Pam Hersh

Pam Hersh

Recent Articles

PERSPECTIVE: HP Musician Gary Kaplan Has a Community Vibe

Performing artists during the past 16 months of the pandemic social distancing and isolation have fought to remain relevant with the public by ‘takin’ it to the streets,’ in the words of The Doobie Brothers. Highland Park has been among the communities that have supported this trend, starting last November 2020 when Main Street Highland Park arranged the American Repertory Ballet/Princeton Ballet School Nutcracker performance segments outdoors in the Main Street’s Farmers’ Market space. Most recently at the end of May, residents were heaping praise on Highland Park-based musician Gary Kaplan for producing Porch Fest, an entire afternoon of rock music performances from the porches and/or driveways of homes throughout the town. Porch Fest rocked the community out of its lethargy and into an energetic post-pandemic state of mind. I roamed the streets during Porch Fest and was astonished to see how quickly the isolation and community deterioration of COVID was eradicated not only by a vaccine but also by these performances that brought the residents swinging and mingling together with unmitigated joy in a COVID safe manner. READ MORE

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NJ Spotlight Op-Ed: Diversion of NJ Housing Trust Fund dollars is unwise, unnecessary and disconnected

The author of this op-ed is DAN HOFFMAN, who was the legislative aide for NJ State Assemblyman David Schwartz from Highland Park when Highland Park was in the 17th district. David Schwartz was also a Highland Park Borough Council member and Council President in the 1970s. https://www.njspotlight.com/2021/06/gov-phil-murphy-proposed-budget-would-divert-up-to-47-million-housing-trust-fund-uwnwise-unnecessary/?nbsp;&utm_source=NJ%20Spotlight%20%20Master%20List&utm_campaign=1bc86608b0-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_06_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1d26f473a7-1bc86608b0-398754497&ct=t(EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_06_02_2021)&mc_cid=1bc86608b0&mc_eid=1ae79239ef

Gov. Phil Murphy’s new proposed budget has reignited the controversy regarding the practice of diverting state Housing Trust Fund revenues for purposes other than affordable housing — something previous governors of both parties had done, but which he pledged not to do. The proposal would divert up to $47 million. The administration defended this action, noting that unlike past diversions reprogrammed funds will continue to support housing activities. READ MORE

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Highland Park Celebrates Memorial Day and the Return of Doughboy to its Place of Honor

As the pandemic was raging last fall, many residents of Highland Park were unaware that a popular local landmark – the Doughboy statue – a tribute to American soldiers who fought in World War I, was knocked from its perch at the intersection of Raritan and Woodbridge Avenues. Tragically, its helmeted head was broken away from its body. On October 16, 2020, the Doughboy statue was struck by a tractor trailer making a turn at that Raritan/Woodbridge intersection. On the morning of Monday, May 31, 2021, the Doughboy Statue stood fully repaired in all of its glory and fulfilled its pivotal role in the community’s Memorial Day commemorative ceremony.  At noon, Highland Park Borough, in conjunction with the Veterans Alliance of Raritan Valley, hosted a service that included a wreath-laying ceremony and a performance of Taps by a bugler at the Doughboy statue. READ MORE

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The Community Applauds the Return of Outdoor Movies Beginning Saturday, May 15

The curtain goes up once again on Highland Park Outdoor Movies. Save the date SATURDAY MAY 15 for opening night in the Highland Park Outdoor Movie Theater. The first presentation of the season is WATERSHIP DOWN. Vintage cartoons begin at dusk. Feature presentation is at 9 p.m. In addition to being family friendly, the movie series is financially friendly – it is free. READ MORE

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REAL ID deadline is extended to May 3, 2023 – an additional 19 months from the initial deadline.

New Jerseyans will have an additional 19 months to get their REAL ID after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) delayed the requirement for air travelers to have a REAL ID-compliant form of identification by Oct. 1. The announcement that the deadline has been postponed until May 3, 2023 was made on April 27, 2021

The announcement comes as a number of New Jerseyans have complained about REAL ID services in New Jersey. Here’s what you need to know about getting REAL ID in New Jersey. 

Officials said the new delay is due to the COVID pandemic, which is making it harder for people to get into state motor vehicle departments and get the new IDs. Fewer than 50 percent of Americans have obtained their REAL ID, according to officials. READ MORE

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Restaurants Urged to Apply Immediately for Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The U.S. Small Business Administration will begin registrations on Friday, April 30, 2021, at 9 a.m. EDT and open applications on Monday, May 3, at noon EDT for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The online application will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund provides a total of $28.6 billion in direct relief funds to restaurants and other hard-hit food establishments that have experienced economic distress and significant operational losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Funds must be used for allowable expenses by March 11, 2023. READ MORE

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Quizzing Cousins – in a New Q&A Feature Column – Seek Your Opinion

The Highland Park cousins hit the streets – actually during COVID they go to their screens and telephones- to find friends and relatives and neighbors and teachers who are willing to answer a simple topical question each week.  This week the interviewees are mostly family members, but in subsequent weeks, the Quizzing Cousins hope to branch out.  So check your phones and emails for messages. The reporters are Lily Solomon, HPMS 8th grade; Harry Solomon HPMS 6th grade; Rubin Hersh HPMS 6th grade; and Ilana Hersh Bartle 4th grade. We start this feature with a question about the pandemic, which has upended lives all over the world. In New Jersey as of Feb. READ MORE

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Reformed Church of Highland Park Wins Prestigious DCA/HUD Grant for Affordable Housing Rental Project

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) announced that nine New Jersey organizations were awarded a total of $6.3 million in federal Housing Trust Fund (HTF) monies to create rental housing for extremely low-income individuals and families. The federal funding that DCA receives comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Reformed Church of Highland Park was one of the nine New Jersey projects to win a grant for the acquisition and substantial rehabilitation of three rental units. “Governor Murphy and I are working everyday to make New Jersey a place where housing is more affordable and accessible for everyone regardless of income level,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “These nine projects will certainly help individuals and families who are most in need find stable, safe housing that has a positive effect on their quality of life. READ MORE

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Renowned RU Professor is Honored with a Distinguished Service to Agriculture Citation

Long-time Rutgers professor and extension agent Dr. Mel Henninger was recognized with a Distinguished Service to Agriculture Citation by the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture during the virtual New Jersey State Agricultural Convention recently.“Mel Henninger’s significant contributions to New Jersey agriculture have made major impacts on how we grow produce,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “He is known and highly respected across the country for his in-depth knowledge of potatoes and the availability of his expertise, experience and insight to farmers here has heightened the Garden State’s production and agricultural reputation.”

Dr. Henninger graduated from Penn State University with a degree in agronomy and he returned there to earn his Masters and Ph.D. in agronomy as well. Before being a professor emeritus for the last 10 years at Rutgers, he spent 391/2 years of his career as an extension specialist in vegetable crops at Rutgers. His career included nine years as Department Chair.“Working with my fellow Rutgers staff and agents for the farmers in New Jersey has allowed me to have a very rewarding and satisfying career,” Dr. Henninger said. “Receiving this honor is especially significant to me. READ MORE

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Rutgers University’s “Earth Day Every Day!” Spring 2021 Series Begins March 8

Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s “Earth Day Every Day” educational webinar series is back for Spring 2021. Open to the public, these free sessions focus on steps everyone can take to protect the environment. We can all do our part to take actions that make our homes more sustainable, from starting a native plant garden, to protecting local watersheds, to choosing the right trees for your property. These actions, more than ever, start at home. The 2020 series was a success with more than 2,900 people from all 21 counties in New Jersey in attendance, as well as representation from 30 other states. READ MORE

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