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Local News | Parsippany Focus - Part 2
Sunday, June 23, 2024
Home Blog Page 2

Letter to the Editor: Upcoming Republican Primary: Will a New Leader Emerge for Parsippany?

Dear Editor:

Why won’t Mayor Barberio hold a Town Hall with Parsippany residents and provide them with an opportunity to ask him questions, express their concerns, and share their ideas? 

Why won’t Mayor Barberio take the time to listen to his constituents without getting defensive and aggressively accusative towards any resident who asks him for information and/or action?     

A couple of possible answers to these questions might include Mayor Barberio’s apparent lack of interest or basic understanding of the multiple safety, financial, and quality of life issues that face Parsippany residents. 

Or perhaps the Mayor believes that showing up at photo ops, cutting opening banners, and handing out declarations are the Mayor’s primary responsibilities. 

But then again, maybe Mayor Barberio  may believe that being at the beck and call of out-of-town developers and their greedy lawyers is where the focus of his job should be 

Who knows? 

But what is known is that Mayor Barberio’s recent forum for Indian American Parsippany residents and this week’s Mayor’s Round Table only reinforced the growing belief that the Mayor is either too afraid or too compromised to engage in an open and frank dialogue with Parsippany residents.

With the Republican primary on the political horizon, hopefully, a candidate who is neither afraid nor compromised will emerge to lead Parsippany into the future.

Bob Crawford

Dedication and Commitment: Ashwin Vaithiyalingam’s Journey to Eagle Scout

PARSIPPANY — Ashwin Vaithiyalingam recently attained the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout, an accomplishment celebrated at the Eagle Court of Honor held at All Saints Academy on Saturday, June 1. Earning the rank of Eagle Scout requires dedication and a steadfast commitment to the principles of Scouting, a testament to its difficulty, with only about 6% of Scouts achieving it. Since its inception in 1911, over two million Scouts have reached this significant milestone.  He is officially Troop 72’s 103rd Eagle Scout! 

“Many people wonder whether years of scouting are worth it—freezing camping nights and dozens of eagle-required merit badges. My answer is always “yes,” said Ashwin.

Scout Rahul Pemmasani opened the ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

The presentation of the Eagle Scout badge is an important event. It is the goal for which a Scout has worked for many years, an occasion for pride and joy, a time for serious contemplation, and the culmination of the Scout’s efforts and leadership. The Eagle Scout Award is the highest and most coveted rank in Scouting, the last major step in the advancement program. Fewer than six percent of all Scouts in the United States reach the Eagle Scout rank.

The requirements for Eagle are:
•Be active in your troop and patrol for at least six months as a Life Scout.
•Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Law daily.
•Earn 21 merit badges, including the 14 that are required: First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in Society, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Personal Fitness, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Science, Personal Management, Swimming, Camping, and Family Life.
•Serve actively in an approved position of responsibility for six months after becoming a Life Scout.
•Plan, develop, and lead others in carrying out a service project worthy of an Eagle
Scout.
•Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
•Appear before a board of review of prominent persons and satisfy them that the Scout has done their best to understand and live up to the Scout Oath and Law and, in all ways, qualify for the Eagle Scout Award.

Brian Patoir lights the candles, symbolizing Ashwin’s “Trail to Eagle,” as Rahul Pemmasani narrates.

Ashwin’s Trail to Eagle  

Scout        June 6, 2018
Tenderfoot      March 27, 2019
Second Class  October 23, 2019
First Class       June 10, 2020
Star Scout       March 15, 2022
Life Scout       February 16, 2023
Eagle Scout     December 29, 2023

Ashwin Vaithiyalingam Reflects on His Scouting Journey to Eagle Scout

Ashwin Achieves Notable Milestone with 33 Merit Badges Earned: Archery, Chess, Camping, Art, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in Society, Citizenship in the World, Climbing, Communications, Cooking, Electricity, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Science, Family Life, Fingerprinting, First Aid, Geology, Kayaking, Law, Leatherwork, Metalwork, Mammal Study, Nature, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, Plant Science, Public Health, Railroading, Rowing, Scholarship, Swimming, and Wood Carving.

Ashwin places the “Dad Pin” on his father during the ceremony.
In gratitude for all the support and encouragement, Ashwin places the Eagle mother’s pin on his mom.
Mom is all smiles as she tightens the new neckerchief on Ashwin while dad looks on.
Mom fastens the newly earned Eagle pin on Ashwin.
Mom is moved to tears by Ashwin’s accomplishments.

Ashwin’s Eagle Project involved planning, coordination, and much effort from the initial concept to the final installation. Ashwin demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and successfully rallied a team of volunteers to bring his vision to life. The garden has various elements, including pollinator plants to attract bees and butterflies, perennial plants, murals, pathways, and other elements. From a tranquil reading area to an outdoor learning space, this garden showcases Ashwin’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

Ashwin’s Eagle Project involved planning, coordination, and much effort from the initial concept to the final installation.

Ashwin said, “When I first joined Troop 72, I was nervous. I wouldn’t say I liked the idea of wearing a uniform and sleeping outside, and I, most importantly, hated the idea of interacting with bugs. I remember my first summer camping trip. My mom was super nervous about sending me away to the woods, and I was scared of being near bugs. Yet, Mr. Sonzogni promised my parents that Boy Scout summer camp is the perfect opportunity to learn and grow as a student, citizen, and scout. With Mr. Sonzognis’s encouragement, my parents confidently sent me to camp. Once I reached camp, I didn’t know what to expect. The green tents filled with slugs and spiders were scary, but I slowly got used to it. I began enjoying summer camp. When I started completing merit badges, swimming in the lake, and spending days in the sun.”

Mr. Sonzogni recognized Ashwin’s leadership in scouting.

Mr. Sonzogni recognized Ashwin’s leadership in scouting. He recommended the National Youth Leadership Training Camp, where Ashwin pushed himself further by working with a diverse group of scouts to camp and develop personal skills. After completing the course, Ashwin was offered a position to teach the next year to scouts. Ashwin immersed himself in the monthly development meetings. He enhanced his ability to lead others and meet new faces.

Ashwin was student government president, campaigning every year and serving four years at the Morris County School of Technology. He will graduate in June and pursue higher education at Emory University in the fall.

Ashwin Vaithiyalingam possesses top skills in film editing, administration, project management, and cinematography.

Frank Cahill, an Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, presents Ashwin with a “Certificate of Achievement” and a gift card to a Chamber member. Additionally, Cahill, the Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development, presented Ashwin with an envelope filled with gift certificates and complimentary offers from local merchants.
Mayor James Barberio congratulates Ashwin and gives him an American Flag and other gifts.
Ms. Marianne Burke, Womans Club of Parsippany, congratulates Ashwin and presents him with a gift.
Frank Cahill, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany, presents Ashwin with a “Certificate of Achievement” along with a check.
Council Vice President Frank Neglia congratulates Ashwin Vaithiyalingam on his outstanding achievement of earning the Eagle Scout rank.
Councilman Justin Musella, a graduate of Emory College, congratulates Ashwin Vaithiyalingam on earning the prestigious Eagle Scout rank. Ashwin will also be attending Emory College in the fall.
Sra. Rocio Felix, a Spanish teacher at Morris County School of Technology, has been a significant influence on Ashwin’s educational journey.

Reprinted from Parsippany Focus Magazine, July 2024.

Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter Acknowledged for Hands-On Student Experience Initiative

PARSIPPANY — Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter was honored at the annual breakfast of Parsippany-Troy Hills School District.

The shelter proudly supports the district’s incredible Work-Based Learning program, which provides students with invaluable hands-on experience and skills. The shelter extends a big thank you to the district for recognizing this important partnership and looks forward to continuing to nurture the next generation of compassionate, skilled professionals.

Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter is at 194 Route 10 West, East Hanover. Their mission is to provide exceptional care for homeless animals, promote adoption, and support pet owners in the community. The shelter is dedicated to ensuring the well-being of all animals, finding loving homes for those in need, and educating the public about responsible pet ownership.

For more information, click here.

John Georges Honored for 50 Years of Commitment to Parsippany Township

PARSIPPANY — During the Parsippany-Troy Hills Township meeting on Tuesday, June 11, Mayor James Barberio presented Parsippany Township employee John Georges with a plaque commemorating his astounding 50 years of service at Town Hall.

John, who began his tenure with the township on June 18, 1974, is often regarded as the unofficial Deputy Mayor of the Municipal Building and knows everyone by name. In addition to his role in the mailroom, John helps new employees acclimate by introducing them to everyone with a short story or anecdote.

“I’m so proud to be able to honor John tonight,” said Mayor Barberio. “What an amazing accomplishment this is! John has always provided me with interesting insights and advice. He always greets everyone with a smile and has truly impacted the community. Thank you for all that you do!”

Morris County Strengthens Veterans Support with Expanded Services

MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County recently welcomed veterans and service providers at the Morris County Veterans Services Office for a meeting hosted by the New Jersey SOS Veterans Stakeholders Group. The event aimed to foster networking and better understand veterans’ support needs across the region.

The meeting saw over 60 participants, including representatives from the offices of U.S. Rep. Tom Kean, U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, and the N.J. State Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Organizations such as Catholic Charities Diocese of Paterson, Veterans Affairs Healthcare, Welcome Home Vets of NJ, Morris Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill Industries of Greater New York & Northern New Jersey, Inc., and the Mental Health Association of NJ were also present.

“Supporting our veterans is crucial to honor their sacrifices and ensure their well-being,” said Commissioner John Krickus, a Marine Corps veteran. “While holidays often spotlight their service, we want our veterans to know that Morris County is here throughout the year providing essential services for their transition to civilian life, whether it be access to healthcare, employment opportunities, training, or mental health support.”

Christine Hellyer, Director of the Office of Aging, Disabilities, and Community Programming, and Jessica Tomalo, Program Coordinator for the Morris County Office of Veterans Services, updated county veterans services. In the past two years, Morris County has expanded its Veterans Services Office to include a fourth full-time Veterans Services Officer position, which is currently being recruited, and a seasonal intern who recently joined and participated in the event.

“In 2022, Morris County allocated $350,000 to veteran services, and last year contributed an additional $300,000 to address the growing demand for mental health, shelter placement, transportation services, meal assistance, counseling, legal services, and other veteran services currently being provided by the Morris County Human Services Department,” Krickus said.

A new federal Veteran Center Community Access Point (CAP) opened in May at the Morris County VSO at 540 West Hanover Avenue in Morris Township. Morris County volunteered to share and improve its county VSO space to host the VA CAP.

Two VA counselors from the federal Bloomfield Vet Center are available to provide services every Thursday by appointment. Veterans interested in these services should call the Bloomfield Vet Center at (973) 748-0980 to schedule an appointment.

Additionally, a veterans appreciation event is being planned for later this summer at a park in Morris County. Sign up for the Morris County weekly email newsletter for updates about this and other veteran events throughout the county.

Community Backs Theo with Inspiring ‘Fight Like a Bear’ Pasta Dinner Event

PARSIPPANY — Theo is a 3-year-old Parsippany boy diagnosed in March 2024 with an Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor, which is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that is most commonly found in children under the age of three.

Theo, lovingly referred to as Theo Bear, is an energetic, playful, and loving little boy. He has been incredibly strong and brave through two craniotomies (brain surgeries) and two rounds of intensive chemotherapy thus far, with three more to come over the next three months.

Theo has been treated by a wonderful team of medical professionals from Morristown Memorial Hospital, The Valerie Fund of Morristown Memorial, and Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone in Manhattan.

Three-year-old Theo Nieglos

“The Nieglos family is extremely thankful for and appreciates the enormous generosity of the Blue Collar Worker’s Union of Parsippany, the Sons of Italy, and all of their family, friends, and acquaintances who have offered their support during this difficult time,” said Jenn Nieglos.

“When I got the news of Theo and his family, I knew I could count on my union members to make a difference. I didn’t know it would be this incredible. I want to thank everyone who volunteered their time, donated to the cause, and came to attend the event. I would also like to thank all the businesses in town who donated. A big thank you to my wife, Allison, who stepped up and worked alongside John Pirnie, his wife Dana, and Mike Smith to collect almost 90 baskets in a week and a half. And a special thank you to the Sons of Italy for providing the meal. It is moments like these that I am proud to be President of the Parsippany Blue Collar Workers Union. We worked hard to keep the Pride in Parsippany. Stay strong, Theo-Bear,” said Patrick Campbell.

The Sons of Italy are honored to support Theo Bear and his incredible family during this difficult time. Our community’s strength lies in our unity, and we are committed to doing everything we can to help. Together, we can make a difference and show that Parsippany stands strong with Theo,” said Joe Jannarone, Jr., President of Sons of Italy.

Members of the Parsippany Blue Collar Workers Union stand united in support of Theo Bear, holding a banner that reads, ‘Working hard to keep the Pride in Parsippany!’ Their dedication and solidarity are evident as they unite to support the Nieglos family during these challenging times.

“I was one of the union members in charge of the fundraiser. I want to thank residents and local businesses for their support, and a huge thanks to my wife, Dana Pirnie, and Pat Campbell’s wife, Allison Campbell, for all of their hard work and effort in running the fundraiser,” said John Pirnie.

Click here to donate to Theo Bear.

Community members gather in large numbers at a local event to support Theo Bear. The venue is filled with families and friends enjoying the event, adorned with silver balloons symbolizing hope and solidarity. The atmosphere is one of warmth and unity as everyone comes together to stand by the Nieglos family during their challenging journey.
Many dedicated volunteers supported Theo Bear, showcasing the community’s strength and solidarity. Their hard work and generosity have made a significant impact during this challenging time for the Nieglos family.
Many dedicated volunteers supported Theo Bear, showcasing the community’s strength and solidarity. Their hard work and generosity have made a significant impact during this challenging time for the Nieglos family.
A heartfelt display of generosity: an array of gifts donated by the community to support Theo Bear and his family during their challenging time. Each contribution represents the love and solidarity of the Parsippany community.
A heartfelt display of generosity: an array of gifts donated by the community to support Theo Bear and his family during their challenging time. Each contribution represents the love and solidarity of the Parsippany community.
A heartfelt display of generosity: an array of gifts donated by the community to support Theo Bear and his family during their challenging time. Each contribution represents the love and solidarity of the Parsippany community.
Theo Bear

A heartfelt gratitude to all the union members and their families who generously volunteered their time to ensure the success of this event. A special thank you goes to the Order Sons of Italy in America – Lodge 2561 for their incredible support in cooking and providing delicious food!

A special thanks to the following for stepping up to make this event a success.

•Par-Troy Little League East for sponsoring the 50/50.
•Eccola Italian Bistro for providing all the beverages.
•Red Barn Restaurant – Towaco and The Bread Gal Bakery for providing all the rolls and salad.
•Ferraro’s Italian Food Specialties, Jefry’s Pizzería, Baldwin Pizza, Valentino’s Pizzeria, and •Bruno’s Italian Bistro for providing food for the event.
•Pj Thurkauf from the UPS store for all the flyers and posters
•Landmark Floral for donating roses.
•Councilman Frank Neglia and Sandra Neglia, thank you for providing desserts and coffee.
•Mayor James Barberio for his support and his donations.

Theo, as you fight like a bear, we are all here by your side. An entire community is standing behind you, praying and fighting with you!!!! We ask that everyone keep the Nieglos family in their thoughts and prayers.

Parsippany Blue Collar Workers thank everyone from the bottom of their hearts who contributed to this amazing event. This is what Parsippany is all about. It is amazing how a community can work together for a worthy cause.

Stay strong, little man!!

Letter to the Editor: East Hanover’s Approach to Business Redevelopment Sparks Debate at Roundtable

Dear Editor:

My wife and I attended the Mayor’s Roundtable at the Sheraton in Parsippany. We have been following the controversial issue of the so-called Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program to redevelop the many empty office buildings in Parsippany.

We hoped to gain new insights from a moderated discussion among mayors of four nearby towns facing similar problems. What we got instead of an open discussion with an informed and neutral moderator was a pep rally led by a cheerleader, unanimous in their opinion that affordable, fair housing was an abomination led by horrible politicians in Trenton.

The mayors shared their tactics for fighting against court rulings meant to assure all New Jerseyans access to affordable housing in towns with good-paying jobs, but not one described their plan to provide good housing. One of them even likened his town to a business and low-income families as customers who would be money-losers for the town.

There was one surprising moment when the mayor of East Hanover said that his town never used a PILOT to redevelop business properties, as he found that businesses were willing to invest in his town without the extra tax break provided by the PILOT program. Parsippany’s Mayor Barberio has said that East Hanover would win the competition for business investment with Parsippany if we didn’t offer them a PILOT.

As promised, Monday night’s “roundtable” was not engaging or insightful. We learned that several local mayors were self-satisfied politicians devoted to keeping low-income people out of their towns and not interested in hearing the audience’s questions or opinions.

Mark Philhower and Gay Boyle

Letter to the Editor: Mayor’s Round Table or Barberbio Bail Out?

Dear Editor:

Parsippany Mayor’s most recent was an absolute farce and a waste of township time and money. By now, one should be surprised that Barberio is desperate to undo the 30-year damage he has caused the town and the schools after he and his attorney, Mr. John Inglesino, rammed through his Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) programs on December 28th.

The Mayor advertised that he was addressing PILOTs at the meeting with his out-of-town guests, who did not share his enthusiasm for PILOTs. Even one of the Mayor from East Hanover said that he did not do them, and another from Hanover said he put a split for the Board of Education.

But, very little about PILOTs was even addressed by Barberio’s out-of-town buddies. And rightly so, because almost none of the Mayors had much positive to say about them. And if that is not enough, Barberio has a slew of municipal employees sit in the audience of this event to project vast “support” for his bad policies and programs. Who is paying for all the employees’ time outside of work hours? How much did we spend on the Sheraton Ballroom to promote him and gubernatorial candidate Bill Spadea? How much comp time does the township have for these employees? Barberio seems to have a penchant for wasting people’s time and taxpayers’ money with John Inglesino playing the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain–who, by the way, had a controversial warehouse application being held at the planning board at the same time as this roundtable. Coincidence or intentional?

Bridget Cazzetto

Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Meeting Scheduled for June 11

PARSIPPANY — The Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Council has scheduled a meeting for Tuesday, June 11, at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will occur in the Council Chambers at 1001 Parsippany Boulevard within the Parsippany Municipal Building.

Formal action may or may not be taken.

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

Click here to download the agenda.

Click here for the 2024 calendar.

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

Evagelia Zois Named to the Spring 2024 Provost’s List at Hofstra University

PARSIPPANY — Evagelia Zois achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA during the spring 2024 semester, earning a spot on the Provost’s List at Hofstra University. Evagelia Zois attended Parsippany Hills High School, graduating in 2020.

Evagelia Zois had an active and distinguished high school career at Parsippany Hills High School. She held leadership positions and was involved in several honors and service organizations:

  • President of the French Honors Society
  • President of the E.R.A.S.E Club (End Racism and Sexism Everywhere)
  • Vice President of Student Advocates for Change
  • Member of the National Honors Society

These roles reflect her commitment to academic excellence and community service.

Her major at Hofstra is Video/TV And Business.

Hofstra University’s primary mission is to provide a quality education to its students in an environment that encourages, nurtures, and supports learning. At Hofstra, new ideas take shape through collaboration, engagement, and interaction. Hofstra students create their success with small classes and dedicated faculty alongside a beautiful campus, plus all the opportunities of New York City within easy reach.

Reprinted from Parsippany Focus Magazine, July 2024.

Parsippany Starbucks Workers File For Union Elections, One of 18 in Massive Day of Filing

PARSIPPANY — Starbucks workers at the Parsippany-Troy Hills location filed a petition for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) earlier this month, joining 17 other Starbucks stores nationwide in this effort. This wave of union filings follows closely after Starbucks Workers United members concluded a second round of national bargaining with Starbucks, making significant progress towards establishing a foundational framework for store contracts.

“Our store’s decision to unionize comes from a place of deep personal investment and a desire to be here for the long run, not resentment for Starbucks corporate. We view our jobs as worth doing and are compensated fairly for them. We’re fighting as a collective to receive the support we need to continue giving our best daily for our community,” said Ness Perez, a barista for one year.

Letter to Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan Signed by 18 Organizing Stores: Click here.

James Nathanael Garavito (they/them), a one-year shift supervisor, added, “Our store is joining Starbucks Workers United because partners deserve a voice when our company makes decisions that affect our day-to-day lives. We are not a means of profit; we are not just partner numbers or coffee crafters; we enrich the lives of those in our communities and manifest joy every day. We are proud to stand in solidarity with thousands of partners who share our vision for a better Starbucks, which aims to restore respect and dignity for all.”

Through their election petitions, Starbucks partners seek to join a growing nationwide movement of over 10,500 baristas united to win justice at work, including protections on core issues such as respect, living wages, racial and gender equity, and fair scheduling.

Since Starbucks partners first joined to form a union in 2021, workers at more than 440 Starbucks stores have won union elections with the NLRB in 43 states and the District of Columbia. The historic organizing campaign hinges on peer-to-peer organizing led by workers, for workers – and has won election after election in stores nationwide. 

Redstock Engages the Community with Arts, Crafts, and Interactive Booths

Parsippany High School student Malik Alzubi applies a temporary tattoo on six-year-old Kendall Lapena during PHS’s Annual Redstock event.
Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor James Barberio with PHS Senior Robert Spero

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany High School’s Redstock is an annual community festival that brings together local families, students, and businesses for fun and engagement. Held on the school’s parking lot, the event features a variety of activities, including sports, games, food, temporary tattoos, face painting, arts and crafts, a bounce house, and a dunk tank. Highlights from recent Redstock events include interactive booths from school clubs and vendor areas where local businesses showcase their products and services​.

Redstock provides entertainment and fosters community unity by creating a festive atmosphere where residents from all walks of life can come together to celebrate and support one another.

Aanya Sinha, Anya Patel, Devin Patel, Lithra Sankari, HOSA Healthcare Occupation Students of America
Shop Rite of Parsippany
Furry friends get the royal treatment at Wash N Wag, where every bath is a tail-wagging experience!
Parsippany PAL. Redstock at Parsippany High: A Celebration of School and Community Spirit.
Ozzy and Gianluca Fernicola from Parsippany’s Best Pizza live up to their name.

Dollar Tree is coming to Route 10

PARSIPPANY — Dollar Tree received approval from Parsippany-Troy Hills Zoning Department to open a new store at 2930 Route 10 (Pelican Plaza). The property owner is Pelican Plaza, LLC.

Dollar Tree will occupy 9,500 square feet. As of this article, no opening date has been set since the space will require interior renovations.

Other tenants in Pelican Plaza include Bruno’s Bistro, Eastern Dental, Cinnamon, and Planet Fitness.

Dollar Tree’s product range is vast, beginning with its extensive selection of food and beverages. Shoppers can find a variety of snacks, candy, and drinks alongside canned and packaged food items. The store also boasts a selection of frozen and refrigerated foods, making it a convenient stop for quick meal solutions.

Additional locations include Route 46, Parsippany; Route 10, East Hanover; Route 53, Denville; and Route 46, Fairfield. A typical store is open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. For a complete listing of Dollar Tree stores, click here.

Dollar Tree, Inc. is a well-known American chain of discount variety stores offering multiple products at multiple price points. The company is headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia, and holds a position on the Fortune 500 list. With an extensive network, Dollar Tree operates 15,115 stores across the 48 contiguous U.S. states and Canada. These stores are efficiently supported by a comprehensive logistics network of 24 distribution centers, ensuring a steady supply of products to meet customer demand.

For more information on Dollar Tree, click here.

Dollar Tree stores are not independently owned but corporate-owned and operated by Dollar Tree, Inc. The company maintains full ownership and control over its stores, ensuring consistency in product offerings, pricing, and overall shopping experience across all its locations.

Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany Supports Local Pantry with Food Drive

PARSIPPANY — The Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany recently organized a food collection drive at Parsippany ShopRite to support the Parsippany Food Pantry. This initiative aimed to gather non-perishable food items to assist local families in need. Feel free to ask if you have any questions or need more information about future events or how to participate! You can contact President Carol Tiesi by emailing carol.tiesi77@icloud.com.

Club President Carol Tiesi, along with members Frank Cahill, Judi Chase, Bonnie Gessling, Susan Slaughter, Lt. Governor Nicolas Limanov, and members of the Key Club, collected ten full carts of food, which was delivered to the Parsippany Food Pantry.

Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany President Carol Tiesi said, “When I was sworn in as President in October, one of my initiatives was to work with the Key Club on their goal of collecting food for the needy. We started in Parsippany and will continue throughout next year to collect as much food as needed.” The Key Club comprises passionate, hardworking high schoolers dedicated to serving their homes, schools, and communities. We strive to make the world a better place through service and caring.

Susan Slaughter and Nicolas Limanov are collecting food at ShopRite for donation to the Parsippany Food Pantry

The Parsippany Food Pantry is a community-based organization dedicated to providing food assistance to local families in need. It operates with donations and volunteer support, aiming to ensure that no one in the community goes hungry.

Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany President Carol Tiesi and members Judi Chase and Bonnie Gessling were instrumental in organizing the recent food drive at ShopRite. Their dedication and hard work, alongside other club members and community volunteers, resulted in the collection of ten full carts of food delivered to the Parsippany Food Pantry to support local families in need.

The Parsippany Emergency Food Pantry is located at Parsippany Community Center, 1130 Knoll Road, Lake Hiawatha; for more information, call (973) 263-7163. It is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany meets every Thursday at 7:15 a.m. at IHOP, 792 Route 46. On the first Thursday of each month, the club holds an evening meeting at 6:30 p.m. For more information on the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany, click here.

Bloomfield Man Identified in Fatal Parsippany Pedestrian Accident

PARSIPPANY — Officials have identified the pedestrian who died after being hit by a vehicle last week along Route 46 in Parsippany as 55-year-old Gerard Calcagno of Bloomfield. The incident occurred shortly before 10 p.m. on Thursday, near Pep Boys on Route 46 East, when the driver of a Dodge Journey struck Calcagno.

First responders pronounced Calcagno dead at the scene, according to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. Further details about the incident have not yet been released.

Gerard Calcagno

This marks the second pedestrian fatality in Parsippany this year. In April, a 73-year-old woman was struck while attempting to cross Route 46 West at North Beverwyck Road. Additionally, a 36-year-old Dover woman died in a one-car crash on May 6 along Hanover Avenue.

No charges have been announced in connection with Calcagno’s death, and the investigation into the crash continues. The driver of the SUV remained at the scene, officials said.

Parsippany-Troy Hills Police and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office will lead the investigation, with assistance from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to his obituary with Van Tassel Funeral Home, Calcagno is survived by his sister Jean, brother Joseph, and many cousins. He was a graduate of Essex County Vocational School.

Giovanni DiDomenico: The Passionate Teen Behind A Business Revolution

PARSIPPANY — Giovanni DiDomenico founded Shop Morris County at age 14 while still an 8th-grade student. As a lifelong resident of Parsippany, Giovanni has always advocated for the local business community. His early passion for business and his community laid the foundation for a remarkable journey.

Starting Shop Morris County in the 8th grade, Giovanni made significant strides from the beginning. Guided by his favorite quote, “Work so hard that your success becomes prominent,” he transformed a budding idea into a thriving movement. The initiative rapidly gained momentum, reflecting Giovanni’s dedication and vision.

Accomplishments and Mission

One of the notable achievements of Shop Morris County is becoming a silver sponsor at the Tri-County Fair. Giovanni’s efforts to connect with hundreds of local businesses across Morris County led him to meet influential figures like Frank Cahill, from whom he learned about Parsippany Focus and the Morris Now App. The core mission of Shop Morris County is to promote local businesses and foster a sense of community. Giovanni emphasizes that everyone in Morris County is part of one big community, and supporting local businesses is integral to this sense of unity.

Shop Morris County: Giovanni DiDomenico’s Mission To Boost Local Business

Passion for Business and Community

Giovanni’s deep interest in business and his passion for community drive Shop Morris County’s success. His enthusiasm for promoting and helping local businesses shines through in every aspect of the initiative.

Giovanni enjoys engaging with business owners, learning about new businesses, and building relationships. This interaction provides insights into the unique aspects of each local business and helps Giovanni better understand the dynamics of the local market. This knowledge is invaluable in effectively promoting the strengths and offerings of Morris County businesses.

Community Interaction

Giovanni’s interest in learning about new businesses contributes significantly to Shop Morris County’s ongoing growth and success. His engagement with business owners and the community helps maintain the initiative’s momentum.

Giovanni leverages social media to promote local businesses and the Shop Morris County movement. He finds it an effective tool for connecting with the community and spreading awareness. Through social media, Giovanni showcases the vibrancy of local businesses and engages with a broader audience, enhancing the movement’s reach and impact.

Website Integration

The Shop Morris County website further enhances social media engagement by providing a centralized platform for local businesses to showcase their products and services. It serves as a hub for information, events, and promotions, driving more traffic to social media channels and fostering a stronger online community.

The growth and success of Shop Morris County are sources of immense pride for Giovanni. He invites everyone to join in the effort to shop and support local Morris County businesses, reinforcing the sense of community and shared success.

Click here to view the Shop Morris County website.

Parsippany’s Giovanni DiDomenico: The Teen Behind Shop Morris County

Over 300 Community Members Unite for Cancer Awareness at BAPS Walk-Run

PARSIPPANY — On Sunday, June 2, BAPS Charities hosted its annual “In the Joy of Others: Walk-Run” to support Carol G. Simon Cancer Center. The Walk brought together local community members to take steps and engage in selfless service to raise awareness for the fight against cancer with cutting-edge research. 

The annual BAPS Charities Walk-Run, occurring in 72 cities across North America, champions various causes, including education, health and wellness, environmental stewardship, humanitarian relief, and support for local police and fire departments. The transformative power of community engagement in fostering healthier societies symbolizes unity and a commitment to impactful change beyond physical participation.

Parsippany Residents Rally for Cancer Research at BAPS Charities Walk-Run

This year, over 300 community members, including Parsippany Mayor James Barberio, Council Vice President Frank Neglia, and Councilman Justin Musella, joined the effort to support the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center and its mission to fight cancer with cutting-edge research. The event showcased a broad spectrum of participation, from youth to seniors, united for a common cause.

BAPS Charities Walk-Run: Uniting Parsippany in the Fight Against Cancer

On the occasion, Parsippany Mayor James Barberio Said, “I can’t thank enough to BAPS Charities Parsippany for what they do for the community.”

Ruchita Trambadia, a participant at the event, shared, “One of my Family members is a cancer survivor, and it’s my turn to give back to the community. That’s why I am here to support BAPS charities’ 2024 Annual Walkathon.”

Event lead Rushikesh Dave provided insights into the event’s success and expressed gratitude to participants and fundraisers, saying, “This event spreads awareness, helps people gain knowledge, and helps build unity and solidarity within the community.”

Beyond the annual Walk-Run, BAPS Charities is dedicated to five fundamental areas: Health Awareness, Educational Services, Humanitarian Relief, Environmental Protection & Preservation, and Community Empowerment. With active operations across nine countries and five continents, the organization is deeply involved in providing humanitarian aid locally and internationally. Specifically, BAPS Charities has organized over 1,000 North American walks and 500 health fairs, offering free health services to over 130,000 individuals. Additionally, it has conducted 500 blood donation drives, which have collected enough blood to potentially save 56,000 lives and delivered over 5,000 health awareness lectures. On a global scale, BAPS Charities has made significant environmental contributions by planting over 2 million trees, constructing 55 schools in regions hit by disasters, and offering humanitarian assistance to over 1,000 refugees from the Ukraine conflict in 2022.

For more information on the local activities of BAPS Charities, click here.

BAPS Charities Walk-Run: A Day of Community Service and Cancer Awareness

Reprinted from Parsippany Focus Magazine, July 2024.

Letter to the Editor: Barberio’s Out-of-Touch Policies Fail to Address Affordable Housing Reality

Dear Editor:

Mayor Barberio’s recent rhetoric about a lawsuit against affordable housing is too little too late, and it appears NJ Highlands present director Ben Spinelli has the situation finally going in the right direction.

If Mayor Barberio and his administration had smartly conformed to the regional plan in 2010 rather than allowed John Inglesino to suspend conformance and then remove Parsippany completely in June 2014, all for false reasons, which have been exposed and made available to the public. The Mayor nor any council-member at the time performed any due-diligence in seeing through Inglesino’s deliberate disinformation.  In short Barberio and others should be supporting Ben Spinelli’s efforts to temper the developers in their unrealistic attempts to continue their endless and unsustainable continued building that brings minimum affordable and maximum market will bare. Municipalities need to become allies of the “Affordable Housing Reform Act”, not go off on their own at this late date, and waste more tax dollars.

It was because former Governor Christie allowed the Housing Issue to be passed to developers remedy that we are in this situation, Barberio and others should of started back then resisting this unwise move, and demanded developers stay with State Planning and Smart Growth perimeters. Apparently Barberio is still alienated, and out of touch with the reality of the situation, and promotes fear, rather than pragmatic actual solutions that are already in play. (Waterview remains the greatest failure of Barberio’s misguided fear tactics that favored unwise development, when open space was extremely possible. He betrayed his entrusted community after the No Rezone outcome) (Inglesino should be banned from practicing law in Parsippany).

See below 2-recent correspondence on the AH in the Highlands from Coalition:

Affordable Housing Reform Act what we should be supporting not a Barberio & Company Lawsuit. Nick, your concern is well founded and you are not alone in harboring that concern. Ben Spinelli has trumpeted the fact that the market rate units needed to in order to meet the number of required affordable units will far exceed the carrying capacity of the Highlands. There is no magic wand that will resolve this conflict. However, the reason we succeeded in amending the recent Affordable Housing Reform Act, which finally recognized the need to limit growth in the Highlands, was because of the impacts to the Highlands resources if numbers assigned by the state applied in the Highlands.

Parsippany has been built out already and has the highest water deficit in the Highlands.
The document is the Highlands Municipal Build Out Report, which was provided for each Highlands municipality back in 2008. For the Fourth Round AH numbers, they are being updated to reflect on-the -ground changes and recent changes in the Land Use Capability Map (LUCM) Zones. However, the build out reports do not consider Designated Highlands Redevelopment Zones, which cannot be calculated because Redevelopment Zones allow for flexibility from the LUCM zone mapping (although all Highlands resources within a Redevelopment Zone must be identified and avoided, and if disturbed, mitigated under a policy of no-net-loss to Highlands resources). The extent of the designations within a municipality are not known because they are designated over time and since each is evaluated during the designation process, the amount of development (as redevelopment) is unknown until the designation is made. Parsippany is an interesting outlier because most of the development in the town, due to the extent that the town is developed, will be redevelopment. It would be safe to assume that Parsippany has the greatest percentage of impervious cover in the Highlands.

Are warehouses increasing our housing demand? Barberio never thought of this, only tax ratables, then allows PILOTSThe warehouses, or any commercial development, increase the municipal affordable housing obligation factoring the anticipated number of new employees. I don’t know what the ratio is, but it is a factor. So, not only is the commercial development (e.g. warehouse) not affordable housing, but it increases the obligation, expanding the unmet need. 

Nick Homyak

Angela Palazzo of Parsippany Earns Spot on Centenary University Dean’s List

MORRIS COUNTY — Centenary University President Dale Caldwell, Ed.D., has announced the Dean’s List for the spring 2024 semester. To achieve this honor, full-time students must earn a semester grade point average of 3.8 or above and complete a minimum of 12 semester credits. Parsippany resident Angela Palazzo was among those recognized for this achievement. Palazzo is a 2021 Graduate of Parsippany Hills High School.

Other Morris County residents who earned Dean’s List honors are:

Budd Lake—Sydney Mullin, Courtney Nelson, Ashley Tirone, Sean Yancey

Denville—Jenna Barchetto, Emily Farese, Nicole Leonard

Dover—Elizabeth Gonzalez

Flanders—Constanza Giaquinto, Michael Rodriguez, Alexis Schumacher

Lake Hopatcong—Jessica Leek, Shanna Leek, Kasandra Pappa

Landing—Carlos Burbano, Ciara Rodriguez

Long Valley—Claire Finegan, Emilie Finegan, Erica Gallo, Morgan Garner, Joseph Hamway, Nicole Harrington, Nicolas Radovanic

Mendham—Emma Norton

Morristown—Anna Stein

Parsippany—Angela Palazzo

Pompton Plains—Savannah Mol

Randolph— Justin Carlucci, Sara Fusco, Sarah Halpern, Ryan O’Shaughnessy

Riverdale—Kayla Sampong

Rockaway—Justin Meidling, Pamela Mejia-Medina, Joseph Porretta, Grace Russo

Succasunna—Liz Angelee Asuncion, Giulianna Falquez, Thomas Miller, Jasmin Walker

Wharton—Thomas Edge, Alejandro Mejia Ruiz, Zachary Orr, Dante Perna

Centenary University offers extraordinary learning opportunities that empower students to develop intellectually, emotionally, and interculturally—keys to career and personal success.
Under the leadership of President Dale Caldwell, Ed.D., the University aspires to advance its reputation as a world-class institution offering innovative programs, including the world’s first Master of Arts in Happiness Studies, to lift the future for our students and local communities.

Parsippany-Troy Hills School District Staff Awards 2024

PARSIPPANY — Video On The Go interviews the principals of each school, congratulates the retirees, celebrates 25 years of service and honors the Teachers of the Year.

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