Main Street Highland Park Offers a Halloween Week that will be a treat for everyone – while avoiding all mischief from COVID-19.

MASKS ARE A MUST! And we aren’t just talking about Halloween costume masks – you have to have a cloth or medical mask covering both your mouth and nose even if you are also wearing a costume mask. Keep your neighbors safe! STAY OUTDOORS AND SIX FEET APART AT ALL TIMES! Please do not go door-to-door inside businesses; help keep our business owners safe. READ MORE

Dr. Denise Hien, national leader in area of addictions treatment, appointed as inaugural holder of Rutgers University “Chaney” Chair in Alcohol Studies

The Rutgers University Board of Governors on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 appointed Denise Hien, a leader in the field of post-traumatic stress and addictions, as the inaugural holder of the Helen E. Chaney Chair in Alcohol Studies. Dr. Hien is director of Rutgers University’s Center of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Studies (CAS) and associate dean for academic affairs and professor in the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP). Her work has shaped current evidence-based treatment of addictions and trauma-related psychiatric disorders and their comorbidity, particularly among women. She has received sustained funding for over 20 years from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and has served as a reviewer and work group member for federal funding institutions. 

Dr. Hien joined Rutgers as CAS director in October 2017 and has increased the center’s visibility in shaping the national conversation about traumatic stress and its role in the development and maintenance of alcohol and other substance use disorders. Over her career, she has served on the doctoral faculties of the Derner School of Psychology at Adelphi University, the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and the City College of New York. READ MORE

Fifth Annual Highland Park Window Art Walk Oct. 4, 2 p.m. Features Inspiring Local Art In Person and Online

..Now with masks and social distancing! Main Street Highland Park, the Highland Park Art Collective, and the Highland Park Arts Commission have teamed up to bring you the artwork of local artists in Highland Park storefronts for the fifth year in a row! This year they are offering a guided walking art crawl of the art both IN PERSON and VIRTUAL! The in-person Window Art Crawl will be on Sunday October 4 from 2pm – 4pm and will start at Garden Party (72 Raritan Avenue). The artist-led tour of the window displays will end at Pino’s around 4pm. READ MORE

Rutgers-Led Project Will Buy 76,000 Oysters From Farmers Struggling During COVID-19 Pandemic

A Rutgers-led project will buy 76,000 oysters from New Jersey oyster farmers who are struggling to sell the shellfish following the shutdown of restaurants and indoor dining as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The oysters, to be purchased for 65 cents apiece, will be transplanted from Delaware Bay-area farms to targeted oyster restoration sites in Little Egg Harbor and the Mullica River in New Jersey this month. “I hope this project will serve as a model for future efforts and establish a shellfish exchange that will serve as a broker linking shellfish farmers and restoration practitioners,” said project leader Lisa M. Calvo, a marine scientist and aquaculture program coordinator at Rutgers University–New Brunswick’s Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory and New Jersey Sea Grant. “Our approach benefits the environment and provides an opportunity for shellfish farmers to diversify their businesses, supporting a sustainable and healthy future for Delaware Bayshore ecosystems and economies. Such collaboration will make an already green aquaculture industry even more environmentally beneficial.”

Oysters are tremendously beneficial to the environment, serving as habitat for a suite of commercially and recreationally important fish, improving water quality and sequestering nitrogen and carbon, Calvo said. READ MORE

Candlelight Vigil in Honor of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg – October 7, 2020

The League of Women Voters of the Greater New Brunswick Area, in coalition with the New Brunswick Area Branch NAACP, the Pride Center of New Jersey, the Latino Action Network, theAnti-Poverty Network, the Puerto Rican Action Board, and New Brunswick Tomorrow, invites you to a candlelight vigil to honor the memory of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 5:00 PM at Monument Square Park, 2 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. Information on registration and voting procedures for the November 3 General Election will also be available. Speakers at the event include: Shanti Narra, Middlesex County Freeholder, Yvonne Lopez, Assemblywoman for the 19th Legislative District, Lori Sokol, PhD, Executive Director of Women’s eNews, and other distinguished guests. We honor Justice Ginsberg for her lifelong commitment to equal justice under the law and the elimination of discrimination of all types. Prior to her seventeen year tenure on the United States Supreme Court, Justice Ginsberg was a professor at the Rutgers University School of Law, the first woman to be hired with tenure at the Columbia University School of Law, and General Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. READ MORE

Personal Perspective: School’s back, so let’s think back to summer fun

Now that school days are back – in a most unusual way – it is a good time to remember those who labored to implement COVID-safe summertime activities for kids. COVID put a damper on many summer kids’ activities, but I would like to shine a spotlight on just a few of several programs that managed to bring sunshine into the lives of youngsters. The reporters on this topic are -not surprisingly – my grandkids. Camp Cool—located at 19 South Second Avenue at the Reformed Church Highland Park was “really cool,” in the words of 10 year old Harry Solomon.  The camp adopted “rigorous” COVID prevention measures, while with equal energy pursued a wide variety of fun activities – with participants remaining socially distant and masked, said Harry.  Harry made particular note of the camp’s “Theater Week, when we had a variety of acting exercises, such as acting out different people in our lives.”

Eleven year old Rubin Hersh elaborated: “With four air purifiers, two air dehumidifiers and two air conditioners, Camp Cool has been a fun, and safe camp even during coronavirus. READ MORE

Main Street HP urges small businesses try for a federal grant

Has your small business been impacted by COVID-19? Small businesses and nonprofits with no more than 50 employees may be eligible for a grant up to $30,000. Through the Federal CARES Act, small businesses may apply for reimbursement for COVID-19 related loss of revenue, expenses incurred, and/or continuation of services, according to Rebecca Hersh, executive director of Main Street Highland Park

Application Available Now. Eligibility:Independently or family-owned businesses with no more than 50 employeesDocumented business interruption as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related emergency declaration, resulting in financial loss.Businesses must have been open and operating on March 1, 2020Must be a Sole Proprietorship, LLC/LLP, S-Corporation, Corporation, Nonprofit* or PartnershipActive businesses physically located in Middlesex County, with a net annual business income of less than $1,000,000 based on their last federal tax return*Nonprofits only eligible for reimbursement of increased incurred expenses, not loss of revenue. Exclusions:• Not eligible for any expenses or loss of revenues previously reimbursed byState or Federal CARES Act funding, CDBG Grants, PPP Grants or Loans, private insurance, or any other COVID-19 relief program. READ MORE

Personal Perspective: Finding a New Normal to Prevent Resurgence

We all are painfully aware of the current situation plaguing our nation: COVID-19. As weeks pass, we see the effects of the virus on our neighbors, friends, and even family, we have been doing our part and taking every necessary precaution, and we are finally seeing cases start to decline. States are slowly taking steps to reopen as people anxiously await the return of their normal life but, will our lives ever look the way they did in December? As a scientist I can’t help but think about the critical public health steps that we missed as a nation. Many preventative measures we took may have been massively more effective had they been implemented much earlier. READ MORE

Innocence and Community – the Theme of RU President Jonathan Holloway’s Convocation Address

When I accepted the invitation to join the Rutgers community this past January I did not envision greeting my first class of Rutgers students in this way. No one could foresee the simultaneous challenges of a viral pandemic, a long-overdue global moment of racial reckoning, an economy in tatters, and a political atmosphere poisoned with caustic hyperbole and unrelenting efforts to belittle and demean. Those of us in higher education find ourselves profoundly challenged by these circumstances as we do our very best to preserve ideas that transcend time, to honor our commitments to critical inquiry, rigor, and evidence, and to produce research that will help heal the world. This is a good mission. It is this mission, in fact, that inspired me to pursue a doctorate in History when I entered graduate school 30 years ago. READ MORE