Monday, April 23, 2012

HHS Band Casino Night

Enjoy an evening of gambling without having to drive to Atlantic City while supporting the Hillsborough High School Band and Guard.

Live it up at The Hillsborough Band Parents Association Casino Night on Saturday, April 28th at the American Legion, 232 Union Avenue, Somerville, NJ.

Bring along that friend who is always boasting about his AC wins or the neighbor who wants to give blackjack a try.

The evening kicks off at 6 p.m. with a live Frank Sinatra tribute performance by Hillsborough's own Jonni Drue. For more information and a sample of Mr. Drue's music, go to his I'll Be Frank website. The games begin at 7 p.m.

The prizes include a trip to Disney World and an iPad 3. The impressive list of prizes - with something for everyone - can be viewed here.

The food and soft drinks are great and there is a cash bar available courtesy of the American Legion.

The $40 entrance fee includes $60 in chips. Purchase your tickets by April 25th and get an extra $20 in chips! You must be 21 and older to attend. To purchase tickets in advance, email

The proceeds go towards supporting the HHS Band and Guard programs.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Raritan Valley Symphonic Band Concert Sunday, April 22nd

The Raritan Valley Symphonic Band (RVSB) will present a concert titled Opera! on Sunday, April 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm in the Bridgewater-Raritan High School auditorium. The school is located at 600 Garretson Road, Bridgewater, New Jersey. Admission is free and open to the public.

The concert will feature musical works from 17th and 18th century Italian opera including, “Rienzi Overture” by Richard Wagner; “The Marriage of Figaro Overture” by W.A. Mozart; “The Prelude — To Act I of La Traviata” by G.Verdi; “Jasper’s Dance” from Pineapple Poll and many more.

The concert is made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission through the State/County Partnership Local Arts Program. The Band is sponsored by the Jointure for Community Adult Education and by contributions from local businesses, corporations, foundations and private citizens.

For more information about the concert, becoming a sponsor, to request assistance for persons with disabilities, or to inquire about joining the Band, consult the Band’s website or call (908)359-3136.
- RVSB Press Release

Friday, April 20, 2012

RoboRaiders' Pasta Dinner Saturday

The Hillsborough High School RoboRaiders robotic team is hosting a fundraiser all-you-can-eat pasta dinner and basket raffle tomorrow, Saturday, April 21st, at the Hillsborough Municipal Building from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The dinner includes salad, pasta, meatballs, bread, dessert, and beverage.

The cost is adults - $10, seniors - $7, and children under age 8 - $5. Take-out is available.

For more information regarding the RoboRaiders go here.
Photographs courtesy of George Mariasz and Susan Gulliford, taken at the 2009 dinner.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

HT BOE Candidates' Night 2012

The Hillsborough High School US Government and Politics Advanced Placement students hosted a forum for the five 2012 Board of Education candidates yesterday evening. The five candidates - Dana Boguszewski, Deena Centofanti, Aldo Martinez, Lorraine Soisson, and Allen Zdroik - are vying for the three open BOE seats in today's elections.

The students designed and ran the forum, which was divided into two parts. Part one included the candidates' opening statements, followed by five questions previously chosen by the students. The second half included questions submitted by audience members and candidates' closing statements.

First Half
The first five questions asked for the candidates' positions on the most pressing issues facing the schools, the budget, capitol improvements, the movement of BOE elections from April to November, and random drug and alcohol testing of students.

On the pressing issues question, the candidates mentioned variations on communication amongst students, taxpayers, parents and staff. There were mentions of anti-bullying, library hours, balancing the budget with the quality of education, facility repairs, class size, technology,and curriculum.

While all five candidates generally thought that the current budget was acceptable, Zdroik and Soisson thought that it could have gone closer to the cap. Martinez stated that he thought the budget balanced student needs and economic reality.

Regarding the half-million budgeted for capitol improvements, Soisson thought that amount was not a lot to keep up with the needs of the schools, Centofanti thought that teachers and staff could identify building problems, Martinez felt that capitol improvements can't wait and pointed out that each building was different, Boguszewski felt that the recommendations of the BOE Operations Committee should be used, and Zdroik mentioned planning ahead and looking into state incentives and matching funds.

On the movement of BOE elections from April to November (which Hillsborough did not do), Centofanti, Martinez, and Boguszewski agreed with keeping the April vote, while Zdroik and Soisson thought the November vote would have been better.

Four of the candidates did not have a concrete opinion on random drug testing, preferring to have more information with data on past effectiveness. Boguszewski and Centofanti felt that this was the parent's responsibility, not the schools.

The textbooks to etexts seemed to be generally accepted as necessary in the 21st century, but there were questions about the cost, access for all students, and alternatives.

Second Half
The audience-submitted questions covered paying for participating in extracurricular activities, the switch from textbooks to etexts, recruiting and retaining the best teachers, and a multi-part question regarding teacher evaluations, school vouchers/charter schools, and teacher tenure.

The question about paying for extracurricular activities seemed to elicit more questions than answers, about what activities, number of students participating, the impact, what amount, what about students who couldn't afford it, and number of activities per student. Zdroik mentioned that it could be seen as another tax.

Teacher recruiting included suggestions on pay, training, recognizing good staff, and attracting experienced teachers from other districts.

The final multi-part question elicited a "no charter schools" opinion from all the candidates. Regarding evaluations, all agreed that there had to be multi-part means as students learned differently and classes were different. Tenure brought various responses with Centofanti saying that we did need some goals and standards, Martinez felt it did provide some protection for teachers, Boguszewski thought it should be connected to updates and following goals, Zdroik thought there should be some means to adjust tenure if needed, and Soisson felt that there should be some means to assist teachers who may be having problems.

The Hillsborough Patch has candidate profiles available.

Disclaimer: The HNJJ crew has done their best to condense the evening's information from their notes.

Next year the forum should be held a little sooner than the day before the vote.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hillsborough Has Democrats?

Yes, believe-it-or-not there are Democrats in Hillsborough!

You can meet them tomorrow, Saturday, April 14th, at the Democrats 2012 Community Day Program from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

According to their press release:
Obama State Campaign Director Jackie Cornell-Bechelli will kick the event off with an update on the Presidential campaign at 10:15 a.m. Attendees will also have the opportunity to view the film,“Road We’ve Traveled” – the newly released 17 minute documentary that highlights President Obama’s first term accomplishments. The film will run every half hour and is a “must see” for anyone who missed the preview.

“...We have a wealth of information to share with our residents who come out for Community Day, and believe they will be encouraged to do more to obtain Democratic success in the 2012 elections” declared Michael Goldberg, Chairman, Hillsborough Democratic Organization.

The event will also feature an important issues forum that will take place between 1PM – 3PM with panel discussions on Women’s Health, Public Education & Legislative Updates and Voter Rights, Suppression and Lawsuits. Residents will also be encouraged to give their input on a Poll about Hillsborough."
The free program is being held at the Hillsborough Point Clubhouse on Render Drive [off Raider Blvd. on the East side of Route 206].
For more information go to the Hillsborough Democratic Alliance website. The Program and full schedule may be viewed here.