Mary Jacobs Library Building and Property to be Listed for Sale

The fate of the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library — which has served the communities of Montgomery and Rocky Hill since 1974 — is unclear. Some will be surprised to see a “For Sale” sign erected on the front lawn, along Washington Street in downtown Rocky Hill, in early January. However, the MJML Foundation, which owns the building, says it is committed to keeping a library branch in Rocky Hill. A MJML Foundation letter states that the Foundation “is not in a financial position to maintain the building, and wants to keep options open as to the future use of the property. As a result, the building will be put up for sale in the near future.” Front of the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library in Rocky Hill

Proposal for a Joint Montgomery Township / Rocky Hill Library

In 2018, we ran for office on a platform of delivering the most cost-effective government services to Montgomery. Building a library at the new municipal building — 1.7 miles from the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library (MJML) in Rocky Hill — gave us pause. We wondered if proper attention was given to the cost, efficiency, and divisiveness of such an undertaking by the prior administration. Many people we spoke with while campaigning lamented the loss of MJML, a facility that they and their children grew up in. Both Montgomery and Rocky Hill are part of the Somerset County Library System (SCLS), which provides the library operations, but not the facilities. MJML is unique, being the only privately-

Letter from the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library Foundation Trustees

The Mary Jacobs Memorial Library Foundation is dedicated to keeping its supporters updated about what is happening with the foundation’s transition. Here is our latest update: The board has been working tirelessly to further discuss and decide upon next steps for the foundation. Currently, we are in discussions with Montgomery Township (Committee members) and Rocky Hill (Borough Council members) about the feasibility of creating a joint municipal library. This concept was brought to us by Montgomery leaders in early 2019. (See proposal on this page by Montgomery leaders: Deputy Mayor Catherine Gural and Township Committeeman Marvin Schuldiner.) A project like this is multi-layered and comple

Township + School Leaders Working Together = Good

Earlier this year, I was invited by Montgomery Township School Board President Minkyo Chenette to start meeting on a monthly basis in order to brainstorm on ways we could work together to serve our shared constituencies. School Board president Minkyo Chenette and Montgomery Township Mayor Sadaf Jaffer I was more than happy to participate in these conversations, especially as Montgomery is known for being a family-oriented town and for many of our residents the schools are the heart of the community. I must note here that this sort of cooperation has not been the norm in Montgomery, and I applaud President Chenette and Acting Superintendent Mary McLoughlin for their vision and leadership. I w

Sybil L. Ryan, 82

Former Montgomery Board of Education President Sybil L. Ryan, 82, died on Saturday, Dec. 28, at her home in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Ryan was born in Clinton, NC, graduated from of the Memorial Mission Hospital Nursing School in Asheville, and worked as a registered nurse for more than 40 years. In addition to her nursing career, Ryan served as president of the Board of Education of Montgomery Township. She later served as a Eucharistic Minister at Sacred Heart Church in Pinehurst, was an active member of the Democratic Women of Moore County, and was also a member of the Pinehurst Country Club. She was predeceased by her parents Frederick and Bonnie Smith. She is survived by her husband Ra

Good Samaritan Finds Lost Hanukkah Card with $180 Cash and Returns It

Amber Wanner of Philadelphia and her friend Josh Israel found a Hanukkah card outside Aja Asian Cuisine on Route 206 on Christmas Day. The envelope was addressed to "Ben" and the card contained $180 cash. Amber and Josh each tweeted. Amber stating: "Dear Twitter, we need your help ... found grandma's Hanukkah card for Ben in Skillman. Can you help us find Ben?" And Josh tweeting: “Can you help us find Ben?” Need Twitter Help for a Christmas miracle...found grandma’s #Hanukkah card for Ben in Skillman, NJ outside a sushi restaurant on Christmas." It appears that Twitter actually did help. The couple tweeted around 6:11 pm on Dec 25. And, the folks at Congregation Kehilat Shalom in Belle Mead

Delia T. Drake, 77

A woman of service... Dec 28,1941 — Dec 20, 2019 Delia T. Drake (nee Keane) of Skillman died on December 20. She was 77. Delia, the daughter of Luke and Nora Keane, was born in the Bronx, NY and lived in Rockaway Beach, NY until moving to New Jersey in 1976. After 30 years of dedicated service, she retired from Western Electric International Patent Organization and then worked as a contract employee at several offices in the Princeton area. Delia (or Aunt Dee as she was affectionately called) was known for her friendliness, helpfulness, and welcoming spirit. She was a woman of service, beginning with her volunteer work for the New York Foundling Hospital and continuing at the Telephone Pione

Rocky Hill Elected Officials to Explore Ways to Keep Local Library Open

Inside the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library in Rocky Hill Rocky Hill Borough Council reached a consensus during its regular meeting on Monday, December 16, to explore every option to ensure that the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library (MJML) will remain in service as a library. Council members resolved that "all options are on the table." They plan to actively explore solutions in 2020 that could include remaining a branch of the Somerset County Library System or forming an independent library, perhaps in partnership with Montgomery Township. Councilwoman Irene Battaglia gave an update from the borough's library subcommittee. “Rocky Hill found itself in a reactive situation as the fundamental players i

Orchard Road Bridge Now Open

The Orchard Road Bridge, complete with fieldstone walls and a sidewalk, opened for traffic as of 3:35 pm on Wednesday, December 11. The bridge, over a Beden Brook tributary, has been closed since August 26. Kalogridis Contracting, Inc. of North Brunswick — the low bidder for the project at  $748,118 — completed the project three days ahead of schedule. This project was funded by FY2017 county aid from NJ Department of Transportation. The Orchard Road Bridge, located approximately 0.2 mile east of the intersection of Opossum Road and 0.5 mile west of Route 206. The road is used by many Montgomery Township school busses and parents in route to the township's public schools. The overall conditi

Karen Leah Grabinsky, 50

Former Montgomery Kid Connection Teacher ... Aug 26, 1969 — Dec 9, 2019 Karen Leah Grabinsky, formerly of Skillman, died with her mother — Joan Helen Grabinsky — as a result of a car accident in Scotrun, PA on December 9. She was 50. Karen was born in Somerville on August 26, 1969, daughter of Russell Grabinsky of Effort, PA, and the late Joan Helen (Ferry) Grabinsky. She graduated from Montgomery High School, Class of 1987. She was a member of the Cornerstone Community Church in Kunkletown, PA. She had worked as a childcare aid at Cornerstone Community Church in Kunkletown for four years. Karen will be deeply missed by her father: Russell Grabinsky of Effort, PA; her sisters: Nancy Grabins

Joan Helen Grabinsky, 68

40-year Sculpture House employee ... Jan 14, 1951 — Dec 9, 2019 Joan Helen Grabinsky, formerly of Skillman, died in a car accident with her daughter — Karen Leah Grabinsky — in Scotrun, PA, on December 9. She was 68. She was born in Trenton on January 14, 1951 and was the daughter of the late William and Madeline (Weisgarber) Ferry. Joan had worked in Shipping and Receiving for Sculpture House in Skillman for 40 years, until retiring. Joan was the wife of Russell Grabinsky for 51 years. They had retired to Effort, PA, in the Poconos. She will be deeply missed by her husband; her daughters: Nancy Grabinsky and her fiancé Rolland Reinert of Walnutport, PA; and Joan Adams and her fiancé Candice

Princeton Record Exchange to Celebrate 40 Years in Biz

Rocky Hill resident Jon Lambert in his store, Princeton Record Exchange Hey Siri. Play music. Those four simple words manifest the seismic shift in the music industry during the last 40 years. Still, the Princeton Record Exchange (PREX) moves 40,000 records, CDs, and DVDs each month. Owner Jon Lambert, a Rocky Hill resident, tells fans on Twitter that: “While we sell more vinyl than CDs here at PREX, it’s pretty close, with roughly 50 percent LPs vs. 40 percent CDs. We love both of these.” Established in 1980, Princeton Record Exchange is one of the top-ranked independent record stores in the US. On the eve of the shop’s 40th anniversary, Lambert looked back over the years recently with a r

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