Collingswood, New Jersey

CHS presents Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

It's a tale as old as time! Be their guest for Collingswood High School's production of Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. The show will be performed in the Middle School Auditorium, 414 W. Collings Avenue, Thursday, March 2; Friday, March 3, Saturday, March 4; Friday, March 10 and Saturday, March 11 at 7:30pm.  A matinee performance is Saturday, March 11 at 2pm.

Tickets are $12; $8 for students and seniors.

Special promotions are:

Saturday, March 4 - Character Breakfast - Join Belle, the Beast, and the cast for breakfast, songs, crafts and photos! Two seatings, 9am and 10:30am, at the Middle School Cafeteria. Advance-only tickets are $20 for one adult and child, $7 for each additional ticket. Proceeds benefit Project Graduation. For tickets, email brodgers@collsk12.org.

Friday, March 10 at 7:30pm is Family Fun Night - buy one adult ticket, get a student ticket free.

Saturday, March 11 matinee at 2pm is a Senior Special, with light lunch at 1pm. Free show admission for all seniors plus, if they reserve by Friday, March 10, they will get a free light lunch courtesy of the Board of Education and the Collingswood Education Association. To reserve senior lunch, email mbaldwin@collsk12.org or call 856-962-5702. 

Collingswood and St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society take “first swing” at abandoned homes

The Borough of Collingswood partnering with the St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society of Camden officially began work renovating abandoned homes in Collingswood with a “first swing” ceremony!

After months of legal proceedings Collingswood and the St. Joseph Carpenter Society are renovating abandoned homes in the Borough. Borough officials took a “first swing” to celebrate the start of interior demolition and remodeling of an abandoned home at 254 Harvard Avenue.

The event is the culmination of a year and a half of work and proceedings to gain access to abandoned homes through the statewide Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act. After the recession in the early 2000s, Collingswood, like municipalities nationwide, was left with dozens of abandoned homes that blighted neighborhoods and decreased property values. The Borough leined properties to require banks to provide basic maintenance, but the homes fell largely into disrepair and were stalled for years from being put on the market.

“These spaces were black holes. The banks have no urgency to make them productive and meanwhile, there are vermin and safety issues, they look awful and they are a burden to entire blocks,” said Collingswood Mayor James Maley. “And our hands were tied. All we could do was cut the grass and bill the banks. It was beyond frustrating getting calls from concerned residents and no response from banks. Eventually we had to figure out a way to take steps ourselves.”

Initially, Collingswood worked with a group of local towns ranging from Haddonfield to the Fairview section of Camden compiling abandoned home data with the hope of presenting banks with a significant portfolio of abandoned homes. When that plan failed to take root, Collingswood seized the opportunity to use New Jersey’s Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act which gives municipalities an option to take control of abandoned properties with a plan for rehabilitation. In early 2017, Collingswood finalized the legal process to gain access to a handful of abandoned properties and can now commence renovations.

Collingswood’s abandoned properties project will act like a revolving fund – as the first homes are rehabilitated and sold, Collingswood will use those profits to begin work on the next batch of homes. To complete the renovations, Collingswood is partnering with St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society, a 30-year-old nonprofit that has renovated nearly 1,000 abandoned properties in Camden City. The first homes St. Joseph’s will rehabilitate are 254 Harvard Ave and 19 Lees Ave. Currently, Collingswood has about 40 target homes on its official list.

“Collingwood is a fantastic community and it doesn’t make sense to have these great homes sitting vacant. The Carpenter Society is excited to partner with Collingswood to bring our 30 years of experience in working on abandoned housing issues here to convert these homes back into suitable spaces for families to live and thrive,” said Pilar Hogan Closkey, Executive Director of Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society. “Abandoned homes have been casting a negative light on our South Jersey communities and being able to wrestle these homes free to rehab them and bring them back to life offers a new chance for these blocks to become whole again.”

An additional benefit of Collingswood’s proactive approach has been that several of the properties on the Borough list of abandoned homes have since been renovated privately, meaning that target homes are being rehabbed, sold and housing new residents without Borough intervention. If you know of a home that you think should be added to Collingswood’s abandoned homes list, please email the address to fireprevention@collingswood.com.

“This is a huge step in taking care of a lingering problem that has plagued pretty much every town since the market crashed,” said Maley. “We want to see families in these homes giving back to the community and contributing to their neighborhoods. When a house falls into disrepair the way these have it casts a pall over the entire area. This project means a lot to every neighbor I talk to. They want to bring life back to their block.”

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 and a Great Place in America (Haddon Avenue) by the American Planning Association. For more information visit www.collingswood.com.

About St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society:
SJCS was founded in 1985 to help families improve their quality of life and to create safe neighborhoods through housing opportunities in East Camden, New Jersey. SJCS promotes successful homeownership through homeowner education, housing development, and community engagement.  To date, SJCS has created nearly 1,000 homes, mostly converting abandoned houses into homes for families, with the intention of ridding the community of vacant and abandoned housing.  Their neighborhood redevelopment work has now taken them to support South Jersey communities in this same mission.  For more information, visit www.sjcscamden.org.

Graphic design contest announced for 2017 Farmers' Market!

Calling all local Graphic Designers! We want YOU to design the 2017 Collingswood Farmers' Market Poster!

The start of the Collingswood Farmers' Market is a signal that spring has arrived in Collingswood! It's also one of the most anticipated dates on the Borough's community calendar with countdowns, planning, and a yearly marketing push to let the region know the Market is back!

The Market's promotional poster changes each year and is typically colorful, unique and represents the joy that the Collingswood Farmers' Market brings to thousands of shoppers and hundreds of vendors each year. For the 2017 season, Market organizers are looking for a local designer to create the "look" for this year's Market.

Borough officials are inviting local graphic designers to apply for consideration to create the 2017 poster. Based on applications and portfolios, three designers will be selected to create 2017 concept posters. Three finalists will all be paid $500 for their concept design. The public will choose their favorite poster through social media and online voting and the winning designer will be paid an additional $1000 for their work and to resize the concept for 2017 Farmers' Market advertising.

Do you want to be the designer behind the eighteenth annual Market? Apply!

All designers are welcome to apply but preference will be given to designers based in or residing in Collingswood. To apply: Send an email with subject FARMERS MARKET DESIGN CONTEST to cduffey@collingswood.com
-Include your name and your design experience (resumes welcome) and connection to Collingswood (Is your design company located here? Are you a resident?) if applicable.
-Attach at least three samples of your work that best reflect a similar campaign or artistic approach you would use for the Collingswood Farmers’ Market. Links to online portfolios/resumes welcome.
-All application emails must be received by March 1, 2017.
-Three concept designers will be chosen by March 10.
-Concept designs from three finalists must be submitted by March 24.
-Online voting will take place March 25-April 7. Winning design will be announced the week of April 10
-Full rules for finalists will be posted at Collingswood.com

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 and a Great Place in America (Haddon Avenue) by the American Planning Association. For more information visit www.collingswood.com.

About the Collingswood Farmers’ Market:
Called "One of the State's finest markets" by Charles M. Kuperus, the New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture and voted the best small market in the nation ib an American Farmland Trust poll, the Collingswood Farmers’ Market started as the dream of community volunteers and from the interest of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to bring fresh produce directly from local farmers to communities. A fixture for Collingswood residents and shoppers in the region, the Market is considered the best and biggest in South Jersey. Each week from May to November, thousands of shoppers enjoy a sea of fresh veggies and fruits, organic produce, pastured meats, brilliant flowers, breads, cheeses, entertainment and more that line Atlantic Avenue along the Collingswood PATCO speedline. For more information visit www.CollingswoodMarket.com.

 

Book Club at Collingswood Public Library

Looking for a legit book club where people actually talk about the book? Join us for Collingswood Reads, the Collingswood Public Library's very own book club!


Adults and teens are welcome to gather in the library's Peter Childs meeting room to discuss the monthly book pick, meet neighbors and munch on snacks. We read a variety of genres, including mystery, fantasy, historical fiction, and science fiction, not to mention selections from non-fiction. We invite you to come share your thoughts and hear others' perspectives as well.

Book Club meets once a month, typically the fourth Wednesday of the month, from 7-8pm. To check te schedfule, which occasionally varies due to holidays, ask our staff or visit the library's events calendar here.

 

Do you know a community champion? Nominate them!

Nominate a great resident for the Collingswood Community Champion Awards!

We can all agree Collingswood is an amazing place to live, right? But what makes it that way? We’ve got something other towns don’t.

THE. BEST. RESIDENTS.

Volunteers and community minded folks make a difference in Collingswood every day by creating a positive environment in our town.  Organizations, drives, vigils, events - they are all powered by the enthusiasm of our residents to make something happen for the greater good. Often, the efforts of volunteers, organizations and staff that go above and beyond go unnoticed.  Some of our town’s most beloved features and programs were born out of volunteer efforts (Did you know our beloved Farmers’ Market was born of volunteer suggestion and hard work!? It’s just one of dozens of examples of how volunteers make Collingswood even greater every day.).

The Collingswood Community Champion Awards provide  formal recognition to those who have dedicated their time, talent and resources to making Collingswood the best it can be and improving the quality of life of their fellow citizens.

Who do you know that has tirelessly given back for the sake of giving back?  Government officials, fellow residents, or community organizations can nominate people or organizations to receive awards.

• Sustainable Champion
• Historic Preservation
• Youth Service or Mentorship 
• Town Beautification
• School Champion
• Business
• Town Hero

 Awardees will be honored at monthly Commission meetings and featured in the Collingswood Town Crier. We know you’re out there, do-gooders. If you know a Collingswood Community Champion, fill out the nomination form here.

Snow information

Collingswood’s Public Works Department works hard to maintain safe driving conditions and clear streets during a snowy weather. During inclement weather please pull cars into driveways if possible to aid plowing. Vehicles parked in the roadway cause a hindrance to the plowing operations and put plow drivers at risk for possible accidents with parked vehicles in the roadway. Please do not shovel snow back into the street when shoveling out drives and walks. It impedes plow crew efforts. Remember, property owners are responsible for clearing walks.

Trash service will continue as scheduled. With public works questions please call 856-858-0533. For weather related updates, cancellations or information please stay tuned to www.collingswood.com.

SNOW REMOVAL GUIDELINES
Depending on the duration and amount of snowfall, Borough trucks may plow your street several times. As snow rolls off our plows, it will accumulate in driveways. Please understand that this is unavoidable and it is the homeowner's responsibility to clear it. Here are some helpful hints to make "snow" business less frustrating:

Shovel snow to the right side of your driveway (facing the street) to minimize the amount of snow entering your driveway.

If possible/necessary, wait until the Borough trucks have made at least two passes on your street before clearing your driveway.

Shovel and/or blow snow onto the curb, not into the street.

DO NOT PARK cars on the street from one hour after snow has continuously fallen until 12 hours after snow has stopped. This speeds the removal process and prevents cars from being plowed in.

To ensure safety of pedestrians, residents must remove snow from sidewalks following a snow fall.

In the event of deep snow, please shovel around your mailbox and fire hydrants near your house – for your safety and your neighbors'.

Local roads are plowed by Borough crews. Several roads in Collingswood are maintained by Camden County. To report an issue with a county maintained road, please call  the Camden County Highway Department at 856-783-0043.

Roads maintained by Camden County:
Haddon Ave
Collings Ave
Richey Ave
Fern Ave
South Park Drive
Newton Lake Drive
Park Ave
Ferry Ave
Browning Road
Bettlewood Ave
Cuthbert Blvd

Roads maintained by the NJDOT:
Rte 130
Rte 30

 

Collingswood PD hosts “Coffee with a Cop” events

First event on March 7 aims to bring together community and police for a casual chat

No donut jokes, please.

The Collingswood Police Department will join the Coffee With a Cop national program in offering casual meetings with the community in an effort to better connect with citizens. Coffee with a Cop invites residents to ask questions about community safety and policing in a neutral setting over snacks and beverages. Collingswood’s first Coffee with a Cop event will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at Revolution Coffee Roasters, 13 Fern Ave at the Factory. Events are family friendly.

“There are a lot of good reasons to get to know our community better and for folks to get to know their officers better,” said Collingswood Police Chief Kevin Carey. “Coffee with a Cop events remove any barriers to getting to know law enforcement and open a channel of communication that has proven incredibly useful for a lot of towns.”
 
The program aims to foster one-on-one connections that bolsters relations between police officers and residents as well as support overall community communication. Collingswood Mayor James Maley and Chief Carey hope to arrange regular Coffee with a Cop events throughout 2017 in various neighborhoods, businesses and locations in town.
 
“This is the latest in a series of public outreach events and conversations serving to keep Collingswood officials connected to the community,” said Maley. ”When people know their officers better they are more likely to reach out to the police, which in turn makes for safer neighborhoods. It really fosters a healthy environment between residents and public safety officials. And maybe we’ll even bring donuts.”
 
Future Coffee with a Cop dates will be announced on Collingswood.com. Questions about the program may be directed to Cass Duffey at cduffey@collingswood.com. Questions about the Collingswood Police Department may be directed to Chief Kevin Carey at kcarey@collingswood.com.
 
About Coffee With a Cop:
In less than five years, Coffee with a Cop events have been hosted in all 50 states and is one of the most successful community oriented policing programs across the country. The program has also expanded to outside the United States to Canada, Europe, Australia, and Africa. The key to Coffee with a Cop’s growing success is that it opens the door for interactions outside of the crisis situations that typically bring law enforcement officers and community members together.


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 and a Great Place in America (Haddon Avenue) by the American Planning Association. For more information visit www.collingswood.com.

Teen Events at Collingswood Public Library

Board Gaming Club
Wednesday, February 8th
Come play board games at the public library. Bring your own games or play some classics from the Teen Area's collection. Some featured games include: King of Tokyo, Zombies!!!, Coup, Magic: The Gathering, Apples to Apples, etc.
3:30-5:00pm / Teen Area (2nd floor) / Grades: 7-12

Comic Book/Manga Craft Event
Wednesday, February 15th
For fans of comic books, graphic novels and manga. Make a comic/manga-themed craft, discuss your favorite titles, recommend new books, and more!
3:30-5:00pm / Teen Area (2nd floor) / Grades: 7-12

Video Games: Wii Wednesday
Wednesday, February 22nd
Come play video games on our Nintendo Wii system! Play Mario Kart, Tony Hawk, Just Dance, and more in the library's Teen Area!
3:30-5:00pm /  Teen Area (2nd floor) / Grades: 7-12


Collingswood Public Library
771 Haddon Ave. / Collingswood, NJ 08108
(856) 858-0649 / www.collingswoodlib.org

Winter events for kids at the Collingswood Public Library

Lots for kids and families to do at the Collingswood Public Library this winter!

Tiny Tot Storytime (for children 18-35 months old):
This program includes simple stories, finger plays, songs, and playtime. Fridays 10am on Jan. 6, 13, 20, 27, Feb., 3, 10, 17, 24, March 3, 10, 24, 31, and April 7. New attendees must register by emailing youthservices@collingswoodlib.org. Please include your child’s name, age, and your phone number.

Storytime for 3, 4, & 5 Year Olds:
Children meet for stories, songs, finger plays, snack, and a play period. A theme related craft is given to each child to take home. Coffee is provided for adults. Thursdays 10am-11:30am on Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26, Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23, March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, and April 6. Those new to the program should register by emailing youthservices@collingswoodlib.org. Please include your child’s name and age, and your phone number.

LEGO Junior (for children 5 to 7 years old):
Juniors will meet either Wednesdays (Jan. 4, Jan. 18, Feb. 1, Feb. 15, Mar. 1, and March 15) OR Thursdays (Jan. 5, Jan. 19, Feb. 2, Feb. 16, Mar. 2, and Mar. 16) from 3:30pm-4:30pm.

LEGO Club (for children 8 to 12 years old):
Will meet on Wed., Jan. 11, Jan. 25, Feb. 8, Feb. 22, Mar. 8, and Mar. 22 from 3:30pm-4:30pm.

To Register, please email youthservices@collingswoodlib.org. On the subject line please put “Wednesday LEGO Jr.”, “Thursday LEGO Jr.” or “LEGO Club”. Your message should include your child’s name and age, and your name and phone number.

Free tax preparation at the Collingswood Public Library

The AARP is offering a FREE in-person tax preparation service on Fridays from 12 to 4 p.m. until April 14 located in the Collingswood Public Library (771 Haddon Ave).

AARP Tax-Aide is a free service provided by volunteers who have been trained and are certified by the IRS and the State of New Jersey to prepare individual income tax returns, including homestead rebate and property tax reimbursement (PTR) applications. This service is available to all taxpayers with low to middle income, with special attention to taxpayers age 60 and older. Volunteers with the AARP will provide free tax help on a first-come, first-serve basis. All participants must bring a valid photo ID and their social security card with them.

Essential documents to bring include:
Picture ID for the taxpayer(s) on the return
Social security cards or ITIN documentation for all
Copy of last year’s tax return
Income documents—Forms W2, SSA, 1099R, 1099G, other 1099 forms, self-employment income
Brokerage statements—sale of stocks or bonds
Healthcare—1095 A, B OR C, marketplace exemption letters
Mortgage interest, medical, dental, or charitable donations; business; property taxes
Records of federal and state taxes paid
Educational expenses—Form 1098-T and expense receipts
Bank check for direct deposit/debit of refund/balance due

site by spark:.