Collingswood, New Jersey

Free Comic Book Day, May 2!

Comic Book Fans Unite - Free Comic Book Day is on the way! Join comic lovers on Saturday, May 2 at the Collingswood Public Library from 11am to 1pm. All ages are invited to get free comics, giveaways and refreshments! There will also be several prize drawings. This free event is sponsored by the Friends of the Library and Fat Jack’s Comicrypt.

Collingswood Farmers’ Market announces dog leash-permit program for 2015 season

Four-legged guests required to wear Market leashes

The Collingswood Farmers’ Market has long been a gathering place for foodies, friends and many in the region looking for Jersey fresh produce and local goods. For many, bringing their four-legged friends is also part of the Saturday morning tradition.

As the attendance of people and their pets have increased at the popular weekly Market, there have also been more situations with dogs ranging from spoiling food to aggressive behavior. Due to safety concerns and feedback from market guests, the Collingswood Farmers’ Market is introducing a dog leash permit program for the 2015 market season which begins on May 2.

Starting in 2015, the Market will issue permits in the form of official Market leashes to the owners/handlers of any dogs who attend the Market even once. To obtain a permit to have a pet at the Market, owners must report with their dogs to the Dog Tent upon arrival, where the staff of a local shelter or animal welfare agency will collect their permit fee and present them with a list of Behavior Guidelines and an official Market leash. The one-time $10 permit fee will be good for the entire 2015 season and all future seasons, for as long as the program lasts and the owner keeps the leash. No other leashes will be permitted at the Market. Owners and pets that violate behavior guidelines will be asked to surrender their leash-permit. Pet behavior guidelines will be enforced by Collingswood Special Police or the Market Director.

“Occasional guests” who don’t plan to bring their dogs back to the Market can “rent” a permit leash for one-time use. These guests will receive a refund of $8 when they return their “permit leashes” to the Dog Tent by noon on the day they’re issued. Two dollars will be retained as a donation to the shelter or agency.

“Even avid dog lovers agree there are too many dogs at the Market,” said Market Director David Hodges.  “Unfortunately, each week a dozen or more of our four-legged guests misbehave in ways that range from annoying to downright dangerous. We don’t blame the dogs. They’ve been brought to a crowded place full of distractions including other dogs and it’s only natural that they sometimes act like dogs. But we can’t afford to risk serious injury to our loyal customers. And we’ve heard from many potential shoppers who avoid the Market specifically because they aren’t comfortable sharing it with unmanaged animals. We’re hoping this provides a solution that helps us regulate animals at the Market and will also raise funds for animal agencies.”

The goal of the program is to easily identify dogs that are registered with the market and educated on proper behavior while attending. The neon-colored leashes will be easy to spot by Market representatives and those that are without a permit-leash will be asked to register or leave.

“It’s our hope this will make the Market a safer place for our pets and our guests,” said Hodges.

For more information visit www.CollingswoodMarket.com.

Collingswood receives $241,000 SRTS grant for pedestrian improvements

The Borough of Collingswood has been named a 2014 Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grant recipient. The grant will fund a series of traffic calming improvements that “enable and encourage children in grades K-8, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school,” according to the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s objectives for SRTS grants.

Collingswood’s application includes traffic calming at the intersection of Haddon & Homestead Avenues (likely a bump out) as well as improvements to pedestrian routes from the Haddon and Homestead intersection to William P. Tatem, Zane North and Good Shepherd elementary schools.

Specific roads eligible for pedestrian route improvements include:
Homestead Ave from Atlantic Ave to Maple Ave
Maple Ave from Homestead Ave to Washington Ave
Washington Ave from Maple Ave to Lincoln Ave
Atlantic Ave from Homestead Ave to Lees Ave
Dill Ave from Atlantic Ave to Stokes Ave
Stokes Ave from Dill Ave to Lees Ave
Lees Ave from Stokes Ave to Atlantic Ave
Lees Lane from Linwood Ave to Stokes Ave

Improvements covered by the grant will generally consist of:
Installation of ADA curb ramps
Painting of crosswalks
Replacement of select sidewalks
Limited installation of textured crosswalks
Signage improvements

“Pedestrian improvements were a part of our budget this year so this funding will go a long way in helping to make our streets more walkable,” said Collingswood Mayor James Maley. “There’s a lot that can be done to make our roads safer, especially in neighborhoods that are trafficked by students.”

Additional goals of SRTS improvements include making, “bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age; and to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.”

About TAP and SRTS
Municipalities applied for over $20 million in grant funding for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) and the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) in 2014.  In actuality, over $23 million in grant funding was awarded to 52 municipalities – 28 TAP grant recipients totaling $17 million and 24 SRTS grant recipients totaling $6 million.  These federally funded programs are administered by NJDOT in partnership with the three Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in New Jersey – North Jersey Transportation Authority (NJTPA), Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO).
A list of all 2014 SRTS and TAP recipients can be seen here: http://www.saferoutesnj.org/announcing-the-2014-grant-recipients-of-srts-and-tap-funding/

About Collingswood:
Collingswood is a historic NJ town 10 minutes outside Philadelphia. Known for its eclectic downtown and BYO restaurant scene, it has taken home national recognition including being named a Top 10 Transformed Neighborhood by Forbes, the Best Place to Go Car Free by Men’s Journal magazine, a Classic Town of Greater Philadelphia by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, a Great Place in America (Haddon Avenue) by the American Planning Association and is home to the Collingswood Farmers’ Market, voted best in America by the American Farmland Trust. For more information, visit www.Collingswood.com.

DPW spring clean up starts April 13

The Department of Public Works will be providing residents with curbside leaf pick up the week of April 13-17.  This will occur on your normal fall leaf pick up day.  Also, large brush can be placed curbside for pick up.

Please keep all debris and branches out of leaf piles, and put your leaves on curb strip and Public Works will rake them into street the day of pick up.

Please call 856-858-0533 with your address for brush disposal or for more information. Leaf pickup schedules are available on the Public Works page here.

Mac & Beer fundraiser, April 23

SJ Festival celebrates America’s favorite comfort food and drink

When you combine America’s favorite comfort food (macaroni & cheese) with America’s favorite adult beverage (beer), the results are bound to be tasty.  That’s what Crossroads Programs, along with the Collingswood Foundation for the Arts, is counting on in their upcoming Mac & Beer event on Thursday, April 23 at the Grand Ballroom in Collingswood. The event runs from 5pm to 9pm. The food and drink festival will  feature a dozen independent restaurants and breweries from all over New Jersey for all-you-can-eat tastings of every conceivable kind of mac & cheese. Tickets are $35 per person and are available by calling 856-858-1000 x210. The event is for guests age 21 and over only. Only a limited number of tickets will be available at the door.

“We have Italian mac and cheese, Mexican, Indian, Greek, Middle Eastern and traditional American,” explains Crossroads CEO Michael Snyder.  “You may come to the event hungry and thirsty but I guarantee you won’t leave that way.”  Snyder runs Crossroads Programs, a charity that works with young people who are abused, abandoned, homeless or at-risk. The Collingswood Foundation for the Arts is responsible for the operation of the Scottish Rite Auditorium and Grand Ballroom in Collingswood which holds a variety of social events, concerts and theatrical performances. Proceeds from Mac & Beer benefit both these organizations.

Chef Jim Malaby of blueplate in Mullica Hill and Connie Correia who runs the Pop Shop in Collingswood, both past winners, are eager to polish their laurels and show the public how great homemade mac & cheese can be. “This is not your ‘made from a box’ macaroni and cheese,” says Malaby. “When you make this dish from scratch, with great noodles and aromatic, delicious cheeses, you have an excellent source of calcium that just happens to taste great.  Macaroni and cheese is not just for kids anymore.”

Chef Mark Smith of The Tortilla Press & Tortilla Press Cantina restaurants agrees.  “Each independent restaurant is adding their own style and flavor to the dish. For instance, we add black beans and salsa to give it a Mexican flavor. Every style change only makes traditional mac and cheese that much better and tastier.”

Beer tastings are being given by Flying Fish Brewery of Somerdale as well as other New Jersey based craft breweries.  “This is a unique South Jersey event,” explains Snyder, “so it’s fitting that two very worthy South Jersey charities are being honored with the proceeds. It’s a good event where everything tastes good too - and it will be a lot of fun!”

For more information and a list of participating restaurants and breweries, please contact Lydia Cipriani, 609 880 0210 x111.

Upcoming Proud Neighbors Events

For the past 30 years, Proud Neighbors of Collingswood has been an outstanding advocate for preservation of the historic character of Collingswood.  Founded by a group of volunteers who shared an interest in the restoration of their community, Proud Neighbors of Collingswood offers a variety of programs to inspire residents to appreciate and preserve this town’s historic character. See how you can learn more from their programming or even get involved!

Plaster Repair Clinic - April 4                                           

Proud Neighbors of Collingswood will sponsor a free plaster repair restoration clinic on Saturday, April 4, 2015, from 10am to noon, at the Knight Park Caretakers’ House, Collingswood, NJ.

This Proud Neighbors Restoration Clinic will feature professional, John Ahern, reviewing plaster repair topics:

· Assessment of plaster. Can it be salvaged?

· Compatible materials for long term  plastering

· The tools of the trade for the best plaster job

·  Application of paint finish coats

How many times have you had a plaster crack or fail year after year? How do the pros make plaster smooth and sound? That rock-hard substance, which was applied to the walls and ceilings of nearly every house in this country until the 1950s, gives us surfaces that are seamless, mold resistant, fire resistant, and noise deadening. But what to do when plaster cracks, buckles, and pops loose? It's a perplexing question for many of our residents whose Collingswood homes are filled with blemished plaster.  John Ahern of Ahern Painting will show how to patch 100 years of gouges, cracks, and screw holes so the walls look flat and clean when painted.  This plaster clinic demonstrates how sticking old walls back together can make them look as good as new. Proud Neighbors Restoration Clinics are free and open to the public. 

Historic Paint Colors - April 23
Proud Neighbors of Collingswood will sponsor a slide presentation and discussion about historic paint colors and enhancing the beauty of you home.  Come talk with professionals on Thursday, April 23, 2015, 6:45 p.m. at the Collingswood Public Library, 771 Haddon Ave, Collingswood, NJ.
This speakers series features painting professional John Ahern, of Ahern Painting.   Are you ready to change the paint on your home? Mr. Ahern will elaborate on proper painting steps during his lecture and will show photos of his work. If time permits, speaker will also take questions from the audience.
Proud Neighbors presentations are free and open to the public. 

Porch Brunch, House & Garden Tour – May 17
Reserve Now at 609.238.5407 for 11am or 1pm Brunch with tours:$28.  Tour-only:$15 advance; $18 day-of-tour. Details TBA on the Porch Brunch and House Tour page soon!

Proud Neighbors Town-wide Yard Sale - June 6  (rain date June 13)
Details on the event page here. To participate or get more info, email: YardSale@ProudNeighborsOfCollingswood.org

Landscaping Small Gardens - September 24
Proud Neighbors Speakers’ Series will feature professional landscape architects from Land Sculpture.  This Proud Neighbors evening will include a slide presentation & discussion on small garden landscaping on Thursday, April 23, 2015, 6:45pm at the Collingswood Public Library, 771 Haddon Ave, Collingswood, NJ.   

Proud Neighbors presentations are free and open to the public. 

Ten Colls restaurants participating in Dining Out for Life, April 30

Fight AIDS on April 30 as part of the 25th Annual Dining Out for Life

Anyone can be a superhero in the fight against HIV/AIDS – no cape or tights necessary, just an appetite. That’s the message in the latest commercial for Dining Out for Life, which returns to the Southern Jersey area on Thursday, April 30.

More than 150 restaurants and food trucks will again participate across the Delaware Valley, each donating 33 percent of their food sales for the day to local HIV/AIDS service organizations. The event raises nearly a quarter of a million dollars each year, which is essential in a region with four times as many people infected with HIV/AIDS than the national average. In Collingswood, guests can dine at El Sitio Café & Grill, IndeBlue Indian Cuisine, L'Oceano, Nunzio Ristorante Rustico , Oasis Mexican Grill , Sapori Trattoria, The Pop Shop, The Tortilla Press, Villa Barone and Zeppoli to give back.

“My husband, Chef Rakesh, and I had close friends tragically die of AIDS and have friends who are living with AIDS,” said Heather Ramola, owner of IndeBlue. “IndeBlue is committed to raising awareness and money for the Dining Out For Life organization so everyone living with AIDS can live their life to the fullest and be treated with compassion.”

Money raised on April 30 in Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware are invested through local non-profits to only fund care, prevention, education, testing, counseling and other essential HIV/AIDS services across the region. In addition to ActionAIDS, beneficiaries include AIDS Delaware, Camden Area Health Education Center, Family & Community Service of Delaware County and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

This year, the event benefits Camden Area Health Education Center (AHEC), an organization committed to improving the health of the medically underserved - the ethnic and culturally diverse, the aged, the poor, the very young, the unemployed, the homeless and the uninsured. Camden AHEC is the only organization in Southern New Jersey to operate a drop in center designed to provide resources and HIV education to young men of the gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning community. Camden AHEC’s mobile van provides HIV counseling and testing services to over 1,000 individuals annually. Particular emphasis on providing HIV/AIDS prevention services and support to those individuals infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.

For more information about Dining Out for Life, visit http://www.diningoutforlife.com/philadelphia

2015 Southern New Jersey Participating Restaurants:
El Sitio Café & Grill
Indeblue Indian Cuisine
L'Oceano
Nunzio Ristorante Rustico 
Oasis Mexican Grill 
Sapori Trattoria 
The Pop Shop Collingswood/Medford
The Tortilla Press/Tortilla Press Cantina
Villa Barone
Zeppoli
Barnsboro Inn
Casa Bella Trattoria
CousCous Moroccan Cuisine
District Riverton Bistro
Filomena Cucina Italiana
Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar
logoKeg & Kitchen
L'Oceano
Norma's Mediterranean Restaurant
Thomas’ Ristorante
Tre Famiglia Ristorante
Tree House Coffee Shop
Villari’s Lakeside
Westmont Diner

Collingswood to host antique appraisal event for April 11 Second Saturday

“Antiques on the Ave” is featured event for April

Search the attic and gather your heirlooms! The Borough of Collingswood and Collingswood Rotary will host an antique appraisal event as part of 2nd Saturday on April 11. Guests can bring their trinkets, antiques and collectibles up to Collingswood Borough Hall, 678 Haddon Avenue, to ask local experts about their value.

Antiques on the Avenue will bring local experts to appraise items including jewelry, fine arts, antiques, decorative arts, silver, China, glass, Oriental carpets and general household items. Please do not bring sports memorabilia or large furniture.

Appraisers include Francesca Ellis of Ellis Antiques in Collingswood, Tracy O'Donnell of McGarry’s Jewelers in Collingswood and Katherine Linzey, president of Linzey Appraisal Associates, LLC and an accredited member of the American Society of Appraisers.

Guests can have their items appraised at $5 per item. Money raised benefits Collingswood Rotary projects such a scholarship programs, Thanksgiving baskets, Little League and other community events and organizations. Appraisals are on a first come first served basis and guests are limited to 10 items per person. Light refreshments will be served and guests can spend the evening enjoying the art and music of 2nd Saturday throughout Collingswood's downtown before or after their appraisals. Guests will also receive a Blue & Gold card and list of merhcant specials for shopping and dining Collingswood! 

“We're excited to see what kind of treasures people have,” said Collingswood's Director of Community Development Cass Duffey."We're hoping our own mini-roadshow brings some new faces to Haddon Ave and that everyone will enjoy some shopping and dining while they're here, too. It's just another good opportunity to do something new in town."

"We jumped at the opportunity to partner for this event," said Collingswood Rotary President Michael Trainor. “2nd Saturday is one of Collingswood’s best events and this will make it even more interesting. We’re hoping it’s a great fundraiser that allows us to provide even more services for Collingswood.”

Opinions of value are verbal and informal, and may not be used for insurance or charitable donations, which require a certified appraisal. Arrangements for written appraisals can be made with appraisal team separately.

2nd Saturday is Collingswood’s monthly art and music event. Experience dozens of one-night art exhibits tucked in retail shops, restaurants and spots on each block as well as the shopping and dining Collingswood is known for. As always, 2nd Saturdays are free. Just visit Collingswood, stroll and enjoy the culture - on us. Learn more about visiting or participating in 2nd Saturday by visiting the event page here.


 

Spring Flower Fundraiser Sale

Need flowers for Grandmom, Mom, Sister or Aunt?
The Collingswood High School Band Boosters are holding their 1st Annual Spring Flower Sale.
When:  Saturday, April 4, 2015 from 8am - 12pm
Where:  Knights Park across from Collingswood High School
All proceeds benefit Collingswood High School Marching Band 

Collingswood bombed, second guerrilla knit invites public to partake

Yarn artists in Collingswood mobilize for second year to decorate quaint borough with fuzzy creations

Again, the knitters (and crocheters) of Collingswood have secretly come together to “bomb” the town. For the second year, Collingswood awoke to a colorful art installation decorating Collingswood’s historic main street, Haddon Avenue.

For 2015, artists were tasked to decorate fences and benches along Collingswood’s main drag. Working over the past few months, participants covertly selected their targets and were given carte blanche to design fiber art pieces.

“Last year, we worked within a color palette and gave knitters measurements for select trees,” said Collingswood Director of Community Development Cass Duffey. “After seeing what the artists could do we really wanted to give them more creative license. The fences and benches lend themselves to be more interesting canvasses for the artists. They were allowed to fill or cover their spaces as they please, to really let their creativity fly.”

The team of roughly twenty artists has been working for months to plan and execute coverings. On the rainy evening of March 10, the group gathered to “bomb” Collingswood, or covertly attach their creations so their installation would be a surprise the next morning.

"I love being a part of something that's only mission is to beautify our environment,” said artist and resident Sara McLaughlin who also participated in the 2014 project. “After a long winter, it's fun to see color and creativity line Haddon Ave. It's a great, non-invasive way to bring art to the town and maybe even get people interested in learning how to crochet or knit."

Last year, the installation put surprise “tree sweaters” on trees, poles and other items in the town. Feedback on the project -from enthusiasm to bewilderment- was immediate and overwhelming.

“It’s definitely something that got attention,” said Collingswood Mayor James Maley, “Art should make people react and we were hearing people’s impressions on the first installation for a year afterward. Most importantly, it is fundamentally a community project. These artists aren’t paid. They give their time to this project to beautify town and showcase their handiwork. It’s great.”

Yarnbombing, also called yarnstorming, has become common in urban areas, decorating everything from lampposts to entire vehicles. Dozens of organizations dedicated to the craft and execution of bombings exist around the county. In 2012, the city of Pittsburgh organized local knitters to decorate the Andy Warhol/7th Street Bridge. Collingswood’s artists are residents, knitting enthusiasts and local groups that designed and installed the large-scale, fiber arts installation.

This year’s installation also includes public participation. Building on a trend that went viral this winter, the Borough is asking those that want to contribute to donate a scarf to “scarf tree” locations in town. The donations will be given to local shelters and organizations. The initiative also gives knitters that are not a formal part of the installation a chance to participate.

“After the first bomb we heard a lot of locals say they would have loved to participate and now they can,” said Duffey “It’s sort of a month-long, outdoor scarf drive that also lets people add their touch to the bomb. We’d love to see the fences filled with all sorts of colors. The more people give, the prettier it will look and the more people we can help. We hope people pile them on and give back.”

Those that want to donate a scarf can wrap one around the iron fence next to Borough Hall (678 Haddon Ave, in front of the Borough Christmas tree) and another location to be determined. Scarves and donations do not have to be handmade.

“This project makes me so happy because it shows off the talents of our town's citizens. Having everyone see our pieces makes us feel special, like we are artists & it's so gratifying to share our work with the whole town,” said artist Shannon McGill.

The exhibit coincides with Collingswood’s monthly 2nd Saturday event on March 14 and will remain in Collingswood’s downtown until April. The Borough asks that guests please be respectful of the artists and their work by not damaging or altering the fiber art.

About Collingswood:
Collingswood is a historic NJ town 10 minutes outside Philadelphia. Known for its eclectic downtown and BYO restaurant scene it has taken home national recognition including being named a Top 10 Transformed Neighborhood by Forbes, the Best Place to Go Car Free by Men’s Journal magazine, a Classic Town of Greater Philadelphia by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, a Great Place in America (Haddon Avenue) by the American Planning Association and is home to the Collingswood Farmers’ Market, voted best in America by the American Farmland Trust.

 

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