Thursday, April 29, 2010

Picture Credit

In Print: Back to the Drawing Board

Committee formed to review Garwood BOE budget
By Cranford Chronicle
April 29, 2010, 3:28PM
By Carolyn Freundlich
GARWOOD — At the Borough Council meeting April 27 it was announced that a committee has been formed to review the vetoed 2010-2011 Garwood Board of Education budget.

The budget was voted down by Garwood residents on April 20 by only four votes.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Southside Danger Zone?

Is the corner of Beech Avenue and West Street dangerous? If so, what would make it safer?

Fact or Fiction?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Westfield Patch: Garwood should 'fix' Dangerous Intersection

According to the Westfield Patch the corner of West Street and Beech is a dangerous one. The blog cites past accidents, including one on Friday. The blog says a Westfield resident wants it corrected asap.

Does the Patch make a valid point?

Westfield Patch Post:
A Garwood intersection, a few hundred feet from the Westfield town line, labeled as dangerous by Westfield residents in the fall, was the seen of a two car accident Friday morning.

One car rear ended another at the intersection of West Street and Beech Street in Garwood. While details of the accident remain unclear, a witness reported that at least one driver appeared to be injured in the crash. The street sign at the intersection was knocked down and dragged several feet in the accident.

The intersection in question was raised as dangerous by a south side resident in October, who noted that cars on West Street do not abide by the stop sign at the intersection. Cars coming from Pine Street in Westfield on to Beech turn a slightly blind curve just before the intersection. At the time Garwood Mayor Dennis McCarthy said upgrades would be made to the intersection, several of which were on display Friday.

Read more at Westfield Patch blog

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Garwood Factor: FG?

It's well documented that Garwood is changing and changing very quickly.

One place to see that, is in the New Jersey Department of Education's District Factor Group rankings. The rankings take economic conditions into account and group the towns by letter grades. The idea is to know what towns have similar socioeconomic households and back-rounds so test scores and grades can be better compared.

It also provides residents with a snapshot of what the state looks like in terms of class structure. And- Garwood is changing in the eyes of the Department of Education.

In 1990, Garwood was in the same CD Factor Group as solidly working class towns like Bayonne, Hillside, Rahway, South Amboy, and South River.

In 2000, Garwood was bumped up into a the DE Factor Group joining the more middle class ranks of Union, Kenilworth, Roselle Park, Woodbridge, and Sayreville.

The question is: in 2010 will Garwood move up again into the FG group- bellying up to the socioeconomic bar with Clark, Edison, Old Bridge, Monroe, and South Plainfield?

Garwood is somewhat unique in its quick climb up the District Factor scale- most towns were unchanged during the same 20 year review. Westfield was unchanged in the I Group, Cranford moved up one spot to join Westfield in 2000, and nearby Roselle took a dive down 1 spot between 1990 and 2000. But, for the most part towns in Union, Middlesex and Monmouth counties were status quo.

Is Garwood destined to be a mini Cranford and Westfield?

Color Coded Map:
Green- J- (primarily Super Rich)
Red- I- (primarily Upper Class)
Orange- GH- (primarily Middle to Upper Class)
Yellow- FG- (primarily Middle Class)
Light Green-DE- (primarily Working to Middle Class)
Light Gray- CD- (primarily Working Class)
Dark Gray- B- (primarily Working Class to Poor)
Black- A- (primarily Poor)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Garwood, Earth

April 22nd is Earth Day. What does that mean to you? What are the Earthlings in Garwood doing to commemorate? Maybe each household is doing a subtle thing to acknowledge the day. Maybe not.

Of late, Earth science has been consumed by politics. But, it remains an important part of every community. Clean air, clean soil, and clean water should be a goal for everyone whether you "believe" in global warming or not.

Households can Reduce, Reusue, and Recycle

In Union County Monutainside, Hillside and Springfield have events planned for Earth Day. No public events are scheduled in Garwood.

Which brings us to our 365 poll question. Hey Garwood: Should local leaders and residents do more to promote a clean environment in the borough?
In Print: Voters say 'Nope' to Budget

So what's next? The budget will now be considered by the Garwood Borough Council for additional cuts or modifications.

According to published reports the budget had included taking Washington School off line, eliminating a total of three teaching positions, one child study team position, 1 member of the office staff, and two custodial positions.

Stay tuned.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Garwood Shoots Down School Budget in Very Close Vote

Garwood residents have spoken. By a count of 357 to 353 the school budget has gotten a NO vote in Tuesday's election.

According to reports- the budget had come with 6 education staff cuts and a 4% tax increase for the borough.

Susan Groning, Brendan McDermott and John Sullivan won seats on the Board of Education.

Westfield, Cranford, Clark and other neighboring towns passed their school budgets. Other towns in the county like Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Fanwood-Scotch Plains, Kenilworth and Linden voted no like Garwood.


Yes: 353
No: 357

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Garwood to Vote on School Budgets, Board Seats

April 20th is D-Day for the School budget- and for board seats.

The Garwood Board of Education has four candidates vying for three open seats. Incumbents Susan Groning and John Sullivan will seek three-year terms along with challengers Thomas Evelina and Brendan McDermott.

The proposed tax levy for the borough is an increase of 4%.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Garwoodian Returns Home to Discuss Successful Career

Garwood's Borough Library will be hosting former resident and noted author Tom Perrotta Wednesday April 21 at 7pm. Perrotta was born in Garwood- the son of a postman and a secretary.

Joe College
Abstinence Teacher
Little Children
Bad Haircut
The Wishbones

Call the library for more info: 908-789-1670

Friday, April 16, 2010

In Print: Garwood Introduces Budget, Raises Taxes

Garwood council’s budget has 11.8 point increase
By Carolyn Freundlich
GARWOOD — The Borough Council finalized their 2010-2011 budget at an 11.8 point increase, or $118 tax increase on every Garwood home assessed at $100,000.

With the loss of $126,000 in state aid, under Gov. Chris Christie’s financial plan, the Council also faced a $202,563 increase in state mandated expenses, and a 15% increase in group insurance. Initially these equated to a 20 point tax increase, or $200 tax increase on every home assessed at $100,000.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Your Choice at the Polls

Mayoral Candidates:
(D) Mayor Dennis McCarthy
(R) Patricia Quattrochi

Republican Council Candidates:
(R) Victor DeFilippo
(R) James Mathieu

Democratic Council Candidates:
(D) Kathleen Villaggio
(D) Matthew Allouf

Democrats currently hold four of the six seats on the Garwood Borough Council and the post of mayor.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Poll: Park Gazebo is an Eyesore

In a 365 poll 62% of readers said the Gazebo in Garwood Memorial Park is a eyesore, while only 37% said it was a landmark.

The Gazebo has been eyed by the Mayor and Council for razing to clear the way for a refurbished and expanded little league ball field.

45 readers voted on the poll.

Monday, April 12, 2010

In Print: End of the Line for Garwood's Washington School

Trenton's cuts leads to the closure of borough school.

Garwood school board approves budget, shuts Washington School
Leslie Murray
April 10, 2010, 8:55AM
GARWOOD— Calling the proposed budget the best that could be developed with significant state aid reductions and under a tight timeline, the Garwood Board of Education approved the introduction of the school budget which including reducing teaching positions and shuttering Washington School with a split vote on April 1.

Before an audience of about 60 people, the board presented an $8.2 million budget that would increase taxes on a home assessed at the borough average of $100,000 by $125.

Superintendent of Schools Teresa Quigley said that decisions to close one of the district’s two schools and cut back on some programs were out of necessity.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Discuss: Jersey Devil

The Jersey Devil from the Pine Barrens, not Newark's Prudential Center, will be the topic of a program at the Garwood Library.

The program will be run by Dr. Angus Kress Gillespie a professor at Rutgers University.

The program is on Wednesday, April 14, at 7 p.m. Call the Garwood Library at 908-789-1670 or register in person at the Circulation Desk.

D-E-V-I-L, Devil, Devil Devil

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Garwood Library to Forgive and Forget

Do you have an overdue book out from the borough library? Has it made you afraid to walk on the Northside of town?

If so, you're in luck. The Garwood Library is taking part in “Amnesty Week”. Any book or other item can be returned without worry of fines, no questions asked.

Even better, no matter how long an item is overdue, there will be no fines collected. Amnesty Week kicks off Monday April 12th and runs through April 17th.

For more information call the Library at 908-789-1670.

National Library Week

Friday, April 9, 2010

Downtown Garwood 'Re-Thought'

In a recent post about Downtown Garwood a reader commented that the area considered to be part of the 'walkable' section be expanded to include more of North Avenue. The fine tuning makes the borough's commerical section even larger, and therefore, even more of a potential rival to Westfield and Cranford. Check out the new map below:

North Avenue is Walkable too

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In Print: Imagine Garwood

Garwood is taking steps to insure the future of Downtown and the Transit Village are in the hands of the most important stakeholders: the people who live, work, or visit the borough.

Schedule for Public Events:

Wednesday, April 14
Community Vision Workshop
6 - 9 p.m.
Garwood Fire House
415 South Ave.

Thursday, April 15
Open House
9 a.m. to noon and 1 - 4 p.m.
Garwood Municipal Building
403 South Ave.

Full Article:
Help shape the vision for Garwood
By Suburban News
April 06, 2010, 1:11PM
GARWOOD -- Help Shape the Vision for Garwood on April 14-15, residents, business owners, commuters, and other interested parties are invited to participate in a public visioning process to help create a vision for the core area of Garwood. This effort is a partnership between the Borough of Garwood, Union County, the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and New Jersey Transit.
Share your thoughts and ideas and join the team of planners, designers, architects, and engineers in creative brainstorming for Garwood's Station area. For more information contact Borough Administrator Christina M. Ariemma at 908-789-0710 or visit

Spring has Sprung in Garwood

Center Street in Downtown Garwood is in full bloom as the season turns. A welcome arrival after a brutal winter.

Ahhh. Much Better.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Trash it or Treasure it?

There's still time to weigh-in on whether the Park's gazebo is a town landmark or borough eyesore?

What do you think? Vote Today!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hey Garwood: Happy Easter!

Easter may be all about attending Church, but, for the kiddies Easter Egg Hunts are far more fun. So after St. Anne's head to the grocery store and pick up a few cartons.

Friday, April 2, 2010

In Print: Mommy Open House

Central Jersey's Mother's Center is holding an open house in the borough at Garwood Presbyterian Church.

GARWOOD — The Mothers' Center of Central New Jersey will hold a spring open house on Monday, April 5 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Garwood Presbyterian Church at 341 Spruce Ave.

The Mothers’ Center is a place to meet other moms in a warm, welcoming setting that is attuned to the changes and challenges that come with motherhood. It is a place where friendships blossom for both mother and child.

For more information:
Call: (908) 561-1751 or visit the website at