Collingswood, New Jersey

SANDY EMERGENCY INFO and Mayor's updates

We will continue to populate this page with emergency information during storm Sandy.  Please check back regularly. In the event that you lose power, please tune to KYW1060 for storm info. Scroll down for complete news, resources and links

12:30pm Wednesday:
With the announcement from the Governor regarding postponing Halloween until Monday, November 5, we'd like to assure residents that Collingswood will still hold trick or treating on Saturday, November 3, from 12-4pm.

8:45pm Tuesday
Tonight we canvassed most areas that continue without power. We checked on the status of all residents to ensure they were aware of availability of the Borough facilities and to ensure there were no specific medical needs. PSEG has advised we may be a week before power is restored to all areas. Thanks to Vitality Fitness for making their gym shower facilities available for power less residents. 

Sandy is officially gone. While we continue to clean up after our rude guest, many thanks to our Borough staff. Fire, Police, DPW, clerical, Library - you name the Department - they went the extra mile to deal with this 100 year storm. And thanks to our residents for their cooperation and patience through some never before seen conditions. Let's get everything cleaned up! MJM

4:15 Tuesday
Borough Officials and Collingswood OEM met this afternoon and have updates and information.

A had been reported, trick-or-treating has been rescheduled for Saturday, November 3 from noon to 4pm. Please share this change with neighbors and friends.

The Collingswood Library and Community Center are open this evening. These are wi-fi hotspots with electricity. They are open to the public for those that need to warm up and recharge. Library will be open until 8:30pm and Community Center open until 10pm.

Volunteers are needed to help with canvassing efforts. Email Mayor Maley at jmaley@collingswood.com if you are willing to help canvass by reaching out to neighbors that have lost power tonight and tomorrow. Borough officials are also collecting information on who may have generators available for neighbors to borrow. If you have a generator that you are willing to lend out, please also email jmaley@collingswood.com

Collingswood schools are back in session for a full day on Wednesday, October 31. Elementary Halloween parties postponed until Friday. Follow Halloween schedule on Friday. For full school information, see the school’s update page here.

Regular leaf and yard waste collection has been suspended and will continue when possible.
Report downed branches and wire to the OEM at 856-854-7447 x0. Remember to rake leaves and debris on to your curbstrip – NOT in the street. Trash is now on a regular schedule.

Remember to check in on elderly neighbors and friends that may not have cell phones or have special needs like medications.

Please be mindful of caution tape and cones that indicate downed wires and other danger. Downed wires are live and are very dangerous. Stay away.

Water is safe to drink as treatment facilities never lost power throughout the storm.

11am Tuesday - Sandy's aftermath and Halloween
We were lucky, but there are problems. We did not have major flooding but we do have some major wind damage. Besides the tree debris everywhere, there are major trees down and numerous wires down all through town. Please stay away from any wires. We have tried to tape around these areas but winds can continue to move the wires. We are checking regularly but you must stay away. The tape means you should stay out, not the other guy!

Because of the danger of downed wires and the ongoing clean-up, we do not believe it safe to allow trick or treating Wednesday. So, mindful of the clean-up effort, trick or treating in Collingswood will be Saturday, November 3 from noon to 4pm. We hope this allows for a ghouly, but safe, time for our kids. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

10:30pm Monday
We're holding our breath. Winds have calmed. Flooding has been minimal. Little more radar interference to clear. Biggest problem in last hour has been calls reporting suspicious people in cars - turns out to be people charging their phones. Fingers crossed.

7:30pm Monday
Strong winds have not arrived yet and we have trees falling with some regularity. Many are taking down wires. Bettlewood and Harding. 800 block of Belmont. 100 block of East Coulter. Trees down with wires. I just came back from Bettlewood and people came out to take a look. DO NOT COME OUTSIDE! Wires are live and you can be electrocuted. Stay in your house unless directed otherwise. More trees will be falling as these winds pick up. 

7:00pm Monday
Bettlewood Avenue has major problems. Please stay in your houses unless directed otherwise. Three utility poles and two large trees have fallen at Harding.  There are downed wires. In addition, a tree has fallen into an apartment. Please stay inside!

5:30pm Monday
Time to catch up. Worst problem this afternoon was power outage on good portion of town. A tree limb falling on a substation and power was restored in few hours. Unfortunately, the brunt is coming in. PSE&G has notified us they will not respond to outages unless there is imminent threat to human life (live wires touching occupied cars) because winds are too severe. We have sporadic outages caused by downed wires - they are likely to continue for a long period of time.  Next 10 hours will see increasing winds and heavier rains. Let us know through email, Facebook or by text and we will respond as best we can. Calls will be weighted against danger to sending Fire and Police out to respond. Fasten your seatbelts and hang on tight. We're hoping for the best. Will keep you advised as best we can. 

12:42pm Monday
Besides emailing anyone at the Borough or calling, as a last resort, you can text any requests for service to 775-749-3373. If you lose power or phone service, texting is an option. 

11:50am Monday
Thanks to everyone for sheltering in place. The roads are pretty clear. Don't be fooled by the calm conditions. The worst is due after 2pm. So hang tight. Great time for pulling out those old board games. We'll keep you posted.

8:50am Monday
We are holding our own. Almost an inch of rain has fallen since last night. Our tracking info shows we could be in for brunt. Please take precautions. We'll keep you informed.

5:45am Monday
Just a rain storm overnight. Sandy is on schedule. Shelter in place - stay home - as much as you can. Borough Emergency Operations are on alert and will be. We are HQed in Fire House with all Departments and direct lines to State and County forces. Be smart and safe. MJM 

7:30pm Sunday
(A message from Collingswood Office of Emergency Management)
Residents that live in areas prone to flooding seek shelter with friends and family before the arrival of the storm. Local Shelters will only be opened upon necessity. Also, there will be no trash or leaf pick up Monday or Tuesday, this will be collected on your normal schedule the following week. Keep all leaves out of the street and trash receptacles secured. Please do not park vehicles on the street and stay off roads unless absolutely necessary. Parking is open for all residents in low areas at the Scottish Rite and Lumberyard Parking Garage. The Collingswood Emergency Operations Center will be activated tomorrow morning at 8am. All non-life threatening inquiries can be made to the EOC 856-854-7447. In the event of a life threatening emergency contact 9-1-1. Please visit Collingswood.com; collingswoodfire.com; Collingswood facebook page; and Channel 19 to keep up to date and informed.

6:25pm Sunday
No trash collection on Monday or Tuesday. We've concluded our second emergency management meeting of the weekend and we are prepared. Will be updating here with local storm info. Tracking indicates this could be a whopper. Be safe and smart. "And Sandy, the aurora is rising behind us" - so please get out fast. MJM

Helpful links, phone numbers and storm information below, scroll down.
Photos and information are also being posted on The Borough of Collingswood Facebook page.
The Collingswood Fire Department page has info on preparedness here as well.


All Collingswood Schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday, October 29 & 30.

Trash and leaf collection is cancelled for Monday and Tuesday and will be picked up on their normal schedule the following week.

Do not call 911 unless you have an emergency. Non emergency questions shouldbe sirected to the Borough's Emergency Operations Center at 856-854-7447 x0.

The best source for emergency preparedness information is the New Jersey Office of Emergency Managment: http://www.ready.nj.gov/

We expect severe flooding and power outages. We advise businesses and residents to:
-Please remove all cars from the street

-Do not rake leaves into the street as this further clogs storm drains
-Do not operate generators indoors (NJ Poison control information on Carbon Monoxide poising below). Safely store fuel sources.
-Secure outdoor equipment as trash containers, lawn furniture, flags, umbrellas, construction supplies.  Flying debris is the major cause of damage and injury
-Locate and check your flashlights, get additional batteries for them and emergency radios. Candles can be a fire hazard
-Prepare for possible long power outages
-Prepare for downed trees and wires.  
-Discuss disaster plans with family
-Prepare any emergency medications necessary
-Residents in flood prone areas should seek shelter with relatives or friends
-Cars in flood prone areas can be parked at the Scottish Rite or LumberYard garage
-Stay off of the roads unless absolutely necessary
-In the case of generator use, do not run inside, keep ventilated on exterior

Train show and stained glass window tour at First Baptist!

Once again First Baptist Church of Collingswood is inviting everyone to the free South Jersey “S” Gaugers Train Show and Stained Glass Window Tour on Saturday, November 24 from 10 am to 4 pm, right after the Collingswood Holiday Parade! Free cookies, hot chocolate, coffee for all guests and model and toy train displays, christmas crafts, coloring and activities, too!

Bring the family after the parade for an afternoon of fun. First Baptist is at the corner of Frazer and Maple Avenue - 1 block behind the Collingswood Library. Event takes place rain or shine.

For more information email fun@fbcoc.com. Visit www.fbcoc.com or the event Facebook page here.

Junior Women's Fall Fest

Families and friends - the perfect fall event!

The Collingswood Junior Women's Club will be hosting the annual Collingswood Fall Festival on Saturday, October 20, 2012, from noon to 4pm (raindate of Saturday, October 27, 2012, from noon to 4pm), at the Pavilion in the Knight Park.  There will be participation from many of our local school PTAs and the event will include pumpkin-themed games and crafts, hayrides, hot dogs, pretzels, caramel apples, decorate your own cupcake, live music, etc.  The event itself is free, but the cost for the hayride is $3 per person (under 2 years old free), and various costs for each of the individual tables/booths put on by the PTAs. Questions?  Contact Jodie at jodie.farrow@yahoo.com.

"Shades of Poe" at the Collings-Knight Homestead

Shades of Poe...6 Rooms, 6 Spirits, 6 tales of woe....Fractured Mirror Productions presents "Shades of Poe", a teatrical presentation of Edgar Allen Poe's more chilling works. 

It has been more than 50 years since the last residents moved out of the old Collings-Knight Homestead...or did they?  Some unhappy spirits have taken up residence in this local history museum.  If you'd like to meet them, the master of terror himself, Edgar Allen Poe, will guide you from room to room to listen to their tales of woe.

Whether you're into theater, literature, or just all things, macabre, the tremendously popular "Shades of Poe" is back for its fourth year, and is sure to send a chill down your spine this Halloween!  The show features dramatic presentations of some of Poe's best - and least - known works.  An ever-evolving production, this year's show includes a new tale:  The Black Cat.

The Collings-Knight Homestead was built around 1825 and is located 10 minutes from Center City Philadelphia in the heart of Collingswood.  The show is directed by Collingswood native, now Lawnside resident, Patty Verzella, 30.  Patty has worked in almost every aspect of theater from props to producing, and is very excited to be bringing the works of Poe to life once again.

"Shades of Poe" runs weekends, October 18th through 31st, with performances at 7pm and 9pm at the Collings-Knight Homestead, 500 Collings Avenue, Collingswood, NJ  08107.  For exact dates and times, ticket sales and all other information, please visit www.shadesofpoe.com.  Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online or by phone at 1-800-838-3006.  Audience size is limited to 15 persons, so advance tickets are highly recommended.  This production involves walking, climbing stairs, and moving through dimly lit areas.  Recomended ages: 13 and up.

Show dates:  10/18-20, 25-27, 29-31
Show times:  7pm and 9pm
Tickets:  $15
Website:  www.shadesofpoe.com
Information:  info@fracturedmirrorproductions.com

SAT prep group offers no cost classes to CHS Juniors

Collingswood: It's Where You Want To Ace The SATs

Attention Collingswood High School Juniors:

Are you ready to take the SATs next spring?  Don't take the SATs without proper preparation.  SAT strategy classes are forming in the near future for the late winter/early spring administration of the SATs. If you are interested enrolling in a class at no cost ($25 book charge), contact Collingswood SAT Prep, Inc. ("CSAT") at collingswoodsat@gmail.com.  Classes are available to all Collingswood High School Juniors.

CSAT is a non-profit corporation that is funded by members of the Collingswood community.  CSAT was created by Collingswood parents to enhance the educational opportunities for Collingswood high school students.   CSAT's mission is to assist the students in their college application process by providing them with the support necessary to excel on their college entrance exams. We also hope to encourage any students who are undecided about their post-graduation options to consider preparing for and taking the SATs.  The classes are taught by experienced and motivated professionals who have expertise in SAT test taking strategy and preparation. 

CSAT is currently conducting two SAT preparation and strategy classes for the members of the Class of 2013.

In addition to the SAT preparation classes that will be provided to the Juniors in the winter/early spring, CSAT will be offering two workshops for the Juniors in the fall.  On October 21, 2012, Ms. Jeanne Garvey will be conducting a workshop that will focus on SAT essay writing.  Ms. Garvey, a Collingswood resident, is a highly experienced English teacher who holds a BA from University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and a Master's Degree in Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania.

Michael Altman, of Altman Tutoring Services, will conduct a math and strategy workshop on November 4, 2012.  Mr. Altman has tutored individuals and small groups for over a decade, helping students to improve study, math, and writing skills, as well as to prepare for a variety of standardized tests.   Mr. Altman graduated from Wesleyan University in 1997, and left Columbia Law School to pursue work as a private tutor.
 
Mr. Altman's workshop will briefly cover the scope of the math required on the SAT and a few basic SAT test taking strategies, but will primarily focus on problem solving strategies specific to the math section of the SAT.

Both workshops will be held at the High School.  Please email CSAT if you are interested in enrolling in the workshops.

Questions? Interested in volunteering?   Email us at collingswoodsat@gmail.com.  Like CSAT on Facebook at www.facebook.com/collingswoodsat

Collingswood Shakespeare Co. presents Macbeth

This Halloween season the Collingswood Shakespeare Company will present that timeless drama of regicide and the supernatural, Macbeth. The play will be performed in the round in the Great Hall at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 839 Haddon Avenue in Collingswood. Performances will be held on October 26 and 27, November 2 and 3 at 8 p.m. and November 4 at 3 p.m.

Regular admission is $15; students and seniors $10; active-duty military personnel admitted free. For further details, go to www.collingswoodshakespeare.org or call 856-833-0661. 

Holiday Parade fundraiser family fun at Pinsetters

Help raise some funds for the annual Collingswood Holiday Parade and enjoy a great afternoon of food, bowling and the Eagles on Sunday, October 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Pinsetters Bar & Bowl (7111 Maple Avenue, Pennsauken). 

Tickets are $20 and include unlimited bowling and shoe rental for 3 hours, 2 hour open buffet and cash bar (beverages are not included), 50-50 raffle and catch the Philadelphia Eagles vs Pittsburgh Steelers on the big screens.  Tickets are available from Parade Committee members and at Colls Borough Hall, 2nd Floor and Main Street Realty. For more info call 856-858-9275.

The 2012 Collingswood Holiday Parade will be held on Saturday, November 24 beginning at 10 am running along Haddon Avenue beginning at Zane Avenue. Named Best Main Street Experience by South Jersey Magazine, the parade features lively seasonal entertainment, including marching bands, dancers, holiday characters, giants on stilts, floats, mummers, live music—even sports mascots like the Phillie Phanatic.

“The Knight’s Dragon” selected as Knight Park Art Contest winner

Collingswood will build and install a new piece of artwork in the 60-acre Knight Park based on a winning submission of the Knight Park Art Contest which asked local artists to submit ideas to beautify town after winning funds in a national contest.

The Knight’s Dragon, a serpentine sculpture submitted by Joanna Pizzo and a team of artists, will be funded with the $5000 winnings from the Reader’s Digest We Hear You America contest. The dragon is a whimsical, three-piece, 16-foot-long sculpture that mimics a dragon rising out of water. Made of sustainable materials with solar lighting, the artists intend for the figure to act as a “…’greeter’ of sorts to the visitors traveling through the park.” The artwork will be placed on the peninsula between the water of the lake in the park. From the street, the dragon will look to be in the lake.

Six artists submitted potential designs for new artwork in the park. Because of practical considerations, several entries were eliminated as possible designs for new artwork and The Knight’s Dragon selected as the most viable submission considered by the reviewers. Rather than put the submissions up for a public vote as originally intended, Borough and park officials decided to name Pizzo’s entry the winner.

“We felt the Knight’s Dragon would be a beautiful addition to the park and stood above the other entries,” said Knight Park Trustee Michael Brennan.

“The Knight’s Dragon is clever, practical and visually appealing,” said Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley. “It really adds something special to the park which is just the kind of artwork we were hoping to see as a result of the contest.”

The Borough is currently working with the artists to begin construction on The Knight’s Dragon. This past spring, after months of voting, Collingswood was named the #16 town in the nation in the Reader’s Digest 2012 We Hear You America campaign. Eighteen winning communities, as voted by residents and fans, received funding and promotional support for civic initiatives to better their communities. Collingswood’s fans racked up more than 660,000 votes. In June, the Borough issued a call for artists for The Knight Park Art Contest to use the funds for a public art project.

Sign young eco-lovers up for the Roots & Shoots Nature Club!

Roots & Shoots Nature Club - fall explorations after school!

Collingswood Roots & Shoots Nature Club, a program of Collingswood Recreation, will be holding a fall nature study series after school for children in grades 2 through 8. Our Eco-Leaders will meet with children in Knight's Park on Wednesday nights throughout October, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., to explore a variety of themes such as tree identification, birding, fungi, and insects. You may sign-up by picking up a registration form at Collingswood Borough Hall (678 Haddon Ave) or by emailing CollsRootsAndShoots@gmail.com. To find out more, visit us on Facebook by searching "Collingswood Roots & Shoots Nature Club." Although this series is geared toward students in grades 2-8, younger children may attend with a parent/guardian, and high school students may join as "Eco-Mentors" to assist group leaders. 

First Baptist clothing & toy swap

FREE! Kids' Clothing & Toy Swap and Giveaway

Check out kids' goods and clothes at the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Church of Collingswood (Frazer & Maple Avenues) on Tuesday, September 18 from 6 to 8pm and Wednesday, September 19 from 8am to 2pm.

Cleaning out your closets? Enter through the double doors next to the playground. Bring your kids’ clean outgrown clothes or clean unbroken toys to the church from September 10 to 18 – staff will sort and organize! Organizers are collecting infant to middle school sizes.  If the church doors are locked, leave bagged items on the porch of the church office (23 Frazer Ave.)

Need clothes? Come Tuesday evening, Sept. 18, or Wednesday morning, Sept. 19, and pick out what your child needs! Bring your friends, even if they have not brought anything! It’s all free!

Coffee and snacks provided, too! Sponsored by First Baptist’s GEMS Mothers Group. For more information email fun@fbcoc.com, call 856-854-1540 or visit www.fbcoc.com.

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