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No. 16 Vol. 4

April 2018

Chatham Woman Pens True To Life Children’s Book About Loss Of Her Dog

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By Cheryl Conway hen life-long Chatham resident Penelope Lagos lost her dog she struggled with resources to help her cope. Her pit bull, Cassius “The Legend” Lagos, died in July 17, 2015, after living with her family for almost 16 years. “My dog had severe arthritis and became special needs the last year or so of his life,” says Lagos. “He began having Grand Mal seizures and the vet assumed he had a brain tumor.” Dealing with a loss of any loved one, including a pet, is a difficult process no matter the age. To provide others with some techniques to ease their loss, Lagos has recently written a children’s book- “I Miss My Best Friend.” Lagos, 37, says “I hope the readers, parents and children alike can find some comfort. This is about a pet…but loss in general, animal or person is difficult to deal with. I was looking for resources,” she says, about when her dog passed, and “was wondering how younger children deal with it.” The experience led her to writing her debut book-“I Miss My Best Friend.” Published in October 2017 by Green Tree Publishing in Georgia, the 32-page soft cover children’s book is targeted for those aged 6 to 9, and really anyone who has lost a loved one. The book is inspired by Lagos’ life events and features many true-to life illustrations of Cassius. The book is available through Amazon, with other digital versions online, as well as independent book stores such as Sterling Hallmark in Stirling and Chatham Twp., and Jabberwocky in Chatham. From beginning to end, Lagos took about a year to complete her book. “I wrote it pretty quickly,” says Lagos, “but I revisited it so many times.” The process entailed ensuring the story was directed to a children’s audience, working close-

ly with an illustrator so the text worked with each illustration, finding a publisher and working with an editor. All illustrations, including the book cover, are based on live video footage and real pictures that she shared with the illustrator, says Lagos. At the end of the book, Lagos shares an actual picture of her beloved Cassius, as well as tips on how to deal with loss of a continued on page 2

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Book About Loss Of Dog...

Library Of Chathams Offers April Programs

he Library of the Chathams is offering an Italian Conversation Group Friday, April 20 at 1 p.m. or Tuesday, April 24 at 7:15 p.m. Luciana Santoriello and Susan Anderson will moderate Italian discussion groups. Join and these fluent speakers will help get a conversation going. The History of Dixiedale Farm is set for Sunday, April 22, at 3 p.m. Patricia Wells, vice president of the Chatham Township Historical Society, will present a lecture on the history of Dixiedale Farm located on River Road and Hillside Avenue in Chatham Township. The land has been owned by notable families since the Revolution. Learn about the Bonnels and their mills, the remarkable George Shepard

Page, the chicken lady, and the Averett family who started the Christmas Tree Farm. Sign up online or call the library at 973635-0603. Rocks in the Garden: A Public History of Slavery in Morristown is set for Wednesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. Lecturer Michael Synder will discuss his findings on local slave owners and the enslaved who resided in Morristown and the surrounding area. Discover who they were, how they lived and were treated, and the problems slavery created in the community. Synder is a Rutgers graduate who wrote his masters’ thesis entitled: “The Enslaved Slept Here Too: A Public History of Slavery in Morris County.” Pre-registration is requested. Sign up online or call the library at 973-635-0603.

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continued from front page pet. Lagos’ information comes from her conversations with several professionals, psychologists and those from a pet loss group, as well as her own experience. “In the end, someone can feel a sense of knowledge,” says Lagos, and realize that “losing a pet is a grieving process. Pets are real family members. You use these same steps whether that person has two legs or four legs. I have not replaced Cassius. I’m not sure I ever will.” With 200 copies already sold, the book sells for $9.95. Lagos is donating 10 percent of book sales, $1 per book, to the non-profit St. Huberts in Madison. “I’ve known them since I was younger,” says Lagos. “They’ve really expanded not just with adoptions but with training,” support and rescues to animals affected from hurricanes such as in Puerto Rico. “They do so much for the com-

munity and beyond.” More than just a good read, Lagos hopes her book will be used as a resource. This is a “good way for people to come to terms with their grief,” says Lagos. She says the book could be suitable as a resource in school libraries, school guidance counselors, even animal hospitals, veterinarian offices and grief loss centers. The book even makes a nice gift to send to someone who lost their pet to accompany a sympathy card. For direct links to Lagos’ book, go to Lagos, a graduate of Chatham High School, earned her bachelor’s in communications with a minor in theater arts from Rutgers University. When she is not writing, she works as an actress and mission model. She holds a certification in canine fitness and conditioning as well as advanced pet CPR/ first aid.

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Tech Support, Organizing, Fiction Books Offered For Seniors

echnical support, health programs and a dementia caregivers support group are just some of the offerings at the Senior Center of the Chathams during the month of May. Participants for any of the programs need not be Chatham residents. Call center at 973635-4565 for more information or to register for any of the programs. Technical Support for Seniors will be offered on Thursday, May 3, from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Seniors can get assistance with smart phones and computers. A seminar about improving bone density through resistance training and corrective postural exercises will be offered on May 7 at 12:30 p.m. Participants will learn how proper body alignment and strengthening exercises can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and/or slow the progression of the disease.

New Providence attorney Joe Tiboni will introduce the movie “Win Win,” a 2011 New Providence-based film that he co-wrote, on May 10 and noon. A dementia caregivers support group will meet Friday, May 11 at 11 a.m. Phyllis Flemming, former executive director of Victorian Garden Adult Day Center and an experienced dementia support group facilitator, moderates this monthly group. Call the center for further details. “It’s Not Just Stuff, It’s My Stuff,’’ will be held on Friday, May 11, at 12:30 p.m. Certified Professional Organizer Andrea Walker will share her process for making moving, downsizing and de-cluttering smooth and easy. Advance registration is required. A Springtime Celebration will be held on Saturday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. An array of activities will be offered, in-

cluding a golf-putting challenge; mini nail salon; board games; plant potting station and more. The event is sponsored by the Madison Area YMCA “Togetherhood” committee. Living with Arthritis, a program designed to provide information about different kinds of arthritis, will be presented on May 14, from noon to 1 p.m. The interactive program is designed to provide information

about different kinds of arthritis, treatment options, available resources and self-management strategies. A Fiction Book Club will be held May 15 at noon, and a Healthy Grains Cooking Demonstration will be held May 15, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Susan Kraus, registered dietician from Hackensack Meridian Health, will discuss the importance of healthy whole grains.




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Madison Rotary Invites Public To Networking Social Featuring Women Rotarians


adison Rotary is inviting business professionals, community leaders, neighbors and volunteers who are interested in making a positive difference locally and globally to a networking social from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 19 at Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse, Chatham. The event will feature sev-

eral professional women, Carlotta Budd, Liz Parker and Jen Pinto, to speak about the power and impact of their Rotary experiences. Budd of Madison is an attorney in Madison; Parker of Harding Township, an award winning journalist, is the co-publisher and executive editor of the New Jersey Hills Media Group. Both Budd and

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Parker have been long-time Rotarians. Founded in 1905, Rotary International is the world’s most prominent service organization with 1.2 million members focusing efforts in promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies. Madison Rotary holds weekly breakfast and lunch meetings on Thursdays at 7:47 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the Madison Area YMCA, Madison; and 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Rod’s Steakhouse and Seafood Grill in Convent Station. To accommodate many prospective members who are not available to attend meetings during the day, evening meetings will be held on the first and third Thursdays every month at this Chatham location. “Rotarians are people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures who share a passion for ser-

vice,” says Jeannie Tsukamoto, membership chair of Rotary District 7470 which consists of 48 clubs in the area. “Currently, we have almost 90 enthusiastic, dedicated and humanitarian service-driven Rotarians in Madison. We network, discuss the needs of our community and take tangible action, while enjoying friendship and having a sense of purpose and fun. We are excited to grow our membership through networking and local service projects, including End Hunger 3.6, Community Shredding, Camp Merry Heart, Gift of Life, and many more.” Attendees will have the opportunity to make new business connections and service-driven friends. The event will be cash bar and food. Attendees are encouraged to bring business cards to exchange and for door prizes. Visit for more information and to register.

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Platinum Minds Hosts 11th Annual Fundraiser Dinner To Support N.J. Inner-City Boys


latinum Minds will host its 11th Annual Fundraiser Dinner on May 3, in support of its multiple programs serving inner-city boys. This year’s theme is “United For A Brighter Future” and the event will be held at the Olde Mill Inn, Basking Ridge. The dinner will feature speaker and author Marc

Demetriou as the keynote speaker. Demetriou a Morris County resident is a nationally recognized mortgage banker, bestselling author, and top rated motivational speaker. He spoke at the Mastermind Summit along with world-renowned motivational speakers Tony Robbins and Barbara Corcoran from ABC Television’s

Shark Tank. As an authority on real estate and finance, Demetriou has been quoted in many local and national publications and media outlets. His grandfather’s hard work and success inspired him to write his best-selling book, “Lessons from my Grandfather: Wisdom

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for their next donation. Volunteers should have the ability to relate to the public, be able to perform different jobs as needed and have the willingness to follow the rules. For additional information, contact Jan Zepka, manager of community relations and volunteer services, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 732-616-8741.

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Party Pleasing Rentals is a full service event rental company committed to providing quality products and excellent service with the ultimate goal of delivering an event to be proud of by planners and customers. Its specialty is tented events. An extensive inventory gives the flexibility to provide beautiful, year round coverage for events both large and small, from backyard barbeques to formal weddings and large corporate events. The ability to add heat or air conditioning, elegant cathedral windowed sides, beautiful lighting and even carpeted flooring, dance floors and multi-tiered staging allows the delivery of a tent perfect for one’s once-in-a-lifetime event. To complement the tents, A Party Pleasing Rentals offers patters of fine china, silver and stainless flatware, glassware, bar accessories, and extensive catering supplies including elegant serving pieces and even commercial stoves and grills. For the comfort of all guests, many choices are provided in seating, from folding chairs to garden wedding chairs, to padded ballroom and maple dining chairs.

The linen selection is virtually limitless to cover tables in countless combinations of texture and color to dress all events in any style desired. In addition, clients planning special events can choose other options such as popcorn machines, dunk tanks, inflatables, grills, cotton candy machines, games and much more. Call for a free consultation at 973-8877264. Visit the showroom at 38 Rt. 10 West in East Hanover. A Party Pleasing

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The Temptation To Temp - A Job For All Seasons


By Ricki Demarest verybody needs a paycheck. Sometimes, whether one just graduated or is still in college, been recently laid off or had a life changing event – a job is a must. Becoming a temporary employee, or “temp,” can provide a solution. According to the American Staffing Association website, around 15 million people a year are hired as temporary and contract workers in the United States. In 2016, approximately 417,000 were in New Jersey. Nearly half of them claimed that it was a good way to get to a full-time job. One third of those workers were offered a full-time job while on assignment. Nine out of 10 agreed that temping was a viable way to become more employable. Temporary workers have the power to select their assignments and match their skills to a position that may or may not become a full-time situation. Temping or “project work” also looks better on a resume than simply having long stretches of unemployment. Learning new skills while on assignment makes one a stronger candidate for future positions. Staffing agencies that manage contract workers vary in size from national or international firms with local offices

to smaller organizations that focus on an industry or skill. Finding the right agency depends on matching skills and experience with the right agency. For instance, those who have worked in the corporate world may be the right fit for a large firm that offers general office help. Those with specific skills, may need to look a little harder. The easiest way to find an agency is by asking people who have used nearby offices and by checking those websites. One of the many firms that place temporary workers is TeleSearch Staffing Solutions, which has offices throughout New Jersey. Kim Carsillo, the Flanders office branch described her company as “a large full-service placement firm.” In a recent interview, Carsillo outlined the process by which candidates are screened. Carsillo said that a recruiter will first interview a prospective candidate, who also completes paperwork and computerized assessments. Background and reference checks are part of the process. Then workers are matched with assignments. Workers who are placed, she noted, are employees of her agency not the companies where they are working. TeleSearch pays temp workers on a weekly



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pany offers free training for those who want to upgrade their office skills. Certain companies do want specific criteria in their candidates. For instance, college degrees are desirable in the corporate sector. Fork lift and computer skills are often requested for light industrial work. Some employment agency blog posts discuss what qualities will make a company take notice of, and possibly hire, a temporary worker for a fulltime position. The Liberty Staffing Company blog stresses punctuality, reliability, excellent communication skills and ability to adapt to new demands. The Robert Half International Inc. staffing agency is the umbrella agency that hires personnel for industries as diverse as finance, marketing and the law. The idea that continued on page 10



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Constitutional Speaker Presents Seminar On Foundations Of American Liberty


risAnne Hall a Constitutional educator, speaker and author plans to present Roots of Liberty Seminar, at Bernay’s Apgar American Legion Post 342, Chester, on May 5, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In this five-hour seminar, Hall takes the audience through

the 700+ years and five foundational documents that laid the foundations of American Liberty. She also presents each of the first ten amendments, which comprise of the Bill of Rights, in their historical context. Does one know the fate of the Constitution rested on a

The Temptation To Temp... continued from page 8 agencies only hire entry level people or that temp work makes a job search impossible are fallacies, according to its recent post. Temp work offers flexible schedules and a way for individuals to build their networks by meeting new people in the workplace. If searching for an agency, keep in mind that viable ones are licensed by the state of New Jersey’s Department of Consumer Affairs. Agency branch offices register and are members of their local Chambers of Commerce. Although

it’s common knowledge, it’s worth repeating that one should never have to pay any kind of a fee for the promise of a job nor divulge any financial information. If unsure, check whether there are any complaints against an agency through local consumer protection agencies or the NJ State Attorney General’s Office. The opportunities for temporary workers are many and varied. By protecting and pushing oneself, increase permanent prospects with a temporary gig.

handshake? What is the purpose of the 2nd amendment and who are the militia? What power does the general welfare clause give to the federal government? What did the Framers say about state sovereignty? Attendees will be astounded at the historical parallels to what is transpiring in America today. “The timeless wisdom of our

founders must be delivered to our countrymen and to our children if we wish to see the lamp of liberty continue to shine in America. You can find that wisdom here.” Seating is limited and lunch will be provided. RSVP host to confirm attendance at: Schoolofhardknocks15@yahoo. com.


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Morris County Open Space Grant Applications Being Accepted


he Morris County Department of Planning and Public Works, Division of Planning and Preservation, has announced that grant applications for funding of open space projects under the Morris County Preservation Trust are now available online. Any of Morris County’s 39 municipalities and qualified charitable conservancies are eligible to apply for grant fund-

ing, said Barbara Murray, open space program coordinator. Funding for the grants comes from the county’s Preservation Trust Fund, which generates revenues through a voter-approved special county tax. The tax, set at 7/8 of a cent per $100 of tax assessment, should generate about $8 million this year. Of that money, the county allocates 2/8 of a cent to the Park Improvement

Trust used by the Park Commission to restore facilities and 5/8 of a cent is allocated to the other Preservation Trust Programs. About 13,900 acres of open space have been preserved with the assistance of grant funding from the county program since its inception in 1993, according to Murray. The deadline for submitting 2018 open space applications and appraisals is Friday, June

15. The Morris County Open Space Trust Fund Committee will visit proposed sites in September, with final presentations made in October, and recommendations made to the freeholder board in early November. Obtain additional information by contacting the Morris County Division of Planning and Preservation at 973-829-8120.


Chatham Junior Is Science Finalist


hatham High School junior Sophie Andrews has been selected as one of seven finalists who will travel to the 2018 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh on May 13 through May 19. Intel is the largest competition, internationally, for student science research projects. Andrews presented her research on skin lesion detection in the 2018 Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, held at Rutgers on March 5 and March 6. At the symposium, she was one of 20 students chosen to do an oral presen-

tation about her research. She was also nominated for the Presidential Award. She also presented at the 2018 Nokia NJ Research Science Fair, also held at Rutgers in March, where she earned seven awards. “My goal is for SkinNet is to differentiate melanoma (a type of cancerous lesion) from nevus (a type of benign lesion).’’ Andrew said. “To accomplish this, I train SkinNet using thousands of lesion images from the International Skin Imaging Collaboration. The hope is that a properly trained SkinNet can classify these two lesion types

from images it hasn’t seen before. Indeed, through deep learning, SkinNet picks up the visual characteristics of mela-

noma (e.g. asymmetric shape) and dose the majority of lesion classification correctly.”

Chatham High Researchers Receive Science Fair Awards At Rutgers


hatham High School students Sophie Andrews and Robert Novak recently received awards after presenting research projects at the 2018 Nokia NJ Research Science Fair at Rutgers University. Andrews presented on the detection of melanoma via deep learning. She used artificial intelligence methods to train the computer to recognize the images of melanoma and differentiate them from images of benign nevus/moles. She was awarded the following awards and recognitions: First Place in Cancer Research, Statistics First Place Award, ISEF Symposium Finalist, NJIT CPCP Academy Scholarship Second Alternate, Second in

Math and Computer Science, Computing Awards Honorable Mention, and ISEF Trip Award. Novak presented a lightcurve analysis of the asteroid 216 Kleopatra. He was awarded the Meteorology Award. “A lightcurve analysis is used to study objects in the night sky that have a variable output of light,’’ Novak said. “Since asteroids rotate in their orbits and usually have irregular shapes, the amount of light reflected to the Earth changes over time. I took many photos of 216 Kleopatra, and I compared its brightness to the brightness of several nonvarying comparison stars. Then, I was able to create a graph of the reflected light vs. time, and find 216 Kleopatra’s rotational period.”

Along with CHS junior Ashley Petersen, Novak and Andrews also participated in the 2018 Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, which took place at Rutgers on March 5-6. “It was a great experience

because I got so much exposure to the different research projects that people my age were completing,” Petersen said. “It inspired me to pursue my own research this upcoming summer.”


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Page 14 • April 2018 • Chatham News • Like us on facebook


Chatham HS Teacher Honored For Encouraging Women In Computing

hatham High School Computer Science teacher John Hajdu was recently recognized by the National Center for Women & Information Technology with the 2017 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Educator Award, conferred upon educators who have demonstrated a commitment to encouraging young women’s aspirations in computing. The NCWIT told Hajdu:


“Young women represent a promising source of technical talent, yet are woefully underrepresented in computing. Great teachers are one of the most important factors in inspiring young women to engage with technology in meaningful ways and pursue technical careers. We thank you for all you have done to make computing a reality and we look forward to seeing your students among

Spring Open House Planned At CCM

ounty College of Morris will hold its Spring Open House on Saturday, April 21, on its Randolph campus, for high school students and their parents, students attending other colleges who are looking to transfer, and adults interested in returning to school. Two sessions will be offered at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Those who attend and apply for admission will have the $30 application fee waived. The open house features academic breakout sessions, so students can explore the areas of study they are most interested in pursuing. Faculty and representatives from Admissions, Financial Aid, Career Ser-

vices and Student Life will be on hand to answer questions. Participants also can take a self-guided tour of the campus. The Open House offers the opportunity to learn about CCM’s more than 45 associate degrees, certificate programs, athletics and student organizations. Registration is requested and can be easily completed online at Open House visitors can park in Lots 6 or 7. A campus map can be found at fullsize.html/. For more information, go to admissions.


Thursday, April 26th Light snacks will be served

our Award applicants and recipients for years to come.” In response to this recognition, Hajdu said: “In this day and age, innovation is driven by technology. If you want to change the world, there is a good chance you will have do some programming, or at least work with someone who programs. Ensuring every group, be it women, minorities or otherwise, have an equal opportunity to develop those skills is incredibly important and beneficial to our society as a whole. It is an honor to play a small role in the work that NCWIT does to increase diversity in the field of computing.” CHS Supervisor of Instructional Design and Technology Danielle Dagounis said: “Mr. Hajdu is extremely active professionally outside of his regular teaching responsibilities, serving on various statewide

John Hajdu

committees for the advancement of computer science education. He also makes computer science accessible to all students and we have seen our female enrollment in our Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles course increase from 14 percent to 48 percent in three years. Mr. Hajdu is very deserving of this recognition.”

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