Pam Hersh

Recent Articles

Gone but Never Forgotten: Dr. Cheryl Wall, a Rutgers University Legend

The Highland Park Planet will be honoring those Highland Park residents who have died, but who cannot be honored formally until the COVID health crisis subsides. —————————————————————————————————————-

The following is a Rutgers University news announcement. —————————————————————————————————————

Cheryl A. Wall, a Board of Governors Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English long admired for her expertise in African-American literature, American literature and feminist criticism, died Saturday. Dr. Wall, a well-regarded professor at Rutgers University-New Brunswick School of Arts and Sciences for nearly 50 years, had been planning to retire at the end of the academic year. A recipient of the Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching, Wall received numerous fellowships and awards, including being named a Board of Governors Professor of English in 2006 before she was named the Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English in 2008. 

“We are profoundly saddened by the loss of this amazing scholar, teacher and citizen of the university,’’ President Robert Barchi said. READ MORE

Filed under:

Rutgers Food Science Professor offers practical advice on food in the era of COVID-19

“If you are concerned about the outside of food packages being contaminated, I suggest that you wash your hands or sanitize your hands before you sit down to eat any food that you might’ve taken out of those containers. And guess what, washing your hands before you eat is a best practice even when we’re not in a pandemic,” said Don Schaffner, an extension specialist in food science and distinguished professor in the Department of Food Science in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. “Soap should absolutely not be used to wash food,” Dr. Schaffner said. “It’s not designed for that. Soap can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested. READ MORE

Filed under:

St.Peters Hospital – a loyal supporter of HP events -now needs your support

Saint Peter’s University Hospital is in need of surgical masks
and is asking volunteers to sew masks. The masks need to mold around the nose and
have the ability to insert a filter. A tutorial to
make such a mask is available by clicking here (this particular mask
allows the use of elastic or ribbon). 

Local craft and fabric stores sell remnants online and offer
curbside pick-up. If someone is having difficulty acquiring fabric, please
contact Susan Choma at 

For additional information please contact Jim Choma, at


Filed under:

Businesses slammed by COVID-19 get some breaks from NJEDA mandates

New Initiatives to Support Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced a suite of new programs to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.  The new initiatives include:  

Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program – A $5 million program that will provide grants up to $5,000 to small businesses in retail, arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, food service, repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry services to stabilize their operations and reduce the need for layoffs or furloughs. Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program – A $10 million program that will provide working capital loans of up to $100,000 to businesses with less than $5 million in revenues. Loans made through the program will have ten-year terms with zero percent for the first five years, then resetting to the EDA’s prevailing floor rate (capped at 3.00%) for the remaining five years. Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Emergency Loan Loss Reserve Fund – A $10 million capital reserve fund to take a first loss position on CDFI loans that provide low interest capital to micro businesses. This will allow CDFIs to withstand loan defaults due to the outbreak, which will allow them to provide more loans at lower interest rates to microbusinesses affected by the outbreak. READ MORE

Filed under:

It makes sense for you and cents for your community – Census 2020 – fill it out today

Given all that’s going on in the world right now, the U.S.
Census may seem like a relatively unimportant concern. But the hundreds of
billions of dollars that will be apportioned based on this year’s census count
will impact our classrooms, our public health facilities, our representation in
government, and countless programs that directly impact the lives of all
community members. So today, on Census Day, please make sure to fill out your
census (it only takes 5 minutes!) and please help spread the word. Complete your form

Rebecca Hersh, executive director of Main Street Highland Park, added these thoughts about the census:

“We urge all New Jerseyans to Complete the United States 2020 Census and be counted. We need ALL New Jerseyans to be counted! READ MORE

Filed under:

More Information Resources for Small Businesses Compiled by Main Street Highland Park

Funding Programs & Business Support for businesses affected by COVID-19

The Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses. Learn more. Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits through their Small Business Grants Program. Learn more. JPMorgan pledged $50 million global philanthropic commitment to support communities and people hit hardest by this public health crisis, including $2 million to existing nonprofit partners and $8 million to assist small businesses. READ MORE

Filed under:

Updates from Main Street HP: May 3 HP 5K and Street Fair Felled by COVID-19; Support Farmers Market Vendors and Local Merchants

HP 5k Race & Street Fair Update We are very sad to say that due to COVID-19 concerns and uncertainty, we be postponing the annual Highland Park 5k race and Spring Street Fair on Sunday May 3, 2020. Please email to be put on our mailing list for rescheduling updates. Updates will also be posted on our website. Farmers Market Update We’re not in season yet, but our vendors are still in business. You can click here to see some online shopping options from some of our market vendors. READ MORE

Filed under:

Working and Learning at Home Presents a New Challenge and RU Experts Offer Advice

Gone is the morning race out the door to get the kids to school and parents to work. Now, the challenge many working parents face is structuring the day to make sure their children are still learning while also trying to do their jobs from home. One comforting fact is that we are not alone in this difficult situation. The following Rutgers experts are discussed how parents can help children with their home education while balancing their work-related responsibilities in this unprecedented time. GG Weisenfeld Assistant Research Professor National Institute for Early Education Research Rutgers Graduate School of Education

Yana Rodgers Professor Center for Women & Work Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations

Here are some tips for homeschooling:

What advice do you have for parents struggling with children who aren’t as cooperative learning at home as they might be in a classroom? READ MORE

Filed under:

COVID-19 Punches Local Businesses, but Residents Can Help with Takeout

Article is from March 20, 2020

People have been encouraged to order takeout in an effort to aid local businesses. It’s a good thing for the economy, we’re told. But, is it safe? Dr. Henry Fraimow, an infectious disease specialist at Cooper University Health Care, says it is. “We know that the risk of contracting coronavirus through food is incredibly low,” Fraimow said in a release. READ MORE

Filed under:

Stop & Shop Has Special Hours for Seniors and Other HP Retailers Make Special Effort to Serve Community

Beginning Thursday, March 19th, all Stop & Shop stores, including Highland Park’s Raritan Avenue store, will open earlier at 6 a.m. and designate the timeframe from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. as reserved for serving those customers who are age 60 and older. “Now, more than ever, it’s important we come together as a community to support each other during challenging times. Part of that is showing compassion and care for some of our neighbors who are most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. According to the CDC, that is members of the population who are age 60 and older,” according to a Stop & Shop statement. 

To support this group,  Stop & Shop decided to offer this arrangement every day of the week to allow for community members in this age category to shop in a less crowded environment, which better enables social distancing. They’ll also be shopping prior to any other customers entering. 

People ages 60 and older will use a designated entrance, which will be marked at their local store, from 6:00a.m.-7:30a.m. Although the store will not be requesting ID for entry, management asks that consumers ask that respect the purpose of the early opening – and do the right thing for the community. READ MORE

Filed under: