Black River Life March 2024

Ex-NHL player notches 350 victories as Coach
for Morristown Beards School Girls Ice Hockey Team

By Evan Wechman

When Morristown Beard School’s Girls Ice Hockey coach Bruce Driver started taking shots on the goal as a toddler, he didn’t realize all that he would accomplish.  He was playing in Toronto, where he grew up just trying to keep up with his older brother and his father on the ice.
According to Driver, back in Toronto, there is an old saying that “kids are born with skates on their feet.”  Hockey was always celebrated in his hometown, but he never realized what a hero he would become in New Jersey.  He was recently honored for all he has done for the kids throughout Morristown and the entire state when his team captured Driver’s 350th victory this past month.
Driver has been coaching this team since 2000 and has brought home three state championships on the way to 350 victories.  As the team is now competing in the playoffs, he and the team are both hoping they can bring a fourth title back to the school.
Though the coach has served as a role-model and leader in the community for over two decades, the road to 350 victories was not easy.   Driver was not an instant superstar when he started playing hockey in Canada, before eventually helping the New Jersey Devils capture the Stanley Cup in 1995.  On his path to bringing the cup to New Jersey, he won NCAA championships at the University of Wisconsin, and played in the Olympics for Team Canada in 1984.
He always worked hard as a player and constantly learned what he could from all the coaches who contributed to his development. Besides being grateful that his dad, who was a coach himself, helped him learn the fundamentals of the sport, Driver remains humble and acknowledges others as well.  “I had a number of great coaches as a youth player but was really fortunate to learn a lot from my college coaches, my Canadian Olympic coaches, and some of my pro coaches.  Bob Johnson, Grant Standbrook, and Jeff Sauer were all terrific college co
aches who I learned a lot from.  I implement some of what I learned in those years with how I coach today.  Dave King was my Olympic coach who was a great teacher of the game.  Lastly, although I played for many great pro coaches, the ones who I felt taught my teammates and I things that I also use in my coaching style today are the tandem of Jacque Lemaire and Larry Robinson.  They were our coaches leading up to and including the year the New Jersey Devils won our first Stanley Cup championship.”
Driver also wants the community to know that all the success at the school is a collaborative effort.  Though he has received many accolades for notching 350 victories, he understands the student-athletes he has worked with have been both talented and eager to learn.  “We have certainly been blessed with having some very good hockey players attend Morristown Beard School over the last 24 years.  In addition to having good players, most of them want to learn more about the game and play within the framework of what our coaching staff is teaching them.  These are two keys needed for team success,” Driver says.
The great leader continues to remain modest despite his victories as a player and coach.  He recalls that even when he played on the Devils’ Championship team, at the outset of the playoffs, most critics didn’t give them much of a chance.  However, the team’s willingness to work together and listen to their intelligent coaches propelled them to a higher level.  He’s hoping the same thing happens for his team this year as they compete in the playoffs. “Winning the three state championships in three attempts is something that is high on my list (of memories). Hopefully, we can do it again this year.”

Chester Lioness Lions Club Offers Scholarships
Towards College Costs

The Chester Lioness Lions Club annually offers scholarships to graduating High School students residing in Chester, Mendham or Washington Township in Morris County. Each scholarship offers $1,500 towards college costs. Criteria for selection of candidates for these scholarships include academic record, community service and outstanding accomplishments in activities that demonstrate leadership. Financial need is also a key consideration.
Applications may be obtained in the College Resource Center at both West Morris Mendham and West Morris Central High Schools. The West Morris Mendham and West Morris Central High Schools have applications available to all senior students on March 1, 2024. The completed form must be returned to the College Resource Center no later than April 1, 2024.
These scholarships are available not only to public high school students, but those attending private schools or those having home tutoring as well. To request an application email  Completed applications must be forwarded to the Lioness Lions Club by April 10, 2024.

Space, Fantasia, Inganamort Oppose Bills Allowing Distribution of Obscene Materials to Children
Senate Bill 2421, Assembly Bill 3446 Strip Local Control
from School Boards

 Senator Parker Space, Assemblywoman Dawn Fantasia, and Assemblyman Michael Inganamort (all R-Sussex, Morris, Warren) today voiced their strong opposition to Senate Bill 2421 and Assembly Bill 3446.
The new legislation gives an “affirmative defense to a prosecution” for distributing obscene material to minors if the person distributing the obscene material is a teacher, teaching staff member, school librarian, or staff member of a public library performing their job duties.

 “This bill is nothing more than big government mandating an ideological agenda into our schools,” said Space, who is both a parent and grandparent, served for over 10 years in the Assembly before his election to the Senate last year. “We should respect parents and local school officials enough for them to decide what is appropriate when deciding what educational materials should be available to students. Period.”
The bill includes eight new mandates that strip School Boards of their decision-making power in favor of the State government.
“First and foremost, this legislation is an affront to parents and taxpayers by usurping more control away from local education and giving it to faceless bureaucrats in Trenton,” said Fantasia, a professional educator and mother of three adult children. “Provisions in the bill silence the public into submission and handcuff local school boards by the special legal protection afforded certain educators and librarians if they decide to keep obscene material on bookshelves.”
Since the shutdowns of our public schools due to the pandemic, concerned parents have been advocating for more transparency and more oversight in what educational materials are being disseminated to their children.  This has sparked statewide outrage at the severe ina
ppropriateness of some of the curriculum and material being used in our schools and libraries.
“There is no place for obscene, sexually-explicit material in classrooms, no matter who is distributing it,” said Inganamort, a father of three. “Let’s also remember that most teachers and librarians don’t want to be put in this position in the first place. We’ll strongly oppose this legislation to protect our kids, first and foremost, and to defend the integrity of the teaching profession, too.”
S2421 and A3446 have been referred to the respective Education Committees in the Senate and General Assembly. Although no further legislative action has been taken to date, the legislators expressed their vigilance in keeping on top of this issue to fight for the interests of parents and their community.

Long Valley Opera Star Goes from Stage to US Army Chorus
By Evan Wechman

Many fans in New Jersey have grown accustomed to seeing Long Valley’s Chelsea Friedlander act and sing on stage at the nation’s finest venues. Friedlander, who has grown up learning how to sing opera and other musical pieces has been acclaimed by both her neighbors and critics.
However, her latest transition, which may seem a great departure from her normal routine, is one which seems to have truly resonated with her.  Friedlander is now singing full-time as a member of the US Army Chorus, the vocal counterpart of the US Army Band, “Pershing’s Own.”
Friedlander who is well versed in opera,
operetta, and musical theater also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from both The Cleveland Institute of Music and The Manhattan School of Music, respectively.
She brings a wealth of passion and experience to her new role, which it seems she has been preparing for since she could first speak. According to Friedlander, her grandfather said about her years ago, “bef
ore I could talk, I could sing and before I walk, I could dance.”

Friedlander says she was surrounded as a child by classical music playing throughout the house and started taking voice lessons at the age of 9.  She credits her mother, Helene Friedlander, a classical pianist, in large part for all her achievements.  She says her mother used to pick her up from school and not only drive her to her voice lessons but play music alongside her during her lessons.  “Her love of music and her musical support in me is the reason why I was able to fully devote myself to music and singing” Friedlander says.
Both her strong family ties and her education gave Friedlander the opportunity to pursue work she loves.  Though she has been on-stage most of her career, her newest position with the chorus for the US Army seems to be a great fit.
“Ever since I was young, all I wanted to do was sing and perform.  Honestly, I had always thought of military chorus positions, but it never seemed to be the right time until this past year.  I am lucky all the stars aligned and was offered the position on my audition day in March (2023).  Over the past few years, I was performing, auditioning, and during the height of Covid had a full vocal studio in addition to teaching at Sellwood Studios in Madison, NJ and thought that was incredibly rewarding.  I really wanted a position that would let me sing full time.   This job lets me do just that.  I am singing every day and making music with talented and fabulous colleagues,” Friedlander says.
She successfully passed the audition phase for “Pershing’s Own,” which included an intense process of singing different musical genres by herself and with the current members of The United States Army Chorus.
She also graduated Basic Training in September of 2023 in Fort Jackson, South Carolina despite the physical and mental demands such a program requires.  She and her family now reside in Arlington, VA where she and her colleagues sing throughout the surrounding area for all branches of government at a wide array of venues.
The chorus requires constant dedication as they may have to sing commercial, pop, classical and anything in between.  Friedlander says she is constantly practicing her craft and still sees her voice tea
cher via Zoom.
Despite all the hard work the job entails, Friedlander loves singing at all the wonderful places she has been to recently such as The White House and Lincoln Financial Field.  She is looking forward to playing at many more renowned events.
Friedlander is in a great position right now due to her attitude and very hard work.  For aspiring singers in Long Valley, she says “it is critical to continue to hone and cultivate your passions and to think outside the box.  That is how I feel about my newest position in the Army Chorus.  I feel like I created a
lot of my own opportunities in Long Valley and beyond with the resources I had and when someone said no, and I was rejected from something, I always came back stronger.”

Mountaintop Church presents holiday musical dramas
By Steve Sears

Kody Vagle, Next G
eneration Pastor for children, youth, and young adults at Hackettstown’s Mountaintop Church, speaks passionately about the response received for the church’s recent Christmas production, “Immanuel.”
Vagle said, “This past Christmas, our sanctuary was packed with guests, and we had over 1,000 views online from our performances. We love Mount Olive and Hackettstown, and we strive to be a blessing to our community. This show was for them; everyone was welcome.”
And all will be again welcome to the soon to be presented Easter drama, “Victorious,” which is a direct continuation of the “Immanuel” story.
Vagle explained that, historically, every year Mountaintop Church hosted what it called an Easte
r drive-through during the holy day weekend. “Anyone from our community could drive through our parking lot and view our volunteers acting out different scenes of the ministry of Jesus, leading to His death on the cross and resurrection out of the tomb. However, we had a string of bad luck with weather, so in 2022, we decided to move it inside and make it more of a production with acting, dancing, singing and special effects. Since then, every Easter and Christmas has gotten bigger and better.”
Prior to this past Christmas, the productions were just biblical scenes portrayed on stage. This time around, dramatic twists were added. “Immanuel” consisted of a grandmother recently diagnosed with cancer, and she taught her granddaughter the story of Christmas, and how Jesus showed up during the world’s darkest time.
Vagle added, “The grandmother narrated the story while our actors portrayed the story of Mary and Joseph, culminating with the birth of Jesus in a manger. In between scenes,
our band and choir performed live Christmas songs.”
As for the upcoming “Victorious,” drama, Vagle said, “The grandmother’s cancer has seriously progressed, and she is desperate to tell her granddaughter the story of Easter, practically from her death bed. No matter what happens, Jesus is victorious! It will be quite the dramatic story!”
“Victorious” will first be presented on Good Friday, 3/29/24, at 7:00 p.m. On Easter Sunday, 3/31/24, Mountaintop Church will have two more showings, one in English at 10:00 a.m. (immediately following, there will be a weather-permitting Easter Egg Hunt for families with children who attend) and then in Spanish at 1:00 p.m. Attendance is free.
Vagle said, “The initial p
lanning for both Christmas and Easter started back in August. We do the entire production both in English and Spanish, with a total cast and crew of about 50 volunteers, so there are a lot of logistics to consider. We have already begun rehearsals for Easter and will be meeting every Thursday night until the big day.”
Over the years, the c
ongregation of Mountaintop Church has loved all the performances, and the main goal always is to portray the love of God to the community.
“No matter who you are, where you’ve come from, or what you’ve done,” Vagle said, “you are so loved by God and by us at Mountaintop Church. We always have a seat for you!”
Mountaintop Church is located at 6 Naughright Road in Hackettstown. For more information, visit

Dental X-Rays 101

Providing quality dentistry would be impossible without dental x-rays.  This article hopefully will provide the reader with lots of interesting tidbits regarding this technology.
Most dental offices now utilize digital xrays, although traditionally developed xrays still exist.  While both methods still require exposure to ionizing radiation, the pathways by which the image is developed varies.  Traditional films require about a 7 minute chemical process through a developer, fixer, and wash.  Digital films require just a few seconds using a plate that is sensitive to the radiation generated by the xray machine.
While both methods utilize radiation, how much is the patient being exposed to?  There are two items to address: one is the comparison of radiation from traditional films to digital sensors, and the other is the amount of radiation from dental xrays to the amount you are exposed to in normal, everyday living.
Digital x-rays expose an individual to 80% to 90% less radiation than traditional x-rays.  What a fantastic technology to help protect our patients!  The second part of this equation helps to put any amount of dental radiation into perspective.  Once a year most patients will get four “bitewing” checkup films at their dentist.  If these films are not digital, that is about 0.038mSv (mSv stands for millisevert: a measurement of radiation).  If they are digital, that number drops to about 0.02mSv.  Compare that to 3.0mSv, which is the amount of natural radiation a person in the U.S. is exposed to annually, or 0.04mSv, which is the amount of radiation you are exposed to on a cross-country 7-hour flight in the U.S.  In other words, the amount of dental radiation you are exposed to in a dental office is very minimal.
There are some patients who still refuse dental xrays due to concerns about radiation exposure.  This is their right.  However, just understand your dentist will be unable to detect issues such as cavities between teeth or infections around the roots.  The ability to detect periodontal (gum) disease is also compromised.  Certain cancers or bone diseases are also detected on films: this opportunity will be missed.  Refusal of dental x-rays is not a smart move in your overall health.
Dentists also follow a rule called ALARA:  this stands for As Low As Reasonable Achievable.”  This means we make efforts to limit your exposure to radiation that does not have a direct benefit to you.  We do this by considering if the xray would even have a benefit to you, the amount of time regarding the exposure, the distance of that exposure, and shielding (lead aprons around your chest and thyroid).
Regarding lead shields, there are new opinions from radiologists and medical physicists the need for shields doesn’t exist anymore.  Between the use of digital xrays with 80% to 90% less radiation, and decreased scatter of  the radiation beams from collimation, protective lead aprons simply aren’t necessary.  Time will tell where this topic goes.
Some offices utilize CBCT, which stands for Cone Beam Computerized Tomography: this is an in-office CT scanner.  A CT scanner is a type of x-ray machine.  I wouldn’t be able to function without this machine due to the amount of dental implant and regenerative procedures we perform.  This unit provides us with a 3-D image of a person’s jaws.  We are able to evaluate if there is enough bone to accept dental implants, and we can import this data with surface scans of a person’s teeth to design computer-generated guides for highly accurate implant placement.  Again, not all offices have CBCT scanners and they don’t necessarily need them: our hands would be tied without it.
Dental x-rays:  an important tool to any dental office, and an important tool for the benefit of our patient’s care.  Need to know more?  Please inquire!

About the author:  Dr. Ira Goldberg is a distinguished dentist within the community.  He has been providing both general dentistry & implant dentistry services for 28 years.  He is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, and a Scholar of the Dawson Academy of Comprehensive Dentistry.  He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology / Implant Dentistry, a Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.  He performs all phases of implant dentistry at his office in Succasunna, NJ.  He lectures to dentists in the field of implantology.  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

Harnessing the Power of Your Biological Clock
Most people have heard that our bodies follow a natural circadian rhythm, but did you know that energy actually flows through the body and organ systems on a 24 hour schedule? Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views the body’s energy flow as a dynamic system that follows a natural rhythm, known as the TCM biological clock. This clock divides the day into 12 two-hour intervals, each corresponding to a different organ system and its associated energy meridian. Living in sync with this natural schedule is believed to promote optimal health and well-being. Here’s a breakdown of the TCM biological clock and its benefits:
11 pm – 1 am (Gallbladder)
This is the time for the body to detoxify and repair tissues. Going to bed before 11 pm allows the body to fully engage in these crucial processes, supporting overall health and vitality.

1 am- 3 am (Liver)
The liver is active during this time, aiding in blood purification and the processing of emotions. Waking up during this period may indicate unresolved emotional issues or an overactive liver, suggesting the need for emotional and dietary adjustments.

3 am – 5 am (Lungs)
The lungs are associated with grief and sadness. Deep breathing exercises or meditation before bed can help support lung function and emotional well-being during this time.
5 am – 7 am (Large Intestine)
This is the time for the body to eliminate waste. Drinking water and eating fiber-rich foods can help support this process and promote regular bowel movements
7am – 9 am (Stomach)
Breakfast is important during this time to nourish the body and support digestion. Eating a healthy breakfast can help set the tone for the day and prevent energy dips later on.

9 am – 11 am (Spleen/Pancreas)
The spleen and pancreas are active during this time, aiding in digestion and energy production. Eating a light, nutritious meal and engaging in gentle exercise can support these organs’ functions.

11 am – 1 pm (Heart)
The heart is at its peak during this time, making it ideal for engaging in activities that nourish the heart, such as spending time with loved ones or engaging in calming activities like meditation.
1 pm – 3 pm (Small Intestine)
he small intestine is active in the afternoon, aiding in the absorption of nutrients. Eating a balanced lunch and avoiding heavy meals can support optimal digestion during this time.
3 pm – 5 pm (Bladder)
This is the time for the body to eliminate waste and toxins. Drinking plenty of water and taking short breaks to stretch or walk can support bladder function and energy levels.
5 pm – 7 pm (Kidneys)

The kidneys are active in the early evening, supporting hydration and hormone balance. Drinking herbal teas or warm water can help support kidney function during this time.
7 pm – 9 pm (Pericardium)
The pericardium, or heart protector, is active in the evening, supporting emotional balance and relaxation. Engaging in calming activities and winding down before bed can support pericardium function.
9 pm – 11 pm (Triple Burner)
The triple burner, which regulates metabolism and temperature, is active before bedtime. Engaging in relaxing activities and avoiding stimulating substances can support restful sleep during this time.Living in sync with the TCM biological clock involves aligning daily activities, such as eating, sleeping, and exercise, with the natural rhythms of the body. This can promote better digestion, improved sleep, balanced emotions, and overall vitality. While it may not always be possible to adhere strictly to this schedule, being mindful of these natural rhythms and making small adjustments can help support optimal health and well-being. In addition, if there is an imbalance disrupting this natural rhythm, Acupuncture can help! For more information, call Mount Olive Acupunctute and Wellness 973-527-7978.

What is Chiropractic?

By Michael Lalama, DC
While a relatively simple question such as “what is chiropractic?” should yield a consistent answer, the fact is, as a profession, chiropractic is commonly interpreted at the practitioner level. That is to say that every practicing chiropractor can have a different answer to this question. If practitioners can have different definitions of chiropractic, where does that leave those who are outside of or are unfamiliar with chiropractic? And if chiropractors themselves can’t even agree on what chiropractic is, then how can they educate others on chiropractic?
First, it is important to show that there is a widely accepted definition of chiropractic outlined by The American Chiropractic Association (ACA)
which defines chiropractic as “a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health.” This is a great start, especially in presenting the goal and approach of chiropractic; however, this definition does not include the terms “adjustment” and/or “subluxation.” That is most likely why there is no divisiveness around the ACAs definition, because these two terms tend to mean different things to different providers.
In a general sense, the purpose of a chiropractic adjustment is to correct a subluxation. A subluxation in chiropractic has historically referred to a “bone-out-of-place,” most commonly found in the spine, that negatively influences the function of the nervous system. In this example, an adjustment puts the bone back into its correct place or re-aligns the spine, but most importantly improves the function of the nervous system. However, the term subluxation has been debated since its conception. More recently, multiple models of subluxation have evolved from this traditional “bone-out-of-place” thinking to align more with joint dysfunction and/or lack of proper motion.
Whatever way individual chiropractors define subluxation, the common factor is its disruption of the neuromusculoskeletal syste
m. Neuromusculoskeletal changes are evident in conditions like lumbosacral radiculopathy – otherwise known as sciatica – where patients can experience dull/achy or burning pain, numbness and tingling traveling into the buttock and/or leg, and in extreme cases, it can cause loss of sensation and muscle weakness/dysfunction. It is mostly associated with a disc herniation, in which part of the intervertebral disc located between the bones of the spine protrudes further than normal and puts pressure on a nerve where it exits the spine. However, similar symptoms can occur without a disc herniation and can be caused by lack of proper motion in the bones of the spine.
Restoring proper motion in the region through a chiropractic adjustment can help to relieve the pressure on the nerve and alleviate symptoms. This has been demonstrated for years by clinicians as well as research studies aimed at assessing the effectiveness of chiropractic. While the chiropractic adjustment does not improve symptoms for every patient, similar to any other type of medical intervention, chiropractic care seems to provide relief for musculoskeletal conditions involving the spine and extremities for many patients. Since we have outlined how the chiropractic adjustment can reduce nerve interference in conditions such as sciatica, is it possible that other nerve interference exists that effects different parts of the body?
Most of the neuromusculoskeletal complaints effectively treated by chiropractors effect the somatic nervous system – this is the part that we have conscious control over, like moving our arms and legs. When dysfunction of the somatic nervous system is present, many find improvement following chiropractic care (e.g., reduced pain, reduced numbness/tingling, improved function, etc.). However, this is not the only division of our nervous system. The autonomic nervous system, which is not under our conscious control, is the part that controls our organs
and other processes, such as digestion. Since all of your nerves that control both divisions of the nervous system exit through your spine, there is a possibility that the autonomic nervous system can also be positively influenced by a chiropractic adjustment.
It is important to note that while many case studies have shown improvement in non-musculoskeletal complaints after a chiropractic adjustment, it has not been demonstrated in large population studies. This ultimately means that it is hard to determine, for certain, if the chiropractic adjustment directly influenced these symptoms. It is possible that improving the function of the musculoskeletal system through chiropractic care can lead to other positive changes. Most of the time, if you can get relief from your pain and improve function, you will have a better quality of life!
It is always important to consult a licensed healthcare professional to see which treatment options are right for you. To learn more, visit


When You Get A Bad Medical Report

By Richard Mabey Jr.

I came into this world with a congenital heart defect, known as a Myocardial Bridge. Simply put, a Myocardial Bridge is a medical condition in which an artery of the heart interweaves and tunnels through the spindles of the heart muscles. Thus, every time the heart contracts, it squeezes the blood vessel, resulting in cutting off the blood supply to that area of the heart.
On top of all of this, I recently had an MRI of my heart and a heart catheterization. The bottom line is that my Cardiologist found a second aneurysm near my heart. The first is at the base of my Ascending Aorta, the second aneurysm is located at the base of my Brachiocephalic Artery. My Cardiologist gave it to me straight. Based on the rate of growth of my aneurysms and the factors of my Myocardial Bridges, my Cardiologist told me that she estimated I have about two years to live. That was tough to hear.
I admit that I was sad to hear that news. And, yes, for a couple of days, I was feeling sorry for myself. But then I woke up from a deep sleep, I walked over to my bedroom window and opened up my curtain and blinds. I saw the glistening morning sun, a couple of squirrels climbing up and down the Live Oak in my front yard, and took in the sight of a couple of birds perched upon the edge of my front yard birdbath. Once again, I saw the joy and splendor and wonder of the beauty of God’s creation.
Life is tough. At times it gets really tough. And then at times it gets so tough, we’re tempted to fall into sadness, even depression. But
that is just the time when we need to pull up our boot straps, take a good hard look in the mirror and dig deep to rediscover the joy and splendor of being alive. Even in the midst of getting the bad news of having a serious health condition, we’ve got to fight, tooth and nail, to stay positive.
This article will, no doubt, be read by hundreds of people. Yet, I know deep in my heart and soul, that I am writing this column for one specific person. Odds are that I’ve never met this person. I don’t know their name. I don’t know what they look like. But I do know this. After praying and praying about it, God directed me to write these words.
Hold dear to each and every precious day. Time is more valuable than all the gold in Fort Knox. Love the dear ones in your life. Tell them you love them. Find a purpose, a means to uplift others. Even if it’s just sharing a smile to a passerby in a grocery store. Forgive all those who have hurt
you. Love one another.
Read the spiritual writings of your faith. Pray. Meditate on God’s beauty in nature. Be kind to animals. Speak gently to children. Encourage someone who is struggling in life. Write a poem, don’t worry abo
ut making it rhyme. Donate a few dollars to a worthwhile charity. Love one another.
As long as your heart is beating, and your breathing air into your lungs, you can make a positive mark upon another person’s life. For love is the key that unlocks miracles. Simply put, love one another.

Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He hosts a YouTube Channel titled, “Richard Mabey Presents.” Richard most recently published a book of poetry and short stories. He can be reached at

Celebrating Women’s History Month:
A Tribute to Women’s Contributions Throughout the Ages

Women’s History Month is a time to honor and celebrate the countless achievements and contributions of women throughout history. This annual observance, which takes place in March, serves as a reminder of the remarkable women who have shaped our world and inspired future generations.
The origins of Women’s History Month can be traced back to the early 20th century when International Women’s Day was first observed in 1909. Inspired by labor movements and activism, this day aimed to highlight the social, economic, and political achievements of women. Over the years, the observance of International Women’s Day spread globally, gaining momentum and recognition.

In the United States, the push for a designated month to honor women’s history gained traction in the 1970s during the height of the feminist movement. In 1978, a school district in Sonoma, California, organized a week-long celebration of women’s contributions, which soon spread to other communities across the country. Encouraged by this grassroots movement, President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8th as National Women’s History Week in 1980.
The momentum continued to build, and in 1987, Congress passed a resolution designating March as Women’s History Month. Since then, Women’s History Month has been a time to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women in all fields, including politics, science, literature, art, and beyond.
Throughout history, women have made significant strides in the face of adversity and discrimination. From trailblazers like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who fought tirelessly for women’s suffrage, to Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up her seat on a segregated bus sparked the Civil Rights Movement, women have been at the forefront of social change.
In science and technology, women have also left an indelible mark. Figures like Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, shattered glass ceilings and paved the way for future generations of women in STEM fields.
Literature and the arts have also been enriched by the contributions of women. From the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Maya Angelou to the novels of Jane Austen and Toni Morrison, women writers have captivated audiences and challenged societal norms with their words.
In recent decades, Women’s History Month has expanded to recognize the achievements of women from diverse backgrounds, including women of color, LGBTQ+ women, and women with disabilities. This inclusive approach reflects the intersectional nature of feminism and acknowledges the unique challenges faced by different groups of women.
Today, Women’s History Month is celebrated with events and activities that highlight the achievements of women past and present. From panel discussions and lectures to art exhibitions and film screenings, there are countless opportunities to learn about and honor the contributions of women in all aspects of society.
As we commemorate Women’s History Month, let us not only celebrate the achievements of the past but also recommit ourselves to the ongoing fight for gender equality. By honoring the past and uplifting the voices of women today, we can create a more equitable and just future for all.

Mary Edwards Walker the Only Female Medal of Honor Winner
By Henry M. Holden

Mary  Edwards Walker (1832-1919) challenged the practices of her day. Born and raised on a farm in Oswego, New York, Walker became one of a handful of female physicians in the country.
Despite the mockery and destain  from her contemporaries she continued to break customs and wore men’s clothing rather than corsets and large petticoats and dresses. She believed they were unhygienic and caused health issues.
Walker lectured and campaigned for woman’s suffrage, and for prohibition, and against tobacco, and alcohol.
From the outset of the Civil War, Walker volunteered her services as a physician. Despite opposition from army commanders and field surgeons, Walker served as a surgeon at Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Chickamauga, and other bloody theaters of the war. She attended to the wounded soldiers and civilians on both sides of the conflict. At the time, women physicians were considered unfit for military service.
Captured by Confederates near Chattanooga in 1864, she served four months in a Southern prison near Richmond where she nursed wounded prisoners of war.
Walker was a skilled surgeon, and graduated in 1855, from Syracuse Medical College. She was an abolitionist, prohibitionist. and prisoner of war. She was captured and arrested as a spy for the Union Forces by Confederate troops after crossing enemy lines to help a Confederate doctor perform an amputation on a civilian. She remained a prisoner of war for four months until August 12 when she was released in a prisoner exchange.
. She frequently crossed battle lines to treat civilians, and this led to her capture by Confederate troops in 1864. She was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1865 by President Andrew Johnson.
Before her capture, Walker wrote to the department of war, and requested to act as a spy in the conflict; she was rejected, but later was employed as a civilian surgeon by the army of the Cumberland, becoming the first female surgeon to work for the US Army surgeon general.
Walker’s Medal of Honor was withdrawn following a 1917 review of Army Medal of Honor awards. In their review it recommended that the medal be restricted to enlisted personnel.
There is no higher accolade awarded in the United States Armed Forces than the Medal of Honor.
In 1917, Congress passed an Act detailing the requirements for qualification for the Medal. The Medal of Honor recipient must be enlisted personnel. And involved in actual combat with an enemy. This review resulted in over 900 names being deleted from the Medal of Honor roll.. Dr. Mary Edwards was one of those names.
In 1977 President Jimmy Carter, reinstated Dr. Walker’s Medal of Honor; Walker was only one of six people who had their med
als restored.
Although married, there is no evidence that she had children. She divorced her husband on the grounds of his infidelity.
After the war, Dr. Walker became a w
riter, lecturer, and advocated in support of women’s rights. At the time, it was illegal for women to wear men’s clothing. She was arrested many times for wearing men’s clothes, but never stopped insisting on her right to wear the clothing she felt was appropriate.
Dr. Walker tried to vote in 1871 but was turned away. She became a leading member of the early suff
rage movement, arguing that women already had a constitutional right to vote. Dr. Walker never stopped pushing for women’s rights.
In the exact words of the Congressional Resolution on 12 July 1862 “the award is for gallantry, and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing force or while serving with a friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict …  It is awarded to only American military personnel for incredible acts of valor and selfishness..
In a presidential review of the Med
al of Honor In 197, after reviewing her record of valor, President Jimmy Carter said that although a civilian at the time of her valor she was restored to the Medal of Honor Roll in 1977.
After a long illness, Walker died at home on February 21, 1919, at the age of eighty-six. She was buried at Rural Cemetery in Oswego, New York, in a plain funeral, with an American flag draped over her casket, and wearing a black suit instead of a dress. Her death, in 1919, came one year before the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote.
Photo caption  – Dr. Mary Edwards Walker dressed in men’s clothing, and wearing her Medal of Honor.  

Harriet Quimby – First Licensed Female Aviator in U.S.
By Henry. M. Holden

Quimby was the first woman licensed as a pilot in the United States (1911); first woman to pilot (solo) an airplane (1912) across the English Channel, and the first woman to make a night flight (1911).
Harriet Quimby was born in Coldwater, Michigan, 0n May 11, 1875.,
She moved with her family to California in 1887.
In 1903, Harriet Quimby moved to New York to work for Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly, a popular newspaper. There, she was the drama critic, writing reviews of plays and the new medium, moving pictures.
She also served as a photojournalist, and one of the first women to use a camera to support her journalism. She traveled to Europe, Mexico, Cuba, and Egypt for Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly. She also wrote articles, advising women on their careers, and on household tips.
Harriet Quimby epitomized the independent woman of her day, living on her own, working at a career, and driving her own automobile.
In October 1910, Quimby went to the Belmont Park International Aviation Tournament on Long Island, to write a story. She befriended Matilde Moisant and her brother, John Moisant. Along with his brother, Alfred, John ran a flying school. Quimby was bitten by the flying bug. She be
gan her flying lessons. Harriet dressed in disguise as a man, to hide her identity and become the first licensed female pilot thus gaining a one up on the almost exclusive fraternity of male journalists. The press discovered Quimby’s lessons and began following her progress.
On August 1, 1911, Harriet Quimby passed her pilot’s test and was awarded license #37 from Aero Club of America, part of the International Aeronautic Federation. Quimby was the second woman in the world to be licensed; the Baroness de la Roche had been awarded a license in France.
“Once I had my license,” said Quimby, “I’ve realized that I could share aviation with my readers. I wrote in the first person because my readers could feel closer to the events in the cockpit. I called some of my adventures “How A Woman Learns to Fly” and ‘The Dangers of Flying,” and “How to Avoid Them.”
After earning her pilot’s license, Harriet Quimby began touring as an exhibition pilot in the United States and Mexico.
At that time, women used adapted versions of men’s clothing.
While wide hats were in fashion, they were not practical in an open cockpit airplane. For most American women emerging from the Victorian era, pants were unacceptable and immodest. Some women attempted to compensate with trousers with buttons on the inside that converted the garment into a skirt. Most women found this uncomfortable, awkward, and sometimes dangerous. Eventually a flying outfit emerged that was acceptable. “It may seem remarkable,” Quimby said “When I begin to fly I could not find a regular aviator’s outfit for me in New York.
“Finally, my tailor helped me design a style that was extraordinary for the era, one piece outfit with full knickers reaching below the knee and high-top black kid boots.
The outfit had matched gauntlet style driving gloves and a long leather coat for cold weather flying.
In late 1911, Harriet Quimby d
ecided to become the first woman to fly across the English Channel. Another woman Miss Trehawke-Davis flew across as a passenger.
The record for the first woman pilot remained for Quimby to achieve, but feared someone would beat her to it. So, she sailed secretly in March 1912, for England. She borrowed a 70-hp Bleriot monoplane from Louis Bleriot, who was the first person to fly across the Channel in 1909.

On Sunday, April 14, Quimby was ready. She had never flown a 70-hp plane and wondered about its control. She was used to flying  a 30-hp plane. The weather is perfect:  She could see Calais, 22 miles across channel and everyone urged her to take off immediately and take advantage of the weather.
However, it was Sunday. She refused to fly on a Sunday for any reason. The following day there was heavy rain, and her ground crew sat all day in a cramped room waiting for the weather to clear.
On April 16, 1912, the weather had cleared of the rain but there was a substantial fog along her planned route.
Quimby decided to go for it. Her route was approximately the same route that Bleriot has flown — but in reverse. She took off from Dover at dawn. The fog-overcast skies forced her to rely solely on a compass which one of her pilot-friends had just showed her how to use for a bearing.
About an hour later, she landed in France near Calais, 30-miles from her planned landing spot. In doing so she, becoming the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel.
But fame did not catch up to her accomplishment. The Steamship Titanic had hit an iceberg on April 16, and had sunk with over 1,000 lives lost.
When the press “noticed” her accomplishment they were not pleased. Because the Titanic sank  the newspaper coverage of Harriet Quimby’s record-setting flight received little acclamation in the United States and Britain. Any coverage was sparse and buried deep within the papers.
The editorial page of the New York Times on April 18, 1912, took a narrow view. The editorial was no doubt influenced by the paper’s lack of support for women’s suffrage movement that was in bloom in spring of 1912.
A reporter said, “Just a few months ago the same flight was one of the most daring and everywhere a remarkable accomplishment by man. Since then, the passage has been repeated by men, and now with them there is no glory. The flight is hardly anything more than proof of ordinary, professional competency.”
The Times continued, and in a condescending warning, said “The Feminists should be somewhat cautious about exalting M
iss Quimby’s exploit. They should not call it a great achievement lest by doing so they invite the dreadful and humiliating qualification ‘great for a  woman.”
The smell of the sour grapes still lingered by the time Harriet arrived back in New York on May 12. She received no hero’s welcome and there was no ticker tape parade. It was a matter of timing. Only a week earlier 15,000 women and 619 brave men marched in support of women’s suffrage. The male leaders of the city had not yet recovered from this demonstration of feminine assertiveness. They weren’t ready to admit that there were female eagles, let alone honor them.
Harriet was not a woman who would like some anonymous editors to have the last word. “I wish I could express my views and ideas,” said Quimby. “It’s not a fad, I did not want to be the first American woman to fly just to make myself conspicuous. I just want to be the first, that’s all, and I am honestly delighted that I have written so much about other people, you can imagine how much I enjoy sitting back and reading about myself for once. I think that is excusable in me.”
Harriet Quimby returned to exhibition flying. On July 1, 1912, she had agreed to fly at the Third Annual Boston Aviatio
n Meet. She took off, with William Willard, organizer of the event, as a passenger, and circled the Boston Lighthouse.
Suddenly, in view of hundreds of spectators, the two-seat plane, flying at 1,500 feet, lurched. Willard fell out and plunged to his death in the mudflats below. Moments later, the plane nosed down and Harriet Quimby also fell from the plane and was killed.
The editor added a preface to Miss Quimby’s now posthumous article, “In her tragic death, there is a note of pathos in
the enthusiasm, energy, and prophecy for women in her article.
The New York Times, also commented on her tragic death. This Quimby woman is now the fifth woman in the world to die in an airplane accident. They were students and with the loss of Quimby
it is five too many. The sport is not one for which women are physically qualified. As a rule, they lack the strength, and presence of mind, and the courage of aviators.
More than 110 years later, time has vindicated Harriet Quimby. Her spirits, at the time were angered by the negative and condescending editorials. If she were here today, she would smile, and rejoice, and say, “see, I told you so.”
Looking back, it is obvious that the cause of the accident and fatalities was due to Willard suddenly shifting his weight, disturbing the center of gravity and, Willard and Quimby failed to wear their seat belts.
All though Harriet Quimby’s career as a pilot lasted only 11 months, she was nevertheless a heroine and role model for generations to follow — even inspiring Amelia Earhart.
As a late but somewhat redeeming gesture, on April 27, 1991, the U.S. Post Office issued a 50-cent air mail stamp in her honor. At the time, Harriet Quimby was a third female aviator to be honored on a postage stamp; Amelia Earhart (1963), and Blanch Scott (1980) and were the other two.
Harriet Quimby is buried at Kensico Cemetery, in Valhalla, New York.

Women’s History Book Shines a Light
on the Stories Lost to Patriarchy

If history is written by those in power, then there are countless unsung heroes among the women who lived it. For too long, women who have served as leaders, champions of justice, and pioneers in their fields have been relegated to footnotes in our textbooks. Dr. Jackie Casper Agostini writes this powerful, transformative volume to rectify those errors, shining a light on these social movers. Women like Mary Harris, Ida B. Wells, and Isabella Baumfree (known to most as Sojourner Truth) are some of the most prominent forces behind not only the feminist movement but also many of the rights we all hold in society, regardless of gender. Shining a Light on (Her)Story paints a vivid picture of how conventions were defied to bring us the world we know.
The book is a powerful statement on the dangers of patriarchy, championing the importance of women crafting their own visions for the future. Featuring historical accounts of the lives of powerhouse social contributors like Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul, Agostini’s work is a treasure trove of forgotten stories. In addition, the book functions as Agostini’s personal memoir as she explores her own relationship with America’s historical narrative. Readers of any gender will find nuggets of wisdom to glean from this title. Women in particular will find it empowering, inspiring, and revelatory as stories of the past point toward a future built on solidarity.
Shining a Light on (Her)Story is available for purchase online at and Barnes and
About the Author
Dr. Jackie Casper Agostini is a native of New Jersey, where she teaches women’s history with the LIFE Program at Rowan College of Burlington County. She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s in math education, along with a PhD in Social Psychology from Temple University. Agostini began her career as a math teacher, later becoming a licensed psychologist and family therapist, a role which she held for twenty-two years. She is now proud to champion the role of women in history both in the classroom and through her written work. She avidly encourages women everywhere to tell their own stories.

Communities rally around Stephanie Sorrentino
By Steve Sears
When former Hackettstown resident and Hackettstown High School student, Stephanie (Cucinella) Sorrentino, was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer on May 11, 2023, the universe neglected to conside
r that you do not mess with a tiger.
A Hackettstown Tiger, that is – and their friends.
Mount Olive-Hopatcong-Hackettstown head hockey coach, Ryan Tatarka, and Sorrentino have been friends since they were five years old, and when he knew his lifelong friend and classmate needed help, he sprang into action, as did others.
Tatarka said, “We’ve stayed in touch throughout the years. I knew that she was a teacher in Millburn. I heard about her diagnosis through the grapevine and social media over the summer after she had gotten married. I thought immediately we should do something as a program. We have the platform to be able to do the right thing here.”
Sorrentino, 30, had already benefitted by goodness courtesy of a special volleyball game between Hackettstown High School and Millburn high School on October 6, 2023, so Tatarka contacted the Millburn High School athletic director about an open date in the MOHOHA hockey schedule and asked if the school’s team would be interested in a January 27 benefit game at Richard J. Codey Arena in West Orange.
All were on board.

Sorrentino, her husband John, and many family members attended the late January contest. She said, “When the game started, we had a little pregame ceremony again, and it was just awesome to be able to share our story to all the fans that came out for both teams, some of which were my old students, and some of my current colleagues were there.”
And Sorrentino the evening of the 27th was happy to report that, after a recent procedure, a pathology report had declared her cancer free. She said, “It has just been nice to see the outpouring of love. It was really nice to be able to share that I was cancer free with the two communities that came together to help out.”
And there is a PSA, an important message, that Sorrentino wants to get out. She said, “We did catch this early. Life gets so busy, and day to day you are not really thinking about stuff like this. But prioritizing your health and making sure that you do get to the doctor and are doing self-ch
ecks and things like that are important.”
Donations can still be sent to a Venmo account titled “Steph Donation,” and cash or checks payable to the MOHS Booster Club to PO Box 648 Flanders NJ 07836. Also, donations can be mailed to the Hackettstown, Hopatcong, and Mount Olive High Schools, “Attn: hockey team.”

The Universal Barcode
By Henry M. Holden
There is a small town, Troy, Ohio, that celebrates an occasion that put it on the world map of the grocery trade.
On June 26, 1974, when the first item marked with the Universal Product Code (U PC) was scanned at the checkout of Troy’s Marsh Supermarket.
It was a ceremonial occa
sion and involved a little bit of setup. The night before, Marsh employees had moved in to put barcodes on hundreds of items in the store: while the National Cash Register installed their scanners and computers.
The first “shopper” was
Clyde Dawson, who was head of research and development for Marsh Supermarket. Legend has it that Dawson dipped into his shopping basket and pulled out a pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum. Dawson explained later that this was not a lucky dip.
“I had chosen it because nobody had been sure that a bar code could be printed on something as small as a pack of chewing gum.”

Finally, there was a solution to the problem of slow checkout lines and inventory control. But it would take years for its successful implementation.
On October 20, 1949, Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver filed their patent application for the “Classifying Apparatus and Method,” describing their invention as “article classification…through
the medium of identifying patterns.” The first patent for a barcode type product (US Patent #2,612,994) was issued to the inventors on October 7, 1952. The invention was based on Morse code.
It was Morse code that gave Woodland the idea. Woodland had learned Morse code when he was in the Boy Scouts. As he was sitting in a beach chair and pondering the checkout dilemma, Morse came into his head:
“I remember I was thinking about dots and dashes when I poked my four fingers into the sand and, for whatever reason—I didn’t know—I pulled my hand toward me and I had four lines. I said ‘Golly! Now I have four lines and they could be wide lines and narrow lines, instead of dots and dashes. Then, only seconds later, I took my four fingers—they were still in the sand—and I swept them round into a circle.” However, it took twenty years before this invention became commercially successful.
An early use of one type of barcode in an industrial context was sponsored by the Association of American Railroads in the late 1960s. Developed by General Telephone and Electronics (GTE). It was called KarTrak ACI (Automatic Car Identification). This program involved placing colored stripes in various combinations. to the sides of railroad rolling stock. Two plates w
ere used per car, one on each side, with the arrangement of the colored stripes with encoded information such as ownership, type of equipment, and identification number. The plates were read by a trackside scanner located at the entrance to a classification yard, while the car was moving past. The project was abandoned after about ten years because the system proved unreliable after long-term use.
Barcodes finally became commercially successful when they were used to automate supermarket checkout systems, a task for which they have become almost universal. The Uniform Grocery Product Code Council had chosen, in 1973, a barcode design developed by George Laurer. Laurer’s barcode, with vertical bars, printed better than the circular barcode developed by Woodland and Silver. Their use has spread to many other tasks that are generically referred to as automatic identification and data capture (AIDC).
In June 1974, the Marsh supermarket in Troy used a scanner made by Photographic Sciences Corporation to scan the Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode on a pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum
Woodland said it sounded like a fairy tale: “I had gotten the inspiration for what became the barcode while sitting on Miami Beach. What I was after was a code of some kind that could be printed on groceries and scanned so that supermarket checkout queues could move more quickly, and stocktaking would be simplified.”
That such a technology was needed was not Woodland’s idea: it came from an anxious supermarket manager who had asked a dean at Drexel Institute of Technology, in Philadelphia, to come up with a way of getting shoppers through his store more quickly. The delays and the regular stocktaking were costing him profits. The dean shrugged him off, but a junior postgraduate, Bernard Silver, overheard the conversation and was interested. He mentioned it to Woodland, who had graduated from Drexel in 1947. Woodland decided to take on the challenge.
In 1948,  Silver joined together with fellow graduate student Joseph Woodland to work on a solution.
Woodland’s first idea was to use ultraviolet light sensitive ink. The team built a working prototype but decided that the system was too unstable and expensive. They went back to
the drawing board.
With the barcode it w
as soon realized that there would have to be some sort of industry standard.
So confident
was Woodland that he would come up with a solution to the supermarket dilemma left graduate school in the winter of 1948 to live in an apartment owned by his grandfather in Miami Beach. He had cashed in some stocks to tide him over. It was in January 1949 that Woodland had his ah ha, moment. Though the brilliance of its simplicity and its far-reaching consequences for modern existence were not recognized until many years later.
Back in Philadelphia, Woodland and Silver decided to see if they could get a working system going with the technology at hand. Although the patent illustrates the basic concept, there is only limited anecdotal evidence about what Woodland and Silver built.
A crude prototype in Woodland’s own home used a powerful 500-watt incandescent bulb. An oscilloscope was used to “read” the code; the whole thing was too big. Allegedly, it worked, up to a point. But an objective evaluation judged it would take 20 years.
Bar codes became commercially successful when the scanning technology came up to speed, and were used to automate supermarket checkout systems, a task for which they have become almost universal. The Uniform Grocery Product Code Council had chosen, in 1973, the bar code design developed by George Laurer. Laurer’s barcode, with vertical bars, printed better than the circular barcode developed by Woodland and Silver. Their use has spread to many other tasks that are generically referred to as automatic identification and data capture (AIDC).
Today the barcode business is booming throughout industries and by 2023, virtually all products sold contain bar codes.

 NJ Starz: Christina Lamberti
Hometown: Phillipsburg

By Steve Sears
Chrstina Lamberti can relate when I tell her that, for me, the few times I have experienced her forte of Opera it has been an emotional experience.

Lamberti said, “I appreciate that, because that’s why I do it.”
And is it difficult to remain composed amidst the emotion? Lamberti said, “It can be at times. I think you have to separate yourself a little bit, just because it can be too much and then the voice will get completely cut off if you start to feel emotional. It is tough; there has to be a little bit of a sort of almost watching yourself, and I think if you are too emotional, then the audience does not always get it. You sort of almost have to be this sort of this vessel that’s just sort of relating the music.”
The 54-year-old Lamberti embodies the hardworking and grit of Phillipsburg, the city she grew up in and again calls home on the Delaware River.
Lamberti was born Christina Cox in Wisconsin on August 11, 1969, and after living in New York State and West Virginia for a period, moved to New Jersey with her parents, Donald and Pamela, and her sister (and fellow singer) Alyssa, when she was about nine.
Lamberti said,” We moved here, and I started at a public school, and what my parents did was get us very involved in locally in Belvidere was the little theater. My parents also got us very much involved in dance. I was taking dance and I had taken piano at a little theatre company called Country Gate Players.”
While at Phillipsburg Middle School, Lamberti embraced both the drama club and choir, and started singing lessons when she was about 12. She said, “I was doing a lot of musical theater. I did not start off necessarily in opera, per se. I was singing a lot of that classic musical theater, like Oklahoma and The Sound of Music, and the great songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Lerner and Loewe, and the great musical theater songbook.”

Phillipsburg Catholic High School was next for the 15-year-old, and the summer before entering, Lamberti learned that the theater department was going to present Camelot during freshman year. One of her favorite musicals, she spent the whole summer memorizing the score and the lines, auditioned, and got the lead role. Thee next four years, she did the same in Brigadoon, Guys and Dolls, and Hello Dolly.
Lamberti said, “And my mom, who was a Spanish teacher at the school, was very much involved.  she costumed the shows, and my dad – even though he was very busy working – was involved in the community theater.”
It was a family affair, and it all set the table for her future as not just a Mezzo-Soprano opera singer, but a performer who put her love into all she does.
Lamberti’s voice teacher at Phillipsburg Catholic, Karla Lake, was perhaps the first person who really had a great influence on her start as a singer and entry into the opera world.
Lamberti recalled, “I started studying with her privately, and then we started working on more classical songs, and then I started auditioning for certain programs like the Westminster Choir College summer program. I was accepted into Governor’s School (of New Jersey).”
As a senior, Lamberti won first prize in the Westminster Choir Voice Competition and was awarded a scholarship to attend Westminster Choir College to study Voice Performance. In her second year of college, she did a summer program with Claudia Pinza (daughter of famed Italian opera singer Ezio Pinza). At age 19, she was on her way to Italy.
Lamberti said, “I went to Italy my first time and studied there all summer with her, and then she actually invited me to move to Pittsburgh and study
with her privately.”
Lamberti’s next stop was continuing her schooling at Duquesne University, and a residency with the Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh. She was in Pittsburgh for about three years, sang with the Pittsburgh Opera, and then from there, and was awarded residency with the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia for three years. After that, she was next in San Francisco, where she was young artist in the Merola Opera Program, and then was also named an Adler Fellow, hers a three-year fellowship with the San Francisco Opera. Her talent has taken Lamberti as well to stages in Europe.
True to her singing career, Lamberti still trains and sings, and in 2016 met her husband, Lars Frandsen, a classical guitarist (her stepdaughter is Isabella). The duo put together a program which included an array of great Spanish music, opera, classical, and pop, including Broadway and some American Songbook tunes. They do a lot of performing together, and experienced in catering as well, Lamberti and Frandsen also created “Dining with the Diva,” where the couple goes into people’s homes and creates Italian dishes and plays beautiful music.
“We love the idea of food, song, and music all in one evening,” said Lamberti, who also now teaches voice at the Hunterdon Academy of the Arts in Raritan Township. “We are grateful we can still do what we are doing. We are healthy, we can still go out there and perform. That is what I am grateful for.”
And she still loves her home. Lamberti said, “Phillipsburg was a lovely place to grow up in. We did a lot of community things. We could ride our bikes and things like that. It was just lovely, and I loved Phillipsburg Catholic. It was a great high school. I loved growing up and going to high school there. It was a great experience”.
For more information about Christina Lamberti, visit

2024 Meritorious and Valor Awards Recipients
The 200 Club of Morris County announces their 2024 Meritorious and Valor Awards recipients. The awards recognize outstanding service of first responders. Those whose lives are placed in danger receive the Valor Award. An act of Valor is an extraordinary event in which a person put his or her own safety aside. It is an act of extraordinary courage, which went beyond the call of duty. Very often, one’s life is at risk.
Those who perform above and beyond the call of duty, but whose life is not actually in danger, receive a Meritorious Award. Meritorious awards recognize individuals whose professional or volunteer activit
y rises above the expected norm for their profession.
Each January, Valor and Meritorious candidate recommendations are presented to The 200 Club of Morris County by our Public Safety VIP Liaisons: President of the Morris County Police Chiefs Association; Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police; President of the Morris County Alliance of Active Fire Chiefs; President of the Morris County EMS Alliance; Director of the Morris County Office of Emergency Management.
This year’s 22 local heroes are from the following towns and services in Morris County: Police departments: Boonton, Denville, Morristown, Mountain Lakes, Pequannock, Roxbury, Washington Township, Wharton. Fire departments: Boonton, Roxbury Co. 1. EMS: Roxbury, Saint Clare’s Health System, Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT).
A celebration takes place each April at which honorees are recognized by 200 Club members, their family and friends, members of the business community, as well as public safety officials from police, fire, emergency medical services and the New Jersey State Police.
This year’s 50th anniversary event will be held April 25 at Birchwood Manor in Whippany, NJ. The gala-style awards celebration event hosts over four hundred attendees. More than 700 dedicated first responders have been honored since 1972 and can be viewed here:
Show your support through a sponsorship, celebratory ad, and tickets! Come enjoy an evening of tribute to these women and men to celebrate their service for others.
What is The 200 Club? For over 50 years, the non-profit organization has provided emotional and financial support to Morris County’s first responders and their families. Over 5 million dollars has been distributed by our organization including death benefits for families of the fallen and over 725 scholarships to high school seniors.
Questions? Contact Club Administrator Lori Richmond at 973-630-7933 or


I Remember Dad:

A Most Precious Moment In Time

By Richard Mabey Jr.

My father went Home to be with the Lord on the twelfth of May of 2006. The days, weeks and months that followed were a time of deep mourning. I was blessed to have a close bond with my father. We had hiked week-long sojourns of the Appalachian Trail, many times as scout leaders of Boy Scout Troop 170. When I was in middle school and then into high school, Dad and I shared a canoe on six separate week-long adventures canoeing down the Delaware River. We had gone on countless campouts together, with the scouts, over a time-span that covered several decades. Now, Dad was gone from life, in this physical existence

I found solace and comfort in fishing. I had a most unique fishing technique. I would use a dobber and a sink weight, but never tied a hook to the end of my fishing line. I would throw my line out to the middle of the pond and watch the dobber float and gently move up and down. Then I would sit upon the earth and read. I mostly read Thomas Wolfe’s novel, Look Homeward, Angel.

At the time, I was living in the little hamlet of Saint Thomas in Central Pennsylvania, just west of Chambersburg. I had found his wonderful lake to fish in, along the Lincoln Highway (Route 30) in the nearby town of Fort Loudon.

It was in the middle of June of 2006, a little over a month from when my Dad’s soul left his physical body, that I experienced a moment in time that brought great comfort to my heart. I know what I experienced was true. Nobody could ever convince me otherwise.

As I sat upon the earth, near the shore of that pond, I heard my father calling me. Dad’s voice was coming forth from the forest that bordered the lake. I put down my book that I was reading and looked behind me. There standing at the edge of the woods, was my father. He waved to me. I waved back to him. He smiled at me.

His spectre stood just a few yards from me. I stood up in awe of my father’s ghostly presence. He held his right hand up, his palm facing me. I heard him gently say, “I love you son.” And then, he simply vanished.  A stillness filled my heart center. The pain of my mourning was gently soothed.

I know that there are religions that will argue that things like this are not sound. But I know what I know. I know what I experienced that afternoon, beside the still waters of that graceful pond, was real. I know it with every fiber and sinew of my heart, mind and soul.

Can the power of God be put into a box? Can the strength of love ever really be limited? Do miracles still happen in our modern times? There are no easy answers to these questions. I know, deep in my heart of hearts, that my father reached out to me from the Heavenly Worlds on that sunny afternoon in the midst of the Summer of 2006.

Love your family members. Be kind to one another. Be especially kind to the homeless. Give food to a stray cat. Adopt a dog from a shelter. Simply put, love one another. Tomorrow knows no guarantees. 

Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He hosts a YouTube Channel titled, “Richard Mabey Presents.” Richard most recently published a book of poetry and short stories. He can be reached at

Shipwrecked in New Jersey    
By Henry. M Holden
The remains of a large vessel were discovered recently, at the bottom of Lake Hopatcong, in Landing, during the 5-year drawdown of the lake water.
The discovery was made on November 4, 2023, in Landing Channel according to Hopatcong Foundation, chairman, Marty Kane, also the  local hi
“Every time we do a drawdown, something surprising pops up,” said Kane. “For example, a walkway to Liffty Island, and the long-forgotten dock at Nolan’s point. These are things that people normally don’t pay attention to but every five years you get a break, and something shows up temporarily.”
Kane wonders why have these remains sat for over 100 years, and nobody has discovered them until now?
‘For the last three or four drawdowns, it has been covered in muck.
We provided a treatment to that section of the lake, which is basically a clay like substance that sinks to the bottom. It made the vessel much more v
isible than it would have been for many years.
“We spoke to many longtime residents, and they said they knew it had been there all along. It’s hard to say because we didn’t really have ground imaging radar to help us. The team was ready with the equipment, but they needed the lake to freeze first and then they could use their equipment but before they had a chance the lake rose 4-feet in about three-weeks.
“We weren’t able to find any artifacts around it because it was too muddy, and we don’t have the appropriate permits from the state. We’ll have to look at it in five years and perhaps build something around it so that we can get a better archaeological look. So, it’s on the shelf for another five years befo
re we can do anything.”
He was curious as to why the boat remains were never notice before, despite routine drawdowns of the lake, something done about every five years primarily to enable dock repairs. Kane noted the lake level has been lowered by as much as 12-feet in the past.
“It is located just off the shoreline at 22 Kingsland Road, but you will not see anything now,” Kane said. “This is an area where the old White Line steamboats were moored and then abandoned when they stopped running (circa 1907). Judging from the large size of this wreck, it is most likely the remains of one of those vessels.
“My guess is one of these steamboats sank, and they let the hull remain on the bottom when they conducted the clean-up in the winter of 1909-1910,” Kane said. “Here it is, over 116 years later.”
One theory relates to the 2020 use, in Landing Channel, of Phoslock, a clay-based product that sinks to the lake bottom and locks phosphorus
in as a way of curtailing algal blooms.
“An unexpected result seems to be that, by consolidating the sediment … it locked down the bottom allowing the boat hull to protrude,” Kane theorized.
Steamboats cruised the lake from the 1880s until about 1910. “During their heyday, there were about a dozen steamboats in use,” Kane said.
In the early 1880’s the Lackawanna Railroad built a Passenger Station at Drakesville (modern day Ledgewood). Horse drawn carriages would then take people up the bumpy road to the lake. 
By 1886 the Landing/Lake Hopatcong Railway Station on the Lackawanna Line was built. Steamboats would wait on the Morris Canal in Landing for the passengers to disembark from the train.
In 1886, the “Lake Hopatcong Steamboat Company”, commonly known as the Black Line, was founded. The company provided service from the “new” Landing railroad station to all areas of the Lake by means of a ‘feeder canal’ that traveled from the Lake at the area of the State Park and connected to the Canal around th
e current Landing Shopping Center. (The Canal ran parallel to the RR tracks in this area) From there the boats used the Canal to come right up to the Rail station platform, where passengers simply crossed the platform to board the boat sitting in the Canal. (the south end of the Lake was extremely shallow at that time with only rowboats able to pass). The trip back to the Lake took them through the Canal Lock, where the boat was raised to the Lake’s higher level.

In the 1890’s, this era saw the blossoming of Lake Hopatcong as the summer resort of choice by both the wealthy and the newly middle-class. The wealthy would rent large furnished houses, on the water’s edge. The middle-class would often set up large canvas tents on wooden platforms and dwell in these for a week or more. All would enjoy the cool “mountain air” afforded by the advertised “1,200-foot elevation of the Lake” (an exaggeration of its’ actual 926-foot elevation), a welcome summertime relief from the sweltering cities. Many would come up for the weekend and stay in one of the hotels or rooming houses that sprang up around the Lake. Most everyone traveled to the lake via train, The roads were poor to non-existent, and besides, the steamboats were part of the attraction of the lake!

Kane said his suspicion about the boat’s identity is based largely on a July 2, 1910, item in a publication called The Lake Hopatcong Breeze. The author noted that the “dilapidated steamers of the old White Line, which had been drawn up on shore at Landing for several years, were removed”
“My guess is one of these steamboats sank, and they let the hull remain on the bottom when they conducted the clean-up in the winter of 1909-1910,” Kane said.
“It is unlikely that any real study of this site can be conducted until spring, but the museum will contact a few experts to see if it might be possible to use any ground penetrating radar or metal detection devices,” said Kane.
Every time we do a drawdown, something pops up such as a boardwalk to the Liffty Island, which you always see every five years and got a lot of attention. before that it was the dock at Nolan’s point, these are things that people normally don’t pay attention to but every five years you get a break and something shows up why have these remains sat there for over 100 years and nobody has discovered them until now?

For the last three or four drawdowns, it has been covered in muck.
Lake Hopatcong provided a treatment today at lake to that section of the lake, which is basically a clay like substance that coach the bott
om of it, and it made the steamboat much more visible than it would have been for many years.
“We may have to wait another five years to look at it again. “During their heyday, there were about a dozen steamboats in use,”  Kane said.
“The steamboats boats were eventually replaced by vehicles, but steamboat service was very active from the 1880s until about 1910 when travel to steamboat was the only way to get around” Kane said.

Rabbi Mark Biller To Spotlight Rav KookIn Series
Called ‘Living A Soulful Life’

Rabbi Mark B
iller will delve into the thought and philosophy of Rav Kook, a towering figure in Jewish life, in a three-part series, via Zoom, called “Living a Soulful Life.” The series, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Thursdays, March 14 (“Midnight Writer”), March 21 (“Everything Is Sacred”), and March 28 (“Every Moment Counts”), all at 1 p.m.
Our Jewish World is co-chaired by Ilene Dorf Manahan and Melanie Levitan, both of Morristown.
Rav Kook was Chi
ef Rabbi of Israel during the British Mandate years (in the first part of the 20th century). He is considered the father of religious Zionism, and is a mystic, whose beautiful and profound writings still inspire.
“A realist who dealt with the politicians of the early State of Israel, Rav Kook saw a positive life force in all creatures and beings,” Rabbi Biller notes. “His goal was to foster positive understanding between Jews of all religious levels of practice, to teach a deep appreciation of nature and our place in it, and to bring conscious awareness for all to every moment.”
Rav Kook awakened every midnight to add entries to his personal diary. He reflected on life and wrote free-flowing prose about his spiritual beliefs—writings that were meant to remain private. Many years after his passing, the diaries were translated and published, so now we can gain direct access to his deepest unedited thoughts.
The series presenter observes, “For Rav Kook, Torah study is a doorway to finding the sacred in everything, and the goal of a religious life is to feel and find a sense of unity with all life. No matter how fraught the world seems, for Rav Kook each moment can hold the potential for connection and goodness.”
Rabbi Biller brings a wide perspective to his teaching and patience for all the questions we may have. He specializes in the art of storytelling, and counseling Jews of all ritual levels looking to find meaning in both modern life and rich Jewish traditions. The spiritual leader of synagogues in his native Canada, as well as in Alabama, Arkansas, New York and New Jersey, the rabbi received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Preregistration is required for the series. To register, email One registration will cover all three sessions. 


NJ Aviation Museum and Hall of Fame
Enters 52nd Year
as One of State’s
Most Enriching Places

By Jeff Garrett

If flying peaks your curiosity and you have an interest for all things air with a slice of history, a stroll on the campus of the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum in New Jersey many be just the tonic as warmer weather approaches. Located at 400 Fred Wehran Drive in Teterboro, the Museum showcases helicopters and airplanes along with displaying the career highlights and attributes of some of New Jersey and the country’s greatest contributors to Aviation since flying began.

One interactive exhibit is apart of the institutions “Fundamentals of Flight” interactive aerodynamics exhibit allowing guests to do more than just view historical aircraft. Another exhibit offered showcases the rocket which propelled the famous X-15 to previously unheard of, record-breaking speeds and heights, as America’s first hovercraft.

Inside the museum, smaller almost model airplanes are displayed along with key parts and figures from planes from different military eras. Space equipment is also on display as well as important artifacts, pictures and photographs and a library which has well over 3.800 volumes with video.

There’s something there for pilots on an interactive level no less. The hall of fame and museum showcases an FAA-approved Gleim Virtual Cockpit BATD Flight Simulator where pilots in-training can log hours for their Private Pilot Certificate and stay current on the latest pilot innovations.

Now in its 52nd year, having opened in 1972, over 200 inductees have a spot in the Hall of Fame in Teterboro.

These include pioneers of Aviation such as Amelia Earhart, who was the first woman to fly over the Atlantic Ocean using a Teterboro-built Fokker Trimotor. Another inductees is Charles Lindbergh who made a successful transatlantic flight in the Spirit of St. Louis, an aircraft powered with a motor  tuned at Teterboro.

The Mission of the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey is, “to provide an enriching  experience to all visitors about New Jersey’s role in achieving innovative air accomplishments.”

The Museum offers membership at Solo, Companion and Crew Membership levels while having a  Corporate Membership level as well.  The Museum is a constant source of curiosity and  wonderment for children too and is open from 10:30am until 4pm, Wednesdays through Saturdays.

For more information on the Museum and HOF, logon to , email or call 201-288-6344.







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