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Montgomery News
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Montgomery Township
and Rocky Hill, NJ

Saturday August 19, 2017


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Montgomery Triple Challenge Debuts to Support Local EMS


Montgomery Township, N.J – Moms In Business will host their first annual “Montgomery Triple Challenge” on Sunday, October 1, 1-4 pm. Proceeds will benefit Montgomery EMS.


The Triple Challenge is a triathlon for children aged 5-13 and will include a run, bike and obstacle course at the beautiful Skillman Park, Montgomery Township, NJ. The races are being organized by John Rooney of Fal-Rooney Camps and Events. In addition to the races, there will be carnival games, face painting, balloonist and other kid-friendly activities. This community event will also feature business sponsors, vendors, community organizations and non-profits. Local businesses are invited to sign up to be vendor and/or sponsors.


Participation in The Triple Challenge is just $20 per child (ages 5-13) for an afternoon of outdoor fun. Vendors can participate at $100 per table and event sponsorships start at just $500. To sign-up visit https://momsinbusinessnj.com/montgomery-triple-challenge-2017/


Moms In Business is proud to support our local EMS. Montgomery EMS is an all-volunteer organization which provides 9-1-1 emergency service at no cost to patients. However, 80% of their annual budget must be raised through fundraising. As moms who conduct business in Montgomery we are honored to be sponsors of Montgomery EMS, who stand as an example for future generations about the importance of community service.


Montgomery Triple Challenge promises to be a fun community event bringing families and businesses together while supporting the Montgomery EMS. Join us on Sunday, October 1, 2017, 1-4pm, Skillman Park (between Route 601 and Burnt Hill Road), Montgomery Township. For more information visit https://momsinbusinessnj.com/montgomery-triple-challenge-2017/ 


The PDS Production of She Kills Monsters Will Be
First Licensed Production in UK

Princeton – In August, students and faculty from Princeton Day School will return to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to perform Qui Nguyen’s “She Kills Monsters,” a contemporary play set in the pre-internet 90’s and filled with physicality and dramatic combat scenes. The PDS production will be the first licensed production of “She Kills Monsters,” professional or amateur, to be performed in the United Kingdom.

Director Stan Cahill shared the rehearsal process by noting, “To bring the production to life, our performers spent many rehearsal hours working with stage combat choreographers and movement specialists in an effort to bring over a dozen epic battles and sequences to the stage.” The female characters revel in Geek Culture and battle a “giant gelatinous cube,” a “beholder,” and a five-headed dragon called The Tiamat, as well as many others, according to Mr. Cahill. “It is also a hilarious script, and the play’s theatricality and physicality is only part of its allure,” he added.

“She Kills Monsters” explores themes of acceptance, sexuality and female strength, all set against a 90’s era soundtrack. The students have been working on the production for months, and it was performed at the Spring Performing Arts Festival on campus in May.



“She Kills Monsters” will be performed in The Space @ Venue 45 on August 5, 6, 7, and 9 at the Fringe. https://www.thespaceuk.com/edinburgh/thespace-venue-45/

Photo caption: Some cast members from Princeton Day School’s production of She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen, which will be performed at the renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. From left to right: Danielle Hirsch ’17 (Newtown, PA), Hope Ammidon ’18 (Princeton), Liv Sheridan ’18 (Lawrenceville), Emily Trend ’18 (Pennington), and Nate Jones ’18 (Princeton). Photo by Matt Pilsner.

Princeton Day School is an independent, coeducational school educating students from
Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 12.

Job Shadowing Program for Teens and Tweens hosted at SCLSNJ

On July 18, SCLSNJ hosted a job shadowing program for teens and tweens at 6 County branches: the Bound Brook branch, the Bridgewater branch, the Hillsborough branch, the Mary Jacobs branch, the North Plainfield branch, and the Warren Twp. branch.

"When we originally planned this program, we wanted to create a personal, memorable event that would allow the tweens in our communities to explore different professions and experience the library like they never had before. During the course of the morning, participants had the opportunity to shadow several staff members across different departments in different branches, including those in SCLSNJ's Administration," explained event coordinator Lynn Mazur. "By the end of the program they not only had a better understanding of how SCLSNJ works as a library system, but they also got a glimpse into the wide array of professions involved in the day-to-day operations of such a large organization. As the coordinator of the program here in Bridgewater, I was amazed at how engaged the tweens were throughout the program. They asked smart, interesting questions of our staff and were in complete awe of all the work that happens behind-the-scenes."

"It's been my experience in this economy that there is very little room for a young college student to dabble with several different majors," said Business Librarian Cathy DeBerry. "There is little flexibility in a college schedule between general education requirements and major/minor requirements for students to take unrelated courses and be able to graduate on time. The more we can expose tweens and teens to different kinds of careers, the better they will be able to select a major as early as freshman year of college - which will not only save time but a great deal of money. SCLSNJ's intentions in hosting an event like this was to expose young students to different kinds of careers as early as possible. The students were not only able to learn about librarianship but they were also exposed to careers in management, marketing, public relations, finance, and human resources."


Skillman tennis Player Wins Doubles at USTA

Skillman tennis player Rhea Shrivastava and Sophia Sassoli (Gladwyne, Pa.) won the doubles title at last weeks’ United States Tennis Association (USTA) Girls’ 16s National Clay Court Championships. Shrivastava and Sassoli defeated Zoey Weil (Columbus, Ohio) and Brigitte Wu (Jersey City, N.J.), 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, in the doubles final in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Each year, more than 120,000 players compete in USTA junior tournaments. Players compete in levels of competition through earned advancement in the 10s, 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s age divisions. USTA junior tournaments help kids take their game as far as they want—high school, college or pros—or just have fun competing. 

Neshanic Garden Club Members Win Awards

At the Annual Luncheon of the Garden Club of New Jersey at Bridgewater Marriot in June, Neshanic Garden Club received the following awards:

Certificate of Merit with Gold Seal for an Excellent Yearbook; GCNJ Continuing Project Award for a project of at least five years’ sponsorship that demonstrates progress and growth in rendering influence or service for their Garden Therapy for All Ages Project; The Bernardsville Garden Club Trophy for an outstanding project in civic or environmental improvement for “planting and maintaining gardens of the historic Station House”; The East Orange Trophy for developing, maintaining and working with a community park, garden or arboretum for “creating a handicap accessible brick walkway at Ann Van Middlesworth Park”.

The Neshanic Garden Club also received the National Garden Clubs, Inc. Certificate of Merit for their Press Book. The Garden Club of New Jersey, Inc, Central Atlantic Region for #44 Aii – Publicity Press Book 2016 and the Central Atlantic Region Publicity Press Book Award for a Medium Club – 1st Place -Neshanic Garden Club, Neshanic Station, NJ from the Garden Club of New Jersey. October 23-25, 2016.

NGC Member Jeannie Geremia of Flemington was also sworn in as The Garden Club of New Jersey’s 1st VP of the GCNJ Board for the coming two years. The Pollinator Center Signage Project that she has been heavily involved in during the past year included having the Black Swallowtail Butterfly designated as the official NJ State Butterfly, won the top award and highest honor from the National Garden Clubs Inc. Geremia and Diana Kazazis, vice chair, received the Award of Excellence which included an inscribed medallion, a check for $500 and a certificate. The money will be used for future project goals. 

Montgomery Adds 34 Acres to Open Space

Part of Greenway on Rte. 518 Near Hopewell

Montgomery Township is under contract to purchase a 34 acre property on the south side of Route 518, near the western border of Montgomery, between Hollow & Spring Hill Roads.

This property had been targeted for preservation on Montgomery's open space acquisition priority list for some time. It is adjacent to other preserved open space and farmland and to other parcels the Township is targeting for preservation. Montgomery is working to create a greenway to keep the viewshed open and rural along its "western gateway" - where motorists, walkers and cyclists enter the Township from Hopewell Township.

"The Township regularly reaches out to property owners about potential preservation, but when we see a 'for sale' sign on a property targeted for preservation in our Open Space Master Plan, we seize the opportunity," said Mayor Ed Trzaska.

The property owner is 901 Realty Associates, LLC, who have owned the land since 2001. The owners had plans to develop the property at some point in the future, but recently listed the property for sale. The Township reached out to the property owner and was able to work out a deal. The purchase price is $1.1 million and there is an opportunity to cost-share on the acquisition with Somerset County. A portion of the land is in the sewer service area and likely could have been used for residential development.

"I am really proud of this deal. The land was pursued by multiple other parties and if we didn't preserve it now, it would have been developed and its viewshed lost forever," added the Mayor.

The frontage of the property on Route 518 blends a former farm field with many shrubs and red cedars and young saplings. There are forested wetlands towards the rear of the property where a tributary to Bedens Brook forms the southern boundary line.

It is anticipated that the closing will take place in August or early September.

Zwicker Measures Yield Millions in Grants for Local Farmland Preservation Projects


(TRENTON) – Two bills Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker sponsored to fund farmland preservation were signed into law by the governor on Monday, after receiving unanimous approval in both houses of the legislature.

“Agriculture is one of the largest components of New Jersey’s economy, so supporting that industry is critical for our state,” said Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). “Some of the biggest challenges in farming are access to land and capital. These appropriations will help ease that financial burden.”

The first new law (A-4582) provides a total of $32.5 million in farmland preservation grants around the state. The sum includes $4 million in grants for communities in the 16th Legislative District, with $1 million each going to Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset counties. The legislation also makes each of these counties eligible for additional grants of up to $5 million. In total, the funds would cover up to 80 percent of the cost of acquiring easements for farmland preservation purposes.

The second new law (A-4584) appropriates $7.5 million in farmland preservation grants, including a $500,000 grant for Delaware Township in Hunterdon County.

“Farmland preservation is the foundation of the agriculture industry,” said Zwicker. “In addition to providing direct economic benefits to the entire state, investing in farmland preservation creates stability for New Jersey’s farmers, helps limit sprawl and preserves the beauty of our communities.” 


BRIDGEWATER, NJ – On December 11, 2017, the Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) will recognize and celebrate companies and non-profits that are contributing to making Somerset County a universally respected location to live, work, play and learn. For more than two decades the Economic Vitality Awards have been presented at the SCBP Annual Meeting, providing an opportunity for a company to be recognized by more than 500 representatives of the Somerset County’s businesses. Nominations are now open for the 2017 awards.

The prestigious Economic Vitality awards honor companies with a reputation for improving Somerset County’s economy by working with the Business Partnership and other community organizations to promote Somerset County as a place of “vibrant connections.”

Economic Vitality nomination forms are available at http://bit.ly/17awardsnom or by calling the Somerset County Business Partnership at 908-218-4300. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Nomination deadline is Friday, September 1, 2017.

The Annual Meeting luncheon is Somerset County’s largest and most influential business gathering, attracting the local community representatives and public and private sector leaders from across the state. It will take place on Monday, December 11, 2017 at the Palace at Somerset Park, 333 Davidson Avenue in Somerset, New Jersey.

“The Annual Meeting is the highlight of every year as we gather as a community to celebrate success, network, and enjoy a delicious lunch at a fabulous venue,” stated Michael Kerwin, SCBP President and CEO. “It’s a great way to look back at our achievements and to set our goals to continue the positive momentum into 2018.”

Recent award recipients include: Safe & Sound Somerset, JM Sorge Environmental Consulting, Van Cleef Engineering Associates, FinPro, Olde Mill Inn, United Way of Northern NJ, Affinity Federal Credit Union, Costco – North Plainfield, Middle Earth, Northeast Power Dry, M&E Engineering, Primus Green Energy, The Center School, Bridgeway Senior Healthcare, ProCure Proton Therapy Center, Somerville Aluminum, Somerset County Library System, and Ortho Clinical Diagnostics.

PHOTO CAPTION: The Somerset County Business Partnership Economic Vitality Awards will be presented at the Annual Meeting at the Palace at Somerset Park scheduled for Monday, December 11, 2017.

PRESS CONTACT: Rich Reitman 908-526-1390 or 908-400-6061

The Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) serves as Somerset County’s regional Chamber of Commerce and the essential partner for doing business in Somerset County. The SCBP enjoys a unique public-private partnership with County government to provide economic development and tourism services.

The mission of the SCBP is to lead the business community to a prosperous and sustainable future, offering members opportunities to grow their businesses through networking, advocacy, workforce initiatives, and educational events. Members and investors represent public, private and community organizations, working in partnership and dedicated to maintaining and promoting economic prosperity and quality of life in Somerset County. The Business Partnership serves as the platform to gain critical information, brand a business, develop leadership skills and learn how specific business strategies can improve profitability.


Washington Crossing Audubon Society announces events for September 2017:

Field Trips

· September 9, 2017. “Edwin Forsythe NWR (Brigantine)” a free, public birding trip with Washington Crossing Audubon Society
Join Washington Crossing Audubon Society at 9 AM on Saturday, September 9 for a walk led by Brad Merritt at the Forsythe NWR at Brigantine. “The Brig” offers great viewing access to migrating shore birds, terns, raptors, waterfowl, herons, egrets and the occasional uncommon bird. For more information or in event of inclement weather, call Brad at (609) 921-8964. Directions: Take the Garden State Parkway South to exit 48, then Rte. 9 South for approximately 5 miles. Look for the Brigantine Forsythe NWR sign on the left, and turn left onto Great Creek Road. Meet in the parking area. See our website (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) and follow us on Facebook.

· September 17, 2017. “Bird Banding at Featherbed Lane” a free, public birding trip with Washington Crossing Audubon Society
Join Washington Crossing Audubon Society (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) at 8 AM on Sunday, September 17, for a free, public birding trip at the Featherbed Lane Banding Station. Led by Mark Witmer and Hannah Suthers, this unique field trip will expose you to the ongoing research conducted for over 40 years by Hannah Suthers and her volunteers (hopewell-birds.freehostia.com). You will see the entire process of bird banding and learn what data are collected. We are likely to see a variety of species, including warblers, thrushes, wrens, and Hannah's favorite, the catbird. Note that registration is required and limited to 12 persons: Call Brad Merritt at (609) 921-8964 to register.

Directions: Registered participants should meet at Featherbed Lane. From Rt. 518 in Hopewell, Turn North on Greenwood Avenue and drive approximately 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Featherbed Lane and go about 0.5 miles to the banding area. Park on the right side of the lane. See our website (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) and follow us on Facebook.

· September 23, 2017. “St. Michael’s Farm Preserve, Hopewell” a free, public birding trip with Washington Crossing Audubon Society
Join Washington Crossing Audubon Society (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) at 8 AM on Saturday, September 23, for a free, public birding trip led by Juanita Hummel and Brad Merritt at St. Michael’s Farm Preserve in Hopewell. We will explore the Preserve for fall migrants such as sparrows, raptors and other passerines associated with open space. This is an excellent place and time for a fall nature walk. For more info or in case of inclement weather, call Brad Merritt, 609-921-8964.

Directions: From Rosedale Road, turn right on Carter Road and continue four miles to find parking lot on the right just before entering Hopewell Borough. From 206, go west on Route 518, continue six miles and turn left on Princeton Avenue in Hopewell Borough at the traffic light. The main parking lot is 0.5 mile out Princeton Avenue on the left. See our website (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) and follow us on Facebook.

· September 30, 2017. “Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve” a free, public birding trip with Washington Crossing Audubon Society
Join Washington Crossing Audubon Society (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) at 8 AM on Saturday, September 30, for a free, public birding trip led by Brad Merritt at the Negri-Nepote Native Grasslands Preserve in Somerset County. This 164-acre preserve is home to a number of sensitive species, including the Grasshopper Sparrow, Cooper’s Hawk, American Kestrel and Eastern Meadowlark. We will also have the opportunity to view Wood Ducks, Bluebirds and Purple Martins. For more info or in case of inclement weather, call Brad Merritt, 609-921-8964.

Directions: Take Rte. 514 East (Amwell Rd.) from Rte. 206 at Woods Tavern. From South Middlebush Rd., turn onto Skillmans Lane. The preserve entrance is on the West side, between the two 90-degree curves. See our website (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) and follow us on Facebook.

Monthly Program

September 18, 2017 (8 PM). Washington Crossing Audubon Society Presents: “Pete Bacinski: Colonial Nesting Birds – Our Coastal Gems”
Featuring images taken by some of America’s best nature photographers, Pete Bacinski will offer a look at some of New Jersey’s most glorious birds: colonial nesting herons, egrets, terns and gulls. He will acquaint us with this marvelous group of birds in their finest (breeding) attire and explore their way of life right here in New Jersey. Efforts on the part of several organizations to protect their habitats will be examined.
The program will be held in Stainton Hall on the campus of the Pennington School, 112 W. Delaware Ave., Pennington, NJ. Refreshments are served at 7:30 PM and the talk will begin at 8 PM. The public is invited. Additional information can be found at www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org. Follow us on Facebook.

Special Announcement

Grant Opportunity for Conservation and Environmental Education Available from Washington Crossing Audubon Society

Washington Crossing Audubon Society (www.washingtoncrossingaudubon.org) is pleased to announce its annual Holden Fund Grant Competition to assist individuals and organizations in advancing environmental education and conservation through initiatives emphasizing, but not limited to three areas: habitat protection and restoration; avian monitoring and conservation; and public awareness and education. The program also encourages grants addressing conservation concerns related to other threatened taxa or preserving biodiversity, as well as initiatives to reconnect people with the natural world. Funding for this program is possible through a generous bequest from the late Polly Holden. This year, a total of up to $15,000 is available from the fund. Individual grants will be capped at $5,000.

Grant applications will be reviewed by the WCAS Grants Committee, which will provide recommendations to the full WCAS board for approval and announcement of recipients by February 1. Submissions must be received by November 1, 2016.

Interested individuals and organizations should submit an application that supplies the
information outlined below (with supporting material as appropriate) by November 1, 2016 to contact.wcas@gmail.com. Grant money can NOT be used towards salaries or operating expenses. Recipients of funded grants will be required to submit a report upon project completion. 

Harlingen Church Fall Rummage Sale

Harlingen Reformed Church, located at the corner of Rt. 206 and Dutchtown-Harlingen Rd., is holding its fall rummage sale on Friday, Sept. 22, from 8 am – 5 pm, and Saturday, Sept. 23, from 8 – 12 Noon Bag Sale Day - $5, $10 & $20). Indoors, rain or shine. www.harlingenchurch.org.

Public donations accepted on Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 18, 19, between 9 am - noon ,and 3 - 6 pm. Not able to accept mattresses, children's car seats, cribs, computers and large, overstuffed furniture. They do accept household, clothes, toys, holiday, books, sports, small furniture, bikes, knick-knacks and linens.

"Jessie" Statue Will Be Installed at LMS

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Montgomery Lower Middle School (LMS), the statue “Jessie” will be installed by the main entrance to the school at the end of August. The sculpture, which illustrates the school’s emphasis on a love of reading, features a life-sized young girl reading a book. “Jessie” was created by sculptor Cantey Kelleher and paid for by donations from residents. Artist Peter Kauzmann of Skillman constructed the stone bench on which “Jessie” will sit.

LMS Principal Michael Richards notes, “The installation is planned for the last week of August so it will be in place when students arrive in September. The unveiling is planned for the week of September 18, when the artist will visit LMS for a few days of classroom workshops.”

Regarding the progress of the project, Richards explains, “The statue has arrived and is resting at the Skillman home of Mr. Peter Kauzmann. Peter will be in charge of installation. The stone for the bench has been ordered from a quarry in Lumberville, Pennsylvania and will be here the third week of August. Peter will assemble the bench from the cut pieces of bluestone.”

As for fundraising efforts to cover the project, Richards says, “We are in a very good place. I would say we are at 80% of our goal. It is hard to know as some of the costs have been lowered simply from the kindness of friends and strangers. Humanity is such a beautiful thing when we let it happen.”

Richards looks forward to September, when students and visitors coming into LMS will see ’Jessie’ on their way into the school. In addition, students waiting for a ride home after school will also see her in front of the building.

To donate to LMS’ installation of “Jessie” via credit card, go to: www.payforit.net/MakeItemPaymentEx.aspx. Checks made payable to “Montgomery Township Lower Middle School” can be mailed to LMS, 373 Burnt Hill Road, Skillman, NJ 08558.


Most MTSD Referendum Projects Will Be Complete for First Day of School

Students at all five Montgomery Township schools will see many changes when they return on Thursday, September 7. The projects were funded by an $18.5M bond referendum passed by Montgomery and Rocky Hill residents in March of last year. Local taxpayers are covering roughly $11M of the cost, while the State of New Jersey will cover the remainder.

At Orchard Hill Elementary School this summer, floors and dividers in the gyms as well as a boiler were replaced. The parking lot in the rear of the school and a portion of the roof over the main entrance were replaced. During the school year, restrooms will be renovated and some classroom windows will be replaced after hours. This work will begin in the fall.

Village Elementary School (VES) will have a new $1M music room. Part of the building's roof was replaced this summer and the rear parking lot now has a second exit. This school was open for summer programs.

Montgomery Lower Middle School will have a new playground for its students. The Media Center carpet, a boiler and chiller, and portions of the roof will be replaced by September. And a sculpture of a young girl named Jessie, sitting on a bench and reading, will now reside outside the main entrance (see related story). The sculpture was paid for by donations from residents in honor of the school's 20th anniversary.

At Montgomery Upper Middle School (UMS), a Home Economics room has been converted into an Art Studio. The Media Center has been completely renovated, as well as restrooms. In the gym, the floor was resurfaced and the dividers and wooden bleachers were replaced. The track and a portion of the building's roof were also replaced.

Montgomery High School (MHS), which was open for summer programs, will have a resurfaced track and a new asphalt entrance to the stadium. A new sidewalk leading to the traffic light on Route 601 was installed, and sidewalk around the school was replaced. Somerset County plans to install a sidewalk on the east (Skillman Park) side of Route 601 from Route 518 to Skillman Road, which will be accessible from the traffic light in front of MHS.

The redesign of UMS' student drop off and pick up area in the rear of the building will be held until next summer, with the addition of a retaining basin. Superintendent of Schools Nancy Gartenberg explains, "We had significant construction on the track and in the Media Center. With work on the tennis courts this fall and the added retention basin, we needed to push this to next summer."

The tennis courts at UMS will be upgraded with assistance from Montgomery Township. Two of the courts will be resurfaced and eight of the courts will be demolished and refurbished.
The final referendum projects will be completed next summer. Restrooms at VES will be renovated and epoxy floors in the restrooms of MHS will be replaced. Also, the Transportation parking lot adjacent to UMS will be paved and fuel tanks will be replaced. 

Lubas Field Receives Multipurpose Update

On August 3, the Township Committee approved a plan to rededicate Lubas Field, as a multipurpose all-grass sports field intended to accommodate demands for soccer, lacrosse and flag football.

The Committee voted 4-0, to rededicate the property, located on Route 601 across from Carrier Clinic, and reallocate a previously-set $30,000 sum from the 2012 township capital budget for Lubas Field to cover needed change to the playing surface, fencing, and possibly lights.

Director of Recreation Karen Zimmerman and Steven K. Shueh, chair of the township's Recreation Committee, spoke about the community survey that went out over the past year. Shueh said the Township has made efforts to repurpose some properties for "their highest and best use" and the chance to do so with this facility meets several needs. Zimmerman said the field was dedicated in 1972 and was first used as a Little League field. In the 1980s and 1990s it became used extensively for men's adult softball.

"It was host to big programs then, and in the early 2000's girls' softball used it. In the past seven years it has seen significant decline in use. As a matter of fact, this past year we had just five requests (five days) for use of Lubas Field," she said.

Zimmerman told the Committee the use of Public Works personnel and budget funds was spent cutting grass and maintaining Lubas Field infield. She stated the township spends money on the field without getting receivables from it. Also, softball groups in town use the two fields at Van Horne Park and
As part of the Township Master Plan the Recreation Committee considered what parcels to repurpose. "This could bring new life to an existing facility for not much cost at all. We knew the soccer club spends $15,000 a season for lighting at Montgomery Park. Lubas Field has lights, it is a huge asset, and they would like us to place a multipurpose field there," Zimmerman said.

She told the Committee the soccer teams and other groups would pay the township $65 per night to use Lubas Field "and they'd still be saving money." Shueh says the multipurpose field is surefire net revenue generator.

The scope of work in rededicating the facility includes removing the infield mix and placing that in other township softball fields, then planting grass seeds to even Lubas Field's surface. The $30,000 from fiscal year 2012's capital budget was for the replacement of Lubas Field's backstop, but Zimmerman told the Committee new fencing would be installed at a height tall enough to prevent balls from flying to Route 601. She estimates that to cost $24,000 so the township would not use all the capital appropriated five years ago.

"Essentially what you we asking the Committee for is to substitute funds for a softball field that is very rarely used - flag football is the fastest growing Recreation sport in town and along with soccer and lacrosse, they expressed interest in using Lubas Field," Shueh said.

Township Committeeman Mark Conforti says Montgomery can expect to bring in more facility rental fee revenues than it has before. He said the township would break even in three seasons of usage if the fall 2017 season was a starting point as a multipurpose facility.

Mayor Ed Trzaska said the multipurpose designation is great for Lubas Field as it was underutilized.
Township Administrator Donato Nieman added that lighting for night games that Lubas Field offers works within its "perfect location" given the aversion residents have traditionally had to bright lighting for sports, such as for tennis courts and other facilities. Aside from the sod for the field, Nieman noted that funding changes of the facility must include inspections and possible LED upgrades for the lighting as it is "old and inefficient."

Earlier this year the township purchased 13.5 acres of woodlands on Broadway and Route 601, next to Lubas Field, adding to the adjacent 800 acres of open space including the Broadway fields and McKnight complex.

At the August 3 meeting Nieman mentioned an application for a Habitat for Humanity home to be built on one of two township-owned, unencumbered properties along Route 601. He said township staff feel it represents a great new project, and Mayor Trzaska noted that it would be a good location for the home.

Events at Terhune Orchards

Read & Pick Program: Apples – Tuesday August 29 at 9:30 am and 11 am

Read & Pick is an innovative program that combines picking fruit with your young child and listening to a story highlighting the fruit. Parents and young children (ages preschool to 8 years) are welcome to celebrate everything wonderful about apples. We will be reading books about apples and Johnny Appleseed followed by an educational component. Then everyone will pick his or her own small container of apples. The cost is $7.00 per child and includes the container of apples. Our farm staff will explain how apples grow and how they should be picked. Pre-registration is requested. For more information call 609-924-2310 or visit www.terhuneorchards.com

Read & Pick Program: Chickens – Tuesday September 12 at 9:30 am and 11am
Read & Pick is an innovative program that combines hands on farm activity with your young child and listening to a story highlighting that area of the farm. Parents and young children (ages preschool to 8 years) are welcome to celebrate everything wonderful about chickens at 9:30 am and 11 am. We will be reading two books about chickens and learn the many ways chickens are useful to humans. We will visit our “lady hens,” make a clucking chicken, and even learn a dance! The cost is $7 per child and includes the activity. Registration is requested. Please call to register. For more information please call 609-924-2310 or visit http://www.terhuneorchards.com.

Read & Pick Program: Tractors – Tuesday September 26 at 9:30 am and 11 am

Read & Pick is an innovative program that combines hands-on activity with your young child and listening to a story highlighting that aspect of farming. Parents and young children (ages preschool to 8 years) are welcome to celebrate everything wonderful about Tractors. We will be reading two books about tractors and how they help farmers. Then everyone will pick participate in a tractor craft and take a tractor drawn wagon ride. The cost is $7.00 per child and includes the craft. Pre-registration is requested. For more information call 609-924-2310 or visit www.terhuneorchards.com

Apple Days Fall Harvest Festivals – Saturdays and Sundays September 16 through October 29 - 10am to 5pm

Come to Terhune Orchards for a day of family fun on the farm! What better way to celebrate fall than with Pick-Your-Own Apples and Pumpkins! Enjoy pony rides, pedal tractors, wagon rides, visit the Corn Stalk Maze, adventure barn and our barnyard of farm animals. Children can paint their own pumpkin to bring home.

Don’t worry about lunch, there’s lots of homemade farm fresh food available – soup, chili, hot dogs, pies, apple cider donuts, apple cider, and more!

Pedestrian Improvements on Rt. 601

Many of you may have noticed the activity on County Route 601 between Blawenburg and Montgomery High School that is getting under way this week. It's a significant amount of work that has been planned for some time with the input of state, local and Montgomery school board officials. The construction zone runs from County Route 518 to the main driveway at Montgomery High School and the results will be a dramatic safety improvement for students and all other pedestrians.

A multi-use path and sidewalk will be constructed on the east side of the roadway. The asphalt path will go from the traffic signal at the high school south to the bridge over Rock Brook. A concrete brick paver sidewalk will start south of the bridge and extend to the corner of CR 518 to match the paver sidewalks in the village of Blawenburg. The existing truss bridge over Rock Brook will have a steel cantilever sidewalk extension added to the east side of the truss.

Construction began the week of Aug. 7 and will continue through the end of November.

Work will be performed in three phases that will impact traffic in the area:

Phase 1 - Work on the sidewalk and curb will have traffic lanes reduced to one lane with police flaggers, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., August thru September.
Phase 2 - Steel modifications to the bridge truss will require nighttime closure of the roadway so no traffic is on the bridge, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., Monday night to Friday night in October. The road will be open in the daytime.
Phase 3 - A lane shift of traffic to the west side of the roadway at the bridge will provide a work zone on the east side to complete the cantilever bridge work, guide rail and bridge railings. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained. This phase of the work will be done in November.

The majority of the project construction cost of $2,334,000 will be paid by New Jersey Department of Transportation under the County Aid portion of NJDOT's local-aid grant program.

For more information about the CR 601 improvement project, including a road safety audit and a PowerPoint with some additional displays, visit the county Engineering Division's webpage at http://bit.ly/CR601

As I have written before in my column in the Township newsletter, I have been trying to get funding for this project for years and I am thrilled to see it finally happening! There may be a bit more traffic in the area at certain times of day during construction, but the end result will be worth it.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to reach out to me at Caliguire@Co.SOMERSET.NJ.US or at my freeholder office at 908-231-7030.

All the best, 

Blawenburg Church's Blue Pomegranate Launches New Season Sept 21

Like jazz? Come to Blawenburg Church's music and arts soirée on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Blue Pomegranate opens its fourth season on September 21.

Classical guitarist Jeff Griesemer will perform original arrangements. And the talented duo of flutist Jaclyn Duncan and vocalist-guitarist Kevin Hill will play from their collection of jazz, funk, classical and rock.

Hopewell artist James Dashcund will be on hand. His "abstract realism" combines realism with pop art.
"We've got three shows planned this fall," says local artist and church elder Alan Taback who manages the event. "And we're really looking forward to this one. James is a great artist; his work should be seen. And the music...well...if you like good music, come on in."

"We love using our space to celebrate local artists and musicians," says Rev. Jeff Knol, Minister at Blawenburg Church. "It's a great opportunity for the community to experience this great talent."

Doors open at 7pm in Cook Hall, on the Blawenburg Church campus on Route 518. Light refreshments are served. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged and go to support the work of the church and the artists.

For more details, go to www.BlawenburgChurch.org, or on Facebook @BlawenburgChurch or @BluePomArt.

Blawenburg Church's Sunday service is at 10 am. Nursery care is available for very young children. Coffee and refreshments are served following the service.

Montgomery Deer Hunting Season Starts Sept 9

In order to help control the deer population, Montgomery Township administers an annual program that allows deer hunting on certain open space properties of the Township. The hunting season begins on Sept. 9, 2017 and winter bow until Feb. 17, 2018. Montgomery Twp. does not permit hunting on Sundays in this program.

All properties are clearly posted with bright orange signage. Some properties are bow hunting only. There are clear set-back standards away from residences where deer hunting is prohibited.

For more information on the date ranges for specific types of hunting, go to NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife Deer Regulations webpage at: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/pdf/2017/regsets17-18.pdf (Montgomery is in Zones 12 & 14).

Montgomery's deer management program started over a dozen years ago. It is a very popular program with hunters because they select one or more properties, which have an assigned number of other hunters permitted. This gives each hunter a good opportunity for success. Two or more deer bagged per season grandfathers a hunter into the program and onto his or her selected property for the next season. New hunters are also always welcome to apply.

The purpose of this program is to aid in the control of the deer population so that an ecological balance can be maintained. When there are too many deer, the forest under story may be stripped bare, preventing new tree seedlings, important to future forests' existence, from getting a foothold, while destroying habitat needed by other species, including certain forest dwelling song birds. Invasive non-native plant species, which the deer generally do not prefer, often take over an area, creating low quality habitat and a poor food source for wildlife. Lyme disease may spread more rapidly and more deer/car collisions occur. Hungry deer predate on the landscaping and shrubbery of homeowners in residential neighborhoods. Some deer will starve in the winter when there are too many and not enough forage is available.

To learn more about the program and/or to download an application, go to the Deer Management Program page of the Township website. A link to this page is also found on left side menu of the home page.
Questions on the program may be directed to the Wildlife Management Committee at wildlifecommittee@twp.montgomery.nj.us

Administrative questions may be directed to the Montgomery Twp. Clerks' Office at 908-359-8211 ext. 215. 

Trees To Plant For Fall Color

Here are some suggestions of trees to plant for beautiful fall color.
As noted in a previous article, many tree species do best if planted in the spring, and, as it turns out, a lot of the best-coloring trees are on the fall-planting-hazard list. So, this fall, consider planting some of the trees and shrubs on the "OK-to-plant-in-the-fall list," but also keep an eye out for what you'd like to see in your yard next fall and make plans to plant some of the trees on the spring-planting list in the spring.
To plant in the fall (alphabetized by Latin names):

Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Amelanchier (serviceberry)
Hamamelis (witch-hazel)
Rhus copallina (winged sumac)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)

To plant in the spring, (alphabetized by Latin names):
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Carpinus caroliniana (American hornbeam)
Cercis canadensis (redbud)
Cornus florida (dogwood)
Liquidambar (sweet gum)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree or tulip poplar)
Nyssa sylvatica (black gum or tupelo)
Oxydendrum arboreum (sourwood)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus shumardii (shumard oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)

The Shade Tree Committee is charged with the planting, care and preservation of public trees on the Township's streets and in its Arboretum, parks and public areas, like the Otto Kaufman Center. It advises the Township on matters relating to tree policy, including review of development applications. The Committee provides on-going advice to Township residents and officials concerning the planting, care and preservation of shade and ornamental trees. The Committee collaborates with the Parks Department, Montgomery's schools, scouts, local businesses, and other Township committees on a variety of environmental and education projects, including its annual Arbor Day program for third graders.

9-11 Blood drive at Montgomery Fire Station 46 Sep 6

Give the gift of life.

Blood Drive sponsored by Fire 46, 529 Rte 518, Skillman , on Wednesday, September 6, 4 – 8 pm.
Honoring the first responders of 9-11 -01 and our local emergency services, your single donation of blood can help save up to three lives. Free gift to all donors & all donors entered in raffle for 4 tix to Diggerland.

Visit the Fire Co.'s 911 Memorial when you donate, tinyurl.com/Mont911.

For more information, contact Lori at Community Blood Council at 609-883-9750 ext. 122. Eligibility questions, go to www.GiveBloodNJ.org
Appointments available, walk-ins also welcome.

3nd Annual Montgomery FunFest at Princeton Airport

Sunday Sept. 10th for a day of food, fun, and entertainment

With more than a hundred booths showcasing local businesses, art, contemporary crafts, culinary delights, helicopter rides, walkabout balloon, games of chance, live entertainment, expanded inflatable rides and games area for children. The Montgomery FunFest on Sunday, September 10th from 12-5 will be a day of fun for everyone. This third annual community festival is free to local residents and visitors from surrounding communities. Last year's event had over 10,000 attendees! Come out and join the fun at Princeton Airport!

Montgomery FunFest is truly a community centered event. The opening ceremony will commence with the Montgomery Township High School band performing the Star Spangled Banner, opening remarks by Montgomery Township officials and Jean Robinson, the MBA President and FunFest Chair. The MHS Drum line will then lead the march to the festivities!

Montgomery FunFest will include a variety of food vendors serving everything from bratwurst to funnel cakes. Feast upon BBQ, gyro, falafel, hot dogs, wood fired pizza, calzones, Stromboli, ice cream, kettle corn, and award winning cupcakes. The Radio 101.5 Van will be entertaining, hosting contests with prizes from 1-3 p.m. Don't miss school groups, local taekwondo clubs, and dance studio students, all showcasing their talents. FunFest will feature live music from local bands Acoustic Road, The Shaxe, RockXchange, and GoodWorks. Attendees will enjoy games of skill, children's activities, helicopter rides, rock wall, and inflatable obstacle courses. Montgomery Business Association members will be selling merchandise and many will be offering free gifts. In addition to fire trucks, planes, helicopters, and classic cars on display, attendees can even end the day test driving the latest models of Honda, Audi or Volkswagon!

FunFest is being produced by the Montgomery Business Association (MBA) comprised of your "Shop Local" area businesses, many of whom are local residents. The event's featured Platinum Sponsors are Honda of Princeton, Audi Princeton, and the Princeton Packet. Silver Sponsors include Montgomery Pediatric Dentistry, Analar Corporation, Volition Wellness, Princeton Airport, and Frank Veronsky Photography. Sponsorships in-kind provided by Montgomery Township, Hilton Realty, Rambling Pines Day Camp, Blooms of Montgomery, and Witherspoon Media Group.

"Our goal is to create a town tradition that local residents would think not to miss. We appreciate that so many local business members, restaurants, and community organizations are contributing to the event's success," says MBA President and FunFest chair Jean Robinson and executive director of Volition Wellness Solutions. She added that "Last year's FunFest enabled the Montgomery Business Association to award five $1000 scholarships to graduating MHS students Carly Conway, Michael Lynch, Kelly Anderson, Tyler Gallagher, and Griffen Kingkiner. We hope to be even more successful this year, with even more scholarships!"

To learn more visit www.MontgomeryFunFest.com, www.facebook.com/MontgomeryFunFest, and Twitter with the hashtag #MontgomeryFunFest.


MHS Athlete of the Month - Charlie Rodgers

Charlie Rodgers, a senior at Montgomery High School and co-captain of the boys’ varsity soccer team, is the MHS Athlete of the Month for September.

A versatile and third-year varsity player, he has earned numerous recognitions and awards throughout his athletic career. Outside of school, he plays for FC Copa Boys ‘00 Black club team, ranked twelfth in the nation and second in the state.

“I grew up playing center midfield and forward for my club teams. I have mainly played defense, center back and outside back, for the high school team. My favorite position is forward because I am able to step up and put the team on my back by scoring goals and assisting teammates,” explained Rodgers, a testament to both his adaptability and versatility as a player.

As a sophomore in 2015, Rodgers earned All Skyland Conference and All Somerset County Honorable Mentions. The varsity squad, named Skyland Conference Team of the Year by The Star Ledger, ended the season with an impressive 13-2-3 record and the titles of Skyland Conference Champions and Somerset County Co-Champions.

Rodgers stated that his best soccer memory is playing in the 2015 county championship match. Already in overtime, the game was tied 1-1 against the Pingry School and the ball was in Montgomery’s half of the sideline.

He recalled, “Our goalie was out of position and the [Pingry] forward who received the ball shot it. I ran into the way of the shot, stopping the ball on our own goal line to save the team from losing the county championship.”

The following season, Rodgers was named All Skyland Conference First Team and All Somerset County Honorable Mention as a junior. The team won the conference championship for its second year and ended with a record of 11-7-0.

According to head coach Rickey Steeb, Rodgers is a hard worker, resilient, and perseverant.
Throughout his years playing soccer, he has consistently exhibited dedication and commitment. Steeb commented that Rodgers “has been working hard in the weight room in the off season and put in a lot of work in the summer sessions.”

Similarly, playing soccer has taught him perseverance through difficult situations, while maintaining a level of confidence in himself and those around him.

One of his most defining qualities, as noted by his coach and teammates, is his natural leadership.
“He has done a tremendous job being a great role model for the boys in the soccer program. He can lead on and off the field as well. Charlie is always helping the younger players to get accustomed to the varsity program,” praised Steeb.

Senior teammate and second-year varsity player Sebastian Tamayo echoed that Rodgers, “Has really strong work ethic” and is “easy to approach for feedback and gives tips on how to improve as a player.”
Not only does he shine on the turf in Cougar Stadium, but he has also been recognized nationally for his outstanding talent and work ethic. As an eighth grader and freshman, Rodgers received an invitation to an elite national camp in Tampa Bay, Florida, for two consecutive years. Approximately 200 players all over the country received invitations.

In addition, Rodgers expressed that one of the most important lessons that he has gained from playing soccer is to always be there for his teammates, regardless of the situation, because they are a family.
Rodgers stated, “Without my teammates or coaches, I would not be the person I am today.” Awards and honors aside, he exhibits authentic and admirable humility for such an accomplished individual.

MHS Fall Sports - September 2017

Following a successful year of athletics in 2016-17, the Cougars are back this fall to claim new titles, score more goals, run personal bests, and for the seniors, compete in their last season wearing a Montgomery uniform. Along with the new academic year, there is the emergence of new teams, leaders, and high expectations.

Last fall, the boys varsity cross country team made history as they won the school’s first Somerset County Championship and also qualified as a team to the Meet of Champions. They placed within the top four at the county, conference, sectional, and group championships.

Although the varsity squad lost four of seven runners to graduation, senior returners Austin Fan, Harry Gould, and Jeffrey Meyer are motivated to continue the team’s success.

Meyer noted that last season, “The seniors taught all of us how championship teams are made. They exemplified the culture our team has been trying to build: a culture of hard work with a team of close and competitive runners who were able to have fun at the same time.”

Gould acknowledged that the team is young. His goal for this season is to reclaim the county champion title, but also to “be able to build a strong base to leave the program with.”

In girls tennis, seniors Ally and Amy Yan and junior Alex Mednikova are this year’s captains. Last season, the Yan sisters were named First Team All State for doubles, Somerset County first doubles champions, and runner ups in the NJSIAA state doubles tournament. The sister-sister duo has left a track record of success and now as team leaders, the squad will inevitably achieve more. Mednikova played first singles as a sophomore last year and has two more seasons ahead of her to continue demonstrating her remarkable skills.

For boys soccer, seniors and co-captains Trent Kettelkamp and Charlie Rodgers are the leading returners, as well as senior Marko Elez, junior Nick Millett, and sophomore Jace Orvos. For the last two years, the team won the Skyland Conference Championships. With the leadership of the captains and coaches in addition to a talented roster, the team is likely to defend their championship title. They ended last season with an impressive 11-7-0 record and are looking to improve this season.

Friday Night Lights are back and the stadium’s bleachers are once again filled with fans cheering on the football, dance, cheerleading teams, and the marching band. Last year, the football team ended with a record of 4-6. Seniors Ryan Cashman, Ryan Cocuzzo, and Kyle Kuminski are the leading returners, with a diverse team behind them.

Senior and quarterback Brian Thompson noted, “What I'm looking forward to most is being able to spend one last season with some of my best friends under the lights on Friday nights. We've got a great lineup and we're looking to have great success.”

On the sidelines and at halftime, the cheerleaders and dancers are back with new choreography and chants. The MHS Cougarettes are led by seniors Chelsea Beckelman, Hannah Csontos, Sophia Demato, and Melanie Lavake, who are all fourth-year members.

Also, the cheerleaders have a strong team this year, under the leadership of seniors Nicole Foxx, Angela Masessa, Cecilia McManus, Sarah Reeder, and Kelly Whitlock.

For girls cross country, senior Julia Hans, junior Sarah O’Shea, and sophomores Emma Noyelle and Sarah Witt are the returners from last year’s varsity squad. Hans, the team’s leading returner and the county and sectional champion for indoor track 3200m, will continue to be a standout in races. Last year, the girls placed third at the county championships and are looking forward to more success this fall.
As for gymnastics, senior captain Chloe DeMarco is joined by a talented group of underclassmen, including juniors Karly Kerod and Carolyn Maslanka.

Seniors and four-year varsity players, Charlotte Glancey and Kira Pancha are the captains of the girls soccer team. On the field, juniors Abby Halder, Jen Van Hook, Jessica Yanovitch, and sophomores Sarah and Allison Cudmore also shine. The squad lost many varsity starters to graduation, but the captains are optimistic about the team’s potential.

“I’m most excited about playing with a new group. We do have a lot of tough competition but everyone on our team is ready to work hard and give it their all,” Glancey noted.

Last fall, the volleyball team ended with a 12-10 record. This year, the team is stacked with an experienced group of mainly seniors and juniors, including leading returners Abrianna Barrett, Sydney Bickel, and Julia Loffredo.

Lastly, the leading returners on the girls varsity field hockey team roster are a diverse group: seniors Kate Baldauf, Ally Duran, juniors Gemma Lumsden, Kylla Przekop, Trisha Pimenta, and sophomore Bauke Gatzen.


Washington at Rockingham, September 1783

On Saturday, August 23, 1783 General and Mrs. Washington arrived at Rockingham, the Berrien family homestead, which had been rented by Congress for their use. As they settled into the place into the month of September, Washington was seen by members of Congress relaxing and even joking. He was looking forward to being under his "fig and vine" as he often wrote during this year. The battles were over, and the return home soon at hand. On September 5, he and Martha hosted a large gathering, including, "All the present members, Chaplains and great officers of Congress."

On Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 11 am to 5 pm, the General will be in residence once again at Rockingham. David Emerson of History on the Hoof will portray Washington during his stay in the area, looking back on the trials behind him, at the tasks at hand, and the impending future of long retirement from public life (or so he thought!). Three main rooms of the historic house will be open for visitors to "meet" the General and interact with him throughout the day. Accompanying him will be the Life Guard, a group of officers who served as his formal escort, portrayed by members of Historical Military Impressions. There will be outdoor displays of military clothing and equipment and musket firings demonstrations. In keeping with the spirit (if not the specifics) of the entertaining the Washingtons did at Rockingham, there will be outdoor pit-hearth cooking demonstrated by Diane Lingsch and an all-day variety of programming provided by Heart to Hearth Cookery on 18th-century ice cream, or "creamed ice" as Washington described the delicacy he enjoyed.

The event is free, but donations to Rockingham are always welcome! There will be refreshments available, and the Museum Store will be open. Come one, come all to meet the General, who was about to "take his ultimate leave, in a short time, of the Military Character, and to bid a final adieu to the Armies he has so long had the honor to Command."

Rockingham is located on Rte. 603 (Laurel Ave./Kingston-Rocky Hill Rd.), one mile north of Rte. 27 in Kingston and one mile south of Rte. 518 in Rocky Hill. Visit the website, www.rockingham.net for further information. 


Princeton, NJ: McCarter Theatre Center will celebrate the start of its 2017-2018 season with its 7th annual community-wide Block Party, taking place on Wednesday, August 23rd from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the front lawn of McCarter’s Matthews Theatre. College Road will be closed-off for the event (between Alexander Road and University Place), which will give an expanded area for families to play, eat, and enjoy the day. This event is free and open to the public. A rain date of August 24th is scheduled.

The afternoon will feature live music from the Philadelphia Jazz Orchestra, a band comprised of top high school and college jazz musicians in the Greater Philadelphia and NJ regions. Other highlights include the opportunity to win prizes, backstage tours, spin art, a photo booth, a beer garden, and crafts with Art Sparks.

Attendees will also have access to exclusive ticket offers for season programming, including such family-friendly artists and productions as the Yamato Drummers of Japan, Cirque Éloize, State Ballet Theatre of Russia’s Sleeping Beauty and McCarter’s annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Food and drink can be purchased at the event from local eateries including The Chilly Banana, The Feed Truck, Gil & Bert’s Ice Cream, Jammin’ Crepes, Maddalena’s Cheesecake & Catering, Mediterra Restaurant and Taverna, Mobile Mardi Gras Food Truck, My Four Suns, Nomad Pizza, Oink & Moo BBQ, Surf and Turf Food Truck, Tico’s Eatery/Juice Bar, and Tower Dogs Food Truck.

For more information, visit mccarter.org or call 609.258.2787. McCarter Theatre Center is located at 91 University Place in Princeton. 


The Federal Aviation Administration and Homeland Security have posted a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) on flights within a 30 miles radius of Bedminster, NJ, effective August 3 through August 20. Airports within a 10 mile radius will close completely, however airports outside the 10 mile radius but within the 30 mile radius will remain open conditional to very restrictive operations. This will have a negative impact on many of the general aviation facilities in New Jersey. As the Princeton Airport lies within 30 nautical miles of Bedminstser, Airport Manager Ken Nierenberg is pursuing alternatives to minimize this impact.

The State of New Jersey has granted an approximately $550,000 towards crack sealing and crack repair for Princeton Airport's nearly 20 year old runway and taxi ways. Funding for this safety project comes from a New Jersey aviation fuel tax. Initially this project was scheduled for the fall when airport operations slow down, however Nierenberg has been working to get this project moved up to be completed during the time of the air restrictions.

Starting on August 4th the runway will be closed between 8 AM-4:30 PM. Additionally it will be closed August 7th through August 11th.

In addition to the runway project, Princeton Flight School has scheduled ground school classes on August 7th through the 11th which will thoroughly cover the necessary information for the Private Pilot’s license. These classes are open to enrolled students at the airport as well as the public . Classes will be held by Princeton Flying School's accomplished Certified Flight Instructors who love making complicated concepts easy to understand. For information regarding the costs and times, call the airport at 609-921-3100.

“Since the president has been visiting New Jersey more frequently, this has had an adverse effect upon the general aviation community. This is the height of our flying season with the longer days and good weather. Whether it is our students or transients who fly into the Princeton region, we are experiencing dramatic slowdown during these periods. The August restrictions are unprecedented, so we had to find ways to accommodate our base customers with needed improvements. At least they will have a better runway and taxiway when the project is completed. We are asking for everyone's patience and cooperation as we move forward,” stated Nierenberg.

Violation of the airspace restrictions are severe and the airport has taken extensive measures to make sure that pilots are aware of the times when the Temporary Flight Restriction is in effect with many signs posted on the airfield as well as social media.

By the time the Temporary Flight Restriction expires, the runway renovation should be complete and be good as new.


New Montynews Web Poll

Our old Web Poll, which asked. "Do you support 'Repeal and Replace' the Affordable Care Act?" drew 6446 votes.

52.5% thought that it was a horrible idea, keep Obamacare. Oddly, 46% of the voters thought that there should be no government insurance at all.

Only 1.2% thought that it is a good idea to replace and repeal Obamacare. happily, only 0.2% were benighted enough to think that it was better than nothing.

Our new Web Poll returns to an old theme: Who do you dislike most? This one will be a close call, as there are so many choices: President Trump. Governor Christie, Congress, the Senate, the Taliban, or Comcast.
To vote, go tour advertiser-supported website, www.montynews.com, look on the right hand side near the bottom, and vote!

Notes From the Township Administrator

July and August have been busy months for the Township. Several significant capital projects have been completed. They include the repaving and curbing of the Jamestown Neighborhood, sidewalk repair and replacement in the Clubside section of Cherry Valley, and the Princeton Avenue repaving and Blue Spring Road Sidewalk repair.

Two capital projects were put out to bid and have been awarded. The Oxbridge/Riverside Wastewater Treatment Plant consolidation was awarded to CMS Construction. This project eliminates the Oxbridge and Riverside sewage treatment plants and constructs force mains and pump stations to direct the flows to the Pike Brook plant, reducing the number of wastewater treatment plants operated by the Township to four.

The Montgomery Road sidewalk construction project was awarded to A-Team Construction. This project will provide a sidewalk link from approximately the 1860 House to the sidewalk in Rocky Hill allowing residents of that area to walk to the Borough of Rocky Hill to avail themselves of amenities such as the Mary Jacobs Library or just allow people to take a safe leisurely stroll without having to walk in the roadway.

The Montgomery Environmental Commission/Sustainable Montgomery through a Gold Award Girl Scout created a series of videos explaining the functions and responsibilities of different Township Departments, Boards, and Committees to encourage members of our community to not only understand how the Township functions, but also encourage volunteerism. Many vacancies on boards and committees have been difficult to fill because of a limited number of residents expressing interest in serving. The videos will shortly be posted on the Township website, our cable channel and on a Township YouTube channel to encourage more people to serve as volunteers.

As the summer ends the days will be getting shorter and schools will reopen, be extra vigilant when driving as more pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists will be on the move. Traffic will increase as residents return from summer vacation. Enjoy autumn.

Montgomery Health Department announces Fall Flu Clinics

Vaccinating ages 4 to 104
Offering more clinics for your convenience!
Free for Medicare recipients

The Centers for Disease Control recommends vaccination against influenza for all people over 6 months of age. The flu shot protects you and those around you. Flu can be especially serious in Seniors, young children, pregnant women, and people with conditions like asthma and diabetes.

Kids need flu shots, too! The Health Department also offers flu shots to children age 4 and up (accompanied by their parents).

Montgomery Township Health Department is offering the following flu vaccination clinics this fall:

Wednesdays, October 4, 2017
Otto Kaufman Community Center
356 Skillman Road
Skillman, NJ
Times: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Evening Clinic --6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Wednesdays, October 11 and 18, 2017
Otto Kaufman Community Center
356 Skillman Road
Skillman, NJ
Times: 10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon

Wednesday, October 18
Pennington Borough Hall
30 North Main Street
Pennington, NJ
Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Tuesday, October 24
Rocky Hill Borough Hall
15 Montgomery Avenue
Rocky Hill, NJ
Time: 1:00- 3:00 PM

Vote & Vax
Tuesday, November 7
Hopewell Borough Hall
88 East Broad Street
Hopewell, NJ
Time: 9:00 AM - 3:00PM and 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Walk-ins are welcome, but for faster service, make an appointment. To reserve your shot (starting September 11):
· E-mail health@twp.montgomery.nj.us with your name, address, birth date, and phone number OR
· Call the Health Department at 908-359-8211, x 227

The flu shot is Free with Medicare card
The flu shot is $25 for under age 65; Hardship fee waivers are available.


Food For Thought - Fancy That

People customarily use the word "fancy" to describe an upscale restaurant. "Where are you going for your birthday?" "Oh, my husband is taking me to a fancy restaurant." What exactly is a "fancy" restaurant? What are the exact criteria that differentiate a fancy restaurant from a regular restaurant? I polled about fifty of my friends and culinary colleagues and asked them that specific question. Here's what they said.
Price. When queried about the hallmarks of a fancy restaurant almost everyone mentioned the cost. Fancy restaurants are expensive. As one of my readers put it: "The amount of money that one spends at a fancy restaurant would feed six families in Bangladesh for three months." But exactly what dollar amount is the boundary between a regular and a fancy restaurant? If the cost will feed those six Bangladesh families for only one month is it still fancy? Your personal background, income, restaurant experiences, and level of culinary expertise, among other things, can all influence your monetary dividing line. Suffice it to say that one Ben Franklin will not cover a basic three course meal (appetizer, entrée, and dessert), plus non-alcoholic beverages, tax and tip, for two people at a fancy restaurant.

Quality. Not only the food, but the culinary dexterity. For those prices, the food and preparation techniques better be top notch. The freshest, highest quality ingredients prepared flawlessly and no less. There is a point however where the incremental gains in quality are disproportionately less than the increase in price. For example, if we were to compare a one hundred dollar Bordeaux and a three hundred dollar one, would the three hundred dollar Bordeaux be thrice as good? Doubtful. If you know your wines, the pricier one might be better, but not by the numerical equivalent. Thus, on the restaurant price-to-quality ratio continuum, prices expand at a greater rate than quality. This is partly because at fancy restaurants you're not only paying for primo ingredients and culinary expertise, you're also paying for:
Service. Rarely will you have to track down your server in a fine dining establishment. You won't be scanning the dining room searching for the bubble-gum-chewing college student, who thinks Burgundy is something that comes out of a gallon jug. Rather, there will be a cadre of wait staff, in formal attire, who will anticipate your needs. You won't need to ask for more water, a lobster fork, fresh cracked pepper, or any other accoutrement or appareil that would normally accompany your dish. Your food will arrive hot, your utensils will be changed between each course, your napkin will be folded in your absence, and with the exception of a few haughty establishments, you will be afforded impeccable respect and courtesy.
Moreover, the staff will be professionals. Yes, professional waiters. Not between-audition actors. They will have been trained in the art of table service, and be knowledgeable, not only about food and wine in general, but their chef's menu in particular. In good restaurants, one of the chefs will meet with the servers prior to the dinner service and educate them about that evening's menu. Your waiter will know how the rabbit loin is cooked, whether there's tarragon in the lobster demi glace, and what kind of nuts are in the chocolate torte. In sum, service will be prompt, efficient, mannerly, attentive, and flow as smooth as a Mozart serenade. You should leave feeling like a king.

Wine. Now we're talking my kind of criteria. Fancy restaurants will have a wine list. Not just a few California cabs and chardonnays listed without their vintage, but a real wine list: an extensive selection of reds, whites, dessert wines, champagnes, ports, and brandies from all over the globe. The list will also have vertical depth, i.e., noteworthy wines will be represented by multiple years. You will find renowned names from all of the major wine regions and yes, they'll be expensive. There will be no "house wines." Even the wines by the glass will carry a modicum of cachet.

Preeminent restaurants will have a sommelier (saw-muh-LYAY), the resident wine expert. It is their job to assist you with your wine and food pairing. Sommeliers are not only skilled in wine, but customer service. A good sommelier will never intimidate you but make every effort to match you with the right wine based on your needs.

Ambience. Fancy restaurants are beautifully, sometimes lavishly decorated. Combined with the low lighting they are very often romantic. Expect fresh flowers, tasteful artwork, candlelight, classical music (if any), and linen tablecloths and napkins. Likewise, you will contribute to the ambience via the dress code a fancy restaurant will enforce. Men are expected to at least wear jackets if not ties. Don't even think of showing up in jeans, sneakers, shorts, or any other attire that would allow you to blend in at McDonalds.

Fancy restaurants, particularly the French ones, are more likely to have a tasting menu, i.e., a meal comprised of multiple courses (typically three to eight), featuring a variety of foods, albeit conservative portions. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres, (a.k.a. amuse-bouche or amuse-gueules), are a mainstay of upscale eateries. As a fellow chef stated when describing fancy restaurants: "Amuse-gueules will appear from nowhere and the martini is perfect!"

And finally, the number one discriminator between a fancy and a regular restaurant, one that is nearly perfect in differentiating the two: no kids! You will almost never see children in a fancy restaurant for two very simple reasons. First, there is no kids menu, and second, no one in their right mind is going to pay seventy-five dollars for a three course dinner for a child. Nor will anybody waste an opulent dining experience by spending it picking peas out of water glasses, wiping sauce off blouses, playing referee, escorting multiple bathroom breaks, and reconsidering birth control options.

Are fancy restaurants worth the cost for all the luxury and amenities? Only you can decide that. For gourmets, they are a sublime escape into sumptuous indulgence. Others are more than satisfied with an average, but decent meal at a fair price, minus the fanfare. When it comes to whatever strikes your fancy, no reservations are required.

The Party's Over: New Township Ordinance Cracks Down on Short-Term Rentals

The Montgomery Township Committee, reacting to raucous gatherings and multiple violations of peace at 129 Kildee Road in Skillman, approved an ordinance banning home rentals in town for a period of less than 30 days.

The driver of the ordinance was one-day parties held after renters (promoters) discovered homes in Montgomery or nearby towns through Airbnb, the latest taking place on Sunday evening July 30. The ordinance was introduced July 20 as neighbors packed the courtroom at the municipal building to complain about the partying. Renters must be now able to produce a lease indicating such terms.
The Township claims, "Community concern due to the potential for increased traffic, noise, litter, sanitation issues, high occupant turnover, and increased density in residential neighborhoods."
Township Committee has gone a step ahead and forced Airbnb's website to change any advertised Montgomery rentals to include a one-month minimum stay.

The latest rave, one of several held at the same Kildee Road home this summer, was touted online "One Big Pool Party" with hookahs and a full bar, promoted by "Partybyjuelz" on Eventbrite. Residents say tickets were sold, and one neighbor held up a pink wristband that guests 21 and over wore and discarded on their street.

Montgomery officials told 35 residents at the August 3 Committee meeting they reported the illegal activity of alcohol sales to the appropriate agency, the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), a state authority under the New Jersey Attorney General. An investigation to determine a fourth-degree felony is now underway.

The home is owned by Frank and Wendy Ellmo, who live in Tennessee, but it's in foreclosure from deed holder Wells Fargo Bank. Township officials say they contacted the homeowners and Wells Fargo about the property's misuse, violations, and neighbors' complaints.

As the Township Committee voted on August 3, member Patricia Graham had to recuse herself from voting because her law firm handles accounts related to Wells Fargo Bank. The ordinance 0quickly passed, 3-0. Township Administrator Donato Nieman says it essentially gives MTPD officers a necessary tool for enforcement if another party or event disturbs the neighborhood.

Police Captain and Director Tom Wain said the MTPD has to respect the fact that people at parties have rights, and officers "Can't go in there heavy-handed." He said the police and township are delicately handling the situation, "Making sure we are on solid ground, taking actions legally."

Administrator Nieman said notice of the new ordinance will be delivered to the property. "With cooperation from MTPD we contacted the person who acts as the host for the property and we told them this cannot continue, there will be an ordinance in place to limit the number of people and length of time a property can be rented. We contacted the ABC as the sale of alcohol there is a violation of the law, and we're very aggressive in pursuing that. The Health Department is involved and looking at the possibility of revoking the septic license for the house as it is not approved for the number of people using the place. Also zoning issues they violated are involved. We put Wells Fargo on notice as an asset they hope to recover their loans on are at risk. Our township attorneys have also contacted the foreclosure attorney for Wells Fargo," Nieman said.

He added that under state statute the township does not have the authority to physically remove violators (occupants) from the property on the basis of the rental. The goal was instead giving the township "every tool to make this as onerous as possible."

Mayor Ed Trzaska commented on the July 30 event, with 150 people and 110 cars counted on Kildee and adjacent roads. His initial reaction was to zoning violations. "You cannot run an event venue out of a residential property. But ordinances we had seemed to have a lot of loopholes. If the renters spent the night it is a real rental and not just an event. After consideration Township Attorney Kristina Hadinger focused on this ordinance idea as the best way to prevent and deal with it. For short-term rental prohibition a lot of towns in New Jersey, and New York City itself, have passed a similar ordinance," he said.
Michael Cohen and his wife Donna live right across from 129 Kildee Road. He collected data on events, took photos of excessive garbage on the front lawn and parking near the property. He hopes the ordinance can protect property values in the neighborhood. "I think the Committee and police department are doing a great job, and I'm confident this will resolve the problem," Cohen said.

Emad Youseff of Kildee Road wondered at the August 3 public hearing if a $1,500 fine would be enough to deter party hosts from breaking the law again.

Nieman and Mayor Trzaska told him that for each person that is a renter of the home or party organizer, one summons and fine could be given. The homeowner (the Ellmos) would also be fined and need to appear in the local New Jersey court. Guests of any parties and events would not be subject to the fines, however.

Mayor Trzaska said Montgomery needed the ordinance as a resource to enforce residential use.
Nieman said the house party phenomena, advertised online, is beginning to happen in towns across the state, calling it "an evolving problem with Airbnb." He believes the law will soon evolve to deal with these events. Township Committeeman Mark Conforti said he suspects the organizers will soon find another area to host parties in and evade regulations rather than give up the concept altogether.

Township vs School Taxes Weighed at Committee Meeting

Residents fed up with rising taxes approached Township Committee and began a dialogue regarding where local tax monies go.

Mayor Ed Trzaska said, "The school budget is 70% of property taxes; Somerset County taxes are 12%; we (Montgomery Township) is also 12% and the other 6% is broken up between Somerset County Library System, fire departments and smaller things. In general 88% of your tax bills are other entities than the township and mainly the schools' budget, $90 to $95 million per year."

Harold Wasserman of Skillman, a longtime resident and tax-concerned senior citizen, confronted the Committee about the use of millions of taxpayer dollars to come.

Mayor Ed Trzaska that $5.9 million of township funds would be allocated towards the purchase of the 45- acre former Convatec site in September or October "for multiple reasons." The purchase's total bond amount, with Montgomery's partnership with Somerset County's Open Space Trust Fund, can go as high as $25 million.

Frank Drift a Sunset Road resident, got a laugh from the Committee and Administrator Donato Nieman when he said he's the oldest person in the room at 75. He pays about $80,000 a year in taxes and he could not afford to retire in Montgomery if he wanted to.

The mayor commented that the school board does have a tough task to weigh operating costs. "Both at the municipal level and school level, Montgomery gets the lowest amount of state aid to both our district and one of the lowest municipal aid, per capita. Schools are only receiving $500 to $600 per student on average so 95% of the school budget is funded by our property taxes," Trzaska said.

Committeeman Mark Conforti, who was a member of Montgomery's Board of Education for three years, said that residents should address every concern and hold the governing boards accountable.
"There is everything you can say about the schools' budget. Yes some of it is out of the control of the community, which was a frustration for me, but you should still go there and keep them on their toes," Conforti said.

Wasserman called the elimination of student activity fees for 2017-2018 merely "trimming around the edges."

Conforti said that since the school district's budget is over three times the annual Montgomery Township budget those edges can accumulate to over half a million dollars of annual tax revenue, and citizens, "Do have a voice in this. Don't think fighting on the edges of their budget, which is substantially bigger, does not have an impact."

The mayor put it bluntly. Montgomery experienced a revenue decrease after unprecedented building and development in town took shape two decades ago. "We had 20 years of a lot of growth but since 2005 and 2006 there has not been much new development. With development going on in town we raked in so much revenue that were able to roll back taxes. There was one year Montgomery took in $19 million in cash surplus due to all the development going on. When the growth stops that cash goes away and we are left with a massive hole. The main thing we have seen is a revenue decrease in the past 10 to 12 years," Trzaska told residents.

Township Committeewoman Christine Madrid explained that municipal spending has grown to meet the town's expanded development too, unless a sustainable margin had been created. "The spending remains, but the same revenue source was no longer there," she said on August 3.

Administrator Nieman compounds this by saying despite large-scale projects residents see underway now, "The money is no longer there."

He says in Montgomery the increase in demand for services (police, staff in departments, code inspections, etc.) has multiplied consistently. "We had 20 MTPD officers at one time. Now we are at 34 officers and our population is growing. People wanted to have all local roads salted and sanded after snowstorms, so we had to build a facility to contain supply. Before we didn't have enough trucks to cover township roads. We had one five-yard dump truck to maintain over 150 miles of municipal roadways. Otherwise we had just F150 pickups and that was not sufficient, so we had to buy more dump trucks," Nieman explained.
He reminded Wasserman and others in the audience of how Montgomery was paralyzed by the blizzard of 1996. Nieman said he too is a senior citizen facing continued high taxes, but Montgomery has an obligation to provide employees with a functional, proper workplace.

Mayor Trzaska commented on mass reductions in debt by Montgomery Township. "Over the past seven years we've cut spending 20% from a high budget of $31 million. We have cut and laid off 30 to 40 people from the high budget. As a team we inherited $62 million in township debt in 2010, and we cut that down to $27 million," the mayor said.

He says if MTSD achieved a budget cut of 20% like the township has since he's been on the Committee, "You would notice in your taxes big-time."

Convatec Purchase and New Township Complex Costs Challenged

After reading about the Township plan to purchase the 45 acre Convatec property on Route 206 and Orchard Road and transform it into the new municipal complex, Township resident Harold Wasserman questioned the Township Committee on high taxes. Wasserman contends that with millions at stake, the $5.9 million Convatec purchase should be put to a public vote in November.

"You are never going to convince me that what you are proposing to do is cheaper than fixing this building," he told the administration.

Mayor Ed Trzaska said the township's current headquarters was built in the mid-1960s and Montgomery "did get 50 great years out of it." Initially the Township Committee began discussing a renovation for the municipal complex in 2014, but Mayor Trzaska says a few problems with the site were acknowledged then. "Operating costs and emergency capital costs of the building were rising. But we looked into renovating it to get this building prepared for the next 20 to 30 years," he explained.

Township Administrator Donato Nieman says a new township/police headquarters is necessary as soon as possible, and the cost of renovating the existing complex just south of the Belle Mead-Griggstown Road and Route 206 intersection would have been $15 million. Nieman said the township has grown up but the facilities to service the community have not. For example there is no separate room for a female police officer, if one was hired, to change or dress for work.

Mayor Trzaska said a fiscal process and not the physical planning is in order, following an approved ordinance outlining the purchase with Somerset County involvement in October of 2016.
"We have not done the due diligence, we've not done the planning and we've certainly not made any decisions on moving Town Hall to that location. We're still figuring out what to do, but we do know the estimates for work on the current building was high enough that we needed to step back and figure out what alternatives were possible for us. We are going to continue to assess what this building can be. We need to go through that process and it will take quite a while," Trzaska said.

As part of the Convatec purchase Montgomery wants to preserve the grassy knolls on the west of Route 206 down to the property's parking lots. The mayor said some of the $5.9 million would come back into the township accounts from the Open Space Trust Fund. The question on the future home of a Public Works facility remains open-ended for now.

Wasserman said that needs to be determined before Montgomery spends $5.9 million this fall to buy the property.

Nieman says if the township has possession of the property it may be cheaper to demolish and build anew at the site instead of renovating the buildings suited for laboratory space.

"Part of the reason we've looked into a new municipal building is the limitations on this property and the cost of renovating. That 45 acres is the last large tract of land in the sewer service area in this community and it is important for the municipality to get control over it," Nieman said.

Trzaska said it's imperative the township control this because many former office complexes around New Jersey aren't used anymore. Their purchases usually turns into a zoning issue "When people try to build something totally inappropriate."

Township Committeewoman Christine Madrid told residents if a purchaser of that site considered building townhomes they could make a strong case for consistent use in that location, as a new townhouse development was recently built across the street.
Convatec's former site was on the market for nearly five years. 

Zwicker & VA to Hold Claims Clinic for Veterans


(SKILLMAN) – Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker is partnering with the Department of Veterans Affairs to organize a claims clinic for local veterans.

“Veterans and their families have made so many sacrifices for our nation,” said Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). “We have an obligation to help them navigate the complex benefits system so that they receive the benefits they’ve earned.”

The Veterans Claims Clinic will be held on Sept. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hunterdon County Library, located at 314 NJ-12, Flemington, NJ 08822. Check-in will begin at 9:15 a.m., and light refreshments will be served from 9:15 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The clinic will allow veterans and their dependents to learn about benefits and entitlements, submit a claim for benefits or check the status of a pending VA claim. Lillie Nuble, director of the VA’s Newark office, will be available to assist individuals with their VA benefits claims.

“It is my privilege to do all I can to serve these courageous men and women and their families,” said Zwicker. “This forum will provide veterans in our area with a personalized, one-on-one consultation about their benefits claims in a convenient location.”

Interested parties may contact Joe Forte of Assemblyman Zwicker’s office at 732-713-3716 or asmzwicker@njleg.org with questions or concerns. 

Montgomery Man Attempts 28.5-mile Swim Around Manhattan Island

Dongho Choi enters the Mary Jacobs Library in Rocky Hill with a huge smile to greet a few of his biggest fans. With his bookish eyeglasses and khaki pants, he could be an Asian-American version of the mild-mannered Clark Kent.

In regular life, Choi is a corporate IT guy. Choi taught himself to swim 10 years ago by reading a book. Recently, he attempted to navigate the 28.5 miles around Manhattan Island while raising more than $2,500 for the Montgomery / Rocky Hill branch of the Somerset County Library System.

The challenge, known as The 20 Bridges Swim, is organized annually by New York Open Water (NYOW), a nonprofit organization that conducts open swim and kayaking programs and events while advocating for better stewardship of New York's natural water resources. It a part of the Triple Crown of Marathon Swimming, which includes the 21-mile English Channel and the 20.2-mile Catalina Channel events.

Choi, 51, and 11 other swimmers jumped off City Pier A in Battery Park into the Hudson River on Saturday, July 22. From there, they swam up the East River, on to and up the Harlem River, then left and down the Hudson River toward the Battery Park finish line.

Choi swam for 7.5 hours. Just after the George Washington Bridge, bridge number 20, he says he began to experience shortness of breath and could no longer easily make his strokes. He slowed down, assessing his body, analyzing his aches and pain. Swimmers have been known to lose from 10 to 20 pounds while completing a marathon swim. A couple triathletes had drowned in the inner harbor in years past, and their swims where much shorter distances. After completing 22-plus miles, at about 3 pm, Choi stopped.

"It was a decision I had to make," Choi says. "I made the decision on my own. I didn't make it, but I had a fantastic swim and enjoyed every stroke. Most of all I'm grateful to my family, friends, and supporters. It is a wonderful feeling to be among people who care."

Brenda Fallon, a Rocky Hill resident and president of the Mary Jacobs Library Foundation Trustees, had invited Choi to the library to thank him. "I followed you all day during the race," Fallon told him, "and I am so proud of you. What an amazing endeavor. Thank you so much for making Mary Jacobs Library a part your personal effort in this event," she said.

Choi wanted to use his swim to raise awareness for the library because he said he has many happy memories of the place. "When our children were little, we visited every week," he said. "Now the library needs to renovate its space and modernize its services to better provide its outstanding educational resources and special programs to every member, from seniors to toddlers."

Friends of the Library President Crissy Blanos of Montgomery said Choi, "Spent himself in a worthy cause, and succeeded in his goal to raise support for our library. To us, he is a hero."

Choi was born in 1965 in Jeonju, South Korea. He earned a degree in Electronics Engineering from Chonbuk National University then moved to New Jersey in 1994 to earn an Information Systems degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a master's in Technology Management from Stevens Institute of Technology. He is now a director of IT at L'Oreal in Clark. Choi and his wife Hyangsun (Michelle) settled in Montgomery, where they raised two children: Nicholas graduated from Montgomery High School (MHS) in 2014 (University of Illinois); and Kelsey is MHS Class of 2016 (Fashion Institute of Technology).

At age 41, Choi developed an interest in swimming. He had joined his local gym. "When I saw the pool, I decided to learn to swim," he said. "I went to Barnes & Noble and got a book called "Total Immersion" and read it like a bible. I would read a little, then practice, then read more, and practice again until I learned.

"I learned to swim by reading a book," he said, as if it even surprises him.

Through his swim friends, Choi began to develop an interest in marathon swimming. Choi trained for 18 months at "pools here and there," completing 1,000 miles in order to attempt the Manhattan Island swim, where he had the added challenge of surface currents, wind-chop, jellyfish, and heavy boat traffic. The olive-colored water, i.n which a swimmer cannot see the bottom, has also caused swimmers to "trip out." The mental challenge is as grueling as the physical.

To keep positive thoughts in his mind, Choi prepped with watching Chariots of Fire - the 1981 historical British film about the 1924 Olympics. "I like to use one of (Champion runner) Eric Liddell's quotes during my swim: 'I believe God made me for a purpose. But he also made me fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure.' And when I swim I feel his pleasure as well," Choi says. "l am a Christian. I also prepare to bring lots of memories and people that I can unpack when my swim gets harder. My family is always in my heart so they swim with me in spirit."

Choi is unsure whether he will attempt the 20 Bridges Swim again. It may "look like a solitary sport, but it takes a team," he says. Team Choi includes his daughter and two good friends. "I will have to consult with them, and especially with my wife," he says with a smile. "She may not like it. At the end of the day, it's just a swim."

Voices Chorale New Artistic Director Richard Tang Yuk auditioning for new singers

Richard Tang Yuk, Voices Chorale's new Artistic Director, is looking for altos, basses, baritones and tenors for the 2017-2018 Season. Auditions will be held in early September. Voices Chorale rehearses Monday evenings at Music Together, 225 Pennington-Hopewell Rd. Hopewell, NJ 08525. To schedule an audition email Dr. Susan Evans at drsevans@comcast.net .

Voices Chorale is an auditioned, semiprofessional community chorus with members from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Recognized nationally as an award winning community chorus, Voices Chorale and its ensemble group Sotto Voce has offered singers the opportunity to perform outstanding choral works at a high artistic level. To learn more about the Chorale go to www.VoicesChorale.org and Facebook.com/VoicesChorale.

Dr. Richard Tang Yuk, VOICES' new Artistic Director, is a Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music (UK) and holds degrees in conducting from the Mannes College of Music, New York, and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. With over 35 years of experience in opera and choral music, Dr. Tang Yuk has overseen artistic programming at The Princeton Festival since its inception and is at the core of its creative planning and vision. For The Princeton Festival he has conducted Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, Handel's Ariodante, Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Peter Grimes among others; Carmen, Die Zauberflöte for the Opera Festival of New Jersey; Handel's Hercules for the American Handel Society; Le Nozze di Figaro, Gilbert & Sullivan's Patience, Die Zauberflöte, Fidelio for the Princeton University Opera Theatre; and Messiah for the National Choral Council at Lincoln Center, New York. Oratorio credits include the Matthäus Passion, Johannes Passion, B minor Mass, Die Jahreszeiten, The Creation, Le Roi David, Elijah, Carmina Burana, and the requiems of Duruflé, Brahms, Mozart, and Schütz. Dr. Tang Yuk has served on the music faculties of Princeton University, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Westminster Conservatory, Princeton, NJ.

Funding for Voices Chorale is in part from the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission through funding from the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment of the Arts.



Saint Peter's earns ‘Most Wired’ status for 5th time

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – The annual list of hospitals and health systems that set the standard in integrating technology with the delivery of care has been released, and Saint Peter’s University Hospital is once again among those healthcare leaders that shine bright among the honorees.

Thirty-nine Garden State hospitals were recognized by H&HN’ magazine’s ‘Most Wired’ list.

Saint Peter’s has earned “Most Wired” recognition in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
The annual awards are based on surveys from hospitals in the field, examining areas such as electronic health records, telehealth usage, security and privacy, and other tech tools. H&HN reports that the “Most-Wired” honorees are leaders in areas such as cybersecurity, telehealth, analytics to improve quality and data management to reduce costs.
About Saint Peter’s Healthcare System
Saint Peter’s Healthcare System Inc., parent company of the Saint Peter’s healthcare delivery system, is comprised of Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital; Saint Peter’s Foundation, the fundraising arm of the hospital, and Saint Peter’s Health and Management Services Corp., which oversees the system’s outpatient facilities. These include the CARES Surgicenter; New Brunswick Cardiac Cath Lab; Community Care Services Inc., and Saint Peter’s Adult Day Center in Monroe. Saint Peter’s Healthcare System is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen. For more information about Saint Peter’s Healthcare System visit www.saintpetershcs.com or call 732-745-8600.

School Supply Drive Aug 14-25n for the Montgomery Food Pantry

School Supply Drive Aug 14-25

The Montgomery Township Food Pantry is getting ready for the Back-To-School season by holding a collection for new school supplies for Montgomery families using the Food Pantry.

Items needed (new items please) include:

Pencils-#2 Black
Pencils- Colored
Pens-Blue, Black, Red
Crayons-16 or 24 pack
Index Cards-3x5 ruled or 4x6 ruled
Single Subject Composition Notebooks
Single Subject Spiral Notebooks
Glue Sticks
Scotch Tape
Post-it Notes
Pencil Sharpeners
Pocket Folders-2 pockets, plastic, 3 hole-punched
1 inch or 1 1/2 inch 3-Ring Binders

Drop Off: August 14th-August 25th

Items can be dropped off during business hours in the labeled bins.
Montgomery Food Pantry bins will be located at:

Lobby of the Montgomery Recreation Department (M-F: 8:30am to 6pm)
Lobby of the Montgomery Municipal Building (M-F: 8:30am to 4:30pm)

The Montgomery Township Food Pantry is located at 356 Skillman Road in the Otto Kaufman Community Center. Food Pantry: 609-466-1054. Denise Crowley is the Community Resource Manager. 

Master Plan Housing Element Open to Public Review Feedback will be accepted through July 31.

SOMERVILLE – Somerset County Freeholder Deputy Director Patrick Scaglione invites the public to review and comment on the updated Housing Element of the Somerset County Master Plan.

Residents can view the plan online at http://bit.ly/SCHousingElement or in person at the Somerset County Planning Board office, located in the Somerset County Administration Building at 20 Grove St. in Somerville, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“The Somerset County Planning Board embarked on the process of updating the 1987 Housing Element of the County Master Plan over a year ago by developing a Housing Trends Assessment Report,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Patrick Scaglione, planning division liaison. “The driving force behind this plan is to create quality communities together, and we welcome feedback from our residents.”

The report documents changing trends and issues affecting housing supply and demand, including economic and demographic forces, policies and regulations, and emerging planning priorities, such as the cost-effective and reliable delivery of public infrastructure and services that support healthy lifestyles. The report served as a platform for updating the 1987 Housing Element.

The county planning staff held several meetings and worked directly with municipalities, stakeholders and the general public to create the draft updated Housing Element, which was the topic of a public meeting held on June 28. Feedback on the draft plan will continue to be accepted through July 31. Comments can be submitted via e-mail to PlanningBd@co.somerset.nj.us.

Comments received at the public meeting and during the month will be considered when refining the draft plan. The final draft will be the subject of a public hearing on Sept. 19 at 4:45 p.m. in the third-floor freeholders’ meeting room in the Somerset County Administration Building at 20 Grove St. in Somerville.

For further information, contact Somerset County Planning Director Walter Lane, AICP/PP, at PlanningBd@co.somerset.nj.us or (908) 231-7021.

To stay up to date with Somerset County events and information, sign up for free email alerts at www.co.somerset.nj.us/subscribe or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Saint Peter's launches initiative to prevent, delay Type 2 diabetes

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Saint Peter’s Healthcare System is launching a program to help anyone diagnosed with pre-diabetes from developing Type 2 diabetes or delaying its eventual onset through improved nutrition, increased exercise, stress management and weight loss.

The year-long program will meet every other week for its first six months, followed by monthly meetings in the second half of the year. “Prevent T2” is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All sessions will take place at Saint Peter’s University Hospital’s Family Health Center, 123 How Lane, New Brunswick.

The free sessions will begin on August 17. Call 732-339-7772 for more information or to register. Space is limited. Classes will be offered in English and in Spanish.

Artist Offers Free Home Decor Ideas In Her Fine Consignment & Retail Shop

Cynthia "Cindy" Johnson is easily recognizable in any room. Add a backdrop of bright green and fuchsia fern-leaf wallpaper with an "Elephant in the Room Design" sign, and her presence becomes atomic. She commands the room.

The interior designer opened her home decor store in the Princeton North Shopping Center, just across from the Princeton Airport, in January. "I specialize in creating fresh and current style by combining previously owned, gently used furniture with new retail pieces," she said from her showroom floor during an extra hot and steamy summer day.

Her shop is also the exclusive retailer of Cynthia Johnson Textiles, her own collection of often vibrant fabric and wallpaper designs. She says she can customize the colors to meet any customers' needs.
When Johnson alludes to the elephant in the room, she is referring to the consignment aspect of her business.

"People often have a piece or two in their home that they don't want or need anymore," she says. "Maybe they are redecorating or moving into a new home and it doesn't fit. The piece becomes the elephant in the room. They can bring it to us and we will find a new loving home for their elephant."
Johnson will showcase estate pieces on her floor for a limited time, while the original owner remains the owner (title holder) of the goods until they are sold and paid for in full. If items remain unsold, after a certain period, the unsold goods are returned to the original owner.
Recent items on display included:

- A chinoiserie demilune cabinet with hand-painted leather insets by design superstar Mario Buatta (Staten Island-born interior decorator for such clients as Malcolm Forbes and Barbara Walters) for the John Widdicomb Furniture Company, which was founded in 1858 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- An Art Deco style sideboard by Grosfeld House Furniture Company, which manufactured some edgy iconic designs of the twentieth century.

Johnson brings a special appreciation for the items in her store, stemming from her background as an artist and designer. She knows what goes into creating everyday household objects that some may take for granted. Whether a vintage Chinese cloisonné vase, cut crystal liquor glasses, or Sandrouni handmade decorative tiles, she will research the origin of the piece to learn and tell its story.

A dog lover, she likens the beloved and carefully curated objects in her store to puppies. "It's like adopting puppies out," she says with a smile. "I find good homes for special things."

Johnson's story began in Arcadia, California, where she was born. At age seven, her family moved to Basking Ridge, NJ, where she grew up and graduated from Ridge High School. She earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1989 and an Art Education Certification from The College of New Jersey in 1998.

After teaching art at Ridge High School for several years, she began a career in custom home furnishing. She was a designer and sales associate for Calico Home in Princeton, then became managing partner of TrueBee Design in Bridgewater. Her designs earned two U.S. patents, one of which led to a line of chic high-end ottomans made to combine functions: footrest, tabletop, extra seat, and storage space.
Throughout her career, Johnson has also specialized in pastel and collage-mixed media portraits, especially of pets. Her design skills include: textile, interior, graphic, jewelry, and landscape. She creates her fabric and wallpaper designs using Adobe PhotoShop and is able to customize her print runs on a variety of fabrics and wallpapers. She can also custom print just the amount her customer needs, from the size of a table cloth to the size of a ballroom.

Johnson first entered the fine consignment industry in 2014 with Home Again Design in Summit, where she served as marketing manager. In a short while, she had designs on opening her own shop.
"I'm glad she opened Elephant in the Room Design," says a recent customer, Lisa Burditt of Hopewell. "I like the personality of the people here. They are vested, and have great vision and ideas."

Johnson recruited her previous colleague - Polly Balland of Milltown - as her sales associate and together they are a team. Balland is also an interior designer and is up-to-date on recent furnishing trends.
"We encourage people to use older furniture pieces in new ways," Balland says. "Most vintage furniture is very well made. A quality sideboard makes a great stand with storage for a flatscreen TV. Or, a vintage china cabinet could be used as a bar - a very popular trend right now."

"In addition to repurposing old classic pieces with fresh new functions, people are blending vintage with contemporary for a whole new look," Balland adds. "Our showroom vignettes display many current ideas for redecorating, repurposing, or refreshing your decor."

Elephant in the Room Design also sells custom-order lighting, original artwork, and heirloom quality new furniture by two environmentally-friendly U.S. companies:

CR Laine Based in Hickory, North Carolina since 1958, this company uses old-school construction practices. Artisans hand-tie double cone steel coil springs, use solid hardwood frames, and tailor upholstery by hand.

Harden Furniture This New York-based company has manufactured fine, domestically-produced black cherry hardwood furniture since the mid 1800s.

Check the store website and Facebook page for information on the following educational events:
Motive8 Series: This fall, Johnson plans to continue her Motive8 Series, which is free and open to the public and features guest speakers who discuss home and design issues. For example: Stacy Matticoli, a certified organization specialist and author of "Put It There," recently spoke about "Reducing Clutter." The series will be held after store hours, with wine and hors d'oeuvres. Dates will be announced on the store's Facebook page.

Princeton Adult School Lecture Series: Johnson will be teaching interior decorating and design via the Princeton Adult School this fall. Classes will take place in her store, Friday evenings, from 7 to 9 pm. "We will have a different topic each session," she says. "Sign up for one, or sign up for all." Details on how to sign up will be available on the store Facebook page and via the adult school curriculum.
For more information, visit the store website: elephantintheroomdesign.com, email Cynthia at consign@elephantintheroomdesign.com or telephone the store at: 609.454.3378.