Friday, December 30, 2011

Municipal Building Rename ?

At the Hillsborough Township Committee meeting of December 13, 2011, Committeeman Anthony Ferrera proposed "renaming the municipal building...The Peter J. Biondi Building" in honor of our assemblyman who died on November 10th.

After reading several comments regarding this proposal on the Hillsborough Patch, the HNJJ crew suggests that the proposal be amended to add "The Peter J. Biondi Building" below the current Hillsborough Township Municipal Complex sign.

This prevents any confusion about what the building is, helps visitors, and maintains the Hillsborough Township identity while still honoring Mr. Biondi.

Additionally, one of the online commentators asked how much this name change would cost, a legitimate question in these economic times. Adding a line below the present name would certainly save the cost of the unnecessary removal of the current signs.

A more significant saving would be realized in the replacement of all the stationary and places where the municipal building appears online. As such items as business cards and letterhead are restocked, the line reading "The Peter J. Biondi Building" could be added/inserted into the address.

The HNJJ crew would like to have seen this honor presented apart from the Township Committee reorganization, maybe at the Memorial Day ceremony which meant so much to Mr. Biondi.
The HNJJ slideshow of Mr. Biondi can be viewed here.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

This is our first Christmas Eve since Babchi died, with the celebration now at our house. The family did the best that they could with her traditional menu and no recipes...

Babchi's granddaughter did a great job recreating the fish. Babchi's son got the pierogi, stuffed cabbage, sauerkraut stew,and beets from Halinka Polish Deli on Route 206, while her daughter picked up a babka from a shop in Manville.

Babchi's great-grandsons had been told that Santa left some presents for them. It wasn't Christmas yet, so when the question came up about Santa delivering the presents early...well, the boys came up with their own explanation.

"Santa delivers the presents first at the houses of old people."


Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas From the ACLU

Christmas, the time of the year when anonymous forum posters around the United States mistakenly rant about the American Civil Liberties Union being anti-Christmas. These posters apparently pass around anti-ACLU emails filled with deliberately erroneous information and, without checking the facts, cut-and-paste them all over the Internet.

This year the HNJJ is going to be proactive, presenting only a handful of the many past ACLU cases that have supported the celebration of Christmas:

In 2003, the ACLU successfully defended the right of the members of a Massachusetts’ high school student Christian Bible Club to hand out candy canes with religious messages attached.

Five days before Christmas, 2006, Maui County, Hawaii, put up a Christmas tree after receiving a letter from the ACLU.

The Rhode Island ACLU “…successfully interceded on behalf of an interdenominational group of carolers who were told they could not sing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve to inmates at the women’s prison in Cranston.”

While preempting the annual anti-ACLU Christmas posts, its also time to address the annual years-old “send a Christmas card to the ACLU” message which has been debunked by many fact checkers including Snopes and Urban Legend.

As Hillsborough is located in Central Jersey, we couldn’t sign off without mentioning Turton, et al. v. Frenchtown Elementary School, et al. In this case, a second-grader was denied permission to perform Awesome God at an after-school talent show due to the religious content of the song. The ACLU participated amicus curiae, defending the child’s right to sing her chosen song.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Belmar: Almost Christmas

According to an HNJJ friend, the Jersey Shore in winter is a special time, so we took a trip down there this weekend...

Here is Belmar's 4th Avenue beach early on Friday morning. There is plenty of parking and not much traffic.

If it hadn't been so cold...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Belmar = Ecological Education

Visiting Belmar this past summer proved to be not only fun, but educational.

Thanks to a series of Treasure Trail signs located throughout the town, tourists - well, everyone - can learn about the original shore, the dunes, the geology of Silver Lake, and Shark River's name, birds, and fish.

According to the Belmar website:
"...The Treasure Trail in Belmar is an interactive educational initiative developed in 2005 by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium/New Jersey Sea Grant (NJMSC/NJSG) in partnership with the Belmar Environmental Commission (BEC) and is meant to educate beachgoers about coastal ecosystems and beach dynamics in Belmar..."
Additionally, along the jetty where fishing takes place, there is a fishing line recycling container with information about the danger of carelessly discarded fishing line.
For more information about the Belmar Treasure Trail, go here.

The Belmar website also provides a link to Belmar: A Natural & Historical Treasure which also includes their Environmental Resources Inventory.

There is also an Educational Activities Supplement online, An Addendum to the Belmar Environmental Resources Inventory.

- by Susan Gulliford

Friday, December 9, 2011

2012 Environmental Steward Training Program

The Rutgers Environmental Steward Training Program is now accepting registration for the Class of 2012.

Classes are held on Tuesday mornings from January 10th into May, 2012. Past lectures have been presented by specialists in geology, soil, climate change,leadership, wildlife, health, mosquitoes, and the indoor environment,

Hillsborough residents are in a particularly advantageous position as the Central Jersey classes are held at our own Duke Farms.

For more information on the program go here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

RVSB Winter Concert

The size of the enthusiastic audience at Sunday's Raritan Valley Symphonic Band concert Musical War Horses and Holiday Classics illustrates that the RVSB has become better known and appreciated over the decades.

Additionally, a number of audience members took advantage of a new opportunity - a Pre-Concert Chat presented by RVSB Conductor Larry Markiewicz. During his half-hour multi-media presentation Mr. Markiewicz spoke about the music that was going to be presented during the afternoon's program, the composers, and the history behind both.

Also seen in this slideshow is the RVSB's interim Assistant Conductor Andrew Lawrence.

In Memoriam - Joe Morrison

The Raritan Valley Symphonic Band announced the establishment of the Joe Morrison Service Award in memory of Hillsborough's Joseph A. Morrison, Jr., who died on November 7th after a brief illness. Mr. Morrison served the RVSB for many years behind the scenes, he may have greeted you at the door of a concert, giving out programs and handling the donation box. His wife Audre is a charter band member.

The first honoree of this award is Joe Morrison.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

RVSB 2011 Holiday Concert

The Raritan Valley Symphonic Band presents it's 2011 holiday concert Musical "War Horses" and Holiday Classics this afternoon, December 4th, 3 p.m., at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.

A pre-concert presentation starting at 2:15 p.m.will help the audience further appreciate the music.

According to their press release:
The concert will feature a number of great concert hall classics including, “Festive Overture” by Soviet Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich; the first movement from Symphony in B Minor, “The Unfinished Symphony” by composer Franz Schubert; scenes from “The Louvre” based on Ancient Airs by composer Norman Dello Joio; John Philip Sousa’s “King Cotton” march and more widely familiar musical works.

A new feature will be added to this concert— Larry Markiewicz, RVSB Conductor, will be hosting a multimedia pre-concert chat about the music to be performed, with a focus on scenes from “The Louvre”. This free, informal session will be held in the choir room directly next to the auditorium, from 2:15-2:45pm and is open to the public.

There is no admission charge for the concert although donations are accepted. Additionally, as a fundraiser the RVSB "...will be selling ShopRite gift cards at this concert (cash/check only). This is a great way to support the RVSB. Just purchase the gift cards at face value ($20, $25, $50 or $100) and use them at any ShopRite. The band receives a percentage of all gift card purchases. ...".
For more information about RVSB go here.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

HTPB Application: Green Village

The Hillsborough Township Planning Board agenda for this evening's meeting includes a public hearing for an application for a major development on Route 206:
GREEN VILLAGE – File #11-PB-11-SR (previously referenced as 11-PB-11-MJFSR) – Block 141, Lot 30 – Route 206 North. (AMENDED Application) Applicant requesting Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan approval to develop the subject property containing 50.0016 acres with 469 apartments, of which 352 units will be market rate and 117 units will meet the Township’s affordable housing obligation. A clubhouse with recreational amenities, 20,000 sq. ft. of retail space and a 130 room extended stay executive suites hotel in the GV District. The Planner Report dated 09-19-11 finds the following ‘c’ Bulk Variances: tree removal (31% allowed: 75.44% proposed); encroachment into buffer area(Building #34) for currently proposed trash area; Sign Waiver; and Fence (height) Waiver. The Applicant is requesting an Economic Hardship Waiver for tree mitigation for property in the GV District (previous request for major preliminary and final subdivision has been withdrawn). (EC Review: 09-26-11)

This is one of three proposed projects involving Hillsborough's COAH requirements. The HNJJ last wrote about this proposal in February,2009 .

Here is the Power Point presentation that was made to Hillsborough Township by COAH consultant Jennifer Beahm on December 23, 2008 which includes information about this project.

This evening's agenda can be viewed here.

The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Municipal Courtroom.

- by Susan Gulliford