My Life Publications Online Local Community News for New Jersey Thu, 27 Jun 2019 00:03:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Safety Matters Tue, 02 Jul 2019 23:57:18 +0000 Setting an Example to Follow

Have you ever worked with someone who inspired you? A hardworking person can have a powerful influence on his or her team, especially when he or she is working with someone who is new to the job or to the company. As the co-worker of a new employee, consider yourself the most important role model during his or her first few weeks. Your attitude and your respect of policies and safety procedures could save him or her the pain and lost time of a serious injury.

Be a Safety Mentor

You know that potential hazards are all around in our workplace. At All NJ Businesowners!!!!, we have stressed the importance of doing your job the safe way, and we’ve given you a wealth of knowledge about the risks of the job and ways to stay safe. When you are working around others, especially if they are new to our workplace, it is your turn to share that knowledge to protect them and yourself.  

Lead by Example

It may take a while for new employees to adjust and feel like they fit in on the job. Those that have never held a job before or were employed by a firm with a weak safety program will need considerable safety instruction and leadership. While managers will attempt to train them in workplace safety as thoroughly as possible, employees will naturally look to you for advice and information. Their early impressions of the way you value safety will set the stage for their future work habits. 


In this important transition time, your actions will speak louder than your words. If you operate a powered industrial truck carelessly or leave clutter in a common area, for example, you demonstrate to a new employee that safety is not important at All NJ Businesowners!!!!. If you try to impress others by wearing jewelry or loose clothing that can be hazardous on the job, you are ultimately putting new employees that are learning from and imitating you in danger. 

On the other hand, some new employees may come to All NJ Businesowners!!!! from firms that emphasize safety like we do. In that case, their personal respect for you will grow when they see that you care about workplace safety just as much as they do.

You are aware that injuries are a reality in our workplace. Take care to be sure that your new co-workers are aware of the danger, too. Doing so will keep everyone at our workplace safe.

Think again of that co-worker that has inspired you, and do your best to keep him or her in mind when you are working with new employees. Everyone will be safer when you make a good impression on a new employee, so do your part. Now is your chance to inspire!


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Renting Or Owning, What Is Better For You? Tue, 02 Jul 2019 23:55:42 +0000 In a real estate market where home prices are rising, and so many clients I’m working with have begun to reexamine the idea of buying a home, choosing instead, to rent for a while. But often, there is a dilemma: should you keep paying rent, knowing that rent is rising too, or should you lock in your housing cost and buy a home?

Let’s look at both scenarios and analyze the pros and cons of each:


Many choose to rent because it is more convenient for their lifestyle. Those whose job requires frequent moves need the flexibility that a 6-12 month lease agreement gives them so they can move to their next assignment!  Many renters believe that renting is cheaper because they do not have to pay for maintenance and repairs. (Not true! Landlords work those expenses into your rent and other fees). Another reason many rent is that they feel like they cannot afford the down payment and closing costs required to buy a house, due to their inability to save much after paying their monthly expenses.  Renting also brings some financial disadvantages. Homeowners can take advantage of tax deductions that let them claim their property taxes and mortgage interest. Additionally, there is a big risk that your rent will go up every time you renew your lease, as we know the median asking rent has been increased steadily since 1988!One of the major challenges with renting is that you don’t have a space to call your own. When you rent, you are paying your landlord’s mortgage, and therefore they are the beneficiaries of the equity gained from paying that mortgage.

Now let’s explore the other side: Homeownership

Homeownership gives you a tax deduction.  Assuming you will have a fixed-rate mortgage, your costs are predictable! You will know exactly what your mortgage payment will be for the next 15-30 years. What are the disadvantages of owning a home? Well, it is a long-term financial commitment! It is not easy to pack quickly and move. You will need time and good planning to do it in a short amount of time. You need to save your money! Getting a mortgage requires a down payment, closing costs, and moving expenses. Again, that will require some savings and planning!  


Like everything in life, there are pros and cons. What is better for you depends on your situation! If you are interested in becoming a homeowner and want to discuss the pros and cons, contact your local real estate professional that can help you review your current situation! JOCELYN RUSSO GROUP OF COLDWELL BANKER 973-321-6033 / REALESTATEISRUSSO@GMAIL.COM / JOCELYNSELLSNJ.COM

Who you work with matters!

Ranked Top 50 Teams of Coldwell Banker


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July is “UV” AWARENESS MONTH: ECC-NJ Pearls & Tips Tue, 02 Jul 2019 23:53:40 +0000 “DrJ” says, “The right pair of sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement; they also protect vision!”


Sunglasses: Your Prescription for Eye Health

    Next time you step outside to enjoy the summer sun, don’t forget to bring a pair of sunglasses. Most people know that the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays are bad for the skin. But did you know that too much sun on unprotected eyes increases the risk of eye diseases? This summer, *EyeCare Consultants of NJ joins the *American Academy of Ophthalmology in observing UV Awareness Month by sharing shopping tips for sunglasses.  

     Long-term exposure to the sun without proper protection can increase the risk of eye disease, including cataracts, macular degeneration, growths on the eye, and a rare form of eye cancer. Even short-term exposure can damage the eyes. Sun reflecting off water can cause a painful sunburn on the front part of the eye, called photokeratitis. It causes redness, blurry vision, sensitivity to bright light, and in rare cases, even temporary vision loss.                   

     The good news is that prevention is simple: Wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation. When purchasing sunglasses, ophthalmologists – physicians who specialize in medical and surgical eye care – urge the public to choose substance over style, and consider these 6 shopping tips:


  • Shop labels. The single most important thing to look for when buying sunglasses is a sticker or tag indicating that they block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation.
  • Buy oversized. The more coverage from sunglasses, the less sun damage inflicted on the eyes. Consider buying oversized glasses or wraparound-style glasses, which help cut down on UV entering the eye from the side.
  • Don’t be fooled by color. While very dark lenses may look cool, they do not necessarily block more UV rays.
  • Consider your sport. Some sunglasses come with amber, green or gray lenses. They do not block more sun but can increase contrast, which may be useful for athletes who play sports such as baseball or golf.
  • Consider polarized lenses. Polarization reduces glare coming off reflective surfaces like water or pavement. This does not offer more protection from the sun but can make activities like driving or being on the water safer or more enjoyable.
  • Don’t break the bank! Sunglasses don’t have to cost a lot of money to provide adequate eye protection. Less expensive pairs marked as 100 percent UV-blocking can be just as effective as pricier options.


     If you doubt your sunglasses have the UV protection claimed by a retail tag or if they are simply old and you want to make sure, take them to an optical shop. Any shop that has a UV light meter can test your sunglasses.

     Jai G. Parekh (“DrJ”) states that, “Your eyes need to be protected throughout the year; in the morning till the evening right before it becomes dark and even if it is gray outside. Also, wearing a broad-brimmed hat can reduce exposure and staying out of the sun is just so essential.  Also, start now with children and get them into the habit of wearing sunglasses and hats!”

(*education provided in collaboration with the AAO)



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Denville in Good Hands with Office of Emergency Management and Community Emergency Response Team Tue, 02 Jul 2019 23:50:06 +0000 By Jillian Risberg 

They are a group of volunteers trained to respond to disasters and emergencies when police, fire and EMS resources are overwhelmed.

Denville’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is there for just about every town event, you’ll see them in their green shirts or jackets at parades, festivals, street fairs and more ensuring the health and safety of all involved.

If something happens — somebody falls and cuts themselves, they’ll notify first aid.


John Bartolotta, OEM deputy coordinator/CERT team coordinator and a couple of others are able to render immediate aid because they took an EMR (Emergency Medical Responder) course.

“They’re not a complete EMT but they put in 90 hours — and they can administer oxygen and some other things that they don’t teach you in basic first aid,” Bartolotta says.  “I have four people registered; one EMT.  So we usually deploy and we can pretty much handle most stuff until the squad arrives.”


In 2009, the director of OEM at that time decided to start this ‘Community Emergency Response (CERT) team.  It became prevalent across the United States and all these teams started popping up everywhere.

According to Bartolotta, the CERT concept began in 1985 when the Los Angeles Fire Department recognized that in the early stages of a disaster (wildfires) basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills for local emergency responders would improve the ability of community members to survive until responders or other assistance arrived. 


“We’re not trained fire fighters or police officers, we’re just trained in basic first aid, basic fire fighting — all we teach our people is how to use a basic fire extinguisher,” says the deputy.  “Anything bigger than that, you leave it to the professionals.”


As far as police work, when they deploy to these events — they are just an extra set of eyes and ears.

They roam through the crowds and if they see something suspicious — or if something gets out of hand; they’ll notify their command post and the police department and have them respond.  

“We’re not to take any actions or anything like that,” Bartolotta says.


The Deputy’s background as a former sergeant with the Essex County Sheriff’s Office for 26 years came in handy when he took over the CERT program.  

“I just wanted to give back (to the town) and that seemed to fit,” Bartolotta says.  “I was still on the job in 2009 when I joined CERT; didn’t retire ’til 2011. I brought my experience with me and I’m really into it.  When Wes (Wesley Sharples) became the OEM director, he asked me to be the CERT coordinator and trainer; that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.”


With his love of volunteering Bartolotta is also on the fire department, where he drives the ambulance.  

The CERT members don’t all live in Denville, but must live within a reasonable distance.

There are a couple of people from Rockaway borough because they don’t have a CERT team. 

“We’ll address anyone who doesn’t have a CERT team, any town — otherwise we don’t like to step on toes and take from a town such as Parsippany, which is right next store to us,” Bartolotta says. “They have their own CERT team so if they talk to me, I’ll recommend them to Parsippany to join their team.”

“We will train them in what we call cribbing; light search and rescue; basic first aid, terrorism,” Bartolotta says.  


They were deployed when Denville got slammed by flooding from Hurricane Irene (the costliest disaster in New Jersey’s history), mainly operating the command post as people were brought in on different vehicles. 

They got them set up in shelters, and also operated a shelter at the Lakeview School.  


And they were on scene when Hurricane Sandy struck.  


“We set up a shelter at Morris Knolls High School and we had people staying over for a couple of days,” Bartolotta says.  “That’s a big thing that we do — operate a shelter for a disaster such as that, people that had to evacuate their homes.”


They set up big cots, food brought in from either the American Red Cross or Salvation Army — they work in close proximity to them.


And when all the gas pumps were down they set up at what’s now the BP gas station assisting the town and the police department managing the lines.


“When the second storm hit, we didn’t actually get flooded but we had a lot of wind damage, trees down, power lines, power out.  I deployed my men to a sandpile where we were allowing people to get sandbags,” Bartolotta says. “We were helping people fill sandbags and thank God nothing happened during that.” 

When it comes to sheltering – Bartolotta says a lot of their people took the sheltering certification course from the Red Cross and are certified shelter operators.  

According to the deputy, they frequently do damage assessment.


“We’ll go out and in an area that’s damaged we’ll assess the damage for FEMA,” Bartolotta says.  “Irene, Sandy, those odd blizzards we had at two Halloweens in a row; we were out in that —  those are really the biggest disasters since we’ve been around 10 years and that we’ve participated in.”

They are averaging about 30 events a year: food truck festivals, parades, street fairs, anything where their assistance can be an asset to the town.

“We are asked to help and we deploy our people along the way,” the deputy says. 

“I really like Denville, I’ve been here 20 years,” he says.  “I enjoy the challenge of doing things with the team. We just did an active shooter reunification drill with the PD; it was really exciting.”


He says his people have learned a lot about what to do and what not to do.


The CERT currently has 29 members and only two have a background in law enforcement, one is a retired police officer from Newark and the other is Bartolotta.


“We have people from all different backgrounds,” he says.  “It’s not a necessity that you have a law enforcement or fire background.  We give you the basic training that we want you to know and then we drill and keep training on all those things.”


According to the deputy, the age to join CERT is limitless.

“We never put anybody in harm’s way. If we have a deployment and I say I want you to go out and check these buildings and you say, John I’m not too happy with that — we’ll never make anybody do anything they don’t feel comfortable with.  That’s how CERT works — and why we can have an 18-year-old or we can have an 80-year-old,” Bartolotta says.


There are some older people on the squad and some who do have some physical disabilities but they are still a help to the command post.

“They can answer phones, they can do paperwork, they can run paperwork,” the deputy says. 


When it comes to recruitment, Bartolotta says a lot of people don’t know about the CERT.

“We’re starting to get a little bit more out there because of all these events we’re at,” he says.  “We now set this big green tent up with the word ‘Community Emergency Response Team’ at the street fair and we have all kind of literature.”

Over the past three years where people saw the tent, they’ve gotten two or three recruits each time who’ve gone on to attend the class, so little by little they are building up.  

“We only had about 18 people three years ago,” Bartolotta says. “We’ve picked up 11 people in those three years just by word of mouth and people coming and seeing us and asking what CERT is about. We’ll explain it to them.”

According to the deputy, people will even approach CERT members as they make their way through the event crowds to find out more about the organization.  


“And they’ll tell ‘em — you think you might be interested in something like that,” he says. 

If the person says they are, they take their name and contact information and when the next class comes up, Bartolotta usually reaches out to them.  

“We joined up with Parsippany over the past few years, Eric Hubner is the director there, him and I have become good friends and we run the class together — the basic CERT training class, so we both get a lot of recruits out of that,” the deputy says.  

And they help each other with events.

“They have a lot of big events where they need extra help. He (Hubner) will call on us,” Bartolotta says. “And we do the same with him.  Matter of fact, he sent a group of his people to this (active shooter) reunification drill.”

Mountain Lakes is also now on board, according to the deputy.  

“They have a small team, but again when they need help they’ll call us and Parsippany. If we need help we call them,” Bartolotta says. 

The best part for Bartolotta is giving back and making a difference


“It’s a brotherhood, where one hand washes the other and we’re all under the Office of Emergency Management of the local town,” he says. “Then we report to the county OEM and also the state OEM (run by the New Jersey State Police).”  

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DO YOU HAVE Buyer’s Remorse? Tue, 02 Jul 2019 23:47:22 +0000 By Warren Damiano
Damiano Realty

Buyer’s Remorse is something purchasers experience right after they have made the commitment and have signed the contract for purchase. Us Realtors are familiar with this reaction sometimes know how to ease the buyer’s fears.

But the seller may not know what’s going on when the documents have all been signed and the buyer suddenly gets a little “weird” and suddenly starts making new demands.

Buying a home can be stressful. It’s right up there on the list of stresses along with marriage, divorce and diaper training. But good agents are skilled at recognizing these doubts and can sometimes can help a buyer with these last minute “jitters”. Sometimes, but not always.

Some of the doubts the buyers may experience are that they’ve paid too much for the house and can’t afford the payments, or they feel the house may need too much work or whether the house is really structurally sound. There are many reasons buyers feel this remorse, I am sure I have heard them all over the years.

The important thing to remember is, don’t worry, This is a common reaction with buyers. Your real estate agent will have a calming effect (if they don’t kill you first). Talk the situation over with your agent before you do anything. Good Agents will find ways of calming you and walking you through the situation and explaining your concerns.


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Baseball Disneyland — Denville Dragons 12U ready to make their mark at Cooperstown Tue, 02 Jul 2019 23:41:21 +0000 By Jillian Risberg

They’ve been preparing for this for some time and with the trip just weeks away, the Denville Dragons 12U team is heading to Cooperstown for a traveling baseball tournament and they couldn’t be more excited.

Head coach, Patrick Fitzsimmons says that going to the celebrated sport shrine is like a camp out, where they stay in a log cabin all week (July 20 to 25) and get to do baseball.


“I’ve never been inside the cabins but from everybody I’ve talked to it’s exhausting, it’s exciting, it’s sad and it’s a whole mixed bag of emotions ‘cause it’s really the last week where a lot of the kids will be together,” the coach says.  

The 13 boys are geared up about getting away and playing in the legendary home of baseball.

“I went with my older son a few years ago as a spectator and the place is incredible.” Fitzsimmons says.  “It really is a Disneyland for baseball.”  

Denville Dragons all started when the coach joined the Denville Baseball Board shortly before his son got into high school. 

Once his youngest was at the age where Fitzsimmons could get a travel team together — he gathered a bunch of the head coaches and tried to determine who they could recruit to play on the team.


Sean Cashman, coach for last year’s (2018) 12U handed down the charter to Fitzsimmons. 

Then he will pass it on to the next all-star team that’s going.

“It’s only the Denville kids,” Fitzsimmons says.  “So it’s really not a Denville baseball thing; more of a private thing, like a gentleman’s agreement. Next year after we go I’ll hand it down to Kevin Perry, the 11U coach. He’ll hand it down and so on and so on.”


According to the coach, the guy who owned Cooperstown wanted everybody to be able to afford everything — so

Nick Vannatta

concession stands are reasonably priced, everything’s clean, meticulous and very well run. 

Matthew Bodnarchuk’s friends who attended last year shared with him about the escapade and said it’s a great time. 

“I’m really excited about going to Cooperstown,” says the left-fielder, pitcher, catcher and corner end fielder. “The

best part about it for me is just getting out there and playing baseball with my teammates that I’ve had for five years one last time.”

According to Bodnarchuk, for the boys who made the team — it all started when they were seven and eight years old.  Then they had to break in a coach officially.  

“Coach Fitz is a great guy; he helps us out with the trials with the team a lot. We hardly knew each other and now we’re like a family,” says the Valleyview middle schooler, whose long-term goal is to play college baseball.

A few other of the boys have older brothers who’ve gone to Cooperstown.  

“They’re all talking about the experience — how they took a team trip to the Hall of Fame and what they (the boys) can look forward to,” the coach says.  “So the anticipation — my youngest was like seven when he went with us and he’s been waiting for five years to actually have his own team there.”

Fitzsimmons says they were never trying to exclude anybody, rather make it feel like family.

“So they could get that sense of camaraderie, just to have friendship and sportsmanship.”  


What makes it special — and he doesn’t think they’ll understand it until after it’s over — that Cooperstown is the saying goodbye weekend.

“If we win this weekend we go to the championship,” Fitzsimmons says.  “We play the Montville Travel League and that’s just geared for town travel teams.  There’s so many teams now that are club teams and super town teams.  This is geared for kids who are all from the same town — a true all-star team.”


Alex McMahon

Then they have a game scheduled against a club team from Australia touring America playing in different venues, and have a planned stop in Denville for August 9, at Gardner Field.


According to Fitzsimmons, when it comes to their stats — the Dragons are up and down.

“We have a lot of talented kids on our team; our fielding is a little suspect but we’re having a good year,” he says.  


When the coach started the team, at that time they didn’t have any travel teams. 


“After a couple of years of having it Denville Baseball decided that all the travel teams were gonna fall under them (as the Denville Dragons),” Fitzsimmons says. “But we were kind of like the outliers so we did our own thing.”


He kept all the kids that wanted to play on this team on the team, from 8U ’til now. 


“Last year they had a tryout for the team, but then that was it,” the coach says. “Kids have quit and other kids have

Christopher Kaiser

joined us but about 10 kids have pretty much been together from 8U ’til now.”  


They’ve gone to Ripkin Baseball in Maryland and played in a few tournaments. 


“It’s been interesting to watch them grow, get better and develop as baseball players,” Fitzsimmons says.


The age difference, they don’t go by grades; actually have some six and seventh-graders on their team.

“Once this year is over they’re going to be eighth-graders, the field gets bigger and they start preparing for high school, whereas the younger kids are kind of in limbo so they start playing on travel teams. It’s very difficult to get the team together for another year after they’re 12U,” the coach says.  


The boys attend Valleyview Middle School, private school (two of them), Morristown–Beard (one  of them) and Delbarton (one).  They all went to Denville grammar schools.  

According to Fitzsimmons, the immediate goal for the majority of the boys is playing baseball in high school.


“And at least five of them are thinking higher expectations like college and the pros I’m guessing,” the coach says. “There’s at least three kids that live baseball.”


Dylan Fitzsimmons

Baseball is close to Fitzsimmons heart, and he has also coached basketball, soccer and football, not always as a head coach.  


In terms of teams, Fitzsimmons says the Dragons are definitely competitive but try to be fair in everything they do.

“It’s a little different than the club teams where we can’t really compete on that level but it’s more competitive where we can show them what they’re going to get to prepare them for high school.”


The coach says the expectation at Cooperstown is that they do the best they can and win one game because it would be nice to have a good record and he doesn’t want them to come away defeated either. 

“If we’re competitive, the kids are all involved, enjoying each other’s company and we don’t have any activity quarrels — and the parents are satisfied, that’s all I really want,” Fitzsimmons says.  “I hope it’s an experience that they’re going to remember for the rest of their lives.”

Brodie Freker has been with the team since little league and getting to go to Cooperstown is the icing on the cake for the catcher, pitcher, outfielder and first baseman. 

“I’m really excited ‘cause I’ve never experienced anything like this before,” Freker says. “All my friends have gone before and they say it’s really fun so I’m just waiting for that.”

Freker calls his time with the Dragons a great ride.

“We had the good times and the bad times; and we’re doing pretty good this year,” he says.  “I’m looking forward to having fun with my teammates and hope we bring it to Cooperstown.”  


Next stop: play baseball at Delbarton, try to get a (college) scholarship and ultimately strive to get drafted to Major

Elijah Frix

League Baseball (MLB).

Chase Napeloni wanted to play baseball and after some time with his local recreational league he decided on a travel team.

“I tried out and thankfully got selected to be on the team,” Napeloni says. “Over the years different kids start to come in until what we have today.” 


When it comes to Cooperstown, the second baseman thinks it’s going to be a lot of fun and he’s really happy they are going there.


“Just being able to play baseball with my teammates and friends,” Napeloni says. “Being able to connect with them more.”


After all these years in baseball, he loves how inclusive the sport is.

“You can’t play baseball without one person on the team,” Napeloni says. “It’s a whole team sport where if one guys missing then the whole team crumbles.”


The 12-year-old’s long-term goals?  

“Obviously when you play in the 12U you always start to get better, which of course is what I want to be —  I want to be better in the sport,” Napeloni says.   


The second baseman plans to play high school baseball and even though he knows it’s tough to reach the Majors, Napeloni says it’s worth a try. 


At the end of the day, the boys know they are the lucky few who get to embrace the magic of Cooperstown, and wherever their baseball careers take them — they can fondly recall where their big dreams all started.


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Denville BSA Scoutmaster Marks 60 Years of Leadership with Troop Tue, 02 Jul 2019 23:36:33 +0000 By Anya Bochman

It’s fair to say that Albert Green, of Denville, has a long history in the township’s Boy Scouts of America Troop 17. The lifelong Denville resident first joined the troop as a scout when he was 12 – in 1947. In more than seven decades with the troop – six of them spent as Scoutmaster – Green has educated and inspired generations of young boys. His 60th anniversary as Scoutmaster of Troop 17 was commemorated on April 11 at the Denville Good Scout Awards Dinner.

The Denville that Green remembers from his boyhood is strikingly different from the township as it exists today, with special committees dedicated to modernizing its downtown business district. At the time that Green joined Troop 17, Denville was largely rural, with sprawling wooded areas that made hiking and camping natural for him and his friends before they ever considered scouting.

“There are many ways in which the country has changed since the day I joined [Troop 17]; most families had only one vehicle in the home and there was a lot less driving,” Green said. “Hiking was much more common, and as you made your way through the town only a few cars would pass you by.”

Green first considered joining the Boy Scouts by following in the footsteps of his older friends; he jokes that at the time, Troop 17 was “the only game in town.” Still, it wasn’t just lack of other options that held his interest; the troop was a learning experience that shaped his entire life.

In 1952, Green graduated from the Scouts with the rank of Eagle Scout; by 1954, he had enlisted in the U.S. military, serving for two years.

“Former scouts from Troop 17 go into many different professions,” Green said. “A number have gone into the military; the stuff I learned as a scout sure helped me when I was in the army.”

Green, who has been retired for 15 years, has two adult children and three grandchildren. He lives in Denville with Marilyn, his wife of over 60 years; he has been dabbling in what he calls “a little retail business” since his retirement. Prior to that, he worked for the family construction business,  A.F. Green & Son Builders of Denville, which he had incorporated in 1980.

After he got out of military service, Green ran into his old scoutmaster, who suggested he volunteer as Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 17. Thinking he would put in an average of three years in the position, as did a number of his friends, Green was surprised when at the end of his tenure his scoutmaster suggested they switch positions. 

That was in 1959, and Green has been scoutmaster ever since.

“Through the years, there has been a great bunch of boys coming into the Troop, and leaving as men,” Green said of his time with the BSA. “They really mature by the time they leave at 18.”

Troop 17 itself is just as storied and entrenched in Denville’s history as Green; on June 8th, the Troop celebrated its 90th anniversary with a formal evening dinner.

With a stated mission of developing the youth of Denville into productive citizens, Troop 17 strives to instill the values expressed by the Boy Scout Oath and Law. These entail respect for and service toward others, the local community and the world in general. To accomplish these admirable goals, the troop leaders work towards providing a stimulating and supportive scouting program that enhances growth through intellectual and physical activities. 

Like other BSA troops, Denville’s chapter strives to develop leadership capabilities by providing training and opportunities to lead within the troop. Its outdoor program is designed to enhance self-reliance and respect for the environment with contests, aquatic sports, hiking and other outdoor events.

During its first year of existence, in 1927, troop meetings were held in the old Denville schoolhouse in a room over the library. According to Denville PTA records, the room was kept exclusively for troop use and was heated by a pot-bellied stove; at first, each boy would bring wood to the meetings. Later, wood was hauled in and stacked in the basement for the winter.

With the razing of the schoolhouse in 1933, Troop 17 relocated its headquarters to the Denville Community Church, where it has been housed ever since. The church also became Troop 17’s new sponsoring organization.

Since its inception, Troop 17 has been following the general code of the BSA; at the center of this is the “patrol method.” An educational system used to train scouts to have moral character and a goal of helping others, the patrol method helps boys to work together and succeed at accomplishing various tasks. In the process, the scouts earn merit badges, acquire cooking skills and participate in outdoor activities and community service.

“My philosophy is the same as that of the Troop; I tell both parents and scouts that Troop 17 isn’t just there to make them Eagle Scouts,” Green said. “When they graduate the program, they are able to take care of themselves with the different skills they learned, which is our main goal.”

Some of the aforementioned skills include learning to administer first aid and wilderness survival. Green also emphasized learning how to cook, noting that a number of former scouts have gone on to become chefs and hold other positions in the culinary industry.

“A lot of the basic skills we teach are still the same after all the years – except that before, we did all our cooking on an open fire, and now we have to use a gas stove,” Green mused.

As part of its operations, the BSA charters local organizations like churches and civic associations; volunteers are appointed by the chartering organization, who are supported by local councils using both paid professional scouts and volunteers.

In Denville, the community involvement is no different. Green cites township Mayor Tom Andes as a “real backer” of the Scouts, and a former boy scout himself. Three of his sons had been scouts under Green’s leadership. The generational participation is fairly common, as well; Green’s son became an Eagle Scout in 1977, and his wife and daughter are active in the Girl Scouts of America.

Over the years, Green has earned a number of accolades associated with scouting and Troop 17, such as the Scouter’s Key, the District Award of Merit and the Silver Beaver, which is scouting’s highest Council-level award. For 16  years, Green had worked with the Red Cross as a water safety instructor, followed by 12 years on the Denville Board of Education. 

He remains humble about his achievements, even as he was honored in April by the BSA Patriots’ Path Council at the third annual Denville Good Scout Awards Dinner, along with six other Denville residents. Green received a special recognition award as a “60 Year Veteran” of scouting. Still, he maintains that he would have preferred having his celebration held together with that of the Troop’s 90th anniversary on June 8th.

Troop 17 boasts 121 Eagle Scouts to date; to reach this top rank, scouts engage in various community outreach projects. For example, Denville’s troop set up hundreds of tents in New York City for the Annual Avon Breast Cancer Walk for walkers to spend the night.

There is lore repeated in Troop 17 by the older boys about Green’s alleged toughness during the Eagle Scout ceremony. According to Green, each year Eagle Scouts are surprised by what his actual questions to them turn out to be.

“There are three things I ask: ‘Did you learn anything? Do you remember what you learned?’ And lastly, ‘Did you have fun?’,” Green said. “That’s the most important part, having fun while you’re learning.”

For Green, the most fun and “vivid” memory of his experience in scouting was the National Jamboree that he attended in Valley Forge, Penn. in 1950. Held every four years, the Jamboree is an opportunity for Scouts from all over the nation and world to get together, and is considered one of several unique experiences offered by the BSA. A jamboree is held for approximately a week and a half and offers many activities for its thousands of youth participants.

Though Green acknowledges the changes brought about by the development of Denville throughout the years and the increasing reliance on driving, he also sees it as an opportunity for scouts to broaden their experiences with long distance trips. Some recent trips Troop 17 took were camping in Gettysburg and Valley Forge, as well as several state parks in Pennsylvania.

“Taking some of the young men on trips, you can see their eyes opening as they experience things they have never done before,” Green said.

During a recent trip for indoor wall climbing in Wind Gap, Penn., Green noticed that some of the boys were initially hesitant to engage in the activity.

“By the next morning, they were climbing up and down like monkeys,” Green joked. “In the Troop, they learn a lot of different skills for life – I know I have.”

At the 90th anniversary celebration, Green encountered former scouts who have gone on into a wide range of professions; present at the dinner were doctors, lawyers and businessmen. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the Troop tradition of educating younger generations, there were also a number of teachers present.

“The Boy Scouts has always been a learning experience of encountering new people and situations,” Green said. “The adults learn just as much as the kids do.”

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Denville’s Sidewalk Sale and Block Party Are Back For More Summer Fun Tue, 02 Jul 2019 23:35:00 +0000 Every year, Denville welcomes the dog days of summer downtown with the annual Block Party and Sidewalk Sale days. This year will be no exception and July 25-27, Downtown Denville will be hoping with great music and great deals!


The goal of the sidewalk sale is to drive traffic to the downtown business district. The open-air shopping allows visitors to enjoy the summer weather and shop around. Many local restaurants also get in on the fun and offer discounts and deals for those three July days. 


Make sure to head downtown on July 25 to kick off the sidewalk sale with the annual Block Party. Where else can you find some festive summer tunes, great sales, games, giveaways, and more? Take a trip to the block party. The theme this year is a summer luau theme. The event is sponsored by California Beach Hut and Thatcher McGhee’s. 


As you stroll through Denville during the sidewalk sale, be sure to stop in for a burger or milkshake, grab an ice cream, meet up with friends, and just enjoy some good sales and good food. During the sales, some stores may also stay open later to give those busy families a chance to come down and enjoy the sales too. 


The block party will kick off on July 25. Stores and sales vary. Be sure to check operating hours before heading downtown to see if the store you are looking to visit will be open. 


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NJ Starz: Issac Bayoh Tue, 02 Jul 2019 23:28:41 +0000 Hometown: Roxbury, NJ


by Elsie Walker

My life is a message to the world, telling others to be bold enough to use their voice, brave enough to listen to their hearts, and strong enough to live the life they have always imagined,” said Issac Bayoh, a graduate of Roxbury High School.  Bayoh is only 22 years old, but during that time he’s experienced a great deal:  losing family in Sierra Leone to Ebola, coming alone to America with only $35 in his pocket, knowing frustration and despair, and gaining  empowerment as a delegate to the Junior UN assembly and founder of his own fledgling foundation: Girl Optimization. Bayoh said he’s seen that when you come to the end of your rope, God will provide a knot so you can pull yourself up.   Recently. Bayoh, who now lives in New York City, shared his story.


Bayoh was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone in West Africa.  His father left the family when Bayoh was seven months old.  This created a difficult situation for his mother due to how his country’s culture sees women, especially women without husbands. A father teaches his son to be hard and tough. Women are not valued in that country, but are treated like chattel. Girls as young as 12 are given to older men in marriage.  Sierra Leone is a society where men can do whatever they want with women. Bayoh was a mild-mannered, tender-hearted child. He was bullied by the local men for not having the demeanor they believed a man should have. “The culture is so full of hate,” Bayoh said. Things got very difficult, and his mother, fearing for his safety, sent Bayoh to live with his aunt. Bayoh still helped support his mother, who was taken seriously ill with typhoid and malaria.  He sold his clothes to get money for medicine. Once a fine student, he stopped going to school so he could try to earn money; he even begged for money.  

Ebola (a rare and deadly disease) hit the country and close to his heart; eventually, Bayoh lost most of his family to it.  He remembers going to make tea for his ailing aunt one day and when returned to give it to her, seeing her lying there; she’d gone cold.  Bayoh’s legs went weak. He was sweating. However, he knew he had to get out of there, leave before the Ebola team came and took him away.   He had walked about three miles when he got on a bus. 

“With every step came a decision to take another. From an entire childhood of bullying and teenage years of misplaced trust, I learned to put up a strong facade to hide my weakness within. It took painting a mental picture of someone I would never want to be, that unleashed my determination, to make the ultimate decision that I was going to make the rest of my life the best of my life,” said Bayoh. 


Scared for his life, he dug up some money he’d saved and applied for a visa.  He arrived in the United States on July 17, 2014 with a suitcase, a duffle bag, and $35.  He had no idea where he would go from there.  “I left everything behind, a mother I love, a sister I cherish, friends I care for, and a life unwanted as I fled to America. I was not going to limit myself to the tried-and-true. I was creating a new vision for my life; the way I wanted to see it and finding ways to achieve it. Coming to America is hard, especially for a Sierra Leonean immigrant like me.” he said. 

Seeing this young person, an New Jersey Transit – MTA worker named Ana befriended him, heard his story, and said he could stay with her.  She had visited Sierra Leone and knew of the conditions there. Ana lived in the Port Morris section of Landing, Roxbury Township.  

Bayoh attended Roxbury High School. He sang in its choir; he excelled in his studies. His essay “Tears of My People” was published in the school publication and he got a temporary job working in the deli area of a supermarket. Bayoh earned scholarships to some prestigious schools, including Cornell University and Eastern University.  He attended the latter for one semester, but the scholarship didn’t provide enough money, and because of his immigration status, he could not get student financial aid. The school suggested he go back to Sierra Leone and work things out with immigration. However, he explained to them, “I can’t go back. If I go outside the United States, I can’t come back”. 

Thus, after only one semester in college, Bayoh had to drop out. He stayed on, working in Pennsylvania and living with a friend for a year.  He returned to Roxbury, when Ana became sick and needed his help. There, he felt isolated. His peers were continuing their education. He was in a small town with no car.  He was depressed. 

A friend in New York invited him to visit, so  Bayoh walked to the train station and went into New York.  His friend wanted to introduce Bayoh to the Landmark Forum, so they attended a free introduction session on it. The Landmark Forum is a series of transformative training courses. Bayoh found what the Landmark Forum offered in the way of education to be something he wanted, but he just didn’t have the money.   Sometime later, a representative of the forum called, following up on the introduction session to see if Bayoh wanted to register for a course; the representative even mentioned a payment plan. Bayoh could not afford any of it. However, he felt something inside of him saying “be vulnerable and tell your story”.   The representative listened and then told Bayoh he’d call back in 30 minutes.
When he called back, he gave Bayoh the number of a friend to call, someone Bayoh was being invited to meet:  James Jay Dudley Luce.

Luce is a millionaire. He runs the James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation and is also the founder of Orphans International Worldwide.  Bayoh nervously went to Luce’s office. Luce said, “I heard your story and want you to get what you deserve.” After talking with him further, Luce introduced Bayoh to an intern who showed Bayoh how to sort receipts.  Later, after all the interns had left, Bayoh continued to work on the project. This impressed Luce. He asked Bayoh, “how would you like to be an intern and be a young global leader?” (a program Luce had). Bayoh took him up on that, asking another friend in New York City if he could stay there, sleeping on the floor, until he could save up enough for an air mattress.  Luce even paid for Bayoh to attend the programs in the Landmark Forum. 


After completing the forum program, Luce asked Bayoh about his passion. and where he would like to work. Bayoh told him that he wanted to help Sierra Leone and one place he would like to work was at the United Nations. Luce just nodded, but later gave Bayoh the number of a lady at the United Nations.  That lady turned out to be “Queen Mother” Dr. Delois Blakely. “She is an institution at the UN,” said Bayoh. Blakely has been at the UN for 51 year and is Ambassador of Goodwill for many African countries. Bayoh recalled the day he met Blakely and she took him inside the UN. 

Almost surreally, Bayoh found himself among presidents and ambassadors.  Suddenly, Blakeley said to Bayoh that she wanted him to get ready to give a little speech.  Bayoh couldn’t believe what she said. He wasn’t prepared, plus look where he was. He was very nervous as he heard Blakely tell those assembled that she had a young man from Sierra Leone who had something to share. Bayoh spoke from his heart and the words about what he’d seen and experienced came to him.  To Bayoh’s amazement, when he was done, those assembled applauded. Later, people were asking if he was a country representative or diplomat. Someone asked if Bayoh could be registered as an official Junior UN representative. Later, Bayoh proudly received a UN badge.

Sierra Leone doesn’t have an official youth delegate, so Bayoh represents himself as a Sierra Leonean youth delegate to the youth assembly.  Among his accomplishments there are that he has held an executive position on the United Nations Department of Global Communications, Non Governmental Organization division youth committee and has served on the Economic & Social Council Youth Forum.


His UN position is not a paid position, so Bayoh supports himself as a nanny. He enjoys making a difference in young children’s lives.  He is also striving to make a difference for Sierra Leone.

Bayoh has started a foundation on GoFundMe, Girl Optimization ( , which he also contributes to with part of his wages as a nanny. The foundation helps girls in Sierra Leone. “I started a foundation which travels to different schools and villages, providing education to girls by awarding them scholarships, providing them academic materials needed to stay in school and all while having an effective learning experience. Discrimination has no place in the 21st century, and I believe every girl has the right to go to school, stay safe from violence, access health services, and fully participate in her community,” said Bayoh.

When asked what he’d like to do with his life, Bayoh said he’d like to become a leader in Sierra Leone, or Secretary-General of the UN.  

Aimless no more, my purpose has been made clear to me; to use the experiences I’ve had as a catalyst for positive change on a global level. I am now a Young Global Leader to the United Nations and stand strong for female empowerment. I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard; for we cannot succeed when half of us are held back. Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. My prayer is that God uses my life as an instrument for good,” said Bayoh.

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Wayne Man Continues His Dedication to Rock Art and New Jersey Archaeological History Tue, 02 Jul 2019 01:45:07 +0000 Photo Credit: Geoff Welch.

By Steve Sears

Edward Lenik’s resume lists a wealth of business and archaeological experience, especially relating to his love of archaeology and American Indian rock art. He has taught at four colleges, served on landmark and historical commissions, authored a number of books and pamphlets.

However, to Lenik, who is a listed in the Registry of Professional Archaeologists, nothing is more important than the thrill of the “find.” “You have to also tell them (youngsters) they have a responsibility,” he says when asked what aspiring archaeologists need to know. “Finding an artifact out of context is meaningless. You have to  be able to tell where you found it, what does it mean, what does it tell you, who left it there, why did they leave it there, how was it made…all these questions come to mind that are just wonderful and thrilling. If you’ve got any sense of adventure, archaeology is the way to go.”

Lenik, who grew up in Passaic, (“My family was immigrants, and the first 18 years of my life I lived in a three-room, cold water flat. That gives you some idea of my beginnings”) remembers the year and spot he found his first artifact. “In 1960 – that was the real break in my outlook and career. I joined the West Milford Township Historical Society. I was always interested in local history and they were meeting at that time. One of the members was James Norman; he was a postmaster in Newfoundland. There was a newspaper article that said they were going to conduct an archaeological excavation on the Pequannock River in West Milford of an 18th century ironworks.”

Lenik attended the first meeting, met Norman, inquired about volunteering for the dig, and Norman included him. He showed up on the first day of the excavation, and Norman stated that the group had to establish the original floor level of the original ironworks building, a structure adjacent to the river. The site had originally been built in 1762, 198 years prior. Lenik found it intriguing, trying to find the remains of a 1762 iron furnace. Norman asked him to dig a square and be very careful. “We were all amateurs,” recalls Lenik vividly, “and I had never excavated anything before in my life.” After sifting soil for a short while, Lenik reached dark, black soil that turned out to be charcoal, and in there he found a piece of iron. “My first artifact. Oh boy. Was I thrilled!” Lenik brushed off the 8’ piece of rusted cast iron and showed Norman. “I said to him, ‘Look at this – it looks like there’s a number 2 cast into the top of it.” 

Norman’s response was lackadaisical. “Ah, okay…I’m glad you found something.”

However, what Lenik had excavated was of great importance. “About a week later I get a telephone call from him (Norman). ‘Hey Ed,’ he said, ‘I cleaned off that artifact you found. I brushed it off and cleaned it pretty good and got the rust off, and guess what? It wasn’t any number 2 on there. What was cast into the top of it was the date 1770!’” 

“Talk about beginner’s luck,” says Lenik with a chuckle. “After several years of digging, that was the best artifact found at that site.” The artifact is now part of the archives of the North Jersey Highlands Historical Society, the successor organization to the original West Milford group. Lenik currently serves as a trustee.

Call him an archeologist, rock art (Indian carvings and symbols and pictures on rocks) expert, or label him a historian, the 86-year-old Lenik answers to all those titles. 

Lenik’s older brother, who was ten years his senior, loved the outdoors, and  he would take his younger sibling hiking in the woods. “That’s how I really got started. I loved the outdoors, and whenever I could with whatever time I had available, I would go and hike and learn the culture and history of various areas. That’s how it developed; that was my beginning.” He reflects further. “To get away from a three-room, cold water flat into an atmosphere of beautiful trees and brush and animals and things like that, that was a joy. We played on the streets, I also lived very close to the Passaic River – I also swam in the Passaic River when I was a kid. Boy, that got me going.”

Lenik, currently a member of the Archaeological Society of New Jersey, attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in Rutherford, got his B.A. in Psychology, worked a job to support his family for many years, all while volunteering as an archaeologist to further learn his craft. He then went back to school and received his M.A. in Anthropology from New York University in 1987, left his job, and started his own cultural resource management firm, Sheffield Archaeological Consultants, which he ran for a number of years until he retired.

Lenik’s books have primarily centered around American Indians and their carvings on bedrock surfaces and artifacts, especially here on the east coast. “Occasionally an artifact would show up that would show some symbolism on it, but no overall study was done,” he says. Lenik embarked on that study, trying to document Indian rock art in the northeastern part of the United States. “I did that and published, Picture Rocks: American Indian Rock Art in the Northeast Woodlands.” Published (in 2002) by the University Press of New England, the book covered the states of New England, the Atlantic part of Canada, New York and New Jersey. “For an academic exercise, it was quite a hit. It had never been done before. Quite frankly, right now, it’s the bible for Indian rock art in the northeast.” 

Among Lenik’s other books are 2011’s Ramapough Mountain Indians: People, Places and Cultural Traditions, Lost Arrowheads and Broken Pottery. A History of Native Americans in Bear Mountain State Park (2010) and Making Pictures in Stone: American Indian Rock Art of the Northeast, published in 2009. His first book, Indians in the Ramapos, was published by the North Jersey Highlands Historical Society in 2000. 

Lenik is currently working on three books simultaneously, all in various stages of production. “My final book about the Ramapough Mountain Indian people, the manuscript is complete, and it’s in the hands of a book designer right now who is doing the layout work, editing, and putting in illustrations. Once that’s done, that should be published by the end of August this year. The second book is a rock art book, again on the northeast with new finds I have uncovered with petroglyphs sites in various states in the northeast  – that’s in the working stage. The third book that I’m almost finished with is the pictographs and petroglyphs of Pennsylvania. I will be asking the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission if they would be interested in publishing that.”

“I have a lot to do.”

Lenik, who claims that archeologists never look up, but always down (“Well, that’s how you find stuff,” he exclaims) has never been a true collector, his finds passed on to other eager hands. “I used to walk the fields of the Wanaque Reservoir,” he recalls. “In the 1960s we had a severe drought, and you could see the actual riverbed. I got permission from the water company to walk the area and began to find what people call arrowheads today, and other Indian stone tools, so I did collect initially. Once I learned what archaeology was all about and did it professionally, I was never a collector after that.” He pauses, then continues, “I gave the arrowheads to my kids. They have them,” he adds with a laugh.

In addition to his writing, among Lenik’s current activities is hiking, quite a challenge since he had a recent hip surgery, but that births another interesting tidbit. Many years ago, Lenik started an annual yearly activity he called a New Year’s Day hike. “It was unheard of in the area. I started that 36 years ago and today every organization is doing it.” The 2018 hike was to Campagaw Reservation (in Mahwah). 2019 hiking spots are still under consideration.

Per Lenik, you interest people in topics by giving a lot of lectures, which he does regularly. “Books are nice and people are interested,” he says, but then adds with rising voice, “but when you are before a group and if you’ve got the enthusiasm, and you describe what you find – I mean, that fact that you can dig into the ground and come up with an artifact no one has seen for thousands of years, an Indian arrowhead, an axe or other stone tools for example, how thrilling that can be!” 

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