Wayne Life April 23

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Wayne Chef Crafts Old World Italian Sauce

By Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Not many cooks get their start as a 5-year-old. But that’s how it began for Tommaso Antonino Aiello, owner/CEO and chef for Aiello Italian Specialties. He fondly remembers making lasagna with his grandmother “Nonni” in the kitchen. 

“I was always different,” said Aiello, “more mature for my age.” When he was a pre-teen, he began cooking without supervision. “I would bake a lot,” he said. “I always did them side by side, baking and cooking.” By the time he made it to high school, he was cooking for neighbors and his teachers. Word would get out, and people would order food from him. 

“I love feeding people,” he said. “I love serving others.” 

Aiello Italian Specialties was founded in 2016 by Aiello. It was to honor his family’s legacy by sharing the traditional tomato basil sauce. Aiello is an alumnus of Le Cordon Blue, Class of 2013. 

In addition to the traditional tomato basil sauce, there are three other sauces: an arrabbiata, a marinara, and a roasted eggplant. There is also a porcini sauce coming soon. All products are clean and natural, without sugar, corn syrup, or any additives. “People comment how ‘homemade’ it is,” Aiello said. “It’s so pure and so fresh. I think things that we’re putting in our bodies should be good. It is really done the natural way. The old school way. I’m an old soul. I’m more in tune with my grandparents’ generation.”                                               Visit Tina Cali’s Website Click Here! 

Aiello works alone in a commercial kitchen in Hawthorne to make the sauces, which are available in two different Whole Foods—Wayne and Woodcliff Lake—and a handful of Italian specialty shops. “It’s a pretty crowded market,” he said. “You have to make yourself stand out. Some people are used to getting one particular brand or they make their own. I like to highlight how fresh our sauce is. When you taste our marinara, it tastes right from the garden. Fresh carrot, garlic, onions…it’s all about layers. They simmer together. It’s done slowly and gradually. It takes a lot. It’s a delicate process.  

Of all the sauces, Aiello tends to favor the tomato basil. “It’s the mother sauce,” he said. “I based all the others on that. That’s the one that’s been passed down, from southern Italy. It’s from Serrata, Reggio Calabria.” 

Aiello has shipped his sauce all over the world, to friends he’s known for years and others he met online. “It’s been to Australia, Japan, and Saudi Arabia,” he said. “People who have never tasted it before are ordering a case here and there.”

Kids love the sauce too. “It’s amazing to see little kids freak out over it,” Aiello said.
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More than ever before, Aiello is happy to see artisan products that are done in a natural way with clean, fresh ingredients, and no additives. “We need a lot more of that,” he said. “People do care what they’re eating. Good quality, super delicious, and not a lot of sodium.” 

Unfortunately, he also sees the trend towards the negative—mass produced brands that don’t have the artisan feel. “That’s something I’d like to see change,” he said. 

When Aiello is looking at the competition, he notices that many brands have oil floating on the top. “When you see that, they’re not cooking sauce long enough,” he said. “Or they are adding too much oil. Our process is so different. We only use the best olive oil. I do not cut corners. I use the finest ingredients and that’s the way it will always be. I feel it’s a very heartfelt thing. My blood, sweat, and tears are in those jars.” 

Aiello would love to open a little restaurant one day. “A nice cozy place with Italian and French food,” he said. “Having an environment that really promotes culture. In this country, there’s it’s not done enough.” He would also like to get into olive oil production. “It’s not going to end in sauce,” he said. “I will create other items under the brand name.”                                                                              Check out Brookdale’s Website Click Here 

In his free time, Aiello, who is also an artist, is passionate about painting. He also likes to fix old furniture and sell it or give it away to people. And he loves to garden. “I’m a pretty simple guy,” he said. 

To learn more about Aiello Italian Specialties, visit: https://www.aielloitalianspecialties.com/


Ready For Spring:  Grounds for Sculpture Offers New Exhibits and Programs For All

By Jeff Garrett

If you’re dreaming of a spot where relaxation, meditation, cool sights and out of the ordinary Art exists in a tranquil setting, “Grounds For Sculpture” in its 31st year, is a spot you’ll want to connect with as Winter moves into Spring. 

 Spanning 42 acres at 80 Sculptors Way in Hamilton Twp, “Grounds” offers a different kind of museum – one that is somewhat whimsical, containing interactive artwork with 350 sculptures on hand for guests to take in, and even fawn over. “it’s definitely a different kind of museum,” says museum Executive Director, Gary Garrido, who is looking forward to the warmer months ahead, and the program-side of the museum. 

“We’ll have a Lecture with Jeff Warren on Wednesday, May 3. This will be a good chance to get thosewho may be skeptical about mindfulness to open up,” and embrace what he feels is something healthy 

which can only help improve people’s lives. The museum plans on launching a ceramic studio with clay and ceramics workshops for kids and adults. 

It’s all about Wellness at the museum. Garrido says “Grounds For Sculpture” is a place where folks can relieve stress, practice yoga, experience mindfulness, find calm and open up.

There’s an ancillary objective too.

“The focus continues to be breaking down barriers and making Art acceptable for all,” said Garrido, who will preside over the opening of the Cloud Swing sculpture, which is a series of six swings with two swings which are handicapped accessible. “The sculpture itself takes the form of a cloud,” which should be more than interesting to lay eyes on, Garrido thinks.  
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Another creation set to open soon is that from Philadelphia artist, Robert Lugo. Lugo has created a 26 ft large sculpture that has a series of stairs going up and down.  Patrons can go up into the sculpture and take pictures in this one-of-a-kind piece, set to draw awe and interest this Spring. “As a Latino, Lugo wants to break down some barriers,” in his creations, to show things from a different perspective, notes Garrido.  

“Grounds For Sculpture” really tries to utilize the seasonal backdrop – whether its looking at a winter garden now, an apple orchard in the Spring, Lotus flowers in the summer or the mere changing of the colors of leaves in the picturesque Fall, having the outside sizzle alongside the sculptures is Art in and of itself.

A restaurant is on-site called “Rat” and cafes are available for museum-goers to sit and unwind. Garrido likes the way the museum is shaping up with wellness and impressive Art and the 

forefront of the facility’s agenda for visitors this Spring.  He hopes you’ll visit and like it too.  

For more information such as museum hours, program information and restaurant information on 

“Grounds For Sculpture” visit www.groundsforsculpture.org.


Understanding the Gift Giving Tax

Excess Gift Giving Could Cause a Tax Surprise

In an effort to keep taxpayers from transferring wealth from one generation to the next tax-free, there are specific limits to the amount of gifts one may give to any one person each year. Amounts in excess of this limit are subject to filing an annual gift tax form. For most of us, this is not something we need to worry about, but if handled incorrectly it can create quite a surprise when the tax bill is due.

The Gift Giving Rule

You may give up to $17,000 (up $1,000) to any individual (donee) within the calendar year 2023 and avoid any gift tax filing requirements. If married you and your spouse may transfer up to $34,000 per donee. If you provide a gift to your spouse who is not a U.S. citizen, the annual exclusion amount is $175,000 for 2023.

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Gift Tax Reporting

Amounts given in excess of this annual amount are subject to potential gift tax reporting. The amount of tax is currently unified with estate taxes with a maximum rate of 40%. The donor of the gift is responsible for paying any associated tax. When you exceed the annual gift giving amount, this triggers the need to file a gift tax form with your individual tax return. The excess gift amounts are netted against your lifetime unified credit. If your lifetime gifts do not exceed the credit you may not have additional taxes owed. Here are some instances when a gift tax problem may occur and ways to manage the problem:

Gifts for college. Grandparents like to help out with the tremendous expense of funding a college degree and amounts donated can quickly surpass the annual gift threshold. To avoid the gift tax problem consider making payments directly to the college as this form of payment can be excluded from the annual gift giving limit AS LONG AS the funds are not used to pay for books, room or board on behalf of the donee.

Be careful with 529 plan funding. If your children are anticipating going to college, many consider creating a 529 college savings plan. You may then fund the savings plan (or have someone else fund it) on behalf of your child. However, remember the deposits into 529 accounts are considered a gift and are subject to the annual gift giving limits.

Gifts to cover medical expenses. It is very easy to mount up a large medical bill. While you may want to step in and help out by giving money to the individual with the medical bills, you may be creating a gift tax obligation. Better: make payments directly to health care providers for medical services on behalf of the patient to avoid gift tax exposure.                                                                                                               Visit Magnolia’s Website Click Here! 

Gifts to help make a down payment. It is becoming more common to have family members help their kids with the down payment on a first home. This can be tricky. Lenders will look for recent deposits in bank accounts and ask the prospective buyers to substantiate the source of funds. Providing the funds as a loan may disqualify the couple for taking on the mortgage. Even worse, if the purchasing couple claims the funds are a gift, this action may create a gift tax obligation to the person providing the funds. Care must be taken to provide the correct audit trail to prove the gift does not exceed the annual amounts.

Gift of real estate. If you give property to a relative for little or nothing in return, this generates the need to file a gift tax form as well. Recent IRS studies suggest over 50% of taxpayers fail to declare property transfers as gifts.

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Other things to consider

You may provide gifts to or receive gifts from ANYONE. There are no limits or restrictions on who you may give a gift to or who may provide a gift to you. Creative gift giving can be a useful tool to help someone in need without creating a tax obligation.

Do not give a lump sum gift for the maximum amount. If you provide a gift for the maximum allowable to an individual, you may not provide any other gifts to this person during the year or the event would be deemed excess gift giving and require filing a gift tax form. For example, a grandmother gives $17,000 to her granddaughter for college. She also pays for a vacation trip to send the family to Disney World and provides a wonderful birthday gift. Technically, the additional gifts are in excess of the annual limit and would present a gift tax event.

The IRS is paying attention to the massive non-compliance in the timely filing of the annual gift tax form. So much so, that it is actively researching property transfers in key states to ensure the gift tax filing is taking place. So identifying when to file the gift tax form is your most important take away from this tax tip.

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Carpenters Tribute Act ‘Top of the World’ to Perform at William Paterson University

By Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta 

You couldn’t turn on the radio in the 1970s without hearing a hit song by The Carpenters. Karen and Richard Carpenter, a brother and sister duo, achieved huge success with hit singles such as “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Superstar,” and “Yesterday Once More” … to name a few. 

Richard—an accomplished keyboard player, composer, and arranger—was the creative force behind the sound of The Carpenters. And Karen possessed the soulful, engaging, three-octave vocal range. She was also an accomplished drummer. Rolling Stone magazine ranked The Carpenters number 10 on its list of the 20 Greatest Duos of All Time. They also called Karen Carpenter one of the greatest female vocalists of all time. 

Two years after The Carpenters made their last album, in February 1983, Karen passed away due to heart failure and anorexia. But decades later fans are still embracing The Carpenters, and On Top of the World delivers the live music fans want to hear. 

Debbie Taylor, who is the lead vocalist for On Top of the World feels that paying tribute to Karen Carpenter is a natural vocal fit. “That lower end of alto, that’s my sweet spot, my comfortable place,” she explained. “Her vocals were pristine. I loved singing their songs. Whenever I’d do a song at a wedding, if I did one of their songs, peoples’ ears perked up. People responded and said I sound like her.” She paused and added, “I’m not pretending to be her. We’re trying to be as authentic to the sound as possible.” 

Taylor’s partner, Paul Stewart, came up with the idea of performing Carpenters hits. Stewart plays guitar and keyboard. Other band members include Felix Gomez, piano; Ross Goldman, sax, flute, EWI, and keys; Jack Ciano, drums; Rafael Valencia, bass; Alvaro Rosario, vocals; and Diana Hernandez, vocals, trumpet, and percussion. The entire band is from South Florida. 

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Taylor describes her band as “seven other musicians who have ‘wow’ resumes.” She said, “It’s iconic and rich in content. It’s incredible to bring it to people and see their reaction and relive their memories of being in their bedrooms and singing into their hairbrushes. We’re lucky to do that.” 

On Top of the World began in 2017 and by 2019 they were picked up by Blue Raven Entertainment. “We were really taking off,” said Taylor. “It was a wonderful ride. But like everybody else, we had to stop during the pandemic and now we’re back again.” 

Taylor is no stranger to the stage. She got into children’s theatre at age 7, and community theatre during high school. After high school she started performing in a band performing at nightclubs for a few years and had her own wedding band for 20 years. 

Music has always been intertwined with Taylor’s work ethic. She’s a dental hygienist who also does pet therapy with her Golden Retriever, Cash. When Taylor sings “Bless the Beasts and Children” they show video footage of Cash working with children and other animals. “It’s how I bring my true hard passion into my other passion,” she said. 

In addition to being inspired by Karen Carpenter, Taylor said she’s a big fan of Linda Ronstadt. “I love her for all of the genres,” she expressed. “There’s nobody like her.”                                                                                                                   Paragon Jewelers: Go Visit our Website Click Here 

During her down time, Taylor favors her pet therapy time with Cash. “It’s therapeutic for me,” she said. She also likes getting involved in a good series on television. “Doing a binge watch can relax me,” she said. 

On Top of the World will be performing at William Paterson University, 300 Pompton Rd., Wayne, on Sunday, April 30, 2023, at 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $40-$45. For more information and/or to get tickets, visit: www.topoftheworldcarpenterstribute.com/


It Happened in NJ: 

Earth Day and the Short History of Environmentalism in Garden State
 By Peter Zablocki

April 22, 2023, will be the fifty-third time the American people will celebrate Earth Day. The original celebration kicked off a decade of environmentalism which led to the creation of the Environment Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act, the Surface Mining Control, and Endangered Species Act, among many others. A moment in time when factories could no longer blow black smoke into the blue skies or dump toxic waste into local rivers, at least without facing legal repercussions. Perhaps no other state has come as far in improving its environmental blueprint as the Garden State – once known as the nation’s landfill capital. And upon closer analysis, no area has embodied the spirit of the 1970s Environmental Movement that followed the first Earth Day more so than one of the state’s great natural wonders, the Meadowlands.  

The first Earth Day, which saw 20 million Americans take to the streets in pro-environment demonstrations, showed the nation and government that there was passionate and deep support for environmental issues. The people of New Jersey have continued pushing that agenda ever since. Had it not been for specific environmental groups and agencies in the decades that followed, our state would look much different today. The Port Authority raised millions of dollars in the early 1950s to buy up Morris County’s Great Swamp area to build a massive airport the size of Newark International Airport. The idea was struck down by a grassroots movement that pressured the state to turn the space into the Great Swamp National Refuge instead. Since then, two hundred forty species have been identified in the area, and thirty-nine mammal species, some considered endangered – a much different sight than thousands of airplanes flying overhead and traffic jams polluting local neighborhoods. Click Here Sunshine Blinds Website 

When the state planners and real estate developers thought up 250,000 new housing units in New Jersey’s Pinelands in the 1960s, the then Governor imposed a moratorium on building development by introducing and pushing the Pinelands Protection Act through the state’s legislature. Yet, the Garden State’s biggest success story is the Meadowlands – a vast area of unfilled marshes and, at one time, the tri-state’s most extensive dumping ground. Someone once described it as a “swampy, mosquito-infested jungle, where rusting auto bodies, demolition rubble, industrial oil slicks, and cattails merge in an unholy union.” 

As per a past North Jersey article, a 1969 study by the health department found that 5,000 tons of waste were brought into the Meadowlands daily from 118 New Jersey municipalities to the 51 landfills in the area that covered 1,900 acres. Still, the wake-up call came in October 1973 when a terrible combination of inverted air mass, steam from a local power plant, and a landfill fire reduced visibility along a stretch of New Jersey Turnpike to zero. Nine people lost their lives in a massive sixty-six-car crash, leading to the National Transportation Safety Board pressuring the state to clean up the area. Within the next two decades, local environmental agencies, including the Hackensack Riverkeeper and the New Jersey Sierra Club, joined various federal agencies to strike deals with development companies to preserve equal track of land to those they proposed to develop. This was the case with the more recent American Mall, which saw the state permitting the Mills Corporation to develop its mega-mall and amusement park in exchange for a $27 million grant and a plan to preserve the area around it.

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After decades of unregulated waste dumping, the Meadowlands has fought back to become one of New Jersey’s most incredible natural wonders and home to nearly three hundred bird species and an additional hundred marine life species. Apart from being one of the state’s principal economic hubs with its sports complex and the American mall, the Meadowlands now contains 3,500 acres of protected wetlands and only one 100-acre operating landfill. And although many people drive past it today, few see the real Meadowlands. The best way to experience the area’s natural hidden beauty is by the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission’s boat tours or nature-guided walks along eight miles of walking trails. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the first Earth Day in 1970 did much to transform public attitudes toward cleaner earth. A poll conducted the following year showed a 2,500 percent increase from the year prior in the American public declaring that protecting the environment was an important goal. So as we celebrate yet another Earth Day, we can appreciate the 1970s Environmental Movement’s impact on our state. For if not for some key decisions with the environment in mind, the Garden State would surely look much different today.                  Visit Viking Pest Control Website Click Here!


Peter Zablocki is the co-host of the History Teachers Talking Podcast. For more information, visit www.peterzablocki.com. 

Holy Bones—A Heavenly Healthy Treat for Dogs Which Provides Meaningful Employment 

By Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Holy Bones are much more than an all-natural, preservative free yummy dog biscuit. A purchase of a bag provides meaningful skills, training, and employment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities who are ready and willing to work. 

It all began about a year ago, according to Marie Cioletti, the director who oversees the production of Holy Bones, along with Father John Ahern, which are baked and packaged in the kitchens of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Pompton Lakes. 

Pat Carnevale, who was originally from the parish, had moved to Delaware but returned to Pompton Lakes. While in Delaware, she volunteered for a church who was doing something similar, so she gave Cioletti the idea and they got involved together. With a grant, they were able to get the kitchen materials needed and by September 2022, they were off and running. 

Cioletti, together with an advisory board made up of Thomas Abazia, Julie Tatti, and Suzanne Freedman, chose the name and the logo, which was created by a graphic artist named Cindy Keegan. 

“We had a lot of people who were able to volunteer their talents,” Cioletti said, who has worked as a special ed teacher at Paterson Public schools for 38 years as a learning consultant. “I’m a special ed teacher. I know nothing about business.” 

But knowing nothing about business was not a problem for Cioletti. The William Paterson University’s business department assisted Cioletti via Zoom meetings. “I can’t tell you how helpful they are,” she said. “The professor was really excited about us doing this.” 

The employees with disabilities are ages 21 up to 60s. They come from Ringwood, Wanaque, Haskell, Pompton Lakes, and Lincoln Park. They work in the church kitchen by measuring flour, putting labels on the bags, and weighing them to make sure they have eight ounces of product in each bag. “They do everything,” Cioletti said. “They clean up. They do the dishes. They put everything away and get set up for the next day. They use scales. They are learning a lot of skills. If you look at their abilities, they can do many things well. We try to meet the needs of each individual baker based on their abilities.”

And if modifications are needed for a person to be a good baker, it is done. For example, the bones can be traced through parchment paper.
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“The bakers show up every day,” said Cioletti. “They don’t take mental health days. They’re really happy to be productive. If we go to an event, I take them with me so they could see how important their jobs are. They’re excellent workers.” 

The bones come in three flavors, peanut butter, chicken, and sweet potato. “Our best seller is peanut butter,” said Cioletti. “Sweet potato if the dogs have stomach issues. It’s a milder taste.”
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While only six months into the business, Cioletti said they definitely want to expand by either making treats for cats or more flavors for dogs. 

Holy Bones are available in the Parish Center Office Building located at 31 Pompton Ave., Pompton Lakes. Offices are open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed for lunch, noon to 1 p.m. On Friday, the offices are open from 9 a.m. to noon. Offices are closed on weekends. 

Dog bones and small bits are sold in eight-ounce bags for $10 per bag. Since there are no preservatives, they must be stored in the freezer. 

For more information, visit www.holy-bones.org. 

A Life Among Books for Kinnelon Librarian Turned Author
By Coraline Seksinsky

“Surprisingly I never considered working in a library before. Libraries were not a big part of my childhood. I was very much a Barnes and Nobles kid.” says Cass Lauer, describing her relationship to libraries before she started working in them. Currently she is the Marketing and Engagement Coordinator at the Kinnelon Public Library in Kinnelon New Jersey. Her career amongst the stacks helped to rekindle a lifelong passion for story, leading to the publication last November of her Debut novel, issued on New Degree Press, Vox Libri. 

  Growing up Lauer was a voracious reader, though more so an avid story-listener. “I liked listening to other people tell stories. So where I liked reading, I did just like storytelling as a whole.” She doesn’t describe her family as particularly bookish, aside from her mom. By the time she was 13, she knew clearly that studying English was what she wanted to do. As an undergraduate at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison she studied creative writing and taught dance on the side. After she ended their studies at Fairleigh Dickinson, she was still teaching dance. As burnout began setting in, she decided to pursue the passion which had brought her to study creative writing in college.           Visit Kovach Roofing Website Click Here!

  Soon after finding work as a freelance writer she saw an ad for a hybrid publisher called New Degree Publisher, now called Manuscripts. As a Developmental Editor Lauer helped coach dozens and dozens of prospective authors through the manuscript process in four month ‘cohorts’ of around 10 to 15 authors at a time. “They would submit pages to me and I’d critique them and tell them ways to improve them… The point of the program was that at the end of the four months with me, they would have a finished first draft of a manuscript that was ready to go into publishing and developed further.” She continues, “the majority of them were nonfiction,” Lauer says. “Teaching them how to write a book I found quite similar to teaching dance in so far as trying to identify what the student, in this case the writer, needs from me the instructor.” 
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  After teaching others to write books Lauer wondered why she couldn’t do the same thing with her own project. Vox Libri began life as her senior year project at Fairleigh Dickinson, where students were required to complete a novel or novella. As an employee at New Degree she could be paired with one of her coworkers to run through the process she coached so many other authors through before. The book is a phantasmagorical fantasy centered around a mysterious book that takes over the life of the heroine, Etta, who has just started a new life in Northampton Massachusetts. The setting was inspired by Lauer’s love of the Five Colleges region of the state after having attended a writing workshop at UMass: Amherst. 

  The last year has been about getting the book done, needing it to be done. “I am currently on a small break, but I’m feeling that itch to start again. I’ve already got book two plotted out and outlined. So now it’s just a matter of now finding the time and getting back into that practice.” In regards to the future there are few sure bets. But one I would make with confidence is that no matter where Cass Lauer ends up, her life will be full of books. 

Bloomingdale Historian Shines New Light on Rich History of Butler

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By Tommy Hughes

History. A noun defined by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary as a chronological record of significant events. Events that help build one’s upbringing. The foundation of a person, place, thing, event, or in this case, a city.  

It is that foundation that led Tom Riley to become a historian. Upon graduation from what’s now known as Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, Riley returned to Bloomingdale and became a Social Studies teacher. Retiring after 40 years, he found a new way to expand upon his love of history by shining a light on what has yet to be told. 

 “The big thing for me is telling the story. I tell stories that haven’t been told. It’s filling a void because local history takes a back seat…that’s the teacher part of it. (The author) is sharing information that (the reader) has never heard of or known,” Riley said. 

Growing up in Bloomingdale, Riley’s childhood home was one-half of a block away from Delazier Field. He would hear stories about how Babe Ruth once played on that same field, though no one had put those memories to paper along with the history of the Bloomingdale Troopers. This was what led to Riley’s first book. A labor of love that set into motion inspiration to continue to write his second history book, centered around the history of Federal Hill. Today, Riley has written 7 books. His 8th, Stories about Butler, continues this showcase of area history. A project he wanted to pen for the area museum.                                                                                                                                                                               Click Here JAG Paving Website 

From Butler’s connection to the sport of baseball, to the Butler Opera House and Whittle Hardware. From Butler’s oil pipeline to the aircraft spotting tower, the legacy of the borough of Morris County is now guaranteed to live on. 

For Tom, the research is the fun part. It is not about profit, it is about putting into print something that was not there before. It is why he donates copies of each of his books to the museum and the Bloomingdale Public Library. Tom hopes that the lasting legacy of his research will carry over to the next generation. As New Jersey history is taught at the middle school level, Tom finds his research as a perfect tie-in for local history in the curriculum. From World War II’s connection to Federal Hill to Bloomingdale ties to the American Revolution. Tom knows how to make history fun and connect in mannerisms of the interesting. 

“…each student is an individual the teacher has to get to…the teacher finds out what the student is interested in, or if the student shows a spark from what the teacher is teaching, go with that. Once the teacher has the student with them, the teacher can teach students anything.” 

A sense of purpose. What adolescents realize about themselves as they grow and their discovery in their existence. The purpose of the teacher in helping the adolescent grow in their discovery and the history of the adolescent interest. The purpose of the historian in sharing the history of said interest. An interest surrounded by a respective craft, sport, government, or in this case, a borough. One in the county of Morris in the Garden State, named in honor of Richard Butler 122 years ago. 

All of Tom’s Books are available at Butler Museum at: 221 Main Street, Butler, 973-838-7222. Contact Tom Riley at: tr07416@gmail.com 

Signature Culinary Fundraising Event Celebrates 25th Anniversary

The 25th anniversary of northwestern New Jersey’s premier culinary fundraising event, A Taste of Talent, will be held at Perona Farms on behalf of local non-profit agency Project Self-Sufficiency on Monday, May 1st, beginning at 6:00 p.m.  Patrons are invited to mingle with chefs from approximately 50 celebrated area restaurants while feasting on appetizers, entrees, and desserts.  The epicurean event raises funds for the non-profit agency which specializes in services for low-income families in Sussex, Morris, Hunterdon, and Warren.  

 Some of the many fine restaurants which have participated in the past, and many of which are expected to return, include 1776 by David Burke; Andre’s Lakeside Dining; Angry Erik Brewing; Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse; Cafe Pierrot; Cake Pop Bar; Capital Grille; Chef Anthony Lo Pinto; Chef Tim Schafer; The Chocolate Goat Gift Shoppe; Clay Oven; Cliff’s Ice Cream; Cranky Noodles; Crossed Keys Inn; Czig Meister Brewing; Dakine Cuisine; Emily’s Hearth; the Farmer’s daughter; Fossil Farms; Fran’s Farmhouse Kitchen; Garriss General Store; George’s Wine & Spirits Gallery; Gourmet Gallery; Hayek’s Market; Hunter’s Lodge; Indian Masala; Jersey Girl Cheese; Krave Caterers; La Vita Italian Specialties; Lola’s; Lorraine’s Cake Shop & Tea Room; Mama’s Cafe Baci; Mr. Crabby’s Craft Kitchen & Bar; North Shore House; O’Reilly’s Pub and Grill; Passionate Chef; Pattycakes; Perona Farms; Springhouse Creamery; St. Moritz Bar & Grill; Sussex County Community College Culinary Arts & Hospitality Program; Tanti Baci Caffe; and the Walpack Inn.                                                Click Here Amore Website 

 Sponsorships for A Taste of Talent range from $500 – $25,000; a limited number of tickets for individual donations are available at a cost of $300.  The event will take place indoors and outside at the venue.  Volunteer musicians will entertain guests by performing throughout the facility, including Colofonia Ensemble, Meant to Be, Aimee Nishimura, Pro Tempos, Skylands Dulcimer String Band, Sparta High School Chamber Club, and the Sussex Brass Quintet.

“For 25 years, A Taste of Talent has been our signature fundraising event and the cornerstone of our annual campaign,” noted Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.  “Funds raised by A Taste of Talent make it possible for Project Self-Sufficiency to provide the programs and services necessary for families in northwestern New Jersey to attain economic self-sufficiency.  We continue to be humbled by the support we receive from the restaurateurs in our area, and we are looking forward to a delightful event.”

 Perona Farms is located at 350 Andover-Sparta Road, Andover.  To make a contribution to Project Self-Sufficiency, to obtain tickets to A Taste of Talent, or to find out more information about the programs and services available at the agency, visit www.projectselfsufficiency.org or call 973-940-3500.

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DC Landscape Offers the Simplicity Package for New Clients!

Dennis Coyle, owner of DC Landscape, has been managing properties throughout Morris & Passaic counties for the many years. He has over 20 years experience in plants, design, installation and property maintenance. The business has completed hundreds of landscape installations per year. This year DC Landscape will offer new clients an affordable package to cover your basic property needs.  The Simplicity Package includes a maintenance package for nine months at $240 per month that includes one spring clean-up, 25 lawn cuts and two fall clean-ups. 

Spring clean-ups consist of thatching turf areas, hand edging all existing plant beds, removing fallen sticks, blowing entire property including plant beds, and disposing of debris ($450 value). The maintenance of the property begins in April and ends November that includes 25 lawn and turf cut, weed-whacking edges of bedding, blowing patios, walkways, and as well as disposal of debris ($1250 value). The two fall clean-ups, one before Thanksgiving and the final during the first week of December, involves a crew of three or four workers who will blow out leaves throughout the entire property and beds. Leaves will be removed and disposed ($475).

These prices reflect an average size house located on a lot approximately 75’x75’. Prices do not include NJ sales tax and is offered to new clients only. 

DC Landscaping manages properties in Pequannock Township, Wayne, Butler, Riverdale, Pompton Lakes, Lincoln Park, Bloomingdale & Kinnelon on a weekly basis. They will customize your plan to fit your needs along with landscape design, installation and more.   

Contact 973-305-8803 for a Free Estimate today! 

Annual Kiwimbi 5K & Walk

The Annual Kiwimbi 5K & Walk for Thought is SATURDAY MAY 6th 9:00 am at Duke Island Park in Bridgewater. Sure to be a great early warm-up to summer, the event is hosted by Kiwimbi International, a U.S.-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to underprivileged children and their families in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It is both a virtual and in-person event. Prizes for age group winners will be awarded. Registration is available at https://raceroster.com/events/2023/71621/kiwimbi-5k-and-walk-for-thought or https://kiwimbi.org

Students in rural Kenya typically walk 45 minutes one way to school each day, so the Walk for Thought invites you to do the same, while the 5K offers a more competitive opportunity. Grand Prix points will be given to qualifying USATF NJ members. Registration will be covered for those who raise $400 for the event. Vendor spots available.

To sponsor/partner with Kiwimbi or learn more about the event, please click info@kiwimbi.org.

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 Beautiful Ride in Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta’s Front Row Seat to the Jersey Shore

By Jillian Risberg  

So, you think you know the Jersey shore? Well, in Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta’s new book the author sheds light on the people, places, folklore, trivia and treasures of the region that encompass miles of oceanfront bordering the Atlantic Ocean.

This is Christiano-Mistretta’s sixth book and it’s purely historical. 

“It was a wonderful experience hitting the shore areas and taking the photos,” the author says the challenging aspect was reminding herself to stop writing at some point and get up and stretch. Drink some water. Go for a walk outside. “But I just love what I do.”

This book lays out a significant base of knowledge for each community on the Jersey Shore, including famous men and women who have made contributions there. 

Christiano-Mistretta hopes readers gauge that there is much more to the Jersey Shore than one would imagine, each seashore town has its own individuality.

According to the author, anyone who loves the Jersey Shore; or New Jersey in general will love the book — but also history buffs. 

“If you’re a music fan or a movie buff,” she says. “So many musicians and actors either came from the Jersey Shore, have lived there, or currently have homes there.” 

The author’s journey started when publisher Henry Quinlan (So, You Think You Know the South Coast? So, You Think You Know Cape Cod? So, You Think You Know Nantucket?) from Omni Publishing was looking for a New Jersey writer, reached out to Christiano-Mistretta and decided to sign her. 

She has always been connected to the Jersey Shore — as a kid, teen and adult she vacationed there with her family.

“I had a fun grandmother who would go on the rides (roller coasters in her 70s) on the boardwalk,” the author also fondly recalls times with friends and her husband loves the shore off-season as much as she does. “My father-in-law had a place down the shore when he was still alive, and my brother-in-law lives in Cape May.”

According to Christiano-Mistretta, she can’t choose a favorite spot because she has memories from all over — Cape May, Wildwood, Bay Head, Point Pleasant, Spring Lake, Atlantic City, Margate, Asbury Park, Seaside Heights, Ocean Grove, Ocean City.

“It’s all so magical. The air smells fresh. You actually see kids doing stuff; like skateboarding and surfing instead of being on their phones,” says the author. “And there are places to see live music.” 

Christiano-Mistretta immersed herself in research (about 80 percent). She says she knew quite a bit about the Jersey Shore, but there was much she didn’t know, which made writing the book even more rewarding. 

The author is inspired by almost everything.

“I’m a positive person and live life to the fullest,” she says. “I get excited by listening to music and motivational speakers, reading, exercise, meditation, cooking, being around pets… I make each moment count.”

During the pandemic Christiano-Mistretta became a certified feline behaviorist and is building a clientele as a cat-sitter, looking forward to cat-sitting her first Sphynx this summer. 

The author is making the rounds at book signings and speaking engagements, and she is currently writing several other books.

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“I have a few hobbies like art and acting,” says Christiano-Mistretta. “I’m always doing something creative so you never know what will come into fruition.”

For more information, visit www.peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com

Purchase the book: Omni Publishing (www.omni-pub.com/)  Visit Silver & Gold Buying Website Click Here! 

I Remember Dad:

My Father’s Many Talks About Life Along The Old Morris Canal

By Richard Mabey Jr.

One of the fondest memories that I have of my dear, belated father is that of his talks that he would give at the Lincoln Park Museum. Dad gave many talks about the history of Lincoln Park in that dear old museum. But I remember his all-time favorite subject was that of talking about his remembrances of life along the still, murky waters of the historic Morris Canal.
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My great grandfather, William Mabey, had built an icehouse along the banks of the Morris Canal. It was located deep in the woods at the end of Mabey Lane. At one time, Mabey Lane extended from Route 202, in Lincoln Park, and traveled all the way down to the banks of the old Morris Canal. Today, there is a housing development where the once wooded portion of this country lane proudly hailed.                            Click Here Freedom Fence Website 

My grandfather, Watson Mabey, served as the Chief Engineer of Incline Plane Ten East, which was located right at the border of Lincoln Park and Towaco. By the time my dad was a boy of about seven years old, the Morris Canal had ceased its operations. Still, it didn’t stop Dad and his younger brother, Carl, from exploring and hiking along the old tow path. You see, Dad was raised in the home at the end of Mabey Lane. The very home that his father had built.

What I loved so much about the talks, that Dad gave about the old Morris Canal, was the high degree of heart-felt feeling that would fill Dad’s voice. At times, during his many talks, I would catch a bit of sadness in his eyes. A kind of melancholy feeling.

My father loved Lincoln Park. When he was a boy, some of the town’s people still referred to the little valley hamlet as Beavertown. I confess that at times, I took Dad’s talks for granted. There were times when I felt that my father was going to live forever and never stop giving his little talks about life along the old Morris Canal. Sadly, I was all so mistaken.

I would give the sun and the moon to hear just one more of my dad’s landmark talks. For even just five minutes, to see the expressions of joy, happiness, sadness and nostalgic melancholy fill Dad’s face as he presented his talk. It’s all so strange, what a person once took for granted becomes a shining diamond memory. Sadly, never to ever return again.

Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He can be reached at richardmabeyjr@hotmail.com.

What to do if your Cat Suddenly Scratches or Bites a Person: 

Advice from the Mt. Olive TNR Project

If you have a cat who suddenly scratches or bites, please do not assume the cat is “dangerous” or “vicious” and have the cat killed. Instead, take the following steps:

1. If there is a bite, please visit a doctor or hospital right away to see if you need antibiotics. Cats have bacteria in their mouths and bite wounds can easily become infected. Also contact your local health department to let them know about the bite (the doctor will contact them anyway). The Animal Control Officer will tell you to confine the cat for 10 days to monitor their behavior and ensure they do not have rabies. This is routine. The quarantine can be done in your home and the Animal Control Officer will release the cat from quarantine at the end of 10 days if there are no signs of rabies. The law does not require that the cat be euthanized, just quarantined. For your safety and your cat’s safety, please make sure your cat is vaccinated against rabies.                                                   Click Here Rainbow Travel Website  

2. When determining if the cat is a risk to you or others, consider the situation. Was the cat grabbed in a way that might have hurt or scared them? Was the cat cornered or caught mid-air? Was the cat in the middle of a fight with another animal or trying to get away from another animal? Did the person who was scratched or bitten inadvertently hurt or scare the cat in some other way? Like anyone, cats defend themselves when they feel threatened. This does not mean they are generally dangerous or vicious. It means that care must be taken not to scare or hurt them and, if a child is too young to understand this, that the cat and the child should be separated when unsupervised.

3. If the bite or scratch was not obviously situational, get the cat vetted ASAP to see if they are in pain. A sudden change in behavior often indicates a medical problem that needs addressing. Tooth pain is a common culprit– imagine having a really bad toothache and not being able to tell anyone, and then someone inadvertently bumps into or presses on your mouth. Think you might react physically? We have seen an otherwise calm cat scratch a face in this situation– turned out they had a very sensitive rotten tooth that needed to be removed by a vet. Cats can have other hidden sources of pain or illness that affect their behavior as well.

4. If the bite or scratch was not situational or due to physical pain or distress and is actually a behavioral problem, there are anti-anxiety and other psychiatric medications for cats. Gabapentin is often used to calm cats. Cats can also take Prozac. Ask your vet about prescribing one of these medications to take the edge off. We have seen these medications work miracles. Some cats also get overstimulated when being pet and nip or scratch when they’ve had too much. Learn your cat’s body language and, if they have this issue, only pet them once or twice at a time, even if they seem to want more attention.

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5. If you cannot safely live with the cat, or do not want to, find a rescue that will take the cat. Do not assume that the rescue will act irresponsibly and adopt the cat out to someone inexperienced or someone with young children, or that they won’t disclose the cat’s prior behaviors. Rescues have no interest in finding inappropriate placements for animals; if they agree to take the cat, trust that they know what they’re doing. If you’re concerned, ask questions about their past experience, how they will handle the cat, and what they will do to figure out and address the source of the behavior. Give the rescue all of the information about what happened. Do not lie to the rescue about the cat’s behavior. If the cat really cannot live in a home, there are sanctuaries. Ask the rescue if they partner with one.

The Mt. Olive TNR Project has experience handling, working with, and finding appropriate placements for cats who have scratched or bitten in the past. If you have questions, feel free to contact us. Please be aware that we only accept cats from Mt. Olive.

Get Your Dog in Shape

Humans are not the only animals that may get a bit pudgy around the middle and tip the scale in the wrong direction. Man’s best friend can also pack on some extra pounds, necessitating a workout plan to get back into shape.

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, fifty-three percent of adult dogs in the United States are classified as overweight or obese by their veterinarians. Yet, pet owners are sometimes unaware that their prized pooches are overweight.

Overweight dogs and cats face some of the same health risks as overweight men and women. Musculoskeletal problems, such as degenerative joint diseases, and back problems have been linked to obesity, as have heart disease and respiratory problems. Diabetes and heat or exercise intolerance are other side effects of being overweight. Visit Pequannock Animal Hospital Website Click Here! 

But a pet’s weight is not the lone indicator of how healthy the animal is, and the ideal weight can vary from dog to dog. A body condition score is helpful in determining a pet’s ideal body weight. Some indications a dog may not be at a healthy weight include:

• a belly that hangs below the rib cage area

• a belly that moves when the dog moves, unless the dog is pregnant or has just given birth

• inability of the owner or vet to feel the dog’s ribs in the rib cage

• a waddle of skin on the neck of the dog, where excess skin isn’t indicative of the breed

• no visual indication of the dog’s waist

• inability of the owner or vet to feel the bones near the base of the tail

• a less active lifestyle, including avoiding exercise and play

• excessive panting

Keeping a dog in shape is one of the best things an owner can do for its’ pet. But what if the dog already has packed on a few unnecessary pounds? It’s time to start a canine fitness routine and follow some other guidelines.

Talk to the pet’s veterinarian. Obesity could be the result of eating too much or inactivity, but it also can be a sign of a serious condition. If a routine exam and blood work come up normal, then a plan can be started for helping Fido shed the weight.

Consider a new food. There are many different types of foods on the market, including low-calorie options. Some foods contain extra fiber to help the dog feel fuller without having eaten as much. Also, look for foods with lean protein sources without grains and other fillers.

Break up the feeding schedule. Instead of one large meal a day, feed the dog two or three smaller portions of food, which will help keep the dog’s metabolism going all day long.

Become joint joggers. Jogging with a dog can become an enjoyable pastime that enables the owner and pet to get exercise and stay in shape.

Take up swimming. Many dogs are natural lovers of water, and swimming is an effective, low-impact exercise.

Teach the dog tricks. Physical tricks, like fetching a ball or rolling over, can keep dogs active.

Go for long walks. Take the dog with you wherever you go. The more he or she is up and moving, the less chance there is to sleep and be lazy.

Dr. Matthew Krupnick is the owner of the Pequannock Animal Hospital. He grew up in Kinnelon and is happy to be home – with his wife, three cats, and two dogs – to provide quality and compassionate care for pets in the community. The Pequannock Animal Hospital is located at 591 Newark Pompton Turnpike in Pompton Plains. You can reach the hospital by calling 973-616-0400.

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