Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Parsippany’s Memorial Day Celebration: Honoring Veterans with a Heartfelt and Patriotic Ceremony

PARSIPPANY — The Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills held a Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 27, at Veterans Memorial Park. The event honored the memory and sacrifice of fallen veterans with a solemn and respectful tribute, bringing the community together to pay their respects and express their gratitude.

Siobhan Fuller McConnell, American Gold Star Mother, Mother, and Former Council President Michael dePierro

Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices made by military personnel and appreciate the freedoms those sacrifices have secured. It is a day to educate younger generations about the cost of freedom and the importance of honoring those who have given their lives in its defense. Through various commemorations and personal acts of remembrance, Americans ensure that the legacy of their fallen heroes endures.

Presentation of Colors: Color Guards of American Legion Post 249 and VFW Command Post 10184.

Presentation of Colors: Color Guards of American Legion Post 249 and VFW Command Post 10184.

Keynote Speaker: Siobhan Fuller McConnell, American Gold Star Mother, Mother of Derek McConnell, Parsippany War Hero
A Memorial Day poem was presented by Angelina Messana of Girl Scout Troop 95610.
The invocation was delivered by Rebbetzin Aharona Lubin, Spiritual Mentor of Shaya Ahavat Torah.
Dominick Caponegro from Parsippany High School performed “Taps.”
Hannah Ellicott and Abigail Thurkhauf sang “God Bless America.”
Parsippany resident Michelle Musolino sang the National Anthem.
God Bless America
Attendees gathered to participate in the Memorial Day celebration.
Mayor James Barberio and Dominick Caponegro
Morris County Commissioner Stephen Shaw, Morris County Commissioner Director Christine Myers, and Morris County Sheriff James Gannon
Parsippany-Troy Hills Councilman and newly sworn-in Parsippany Police Officer Ryan McConnell

Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday of May, is a federal holiday in the United States dedicated to honoring and remembering the men and women who have died while serving in the military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

The history of Memorial Day dates back to the aftermath of the Civil War, a conflict that claimed more lives than any other conflict in U.S. history and necessitated the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.

Rainbow Lakes Celebrates Annual Memorial Day Parade

PARSIPPANY — Saturday provided ideal weather conditions for the Rainbow Lakes Annual Memorial Day Parade. The perfect weather added to the event’s atmosphere, fully allowing participants and spectators to enjoy the commemorative occasion.

The parade route commenced at the Rainbow Lakes Volunteer Firehouse and extended through the streets of Rainbow Lakes, culminating at Rainbow Park. At Rainbow Park, a solemn memorial service was conducted, honoring and remembering those who have sacrificed in service to their country. The parade and subsequent service provided a meaningful tribute to the significance of Memorial Day.

Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor James Barberio, Councilman Justin Musella, Councilman Frank Neglia, Councilman Matt McGraft, and Councilwoman Judy Hernandez participated in the parade. Their presence demonstrated their deep commitment to serving the community and supporting the Memorial Day commemoration. As they marched with pride and dedication, their involvement further emphasized their invaluable contributions to the community and their respect for the traditions upheld by the Rainbow Lakes Volunteer Fire Department.

The CúChullain Pipe Band, Parsippany’s hometown Pipe Band, notably contributed to the Memorial Day parade. With their unwavering dedication to preserving and propagating traditional Celtic music, the band showcased their talent and added a vibrant and cultural element to the procession. Their participation in the parade honored the spirit of the occasion and further highlighted the diverse musical traditions present within the community.

Parsippany Police Department
Parsippany Rescue and Recovery
Nicolas Limanov, Sergeant of Arms, Parsippany Rescue and Recovery
Parsippany Volunteer Ambulance
Parsippany Volunteer Ambulance
Lake Parsippany Volunteer Fire Department
Parsippany-Troy Hills Volunteer Fire District 6
Rainbow Lakes Volunteer Fire Department District 2
Mt. Tabor Volunteer Fire Department District 1
Rainbow Lakes Volunteer Fire District 2 Chief
Parsippany Office of Emergency Management

Tuscany Villa Ristorante: Where Italian Tradition Meets Modern Elegance

MORRIS COUNTY — There’s no doubt the general Parsippany area can boast of being the home of numerous excellent Italian restaurants. Within a several-mile radius, one can probably find every style of Italian eatery you’re looking for, from a small local trattoria, an old school “Nonna” pizzeria joint, to an elegant, upscale dining experience.  A solid, if not great, Italian restaurant can be found in almost any of New Jersey’s 500-plus towns. But the bottom line is it’s not so much about quantity as it is about those deciding factors and small details that provide a truly satisfying, enjoyable, and memorable dining experience.

The interior is classy and upscale, but rest assured, upon entry, you will find an attractive, spacious, casual, cozy, and relaxing atmosphere.

Tuscany Villa Ristorante, an architecturally attractive building with salmon-colored stucco, stone façade, canopied windows, and decorative railings, provides a welcoming introduction to the business.  Anchored at the end of a small strip mall on Changebridge Road in Montville, Tuscany Villa stands out with its modern exterior appearance that screams classy and upscale, but rest assured on entry, you will find an attractive, spacious, casual, cozy, and relaxing atmosphere. Relatively new, Tuscany Villa was constructed in 2016 and opened its doors in January 2017 as an independent, family-owned business.

Owner Elvis Mejia, a native of Guatemala, is not new to the restaurant industry. He and a few relatives were also partners in Delizia Pizza Kitchen in Boonton and El Rancho Restaurant in Morristown. Like many restaurant owners and chefs, Chef Mejia worked up the culinary ladder as a young man. Following his arrival in the U.S. in 2000, he found a job as a dishwasher at Frank’s Pizza in Lake Hopatcong. Eventually, Chef Mejia, following 10 years of hard work, studying, and honing his culinary skills, earned a position as a Sous Chef. Deciding to pursue his dream and open his restaurant, and with the help of his relatives and friends, he was introduced to Montville, which he found was the perfect location for his Tuscany-themed restaurant, and where he gives back to the community by sponsoring local youth and High School sports.

Chef Elvia Mejia, Pat Minutillo, Vasil and Chef Tony Abillo

Tuscany is known for its landscapes, history, artistic legacy, and influence on high culture. It is regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and of the foundations of the Italian language. Creating an ambiance, vibe, and sense of Tuscany’s culture, lifestyle, and beauty would require imagination.  Careful planning paid off, and Tuscany Villa creates just such a sense of a serene Italian villa, offering a warm and inviting atmosphere where one can relax and enjoy a delicious meal over a glass of wine. Did I mention that Tuscany Villa is BYOB, so feel free to bring along your favorite vino? Conveniently, there is a liquor store next door, just in case you forget. The interior is meticulously clean and spacious, with beautiful décor that captures the essence of Italy and certainly reflects the restaurant’s theme. The color scheme is comforting and cohesively comes together with assorted cozy lighting, tasteful and thoughtfully placed artwork, Italian artifacts on the walls, comfortably spaced rustic wooden tables & booth seating, ceiling fans, and tiled flooring.  Aromas of freshly baked pizzas, savory tomato sauce, spices, herbs, and all those scrumptious fragrances that tantalize your taste buds and make your mouth water as you peruse the menu.

Linguini & Clam Sauce: Available with red or white sauce.

I would neglect to mention (especially now that the warm weather is upon us) that Tuscany Villa also offers outdoor patio seating. This is a gorgeous setting to dine and relax, reflecting the restaurant’s theme, complete with vine-covered trellises and soothing natural landscaping.

The menu offers the usual array of delectable Italian choices, including appetizers, soups, salads, antipasti, pasta, seafood, baked pasta, hot and cold subs, grilled dishes, chef specials, strombolis, wraps, paninis, calzones, and, of course, traditional, gourmet, and Sicilian pizza. A children’s menu is also offered, as are numerous specials. There is pretty much something for everyone. And don’t forget dessert!

Chicken Contadina (artichokes, mushrooms, onions & a touch of marinara sauce, and served over pasta).

Now that our group of hungry travelers had a chance to sip some wine, unwind, admire the décor, and check out the menu, it was time to start ordering. Our server, Vasile, was on hand to help with any questions we may have had. As far as service goes, Vasile was as good as it gets. Friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient, Vasile made us all feel like valued guests from the moment we sat down. His affable manner and sense of humor all contributed to a fun dining experience.

A Culinary Gem: Eggplant Rollatini at Tuscany Villa Ristorante

As always, the group chose a selection of appetizers to share. Choices included tender and flavorful eggplant rollatini, a well-packed meat stromboli (Sausage, Ham, Pepperoni, Salami, Meatball & Mozzarella), and at the suggestion of Vasile, ginger calamari (Fried Calamari Tossed in Ginger Sauce with Roasted Peppers & Mango). Each appetizer was luscious, with generously sized portions. The freshness and high quality of the ingredients were evident and cooked perfectly. To me, the star of the show was Ginger Calamari. Delizioso!!!  Nice plump-sized calamari, tender and crisp, sweet and sour, with a bit of heat and lots and lots of flavors. An exquisite, sweet Italian treat with an Asian flair!

A Spicy Treat: Shrimp Fra Diavolo Over Pasta

For my entrée, I ordered the Shrimp Fra Diavolo, which came in a spicy Marinara Sauce, over pasta.  As usual, I asked them to punch up the heat. Shrimp Fra Diavolo, a favorite of mine, is made with juicy, large shrimp cooked in a hearty, spicy tomato sauce with garlic, white wine, and fresh parsley; when it’s good, it’s good. Others in the group ordered the Chicken Contadina (artichokes, mushrooms, onions & a touch of marinara sauce, and served over pasta). I didn’t try this, but it was a phenomenal-looking dish and generously portioned. Linguini & Clam Sauce (comes with red or white sauce), and a couple of guys went with your traditional Veal Parmigiana (nice sized pieces of veal, covered in Tuscany’s house tomato sauce and lots of melted mozzarella topping it off.

Delight in the Creamy Goodness of Chocolate Mousse at Tuscany Villa

Everyone enjoyed their meals, and the dessert menus arrived (as if we needed them now, but why not).  I like pistachios, so the Pistachio Truffle quickly caught my eye. It turned out to be a great choice. The creamy ganache, infused with chocolate and nuts, came generously loaded with pan-roasted pistachios. Every bite into this creamy, crunchy, decadent, indulgent dessert was delightful.  Others chose Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate Glass. Along with our Cappuccinos, those sweet and creamy treats made for the perfect ending to a genuinely nice dining experience.

Ricotta Pistachio Cake: A luscious creation with creamy ricotta layered with nuts, generously topped with pan-roasted pistachios.

When you’re in the area, I recommend stopping at Tuscany Villa Ristorante and trying it. Not to be redundant, but good food, beautiful décor, reasonable prices, and great service are a winning combination. Plus, they make a tasty pizza.

“Vivi la tua vita al meglio!”

Tuscany Villa Ristorante, 223 Changebridge Road, Montville. Phone: (973) 334-1400; Banquet Room (Great for Special Occasions) Holds 50 People. Outdoor Dining Patio – BYOB. Dine In – Take Out – Delivery -Catering. Monday Pizza Special. Hours: Seven Days, 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Ginger calamari (Fried Calamari Tossed in Ginger Sauce with Roasted Peppers & Mango)

Reprinted from Parsippany Focus Magazine, June 2024

NJM Insurance Group Awards $5,250 Grant to NJAC Foundation

PARSIPPANY — NJM Insurance Group awarded the NJAC Foundation a $5,250 grant for county vocational-technical school graduates who plan to continue their education in New Jersey at a county, state, or university college or university.

The NJAC Foundation will distribute one $1,750 scholarship in each county where NJM maintains a corporate office, which includes Morris, Atlantic, and Mercer. Since 2014, NJM has awarded the Foundation grants totaling $57,500, which has helped more than thirty students pursue their educational dreams. “I’m grateful that NJM and the NJAC Foundation have once again partnered on this unique opportunity to provide county vocational-technical school graduates with generous scholarships,” said NJAC Foundation President Arthur Sypek.

“We are pleased to support the efforts of the NJAC Foundation for the eleventh consecutive year that provides expanded educational opportunities for county vocational-technical school and county college students,” said Pat Hartpence, NJM Giving Officer. “We commend NJAC for its continued commitment to creating NJ-based educational pathways for deserving students.”

About NJM, founded in 1913, NJM is among the Mid-Atlantic region’s leading property and casualty insurers. The Company is consistently recognized for its award-winning customer service, superior claims handling procedures and overall customer satisfaction. NJM’s personal insurance products are available directly to consumers in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The Company also works with a preferred network of independent agents to deliver business insurance in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. One of the Company’s core values is to support the communities it is privileged to serve. It is a value exercised through year-round employee volunteer efforts at local non-profits and a formal corporate giving and engagement program. For more information, click here.

The NJAC Foundation is a non-profit organization affiliated with the New Jersey Association of Counties (NJAC). It is committed to providing innovative educational opportunities for county vocational-technical school and county college students. Please visit our website at www.njac.org for additional details about the NJAC Foundation.

Parsippany Animal Shelter: Guinea Pigs Up for Adoption

PARSIPPANY — The Parsippany Animal Shelter has three guinea pigs available for adoption. While little is known about the two, one is 2.5 years old and named Cornelius.

If you want to adopt one of the guinea pigs, please submit an adoption application by clicking here. Applications will be processed, and suitable homes will be contacted promptly to schedule a meet and greet.

Community Gathers for Rainbow Lakes Fire Dept. Picnic

Following the Memorial Day Parade, the Rainbow Lakes Fire Department District Two continued its cherished annual tradition by hosting a lively barbecue.

This year’s event saw an impressive turnout, with the dedicated volunteers going above and beyond to create a festive atmosphere.

The weather was perfect, adding to the enjoyment as attendees savored mouthwatering hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, and coleslaw, complemented by refreshing Birch Beer and a variety of adult beverages.

The day was filled with laughter, community spirit, and a shared sense of celebration, making it a memorable occasion for all who attended.

Attendees enjoyed an abundance of hotdogs at the Rainbow Lakes Fire Department’s annual barbecue, celebrating community and camaraderie.
Attendees enjoyed an abundance of hamburgers and cheeseburgers at the Rainbow Lakes Fire Department’s annual barbecue, celebrating community and camaraderie.
Mark Rabson, the Treasurer, was pouring the mouthwatering Birch Beer.
Frank DeRienzo, President of the Rainbow Lakes Fire Department, with Council Member Judy Hernandez
The two members who made it all happen are the Chefs: Firefighters Bobby Onufrick and Commissioner Pete Deegan. Both volunteers live in the Rainbow Lakes section.
Councilman Justin Musella, Rescue and Recovery Nick Limanov Sergeant At Arms and Andrew Ludwig, Treasurer

End of an Era: Bob Iracane Steps Down from Parsippany Zoning Board

PARSIPPANY — At the Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 21, Robert Iracane, Chairman of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Zoning Board of Adjustment, announced his resignation. Iracane has been a member of the Board for 35 years, serving as chairman for the last 25 years.

Wednesday, May 22, was his last meeting overseeing the board.

Iracane is moving out of town after 53 years living in Parsippany with his wife, Elinor. The Iracanes have been married for 54 years.

Bob was toasted by former Council President Michael J. dePierro and Joseph O’Neill, an attorney who often appears before the BoA.

He was honored with a plaque from the Board of Adjustment members, presented to him by fellow member Davey Lane Willans.

Mayor James R. Barberio also presented Bob with a proclamation recognizing his years of service to Parsippany and his volunteerism.

Mayor Barberio also presented Bob with a Key to the City of Parsippany.

Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor James Barberio read a proclamation to Robert Iracane and then presented him with a Key to the Township.

Parsippany resident Stephanie Silbiger said, “What a true dedication to local city service! And a lovely tribute to Bob. Well done!” Former Councilwoman Loretta Gragnani remarked, “Congratulations, Bob, enjoy your retirement.”

“Bob did a great job over the years. He was an asset to the Town and the Board. I’m sorry I missed the presentation. He deserved the honor,” said Parsippany Attorney Bob Garofalo Sr.

He was honored with a plaque from the Board of Adjustment members, presented to him by fellow member Davey Lane Willans.

Community Service Gets a Boost with New Woman’s Club Members

PARSIPPANY — Ginny Scala, Co-Chair for Membership, welcomed new members Nancy Choffo, Karen Landrigan, and Addie Burke Rufino on Monday, May 20, at the Elks Lodge on Parsippany Road during the Installation/Salad Supper for the Woman’s Club of Parsippany-Troy Hills.

Nancy, Karen, and Addie have already shown their commitment to the group by participating in several projects and activities that benefit the community. The Woman’s Club of Parsippany-Troy Hills is thrilled to welcome these three women into their growing group of enthusiastic volunteers, united in fellowship and service to promote projects that generate positive outcomes in education, culture, and civic betterment of the community.

The Woman’s Club of Parsippany-Troy Hills is a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) and the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs (NJSFWC), the largest volunteer women’s service organizations in the country and state.

These organizations provide opportunities for education, leadership training, and community service. General Meetings are held on the fourth Monday from September through April at 7:00 p.m.

Those interested in attending the next General Meeting to learn more about the club can call Ginny at (973) 887-0336, visit the website at parsippanywomansclub.org, email the club at womansclubofpth@gmail.com, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Parsippany Police Athletic League Partners with A3Digital Media

PARSIPPANY — The Parsippany Police Athletic League (PAL) proudly announces its strategic partnership with A3Digital Media, a leading digital marketing agency based in Parsippany. This collaboration aims to enhance community engagement and support local youth programs through innovative digital marketing strategies.

“We are excited to partner with A3Digital Media,” said Thomas Bushnauskas, head of the Parsippany PAL. “Their expertise will help us reach a wider audience and enhance our community programs.”

A3Digital Media will provide comprehensive digital marketing services to promote PAL’s events and initiatives, including content creation, lead generation, and branding.

For more information on A3Digital Media, click here.

Letter to the Editor: Mayor Barberio Criticized for Favoring Developers Over Residents

Dear Editor:

In a recent article, Parsippany Focus reported that HK Truck Center spent $3.68 million to purchase land between 10 and 30 Fanny Road. The company plans to redevelop the area, which is situated close to several major transportation routes, including the construction of a new state-of-the-art truck repair facility. 

As noted in the article, NAH James E Hanson’s Michael Walter stated, “With the limited supply of space for redevelopment in Morris County and the surrounding area, we are thrilled to have helped our client secure fair market value while allowing a tenant to continue their business at the space.”   

A limited supply of space for redevelopment in Morris County? Parsippany’s proximity to several major transportation hubs? Fair market value? No need to pay off the developers with 30-year PILOTs? 

Does Mayor Barberio know all of this? Not only ignorance, downright laziness, or greed can explain why the Mayor completely ignored his constituents’ best interest while kowtowing to the out-of-town developers and lawyer who represented them.      

With less than a year to go before the Republican primary for Mayor, Parsippany residents seem to deserve better than ignorance, laziness, and greed.  

Bob Crawford

Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Meeting Scheduled for May 21

PARSIPPANY — The Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Council has scheduled a meeting for Tuesday, May 21, at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will occur in the Council Chambers at 1001 Parsippany Boulevard within the Parsippany Municipal Building.

Formal action may or may not be taken.

Any individual who is qualified as a disabled person under the Americans with Disabilities Act may request auxiliary aids such as a sign interpreter or a tape recorder to be used for the meeting. Auxiliary aids must be requested at least 72 hours before the meeting date. Please call (973) 263-4351 to request an auxiliary aid.

Click here to download the agenda.

Click here for the 2024 calendar.

Mayor James Barberio
Council President Paul Carifi, Jr.
Council Vice President Frank Neglia
Councilman Justin Musella
Councilman Matt McGrath
Councilwoman Judy Hernandez

Parsippany Hills High School Key Club Hosts Relay for Life

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany Hills High School hosted “Relay for Life” on Saturday, May 18.

The event started at 5:00 p.m. with the opening ceremony and survivor celebration, which included a survivor dinner from The Miner’s Apron.

Survivor laps around the field

Followed by 5:30 to 8:30 with assorted activities, games, tournaments, and lap walking. At 6:00 p.m., a Frozen T-Shirt contest. At 6:30 p.m., Road-To-Recovery Car making, a race lap to follow which car makes it to the “Hope Lodge” the fastest.

At 7:00 p.m., Pure Barre of Morristown did a Pop-Up Class. 7:30 they held a water ballon toss; 8:00 p.m. Kickball Tournament. At 9:00 p.m., the Luminaria ceremony and closing at 9:30 to 10:00 was the fight back.

Throughout the day, activities included collecting lap beads, Jail-n-Bail, Face Painting, Field Goal Kicks, Yard Games, and fun-themed laps!

The students raised $17,284.45.

The three top teams were CerulloStrong, which raised $4,668; Answer For Cancer, which raised $4,054; and Team Morristown Rotary-Interact, which raised $2,302.

The top three individuals were Matthew and Robert Hemenway, who raised $2,476; Cori Mastropolo, who raised $ 1,903; and Shari Botta, who raised $810.

You can still donate by clicking here.

Relay For Life is the world’s largest volunteer-based fundraising event. For over 36 years, communities worldwide have come together to honor and remember loved ones and take action for lifesaving change. We strive to make this event as safe as possible and will follow local COVID-related guidelines.

At Relay For Life, community members take turns walking around a track lined with luminaria bags. In our first lap of the day, attendees had the opportunity to cheer for local survivors (or participate as survivors). Caregivers of cancer patients (currently or previously diagnosed) were invited to join the Survivors. Local entertainers will keep you energized.

The Parsippany Hills High School Key Club is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany.

BrightPath Learning Center Opens New Child Care Center

PARSIPPANY — A new child care center has opened in Parsippany. It offers high-quality daycare, pre-kindergarten, and preschool programs to provide young children with an educational experience.

On Saturday, May 11, Parsippany officials officially welcomed BrightPath Learning Center to the township. The center operates at 70 Old Bloomfield Avenue.

BrightPath Early Learning and Child Care accepts children from six weeks to six years old, focusing on their cognitive, social, and physical development through structured activities and child-led play.

Monica Zollo, the center director, was inspired to join the childcare field after her daughter’s birth, which made her realize the critical role of early childcare in development.

“With caring educators, our program is designed to provide children with quality care in a warm and nurturing environment,” Zollo stated. “Combining that commitment with our holistic approach to meaningful learning opportunities, BrightPath gives every child the best start in life.”

BrightPath has numerous locations across North America, but this is its first center in New Jersey. It is part of the Busy Bees childcare network, which operates over 150 United States and Canada centers.

Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor James Barberio and Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board Chairman Frank Cahill were among those who welcomed Zollo and the BrightPath bee mascot. The center also presented a check to the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany.

The center also presented a check to the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany.

“Quality childcare programs are essential for our entire community,” Barberio remarked. “They are lifelines for working families, enabling parents to set their children up for success in a very meaningful way.”

Cahill said, “BrightPath is deeply proud of its dedicated team of educators, who are passionately committed to crafting a personalized learning environment for children while maintaining the highest standards of curriculum excellence. Thank you for being a part of our community!”

BrightPath Early Learning and Child Care is located at 70 Old Bloomfield Avenue.

The child care center is licensed to care for 176 children. BrightPath offers financial assistance for families. You can take a virtual tour online or request an in-person tour. Their operating hours are 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Julia Vincent Named to Mount St. Mary’s University President’s List

PARSIPPANY — Julia Vincent of Lake Hiawatha is among 156 students named to the President’s List for the Spring 2024 semester at Mount St. Mary’s University, achieving a 4.0 grade point average. An additional 557 students are on the Dean’s List, for which a grade point average of 3.4 is required. She is a graduate of Parsippany High School, Class of 2020.

About Mount St. Mary’s University

Mount St. Mary’s University is a private, liberal arts, a Catholic university in the Catoctin Mountains near historic Emmitsburg, Maryland, with a satellite campus in Frederick, Maryland’s second-largest city. The university offers over 80 majors, minors, concentrations, and special programs for traditional undergraduate students and more than 20 adult undergraduate and graduate-level programs. The Mount includes Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, the second oldest in the United States, and the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, an idyllic shrine for spiritual reflection on the hill above the university.

I-287 Lane Closures Required in Both Directions in Parsippany

PARSIPPANY — I-287 is expected to have overnight lane closures in both directions over the next several months from I-80 in Parsippany-Troy Hills to Route 202 in Montville as a pavement preservation project begins in Morris County.

Beginning at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, May 20, until 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 21, and continuing nightly Monday through Friday at the same times through mid-summer 2024, a single lane on I-287 northbound and southbound is scheduled to be closed between I-80 and Route 202, with a second lane closed at 10:00 p.m. each night.

Lane closures are necessary to restripe and pave the roadway. At least one lane will be maintained during construction. Motorists are advised to slow down, use caution, and expect delays while driving through the work zone.

This work is part of a $5.5 million federally funded project that will preserve approximately five miles of pavement using High-Performance Thin Overlay (HPTO) on I-287 between I-80 in Parsippany-Troy Hills and Route 202 in Montville, Morris County. The project also includes paving most ramps within its limits.

This project is expected to be completed in fall 2024.

The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website by clicking here for real-time travel information.

“Click It or Ticket”: New Jersey Steps Up Seat Belt Compliance Efforts for Safer Roads: Parsippany awarded $8,750

MORRIS COUNTY — Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Division of Highway Traffic Safety (HTS) announced the start of the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which aims to raise awareness among drivers and passengers about the lifesaving importance of wearing seat belts.

The campaign, which will run through June 2, will leverage grant funding from HTS to provide resources to law enforcement agencies across the state so they can step up enforcement of New Jersey’s seat belt requirements to keep drivers and passengers safe on our roadways.

This year, 119 New Jersey law enforcement agencies have received $766,010 from HTS to help pay for increased road patrols, seat belt checkpoints, and other enforcement initiatives during the “Click It or Ticket” campaign. Parsippany was awarded $8750.00.

To view the 2024 grantee list, click here.

The campaign is part of HTS’s ongoing efforts to increase safety and reduce fatalities on New Jersey’s roadways. According to the most recent data from 2022, in New Jersey, there were 140 unbelted fatalities, and 39 percent of all motor vehicle occupant fatalities were unrestrained, compared to 44 percent nationally. Over the past five years, nearly 16 percent of all unrestrained occupants killed in motor vehicle crashes in New Jersey were between the ages of 20 and 24, compared to 13.5 percent nationally.

“Seat belts save lives – we want that message to be loud and clear. And the campaign we are announcing today will provide law enforcement agencies with resources to reinforce that basic but critical point,” Platkin said. “As we prepare for the busy summer driving season, we are laser-focused on ensuring safety on roadways across New Jersey. This starts with drivers and passengers buckling up when they enter a vehicle.”

“In New Jersey, a state known for its busy highways and beautiful shorelines, spending time on the road is inevitable. However, it’s important to prioritize safety no matter your destination,” said Michael J. Rizol Jr., Director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “Wearing your seatbelt is not only required by law, but it can also save your life. Remember to buckle up, day or night, every seat, every time.”

Law enforcement agencies throughout New Jersey take a “no-excuses” approach to seat belt compliance. The maximum penalty of a $46 fine for a seat belt violation serves as a reminder to buckle up every time.

Last year, law enforcement agencies participating in the “Click It or Ticket” campaign issued 6,989 seatbelt citations statewide, wrote 2,320 speeding summonses, and made 232 impaired driving arrests.

The “Click It or Ticket” campaign also coincides with the “101 Days of Summer,” considered the busiest and most dangerous travel period of the year. Beautiful weather and New Jersey’s countless entertainment and recreational destinations create heavy travel demands between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Over the next three months, HTS will continue to work closely with local, county, state, and national law enforcement agencies to make summer travel safer and strive to reduce crashes and fatalities throughout New Jersey.

Wonder’s Arrival in Parsippany Just Around the Corner

PARSIPPANY — Wonder, “a collection of delivery-first restaurants” and “new kind of food hall,” is adding to their collection of New Jersey locations. Parsippany.

Imagine 30 unique restaurants to choose from, delivered to your door in under 30 minutes. Wonder offers that experience to its customers.

Wonder aims to make world-class food accessible regardless of location. To achieve this, they have developed a vertically integrated, new standard of dining that allows people to enjoy menus from award-winning chefs and iconic restaurants across the country all in one place. Their elevated brick-and-mortar locations will provide options for pickup, dine-in, and home delivery.

Wonder is expanding as a food-tech startup backed by top-tier venture capitalists and led by a team of experienced entrepreneurs—including some of the most accomplished leaders in the technology, culinary, and logistics industries. They invite others to join them in pioneering a new dining category called “Fast-Fine” and revolutionizing how people eat.

Storefronts in Midland Park and Cresskill opened in late January. Additional locations include Hoboken, Springfield, and Westfield. A new location is planned to open soon in Ledgewood and Teterboro. They also have storefronts in New York.

Wonder’s corporate headquarters are located in Parsippany at 399 Jefferson Road.

Featuring “some of the world’s best chefs” (Bobby Flay, Jose Andres, Nancy Silverton) and “award-winning restaurants from across the country,” the multi-restaurant brand allows customers to order from any combination of concepts at each particular location.

Everything is made-to-order at their storefronts and delivered in under 30 minutes — pick-up and limited dine-in options are also available.

They will seek a preliminary and final major site plan with “C/D” Variance for a restaurant & signs located in the former Capital One Bank,  1295 Route 46, Block: 729 Lot: 1 Zone: O-3. The Parsippany-Troy Hills Zoning Board will hear their application on Wednesday, May 22.

Sons of the American Legion Post #249 Hosts First Annual Pasta Night

PARSIPPANY — Morris County Sons of Italy ~ Lodge 2561 (SOI) President Joe Jannarone Jr. received the call. One of Parsippany’s significant veterans organizations was planning its first Annual Pasta Night Fundraiser, and they were aware of the SOI’s culinary skills and willingness to help out local causes. Bringing it to the members’ attention, the group happily took only a minute to volunteer their services in a great community endeavor.

Over 70 Enjoy Pasta and Meatballs at Post 249’s First Annual Pasta Night

On May 18, Jannarone arrived at the Post early, armed with an array of cooking utensils, oversized pots and pans, 36 pounds of Penne Rigate pasta, and loads of meatballs, to begin preparations for the 6:00 p.m. dinner. Shortly thereafter, 12 SOI volunteers started to arrive to set up and start preparing the meal for the evening’s event. It was the Sons of the American Legion – Post 249’s first “Annual Pasta Night,” and a delicious pasta and meatballs dinner was clearly in order.

Morris County Sons of Italy Supports Veterans with Pasta Night Fundraiser

Post #249 is the Parsippany local American Legion Veterans Organization Post. It is a non-profit organization located at 91 North Beverwyck Road in Lake Hiawatha. The Post was founded in 1935 as Parsippanong American Legion Post #249. The Post’s charitable endeavors include providing a resource for Veterans Hospitals, scholarships for local youths, Toys for Tots, and a wide range of varied services to area veterans and the community.

Parsippany Sons of Italy Serve Up Pasta for a Cause

The Sons of the American Legion (SAL) is an American Legion program established to assist with veteran programs, activities, and fundraising. SAL members include males of all ages whose parents or grandparents served in the U.S. military and were eligible for American Legion membership.

Post #249, in addition to its regular membership, includes between 40 and 50 Sons of the American Legion and 46 members of the Women’s Auxiliary. The Post is always looking for new members and can be reached at (973) 335-9266 or via email: americanlegion249@gmail.com. The Post offers a large banquet room, which is available for parties, a full-sized, well-stocked bar, and a kitchen. It is deceptively large and could easily fit over 100 in the dining area alone. It provides an excellent venue to share camaraderie with old and new friends while enjoying a cocktail. How could you go wrong at $3.00 for a 12 oz beer, $5.00 for mixed drinks, and $4.00 for a glass of wine?

Joe Jannarone Jr. and SOI Members Cook Up Support for Veterans

Congratulations to Event Coordinator Steve Giersyk, Women’s Auxiliary President Michele Silver, and Commander Michael Poplawski on a successful event. Over 70 members and guests were in attendance to share a fun time filled with delectable food (salads, breads, assorted desserts, and, of course, all the pasta and meatballs you could eat). DJ Nick, Anytime Entertainment, kept it lively and entertaining.  Plus, many walked away with a door prize, raffle prize, or the 50/50. 

Some local dignitaries on hand included Parsippany Mayor James Barberio, Councilmen Frank Neglia, Justin Musella, and former Councilman Michael dePierro.

Post 249 is also scheduled for its Annual Picnic at Lenape Park in Lake Hiawatha on September 14. This event will feature the “All You Can Eat” picnic fare, which many long-time attendees always look forward to.

Post 249 is Closed on Tuesdays. Open Wednesday – Monday, 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Unless Flag is down.

American Legion Post 249’s Pasta Night a Hit with Community
Parsippany Mayor James Barberio Joins Community for Annual Pasta Night at Post 249

Assembly Health Committee Approves Bill to Combat Underage Smoking and Vaping

MORRIS COUNTY — The Assembly Health Committee approved a trio of bills aimed at combating the rising use of tobacco and vaping products, especially among young people.

The proposed legislation includes increasing penalties for prohibited sales, mandating inspections for retailers, and establishing guidelines for schools to create public awareness campaigns about the dangers of smoking and vaping.

“Smoking and vaping can cause devastating and irreversible damage,” said Assemblyman Herb Conaway, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee (D-Burlington). “Too many of our youth are using tobacco and vaping products, and that needs to stop. The bills we advanced today are designed to help curb underage usage of these products.”

Bill A3992, sponsored by Assemblyman Michael Venezia, Assemblyman Conaway, and Assemblywoman Tennille McCoy, proposes increased penalties for certain prohibited sales of tobacco and vapor products. Bill A2388, sponsored by Assemblyman William Spearman and Assemblyman Conaway, requires more frequent cigarette and vapor product dealer inspections. Bill A2029, sponsored by Assemblywoman Shanique Speight, Assemblyman Conaway, and Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, directs the New Jersey Departments of Education (NJDOE) and Health (NJDOH) to develop guidelines for school districts and higher education institutions on student vaping awareness campaigns.

A3992 would expand the definition of “tobacco product” to include any product containing, made of, or derived from tobacco or nicotine and affiliated accessories. This includes vapor products, snuff, hookahs, filters, rolling papers, and similar items. The bill would also increase penalties for retailers selling “tobacco products” to anyone under 21 – up to $750 for the first offense, up to $1,500 for the second offense, and up to $3,000 for subsequent offenses.

“Safeguarding the health and well-being of our youth should be a priority,” said Assemblyman Venezia (D-Essex). “Updating terminology and extending regulations to encompass all tobacco products and accessories is a crucial measure in our commitment to shielding our young people from the dangers of addiction and its lifelong impacts.”

Assemblywoman McCoy (D-Mercer, Middlesex) added, “Tobacco products, particularly e-cigarettes and vapes, have become a significant health epidemic among our youth. This bill prioritizes the health and well-being of our constituents by strengthening existing laws to discourage young people from accessing tobacco products and revealing the associated risks.”

A2388 would allow county or municipal law enforcement, under the direction of the Attorney General or Commissioner of the NJDOH, to conduct a minimum of two annual inspections of retailers, serve and execute summonses for violations, and forfeit vapor products found in violation. Retailers in violation would receive a three-month follow-up.

“We want to discourage retailers from selling tobacco products violating the law,” said Assemblyman Spearman (D-Camden, Gloucester). “With the rise of e-cigarette and vape usage among teens and young adults, regular inspections will enable us to address challenges before they escalate into serious issues.”

A2029 would assist school districts, colleges, and universities in communicating with students about the risks of vaping by instructing the NJDOE and NJDOH to create guidelines for on-campus anti-vaping campaigns. These campaigns would be multi-tiered, offering decision-making tools and age-specific marketing materials with information about the consequences of vaping on physical and mental health, pregnancy, workplace environments, and exposure to young children.

“Peer trends frequently influence children and young adults. While some trends, like the latest TikTok dance, may be harmless, others, like smoking, can have significant and lasting consequences,” said Assemblywoman Speight (D-Essex). “Empowering schools to engage with their student body and provide education on resisting peer pressure and staying safe helps reduce the number of youths who try smoking or vaping.”

“A study by the University of North Carolina found that ‘Real Cost’ prevention ads decreased youth susceptibility to vaping and smoking cigarettes,” said Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer, Hunterdon). “This bill would translate that research into practice by providing schools with guidelines to help facilitate the implementation of on-campus anti-vaping campaigns tailored for adolescents and young adults.”

Marine Patrol Unit of Morris County Sheriff’s Office Gears Up for Lake Season

MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Unit will again assist the New Jersey State Police keep everyone safe this summer. Regular tours of duty are already underway.

Like all years, this year’s emphasis will be on ensuring a safe and fun experience. The sheriff’s office said a great way to accomplish this is by following boating safety practices.

Officials said children 12 years old and under must wear a Coast Guard-approved, properly fitted personal flotation device (PFD).

All emergencies should be reported by calling 9-1-1, and all other issues can be resolved by contacting the New Jersey State Police at (973) 663-3400.

The Morris County Sheriff’s Office offers these safe boating tips:

  • The operator must have an operator license, valid registration, and boating safety certificate in possession.
  • Personal flotation devices (PFDs) must be available for all passengers. Children 12 years old and under must wear PFDs while the vessel is moving.
  • A throwable seat cushion or ring buoy must be available.
  • The vessel must have an adequate horn or whistle and an approved fire extinguisher.
  • Navigation lights must be on between sunset and sunrise.
  • Be aware of your swimming capability.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Check local weather conditions before departure.
  • Use common sense—operate at a safe speed, stay alert, and respect navigational aids and other boaters.

“Remember, boating safety for all boaters and passengers. Have a life jacket and always wear it while boating. Accidents on the water happen too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket,” the sheriff’s office said.

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