Mt. Olive Online Publication November 2, 2019

Mt. Olive Online
Mt. Olive Online
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Meet Lloyd Deans For Mt. Olive Twp. Council

By Cheryl Conway

 

“Like the leaves turning from green to yellow, orange, red tones…. change is only inevitable to move things forward” …by CLC.

 

If change is what residents are looking for in Mt. Olive, consider electing some new leaders who are running on a platform that seem to tackle today’s local issues. Three seats on the Mt. Olive Twp. Council are up for grabs and voters will be choosing from six candidates when they go to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Lloyd Deans of Budd Lake is one of the three new candidates running for a seat on the Mt. Olive Twp. Council. A Democrat, Deans joins Irene Sergonis and Raj Singh, also Democrats vying for seats on the council against Republican incumbents Colleen Labow, Joe Nicastro and Alex Roman.

While voting is the right of all residents over the age of 18, a wise choice is the best choice. It is easy to select either all Democrats or all Republicans when going to the polls, depending on the voter’s affiliation, but getting to know a little about each candidate helps voters make an educated and informed choice when they press that button in that voting booth.

Get To Know Lloyd Deans

A Mt. Olive resident for the past two years, 43-year old Deans is a husband, father, innovator, army veteran and advocate.

He and his wife Brooke of eight years have three children ages 14, 6 and 2.

While there is much to favor about living in Mt. Olive, Deans top likes include the school system, environment, diversity, multitude of family activities through Mt. Olive Recreation and “the mayor’s involvement regardless of whether people agree or disagree with him,” he says. 

As a Behavioral Healthcare professional, Deans has worked in Marketing and Communications at Rutgers University for the past eight years.

“I develop and maintain relationships with external private/public companies at the state, national and international level to obtain maximum support and exposure for Vets4Warriors services,” says Deans. 

“After leaving the military I wanted to continue to serve, helping my Battle Buddies on the civilian side,” explains Deans as to why he chose this profession. “I researched jobs and as faith would have it, I found a career at Rutgers University.”

He is currently studying Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. 

Army Veteran and Advocate

Deans joined the Army in 2005 - 2013.  Serving as both Artilleryman and Military police, Deans was deployed to Iraq, U.S. Border Patrol in New Mexico and various flood missions in New Jersey. 

After the Army, Deans got involved with the government to advocate for veterans.

“I worked for four years with the National Guard Bureau and the Defense Suicide Prevention Office as a contractor,” he says.  “My overall task was and continues to be, decreasing the stigma of reaching out for help in the military and veteran sector.”  

Between 2013-2016, Deans worked with both Republican Congressmen and Democratic State Senators to advocate for better access and care for veterans, as stated on the Mt. Olive Democrats website. 

In 2014, he testified and advocated in front of both the Republican and Democratic Sub-Committee on Health in Washington, DC; and in 2013 testified in front of the full N.J. Senate on Military and Veterans Affairs on how to utilize technology to provide resources to veterans.

Deans is currently the point of contact for the following state funded services: Veteran Benefits, Children with Special Needs, Caregivers, Addictions and Police.

Run For Political Office

Deans is currently chair of the Mount Olive Democratic Committee. This is his first run for a political seat.  

Why did you decide to run for Mt. Olive Council?

Deciding to run a few months before the primary, Deans says “I’ve always wanted to run for office but never had the right timing to do so. Once my family and I moved to Mt. Olive to raise our kids and plant our roots, it made perfect sense to run for council and get involved with the community.  

“This is my first time running for political office, however I was also a Rutgers University Staff Senator and served on the Budget and Finance Committee.” 

What strengths/skills do you bring if elected to this position? 

1. “Effective Communicator – Based on my experience in a combat zone as a lead gunner and convoy commander.”

2. “Supporting high-risk veteran population through peer support in order to solve complex problems.”     

3. “I build collaborative relationships – Based on my success with receiving support from both Republicans and Democratic officials on the state and federal level.”

4. “Innovator - 2014 New Jersey Tech Council, AT&T and Princeton University Mobile App winner for Personalized Services,” he says.  “I developed the first mobile app in the Apple and Android store that provided resources to veterans and their family.”  

What local issues concern you the most?

“Transparency in government as our current town council is doing the basic minimum,” says Deans. “We need to have an updated Mt. Olive website with relevant issues up front and not the same static information. For example, what current resolutions have been passed and what is the potential impact all presented on the home page?  I shouldn’t have to search and read lengthy transcripts before I find what I’m looking for. 

“The great thing about an election year is coincidentally things gets fixed in town and information we’ve been waiting for gets uploaded to the website,” he continues. “The town council can do a better job at getting residents out to the town council meetings by going door-to-door on a regular basis and not just canvassing during an election year.    

“Another issue that I hear a lot from residents is the need for full-time kindergarten,” says Deans.  

What ideas/solutions do you have to resolve or improve those concerns?

“To improve transparency, I can immediately make some innovative suggestions, starting with adopting “Live-stream” so residents that can’t make the town council meeting can tune in live,” suggests Deans. “Other surrounding towns have implemented this and we need to get caught up.   

“Develop social media for the town council so residents can hear from the town council’s official page and not the town council members’ personal social media page,” he adds. 

“Mail out monthly one pagers from the council with hot items and what’s impacting the town,” continues Deans. 

“Full-time kindergarten is a tough issue but as a councilman I would work with the BOE to help find solutions,” says Deans. “In the end, good or bad, I would also help to support and communicate the results.” 

One issue is the rising taxes and lowering property values? Many homeowners are struggling to sell their homes. Any ideas on how this can be fixed or improved?

“My taxes just went up again!” says Deans.  “This issue impacts not only Mt. Olive but also the entire state.

“I think step one is the reality that Trenton needs to figure it out,” says Deans. “On the local level we need to have an honest conversation with the residents. I’ll even help the current town council by saying if you want to increase the attendance at the council meetings, talk about how to lower property taxes.  Open that up for discussion.

“The council should provide detailed information on tax bills to explain the real cost of services, how much is paid through state subsidies and then how much is collected locally,” says Deans. 

“One of the first questions I was asked was how would I lower property taxes?” says Deans. “I said, ‘I have a better idea, ask the current administration what their current plan is on lowering taxes, because they’ve been in power for over 15 years.’  I’m still waiting on that answer.”     

Why should residents vote for Lloyd Deans?

“A vote for Deans is a vote for an advocate on your behalf, regardless of the issue I will listen and help find a resolution.”      

 Is there anything you would like to add?

“At the end of the day once this election is over, two things will definitely happen,” says Deans.  “1. – Win or lose we’ll still be neighbors and that’s why it’s important in this election we run on the facts versus personal attacks via fake Facebook accounts. 2.– We have increased our Democratic base during this election cycle and we’ll continue to grow the Democratic brand.” 

For more information about the Democratic candidates, please visit www.votemountolive.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @votemountolive.        

Are there any upcoming events that residents can attend to support MO Democrats?   

Please join in at the “History Making in Western Morris” event on Sunday, Oct. 6, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit the Mount Olive Democrats website at www.mountolivedemocrats.org.

 


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Road Work Reroutes Residents, Patience Requested

By Cheryl Conway

Road work took Mt. Olive by storm this past month with a series of projects including milling, paving and installing gas lines.

Many of those projects appear to be winding down but beware of striping in the next couple of weeks, road authorities say.

While many drivers have been delayed with detours or frustrated with bumpy uneven pavement, the road ahead remains smoother for improving Mt. Olive Twp. 

“I know detours can be annoying, but they are needed for the improvements of the township,” says Tim Quinn, Mt. Olive Twp. DPW director. “Patients please.”

The repairs have been projects by the township and Morris County.  

The Morris County Road Project began earlier this month. The county began its road improvements and paving for 2019 the week of September 9, right after school began, causing some delays on some main roads, including sections of Flanders Rd., Mt. Olive Rd. and Drakestown Rd. in Mt.  Olive.  Construction may last through the end of October, however, it was anticipated that all work will be completed by September 30.                                                        Hours of operation for this work is between 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday - Friday.  Flanders and Mt. Olive Rd.’s has remained open with alternating traffic.  Drakestown Rd. will be detoured. After milling is complete, paving will commence. 

Road officials have been asking drivers to give themselves extended travel time and safe driving.

In a press release from County Communications Director Larry Ragonese, “a series of county road paving and improvement projects are underway across Morris County. Milling and paving work is nearing completion on Mt. Olive/Flanders Road in Mt. Olive.

“This work is all part of the Board of Freeholders aggressive targeting of some 30 miles of county roads for upgrading this summer and fall. The county roadwork is in addition to local and state road projects,” as stated in the press release.

See the complete list: https://morriscountynj.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/2019-Road-Projects.pdf.

“We are working hard to keep our commitment to properly maintaining our road and bridge infrastructure in Morris County,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Stephen Shaw. “We intend to work through the paving season, before the weather turns colder, to complete our list for 2019.’’

The current projects in Mt. Olive include Mt Olive Rd/Flanders Rd, 1.2 miles from Route 46 to Elias Dr. The contractor is Schifano Construction of Middlesex at a bid price of $508,828.

In another project on Drakesdale Road, 0.7 miles, from Flanders-Netcong Road to Route 206, is being completed also by Schifano Construction of Middlesex at a bid price of $259,747.

Here are responses from local road officials to commonly asked questions/concerns:

What can residents expect in the upcoming week regarding road repairs in Mt. Olive?

“All road paving will be done this Friday, 9/27/19,” says Quinn. “In the following two weeks all main roads will be line striped; please avoid running over coned center lines while work is being completed.”

“The gas companies have been particularly busy over the past year and we expect that to continue,” says Lt. Craig Austenberg of the Mt. Olive Police Dept. Patrol Division.

“Installations are finishing up in the Woodsedge/Outlook Rd. area but will be moving to the area of Elizabeth Lane next,” Austenberg says. “For the most part these have been local road closures with minimal impact.

“Gas line installation will also continue on Mt. Olive Rd. with traffic being alternated or road closures depending the day.

“Sewer line installations will also begin next week on Main Street and Park Place.  Both roads will be closed at some point and additional info. will be released once the closures are finalized.”

Is the road work on Flanders-Drakestown Rd. and Mt. Olive Rd. complete? 

“The work on Flanders Drakestown Rd. still needs to be striped as of today,” says Austenberg.

“Flanders Drakestown is completed for this year,” says Quinn. “The work on Mt. Olive Road is being done by the gas company and not completed as of today but should be done on Mt. Olive road by weeks end.”

What kind of work was being conducted in front of the church on Flanders-Drakestown Rd and Mt. Olive Rd.? Was that milling or for the gas line? 

“The initial work being done a few weeks ago was for a gas line installation,” explains Austenberg.  “Last week was milling and paving by the township.

Is there a site residents can refer to so they know what roads to avoid during the day to avoid delays and detours? 

“We try to post road closures on our social media accounts and website,” says Austenberg. “Township projects are usually posted on Mayor Greenbaum’s Facebook page and/or the township website.”

Adds Quinn, “We post on the DPW Facebook page and the mayors page also. If major closers it would be listed on the town’s website.”

Are these county projects or township? 

“The Drakesdale and Flanders Rd. repaving was a county project as it is a county road,” says Austenberg. “The gas line installations are on township roads but are NJ Natural Gas projects.”




What are the township costs for these road repairs/paving?

“We were provided about $1 million from the mayor and council for paving in 2019 for township owned roads,” says Quinn. “There is also a section of International Drive North with partial state funding for paving, about a $500,000 project.”

How many Mt. Olive patrol officers involved in directing local traffic and monitoring traffic and detours?

“It depends on the project,” says Austenberg. “One day last week we had 13 officers out working on several different projects that included gas line installations and the repaving of Drakesdale/Flanders Roads.  This week we are averaging six officers, primarily working for gas line installations.”

Have there been any accidents or issues with these detours during the road repair work?

“Last week there were a number of projects going on at once that made travelling through town difficult, especially during the rush hour,” says Austenberg.  “The repaving of Drakesdale/Flanders Road was problematic as it is a main thoroughfare with both Turkey Brook Park and CMS Elementary schools needing access.”

What are the other upcoming road work projects? Any delays or detours that residents can expect in upcoming weeks? 

“As mentioned above, the sewer line project will require the closure of Main St. and eventually Park Place,” says Austenberg. “Work on Mt. Olive Road will continue requiring road closures or alternating traffic.”

Adds Quinn, “There may be some detours from the gas company work in residential areas (Budd Lake). In Flanders we will be starting the new sewer project on Main Street and Park Place; there will be local detours set up when the work starts in early October. International Drive North, which will start in early/mid October will have lane closures but no full road closures.”

What suggestions or advice can you offer to residents to provide warning to driving on these roads during all of this local road work?  

“People should prepare in advance and learn more than one route to work and home,” says Austenberg.  “Roads can be closed for a number of reasons (e.g.-accidents, construction, downed trees) and being aware of alternate routes before an emergency will save you a lot of aggravation.   If you are aware of construction taking place please be patient and give yourself extra time to travel.”

Is there anything to add that would be informative to local readers on this topic?

“Smart phones and apps such as Google Maps and Waze are excellent tools for assisting you to get around,” adds Austenberg. “If you get detoured they will quickly reroute you.”

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Like Lykins For LD-24 NJ General Assembly

By Cheryl Conway

Mt. Olive residents will get to choose between four candidates for the New Jersey General Assembly District 24 on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Two Democrats will face off against two Republicans to fill two seats up for grabs in the 24th Legislative District. Since this is a general election, voters can choose any of the contenders.

Deana Lykins and Dan Soloman Smith of the Morris County Democratic Committee are running against incumbents F. Parker Space and Harold J. Wriths of the Regular Republican Organization.

Before casting that vote, get to know these new candidates, their platforms and ideas for improving the state of N.J.

Meet Deana Lykins

A resident of N.J. since 1998, 48-year-old Lykins has lived in Green Twp. for the past three years. She moved to N.J. after attending law school at American University, Washington College of Law, from 1995-1998, in order to work at the New York City Housing Authority. Prior to attending law school, Lykins attended University of Kentucky, from 1989-1993, to earn a bachelor’s degree in journalism. 

A native of Kentucky, Lykins points out her favorite aspects of N.J.

“I enjoy its ideal proximity to so many great things: Mountains, lakes, ocean, NYC, Philadelphia, while maintaining its own unique identity,” she says.

Lykins and her husband Pete since 2006 are raising three children: Addie (10) and Luke (13), who they adopted; and Christian (18), who is her stepson.

While her “full-time job is as a mother and wife,” Lykins says currently her other full-time job is “working to better the lives of my neighbors and fighting to ensure we have the representation we deserve in Trenton. I’m also an attorney and government affairs consultant. I love public policy and secured a job at the N.J. Legislature two years after graduating from law school. I have worked in and around public policy ever since.”  

Lykins worked with the legislature from 2000-2005, serving as a legislative staffer for the Office of Legislative Services the first several years.

“In that role, I drafted legislation requested by legislators, drafted legal opinions about legislation and staffed several committees: Senate Labor Committee and Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee,” explains Lykins. “During this period, I drafted the Project Labor Agreement which was a major advance for the union/labor community. 

“For the last several years working for the legislature, I worked for the Senate Democratic Office staffing the Commerce Committee,” continues Lykins. “In this role, I advised legislators and negotiated with stakeholders on their behalf on legislation. I was the policy staffer during the passage of the Predatory Lending, Telemarketing and Automobile Insurance Reform legislation, shepherding this important legislation through the policy process.”  

Following her work with the legislature, Lykins switched gears working with private sector employment. 

“I was the National Policy Manger for Schering Plough immediately following my employment with the legislature,” explains Lykins.   

Lykins' Run For State Assembly  

It was the winter of 2018 when Lykins decided to run for N.J. General Assembly.  

“I decided to run because I’ve become increasingly dissatisfied with our current representation,” explains Lykins. “I’ve lost confidence in their ability to fight tax increases from Trenton and secure the funding and services we need in our area, and I know I’m not alone. I want my children to be able to grow up and stay here if they want. We all do. But the status quo simply isn’t ensuring vibrance or sustainability for this area.” 

What strengths do you bring to the State Assembly if elected? 

“Professionally, I am an attorney with intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the legislature,” says Lykins. “I know how to get things done in Trenton. As a working mother with a head for policy and collaboration, I can bring a new perspective on the issues facing our district and how to solve them.”  

As a resident of NJ, what do you foresee as the main concerns/issues?   

“The area of Legislative District 24 may be slightly different than the entirety of N.J.,” says Lykins. “For our area, we need a real effort to lower our taxes.

"For example, taxes in Mt. Olive are the second highest in Morris County. Overall, this area of N.J. pays some of the highest tax rates in the country, and we don’t have a lot to show for it.

“Our education funding continues to dwindle and we are hemorrhaging small businesses,” she explains. “We need a real effort to bring appropriate economic development to our area, and that starts with the basics: Widespread high-speed internet.

“Finally, we need to take actions to ensure the health of our most important economic driver: The environment,” says Lykins.  

What solutions or new ideas do you have to improve or fix those issues? 

“For taxes, we need auditors for state contracts to ensure that money is being spent correctly,” says Lykins.

“We need to increase our efforts to consolidate services for municipalities,” she says.



“Businesses in a district can bring down the taxes for individual families,” continues Lykins. “We need to focus our efforts on building up and promoting our agri-tourism and enviro-tourism industries. The beauty of our area is what sets it apart from the rest of the state and we need to better capitalize on that.

“Finally, on a related note, we need to ensure the health of our lakes,” adds Lykins. “We need to better protect the environment, not only because we want to keep our area health for the next generation, but also because so many of our local businesses depend on a healthy lake. We need to focus on short-term and long-term solutions for the algae blooms that have closed many of our lakes. Reducing the use of fertilizers and increasing the number of storm water utilities are options that need to be explored.  

“But we don’t just need ideas: We need leaders capable of casting aside partisan divisions and handwringing to get things done,” stresses Lykins. 

Any suggestions on how to turn unemployment around and get more citizens on the track they need to be successful? 

“Actually, last week it was reported that N.J.’s unemployment just hit a record low of 3.2 percent,” says Lykins.

“What I see as a larger problem is the number of families that are forced to work multiple jobs in order to scrape by,” points out Lykins. “We need to work to make our area attractive for the type of businesses that pay higher wages and offer attractive benefit plans.

“One way to do this is to fight to bring better and stronger internet services to the district,” suggests Lykins. “Businesses of all sizes require a reliable internet service to operate in the modern economy. Another is to invest in infrastructure, much of which is failing throughout northwest Jersey. 

Why should residents vote for Deana Lykins for NJ General Assembly? 

“LD 24 residents have seen our needs ignored, becoming an effectively forgotten part of the state,” says Lykins. “Our taxes have increased but we do not receive our fair share of those taxes back. We deserve to get what we pay for, and not to be treated as Trenton’s piggy-bank.

“We need a fresh voice – a fighter – who is not afraid to go to Trenton and put people over politics to demand the services that we need,” says Lykins. “Our region needs someone who understands our issues and also knows how to find solutions. I am confident that I am the best advocate and representative for the constituents in Mt. Olive and throughout Legislative District 24.”  

Are there any upcoming events/fundraisers for residents to meet or support the Democrat candidates for NJ General Assembly?  

Those interested can reach out to my campaign manager, Matt Ducey, at matthewpducey@gmail.com for an assortment of upcoming events, fundraisers, and volunteer opportunities. 

For more information about Deana Lykins, visit https://www.lykinsandsmithforassembly.com/about-the-candidates.

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Morris Chase’s Phase II For More Homes Phased Out…For Now

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By Cheryl Conway

Building more homes in the Morris Chase development in Budd Lake is phased out for now after a Morris County Superior Court judge supported the local planning board’s decision to not grant an extension to the landowner.

A judgement handed down this past week on Tuesday, Sept. 24, by Superior Court Judge of New Jersey Hon. Stuart Minkowitz ruled in favor of the defendants- the Mt. Olive Planning Board and the Township of Mt. Olive- in regard to a complaint issued against them by the plaintiff, ARD Mount Olive Associates, L.P.

ARD Mount Olive Associates, L.P. issued a complaint against the township and planning board in Lieu of Prerogative Writs, represented by its attorney Richard Hoff of Bisgaier Hoff LLC. Attorney Valerie Kimson of The Buzak Law Group LLC represented the Mt. Olive Planning Board and Attorney Dawn Sullivan of Dorsey & Semrau represented Mt. Olive Twp.

ARD Mount Olive Associates, L.P. issued a complaint in lieu of Prerogative Writs back in Aug. 6, 2018.  In action lieu of prerogative writ, a court is called upon to review the administrative action of an agency, board or governmental subdivision, as it is explained in the 18 pg. court ruling brief. Municipal action will be overturned by a court if it is arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable.

After oral arguments in court this month, Minkowitz determined that the Mt. Olive Planning Board was just in its reasoning to not grant an extension.

“It’s a tremendous victory in the township,” Planning Board Chair Howie Weiss told “Mt. Olive Online” during a telephone interview the day after the superior court ruling was handed down. The ruling “shows that Mt. Olive Planning Board is a serious board that mean’s good business,” says Weiss.

“The Planning Board has the right and ability to do what we did,” says Weiss. “We have the right to govern as we see fit; that’s just really big.”

It is “commonplace” to name the township in a suit as well, Weiss explains, and as was expected, the township was also named.

Happy with the win, Mt. Olive Twp. Mayor Rob Greenbaum says “I believe that the judge's ruling was sound and support his decision. The original approvals were extremely old and stale. Whether the decision benefits Mt. Olive in the long run is yet to be determined. I know that the residents of Morris Chase wanted no more homes built in that community.”

Plans Voided For Now

So for now, looks like Morris Chase will not be built on any more, explains Weiss…. “but it can be built on” if the builder comes in with new plans. “They can still come back” adds Weiss, but “when they come in, it will be in today’s standards.”

It remains unknown as to what the applicant’s plan is now regarding Phase II. Gregory Law is the president of the company; ARD Mount Olive Associate’s Attorney Richard Hoff from Bisgaier Hoff LLC, did not issue a response to inquiries before press time.

“Bring in a plan, we are open to it,” says Weiss. “Come in with a conforming plan. Morris Chase is a beautiful community; it can be finished without over developing.”

Weiss says, “after 30 years this is behind us.” The option now is “to leave as is” or come in “with a conforming plan.”

Advantages/Disadvantages

Completing Morris Chase could be beneficial to help with tax retables and fill in the vacant land in between homes.

“You have a home, then a home, then a vacant lot then a sidewalk,” says Weiss. “You have a sidewalk, who is going to shovel those sidewalks?” a logistical problem. “It’s a bi-product of what happened. There is a homeowner’s association and Toll Brothers has been shoveling snow.

There are “a couple hundred” people already living in Morris Chase so some residents think that is enough.

The current zoning is R-1, one-acre single family residential, says Weiss.  The prior zoning was R-3, 15,000 sq. ft. lots for single family.

Acreage was unknown.

“It will take some time to figure out the acreage as Phase II is not one single tract of land,” says Weiss.  

Judge’s Ruling Explained

In the 18 pg. legal brief document regarding the court’s ruling, it is explained that “A court will not disturb a board’s decision unless it finds a “clear abuse of discretion.

“The applicant bears the heavy burden of proving that the evidence presented to the board was so overwhelmingly in favor of the applicant that the board’s action can said to be arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable.

“Public bodies such as the board are allowed wide latitude in the exercise of their delegated fact-finding discretion because of their peculiar knowledge of local conditions,” as stated in the brief. “A Planning Board’s decision on a land use application may be set aside only when arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable. The standard comes from the recognition that local officials, who are familiar with a community’s characteristics and interests are best equipped to pass judgement on variance applications.







 Background of the Lawsuit

On March 30, 2018, the plaintiff filed an application for an extension of the protection of the 2000 approval for 63 lots and final approval for the 66 lots within Phase II for a period of two years ending March 21, 2020. Board conducted a hearing on May 17, 2018; and adopted its resolution on June 21, 2018.

In that resolution, the board voted against the extension.

“You have no progress in the last six months,” Weiss said on record. “I know you think you do, but there’s no wetlands delineation. If you know it’s in process, why is nothing done?  So I sit here tonight and listen to another request for another extension. I think it was you Mr. Hoff that said you’ve been working on this project for all these years, you’re working on it, it’s a priority, and then I hear, prior to that, Mr. Law tell me well, he’s in Florida, and he’s busy and he doesn’t have the ability to come up here and the projects are being worked on down there.

“So I have a project that’s not being done, and the applicant sits here and tells me that he’s busy in Florida. I think he’s lost the protection from the court and I’m going to vote against this extension.”

The board voted against the extension, with one member voting in favor.

As it states in the legal document, “For the last year no activity had been undertaken by the developer to pursue the development of Phase II of the development. No wetlands delineation study had been initiated, completed or submitted to the NJDEP over the last year when it could have been done. No applications had been made to New Jersey American Water Company for sanitary sewage connection permits nor had any applications been made to the NJDEP for the same. No attempt to obtain water permits to allow construction on any of the properties had been made to the township until the day hearing this application.”

In the history of this application, the board has denied extensions of protections on at least two occasions, both of which were overturned by the court with the board being ordered to grant extensions.

“The developer has taken no action to pursue the development of Phase II and has failed to expend any effort whatsoever to move project forward,” as stated in the document. “When questioned about its lack of diligence, the developer candidly acknowledged that he is in Florida and has been finishing and working on projects in Florida and effectively did not have time to pursue this development.

The board is of the view that the complete and utter lack of diligence of this applicant to pursue this project  demonstrates a blatant, deliberate and willful lack of interest in moving this development forward at an expeditious pace to conclude a development approved almost 30 years ago, particularly those lots with subdivision approval since 2002 more than 16 years ago. 

Planning Board Rights

According to Municipal Land Use Law: Preliminary approval of subdivisions confers rights and zoning protections on applicants for three years. In large subdivision of 50 acres or more, a planning board may extend these rights beyond three years taking in consideration factors such as number of dwelling units, economic conditions, comprehensiveness of the development.

“A planning board has discretion to make the determination for final approval base on what the planning board believes to be reasonable,” as stated in the court brief.

While the board was frustrated with the ongoing delays, extension, the judge ruled that “Weiss’s comments do not demonstrate any personal bias toward plaintiff, and Weiss’s comments did not prejudice the board,” as is stated in the legal document. 

“Weiss’s comments during the hearing regarding the feasibility of Phase II expressed legitimate concerns. Considering the fact that the project did not seem to be a high priority for plaintiff and because plaintiff had failed to move the project forward for several months.

“Since the board members came to their decision freely and were not bullied into adopting Weiss’s perspective, the board’s decision was not arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable.

Plaintiff argues that the denial of the extension is arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable given the projects context and extensive history….and that the board only considered the plaintiff’s failure to obtain a wetland‘s delineation when deciding to reject plaintiff’s application at the May 17, 2018 hearing. 

“It is clear from the record that the board considered far more than just the wetlands delineation issue when rejecting plaintiff’s application,” as stated in the legal brief. “Plaintiff failed to make any progress for Phase II on several outstanding issues for one year and not just the wetlands delineation study. Plaintiff even admitted that he was only about to begin the process of submitting applications, both water, sewer and wetlands. 


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“While the board may have authority to grant extensions, it was under no obligation to grant plaintiff’s request for yet another extension, now more than 13 years after Toll was decided, and more than 30 years after the project began when plaintiff has made no reasonable attempts to move the project forward over an extended period of time,” as stated in the brief. “Therefore, the board’s denial was not arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.” 

Project’s Beginnings

Dates back to 1989; plaintiff was previous owner containing 168 acres. Plaintiff remains owner of a portion of the property, described as Phase II. In resolution dated May 18, 1989, the board granted plaintiff preliminary major subdivision and site plan approval for a residential development then known as Dyrham Woods now known as Morris Chase.

Project consisted of 168 single family detached lots and 250 townhouses.

Due to delineated wetlands areas on the property, the plaintiff had to establish a distinct phasing plan for the project, completing the portion of the project that did not impact the wetlands. Phase II contained the wetlands.

In Feb. 2002, plaintiff entered into contract with Toll Bros, Inc. for Phase I of the project. Toll applied for and received final site plan approval for Phase I from the planning board in Feb. 3, 2002.

For Phase I, Toll Bro. completed building a mix of 276 single family homes and townhouses, confirms Weiss.

Phase II could not be completed by Toll Bro. because of wetlands so ARD took over. Phase II was slated to consist of a mix of 137 single family homes and townhouses, says Weiss.

“ARD was waiting for Toll Brothers to complete but Toll Brothers was done in one year,” says Weiss. “They were supposed to come in with water, sewer, wetlands. They didn’t do any of that.”

“ARD took a risk that was once non-buildable land,” says Weiss. Studies needed to be completed to examine wetlands, sewers and water to that area.

“The extension to build in 1989 are expired,” explains Weiss. “Building under 1989 standards is not going to happen. If they were to build, they need a new site plan conformed to new regulations in accordance to wetlands, highlands, density, lot coverage, size, setbacks. It would have to conform to today’s standards,” which could mean less acres to build on, less homes. Their previous application “goes in the garbage; they start all over again.”

ARD has the option “to come in with a conforming plan to meet today’s standards,” explain Weiss, and “with their investment so far; infrastructure in the millions of dollars” would make sense to do just that.  They can come back whenever they want.”   

Weiss is relieved by the win, especially after so many denied extensions reversed in the past by the courts.

During the past 30 years, the developer had requested multiple extensions, most that were approved after reversed by the court. 

“We’ve been in court for 30 years as far as extensions,” says Weiss.  “Most of these times we lost; township won its lawsuit yesterday It is something that has been hanging over our head for many years. We’ve been handcuffed by the court” with overturned extensions. “It’s a burden off of our shoulders. I’m glad it’s over; court has ruled, 30-year headache is gone.”

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National Remembrance Vigil Captures Heart Of All Attendees

By Cheryl Conway

Mission complete for the National POW/MIA 24 Hour Vigil held last week at the All Veterans Memorial in Budd Lake.

Thousands of names spoken and inscribed on their dog tags hung on the AVM’s REMEMBRANCE WALL, to remember them as heroes whether their unfortunate story was one of a prisoner at war or a military person missing in action.  The 24-hour long service was held on Friday, Sept. 20 through Saturday, Sept. 21.

“The ceremony was very meaningful,” says Charlie Wood Uhrmann, founder of the AVM and All Veterans Alliance. “It began with comments from U.S. Army Veteran Amery Vasso, commander of the Morris County American Legion,
who spoke about the origins of POW/MIA Families and the sacrifice of our
warriors; followed by my opening remarks referencing the hundreds of
thousands of mothers, fathers, wives, children, sisters, and brothers left
behind in bewilderment.  Followed by Chaplain Adam Charman's spiritual words
and guidance.
“Throughout the entire ceremony, we recited the names, ranks, serial number,
and branch of service of every  New Jersey warrior declared as POW/MIA,” says Uhrmann.
“Upon the reading of each name, a dog tag was placed on the wall.  We
actually ran out of room for the thousands among thousands of WWII warriors
missing in action.  It was not until we were halfway through the WWII
warriors names and until we saw the overwhelming amount of dog tags did it
have an impact on all of us.   My husband Scott is returning to the site to
weld another bar to the accommodate the overflow.”

Uhrmann says “We hung 2,497 dog tags; we will be adding approximately 250 more. These are only declared New Jersey POW/MIA Warriors. Counts were broken down to be 133 soldiers from WWI; 2,361 from WWII; 175 from the Korean War; 54 from Vietnam; and the number from the Civil War pending as of press time.

Also in attendance were 19 American Legion Posts that were represented by their
commanders during various intervals of the vigil, as was the All Veterans
Memorial.  Mt. Olive High School Principal Kevin Stansberry also made an appearance.
“Mission 22, showed tremendous support and provided much needed help
executing the dog tag aspect of the program,” says Uhrmann. “They were present during the
entire 24-hour vigil, as was Amery Vasso, Bill Robinson and a couple of
other veterans.

“The JROTC made a huge impact with their Death March vigil,” continues Uhrmann. ”Parents of the cadets were present supporting their child and even stopped by to say hello and placed a yellow ribbon with a message onto the cherry tree in front of the War Dog Memorial.

“The yellow ribbon has signified many things throughout the years,” explains Uhrmann.

 The first version of the song appears in the U.S. war poem by George A Norton, entitled "Round Her Neck She Wears a Yeller Ribbon (For Her Lover Who is Fur, Fur Away.)" It's about a girl who waits for her soldier to return home and was first published in 1917.

The yellow ribbon also “signifies someone waiting for their loved one to return home.”  

 

Continues Uhrmann, “It appeared along with the slogan "support our troops," in the form of yellow ribbons tied to trees and the implied meaning of "bring our troops home."  “Each participant was able to scribe their own message to either a missing warrior or the family of a missing warrior,” she continues about the yellow ribbons. “The ribbons are beautiful as they move with the wind.”

While the vigil was quite meaningful to those who attended, Uhrmann says she was hopeful that more people should have taken the time to stop in.  “It was a spiritual experience to see the magnificent orange glow illuminating from the POW/MIA globe under a star lit sky, to smell the burning flame, to hear a soft reading of the POW/MIA warrior's names, watch the dog tags fill the wall, and periodically seeing the passing of the POW/MIA Flag carried by our nation's future warriors,” says Uhrmann. “What a memorable experience it was; I only wish more people could have taken the time.” At the closing ceremony on Saturday afternoon, the MTHS JROTC completed their final lap marching in a loop around Turkey Brook with the POW/MIA flag. “At exactly 4:30 p.m. American Legion Rider/Sussex County Veteran Services Bill Robinson extinguished the POW/MIA flame - the POW/MIA Globe will not be lit until the National POW/MIA 24 vigil 2020,” she says.  “We are extremely proud of the ceremony we provided the community,” says Uhrmann. “Those who should have been there, were there.   Similar to our Memorial Remembrance Day Ceremony, our focus remains on those who gave all… and their family members.

“I believe we have captured the intent of the day and provided a powerful message that our freedom comes from the suffering and blood of others,” says Uhrmann. “It was remarkable to see the Morris County American Legion, All Veterans Alliance, Air force JROTC, and Mission 22 share one vision and join forces on this day.”

Local Library News

  

Library Events Covered This Fall Like Leaves 

Unwind after a busy say to the Sounds of Instrumental Music. Peter Biedermann, a solo instrumental guitarist, is set for a repeat performance on Monday, Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. in the Gathering Room. Biedermann is based in Green Valley, Ariz., and has been composing and performing for more than 40 years. He will be focusing on pieces from his latest recording “Tales from the Desert” on a variety of 6 and 12 string guitars in unique tunings.

Take A Closer Look- Join in on Thursday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m., for “Telescope Night” as Pearl Observatory will set up its equipment at the library to view mountains and craters on the moon, the clouds and moons of Jupiter and the rings and moons of Saturn. Rain date is Thursday, Oct. 10. Registration required; limited to 25 adults.

Be Calm and Create a Masterpiece- The Mt. Olive Public Library plans to present “Painting with Dorothy” on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in the Gathering Room. Come join in for a fun day of creativity and learning. Make great art and paint like the masters. 

Registration is required; limited to 12 adults.

Live Your Best Life with Essential Oils-a workshop titled, Essential Oils 101 (Make & Take Diffuser Bracelet) is set for Saturday, Oct. 12, from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Gathering Room.

Come join Perri O’Flynn for this fun essential oils project…the bracelet can be used as a diffuser “on the go;” to take your oils anywhere and use them for any situation. Also, learn the benefits of using essential oils in one's daily life. Limited to 12 adults. Registration requested.

Free Movie Night- Family favorite “Aladdin” will cover the screen at the MOPL on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at either 1 p.m.-3:15 p.m.; or 6 p.m.-8:15 p.m., in the Gathering Room. Rated PG 2019, fantasy/romance, 2 hr. 9 min. “Aladdin” is a 2019 American musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions. It is a life-action adaptation of Disney’s 1992 animated film of the same name, which is based on the eponymous tale from “1001 Arabian Nights.” Movie-style snacks provided!

Birds And Prey Up Close- The MOPL plans to host the Delaware Valley Raptors on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 6:30 p.m. in the Gathering Room for its educational program “Close Encounters with Birds of Prey.” It will be bringing an American kestrel, red-tailed hawk, peregrine falcon, great-horned owl, saw-whet owl and an immature bald eagle. The program is for adults and children over 6 years old only. Registration requested.

You Don’t Have to Pay the Full Price for College- a “College Funding Seminar” is set for Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Gathering Room. This free seminar, presented by Alvin G. Newell, vice president of Solutions for College Funding, Inc., will discuss how parents of college-bound high school juniors and seniors can: Make sure to not over-value your home on financial forms; try not to save money in child’s name as it weighs more heavily than parent’s savings; don’t be afraid to negotiate with the college for a better financial aid package. Registration requested.

Come See the Real World Birthplaces of Gothic Horror- The MOPL plans to host “Strange Tales in Stone” on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. in the Gathering Room. Join horror artist, Steve Gale and experience a unique blend of original artwork, Gothic literature, macabre history and European travel in this family-friendly presentation. Exhibition of his artwork will open on Wednesday, Oct. 16, in the Gathering Room to view for those unable to attend the presentation. Registration requested.

Interested in learning to speak Spanish? Join Dr. Paul Reilly for a 10 week class, which will emphasize spoken conversational Spanish in travel situations as a tourist.

Classes are set for Thursdays through Nov. 21, from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. in the Career Room. If someone misses more than two classes, they will forfeit their space. Limited to 10 adults.

Registration required for all programs. Call 973-691-8686 Ext. 106 or go to www.mopl.org to register.

Local and county news

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Long-time Employees Recognized By Mt. Olive BOE

By Cheryl Conway

Anyone in the working world would agree that being employed for 30 years by the same employer deserves an A+ for success.

In Mt. Olive, two teachers and two custodians of the Mt. Olive School District have earned their mark.

These four employees were among the 39 teachers, administrators and staff members recognized by the Mt. Olive Twp. Board of Education at its last meeting held Monday, Sept. 23. Each were recognized for their long-time tenure.

Out of the 39 recipients, 22 employees of the Mt. Olive Twp. School District were recognized for 10 years of service; 13 were recognized for 20 years; and four for 30 years.

For 10 years of service, employees received a Custom Designed Red Tumbler with Mt. Olive School District Crest. 

Those recognized for 20 years of service received an Acrylic Crystal Iceberg:  "20 YEARS" "Thank you for the years you have dedicated to the service of the school, students and staff."

For their 30 years of service, two teachers Ann Scotland and Karen LaValley, along with two custodians Joseph Biasi and Thomas Dejong, received the Acrylic Shooting Star Award - " 30 YEARS"- "To Honor Your Service to Education" -"Your exceptional accomplishments and outstanding service enrich the lives of students... And inspire us all."

10 YEARS SERVICE

See the full list of recipients in the chart to the right and below. Congratulations on your hard work and dedicated, continued service to all those tied to the Mt. Olive School District.

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Holiday Services Approaching

Celebrate the High Holidays this year at the new Chabad Center in Flanders. Rosh Hashanah services are set for Sept. 29-Oct. 1. No sign-up necessary; no fee. A kippah and prayer book will be provided with services interspersed, explanations and a guide page to usher in the new Jewish year.

Yom Kippur services follow starting October 8.

See the service schedule below for further details or visit mychabadcenter.com or https://www.mychabadcenter.com/templates/section_cdo/aid/4487066/jewish/High-Holidays.htm

 

Rosh Hashanah Evening // September 29

Evening Services: 6:30 p.m.

Community Dinner: 7 p.m.

Rosh Hashanah Day 1 // September 30

Morning Service: 9 a.m.
Shofar Sounding: 10:45 a.m.
Children's Program: 10:30 a.m. 

Rosh Hashanah Day 2 // October 1

Morning Service: 9 a.m.
Shofar Sounding: 10:45 a.m.

Yom Kippur Night // October 8

Kol Nidrei: 6:30 p.m.
Yom Kippur Day // October 9

Morning Service: 9 a.m.
Yizkor Memorial Service: 11 p.m.
Children's Program: 11 a.m.
Mincha: 6 p.m.
Neila: 6:45 p.m.

 

Sheriff Officers Ready To Haunt For A Cause

Members of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office will dress and pose as gruesome characters to help the non-profit organization Halos for Angels Inc. scare up visitors to its annual, month-long “Fright Factor” Haunted House attraction.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon announced the continuing partnership with the Florham-Park based charity that eases the financial and emotional stress on families confronted with unexpected tragedies such as loss of a loved one, or job, or an illness diagnosis.

Gannon will cut the ribbon on opening night of the Haunted House at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4. The 3,000-square-foot Haunted House – which is available for children’s Fright Factory parties – is in the process of being set up at 186 Ridgedale Ave. in Florham Park.

Officers and civilian staff from the Sheriff’s Office Bureaus of Corrections and Law Enforcement are signing up to don macabre costumes and play ghoulish roles for opening night and the 11 additional weekend days and nights the Haunted House is open during the month of October.

“The Morris County Sheriff’s Office’s partnership with this worthy organization, Halos for Angels, is a great way for officers to have fun and entertain the community while knowing they are easing the burden on people in crisis,” Gannon said.

Karen M. Casolaro, a mother of five, founded the organization in 2010 as a way of thanking the community of Florham Park that was there for her and her family with daily meals after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The charity’s mission is to directly help families and people in the community who are impacted by a crisis.

Fright Factor opens Oct. 4 with the 6:30 p.m. ribbon-cutting by Gannon before the house is open from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. to visitors who dare to roam its rooms for an entrance fee of $10.

On Saturday, Oct. 5, there is a 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Kid-friendly Family Fun Festival followed by the 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. trek through the Haunted House, dubbed “Massive Scare.”

On Sunday, Oct. 6, a Kid-friendly Family Fun Festival is planned from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

For further times of Fright Factor’s weekend events through Sunday, Oct. 27, visit www.HalosforAngels.org.

Community Garden Plans Open House & Volunteer Day

Join in at the Community Garden at South Branch Preserve for an Open House and Volunteer Day on Sunday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. -2 p.m.  

Interested gardeners may tour the garden and registration for plots for 2020 may be completed at this time.  

In addition, anyone who would like to volunteer at the garden is welcome to lend a hand in helping with fall maintenance. Volunteers are needed to overturn plots, spread woodchips and other basic tasks to help prepare the garden for the winter.  

Individuals and families with children are welcome to participate. Suggested work attire is long pants and closed shoes. Gardening tools and gloves will be provided. Potential gardeners can see firsthand the work involved with maintaining a garden plot. Light refreshments will be served.  

“The camaraderie and friendships among the gardeners has been amazing, and the gardeners have already donated over 300 lbs. of excess produce this season to the local food pantries,” 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 in Budd Lake. 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 onsite, 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 and to RSVP, contact McCloskey at The Land Conservancy of New Jersey at (973) 541-1010, x14; gardenmanager@tlc-nj.org; or www.tlc-nj.org

Annual Roast Beef Dinner Coming To Hackettstown Chapel

Join in on Saturday, Oct. 26, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church of Hackettstown’s Annual Roast Beef Dinner at its chapel in Hackettstown. 

Tickets are $16 for adults; $9 for children under 12 years old.  

Advanced ticket purchase is strongly recommended. For tickets, contact: Ellen Bergman at 908-637-6236 or Donna Erickson at (908) 637-6007. 

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join Mount OLIVE walkers

Step into shape with a new walking program, Mt. Olive Walkers- a new class on Fridays through the Mt. Olive Exercise program. Get Lean At Lunch is held at 1 p.m. Walk-Ins are welcome.

Free to members; $5 fee for non-members.

This new class will bring local residents together to walk with weights, core toning and stretch.

Email cherylc6@optonline.net for more details and to sign up.

College News

CCM to Hold Free Cybersecurity Workshops and Events

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The CCM Center for Cyber Security, Department of Information Technologies and Cyber Security Club at County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph will be offering workshops and other events in October as part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a national effort to help everyone stay protected whenever and however they connect.

The overarching theme for 2019 is, “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT,” and CCM is proud to be a champion and support this online safety and education initiative.

All CCM National Cybersecurity Awareness Month events are free and open to the public.

The kick-off takes place Tuesday, Oct. 1, with hands-on, fun activities in the Center for Cyber Security in Emeriti Hall, Room 217, from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

A session on how to “Protect Your Password 2019 Style” will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 8, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, Cybersecurity Movie Night with a film selected by CCM students is set to take place in the Student Community Center, Davidson Room B, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A session on virtual private networks, “Connect Safely – Use a VPN,” is set for Tuesday, Oct. 22, in the Center for Cyber Security, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The closing session will be a Tabletop Cyber Stratego game set for Tuesday, Oct. 29, in the Center for Cyber Security, Emeriti Hall, Room 217, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Stratego is an old board game using military pieces with the object to "capture the flag" of the other team. Cybersecurity competitions are based on this strategy and outcome. This is a great way to learn more about cyber competitions and about the field of cybersecurity.

CCM is listed as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). CCM is the first community college in New Jersey to hold that designation. The college’s certificate program in Information Security is mapped to NSA and DHS standards. Along with the information security certificate, the Information Technologies department offers degrees in computer science, information technology, game development, media technology and technical studies. Other certificate programs include web development and media technology. To learn more about the degrees and certificates that are offered, go to http://bit.ly/CCM_IT/.

For additional information on the Cybersecurity Month events, email cybersecurityclub@ccm.edu/.

The Legacy Project at CCM Focuses on War, Peace and Healing

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Photo: Petra Epperlein directed “Karl Marx City,” a movie about her family in the GDR. Photo courtesy of Pepper & Bones / Provided with permission.


The Legacy Project at County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph announces its Fall schedule focusing on the theme of “War, Peace & Healing.” The series includes lectures, panel discussions, film and book discussions.  All events are free and open to the public and reservations are required by emailing legacy@ccm.edu or by calling 973-328-5469.

On Tuesday, Oct. 1, retired Lt. William Keegan, Night Operations Commander of the World Trade Center Rescue/Recovery Teams during September 11, 2001, will give a lecture on “A Survivors Mission.”  Keegan will discuss his time working at Ground Zero and his founding of Healing Emergency Aid Response Team (HEART 9/11).  The event will be held on the CCM Campus in Sheffield Hall Room 100 (SH-100) at 12:30 p.m. and is co-sponsored by the Criminal Justice Club at CCM.

The documentary film “Playing for Change: Peace Through Music” will be shown on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 12:30 p.m. in SH – 100. The film documents the Playing For Change initiative, which unites musicians from diverse parts of the world. World renowned musician and composer David Rimelis, who will introduce the film, is an artist-in-residence for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. His music has been performed by orchestras internationally, including the Boston Pops, National Symphony and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Co-Sponsoring the film is Music, Performing Arts and Music Technologies Department at CCM.

The Bickford Theatre at Morris Museum in Morristown will host the Friday, November 1, Legacy Project event called the “Legacy of Surveillance” from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The award-winning filmmaker Petra Epperlein will present her acclaimed documentary “Karl Marx City” and will then lead a question-and-answer session about her family’s life behind the Iron Curtain.  The event is co-sponsored by the Communications Department at CCM.

CCM’s English and Philosophy Department will be sponsoring the Tuesday, Nov. 12, lecture, featuring the departments own Dr. Geoff Peck, who will offer a one-hour lecture on “War, Peace and Literature.” The event will be held at the Rockaway Township Free Public Library at 6 p.m.

Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal, an arts professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, will lead a discussion “Performing Change” about how art can touch upon international politics and internal dynamics. The lecture will be held on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 12:30 p.m. in SH-100 at CCM.

Rounding out the Legacy Project’s Fall schedule will be a book discussion of Tim O’Brien’s acclaimed novel, “The Things They Carried” on Thursday, Dec. 5, at 3:30 p.m. Attendees are asked to please read the book prior to the event. Light refreshments will be served. The Legacy read book talk will be held on CCM’s campus in the Learning Resource Center, Room 121.

The Legacy Project at CCM will have an equally engaging and dynamic Spring schedule focusing on topics such as Refugees and Conflict, featuring artist and architect Mohamad Hafez; Veterans and Their Experiences Coming Home; War Photography; Surviving Genocide; War, Peace and Memoir; and Oral History Remembrance Week.

Over its seven years of existence, the Legacy Project at CCM has presented lectures and programming on a variety of important issues that impact the lives of students, faculty, staff, community members in Morris County and others. The Legacy Project is led by a team of professors and staff members at CCM.

This year of programming was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

County College of Morris To Hold Fall Open House

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County College of Morris (CCM) plans to hold its Fall Open House on Saturday, Oct. 19, for students and their parents, and others interested in advancing their education and career opportunities.

Two sessions will be held, starting in the Dragonetti Auditorium located in the Student Community Center, Randolph. The first session begins at 10 a.m. and the second at noon. Registration is required to ensure participants can learn about the academic programs that interest them the most. To register, go to www.ccm.edu/openhouse.

Open House participants will be able to learn about CCM’s 50 associate degrees and certificate and other professional development programs, financial aid, career opportunities, athletics, student groups and more.

Students at CCM, considered one of the state’s best community colleges, are taught by a nationally recognized faculty committed to student success. For three years in a row, PayScale has rated CCM #1 in New Jersey for community college graduates who earn the highest salaries. Washington Monthly also has rated CCM 12th in the nation for being a “Best College for Adult Learners.” CCM also is the only community college in New Jersey to be designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.

The quality of a CCM education further is reflected in the success and satisfaction of alumni. Year after year, more than 95 percent of graduates rate their CCM education as good to excellent.

The Fall Open House includes Academic Spotlight Tours so students can learn about the programs of study that interest them, an Academic Support Services and Student Life Fair and an Admissions Application Station where they can talk one-on-one with CCM staff and have the $30 application fee waived.

Visitors can park in Lot 6 or 7. For more information, call 973-328-5100 or email admiss@ccm.edu.


CCM Art Gallery Features Dover & Student Artists

The County College of Morris (CCM) Art and Design Gallery latest exhibit Conexiones Dover, featuring the work of Dover artists and CCM students, highlights the people, history and heritage of the college’s neighboring community.

A reception, free and open to the public, will be held on Friday, Sept. 27, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The CCM Art and Design Gallery is located in the Sherman H. Masten Learning Resource Center in Randolph. The exhibit runs until November 11.

The exhibit features photographs, video installations, historical documentation and other media, including architectural designs for multipurpose buildings and interiors. 
The exhibit is part of the college’s Dover Initiative to build stronger ties with the community. Participating with the college in the exhibit are the Morris County Office of Hispanic Affairs, the Dover Public Library and the Dover Historical Society.

The gallery is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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