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Fresh Fall Food to be Featured at Food Alliance Feast

The New Brunswick Community Food Alliance invites the public to taste delicious, locally grown fruits and vegetables at a potluck event from 6-8:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29 in the community room of the Robert Wood Johnson Fitness and Wellness Center, 101 Kirkpatrick St.

“Harvesting Healthy Recipes: Sharing Our Bounty With the Community” will be hosted by the Community Engagement Workgroup of the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance.

Healthy dishes made with locally grown fruits and vegetables will be served and discussed.

Attendance is free, but volunteers are sought to bring a potluck dish to share or assist with cleanup and serving. Those who wish to bring a dish are encouraged to use fruits and vegetables from their own gardens or local farmers markets, if possible.

Volunteers may register by clicking here.

The New Brunswick Community Food Alliance is a volunteer-based organization that addresses food-related issues in New Brunswick, such as healthy food access, nutrition and hunger.

For more information, visit  www.nbfood.org.

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Each year, the New Brunswick Senior Center holds a picnic day and challenges a team of City staff, led by Mayor Jim Cahill, to a game of Bocci ball. The seniors won, 15-11.

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Job Fair

Do you need a job? Paramount Staffing will host a job fair from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11 in the community room of the New Brunswick Housing Authority Building, 7 Van Dyke Ave.

Positions being advertised include warehouse employees, shipping and receiving clerks, forklift drivers and pickers and packers.

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NBFD Welcomes Two New Lieutenants Following Promotion

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The New Brunswick Fire Department has two new Lieutenants with the promotions of firefighters Robert Piparo and Collin Thomas on September 4.

Robert Piparo has been with the New Brunswick Fire Department since January 2004.  He is an instructor in a variety of different fire and rescue response topics and has received the following awards:

  • The FMBA Local 17 Firefighter of the Year Award in 2005, awarded after Piparo assisted with a structure fire at 33 Commercial Ave.
  • The New Brunswick Fire Department Life Saving Award in 2006, awarded after he and Captain Darrin Van DeMark arrived on scene at the Sears on Route 1 and initiated CPR on an elderly woman.
  • The NJFMBA Valor Award in 2012 and the St. Barnabus Burn Foundation Valor Award in 2012, both given after Piparo helped with a technical rope rescue that entailed the removal an elderly man from a building through an upper floor window.

Collin Thomas joined the New Brunswick Fire Department in October 2000. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, where he received his Associate’s Degree in Occupational Studies.

He is also the grandson and great-grandson of  John Leo Thomas and Peter Francis Thomas, both former members of the New Brunswick Fire Department, dating back to when the department was staffed by volunteers.

Thomas and Piparo served together in the New Brunswick Fire Department’s 2nd Platoon. As Lieutenants, Thomas has been reassigned to the 4th Platoon and Piparo has been reassigned to the department’s Training Division.

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Another school year has begun in New Brunswick, and schools officials are making sure that all students are receiving the nourishment they need to start the day.

“Breakfast After the Bell,” is a program that ensures every elementary and middle school-age child in the City’s public school system begins their day properly nourished.

Insulated tote bags packed with offerings like fresh fruit, whole-grain cereal, muffins or graham crackers are distributed before 9 a.m. daily to all classes in all elementary schools and New Brunswick Middle School.

As the students enter their classrooms at the beginning of the school day, they are each given a free breakfast, complete with low-fat milk, and eat together for the first 10-15 minutes of the day. Children with food allergies or special diets are given a meal in accordance with their needs.

“Breakfast is an essential meal for our students to receive and will provide them with a healthy start as they begin their day in the classroom learning environment,” said Richard Kaplan, superintendent of schools.

All students, regardless of economic income, are fed breakfast at their desks at the beginning of the school day, while teachers keep a log of who is eating

Previous attempts at a breakfast program were not able to reach all students, but Breakfast After the Bell encompasses all students, according to Robeson school principal Kelly Mooring.

Livingston and Robeson schools have both reported great success: at the end of the previous school year, officials recorded that 360 students at Robeson are were eating a daily breakfast, as opposed to 130 at the same time last year. Over at Livingston, an average of 460 students were eating a daily breakfast, as opposed to a mere 95 during the previous year.

“Breakfast After the Bell gets everyone,” Mooring said.

“Breakfast After the Bell” is the product of collaboration between the City of New Brunswick, New Brunswick Public Schools and the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance.

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Town Clock CDC Breaks Ground on Dina’s Dwellings

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 On Thursday afternoon, Town Clock Community Development Corporation, joined by Mayor Jim Cahill, Council President Rebecca Escobar and a crowd of friends and supporters, broke ground on Dina’s Dwellings, a long-term supportive housing project that will be housed in the structure of the 300-year old First Reformed Church on Bayard Street. 


It will contain 10 units that will house women and children moving on from situations of domestic violence. This project will bring the second long-term supportive housing structure to the entire state of New Jersey. The first, operated by New Brunswick’s own Women Aware, is also located in the New Brunswick community. 

New Brunswick has committed $604,385 in HOME funds to benefit the $3.4 million project.

Dina’s Dwellings will consist of 10 long-term apartment units to house families affected by domestic violence. A smaller sanctuary space will be constructed for church services, as well as a meeting room, available for community use.

All tenants will be referred to social service organizations throughout the area, including Women Aware, as they work toward a new life. They will be permitted to stay as long as needed.

The project is overseen by Town Clock Community Development Corporation, Inc. a nonprofit organization lead by Susan Kramer-Mills, Associate Pastor of First Reformed Church.

Additional funding for this project have been made available through NJ-HMFA Community Block Development Grant Disaster Relief Funds, Bergen County United Way, a Planning Grant from the NJ Historic Trust, a Johnson & Johnson Planning Grant and private donations.

For more information on Dina’s Dwellings, please visit www.townclockcdc.org.

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The September 3, 2014 City Council meeting is now online

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City representatives are out today at the Rutgers University student involvement fair on College Avenue! Stop by to learn about the City’s many services and snag a t-shirt!

City representatives are out today at the Rutgers University student involvement fair on College Avenue! Stop by to learn about the City’s many services and snag a t-shirt!

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How do you add bicycle-parking capacity to a busy business district with narrow sidewalks and hordes of pedestrians?

You put the parking in the roadway.

An innovative strategy to help get more people to choose bicycling as their preferred form of transportation for daily, local trips is by introducing on-street bicycle parking corrals near businesses. In Central New Jersey, the city of New Brunswick has recently been taking steps to make bicycling safer, more comfortable and more convenient, and this fall they’re moving forward with a program that will bring bicycle parking corrals to area streets.

Earlier this year, Mayor Cahill read about bike corrals and liked what he saw. He realized that it would be a logical extension of the program that began last summer where flexible bollards were installed near intersections in no-parking areas to enhance pedestrian safety. The purpose of those soft-hit posts was to enforce the existing no-parking area near crosswalks and intersections; bollards keep the sightlines of crosswalks and intersecting streets clear. The bollards also act like a neck-down at the corners, making the distance for pedestrians to cross in front of cars shorter. While the posts have done a great job of increasing safety by making pedestrians and oncoming vehicles more visible, they did not provide any additional amenities to the city.

New Brunswick released this graphic showing how the new racks will help keep the sidewalks for pedestrians

That is where the bike corrals come in. Like the bollards, the corrals act to daylight intersections by physically discouraging illegal parking close to corners, and keeping sightlines open. However, by simply using bicycle racks rather than just bollards, the space (where parking was never allowed in the past) is suddenly available for use by up to 18 bicycles.

Corrals help encourage bicycling by making bicycle parking safe, convenient, and plentiful, removing a barrier to riding. Further, by placing the parking in prime locations, with heavy foot traffic, passersby see the racks and realize that bicycling is not simply a great option to get around town – it is also encouraged and normal.

After the mayor asked his staff to look into the idea, Glenn Patterson, the Director of Planning, jumped at the opportunity. The Assistant City Engineer, Tom Valenti, identified a corral system that the city could use, which would be inexpensive (under $1,000 each). Mr. Patterson then worked to identify available funding for the program. The city still had some money available from the Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) program which was used to develop the Riverwatch Commons apartment buildings. In that old federal economic development program, cities were granted money to lend out for projects, and then able to use the repaid loans for community development.

With the funds in hand, and the corrals on order, the city then looked for optimal locations for the new corrals. Criteria included roadways under city jurisdiction, areas with the appropriate space available, and nearby business owners that would embrace the concept.

The seven locations that have been chosen are:

  • Mine Street, at Easton Avenue, outside the Hidden Ground Coffee Shop. This location was the first to be put on the ground, during the last week of August. Owner Anand Patel has been thrilled by the proximity to his business and noted that the rack is already being well used.
  • Somerset Street and College Avenue, close to the Barnes and Noble bookstore and train station access path;
  • Prospect Street at French Street, adjacent to Kim’s Bikes shop;
  • Townsend Street at French Street, near two popular bakeries;
  • Bayard Street, in close proximity to City Hall;
  • Suydam Street and Remsen Avenue, by the Unity Square Community Center; and
  • Condict Street at Easton Avenue, near some of the most popular bars and restaurants in town, including “Stuff Yer Face”. This location may be the last to be installed due to nearby construction.

The chosen locations target all residents of New Brunswick, from Rutgers University students who frequent Easton Avenue, to local residents who shop on French Street.

The corrals the city is installing are intended to be permanent, but their design also allows them to be moved relatively easily. That means that if they are not being used much at a particular location, they could be relocated to another spot where they might be better used. This allows the city to experiment and use trial and error to adapt the system.

The city is eager to get feedback as to how the racks are working out, and welcomes suggestions for where others might go. Right now, there is not a formal application process in place to request a new location, but residents are encouraged to message the City through their Facebook page or Twitter, or to email Glenn Patterson or Principal Planner Mark Siegle. You can also call city hall at 732-745-5050 or the Mayor’s office at 732-745-5004.

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Football Parking Fee Approved for Buccleuch Park

Rutgers University football fans who wish to park in Buccleuch Park during day games must now pay a fee to do so, following the approval of a resolution at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

The resolution allows for a $20 fee to be charged per car parked in Buccleuch Park during games that begin during the day.

Football game attendees who wish to park in one of the 480 spots available in Buccleuch Park will enter the park at two locations:

  • The park’s main entrance at the intersection of Easton Avenue and Huntington Street
  • The park’s George Street entrance

Free parking will be maintained separately for recreational park visitors to use. These visitors should enter Buccleuch Park at the park’s other Easton Avenue entrance, adjacent to Lincoln Place.  They will be permitted to park along the road closest to Easton Avenue.

Parking will be available on asphalted surfaces only and will not be permitted during night games.

The New Brunswick Parking Authority will staff the park on game days. Parking regulations will be enforced by the New Brunswick Police Department.

A committee was formed to examine the feasibility of this plan. This measure was taken due to the pressures of nearby paid parking areas, such as Johnson Park in Piscataway and several paid Rutgers University lots, causing an influx of game day attendees to Buccleuch Park in search of free parking.

Charging for the spaces would help to regulate some of that traffic and offset the cost of litter removal and park maintenance in the park.

All money generated by Buccleuch Park football parking will be used on park-related matters.

Payment will be accepted via cash and credit card. RV’s will not be permitted to park at any time. The rules of the park apply to all attendees and alcohol and open flame are not allowed. All cars must be removed from the park no later than one hour after sunset.