Monday, December 31, 2012

GOODBYE 2012 - A VIDEO TRIBUTE

Our tribute to Maplewood in 2012.

See if you can match the news story to the image.

video

GAS STATION DISTURBANCE

...Scanner refers to "screaming match" at gas station at Valley and Oakland...at least five people..cops responding

MAPLEWOOD LEAFLET ONLINE

The winter Maplewood Leaflet is online.

Check it out for great info on our town's programs, including this home repair assistance money below:

DOES YOUR HOME NEED REPAIRS? HOUSING REPAIR FUNDS AVAILABLE FROM TOWNSHIP 
The Maplewood Affordable Housing Program (MAHP) assists low and moderate income owner-occupants of single- and multi-family dwellings in the Township with eligible repairs or replacement of major systems including roof, electrical safety upgrades, heating, plumbing, sanitary plumbing, weatherization (energy efficient windows, insulation, etc) and/or structural repairs. Assistance is provided in the form of a ten-year, interest free, forgivable loan up to $20,000 per dwelling unit. There is no monthly payment. There is no cost to apply and it does not affect your credit score. 

Mayor DeLuca explains that, “More than 36 homes have already benefitted from program funding. CGP&H administers this program for the Township, and I encourage anyone who thinks they may be eligible to learn more about this program.” CGP&H’s professional inspectors work with program participants to identify needed repairs and to monitor construction completion. Homeowners should go to www.cgph.net for more program information including income guidelines. If you have additional questions and to get placed in the program waiting list, contact maryalice@cgph.net or call Mary Alice at 609-371-1968. The maximum allowable income ranges from $50,072 for a one-person household to $94,422 for an eight-person household. Your financial information is kept confidential. Funds are provided on a first-come first–served basis until all funds are expended. Contact CGP&H for rental properties terms. 

TOWN HALL NEW YEAR'S EARLY CLOSING TODAY, MEETING TOMORROW

Town Hall closing today at 12:15 p.m. for the New Year's Eve holiday and all day Tuesday.

Reminder, tomorrow's annual Township Committee first reorganization meeting of the year is set for Noon, show up and see Mayor Vic De Luca sworn in again a mayor and TC members Jerry Ryan and Kathy Leventhal sworn in to new three year terms.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

MAPLEWOODIAN'S FOUR-YEAR ANNIVERSARY

It has been four years since Maplewoodian.com first signed on, and we thank all of our supporters for their help.

As you may know, I took up with this effort to offer information, opinion and my rants in the wake of the resignation of former Mayor Ken Pettis in late 2008, which I did not believe was properly covered in other news outlets.

Since then, we have received great cooperation and support from township officials, police and fire and other readers and residents. 

I give credit also to MOL and Jamie Ross, with whom I have had ups and downs, for his support. He remains the grandfather of Maplewood web sites and a valid source for chat, even if it sometimes goes off the edge.

I will seek to keep putting up information that PATCH and the News-Record doesn't want to or cannot provide.

I also continue to seek your help with tips and information that you come across that others should know. Send anything to joestrupp@yahoo.com and keep following me on Twitter via @maplewoodian.

Thanks, Joe

CAR CRASHES INTO HOUSE

Great coverage from PATCH on the car that ran into a house on Lexington Ave. near Rutgers early Saturday.

See HERE and below




Saturday, December 29, 2012

FIRST SNOW ACCIDENT, DRIVE SAFE

First snow-related accident. 

At Ridgewood Road and Virginia Road, stay clear of the area and drive safe.

Follow the snow at our weather banner above

MAPLEWOOD HISTORY LESSON

Our friend local real estate man Mark Slade posted a great history of Maplewood on his site this week.

Check it out HERE.

One tid bit from his story:

Maplewood was originally formed as South Orange Township, which was created on April 1, 1861, from portions of Clinton Township and what was then the Town of Orange. The name of the township was changed to Maplewood on November 7, 1922.[16]

When the Morris and Essex Railroad from Newark was extended to the area in 1838, a land speculator by the name of John Shedden built a railroad station in Jefferson Village and named it Maplewood. This name came to comprise areas known as Hilton, Jefferson Village, and areas previously part of Springfield. In 1868, farms were divided into parcels for residential housing. 



TC SWEARING-INS TUESDAY

Mayor Vic De Luca will be sworn in to his fourth straight term as mayor on Tuesday during the Township Committee's annual reorganization meeting at Noon in Town Hall.

Also being sworn in to new three-year terms are TC Members Kathy Leventhal and Jerry Ryan, both of whom won re-election last November.

Friday, December 28, 2012

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY - SNOW COMING SATURDAY



Issued today from the National 
Weather Service

.. WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM SATURDAY TO 6 AM EST SUNDAY...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN UPTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW... WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM SATURDAY TO 6 AM EST SUNDAY.
* LOCATIONS... THE LOWER HUDSON VALLEY OF NEW YORK... SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT AND NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY.
* HAZARD TYPES... SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS... SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 3 TO 5 INCHES... WITH A FEW SPOTS POSSIBLY EXCEEDING 6 INCHES... ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE LOWER HUDSON VALLEY AND INTERIOR SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT.
* TEMPERATURES... IN THE UPPER 20S TO AROUND 30.
* VISIBILITIES... ONE QUARTER TO ONE HALF MILE AT TIMES.
* TIMING... SNOW BEGINS IN THE MORNING... AND CONTINUES THROUGH THE AFTERNOON BEFORE TAPERING OFF SATURDAY NIGHT.
* IMPACTS... MODERATE SNOW WILL MAKE FOR DANGEROUS TRAVEL DURING THE AFTERNOON AND INTO THE NIGHT.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW... SLEET... OR FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES... AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

BANK ROBBERY SUSPECT PHOTO RELEASED

Police on Friday released this photo of the alleged suspect in last Saturday's Maplewood Village Bank of America armed robbery.



More info on the incident and police requests for help are also below:

On 12/22/2012, at 1043 AM, the Maplewood Police Department received a call from the Bank of America, located at 161 Maplewood Ave. The caller reported that the bank had just been robbed.  Maplewood officers and detectives responded and secured the building.Upon speaking with the employees, it was learned that a male reportedly approached the teller, passed her a note reporting that he had a gun.The note also instructed the teller to place the money from her drawer into a small plastic bag that he had handed to her. 

The teller placed the money from her drawer into the bag.  The male then took the bag and proceeded to walk out of the bank.  At this time, the teller informed a co-worker that she was robbed of approximately 1100.00 dollars and called 911.     

The suspect was described as a black male six feet tall with a thin build and a moustache.  He was about 25-30 years old and was wearing a gray sweat suit and a gray and red baseball hat with the word cougars on it.  Anyone who recognizes this subject should contact the Maplewood Police Department at 973-762-3400.          

NEW BUSINESSES OUTNUMBER CLOSINGS IN 2012

PATCH points out that a lot of new businesses opened up in town in 2012 and few closed.

Their list:


OPENED

CLOSED

Thursday, December 27, 2012

ADULT BASKETBALL REGISTRATION OPENS

This from the township Rec. Dept. today:


MAPLEWOOD RECREATION DEPARTMENT IS STILL ACCEPTING INDIVIDUALS AND TEAMS FOR THE OVER 30 ADULT BASKETBALL LEAGUE. 

THE LEAGUE CURRENTLY HAS 4 TEAMS REGISTERED AND IS LOOKING TO HAVE TWO MORE TEAMS JOIN FOR THIS UPCOMING SEASON. REGISTRATION IS OPEN TO ALL RESIDENTS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE MAPLEWOOD SOUTH ORANGE COMMUNITY. ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST BE OVER 30 YEARS OLD. THE FEE FOR REGISTRATION IS $125 FOR INDIVIDUAL, OR IF YOU CHOOSE TO REGISTER AS A TEAM THE TEAM FEE IS $1000. REGISTRATION AND PAYMENTS MUST BE MADE IN PERSON AT THE RECREATION OFFICE AT 574 VALLEY STREET. GAMES ARE PLAYED ON WEDNESDAY EVENINGS BETWEEN THE TIME OF 6:30 AND 9:30. GAMES FOR THIS SEASON ARE SCHEDULED TO BEGIN ON WEDNESDAY JANUARY 9, 2013. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO REGISTER, PLEASE CONTACT THE MAPLEWOOD RECREATION DEPARTMENT AT (973) 763-4202 OR RECINFO@TWP.MAPLEWOOD.NJ.US

THANK YOU
MAPLEWOOD RECREATION DEPARTMENT

COMPUTER LIBRARY CLASS SATURDAY


Computers From the Ground Up

December 29, 2012: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
laptop
Hilton Branch – Computer beginners will learn how to:
  • use a computer mouse
  • create basic document
  • set up an email account
  • search the Internet
  •  Hilton Branch
Students are expected to attend all sessions. Pre-registration is required.  Class size is limited.  Register by phone at 973-762-1622, ext. 5013.

SUPERINTENDENT'S BOOK CLUB KICKS OFF

You have to love this new book club, with our own Superintendent of Schools Brian Osborne.

Check out details HERE.





Wednesday, December 26, 2012

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY TONIGHT



From the National Weather Service...

. WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM EST THIS EVENING...
* LOCATIONS... THE UPPER BOROUGHS OF NEW YORK CITY... AND NEARBY PORTIONS OF NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY AND WESTCHESTER COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST NEW YORK.
* HAZARD TYPES... SNOW AND SLEET.
* ACCUMULATIONS... ONE TO TWO INCHES OF SNOW AND SLEET.
* WINDS... EAST 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH.
* TEMPERATURES... LOWER 30S.
* IMPACTS... HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW... SLEET... OR FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES... AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

HURRICANE SANDY TOP NEWS STORY OF THE YEAR

Bravo to PATCH for properly rating Hurricane Sandy as our top news story of 2012.

See them all HERE.

Monday, December 24, 2012

TWO MAPLEWOOD TEENS ARRESTED IN SOUTH ORANGE BURGLARY

From AlternativePress:


Two Maplewood teens have been arrested in connection with a burglary at a Fielding Court residence on Dec. 17.

Police report that Raynald Laurent and Kyree Smith, both 18, were arrested at 2:40 p.m. after a chase on foot through several yards. A witness told police he saw two black males running from the front door of the home that had been broken into, carrying a backpack.
Maplewood police assisted with the arrest. The two suspects had jewelry, two laptops and cash belonging to the victim, according to police. Entry to the home was gained by breaking the glass on a rear door. The Detective Bureau is continuing to investigate.

TAKE OUR SURVEY ON ARMED GUARDS AT SCHOOLS

In light of the NRA President calling for armed guards at schools to counter the violence that left 20 children dead in Newtown, CT., and other such mass shootings, we want to know what people hear think.

Take our quick 10 second survey HERE and give your thoughts on armed guards in our schools.

Will post results in a week.


TOWN HALL CHRISTMAS HOURS

Town Hall and municipal offices close today at 12:15 p.m. and all day on Tuesday, Christmas Day

Sunday, December 23, 2012

NEW YORK TIMES GIVES WILD GINGER SOME LOVE

Credit : NY Times
The review is HERE.

But a taste below, no pun:

The real attraction of Wild Ginger, however, is that it fills a niche in a town overflowing with interesting restaurants. “Why open a Thai restaurant?” I asked Saul Fischer, who owns Wild Ginger with Sophia Dong; both are residents of Maplewood. “Because this is Maplewood, the only kind of place we don’t have is Thai,” he said on the phone after my visits.

TWO OPEN HOUSES

There are actually two open houses today.

Check 'em out and happy holidays


  LISTINGS IN GREEN ARE LESS THAN 2 WEEKS ON MARKET!
No:
HoursAddressList PriceStyleRMBRTBTGarBSMT
11-48 Marion Pl*$287,000Colonial731.11Yes
22-432 Elberta Rd*$469,000Colonial831.22Yes

MAPLEWOOD VILLAGE BANK ROBBERY

The Bank of America in Maplewood Village was hit by a bank robber in the middle of a busy Saturday morning yesterday when a man made off with several thousand dollars, according to police.

The Star-Ledger reports:



Maplewood Police are investigating a bank robbery at the township's Bank of America on the 100 block of Maplewood Avenue Saturday morning.

Police confirmed the robbery took place at about 10:30 a.m. but did not have further details while the investigation is still underway.

"The only thing I know for sure is no report of injuries and no report of a weapon displayed," said Lt. Dean Naddeo.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

LAST DAY OF DICKENS VILLAGE

Check it out if you have not, or go again.


SUPE NEWSLETTER OUT

The South Orange Maplewood School District Newsletter is out.

Among its messages, this superintendent letter.

Message from the Superintendent 

As students and staff begin the December Recess, let us all remember how fortunate we are, now more than ever. May we each enjoy time with family and friends, and make wonderful memories together!
 
In this season of celebrations, I hope you will join with us in celebrating the outstanding fine arts programming offered by the South Orange Maplewood School District. In addition to the highlights below from our fall art classes, please visit the new Fine & Performing Arts section of the district website for updates throughout the year. The Columbia High School Arts and Music Festival takes place on January 10, 2013; the Festival will be a fantastic opportunity to appreciate first-hand the incredible talent of our students.

I wish you and your family a happy and healthy new year!

Brian G. Osborne, Ed.D.
Superintendent


SCHOOL BOARD VOTES FOR NOVEMBER ELECTIONS

You may have missed it, but this past week the Board of Education voted, 7-1, to move elections from April to November, a great money-saving and voter-boosting move. 

Only BOE Member Bill Gaudelli voted against the move.

Friday, December 21, 2012

LAST WEEKEND OF HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF COLLECTION


SCHOOL SHUTS OUT KIDS IN WINDY RAINSTORM

Even with a driving wind storm and rain, Tuscan School dare not let any child in before the rigid 8:45 a.m. time. So let them stand out and get wet and sick.














WIND AND FLOOD ADVISORY ISSUED


THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN UPTON NY HAS ISSUED A FLOOD ADVISORY
* URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOOD ADVISORY FOR... SOUTHEASTERN ORANGE COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST NEW YORK... ROCKLAND COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST NEW YORK... HUDSON COUNTY IN NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY... ESSEX COUNTY IN NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY... BERGEN COUNTY IN NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY... WESTCHESTER COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST NEW YORK... UNION COUNTY IN NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY... PASSAIC COUNTY IN NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY...
* UNTIL 830 AM EST...
* AT 630 AM EST RADAR CONTINUED TO SHOW MODERATE TO HEAVY RAINFALL OCCURRING ACROSS NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY AND INTO THE LOWER HUDSON VALLEY OF NEW YORK. RAINFALL TOTALS OF A HALF AN INCH TO AN INCH HAVE ALREADY OCCURRED. THIS WILL RESULT IN AREAS OF MINOR FLOODING... ALONG WITH PONDING OF WATER ON MANY ROADS.
ANY RIVERS AFFECTED BY TIDES COULD SEE SOME ADDITIONAL FLOODING.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
MINOR FLOODING MEANS THAT ALTHOUGH STREAMS AND CREEKS MAY RISE OUT OF THEIR BANKS... PROPERTY DAMAGE WILL BE MINIMAL. INCONVENIENCES CAN BE EXPECTED BUT THE FLOODING WILL NOT BE IMMEDIATELY LIFE THREATENING.
DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE ROADWAY. MOST FLOODING DEATHS OCCUR IN AUTOMOBILES. TURN AROUND AND FIND ANOTHER ROUTE.
BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION IF THE FLOODING THREAT INCREASES... OR A WARNING IS ISSUED.
.. WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON EST TODAY...
* LOCATIONS... INTERIOR NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY... THE LOWER HUDSON VALLEY... AND INTERIOR SOUTHWEST CONNECTICUT.
* HAZARDS... STRONG WINDS.
* WINDS... SOUTHEAST 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS 50 TO 55 MPH... SHIFTING SOUTHWEST BY LATE THIS MORNING.
* TIMING... STRONGEST WINDS WILL OCCUR AFTER SUNRISE.
* IMPACTS... WINDS OF THIS MAGNITUDE COULD DOWN A FEW TREES AND TREE LIMBS... POWER LINES AND HOLIDAY DECORATIONS. SCATTERED POWER OUTAGES WILL BE POSSIBLE. DRIVING HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES COULD BE DIFFICULT... ESPECIALLY ON ELEVATED ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
A WIND ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS OF 31 TO 39 MPH... OR GUSTS OF 46 TO 57 MPH... ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT... ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION. RESIDENTS SHOULD SECURE LOOSE OUTDOOR ITEMS SUCH AS GARBAGE CANS AND HOLIDAY DECORATIONS.



COOKING CLASSES SIGNUP

Sign up and cook up something fun


Registration is now open for the Winter Session Cooking Classes.  All classes are held at the Maplewood Community Center, 120 Burnett Avenue.  All classes are drop off classes.
Mini Chef II is for children 5 - 7 years old and runs on Mondays from 4 - 5 pm beginning January 14th for a fee of $100.00 for 8 weeks.

Mini Chef I is for children 4 - 6 years old and runs on Thursdays from 4 - 5 pm beginning January 17th for a fee of $100.00 for 8 weeks.

Junior Chef is for children in Grades 1 - 3 and runs on Tuesdays from 4 - 5:15 pm beginning January 15th for a fee of $115.00 for 8 weeks.

Chef in Training is for children in Grades 4 -6 and runs on Wednesdays from 4- 5:30 pm beginning January 16th for a fee of $130.00 for 8 weeks.

Registration may be done in person at the Maplewood Recreation Office, 574 Valley Street or online athttp://register.communitypass.net/maplewood Any questions please call 973 763 4202 or 973 763 0750.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

MAPLEWOOD GIRL BACK ON X FACTOR FOR FINALE

Our own Beatrice Miller did not make it to the final show as a contestant, but she returns tonight to sing her heart out once again for the season finale.

See the show as always tonight on Channel 5 at 8 p.m.

See her past interviews with us HERE.

CHRISTMAS BINGO AT HILTON BRANCH

Time:4:00pm
Information:Christmas Bingo 
All ages * Drop In 
Hilton Branch: Thurs 12/20 
@ 4-4:45pm 
Come for a fun game of B-I-N-G-O! Kids must know their numbers to participate. 

FREE HOLIDAY PARTY AT DE HART TODAY



Time: 7:30pm
Information: Pizza, beverages, Maplewood Bingo game, prizes and music for the holidays, all compliments of the Hilton Neighborhood Association. Everyone is welcome. Bring the family!

Address: De Hart Center, 120 Burnett Ave.
Town: Maplewood
Phone: 973-761-4672

POWER OUTAGE THIS MORNING

Did your power go out early today? Reports had much of the College Hill area without power around 6 a.m., back on by 8 a.m.

Do we really need more outages? PSE&G, upgrade please.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

DE LUCA IS MAYOR AGAIN, BEER GARDEN RETURNS

The Township Committee indicated it would vote again to name Vic De Luca mayor for 2013, which will be his fifth year in a row.

Our recent survey indicated he was the overwhelming choice of residents.

In addition, the TC voted, 3-2, to allow a beer garden again at Maplewoodstock. TC members Marlon Brownlee and India Larrier opposed the move

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DE LUCA OVERWHELMING CHOICE TO BE MAYOR AGAIN

Looks like Mayor De Luca, who is expected to be approved as mayor again for 2013 at tonight's Township Committee meeting, is the choice of the people.

Results of our unscientific online poll.

Vic De Luca                   53.3%
Jerry Ryan                     20.0%
India Larrier                   16.7%
Kathy Leventhal             6.7%
Marlon Brownlee            3.3%

300 people responded and the survey only allowed one vote per person after each vote recorded.

MAYORAL SURVEY COMING SOON

We will post the results of our online survey of who you want to be mayor later this morning

Check back then.

TUSCAN PRINCIPAL CALLS FOR TOW

Tuscan School Principal Malikah Majeed called in to police that a car parked in the school lot, a non-staffer she contends, needs to be ticketed and towed.

Hope she at least tried to find out who it is, but that is the parking law at school.




ILLEGAL VEHICLE ENTRY

...Scanner reports two vehicles illegally entered last night on Gairthwaite Terrace....

OVERALL MAPLEWOOD CRIME DOWN, RAPE AND ROBBERY UP SLIGHTLY


The state uniform crime report, released late last week, showed overall major crimes were down in Maplewood, from 501 in 2010 to 449 in 2011.

The report also noted all crimes were down except for rape, up from one to three, and robbery, up from 22 to 23.

See more HERE.


Monday, December 17, 2012

ONE VIEW ON SCHOOL SAFETY AFTER NEWTOWN

In the aftermath of the Newtown, CT. shooting that left 30 people dead, mostly children murdered in their own school, it is gratifying to see our own superintendent, Brian Osborne, take initiative with a heartfelt note to parents last week advising them how to help children who may have trouble dealing with this tragedy.

With a news media that over covers the worst violence and images, it is important that we help filter these images from our children if they are too much, but also explain to them what is happening.

In addition, however, we must ask how to make our schools as safe as possible.

Currently when  visitors approach most of the SO-M schools, they buzz the office and are let in. Some schools have video cameras to see who is entering and, of course, if the visitor does not immediately go to the school office for a pass, alerts are put into action.

But is this enough?

If a person is buzzed in and appears okay, that does not mean they are. And it means they can roam the school freely, at least for a little while.

Perhaps security guards and even metal detectors are needed at some schools and in some way. If visitors want to gain entrance, someone should be there to make sure they are who they say they are and are not carrying anything dangerous.

Should these guards be armed? I would think not. But there are those calling for such actions in some places.

The school board meets tonight and it would behoove us all if such security measures were discussed tonight and in the days to come.

And if you think this kind of thing cannot happen here, think again. I am sure that is what the people of Newtown would have said a week ago.

SCHOOL BOARD CONSIDERS MOVING ELECTIONS

It looks like the school board is going to consider moving its elections to November, a big move in both organization of the board each year and voter turnout.

The agenda for Monday night's 7:30 p.m. meeting does not note it, but Superintendent Brian Osborne tweeted this Sunday:


SOMSD's Board of Ed will vote on whether to move BOE elections to Nov at its 12/17 public mtg. To weigh in, email boemembers@somsd.k12.nj.us


SCHOOL DISTRICT'S POST-NEWTOWN PLANS FOR TODAY

Superintendent Brian Osborne sent a letter to some parents Sunday night indicating teachers in some older classes will discuss the Newtown shooting and reassure students about safety, but those classes with younger students will only address the issue if a student asks about it.

His letter:

South Orange Maplewood School Community,
The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, has shaken all of us.  We continue to grieve, along with the rest of the nation, for the families impacted by this senseless violence. 
 Whether you have discussed the event with your children or not, they are likely to hear about it from other students on the bus, walk to school, or playground. We therefore suggest that you consider sharing information about the tragedy with your children, in a way that feels comfortable for you, before they return to school. Some possible talking points are included below.
We have prepared developmentally appropriate plans to support elementary students when they return to school on Monday: 
  • Teachers will maintain the daily class routine, to provide a feeling of normalcy.
  • Teachers will avoid dwelling on details of the event, and focus instead on providing support and tools for coping with sad events.
  • K-2 teachers will not raise the topic, but if students bring up questions, will listen and gently redirect to a discussion of what you can do when you feel sad or worried.
  • 3-5 Teachers will have brief class meetings to provide students with a forum to talk and get support in a structured, safe environment. These meetings will focus on coping skills and school safety, not on the specific details of the event.
  • Teachers will identify any students who are experiencing anxiety, and follow up with them privately.
  • Social workers are available to offer additional support to any students who are experiencing anxiety. If you think your child needs this support, please let your teacher know.
Guidance counselors and social workers are available to offer additional support to any secondary students who are experiencing anxiety. Please contact the guidance department if your son or daughter needs support this week.
In addition, every SOMSD parent should be reassured that student and staff safety is our highest priority. Security procedures are established for all schools – schools are locked, unauthorized visitors are prohibited, and cameras monitor all who enter our buildings. We coordinate our approach to school safety with the Police Departments of South Orange and Maplewood, regularly practice and review procedures, and revise as necessary.  We are confident that we have appropriate safety measures in place to protect our schools. 
We value your ongoing support and assistance as we all work together to protect and nurture our precious children.
Sincerely,
Brian G. Osborne, Ed.D.
Superintendent

Sunday, December 16, 2012

SCHOOLS SUPE OFFERS SCHOOL SHOOTING TRAGEDY SUPPORT, HELP


This letter was sent to parents late Friday:


December 14, 2012

Dear South Orange/Maplewood School District Community,
You have probably heard about today’s tragic incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  

School violence is always horrific, and never more so than when our youngest children are involved. We express our deepest condolences to the community of Newtown, most particularly to those families who have lost loved ones.

We realize that students may have questions or fears if they hear the news.  Resources for families to use to help their children cope with violence are listed below.  

Please reassure your children that school is a safe place for them to learn and grow, and please know that safety
concerns are always our top priority.

If your child needs extra support on Monday:  

For Elementary Students:  Please let your child’s homeroom teacher know, and they can connect to support through the building social workers and social work interns. 

For Secondary Students:  Please contact school guidance counselors – they are standing by, ready to provide support.   

I know you all join me in sending our thoughts and deepest sympathy to the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Let’s all spend some extra time with our children this weekend, and
remember how very precious they are.

Sincerely,
Brian G. Osborne, Ed.D.

10 OPEN HOUSES TODAY

Check them out HERE.

Take a look if you are seeking a new home or just want to check the selling prices, especially with the new reassessments out this week.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

FREE FAMILY CONCERT TODAY



Time: 2:00pm
Information: Please join us for a free annual holiday concert featuring music of the season performed by our community band.

Address: Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Durand Rd. Maplewood
Town: Maplewood
Phone: 973-477-4229
Contact: Susan Dillon susandillon@mindspring.com

MAYORAL CHOICE COMES TUESDAY

It looks like the Township Committee plans to vote for mayor for 2013 on Tuesday at its regular meeting.

Patch reports that most plan to support mayor Vic De Luca. No surprise.

See agenda HERE.

Also make sure to vote in our mayoral survey. We will list the findings Tuesday morning.

Friday, December 14, 2012

REASSESSMENT INFO ONLINE

You likely received your property reassessment letter this week. This is not a revaluation but more of a fine-tuning of the reval.

Lots of good info on it at the reassessment company's website HERE.