Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Latin Jazz Ensemble to Perform @ Bernardsville LIbrary

Frank & 3 To Clave, a Latin jazz ensemble headed by Frank Villafañe, will perform in free concert at Bernardsville Public Library on Sunday, December 9 at 3:00 pm.  Part of the “Sundays at Three” series, this concert is funded by the Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library.  Doors open at 2:45 pm.  No sign-up is needed. 

Frank Villafañe is a pianist, composer, and music arranger.  He plays piano "con clave" in the styles of Eddie Palmieri, Peruchin and Sergio Mendes.  The other members of his ensemble are bassist Victor Mendoza, drummer Larry Evans, and percussionist/vocalist Jose Chavarria.   

Born in Bremerhaven, Germany, Mr. Villafañe grew up in the United States and Europe and experienced multi-culturalism first-hand.  Musically, his upbringing was eclectic.  He was exposed to Latin, jazz, calypso, folk, and the classics early on, and began piano lessons at the age of eight.  At twelve, he moved to Puerto Rico and was quickly exposed to the infectious music known as "salsa."  But hearing an original copy of Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" played by Scott Joplin himself changed him forever.  After moving back to the United States, Villafañe studied ragtime music and earned his first paying "gig" as a professional musician at the age of 14, performing ragtime favorites for the Whiteman Air Force Base Officers’ Club.  He attended Rutgers University and played piano for a number of jazz and Latin "conjunto" style bands and orchestras, while studying piano with Kenny Barron.  He later formed “Jazz Y Clave,” an eight-piece “conjunto.” 

Frank & 3 to Clave has performed at various venues throughout New Jersey, including Trumpet’s Jazz Club, Rutgers University, Moonstruck in Asbury Park, and Restaurant Village in Long Valley, among others. 

There is no charge to attend the concert and no sign-up is needed.  For further information, call the library at 908-766-0118.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Yoga! Your 60-Minute Holiday Vacation

Press the "reset" button and take an opportunity to really connect with the feeling of the holiday season.  Make an appointment with yourself for 60 minutes of soothing music, gentle stretching, rejuvenating yoga poses and calming relaxation at Bernardsville Public Library on Tuesday, December 11 at 7:00 pm.  Through the benefits of Classic Hatha Yoga, your body and mind and heart can be filled with peace, patience and well-being. 

Marsha Stablein, a teacher at the School of Royal Yoga in Chester, will lead the class and show participants how yoga is much more than physical exercise; it benefits the whole person.  Please dress comfortably and bring a yoga mat or towel.  All are welcome – current students of yoga or anyone considering a yoga program.

Marsha Stablein has been teaching yoga at The School of Royal Yoga for over 16 years and is certified to teach all ages (prenatal to senior) and train others to become yoga instructors.  She is a speaker and facilitator for international yoga seminars and workshops, and produced the video “Complete Yoga: An Introduction to Yoga.”

There is no charge to attend the program, but advance sign-up is requested.  Register online at and follow the link from Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Library Partners with Bernardsville Recreation to Offer Basic First Aid Class

Bernardsville Public Library and Bernardsville Recreation are partnering to offer a class on basic first aid, CPR and how to use an AED (automated external defibrillator) on Thursday, December 6 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  "We never know when an emergency will strike, so it's always best to be prepared," said Library Director Karen Brodsky, "We saw that in many ways during Hurricane Sandy, and this class is an outgrowth of our desire to give our residents an avenue to be trained so they'll be ready when the need arises."   

This course will be taught by Mine Brook Search and Rescue, Inc., which is based in Far Hills, and the cost is $70/person.  With course completion, attendees will earn an American Heart Association Heartsaver First Aid/CPR/AED Course Completion Card that is valid for two years.

The class will be held in the library's Community Room; registration is through the Borough website’s Community Pass portal:  For further information, call Borough Recreation at 908-766-2546 or the Library at 908-766-0118.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Basking Ridge Author to Read @ Bernardsville Library

Basking Ridge author Jacqui Boulter will be at Bernardsville Public Library's Saturday morning Story Time to read her book, "Where Horses Fly," on Saturday, December 8 at 10:30 am.  The book, which is her first, was published earlier this year by Vineyard Stories.  It tells the tale of a little girl named Caroline whose heart is broken from the loss of her beloved horse.  During a summer visit to her grandparents on Martha’s Vineyard, Caroline catches the brass ring on the Flying Horses carousel.  The magical ride that follows, to the place where horses fly, helps Caroline heal from her loss.  The book includes a foreword about the Flying Horses on Martha’s Vineyard, a National Historic Landmark and the oldest operating platform carousel in the United States.

Books will be available for purchase and signing.  There is no charge to attend the program, and no sign-up is needed.  This program is especially for children ages 2-1/2 to 5 years old, but families are welcome.  Call the library at 908-766-0118 for further information. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Take Back Your Garage in a Weekend

Get started early on New Year's Resolutions—especially that one about cleaning out your garage.  On Monday, December 3 at 7:00 pm, Professional Organizer Amara Willey will speak at Bernardsville Public Library on how to develop a workable plan to de-clutter, sweep out, give away, donate, and find clear space in your garage.  With a doable plan, everyone can join in to get the garage clean in a weekend.  It’s not just about organizing; it’s about being empowered to make the decisions to get rid of the belongings you no longer use or need.  Listeners will learn a step-by-step process to attack their clutter and conquer it once and for all.  At the end of the evening, they will be motivated to turn their garages into useful, functional storage. 

Certified Professional Organizer® Amara Willey has been helping people put their lives in order since 1993.  She believes that everyone can discover his or her own personal organizational style.  Her hands-on approach is supportive and non-judgmental.  A member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD), she is also managing partner of Time to Get Organized LLC, whose services include financial, home, and office organization; time and paper management; storage solutions; and space design.  

There is no charge to attend the program, but advance sign-up is requested.  Register online at and follow the link from Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up. 


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Saturday Samplers Book Group to Meet

Bernardsville Library’s book discussion group, Saturday Samplers, will meet on Saturday, December 1 at 3:30 pm to discuss Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith (2004) by Jon Krakauer.  [The author will not be present.]
The book traces the events that surrounded the 1984 murder of a woman and her child by fundamentalist Mormons Ron and Dan Lafferty who insisted that they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims.  Krakauer explores the belief systems and traditions, including polygamy, that mark the faith's most extreme factions and what their practices reflect about the nature of religion in America.  He is also the author of "Eiger Dreams", "Into the Wild," and "Into Thin Air" and is editor of the Modern Library Exploration series.
Led by Evelyn Fischel, Saturday Samplers is a book discussion group dedicated to sampling various kinds of literature, including short stories, nonfiction, new and old novels, and even teen fiction.  Its goal is to search out interesting, noteworthy, and sometimes overlooked books.  Readers can find information about the group and about the books and authors on the reading list at  No sign-up is needed to join the discussion.  Call the library at 766-0118 for more information.

“On the Spot” Figure Sketches at Bernardsville Library

Are you looking for the perfect holiday gift for a grandparent or a keepsake to capture your child’s appearance this year?  Harding artist Tine Kirkland Graham’s quick pen and ink sketches with watercolor highlights capture the essence of a person’s form, and she will be at Bernardsville Public Library on Saturday, December 1 from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm ready to draw sketches on the spot.  The cost is only $10/figure on paper ($20/figure on canvas), and a percentage of proceeds from the event will benefit the library.  Call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up for a timeslot in advance.  Ms. Graham can also work from a photograph if a child is not available on December 1st, and she draws dogs and cats from photographs as well.  Photographs may be dropped off in advance.

“I love to sketch people of all ages, all sizes and all shapes,” says Mrs. Graham, “With their colorful garb, their different hair styles and attitudes, they all have a story to tell and I try to get the feel of each person.”  She also writes books which she illustrates with her colorful drawings—about dogs and children’s stories with illustrations set in Nantucket, Bay Head and Florida.  

Describing herself as a “late in life artist,” Mrs. Graham is self-taught and took some courses at The Center for Contemporary Art (formerly the Somerset Art Association) and the Summit Art Center.  She began with pastel portraits of children and then moved on to large, wild beach and ocean scenes.  Her work is represented in two galleries in Nantucket, as well as one in Bay Head, New Jersey and one in Florida.

 Call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up or to get further information.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Library to Collect Storm Stories for Local History Archive

Bernardsville Public Library, which houses a large collection of local history archives, photos and memorabilia in the Edwin S. Spinning Local History Room, is now collecting stories from local residents about their experiences during Hurricane Sandy.  Given the massive impact of the storm on our community, these stories will be important to historians.  They will be compiled and saved for examination and reflection in the future, along with photographs of the devastation wrought by the storm.

To accomplish this, the library has created a special webpage,, from which residents can link to a blog to record their memories.  "We encourage residents to document their experiences during Hurricane Sandy--how it affected you, your family, your friends, and your town," said Library Director Karen Brodsky, "We would like to create an important record of the event."  To participate, please go to and click on the link in the yellow bar: “Tell us your storm stories here.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Caregiver Resources from the VNA

The next program in Bernardsville Library's C.A.R.E.S. (Community Assistance Resource & Educational Services) series will feature a panel discussion on Wednesday, November 28 at 7:00 pm by representatives from the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills.  The focus will be on family caregiving issues and suggestions for reducing the stress associated with caregiving.

The panelists will include Claire L. O’Brien, MSW, LCSW, Director of Community Services; Karen Ellis , RN, BSN, Community Health Programs Manager; and Debra Massa, RN, BSN, Somerset County Respite Care Coordinator.  The speakers will also share information about services provided by the VNA and resources available through other programs that support those caring for a loved one in our community. 

There is no charge to attend the library program, but advance registration is requested.  Register online at, and follow the link from Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.

The University of "Can-Do"

The next session of "The University of Can-Do,” led by inspirational speaker Andrea Mastrobattista, will meet on Wednesday, November 28 at 7:00 pm at Bernardsville Public Library. "Do you have a goal that you think you can't make happen?" asks Ms. Mastrobattista, "Well, you can, because you have what it takes to accomplish it."

This workshop has run throughout the year, and each month participants discover how to cultivate and maintain the "can-do" determination to make a dream come true.  At this meeting, Ms. Mastrobattista will review the key lessons learned throughout 2012 for leading the CAN-DO way of life and reveal what is in store in “The University of Can-Do Masters Program” in 2013. Those who have worked on vision boards throughout the year should bring them to the meeting.

There is no charge to attend the library workshop, but advance registration is requested.  Register online at, and follow the link from Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.

Memoirs & Coffee Book Group to Meet

The next meeting of Bernardsville Public Library’s book discussion group, Memoirs and Coffee, will be held on Tuesday, November 27 at 10:30 am in the library’s Community Room.  Pat Kennedy-Grant, Readers’ Services Manager for the library, will lead the discussion of "Zeitoun” (2010) by Dave Eggers. [The author will not be present.]

The book is the true story of one family, caught between America’s two biggest policy disasters: the war on terror and the response to Hurricane Katrina.  It tells about Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun who run a house-painting business in New Orleans.  In August of 2005, as Hurricane Katrina approaches, Kathy evacuates with their four young children, leaving her husband to watch over the business.  In the days following the storm, he travels the city by canoe, feeding abandoned animals and helping elderly neighbors.  Then, on September 6th, police officers armed with M-16s arrest Zeitoun in his home. Told with eloquence and compassion, “Zeitoun” is a riveting account of one family’s unthinkable struggle with forces beyond wind and water.

The book was a New York Times Notable Book, an O, The Oprah Magazine Terrific Read of the Year,  and a New Yorker Favorite Book of the Year.  Andrew Ervin of The Miami Herald called it "A major achievement and [Egger's] best book yet."

There is no charge and no sign-up is needed to join the discussion.  Call the library at 766-0118 for more information.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Understanding Property Taxes in New Jersey

If you'd like to better understand how your property taxes are calculated and how they are used, come to Bernardsville Public Library on Monday, November 26 at 7:00 pm. Dr. Henry Coleman, faculty member in the Public Policy program at the Bloustein School at Rutgers, and an expert on state and local public finance, will explain the basics, discuss issues, the future outlook, and answer questions.  This program is a joint effort of the Borough Finance Committee and Bernardsville Public Library to help community residents understand their taxes. "We often get questions about property tax bills," said Ralph Maresca, the Borough's Administrator, "This program should help clarify the different portions of the bill and how property taxes fit into the overall picture of tax collection in the state of New Jersey." 

Dr. Coleman has been a faculty member at Tufts University, and has held adjunct faculty positions at The American University, the University of Maryland at College Park, and at George Mason University.  He was a Brookings Economic Policy Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  In New Jersey, he served as the executive director of the New Jersey State and Local Expenditure and Revenue Policy Commission, and as the assistant director for operations and research in the New Jersey Office of State Planning.  He also served as a senior policy adviser in Governor Florio’s Policy Office.  He has also served on the board of several non-profit, professional, and civic organizations, including the New Jersey Public Policy Research Institute, New Jersey City University, New Jersey Policy Perspective, New Jersey Future, Citizens for the Public Good, the Regional Planning Partnership, the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Gateway Institute at Kean University, and the Coalition for Affordable Housing and the Environment. 

There is no charge to attend the program, but advance sign-up is requested.  Register online at and follow the link from Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.