Tuesday, June 2, 2020
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Follow-up Note from the Board of Education Regarding Tonight’s Rally

PARSIPPANY — The communication that came out yesterday regarding the Board of Education’s decision to not allow usage of Parsippany High School parking lots for tonight’s rally was based solely on current laws and policies in place within the District.

The organizers of the rally had not contacted nor coordinated with the Board of Education.

With that said, we have advised the Police Department that the lots will not be cordoned off and will be available to our law enforcement agencies as necessary and as they see fit.

The Board of Education supports our entire community, and we always want to see and work towards a better way forward. While the rally tonight is not a Board of Education organized event, the Board appreciates and supports everyone’s’ right to respectfully express their opinions on the current issues facing many of our community members.

Parsippany Community Update June 1, 2020

PARSIPPANY — Both of our volunteer EMS squads rely on fundraising from members of the public to ensure the best training and equipment possible. That’s why they’re able to provide Parsippany residents with such a high quality of service, even during the most trying times. You can donate to our Volunteer EMS squads through the information provided below:

Parsippany Volunteer Ambulance Squad, Inc.
9 Dunnerdale Road
Morris Plains, NJ 07950
Tax ID 22-2409171
Click here to donate.

Rockaway Neck First Aid Squad
PO Box 41
Lake Hiawatha, NJ 07034
Tax ID 22-6088546
Click here to donate

Letter to the Editor: A letter to Dr. Barbara Sargent

parsippany focus

parsippany focusDear Editor: 

Good evening Dr. Sargent,

My name is Olivia Johnson and I am a senior at Parsippany High School. I am writing to you in regards to the BOE’s refusal to allow the peaceful Black Lives Matter protest to start on Parsippany High School’s grounds. As a black student here in the district, I can tell you first hand that you and all of the schools I have been through in this district have done very little for your black students.

There has habitually been little to no support for your black students whether it be during Black History Month, during traumatic tragedies such as the brutal murder of George Floyd, or outright and blatant racism by the student body. I am writing to tell you that we are tired of seeing little to no allyship on behalf of the BOE.

People are simply asking to gather on school grounds because it is a central location in Parsippany. No one is going to damage property or incite violence. What about protesting police brutality and speaking up for the Black Lives Matter movement is inherently violent and riot-inducing to you? There are plenty of peaceful protests all throughout the country, especially in New Jersey, that has been going on for the past few days.

The people of Parsippany and neighboring towns are seeking to exercise their freedom to assemble and freedom to speak up for what they believe. Your choice to prohibit us from using Parsippany High School as the starting point for a powerful and meaningful demonstration, especially to your black student body, is very telling of where your interests and care reside. Please reconsider this decision.

Thank you,
Olivia Johnson

Parsippany Chief of Police Issues Statement Regarding Tonight’s March

The Chief of Police for Parsippany, Andrew Miller, has issued the following statement in regards to tonight’s march:

A message from Chief of Police Andrew Miller:

The organizer for the Parsippany March for Black Lives, who is a Parsippany resident, requested our support to facilitate a safe and peaceful rally so their message that police brutality, racism, and abuse of authority will not be tolerated could be heard. In support of their message, the Parsippany Police Department, along with assistance from the MCPO and MCSO, will ensure the safety for all while this peaceful event takes place this evening.

The Parsippany March for Black Lives which is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. tonight, a permit has been issued for the event.

Parsippany has 747 Presumptive Positive Cases COVID-19

PARSIPPANY — The County of Morris has identified the number of presumptive positive cases in Parsippany-Troy Hills at 747 individuals.

Morris County has risen to 6,385 presumptively tested positive cases. A total of 616 deaths have been reported in Morris County. In New Jersey, a total of 160,918 presumptively tested positive cases with a total of 11,721 deaths.

Morris County COVID-19 Cases

Note: Case numbers are updated in the afternoons on Monday-Friday. For statewide numbers, visit the State of NJ COVID-19 Dashboard.

Cumulative COVID-19 Cases (as of 3:50 p.m., Monday, June 1)
Municipality 5/21 5/22 5/26 5/27 5/28 5/29 6/1
Town of Boonton 101 101 101 101 101 101 101
Township of Boonton 79 80 88 94 95 95 95
Borough of Butler 86 86 88 88 89 90 91
Borough of Chatham 54 55 55 55 55 54 57
Township of Chatham 115 117 122 122 125 127 128
Borough of Chester 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
Township of Chester 43 43 43 43 43 43 43
Township of Denville 150 150 150 152 152 152 152
Town of Dover 643 645 660 660 660 661 662
Township of East Hanover 130 130 131 133 133 133 133
Borough of Florham Park 121 121 124 124 125 125 126
Township of Hanover 179 179 179 179 179 179 177
Township of Harding 24 24 24 24 24 24 24
Township of Jefferson 209 210 211 212 214 214 215
Borough  of Kinnelon 69 69 69 69 69 69 69
Borough of Lincoln Park 319 320 333 334 337 339 341
Township of Long Hill 44 44 44 45 45 45 45
Borough of Madison 130 129 131 131 130 132 132
Borough of Mendham 66 66 66 66 65 65 66
Township of Mendham 38 38 38 39 39 39 39
Township of Mine Hill 60 61 61 61 62 62 66
Township of Montville 215 215 215 216 216 217 219
Borough of Morris Plains 56 57 57 59 59 56 56
Township of Morris 277 279 279 281 281 281 281
Town of Morristown 506 506 515 533 536 541 563
Borough of Mount Arlington 44 44 45 45 45 46 47
Township of Mount Olive 243 245 254 254 252 255 256
Borough of Mountain Lakes 19 19 19 20 20 20 20
Borough of Netcong 29 29 29 29 29 29 29
Township of Parsippany 716 719 721 741 744 746 747
Township of Pequannock 197 198 199 200 200 200 201
Township of Randolph 257 258 262 264 263 264 267
Borough of Riverdale 38 38 38 38 38 39 40
Borough of Rockaway 95 95 95 96 96 97 97
Township of Rockaway 238 238 237 237 239 239 239
Township of Roxbury 240 242 243 244 244 245 249
Borough of Victory Gardens 33 33 33 33 33 33 33
Township of Washington 111 111 113 115 115 117 119
Borough of Wharton 151 151 153 153 152 152 153
TOTALS 6132 6152 6232 6297 6311 6333 6385

The figures reflect COVID-19 positive cases as of the date and time indicated, some cases which may be pending, or have yet to be entered into the system.

Please note the following limitations and provisos related to the data above:

  • COVID-19-related deaths are not included in this data. Visit the State of NJ COVID-19 Dashboard for a summary of death totals.
  • Pursuant to HIPAA, specific identifying health information of persons testing positive or who have passed due to the virus will not be released.
  • Data reflects COVID-19 positive cases on dates and times indicated; some cases may be pending and are not yet entered.
  • Data may not include cases with incomplete or incorrect street addresses or PO boxes. Such cases require additional investigation by local health officials.
  • Figures do not include persons under quarantine/isolation due to exposure and who have not tested positive.
  • The numbers, especially higher numbers, do not necessarily reflect community spread in a specific town. Various factors may be related to high numbers, such as increased testing and facilities with high-risk populations.
  • This data should not be used to gauge if heightened precautions are needed in specific towns. Social distancing, hand hygiene, and preventive steps must be followed at all times regardless of the number of cases in a municipality.

Letter to the Editor: How could this happen? When will it end? When will we learn?

parsippany focus

parsippany focusDear Editor:

Like so many across our country, I was shocked and horrified to witness the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in broad daylight last Monday. Mr. Floyd’s murder, the fact that so many let it proceed uninterrupted, and the days it took to arrest one of those responsible have reopened deep wounds throughout our country. Millions of our fellow citizens are in agony. How could this happen? When will it end? When will we learn?

I am a white American. I will never, no matter how much I empathize, know what it’s like to be black. To quote a friend of mine, and fellow Parsippany resident, “People who have never been black simply do not and cannot understand how traumatizing all of this is for a black person. Black people are terrified. And every day, we are assailed with videos and images of people who look like our fathers and uncles and brothers being murdered. We watch the life drain from their eyes. And it. Is. Traumatizing.”

Most people simply do not and never will understand what it’s like to be black in America. We never have and never will need to fear being casually asphyxiated by a police officer in broad daylight. Those of us who are not black need to acknowledge these complicated dynamics, and consider how our lives may be very different if we were.

Issues surrounding biases go well beyond direct interactions with law enforcement. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, “half of the white medical trainees believe such myths as black people have thicker skin or less sensitive nerve endings than white people”. According to the NAACP, “African Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites.” A recent Forbes article noted that “Black Home Buyers [Are] Denied Mortgages More Than Twice As Often As Whites”. These disparities exist empirically, in multiple fields, and directly in front of our eyes. But summoning the fortitude to make the changes protesters are seeking has, thus far, eluded us.

Where we can start is listening to, empathizing with, and supporting black Americans, not just in the midst of a tragedy like George Floyd’s murder, but in the months and years to come.

At the same time, we can still be supportive of our police officers. We cannot fall for the false narrative that you can only support one or the other, police officers, or black Americans. Adults must be capable of holding more than an “us vs. them” mentality in our heads. Dozens, hundreds, thousands of black Americans have fallen victim to abuses by police, up to and including losing their lives, over the course of centuries in this country. And we need reforms and accountability to end this injustice now, which is exactly what people are protesting and speaking out about. At the same time, police officers do an incredibly dangerous job that takes a serious toll on their bodies, mental health, and family lives. Police officers, who share a diversity of backgrounds and life experiences, deserve our respect. We do not have to pick between black Americans protesting for reform, and police officers who keep us safe. We can love both. We should love both. And if we are to finally move forward as a country, we must love both.

Opening our hearts to empathize is a start, but it is not enough. What we need to do is open our ears to hear what black people tell us is actually happening to them every day. Open our minds to accept that these are not exaggerations or isolated incidents. And then, open our mouths to demand the changes that the victims of this violence say we need and need right now.

Anything less will never break this cycle.

Matt Clarkin

Governor Murphy Announces New Jersey to Enter Stage Two of Restart and Recovery

Governor Phil Murphy. Photo by Rich Hundley III, Trentonian

MORRIS COUNTY — As part of his restart and recovery plan, “The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health,” Governor Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey will enter Stage Two on Monday, June 15.

Guided by strict protocols from the New Jersey Department of Health, as well as input from the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission and complementary Advisory Councils, Stage Two will include outdoor dining for restaurants and indoor, non-essential retail as of Monday, June 15.

Beginning on Monday, June 22, barbershops and salons will be able to reopen. In the period to follow, New Jersey will work toward the gradual opening of personal care, gyms, and health clubs, at reduced capacities as the stage progresses. All of these activities will be allowed pursuant to strict health and safety guidelines that will be issued in the coming days. New Jersey ended maximum restrictions and moved to Stage One on May 18, 2020.

“As we move through Stage One of our strategic restart and recovery process, public health data continues to demonstrate our collective success in flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations,” said Governor Murphy. “It is with these favorable metrics, coupled with expanded testing capacity and contact tracing, that we can responsibly enter Stage Two of our multi-stage approach to recovery. Our economic restart must instill confidence among our residents and visitors that their safety, and that of their families, is our number one priority. I encourage all New Jerseyans to continue their vigilance in keeping themselves and their communities safe by social distancing, wearing face coverings, washing hands frequently, and limiting gatherings.”

Restrictions are relaxed on activities that can be easily safeguarded.

Phased-in businesses and activities, with adherence to safeguarding and modification guidelines, include:

  • Outdoor dining (beginning on June 15)
  • Limited in-person retail (beginning on June 15)
  • Hair salons and barbershops (beginning on June 22)
  • Youth summer programs (beginning on July 6)
  • In-person clinical research/labs
  • Limited fitness/gyms
  • Limited in-person government services (e.g. – Motor Vehicle Commission)
  • Museums/libraries

All workers who can work from home should continue to work from home.

Precautions that apply across all stages include:

Clinically high-risk individuals who can stay at home should continue to do so.

      • All residents and businesses should follow state and federal safeguarding guidelines:
      • Wash hands
      • Wear masks in public
      • Respect social distancing
      • Minimize gatherings
      • Disinfect workplace and businesses
      • Minimize gatherings
      • No mass gatherings
      • New Jersey will move toward subsequent stages based on data that demonstrates improvements in public health and the capacity to safeguard the public, including:
      • Sustained improvements in public health indicators, including new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, individuals in intensive care, and ventilator use;
      • Substantial increase in testing and contact tracing capacity;
      • Sufficient resilience in New Jersey’s health care system to include adequate bed capacity, ventilators, personal protective equipment, and workforce;
      • Widespread safeguarding of workplaces;
      • Widespread safeguarding and capacity of child care, schools, and mass transit;
      • Continued public compliance.
      • If public health indicators, safeguarding, or compliance worsen on a sustained basis, New Jersey will be prepared to move back to more restrictive stages as well.

      For a one-page summary of Governor Murphy’s multi-stage approach to restart New Jersey’s economy, click here

    • .

PHS Bands Virtual Solo & Small Ensemble Concert 2020: Premieres at 7:00 p.m.

PARSIPPANY — Please join in celebrating the Parsippany High School Band students as they present to you, virtually, the 2020 Solo & Small Ensemble Concert! All performances were filmed and edited by the students. Stick around to the end as they honor the Seniors and present the annual awards. We hope this concert brings you some joy during these uncertain times. Thank you for supporting music in Parsippany and around the world!

Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce Statement on George Floyd

Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce

PARSIPPANY — Life is so very precious and fleeting. We are only on this earth for a short time and the time of our departure is generally unknown. We try to make the most of our lives during the time we have – to love, to cry, to hope, to dream. Unfortunately, there are times when the end of life is not a natural one.

The death of George Floyd is one such death. This despicable and heinous taking of life by the arresting police officer and the inaction of those other officers who could have stopped it, are not acceptable in our society and are not representative of the majority of the law enforcement officers who protect and serve within our communities. Regardless of your politics, this blatant disregard for the life of one of God’s Beloved children is unacceptable.

We are better than this. Our country must be better than this. When we see injustice we must act swiftly and with informed precision to address, dismantle, and redress its inequities.  We cannot remain silent or simply offer gratuitous platitudes time and again in hope that things will change, nor in our anger and frustration, must we use violence and unlawfulness to respond in-kind. We must find a way to heal through open and honest dialogue – together, as one people. I stand firm in my belief that as difficult as it may be, we can, and will find a way.

Parsippany Library System ADULT YouTube Channel

parsippany library
Parsippany-Troy Hills Public Library, located at 449 Halsey Road

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills Public Library Adult YouTube Channel.

June 1Join us this Monday for our poetry readings by one of our Library Staff. This week we will feature readings from Joyce Kilmer and Christopher Marlowe

June 2: 9:00 a.m. Tech Tips from our Tech Guru, Valerie Smith
10:00 a.m. Yoga for Seniors through Zoom.

June 3: 10:00 a.m. Historical Romance- Scottish Style Book Bundle goes live.

June 4: 9:00 a.m. This week on Presentation Thursday join us for the Levins and their Poe Preview show-Music and fun!

June 5: Fridays are for fun. Fun Fitness for all ages with Miss Karen. STEAM programs with Miss Corinne. From Reference Librarian Vera Borum- a how-to for using Novelist – Media Mention

Click here and enjoy!

Virtual Children’s Programs at the Parsippany Library System

parsippany library
Parsippany-Troy Hills Public Library, located at 449 Halsey Road

PARSIPPANY —National Trails Day Challenge (June 1) – Check out Alltrails or Traillink websites or apps to find local trails to bike, hike, or walk this week or make your own trail at your neighborhood! Watch Miss Karen’s video on GEOCACHING to learn how to find treasures along the way (geocaching.com)! Take a photo and tell us where you went and post it on our Facebook Messenger page.

Challenge- Facebook Poll:  Which outdoor activity do you like better?  Swimming or Riding your Bike?  We will post the winner of this poll on Saturday, June 6.

Zoom Farm Animal StorytimeMonday, June 1 at 10:00 a.m.   Recommended for children ages 2-5.

Listen to stories about farm animals, sing songs, and dance along with Miss Jen.

Email jennifer.carlin@parsippanylibrary.org for the meeting link.

Monday Maker Challenge with Miss Corinne – Hidden Paper Towel Message – learn how to create a hidden message using markers, paper towels, and water!  Share your finished secret message with us!

Eric Carle StorytimeMonday, June 1 at 7:00 p.m.  Miss Rose will share stories by Eric Carle and show you how to make a simple craft based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Pete the Cat, Rory the Dinosaur and Miss Kristen Storytime FunTuesday, June 2 at 7:00 p.m. – Join Miss Kristen as she reads about Pete the Cat and Rory the Dinosaur.

Fitness Fun 1,2,3 Go!  Wednesday, June 3 at 2:00 p.m. Join Miss Karen as she gets the body moving, plus challenges your mind with riddles to answer, in this exercise video for all!

Easy Reader Book Club Wednesday, June 3 at 7:00 p.m.  (Recommended for kindergarten-second graders but everyone is welcome) Join Mrs. O via Zoom and listen to easy reader stories about birthdays.  Register by sending an email to ptchildrens@parsippanylibrary.org

STEAM Thursday with Miss. Corinne – Floating M&M’s Science Experiment – Learn how to make the M on the M&M candy float off the candy!  We will learn about how solids dissolve in liquids.

Biscuit FunThursday, June 4 at 2:00 p.m.  Join Miss Rose on Zoom to listen to stories about Biscuit the Dog and participate in some fun activities.  Register by sending an email to rose.schulman@parsippanylibrary.org.

Pajama Storytime at Outside Animal Adventures. Thursday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m. Miss Karen will share books about birds, elephant & piggie, a gorilla, and more! Plus interact with flannel board activities and see how to make a fun colorful caterpillar craft!

Learning about Lions. Friday, June 5 at 11:00 a.m. Listen to Mrs. O read a story about a lion, learn some interesting facts about lions, and make a lion using your fingerprints.

Zoom Kindness Stories and Hearts. Friday, June 5 at 2:00 p.m.  Recommended for children ages 5 and up.  Listen to Miss Jen read a story about kindness and create paper hearts with kind words or sentences to give to someone special (friends or family).  We will make our hearts together using paper, scissors, and markers or crayons.  Email jennifer.carlin@parsippanylibrary for meeting link.

Amazing Women Storytime with Miss KristenFriday, June 5 at 5:00 p.m. – Learn about the lives of Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian in NYC, and Mary Edwards Walker, a 19th-century doctor who just wanted to wear pants!




Parsippany-Troy Hills Library Book Drops Now Open

parsippany library
Parsippany-Troy Hills Public Library, located at 449 Halsey Road

PARSIPPANY — The Parsippany-Troy Hills Library book drops are now open! You can return your items at any time. Fines and fees have been waived until Tuesday, June 30.

The library cannot accept books or media donations at this time. Due to current public health considerations, donations left at the Library will be quickly discarded.

Parsippany March for Black Lives to be Held

PARSIPPANY — A peaceful protest and march is being planned by a Parsippany High School graduate for Tuesday, June 2 at 6:00 p.m.

According to a FaceBook post, Parsippany March for Black Lives will be held to honor the life of George Floyd and others who have lost their lives to police brutality. It will start at Parsippany High School, 309 Baldwin Road, and will continue to Veterans Park.

One of the organizers, Jabari Jackson said “Join us tomorrow as we are organizing this march to peacefully spread awareness about the uncomfortable truth of police brutality in America.”

There will be several speeches and a moment of silence for the victims. Marchers are encouraged to bring posters, noise-makers, and to also wear a mask.

In a release from Parsippany Police Department, “Parsippany Police Department will be assisting with traffic control, along with ensuring the safety of all participates, during a peaceful rally starting at Parsippany High School (PHS) and proceeding down Vail Road, crossing Route 46, and then ending at Veterans Park. Once the rally concludes inside Veterans Park, they will then proceed back up Vail Road to PHS. While the march is taking place, Vail Road will be closed from Route 46 to approximately Knoll Road. It will be partially reopened while they are inside Veterans Park and closed again while they proceed back to Parsippany High School.

ShopRite Dietitians Offer Expanded Online Services

Summer Fruit Panzanella. Recipe available at shoprite.com

PARSIPPANY — Over the past few months, many Americans have been eating more home-cooked meals than ever before and exploring new ways to prepare healthy, delicious dishes. To help those who may feel challenged by the daily ritual of meal prepping, recipe hunting, and of course, cooking, ShopRite’s team of dietitians are increasing their digital presence by offering free advice, tools, and resources that provide meal solutions and assistance.

“These days, more than ever before, our customers are seeking new and creative ways to serve meals that are good for their families, affordable and easy to prepare,” says Natalie Menza-Crowe, RD, MS, Director of Health & Wellness at ShopRite. “That’s why we are so proud of our team of registered dietitians who are ‘going digital,’ and offering a wide variety of resources to our customers and our associates using social media platforms, online resources, and more.”

Some of the ways ShopRite’s dietitians are helping shoppers with meal planning and prep include:

  • Offering personalized food and nutrition advice using a ‘Virtual RD’ chatbox available by clicking here.
  • Offering personalized consultations, available by appointment. Dietitian: Barbara Galvin R.D., 808 Route 46, Parsippany NJ,07054; (973) 335-2625 Ext. 3002; Barbara.Galvin@wakefern.com
  • Hosting Instagram Lives weekdays at noon at @ShopRiteStores, and weekly “Wellness Wednesday” Facebook Live videos with the RDs
  • Providing free, downloadable monthly digital recipes books as well as customized recipe suggestions via ShopRite’s “Recipe Shop” portal by clicking here.
  • Providing meal ideas and video how-tos by clicking here.

“ShopRite’s free in-store RD program has always been one of the signature offerings of our comprehensive health and wellness program,” says Menza-Crowe. “We’re glad that we’re able to continue to offer this important service to offer solutions and assistance to our customers when they need it most.”

For more information click here.

About ShopRite
ShopRite is the registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative based in Keasbey, and the largest supermarket cooperative in the United States. With nearly 280 ShopRite supermarkets located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, and Maryland, ShopRite serves millions of customers each week. Through its ShopRite Partners In Caring program, ShopRite is dedicated to fighting hunger in the communities it serves.  Since the program began in 1999, ShopRite Partners In Caring has donated nearly $50 million to food banks that support more than 2,200 worthy charities. As a title sponsor of the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer, ShopRite has donated $34 million to local organizations, hospitals, and community groups. For more information click here.

Pennacchio Resolution Seeks Federal Action to Assist Businesses Struggling to Survive

Senator Joe Pennacchio. File Photo

MORRIS COUNTY — Senator Joe Pennacchio introduced a Senate resolution urging the United States Congress to pass legislation to help hundreds of thousands of businesses struggling to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

The resolution (SR-69) seeks federal action to assist commercial tenants and landlords as businesses remain closed and lease payments become due.

“We want to prevent a domino effect that could do irreparable damage to local economies,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “Companies can’t conduct business, employees lose their jobs, lease payments are missed, and landlords can’t make their mortgage payments. This resolution, as is my bill (S-2460) in the New Jersey legislature, provides a safety net to prevent businesses from closing forever and landlords from facing bank foreclosures.”

The resolution asks Congress to allow commercial property owners who voluntarily offer rental forgiveness to business tenants to claim a portion of the lost rent as a tax deduction. Landlords who forgive rent during the COVID crisis would be eligible to claim a portion of the discount, up to $15,000 as a deduction against their federal income tax under Pennacchio’s initiative.

“Our recovery from this fiscal calamity requires unconventional considerations,” said Pennacchio. “There is a lot of benefit with this plan, and no new bureaucracy. When businesses lock their doors forever and valuable real estate sits vacant and abandoned, it has a devastating impact on neighborhoods and entire regions.”

Unlike Senator Pennacchio’s state legislation, S-2460, which would allow a New Jersey income tax credit of up to $5,000 to landlords who voluntarily forgive any or all of a business rent up to $15,000, the federal resolution calls for a tax deduction.

Pennacchio noted the net dollar amounts between using credit for the state and a federal deduction for those in the 30 percent federal tax bracket are very similar.

A Message From Mayor Soriano: The Shock and Condemnation of George Floyd’s Murder

Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor Michael Soriano

PARSIPPANY — A message from Mayor Michael Soriano:

This past Monday, on a solemn day, meant to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country, we were all exposed to a horrifying and disturbing video across news platforms and social media sites.

The shock and condemnation of George Floyd’s murder in broad daylight has been strong, swift, and nearly universal. And yet it seems that the underlying issues that have led to his and so many other needless deaths have yet to be addressed.

I cannot help but feel that, given the wrong time and place, I could have been George Floyd. I have been profiled several times in my life. While walking in the neighborhood I grew up in I was slammed onto the hood of a police car with a loaded service pistol pointed to my head, I sometimes wonder if things may have turned out worse that evening if I wasn’t wearing my Boy Scout uniform under my jacket. I still recall the horror I felt when I saw how badly my little brother’s face was beaten when he was in custody while handcuffed. Any of those incidents could have ended the same way – and without a camera to record it.

At the same time, I remember the compassion of the police officers that consoled my mother when my little brother passed. I have worked with police officers as a member of advisory boards, civic associations, and as Mayor. I studied Criminal Justice in college. I know and respect so many police officers. I have friends and family in law enforcement, and I worry about them, and I pray for all of those serving in law enforcement to return home safely after their shifts. But that doesn’t ease the pain I’ve felt with so many other people of color this week and so many other weeks in the past.

I have not known what to say since watching that video in horror several days ago. So many questions are raised that I do not have answers to. How can you push your knee into his neck for 8 minutes? How can the other officers just stand there? What if this wasn’t being filmed? Will we ever learn?

There is so much to be done at the federal and state levels across this country. Here in Parsippany, since taking office at a time when the Parsippany Police did not utilize body cameras, our department is now partially outfitted with them, with a full and complete rollout coming soon.

My heart aches for George Floyd’s family, which has grown to include millions of people this week, and I worry about those that are peacefully protesting each day and I pray that they return home safely. We have been thrust into a time of national mourning, and we are deeply in need of national healing. I hope you’ll join me in continuing to reflect on the events in Minneapolis and listening to those who have been most impacted by this violence. Please stay safe, take care of each other, and may God bless you.

-Mayor Michael Soriano

MPAC to Present Its First Ever Drive in Concert

MORRIS COUNTY — Live music returns to Morristown with a new twist on a classic style of entertainment – the Drive-In Concert!

Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), in partnership with the Morris County Park Commission, will present a Drive-In Concert featuring John Ginty and Friends at Fosterfields Farm in Morris Township on Thursday, June 25 at 6:30 p.m. (Rain date is June 26) Tickets are $100 per car and go on sale Wednesday, June 3 at 12:00 Noon. All proceeds will benefit MPAC’s recovery.

Tickets must be purchased in advance through the MPAC Box Office by clicking here or (973) 539-8008. No tickets will be sold at the gate.

“MPAC is thrilled to be doing what we do best — presenting live entertainment again — for the first time in over three months,” said Allison Larena, President and CEO, MPAC. “Even though our doors may be closed, our mission is stronger than ever as we find alternative creative, innovative, and fun ways to continue to serve our community.  We are grateful to be partnering with Dave Helmer, Executive Director of the Morris County Park Commission and his team, and John Ginty, and thank them for all of their help to make this live concert possible.”

“The Morris County Park Commission is pleased to collaborate with the Mayo Performing Arts Center on furthering its mission to enrich the lives of its community by finding alternative ways of showcasing the performing arts,” added Dave Helmer, Executive Director of the Morris County Park Commission.

MPAC is working with the Morris County Park Commission and local health authorities to create a safe environment that allows attendees to enjoy live music from the comfort of their vehicles. The Fosterfields site will be able to accommodate approximately 150 cars that will be spaced out with social distancing guidelines provided by local authorities. Attendees must remain in their vehicles throughout the concert. No tailgating is allowed.

Since March 12, MPAC, a non-profit performing arts center, has had to cancel over 50 events and reschedule another 25 as a result of the shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Much like other local businesses, MPAC’s revenue has been significantly impacted by the shutdown, with no date in sight to reopen.  “Now more than ever, we need the support our community to help us through this difficult period until we are able to reopen,” Larena said. “As a non-profit performing arts center that serves our region, this unique collaboration with the Park Commission speaks to the heart of what we do.”

Despite being physically closed, MPAC actively presents a variety of virtual arts-related experiences. Programs include a curated Virtual Arts page offering links to performing arts events across the web; Facebook Live concerts featuring diverse local artists every Friday at 12:30 p.m.; virtual Performing Arts School classes for children and adults; and more. MPAC’s entire virtual program is viewable by clicking here.

“Large gathering concert halls such as MPAC will be among the last allowed to reopen,” Larena said. “MPAC has been at the heart of arts and entertainment in Morristown for over 25 years, and we are determined to continue to be the resource that our community relies on to be uplifted and inspired by the performing arts. We appreciate the support that our donors, patrons, and community members have provided us in this time.”

MPAC will be working with local restaurants to create take out specials that attendees can pick up prior to arriving and enjoy during the event. Additional information for attendees will be available on MPAC’s website when tickets go on sale.

“Our stage may be dark, but music will light up the day,” Larena said. “The Drive-in Concert will be a truly unique and fun experience. Come out for a great time, while helping to sustain the theatre while our doors are closed.”

Organist John Ginty has literally covered a lot of ground. Fresh off playing Hammond B-3 for the Dixie Chicks on their MMXVII World Tour, the Morristown resident has now joined the Allman Betts Band, featuring Devon Allman, Duane Betts, and Berry Duane Oakley, all sons of founding members of the Allman Brothers Band. As a solo artist. his first offering on American Showplace Music, 2013’s Bad News Travels, features A-List artists such as Warren Haynes (Gov’t Mule), Albert Castiglia, and Neal Casal. His sophomore album, No Filter was named RMR’s #1 Blues/Rock album of 2015 and featured a groundbreaking performance by hip-hop legend, Redman. For information about John Ginty click here.

About MPAC
Mayo Performing Arts Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, presents a wide range of programs that entertain, enrich, and educate the diverse population of the region and enhance the economic vitality of Northern New Jersey. The 2019-2020 season is made possible, in part, by a grant the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as support received from the F.M. Kirby Foundation and numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. Mayo Performing Arts Center was named 2016 Outstanding Historic Theatre by the League of Historic American Theatres and is ranked in the top 50 mid-sized performing arts centers by Pollstar Magazine.

Prosecutor’s Office Issues Statement on the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis

parsippany newspaper
Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp

MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp issues the following statement on the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis:

“During my tenure as Morris County Prosecutor, I have always made investigating and prosecuting bias crime as a top priority. No resident of Morris County should be made to feel unwelcome in this great county, and members of this office take every reported incident seriously. I attended a virtual discussion on Friday with members of the Calvary Baptist Church. It was a powerful and emotional evening. I realize emotions are running high during what are already challenging times. Our Professional Standards Unit, which investigates allegations of misconduct by public employees and elected officials, is one of the best in the state. We thoroughly investigate all complaints concerning the conduct of all public officials, public employees, and police. Complaint forms are located on our website, which can be utilized for that purpose.”

Click here to view a message from the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey.

Dine to Donate at Gourmet Cafe

Matthew Pierone, Gourmet Cafe and Ted Stanziale

PARSIPPANY — Gourmet Cafe will be donating 10% of all orders to purchase a Shop Rite Gift Cards to supply to the Parsippany Food Pantry. It’s a win-win situation. Great meal for you and your family while supporting local families in need!

Gourmet Cafe is located at 136 Baldwin Road.  Click here to view their website.

Currently, they are operating under special hours, open from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. seven days a week.

Parsippany Hills High School 2020 Senior Awards Night Virtual Ceremony

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany Hills High School 2020 Senior Awards Night Virtual Ceremony will be streaming live here on Monday, June 1 starting at 7:00 p.m.

Please be advised that there is no fast forward or rewind function during the live streaming of the PHHS Virtual Senior Awards Ceremony. The ceremony program including the list of scholarships presented and names of recipients will be available after the live premiere. Thank you and enjoy it!