Black River Life April 23

‘Watershed U’ Offered to High Schoolers this Summer

High school students considering majoring in environmental science, conservation or environmental education in college are invited to attend “Watershed University,” a program offered each summer by Raritan Headwaters Association (RHA), the region’s watershed watchdog. 

The one-week certificate program will be offered during the weeks of July 10-14 and Aug. 7-11 at the Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve, 2121 Larger Cross Road, Bedminster. 

The program is designed for students entering grades 9-12 who want to gain insights in the environmental field, learn how to make impactful change and serve their communities. Each day includes instruction from RHA staff members and guest experts, hands-on scientific exploration, and team building. 

“Participants will learn from experts, examining environmental and social topics that affect local and global natural resource challenges,” said Lauren Theis, education director for Raritan Headwaters. “On-the-ground conservation projects will allow students to gain skills in scientific research, communication, and building connections within a group.”                                                                                                                   Click Here to Check out Carebot ACA Website 

The core program runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but each session includes free optional activities from 9-10 a.m. and 2-3 p.m. including meditation and yoga, nature illustration, fishing in the Fairview Farm pond, organic gardening, natural tie-dying, and paper-making. 

Watershed University topics for the week of July 10-14 include GIS (geographic information system) mapping, green infrastructure, composting, native plant identification, environmental justice, biodiversity study, groundwater conservation and a land stewardship project. The session also includes a kayak trip along the South Branch of the Raritan River. 

Topics for the week of Aug. 7-11 include climate study, the story of salamanders, green matters funding, stream ecology, microplastics study, native edible and medicinal plants, a visit from farmers in the Community Grains program, and a study on algae, zooplankton and harmful algal blooms (HABs) in waterways. The session also includes a kayak trip to Round Valley Reservoir, where scientist from the NJ Water Supply Authority will talk about aquatic plants. 
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The cost of the program is $400 a week, and at the end of the program, each student will be awarded a certificate outlining their participation in the program. Need-based scholarships are available. This year, for the first time, alumni of previous years’ Watershed U. programs may sign up for one-day sessions, at $50 per day. 

For more information and to apply online for Watershed University, go to For more information, contact Lauren Theis at  

“This program will allow participants to explore future fields of study in college and beyond preparing for career opportunities in environmental science, conservation and environmental education,” said Theis. “Students will also connect with RHA staff and partners for advanced learning, community service, citizen science projects, and internships.”                                                                                                                                                       Click Here to Check out Junkin Irishman Website 

Dental Digest: The “Goop-Free” Solution

Technology is all around us, and touches pretty much every aspect of our daily lives.  Dentistry has not been left out of this revolution.  One area that has benefited greatly includes our impression-taking techniques.

Digital Dental Impressions have revamped many areas of dental procedures: traditional crowns, dental implants, invisible braces such as Invisalign and SureSmile, dentures, nightguards, and so much more.

So what’s the big deal about digital dental impressions?  The biggest thing for you, the patient, is that it is goop-free!  Nothing to risk making you gag, no messy materials getting all over your face.  Another benefit is the accuracy: final restorations usually fit more accurately.  Digital impressions are also faster to take, as compared to traditional impressions.  The turn-around time from laboratories is faster, too, since these scans are sent via email immediately to the laboratory.

Traditional dental impressions encompass a range of different materials that we place into your mouth using a delivery tray.  Digital impressions eliminate both the flowable material and the tray.  Instead, a wand that is connected to a computer is utilized.  We wave it over your teeth or gums a few times, and that’s it!       
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Many people think that these impression utilize x-rays or a laser.  This is not correct.  The entire process uses visible light.  There is no radiation, and nothing hurts.

It is important to note traditional impressions still play a vital role in dentistry, and will likely never go away.  Not every situation lends itself to digital impressions.  

The world of dental implants has also benefited greatly from digital impressions.  Whether we are fabricating a single implant or a full mouth restoration supported on implants, we can utilize the digital impressions for surgical guides, temporary crowns, abutments, and the final teeth.  The workflow saves patients time, and the outcome is very predictable.  In our office, this is performed on a daily basis.

It is possible to overlay digital impressions on top of each other.  This can be a useful tool during complex dental procedures when changes are desired.  Maybe you want the esthetic crowns that are currently being made for you to be raised a little, or you want them narrower.  By overlaying a scan of your current teeth or temporary crowns, the technician can easily put these changes into software and voila: the 3-D printers or milling machines can make the adjustments.                                                                 Click Here to Check out Berk’s Furniture Website

Wear and movement of your teeth can be tracked with digital impressions.  If scans are taken on a regular basis of your mouth, you can see these changes and decide if you want to intervene.  This can help to protect your teeth for years to come!

In our office we perform many cosmetic, implant, and denture procedures.  We have been utilizing digital impressions for years, and could not even imagine going back to older methods.  As stated above we still need (and use) traditional impression materials, but the newer digital world is what allows us to provide our patients with amazing smiles!

About the author:  Dr. Ira Goldberg is the owner of Morris County Dental Associates, LLC in Succasunna.  He has been practicing dentistry for 28 years.  He is well-known in the community for providing outstanding dental care that follows his mantra: “Experience, Compassion, & Quality.”  He is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, a Scholar of the Dawson Academy of Comprehensive Dentistry, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology / Implant Dentistry.  He also performs all phases of implant dentistry at his office in Succasunna, NJ.   For a free consultation, including a free 3-D scan (if necessary), please call his office at (973) 328-1225 or visit his website at  

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Succasunna Writer Debuts Children’s Book

Brandon Gibney announces his entry into the publishing scene with the release of “The Snail Race” (published by AuthorHouse), the story of a snail who is looking to fulfill the lifelong dreams of his late father to defeat a rival in a race.

Gary needs to overcome the pressure of living up to his father’s name. He was intimidated by Pierre’s fame. Gary sees his father in a dream who sends him a message saying he loves him for who he is and that it is not just about winning, but rather giving it your all. Gary suddenly feels relief and knows he can fulfill his dreams simply by trying his best.

The next day, Gary sees his father again in a vision where his father says that Pierre’s overconfidence is his downfall. Gary realizes if he ignores Pierre and focuses on his own race, he can win. Will Gary be able to finally beat his father’s rival?

“This children’s book has likable characters. The main character is a snail named Gary which I believe many children can identify with,” Gibney says. When asked what he wants readers to take away from the book, he answered, “Anyone who is an underdog whether in school, sports, politics, etc. can win in life with effort and determination and a good mentor.”

“The Snail Race” By Brandon Gibney, Available at AuthorHouse, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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Not All Headaches are Created Equal

Almost everyone has experienced a headache, at some point in their life, to varying degrees.  In fact, roughly 45 million Americans suffer from Headaches each year.  In today’s world, most people reach into the medicine cabinet for one of the various pain relievers to alleviate their head pain.  But what happens when that doesn’t work?  Or, the headaches become more frequent and more painful?  Some get headaches so often and so painful, they even take prescription drugs with side effects and no avail.  But have you ever stopped to think, “What is causing my headache?”  Headaches and more severe headaches, known as Migraines, can be caused by various triggers including foods, chemicals or preservatives in foods, allergens in the environment, chemicals in cleaning products or herbicides/pesticides, sinus congestion, tension in the neck or jaw, lack of sleep, dehydration, stress, and the list goes on…  Sometimes the cause is completely unknown and with no relief the patient can be left hopeless, debilitated and in pain.  An assessment by an Acupuncturist can often identify and treat imbalances (that are causing the headaches) that are unknown to the patient previously.                                  Click Here to Check out Mt Olive Acupuncture Website

In Chinese Medicine not all headaches are created equally.  Rather, during an assessment, we evaluate the individual patient on many levels to determine their exact symptoms (i.e Is the headache frontal? One sided? Behind the eyes?  Is there nausea? Frequency and intensity of pain?….) and if there are any triggers.  We take a whole body approach and assess the patient’s physical condition as well as their constitution, emotional health, diet and lifestyle. Unlike the blanket treatment western medicine offers which is typically some type of pain reliever, Chinese Medicine finds a specific treatment for each patient based on their individual symptoms.  Five patients suffering “headaches” may receive five completely different treatments.  By addressing the root cause, Acupuncture can be a safe way to prevent and treat various types of headaches, without the unwanted side effects of medications.  

Based on the individual assessment and diagnosis, tiny needles are inserted into various points on the body.  Depending on the case, small electrodes can be attached to specific needles that elicit a small electrical current.  The feeling of the electric stimulation on the needles is a comfortable sensation that generally elicits a feeling of tingling, tapping or heaviness.  The electric stimulation enhances the release of specific neurochemicals which aids in the treatment of headaches.  The needles are typically retained for 20-30 minutes, during which the patient is left to relax and take a nap.   

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Acupuncture is known to be effective and can offer long standing results, but it is not always a quick fix.  Especially if the headaches are chronic, several treatments may be required to achieve the full result.  Again, this is because it is addressing the root cause and not just covering up symptoms like other treatments.  

If you suffer from headaches or migraines start getting relief today!  Use the following tips to achieve long- lasting results for a healthy life:  Be aware, track food and environmental triggers to see if there are any patterns, get adequate sleep,  eat a healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruits (limiting sugars and processed foods), drink plenty of water, manage stress with things like meditation and try Acupuncture!  

For more information about Acupuncture and Headaches contact Mount Olive Acupuncture & Wellness 973-527-7978.  

                                                                                                                                                    Click Here to Visit Retro Mt Olive Website 

I Remember Dad:

My Father’s Many Talks About Life Along The Old Morris Canal

By Richard Mabey Jr.

One of the fondest memories that I have of my dear, belated father is that of his talks that he would give at the Lincoln Park Museum. Dad gave many talks about the history of Lincoln Park in that dear old museum. But I remember his all-time favorite subject was that of talking about his remembrances of life along the still, murky waters of the historic Morris Canal.

My great grandfather, William Mabey, had built an icehouse along the banks of the Morris Canal. It was located deep in the woods at the end of Mabey Lane. At one time, Mabey Lane extended from Route 202, in Lincoln Park, and traveled all the way down to the banks of the old Morris Canal. Today, there is a housing development where the once wooded portion of this country lane proudly hailed.

My grandfather, Watson Mabey, served as the Chief Engineer of Incline Plane Ten East, which was located right at the border of Lincoln Park and Towaco. By the time my dad was a boy of about seven years old, the Morris Canal had ceased its operations. Still, it didn’t stop Dad and his younger brother, Carl, from exploring and hiking along the old tow path. You see, Dad was raised in the home at the end of Mabey Lane. The very home that his father had built.

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What I loved so much about the talks, that Dad gave about the old Morris Canal, was the high degree of heart-felt feeling that would fill Dad’s voice. At times, during his many talks, I would catch a bit of sadness in his eyes. A kind of melancholy feeling.

My father loved Lincoln Park. When he was a boy, some of the town’s people still referred to the little valley hamlet as Beavertown. I confess that at times, I took Dad’s talks for granted. There were times when I felt that my father was going to live forever and never stop giving his little talks about life along the old Morris Canal. Sadly, I was all so mistaken.

I would give the sun and the moon to hear just one more of my dad’s landmark talks. For even just five minutes, to see the expressions of joy, happiness, sadness and nostalgic melancholy fill Dad’s face as he presented his talk. It’s all so strange, what a person once took for granted becomes a shining diamond memory. Sadly, never to ever return again.

Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He can be reached at

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No Tax Rate Increase in Morris County Budget for 4th Consecutive Year

The cost of living is up, but the Morris County Board of County Commissioners were pleased to introduce a 2023 Budget with no increase in the tax rate for the fourth consecutive year, thanks to prudent fiscal management and a growing ratable base. 

“Without an increase in the tax rate, which is extremely important in these tough economic times, we are still delivering the same level of public services and even increasing funding in some key areas. Morris County’s continued, strong ratable growth and our prudent financial planning make this possible, despite spikes in non-discretionary expenses such as health insurance and pension costs,” stated Commissioner Deborah Smith, Chair of the Commissioners’ Budget Committee.

The proposed $343.5 million spending plan for 2023, outlined presented by the Budget Committee to the entire board tonight, continues to prioritize investments in public safety, infrastructure, human services, education and training, and economic development.  Included in the budget is:

$8.9 million to support the Morris County Park Commission, stewards of the largest county park system in New Jersey (20,455 acres of parkland)

More than $12 million to support the County College of Morris, an increase over 2022

Almost $6.3 million to the Morris County Vocational School District, also an increase over 2022

More than $800,000 for Economic Development and Tourism

“Public safety is paramount in this day and age, and this budget focuses heavily on Morris County’s efforts to support and augment local emergency services and to fully fund our Sheriff and Prosecutor.” said Commissioner Director John Krickus.

The 2023 spending plan dedicates an estimated $74.6 million to public safety, which includes in part, full dispatch services to 23 municipalities and continuing daily back-up services to local Basic Life Support and Emergency Medical Service units for all 39 Morris County towns. Morris County’s Basic Life Support Emergency Medical Service Unit responded to over 3,866 Emergency calls in 2022.

“The 2023 Budget also reflects our board’s continued commitment to sensible fiscal planning and the ability to help those in the midst of uncertain times by supporting the economic engine that will sustain us. With a proposed $60.7 million fund balance, which is a $2.8 million increase over last year, we have crafted a 2023 Budget that is intent on continuing Morris County’s AAA bond rating for a 48th consecutive year,” said Commissioner Christine Myers, a member of the Budget Committee.

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Morris County’s strategic planning also involved using American Rescue Plan Act funding for county investments, specifically to cover select capital expenses previously planned for 2023, 2024, and 2025, which will reduce the county’s future borrowing needs for necessary projects. 

“The Preservation Trust Fund Tax, which has protected and enhanced Morris County for more than 30 years, will stay level for 2023, at 5/8 cent per $100 of total county equalized property valuation. The tax pays not only for improvements to our county parks, but also for outstanding grant programs like Farmland Preservation, Open Space Preservation, Historic Preservation, Flood Mitigation, and Trail Design and Construction,” stated Commissioner Stephen Shaw, who is Chair of the Capital Budget/Facilities Review Committee and Liaison to the Office of Planning & Preservation.

Overall, the county’s 2023 Capital Spending Plan designates approximately $25.5 million toward enhancing road resurfacing, improving intersections along the 287 miles of county roadways and replacing bridges and culverts this year. Nearly $8 million in grants will offset county costs.

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Road Resurfacing Projects Include:

3.3 miles of Mendham Road (CR 510) from Indian Head Road to Cold Hill Road in both Mendham and Morris Townships 

2.2 miles of Main Road (US 202) from Fulton Street to Route 287 Northbound Ramps in Montville Township 

4.1 miles of Ridgedale Avenue (CR 632) from Littell Road (Route 10) to Route 280 in both Parsippany and East Hanover Townships

3.8 miles of Tempe Wick Road/Glen Alpin Road (CR 646) from Leddell Road to Blue Mill Road in both Mendham and Harding Townships1.8 miles of Newark Pompton Turnpike (CR 660) from Jacksonville Road to Route 23 in Pequannock Township 

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Madison Teen Diagnosed with Rare Type of Cancer

By Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Madison teen, Jake Mocko, was like any other teen, going to high school and appreciating life. He just started driving. He enjoyed babysitting, reading, and painting. Then came the lower back pain, which over-the-counter meds and physical therapy couldn’t relieve him of. It was constant. And it wasn’t getting any better. 

After getting an MRI, a very large, slow-growing tumor was discovered on his spine. Though the doctors felt it was benign, the fact that it was growing sideways was causing Jake to limp and scheduled him for a surgery within a few days. 

“They didn’t know how he was still walking,” said his mother, Jennifer Mocko. “We went home. I watched his condition. I watched him decline immediately. He had to walk with assistance up and down the stairs. It was so scary.” 

The surgery was performed on June 29, 2021, at Morristown Medical Center. Jake was there for 11 days. They removed most of the mass, but pieces wrapped around his spinal cord were unreachable. Jake was left with no mobility in his legs and arms. He was also left with a loss of feeling in his mid-section. 

He had to learn to use his whole body all over again, since the tumor was located so high in his spinal cord. Jennifer explained, “He had to learn to use his arms all over again, touch his nose, touch his head, pick up utensils. He was making progress. We were seeing some of the nerve activity being restored. We were feeling hopeful. We were told he’d be walking in a few months.” 

However, while focusing on helping Jake walk and move his arms again, results came back, along with tissue tests. Jake was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called astrocytoma, a highly aggressive cancer that does not respond to traditional treatments of radiation and chemo. After more testing, they learned his cancer is actually called a grade 4, high grade glioma/glioblastoma.  

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Jake had been through radiation and chemo. And since August of 2022, Jake has been going to DC once a month for T-cell therapy. That entire summer was spent at Kessler doing rehab with six weeks of radiation, five days a week. According to Jennifer, he had a two-month period where he was waking up multiple times at night with nerve pain, from the radiation. 

The Mocko family has been dealing with a lot of grief over the past year. Jennifer and her husband have been going through a divorce and she’s tried to keep a positive attitude for her son. “The first time in the hospital, I was there with him by myself,” she said. “I thought, how I respond right now is going to influence how he’s going to deal with it. He embraced it. This is what we have to do. That’s been his attitude all along. Last spring doctors said he’s never going to walk again. He’s taking it in stride. He’s learning to accept this may be his life. But he hasn’t given up. He does physical therapy three times a week, he works out. Moving forward, he wants to be a counselor therapist. We keep our sights on the fact that he’s going to be here, and this is the life he wants.” 

Jake is currently a student at County College of Morris (CCM), online, and working part time at the Madison YMCA.          Click Here to Check out Kidz World

“We are desperate to get Jake a handicapped accessible vehicle to drive,” Jennifer said. “He’s attending CCM online but would like to be ‘in person.’ We currently live up the street from the Madison YMCA where Jake can independently get to work in his power wheelchair. Unfortunately, I am also in the throes of a two-year divorce. Jake’s father wants to sell our family home as soon as possible, which is causing tremendous stress for the kids and I. Jake’s younger sister, Paige, is a freshman at Madison High. To me, it’s important she’ll stay at her school.” 

While Jennifer is seeking another home in Madison that is within her budget and handicapped accessible, she wakes up every day thinking about how to make Jake’s life the best it can be. 
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“We love our home, we’d love to stay in Madison,” Jennifer said.

To contribute to Jake’s Go Fund Me, visit: 

It Happened in NJ:

Earth Day and the Short History of Environmentalism in Garden State

 By Peter Zablocki

April 22, 2023, will be the fifty-third time the American people will celebrate Earth Day. The original celebration kicked off a decade of environmentalism which led to the creation of the Environment Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act, the Surface Mining Control, and Endangered Species Act, among many others. A moment in time when factories could no longer blow black smoke into the blue skies or dump toxic waste into local rivers, at least without facing legal repercussions. Perhaps no other state has come as far in improving its environmental blueprint as the Garden State – once known as the nation’s landfill capital. And upon closer analysis, no area has embodied the spirit of the 1970s Environmental Movement that followed the first Earth Day more so than one of the state’s great natural wonders, the Meadowlands.  

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The first Earth Day, which saw 20 million Americans take to the streets in pro-environment demonstrations, showed the nation and government that there was passionate and deep support for environmental issues. The people of New Jersey have continued pushing that agenda ever since. Had it not been for specific environmental groups and agencies in the decades that followed, our state would look much different today. The Port Authority raised millions of dollars in the early 1950s to buy up Morris County’s Great Swamp area to build a massive airport the size of Newark International Airport. The idea was struck down by a grassroots movement that pressured the state to turn the space into the Great Swamp National Refuge instead. Since then, two hundred forty species have been identified in the area, and thirty-nine mammal species, some considered endangered – a much different sight than thousands of airplanes flying overhead and traffic jams polluting local neighborhoods.

When the state planners and real estate developers thought up 250,000 new housing units in New Jersey’s Pinelands in the 1960s, the then Governor imposed a moratorium on building development by introducing and pushing the Pinelands Protection Act through the state’s legislature. Yet, the Garden State’s biggest success story is the Meadowlands – a vast area of unfilled marshes and, at one time, the tri-state’s most extensive dumping ground. Someone once described it as a “swampy, mosquito-infested jungle, where rusting auto bodies, demolition rubble, industrial oil slicks, and cattails merge in an unholy union.”                                                                                      Click Here to Visit Bright Smiles Website 

As per a past North Jersey article, a 1969 study by the health department found that 5,000 tons of waste were brought into the Meadowlands daily from 118 New Jersey municipalities to the 51 landfills in the area that covered 1,900 acres. Still, the wake-up call came in October 1973 when a terrible combination of inverted air mass, steam from a local power plant, and a landfill fire reduced visibility along a stretch of New Jersey Turnpike to zero. Nine people lost their lives in a massive sixty-six-car crash, leading to the National Transportation Safety Board pressuring the state to clean up the area. Within the next two decades, local environmental agencies, including the Hackensack Riverkeeper and the New Jersey Sierra Club, joined various federal agencies to strike deals with development companies to preserve equal track of land to those they proposed to develop. This was the case with the more recent American Mall, which saw the state permitting the Mills Corporation to develop its mega-mall and amusement park in exchange for a $27 million grant and a plan to preserve the area around it.

After decades of unregulated waste dumping, the Meadowlands has fought back to become one of New Jersey’s most incredible natural wonders and home to nearly three hundred bird species and an additional hundred marine life species. Apart from being one of the state’s principal economic hubs with its sports complex and the American mall, the Meadowlands now contains 3,500 acres of protected wetlands and only one 100-acre operating landfill. And although many people drive past it today, few see the real Meadowlands. The best way to experience the area’s natural hidden beauty is by the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission’s boat tours or nature-guided walks along eight miles of walking trails. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the first Earth Day in 1970 did much to transform public attitudes toward cleaner earth. A poll conducted the following year showed a 2,500 percent increase from the year prior in the American public declaring that protecting the environment was an important goal. So as we celebrate yet another Earth Day, we can appreciate the 1970s Environmental Movement’s impact on our state. For if not for some key decisions with the environment in mind, the Garden State would surely look much different today.

Peter Zablocki is the co-host of the History Teachers Talking Podcast. For more information, visit 

Annual Kiwimbi 5K & Walk 

The Annual Kiwimbi 5K & Walk for Thought is SATURDAY MAY 6th 9:00 am at Duke Island Park in Bridgewater. Sure to be a great early warm-up to summer, the event is hosted by Kiwimbi International, a U.S.-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to underprivileged children and their families in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It is both a virtual and in-person event. Prizes for age group winners will be awarded. Registration is available at or

Students in rural Kenya typically walk 45 minutes one way to school each day, so the Walk for Thought invites you to do the same, while the 5K offers a more competitive opportunity. Grand Prix points will be given to qualifying USATF NJ members. Registration will be covered for those who raise $400 for the event. Vendor spots available.

To sponsor/partner with Kiwimbi or learn more about the event, please click

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What to do if your Cat Suddenly Scratches or Bites a Person: Advice from the Mt. Olive TNR Project

What to do if your cat suddenly scratches or bites a person: Advice from the Mt. Olive TNR Project

If you have a cat who suddenly scratches or bites, please do not assume the cat is “dangerous” or “vicious” and have the cat killed. Instead, take the following steps: 

1. If there is a bite, please visit a doctor or hospital right away to see if you need antibiotics. Cats have bacteria in their mouths and bite wounds can easily become infected. Also contact your local health department to let them know about the bite (the doctor will contact them anyway). The Animal Control Officer will tell you to confine the cat for 10 days to monitor their behavior and ensure they do not have rabies. This is routine. The quarantine can be done in your home and the Animal Control Officer will release the cat from quarantine at the end of 10 days if there are no signs of rabies. The law does not require that the cat be euthanized, just quarantined. For your safety and your cat’s safety, please make sure your cat is vaccinated against rabies.

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2. When determining if the cat is a risk to you or others, consider the situation. Was the cat grabbed in a way that might have hurt or scared them? Was the cat cornered or caught mid-air? Was the cat in the middle of a fight with another animal or trying to get away from another animal? Did the person who was scratched or bitten inadvertently hurt or scare the cat in some other way? Like anyone, cats defend themselves when they feel threatened. This does not mean they are generally dangerous or vicious. It means that care must be taken not to scare or hurt them and, if a child is too young to understand this, that the cat and the child should be separated when unsupervised.

3. If the bite or scratch was not obviously situational, get the cat vetted ASAP to see if they are in pain. A sudden change in behavior often indicates a medical problem that needs addressing. Tooth pain is a common culprit– imagine having a really bad toothache and not being able to tell anyone, and then someone inadvertently bumps into or presses on your mouth. Think you might react physically? We have seen an otherwise calm cat scratch a face in this situation– turned out they had a very sensitive rotten tooth that needed to be removed by a vet. Cats can have other hidden sources of pain or illness that affect their behavior as well.

4. If the bite or scratch was not situational or due to physical pain or distress and is actually a behavioral problem, there are anti-anxiety and other psychiatric medications for cats. Gabapentin is often used to calm cats. Cats can also take Prozac. Ask your vet about prescribing one of these medications to take the edge off. We have seen these medications work miracles. Some cats also get overstimulated when being pet and nip or scratch when they’ve had too much. Learn your cat’s body language and, if they have this issue, only pet them once or twice at a time, even if they seem to want more attention.                                                                                              Click Here to Check out Beaumont Landscaping 

5. If you cannot safely live with the cat, or do not want to, find a rescue that will take the cat. Do not assume that the rescue will act irresponsibly and adopt the cat out to someone inexperienced or someone with young children, or that they won’t disclose the cat’s prior behaviors. Rescues have no interest in finding inappropriate placements for animals; if they agree to take the cat, trust that they know what they’re doing. If you’re concerned, ask questions about their past experience, how they will handle the cat, and what they will do to figure out and address the source of the behavior. Give the rescue all of the information about what happened. Do not lie to the rescue about the cat’s behavior. If the cat really cannot live in a home, there are sanctuaries. Ask the rescue if they partner with one.

The Mt. Olive TNR Project has experience handling, working with, and finding appropriate placements for cats who have scratched or bitten in the past. If you have questions, feel free to contact us. Please be aware that we only accept cats from Mt. Olive.

Carebot ABA: Compassionate Care and 

Revolutionary Therapy for Children with Autism

Carebot ABA is Budd Lake’s new center-based ABA (applied behavioral analysis) program designed to help children tackle the challenges that come along with their autism diagnoses and achieve true progress. ABA is a behavioral therapy used to improve the communication and social skills in children with autism. Autism spectrum disorder, is generally diagnosed in early childhood and limits an individual’s ability to interact with the world around him. ABA therapy is a clinically proven method that combines positive reinforcement with direct instruction to help children achieve their growth milestones. One of the major benefits of ABA is that it’s highly individualized. That means the therapist tailor the treatment plan for each client, thereby tapping into each child’s unique needs and strengths. 

Carebot ABA’s Founder Krassy Brown is a special education veteran who’s helped many children from underprivileged backgrounds receive the services they needed. Throughout her years in the special education sector, she noticed a void in our communities. “I see the lack of quality care available to these families,” she said. “I met children who had a diagnosis, but they couldn’t find a center that matched their needs. Families tried desperately to find a place for their child, and in the meanwhile, their child regressed. It’s heartbreaking.”

Brown conducted comprehensive research on ABA therapy and its ideal setting, and drew on the knowledge she gained to develop her vision for an ABA center. She desperately wanted to create that ultimate space where children could thrive.

Carebot is like no other ABA center. It combines the most advanced therapy techniques with up-and-coming technology to create a unique space where children with autism spectrum disorder can truly feel at home. According to Brown, Carebot spared no expenses in the planning, design, and setup of the center. “We reached out to so many professionals and experts in the autism field. We asked them what colors would be best. What tables and chairs to use. What kind of lighting to install. Everything is especially designed for children with these disabilities.”

There are multiple therapy rooms within the center, and each one boasts a specialized chair and table designed to assist with sensory stimulation. Every room has lighting that can be adjusted to meet the needs of a client. The center also boasts a high-tech calming room for children experiencing a behavioral episode, as well as a gym/activity room. Due to HIPPA laws, parents may not be in the center during therapy sessions. Therefore, we created a special viewing room where parents can virtually observe their child, learn the techniques therapists are using, and practice those techniques at home. 

The center’s goal, Brown says, is to help children achieve as much independence as they are capable of. “We care deeply about each child. We want each child to be successful. Our dream is to get our clients into mainstream classrooms and to be independent members of the community.” 

Carebot is staffed by Board Certified Behavioral Analysts and Registered Behavior Technicians. Brown carefully hand-picked professionals who are knowledgeable, compassionate, and care strongly about children.

“I’ve wanted to work in special education since I was a child,” one BCBA said. “I always had a love for learning, and when I studied the science of behavioral analysis, I fell in love. It really helped me hone in on my skills.”

All of Carebot ABA’s staff is united behind a singular vision: to give children with autism the greatest chance of success. They are all passionate about creating a center that combines tried-and-true methods with cutting-edge technology to ensure the best results.

 For more information on Carebot ABA, visit

A Tribute to the Late Tom Verlaine, Accomplished Musician Born in Denville 

 By Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Best known for his body of work as frontman for the New York City’s alternative punk band Television, which featured his vibrato guitar style, Tom Verlaine, died January 28, 2023, at the age of 73 after battling prostate cancer. 

Verlaine was born Thomas Joseph Miller in Denville, moving to Wilmington, Delaware, with his family at age 6. He studied piano at a young age, then went on to saxophone in middle school. He was inspired by jazz saxophonists like Stan Getz, John Coltrane, and Albert Ayler; and then later took up guitar.     Click Here to Check out JAG Paving 

Verlaine’s family sent Tom and his twin brother John to Sanford Preparatory School, a private boarding school in Hockessin, Delaware. Verlaine’s interest leaned toward writing and poetry, in fact he got his stage name from French poet Paul Verlaine. 

Sanford Prep is where he became friends with Richard Meyers, who later became known as punk icon Richard Hell. The two shared a passion for music and poetry. Neither of them graduated and ended up moving to the Lower East Side in Manhattan during the dawning of the punk rock era. 

Verlaine and Hell formed a band called The Neon Boys with Billy Ficca as drummer before forming Television with guitarist Richard Lloyd. They played notable punk clubs like CBGB’s and Max’s Kansas during the mid-1970s. 

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Eventually Verlaine and Hell parted ways, with Hell joining another punk act called The Heartbreakers—not to be confused with Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers who came later. The original Heartbreakers line-up included infamous guitarist from The New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders; and drummer Terry Chimes who also played with The Clash. 

Hell was replaced by Fred Smith and Television released two albums, Marquee Moon and Adventure, which both received great critical acclaim and modest sales before they broke up in July 1978. 

Verlaine went on to have a prolific solo career, releasing 10 albums from 1979 to 2006. For a short time, he resided in England where his work was favorably received. Verlaine’s tune “Kingdom Come” was covered by David Bowie on his Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) album in 1980. 

Verlaine worked with a variety of artists including former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha. Verlaine also made music with his former romantic partner, Patti Smith. He played on the song “Fireflies” from her 1996 album, Gone Again. He also played on her Grammy nominated song “Glitter in Their Eyes” from Smith’s 2000 album, Gung Ho. 

But working with Smith was nothing new. Back in the 1970s, Verlaine played guitar on Smith’s debut single, “Hey Joe.” He also played on “Break It Up,” which he co-wrote with Smith, from her debut album, Horses. The two played together again in 2005 for a 30th anniversary concert of Horses in its entirety. The show was later released on CD. 

In 1992, Televison reformed to record a studio album, simply titled Television, as well as a live recording, Live at the Academy, 1992. And in 1994, the film score for Love and a .45 was composed by Veraline.

Throughout the 2010s, he continued to tour with Television, including tours of Europe in 2014 and 2016. Television was invited to support Billy Idol on a 2022 UK and European tour, but Verlaine’s doctors said he wasn’t in good health. 

Though Verlaine never achieved commercial success on the charts, he had a strong following with many famed musicians paying tribute to his death on social media, such as Michael Stipe, Chris Stein, Flea, and Susanna Hoffs. 

5 Steps for Mastering Family Meal Planning 

As you and your family embark on a mission to create delicious, nutritious meals all while saving money, it’s key to remember meal planning is essential for success. From tracking a list of ingredients you’ll need to noting your loved ones’ favorite foods, there are some easy steps you can take to make dinners at home enjoyable and budget friendly. 

Getting on track with your own plan can start with these tips from Healthy Family Project’s Mission for Nutrition, which aims to help families find weekly meal success with an internationally inspired e-cookbook including grocery lists, recipe ideas and cooking hacks. 

Work together. Before heading to the store or heating up the oven, sit down with your loved ones and make a list of easy-to-make recipes you all enjoy. Each time you discover a new favorite, add it to the list so you’ll have a reference guide when it’s time to plan a week’s worth of meals. 

Stick to a schedule. Set a day and time each week your family can meet and plan out dinners. This also offers an opportunity to bring to light any newfound favorites or fresh ideas while bringing everyone to the same room for quality time together. 

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Plan time-saving processes. Think ahead while planning meals and consider the equipment you’ll need. Saving time while cooking can be as easy as sticking to recipes that call for hands-off appliances like a slow cooker or pressure cooker and using a food processor rather than a knife and cutting board. 

Schedule a “leftovers night.” When you prep dinners that call for crossover ingredients, it’s easier to turn one meal into two. For example, buying sweet onions and chicken breast to make Chicken Apple Enchiladas means you’ll have those ingredients on hand for Greek Chicken Bowls later in the week. 

Make a list. Once you’ve decided on recipes for the week, create a list of all the ingredients you’ll need. While you’re at the store, stick to your plan and avoid impulse buys to help stay on track while getting in and out quicker. 

Find more recipes and meal planning tips by downloading the free e-cookbook at and join the conversation by following #missionfornutrition on social media. 

Chicken Apple Enchiladas

Recipe courtesy of Healthy Family Project’s Mission for Nutrition

1/2 sweet onion, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

1 Envy or Jazz apple, diced

2 cups cooked shredded chicken

8 flour tortillas

6 ounces shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided

1 can red enchilada sauce

cilantro (optional)

Heat oven to 350 F. 

In skillet, cook onions until translucent. Add jalapeno and apple; saute 2-3 minutes. 

Add cooked chicken and mix well. Remove from heat. 

Lay out tortillas and sprinkle cheese on each. Add chicken mixture and roll. Place in baking dish and cover with enchilada sauce. 

Bake 20 minutes, or until heated throughout.

Greek Chicken Bowls                                                                                                                                                Click Here to Check out Centenary Stage Co.

Recipe courtesy of Healthy Family Project’s Mission for Nutrition

1 cup cooked white or brown rice

1 grilled chicken breast, sliced

1 RealSweet onion, sliced

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 cucumber, cut into quarters

1/2 cup black olives

1 tablespoon feta cheese

2 tablespoons tzatziki sauce

Place cooked rice and chicken in bowls. 

Top each bowl with sweet onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and black olives. Sprinkle each with feta cheese. Drizzle each with tzatziki sauce.

Mansion in May Returns in 2023 with Three Fields Designer Showhouse and Gardens in Borough of Mendham

As a team of talented interior and landscape designers and their crews work almost non-stop, Mansion in May takes shape as New Jersey’s premiere Designer Showhouse and Gardens. Opening to the public on May 1 and running throughout the month, Three Fields, the 2023 Mansion in May. offers a delightful day in the country wandering through almost ten thousand square feet of exquisite rooms. Visitors can meander through gardens created by some of New Jersey’s top landscape designers, relax over lunch in the café and shop in the boutiques in the adjacent carriage house.

Since 1974, every two (or occasionally three) years, the Women’s Association for Morristown Medical Center presents the Mansion in May Designer Showhouse and Gardens as its signature event in support of Morristown Medical Center. Over the years, the Women’s Association has raised over $12 million from this event alone for the Center as it became New Jersey’s top-ranked hospital and one of the best in the country.

Three Fields, reached by a narrow country lane reminiscent of European roads but actually in the Borough of Mendham, sits on 36 acres of rolling hills and forest. This is not a strictly formal house but rather a comfortable farmhouse in the French style that conveys elegance as well as warmth. Designed and built in 1929 and 1930 by the prominent architect Greville Rickard, the first residents were Benjamin Mosser and his family, who lived at Three Fields for over 20 years. Mosser was a partner in the Wall Street firm of Clark, Dodge & Co. The original owners sold the estate to Andrew Fletcher and his family in 1949. Both Andrew and his wife, Dorothy, were active participants in Mendham life. He was a Mendham Borough councilman and then mayor for three years while Dorothy was on the board of St. Barnabas Hospital.

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Rickard designed the house to have many unusual features such as tall, steeply pitched tile roofs punctuated by dormers, wood casement windows and French doors that made it impossible to stay inside but beckoned to the verdant gardens, ponds and fields flowing out from the terrace. The home’s façade combines several conjoined structures, as if the house had been added to over time, along with roofs with built-in sags and bumps, all blending together to give the romantic appearance of a centuries-old retreat.

The Women’s Association received many proposals, ultimately selecting 31 interior designers and 17 landscape designers to create individual spaces around different themes. Of the interior designers, many are repeat participants, all with the creativity, vision and inventiveness demanded by this sprawling project. The 17 landscape designers, many of them also repeat participants, have combined functionality with aestheticism to include flowering plants, a water feature, seating and even sculpture.

The Women’s Association for Morristown Medical Center (WAMMC), now over 400- strong, has for 130 years helped the hospital respond to the changing healthcare needs of the community. The Association hosts a number of fundraising events, and has raised more than $30 million to date for the Medical Center. This year, proceeds from Mansion in May will go to support the expansion and modernization of the Institute of Bioskills Training and Innovation. The institute allows healthcare professionals to hone their skills in high-tech and other procedures using simulation training. For more information about WAMMC, visit

Mansion in May offers an opportunity to tour the metropolitan area’s preeminent Designer Showhouse and Gardens and more than 20,000 visitors are expected. Tickets are $50, now available online at Private tours may also be scheduled online.

Signature Culinary Fundraising Event Celebrates 25th Anniversary

The 25th anniversary of northwestern New Jersey’s premier culinary fundraising event, A Taste of Talent, will be held at Perona Farms on behalf of local non-profit agency Project Self-Sufficiency on Monday, May 1st, beginning at 6:00 p.m.  Patrons are invited to mingle with chefs from approximately 50 celebrated area restaurants while feasting on appetizers, entrees, and desserts.  The epicurean event raises funds for the non-profit agency which specializes in services for low-income families in Sussex, Morris, Hunterdon, and Warren.               Click Here to Check out 200 Club 

 Some of the many fine restaurants which have participated in the past, and many of which are expected to return, include 1776 by David Burke; Andre’s Lakeside Dining; Angry Erik Brewing; Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse; Cafe Pierrot; Cake Pop Bar; Capital Grille; Chef Anthony Lo Pinto; Chef Tim Schafer; The Chocolate Goat Gift Shoppe; Clay Oven; Cliff’s Ice Cream; Cranky Noodles; Crossed Keys Inn; Czig Meister Brewing; Dakine Cuisine; Emily’s Hearth; the Farmer’s daughter; Fossil Farms; Fran’s Farmhouse Kitchen; Garriss General Store; George’s Wine & Spirits Gallery; Gourmet Gallery; Hayek’s Market; Hunter’s Lodge; Indian Masala; Jersey Girl Cheese; Krave Caterers; La Vita Italian Specialties; Lola’s; Lorraine’s Cake Shop & Tea Room; Mama’s Cafe Baci; Mr. Crabby’s Craft Kitchen & Bar; North Shore House; O’Reilly’s Pub and Grill; Passionate Chef; Pattycakes; Perona Farms; Springhouse Creamery; St. Moritz Bar & Grill; Sussex County Community College Culinary Arts & Hospitality Program; Tanti Baci Caffe; and the Walpack Inn.

 Sponsorships for A Taste of Talent range from $500 – $25,000; a limited number of tickets for individual donations are available at a cost of $300.  The event will take place indoors and outside at the venue.  Volunteer musicians will entertain guests by performing throughout the facility, including Colofonia Ensemble, Meant to Be, Aimee Nishimura, Pro Tempos, Skylands Dulcimer String Band, Sparta High School Chamber Club, and the Sussex Brass Quintet.

“For 25 years, A Taste of Talent has been our signature fundraising event and the cornerstone of our annual campaign,” noted Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.  “Funds raised by A Taste of Talent make it possible for Project Self-Sufficiency to provide the programs and services necessary for families in northwestern New Jersey to attain economic self-sufficiency.  We continue to be humbled by the support we receive from the restaurateurs in our area, and we are looking forward to a delightful event.”

 Perona Farms is located at 350 Andover-Sparta Road, Andover.  To make a contribution to Project Self-Sufficiency, to obtain tickets to A Taste of Talent, or to find out more information about the programs and services available at the agency, visit or call 973-940-3500.

Bucket List Travels: Discovering the Azores

Morristown resident Paul Partridge has been building a travel bucket list for years. Now he’s diving in – near and far – and shares his adventures in this column.

A working bar that sits in the middle of the Hudson River and offers sunset views of the NYC skyline. . . Who knew? 

Everyone knows that the best sunsets of Manhattan happen from the Jersey side. 

Some claim Hoboken has the best viewing spots. Others say Jersey City. A case can be made for Weehawken or West New York.

Sorry, folks. The winner in my book is The Honorable William Wall– a two-story floating bar that sits in the Hudson River and is also called The Willy Wall.


1.) Location, location, location. Relish the unobstructed view of NYC from midtown to The Battery. Plus, get up-close views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, no extra charge.

2.) Enjoy free, nonstop entertainment, as catamarans, cruise ships, jet skis, yachts, tour boats, and the Staten Island Ferry bustle around the harbor. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a sailboat race.

3.) Getting there is a fun adventure. The “Admiral’s Launch” departs from Dudley Street every half hour and delivers you right to the bar. And you’re allowed to bring a picnic lunch or any other food you’d like. 

4.) They serve cocktails.

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A Well-Kept Secret

You’d think that a working bar anchored in the middle of the world’s most famous harbor would be well known. But I can tell you, when planning the trip and talking to friends, not one person I spoke to was familiar with it. 

Even the attendant in their parking lot has never heard of the William Wall (but for $5, what do you expect?) 

Our group of five arrives in time to take the first tender out. This gives us the best shot at a seat at the bar or at a table. (Note: there’s a bar on each floor, but both bars are not always in service.) It’s $100 to sit at a reserved table, but there are unreserved tables available first come, first serve. Once onboard, we grab a table in the covered section with an excellent view.

A Friendly Crew

On the way to the bar, I meet two of the crew. The first is a young Irish sailor from Wexford, near Dublin. He teaches sailing by day and crews on the Willy Wall nights and weekends. “I’ll turn you into a sailor in two days,” he proclaims in his lilting brogue.

The other crew member is Leo, a mathematician working on his PhD. In his spare time, Leo makes YouTube videos explaining complex math problems. The first one I see listed is called, “How to Solve 1st Order Ordinary Differential Equations.” Not sure what’s more impressive: the title or the fact that it has 312,000 views.

It makes me feel good that there are 312,000 smart people in the world. However, at that moment, there’s an energetic birthday celebration on deck and it doesn’t look like any of those smart people are here.

Leo is also trying to find a new prime number. “Did you know that prime numbers are used by spies in writing codes,” he asks. Apparently, if you find one over 100 digits long, you’re supposed to notify the CIA and they buy it off you for $10,000.

“I don’t know about that,” I say, “but do you know the MIT fight song?” He doesn’t, so I sing it for him.

E to the u, du, dx

E to the x, dx

Cosine, secant, tangent, sine

3 point 1 4 1 5 9

Integral, radical, mu, dv

Fight ‘em, fight ‘em, MIT

But I Digress                                                                                                                                                      Click Here to Check out Rainbow Travel

The afternoon is delightful. Sunny. Lower 80’s. With a nice breeze to keep us cool. About a half hour before sunset, the sun reflects off the skyline and creates a mirror of light on the water. When a sailboat enters the sphere, it creates a stunning silhouette in contrast with the glowing colors radiating off the buildings. Wow – spectacular!

On the water, 15 or so jet skis are in formation, performing various choreographed maneuvers.  To the untrained eye, it looks like a cross between a college marching band and the Weeki Wachee Water Ballet. The formations are quite elaborate and we’re trying to decipher what they’re making. Words? Signs? Hanzi? Perhaps they’re spelling out a new prime number in tribute to Leo.

According to the website, The Honorable William Wall was an entrepreneur who founded the Wall Rope Works in the early 1800’s. He served as Mayor of Williamsburg, headed the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and was a US Congressman during the Civil War. Sitting here relaxing and enjoying the view, I wonder what Mr. Wall would think if he could see this view, right now.

Can’t Take My Eyes Off You

On the drive home we stop at the Italian festival in Jersey City. La Festa Italiana is over 100 years old and celebrates the miracle of the Assumption of Mary. We experience our own miracle when I find a parking spot two blocks from the festivities.

We arrive in time to sample delicious meatballs from My Sister’s Balls food truck and catch the Cameos singing, “In the Still of the Night,” “Runaround Sue,” “Sherry,” “I Love You Baby,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” 


The Willy Wall operates Tuesday through Saturday from mid-May to mid-October. The tender departs twice per hour from the Manhattan Yacht Club at 140 Dudley Street, down near St. Peter’s Prep. 

If you’re looking for a novel idea for a birthday party or anniversary or a girls/guys night out – or you’re entertaining visitors from out of town – it’s definitely worth considering.

Ready For Spring:  

Grounds for Sculpture Offers New Exhibits and Programs For All

By Jeff Garrett

If you’re dreaming of a spot where relaxation, meditation, cool sights and out of the ordinary Art exists in a tranquil setting, “Grounds For Sculpture” in its 31st year, is a spot you’ll want to connect with as Winter moves into Spring. 

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Spanning 42 acres at 80 Sculptors Way in Hamilton Twp, “Grounds” offers a different kind of museum – 

one that is somewhat whimsical, containing interactive artwork with 350 sculptures on hand for guests to take in, and even fawn over. “it’s definitely a different kind of museum,” says museum Executive Director, Gary Garrido, who is looking forward to the warmer months ahead, and the program-side of the museum.

“We’ll have a Lecture with Jeff Warren on Wednesday, May 3. This will be a good chance to get thosewho may be skeptical about mindfulness to open up,” and embrace what he feels is something healthy 

which can only help improve people’s lives. The museum plans on launching a ceramic studio with clay and ceramics workshops for kids and adults. 

It’s all about Wellness at the museum. Garrido says “Grounds For Sculpture” is a place where folks can relieve stress, practice yoga, experience mindfulness, find calm and open up.

There’s an ancillary objective too.                                                                                                                       Click Here to Check out Royal Lawns

“The focus continues to be breaking down barriers and making Art acceptable for all,” said Garrido, who will preside over the opening of the Cloud Swing sculpture, which is a series of six swings with two swings which are handicapped accessible. “The sculpture itself takes the form of a cloud,” which should be more than interesting to lay eyes on, Garrido thinks.  

Another creation set to open soon is that from Philadelphia artist, Robert Lugo. Lugo has created a 26 ft large sculpture that has a series of stairs going up and down.  Patrons can go up into the sculpture and take pictures in this one-of-a-kind piece, set to draw awe and interest this Spring. “As a Latino, Lugo wants to break down some barriers,” in his creations, to show things from a different perspective, notes Garrido.  

“Grounds For Sculpture” really tries to utilize the seasonal backdrop – whether its looking at a winter garden now, an apple orchard in the Spring, Lotus flowers in the summer or the mere changing of the colors of leaves in the picturesque Fall, having the outside sizzle alongside the sculptures is Art in and of itself.

A restaurant is on-site called “Rat” and cafes are available for museum-goers to sit and unwind. Garrido likes the way the museum is shaping up with wellness and impressive Art and the forefront of the facility’s agenda for visitors this Spring.  He hopes you’ll visit and like it too.  

For more information such as museum hours, program information and restaurant information on 

“Grounds For Sculpture” visit

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Visit Plank to You Website  Click Here


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