Monroe to name historic school after former councilman Miller

By KATHY CHANG
Staff Writer

MONROE — The 19th-century historic Prospect Plains Road Schoolhouse will be named after former long-time Councilman Henry L. “Hank” Miller.

The Township Council voted in favor of a resolution of the dedication at a council meeting on Dec. 9.

Miller served as a councilman for 24 years before retiring in 2013. During his tenure, he was instrumental in establishing the Monroe Township Historical Preservation Commission.

The schoolhouse along Federal Road is the only remaining one-room schoolhouse of 16 that served as the local educational facilities until 1936.

The first phase to restore the schoolhouse and barn was underway in August on the site of the Charles Dey farm.

The Dey Farmhouse, which already stands on the site, serves as a museum, packed with historic artifacts ranging from Native American arrowheads to World War II-era news clippings and 1940s television sets, all donated by local residents.

The 16 one-room school buildings were all built between 1838 and 1850, officials said. Those schools were shut down when the Barclay Brook School and the Applegarth School were built in 1936 as part of the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration.

The school under reconstruction on Federal Road then became the old municipal building on Prospect Plains Road until the current town hall opened in 1982.

It was then periodically used by the local recreation department, as well as utilized as a food pantry until it was taken down and preserved.

The project to restore the schoolhouse and the original Dey Barn is taking place on a 40-acre tract donated by Renaissance Properties, developer of nearby Southfield Estates, in 2001. Monroe received a $1 million grant from Middlesex County to undertake the historic preservation.

Mayor Richard Pucci said he spoke with Council President Gerald Tamburro about doing something special at his last official council meeting as mayor.

He said Miller’s service to the township, which also included a position as chairman of the Planning Board and an educator, made Miller special to not only his administration, but to the entire community.

“We wanted to have a remembrance picture plaque name in honor of your great achievements,” Pucci said to Miller at the meeting.

Miller said it is remarkable how Monroe Township has grown and said the township is fortunate for the many “good people” who live here.

“Ladies and gentleman, it has been an honor to serve … thank you so much for what you have given to me,” he said.

Tamburro said the official ceremony for naming the building would take place in spring 2016.

Carl O.E. Bosenberg

Carl O.E. Bosenberg, 96, died Dec. 6 at the Francis E. Parker Memorial Home, Piscataway.

Born Sept. 29, 1919, in Jugenheim, Germany, he came to the United States with his parents, Henry F. and Martha Bosenberg, settling in North Brunswick in 1924.

He began working as a young boy with his father in the family business, Henry F. Bosenberg and Son Inc. in North Brunswick. In 1931, they developed the first ever-blooming climbing rose, the New Dawn, for which they were awarded United States plant patent number one.

Carl was a 1938 graduate of New Brunswick High School and a 1942 graduate of Rutgers University’s College of Agriculture. While at Rutgers, he wrestled, played on the 150-pound football team and was in the ROTC.

After graduation, he went to the Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut. He served in the South Pacific during World War II aboard LST 24. He returned stateside in 1944 and served as the commanding officer of the station in Pascagoula, Mississippi. While there, he met Mildred N. Bundy, and they were married in 1945.

He remained in the Coast Guard for many years, retiring with the rank of Commander. After the war, Carl and Mildred returned to North Brunswick where they raised their family and lived for the remainder of their lives. Upon his return to North Brunswick, he continued to work with this father, taking over the business in 1962. They did residential landscaping and tree work, as well as commercial work for Rutgers University, Johnson & Johnson, and several area municipalities for many years.

During the 1950s, he served on the North Brunswick Board of Education.

His wife, Mildred, died in 2002.

Surviving are a son, Robert Bosenberg, and his wife, Kim, of Lacombe, Louisiana; a daughter, Martha Decker, and her husband, Dennis, of North Brunswick; four grandchildren, Matthew Decker, Scott Decker, Kate Louise (Decker) Corriero and Brett Bosenberg; and three great-grandchildren, Luke Decker, Lucy Decker and Finn Corriero.

A memorial service was held at Kirkpatrick Chapel, New Brunswick, and burial took place at Van Liew Cemetery, New Brunswick.

Funeral arrangements were made by Quackenboss Funeral Home, 156 Livingston, Ave., New Brunswick.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, 1005 N. Glebe Road, Suite 220, Arlington, Virginia, 22201, (online at www.cgmahq.org), or to Fisher House Foundation, which provides homes for military personnel and veterans while they receive medical care, at P.O. Box 97229, Washington, DC, 20077-7804, (online at www.fisherhouse.org.)

Local college student organizes global event in one month

By JENNIFER AMATO
Staff Writer

NORTH BRUNSWICK — A young man from North Brunswick organized a competition that has a global impact.

Umair Masood, a sophomore at Rutgers University, served as campus director for the seventh annual Hult Prize competition at Rutgers on Dec. 5, when 10 teams competed to solve former President Bill Clinton’s challenge for 2015: How to end poverty in urban spaces and encourage students to build sustainable, scalable and fast-growing social enterprises that double the income of 10 million people resided in crowded urban spaces by better connecting people, goods, services and capital.

“This creates a community platform for social entrepreneurs on campus who are trying to get their name out there,” Masood said.

“The one thing I learned as director is that there is a huge entrepreneurial community at Rutgers and there is a new wave of social entrepreneurship [that is] creating an idea or a project that is profitable while solving the world’s problems at the same time, which is very powerful.”

Masood was able to pull the event together in just a month’s time, having to find teams and judges, obtain sponsors and partners and secure prize money.

His experience was rooted in a five-year internship at the American Muslim Consumer Consortium, founded by his parents, Faisal Masood and Sabiha Ansari, to understand and address the needs of American Muslim consumers and to empower companies developing products for the market.

“I’ve seen them run an event, build a network and brand themselves,” he said.

The winning team members from Rutgers University were Daniel Reji of Holmdel, David Shah of Edison, Chisa Egbelu of Louisiana and Myles Jackson of Pennsylvania. They were awarded $500 and will represent Rutgers at Regionals in Boston in March.

Following the regional finals, one winning team from each host city will move into a summer business accelerator program, where participants will receive mentorship, advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set-up to launch their new social business.

The final round of competition will be hosted at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in September, when one team will be selected as the Hult Prize recipient. Clinton himself will award the $1,000,000 prize to the winning team.

“The Hult Prize is a wonderful example of the creative cooperation needed to build a world with shared opportunity, shared responsibility, and shared prosperity, and each year I look forward to seeing the many outstanding ideas the competition produces,” Clinton said in a statement.

For more information on the event, visit hultprizeat.com/rutgers.

Contact Jennifer Amato at jamato@gmnews.com.

Robert D. Azzara

Robert D. Azzara, 56, of East Brunswick passed away suddenly on Nov. 20.

Born in New Brunswick, he was a lifelong resident of East Brunswick and a graduate of Boston College.

In 2013, he retired from TD Bank, Morristown.

Surviving are his parents, Nicholas and Ann (Battaglia) Azzara of East Brunswick; his sister, Jamie Malloy and her husband, Michael, of Berwyn, Pennsylvania; his three nephews, Christofer, Nicholas and Michael Ryan; and his niece, Cara.

Funeral services were made by Rezem Funeral Home, 457 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, and a Mass was held at St Bartholomew’s Roman Catholic Church, 470 Ryders Lane, East Brunswick.

County schools receive grants

Several schools in Middlesex County were recently awarded Sustainable Jersey for Schools Project Grants funded by the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA.)

At an event held on Dec. 3, the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools in Perth Amboy received a $10,000 grant for installing a school garden in order to instill a life-long passion for plants and respect for the environment.

Recipients of a $2,000 grant include Edgar Middle School in Metuchen for the Student Wellness Organization, Monroe Township High School for Farm to Fork and North Brunswick Township High School for Filling Station Fabulous.

“We know that schools and districts are in the best position to determine the needs for their schools,” said Donna Drewes, who co-directs Sustainable Jersey with Randall Solomon. “These NJEAfunded grants will allow school communities to come together to improve outcomes for students, teachers and the environment. Collaboration is key, and we are proud to have support from important strategic partners like NJEA.”

Proposals were judged by an independent Blue Ribbon Selection Committee.

Country legend Dolly Parton brings her most personal song to TV

By Lori Acken,

I was a little kid growing up in a home filled with country music when Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors” became a radio hit in 1971. I already loved the story of the original coat thanks to Sunday school, and since I was a small-town girl with a loving mama, too, I fell hard for that song. I love it still.

On Thursday, Dec. 10, NBC brings the tender tune of a family’s love and resilience, exemplified by a little patchwork jacket, to television as part of a deal with the country music legend and her production partner Sam Haskell to produce films based on Parton’s most enduring hits. (Jolene begins filming in early 2016.) The film — which stars Ricky Schroder and Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles as Parton’s parents Robert Lee and Avie Lee, and sparkling 8-year-old Alyvia Alyn Lind as a young Dolly — dramatizes Parton’s true-life tale of growing up in a dirt-poor but unfailingly loving and creative home. Parton calls the movie her gift to viewers in the most faith- and familycentric time of the year.

“I’ve had so many people tell me that [the song] has touched them even though it might not have been about a coat or a piece of clothing, but a handicap or being overweight or just being different,”

Parton says. “It just touches me that my work has been able to touch people through the years like that.”

Because of that, Parton and Haskell worked closely with screenwriter Pamela K. Long to make sure the film echoed the song’s timeless message. “They teach this little ‘Coat of Many Colors’ in so many schools now and use it as an anti-bullying song, that we should celebrate the differences in each other.

“So when we started putting this show together, Sam and myself wanted to make sure that it really was about celebrating those differences. And I really wanted to pay tribute to my mom and dad and to show who the family was that I came from.”

And what a family it is — one Parton credits with her own ability to bloom where she’s planted. “Mom had a house full of kids and a love for my daddy that wouldn’t quit,” she says. “They married when Mama was 15 and Daddy was 17. My dad was such a hardworking person, and he never had the chance to go to school. So they had nothing to work with except love and faith and one another — and Mama had enough faith to move a mountain. I think I got my spirituality and my positive attitude and my faith from my mother. And I’ve got my dad’s hard work ethic.”

Understandably, Parton was careful about choosing the people who would step into their shoes. Of Nettles, she trills, “She actually did her own little audition tape and sent it in to us, and we just absolutely flipped out! I said, ‘Oh my God, that’s Mama!’ She’s spectacular! And Ricky, he looks like my brothers and my daddy’s people — his coloring, and just his body structure. He and his wife were very involved in the story. They had lost a child, too — something that we talk about in the movie (Parton’s brother Larry — “my baby,” she calls him — died at birth). I think that was very healing for them.”

As for little Lind, Dolly says it was a match made in heaven.

“We auditioned hundreds of kids and I said to Sam, ‘God’s going to send her. We’re going to get the right one!’ Then the day I saw her, I said, ‘That’s her! I see her! I see me! She’ll make me look good!’ I never was that cute, but that little thing can sing, she can act. The second our eyes met, it was like I knew that we were right!”

Many contributed to success of ball game

On June 27 the East Brunswick Buddy Ball League (EBBL) held a baseball game at the Heavenly Farms field, East Brunswick.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 133, East Brunswick, for hosting the event, and the East Brunswick police and fire departments, whose members participated in the game with the players. The children had a blast and were excited to be playing with the policemen and firemen.

We would also like to thank Steve Johnson, Barbara Johnson, Steve Onorato, all the coaches, managers, pals, the EBBL and East Brunswick Councilwoman Denise Contrino for making this such a successful event.

And, finally, a special thanks to Tommy Coohill at VFW Post No. 133 for his generosity and for helping to organize this special baseball game.

Swati Muscarella
Pals Director
East Brunswick Buddy Ball League