Page 1

We honor the two men, Raritan natives, who make the Raritan Borough Recreation Department thrive, and offer fun and games for the entire town. Page 5

The Hometown Newspaper of Bridgewater and Raritan

Volume 6, Issue 3

We catch up with the Bridgewater-Raritan High School boys and girls swim teams, which have had an impressive season. Page 23

March 2014

Bridgewater Teenager Releases First Six-Song EP Cailin Marie Toole is ready to start her musical career.

By Audrey Levine When 16-year-old Cailin Marie Toole, of Bridgewater, had the opportunity in 2012 to open for singer Ryan Beatty at

Cailin Marie Toole’s album cover

a performance at Webster Hall in New York City, she knew she had to come up with a great song. “I had to come up with a sin-

gle because I wanted people to be able to find me,” she said. But that one song turned into a six-song EP that Toole released on iTunes and her website,, at the end of February. Toole said the EP is a collection of songs she has written over the course of two years. “It is a wide variety of different singer songwriter styles,” she said. “Some are more acoustic, some more pop, some more band oriented. I play guitar on all of them, and piano on one.” “I’ve taken that song (from my performance) and more for this album,” she added. Toole said she put the album together with the help of her producer, Andrew Chervak in Phillipsburg. Toole said she has a family history in music, with her father

playing bass and her mother being a touring dancer. “I have always been surrounded by music,” she said. “I knew music was what I was going to do for life probably when I was 12 years old.” At the time, Toole said, she did a talent show at the Bridgewater Township Library and decided to sing. “My parents didn’t even know I sang then, and we all knew then that that was what I wanted to be doing,” she said. Toole said she began playing guitar in seventh grade, and piano even before that. And she began writing music in seventh grade too, which was her reason for picking up the guitar. “It all came hand in hand, I just wanted to write and sing in general,” she said. Toole said she gets her inspi-

ration for her music from her personal life experiences. “My whole thing is I want to write about what I know,” she said. “I can’t write about something that I haven’t truly experienced.” “I talk about this all the time, and it almost frustrates me because I feel like at such a young age, I don’t have these experiences,” she added. Toole said she listens to many great writers and musicians, like Ed Sheeran, Demi Lovato and Lewis Watson. “I’m really interested in acoustic music, and Ed Sheeran is an acoustic singer songwriter from England,” she said. “He goes up with just his guitar and performs for an insane crowd of people. It is not a huge production, it’s all about the music.” See CAILIN, Page 16

Parents Push for Full Day Kindergarten Strip Mall Condemned Many believe their kids are not receiving enough instruction in half-day school. After Roof Collapse

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By Audrey Levine with the same goal. In addition, In addition, Friedlander said, As the administration awaits the group has received an en- newly adopted curriculum stana report from a demographer dorsement from the Bridgewater- dards are not in line with a twoabout how the school district Raritan Education Association. and-a-half hour day, and enrollwill change in the coming years, According to parent Stacey ment is predicted to go down. hundreds of parents are com- Friedlander, the group effort be“Some space already exists in ing together to request one big gan in August when she started certain elementary schools,” she change – full day kindergarten. the Facebook group, and then, said. More than 300 parents have with another parent, met with Parent Emily Zahajkewycz signed a petisaid she is con“Our children are being faced with a very cerned about the tion to request that the district challenging workload, and without proper curriculum. move forward “The new compreparation, they can enter unprepared and mon core curwith full day fall behind quickly. “ k indergar ten, riculum for kinand more than dergarten through — Christen Heiden, Parent 200 parents are 12th grade was members of a Facebook group interim superintendent Cheryl based on full day, not half day Dyer in September to discuss programs,” she said. “I’m conthe issue. cerned that teachers will not Since then, Friedlander have the time to address all arsaid, parents have attended eas in the two-and-a-half hours meetings to discuss the issue per day allotted to part time and try to gather more infor- kindergarten.” mation, although board of Parent Christen Heiden said education members have said she agrees that the full day prothey are waiting on the demog- gram is needed to help children rapher’s report before making be strong in math and reading. any recommendations. “Years ago, full day, al“In January, we launched though beneficial, may not have a petition, with the intent of been as important as the need bringing it to the late February now,” she said. “Our children meeting, to demonstrate that the are being faced with a very community wants this issue ex- challenging workload, and plored,” she said. without proper preparation, Friedlander said Bridgewater- they can enter unprepared and Raritan is one of the last four fall behind quickly.” districts in Somerset County to Parent Gwen Stanton moved not offer full day kindergarten. to Bridgewater because of the “Statements from potential highly rated school system, but home buyers and realtors sug- was disappointed to find that gest this can turn people away kindergarten was only a part from the district,” she said. See KINDERGARTEN, Page 11

By Audrey Levine The strip mall on Route 202 in Raritan that housed, among other shops, the Golden Wok Chinese Restaurant has been condemned after the building suffered a partial roof collapse Feb. 14. According to Raritan Fire Chief Bill Mener, the roof on the west side of the strip mall, above the pizzeria, collapsed early in the day. “It just collapsed, probably from the weight of the snow and water,” he said. Mener said the fire department was dispatched to the scene at about 11:17 a.m. Feb. 14, before the collapse happened. “When we got there, we saw the front and back of the building bulging out,” he said. The department proceeded to evacuate everyone from the building.

“It was the partial collapse about an hour later, and there was a lot of noise and dust,” Mener said. Because everyone had been evacuated from the building by the time of the collapse, Mener said, no one was hurt in the incident. Due to the roof collapse, Mener said, the entire building has been condemned, including the Chinese restaurant and nail salon on the east side of the building, where the roof is mostly still intact. The strip mall also housed a massage parlor and the pizzeria. The second floor was vacant. Mener said the building will have to be rebuilt. The borough’s building department will have to investigate to determine if the structure shifted and what other damage was done. See COLLAPSE, Page 12

Page 2

The BReeze

March 2014

BReeze Bulletin Board

The BReeze 726 Route 202 South Suite 320-190 Bridgewater, NJ 08807 908-255-5926 @TheBReezeNJ

Vo-Tech Students Honored for Spirit

Publisher & Editor: Audrey Levine Contributing Writer: Bruce Doorly Photographer Bernard DeLierre Deadlines for April: Ads: March 10 News: March 15 The BReeze is mailed by the first of every month, free of charge, to all residences in Bridgewater Township and Raritan Borough, a total population of about 50,000 people. The opinions expressed in The BReeze, whether by paid advertisement or editorial content, do not necessarily reflect the views of this newspaper and its staff. The newspaper staff reserves the right to edit any submission for length and content. Contact the staff or submit an article through email at

Junior Girl Scouts Bridge to Cadettes — Bridgewater Ju-

nior Girl Scout Troop 60043 bridged to Cadettes recently, with the help of Cadette Troop 61150. The new Cadettes also received their Girl Scout Bronze Award, with a project that focused on supporting the mission of the St. Hubert’s Animal Shelter. The older Cadettes shared their own experiences working on the Silver Award. Troop 60043 members are Maisha Pal, Darpan Chahal, Emily Kafka, Hannah Grynberg, Sarah Grynberg, Nora El Hadidi, Caroline Wendland and Gianna Torromeo (not pictured). Troop 61150 members are Ariel Staffin, Annie Cassidy, Claire Liston, Rachel White, Pooja Patel and Allie Carter.

Bridgewater Library Wins Prestigious Award The Somerset County Library System, based in the Bridgewater Township Library on Vogt Drive in Bridgewater, received an honor through the American Library Association for offering cutting-edge services. The association also honored programs in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Raleigh, North Carolina; and University Park, Pennsylvania. The recognition, according to a release, showcases libraries that serve their communities through the use of innovative methods. In Bridgewater, the Somerset County Library System has developed a dynamic and cost-effective way to promote


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programs and resources in hightraffic areas of the library, according to the release. The solution used brings together a Raspberry Pi computer, large-screen monitors, WiFi and Google Docs Presentations to reduce the costs of digital signboards by about $1,000 for each display. In addition, according to the release, the project reduced poster printing costs and made it easier for the staff to remotely update and push content to customers. According to the release, the library system, and the others honored, will be highlighted in various ALA publications, while also being featured in a program at the ALA Annual Conference 2014 in Las Vegas.

(L-R) SCVTHS Graphic Communications Instructor Linda WeberSmith, students Diego Martinez and Ryan Lowndes, Graphic Communications Instructor Joe Alfieri and Jeanene Leppert of Special Olympics New Jersey show off the Spirit of the Season Award. Ryan Lowndes, of Bridgewater, Jersey. was one of two students at the SomThe two graphic communicaerset County Vocational & Techni- tions students created the design cal High School who received the for the t-shirts, and they each reSpirit of the Season Award. ceived a gift bag that included a Lowndes and Bound Brook res- knit hat and sweatshirt with their ident Diego Martinez received the design. award for their work in designing “They did a great job,” Leppert a superhero-themed logo for the said in a release. “What was great annual Special Olympics New Jer- about the design is that we were sey “Jingle All The Way 3K Road able to blow out the whole (superRace & Fun Run.” hero) theme.” The award was presented by A total of 640 people participatJeanene Leppert, a special projects ed in this year’s Special Olympics manager at Special Olympics New event.

Martinsville Rescue Squad Installs 2014 Officers The Martinsville Rescue Squad recently installed its new officers for 2014. Congratulations to all those installed for the new year. • Chief Debbie Manna • Assistant Chief Doris Zampella

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• First Lieutenant Brian Atherton • Second Lieutenant Scott Rappoport • Trustee Howard Bixler • President JoAnne Bixler • Vice President Mary Ellen Schleckser • Recording Secretary Kathy Hixson • Corresponding Secretary Georgetta Denhardt • Treasurer Mike Hamerslag • Assistant Treasurer Cathy Haller Franco • Fifth District Delegates Mike Hamerslag, Lisa Pantano and Don Elias The rescue squad serves the Martinsville section of Bridgewater.

The BReeze

March 2014

Page 3

BReeze Bulletin Board

YMCA Appoints Interim CEO

Valerie Giacopelli The Somerset Valley YMCA – which has branches in Bridgewa-

College News

Elena McPhillips, of Bridgewater, was named to the Dean’s List with a 3.8 average for the 2013 Fall Semester at the University of Maryland, College Park. McPhillips is a 2010 graduate from Bridgewater-Raritan High School, and is the daughter of Marina and John McPhillips. Cara McPhillips, of Bridgewa-

ter, Hillsborough and Somerville – recently appointed Valerie Giacopelli as its interim chief executive officer. Giacopelli is the executive director of the Hillsborough branch of the Somerset Valley YMCA. In her new role, Giacopelli will oversee the membership organization of the three branches of the YMCA. According to a release from the YMCA, Giacopelli has been the Hillsborough branch executive director for the past five years. She is stepping into the interim CEO position while the YMCA is in transition after the departure of former CEO Paul Kieltyka. “I am honored to accept the interim CEO position and look forward to continuing the progress that our board and leadership team have established,” Gia-

copelli said in the release. “We have a strong, talented leadership team, and together we will make the transition seamless.” One of Giacopelli’s immediate tasks, the release said, will be to lead the Somerset Valley YMCA’s Annual Support Campaign, which is a fundraising drive that works to help the YMCA offer services and programs to everyone in the community, regardless of income. Giacopelli has been a Hillsborough resident for 23 years, and began her career with the YMCA as a volunteer on the swim team board at the Hillsborough branch. “I found the YMCA to be a great place for children and families, and I chose the Y movement as the place where I wanted to spend my career,” she said in the release.

ter, was named to the Dean’s List with a 3.9 average for the 2013 Fall Semester at Boston College, in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. McPhillips is a 2012 graduate of BridgewaterRaritan High School, and is the daughter of Marina and John McPhillips.

List for the Fall 2013 semester at Susquehanna University. The Dean’s List recognizes students who achieve a GPA of 3.4 or higher. Hanemann is a 2013 graduate of BridgewaterRaritan High School, and is currently a freshman business administration major with a finance emphasis at the university. He is the son of Tom and Kim Hanemann.

Joshua Hanemann, of Bridgewater, was named to the Dean’s

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Student Among Winners for Young Arts Foundation

Veena Prakash, a senior at Bridgewater-Raritan High School, was recently named a winner of the 2014 Young Arts Honorable Mention Award by the National Young Arts Foundation in dance. Prakash, a student of the Tala Shruti School of Dance, participated in the World Dance Category/Indian Classical Dance. Young Arts is a program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Winning the award places Prakash in the top 3 percent of the artistic talent in the nation. Those who won honorable mention awards received at least $250 and were then eligible to participate in the Emmy-nominated HBO series “YoungArts Master Class,” as well as in YoungArts’ regional programs. Prakash has been learning Bharatanatyam under the guidance of Renuka Srinivasan for 12 years, and she performed her Bharatanatyam Arangetram, a three-hour solo performance that is a symbol of her graduation as a dancer at Ridge Performing Arts Center in her sophomore year.

Prakash has also won other awards, including first place in classical dance at the 29th Annual Indian Music and Dance Competition in 2012, and first place in the first Teen Talent Show through the Somerset County Library in 2010. In addition, Prakash has participated in fundraising shows through her dance school, and has given dance demonstrations at assisted care centers. She also assists in teaching Bharatanatyam to junior students.

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The BReeze

March 2014

And the Winner is ... Win a $50 Gift Card to

Raritan Library

Randazzo’s in Raritan

Congratulations to Mary Williams, of Bridgewater, the winner of our ad symbol contest. Mary won a free large pizza with one topping at Russo’s Pizza in Bridgewater. Above, Mary (left) stands with Tony Carra, co-owner of the restaurant. Russo’s Pizza has been a fun-loving, family run and operated business since 1986. Tony Carra and Russ Britt, business partners, and Steve Cagliostro, kitchen manager, take pride and work endlessly to offer great and delicious food at a reasonable price. Russo’s is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. In addition to offering fantastic pizza, Russo’s also has daily specials that include, but are not limited to, pasta and hot subs. Catering is also available through Russo’s Pizza where you can buy party trays for any special occasion. We also offer both 3- and 6-foot subs. Everything from Russo’s is made with love and care, including the fresh dough and tasty sauce. If you haven’t had the opportunity to try our food, it is worth the trip. Russo’s Pizza is at 713B East Main Street, Bridgewater, NJ 08807, and the phone number is 732-469-0625. It would be our pleasure to serve you.

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Look on each page of this issue to find the monthly symbol hidden in 10 advertisements. List the 10 ads containing the symbol and email to winthebreezeadgame@ 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 March 10 to be eligible to win. Please limit to one entry per household. 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, Randazzo’s and Raritan Pastry Shop, both in Raritan, are offering to the lucky winner a $50 gift card that can be used at either bakery. The symbol you will be looking for appears below, with the letters “BR” in the center:

The symbol above is only an example — it does not count as one of the 10. Find all 10 symbols, tell us where you found them and you could be the winner! Good luck!

Local Names Have Historical Significance By James Koch Special to The BReeze A few months ago we discussed how Finderne got its name. But there are a lot of names in Bridgewater that we now accept without any thought. Some are quite obvious, such as the area and town known as North Branch, naturally named for the North Branch of the Raritan River, which flows through it. However, there are small pocket communities that are lesser known. One is Sunset Lake, on the border of Bridgewater and Bedminster, near Pluckemin. In 1928, a man-made lake was made by damning up Chambers Brook. As was hoped, the nearby lots were purchased and built up around the resort lake. The origin of the name is uncertain. But the lake is at the bottom of the back of the First Watchung Mountain in Washington Valley. The site has a clear view of the western sky and, I am sure, the evening sunsets. There are some that know how Martinsville received its name, but the story is worth retelling.

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Meet members of the Peter Smith School of Irish Dancing and watch them perform their dance routines during an Irish dancing celebration on March 6. Enjoy some Irish refreshments. Sign up for this fun and entertaining program and get in the mood for St. Patrick’s Day! Open to adults and children (7 and up). The event will be held at 6:30 p.m.

Mary Poppins

Raritan Public Library will be showing the 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray Edition of “Mary Poppins,” starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. The film will be shown at 6 p.m. March 27. Come see why this film was Walt Disney’s Crowning achievement. Running time is 139 minutes. Refreshments will be served. Call the library to reserve a seat or stop by and pick up a “movie ticket.” The movie is for ages 10 and up. RARITAN VALLEY AGWAY

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Calling All Poets!

Local poets of all ages are invited to submit two poems to the Raritan Public Library to commemorate National Poetry Month in April. After the submissions are received, the Raritan Valley Federation of Libraries will sponsor the publication of a poetry anthology. Poets whose work is chosen for the anthology will be invited to read their work at the Library’s 3rd Annual Poetry Celebration on April 23. Forms also are available at the circulation desk or on the library website. The deadline for submission is March 7.

Irish Dancing Celebration

Joshua Martin came to the Washington Valley with his highly respected father, Absalom Martin, in 1786. Eventually, Joshua Martin built both a grist mill and a saw mill, one north and one south along the East Branch of the Middlebrook, just at the point where the Gilbride Road bridge crosses the Middlebrook. The families expanded and more Martins moved into the area. A village officially came into being in 1827. In honor of Absalom Martin who had settled in the area first, the Post Office in the village was named after him. The locals tried to obtain an appropriate sign for the Post Office to honor the “Martinville” name. But to their consternation, when the new sign arrived, it clearly read “Martinsville.” They wanted to return the sign, but Fed Ex was not reliable in those days. So they temporarily kept the sign. Time went on and, verbally, the village was Martinville. After a time, they caved in and accepted the Martinsville as we know it today. Names that seem so simple can actually be interesting.

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The Raritan Public Library has special events planned for this month. To join in on the fun, stop by the library at 54 East Somerset Street, Raritan, or call 908-725-0413 to register.

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The BReeze

March 2014

Page 5

Raritan Honors the Two Who Make Recreation Succeed Andreychak and Bartolucci have led the recreation department in the town where they grew up.

By Bruce Doorly Last month, Raritan Borough honored Rich Bartolucci and Bob Andreychak for their decades of excellent work running the Raritan Recreation Department. For anyone who has seen them in action, it was indeed well earned. Raritan recreation runs many programs, including youth sports of baseball, indoor soccer and basketball. For adults, there is volleyball and basketball. The department also operates two kiddie pools, one at Frelinghuysen Park and the other at Basilone Park. Arts and crafts programs are held at the parks every weekday in the summer. Recent additions have been the zumba class, which is now in its third year, and, just this year, a girl’s Cheerleading Program was

started. In addition to sports programs, Bartolucci and Andreychak run several popular annual events, including Santa Claus Comes to Raritan, the Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween Parade and Costume Contest and Christmas in July. These events are well-attended, well-run and a lot of fun for both kids and their parents. The two directors make it look easy. But as anyone who has tried to run any event knows, it never is. It is through Bartolucci and Andreychak’s proper planning, years of experience and competence that every event runs like clockwork. But perhaps their greatest strength is their enthusiasm for their work. They always have smiles on their faces and are glad to talk to anyone. Both seem as

Baseball opening day in Raritan

happy as the kids themselves. A variety of tasks have needed to be done over the decades, such as infrastructure changes and renovations. Pools have needed major upgrading and the baseball field needed work. For some of these improvements, such as the installation of the scoreboard at the Little League field, Bartolucci and Andreychak have poured the cement themselves. Raritan recreation has even done some charity work over the years. One activity from past years included providing toys to kids at the Mountainside Hospital. These toys were delivered to each kid by none other than Santa Claus himself. Other times, the recreation department has delivered meals to local people who needed them. As Raritan kids, Bartolucci and Andreychak played in the sports programs that they run today. Both Bartolucci and Andreychak are lifelong Raritan residents. Bartolucci, the director for 35 years now, grew up in Raritan on Anderson Street. He attended the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District. Today, he lives next door to the house he grew up in. Andreychak, the assistant director for 25 years, lived on First Avenue when he was a kid. He attended St. Joe’s School on Somerset Street.

Rich Bartolucci and Bob Andreychak with their proclamations As youths, Bartolucci and kids wanted to play that they had Andreychak played in the Little to race to get there, as any lateLeague Baseball Program that comers missed out on being inthey would later run. Andreychak cluded in the game that day. started in Little League the secThe two recalled that, as teens, ond year of the program in 1953. the sports around town were Bartolucci, who is two years played with intensity. One league younger, started in Little League in particular that they played in in 1955. Andreychak was on the stands out in their memory. Dodgers and Bartolucci was on There was a local CYO basethe Giants. ball league. A few times a year, That year, Andreychak was St. Joe’s of Raritan played against awarded the league MVP. A tro- St. Ann’s of Raritan. With local phy that dates back to 1952 list- bragging rights on the line, each ing all the Little League MVPs parish’s team played with much (including Andreychak) is a determination to win. proud fixture in the recreation Decades ago, Bartolucci and office. Andreychak often swam in one In addition to the formal Little of the kiddie pools that they manLeague baseball program, An- age today. The only problem was dreychak and Bartolucci both that when they swam in the pool, played in the after-school pickup they were teenagers and the pool baseball games that were held was (supposedly) closed at the at Frelinghuysen Park. So many See RECREATION, Page 15

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Page 6

The BReeze

Snow Causes Loss of Spring Break All the extra days will be recalled because of heavy snow this winter. By Audrey Levine It’s been a rough winter, and as of the middle of February, the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District has already used the three snow days built in to the calendar – plus several more. The district has already used the three snow days, plus an additional four for a snowstorm and ice storm at the beginning of February, nor’easter in the middle of the month and more snow about a week after that. Because of snow days, interim superintendent Cheryl Dyer said, the district is forced to reclaim some days that were originally scheduled to be off for students and teachers. At this point, the days re claimed are April 21, April 14,  April 16 and April 17. Those are the first and last days of the already scheduled spring break, plus the Wednesday and Thursday in the middle, which will now be regular school days.

Dyer said April 15 and April 18 are still days off. “The 15th would remain a day off due to Passover, and the 18th would remain a day off due to Good Friday,” she said. At this point, Dyer said, there is no plan in place for any additional make-up snow days. At a recent board of education meeting, members declined to revise the 2014–2015 calendar with regard to snow days, saying that it would be best to hold off for a little bit. Board members expressed interest in revising the language concerning when they will decide to give back the days off scheduled for Presidents’ Day in 2015 after this year’s troubles. Board president Jeffrey Brookner said it might be best to make the decision by the second meeting in January, allowing for more time to see how many snow days are needed through the month.

  

   


Enter and Learn, Leave and Serve 


 

 

But board member Evan Lerner recommended the board take a step back for now. “I suggest tabling this until this winter ends,” he said. “I think we have more to learn, and I think we should shelve this discussion until we figure out what is going on.” The board decided it will discuss the revisions in April when talks begin about the 2015–2016 calendar. In addition, Dyer said she had heard that some schools in Bergen County are considering Saturday sessions so as to avoid having to eliminate most of spring break. But, Dyer said, that probably won’t be possible in Bridgewater because it is required to be approved by the executive county superintendent. “In this county, we need permission from the executive county superintendent,” she said. “She has said that would only be given if we have exhausted all other options.” Those options, Dyer said, include eliminating spring break and ending the school year around June 30. Board members have already said they don’t want to push back the last day of school because of graduation.

Adamsville Teacher to Represent District



Kathryn Tricarico, a kinder garten teacher at Adamsville Pri•  mary School, has been chosen as •  the district teacher of the year. According to interim superin•  tendent Cheryl Dyer, Tricarico •  • was chosen by a committee of teachers, members of the Bridge water-Raritan Education Asso•  ciation and others. •  Tricarico was one of the teach•  ers honored for school year •  2013–2014, with a teacher cho•  sen from each school to receive •  the Teacher of the Year Award.  Now, Tricarico will represent  •   the district in the next round, for •   county teacher of the year. 

March 2014

Student Corner Every month, we will ask students around the district to answer one question about the school year or the time of year or something interesting going on. This month, we spoke to third grade students at Van Holten Primary School and asked: What makes you feel lucky?

“I am lucky because I have great teachers. Also, I have the best family. Also, I have an amazing school.” — Liam Annette

“I have a great family. Also, I have the best teacher in the world.” — Jacob Kalikin

“I have a wonderful family who cares about me and I have a nice home to live in. I am also lucky to have a great, kind, caring teacher.” — Kimmie Haig

“I have a nice teacher. I am also lucky because I go to a fantastic school. Also, I have a great family.” — Anjali Amin

“I have a caring, awesome, happy, funny family. I also have the best teacher ever.” — Deven Patel “My brother’s name is Patrick. Every year on St. Patrick’s Day, we read the book, ‘The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day.’ Also, we make St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes.” — Kristina Gambino

“I have a great loving family, and awesome friends.” — Christopher McKinney

“I go to a great school and have a good family. Also, I had very good teachers over the years.” — Eric Rydberg

“I have great friends and a wonderful family.” — Katie Vereb

The BReeze

March 2014

Vo-Tech Charges to be Added to Budget By Audrey Levine With new budget dates released by the state, the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District is continuing to work on its own budget. Business administrator Peter Starrs said the state has released new deadlines, with public hearings to be held between April 24 and May 7. The school budget must be approved by May 14. According to board member Ann Marie Mead, the Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School recently announced that it will be charging tuition to the districts sending students. The charge will be $1,000 for each full time student, and $500 for each part time student. “They have not charged before,” Mead said. “Somerset was one of only three counties that didn’t charge.” Starrs said the district is estimating about $129,000 in tuition

fees that will have to be worked into the budget. In addition, Mead said, the finance committee is looking into whether the district should raise the budget to be at the 2 percent cap for increases in the tax levy, as allowed by the state. Board member Evan Lerner said he believes the district should aim for a smaller increase. Board member Lynne Hurley said she had a different thought. “I think we should not aim for a number, but aim for what we need for the district,” she said. “So we will not cut the budget just to get to a certain number.” Board president Jeffrey Brookner said he believes they need to do a little planning in advance, particularly as the district is looking into the possibility of adding full day kindergarten. If they decide to move forward, he said, it might actually be beneficial to go all the way to the cap.

“If we want to do full day kindergarten, but are concerned about the costs, we can put the money that is below cap into reserves to fix that,” he said. “Then we will have the money to do the work and make the change later.” That could require, Brookner said, implementing full day kindergarten in a few years down the road instead of now if the board decides to move forward with it. But Lerner emphasized that they have to worry about how much money they are requiring to be paid in taxes. “We have to remember the economy is bad these days, especially with the snow,” he said. “What is a little bit of money for one, many not be for others.” As of the December presentation of the budget, if the tax levy were to increase by 2 percent, the budget would be $143,072,269, a 2.55 percent increase over the 2013–2014 budget.

Immaculata Holding Fashion Show

The Immaculata High School Spartan Club is holding its Annual Fashion Show and Luncheon April 6 at the DoubleTree Hotel, in Somerset. Tickets are on sale for the show, called “Rising Stars,” that will feature a Mothers’ Basket Auction, 50/50 raffle and Immaculata seniors modeling the latest fashions. All the funds raised will support the school’s technology program. For tickets, contact Sharon Martin at The club is seeking goods, services or monetary donations. Those contributing will receive a receipt for tax purposes and be acknowledged as a sponsor. Contact Marie Kushnir at for more information.

Page 7

School Calendar March 1: BRHS – Tricky Tray March 4 – March 6: BRHS – HSPA Testing March 4: Crim – PTO Meeting, 6:30 p.m. March 5: Adamsville – PTO Meeting, 7:30 p.m. March 6: BRMS – 8th Grade Talent Show, 7 p.m. March 6: Van Holten – PTO Meeting, 9:30 a.m. March 7: Adamsville – Grade 4 Winter Assembly, 2 p.m. March 7: Van Holten – Barnes & Noble Night March 7: Eisenhower – 6th Grade Luau, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. March 7: BRMS – Volleyball Game, Crim vs. Bradley Gardens, 7 p.m. March 10: Eisenhower – Science Fair, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. March 11: John F. Kennedy – BOE Work Session, 8 p.m. March 11: BRHS – State Jazz Preliminary, 5 p.m. March 12: Crim – Science Fair, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. March 12: Bradley Gardens – PTO Meeting, 7 p.m. March 12: Milltown – PTO Meeting, 7:30 p.m. March 13: Hamilton – Science Fair, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. March 13: Bradley Gardens – Brian Show March 14: Milltown – Science Fair, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. March 14: Adamsville – Talent Show March 14: Eisenhower – 5th Grade Luau, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. March 18 – March 19: BRMS – School Spring Pictures March 18: Van Holten – Science Fair, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. March 18: Hillside – PTO Meeting, 7 p.m. March 19: BRHS – Fine Arts Festival Vocal Concert, 7:30 p.m. March 20: John F. Kennedy – Fun Night, 6 p.m. March 21: BRMS – Middle School Jazz Festival, 2 p.m. March 21: BRHS – Harlem Wizards Game, 7 p.m. March 25: BRHS – Fine Arts Festival Orchestra Concert, 7:30 p.m. March 25: Wade – BOE Regular Meeting, Budget Public Hearing, 8 p.m. March 26: Eisenhower – Grade 5 Parent Orientation, 7:30 p.m. March 26: BRHS – Fine Arts Festival Band Concert, 7:30 p.m. March 27: Bradley Gardens – Science Fair, 6:45 p.m. – 8 p.m. March 27: Milltown – Grade 4 Winter Assembly, 9:15 a.m. March 27: John F. Kennedy – PTO Meeting, 7 p.m. March 28: John F. Kennedy – Grade 4 Winter Assembly, 9 a.m. March 28: Eisenhower – St. Baldricks Event, 6 p.m. March 29: Crim – Casino Night, Madeline’s in Bound Brook, 7 p.m. Check the school websites and calendars for updates or lastminute adjustments,

North Branch Reformed Celebrates “Souper Bowl” —

Bridgewater resident Aidan Wenner brought his dad, Mike, to the North Branch Reformed Church Preschool on Father’s Saturday, as dads spent quality time with their kids, building with blocks, making hats and enjoying cookies and milk. Everyone was asked to bring a can of soup for “Souper” Bowl Sunday, and they used it to vote for the team they were rooting for in the Super Bowl. The preschool was able to donate more than 100 cans of soup to the local food bank.

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The BReeze

March 2014

BReeze Be There

March 1

Temple Sholom, on North Bridge Street in Bridgewater, is holding a Fine Art Auction and Craft Beer Tasting. The Beer Tasting Appetizers and Art Preview will be at 7 p.m., and the Live Art Auction will be at 8:30 p.m. There will be tastings of Kosher craft beers, hot and cold appetizers, wine and soft drinks, a live entertaining auctioneer, framed art in all media and more. Guests must be 21 years or over, and all major credit cards will be accepted for purchases. Admission prices are $50 for Art Lover (admission for one for the evening), $100 for Art Patrons (admission for two for the evening) and $250 for Art Connoisseurs (admission for two and acknowledgment as sponsors in the program). Purchase tickets at the door, online at temple-sholom. net or by calling Jack at 908-7221339.

March 1

The Central Jersey Symphonic Orchestra will be presenting “The Magic Flute,” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in two performances. The show is conducted by Michael Avagliano, with the full orchestra and soloists. The first performance is March 1 at 8 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Finley Avenue in Basking Ridge. The second performance is March 8 at 8 p.m. at the

United Reformed Church on West Main Street in Somerville. Tickets are $25 and $35. Call 913-9614639, or go online at

March 4

Relay for Life will be holding its Kick Off Rally to support the American Cancer Society at the Bridgewater Senior Center on Somerville Road at 7 p.m. The event will include information about Relay for Life, how to register, how it celebrates survivors, how the money raised at Relay is fighting cancer, how to volunteer, how to be involved and more. Relay for Life itself will take place at Duke Island Park on May 16 to May 17. To RSVP for the kick-off event, contact Brandie at Brandie.Engelberger@ or 973-285-8029.

March 4

The United Way of Northern New Jersey will be holding mentor training at the facility on Route 22 West in Bridgewater from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The training consists of four sessions to learn about the mentoring process and the rewards and impacts mentoring has. The other sessions will be March 6, March 11 and March 13. Training will cover roles of a mentor, communication skills, problem-solving, the effects of values in mentoring relationships and more. For more information, call 973-993-1160, ext. 112.

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March 7

The Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School Health Occupations Program and HOSA Club will host its annual school-wide Blood Drive from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Blood Center of New Jersey will be handling the technical aspects of the drive, including the confidential screening process. SCVTHS Health Occupations students will be on hand to coordinate. For more information, or to sign up, contact Kim Vasaturo at 908-526-8900, ext. 7154, or

March 9

The Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center, on Talamini Road in Bridgewater, will be holding its Family Purim Carnival from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a Purim Show at 1:30 p.m., presented by Main Stage Theater Company. There will also be a costume parade at 2:30 p.m. The carnival will include an inflatable mountain climber, petting zoo, games, prizes, DJ, a gaga tournament and more. Admission is $4 per child, or $3 per child with a non-perishable food donation. Adults are free.

March 10

A Survivors of Suicide Loss Bereavement/Support Group will be held at the Bridgewater Township Library, on Vogt Drive, in conference room B from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The group is for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide, and participants can share experiences, and learn coping skills and resources. For more details, contact Augusta Santos at 908-7071699 or

March 11

The JANUS/GPS Support Group is holding a talk at 7:30 p.m. with Laura DePrado, a hor-

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ticultural therapist, on “The Plant/ People Connection.” DePrado will talk about how plants enrich life and how they help reduce stress. She will also be bringing specimans to plant and nurture. To register for the program, contact Barbara Ronca at 908-218-9062. There is no fee to attend, and it will be at the facility on Route 202 South in Raritan.

March 11

The Holistic Moms Network will be holding a program at the Bridgewater Township Library, on Vogt Drive, at 7 p.m. called “Seed Swap & Gardening Gathering.” The program will be an opportunity to share gardening tips, swap seeds, browse vegetable and flower seed catalogues, talk composting, discover local community gardens and more. The program is for gardeners of all levels, for those willing to share knowledge and for those who want to learn or have questions. For more information, call Parvathi at 908-203-1422 or

March 16

The Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center, on Talamini Road in Bridgewater, will be holding its Mah Jongg Tournament to benefit the JCC Scholarship Fund. The doors will open at 8:45 a.m., and the tournament play will begin at 9:30 a.m. The cost is $50 per person by March 5, and $60 per person after March 5. The fee includes morning nosh and lunch. Prizes will be awarded for winners.

March 17

The Washington Valley Garden Club, Inc., is holding its seventh meeting of the 2013– 2014 season at 10 a.m. at the Bridgewater Township Library on Vogt Drive. Maria Rossi, a naturalist from the Environmental Education Center at Lord Stirling Park, will present “Backyard Invaders.” Light refreshments will be served at 9:30 a.m., and new members are always welcome. Email wvgardenclub@ for more information.

March 18

The Somerset Valley YMCA’s annual meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Royce Brook Country Club in Hillsborough. The meeting is open to the public and to members, and will have the YMCA celebrating its accomplishments in 2013, while also kicking off its Annual Support campaign for 2014. In 2013, the Somerset Valley YMCA

Enjoy 22 weeks of our fresh Fruits & Vegetables from July – November

gave financial assistance to 891 people, providing them with access to child care and education, and summer camp. The Somerset Valley YMCA has its branches in Bridgewater, Hillsborough and Somerville.

March 19

St. Ann School, in Raritan, will be holding an open house from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, or to make an appointment for an alternate date, call 908-725-7787.

March 20

Bridgewater Township will be hosting its 2014 Bridgewater Spring Senior Health Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bridgewater Senior Center on Somerville Road. The event will include Lions Mobile Eye Center, Natural Medicine and Rehabilitation, Somerset Hearing Center and more. There will also be door prizes and raffles.

March 22

The Eastern Opera Company will be presenting “Carmen” at the Brooks Theater on Hamilton Street in Bound Brook on March 22 at 8 p.m., March 23 at 3 p.m., March 29 at 8 p.m. and March 30 at 3 p.m. Ticket prices are $35, and $25 for seniors, and can be purchased by calling 908-566-5708.

March 23

Boy Scout Troop 46 will be hosting a chili dinner at Blessed Sacrament Church on Washington Valley Road from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The dinner will be a major fundraising event for the year to allow the troop to buy camping equipment for more than 50 boys who participate in the monthly camping trips. Adults are $10, and children and seniors are $8. Children under 3 years of age are free.

March 29

The Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center, with co-sponsor the Cultural Arts Committee of Temple Beth-El in Hillsborough, will be hosting a program with speaker and storyteller Gerard Edery about the heritage and cultural lifestyle of Spanish Jewry. Guests will enjoy Sephardic food and wine, share pictures and family treasures and cook Sephardicflavored foods. The fee is $18 per person by March 27 and $25 after March 27. The program will be held at Temple Beth-El, on Route 206 in Hillsborough, at 6 p.m. Register online at or by calling 908-725-6994, ext. 201.


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The BReeze

March 2014

Page 9

Project Graduation Hosting the Wizards Martinsville Resident Advertorial Save the date! BridgewaterRaritan High School (BRHS) Project Graduation is hosting an amazing, family fun event on March 21 with Bridgewater Township and Raritan Borough municipal and school staff playing an entertaining basketball game against the Harlem Wizards. The Hometown Heroes take on the Harlem Wizards! Tickets are selling fast! Also, sponsorship opportunities are still available! Contact Project Graduation (PG) at brhsprojectgraduation@ BRHS Project Graduation helps our kids stay safe. In addition to an all-night celebration for graduating high school seniors to attend a drug and alcohol free celebration, Project Graduation includes a year-long series of education, activities, competitions and fundraising to raise donations to defray the costs. Across the country, PG has inspired a new tradition for graduating seniors. Perspectives in Disease Prevention-Maine observed that “Project Graduation has become much more than an event that occurs on graduation night. It is a community wide

Heading Pingry Camp

movement that strives to create a supportive environment that invites open communication between youths and adults related to drugs and alcohol.” Project Graduation is special because the students make a conscious decision to enjoy their graduation night without alcohol or drugs. No other group, including parents and school personnel, can make that decision for the student. BRHS adopted the PG model some 20+ years ago and it is gaining popularity each year.

and other activities. They will be taught to utilize teamwork and strategy to achieve goals. “Gerry’s creative vision, dynamic energy and wealth of camp experience provide a fantastic addition to the Big Blue Summer Experience,” said Mark Facciani, director of summer and auxiliary programs for The Pingry School. “The excitement of the Mega-V Day Camp that Gerry and his staff will generate is sure to foster the fun and friendships for children that will create a summer full of wonderful memories.” The Big Blue Summer Programs are offered on the Short Hills and Basking Ridge campuses from June 9 through Aug. 15. The Mega-V Day Camp program will be offered at the Basking Ridge campus from June 30 to Aug. 8. An open house for the camp will be held March 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Basking Ridge campus.

Welcome to Pingry’s

Raritan Church Holding Rummage Sale The St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church, in Raritan, will be holding a rummage sale March 29. The sale will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and parking will be available behind the church. The sale will have three basement rooms filled with items that are priced separately, including household items, kitchenware, small appliances, pictures, lamps, knickknacks, linens, books, videos, toys and games. Guests will be able to fill a brown paper bag with clothing and shoes for a set price, and there will be a quality table with new and gently used items, including jewelry. At 12 p.m., the bag sale will be expanded to include other items, except the quality table. Call Marie Lombardy at 908725-1371 or the church office at 908-722-6111 to donate.

Once again, the Class of 2014 will celebrate at Dave & Buster’s, enjoying unlimited food, soft drinks, arcade games, bowling, billiards, sumo wrestling, dancing and more. Project Graduation is run by a committee of parents, staff and student volunteers who donate their time and talents. PG is also supported by donations from our generous community businesses, families, HS organizations and the BridgewaterRaritan Municipal Alliance. We thank all those who support this great cause.

Martinsville resident Gerry Vanasse was chosen to oversee and direct a new camp for Big Blue Summer in 2014 at The Pingry School. According to a release from the school, Vanasse will be running the Mega-V Day Camp. Vanasse is bringing 20 years of experience in day camp and recreation leadership, and was instrumental in founding a camp philosophy at Gill St. Bernard’s Mega-V Fun Camp, where he worked as camp director for more than a decade. In 2005, Vanasse was appointed director of athletics for The Pingry School, and he oversees a student athletic program that includes 34 varsity level teams in 19 different sports categories. They coordinate more than 1,200 athletic contests each year. The new camp will be for children ages 3 to 13, with athletics, aquatics, games, songs, crafts

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The BReeze

March 2014

Raritan Woman Wins ‘Fan’ Role at Halftime Super Bowl Show Dorisa Rodney was front and center at the Bruno Mars halftime show. By Audrey Levine While millions of people watched Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers on a big screen television from the comfort of their own homes, Raritan resident Dorisa Rodney was upfront and close to the stage as one of the hired fans for the show. “Being on the field for the

The women pose after their rehearsal at MetLife Stadium.

show was incredible,” Rodney said. “During the time I was there, I was totally soaking everything in because the Super Bowl may not be held at MetLife Stadium again in my lifetime. My dad was sure to drill that into my head.” Rodney, a member of the Somerset Valley YMCA gymnastics team, was cast, along with four other members of the team, to be one of thousands to snag a spot on the field during the halftime show. Rodney; Brionna Hawkins, of Somerville; Juliana Martinez, of Somerville; Isabela Brooks, of Somerville; and gymnastics head coach Rachel Covert, of Hillsborough, all had the chance to attend the Super Bowl together. According to Rodney, Amanda Grace, the owner of Flair Dance Academy and Yoga Center in Hillsborough, was scouted to bring girls to be cast as fans for the halftime show.

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Grace then asked Covert if she knew any gymnasts ages 16 and older who might be interested in being on the field during the big performance. “So, Rachel, knowing how spirited and energetic I am, thought I’d be a good fit for the job,” Rodney said. “Since we were cast as fans for Bruno Mars and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, our main job was to be crazy, excited, energetic screaming fans, cheering them on as they performed.” The girls were just a few among thousands, including school marching band members and dancers from other studios, who were placed on the field. Leading up to the game, the girls were part of three practices of about seven hours each, and they watched the bands rehearse. Rodney and the other girls were positioned in the front and were visible on television, right after Bruno Mars’s drum introduction. “I figured it would be rather simple to just stand there and scream for Bruno and Red Hot Chili Peppers, but when you throw in elements like belowfreezing temperatures, moving pieces of equipment or camera men you have to avoid, the job became a bit more challenging,” Rodney said. Rodney said there were rehearsals before the big show, where they spent time on the field

This photo was taken at the YMCA before the last practice at MetLife Stadium. The women are (L-R) Dorisa Rodney, Brionna Hawkins, Isabela Brooks, Juliana Martinez and Rachel Covert. practicing, although the stadium moment with Philip Lawrence, was always empty. one of the members of Bruno “When I ran out onto the field Mars’s band. for the actual performance on “I’ll also never forget Philip Super Bowl Sunday, the energy Lawrence because we locked I felt from the atmosphere in eyes quite a few times during MetLife Stadium was absolutely rehearsals and during the show,” electric,” she said. “Unfortunate- she said. “After the first couple ly, we didn’t get to spend much of times we rehearsed the entire time at the stadium as we were set, I just thought it was a coinbussed in in time for the perfor- cidence that he would look at me mance and then bussed out di- and sing to me, but he continued rectly afterwards.” to do it every single time we ran Despite the short time there, the songs.” Rodney said she will never forget “The girls in our group were how lucky she was to be directly convinced that we had a connecup against the stage. tion, especially when he said, “During our first rehearsal with ‘hi,’ specifically, to me backBruno, as he was singing ‘Locked stage when the band was passing Out of Heaven,’ we locked eyes through,” she added. “I wouldn’t for quite a while,” she said. have minded believing that that Rodney said she also had a was true.”

The BReeze

March 2014

Page 11

‘Full Day Means Higher Achievement’ KINDERGARTEN from Page 1 time program. “I was disappointed to hear that the half day kindergarten class was being jam-packed with too much curriculum in a short amount of time,” she said. “I hope that we can increase to a full day to provide optimal education and experience for our children.” In addition, Zahajkewcyz said, she believes some students will be regressing by moving to a half day kindergarten program. “Most children have attended full day preschool or daycare programs and will be regressing to shorter days, making the transition to full day first grade the following year difficult,” she said. “I know a mother of a current Bridgewater kindergartener who felt her child’s skills regressed with the transition from full time preschool to part time kindergarten.” For parent Marissa Forget, who has one child in kindergarten now, she feels that her child is losing out on opportunities afforded to others who are part of a full day program. “We had her in a full day program to address rest period and other things, and it didn’t work out and she was miserable,” she said. “We moved her mid-year to now two different programs to supplement the full day programs she was missing. She loves the new programs, but she doesn’t sleep (and doesn’t eat lunch). The school is working with her, but it is hard when she is shuttling between schools.” Forget said that this discussion

should be about what is best for the children overall. “We say that we do not believe that our kids can handle a full day program and, I have to say, it depends on the child,” she said. “There are certain kids that will not benefit in a full day program, and there are other kids who will benefit greatly, but I believe the opportunity should be available to everyone in the district.” Heiden has 5-year-old twins, who have required different needs since they were born. Her daughter, Chloe, was born at 2 pounds, and had gross and fine motor delays. “At the age of 8 months, she started services and continued until the age of 3, when she was tested for preschool,” Heiden said. “That test showed she did not qualify because she was 98 percent in verbal and cognitive, but she did still only fall in the 13 percent for gross and fine motor.” Now still not at a level where she needs to be classified, Heiden said, she worries that sending her daughter to a half day program will put her behind when she enters first grade. “There are many advantages to a full time program that all children benefit from,” she said. “Some of the advantages include higher long term achievement, higher self esteem and independence, greater creativity, higher test scores and higher reading scores.” “Looking at these benefits, it is hard to say any child should not have access to them, and as a community we should want

these things for the next generation,” she added. Heiden said that cost is also a concern because some parents send their children out of district just to have a full day program. “Many parents who can afford it choose to send their children to full time programs privately to make sure they are prepared accurately,” she said. “This is not possible for many families, including myself, due to cost. It is not fair that, come first grade, my children will most likely be behind those children who could afford full time programs.” Parent Rebecca Wiley agreed about both the price and the missed opportunities. “Many other towns in New Jersey already have full day programs, and the longer we wait to act the more our children will fall behind,” she said. “Also, many parents already pay upwards of $900 a month for full day programs at private schools. I think these funds would help our schools fund more programs.” Parent Rebecca Perez said it is important that BridgewaterRaritan students have equal opportunities as other districts with full day programs. “The children that are enrolled in a full day kindergarten with six instructional hours per day receive more hours of instruction in the classrooms compared to the half day kindergarten program,” she said. “Given the new standards for full day kindergarten across the country, the children are not guaranteed an equal opportunity for learning and achieving school success.”

Show Your

BOE Investigating Kindergarten Options sary for full day kindergarten, By Audrey Levine With the demographer’s re- and what those implications port coming in March, and might be. In addition, he said, parents requesting a consider- they are looking into the costs ation of full day kindergarten of adding bathrooms, as rein the district, board of educa- quired by the state for kindertion committees are starting to garten classes. discuss T h e “We have talked about ways f i n a n c e whether that might to increase instruction time for c o m m i t be a postee is kindergarten. “ sibility. looking —Interim Superintendent into simiBoard Cheryl Dyer members lar conshared cerns. information about discussions “We are looking at financial in committees concerning the implications,” said board mempossibility of full day kinder- ber Ann Marie Mead, chair of garten at the Feb. 11 meeting. the finance committee. “We Interim superintendent Cher- can’t discuss yet how it peryl Dyer said she is currently tains to staffing and busing, so looking at data of students in we have no recommendation the district to determine student yet.” achievement for full-day versus No recommendations have half-day kindergarten. been made by any committees “We have talked about ways at this point, but discussions are to increase instruction time for ongoing, and the discussion on kindergarten,” she said. the demographer’s report is exBoard member Aaron Kurd- pected to be held at the March yla said that the facilities com- 11 board of education meeting mittee is looking into whether at John F. Kennedy Primary redistricting might be neces- School in Raritan.


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The BReeze

March 2014

Most Incumbents Win in Future of Raritan Strip Mall Uncertain Annual Fire Elections By Audrey Levine Low voter turnout marked the fire elections Feb 15, which saw most incumbents being reelected to their respective commissions. In District No. 1, incumbents James J. Kalafsky and John J. Lichtig were elected to new threeyear terms, and the $1,162,439 budget passed by a vote of 31–4. “Turnout was low, given the weather probably,” said Bill Rose, with the Martinsville Volunteer Fire Company. “It snowed all day and into the evening.” District No. 2 saw a bit of an upset with its 133 votes cast. Incumbents Ronald Hazen and Doug Zielaznicki were not reelected, replaced instead by Chris Ireland with 70 votes and John Marsigliano with 47 votes. Hazen and Zielaznicki received 38 and 12 votes, respectively, and James Brown, another candidate on the ballot, earned 42 votes. The $456,845 budget was ap-

proved by a vote of 100–28. In District No. 3, Mark Hudec and incumbent Anthony Carpiniello were elected to serve three-year terms on the commission, with 100 and 96 votes, respectively. The proposed $862,627 budget passed by a vote of 99–13. Voters also approved a purchase of a fire tanker for the Green Knoll Volunteer Fire Company, for an amount not to exceed $500,000, by a vote of 94–17. “Voting was average and weather was snowy and icy all day,” said George Jones, a member of the District No. 3 commission. “There were no surprises in the results.” In District No. 4, a total of 31 votes were cast, with 30 going to incumbent Allen Kurdyla to give him another term on the commission. The $569,109 budget passed by a vote of 29–2. “The vote total is about the normal for a budget without a special item in it,” Kurdyla said.

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COLLAPSE from Page 1 This kind of collapse, Mener said, is not common, although they have had cracks in foundations. “We haven’t had a collapse like this in a while,” he said. “It’s my guess that rain (from the night before) added weight to the top (of the building where the snow was already piled).” Mener said they were able to secure the gas and electricity to the building, and no other buildings in the area were affected by the roof collapse. Still, Mener said, they don’t know what will happen next at the building, or if and when it will be rebuilt. The building department will now begin its

Traffic was backed up along Route 202 North from Milltown Road in Bridgewater past First Avenue in Raritan while police and firefighters investigated the scene. investigation. money,” he said. “We don’t “It will be a lot of time and know yet what is salvageable.”

Scholarship Open to B-R Students

The New Jersey State League of Municipalities has announced a scholarship opportunity open to juniors and seniors in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District. The New Jersey State League of Municipalities and Bridgewater Township have teamed together to offer three $1,000 scholarships through the Louis Bay 2nd Future Municipal Leaders Scholarship Competition. The statewide competition is centered on the theme of “What My Municipal Government Does Best,” and is designed to

advance the virtues of elected and volunteer members of the local government. According to a post on the Bridgewater Township website from Bridgewater Mayor Dan Hayes, many elected officials and appointed board members serve the township with little or no compensation. “It is their altruistic desire to serve their community which compels them to public service,” he said on the website. “These officials, along with a cadre of dedicated professionals, are guardians of our hometown comforts and

security.” “They give of their time and talents to help plan our community and preserve our way of life,” he added. The deadline to submit an application for the scholarship is March 10. Applications must be turned in to the municipal complex on Commons Way, and the mayor or a designated committee will choose the winners. For more information on the scholarship and to download an application, visit the Bridgewater Township website at

The BReeze

March 2014

Page 13

Hillside Bazaar Celebrates World By Audrey Levine Students showed off their knowledge of other cultures at the Hillside Intermediate School International Bazaar Jan. 30, with about 20 different countries and cultures represented. According to Beth Holcomb, teacher at the school who runs the bazaar, there are usually between 10 and 20 countries represented. “We always have some favorites returning such as the German Language Club and the Chinese Honor Society, but we also have some unusual countries that many students may not have heard of before, such as Ghana or Sri Lanka,”

she said. Holcomb said students choose a country of interest and then complete projects and displays at home with parents or at school with their teachers’ support. “When each student signs up to be involved in the bazaar, they select which event or events they are interested in, and which country they want to represent,” she said. “This is an opportunity for students to explore an interest on their own. It can be a country of their own heritage or a country they are particularly interested in.” Lots of countries were represented this year, including Mexi-

co, Israel, China and many more. In addition, students got henna tattoos, participated in a fashion show of cultural clothes and performed dances and other cultural traditions. “The Hillside Intermediate School International Bazaar is a great opportunity for students, staff and the community to share and appreciate their own heritage and the cultures of others,” Holcomb said. “Through fashion, dance, song, food, games, projects and cultural items, we learn how diverse our own community is and to welcome all citizens of the world.”

St. Ann Holds Saints and Angels Day — St. Ann School, in

Raritan, held its annual “Saints and Angels Day” during Catholic Schools Week, with students divided into two teams for an indoor field day with relays, cooperation and friendly competition. Classes competed against other students in their own grades, and points were awarded depending on the outcome of the races. The relays involved skills including agility, speed, throwing accuracy, balance, eye/hand or eye/foot coordination, teamwork and good sportsmanship. Students from other grades waved banners and cheered for their team. “The students get really pepped for this day,” said physical education teacher Marian Hardgrove. “There’s lots of energy, excitement and noise.” Pictured are (L-R) Joey Sause, Angelia Basilone, Kailey Chadwick and Colin Dombrowski with Hardgrove.

St. Ann School Wins $1K St. Ann School, in Raritan, won 10,000 BoxTops for Education through a contest offered by ShopRite of Somerville. The box tops found on some cereal products are valued at $0.10 each. These 10,000 BoxTops are

worth $1,000 that the school will use to support classroom programs, including the science lab, arts and music curriculums. School parent Kathy Fischetti entered the contest on the school’s behalf.

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The BReeze

March 2014

Animals in Need This column features information about some of the animals that have been with the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter for longer than most, and are still looking for homes. All information and photos have been provided by the animal shelter. For more information about these or any other animals looking for homes, contact the shelter at 908-725-0308 or The shelter is located at 100 Commons Way, behind the Bridgewater Township Municipal Complex.

Lucky is 5 years old. She was surrendered to the shelter because her family was moving and couldn’t take her with them. Lucky is such a sweet kitty, she loves people and other animals. Lucky would make a great addition to any family.

Disco loves the nightlife and wants to boogie! Even if you didn’t care for the 70’s craze, you’re going to find yourself headover-platform heels for Disco the dog. What’s not to love about this 4-year-old pit mix? She’s got a sweet personality, a beguiling smile and a brown and white coat so plush you’ll be looking for the designer label! And once Disco starts her happy dance, you’ll really be under her spell. She wants to be your first, your last, your everything. Come see her!

Soldier Girl now has the distinction of being the cat who has been 4 atPage the shelter the longest. Her owners had to surrender her since they went into the Air Force. That was in August 2010. Please help us find a new home for Soldier Girl for the beginning of 2014! If you know of someone looking for a cat like Soldier Girl, please forward this information to them. Thank you!

The BReeze

Pino Discusses New K9 Bill on the Radio — Capt. Tim Pino and K9 Dano of the Somerset County Sheriff ’s Office were recently invited to NJ 101.5 radio for the “Jim Gearhart Show” to discuss Gov. Chris Christie’s signing of a bill called “Dano’s Law,” named after Pino’s K9 partner. Pino and K9 Dano, both Bridgewater residents, lobbied the New Jersey Assembly and New Jersey Senate for legislation following a threat made in 2008 by a local drug dealer to come to Pino’s residence to kill Dano.

Book Review

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heart of coming of age, “The Fault in our Stars” is a true masterpiece of teenage literature. The “Fault in our Stars” is the story of 16-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster, a thyroid cancer survivor. A quiet intellectual, Hazel would much rather study for her college classes and read her favorite novel, “An Imperial Affliction,” than socialize with her peers, leading her mother to sign her up for a support group. While Hazel is initially re-

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sistant, her life takes an unexpected turn when she meets osteosarcoma survivor Augustus Waters at the support group. As witty and wise as Hazel herself, Augustus finds his way into the heart Hazel has kept so closely guarded since her diagnosis three years earlier. Through Augustus’s friendship and love, Hazel begins to feel like she is truly living again. But even with Augustus in her life, Hazel cannot ever forget how very short life can be. Despite its serious subject matter, “The Fault in our Stars” still manages to capture the charm and cleverness of young adults. Fans of the book may be interested in seeing the upcoming film adaptation, set to be released in early June.

Blown away by The Breeze? Go where the wind takes you — to our website for news between issues at TheBReezeNJ. com.

The BReeze

March 2014

Page 15

YMCA Collects 905 Donated Coats

Somerset Valley YMCA’s Bridgewater Branch Membership Director Jennifer Sanocki and program assistant Barbara Adams display some of the 905 coats collected for a coat drive. The Bridgewater branch of the For three months, coats were Somerset Valley YMCA was the collected in a box in the Bridgecollection point for a statewide coat water branch’s lobby. drive that brought in 905 donated “We are excited to see so many winter coats to be distributed to coats coming in,” said Jennifer Somerset County residents in need. Sanocki, membership director in According to a release from Bridgewater, in the release. “All the YMCA, the coat drive was of our staff pitched in to help sort spearheaded by Jersey Cares, a and bag them and take them to non-profit group that engages a distribution center when they volunteers and addresses com- were then sent to local residents munity needs. who needed them. We were happy

to be able to play a part in keeping people warm during this exceptionally cold, snowy winter.” The Jersey Cares 18th Annual Coat Drive collected 25,000 coats between November and Feb. 7. All of the coats collected at the Bridgewater branch of the YMCA are given to county residents through partner agencies and organizations, like churches, food banks and community organizations. This is the second year the YMCA has participated in the drive. “Partnering with Jersey Cares gives us another opportunity to give back and support our neighbors,” said Johnathan White, Bridgewater branch executive director, in the release. “We are here to help people overcome obstacles and bridge gaps in our community. We thank our members and the community for making our coat drive such a success and ensuring that everyone stays warmer this winter.”

RECREATION from Page 5 time. That little dip came about on hot summer evenings. After playing baseball at Frelinghuysen Field, the Raritan boys were usually hot and sweaty – thus a nearby pool, even if it was closed and only had 2 feet of water, was a temptation that was hard to pass up. Many of the tired players would sneak into the kiddie pool to cool off. These swims usually lasted only until the cops came and the boys took off over the railroad tracks. Back then, there was no fence around the pool, so getting into the pool or making a quick getaway was easy to do. Andreychak recalls that the importance of sports and recre-

blessed to have two such fine gentlemen run their recreation program. Andreychak sums up his tenure at recreation by saying that the work he does is him giving back to Raritan what Raritan gave him. He has great memories of growing up in Raritan and credits sports with setting him in the right direction. Bartolucci says that Raritan has been an important part of his life. He has enjoyed most every aspect — from attending the schools, to going to the Candy Kitchen, to simply hanging out with the other kids. He said that so many of the other kids were like extended family to him. Thanks to Rich Bartolucci and Bob Andreychak!

Directors Remember Raritan Youth ation in the balance of life was taught to him by Father Olsovsky, of St. Joe’s. When Andreychak was a young teen, Olsovsky often took Andreychak (who was an altar boy at the time) out of St. Joe’s school for the day. The Father informed Andreychak’s teachers that they were going to bless houses in Raritan. Sinfully, their religious retreat for the day did not include the blessing of too many houses, but instead included the driving of golf balls down the fairways at the Raritan Valley Country Club. Olsovsky was an avid golfer and he needed a caddie for his “spiritual” getaway. Andreychak gladly assisted the father in his religious endeavor. The town of Raritan has been

Bradley Gardens Kids ‘Jump’ to Raise Funds — More

than 80 students from Bradley Gardens Primary School jumped rope, danced, climbed the cargo net, participated in relay races and more during the Jump Rope for Heart event Feb. 7. Throughout the weeks preceding, physical education teachers Brian Chartowich and Alex Urban taught the children the importance of exercise and proper nutrition for healthy hearts, and they learned that some children and adults suffer heart problems. The students then solicited donations for jumping rope to help fight heart disease. Pink and red hearts, signed by the students, were displayed in the gymnasium, and the students sampled different forms of exercise, rotating among stations. They also enjoyed fruit, vegetables and water donated by Wegmans. The evening ended with the students filling the whole gymnasium and jumping rope together. Laura Scolarice, PTO president and coordinator of the event, shared how heart disease has affected her family, and thanked everyone who donated money to help CB-NJ The Breeze-Paula Clark Announcement_Layout 1 2/21/14 9:37 AM Page 1 children with “special” hearts.

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The BReeze

March 2014

Toole Hopes to Further Career Big Apple Circus Coming to Bridgewater CAILIN from Page 1 Toole’s EP, which was celebrated at a private party at the end of February where she performed some of her songs, is called “Things From Yesterday.” She said it comes from the fact that she grew up so much while writing the album. “It is how everything from your past happens for a reason,” she said. “But the whole album didn’t follow a theme.” The title song is currently her favorite song on the EP, Toole said, because she is proud of its message. She also likes her song, “On Top of the World,” because of its acoustic vibe. Toole said the process of making the album was a lot of fun, and more work than she had initially thought. “One thing about the process is I had no idea how it is work,” she said. “I always thought it would be so fun. As much as it was fun because I was doing what I love, I never realized how much work it is too. I could put in six or seven hours a day doing the same verse of a song.” A junior at the Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School, Toole said she was part of the performing arts program, part time, during her freshman and sophomore years, before transferring to the Vo-Tech full time this year. “It really helps because I get a lot of experience, vocal training

Cailin Marie Toole and voice classes every day,” she said. “I also get the acting portion, which helps with my stage presence.” Toole’s future is exciting. She said she wants to keep performing, and possibly even go on a tour to promote the EP, depending on the response to it. Then, Toole said, she wants to hopefully do a full-length CD, or another EP. “I’m excited, and everyone always asks if I have a plan B,” she said. “But there is a quote by Ed Sheeran that, ‘I don’t think you can really succeed if you have a plan A, you have to make plan B work.’” “I live like that,” she added. “If you have a strong passion and know how you want to get there, anything is achievable. I am really determined and I will work my butt off, and we’ll see where this takes me.”

The Big Apple Circus will be performing shows at TD Bank Ballpark through March 16. Now in its 36th season, the Big Apple Circus is presenting the New Jersey premiere of “Luminocity” in its annual Bridgewater engagement. According to a release from the county, the show takes place in the heart of Gotham, where humanity rushes through skyscrapers and billboards. Ringmaster John Kennedy Kane will lead the show under the baton of Maestro Rob Slowik. Performers from around the globe will be part of the circus, under the artistic direction of Guillaume Dufresnoy. From Japan, 15-year-old Ty Tojo will perform his jaw-dropping juggling routine, and Por-

tugal’s Duo Guerrero will dance across the sky in a high wire performance. From the United States, Jenny Vidbel will warm hearts with her ponies and animated puppies, and from Canada, Daniel Cyr will climb a ladder to nothing but air. Performances run for 28 shows from Feb. 27 through March 16.

Tickets for the show start at $30, and are available at bigapplecircus. org, or by calling 888-541-3750. The Circus Box Office opens Feb. 26, and the hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday through Tuesday. It is open until 8 p.m. on March 8. There is no service charge for tickets bought at the box office.

Business Launches Charity Drive Bridgewater resident Jim Gano, owner of Crown Trophy of Flemington and Signs by Crown Trophy of Flemington, recently launched “Crown Cares” to benefit five charities. The program is being held at the trophy and sign shop in Flemington, and was developed by Gano’s son, Brandon, a senior at the University of Scranton. The program is designed to help the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Wounded Warrior Project, the Make-AWish Foundation, the American

Cancer Society and St. Hubert’s Giralda. According to a release, when customers make purchases from either business, they will be asked to which charity they would like to have a portion of their purchases donated. At the end of every quarter, Gano will calculate the amount to be donated and mail a check to each organization. “I thought it was a great idea when Brendon suggested it and with a few minor tweaks we finally got it to the point where

we were ready to introduce it to our customers,” Gano said. “Last year we were inundated with requests for donations and sponsorships from individuals and organizations within a fivecounty radius. It is hard to say no to these groups, but it simply became unsustainable for us. With the “Crown Cares” program we are still able to help a broad audience by supporting local chapters of these groups.” Gano said in the release that he wanted to work with charities that had a broad appeal.

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March 2014

Page 17

Bridgewater & Raritan Home Sales

Students Celebrate Chinese New Year — Students at St.

Bernard Preschool and Kindergarten learned about Chinese New Year recently with activities and games. Some of the parents visited the classes and read stories about the holiday. In addition, children learned words in Chinese, and they held a Dragon parade. The children also had the chance to make Chinese lanterns.

Local Dance Team Wins Championship

The Jersey Girls All Stars, a local dance team, won their first national title in the Youth Jazz division at the 2014 National Dance Team Championship Feb. 1 and Feb. 2 in Walt Disney World. This was the team’s second time at the national level competition, and this year, they qualified after performing at the Universal Dance Association at the Fairfax Dance Championships in November. In addition to the team’s na-

tional title, the girls had top three finishes in the junior and senior divisions. The team includes Bridgewater residents Avery Czernikowski, Cristina Patrick, Amanda Sillib, Jeanette Sudzus and Angela Sudzus. Also on the team are girls from Bound Brook, Dunellen, Green Brook, Middlesex, Monroe, Somerset and Pennsylvania. The girls train at Central Jersey Dance and Gymnastics in Middlesex.

Bridgewater 11 Morgan Lane — $117,000 3511 Holman Court — $210,000 2616 Doolittle Drive — $220,000 263 Victoria Drive — $225,000 45 Fairmount Avenue — $260,000 157 Linden Street — $280,000 15 Edgewood Terrace — $305,000 9 Bond Street — $310,000 4506 Patterson Street — $363,000 366 Victoria Drive — $376,500 124 Timothy Place — $414,900 26 Allen Road — $420,000 1683 Valley View Road — $400,000 698 Country Club Road — $485,000 710 Red Lion Way — $525,000

23 Flanders Way — $527,000 2 Cory Lane — $619,500 2 Erin Court — $625,000 20 Westbrook Court — $780,000 59 Blazier Road — $995,000 Raritan 8 Bell Avenue — $130,000 100 Valpeck Avenue — $320,000 *This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Garden State Multiple Listing Service LLC (“GSMLS”). GSMLS does not guarantee nor is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the GSMLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. **The array represents closed sales from Jan. 21 through Feb. 20.

One-Seat Ride Coming to Raritan Train Line

For those long waiting for this opportunity, New Jersey Transit will be rolling out morning offpeak one-seat rides to New York Penn Station on the Raritan Valley Line, beginning March 3. The trains, running in offpeak hours, will be all along the Raritan Valley Line. The trains will arrive in New York between 10 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. Information about departure times from the High Bridge, Raritan and other stations going eastbound, can be found at visit According to a release from the county, NJ Transit has purchased dual mode locomotives that will operate as diesel when riding through Hunterdon, Som-

erset, Middlesex and Union counties, and then as electric locomotives through the tunnel to Manhattan. This will make the one-seat ride possible, and a total of 10 trains will be part of the pilot program. The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, with a group of 30 mayors of towns on the Raritan Valley Line, is looking to ultimately achieve a full one-seat ride to Manhattan. Currently, the line ends in Newark, and riders have to switch trains for service into Penn Station. “Step two, which we hope to see in a few months, will be a one-seat ride in the evenings af-

ter 8 p.m. going out from Penn Station,” said Somerset County Freeholder Peter Palmer, who chairs the rail coalition, in the release. “That way people who go to the theater or whatever don’t have to worry about changing trains on the way home.” The third step, Palmer said in the release, is weekend service, with the ultimate goal being a weekday rush hour service. “Making that happen is a ways off,” he said in the release, citing that it is because of track scheduling issues. “But this is our number one, long term objective. We’ve been working on this for 15 years, and now that we have dual locomotives, we’ll continue to push for this.”

Kids Create Olympic Rings Open House Sunday, March 16 Kangaroo Kids Child Care & Learning Center, in Branchburg, celebrated the Olympics by creating their own live Olympic rings. Doug Bateman, an Olympian in the 1984 Luge event, spoke to the class about the sport. Bateman is currently the president of the United States Luge Federation Foundation, and owns an insurance agency with his wife,

Donna. Students had the chance to sit on a luge sled and learn about the event and components that make a successful run down a course.

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Page 18

The BReeze

March 2014

Obituaries Bridgewater — Ann M. DiGeronimo Bellezza, 90, died Jan. 28. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Branchburg Funeral Home. Bellezza was predeceased by her husband, Joseph F.; her daughter, Joanne Loughlin; and her parents, Alfonso and Caterina DiGeronimo. She is survived by her daughters, Cathryn Bellezza, of Bradley Beach, and Janice Bellezza, of Brick; her grandsons, Joseph, Michael and Nicholas; her son-in-law, Dennis Loughlin, of Bridgewater; and several nieces and nephews. Bridgewater — Dorothy Julio, 83, died Feb. 12. Julio was a bookkeeper for the Woodbridge Township Tax Office. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Bridgewater Funeral Home. Julio is survived by her son, Victor Julio; daughter, Donna Julio; two grandchildren; and three greatgrandchildren. Bridgewater — David W. Snook, 57, died Jan. 16. Snook was a warehouse foreman for GSA Federal Supply Services in Burlington. He also served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, and as a volunteer fireman for the Lincoln Hose Fire Department in Somerville. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Somerville Funeral Home. Snook

is predeceased by his father, Harold Snook. Snook is survived by his wife, MaryCatherine Wishart Snook; his children, Christopher, Stephen and Shelby Snook; his mother, Agnes Snook; his sister, Sharon Blanke; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins; and his mother-in-law, Doris Wishart. Bridgewater — Cindy Lou McClain, 56, died Jan. 17. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Somerville Funeral Home. McClain was predeceased by her parents, and her brother, Louis Philipsheck. She is survived by her husband, Bill McClain; her children, Mike McClain, Jennifer Tennant and Marianne McClain; her brothers, Peter, Gary and Wayne Philipsheck; grandchildren, Ryan and Alex; three special nieces and nephews, Elana, Joanne and Brian; special greatniece, Carinne; and several beloved nieces and nephews. Bridgewater — John Berni, Sr., 99, died Feb. 11. Berni was a tool and die maker/machinist for Litton Corp. in Morris Plains, and also volunteered at the Livingston First Aid and Rescue Squad. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Bridgewater Funeral Home. Berni was predeceased by his wife, Mary. He is survived by

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his children, Jean Fenske, of Three Bridges, John Berni, Jr., of Arizona, and Robert Berni, of Pennsylvania; grandchildren, Dawn Ryan, Jennifer Nadeau, Erica Lettice, Jonathan Berni, Mary Lynne Berni and Robert Dominick Berni; and eight great-grandchildren. Bridgewater — Carol A. “Bunny” Vetack, 70, died Feb. 10. She was a lifelong resident of Finderne. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Bridgewater Funeral Home. Vetack is survived by her husband, Richard Vetack; children, David Marvuglio and his wife Briana, Tracy Atchison and her husband Chris and David Vetack and his wife Kate; and her grandchildren, Ava, Sean, Dominic, Kadie, Alex, Alexei and Zachary. Bridgewater — John Walter Ramsey, 68, died Jan. 26. Ramsey was a truck driver for Schifano Construction Corporation in Middlesex. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, where he received a Vietnam Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Emblem, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation Badge and Expert Sharpshooter Badge. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Somerville Funeral Home. Ramsey was predeceased by his wife, Patricia M. Ramsey. He is survived by his sister, Deborah Fitzgerald and her companion, William Stamper; his step-daughter, Robyn Budd; stepgrandchildren, Matthew and Jason; several nieces and nephews; and sisters-in-law, Elizabeth Van Nest and Donna Kellogg. Raritan — Amelia Birckholtz, 87, died Jan. 27. Birckholtz worked for the Bridgewater-Raritan Board of Education as head baker, at Hillside Intermediate School. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Bridgewater Funeral Home. Birckholtz

was predeceased by her husband, Albert T. Birckholtz. She is survived by her son, Albert J. Birckholtz and his wife Deborah, of Hillsborough; her daughter, Suzanne Cerminara and her husband Carmine, of Bound Brook; her grandchildren, Scott A. Birckholtz, of Somerville, and Jamie D. Birckholtz and her fiancé Kyle Derkacz, of Hillsborough; and her granddog, Lily. Raritan — Elvira Mennito, 92, died Feb. 2. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Somerville Funeral Home. Mennito was predeceased by her husband, Alessandro Mennito; her parents, Giuseppina Terracciano and Gennaro Corrado; four brothers, Francesco, Michele, Vincenzo and Luigi Corrado; and two sisters, Concetta Senese and Assunta Cuccurese. She is survived by her children, Anna Maria Rooney and Antonio Salvatore Mennito; her son-in-law, Joseph Rooney; her daughterin-law, Deborah Mennito; and grandchildren, Kathleen, John, Anthony, Michael and Julianna. Raritan — Mary Lizette Olaveja, 2-and-a-half, died Feb. 6. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Bongiovi Funeral Home. Olaveja is survived by her parents, Linda Feolino and Jose Olaveja. Raritan — Peter P. Shumsky, 88, died Jan. 15. Shumsky was a highway inspector for the New Jersey Department of Transportation. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corp. during World War II, and was stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi, Yuma Army Air Field, Yuma Arizona and Scott Field, Ilinois. After, Shumsky went into business for himself as a building contractor, and then worked as a real estate salesman for the Arbor Agency in Piscataway. He also worked as a truck driver for Hess Oil, Moore’s Trucking, Hemingway Transport and Roadway

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Trucking. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Bongiovi Funeral Home. Shumsky is survived by his wife, Joan Bartok Shumsky. Branchburg — Joyce F. Jacobus, 78, died Feb. 1. Jacobus was the registrar of vital statistics for the City of Summit for 15 years, retiring in 1995. She was also a member of the Branchburg Rescue Squad Fund Raising Committee since 2002. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Branchburg Funeral Home. Jacobus was predeceased by her parents, Joseph and Mary Fider. She is survived by her husband, Lewis Jacobus; her sisters, MaryAnn Schetlick and her husband Robert, of Berkeley Heights, and Elaine Lombardino and her husband Paul, of South Carolina; one niece and one nephew; her dogs, Missy and Sparky; and her cats, Patches and Candy. Basking Ridge — Gulab Jinturkar, 76, died Jan. 17. Funeral arrangements were handled by the India Funeral Service. Manville — Boleslaw Skwira, 89, died Jan. 25. Skwira retired from Acme Tube in 1992. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Bridgewater Funeral Home. Skwira was predeceased by his wife, Julia Skwira. He is survived by his children, Stephanie Dmochowski and her husband Tony, Elizabeth Ogin and her husband Leonard, Teresa Posada and her husband Robert, and Alexander Skwira and his wife Rhonda; and grandchildren, Michelle Dmochowski, Robert Dmochowski, Heather Posada and Morgan Skwira. South Bound Brook — Meleveetil L. Nair, 92, died Jan. 29. Funeral arrangements were handled by the India Funeral Service. Middlesex — Margaret Murray, 100, died Feb. 1. Murray was a bank teller and worked for what is now Wells Fargo Bank. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Bridgewater Funeral Home. Murray is predeceased by her husband, John F. Murray; and son,

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The BReeze

March 2014

Page 19

Obituaries Robert Murray. She is survived by her children, Ronald Murray, of Florida, John Murray, of Pennsylvania, Joseph Murray, of Texas, and Patricia Carfagno, of Somerset; 14 grandchildren; and many great and great-great grandchildren. Middlesex — Myron Thomas “Tom” Mendelson, 63, died Jan. 24. Mendelson had a military career of 28 years, achieving the rank of First Sergeant. After retiring, Mendelson was called back into service assisting Mendelson at Ground Zero during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and he held several positions, settling with the federal government assigned to Rutgers Army ROTC as a human resources assistant before he retired in November 2013. Mendelson was involved in the

NJ State Naval Militia, a member of the Association of the U.S. Army, the Boy Scouts of America, the Committee Chairman for Boy Scout Troop 148 and Cub Scouts Troop 149. He was also active as a member of the American Legion Post 306, and was one of the founding charter members of the Our Lady of Mount Virgin Knights of Columbus Council 12700. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Bridgewater Funeral Home. Mendelson is survived by his wife, Diane Eganey Mendelson; his son, Lt. James Mendelson and his wife Savannah, of Virginia; his granddaughter, Samantha Kimberly Mendelson; and his brother, Samuel and his wife Cindy, of Pennsylvania. Frenchtown — Ruby Irene Makuch, 95, died Jan. 26. Makuch was a communicant of St. Ann Church in Raritan, and a member of the Raritan Rescue Squad Ladies Auxiliary. Funeral arrangements were handled by the

Bongiovi Funeral Home. Makuch was predeceased by her husband, John Makuch; her daughter, Carol Ann Makuch Woods; her son, Ronald A. Makuch; her brother, Richard P. Mitchell; and two sisters, Olive Rego and Doreen Petras. She is survived by her sons, John A. Makuch and Henry Makuch; six grandchildren, John Makuch, Kimberly Leppert, Tracy Carranco, Holly Gibson and Kaitlyn and Jenna Woods; six great-grandchildren, Alex, Michaelanne, Ian, Izzy, Alexa and Kiley; her sister-in-law, Daphanie Mitchell; her son-in-law, James Woods; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. South Amboy — Lahori Ram, 77, died Feb. 1. Funeral arrangements were handled by the India Funeral Service. Edison — Shentiben C. Patel, 85, died Feb. 8. Funeral arrangements were handled by the India Funeral Service.

which is a partnership between the New Jersey Water Supply Authority and the Regional Center Partnership of Somerset County. The program, the release said, encourages residents to purchase and install the rain barrels by offering rebates from $50 to $200. This program, the release said, expands the Peters Brook Rain Barrel Rebate Program, with the Peters Brook Watershed that encompasses parts of Bridgewater, Raritan and Somerville. About 6,000 homes are in the watershed, with about 30 percent of the land being covered by pave-

ment, rooftops and other impervious services. The workshop is free, but the cost of building a rain barrel is $40. Participants living in Bridgewater, Raritan or Somerville can then have their rain barrels listed as eligible for the rebate program once they are installed and inspected. To register for the program and reserve a rain barrel, call 908-685-0315, ext. 223, or send an email to rainbarrel@ For more information about workshop dates, online registration and more, visit raritanbasin. org.

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be a survivor of a high risk childhood. Morello has 15 years of stage experience, and the play he performs tells a story of drugs, bullying and choices. The play has become a number one recommended assembly for young people by the New Jersey chapters of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) and the Association of Student Assistance Professionals. The program is free of charge and open to the public, but content may not be appropriate for children under 13 years of age. To register, contact Jewish Family Services at 908-725-7799, or For more information, contact Nora Luftman at nluftman@excite. com.

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Jewish Family Services, with the Luftman Family as co-sponsor, will be holding a performance of “Dirt” by John Morello at Temple Sholom on North Bridge Street in Bridgewater, March 26. The show will be held at 7 p.m. The play is being presented in memory of Hannah Luftman, a graduate of Bridgewater-Raritan High School, who succumbed to a presumed drug overdose on Oct. 10, 2013. The Luftman family has since decided to use her college funds to bring educational programs to the community. “Dirt” is a play about many characters, all performed by only one actor and comedian, Morello. According to a release, Morello considers himself to

691 East Main St., Bridgewater-Finderne

Rain Barrel Workshops to be Offered Bridgewater, Raritan and Somerville residents are being invited to take part in workshops in late March to learn how to build a rain barrel. New Jersey Water Supply Authority will be hosting the workshops, and staff will be on hand to show participants how to build, install and maintain their own rain barrels, which collect water from residential roofs during rain storms. According to a release, the rain barrels conserve water and help the environment by reducing the amount of water going into streams and rivers during heavy storms, and easing stream erosion. The release said that installing a rain barrel is one of the best ways residential homeowners can help manage effects of urban stormwater. Since 2010, the New Jersey Water Supply Authority and Rutgers Cooperative Extension have been holding these workshops in Bridgewater, Raritan and Somerville. The workshops in March will focus on residents in these three towns, but will also provide service to anyone else in the area interested in installing one of the barrels. The workshops will also be covering the Raritan River Rain Barrel Rebate Program,

Play Being Held in Memory of B-R Grad

Page 20

The BReeze

Classified Ads House Cleaning: Do you need help? I can help you! House cleaning, small office cleaning or pet care. Many local references. Reasonable rates. Call Patty 908-938-0738. Music Lessons: First Lesson $10. Learn Guitar, Bass Guitar, Harmonica and/or Keyboard. Lessons in my Branchburg home. Degreed with years of teaching and performance experience. Call 908-231-0492. Handyman: Call the handyman many of your neighbors, local businesses and realtors count on for their repairs. Senior Discounts! Sig’s Handiworks – 16 years serving this area. Call 908-231-0492. NJ Lic. 13VH05489400. Repair Screens Bridgewater/ Somerset Area: Pickup & Delivery, or bring your screens to me. Call Fred for prices: 908580-0341 or 908-247-1994. Real Estate: Selling your Home or Estate Property? Call me for a complimentary market analysis. I buy homes for cash! George Pantozzi,

Broker/Associate, Prudential NJ Properties, 908-392-2677 (cell) or 908-874-3400 x324. Piano Instruction: All ages and styles. Degreed; B.A., M.M., 25 yrs experience. Call 908-704-8620. Caregiver: Experience – caring for the elderly, possible live-in situation, responsible and reliable. Ref. available. Contact Rebecca, 908-2406100. Major & Minor Auto Repairs: Electronic & Computer Diagnostics. Reasonable prices & prompt service. Credit cards accepted. Appt. not always necessary. Call Al at 908-526-8590, Economy Automotive Services, 18-C Raritan Ave., Raritan. Musicians: LOCAL GUYS PLAYING BIG MUSIC - THE MCGUINEA’S. We play what you want to hear. We will play for any upcoming event especially St. Patrick’s Day. Contact us at themcguineas@ Italian/Irish favorites, classic/folk rock/jazz.

Want to get your name out to more than 50,000 people all at once? Advertise in The BReeze! It’s as easy as calling 908-255-5926 or emailing to find out sizes and prices. We will work with you to fit your budget and advertising needs.

March 2014

Church To Hold Silent Auction

The Bridgewater United Methodist Church Youth Organization is holding a live and silent auction at the Somerville Elks Lodge, on Union Avenue in Bridgewater, March 15 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 if purchased before Feb. 28, and $45 if purchased after. The tickets include salad, dinner, dessert, coffee, tea and soda, and there is a cash bar available. A preview for auction items will be from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Proceeds from the auction will help to support mission trips, retreats and other local community service events. Some of the items that will be included in the auction are four Disney park hopper passes, a hot air balloon ride, a Jets football signed by the entire team, two tickets for Alvin Ailey Dance

Troup NYC, a 32-inch flat screen television, hosted boat rides, and one-week stays at a Seawynd vacation home on Emerald Isle, North Carolina, a condo in Myrtle Beach and a Colorado ski condo.

To make a donation for the auction, contact Ludieann A. Menzies at la4menzies@yahoo. com or call 908-872-0110. Tickets can be purchased in advance by contacting Diana at 908-526-1414, ext. 0.

Local realtor George Pantozzi received The Circle of Excellence Award for the second year in a row this year. Pantozzi is a broker and associate with Prudential NJ Properties.

Pantozzi received the award for the second year in a row, and is one of the top leaders in his office for homes listed and homes sold. Pantozzi has been selling real estate for more than 25 years.

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Local Realtor Earns Excellence Award

Literacy Volunteers to Hold Star Fundraiser The Literacy Volunteers of Somerset County are holding “Stars Shine for Literacy,” a fundraiser at Soriano’s at Parkside in Bridgewater, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. March 22. The evening will feature dinner with wine and beer and a silent auction, as well as a celebrity impersonator. Celebrity lookalike Holly Faris, who is known for her

impersonations of Joan Rivers and Cher, will be appearing at the event. Faris has appeared on NBC’s “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” and the Biography Channel’s “Celebrity Ghost Stories.” All the proceeds from the event will benefit the Literacy Volunteers of Somerset County’s adult literacy programs. The program has been active

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The BReeze

March 2014

Page 21

Zoned Raises Funds to Fight Cancer Field Hockey Players Earn National Recognition A number of players from the Bridgewater-Raritan High School field hockey team have earned national recognition for their academic achievements. According to field hockey coach Kathie DeBonis, the National Academic Squad recognizes high school seniors who have achieved a cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.5 out of 4.0, or the equivalent, through the first quarter of the 2013–2014 school year. Senior Samantha Lisk was named to the 2013 NFHCA High School National Academic Squad this year. Lisk will be attending Montclair State University in the

Zoned Inc. hosted a St. Baldrick’s Baseball Clinic at its Bridgewater facility Jan. 20, with proceeds from the clinic going to benefit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The clinic was held for kids ages 6 to 12, and many aspiring baseball players attended to work with professional trainers. According to a release, the kids had the chance to learn about hitting, throwing, fielding ground balls and catching fly balls. That was followed by a friendly pick-

up game with the kids participating in the clinic. Following the clinic, each child received a St. Baldrick’s tshirt and bracelet as a keepsake, in addition to being able to show support for kids who are battling cancer. At the end of the program, Zoned owner Malcolm “Duke” Baxter presented a check for $500 to Michael Schwartz, leader and organizer for the B-R Conquer Kids’ Cancer Event, which

raises money every year for St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The next Conquer Kids’ Cancer Event will be held at Eisenhower Intermediate School March 28, for the fourth year in a row. In the past three years, the event has raised more than $250,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. This year, the hope is to have 150 shavees raising more than $100,000, including a special shave team from Zoned.

fall. Also named to the squad this year was Leah Watson. Watson also earned the honor of being a Scholar of Distinction. DeBonis said Scholars of Distinction recognize seniors who have achieved a minimum cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.9 out of 4.0, or the equivalant, in the first quarter of the 2013–2014 school year. In addition to these honors, junior Emily Miller was chosen as 2013 NFHCA Regional All American, one of only 15 players recognized from the New Jersey region.

Students Defeat Teachers in Annual Bowl — The students

defeated the faculty and staff in the annual John F. Kennedy Bowl, held Jan. 31. The event included some of the students’ favorite games from physical education class, including Musical Hoops and Pin Knock Down. The Cubs shined as the students claimed the victory again. Special thanks was given to phys ed teacher Michael Vidnansky, who arranged the event.

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The BReeze

March 2014

Athletes Aid United Way in Collection A group of athletes from Bridgewater-Raritan High School spent their day off from school on Martin Luther King Jr. Day helping the United Way of Northern New Jersey with their annual Project Homeless Connect. The project is a campaign that helps serve the homeless population in Somerset County. Every year, the project provides people with a variety of goods and services, like health care services, blood pressure screening, HIV screening, food packages, winter apparel and personal care packages. In early January, according to a release, organizations like United Way, Samaritan Homeless Interim Program (SHIP), The Visting Nurses’ Association and The Salvation Army obtained the homeless population count in the county. A group of athletes from the high school collected personal

care items for two weeks leading up to Jan. 20, and then visited the United Way facility to sort and bundle care packages. In total, the students collected more than 500 personal care items and created several dozen care packages. In late January, the release said, homeless citizens in Somerset County were invited to visit SHIP in Somerville to get the services and items. In addition, the students had

the chance to learn about the financial and other support United Way provides to people in Somerset County. Over the past year, the release said, BRHS athletes have made efforts to donate time and energy to many charities, including the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, the United Way of North Jersey, SHIP and the Salvation Army. They are committed to continuing this work through 2014.

The Bridgewater Football League has opened registration for its 2014 Fall Football and Cheer season. Now in its 11th season, the program is welcoming returning players as well as new players of all experience levels in grades kindergarten through eighth grade for Flag Football,

Tackle Football and Cheer. The mission of the Bridgewater Football League, according to a release from the organization, is to provide an enjoyable and character-building program that is free of prejudice and criticism, and allows youth to learn the game of football. Bridgewater residents, as

well as residents from other neighboring towns, are welcome to register to play in the league, and parents are invited to join in and volunteer to work with the individual teams. Registration can be done at The Bridgewater Football League is a member of the American Youth Football, and is a founding charter member of the JR Skyland Football Conference. The JR Skyland Football Conference has an unlimited weight, and an intermediate level football league with a goal of providing an opportunity for players to experience competitive football that is above the level of the average youth football league.

Varsity Sports Schedule Wrestling

3/1 — Away Match, Region 5 @ Hunterdon Central, 10 a.m.

Boys Lacrosse

3/26 — Away Game against Hunterdon Central Regional, 5:30 p.m. 3/29 — Home Game against Bronxville, 11 a.m.

Girls Lacrosse

Football Registration Beginning

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All matches are scheduled to change, particularly as championships begin for all sports. Check for updates.

Bridgewater Baseball Holding Cooperstown Fundraiser Bridgewater Baseball will be holding its annual Wine, Beer & Spirit Tasting to benefit the 12U Bridgewater Baseball teams that will be heading to Cooperstown for the annual tournament later this year. The Wine, Beer & Spirit Tasting will be held March 14 at the Bridgewater Manor on Route 202/206, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. In addition to the drinks, the event will include DJ Rob Thomas providing entertainment, a basket auction, a 50/50 raff le and a silent sports memorabilia auction. The cost for the event is $60 per person, and includes hors d’oeuvres, pasta and carving stations, in addition to the beer, wine and spirits. A premium cash bar is also available. Tickets are available online at, beginning March 1.

“We are excited for a great wine, beer and spirit tasting and expect more than 100 families and friends to participate in our fun night,” said Phil Confalone, 12U tournament coordinator of Bridgewater Baseball & Softball, in a release about the event. “The event is a fundraiser to benefit the three 12U teams that will travel to Cooperstown, New York for a week-long tournament.” The basket raff le is going to feature about 75 baskets with items and services donated from local businesses and restaurants. The items are valued at between $50 and $500. There will also be items awarded to raff le winners, including one-day Disney park hopper passes, sports tickets and sports memorabilia. For more information, contact Connie Matteo at 908243-0019.






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The BReeze

March 2014

Page 23

Boys, Girls Swim Team Have Pretty Even Seasons By Bernard DeLierre The Bridgewater-Raritan High School boys and girls swim teams have had a good season, with the boys team posting a record of 6–4 and the girls team posting a record of 5–6, all as of mid February. On the boys team this year are Brendan Blood, Rhys Hanley, Paul Pacelli, Sean Sali, Philip Tan, Matt Wong, Thomas DeLauro, Daniel Petrillo, Nick Agnello, Josh Chan, Philippe Hayek, Joshua Pica, Dylan Santos, Zach Tinn, Kris Woung-Fallon, Griffin Halpin, Jason Shu, Eric Barr, Ben Dettleback, Scott Kirschner, Andrew Qi, Adriel Shulman, Michael Usewick and Simon Zhou. On the girls team this year are Alexis Brewer, Kelly Pearce, Alina Demirel, Eileen Blood, Christine Egan, Jenny Man, Danielle Hoffner, Brianna Jeremiah, Amanda Pappas, Kerry Silverman, Jennifer Doorly, Alana Madura, Kiera Carmody, Noelle Buckley, Kirsten Yili, Emily He, Kristin Schwab, Emma Gitterman, Danielle White, Christine Arcoleo, Alex Gebel, Emily Ma, Emma Carmody, Jocelyn Lee and Amanda D’Amato.

Photo by Bernard DeLierre Photo by Bernard DeLierre

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Page 24

The BReeze

March 2014

Boys Basketball Celebrates its Seniors in Home Game By Bernard DeLierre Despite a postponement due to snow, the Bridgewater-Raritan High School boys basketball team celebrated its senior members during a home game Feb. 19. The team has had a great season this year, with a record of 16–7 as of the middle of February, heading into championship games. On the team this year are Raymark Abogado, Griffin Figel, Cole Harper, Adam Iannelli, Bennett Kautz, Matt Mancuso, Ben Miller, Eric Nickel, Vincent Pace, Jared Rappoport, Tom Schuller, David Sugarman, AJ Tamara, Billy Thomson, Joey Vitello and Andrew Wieczenski. Iannelli, Schuller, Sugarman, Pace, Tamara, Miller and Wieczenski are this year’s graduating seniors.

Photo by Bernard DeLierre

Photo by Bernard DeLierre

Photo by Bernard DeLierre

Photo by Bernard DeLierre

Photo by Bernard DeLierre

Photo by Bernard DeLierre

Photo by Bernard DeLierre









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20 COUNTY LINE ROAD, BRANCHBURG NJ 08876 | 800-346-3693 | FAX 908-725-0850 | MON-FRI 8AM-530PM | SAT 8AM-4PM | HIC# 13V01723200

March 2014  
March 2014