Friday, January 20, 2017

CHS GRADUATION RATE DIPS TO THREE-YEAR LOW

Columbia High School's graduation rate has been on a slight decline for the past three years, according to data released last week from the state Department of Education.

While the state average increased from 89.7% in 2015 to 90.1% in 2016, CHS rates continued to dip.

The state report indicated the 2016 cohort graduation rate for Columbia High School was 88.84%. That is down from 90.78% in 2015, 92.95% in 2014 and 89.58% in 2013.

See the full report HERE.

LEGO CLUB AT LIBRARY TODAY

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Main Library ● All agesDrop In
We have lots of LEGOs for everyone to build and display their creations at the library!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

FAKE NEWS DISCUSSION AT LIBRARY TONIGHT

Is it Real or is it Fake? A Discussion About the News


7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Main LibraryFake news became a big story during the Trump-Clinton campaign, but it’s been part of the U.S. political culture since the founding of our nation. Now, mostly because of social media and questionable “news” sites, it’s easier than ever to spread vicious rumors, half-baked theories, and outright lies. Donna Shaw, chair of The College of New Jersey’s Department of Journalism and Professional Writing, will offer some advice on how we can recognize fake news, and avoid passing it along to our friends.

Shaw is an associate professor who teaches Media Law, News Editing, Data Journalism, and an advanced writing course called Beats & Deadlines. Her specialty is science writing, concentrating in particular on how money and politics affect medicine. She has bachelor’s degrees in English and Journalism from Penn State University, and a master’s degree from Columbia University, where she was a Knight-Bagehot fellow in Economics and Business Journalism. Before coming to TCNJ, she was a reporter and editor for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and an editor for WebMD.

TOWNSHIP REC. AND ARTS DIRECTOR AT HILTON MEETING TONIGHT

From the Hilton Neighborhood Association: 

The Hilton Neighborhood Association’s meeting tonight at 7:30 PM in DeHart Community Center, 120 Burnett Avenue, Maplewood, will feature Melissa Mancuso, recently appointed Director of Recreation and Cultural Arts. 

Michelle will discuss opportunities offered, new programs and plans for the future. She will also be very interested in listening to suggestions from the audience. 

The meeting is free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome.  
Refreshments will be served.  
For further information, contact cabms@aol.com or 201-787-7688.

TOWNSHIP: REASSESSMENT PROCESS WINDING DOWN

From the Township today: 

Reassessment Process Coming to a Close

The reassessment project is coming to a close.  Letters have gone out to property owners with their updated assessments.  Appraisal Systems Inc. (ASI) is winding down to their final meetings with property owners.  If you have questions about your updated assessments, you should contact ASI at 201-493-8530 for an appointment.  ASI is taking appointments for the following dates and times:
1/20 – 9:30am to 4:30pm
1/24 – 9:00am to 7:00pm
1/26 – 9:00am to 7:00pm
1/30 – 9:00am to 7:00pm
1/31 – 9:00am to 7:00pm
All meetings are held at the Maplewood Municipal Building, 574 Valley Street, Maplewood.

MAPLEWOOD HEADING TO D.C. PROTEST IN FULL FORCE

Hundreds of Maplewood residents are gearing up for the big Womens March on D.C. set for Saturday in Washington, with most boarding buses for the trip aimed at showing their opposition to Donald Trump's inauguration.

Residents say they have not seen such a mass local planning for an event outside of town in years. When word of the protest event first surfaced months ago, a Facebook page and other planning efforts were launched.

"I think it's amazing that so many people in Maplewood are going," said Alan Stephenson, a Tuscan Road resident, husband, and father of a middle school student. "This is why we all live here, to take a stand. I am doing this to teach my son that instead of sitting around griping about things that don't turn out your way, you have to take a stand."

Stephenson, who is also a co-president of Maplewood Middle School HSA, said he personally rented two buses for the trip.

"They filled up right away," he said, noting they will shove off at 5:15 a.m. in front of Tuscan School Saturday.

Elizabeth Geary-Archer, a Hilton resident since 2003 and the mother of three children, is taking a bus from South Orange. 

"It has sort of snowballed," she said of the local interest. "I'm going because I'm concerned about the incoming administration. It does give you a sense of solidarity and inspiration to look out and see a huge group of people who feel the way you do."

She cited among her most pressing concerns about a Trump Administration his pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, who said Wednesday she believed schools should let teachers carry guns if they wish. 

"I am going to sort of sustain me for whatever is coming next," she said about her reasons for marching. "I can't even wrap my mind around it because every day something comes out. The people he is nominating and their track records are frightening." 

Tina Kelley, a local writer, poet and mother of two, said she is going with her daughter to seek protection for women's rights, the press, and the environment.

"I want to be counted as among the women who will be holding him to account to protect our health and respect us as human beings," Kelley said. "I feel very strongly that the efforts in the past generations for justice and kindness need to be defended."

Township officials have also weighed in with strong support. The Township Committee on Tuesday voted to lift the overnight parking ban on town streets for Saturday and Sunday mornings. 

Three TC members, including Mayor Vic Deluca, also plan to attend the rally and march on Saturday.

Mayor Deluca
"I feel it is important to stand up for democratic values within 24 hours of Donald Trump being sworn in as president," Deluca, who plans to drive down on Friday, said via email. "I want to join with thousands from across America to let the new leadership in Washington know that we will resist their dismantling of hard fought wins to expand social, economic and political rights and liberties."

TC members Frank McGehee and India Larrier also plan to make the trip. Nancy Adams and Greg Lembrich said they are unable to attend, but are supportive.

"It was important to be with my fellow Maplewoodians and for them to tangibly see who will work with them, and for them afterwards at the local level," McGehee said.
 
Then there is Bite, the new Valley Street eatery that is offering a lunch box special for the trip that you can order ahead and pick up at the South Orange train station at 4 a.m. Saturday. 

WAWA CELL PHONE THEFTS LEAD WEEK OF RETAIL-RELATED CRIME

From Maplewood Police:

January 13, 2017; Theft; At approximately 10:00 PM an employee of Wawa had their cell phone that was left on the counter stolen.

January 14, 2017; Theft; At approximately 2 AM, a customer that left their cell phone on the counter in Wawa had it stolen.


January 11, 2017; Theft; At approximately 2:30 PM, a female customer had her wallet stolen from the Quick Chek after leaving it on the counter.

January 11, 2017; Theft; At approximately 4:45 PM a female shoplifted a purse from a store on Maplewood Ave.

TOWNSHIP LIFTS OVERNIGHT PARKING BAN THIS WEEKEND

Maplewood will allow overnight parking on all streets this weekend, during the early morning hours of Saturday and Sunday, so that residents heading to the Womens March on D.C. on Saturday can park early to make the 4 a.m. buses.

Parking is normally banned on Township streets between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

But, as per this notice issued from police, that ban is lifted for this Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The Maplewood Police Department will be granting blanket overnight parking permission on all streets and public parking lots in Maplewood Twp. on Saturday 1/21/17 and Sunday 1/22/17. There will be no need to call for permission on these dates. Parking restrictions will resume on Monday 1/23/17.