By Cheryl Conway
Students at Mt. Olive High School will be taking a closer look on Tuesday, Feb. 5, about what is in the mist when it comes to vaping.
Many parents of ninth graders attended a Freshman Drug Awareness Program on Nov. 29, 2018: Vaping: What’s in the Mist? at the Mt. Olive Performing Arts Center (MOPAC) in an effort to encourage a dialogue between students and parents. The powerful presentation was an eye-opener for many parents who had been left in the dark regarding the increased use of vaping and the dangerous affects it can cause.
The presentation had such as impact that many parents then approached school leaders requesting that the students be educated as well.
“A number of parents came up to us and said ‘You have to bring this guy back to speak to our students,’” explains Kevin Stansberry, principal at MOHS for the past 16 years. Motivation Speaker Timothy Shoemaker led the November presentation and returns this week to MOHS to give the students’ version on the same topic.
Three presentations are set for this Tuesday for the ninth graders and tenth graders and for school staff during their lunch break, says Stansberry.
“Vaping, “it’s an epidemic,” says Stansberry. He, too, was enlightened by the November presentation. “They are easily concealed,” he says, like the ones that are hidden in hooded sweatshirts with the drawstrings being used to “get a hit.”
Having the staff educated on what the different types of vapes look like and how they are being hidden can help in reducing the usage of vaping in school, he hopes.
“Identification is big for us; they look like USB drives,” says Stansberry. “All kinds of oils in them,” he says, with some containing “more nicotine in one cartridge of vapes then in a pack of cigarettes.”
These hidden devices “presents a big challenge but we are doing the best we can to educate parents and students,” says Stansberry, adding that there are consequences if vaping in school.
“When you get caught in school, they get called out for drug testing,” adds Stansberry.
Parents attended a similar presentation earlier this school year to open up dialogue with their children on the growing epidemic.
“It’s important information to have this conversation with your sons and daughters,” Stansberry had said during that November drug awareness program.
Every year school officials look at the current trends. Last fall they noticed an increase in vaping and e-cigarettes in the bathrooms and classrooms so chose vaping as this year’s topic, he says. While they could have sent home a letter to parents or set up a podcast, Stansberry explains the “need to hear it first-hand” in order “to have an informed conversation with your children.”
Hundreds of freshmen parents filled MOPAC that evening to listen to Shoemaker’s presentation about vaping: Its history, growth, health effects, what devices look like, how they are concealed, and most importantly how to speak to their children about vaping.
Rather than giving advice, Shoemaker advises parents to approach the topic using a critical thinking mindset. This approach can help the kids “build the mindset” that vaping is not good for them.
“Help them build the mindset,” says Shoemaker. “Give them the basis, the founding to make that positive decision,” to not vape.
Shoemaker educated the parents on the types of vapes being sold out there and referred to several instances in which children passed out in school from overdosing and other scary affects like being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease caused from lung damage from the nicotine.
Big Tobacco developed a smoking cessation device 15 years ago to provide a “product better for the health” as an alternative to smoking cigarettes. Gum, lozenges and the patch were also developed at the time to help those addicted to smoking kick the habit, he says.
E-cigarettes and vaping were thus born as the alternative to smoking cigarettes.
“Kids don’t smoke weed anymore,” says Shoemaker. “They can smell it.”
Instead they are vaping and using “high voltage e-liquids” filled with synthetic or herbal drug flavorings used to energize or relax, says Shoemaker.
He mentions 70 different viles or flavors of e-juice, with viles having different herbal drugs in them and kids hosting ‘jewel parties.’
The misconception is the viles of e-juice are referred to as ‘food-safe flavorings’ which means it may be safe to digest but not inhale. “Is digestive system the same as the pulmonary system?” he questions.
“Teens are hiding dangerous drugs in e-cigarettes,” says Shoemaker.
Statistics show 80 percent cases of overdoses tied to vaping, compared to 67 percent from pot, he says. A “vaping explosion” occurred with the number of those vaping tripling in middle and high school students in 2014.
Looking back at statistics, Shoemaker reports 9,000 overdoses in 1993 from cocaine and heroin in the United States; last year that number was up to 75,000 overdoses.
He says the saying “Just say ‘NO’ to drugs worked in the 80’s and 90’s. “There is no motto for kids today,” notes Shoemaker.
In 2010, he says zero kids were vaping; today that number is up to 70 percent.
Shoemaker blames that increase on Big Tobacco’s push on cigarette smokers to stop smoking cigarettes and instead use e-cigarettes and vapes.
“They are losing 500,000 customers a year,” says Shoemaker, of cigarette smokers because of the effects of smoking on the lungs and causing cancer.
“Stop smoking, start vaping is a bad message,” says Shoemaker, because vaping also contains nicotine and other drugs. Vaping appears to be maybe 50 percent safer than smoking, some say, but that is not known for sure, says Shoemaker.
“If you haven’t started vaping don’t start,” is the new message, says Shoemaker.
Shoemaker talked about some of the ingredients used in vapes such as anti-freeze, formaldehyde, arsenic, cadmium, diacetyl as well as other affects like increased cases of mono spreading in the schools with students sharing vapes, and explosions in pockets and in faces causes by the cartridge vapes and vaping pens.
The motto “Vaping saves lives,” is garbage, he says. “They are selling poison.”
There has been talk to eliminate flavoring in jewels, says Shoemaker. Bubblegum flavored e-cigarettes came out in 2009, followed by all kinds of flavors and students hosting jewel parties to taste them.
Since vaping is a newer fad, Shoemaker questions “how do we test them? We wait and see how it turns out. Your kids are the guinea pigs. They certainly don’t know.”
Scary part is students are hiding the vapes and bringing them to school, hiding them in their clothing like vaping sweatshirts with hood strings used to release the vape; hats stashed with vapor; tampon wrappers concealing vapes; vapes hidden in water bottles; shoes that hold pods; backpacks with a remote control vaping tool; vapes that look like highlighters or markers; coke bottle vapes; vapes that look like inhalers or atomizers or USB chargers, the list continues.
Nicotine, it’s an addiction,” says Shoemaker. “Nicotine is not a friendlier kind of addiction,” that can lead to addiction to even stronger chemicals such as heroin, he says.
“One jewel pod had as much nicotine as a box of cigarettes,” says Shoemaker.
Shoemaker’s presentation was an eye opener to many parents in the audience.
Tracey Atkinson of Flanders attended because “my child asked me to attend to help him learn about the subject.”
Students were required to write an essay about what their parents learned from the presentation.
Atkinson was surprised by “how many children are participating in this habit and how little is understood about the long term consequences,” she says.
The information she gathered from the presentation, “enabled me to discuss and educate my child about this subject.” It also “reinforced his view that this is not a healthy activity to participate in.”
Like other parents, Atkinson says “I believe that it is necessary to educate our children to a certain extent.”
Another mom, Kim Borozan of Budd Lake, says she attended because her daughter wanted her to go and she says “I was curious about it.”
The information, while alarming, was helpful to her.
“I was shocked….did not even realize how bad and that different drugs were being put in vapes,” says Borozan. “I truly thought it was just nicotine.”
Borozan used the information to discuss vaping with her kids.
“Quite honestly I think I scared them with the info/damage I found out,” she says, adding that she is glad the students will hear first-hand from Shoemaker what damage vaping can cause.
“I know many children in ninth grade trying this stuff,” says Borozan. “I may be naive but I had no idea how horrible and how many “secret” disguises there were to these things. I was shocked by how many children are trying and using.” Her daughter “told me there are a ton! She came forward with names and friends that were doing it after I attended the seminar. So scary! I was so glad I went honestly.”
Photos by Tracey Atkinson.
Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey is offering girls the chance to explore their interest in engineering, zoology, and science in a fun camp overnight program activity called “Girls Powered by Science.”
Girls in sixth, seventh and eighth grades will engage in hands-on science experiments that take them from biology to physics. In addition, girls investigate biology while meeting some of the mammalian world’s coolest animals. Girls interested in engineering will explore different engineering design principles though a series of interactive workshops.
“Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M) is one of the four program pillars in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and Girl Scouts has pledged to help fuel the pipeline for women in the STEM workforce,” said Betty A. Garger, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey. “Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey has offered many STEM activities for girls of all ages to foster their interest and learning in the STEM field.”
Girl Scouts of the USA announced its national initiative to reduce the gender gap in STEM fields by bringing millions of girls into the STEM pipeline over the next eight years. Building on GSUSA’s efforts, the Girl Scout STEM pledge also seeks to raise $70 million, impacting 2.5 million girls by 2025.
In addition to “Girls Powered by Science,” Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey has offered FIRST Lego League Robotics competition for the past 11 years and offered program activities to girls in astronomy, soldering, engineering, and cyber security.
For more information about Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, call (973) 248-8200 or visit www.gsnnj.org. Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey serves girls ages 5-18 in 160 municipalities in Bergen, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Northern Warren counties. Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey serves more than 26,000 girls and almost 14,000 adults for a total membership of more than 40,000.
Violet, My Love
When I look in your eyes
I see the colors of a rainbow
Blue for the warm skies,
Yellow For the bright sun,
Green for the pastures
yet to come…
Orange for the sweetness
as the fruit tastes;
Red for the love
my heart aches;
Indigo, because you know without it,
life wouldn’t be complete;
And last, but not least,
your name, Violet.
Written by M. Oliver
Love is like eating
Oreos in the rain
Veering to be near you,
Evenings under a full moon
Children snuggled in their beds, freshly washed sheets,
returning home, winter break;
Sleeping in on snowy days,
icicles forming on trees;
Warm chocolate chip cookies,
gooey melting on tongue;
Bubble gum crackling in the fire
on a Saturday night;
Smell of coffee grinds
brewing down a grocery isle;
Family movies nights, kettle corn popping,
no seats left to sit;
Roses in full bloom
Staring up on countertop;
Too many to choose.
By Cheryl C.
Your eyes are the sparkle on grass
On early morning dew
Your hair color, how I feel
When I cuddle next to you
The greeting you give me
Every time I walk in a room
Every day with you is a flower in bloom.
submitted by a dog lover
The Chabad Jewish Center of Northwest NJ in Flanders is excited to announce the grand opening of its new location. A grand opening, which will be the place for center’s services, events and Hebrew school, is set for Sunday, Feb. 10, at 10:30 a.m., at 11 Deerfield Place, Flanders. Go to https://www.mychabadcenter.com for more information or call 973-927-3531.
Centenary University in Hackettstown recently appointed Devon Vialva of Mt. Olive as its assistant dean of diversity. The newly-created position illustrates the university’s commitment to support an increasingly diverse student population, with an ultimate goal of enhancing the success of all students.
“This new position advances goals outlined in Centenary’s strategic plan to foster a campus culture that is characterized by mutual respect and inclusive dialogue through a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Kerry Mullins, vice president for student life and dean of students. “When students feel welcomed and valued, it enhances their connection with the university community.”
In his new role, Vialva will advance co-curricular programming that supports diversity on campus and promotes acceptance and understanding of different cultural backgrounds. He will also partner with faculty members to incorporate cultural competency into Centenary’s curriculum, enhancing the ability of graduates to navigate within today’s global marketplace.
Vialva earned an undergraduate degree from Centenary in 1997, and a master’s in public administration from the university in 2008. He also serves as director of Centenary’s Educational Opportunity Program. Vialva, who grew up in Newark, noted that his experiences often resonate with Centenary students of similar backgrounds.
“It’s hard for me to say that I’m a role model for students,” says Vialva, “but I am an example of someone who comes from the inner city, and who benefited from the advantages of education. Today, I tell students, ‘You don’t have to lose who you are or where you came from. The goal is to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to be themselves.’”
Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The university’s main campus is located in Hackettstown with its equestrian facility in Washington Twp.
The Land Conservancy of New Jersey is now accepting applications for its 2019 Scholarship Program. Mt. Olive residents are encouraged to apply.
Applications can be downloaded from The Land Conservancy of New Jersey website, www.tlc-nj.org or can be obtained by calling (973) 541-1010 x14. Potential candidates must be N.J. residents currently enrolled in, and in good standing at, a college or university, with at least 15 credits completed and an academic average equivalent to a 3.0 or higher. The deadline to apply is April 1.
The Land Conservancy of New Jersey is celebrating 35 years of commitment to scholarship as a means of preserving the landscapes residents and visitors love while protecting the state’s drinking water and other natural resources. For almost as long as it has existed as a member-supported, non-profit land trust, The Land Conservancy has been providing two scholarships a year to residents of N.J. pursuing degrees in environmental science, natural resource management, conservation, park administration, or related fields. Its Scholarship Program appears to be unique in that it rewards environmental scholars who are not only from N.J. but who also wish to return to N.J. after college to pursue careers aimed at protecting the natural environment of their home state.
“This year we are pleased to be able to provide $7,500 to each of our two scholarship recipients,” announced Trustee Rick Simon.
The Russell M. Myers Scholarship was established in 1983 to honor Myers, founder of The Land Conservancy of New Jersey. An outstanding leader in the field of conservation, Myers was the first director of the Morris County Park Commission. His dynamic leadership established the Morris County Park System, which remains the largest county park system in N.J. and one of the finest in the nation.
The Rogers Family Scholarship was established in 2005 by Gray and Mollie Rogers, dedicated conservationists who wanted to expand The Land Conservancy’s educational support for outstanding students passionate about protecting the natural environment. Gray Rogers is a trustee emeritus of the non-profit land trust.
The Scholarship Program has awarded $270,000 in grants to 56 outstanding college students since its inception. Past recipients have hailed from nearly 40 different N.J. towns and have used their scholarships to obtain bachelor, master’s, and doctorate degrees at an array of institutions including N.J.s own Rutgers and Stockton universities. Their fields of study have included environmental law, policy, and planning, as well as chemistry, wildlife ecology, geography, landscape architecture and forestry management.
The Land Conservancy of New Jersey is a member-supported, non-profit, accredited land trust dedicated to preserving and protecting natural land and water resources throughout the state. Originally founded as an all-volunteer group in 1981 the organization has worked with 100 municipalities in 13 counties and continues to be recognized for meeting the highest standards for protecting open space, upholding the public trust, and ensuring that their conservation efforts are permanent.
For more information about the work of The Land Conservancy of New Jersey, visit www.tlc-nj.org or call (973) 541-1010.
Now entering its seventh year of operation, the Community Garden at South Branch Preserve has plots available for the 2019 season, which runs from April 1 through Nov. 30.
An informational meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 6:45 p.m. at the Mt. Olive Township Public Library in Flanders. Free vegetable seeds will be available to interested gardeners, and sign-ups for plots may be completed at this time.
“The camaraderie and friendships among the gardeners has been amazing, and the gardeners donated over 514 pounds of produce in 2018,” said Barbara McCloskey, garden manager and membership & outreach manager for the Land Conservancy.
The annual membership rate for Mt. Olive Township residents and/or members of The Land Conservancy is $35 per 10’ x10’ plot; and $45 for non- residents. There is a one-time irrigation fee of $30 for each plot.
The Community Garden is located at the intersection of Wolfe Road and Route 46 West. It is part of South Branch Preserve, which totals more than 200 acres in this location. Preserved by The Land Conservancy and its partners (including Mt. Olive Township) this land was purchased to protect the headwaters of the South Branch of the Raritan River, a drinking water supply source for more than 1.5 million New Jersey residents.
The garden is surrounded by fencing, to keep out deer and rodents, including rabbits and groundhogs. A shed is located on site, which houses some gardening supplies. Gardeners are encouraged to bring their own gardening tools. Water is provided by The Land Conservancy by individual spigots and hoses throughout the garden. Only organic gardening practices are allowed at the Preserve.
For additional information, contact McCloskey at The Land Conservancy of New Jersey at
On Saturday, April 27, Layups 4 Life will be hosting its 5th annual 3v3 charity basketball tournament at the Parsippany PAL Youth Center in Parsippany. This tournament has quickly become one of New Jersey’s largest 3v3 charity basketball tournaments as it averages 40 teams per year. Registration for this tournament is open to ages 18+.
Layups 4 Life is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is founded on the principles of making a difference in the fight against cancer. Led by cancer survivor Dan Exter and his wife Dana Levine Exter, it is L4L’s mission to help raise vital funds for cancer research and clinical trials. Since 2014, Layups 4 Life has raised close to $80,000 through hosting a variety of events in the sports and social spaces. With the funds that they have raised during the last four years, L4L has made contributions in support of leukemia, pediatric and bone marrow research departments supporting one of the leaders in cancer innovation and research, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).
To learn more about Layups 4 Life, visit its website at www.layups4life.org. Questions about this theme night or anything else regarding L4L, email Dan Exter or Dana Levine Exter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the snow and polar vortex kept you in last week, warm up this week with additional free classes offered at Mt. Olive Exercise, sponsored by the Mt. Olive Recreation Dept. Classes are set to be held at the Mt. Olive Senior Center all week… except for on Saturday, when class will be relocated to the Mt Olive Public Library.
Call Laura Hars at 973-903-0453 for more information or email email@example.com
Covering most of Morris, Sussex, Somerset and Warren counties, the New
Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs (NJSFWC) of the GFWC Highlands
District is actively looking for women to join its local clubs.
Join in for a Membership Open House on Thursday, March 27, at 7 p.m., at the
Mt. Olive Township Public Library in Flanders. Refreshments, information and
a short program is planned.
For those interested in community service opportunities, making a difference
in the community, leadership training and looking to have fun, then a
woman's club is the right place. Through participation in local clubs, the
NJSFWC enables its members to make a difference in the lives of others, one
project at a time.
Everyone is welcome, especially women from Mt. Olive, Budd Lake, Flanders
Diverse in age, interests, and experiences, all club-women are united by a
desire to create positive change, meet others, while enhancing and
benefiting their communities. NJSFWC members represent a broad range
including teachers, business owners, social workers, elected officials,
medical professionals, homemakers, corporate executives and professionals,
students and retirees.
Come find out what the NJSFWC of GFWC and its local clubs are all about, and
how to help continue the state, districts and club's mission of making a
In addition, to honor the 125th anniversary of the NJSFWC, and looking
forward to an even more successful future, the Shining Future Endowment
Campaign has been established which will permit the State Federation and its
members to expand their many diverse programs and activities in individual
communities as well as statewide.
The public is invited to be a part of this campaign through donations at
various levels. Donations are to be made payable to 'Women who reach for
the stars', and send to NJSFWC Federation Headquarters, 55 Labor Center Way,
New Brunswick, N.J., 08901 or make a donation online. For additional
information about the campaign visit www.njsfwcshiningfuture.org.
To find a club nearby, go to njsfwc.org. To RSVP for the open house, email
firstname.lastname@example.org or call (201) 602-7853.
The Mount Olive Soccer Club (MOSC) Travel Program is forming a high school girls’ travel team for the upcoming spring season. If interested, contact email@example.com A.S.A.P. Deadline to register is Feb. 8.
Come out to the Mt. Olive Senior Center on Saturday, Feb. 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., to Cabin Fever Reliever, sponsored by Mt. Olive Recreation. Free admission includes games, food, music and vendors. For more information, visit rec.mountolivetownship.com.
The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, partnering with the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office and Presbyterian Church of Morristown, plans to host its third public outreach program on Tuesday, Feb. 5, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Presbyterian Church of Morristown’s Parish House in Morristown. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.
The program is part of the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General’s 21-21 Community Policing Project, implemented by N.J. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal in 2018, with the goal of building strong relationships between law enforcement and the community. The first two programs covered Officer Involved Shootings and the Opioid Epidemic.
This third program will focus on the recently issued N.J. Office of the Attorney General Immigrant Trust Directive and Bias Crimes. Representatives from the Morris and Sussex County Prosecutor offices will provide the free presentation. All members of the public are encouraged to attend.
February is approaching- the festival of romantic love so send in your poems to be printed for the entire month of February; submissions may include a photo of the poet. All ages are invited to submit.
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Experienced journalist since 1990, living in Flanders for 21 years and covering Mt. Olive Township for the past 10 years.
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