Roxbury Life April 23

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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. 

 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.
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There’s an ancillary objective too.

“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.                                                                             Click Here to Check out Junkin Irishman Website

“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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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.

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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!

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.                                                                                                                                                                                        Click Here to Check out Magnolia Website

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.

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! 
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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  


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? 

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“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.  

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.                                                                                                                                                                                     Click Here to Check out Mt Olive Acupuncture Website

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.    

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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. 

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. 

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. 
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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. 
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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)
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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.

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.  Click Here to Check out Artistry Skin 

“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 Townships

1.8 miles of Newark Pompton Turnpike (CR 660) from Jacksonville Road to Route 23 in Pequannock Township        Click Here to Check out Kidz World

Roxbury Senior Andrew Darling Performed with National Honors Choir

Roxbury High School Senior Andrew Darling successfully auditioned for and was accepted into the American Choral Directors Association National Honors Choir. This prestigious ensemble is comprised of the top high school and collegiate singers in the entire United States.

Last weekend he performed at the American Choral Directors Association National Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. The ensemble was under the direction of Dr. Eugene Rogers, Director of Choral Activities at the University of Michigan. He also had the opportunity to meet world-renowned composers such as Rollo Dilworth. 

The American Choral Directors Association is a national organization founded in 1959 to serve the professional needs of all choir directors. From its origin, ACDA has promoted excellence in choral music through its workshops, symposia, choral program exchanges, international efforts, and especially through its conferences. Their mission is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Carebot ABA Provides Care and Compassion to Children on the Autism Spectrum

By Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Carebot ABA is a new center-based ABA program where children between 18 months and 8-years-old can shine. ABA is a behavioral therapy used to help improve the communication and social skills of children with autism. It’s highly individualized, meaning that it is tailored to each child’s unique needs and skills. ABA therapy has been clinically proven to enable children to interact better with the world around them. ABA uses positive reinforcement to improve communication and social skills in children with autism. 

Carebot Founder Krassy Brown has worked in special education for many years. She’s helped families with underprivileged children apply for government and insurance benefits. “I see the need in the communities, the lack of quality care that these families are receiving,” she said. “These children had a diagnosis, but they didn’t have the proper center. Families tried to find a place for their child. The child regressed. It’s heartbreaking. Through the research I’ve done, I’ve developed a vision to provide a high level of care. There was a need inside of me to create that ultimate space to help these children thrive.”  

What makes Carebot different from other autism centers is that it’s not a standard child center. It looks like no other center. The tables and chairs stimulate the child’s senses, so the child doesn’t get distracted. Every therapy room has lighting that can be changed to suit the need of a child. 

According to Brown, Carebot spared no expensive in special equipment design for children with autism. She shared, “We have consulted with so many medical professionals in the autism field. What colors to bring in. Painting the walls. Everything is especially curated for them and their disabilities.”
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There are multiple therapy rooms to promote balance, including a high-tech calming room to compose children when they’re having an episode and they need a serene experience. There is also a gym/activity room and a parent viewing room where parents can visually observe their child during therapy sessions. 

“Parents are not allowed into the center during therapy sessions due to HIPPA compliance,” explained Brown. “But they can observe their child both for peace of mind and as a part of the therapy process to see what the therapist is doing and implementing those practices at home and in the community.” 

Continuing, she added, “We care about the child. We want that child to be successful. The goal is to get the child in a mainstream classroom, so he does not have to continue therapy into adulthood.” 

Pranali Hoyle, BCBA-D, is a board-certified behavior analyst at Carebot. When she began working as a behavior analyst, she worked with students directly. Now she’s working on developing policies and procedures. 

Hoyle has a master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis from Caldwell University. She earned her board certification in 2014. She’s recently completed her doctorate in ABA from Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Hoyle has provided services for children in the autism spectrum for over 20 years and has served in many capacities within the special education sector.  

“I always wanted to work in special education, since I was a child,” she said. “I always had a love for learning. I fell in love with the science of behavior analyst and honed-in on my skills.” 

Hoyle is inspired by so many things about the children in her line of work. For example, when a child doesn’t have communication skills and they say a word for the first time—and a parent hears them talk for the first time. “A child gets to have a positive outcome in life,” she said. “It takes a long time to get there.” 

Her work does not come without challenges for those with more severe disabilities. “Early intervention is key with any disability,” she explained. “Getting that diagnosis and getting service as soon as possible. I’ve had adult clients come to me at the age of 30 that have been successful. Sometimes it’s a little late to address some things than it is when they’re younger. It’s harder to change the outcome.” 

Hoyle has had clients from ages 21 and up, with the oldest being in his 70s. “It’s about quality of life,” she said. “Making sure their comfortable as possible.” 

For more information on Carebot ABA, visit:
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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.  

 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. 
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 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.
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EMS Student Selected for the Morris County’s Middle School Leadership Award

Roxbury Township Public Schools is proud to announce that one of its students, Paul Marcianti, an eighth-grader at Eisenhower Middle School (EMS), will receive this year’s Morris County Superintendent’s Middle School Leadership Award (MSLA) by the Morris County Association of School Administrators (MCASA) this spring.

Each year, EMS participates in the Morris County Middle School Leadership Award. This award seeks to identify eighth grade students that “represent a model of citizenship and leadership in their respective school community”.                                            Click Here to Check out Jersey Girl 

Each middle school in the county selects one student from each middle school in their district to receive this honor based on academic, extracurricular, and community leadership that has had a positive impact on their school environment and someone who serves as role models for others.

This year, eleven students in all were nominated for consideration. Eisenhower’s faculty and staff completed their review of the merits and information provided in each anonymous application. After the votes were tallied, and after yet another extremely close race, this year’s recipient was announced.

EMS Principal Paul Gallagher congratulated Paul and shared why he was selected for this award.
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“Paul is a well-rounded student, athlete, artist, and citizen. Paul is receiving this award in recognition of his consistently strong academic performance, participation in athletics and the arts, and active involvement in local organizations such as St. Mary’s Church and the Boy Scouts.”

Adding, “Paul’s recent projects in and around the community include the Roxbury Food Drive, constructing picnic tables for Horseshoe Lake, and the beautification of the Roxbury High School gardens. He was also selected to participate in our Art Enrichment class, which is a high school class that meets after school twice a week at EMS.”

While reflecting on his time at EMS, Paul shared the following thoughts in his application, “EMS is such a unique community because there is a variety of students and staff. I feel at some schools, kids can’t be themselves because they have to worry about what other kids think of them or they have to wear a uniform to school and not be able to express themselves the way they want. But with EMS, I like that no one has to worry about being alone because there is a group for everyone to fee like they fit in.”

“Congratulations again, Paul! We are fortunate to have you as part of the EMS family! Keep up the great work in and out of school,” shared Principal GallagherClick Here to Check out 200 Club


10 Tips to Recognize Ripe Fruits 

Keeping fresh fruit around the house provides a healthier alternative when your sweet tooth comes calling. Understanding how and when to buy at the peak of ripeness (or just before, in some cases) can help you avoid food waste while keeping your doctor happy. 

Consider these simple tips for recognizing ripe fruits:

Strawberries: Check the area at the top of the berry near the stem and leaves. A ripe strawberry is fully red; green or white near the top means the fruit is underripe. 

Watermelon: The “field spot,” or the area where the melon sat on the ground, should be yellow, and a tap on the rind should produce a hollow sound. 

Cherries: Flesh should appear dark with a crimson color and feel firm. 

Blueberries: Similar to cherries, color should deepen to dark blue. A reddish or pink color may be visible in unripe berries. 

Blackberries: Look for a smooth texture without any red appearance. Because blackberries don’t ripen after being picked, they tend to spoil quickly. 

Cantaloupe: You should detect a sweet smell, and the melon should feel heavy upon lifting. 

Peaches: A sweet, fragrant odor should be apparent. Skin should feel tender but not soft. 

Pineapple: Smell is again an important factor for pineapple – a sweet scent shows it’s ready, but a vinegary one likely means it’s overripe. 

Raspberries: Generally follow the same rules as blackberries. Best eaten within a couple days of purchase, a bright red color represents ripe berries.                                                                                                                                                     Click Here to Check out Royal Lawns 

Bananas: A ripe banana features a peel lightly spotted without significant bruising. Your best bet may be to purchase bananas still slightly green and allow them to ripen at home.                                                                                                                                                               

Find more food tips, tricks, recipes and videos at 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images
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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.

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.                                                                                      Click Here to Check out Panther Valley Golf 

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. 
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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.


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                                                Click Here to Check out Al’s 

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


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.                                                                       Click Here to Check out Al’s 

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.  

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.”                               Click Here to Check out Sint’s 

Jake is currently a student at County College of Morris (CCM), online, and working part time at the Madison YMCA. 

“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.” 

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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. 

“We love our home, we’d love to stay in Madison,” Jennifer said.

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

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. 

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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.

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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