Monday, April 15, 2024
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Parsippany-Troy Hills Residents on Edge After Home Burglary: Valuable Jewelry Targeted

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills Police are currently probing a residential burglary within the township, during which a significant quantity of jewelry was stolen.

The burglary transpired on Wednesday, March 27, at a residence situated on Hennion Drive between the hours of 7:30 p.m. and 10:25 p.m., according to police reports.

Authorities disclosed that the unidentified perpetrator(s) gained entry into the residence using a first-floor patio door and absconded with a 3-foot Oakwood jewelry chest containing a substantial amount of jewelry.

Initial investigations conducted by officers revealed that an unfamiliar vehicle was sighted driving up Hennion Drive and subsequently parking on DeHart Street at approximately 7:45 p.m. However, no detailed descriptions of the suspect or vehicle could be ascertained at the time. The incident remains actively under investigation, as per police statements.

Individuals possessing any pertinent information about the case are urged to reach out to the Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department’s Investigative Branch at (973) 263-4300.

Local Officials Attend Ramadan Gathering at Jam-e-Masjid Islamic Center

MORRIS COUNTY — On Wednesday, March 27, the Jam-e-Masjid Islamic Center in Boonton hosted a Ramadan fast-breaking event, bringing together Muslims and community leaders.

Among those in attendance were Mayor James Barberio, Council President Paul Carifi Jr., Councilman Matt McGrath, Councilwoman Judy Hernandez, Sheriff James Gannon, Morris County Surrogate Heather Darling, representatives from Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill’s office, and numerous other dignitaries.

Ramadan, a time of contemplation, introspection, and spiritual renewal, encourages people of the Islamic faith to reflect on the plight of the less fortunate and underscores the importance of treating others with kindness and respect.

The event also provided an opportunity to partake in the rich traditions of hospitality that are integral to the Muslim community.

Morris County Surrogate Heather Darling addresses the audience
Montville Police Chief Andrew Caggiano
The Mayor of Parsippany-Troy Hills is flanked by numerous local dignitaries.
Khaled Madin, the Township Clerk of Parsippany-Troy Hills, actively participates in the cherished traditions of hospitality that hold significant importance within the Muslim community.
Morris County Commissioners John Krickus and Doug Cabana

Morris County Commissioner Doug Cabana, Parsippany-Troy Hills Council President Paul Carifi Jr., Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Clerk Khaled Madin, Morris County Surrogate Heather Darling, and Parsippany-Troy Hills Councilwoman Judy Hernandez.

Revolutionizing Administration: Parsippany-Troy Hills Unveils New Software for License and Inspection Management

PARSIPPANY — The Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills has introduced new government management software solutions in their municipal offices for 2024, aiming to automate processes, digitally manage data, and enhance citizen engagement through cloud-based services provided by GovPilot – the Operating System for Local Governments. Through collaboration with GovPilot, a government management software provider based in New Jersey, Parsippany has expanded its partnership to access modern software solutions throughout the municipality.

This partnership is geared towards simplifying access to data and information for both citizens and government officials, thereby saving valuable time and resources. GovPilot’s exceptional customer success rates and reviews distinguish it as a leading provider in streamlining the implementation of new software solutions efficiently and effectively for Parsippany-Troy Hills.

Among the solutions added to Parsippany-Troy Hills municipality are modules:
● Retail Food Establishment License Module
● Recreational Bathing/Pool Module
● Retail Food Establishment Inspections Module
● Septic System Permit Module
● Temporary Food License Module
● Miscellaneous Health Inspections

Mayor Barberio expressed excitement about the deployment of the new health department modules from GovPilot, emphasizing how these solutions will save municipal offices time and resources, while also streamlining health permitting and inspection processes. The seamless implementation of this software eliminates work silos that previously burdened the municipality.

The additional software solutions deployed by Parsippany-Troy Hills in 2024 will continue to simplify and digitize once manual, paper-based government processes. This enables government workers to focus on more pressing municipal tasks, while also sparing constituents the inconvenience of visiting city hall in person.

For further information about the Parsippany Health Department and to access the new portal for online Forms and Applications click here.

Parsippany Awarded $111,000 for Recycling and Waste Reduction Programs

PARSIPPANY — The Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills was awarded a $111,240 grant provided by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to further its recycling programs. Per the DEP, “The annual grant awards are based on 2021 recycling performance, the most recent year for which data is available. Municipalities must use their funds for various recycling initiatives which can include sponsoring household hazardous waste collection events, providing recycling receptacles in public places or maintaining leaf composting operations.” This marks a significant milestone in Parsippany’s commitment to sustainable waste management practices.

Mayor James R. Barberio expressed gratitude for the grant, stating, “We are thrilled to receive this funding, which will enable us to expand our recycling efforts and make meaningful strides towards a more sustainable future for Parsippany. Recycling plays a crucial role in preserving our environment and conserving natural resources. We are committed to maximizing its impact within our community.”

The Township of Parsippany extends its appreciation to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for its support and partnership in advancing recycling initiatives. With the help of this grant, Parsippany looks forward to building a greener, more environmentally-responsible community for generations to come. For more information about this grant, please visit the DEP site here

For more information on Parsippany’s recycling program and initiatives, click here

Legacy Lives On: Peter Devlin Honored with Street Naming in Parsippany

PARSIPPANY — Mayor James Barberio unveiled “Peter Devlin Way” on Thursday, March 28th, at Pumphouse Road near the Parsippany DPW.

Peter Devlin served Parsippany Township for 49 years, rising to the position of General Supervisor of the Road Department before retiring in 2016.

Regrettably, Mr. Devlin passed away in 2017.

Mayor Barberio expressed his deep emotions during the ceremony, recalling Mr. Devlin’s impact on his childhood and his continued respect for him during his tenure as Mayor. He praised Mr. Devlin’s strong work ethic and straightforward nature.

Mayor Barberio acknowledged the presence of Mrs. Patricia Devlin and sons Peter and John at the ceremony, expressing gratitude to former employee Ed Celardo for his dedication in realizing this tribute.

Ed Celardo
Family members gathered alongside Mayor James Barberio for the unveiling ceremony of Peter Devin Way

Don’t Stress About Taxes: Seniors Can Access Free Assistance at Community Center

PARSIPPANY — Tax Day falls on Monday, April 15th. Seniors can avail themselves of free income tax preparation aid at the Parsippany Community Center courtesy of AARP, and this service has seen remarkable success this year.

For more details, please dial (973) 263-7351. Additionally, taxpayers who qualify can access free tax assistance through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.

Further information and details about local counselors can be found by clicking here.

Changing of the Guard: Joe Jannarone, Jr., Assumes the Helm

PARSIPPANY — Morris County Sons of Italy – Lodge 2561 held their Installation Ceremony and monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 27th at the Knoll West Country Club in Parsippany. A Large crowd of over 65 members, including State President of the Grand Lodge of N.J. of the Order of the Sons of Italy in America, Stephen Camiscioli, and State V.P. Andrew Simone, were in attendance to join in the swearing-in of both organizations 2024-2026 slate of Officers, and 11 new members.

1stVP Harry Mangiro, Trustee Scott Walstedt, Trustee Jim Torsiello, Sgt. at Arms Sean Clark, State President Stephen Camiscioli, Orator Phil Parziale, President Joe Jannarone Jr., State VP Andrew Simone, Trustee Frank Campisano, Immediate Past President Bob Adamo, Trustee Chuck Di Pietro, 2nd VP Mike Fazzio, Trustee Bob Wilhalme, Secretary Joe Bonadeo.

Incoming Officers include President Joseph Jannarone Jr., 1st V.P. Harry Mangiro, 2nd V.P. Mike Fazzio, Treasurer Mike Zambito, Secretary Joe Bonadeo, Sgt. at Arms Sean Clark, Orator Phil Parziale, and Immediate Past President Bob Adamo.

Incoming President Joseph Jannarone Jr.

Trustees include Frank Campisano, Chuck Di Pietro, James Torsiello, Scott Walstedt, Bob Wilhalme, and Scholarship Chairman Mike De Pierro. As per the organization’s by-laws, each Officer will serve a term of two years.

Immediate Past President Adamo, who assumed the helm of the organization in 2022 did an exemplary job of keeping the organization on course. A demanding and time-consuming job that requires a lot of commitment, Adamo unarguably rose to the task. Adamo upon handing over the gavel to Jannarone stated, “It has been an extreme honor and privilege to lead such a great group of individuals. I’m extremely thankful and proud of every member of the Sons of Italy, and the hard work everyone does to support the community and the organization. Every leader is only as good as the people they surround themselves with, and I was fortunate to have the support of those people.”

Organizational growth over the past two years attests to the vibrancy and significance of this growing and impactful community service-orientated group.  The Sons of Italy moves on with the dynamic and effective leadership of former, and once again, Joe Jannarone Jr. assuming the top spot. Jannarone, who served as President from 1989 through 2017, is familiar with the role and responsibilities of the task at hand. Serving as the Sons’ long-time Fundraising/Philanthropic Committee Chairman, Jannarone has strong community ties, and spearheads many local and county charitable endeavors for the group, known for its community service and generosity.

New members taking the Oath of Office: Matt De Vito, Hayden Cerrato, Steve Aimutis, John Alfano, Anthony Lenzi, Albert Bosco, Carl De Stefanis, Andrew Fillippone, Tony Scannell, Charles Di Pietro, and Frank Mauriello. (Hidden in back)

Also sworn in at the meeting were new members; Matt De Vito, Hayden Cerrato, Steve Aimutis, John Alfano, Anthony Lenzi, Albert Bosco, Carl De Stefanis, Andrew Fillippone, Tony Scannell, Charles Di Pietro, and Frank Mauriello.

Joseph Jannarone, Jr., Stephen Camiscioli, Bob Adamo, and Andrew Simone.

An additional group of new members is on deck to be sworn in at an upcoming meeting. In actuality, the organization is growing so quickly that they were forced to move their monthly meetings to larger venues to accommodate the attendees.

Mike Zambito will also resume his significant role as Treasurer. Another demanding and time-consuming role that seldom receives the credit he deserves. Zambito’s experience as a former municipal Chief Financial Officer provides the organization the benefit of his extensive knowledge, skills, and abilities in overseeing a complicated budget that allows for the various charitable donations and community-oriented programs that have become the focal point of the Sons of Italy.

State President Stephen administers the Oath of Office to incoming President Joe Jannarone Jr.

The Sons of Italy is one of America’s largest and longest-standing Italian American organizations.

The Morris County Lodge – 2561 was founded as a non-profit organization that contributes thousands of dollars to worthwhile local charities and families. 100% of what the Lodge raises in various events goes directly back to local charities, including but not limited to the Parsippany Food Pantry, High School Scholarships, the Valerie Fund, The Shelter for Battered Women, Alzheimer’s, and many more.

Explore upcoming events hosted by the Sons of Italy at www.soi2561.org or on Facebook.

Morris County Celebrates Women’s History Month

MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Board of County Commissioners closed out Women’s History Month by presenting a framed proclamation to the Morris County Advisory Committee on Women this week, who in turn honored this year’s “Seeds of Change” award recipient.

“Let us recognize the Advisory Committee on Women, which was established by the former Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 2004 to promote the interests of women and recommend programs to help meet the needs of women in Morris County,” said Commissioner Director Christine Myers. “On behalf of the County Commissioners, I am honored to present this proclamation of Women’s History Month to your committee and thank you for your volunteerism in the service of all our residents.”

Commissioner Director Myers invited Donna Boyce, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Women, to accept a framed copy of the proclamation, which the board adopted by resolution on March 8. Ms. Boyce then announced the nominee for the Morris County 2024 Seeds of Change Award, which is presented annually to a woman volunteer who has improved the community through her leadership and inspiration to other women in the county.

Debby Seme and Donna Boyce.

This year’s recipient, Debby Seme, was chosen for her leadership as president of Impact100 Garden State since 2020. The Morris County-based all-women, all-volunteer organization combines member donations to give $100,000 grants. During Ms. Seme’s tenure, she has led the organization in steady growth in membership and grantmaking despite the economic challenges for donors and nonprofits amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Serving as president has provided me with countless opportunities to meet and work with our members, women who are kind and fun and hardworking, and who share my passion for Impact100. As president, I am also able to witness the amazing amount of work that gets done, all by women volunteers, to keep this organization thriving. Receiving this award is truly humbling and inspiring,” said Seme.

Over the years, Impact100 Garden State grants have supported many residents throughout the county, including those served by Cornerstone Family Programs, the County College of Morris Foundation, Family Promise of Morris County, Head Start Morris County, Homeless Solutions, Interfaith Food Pantry Network, Roots & Wings and Zufall Health. Impact100 Garden State had a record 375 members and granted $375,000 to local nonprofits in 2023.

In total, Impact100 Garden State has donated more than $3 million since 2013.

The “Seeds of Change” Volunteer Award was inspired by the late Sen. Leanna Brown, who passed in 2016. The honor is intended to highlight and celebrate women who build up other women, including those who volunteer at the grassroots level in the community. This is the fifth “Seeds of Change Award” to be issued since 2018.

The Advisory Committee on Women was established by the former Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 2004 to promote the interests of women and recommend programs to help meet the needs of women in Morris County.

Councilman Musella to Hold Town Hall on Constituent Services

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Councilman Justin Musella will hold a Town Hall Meeting on Saturday, April 6 from 12:00 Noon to 2:00 p.m. at Parsippany-Troy Hills Main Public Library, 449 Halsey Road.

A valuable information session with members of government at different levels to discuss issues in the Lake Parsippany area and find solutions to fix them. The event will be hosted in a Town Hall format where residents will have the opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns. The panel will be announced shortly.

Parsippany’s Islamic Community Center Hosts Heartwarming Iftar Dinner

PARSIPPANY — A gathering for Iftar, marking the breaking of the fast during Ramadan, took place at the Islamic Community Cultural Center in Parsippany on Sunday, March 24, uniting Muslims and community leaders.

Mayor James Barberio of Parsippany, along with Councilman Justin Musella and Parsippany Chamber of Commerce President Robert Peluso, were among the attendees.

Traditionally, Iftar commences with the consumption of dates and water, following the practice of Prophet Muhammad, followed by a more substantial meal comprising various dishes. It serves as a significant occasion for Muslims to come together with loved ones, engage in prayer, and contemplate the day’s fasting.

Get Ready for an EPIC Easter Egg Drop at Liquid Church

PARSIPPANY — On Easter Weekend, Liquid Church, one of New Jersey’s fastest-growing Christian churches, will host helicopter Easter Egg Drop events at four locations in Parsippany, Princeton, Wayne, and Mountainside, New Jersey. On Saturday, March 30, and Sunday, March 31, the community is invited to attend the free Easter Egg Drop, where 75,000 colorful Easter eggs filled with candy and prizes will be shared with kids ages 12 and under. 

“At Liquid Church, we like to say ‘Church Is Fun’ and on Easter Weekend, kids will have a blast as we share thousands of Easter eggs for a memorable family Easter celebration,” said Tim Lucas, founder and lead pastor of Liquid Church.

On Easter Weekend, Liquid Church will also host 27 Easter services across its 7 locations, plus a Church Online Easter experience. Easter services at Liquid Church are approximately 70-minutes with great music, an inspiring Easter message, and an epic Easter Egg Drop for kids after the service. Liquid Family kids’ programming will be available for infants through 8th grade on Easter Weekend.

The Easter Egg Drop activity for kids will occur after each Easter service and on the lawn of Liquid’s Parsippany, Princeton, Wayne, and Mountainside locations. The Egg Drop activity is free, but registration and Liquid Family attendance are required to participate. Families can claim free tickets for their preferred Egg Drop experience at JerseyEggDrop.com

To participate in the Easter Egg Drop, each child ages 12 and under will receive an Easter egg basket after attending Liquid Family. The Easter basket will be their ticket to enter the free Easter Egg Drop activity. 

Fun family Easter Egg Hunts (no helicopter) will also occur at three Liquid Church locations on Sunday, March 31st in Parlin, Somerville, and Garwood, New Jersey.

To view Easter Weekend service times and RSVP, visit LiquidChurch.com/Easter.

Robby Brooks Featured on Parsippany Focus Magazine Cover for Clean Water Café Story

PARSIPPANY — Robby Brooks had the distinct privilege of gracing the cover of Parsippany Focus magazine, a rare opportunity indeed. Featured prominently during February, Brooks was highlighted in a special feature on the Clean Water Café, situated within the premises of Liquid Church.

In a gesture of celebration, Frank Cahill, the publisher of Parsippany Focus, went above and beyond. He took the initiative to have Robby’s cover feature framed into a plaque, ensuring that Bobby would always have a tangible reminder of this special moment.

In addition, Mayor James Barberio was excited to surprise Robby at his job at Liquid Church’s Clean Water Cafe with a Certificate of Appreciation for his dedication to providing outstanding customer service.

“Another great day in Parsippany,” said the Mayor. “This is the best kind of surprise! I love recognizing and showing appreciation for kindness. Robby Brooks is a wonderful, caring member of the Parsippany community, and I applaud his kindness,” said Mayor Barberio.

Clean Water Cafe is a one-of-a-kind coffeehouse in New Jersey! The goal is to provide a delicious selection of handcrafted coffees, teas, specialty drinks, breakfast, and lunch with a cause. The Cafe is a non-profit that provides meaningful work for adults with special needs as part of our staff! Plus, a portion of our coffee sales helps bring clean drinking water to children and families in Africa.

Anthony Santangelo, A3Digital Media immortalized the moment by capturing it on video, ensuring that the memories of this special occasion would be preserved for years to come.

Impactful Outreach: Parsippany Lions Club Provides Free Vision Screenings

PARSIPPANY — On Saturday, March 23rd, the Parsippany Lions Club held its annual ‘Vision Of Hope’ event at the Parsippany Main Public Library.

Councilman Justin Musella expresses gratitude to volunteers for their dedicated efforts.

The main goal of the event was to provide complimentary vision screenings to people of all age groups, particularly targeting those without vision insurance and families facing financial constraints. A total of 79 individuals underwent vision screenings, and some of them will additionally receive free eyeglasses within the coming week.

“We believe that clear vision is essential for individuals to lead fulfilling lives,” said Pratap Jayakar, Zone Chair for Northern New Jersey at Lions Clubs International. “Through our annual ‘Vision of Hope’ event, we aspire to make a positive impact on the visual health of our community.

With the generous support of local businesses and organizations, we can ensure that every individual in need receives free vision screening and possibly eyeglasses.”

Explore the Cosmos: New Spring Shows at County College of Morris Planetarium

MORRIS COUNTY — Embark on a celestial journey this spring at the Longo Planetarium, located on the County College of Morris (CCM) campus. Two captivating shows await eager stargazers, offering insights into the upcoming solar eclipse and captivating sky stories from cultures around the globe.

Running until Saturday, May 11, on select Fridays and Saturdays, these immersive experiences are not to be missed. Tickets for all shows are priced at $10.00 per person, and advance online reservations are strongly recommended to secure your spot. Visit the Planetarium website by clicking here to book your tickets.

In “Totality: The Great American Solar Eclipse 2024,” discover the magic of celestial phenomena as you delve into the mechanics of solar and lunar eclipses. Witness the awe-inspiring beauty of a total solar eclipse, a rare occurrence where the moon aligns perfectly with the sun, casting a shadow across North America on Monday, April 8. Learn where and how to best view this spectacular event, as experts guide you through its significance. Recommended for ages 8 and above, this 45-minute show will leave you spellbound. Catch it on select Fridays at 9:00 p.m. and Saturdays at 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., with special preparatory shows on March 29 and March 30.

For a cultural odyssey through the night sky, join “One Sky: Sky Stories from Around the Globe.” This enchanting show celebrates the celestial tales of various cultures, from the Greeks’ myth of Orion to the Navajo’s Thunderbird legend. Explore the great Celestial Canoe of the Innu people and uncover how Hawaiians navigated the vast Pacific Ocean using the stars as their guide. Suitable for ages 6 and above, this 40-minute presentation offers a mesmerizing blend of folklore and astronomy. Catch it on select Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2:00 p.m., complete with a fascinating tour of the night sky and planets.

Located at 214 Center Grove Road, Randolph, the Longo Planetarium can be found in Cohen Hall Room 207 on the CCM campus. Parking is available in lot 7, with clear signage guiding visitors to Cohen Hall. Take a leisurely five-minute stroll from the parking lot to the planetarium, where an unforgettable celestial adventure awaits.

Kathryn DeFillippo Honored with Alex DeCroce Public Leadership Award

MORRIS COUNTY — Former Morris County Commissioner Kathryn DeFillippo received the 2024 Alex DeCroce Public Leadership Award, as local elected officials and business leaders gathered at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park for the Morris County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Legislative Luncheon.

Morris County Commissioner Director Christine Myers highlighted DeFillippo’s many contributions to public service and invited fellow Commissioners Doug Cabana, Tayfun Selen, and Deborah Smith, as well as Chamber President Meghan Hunscher to join her in presenting the award.

“Kathy was Morris County’s champion of Human Services and an outspoken supporter of people in need. She advocated for the nonprofits we depend on in this county while also serving on the NJTPA (New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority) board since 2014, which she guided through the global pandemic for two years as director. She is a diverse talent and resource who we miss having on the Commissioner board,” said Commissioner Director Christine Myers.

DeFillippo, who is retired, served three terms on the Board of County Commissioners from 2014 to 2022, including two years as board director. During her tenure, she served as the chief liaison to the Morris County Department of Human Services and area nonprofits. She also served on the board of the New Jersey Metro Chapter of the National MS Society for ten years until 2016 and brought the fundraising Walk for MS to Roxbury, where she was Mayor in 2009 and served on the council from 2006 to 2013.

During her acceptance speech, DeFillippo attributed her success in public service to guidance she received from the late assemblyman early on in her career.

“Alex said to me that to lead I need to understand my community and use my voice to make things happen. That’s what I always tried to do. So, I think this afternoon we should listen once again to Alex’s advice. It takes a lot of demanding work, long hours, and a tremendous commitment to make our communities a great place to live, work, and raise a family… I am grateful for this recognition,” said DeFillippo.

Kathryn DeFillippo and Commissioner Tayfun Selen.

While serving on the board of the NJTPA, DeFillippo was elected chair in 2020 and 2021. Under her leadership, the NJTPA adopted plan 2050 to prioritize the transportation needs and challenges over the next 30 years, which prompted a major infrastructure investment for New Jersey under the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Morris Canal restoration was also completed in 2022, a project 16 years in the making that got its biggest push in 2019 when the NJTPA funded more than $3.4 million through their Transportation Alternative Grant Program.

This year’s Legislative Luncheon keynote speech was delivered by Micah Rasmussen, director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics, who spoke on the significance of the upcoming elections for New Jersey. He was introduced by Rosalie Serapiglia, Vice President of Government Affairs for Tilcon and Co-Chair of Chamber Gov’t Affairs Forums.

Following the keynote, Rasmussen joined an informative panel discussion between state Senators Anthony Bucco (R-25) and Andrew Zwicker (D-16) regarding legislative matters that affect state residents and businesses. The panel was moderated by Sal Anderton, Esq., Vice President and General Counsel for Porzio Governmental Affairs and Co-Chair of the MCCC’s Government Affairs Forums.

Each year, the Chamber nominates a Morris County official for the Alex DeCroce Public Leadership Award who exemplifies the values of public service by Assemblyman Alex DeCroce: an unwavering commitment to making the community a great place to live, grow a business, and raise a family.

The annual Legislative Luncheon, part of the chamber’s Public Policy Series, is open to both chamber members and non-members. For more information, visit the Morris County Chamber of Commerce website.

Savoring the Flavors of Pasquale’s: Taste of Authentic Italian-American Cuisine

MORRIS COUNTY — As my group of foodie friends and I headed out for a casual lunch at a popular local pizzeria it came to mind that these wonderful little eateries, spattered throughout every town and city, are often overlooked when seeking out some of the most satisfying, comforting, family-friendly, reasonably priced food you’ll ever need.

Located at 307 Main Street, Pasquale’s stands out as an appealing, stylish building, with its large arched windows and yellow-painted frontage, welcoming you in.

Our gathering brought us to one of vibrant downtown Boonton’s longest-lasting eateries, Pasquale’s Pizza Restaurant. Located at 307 Main Street, Pasquale’s stands out as an appealing, stylish building, with its large arched windows and yellow-painted frontage, welcoming you in. On entry, you are immediately immersed in an atmosphere that is reminiscent of an old-school-style pizzeria.  Reminded me of those small, wonderful pizzerias that I used to stop in at as a kid, and that’s an exceptionally long time ago.

Get Acquainted with Tony Biago: The Passionate Culinary Maestro Behind Pasquale’s Pizza Restaurant

As you walk in the door your senses are immediately stimulated with that tantalizing aroma of freshly baked dough, tomato sauce, and all those herbs and spices that make Italian American food one of the most popular foods in America. There is a small dining area, with a corner nook, and maybe room for five tables, yet spacious and airy enough to dine in comfort. The interior is pristine, and the black walls covered with paintings by a local artist, provide an eye-catching, distinctive, and whimsical motif. The black walls covered with cheerful photos of pizzas, food names, catchy expressions, and old family photos create a vibe that can only raise your spirit no matter how your day is going. Those large exterior windows allow for a well-lighted and cozy atmosphere, and the Victorian-style tin-type ceiling, brick, and soft rustic wood accents are well thought out. Pasquale’s also boasts an immaculately clean open kitchen, where you can watch owner, and Pizzaiola, Tony Biago working the peel as he expertly shakes, turns, and prepares a fresh pie. When asked about the décor, Tony stated, “I wanted to create an old school feel, with a little pinkie of modern.” Congrats Tony, you did it!

Patrick Minutillo Relishes a Conversation with Tony Biago, Pasquale’s Pizza Restaurant Owner, While Savoring a Delectable Slice of Grandma Pie.

Meeting with Owner Tony Biago was a true pleasure. His joyful and exuberant personality filled the room. Being a top-notch chef is unquestionably important, but being able to relate to, care for, and connect on a personal level with your customers is to me what makes a restaurant stand out. Tony told me that he can recall all his regular customers by name, and what their favorite dishes are. I have never been to Pasquale’s, but after just a few minutes I felt like I had been a customer for years. That’s something special!

I was able to sit with Tony for a bit between orders to discuss his journey. He told me his dream was to become a golf pro, and that he once took a job as a breakfast cook at a golf course so that he could practice his game later in the day. Raised in a traditional Italian American household, where he watched and learned how to cook Italian dishes from his Mother, and where he claims to have developed his taste for good food, he always had that as a backup if the golf thing didn’t work out. In 1989, with the golf career not looking promising, he happened across a newspaper ad for a pizzeria in a Town called Boonton. A ways from Belmar, where he was living, didn’t stop Tony from checking out this prospect. Once introduced to the historic, lively, vibrant, eclectic community of Boonton, with its quaint rolling hills and wide range of restaurants, it wasn’t long before Tony opened the doors to Pasquale’s. That was 35 years ago, and Pasquale’s is still going strong and is more popular than ever.

In July of 2015, Boonton ran a Pizza throwdown, where 11,000 people came out to try slices from local pizzerias.  Tony is proud that despite some great pizzerias participating, Pasquale’s won bragging rights at the end of the day for “Best Crust,” “Best Sauce,” “Best Regular Sicilian,” Best Grandma’s,” and “Best Overall.” The newspaper article still hangs in his restaurant today. In June of 2020, Barstool’s David Portnoy visited Pasquale’s, famous for his internet pizza reviews. Now, I enjoy Portnoy’s reviews, but he was not in a good mood during the visit, complaining and annoyed that no one answered his phone call, he settled for a slice, went outside, and gave Pasquale a mediocre score. Not that he would ever read this, but Dave, I would suggest you make a return visit to Boonton and give it a fair shot.

Now we were anxious to sample some of the menu. Tony let us know that everything is fresh and made from scratch, and all his dishes are made to order. He says he tries to have something for everyone, and that kids particularly love his pizza. He let me know that the bulk of his business is take-out and that he feels honored that so many of his customers, who are like family, are returning customers. “Even people who move down to the shore still keep coming back.” The menu offered a nice variety of your usual pizzeria standards; appetizers, pizza, dinners (chicken, pasta, veal, eggplant, etc.), calzones and strombolis (buffalo, chicken, spinach, sausage, etc.), cold and hot subs, wraps, grilled dishes (Italian Hot Dog, assorted burgers), kids meals (yes, even chicken fingers.), and don’t forget to bring along your favorite bottle of vino, as Pasquale’s is BYOB.

Discover the Irresistible Flavor of Pasquale’s Buffalo Chicken Strombolis: Succulent Chicken, Tangy Buffalo Sauce, and Melted Cheese Encased in a Crispy, Flaky Dough.

Our group asked Tony to just bring out a Grandma and Sicilian Pie, Buffalo Chicken Roll, Sausage Broccoli Rabe Rol, and Sausage Roll to start. As usual, this was to be shared as a group as an appetizer, before we considered our entrees. I don’t know what we were thinking but enough food came out to feed our group three times over, and still leave enough to take home. Obviously, and somewhat sadly, entrees would have to wait until another visit.

Indulge in Pasquale’s Abundant Antipasto Salad: A Vibrant Array of Meats, Cheeses, and Fresh Greens, Accompanied by Crusty Italian Bread.

The first to come out were the Grandma and Sicilian Pies. Frequently, I often hear people ask what’s the difference. To put it as simply as possible, a Sicilian pie is a thick crust pizza, with a nice crispy texture, thick fluffy crust, slightly oily, and baked in a square tray. Grandma pizza, on the other hand, has a crust that isn’t given that extra time to rise before it’s topped and baked, so while it may still be thicker than a standard New York slice, it’s still much thinner and less chewy than the Sicilian crust. Even though, all are made with the same dough, the cooking method is different for each style of pie.

Savor the Perfect Balance of Textures in Pasquale’s Sicilian Pie: Crispy, Charred Crust Complemented by a Soft, Pillowy Base, and an Even Spread of Sauce and Cheese.

Before visiting Pasquale’s, I had heard that his Sicilian pie was something special, so there was no way I was going to leave without trying it. It did not disappoint! Nicely cooked; crispy, crunchy, slightly charred crust, with a soft, spongy, pillowy base, covered with a perfect distribution of sauce to cheese. Beautifully textured Sicilian Pie! Tony explained that all his homemade tomato sauces are prepared differently to complement each style of pie. As I tried the thinner Grandma Pie, (also a square pie) which leans towards a more prominent sauce-to-cheese ratio, I could see what he was talking about. Each pie, delicious on its own, had its distinct taste, and in both cases, the sauce was vibrant, with a well-rounded flavor, tangy and sweet. I enjoyed both equally.

Delight in Pasquale’s Signature Garlic Knots: A Flavorful Twist to Your Dining Experience”

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the generously sized antipasto salad that preceded the meal. Lots of delectable, assorted meats, cheeses, roasted peppers, olives, arugula, and peppers, and course, crusty Italian bread, just to kick off our appetites. Don’t forget the garlic knots!

Tortellini Alfredo: A Luxurious Pasta Dish featuring tender, cheese-filled tortellini enveloped in a rich and creamy Alfredo sauce. Enhanced with savory Parmesan cheese and aromatic garlic, this classic Italian comfort food is a harmonious blend of indulgent flavors and textures, guaranteed to satisfy your palate and warm your soul

Following the pizzas, out came the freshly baked entrees.  I don’t know how we could still be eating! Buffalo Chicken Roll, Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Roll, and Strombolis (sort of a rolled-up cousin of pizza), and whatever else Tony brought out.  Both the Buffalo Chicken (Chicken, Mozzarella, Blue Cheese, and Hot Sauce, wrapped in a beautifully baked crust), and Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Rolls, and Sausage Roll were all packed with flavor, and loaded with pleasurable, gooey goodness in every bite. Nice mouth feel, as I eagerly sank my teeth into that crunchy, subtle, textured dough to discover all those wonderful fillings of meats, cheeses, and vegetables inside. After a piece of each one, I had to surrender, as did my dining group. And there was still plenty for everyone in the group to take home and enjoy at another time.

It was an enjoyable dining experience at Pasquale’s, and we have to thank Tony Biago for making us feel like family, and for his wonderful hospitality during our visit. I will be back soon to try some of the rest of the menu.

Gazie, cibo delizioso!

Dine In – Take Out – Delivery – On-Line Ordering – Catering; Reasonably Priced – BYOB; Open 7 Days a Week – 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Street Parking;

Pasquale’s Pizza Restaurant, 307 Main Street, Boonton, NJ 07005. Phone: (973) 335-8686; Menu: pasqualesboonton.com.

Reprinted from Parsippany Focus Magazine, April 2024. Click here to view the magazine.

Community Growth: Kiwanis Club Adds Bonnie Gessling and Bridget Cazzetto

PARSIPPANY — New members joining community organizations like the Kiwanis Club is always nice. The Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany does great work in the community, so I’m sure Bonnie Gessling and Bridget Cazzetto will make valuable contributions as new members. And it’s always wonderful to see existing members like Doreen Brennan and Frank Cahill sponsoring new members and helping to grow the organization.

President Carol Tiesi said, “Kiwanis is something so good that each of us loves to share it. What better way to show our love for our club and community than to welcome a new member? Today we’re very pleased to welcome Bonnie and Bridget to our club. We welcome Bonnie and Bridget to our global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child, and one community at a time. She eagerly anticipates actively engaging with the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany.

Frank warmly welcomes Bridget to our club by placing the official Kiwanis pin on her.

Bonnie is a skilled massage therapist, offering deep tissue, sports, oncology, hot stone, and cupping treatments. Additionally, she provides holistic healing, metaphysical therapies, and non-surgical body treatments. She also serves on the Board of Lake Hiawatha Swim Club.

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.

If you are interested in learning more about the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany, contact President Carol Tiesi. Click here to view the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany website.

Letter to the Editor: Mayor Faces Criticism Over Board Meeting Delay

Dear Editor:

I just read the article titled Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education Responds to Mayor’s Office Statement Regarding State Aid

Having done so, I am a bit confused by Mayor Barberio’s ongoing refusal to meet with the Board of Education to discuss how best to partner to prevent the inevitable tax revenue shortfalls that will be created for the next 30 years by the recently passed PILOTs.

As we all recall, Mayor Barberio made numerous public pronouncements during Council meetings, promising to meet with the Board to follow up on his promises that the Pilots would not negatively impact the education received by Parsippany’s children.

So where is the Mayor and how do we get him to keep his many public promises to meet with the Board of Education? 

Maybe, because Mayor Barberio so loves to go to grand openings around town, cut ribbons, and have his picture taken, perhaps the Board could name a conference room in the Board office for former Board President Frank Neglia. The Board could then hold the requisite ribbon cutting and photo op ceremonies to mark the event. Given his propensity for publicity, the Mayor would surely show up, with scissors in hand, and while there he and the Board could finally have their much-delayed discussion.   

Bob Crawford

Six $10,000 Scholarships Now Open for Application at Land Conservancy of New Jersey

MORRIS COUNTY — The Land Conservancy of New Jersey (TLCNJ) is committed to supporting scholars dedicated to environmental conservation, natural resource management, and related disciplines. With a legacy spanning 40 years, TLCNJ’s scholarship program, which began with the Russell W. Myers Scholarship in 1983 and expanded with the Rogers Family Scholarship in 2005, continues to empower future environmental leaders.

In 2024, TLCNJ is proud to offer six $10,000 scholarships, thanks to the generous support of our education initiatives’ advocates. We’re seeking individuals passionate about safeguarding our natural resources, and our selection process prioritizes equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Applications for the 2024 scholarship cycle are now open! New Jersey residents enrolled in accredited colleges or universities, whether in-state or out-of-state, with a minimum GPA of 3.3 are encouraged to apply. The deadline for submission is Monday, April 1.

To apply, download the scholarship application by clicking here and submit all required materials to the provided form below. Successful candidates will have their scholarship funds disbursed directly to their institution.

For further inquiries, please reach out to Breanna Durkin at bdurkin@tlc-nj.org or (973) 957-2683. Join us in shaping the future of environmental conservation!

Making a Difference: Parsippany Resident Joins Police Unity Tour to Honor Fallen Officers

PARSIPPANY — The Police Unity Tour is a deeply meaningful and poignant event that brings together law enforcement officers, survivors, and supporters to honor and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Originating in 1997, the tour has grown into a significant annual event, drawing participants from across the United States.

At the core of the Police Unity Tour is its mission to honor fallen officers and support their surviving family members and colleagues. Participants embark on a challenging journey, typically a long-distance bicycle ride, to symbolize the endurance and dedication required in their profession. This journey serves as a physical and emotional tribute to those who have fallen, embodying the motto “We Ride for Those Who Died.”

The tour also aims to raise awareness about the sacrifices made by law enforcement officers and the challenges they face in ensuring public safety. By highlighting the stories of fallen officers and their families, the tour fosters greater appreciation and support for law enforcement within communities.

This year, Parsippany resident Nicolas Limanov will join the inaugural journey of the Police Unity Tour – Chapter 1, pedaling his bicycle from Fairfield, to Washington DC alongside several colleagues from the Riverdale Police Department. Limanov is riding in memory of Dover Police Officer Arthur J. Ohlsen III, Badge #115.

Two decades ago, on December 30, 2003, the Town of Dover mourned the tragic loss of Dover Police Officer Arthur J. Ohlsen III. He met his untimely end in the line of duty, while unwaveringly serving his community. Officer Ohlsen’s enduring legacy of dedication and service continues through his two sons, AJ and Trevor, who now proudly serve in the Parsippany Police Department and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office. His wife, Bonnie, reflects on his passion, stating, “The police department and the racing team were what Art loved; that was his life, that’s what he did. He gave his life doing what he wanted to do.”

Dover Police Officer Arthur J. Ohlsen II

Throughout the tour, participants experience camaraderie and solidarity, forging bonds with fellow riders and sharing stories of service and sacrifice. The journey culminates in a solemn arrival at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, where participants pay their respects to fallen heroes and attend memorial ceremonies.

As a lifelong resident of Parsippany, Limanov proudly contributes to community service as a member of Parsippany Rescue and Recovery, the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce Board Member, and as a Past President of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany.

Your support is crucial to the cause, and are asking for donations. Every contribution, whether from individuals or businesses, is profoundly valued and sincerely appreciated by them.

Would you kindly consider supporting our cause by donating? Your generosity will make a significant difference and is greatly appreciated.

Click here to donate.

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