Benefit for local blues musician with a big heart


The words “Big Nancy” and “benefit” are not an unusual pairing. Blues harpist Nancy Wertheim-Swarbrick is known for her giving nature, helping support local musicians when they are in dire straits. What is unusual is that this time she is the person receiving the funds. Wertheim-Swarbrick who is known by her blues name “Big Nancy” has lived in the Central Jersey area for most of her life, at least when she wasn’t on tour. An Ambassador of the Blues Hall of Fame, she played the harmonica in The Sonny Rhodes Band and shared the stage with many musical giants including Willie Dixon and Bruce Springsteen. Continue Reading →

Recycling Regulations Change

recycling sign pen and ink arrows

Today marked the last day Dunellen residents needed to separate their recycling. As of March 30, 2015, the Middlesex County Improvement Authority (MCIA) is transitioning to SINGLE-STREAM RECYCLING COLLECTION. For participating municipalities including Dunellen, this eliminates the need for sorting recyclables prior to curbside pick-up. Acceptable items include newspaper and mixed paper, cardboard, cans, bottles and plastics. At approximately 65%, Middlesex County has exceeded the state’s 60% recycling rate for the sixteenth year and was the state’s #1 recycling county for five of those years, according to the latest report from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Continue Reading →

Free Tuition Program at MCC for Volunteer Firefighters & EMS Personnel

Middlesex County Freeholders H. James Polos and Kenneth Armwood have announced that the County will offer volunteer firefighters and Emergency Management Services personnel a free tuition program through Middlesex County College. The Middlesex County Volunteer Tuition Waiver Program will be offered to one eligible volunteer firefighter and one eligible EMS volunteer from each municipality. To qualify, they must be identified and authorized by their individual organizations and must be active members in good standing. Participants may take up to 6 credits per semester at Middlesex County College – and a lifetime maximum of 24 credits. The program covers tuition only. Continue Reading →

Middlesex County Hosts Spring Cultural Events

Throughout the month of March, Middlesex County is showcasing how various cultures celebrate spring. The Folklife Program for New Jersey is partnering with the County to host the events at the historic Indian Queen Tavern at East Jersey Olde Towne Village in Johnson Park. “Spring Celebration: A Celtic Music Journey with Heather Mulvey” will be presented at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 22. A New Jersey native, Ms. Mulvey is an acoustic guitarist who shares her Irish heritage through song and story. Admission is free of charge. Continue Reading →

DHS Actor Raises Money for Charity

Dunellen High School senior Calvin Nemeckay will be starring in its spring musical Annie as Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks. But unlike most actors who play the smooth-pated character, Nemeckay will not be wearing a bald cap. Instead, he shaved his head to raise money for the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Nemeckay has already raised over 40% of his $1000 fundraising campaign goal. For more information regarding Calvin Nemeckay’s fundraising campaign:

For more information regarding the musical: Continue Reading →

Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Day on March 15

The Middlesex County Division of Solid Waste Management will be holding its next Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Day Sunday, March 15, 2015. This event is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Middlesex County College, Mill Road entrance, in Edison. Hazardous wastes that are improperly disposed of are potentially dangerous to children and animals, a potential cause of ground water and other environmental pollution, and a potential threat to garbage collection crews. Acceptable materials include but are not limited to: pesticides/herbicides, flammable liquids, solvents, pool chemicals, used motor oil, oil filters, paints, rechargeable and button cell batteries, anti-freeze, propane tanks, fluorescent light bulbs, including compact fluorescent bulbs (no broken bulbs) and asbestos. Residents wishing to bring asbestos must pre-register by calling the Division. Continue Reading →

4-H to host “Breakfast with the Bunnies”

Middlesex County 4-H Junior Council will host “Breakfast with the Bunnies” on Saturday, March 28, 2015. Parents and children (ages 2-8) are invited to enjoy a pancake breakfast, meet the “4-H Bunnies,” go on an egg hunt and participate in fun children’s activities. This event is scheduled to take place at the 4-H Youth Center, located at 645 Cranbury Road in East Brunswick.There are two sessions for breakfast and activities: 9 to 10 a.m. and 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Tickets are required. Admission is $8 for ages 4 and up, $6 for ages 3 and under. Both prices include breakfast, egg hunt, photos taken with the bunnies, petting zoo, face painting and more. Continue Reading →

DHS Receives Safe Sports School Award

Dunellen High School received the 1st Team Safe Sports School award from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). According to NATA’s website, the award was created to “recognize secondary schools around the country that provide safe environments for student athletes, the initiative reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention and treatment.” The application for a Safe Sports School award outlines the specific actions that will lead an athletics program to the highest safety standards for its players. A school may earn a 1st or 2nd Team award; 1st is awarded to schools that act on all of the recommended and required elements. 2nd Team is granted to schools that have completed only required elements. Continue Reading →

Board of Ed to reinstate former School Superintendent

The Dunellen Board of Education (BOE) will be holding its regular public meeting in the Dunellen High School Library on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 7:30pm. On its agenda is a vote to approve the return of former superintendent Pio Pennisi for next year’s school term and in the interim, hiring him as a special consultant to the Board of Education on an as-needed basis. After 34 years in the Dunellen School District, Pennisi retired as superintendent in June 2014. He was hired three months later, in September, as the interim superintendent of the Netcong school system, and is still listed as “superintendent” on its official website. According to a September 2014 article printed in the NJ Herald regarding the Netcong position, “Pennisi said he will work two days per week at a rate of about $519 per day as the interim superintendent and will focus on setting the district up for future success in addition to his normal administrative duties.” Continue Reading →

The first sign that spring is near – Maple sugaring

The end of winter brings the end of snow but it brings something even sweeter… maple syrup. Here are some maple sugaring events not far from Dunellen. Somerset County Environmental Education Center
190 Lord Stirling Rd, Basking Ridge, NJ • 908 766-2489
The free events are held every Saturday and Sunday through March 15. The 90-minute program includes a half-mile hike to the “Sugar Shack” where the process will be demonstrated. Continue Reading →