Roxbury Life September 2023

New School Superintendent, Santora, becomes School Superintendent in Roxbury’s Schools

by Jeff Garrett
A new school superintendent has taken the helm in Roxbury Township’s Schools.
Dr. Frank Santora came to Roxbury from Madison School District where he served as the Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services. There, he was focused on improving the emotional well-being and capability of students while Madison enjoyed expanded mental health services and support to students.
“Dr. Frank Santora has broad and deep experience as an educator, with focus on expanding and maximizing learning opportunities for all students. His work has included bolstering support for both special education and general education students. Dr. Santora has expressed that he sees potential in every person, works on consensus building, believes that accountability starts with clarity and support for staff and students, and he practices transparency and visibility to the students, staff and public,” said Roxbury Board of Education President, Leo Coakley in May after the announcement was made of Santora Roxbury’s new school superintendent. Coakley added how pleased the Board was to find an educator with Santora’s pedigree while praising the
staff and administration at Roxbury citing that it is an excellent place for a talented man like Santora to come.
Before coming to Madison schools, Santora was the director of special services and building principal in Saddle Brook School District while he served as a school psychologist and member of the child study team in Westfield’s public school district.
Just about 10 years ago, in 2014, Santora completed work for his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Saint Elizabeth University having focused his research on the impact that district-run training programs have on the daily procedures of parents and staff with school-run, in-district Applied Behavior Analaysis (ABA) Programs. Santora replaces, Loretta Radulic, who served school superintendent from January 2016 through June 2023.  Radulic was Assistant Superintendent in Roxbury School District from 2012 through 2016.

Summer of Service: Centenary University Psychology Major Travels to Sri Lanka to Provide Volunteer Mental Health Services for Children and Adults

   For Centenary University rising senior Ciara Rodriguez, summer has been anything but a time to kick back and relax. The psychology major traveled to Sri Lanka in May to serve as a mental health volunteer for children and adults in Sri Lanka, and then went straight to West Virginia University to conduct behavioral health research funded by the National Science Foundation this summer.
A resident of Roxbury, NJ, Rodriguez initially entered Centenary University as a forensic science major, but quickly realized that her passion was psychology. After changing her major, Rodriguez set her sights on gaining acceptance to a combined master’s/doctoral degree in behavior analysis. With only seven accredited programs in the country, the competition is fierce and she knows her credentials have to stand out. So, Rodriguez began researching ways she could help others while bolstering her graduate school application.
“I really wanted to give back to a country in need,” Rodriguez explained. “Sri Lanka stood out because it has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. There have been a lot of natural disasters there and they don’t have the best healthcare system. I had the opportunity to work in hospitals, and also with children who have disabilities. There aren’t a lot of resources, so these children don’t receive the treatment they deserve.”
Soon after returning to the United States from Sri Lanka, Rodriguez traveled to West Virginia University to participate in behavior analysis research measuring food motivation in lab rats. The study’s goal is to update standards for the most efficient and ethical way to motivate rat behavior in future studies. Rodriguez said, “My experiences in Sri Lanka and West Virginia have solidified my goal to pursue a career in behavior analysis that is both clinically- and research-based.”
At Centenary, Rodriguez is active with student organizations and volunteers as a crisis counselor with several suicide and crisis hotlines. She has organized workshops for survivors of domestic violence, as well as on violence prevention, stalking, and men’s mental health. A Dean’s List student, she plans to earn her bachelor’s degree in just three years—graduating next May—thanks to a significant number of Advanced Placement credits earned in high school.
As she prepares to put the finishing touches on her graduate school applications, Rodriguez is grateful for faculty members, like Associate Professor of Psychology Christine Floether, Ph.D., who have encouraged her to aim high: “At Centenary, the small class sizes make such a big difference because I’m really learning, rather than sitting in a big lecture hall not interacting with professors who don’t really know me. Here, the professors care a lot.”

Dr. Floether is looking forward to seeing the great things Rodriguez accomplishes in her career. “Everything about Ciara speaks to her drive and ambition,” she said. “She’s been very motivated to achieve academic success at Centenary and apply to highly selective graduate schools. I know that she will achieve everything she puts her mind to.”
ABOUT CENTENARY UNIVERSITY                                            
Centenary University offers extraordinary learning opportunities that empower students to develop intellectually, emotionally, and interculturally—keys to career and personal success.
Under the leadership of President Dale Caldwell, Ed.D., the University aspires to advance its reputation as a world class institution offering innovative programs, including the world’s first Master of Arts in Happiness Studies, to lift the future for our students and local communities.

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Roxbury Jr Gaels Football celebrates 65 Years This Season

by Jeff Garrett
It will be a season to remember for young football players in the Roxbury Gaels youth football program this Fall as the program celebrates its 65th anniversary.
For young footballers, this is where many dreams take shape. Kids dreaming of playing like their professional heroes to those just looking to their hone their skills, right down to those seeing if the game is the right fit for them, all take place in youth football.  Young players learn the value of commitment and teamwork in a rough n’ tumble sport requiring sacrifice.
The program in Roxbury seems to shine every late summer into fall because it’s doing something right. The proof is in the numbers from the kids that come out each year to make the season-long commitment. Gaels coaches estimate the number of players who came out for Football this year total over 190 players.
This is serious fun, so much so that the Jr Gaels got new uniforms for the 65th year and will have an official 65th Anniversary Ceremony on Saturday, October 14. Prior to that, there are plans to have an anniversary season game in late September perhaps.
There are a lot of levels to Jr. Gaels football making for an inclusive environment.  Pre-clinic is for boys entering third grade, Clinic for 4th
graders, Super PeeWee for fifth-graders, Pee Wee for sixth graders, Junior Varsity for seventh graders and Varsity for the eighth-
grade players. Practice began in early August with games commencing in Septemberwhich will end in early November. The program even had a
signing day for players in March.
The coaches became more involved and started doing year-round events and recruiting over the years. The Jr. Gaels enhanced their social media tremendously over the past five years. Parents in the community stepped up their efforts through fundraising.
The kids responded by coming out. A large summer youth football camp took place under the hot sun in June with 90 players in attendance.
The numbers continue to rise with registration.
All of this, in turn, has lead to the need and creation of more fields. They doubled the amount of space at their home at Horseshoe Lake going from two for four fields which will provide more action for everyone this Fall.
Kevin Morse is the President of the league and R.J. Casendino serves at the Director of Operations as well as Super Pee Wee team coach.
For more information on the Roxbury Jr Gaels football team, logon to or contact

Bodyguard for Celebrities Honored Again

By Steve Sears
It has been a wonderful nine months for bodyguard Adriano “Bubba” Almony.
In December of 2022 in Houston, Texas, he was the first bodyguard ever honored to receive the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, and on July 22, he was in Atlanta, Georgia for the 15th annual D’CEM Awards, where he was awarded with both a Humanitarian Excellence Award and Best Security Bodyguard Award.
And this November, he will be awarded a K.S.E. Elite Bodyguard Award, and be inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame along with the Queen of Congo. For the latter, Almony was nominated by Mike Tyson’s trainer, Aaron Snowell.
Almony said of the D’CEM event, “It was amazing. There was a dinner, a state representative from the governor’s office there, and hundreds of people at a pretty much full to capacity event. They called all the honorees to stage where you were able to do an acceptance speech. They had our photo on the big jumbotron – the backdrop at the stage – and there were red carpet interviews. It was truly a great time, a nice event.”
When asked to describe the word “humanitarian,” Almony said, “A humanitarian is somebody who puts others before themselves. It’s helping to make the world a better place as a goodwill ambassador, and someone who takes pride in doing less for themselves and more for others.”
Almony, 28, first was born and raised in Hanover, Pennsylvania, but in the fifth grade moved to Ocean City, Maryland, where he grew up for most of his life. In 2012 he graduated from Stephen Decatur High, and then headed for the Metropolitan area, where he has lived in Fairfield in Essex County since 2018. A security industry pro for 12 years, he has owned Bubba Almony Security Service for five years.
Almony’s bodyguard services protect a number of well-known celebrities and their families, such as Dr. Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the wife of four-time heavyweight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali, and her children, real estate tycoon Grant Cardone and his wife, Elena Lyons Cardone, P. Diddy’s children, and musical artist Yvng Swag of “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out.” His bodyguard services are also relied on at events. He serves at Ocean City, Maryland’s White Marlin Open, the world’s largest billfishing tournament, the 10X Growth Conference (“the number one business event as voted by Forbes,” Almony says), and the 9/11 Memorial Commemoration in New York City.
Most important to Almony is making an impact in the world. He said, “To have any impact in my work and impact as a person, and to be inspiring. Being the best leader I could be, the best influence, just pushing towards my greatness every day, to be the best human I could be.”

Joey Bella Memorial Fund September 2023 Events 
The Tricky Tray is on Friday, September 22 under the tent at Gardner Field.  Doors open at 6pm and calling begins promptly at 8pm.  Admission is $15 per person and includes one sheet of tickets and light refreshments.  No one admitted under 18 years—no infants permitted.  Please contact Corey at 973-768-6487 for more information.  Tickets are sold at the door only.
Band Beer Beefsteak will be held on Saturday, September 23 under the tent at Gardner Field.  Tickets include an all you can eat beefsteak dinner, 16+ microbrew beers, and entertainment by Promised Land Rocks—The Ultimate Jersey Shore Tribute Band.  Purchase your tickets online at  Advance ticket sales only.
For more information regarding The Joey Bella Memorial Fund, please visit our website at, email us at or message us on Facebook.

Morris County Sheriff
Adds Two New K-9s
By Henry M. Holden
On August 18, 2023, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff James M. Gannon, introduced its two newest members of the K-9 Unit.
Leo, an 11-month-old German Shepherd and Malinois mix, and Abbi, a 22-month-old Belgian Malinois, are the two new crime-fighting puppies. They will both be trained in K-9 patrol and narcotics detection.
K-9 Leo is named after Leon Bradford, the first chief of the former Morris County Park Police Department. And K-9 Abbi is named after Timothy P. Abline, a former Morris County Park Police detective. Abline, who died in 2011, was a 26-year law enforcement officer in Morris County who founded the major annual holiday toy drive known as “Saddle Up for Toys.”
“Anytime we have new additions starting their career here at the Sheriff’s Office, it is exciting,” said Gannon. “These two K-9 partners are exceptionally special, because we bring them into dedicated service in honor of two great Morris County law enforcement officers.”

That dedicated service began on Jan 4, 1977. The K-9 Unit originally began as a trial program under Sheriff John Fox, in 1975, where it was referred to as the Bloodhound Unit. Since its ceation, the K-9 Unit has continuously evolved to meet the needs of Morris County. The Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit currently supports all 39 municipalities of Morris County as well as local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies with 14 K-9s.
A K-9 is trained to assist law enforcement officers, search and rescue teams, or the military. Their duties may include searching for drugs and explosives, locating missing persons, finding crime scene evidence, protecting officers and other people, and attacking suspects who flee from officers. The breeds most used by law enforcement are the German Shepherd, and the Belgian Malinois.
“What we found recently was that the Dutch shepherds and the Belgian Malinois especially have more drive than other shepherds and they have better health records,” said Mark Chiarolanza, Public Information Officer. “They seem to be better working dogs overall.
“In recent years, the Belgian Malinois has become the leading choice for police and military work due to their intense drive, focus, agility, and smaller size, though German Shepherds remain the breed most associated with law enforcement.”
“What we focus on more is the drive. They are high energy dogs.
The dogs are usually accepted into the department at 11 to 22 months old.”

K-9s are assigned to a K-9 Unit with a specific handler and must remember several verbal cues and hand gestures. Initial training for a K-9 typically takes between eight months and a year, depending on where and how they are trained, and for what purpose.
“Police dogs take training programs with their assigned handler to reinforce their training,” said Chiarolanza,
The first recorded use of police dogs was in the early 14th century in St. Malo, France, where dogs were used to guard docks and piers.  Between the 12th and 20th centuries, police dogs were primarily used for their tracking abilities.
. It was in Europe that dogs were first used on a large scale. Police in Paris began using dogs against roaming criminal gangs at night, but it was the police department in Ghent, Belgium that introduced the first organized police dog service program in 1899. The German police selected the German Shepherd as the ideal breed for police work and opened the first dog training school in 1920. In later years, many Belgian Malinois dogs were added to the unit. The dogs were systematically trained in obedience to their officers and tracking and attacking criminals.
In Britain, the police were among the first to use police dogs in 1908 to put a stop to theft from the docks.
“There are various ways a police officer, acquires a canine,” said Chiarolanza. “First comes the desire of the officer to want to do the job. It’s not something that we just take any officer and put them in that unit. We send out an announcement to see if there’s any interest. Those people who are selected must have the right temperament. You must be patient, and you have make a good team. You have to be caring, after all, you are taking care of a live animal, and some people don’t have that nature about them to care for another. It becomes a lifestyle, taking the dog home, and being on call at all hours of the night. It’s a huge undertaking for any officer. It’s an attitude and drive that almost never gets turned off. The dog is with the officer 24/7.
“What we focus on more is the drive. They are high energy dogs.
The officer and the dog both attend the same training, and the officer takes the dog home with him or her at night.”

Training of K-9s is a lengthy process since it begins with the training of the canine handler. The canine handlers go through training to ensure that they will train the dog to the best of its ability. Usually, the canine handler must complete the requisite police academy training and have patrol experience before becoming eligible to transfer to the canine unit. This is because the experience as an officer allows prospective canine officers to gain valuable experience in law enforcement. However, having dog knowledge and training outside of the police academy is an asset. This could be in dog obedience, crowd control, or communicating effectively with animals and being approachable and personable since having a dog will draw attention from surrounding citizens.
“For a dog to be considered for the K-9 Unit, it must first pass a basic obedience training course,” said Chiarolanza. “They must be able to obey the commands of their handler without hesitation. This allows the officer to have complete control over how much force the dog should use against a suspect.

When a narcotics dog indicates to the officer that it found something, the officer has probable cause to search whatever the dog alerted on (i.e. bag or vehicle) without a warrant.

In suspect apprehension, having a loud barking dog is helpful and can result in suspects surrendering without delay.
“Police dogs are retired if they become injured to an extent where they will not recover completely, are pregnant, or raising puppies, or are too old or sick to continue working. Given that a dog is not injured on the job, we usually retire them after about 10 or 11 years of service,” said Chiarolanza.

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I Remember Dad:

Hallowed Be, Thy Sacred Truth of The Scout Law

By Richard Mabey Jr.
My beloved father served as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 170 for 28 years, from 1966 to 1994. Dad was 67 years old when he retired from his volunteer role of the Beloved Scoutmaster. He was fighting prostate cancer at the time. A battle that he did win. But sadly, the dreaded cancer reared its ugly head again in 2006, in the form of pancreatic cancer. Sadly, Dad lost that fight.

My father believed in the Scout Law and the Scout Oath. Every single word of it. Second only to the Lord’s Prayer, it was Dad’s guiding light upon which he used to shine upon his walk along life’s path. Upon my father’s workbench, was a folded oak tag sign that read, “better to teach a boy the moral path, than to rehabilitate a wayward man.” The lettering of that little sign was hand written. Dad had written those words back in 1966, when he first became Scoutmaster of Troop 170.

For nearly 30 years, Dad looked at that little sign. As the years passed by, the little oak tag sign developed little folds in the corner. The sunlight, pouring in from the cellar window, had caused the once brightly colored, golden thick oak tag to turn to a faded shade of yellow. Yet the truth of Dad’s handwritten little sign never dulled, not one tiny bit.

My father saw his role as Scoutmaster as a ministry. Over the years, Dad was a most wonderful father-role to hundreds upon hundreds of boys. A kind-hearted adopted uncle, a gentle soul who taught boys the essentials of first-aid. Dad loved to teach the scouts about the great wonders of the trees of the forest and about all the magnificent creatures that called the woods, their sacred home.

My father taught all so many scouts to hold a great respect for all living things. He taught his scouts the role that the elm, the oak, the maple and the pine played in preventing soil erosion on a hillside incline. Dad taught the scouts of dear old 170, to walk ever so gently and quietly, while approaching a group of deer drinking from a babbling brook, a few yards from the wooded path of the famed Appalachian Trail.

My father went Home to be with the Lord in May of 2006. Now, over 17 years later, I miss him all so very much. There are times when I hear the echo of my father’s voice, “now boys, your pocket knife isn’t a toy. You need to take special care when handling a knife. When you’re getting kindle wood ready for the fire, always cut the little twigs from a fallen branch away from you, never cut the twigs toward you.”

Like the tiny particles of sand that sift through our fingers, time waits for no person. The clock ticks the minutes away, the pages of the calendar are torn off too soon, the years pass by, and sadly, the years become decades, falling away from us.

Life is short. Too short to hold grievances and harsh judgments. Love one another. Forgive, forgive and forgive those who do you wrong. Tell your loved ones that you love them. For tomorrow may be too late.

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

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 Remembering 9/11, 22 Years Later

The events of September 11, 2001, marked a turning point in history that left an indelible impact on the world. As we commemorate the 22nd anniversary of 9/11, we reflect on the tragedy, the lives lost, the resilience shown, and the lessons learned. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon continue to evoke a mix of emotions and memories that have shaped our collective consciousness.

The Day That Changed Everything:

On that fateful Tuesday morning, the world watched in horror as commercial airplanes hijacked by terrorists crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The sheer scale of the devastation and loss of life was beyond comprehension. Almost 3,000 innocent lives were lost, and the impact was felt not just in America, but across the globe.

Unity and Resilience:

In the face of adversity, the response was a remarkable display of unity and resilience. First responders, firefighters, police officers, and ordinary citizens rushed to the aid of those in need, embodying the spirit of heroism and compassion. Communities came together, demonstrating the strength of human solidarity. The 9/11 attacks did not break the American spirit; instead, they strengthened the nation’s resolve to stand united against terrorism.

Global Consequences:

The aftermath of 9/11 had far-reaching consequences that reshaped international politics, security measures, and policies. The United States launched the War on Terror, leading to military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Airport security protocols were heightened, and surveillance efforts intensified to prevent future attacks. The world became acutely aware of the need to address the root causes of terrorism and promote global stability.

Lessons Learned:

Two decades later, the lessons from 9/11 remain relevant. The importance of vigilance in the face of evolving security threats, the significance of international cooperation, and the need to address socio-political issues that can breed extremism are paramount. As we remember the lives lost, we also remember the importance of nurturing tolerance, understanding, and dialogue to prevent the rise of hatred and division.

Honoring the Victims:

Each year on September 11, ceremonies are held to honor the victims and heroes of the attacks. Names are read aloud, and moments of silence are observed to pay tribute to those who perished. Memorials like the 9/11 Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero stand as somber reminders of the tragedy, urging us to never forget and to continue striving for a more peaceful world.

Twenty-two years after the 9/11 attacks, the world continues to remember the profound impact they had on our lives. As we pay homage to the lives lost and the sacrifices made, let us renew our commitment to building a world that rejects hatred and violence. Through remembrance, unity, and resilience, we honor the memory of those who were taken from us and work towards a future where such senseless acts of terror have no place.

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Fountain’s Follies
By Henry M. Holden
No World War II, aircraft were more vulnerable than the plywood and fabric covered gliders. The life
expectancy of their pilots was 50-50 at best. Fred Fountain, of River Dale, N.J. was among the unsung glider heroes of the war.
There were six major glider missions in World War II: Burma, Sicily, Normandy, southern, France, Holland, and the Rhine. Fred Fountain flew and survived (barely) three of those missions. Many of the 48-foot-long WACO CG-4 gliders were built in Ridgefield, New Jersey.
Glider pilots endured enemy flak, foul weather, and aircraft that sometimes-shed parts in flight.

Landing the silent, motorless giants loaded with 13 men or an artillery piece, behind enemy lines, was described as no more than a controlled crash.
The glider had only the basic flight in
struments: airspeed, vertical speed, turn in bank indicator, and a compass. Fountain said, “The compass was superfluous since there was only one place, we were going to navigate to by ourselves, and that was down.”
The pilots shunned parachutes because none of the troops they carried wore them. On a combat mission. Destiny was a one-way trip. Only the tow plane pilot had any chance of making it back to base that day.
The history of the 101st airborne describes the glider pilots as “the most uninhibited individuals in the army, who successfully defied all attempts at organization.”

Glider pilots had little use for military convention and ignored most military courtesy. They loved flying, drinking and women, but not necessarily in that order. They felt that if they were going to be killed in combat, there was no point in being polite, disciplined, or sober.
Fred fountain was 28 years old when World War II broke out. He was considered too old for the Air Force cadet training program, so he volunteered for the little-known glider pilot program. The daily routine as Fountain describes it was bookwork and drill in the morning and flying in the afternoon. “Each day 25 men were crammed into a school bus built for 20  children and driven 60 miles from Bergen Junior-College, in Teaneck
(now fairly Dickinson University) to Soberg-Hunterton Airport in Redington for flight training. There was so much classroom work it continued on the school bus.
“It was a typical Army operation,” said Fountain. “The food was bad, bunks were too small, and the drill was a joke.”
Forty-five days later, Fountain graduated, but the Army has changed its mind about the glider pilot program so all the new pilots were returned to the Army as buck privates. Later the Army reversed itself and Fountain went for more flight training wearing his sterling silver wings. First came a single engine power plane then the two-place gliders. From there he went on to the 4-ton
WACO- CG 4 heavy glider.
Fountains first combat mission was to Southern France on August 15, 1944, with the 436th Troop, Carrier Group, 79 Squadron. “Fountains, Folly” was the 37th of 40 gliders in the first lift. As it often happened the telephone line between the tow plane and glider tore away on takeoff. Fountain, his cargo of English Tommy’s, and their jeep were in the air four-and one-half hours, and out of contact with the tow plane. Fountain  remembers that, during the long hours his British passengers relaxed and brewed some tea. Near the landing zone, Fountain watched as several gliders crashed.  One fell apart in mid-air, its human cargo falling helplessly into the sea.
On the landing approach, Fountain’s copilot prayed instead of reading the airspeed indicator and operating the spoilers. Fountain screamed at the copilot but to no avail, so he landed the glider himself.
“Since I was too tired to dig a foxhole, I crawled under a British 57 mm field piece. That was a mistake. When it fired tears came to my eyes and I went deaf for a while.”
Fountain’s next mission was to Holland on September 18, 1944. This time there was no copilot and Fountain was flying Folly #2. The mission fleet consisted of 1,500 gliders, and Fountain and his human cargo of spent more than 3 1/2 hours in the air. Solo flying with a full load was an exhausting job. Fountain had to struggle to keep the glider from oscillating. If his ship didn’t fly above the tow plane slipstream, the ride would be worse than a rowboat in a storm-tossed sea. If the glider had structural defects, there was a distinct possibility of it breaking up in flight.
Five minutes from the LZ, Fountain’s Foley #2 was hit by a German 40 mm, shell that tore a huge hole in the fabric skin, and missed the main wing spar by inches. Two of his passengers were badly wounded, but Fountain was able to keep the smoke-filled cabin airborne.
Fountain crash landed in a field amid the rubble of wrecked gliders and dead cows. Fountain stayed in Holland for four or five days before working his way back to England.
“I remember being in Brussels, but have no recollection of how I got back to England. As usual, all of the surviving glider pilots got drunk. I estimated that 90-percent of the glider pilots time was spent getting drunk and raising Hell, and 10-percent flying. And if the big brass didn’t like it, they could always try and find someone else to fly the damn gliders.”
The Rhine mission on March
24, 1945, saw 906 WACO gliders launched. Fountain’s Folly #3, was part of the group, and double towed for more than three hours carrying a jeep trailer, heavy machine gun and six airborne troops. This time he had a copilot, a P-51 pilot who had never seen the inside of a glider.
The landing zones were in disp
uted territory and artillery, mortar and machine gun greeted the hapless pilots as they tried their silent giants. “Less than one-quarter of the gliders that reached the assault area came through undamaged,” said the official report.
As he approached  the LZ Fountain began to think his luck had run out. First his tow plane exploded in front of him just after he had cut loose; Then, as he flew into the smoke shrouded LZ, suddenly he saw high tension wires cutting across his glide path. Sideslipping with full spoilers, he narrowly missed the wires. The glider plowed through a number of fences, and slammed into a tree. Before he could climb out of the wreck another glider smashed into what was left of his glider.
When the dust settled, Fountain and his copilot ran for cover through a hail of machine gun fire and dove behind a hedge row. “With our faces in the dirt,” he remembered, “We said several quick prayers.”
A rumbling noise caused Fountain to look up in time to see a glider skidding toward them. Miraculously the wheels missed him by inches but  crushed Fountain’s carbine. Now, he was without a gun in the middle of a fire fight. Desperately, he crawled into a gully to wait for the shooting to stop. He survived, but never saw his copilot again.
Glider pilots in the great giant silent birds were a creation of World War II. When the war ended, they faded from the scene. Fred Fountain came home to New Jersey and established a successful insurance business in Hackensack.

NJ Starz: Aimee Roehler (Hometown: Whitehouse Station)
By Steve Sears
Studying Aimee Roehler’s career racquetball accomplishments is mind-boggling.
Consider just some of the Whitehouse Station resident’s numbers and accomplishments. Roehler also has been a partner in eleven USA Racquetball Mixed Open National Doubles Championships, twelve USA Racquetball Women’s Team Qualifying Doubles Championships, three International – Pan American Championships Doubles Gold wins, and three International Racquetball Federation World Championships Gold titles, and has also won one USA Racquetball Women’s Team Qualifying Singles Championship.
Oh – and there have also been other title wins, and quite a few silver and bronze medals, too.
Roehler, originally born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania, has two siblings; a sister, Sara, and a brother, Nich. Her parents are Donna and Larry, and her stepmom is Louise.
For Roehler, who has lived in the Garden State for 20 years, her interest in racquetball started when she was 13 years old and her mom was taking community college nighttime courses, one of those being “Introduction to Racquetball.”
It would be Roehler’s introdu
ction to the sport as well. She said, “I was tagging along, doing my homework outside of the courts while she was getting this introduction to racquetball, and she loved it. She joined the gym, started playing in tournaments, and she had me pick up the sport that way. I’ve been doing it ever since then.”
Roehler paused, then continued. “That’s what I love about it. I love the competition of it and the intensity of it, and I love sports.”
There was a period, however, when Roehler took a step back from racquetball. Fortunately for racquetball fans, she obviously was much too fond and talented to stay away.
Roehler explained, “I quit playing racquetball for several years. I got a little burned out. My mother had gotten remarried, and my stepfather wanted me to get up at 6 a.m. and train, then go to school, and then train again.”
At the time, in addition to her st
udies and her training, she was also playing on the school basketball and tennis teams. Roehler said, “I was a teenager, and I wanted to play basketball or play tennis and hang out with my friends. It was just a lot at that time for me.”
From her senior year until about two years later, she was absent from the racquetball court, but eventually started playing again on her terms. She said, “I wanted to play, not because people were making me play, or having this thought that I’m going to be this amazing racquetball player and wanted me to do all this training. I just wasn’t having fun when it was being forced upon me.”
Many would say she became that “amazing racquetball player,” but whatever positive adjective used, she indeed has made her mark on the history of the sport.

Roehler’s first significant racquetball success came in 1998, when she was both the Women’s 24 & Under National Singles Champion, and a US Open Women’s 24 & Under Singles Champion. Then, in 2005 and 2006, she and Laura Fenton won two USA Racquetball Women’s Team Qualifying Doubles championships. Roehler has teamed up to win 12 of these titles from 2005 through 2020. In addition to the two with Fenton, she and partner Jackie Paraiso have won five championships, and she came out on top four times with Janel Tisinger, and once with Erika Manilla.
Roehler admires and credits those she has played with. She said, “Winning with these women, who already have their names cemented in the sport I like as a doubles player, I always say, ‘There’s no “I” in team.’ With Jackie and Janel, and even Erica, it’s teamwork, and there’s a lot that goes into it.”
And perhaps an especially important factor many may not be aware of. Roehler, 48, is a lefthander. She says it’s advantageous, especially when playing in doubles competition, her favorite. She said, “I play singles every once in a while, but I mainly play doubles where there’s not a lot of lefty-righty doubles teams. When you’re a lefty-righty doubles team, you kind of have that advantage already; you have your forehands on both sides, and so that’s always an advantage.”

Perhaps her biggest moment out of many big moments in the sport came in 2009. Roehler stunned the racquetball world when, as a very low seed entry, she defeated Kristen Walsh Bellows, Rhonda Rajsich, and Cheryl Gudinas – three of the top four women’s racquetball players on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour that season – to win the 2009 USA Racquetball Women’s Team Qualifying Singles Championship.
“It was something I will always remember,” she said of 2009. “I had no expectations. I was going for a meeting, and I said to myself, “I’ve got to travel to Houston for a meeting, so let me just sign up to play because I’m going to be there.’ I didn’t have any pressure or anything like that on me.”
But she did have a nice support group. Roehler said, “Every time I defeated a top player, there were more people watching the matches. And a group of friends and my husband at that time – they were very supportive.” As she walked towards the court to warm-up for the final match against Gudinas, she looked over and the aforementioned folks were huddled. “Then I turned, and they had my name spelled out on their shirts. The amount of support that I had from them – and them cheering me on! Then afterwards, we went back to the hotel and celebrated, and it was very surreal. We all looked at each other and asked, ‘Did this really happen?’ It did.”
Following her huge singles title in 2009, she was that year named USA Racquetball Female Athlete of the Year, and in 2012 was inducted into the New Jersey Amateur Racquetball Hall of Fame.
Roehler was also inducted into the USA Racquetball Hall of Fame in 2021, which she was unable to attend (the induction for her was held in May of 2022 instead) after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She was stricken in 2020 after she won the national doubles title with Manilla. And, coincidentally enough, her boyfriend, Ruben Pagan, also was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the same time.
Roehler’s diagnosis came out
of nowhere. She, who had no family history of breast cancer, said, “I got diagnosed but I didn’t have any symptoms. I didn’t have any lumps. I didn’t have any bumps. I was going in for my annual mammogram and they spotted something, and they asked me to come back for an ultrasound. When they asked me to come back, I can’t really say I was thinking anything of it. Of course, I was worried, but it’s happened before where they’d asked me to come back.                                    ”Visit Czig’s Website Click Here
During this return trip, a biopsy was done, and Roehler was diagnosed with breast cancer. She began treatments, and thanks her stepmom, Louise, for being there for her.
Roehler said, “She’s a registered nurse. She was there with me every step of the way. She was there for my surgery, when I went to the doctor’s appointments – everything.”
Roehler approached USA Racquetball and informed them of the diagnosis, said she wanted to share her story with the racquetball community, and that she wanted USA Racquetball to be a part of it. Also, she started to raise funds for the Steeplechase Cancer Center at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital Somerset’s Sanofi US Wellness Boutique.
Roehler said, “All the money that they have helps those who are diagnosed. Whether they need rides to chemotherapy treatments, or they need meals because they’re exhausted from treatment, that’s all done through donations. I just wanted to give back to them for what they do and how they help other cancer patients.”
Roehler, who now has her own firm called ABR Communications where she manages social media platforms for clients, said her health is currently good.
She said, “I’m playing racquetball three times a week, and I feel good. I have my aches and pains and things like that, and I do have to take a daily pill and I must get a shot every four weeks as a maintenance with everything that comes along with it. But other than that, I’m still active, I’m enjoying life, and I’m focusing on my business, and I want to grow my business.”
For more information about Aimee Roehler, visit her website

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Dental Bridges, Dentures, & Implants:

What’s The Difference?


Sometimes people need to replace missing teeth or teeth that will be extracted shortly.  Bridges, dentures, and implants are the most common ways to accomplish this, but what are the differences?

The most common area of confusion lies between dentures and bridges.  Dentures are removable: you take them in-and-out of your mouth.  Bridges are permanent: you do NOT take them in-and-out.

Dentures can be made from a number of different materials: acrylic (plastic), metal, a combination of acrylic and metal, or “thermoplastic.”  The advantages of the acrylic include cost and simplicity.  They are the least expensive, and the easiest to fabricate and repair.  The disadvantages include thickness and low stability.   

Metal dentures are thin, rigid, and fit tightly.  The downsides include increased difficulty to repair (although not terribly difficult) and cost (they are the most expensive).

Thermoplastic materials have the advantage of being flexible, which many patients find to be more comfortable.  However, repairs can be difficult to impossible, based upon the type of material utilized.

Unlike dentures that are removable, bridges are permanent.  This is one reason why bridges are more popular than dentures.  Other advantages include increased biting / chewing power, increased esthetics, and less fuss with them since they don’t have to be taken in and out.  Downsides include the “shaving down” of teeth on either side of spaces to keep them in place (called “abutment” teeth), and potential cavity development or need for root canals on these abutments over time.

Dental implants provide a host of options.  Most people think of an implant as a post that is placed into the jawbone to hold a single tooth (crown).  This is one use of an implant, but there are other functions.  The implant is actually the post: you can use it to secure a denture or a bridge, also!  With respect to dentures, the implant can help to eliminate or decrease the number of clasps, providing a more esthetic outcome and more stable set of teeth.  Bridges benefit from implants because now you cannot develop cavities around the abutments and there is no need for root canals.  Implant bridges also eliminate the need for drilling on other teeth.

A very common substitute or replacement for large partial dentures and full dentures is “All-On-Four®.”  This revolutionary technology provides the patient with permanent, non-removable teeth in just a few appointments.  Gone is the stigma and disappointment of removable teeth and poor chewing ability.  Patients instantly benefit from a strong bite, excellent smile, and freedom of re-gaining the roof of their mouths if they had a denture that covered it previously.  Many patients who have dentures or require removal of most teeth present to Dr. Goldberg for this procedure specifically: he is a leading authority on this type of procedure within the community.

More information regarding this, and other topics, is available on our website.

Dr. Goldberg is a general dentist & implant expert located in the Roxbury Mall in Succasunna, NJ.  He provides general dentistry for the entire family, including: cleanings, check-ups, whitening, veneers, crowns, root canals, dentures, periodontal (gum) services, dental implants, and much more.  He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Implantology/Implant Dentistry, holds multiple degrees and is recognized as an expert in dental implants.  You can find additional information on his  The office can be reached at: 973-328-1225 or via email:

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Strengthening the Body’s Defense: Acupuncture’s Potential in Enhancing Immune Function and Preventing Illness

As we approach cold/flu season it is important to assess your immune system. A strong immune system is vital for maintaining overall health and preventing illness. In recent years, alternative and complementary therapies have gained attention for their potential to support and enhance immune function. Acupuncture, an ancient practice rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, is one such therapy that has been explored for its role in bolstering the body’s immune response. This article delves into how acupuncture might contribute to immune enhancement and illness prevention.

Understanding Acupuncture: Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body, known as acupoints. These acupoints are believed to correspond to channels of energy flow, or “qi,” that traverse the body. The stimulation of these points is thought to restore balance and harmony to the body’s energy systems, promoting overall well-being.

Acupuncture and Immune Function: Research suggests that acupuncture may have a positive impact on the immune system through various mechanisms:

Regulation of Immune Cells: Acupuncture has been linked to the modulation of immune cells, including T-cells, B-cells, and natural killer (NK) cells. These cells play a crucial role in identifying and attacking foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria.

Stress Reduction: Chronic stress weakens the immune system, making the body more susceptible to illness. Acupuncture has shown the ability to reduce stress by promoting the release of endorphins, serotonin, and other neurochemicals. By mitigating stress, acupuncture indirectly supports immune function.

Inflammation Management: Inflammation is a natural response to infection and injury, but chronic inflammation can compromise immune function. Acupuncture’s anti-inflammatory effects may contribute to a healthier immune response.

Improved Circulation: Acupuncture’s impact on blood circulation can ensure immune cells reach various parts of the body efficiently, aiding in the identification and elimination of pathogens.

Case Studies and Research: Although research on acupuncture’s effects on the immune system is ongoing, several studies provide promising insights. A study published in the journal “Neuroimmunomodulation” in 2017 reported that acupuncture could enhance immune response by influencing cytokine production and immune cell activity. Additionally, a review published in “Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine” in 2020 highlighted acupuncture’s potential in regulating the immune system and preventing illness.

Preventative Approach: Acupuncture’s potential in immune enhancement aligns well with a preventative approach to health. Rather than waiting for illness to strike, many individuals are seeking ways to proactively strengthen their immune systems. Acupuncture offers a non-invasive and drug-free method to achieve this goal, supporting the body’s natural defense mechanisms.

While acupuncture’s role in immune enhancement and illness prevention is still being explored, the available evidence suggests that this ancient practice could play a significant role in supporting a healthy immune system. By influencing immune cells, reducing stress, managing inflammation, and improving circulation, acupuncture offers a holistic approach to maintaining well-being. As part of a comprehensive wellness strategy, acupuncture may empower individuals to take charge of their health and vitality, contributing to a resilient immune system and a better quality of life.

For more information please contact Mt.Olive Acupuncture and Wellness 973-527-7978,

 Kearstin R. Tripi, L. Ac
Mount Olive Acupuncture & Wellness, LLC
1 Old Wolfe Road, Suite 208 Budd Lake, NJ 07828

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Iceland Hike Transcend Two Local Friends To Greater Heights

By Cheryl Conway

After conquering their six-day hiking adventure through the Iceland terrain, two local women thrive on their experience and are empowered to live and achieve even greater heights.

Although they have been back since July 16, Denise Washington of Hackettstown and JoAnn Spilman of Long Valley recount their amazing, yet challenging experience they had with the Viking Women on the Women’s Laugavegur Hiking Tour with 57 Hours, held July 10-15. The two friends hiked a total of 54.23 miles with a total elevation gain of 8,613 ft. and made some life-long connections with other women around the globe.

“This trip was not anything at all what I expected,” says Washington, former Mt. Olive resident. “I knew that it was going to be physically challenging which it was, but I did not expect to have developed a lifelong relationship with a few of the other women who were in our group. We truly cared for each other physically and emotionally.

“Preparing meals together, motivating each other as we struggled up and down mountains, through sand and at times hiking on narrow ledges on the side of the mountain, sharing stories about our lives,” continues Washington, a medical coder/auditor, spin instructor, personal trainer and health and wellness coach. “Having some very serious conversations with women who were initially strangers has unexpected bonded me with two to three of the women for life. These are the women that I continue to connect with on almost a daily basis since the trip.”

In the group was a total of 17 women — including their guide, an experienced 23-year-old hiker from Iceland — ranging in age from 30 – 70 years old with the average age of 59. There were six women from the UK, two from Canada, and eight from the United States.

Friends for 13 years, Washington and Spilman did not know what to expect when they signed up for the trip. They agreed it was way more challenging than they anticipated but returned with a feeling of achievement and empowerment.

Washington enjoyed most “the daily challenge of hiking into an unknown terrain encountering the physical challenge of another 15-20 miles. At the beginning of each day, I knew that I would use skills that I developed the following day to complete the hike while knowing that I would also learn something new about myself once I arrived at the hut that evening.

“Now that I am home, I am surprised how I have changed,” says Washington. “Not only am I proud of having completed this hike but I also know that I have changed in ways that will be revealed to me later. Not only have I physically changed, I am stronger, I know that my energy and the way that I will continue to walk the earth has changed because of this hike.”

Challenges Along The Way

With their adventure came some new challenges.

“The first challenge for me was the first night when I was introduced to life in a hut,” says Washington. “The huts are bare bones with a kitchen and various rooms with bunk beds with thin foam mattresses and we shared the hut with other hikers. Unfortunately, the first night we arrived late and the 17 of us were not able to sleep together. It was a shocker for me! The sleeping areas were cramped, and our room had bunk beds! I have never slept in a bunk bed much less slept in the top bunk. Thank goodness I learned how to navigate climbing in and out of a top bunk because I slept in the top bunk four out of five nights.

“That first night I declared to Joann that I was leaving and going back to Reykjavik,” admits Washington. “I seemed to have forgotten that I was in the middle of nowhere having crossed a terrain that was impossible to access by bus, truck, or van. I laugh about it now because as serious as I was, I could not see how I thought I was leaving. Oh, and let’s not forget that when we arrived, we had hiked for six hours. For three of the six hours we hiked through rain, wind and snow. We were wet, hungry, and tired when we arrived. That day we hiked 6.4 miles with an elevation gain of 2,185 ft. At one point I made a misstep and slid down the mountain. I arrived at the hut covered in mud.”

Washington’s next challenge was her health. On the second day of the trip she awoke with a fever.

“I sat in the sun and pushed through it,” she says. “I was sick for the rest of the hike but was determined to complete the Laugavegur Trail with my crew. I am positive that 23 hours of sunlight gave me the strength to continue the trail and enjoy the hike.”

Longer hikes and cliffs were challenging for Spilman, a retired information and cyber security manager.

“There were both physical and mental challenges,” she says. “You had to keep going.  We did stop for breaks every two or so hours.  There were cliffs at times on both sides of the passages.  Our trek poles became our friends! Also, many miles of hiking per day versus what I thought.

“The trip was more difficult than I imagined,” she admits. “I thought it would be a daily ascent, followed by a decent.  It was basically up/down/up/down, then more up and down! Also, the miles per day were more than planned.  Each day we hiked from 8 to 20 miles!”
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Agrees Washington, “Many times, during the hike I was simply trying to stay alive. There were some challenging areas such as hiking on the side of the mountain ledge with a deep cannon on the left and nothing on the right.”

Physically and mentally, they were put to the test.

“The hike was mentally harder than I expected,” adds Washington. “Each morning it was essential that I not only stretch to physically prepare but I also did a short meditation to mentally prepare for the challenge ahead. I also used the first 10 minutes of each hike to do a meditative exercise where I massaged gratitude back into the earth to support me on my journey.”

The group hiked about 10 hours each day, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“Our guide was so enthusiastic and added miles to each day because we had beautiful weather,” says Washington. “I think on the last day of the hike we were on the trail for over 12 hours.”

Memorable Highlights

“The second day I was amazed at how beautiful Iceland was,” describes Washington. “I woke up to a sky which was the deepest blue I had ever seen speckled with cumulus clouds. This was in stark contrast to how dark, windy, and rainy it was the night before. The contrast was amazing, and each day was so clear and beautiful.”

Same with the terrain, also varied and beautiful.

“One day was filled with snow topped mountains, the next black sand, one day was spent hiking through a cannon and the last day we hiked through a forest,” says Washington. “The forest was interesting because the tallest trees were about 5 feet. The Vikings used the trees to build ships and Iceland is in the process of re-creating forests.”

Earthquakes and daylight kept Spilman on her toes.

“Back-to-back earthquakes felt in the hotel the day after we arrived at 11 p.m.,” had her shook. “One was 5.1 followed by a 5.2! Denise made fun of me since at first, I thought it was a train passing through.

“Also, the 24 hours of daylight was an experience,” adds Spilman. “There were two hours of dusk from midnight to 2 a.m.  That gives you plenty of energy at night.”

Spilman appreciated the “incredible scenery, snow-packed glaciers, black sand from the volcanos, dormant volcanos.”

The weather varied but they came prepared.

“We had water crossings,” says Spilman. “Brought our water shoes for the trek across it.  A few were deep and swift.  Day one and two we hiked in snow! One hut at night the temp was down to 39 degrees F.  Days were typically 55 degrees F.  Day one we also hiked in the rain! Lots of rain.”

Despite their obstacles, the two are happy they conquered Iceland and recommend the trip to others with some words of advice.

“I am stronger than I imagined, and I have a desire to go on more adventures!” says Washington.

“There were also times when I could just “be.” Although I was hiking with a group, I had time to do a retrospective review of my life, spirit and think about who I am. I told you that this hike changed me, and it was during these quiet times on the hike that I gained insight about who I am at this age and who I am becoming.”

Spilman also returned on a positive note.

“I can do anything!” says Spilman. “I came back empowered.”

She does recommend the trip to others but “with the caveat that you are really roughing it.  The days are long.  The huts are basic.

“Be well prepared physically and also mentally,” she adds. “I did not have issues with the heights, but other hikers did.”

Washington is a bit more upbeat about it.

“This trip will challenge you physically beyond anything that you have ever done in your life,” she says. “I trained for 14 months, in various terrains, high elevations, and hikes at various speeds but there was no way to describe what I encountered each day on the hike. I am still amazed that I went to Iceland and completed the Laugavegur Trail. There will always be a joy that I get when I think of my time out on the trail.”

She does suggest to “Be prepared for life in a hut. If you never hiked from hut to hut know that no matter how you imagine a hut it will be worse than you think, however you will be surprised how quickly you will adapt.

“Train hard,” she adds. “Go on hikes of various skill levels. Do strength training and various cardio conditioning (spin, walking, running, etc.)

Take the chance to commit and GO! Life is meant to live! Be willing to venture beyond whatever limits that you may have imposed on yourself. Going beyond these self-imposed limits will not only empower you but you will be surprised how it empowers others.”


President George W. Bush’s Address to the Nation

on September 11, 2001
On the evening of September 11, 2001, United States President George W. Bush addressed a nation that earlier that day witnessed the deadliest terrorist attacks in world history. That morning, hijackers took control of four airplanes, ultimately crashing two into the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in New York City and another into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. A fourth hijacked plane crashed in a field near the town of Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers and crew attempted to regain control of the plane from the hijackers. All passengers and crew on board all four flights died on September 11, and thousands of others on the ground lost their lives that day as well. It was under those conditions that President Bush delivered the following speech to a shaken nation.

Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America — with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it’s prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, D.C. to help with local rescue efforts.

Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks.

The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight, and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business, as well.

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance.

America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism. Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.”

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night, and God bless America.

Celebrity Extra
By Dana Jackson
Q: Is it true they’re doing a new “Snow White” movie like they did with “The Little Mermaid”? When will it be released? — A.J.A:Yes, Disney is planning a live action remake of the 1937 animated classic “Snow White.” It’ll be a musical, starring Rachel Zegler as the title character and Gal Gadot (“Wonder Woman”) as the Evil Queen.For those unfamiliar with the name Rachel Zegler, she was a high school student who auditioned for the lead role of Maria in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of another classic “West Side Story.” She’s since moved to Hollywood and starred opposite Zachary Levi in “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.” She’s also featured in the upcoming film “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.”The “Snow White” screenplay was written by Greta Gerwig, director of the billion-dollar blockbuster film “Barbie,” and Erin Cressida Wilson (“The Girl on the Train”). Barring any delays, the film is set to hit theaters in March 2024.

Q: Is “Virgin River” returning anytime soon with new episodes? I hope it didn’t get canceled. — K.F.A:Season five of the beloved Netflix series “Virgin River” will premiere on Sept. 7. According to, Mel’s (Alexandra Breckenridge) high-risk pregnancy causes her to “rethink her future at the clinic, while Jack’s [Martin Henderson] new glamping venture is sure to suffer as a dangerous wildfire hits the
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town.” Also, don’t forget — they still have a wedding to plan.Joining the cast this season as a “mystery woman” is Kandyse McClure (“Battlestar Galactica”). Returning cast members include Annette O’Toole as Hope and Tim Matheson as Doc, the latter of whom has been facing health challenges due to his degenerative condition. Expect bigger stories from Preacher (Colin Lawrence), Brie (Zibby Allen) and Brady (Benjamin Hollingsworth), as all three of their portrayers have been moved up to series regulars. Lexa Doig, who plays Paige, and Barbara Pollard, who plays Melissa, have both been bumped down to a recurring status.Even though Ricky (Grayson Gurnsey) is off at basic training, he will be back at some point, hopefully before the end of the upcoming season. Showrunner Patrick Sean Smith told TVLine in 2022 that the character is a “fan favorite” and “everybody loves him.”

Q: What is the latest regarding the tragedy on the set of Alec Baldwin’s movie “Rust?” Is anybody going to prison for what happened to the poor woman who died? — N.B.A: Alec Baldwin, who was both the producer and star of the movie “Rust,” learned in January that the charges of involuntary manslaughter against him had been dropped. Prosecutors, however, have stated that Baldwin could still face charges pending further investigation. The film set’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, is set to go on trial in December for the same charges Baldwin faced, as well as a charge of tampering with evidence. She has pleaded not guilty.Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed when a prop gun carrying live rounds was fired by Baldwin on set. “Rust” director, Joel Souza, was injured in the shooting, but survived.Send me your questions at, or write me at KFWS, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.
(c) 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.

Couch Theater
By Demi Taveras
“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” (PG-13) — Chris Pine leads this fantasy-action film based on the role-playing board game Dungeons & Dragons. Pine plays a widower named Edgin, who’s also the leader of a band of thieves, including a barbarian (Michelle Rodriguez), a sorcerer (Justice Smith) and a con artist (Hugh Grant). Edgin is so desperate to bring his wife back from the dead by stealing a “Tablet of Reawakening” that he’s ultimately imprisoned and loses his daughter. After he escapes prison with the help of his barbarian bestie, the pair stop at nothing until they can find the tablet and get Edgin’s daughter back. The film hits streaming on Aug. 25, after a slight underperformance at the box office. (Amazon Prime Video)

“You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” (PG-13) — It’s a Sandler family affair for this new comedy film premiering Aug. 25! While Adam Sandler’s daughters, Sadie and Sunny, have made appearances throughout his many movies, Sunny takes center stage here in the lead role of Stacy Friedman. Stacy is a preteen girl who does everything with her best friend, Lydia, and they’re obsessed with planning their upcoming bat mitzvahs. However, when Lydia accidentally steals the boy Stacy’s been crushing on, Stacy reaches her first true test before her rite of passage, as her world feels like it’s come crashing down on her. Adam, Jackie and Sadie Sandler also star in this wholesome coming-of-age film, along with Idina Menzel and “Saturday Night Live’s” Sarah Sherman. (Netflix)

“BS High” (NR) — On Aug. 29, 2021, a high school football game between Bishop Sycamore High School and IMG Academy was televised on ESPN that ended with a final score of 58-0. After such a blowout occurred and certain conditions of the game were called into question, an investigation was launched into Bishop Sycamore, where the Ohio Department of Education ruled that the school actually didn’t exist! The team operated under the guise of representing a “school” without a real campus, teachers or trainers, incurring thousands of dollars in debt from housing the players in hotels. How Bishop Sycamore had even begun to pull this stunt off gets explored in this documentary film premiering Aug. 23. (Max)
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“Transfusion” (R) — In this Australian crime film premiering Aug. 24, Sam Worthington — from the “Avatar” films — lays down all his token grittiness
for the role of ex-special forces operative Ryan Logan. After losing his wife in a car accident, Ryan was left to raise his son, Billy, by himself, but Billy increasingly gets into trouble with the law. When the question of Billy remaining in his custody is brought up, Ryan takes rash action to join his former superior officer, now turned criminal, for a quick cash grab that spins out of control. While “Transfusion” is promoted as a thriller, the title of “crime drama” would be better suited, as the characters’ narratives remain the true focal point of the film. (Hulu)

(c) 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.


Women Bake Bread and Connect at Jewish Program

By Cheryl Conway
More women are connecting locally for learning and laughter through a program being offered at the Chabad Jewish Center of Mt. Olive.

The second annual Jewish Women’s Connection program is set to begin Thursday, September 7, at 7 p.m., with a Pre Rosh Hashanah Challah Bake at the synagogue in Flanders. All Jewish women are invited to prepare their own round Rosh Hashanah challah with delicious apple filling and decadent crumble topping. Cost is $30 per person or $180 sponsor. Please reserve a spot by September 1.

Fraida Shusterman of the Chabad Jewish Center began the program in September 2022 and was so pleased with the turnout she decided to run the women’s connection again with different themes each session.

Held once a month on Thursday evenings through May, women can sign up to create resin tea light holders for Shabbat, a ladies tea party, a kosher wine tasting, a comedy night, paint night and more.

Last year, Shusterman offered a babka bake, glass mezuzah making, guided painting night, Purim Persian cooking demo, to name a few.

“These events are geared for the Jewish woman,” notes Shusterman. “I love the idea of uniting Jewish women from all ages, backgrounds and walks of life to meaningful, fun and Jewish events.

“My hope for this program is that learning and laughter, the mystical and mundane come together for an unforgettable Jewish women’s night out,” she adds.

She enjoys most, “The camaraderie, the fun, the creativity, and I love connecting with the women I meet! And of course- the wine!” she laughs.

There is no limit to how many women can attend as anywhere from 25 to 50 participated per session last year.

“The more, the merrier!” says Shusterman. “If they’re looking for a meaningful night out where they can have fun and meet other Jewish women in the area, this is the place to be!”

Last year, “the babka bake was a big hit!” she notes. “We were 50 women in one room measuring, pouring, spilling, mixing, and filling a babka before Rosh Hashanah and we had an absolute blast!”

The costs of the programs go directly to covering the costs of the events, she says.

The session in October is set for Thursday, October 19, titled Resin and Rose’. Create a stunning set of resin and pressed flower tea light holders, indulge in sweet Shabbat treats and discover more about Shabbat candles and special blessings it brings.

Outside of the Jewish Women’s Connection program, other new programs are being planned at the Chabad Jewish Center. There is a women’s class, One Wow Moment, starting in November; a Kabbalah Jewish Learning Institute class starting in October; programs for babies, toddlers and children; Friday night services with chicken soup and scotch; tefillin club; Shabbat services; a weekly Talmud class; and a program for seniors in the works.

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“I encourage every Jewish woman to get involved!” concludes Shusterman. “There is no membership fee at Chabad and everyone is welcome regardless of affiliation or level of observance. I guarantee you will feel comfortable and happy with your decision!”

All events will take place at the Chabad Jewish center. Go to to find out more details and to sign up. Cost varies per program.
A Chilly Day Dish with a Kick

Picture in your mind a warm bowl cupped in your hands, defrosting your fingertips after you just walked inside from a chilly afternoon. The bowl is heavy, full of hearty vegetables and spicy peppers that in just a few short moments will overwhelm your palate.

You dive in with a spoon, savoring every flavorful bite as you dip down to the bottom of the bowl searching for more to slurp up with every spoonful. Onion, red bell pepper and even corn all blended into not only a vegetarian meal but a chili-lover’s paradise. It’s got the spices to make you say, “wow” but the smoothness that reminds you of something your mom once made when you were young.

You throw your sweater to the side of the couch as your body temperature begins to rise. You start to feel your energy return as you spoon a second helping into your bowl for round two.

Not only does this recipe for Chipotle Veggie Chili hit you with a wide array of balanced flavors, but there is a surprise hint of citrus added toward the end – lime juice.

Just to add a little more texture and vibrance to this dish, it can be topped with your favorite garnishes like guacamole, sour cream, jalapeno slices and cilantro.

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This Chipotle Veggie Chili is simple to make, needing just one pot throughout the entire cooking process. It simmers for about 25 minutes while you unwind from a long day.

So next time you need a pick-me-up after a chilly day outside, give this one a try. The savory aromas and wholesome consistency make this chili a 10-out-of-10 and a crowd favorite.

Find more recipes perfect for cooler weather at

Chipotle Veggie Chili

Servings: 6-8

3  tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

5/8 teaspoon sea salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 can (14 ounces) diced fire-roasted tomatoes

1 can (14 ounces) red beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (14 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup vegetable broth

1 can (7 ounces) chipotles in adobo sauce

2 cans (15 ounces each) sweet corn with liquid

2 limes, juiced

guacamole (optional)

sour cream (optional)

jalapeno slices (optional)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Visit Al’s Site Click Here

cilantro (optional)

In large dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Stir and cook 5 minutes until onion is translucent. Add garlic and red pepper. Stir and cook 8 minutes until soft.

Add tomatoes, red beans, pinto beans, broth, chipotles in adobo sauce, corn, remaining salt and remaining pepper. Simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chili has thickened.

Squeeze lime juice into pot; stir. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, jalapeno slices and cilantro, if desired. (

All Veterans Memorial Hosts 9th Annual

By Cheryl Conway
Soldiers who are prisoners of war and missing in action will be remembered on Friday, September 15 and Saturday, September 16 at the All Veterans Memorial in Budd Lake.

In observance of this federally recognized day, the AVM will be hosting its 9th annual POW/MIA 24-hour Vigil with a 4 p.m. opening ceremony and 4 p.m. closing ceremony at the entranceway of Turkey Brook Park.

“Since 1979, our nation has called upon its citizens to remember those brave men and women who were imprisoned or perished on foreign soil by designating the third Friday of September as the National POW/MIA Recognition Day,” explains AVM Founder Charlie Wood Uhrmann. “In support, the AVM has adopted a meaningful interactive POW/MIA 24-hour vigil as one of our annual signature events.” 

Explains Uhrmann, “The AVM’s POW/MIA/PTSD/Remembrance Wall and Ascension Bell Tower will play an essential role in honoring these warriors.  During the opening ceremony, the global vigil flame is lit and the Missing Man Table is set, and trudging sounds of freedom echo in the background, the names, ranks and serial numbers of each missing warrior with ties to New Jersey will be somberly recited.”   

Throughout the vigil participants will maintain the Memorial Fire, read the names of N.J. veterans unaccounted for from all wars and ring the Ascension Bell 21 times on the hour every hour to honor their memory. Last year volunteers read more than 2,500 names and rang the Ascension Bell 525 times.

The closing ceremony will include a 21-gun salute, the playing of Taps and extinguishing the Vigil Flame.

This year’s vigil will also commemorate the family members who too were impacted by the loss of their beloved, adds Uhrmann. 

“We will be promoting the AVM’s final phase, The Military Child and The War Against Children Monument,” she notes.  

Throughout the United States’ history, more than 80,000 warriors have fallen to the demise of the country’s enemy and have been classified by the U.S. Department of Defense as Prisoner of Wars / Missing in Action.   

National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremonies are held to ensure that America remembers its responsibility to stand behind those who serve the nation.

The event is free to both participants and the public.

Also during the 24 hour vigil cadets from the Mt. Olive High School Air Force JROTC will each hike 14 miles to commemorate the Bataan Death March. The commemorative march honors the 60,000 – 80,000 American and Phillipino POWs who were forcibly marched 66 miles from Saysain Point, Bagac, Bataan and Mariveles to Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac in 1942.  Exact numbers are unknown, but approximately 18,000 POW deaths occurred over the five-day trek. By completing the 14 miles the cadets will earn the Bataan Death March Memorial Ribbon.  Although the 14-mile Bataan Death Memorial March is nothing compared to what those POWs endured, it is carried out every year in order to commemorate their sacrifice.
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Community Invited For Free Bible Sessions
By Cheryl Conway
Often cooking up new ideas to help or foster positive vibes in the community, Bobby Varua, 48, of Flanders plans to offer a free bible study in his home this fall.

As a resident of the Clover Hill community for the past 12 years, Varua has volunteered at the Mt. Olive Food Pantry, organized clothing and food drives and even cooked for anyone in need. His latest initiative touches more on the spirit.

“I’ve been doing a bible study with friends every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for almost three years now,” explains Varua. “What I’ve learned is the personal testimonies we have shared with each other have been nothing short of a miracle. Meaning, each and every one of us in this study have testified to how Jesus has played the only role in our salvation on a day-to-day basis —No matter how small or how big our personal experiences have been. Our walks with God have all been significantly different but powerfully similar.

“My idea of this bible study is to follow what God has asked me to do,” he continues. “To utilize fellowship to continue to learn and spread the good news with those we encounter.”

Varua came up with his idea several weeks ago.

“During one of my bible studies, I felt God’s presence saying to me ‘Reach out to your community and spread the good news.’”

When winter sets in and holidays approach, Varua is reminded that not everyone is fortunate, and many have darker days.                                    Visit Denville Seafoods Website Click Here“

“Personally, I’ve never done well with the winter,” he explains. “Short daylight hours, cold, etc. Plus, the holiday season reminds me how blessed I am which inadvertently reminds me that others are also suffering. There’s millions of people that suffer through this time. Loss of a loved one, personal tragedy… you name it… it’s out there. What better way to uplift someone’s spirit by sharing the power of God’s love.”

Varua’s bible study for the community has not started yet but he is thinking of offering it in the fall, once a week, at his home.

“My family has been very fortunate and blessed to live in the town of Mt. Olive,” he says. “What better way to celebrate the good news than in our own very home. Plus, I’ve been a professional chef for almost 30 years… those that attend may get something delicious to eat,” he laughs.

There are no requirements to attend, and sessions are open to all men, women and children.

“God’s door has never ever been closed to anyone, any religious background, any gender, any race,” he says. “My door is open to those whomever are curious and want to encounter the power of God’s love, grace and mercy. All is welcome.”

He estimates accommodating up to 12 people at a time, “but if we had more, we would figure it out.”

Topics for discussion will come along the way.

“The topics will be driven by a devotional book that has yet to be chosen,” says Varua. “We will utilize the devotion to spark a conversation. But just like my Bible study that I do, the Holy Spirit always takes over. Wherever it leads us is where we’ll go.”

Varua describes himself as a chef, dad, husband, baseball coach, umpire, God’s child and a Catholic.

But “The Bible study is not about affiliation rather than be thankful for having a relationship with God,” he says. “And for those who don’t, there’s nothing to worry about. I personally have realized that my relationship with God went from nothing to everything. The most important part of this bible study is to invite those to have God be present in their lives. To have their hearts open to invite Jesus into their lives. Regardless of how educated you are about the Bible, the goal is to have you feel that you are walking with Jesus even if it’s for the very first time.”

Varua does not claim to be an expert like a religious leader in a parish.

“I am far from an expert,” he says. “I know the Bible to small extents. I believe and feel that when people hear the word “study” that “study = knowledge.” If someone doesn’t have knowledge of the Bible, then I believe that’s where people become discouraged to participate. So, for intent purposes I would rather not call this a “Bible Study,” rather call this a “Bible Invite.” An “invitation” to you from God. An invitation to walk with God more thru love than knowledge.

“I’m not trying to be anything more than a regular guy that is broken like everyone else,” he adds. “We are all broken, we all sin, we are all imperfect. Our brokenness can only be saved by one and only one entity which is God.”

He plans to post on Facebook, when he will hold the sessions in his home. Once he begins, Varua says “there is no need to sign up. Simply knock on the door and come right in.”

When asked why he will be hosting these Bible sessions, he concludes: “Because God has asked me to.”
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