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Past articles
Mother's Always Right
Kelly Bishop has played the mother many times over
Ask Kelly Bishop, South Orange resident and star of Gilmore Girls, what drew her to the role of Emily Gilmore, and she recalls, "The pilot was simply the best script I ever read." And in a show business career that began at age 18, Bishop has seen her share of scripts. A Colorado native, Bishop moved to New York City after high school, hoping to dance professionally. She was hired by the Rockettes and danced steadily for a decade. "I love dancing, I worked all the time, and I like being on stage," explains Bishop. "It was wonderful."
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Devoted Dynasty
These Maplewood brothers gave their all - on the athletic field and to their country.
When Kevin Bianchi arrived at Columbia High School as a freshman, he followed in his two older brothers' footsteps and became a standout athelete. After graduating from Columbia, Kevin followed Jimmy and Bobby Bianchi to the prestigious U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. There he began a journey that few embrace and even fewer excel at. While still tearing up the athletic fields this energetic schoolboy became a man, not only surviving the rigors of military academy life but embracing it fully as he was groomed into an officer of the U.S. Navy.
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Being Bea
On the brink of stardom – at age 10
At home in Maplewood, Beatrice Miller eases into the nook of her couch; poised, velvety-voiced, and sparkling. As in any other family with three kids, her moms Hilery Kipnis and Kim Miller juggle phone calls, Daisy the dog, dinner prep, and keeping up with twins, Esther and Georgia, who just spilled a cup of bugs on the floor.
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The Art of Music
Innovative guitars looks as extraordinary as they sound
Our towns are well known for their many musicians and artists. Glen Gertz is a little bit of each, and part businessman as well. In 2003 he managed to fuse those interests together and to create GZ Guitars, Inc. The Maplewood-based company creates customized art guitars for clients around the world.
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Calling All Artists
A flourish of networking for Maplewood and South Orange writers, visual and performing artists.
Exciting things are happening. The South Orange and Maplewood Artists’ Network, aka SOMA ART NET is a wonderful new community-based organization, encompassing the true spirit of our tovns the Artists’ Network is run entirely by volunteers. A networking group SOMA ART NET brings together people in the arts; writers, musicians, actors, painters. sculptors. photographers. artists of all disciples. This group is inspiring to its members and greatly benefits our community.
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Students For Life
For more than 65 years, the South Orange-Maplewood Adult School has been teaching that learning doesn't have to stop when you stop being a kid.
Are stellar schools for Maplewood’s children high on your list of priorities? Of course. How about a great school for adults, where you can update what you already know, or plunge into the adventure of a brand-new skill or field of knowledge? That’s why the South Orange-Maplewood Adult School exists. From the seeds of its inception in 1933, when there were few, if any, similar programs anywhere in the United States, our Adult School focused on the need for continuing education.
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Happy 80th To Us
Count your age by friend - not years
"I have good news for you, the first 80 years are the hardest," shared Mary Janet Winter Damon in a note to her fellow members of Columbia's Class of 1940. "And the second 80 are a succession of birthday parties." The Class of 1940 started celebrating the second 80 in style at their ninth reunion in this 62nd year since high school graduation. "Even though we had a reunion two years ago, turning 80 is a great excuse for a party," explained committee secretary Jean Nason Stobaeus, together with committee treasurer and husband Dick Stobaeus. "We wanted to meet again before we started to lose more classmates."
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Radio City's Highest Stepper
Standing guard with expert coordination
The "Christmas Spectacular" show at Radio City Music Hall includes dramatic theatrical lighting effects, breathtaking imagery, flying characters, 80 Rockettes, dozens of cast members, hundreds of costumes, a full orchestra, a crew of 95 and a host of live animals. And they all fall under the responsibility of Maplewoodian Kathy Hoovler, the show’s stage manager.
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Keeping the Lights On
The gaslight has long been the symbol of South Orange, and will continue with broad new initiatives
South Orange is one of only a handful of towns in the United States that still illuminates streets using lights fueled by natural gas. Many of its major roads have modern electric streetlights, but most of the residential sections are still gas lit.
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Wild Things
Saving orphaned and injured wildlife
When Sonya Kaloyanides leaves her home on a quaint tree-lined street not far from the heart of Maplewood Village, she’s already been awake for hours, tending to the babies. She’s handled several early morning feedings, including formula-mixing and food chopping, and she’s even done a load of laundry or two. As she prepares her mind for the workday ahead (Kaloyanides is the Deputy General Counsel for Civil Litigation for the New York City Housing Authority), she reviews one final mental checklist to be sure the babies have everything they need for the day ahead. This routine might be familiar to many women… except that the babies Kaloyanides is leaving behind have fur, claws, and very sharp teeth.
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A World Beyond
Flying has always been in these brothers' blood.
Growing up, Mark Kelly didn't think becoming an astronaut could ever happen to him. It was astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to fly in space, who inspired Kelly's dreams. "We were in awe watching every launch," Mark admits, reminiscing of growing up in the Pleasantdale section of West Orange. Mark's twin brother Scott agrees. His identical twin brother. His identical twin astronaut brother. Not only are they the world's first astronaut twins, they're also the only astronaut siblings..
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Art & Soul
Honoring Maplewood’s man of the arts
Relaxing under the stars at SummerMusic, or rocking out at MapleWoodstock? Swinging to the tunes of our community big band? Walking through a 1978 Maplewood Art Center exhibit? Bringing the little ones to Music for Kids, or your parents to a seniors dance? If you are enjoying any one of these cultural arts activities in Maplewood, it’s likely to be because of Jim Buchanan.
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Ultimate Reunion
Ultimate Frisbee: Generations of players come home to where it all began
All across the country Thanksgiving is a day of food (in abundance), of hopeful gratitude, and normally, if you are heading "home" for the holiday, of catching up with friends and neighbors who you haven’t seen in a while. But for many Maplewood and South Orange residents (current and past) the turkey feast and televised football games are the mere pre-party to what it is really all about: Ultimate Frisbee.
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Double Billing
Michelle Pawk & John Dossett
"Watch the ball, Jack!" The woman calling to her son on the T-ball field has a voice that is beautiful. You can't help but think that the golden, reverberant sounds don't belong to just anyone. It's not that she's trying to call attention to herself; the voice is what it is - well trained, distinctive. You might correctly guess that she is an actress; after all, Maplewood and South Orange are home to plenty of professional actors. At the local baseball diamond, it is both natural and thrilling to have a Tony Award winner here.
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Dinner Gone to the Dogs
Cooking healthy and delicious food for you and your pet
Until World War II, there was no such thing as commercial dog food. Now, food editor and author, Linda Eckhardt, previews her newest book, which details how to cook for yourself and your four-legged friend. In The Dog Ate It: Cooking for Yourself and Your Four-legged Friends (Gotham/Penguin, October 2006), you’ll find about 100 recipes along with party suggestions, lists of acceptable commercial products, and tips galore on how to feed your favorite dog.
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Supporting Role
Mastering a joy of acting
Peter McRobbie is an actor who specializes in playing the roles of unusual or distinctive characters. One might not look twice at this tall, slim, middle-aged man, passing him as he buys his Starbucks coffee before hopping on the South Orange train bound for a Manhattan audition. So while watching the new movie, 16 Blocks with Bruce Willis, you might not recognize him as the NYPD hostage negotiator.
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Valediction
Three judges bore the weight of having to select a winner of the South Orange Maplewood Adult School Short Story Contest. There were 34 submissions in all and, according to Judy James of SOMAS, "there were so many good entries that it was decided to award an Honorable Mention to Dug Nevius of Maplewood, for his story, Little Jelly.

The grand prize winner, who was awarded a prize of $200, is Maplewood resident, James McHugh.
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The Phantom Lives Here
Heading upstream towards Broadway
Habitues of the Maplewood train station may recall that several years ago, a mural was painted on the walls of pedestrian underpass that leads from the village side of the tracks to the park side. Written across one of the walls was 'The Phantom lives here'. Some might have mistaken this for the signature of a graffiti artist; others recognized it for its truth. Mad Jacoby, who was the phantom in Th Phantom of the Opera, for two-plus years, moved here in 1991.
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Mother's Always Right
Kelly Bishop has played the mother many times over
Ask Kelly Bishop, South Orange resident and star of Gilmore Girls, what drew her to the role of Emily Gilmore, and she recalls, "The pilot was simply the best script I ever read." And in a show business career that began at age 18, Bishop has seen her share of scripts. A Colorado native, Bishop moved to New York City after high school, hoping to dance professionally. She was hired by the Rockettes and danced steadily for a decade. "I love dancing, I worked all the time, and I like being on stage," explains Bishop. "It was wonderful."
More . . . .
Vaux Hall House
Passing by the past to the future
David Gwesyn Smith first drove into Maplewood to attend a friend’s party, He loved the town from that moment. So when he pointed to a stately home on Valley Road and exclaimed, "That’s the one I want!" he was thrilled to see a For Sale sign had been plunked on the front lawn by the time they were departing the party and going back home to New York. "It was meant to be," he claims.
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Staying After School
Returning to CHS
Many Columbia High School graduates leave home each year to pursue college degrees and careers, but several soon return. The South Orange and Maplewood public schools employ nearly 40 CHS alumni. In fact, every school has at least one staff member who graduated from CHS sometime in the last 50 years. Six of those alums share memories of the past and perspectives on the present.
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Rock-and-Roll Is Here to Stay
It's all in the music for Vernon Miller
In the fall of 1963, four Boston University students started jamming in their dorm rooms. Soon they rocked, as in rock-and-roll, and had a steady Monday night gig at the Rathskeller, a Kenmore Square club the locals affectionately call "The Rat." Within a month, there was a line around the corner just to hear them. Local DJ's and record labels took notice.
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Prior featured articles
The Hallmark Coach
Bringing a sense of family and community to Seton Hall's men's basketball program

Patriot Acts
Celebrating an American

Never Bored Never Boring
The creator of the Boring Institute love his job and his town

From Maplewood to Mecca
Documentary Maker Anisa Mehdi Films a Spiritual Journey

Devoted Dynasty
These Maplewood brothers gave their all - on the athletic field and to their country

Rummaging Around
Welcome to the sale of the summer

Shore Leave
The Water Witch of Maplewood

Happy 80th to Us
Count your age by friend - not years

South Mountain High
A Look at South Mountain Reservation

New Jersey Task Force 1 Responds
As the events of September 11th unfolded, most of us watched our televisions in a numbed state of shock, fear and horror

The Gift of Remembering
Ursula Pawel tells her story

A Stroke of Genius
Asher B. Durand paints Maplewood onto the cultural map

Giving Them Wings
Maplewood Middle School helps kids become teens

Hail to the Chief
Is Chief Tuscan the school, the street, the milk?

To Tee or Not to Tee
Maplewood's own Dr. William Lowell changed the game of golf forever

Deep Roots
Maplewood's trees are some of the finest in the state. But that didn't just happen by accident.

Strawberry Fields Forever
Bringing Education Outdoors

Students For Life
For more than 65 years, the South Orange-Maplewood Adult School has been teaching that learning doesn't have to stop when you stop being a kid.

CHS Hall of Fame
CHS honors local grads who made it big!

Calling All Artists
A flourish of networking for Maplewood and South Orange writers, visual and performing artists.

Burroughing Down
Best-Selling author Bryan Burrough put down roots in Maplewood

Bully on Maplewood
Actor John Davidson finds the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt in his new hometown.

Leave Em Laughing
A son of Maplewood fulfills his childhood wish: to write comedy.

James Ricalton
James Ricalton brought the world to his Maplewood students .



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