Man Sentenced to Possession of CSAM and Criminal Sexual Contact

MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, Chief of Detectives Robert M. McNally, and Morris Township Chief Robert Shearer confirmed the sentencing of Michael Rave, 54, formerly of Morris Township, now residing in Pennsville Township.

On January 31, Rave pled guilty to one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of CSAM), a third-degree crime, and one count of Criminal Sexual Contact, a fourth-degree crime.

The investigation began with a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), referencing video files depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor. The investigation revealed that the defendant also possessed numerous videos of himself engaged in an online chat website called “Omegle,” wherein he exposed himself to several 14-year-old victims. The victims in these instances have been identified by law enforcement.

Rave was sentenced on May 19 by the Honorable Noah Franzblau J.S.C. to a two-year period of probation, continued sex offender therapy, and community notification under Megan’s Law.

Prosecutor Carroll would like to thank the Morris Township Police Department, Department of Homeland Security, Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT), New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for their efforts in the investigation, arrest, and conviction of this defendant.

Commissioner Tayfun Selen Receives Strong and Enthusiastic Endorsement from Commissioner Colleagues

MORRIS COUNTY — Five Morris County Commissioners publicly announced their strong and enthusiastic endorsement for their colleague Commissioner Tayfun Selen in his re-election campaign to be elected to the Morris County Board of Commissioners.

Commissioner Director John Krickus, Commissioner Christine Myers, Commissioner Doug Cabana, Commissioner Stephen Shaw, and Commissioner Deborah Smith unanimously boasted about Selen’s accomplishments and leadership.

“With the help of Tayfun’s leadership, Morris County has not only had four years of zero tax increases, but we also have the second lowest county property taxes in the state.” Commissioner Director John Krickus.

“There is only one conservative choice in this race and a proven Republican winner – Tayfun Selen. Selen is part of the Republican team delivering budget after budget without tax hikes. It is cited by experts as one of the best-run counties in America at managing tax dollars through our AAA bond rating. We need to keep Tayfun working for Morris County. His aptitude for finance, private sector success, and professional background as a CPA and MBA make him an invaluable resource for the County. I am proud to serve with him!” stated Commissioner Deputy Director Christine Myers.

Morris County has a lot to be proud of, which is the direct result of having an all-Republican Commissioner Board. For example, Morris County has the following:

  • #1 County College
  • #1 Vocation School
  • #1 Park System
  • #1 Safest County
  • Best Roads, Bridges, and Infrastructure
  • Highest Income with the lowest unemployment rate
  • Leadership in delivering services such as the Sheriff’s Hope One

“From stopping tax hikes to increasing law enforcement funding to record levels and using the power of the office to stand up against woke mobs, I’m proud of the record I’ve built. I’m humbled by my colleagues’ support and the entire Republican Party’s endorsement, and look forward to being a true conservative champion on the Board of Commissioners.” Selen gratefully stated.

Parsippany Volunteer Ambulance Junior Squad Hosted Pancake Fundraiser

PARSIPPANY — The Parsippany Volunteer Ambulance Junior Squad hosted a pancake breakfast fundraiser at Applebee’s, 1057 Rouete 46, on Saturday, May 20. The breakfast consists of Coffee, Tea, Milk or Juice, Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, and Sausage.

The Pancake Fundraiser was hosted by the Junior Squad of the Parsippany Volunteer Ambulance.

The junior squad is for individuals that aren’t 18 years of age yet. PVAS maintains a Junior Squad for anyone interested in riding that is at least 16 years of age. They will ride with a crew of at least two Senior member EMTs on a regular shift once a week: (Monday through Friday, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. or  Saturday or Sunday: 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. They will assist Senior EMT members on calls and squad-related business. After a firm commitment, Junior members may also be eligible to become certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).

For volunteering opportunities, click here.

Senator Joe Pennacchio and Parsippany-Troy Hills Councilman Justin Musella
Abbey Thurkauf is taking care of a table.

Letter to the Editor: Do Not Send Councilman Carifi Back to Town Hall

parsippany focusDear Editor,

My name is Sam Labkovsky, and I have been a resident of Parsippany since the year 2000.

I am writing to raise a red flag surrounding the wrong direction the GOP in Parsippany is headed and what I believe we can do about it. I was born in and fled Soviet Russia to escape extreme policies and wrong-headed governmental decisions. I would like to draw the attention of voters to a concerning issue that should be considered before casting their ballots in the upcoming election on June 6th. 

What got me paying attention to politics again was the PLA disaster when I saw the Mayor and a now bobble-headed Councilman, Carifi, sell out the Town to special interest groups despite the bad reaction against it from us that live here! Maybe Councilman Carifi wanted to do this because he got something from PLA we don’t know about. Maybe he wanted good press, as the Unions sent to the town thanking the Council and Mayor for passing the PLA shortly after. Maybe he knows something he’s not sharing. Still, it feels very similar to when I grew up watching Soviet bureaucrats do things they knew were wrong simply because they personally or politically profited from such decisions.

Another negative was in a 4/18/23 article from the Parsippany Focus about the Mayor being unwilling to have a public discussion about his budget. To me, it seemed like Mayor Barberio and the others on Council tried not to share information and plans with residents. We should have people on our Council that want transparency and don’t have anything to hide as it can lead to problems for our Town.

Over the past two years, Parsippany has experienced a staggering 15 – 20% increase in taxes under the leadership of Councilman Carifi and a compliant Council.

I voted for the Republicans against Soriano, but Councilman Musella is the only one living up to his campaign promises. Republicans in town should be more like him, who are supposed to support lower taxes, good policies, and reduced government spending. Still, under pressure from the Mayor–Councilman Carifi did the opposite.

On June 6th, I believe it is time we send a message that the GOP is headed in the wrong direction and do not send back to Town Hall people like Councilman Carifi that support big tax increases and PLAs.

Thank You,

Sam Labkovsky
Long-time American Republican & Parsippany Resident

Letter to the Editor: Elect Desai and Martin

parsippany focusDear Editor:

Danny Desai and Gary Martin must be elected to the Town Council, not Paul Carifi. Paul Carifi and Mayor Barberio are not Republicans because they continue to increase spending and tax increases. Danny Desai and Gary Martin want to cut spending and cut taxes and want a town government that is responsive to its citizens/residents. It is time to message that we want REAL Republicans in our town government, not Phil Murphy/Joe Biden Democrats dressed up as Republicans.

Enough with the Barberio/Carifi Bloated Budget and the Barberio/Carifi support for the Joe Biden Project Labor Agreement.


Ray Gallup
41-year resident residing in Lake Hiawatha
Vietnam-era Veteran

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.

DeCroce Comeback Runs Out of Gas Ahead of Election

MORRIS COUNTY — The Assembly campaign of BettyLou DeCroce and Robert Peluso has hit rock bottom. With a collective $6,700 on hand, the two face a staggering $60,000 in debt.

What began as a desperate attempt to restore DeCroce’s shattered ego after losing the 2021 Republican primary has developed into a colossal mess that some party leaders think is unnecessarily draining resources.

“BettyLou and Rob knew they had no chance, but they still tried to tear apart the party for their own ambitions,” said Bergen (R-Morris). “It’s sad.”

Bergen said that DeCroce was one of the most liberal Republicans in Trenton.

After being rejected by the voters two years ago, she went to work for the most progressive Morris County Democrats in Dover as the business administrator. In that position, she rakes in a staggering salary of $223,000 annually.

Peluso, an unemployed perennial candidate, has two other active campaign accounts, one to run for county commissioner next year and another for mayor of Parsippany in two years.

According to Bergen, despite his recurrent defeats, Peluso seeks to capture whatever position possible.

“June 6th can’t come soon enough,” concluded Bergen.  “Once we say goodbye to BettyLou and Rob, it’s time to get to the real work putting all our resources into getting a Republican majority in New Jersey.”

MCPO & Morris County Chapter of the NAACP Hold Semi-Annual Summit

MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, First Assistant Prosecutor Maggie Calderwood, Chief of Detectives Robert McNally, Sheriff James Gannon, and other investigative members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, along with Lt. Joseph Waters of the Division of Criminal Justice, joined executive members of the Morris County Chapter of the NAACP for their semi-annual summit on Tuesday, May 16.

Participating for the Morris County NAACP Chapter was First VP Ottawanna Anderson, NAACP Branch 2092B President Vanessa Brown, Public Relations Committee Chair Athena Johnson, Chair of Legal Redress Robert Warrington, Esq, and Morris County Correctional Facility Chaplain and Chairman/Criminal Justice for the Morris County NAACP Rev. Herman Scott.

These meetings are part of a continuing effort to build community rapport and maintain an open dialogue on progressive law enforcement matters and the criminal justice system.  During the meeting, a PowerPoint explaining the internal functions of the MCPO was presented, and questions regarding changes in the various criminal laws and criminal procedures were responded to.

Prosecutor Carroll and Sheriff Gannon jointly stated: “In our ongoing reach out to community leadership, these substantive meetings enable our ability to provide important information about the many advancements and changes in the criminal justice system and to answer questions from the NAACP leadership.  We look forward to providing additional information to continue this mutually beneficial exchange of thoughts and ideas on improving community communication and building lasting relationships.”

Last November, NAACP executive members joined the administration of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and Morris County Sheriff’s Office for a tour of the Morris County Correctional Facility.


Vrajdham Temple Holds Its 3rd Annual Parsippany Rath Yatra

PARSIPPANY — Rath Yatra, or the festival of chariots, was held on Saturday, May 13.

The festival was put together with the partnership of Vrajdham Temple and ISKCON of Parsippany to create an event that would live in the memories of all who witnessed it.

Rath Yatra is a journey where Lord Jagannath and His siblings, a form of the popular Hindu deity Krishna, sit in a chariot and travel from one temple to another. The Rath Yatra had first been celebrated in Puri, a town in India that has been a beautiful tradition carried on for hundreds of years, and now a town in America blessed with an amazing community and the opportunity to do so.

Mayor James R. Barberio welcomed the chariot with Hindu traditions.

Attendances were Mayor James R. Barberio and other community leaders. It was a beautiful and colorful event, with people from all over New Jersey and the tri-state area coming together to view the Deity and pull His chariot. Vraj and ISKCON devotees pulled the chariot to the sound of kirtan, the recitation of the holy name of Krishna, and booming cheers from the devotees as they paraded Lord Krishna through His town.

The festival culminated in a cultural program at ISKCON’s new Parsippany temple! Have a glimpse of the festival through photos in the article!

All of Parsippany is welcome as Krishna and His Rath (chariot) arrive once more next year for everyone to see and enjoy! 

Vrajdham Temple is located at 120 Littleton Road.

Founder Guru of Vrajdham is seated on the chariot.
Lord Jagannath in the chariot

Justin Meeh Plans for The Next Chapter

PARSIPPANY — Over 1,200 students received degrees from East Stroudsburg University during three commencement exercises on May 5 and May 6. Many will begin the next step in their life’s journey by attending graduate or professional school or starting a new career.

Meet just a few students, including Justin Meeh of Parsippany, who take their Warrior Spirit with them as they embark on their next chapter.

Justin Meeh is preparing for the next chapter of their life with exciting plans and aspirations.

Meeh, a computer security major, received a job offer from Picatinny Arsenal for government cyber security.

Victor Cruz, a graduate student in exercise science from Westfield, was hired by the Tampa Bay Rays, the major league baseball team, as a strength and conditioning coach.

Alexa Ferris, a graduate student studying athletic training from Suffern, N.Y., smoothly transitioned from ESU’s undergraduate to graduate program. Before graduating this May, she passed the Board of Certification exam on her first attempt and was hired as an athletic trainer at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, N.Y.

Three biology graduates with a pre-physician assistant concentration were accepted to graduate programs in physician assistant studies. Ingrid Hahn, from Mount Bethel, Pa., will attend St. Catherine University in Minnesota, and Megan Nyce, from Catasauqua, Pa., and Zowey Danubio, from Mount Bethel, Pa., will attend Marywood University in Pennsylvania.

Four hospitality, recreation, and tourism management students will begin their careers with Marriott Voyage Global Leadership Development Program. Paige Amrein, of Newtown, Pa., was hired as a front desk voyager at Westin Newport in Jersey City; Michael Cuozzo, of Fairfield, N.J., was hired as a rooms control voyager at the Marriott Marquis in New York City; Tyler Rhodes, of Laurel, Md., was hired as a food and beverage voyager at Fairfield Marriott at the Baltimore/Washington International Airport in Md. Keisha Hopkins, of Philadelphia, Pa., was hired as an event planning voyager in a corporate office of Marriot International in Seattle, Washington.

Three students who majored in social work were accepted as advanced, standing in Master of Social Work programs. Araceli Dunn, from East Stroudsburg, Pa., will attend Kutztown University; Ebony Galbreath, from Long Pond, Pa., will attend PennWest University; and Annalee Smith, from Hackettstown, N.J., will attend Rutgers University.

Jasmine Aue, a middle-level education major from Jim Thorpe, Pa., was hired full-time by the East Stroudsburg School District.

Jenna Johnson, a biology major from Brookhaven, Pa., will continue her education at ESU in the master’s of biology program.

Peter Kaires, an environmental studies major from Dingmans Ferry, Pa., accepted employment at Environmental Consultation Services (ECSi) in N.J.

Annelise Knauf, a history major from Stroudsburg, Pa., was accepted as an intern in the history department at the Smithsonian Institution.

Savannah Kohler, a psychology major from West Grove, Pa., was accepted into the master’s program in applied behavior analysis at Pepperdine University.

Johnathan Makar, a mathematics major from Oxford, Pa., was accepted to graduate school at West Chester University to study applied math.

Aaron Palm, a physics major from East Stroudsburg, Pa., was accepted to graduate school at Wilkes University to study mechanical engineering.

Arianna Weaver, a mathematics major with a concentration in secondary education from Effort, Pa., will be teaching at Pleasant Valley Middle School this fall.

For a full list of ESU’s 2023 graduates, click here.

East Stroudsburg University, a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education member, opened in 1893 as East Stroudsburg Normal School. Today, ESU is a comprehensive university in northeastern Pennsylvania offering 58 undergraduate programs, 21 master’s programs, and two doctoral programs. Over 5,000 students are enrolled for the high-quality, affordable, and accessible education ESU provides. Nearly 31,000 ESU alumni live in Pennsylvania.

Council Vice President Michael dePierro Speaks Out Regarding Musella Proposed Budget Cuts

PARSIPPANY — Longtime Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Vice President, Michael dePierro, submitted a statement regarding Councilman Justin Musella’s proposal to reduce certain items from the 2023 Municipal Budget.

“In his desire to cut $2 million from the Township Budget, Councilman Musella
seemed to be more interested in negotiating with the public rather than with
the administration. While other Council members were successfully reducing
the Mayors proposed budget from over 5% to 3.76% (overall Tax Rate of 2.57%)
by working with our Auditor Valerie Dolan; our CFO Leonard Ho; our Business
Administrator Jamie Cryan and, Mayor Barberio, Councilman Musella was using
public meetings as a show-and-tell.

Councilman Musella showed little understanding or concern for the devastating
results of his proposed cuts, even though they were explained many times.
Some of his proposed cuts would have affected the Township’s Bond Rating
resulting in higher interest rates on all future Capital Expenditures.
His proposal to cut the Township Bus would have left many Senior Citizens

His proposal to cut all vacancies would have left all Departments seriously and
permanently short-handed. Most of those vacancies resulted from the
prior Mayor’s four-year hiring freeze. Councilman Musella’s claim that those
positions were unnecessary is wrong.

His concern about the employee’s 2% salary increase ignored the fact that current
cost of living is far higher than that.

Our responsibility as Mayor and Council is to find a balance between Quality of
life, Services, Safety, and Taxes. To only concentrate on taxes is short-sighted
and irresponsible.