Mt. Olive Online Publication December 28 2020
Mt. Olive Online Publication December 28 2020
Just a walk in the park will no longer be the case for dogs who venture to the Mt. Olive Twp. Dog Park in Budd Lake.
Both the small and large areas of the dog park have received upgrades this week to provide a whole new adventure to any dog visitors to the park. Work began Monday, Sept. 14, and should be completed by the end of the week.
“Various obstacles, tunnels, seesaws, rope tugs are being installed at both the small and large dog parks,” says Mt. Olive Twp. Business Administrator Andrew Tatarenko.
“The obstacles give the dogs another way of exercising, encourages physical activities of agility and strength and helps canine companions develop,” he adds.
Funding for the improvements were included in the 2020 municipal budget.
“Mayor Greenbaum included it in the 2020 budget after receiving public input,” says Tatarenko.
The equipment was “all made from scratch using various building materials,” he says. “The cost was minimal as most of the supplies we had in stock.”
On Tuesday, Sept. 15, employees from the township Building, Parks and Grounds department were busy installing the new equipment at the small dog park, which was closed while the portion for the large dogs remained open.
Obstacles were being “installed by our Building, Parks and Grounds staff and were all hand made by Mark Dombrowski, our talented craftsman,” says Tatarenko.
Three individuals in total were busy setting up the new equipment and making repairs. Dombrowski was counting on the small dog park to be completed by Thursday, Sept. 17, and large dog park to be completed by Friday.
The equipment being installed at the large dog park was going to mimic that at the small dog park, but just using a larger scale for the bigger breeds, he explains.
"We're spreading the word to make Antoine Gayles lucky #7 on November 3rd." This is a paid advertisement by Antoine Gayles. Picture posted with permission.
Check out this great video
The Mt. Olive Township Board of Education is interviewing applicants to fill a vacated seat on the BOE.
The BOE with be voting next month on who to appoint to finish out the three-year term of BOE member Dr. Asunta Beardsley. Beardsley vacated her seat on Tuesday, Sept. 15, after resigning on Sept. 1 in a letter she emailed to the BOE, states BOE President Dr. Anthony Giordano.
On the board for three years, Beardsley, whose term is expiring this year, is moving to Allamuchy. In order to serve on the BOE, members must be residents of Mt. Olive. For a full list of requirements to serve on the BOE, see BOE Policy 0142 on the school district website.
The chosen candidate will hold the position for three months.
“The person will serve until the board’s organization meeting in January 2021,” says Giordano.
As of Sept. 15, the BOE received three applications from three interested residents, says Giordano.
The board will fill the vacancy by majority vote of the remaining members, and will not be seeking community input, says Giordano.
“While there are two public participation sections on the agenda, the board will not seek community input on its recommended candidate,” he says.
“The interviews and vote could take place at our first October meeting or at a special meeting prior to the October meeting,” says Giordano. “The full BOE will discuss this at our Sept 21st meeting. We technically have 65 days to fill the vacancy.”
According to district policy 0143, “The board must vote to appoint a
candidate to a vacancy in public session and there shall be no
decisions made in executive session,” as stated on the district website.
“In the event interviews are conducted in executive session, board members, in the public session nomination and voting process, shall express their
opinion in support of their vote so the public can witness any
deliberations, policy formulation and the decision making
process of the board.
With the upcoming BOE election in November and three seats up for grabs, BOE members running for reelection can vote; also candidates running for the BOE can be appointed to the vacated seat.
“The board member who is appointed can still run for the BOE,” confirms Giordano.
Hundreds gathered at the All Veterans Memorial in Budd Lake earlier this month to ring in the unveiling of the POW/MIA/PTSD Ascension Bell.
The historical unveiling and dedication of the newly designed one-of-a-kind bell tower was held Saturday, Sept. 5, and is the 11th element to be added to the AVM grounds. The event was co-sponsored by the All Veterans Alliance Board of Directors and Morris County American Legion.
About 300 attended, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., including 100 cyclists from three different veteran groups, to witness the unveiling and tour the AVM’s ceremonial grounds, established in 2008 to capture the nation’s rich history, service and patriotism honoring those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Ascension Bell will carry significant purpose in remembering soldiers and will be formally used this weekend during the National POW/MIA 24 Vigil Ceremony.
The ceremony is from Friday, Sept. 18 (National POW/MIA Recognition Day) to Saturday, Sept. 19. Throughout the vigil, names will be read of the 3,700 New Jersey veterans unaccounted for from all wars and ring the Ascension Bell 21 times every hour to honor their memory.
“A special mallet will be used to ring the bell,” explains Charlie Wood Uhrmann, founder of the AVM, AVA and designer of the bell. “The bell will be tolled 21 times during our National POW/MIA 24 Hour Vigil. Out of respect for the surrounding residents, we chose not to add a free swinging ‘clapper’ to the bell.
“The AVM’s high elevation lends itself to constant wind movement,” explains Uhrmann. “While the wind is great when it comes to our flags, we were concerned that the constant ringing of the bell would be invasive. With that in mind, we decided to toll the bell manually.”
After years to conceptualize, Uhrmann designed the bell and then commissioned artist/metal craftsman Timothy Sheldon, owner of Wicked Workz metal, to build it.
“Tim has done custom work for several American Legions” explains Uhrmann. “Morris County American Legion Commander Amery Vasso commissioned Tim to create three dimensional metal service flags for their American Legion Hall. Tim is an excellent engineer, metal smith and welder. He was amazing to work with.”
Like the other elements that encompass the AVM, the Ascension Bell Tower has also been registered with the U.S. Library of Congress. The stainless steel bell stands 11” high and is 52”x52” square.
The Bell Tower “is an exclusive design,” explains Uhrmann. “Tim has been given exclusivity to the design. The POW/MIA Bell can be sold separately from the tower and is available through Wicked Workz only.”
Bell Attracts Many To AVM
Hundreds of motorcycles from three different veterans’ groups filled the parking area adjacent to the AVM.
The three veteran groups included: Rolling Thunder: A U.S. advocacy group, incorporated in 1995 with more than 90 chapters, that seeks to bring full accountability for prisoners of war (POWs) and missing in action (MIA) service members of all U.S. wars.
Legion Riders: Known for its charitable work, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for local children's hospitals, schools, veterans’ homes, severely wounded service members and scholarships. There are currently more than 110,000 American Legion Riders involved in more than 2,000 chapters.
Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association: An association of veterans from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces who ride motorcycles as a hobby; support and defend those who have defended their country and their freedoms; and help veteran care facilities provide a warm meal, clothing, shelter, and guidance. With members throughout the U.S., the CVMA sponsors and participates in many motorcycle-related charity events each year, and as a non-profit organization, donate to various Veteran care facilities and Veteran charities
“We had representatives from 14 chapters, including the founder of the Rolling Thunder,” says Uhrmann about the veteran groups in attendance.There were other special attendees as well.“We had Gold Star Mother Charlene Cosgrove Bowie who lost her son, only child, Christopher, in Iraq,” says Uhrmann. “We also had Richard Harrison, father of fallen warrior, only child, Ronald, who lost his life in Iraq. Richard was given the honor to be the first to ring the Ascension Bell. “Also in attendance was Founder and Executive Director of the Rolling Thunder Artie Muller,” she continues. “We also had Assembly-woman Aura Dunn who attended the event with her father who is a Vietnam Veteran. Also in attendance was N.J. State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan who joined his veteran father Mick and mother Carol. Lastly, Paul C. Manz, award winning chief scientist with the Program Executive Office Ammunition at Picatinny Arsenal and AVM supporter, was present.”
Uhrmann and the other organizers were pleased with the event’s turnout.
“We all feel the event went extremely well,” says Uhrmann. “I personally liked the fact that the program was conducted in two segments: The appreciation and paver setting ceremony; dedication. We received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from not only those who attended, but those who participated.“Ninety percent of the riders had no idea the AVM existed and have requested to be invited to all of our events,” says Uhrmann. “Several organizations have expressed sincere interest in holding future ceremonies and meetings at the AVM, due to the unique design and accessibility of the complex.“It is gratifying and fulfilling to see that so many veteran organizations are showing interest,” she concludes. “This is what we have been working towards.”
Land donation, no smoking at local parks and Budd Lake Beach renovation are some of the main topics hitting the Zoom Mt. Olive Twp. Council meetings.
Residents are always welcome to listen to the recorded meetings for more details on any of the topics. Just go to the Mt. Olive Township Website, click on Live Stream Council meeting, Township Council and select the meeting date to zoom on in.
During the Sept. 1 meeting, the council discussed a land donation at 67 Crease Rd., Budd Lake. The council agreed to initiate an environmental study on the land to determine its usage.
Last May, the township received correspondence from a realtor inquiring as to whether the township would purchase the two-acre land for $59K, explains Mt. Olive Twp. Business Administrator Andrew Tatarenko. The township owns the two adjacent lots totaling 50 acres.
Tatarenko followed up with the Open Space Committee regarding the inquiry but due to the cost of the recommendations, it did not recommend the purchase, he explains.
But when the realtor contacted the township a second time, he offered the land to the township at no cost.
Tatarenko says it would cost the town $3K to pay for an environmental study, for a Phase I Environmental Analysis, of the land and those monies would come from the Open Space Fund.
Councilman Alex Roman asks whether the property could be used for a building or structure.
“It’s in an area where you wouldn’t put a building,” says Tatarenko. It will be used for recreation, “passive use,” such as trails to be built down the road.
The property is worth $46,100 and will cost the township $1,500 in property taxes, he adds.
Councilwoman Colleen Labow questions the council at the Sept. 1 meeting about the ordinance on no smoking in public parks after a resident brought the concern to her.
One ordinance says a person can smoke on a trail, while another ordinance says one cannot.
Tatarenko explains the ordinance: Smoking is prohibited on any recreational field but it is allowed in parking areas.
“It does not state if you can smoke on trails,” he says.
Labow suggests the ordinance be amended to include no smoking on trails.
People are on trails to exercise, says Labow. “The last thing they want is someone blowing smoke in their face,” she says.
Labow says she “feels we should be consistent” with that message.
Mt. Olive Twp. Mayor Rob Greenbaum advises the council to fix the ordinance to say no smoking, nor vaping in all areas of the parks and trails. He warns, however, that the ordinance will still not stop anyone from smoking.
“You can prohibit smoking in the park,” says Greenbaum, “but you’re not going to have enforcement by police. People are still going to smoke in the park. Just change it; just do it, put in ordinance no smoking at the public parks.
“There’s no smoking in the dog park; people still smoke in the dog park,” he says. “There’s no kids allowed in the dog park; kids still go in the dog park. There’s no food allowed on the soccer field; people still bring food on the soccer field.
“At the end of the day, it’s just not enforceable,” says Greenbaum. “Let’s get on with it. It’s the politically thing to do. It just should be done. It doesn’t matter. People are still going to smoke in the parks.”
Greenbaum recommends that the ordinance should specify no smoking at the parks, rather than it eliminating smoking on all township property.
“We do have employees who smoke on the municipal properties,” says Greenbaum. With that, he says he thinks “it should just reflect the park at this time.”
Council President Joe Nicastro suggests “Put some signs up in the park, no smoking and that’s the extent of it.”
Councilman Alex Roman disagrees suggesting that the ordinance say no smoking during recreation activities.The new ordinance was to be included at the next council meeting that was held Sept. 15 for first reading. The ordinance was to abolish smoking at all times on recreational fields including public parks, playground facilities and other recreational areas in the township.
Budd Lake Beach Renovation
At the council meeting in August, the council was floating around some ideas for improvements at Budd Lake beach.The Budd Lake Beach Renovation would include increased landscaping to provide better screening from Rt. 46 and commercial businesses, explains Tatarenko. It would also include “a larger beach area, parking lot restoration, relocation of storage sheds and boat ramp, bathroom facilities, a concession stand with seating, playground area, a pavilion, new docks for site seeing and potential boat rentals, shade structures and floating platforms,” he says.These recommendations could be included in the next budget cycle, he adds. “In the 2021 budget, I plan on recommending funding for the soft costs to cover engineering work, permitting, etc.,” says Tatarenko. “I don’t anticipate any construction in 2021.”
On the opposite side of the lake, a new tavern may be in store to replace the old Boat House Restaurant and Tavern on Sandshore Road.
"The owner recently demolished the building and has approval for a similar type of tavern/restaurant on the first floor and a residential rental unit above,” says Tatarenko. He does “not have a cost estimate yet, but if the project moves forward it would come from our annual capital budget, available grants and potentially open space funding,” concludes the business administrator.
Mt. Olive Fitness Presents:
WHERE: Various Local Parks
WHEN: Weekday Evenings, Weekend Mornings
COST: Unlimited Classes per session - $120 (Outdoors + ZOOM)
20 class fee - $100
12 class fee - $80
Per Class Fee - $10
Classes are held early evening during the week and weekend mornings. Various class types include A Walk in the Park with Weights; Buts & Guts; Cardio Intervals; Kickbox/HIIT; Step & Sculpt; Zumba; Pilates; Cardio; and Toning.
All payments must be made at the time of registration or in person for attending the class. Exact change for walk-ins is requested.
This program will be offered for SIX weeks from 8/18/20 through 10/3/20. This program is NOT affiliated with Mt. Olive Recreation nor the township.
The third annual POW/MIA Remembrance 24 Hour Vigil sponsored by the Morris County American Legion in partnership with the All Veterans Alliance will be held at the All Veterans Memorial, 30 Flanders Rd. (Turkey Brook Park), Budd Lake, from Friday, Sept. 18 (National POW/MIA Recognition Day) to Saturday, Sept. 19.
The opening ceremony will be at 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 18 with the closing ceremony at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19. Throughout the vigil participants will maintain the Memorial Fire, read the names of all 3,700 New Jersey veterans unaccounted for from all wars and ring the Ascension Bell 21 times on the hour every hour to honor their memory.
Individuals and organizations are invited to participate in the vigil with prior coordination. The event is free to both participants and the public.
Also during the 24 hour vigil cadets from the Mt. Olive High School Air Force JROTC will each hike 14 miles to commemorate the Bataan Death March. The commemorative march honors the 60,000 - 80,000 American and Phillipino POWs who were forcibly marched 66 miles from Saysain Point, Bagac, Bataan and Mariveles to Camp O'Donnell, Capas, Tarlac in 1942. Exact numbers are unknown, but approximately 18,000 POW deaths occurred over the five-day trek. By completing the 14 miles the cadets will earn the Bataan Death March Memorial Ribbon. Although the 14-mile Bataan Death Memorial March is nothing compared to what those POWs endured, it is carried out every year in order to commemorate their sacrifice.
For participation in the vigil contact Commander Amery Vasso, 973-349-4777, email@example.com.
About The Morris County American Legion and The All Veterans AllianceThe Morris County American Legion represents 2,300 members in 21 posts located in Morris County. The County American Legion serves to coordinate activities in Morris County to maximize the impact of American Legion programs. Congress chartered the American Legion in 1919 as a patriotic veteran’s organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. The American Legion is the nation’s largest veteran’s service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of programs in our communities advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion and support to our fellow service members and veterans. To learn more visit the website at http://www.legionmorriscountynj.org/The All Veterans Alliance vision is to provide needed outreach services and support to those who have honorably served or are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces; home or abroad. To provide educational and military support opportunities to individuals, schools, and organizations that seek to fulfill community service mandates. To learn more visit the website at https://www.allveteransmemorial.org/outreach.html .
The High Holidays kick off this Friday, Sept. 18, with Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.
The Chabad Northwest NJ- Western Region has services planned throughout the rest of the month from Sept. 18-28.
“This year will be unlike any other,” says Rabbi Yaacov Shusterman, spiritual leader of the Chabad Northwest N.J. in Flanders. “Our mission is to be here for you, and provide you with the most meaningful, authentic and uplifting High Holiday experience possible.”
Traditional High Holiday Services are planned with indoor/outdoor seating available this year with a cantor who “will lead us in socially-distanced, but spiritually uplifting entire holiday service,” says Shusterman.
There will be limited, socially-distanced seats available, and no walk-ins will be allowed. Attendees must reserve a seat for each service they plan to attend. Masks will be required.
Rosh Hashanah services are set for Saturday, Sept. 19, at 9 a.m.; Sunday, Sept. 20, 9 a.m.; Shofar blowing at 10:30 a.m. All services will be held at Flanders Crossing Recreation Center at 13 Watson Way, Flanders.
R.S.V.P is a must as space is limited due to safety guidelines. Children’s services will not be provided this year.
To reserve a seat, go to https://www.mychabadcenter.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/4877087/jewish/High-Holiday-Reservations.html
Photo caption: Reid Echevarria, a kindergartener at Sandshore Elementary School, shows off the tee shirt he received during the school’s kindergarten orientation.
A group of 5-year-olds made Mt. Olive School District history when the school year began on September 8. The nearly 300 young students are the first full-day kindergartners in the district’s history.
In 2013, Mt. Olive began offering a tuition-based extended kindergarten program that focused on literacy and language skills. This school year, however, marks the first time an entire incoming kindergarten class begins its Mt. Olive educational career with day-long kindergarten.
For parents, the offering of full-day kindergarten is an occasion that has been long-awaited in a school system known for its innovation and high levels of student achievement.
“When I joined the district in October of 2018, parents told me that full-day K was one of the programs they most wanted,” said MOSD Superintendent Dr. Robert Zywicki. “I am thrilled to be able to make full-day K a reality. It will help our students academically, socially, and emotionally.”
Under the district’s pandemic-response scheduling of the instructional day, students in grades K–3 alternate weekly between attending school in person and learning at home. This reduces the number of students in a classroom at any given time.
While not a factor this year because of the staggered in-person instruction, the lack of instructional space had been the biggest stumbling block that prevented full-day K from being offered in the past. Changes of the last two years in the delivery of instruction in Mt. Olive, however, freed up space in the district’s schools and allowed full-day K to become logistically feasible.
Expansion of inclusion at the elementary level, for example, brought the instructional support for special education students into their regular classrooms rather than being offered as a “pull out” service; this freed up space previously dedicated to remediation. The district also shifted to mobile instructional technology and away from stand-alone computer labs, further opening up space that can be used for classroom instruction.
A recent survey showed that approximately 90% of school districts in Morris County now provide full-day K.
Special Olympics has named Mt. Olive High School as a National Unified Champion School. The honor, awarded to just five high schools in the state, recognizes MOHS’s commitment to inclusion and its unified sports program in which students with and without disabilities train and compete as teammates.
To be considered a National Unified Champion School, MOHS met 10 standards including the involvement of youth leadership and the organization of school-wide awareness activities that promote inclusion.
“Unified sports provide meaningful experiences for students of all levels,” said Mt. Olive School District Superintendent Dr. Robert Zywicki. “This award from Special Olympics is a testament to the dedication of our high school teachers and staff members who have worked tirelessly to give students with disabilities the comradery and thrill of competition that comes from organized athletics.”
The unified sports program began four years ago. Soccer, track and field, and basketball are currently offered, coached by Nancy Gilbert and Pam Molfettos. The unified soccer season is set to begin later this month.
MOHS has a longstanding relationship with Special Olympics. The school has hosted Special Olympics regional activities and has had Special Olympics teams for the past 24 years.
Mt. Olive School District Superintendent Dr. Robert Zywicki has been selected recently as a Superintendent to Watch by the National School Public Relations Association.
According to a NSPRA statement, the award recognizes Zywicki’s “dynamic, fast-paced leadership” and his innovative and effective use of technology “to engage and inform the school community, and to expand two-way communication and outreach efforts.”
Twenty- five superintendents across the country are chosen annually to receive the honor.
Zywicki will receive a certificate of achievement and be featured in an upcoming NSPRA digital publication.
From his very first day in the district, Zywicki made strengthening digital communication a key goal. Mt. Olive had no formal social media presence before he joined the district as superintendent in October of 2018; Zywicki immediately made Twitter the platform of choice for the dissemination of real-time information, building the district's Twitter following from 0 to 2000+ within 18 months.
That social media foundation and other digital strategies proved to be invaluable during the pandemic when decisions and breaking news needed to be quickly communicated. Zywicki also used daily blog entries and live video Facebook Parent University updates to answer questions and address concerns during the school closure, and in preparation for the start of the new school year. In addition, he engaged stakeholders and solicited input on district plans through the use of online surveys.
In 2019 under Zywicki’s guidance, Mt. Olive’s website was redesigned with a focus on providing a more satisfying user-experience.
NSPRA is an 85-year-old professional association with a mission, according to its website, to advance education through responsible communication. The organization offers communications training, products, resources, and research materials to assist school districts, state departments of education, regional service agencies, and related state and national associations.
In less than two months, voters will get to select three candidates to fill three seats on the Mt. Olive Township School Board of Education.
There are seven candidates vying for a three-year term on the BOE. Running for reelection are BOE Members Dr. Antoine Gayles and John Petrie, whose three-year terms expire this year. BOE member Dr. Asunta Beardsley is not seeking reelection as she is relocating outside the district.
The other candidates running in the November election include: Christopher Zeier, Richard Vanatta, Brian Schaechter, Colleen Suflay and Rhonda Cohen. Former BOE members Schaechter and Cohen are running with Suflay on the same ticket with the slogan “Schools in Motion.”
As a public service, the Mount Olive Democrats asked the community to
suggest questions to be asked of each of the seven candidates running
for the three positions being voted on this year.
“One goal of our organization is to share information with our community regarding important issues,” explains Irene Sergonis of Budd Lake, a committee member of Mt. Olive Democrats who recently ran for Mt. Olive Twp. Council.
“We received individual responses from Dr. Antoine Gayles, John Petrie
and Christopher Zeier. Brian Schaechter, Colleen Suflay and Rhonda Cohen
responded together. Richard Vanatta did not respond.”
To learn more about these candidates and responses to some concerning questions see the link https://mountolivedemocrats.org/posts/board-of-education-candidate-responses/
County Bids Farewell To Communications Director
The Morris County Board of Freeholders has announced the retirement of Lawrence “Larry” Ragonese, whose service over the past five years as Director of Communications for Morris County capped off a career in New Jersey media and public relations that spanned more than 40 years.
“I just want to say what an asset he has been to me, to the entire freeholder board and to all of Morris County,” said Freeholder Director Deborah Smith. “Aside from his sense of humor and charm, we will miss Larry’s strong work ethic, his genuine concern for helping people who come to the county seeking assistance and his extensive knowledge of Morris County.”
Ragonese officially retired on Sept. 1, but continued for the past week in assisting in the transition of a new director. He had become an enduring presence in the Morris County Administration & Records Building in Morristown, as well as the Morris County Courthouse, largely because of his many years as a news reporter in the area. But the freeholders and county administration also hailed his work in modernizing the county Office of Public Information and expanding constituent relations.
“The legacy of Larry Ragonese will remain a treasured institution within Morris County for years to come, for in so many ways he has touched each of us -- and through his too numerous to mention contributions, has improved our lives,” said Morris County Administrator John Bonanni. “As a journalist, as well as a communications director, Larry approached every issue with both integrity and a smile, the mark of true gentleman. I wish him and his family the very best!”
Ragonese, a Cedar Knolls resident, had covered Morris County government as a news reporter from the 1980s until 2010. He began his career as a deejay in Parsippany for WQTK 1310 a.m. in 1977, but by 1978 he moved on to become news director at WSUS 102FM in Sussex County before taking on a reporting position at “The Daily Record” of Morristown in 1980.
At the time, “The Daily Record” was privately owned and had a large circulation throughout northwest New Jersey. Ragonese originally served as “The Daily Record’s” Sussex County bureau chief, but quickly became the Morris County courthouse reporter. By 1984, he ascended to the “The Star-Ledger,” the state’s largest newspaper, where he covered Morris County government until April 2010.
He subsequently joined the administration of then-Governor Chris Christie as Director of Communications for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, holding the post until becoming the Director of Communications in Morris County in February 2015.
“I just want to give a very heart-felt congratulations to Larry Ragonese on his retirement from Morris County,” said Freeholder Doug Cabana. “For many years, Larry has been the voice of Morris County. He should be proud of what he’s done. He’s going to be missed, and I just wish him all the best in his retirement. I wish he would stay a little longer.”
Ragonese spoke briefly at the Aug. 26 freeholder meeting about his retirement, calling it a bittersweet decision and sharing fond memories about his time in Morris County, conjuring “the ghosts” of the many county officials he knew, wrote about and developed friendships with over the past 40 years.
“It’s been my privilege to walk in their great footsteps,” Ragonese said. “So I leave you with a smile and a thank you, and I hope the best for all of you in county government. And I have just one request: Please, Freeholder Krickus, keep my taxes low.”
The freeholders honored Ragonese with an official resolution recognizing his service.
The post of Director of Communications has been assumed by Brian T. Murray, also a Morris County resident who spent more than 30 years in the daily news business in New Jersey, including more than 20 years as a reporter at the “The Star-Ledger” with Ragonese.
In 2011, Murray followed Ragonese into state government, serving as Communications and Marketing Director for the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development, until leaving in 2015 to become Press Secretary and Communications Director for Governor Chris Christie. He founded BurnPin, a communications and public relations company, after leaving state government in 2018.
Library Goes Virtual For Kids
Virtual Storytime: Do your kids miss Storytime and coming to the library? Tune in Monday through Friday to see all of the Children's Room Librarians reading stories on Facebook and Instagram.
Buzz's Spring Reading Challenge: Are your kids looking for a fun challenge, that could also brighten up your home? Take part in Buzz's Spring Reading Challenge and help Buzz grow flowers all over Mt. Olive. Printable reading logs and flower coloring pages can be found online at www.mopl.org/youth.
Library Open For Curbside Pickup
The Mt. Olive Public Library is open for curbside pickup.
Requests can only be made via phone call or email.
There is a limit of six items for adults and eight for kids and young adults.
Patrons will be called once their items are available for pickup.
Bags will be placed outside of the library, marked with the last four digits of the patrons card number
Due to COVID-19, patrons may not enter library.
No books will be left outside the building after curbside hours
Also due dates will be spread out throughout August to prevent everything being due back at one time.
Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Thursday: 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Closed on Sunday.
For questions email: firstname.lastname@example.org; call 973-691-8686 ext.106.
Submitted by Diane Lang, positive living expert, life coach, speaker.
It's okay to be miserable.
If that's where you are, then, you should embrace it.
However, know this: It's not a permanent place.
The only constant thing in life is change.
So, where you are today doesn't mean it's where you will be tomorrow.
It's just the place you're at currently.
Don't try to hide it or run away from it.
It's only going to delay it.
The emotions need to be felt.
The tears need to be cried.
The anger needs to be vented out.
The hurt needs to be healed.
So, if you are feeling miserable, don't fight it.
Just be in this place.
Feel it and let life flow.
You will be someplace else soon.
6 Ways To Feel Your Painful Feelings:
1. State the facts without judgement - Feel your feelings but don't judge them. Just look at the facts. If you don't know why you feel a certain way, that's ok. Just state the facts such as: I feel hurt. However, I'm not sure why?
2. There is no right or wrong - whatever you are feeling is fine. Don't try to change or justify your feelings. Be honest with yourself, you can't work through feelings if you're lying to yourself or avoiding feeling them.
3. There are no negative feelings. We classify certain feelings as "negative" but the truth is your human and all feelings are normal. We need to feel the anger, hurt, sadness, loneliness, etc. to heal.
4. Don't criticize your feelings - we are our own worst critics and we can make our situations worse by criticizing what we are feeling. This keeps us in a negative cycle.
5. "Why" - try to figure out why you're feeling the way you are: The why helps us understand where the emotions are coming from. Are we really upset over something that happened today or is it triggering other past hurts? Is it hitting a nerve?
6. Feel to Heal - most importantly, feel your emotions. Feeling the pain, anger, etc. might cause you to cry, scream, punch your pillow, etc. We can't get through the pain if we don't feel.
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Experienced journalist since 1990, living in Flanders for 22 years and covering Mt. Olive Township for the past 12 years.
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