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Montgomery News
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Montgomery Township
and Rocky Hill, NJ

Wednesday May 24, 2017


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Roadwork dependent upon Weather

DPW road paving Tues. 4/25: There is no Public Works roadwork happening today due to inclement weather (roadways are open), but work will likely continue with dry weather Wed., 4/26 on Cherry Valley Rd., Mountainview Rd., and Hollow Rd. (from Camp Meeting Ave. to Long Hill Rd.) from 9 AM to 5 PM. Updates for tomorrow will be posted by end of day on the Montgomery Twp. website at www.montgomery.nj.us. Cherry Hill Road is now completed. Other upcoming road paving in the next two weeks include: Rutland Rd., Maple St., Red Oak Way, Pin Oak Rd., and Sourland Hills Rd.

Sidewalk replacement work in Cherry Valley Clubside includes Otter Creek Rd., Valencia Ct., Bethpage Dr. and Ironwood Rd. No roads will be closed.

Thank you for your patience as Montgomery Township continues maintenance and improvement of our township road system.

Montgomery Baseball League Opens

On April 22 Montgomery Baseball League held its League Day Ceremonies at the McKnight Baseball Complex. Despite the threatening weather, close to 300 people came to the Complex to officially open the 2017 baseball season.

This year's League Day was especially important because of Fred Wacker's passing last November. Fred was a valued member of our MBL community for many years. Fred loved being at our Complex baseball fields coaching his sons, raking fields, working the concession stand, serving the MBL Board as a Player Agent and always willing to help improve our Program.

On Saturday, 27 police officers from the Hillsborough and Montgomery Police Departments participated in our League Day Ceremonies honoring Fred Wacker, who worked as a Hillsborough Police Officer. A banner honoring Fred will be displayed at the Complex throughout the 2017 baseball season. President Frank Kimick also presented a commemorative plaque to Fred's wife Jennifer and sons Jeremy and Dominic.

Mayor Ed Trzaska and Deputy Mayor Rich Smith attended the Ceremonies, with both catching first pitches from Jeremy and Dominic.

After the League Day Ceremonies, the season officially started with a skills clinic for our youngest players the Cougar Cubs, with the more experienced players playing baseball games throughout the day.


Historic Preservation, Urban Redevelopment, and the Rural Landscape: How NJ Makes the Connection” – May 15

As a prelude to this year’s May in Montgomery Touring the Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway, the Van Harlingen Historical Society is proud to present a lecture by John D.S. Hatch titled Historic Preservation, Urban Redevelopment, and the Rural Landscape: How New Jersey Makes the Connection. Mr. Hatch is an architect who specializes in historic preservation design and adaptive re-use of historic structures. He holds degrees in both architecture and historic preservation. His projects include the restoration of historic Morven in Princeton, the restoration of the Hunterdon County Courthouse in Flemington, and the Roebling Complex Redevelopment in Trenton.

The lecture will take place at Stonebridge, 100 Hollinshead Road, Skillman, NJ on Monday, May 15th at 7:30 pm. Refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public but space is limited so pre-registration is required. To register please call 908-359-2642, email your Name, email and how many seats to register to: info@vanharlingen.org. (Please do not contact Stonebridge directly.) 

Bilingual Nature Walk of D&R Canal set May 6

The Delaware & Raritan Canal Watch will hold a free bilingual (Spanish/English) nature walk along the Delaware & Raritan Canal on Saturday, May 6.

The 3.2-mile nature walk will explore the section of the canal park between Lock 11 in South Bound Brook and Demott Lane. There will also be an opportunity for a shorter walk.

Meet at 10 a.m. at the Lock 11 parking lot, Canal Park, South Bound Brook, approximately across from the South Bound Brook Post Office (11 Madison St.).

The walk, which will be conducted in Spanish and English, will focus on identifying plants and wildlife along the canal. Park Naturalist Stephanie Fox will lead the walk with interpretation in Spanish provided by Daniel Lima.

Registration is encouraged at https://goo.gl/yZBWdX or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/598983300307203/. For more information, e-mail jhunsdon@gmail.com or call or text 732-993-4505 in English or Spanish.

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

Montgomery's First Hackathon Fosters Student Growth and Innovation in Computer Science

On April 22, the Computer Science Club and Young Entrepreneurs Club co-hosted MontyHacks, Montgomery High School's first annual hackathon. This was a unique, day-long opportunity where students from across New Jersey honed their skills in computer science through workshops and mentorships, formed friendships with like-minded peers, and built socially impactful projects.
MontyHacks was made possible as a result of seven months of preparation by a student leadership team, consisting of Julia Guo '18, Niva Sivakumar '19, Ivan Chau '19, Vineet Pasumarti '19, and Ben Mathew '20; sponsorships with major corporations, such as Microsoft, and local organizations, such as the Rotary Club; and administrative support from Mr. Scott Pachuta, MHS vice principal, Mr. Jason Sullivan, MHS science supervisor, and Mrs. Nancy Gartenberg, district superintendent.

There exist only two other major high school hackathons in New Jersey, up north at Bergen County Academies and Millburn High School. These heavily competitive events are generally more geared toward experienced coders. University hackathons are more common, but often only accept college students. MontyHacks thus served as a valuable, accessible experience for high school beginners and novices from Central and South Jersey to launch their ourneys in coding and technology.

Over 100 students from 15 different high schools were in attendance, and 23 apps were uilt. The hackathon had remarkably high participation rates, as everyone developed and ubmitted a completed project. Student success was assisted by workshops in programming anguages taught by Princeton University students, and access to provided technological esources such as laptops, circuit boards, and virtual reality devices. Support for women in echnology was also made possible by fostering a diverse, welcoming environment.

The project-building aspect of MontyHacks was centered around developing for social ood, and provided incentives for innovation through prize categories for the best environmental roject, best educational project, etc. The first overall prize went to a pair of MHS students, ames Yim and Aaron Fan, who built a headset that analyzes and documents different aspects f the user's mental state using electroencephalography; this demonstrated great potential as a low-cost, accessible tool for the medical field.

Many other socially impactful products, such as a olar-powered phone charger and a paper-saving virtual late pass, were also developed and ewarded. Prizes for these innovative creations were pieces of cutting-edge technology such as rduino kits and virtual reality devices, encouraging students to further explore the computer cience field. In line with the social good theme of the hackathon, 115 items were additionally ollected in a drive for the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.


Kevin Padden Given Boy Scout Award

Kevin Padden of Belle Mead has been given the District Award of Merit by the Mercer Area District of the Boy Scouts. This is the highest award a district can bestow on an adult leader.

Kevin has been on the District Committee since 2011. He has served as the Assistant Eagle Scout Advancement Coordinator, working with numerous scouts on their final steps on their trail to Eagle Scout. Kevin served as Assistant Scoutmaster in Troop 46 Montgomery and is currently on the Troop Committee.
At different times he has focused on the troop's New Scout program and their Eagle pipeline, and has taken on responsibilities as diverse as High Adventure trips and serving as publisher of the Troop Newsletter. Kevin is also a merit badge counselor for a number of badges including Art, Cinematography, and Communications, Moviemaking, Public Speaking, Reading, Scuba, Scholarship, and Swimming.

Kein is a Director at Experiential marketing agency Impact XM. He has two grown children, one of whom is an Eagle Scout.

The District Award of Merit also was given to Carla Kelly Fisher of Hamilton and  

Princeton Montessori School Gets Ready For Summer

Princeton Montessori School's "SummerQuest" camp program boasts some new and exciting changes this year, including weekly themes with special guest presenters and field trips. The program is open to the community and implemented with a Montessori approach, led by seasoned teachers, but with a unique and separate curriculum from the school year. Young campers, ages eight weeks old through third grade, will experience a variety of indoor and outdoor fun, creative activities, and child-centered adventure.

"Some of our favorite traditions are centered around our beautiful and expansive grounds. These include involving the children in gardening, building teepees and forts in the woods, and unstructured time for daydreaming and play," said Kathy Sellers, SummerQuest Program Coordinator. "This year, related to our weekly themes, we're excited to bring in guest visitors like Our Playful Nature (an organization that encourages playful movement in the natural environment), TaeKwondo instructors, Firefly Tennis, and our local Fire Department."

There will be no shortage of fun, culture and outdoor play for all. Toddlers will partake in activities such as cooking, crafts, gardening, water play, and nature exploration. Meanwhile, their Elementary-aged counterparts will take field trips, including an outing to Grounds For Sculpture for the camp's 'Art Explorations' week.

Campers will continue to enjoy existing program highlights, including on-site Music Together classes and exceptionally-run swimming instruction at Princeton Fitness and Wellness Center in Montgomery. SummerQuest camp sessions run mid-June through mid-August. Full and part-day options are available.
Princeton Montessori School, founded in 1968, is an independent, coeducational day school dedicated to the highest quality education of children, from infancy through middle school, according to the values and principles of the Montessori philosophy. The school is accredited at the highest level by the American Montessori Society (AMS) and is a member of the national Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).  

Report from Rocky Hill - May 2017

Mayor Jeff Donahue announced his resignation at the April 3 meeting of Borough Council. He will be taking a new job with SpaceX in California, and plans to sell his home in Rocky Hill as soon as possible. Meanwhile, his job will be taken over temporarily by Phil Kartsonis, president of Borough Council. Any appointment is made by the members of Borough Council, from the same party as the former mayor (in this case, Independent), and will expire at the end of the year. The next mayor will be chosen by general election in November 2017, and will serve the remainder of former Mayor Donahue's term, which ends in 2018.

Mayor Donahue thanked the many volunteers in Rocky Hill who make things work, as well as the current and past members of Borough Council, and noted how hard it is to leave Rocky Hill, "A special place." he also thanked the Township for doubling their donation to the Mary Jacobs Library, and the County for agreeing to take over the costs of heating and lighting the building itself for the next five years. The building itself is owned by the Mary Jacobs Foundation, which had been incurring increasing operating and capital expenses, and was in some danger of being unable to meet its obligations without increased municipal aid and donations from the public.

Mayor Donahue also thanked the Board of Education for going to bat for the Borough taxpayers. He said that the "Algorithm used to determine taxes is dangerous for us as small changes in numbers make a big difference in results." Still, the Township bump was $162. Rocky Hill's was $236 more per home.
At the April 17 session, Acting Mayor Kartsonis and former Councilman Thomas Bremner were nominated by Borough Council. Kartsonis won, 5–0, after abstaining from voting for himself. Because Kartsonis won on the first ballot, Bremner's name never came to a vote. Kartsonis then resigned his seat on Council, leaving that seat open, pending an appointment by the remaining Council members. So, neither Democrats nor Republicans need apply. Mayor Kartsonis thanked his fellow councilmen and volunteers and promised, "to stay out of the way and to help facilitate the process."

Someone pointed out and all councilmen agreed, that there needed to be a woman on Borough Council, "But most women are too smart to run." Any takers? The next council person will be appointed at the May 1 meeting to fill Kartsonis's term, which runs until the end of 2018.

The Bridge appears to be making progress rapidly instead of at the snail's pace it made during the winter. As of early April, the rebar was wired up and the cement surface poured. A cement walkway, designed to resemble a wood surface will be installed, along with railings and curbing, and so on. The prediction is that it will be drivable by the beginning of May. Still, as Mayor Donahue noted, "It's amazing how little the DOT seems to know. They keep saying three to four weeks." Hazmat crews were at work on Crescent Avenue in early April after some sort of materiel fell off a truck—beakers, glassware, disposable gloves, and such. Everything was quickly cleaned up and, reportedly, nothing dangerous was found. Would they tell us if it was? When traces of anthrax were found at the Post Office following 9/11, the moon suit-wearing hazmat crews never notified the dentist nor any of the tenants in the same building.

Montgomery Township Health Officer Stephanie Carey gave a presentation at the April 17 Council meeting on health services activities. The Township is the contracted Health Department for Montgomery, Rocky Hill, Pennington, and Hopewell Borough. She says that the Health Deptartment is on track to gain national accreditation, which has been granted to only 10% of all health departments nationwide. It would make our Health Deptment the third in New Jersey to have that rating.

During 2017, the Health Department investigated six reported disease calls (Lyme Disease, etc.); made seven food inspections and one pre-school inspection, checked out three public health nuisances; gave 30 flu vaccinations at the Flu Clinic; and vaccinated 14 pets at the Rabies Clinic last year. She noted that if residents need to report a dead deer, they should call the Animal Control Officer at the Township (908-359-8211) to have it hauled away. Stray cats and dogs are taken to SAVE.

During March, there were 25 new moving violations and one parking ticket; 34 moving violations and one parking ticket were disposed of in Court. Total Court receipts were $3,533, of which Rocky Hill's share was $776.

Also, there were 10 reported criminal offenses, of which three were disposed. They were listed as "Other," which means what, exactly? No one seemed to know.

Borough residents drew 2.235M gallons from the Municipal Well #2, and all water tests were normal.
Borough Engineer Bill Tanner noted the Princeton Avenue closure for a long overdue resurfacing, and said that even though the Township, whose work it is, is saying four weeks before they finish, the Princeton Avenue resurfacing portion of the work should take considerably less time, perhaps as little as a week, depending on the weather. He also said that the Emergency Generator project has gone out for bid and received three replies. The generators are for Borough Hall and for the water tower during emergencies. During Superstorm Sandy, the Borough came perilously close to running dry.
Council approved a $2,125 bid from Shier Tree Experts to trim trees along Washington Street. The high bid was $7,000.

Council also approved the annual ordinance to "Exceed the Municipal Budget Appropriation Limits and establish a Cap Bank." This allows the Borough to collect a little more than it knows it needs and put excess funds into surplus. Any surplus at the end of the year is payed forward. This annual exercise of sleight-of-hand is mostly to amuse the minions at the NJ Department of Taxation, who otherwise frown on any municipal surplus.

The Hook and Ladder All You Can Eat Pancake and Sausage Breakfast will be on Mother's Day (May 14) again this year, serving the best sausage and flapjacks in all of New Jersey. Starting at 8 am and running until 1 pm at the Fire House, $8 for adults.

The Rocky Hill Community Group Yard Sale is slated for May 20. Following that, on May 24 is Trash Pickup, and on May 25–26, Limb and Leaf Pickup.

The Memorial Day Celebration will be held on May 29 at 11 am at Panicaro Park this year.
Borough Council routinely meets on the first and third Mondays of each month at Borough Hall on Montgomery Ave., at 7 pm.

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


Police Blotter - March-April 2017

Officer Jason Larsen stopped a 32-year-old Belle Mead man on March 27 at 11:15 am for a motor vehicle violation and found that the driver had an outstanding $750 warrant from Hillsborough, and that his license had been suspended. He was arrested and turned over to Hillsborough PD with tickets for unclear license plates and driving while suspended.

On March 31, Officer Larsen stopped a 22-year-old North Brunswick man on Autumn Lane at 8:30 am, for an inoperable brake light. He too had an active $1,000 warrant, from the Middlesex County Prosecutors Office. He was arrested and sent to Middlesex County Jail with tickets for failing to maintain his lamps and failure to exhibit a driver's license.

On April 1 at 3:45 pm, Officer John Colucci stopped a car on Rt. 601 for a broken windshield and found that the passenger, a 60-year-old Somerville man, had a warrant from Somerset County for failure to pay child support. The passenger was taken to County lockup and the driver was warned to have the windshield repaired.

Officer Colucci stopped another car on April 2 at 11:20 am for a non-functional tail light, driven by a 20-year-old Willingboro man with an outstanding $750 warrant from Delran Municipal Court and a $250 warrant from Bordentown Municipal Court. He was also charged with driving with a suspended license, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, and failure to maintain lamps.

A 42-year-old Lawrenceville man, northbound on Rt. 601 at 2:32 pm on April 8, attempted to cross over the south-bound lane into a driveway and managed to strike a southbound car, driven by an 85-year-old Martinsville man, which rolled over before coming to a rest on the iron railing of the Blawenburg Cemetery. The first driver scarpered, but not far before he was found by MTPD, who returned him to the scene. Both cars had to be towed. Both drivers and a passenger in the rolled car were taken to UMCP for treatment of their injuries. The first driver had been drinking, so he was charged with DWI, driving while on the suspended list, driving without a license, failure to maintain a lane, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, and having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Rt. 601 had to be closed for an hour.

On April 12 at 3:25 pm, MTPD stopped a 39-year-old man who managed to live in both Skillman and NYC, for using his cell phone while driving on Rt. 518. He had an active $500 warrant from Plainsboro Municipal Court, and his New Jersey license had been suspended, so he was arrested and released after posting bail, and given tickets for using a cell phone while driving and driving while suspended.

MTPD stopped a 50-year-old Hamilton man on April 13 at 10:45 am when they saw his car didn't have a NJ inspection sticker. They smelled the odor of pot coming from his car after it was stopped. A search turned up a bag of it, for which the driver was arrested and charged with possession of under 50 grams, failure to inspect his car, possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, and driving while suspended.

MBA Speaker Series starts May 23

Our goal is to enrich our local community by offering free public discussion on topics that will benefit local businesses and residents. The first discussion, “The Elephant in the Room: Are You Prepared for Retirement?” will be held on Tuesday, May 23rd at 6:45 at the Princeton Fitness & Wellness Center. This event is free and open to the public.

New Officers at Montgomery Women's Club

On May 4 Vice-President of the New jersey Federation of Women's Clubs, Maribeth Hugelmeyer installed the new officers of the Montgomery Woman's Club. Pictured below (left to right) are Maribeth Hugelmeyer, President Jane Lavoie, Treasurer Marie Lussier, and Secretary Beverly Poelstra. Unable to attend the festivities were: First Vice-President Filomena Localio, Second Vice Presidents Beth Desai and Ella Furlong.

At the same gathering Ms. Hugelmeyer presented the MWC with certificates of recognition from the New jersey Federation of Women's Clubs and the General Federation of Women's Clubs congratulating the Montgomery club for fifty years of commitment and service to the community.

If you would like to learn more about the MWC contact Beth Desai at beth.desai@gmail.com (908) 829-384 or Ella Furlong at efurlong@bridgewayseniorcare.com, 609-466-8728).

Food For Thought - To complain or not to complain

Many years ago my date and I were meeting her girlfriend and her new beau for dinner. When they arrived and I was introduced, the first words out of her boyfriend's mouth were: "When she told me you were a chef I said I hope he's not one of those jerks who sends everything back."

Somewhat dismayed by this unexpectedly hostile greeting, my trepidation began to rise. I had my doubts about the restaurant to begin with and I could see the writing on the wall. Something was destined to go wrong with my meal, and I would be faced with the decision to accept it, or have my new dinner guest conclude that I was a bodily orifice. Hear that faint but increasingly loud whistle above? That's the bomb dropping.

Well, let's get right to it, because you already know what's coming. I ordered the stuffed lobster and when it arrived it was ice cold, not lukewarm, but ice cold. It tasted like it had been resting in the refrigerator before being served. So here I was faced with the dreaded conflict I had predicted. Well, despite the angst the situation engendered, I'm solid in who I am and where I stand on things. There is no excuse for serving ice cold food and I refuse to consume it to curry favor with anyone. I promptly returned it and was served a hot stuffed lobster in its place. It didn't taste that good but I wasn't going to push the issue any further. At the conclusion of the meal I extended an olive branch to my judgmental new friend and paid for dinner.
Most people seek to avoid conflict and the negative appraisals of others. I wonder how often these individuals suffer with inadequate food for those exact reasons: they don't wish to cause interpersonal friction, or they don't want to be adversely judged. Obviously some people are meek, and will put up with almost anything. Conversely, there are the more demanding amongst us who evince no hesitation in complaining about even minor culinary slips.

But let's put the variability of individual character differences aside for the moment and focus on the external reality, namely, the food. At one extreme are petty flaws that don't merit confrontation. Had my lobster been at least warm for example, I wouldn't have made it an issue. On the other hand, cold food, spoiled food, well done steaks that were ordered medium-rare, and anything with an insect in it, should never be allowed.

The problem arises when mistakes are not blatantly egregious. How do you accurately determine when a mishap has reached the point of justifying a protest? Sometimes the error, in and of itself, doesn't cross the line, but rather has been preceded by a series of oversights which have incrementally pushed you past the limits of your tolerance. But again, exactly how many little flubs warrant a formal complaint? The answer to this question returns us to the subjectivity and individuality of a person's character. We must ultimately decide what we are comfortable accepting, and what we are not.

A final consideration, other than the actual quality level of the food, and the person's own internal standards, is the context of the situation. For example, one is less likely to return the inadequate filet mignon on a first date than when dining alone. To make matters even more complicated, sometimes the context and the individual's personality commingle. If you are a regular patron of a certain eatery and know the staff, would you be less or more likely to inform them about the undercooked and greasy fries? Some folks wouldn't say anything because of familiarity: they don't wish to disrupt what has been a smooth and stable relationship. Other people may think just the opposite: that because they've been a loyal customer, and have brought them consistent business, that they have even more right to complain.

To invoke my trademark phrase, where does all this leave us? Ultimately you must consider 1) your personal feelings about when to complain or not to complain, 2) the parameters of the particular situation, and 3) just how inadequate the actual food is. As for me, I can tolerate personal criticism much easier than I can cold lobster.

Montgomery Youth Football and Cheer Association 2017 Open Fall Registration

MYFCA is pleased to announce that registration is now open for its Fall Season. Montgomery, Rocky Hill and Princeton boys and girls entering Kindergarten-8th grade are invited to register. Open slots are on a first come/first served basis. There are no tryouts to make our teams. Practices begin August 1st for football and August 7th for cheerleading. The season runs through the end of October and games are on Sundays. The Montgomery Wildcats belong to the Pop Warner Jersey Valley Conference, playing and cheering against local teams. Home games are played at the Montgomery High School stadium.

Teams and squads that advance during seasonal play for football and local and regional competitions for cheer, have an opportunity to compete for a Pop Warner National Titles. Last year's Varsity Cheerleaders placed at the National Championships in Disney World. Our Pee Wee Cheerleaders won the NJ State Championship for their level and the Football team advanced to the Eastern Region Championships.

MYFCA's objectives are to encourage and increase youth participation in football and cheerleading, to ensure a safe and positive playing environment for all participants, and to instill life-long values of teamwork, dedication and a superior work ethic in the classroom and on the playing field. Similarly, the Pop Warner organization seeks to provide fun athletic learning opportunities for children, while emphasizing the importance of academic success.

Join the Montgomery Wildcats and be a part of our growing program! Sign up now!

To Register for Montgomery Flag Football, Tackle Football and Cheerleading, please visit our website at WWW.MYFCA.ORG Please direct any questions to MontyNJ.Wildcats@gmail.com.

National Honor Society Mural at MHS

A new addition graces the lobby of Montgomery High School--something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue...and orange. And red, yellow, and green. The Montgomery National Art Honor Society's oversized glass mural, an entire 7 years in the making, has finally been mounted on the school's front windows.

This mammoth project began with Class of 2010 senior Amy Zhang, who had a simple vision to beautify her school. She wanted to inject the bland green and yellow walls with a spark of life and color. Years later, her vision has been realized. And another facet of her vision was student involvement. The entire construction of the handmade mural was student-run and student directed. Students learned the intricacies of glasswork from other self-taught students. They researched different types of fusing glass and ran numerous tests in the ceramics kiln to get the right textures and melting points.

After Zhang's departure, the project was passed down to several successive "Glass Masters" who facilitated the ongoing work by organizing after school groups, ordering glass, raising funds and making sure the design remained consistent with the original plans. Each year, the club president also helped to rally the club members. One such president, Jake Epstein, is now a freshman at Duke University.

Says Epstein, "After Amy finalized the design, the next step was careful execution of this intricate design. Each year, we appointed a glassmaster, who was a student who had a particular talent with and passion for working with glass. The glass master then supervised a subset of NAHS that was trained to be able to work with the glass. We would come to call these students the glass committee. Once trained, the glass committee would cut down and grind pieces of colored glass to the specified shape, place the pieces on clear panels, and fuse them together in a kiln. This tedious process, of cut, grind, arrange, fire continued for 6 years, slowly taking on this huge project, panel by panel, piece by piece. After persistent effort, each of the 95 panels was complete."

These panels were then joined together on aluminum frames and assembled by members of the building maintenance staff. This gargantuan effort would never have happened without the generous support of the Montgomery High School PTSA and the Montgomery Education Foundation. The many, many cupcakes that the NAHS members sold also helped! Over time, the project has expanded beyond its original purpose to beautify the school. It has served as a creative outlet for burgeoning artists. It has served a deep-running well of inspiration. Now, as it glimmers at the forefront of the Montgomery High School, it can inspire countless more.

School Board Fields Questipons at April Meeting

At April 25 meeting the Montgomery Board of Education, Jennifer Riddell, MHS mathematics supervisor and president of the Montgomery Administrators’ Association (a 30-employee union) told the school board at its April 25 meeting that the association has put a lot of hard work into negotiations with MTSD and it hopes for a fair, equitable settlement very soon. But recently that groundwork was placed in jeopardy with the fate an administrator position at MHS.

“The association felt the need to share all pertinent information with the Board before its vote on the renewal list for 2017-2018, that leaves off a four-year MTSD administrator who achieved effective and highly effective ratings in those years,” she said.

Riddell said that she had conversations with Superintendent of Schools Nancy Gartenberg on April 19, and another on April 24. She says tensions rose at that point.

The goal at the April 25 session and going into May, was for the school board and superintendent to have ample time to consider “All those staff deserving of being renewed for next year,” and have the school board agenda contain the one administrator’s renewal.

MTEA (teachers union) Vice President Scott Mason, a social studies teacher at MHS, said district staff was devastated when a highly-admired administrator was not rehired. “It shakes them to their core. The MTSD central office really has to reconsider this or they would lose all credibility with the high school,” Mason said.

Also on April 25, MHS Physics Teacher Craig Buszka, who raised the first “Physics First” uproar with his August 2014 comments at a board meeting. He asked questioned the validity of MTSD’s organizational culture as it affects teaching and learning in Montgomery.

“I’d like to know more about the importance the board places on the relationship between senior district administration and teaching staff and the district’s principals and supervisors. I am interested in learning more about the process you use to characterize the quality, health and effectiveness of those relationships. I would like to know who is responsible for gathering the data that you use and how is this discussed at the school board level or in committees? And to what extent does the board use other, non-quantifiable information to monitor the health of those relationships. Is this a formal process that is deliberate?” Buszka asked during public comments.

He challenged the board members to express their confidence in the existing MTSD processes at the time, and whether or not those processes give any clear indications for necessary next steps.
School Board President Richard Cavalli said overall Buzska’s questions were "philosophically appropriate" in his belief, but the board needs more time to consider them before answering in full.
“My understanding is that the superintendent and district team performs 2,800 staff evaluations a year, structured around a variety of methodologies agreed to by MTSD and its administrators. We as the school board have a certain line of demarcation where we do not operate the district – the operations of the district and the person we have put responsible for that is the superintendent.

"The superintendent then employs the people she thinks are best serving the goals of the district, and then she hands down those goals to the organization to be implemented and executed. We rely on her feedback and the feedback of our staff to know if those goals are being performed against the objectives we set on an annual basis,” Cavalli explained after public comments April 25.

Alan Wirsul of Belle Mead said in the 30 years he’s attended the school district meetings he has never heard the problems expressed by staff as he did on April 25. He wondered why the MTSD administration did not foresee the response from staff members who loudly applauded Buzska, Mason and Riddell’s comments.

Wirsul also questioned the board members’ understanding of Fund 11, the district’s “checkbook” for budget monies spent on program.

MTSD Business Administrator Annette Wells says every month the school board members receive information on every district fund in the board secretary and treasurer’s reports.

He says it was good the budget eliminated the student activity fee, at $100 apiece, totaling a line item of $125,000. But if it was granted because MTSD received savings of over $1 million in healthcare, the adjustment for next year should benefit all Montgomery taxpayers and not just the parents of students in the school system.

Also on April 25 Deb O’Reilly, president of the 620-member MTEA, spoke about concerns constantly brought up to the human resources and the business offices. Paycheck and benefits mistakes, a lack of response and violation of board policy were all mentioned. O’Reilly referred to an MTEA member’s hardship as her infant son was not added to her district health insurance plan. Later the child was added to medical insurance he was not added to prescription benefits, causing a dangerous situation when the baby needed medication for severe eczema and an allergic reaction.

Another example was a teacher who asked how to add bereavement days to her sick leave, and she turned to O’Reilly to ask ‘isn’t HR supposed to be here for us for that?’

“Central office seems to be held to a different standard than the rest of the MTSD staff. Our teachers and all educational support professionals seem to be held to a higher standard. Central Office can make after mistake and we are told ‘be patient, work with us.’ The MTEA works with Central Office, we are doing our part. Is the board aware of problems with Central Office? Hardworking staff of Montgomery deserves some answers,” she said.

Board member Dharmesh Doshi commented that the board’s HR committee should take heed.
Board President Cavalli and Vice President Amy Miller both said they were in agreement, and Cavalli asked O’Reilly to provide the board with her documentation after reading many letters and emails aloud at the meeting.


Grief Support Group to be held at the Blawenburg Reformed Church

A Grief Support Group offered from a Christian perspective, will be meeting at the Blawenburg Reformed Church, 424 Route 518 in Skillman, on a bi-weekly basis from June 7 through August 2 from 5 to 6:30 PM.

Week One (June 7) - Your Grief is Normal / You are Normal
Week Two (June 21) - What Affects Your Grief
Week Three (July 5) - Where is God in Your Grief
Week Four (July 19) - Creative Outlets for your Grief
Week Five (August 2) - The First Year

The facilitator for this group is Chaplain Nancy Curtis. Chaplain Curtis works as a clinical chaplain intern with the RWJ-Barnabas Health system in Hamilton, NJ. Engaged in her final 400 hours of Clinical Pastoral Education this summer, Ms. Curtis has focused her professional training on hospice, palliative care, and the needs of the dying and their loved ones. Ms. Curtis also has her Certificate in Theological Studies from New Brunswick Theological Seminary and is currently working toward her Certificate in Expository Preaching.
For more information or to register for the group, you may contact the Blawenburg Church at 609-466-1832.

Rocky Hill Fire Mother’s Day Pancake Breakfast

8am – noon at the Rocky Hill Firehouse on Route 518

$8 per person

Are you still planning Mother’s Day? Once of the best gifts for Mom is to not mess up the kitchen. Before you step out for a fun day, stop at the Rocky Hill Fire Department for their traditional Mother’s Day Pancake breakfast. The breakfast is a seated and served, all you can eat Pancake and Sausage Breakfast for $8. Proceeds go to the maintenance of the fire house. 

SCLSNJ Wants You to Challenge Yourself this Summer

The possibilities are endless this summer at SCLSNJ’s Mary Jacobs Memorial Library branch. The Library is challenging you to shoot for the stars, build a better world, make a difference, and explore culture, music, and art with SCLSNJ’s Summer Reading Challenge. SCLSNJ’s Summer Reading Challenge, spanning June 19 through August 19, supports lifelong learning for all ages.

“What challenges you is different from what challenges someone else,” said Carolann DeMatos, SCLSNJ’s director of marketing and public relations. “We want you to embrace that and explore the limitless possibilities at our libraries. If you find that you typically read nonfiction, challenge yourself to read fiction; if you typically only visit the library to check out CDs, challenge yourself to stay for a drumming demo; if you find you spend three hours a day playing video games, challenge yourself to go outside and get active; if you find that you love looking at the night sky, challenge yourself to learn more about our universe.”

SCLSNJ’s Summer Reading Challenge for 0-18 year olds will track the number of days read between June 19 and August 19. Prizes celebrating participation milestones will be offered along the way. SCLSNJ will offer the opportunity for kids and teens to make a difference by choosing to have SCLSNJ make a donation to Somerset Regional Animal Shelter instead of collecting a prize. SCLSNJ will donate $0.25 to SRAS (up to $750) for every reader that chooses to give back.

SCLSNJ’s Summer Reading Challenge for adults 18+ years old will track number of books read. The more books read, the better a participant’s chance of winning prizes. You can also earn “Golden Tickets” that can be entered to be selected for a grand prize at the end of the summer.

SCLSNJ’s 10 library branches will offer a wide array of special programs for all ages to encourage you to challenge yourself to learn something new and different.

“From Creature Conservation with Adventure Aquarium to making a difference with Cards and Drawings for a Cause; from a presentation by one of the thirteen original United States’ NASA Solar System ambassadors to Bollywood Dance, there are literally hundreds of options for you to explore at the library this summer,” said Marcela Dunham, SCLSNJ system programming coordinator.
To accept the challenge, visit SCLSNJ.org/SummerReading or SCLSNJ’s Mary Jacobs Memorial Library branch.

The Summer Reading Challenge and more can be found at SCLSNJ’s Mary Jacobs Memorial Library. For more information about any programs or to register, visit SCLSNJ’s Mary Jacobs Memorial Library branch at 64 Washington Street in Rocky Hill or call 609-924-7073 ext 4. For a complete list of upcoming Library programs and additional information about the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey visit SCLSNJ.org. 

Notes From The Township Administrator

Montgomery is always interested in pursuing opportunities for shared services with other municipalities. Our shared services agreements provide additional sources of revenue to help our residents.

In May Montgomery entered into agreements with the Borough of Manville to provide them with financial services, in essence becoming their Finance Office staff. This provides Manville with excellent financial management while bringing $30,000 of revenue annualized to the Township in 2017.

The Township is also contracting with Manville for assistance in our Recreation Department. Recreation Director Karen Zimmerman will get sixteen hours of staff time per week from Manville's new Recreation Director augmenting her staff and assisting with our summer camp programs. Montgomery will pay 40% of the cost of this employee directly corresponding to the hours worked. These shared services agreements help both municipalities and save the taxpayer's dollars.

With the growth of the Montgomery Police Department to 34 sworn officers and the recent promotions and retirements it was necessary to promote two officers to the rank of Sergeant. Fifteen officers were eligible to enter the promotional process.

The process includes three phases, an essay exam, personnel file review, and interviews by the Township Committee. The cumulative scores of the essay exam and file are averaged and those candidates who finished with the four highest scores were interviewed by the Township Committee.

The Committee then selected two officers from the four. Out of four excellent candidates Brian Hofacker and Jason Larsen were selected to become new sergeants. Their swearing was held at the May 18 Township Committee meeting. We thank all the eligible officers for participating in the process.
As I write this column the Township Public Works Department is overseeing the completion of our road overlay program. At the same time the Engineering Department is overseeing the sidewalk replacement/repair program in the Club Side section of Cherry Valley, the Princeton Avenue road reconstruction, Blue Spring road/Salisbury Road sidewalk repairs, as well as paving and curb work in the Jamestown neighborhood. It's been a very busy spring for Township Staff.

Washington Crossing Audubon Society announces the following events for June 2017:


· June 3, 2017. “Delaware Water Gap, North Jersey”, a free, public birding trip with Washington Crossing Audubon Society
Join Washington Crossing Audubon Society (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) Saturday, June 3 for a free, public birding trip led by Sharyn Magee and Brad Merritt to several spots around the Stokes State Forest Area.

Directions: We will leave the Princeton area at 7:00 AM, carpooling as possible. Meet at Princeton Shopping Center off Harrison St. The trip route is North on Rte. 206 about 60 miles to a meeting place at Stokes State Forest Office, about one mile North of Culvers Lake. Register in advance with Brad Merritt at (609) 921-8964 prior to the trip.

· June 10, 2017. “Washington Crossing State Park”, a free, public birding trip with Washington Crossing Audubon
Join Washington Crossing Audubon Society (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) from 8:00 AM on Saturday, June 10 for a free, public birding trip led by
Wayne Hendrick and Franta Broulik at Washington Crossing State Park. We will walk trails looking for spring migrants and resident birds in wooded areas and adjacent fields of the park.

Directions: Washington Crossing State Park is located off of Washington Crossing – Pennington Road in Titusville, NJ. Enter the park and follow signs to the Nature Center. Park at the Nature Center parking lot. Call Brad Merritt at (609) 921-8964 if additional information is needed or in case of inclement weather.

· June 17, 2017. “Assunpink Wildlife Management Area”, a free, public birding trip with Washington Crossing Audubon
Join Washington Crossing Audubon Society (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) at 8:30 AM on Saturday, June 17 for a free, public birding trip led by John Maret and Andrew Bobe at Assunpink Wildlife Management Area. We will look for resident birds such as blue grosbeaks, orchard orioles and cedar waxwings, as well as butterflies.

Directions: Take I-195 East to exit 11 (Imlaystown). Proceed North on Imlaystown Road for 2.6 miles to the parking area at Lake Assunpink. Call Brad Merritt at (609) 921-8964 if additional information is needed or in case of inclement weather.

· June 24, 2017. “Mercer Meadows Pole Farm”, a free, public birding trip with Washington Crossing Audubon
Join Washington Crossing Audubon Society (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) at 8:00 AM on Saturday, June 24 for a free, public birding trip led by Sharyn Magee at Mercer Meadows Pole Farm. We will walk the paths and compare the flora and fauna to those of Rosedale Park.

Directions: From the traffic light at Manors Corner shopping center on Pennington-Lawrenceville Rd., take Keefe Rd. toward Princeton for 1.1 miles to the bend where it meets Cold Soil Rd.; the entrance is on the left. Call Brad Merritt at (609) 921-8964 if additional information is needed or in case of inclement weather.

Washington Crossing Audubon Society Field Trips for June

Delaware Water Gap, North Jersey, a free, public birding trip with Washington Crossing Audubon Society
Join Washington Crossing Audubon Society (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) Saturday, June 3 for a free, public birding trip led by Sharyn Magee and Brad Merritt to several spots around the Stokes State Forest Area.

Directions: We will leave the Princeton area at 7 amcarpooling as possible. Meet at Princeton Shopping Center off Harrison St. The trip route is North on Rte. 206 about 60 miles to a meeting place at Stokes State Forest Office, about one mile North of Culvers Lake. Register in advance with Brad Merritt at 609-21-8964 prior to the trip.

June 10, 2017. Washington Crossing State Park, a free, public birding trip with Washington Crossing Audubon

Join Washington Crossing Audubon Society (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) from 8 am Saturday, June 10 for a free, public birding trip led by Wayne Hendrick and Franta Broulik at Washington Crossing State Park. We will walk trails looking for spring migrants and resident birds in wooded areas and adjacent fields of the park.

Drections: Washington Crossing State Park is located off of Washington Crossing - Pennington Road in Titusville, NJ. Enter the park and follow signs to the Nature Center. Park at the Nature Center parking lot. Call Brad Merritt at (609) 921-8964 if additional information is needed or in case of inclement weather.
June 17, 2017. Assunpink Wildlife Management Area, a free, public birding trip with Washington Crossing Audubon. in Washington Crossing Audubon Society (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) at 8:30 am on Saturday, June 17 for a free, public birding trip led by John Maret and Andrew Bobe at Assunpink Wildlife Management Area. We will look for resident birds such as blue grosbeaks, orchard orioles and cedar waxwings, as well as butterflies.

irections: Take I-195 East to exit 11 (Imlaystown). Proceed North on Imlaystown Road for 2.6 miles to the parking area at Lake Assunpink. Call Brad Merritt at (609) 921-8964 if additional information is needed or in case of inclement weather.

June 24, 2017. Mercer Meadows Pole Farm, a free, public birding trip with Washington Crossing Audubon

Join Washington Crossing Audubon Society (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) at 8 am on Saturday, June 24 for a free, public birding trip led by Sharyn Magee at Mercer Meadows Pole Farm. We will walk the paths and compare the flora and fauna to those of Rosedale Park.

Directions: From the traffic light at Manors Corner shopping center on Pennington-Lawrenceville Rd., take Keefe Rd. toward Princeton for 1.1 miles to the bend where it meets Cold Soil Rd.; the entrance is on the left. Call Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964 if additional information is needed or in case of inclement weather.


Public invited to view and comment on landscape plans for two causeways along Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway, from May 15 to 26
May 11, 2017— The public is invited to view and comment on 12 Rutgers University student landscape design plans for two causeways along the Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway. The exhibit is on display for two-weeks, Monday, May 15 to Friday, May 26 from 9 am to 3 pm at D&R Canal State Park Headquarters, 145 Mapleton Road, Princeton, NJ 08540.

Rutgers University student, Barbra Walker, will be at the headquarters for Q&A on Tuesday, May 23 from 10 am to 1 pm to talk about the project. Ms. Walker is facilitating the exhibition of the class’s drawings and will compile a single landscape plan for each causeway incorporating comments from officials and the public. The goal is to produce the final Blackwells Mills Causeway plan and plant the site in October 2017. The Griggstown Causeway implementation is to follow with the planting to occur in October 2018.
The Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition (MVP Coalition) is the sponsor of a National Scenic Byway in NJ, a 27-mile loop through the Millstone Valley in the central part of the state. The Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway, located between the Millstone River and the Delaware and Raritan Canal, consists of two mostly parallel waterbodies, and the floodplains between them, sandwiched between roadways and causeways that connect historic villages and nature preserves.

Inspired by this rare oasis of natural beauty and historic integrity, the MVP Coalition is working to preserve its rural charm, to spruce up areas of neglect and to enable visitors to discover the rich layers of history and nature underlying its visual appeal. Two of the Byway's causeways, Blackwells Mills and Griggstown, are the focus of the Causeway Project. They are each approximately two-tenths of a mile in length. They connect River Road on the west side of the Millstone River and with Canal Road east of the D&R Canal.

Utility companies are tasked with keeping power lines free of overhanging trees. Recognizing these energy needs and requirements, the necessity to prune the vegetation and trees along the route was apparent. Knowing that the pruning often results in unfavorable vegetation health and negative visual conditions, the most viable solution was to re-vegetate portions of the Scenic Byway. To meet this dual goal, the Causeway Project was launched for the two causeways. This a partnership with PSE&G, Franklin & Montgomery Townships, the D&R State Park, the NJDOT, the MVP Coalition and Rutgers University.

The project is now in the landscape design phase. In March 2017, Rutgers University Landscape Architecture students focused their re-envisioning on these causeways. The 12 landscape proposals (six for each causeway) enhance the experience (frame views, augment tree understory, layer plantings) and provide spectacular new walking trails through proposed native plantings from parking areas to the towpath walk, to historic buildings, and to water access areas along the river. Some designs have raingardens to cleanse and gather roadway runoff in light rains. Deer-resistant and pollinator-friendly plantings provide wildlife nourishment and habitat and rebuild the local ecosystem while augmenting the visitor experience.

More information about the Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway is available at: http://www.millstonevalley.org

Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MillstoneValleyNationalScenicByway

Map of the Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways/byways/2462/maps

Raritan Valley Composite Squadron named New Jersey Civil Air Patrol Squadron of Merit

MANVILLE, NEW JERSEY The Raritan Valley Composite Squadron (RVCS) of the New Jersey Wing Civil Air Patrol was presented the coveted New Jersey Wing Civil Air Patrol Squadron of Merit Award. Captain Donald Brewer, Commander of RVCS, and Lieutenant Kai Leung, Deputy Commander for Cadets, accepted the award.

This award denotes meritorious cadet programs performance throughout the previous year. Only one squadron, showing the highest progress, can be awarded each year: it has gained more cadets and advanced more cadets proportionately than any other of the 23 squadrons in the New Jersey Wing.
Currently RVCS has 120 members, evenly divided between Cadets (12-18 years) and Seniors. Last year Cadets and Officers from the squadron participated in CAP activities such as Search & Rescue missions and exercises, Robotics and Cyber Competitions, the Wing Encampment, Drone training, and powered and glider orientation flights. RVCS marched in the annual John Basilone Parade, led wreath placement rites on veterans’ graves, assisted at the Solberg Balloon Festival, and supported numerous other community events.

There are approximately 1,300 members of CAP across New Jersey. The Raritan Valley Composite Squadron meets on Wednesday evenings at 7 PM at the Central Jersey Regional Airport on Millstone Road, just South of Manville. {Prospective Cadets and their parents are always welcome. Adults seeking aviation, mentoring, or service opportunities are invited as well.) Contact RVCS Commander Captain Donald Brewer at (908) 526-8199.

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 56,000 members nationwide. CAP performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions and is credited by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center for saving an average of 7 lives monthly. CAP volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP, founded in New Jersey, has been performing missions for America for 75 years, and received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans.

Montgomery EMS Blood Drive on June 24

Montgomery EMS (MEMS) is hosting a Community Blood Drive on Saturday, June 24, 2017 from 9 am to 2 pm at the Montgomery EMS squad building on 8 Harlingen Rd. Belle Mead, NJ 08502.

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

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

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

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

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

If you have any concerns or questions on medical eligibility, please contact Community Blood Services @ 201-389-0417 or visit www.communitybloodservices.org. And you can now complete the health history questionnaire on-line through this website to save time at the blood drive!

Arbor Day Seed Contest Winner

Sophia Lehmann, age 9 and a third grader at the Village School
won this year's Arbor Day seed contest, organized by Montgomery Township's Shade Tree Committee and held at the Mary Jacobs Library.

Sophia correctly named the Butternut tree as the source of the seeds. There were 83 butternuts in the jar. Sophia's guess of 90 was the closest.

Larry Koplik, Chair of the Shade Tree Committee, presented Sophia with her prize, the Eyewitness Book of Trees.

2017 Celebration of Our Nation's Birth June 29

Fireworks Spectacular set for Thurs., June 29

There will be lots of fun for the whole family on the front lawn of Montgomery High School on June 29. Starting at 6 pm, there will be plenty of games and activities for children, food vendors selling everything from hotdogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken and pizza to delicious deserts like cheesecake, ice cream and the ever-popular kettle corn and funnel cakes. Get there early to get a great picnic spot under the stars. Feel free to bring a blanket or chairs and enjoy the sounds of The John Oakes Band playing hits from today and yesterday at 7 pm up on the stage. After the singing of the Star Spangled Banner at dusk (approx. 9:15 pm), get ready for a spectacular display of patriotic fireworks, sure to bring out the kid in everyone.

This event is funded by contributions from corporations, small business leaders, individual citizens, and fees from high quality vendors and non - profit organizations. The event rain date is set for Thursday, July 6.

The event will be held at Montgomery High School, 1014 Rt. 601, Skillman. To reserve priority parking in the High School parking lot, at a cost of $15 per space, go to: https://register.communitypass.net/montgomery and if you do not have a Montgomery Recreation account, create one and then choose "Summer 2017". (Note: handicapped parking spots will be reserved at the high school and available at no charge).

Please visit our website, www.montgomeryfireworks.org to review all sponsorship opportunities and learn more about making a donation online. Checks made out to 'Montgomery Fireworks' may be mailed to: Montgomery Fireworks c/o Montgomery Township, 2261 Van Horne Road, Belle Mead, NJ 08502.
Thank you to the new Fireworks Fundraising Chairman, Steven Shueh who took over after George Jarvis stepped down last year after 7 years of volunteer service to the Township. Mr. Shueh follows Mr. Jarvis' footsteps of working extremely hard to see the Independence Day Celebration tradition continue in Montgomery Township.

Further questions regarding donations may be directed to fireworksfundraising@twp.montgomery.nj.us.
Mayor Ed Trzaska commented, "As always, this is a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together, honor the nation, and enjoy a night out with our families and friends. Please mark your calendars."

"Most of all, the spectacular fireworks will be the star of the show. My thanks to our Corporate Sponsors, who support us year after year, and help ensure that the Montgomery Fireworks provide joy and fun to our entire community" said Recreation Director Karen Zimmerman.

Recycling Fair Totals were Impressive This Year

The Montgomery Environmental Commission and Sustainable Montgomery would like to thank everyone who participated in the 2017 Earth Day Recycling Fair. We particularly want to thank all of our volunteers who helped to set up and break down the event, and also to the many businesses, community groups and non-profits who collected items for recycling at the Fair. A special thanks to our generous sponsor, Rocky Hill Cleaners.

The Fair was a great success, and thanks to your efforts, we were able to recycle the following:
- Metal: 3,880 lbs
- Electronics: over 100 cubic yards
- Paper shredding: 9,480 lbs
- The Somerset County Sheriff's Office collected 186.54 lbs of expired or unwanted medications for proper disposal, a record high at our Fair!
The following items were collected for donation or reuse:
- Approximately 40 golf bags collected by First Tee of Raritan Valley, who supports teaching golf to young people;
- Boys and Girls Club collected 110 bikes and 25 helmets
- Over 32 cubic feet of books were donated to the Carolyn Stokes Preschool in Trenton
- Goodwill in Ewing received three boxes of kids' toys
- Rescue Mission of Trenton collected clothes, personal hygiene products, strollers and various household goods which filled a 30' truck
- Dress for Success filled 2 SUVs with women's work clothing
- Kicks 4 Caribya collected 19 large cartons of soccer equipment, softball equipment and sneakers. These donations are packed shipped to underserved youth in the Caribbean
- 20 lacrosse sticks and assorted field hockey equipment were donated to Montgomery Recreation for their programs
- Technician X collected 599 ink cartridges and 25 toner cartridges
- Your generous donations to Montgomery Food Pantry filled the bed of a Public Works pick-up truck
Many photos of the event may be found at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskTQiG45. 

New After-hours Tax & Sewer Bill Payment Drop Box

Montgomery Township has set up a new secure after-hours drop box for tax and sewer payments. This black box (see photo) is located on a post at the front of the municipal building at the bottom of the handicap ramp, located at 2261 Route 206 in Belle Mead (08502).

The drop box is for after-hours tax & sewer payments only. It is not intended for leaving any other kind of correspondence or payment to the Township. The box is checked every business day morning. Payments left in the drop box will be posted as of the next business day. This step has been taken for the convenience of our tax payers. If you have any questions, contact the Finance Department at 908-359-8211.  

The Wines of Summer

When the temperatures start rising, it is time to think about the wines of summer. In the winter, a heavy red wine from California or Bordeaux seems the best thing to have because the weather outside is so dreadful. A big red warms up your cold body and gives everything a glow.

New Jersey in the hot days of summer is just the opposite. The weather is deadly because of the heat. You will probably want to stay inside for most of the day just to get away from that dreadful New Jersey humidity that I know too well from my years of living in Princeton. In my memories of summer,everything is dripping with humidity.

So this is the time of year when you should pick up a nicely chilled white winefrom your refrigerator. Already the world will look a little nicer. Most of my choices for affordable white wines come from Australia and New Zealand. Those two countries are still relative newcomers to the world of wine, and their prices are lower than their counterparts from France or California. They are also easy to find.
My very bargain white wine for summer, though, comes from California, and that is the famous or infamous, depending on your prejudice, Charles Shaw. This is the wine made by Fred Franzia, the rebel from California who dominates the world of lower cost wines. His bottles these days go for $2.99, after many years of being an unbelievable $1.99 and got the popular name Two Buck Chuck. It is sold only at a Trader Joe's store, but there is one just outside of Princeton. I have bought wines there. Don't let anyone intimidate you because the wines are inexpensive. They are quite good, despite what the snobs say.
If you want to splurge a little more, but not too much, you should take a look at Oak Leaf, Woodbridge, and Fetzer wines. All of them are from California. All of those wines are great values.

When you look abroad for your summer whites, your first stop should be [yellow tail]. The wine carries a good price and an unusual label. The winery is owned by the Franzia family, which has its roots in Italy. The founder whose roots were in winegrowing, landed in Australia during World War II and liked the climate even better than home.

If you want to splurge on a great white wine, try out the Errázuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay from Chile. It should be about $20. Or try a Beaulieu Reserve from California. It will set you back about $25, but is worth the price.

For a red wine during the summer, I'd recommend something from Spain. The Spaniards have so much hot weather during summer that they need to have red to go with the heat. One of the best products and still a good price is the Campos Reales Tempranillo. Another good Spanish red is René Barbier Mediterranean. You could also try the R. López de Heredia Cubillo Rioja. You really can't go wrong with any Rioja for a good summer red.

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.


Report from Rocky Hill - June 2017

The big news is that the Rt. 518 Canal Bridge is finally opened, after only 11 months, for what had been promised, a six week job. Thanks, Gov. Christie! Former Mayor Toby Whitlock noted the damage done at the corner as massive trucks have had to cut it making the turn for the detour and hoped that the County would foot the bill for repairs.

At the May 1 Council meeting, the Borough introduced and approved the 2017 Budget. The total is $1.064M, of which $497 will be raised by levy. The local rate is steady, at $0.387/$100.
There were two candidates for the open seat on Council, following the resignation of Former Mayor Jeff Donahue, who was replaced by Council president Phil Kartsonis. His replacement on Borough Council must be from the same party, in this case Independent, and will serve until the November elections are certified by the Borough Clerk. The two candidates for the open seat were Anthony Sciaraffo and Irene Battaglia, who withdraw, citing work commitments. Mr. Sciaraffo was sworn in at the May 15 Council meeting.
Councilman Billy Dawson was elected Council President. Council President acts as acting mayor in the event that Mayor Kartsonis is unable to attend a regular Council meeting.
Mayor Kartsonis noted that there were 30 dogs and cats vaccinated at the Rocky Hill Rabies Clinic in April.
Contract talks are beginning for the renewal of the South Bound Brook Police Department for enforcing traffic rules. However, they may have some competition from Montgomery. Township Administrator Donato Nieman says that there have been tentative feelers out for a joint service agreement for traffic safety policing. Previously, Montgomery named a price so far out of line it was risible, hence SBBPD. Now, it may be that things are different. Montgomery PD must pass through Rocky Hill to serve residents at Montgomery Woods.

Rocky Hill will be sending a letter out with the tax bill explaining the sharp rise in the school tax portion of the tax bill. Montgomery had a tax increase, but half that of Rocky Hill, thanks to the school "formula" which is suppose to equalize taxes. That formula may have been written for laughs by the same people who wrote the algorithms used by Wall Street Hedge Fund traders in 2007. That didn't end well. On the other hand, Rocky Hill is sending more kids to the schools than in previous years, and the Township fewer, which alters the formula somewhat.

Meanwhile, Borough Assessor George Sopko noted that the Borough is in the fourth year of a four-year rolling tax property reassessment of all Borough properties. 25% of properties are re-assessed each year, with adjustments made to all homes by formula, which includes sales and marketing data. This tends to result in fewer tax appeals. He said, "There were no tax appeals last year. Inspections take about 10 or 15 minutes per property and there have been few complaints."

He said that over the last three years, according to market data, homes were selling at a 2 or 3% increase. Last year it was a 1% decrease. Overall, statewide, there has been a low supply of homes. In the Borough, there is one home activly for sale and two under contract. Total Borough property value is $128,255,800.
A Montgomery Avenue resident had a question regrding his sewer bill: he has a sprinkler system, which he used during a recent period of draught after planting some new trees. That resulted in a water bill of $250, but a sewer portion of the bill resulted in a total bill of $1250. He was told by Borough Engineer Bill Tanner that the only work-around was to have a separate meter installed, with a second bill, just for a sprinkler system.

Council questioned the bill from Mastroianni for snow removal, which had not been itemized.
Council authorized payment of $54,000 to resolve a bill from the Montgomery Township Sewer Dept., in arrears due to the failure of the Township to note two items on the bill list before sending the final bill for 2016 to the Borough. The Borough will be on the hook for its share of future mandated flood-prevention upgrades of the pumping station on River Rd.

Borough residents pulled 2.30M gallons of water from Well #2. All tests are in the green.
The NJ State Police reported making one emergency medical call, one call for a verbal dispute, one found property call, four arrests, and one accident with an injury.

The Constables issued no tickets in April. Constable Dineen is resigning, affective July 1, so that job will be open by application. Mayor Kartsonis said, "Constable Dineen did a good job resolving nuisance complaints without making them worse."

The Borough approved a $102,750 contract with Fine Construction for the new emergency generators, which includes work on the Well #2 Building.

There is an open seat on the Board of Health.

Councilman Dawson noted the replacement of the radar signs due to isses with automobile blind-side detection systems. There was some sort of conflict, since resolved.

Borough CFO Joe Monzo introduced the 2017 Budget, at $1.064M, of which $497,000 will be raised from property tax levy. The local rate stays at $0.387/$100.

Borough Council approved a $2,125 contract with Shier Landscaping to trim the ornamental pear trees along Washington Rd.

Mayor Kartsonis noted the death on May 5 of Pastor Ruth Robins, who had been pastor of the Rocky Hill reformed church from 1983 through 1193.

The second Annual Kick-ball event will be held on June 15.

Borough Council will meet on the third Monday, once a month starting June 19 at Borough Hall on Montgomery Ave., at 7 pm.
For more information, visit www.rockyhill-nj.gov. 

Montgomery Fireworks to Be Held on June 29

Montgomery Township will celebrate the Independence of the United States with a Fireworks Spectacular on June 29 at Montgomery High School (MHS). Vendors will offer a wide array of food starting at 6 pm. The John Oakes Band will play hits of yesterday and today at 7 pm. The Star Spangled Banner will be sung at dusk (about 9:15 pm), followed by the fireworks. Montgomery Township Recreation Director Karen Zimmerman says, “Get ready for a spectacular display of patriotic fireworks, sure to bring out the kid in everyone!”

Games and activities for children will be available. Vendors will be selling traditional barbecue favorites including grilled chicken, hotdogs, and hamburgers. In addition, pizza and tasty treats such as cheesecake, funnel cakes, ice cream and kettle corn will be available. Zimmerman notes, “There will be lots of fun for the whole family! Get there early to get a great picnic spot under the stars. Feel free to bring a blanket or chairs, but please leave your pets at home.”

Zimmerman is grateful to Steven Shueh, the new Fireworks Fundraising Chairman. Outgoing chairman George Jarvis led fundraising for the fireworks for seven years. Zimmerman states, “Mr. Shueh follows Mr. Jarvis’ footsteps of working extremely hard to see the Independence Day Celebration tradition continue in Montgomery Township.” The event is possible because of contributions from local companies and individuals as well as fees paid by the vendors and nonprofit organizations that will have tables that evening.

Regarding the event, Montgomery Township Mayor Ed Trzaska explains, “As always, this is a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together, honor the nation, and enjoy a night out with our families and friends. Please mark your calendars.”

Zimmerman adds, “Most of all, the spectacular fireworks will be the star of the show! My thanks to our Corporate Sponsors, who support us year after year, and help ensure that the Montgomery Fireworks provide joy and fun to our entire community.”

The rain date for the event is July 6.

Reserve a priority parking spot in the MHS parking lot for $15 at: www.register.communitypass.net/montgomery. If you do not have a Montgomery Recreation Department account, create one and then choose “Montgomery Recreation Trust” and click on “Summer 2017.” Please note that there will be free handicapped parking available at the event.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities or to make a donation online, go to www.montgomeryfireworks.org. Checks made out to “Montgomery Fireworks” can be mailed to: Montgomery Fireworks c/o Montgomery Township, 2261 Van Horne Road, Belle Mead, NJ 08502.Email questions regarding donations to fireworksfundraising@twp.montgomery.nj.us.

Farmer's Market Begins June 3

The Montgomery Friends Farmer's Market begins its season Saturday, June 3 from 9 am until 1 pm. Market Manager Lorette Pruden notes, "We are celebrating our fifteenth season. We are the oldest 21st century farmer's market in the area." The market, run by the Montgomery Friends of Open Space (MFOS), features an extensive variety of locally grown and produced food.

Pruden notes, "At our Saturday morning Farmers' Market, shoppers can find Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables, organic produce, locally raised poultry, beef and pork, fish from the Jersey Shore, pastas from New Jersey-grown wheat, flowers, pies, bread, pastries, gluten-free baked goods, alpaca products, honey, beeswax, sauces, soups, ketchups, ciders, and coffee--all worth getting up for."
Some of the vendors have a long history with the market. Orchard Farm Organics of Montgomery and Tree-licious Orchards and Bakery of Port Murray (fruit, cider doughnuts, and pies) have been at the market since its inception in 2003. Griggstown Farms (chicken pot pies, fruit pies, honey, mushrooms, and sausages), Von Thun Farms (produce and fruit from Monmouth Junction), and Woods Edge Wool Farms of Stockton (alpaca products, honey, soaps, and yak meat) have come to the market for five or more years.
New to the market this year are Local 130 Seafood of Asbury Park, offering fish direct from the Jersey Shore; Norz HIll Farms of Hillsborough, selling beef and pork; and Chutneys and Curries of Montgomery, with fresh sauces.
Other vendors at the market include Benfatto Coffee of Hillsborough, Hot Sauce 4 Good of East Millstone, Lore Pasta of Monmouth Junction (made in small batches from New Jersey wheat), and Nine Acre Farms of Skillman (sunflowers), The Eat Local table at the market will feature Orchard Farm Organics herbs, lettuces, eggs, and sauces and Terra Momo breads and pastries.
The MFOS has been instrumental in preserving land in the Township. Jack Roberts, President of MFOS, explains, "Part of the mission of MFOS is to support agriculture in Montgomery Township. Since the market was started in 2003, sources of 'people food' have increased in Montgomery. Much of that is grown on open space, the preservation of which was facilitated or initiated by MFOS and/or the Township. All produce at the market is sourced in New Jersey, sold by growers or direct representatives, much from Montgomery farmers or from surrounding towns."

Pruden adds, "We have also provided community service opportunities and paid employment for several Montgomery residents over the years. There are many ways to get involved. We have volunteer opportunities for adults and students to help with the market."

Residents are invited to come to the market. "Join us to shop locally, have a bite to eat and drink, listen to music and visit with your friends. We'll have regular appearances by - among others - the Mary Jacobs Library, the Montgomery EMS, and our sponsors."

Businesses and individuals sponsoring the market include Princeton Design Guild, Princeton Fitness and Wellness, 1st Constitution Bank of Rocky Hill, Terra Momo, Baez State Farm Insurance, Princeton Orthopaedic Associates, Clyde River Christmas Tree Farm, Radiation Data, Nassau Tennis Club, and Ed and Jaci Trzaska.

MFOS and the Farmers' Market are members of ShopLocalMontgomery (the Montgomery Business Association), the New Jersey Council of Farmers and Communities, the New Jersey Farmers Direct Marketing Association, and the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey.
The Market will be held on Saturdays through October.

Rocky Hill First Aid Squad Family Breakfast fundraiser June 17

A Family Breakfast fundraiser will be held by the Rocky Hill First Aid Squad on Saturday, June 17 from 8:30-12:30.

The menu will include Belgian waffles, made to order omelets and eggs, breakfast links, Amish breakfast casserole, etc...

Breakfast will be served at Trinity Episcopal Church on Park Ave. (off Crescent Ave) in Rocky Hill 

Police Blotter - March - April – May 2017

Spring is sprung, the grass is riz: A report of a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of a Belle Mead business on March 15 brought MTPD Officers Ryan Gray and Eric Hannold, who found a 27-year-old Dayton man and a Belle Mead resident leaving the vehicle and attempting to walk away. The officers found pot in the car, for which the Dayton man was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

And again, on April 4, Officer Gray stopped a car driven by a 23-year-old Hamilton man who was found to have a controlled dangerous substance. The driver was charged with possession of CDS, possession of Paraphernalia, driving with expired registration, unclear license plates, and having a CDS in a motor vehicle.

On April 11 a 24-year-old Belle Mead man was stopped by Officer Colucci, and he too, was found to be holding a CDS. So, he was charged with possession of CDS, using a handheld device while driving, and possession of CDS in a motor vehicle.

Officer Ryan Gray stopped a car driven by a 42-year-old Bound Brook man on April 24, for an expired inspection sticker, and he also had CDS, for which he was arrested and charged with possession of CDS, drug paraphernalia, failure to inspect a vehicle, and dpossession of CDS in a motor vehicle.
April 25, Officer John Colucci stopped a 24-year-old Bridgewater man for speeding. You guessed it, he was charged with possession of CDS, paraphernalia, speeding, and possession of CDS in a motor vehicle.
An April 25 traffic stop at 9:54 pm for an dead headlight on Rt. 206 resulted in the arrest of a 27-year-old Coatesville, PA man, who was driving a car with license plates stolen from Bellmawr, NJ. He was arrested and charged for receiving stolen property, and ticketed for driving without insurance and failing to maintain his lamps.

On a roll, Officers Ryan Gray and Troy Sudek stopped a car driven by a 20-year-old Passaic man for an unclear license plate on April 29. The driver and the passenger, a 30-year-old Bloomfield man, were also holding CDS. The driver was charged with possession of CDS, possession of drug paraphernali, improper display of a license plate, and possession of CDS in a motor vehicle. The passenger was charged with possession of CDS.

A 58-year-old Belle Mead man was arrested on May 2 after he drove to MTPD HQ at 7:39 pm and asked for help in locating his vehicle, which had been towed. Because he appeared to have been drinking, he was given a field sobriety test, which he failed. He was arrested for DWI, failure to install an interlock device, failure to comply with license restrictions, and failure to show his driver's license. He was released to a friend.

On May 2 at 4:08 pm, a 35-year-old Washington Crossing, PA woman was stopped for speeding on Cherry valley Rd. She had an active $233 warrant from Wall Township, for which she was arrested , then released after posting bail, with a speeding ticket.

Someone keyed a car parked in the lot at UMS on Burnt Hill Road, which the owner reported happened sometime between 7 and 8:45 pm on May 5.

A 44-year-old Skillman woman was arrested on May 6 at 5:23 on Delmarvia Dr. at Pike Run Rd. She had been called in by someone who reported her for reckless driving on Rt. 206. She failed a field sobriety test and was arrested for DWI and for driving without insurance. Her car was towed.

Celebrate Strength, Celebrate Life - An evening with Amy Robach

Good Morning America news anchor and cancer survivor Amy Robach will headline a special event hosted by Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) on June 8 to commemorate National Cancer Survivors Day.
Celebrate Strength, Celebrate Life: An Evening with Amy Robach will begin at 7 p.m. in the Hyatt Regency Princeton.

Ms. Robach, a New York Times bestselling author, was diagnosed with breast cancer following a televised mammogram. She will share the personal story behind her very public cancer journey and describe how it has given her a different perspective on life.

Coffee, tea and desserts will be served prior to the program. Everyone is welcome to attend. The cost is free, but registration is required. Please call 1.888.897.8979 or visit www.princetonhcs.org/calendar to register.
This event is made possible by PHCS Community Education & Outreach.

GPYO Holding Auditions

The Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra will be holding spring auditions on May 24, June 8, and June 14.

Auditions and rehearsals are held at Montgomery High School in Skillman, NJ. GPYO is looking for elementary through high school students in Central New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, especially students who play double reeds, brass, and double bass.

For audition requirements and to apply online to schedule auditions, please visit. www.gpyo.org Questions? Email gpyorecruitment@gmail.com. Phone: 609-683-0150.

MTPD Advisory_ Road work on Tuesday

Advisory: Road Work Update:Tues 5/2- Hollow Rd Paving 6:30A-5P. CLOSED to through traffic. Camp Meeting to Long Hill Local traffic only. 


Advisory: Road Work Update:Tues 5/2- Road Milling 6:30A-5P Rutland Rd and Maple Ave. Local traffic only. Closed to through traffic.

Campus News - June 2017

The College of New Jersey
Caroline Parent and Emma Rarich, both of Belle Mead, were initiated into The Honor Society of Phi
Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society.

Saint Joseph's University
Sabrina Schielein of Belle Mead, enrolled in theUniversity’s Haub School of Business, was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, the national business honor society.

Boston College
Anthony J. Iati of Skillman has graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Economics and Communication.

Athlete of the Month - Andrew Kotler

In the Galloway National Challenge, the Cougars were able to upset the number one-seeded team in the state after Andrew Kotler shot 75. As a captain of the MHS golf team, Andrew Kotler has been crucial to the team's success. He recently won second place at both the Somerset County Tournament and the Skyland Conference Tournament this year. Andrew's numerous tournament achievements also led him to be included in the first team All Skyland Conference, as well as the All Area teams for the Princeton Packet and Trenton Times. His coach, Joe Bassford, added, "Andrew has a team-low season average of 38, and shot a 2-under par 34 against Warren Hills."

Andrew began playing golf recreationally at age five or six, moving on to play competitively around age twelve. He commented, "The guys playing professionally inspired me, because they get to play golf for a living. That seemed pretty interesting to me so I decided to become more committed and try to get to that level." In particular, Andrew looks up to Tiger Woods, one of the most successful professional golfers.
To train for games, Andrew practices all areas of the game for a couple of hours per day. In the summer, Andrew ramps up his practice to seven or eight hours every day of the week. This work ethic has allowed Andrew to improve exponentially throughout his high school career. He noted, "I dedicate a lot of time to golf. I have spent hundreds of hours working to get better and it is starting to pay off." Andrew's hard work has allowed him to overcome many of the mental obstacles that restrict players. Luckily as well, Andrew has avoided major injuries, having only tweaked his back a couple of times playing golf.

Aside from his own work ethic, Andrew credits the team's success to his teammates and coach. He praised, "We have a really close-knit varsity team, which is really amazing. We all push each other to get better and work harder, and my teammates are some of the hardest working people I know. They have helped the team win many matches over the past couple of years, and the team would be much different without them." Coach Bassford, too, has allowed Andrew to grow as a player by sharing his vast knowledge about the game. The two share a close bond, as Bassford is Andrew's go-to adult in any match. Andrew is also grateful to his parents for supporting him throughout all of his golf career. He reflected, "They kept me positive in tough times and shared happiness with me in times of success. They are always there for me"

Next year, Andrew will be playing golf at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Even though he will physically be far away, Andrew's positive impact on the Cougars will continue to allow the golf team grow.

May Sports Roundup - June 2017

Despite a schedule packed with challenging opponents, Montgomery boys tennis has remained far in the lead of its competition, with a record of seventeen wins and zero losses so far. The boys shattered other teams at the Somerset County Tournament, winning all five singles and doubles games against the likes of Ridge, Pingry, Hillsborough and Bridgewater-Raritan. Both Vishnu Joshi and Ishaan Ravichander on first and second singles, respectively, swept their matches in only two sets, 6-0, 6-0. Senior Vishnu Joshi is seeded third for the NJSIAA state singles tournament. The MHS doubles team is also seeded first for the NJSIAA state doubles tournament.

Montgomery softball is near the end of its season with a record of 20-2. The team won a game against Phillipsburg, 3-0, to become the Skyland Conference Champions. In the first round of the Central Jersey, Group Four tournament against East Brunswick, the Cougars also won 15-0, thanks to strong pitching from junior Peyton Schnackenberg. The team's coach, Bryan Upshaw, commented, "The team recently lost a heart breaker against Bridgewater Raritan in the Somerset County Championship. The team played amazingly and did a great job just by getting to the championship game and experiencing it. For the New Jersey State Tournament, we are the number one seed. Our goal is to win the central New Jersey Group Four title, and the team is playing really well together."

In the Somerset County tournament, the Cougars lost to Bridgewater-Raritan, 7-12. The boys were able to keep up both a solid offense and defense, with Danny Engels scoring two goals, and closely trailed Bridgewater-Raritan at the start of the second half. However, Bridgewater-Raritan widened its lead in the second half. Despite its loss, the team is quickly advancing through the NJSIAA South Jersey, Group Four Boys Lacrosse Tournament. The Cougars played against Rancocas Valley in the first round, with huge scoring contributions from Kyle Marrapodi and Nico Ipeker.

Like its gender counterpart, the Montgomery girls lacrosse team passed the first round of the NJSIAA Tournament, winning against Scotch Plains-Fanwood (16-2). The team was led by Angela Masessa, who scored five goals. Other contributors included Caroline Decker, Sara Howard and Kate Heidt. The Cougars also advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Somerset County Tournament, before losing to top-ranked Bridgewater-Raritan.

Despite tough competition against players from Hunterdon Central and Pingry, MHS golfer Madeline Jin placed fourth at the Skyland Conference Tournament, with teammate and captain Rosey Li coming in sixth. As a team, the Cougars placed third with a score of 341, behind Ridge and Pingry. At the following NJSIAA Tournament of Champions, Rosey finished in sixth place as well, with a four-over-par 76.
The baseball team recently competed in the Somerset County Tournament. In the final game against Rutgers Prep, the boys lost 2-7. The team was able to score two runs in the sixth inning thanks to Ryan McKenna. However, the Cougars were able to come back in a later game against Phillipsburg, winning with a perfect score of 5-0.

Overall, MHS teams are nearing the end of their spring seasons. With NJSIAA State Tournaments in session, many of the teams will continue to excel and practice with vigor until the end of the month.

American Heart Association Honors Kulkarni For Work on Women's Heart Disease Awareness

Dr. Rachana Kulkarni, who received the Woman of Distinction Award at the Garden State Go Red for Women luncheon.

Dr. Rachana Kulkarni, managing partner and cardiologist at Medicor Cardiology and chair of the department of medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Somerset, was recognized for her work in creating awareness on women’s heart disease by the American Heart Association last week.
The Garden State Go Red for Women luncheon in Princeton was attended by about 200 individuals from a variety of leading health care companies in the state and country.

The event, which was celebrating its 15th year, began by honoring survivors.

15 women stood in a line and, one by one, using the previous person’s flame, lit red candles they held while standing in front of the crowd.

One of them, Danielle Denlein, was 35 years old and had just delivered her baby daughter on the fateful day eight years ago when she found herself in the emergency room with heart failure.
On Friday, she told the crowd about the traumatic experience. After being diagnosed, she attended her first Go Red for Women luncheon and immediately wanted to run away.

I don't belong here. … Where are all the men? Isn't heart disease a men's disease?” she recalled thinking.
With a 40% loss of heart muscle, six stents and surviving heart failure, she is now an ambassador for the organization.

Denlein’s thoughts at her first luncheon reflect the problem Kulkarni has been fighting: Women's heart disease is poorly understood.

The symptoms are different for women, and women — especially women in business — don’t take enough care of themselves, Kulkarni said.

“Women do not pay attention to their symptoms. Heart disease is atypical in women,” she said.
What that means is the symptoms may not always be related to heart disease. The reason is because research on heart disease has focused on studying men and how to treat it in men, Kulkarni said.
“And cardiac research is what leads to what goes into textbooks, so physicians didn’t know, because it wasn’t in textbooks, and textbook definitions were only on what happened to men,” she said. “Lack of awareness, on the part of even physicians, led to lack of diagnosis and a lot of women had their symptoms written off as anxiety and stress.”

And that wasn’t hard to believe, especially for women who work.

“Tell me one working woman that doesn’t think they have stress,” Kulkarni said. “We are constantly juggling multiple things. Women are always in caregiver mode, they are always juggling 10 balls in the air, so it’s very easy to overlook your own health.”

“So, by the time women present with heart disease, it’s more advanced, and that leads to adverse problems.”

At least 670 women's lives have been saved through greater awareness, according to Stephern Allison, chairwoman of the Garden State Go Red event.

“This one really means a lot to me,” Kulkarni said when receiving her Woman of Distinction Award.
“Twenty years ago, when I went into the field of cardiology, I understood I am going into a field dominated by my male colleagues. Little did I know how deep the disparities ran,” she said. “ Lack of representation in the field of cardiology … translated into a lack of understanding of (heart) disease, lack of recognition of the disease, which lead to delays in the treatment, and later on translated into adverse problems for women. “

This lead to her belief that not only did she have to represent women in the field, but also look out for female patients. “I made it my professional life’s goal to raise awareness of heart disease in women so that we can do better. 85% of heart disease is preventable, and we just need to grab that opportunity,” she said. 

MTPD Advisory for Wednesday May 3

Advisory: Wed 5/3 Montgomery Park CLOSED 6:30A-5P for paving. 

Advisory: Road Work Update Wed 5/3: Paving 6:30A-5P Pin Oak Rd & Sourland Hills Rd Local traffic only

MLB Pinch, Hit and Run May 13

Montgomery Baseball will be hosting a MLB Pinch, Hit and Run and the Major League Baseball JR. Home Run Derby on Saturday afternoon May 13th. Please sign up on our website (leaguelineup.com). McKnight Complex 52 Reading Blvd, Belle Mead, NJ 08502.  

MBA April 26

The Montgomery Business Association met on April 26 for breakfast with Montgomery Township Mayor Ed Trzaska, along with Township Administrator Donato Nieman, Township Planner Lori Savron, and Zoning Officer Joe Palmer, at Cherry Valley Country Club.

Mayor Trzaska led off with a discussion of trends in the Township, such as the planned retirement of six to eight MTPD officers, and promotions as well.

He noted that Montgomery Promenade, approved in 2007, has been reconfigured for pedestrians, with a one-acre open space. That should be breaking ground sometime in 2018. The big store will be CVS, and something called "Frank's Theatre," an entertainment center including 10 –12 cinema's.

He said that "Pike Run Plaza is coming along soon," although it's now called "Montgomery Place."

But, he said, "It's really about the roads," which would cost ten times as much for a total reconstruction as for milling and paving.

There will be a number of loop roads built to relieve some of the congestion at the Rt. 206/518 intersection. He said that intersections have a rating, from A to F, with "F" being a wait of two minutes or more. "That intersection is way past an F," he said, but should "improve to a D" with the new roads at the intersection. Not much will change for the better with traffic from the Rocky Hill side, however.
The Texaco site at that intersection has been approved for a Dunkin Donuts, but the issue currently is there have been delays for approvals of their traffic plans from the County and State, as those are County and State roads. The State rejected their most recent application for unknown reasons, so "That piece of land is back in limbo," the Mayor said.

The Township acquired an additional 170 acres of Open Space, which brings the total to 36% of Township land preserved.

COAH, as ever, is "A nightmare scenario for us as we don't know what the level will be. Any residential development will have to have a COAH element." Where there was a requirement under the old rules for 500 units over next 10 years, it is now 600 – 700 units of affordable housing. "There will be one unit of affordable for every four or five units of market rate residential units. COAH units aren't as profitable for builders."

That means the town will have to absorb about 2,500 free market units, with all the attendant increase in students in the schools. However, he noted that the school census is down form previous years, at around 4,700 from a high of 5,300. Still, "The towns that are hardest hit are towns like Montgomery." South Brunswick, for instance has to come up with 1,500 COAH units mandated by the Courts, which have taken over the entire process.

The Township is looking in a serious way at acquiring the Convatec building on Orchard Rd. as a new Township Building, as it has seriously outgrown the old one, and has become a "Frankenstein building, with files stuffed in storage boxes," the Mayor said. "We're looking for funding from other solutions," as well, he said. "The only reason we don't get a fire violation is because we don't let the Fire Marshall down there to look."

That process might take the next five years or so. Funding would be in part from the County Improvement Authority.

The next meeting of the MBA will be May 23 at Princeton Fitness and Wellness. 

Passport Fair at the Otto Kaufman Community Center June 20

Passport Fair


3:00-7:00 PM, 356 Skillman Road Skillman,


Public outreach to make Passport agents available to the public after normal acceptance hours. Will be onsite to take photos, process applications and answer any passport related questions. First come first serve. Agents can only accept checks or cash (cash for money order would require and additional fee of $1.25) at this event. Any questions can be directed to the Skillman Post Office 609-466-1420. Please go to travel.state.gov or call 1-877-487-2778 for current forms, regulations and fees 

St. Peter's Urgent Care Closes its Doors

Montgomery and Rocky Hill lost its walk-in health clinic on April 30, after a five-year run.
In January of 2012 St. Peter's Urgent Care Center opened on Route 206 in the Village Shopper III Shopping Center, in the corner spot. It occupied that space among several small restaurants and retail places for over five years before the decision to close operations was made.

When St. Peter's Urgent Care opened, University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro was months away from opening across Route 1 and many in Montgomery were not pleased of the major hospital leaving Witherspoon Street, a short ride down 206. The past ten months saw a state DOT closure of the Route 518 bridge, and that highlighted local concern over the distances to the UMCP at Plainsboro hospital or up 206 to Somerset Medical in Somerville, if and when emergencies arise in Montgomery.
"With the urgent care people were able to drop in without an appointment and see a physician. That was St. Peter's first urgent care center and we have not abandoned the possibility of opening other urgent care centers elsewhere because this particular location did not work," says Phil Hartman, public relations director for St. Peter's University Hospital network based in New Brunswick.

Hartman explained the decision to close, "It closed due to insufficient growth and patient volume at the urgent care center. It never grew the way in which we hoped it would, possibly due to lack of use by Montgomery Township residents and overall residents of the area. It was just not supporting itself any longer," Hartman said.

He noted that former patients of the urgent care center from the past six months received letters notifying them of ways to acquire any medical records needed. Former patients are also being referred to St. Peter's other regional doctors' offices and physician practices with St. Peter's on-call medical associates. None of the Montgomery urgent care center's staff were full-time St. Peter's employees and they were all working on contractual bases.

St. Peter's Urgent Care center was the only such "clinic" venture by St. Peter's Health System in the state outside of its main New Brunswick hospital on Easton Avenue, which includes an ER, and its St. Peter's Physician Associates doctors' offices. Hartman says that unlike the urgent care center, that niche has grown.

"They offer a whole range of medical services and they have been seeing volume increases. The urgent care in that particular location was not, so it was truly a business decision," Hartman said.
The Montgomery facility had been open hours six days a week. Earlier this decade it was a local piece of a growing national trend for urgent care centers, as such "clinics" nationwide built business on treating medical conditions that don't impinge upon emergency rooms' services, especially life-threatening conditions.

Former patients of St. Peter's Urgent Care wish to get their medical records they can call 732-745-8600, extension 2268.  

Mayor calls MBA Business Breakfast "A Great Conversation"

Other Montgomery Town Hall Meetings in Works

On Wednesday, April 26th a room of Montgomery business leaders had breakfast, networked and listened to Mayor Ed Trzaska speak and field questions from the audience. This public event was organized by the Montgomery Business Association. Jean Robinson, MBA President, opened the meeting.

Mayor Trzaska commented, "We have a very engaged population and I love

Mayor Ed Trzaska speaking at a breakfast organized by the Montgomery Business Assoc. at the Cherry Valley Clubhouse.
meeting Montgomery residents and business leaders. It is an important way for me to keep up-to-date on what our community cares about and to share updates on initiatives the Township Committee is working on. Thanks to MBA for this opportunity once again!"

In his speech, Mayor Trzaska stressed that the Township Committee continues to adhere to their core governing principles - doing more with less, protecting public health and safety services, and preserving Montgomery's rural character while enhancing the commercial sections in town. The mayor was proud to share that Montgomery Township spending is below 2005 levels and the Township has reduced debt by almost $30 million.

This fiscal responsibility means that Montgomery now has the ability to wisely and thoughtfully invest more in the community, he stated. For example, Montgomery significantly invests in public safety services to keep up our excellent safety record and the high quality of the police department.

The mayor talked about the need for road maintenance. Over the past three years, the township has approved more road projects than any other time in recent history - over $7 million. In total, Township projects have repaved, reconstructed, or repaired over 35 public roads in Montgomery. This year, Montgomery has already addressed much needed roadwork on many of the main arteries in town - Orchard Road, Sunset Road, Cherry Valley Road, Cherry Hill Road, Burnt Hill Road, Princeton Avenue, and several others.

The mayor said the team remains passionate about protecting our rural character and continues to look for the best opportunities to preserve more land. In 2016, 170 acres of new open space was preserved. In addition, some resources are being invested to make our existing park land more attractive and usable for residents, he explained.

The mayor fielded questions on topics such as upcoming building projects "Montgomery Place" by Pike Run and "Montgomery Promenade" by the airport. This second project will include offsite road improvements to help lessen traffic at Rt. 206 and Rt. 518. He was asked about the likelihood that the Township will renovate the aging municipal building. He said estimates on rehabilitation came in at over $15 million and more cost-effective options are being considered (at the current and other locations).

"We all had a wonderful conversation. This is a great event every year and I am planning other 'town hall' style meetings in 2017. It has been a rewarding and an excellent way for me to stay connected with our residents and businesses."

Over 500 residents have attended earlier town hall meetings. Anyone interested in having Mayor Trzaska speak to their homeowner association or other Montgomery based organization, please email etrzaska@twp.montgomery.nj.us.


Children's Day at Rockingham May 21

All children (ages 0 to 100) are welcome to come and enjoy Rockingham’s annual Children’s Day, being held this year on Sunday, May 21, from noon to 5:00 pm. The site, which served as General George Washington’s final wartime headquarters in later 1783, will offer activities and demonstrations of 18-century life with support from the Montgomery High School Live Historians Club and the Rockingham Association.

Activities might include trying on replica 18th-century clothing and learning to write with a quill and ink; playing historic games like battledore and shuttlecock and trap ball, an early form of baseball; trying crafts such as making paper hats and epaulettes (shoulder decorations for an officer). Past Muster will be on hand to talk about soldier’s life and musket drilling, NJ History Alive will demonstrate aspects of 18th-century home life, and local teacher Deb Buonocore will demonstrate basket making. The garden will be available for perusing. The barn will be open and will be used to house some of the activities. The museum store will be open, with its many interesting wares and trinkets for sale, and light refreshments will be available.
No registration is required. Although admission to the event is free, donations will be very gladly accepted!
The event will be held rain or shine.

Rockingham is located at 84 Laurel Avenue/Kingston-Rocky Hill Rd. (Rte. 603) in Franklin Township, one mile north of Rte. 27 in Kingston and one mile south of Rte. 518 in Rocky Hill. For further information, please call 609-683-7132 or go to www.rockingham.net.