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Cranford Radio

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Cranford Radio presents the sounds and voices of Cranford, New Jersey. Hosted by Bernie Wagenblast.


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Cranford Radio presents the sounds and voices of Cranford, New Jersey. Hosted by Bernie Wagenblast.




FLAG for Cranford Still Helping Residents and Businesses After COVID Beginnings

When nearly everything shutdown in March 2020 at the start of COVID, some organizations stayed open. FLAG of Cranford was created with a duel purpose of providing for those front-line providers and supporting Cranford restaurants which were hard hit by the pandemic. The organization has pivoted with a slightly new name, FLAG for Cranford, and an adjusted mission. On this week's podcast I speak with the two women who started the volunteer group, Rebecca Tantillo and Caren Demyen. They discuss the group's origins, what it's doing today and how Cranford residents and businesses can help support their work.


Ed Davenport Looks Back on His Years At TV35 Following His Retirement

From Day 1 of TV35's existence the one constant presence was Ed Davenport. After 37 years at the Cranford channel, both as a volunteer and as the station's manager, Ed retired at the start of August. Before exiting, Ed chatted with me about his experiences and recounted some of the highlights and lowlights of his years working at TV35.


State Bankers Group Headquartered in Cranford

The New Jersey Bankers Association represents financial institutions throughout the state. The guest on this week's episode of the Cranford Radio podcast is Jenn Zorn, the executive vice president for education and business development for NJBankers. She tells us the organization's primary role is to represent its members' interests in Trenton and Washington, DC. The Cranford resident also notes the association's role in attracting new talent into the industry as well as educating current bankers and we touch on how NJBankers and its members help support Cranford non-profits.


The Owner of Two Unique Cranford Stores Talks About Her Businesses

Chelsea Selby, along with her husband Joe Randazza, is the owner of Witch Baby Soap and Magick Manor. Witch Baby came to Cranford in 2019 at 11 Eastman Street and Magick Manor opened this spring at 11 North Union Avenue. Guest host Sofia Little, who worked at Witch Baby and Magick Manor, talks with the Cranford resident about what the stores offer and why she started the businesses.


Rev. Jin Bae, Senior Pastor at Cranford's First Presbyterian Church

It was January of this year when Rev. Jin Bae was installed as the senior pastor at Cranford's First Presbyterian Church. Rev. Bae's journey to Cranford had a number of interesting twists and turns starting with his birth and early childhood in South Korea, a degree in electrical engineering and his first preaching in an Assemblies of God congregation in California. In this week's podcast, we hear more about what led him to become a minister and how an early visit prompted him to compare Cranford to a Hallmark Channel movie.


Cranford Ecology with Dr. Daniela Shebitz of Kean University

Cranford resident Dr. Daniela Shebitz has had an interest in the environment going back to seventh grade. She's a professor at Kean University as well as the chair of the Department of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences. In addition, she serves as a board member for the Hanson Park Conservancy. On this week's podcast we talk about global environmental issues and how they impact Cranford. We also get into the town's ecology including the Rahway River and how the indigenous people who lived in what is now Cranford used the land we now live on.


Getting to Know Cranford Deputy Mayor Terry Curran

Marine, cop, surgeon. Just a few of the roles that Terry Curran has performed during his career. On this week's episode of the Cranford Radio podcast we learn a bit more about Cranford's new deputy mayor.


The Cranford Elks: Serving the Community Through Charity

To drive past the Cranford Elks lodge there's nothing remarkable about the building, but what happens inside and what its members do is what makes it special. On this week's Cranford Radio podcast, I speak with Kevin Carney, the Exalted Ruler of the lodge, and Mike Tona, the Chairman of Charity for the Community to learn more about the organization and to get more specifics about their various projects and charities.


Turning Union County Rails Into Trails

While Union County is still criss-crossed by multiple active rail lines, there are several that haven't seen a train in years and have been slowly returning to nature. Three of them converge near the Cranford/Roselle Park line. Union County Connects was created to turn these assets into recreational and active transportation pathways. On this week's Cranford Radio podcast I speak with Michael Dury, the group's president, to learn more about what they hope to do and what is already happening.


The Art of Tattooing with Max Galindo of Inklightened Tattoo & Piercing

Max Galindo is the owner of Inklightened Tattoo & Piercing on Miln Street in Cranford. He's been in town only since 2020 but has been a tattoo artist since the turn of the century. On this week's Cranford Radio episode he talks about how he discovered his love of inking and some of his experiences creating art on people's bodies.


Mike Burdick's Stages of Madness Hits CDC Stage for Only 3 Nights

The last production put on at the Cranford Dramatic Club was the popular In the Heights. This show, which will have a much different feel, is a two-act production. The first show is Mercy Killing, described as a dark comedy. The second act is Rock, Paper, Scissors and a Simple Twisted Fate, a comedy farce. The creator of the show, Mike Burdick, is my guest on this week's episode. Purchase tickets


Devoted Mamas Helping With Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum

There are few moments in life as transformative as giving birth and becoming a parent. However, the process takes a physical and emotional toll. Kendra Fitzgerald and Nicole Coons are sisters and the women behind Devoted Mamas. Their business offers trauma-informed movement and healing for all stages of motherhood. On this week's episode we learn how the business came about and how they help new mothers and their partners move through this time in their lives. Being in Motherhood podcast


Financial Planning for Higher Education

This season of graduations is one of celebration. While great pride and excitement comes with the awarding of diplomas, there's also the financial reality of paying for tuition or student loans. On today's Cranford Radio podcast I speak with Robert Nabel about paying for colleges or trade schooling. He's a certified financial planner with The Fortis Agency. He also has created The Parent Advisor to provide financial advice to young families.


Mental Health Association in New Jersey Plans Annual Walk in Cranford in June

May is Mental Health Month and on June 10 Cranford will be the site of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey's Walk for Wellness at Nomahegan Park. Mental health, of course, is about much more than a month or a walk, but these events help to highlight the importance of the issue and providing resources to address it. On this week's Cranford Radio podcast, we talk with Robert Kley, the vice president and COO of the association and Jill Schlossberg, the director for Hudson and Union counties, about the organization and the June walk.


"In The Heights" Comes to Cranford

Washington Heights isn't very far from Cranford as far as distance is concerned. A trip over the George Washington Bridge or taking a train to New York and then an uptown subway will get you there in about an hour. Culturally, however, it's far removed. This month, the Cranford Dramatic Club will be presenting the musical that first brought Lin-Manuel Miranda to the attention of many. Several cast members (Jose Figueroa/Kevin Rosario, Dania Agüero Davie/Camila Rosario, Gail Cevallos/Nina Rosario, and Karina Muñoz/Abuela Claudia) along with director Edgar Hidalgo, chatted with Cranford Radio about the show and how the story and characters resonate with them. Purchase tickets


It's Year 24 for the Cranford Street Fair

Typically, spring and autumn see the downtown streets closed for Cranford's street fairs. This year's first event will take place on Sunday, April 30 between 11 and 5. The man behind Cranford's festival is Darryl Walker. He's the event organizer for He chatted with Cranford Radio about what goes into putting the street fairs on, what the newest hot product is, and the enduring popularity of kettle corn and Italian sausage sandwiches.


Getting to Know Cranford Township Commissioner Gina Black

Gina Black is serving her first term on the Cranford Township Committee. As with most folks who are elected to the committee, it comes after years of volunteer work around town. In addition, their elected responsibilities need to be balanced with their career and families. In this week's episode we find out more about Gina's life outside of sitting on the dais in the municipal building.


Navigating the Highways and More with Cranford's Don Smith

There are many places you may know Don Smith from. It could be as a neighbor. Perhaps it's from his years on News 12 and TV35. More recently you might see his morning Tri-State Traffic Show or hear his voice doing traffic updates on WCBS Newsradio 880. On this week's Cranford Radio podcast, we learn how he made the journey from volunteering at Cranford's hometown channel to being seen on TV sets across the state.


The Acknowledgements - A New Podcast Looks at an Often Overlooked Part of Books

When Nutan Rubinson reads books she makes it a point to read that page where the author thanks those who helped make the work possible. She wondered if others also were curious about that glimpse into who was behind what was written. This year she debuted a new podcast, The Acknowledgements, to bring a unique take to the crowded field of book podcasts. On this week's Cranford Radio podcast, the Cranford resident discusses why she finds the acknowledgements so interesting, the types of books she most enjoys, and what she's discovered about podcasting.


Cranford YarnStormers Bring Beauty and Color to Cranford

You've likely seen their work as you travel around town. It might be at the gazebo in February or in front of the Cranford Public Library. I'm talking about the knit and crocheted public art that the Cranford YarnStormers install. Teresa Murray is the founder and yarn boss for the YarnStormers and she tells us about how the group came about and how they do their work. While they get permission to decorate public spaces they want their projects to be a surprise. YarnStormers Instagram page