Alert issued for high heat, cooling station open

The National Weather Service has predicted high temperatures, humidity and poor air quality in the Fanwood area in the upcoming days.

To help those in need of heat relief, the Fanwood Police Department has designated The Chelsea Senior Living Center, located at 295 South Ave. in Fanwood, as a cooling station. Anyone who needs transportation to the cooling station may call the Fanwood Police Department at (908) 322-5000 and officers will make arrangements for transportation.

Please check on your elderly neighbors, and advise them of the cooling station at the Chelsea, and remind them to remain hydrated and to contact the Fanwood Police Department in the event of an emergency. 

Chief Richard Trigo

Hot weather tips


In addition to the cooling center, these three tips from PSE&G may help you through the hot and humid weather:

  • Use a programmable thermostat to set air conditioners to your daily and weekend schedule. Consider setting air conditioners to 78 degrees, health permitting.
  • Close blinds, shades and draperies facing the sun to keep the sun’s heat out and help fans and air conditioners cool more efficiently.
  • Use ceiling fans set in the counter-clockwise position to feel cooler when in a room.
  • Close doors leading to uncooled parts of your home. With central air, close off vents to unused rooms.
  • If you should lose power, NEVER use a portable generator inside your home or in close proximity to a home, business or enclosed space. Proper ventilation is required. Improperly used generators can produce deadly carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless, tasteless gas that can cause headache, dizziness, nausea and other symptoms.

 For more information, click here.

Fanwood will celebrate National Night Out on Tuesday, August 4; try out the new photo booth and 'dunk-a-cop' dunk tank for a fun outing

Plan on being part of Fanwood's observance of National Night Out, a celebration of the community's partnership with first responders, at LaGrande Park on Tuesday, August 4.


The Fanwood Police Dept., Fanwood Fire Dept. and the Rescue Squad will all be there. It's a great chance for the kids to get an up-close look at a police car, Fanwood's Ladder 1 and a rescue squad rig and talk with first responders.


In addition to the emergency equipment, there will be raffles for kids and adults, face painting, crafts, games, food and more during the fun evening. New this year is a "dunk-a-cop" dunk tank and a photo booth.


Many of the attractions and prizes are sponsored by local companies and individuals, including Kelk Landscaping, J. Kelk Landscaping, K9 Resorts, the Municipal Alliance, Frank's Auto Body, Nick's Pizza, BeCraftful and the Fanwood Police.

The event will start at 6 p.m. and continue to dusk when that evening's movie in the park, The Boxtrolls, will be shown. Come early for the National Night Out happenings and stay for the movie to make it a complete family outing.

Girl Scout uses beautiful mosaics to decorate downtown planters

Girl Scout Kaavya Krishna-Kumar, center, poses with Carol Chimento of Ivy Educational Services, left, and Mayor Colleen Mahr.
Girl Scout Kaavya Krishna-Kumar, center, poses with Carol Chimento of Ivy Educational Services, left, and Mayor Colleen Mahr.

Fanwood Girl Scout Kaavya Krishna-Kumar has brought some beauty to the downtown area, decorating planters along South Avenue with intricate mosaics.


Mayor Colleen Mahr was on hand Wednesday, July 29, to help unveil the six beautiful, hand-decorated planters in front of the Fanwood train station.


The planters were decorated in mosaic tile by Krishna-Kumar , a SPFHS senior, for her Girl Scout Gold Project.


The Scout found local sponsors to purchase the planters, which she decorated over a period of weeks using designs from friends.


Among the sponsors are Ivy Educational Services represented by Carol Chimento (pictured), Coldwell Banker and Home Depot.


The Gold Award is the highest honor for Girl Scouts and involves taking on a project to help your community.

Household waste disposal event to be held Saturday in Scotch Plains

A household special waste collection event will be held Saturday, August 1, so Union County residents can get rid of outdated or unwanted household chemicals, mercury thermostats, propane tanks and automobile tires in an environmentally safe manner.

The event, sponsored by the Union County Freeholders, will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Union County Vocational-Technical Schools campus, 1776 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains, near the John H. Stamler Police Academy.
Residents of Union County are eligible to participate at no cost. Pre-registration is not required for this special Saturday collection.
A complete list of the materials that will be accepted on August 1 is available at the Union County Bureau of Recycling and Planning web site:

Fanwood Library compiles online list of groups, organizations

Mandy Richards, a member of the Fanwood Library staff, has put together a new online community organizations list.

The web-based resource (link) is a quick and accurate database to search out contact information, meeting dates, locations and more on groups ranging from the Newcomers to the Seniors Club to the Recycling Center and Rescue Squad.

Richards' database brings that information and more to the web.

"There didn’t seem to be one available, other than on paper in the College Club calendar," said Library Director Dan Weiss.

Scotch Plains Fanwood Foundation announces scholarship awards

With the distribution of $140,850 in scholarship aid to 99 students, the Scotch Plains Fanwood Scholarship Foundation has once again fulfilled its many, varied partnerships with community members, community organizations and individuals.

Community members contributed to the Dollars for Students Campaign earlier this year and that money was used to distribute $23,000 among high school and college students who demonstrated both academic achievement and financial need.

In addition, partnerships with individuals and organizations in the area provided funds to reward several other high school and college students.

The foundation began in 1966 with a donation from the SPFHS PTA - a partnership which continues to this day. Every PTA in the school district contributes at least two scholarships to graduates who have attended their schools. In addition, the Scholarship Chairperson for each PTA serves on the Foundation’s Screening Committee.

Click here for a full list of winners. For further information, visit the foundation's website or contact the foundation’s president, Mary Ball Cappio at (908) 889-8155 or by email.

Keep your Tuesday nights open for summer movies in LaGrande Park

A good crowd enjoyed a movie earlier this summer.
A good crowd enjoyed a movie earlier this summer.

Join your friends and neighbors at Fanwood's LaGrande Park for the free Tuesday night summer movie series.


Movies start at dusk (around 8:30 p.m. early in the series, 8 p.m. closer to the end). Bring a low beach chair or a blanket. The movies are brought to you by the Fanwood Recreation Commission.


The remaining lineup of movies for this summer:
August 4 -- The Boxtrolls (note: the National Night Out Against Crime event in the park, starting at 6 p.m., precedes the movie.)
August 11 -- Big Hero 6

Rain dates are the next night. Check the site for details.

Goats will be used to clear Fanwood Nature Center invasive plants

Fanwood Environmental Commission chairperson Gary Szelc, right, explains a project at a borough council meeting Monday, July 13, to bring goats to the Fanwood Nature Center to help eradicate invasive poison ivy plants.


The council voted to fund the project and the goats are expected to begin their work later this month. The goats are being used so herbicides won't have to be used in the center. Commission members Margaret Chowdhury, left, and Phyllis Sandrock look on.


During the project, which will last in to the fall, half of the center will be closed to the public. Fences will be erected to separate the public from the goats.

Website ranks Fanwood in Top 25 of best NJ suburbs to live in, a website that ranks cities, towns and suburbs, is out with its 2015 rankings and Fanwood is #25 on the list of "Best Suburbs in New Jersey to Raise a Family."


The site takes in to consideration weighted scores in nine categories and assigns grades in seven of the nine items. Fanwood scored high rankings in education, community, housing, access to day care and access to grocery stores.


In the Fanwood area, Westfield was ranked #35, while Scotch Plains was ranked #126.


According to the Niche website, "The Best Suburbs to Raise a Family ranking provides a comprehensive assessment of key metrics that indicate how good an area is to raise a family at the suburb level. This grade takes into account key family-centered factors, such as public education, safety, community involvement, and access to family necessities.

'Jersey Fresh' farm market vouchers available for local seniors

Registration is now open for income-eligible seniors age 60 and up to participate in the 2015 “Jersey Fresh” Farmers’ Market Program, which provides free vouchers for fresh produce. The program is sponsored by the Union County Freeholders.

The Farmers’ Market Program provides each eligible participant with four free $5 vouchers, for a total of $20, to purchase “Jersey Fresh” fruits, vegetables and herbs at farmers' markets throughout Union County.

In order to qualify, a senior’s individual income cannot exceed $21,775 annually. A married couple’s combined income may not exceed $29,471. Proof of age, residency and income are required in the form of a Medicaid card, SSI card, Food Stamp (now SNAP) verification, or annual pension and Social Security income statement.

To receive an application for obtaining the free vouchers, contact a local senior center or call the Union County Division on Aging toll-free at (888) 280-8226.

Locally, markets accepting the vouchers include: Plainfield, Watchung Avenue and East 6th St. (across from City Hall), June 10 to Nov. 24, Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Scotch Plains, Municipal Parking Lot (Park Avenue), May to November, Saturdays, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.; and Westfield, NJ Transit Railroad Station (South Avenue Parking Lot), July 5 to October 25, Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

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