Roxbury Life October 23

The Randolph High School Athletic Hall of Fame

In 2014, the Randolph RAMS Athletic Council (“RAC”), established an Athletic Hall of Fame (“HOF”) to recognize the athletes, teams, coaches, families, and individuals who demonstrated school and athletic community support for Randolph High School.
The Randolph High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee comprised of administrators, current and former coaches, former athletes and community members are extremely pleased to announce the 2023 Randolph High School.
Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees:
Coaches: Pete Litichevsky (1982-2015) Head or assistant coach in 8 sports, primarily baseball.
Administrator: Bud Beavers (1993-2004) Principal of Randolph High School
Contributor: Lawrence McMillan (1992- Present) NJSIAA Wrestling Statistician, President RHOF
Girl Athletes:
Betsy Braun (1987) All-State Winter Track; All-State Spring Track Michele Peters (1986) All-State Soccer
Gina Willoughby (1986-87) All-State Cross-country 2 times Suzanne Lepofsky (1989) All-State Basketball
Boy Athletes:
Jan Rago (1986) All-State Football
Steve Soderlund (1987) All-State Football Cecil Barrett (1988) All-State Football
Adam Janoff (1988) 1st Team All-State Football Brian Handibode (1988) All-State Football
Pat O’Donnell (1989) All-State Football Tony Williams (1989) All-State Football Kevin Bray (1990) All-State Football
Mike Groh (1990) 1st Team All-State Football
Mike Standridge (1990) Wrestling, placed 2nd in the State
Justin Malinchak (1990-1991) 1st Team All-State Football; All-State Spring Track – 2nd in State: Javelin Garrick Wilson (1990-1991) 1st Team All-State Winter Track; 1st Team All-State Spring Track; Football
Boys Team; 2005 Lacrosse; Group 3 Champions; RHS’s first Lacrosse group champions
Girls Team: 2009 Cross-country; Group 4 Champions; 2nd in the Meet of Champions
Over 200 alumni and community members are expected to attend the induction ceremony on Saturday, October 21st, 2023. 

Roxbury’s Morgan Joyce enjoying life as a York College Spartan
By Steve Sears

Former Roxbury Gaels soccer star, Morgan Joyce, has many times had to do battle against an opponent.
As a high school senior, Joyce was a First-team All-Morris County and All-NJAC American Conference selection, and after moving on to York College in Pennsylvania, started all the Spartan’s games as freshman and sophomore, leading head coach Kelly Wakeman’s defense to nine shutouts as a sophomore while playing a team high 1,867 minutes. The Spartans won 25 games, lost 12, and had four ties in those two seasons.
However, there is one opponent that challenges Joyce more than any other.
She explained. “Mental health is something I have always been very passionate about, and a main reason I chose to pursue a major in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. I started following Morgan’s Message, a non-profit organization that works to end the stigma surrounding mental health in athletics.”
Morgan’s Message was founded after Morgan Rodgers, a Duke University lacrosse player, committed suicide in 2019 at the age of 22. Joyce and fellow York College athlete, Brianna “Bri” McKeown, chose to form a York College chapter of Morgan’s Message after Katie Meyer, the Stanford Cardinals women’s soccer goalkeeper, also committed suicide in 2022.
Meyer’s death significantly hit home for Joyce, since she was a member of the collegiate soccer community and Joyce looked up to her after Stanford won the NCAA women’s soccer championship over the University of North Carolina, 5 – 4.
Joyce and McKeown and their chapter have been able to create a safe environment for York College athletes to share their stories.
Joyce said, “This organization is important because mental health in athletics has often been looked over, and with the rise of suicide in athletics, it is becoming a problem that I do not think we talk about enough. This is one of the many organizations working to raise awareness and end the stigma surrounding mental health in athletics.”
Joyce started out playing club soccer at age eight for STA Soccer of Morris Plains. She said, “I had only positive experiences at STA. I am so grateful for the amazing coaches I had, the supportive teammates that I was able to play with, and the friendships that I was able to form. I cannot say enough positive things about STA, and thank the club for making me the player, leader, and person I am today.”
Joyce also sent a huge shoutout to her parents, MaryAnn and Edward, and her sister Kelsey for always supporting her and her athletic endeavors. She added, “That meant traveling all over the country for showcases and soccer camps and pushing me to be the b
est I can be.”
Joyce played soccer all four years at Roxbury High School, and her freshman season was the most successful. Head coach Justin Renna’s Gaels finished 16 – 2 that season, but the ledger ended bittersweetly in a scoreless tie against Northern Highlands in the final round of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section I,
Group III Tournament.
“We were led by a strong group of seniors who really took me under their wing my freshman year, which I was very thankful for since there were only a few freshmen to make varsity that year,” Joyce recalled. “During my freshman year I worked hard to earn time on the field, and kept a positive attitude throughout the season, even though I knew it would be hard to get the playing time I really wanted since we had such a strong senior class.”
Normally a midfielder or stalwart on defense, Joyce spent a lot of time that 2017 season playing forward, and found herself playing in the front line her sophomore through senior years.
Joyce looks back fondly on her career as a Gael. “I really remember my junior and senior seasons being full of laughs and lots of goals. We had many games go into overtime where the golden goal was the winner, and I remember the games I would score the game winning goal and that would result in a dog pile with me at the bottom of it. It is games like that that I will always remember from my time at Roxbury.”

Come With Us into the Cemetery and Travel Back in Time – Saturday, October 28, 6 – 8 PM

Join Our Evening Tours and Hear “Former” Long Valley Residents Tell Their Tale!
Step back in time and experience the captivating stories of the past with the Washington Township Historical Society (WTHS) as they conduct live tours of the Old Union Cemetery, 6 Fairview Avenue will be on Saturday, October 28 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. In case of rain, the tours will be held on Sunday, October 29 during the same times.  Tours will be roughly 50 to 60 minutes in length.
Arrive between the hours of 6:00 and 7:15 PM to take one of the tours. Small groups will be escorted by tour guides, stopping to hear the fascinating stories from the colorful individual who frequented our town.
As you embark on this unique adventure, you will be guided by lantern light through the historic cemetery, accompanied by costumed re-enactors who will bring to life the stories of former residents
interred at the gravesite. From farmers to blacksmiths, stone carvers to suffragettes, and even soldiers and victims of the Revolutionary War, the cemetery holds tales of Washington Township’s rich history waiting to be discovered.
With each step, you will be transported to a time long past, as the stories etched in the grave sites come alive through the vivid portrayals of the re-enactors. Listen in awe as they share the struggles, triumphs, and secrets of the past, shedding light on the lives of those who once called Washington Township home.

 The cemetery tours are open to the public, although please note they may not be suitable for individuals needing wheelchairs or children in strollers due to the terrain.
Free Parking for the Cemetery Tours
Free parking will be available at Zion Lutheran Church, 11 Schooleys Mountain Road, Long Valley. A Washington Township officer will escort patrons across Schooleys Mountain Road to continue the short minute walk to the Union Cemetery, adjacent to the museum at 6 Fairview Avenue.

 $5.00 Adult Ticket Savings Available with Advance Registration
 Tickets reserved in advanced here are only $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children under the age of 12. Register here  to receive this special ticket pricing (one registration per family member). Payment for tickets with this advance registration are not collected online, but must be made at the day of the tour.
On the day of the tour, tickets will be $15.00 for adults and $8.00 for children under the age of 12.
Don’t miss this exceptional opportunity to delve into the fascinating history of Washington Township and create memories that will last a lifetime. Join the Washington Township Historical Society for an unforgettable evening of storytelling and discovery among the tombstones. Get your tickets now and be part of this immersive historical experience!”
For additional information about the Washington Township Historical Society, visit the WTHS website.

A Harvest of Quilts 
The Evening Star Quilters Guild presents A Harvest of Quilts, November 4-5, 2023, 10am-4pm, Belvidere High School.This year’s features will be antique quilts and a Warren County Grange Quilt from 1943 found in a thrift store in Colorado and returned to NJ.  There will be quilt displays, vendors, workshops, quilt raffle, boutique, quilts for sale, a cafe, and lectures. 

Chester resident travels to Italy with New Jersey Youth Chorus
By Steve Sears

Chester’s Siyara Kilcoyne this summer toured in Italy for 10 days with the New Jersey Youth Chorus.
The NJYC served as the choir-in-attendance at the Vatican Basilica di San Pietro St. Peter and St. Paul feast day Mass on June 29, and on July 4, choir members laid a wreath at the Florence American War Memorial and cemetery and held a recital there.
Kilcoyne, 17, a senior at the Pingry School in Basking Ridge, has been a member of the NJYC since the seventh grade.
Kilcoyne said of her trip, “We performed at various places, but that (the June 29 performance) was by far the highlight. That was the first show as well, so it set the tour off on a good note.”
NJYC also participated in several additional community events. They performance in support of the Associazione Kim, an Italian non-profit organization, at Basilica Di Sant’ Andrea Della Valle in Rome, and also sang at Basilica di Santo Spirito and San Antonio Abate Church, both in Millan, and St. Ilario Church in Cremona.
Kilcoyne first started singing when one of her friends in England, without her knowing, signed her up for a school play audition for The Wizard of Oz. Kilcoyne said, “I remember my parents afterwards saying, ‘Oh my gosh – we did not know you could sing. This is such a surprise for us.”
After that, Kilcoyne started taking singing lessons, and when she moved to Chester, she looked for an opportunity to sing publicly. She said, “I do not think I was as confident singing alone as I thought I would be if I was singing with people. That is how I found the choir. I had a friend at school who was in it, and she told me that it was a lot of fun.”
It has indeed been so for Kilcoyne, but it is also a commitment for her and the other singers. She added, “It does require hard work and practice, but all the girls in the choir are really close. We call each other ‘choir sisters.’ When we are performing, we are all in unison. We have to work together to make sure our voices blend. So, there is that deeper level of connection, if that makes sense. It is a very special experience. I have sports practices every day of the week, but choir for me is every Monday for two hours. It does not seem like it takes up a lot of my life, but it is something that is very important to me.”
An additional nice thing for Siyara and her family is her 12-year-old brother, Kian, auditioned and is now a member of the NJYC. He and his mom made the trip to Italy, and it was there he forged friendships with some of the older boys in the choir. When accepted, Kian thought that, due to his age, he would find a home in the middle school choir. However, his tenor voice fit well with those on the Italy trip, so he joined the high school choir with Siyara.
Kilcoyne lauds a bittersweet moment for her and the other NJYC singers. “We have a choir tradition at every spring concert. We sing (Katie Moran Bart’s) ‘Blessing.’ It is kind of a goodbye song to the seniors because the spring concert is their last concert with the New Jersey Youth Chorus. It is their last time performing with us, so oftentimes, when we are singing that song, everyone in the choir ends up crying. We are all sobbing by the end of the song. And I think that is something very unique to my choir, especially, which I am very grateful for. It is a nice experience to have.”

Mount Olive’s Ashley Farms turns 75 years old
By Steve Sears
Aimee Ashley Myers, one third of the family ownership team of Ashley Farms in Flanders, put it best.
“Things feel so quick in society sometimes, so it feels incredibly special to be celebrating 75 years of our family business – and to have our fourth generation working on the farm. It is not always easy to run a family farm; it takes determination and a ton of hard work. But for 75 years our family has persevered and enjoyed a lot of success, which makes us incredibly proud and fulfilled.”
Aimee and her brother Scott are the third generation, their dad Larry the second. Larry’s mom and dad, Muriel and Hubert, were the founders back in 1948.
Myers added, “We believe that we are the longest current business in Mount Olive, and that’s something we are very proud of. It is an absolute privilege to feed local families, and we couldn’t do any of it without the support of our local customers. It means so much to us to be able to carry on what Hubert and Muriel Ashley started here in Flanders with their young family in 1948.”

The backstory is interesting. Muriel, from Brooklyn, vacationed often in Flanders, where Hubert was born and raised. Both met during one of those vacations, eventually got married, built a home, and settled in the township. Hubert, who worked as both a bus driver and also toiled at Kenvil’s Hercules Powder plant, then secured a third profession as a farmer, buying local property from another farmer.
It started with turkeys. Myers said, “Someone gave him some turkeys to raise to see how he liked it, and the rest is history. As they raised their family, the farm grew, too. In the early 1960s, my two aunts set up a table right on the front lawn and sold enough homegrown corn and tomatoes to buy a new pickup truck. That’s when the farm started to diversify into more than just turkeys. The then seasonally open farm market was built in the early 1970s, and after four renovations and four generations later, we are doing very well. I hope they (Muriel and Hubert) would be proud of how far we’ve come. They worked so hard and had to take so many leaps of faith in their early days. I admire what they did so very much.”
Diversification being what it is and has been for the Ashleys, still turkeys will always be a prominent part of the business.
“We raise our homegrown turkeys from day old poults that we get from a hatchery in West Virginia,” Myers said as she explained the journey from raising to sale. “They are raised on premises in huge airy barns and only handled by a handful of our staff. We make all the turkey feed onsite with homegrown corn and soybean meal that we buy from a feed mill in New York state. We process and sell all turkeys on-site. This year we are raising 8,400 and most will be sold for Thanksgiving. We also use our turkeys to make our own products, including turkey salad, soups, turkey burgers, turkey sausage, ground turkey and much more. We have generations of families who buy turkeys from us every year for Thanksgiving.”
2023 has been so busy for the farm that the Ashleys are bit behind in celebrating. However, they will celebrate, and invite you to do so as well with them.
Myers said, “We have some fun giveaways for our customers coming up, and plan on celebrating with family, friends and business associates sometime in the spring.”
Ashley Farms is located at 25 Hillside Avenue in Flanders. For more information, visit
A Thanksgiving Story: The Earnest Prayer
By Richard Mabey Jr.
One of the hardest working individuals, whom I have ever known in my life is my cousin, Robert Peter Knothe. Pete, as every one in the family knows him as, is the Manager of Knothe Farms in Randolph Township. Having stayed at the Knothe Farm for many week-long visits, I can testify to just how hard working a man, Pete is. Seven days a week, he’s up at 5:30 in the morning to conquer a mile-long to do list. A day in the life of Cousin Pete might include fixing hinging on a barn to replacing a support pole on one of his greenhouses to doing an oil change on his farm truck. Pete Knothe is one of the single most disciplined and focused individuals I have ever known. He works at his family farm, from sunrise to sunset, just about every day.

Cousin Pete and I share a birthday, that of the fifth of September. Pete’s a few years older than I am, and over the years, he has been like an older brother to me I’ve learned a lot from Pete. From how to grow great tomatoes, to developing a deep respect for nature, to understanding that hard work is the key to success in life.

Pete served in the United States Air Force. He saw action and was placed in harm’s way during the Vietnam War. It’s something that Pete doesn’t like to talk much about. I know that Pete was honored with commendations of heroism, but it’s something that he is very humble about.

I’m not sure if it was the Thanksgiving of 1969 or of 1970. I remember that Grandpa and Grandma Kemmerer were still with us, on this side of Heaven’s Gate. I’m pretty sure that Pete’s grandparents, Edward and Francis Knothe, were also still with us at that memorable Thanksgiving table. I was in high school and Cousin Pete was in Vietnam.

Pete’s Dad would always say grace at the long Thanksgiving table at the old Knothe Homestead. There would usually be 30 to 40 people seated at the series of tables, that would run from the dining room all the way to the living room. I don’t know how my Aunt Alice managed it all. She would always have kitchen help from her daughters and my mom and my sister. Still, it was an amazing accomplishment, to say the least.

There was a moment of silence, before Uncle Pete began saying the blessing, upon our Thanksgiving meal, that was over five decades ago. I remember Uncle Pete quietly, unassumingly saying, “well, I guess we’ll say the blessing.” And then a deep silence followed, people reverently folded their hands and earnestly bowed their heads.

Obviously, I cannot remember Uncle Pete’s prayer, word for word. But I do remember the ending of Uncle Pete’s prayer. It went something like this, “and Lord, we ask in Jesus’ name, please do bring my son home, safe and sound.” Then Uncle Pete broke down and cried. It was one of the very few times that I ever saw Uncle Pete cry. In about a minute’s time, after concluding his prayer, Uncle Pete got himself together and shouted out gleefully, “okay everybody, let’s eat!”

Over my lifetime, I’ve heard many prayers said. Some were recited by eloquent ministers and priests. But none of those other prayers, could hold a candle to the heart-felt, earnest, sincere and deeply moving prayer that Uncle Pete gave that Thanksgiving Day. Those words, “Lord, we ask in Jesus’ name, please do bring my son home, safe and sound,” have often echoed in my heart and in my mind.

Cousin Pete did come home from Vietnam, safe and sound. Is it possible that Uncle Pete’s words of earnest prayer provided protection for his only son, in the midst of being in harm’s way? It could never be scientifically proven. But do any of us really know the incredible positive power of prayer?

There is an eternal truth: love knows no boundaries. It is the strongest force in the universe. It has the miraculous power to heal strife between individuals, bring wars to an end, and to form a cloak of protection for loved ones, no matter how far away they may be.        

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

I Remember Mom: The Last Flower
By Richard Mabey Jr.
Miracles often come into our life, without a great deal of fanfare. Sometimes, the miracles of our lives do not involve a parting of a sea or a burning bush. Sometimes, the gentle brush of an angel’s wings is so subtle and ethereal that it can easily be overlooked. Simply put, some of the small miracles in our lives, may well be taken for granted. But none-the-less, they are very real miracles.

Such a miracle came to my mom, Janet Ethel Kemmerer Mabey, in the time of early Spring of 2018. My mom, my sister Patti and myself traveled the long car ride from Florida to New Jersey. None of us knew it at the time, but it was to be Mom’s last visit to Knothe Farms, the home of her beloved sister, Alice Kemmerer Knothe.

When Spring Time comes, my cousin Peter Knothe is all so busy managing his family farm. It is a long standing tradition that one or two of his many greenhouses will be the home for rows and rows of planted flowers. It provides a poetic panorama of a rainbow of colors of all the various types of flowered plants that Peter has growing on the wooden tables inside his greenhouses.

One of the long-standing family traditions of Mom and Aunt Alice, is to take the time to walk the length and breadth of the flower-filled greenhouses to find just the right flowers to plant at the grave sites of their late brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents. It is a rather solemn and heart warming kind of thing. It was a tradition that would always have a quality of reverence about it.

When we reached the cemetery, I carried the many flats of flowers that were to be planted at the portion of the cemetery that was devoted to the Kemmerer Family. As I knelt upon the grassy ground, digging out holes to plant the many flowers, I could not help but to overhear my mom and aunt talking.

“I think this is the last time, I’ll ever get to visit Mom and Dad’s graves,” Mom quietly told her sister.

“Oh come on Janet, you’ve still got a lot of time on this old earth,” Aunt Alice replied.

“No, Alice, I can feel it in my bones. I can feel the angels calling me Home,” Mom solemnly replied to her sister’s attempt to uplift Mom.

“Don’t talk like that Janet, you’ve still got a lot of years ahead of you,” Aunt Alice replied, in what was a bit more of stern reply.

“No, Alice, I just have this inner knowing. It’s a feeling that I can’t really explain,” Mom told her sister.

After I planted a good two dozen flowering plants, Mom, Aunt Alice, Patti and I left the cemetery. I remember that we had a late lunch at the Randolph Diner. I saw something in my Mom’s eyes. It was gladness tinted with a ray of solemn sadness. Mom knew, for sure, that it was the last time she would ever visit the graves of her precious loved ones. Mom told her sister that God gave her a miracle, to be able to visit the graves of her loved ones, one last time. 

It was a strange thing. When we got home from the farm, Mom’s episodes of having severe chest pains became more and more frequent. It was a long process of having many cardiac medical tests. But in November of 2019, Mom was operated on, to have an Aortic Valve replacement. Sadly, on the twenty-third of December, of that year, Mom went Home to be with the Lord. The valve replacement did not take.

I often reflect upon that morning at the cemetery, where Mom told Aunt Alice that she knew it would be the last time she would visit the Kemmerer grave site. I often wonder how Mom knew that.

Life is short. Love one another. Forgive people for the wrongs they have done unto you. Find the good in people. For truly, life is too short to hold grudges and ill feelings toward one another. Love is the key element of miracles.       

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 Things to Know Before Getting Dental Implants


When a person is missing one or more teeth, dental implants can be an excellent method to replace them.  Here are some things to consider when evaluating your options.

Will there be one or more offices treating you, and are you OK with that?

There are two phases of treatment when it comes to dental implants.  A Surgical Phase, and a Restorative Phase.  In the first phase, a dentist will perform surgical procedures: extractions, grafting, and / or implant placement.  In the second phase, the implant will be restored with a crown, denture, or some other prosthesis.  Some dentists will only do the first, some will do only the second, and some will do both.  If you work with an office that does only one of these two phases, you will have to bounce between offices.  This can lead to a lack of proper communication during the process, or finger-pointing if there are problems afterwards.  Are you OK with this?  At Morris County Dental Associates, we perform all phases of implant treatment under one roof, so you do not have to contend with these issues.
Do Your Homework.  Selected a skilled doctor or office.
Any dentist can place and/or restore implants.  They do not have to have any specific training.  But what experience level does the dentist have?  Or if you are seeing multiple doctors or offices (see #1 above), are they coordinated so that your experience is smooth and enjoyable?  Dr. Goldberg performs all phases of implant dentistry in one location, and has been doing so for 28 years.  He teaches other dentists about implants, and has a whole section of his office dedicated to implant treatment.  He has many pieces of equipment to make your treatment smooth, efficient, comfortable, and accurate.

Have you explored other options?

Dental implants may not be your only option to correct a problem.  Root canals with crowns, bridges, partial dentures, and complete dentures are common alternatives.  Be sure your dentist has provided you with options for your particular situation.

Cost of dental implants:  don’t compare to what your friend had done!

Not all dental implants will be priced the same: there are many variables.  Do you need an extraction? Do you need grafting?  What kind of grafting do you need?  Can stock parts be used, or are custom ones required?  For all of these (and more) reasons, trying to provide someone with an estimate is impossible without a physical evaluation and discussion.  Furthermore, be careful when comparing costs with friends: what they had done is likely to be different than what you need.  Therefore, it is safe to assume your cost will be different than theirs.

Don’t rush things.

Everyone wants things done yesterday.  Faster, faster, faster.  Time is short, and you have better places to be.  At times it is possible to speed up implant treatments, but it’s not always in your best interest.  Implants have a very high success rate.  But the more you push the envelope, meaning the faster you rush the process, the greater the chances of having problems and complications. Sometimes slower is better.  Again, your implant dentist will be able to guide you accordingly.

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

About the author:  Dr. Ira Goldberg has been performing implant procedures 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.  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  Dr. Goldberg is a general dentist, and also a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry.
 Click Here to Check out Morris County Dental Website

Boosting Athletic Performance and Recovery with Acupuncture

Athletes are constantly searching for ways to gain an edge in their performance and reduce recovery time. While high-intensity training, proper nutrition, and advanced technology have all played significant roles in this pursuit, an age-old practice is gaining recognition in the world of sports: acupuncture. This traditional Chinese medicine technique, which involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body, is increasingly being embraced by athletes for its potential to enhance athletic performance and expedite recovery.

The Role of Acupuncture in Athletic Performance

Pain Management: Acupuncture is well-known for its ability to alleviate pain. For athletes dealing with various types of pain, such as muscle soreness, joint discomfort, or injuries, acupuncture can offer significant relief. By targeting specific acupuncture points, it promotes the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, helping athletes push through training or competitions with less pain.

Enhancing Blood Flow: Improved blood circulation is crucial for athletes as it ensures that oxygen and nutrients are efficiently delivered to muscles. Acupuncture can stimulate blood flow by dilating blood vessels around the insertion points, potentially enhancing endurance and recovery.

Stress Reduction: High-stress levels can hinder athletic performance and slow down recovery. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce stress hormones, such as cortisol, and promote relaxation. Athletes who incorporate acupuncture into their routines often report improved mental focus and reduced anxiety.

Injury Prevention: Regular acupuncture sessions can help prevent injuries by maintaining the body’s balance and addressing small imbalances before they become major issues. This proactive approach to health can keep athletes in peak condition.

Recovery and Acupuncture

Faster Recovery: One of the most significant benefits of acupuncture for athletes is its potential to expedite the recovery process. By promoting the body’s natural healing mechanisms, acupuncture can help athletes bounce back from injuries and intense workouts more rapidly.

Reducing Inflammation: Inflammation is a natural response to intense physical activity, but excessive inflammation can lead to prolonged recovery times and chronic injuries. Acupuncture has anti-inflammatory effects that can mitigate inflammation and facilitate a speedier recovery.

Improved Sleep Quality: Quality sleep is essential for recovery and performance. Acupuncture has been shown to improve sleep patterns, ensuring athletes get the rest they need to repair and regenerate.

As athletes continue to seek innovative ways to optimize their performance and recovery, acupuncture has emerged as a valuable tool in their arsenal. This ancient practice offers a holistic approach, addressing both physical and mental aspects of athletic performance. Whether you’re a professional athlete or someone dedicated to their fitness routine, acupuncture may be the missing piece in your quest for excellence and a faster recovery time.

For more information call Mt. Olive Acupuncture and Wellness 973.527.7978
Click Here to Check out Mt Olive Acupuncture Website
Chiropractic Care for Migraine Headaches

By Michael Lalama, DC

A migraine is a type of headache characterized by repeating attacks of moderate to severe throbbing and pulsating pain on one side of the head.1 Migraine pain is caused by the activation of nerve fibers inside the blood vessels traveling around the brain, and can produce symptoms lasting anywhere from 4 to 72 hours.1 Although medications are often used as initial treatments for migraine headaches, some patients experience intolerable side effects and often express interest in alternative treatments as part of a long-term management strategy.2

Neck pain and other musculoskeletal complains (e.g., neck stiffness, muscle tension, or problems with jaw function) are reported in over 75% of patients suffering from chronic migraine headache.2 More recent models exploring alternative causes of migraines suggest that these other musculoskeletal complaints can facilitate the onset of migraine attacks.2 Treatment options focused on addressing these musculoskeletal complaints have the potential to reduce migraine symptoms, including frequency and severity.2

Previous research evaluating conservative treatment options provided by chiropractors focused on spinal manipulation (or chiropractic adjustments) only.2 This, however, does not give us an accurate view of chiropractic care in the treatment of migraine headaches. Many chiropractors use a multimodal approach to care. This means that treatments involve more than just adjustments. Multimodal chiropractic care can include soft tissue and/or massage techniques, therapeutic exercises, posture correction, relaxation techniques, education, and stretching.2 So if chiropractors utilize more treatment methods than just adjustments, why hasn’t this been explored before?

A recent study conducted at the Osher Clinical Center at Bringham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA did just that.2 Women between the ages of 20 and 55, previously diagnosed with episodic migraines with or without aura, were included to evaluate the effects of multimodal chiropractic care on episodic migraine symptoms when compared to enhanced usual care (e.g., standard medical care as prescribed by participants’ physicians as well as additional information regarding symptoms, triggers, and treatment approaches).2

The first chiropractic care visit included a physical examination assessing posture, range of motion, presence of muscle tenderness, spinal joint mobility restrictions, and general muscle imbalances.2 Depending on the findings of the exam, the treatment protocol was customized to the patient’s clinical needs and preferences, and patients were able to opt out of any component of care (including adjustments).2

Patients that received multimodal chiropractic care in addition to standard treatments experienced a greater change in the number of days with migraines when compared to the standard treatment group.2 Chiropractic care reduced the days with migraines by an average of 2.9 days, where standard treatment reduced the days with migraines by an average of 0.98 days.2 Patients who received chiropractic care also had greater improvements with regards to quality of life and disability caused by migraines.2

Overall, patients who received chiropractic care showed an average decrease of approximately 3 migraine days per month, compared to an average decrease of approximately 1 migraine day per month in the standard treatment group.2 These results are clinically meaningful since it is comparable to the effect size seen for common migraine medications (e.g., topiramate, propranolol, or erenumab) when compared to placebo, which is a decrease in approximately 2 days per month.2

While the group receiving chiropractic care also showed a decrease in severity and duration of migraine symptoms, they did not provide a significant difference when compared to standard treatment methods.2 It is also important to note that patients receiving chiropractic care were also undergoing standard treatments.2

Since many chiropractors utilize a multimodal approach to treatment, it is possible that individuals suffering from chronic episodic migraines can benefit from chiropractic care through reduction of migraine days, decreased disability, and overall quality of life improvement.

For more information call Functional Xhiropractic 973.975.4700,

*It is always important to consult a licensed healthcare professional to see which treatment options are right for you.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Migraine. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Rist, P. M., Bernstein, C., Kowalski, M., Osypiuk, K., Connor, J. P., Vining, R., Long, C. R., Macklin, E. A., & Wayne, P. M. (2021). Multimodal chiropractic care for migraine: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Cephalalgia : an international journal of headache, 41(3), 318–328.



Morris County Surrogate Darling Named as

COANJ President 2023-2024

Surrogate Heather J. Darling, Esq. was named President of the Constitutional Officers Association of New Jersey (COANJ). After completing her term as Vice President, a former Secretary of COANJ and Section Chief of the Surrogate’s, Surrogate Darling was nominated and elected to the new position by the organization and took the oath as President at the Annual Conference held in Galloway, NJ on September 21st. COANJ is the formal organization of New Jersey Sheriffs, County Clerks, Surrogates and Registers of Deeds and Mortgages who are elected directly by the people of each of the 21 New Jersey counties.

“It is an absolute honor for me to be selected to lead as the President of an organization of offices so vital to our state and its 9.5M residents,” said Surrogate Darling. Darling went on to thank former COANJ President Sheriff Mike Mastronardy for his leadership, enthusiasm, and support while she served as Vice President.

Surrogate Darling looks forward to continuing the traditions of COANJ along with newly elected Vice President – Somerset County Clerk Steve Peter, Secretary – Morris County Sheriff James Gannon and Treasurer – Hudson County Clerk E. Junior Maldonado, the new Section Chiefs and the Executive Board; she will work to lead change in a way that will best serve local communities and the State of New Jersey.

COANJ was organized in 1920 and its members work in cooperation to improve services rendered to their respective counties. COANJ members meet regularly on matters of importance relating to the management of their offices; to provide feedback for legislation in relation to the conduct of all the statutory requirements and duties relating to the offices of the Sheriffs, County Clerks, Surrogates and Registers of Deeds and Mortgages in the State of New Jersey and to encourage and maintain high standards of service.

For more information on the Morris County Surrogate, please go to

100 Years Ago This Month: Historical Events from October 1923
The month of October has been home to many historical events over the years. Here’s a look at some that helped to shape the world in October 1923.

• Switzerland issues a new decree on October 1 that bans the display of fascist emblems or the wearing of black shirts. The decree is issued in response to fascists who wanted the region to join Italy.

• A standoff begins in the Kentucky State Penitentiary on October 3 after three convicted murderers obtain guns and kill three guards in an ultimately failed attempt to escape. Authorities eventually storm the barricaded inmates on October 6 and discover the inmates had been dead for about two days.

• John Charles Carter is born in Illinois on October 4. The boy ultimately adopts the screen name Charlton Heston and becomes an Academy Award-winning actor and influential political activist.

• Cao Kun is elected president of the Republic of China on October 5. Cao is deposed just 13 months later after revelations surface regarding a bribery scandal that calls his election into question.

• Boston Braves shortstop Ernie Padgett turns an unassisted triple play on October 6. To date, the feat has been accomplished just 15 times in Major League Baseball history.

• The first section of the Appalachian Trail opens on October 7. The initial stretch is a 16-mile path from Bear Mountain in New York to the Delaware Water Gap on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. By 2023, the trail had grown to 2,194 miles.

• On October 10, the New York Yankees play the crosstown Giants in the first ever World Series game at Yankee Stadium. The Giants win the game when Casey Stengel hits an inside-the-park homerun with two outs in the

top of the ninth inning.

• Nicaraguan President Diego Manual Chamorro dies suddenly on October 12. His Vice President, Bartolomé Martinez, cannot be found, forcing Interior Minister Rosendo Chamorro to serve as acting president. Martinez is eventually inaugurated as President of Nicaragua on October 27.

• A bomb explodes outside Cubs Park (now known as Wrigley Field) on October 14. No arrests are ultimately made, though the incident is attributed to union agitators angry at a decision by Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, then commissioner of Major League Baseball.

• The Walt Disney Company is founded when 21-year-old Walt Disney and 30-year-old Roy O. Disney, Walt’s brother, sign a contract to produce the Alice Comedies film series.

• Roadside billboards are the target of a letter sent by the British Ministry of Transport on October 18. The letter alleges the billboards are disfiguring the picturesque English countryside and urges county councils to take action.

• New Jersey’s Albert Tangora sets the world record for fastest sustained typing on a manual typewriter on October 22. Tangora averages 147 words per minute over the course of one hour.

• The air force of the Kingdom of Bulgaria is wiped out on October 25 when the country’s lone army airplane crashes.

• The reigning monarch of Iran, Ahmad Shah Qajar, appoints Reza Khan as the country’s Prime Minister on October 28. Khan overthrows Ahmad Shah two years later.

• The Republic of Turkey is proclaimed on October 29, formally ending the Ottoman Empire.

4 Fun Facts about the Month of October

Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving each October. While October may not be home to Thanksgiving in the United States, Americans, much like their Canadian counterparts, have much to be thankful for in the tenth month of the calendar year. Fall temperatures tend to be at their most accommodating in October, which also happens to be home to Halloween. Those are not the only interesting and fun facts about this popular month.

1. October has something of a misleading name. Licensed drivers undoubtedly know that the prefix “octo” means eight, which is why Stop signs are octagons. So why does October, the tenth month of the year, have a name that suggests it should be the eighth month of the year? That peculiarity can be traced to the early Roman calendar, which featured just 10 months, the eighth of which was October. The Romans eventually converted to a 12-month calendar, and October kept its name despite becoming the tenth month of that calendar.

2. Some notable individuals have holidays in their honor in October, including two on the same day. This year, Monday October 9, 2023, is both Columbus Day and Leif Erikson Day. It’s fitting that each figure’s holiday falls on the same day, as both are among history’s more well-known explorers. Columbus Day commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492, while Leif Erikson Day celebrates a man believed to be the first known European to set foot in continental North America.

3. Columbus Day might court its fare of fanfare (and controversy), but its popularity cannot match that of October’s most beloved day to celebrate: Halloween. Halloween is celebrated on October 31 and notes this can be traced to ancient Celts. The Celts celebrated the festival of Samhain on October 31, the night before their new year. They did this because they believed that night marked the return of the ghosts of the dead to earth. That emphasis on the ghoulish is present each Halloween as well.

4. October is considered a great time of year to take a road trip, and much of that reputation can be traced to fall foliage. Leaves begin to change color in many regions in early October, and the resulting colorful landscape is beautiful to behold. Though some may presume the shift in color in October is due to the month’s typical drop in temperature, it’s actually due to a decrease in sunlight. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, leaves begin to lose their green color when photosynthesis from sunlight slows down, which happens because the hours of daylight dwindle considerably during the month of October. That lack of sunlight causes chlorophyll to break down, which in turn causes leaves to change color. But not all leaves will look the same, as any leaf-peeping pro will know. Some leaves turn red, while others turn brown, orange or yellow. The trees that turn red get more direct sunlight in October, while those that get less direct sunlight turn brown, orange or yellow.

Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr – Dr. Rendezvous

By Henry M. Holden

While there have been 12 astronauts who walked on the Moon, two names are instantly recognizable; the late Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon, and Buzz Aldrin, who followed Armstrong down the ladder of the Lunar Module Eagle, in 1969. But, of all the astronauts who walked on the Moon, none has become more famous than Aldrin.

Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. was born January 20, 1930, and raised in Montclair N.J.. He is a former astronaut, and graduated from West Point, third in his class, with a mechanical engineering degree. He flew 66 combat missions in F-86 Sabre jets in Korea and shot down two Russian-built Mig-15 airplanes and won the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross.

At the age of 80, Aldrin made news with his performance on Dancing with the Stars.  But long before he danced with the stars, he was the inspiration for Disney’s Buzz Lightyear.

In January 1963, six-and-a-half years before the first Moon landing, Aldrin earned a degree of Doctor of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), for his 311-page thesis “Line-of-Sight Guidance Techniques for Manned Orbital Rendezvous,” earning Aldrin the sobriquet “Dr. Rendezvous” among his peers. At the time he was a Major in the U.S. Air Force and had yet to be selected as an astronaut. The Mercury Program was winding down, and Project Gemini, with its explicit requirement for testing rendezvous in space was ramping up. Aldrin specifically mentions the Gemini Program in an abstract of his thesis.

Early on, Aldrin did not believe that Gemini program was using the astronauts effectively to work outside space vehicle. “We used microgravity training and flights in parabolic airplanes. But that did not improve the situation. I was a certified nine-year SCUBA diver and understand that underwater simulates weightlessness. I introduced it to NASA, and they agreed to give it a try. It worked; our EVAs became very productive.”

Before that he served as the Apollo 11 lunar module pilot, in 1966, he performed three periods of extravehicular activity (EVA) totaling five hours, 30-minutes aboard Gemini 12.

On May 25, 1962, President John F. Kennedy prompted Americans to “… choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” 

On July 17, 1969, thousands converged on the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida, and millions tuned in to watch live television. Soon, the ground began shaking as a small spacecraft attached to the giant Saturn V rocket several hundred feet tall started lifting off. It was quickly propelled to reach an orbital speed of 18,000 miles per hour. Apollo 11, Buzz Aldrin. Michael Collins and Neil Armstrong were on their way to a historic first landing on the Moon.

At 4:17 pm, July 20, 1969, time stood still throughout the world. Neil Armstrong announced to the world “The Eagle has landed.” The Eagle Luner Module carried “Buzz” Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, the third astronaut, Michael Collins, remained aloft to pilot the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

After Aldrin returned to Earth he went on a speaking tour. “We did lots of parades, 25 cities in 40 days.” “What do I do next?” he thought. Despite reaching the peak of his fame and career before the age of 40, Aldrin continued to work in the field and has been one of the most effective advocates of further space travel, particularly to Mars.

His wife said, “All the pressures and expectations were too much. He crashed and burned as the expression goes. It was a combination of depression which leads to alcoholism. But he did get help, and in 2023 he celebrated 37 years of sobriety.”

In May of 2016, Aldrin attended the “Humans to Mars 2016” conference. In his remarks, Aldrin said NASA should make essential changes to the approach it has used since the 1960s. He feels NASA should get out of the business of designing and managing the development of its own rockets and spacecraft. He critiqued the space Launch System (SLS) vehicle, saying it was a government design, based on 1970s technology, that went into the space shuttle program. “It competes with the private sector,” Aldrin said. “I thought most of us were in the process of learning that the government shouldn’t do that.”

Aldrin was referring to efforts by SpaceX to develop the Falcon Heavy rocket. The Falcon Heavy has a launch capacity of 54 metric tons to low-Earth orbit (LEO). The SLS will have an initial capacity of 70 metric tons, and independent estimates suggest the SLS will cost more than the Falcon Heavy for each launch by at least a factor of 10.

Gemini XII marked a successful conclusion of the Gemini program, achieving the last of its goals by successfully demonstrating that astronauts can effectively work outside a spacecraft. This was instrumental in paving the way for the Apollo program to achieve its goal of landing a man on the Moon by the end of the 1960s.

Aldrin recalls, “With Gemini 12’s landing there was an unequivocal realization, by all astronauts, and NASA itself: that we had only three years left to accomplish Kennedy’s challenge to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

“Yes, Jim and I were the link. They prepared us for the Apollo missions to the moon, but we still had major work to do.”

By early 1969, NASA made it clear the agency intended to land astronauts on the moon in July. 

The month leading up to Apollo 11’s success highlighted just how many people were involved in the mission. In fact, over 400,000 people worked behind the scenes on just the Apollo 11 mission. From engineers, scientists, administrators, cleaning crews and more, it took an enormous collaborative effort to complete this seemingly impossible task. 

That work paid off on July 20, 1969, when an estimated 600 million people around the globe sat, glued to their television sets to watch the crew’s historic first steps on the moon. 

  If you could go to Mars today the spacecraft would leave Earth at a speed of about 24,600 mph. The trip to Mars will take about seven or eight months and about 300 million miles. This is not practical, and Aldrin has an alternate solution, his Aldrin Cycler.

In 1985, Aldrin theorized a so-called Aldrin Cycler corresponding to a single synodic period. The synodic period is the time taken for a given object to make one complete orbit around another object.

Later that year, scientists at the JPL and graduate students at Purdue University confirmed and calculated the existence of such trajectories: a single elliptical loop around the Sun, from Earth to Martian orbit would take 146 days, just under five months and another 146 days from the Martian orbit back to Earth. This would chop four to five months off the current plan NASA has to get people to Mars.

A Mars cycler (or Earth–Mars cycler) is a spacecraft trajectory that encounters Earth and Mars regularly. The Aldrin cycler is an example of a Mars cycler. No propulsion is required to shuttle between the two, although some minor corrections may be necessary due to small fluctuations in the orbit.

Cyclers are potentially useful for transporting people or materials between those bodies using minimal propellant (relying on gravity assist flybys for most trajectory changes) and can carry heavy radiation shielding to protect people in transit from cosmic rays and solar storms.

NASA’s Artemis Moon program which will land people on the Moon in 2025 is thought to be a possible staging area for a future trip to Mars slated for 2040.

Breast Cancer FAQ
The World Health Organization reports that roughly 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020. By the end of that year, there were nearly eight million women alive who had been diagnosed with the disease in the previous half decade.

A breast cancer diagnosis inevitably leads to questions about the disease. The bulk of those questions undoubtedly are asked by the millions of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. But millions more individuals, including friends and family members of recently diagnosed women, may have their own questions. Women can discuss the specifics of their diagnosis with their physicians. In the meantime, the following are some frequently asked questions and answers that can help anyone better understand this potentially deadly disease.

What is breast cancer?

Cancer is a disease marked by the abnormal growth of cells that invade healthy cells in the body. Breast cancer is a form of the disease that begins in the cells of the breast. The National Breast Cancer Foundation notes that the cancer can then invade surrounding tissues or spread to other areas of the body.

Can exercise help to reduce my breast cancer risk?

The NBCF notes that exercise strengthens the immune system and women who commit to as little as three hours of physical activity per week can begin to reduce their risk for breast cancer. However, even routine exercise does not completely eliminate a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

Is there a link between diet and breast cancer?

The organization Susan G. Komen®, a nonprofit source of funding for the fight against breast cancer, reports that studies have shown eating fruits and vegetables may be linked to a lower risk for breast cancer, while consuming alcohol is linked to an increased risk for the disease. In addition, the NBCF reports that a high-fat diet increases breast cancer risk because fat triggers estrogen production that can fuel tumor growth.

Is there a link between oral contraceptives and breast cancer?

The NBCF reports that women who have been using birth control pills for more than five years are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer. However, the organization notes that risk is very small because modern birth control pills contain low amounts of hormones.

Can breastfeeding reduce breast cancer risk?

Breastfeeding and breast cancer are linked, though the NBCF notes that the role breastfeeding plays in lowering cancer risk depends on how long a woman breastfeeds. The World Cancer Research Fund International notes that evidence indicates that the greater number of months women continue breastfeeding, the greater the protection they have against breast cancer.

Is there a connection between stress and breast cancer?

The NBCF notes that researchers have found that traumatic events and losses can alter how the immune system functions, which can provide an opportunity for cancer cells to establish themselves within a person’s body. The NBCF urges women to identify ways to keep their stress levels in check.

Breast cancer education can be a valuable asset as women seek to reduce their risk for the disease.

NJ Starz: Todd Nichols (Hometown: Denville)

By Steve Sears

Todd Nichols recalled his earliest love for music.
He said, “It was in the seventh grade. I can actually remember that in the yearbook for Thomas Jefferson Middle School, they asked you for an ambition.” Nichols’ entry? To someday become a professional musician. “I was a drummer, played professionally for 25 years while I taught high school. My dream as a little kid was to be the drummer for the Count Basie Orchestra.”
He never attained that “dream,” but he accomplished something much more important. For himself, yes, but most importantly, for others.
“I’ve been very, very blessed to have some incredible students,” Nichols said. “And I would say some of the most memorable ones, the ones that truly resonated, were some of my students for whom maybe going to school was challenging for them. They would come back after they graduated and said that it was being in band, being in music, and being in these ensembles that helped get them through and make it to graduation. Those to me were always the ones that really hit home.”
Nichals since 2019 has been the Rutgers University Director of Bands, and now oversees the entire program for concert ensembles, the marching band, and three prep bands. Nichols is also in year two of his Presidency of the Big Ten Band Directors Assocation. His term runs through 2024.
The 47-year-old Nichols, who was bo
rn in Denville and grew up in Rockaway, attended Morris Hills High School. He was raised by his mom, Sandy, who passed away a few years ago, and his dad, Tom, also a Morris Hills alum. He has one younger sister, Tracey.
Nichols, who graduated Morris Hills High School in 1994, credits his high school band director, Mchael Sopko, with giving him encouragement. “He was my high school band director, and he was very supportive and very encouraging. And not just to me. It is interesting that there are a lot of musicians who came out of Morris Hills High School who are doing just really incredible things. There are people who are out on Broadway, there are musical directors, there are college band directors, there are people teaching and playing professionally. Such a small, tiny school in  Rockaway had quite a few incredible artists come out and do different things. And he (Sopko) was super encouraging to me my whole time through.”
After high school, Nichols headed to what was then called Trenton State College (now called the College of New Jersey) where he received his BM in Music in 1998, and thereafter his MM in Conducting from Pennsylvania’s Messiah College. While he has been teaching at Rutgers University, he received in 2022 his DMA in Conducting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Nichols’ first teaching roles were at Edison High School from 1998 to 2004, and Roxbury High School from 2004 to 2017.
Nichols said, “Both communities are still to this day very special to me for different reasons. The Edison band and the Edison community was a place that was very serious about what they did, wanting to progress, and grow and get better. It was a great place to start teaching, a great place to be able to build something – a program full of really special, hardworking and caring people. Roxbury was very much the same way. The time spent at Roxbury was about trying to create opportunities for the students that maybe had not existed prior. There were a lot of first-time national performances for those bands and experiences that I will certainly never forget. At Edison, it was me and just a couple of colleagues, and when I was at Roxbury, there were seven of us who were working towards that common goal. It was just another community that really believed in music, really believed in what we were doing.”
Through the years, the bands that Nichols has directed have performed for some very prestigious folks and at worthy locations. In 2008, the Roxbury band was the first band ever to perform at the prestigious Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic, and to date they are the only high school from New Jersey that has ever performed at the conference. The Roxbury High School Wind Symphony has been on stage at both Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York City and took part in 2014’s Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show. And Nichols, conductor of both the Eastern Wind Symphony and Garden State Symphonic Band, in 2016 was elected to the American Bandmasters Association/American School Band Directors Association, and was also invited to conduct the United States Army Field Band.

“That was pretty great,” he said of the latter experience. “That was while I was teaching at Roxbury when they came into town, and Colonel (Tim) Holtan was kind enough to extend an invitation and ask if I wanted to do a piece with the group. That was very, very special.”
Nichols moved on in 2017 to Rutgers, and when he started there, he was the Director of Athletic Bands and the Associate Director of Bands while teaching at the school. His Marching Scarlet Knights have performed for former Vice-President (and current President), Joseph Biden, and during halftime on Monday Night Football.
And next up just might be the crème de la crème: an appearance in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Nichols said, “It’s a very exciting time for us right now. In addition to the fact that this is the first time in our school’s history that the Rutgers Marching Band ha ever been accepted to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, we have had some really great interest in the band program in that we are the largest we have ever been. We are going to be taking 350 students to this parade, and we are trying to make sure that the impression that is made and the experience that is created for our students is, ‘You’re going to get one shot at this for it to be a lifetime memory for those involved.’ The students are super excited about it, and our staff is super excited about it. We are doing everything we can to really make sure that we represent our university the best we possibly can.”
As special as a music and teaching career is for Todd Nichols, it is superseded by his love for his family. He and his wife, Beth, will in May 2024 be married for 25 years, and they are proud parents of two daughters. Nichols said, “Sarah, who is a freshman now at Rutgers, is a Cognitive Science and Linguistics major. She wants to be a Speech and Language Pathologist, and our youngest daughter, Emily, is a sophomore at Immaculata high school. Anytime I am able to have time with my family is the most important thing. It gets tougher as we get older, and everybody is terribly busy. But to me, any time that I could have with my girls and my wife is the most important time I can have. It always makes me happy, no matter what.”
And there are those he has educated in the past, and the ones he teaches now. As far as his career and love of music goes, Nichols’ reward for his hard work is experiencing the reactions and happiness of his students.
“When they achieve a goal that they thought they maybe could not, makes me happy that they are happier than anything else.”

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Duran Duran in Concert
This 80’s Band Can Still Play

Duran Duran last evening at Forrest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York was as much a throw back the the great 80’s music as it was an entertaining evening for the standing, sold out crowd. On the jumbo-trons, the silhouette through the smoke of this legendary band as they took the stage. Duran Duran is as much showmanship as it is talent and the front-man, Simon Le Bon played it off deftly.
Opening the evening with “Night Boat”, the band peeled of three more songs (The Wild Boys, Hungry Like the Wolf and View to a Kill) in rapid fire succession whipping the crowd in a frenzy. This after all is a band that sold over 100 million records. It is a band that had the same fever of Beatle Mania in the early 1980’s. Credited with ushering in the new romantic scene, the band was at the forefront of the new wave movement.
With the three Taylor’s, Nick Rhodes and Simon Le Bon, the evening also featured two excellent backing woman and a sensational saxophonists. In the evenings set-list the band mixed in rock, pop, a little disco and its standard new wave. “Lonely in Your Nightmare” was blended with a sensational “Super Freak”, a Rick James cover. “Is There Something I Should Know” had a popish vibe to it.
Back in the early 1980’s, Duran Duran had its first hit with “Girls on Film”. The band’s breakthrough, however, was its next album, “Rio” in 1982. It would be the bands third album, Seven and the Ragged Tiger that would hit number 1 in both the UK and the US. In 1985 “A View to a Kill” would chart at number 1 in the US.
The mid to late 80 and the early 90’s were rough on Duran Duran as they saw their success wane. In 1993 with the release of “Ordinary World” and “Come Undone”, they would return to the top 10 worldwide. From 1997 the band would release albums that under performed both critically and sales wise. In 2001, Rhodes, Le Bon and all three Taylor’s reunited to produce “Astronaut”. In 04, the album reached number 3 in the UK. The band would be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2022.
In just under two hours Duran Duran gave the audience a feel good concert. Simon Le Bon teased the crowd with some old antidotes of yesteryear. He spoke about the band really getting its start in Long Island, New York. It was no wonder that many of the bands fans were dressed in 80’s/ 90’s fashion. Adding to the by-gone era was the savvy staging and projections. Some of the finest that I have seen at any concert. Upbeat and pithy, the lights, the stage and projection fueled the energy that Duran Duran provided.
While every song that the band performed last night, it was the first four songs and the evenings last five songs that really stood out. Ending with Grandmaster Flashes “White Lines”, “The Reflex”, “Girls on Film” and the evenings two encores: “Save a Prayer” and ending with “Rio” was the perfect start and the perfect finish to this storied bands career.
As a warm up band Chic/ Nile Rodgers had as much energy as Duran Duran. Many of the crowd were there as much for Chic as Duran Duran. A staple in the 80’s, Chic too was excellent performing “le Freak” (opening song),”Everybody Dance”, “Dance, Dance, Dance”, “I Want Your Love”, two by the late great David Bowie (Modern Love, Let’s Dance) and ending with “Good Times/ Rapper’s Delight”
There has been many great concerts this year that I was fortunate to attend; Duran Duran and Chic was right up there with the top concerts. Both bands had such great timing, showmanship and energy and for almost three hours it permeated throughout Forrest Hills. The fans really had a thrill to go back in time and bask in some really great memories!

Morris County Sheriff’s Office Partners With NJRC

Reentry Services to be Expanded for Morris County Inmates
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon announced today a new partnership between the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and the New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC) to help inmates released from the Morris County Correctional Facility successfully re-enter and assimilate back into the community.

The criminal recidivism rate is at about 47 percent; however, NJRC has demonstrated success at reducing the number of reoffenders who graduate its program to 19 percent of rearrests and under 10 percent reincarcerations, according to former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, who leads the NJRC.

“This is all about not having this continuous cycle; it’s about correcting the trajectory,” said McGreevey during a press conference at the correctional facility.

Under the collaboration and partnership with the Sheriff’s Office, at no cost to the county, NJRC will provide critical services to link former offenders to healthcare and addiction treatment, legal services, employment, skills training, and a means to re-establish identification credentials as they leave the correctional facility. The service will supplement the success of re-entry programs already underway at the correctional facility.

The goals of the collaboration between the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Corrections and NJRC include removing barriers to employment for people leaving incarceration or detainment, and to reduce recidivism, which fosters safer communities, while assisting the former inmates to find a path of sustainable living.

“The individuals who come into our care and custody at the Morris County Correctional Facility all have unique and different needs. We must be attentive to those needs.  Working with NJRC will help us bridge existing gaps which we often see become pitfalls when individuals are released from custody. I am extremely pleased to be able to afford these additional services through this partnership with the NJRC,” said Sheriff James Gannon.

The NJRC, with the social services staff at the correctional facility and county’s Successful Transition and Re-Entry Program (STAR) program will identify inmates who need assistance and the type of assistance required, so that all individuals can be provided professional services that best address their specific needs.

Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll and Chief of Detectives Robert McNally were among a team of law enforcement officers and non-profit workers who also attended the press conference.

“I hope, down the road, people fully understand what everyone is trying to do here,” said Carroll. “Obviously we care what happens in the custodial end of this and what happens when the correctional system is done … We generate them back into the communities in a positive way. It’s a win for everybody.”

For a successful re-entry, ex-offenders need housing, food, medical care, clothing, substance abuse treatment, mental health care, employment, and education, according to research cited by the Sheriff’s Office. Re-entry programs that span all three phases of re-entry – preparation, service provision, and long-term support – are most successful. The STAR program helps inmates with all three of these phases.

“Morris County, the Sheriff’s Office and all our members of law enforcement work hard every day to ensure our communities are safe, such that the quality of life of our residents and visitors remains one of the best in the nation. Supporting inmates being released from custody with these essential services can help improve outcomes with their re-entry and positively shape their influence in our communities,” said Morris County Commissioner Doug Cabana, the board’s liaison to law enforcement.

The NJRC is a non-profit agency with a social mission to remove all barriers to employment for citizens returning from jail or prison. It grew from a pilot program launched in Hudson County supported by the state in 2014 and has been spearheaded by McGreevey, who has expanded the program elsewhere in New Jersey.

Inquiries regarding this press release should be directed to Captain Denise Thornton, 973-285-6675 or

Nickelodeon’s ‘That Girl Lay Lay’ Star is Here to School Gen Alpha
(NewsUSA) – There’s a new generation running the show in the Kidverse: Generation Alpha. Defined as those born between 2010 and 2024, this new group of kiddos succeeding Generation Z is more diverse than any other generation, far more technologically savvy at a younger age and only know a world where social media is at the center of everything — thus making social media stars THE celebrities they care about.     

Enter Alaya High, the hip-hop prodigy professionally known as That Girl Lay Lay. At age 15, she’s gone from being a social media sensation with 1.3 million Instagram followers to currently starring in her own namesake TV show on Nickelodeon and boasting her own line of consumer products sold at big box retailers across the country.       

In fact, you could say Lay Lay’s rise is a content creator’s dream come true. When she was 11, the Houston, Texas, native convinced her father, Acie High of the rap duo Aqualeo, to record her freestyling while they were driving — she’d been rapping since age 5 — and upload the clips to social media. Two weeks later, her performances had gone so viral on Instagram that even 50 Cent was reposting them, and she was on her way to becoming the youngest female rap artist to sign with Empire Records.       

“I was at my friend’s house,” she’s recalled of that time. “We went outside to go play. I came back, and I looked at my phone, and I was like, ‘Why does my phone say 3,000 notifications?’ I was like, Girl, I’m famous!’”     

Soon after, Lay Lay was rapping in music videos with the hugely popular likes of Young Dolph, Tr33zy and Lil Duval. And when Nickelodeon came calling last year to greenlight a show around her … well, let’s just say she was more than game, given that she considers herself a Nick Kid and counts “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “The Loud House” as her all-time favorite shows.       

“That Girl Lay Lay,” which recently kicked off its second season after having shattered records last fall and ranking as one of the top two series across all TV among Black kids age six to 11, continues to be a buddy comedy that speaks to a new generation of kids.       

The show follows a personal affirmation app (named Lay Lay, naturally) who is magically wished to life by a smart, real-life girl named Sadie (Gabrielle Nevaeh Green) who has trouble speaking up for herself. Together they learn they can accomplish pretty much anything — including getting Sadie to successfully run for her high school’s freshman class presidency — so long as they work as a team.         

And with even more music and magic this year from everyone’s favorite personal affirmation app sprung to life, the premise really seems to have struck a chord: Last month “That Girl Lay Lay” ranked as the top live-action show with kids on cable TV.       

Better yet, executive producer Will Packer is excited by the real world impact the series can have on kids. “At any point in life, kids all around the world are faced with natural insecurity,” he said. “This is a series that can help them be confident in themselves and encourage them to be their own individuals.”     

And Lay Lay’s own effect?  She’s been called “the embodiment of fierceness, bringing optimism, magnetism and style to everything she does.” Meaning, young girls, especially Black girls, have a positive new role model they can look up to.

Equip a Home Theater with the Ultimate Features

Dedicated home theaters and the more diverse “media rooms” still command their share of real estate in homes. A report from the Business Research Company estimates that the home theater market size will reach $66.16 billion by 2027, with a 19.5 percent growth rate between now and then.

Home theaters can fall into a wide range of categories. Some media room enthusiasts embark on retrofitting spaces on their own, making equipping the room a do-it-yourself endeavor. Others interested in a state-of-the-art setup may leave the work to a professional, especially if it involves construction or installation of large equipment. Some things need to be kept in mind for those interested in putting in home theaters, especially if they want to create the ultimate home theater experience. Here is the gear to consider.

AV receiver

An AV receiver will process all the different input and output sources involved in a home theater setup. This includes Blu-ray, streaming devices, video games, screens, and speakers. The AV receiver should have enough inputs to play several sources.


Depending on the space and size of the room, a home theater may feature a traditional large screen television or a projector and projector screen for a more cinematic feel. According to U.S. News and World Report, some of the newest television technology comes by way of OLED, or organic light-emitting diode. OLED employs emissive technology that utilizes millions of pixels that emit their own light rather than relying on a separate backlight. Many people believe OLED displays are the best on the market today.

Surround sound

An immersive home theater audio experience requires surround sound. This includes a combination of floorstanding speakers, subwoofer, single center speaker, and possibly smaller side speakers to truly disperse sound around the room. Those who have small home theater spaces that do not necessitate surround sound can opt for a soundbar. Some soundbars use advanced digital sound to trick the ears into thinking there are speakers all around them.

Plush seating

Reclining on individual seating is one of the perks of going to the movies. Increasingly homeowners are designing their home theaters to include cinema-style recliners. Look for options at furniture retailers that include large armrests with cupholders and spaces for snacks. Some even have small LED lights for increased comfort moving around dark rooms. Homeowners with large home theater capabilities can offset seating and even place it on risers to simulate a traditional theater and improve the viewing experience.

Smart light fixtures

Utilize smart light bulbs in fixtures so that lights can be colored or dimmed appropriately depending on need in the media area, such as those from Philips Hue. Light strips can be run along the baseboards of the room to define the perimeter and give it that distinct movie theater feel.

Additional considerations for a home theater include a miniature vending machine, refrigerator, popcorn maker or small snack station for refreshments.

Thaddeus Exposé Has Lived a Life in Love with Music
By Steve Sears

Thaddeus Exposé has a love for music.

Exposé, who will be 61 in November, said, “I’m very fortunate in my life, to have discovered that I have a gift at what I do. And I love doing everything I do.”

You can very easily attest to this, whether engaged with Exposé in friendly conversation, or from an audience seat as he performs onstage, which is another thing entirely.

The sounds become emotions, feelings.

He said, “My conversation with a person is totally different from our ‘conversation’ when I’m playing my bass on stage. It’s more intimate, because they see me immersed into music, and it’s still being delivered to them.”

Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Exposé has lived in Whippany the past 21 years.

He said, “I tell people I’m happy that I was born in New Orleans, because New Orleans has such a wide array of culture. Not only is it the food, not only is it the music, but it’s the people, it’s the environment, it’s the history. It’s humbling to have been born and raised in New Orleans.”

Exposé selected the bass guitar as his instrument of choice, and his father was a guitarist as well. When his dad would return home from work in the evening, he and his friends would jam by playing the Delta Blues, and seven-year-old Thaddeus would listen, and occasionally play the drums – all the while falling in love with music. If it wasn’t the live music, it was his dad’s 8-track tapes, the sound of the bass coming through loud and clear on the recordings.

“It chose me, I didn’t choose it,” he said of the bass.

Always the teacher in addition to his playing music, Exposé received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Northeastern University in Chicago. Exposé said, “When I got to Chicago, I just took the music to a whole other level. And actually, I said to myself, ‘This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” After graduation from Northeastern, he received his master’s degree in Jazz Studies from William Paterson University.

Exposé, who is also the inventor of the BowStopper, a device or learning tool that helps people utilize the bow in a more effective way with musical instruments, is also a book author. His fictional work for children is titled Can’t Catch Me, and his trade offering is The Ultimate Jazz Method.

The former’s main character is his grandson, Ramon, who imagines that nothing can catch him as he runs from various things in the book (like bees and a black widow spider), but the only person he doesn’t run from, but to, is his loving mother. Exposé said, “The love of his mother, that’s what I got from my mom, and so I incorporated it with him. The person that he really is close to and that he loves is his mother.”

The Ultimate Jazz Method started out as his 374-page WPU thesis. “It was too long for professors; I had 36 lessons in there,” Exposé said. “Now I have 12. And after I cut it down, David Dempsey (WPU Coordinator of Jazz Studies) liked it. He said, ‘This is a very nice piece that you have here. You should turn it into a book.”

That book is now in its second printing.

Exposé – who is married to Valerie Scott Exposé, and is a dad to Donielle, Tiara, Kelly, Arianna, Ernie, Thaddeus Jr., and grandfather to Ramon, Kalia, Tiara, Mallory, and Julian – writes his own songs and music and has performed with prominent industry names like Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Nichols Payton, and Savion Glover.

“Everything is on a high level,” said Exposé, a 2022 Manilow Music Teacher award winner while teaching at Newark’s Eastside High School, of performing with the above-mentioned talented individuals. “You have to be well prepared; you have to be on your game. With somebody like that, your skill gets better, because you’re working with someone who’s better than you. All my life, I wanted to be with the best person in a room because that  gave me room to grow, to become better than everybody else,”

For more information about Thaddeus Exposé, visit

Sustainable Family Meals from Farm to Table

Much time is often spent planning and preparing family meals, from choosing recipes to gathering ingredients and working in the kitchen. However, where that food actually comes from and how it’s made is an often-overlooked part of food preparation.

Next time you lay out a weekly menu that includes recipes like this Bone-In Prime Rib, keep sustainability in mind by considering the practices put in place by America’s farmers. For example, the corn industry’s evolution in sustainability along with its documented environmental, economic and social improvements over the last several decades points to farmers’ willingness to embrace change.

As the largest sector in American agriculture, corn farmers impact hundreds of thousands of jobs, infuse billions of dollars into the economy and care for critical resources while overseeing substantial improvements in production.

The family farm belonging to Nathan and Nicki Weathers in Yuma, Colorado, includes 3,000 acres of irrigated crops and 300 cows. They harvest grain corn, which goes to a feedyard, dairy or an ethanol plant, and silage, which is sold to local feedyards.

According to Nathan, corn is the best feed available for his farm and makes his beef production more sustainable.

“They go hand in hand,” Nathan said. “To be able to drive the protein market and meet the demands of the future, we have to be sustainable in both. We need to have protein and be able to grow it and have a feed source for pork and poultry. Corn is an efficient and economic feed source for all our protein.”

Consider these ways the corn industry is continuing its efforts toward sustainable practices, according to the National Corn Growers Association’s Sustainability Report.

Soil Conservation

Healthy soils are the foundation of agriculture production and why corn farmers are committed to leaving land in better shape than they found it. Adoptions in conservation tillage and other soil conservation strategies have contributed to a reduction in erosion.

Water Stewardship

Farmers recognize the invaluable role water plays in raising crops each year. They also know they must actively protect this resource for the benefit of their crops, their communities and the planet.

Ecosystem Resilience

With approximately 90 million acres planted annually, corn is grown in a variety of ecosystems. Supporting the health of those ecosystems requires active attention from farmers, who respond by using integrated pest management techniques, establishing wildlife habitats on their lands and more.

Energy Efficiency

Technology that enhances farmers’ productivity also help reduce the amount of energy and emissions required for corn production. Farmers provide a carbon reduction strategy through the production of ethanol and the support of the Renewable Fuel Standard, a program created by Congress intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand the nation’s renewable fuels sector while reducing reliance on imported oil.

Minimal Waste

Due to corn’s versatility, from animal feed to ethanol production and bioplastics, the components of each kernel find homes in a variety of uses, leaving little to go to waste.

Find more information at

Bone-In Prime Rib

Recipe courtesy of chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C., 5280 Culinary, LLC, and Ace Hardware Grill Expert on behalf of the Colorado Corn Administrative Committee

1 bone-in prime rib roast (8 pounds)


5280 Culinary Rub-a-Dub seasoning, to taste

5280 Culinary Island Boys Coffee seasoning, to taste

Remove roast from packaging and place on large sheet pan. Drain juices and warm at room temperature 20 minutes. Starting at tail on bone side of roast, cut bone along ribs, between meat and ribs, to back side, separating bones from meat.

Rub prime rib with light coat of oil. Season on all sides and under bone with blend of seasonings. Return bones to bottom side and, using butcher twine, secure in 2-3 areas by tying bones to meat. Wrap in plastic wrap or place in pan and refrigerate 12-16 hours.

Preheat smoker or grill to 200 F and load with preferred smoking wood chunks, if desired.

Place prime rib on grill rib side down, fat side up, allowing drippings to collect in drip tray. Increase heat to 350 F. Close lid and cook, uncovered, until desired doneness is reached.(Family Features)




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