Hailey Budney Was Named to Dean’s List at Cumberlands

PARSIPPANY — We are delighted to announce that Hailey Budney has been named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2023 semester by the Office of Academic Affairs at the University of the Cumberlands. This recognition is a testament to Hailey’s exceptional academic performance.

Hailey was a graduate of Parsippany High School, Class of 2019.

To qualify for the Dean’s List, students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours (a full course load), maintain a minimum term GPA of 3.50, and have a good academic standing.

The University of the Cumberlands, located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, is known for being one of the largest and most affordable private universities in the state. It is an esteemed institution offering various quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs. For more information click here.

Buddies Pitch in to Help at Parsippany’s Little League West Challenger Games

PARSIPPANY — The involvement of buddies in the Little League West Challenger Games shows a great sense of community and inclusiveness. The Challenger Division of Little League West provides children with physical and intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in organized baseball games.

Parsippany Hills High School Girls Softball team volunteers as buddies! Their involvement in such a role demonstrates their commitment to inclusivity, compassion, and community engagement.

The Challenger League has been holding this event since 1999, providing special-needs children with the opportunity to play baseball. More than 100 volunteers, called “buddies,” assisted the children in playing before taking them to the fields against each other.

When buddies volunteer at the Challenger Games, they offer support and companionship to the young athletes. Buddies can assist the players with various tasks, such as helping them bat, run the bases, or field the ball. Their presence and assistance not only enhance the players’ experience but also promote a sense of teamwork and camaraderie.

Volunteering as a buddy at the Challenger Games is a fulfilling experience and an opportunity to create lasting memories and positively impact the lives of young athletes. It’s heartwarming to see the community coming together to support and uplift children with disabilities, enabling them to participate in sports and enjoy the benefits of teamwork, sportsmanship, and physical activity.

The Challenger Division was established in 1989 as a separate division of Little League to enable boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 4-18, or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school, to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in this sport worldwide. Today, more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.

Teams are set up according to abilities rather than age and can include as many as 15-20 players. Challenger games can be tee ball games, coach pitches, player pitches, or a combination.

In a Challenger game, each player gets a chance to bat. The side is retired when the offense has batted through the roster, when a pre-determined number of runs have been scored, or when three outs are recorded. Little League recommends that no score be kept during Challenger games. The Challenger players wear the same uniforms, shoulder patches and safety equipment as other Little League players.

The involvement of buddies in events like the Challenger Games fosters a more inclusive society, breaking down barriers and promoting understanding and acceptance. It’s an excellent initiative showcasing sports’ power to unite people and celebrate diversity.

Kudos to all the buddies who pitch in to help at the Parsippany Little League Challenger Games! Their contributions undoubtedly make a significant difference in the lives of young athletes and inspire others to support inclusive programs and initiatives.

Family Fun Day and Disability Resource Fair Held in Central Park

MORRIS COUNTY — It’s fantastic that the Kiwanis Aktion Club of Morris County actively participated in the “Family Fun Day and Disability Resource Fair” at Central Park on Sunday, May 21. Events like these provide valuable opportunities for community engagement, support, and resource sharing.

The club’s involvement in such events demonstrates their commitment to creating inclusive and enjoyable experiences for everyone. Well done to the Kiwanis Aktion Club of Morris County for their meaningful contribution to the event!

Aktion Club is the only service club for adults with disabilities, with over 10,000 members worldwide. Club members become competent, capable, caring leaders through the vehicle of service.

The DAWN Center serves as the host for Morris County Aktion Club

The DAWN Center hosts Morris County Aktion Club, a valuable platform for youth aged 18 and over to foster leadership skills, engage in community service, and participate in social activities. This collaboration not only empowers the youth but also positively impacts the community. Kudos to the DAWN Center for Independent Living and the Kiwanis Club of Morris County for their dedication to promoting leadership development and community involvement among young individuals.

During the event, visitors explored and learned about various disability service agencies, engaging in valuable interactions and gaining awareness about the available resources. The wheelchair baseball games added an element of excitement and inclusivity, showcasing the talents and skills of athletes with disabilities. Additionally, attendees enjoyed a variety of food options and participated in games with the chance to win prizes. This combination of educational opportunities, inclusive sports, and enjoyable activities made the event a memorable and enriching experience for all involved.

Family Fun Day and Disability Resource Fair aimed to cater to a diverse range of attendees, ensuring there was something for everyone to enjoy. Whether individuals sought family-friendly activities, access to disability-related resources, or a fun day out, the event covered it. The organizers put in efforts to provide various attractions and services, ensuring that people of all ages and abilities could participate and have a great time. This inclusive approach made the event a true celebration of community and accessibility.
It’s wonderful to hear that Carol G. Simon Cancer Center members were present at the Family Fun Day and Disability Resource Fair. Their participation demonstrates their commitment to supporting and engaging with the community. Having cancer center representatives at the event likely provided valuable information, resources, and support to attendees who may have been seeking information about cancer-related services or support networks. Their presence undoubtedly contributed to the overall success and inclusivity of the fair, offering assistance to individuals and families affected by cancer.
Employment Horizons actively participated in the Family Fun Day and Disability Resource Fair. Their presence at the event showcases their commitment to supporting individuals with disabilities and other employment barriers in the greater Morris County area. Employment Horizons plays a crucial role in providing innovative programs and employment opportunities that empower and assist these individuals in overcoming obstacles to employment.
The Morris County Department of Health Services’ involvement in the event facilitated increased awareness and accessibility to important health-related information. Their participation demonstrates a dedication to serving the community and ensuring that individuals have the necessary resources to make informed decisions about their health and well-being.

Bergen Calls on DeCroce-Peluso to Debate Before Primary Election




MORRIS COUNTY — As the 2023 primary campaign enters its final two weeks, the Republican candidates vying for the state legislature in District 26, which covers areas of Morris and Passaic counties, have yet to engage in a debate.

It’s the fault of challengers Tom Mastrangelo, BettyLou DeCroce, and Robert Peluso in this case.  They are running against state Sen. Joe Pennacchio and Assemblymen Brian Bergen and Jay Webber.

“How can we expect BettyLou DeCroce to stand up for people in the Assembly if she refuses to debate on stage?” said Bergen, a combat veteran who served in the Army for eight years before returning to New Jersey to operate two businesses.

DeCroce was a no-show at the first debate hosted by the Montville Township Republican Club in April.

In general, challenger candidates are eager to participate in debates, and incumbents refuse to square off against one another.  In this particular instance, the roles are reversed.

Bergen has a theory on why DeCroce won’t debate. He says she has made several unsubstantiated claims about his record that she cannot defend.

“It’s easy to hide behind your mail and press releases,” Bergen noted.  “It’s much more difficult to back them up when it’s untrue.”

Other Republican primaries have had debates, including in Districts 4 and 24.

“I am ready,” Bergen concluded.  “Let’s get this debate scheduled.”

Parsippany Home Care Worker Arrested For Abusing Patient

PARSIPPANY — Dilshod Umarkhanov, 60, Parsippany, was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual contact after allegedly abusing a man who suffers from dementia and for whom he cared as an aide Thursday, May 11.

Hanover Township Police Officer Robert Miele arrested Umarkhanov after the victim’s daughter caught Umarkhanov on camera, striking the victim in his genitals and face.

The victim’s daughter told Officer Miele that her father is non-verbal because of dementia and has two home health aides who help him throughout the day and night. She told Miele that her father had recently been pointing to his groin and face area but didn’t understand what he was trying to tell her. It appeared as if he was in pain, but no bruises or cuts were observed.

The victim’s daughter told Officer Miele that she had received a phone call from the recently hired aide who told her that on Tuesday, May 9, he heard the victim yelling from another room, but when he got to the room, he didn’t witness anything.

This aide again heard screaming and witnessed Umarkhanov, hired four months ago, pushing and punching the victim while restraining him on Wednesday, May 10.

The victim’s daughter, after hearing this, purchased a camera and hid it in the house. She then provided police with the video, which showed Umarkhanov striking the victim in his genitals and face.

Miele responded to the victim’s residence and arrested Umarkhanov as he arrived for work. Umarhkhanov was charged with aggravated sexual contact, endangering an injured victim, and simple assault.

Umarkhanov was transported to the Morris County Correctional Facility pending his court date.

Morris County Observes Mental Health Awareness Month

MORRIS COUNTY — The Board of County Commissioners presented two framed resolutions at its Thursday, May 11, work session meeting to recognize the dedicated support of Morris County service providers during Mental Health Awareness Month.

“Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity for us to come together as a community and start an open and honest conversation about mental health … This month is also a time to celebrate and recognize the people who play a critical role in providing services that aid in prevention, effective treatment, and the management of mental health, enabling others to live full and productive lives,” said Commissioner Deputy Director Christine Myers, liaison to the Morris County Human Services Department.

She handed a framed proclamation to Amy Archer, mental health administrator and division director of Community and Behavioral Health Services, Anna Marie Hess, administrative professional for the Office of Community and Behavioral Health Services, and Christopher Chernick, chair of the Mental Health Addictions Services Advisory Board (MHASAB), who expressed gratitude and spoke.

This year also marks the 60th anniversary of NewBridge Services, whose mission is to bring balance to people’s lives through counseling, housing, and education. NewBridge Services’ CEO Michelle Borden and trustee Betty Cass-Schmidt provided some updates about their organization and how purposeful their work has been to the mental health community.

The group took a brief break for photos in the Public Meeting Room before the regular work session resumed. During the meeting, the Commissioners also adopted a resolution to observe Older Americans Month in May, with plans to present a proclamation at the May 24 work session formally.

A & J Bistro: A Brief Visit to Tasty Taiwan

MORRIS COUNTY — As a restaurant reviewer, one of the joys I experience is stumbling upon hidden gems in our local area. A fellow food enthusiast recently suggested a remarkable yet often overlooked establishment, leading my friends and me to discover A & J Bistro. Nestled inconspicuously on Route 10 West in East Hanover, this delightful Taiwanese eatery proved elusive to locate initially. However, tucked away at the rear of the Castle Ridge Plaza shopping mall, adjacent to Best Buy and amidst the bustling Route 10, we were fortunate enough to stumble upon one of Morris County’s finest Taiwanese restaurants. Look for the cream-colored frontage with the restaurant’s name in large, bold, blue lettering. I don’t believe you will find anything more culturally authentic or delicious than A&J, even in Flushing, N.Y.

A good sign of an exceptional ethnic restaurant, which I always look for, is if the clientele is primarily individuals associated with that cuisine’s ethnicity. In the case of A& J., on entering, I observed that the tables were filled with people of Asian descent and speaking either Mandarin Chinese or one of the other sixteen or so languages indigenous to Taiwan. Another positive sign was that the entire restaurant staff speaks Chinese, with just enough English to avoid confusion and make your visit enjoyable. The Chinese language menu (with plenty of pictures) also adds to that authenticity. Don’t worry about any lack of familiarity with the menu. The wait staff are very friendly and personable and seemed to enjoy helping us with all our questions regarding our choices. We had a lot of fun bantering with our server, Ben, over our selections of appetizers and entrees from the highly interesting menu.

A good sign of an exceptional ethnic restaurant, which I always look for, is if the clientele is primarily individuals associated with that cuisine’s ethnicity.

A&J is a family-owned and independently operated business started ten years ago by owner Josephine Lin. Ms. Lin was kind enough to visit us at our table and provide some background on the business. Arriving in the U.S. in 1997 from Taiwan and having some background in the restaurant business, Ms. Lin decided to open A&J Bistro; when I asked why A&J Bistro, Ms. Lin explained that her father-in-law, Duen Min, owned a restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan named A&J Restaurant and that she wanted to keep on the tradition.

The interior is appropriately low-key, as is common in authentic Asian restaurants. Who needs that corporate or chain restaurant look? Approximately 18 wooden tables are comfortably situated around the room, separated by a bamboo-style divider. It is Immaculately clean and organized, with soft relaxing colors, appealing wall artwork, and nice ambient lighting creating a warm and welcoming ambiance. Of course, there are the expected Buddhist shrines and various Asian artifacts at the forefront of the restaurant. Cozy, comfortable, welcoming, and relaxing would be a fair description.

Xiao Long Tang Bao (steamed soup dumpling w/pork & crab meat)

When discussing Taiwanese vs. Chinese cuisine with Ms. Lin, I learned that it is tough to define Taiwanese cuisine and almost impossible to answer that question. There are eight culinary regions in China, each having its own cooking style. Taiwanese cuisine is heavily influenced by the dishes originating from those various parts of China. One thing is for sure, Taiwanese food offers intense, unique flavors, loaded with fresh meat, fish, and vegetables, with lots of broths, noodles, bold flavors, and various textures. The spice level can range from mild to spicy and very spicy, stimulating your appetite. The choice is yours, and a vast range of incredible, new dishes are available that you may have never heard of. Go for it!

Something to look for on the menu (by the way, you circle your selections on a paper menu which you give to your server to complete your order) are a few dishes that you will never find in an Americanized/Taiwanese-style restaurant. Again, we are talking about quality and authenticity! Braised Pig’s Feet, Sliced Beef and Tripe in Chili Sauce, Braised Pig’s Intestine, and Black Fungus Salad are a few choices. Although I am sure they are delicious, they may be for the more adventurous gourmet.

Da Bing Juan Niu (big pancake/sliced beef)

For our appetizers, we shared the Yan Su Ji (popcorn chicken), Ma La Huang Gua (cucumber salad in hot red sauce), Xiao Long Tang Bao (steamed soup dumpling w/pork & crab meat), Gue Tie (pan-fried pork dumplings/pot stickers), Da Bing Juan Niu (big pancake/sliced beef), and Gong You Bing (scallion pancake). Everyone at the table agreed that every one of the appetizers was a home run. Mouth-wateringly delicious! A wide variety of taste sensations with every bite.

Chao Mian w/Beef (pan-fried noodles with beef)

For an entrée, I ordered the Chao Mian w/Beef (pan-fried noodles with beef). I ordered mine extra spicy, as I always do. The noodles were perfectly prepared, seasoned, and textured, while the beef was soft, juicy, tender, and savory. Add in the fresh and crispy vegetables, and you have one heck of a meal. I have thoroughly enjoyed every bite! Bob ordered the Fu Qi Fei Pan (sliced beef & tripe in chili sauce). The tripe was sliced very thin and was some of Bob’s tastiest tripe, and he is a true tripe fan. Others ordered the Lu Rou Fan (braised pork on rice with a braised egg), the tender, succulent pork was a perfect complement with the accompanying bed of rice, and the Qing Zheng Long Li Ui Pian (steamed flounder filet), which was a substantial sized portion of mild tasting, slightly sweet fish, covered with a blend of Asian sauces. Again, each dish was given a thumbs-up.

Desserts are not a big part of authentic Taiwanese cuisine, but ample hot tea was on the table throughout the meal. A&J is a BYOB, so we brought our usual wines and beer. Of course, they offer Bubble drinks, Fresh Soy Milk, Slushies, Smoothies, and hot coffee with hot tea, juices, and sodas to finish your meal.

A & J Bistro, 352 Route 10 West, East Hanover.

Thank you, Josephine and staff, at A&J Bistro, for a wonderful and thoroughly enjoyable dining experience. Great food, great people, good friends, and fun times. Also, very reasonably priced. Another great place to visit is Morris County, do yourself a favor and stop in and enjoy your brief visit to Taiwan.

zhù nǐ chéng gōng

Dine In * Take Out * No Delivery * BYOB; Ample Parking * Reservations Taken for Parties of Six or More. Open 7 Days from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

A & J Bistro, 352 Route 10 West, East Hanover. Tel: (973) 506-9066.

Building Community Awareness Regarding Licensed Cannabis Dispensaries

PARSIPPANY — Happy Daze Boutique is hosting an open forum and educational event for all Parsippany residents and business owners to explore what it means to have a state-licensed cannabis dispensary.

Building community awareness regarding licensed cannabis dispensaries is important in promoting responsible and legal cannabis consumption.

The event will be held at Parsippany – Troy Hills Public Library, 449 Halsey Road, on

Their mission is to elevate our Parsippany community by providing first-class customer service with safe and pure, high-quality cannabis products.

Join the discussion and hear from experts in the cannabis industry, including one guest who played a pivotal role in shaping adult-use cannabis laws in New Jersey. Have your questions ready!

Registration is appreciated but not required to attend.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Happy Daze Boutique is owned by Parsippany residents Cassara Grasso and Dr. Shaun Astorga. Happy Daze Boutique aspires to be the first locally-owned, AAPI woman-led small business cannabis dispensary in Parsippany.

Click here for more information.


Postal Service Requesting Changes to your Mailbox

PARSIPPANY — The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is asking homeowners to examine and, where necessary, improve the appearance of their mailbox this week.

Your mailbox keeps you connected to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). It’s where your carrier drops off your mail and picks up any outgoing letters—allowing you to avoid a trip to the post office. But the USPS is serious about mail security, so it won’t deliver your mail unless certain conditions are met. The agency has strict mailbox regulations, and you may need to make some modifications to meet current standards. Read on to learn more about the mailbox changes the USPS requests starting Sunday.

If you don’t get mail on a given day, it’s generally not cause for alarm—but in some cases, your house was skipped on purpose.

As the USPS warns on its website, blocked or full mailboxes may prevent your mail from getting delivered. This can also happen if your mailbox is damaged or broken. Property owners are responsible for their personal mailboxes—which means they must maintain them and make any repairs when necessary, according to the agency.

Not doing so could prevent you from getting your regular deliveries. If you don’t correct issues, you “risk having your mail service suspended until the problems are resolved,” the Postal Service says.

The Postal Service is gearing up for its own spring cleaning through Mailbox Improvement Week, which it holds every year in the third full week of May. This annual campaign from the USPS is meant to “encourage customers to examine and, where necessary, improve the appearance of their mailboxes,” the agency explained.

Mail Improvement Week runs from May 21 to May 27 this year. To honor this annual event, the USPS asks homeowners to inspect their mailboxes at the start of the week. Your mailbox should be safe to use, designed to protect the mail from weather, conveniently located, neat in appearance, and in-line with approval regulations from the Postmaster General, according to the agency.

If not, you must take action to avoid losing your delivery service.

Candidates Martin and Desai Oppose the Recent Tax Increase and Demand New Leadership In Parsippany

PARSIPPANY — Gary Martin and Danny Desai, prominent community leaders and responsible budget advocates, express their deep concern and disappointment with the recent tax increase voted down by Parsippany council members on Tuesday evening. They are calling for a change in leadership that puts the interests of the taxpayers first.

Gary Martin said, “The decision to impose this tax increase on our hard-working community members is unacceptable. It burdens taxpayers without adequate justification or consideration for their financial well-being. We must hold our elected representatives accountable for their actions and demand transparency.”

Danny Desai echoed this sentiment saying, “As representatives, it is our duty to seek solutions to reduce the burden on our taxpayers actively. This budget fails to reflect responsible budgeting and genuine concern for the welfare of our citizens. We need new leadership that puts fiscal responsibility and our communities first.”

Martin and Desai stressed that this budget if given a chance. They are committed to working tirelessly to ensure the taxpayer’s financial well-being and proactively explore new ways to meet the community’s needs without imposing unnecessary financial pressures.

Martin and Desai are pressing Paul Carifi and council members to explain the reasoning behind their vote and provide a transparent account of their decision-making process.