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No. 16 Vol. 4

April 2018

Madison High School Students Sleep Out To Benefit Homeless

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By Dawn M. Chiossi ecently, Madison High School Students not only showed their empathy for the homeless, they experienced it. On March 16, these students stepped into the freezing skin of the homeless, enduring this year’s below normal cold temperatures, by sleeping outside on school grounds in order to raise awareness to the issue of homelessness and the problems they face on a regular basis. Staggeringly 1 in 45 kids in America will face homelessness this year, according to statistics. Raising approximately more than $11,000 for Covenant House of New Jersey, Madison High School’s “Sleep Out Team”—students and staff-- gave up their warm houses and soft beds for one night to identify with those who do not have any. Founded in 1989, Covenant House of N.J. is a shelter in Newark, focused on helping homeless and trafficked young people and getting them off the streets. For more than 25 years, it has been providing food, shelter, immediate crisis care, and other necessary services to homeless youths, giving them sanctuary, and subse-

quently hope. Today, there are approximately 30 Covenant Houses in the USA, Canada, and Latin America helping out homeless, runaway and trafficked youths. To date, Covenant House has aided approximately 70,000 young people. Tirelessly working to raise money for this organization, this year, Madison High School was one of the top teams to raise money for Covenant House. The proceeds raised went to items such as food, clothing, medicine, and blankets. The money will pay for heat and electricity in shelters. Simply by sleeping out for one night and raising money, this team demonstrated their empathy and willingness to help the homeless: Sleeping out so that other kids could discover the shelter and refuge that Covenant House brings to so many. For these homeless kids, the students of Madison High School are a very real solution to their problem. “The Covenant House Sleep Out Fundraiser is indicative of the type of caring and compassionate students that we have at Madison High School,” says Madison High continued on page 4

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Madison To Beautify Its District In 20th May Day


By Steve Sears oor weather won’t deter the Madison Township community on May 5. On that day, rain or shine, the community will celebrate its 20th Anniversary of May Day in Madison. The event, a town wide beautification day event, has grown in both size and support. “The DDC (Downtown Development Commission) has increased marketing and recruitment efforts to make sure that the success of this event continues to grow,” explains Lisa Ellis, director of the DDC. “The school district has become more invested in the event in recent years. It is a great family activity and the children get a big kick out of working to clean up their individual schools.” Planning for the day begins in January and involves a series of meetings and set tasks. “The same basic template is used every year which makes it easier to manage,” says Ellis. May Day in Madison has always been a DDC event endorsed by the mayor and Borough Council. The concept was first discussed in May of 1997, and the inaugural May Day planned for May 2, 1998. AL PROFESSIOTN CARPE CLEANING

“Jim Burnet, who was serving as the chairman of the DDC’s Public Improvement Committee at the time, was the one who originally created the concept which was embraced by the DDC and Borough Council,” continues Ellis. From the beginning, the event called for volunteers to clean up, plant and mulch in areas, but primarily in the downtown district. The coverage area has now increased. In 2017, more than 50 sites in town were tended to. A special after-party and a special presentation are planned for this year’s event opening which coincides with the Borough’s Arbor Day celebration, both held on the same day. The anniversary will be noted on the T-shirts worn by volunteers. There are a few key ways to support the endeavor. Donations of food from the local food establishments are welcome for the anniversary celebration, and volunteers are always needed. “There are many ways that individuals or businesses can support this event,” says Ellis. “We are always looking for volunteers to work the day of - families, groups of friends, student or corporate groups sign up to work. The DDC also seeks donations

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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 funding, 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 973-8298120.

Students Sleep Out...

continued from front page School Principal Greg Robertson. “To raise over $10,000 running this event at our school for the first time is absolutely remarkable. I couldn’t be prouder of our students and staff for braving the elements for such a worthwhile cause.” Robertson credits the efforts of Assistant Principal Dave Drechsel as one of the forces to make Madison’s Sleep Out a success. According to Robertson, Drechsel worked with the students on the fundraiser and ultimately joined in with everyone else, making sure they were safe. “We were not quite sure what to expect by having an event like this for the very first time, but quickly found out what a worthwhile experience

this was for all those involved, “he remarks. But Madison High School’s Sleep Out was so much more than a cause; it was about the people and feelings affected by it. Through the efforts of the several member team, administrators, and Team Captain Maggie Boyd, they discovered just how brave and courageous these fellow kids enduring homelessness are. “This was an incredible experience and one I’ll never forget,” Boyd says. “We want to do whatever we can to help kids get into the helping hands of Covenant House.” Drechsel sums it up nicely: “We can’t wait until next year!”

What’s happening in your school or organization? Celebrating a special birthday or anniversary? Have a human interest story? Email us at

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Discussion Planned To Make Madison Greener

adison’s Green Vision Forum is set for Thursday, April 19, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Drew University, Ehinger Center, Madison. Join in with students and town officials to discuss how to make Madison a more sustainable community. Students

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FDU Senior Art Exhibit Runs Through April 25

he annual Senior Art Exhibition will be held in the Rothman Building, Admissions Center at Fairleigh Dickinson University, in Madison, through April 25. Approximately 100 student artworks in varied medias will be displayed. The featured artists will be 12 Studio Art seniors who will be graduating in

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will present two-minute talks about their “Green Vision” for Madison. Opening remarks will be given by Mayor Robert Conley. The event is being hosted by the Madison Environmental Commission and Drew University.

May. The show will be open to the public during the Images/Art Show Reception on Wednesday, April 25, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Because the show is held in the Admissions Center, the gallery may be occupied with a class and during that time closed for viewing.

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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 several 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 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 service,” 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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Three Generations Of Family Create Events To Be Proud Of

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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Courtemanche To Be Honored By Boy Scouts Of America

ary Courtemanche, president of the Women’s Association for Morristown Medical Center, will be honored by the Boys Scouts of America at its 2018 Tribute to Women Award Luncheon, May 11 at the Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station. A longtime volunteer in the community and active participant with WAMMC, Courtemanche has served on committees, become a board member and was appointed president of WAMMC in 2015. She has been a champion of the organization and a dedicated leader of an executive committee, 45 board members and 20 committees, all volunteers who work with a vast volunteer


network of more than 1,500 people. Growing up on Long Island, N.Y., Courtemanche has lived in the Morristown area for more than 26 years, spending many of those years as a mentor and teacher to the young students at the Peck School, a private K-8 co-educational school. After retiring, she served on the Board of Trustees for Peck School and the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum in Morristown and co-chaired the Mountain Art Show in Bernardsville for many years. During the summer months, she serves on the St. Regis Property Owners’ Association Board in Upper St. Regis, N.Y. Courtemanche joined the Women’s Association Board in

For information on WAMMC, visit For Boys Scouts of America 2018 Tribute to Women Award Luncheon information and tickets, contact joseph.gonnella@

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 national-

Spring Open House Planned At CCM


2008. Since joining WAMMC, she has served on many committees, including one of her favorites as Chairwoman of the cafeteria, recruiting many of her friends to join her in hosting guests at WAMMC’s signature fundraiser, Mansion in May Designer Showhouse and Gardens. The WAMMC, one of the oldest and most successful fundraising organizations in the country, is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2018. Over the years, WAMMC has grown from providing services and fundraising to running profitable businesses. To date, WAMMC has raised more than $30 million to support this mission.

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.

ly 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 grand-

father’s hard work and success inspired him to write his best-selling book, “Lessons from my Grandfather: Wisdom For Success in Business and Life.” He says he strongly believes that success is a choice which is consistent with the Platinum Minds philosophy that boys can choose to excel academically and in community service with the proper guidance.

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


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 in inspired by Lagos’ life events and features many trueto 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 closely 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 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.

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ew Jersey Blood Services, which supplies blood to 60 hospitals throughout the state, is in need of volunteers to work blood drives. The blood mobile volunteer is an integral member of the blood collection team whose task it is to assist donors with registration, perform canteen duties and make appointments 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.

What’s happening in your school or organization? Celebrating a special birthday or anniversary? Email us at

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 community 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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Like us on facebook • Madison News • April 2018 • Page 11

The Temptation To Temp - A Job For All Seasons


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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

Did You Know? An easy way for families to save time and money at the grocery store is to rely on “shop at home” services being offered by many different retailers. “Click-and-collect” programs enable customers to use their computers or mobile devices to stock their virtual grocery carts with items, shop sales or choose items directly from weekly circulars and then pick up the merchandise at their own convenience. Some stores will even load groceries into customers’ vehicles. Other stores pair online shopping with home delivery for even greater convenience. Shopping from home enables customers to keep a running tally of how much they’re spending so they can better stick to their food

budgets. Items can be added or removed from the cart accordingly. Shopping can be done on a person’s downtime, such as on a lunch break, while sitting at kids’ sports practice or even during commutes on public transportation. Picking up the prepackaged groceries later on also can help shoppers avoid making impulse buys. The Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen reports that, in the next 10 years, 70 percent of all American consumers will buy at least some of their groceries online, with millennial shoppers most willing to buy groceries online in the future. These services marry the convenience of online shopping with the familiarity and brand loyalty of shopping local brick-and-mortar stores.

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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 basis, taking and tax and necessary deductions from the gross amount. Being realistic about one’s skill level and showcasing work experience makes it easier to place a candidate. “If you’re looking to re-enter the work force as an administrative assistant you will want to make sure that your typing and software skill are up to industry standards…companies are hiring because they need someone to easily transition into their environment,” said Carsillo. TeleSearch does welcome everyone regardless of work experience and criteria. “We are able to find work for a wide variety of skill sets. We look for people who have recent work history, good references and willingness to work. The main thing all companies want are hardworking and reliable employees.” She stressed that her company 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 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.

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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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Budgeting Tips For A Healthier Lifestyle

rom the cost of gym memberships to prepping healthier meals, living well can be expensive. Before you abandon your goals for a healthier lifestyle, consider these tips that show you don’t have to overspend to live a better life. Plan Your Meals An impromptu visit to the grocery store inevitably ends up costing more than a wellplanned trip. Get organized by planning your meals and grocery list ahead of time to help save money and find ways to use healthy ingredients across multiple meals. Plus, preparing meals at home helps ensure you can eat the foods you want, rather than settling for something because it’s the only sensible option on the menu at a restaurant. Another option is taking advantage of the premeasured portions of healthy meal boxes, which can help you skip the prep time and avoid wasting unused groceries. Weigh Your Workout Options A gym membership may be a tempting investment when you’re trying to commit to a


get-fit regimen, but it’s not always the smartest move money-wise. If you can discipline yourself to use it, investing in at-home equipment may be a better long-term buy. There are also plenty of ways to add exercise at no cost through activities like running, walking or practicing yoga in your living room. Invest in Rest Eating better and increasing physical activity are important aspects of a healthy lifestyle, but so is giving your body a chance to rest. Quality sleep lets your body and mind heal and rejuvenate from everyday activity, and better sleep is likely to reduce your stress level while improving your mental function and mood. There’s no better way to show yourself some love than with a good night’s rest, but according to research from Mattress Firm, 35 percent of Americans report their sleep quality as “poor” or “fair.” Additional research shows that 64 percent of people experience improved sleep quality after investing in a new mattress. As the nation’s

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largest bedding retailer, Mattress Firm’s purchasing power translates to affordable prices and a wide selection of mattresses and bedding accessories, which can help you stretch your budget further. Find more sleep tips and budget-friendly ideas at Rethink Checkups When it comes to medical care, office visits can add up. If you just need basic medical attention such as a checkup, a physical or a remedy for a com-

mon illness, a retail clinic may be a more cost-effective option than a traditional doctor’s office. Many insurance carriers offer an incentive for retail clinic visits by offering discounted co-pays, or if you’re paying out of pocket, the retail clinic can be a big money saver. A healthier lifestyle requires commitment and hard work, but as these tips prove, creating a better life doesn’t have to mean overhauling your budget. (Family Features)



Making The Most Of Family Vacations

amily vacations can seem like daunting endeavors to organize, as planners must cater to each member of the family and their individual needs. Family vacations can cost several thousand dollars, which only adds to the pressure planners may be under. But careful planning makes it possible to simplify the process so more time can be spent resting, relaxing and having fun. Child-friendly hotel One of the “musts” when booking a family vacation is finding the right accommodations. This often means booking rooms at family-friendly hotels. Things to look for when seeking hotels include amenities like swimming pools and recreation areas, nearby parks and other attractions that kids can enjoy, and easy access to stores that sell necessities.

When booking a room, request one that is close to the elevator or the breakfast buffet. If you have youngsters who nap or go to bed early, try to book adjoining rooms or one-bedroom suites. This way the kids are tucked in but accessible, allowing adults to enjoy their downtime. Plan the trip together Get the entire family involved when planning a vacation and let children who are old enough to have a say in some of the travel plans. Let kids choose some activities, pick some restaurants or even select which seats to sit in on the airplane. Pack as lightly as possible Pack light and, if possible, buy some necessities when you arrive. Few things can be as headache-inducing as dragging along extra luggage with kids in tow. Choosing a hotel or resort with laundry facilities can

be advantageous to active families who may get messy along the way. Allow for downtime While it’s beneficial to have an itinerary, leave some moments for spontaneity and rest. You don’t want to return home so tired from the trip that you need another break. Use downtime as opportunities for kids to lead the way. Travel off the beaten path Mature children may like sights and sounds that aren’t necessarily designed for kids. So while it may be tempting to stick to big-name resorts that cater to families, there’s plenty of enjoyment to be had exploring lesser-known islands or villages. And while you’re at it, introduce children to native cuisines so they can broaden their culinary palates.


Like us on facebook • Madison News • April 2018 • Page 15


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