RVRC seeking your views at Oct. 27 commuter expo

NJ Transit customers customers are invited to a rail commuter expo to get their questions answered and to give them a chance to sound off on Transit’s recent decision not to expand one-seat ride service into New York City.

The Oct. 27 meeting, at the Cranford Community Center, 220 Walnut Ave., in Cranford (one block from the train station), will be open from 6-8 p.m to accommodate commuters. The meeting is being organized by the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC).

The meeting was scheduled before NJ Transit's recent announcement to hold off on expanding one-seat ride service into the evening hours but takes on a new urgency now. It will give Transit customers a chance to express their views to an NJ Transit representative who will be present, along with Coalition members.


Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr and members of the RVRC expressed disappointment after learning New Jersey Transit was not going to expand one-seat ride service on the Raritan line despite earlier statements that they would.


The change of plans by NJ Transit appears to have been caused by budgetary constraints, although the total impact of RVL evening, off-peak service is negligible in relation to NJ Transit's $1 billion plus annual budget.


Mahr told the Alternative Press, “At our last meeting, we were assured that the additional costs of service expansion would not be an issue. Evidently, a lot has changed; it is likely a result of the state's reducing NJ Transit's budget in June." She added, “Hopefully, this is only a temporary setback.”


Click here for more information.

Countdown is on for Halloween treats, parade and fun in Fanwood

Scary times return to Fanwood this fall! The annual Fanwood and Scotch Plains Halloween Parade and Costume Contest begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, with "Trunk or Treat."

Trick-or-treaters who come to the Fanwood Memorial Library parking lot (North and Forest avenues, Fanwood) will be able to select treats from car trunks full of surprises! Don’t be late — the trunks close by 6! The Halloween Parade starts immediately afterward. Children and adults should assemble in front of the Library. The parade will depart for LaGrande Park at 6:15.

Once the parade arrives at LaGrande Park, at approximately 6:30, the Costume Contest will begin for children of all ages. Anyone who wants to enter a pumpkin in the Jack-o-Lantern Contest should bring their carved creation to the park and fill out an entry form by 6:30. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes and the best jack-o-lanterns! Free cider, donuts and coffee will be available.

This evening of fun and festivities is presented by the Fanwood and Scotch Plains recreation commissions.

Fanwood 5K and Fun Run draw crowds on a crisp fall day

On a crisp fall morning, there was a great turnout Sunday for Fanwood's fifth annual 5K and Family Fun Run, presented by Fanwood's Recreation Commission.

 

Nearly 300 runners took part in the 5K and a large group enjoyed a day together in the Family Fun Run as both events navigated courses through the streets of Fanwood. LaGrande Park served as the start and finish for both events.

 

In the 5K, Francisco Morales of Bound Brook was the overall and men's winner, while Sheila Courter of Westfield was the top women's finisher. Top Fanwood finishers included Daniel Jablon, third among the men, and Sara Carlesimo, third among the women. Click here for full results.

 

Click here to see a photo gallery from the event.

Fanwood's historic train station featured in 'Four Centuries' weekend

Fanwood and its historic Victorian train station were a featured part of  last weekend's "Four Centuries" observance, marking New Jersey's 350th birthday.

 

A steady stream of visitors toured Fanwood's museum, checking out displays on the borough's ties to the railroad and other artifacts in the museum's collection. In the photo, ten-year-old Jayden Cardenas, right, finds where he lives in Kenilworth on a Union County map book from the early 1800's while touring the museum Sunday with his mother, Carla Quezada. Fanwood Historical Preservation Commission chairman Adam Kois, second from left, with his son, Ian, helped the visitors find their home's location.

The two-day free event included the Fanwood train station as one of 27 house museums and historic sites featured. Click here for information on the history of Union County and more information on the weekend's attractions.

Fanwood's first responders honored at 'Salute to Local Heroes'

A good crowd turned out Saturday evening to honor Fanwood's first responders - police, fire and EMS - at a "Salute to Local Heroes" event at Oh' Brian's Pour House. The event included live music, face painting, a clown, Irish dancers and BBQ. Oh' Brian's owner Brian Walters won a statewide contest put on by Guinness brewers to name the company's New Jersey Irishman of the Year. Brian named all of Fanwood's first responders -- police, fire and rescue squad -- as Irishmen/women of the Year, and celebrated with a great event under the tent with food and Guinness stout.

2015 train station permits for Fanwood residents are on sale now

Train station parking permits for 2015 are available for Fanwood residents now, with sale dates set for Scotch Plains residents and people from other municipalities, according to Fanwood Police Chief Richard Trigo.

Permits for Fanwood residents went on sale Saturday and are available weekdays through Nov. 19, 7:30 a.m to 4 p.m., and Thursday evenings from 5-7:30 p.m. Scotch Plains residents may buy the permits starting Saturday, Nov. 1, from 8 a.m. to noon. Residents of other municipalities can buy their permits starting Monday, Nov. 17, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Click here for more information, including fees and additional sale hours, and to download an application form.

Transit Check benefits: Many companies allow employees to elect to have an amount withheld from their salary on a pre-tax basis to pay for eligible commuting expenses, including commuter parking expenses (subject to certain dollar limits). By using your Transit Check card in lieu of a credit card you may take advantage of this program; the Borough has arranged to accept Transit Check cards. Note that Fanwood will not appear on the drop-down menu as a registered parking vendor (it is not practical for us to do so) but, in many cases, this should not limit your ability to take advantage of the program. Ask your transit administrator how you can best take advantage of this program to help offset the cost of commuter parking.

Vote-by-mail instant balloting available at Clerk's Office in Westfield

Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi announces that a “One-stop vote-by-mail” service is available for Union County voters at the Westfield office of the County Clerk, 300 North Avenue East. Voters do not need to give a reason why they wish to Vote-By-Mail.

 

“Eligible voters are able to apply for a Vote-By-Mail ballot for the New Jersey General Election in person at either of my offices, receive their ballot and cast the ballot at the same time,” Rajoppi said. “The deadline to apply for Vote-By-Mail for the Nov. 4 General Election is Oct. 28 by mail-in application; the deadline to apply in person is Monday, Nov. 3, before 3:00 p.m.


To obtain an application form, voters also may pick up the form at their local municipal building; they can download the form at the Union County Clerk’s website: www.ucnj.org/vote-by-mail or they can contact the Union County Clerk at 908-527-4996.

There's an app for that! Clerk's office offers voting information app

In addition to the web resources for voting information, the Union County Clerk's office now has an app for Apple and Android phones and tablets with a full range of information regarding polling locations, election dates, registration, etc.

 

Click here for more information.

Library's September book sale nets record amount

The Friends of the Fanwood Memorial Library raised more money - $10,600 - at its September book sale than ever in its 28-year history. The money goes to fund Library programs and needs that can't be met within its budget.


According to Thena Rosahl, chair of the event, the efforts of the 64 volunteers involved in the event, who worked 570 hours this year, along with several community organizations is what makes it work.


“There is an easy camaraderie which nurtures this event,” said Ms. Rosahl. “It reminds me of that saying, ‘It takes a village.’ I don’t know of any other single borough event that brings in so many people.”

October poetry series evening set at the Carriage House Tuesday

The Carriage House Poetry Series invites the public to attend a free poetry reading by Robert Carnevale on Tuesday evening, Oct. 21, at 8 p.m. It will be followed by an open-mic reading by local poets.

The poetry series is in its sixteenth year at the Patricia M. Kuran Center for the Cultural Arts, an historic Gothic Revival structure that was once a 19th century carriage house, hence the name of the series.

For more information on the poetry series, call (908) 889-7223 or (908) 889-5298. Click here for online directions and information.

Unravel a rock 'n roll mystery at Fanwood Library Tuesday night

Using a a unique, interactive PowerPoint presentation, author and music historian Michael Rosenbloom will attempt to solve the mystery of what possessed a staid Catholic high school in Scotch Plains to enter the rock concert business in the fall of 1967, literally the height of rock n’ roll’s most unforgettable era.


Rosenbloom will be appearing at the Fanwood Memorial Library Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m., where he will also discuss the writing of "When Stars Were in Reach," and where The Who were in the arc of their eventual legendary career, when they decided to bring their raucous and destructive live act to a high school gymnasium in Fanwood’s backyard.


The presentation includes video and audio clips of The Who and is expected to last approximately 45 minutes.  It will include audience participation and will be followed by a question-and-answer session. At the end of his presentation, Michael will be available to sell and sign copies of his book.


For more information, and to make a reservation for this free event, please call the library at (908) 322.6400. This program is made possible with the support of the Friends of the Fanwood Memorial Library.

F-SP College Club to hold 'College Night' session Oct. 28

The College Club of Fanwood-Scotch Plains, in collaboration with the Counseling Department at the Scotch Plains Fanwood High School, is hosting its 63rd annual College Night on Tuesday, Oct. 28, from 7-8:30 p.m., at the high school.

All 11th and 12th grade students, whether attending Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School or any of the local private or parochial high schools, are invited to attend this program. Representatives from more than 200 colleges are expected to attend.

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