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Fanwood Earth Day: 25th Anniversary Saturday, April 26th

Join us on April 26th to celebrate the 25th Year of Fanwood’s Earth Day observance with Clean Community Day activities and an Anniversary Celebration!

 

Clean Community Day has become a rite of spring in Fanwood. Not only does it generate community spirit and volunteerism, but also provides an instructive experience for children and adults alike. When, at the end of the event, participants can see that tons of litter have been removed, they feel the pride of accomplishment and gain a first-hand lesson the negative aspects of littering.

 

“This is a great tradition," said Mayor Colleen Mahr. "And in honor of 25 years of residents working together for the town-wide cleanup, it’s time for a party! We are planning some special family-friendly activities at the North Side Train Station from 11am to 2 in the afternoon, so be sure to stay at the Train Station. After the hard work is done, the fun will begin!”

 

Volunteers of all ages, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, interested organizations, families and individuals are invited to assemble at 8:30 AM by the Millennium Clock at the south side parking lot of the railroad station where Earth Day t-shirts, work gloves, pick-up devices and plastic bags will be distributed. The event will be opened by Mayor Colleen Mahr reading a Proclamation of the Council. Volunteers will be organized into teams and transported by the Department of Public Works employees to one of thirteen clean-up locations, including Forest Road Park, La Grande Park, the Carriage House Park, Borough Hall, the Fanwood Public Library and the municipal parking areas, as well as the area around the railroad tracks., NJ Transit will provide two flagmen to provide security for those assigned to this area. The Fanwood Lions Club have taken responsibility for litter collection along South Avenue.

 

Fanwood Bagels & Deli have generously donated bagels, donuts and coffee for participants who will also receive a coupon for a slice from Nicks Pizza & Deli.

 

Joanne Gemenden, Union County Recycling Coordinator, will provide participating children with some “goodies”. This year’s giveaways are T-shirts and a reusable Earth Day grocery bag and “bare root” trees.

 

After the morning cleanup, the fun begins at 11 AM at the north side train station parking lot. Opening with a resolution read by Union County Freeholder Al Mirabella, the afternoon will include kids crafts, music, poetry readings, recycling giveaways, and instruction on composting and rain barrels. The County Information Van will be on hand and kids “Photos with the Earth” will be offered.

 

This event is generously funded through grants from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainable New Jersey. Questions concerning this event can be answered by calling the Fanwood Public Works Department at 908-322-7404.

Memorial Day 2014

Scotch Plains Mayor Kevin Glover, Parade Grand Marshall Malcolm Nettingham, Parade Chairman Don Wussler and Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr
Scotch Plains Mayor Kevin Glover, Parade Grand Marshall Malcolm Nettingham, Parade Chairman Don Wussler and Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr

The Fanwood Scotch Plains Memorial Day Parade Committee announced its annual concert and parade will be held on Sunday, May 25th, and Monday, May 26th, 2014. The theme of this year’s Memorial Day events will be D-Day Normandy Beach 70th Anniversary.

 

“It is appropriate that we remember and honor the 6000+ American casualties , including 2500-3000 killed , on D-Day just days before June 6th , the 70th anniversary of the invasion,” said Kevin Glover, Mayor of Scotch Plains.

 

The concert will take place on Sunday May 25th on the North Avenue lawn of the historic Fanwood train station beginning at 6:30 pm. The Westfield Community Band will play patriotic melodies, traditional marches and other popular works.

 

“We are pleased to again host the Memorial Day concert . D-Day must never be forgotten by our citizens," said Colleen Mahr, Mayor of Fanwood.

 

The parade will be held on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26th, through downtown Scotch Plains and Fanwood. Malcolm Nettingham, a WWII veteran and one of 300 Tuskegee Airmen to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, is this year's Grand Marshal.

 

The Tuskegee airmen were the first black pilots in American military service. They overcame discrimination and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected groups of service members during WWII. Their achievements paved the way for the full integration of the U.S. military.

 

A resident of Scotch Plains since he was 5 years old, Mr. Nettingham is still active in the community. He is a member of Alpha Lodge #116 F&AM in East Orange, NJ, and is a member in good standing at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Scotch Plains where he sings in the Men’s Chorus and the Voices of Metropolitan.

 

The Memorial Day parade is funded by Scotch Plains and Fanwood. The concert, however, is made possible by the generosity of local donors--individuals, businesses and community organizations--who support the concert expenses. Checks should be made payable to Township of Scotch Plains, c/o Toni Rollis , Scotch Plains Municipal Building, 430 Park Ave, Scotch Plains. NJ 07076. Ms. Rollis can be reached at (908) 322- 6700 x 314.

Council Adopts Program To Find Cheaper Electricity

Councilman Dan Levine led the Council discussion on the energy aggregation program. Photo by Brian Horton.
Councilman Dan Levine led the Council discussion on the energy aggregation program. Photo by Brian Horton.

The Fanwood Borough Council has passed an ordinance allowing the town to look for cheaper electricity through what's called a government energy aggregation. Under the plan, adopted at a special meeting of the Council Tuesday, April 1, 2014, the Borough is empowered to hire a vendor to scour the energy market for the cheapest electricity available, then sell it to Fanwood citizens. The Borough will only enter into a contract for the power if the cost is lower than that offered by PSE&G. The Borough will begin the process of finding a vendor later this year.

Water Main Upgrades to Multiple Fanwood Streets

Mike Bange, NJ American Water, shows Borough Council before and after photo of a water main needing repair
Mike Bange, NJ American Water, shows Borough Council before and after photo of a water main needing repair

The NJ American Water utility has begun an ambitious project to replace water mains around town that are, in some cases, almost a hundred years old. The $4.8 million project should result in increased water pressure and water flow for many of our residents. Phase One of the project began the week of March 23rd with pipeline replacements scheduled along Martine Avenue from South Avenue to Trenton Avenue, LaGrande Avenue from Martine to McDermott Place, then Trenton Avenue and Saville Row. Phase Two begins the week of April 7th and continues all summer until just after Labor Day. The following streets will receive pipeline replacements during that period: Gere Place, Kempshall Terrace, Chetwood Terrace, Cray Terrace, Vinton Circle, Helen Street, Belvidere Avenue, Burns Way, Herbert Avenue, Marian Avenue, Second Street, First Street, Poplar Place, Klaniecki Place, MacLennan Place, Beech Avenue, LaGrande Avenue, Laurel Place, Clement Place and Winfield Place. Residents on each street will receive a week's notice before construction begins.

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One-Seat Ride to NY Now Available, Mon-Fri, Off-Peak Only

Photo by Brian Horton

Mayor Colleen Mahr boarded the first of the "one seat ride" trains at Fanwood station Monday morning, March 3rd, 2014,for a ride all the way to New York without having to change trains in Newark. She is seen here about to board with Scotch Plains Mayor Kevin Glover, left, and Raritan Valley Rail Coalition trustee and former Westfield Mayor, Tom Jardim. See video The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition has worked for many years to lobby NJ Transit to establish direct service to New York from the Raritan Valley line, which accounts for about 10% of the total NJ Transit rail ridership. For now, the NY Direct service is only offered on non-peak trains, Monday thru Friday. Weekend and rush hour service are both a ways off because of limitations in capacity in the rail tunnel under the Hudson River. Here's the new train schedule

Historic Census Reports On Display

Earl Phillips and Barbra Lea Couphous examine the census records. Photo by Brian Horton.

On Sunday, March 2nd, between the hours of 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM the Fanwood Historic Preservation Commission will place on public exhibition at the Fanwood Museum for the first time a copy of Fanwood's full census for the years 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930. For the year 1880 the municipality was named Fanwood Township and included what today is Fanwood Borough and Scotch Plains Township. The Fanwood Museum is located in the lower level of the historic railroad station.

 

In the later years of the above mentioned hand written censuses, the following data were listed for each person surveyed in each household: the street name, names of the people living in a household, their age, their relationship to each other, their citizenship, their education, place of birth, their mother tongue, their occupation and their place of work.

 

Members of the Historic Preservation Commission will be available to answer questions, point out facts of special interest and aid in search of specific names visitors might be searching for. People living in a historic home today might be curious to know who lived in their abode a century ago.

 

John Celardo, a resident of Fanwood who acquired these records for the museum while working at the National Archives and Records Administration in New York City, will be on hand to answer questions.

Fanwood Recycling Center: 27 Years of Excellence

Mayor Colleen Mahr and Council President Russ Huegel recently paid tribute to Fanwood Recycling manager Alan Ebersole, who has been at the helm of our recycling center since its inception in 1986. Alan has made our recycling center a truly unique and profitable venue for our town, and on January 25th, the Recycling Office was named after him. Congratulations to Alan and everyone who has made the Recycling Center work over the years. More history

Mitchell & Kranz Sworn In, Government Launched for 2014


Mayor Colleen Mahr swore-in Councilwoman Kathy Mitchell and Councilman Tom Kranz during the annual government reorganization meeting on January 1, 2014.

Municipal Parking Lot Reconstruction Underway

West entrance of municipal lot. Commuter spaces will no longer be available.

Fanwood's municipal parking lot, which is located behind the stores on Martine Avenue which services shoppers, merchants and commuters, is undergoing major reconstruction as the next phase of the overall downtown redevelopment plan moves forward. The lot is being completely redesigned with construction taking place in several phases, each of which will close a specific portion of the lot at a time.

Lot 2 commuter alternative parking. Click to enlarge.

Patrons of the businesses on Martine and South Avenues can continue to park in the lot during construction but should be prepared for some inconvenience. Everyone who visits our great shops should be reminded that FREE parking is allowed after 3 pm, Monday thru Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday, in the South and North sides of the Fanwood Train Station.

 

The build-out of the shared parking lot will then lead into the next exciting construction project called Fanwood Crossing II which will be a mixed use building that will also have a large pedestrian plaza adjacent to it. The building and plaza will be housed on what was the former Commerce Bank and Livingston-Wilbor Company sites. 

Housing Rehabilitation Program

The Borough of Fanwood is sponsoring a housing rehabilitation program for residents who qualify by income. This program will assist you in replacing a roof, siding, large plumbing and electrical repairs/replacements, etc. If you are in need and interested in completing a confidential application, please call Robin Lospinoso, the Borough’s agent at 732-382-8100, Ext. 13, or Eleanor McGovern, Borough Administrator, at 908-322-8236, Ext. 123.

Food Pantries for Our Community

St. Bart's food pantry
St. Bart's food pantry

St. Bartholomew The Apostle Church in Scotch Plains accepts non-perishable donations during weekend Mass or food can be dropped off at the Rectory during business hours. They do not accept dairy or frozen items. Recommended items include: personal hygiene (shampoo, soap, toothpaste/toothbrushes), paper goods (napkins, paper towels, tissues), pasta, tomato sauce, non-refrigerated Parmesan cheese, peanut butter and jelly, canned tuna, dinner kits, taco kits, canned goods such as fruit, vegetables, and soup, cereal, snack bars, etc. It's important that items are checked for expiration dates as they are not able to distribute items that have passed their date. St. Bart's is located at 2032 Westfield Avenue in Scotch Plains. Tel: 908-322-5192. If someone would like to apply for a food distribution, they can call the Rectory 908-322-5192 and provide their name and address. They will mail them a Registration Letter detailing eligibility requirements.

Fanwood Presbyterian has had a food pantry since 1971.
Fanwood Presbyterian has had a food pantry since 1971.

The Fanwood Presbyterian Church food pantry accepts non-perishable donations weekdays from 9 AM to 4 PM. They prepare monthly grocery bags for their clientele, and prefer donations to be in bulk for easier distribution. Those in need should contact the church at (908) 889-8891.

 

The Evangel Church, 1251 Terrill Road, Scotch Plains, is open Monday thru Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM or by appointment for evening hours. The pantry contains dry foods and non-perishables, sometimes small sized diapers, formula and basic toiletries.  Thehy require a photo id and an application that is completed upon the first visit.  When the application is completed they meet with someone in the community life department that gauges why there is a need and checks to see if they are deeper needs that in need of some kind of referral. The amount of food that is given is dependent on how many are living at home. The food pantry client can get food once a month.  If they collect on the third week then the third week of every month they can come in.

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