Young Volunteers Work to Cheer Children in Hurricane Zone By Audrey Henry
The Branchburg Recreation Department’s Let’s Volunteer Group, (approx. 20 in number) was busy this fall making sandwiches for S.H.I.P. and decorating canvas backpacks and stuffing teddy bears and puppy dogs for kids victimized by weather in Florida. Coordinator of the Let’s Volunteer Group, MaryBeth Ferris, had a brainstorm after reading about and seeing photos of the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael in Florida and knew a project was in order. She immediately contacted former Branchburg Police Officer Mike Brunson, who retired to Florida, and he put her in touch with Team South Florida, a non-profit law-enforcement charity. Team South Florida (www.teamsouthflorida.org) put her in contact with Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Deputy, Clarity Lee. MaryBeth explained what the children in the Let’s Volunteer group were doing and asked if it would be possible to ship the stuffed bears and puppy dogs to them, for the police officers to distribute to children who lost everything in the hurricane. Deputy Clarity Lee loved the idea and set the wheels in motion with MaryBeth. The volunteer group, along with several parents and Branchburg Officer Kate Proscia, worked diligently decorating the canvas bags, stuffing the bears and puppies and weighing them so they were just right and huggable. They named each bear/puppy and filled out birth certificates and adoption papers for each stuffed animal and packed them cozily into each backpack. It was a wonderful evening filled with excitement and lively conversation. The children had no idea what kind of devastation occurred in Florida, so while a picture is worth a thousand words, MaryBeth printed photos sent to her by Deputy Clarity Lee. These children
Members of the Let’s Volunteer Group smile after stuffing toy bears and puppies to cheer their youthful counterparts in Florida.
were stunned by the piles of rubble that were once homes. Needless to say the kids’ enthusiasm quickly turned into empathy for these poor families and the realization that this project, through their efforts and thoughtfulness, may bring a ray of sunshine to kids their own age. The following children were involved in creating the bears and puppies: Madison Blanchard, Amy Bolink, Catherine Burt, Tegan Dingwall, Sophia Douglas, Ashley Egan, Dora Iliopoulos, Kayla Kappmeier, Ryan Kappmeier, Joseph Keck, Maeve O’Neill, Gabri-
ela Rizzi, Charlotte White, Stella White, Ava Wolfe, Robert Wolf. The inspiration was contagious. At the end of the evening a parent stepped forward. She and her husband have their own business and offered to take care of the shipping. The Recreation Department sends a heartfelt thank you to this couple for handling the shipping details and expenses and especially to MaryBeth Ferris for always putting others first and teaching the young people in our community to do the same. Branchburg Township is so proud of its Let’s Volunteer Group.
In October, homes in Mexico Beach on the Florida panhandle were devastated by Hurricane Michael. –photo courtesy of the American Red Cross
In a photo from a past fly-in, Bruce Wessel, the original flying Santa, exits his “Santa Express” airplane to greet kids at Central Jersey Regional Airport.
Rotary Club Plans Santa Fly-in on Dec. 9 The Rotary Club of Branchburg is hosting another Santa Fly-In at Central Jersey Regional Airport in Hillsborough on Sunday, Dec. 9. Santa will be arriving at noon in his personal plane and will spend time at the airport’s large, heated hangar distributing gifts to children attending the event. Parents will be permitted to take photos. There will be hotdogs, cookies and hot chocolate available while the children wait. To register for the event, parents must bring a gift-wrapped present for their child to TriState Aviation Flight School at the airport located at 1034 Millstone River Rd., Hill-
sborough. It’s best to enter via the Pizza ‘n Pasta parking lot to access the flight school. Presents will be distributed in the order they are received, and the club will stop accepting presents on Friday, Dec. 7. Parents are encouraged to provide some information about their child when they bring their child’s gift as Santa delivers a hand-written letter for every child attending. Cost per child is $20 which must be paid when the gift is brought to the flight school. For more information call 908-576-4333 and ask for Jodi. – submitted by Kathy Feigley
The Branchburg News • December 2018
2 Editors & Publishers: Bill Haduch, Monita Casey Haduch Advertising Manager: Heather Sanchez Writer/Ad Sales: Karen C. Muller Design & Layout: Jacki Hasko Web Manager: Steve Skladany Mailing Services: Mike Sanchez Art:: Kevin Gora, Cathy Zehr, Megan Moore The Branchburg News is mailed monthly, free-of-charge to every mailing address in Branchburg Township. Free copies are also available for distribution in places of business, schools, and municipal offices. DEADLINES FOR NEXT ISSUE January 2019 December 10 For Ad Materials December15 For News Materials The Branchburg News is not liable for failure to publish an ad, for typographical errors, or errors in publication, unless, in our judgment, the error materially affects the content and advertising value of the ad. Compensation will not exceed the cost of the space in which an error occurs. The Branchburg News has the right to refuse any advertisement for any reason, and is not responsible for claims made by advertisers. We ask our readers to keep us informed of any misleading advertisements. Phone/Fax: 1-800-530-3046 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mailing address: P.O. Box 5351 Branchburg, NJ 08876 Web: www.branchburgnews.com
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RVCC Art Show, Sale Dec. 3-7 Raritan Valley Community College Visual and Performing Arts Dept. will present its annual Holiday Art Show and Sale from noon to 8 pm, Dec. 3-6, and from noon to 6 pm on Dec. 7. Location is the RVCC Art Gallery (lower level, College Center). Displayed will be various work by RVCC’s ceramics students, instructors and several alumni. There will also be artist greeting cards, knitwear and jewelry. JCC Camp Open House, Dec. 3 From 5:30-7:30 pm at 14-acre Camp Ruach at the Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center (JCC), 775 Talamini Rd., Bridgewater. Community is invited to attend. Camp savings are available. Hiring camp staff, counselors and specialists, too. Web: ssbjcc.org. Evening of Dance, Dec. 4 & 5 At 8 pm, RVCC’s Visual and Performing Arts Department will present DanceWorks, an evening of student and faculty dance. General admission tickets cost $12 each, $8 for students and seniors. For tickets, call 908-725-3420. For additional information, call 908-2188876.
Coffee with the Mayor, Dec. 8 Upcoming Events From 9:30 to 11 am at the MuWinter Wonderland, Dec. 7 From 6:30 to 8 pm, Kangaroo Kids Child Care and Learning Center will hold a Winter Wonderland event at 1047 Route 28 in Branchburg. There will be photoswith-Santa opportunities, sing-alongs, gingerbread house display, craftmaking, and a photographer available for professional family photos. Event is free to the public and is appropriate for children under 10 years of age. Call 908-2317800, email email@example.com or like Kangaroo Kids Child Care Facebook page for updates on the event or for further info. Ask about Kangaroo Kids Giving Tree to help those in need.
nicipal Building. Listen, talk and learn about township issues and happenings in a casual setting.
Neshanic Garden Club Meeting, Dec. 13 Regular monthly meeting at 9:45 am at the Station House on Olive Street in Neshanic Station. The program is a demonstration on how to make a candelabra floral design presented by NGC member Diana Reinhardt. A holiday luncheon will be provided at noon. Prospective members are encouraged to attend. For further info about club meetings, contact either club co-president, Cathy Heuschkel at 908-359-6881 or Kathy Herrington at 908-359Breakfast with Santa, Dec. 8 6835. For more info regarding The South Branch Reformed the club, visit www.neshanicgarChurch Preschool (870 River Rd., denclub.org and like Neshanic Hillsborough) is having its annual Garden Club on Facebook. Breakfast with Santa with seatings Christmas Historic Open starting at 8 am, until 10:30 am. House, Dec. 16 Breakfast includes a printed comFrom 1 to 4 pm the Branchburg plimentary picture and an emailed Historical Society’s monthly open picture to share with friends and house at the 1790 Andrew Ten Eyck family. Tickets went on sale Nov. House will have a Dutch Christmas 15. To reserve tickets, call 908- decoration theme. Refreshments 369-7885 or email: Preschool@ (cookies and cider) will be served. Free admission but donations are SBRChurch.org. welcome. The house is at 671 Old York Road.
Carols by Candlelight, Dec. 20 At 6:30 pm, sixth annual event at White Oak Park pavilion (rain
Dec. 3, 17, 31 732-469-3363 or visit www.co.somerset. nj.us/recycle location BCMS gym). Seasonal favorites by the Somerville High School Chamber Choir. Audience participation welcome. Enjoy caroling, campfire and refreshments by the pond in the park. There may even be a visit from a jolly old elf in a bright red suit. Christmas Eve Service, Dec. 24 At 11 pm at Bradley Gardens Community Church, 124 Old York Rd., Bridgewater, 908-722-0878. Choir, solos and candlelighting.
Santa ‘Round Town
On the northern end of town, the North Branch Volunteer Fire Co. will drive Santa through the streets on a fire truck on Dec. 14 and 15. Listen for the sirens. Volunteers from the Neshanic Volunteer Fire Company are planning to drive Santa around its fire district area in the early afternoon of Dec. 9, with a rain date of Dec. 16. The Branchburg Rescue Squad will escort Santa through town on Dec. 14 and 15.
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Christmas Home Tour to Benefit Meghan Rose Bradley Foundation – A three-story home “decked out for the
holidays” will be open for touring on Sunday, Dec. 9, from noon to 6 pm at 14 Cobblestone Lane in Annandale. Guests will enjoy scenes packed with animated and lighted holiday villages, decorated trees, and collections of snowmen, Santas, angels, and more. The tour will feature 12 full-size Christmas trees, each with a different ornament theme: Lladro, Lenox, Swarovski crystal, White House, Krinkles collectibles, gingerbread, dolls, peppermint candy, and Santa, a patriotic red, white, and blue tree. Each year the home of Karolee Glassman touches a different charity. This year Karolee has selected the Branchburg-based Meghan Rose Bradley Foundation, which supports pediatric brain cancer research. Seen above is a sample of a Christmas village under a starlit sky. – Submitted by Ulrike Ocasio
Branchburg PTO Holiday Happiness Collecting Gifts Dec. 3 – 14 PTO Holiday Happiness has been assisting the community for 40 years by collecting new and unwrapped gifts for boys and girls. The PTO has changed the program to solely benefit the children of the community from K through 8th grade (age range 5-14). Again this year, the PTO has great interest in gift-card donations (for example movies, Justice, Game Stop, Claire’s.) $10 increments are best. Contact Heidi Davis at rd3hjd@ aol.com or Jill Jaecks at firstname.lastname@example.org for specific items requested (sizes of clothing, coats, shoes, slippers, toys.) Donated gifts are being collected at all
The Branchburg News • December 2018
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Branchburg schools and the Municipal Building Dec. 3 – 14. There will be a large box in the foyer or office at each location. Do not leave gift cards at the drop-off locations, instead contact Heidi at 908872-1533 and she will schedule a pickup/dropoff. The PTO needs your help to continue this program and thanks you in advance for your continued support. -- submitted by the Branchburg PTO
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Pat Deseno & Michelle Lee Your Somerset/Hunterdon Realtors since 1987 NJ TEAM Realtors Circle of Excellence Cell: 908.295.1192 Email: Michelle.email@example.com “Thank you, both! You were absolutely the best realtors we’ve ever worked with—professional, knowledgeable, helpful, and optimistic. Your skillful handling of our home, and your deep familiarity with real estate in Hunterdon County, truly made the difference. We cannot thank you both enough. (Roberta & Rick Salierno, 2018)
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The Branchburg News • December 2018
In General Election, Branchburg Voters Liked Incumbents In the Nov. 6 General Election, Branchburg voters mostly went for the incumbent candidates. For Township Committee, the two incumbents won. Incumbent Republican Anna Columbus received 3,400 votes. Incumbent Republican Brendon Beatrice received 3,352 votes. Democratic candidate Monica Lazer received 2,439 votes. Democratic candidate Daniel Payne received 2,380 votes. In the race for US Representative for New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District, in Branchburg, incumbent Republican Leonard Lance earned 3,271 votes to Democratic challenger Tom Malinowski’s 2,637. Districtwide, Malinowski won with 51.5% (158,892 votes) to 47% (144,802 votes) for Lance. Branchburg voters also favored incumbents for two seats on the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Republican incumbent candidates Patrick Scaglione (3,507 votes) and Mark Caliguire (3,472) bested Democratic candidates Shanel Robinson (2,357) and Sara Sooy (2,332 votes). Countywide, Robinson and Sooy won. County vote totals were Robinson 71,347, Sooy 69,727, Scaglione 61,058, Caliquire 60,363. One notable exception to Branchburg’s tendency to vote for the incumbent was in the race for US Senator. Township voters favored Republican newcomer Bob Hugin (3,510 votes) over Democratic incumbent Robert Menendez (2,290 votes). Statewide, Mendendez won with 51.63% (70.359 votes) to 45.03% (61,373 votes) for Hugin. In the School Election, three candidates won seats on the Board of Education: Theresa C. Joyce (incumbent, 2,689 votes), Laura De-
prado (2,096 votes), Kristen Fabriczi (incumbent, 1,960 votes). For the Public Question (Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act), Branchburg residents rejected the measure, 3,075 no votes to 2,139 yes votes. Statewide, the measure was approved, 60,925 yes votes to 52,978 no votes.
Observations About the Election Rita Jordan, who writes the Branchburg Senior Citizens Club column in The Branchburg News, was inspired to write about her day as a poll worker in the Nov. 6 General Election.
Election Day, Nov. 6, 2018 By Rita Jordan Poll worker, District 10
Even before voting began in the Mid-Term Election, there was a sense of urgency at the Districts 5 and 10 polls in the Rescue Squad headquarters building. At 5:57 am, there was already a gentleman champing at the bit to vote. He was #1. In the first hour between 6 and 7 am, 25 people came to vote. Usually there are only three or four.
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They came in with as much intensity as voter #1. All day, districts 5 and 10 were kept very busy with an unusual, steady flow of voters so there was hardly a quiet time. By 4 pm, a surprising 40% of each district had voted. If all the other districts had the same experience, this would turn out to be a very unusual election. This urgency to vote prevailed throughout the day. Adding to the tension was the use of provisional ballots. There was a new rule that past mail-in voters would always receive a mail-in ballot, until the voter changed the preference personally at the Somerset County Administration Building. This meant that if voters did not use their ballots and chose to vote at the polls, they were already marked as having voted in the books. Poll workers were instructed to let them use the provisional ballots and they would be checked against the books. This was to prevent anyone from voting twice. Some people were not too happy about this new rule, but they cooperated because they wanted to vote.
The busy poll workers were amazed how fast the day passed and wished all elections would be so busy. Poll workers come in at 5:15 am and work until 8 pm. It’s a long day when voters don’t come to vote. This time, it was different. The voters came and came until 8 pm. The poll workers, like everyone else, could only guess who the people were voting for. Lots of young people were voting and an unusual number of older people voted, too. At the 8 pm poll closing, we calculated that almost 60% of people in our districts had voted. Had it been the same in the other districts? The results of the election you already know. The 2018 MidTerm Elections were what it was all about. The people voted. The people had spoken. Editor’s note: Because the new mail-in/provisional ballot rule created a need for extra processing by the county, official turnout numbers were not readily available. Unofficial results released on election night listed voter turnout in Branchburg at 57%.
District 5 poll workers: Marianna Runco, Robert Bradley, Katherine DeLong, Harriet Davis
District 10 poll workers: Eugene Slobodin, RoseMary Girard, Vicky Massad, Rita Jordan
December Events at BSC
BRANCHBURG SPORTS COMPLEX 47 Readington Road, Branchburg, NJ 08876
Sports ★ Camps ★ Laser Tag ★ Parties ★ Arcade
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Shop Till You Drop December 15th 12:00pm to 4:00pm December 22nd 12:00pm to 4:00pm Schools Out! Camp December 26th, 27th, 28th (Full or Half Day)
For more information visit our website at www.branchburgsports.com or contact us at 908.203.1600
Holiday Music, Ballet, Storytelling Slated at RVCC Theatre
A Joyful Christmas (Eileen Ivers), Saturday, Dec. 1, at 8 pm; $25 & $35 World-renowned violinist Eileen Ivers and her band capture the spirit and magic of the season in her heartwarming Christmas holiday show. All-Ireland Fiddle Champion and music star of Riverdance, Ivers has established herself as the world’s preeminent exponent of the Irish fiddle. Audiences of all ages are taken on a joyous musical journey that celebrates the pure spirit of the season.
The Great Russian Nutcracker (Moscow Ballet), Friday, Dec. 7 at 4 pm and 8 pm; $40 & $50. Moscow Ballet’s spectacular scenic design, gorgeous costumes and the exquisite artistry of 40 top Russian dancers have made The Great Russian Nutcracker an American holiday tradition not to be missed. This critically acclaimed production entertains with new characters and larger-than-life puppets set against a stunning backdrop. As is the custom, the students of Gotta Dance will perform along with the professional dancers. The production will be enhanced by a special Nutcracker Tea Party event, Friday, Dec. 7, at 6:30 pm, in the RVCC Atrium. Tickets cost $30 for adults, $25 for children. This unique event, perfect for children and their families, will be held between performances of The Great
Bells are Ringing for Those Less Fortunate Branchburg Rotarians are braving the cold in their Santa hats as they ring bells to collect money for the needy in the community. The annual Holiday Happiness campaign is coordinated by Rotarians Dan Matyola and Kip Bateman (pictured.) All donations collected go to the Somerset County Food Bank and the Interfaith Hospitality Network. Watch for the hardy bell-ringers outside Tex’s Liquors on Route 202 on weekends in December. The Rotary meets every Wednesday at 7:30 am for one hour at the Stony Brook Grille. Info: www.branchburgrotary.org.
The Branchburg News • December 2018
Branchburg is the regional center of holiday entertainment, thanks to the 1000-seat proscenium-style Nash theatre and the flexible-space “black box” Welpe Theatre. Holiday-themed shows in December include:
Russian Nutcracker. Guests will enjoy a sumptuous assortment of home-baked sweet treats, seasonal tea and homemade hot cocoa. Each child can have his or her picture taken with a ballerina. The photo is included in the ticket price. The event is recommended for children age four and older. The Night Before Christmas Carol (David zum Brunnen), Tuesday, Dec.11 at 1 pm and 7 pm; $15 (General admission; recommended for audiences age 14 and older; includes discussion and light refreshments; audience members may pre-order a $5 box lunch and dine before the 1 pm show.) The Night Before Christmas Carol gives audiences a humorous (and historically accurate) glimpse into the life of the real Charles Dickens and his inspirations for his world-famous wintry morality tale. Gifted actor David zum Brunnen portrays Charles Dickens and 17 familiar characters in an energetic and acclaimed performance, giving personal, social and historical context to the ghostly classic. Those attending “The Night Before Christmas Carol” are asked to participate in the Theatre’s book exchange by bringing a previously read novel and then taking one from the lobby display. For tickets to any of the productions, call the Box Office, 908725-3420, or order online at www. rvccArts.org. Subscribers’ packages are available for most Theatre series. Senior citizen, student and group discounts are also available for most performances.
Flag Retirement – Troop 185 held a flag retirement ceremony at
White Oak Park just after sunset on Veteran’s Day. Attendees were able to retire their own flags in a respectful manner, and the ceremony included group singing of “The Star Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful.” Singing was led by Branchburg resident Paris Bozzuti. “Taps” was played on the trumpet by Somerville High School Marching Band member Lara Bonatesta. –photo by Lauren Bozzuti, item submitted by Brody Bouziotis, Troop 185 Scribe.
Duke Island Weekly Walkers Individuals looking for some exercise are invited to join a free weekly walking group that meets every Wednesday at 9:30 am at the Duke Island Visitors Center for a walk through Duke Island Park along a beautiful stretch of the Raritan River. Coffee, tea, and treats are provided. Walks continue as weather permits. Info: 908-722-1200, ext. 5226. www.somersetcountyparks.org.
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The Branchburg News • December 2018
Community Thanked for Food Donations
Every fall, the Scouting for Food project, run by the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of the Branchburg/Raritan area, helps fill the pantries and warehouses of the Food Bank Network of Somerset County. Branchburg Scouting for Food Coordinator Eileen Bufe wrote the following thank-you message regarding the collection of food and winter items, which took place on Nov. 3. “We wish to thank everyone who made a donation. Your generosity helps the Food Bank Network of Somerset County provide for those in need. The Food Bank is always excited to see us arrive with a Fed Ex The parking lot of the Branchburg Municipal Building serves as the hub for the truck (donated by Fed Ex of Branchday’s collection. Note the Fed Ex truck in the background. Thanks to Fed Ex burg) loaded with food and winter items. Please continue to support Branchburg, the truck is used to transport the goods to the Food Bank. the Food Bank Network of Somerset County with your donations throughout the year. They are located at 9E Easy Street, off Chimney Rock Rd., Bridgewater. “Thanks once again from Pack 315, Pack 94, Pack 185, Pack 95, Troop 90, Troop 185.”
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Rec’s Pumpkin Patch on Solid Ground – Through the
years, the Recreation Department’s Pumpkin Patch event at White Oak Park has been plagued by soggy fall weather. This year’s event on Oct. 28 also threatened to be a slog fest, as almost an inch of rain fell the day before. The decision was made to set up the free festivities in the parking lot of Branchburg Central Middle School, across Baird Road from White Oak, and it worked well. The pumpkin “picking,” costume parade, games, crafts, tricks and treats were enjoyed on solid ground by pre-schoolers through third-graders. Photo courtesy of Branchburg Recreation
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The Branchburg News • December 2018
Branchburg Senior Citizens Club Officers Look Familiar
By Rita Jordan The Branchburg Senior Citizens Club is looking forward to the December holidays after celebrating a lovely catered Thanksgiving dinner scheduled for Nov. 29 right at our meeting place. This had already been delayed because of the early snow/ice storm predicted by the media. The 2019 officers were presented and elected at the Nov. 1 business meeting. We thank Phyllis Diakos and her team of Bob Long and Geri Taylor for serving on the nominating committee. Guess what? Every officer and trustee agreed to serve another year, so there are no changes. We want to thank Ed Ogin for his leadership and plans throughout this year and all the other officers who so faithfully do their duties. They were all to be re-installed at the Dec. 6 meeting. Officers of 2019: President is Edward Ogin; First VP is Marion Chiesa; Second VP is Gail Mantz. Treasurer is Henry Schnakenberg; Recording Secretary is Jennie Giancola, Communication Secretary is Rita E. Jordan; Trustees are Jack Bergen, John Giancola, and Marion Chiesa. We also have some club chairpersons that we really need to thank. These are appointed volunteer jobs and we can’t run the club without them. Thank you to Marion Chiesa (Member-
ship), Mary Long (Hospitality), Jennie Giancola (Sunshine Club). And then there are those who keep the Fun Days operational. Thanks to everyone. It is important for you to know that trips to the Renault Winery/ casino trip, and the Smithville trip were cancelled because not enough people were going. The executive committee decided it was too costly to spend money on a bus only half full. So members: If you want trips, you have to sign up for them or they’re gone. The good news is that the trip to The Brownstone on Dec. 12 is still on. This very popular event will have a full bus. Coming Events: Social Meetings: Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 29; Business Meeting: Dec. 6. Fun Days: Dec. 13, 27. Brownstone Trip Dec. 12. Christmas party Dec. 20. Membership Information: Membership is open to all senior citizens in our area ages 55 +. Dues are $15 annually. We invite people to join us at our meetings and our bus trips. Non-members will be asked to pay the cost of the event and a nominal fee for the bus. Meetings are held on the first and third Thursdays of the month at Building 10, in the Whiton Hills Community Room on Rt. 202 South. It’s on the lower floor. The business meeting is always on the
first Thursday. The third Thurs- izing are fun, too. You can even get day is the social meeting, which in- a low-cost light lunch. cludes a light lunch. Time: 11am to December Birthdays 3 pm. “Fun Days” are social times compiled by Gail Mantz to meet up with friends. These are Dec. 3 Marge Torsiello on Thursdays when there are no Dec. 9 Mona Mills meetings. Shooting pool or playing Dec. 11 George Schimmel cards are favorite activities. Playing Dec. 20 Grace Staats board games and selecting books Dec. 23 Shah Tarun from the Book Nook, or just socialDec. 28 Mary Ann Badore
Municipal Building News | in print and online at www.branchburg.nj.us From the Township Clerk’s Office:
‘Our Work is Your Play’ We are excited to offer residents new recreational opportunities and bring back everyone’s favorites. For details & information go to: www.branchburg.nj.us click on “Township Recreation”, to sign up for programs click on the “Register Now” button.
Our Let’s Volunteer Group was busy last month making sandwiches for S.H.I.P. and decorating canvas backpacks and stuffing teddy bears and puppy dogs for children who lost everything in Florida from Hurricane Michael. (See article for details.) ~ December Events ~ TICKETS are SOLD OUT! Buses will leave the White Oak Park parking lot, adjacent to BCMS, promptly at 1:00pm on Mon., December 10th, for a 5pm show. The buses leave NYC immediately following the show. Tickets will be distributed once on the buses. Phone Calls from SANTA Jolly ol’ Saint Nicholas has contacted Recreation to let us know he will be calling good little boys and girls in Branchburg on Monday, December 17th. Forms are available on the Township website/Recreation or from the Rec Department. Join us for Thurs. Dec 20th, 6:30pm @ White Oak Park. SHS Chamber Choir will lead us in song! Refreshments served. FREE WINTER Program Registration begins 1/1/2019. Follow Branchburg Recreation on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/BranchburgRec
From the Township Clerk’s Office: Township Committee The 2018 General Election for the Township Committee resulted in the re-election of Committeewoman Anna Columbus and Committeeman Brendon Beatrice for a three year term each, effective January 1, 2019.
Community Garden Plot Registration The Township offers approximately 125 community garden plots at the John Sanford Farmland Preserve (River Lea Farm) located at 2088 South Branch Road. Registration will begin in January and is offered to current gardeners first and then to new gardeners, on a first come basis. Plots are 10 x 10 for $30.00 and 10 x 24 for $50.00; a $10.00 discount is offered for seniors age 62 and older. You can designate your gardening method as organic or non-organic. Applications are available in the Township Clerk’s office.
BRANCHBURG TOWNSHIP LEAF PICK-UP SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER Pickup will begin approximately October 15th until December 7th Minimum two (2) PICKUPS in your area
Park and Ride Commuter Lot and Registration
Rake leaves to the curb area
DO NOT rake them into the road, drainage ditch or within 10’ of a catch basin.
Leaves can be taken to the Dumpster Facility by residents on normal days of operation:
A commuter parking lot is available on Route 202 North passed River Road for bus service on the Trans-Bridge Line. Parking is by permit only, on weekdays Monday through Friday, and available to the general public free of charge on Saturday, Sundays and legal holidays; parking between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. is prohibited.
Every Friday – 12 to 3:00pm st
1 Saturday of the month - 9a - 3:00pm As an alternative solution to disposing of your yard waste please consider composting or mulching.
Parking permits are sold on a daily or annual basis. Annual permits are available in the Township Clerk’s office at $175.00 for Branchburg residents and $250.00 for non-residents. Daily permits are available for $5.00 in the Township Clerk’s office during regular business hours or for $7.00 at the Bagel Garden on Route 202. Bus tickets can be purchased at the Bagel Garden. For additional information, please contact the Township Clerk’s office.
The Zoning Office is reminding residents of the Revised General Ordinance 14-4.1 Removal of Snow or Ice: Required Time. The subsection reads, in part: Please remember to shovel all ice and snow from your sidewalks within 12 hours of daylight, unless the Mayor states otherwise. Property owners face a legal obligation to keep the sidewalk clean, safe and ice free. Failure to do so could result in a fine from the Zoning Office as well as a potential lawsuit from any persons injured on your property.
A Simply Reminder: The Municipal Offices will be closed all day on the following Holiday dates:
Subsection 14.4-4 Casting of Snow or Ice reads as follows: No person, firm or corporation, the owner, tenant or occupant of any premises abutting on any street, or any other persons shall throw, plow, place or deposit snow or ice into or upon the sidewalks or the pave portion of any street of the Township, it being the intent and purpose of this provision to prohibit all persons from throwing, casting, placing or depositing snow and ice which accumulates on private property upon the sidewalks or streets for the township. **Happy Shoveling**
December 24th December 25th (the Public Works Office will also be closed all day on this date)
January 1st The Public Works Office will be open half day on the following Holiday dates:
December 24th December 31st
The Branchburg News • December 2018
TOWNSHIP OF BRANCHBURG
son, grade 3; Joseph Sause, grade 1; Eva Szman, preK/K.
The Branchburg News • December 2018
Caroline & Ryan Caroline Joy Golski and Ryan Matthew Lester were married on Saturday, Oct. 20, at The Church of St. Joseph in Raritan. The bride is the daughter of Karen and Bob Golski of Somerville, and the groom is the son of Diane and Jay Lester of Branchburg.
The wedding reception was held at The Madison Hotel in Morristown. The bride graduated from Somerville High School, Villanova University, and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She is in her second year of residency in psychiatry at Brown University in Providence, RI. The groom graduated from Somerville High School and Villanova University with a degree in mechanical engineering, and works for General Dynamics Electric Boat as a structural Jenna Kirkpatrick engineer in New London, CT. Christopher Zampini Student of the Month, Jenna KilThey reside in Warwick, RI. Former Branchburg resident and patrick, a student at Branchburg Immaculata High School gradu- Central Middle School, won the St. Ann School in Raritan recent- ate Christopher Zampini took his Rotary Club of Branchburg Essay ly installed student council and oath of office on Oct. 12 as part Contest for November. The presengrade representatives for the cur- of the Pennsylvania State Police tation reflected the student’s goals rent school year. Students listed Academy 153rd graduating class. for the future and the steps necesas Branchburg residents include Trooper Zampini, a Criminal Jus- sary to achieve those goals. Jenna is Charlotte Adam, grade 8; Merrin tice major from DeSales University, planning on studying to become a Paxson, grade 5; Madison Pax- is beginning his career in law en- fashion designer. forcement in Lehigh Valley, PA.
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More Branchburg Newsmakers
Brittany & Chris Chris Altonji, son of Greg and Clare Altonji, was married to Brittany Gullone, daughter of Ken and Roseanne Gullone of Wayne, on Aug. 18. The couple was married at St. Thomas of Villanova Church, followed by a reception at Union Trust in Philadelphia. Chris and Britt are both graduates of Villanova University. Chris is employed by NAVSEA in Philadelphia as a Mechanical Engineer. Brittany is currently pursuing her Masters in Business at The University of Pennsylvania. They reside in Philadelphia.
Wind Symphony Offers Four Free Holiday Concerts The Whitehouse Wind Symphony, a community band under the direction of Branchburg resident James P. Sheeley Jr. will present four separate holiday concerts this December. Concerts: Dec. 7 at 7:30 pm at Whitehouse United Methodist Church (the band’s namesake venue), located 73 Old Highway 28 in Whitehouse Station. Parking is behind the church and on the street, with a handicapped-accessible entrance with elevator at the side the church. Dec. 9 at 3 pm at the historic courthouse at 75 Main St. in Flemington. Audience members can exit the courthouse after the concert and immediately enjoy the annual holiday parade in Flemington presented by the Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce. Parking is located behind the courthouse and in several other nearby lots. The courthouse is fully accessible from the rear entrance. Dec. 15 at 3 pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church (the band’s rehearsal venue), located at 158 West High St. in Somerville. This church is handicapped-accessible from the rear parking lot. Dec. 20 at 7:30 pm at Flem-
James P. Sheeley Jr. of Branchburg (in the red tie) conducts the Whitehouse Wind Symphony. Photo credit: Gene Hirschel
ington United Methodist Church, 116 Main St. in Flemington. This concert coincides with the Thursday Night Holiday Lights event being presented by the Flemington Community Partnership. Parking is available in several nearby lots. While steps are being taken to ensure accessibility, patrons requir-
ing accommodations to access this particular venue are encouraged to reach out to the band via email. Admission is free for the concerts, donations are welcome. Website: whitehousewindsymphony.org. Facebook page: facebook. com/whitehousewind.
4-H Festival of Trees is Dec. 8, 9
The Somerset County 4-H Association will hold its annual Festival of Trees on Dec. 8 from 10 am to 4 pm and Dec. 9 from 10 am to 3 pm at the Ted Blum 4-H Center on Milltown Road in Bridgewater. The free event will include the decorated trees, plus handmade ornaments for sale, local musicians, children’s crafts, petting zoo on the site, a gingerbread house contest and a visit from Santa Claus. Pets are welcome and dressing them up is encouraged; there will be photo opportunities for large and small pets. All money donated to the 4-H during the event will benefit the Free Community Holiday Dinner in December. Visit www.4HisTOPS.org for more info. –submitted by Jill Esposito
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The Branchburg News • December 2018
Lacey & Sean Kurt and Kathy Kuberiet announce the engagement of their son, Sean Kuberiet, to Lacey Jacobs. Lacey is the daughter of Joseph and Pam Jacobs of McSherrystown, PA, and is a graduate of New Oxford High School and Rider University with a degree in Psychology. She is employed by Change Healthcare as an Operations Manager. Sean is a graduate of Somerville High School and Rider University with a degree in Economics and is employed by SHI in Somerset as an Inside Sales Manager. They reside is Norristown, PA, and will be married Aug. 24, 2019, in York, PA.
The Branchburg News • December 2018
Somerville Pioneers Football Had Another Outstanding Year
For the third year in a row, the Somerville Pioneers football team finished at the top of the MidState 38 League, Mountain Division. The team’s league record for 2018 was 5-0-0, and its overall record was 11-1-0. Somerville’s only loss in 2018 came in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III final against Rumson-Fair Haven at Brooks Field on Nov. 18. Rumson-Fair Haven won 42-35. Until that loss, Somerville had been on an 18-game winning streak. Last year, Somerville beat Rumson-Fair Haven 20-15 at Rutgers High Point Solutions Stadium on Dec. 2 to take the 2017 NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III Football Championship.
Somerville’s Football Record for 2018: Head Coach: Dallas Whitaker Aug. 31 at Delbarton, W 35-7 Sept. 7 at Rahway, W 42-31 Sept. 14 vs. North Plainfield, W 50-0 Sept. 21 vs. Voorhees, W 54-14 Sept. 29 at Gov. Livingston, W 58-0 Oct. 5 vs. Cranford, W 50-7 Oct. 12 vs. Warren Hills, W 34-20 Oct. 19 at Montgomery, W 55-12 Oct. 26 vs. Delaware Valley, W 58-27 Nov. 2 vs. Raritan, W 35-14 Nov. 9 vs. Holmdel, W 31-20 Nov. 18 vs. Rumson-Fair Haven, L 42-35
No Question About What’s Just Around the Corner THE S.H.S SCOOP By Caroline Kornbrek
Winter is coming to Somerville High School, with the news of the first snowfall arriving on Thursday, Nov. 15. Students are getting into the holiday spirit with Thanksgiving and, next, the December break right around the corner. After the Halloween celebrations, there was a dramatic switch to winter time festivities.
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As the seasons change, many students are ending their fall activities and moving onto winter ones. Almost all fall sports had ended by mid-November, yet football still continued with a playoff game at home against Rumson-Fair Haven scheduled for Nov. 16 and then moved to Nov. 18 because of snowrelated field conditions. The football team had a bonfire on Nov. 14 on Exchange Field in Somerville to show support for the upcoming game. Editor’s note: Somerville ultimately lost the Nov. 18 game -- its first and only loss of the year. See adjoining articles for details on the season. In the winter, many sports and clubs will be starting, such as swimming, winter guard, fencing, winter cheer, wrestling, and basketball. Many students enjoyed their week break between their seasonal activities. The auditions for Pippin, our musical for this year, are coming up. The Pippin musical is about a circus performance troupe that tells the story of a boy who is the son of King Charles. The play will be in March, and students will spend the entirety of the winter preparing for it. The play involves not just the actors, but students who participate in stage crew, pit orchestra, lighting, hair and makeup. Winter guard at Somerville High School is a very successful program. The guard program is made of two
groups, the World team and the Regional team. The World team goes to Dayton, Ohio, to compete in the WGI World Championship every year. In 2015, they were the winner of this competition. The guard is looking forward to another season, and hoping for another year of success. John McGovern, a senior, is now ranked 5th in the state for cross country. He broke the school record for cross country, and is now placed 5th in the state. He was voted as MyCentralJersey.com Athlete of Week, with an article dedicated to him and his success. Chorapalooza was planned for Nov. 20 at Ridge High School. It is an event where choirs from many schools get together and perform for each other. They also get the opportunity to take workshops with professionals. Junior Julie Ettore was the soloist for this performance. Three seniors just signed their National Letters of Intent to Division I schools. Alonna Glicksman will be playing lacrosse at Rutgers, Devin Hack will be playing baseball at Seton Hall, and Dante Bozzuti will be playing baseball at NJIT. Marking period one has ended, and we are getting ready to get through the cold of marking period two, and all the snow that will soon come.
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The Branchburg News • December 2018
December, a Fall into Light
The first breath of winter is felt in the last days of December’s autumn. The frigid wind, intent on erasing the last vestige of fall color, convinces reluctant rusted oak leaves to cleave from their lofty anchorage and sail free. The dry, stiff leaves rattle their objection before finally letting go to add depth to the leafy woodland carpet laid in October’s grand leaf fall. The branches swept clean of
A female cardinal fluffs up her feathers to ward off the cold, as winter wind sweeps the snowcovered landscape.
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obstruction; darkness deepens as theatre lights fade to heighten the drama of winter’s opening curtain featuring the winter solstice and the birth of light. The winter solstice describes the time of the year at which the tilt of the earth is such that, the sun appears at the lowest point above the horizon. “Solstice” directly translates to “sun stands still.” An impression one gets when the earth’s tilt changes to make the sun appear to halt an instant before it changes direction and ‘rises higher’ on the sky on the first day of winter. Early observers reasoned the earth was a stable platform and the sun moved from one horizon to the other, above the earth. During the course of the year, the height of the sun was noted each day, measured in some primitive way. Stonehenge comes to mind as one version of tracking periodic celestial events, which led to the concept of time. Days and months were easy events to track and filled in the gap to mark time and define seasons. That predictability was noted and celebrated as a whisper from the gods, sharing the future forecast of animal migration, weather OPEN HOUSE FEBRUARY 9
and plant succession with those who pleased them. The shortest day of December, which translates to the darkest day of the year, occurs on the last day of autumn. At the instant of the deepest darkness, the wick of the winter candle is lit, glowing like a beacon, getting brighter each day as winter progresses. Look at a sunrise/sunset chart, cross referencing minutes, hours and days against months, to provide a visual representation of daylength over time. Though you may not have noticed the change over a few days, you are now conscious of the minutes of light gained each day. That tangible bit of information acts like bio feedback and goes a long way to physically quell the sadness that the dark winter will never end. Even if you forgo charting daylight, your body has physiologically evolved to capture trending day-length and alters your hormones and mood accordingly. The pineal gland at the base of the brain monitors the day-length to mediate release of hormones, primarily melatonin, which affects sleep cycles and behavior. An odd situation, when you consider that while being con-
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sciously unconcerned or oblivious to changes in day length, your pineal gland is hard at work, keeping track. A candle, glowing in a distant window, giving off a flickering halo of warm amber light, is a perfect tribute to mark the early days of winter and celebrate the birth of light. This year, winter arrives December 21, at 5:22 pm, so make a conscious effort to mark the time and celebrate the first flicker of light that grows longer each day to make the winter much brighter and improve your mood. December owns first rights to freezing weather and whimsically decides just which week will host the initiation of winter. The calculated movement of the planets determines the exact moment of the winter solstice right down to the second. Practically, however, winter begins when December decides. Contact email@example.com. See more articles and photos at winterbearrising.wordpress.com.
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Branchburg Woman’s Club Helping Others to the local annual Holiday Happiness Project. Coordinated with the Branchburg PTO, this effort provides an opportunity to remember neighbors in need of some extra holiday cheer. Club members may also donate gift-able items to Safe + Sound Somerset to aid survivors of domestic abuse. The club is continuing to seek contributions of fleece fabric and yarn, which will be used to make comfort blankets for children in New Jersey’s foster care system. The BWC’s 2-year project will help clients of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA-NJ). A collection basket for the materials has been placed at the Branchburg Municipal Building.
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Year-round at no extra cost to themselves, Internet shoppers can support the BWC’s philanthropic mission by shopping at popular online retailers through the iGive. com portal and choosing the BWC’s Philanthropic Fund as their cause. iGive is password-protected, free to join and use, plus there’s no obligation. Retailers give the donation through iGive. Shopping the iGive way typically earns the shopper a tax-deductible donation to the chosen cause. Visit https://www.iGive. com/BWCPF or call the club at 908-866-1824 for further information. BWC information is available at 908-866-1060, https://staging. dbchk.com/bwc/, and on Facebook.
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The public is invited to share joy with area kids by donating new, unwrapped toys to the 2018 “Toys for Tots” campaign, hosted by the Somerset County Sheriff’s
Office. Toys can be dropped off weekdays from 8:30 am to 4 pm through Dec. 12 at the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters, located in the lower level of the Somerset County Administration Building at 20 Grove St. in Somerville. For additional info about making a donation, contact Sheriff’s Officer Chris Omelio at (908) 231-7435 or visit www.toysfortots.org.
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The Branchburg News • December 2018
by Tricia Ihde for the BWC The Branchburg Woman’s Club’s holiday season party will be at a special location, date, and time. The social will start at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, at the Branchburg Rescue Squad building, 113 River Rd. Adult guests are welcome to attend. For club information, call 908-8661060. The club thanks the Branchburg Rescue Squad. Information about the squad and easy ways to support this important organization are available at http://branchburgrescue.org/. In keeping with the club’s tradition of combining fun with community service and giving, many of the BWC’s members will bring decorated tins of cookies as a contribution
Sheriff’s Office Hosting “Toys for Tots”
The Branchburg News • December 2018
As Seen on Shark Tank Branchburg Central Middle Science classes work in a MakerSchool students in Katie Bernet’s space area in the Media Center entrepreneurial “Makerspace” where there are a variety of maclass met a young entrepreneur terials for students to manipuwho made a big splash on the hit late. “Students are participating in an authentic experience where TV show Shark Tank. Via Skype in the BCMS Media they have the freedom to create a Center on Oct. 22, James Brooks product that will help them solve told the class about his experience a problem or improve upon a socreating The Elephant Pants busi- lution that already exists, similar ness in 2014 to sell harem-style to the entrepreneurs that apply for pants and donate a portion of Shark Tank,” Bernet said. sales to saving elephants (https:// Students are working through www.theelephantpants.com/). Af- the engineering process and are ter trying to get on Shark Tank for still in the research phase. Evenclose to two years, James and his tually, they will build a prototype business partner, Nathan Cole- of their product and pitch their man, appeared on Shark Tank in ideas to a panel of judges. In ad2017 and struck a deal with Day- dition, they are provided with the opportunity to enter the Google mond John. James answered a number of Science Fair where students can questions and advised the BCMS win scholarship money and other student entrepreneurs to find prizes. something they are passionate Recently, Bernet and Michels about and to persevere in their won a $5,000 grant from BASF to purchase a Little Bits Pro LiWearing their elephant pants, Media Specialist Wendy Michels, left, and Science Teach- goals. brary. This will allow more stuBernet and Media Specialist er Katie Bernet, right, host a Skype session with entrepreneur James Brooks (on screen) dents the opportunity to build Wendy Michels have been workwho appeared on Shark Tank last year and clinched a deal for “theelephantpants.com.” their own inventions. ing together to foster innovation. The session was part of the new Makerspace class at BCMS. Every other Monday, Bernet’s
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Captain Lori – In support of RWJ Barnabas Health’s fall breast cancer awareness campaign, Lori Monaghan of Branchburg served as an honorary captain for the RutgersPenn State football game in November. Seen here, Lori, a breast cancer survivor, is escorted to midfield of High Point Solutions Stadium by Rutgers Linebacker Deonte Roberts where she participated in the ceremonial coin toss.
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Skies are Always Clear for Planetarium Shows, Holiday Presentations
Magic Tree House: Space Mission, Saturdays, Dec. 1 & 8 at 3 pm. Young star gazers join Magic Tree House characters Jack and Annie as they discover the secrets of the sun, moon, planets, space travel and more. Who can help them answer the questions posted by the mysterious “M”? The show is based on the same-titled, best-selling series of novels. (Recommended for ages 5 and older) Laser Kids 2018, Saturdays, Dec. 1 & 8 at 4 pm. An updated song list en-
tertains kids and kids at heart while lasers dance on the dome overhead. Songs include “Try Everything” from the movie Zootopia, “YMCA” by the Village People, and “Everything is Awesome” from the Lego Movie. (Recommended for ages 6-12) Astronomy Tonight, Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7 pm. Using the Planetarium’s DigitalSky digital theater, experience a guided tour of the night sky. Learn about some of the popular constellations visible from sunset to sunrise, as well as the stories behind them. Hear about how and where in the sky to find the brightest planets. Weather permitting, the 3M Observatory will be open after the show. (Recommended for ages 8-adult) Laser Beatles, Saturdays, Dec. 1 & 8 at 8 pm. Listen to The Fab Four’s hits from their long career, including “Twist and Shout,” “Revolution,” and “Get Back,” while lasers animate the
songs on the dome overhead. Black Holes, Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7 pm. Take a journey through one of the most mystifying, awe-inspiring phenomena in the universe: a black hole. Where do they come from? Where do they go? How do we find them? Is there one on Earth’s horizon? Explore the science and mystery of black holes. (Recommended for ages 8-adult) Winter Wonder Lights, Saturdays, Dec. 15 & 22 at 4 pm and 8 pm. Listen to holiday hits such as “Wizards in Winter,” “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” and “Dominic the Donkey” while lasers dance on the dome overhead. (Recommended for ages 6-adult) Mystery at the North Pole, Saturdays, Dec. 15 & 22 at 7 pm. Santa is sick and he’s too ill to deliver presents this year. Who could have done this? Who would want to sabotage Christmas? Was it an elf? A reindeer? The audience will need to examine the suspects and determine who is guilty. (Recommended for ages 8-adult) Winter Solstice Saturday, Dec. 22, 2-5 pm and 6-9 pm. Participate in hands-on activities for all ages celebrating winter, the solar system and the moon. All activities are free, but regular admission charges are applicable for any shows that day. Planetarium tickets cost $10 for one show, $16 for two shows on the same day. For reservations and information, call 908-231-8805. For additional information, visit www.raritanval.edu/planetarium.
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What Linus Knew about Christmas— “And there were
in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid... And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying ‘Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men.’ “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.” --Based on Luke 2:814, and used in the television special “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” first aired in 1965. --Photo courtesy of Roger and Leigh Johnson
RVCC to Hold Honors College Info Session Local high school seniors interested in learning more about Raritan Valley Community College’s (RVCC) Honors College are invited to attend an upcoming Information Session, Dec.13, at 6 pm. The event will be held in Conference Center (Room B) at the college’s Branchburg campus. The evening will include information about admission to RVCC’s Honors College and transfer opportunities after graduating from RVCC. Students in the top 20 percent of their high school class who possess a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, or have a cumulative SAT score of 1100 or higher, are encouraged to attend. Current Honors College students and Honors College alumni also will be on hand to talk with prospective students and parents about their own experiences at RVCC, as well their experiences transferring and acclimating to four-year schools. The evening also will include information about the NJ STARS Scholarship program. Website: www. raritanval.edu/visit.
CHILD CARE & LEARNING CENTER Leaders in education since 1991
Offering quality year round programs for infants, toddlers, pre-school, pre-kindergarten Celebrate the season! and after-school enrichment. Join us for an evening of family fun! • Outstanding curriculum • Caring and accomplished teachers KangBa e a Friday, December 7th from 6:30-8 PM for roo Kid a da • Family-friendly environment FRE y... E!
• Make a craft and play some games • Take a Photo with Santa Claus
We Accept Most Major PPO Dental Plans
• Visit Our Ginger Bread Display 3322 Route 22 West, Suite 1207-1208, Branchburg, NJ 08876
908-218-0300 908-218-0301 (fax)
1047 Route 28, Branchburg, NJ 08876
• Join our sing-a-long • Cookie Exchange Please let us know if you’ll be joining us
The Branchburg News • December 2018
The Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium in Branchburg is offering a variety of star shows and laser concerts for the entire family in December, including holiday programs to help make the season especially merry and bright. In addition, a special Winter Solstice Saturday program will feature free, hands-on activities for all ages. The following shows will be offered:
18 The Branchburg News • December 2018
Weekend Backpacking Was Memorable By Brody Bouziotis, Troop 185 Scribe
-- Somerville High School student Mike Malatesta completed his Eagle Scout project at The Jointure in Branchburg. Mike planned, organized and led the project which enhanced The Jointure’s community space, making it more functional for students and staff. Mike and his fellow Troop 90 scouts spent many hours removing debris, repurposing landscaping stone and applying weed-block, improving the function and aesthetics of the area. They also learned about cement work and built a concrete lawn tic-tac-toe game and concrete park bench to be used and enjoyed for years to come. Troop 90 meets at 7:30 pm every Thursday at the Midland School. Pictured: Carl Malatesta, Mike Malatesta, Ralph Malatesta. -- submitted by Larry Ahearn
R N TE O W A I NE AT EW C G LORID They found B IN
Troop 185 has experienced many adventures for more than 50 years and a recent one in South Jersey tested the members’ stamina. The scouts gathered in South Jersey for an October weekend backpacking trip during which they hiked 14 miles along the Batona Trail from Batona Camping Area in Wharton State Forest to their basecamp site in Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. The scouts were required to carry everything they would need on their backs, including tent, sleeping bag, cooking stove, and all supplies for two nights and four meals. The scouts passed by some beautiful scenery along the way. They were doing fine until around 10 miles when they “hit a wall” as distance runners sometimes do. The pace slowed, but they still had four miles to go. When they finally arrived at basecamp, they were greeted by fellow scouts who ran basecamp for the weekend.
Pictured, from left, are: Luke Bouziotis, Brody Bouziotis, Assistant Scoutmaster Matthew Miller, Vincent Lombardo, Jason Lauducci, Ethan Miller, and Andy Ghosh
What if they had missed it?
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19 The Branchburg News • December 2018
Pumpkin Carvers Had Fun -- Girl Scout Cadette Troop 60146
held its annual Pumpkin Carving Fun Night at Branchburg Central Middle School on Oct. 25 for Branchburg Girl Scouts. Troop members thank all who attended. Pictured are busy bees: Abbey Jones, Jalaya Carmody, Kameron Przybylski, Veronica Castro, Caitlyn Smith, Lauren Westermann, Alyssa Flood, Giovanna Spagnolo, Sofia Schmelz. –submitted by Nayda Spagnolo
Cubs Experience Next Step on Scouting Ladder -- Troop 90 held its annual recruiting campout at Round Valley Youth Center on Nov. 2, 3 and 4. The Boy Scouts every year invite the Arrow of Light Cub Scouts from the local cub scout packs to come out and join the troop for the day or stay for an overnight campout. These are cubs who are getting ready to cross over into Boy Scouts at age 11. The local cub scouts came out for the day and enjoyed a taste of what it is like to be a boy scout. Activities included knots & latching, hike, fire starting skills, troop patrol cooking, games and a camp fire program. It’s a day of fun activities where the boys get to meet the troop and experience what it’s like to be on a campout. Troop 90 meets 7:30 pm every Thursday at The Midland School. -- submitted by Larry Ahearn, scoutmaster, Troop 90
ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH YOUR CHILD'S PROGRESS THUS FAR?
THERE IS STILL TIME TO ENROLL!
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION SCHOOL 41 Mountain Avenue • Somerville • NJ • 08876 908-725-6516 • www.icsschool.org
Rooted in Catholic values, Immaculate Conception School integrates academic excellence with the spiritual and moral formation of each of its students. Staffed by the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters and dedicated teachers, we at ICS welcome you and your children to learn more about our school.
PreK – Grade 8 Half-day & Full-day options available for PreK Full-day Kindergarten Program
Faith + Academics + Community = Legacy of Excellence since 1957
HAPPY 2019 MARILYN RUTISHAUSER
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The Branchburg News • December 2018
This Month In Branchburg History One Year Ago, Dec. 2017: On Dec. 2, the Somerville High School Pioneers won the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III football championship, defeating Rumson-Fair Haven 20-15 at Rutgers High Point Solutions Stadium. The win capped an 8-1 season. Branchburg honored the Pioneers at the Dec. 11 Branchburg Township Committee meeting. Five Years Ago, Dec. 2013: Branchburg’s Dutch heritage was commemorated in a colorful vintage representation of Dutch Christmas decorating at the 1790 Andrew Ten Eyck House by members of the Branchburg Historical Society. 10 Years Ago, Dec. 2008: Longtime township volunteer and former mayor Bernie Shaffer was honored for his service to Branchburg at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at the Fox Hollow Golf Club . 25 Years Ago, Dec. 1993: After three defeats of school referendums, the school board opted to fund the construction of Whiton School and other projects through a lease-purchase arrangement.
50 Years Ago, Dec. 1968: Deputy Mayor Verner Anderson asked for the cooperation of all residents to control an invasion of rats that also seemed to be affecting neighboring communities. Anderson said the reason for the sudden increase in the rat population was unknown.
TO PLACE A CLASSIFIED AD: Type your ad exactly as you want it to appear. Ads are limited to 30 words (phone numbers count as one word). Mail your ad along with a check for $20 made payable to “The Branchburg News” to The Branchburg News, PO Box 5351, Branchburg, NJ 08876 HELP WANTED - Server needed at La Strada Café. Call 908-3691370 or come in 419 Olive St., Neshanic Station. RITTER BROTHERS PAINTING, Readington, NJ. Interior & Exterior. Business: 908-233-8904, Home: 908-534-9390. ANNUAL HOLIDAY POTTERY SALE December 1 & 2 - Hosted by Red Barn Artisans @ 1125 Hwy #28 (a/k/a Easton Turnpike) from 10:00 - 4:00. Contact Terry @ 908-963-7689 or email@example.com. How would you get four reindeer in a car? Two in the front and two in the back. And how would you get four polar bears in car? Take the reindeer out first. What do you call a reindeer wearing ear muffs? You can call him anything you want. He won’t hear you. What do the reindeer sing to Santa Claus on his birthday? Freeze a jolly good fellow!
Hind & Fore Inc. Celebrating 50th Anniversary Anniversary Celebrating Our our 56th
Quality Meats & Seafood
For the Holidays!
We Feature: . Fresh Seafood Meats & . U.S.D.A. Prime Beef (we cook & peel shrimp at no extra charge) . Penn. Dutch Seafood Pork & Poultry . All Kinds of Homemade Sausages . American Lamb . Homemade Pasta, Pierogies . Game Birds . Fresh Baked Pies and Cheesecakes . No Water or Filler Added Smoked & Honey Baked Hams Doesn’t Your Family Deserve the BEST? Call 908-722-6393 Orders Welcome
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Open: Tuesday - Saturday Tues. & Wed. 9-6, Thurs. 9-7, Fri. 9-6, Sat. 9-5
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE
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Balance: it’s all part of the plan. Our exclusive Confident Retirement® approach addresses the four key needs of financial planning, helping you feel confident about your long-term financial future, as well as your wants and needs of today. It’s what financial balance is all about.
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The Compass is a trademark of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC. © 2015 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. (3/15)
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Monthly community newspaper of Branchburg, NJ