Roxbury Life November 2023

Mt. Olive School JROTC   
By Henry M. Holden

The face of aviation is changing, and it’s beginning to look a lot like high school students.
It’s been six years since the first group of cadets buckled up in cockpits in pursuit of an Air Force-sponsored private pilot certificate through the Air Force Junior ROTC Flight Academy program at Mt. Olive High School.
AFJROTC is a program dedicated to furthering students as leaders and citizens. The program teaches students about a broad spectrum of topics, including finance, budgeting, leadership, and aerospace. The program is structured to help students develop as individuals and provides opportunities to grow and learn as a part of a group.
Male and female students in grades 9 through 12 can engage in the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. It was started in 2017 under retired Chief Master Sergeant (Robert) Bedell’s leadership.  He said 84 Mount Olive students will be participating this school year.
The Roxbury and Mount Olive school districts are partnering this year to offer (AFJROTC) classes to Roxbury High School students.
“Twelve Roxbury students have signed-up for the new, full-year “cross-town” program,” said Bedell, the AF JROTC instructor at Mount Olive High School. He said classes began with the start of the school year.
Roxbury Schools Superintendent Frank Santora, at a recent Roxbury School Board meeting, called the new partnership “exciting,” and said it is “another example of our district seeking to expand and enhance its offerings to our students.”

Santora said Roxbury students will attend classes of their own, taking a bus from Succasunna to Mount Olive High School and returning in time for their bus home or to attend sports or other after-school activities.
“First and foremost, unlike college ROTC, JROTC in high school has zero military commitment,” Bedell explained. “Instruction will focus on leadership skills as well as aerospace topics.
“For us, it is very leadership focused. We really focus on that character development.”

The mission of Air Force Junior ROTC is to “develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community.”
“The Air Force Junior ROTC is not an USAF accessions program and cadets are never under any obligation to join the military,” said Bedell.
Nevertheless, students will be required to wear AF JROTC uniforms to school on the days they have classes.
“They’ll be graded like any other class,” said Bedell. “They’ll have homework and tests … It’s a tool to teach them time management. They’ve got to prepare that uniform, and they learn how to be meticulous. They also have physical fitness training class … It’s a good morale booster.”
Bedell said, “Most AFJROTC participants do not go on to careers in the military. “Only about thirty percent express any interest in the military aspect.”
Those that do, whether it be for officer training or as enlisted servicemembers, get a leg up on recruits that did not participate in Junior ROTC. For example, those who enlist start out with E-2 pay instead of the usual E-1,” he said.
Since the summer of 2018, 1,089 AFJROTC cadets have pursued their dream of becoming a pilot, with 861, or 79 percent, succeeding. A significant achievement considering that outside of the Flight Academy program, the dropout rate for learner pilots is around 80 percent, according to research by aviation advocacy groups, such as Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
The program was initially launched as part of the Air Force Aircrew Crisis Task Force with the stated goals of restoring the “luster of aviation” to high school students by increasing the pool of pilots for both the military and civilian aviation communities, each facing severe pilot shortages, and to increase diversity in the cockpit.
The AFJROTC Flight Academy accepted the challenge, and the program has grown significantly since the initial class of 120 cadets took to the skies in 2018. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the program in 2020.
“All cadets are encouraged to apply for the reopened Flight Academy and to consider aviation as a profession,” said Ben Caro, division chief for Headquarters AFJROTC Program Development. “It’s fantastic to see the diversity of the cadets interested in the program.”
The unit’s Senior Aerospace Science Instructor, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Brian Dickenson said, “After three years, it was great to see a full drill team and color guard perform especially well. I think it was a great experience for all the cadets whose hard work and dedication came to fruition, I am exceptionally proud of everyone.”
“Chief Bedell and I really appreciate how Mount Olive and the surrounding communities have embraced the Air Force Junior ROTC program and support the cadets,” said Dickenson, “We are honored for the opportunity to mentor Mount Olive’s young leaders now and in the future.
“Air Force Junior ROTC works to teach important skills and reinforce personal traits to help make students successful in life, no matter what type of career they choose following high school. These life skills are based on the Air Force core values of integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.
“Students also learn important aspects of leadership, followership, specific details adhering to personal appearance, grooming standards, and proper uniform wear. They will also have the opportunity to participate in Leadership Development Activities, including the possibility of earning a scholarship to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s Flight Academy, where they get a chance to earn their private pilot certification.
“These activities,” said Dickenson, “reinforce the lessons they will learn in the classroom and provide them an opportunity to lead and lear
n among their peers. These activities are our ‘hands-on’ teaching tools and are a very fun and exciting way to reinforce the importance of teamwork, service, positive attitude, hard-work, and positive image. Air Force Junior ROTC is a place where a student will not only start to grasp important life lessons, but they will truly feel a sense of accomplishment, belonging, and pride that comes with teamwork and success.
“There are four levels in the academically accredited program, and students can participate in the program for one year or to four years,” said Dickerson. “The benefits are huge, both personally and professionally. Cadets who take advantage of additional years of Air Force Junior ROTC earn extra opportunities to practice their leadership skills by leading unit operations,” said Dickenson.
“All cadets will study Aerospace Science, Leadership Education, and Health and Wellness during each year of the program.  The focus of each area changes from year-to-year and no cadet will repeat curriculum during their time in the Air Force Junior ROTC program.”
The AFJROTC program itself is an elective course worth five credits, and students must meet the same grading requirements as all other Mount Olive Township School District courses.
“Community service by the cadets is a key tenant of good citizenship as it builds character and perspective,” said Dickerson. “Cadets are encouraged to become involved in the community by volunteering with local organizations and finding other ways to give back to their community. Not only do the cadets benefit but, the community benefits as well.”

Roxbury resident takes part in William Paterson Society of Professional Journalists award winning chapter
By Steve Sears
Early in his senior year at William Paterson University in Wayne, Roxbury resident Nicholas Montesano joined the William Paterson Society of Professional Journalists (WPSPJ), which in September was named 2023 SPJ Outstanding Campus Chapter.
Montesano, who is 21 and was born in Livingston and attended Denville’s Morris County School of Technology, said of the special recognition, “I am really proud of the SPJ team for what they have done. They coordinate events, and just being able to coordinate these events as part of WPSPJ has been really cool and unique.”
Prior to college, Montesano’s focus was Art, as was his first two and a half years at William Paterson. In the 2023 spring semester, that all changed when he selected Public Relations as his new major. “Because of my love for writing,” Montesano said of the switch. “I wanted to go into something related to working in PR. I have always really loved writing, and I thought that was more of my strong suit and talent. It was a weird transfer because I chose to change majors midway through my junior year, which most people do not do. I got lucky because a lot of my art class credits transferred to my new PR degree, thankfully, so I am supposed to be on track to graduate next May 2024. It has been pretty much seamless. My advisor, Dr. Nicholas Hirshon, has done a really good job of helping me transfer to the Communications department, and he has been welcoming.”
Hirshon, who is a journalism professor in addition to being advisor for the WPSPJ, said, “Winning this honor has energized our chapter to keep providing opportunities for student journalists like Nick. Journalism students are growing up in an uncertain time for our profession: layoffs, shuttered news outlets, mounting distrust from the public and politicians. They deserve our encouragement and support. Society needs dedicated reporters like those we’re training at William Paterson.”
While a newer member of WPSPJ, Montesano has with his fellow members attended the chapter’s tour of News 12 New Jersey in Edison, taken part in a trip to Long Island to tour the offices of Newsday, and recently shadowed WFAN radio anchor, Peter Schwartz, while he announced a New York Riptide lacrosse game at the Nassau Coliseum.
Montesano’s dream assignment during the remainder of his WPSPJ timeline would be shadowing National Basketball Association Commissioner, Adam Silver.
Montesano said, “The NBA makes a lot of changes per year in relation to social justice, and more equal opportunity in the field of basketball, on and off the off the court, and they do a lot to enhance the community. So, I would love to shadow Adam Silver.” He then added, “It’s just wonderful to be able to have the opportunity to be a part of something so unique, and just be able to make an impact at the college.”

Local Community Gathers To Pray For Peace In Israel 
By Cheryl Conway

There is no question for the despair felt globally and locally to the most recent attacks in Israel but rechanneling that distress into action may be the best approach.
More than 50 people gathered at the Chabad Jewish Center of Mt. Olive on Thursday, October 12, for an Evening of Unity and Solidarity: Torah, Prayer and Charity. Adults and children from Mt. Olive, Roxbury, Long Valley, Chester, Hackettstown and other surrounding areas gathered at the Flanders synagogue for the 6:30 p.m. program.
“Our hearts are broken by the horrific events that took place in our holy land,” says Rabbi Yaacov Shusterman of the Chabad Jewish Center of Mt. Olive. In Israel in particular, “Our hearts wonder what will be, where do we go from here, how will this end?”
Shusterman shares how this happened 50 years ago with the Yom Kippur War, also kn
own as the October War or the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.
“We suffered heavy losses there,” he says.
A chief rabbi in Brooklyn asks, “What’s gonna be? One shouldn’t ask what’s gonna be,” but rather say “What’s going to be done?”
As Shusterman puts it: “Despair vs. action. When we ask what will be, it’s an expression of weakness.”
Whether a person is feeling despair or is afraid, “this shouldn’t stop us from taking action and having positivity,” says Shusterman. Doing “mitzvas” or good deeds and “davening” or praying “makes a big difference. Every extra bit —this is the time to think of mitzvas.”
Shusterman lists ways people can give back: Give charity to Israel, put on tefillin, hang a mezuzah outside a person’s dwelling and light Shabbat candles.

“This is our weaponry,” says Shusterman. “Let us hope we will rise to the throne of Hashem [G-d], bring safety and security to our brothers and sisters, all of our soldiers, that Hashem shows us miracles.”
Mt. Olive Twp. Mayor Rob Greenbaum also attended the program and shares his concern.
“There really isn’t much to say that is comforting from my perspective,” admits Greenbaum. “I live in the secular world not the religious world, although I appreciate and value my Jewish background.”
In 1938, Greenbaum’s father came to the United States from Germany with a few of his relatives, “so I can harken back to Nazi, Germany.”
Adds Greenbaum, in Mt. Olive “we have division and it’s unfortunate. We all can’t just get along. For 25 years I’ve served this township.” There is “nothing greater than bringing our community together. Seeing the horrific terrorism, I didn’t know what to say. I know in 15 years, we will be back” whether that will be a shooting at a synagogue or at “gay and lesbian music halls.”
Unfortunately, “people have hatred, politicians aren’t helping us at all. I’m looking for some silver lining. Hamas is an organization donated to killing Jews. It’s unfortunate that Palestinians have to live with Hamas. They now have to stop Hamas. They want nothing more than to live in peace and prosper.”
Greenbaum shares a story he recently saw on the news about a woman who had just moved to Israel. Her child was killed in a terrorist attack and she needed 10 people for a minyan to hold his funeral service, but instead surprisingly 10,000 showed up.
“There is hope,” says Greenbaum. “We will heal from this and we will never forget.”

A Jewish man with ties to Israel also gave an update as to what he knew about the situation in Israel.
“Nobody was ready for this,” says Raffi Kadosh. “It’s horrific!” Feelings in Israel are mixed between desperation and courage, he says. He spoke to one friend who lives in the Kibbutz and he’s talking about courage and how “No one is leaving the country.

“Israel is an insurance policy for every Jew,” says Kadosh, “if they don’t have any place to go. That’s why the state of Israel, we have to make sure it is safe. I believe in prayers. Be proud of being Jewish and your support of Israel. It’s really a tough time right now.”
He says the understanding is to either make peace or establish two different states. How that will happen is the issue: “If they’re going to put down their guns, then we’re going to have peace,” he explains “If we put down our guns, we are dead. They have one agenda. We’re not going to let it happen!”
Shusterman shares a letter written by a New Jersey soldier from Morristown who lives in Israel with his wife and children. Ezzy Morganstein was at services with his family when they were under attack. His fourth war since living there, Morganstein says “of course we will survive. We know exactly what we need to do now.”

He says wars are fought with guns. Don’t let them ruin “your” minds.
“Share faith, hope and encouragement,” writes Morganstein. “Think good and we will be good.”
Shusterman read the names of about 20 soldiers fighting on the ground in a special prayer. A local family in the back of the shul added some names to the list from relatives fighting in Israel.
Those in attendance followed along in prayer for those in captivity, a prayer for all the soldiers and a memorial prayer for those who lost their lives. Three songs were sung describing peace and that “The nation of Israel will always survive.”
Captain Michael Spitzer from the Mt. Olive Police Department also got up to speak.
“You are in our thoughts and prayers,” Spitzer told those in attendance. “We pray for everyone here and everyone overseas. You are safe in Mt. Olive; if anyone here is not feeling safe you can come talk to us.”
Shusterman thanks the police officers who attended and who provide security to help keep the community safe.

“I too would like to thank the police department,” says Greenbaum “They value our security.”
The prayer pamphlet sums it up nicely: “The whole world is a very narrow bridge but the important thing is not to fear at all.”
Concludes Shusterman in his final remarks, “It wasn’t a question, it’s so special we all came out together. The main thing is Hashem should hear our davening. Bring peace all over. Bring peace to our soldiers.”
On the way out, participants donated charity to support soup kitchens in Israel and needed supplies to soldiers. Women were given Shabbat candles to continue their prayers at home.   

Merry and Bright Festival of Trees 20th Anniversary
The Merry and Bright Festival of Trees 20th Anniversary will be held on Saturday, December 2 – Saturday, December 9 at the Barn at Highlands Ridge Park, 100 North Road, Chester, NJ. The Festival of Trees is a community event sponsored by the Senior Resource Center (SRC). It features a spectacular display of decorated holiday trees of all sizes for viewing and for sale, all within a winter wonderland setting. Donations are also accepted towards the purchase of trees for local families. Visit Santa and enjoy entertainment throughout the week. Visit the gift table for holiday items at reasonable prices!! All proceeds benefit the SRC.
Cost: Adults: $10, Seniors & Students: $5. Credit cards accepted
For hours and additional information: . Senior Resource Center: 908-879-2202

A Hobby Turned Into A Passion for Hall of Famer Czigler 

What started as a beer brewing hobby in his family’s basement turned into a passion that ultimately has turned into a hugely successful craft beer business for Matthew Czigler. That passion and success has led to Czigler being chosen as one of this year’s inductees into the Warren County Hall of Fame.
The annual Hall of Fame event, presented by the Warren Community College Foundation, will take place at Hawk Pointe Golf Club in Washington Township on Saturday Nov. 11. In addition to Czigler, this year’s inductees include: Dr. Frank Gilly, Susan Sloan, Michael Lavery, and Jim Kelsey. Also chosen posthumously was Harry Br
own and Tiffani Warren.
Czigler’s dream of opening a brewery that would double as a community-connector came to fruition in 2016 with the opening of Czig Meister Brewing Company in Hackettstown at the former Knechel Ford showroom.

 Besides offering an array of tasty beers made in-house, Czigler wanted to have an establishment where people could gather. “I wanted the brewery to be a place in town where family and friends could relax in a fun atmosphere,” he says. “I wanted it to be different than a bar.”
The brewery has become
that place, and much more. And all roads of this success story are led by the leadership of Czigler. Under his guidance Czig Meister has been recognized as one of the best in New Jersey and in fact, has won numerous awards for its selection of beers. The State of New Jersey has also recognized the business – and Czigler – by the Small Business Development Centers of New Jersey for its entrepreneurial efforts. Czig Meister has become a major staple of Downtown Hackettstown and draws tens of thousands of visitors to the brewery every year.
How Czigler got to this point in time starts with college where he was a Triple Major in Science: Microbiology, Biochemistry, Molecular/Cellular Biology.

His first job after graduation was for Collagen Matrix, a Biotech Firm – where he worked in research and development for dental implant innovations. Soon enough, he felt the urge of beer, once a hobby, now something more. He returned to school to study brewing at the prestigious Siebel Institute in Chicago and their sister school Doemans Academy in Munich German, where he graduated first in his class and received a degree in Brewing Science.
His first job in brewing was at the Adirondack Pub and Brewery in Lake George, NY. where he was the Assistant Brewer. His second job in brewing was at Kane Brewing Company in Ocean, NJ. where he was the Head Brewer. With the help of his parents, he opened Czig Meister Brewing Company where he brews many different styles of beers: ales, lagers, sours, and hard seltzers.
Czig Meister is a community focused business. It works with local charities through sponsorship, giving taps, and festivals. Some of the local charities that Czig Meister has strong ties to are Foodshed Alliance, Arc of Warren County, and DASACC.As a member of the Hackettstown BID he works on many town wide festivals. He is also a longtime member – and board of trustee – of the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Hall of Fame event is open to the public and includes musical entertainment by the 3 Lelicas. For advance information on sponsorships or tickets,, or email

3-D Printing in Dentistry

 It’s very likely you’ve heard about 3-D printing in many aspects of your life.  60 Minutes recently ran a segment where houses are actually being 3-D printed!  Dentistry is also benefiting from this technology.

Things such as crowns, nightguards, orthodontic aligners (invisible braces), and even dentures can be 3-D printed right in the dental office.  In our office, we even print something called a surgical guide that we can utilize for highly accurate implant placement.

When we combine digital impressions with 3-D printing, our patients really benefit on so many levels.  Faster appointments, fewer appointments, accuracy, & comfort are a few areas of improvement & efficiency.

So how does 3-D printing work?  A digital file of the item to be printed (such as a crown, denture, or other item) is sent to the printer.  The printer then utilizes a liquid resin specifically designed for the item and lays down a layer at a time until the item is created.  Once the item is created, it is washed and then cured (hardened) with intense light.

To give you an example of how this can benefit a patient, I’ll walk you through the steps of a single implant from 10 years ago compared to now.  10 years ago a patient would come into the office and we would take a 2-D film (as opposed to a 3-D film, which is much more informative & accurate).  We would then take a goopy impression to make models.  We would work up a study, and then in a surgical appointment we would place an implant.  Further down the road we would then take more goopy impressions to make the final crown, and then we would deliver the crown.  Due to the expansion and contraction of materials, the crowns and other implant parts did not always fit.

Fast forward to current day:  A patient would have a 3-D scan of their teeth (no goopy impression material) and a 3-D film of their bone.  We combine this data with computers and design both the implant position and crown.  In a very short & conservative surgical appointment we place the implant with a 3-D printed surgical guide, and oftentimes place the crown at the same appointment, which was also 3-D printed.  That crown (as well as the surgical guide) fits much more accurately than the 10-year-old process because it is an “additive” process, and there is no shrinkage or distortion of material.

Technology has really helped to advance dentistry, and we use it every day at our practice.  3-D printing has become an indispensable piece of technology, and its here to stay, for the benefit of both our patients and our dental team.

Do you have questions?  Visit Dr. Goldberg’s website, or contact us for a free consultation.

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 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.  Dr. Goldberg is a general dentist, a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, and a Scholar of the Dawson Academy of Comprehensive Dentistry.  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
 Click Here to Check out Morris County Dental Website

Alleviate Arthritis with Acupuncture

Arthritis, a common and often debilitating condition, affects millions of people around the world. While conventional treatments such as medications and physical therapy can be effective, an increasing number of individuals are turning to complementary and alternative therapies to manage their arthritis symptoms. Among these alternatives, acupuncture has gained recognition for its potential to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with various forms of arthritis.

Before delving into how acupuncture can effectively treat arthritis, it’s essential to comprehend the nature of the condition. Arthritis is a broad term that encompasses over 100 different types, with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the most prevalent. Both conditions cause inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the joints, impacting an individual’s quality of life.

Pain Management and Inflammation Reduction

One of the most prominent benefits of acupuncture in arthritis management is its ability to manage pain and reduce inflammation. By inserting needles into key acupoints associated with the affected joints, acupuncture can stimulate the release of endorphins and other natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body. Additionally, it may help in reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which contribute to the joint inflammation characteristic of arthritis.

Improved Joint Mobility

Arthritis often limits joint mobility due to pain and stiffness. Acupuncture can help alleviate this restriction by promoting better blood flow to the affected areas and relaxing muscle tension. This, in turn, enables individuals to regain some of their lost mobility and flexibility, making daily activities more manageable.

Individualized Treatment

One of the key advantages of acupuncture is its personalized approach. Practitioners tailor treatments to suit the unique needs of each patient. Whether an individual is dealing with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or another form of the condition, an acupuncturist can customize their treatment plan to address specific symptoms and concerns.

Acupuncture offers a holistic and individualized approach to managing arthritis. By addressing pain, reducing inflammation, and improving joint mobility, this ancient practice can be a valuable part of a comprehensive arthritis treatment plan. If you are considering acupuncture as part of your arthritis management, call Mt. Olive Acupuncture and Wellness 973-527-7968

Can Chiropractic Treatment Help to Prevent Back Surgery?

By Michael Lalama, DC

In the United States, chiropractors are portal-of-entry providers that routinely manage low back pain, including lumbar disc herniation and lumbosacra radiculopathy.1 A lumbar disc herniation can be described as a localized protrusion of intervertebral disc material beyond the normal limit of the disc margin.1 The intervertebral discs are cartilage blocks between the bones (or vertebrae) of the spine, and when they herniate, they can protrude further than normal and cause irritation and inflammation of the nerves in and around the spine.1 If a disc herniation compresses or causes irritation to a spinal nerve as it exits the spine, it can lead to a condition known as radiculopathy (often referred to as a “pinched nerve”).1 Radiculopathy commonly leads to radiating/traveling (or radicular) pain, typically into an arm or a leg.1 When radiculopathy occurs in the low back and/or pelvic region, it is termed lumbosacral radiculopathy (often referred to as “sciatica”); this can lead to symptoms such as shooting pain in the leg, decreased sensation or numbness/tingling, as well as decreased muscle strength.1

Chiropractors are able to evaluate patients and diagnose these musculoskeletal conditions, and they often use a variety of techniques (e.g., chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy, soft tissue massage, therapeutic exercise, etc.) to decrease pain and improve function.1 Previous studies have demonstrated the benefits of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for lumbar disc herniation and lumbosacral radiculopathy, and has also been found to be one of the most effective treatments for lumbosacral radiculopathy caused by a disc herniation.1 Because of this, US clinical practice guidelines currently recommend spinal manipulation for low back pain and lumbosacral radiculopathy.1

Individuals suffering from lumbosacral radiculopathy commonly seek medical treatment, and, depending on individual factors, might undergo a lumbar discectomy.1 A discectomy is a surgical procedure where the herniated disc material that is causing compression or irritation of the spinal nerve is removed; early discectomy can provide patients with short-term benefits, such as decreased radicular symptoms.1 However, patients who had lumbosacral radiculopathy and received a lumbar discectomy had similar long-term outcomes at 1 to 2 years after surgery as those who received conservative treatment (e.g., chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, etc.).1 This suggests that as long as a patient does not have severe or “red flag” neurological symptoms, conservative care should be the first line of treatment.1

To investigate the association between chiropractic treatment and its effect on the incidence of lumbar discectomy, a research study was performed on over 3,000 patients from over 70 healthcare organizations.1 This retrospective cohort study set out to examine the association between receiving chiropractic spinal manipulation for newly diagnosed lumbar disc herniation and/or lumbosacral radiculopathy and the odds of lumbar discectomy at both a 1-year and 2-year follow-up.1 They found that patients who received chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for the initial treatment of lumbar disc herniation/lumbosacral radiculopathy have reduced odds of discectomy at both the 1-year and 2-year follow-up.1

This suggests that individuals suffering from lumbar disc herniation and/or lumbosacral radiculopathy who receive chiropractic treatment have significantly reduced odds of undergoing a discectomy compared to those receiving other types of treatment.1 Due to these results, chiropractic spinal manipulation should be a primary treatment option for patients with lumbar disc herniation and/or lumbosacral radiculopathy before surgical interventions, specifically lumbar discectomy.

It is important to note that everyone is different, and not everyone suffering for lumbar disc herniation or lumbosacral radiculopathy respond the same to chiropractic treatment. In severe cases, lumbar discectomy is indicated and should not be delayed. It is always important to consult a licensed healthcare professional to see which treatment options are right for you.

Trager RJ, Daniels CJ, Perez JA, et al.  Association between chiropractic spinal manipulation and lumbar discectomy in adults with lumbar disc herniation and radiculopathy: retrospective cohort study using United States’ data. BMJ Open 2022;12:e068262. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2022-068262

For more information call Functional Chiropractic 973.975.4700,


Old Barracks in Trenton Gathers No Moss as Time-Honored
Visitors Destination in New Jersey

By Jeff Garrett

If you’re looking for a fun day trip to learn about the Revolutionary War, just head to the Old Barracks at the state capital.   The Old Barracks Museum is unique for preserving the history of a structure which served several purposes during America’s war for independence.  The barracks originally was constructed for use as winter quarters during the French and Indian War in 1758 and later used to house British soldiers in the Revolutionary War.

An addition was put onto the building in 1759. Four other barracks were built in New Jersey as well but the one in Trenton is the only one left standing. As events unfolded, British prisoners of war were then held in the Officers’ House while up to four companies of the

Second New Jersey regiment of the Continental Line were raised at the building. During the war, the Continental Army used the Barracks as a spot to receive inoculations against  diseases and will be forever connected the famous in the Battle of Princeton and Battle of

Trenton which was won by George Washington’s troops. It has been a museum for over a century now and was purchased by an alliance between Daughters of American Revolution and the Colonial Dames at the start of the 20th Century.

But before this occurred, some of the Barracks were obliterated in order to lengthen Front Street to State House. These two structures were able to survive by becoming apart of the Trenton landscape and becoming home to groups such as The Indigent Widows’ and Single

Women’s Home Society of Trenton as well as the home of the first mayor of Trenton and served as a boarding school.

Aside from the DAR and Dames association purchasing the Barracks they decided to use it as a repository for everything connected to the American Revolution beginning in 1902. They then transferred ownership of the north section along with the Old Barracks Association selling

off a portion, to the State of New Jersey in 1914 after an agreement was made to operate the building as a museum. The middle section of the building was restored.

No major structural changes occurred for the next 70 years or so until the Barracks underwent a multi-million dollar restoration between 1985 and 1998. The goal of this transformation was to capture how the Barracks appeared in 1758.

In “Operation Restoration 2016” more touch-ups were exacted to the buildings.  Woodwork of the barracks and Officers’ House along with new windows for the Officers House were installed.

A matching grant from The Society of Colonial Wars in New Jersey as well as help from The 1772 Foundation and new jersey Historical Trust made these adjustments and makeovers possible.

The Old Barracks hosts over 12,000 students from schools yearly and is touted as New Jersey’s most frequented tourist spot.  Students continue to learn about the structures themselves and about the exciting historical exhibits and collections inside the buildings.

The Old Barracks Museum is located at 1101 Barrack Street in Trenton and is open from 10am to 5pm, Wednesdays through Saturdays. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens while children under 5 and active military are free. Masks must also be worn while on museum grounds.

To learn more about the Barracks log onto, email or call 609-396-1776.

A Thanksgiving Story
By Richard Mabey Jr.

There are moments in a person’s life that leave an incredible, indelible mark upon one’s heart and mind. A moment that so deeply moves a person’s heart that it is ingrained deep within the fibers and chambers of the human heart. Such a moment came to my life in the early morning of the Thanksgiving of 1968. I was 15 years old and in my sophomore year at Boonton High School.

This was to be the first Thanksgiving without the blessing of the presence of my grandfather, Watson Mabey. For the good Lord had called him Home to Heaven’s Gate, in May of that year. It had been a particularly tough time for my dear father. Dad and Grandpa had worked together for years, at their small trucking company, based in Paterson.

There was a sullen ache deep within my father’s heart. Dad missed his father all so very much. I remember the Thanksgiving Morning of 1968, like it was yesterday. My father was unusually quiet. There was an unspoken sadness in the Mabey Homestead. Grandma, Mom and my sister Patti had already begun making apple and pumpkin pies. Dad had just put the turkey in the oven.

There was a long-standing tradition in our family. On Thanksgiving Morning, Dad would securely placed the turkey in the oven. Then, Grandpa, Dad and I would walk the forest path to the old Morris Canal. Specifically to the foundation of the historic Mabey Homestead that was located along the canal path, just a few yards east of the start of the hill from where Incline Plane Ten East once proudly hailed.

I remember this all so well, as soon as Dad closed the door of the oven, he looked over to me and quietly said, “Richie, let’s you and I take a walk down to the old canal.”

In a solemn voice, with a touch of enthusiasm, I said, “sure thing Dad.”

“Better put your winter coat on Richie, it’s kind of cold out this morning,” Dad said to me as he put on his brown corduroy coat.

“Good idea Dad! I was going to wear my light jacket. I better get my winter coat out of the closet,” I replied to my father.

Dad was quiet for the first few minutes after we entered the forest path at the end of Mabey Lane. A buck with a most amazing set of antlers ran across the wooded path. The deer’s quick pace brought a half-smile to my father’s saddened face.

“Those deer can really run,” Dad said with a bit of a song in his voice.

“I haven’t seen a deer in these woods for quite a while,” I replied.

We walked further down the wooded path. When we reached the stone foundation of the old Mabey Icehouse, Dad and I sat down upon the remains of the icehouse wall. Dad looked out to the still, murky waters of the old Morris Canal. I could see tears flow down the cheeks of my father’s face.

“I miss your Grandpa, son. At times, he could be a bit rough around the edges. But then at other times, he could be as gentle as a lamb,” Dad quietly said to me.

“Dad, I remember the year I had Rheumatic Fever. Grandpa came up to visit me, every Wednesday afternoon. He used to talk about working on the canal,” I reflectively said to my father.

“Your grandfather was the last Chief Engineer to run Incline Plane Ten East. I remember as a kid, your Uncle Carl and I used to run through the old plane house, after they closed up the canal,” Dad told me, with almost a cry in his voice.

“I miss him, I miss Grandpa,” I told my father.

“It’s been over six months since he passed away. I still miss him, I still miss him so very much,” my Dad said to me, holding back his tears.

And then my father cried. It was one of the very few times that I ever saw my dear father cry.

None of us know the day nor the time, when the good Lord will call us Home to Heaven’s Gate. None of us. Not even the wealthiest person among us, knows not the time, nor the place. Life is short. Painfully short. Love one another. Accept the faults of others. Gossip not. Help one another. Help the poor. Give a nod and a smile to a stranger. Forgive, forgive and forgive others who have done you wrong. Hate nobody. Give love out to those who talk wrong of you. For truly, love is the key.

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

Poetic License in New Jersey
By Henry M. Holden
This is my letter to the world that never wrote to me.” Emily DickinsonEver since the first humans walked upright, we have felt compelled to make statements about our existence and individuality. It started with a cave dweller scratching on the wall of a cave. We got better at it over the centuries, but most of us still don’t do it as well as Emily Dickinson.We see social and political statements on walls and vehicle bumpers everywhere. The price to the errant scribe is a few bucks for the spray paint or the bumper sticker.
In over the years, we have also seen a new communication media open to anyone with a vehicle. The vehicle tag (or license plate) was not meant to be a means of social communication, but bureaucrats in our state governments have set in place an outlet for some creative urges.

The personalized vehicle tag is more expensive than a can of spray paint, and it requires a lot more creativity. The “vanity plate” as some call it, limits the statements to six or seven alpha-numeric characters.

Reruns of TV shows such as “The Dukes of Hazard,” and “LA Law,” made millions of people aware of the linguistic possibilities of that little piece of aluminum. Today, urges to create personal statements run the gamut from simple initials, and nicknames, to borderline obscenities.

And yes, there is someone in Trenton who reviews every vanity plate request to make sure it does not cross that imaginary threshold of scandalous material.

I began to notice vehicle tags when I purchased HMH-33 for my new vehicle. I could not get number one because in those days Hugh M. Heffner (of Playboy fame) was outfitting his fleet with HMH- – -.

Over the next few years, I would randomly photograph interesting vehicle tags. In the process I discovered there are many creative people in New Jersey, and they have a surprising number of six- and seven-letter number combinations that represent sentences, and almost complete thoughts.

You will find imperative and interrogative statements, verbs, adjectives, even adverbs, pronouns, and unlikely prepositions, spelling out messages to the world that never wrote to them. Many show a surprising level of creativity, and manipulation of language. Some are downright ingenious. When you travel the highways of New Jersey, you will undoubtedly see what I mean. Here’s a starter. PNOPLAR. You just get one hint. It’s a person activity.

Now here is my story. I started out BORNFRE, and I am a K9LVR. In my spare time I am a HMNSPTR.

Did I mention I have SONS X2, and they have a NO1 MOM?

I have a neighbor who has 9KIDS, but SHHH, we can’t tell GUMPA. We also have a KID DDS, and a KIDS MD. As a result, I regularly get an RX BILL and sometimes I must see a FOOTDOK, and a SHRNK. I need a REHB DR after seeing their bills.

I have several Marine buddies but one of them cannot spell SEMR FI.

My LOVLY and 1N ONLY wife is also my ALURING VLNTYN. I am an author but apparently not the number 1AUTHOR. IH8 SNO and apparently someone in Virginia does not like us NOTNJ. If You see me on the road W4VE2ME as you go by my REVN57, NONSTOP.

PNOPLAR is a piano player and HMNSPTR is a home inspector.

If this gives you some insight into the possibilities of language, then why not try this. Mosey through a busy supermarket parking lot. I’m sure you’ll find several vanity tags there. What do they say about their owners? Do they represent an effective form of communication, perhaps a higher form of intelligence, or simply a more developed ego? Is the owner’s thought process more sophisticated? Does it show you the creative potential of language?

Why don’t you try it? Within the space of six or seven letters and numbers, create a statement that accurately describes yourself, your lifestyle, or your fantasy. Limit yourself to the vehicles registered in your name. I came up with AUTHOR.

I’ll leave you with a question: UBD JUDG of HU DID IT?

When Surgery Is Required
By Richard Mabey Jr.

I have always tried to live a healthy life. I have been under chiropractic care since the age of 19. I have never smoked cigarettes, partaken in illegal drugs, nor drank alcoholic beverages. I have done my absolute best to eat organic fruits and vegetables. I take a good number of supplements of vitamins, herbs and minerals. Yet, despite all of that, my Cardiologist has told me that I am faced with having severe Aortic Stenosis.

There is no magic pill for AS. No elixer, no prescription. There is one thing that will help a person with AS, and that is to have the Aortic Valve replaced. When you’re faced with that fact, it’s a rather hard pill to swallow.

There are stages that a person goes through. And, they include a certain time period of feeling sorry for oneself, the old “why me?” questioning. Sadly, there is even a time period of feeling a bit angry about it all. And, then comes acceptance. That is about where I am now.

I was thinking a lot about what words of comfort I could share with anyone who is facing serious surgery. First and foremost is to pray. Secondly, read the holy writings of your faith or spiritual path, alone and in a quiet place. And thirdly, mentally prepare for surgery.

I have found great solace in going through old pictures. Both, my old fashioned print pictures in my photo albums and my collection of digital pictures stored on my laptop. Pictures can bring joy to one’s heart, a certain comfort, a kind of reflection of different eras of one’s life.

Another thing of great therapeutic value is to keep a journal of your feelings. Writing it down on paper will help you sort out your anxieties, fears and inward insecurities. You’ll soon see a pattern that will give you a greater understanding of what you are going through inwardly.

And of course, talk about your feelings with a trusted friend, a spiritual or religious leader, or an endearing relative. Be honest with yourself. At all costs, avoid heroic talk. Even Batman has to take off his cape and cowl at some point in time and become vulnerable Bruce Wayne.

And one more thing to do, is to write letters of kindness and appreciation to old friends and dear relatives. It is a most wonderful release of kindness and love. Let people know how they have touched your life in a positive way.

And, last but not least, inwardly and outwardly forgive the people who have done you wrong. Grudges can fester in the heart, mind and soul of a person. Bad feelings hold no true purpose in spiritual unfoldment.

Imagine that you are holding a rock. Inside that rock are all the wrongs ever done to you, by a large number of people. Further imagine that you are standing by a strong flowing river. You give the rock one last squeeze, in the palm of your hand, and then you throw the rock into the river with all your might and strength. And all your feelings of resentment toward all the people who have done you wrong, over the years, are now lying on the bottom of the raging river. Gone from you, forever.

And above all, know that God loves you more than you will ever know. Life isn’t always fair. But please know this. You were put upon this earth for a purpose. Find your purpose, your ministry, your unique mission in life. Be strong, be brave and be courageous. Hold your head up high and keep a stiff upper lift. Pray, pray and pray for God to give you the wherewithal and strength to face your surgery with an ever most positive energy.           

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

5 Fun Facts about the Month of November
Americans celebrate Thanksgiving each November, thus kicking off a holiday season that lasts until January 1. Though many see November as the start to a festive time of year, there’s even more interesting and fun facts about the eleventh month of the year.

1. Like various other months on the calendar, November has something of a misleading name. November gets its name from the Latin word “novem,” which means “nine.” But today November is the eleventh month of the year. So is November a misnomer? Not exactly. November was the ninth month on the early Roman calendar. However, when the Gregorian calendar was adopted and the Julian calendar was abandoned,   November kept its name if not its spot in the monthly pecking order. Hence, November is still known as “November” even though it’s now the eleventh month of the year and not the ninth.

2. If October goes out with ghouls and goblins on Halloween, which is celebrated on October 31, November begins a little more piously. That’s because November 1 is All Saints’ Day, a Christian solemnity, or feast day, that honors of the saints of the Christian church.

3. November is a significant month in world history. On November 11, 1918, at 5:45 a.m., an armistice was signed between the Allied Powers and Germany at Compiègne, France. The signing of the armistice ended hostilities on the Western Front, thus putting an end to World War I, which had begun more than four years earlier. The signing of the armistice ultimately led to the observance of Armistice Day on November 11, 1919. Armistice Day was subsequently renamed Remembrance Day and Americans celebrate Veterans Day on November 11. Both Remembrance Day and Veterans Day honor military personnel who served honorably in times of war, conflict and peace.

4. Topaz is the traditional birthstone of November. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the ancient Greeks believed topaz could make anyone who wore it invisible. Though that idea no longer holds water, topaz remains a symbol of honor and strength.

5. Upon his inauguration as President of the United States in 2021, Joe Biden became the sixth U.S. president with a November birthday. That tied November with July as the months with the most presidential birthdays. In addition to President Biden, Presidents James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Franklin Pierce, James A. Garfield, and Warren G. Harding were all born in November.

With A Telescope Space Has No Limits   

By Henry M. Holden

For millennium humans have been looking skyward through a telescope hoping to see something, perhaps human life forms, aliens or spaceships.

The history of astronomy is rich and deep, having been part of almost every major culture for thousands of years, but the true inventor of the first telescope is somewhat difficult to nail down.

Hans Lippershey, a lens maker, in the Netherlands, in 1608, was the first person to apply for a patent on a telescope. Galileo Galilei became the first person to look at the sky through a telescope and record his findings. What he saw changed our understanding of the universe forever. Since that time, telescopes have made it possible for us to explore our universe and discover amazing things. Such as how telescopes work, but also unveils some of the discoveries made possible by the telescope — a tool originally made of a metal tube and two small pieces of glass.

The field of astronomy was about to take a major leap upward, with the invention of the telescope.

The first astronomical use of the telescope was the Italian scientist Galileo Galilei who designed and built his own. He turned his telescope toward Jupiter, the Moon, and Venus in 1610.

Galileo became the first person to look at the sky through a telescope and record his findings. What he saw changed our understanding of the universe forever. Since that time, telescopes have made it possible for us to explore our universe and discover amazing things. Such as how telescopes work, but also unveils some of the discoveries made possible by the telescope — a tool originally made of a metal tube and two small pieces of glass.

“The pandemic shut most of the academic calendar down,” said Kevin Conod, County College of Morris (CCM) school’s planetarium astronomer.

“In June of 2022, we reopened to the public, and soon after that, we opened it to school groups and local scout groups coming back into the stream.

Since 1973, the Longo Planetarium has been bringing stars and glimpses of planets to Northern New Jersey at the CCM Longo Planetarium.

Are you curious about the quest for extrasolar worlds, and how the telescope opened the universe and other wonders related to the cosmos? Then, you’ll want to make space on your calendar for the latest schedule of “sky” shows.

“Two Small Pieces of Glass” is a full-dome planetarium show tells the story of how the first basic telescopes were constructed and used, allowing humans to gaze out further into the Universe than ever before. The history of this invention will take viewers right through to the modern day, where current telescopes are making groundbreaking discoveries almost daily.

“The program “Forward the Moon” launches us on a journey beyond the Earth towards a sustainable future in space. NASA’s 21st century Artemis program, named after the Greek moon Goddess and twin of Apollo, is the next step in our mission to explore and return astronauts to the surface of the Moon. Using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before, NASA uses what they learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap: sending the first astronauts to Mars.

“Invaders of Mars” highlights the ongoing exploration of the red planet, “We explore the Martian surface as seen by Earth’s various spacecraft “invaders” and use the data gathered to explore the planet,” said Conod. “We fly over the great chasms, canyons, and volcanoes, and descend amid the ice of a Martian polar cap where we are buffeted by swirling dust devils. Blinded by the planet-wide storms which engulf this world from time to time we emerge to discover something new.

“You can explore the Universe from the Earth and other planets in our Solar System to galaxies and beyond,” said Conod. The Digistar projection system can display thousands of stars, planets, and the Moon onto a 33-foot diameter domed ceiling.

All are welcome to attend the public programs; schools, camp and scout groups can be scheduled in advance. “Our spring schedule features the public programs on the 2nd and 4th weekends of the month,” said Conod.

February through April includes “From Earth to Universe” and two new shows, “Out There: The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds” and “Amazing Telescope: Two Small Pieces of Glass.”

“Programs come from other sharing planetariums, NASA, and a variety of sources small groups. The moon is only available to school groups currently. We have a small variety of shows that are available to school groups, and other planetariums that share their material.

“We just started a program called Star Tales. It’s running as a public program story about the nighttime sky.

“Sunstruck takes us on a journey to discover the wonders of our magnificent sun. Its incredible energy has supported life on Earth for millennia, but it can also threaten our technology and way of life.

We explore its structure; energy source and how solar activity can create the beautiful Northern Lights. Then we travel to the distant future to discover our sun’s connection to the universe’s cosmic cycle of life and death! 

Sunstruck was produced by the Michigan Science Center with support from a NASA grant. This 45-minute show is appropriate for adults and kids ages 8+ and includes a tour of the night sky and planets.

Planetarium shows run Fridays at 7 and 8:15 p.m. and Saturdays at 2:30, 4 and 5:30 p.m.  Tickets for all shows are $10 per person and can be purchased online at Online reservations are strongly encouraged; limited tickets will be available for purchase at the door.

All programs start promptly at the times indicated. For your safety, guests will not be admitted or readmitted to the Planetarium theater once the lights are off, so make sure to arrive early and plan for any unexpected delays in travel and parking!

Tickets cannot be refunded or exchanged. See Public Shows on the website for a list of current programs and to purchase tickets.

At the Longo Planetarium most shows are limited to 74 people. You must provide an accurate headcount including all students, teachers, nurses, adults, and chaperones in your group. Overbooking is specifically prohibited. Keep in mind if you exceed the limit, under no circumstances will chairs be added or sitting on the floor be permitted (which obstructs aisles and is a violation of fire safety codes).

“A lot of people have been here before ,but not recently. When they come back, they are very pleasantly surprised that it is just as cool as when they were kids.

“We are very happy to see that that attitude has continued here at the college,” said Conod.

The Longo Planetarium is located on CCM’s campus, 214 Center Grove Road, Randolph. The planetarium is in Cohen Hall Room 207. The closest parking lots are 6 and 7. Follow the brown and white signs to Cohen Hall located at the center of campus. It is about a five-minute (uphill) walk from the parking lot to the planetarium.

Plan a Holly Jolly Getaway with Special Ticket Offer Giving 2 Days Free

with the Purchase of a 2-Park 3-Day Ticket
Universal Orlando Resort invites guests to set their festive side free with its destination-wide Holidays celebration kicking off next month. Guests can experience a mix of merry and mischief brought to life from holiday classics to experiences inspired by pop culture icons, creating a memorable holiday atmosphere unlike any other beginning Friday, November 17 and running daily through Sunday, December 31.

From the wondrous spectacle of “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, and coming face-to-face with everyone’s favorite green grouch, the Grinch, during Grinchmas, to gazing at the floats and larger-than-life balloons during Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, there are boundless opportunities for guests to enjoy at Universal Orlando this holiday season.

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure

Holiday magic fills The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as the streets of Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade transform into a wizarding holiday wonderland overflowing with festively themed décor, lights, garland and more. The nighttime spectacle, “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle,” returns to Hogsmeade at Universal Islands of Adventure bringing to life a stunning projection show highlighting Christmas moments and holiday spirit inspired by the beloved characters and stories of the “Harry Potter” films.

The Frog Choir, comprised of Hogwarts students and their giant croaking frogs also returns to Hogsmeade with a special holiday-themed performance, plus guests can groove to the music of the wizarding world’s most popular singing sensation, Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees, in Diagon Alley.

Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s at Universal Studios Florida

Guests will gaze in awe as beloved pop culture-inspired stories from Illumination’s Despicable Me and DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek and Madagascar fill the streets of Universal Studios Florida during Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s. These beloved stories come to life as larger-than-life balloons, colorful holiday floats and hundreds of jolly performers embark on a picturesque journey that culminates in a stunning finale including a special appearance by Santa Claus and the lighting of the magnificent 80-foot Christmas tree.

Grinchmas at Universal Islands of Adventure

Revel in the spirit of Grinchmas at Universal Islands of Adventure where the Grinch stars in the live retelling of the Dr. Seuss holiday classic, the “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular.”

Seuss Landing will transport guests into a whimsical atmosphere decked out with oversized candy canes, twisty Christmas trees, stunning tinsel ornaments and more. There will even be appearances from the Whos from Who-ville and a special photo opportunity that brings guests face-to-face with the mean, green one himself, the Grinch.

Mannheim Steamroller at Universal Studios Florida

The top-selling holiday artist of all time, Mannheim Steamroller, will return to Universal Studios Florida to get guests into the holiday spirit with live performances on December 2, 3, 9 and 10.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s even more Holiday cheer to be found around every corner at Universal Orlando Resort with a wide variety of additional, unique add-on experiences.

Universal’s Holiday Tour

Guests can enjoy a guided tour that gives them special access to all the beloved holiday entertainment experiences taking place across the destination, including:

• A chance to meet the maven of mischief himself, the Grinch, and his dog, Max, while enjoying small bites, desserts and non-alcoholic beverages

• Reserved seating at the “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular” in Universal Islands of Adventure

• A meet-and-greet photo opportunity with Santa Claus in Universal Studios Florida

• An exclusive, after-hours showing of “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal Islands of Adventure to complete the night’s festivities

Universal’s Holiday Tour is available on select dates beginning November 19 through December 30, 2023 and can be booked by visiting Pricing begins at $79.99 per person (plus tax) and separate theme park admission with a 1-Day 2-Park Park-to-Park ticket is required.

Annual and Seasonal Passholders can get a $10 off discount per ticket per passholder with a valid Annual or Seasonal Pass. Tickets for passholders can be purchased by calling 1-866-346-9350 or by visiting the UOAP Lounge in Universal Islands of Adventure. Regular Seasonal and Power Pass blockout dates apply.

The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast at Universal Islands of Adventure

The popular dining experience, “The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast,” allows guests to start their day with a delicious breakfast and fun appearances by the Grinch and other favorite Dr. Seuss characters.

The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast takes place in Confisco Grille in Universal Islands of Adventure on select dates November 17 through December 27 for $58.99 + tax per adult and $32.99 + tax per child (ages 3-9) and can be booked by visiting

Premier and Preferred Annual Passholders can receive a 20% discount on purchases of The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast for select dates by calling 407-224-7554.

The Holiday Celebration Continues at Universal CityWalk and Universal Orlando’s Hotels

Guests can keep the celebration going at Universal CityWalk with seasonal food and beverage and special entertainment. Plus, all eight Universal Orlando Resort hotels will be decked out with festive décor that enhances each hotel’s theme – and the whole family can indulge in holiday feasts and activities. Special menus will be available at Universal hotels for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, and there will also be menorah lighting ceremonies and more. Select hotels even offer special holiday entertainment like Christmas tree lightings and strolling carolers. Guests can now save 20% on a four-night stay in the 2-bedroom suites at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites & Surfside Inn and Suites and the family suites at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

Get 2 Days of Park Admission Free with a Can’t-Miss Ticket Offer

Access to Universal Orlando’s Holidays celebration is included with regular admission to the theme parks. U.S. and Canada residents can now take advantage of an incredible deal giving them five days of access to Universal Orlando Resort’s thrilling theme parks for the price of a three-day ticket to enjoy the ultimate holiday getaway. Guests also have the option to upgrade their ticket to include Universal Volcano Bay.

Special Experiences for Annual Passholders

In addition to discounts on select holiday experiences, Annual Passholders will get special access to enjoy Universal’s Holidays Parade featuring Macy’s from a viewing area just for Passholders, as well as exclusive merchandise and early access to the Holidays Tribute Store.

The Holidays celebration runs daily from November 17 through December 31 at Universal Orlando Resort and from November 24 through January 1, 2024 at Universal Studios Hollywood. For more information about Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort, visit

For more information about Universal Orlando Resort, visit

Tomorrow’s Health Care Heros
By Hery M. Holden
Today’s students are tomorrow’s healthcare heroes. A recent press conference at the County College of Morris (CCM) affirmed that “Healthy Communities Start Here.”
As a pioneering institution, CCM plans to integrate students with classrooms and labs designed with a fully unified learning environment resembling today’s top-of-the line medical centers.
Well-known for its commitment to shaping the future of education, and producing a highly educated workforce, the college is expanding its healthcare programs to include dental hygiene, dental assisting, surgical technology, diagnostic medical sonography and medical assisting, with growth in current programs in nursing, radiography, respiratory therapy, paramedic science and drug counseling.
To accommodate this leap into the future CCM is excited about the forthcoming 70,000 square–foot, state-of-the-art Center for Health Professions.
“CCM has been vital in preparing the health professionals in Morris County,” says Maria Isaza, Dean of the School of Health Professions and Natural Sciences. “This new building will enhance our capacity and will allow us to meet the growing demand for employees in the medical field. Most importantly, our students will have meaningful and rewarding careers that impact their lives and our community.”
Adding the Center for Health Professions to the CCM campus will support the healthcare industry in Morris County and the surrounding region, which post-pandemic is essential.
“We are proud to take this important step towards furthering educational excellence and partnerships with the community,” says Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, President of CCM. “The new cutting-edge healthcare facility will serve as a hub for innovation, where students can gain a world-class education that empowers them to excel in their chosen medical careers. We get things done in New Jersey and in Morris County,” says Iacono, “and we do even greater things with partnerships to create the best teaching and learning environments.”
According to Senator Anthony M. Bucco, “The be
auty of this program is being able to provide access to an area of education that many students may not have, and where there is a demand for these jobs.”

Many in the medical profession agree that there is a critical need for trained medical professionals. “The students who come to CCM will have a range of options,” said County Commissioner Director John Krickus, Morristown Medical Center (MMC) has a thriving summer internship program.
There is a strong outreach for interns and “The number of interns we hire from CCM ranks in the Top 10. “In the medical center, you will see nursing students and, as a system, we hired 45 nurses this year alone who are graduates of CCM.” said Joseph D’Auria, COO, Morristown Medical Center.
Ultimately, the shortage of health care professionals will  be ameliorated by the Center for Health Professions which will enable CCM to continue helping fulfill the national shortage of healthcare workers.
D’Auria shared MMC also hires CCM graduates from the respiratory therapy, radiology, paramedic science, health and exercise science, and health science programs.
The dental workforce shortage in America has reached epidemic proportions, according to Dr. Renee Arace, President of the New Jersey Dental Association.
“Now, thanks to CCM, it is being addressed here and now,” said Arace, “According to the ADA Health Policy Institute, nearly 40 percent of dentists in America are actively recruiting for dental hygienists or dental assistants…CCM will be a model for others to follow and we are grateful for this.”
There is a lot of doubt now whether a college degree is even worth the effort in time and money. “Some of these kids are spending a quarter of a million dollars to get a degree,” said Senator Joseph Pennacchio. “These kids, all in for $12,000, become  dental hygienists, coming out making a $100,000 a year, and they will have no shortness of opportunities,” “There is a need state-wide for these types of programs and I hope this becomes an incubator.”
“As current and additional healthcare careers emerge in our rapidly changing environment,” says Iacono, “CCM works hard to ensure faculty and students will have a superior teaching and learning environment that results in high-quality education, leading to exceptional careers in healthcare. The college embraces the opportunity to supply healthcare professionals to industry and the community it serves. Healthy communities do start here at CCM.”
For questions or more information, contact Melissa Albright, Vice President of Marketing, Public Relations & Enrollment Management at CCM, email:, or call (973) 328-5171.

Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey
Recognized with Seven Jersey Awards

The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) earned recognition for its efforts to tackle the opioid and addiction crisis, earning seven awards at the 55th Annual Jersey Awards last month.
The awards are organized and judged by New Jersey Ad Club, the largest association in New Jersey that represents advertisers, marketers, media and public relations professionals.
PDFNJ received recognition for the following campaigns:
Teen & Stress Media Campaign
Many teenagers experienced stress and anxiety due to changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as transitioning from in-person to virtual learning. These pressures could potentially increase their risk of experimenting with and using substances. Through this campaign, PDFNJ aimed to inform parents about the warning signs.

  • Out of Home: Transit-Bus: Internal & External (First Place)
  • Out of Home: Transit Shelter (Third Place)
  • Public Relations: 3 or More Elements (Third Place)
  • Television: Public Service Announcement (PSA) (Third Place)

Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day
This campaign spotlighted the collective efforts of New Jersey communities to increase awareness of the dangers of prescription opioid usage. Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day serves as a channel to provide crucial information to healthcare workers, community heads, and households.

  • Public Relations: Special Event / Client Celebration (Third Place)

 Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day Learning Series
This campaign showcased PDFNJ’s monthly webinar series, which provides New Jersey residents with insight from both local and national experts on the opioid epidemic and new developments in addressing the issue.

  • Public Relations: Not for Profit/ Pro Bono Work (Second Place)

 Even A King
This campaign showed that opioid dependence can affect anyone, be it an athlete, celebrity, academic or someone from a supportive family. Only five days of use can result in an opioid use disorder.

  • Transit Rail (Second Place)

“We are truly honored to receive these awards from the New Jersey Ad Club,” said Angelo M. Valente, executive director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. “It’s a testament to our team’s hard work, dedication and commitment to creating campaigns that educate our communities on how we can prevent drug use together.”
For more information about the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, visit

The Wellness Gala proudly presents, A Day Like Never Before

 Sunday, Nov 12th at the Sheraton Hotel in Parsippany. 12:30-5:30
A panel of World-renowned Intuitives and healers will come together to give the audience insights on pertinent topics. Then it will open up to the audience for Q&A.

 Whether it’s matters of the heart, career choices, spiritual growth, or communicating with a loved one who has passed, the expert panel will cover it. They will take your burning questions and give prophetic messages and guidance.

Throughout the day there will also be healing sessions, mini workshops, wine tasting, food and unique vendors.

 There will be a silent auction to benefit the Humane Society.

 Keynote Mas Sajady  ” Change your Frequency, Change your Life”  hands-on healing and meditation at 5 pm.

 VIP Exclusive meet & greet with panel and Celebrity guest, Concetta Bertoldi; NYTimes best-selling author and World famous Psychic medium

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NJ Starz: Ellie Baker – Hometown: Long Valley
By Steve Sears
Pinch Long Valley’s Ellie Baker and tell her that what is happening is real!
Her first, professional theater role is as the female lead of Vivian Ward in the national tour of Pretty Woman: The Musical.
Baker said, “I feel very lucky that I am goofy in the same way as Vivian is, so I feel like there is a lot of myself in the Vivian that I play on stage. So, I don’t lose so much of myself when I step on that stage, so there isn’t much to recoup when I get off.”
Baker was raised in Long Valley. Her parents divorced when she was young but remained friends, and both remarried and moved to Long Valley. “I had my whole family with me in the same town, and I didn’t have to switch schools, so I grew up starting in first grade in Long Valley. It was just such a beautiful, calm place to grow up. When I tell people I’m from New Jersey, I have to explain, ‘I am from the farm part of New Jersey.’ Where I grew up, I was within walking distance of three or four farms, and there was just so much to do. You could hike, you could play sports, and the schools were close, and all my friends were close by. Everything I ever needed was in a strip mall right across the street from my house. It was such a beautiful small town. I always felt very safe and very comfortable.”
Baker would eventually trade that small town comfort for the bustle of the city (she currently lives in Brooklyn), but for a few particularly good reasons: her love for theater and performing. Baker said, “It is funny knowing that is what I grew up with and how much I loved it, while at the same time knowing my whole life I wanted to live in a city like New York and knowing that was where I wanted to be. It is just a funny dichotomy. And looking back, I would not have changed my childhood for anything, but I feel very lucky to have gotten the best of both worlds in terms of places that I have lived.”
After her 2015 graduation from West Morris Central High School, Baker headed to the University of Madison at Wisconsin to study psychology. After a few months of her first year, she would return to the east coast.
She explained. “It is a beautiful campus, and I did really love it there. My senior year of high school, I got scared. I had cold feet, and said to myself, ‘I am not going to audition in college. I want to do theater, but I can do it after I graduate with a real degree.’ But they did have a theater program there and everybody in the program is so very talented, but it is not catered to performers in a way that I would have liked. For instance, I did a musical there – the first musical that college had done three years – and it was a student run musical.”

Although Baker said the teachers and students were fantastic, she was not progressing beyond what she he had learned in theater thus far in her life up to that point. Back in Long Valley, she sat down with her parents and explained her dilemma. Baker said, “They helped me through college, and I know that they would have helped me do anything because they love me endlessly, but I wanted their permission. I sat them down and told them I wanted to transfer, wanted to pursue theatre – I wanted to do this.”
Her parents gave her their blessing, and she was next on her way to Marymount Manhattan College. For Baker, it would be a wonderful three years.
“I said, ‘Theater…the city…let’s do this!’” Baker recalled. “It was the best decision I ever made. I learned so much, and so many of the teachers are people that I will hold in my heart forever. My closest friends came from there, and I am still best friends with them today. It was just such a lovely, lovely experience, and I hate that I was gypped a year and a semester because of COVID-19, but I would not trade it for the world.”
While at Marymount Manhattan College, she starred in Bring It On: The Musical, Parade, and Les Miserables, and it has all led up to her current role in Pretty Woman: The Musical, reprising the role Julia Roberts played in 1990 motion picture.
Baker lauded a few Marymount folks whose help was immense. “If I had to think of a few top names from college, it would specifically be my directors from Bring It On, Emily Clark and Christine Riley,” she said. “They cast me as lead and they worked endlessly with me, even just building up my confidence. They both came to see a New Brunswick (Pretty Woman: The Musical) show. Emily brought her two little children, and Christine came all by herself and sat in the rain and waited for me at the stage door. They are such wonderful, wonderful people.”

 Baker said of Pretty Woman: The Musical, “It is a little mind boggling because this is my first professional theater gig. I feel like I dove headfirst into the deep end. It took a few weeks during the rehearsal process to finally kind of slap some sense into me and tell myself, ‘Stop talking down to yourself.’ I would get so in my head. I had not done this before. It took a few weeks for me to realize that they cast me for a reason, put me here for a reason, that I was still in rehearsals for a reason. I then finally started to find that groove in the character.”
Opening night on October 2 in Utica, New York, according to Baker was exhilarating. “Right before going on stage, I was doing jumping jacks and push-ups backstage, just trying to exert some sort of energy. I was just pacing because I was so nervous. And then once we started doing the show, I realized I had been doing this over and over and over again, but now there are people sitting in the seats. That was the only difference.”
Baker’s birth parents are Valarie and Evan, her four siblings are Justin, Kevin, Grace, and Grant, and her stepparents are Kevin, Sr. And Tracey. All the above-mentioned have supported her theater career, and she also credits Andrew Pelletier, a wealth management advisor for Barnum Financial Group, for whom she was working prior to getting the current role. Baker said, “He is one of the reasons why I am able to do this. He took a chance on me, and he knew that I was an actor and involved with theater. Anytime I had an audition or had to film something,
he understood. He was always such a huge supporter, and then as soon as I got my role, he bought his tickets, and he came to see the show. He and my other co-workers came, they are just so kind.”
Pretty Woman: The Musical will conclude its run in Scranton, Pennsylvania on May 19, 2024. Baker knows that her boyfriend, Joe (a fellow performer, by the way), who in her words is the “best person I have ever met,” will be there by her side. When asked if he will have to hold her if she tears up after curtain closing on the final show, she said, “Honestly, probably.”
Baker, who turned 26 on November 18, is definitive when asked to describe her life at this moment. “I think this role has done everything for me. The production team that took a chance on me – they changed my life. My life will never be the same again after this. I can never say I did not make it in the industry, because look at where I am. I think this show changed what I believed I could do. It challenged me and pushed me.”


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