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Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Avenel, NJ

Are you experiencing knee pain symptoms such as popping, clicking, bone-on-bone grinding, achiness, or sharp stabs? You're not alone in this journey. Knee pain affects nearly 25% of adults in the United States, causing discomfort, swelling, and chronic pain that can hinder everyday activities like childcare, walking, and exercise. Shockingly, recent statistics from The American Academy of Family Physicians indicate a 65% increase in diagnosed knee pain cases.

In a world where invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers are often the default solutions, it's crucial to explore the effective non-invasive options that are available. These alternative treatments provide relief without the associated risks of surgery.

Today, many doctors still recommend invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers rather than exploring non-invasive options. While those treatments are needed in some circumstances, there are alternative treatments available that can help you overcome knee pain without needing to go under the knife.

NJ Sports Spine and Wellness' advanced knee pain treatment in Avenel, NJ gives men and women suffering from knee pain hope. Instead of relying on surgery, our team of doctors and physical therapists use non-invasive, highly effective treatments to help heal prevalent conditions such as:

Service Areas

Arthritis

Soft tissue injury

ACL tears

MCL tears

Patella dislocation

Misalignment of the kneecap

Patella tendonitis

Jumper's knee

Osgood Schlatter's Disease

Knee

With the right treatment,

many people can reduce their pain and improve their function, allowing them to return to normal daily activities. Plus, by taking preventative measures and seeking prompt care from our team, it's possible to reduce your risk of developing chronic knee pain and other painful knee conditions. If you've been searching for a non-invasive way to eliminate knee pain and get back to an active life, your journey to recovery starts here.

Let's take a closer look at some of the knee pain treatments available at NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, which all serve as great alternatives to knee replacement surgery.

Physical Therapy:

Optimizing Musculoskeletal Health with Conservative Care

The field of Physical Therapy (PT) aims to rehabilitate individuals who have experienced injury, illness, or disability by restoring their mobility and function. Physical therapists cater to patients of various ages and capabilities, ranging from young athletes to senior citizens, in order to help them surpass physical limitations and improve their standard of living with advanced knee pain treatment in Avenel, NJ.

At NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, our physical therapy program was founded on a patient-centric philosophy, where physical therapists work closely with patients to get a deep understanding of their goals, preferences, and capabilities. In doing so, they can create a tailor-made treatment strategy to address their unique knee pain with the goal of avoiding a knee replacement. Treatment may involve exercises that are therapeutic in nature and can include:

  • Joint mobilizations
  • Soft tissue mobilization using cupping
  • Graston technique
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Stretching of associated muscle groups

Joint Mobilization for Knee Pain

This unique knee pain solution involves physical therapists using skilled manual therapy techniques to help improve your joint range of motion while simultaneously reducing your knee pain.

During joint mobilization, a physical therapist applies targeted pressures or forces to a joint in specific directions to improve its mobility. The intensity of the force applied can vary, and it is adjusted based on the patient's comfort level. Joint mobilization is generally pain-free.

STM

Soft Tissue Mobilization (STM)

Soft Tissue Mobilization is a manual therapy technique that involves stretching and applying deep pressure to rigid muscle tissue. This helps to relax muscle tension and move fluids that are trapped in the tissues that cause pain and inflammation. This effective form of physical therapy is often used as an advanced knee pain treatment in Avenel, NJ for treating knee strains, knee sprains, knee pain, and more.

Graston

The Graston Technique

The Graston Technique involves the use of handheld instruments to identify and break up scar tissue through specialized massage. During a Graston Technique session, physical therapists use convex and concave tools for cross-friction massage, which involves rubbing or brushing against the grain of the scar tissue. This process re-introduces small amounts of trauma to the affected area. In some cases, this process temporarily causes inflammation, which can actually boost the amount and rate of blood flow in the knee. This process helps initiate and promote the healing process so you can get back to a normal life.

Massage

Soft Tissue Massage

Soft tissue massage is a less intense form of massage than it's deep-tissue relative. Instead of focusing on slow and firm strokes to reach the deep layers of muscles and tissues, this massage technique uses a variety of pressures, depths, and durations. Soft tissue massage is helpful in alleviating different types of knee aches, pains, and injuries. Soft tissue massages can also help reduce stress, improve circulation, and promote relaxation.

Advanced Mechanics and Technology:

The Future of Knee Pain Therapy

While knee pain is a common symptom that affects millions of Americans every year, no two cases of knee pain are ever exactly alike. Some types of knee injuries require non-traditional solutions. At New Jersey Sports Spine and Wellness, we offer a range of treatments that leverage mechanics and technology to help patients recover from injuries while treating inflammation and pain as well as resolve the root cause of the pain.

AlterAlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill is equipped with NASA Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology, which is a precise air calibration system that uses the user's actual body weight to enhance rehabilitation and training. By utilizing a pressurized air chamber, the AlterG allows patients and athletes to move without any pain or restrictions.

This advanced knee pain treatment in Avenel, NJ uniformly reduces gravitational load and body weight up to 80% in precise 1% increments. The results can be incredible, with patients reporting benefits such as:

  • Restoring and building of knee strength
  • Restored range of motion in the knee
  • Better balance
  • Improved knee function
  • More

What Makes the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill So Effective?

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill can monitor various metrics such as speed, gait pattern, stride length, and weight distribution. With real-time feedback and video monitoring, your rehabilitation team can promptly and accurately identify issues and pain points or monitor your progress throughout your knee pain rehabilitation journey.

One of the key benefits of this cutting-edge equipment is that it replicates natural walking and movement patterns without the artificial feel that hydrotherapy or harnesses create. This makes it an excellent choice for faster recovery after knee injuries or surgeries, as it allows for early mobilization while also preserving strength. Furthermore, it is ideal for sports recovery as athletes can use it for physical conditioning maintenance.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Avenel, NJ
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Avenel, NJ

Low-Level Laser Therapy

Our advanced treatment modalities for knee pain include laser therapy, which harnesses the revolutionary power of light through photobiomodulation (PBM). LiteCureâ„¢ low-level laser therapy is available for acute and chronic types of knee pain and can be hugely beneficial when coupled with physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic care, and sports recovery care.

Understanding Photobiomodulation (PBM)

PBM is a medical treatment that harnesses the power of light to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. The photons from the light penetrate deep into the tissue and interact with mitochondria, which results in a boost in energy production. This interaction sets off a biological chain reaction that increases cellular metabolism. Utilizing low-level light therapy has been shown to:

  • Alleviate knee pain
  • Speed up tissue healing
  • Promote overall health and wellness
  • Expedite knee pain injury recovery
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Avenel, NJ

Exclusive Access to

Pain Management Professionals

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we know that every patient requires a personalized approach to chronic knee pain and condition management. Sometimes, our patients need access to pain management professionals, who can offer relief in conjunction with physical therapy and other solutions like low-level laser therapy.

Two of the most common services we offer for pain management includes acupuncture which can assist in avoiding knee replacement surgery.

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Avenel, NJ

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Avenel, NJ

What Happens During Acupuncture Therapy for Knee Pain?

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Avenel, NJ

Is Acupuncture Actually Effective for Knee Pain?

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Avoid Knee Replacements with Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Avenel, NJ

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Avenel, NJ

When it comes to knee pain therapies and treatments, getting a knee replacement should be last on your list. Why put your body through such trauma if you haven't tried other non-invasive treatment options? Whether you're an athlete trying to work through a knee injury or you're over 65 and are dealing with osteoarthritis, NJ Sports Spine and Wellness can help.

It all starts with an introductory consultation at our office in Matawan or Marlboro. During your first visit, we'll talk to you about your knee pain symptoms, the goals you have in mind, and the advanced knee pain treatments available to you at our practice. From there, it's only a matter of time before you get back to a healthy, active lifestyle.

Every day you wait can worsen your knee condition. Contact us today and let our team help get you on the road to recovery and life with painful knees.

Latest News in Avenel, NJ

New Jersey warehouse operator provides community solar access to 700 residents

New Jersey politicians, clean energy and environmental justice advocates and news media convened at an Earth Day week community solar event organized by project developer Solar Landscape to highlight a regional warehouse and logistics business providing solar energy to some 700 local residents.On Wednesday, pv magazine USA toured a 1.1 MW (dc) rooftop solar system of RPM Warehousing and Transportation in Avenel, N.J., where Brendon Shank, executive vice president for engagement, Solar Landscape, introduced seven statewide speak...

New Jersey politicians, clean energy and environmental justice advocates and news media convened at an Earth Day week community solar event organized by project developer Solar Landscape to highlight a regional warehouse and logistics business providing solar energy to some 700 local residents.

On Wednesday, pv magazine USA toured a 1.1 MW (dc) rooftop solar system of RPM Warehousing and Transportation in Avenel, N.J., where Brendon Shank, executive vice president for engagement, Solar Landscape, introduced seven statewide speakers who discussed the shared benefits of equitable solar generation hosted on commercial and industrial rooftops.

Thomas Connery, chief operating officer of site host RPM Warehousing, told pv magazine USA that after the owner, operator and lessor of 10 warehouse facilities first installed a 480 kW rooftop solar array to offset its Edison, N.J. headquarters’ energy consumption in 2017, its management team saw the benefits of providing its “hundreds of thousands of square feet” warehouse roof space to provide clean energy to local residents.

Connery said RPM now generates 4.3 MW of solar energy from two of its warehouse facilities in Edison and Avenel, N.J., which is available to local residents, and the logistics business plans to install a third rooftop solar array of about 3.5 MW to 4 MW on a 480,000 square foot facility at a site within a few miles of its Edison home base.

The logistics executive said having on-site solar generation has offset 100% of the company’s own energy consumption, and over the last two years it saw traction in the New Jersey community solar market taking off to provide clean power access to local residents, many of whom are in low-to-moderate income households. In the early stages of providing community solar to Garden State residents, Connery said combined its facilities have saved local residents about $150,000 per year in energy savings and removed 3,600 tons of CO2 emissions from being burned by conventional power plants.

Solar Landscape’s Shank said RPM’s first 3.2 MW facility in Edison, N.J. is nearly fully subscribed, while its second facility (1.1 MW) is nearing completion. John Bruno, a Solar Landscape rooftop installer, said the 1.1 MW facility is using about 2,300 Hanwha QCells modules on its rooftop, equipped with SolarEdge inverters. The installation took about one month to assemble.

Bruno said he received solar installation training over a week-long training course held at a GAF Energy training center in Asbury Park, N.J., and finds the new career exciting, while in a nascent market “creating thousands of jobs along the way.”

“Solar jobs are booming in New Jersey thanks to community solar,” said Tony Staynings, business community liaison, Edison Job Corps, a career training program for young adults. “We are training our students to become part of the green energy workforce of the future and build projects like the one we are touring today.”

After neighboring state Maryland put out official plans for a long-term community solar platform earlier this week, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is in the mid stages of seeing the state’s pilot community solar framework become a long-term platform. The New Jersey Board is receiving public stakeholder feedback at an April 24 public hearing, taking place at 1 p.m., while stakeholders have a May 15 deadline to send feedback to the regulator for or against the community solar framework, said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey, a clean energy advocacy group.

“New Jersey is the Saudi Arabia of rooftops,” said O’Malley about the Garden State’s many adaptable rooftop areas suitable for commercial and industrial solar systems.

Just 20 years ago, New Jersey had just six solar installations under its belt. Now the state has 4.41 GW of aggregate solar installations and provides enough clean energy to more than 705,165 households, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez, who represents the state’s 19th legislative district in Perth Amboy, N.J., was in attendance at the event and commended Solar Landscape for installing “shared access” power systems that provide clean energy to low-income residents across her district.

“Whether it’s local composting, recycling, or now shared community energy access, we’re building a future for a time to come,” said Matilde Montalvo, a local community solar subscriber who signed up to procure power from a community solar project over the last year.

Formed in 1981, RPM Warehousing is a public warehousing and transportation company with 1.5 million square feet of food-grade and general warehousing space along the East Coast at 10 facilities.

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NJ affordable housing: Greens at Avenel, 101 apartments, in Woodbridge unveiled

WOODBRIDGE – A ribbon-cutting marked the opening of a new affordable housing community backed by a public and private partnership.Greens at Avenel, located in the Avenel section, consists of 101 affordable units, including 25 for individuals with special needs.The project, unveiled on Friday, transformed a former vacant and underutilized site into a residential community that includes a new 1.25-acre township youth sports field.The complex is a partnership between Pennrose, the Woodbridge Redevelopme...

WOODBRIDGE – A ribbon-cutting marked the opening of a new affordable housing community backed by a public and private partnership.

Greens at Avenel, located in the Avenel section, consists of 101 affordable units, including 25 for individuals with special needs.

The project, unveiled on Friday, transformed a former vacant and underutilized site into a residential community that includes a new 1.25-acre township youth sports field.

The complex is a partnership between Pennrose, the Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency and the township, financed in part by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA).

"Today's grand opening of the Greens at Avenel represents yet another milestone toward achieving our goal of ensuring that Woodbridge Township special needs residents have access to quality residential options that allow them to affordably continue to live in the Woodbridge community," McCormac said. "Our partnership with Pennrose resulted in the construction of the first new fully-accessible residential community specially designed for Woodbridge Township’s developmentally disabled residents.”

McCormac said there are so many programs and services for the special needs community of all ages in the township, and now the township has housing, too, with this project.

"It's a joint project between the state, the township and the private section and it worked out tremendously," he said.

“Providing housing that is affordable and accessible to those who live with disabilities is at the core of our Administration’s efforts to create a stronger and fairer New Jersey for all,” Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), said. “Gov. Murphy and I are thrilled that this new apartment complex is meeting the need for quality, affordable housing while revitalizing the surrounding community. We commend those from the public and private sector who came together to make it become a reality.”

The four-story development includes 20 one-, 61 two- and 20 three-bedroom units. The units are earmarked for residents earning between 30% to 60% of the area median income, according to NJHMFA.

Twenty-five units will be set aside as supportive housing with rental and service support provided by the Department of Development Disabilities (DDD) and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). Of the 25 units, 15 will be reserved for physically and developmentally disabled individuals and 10 will be for residents with mental health challenges referred through DDD and DMHAS, respectively.

The complex includes a 1,300-plus-square-foot community room, a library, game room, fitness center and partially enclosed green courtyard.

“Working together, this public-private partnership benefits the entire Woodbridge community and expands housing opportunities affordable to working families,” NJHMFA Executive Director Charles A. Richman said. “The Greens at Avenel also provides critical stable, supportive independent community-living options for our residents with special needs.”

In 2015, the township took title of site, formerly owned by the New Jersey Department of Corrections, that it had identified as a prime location for the housing. Pennrose was selected as the master redeveloper in 2016 and worked closely with the township to secure funding for demolition and development activities.

According to the township, its financial contribution came from the Woodbridge Township Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which is funded by developers, and did not include any taxpayer dollars.

READ:Lord & Taylor at Woodbridge Center closing

“Regardless of their abilities or socio-economic class, everyone desires the dignity of work and the opportunity to live independently," Sen. Joseph F. Vitale, D-19th District, said in a statement.

READ:Woodbridge opens new senior housing complex in Sewaren

Residents are anticipated to begin moving in by the end of October. Rents on the one-bedroom apartments for special needs residents are $565. Rents for a two-bedroom apartment will range from $1,258 to $1,524, and from $1,450 to $1,757 for a three-bedroom apartment, according to NJHMFA.

For rental information, visit www.pennrose.com/apartments/new-jersey/greens-at-avenel.

Susan Loyer covers Middlesex County and more for the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey. Contact her at 732-565-7243 or sloyer@gannettnj.com.

Woodbridge Plugs Into Solar Array Atop Avenel Warehouse

WOODBRIDGE, NJ — Corporate executives and public officials gathered atop an Avenel warehouse this week to plug in a ceremonial power cord for a huge, new solar array that promises to power over 700 nearby homes and save taxpayers’ money.Asbury Park-based Solar Landscape Inc. developed the 1.1-megawatt project – installing more than 2,300 solar panels – on the roof of the ...

WOODBRIDGE, NJ — Corporate executives and public officials gathered atop an Avenel warehouse this week to plug in a ceremonial power cord for a huge, new solar array that promises to power over 700 nearby homes and save taxpayers’ money.

Asbury Park-based Solar Landscape Inc. developed the 1.1-megawatt project – installing more than 2,300 solar panels – on the roof of the RPM Warehouse & Transportation building at 18 Engelhard Ave. It is second community solar project in the area.

Along with a rooftop array at 2900 Woodbridge Avenue in Edison, the combined 4.3-megawatt project will provide electricity to 700 area households and reportedly save area residents over $150,000 per year on energy bills, Solar Landscape said in a prepared statement.

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Joining Solar Landscape CEO Shaun Keegan at Wednesday’s ceremony on Nov. 1st was Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., (D-6th Dist.); Mayor John E. McCormac and his chief-of-staff Caroline Ehrlich; Kevin Dunshee, Solar Landscape’s chief commercial officer, and the company’s installer Lucious Gass.

Also on hand was Tony Staynings, business liaison for Edison Job Corps. Solar Landscape works with Edison Job Corps as part of its corporate Solar Training & Education Partnership for Underserved Populations (STEP-UP) program, which trains workers to install community solar projects.

“I am proud to join Solar Landscape and Edison Job Corps today to announce the launch of a new community solar project that will lower costs for families in New Jersey, continue our transition to a clean energy economy, and create new jobs right here at home,” Congressman Pallone said.

“This project is more proof that we can empower our workers with new, good paying jobs as we work to lower costs for hardworking Americans. I’m proud our state is leading the way on our path toward a clean, low-carbon future,”” Pallone said.

Solar energy projects like these are made possible by federal solar investment tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act, said Pallone, who pledged to continue advocating for more “investments in a clean economy.”

“These investments help ensure our state is ready to tackle the challenges of the climate crisis head on,” Pallone said, noting New Jersey is now home to the nation’s largest number of community solar projects to benefit low-and moderate-income families.

Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac said projects like this “assist our residents save money on their electric bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Community solar projects (give our residents) access to solar energy without installing panels or owning a home. As a result, this program widens the range of residents (who are) able to participate in clean energy transition,” McCormac said.

“These fantastic renewable energy endeavors … within our community help ensure clean energy equity, and reaffirm our township’s commitment to innovative clean energy initiatives contributing to the health and sustainability of our community,” the mayor said.

Here’s a look at the ceremony:

Launched two years ago as a pilot project, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities voted on Aug. 16th to permanently offer the state’s Community Solar Energy Program, which allows residents access to solar energy, whether they own or rent their residences.

On Sept. 26th, Solar Landscape and Union Township Mayor Manuel Figueiredo activated a 3,600-solar panel array on the roof of H. Schultz & Sons building on Lehigh Avenue, providing $60,000 worth of energy discounts to more than 260 homes in the Union Township area.

Boy Scout Donates ‘Eagle Scout’ Project to Avenel Firefighters

Boy Scout Matteo Pittenger, 15, from Troop 53 in Fords, with his homemade drying rack for firefighters’ turnout gear, built as his Eagle Scout project.Photo Credit: AVENEL FIRE DEPTPhoto Credit: AVENEL FIRE DEPTMayor John E. McCormac, standing with Fire Commissioner John Mitch, addresses a gathering at the Avenel firehouse, praising Boy Scout Matteo Pittenger for his hard work.Photo Credit: AVENEL FIRE DEPT A demonstration of how Boy Scout Matteo Pittenger’s project w...

Boy Scout Matteo Pittenger, 15, from Troop 53 in Fords, with his homemade drying rack for firefighters’ turnout gear, built as his Eagle Scout project.Photo Credit: AVENEL FIRE DEPT

Photo Credit: AVENEL FIRE DEPT

Mayor John E. McCormac, standing with Fire Commissioner John Mitch, addresses a gathering at the Avenel firehouse, praising Boy Scout Matteo Pittenger for his hard work.Photo Credit: AVENEL FIRE DEPT

A demonstration of how Boy Scout Matteo Pittenger’s project will be put to use.Photo Credit: AVENEL FIRE DEPT

Boy Scout Matteo Pittenger, 15, from Troop 53 in Fords, with his homemade drying rack for firefighters’ turnout gear, built as his Eagle Scout project.Photo Credit: AVENEL FIRE DEPT

PublishedAugust 31, 2023 at 1:28 PM

WOODBRIDGE, NJ — A 15-year-old Boy Scout from the Fords neighborhood built a drying rack for firefighters’ turnout gear as his Eagle Scout project, and he presented it this week to the Avenel Fire Department.

Grateful commissioners from the Avenel Fire District praised Matteo Pittenger, from Boy Scout Troop 53 in Fords, saying his homemade drying rack save their fire department $5,000 or more, and would be of use for years to come.

Avenel Fire Commissioner John Mitch, who is also the Woodbridge Township clerk, said he and his fellow commissioners are “appreciative of this donation, which saves taxpayers the expense for such a unit.”

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The teenager, at student at Edison High School, presented his homemade project to Mitch and Commissioners Dean Manente, Bruce Mizak, Greg Czoch, and Keith Addie.

Also on hand were Mayor John McCormac, Fire Chief James Boelhower, Fire Official Cory Spillar, and a number of firefighters.

Other Boy Scouts from Troop 53, and Pittenger's family and friends also attended the presentation.

“It is extremely important to keep firefighters gear in top condition given the exposures they face every day," said Commissioner Dean Manente.

“Keeping gear clean is important as firefighters are exposed to fire-ground contaminants and other hazardous substances," said Commissioner James Boelhower.

Once a retail giant, Kmart nears extinction with the closure of a New Jersey store

AVENEL, N.J. — The familiar sights and sounds are still there: the scuffed and faded floor tiles, the relentless beige-on-beige color scheme, the toddlers' clothes and refrigerators and pretty much everything in between.There's even a canned recording that begins, "Attention, Kmart shoppers" — except it's to remind folks about COVID-19 precautions, not to alert them to a flash sale over in ladies' lingerie like days of old.Many of the shelves are bare, though, at the Kmart in Avenel, New...

AVENEL, N.J. — The familiar sights and sounds are still there: the scuffed and faded floor tiles, the relentless beige-on-beige color scheme, the toddlers' clothes and refrigerators and pretty much everything in between.

There's even a canned recording that begins, "Attention, Kmart shoppers" — except it's to remind folks about COVID-19 precautions, not to alert them to a flash sale over in ladies' lingerie like days of old.

Many of the shelves are bare, though, at the Kmart in Avenel, New Jersey, picked over by bargain hunters as the store prepares to close its doors for good April 16.

Business

The man behind the Sears-Kmart merger

Once it shutters, the number of Kmarts in the U.S. — once well over 2,000 — will be down to three in the continental U.S. and a handful of stores elsewhere, according to multiple reports, in a retail world now dominated by Walmart, Target and Amazon.

The demise of the the store in the middle-class suburb, 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of New York City, is the tale of the death of the discount department store writ small.

"You're always thinking about it because stores are closing all over, but it's still sad," said cashier Michelle Yavorsky, who said she has worked at the Avenel store for 2 ½ years. "I'll miss the place. A lot of people shopped here."

In its heyday, Kmart sold product lines endorsed by celebrities Martha Stewart and Jaclyn Smith, sponsored NASCAR auto races and was mentioned in movies including Rain Man and Beetlejuice. It was name-dropped in songs by artists from Eminem to the Beastie Boys to Hall & Oates; in 2003, Eminem bought a 29-room, suburban Detroit mansion once owned by former Kmart chairman Chuck Conaway.

The chain cemented a place in American culture with its Blue Light Specials, a flashing blue orb affixed to a pole that would beckon shoppers to a flash sale in progress. Part of its success was due to its early adoption of layaway programs, which allowed customers who lacked credit to reserve items and pay for them in installments.

For a time, Kmart had a little bit of everything: You could shop for your kids' back-to-school supplies, get your car tuned up and grab a meal without leaving the premises.

"Kmart was part of America," said Michael Lisicky, a Baltimore-based author who has written several books on U.S. retail history. "Everybody went to Kmart, whether you liked it or not. They had everything. You had toys. You had sporting goods. You had candy. You had stationery. It was something for everybody. This was almost as much of a social visit as it was a shopping visit. You could spend hours here. And these just dotted the American landscape over the years."

Kmart's decline has been slow but steady, brought about by years of falling sales, changes in shopping habits and the looming shadow of Walmart, which coincidentally began its life within months of Kmart's founding in 1962.

Struggling to compete with Walmart's low prices and Target's trendier offerings, Kmart filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early 2002 — becoming the largest U.S. retailer to take that step — and announced it would close more than 250 stores.

A few years later, hedge fund executive Edward Lampert combined Sears and Kmart and pledged to return them to their former greatness, but the recession and the rising dominance of Amazon contributed in derailing those goals. Sears filed for Chapter 11 in 2018 and currently has a handful of stores left in the U.S. where it once had thousands.

Kmarts continue to operate in Westwood, New Jersey; Bridgehampton, on New York's Long Island, and Miami.

It didn't have to end this way, according to Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia University in New York and former CEO of Sears Canada.

Trying to compete with Walmart on price was a foolish strategy, he said, and Lampert was criticized for not having a retail background and appearing more interested in stripping off the assets of the two chains for their cash value.

"It's a study in greed, avarice and incompetence," Cohen said. "Sears should have never gone away; Kmart was in worse shape, but not fatally so. And now they're both gone.

"Retailers fall by the wayside sometimes because they're selling things people don't want to buy," he continued. "In the case of Kmart, everything they used to sell, people are buying but they're buying it from Walmart and Target."

Transformco, which owns Kmart and Sears, did not respond to an email seeking comment and a phone number listed for the company was not taking messages.

Nationwide, some former Kmarts remain vacant while others have been replaced by other big-box stores, fitness centers, self-storage facilities, even churches. One former site in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is now a popular dine-in movie theater.

Employees at the Kmart in Avenel found out last month that the store would close.

Unlike 20 years ago, when news of impending Kmart closures around the country prompted an outpouring of support from loyal shoppers and a Detroit radio station even mounted a campaign to try and save a local store, the closing of the Avenel location was met mostly with an air of resignation.

"It's maybe a little nostalgic because I've lived my whole life in this area, but it's just another retail store closing," said Jim Schaber, a resident of nearby Iselin who said his brother worked in the shoe department at Kmart for years. "It's just another sign of people doing online shopping and not going out to the retail stores."

The closing packed a little more of an emotional punch for Mike Jerdonek, a truck driver who recalled shopping at Kmart in Brooklyn and Queens in his younger days.

"It's like history passing right in front of our eyes," he said as he sat in his car outside the Avenel store. "When I was younger I didn't have any money, so it was a good place to shop because the prices were cheap. And to see it gone right now, it's kind of sad."

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