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 Acupuncturists Sayreville, NJ

If you're new to holistic healing, acupuncture may seem intimidating. You might be wondering how needles pressed into your skin could possibly make you feel better. Wouldn't someone pushing a needle into your back be painful? As it turns out, acupuncture is far from painful and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after treatments for chronic pain and for regulating issues relating to:

  • Digestion
  • Hormones
  • Breathing
  • Muscles
  • Nerves & Brain
  • Sex & Libido
  • Body Circulation
  • Organs & Heart

In fact, acupuncture has been studied and practiced for over 2,500 years and, more recently, has been researched and supported by many scientific studies. While acupuncture may not be a "miracle" treatment for every type of pain or condition, it has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of issues, from depression and allergies to morning sickness and cramps.

Covering the Basics of Acupuncture in Sayreville, NJ

Acupuncture is a therapy in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that aims to balance the body's energy, called qi, which flows through pathways called meridians. This balance is crucial for overall wellness, as disruptions to qi can lead to health concerns. According to TCM, inserting small stainless-steel needles into specific points called acupoints along the meridians can help rebalance the flow of qi and restore overall health.

These acupoints are believed to release certain chemicals when stimulated, which can trigger an immune response and promote physiological homeostasis. Recent research suggests that this therapy may help alleviate symptoms of various health ailments.

In fact, the National Institute of Health conducted a survey on complementary health approaches, revealing that acupuncture usage in the United States has increased by 50 percent between 2002 and 2012. As of 2012, 6.4 percent of American adults have reported using acupuncture as a form of treatment.

Acupuncture Near Me Sayreville, NJ

Is Acupuncture in Sayreville, NJ Actually Legit?

One of the most common questions from new patients interested in acupuncture typically revolves around whether it really works or whether it's all "new age" malarky. We get it - for most folks, the thought of inserting stainless-steel needles into one's back, arms, or neck sounds loony. However, with the ever-increasing popularity of acupuncture in New Jersey and other locations, numerous studies centering on acupuncture's effectiveness have taken place.

Extensive research has been conducted on the effectiveness of acupuncture for various conditions. A February 2022 analysis published in the BMJ, which evaluated over 2,000 scientific reviews of acupuncture therapies, revealed that acupuncture's efficacy is strongest for:

  • Neck Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Post-Stroke Aphasia
  • Muscle Pain
  • Lactation Issues
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Vascular Dementia
  • More

Additionally, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), acupuncture is most effective for pain relief in cases of chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, lower back pain, and tension headaches. Additionally, a review of 11 clinical trials found that acupuncture may also alleviate symptoms associated with cancer treatment, as noted by the NIH.

What Happens During an Acupuncture Session at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness?

When meeting with your acupuncturist for the first time, they will discuss your condition with you before conducting a physical examination to identify areas of your body that might respond to acupuncture. The needles used in acupuncture are incredibly thin, sterile, and disposable, with your acupuncturist inserting them at different depths ranging from a fraction of an inch to several inches.

Acupuncture needles are less painful than medical needles used for vaccines or blood draws. This is because acupuncture needles are thinner and solid, not hollow. During the treatment, you may experience some muscle sensations like dull aches or tingling.

Your practitioner will ask you to report any deep heaviness or numbness, which are positive signs that the treatment is working. Depending on the condition you're treating and the supplemental treatments you're undergoing, like physical therapy, acupuncture needles will remain in place for several minutes or up to 30 minutes.

Once your first acupuncture treatment is finished, it's normal to feel extra relaxed and calm. For that reason, some patients like to arrange for a ride home after their first or second session. With that said, you shouldn't experience much pain at all, and it's quite possible for you to return to work after acupuncture.

How Many Treatments Until Acupuncture Works?

This is another common question that we get at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness. The simple answer is, "It depends." While we understand that that's not a satisfying answer for some, it's important to understand that every patient is different. Everyone has different bodies and, by proxy, different bodily conditions and issues that need to be addressed.

During your initial consultation at our office, your licensed acupuncturist will go over your needs and goals as it relates to acupuncture therapy. Once your therapist has a good sense of the scope of your needs, they can give you a loose idea of how many sessions you'll need.

Generally speaking, most patients have appointments once a week. Others may require more or less frequent sessions. It's important to note that the full benefits of acupuncture may not be immediately evident after the first or even the second session. It's common for normal patients to undergo up to five treatments to realize the full benefits of acupuncture.

What Conditions Are Treated with Acupuncture in Sayreville, NJ?

There's no question that acupuncture is more popular than ever as a non-invasive, non-addictive way to reclaim balance and well-being. But what types of conditions can this traditional therapy help alleviate in the modern world? Advances in acupuncture techniques and applications have resulted in some very promising benefits.

Relief from Chronic Pain

Did you know that regular acupuncture treatments can help reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis? In May 2017, a meta-analysis was published, which studied approximately 18,000 patients with chronic pain, such as low back, neck, and shoulder pain, knee OA, and headache or migraine. The analysis found that the benefits of acupuncture therapy in reducing pain lasted for more than 12 months.

That's wonderful news for athletes and other people who push their bodies daily to accomplish goals or bring home money for rent and bills. In fact, many medical experts consider acupuncture as a viable option for managing chronic pain in conjunction with traditional methods like physical therapy and chiropractic care. The idea behind this approach is that acupuncture may trigger the body's natural healing response to alleviate pain.

When a licensed acupuncturist in New Jersey inserts an acupuncture needle, it penetrates your fascia, a connective tissue that wraps around your organs and muscles. Like a slight tickle on your arm, your body realizes that something is happening and responds by delivering lymph fluid, blood, and other important nutrients to speed up healing in affected areas like your knees, back, neck, joints, and more.

 Fertility Acupuncture Sayreville, NJ
 Best Acupuncture Sayreville, NJ

Migraine Headache Relief

If you're like other people who suffer from migraines, you know that once one of them hits, it can be next to impossible to function properly throughout the day. Fortunately, acupuncture in Sayreville, NJ may be a viable solution if you have to endure migraines often.

A study conducted in 2009 by the Center for Complementary Medicine at the University of Munich analyzed 11 studies involving 2,137 patients who received acupuncture treatment for chronic tension-type headaches. The researchers concluded that acupuncture could be an effective non-pharmacological solution for frequent headaches.

The study compared the effects of acupuncture sessions with sham acupuncture and no treatment at all. Both groups that received acupuncture treatment, whether needles were placed randomly or strategically, reported a reduction in headache symptoms, while the control group reported no change. The group that received real acupuncture treatment also reported a decrease in the number of headache days and intensity of pain in a follow-up survey.

Improved Sleep

For individuals who struggle with insomnia and other sleep disturbances, acupuncture is a promising therapy. Although sedatives are commonly prescribed for insomnia, long-term use can lead to negative side effects such as dependence and excessive drowsiness.

A study conducted on 72 participants and published in Sleep Medicine in 2017 found that individuals who received acupuncture three times a week for four weeks experienced significant improvements in sleep quality and anxiety compared to those who received sham acupuncture.

Similarly, a review of 30 randomized, controlled trials found that acupuncture was more effective in improving sleep quality and daytime functioning than sham acupuncture.

 Acupuncture Clinic Sayreville, NJ
 Facial Acupuncture Sayreville, NJ

Better Recovery from Surgery

While many patients choose acupuncture as a way to avoid surgery altogether, those who need surgery also use it for improved recovery. Because, at the end of the day, recovering from surgery is no easy feat. Patients may experience various symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, pain around the incision, restlessness, sleep troubles, constipation, and sore throat.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, healthcare providers may use acupuncture as a way to alleviate some of these symptoms and help with healing. A study published in Integrative Cancer Therapies in January 2017 involving 172 participants found that patients who received acupuncture after surgery reported significant improvements in sleep, anxiety, pain, fatigue, nausea, and drowsiness.

 Acupuncture Treatment Sayreville, NJ

The Surprising Benefits of Supplementing Physical Therapy with Acupuncture

Did you know that supplementing physical therapy with acupuncture and vice versa can have profoundly beneficial effects for patients in New Jersey and across the country? If you're like most, chances are you didn't.

The truth is that acupuncture and physical therapy have both been proven effective in reducing pain and inflammation. While many people view them as separate methods, combining the two modalities can produce a synergistic effect that enhances pain relief and delivers long-lasting benefits to patients.

Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and abilities, from children to elderly adults, to help them overcome physical limitations and improve their quality of life. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists help treat a wide range of conditions, from neck pain and spinal cord injuries to back pain and arthritis.

To effectively reduce pain and treat tissue injury, a combination of acupuncture and physical therapy can be very helpful. Acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation and release muscle tightness and trigger points, allowing the patient to better receive manual therapy or exercise-based physical therapy techniques. In doing so, acupuncture can actually create a window of time that allows your body to respond better to other treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, such as physical therapy and chiropractic care.

There are many benefits of combining physical therapy with acupuncture in Sayreville, NJ, including the following:

  • Increased Range of Motion
  • More Effective Long-Term Pain Relief
  • Enhanced Tissue Repair & Healing
  • Better Response to Physical Therapy Due to Pain Reduction
  • Less of a Need for Pain Medications
  • Boosted Mood & Energy
  • Better Quality of Life Overall

You may be wondering, "Are there any studies showing these benefits?" As it turns out, there are many. One such study, published on the NIH's website, was conducted on patients suffering from frozen shoulder.

 Acupuncture Therapy Sayreville, NJ

Patients who received acupuncture experienced a significant reduction in pain, while those who underwent physical therapy saw an improvement in range of motion. However, the best outcome was observed in patients who received a combination of both treatments, with reduced pain, increased their range of motion, and improved quality of life. This study highlights the potential benefits of using acupuncture and physical therapy as complementary treatments for frozen shoulder.

It makes sense, then, that people from all walks of life are combining acupuncture with chiropractic treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, including:

  • Professional Athletes
  • Football Players
  • Soccer Players
  • Baseball Players
  • Construction Workers
  • Landscapers
  • Accountants and People Working Office Jobs
  • Public Officials
  • Police Officers
  • More

Combining Acupuncture with Chiropractic Care for Pain Relief and Wellness


At New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, our doctors, practitioners, occupational therapists, and physical therapist specialize in a range of therapies and treatments. Much like physical therapy and acupuncture, combining chiropractic care with acupuncture therapy gives patients a new way to reclaim their mobility, reduce chronic pain, and maintain a healthy quality of life.

Chiropractic care and acupuncture in Sayreville, NJ are natural healing practices that don't rely on drugs to improve the body's health. They focus on correcting imbalances in the body's structural and supportive systems, promoting natural healing, and ultimately leading to better health. These practices have a proven track record of helping patients improve their quality of life and overcome physical difficulties.

 Medical Acupuncture Sayreville, NJ

What are the Benefits of Using Acupuncture with Chiropractic Care?

Integrating chiropractic and acupuncture as a dual-modality treatment offers the most efficient solution for removing blockages from the body, promoting balance, and accelerating healing. Rather than using these treatments sequentially, a combined approach allows for maximum benefits at one time.

Chiropractic targets subluxations in the nervous system through manual adjustments, facilitating the central nervous system to promote healing, while acupuncture removes blockages that may hinder the body's internal balance. Together, these treatments work synergistically to optimize energy flow and restore harmony in the body.

 Cosmetic Acupuncture Sayreville, NJ
 Cosmetic Acupuncture Sayreville, NJ

What Conditions Can Be Treated with Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care?

When our physical well-being becomes imbalanced, and our innate healing mechanisms are compromised, illnesses can manifest. The integration of acupuncture and chiropractic practices can effectively address a wide range of health conditions that they individually target, such as:

  • Sports Injuries
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic Conditions Like Diabetes
  • More

Curious if combining chiropractic care or physical therapy with acupuncture is right for your body? The best way to find out is to make an appointment at our sports rehab clinic in New Jersey. Once our team of medical professionals has a chance to evaluate your conditions, we can explore the best options to provide the most relief in the shortest amount of time possible.

The Premier Choice for Professional Acupuncture in Sayreville, NJ

New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness consists of a team of athletic trainers, chiropractors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and other professionals. We're very proud and passionate about caring for our patients, many of whom are suffering from debilitating conditions like back and neck pain, plantar fasciitis, sports-related injuries, and more. If you're trying to get on the road to pain relief and recovery, acupuncture may be the non-surgical solution you need to reclaim your life. Contact our office today to learn whether this exciting treatment is right for you.


Latest News in Sayreville, NJ

'New town': What's up with the $2.5B waterfront development off the Garden State Parkway?

SAYREVILLE – Construction of the long-awaited Bass Pro Shops is expected to begin before year's end at Riverton, the proposed $2.5 billion mixed-use development at the former National Lead site."Bass Pro Shops has told us it will be the largest, single-level Bass Pro Shop in the country," said Kevin Polston, project ...

SAYREVILLE – Construction of the long-awaited Bass Pro Shops is expected to begin before year's end at Riverton, the proposed $2.5 billion mixed-use development at the former National Lead site.

"Bass Pro Shops has told us it will be the largest, single-level Bass Pro Shop in the country," said Kevin Polston, project executive with North American Properties, the developer of the property.

"There will be a restaurant and they typically have a large aquarium, but we don't have the plans yet," said Mark Fetah, North American Properties' senior vice president of development. "They are still working internally with their design team to enrich the customer experience of the store to an even higher degree."

North American Properties expects to fast-track construction of the approximately 198,500-square-foot store by designing and building the footings and foundations, while Bass Pro designs the rest of the store, said Fetah, who has worked on Epcot Center, Euro Disneyland, 7 World Trade Center and Princeton Forrestal Village.

Construction is expected to take 20 to 22 months, Fetah said, adding that supply chain issues are adding six months to the time it would ordinarily take.

In addition, there is still some infrastructure work that needs to be done to provide utilities and on-site roadways to service the store, he said.

"Bass Pro is a very complicated, large building," Polston said. "They do a lot of specialty installations on the inside of the buildings. They study the geography of each area. They will find points of interest in Central New Jersey and the Raritan estuary to reference in their aquarium and wildlife diorama programs."

What is Riverton?

Located at the Chevalier Avenue exit off the Garden State Parkway just south of the Driscoll Bridge, the planned 6.5 million-square-foot mixed-use Riverton development, which stretches along two miles of the Raritan River, is proposed to include about 1.3 million square feet of retail and entertainment space, 2 million square feet of office and other commercial space and 2,000 residential units, which includes 300 affordable housing units.

Also see:Bridgewater Commons mall sold; new owner plans 'vibrant mixed-use destination'

Polston explained that the project is a lengthy process as North American Properties is building a "new town."

"First the property had to be cleaned up," he said. "Then we have to build everything you typically have in a town, including roads, domestic waters, sanitary and storm sewers, natural gas and electric."

"I definitely have an affinity for Sayreville," Fetah said. "We are transforming an industrial site that was the heart and soul of Sayreville for so many years.”

The current plan is to construct 1,500 apartment units and 500 townhomes, Polston said, adding that breakdown could change.

More:Director of leasing named for $2.5 billion Riverton project in Sayreville

The 400-plus acre site is broken into three parcels – A, B and C. Parcel C is the largest, about 312 acres with about 285 developable acres, where most of the building will take place.

In addition to Bass Pro Shops, the first phase of the project, approved by the Sayreville Planning Board in December 2019, includes the Gateway Retail District buildings and the first half of the village. That phase includes a hotel and conference center, amphitheater, movie theater, restaurants, shops and nearly 300 residential units.

“The village will be the heart of Riverton,” Fetah said.

The Gateway Retail District will have six buildings, some of which will have multiple tenants, along the southern part of the property, south of the intersection of Peter Fisher Boulevard and the Main Street Extension.

The tenants are expected to include a convenience store, quick-service restaurants and other commercial businesses, the developers said.

"We're in advanced lease negotiations for at least three or four of the retail establishments," Fetah said.

Because the buildings are smaller and much simpler to construct, it is likely they will be open before Bass Pro Shops, Polston said.

"We plan to start the first of the Gateway Retail District buildings early summer next year," Fetah said.

Last month, the Planning Board approved a subdivision of one section of Parcel C into four lots. One lot will house a municipal pump station and another a 30-megawatt JCP&L electrical substation, which will provide electric services to the development.

The board also approved changes to the footprint and exterior of the Bass Pro Shops building, he Fetah said.

A $1.3 million federal grant was awarded to study connectivity from Parcel C across Parcels B and A and ultimately to the train station and planned ferry in South Amboy, Polston said.

"The grant was awarded to SERA (Sayreville Economic and Redevelopment Agency), but we partnered with them in grant application and administration processes," Polston said. "We'll begin working on that this year."

The project also includes about 50 acres of open space, which is envisioned to have walking and biking paths, pocket parks and other public amenities along the waterfront. It will also include a heroes' walk, honoring local veterans.

Thirty-seven of the 55 acres in Parcel A were deeded to Middlesex County and the state Department of Environmental Protection for permanent open space, Polston said.

About four of the remaining acres are retained for a future jughandle connection to Route 35 and the balance is tidal lands retained by SERA as green space, he said.

North American Properties has secured a waterfront development permit from the DEP which facilitates the buildings on the western part of the village, Fetah said.

"This is the zone where we thought we would create the waterfront promenade, amphitheater and other amenities that would take advantage of that connection to the water," Polston said.

A visit to Riverton

During a recent visit to the site, workers were seen constructing a concrete wall to serve as a platform for the buildings that will overlook the promenade and waterfront.

"There's also the engineering and the architecture coordination and the process of gaining all the approvals," Fetah said. "After this year, we'll have destiny in our own hands. By the end of this year, we'll have all the complicated issues, such as easements, right of ways, offsite improvements and working with the existing utilities, under our belt. Then we'll work on the buildings. That's when the public will really see Riverton taking shape."

Environmental remediation has been completed on about two-thirds of Parcel C, clearing the site for development, Polston said.

More:Environment groups given OK to proceed with NL lawsuit

As part of the redevelopment agreement with Sayreville, North American Properties committed to on-site public amenities, facilities and payments, including an open-air amphitheater along the river and other public performing spaces, an onsite conference center and the waterfront walkway, Polston said.

North American Properties is also making contributions toward the new community center the borough is building as well as borough fire department facilities, Polston said.

Riverton is also conducting offsite improvement projects including roadway widening at Route 9 & 35 on Chevalier Avenue and extension of the existing municipal water main in Sayreville, Fetah said. The main roads on the site, stormwater management and sanitary sewer systems and domestic water distribution system will be dedicated to the borough.

Both Polston and Fetah agree that the project is unique.

"The idea of making a difference by taking this damaged property and creating something vibrant, new and part of the fabric of the community is a fulfilling exercise for me," Polston said. "I'm also working with a great team. Thousands of people will be involved in this project over time. It's a very unique opportunity and a very big challenge, but it is fun."

"Everything we are building here is for the long term," Fetah said. "On the architecture side, this is a wide-open palette. There will be an organic collection of buildings. We are also trying to use as many local service providers as we can. We enjoy a tremendous relationship with the union building trades on this project. The subcontractors and trades people working here are self-motivated and are inherently committed to delivering a quality product which will be a lasting hallmark of the Riverton development."

National Lead, which maintained a paint manufacturing operation at the site until 1982, owned the property from 1935 until 2005.

In 1996, the property was declared an area in need of redevelopment. Three years later, the Waterfront Redevelopment Plan was adopted by the borough.

In 2005, SERA acquired the property for redevelopment. O'Neill Properties was brought in by the redeveloper, Sayreville Seaport Associates, to develop the property, but they parted ways and in 2017 North American Properties took over as the developer.

Email: sloyer@gannettnj.com

Susan Loyer covers Middlesex County and more for MyCentralJersey.com. To get unlimited access to her work, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Bombers Beyond Café brings Main Street lessons to Sayreville's diverse learners

SAYREVILLE – "One coffee and a blueberry muffin, please," one of the first customers at Bombers Beyond Café said to members of the Brew Crew."What size, small or large?" said Gary, 19, while Jayvon, also 19, carefully used tongs to pick up the muffin. "And is that for here or to go?"Professional and proud.The long-awaited student-run Bombers Beyond Café at 132 Main St. opened with smiles and a ceremonial ribbon-cutting in late winter. As customers and VIPs ...

SAYREVILLE – "One coffee and a blueberry muffin, please," one of the first customers at Bombers Beyond Café said to members of the Brew Crew.

"What size, small or large?" said Gary, 19, while Jayvon, also 19, carefully used tongs to pick up the muffin. "And is that for here or to go?"

Professional and proud.

The long-awaited student-run Bombers Beyond Café at 132 Main St. opened with smiles and a ceremonial ribbon-cutting in late winter. As customers and VIPs came inside for the first time, Samuel, 19, was greeting everyone with a loud and hearty, "Welcome to the Bombers Beyond Café."

"I begin the day by brewing the coffee and stocking the café for the opening," Jayvon said. "I learned how to measure coffee grounds and work the machine."

After a five-year wait − from conception to birth − the school district officially has its own special education transitions program in place for students aging out of school.

Bombers Beyond is kicking off with five students − Emme, 19, Gabriel, 21, Samuel, Jayvon and Gary. There are two full-time teachers − Andrew Vanderbeck and Caileigh Fazzini − and one paraprofessional − Christine Falcone − dedicated to the project, which bridges the gap between school and adulthood.

"I am just beyond thrilled," said Superintendent of Schools Richard R. Labbe. "I can tell you how incredible I felt when I walked through that door and saw what had been done in transforming this from what it was to now, a café. And then to see our students in their Bombers Beyond Café t-shirts, serving − literally brought tears to my eyes. They are making an impact."

Students receive applicable authentic work-life lessons as they provide a service to the community. Considered by the state Department of Education as an extension of the high school, the students' day mirrors the school day − from 7:30 p.m. to 2:14 p.m. The Bombers Beyond Café is open 8 a.m. to noon on school days. All work shifts in the shop. The afternoons are spent in instruction and other experiences.

"Everybody learns all the jobs and they switch off," said Cynthia DeFina, supervisor of Secondary Special Education. "They are learning job readiness, social skills, job-specific and independence skills. They're really a great bunch of students. I could not have asked for a more perfect class to kick off this program."

Director of Special Services David Knaster said the inspiration for the program lay in an unexpected moment about eight years ago at a Unified Sports basketball game at the middle school. A Unified Sports game allows students of all abilities to participate together.

"So I'm watching the game, and a parent is standing next to me, and she's looking forward as well," Knaster said. "And I hear her say to me, 'Thank you for making me feel like a real mom.' So I turned to her, and said 'What do you mean?' And she said, 'I never thought that my child would be allowed to play ball on this court.'"

That one innocuous comment stuck to Knaster.

New Jersey students with disabilities are entitled to remain in school through the age of 21. Then, they age out and many go on to attend additional programming. But, while the borough is "very inclusive," Knaster said, there was nothing for them in their own community − and nothing to broaden their horizons at "home."

"There are a variety of really nice programs, but we didn't have anything here in town for our kids," Knaster said. "Our initial thought was, it's great that our kids go to other programs, but they're experiencing those communities, not their own community. And when they age out of 21, they return home often with nothing real beyond adult services to access − there's no employment, no jobs. Our concept was started to keep our students within their own community with the latest research-based programming and offer paid employment as their life skill training. That was our vision."

Initially the program was to be housed in Jesse Selover School on Lincoln Avenue. As plans and needs changed, the Selover School makeover became a preschool and the Bombers Beyond program began looking for another location. Then came the pandemic.

The new location on Main Street was even better. Knaster said he always envisioned a "small-town Main Street" feel for the program.

Knaster also credits the teaching staff with getting the program off the ground.

"They are tireless in their enthusiasm and passion for this program. But not just the for the café," he said. "That's important. That's the public face of what we do. But they are expert instructors. With a great knowledge and wealth of curriculum."

While the program is debuting with five students, the administrators expect it to grow. This program is not the answer for every student's needs, but Knaster said it is a significant asset for a good number of the district's special needs students.

Vanderbeck and Fazzini are already pleased with their students' progress, and pleased with the opportunities given to them by the community.

"We are proud that Sayreville has provided our students with the opportunity to be inclusive in our own community," Vanderbeck said. "This is an amazing opportunity to be able to help shape such a wonderful program for years to come."

"As a lifelong Sayreville resident, I am not surprised that our community has welcomed this program with open arms," Fazzini said. "Every member we have encountered has been generous, kind, and supportive. I’ve never been more proud to be a Sayreville resident."

Besides the storefront, the district also leased an apartment upstairs. The apartment will be used to train students − young adults − on how to live independently, Knaster said. There is a kitchen, bathroom, lounge space, two rooms for lessons and laundry area.

"We're going to give our children real world work experience and real word living experience," he said. "And they're making friends with new people and establishing relationships. That's really perhaps the most valuable thing we'll take from here as we prepare our young adults for post high school life."

Rose Addo and Samuel Kissi Sr. have already seen a difference in their 19-year-old son Samuel Kissi Jr.

"I see him having more of a social life with friends and family around him," she said. "It's improving his communication skills, his socialization and self-esteem."

Tara Callahan Rodriguez, mother of Garbiel Rodriguez, is grateful for the program − it allows her son to stay within his home community − and with people he knows.

"I just think it's amazing," Rodriguez said. "My son's been in the program since he's 3 years old. He's now aging out. He is learning everything from how to brew and pour coffee, take an order, clean, prep and handle money. He loves it."

This is just a beginning. Knaster said.

"Maybe, we'll have somebody working in a garden center down the street, or in one of the other shops," he said. "Something that's of high interest for that student. We have choices and they should have choices. We'll have the avenues to do that as well. Plus, we will do travel training, like on the NJ Transit access link, how to use the bank, post office − anything that you would need to do to maximize your independence within your own community. And the key for us here is it's in their town."

email: cmakin@gannettnj.com

Cheryl Makin is an award-winning features and education reporter forMyCentralJersey.com, part of the USA Today Network. Contact: Cmakin@gannettnj.com or@CherylMakin. To get unlimited access, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Your view from the Driscoll Bridge will never be the same with this landmark coming down

SAYREVILLE – Your ride over the Driscoll Bridge will never be the same: Amboy Cinemas is finally coming down.Demolition work is underway at the shuttered theater on Routes 9 & 35, visible from the Garden State Parkway, which has been a vacant eyesore for nearly two decades."We're gratified that the property owner is removing this eyesore, and we're hopeful that a project to showcase the gateway to our municipality will come to reality in the upcoming years," said Sayreville Business Administra...

SAYREVILLE – Your ride over the Driscoll Bridge will never be the same: Amboy Cinemas is finally coming down.

Demolition work is underway at the shuttered theater on Routes 9 & 35, visible from the Garden State Parkway, which has been a vacant eyesore for nearly two decades.

"We're gratified that the property owner is removing this eyesore, and we're hopeful that a project to showcase the gateway to our municipality will come to reality in the upcoming years," said Sayreville Business Administrator Glenn Skarzynski. "The developer has not yet approached the borough about any projects they may have planned for the site."

The Borough Council approved an ordinance last fall establishing a redevelopment plan for the site, also known as the National Amusement Theater, which proposes a variety of retail, hotel, recreation, office and professional uses.

The 19.5-acre parcel in the northeast section of the borough contains three properties, about 1,200 feet south of the Raritan River. The area, north of the Melrose residential neighborhood, is immediately east of the base of the Driscoll Bridge with frontage on Route 9 to the west and Route 35 to the east.

Amboy Cinemas opened at the site in December 1979, replacing a drive-in theater, and closed in 2005 due to the settling of the lobby floor.

The property was owned by National Amusements Inc. and was sold to Dice Real Estate LLC for $6.75 million in 2020.

The redevelopment plan establishes permitted land uses, bulk and area requirements and design standards for any proposed development.

More:Sayreville hiring special counsel to investigate former Democratic leader's dealings

"It is envisioned that this redevelopment area will fit into and be compatible with the commercial, residential and waterfront uses of the development of the former National Lead site and the existing highway commercial character of the surrounding area," the plan says.

Under the redevelopment plan, permitted uses at the site include office, retail, grocery store, education, medical, assisted living, hotel, gym, restaurant, entertainment, park-and-ride and open space.

Prohibited used include warehouse, industrial, auto and trailer storage, single- and multi-family housing, freestanding automated bank teller and outdoor storage of goods and materials.

Email: sloyer@gannettnj.com

Susan Loyer covers Middlesex County and more for MyCentralJersey.com. To get unlimited access to her work, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

These Middlesex County residents will see ballot questions in November's election

Voters in three Middlesex County towns will face ballot questions in November's general election.Sayreville is asking voters if the borough's Open Space Trust fund should be used to fund passive recreation projects on Blue Acres properties.In South River, the Board of Education is asking voters to approve a $5.5 million bond ordinance for a new Denny Stadium with an artificial turf field and other improvements, which comes with an average tax rate of $127.56 per year or $10.63 per month.In addition, South ...

Voters in three Middlesex County towns will face ballot questions in November's general election.

Sayreville is asking voters if the borough's Open Space Trust fund should be used to fund passive recreation projects on Blue Acres properties.

In South River, the Board of Education is asking voters to approve a $5.5 million bond ordinance for a new Denny Stadium with an artificial turf field and other improvements, which comes with an average tax rate of $127.56 per year or $10.63 per month.

In addition, South River voters will be asked if the retail sale of adult recreational use marijuana should be permitted in the borough.

Perth Amboy voters will be asked whether to switch from nonpartisan to partisan elections.


Residents will be asked if the Borough’s Open Space funds should be used for Blue Acres projects in addition to the purposes currently authorized.

The Borough Council approved a resolution at its July 17 meeting authorizing the non-binding referendum on the Nov. 7 ballot.

"The referendum would allow us to use portions of the Open Space Fund to make improvements to Blue Acres properties to make them useful for passive recreation," Councilman Dan Balka said in late July. "There will be zero impact on the tax rate if this is approved."

There is currently $8.8 million in the fund, Balka said.

The borough collects $450,000 every year from taxpayers for its Open Space Trust Fund, the questions says.

Sayreville was among the Central Jersey communities hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy when it barreled into the Garden State in 2012.

NJ's 2023 election FAQ:Voter registration, ballot deadlines, vote-by-mail and more

The state's Blue Acres Buyout Program, through the Department of Environmental Protection, purchased homes from volunteer sellers in the Weber Avenue area and the Old Bridge section of Sayreville at pre-Sandy market values in an effort to move residents out of harm’s way and create natural buffer areas to handle future stormwaters.

Properties purchased under the buyout program are owned by the state, but each municipality is responsible for maintaining those areas for preservation and passive recreation.

Plans for the Blue Acres properties include walking trails, flood control measures and removal of invasive plant species, Balka said, adding that once completed, the project will also provide a better habitat for the wildlife.

“The borough is always on the lookout for substantial tracts of vacant land that could be purchased by the borough and preserved, but those opportunities don't come along very often," Borough Business Administrator Glenn Skarzynski said.

Last year, the Legislature made a slight change to state law to enable municipalities to leverage these funds, with voter approval, toward Blue Acres projects, he said.

Many borough residents want to see something useful done with Blue Acres property, Skarzynski said.

"We have an opportunity here instead of doing a big recreation project piecemeal, we have the opportunity to do it in one fell swoop," he said.

South River

The Board of Education is asking voters to support a $5.5 bond ordinance for South River High School’s Denny Stadium, which includes a new stadium and synthetic turf field.

The district will bond for over 10 years for the project.

"Our community treasures the history and tradition represented by Denny Stadium. But the old structure is in significant disrepair," according to a referendum Q&A on the district's website. "Recent inspections indicate the stadium ‘is at the end of its lifespan.’ The stadium also can't safely accommodate people with disabilities, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. A new stadium is needed and, for our student-athletes, is well deserved."

The stadium project calls for new bleachers, an updated press box, repairs and expansion of the existing concession stands and new, fully accessible restrooms. The stadium would accommodate 1,000 fans. All aspects of the new stadium would be ADA-compliant as per federal law, the district says.

A new synthetic turf field would meet the growing demands of multiple sports and teams throughout the community, according to the district. Synthetic turf fields provide improved safety, durability and playability and would also allow the district to be environmentally conscious by eliminating the need for fertilizers and irrigation that are required for grassy fields, while reducing ongoing maintenance costs, the district says.

The typical lifespan of a turf field ranges between 8 to 10 years. Afterward, refurbishment costs are considerably less than the initial installation, the district says.

A multi-purpose turf field can be used throughout multiple seasons and sports, benefitting programs offered around town.

Other benefits of the project are that smart, energy-efficient construction design and maintenance results in lower ongoing costs and the project will enhance community access to modern, safe athletic fields.

Borough voters also will be asked if they want new cannabis licenses for businesses involved in the retail sale of adult recreational use cannabis issued.

The Borough Council in April unanimously approved an ordinance that placed the non-binding referendum on the ballot.

"We're giving the opportunity to the residents of South River to make a choice," Councilman Peter Guindi said.

"It is basically to take a poll," Mayor John Krenzel said.

The borough can issue five licenses for all classes of cannabis operations, except retail. To date, four businesses have been approved to operate in the borough. Noble 1 LLC was approved to operate a Tier III Class cannabis cultivation facility on Martin Street. Cedar Fairmont Health Cultivator and Green Alchemy were approved for manufacture on Russell Avenue. Canna Caviar was approved to open a cannabis manufacturing facility on William Street.

Perth Amboy

Voters in the waterfront city will be asked whether they want to change city elections from nonpartisan to partisan.

The question on the ballot asks whether the city's charter, governed by the mayor-council form of government under the Faulkner Act, should be amended to change city elections from a regular municipal election held in November to general elections held in November, and changed from nonpartisan to partisan.

Perth Amboy is largely a Democratic community. For years Perth Amboy candidates for mayor and City Council have run under slogans or banners, rather than as members a political party. If the ballot question is approved, candidates for municipal office would appear on the ballot as a representative of a political party or as an independent. If the question is rejected, the current election process would remain unchanged.

"The ballot question to change Perth Amboy's elections from nonpartisan to partisan was initiated by a strong desire among residents for a more partisan electoral process," Lisett Lebron, Mayor Helmin Caba's chief of staff, said in a statement. " The administration and council recognize the importance of allowing residents to have the final say on this matter, and this ballot question ensures that the decision ultimately rests with the voters of Perth Amboy. It's a testament to the democratic process that residents will have the opportunity to shape the future of their local elections through their votes."

Contributing: Staff Writer Suzanne Russell

Email: sloyer@gannettnj.com

Susan Loyer covers Middlesex County and more for MyCentralJersey.com. To get unlimited access to her work, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Sayreville school taxes up 5%. Here's why

SAYREVILLE - The borough school board has approved a 2023–24 budget which calls for a 5.23% tax increase.Of the $116,543,486 school budget, $70,527,273 will come from local property owners.On the average house assessed at $145,694, the tax levy will bill $470.43. The budget was approved at the May 2 Board of Education meeting. According to the Middlesex County Tax Board, property in Sayreville is assessed at only 42% of its market value.The 5.23% tax rise for 2022-23 is comprised of a 2% increase in ...

SAYREVILLE - The borough school board has approved a 2023–24 budget which calls for a 5.23% tax increase.

Of the $116,543,486 school budget, $70,527,273 will come from local property owners.

On the average house assessed at $145,694, the tax levy will bill $470.43. The budget was approved at the May 2 Board of Education meeting. According to the Middlesex County Tax Board, property in Sayreville is assessed at only 42% of its market value.

The 5.23% tax rise for 2022-23 is comprised of a 2% increase in the regular tax levy, 0.32% increase due to higher enrollment and a 2.91% increase due mainly to higher health insurance costs.

There are always challenges in developing a budget, said Superintendent of Schools Richard Labbe, listing items such as facilities, increased enrollment, personnel needs for existing and improved academic and extracurricular programs as well as upgrades for technology and security.

The school tax hike would be $187.72 on a $145,694 assessed borough home. An additional $282.71 comes into play because of the district's debt service which increased to $2,421,687.

According to the district, the debt service increase is due to the recent $97.4 million bond referendum approved by voters in October. It was anticipated to increase the average assessed home by $315 but came in lower because of competitive interest rates.

More:'Desperately needed': Sayreville planning $97 million in school improvements

Pre-K through grade 12 enrollment for Sayreville stood at 6,230 in the 2021-22 school year with a jump to 6,357 in the 2022-23 school year. Projections show a rise to 6,423 students in the nine township schools in the 2023-24 school year.

Last year, employee benefits came in at $19,687,034. The budget reflects a 8.98% increase for next year for a total of $21,455,442. This includes a 15% budgeted increase in liability/property and worker’s compensation insurance, a 20% budgeted increase in medical benefits and a 7% budgeted increase in prescription benefits.

The district did receive a 15.95% state aid increase with an additional 1.90% fund balance increase over the 2021-22 allotment. This added $42,689,854 back into the budget. The state aid comprises 36% of the total school budget with the annual tax levy making up the bulk of the funding at 60%.

"We were thrilled to learn that we received $5.7 million more in equalization aid (from the state), and therefore we were able to restore many of the items that we cut, however, truth be told we did cut about $18 million from that original budget that was submitted back in November," Labbe said.

Other state grants add another $12,994,096 to the budget for the 2023-24 school year.

District officials said budget calls for increases in facilities, infrastructure and transportation, technology, security and student achievement and Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Labbe said the benefits from the 2023-24 budget are "great."

Additions to staff include four new teachers, a high school school counselor and a nurse as well as stipends for three new club advisors. There also will be new certified and non-certified staff members including a Supervisor of Special Education: Transition, four full-time campus monitors, seven bus drivers, two bus aides and a custodian.

Among other new item are history and social studies textbooks and licenses, an AP Pre-Calculus course at high school and Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality technology and Silas animation-based social and emotional development software.

There will be new and replacement instruments for the middle school and high school bands, athletic equipment, a new volleyball program for boys and girls and a new girls' football club. The new sports programs include two coaches, equipment and supplies for each. The theatre program also will benefit from lighting and sound professional services.

The district also piloted an augmented reality (AR) software and have budgeted for the implementation of the technology throughout the district. Labbe said not only would it enhance instruction in science and mathematics, but in social studies and English language arts as well.

Facility upgrades include replacement of the stadium lights at the high school, a new or repaired audio board in the high school auditorium, fencing at Emma L. Arleth School and Harry S. Truman School, floor replacement in the media center at the Truman School, portable wall partition replacement in the multipurpose room at the Dwight D. Eisenhower School, repaving of the parking lot at the Jesse Selover School and a portion by the building at Arleth, a parking lot expansion at Samsel Upper Elementary School (SUES) for Central Office employees, minor refurbishment of the health clinic at the Sayreville Middle School and the purchase of one replacement truck, one new truck and an all-purpose vehicle for Buildings and Grounds.

"Obviously the ongoing maintenance and refurbishment of our facilities is a challenge however, when it comes to major renovations, that's covered through the referendum," Labbe said. "But, there are still minor refurbishments that we still have to do within our facilities."

The budget also includes new bus routes, the purchase of one replacement minibus, two new minibuses, one of which is a wheelchair accessible, five new big buses and a truck for the transportation department.

The goal under transportation is to get closer to doing 100% of the district's own school bus routes, Labbe said.

"Right now we're about 90%. Replacement of school buses is always something that's a challenge within our budget," he said. "And of course this year, not only are we replacing school buses, we're also adding to our fleet. So with this budget we're gonna get very close to that 100%."

More:Bombers Beyond Café brings Main Street lessons to Sayreville's diverse learners

The budget also allocates funds for additional full-time evening and central command campus security monitors, school building video surveillance camera upgrades, new bus video surveillance cameras, two-way radio system upgrades and additional metal detectors are included in the budget.

"We live in a very challenging world right now," Labbe said. "It seems every month, every week we hear about some type of shooting taking place. It's an ongoing commitment that we have to ensure the protection of our students and our staff. And that's something that we consider when we develop our budget."

There also will be an extension of district-wide mental health clinical services, including remote psychiatric services available for all students.

email: cmakin@gannettnj.com

Cheryl Makin is an award-winning features and education reporter forMyCentralJersey.com, part of the USA Today Network. Contact: Cmakin@gannettnj.com or@CherylMakin. To get unlimited access, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.


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