Online registration open for summer rec camps

Fanwood Recreation announces that registration for the 8-week Summer Park Program in La Grande Park is underway now. This fun, neighborhood camp is designed for children entering grades K through 6 in the fall. Parents can choose to sign up their children for morning sessions, afternoon sessions, 1 week, all 8 weeks or any number in between. For more information, and to register, click here.

Recycling town hall meeting planned for Feb. 23 at Forest Road Park

Mayor Colleen Mahr is extending an invitation to all Fanwood residents to attend a town hall meeting Tuesday, Feb. 23, from 7-9 p.m., at Forest Road Park to discuss recycling in the borough.

Mahr said the meeting is being held, "to discuss how recycling will be handled in the future in the borough."

Options include continuing with the recycling center on North Avenue, where residents drop off their recyclable items, or going to a system of curbside pickups by a commercial firm.

Mahr, the borough council, representatives of the Recycling Association and others will be on hand to discuss the future of recycling in Fanwood. Members of the audience are encouraged to join in the conversation, too.

Library hosting Rosa Parks discussion Tuesday for Black History Month

Rosa Parks on a Montgomery, Ala., bus.
Rosa Parks on a Montgomery, Ala., bus.

The Fanwood Memorial Library will host a lively discussion of "Rosa Parks: The Bus, and the Politics of Memory" on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m., as part of the library's Black History Month observance.


The discussion will be led by Kean University Prof. Catherine Nicholson, who led the library's popular program on Harper Lee this past fall.


On Dec. 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Ala., Parks refused to obey the order of bus driver James F. Blake to give up her seat in the colored section for a white passenger. Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation, but she was chosen as the best candidate by the local NAACP organizers to challenge this segregation because of her prior arrest for civil disobedience. Parks' act of defiance became an important symbol in the Civil Rights Movement and she became an international icon of resistance.


The politics of memory is the political means by which events are remembered and recorded or discarded. The terminology addresses the role of politics in shaping collective memory and how remembrances can differ markedly from the objective truth of the events as they happened. The influence of politics on memory is seen in the way history is written and passed on.


Come learn about the what happened on that bus, what we think we remember from that time and how it is still shaping our current society. For registration, and to find out more information about this or any other library programs, call (908) 322-6400 or visit the library's events page at

Fanwood goes 'Red' for women's heart health

Fanwood Borough Administrator Eleanor McGovern, center in front, and the Borough Hall staff pose in support of the "Go Red" event.
Fanwood Borough Administrator Eleanor McGovern, center in front, and the Borough Hall staff pose in support of the "Go Red" event.

Mayor Colleen Mahr and the Borough Hall staff led the way Friday, Feb. 5, as Fanwood took part in the "Go Red for Women's Health" initiative.


The annual national observance is held to raise awareness of women's heart health. It focuses on recognizing symptoms of heart attacks in women and promoting a healthy lifestyle.


Again this year, Borough Hall staff and Fanwood women wore red to show their support of the cause. In addition, an event was held Friday evening, hosted by the Chelsea and co-sponsored by Little Hearts, Big World. The event offered free chair massages, blood pressure screenings, light food, a Yoga session, a raffle and giveaways.


Click here to see a photo gallery.

Raritan Valley Rail Coalition unveils new video, petition drive

Mayor Colleen Mahr in a scene from the video, shot in Fanwood. (Click on photo to view the video.)
Mayor Colleen Mahr in a scene from the video, shot in Fanwood. (Click on photo to view the video.)

The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) has unveiled a new video and has also begun a petition drive to support the call for expanded "one-seat" ride service on the rail line.


The new video, which was partially shot in Fanwood, illustrates the benefits to people along the Raritan Valley train line of a direct, or “one-seat,” ride to and from New York City and advocates for more to be added.


Following years of lobbying, the RVRC convinced NJ Transit to implement a one-seat ride during off-peak hours in March of 2014. Nine months later, NJ Transit added a direct service train at 8 p.m However, because of the added expense of running more trains and limited time slots, NJ Transit has delayed adding more one-seat rides.


“We understand the complex nature of implementing these changes,” said Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, who heads the RVRC Mayor’s Coalition, in an article on the Alternative Press site. “However, our first responsibility is to the residents of every town on the RVL and making sure they are treated fairly in the transit system.”


Click here to view the video. Click here to sign the petition.

Trinitas offering vets classes covering all aspects of healthy living

All Union County veterans and their families are invited to attend a series of free classes covering all aspects of healthy living from nutrition and fitness to cooking, yoga and tai chi. Come and discover new, fun and interesting strategies for improving your overall wellness and helping your children to make healthy choices, too.


The series kicked off on February 1is underway now and will take place twice weekly at the Cranford VFW, 479 South Ave. in Cranford, until June 29. All classes and workshops start at 6:30 p.m. and last 1-2 hours. No need to pre-register, just drop in and enjoy!


Trinitas Regional Medical Center is sponsoring the series. For more information, contact Trinitas at (908) 994-7278.

Fanwood Police: Relief school crossing guard positions available

The Fanwood Police Dept. has positions available for relief school crossing guards to help children cross busy intersections on their way to and from school and to help with traffic control around schools in the morning, at lunchtime and after school. The positions pay $18.50 per hour with uniforms and training provided. Click here for more information on how to apply.

Union County holding Black History Month observance Feb. 17

Union County Freeholders are hosting a Black History Month observance on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 3:30 p.m., in the Student Commons Building at the Union County College campus in Cranford.


This year’s celebration includes vocalists and dance performances, with featured speakers Jerry Green (Speaker pro tempore for the New Jersey State Assembly) who will receive the annual Chester Holmes Humanitarian Award, Tara Dowdell (public relations guru and former Apprentice star) and Luther Wright (who is the DJ and a former center for Utah Jazz pro basketball team), as well as student body speakers and area talent. This is a free event and refreshments will be served afterward.

Tickets on sale now for SPFHS production of "Mystery of Edwin Drood"

Get ready to enjoy "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," a hilarious, interactive whodunit mystery musical that allows the audience to enter the action and become the ultimate detectives. The March shows are produced by the Scotch Plains Fanwood High School  Repertory Theatre.


The show is based on Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel of the same name. In a small    town in England, Edwin Drood has been mysteriously murdered. But, who did it? There is a long list of suspects. Dickens died before he was able to reveal the culprit, so the audience finishes the story Dickens didn’t! It can end differently every night, depending on what the audience decides.


Performances will be held on Friday, March 11, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 12, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, March 13, at 2 p.m.; Thursday, March 17, at 7 p.m.; Friday, March 18, at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, March 19, at 8 p.m. All shows take place at the Manya Ungar Memorial Auditorium at the high school, 667 Westfield Rd., in Scotch Plains.

Tickets are now on sale online at Select your show (day/time) and seat and print out your ticket. Prices are $17 for adults, $14 for students and $14 for seniors (age 60 and up). Scotch Plains/Fanwood residents who have Senior Citizen "Gold Passes" will be able to receive one free ticket. Contact Kathleen Sheehy (908-342-0856) for questions about “Gold Passes” or handicapped seating. 

Tickets may also be purchased at SPFHS on Wednesday, Feb. 10, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., prior to the Choral Caberet concert; Wednesday, Feb. 17, 7-8 p.m.; Tuesday, Feb. 23, 7-8 p.m.; and Wednesday, March 2, 7-8 p.m., in the auditorium lobby at the high school.

Annual Arbor Day poetry contest guidelines, deadline announced

The Carriage House Poetry Series, in conjunction with the Fanwood Shade Tree Commission, is again holding a poetry contest related to Arbor Day.


The contest, which has drawn entries in the past from around the world, will award the winner the Carriage House Poetry Prize, $300 and publication in the prestigious Tiferet Journal in the Autumn, 2016 edition.


The contest is open to poems that have not been previously published and must contain references to a tree or trees (not necessarily about trees). Entries must be received by mail at Fanwood's Borough Hall on March 1.


Click here for guidelines and deadline information.

Carriage House poetry series features three poets at February session

The Carriage House Poetry Series in Fanwood will present readings by three distinguished poets on Tuesday, Feb. 16, in the Patricia Kuran Arts Center on Watson Road, off North Martine Avenue, adjacent to Fanwood Borough Hall.

The free performances by Jill Stein, John Barrale and Loren Kleinman will begin promptly at 8 p.m. An open mic reading with local poets will follow the featured performances.

Civil War buffs will enjoy upcoming College Club event

The College Club of Fanwood-Scotch Plains hosts author George Pierson to tell the stories of two veterans of the American Civil War at the club's monthly author's night on Monday, Feb. 22, starting at 7:30 p.m., at The Chelsea on South Avenue in Fanwood.

Based on the diaries and letters home of Capt. David Pierson and Pvt. Newton Church, the audience will hear different stories and memories of the struggles the soldiers faced from 1860 to 1865 in the Civil War.

Pierson, the guest author that evening, is a relative of Capt. Pierson and a professor of communication studies at Kean University with a strong interest in New Jersey history and genealogy.

The program is free and open to the public.

Deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 16, for College Club scholarship applications

The College Club of Fanwood-Scotch Plains reminds students that applications for the group's 2016-2017 scholarship program must be postmarked no later than Feb. 16.


Application forms can be obtained from the SPFHS Counseling Office or here or here.


Scholarships are awarded annually to women who are 1) high school seniors or 2) college students, and who plan to pursue a Baccalaureate Degree at a four-year college. Scholarships totaling $29,000.00 were awarded for the academic year 2015-2016.  

To be eligible for consideration, high school applicants must be residents of Fanwood or
Scotch Plains. College applicants must be local residents of Fanwood or Scotch Plains at
the time they graduate from high school. College applicants need not have been graduates of Scotch Plains Fanwood High School to apply.


Scholarships are awarded based on three primary characteristics of the applicants; 1) financial need, 2) academic achievement, and 3) character of the applicant.


Applications should be mailed to Scotch Plains Fanwood Scholarship Foundation, PO Box 123, Fanwood, NJ 07023 and must be postmarked by Feb. 16. Applications postmarked after that date will be returned. Incomplete or unsigned applications may not be considered.

Union County Clerk reminds residents to get passports renewed

With a deadline approaching in October for full implementation of the federal government' s "REAL ID" law, Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi advises Union County residents that a valid U.S. passport is still the most reliable and secure form of identification for traveling by air.


Rajoppi noted that currently, air travelers can still use their driver’s licenses to board domestic flights. However, New Jersey has not yet attained compliance with new national security standards for driver’s licenses. The new law, which is being implemented by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), requires each state to update its driver’s license procedures to comply with tighter security measures at airports, federal buildings, and other sensitive facilities.


Most states now issue driver’s licenses that meet the new standards. New Jersey missed the compliance deadline of in January but the DHS provided a new, extended deadline of Oct. 10 this year.


Union County residents can process their U.S. passport applications and renewals through the County Clerk, at the main office in Elizabeth or the satellite office in Westfield. Passport photos are offered at both locations for a nominal fee.


The Westfield office also features evening and weekend hours:

Union County Colleen Fraser Building

300 North Avenue East, Westfield, NJ 07090

(908) 654-9859

Open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Open Tuesday and Thursday: 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Open Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.


For more details about the County Clerk’s passport services, including downloadable forms, visit online at

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