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Chiropractor in Avenel, NJ

Chiropractor Avenel, NJ

What is Chiropractic Care?

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Chiropractic care is a drug-free, non-invasive approach to overall wellness and healing that focuses on correcting issues with your musculoskeletal system. When performed by a licensed chiropractor, it can alleviate and even eliminate common problems such as:

  • Back Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Knee Pain
  • Automobile Injuries
  • Sports Injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Body Aches

To treat your conditions and help reduce your pain, chiropractors use time-tested, hands-on techniques to adjust your spine, neck, back, and other joints throughout your body to restore proper function, mobility, and alignment. Once your body is in proper alignment, it functions optimally, leading to improved overall wellness and health.

Unlike some sports rehab clinics in The Garden State, chiropractors from NJ Sports Spine & Wellness work with you one-on-one to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific goals and needs relating to your pain and ability to live a normal life. Because our team takes a holistic approach to healthcare, we cover all aspects of your health and wellness when developing your chiropractic treatment plan. That way, we increase your chances of living a fulfilling life free of pain and worry about throwing your back out.

 Back Pain Relief Avenel, NJ

What are the Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor in Avenel, NJ?

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Seeing a chiropractor can quite literally change your life for the better. According to the American Chiropractic Association, in general, chiropractic therapy is a more effective solution for back pain than other treatments like addictive pain pills, surgeries, and yoga. When combined with services like physical therapy, occupational therapy, and acupuncture, chiropractic care may be the key you need to open the door to a pain-free life.

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Some of the many benefits of seeing a reliable, licensed chiropractor include the following:

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Relief from Back Pain

Perhaps the most obvious reason to make an appointment with a chiropractor is for back pain relief. Some people only need to see a chiropractor when they have occasional back pain, such as when they wake up in the morning. Others, such as those who have been in serious car accidents, need regular chiropractic adjustments and therapies, which are often supplemented with techniques like physical therapy and acupuncture.

There are many causes of back pain that range from advanced conditions like having sciatica and herniated discs to everyday issues like poor posture and sleeping in a harmful position. Your chiropractor's job is to pinpoint the cause(s) of your back pain and build a customized plan to address your musculoskeletal conditions. Once that happens, pain relief follows shortly after.

At New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, we craft personalized chiropractic plans for every patient we treat, with the goal of avoiding harmful surgeries and addictive medicines.

Neck Pain Avenel, NJ

Relief from Headaches

If you've never experienced a headache in your life, you're exceedingly rare. Just about every American will suffer from a headache at some point or another. For some, headaches only happen occasionally and are not much more than an annoyance. For others, headaches evolve into crippling migraines that can affect quality of life, ability to work, and much more.

If you find yourself digging into a bottle of Aspirin or something stronger when you have a headache, it might be time to visit an NJSSW chiropractor.

Knee Pain Avenel, NJ

Improved Sleep

Do you wake up in the morning feeling like you didn't sleep a wink the previous night? Do you have to take sleep aides like Ambien in order to drift off to dreamland? If you have chronic back pain, getting a full night's rest is easier said than done. From misaligned spines to improper sleeping posture, your chiropractor in Avenel can use manipulation therapy and other techniques to boost blood flow and align your vertebrae, so your body can heal itself and help you rest better.

Relief For Sciatica Avenel, NJ

Reduced Anxiety and Stress

One of the best things about seeing your chiropractor is that when your session is over, you often feel great. The pain relief feels phenomenal. When you're not in pain, you have a more positive outlook on life, and often enjoy better sleep, blood pressure, and even sexual relations. It makes sense, then, that chiropractic care has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety, which promotes relaxation and improved mental health.

Pain And Spine Management Avenel, NJ

Athletic Performance

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we work with a long list of athletes who suffer from sports injuries and other problems that can manifest from being active. For professional athletes, having a trustworthy chiropractor to care for them is needed for their careers. But you don't have to be a pro athlete to benefit from chiropractic care. Ordinary people that enjoy active lifestyles can reap tremendous rewards through chiropractic care, such as improved range of motion and relief from compressed discs.

Whether you enjoy impromptu games of tag football or simply want to play with your kids, seeing a chiropractor can help you be healthy and active without fighting back, neck, and joint pain. That's especially true when chiropractic therapy is used in conjunction with acupuncture, physical therapy, or occupational therapy.ies and addictive medicines.

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Common Chiropractic Techniques

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Your NJ Sports Spine & Wellness chiropractor in Avenel may use a range of techniques to restore function and alignment in your body. Some of the most common techniques our chiropractors use include:

  • Mobilization: This chiropractic strategy uses gentle movements to help restore joint functionality and proper spinal alignment.
  • Manipulation: Spinal manipulation uses controlled force and gravity to correct spinal issues and restore healthy alignment.
  • Electrical Stimulation: With this therapy, electrical currents are used to stimulate your muscles and help heal injuries faster.
  • Soft Tissue Therapy: This type of massage and other hands-on techniques relieve muscle tension while providing pain relief and promoting soft tissue health.
  • Trigger Point Therapy: With this therapy, the targeted use of pressure is used to release tension and improve functionality across specific areas of your body.
  • Ultrasounds: High-frequency sound waves can break up plaque and help stimulate your body's natural healing processes for injuries and wounds.

Reclaim Your Active Life with Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Care

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Life has a habit of being unexpected. Sure, some surprises only hurt your bank account, like last-minute renovations in your home. But severe incidents, like car accidents, can inflict physical injuries that cause you long-term pain. These problems, like neck and back injuries, affect many Americans daily. Even worse, many hardworking people turn to risky surgeries and addictive pain medications, only to find themselves deep in a hole that seems impossible to get out of.

If you suffer from serious range-of-motion issues or you're in chronic pain, it's important to know that you have treatment choices. You don't have to put your health at risk to relieve your pain. One of the most successful non-invasive treatments offered for pain is physical therapy. The main goal of physical therapy is to restore movement and function to patients affected by illness, injury, or disability.

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.

Once our PTs have made headway, they will often use our chiropractic therapy to provide the patient with more relief. Having the option of both chiropractic and physical therapy is often very effective, because your chiropractor in Avenel can address nerve irritation and joint dysfunction while your physical therapist helps retrain your musculoskeletal system, allowing your body to heal faster.

Some of the biggest benefits of using physical therapy along with chiropractic care include:

  • Restoring Mobility After Injury, Surgery, or Illness
  • Developing Flexibility and Strength for Physical Activities
  • Safe Relief from Chronic Pain
  • Improved Spine and Joint Health
  • Enhanced Knowledge of Your Body and How to Prevent Injuries
Herniated Disk Treatment Avenel, NJ
Back Pain Specialist Near Me Avenel, NJ

Engage in Activities of Daily Living with Occupational Therapy and Chiropractic Therapy

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Occupational therapy, or OT, is to help patients of all ages and abilities engage in activities of daily living, or ADL. Often, that means helping patients reclaim the ability to continue working, going to school, accomplishing day-to-day tasks, or other activities common to daily living.

Occupational therapy can benefit individuals going through many conditions, such as traumatic brain injuries, strokes, spinal cord injuries, autism spectrum disorders, developmental delays, and chronic pain. The end goal of occupational therapy is to help patients achieve the maximum level of independence and participation in their daily lives. If pain, discomfort, weakness, fatigue, or fear prevent you from participating in activities you love, an OT from NJ Sports Spine & Wellness could become the MVP of your wellness journey.

To give our patients the most complete pain relief and recovery options, our doctors and practitioners will often lean on the expertise of both a physical therapist and a chiropractor in Avenel. By working together, your PT, OT, and chiropractor can provide you with a comprehensive approach to total-body functionality, from your spine and joints to your mind and range of motion.

Some of the most common benefits of using OT with chiropractic care include:

  • Chronic Pain Relief
  • Improvement of Both Physical and Mental, Emotional, or Developmental Disabilities
  • Improved Development of Fine Motor Skills
  • Better Spine and Musculoskeletal Health
  • Help with Sensory Processing Disorders
  • Much More
Back Pain Doctor Near Me Avenel, NJ

Boost Self-Healing Processes with Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care

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Acupuncture boosts your body's functions and helps improve its ability to heal through anatomic site stimulation - usually called acupuncture points or acupoints. To stimulate these points, acupuncturists at NJ Sports Spine & Wellness insert fine, sterile needles into your skin. Most patients don't feel any pain as needles are applied. Typically, needles are left in the skin up to 30 minutes. After your session, it's normal to feel incredibly relaxed.

While some practitioners still adhere to traditional philosophies, modern acupuncturists take an integrative approach to the therapy. Today, professional acupuncturists use these techniques to stimulate your body's natural healing and pain-fighting processes. When coupled with personalized care from a chiropractor in Avenel as well as physical or occupational therapy, you can find real relief from the physical and emotional roadblocks holding you back. Some of the most reported benefits of acupuncture treatment include:

  • Back, Neck, and General Pain Relief
  • Improved Digestion and Relief from IBS and Acid Reflux
  • Relief from Menstrual Cramps
  • Treatment for Allergies and Asthma
  • Enhanced Blood Flow
  • Much More

During an acupuncture session, you may feel a slight sensation of warmth or tingling at the needle's site of insertion. Generally speaking, acupuncture is painless and perfectly safe for you to consider. In fact, many practitioners and doctors recommend combining acupuncture with other treatment options like chiropractic adjustments.

Though acupuncture and chiropractic therapies come from different origins, both include non-invasive, holistic, and gentle approaches that don't require drugs to work. They also both facilitate total-body healing by addressing the underlying causes of your symptoms - not just the symptoms themselves.

Because acupuncture is known to release endorphins and improve blood flow, having a session prior to a chiropractic adjustment can be very beneficial. That's because, after acupuncture, your muscles are less stiff, more relaxed, and easier to adjust effectively. Over time, as you combine acupuncture and chiropractic therapy, you'll benefit from less inflammation and less pain as you heal from injuries or musculoskeletal conditions. That same truth applies to patients who undergo serious chiropractic adjustments.

Trust the NJ Sports Spine & Wellness Difference

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At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our staff consists of licensed and highly-trained professionals, including specialists focusing on:

  • Pain Management
  • Sports Medicine
  • Chiropractic Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Acupuncture

Contact Us

phone-number732-316-5895

Every member of our team believes that the path to wellness and a pain-free life begins with customized treatment plans that cater to your needs and body. Unlike some chiropractors in Avenel, we do not treat on-the-surface symptoms with one-size-fits-all therapies. We do not rely on powerful pain medications to mask your pain or invasive surgeries that require weeks of recovery. Instead, we address the root causes of your pain so that we can help you live the happy, healthy life you're craving.

To achieve that goal, we'll conduct an in-depth evaluation to learn about your medical history. We'll also perform diagnostic tests and speak with you one-on-one to get a better sense of your needs. From there, we'll recommend the therapies that can give you a new lease on life and be there for every milestone you hit.

If you're fed up of living with the limits of pain and lack of mobility, we're here to help you break free. Contact our office today to get started.

 Back Pain Relief Avenel, NJ

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.

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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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