Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday Activities

The Raritan Valley Symphonic Band and the Raritan Valley Choral Society are both presenting their holiday/winter concerts tomorrow, Sunday, at 3 p.m.

The Band is presenting its Winter Wonderland Concert in the Bridgewater-Raritan High School auditorium, 600 Garretson Road, Bridgewater with John Pastin as the guest conductor. The program will include classic and holiday numbers. Admission is free although donations are accepted. For more information, go here.

The Choral Society holiday concert "A Season to Celebrate" is being held at the Hillsborough Reformed Church at Main Street and Amwell Road in Millstone Borough. Their guest performers will be the Summit Strings and the Riverside Quartet. Admission is $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and seniors. For their website go here.

From the Hillsborough Township Website:

The Chabad Center for Jewish Life is holding its annual Chanukah Wonderland and Grand Menorah Lighting at the Hillsborough Municipal Complex on Sunday, December 13th from 3pm-5pm. There will be a celebration prior to the lighting of the menorah in the Multipurpose Room.

The free event, open to the public, will feature live music, crafts, latkes and doughnuts, chocolate gelt, face painting, draidels for all participants and lots more. Residents are asked to bring canned goods to be donated to the food pantry.

For more information go here.

Three events that I would like to attend...all being held at the same time. When it rains it pours.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Raider Marching Band Competition

Today's Raider Marching Band 16th Annual Marching Band Festival was for everyone who has ever been a member of a high school band or sat through the first half of a high school or college football game in order to see the half-time show or thought that the best part of any home-town parade was the bands playing a Sousa march or the National Anthem.

This celebration of marching bands is for the audience that appreciates the student musicians who spend years learning to read music, learning to play an instrument, learning to play that instrument with other musicians, learning to march together with the other musicians while playing music that they have probably memorized, and learning the choreography for the show.

Adding to all the excitement are the Colorguards - those students out there on the field coordinating their flags, swords, ribbons, and sabers with the band music while enhancing the musical themes.

And we can't forget the "roadies" - usually known as band parents - that work with each band to design, build, and move around the sets and coordinate each band for a smooth show.

The sportsmanship exhibited at the show by all the band members and their friends and relatives is stupendous. Those attending who can really appreciate the work involved, show unwavering support for each band, from the smallest schools to those powerhouse bands with seemingly unlimited resources.

Congratulations to all!

The photographs of the Hillsborough High School Raider Marching Band 16th Annual Marching Band Festival are by Susan Gulliford and George Mariasz. Due to the large number of great pictures and the number of competitors, the photos have been divided into four sections.

Pictures of the first half of the competition, which included high school bands from Bernards, Carteret, Manalapan, Franklin, Union, South Plainfield, Northern Burlington, Montgomery, Somerville, and Mount Olive, can be found here.

Pictures of many of the Band Parents can be found here.

Pictures of the second half of the competition, including high school bands from New Providence, North Penn, ScotchPlains-Fanwood, Hunterdon Central, Immaculata, John P. Stevens, South Brunswick, and Hillsborough, can be found here.

Pictures of the Rutgers University Marching Band and the Awards Ceremony can be found here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Millstone 2009 Rochambeau Encampment Celebration

Historic Millstone Borough, which is surrounded on three sides by Hillsborough Township, held its annual celebration of the 1781 Rochambeau Army encampment in Millstone (which was then known as Somerset Court House).

The activities started at 10 a.m. at Hillsborough Reformed Church cemetery with a rifle salute and a wreath-laying on a Revolutionary Soldier's grave:

Dutch dancing in front of the church honored many of the original settlers of the area:

The parade through town included Millstone's residents:

There was a picnic at Borough Hall:

Storyteller Lawrence Walker made an historic presentation:

The Fifes and Drums of Trenton's Old Barracks provided music throughout the day, historic sites such as the Old Forge Blacksmith Shop were open, and Watercolorists Unlimited held an exhibition.

According to the Millstone Borough website, this encampment was part of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route.
For more photographs of the festivities by Susan Gulliford and George Mariasz
click here.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Woodstock Confession

This month is the fortieth anniversary of the Woodstock Festival in New York and I’m here to confess that I have discovered, as the decades have passed, that I am apparently the only teenager who lived in the tri-state area at the time who didn’t attend.

But I almost did.

Forty years ago I got a call from Walter, a college friend who lived near Philadelphia, telling me that he had tickets to a concert in Woodstock, NY, and would I like to go with him. I checked with my parents – we still did that in those days - and accepted his invitation.

The next morning I got up early and had breakfast with my parents before they left for work. About an hour later my mother called the house and [another quaint practice] you just didn’t make personal calls while you were at work unless there was a Really Major Emergency.

“You can’t go to that concert.”

“Huh? But, Mom, Walter is already on his way here and you said yes.”

“Well, I got into work and ran into Irene. She was telling me that her mother called her upset with something happening near her home in New York. She said that there were hippies and drugs and…other stuff. It’s the concert that you were going to go to and now you’re not.”

I don’t remember too much after that. Walter must have arrived, but I don’t remember telling him I couldn’t go or his reaction. Knowing Walter, he probably wasn’t too upset – he was a laid-back guy and my house was pretty much on the way to the concert. Later, back at school in September, I don’t remember him telling me about Woodstock or even mentioning it.

This month maybe Walter is out there telling his Woodstock story to the local paper or to the local high school’s history classes. And maybe he’s including the story of his friend who was supposed to go with him.

Or not.

Looking back at what ultimately happened at Woodstock, I can’t say that I would have really enjoyed myself. I liked indoor plumbing, a comfortable bed, heating, and air-conditioning. I came in out of the rain. Yeah, it was probably better that I was the only teenager who didn’t go to Woodstock.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

An Eventful Day

Today at our house there were two events of note: there was no rain and we finally harvested our first ripe tomato.

Readers not from the Central Jersey area should understand that usually local gardeners vie for the first tomatoes of the season around July Fourth. Someone will proudly present The Ripe Tomato at an Independence Day picnic while tossing off the comment, "Well, I just picked this from the garden as we were leaving. I figured you might want to slice it on some of the burgers."

Of course, at this point the other gardeners are supposed to admire The Tomato (no matter how grudgingly) before it is sliced.

But this year, with all the cool wet weather, the tomatoes are really late - if they exist at all.

So I am proud to announce that today we picked one ripe Sweet One Hundred Cherry tomato (about one-inch across), cut it in half, and savored it.

As for the weather report, suffice it to say that in order to get to the tomato plants I have put down extra compost along the vegetable garden paths so I don't sink into or slip on the mud.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Hillsborough resident Genevieve Rausch was honored at this evening's Township Committee meeting for her service in the Women's Air Force Service Pilots (WASP)during World War II.

Mayor Frank DelCore presented Ms. Rausch with a proclamation recognizing her contribution to the nation and for making history as one of the first United States Army's female pilots. According to the proclamation, Ms. Rausch flew as a WASP pilot, met Amelia Earhart, and, following the war, was one of the first female aviation writers for "Skyways" magazine where she flew civilian aircraft and reviewed their performance.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hillsborough Rotary Fair

The Hillsborough Rotary Fair is being held this week at the field next to Lowes on Route 206.

Go enjoy a great evening out: family oriented, not terribly expensive, activities for all ages, and food.

Now if the weather would just cooperate...

For more photographs of the fair - taken on Monday evening by Susan Gulliford and George Mariasz - go here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

An Actual Sunset

After the recent rainy June, I was moved to photograph an actual Sunset:

For HNJJ readers not from this area, these pictures also show that Central Jersey has fields, trees, and, in the distance, the Sourland Mountains.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pheasant's Landing Application Before BOA

The Hillsborough Township Board of Adjustment agenda for July 15 includes applicant Jon-Cin Holding of Hillsborough, LLC.

According to the file, the applicant is applying for approval to "construct a banquet facility in the place of an already existing restaurant" at 311 Amwell Road -currently Pheasant's Landing. The proposed new facility would include a new banquet room, new banquet hall, bridal suite, kitchen extension, porte cochere, terrace, veranda, and 47 additional parking spaces.

Pheasant's Landing Restaurant, Pub & Catering is located on a 7.5144-acre lot at the intersection of Amwell Road and Willow Road

The proposed exterior:
For more information on Pheasant's Landing, including their menu, go here.

To view the Hillsborough Township Board of Adjustment July 15 agenda, go here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Woods Road 4th Annual BBQ Cook-off

Despite yesterday's rain, the 4th Annual No Fire - Just Smoke Central Jersey Firemen's BBQ Cook-off was held at the Woods Road Firehouse with a local team taking top honors.

Hillsborough's Max Que team with Chief Cooks Steve and Dee Polson walked away with the best overall score and first place in the chicken category and third in ribs:
Ribs Within, another Hillsborough team headed by Chief Cook Doug Keiles placed first in Chef's Choice:
From across the river in Franklin Park, Minick's Barbeque took first in the ribs category:

Sometimes what it all comes down to is this: Its a firehouse and has fire engines and the kids want to see them even in the rain...

To enjoy pictures of the event taken by Susan Gulliford and George Mariasz, go here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

RVSB Pops Concert

The Raritan Valley Symphonic Band's Pops Concert is tomorrow evening (Friday, June 5th) at 8 p.m. at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.

The RVSB concerts are fun, family-oriented, admission-free, and educational.

I just wish they were still at Hillsborough High School...
For more information about the Raritan Valley Symphonic Band, go here.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Route 206 and Raider Boulevard...Again

Interstate Development Corporation has filed an amended site plan with the Board of Adjustment requesting changes to its approved site plan for the Walgreens Drug Store and strip mall currently under construction at the corner of Route 206 and Raider Boulevard.

The amendments requested include the elimination of the “Gateway Plaza," a small landscaped corner plaza that was to include such amenities as a bike rack, pedestrian walkways,and benches. Interstate's amendments propose the park-like area be changed to a lawn and some deciduous trees.

The applicant also wishes to add a new median break onto Raider Boulevard near the current opening at Greenfield Lane. The median currently contains mature trees.

Additionally, the historic Carriage House on Route 206 would not be renovated under the amended plans, but only painted and reinforced.

Further, Interstate wants to eliminate the board-on-board fence on the northern property line that was to buffer the neighboring lot, reduce the number of trees to be planted on the Royce Brook berm, and eliminate the westernmost driveway onto Raider Boulevard.

They also wish to make some sidewalk changes, keeping the existing 4-foot-wide sidewalk on Raider Boulevard (originally to be widened to 6-feet to accommodate bicycles) and relocating the sidewalk on Route 206 to avoid existing utility poles.

Interstate is scheduled on the Board of Adjustment agenda for Wednesday, June 3rd.

Yesterday a local headline read "Major drugstore chain Walgreens extending its presence in area." The article includes this quote: "...According to the corporate Web site, the Walgreens Company, based in Deerfield, Ill., opens 425 new stores each year and anticipates operating 7,000 stores nationwide by 2010..."

Walgreens (NYSE: WAG)(NASDAQ: WAG) had May sales of $5,370,200,000, an increase of 6.1 percent from $5,060,627,000 for the same month in 2008. Sales in comparable stores (those open at least a year) increased 1.0 percent. Comparable store front-end sales increased 0.2 percent versus last year’s increase of 6.0 percent.

In July,2007 Interstate Development (the developer for the local Walgreens-to-be), filed an "Economic Hardship Waiver from the Provisions of the Tree Mitigation Ordinance" in which they asked for a "...reduction of fees from $145,275.00 to $0.00..." The relief granted was a reduction from $145,275.00 to $3,250.00.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day Photographs

Please take a few minutes to enjoy these pictures of yesterday's Memorial Day activities in Hillsborough. The photographs, taken by Susan Gulliford and George Mariasz, were downsized for online viewing.

For pictures of the Salute to Veterans Breakfast go here.

For pictures of the Parade, go here.

For pictures of the Ceremony, go here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hillsborough Honors Viet Nam Vets

This year Hillsborough Township's Memorial Day Salute to Veteran's Annual Breakfast is honoring the Viet Nam veterans, so I am reprinting "Thoughts on a Veteran" which I originally posted on November 11, 2007:

As it is Veteran’s Day I started thinking about a friend from high school who enlisted in the army just after he graduated.

He showed up late one evening at my parent’s house where I was home on break from college. He had been drinking and asked if I would go for a walk with him. We walked up the road to a little macadam path that turned off the road and sat on a log on the side of the path and as we sat there he started to cry; he had just gotten his orders for Viet Nam.

I put my arm around his shoulders and let him cry it out.

Later he apologized for drinking before coming over and said he had eaten an onion bagel on the way over to my parents to try to hide the smell of the alcohol. He didn’t want my parents to think badly of him for drinking.

I just wanted to tell you about him. It seemed important.

After I posted this I had readers ask if my friend returned from Viet Nam. As far as I heard, he came back. His parents moved and then my parents moved, so we lost contact and I haven't been able to track him down.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On Your Mark...

Sunday morning the Steeplechase Spring Classic foot races were held in Hillsborough starting at Amsterdam School...
It was a great day for running, cool with a few spritzes of rain...
This was a fundraiser for the Steeplechase Cancer Center at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, NJ.


For more photgrqaphs of the race, taken by Susan Gulliford, go here.

For the results of the Steeplechase 25K Run go here.

For the results of the Steeplechase 5K Run go here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Raritan Valley Chorale Concert

Sunday afternoon was cool and damp, a perfect day to attend the Raritan Valley Chorale concert - With a Voice of Singing - at historic Hillsborough Reformed Church in Millstone.

The concert included a performance by the Hillsborough Reformed Church Handbell Choir.
More photographs of Sunday's concert, taken by Susan Gulliford and George Mariasz, may be viewed here.

For future performances or more information about the Raritan Valley Chorale go here.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Monster Truck Country?

Hillsborough Township and Central New Jersey don't give one the perception that there are a lot of monster truck fans. Oh, there are a few kids around with pickups with illegally-oversized tires, but I'm talking about the legitimate Monster Trucks like Big Foot who visited Hillsborough over the weekend.

Yep, we were driving down Amwell Road and saw the Woods Road ladder truck on display at Amwell Auto and Tire...
so we pulled into the lot and there was Big Foot and his/her driver, a real fire truck and firefighters, free hot dogs and basketballs, a few local antique cars, radio station WPST, and a whole lot of local monster truck enthusiasts.

For more photographs by Susan Gulliford of Big Foot's visit, go here.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Rotary Club Yard Sale

The Rotary Club Yard Sale was held this morning. Great bargains and a lot of choices...

And the Rotary members work so incredibly hard...

Additional photographs of the sale, taken by Susan Gulliford, may be viewed here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hillsborough Arts

The Hillsborough Cultural and Arts Commission presented its 4th Annual Art Exhibition on May 14, 2009 at the Municipal Complex.

The township's Public Art Collection inaugural piece was unveiled: a painting of Assemblyman Peter Biondi by local artist Kevin Murphy.

Artists of all ages were honored.

Although I am a fair photographer, the best I can produce while drawing is one step up from stick figures, my perspective can best be described as shaky, and my colors are, uhm, creative.

Additional photographs of this event, taken by Susan Gulliford, may be viewed here.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wilson's Motorcycle Benefit

Hundreds of motorcycles roared into Hillsborough Township on Sunday April 5th for a motorcycle ride and picnic benefiting Wilson's 10-33 Foundation, Inc..

The Foundation was founded to benefit Officer Dave Wilson who is battling Leukemia. Wilson was able to attend the ride:

For more pictures of the motorcycle ride by Susan Gulliford go here. Due to the number of photographs, they have been reduced in size to view online.

The Hillsborough PBA Local 205 website is here.

Friday, May 8, 2009

HEBDC 12th Business Social

The Hillsborough Economic and Business Development Commission's 12th Business Social, held on April 20th at The Children's Workshop, presented another successful networking opportunity for township business people.

HT Business Advocate Gene Strupinsky

Despite the rainy weather, limited parking, and crowded venue, those who attended received valuable business information and the chance to interact with other local businesses, politicians, and organizations.

Four local businesses were presented with plaques: Norz Hill Farm, Glen-Gery Corporation, Angelo's Pizzeria and Restaurant, and The Children's Workshop.

Thanks to Mr. Valcheck for providing bus service to those who parked down the road on that rainy night:
Photographs of the social, taken by Susan Gulliford, may be viewed here. Due to the number of pictures, they have been reduced in size to view online.

For more information about the HEBDC go to their website.