Collingswood, New Jersey

Sharp School PTA Spring Fling

Avoid the malls and come have a ball at the Spring Fling vendor event sponsored by Thomas Sharp Elementary PTA on Sunday April 21 from 2 to 5pm (doors open at 1:30pm) at the Collingswood Community Center (30 W Collings Ave, next to the fire station). There will be light refreshments, fountain drinks, raffle baskets and over 30 participating vendors. Admission is free.

Sheets of tickets will be sold at $10 apiece at the event. Drawings will be held at 4:30pm. 

The list of more than 30 vendors includes: Park Lane Jewelry, Discovery Toys, Miche Bags, Stampin' Up, Stella and Dot, Scentsy, IGC metals precious metal buyers and many, many more! Come support a good cause and support Thomas Sharp Elementary PTA.

Collingswood hosts public tai chi class for World Tai Chi Day

Beginners and experts encouraged to fill Powell Lane for demonstration

Nathan Spivey is a man on a mission. A very calming mission.

Spivey, a tai chi instructor both regionally and at Collingswood’s ExtraordinaryED, approached borough officials about hosting an event for the 15th annual World Tai Chi Day on April 27 with the hopes of informing people about the benefits of tai chi.

The concept behind worldwide event is simple: Tai chi & qigong groups form mass gatherings in public parks or other public places around the world at 10 a.m. (local time) to provide demonstrations to the community, increase public knowledge and introduce people to the ancient art. Thanks to Spivey, this year Collingswood is on board and hopes to gather a mass crowd of both beginners and experts for a town wide exhibition on Powell Lane. The event is free.

“We want as many people as possible to enjoy the peace of mind and well being tai chi can bring into your life,” said Spivey.

World Tai Chi Day, always held the last Saturday in April, begins in the earliest time zones of New Zealand at 10 a.m. The event spreads across the globe as participants across each continent take part, with celebrations in sixty nations and several hundred cities, ending with the final events in the last time zones of Hawaii almost an entire day later.

Local participants can arrive at 9:15 a.m. on Powell Lane for some basic instruction on a short routine from one of several instructors. At 10 a.m., guests will perform their routine together, along with thousands of other participants in the Eastern Time Zone. After the public routine, each instructor will demonstrate a tai chi or qigong routine for the public and guests will then have the opportunity to meet and talk with instructors for more information on the practice. In the event of rain, the demonstration will move under the LumberYard garage, at the end of Powell Lane, behind the public plaza. Ample parking is available in the LumberYard garage.

Tai chi is a form of exercise derived from the martial art traditions of China over 400 years ago. The practice melds Chinese philosophy, Chinese medicine, inner energy techniques and martial arts. It is a moderate intensity exercise suitable for adults as well as those with chronic illnesses and rehabilitative needs. It is designed to cultivate focus, develop the body-mind connections, balance health and provides fluidity, flexibility, balance and strength. Studies have shown that tai chi can increase psychological well-being including reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression. Participants of all skill levels are encouraged to be a part of the Collingswood event.

“Everyone can use a little less stress nowadays,” said Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley, who will be on board for the demonstration. “We’re happy to host this. Being a part of something so global is humbling. We hope a lot of people come out to take advantage of what Nathan can teach us. Maybe it will inspire a larger tai chi movement in town.”

The event’s official page at www.worldtaichiday.org describes World Tai Chi Day: “…a peaceful soothing event will unfold around the Earth throughout the entire day, time zone by time zone. Gently and effortlessly the world will breathe together in a Tai Chi & QiGong relay of calm. We all may have experienced the soothing calm of witnessing others doing Tai Chi or QiGong; and on World Tai Chi & QiGong Day, the entire planet will have that opportunity.”

Nathan Spivey has been a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine for more than thirty years. Since 1977 he has been a student of Grand Master Bow Sim Mark, founder of the Chinese Wushu Research Institute, and teaching and demonstrating Tai Chi and Qigong as a Bow Sim Mark certified instructor since 1983. He is a graduate of the New England School of Acupuncture, and further studied at the Zhejiang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hangzhou, China.

 

April 17 Town Forum to be held jointly with schools

For the past 20 years, Collingswood has held a yearly or twice yearly Town Forum. No agenda, no parameters - just an open Q&A session between residents and elected officials.

“It’s as open and transparent as government gets,” said Commissioner Joan Leonard. “We ask everyone to attend and bring their questions and we’ll give your our answers. It makes for a very productive dialogue. Some of our best ideas have come from these events.”

This year the Borough has added an additional element to the next event on April 17 and will include the superintendent and school board members and as part of the forum.

“The School Board and Board of Education, not your local government, make policy in the schools,” said Mayor Jim Maley. “But we do work very closely to support what’s going on in the schools. There is overlap in our roles so it’s really important to work together.”

Because of that overlap, the Borough has invited Superintendent Scott Oswald, School Board President James Hatzell and additional members of the board to field questions as well. Over the last few years, Borough officials have worked to prioritize partnering with the schools where possible and strengthening communication between the two entities.

“We love the idea of being part of this conversation,” said School Board President James Hatzell. “This is another avenue to communicate with parents and residents. That’s always a good thing.”

Topics at Town Forums range from stop signs to taxes to trees to business – any concern or idea that residents have is valid. The forum begins at 7 p.m. at the Community Center (30 W. Collings Ave). For more information call 856-854-0720 x125.

Mark Newbie School PTA Basket Raffle

Mark Newbie Elementary School PTA will hold a Basket Raffle on Friday, April 26, 2013, 7pm at the Collingswood Community Center. Admission is $5 and includes coffee, tea, soda and light snacks.  Presale tickets are 5 sheets for $15.  At the door tickets are 1 sheet for $5 or 3 sheets for $10.  There will be a 50/50 drawing, basket raffle and drawings for some larger prizes.  

There will be over 50 baskets raffled, including gift certificates from Pop Shop, Casona, Tortilla Press, passes to the Academy of Natural Science, Adventure Aquarium, National Constitution Center, Sesame Place, Coco Keys Water Park.  Special Raffles will be held for an American Girl Doll, Phillies tickets and Collingswood Pool Pass.  

This is just a small listing so come on out and win some prizes!  For more information or to order pre-sale tickets contact Brenda at bin720@aol.com or by phone at (856) 745-9690.

Collingswood honors volunteers for National Volunteer Month

To celebrate National Volunteer Month in April, Collingswood asked residents to submit essays nominating outstanding Borough volunteers. As part of the April 1 Commission meeting, officials will honor winner Michelle Miller and all the nominees and nominators and thank them for their service to Collingswood. 

The winning essay was submitted by Michelle’s mother, Sherry Harvey. Miller was raised in Collingswood and is the current president of the Collingswood Junior Women’s Club. She is active in fundraising and other organizations as well.

A portion of the winning essay reads, “Michelle has helped to raise thousands of dollars through projects such as the Night Out for Charity, Fall Festival in Knights Park, the pollination garden in Knights Park, the Santa Brunch, the Kids Walk, the 4th of July bike parade and many other projects…Michelle and her daughter Brea set up an Alex’s Lemonade Stand and raised over $1,200…She volunteers every Thursday at Tatem School library to help students choose reading material.” 

“All the essays told a story of someone that does a lot for our town,” said Commissioner Mike Hall. “It’s not an easy job to pick one of so many good people but Michelle is really a standout. Her efforts with Junior Women’s Club alone are impressive but her work goes far beyond that.”

As thanks, Michelle and her mother each win $50 Collingswood Cash and Michelle will receive a proclamation, a makeover package donated by Beau Monde Hair Design and a massage from Spa Beau Monde. The winning essay will be published in the Town Crier as well.

There were five eligible nominees in the contest: John Rossi for community service and work with Musicians on Call - nominated by his son Jake Rossi; Chuck Jackson for involvement in community theater - nominated by Patricia Nigro; Peter Pernice for acts of kindness and community service - nominated by Janet McCarthy; Mary Johnson for work with various organizations including PTA and the Library Board of Trustees - nominated by Christine Nannery; and Michelle Miller nominated by her mother Sherry Harvey.

”Thanks to Michelle and all the volunteers that make Collingswood a really exceptional place,” said Mayor James Maley. “The way people give back tirelessly to our community is one of the most outstanding things about our town.”

Summer Mummers are back!

The free Summer Mummers concert series is back in Collingwood! On the fourth Wednesdays of the month from April to August you can catch Philadelphia Mummers string bands performing live in Collingswood for free from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Catch the first performance on April 24 on the Powell Lane plaza, right off Haddon Ave at the LumberYard Condos. Grab food or gifts at one of our sponsors, The Powell Lane businesses, before you enjoy the concert.  It’s a great, summer evening out for the whole family.

Mummers String Band schedule:
April 24 - Fralinger String Band
May 22 - South Philly String Band
June 26 - Hegeman String Band
July 24 - Quaker City String Band
Aug 28 - Ferko String Band

It’s the perfect way to spend a great night in Collingswood. This event is BYOC – Bring your own chair. Concerts are cancelled in the event of rain. Check Collingswood.com for weather updates and additional information. This music series is presented by the Borough of Collingswood and 1st Colonial Community Bank.


Powell Lane is Collingswood’s newest street, just off Haddon Avenue which boasts a plaza for concerts and entertainment as well as shops and dining in the town’s newest development, the LumberYard Condos.

Collingswood earns 4 Golden Forks (and more!) from South Jersey Magazine

South Jersey Magazine has picked four Collingswood restaurants as the top 25 in South Jersey. Sapori, Nunzio Ristorante Rustico, Zeppoli and Sagami all earned a Golden Fork which recognizes, “unique and talented chefs” as well as “inviting décor and topnotch service, not to mention mouthwatering food…” Blackbird also got a nod in the Adventurous Eating category for their snails. Read on for the full reviews.

Zeppoli
618 Collings Ave., Collingswood
(856) 854-2670 | ZeppoliRestaurant.com
Just two years after chef Joey Baldino left his post as chef de cuisine at Philadelphia’s acclaimed Vetri Ristorante to open up Collingswood’s first Sicilian fine dining establishment, Zeppoli has earned a reputation across the tri-state area as a can’t-miss dining destination. Following a James Beard nomination this fall, the newest talk of the town isn’t slowing down, with a constantly-evolving seasonal menu entirely devised by Baldino himself.
Cuisine: Sicilian
Vibe: Cozy Italian Kitchen
Don’t Miss: A meeting with head chef Baldino, who can be found greeting guests and dishing out orders on most nights.
Best Value: Save some room for the free struffoli served with your check, a mini-dessert of marble-sized dough bites coated in honey and topped with rainbow diavulillis.
Best Table: Any available table is the best choice, as space is limited in the 35-seater dining room.
Can’t-Miss Dish: An Italian rib-eye might throw some meat-lovers off, but the bistecca enna, crackling and coated in Sicilian herbs and spice then served with a fresh arugula and tomato salad, is one meal you won’t ever forget.
Chef Recommends: Chef Baldino goes for the squid ink pasta entrée, consisting of jet black pasta made by hand. For dessert, try the semifreddo, a frozen pistachio and almond dish drizzled with caramel.
Added Perks: Outdoor seating sets a romantic scene on a cool summer night, and the BYOB option challenges you to find the perfect pairing.
Regular’s Choice: Zeppoli’s specials are constantly changing with the seasons, but you can’t go wrong with the antipasto Siciliano, a starter of cured meats, cheeses and extras fit for sharing.
Sweet Ending: The obvious choice here is the restaurant’s namesake: the zeppoli Siciliano, deep-fried dough balls dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with a side of Nutella. But don’t neglect their seasonal gelattis and sorbettos, a refreshing finale to a big meal.
Dynamic Drink: Fresh-squeezed Sicilian orange-blossom lemonade is a sweet and unique alternative for those who chose to leave the wine at home. Pro Tip: Both weekday and weekend diners will want to make their reservation sooner rather than later, as seats in this tiny hotspot fill up fast.

Sagami
37 W. Crescent Blvd., Collingswood
(856) 858-2288 | Facebook.com/sagami.nj
Hidden in Collingswood, this BYOB sushi house isn’t your typical Americanized Japanese restaurant. Here you’ll get the real thing, made painstakingly by owner and head sushi chef Shigeru Fukuyoshi. Fish is chosen fresh, specifically for these straightforward, flavorful dishes.
Cuisine: Japanese and sushi.
Vibe: Think dark lighting and in-the-know diners.
Don’t Miss: Though sushi is the real specialty here, it’s worth it to try the zaru soba at least once: cold buckwheat noodles served with ginger, wasabi, green onion and nori, atop a bamboo plate.
Can’t-Miss Dish: You may not find it in many places, but the soft-shell crab maki roll is one you won’t soon forget. Here, soft-shell crab is tempura fried and rolled in sushi rice and nori.
Chef Recommends: The chirashi bowl, a colorful assortment of sashimi (like shrimp, octopus, salmon and tuna slices) arranged over vinegar-laden sushi rice. This overflowing bowl is also the restaurant’s most popular dish.
Regular’s Choice: Many chose the delicate starter of agedashi tofu; it’s lightly fried soft tofu served in a broth speckled with little mushrooms—a Japanese favorite.
Sweet Ending: The dessert menu is small here, but if you’ve got an insatiable sweet tooth, choose between fresh pineapple slices and ice creams in flavors like green tea or red bean.

Sapori Trattoria Italiana
601 Haddon Ave., Collingswood
(856) 858-2288 | Sapori.info
Since being voted best Italian spot in the state for 2011/12 by the national eating guide Zagat, Italian-born chef Franco Lombardo has only continued to improve at his Collingswood eatery. Authentic cuisine that is skillfully prepared coupled with a warm setting help keep the dining room full.
Cuisine: Tuscan-inspired Italian
Vibe: Rich velvets and bold tapestries, stone walls and wrought iron accents take you out of the heart of Collingswood and into a medieval Italian villa.
Don’t Miss: The chef’s tasting course gives diners a one-on-one experience with chef Lombardo, as he creates a five-to-six course, meal catered entirely around your personal preferences.
Best Value: In a day and age when farm-to-table is more than a trend, Lombardo’s mix of grass fed and all-natural beef, chicken and veal is welcomed.
Can’t-Miss Dish: The fish and shellfish is always extraordinarily fresh, like the caciucco di pesce, a hearty filet of red snapper sauteed in a white wine-saffron fish stock with equally-impressive clams, calamari and mussels and served atop crostini.
Added Perks: The chef will work off the menu to create specialty dishes upon request, though it’s a challenge not to find something intriguing.
Regular’s Choice: From-scratch gnocchi al tris di carne features veal, beef and pork braised in a red wine tomato sauce along with a generous helping of light and airy pasta.
Sweet Ending: Creme brulee is given a creamy and Italian twist as a mascarpone cheesecake.

Nunzio Ristorante Rustico
706 Haddon Ave., Collingswood
(856) 858-9840 | http://www.nunzios.net
Chef Nunzio Patruno makes food above your average South Jersey Italian spot; from his homemade spaghetti and meatballs to more sophisticated entrées, he’s showcasing all he learned while growing up along the southern Italian coast and cooking through regions along the Mediterranean before making the move to open restaurants in Pennsylvania and South Jersey. In this spot along Collingswood’s “restaurant row,” you’ll feel transported to a sunny piazza by both the food and architecture.
Cuisine: Italian
Vibe: Rustic trattoria
Best Value: While sating your hunger with the gratis rustic bread and dipping sauce, order a starter of imported Buffalo mozzarella; only $12.50, this superior cheese is paired with salty proscuitto, tomato and peppery arugula, with enough to share.
Can’t-Miss Dish: Chef Patruno hand-rolls the potato gnocchi before delicately cooking the plump little dumplings to be served in a creamy gorgonzola sauce, dotted with mushrooms, salty prosciutto and peas.
Added Perks: For events or special occasions, the chef can book a private dining room—including one inside the kitchen—for six to 12 guests, with a unique menu that’s tailored to you.
Regular’s Choice: It’s a classic dish that keeps customers happy: Nunzio’s breaded chicken parmigiana is covered with linguine and just the right amount of marinara—call it “red gravy” if you must, but there’s more to it than that.
Sweet Ending: Among a dessert menu of cannoli and Italian tartufo affogato, you’ll find fluffy profiteroles, one of the chef’s specialties. Here the vanilla cream puffs are served with gelato and drizzled chocolate sauce.
Don’t Miss: Frequent themed dinners and prix-fixe menus liven things up, like a recent Wild Game Night (think braised pheasant and venison meatballs) and an upcoming Valentine’s Day menu to please your sweetheart.
Pro Tip: Be sure to ask about the restaurant’s cooking classes, where Patruno combines his expertise with remembrances of the regions and dishes that inspired him.

Adventerous eating: Blackbird, Collingswood
Vineyard Snails
Perfectly-sized bites of snail are sauteed lightly in fresh herbs and truffle butter, to truly bring out their flavors.

Collingswood sees $26K savings as part of NJSEM

Utility bids save municipalities $6.1 million combined in 2012

One hundred and eighty municipalities and utility authorities comprise the New Jersey Sustainable Energy Joint Meeting (NJSEM) and they realized a total savings of approximately $6.1 million on utility supply costs through the cooperative purchase of fixed price electricity in 2012," said the Chairman of the NJSEM, William Close of the Town of Dover, Morris County. As a member of NJSEM, Collingswood has saved $26,775.14 in energy costs over 2011 and 2012.The Borough will continue participation in the program in 2013 and the foreseeable future.

”We’re working to find every possible way to reduce our budget and the SEM is a no brainer,” said Collingswood Commissioner Mike Hall. “This provides lower costs and certainty. Moving forward, it fixes utility prices for a period. Collaborating like this to reduce costs is key to running local government.”

Established in 2009, the goal of the NJSEM is to pool the resources of its governmental entities to purchase natural gas and electricity competitively. The ultimate objectives are price stability and budgetary certainty for all members, secured through a competitive bid process with the opportunity to realize savings which might not be available to customers who solicit on their own. The NJSEM works on behalf of all public entities to save money on energy costs, while adhering to the Local Public Contracts Law and all applicable Department of Community Affairs (DCA) regulations.

Combining 2011 & 2012, the NJSEM saved its members approximately $9.1M compared to Board of Public Utility (BPU) electricity rates by territory. The table below provides a summary of each member's electricity savings over the past two years. Recently, the SEM's Executive Committee, composed of municipal business administrators and public officials, also elected to accept a twenty-four month natural gas proposal at $5.2013 per dekatherm, effectively locking in a historically favorable fixed rate for participating members over the next two years. The resulting award of the contracts saves NJSEM members millions of dollars in energy costs.

“Municipal governments and authorities throughout New Jersey are always looking for ways to reduce costs,” said Chairman Close. “The members of NJSEM have done so by joining together to secure more competitive prices for their energy and at the same time, locked in a noticeable savings of taxpayer dollars for their respective townships and utility authorities.”

The SEM is also currently scheduled to receive bids in April for electricity to coincide with the NJ Energyyear which runs from June 1, 2013 through May 31, 2014.

Visit the NJSEM website at www.NJSEM.org for more information about the New Jersey Sustainable Energy Meeting.

Dustless Hardwood Floors hosts Toy Drive

Toy donations will be accepted again at Dustless Hardwood Floors to benefit the Collingswood Head Start program and to encourage recycling.

Like the Holiday Magic toy drive in December, gently used toys and books can be brought to Dustless Hardwood Floors at 487 Haddon Ave, Ste A, Collingswood, NJ. They can be dropped off inside during normal business hours, 10-2, Monday - Thursday, or left on the covered porch to be taken in after hours, each night, for the whole month of April. Donations will be taken by staff and initiative creator, Susan Tucker, to Collingswood Head Start, to benefit the school and its families.

Dustless Hardwood Floors is a green company that thanks you for recycling in honor of Earth Day and every day! For questions or other inside drop off times, please contact Donna at (856) 833-0024.

Symphony in C moves to Collingswood

Music Director Rossen Milanov and Board Chairman Robert Kugler are pleased to announce the move of Symphony in C’s administrative and box offices to Collingswood. Symphony in C will officially occupy the offices beginning March 25, 2013.

Symphony in C will lease an 800 square foot office at 576 Haddon Avenue, right in the heart of bustling Collingswood. The move will provide greater access to Symphony in C’s regional audience with full box office services available at the new location. Symphony in C will perform its annual Concerts for Young People at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood, but will continue to perform all of its subscription concerts at Gordon Theater, Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts. Symphony in C will continue its commitment to the City of Camden, providing daily instrumental instruction in many of Camden’s schools, while exploring new opportunities in Collingswood.

“While Symphony in C remains committed to the City of Camden in so many ways, including performances and classroom education programs, moving the offices to Collingswood creates new opportunities for our organization,” remarked Symphony in C Board Chair, Robert Kugler.

“We’re thrilled to have Symphony in C in Collingswood,” said Mayor Jim Maley. “This adds so much to our reputation as a town that supports the arts. The possibilities for partnership between the Borough and Symphony in C are endless. There’s going to be a lot to look forward to.”

Symphony in C is positioned and poised for its continued organizational and artistic growth in southern New Jersey, the Mid-Atlantic region and nationally. Nationally recognized as a training ground for up-and-coming musicians, Symphony in C is the only professional training orchestra in the Mid-Atlantic to provide musical performance training and career development services for musicians pursuing a career as orchestral musicians. Symphony in C reaches more than 27,000 students and adults of all ages and abilities through its nationally recognized Music Matters! educational outreach programs.

Symphony in C’s mission is to provide training for tomorrow’s orchestra musicians, music directors, soloists, composers, and audiences, by presenting artistically excellent performances and educational programs enriching the cultural life of the Mid-Atlantic region with a special focus on the City of Camden. The success of our musicians is recognized by alumni performing in major orchestras throughout the world including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic.

Symphony in C programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, New Jersey Cultural Trust, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Horizon Foundation of New Jersey, Subaru of America and the William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation. Symphony in C is a member of the South Jersey Cultural Alliance (SJCA).

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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