The BReeze Bridgewater Township & Raritan Borough, NJ Your Hometown Newspaper Volume 4, Issue 11 www.thebreezenj.com Sandy Blows Through B-R First Responders Recount Hectic Days The winds of Superstorm Sandy took out thousands of trees. Bridgewater and Raritan volunteer fire departments and rescue squads were extremely busy last month handling storm related calls as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Sandy put these volunteer first responders to the test, requiring them to leave their own families behind in order to aid community members. Some of our local firefighters and rescue squad members spoke with The BReeze about their experiences during the storm. Days before the storm hit, Chief Jim Vitale paged all members of the Green Knoll Volunteer Fire Company to report to the fire house to prepare their equipment for the upcoming storm. Trucks, chain saws, and trash pumps had to be fueled up and ready to go. The firefighters discussed courses of action, referencing different scenarios. On Monday the winds started and the calls for downed wires began. The volunteer firefighters responded to calls for alarm activations, downed wires, trees obstructing roadways, brush fires and structure fires. Trucks from Green Knoll responded in all directions trying to secure the numerous calls in their section. At one point, Chief Vitale responded with a tower ladder to wires down on Mountain Top Road. After responding to the call, they found them- Win a $75 Gift Certificate from Verve Restaurant New Brunswick, NJ PAID Permit # 1512 PRSRT STD U.S. Postage Look on each page of this issue to find the monthly symbol hidden in ten advertisements. List the ten ads containing the symbol and email to email@example.com or mail to The BReeze, 726 Route 202 South, Suite 320-190, Bridgewater, NJ 08807. The readers with the correct answers will be entered into a drawing. Be sure to get your list to us by December 10th to be eligible to win. One entry per person. Please include with your list your full name and phone number where you can be reached. The winner will be notified by phone and will be asked to make arrangements to go to the business to collect the prize. A photo of the winner with the business owner will be inserted in the next issue of the paper. This month Verve Restaurant in Somerville is offering a $75 restaurant certificate to the lucky winner. To see what Verve has to offer, visit www.vervestyle.com. The symbol you will be looking for appears below with the letters BR in the center (the size may change but not the design): BR The symbol above is only an example; it does not count as one of the ten. Find all 10 symbols, tell us where you found them, and you could be the winner! Good luck! selves trapped by fallen trees, blocking their exit off the mountain. When they received their next call, a structure fire, they had to find a way to get down the mountain. Eventually they were able to get through and were relieved to find out that it was a false alarm. When the storm ended, Green Knoll Volunteer Fire Department responded to over 100 calls for downed wires, burning wires, transformers exploding, pumping out basements, and structure fires in a four day period. That is the typical number of calls they receive in a two month period. Chief Vitale said, “We were asked to help out with our tanker in Toms River, but had to refuse due to the devastation in our area. At the end of the storm when things calmed down, our tanker along with three members stood by in Woodbridge Township for low water supply.” The firefighters stayed at their stations on North Bridge Street and Dow Road for days and countless hours. They slept for an hour or so when they could and ate when they could. They kept in contact with their families by phone as much as possible. “I thank our spouses and kids that had to do without us during the storm, but most of all to the firefighters who did their job; minute after minute, hour after hour and day after day,” said Chief Vitale. “I thank North Branch, Country Hills, and Bradley Gardens Fire Departments for their assistance. I thank Readington for their tower ladder that was on standby in place of ours, which was damaged during the storm, and I thank them ahead of time for their effort until ours is back in service.” Members of the Raritan Borough Volunteer Fire Department responded to 78 calls from the beginning of the storm through the remainder of the week. The usual number of calls is 4-6 per week. During the storm and for several days after, all five fire trucks were in service responding to fire alarm activations, downed trees, downed power lines, trees and power lines on fire, smoke investigations, carbon monoxide investigations, and structure fires. At the height of the storm, Raritan Borough Fire Chief Carl Memoli, after conferring with the Police Chief, ordered all firefighters and equipment off the streets for their own safety, as the winds gusted over 60 mph Continued on page 17 December 2012 Memories of Christmas in Raritan during World War II By Bruce Doorly Christmas has always been a major holiday in the United States, but during World War II (1941-45) it took on special meaning as many families had a “loved one” serving in the military who could not be home for Christmas. During the war years “Peace on Earth” was not just a nice phrase found on Christmas cards, but was the number one wish of all peace loving people throughout the world. The Christmas season gave hope that while many were away, maybe next year missing family members would return home. Raritan tavern owner Tony Orlando sent a Home Front – photo of a Christmas tree that he had dediChristmas shopping cated to the Raritan GIs to dozens of Raritan around Raritan in 1941- servicemen overseas. 1945 was much different than today. The Bridgewater Mall was just vacant land and the internet had not been imagined yet. Most Christmas shopping was done with local merchants. Raritan had two clothing stores; Granetz which was located at 1 East Somerset Street and Glaser’s on the corner of Thompson Street and Second Street. Rocky’s, another department store, was located on Somerset Street. All three businesses were owned by Raritan residents in this era of mom and pop stores. Goods not available in Raritan could be found in Somerville in the Continued on page 10 JFK 4th Graders Discover that New Jersey is a Sweet State Shown with the New Jersey cake from left to right: Hunter, Akash, Xavier, Rachel, David, Francesca, and Hannah. As part of their study of New Jersey, students in Mrs. Mary Austin and Mrs. Jennifer Pennisi’s class, and Miss Jaclyn Kritzar’s class at John F. Kennedy School in Raritan created an edible representation of the state out of cake. The students and their families baked each individual county at home and brought it to the classroom iced and ready to put into place. During the day, each student participated in completing this tasty map with Oreo county seats, pretzel and gum drop trees for the Pine Barrens, goldfish for the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware River, black licorice highways, and an animal cracker Appalachian Trail. After learning the “21 County” song, students were able to enjoy their hard work in the best way possible....by eating it!