Music Group BreakTime Features Cranford Musician

The members of BreakTime have been performing together a little over a year but they’ve already released one EP with a second on the way. The four member group features Cranford resident and Cranford High School grad Peter Roefaro (Peter Matthew) on drums.

Cranford Radio sat down with the group to learn a bit more about their music, how they came together and what they hope to accomplish. We also learned from Peter how the CHS marching band played a big role in his musical life and the role of jazz in not just BreakTime but other areas, as well.

As a side note, BreakTime will be performing Saturday, April 1 at the Halfway to Cranstock event at the Cranford Elks Lodge.

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Links to BreakTime’s music and more

Peter Roefaro, Douglas Lupo, Thommy Delaney, Sean Manuel (left to right)

Cranford Entrepreneur Owns Two Downtown Cranford Businesses

Cori Ardente grew up in Cranford so when she wanted to open a business Downtown Cranford was a natural choice. Not only did she open ANTHEM style + gift, but in 2020 she opened a second store, Max & Luna.

In this week’s episode you’ll hear Cori describe her first retail experience, why she decided to take the leap into opening a second store, and who Max and Luna are.

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Cori Ardente and son Max

Cranford Mayor Brian Andrews

Under Cranford’s form of government, the chairperson of the township committee is selected by the township commissioners. At the January reorganization meeting, they unanimously approved Brian Andrews to serve as mayor.

As I’ve done with a variety of elected officials over the years, I did a “getting to know you” interview with Brian to learn about his background and what prompted him to run for elective office. 

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Brian Andrews

The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority

The NJTPA is the metropolitan planning organization responsible for the distribution of federal transportation funds for 13 counties in northern New Jersey, including Cranford. They also assist counties and municipalities in improving transportation infrastructure.

David Behrend serves as the executive director of the agency and Ted Ritter is the manager of external affairs. They join me this week on the podcast to talk about the work of the agency and to provide examples of how their work directly affects the movement of people and freight through Cranford.

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David Behrend
Ted Ritter

Little Fox Kitchen Adapts to a Changing Landscape

When Melanie Cecilio, the founder and culinary director for Little Fox Kitchen, opened her business in 2018 she envisioned it as a cooking school drawing customers from Cranford and surrounding towns. Today, that side of the business continues but she also teaches virtual classes worldwide and companies come to her for team-building events.

In this episode of the Cranford Radio podcast, we learn more about Melanie and what brought her from the Philippines to Cranford and how COVID allowed her to pivot and transform her business.

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Little Fox’s Instagram page

Melanie Cecilio

Revisiting the Start of the Cranford High Girls Basketball Team 50 Years Ago

Today at most public high schools you’ll find a full program of girls sports. The passage of Title IX in 1972 required schools receiving federal funding to not discriminate based on sex. It took some time for Cranford Public Schools to begin offering girls sports. It started with a field hockey team and in 1973, a girls basketball team was created. That team not only was a first, but it distinguished itself by playing in the state championship game its first season.

Three seniors were the core of that team. Carol BlazejowskiNancy French and Lisa Levine played together going back to their elementary grade days at Lincoln School. This week’s Cranford Radio podcast brings the three together to  talk not only about that magical season, but to go back even further to the formation of their friendship and then to catch up on what they did after graduation.

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Front row (left to right): Terry Madonia, Naomi McLane, Carol Blazejowski, Jane McGee Second row: Lisa Levine, Nancy French, Mary Ann Daly, Pat Gallagher

Cranford High School Intergenerational Studies Program Brings Together Students and Seniors

Whenever you attended high school it likely was a time of growing. Depending on how far removed you are from that experience, things have changed quite a bit with today’s students. Under the direction of Nikki Savino Mulcahy, an intergenerational studies program is taking place at Cranford High School. It brings together older residents with current students to compare how things have changed over the decades, as well as what is not all that different.

Three students, Isabella Alvarez-Gomez, Neil McGovern and Ryan Lynskey, along with Mrs. Savino Mulcahy, join us on this week’s podcast, recorded in the Dr. Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe Library and Learning Commons, to not only talk about the class but to share a bit of what their high school experience is like.

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Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night Being Presented by Cranford Dramatic Club

Twelfth Night is one of William Shakespeare’s comedies and it comes to the CDC stage throughout the month of February. Director Susie Speidel and actor Zach Mazouat (Andy Aquecheek) join me to talk about the show, the challenges of performing Shakespeare, and what this show has to do with New York City in the 1970s.

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Twelfth Night cast
bottom row left – Corey Chichizola, bottom row right – Zach Mazouat
middle row left to right – Hannah Federman, Melissa Calicchio, Kate Griggs, Mark Zebro
top row left to right – Mary Anne Bonczek, Orin Tempkin, Lorraine Ford Deman, Ed Favor, Sean Kelly, Susie Paplow

Meet the New Pastor at the Cranford United Methodist Church

In July, the Cranford United Methodist Church welcomed a new pastor, Rev. Dr. HyunHui Kim.  Pastor Kim is not only the first woman to serve as pastor of CUMC, but she is also the first person of color.

In this episode we learn a bit about her story from her growing up years in a suburb of Seoul to what brought her to New Jersey.

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Cranford’s Equity and Inclusivity Initiative Releases Community Survey

Following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, the Cranford community created the Equity and Inclusivity Initiative to examine what needed to be done to make the town welcoming to everyone. Leaders of the project include a wide range of community members, including representatives from the township committee,  public schools, clergy, police and citizens. Meetings, which were open to all members of the public, developed mission, value, vision and goal statements, an action plan and a strategic plan.

On January 9 a survey was released seeking feedback from all stakeholders. Cranford Radio spoke with several leaders of the initiative to learn more about their work and the purposes of the survey. Guests on the episode are Police Chief Ryan Greco, Sherry Williams, Rev. Alfred Brown of the First Baptist Church, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Scott Rubin, Dr. Christopher Chapman of the Roselle Chapter of the NAACP and Township Committee member Kathleen Miller Prunty.

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Top row (left to right): Chief Ryan Greco, Bernie Wagenblast, Sherry Williams; second row: Rev. Alfred Brown, Dr. Scott Rubin, Dr. Christopher Chapman; bottom row: Commissioner Kathleen Miller Prunty