Tuesday, December 18, 2018
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Ground Breaking Ceremony for new Education Center at Craftsman Farms

Vonda Givens, Executive Director at Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, Eric Holtermann of HMR Architects, Project Manager Jon Maass, Councilwoman Loretta Gragnani, Kurt Leasure of HMR Architects, Councilman Michael dePierro, Janet Foster of the NJ Historic Trust and Board President Barbara Weiskittel

PARSIPPANY — The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms broke ground on its new Education Center on Wednesday, December 12.

The Education Center project will preserve and rehabilitate a garage building, one of the nine original  Gustav Stickley-era buildings on the 30-acre historic property.

While protecting the garage’s remaining historic fabric, the building’s interior will be rehabilitated for use as a meeting, conference and program space.  The new multi-use space will more than double the museum’s current program facilities.

The building’s two upper levels, which were destroyed by fire around 1950, will be rebuilt and used for collections and archive storage and administrative offices.

In addition, the new Education Center will provide a beautiful new entrance to this 30-acre National Historic Landmark, which is open for tours year round and welcomes visitors from around the world. Once the new Center is open for use, the museum’s shop, located currently in the kitchen of Gustav Stickley’s home, the Log House, will move into its former program space, paving the way for restoration of the home’s kitchen.

Before the Groundbreaking, attendees were invited to warm up with coffee and write “Wishes for Craftsman Farms” on the walls of the old building.

Then Board President Barbara Weiskittel welcomed Groundbreaking attendees, which included Township Officials, Museum Trustees, Advisory Council Members, Volunteers, Museum Members, and supporters from around the state.

Vonda Givens, Executive director, spoke about the determination and years of work leading to the groundbreaking and thanked everyone involved. She particularly noted the early support of the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills, which helped the organization secure additional funding to get the project off the ground. After remarks and photos, attendees were invited to see the holiday decorations in the Log House and enjoy refreshments in the museum shop.

Front View of the new Education Center
Architecture drawing of the new Education Center
The groundbreaking for the new Education Center
Vonda Givens, Executive director at Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, addressing the attendees
Board of Trustees and Advisory Council: Mitch Codding, Nancy Willans, Jayne Beline, Jill Thomas-Clark, Lynn Leeb, Joe Jannarone, Vonda Givens, Ted Lytwyn, Barbara Weskittel, Julie Peterson, Davey Willans, Mike dePierro, Dave Rudd, Laura Russell, Debbie Goldwein, Pete Mars, Tom Menard and Tom Bird

The Education Center is funded by a grant of Open Space funds from the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills, a grant from the Morris County Historic Preservation Trust and the museum’s Education Center Capital Campaign project.

Fundraising is ongoing and support is welcomed. For more information, call (973) 540-0311 or email info@stickleymuseum.org.

Swarali Academy held first musical recital

Swarali Academy Winter Concert

PARSIPPANY — Swarali Academy just held their first musical recital a Winter Concert on Sunday, December 16 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Mountain Lakes.

The event had over 30 performances; vocal solo and group Indian Classical/ Bollywood songs, keyboard and Guitar. Each and every student did a great job.

The event opened with Indian National Anthem on Keyboard by Eshaan Bhansali and Krish Jain accompanies by their instructor on the Guitar Mr. Ajit Pachegaokar.  The audience joined in and song the National Anthem.

The next performance was praising Lord Ganesh in Raag Yaman by Kajal Ranade, Aarjun Bodade, Kimaya Kamdaar, Yashica Patange, Riddhi Deshpande and Riya Rewankar. This was followed by a solo performance by Ishita Gunisetti, she sang alankars of raag Bilawal. Prisha Bhawsar played Achyutam keshavam, an Indian prayer. There were many performances such as Jingle bells by Aardhya, Satvik and Amrit on Keyboard to bring the holiday spirits up! Vrishti played Aura Lee, Sidhhant Bhansali played Down the valley/Yankee Doodle and Areyan Bordawekar played Mary had a little lamb/London Bridge on guitar.

Adults performed solo singing were Rashmi, Amit, Manisha, Sanjay, Yogesh, Guncha, Brinda and Kajal who mesmerized the audience with their beautiful voices and songs.

The event went on flawlessly for 2½ hours. Event finale where all the students; kids and adults performed Ishwar Ya allah prayer along with Mile sur mera tumhara was enjoyed by everyone.

Our chief guests were Mr. Sushant Yadav, an accomplished Pianist and Mr. Abhijit Pachegaokar, a a very talented Singer.

Instructors are Ajit Pachegaokar is a legendary artist, a guitarist, from Bollywood. Ajit teaches students Keyboard and Guitar to kids as well adults. Ajit has worked in Bollywood for over 50 years and has accompanied many legendary artists as well as played in Bollywood movies. Shweta Ranade, Hindustani classically trained vocalist, teaches vocal to kids as well as adults. Shweta is an accomplished singer and has performed in over 400 concerts all over the US and India.

For more information visit their Facebook page by clicking here.

Kent Place Announces Admission Events in January

The Kent Place School is a highly selective all-girls independent college-preparatory day school serving students in preschool through twelfth grade in Summit

SUMMIT — The Admission Office at Kent Place School, an independent, college-preparatory day school for girls and young women, with a coed Preschool, announces its Curriculum Panel for prospective families on Tuesday, January 8 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The panel will feature Kent Place faculty, college advisors, young alumnae and will be moderated by Julie Gentile, Kent Place Director of Studies.

A broad range of opportunities for leadership, social development, and responsible citizenship are offered in Kent Place’s Preschool, Primary, Middle and Upper Schools. Independent thinking and personal development are integral to the learning experience at Kent Place.

We are a school community with clearly defined scholastic, moral and behavioral standards, committed to a challenging academic, creative and physical curriculum. Kent Place offers a multi-dimensional and comprehensive educational experience combining academic challenge with a richness of activities, athletics and community endeavors. Kent Place seeks motivated students who are eager to learn and take advantage of the many opportunities the school offers. We encourage applications from families of all racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. We value the wide range of interests and talents that all of our students bring to the school.

Applications for the 2019-2020 school year are now being accepted and are due by January 10, 2019. For more information about Kent Place or the Admission events, please contact the Admission Office at (908) 273-0900 or e-mail at admission@kentplace.org. You may visit the Kent Place Admission Office online by clicking here.

Two Parsippany residents graduate from Campbellsville University

Campbellsville University

PARSIPPANY — Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, told 680 undergraduate and graduate students in two commencement ceremonies Friday, Dec. 7, the largest in the history of the university, to thank those who helped them along their journey and that today will be a day they will remember.

A total of 1,653 students received their diplomas for the 2017-18 academic year. Diplomas are given upon completion of all academic requirements.

Carter welcomed those attending and told them December 7 was a “very historic day” when soldiers sacrificed tremendously on Pearl Harbor Day December 7, 1941 as Japan attacked the United States leading the U.S. into World War II.

Gnaneswar Kasaragadda of Lake Hiawatha graduated with Master of Science in Information Technology Management.

Sai Kiran Surreddy of Lake Hiawatha graduated with Master of Science in Information Technology Management.

Campbellsville University is a widely-acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 13,000 students offering more than 90 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The university has off-campus centers in Kentucky cities Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset, Hodgenville and Liberty with Kentucky instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville. The university also has a full complement of online programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.

Six Mennen Sports Arena Skaters to Participate in US Figure Skating Juvenile Nationals

Ryan Xie and Dalila DeLaura

MORRISTOWN — On Friday, January 18 through Sunday, January 20, six of Mennen Sports Arena’s very own skaters will be heading to Detroit Michigan to participate in the United States Figure Skating Juvenile Nationals. It is the first year Mennen Sports Arena has skaters entered in each of the four different disciplines.

The hard work and countless hours on the ice for Dalila DeLaura and Isabella Bickenbach of Chatham, Drake Ton of Forest Hills, NY, Ryan Xie of Hillsborough, Antonio Manaco of Whitehouse Station, and Ava Ziegler of Dover has officially paid off as they join the best of the best from across the country this upcoming January.

Ranging from ages 11 – 13, these talented skaters are all members of The Skating Club of Morris headquartered at Mennen Sports Arena or train at Mennen Sports Arena in Morris Township and have traveled across the country to compete. But that’s not all! The young athletes dedicate up to 20 hours per week on the ice and participate in off-ice fitness, such as yoga and ballet training to help with strength and flexibility.

“The dedication and passion these skaters bring at such a young age is truly an inspiration,” says Whitney Trif, Skating School Administrator at Mennen Sports Arena. “We are already so proud of what they have accomplished, and this is just the beginning.” Mennen Sports Arena will be sending 6 out of the total 48 competitors nationwide!

Juvenile Pacific Coast Sectional Silver Medalists Isabella Bickenbach and Drake Tong will be competing in the Juvenile Dance Team category, while Juvenile Eastern Sectional Gold Medalists Dalila DeLaura and Ryan Xie represent the Juvenile Pairs Team. Competing in the Juvenile Boys category is Juvenile North Atlantics Bronze Medalist and Juvenile Eastern Sectional Bronze Medalist Antonio Manaco, and Juvenile North Atlantics Gold Medalist and Juvenile Eastern Sectional Gold Medalist Ava Ziegler represents Juvenile Girls.

The Morris County Park Commission features one of the region’s best park systems in the state of New Jersey. It currently protects and maintains 20,197 acres at 38 distinct sites plus offers a year-round calendar of events and activities for all to enjoy!

Green Morris Holidays: Recycle Your Gift Wrap and Boxes, Plus Other Holiday Recycling Advice

MORRIS COUNTY — Holiday gift-giving can be fun and generous and rewarding …. and the materials those gifts are wrapped in can easily outsize your trash cans. The boxes and paper and protective wrap produce an extra 1 million tons of trash across the nation, and Morris County is not immune.

To help make this a more environmentally friendly holiday season, especially as we approach Christmas Day, the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority urges county residents to use the general guide below to reduce the load. Be sure to check out your town’s website or go to www.mcmua.com for a listing of material that is acceptable in your curbside recycling program.

Holiday trash causes an extra 1 million tons of trash.
Recycle curbside — or reuse

    • Paper gift wrap – without sparkles, raised pattern or foil look
    • Sheets of tissue paper
    • Boxes, both corrugated and gift
    • Plastic bottles and containers coded 1, 2 or 5
    • Clean and dry aluminum cans, food trays and pie plates
    • Loose metal caps and jar lids
    • Glass jars and bottles
    • Cartons and boxes for milk, juice and soup

 Trash — or reuse

    • Ribbon and bows
    • Gift wrap with sparkles, raised patterns or foil look
    • Bubble wrap (Some small shippers will reuse.)
    • Packing peanuts (Some small shippers will reuse.)
    • Uncoded plastic of any type
    • Plastic containers coded 3, 4, 6, or 7
    • All plastic caps
    • ALL paper plates, cups, plastic lids, straws and utensils, even if they are unused.
    • To-go coffee cups and lids. Please get a reusable one.
    • Plastic rings from 6-packs

Special recycling:

Clean, dry plastic bags can be dropped off at many area grocery stores where they are sent to a recycler who manufactures them into composite lumber. Click here to find a location. Please do NOT put plastic bags into curbside recycling, where they end up damaging recycling machinery, costing taxpayers money.

E-waste (electronics) recycling such as TVs, computers, tablets, laptops, monitors, desktop printers and desktop faxes is mandated by state law. They are banned from the garbage; please do not leave them at the curb where scavengers can rip out valuable metals and leave a hazardous waste mess behind. The MCMUA, many municipalities, and several retail outlets provide free e-waste recycling. Visit the website for more information.

Battery recycling and disposalThe MCMUA and most towns now advise putting disposable alkaline AA and AAA in the garbage. For more information visit MCMUA.com or click here. Rechargeable batteries can be brought to Parsippany Recycling Center, 1 Pumphouse Road.

Natural Christmas trees:  In Parsippany, you can leave your Christmas trees out on your normal recycling day. Check with your municipality for guidelines. MCMUA does not recycle trees from homeowners.

Strings of holiday lights are accepted by some scrap metal dealers, but call first. Recycling guidelines vary. Click here  to check with your municipality.

For ideas and information on recycling, visit Earth911.com, DEP wastewise.

“The amount of trash that haulers collect increases dramatically during the holidays,” said Chris Vidal, of the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority’s Recycling Department. “Much of that is gift wrap and packaging that can be reused or recycled.” For more information on single stream recycling at MCMUA by clicking here.

Nikolajs Grinvalds Named to Elmira College Dean’s List for Fall 2018 Term

Elmira College earned the school recognition among the nation’s Colleges of Distinction
Nikolajas Grinvalds

PARSIPPANY — Nikolajs Grinvalds, a 2105 Graduate of Parsippany High School, has been named to the Elmira College Dean’s List for the Fall 2018 Term. Full-time students who achieve a grade point average of 3.600 or higher at the end of any Term I or Term II are placed on the Dean’s List at the college.

Founded in 1855, Elmira College is a private, residential, liberal arts college offering 30-plus majors, an honors program, 17 academic honor societies, and 20 Division III varsity teams. Located in the Southern Finger Lakes Region of New York, Elmira’s undergraduate and graduate student population hails from more than 20 states and nine countries. Elmira is a Phi Beta Kappa College and has been ranked a top college, nationally, for student internships. The College is also home to the Center for Mark Twain Studies, one of four historically significant Twain heritage sites in the U.S., which attracts Twain scholars and educators from around the world for research on the famous literary icon. Proud of its history and tradition, the College is committed to the ideals of community service, and intellectual and individual growth.

Founded in 1855, Elmira College is a private, residential, liberal arts college offering 30-plus majors, an honors program, 17 academic societies, and 20 Division III varsity teams. Located in the Southern Finger Lakes Region of New York, Elmira’s undergraduate and graduate student population hails from more than 20 states and nine countries.

Elmira is a Phi Beta Kappa College and has been ranked a top college, nationally, for student internships. The College is also home to the Center for Mark Twain Studies, one of four historically significant Twain heritage sites in the U.S., which attracts Twain scholars and educators from around the world for research on the famous literary icon.

Proud of its history and tradition, the College is committed to the ideals of community service, and intellectual and individual growth.

CCM Career Programs Open House

RANDOLPH — Looking to fulfill your dreams for a rewarding career but need options that work with your busy schedule and do not take a lot of time? Attend the Workforce Development Continuing Professional Education Open House at County College of Morris (CCM) and discover the wide range of certificate and professional development programs that are available.

The Open House takes place Tuesday, January 15, (snow date Wednesday, January 16) from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Student Community Center, Davidson Rooms, 214 Center Grove Road, Randolph. Instructors will be on hand to provide an overview of courses and certificate programs and to answer questions.

Also being offered are several workshops to assist with the job search process. Just prior to the Open House, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., attendees can take part in Creating a Resume for Today’s Job Market or Job Search in the Digital Age. Also from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. two other workshops will be offered, LinkedIn: What’s in Your Profile? and Nailing Your Interview: Do’s and Don’ts.

Courses and certificate programs available this Spring Semester, starting in January and beyond, include:

    •             Business Programs: Project Management, Supply Chain Management, MS Office, HR Professional Management, Leadership Development
    •             Engineering: Auto CAD, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Solid Modeling CAD Inventor and SolidWorks Information Technology: R, C#, C++, Python, CompTIA® A+, Network+ and Security+, Web Design
    •             Health Care: Peer Recovery Specialist, Medical Billing/Coding, Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, North Jersey Imaging Academy Certification, Nurse’s Aide.

Other offerings include Six Sigma, Nonprofit Leadership, QuickBooks and WordPress. CCM Workforce Development also has extensive corporate and business programs, including focused one-day classes in business and computer skills.  To learn more click here.

Representative-Elect Mikie Sherrill announces Senior Staff

Mikie Sherrill

PARSIPPANY — Representative-Elect Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) named Ethan Saxon, a 12-year veteran of the legislative branch, as her Chief of Staff, senior campaign staff Kellie Doucette and Jill Hirsch as District Directors, and Jackie Burns as Communications Director.

“We’re building a team of skilled, passionate, and committed people who are dedicated to serving the people of our community,” said Congresswoman-Elect Sherrill.  “I’m thrilled to have Ethan (Saxon) join our team and to have Jill (Hirsch), Kellie (Doucette), and Jackie (Burns), who played such vital roles during our campaign, continue their work on behalf of the 11th District.”

Ethan Saxon (Chief of Staff) the former Deputy Chief of Staff to Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), brings experience, knowledge, and expertise to the Congresswoman-Elect’s office. Saxon previously served as Democratic Staff Director of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and as senior advisor to two former members of the House Armed Services Committee. His work as an Analyst on the BRAC Commission supports the Congresswoman-elect’s commitment to protecting Picatinny Arsenal.

Kellie Doucette (Morris and Sussex Counties; office outreach) served as the campaign’s Constituency Director, coordinating outreach to various groups across the district. In 2017, Doucette served as the campaign manager for three Democratic candidates for Chatham Township Committee, and prior to entering the political sphere, she spent over 15 years working as both a healthcare policy analyst and as an healthcare actuary.

Jill Hirsch (Essex and Passaic Counties; casework and constituent services) helped launch the Sherrill campaign in May 2017 and served as the Political and Outreach Director. Hirsch holds a joint degree in Law and Social Work and worked as a Law Guardian at the Legal Aid Society in New York City, bringing her years of experience helping others to oversee the office’s constituent services.

Jackie Burns (Communications Director) joined the Sherrill campaign in the fall of 2017 and will join the Congresswoman in her D.C. office. Burns spent five years on Capitol Hill at the House of Representatives’ Office of the Historian.

Adopt Queenie, a 2-year-old Cocker Spaniel/Dachshund mix

PARSIPPANY — Meet Queenie, a 2-year-old Cocker Spaniel/Dachshund mix!

Queenie was rescued from a local, municipal shelter where she was surrendered due to medical issues. When she was brought there, they claimed she was paralyzed. Fortunately, with some amazing rehabilitation, Queenie is now able to walk…and even run!

While she has made so much progress, she does need a little help with stairs and getting onto the couch for snuggles. She will need a home that is able to continue her rehabilitation to make sure her spinal issue doesn’t return.

Queenie is very sweet and loves to cuddle on the couch with her human foster sister and mom. She also loves playing with her foster kitty sister and is good around cats. Queenie is dog-selective and a meet and greet is required.

Queenie is potty trained and crate trained–she’s a smart girl! Her favorite activities include snuggling on the couch watching TV, playing with her stuffy toys, and chewing on her nylabone.

If you’re looking for a sweet dog to add to your family, apply to adopt Queenie!

If you are interested in adopting Queenie, please fill out an application by clicking here.

Follow Wise Animal Rescue on Instagram by clicking here.
Like Wise Animal Rescue on Facebook by clicking here.

Five Ways to Streamline HR Tasks with Budget-Friendly Web Apps

MORRIS COUNTY — Join the NJSBDC of Northwest Jersey on Wednesday, January 23 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. our partner ComplyRight will be hosting this webinar.

Hiring, recordkeeping, time and attendance tracking, employee discipline, filing 1099 and W2s … all of these tasks create overhead expenses and detract from revenue-generating activities.

Do you know just how much manual, paper-based processes are costing your business? In the U.S., companies spend more than $120 billion a year on printed forms, most of which become outdated within three months. Switching to cloud-based apps could cut the cost and streamline your HR processes. But which ones? The key to success is choosing the right apps for your business.

Register now to learn:

  • The top HR functions that can easily be handled with inexpensive cloud apps
  • The “5 degrees of integration” that determine whether cloud apps will really save you time
  • The single biggest benefit you can gain from using cloud apps for HR
  • The four warning signs that a cloud vendor may not be a good choice
Jaime Lizotte

About the presenter
Jaime Lizotte is the HR Solutions Manager at ComplyRight, Inc. Passionate about HR, Jaime applies her previous hands-on HR experience to develop innovative products for ComplyRight.

Over the past six years, she has managed and developed solutions ranging from training and safety products to HR and tax software.

She currently focuses on making HR management easier for employers with next-generation online services.

Click here to register for this free event.

Former State Senator John Dorsey passed away

Freeholder-elect John Krickus with Former State Senator John Dorsey. File Photo (C) Parsippany Focus

BOONTON — Former State Senator John Dorsey, 80, passed away on Sunday, December 16. Dorsey grew up in Boonton and graduated from Yale University and Yale Law School.  He served six years in the U.S. Army Reserves, and was an Assistant Morris County Counsel.

Dorsey was born on December 26, 1937, in Newark and resided in Boonton Township. In the 1977 elections, Dorsey faced incumbent Democrat Stephen B. Wiley, who had been one of the prime sponsors of the Public School Education Act of 1975, which expanded state aid to public school districts. Dorsey had served in the Assembly on the Taxation Committee and was an opponent of the state income tax bill that Wiley had supported.

The Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders offer their deepest sympathy to the family of former state Senator John Dorsey. We concur with the message posted on his law firm’s website (Dorsey & Semrau in Boonton), which reads, “Mentor, Friend, Attorney and Public Servant.”

Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen congratulating Former State Senator John Dorsey and John Sette in 2015. (c) Parsippany Focus

Senator Dorsey was a dedicated public servant who loved his state and county and put his strong imprint on state government during his 18 years in the Legislature, serving in the State Assembly from 1976 to 1978 and in the state Senate from 1978 to 1994.

He also provided legal services to Morris County numerous municipalities, with especially long service to Parsippany-Troy Hills, Rockaway Township, Hanover and Mount Olive townships, and government agencies, including the Morris County Municipal Joint Insurance Fund.

Senator Dorsey will be missed by his colleagues in the legal and political community to whom he long offered his wisdom and knowledge.  The Board of Freeholders regret his passing and offer our condolences to his family and friends.

Relatives and friends are invited to visit at the Dangler, Lewis & Carey Funeral Home, 312 West Main Street, Boonton on Friday, December 21 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

There will be a service at St. John’s Church, 226 Cornelia St, Boonton, on Saturday, December 22 at 11:00 a.m. followed by interment at Whitehall Methodist Church Cemetery, Towaco.

Parsippany has been named #1 place to live in New Jersey by Money Magazine

Rainbow Lakes. Photo by Jack Weinstein

PARSIPPANY — Every year, MONEY ranks the Best Places to Live in the U.S. Because of the criteria considered, some states end up being represented more than once—and others not at all. Now, using data from that ranking, they crunched the numbers to find the best place to live in every state. As in their previous rankings, they considered everything from the cost of buying a home to median household income. The results surfaced favorite stand-bys, well-known cities, and plenty of hidden gems. Parsippany has been ranked #1 place to live in New Jersey.

“While the choice of where you live is a personal one, this ranking aims to highlight notable cities—maybe even your own—all across the country. Here are the 50 places that are the best in their states,” Shaina Mishkin.

Mayor Michael Soriano stated “Between our diverse community, our schools and the low crime, and the volunteer culture and cultural activities we have here, Parsippany a truly unique community in New Jersey.  I’m proud to lead New Jersey’s #1 community.”

“Parsippany has a deep-rooted history and culture of neighbors and friends helping one another and being raised in Parsippany. I saw this first hand. Parsippany is the best place to live due to our residents, dedicated volunteers and township employees,” said Robert Peluso, former VP of the Council and current volunteer chairman of Economic Development Advisory Committee.

According to Money Magazine a few things that make Parsippany stand out are:

Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey

Population: 53,910
Median Household Income: $95,779
Median Home Listing Price: $549,000

New York commuters looking for a good place to raise a family should consider Parsippany-Troy Hills, only thirty miles away from Manhattan. The area has among the best public schools in the state: 96% of city high school students graduate, and students outpace the national math and reading test averages by wide margins. Violent and property crimes are significantly lower in Parsippany-Troy Hills compared to the rest of the country, and the city is slightly more diverse than the rest of the state. Plus, the town isn’t just for urbanites: Parsippany-Troy Hills boasts 30 parks, including Knoll Park, Lake Parsippany Park, and Cameron Dog Park—and is so green it became an Arbor Day Foundation-designated Tree City USA.


Bucco bill increasing school bus safety moves to governor’s desk

MORRIS COUNTY — The Assembly advanced legislation to improve school bus safety by requiring school district transportation supervisors to complete a training program. Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco sponsored the bill (A2436) following a rash of school bus crashes, including a fatal wreck involving a Paramus school district bus.

Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco

“Creating a culture of school-bus safety begins with supervisors at the top,” said Bucco (R-Morris). “Recent accidents raise serious concerns about the supervision of the drivers entrusted with the lives of our children. Well-trained managers will ensure their drivers are dedicated to obeying the rules and protecting their young passengers.”

New hires and those with less than 11 years’ experience are required to complete the 138-hour Rutgers transportation rules and best practices course.

The Assembly passed Bucco’s bill in June, and voted today to adopt Senate amendments that set deadlines for course completion. The legislation now goes to the governor for his consideration.

Pennacchio/Turner Innocence Commission to Aid NJ’s Wrongfully-Convicted Passes Senate 

Exoneree Anthony Ways, Senator Joe Pennacchio, Exoneree Jean Dorval, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Nick Scutari, Exoneree Rodney Roberts, and advocate Lesley Risinger. All were present for the Oct. 29 committee passage of S-406, which will bring justice to the wrongfully convicted

MORRIS COUNTY — The New Jersey Senate has passed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Shirley Turner to create a commission that would develop reforms and create a pathway to justice for those who have been wrongfully convicted in New Jersey.

“Our innocence commission would address a wide variety of issues facing people who have been wrongfully convicted – from reintegrating back into society, to getting the compensation they deserve,” Senator Pennacchio explained. “The commission would also consider establishing a permanent panel that could review cases when our system fails.

“Innocent people should not spend a single day behind bars, but it happens all the time – even in New Jersey. I hope that our colleagues in the Assembly will listen to the stories we have shed light on throughout our journey to pass this bill. These people shouldn’t have to wait a moment longer for justice,” Pennacchio added.

Senators Pennacchio and Turner introduced S-406 more than a year ago, following  reports of wrongful conviction cases in New Jersey. The legislators have worked diligently with advocates and exonerated prisoners to highlight the need for their commission.

“Being forced to plead guilty, knowing you’re innocent, is one of the worst things that could happen to an innocent person,” Rodney Roberts, a New Jersey exoneree whose story has been highlighted by the Innocence Project, said. “But it happens more than you think. Then to find out later that, despite being exonerated, your guilty plea will keep you from getting compensation, is like being punished a second time for a crime you didn’t commit.”

Nationwide, more than 2,000 wrongfully convicted persons have been exonerated since 1989, according to the National Registry on Exonerations. However, the Registry estimates that there are tens of thousands of false convictions annually, with many more piling up over time.

“Nothing can return the time lost with loved ones or milestones missed when a wrongful conviction steals years from an innocent person’s life,” Senator Turner (D-15). “While we often consider the impact this has on an individual’s personal life, we need to remember it also stifles their potential lifetime earnings as well as threatening the financial security of themselves and their families. This legislation will help us identify how to prevent wrongful convictions and create an avenue to better address wrongful convictions when they do occur. We must do everything in our power to ensure those who have been wrongfully convicted are given justice, restorations, and the tools they need to successfully reenter society.”

About Pennacchio/Turner’s S-406: “The New Jersey Innocence Study and Review Commission”

The “New Jersey Innocence Study and Review Commission,” as established by S-406, would review all aspects of criminal cases involving wrongful conviction in New Jersey and recommend reforms to reduce the likelihood of wrongful conviction occurring in the future.

Under S-406, the commission must consider a specific recommendation for establishing a permanent panel before which a person who believes they have been the victim of a wrongful conviction could request a review of their own conviction, including those that are currently incarcerated.

The commission’s responsibilities would also include:

  • Identifying the main causes of wrongful conviction and studying existing research on these causes;
  • Recommending best practices to appropriate constituencies
  • Examining the existing system of restitution to compensate wrongfully convicted persons
  • Studying successful programs that assist with reintegration back into society following release

S-406 has received the support of a number of advocates, including Lesley Risinger, the founder and director of The Last Resort Exoneration Project at Seton Hall Law School, which provides pro-bono legal and investigative services to wrongfully convicted people in New Jersey.

“Conviction of the innocent is an abject failure of any criminal justice system,” Risinger said. “Creating the New Jersey Innocence Study and Review Commission would be an important step in addressing this problem. We believe in a collaborative approach that should take into account the views of all who have participated in the exoneration of the innocent in New Jersey, as well as the views and experiences of the exonerated innocent themselves. If this bill passes, we will of course stand ready to assist the commission as they move forward to study the ways in which our criminal justice system fails the innocent, both before and after conviction, and we look forward to providing our insights on measures to alleviate this problem.”

The legislation has also received the support of the NAACP New Jersey State Conference.

“The New Jersey State Conference of the NAACP is in full support of Senate Bill 406 which looks to create the New Jersey Innocence Study and Review Commission,” Safeer Z. Quraishi, administrative director of the NJ NAACP, said. “It is obvious that nobody should feel the devastating effects of incarceration if they did not commit the crime. We are looking forward to seeing the recommendations made by the Commission to reduce wrongful incarceration in New Jersey.”

“Rodney Roberts languished in prison for 17 years. AJ Nash was there for 10. This is a travesty of the highest magnitude. Policy changes like bail reform are meaningless, if we aren’t solving the systemic issues that allow innocent people to stay locked up,” Pennacchio added. “Our search for justice should know no bounds. Now that our bill has passed the Senate, I hope that the Assembly will take up the measure immediately. If this isn’t a time sensitive piece of legislation, I don’t know what is.”

Wendy Walker Named General Manager of Chewsi

Wendy Walker

PARSIPPANY — Chewsi, a first-of-its-kind service that connects patients directly with dentists for significant savings on dental care, is proud to announce that Wendy Walker has been named general manager, overseeing the New Jersey and Connecticut markets. In her new role, Wendy will be responsible for launching Chewsi in bothstates.

Chewsi will allow patients with or without insurance to realize significant savings on dental procedures, including cosmetic, without paying premiums or monthly fees. Patients will be able to find a Chewsi dentist, know costs before their dental appointment, and pay their dentist all through the Chewsi free app.

Wendy is the former business capabilities architect at Delta Dental of New Jersey, Inc., where she implemented and ensured that strategic corporate goals, and business and technology decisions were met and aligned. Throughout her 26 years as an employee of the Parsippany-based dental benefits provider, Wendy first started as a customer service agent and has held a variety of Operations positions, including customer service supervisor, claims administrator, and director of System Quality Assurance and Business Analysts.

Chewsi™ is a free app that helps patients find the right dental services from the right dentist at the right price.  It’s simple – download the Chewsi app, find a conveniently located Chewsi dentist, and call the dentist to make an appointment.  Patients experience significant savings, and pay right in the dentist’s office through the Chewsi app.

For more information about Chewsi click here.

Wise Animal Rescue hosts Holiday Party for Volunteers

Volunteers and friends gathering at the Wise Holiday Party

PARSIPPANY — Wise Animal Rescue held its First Annual Holiday Party, thanking all of their volunteers and fosters for a very successful year in making a difference in the life of a rescued pet.

Parsippany resident Guest DJ’s Guru and Shil kept the crowd busy all evening. They are available for all types of parties. (For more information, click here.)

Roxbury High School graduate and current County College of Morris student Madison Pisani performed with her unbelievable voice. Madison is an extremely talented 18 year old singer and songwriter. (For more information visit Madison on Facebook by clicking here.)

The wonderful evening was held at the Lake Parsippany Clubhouse.

Wise Animal Rescue is dedicated to rescuing dogs of all ages and breeds from places where they are no longer wanted or are not being properly cared for. By partnering with veterinary practices that support their work, they are able to save dogs’ lives and restore them back to health.

Central to their mission is to ensure that all dogs are spayed/neutered, up-to-date on shots, and microchipped. Prior to adoption, all of the dogs are placed into responsible loving foster homes to be socialized and trained rather than put in a shelter environment.

Wise Animal Rescue is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of dogs of all breeds. They are comprised of a network of caring people with a grassroots approach working towards a world where no dog is neglected, abused, or homeless.

Dedication – Wise Animal Rescue is run by a team of dedicated volunteers who see this as more than just a volunteer opportunity, it’s our life. They take pride in every aspect of what they do and know that, with hard work and dedication, they can make a difference.Education – While saving homeless animals is their primary mission, they also believe education is at the core of everything they do. They strive to educate members of the community on the importance of adoption, spay/neuter, and vaccination. By doing so, they hope to encourage others to get involved and to also take care of their pets at the highest level possible.

Integrity – The reason Wise Animal Rescue was founded was because they care. They put their rescue work first, whether that means driving in the middle of the night to rescue a dog in need or responding to their future and past adopters promptly to answer any questions they may have. They support our adopters, foster, volunteers, and, most importantly, the dogs to the best of their ability and take pride in what they do.

For more information on adopting, fostering or becoming involved with Wise Animal Rescue, click here.

IHOP’s Holiday Pancakes Are As Green As The Grinch

The Grinch visits IHOP, 792 Route 46, Parsippany
Grinch’s Green Pancakes: two Grinch-green buttermilk pancakes topped with sweet cream cheese icing, red candy hearts, and green whipped cream

PARSIPPANY — The Grinch’s tagline may be “It’s never too early to be annoyed by Christmas,” but we all know how that story ends. Your heart doesn’t have to grow three sizes to get excited about IHOP’s new Grinch-inspired menu.

In celebration of the new Dr. Seuss film, the breakfast joint rolled out a special menu, and it’s staying in restaurants through the end of the year. As you might guess, there’s plenty of green involved, plus a new omelette and French toast stack that both sound fit for an indulgent holiday meal.

Here’s what you can expect from the IHOPxGrinch menu:

  • Grinch’s Green Pancakes: two Grinch-green buttermilk pancakes topped with sweet cream cheese icing, red candy hearts, and green whipped cream
  • Minty Who Hot Chocolate:hot chocolate with mint syrup topped with creamy green whipped cream and red candy hearts
  • Who-Roast Beast Omelette: an omelette filled with shredded beef, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, sautéed jalapeños, onions, and golden hash browns topped with BBQ sauce, more shredded cheese, and a Serrano pepper; it comes with THREE buttermilk pancakes, too
  • Whoville Holiday Cheesecake French Toast: two King’s Hawaiian rolls, French-toasted, and layered with creamy cheesecake filling, raspberry topping, and whipped cream.

There are special additions to the kids menu, too: A Mt. Crumpit Kids Combo, which comes with a Grinch green buttermilk pancakes topped with cream cheese icing, red candy hearts, and green whipped cream, plus one scrambled egg, one bacon strip, and one sausage link. Also, a Young Grinch Minty Who Hot Chocolate, which is just a kid-sized version of the drink.

Parents, if you bring your kids to IHOP between 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. during the promotion, kids 12 and under can get a free entrée from the kids menu with the purchase of any adult entrée!

For an at-home The Grinch treat, try making our festive Kranky Cupcakes! They’re perfect for a holiday movie night or to bring to a Christmas party.

Click here to have your meal delivered by Doordash.

IHOP is located at 792 Route 46, Arlington Shopping Center.

Kiwanis prepares Breakfast with Santa at Parsippany Child Day Care Center

Santa's Elves: Kendall Amato, Morgan Amato, Danielle Strano, Brieanna Lomela and Isabella Lomelo helping Santa distributing the gifts to the children

PARSIPPANY — On Saturday, December 15 the children at Parsippany Child Day Care Center enjoyed a breakfast and a visit from Santa sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany.

Kiwanis members Daniella DeLuca, Joe Jannarone, Jr., Bob Young, Casey Parikh volunteered and prepared the breakfast which consisted of scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, pancakes, bagels and muffins.

Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany invites Santa and cooks up a breakfast and supplies gifts for the children every year.

Santa elves Kendall Amato, Morgan Amato, Daniella Strano, Brieanna Lomelo and Isabella Lomelo helped Santa giving out gifts to the children.

Kiwanis is a worldwide service organization in over 96 nations. The major emphasis is serving the children of the world.

Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany picks service projects that need attention. The Club is all local people that volunteer time and talents to make our community a better place to live. We, like you, are busy with making a living, church, family, and many other activities.

The children received wooden puzzles, coloring books and crayons from Santa as well as a goodie bag.

The Parsippany Child Day Care Center was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1968. They opened with 20 children and expanded to meet the growing need for quality child care in our community. In 1980, they moved into a new building specifically designed for child care and owned by the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills. During the 1990s, the building was renovated with two additions to the building, which made room for infants and young toddlers. They are governed by a Board of Trustees, who are volunteers from our community. Earlier this year, Parsippany Child Day Care Center, celebrated their 50th Anniversary.

The facility was designed specifically for the care of children, and was built with HUD funding. The center has a total of seven classrooms, a large multipurpose room, a full service kitchen, offices, adult and children’s lavatories.

The center is comprised of a diverse population of families and staff. They come from a variety of backgrounds and speak multiple languages from all over the globe.

A very unique relationship exists between the center and Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills. Parsippany built the original building and owns it. A self-renewing contract allows for joint responsibility for repairs and building upkeep. Primarily the center maintains the building and the town maintains the property. They also have strong ties with civic organizations within Parsippany, including but not limited to the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany, Woman’s Club of Parsippany-Troy Hills and the Sons of Italy.

Parsippany Child Day Care Center is located at 300 Baldwin Road. For more information, click here.


Santa arrives at Lake Parsippany Firehouse

The Nolan Family: Ryan 11, Kathy, Ken, Katherine, 5, (with her Kitty) and Liana, 9, with Santa

PARSIPPANY — Santa arrived at Lake Parsippany firehouse on Saturday, December 15 to greet the children, take pictures, find out their wish list and give gifts.