- Written by NJ NEWS Jersey Reporter
EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ--Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity builds permanent affordable housing for low income families by reaching out to those in our community who wish to volunteer. What does the RVHFH actually do? First RVHFH and community volunteers find a site, then raise funding, and then select a family for each new home to be built. The family along with RVHFH and those volunteers work side by side to construct the new home! Upon completion of the home, the family purchases the home at a low interest rate and no down payment which is provided by RVHFH. Mortgage payments are recycled and used to fund the construction of new homes.
One of the area businesses volunteering their service is Bill Leary Air Conditioning and Heating, a HVAC company based in Metuchen. Mr. Leary’s five employees will team up along with RVHFH and radio station Magic 98.3 at Brunswick Square Mall on Thursday, September 26th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at which time panels will be constructed and then moved to the building home site in Perth Amboy. Members of the construction team are graduates of Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools and Edison Job Corps. The home will be finished summer 2020.
Upon completion of the project , there will be a dedication for the new home and its homeowners to follow. Mr. Leary, the owner of Bill Leary Air Conditioning and Heating and Master HVAC Contractor, is extremely enthusiastic about the project, saying, “We are a family owned business who really cares about our community! We truly want to participate in projects that will make a difference.” Mr. Leary, whose business has been serving residents of the Middlesex County and surrounding area for 30 years, added, “Our hope is that we will encourage more of our employees to do volunteer work and that after their experience and accomplishment with this RVHFH project, they will continue to volunteer with Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity on their own time.”
In keeping with Mr. Leary’s commitment to communities in our area, Bill Leary Air Conditioning and Heating has been an active member of the Better Business Bureau and New Jersey Economic Development as well as a participant in the Middlesex County Vocational Cooperative Career and Technical Education Program and Edison Job Corps Work Based Learning Program.
Bill Leary Air Conditioning and Heating provides residential and commercial services including sales, service, maintenance, design and engineering. Mr. Leary’s business is fully insured, bonded, licensed, and certified by the State of New Jersey to work on their special projects and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to work on their public school projects.
Now that fall is here and winter is fast approaching, be prepared and please get in touch with Leary Air Conditioning and Heating to service your home and or business!
Call 732-494-9200 and learn more about Leary Air Conditioning and Heating’s comprehensive services and more at
By Leah Brown Klein
Reporter and Writer
- Written by NJ NEWS Jersey Reporter
East Brunswick, NJ – Anthony J. Smith spent many years trying to find himself and something that ignited his passions. He would enroll in college, quit after a semester, take some time off, and enroll in a new school; then the cycle would start again. One day when Smith was at Beefsteak Charlie’s in East Brunswick with a group of friends, Desert Storm was being broadcast on televisions all over the restaurant. The next day, Smith went down to a recruiting office and signed into the army. Basic training began at Fort Knox and then continued at Fort Polk in Louisiana. Smith stated that, “I spent the first twelve years of my army career training to fight.” Though he was deployed to Bosnia and Somalia for the countries’ respective conflicts, Smith said that each conflict was “practically over in minutes” and that “fighting seemed to stop as soon as we got there.”Following these short deployments, Smith had success in his personal life. He married in August of 1992 and then had three children. In 1997, Smith was sent to Korea with the option of fulfilling a 1-year tour or an 18-month tour while the ability to choose his next duty station. Smith chose the 1-year tour because he had just had his third child and did not want to be away from his family for longer than one year. Luckily, following his year in Korea, he got to go to Fort Stewart which would have been his first choice of a duty station anyway. Fort Stewart is always a place that Smith will consider home. As he was moving up the ranks in the army, Smith and his team were sent to Kuwait for four months. During this time, Smith gained additional knowledge about how to serve his country and impressed his leaders who watched him grow. Smith and his team returned from Kuwait in 1998. One year passed before he was ordered to go to Bosnia. Here, he focused on civilian and contingency operations as well as security training. He and his team took over the security of the area by controlling access points and looking down over the area from tall towers. September 11, 2001 everything would change! He was sent to Uzbekistan, a country to the north of Afghanistan. He was then sent back to Kuwait while the war was still happening in Afghanistan. He crossed the border into Iraq in March 2003 and secured all of the palaces in Iraq. At first, Americans were applauded and celebrated by Iraqis in Baghdad, the nation’s capital, who knew Americans were there to help. The Iraqis were very poor and it made Smith and his fellow army men recognize how good life in the USA was. Next, Smith was sent to Fallujah, a small town with very little in it besides connecting two major interstates. Iraqis in Fallujah hated Americans so much that one day Smith and his team were attacked. Thankfully, they all survived. Smith was sent back to Iraq and lived there for two and a half years, which he describes as “absolute hell.” From the years of 2007 to 2009, Iraqis looked at Americans with such disdain that they would not talk to them, they would not look at them, and would not sell anything to them. As Smith was about to continue with his stories, he realized that he was late to pick up his children from college for the weekend. His losing track of time is attributed to the fun and enjoyment he has looking back on his time as an army veteran. It is a career that Smith looks back on warmly.
Written by Travis Dunham
- Written by NJ NEWS Jersey Reporter
Wall, NJ – Last year we have published our first article about Jeffrey Petersen, an owner of a tuxedo store in Wall Township, New Jersey. This year we decided to follow up with his business and find out where he stands this year. Therefore, our reporter went back to Jeffrey’s store and was pleasantly surprise to find out that the business is not only doing well, but actually expended since last year. Jeffrey Petersen continues being creative and innovative, which brings more success to his business Tuxedo Den. Since last year, Jeffrey has started expanding on lines in general, which include new styles of tuxedos, suits, shoes, and accessories. The show room looks different as space has had to be better utilized with an increased amount of product in the store. Jeffrey has expanded on the selection of rental items and added large choice of retail product as well. Jeffrey is also looking for a new racking system and hoping to build new dressing room areas in his store.
Lately more customers becoming increasingly interested in purchasing a tuxedo and suit, and many compare prices between rental fees and a purchase. For that reason Jeffrey worked out a package deal with one of his manufacturers that allow him to sell suits and tuxedos for a relatively inexpensive price. Jeffrey offers a purchase price, which is not much higher than a rental fee, and has a compatible quality. Jeffrey explained, “You can keep your suit for $300 as opposed to renting for $240 or $250. If you wear the suit just twice, you have already made the purchase worth it.” Nonetheless, even the rental is more profitable, Jeffrey always gives people the option to rent or buy, and clearly states to them that instead of just renting they can buy and keep the suit forever for just a little higher price.
During last year in order to advertise the retail business and also to test the quality of the new suits Tuxedo Den ran a test program in which all employees were required to wear suits every day during their shift. This program was created to ensure that all suits and tuxedos being sold were of high quality and would not rip or ruin after only a few uses. Since this program started last year, all suits have lasted and none have even had to be replenished. This is a way to show that Tuxedo Den stands behind their products, which are long-lasting. In addition to attesting to good quality this program brought lots of sales of suits and accessories that come with it.
Since expanding rental and retail lines, Jeffrey added more mannequins on display. Having a lot of mannequins in the show room allows customers to walk in and see all available tuxedos, suits, and accessories. Jeffrey plans to continue stocking more lines of items at the Tuxedo Den. Everything on the left side of the showroom are rental items, and everything on the right side available for purchase. There are no hidden costs at Tuxedo Den. Prices of entire package or single items are clearly listed and customers know what they are paying for.
Tuxedo store largely relies on weddings, and even though weddings are wonderful celebration of people’s love for one another, Jeffrey knows that wedding planning can be very stressful and overwhelming. For that reason Jeffrey and his staff try to make the tuxedo rent or purchase process as easy as possible. Jeffrey inquires that every member of a wedding party come to the store and try on tuxedos or suits, and makes sure that he has each person’s exact sizes and measurements. Jeffrey then orders all of the suits at the exact same, so every suit is created with the exact same shade of color and dialect. When the suits are ready, they are shipped to each customer’s personal residence. If the UPS driver is a little rough with the delivery, customers can bring the suit back in to the store and get it re-pressed. Overall, this home delivery service saves customers a lot of time and frustration. With excitement in his voice Jeffrey proclaimed, “If I can save people time, that’s what I try to do because you’re paying us for a service – you’re paying us for an expensive service. I better do it right or as close to perfect as possible. I try to save everybody time, aggregation, and money.”
Currently Tuxedo Den is running many promotions. For the prom season, which just ended few weeks ago, Jeffrey offered $50 discount on all tuxedo rentals. If customers book their orders at least fifteen days or more ahead of their prom date, they got ten dollars off of their price as part of an “early bird” special. Finally, if a customer referred a friend, that customer and their friend each get ten dollars off of their total purchase. As part of a wedding special, all packages are offered with a $50 discount. Discounts for prom rental proved to be a success and Jeffrey planning to implement same or better offers next year.
In summing up the love of his business and his entire career, Jeffrey explained, “All I care about is that you get what you paid for. At the end of the day, if you wanted X, Y, and Z, you’re going to get X, Y, and Z in whatever order you wanted it whether you wanted it Y, Z, and X.”
By Sharri Schneider News Reporter
Written by Travis Dunham
- Written by NJ NEWS Jersey Reporter
TRENTON NJ--The Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging local governments and other organizations to use social media to remind the public about the importance of keeping New Jersey’s recycling stream free of non-recyclable items. Through a social media campaign known as “Recycle Right NJ,” the DEP is providing counties, municipalities and other organizations with 20 social media posts about the importance of putting only acceptable materials in curbside recycling bins or carts. These posts can be used on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as on local recycling websites. “This social media campaign is another valuable tool that county and municipal recycling programs can use to eliminate confusion about what can and cannot be recycled in curbside programs,” DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said. “Properly recycling materials is critical to keeping our environment clean, protecting public health and reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.” Recycling contamination is anything that finds its way into a recycling bin or cart that does not belong there. Some examples of recycling contaminants are plastic bags, plastic syringes, auto parts, garden hoses, bowling balls, Styrofoam cups and trash. Contaminants in recycling have several adverse effects on the recycling stream. They jam up processing equipment at recycling centers, which in turn increases costs associated with recycling, and can pose health and safety threats to recycling center workers. Further, recycling contamination creates serious quality control issues at local recycling centers. The co-mingling of recyclables with contaminants has led to major recycling market disruptions that have negatively affected the economics of recycling and has created one of the biggest challenges facing recycling today. As a result of these challenges, the DEP urges all residents to participate in their local recycling program and help keep unacceptable materials out of curbside and workplace recycling bins. “For recycling to work, we need to keep our recycling mix clean and free of such non-DEacceptable and problematic items,” Commissioner McCabe added. “It is important to remember that recyclable materials are not trash, but rather valuable raw materials used to make new products.” Recycling also helps conserve resources, reduces waste sent to disposal facilities, helps curb emissions of greenhouse gases, and creates jobs. The Recycle Right NJ social media campaign is one of several educational initiatives implemented by the DEP to address recycling contamination and advance recycling statewide. Through passage of a 1987 law, New Jersey was the first state to require recycling. New Jersey remains a national recycling leader, with one of the nation’s highest recycling rates. For details about the Recycle Right NJ campaign, To learn more about recycling in New Jersey, visit www.recycle.nj.gov