'Weapons of grass destruction' keep on working

Fanwood's "weapons of grass destruction," the borough's rented herd of goats that is ridding the Nature Center of invasive plants, keeps on chewing its way through the tangled growth at the center just south of LaGrande Avenue. The goats, which arrived earlier this month, are expected to keep working until sometime next month, when they will be rounded up and head for their winter home on Green Goats farm near Rhinebeck, N.Y. They'll be back in the spring to finish up the task. In the meantime, visitors are welcome but reminded not to try to pet or feed the goats.

Fanwood's new arrival is welcomed, gets a police escort

Summing it up as the “best feeling ever,” Fanwood Police Officers Kathy Case and Kevin Stomber still have excitement in their voices days later as they recount their parts in delivering the baby daughter of Michaela Nicholas of Westfield Road Saturday.


After a run of two decades without a birth in the borough, this is the second time in two years that members of the Fanwood department have delivered babies.


Because of the nature of the dispatch, both Case and Stomber responded to the 9-1-1 call for help and Stomber arrived first, finding Nicholas upstairs in a bathroom. As he helped her to the floor, Case arrived. Within a few minutes, the baby was on the way and, according to Case, “Instincts took over.” Case said she kept thinking over and over, “We didn’t want to drop the baby!”


Neither officer had faced this kind of situation before in the line of duty.


Stomber, a member of the Fanwood department since 2002, is the father of two and had previous training as an EMT. That gave him some direction. Case, who joined the Fanwood force earlier this year, and Stomber worked well together in the stressful situation, clearing the baby’s throat and nostrils, stimulating breathing and tending to the umbilical cord which was wrapped around the baby’s neck.

As both officers worked on the child, the family was on the phone with the 9-1-1 operator, relaying instructions. Case and Stomber said that was a great help, because it reinforced the things they were doing.

When the baby let out its first good cry, both officers said they knew that things were on the right track. “It was the happiest and scariest thing I’ve ever done,” Stomber said.

About then, the Westfield Rescue Squad, responding on mutual aid for the Fanwood squad, arrived and mom and the baby were soon on their way to Overlook Hospital, where both stayed for a few days for observation.

Both Case and Stomber are looking forward to visiting Nicholas and the baby next week.

Looking back this week, Chief Richard Trigo said he was “extremely proud” of Case and Stomber. “Both officers represented the department well,” he said, adding, “I wouldn’t have expected anything less.”

Borough's newest mixed-use building to be dedicated Sept. 23

Community Access Unlimited (CAU) will hold a grand opening of its newest property next month, a cutting-edge mixed-use property which will become home to both people with developmental disabilities and people without disabilities, as well as two commercial businesses. 

The new building, at 193 Terrill Road, at Midway, in Fanwood, will officially open in ceremonies Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 11 a.m.

CAU is a statewide Elizabeth-based non-profit providing support programs and services to adults with disabilities as well as youth served under the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to enable them to live independently in the community, in areas including housing, vocational and life-skills training, education, advocacy and recreation.

Click here for more on the story.

Fanwood Library gets county grant for children's programs

The Fanwood Memorial Library is among 20 public libraries to be awarded funding by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

The Fanwood Library will receive $4,248 for efforts to expand, create, and enhance programming offered to children by libraries. Scotch Plains was also among those receiving funds and will receive $3,915

Examples of projects eligible for funding through this grant opportunity include: technology upgrades; educational programming; purchase of books, videos, and audio tapes; creation or expansion of summer and fall programming; and planning documents.

Fanny Wood Day committee releases details, launches website

The popular zip-line ride will be back this year, too.
The popular zip-line ride will be back this year, too.

Circle Sunday, Sept. 27, on your calendar and plan to join your friends and neighbors at the 20th annual Fanny Wood Day celebration in downtown Fanwood.


“The great thing about Fanny Wood Day is that it’s more than just a street fair and we encourage everyone to come out and enjoy this great hometown experience,” said Mayor Colleen Mahr. “Come and join us on a beautiful fall day.”


Come out for good food and a wide variety of craft vendors, as well as live musical entertainment and lots of activities for the whole family.


There will be kiddie rides, several food competitions, a water balloon toss, a pet parade and other great things to do.


The car show will also be back better than ever! Expect to see more than 60 old cars, like in the past, starting at 11 a.m., along with some new models. The car show will be on South Avenue, just east of Martine Avenue, in front of Scotchwood Florists.


And this year, the Fanny Wood Day Committee and the Borough of Fanwood have added a brand new, year-round website with up-to-date information about the event. Go to the website and see an updated event schedule and a list of the sponsors of this great event. Without those sponsors, Fanny Wood Day could not happen.

Fanwood non-profit teaming up to bring soccer to special-needs kids

Intensive Therapeutics, a Fanwood-based non-profit organization offering individual and group therapy programs for children with special needs, is teaming up with the Scotch Plains Fanwood Soccer Association (SPFSA) for a soccer program for children with special needs, ages 4 to 6, 7 to 10 and 11 to 14 years old.

The program is open to all families from surrounding areas. The six-week season will take place on Saturdays, from 10:30 -11:30 a.m. The season will start Saturday, Sept. 19 and continue to Nov. 7, with Saturday, Oct. 14 off.

Click here for more information.

College Club holding clothing drive to raise scholarship funds

Next month, the College Club of Fanwood-Scotch Plains is holding a used clothing drive, and looking for other items, too. Proceeds will benefit the group's scholarship fund.

The club is asking for donations of wearable clothing and belts, handbags, backpacks, hats, briefcases and shoes. They are also collecting household items like linens, blankets, pillows, quilts, towels and drapes. And, items like stuffed animals, bikes and small hard toys.

The collection will take place on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 59 Russell Road in Fanwood, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Click here for more information or call Cathy Hirschhorn of the club at (908) 322-1362.

Fanwood Y offers new morning care program for students before school

In September, the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA will offer a new program: Before School Care (7 a.m. until the start of school) at the SPF Public Schools, according to the Alternative Press.

Before-school care locations include Brunner School, Coles School, Evergreen School, McGinn School and School One.

Students attending Park Middle School may register and attend the before-school program at School One. Students attending Terrill Middle School may register and attend the before-school program at Coles School. YMCA staff will escort all participants attending the middle schools to school in time for the first bell.

The Y will continue to offer After School Care from school dismissal until 6:30 p.m. as before. For more information, or to register, contact the Y at (908) 889-8880.

Needle Night moves to second Friday in September only

The monthly Needle Nite at Fanwood Presbyterian Church is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Westminster Hall. Enter from Marian Avenue. Note that due to the Labor Day holiday, the event will be moving to the second Friday in September. In October, Needle Nite will return to the first Friday, Oct. 2.

At the Sept. meeting, Pat Lake will demonstrate free motion quilting. If members wish to practice this technique, they need to bring their machine. Then, all are asked to cut squares for the next pattern, "Half Square Triangles." Please bring your cutting materials.

The knitters and those who crochet will continue their projects. All are welcome to come and see what is being done and to join the group.

If fabric, batting or yarn is needed, Needle Niters may email their request to needlenite@fanwoodpc.org. The donated materials used end up in many forms usable by the charities that receive them. The Needle Nite participants then take their newly learned skills for their use at home.

For further information about these projects, or directions to Fanwood Presbyterian Church, call the office at (908) 889-8891, email admin@fanwoodpc.org or check the web - www.fanwoodpc.org.

Deadline approaching for FEMA review of Superstorm Sandy claims

The federal government has started making new payments to victims of Superstorm Sandy after a review found that some policyholders were not paid what they were due from the National Flood Insurance Program, according to the Associated Press.

After Sandy slammed into New York and New Jersey in October 2012, many homeowners complained that the flood insurance assessors were underestimating their damage.

In May, FEMA sent letters to 142,000 policyholders in areas hit by the storm, notifying them that they could ask for their cases to be reopened. FEMA says that more than 10,000 policyholders have asked the agency to review their claim files so far.

The deadline to apply for a review is Sept. 15, and the government says the process usually takes about 90 days from the time a policyholder requests a review.

Click here for a flier outlining the review procedure.

Fanwood Presbyterian names new Music Director, Berdos steps down

Marcello Velame has been named as the new Director of Music at Fanwood Presbyterian Church, replacing Tom Berdos, the long-time director. Velame begins his duties on Sept. 6.


In making the announcement, Rev. David Jahnke said, “We are so blessed to have found the person with the perfect gifts and experience to lead our choirs, praise band and congregation."

Velame holds an undergraduate degree from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J., where he was awarded the Alexander McCurdy Organ Scholarship. He has also studied at the Julliard School of Music and has appeared as guest conductor at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. In addition, he has sung under the direction of acclaimed conductors Robert Shaw, Kurt Masur and Wolfgang Sawallisch.

Velame has conducted major choral and orchestral works, both in and outside the church. He has also prepared choral works, such as Beethoven Mass in C, for performances at Carnegie Hall and conducted the ALLEGRO1 chorus in performances in several venues in New Jersey. Velame is also a music teacher at Shark River Hills School in Neptune, N.J.

Velame replaces Berdos, the church's music director for four years and organizer of the popular annual spring choir festival. In June, Berdos, and his wife Deborah, left the local congregation. Rev. Jahnke indicated that the current plans are to continue the annual festival.

Fotos of Fanwood contest returns for its fifth year

The fifth annual Fotos of Fanwood contest is looking for your good pictures! The contest is open to photographers of all ages and skill levels.

The deadline for submitting entries for the competition, held in conjunction with Fanny Wood Day, is Sept. 18 at 3:30 p.m. Entries can be dropped off anytime the offices are open at Borough Hall.

Open to residents and non-residents alike, the contest is looking for new or vintage pictures of people, places or things that you have captured. In last year's contest, first place went to Greg Cummings, while Daniel Tartamella took both second and third in the contest.

For more information, and the rules for this year's contest, check out the Fanny Wood Day page on the borough website.

Board of Health adopts new ordinance regarding feeding of wildlife

At their August meeting, the Fanwood Board of Health adopted an ordinance prohibiting the feeding of wildlife, except some specific birds, on private property in the borough. The new ordinance expands on previous rules regarding the feeding of wildlife on public property.

With recent reports of coyotes in the area, and the continuing issues regarding deer, the ordinance is designed to limit food sources so as not to attract the wildlife.

Click here for a full copy of the new ordinance.

Fanwood 5K organizers seeking sponsors for the October event

The race itself is a ways off, on Sunday, Oct. 25, but the organizers of the Fanwood 5K and Family Fun Run are looking now to line up sponsors for this year's sixth annual event.


Last year's event drew more than 350 runners for the 5K and another 150 parents and children in the family part of the event. Residents lined the route to cheer on the participants. The event is organized by the Fanwood Recreation Commission, a group of dedicated volunteers who strive to improve and expand recreational opportunities within the Fanwood community.

Companies and individuals can become a sponsor of the Fanwood 5K Race & Family Fun Run by making a monetary donation, providing raffle items or contributing goods and services. Sponsorships will help the Fanwood Recreation Commission defray the cost of hosting this event and allow the Commission to continue its work on behalf of the people of Fanwood.

Sponsors will have the opportunity to showcase their names on various promotional materials related to the race, as well as set up a table or booth at the race itself to promote their services. Click here for more information and to become a sponsor.

Position available: maintenance worker

The Borough of Fanwood currently has a position available for a maintenance worker in the Department of Public Works. Click here to see the job description. Interested parties should contact Borough Administrator Eleanor McGovern - emcgovern@fanwoodnj.org.

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