Thursday, September 23, 2021
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Kaitlynn Pinero selected for New Jersey COVID-19 Service Corps

Kaitlynn Pinero

LAKE HIAWATHA — Kaitlynn Pinero was named to the New Jersey COVID-19 Service Corps (NJCSC).

The Center for Community Engagement at Montclair State University, in collaboration with the NJ Commission on National and Community Service and additional higher education institutions, state entities, and local nonprofit organizations, have come together to establish the New Jersey COVID-19 Service Corps (NJCSC).

This initiative has rapidly boosted New Jersey’s capacity to address and ameliorate the devastating public health impact of COVID-19 by increasing vitally needed services to those community members most affected by the economic, physical, and mental health repercussions of the pandemic. At the same time, it has provided paid training opportunities and education awards to undergraduate students and recent graduates in the allied health fields, including public health, social work, nursing, and counseling.

The NJCSC has leveraged the state’s existing AmeriCorps program to fast-track the deployment of student volunteers to local, on-the-ground community organizations, human service agencies, hospitals, health clinics, affordable housing agencies, and K-12 schools, rapidly boosting the ability of these organizations to efficiently and effectively address the physical and mental health impacts of the coronavirus.

Pinero, a/n Sustainability Science major, was one of 19 current and former Montclair State students to be selected for the NJCSC.

Montclair State University is a research doctoral institution ranked in the top tier of national universities. Building on a distinguished history dating back to 1908, the University today has 11 colleges and schools that serve 21,000 undergraduate and graduate students with more than 300 doctoral, masters and baccalaureate programs. Situated on a beautiful, 252-acre suburban campus just 12 miles from New York City, Montclair State delivers the instructional and research resources of a large public university in a supportive, sophisticated, and diverse academic environment.

Senate Candidate Christine Clarke Receives Endorsement of American Federation of Teachers

26th Legislative District State Senate candidate Christine Clarke

MORRIS COUNTY — 26th Legislative District State Senate candidate Christine Clarke has received the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers in New Jersey.

“Christine Clarke will be a leader who believes workplace safety standards should be extended to all schools and their personnel. She understands these standards should be permanent, not implemented just for the pandemic. As we rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, Clarke is advocating it is done by investing in a clean-energy economy, which means good-paying union jobs with prevailing wage agreements. AFTNJ supports candidates who not only support our values but are strong leaders who put that support into action. It is because of her integrity, commitment, and determination that AFTNJ has endorsed her for Senate in New Jersey’s 26th District,” said Donna M. Chiera, President, AFT New Jersey.

The American Federation of Teachers New Jersey (AFTNJ) is a federation of unions representing 30,000 education workers in pre-kindergarten to 12 school districts, private, religious, and charter schools. AFT locals represent faculty and staff at all public four-year colleges and universities and half of the state’s community colleges.

Clarke is an environmental advocate, a grassroots organizer, and a mother-of-four running for State Senate to build the job-creating clean energy economy, improve healthcare and lower costs, protect clean air and water, and lead with empathy and fiscal sense.

Her opponent, incumbent LD26 State Senator Joe Pennacchio, has not been a supporter of workers’ rights. Among other concerns, he voted against extending family leave benefits, voted against requiring employers to pay sick leave and voted against raising the minimum wage five times.

“I am honored by AFT New Jersey’s support and looking forward to working together,” said Clarke.

Clarke is endorsed by a growing number of environmental groups, women’s rights groups, unions, civic engagement, and grassroots organizations. She has lived in Jefferson for 16 years with her husband and four children. Learn more about her by clicking here.

The 26th District includes 13 communities in Essex, Morris, and Passaic counties: Butler, Fairfield, Jefferson, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Montville, Morris Plains, North Caldwell, Parsippany, Rockaway Township, Verona, West Caldwell, and West Milford.

How about this weather?

PARSIPPANY — Like for many of you, at 2:34 a.m. on August 20 my phone sounded jolting me out of sleep with an emergency alert tornado warning. Do I really need to go into my basement? Then it sounded again.

In the basement my family watched a local station as the anchor discussed the record heat and wildfires out west, the tropical storm moving up the east coast, fatal flash flooding in the Midwest, and the spotted lanternfly in NJ. If it wasn’t so serious it would seem like a bad dream. Sadly, young people see these events increasing and intensifying in their lifetimes, not in some distant future.

That tropical storm made it up to us as yet another extreme event. And every year, successively, for the last 20 have been the warmest on record. Climate crises affect health, economy, quality of life, food, and water security.

A couple of weeks ago the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released an alarming scientific report showing that the impacts of climate change are getting worse — and happening faster than previously thought.

We’re seeing raging wildfires, massive floods, extreme heat, tropical cyclones, and killer storms, all supercharged by climate change. Leaders around the world must take swift, decisive action to combat the climate crisis.

Some big takeaways from the report are:

  • The changes to our planet are accelerating, unprecedented and irreversible
  • Human impacts to the climate system are the main drivers of change
  • Every increment of warming matters, driving potentially catastrophic events

We know what we need to do and we must act now!

Many local mayors have been advocating and initiating changes to help educate, increase awareness and invest in sustainable initiatives. Working with the Parsippany Green Team the township of Parsippany is actively seeking to cut our carbon emissions.   Last February, Mayor Soriano pledged to attain Sustainable Gold in Energy through Sustainable Jersey. This is important because his action offers resources, networking, and education to Parsippany to initiate and succeed in accomplishing this courageous goal.  Sustainable objectives benefit the residents and businesses of the Town and also indirectly ensure a more sustainable environment all at no cost to the taxpayers. With efforts like this locally, statewide and now, nationally, there is hope for making impacts on the climate crisis.

Real change, every action no matter how small, is always a grassroots effort and comes from citizens. As co-leader of the Parsippany Green Team, I encourage anyone who wants to feel empowered to join us, participate and learn about how together we can make a difference. Please feel free to contact us at parsippanygreenteam@gmail.com.

Judy Hernandez
Co-leader Parsippany Green Team

 

 

Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany is Now the Largest Club in New Jersey

Justin Carifi, Darshan Parikh, Jimmy Parikh, Lt. Governor Frank Cahill, Tom Toomey, Kent Mancini, and Justin Musella

PARSIPPANY — Kiwanis Club Lt. Governor Division 9 Frank Cahill is pleased to announce that Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany is now the largest club in New Jersey.

The New Jersey District of Kiwanis International currently has 79 active Kiwanis Clubs, with a total of 1476 members. Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany has a total of 76 active members as of Thursday, August 26.

“I recently conducted a membership drive and recruited six new members into our great organization,” said Frank Cahill. Our volunteers have been active in collecting food at various supermarkets to donate to Parsippany Human Services, been helping distribute food during our ‘Operation Feeding Morris County’, cooking at Homeless Solutions, purchasing school supplies for students in the Parsippany-Troy Hills School district, and buying ShopRite Gift Cards during the pandemic to help families purchase food. We also distribute hot meals to residents that were donated from Calabria Restaurant & Pizzeria. Our volunteers have been tremendous during the pandemic. When other people hear about the Kiwanis initiatives, they want to be part of our organization.”

During the recent membership drive in Parsippany, Cahill was able to sign up six new members, Justin Carifi, Laura Marie Ali, Kent Mancini, Tom Toomey, Jimmy Parikh, and Darshan Parikh. Laura Marie Ali was sponsored by Justin Musella.

Kiwanis Operation Feeding Morris County has distributed over 189,000 pounds of food, to 4,755 families, over 8,000 children with a retail value of over $475,000.

“Kiwanis Operation Feeding Morris County” was started in December by Kiwanis Club of Greater Roxbury President Cain Pope and has spread to many Morris County Kiwanis Club and other clubs in New Jersey as far away as Asbury Park, South Orange, Maplewood, Clifton, and Bridgewater.

Kiwanis does not ask for proof of income. The only thing we ask for is name, email address, the town of residence, and the number of children. The information is 100% confidential and is used to make sure we have a sufficient supply of food at each location and for informing the public of future food distributions.

Justin Carifi is a graduate of Parsippany Hills High School and was a former Key Club member. Lt. Governor Frank Cahill placed the Kiwanis pin on Justin

Justin Carifi is a graduate of Parsippany Hills High School and was a former Key Club member. In addition, Tyler Lee, a Parsippany Hills High school graduate, and former Key Club member joined our club in July.

“I am so excited to be part of the greatest and largest Kiwanis chapter in the state! I was a member of the Key Club at Parsippany Hills High School and I look forward to continuing to create ways to better the children of our communities,” said Justin Carifi.

Key Club, part of the Kiwanis family, is an international service organization for high school students. As a student-led organization, Key Club’s goal is to encourage leadership through serving others. In 2020 there were 229,652 members.

“Kiwanis club members believe in service,” said Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany President Laura Wohland. “They care about children. They’re interested in the community around them because the community matters to them. They’re people like you. Friends. Neighbors. Volunteers who want to make a difference.”

Jimmy Parikh being pinned by Frank Cahill after the official swearing-in

“As a long-term Parsippany resident, I am excited to have the opportunity to join Kiwanis. Moving through the public school system in Parsippany, to now being a young professional, I have formed a genuine understanding and appreciation of the local community and its progressive resources. Kiwanis is an incredible, national and forward-looking, organization with a mission statement that I truly standby. Being a new member of the Parsippany Kiwanis, I look forward to working with the rest of the Kiwanis family to continue to improve and give back to this community, and beyond,” said Jimmy Parikh.

Tom Toomey receiving his official Kiwanis pin during the swearing-in ceremony

Tom Toomey said, “I’m excited and honored to join the Kiwanis Club today – they do incredible work for people that need help in our community and I look forward to doing my part.”

Frank Cahill places the official Kiwanis pin on Darshan Parikh during the swearing-in ceremony

Laura Marie Ali couldn’t make the group swearing-in but will be sworn in at a later date by club President Laura Wohland.

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.  It is not religious-based or partisan in any way.

Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany supports ten K-Kids clubs, Lake Parsippany Elementary School, Eastlake Elementary School, Intervale School, Mt. Tabor Elementary School, Littleton Elementary School, Lake Hiawatha Elementary School, Troy Hills Elementary School, Northvail Elementary School, Knollwood School, and Rockaway Meadow Elementary School, two builders clubs, Central Middle School and Brooklawn Middle School; two Key Clubs, Parsippany Hills High School and Parsippany High School and one Aktion Club.

Interested in learning more about the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany, contact President Laura Wohland, by emailing law4pres@gmail.com. Click here to view the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany website.

Parsippany Leaders’ Frontline Strategies and Actions During Pandemic 

Aadit Tembe

PARSIPPANY — “In the last 14 months, we learned how to do more with less. We learned to listen to scientists especially while making policy decisions for people,” said Michael Soriano, Mayor of Parsippany-Troy Hills.

As COVID was spreading in early 2020, his key challenges were maintaining the community’s health and enforcing the best sanitization practices in the most populous township in Morris County.

“As a team, keeping egos out and doing what’s best for the community was important,”  Mayor said. He proudly mentioned an example demonstrating how help was extended to local businesses: “Working with the building department’s director, site plans were approved quickly and outdoor dining permit fees were waived for restaurants.”

“Township community-supported leaders and the youth spirit was uplifting,”  Mayor Soriano remembers. Residents and community organizations raised money, donated food, and created masks.

This report focuses on how such local leaders outside the healthcare profession adapted during the COVID pandemic.

At the Board of Education, superintendent Dr. Barbara Sargent prioritized transition to virtual classrooms to minimize interruption in learning. “To find out who had a device and internet connection, we conducted a survey and made the necessary equipment available.” To communicate the BOE’s decisions about school schedules consistently and regularly, during rapidly shifting information, she started a Friday Letter to all parents.

As her proudest moment, Dr. Sargent notes, “Our teachers, principals, BOE members, and administrators — Wow! They rolled up sleeves and worked with sheer will, dedication, determination, innovation, and collaborative attitude!”

“Thinking ahead and planning for what we know today while anticipating the change was critical,” recalled Dr. Sargent.

“Post-pandemic,” she said, “instructional technology innovations, such as online interactions with classroom guests, will continue.”

Police Department Chief Andrew Miller said, “Accurate inventory and sanitization of Personal Protective Equipment were critical.” The Police Department managed budgets and secured emergency funds creatively. Community members provided help by sharing business contacts and donations.

The Police Department reduced indoor staff interactions by minimizing overlapping schedules.  He emphasized,  “Until late 2020, there was no COVID positive case in the department!”

Because people worked from home, burglaries went down and Calls-For-Service (CFS) was reduced by 70%. This provided additional time to officers for COVID-related training. “Officers read complex medical materials and routinely consulted with experts,” recalled Chief Miller. Sometimes, officers operated with full PPE gear for 10-12 hours which was stressful.

“I am a proud Chief!” He continued with appreciation, “The officers showed great professional attitude in serving the community while overcoming stress.”

In summary, by quickly adapting during the pandemic, these leaders continued to serve and help maintain the well-being of their communities.

This article was written Aadit Tembe, a 5th grader at the Lake Hiawatha Elementary School (LHS). He enjoys singing as well as playing musical instruments. He was the winner of LHS variety show 2020 organized by the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA). Additionally, he enjoys playing cricket & soccer. 

Aadit compiled this report as a voluntary extra-curricular activity by interviewing the community leaders.

Township to Honor the 20th Anniversary of September 11, 2001 at Town Hall

Parsippany-Troy Hills Town Hall is located at 1001 Parsippany Boulevard
PARSIPPANY – As the nation pays its respects marking the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the United States, the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills will also honor the victims with an in-person memorial ceremony at Town Hall.

On Saturday, September 11 beginning at 8:30 a.m., Mayor Michael Soriano will be accompanied by civic and faith leaders, along with members of the Township’s Police Department, Fire Crews, and EMTs to honor the memory of the fallen, and reflect on the events that unfolded on that Tuesday morning in New York City, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania.

The event will be live-streamed on the township social media pages and website and will be shown in its entirety on Parsippany’s Own Video on The Go Channel 21 throughout the day.

“It’s been 20 years since 9/11, that fateful day when the whole world came to a halt to watch the horrors unfolding before our eyes,” said Mayor Michael Soriano. “It’s almost unimaginable that this took place a generation ago, as it still seems so vivid to so many of us. The feelings we’re all reminded of each September must also include the unity and togetherness we felt in the aftermath. I do hope that residents join us at Town Hall for this memorial ceremony to mark two decades since the horrible tragedy that has shaped so much of our lives in its wake.”

The Township will welcome members of the Christian and Muslim faiths for prayer and reflection, along with patriotic songs and a moment of silence by the Twin Tower steel beam and plaques showing the names of Parsippany’s victims at the front of the Town Hall Courtyard.

“None of us can avoid fear, pain, and suffering,” said Mayor Soriano on the subject of 9/11. “But out of fear comes bravery, out of suffering comes healing, and out of pain comes understanding. It’s my hope that our service helps our residents in the grieving process as we look back on this tragedy while reminding each other that we’re here for one another each and every day.”

CCM Foundation Annual Golf Classic to Raise Funds to Support Student Athletes

MORRIS COUNTY — Enjoy a day out on the links with the County College of Morris (CCM) Foundation and help support students with fulfilling their dreams for a rewarding and satisfying life.

This year’s Annual CCM Foundation Golf Classic takes place Monday, September 27, at the Picatinny Golf Club in Dover and includes lunch and an extended cocktail hour. All participants will receive a special Golfer Gift and there will be a Hole in One Car and Prize Contest. Raffle prizes also will be given out during the evening program. The cost is $175.00 per player.

The outing raises funds for the college’s scholarship programs and this year is focusing on supporting student-athletes and the college’s athletic programs.

Picatinny is an exclusive, membership-only facility that is considered to be the most respected, perfectly balanced course in New Jersey.

“We’re thrilled to offer golfers this opportunity to experience and play on this top-notch, picturesque course in northern New Jersey,” said Katie Olsen, executive director of the CCM Foundation. “Players will discover why this course is so well respected for its toughness, fairness, and excellent greens.”

The day begins with registration at 10:00 a.m. followed by a shotgun start at noon. The extended cocktail reception takes place from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Corporate foursomes, sponsorships, and individual players are being sought. For more information and to register, call (973) 328-5060 or click here.

Helping The Contaldi Family

Lou Contaldi

PARSIPPANY — If you’ve lived or grown up in Parsippany, there’s a good chance that you’ve met Lou Contaldi somewhere. Lou has always been a beacon of generosity and a fixture of the town, whether he was offering some landscaping advice, coaching a PTE Little League or PAL basketball team, or bringing over a tray of sausage and peppers to a community event. He’s always happy to help with a big smile and an even bigger laugh.

Unfortunately, over the last month the Contaldi’s discovered that Lou has Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer — metastasized and inoperable. Sadly, Pancreatic Cancer is among the hardest cancers to detect and treat, leading most people to find it only after it’s hit a late stage.

While it would be easy to get overwhelmed with such a serious diagnosis, the Contaldi’s — and Lou specifically — have been brought to tears from the overwhelming support the community has offered. Everyone from long-time friends to distant acquaintances has reached out, looking for ways to help. The love and support have been a massive boost to his emotional and physical wellbeing, and a testament to how much he means to those around him. With chemotherapy on the horizon, Lou is fighting hard to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.

With this in mind, Lou has a few hard months ahead of him — the nature of Pancreatic Cancer means his diet will be restricted and treatment will get costly. As the owner and sole employee of Ahead Lawn Service, Lou (at 58 years old) can’t perform the physical tasks needed to run his small family business. As the head of the house, it means the family will be dipping into retirement savings to cover both daily living expenses and medical treatment.

Lou’s always been a helping hand and generous to a fault; let’s rally as a community to support him. Any amount donated will help go towards Lou’s treatment costs and financially supporting his family through these trying times. It would also be a huge help to share this GoFundMe with friends or on social media; we are hoping to reach as many people as possible.

Thank you for any generosity, and keep Lou and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

To contribute to a GoFundMe account, click here.

To follow Prayers for Lou Contaldi, please click here.

Back To School With Kiwanis

Frank Cahill, Lt. Governor Division 9; Michele Picone, Director of Parsippany's Human Services and Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany Community Director Carol Tiesi

PARSIPPANY — Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany delivered backpacks filled with over $100 in school supplies to Parsippany Human Services, located at the Parsippany Community Center, 1130 Knoll Road. Any resident needing help can contact Human Services at (973) 263-7163.

They will be distributed to families with children who need the supplies to go back to school.

Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany supports ten K-Kids clubs, Lake Parsippany Elementary School, Eastlake Elementary School, Intervale School, Mt. Tabor Elementary School, Littleton Elementary School, Lake Hiawatha Elementary School, Troy Hills Elementary School, Northvail Elementary School, Knollwood School, and Rockaway Meadow Elementary School, two builders clubs, Central Middle School and Brooklawn Middle School; two Key Clubs, Parsippany Hills High School and Parsippany High School and one Aktion Club.

For more information on Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany click here.

 

Online Business Guide Launched by CCM and the Morris County Library Consortium

MORRIS COUNTY — Business owners looking for resources, research, and data to help grow their organizations now have a comprehensive online center they can turn to as a result of a partnership between County College of Morris (CCM) and the Morris County Library Consortium.

The newly launched Business Development Resources for Northwest NJ: Market Research (Click here) provides a wealth of information, covering such areas as cost-benefit analysis and managing business credit, market research and consumer spending, business and marketing plans, county business patterns, and demographics, and much more.

The guide aligns with the college’s initiative to assist Morris County with enhancing and supporting entrepreneurial growth. Working with the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, CCM has developed plans to construct an Entrepreneurship and Culinary Science Center on its campus to train and support successful innovators. As part of those plans, the college will be developing new degree and certificate programs focused on entrepreneurship, hospitality management, and event planning, inventory management, logistics, and supply chain management.

“As the community’s college, part of CCM’s mission is to be a resource for the community, including local businesses,” notes Heather Craven, CCM library director and dean of the college’s Learning Resource Center. “Having local businesses who are well resourced and thriving results in a positive impact on the community. The CCM Library is excited to host this resource to promote business development in the region.”

Letter to the Editor: Opinion on the Legality of Abortion

parsippany focus

parsippany focusDear Editor:

As it stands today, the legality of abortion is one of the most hotly debated issues in American politics. One side finds legalizing abortion to be the legalization of murdering humans, and some find abortion to be against their faith, while the other side, people find that controlling abortion is akin to controlling the functions of people’s bodies. Historically, abortion has been illegal and unsafe, until Margaret Sanger’s push for it in the early 1900s, when it became legal. Its legality was upheld with the Supreme court case Roe v. Wade. Although abortion is immoral in some ways, it should be legal as no level of government has the right to restrict it.

To define its immorality, science shows that a fetus is indeed a living being. According to humanity’s latest biology, there are eight primary conditions to life. A fetus or even the first cell created at conception is living. However, this isn’t disputed by the left and right; the more controversial topic here is whether or not it is moral to kill it, since it has no functional ability. Many pro-abortion scholars point to a 1999 Princeton paper, which concludes that functional life – that is meaningful life (development of lungs, kidneys, etc.) starts much later. I argue that this is irrelevant; life is a life, and intentionally taking someone’s life (even if it’s a fetus) is immoral. Many of these scholars fail to provide differentiation between a fetus’ functionality (that is, none outside of the mother) and a purely dysfunctional human (a bedridden person) outside of their meaning to others. This illustrates a moral discrepancy in the justification of abortion. Although I do believe abortion is immoral, I still believe it should be legal.

One of the biggest progressions for abortion was the Roe v. Wade case, which legalized abortion. The rationale in the 7-2 decision was that the fourth amendment guaranteed the right to privacy within an individual’s own body. Although I do not necessarily disagree with the outcome, I do strongly disagree with the ruling. The fourth amendment states nothing of the kind, and the intentions of the writers of that amendment have nothing to do with abortion, but rather search upon stoppage by the government or police. The actions by that court were clearly judicial activism, attempting to get the desired outcome, with total disregard for the constitution. As argued by Professor Ely of Yale in 1973, the ruling assumed that the 4th amendment covered privacy although not explicitly outlined and that the amendment covered the right to terminate a pregnancy as a subset of the right to privacy. Ely argues that the law should have been about the 9th amendment’s “reservation of rights to the people,” or in the 14th amendment’s right to personal liberties. Richard Cohen of the Washington Post also disagrees with the ruling of ‘right to privacy. Cohen, like me, argues that this ruling was judicial activism, and goes further to say the Court does not care about ‘the right to privacy, as evident in the continuing ban on alcohol to minors, recreational drug use, and all other activities that do not impede on the rights of others and are done outside the public eye. Ely also identifies where the government’s interests lie, as found in the ruling of Roe v. Wade: in the first and second trimester, abortion is only restricted by the health of the mother, whereas in the third trimester, abortion is restricted entirely as the interest of protecting the viable (that is, functionally alive as defined above) is ‘compelling’ (or more relevant) as the Court sees it. This is certainly much more immoral than banning or legalizing abortion outright, as now it tiers the importance of lives: a mother’s will and control over her own body are meaningless beyond a certain point, and the life of the fetus/child is only important when they are functionally able.

Although I firmly believe that abortion is the immoral killing of another human, I find that the government has no jurisdiction over the individual’s bodies and so has no power to stop abortion. A common argument from pro-life scholars is that the fetus has the right to be in the mother, as the fetus is there due to factors beyond his/her control. I disagree because this is irrelevant, the fetus does not have the right to be there, just as the mother has no obligation to hold the fetus. As per the Capitalist Magazine, there is inherent permission granted at the time of conception, or sex. This can be revoked at any time, as desired by the mother, not the government. The government cannot control an individual, and so its collective interest should not lie in stopping an abortion they have no moral right over it. Additionally, banning abortion would not be successful anyway, as pointed out by former Libertarian candidate Harry Browne. Either way, the government will not succeed in stopping abortions, as they failed with stopping drug addictions. The government would close safe abortion facilities, and then women would turn to dangerous alternatives, in almost the same numbers. The risk of aborting illegally will be less than the financial and social consequences of bringing another into the world. Perhaps, the only way to decrease abortion is to incentivize birth control usage and decrease the explicit and implicit cost of having a child. Overall, banning abortion is outside of the control and ability of the government.

Neil Deshpande
Parsippany

Parsippany Hills High School… where will the Class of 2021 continue their journey?

Parsippany Hills High School

PARSIPPANY — As the Class of 2021 leave Parsippany and start a new chapter in their life, Parsippany Focus is publishing a list of where the Parsippany Hills High School Class of 2021 will be attending.

Post Secondary Education Students Percentage
Four Year College or University 191 75%
Two Year College 40 15.4%
Career Education 4 1.5%
Continuing Education 5 2%
Employment 3 1.1%
Gap Year 11 4.2%
Military 2 .8%
Total Class of 2021 256 100%
Barnard College Gowri Konkesa
Maahi Patel
Bath Spa University (England) Maia Hoffman
Binghamton University Agamya Rao
Jack Reppen
Boston University Rithvik Nakirikanti
Brown University Tyler Gurth
Caldwell University Brady Kells
Case Western Reserve University Jimmy Nguyen
Centenary University Nicholas Andrew
Angela Palazzo
Clemson University Ian Reo
Coastal Carolina University Robert Nese
College of Charleston Emma Peters
Collin County College Callie Henderson
County College of Morris Angelina Butarascu
Julian Cachuela
Brandon Callan
Jessica Capozzi
Saad Chaudhry
Susan Chen
Kyle Cipkins
Sumreen Dhillon
Bruce Downing Jr.
Nicholas Floris
Nadirah Freeman
Lauren Higdon
Anthony Iancu
Jake Jasiecki
Mariana Jurado
Gaviria Hinal Kalavadia
Thomas Lally
Avianna Loper
Jaeden Martin
Lillian Martin
Daniel Menendez
Harsh Mistry
Tanyaradzwa Mudzinganyama
Aleksandre Museridze
Tatyana Parker
Jaykumar Patel
Nehaben Patel
Derek Plata Teutle
Allison Rice
Brian Ries
JadenRoman
Trevor Rosamilia
Delia Ryerson
Samantha Salazar
Olivia Smith
Essam Takieddine
Tyler Tran
Jack Tremaroli
Sarah Ziler
Vasili Zois
CUNY Bernard M Baruch College Aidan To
CUNY Hunter College Sofia Zevallos
Dartmouth College Ujvala Jupalli
Drexel University Nitya Mehta
Sanskaar Pahwa
Mihir Patel
Udayan Vashisth
Drew University Madison Bailey
Elise Parisi
Duke University Abigail Lee
East Carolina University Jillian Adubato
Fairleigh Dickinson University Irfan Kermalli
Reva Patel
Adriana Zelayandia
Fordham University Sarah Fichter
Franklin and Marshall College Jacob Hockwitt
High Point University Olivia Santana
Hood College Anthony Yarussi
Indiana University-Bloomington Nikhita Lavu
Dakota Lynch
James Lynch
Kean University Jacqueline Baldarrago
Lehigh University Jamie Lai
Louisiana State University Brett Berry
Noelle Volpe
Make-Up Designory Erin O’Gorman
Michigan State University Darien McEnroe
Samantha Woodell
Monmouth University Joseph McClusick
Jonathan Pietrowicz
Montclair State University Jack Bellardino
Haley Breslauer
Rebecca Brugaletta
Sohan Deshapaga
Sandra Duszkiewicz
Christian Fernandez
Lauren Hernandez
Zhi-Yi Hsu
Nevaeh Jordine
Alyssa Lopez
Allison Marino
Nidhi Mistry
Vidhi Parekh
Jack Raia
Nakul Raj
Kashyap Shah
Janae Turner
Henry Wayland
Cory Wechsler
Montserrat College of Art Abigail Phelps
New Jersey Institute of Technology Justin Aguirre-Rosas
Deep Desai
Abhay Krishna
Alwin Kurian
Darsh Patel
Ty Sallie
Adit Sharma
Swetha Sivakumar
Meet Vekaria
New York University Priscilla Tam
Sujith Somayaji
North Carolina State University Sreemanth Meka
Northeastern University Maya Solanki
Chloe Vergel de Dios
Ohio State University Neelay Desai
Haritha Kollipara
Pace University Vanessa lradi
Olivia Singh
Pennsylvania State University Abigail Jandora
Thilak Sankar
Emily Tourso
Sophia Vicenzino
Purdue University Rithvik Ayyalasomayajula
Ishaan Bhatt
Samay Desai
Arya Patel
Ravi Shah
Quinnipiac University Taylor Gudelanis
Dana luspa
Ramapo College of New Jersey Christine Lam
Shawn Stavrou
Taylor Zitelli
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Adwait Naware
Rochester Institute of Technology Krystal Hsieh
David Edmiston
Michael Ververs
Rowan University Emily Arnold
Christopher Dogbe
Jacob Smith
Rutgers University Mohammad Ali
Varenya Alvakonda
Haseem Arshad
Jessica Currao
Matthew Degady
Michael Degady
Sweta Desai
Samantha Fornini
Russell Hasani
Alyssa Huang
Pearl Caroline Kolluri
Madhava Kunderan
Jeffrey Kwan
Ivy Lai
Marissa Lerman
Robin Mager
Sana Malek
Arnold Nguyen
Juhi Parmar
Amish Patel
Amisha Patel
Avi Patel
Dhruvaben Patel
Isha Patel
Kirtan Patel
Rick Patel
Aneri Path
Aditya Patur
Mansi Rana
Ulises Roldan
Deep Shah
Dev Shah
Rhea Shajan
Rohan Sharma
Ashley Sokolowski
Nicole Sokolowski
Christopher Swanson
Aleesha Syed
Zachary Taylor
Jordan Thompson
Sacred Heart University Isabella Imperati
Michael Bavas
Christina Culotta
Andrew DiLauri
Brandon Fontanella
Jessica Huang
Sunetra Komathcal
Cristofer Mezger
Jordan Paris
Disha Patel
Rahi Patel
Nadira Rahman
Siena College Valerie Trento
St. Lawrence University Catherine O’Neill
Stevens Institute of Technology Andre Vo
Stony Brook University Renata Krysztofik
Nandini Majmudar
Temple University Kamaya Jones
The College of New Jersey John Bhat
Ridhi Kempegowda
The University of Tampa Erin Tracy
University of Central Florida Reva Pathre
University of Connecticut Jillian Pasquino
University of Delaware John Shields
University of Florida Jasmyn Reid
University of Maryland Aakash Maurya
University of Massachusetts – Amherst Nerina San Martin
University of New Haven Andrew Keane
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus Shaleen Bordawekar
Esther Fifo
University of Rhode Island Kendall Pachiolo
University of San. Diego Tyler Salmon
University of the Sciences Riti Trambadia
University of Toledo Ishana Prasad
University of Wisconsin-Madison Laila Kirstein
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Leticia Moraes
West Virginia University John Sotardi
Wilkes University Jarod Palatini
William Paterson University of New Jersey Marcus Celestino
Nicholas Durso
Chandni Gajipara
James Garcia
Kristina Verderamo
York Technical College Sean Boufford
Career Education Michael Agostinho
Camilo Arango
Saileash Srinivasan
Continuing Education Gian Fuentes
Meer Malek
Alexandra Monroe
Olavo Moraes
Harini Patel
Employment Marissa Baker
Nayeli Buezo Jimenez
Derrik Mirochnik
Nicholas Zorzoris
GAP Year Jose Caballero Molina
Matthew Damiano
Nicholas Gubernot
Daniel Jakubiak
Nicole Kafka
Anshika Madan
Alexander Mazzara
Jennifer Portillo
Rodrigo Shauy
Jessica Verile
Nicole Zapata
Military Andrew Stark
Military – Marines Yahir Garcia-Tellez

CCM Releases Return to Campus Plan Adjustments

County College of Morris

MORRIS COUNTY — In response to new state guidelines for higher education, the County College of Morris (CCM) has updated its Fall 2021 Return to Campus Plan. When the new guidelines were published and released from the New Jersey Department of Health, CCM administrators engaged faculty, staff, and students to update its Fall 2021 Semester operating plans.

CCM’s operating plan was developed at the beginning of the pandemic by its employees and students with support from public health officials. The operating plan is updated when new guidelines are provided by federal or state officials. It has been deemed highly successful as evidenced by the fact that there have been no campus outbreaks and the college has demonstrated an ability to quickly and effectively support students and employees infected with the virus.

The college remains committed to maximizing the safety of its employees and students and minimizing risks related to COVID-19. As such, CCM has decided to begin the Fall Semester with the majority of its courses being held remotely. The college plans to offer instruction in this manner through October 26, 2021, the end of its first seven-week term. In its newly updated plan, the college continues to require everyone on campus to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible.

Effective October 27 CCM will also require new protocols for everyone coming onto the campus. As of that date, new protocols require all individuals (students and employees) to be vaccinated, and if unvaccinated to have a weekly negative COVID-19 PCR test in order to be on campus, or be granted an exemption because of medical or religious reasons and have a weekly negative COVID-19 PCR test. Wearing masks when social distancing is not possible will continue unless medically exempted. These measures were developed after nearly a dozen meetings with employees and students as well as consultation with public health officials.

CCM is excited about the Fall Semester and eagerly looks forward to welcoming its faculty and students back on campus later this fall. Faculty have been instructing remotely or in an online format, except for a small number of classes that require in-person instruction, since the start of the pandemic.

The college also acknowledges that it will continue to adjust and make decisions based on federal, state, and local officials’ recommendations and guidelines. Students who are enrolled in courses that fall into an exception and will take place on campus will be contacted by a college official.

To provide ample opportunity for students and employees to become fully vaccinated before new requirements are in effect, CCM has partnered with Atlantic Health System to open a temporary vaccine center on its campus for employees and students. The college plans to keep most offices on campus open, with only a few areas operating remotely. The updated Return to Campus Plan can be found by clicking here.

Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Meeting – August 17, 2021

PARSIPPANY — Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Meeting – August 17, 2021

Click here to download the agenda.

Parsippany-Troy Hills Zoning Board Meeting – August 11, 2021

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills Zoning Board Meeting – August 11, 2021

Click here to download the agenda.

Acting New Jersey Attorney General and State Officials Visit Prosecutor’s Office

MORRIS COUNTY — On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll and Chief of Detectives Christoph Kimker welcomed Acting New Jersey Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck, First Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Davenport, the Director of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Lyndsay Ruotolo, and Division of Criminal Justice Chief of Detectives Weldon Powell, during an official visit to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

The visit was twofold, beginning with a meeting between Acting A.G. Bruck and his leadership team with Prosecutor Carroll and his supervisors during an information-sharing session; which was followed by Acting A.G. Bruck addressing the majority of Morris County Prosecutor’s Office personnel on his objectives during his tenure.

Prosecutor Carroll opened the meeting by displaying the Mission Statement of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, emphasizing the importance of the partnership between our communities and citizens with our law enforcement agencies all to promote a safe and secure environment, free from the fear of crime. To achieve the stated mission, the Prosecutor’s Office has enabled the four Divisions in the Prosecutor’s Office, comprised of twentyt-two operational units, with an emphasis on inter-agency cooperation and restoring positive community relations through communication.

Prosecutor Carroll was followed by Chief Kimker, who displayed and explained the Table of Organization related to investigative operations. Chief Kimker was followed by Chief Assistant Prosecutors Brad Seabury, Melanie Smith and John McNamara, and Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Chris Schellhorn, all of who gave individual presentations on a variety of topics relevant to law enforcement challenges in Morris County and discussing strategies implemented by the Prosecutor’s Office to combat those challenges. Topics presented included but were not limited to: current crime statistics and data; the (24-7) investigative and legal assistance provided by the Prosecutor’s Office to all law enforcement agencies operating in Morris County; opiate overdose and Narcan deployment statistics; gun crime, and gun seizures prompted by domestic violence incidents, as well as those due to individual mental health crises; auto theft and the nexus to other criminal activity; mental health and veteran diversion programs; robbery and homicide statistics; and the outstanding coordination between the Prosecutor’s Office and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit and Forensic Services, that contribute towards efficient and effective investigations.

Prosecutor Carroll followed up by providing further comment, emphasizing the Prosecutor’s Office’s commitment to Mental Health issues, and the approach of proactive intervention with those suffering from mental illness before they enter the criminal justice system, which benefits everyone. The formation of a new Mental Health Diversion Program was also discussed. Some other implemented strategies to combat criminal activity discussed were: the targeting of for-profit drug dealers, as opposed to users; proactive firearms investigations; and the continued operations of the Morris County Auto Theft Task Force (ATTF), which was created by the Morris County Chiefs of Police Association, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Intelligence Unit and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, and has led to a reduction in auto theft within the county.

After complimenting the Prosecutor and his team on the presentation and effectiveness of the Prosecutor’s Office, Acting Attorney General Bruck addressed the majority of personnel to discuss his priorities. Initially, Acting A.G. Bruck conveyed the importance of he and his team meeting with those who participate in criminal justice in the State of New Jersey. He then discussed his desire to be effective during his tenure and will be focusing on gun violence, policing policy, and racial justice. He concluded by asking all those who serve in the criminal justice system to have and maintain integrity, decency, and urgency.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Prosecutor Carroll said, “We are honored by the visit to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office by Acting Attorney General Bruck and his team, where we had the opportunity to convey the efforts put forth by the fine men and women of our Office towards protecting and serving those who reside in and visit Morris County. We look forward to a continued and productive relationship with the Attorney General’s Office as we navigate through current law enforcement challenges, and whatever challenges that may develop in the future.”

“I have the greatest respect for Prosecutor Carroll and his colleagues and I was delighted by the opportunity to hear more about the good work they’re doing here in Morris County,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “I look forward to continuing our partnership as we work together to advance public safety and build community trust.”

A Letter From Dr. Barbara Sargent

Dr. Barbara Sargent, Superintendent of Schools

Hello, Families!

I hope this letter finds you making the most of these last weeks of August. The district is preparing for a positive and safe return to school for all students in September. All schools have scheduled special orientation programs for new students and last year’s remote learners to welcome them to the school setting and reacquaint them with our educators. There is a lot of positive excitement building about being back in school.

We have a lot to be proud of. There were many districts in NJ and nationally that never opened for students – or opened for only the last few months of the 2020-21 school year. Parsippany schools opened on time, were consistently open, and ended the year with a full-day schedule. We provided several summer programs for our students to strengthen their literacy, math, and social skills. And, most importantly, we kept children at the center of our decision-making.

Even with those accomplishments, it is understandable that this new school year may still hold some concerns for you. COVID hasn’t dissipated as we hoped it might. The Governor’s Executive Order 251 requiring masks for all individuals in public, private, and parochial/charter schools has created unfortunate dissention in communities. We have created a new Question/Answer document to address some of the questions you may have about the start of the year. The full Return to School Plan will be reviewed by the Board of Education at the end of the month and posted to the district website.

All of us are here to support you and your children. Please speak with your school principal or school counselor should you need special assistance. We are returning to school with a renewed commitment to our mission and our students. Let us help and support each other in this important work of teaching and learning.

Wishing you well,
Barbara Sargent, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Toys R Us is Coming Back — at Macy’s

Geoffrey the Giraffe is a star in the Tru Kids family. He’s been a beloved mascot for over 50 years. Adored around the world, he invites kids of all ages to play and have fun.

PARSIPPANY — Macy’s, Inc. announced a partnership with WHP Global to bring together two of America’s most beloved brands, Macy’s and Toys”R” Us. Toys”R” Us kids of all ages can now shop an expansive assortment online from the most globally recognized leader in toys by clicking here and in more than 400 Macy’s stores nationwide rolling out in 2022.

WHP Global, leading brand acquisition and management firm based in New York, acquired a controlling interest in Tru Kids Inc., parent company to the iconic Toys“R” Us®, Babies“R” Us®, Geoffrey® the Giraffe brands, and more than 20 established related consumer toy and baby brands. TRU Kids Brands, Inc., 5 Wood Hollow Road.  (Click here for the company website). Tru Kids acquired Toys R Us’ intellectual property during its liquidation in 2018.

The only two Toys R Us stores that opened in November 2019 as part of a small U.S. comeback attempt by the iconic toy chain closed. The Toys R Us stores were at the Galleria Mall in Houston, Texas, and Garden State Plaza in Paramus.

Tru Kids is the proud parent of beloved brands, including Toys“R” Us®, Babies“R” Us®, Geoffrey the Giraffe®, Journey Girls®, Fastlane®, True Heroes®, You & Me®, Imaginarium®, and Just Like Home®. Established in 2019, Tru Kids is focused on growing its family of brands through innovative partnerships that deliver kid-and-parent-focused experiences that expand beyond traditional retails concepts in the physical and digital spaces. Within the Tru Kids portfolio, Toys“R” Us®, Babies” R” Us®, and Geoffrey® brands continue to be powerful with a wide retail presence across Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Europe. The company delivers a wealth of services to our valued license partners around the world, in addition to the design and development of over 20 additional established brands. The company has offices in Parsippany, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen, China.

The partnership has already brought additional toys to Macy’s website. It will expand to 400 Macy’s store locations next year.

Nata Dvir, Macy’s chief merchandising officer

“Our toy business grew exponentially in the past year,” said Nata Dvir, Macy’s chief merchandising officer, in a statement announcing the partnership.

“Toys ‘R’ Us is a globally recognized leader in children’s toys and our partnership allows Macy’s to significantly expand our footprint in that category while creating more occasions for customers to shop with us across their lifestyles.”

Department store retailers struggled before COVID-19, and store closures and lockdowns created a new set of challenges during the pandemic.

Parsippany Has Two Drug Disposal Drop Off Locations in Town

PARSIPPANY — Do you have prescriptions that you need to dispose of safely, anonymously, and that protect the environment? The Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills and the Parsippany Police Department can help. Safely and properly dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medicines, medications, and pills at two locations:

Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department
3339 Route 46
Walgreens
200 Baldwin Road

Throwing them in the trash or flushing them down in the toilet is not environmentally friendly or safe.

Be sure to remove labels or blackouts containing personal information prior to disposing of them in the RxBox.

For more information, see the Parsippany Green Team’s Facebook page by clicking here.

Explore the Parsippany Police Athletic League’s Fall Offerings

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany’s Police Athletic League has some great programs getting ready to start up soon, and you won’t want to miss the fun competition and fun for the whole family.

Fall/Winter Competition Cheerleading
Parsippany PAL’s Competitive Cheer Team welcomes new cheerleaders! The Competitive Cheer Team season will begin practice starting September 13, on Mondays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. Competitions will power through the winter and end in late February/early March. Tryouts take place on August 30 at 6:00 p.m., and a parent meeting to discuss details of the program will take place on September 2 at 6:00 p.m.
More information and registration for tryouts can be found here.

Parsippany Flag Football League
From September 12 to November 21, Parsippany PAL will host Flag Football! Convenient game times with practice and gameplay are usually on the same day. The league will consist of six regular-season games, playoffs, and a championship game under the lights! There will be four divisions based on grade level: K-1; 2-3; 4-5; 6-7-8. Game Start times will range from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. All games will be played on TURF Football Field at Smith Park. Register as an individual or as a team, and volunteer coaches are welcome to join!
More information and registration for tryouts can be found here.

For more information, contact the Parsippany PAL here.