sentinel (for March 30)

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“Attracting and Raising Monarch Butterflies” is the topic of the April 4 meeting of the Garden Club of Metuchen.

The Garden Club welcomes back Paula Bal who, along with her extensive work and accomplishments with African violets, also raises Monarch butterflies. She expresses her passion for the health of our environment with outdoor flower gardening, keeping chickens, beekeeping, and maintaining pollinator gardens. Her property is registered with the National Wildlife Federation as a Monarch butterfly waystation. 

The meeting will take place at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Fryer Hall, 17 Oak Ave., Metuchen. It begins at 6:45 p.m. with socialization, followed by the program at 7.

All are invited. 

Attendees are requested to bring a first spring bloom from their gardens in a small vase. These will be arranged in a “Welcome Spring” Bouquet to be raffled off at the end of the meeting. 

In addition, small African violet plants will be available for sale.

 

 

 

Woodbridge Public Library has enabled online library card registration to improve resident access to library services.

Residents fill out a form on the WPL website or from the app, “WPL on the Go,” and receive a temporary digital library card in their email. The digital card can be used to access a wide range of digital content from books, audiobooks, magazines, online classes, video based tutors and more.

The temporary card will be valid for 90 days so any digital items that were checked out will continue to be available. Once library staff process the online application a permanent card will be mailed to the resident’s address with a welcome packet.

Residents can use their permanent card at three Woodbridge Township locations: the Main Library, 1 George Frederick Plaza, Woodbridge; the Iselin Branch, 1081 Green St., Iselin; and the Fords Branch, 211 Ford Ave., Fords; and 50 area libraries in the MURAL system in Middlesex and Union Counties.

Contact the Main Library at 732-634-4450, ext. 5, for more information; or visit the Woodbridge Public Library website, woodbridgelibrary.org, to “Ask-A-Librarian” by email or chat.

 

 

 

 

The Terra Nova Garden Club of Edison is offering a scholarship to an Edison resident who is graduating from an either Edison or J. P. Stevens high schools, and is about to attend college with a major in landscaping design, horticulture, ecology or environmental studies.

Criteria:

  • Must be an Edison resident and a senior in one of two schools.
  • Must have completed community service hours.
  • Must have demonstrated a significant interest in agriculture, horticulture,
    ecology etc.
  • Must have at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Students must submit in their own handwriting 100 words or more why they should be the recipient of this scholarship.
  • Letters of recommendation from two teachers must accompany the application.
  • Do not submit resumes or extra pages with this application.

Any questions or concerns, contact Gloria S. Dittman at 732-548-9134.

 

 

 

 

 

The schedule for the Spring 2022 Eco-Tours of Edison are as follows:

 

  • Clean up Talmadge Road and Park Avenue from 9:30-11:30 a.m. April 2. Meet at Talmadge Road and Schanck Drive. Help clean up a 3-acre wetland parcel.

 

  • Piscatawaytown Burial Ground cleanup, 9 a.m. to noon April 9. Meet behind St. James Church, Woodbridge Avenue and Park Way. Help clean up a 347-year-old cemetery, and tour this interesting spot.

 

  • Edison Earth Day 2022, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 24 at Papaianni Park, Municipal Boulevard. Environmental events, hiking, water testing, cleanup activities, history. Dogs are allowed. Organized by the Edison Environmental Commission. A hike of the park will begin at 11 a.m. Rain date is May 1.
  • Bicycle Tour of Edison and Metuchen, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 15. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Cost is $10 per rider. Meet at the Edison municipal building, 100 Municipal Blvd. There will be rest stops and snacks along the 25-mile route. This is the 26th year.

 

 

  • Walk along the waterfront of the Raritan River from 9:30-11:30 a.m. May 22. Meet at the Edison Boat Basin at the end of Meadow Road. After walking along the river, head to Glendale Avenue to the site of a new park, and hike to White Rock.

 

  • Celebrate National Trails Day along the Middlesex Greenway Extension from 9:30 a.m. to noon June 4, beginning at Memorial Park on Memorial Parkway, Metuchen. Hike the proposed Middlesex Greenway Extension.
  • Experience the Battle of the Short Hills from 9:30-11:30 a.m. June 26. Meet at the end of Hayduk Drive. Hike 100 acres of forest that was the site of the 1777 Battle of the Short Hills. Dogs are allowed.

 

 

 

 

 

The Edison Snow Sculpting Contest is open to Edison residents who make sculptures in their own yard.

All sculptures must be made from real snow that has fallen in the Edison area from Jan. 1 to March 30.

Only one snow sculpture per participant may be submitted, however group entries are allowed.

To submit a creation, contestants must email a photo of their sculpture to [email protected]. Include the name of the builder(s), their address, phone number and email address. The creator’s first name(s) and photo will be publicized for voting but all other information will be kept confidential. 

All entries must be received by 4:40 p.m. March 30 in order to be considered.

A link on the Edison Recreation Department’s Facebook page will be posted on March 31 for people to view the entries and vote.

Voting will close on April 8 at which point the votes will be tallied and a winner announced. 

For more information, call the Edison Recreation Department at 732-248-7310 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

 

 

The Easter Bunny will visit the Woodbridge American Legion, 314 Berry St., on April 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Call 908-380-1095 to reserve a spot.

 

 

 

The Gallery at the Metuchen Public Library has a new exhibit “The Many Facets of . . .” by Edison-based artist and retired teacher Shelley Phillips, a collection of figurative scenes, intimate portraits, abstracts and florals in rich, saturated hues.

The exhibit will remain on display through March 31.

Located at 480 Middlesex Ave., the Metuchen Public Library is open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The gallery is located in the upstairs community room. The public can view the exhibit during the library’s open hours unless an activity is taking place in the room.

Currently, wearing a mask to cover the nose and mouth is required when entering the library building.

A meet-the-artist reception will be scheduled as the library’s COVID policies allow.

For more information on library programs and resources, visit www.metuchenlibrary.org.

 

 

Meet the mayors of Cranbury, Metuchen, Monroe, Jamesburg, Helmetta, South Brunswick and Plainsboro from 8-10 a.m. March 31 at the Crowne Plaza Princeton, 900 Scudders Mill Road, Plainsboro.

Learn about economic development opportunities, arts and culture, travel and tourism, and sustainability.

To register, visit www.mcrcc.org/event/meet-the-mayors-2021-part-1/

Sponsored by the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

 

The Woodbridge Public Library has installed two Hublets, six-tablet vend stations to offer quick, in-house access to traditional and new library services.

Hublets are portable tablet stations that dispense tablets preloaded with a wide range of digital content from newspapers and magazines to ebooks, games and apps, language learning software and online tutoring and courses. 

Library visitors scan their library card and the docking station releases a tablet for use anywhere within the wi-fi area. 

Hublets are portable and will be hosted in the Main and Iselin locations of the library when they are not traveling to other township locations for community engagement events.

More information is available by calling the Main Library at 732-634-4450, ext. 5, or by visiting woodbridgelibrary.org.

 

The New Jersey Jazz Society has launched its new Juried Scholarship Competition 2022.

This competition will award a $1,000 prize in each of two categories: Classic Jazz and Original Composition.

The competition is open to all college students currently enrolled in a New Jersey college undergraduate music program.

Along with the cash award, winners will receive guidance, mentorship, and the opportunity to perform with an industry professional. The winners will also receive coverage in Jersey Jazz Magazine.

Submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. March 31. 

For details, visit https://njjs.org/scholarshipprogram/.

 

 

T-Mobile, the T-Mobile Foundation and Ashoka are kicking off the fourth Changemaker Challenge in search of the next generation of young disruptors, trailblazers and entrepreneurs with bold ideas for driving digital empowerment, putting equity into action and mobilizing for a thriving planet.

Through March 31, teens ages 13-18 located in the U.S. and Puerto Rico can submit their game-changing projects for the chance to win grants and mentorship to help grow their ventures.

Fifteen winners will be selected for the chance to win up to $15,000 in seed funding and an all-expenses paid trip to T-Mobile headquarters to participate in the three-day Changemaker Lab later this year.

To learn more, visit www.t-mobile.com/news/community/changemaker-challenge-2022

 

Girls on the Run of Central New Jersey is seeking coaches for its spring season.

Girls on the Run is a physical, activity-based, positive youth development program for girls in grades 3-8. The eight-week program incorporates running to teach critical life skills, encourage personal development and foster team building and community service.

Volunteer coaches use a curriculum to engage teams of girls in fun, interactive lessons.

Coaches do not need to be runners but are required to be at least 18 years old to serve as an assistant or 21 years old to serve as a head coach.

All volunteer coaches must complete a background check and attend a training session.

Teams meet twice a week for 75 minutes and the program culminates with all teams participating in a 5K event in June.

Girls on the Run of Central NJ currently serves girls at 117 sites in Camden, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Somerset counties.

For more information, visit www.gotrcnj.org/Coach or contact Executive Director Donna York at [email protected].

 

Recognizing the bravery and commitment of volunteer firefighters and first responders, New Jersey American Water announces its 2022 grant program for volunteer fire departments and emergency responders (ambulance and first aid squads) located within the company’s service areas.

Grants may be used to cover the costs of personal protective equipment, communications gear, first aid equipment, firefighting tools, vehicle maintenance and other materials that will be used to support volunteer firefighter and emergency responder operations.

Reimbursement for specific training courses, including the cost of training manuals, student workbooks, and instructors is also eligible.

To apply, organizations must complete the online application, located at www.newjerseyamwater.com, under News & Community, Community Involvement.

The maximum grant amount awarded to any organization is $2,000 and the deadline to apply is March 31. 

Interested applicants can find more information and apply online at www.newjerseyamwater.com/community.

Grant recipients will be notified by the end of April.

 

 

 

AmeriCorps Projects in Parks is seeking volunteers during March.

For more than 20 years, the AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program has played an important role in raising awareness of how human activities can affect water quality, especially in the most densely populated state in the nation.

For AmeriCorps Week this year, ambassadors will partner with the New Jersey State Park Service to complete stewardship projects in various parks, forests and historic sites throughout New Jersey.

Projects include litter cleanups, trail maintenance, invasive species removal, native plantings and more.

For a list of opportunities, visit www.njparksandforests.org/americorpsweek/

 

 

 

To help keep shelves stocked, Replenish, in partnership with the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners and the Middlesex County Superintendent of Schools, is hosting the 2022 Middlesex County Spring School Food Drive.

Individuals can drop off donations at public schools throughout the county through April 1.

Monetary donations are accepted in the form of a check payable to “Feeding Middlesex County.” Checks may be mailed to P.O. Box 781, Edison 08818.

Or, donations can be made online at www.feedingmiddlesexcounty.org.

 

 

Campbell Elementary School in Metuchen will hold a Bike Rack Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 3:10 p.m. April 1 on the Durham Avenue side of the building.

Members of the school and local community, as well as Sustainable Jersey Schools and the NJEA, will be present and welcome to speak. 

Campbell Elementary School received a $10,000 grant from Sustainable Jersey Schools and the NJEA earlier this year for the purchase of materials to make the school and community “greener.” 

 

 

 

 

 

Musician, song leader and composer Josh Warshawsky will perform original and traditional melodies at 7 p.m. April 3 during the 32nd annual Susy Schwartz Memorial Concert at Congregation Neve Shalom, 250 Grove Ave., Metuchen, and via Zoom, with all proceeds supporting the “Passport to Israel” program, which subsidizes educational travel to Israel for the congregation’s high school and college students.

Reserved seating is limited: Benefactor for $200 or Patron for $100 include two tickets in reserved seating. General admission is $30 per adult and $12 for children ages 12-17.

For more information, contact Rita Devlin at 732-548-2238, ext 12; or visit www.neveshalom.net/event/susy-schwartz-memorial-concert2022.html.

 

 

 

The Township of Woodbridge will hold a summer job fair on April 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Woodbridge Community Center, 600 Main St., for positions at the Community Center, The Club at Woodbridge, Merrill Park and playground camps, and Public Works jobs in the roads and parks divisions.

 

 

Residents of Edison are invited to the following events:

The week of April 18, Beautiful Edison will be doing cleanups around town.

Clara Barton’s annual yard sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 23 throughout the Clara Barton section of Edison. Be mindful of COVID safety guidelines. To sign up, email [email protected] All residents are welcome to participate. No permits are needed.

April 24 is Earth Day at Lake Papaianni from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free and open to the public.

Clara Barton Cleanup Day will start at 8 a.m. April 30. Volunteers are needed to collect trash in the neighborhood. Wear comfortable clothing that can get dirty. Supplies will be provided.

 

 

On the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day, Edison residents are invited to celebrate at Lake Papaianni for a day of environmental awareness.

The day kicks off at 9 a.m. with a park cleanup and then transitions into a celebration of Earth Day with activities, music and fun.

Rain date is May 1.

Any community groups interested in participating in the cleanup or to be a presenter should contact the Edison Health Department via email at [email protected]. For additional information or any other concerns/questions about this event, contact the Edison Recreation Department at 732-248-7310.

 

 

The Metuchen Arts Council, in collaboration with the Metuchen Public Library, will hold a free jazz concert at the Metuchen Library, 480 Middlesex Ave., on International Jazz Day, April 30.

The Mike Lee Band will perform beginning at 2 p.m.

Advance registration is required, as there will be only 50 people allowed in the Community Room of the library due to continued COVID restrictions.

Masks required.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month.

 

 

 

 

The third annual D.A.R.E. Jr. Academy will be held this summer by the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office.

The program is for children entering fifth and sixth grade in Middlesex County for the 2022-23 school year.

This program will include the D.A.R.E. program, as well as a junior police academy.  

The program will run for two weeks, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Aug. 15-26, at the Middlesex County Fire Academy, 1001 Fire Academy Way, Sayreville.

The $150 fee per child will include a T-shirt, ball cap, water bottle, supplies and a graduation party at commencement. 

Junior Recruits will be responsible for their own lunches and snacks, as well as their own gym-style shorts (fingertip length at least), sneakers and mask.

The daily routine will include roll call, platoon formation, D.A.R.E. lessons, lunch, drill, demonstrations, police lessons, and daily physical training. 

The class is limited to 45 seats.

Registration will only be confirmed once the completed forms with payment are received.

Contact Sgt. Frank Sautner at 732-745-5909 or [email protected] from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays to schedule a pickup time for the full packet.

 

 

 

Middlesex County’s Plays-in-the-Park is returning to the stage this summer with performances of “Something Rotten!,” “The SpongeBob Musical” and “A Chorus Line” as part of Plays-in-the-Park’s 60th season.

Plays-in-the-Park will hold auditions for its three shows on April 1-3. Those auditioning should be prepared to sing approximately 16 bars of music. An accompanist will be provided. Actors should also bring their own sheet music in the proper key, marked with any cuts.

Auditions will be held at Plays-in-the-Park Theater in Roosevelt Park at 1 Pine Dr., Edison.

Audition dates are 7-10 p.m. April 1, noon to 3 p.m. April 2 and noon to 3 p.m. April 3.

Video submissions are welcome and are due by March 15. A vocal and dance clip should be sent to [email protected].

Plays-in-the-Park encourages actors of all ethnicities, gender identities, ages, as well as those with disabilities, to audition.

For more information, call 732-548-2884, ext. 221 or 222, or email [email protected].

Plays-In-The-Park will be held at 8 p.m. performance nights at the Stephen J. Capestro Theater at Roosevelt Park, 1 Pine Dr., Edison.

“Something Rotten!” is set for June 22 to July 2. Welcome to the 1590s, where brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a show that will rival William Shakespeare. This show tells the story of the Bottom brothers as they attempt to write the world’s very first musical.

“The SpongeBob Musical” will be performed July 13-23. Since its launch on July 17, 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has reigned as the No. 1 kids’ animated series on TV’s Nickelodeon.

“A Chorus Line” is scheduled for Aug. 3-13. Exploring the inner lives and ambitions of professional Broadway gypsies, the show captures the spirit and tension of a Broadway chorus audition.

 For more information, visit www.middlesexcountynj.gov/find-programs-and-resources/parks-and-recreation/plays-in-the-park/box-office-policies

 

 

Middle-schoolers are invited to partake in academic competitions by Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies in Edison.

The third annual Edison Academy Middle School Math Competition will be held April 30. In addition to using critical thinking and logical reasoning skills, students will be required to collaborate with teammates and to show an ability to learn new ideas. More information is available at https://mcamc.tech/.

The Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District, the first full-time county vocational school district in the nation, has campuses in East Brunswick, Edison, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, and Woodbridge, offering 36 career majors. More information is available at www.mcvts.net.

 

 

 

 

 

The Edison Police Department will launch a new summer program, The Advanced Junior Police Academy.

The program is for high school sophomores and juniors who have an interest in pursuing a career in law enforcement.

The academy is a 5-day program where participants will get a firsthand take on what a regular police academy is like. Activities include basic patrol functions, motor vehicle stops, motor vehicle accidents, fatal motor vehicle accidents, crime scene investigation, suicide prevention, drug education, line search, and use of force.

The Advanced Junior Police Academy is scheduled for July 25-29 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Middle School, 50 Woodrow Wilson Dr., Edison.

Academy class sizes are limited, so students are selected by a way of an essay with a minimum of 100 words to a maximum of 200 words describing why they feel they should be selected for the program.

If selected, the program fee is $125. The check or money order should be made out to the Edison Municipal Alliance and can be mailed or dropped off to 100 Municipal Blvd., Edison 08817. The fee covers the cost for supplies, equipment, embroidered polo shirt, and a baseball cap.

To obtain an application, visit www.edisonpolice.org.

Direct all inquiries to Detective Keith Jackson of the Patrol Administration Bureau at 732-248-7440 or [email protected].

The last day to submit an application is May 27.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge & South Amboy (MEWSA) will open its summer day camp for the season beginning June 20. 

 

The Y offers a day camp experience with 10 locations to choose from, offering campers from five years old to pre-teens a range of age-appropriate activities, including recreational swimming, summer reading, enrichment and specialty camps, arts and crafts, themed activity weeks and more. 

 

Campers and parents can expect continued compliance with all safety guidelines provided by state and local health departments.

 

Registration is open. An Early Bird Special is available for those families who register before April 15. Financial assistance applications are also being accepted up until June 3 for qualified families. 

 

For more information, including registration and scholarship information, visit www.ymcaofmewsa.org/camp

 

Middlesex County’s Plays-in-the-Park is returning to the stage this summer with performances of “Something Rotten!,” “The SpongeBob Musical” and “A Chorus Line” as part of Plays-in-the-Park’s 60th season.

Plays-In-The-Park will be held at 8 p.m. performance nights at the Stephen J. Capestro Theater at Roosevelt Park, 1 Pine Dr., Edison.

“Something Rotten!” is set for June 22 to July 2. Welcome to the 1590s, where brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a show that will rival William Shakespeare. This show tells the story of the Bottom brothers as they attempt to write the world’s very first musical.

 

“The SpongeBob Musical” will be performed July 13-23. Since its launch on July 17, 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has reigned as the No. 1 kids’ animated series on TV’s Nickelodeon.

 

“A Chorus Line” is scheduled for Aug. 3-13. Exploring the inner lives and ambitions of professional Broadway gypsies, the show captures the spirit and tension of a Broadway chorus audition.

 

The Box Office opens at 5:30 p.m. each night and patrons are admitted to the seating area immediately after purchasing tickets. All shows start at 8 p.m. The box office closes at 8:30 p.m. each show night.

Bring a lawn chair.

 

Ticket price is $7 per adult, $5 per senior citizen 60 and over, and children 12 and younger enter for free.

In the case of inclement weather, save the ticket stub for use at another performance this season.

In partnership with Replenish, Middlesex County’s food distribution organization, Plays-in-the-Park will be collecting nutritious food for residents in need throughout the season. Bring a non-perishable food item when attending performances.

For more information, visit www.middlesexcountynj.gov/find-programs-and-resources/parks-and-recreation/plays-in-the-park/box-office-policies

 

 

 

 

Art meets environment in a juried outdoor show that will kick off the ArtCycle Greenway Gallery in Metuchen. The Metuchen Arts Council is putting out a call to artists to participate in creating art for this juried outdoor gallery show.

For this installment, the Arts Council will provide old, metal traffic signs to a select group of Middlesex County artists to be recycled into works of art, both 2D and 3D, that will raise awareness of the importance of local land preservation for recreation.

One artists can choose any number of signs required to create the final piece.

The artworks will be installed on poles in a garden setting at the main trailhead entrance of the Metuchen portion of the Middlesex Greenway. The Greenway cuts through the center of the borough on its way through Edison and Woodbridge.

The theme of the art work will be “Nature as a healer.”

Ten artists will be selected and commissioned based on their appreciation of the theme, uniqueness of concept, and suitability to be exhibited outdoors. Middlesex County artists are invited to register at www.metuchenartscouncil.com, with a description of their concept in text or as an illustration.

The registration deadline and concept submission deadline is April 25. Once selected, artwork will be due Aug. 1. A public celebration and unveiling is scheduled for Oct. 22.

For registration and more information about the ArtCycle Greenway Gallery project, visit  www.metuchenartscouncil.com

 

Jewish Community Center of Middlesex County will hold its annual Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Program at 7 p.m. April 27 at the JCC, 1775 Oak Tree Road, Edison. Or, livestream from the JCC Facebook page or the Metuchen Edison Area Interfaith Clery Association Facebook page.

The theme is “Whoever Saves a Single Life … Rescuers of Jews and Other Persecuted Persons During the Holocaust.”

Free and open to the community.

Masks are required.

For more information, call 732-494-3232.

 

 

Discover Greatness: An Illustrated History of Negro Leagues Baseball will be presented through May 1 at East Jersey Old Town Village, 1050 River Road, Piscataway.

The traveling exhibit from The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum features close to 90 framed photographs showcasing the history of African American baseball from the late 1800s to the 1960s.

Also, visit Treasures of Middlesex County: 300 Years of Raritan Valley History at The Cornelius Low House, 1225 River Road, Piscataway.

For hours, information and directions, visit middlesexcountynj.gov or text “CULTURE” to 56512.

 

The Bernie Cohn Memorial Golf Classic and 76th Annual Outing will be held May 3 at Forsgate Country Club, 375 Forsgate Dr., Monroe.

The annual golf classic serves as an opportunity for the business and community leaders of Middlesex County to connect while supporting the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to improve Middlesex County.

Shotgun start is 9 a.m.

Bernie Cohn was very active with the chamber, serving as past chair of the Board of Directors, past chair of the golf outing and recipient of the first Leaders of Distinction Award.

For registration information, visit www.mcrcc.org/event/76th-annual-bernie-cohn-golf-classic/

 

 

The Edison/Metuchen Mayors’ 21-Mile Bicycle Tour will be held May 15, rain or shine, beginning and ending at the Edison Municipal Complex, 100 Municipal Blvd., Edison.

New registration and check in begin at 8 a.m. Tour begins at 9 a.m. Tour ends approximately 2 p.m.

All participants must wear a bicycle helmet.

Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.

All bicycles must have 20-inch tires or larger.

Registration fee is $10.

Register online only at www.register.communitypass.net/edison or access Community Pass via the township website.

For questions call the Edison Recreation Department at 732-248-7310 or the Metuchen Recreation Department at 732-632-8502.

 

 

 

A traditional street fair is planned for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 15 through the Metuchen Borough Improvement League and the YMCA.

 

 

 

Middlesex County’s photography contest, Picture Middlesex County, runs through May 17, and is open to all New Jersey residents.

From photos of landscapes to closeups of plants, insects, birds and other wildlife, there are many photograph opportunities in Middlesex County.

The photo contest is open to all amateur and professional photographers, youth to adult. Ages 17 and under require parent/guardian consent on the entry form.

Photos must be taken within Middlesex County within the timeframe of the contest.

Individuals may submit up to two photos per category.

Contest Categories:

  • Arts and History: Historic sites, landmarks, public art, festivals, etc.
  • Cityscapes: Buildings, architecture, skylines, etc.
  • Landscapes: Parks, gardens, waterfront, farms, sunrise, sunset, etc.
  • Lifestyle: People, community, photos that showcase life in Middlesex County
  • Nature/Wildlife: Foliage, animals, etc.
  • Transportation: Planes, railroad/trains, vehicles, boats, roadways, interstates, bicycles, etc.

After the contest, all submissions will be displayed on Middlesex County’s Facebook page, where people will vote for their favorite photo by “liking” the picture. The 10-day voting period will be from May 20–30. This will determine the “People’s Choice Award” winners.

A judging committee will anonymously judge all the photos to determine the contest’s overall winner. Winning photos may be publicly displayed at a future county event.

For full contest rules and more information, visit https://discovermiddlesex.com/picture-middlesex-county/

 

Metuchen’s Spring Bazaar will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 21.

There will be at least 20 artisan crafters and vendors selling handmade goods outside on the plaza at the intersection of New and Pearl streets.

 

 

Metuchen’s pre-prom celebration will be held at 4 p.m. May 26 on the downtown plaza at New and Pearl streets.

Students from Metuchen High School who are attending prom that night are welcome to come dressed for photos, a photo booth, and pictures by their family and friends.

There is an open invitation to attend.

In the event of inclement weather, the event will be moved indoors to Metuchen High School, 400 Grove Ave.

Celebrate National Trails Day along the Middlesex Greenway Extension from 9:30 a.m. to noon June 4, beginning at Memorial Park on Memorial Parkway, Metuchen. Hike the proposed Middlesex Greenway Extension.  

Breakdancing on the plaza is scheduled for June 4 in Metuchen at the intersection of New and Pearl streets.

The three-hour event beginning at 5 p.m. includes a performance from a group from The Bronx, New York, a class for younger families, an exhibition by step performers, a freestyle exhibition and a dance off.

A Juneteenth celebration will be held in Metuchen from 6-8 p.m. June 18 for the second year.

This year’s event plans to include step dancers, two drum lines, a majorette group and a discussion on the topic of Afro futurism and how it plays into art.

The downtown plaza is located at the intersection of New and Pearl streets.

Kids Takeover in Metuchen returns after a few-year hiatus.

Held on the last day of school for Metuchen students, June 21, from 1-5 p.m. kids can visit downtown businesses after school lets out for the summer around 12:30 p.m.

There will be business specials, a bounce house, a deejay, dancing.

 

Metuchen’s farmers market will begin on the plaza on June 11, held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the Saturday before Thanksgiving, at the intersection of Pearl and New streets.

 

The Edison Police Department will bring back its Junior Police Academy (JPA) in 2022.

The JPA will be held in two one-week sessions for local middle school students. The first session runs from Aug. 1-5 and the second from Aug. 8-12. Each daily session runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Woodrow Wilson Middle School, 50 Woodrow Wilson Dr., Edison.

Edison’s Junior Police Academy is open to all township students entering the sixth, seventh or eighth grades as of this upcoming September.

The registration deadline is July 18.

Activities include DWI and anti-drug education, personal safety instruction, sports activities, and a variety of demonstrations that may include police K-9s, emergency response, fire safety and suppression along with motor vehicle stops.

Academy graduates will receive a diploma during a graduation ceremony at 1 p.m. Aug. 5 and 1 p.m. Aug. 12 during their respective ceremony in Council Chambers at the Edison Municipal Complex, 100 Municipal Blvd., where family and friends are invited to attend.

Academy class sizes are limited, so students are selected on a first-come, first-served basis.

The program fee is $100 per session, payable by check or money order to the Edison Municipal Alliance and dropped off or mailed to 100 Municipal Blvd., Edison 08817. That fee covers the cost for supplies, equipment, T-shirts, water bottles, baseball caps and other giveaways.

To obtain an application, visit www.edisonpolice.org

Direct all inquiries to Sgt. Donald Ship of the Community Oriented Policing Unit at 732 248-6462 or [email protected].

 

 

 

The Freehold High School Class of ’72 will celebrate its 50th class reunion on July 23 at the American Hotel in Freehold.

Tickets are $85 per person, and must be purchased in advance; no tickets will be sold at the door.

The deadline for ticket purchases is July 13. Contact Sue Shrott at [email protected] or 732-995-7754.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New Jersey Central Jazz Festival 2022 is planned for Sept. 9–11: Flemington Sept. 9, New Brunswick and Metuchen Sept. 10, and Somerville April 11.

The plans for Metuchen currently begin at 6 p.m. Sept. 10 in Downtown Metuchen at New and Pearl streets.

 

 

The Cornerstone Jazz Series at the Old Franklin Schoolhouse in Metuchen continues on Sunday afternoons in October and November; dates to be determined.

                

 

 

Ongoing

 

 

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen, is offering crisis counseling services for those affected by Tropical Storm Ida last September.

New Jersey Hope and Healing Crisis Counseling Program will offer confidential and anonymous services for free, including stress management, emotional support, linkage to resources, daily or drop-in Zoom calls, and motivational quotes.

For more information, call 732-646-4077 or email [email protected]

 

 

 

The Monroe Township Jewish War Veterans Post 609 is collecting United States and foreign stamps, both on and off envelopes. 

Stamps are used by veterans as a hobby and as therapy at VA medical centers nationwide.

The stamps are not traded or sold; they are forwarded to veteran patients at no charge.

Also requested are DVDs suitable for veterans at those locations.

Send all items to JWV Post 609, c/o Charles Koppelman, 6 Yarmouth Dr., Monroe Township 08831.

 

 

The Gallery on Main at 101 Main Street in Woodbridge has new hours for 2022: Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 2-7 p.m.

 

 

 

 

Downtown Woodbridge’s Main Street Special Improvement District (SID), an organization established to promote economic revitalization, investment and improvements to the downtown, will offer Downtown Dollars, a community-based digital gift card that makes it easy to spend local.

This new initiative is sponsored by the Woodbridge Metro Chamber of Commerce. With their sponsorship, SID is able to offer a special holiday bonus to every $50 and $100 gift card purchased.

Purchase e-gift cards at downtownwoodbridge.com and view a list of participating businesses who accept the gift cards.

Purchasers are provided the ability to write a personal message and send this card to family, friends and colleagues via email, text, or printing out. 

 

 

Central Jersey Chapter 148 of the Korean War Veterans extend an invitation to any veterans, regardless of the branch of service, who served during the Korean War from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953, in any location, including Europe; or who have served in Korea from July 27, 1953, to the current date.

Other veterans may join as associate members.

The group meets at 10 a.m. the second Wednesday of every month, from May to December, at the Monroe Township Municipal Building, 1 Municipal Plaza, in the court room.

Requirements for membership include paying dues of $25 to the Korean War Veterans Association and $10 to the chapter per year.

Korean War Veterans National LIFE membership is available for those 80 and older, and is $75.

The chapter is involved in various functions during the year, including fundraising to help veterans at the New Jersey State Veterans Memorial Home in Menlo Park, the Lyons campus of the VA New Jersey Health Care System, and the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home at Vineland.

For more information, contact Charlie Koppelman at 609-655-3111 or [email protected]

 

 

 

 

The Friends of the Metuchen Library are asking for donations of books.

Email [email protected] to schedule a dropoff appointment.

 

Cub Scout Pack 53 is celebrating its 70th year, and is holding registration for boys in grades kindergarten to 5. The pack is based out of the Fords section of Woodbridge and Clara Barton section of Edison.

Activities generally include fishing, hiking, BB guns, archery, service time, parades, the Pinewood Derby, the Raingutter Regatta and more.

Visit pack53fordsnj.shutterfly.com for more information.

Or, email [email protected]

 

 

 

The Kosher Meals on Wheels program through Jewish Family Services of Middlesex County is in need of substitute drivers to deliver meals, sometimes with limited notice.

Currently, there are openings on Mondays along the Highland Park route and along the Edison/Metuchen route. Areas include Woodbridge, Edison, Metuchen, Highland Park, East Brunswick and Old Bridge.

Call 732-777-1940 for information on how to apply.

 

 

 

 

 

To assist unemployed and underemployed county residents with their job search, Middlesex County’s One-Stop Career Centers within the Office of Career Opportunity are offering virtual career-related services.

 

In addition to accessing the One-Stop Career Centers for assistance with job searches, resume reviewing, career counseling, and career services for low-income residents, job seekers and underemployed residents are encouraged to sign up for SkillUp, a free online training portal with more than 5,500 courses focusing on business, project management, accounting, human resources, information technology, and customer service. To sign up, visit http://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/Government/Departments/BDE/Pages/SkillUp.aspx

 

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development also recently launched Job Source, offering a variety of tools designed to help fuel a successful job search experience. Users can create a free account and get tips and templates for job search, resume writing, cover letters and many other free services.

 

State-run One-Stop Career Centers are currently only operating remotely, with career-related services available virtually and by telephone. A return date for appointment-only services at the state-run centers has not been determined.

 

For more information, contact the Office of Career Opportunity at 732-745-3970 or if interested in job training contact Middlesex County One-Stop Career Centers at 732-745-3955 (New Brunswick) and 732-293-0642 (Perth Amboy) to schedule an appointment.

More information can be found at www.middlesexcountynj.gov/Government/Departments/BDE/Pages/Office_Workforce.aspx

 

 

The Central Jersey Chapter 148 of the Korean War Veterans extend an invitation to any veterans, regardless of the branch of service, who served during the Korean War from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953, in any location; or who served in Korea from July 27, 1953, to the current date.

The group meets at 10 a.m. for a breakfast meeting the second Wednesday of every month from May to December at the Monroe Township Municipal Building, downstairs on the first floor.

Requirements for membership include paying dues of $25 to the Korean War Veterans Association and $10 to the chapter each year.

Korean War Veterans National Life membership if one is over age 80 is $75.

The chapter is involved in various functions during the year, including fundraising to help veterans at the New Jersey State Veterans Memorial Home in Menlo Park, the Lyons Veterans Hospital Lyons, and the Vineland Veterans Hospital in Vineland.

For more information, contact membership chair Charlie Koppelman at 609-655-3111 or [email protected]

 

 

 

 

Middlesex County residents looking for local farmers, grocery stores or food pantries – as well as public transportation routes to get there – can download the interactive map-based Accessing Healthy Foods app.

Visit http://middlesexcountynj.gov/healthyfoodsmap

 

 

 

The Center for Therapy & Counseling Services is offering a Teen Girls Support Group.

This free group offers girls ages 13-17 a safe place to connect, share stories and be encouraging. The goal is to enhance self esteem, self confidence and communication skills.

Each group is led by trained facilitators.

Girls meet weekly at 7 p.m. Thursdays, virtually.

Registration is required by calling 732-254-0600.

Or, email [email protected] for more information.

The Center for Therapy & Counseling Services is located at 15 W. Prospect St., East Brunswick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal & Northern New Jersey (BBBSCNNJ) is inviting Middlesex County residents to become a volunteer Big Brother or Big Sister to a local child.

BBBSCNNJ currently has 20 children on its Middlesex County waiting list, mostly boys.

BBBSCNNJ provides one-to-one mentoring for youth ages 6-18. Volunteer Big Brothers and Sisters spend quality time with their Littles each month, enjoying free or low-cost activities during which the child may learn new skills, explore new interests, or expand their experience beyond their family and neighborhood. 

There are no special skills required, and BBBSCNNJ’s experienced staff provides continual support.

To be matched with a Middlesex County child, apply at mentornj.org.

 

 

 

 

The Anshe Emeth Community Development Corp (AECDC) Central Jersey Diaper Bank is collecting baby clothing sizes newborn-2T, diapers and books.
Donations can be picked up if within Middlesex County. Volunteers from the Rutgers School of Nursing will arrive between 10 a.m. and noon on the day indicated.
At this time, no shoes, equipment, toys, etc. can be collected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick has launched the Substance Abuse and Addiction Loss Support Group for families who are coping with loss due to addiction.

The free and confidential support group meets virtually on the second Thursday of every month from 7-8:30 p.m.

Inspired by Saint Peter’s Opioid Task Force, the Substance Abuse and Addiction Loss Support Group is for families and close loved ones of people who have passed away from addiction.

The support group is open to everyone in New Jersey and serves as a safe space for families to discuss their grief.

To join the Substance Abuse and Addiction Loss Support Group, call Jeanne Delacruz, a social worker at Saint Peter’s who facilitates the support group, at 732-745-8522 or email [email protected]

 

 

 

Gain stability from an in-demand occupation; apply for a Women’s Center career training grant from Jewish Family Services of Middlesex County.

Qualified persons who are active members of the JFS Women’s Center must submit an application and attend an interview. Grants are available for short-term training programs for in-demand jobs.

Eligible candidates must qualify as a “displaced homemaker,” a woman who is a single mother, divorced, separated, widowed, or living with a disabled spouse/partner.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, email womenscenter@j fsmiddlesex.org

 

 

 

Central Jersey SCORE, a non-profit resource partner of the Small Business Administration, is looking for volunteers to assist people looking to start a business or grow an existing small business.

The organization is recruiting business owners and executives, both current and retired, who want to share their experience and knowledge with today’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

The Central Jersey Chapter of SCORE serves Middlesex, Somerset and Hunterdon counties.

Central Jersey SCORE provides in-person mentoring and webinars, both offered virtually in line with current pandemic restrictions. In addition, the SCORE website offers tools and templates on a wide variety of topics and numerous online courses and webinars to assist small business owners through every aspect of business development and management. Services are offered free of charge.

Anyone interested in volunteering with SCORE or seeking additional information should email [email protected]

 

 

Dove Hospice Services of New Jersey seeks compassionate volunteers to provide support to local hospice patients and their families.

Hospice patient care volunteers visit with patients in their homes, which can also be nursing facilities or assisted living facilities, at least once a week. They read to the patient, reminisce about their lives, play cards, help with letter writing and provide respite for caregivers.

Visits can be virtual, and are either during the day or early evening.

Volunteers may also assist with administrative work within the hospice office.

Patient care volunteers complete an application and attend a virtual volunteer training program that covers the role of a hospice volunteer. Day and evening virtual training programs are offered.

To sign up for the next virtual training class, contact Volunteer Coordinator Deborah Adams at 732-405-3035 or email [email protected].