Groundbreaking held for new borough skate park

Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, Councilman Tom Kranz, Recreation Director Bob Budiansky and members of the Recreation Commission, along with Freeholders Bruce Bergen and Al Mirabella, were joined by contractors and kids at the groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for the borough's new skateboard park at Forest Road Park.


Construction will begin immediately and, according to Budiansky, the target date for completion is mid-December. The skateboard park was first proposed in 2009, Budiansky said, and got the final go-ahead when the borough council in August approved the $186,000 project, which will cost nearly $70,000 less than initially estimated. Part of the funding is from a grant from Union County and the balance is from Recreation Commission funds.

Second Performance Series concert of the fall coming up tonight

The second of three performances of the 2015 Performance Series fall season at the Carriage House is Saturday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m.,  and featuring singer-songwriters Daphne Lee Martin and Hiroya Tsukamoto.

Martin has been recording and touring since 2011 and is about to release her fourth studio album, "Fall On Your Sword." Her stop at the Carriage House in Fanwood is part of her national tour.
Tsukamoto is a one-of-a-kind composer, guitarist and singer-songwriter from Kyoto, Japan. He began playing the five-string banjo when he was thirteen, and took up the guitar shortly after.

The suggested donations for the Fanwood Performing Arts series are $15.00, ($10.00 for seniors and students), parking is free, and the refreshments are delicious and inexpensive.  Save money and support Fanwood Arts at the same time!

Dicksen to lead Fanwood, Garwood DPWs in shared-service agreement

Dicksen, right, with Mayors Mahr and Lombardo
Dicksen, right, with Mayors Mahr and Lombardo

Clint Dicksen, Fanwood's Department of Public Works Director for more than a decade, is taking on additional duties in a shared-services agreement with nearby Garwood.

Dicksen will also be heading up the Garwood DPW, though the departments will remain separate. Before coming to Fanwood, Dicksen was Garwood's DPW director for two years so he brings a knowledge base to the new position.

The shared-services agreement, announced by Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr and Garwood Mayor Charles Lombardo, will also cover specialized equipment owned by the two boroughs and allow them to jointly seek bids for supplies and equipment.

No DPW workers, other than Dicksen, will change their current job assignments. In Fanwood, in addition to Dicksen, there are eight workers and an administrative assistant. Garwood has seven workers in its department.

"As we seek more efficient use of our budgets, it became apparent to Mayor Lombardo and myself that this would be a good way to cut costs without affecting services to the residents," Mayor Mahr said.

Mayor Lombardo added, "This agreement is an example of small towns working together to find ways to deliver the services residents expect in a more economical way. Also, Mr. Dicksen brings the unique perspective of having been DPW director in both towns, which is a plus."

Dicksen, 42, is a Certified Public Works Manager and a Certified Recycling Coordinator, both state requirements for this type of job. Dicksen will split his time between the boroughs, with 10 hours a week dedicated to Garwood and the balance dedicated to Fanwood.

Learning what's on the menu on the grounds at Borough Hall

Educator, naturalist, nutritionist, and wild plant expert Debbie Naha, kneeling right, shows an edible plant to a group on the Fanwood Borough Hall grounds Monday night during the Fanwood Environmental Commission's "Wild Edible Plants" walk.

Our “civilization” has moved far beyond the days when a person could live “off the land” by picking berries and leafy greens. Today, the closest the average person gets to the land is growing a garden, going to a pick-your-own farm or a roadside stand. But, what most people don’t realize is that we are still surrounded by hundreds of wild edible plants in vacant fields, meadows, woodlands, and anywhere Mother Nature can grow her merry way.

Naha explained how many of those plants are in plain view to us every day and pointed out the plants that can be harvested for salads and snacks (and perhaps a few you shouldn’t touch).

Click here for more information.

Phone calls from 'IRS agents' are latest fraud reaching local residents

Union County officials pass along word of a scam involving phone calls to area residents from people saying they represent the Internal Revenue Service.

The automated phone messages, claiming to be from the IRS, say: “Hello, we have been trying to reach you. This call is an official and final notice from IRS, Internal Revenue Service. The reason for this call is to inform you that IRS is filing a lawsuit against you. To get more information about this case file, please call immediately on our department number (phone number given). I repeat, (phone number given again). Thank you.”

If you receive this call, do not call the number back as it is not the IRS. This is a fraud. Simply hang up the phone or delete the message. More information can be found at

Sale dates, rates announced for 2016 train station parking permits

The Fanwood Police have announced sale dates and prices for 2016 parking permits for the Fanwood train station.

A 2016 yearly permit will cost $370 for Fanwood residents. Residents of other towns will pay $665.

Fanwood residents may begin buying the permits on Saturday, Oct. 17. Sales to Scotch Plains residents begin on Saturday, Oct. 24. All others may buy permits beginning on Monday, Nov. 2.

Click here for information on the permits, including sale dates, times and required documents. Click here to download a 2016 permit application.

Deadlines approaching to register to vote, vote by mail

Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi reminds Union County residents who are not registered to vote that they have until Tuesday, Oct. 13, to register for the upcoming General Election and School Board Election on Nov. 3.

Voter registration forms are available at the Office of the County Clerk in Westfield at 300 North Ave. East. A form can also be requested through the Union County Votes App, by calling the County Clerk’s office at (908)527-4996 or downloading it from the County Clerk’s website. Each municipal clerk’s office also has voter registration forms available.

Voter registration forms must be mailed to the Union County Board of Elections, 271 North Broad Street, Elizabeth NJ 07208 and postmarked no later than Tuesday, Oct. 13, for the November election.

A voter must be a citizen of the United States and at least 18 years-old by Election Day, not serving a sentence, probation, or parole because of a felony conviction, and a resident of New Jersey and Union County for at least 30 days.

Registered voters are also encouraged to use the Vote-by-Mail process when voting. Any voter may use the service.

To vote by mail, voters can pick up an application from their municipal clerk, download the form at the Union County website,, visit the County Clerk’s offices, contact the Union County Clerk at (908)527-4996 or request an application through the Union County Votes App.

Applications to Vote-By-Mail must be received by the County Clerk no later than Oct. 27. The deadline for in-person applications at the Clerk’s offices is Nov. 2 before 3 p.m.

Board of Health holding flu shot clinic in Fanwood Oct. 14

The Westfield Regional Health Department is holding a clinic next week to dispense flu shots to residents in the Fanwood area.

On Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 3-4:30 p.m., shots will be given at the Recreation Building in Fanwood's Forest Road Park.

There is a $20 fee, cash only, for anyone who does not have Medicare Part B or the following insurances: Aetna, CIGNA, Coventry, Multiplan, UMWA, Humana, Medicare Railroad, Three Rivers and United Healthcare.

For more information on eligibility, etc., call the Health Department at (908) 789-4070.

Fanwood craftsman helping with Breast Cancer Awareness fundraiser

Fanwood jewelry craftsman Joseph Cirincione is helping to raise funds this month for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Cirincione has created two pink silk cuff link designs and is donating 25% of the revenue from sales of the items. For more information, visit his webpage to see the cufflinks and place your orders.

Temple Sholom to hold auction fundraiser Oct. 10; open to the public

Temple Sholom of Scotch Plains will be hosting an art show and live auction on Saturday, Oct. 10, to raise funds for its various religious, community, cultural, and education programs. The auction is open to the public

Presented by Marlin Art, Inc. of Deer Park, NY, the show will feature works from well-known classical and contemporary artists, as well as sports, music, and entertainment memorabilia.


The auction is one of Temple Sholom’s premier events. The first bi-annual auction in 2009 featured a guitar signed by Bruce Springsteen. In 2013, John Stanisci, a professional illustrator for Marvel and DC Comics, made a guest appearance and sold original drawings.

The auction will be held at Temple Sholom, 1925 Lake Ave. in Scotch Plains. Previews will begin at 7 p.m. and the live auction will begin at 8 p.m. There will be a $10 admission fee and hors d’oeuvres, desserts, snacks and beverages will be served. A door prize will be given to one lucky attendee. Cash, checks or major credit cards will be accepted for auction purchases.


To order tickets in advance, visit, or call the Temple office at (908) 889-4900.

Local workshop planned on rain gardens, flood control Oct. 17

Worried about flooding? Did you know planting a rain garden or installing a rain barrel on your property could help?

Fanwood Environmental Commissioner Margaret Chowdhury is presenting a  community workshop on rain gardens, rain barrels and native plants for the home garden at the Patricia Kuran Arts Center (Carriage House) on Watson Road in Fanwood on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 2:30 p.m.

For more information and to RSVP contact The first 10 to RSVP will receive a free swamp milkweed plant for their garden. This workshop is made possible by a grant from Sustainable Jersey.

Newcomers' Club holding annual ladies-only event this month

Are you new to the area? Interested in connecting with your neighbors? Looking to participate in fun activities with your family? 

If so, the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Newcomers & Neighbors might be for you! SPF Newcomers & Neighbors is a non-profit social club active in the community for more than 50 years. The club offers a variety of activities for women, men, children and families. Whether you are looking for a playgroup, book club, cooking club, ladies’ night out, family-friendly events, community service opportunities or all of the above, the club has something for everyone! 


On Thursday, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m., the club will hold its annual Ladies-Only Fall Meet & Greet at Darby Road, 450 Park Ave. in Scotch Plains. The night will include a chance to win prizes and hear about the varied interest groups and activities.

This event is open to all existing, new and prospective members so bring your friends and neighbors. The club will be collecting items for the Community Food Bank of New Jersey “Tools 4 School” program that evening. While any item is appreciated, the most needed are black permanent markers and glues sticks. If you would like to see a list of suggestions, visit the CFBNJ website.

For more information, visit the club's website or find the club at at Please RSVP for the Darby Road event by Oct. 8 at the club's Facebook page, on, or by email to

College Club to host 'Eleanor Roosevelt' event Oct. 19 at The Chelsea

The College Club of Fanwood-Scotch Plains presents actress Linda Kenyon in a free one-woman show, "A Life of My Own: Meeting Eleanor Roosevelt," at The Chelsea on South Avenue, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

The show will highlight Roosevelt’s passion for social justice and sensitivity to the underprivileged. Kenyon will assume Roosevelt’s voice, gestures and personal touches as she portrays key moments and experiences of her life.

The veteran actress appeared last year at the WestfieldLibrary as Julia Child, “Julia says ‘Bon Appetit!’ Her other credits include serving as a narrator for television programs like The Discovery Channel’s three-part series,“The Last of the Czars,” and at museum presentations including the National Civil Rights Museum in Tennessee and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. She is also the voice of the Dark Elf in the Morrowind video game series.

Poetry Series features Harter, Whitehead on Oct. 20 at Carriage House

The Carriage House Poetry Series presents and evening of poetry featuring readings by Penny Harter and Gary J. Whitehead on Tuesday, Oct. 20. The free event will begin at 8 p.m. in the Patricia Kuran Arts Center on Watson Road, off North Martine Avenue, adjacent to Fanwood Borough Hall (GPS: use 75 N. Martine Ave.).

Harter’s 22 books and chapbooks include “The Resonance Around Us” and “Recycling Starlight,” published by Mountains & Rivers Press. The former Fanwood and Scotch Plains resident was a featured reader at the 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival and she has won three poetry fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, plus awards from the Dodge Foundation, the Poetry Society of America and the first William O. Douglas Nature Writing Award.

Whitehead has published six collections of poetry, including “A Glossary of Chickens” (Princeton University Press, 2013). His poems have appeared in numerous journals, magazines and newspapers, most notably in The New Yorker and Poetry. He also is a crossword constructor whose puzzles have appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Sun.

The Carriage House Poetry Series is in its seventeenth year at the Kuran Arts Center, an historic Gothic Revival structure that was once a 19th century carriage house, hence the name of the series.

There will be an open mic after the featured readings. For more information, call (908)889-7223 or (908)889-5298. For online directions and information, visit

Job Postings: Borough has two DPW positions available

The Borough of Fanwood's Department of Public Works has two positions open. One is for a full time Laborer/Entry Level Operator. The other is for a part-time seasonal Laborer position. The deadline for applying is October 7, 2015. Click here for more information on the positions available.

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