Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ethnoarchaeology and Your House

Do you have room in your garage for your car?  How many of your neighbors use their garages?

How many items do you have displayed on your refrigerator?  There is a correlation between that number and the "number of objects per square foot in the house as a whole."

How much food do you have stored? How often does the family eat together?  By the way, families using pre-packaged foods take 26 minutes to prepare a meal while from scratch takes 38 minutes.

How often does anyone use the yard?  For many families the time spent in the yard - even with swings, decks, outdoor furniture - is zero.

How many family photos hang on the walls and in which rooms?  How many Barbies, books, TVs, etc.?  Sports memorabilia?  Religious items?

How do your answers compare with other American families?

After reading this picture-rich book Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century - 32 Families Open Their Doors, you will never look at your home - or anyone elses' - in the same way.

This engrossing book is based on a study done by the Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF) at UCLA using ethnoarchaeology: "... the scientific study of societal groups, esp. for understanding the behavioral relationships which underlie the production of material culture...".  Thirty-two California families opened their homes for a thorough research project researching not only what they had in their homes, but how they lived - how they used their possessions.  Applying ethnoarchaeology to modern homes and families produces a type of modern archaeology.

According to this book, Americans currently have the "most possessions per family in global history."  Not only will you compare your family to those in the study, but you will take a second look at all the possessions you have and wonder why you have them.

The only drawback?  The study centered on middle-class families with two working parents and two-to-three children one of whom is 7-to-12-years-old, making it hard to compare your family if you don't fit into these demographics. 

The Hillsborough Public Library has a copy of this book and it isn't often that you read a book that actually makes a difference in the way you live your life.

Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century - 32 Families Open  Their Doors, by Arnold, Graesch, Raggazzini, and Ochs. (2012).

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fire Company Fish Dinner Today

From the Woods Road Fire Company - HVFC#3:

Hillsborough Fire Company #3 will be holding its annual fish fry buffet on Friday February 22 from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Buffet menu includes baked tilapia, fried cod, fried clams, fried shrimp, chicken fingers, pierogies, vegetable medley, french fries, rice, home made cole slaw, salad, desserts, coffee, tea, and cold drinks.

•Adults - $12
•Senior Citizens (60 and up) - $11
•Children (5 to 12) - $9
•Children 4 and under free
Tickets will be sold at the door.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Duke Farms Eagle Cam 2013

The Duke Farms' eagles are back and so is the Eagle Cam!

Fans of the American Bald Eagle pair in Hillsborough can get their fix once again as Duke Farms has replaced its Eagle Cam and is back on the air.

Rumor has it that there was at least one egg in the nest as of last week, but unfortunately the new camera angle does not allow a view down into the nest the way that the old one did. Maybe that can be corrected when this year's eaglets are banded.

Just to hold over the peeping Toms, here are the 2012 eaglets...
Additionally, Duke Farms hosts the Duke Brook Habitat cam, overlooking a shallow pool below a spillway on the property...

Live video for mobile from Ustream

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Vote Today on Fire Budget and Two Commissioners

Today Hillsborough Township voters choose two fire commissioners and decide whether to approve or disapprove the 2013 Fire Budget.

Three firefighters are running for two seats on the Board of Fire Commissioners: incumbent Matthew DeCicco, Charles Nuara, and John Catrombon, Jr.  For more information about the three candidates, go to this Hillsborough Beacon article.

The fire district budget, covering salaries and benefits, insurance, and equipment, is $2.1 million with $1,706,673 from local property taxes.  For more information about the budget, go to this Hillsborough Beacon article.

Voting runs from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hillsborough Municipal Building, 379 South Branch Road.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

From Miss Rose...

...and Foxie (who swears that Miss Rose told her there would be a treat in the candy box)...
Click on this Valentine's puzzle to go to the Jigzone
to mix it up and solve it...
Click to Mix and Solve

Monday, February 11, 2013

Duke Farms in the Snow

The cross-country skiers have found the new Duke Farms... have the photographers...
Visitors have also been spotted on snow shoes, but no sledders reported. That hill in front of "the mansion that was never built" would be an awesome sled run! Unfortunately you would have to carry in your sled.

Duke Farms has also introduced a Geotrail with 11 caches.

And you can post your Duke Farms photographs on flickr.
Remember they are closed to the public on Wednesdays.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Operation Shoebox NJ Saturday

From an Operation Shoebox NJ press release:MANVILLE - Volunteers are invited to join Operation Shoebox New Jersey pack care packages for US troops overseas and commemorate the organization’s 8th anniversary on Saturday, Feb. 9.

The packing will be at the Kavanaugh VFW Post #2290, 600 Washington Ave., Manville, with registration at 11 a.m., followed by opening ceremonies. Packing begins at 11:30 a.m. A light lunch will be provided.

Soldiers and Marines who received packages from OPSHBX NJ gift packages during their deployments are expected to attend and extend their thanks to the volunteers.

Volunteer packers are encouraged to donate personal care items for shipment, including snacks and toiletries. Check the shopping list on our website and bring along a bag of needed items.

The packages sent overseas will include a box of Girl Scout cookies donated by troops in the Heart of New Jersey Council; bagged candy collected from 15 Walgreen stores donated by shoppers; cans of tuna, cans of fruit, trail mix, beef jerky, gum, candy, granola bars, powdered drink mixes, coffee, tea, oatmeal, hot chocolate, toothpaste, tooth brushes, ear swabs, moist wipes, sun block, eye drops, soap, shampoo, socks, stationary, envelopes, pens, batteries and other items.

Volunteers will also have the opportunity to sit down and write a short letter to the troops; all cards and letters will be inserted into the boxes. We'll also add stuffed animals and other gift items for the troops to hand out to young Iraqi and Afghan children.

Since its founding in February, 2005, OPSHBX NJ volunteers have shipped over 61,000 personal care packages overseas. Financial support is also needed to help pay the costs of shipping the packages. All donations are tax deductible. Volunteers are asked to sign up in advance on the OPSHBX NJ website.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sourland Mountain Preserve Expands

From a Somerset County press release:
HILLSBOROUGH & MONTGOMERY – In the final week of 2012, Somerset County completed the acquisition of more than 250 acres from Carrier Clinic Inc. in the southern part of the county.

The Carrier property acquired by the county consists of 256.5 acres of wooded and agricultural land located at the base of the Sourland Mountain in Hillsborough and Montgomery townships along East Mountain Road and County Route 601.

“This acquisition is a great addition to the county’s growing Sourland Mountain Preserve,” said Freeholder Director Peter S. Palmer. “The county’s commitment to preserving the Sourland Mountain has made it the largest park area in the county’s park system.”

“The preservation of the Carrier Clinic property continues the county’s goal of preserving the environmentally significant Sourland region,” said Freeholder Mark Caliguire, liaison to the county’s Open Space Advisory Committee. “In addition to helping to protect the region, the acquisition of this property will maintain the unobstructed views across the open fields to the Sourland Mountain.”

“Through the sale of Carrier Clinic acreage to Somerset County for open space, Carrier has been able to continue the legacy of the surrounding grounds remaining a place of serenity and relaxation,” said Carrier Clinic Chief Financial Officer Randy Jacobson. “Additionally, the proceeds will enable Carrier Clinic to continue its 103-year mission in serving the behavioral health needs of thousands of residents within our Somerset community and beyond.”

A 2,500-foot section of a Pike Run tributary traverses the northern boundary of the property, providing water to the Delaware & Raritan Canal. The acquisition represents a substantial expansion of the Sourland Mountain Preserve, which provides both critical habitat and watershed protection to the Sourland Mountain region.

The acreage of the Carrier property will increase the total area of the Sourland Mountain Preserve to just over 5,450 acres. The property will be limited to passive recreational uses such as trails and bird watching.

The Carrier property made up the bulk of the 302 acres added to the county’s open space holdings in 2012. Total parkland as of the end of the year was 13,302 acres.
For more information about the Sourland Mountain Preserve, start with the Sourland Planning Council website.

Monday, February 4, 2013

HNJJ's Two Trees

Following October's Hurricane Sandy, the ensuing Nor'easter snowstorm, and last week's wind, it was comforting to drive over to the field where the two trees stand and find them still there...
It would have been easy to spend time mourning the large limb that had broken off and was laying on the farmer's access lane, but it is much more satisfying and productive to celebrate what is still standing...
Photographs courtesy of Susan Gulliford who notes that almost every local art show includes a sketch or painting or photograph of these two old companions who apparently inspire other residents.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

RVSB 2013 Children's Concert: Heroes and Villains

From the RVSB website:
Bridgewater, NJ, February 3, 2013— The Raritan Valley Symphonic Band (RVSB) will present its annual children’s concert Sunday February 3, 2013 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.

This concert is a great opportunity for children to learn to recognize musical instruments, while sharing a cultural performance with parents. Under the musical direction of Jennifer Eidel, RVSB Assistant Conductor, children will listen to music from popular kid’s movies like The Incredibles, Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter. The band will also perform “Symphonic Marches” by John Williams and “Armed Forces Salute” arranged by Bob Lowden.

A musical instrument “petting zoo” will follow the 45 minute concert. This demonstration of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments will be given by members of the band and will take place in the lobby of the auditorium.

Every detail of the RVSB Children's Concert series is designed to appeal to the younger set, while still providing a fun musical experience for the adults.

The band members dress in a less formal manner, audience participation is encouraged, the music is familiar to the children, and the concert is less than an hour - short enough to keep the attention of the most wiggly audience member.

Save time for the after-concert "instrument petting zoo". Members of the band show-off their instruments to the children who collect stickers as they make the rounds.

The concert is held at Bridgewater-Raritan High School, 600 Garretson Road, Bridgewater, NJ 08807. Donations are accepted.

HHS Winterguard Competition 2013

The Hillsborough High School Winterguard is hosting 32 units at today's 13th Annual Winterguard Homeshow starting at 4:30 p.m. at Hillsborough High School.

Bridgewater Raritan High School, shown here performing at the HHS Winterguard Dinner in January, is one of the participating competitors...
According to the preliminary schedule, the two Hillsborough High School units will perform starting at 9:44 p.m. and BRHS at about 8:30 p.m.

Food is available for purchase. Spectators can come any time during the show for an entrance fee of $10, students and seniors $7.
Photographs courtesy of Susan Gulliford and George Mariasz.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Copart in the News

Today's Times of Trenton had an interesting story about Copart, a vehicle salvage business, that is currently having a dispute with Mansfield Township (Burlington County) officials.

Apparently Copart leased 22-acres from Vanco, a trucking and trailer company located in Mansfield Township, and, according to the article, "... Over the last two months, thousands of cars have appeared — sometimes in the middle of the night — turning the open space into a massive junkyard and breaking local zoning laws, Mansfield officials said." A NJDEP report says that there are approximately 2,400 vehicles onsite.

Why does the HNJJ find this interesting?

In December, 2012, there was a fire at Hercules Enterprises, a company specializing in custom truck chassis and trailers, on Valley Road. According to a December 3, 2012, article "... Officers found about 20 vehicles actively burning in the southeast corner of an expansive staging area on the industrial property where hundreds of salvaged cars were parked, police said. ...The property is leased by the Copart Salvage Auction company on Camplain Road in Hillsborough for storage of its vehicles, police said."

Vanco is scheduled to appear before the Mansfield Township Zoning Board on Monday to get permission to store the vehicles for up to 18-months. It would sure be an interesting meeting for Hillsborough officials.

Copart of Connecticut, Inc., appeared before the Hillsborough Township Planning Board on January 6, 2011. According to the agenda..
COPART of Connecticut, Inc. – File #10-PB-13-SRV – Block 73.01, Lot 1 – 2124 Camplain Road. Applicant seeking preliminary and final major site plan approval with ‘c’ bulk variance from maximum impervious coverage and waivers to construct an on-site detention basin, staging area for vehicle deliveries, frontage landscaping and driveway access improvements. The Applicant is proposing to use this property in the I-1 District as an internet vehicle processing facility.