Page 1

No. 15 Vol. 2


February 2017

With His Eyes On Eagle, Local Scout Reminds Residents To Keep Eyes On Safety

By J.L. Shively lot of my peers are on their phones all day,” states Elliot Matthieson, a local scout from troop 163

who is aiming on attaining the rank of Eagle through his recent, phone safety conscious project. Matthieson, a 17 year old senior at Roxbury High


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School, goes on to explain that while his peers are not necessarily on their phones while driving he does concede, “I know it can be tempting,” and not just for teenagers but for adults as well. It is enough to pay attention to driving without an added distraction, Matthieson said, thus what inspired his effort to make drivers conscious of their behavior on the road. His response to this problem was to erect 22 signs throughout the town, specifically near schools and parks, “to remind people to put phones down while driving,” explains Matthieson while noting that the most important goal of his project is to “prevent accidents.” “A troop in a neighboring town had done the same thing,” Matthieson explains and one of his peers brought the idea to Matthieson as a

suggestion for a possible Eagle project. Matthieson jumped on the chance to start such a project. The horrors and dangers of accidents that happen from cell phone use while driving is drilled into young drivers through school presentations and hearing about accidents on the news. The signs which Matthieson’s project funded say “Eyes on the road, not your phone” and feature a picture of a cell phone with a red cross through it. Eighteen of the signs measure 18 inches by 20 inches and the remainder are slightly larger. To makes these signs a reality Matthieson had to partner with a few town officials to find out what the rules and regulations behind manufacturing and placing these signs would be. “I worked with Town-

ship Manager Mr. Chris Raths, Director of the Roxbury Department of Public Works Mr. Rick Blood and the Director of Buildings

and Grounds for the Roxbury Board of Education, Mr. John Eschmann,” explains Matthieson. continued on page 2


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Keep Eyes On Safety... continued from front page In pursuing this project, Matthieson came up with a list of questions pertinent to the vision he had in placing his signs. Once he had spoken with town officials regarding these rules surrounding road signs, Matthieson was able to actively pursue creating and placing his signs. Rules that had to be maintained through his sign project included placing signs under pre-existing signs. Stop or Yield signs would need to be placed at least two inches under the current sign; signs in low speed grade areas, driveways and at stop signs needed to have Super Engineering Grade reflectivity; all other signs would

require Prismatic High Intensity Reflectivity. These regulations, along with others, were rules Matthieson had to take into account when making and placing the signs. The first requirement from the town was that Matthieson’s signs needed to be placed on pre-existing poles. “I spent four hours driving around finding posts,” states Matthieson. To construct these signs Matthieson not only enlisted the help of his fellow scouts but partnered with local business owner, Tony Cretella, who works at Custom Signs Source in Roxbury. “He let us use the shop and the materials at a dis-

counted rate,” Matthieson explains. Matthieson also credits Cretella for helping him to design and manufacture the signs. In order to supplement the remaining cost of the signs, Matthieson had to raise funds through the community, friends and even at his church. Once the signs had been manufactured, Matthieson and a team of scouts traveled to the predetermined locations in order to place the signs. “On the day I put up a majority of my signs it was raining, but several volunteers still came out to help,” Matthieson states. Residents of the community have already reacted to Matthieson’s signs.

A Roxbury resident for 25 years, Annette Brooks, a mom of three children, one of which is a new driver, worries every day about texting and driving.

“Having this message come from a peer rather than a parent will hopefully have a big impact on everyone who gets behind the wheel of a car,” said

Brooks. With the reminder in place, Matthieson leaves it up to the community to take note and be safe!

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Interact Club Assists In Fundraiser To Benefit Local Families

By: J.L. Shively In typical fashion, residents of Roxbury rallied behind families who had a particular situation that needed to be addressed,” says Steve Alford, local Rotarian and advisor of the Roxbury HS Interact Club. Alford, who founded the Interact Club as an extension of the Rotary Club

13 years ago, is pleased to announce the club’s involvement in yet another fundraiser within the town. The event that took place on Jan. 13 was a special event in many ways. The Rotary, Alford states, “had never had an [art] auction before,” but when the idea was presented to the club through an art auction company they

decided to give the idea a chance. Allyssa Greenburg initially took the call from the company and was the Rotarian who presented the idea to the club and chaired the event, while Rotary Club President, Gary Ribe, attended the event to help ensure everything ran smoothly. For this event the Rotary enlisted the help of Interact volunteers, 12 of whom attended the initial set up of the room, helping to organize tables and carry the artwork from the trucks to be presented on different tables. Two of the Interact volunteers stayed for the remainder of the event, helping to “run” paintings while they were being auctioned

and then staying to break down the tables and reset the room. “[We] always try to involve the club,” says Alford, of the Interact Club volunteers while going onto explain that the Roxbury Interact Club is different in the way they track a members’ participation. Rather than point systems, club members are just required to attend at least three events throughout the year. This system allows for more students from all different spectrums of the student body to be a club member. “Kids from all different groups are represented in the Interact Club,” says Alford of the 380 different club members and this allows for students to meet

and work with another student they would not normally, which “creates a bond between two kids who may not normally have crossed paths,” Alford says. The auction itself took place in the banquet hall at

the Asian Diner located in the Quality Inn of Ledgewood. The room was rented to the Rotary at a discounted rate and the cost of the room was absorbed solely by the Rotary. continued on next page

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Interact Club... continued from previous page For the event, auction goers were offered a full buffet as well as wine pairings by various wine vendors invited to the event. This fundraiser was also a representation of a special bond between the community and members in need. The art show was done to raise funds for a cause, in particular two local families in need. “The Rotary is always looking for a way to help with people,” Alford states, and it was in that spirit that the club decided to raise money through this auction for the Spencer and Kohner families, both of Roxbury. Jacob Kohner was no-

ticed by the Rotary Club when he was recognized for a Service Above Self Award. A young humanitarian, Kohner, though bound to a wheelchair, had taken it upon himself to go door to door to sell candy bars to help raise money for a girl with a brain tumor. Levi Spencer has a spina bifida, which is a spinal defect where a person’s spine does not develop properly. Both came to the art show and spoke at the event. The cost of the event was $10 at the door and then the added cost of any artwork purchased. The event ran from 7 p.m. to

10 p.m., drawing in more than 160 people and raising more than $5,000, which was donated as an even split between the Kohner and Spencer families. Even though an art auction had never been done by the club before, Alford notes it to have been a huge success and relates that “a really great time was had by all.” This fundraiser is just one of the many events that the Rotary and Interact Club have recently been part of and their next event, which they are currently gearing up for, will benefit the Kindness for Christopher movement.

Roxbury Gaelvision Holds Annual Fish & Chips Dinner


oxbury High School Gaelvision plans to hold its annual Fish & Chip dinner catered by Thistle Restaurant & Caterers on Fri.,, March 3, in the Eisenhower Middle School cafeteria from

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RHS Preschool Program Now Accepting 2017/2018 Enrollments


ince 1973, Roxbury High School has offered “Education for Parenthood,” where students have the opportunity to work with the community’s three-year-old children in a preschool setting. This year is no different! Enrollments for the 2017/2018 school year are now being accepted. RHS students are able to work one-on-one with the preschool children to give


them a unique preschool experience. The preschool children enjoy learning, experiencing school, making friends, and having fun. Enrolled preschoolers attend classes Tues.-Thur., at RHS from 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. for $75 a month. Parents and guardians are able to drop off their preschooler while helping high school students learn techniques for working with children that will help them

in the class and with possible future careers. If you are interested in the three-year-old program, contact Kathleen DiGerolamo at For the four-yearold program, contact Pam Mandracchia at For more information, visit: roxbury-high-school-preschool-program/home.

Outdoor Single Friends To Meet

utdoor Single Friends has its next meeting planned for Sun., Feb. 12, at 11 a.m., at Camp Jefferson

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for active, single adults 50 and over. Call Joan at 908696-0358 to make a reservation.


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Trail Will Connect To Circle Lake Hopatcong

Antique Boats on display at the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club with the Hopatcong shoreline in the distance. Photos by Jane Primerano


By Jane Primerano ikers will be able to circle Lake Hopatcong on a single trail when trails in each of the four lakefront municipalities are connected through the latest project of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation. The Foundation received a Recreational Trail Grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection and is presenting two free workshops to train volunteers for the project. The workshops, presented by the New York/New

Jersey Trail Conference, will focus on trail building and maintenance. The maintenance workshop was scheduled first and will be held on Sat., March 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hopatcong Senior Center which is near one of the existing trails. It will focus on preparing for a work trip to the trail, cutting the trail corridor, sawing larger branches and following proper blazing techniques. Donna Macalle-Holly, acting executive director of the foundation, said the conference has

capped both training sessions at 20 participants and they are “pretty much full.” The trail building workshop will be at a location to be announced on Sat., March 25. Training volunteers will assure the new portions of the trail will be properly built, according to the foundation’s website. According to the foundation website, an improperly built trail can have many negative impacts especially on the flow of water across the trail which can cause damaging erosion. Techniques like side hilling and



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drain building can lessen that erosion. The workshop will also address crossing wet areas with such techniques as turnpiking and bog-bridging. Starting point for the new trail will be Hopatcong, Macalle-Holly said, because the borough has a lot of existing trails. About 60 to 70 percent of the lake-circling trail is complete in Hopatcong, with a need just to connect the individual trails, she added. Some of the existing rightof-way is part of the Highlands Trail. The Land Conservancy of New Jersey is consultant on the lake circumference

may be other sources of grants, but since most of the work will be done with volunteers, the foundation isn’t anxious to get a lot of money up front and then not have enough people to do the work. The foundation previously assisted Jefferson by obtaining a grant for the Prospect Point Trail, Macalle-Holly said. There will be another blue access at the point where the trail overlooks Liffy Island. After Jefferson, the trail will loop into Mount Arlington and then Roxbury Township before connecting with Hopatcong again.



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trail. There will be some “blue access” points along the trail, Macalle-Holly said, such as at the Roland May Ezes Sanctuary. The lake is far too built-up to allow for hiking trails directly on the shoreline. Once the Hopatcong section of the trail is complete, Macalle-Holly said it will continue into Jefferson which has the largest section of the lake’s shore. That will have to happen under another grant. The current grant will run out at the end of April 2018 and Macalle-Holly will apply for the next round of recreational trail grants. There

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Crowley Excited In His New Role As Mayor


By Cheryl Conway eeping taxes down, removing the debt and maintaining a “wonderful” township are the top goals of Roxbury Twp. Mayor Mark Crowley. Into his second month presiding over the town’s seven member council, Crowley was unanimously selected to serve in his new role. He had served one year as deputy mayor in 2016,

with a total of five years on the township council, and also served nine years on the township’s zoning board. Crowley, a Republican, replaces former Mayor Jim Rilee. As a resident for 25 years in Succasunna, Crowley realizes this was the right time for him to take a leading role. “I believe in service,” says Crowley. “I felt I could do a good job bringing to-

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gether different groups. I felt it was time to be mayor. Other council people, we take a vote, they felt the same way. It’s exciting to be at this level and to participate at this level.” When asked about his accomplishments while serving on the council and zoning board, he says. “There’s been many,” such in regards to open space, parks and recreation, and also in recognizing volunteers. “The greatest thing about Roxbury is the people,” says Crowley. Last year, the township held its first recognition night for volunteers representing all the different clubs. “It’s fantastic.” Keeping the debt down has been another accomplishment. “We will be debt free in a year,” says Crowley, with

plans for road improvement and more repaving. The greatest challenge faced by the council is finding a suitable replacement for a township manager after Christopher Raths retires this spring after 16 years. Described as “terrific,” Crowley says “We have to replace him, that’s going to be a big challenge. “He’s done a fantastic job. To find someone to fit those shoes is going to be a challenge. The council has started an executive search for replacing Raths and hopes to solicit a candidate in March. Crowley’s goals are to continue to keep taxes down, to remove the debt from the township and to keep it a wonderful place that it is,” with its parks, recreation and trails. Continuing to improve

Lake Hopatcong, such as putting in a new safe bridge to go over the railroad, as well as bringing in a water taxi to clean up the marina and “trying to beautify that whole area. This year we put a Christmas tree on it. We are really doing a lot of work in Landing.” The council has been working with the Lake Hopatcong Foundation to pull out leaves and muck from the lake, says Crowley who in his profession specializes in computers, information technology and custom software. Keeping Roxbury “a fantastic place,” is his priority. Crowley’s wife, Andrea, has served on the Roxbury Township Recreation Committee for more than 15 years. The couple raised five children, all grown, who at-

tended the Roxbury schools. “It was such a good school system; we felt like giving back,” says Crowley. Besides the schools, Crowley commends Roxbury for “the people” who live there; the “fantastic volunteers” in everything from sports, to recreation in its care of its parks and trails. “We have great facilities,” he says. “We have great access to everything.”

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Not Too Cold To Sign Up For Recreation Activities

oxbury Recreation has a whole line of activities with signups now for spring. Teen Travel is open for kids sixth through ninth grade; three sessions still have openings! Weeks July 10, July 17 and July 24 have openings. Fee: $225

per session. More info. on each week’s activities is available on the Rec page at Boys second grade Lacrosse Clinic- Learn the fastest growing sport from a Roxbury High School Coach. Fee: $95. Session starts April 2 and runs

through May 20. Send email to if interested. Girls Winter Softball Clinic- For girls in fourth through sixth grade. Includes four weeks of fundamental instruction, drills, games and fun. Held Sun., 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Register on-


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line or in-person at Roxbury Recreation. Fee: $40; includes t-shirt. More info on Rec page at Girls Softball- Registration is open for Roxbury Girls Softball Association, ages five-14. Roxbury partners with Chester and Long Valley Associations for a competitive league with multiple teams and divisions. The program welcomes girls from Roxbury competitive travel teams, and honors all travel team commitments. Register at www.roxbury-baseball. com; registration closes Feb. 21. Spring Track Clinic This program is designed to introduce children in first and second grade to the track program. Season starts mid-March; practice

will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with meets on Fridays. Coaches needed too! Register online or in-person at Roxbury Rec. Children must be born in 2009 or later for this program. Fee: $45; includes t-shirt. Spring Track - Bantam, Midget & Youth- This program is for children second through eighth grade, born in 2008 or earlier, no experience necessary. Season starts mid-March; practice will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with most meets on Sunday afternoons. Coaches needed too! Register online or in-person at Roxbury Rec. Fee: $45; includes t-shirt. Roxbury Soccer Club-Registration for Mites Programs is now open for the spring 2017

season. Register by April 8 for Mites to avoid late fees. Visit for more details. Roxbury Men Over 30 Softball - Looking for interested teams or individual players to join! Typically for men over 30, but each team can have a limited number under 30 and/ or “out-of-towners.” The season runs mid-April to mid-July. Games Sunday thru Thursday. For more information, email Darren at Visit Recreation Children’s Bowling League- Bumper Bowling for kids in K-third; Regular Bowling for kids in fourth through eighth. Dates are Wednesdays through March 22, 4 p.m.continued on next page


Page 12 • February 2017 • Tell Them You Saw It In The Roxbury News • Like us on facebook

EMS Drama Club To Present Fun Family Activities


isenhower Middle School’s Drama Club has two family-friendly programs coming to the school this spring. Eisenhower’s annual Princess Party is set for Sun., March 26 from 2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the school in Succasunna. Join the cast and crew of the upcoming EMS production of “Aladdin Jr.” for an afternoon

filled with royal fun, crafts, and a whole lot more! Come dressed as a favorite princess for an afternoon of royal delight! Tickets are $10 each and include crafts, juice, and snacks. This program fills up quickly, don’t wait to reserve tickets. Follow up this fun activity with the EMS spring musical production of “Disney’s Aladdin Jr.”

Ticket reservations are now being accepted for the upcoming show set to be playing Thurs. through Sat., April 6 - 7 at 7 p.m., or on Sat., April 8 at 2 p.m. at Eisenhower Middle School. Tickets for this musical are $10 each. Flyer and ticket information for both programs can be found at

Recreation Activities... cont. from previous page 5:15 p.m. at Circle Bowl. Total of 21 sessions of two games each. Register in-person only at Rox Rec anytime through March 22. Camp Capra- Online registration begins on Sat. March 4, at 6 a.m. For kids currently in K-fifth grade. Six weekly sessions to choose from, starting on June 26 through August 11. Instructed by Bob Capra, seventh grade teacher. Fee: $120 per week, includes t-shirt. More info. on Rec page at Playground ProgramThis fun five week program

is offered to Roxbury and Mt. Arlington kids currently in K-seventh grade. Three locations to choose from: Jefferson School, Kennedy School or Nixon School. Program begins on Mon., June 26 and goes through Fri., July 28. Hours are 9 a.m.-noon. Register online on Sat., March 4 at 6 a.m. through Community Pass account. Fee: $125 per participant; t-shirt included. Children’s Books Donation Collection, ongoing through March 31 at Roxbury Town Hall Lobby, Ledgewood.


Donate new and used children’s books for babies through high school students; access to books in the home, school and community is the key to educational success. No text books, encyclopedias, magazines, adult books, coloring books or work books. For questions, contact Samantha.rosenstein@ Bridge of Books is a non-profit organization providing books to underprivileged children across NJ. To learn more, please visit

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Boys Gear To Run This Spring


ERO Boys Run Club Northern NJ, an innovative youth development and engagement program for third to fifth grade boys, is gearing up for Spring of 2017 in schools throughout northern New Jersey. Welcoming Landing, Roxbury, Mt. Arlington at Landing Park to HERO Boys Hopatcong and Glen Rock. Using running as its core activity, HERO Boys Run Club inspires boys to discover their character and courage, teaches right from wrong and encourages the use of talents and strengths. Along with running, the program includes visits from “Guest Coach Heroes” including members

of various military branches, police, fire departments and rescue. “We’re so pleased to continue providing this amazing program for the spring of 2017” said Regional Coordinator Valerie Quinn. “We are thankful for those who helped to start HERO Boys, especially our volunteer coaches, Guest Heroes, schools, towns, and the Hopatcong Municipal Alliance.” The seven-week program meets once a week for an hour and a half preparing the boys to run a 5k “graduation race.” Quinn said, “We love teaching the boys to compete with themselves for their own personal best

race times while encouraging their fellow HERO teammates to push themselves just a bit more.” HERO Boys Run Club is a development and engagement program of the Maryland-based non-profit Team Captain Kids Foundation (TCKF) founded in July 2011. Along with challenging third to fifth grade boys on a physical level using running as it core activity, HERO Boys Run Club is designed to teach leadership, positivity and teamwork via a dynamic guest speaker series and interactive weekly discussion topics. For more information, please visit www.heroboys. org.


Like us on facebook • Tell Them You Saw It In The Roxbury News • February 2017 • Page 13


Landing Church Shares Its Hearts For Valentine’s Day

by Elsie Walker he fellowship hall of the Port Morris United Methodist Church in Landing had a lot of heart on Feb. 5. Actually, it had 400 of them: valentines. Generations gathered,

church members and friends, to make valentines for those in area nursing homes who might otherwise not be remembered. From pre-school to age 93, they grabbed glue sticks, paper, markers, and stickers and then went to work.


The coordinator of the event, Tina Berchak of Stanhope, said that among the nursing homes receiving the cards would be Merry Heart Nursing Home in Roxbury, Andover Nursing Home, and the Regency Grand in Dover.


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Berchak noted that actually approximately 700 valentines would be distributed: the 400 made the day of the event and 300 store bought and computer made cards. “As coordinator [of the valentine effort], I enjoy customizing it to fit the giver and the receiver,” said Berchak. “In other words, we always reflect on what worked last year and try to improve as well.” In a room already decorated to set the mood, Berchak started the event by reading a short story of teamwork. The story was about two children who re-

fused to work together to make valentines at school, only to find that while apart they could not create something, when their creations were accidentally combined, it resulted in something wonderful. That spirit of teamwork was felt as varying ages came together to help make the tokens of love. For example, 89 year old Fred White of Stanhope shared a table with some youths, making valentines and enjoying the refreshments. Those refreshments included heart-shaped pizzas to get everyone in the

mood. However, looking around, it didn’t seem like much was needed as those in attendance worked on designs and on clever sayings to include like “hearts to you.” For those who were lost for words, some preprinted message labels had been created. The biggest valentines had been made ahead of time and were on display for all to see. They were the handiwork of Gloria Gelato, 93, of Landing. In addition to making those, Gelato joined her daughters continued on next page


Page 14 • February 2017 • Tell Them You Saw It In The Roxbury News • Like us on facebook

Students Donate To Food Bank ples that help carry the food bank through times when donations are lacking, especially after the holidays. Students used their food donations to cast a vote for

their favorite team, the Atlanta Falcons or the New England Patriots. During lunches on Fri., Feb. 3, Hudson Maxim students joined together to use skip

counting skills to total the donations. There were 15 votes for the Atlanta Falcons and 127 votes for the New England Patriots.

Landing Church... cont. from previous page


udson Maxim School students helped celebrate its own Souper + Bowl. The collection effort at Hudson Maxim was led by Doreen

Sciabica, first grade teacher, and Lisa Schuffenhauer, school counselor. The collection benefitted Save the People, the local food bank out of Westside Methodist

Church. Students were directed to bring in donations of soup, macaroni and cheese, tuna, peanut butter, canned spaghetti sauce and cereal, all of which are sta-

and their children in making more at the event. “It is so inspirational when people as “young” as [mom] can participate in making the decorations. Despite her gradually failing eyesight, she and I designed and made this year’s big valentine heart card,” said Berchak of Gelato. Berchak noted that the original idea for creating and distributing valentines to the local homes started about 25 years ago. How-

ever, it has morphed from people bringing in valentines, to a time of inter-generational fun in creating them together. Also, in addition to making the valentines, youth of the church have been involved in hand delivering them to residents at some of the homes. Berchak hopes that tradition will continue. “About two-thirds of the youth present have had the experience of delivering the valentines to area

nursing home residents,” said Berchak. “They understand that their efforts bring smiles and warm hearts. Their presence at the [valentine making] event gives the other younger one-third hope to continue the tradition one day. I always say, for every valentine that they make or bring, they are guaranteed a smile by the one that receives it. It is an amazing event that many look forward to and long may it continue.”


Like us on facebook • Tell Them You Saw It In The Roxbury News • February 2017 • Page 15

Save The Date for “The Addams Family” Spring Musical At RHS


icket reservations are now being accepted for Roxbury High School’s spring musical of “The Addams’ Family” set to show Thurs. through Sat., March 2 - 4 at 7 p.m. or on Sat., March 4 at 2 p.m. at the Roxbury High School. This musical comedy features the original story with a twist. “As the curtain rises, the last dead leaf of autumn falls from the Family Tree, and al is right with the morbid, macabre world of Gomez, Morticia, Fester, Grandma, Wednesday, Pugsley and Lurch. They’ve gathered – where else? – in the family graveyard, to celebrate life and

death in a yearly ritual to connect with their past and ensure their future. They seem at peace, not just with each and their inimitable, unchanging Addams-ness, but with their dead ancestors, too – who emerge from their graves on this night each year to join in this celebration of continuity. But at the end of the ritual, Fester blocks the ancestors’ return to their graves. Those unchanging Addams family values are about to be tested,” according to Rick Elice, bookwriter for “The Addams Family.” He goes to explain how “Fester enlists their help to set things right, just in case a new family secret goes terribly wrong. What’s the

secret? Wednesday Addams, that irresistible bundle of malice, has grown up and found love. So what’s the problem! The young man, Lucas Beineke, is from Ohio, and his parents are going to dinner to meet the family. Two different worlds are about to collide.” Will love triumph, or will everyone go home vaguely depressed. Come to the show and find out if Wednesday’s doomed to live happily ever after! It’s sure to be a fun and entertaining evening for all! Tickets are $12 each and the ticket reservation form can be found online at


Roxbury Schools Seek Public Input

he Roxbury Township Public Schools is seeking the public’s input on a multi-year district goal deemed, Roxbury Reimagined! “Roxbury community members, staff, families, and students, there are times when we must choose to take advantage of opportunities or remain satisfied with the status quo,” said Loretta Radulic, Roxbury superintendent of schools. “Roxbury School District has never been one to sit back and rest on its laurels. That’s the reason we continue to win championships, gain awards and

accolades, and provide an exemplary comprehensive academic program for our students. We are persistently striving to ‘prepare our students of today for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.’ To that end, we have made a commitment to research, gather input and ideas, and to keep our eyes, ears and hearts open to possibilities.” “You’ve heard the old adage, ‘from the mouths of babes,’ and so I ask you to watch and listen to the wise words of our students as shared in a video that can be found at R6g7nE. After viewing it,

there should be no doubt that we can do more and offer more to our students. What that ‘more’ looks like is up to all of us to decide.” Roxbury wants to hear from the community! Take the survey to share an opinion about how to reimagine the community for students. The survey can be found at under Roxbury Reimagined on the homepage and will remain open until Feb. 24. For questions, contact the Superintendent’s Office at 973-584-6867 or email Loretta Radulic at

Attention schools, churches, organizations send us your press releases to


Page 16 • February 2017 • Tell Them You Saw It In The Roxbury News • Like us on facebook

Party-Perfect Flavors To Savor With Friends


o matter the occasion, a good host knows that great food is the key to any party. These crowd-pleasing snacks and desserts are the perfect treats to make your gathering just a little sweeter. Find more party-worthy recipes at Easy-to-make Cinnamon Honey Buns are a delicious treat party-goers will adore. Naturally sweetened by the addition of honey, they make for a wonderful addition to any spread. Learn more about the health and flavor benefits of honey, and find de-

licious recipes, at honey. com. Cinnamon Honey Buns Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board Servings: 12 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened and divided 1/2 cup honey, divided 1/2 cup chopped, toasted nuts (optional) 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 pound frozen bread dough, thawed according to package directions 2/3 cup raisins Grease 12 muffin cups with 1 tablespoon butter. To prepare honey nut topping: Mix together 1

tablespoon butter, 1/4 cup honey and chopped nuts, if desired. Place 1 teaspoon topping in each muffin cup. To prepare buns: Mix together remaining butter, remaining honey and cinnamon. Roll out bread dough onto floured surface into 18-by-8-inch rectangle. Spread filling evenly over dough. Sprinkle evenly with raisins. Starting with long side, roll dough into log. Cut log into 12 slices, 1 1/2 inches each. Place one slice, cutside up, into each prepared muffin cup. Set muffin pan in warm place; let dough

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rise 30 minutes. Heat oven to 375 F. Place muffin pan on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, or until

buns are golden brown. Remove from oven; cool in pan 5 minutes. Invert muffin pan to remove buns. An Award-Worthy Snack

Whether you’re gearing up for awards season or spending an evening catching up on your favorite TV drama, there are plenty of small screen events that provide the perfect backdrop for a watch party. Gather your friends and family and get ready to tune in to a fun-filled evening with this delicious snack. Since no party is complete without a delicious food spread, create finger foods that fit the theme of your viewing party. An iconic option like microwave popcorn is sure to be continued on next page


Like us on facebook • Tell Them You Saw It In The Roxbury News • February 2017 • Page 17

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ty gourmet popcorn, such as Orville Redenbacher’s, which is the only leading brand that uses real butter. From buttery to sweet and savory, all varieties feature non-GMO, 100 percent whole-grain kernels that pop up lighter and fluffier than ordinary popcorn. Pop onto to find more recipes for your watch party, or look for Orville Redenbacher’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Mini Popcorn Balls with Chocolate ‘Fondue’ Prep time: 25 minutes Servings: 12 1 bag Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop! 94 Percent

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Page 18 • February 2017 • Tell Them You Saw It In The Roxbury News • Like us on facebook


EMS Robotics Team Comes In Second In State Tournament

he Eisenhower Middle School Robotics Team, Roxbotix Jr.,

competed in the First Tech Challenge (FTC) NJ State Championship Qualifying

Tournament at Timothy Christian School in Piscataway.

Roxbury Art On Display For Morris County Youth Art Month


rtwork from Roxbury Township Public Schools and throughout Morris County will be on display in the Sherman H. Masten Library at County College of Morris (CCM) through March 11 as part of Youth Art Month (YAM). The artwork will be located on the first floor of the Learning Resource Center in the All-Purpose Room. “We are so excited to showcase the talent of students throughout Morris County, as well as the school’s art programs,” said Maura Boucher, chair of the

Morris County Youth Art Month program. “Our 2017 show will be our largest one to date, with 30 public and private schools represented and 300 students participating. Our show primarily features two-dimensional work, but does showcase some three-dimensional work, as well.” The Youth Art Month is also set to hold a reception on Sat., March 1, from 10 a.m. to noon, which will feature a Musical Ensemble from Randolph Schools. Gift bags for the event have been generously donated by major supply compa-

nies, including Sax Arts & Crafts, Dick Blick Art Materials, and Nasco Arts & Crafts. Youth Art Month is nationally sponsored by The Council of Art Education and was started in 1961. The event celebrates visual arts for grades K-12 and emphasizes the value of art education for all children, encourages support for quality school art programs, and promotes art material safety. For more information on the YAM, visit www.aenj. org.

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EMS finished the Qualifying Rounds in 10th place out of 30 teams and were selected by the number one ranked team to compete as part of their Alliance for the day’s Playoff Rounds. The Alliance made it all the way to the finals but came up short of the championship victory, leaving

Roxbury to finish in second place. FTC Teams are comprised of seventh to 12th graders who are tasked with designing and building a robot to compete in a robot game that gets released each September. EMS’s team is made up of only select seventh to ninth grade

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Like us on facebook • Tell Them You Saw It In The Roxbury News • February 2017 • Page 19

Hopatcong Woman’s Club Thanked By Head Start Families

dorable hand-made thank-you drawings, along with heartfelt notes of appreciation for Christmas gifts and cookies were sent to Hopatcong Woman’s Club members by Hopatcong Head Start Families and presented at the General Meeting held on Jan. 18.

Head Start’s mission is to provide a seamless system of comprehensive educational, health, mental health and social services to low income and/or disadvantaged children ages three and four years old and their families. It is just one of the many community-based groups the Woman’s Club

contributes to over the holiday season. Another long-standing tradition is the collection of food items for local food pantries. The HWC has collection bins throughout the town for non-perishable donation. Last year, 2016 was a record year with a total of 4,512 lbs. of food collected,

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which equates to a value of more than $9,000! Current collection sites include: The Hopatcong Post Office, Borough Hall, Skylands Medical Group, The Medicine Shoppe, and Santander Bank, no glass please. Those in need will be provided for throughout 2017 by way of the West Side Methodist Church. So far 248 lbs. have been collected in the first two weeks of the year. A big thank you to (members Carolyn and Tom Lynch for their untiring efforts in supporting this worthy cause throughout the years. HWC’s State Project is Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey (PCA-NJ). Founded in 1979 as a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect in all forms for all NJ children, it is part of the national Pre-

vent Child Abuse America network of 50 chapters. One program focuses on preventing shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma. Trademarked phrase “Period of Purple Crying” identifies the period between ages two weeks and four to five months, where healthy babies’ crying will increase and peak. In partnership with local hospital nurses and social workers, the program teaches new parents about the normal crying by a baby that causes the most frustration and hope to cope. In an effort to bring attention to this infant program, community members including the Hopatcong Woman’s Club volunteer by knitting/crocheting purple newborn baby caps for distribution to participating Purple hospitals. Each baby receives a cap as a reminder to caregivers to keep babies

safe. HWC is asking for donations of all shades of light purple baby yarn. This will be an ongoing program through 2018. Contact Karen G. at 973-810-3611 to donate. February’s meeting will feature a tea party and safety discussion with local police officers, and March’s meeting will include our annual Linen Shower. Contact any club member for more information. Join the HWC at its general meetings on the third Wednesday of each month from September through May, at 10:30 a.m. at the Hopatcong Senior Center. Evening meet and greets are held on the same days in the evening, from 6 p.m. -8 p.m. For more information, call Selma Reichert at 973770-4989.


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Page 20 • February 2017 • Tell Them You Saw It In The Roxbury News • Like us on facebook


TV Show And Community Rally To Improve Spencer Home

By Cheryl Conway he Spencers in Succasunna have been rescued by a reality television show currently working on their home to make it more accessible to their challenges. It is a bright new year for the Spencers ever since show host George Oliphant from NBC’s “George to the Rescue” showed up at their front door on Jan. 5 announcing their house had been selected for renovations. “George to the Rescue” is a show that features Oliphant and his team of contractors and designers who rescue the homes of deserving people. Living in a three bedroom, one-story ranch with three young children has been tight for Jillian and Jason Spencer. Their son, Levi Spencer, who will be

five in May, was born with Spina bifida, a birth defect leaving him permanently paralyzed from the waist down. Realizing that times will only get tougher for Levi to get around, the Spencers kicked off a fundraising campaign in May 2016 called Raising The Roof For Levi in an effort to raise funds for home improvements such as a larger accessible bathroom, living space and equipment storage. Two months prior, Spencer had learned about the “George to the Rescue” Show so decided to apply but had not heard back. After Christmas, she learned the show issued a casting call. Not knowing if her application had been submitted, Spencer says she followed up with an email.

Shortly after, Spencer received a call from the show’s producer and then a visit to the home to evaluate space. A week later, the film crew showed up at their house to interview the family to determine if they were a good fit, followed by a knock on the door by Oliphant and his film crew behind him. “I think I was screaming,” says Jillian Spencer, when Oliphant showed up at her door. “I know I said, ‘Jason it’s George.’ I love surprises; I’m so excited.” Now that “George to the Rescue” is at their home, the Spencers have received a jump start to their home improvement project and are ecstatic. The Spencer had to pack up and leave on Feb. 2 as George and his team were showing up the next day

for ‘demolition day.’ She and her family are staying at her mother-in-law’s who lives seven minutes away. “It’s just across town,” says Spencer. “We’re going to live in her basement,” she says, a convenient arrangement as her kids can still catch a bus to Kennedy School. “We are not allowed in the house; we are not allowed to drive by,” says Spencer. “They want it to be a surprise. They are having material delivered.” They are invited to return to their home in about four weeks for the “reveal,” says Andrew Bank, a producer of “George To The Rescue.” The air date for the show is tentatively set for mid-April. Contractors plan to construct a handicap accessible bathroom on the first floor

of the Spencer home which will require all new plumbing and moving some walls, says Spencer. The “focal point” of the project is bathroom space,

confirms Bank, along with a “few surprises.” There is a bathroom on the first floor of the Spencer’s home “but it’s very continued on page 22



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Spencer Home... continued from page 20 tight,” says Bank, and not suited for a child with physical needs. With 12 episodes a year with requests constantly coming in, Bank justifies why the Spencers were selected. “We get write-ins all year,” says Bank. “This family stands out for positivity and spirit. Levi deals with a lot of physical challenges but it doesn’t get in the way with his energy. “It’s impressive to see Levi move around the house; he uses his upper body, keeping up with his brother. He has a lot of energy. It’s getting tougher for him.” The show “wanted to provide a jump start” by making renovations “for him and his family and his house.” In choosing candidates for the show, Bank says

they also consider the community support. “They have a ton of support in the community,” says Bank. “We pride ourselves in bringing communities together. It’s clear this community wants to help them; felt we could find great contractors and supplies and craft a better future for them.” With every project, the producers look for local contractors “who want to give back” and volunteer their work. Sometimes they seek local contractors, but the Spencers provided their own list, says Bank. “Together we’ve built a really strong team.” Key players are BDP Plumbing in Succasunna; Kenneth J. Fox Architectural Design in Ledgewood; John Keane Construction in Succasunna; and Rae’s De-

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sign Group in Rockaway. “I was thrilled to be able to help a local family in need and they are also my neighbor so it’s great to help out,” says John Keane Jr., owner of Keane Construction LLC. “We are the GC on the job making sure everything goes smoothly, also be doing most of the install. I love to help people in need especially kids.” Kenneth J. Fox, president of Fox Architectural Design, says he is “Excited that this deserving, giving family will have this opportunity. We created the architectural drawings that were necessary to acquire the municipal building permits, and develop the materials list and costs for all of the trades.” Fox estimates that he and his staff will be putting in about 50 hours with this

job. “I have known them for 25 years, from our church,” says Fox. “Jillian was my daughter’s best friend, and Jason was my youth leader in a church leadership program. Giving to someone that is already a giver, and finds themselves in difficult circumstances, makes it easy. This is part of a much larger project. “I am thankful for the opportunity for the family to receive such broad community support and giving.” Brittany Rae Lanzone, owner and principal designer, says “I am honored to be able to help a family in need, but also a family that is so very dear to my heart. Having George to the Rescue come in and facilitate a project like this that was already underway

was just the icing on the cake!” Lanzone had provided “all of the space planning for the home renovation last year, and worked with the architect to develop the final plan for the bathroom renovation with GTTR.” We are designing a full renovation of the bathroom. I have a lot in mind for the bathroom, but designers do tend to have wandering eyes. This project is close to Lanzone for personal reasons. “I have known Jill and Jay Spencer since I was a young girl and we have remained best friends over the years,” explains Lanzone. “Jason is like a brother to me and I have spent many a Thanksgiving dinner at his parents’ home. “Jill had contacted me

years ago asking me if I would be able to help them in planning to renovate their home in order to make it more suitable for their family and Levi’s needs. Lanzone concludes, “So many of us take for granted our daily lives and the routine’s we get into. I have known Jill and Jay for the majority of my life, but I have really seen a different side of them as I have had to examine how they live in regards to a small family of five one of which is handicapped. Levi is an exceptional kid, but he is still four years old. To have the patience, grace, poise, and determination to struggle through everything that their family has had to endure, is wonderful to witness. I have a whole new respect for families with continued on page 23



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Sisters Meet To Donate Warm Essentials

Spencer Home... continued from page 22 handicap children. “I am also blessed to be a part of such a gracious team of people (most of whom attending Roxbury High School together) that are coming alongside of one of their community members.” Since 2016, the Spencers have raised $57,000 of its $100,000 campaign goal through its Raise the Roof Campaign. Those funds are aimed toward phase two of their home renovation project to include opening up the first floor for additional living and storage space; and adding a second level to have a master bedroom upstairs along with two bedrooms. Currently the master bedroom is on the first floor. That is being converted to the bathroom,

with the other half of the room that will be used for Spencer’s photography studio, she hopes. Ruby, who is 18 months, will have her room moved upstairs as her current room will be turned into additional living and dining space, she says. Six-year old Shane currently shares a room with Levi, but after phase two his room can be moved upstairs, unless it becomes an office. “He will get his own room upstairs,” says Spencer, “if he wants it. They like living together.” The Spencers have estimated $200,000 to cover the entire project. Jason Spencer had converted their front porch in 2013 to the boys’ current bedroom. “He made that sunroom into a bedroom,”

she says. “It was a two-bedroom house. “He is very handy; he U-tubes everything.” A house they lived in since 2006, the Spencers chose home improvements verses moving to a different home. “We love Roxbury and the community,” says Spencer, the church and the school. “Everything we looked at house-wise would have cost a fortune anyway,” especially if they required handicap accessibility. “We might as well fix up this house.” With more fundraisers planned for the spring, a golf outing Sept. 18 and a vendor fair in November, Spencer hopes phase two can begin right away and completed within four months.


he Northern NJ Chapter of Sisters of Salaam Shalom met in December to package 100 scarves, ski hats and mittens that they donated to

the Roxbury Food Pantry. The Sisters of Salaam Shalom is an organization of Jewish and Muslim women who meet to socialize and educate each other on their

religions and cultural customs. The North NJ SOSS chapter has been meeting for three years on a monthly basis.

Lake Hopatcong Foundation’s Sets Fourth Annual Block Party


he Lake Hopatcong Foundation Block Party is once again set to be a day that celebrates New Jersey’s largest lake: from recreation and leisure to business and everyday living. The fourth-annual event, scheduled to be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sat., May 13, at Hopatcong State Park, will bring together organizations and businesses, bands, on-the-water demonstrations, craft vendors, boat rides, food trucks and restaurants, a train ride, children’s area, and more, for a day to celebrate all facets of Lake Hopatcong life. The Lake Hopatcong Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit, is hosting this event and looking for a va-

riety of vendors including non-profit organizations, businesses, craft vendors, food sales and food trucks. The expected attendance for 2017 is 3,000 visitors. The cost of booth space before March 15 is $25 for local non-profits; $75 for non-local non-profits; $75 for local businesses; $50 local craft vendors; $75 for non-local craft vendors; $150 for local food vendors; and $200 for non-local food vendors. After March 15 all prices increase by $25. For arts related businesses or non-profits, there is an opportunity to do a 10-minute demonstration. To be eligible for a spot, businesses or groups must purchase a booth and then contact Jennifer DeWitt for

more details. There are also multiple sponsorship opportunities available, which allow for pre-event and day-of-event publicity. Anyone interested in participating in the day, email or call the LHF office at 973663-2500. Registration can also be completed online at The Lake Hopatcong Foundation’s mission is to improve “Lake Hopatcong for all, now and in the years to come.” The block party is part of the group’s effort to bring together the four towns and two counties that surround Lake Hopatcong and celebrate as a united community.


Page 24 • February 2017 • Tell Them You Saw It In The Roxbury News • Like us on facebook

Gannon Leads Productive Role As New Morris County Sheriff


By Cheryl Conway nto the second month of his newly elected position, Morris County Sheriff Jim Gannon is off to a strong start in his mission to establish new partnerships, better services and improved technologies. Gannon of the Township of Boonton began Jan. 2 as the 77th sheriff of Morris County, taking the reins from Edward Rochford who served for 24 years since 1993. After November’s election win, Gannon met with Rochford to help with the transition and visited the Morris County Correctional Facility to prepare for its return of operations to the sheriff’s department.

Having been in law enforcement for 33 years, Gannon was ready to step into his next challenge. “It’s been great,” says Gannon. “I love the role. Morris County Sheriff’s Office is a very proud agency,” with the “finest officers, support staff second to none. That’s a great start. We also have people that are hungry for improvements,” from “senior people” with great ideas, to innovative “young folks.” “Good things are happening,” he continues. “The agency is changing before our eyes. I want to improve on all that they’ve [previous sheriffs] done. They’ve done a phenomenal job.” Before Gannon came on

board, the Morris County Freeholders had been managing the county jail for 16 months, since 2015 after taking it away from the sheriff due to issues such as officers’ salary hikes and overtime costs. That same board voted unanimously, 7-0, in Dec. 2016, to return the day-day management of the county jail back to the sheriff’s department. The sheriff’s office had run the county jail for 277 years, since 1739, says Gannon, who spent 100 hours reviewing the matter before presenting to freeholders the benefits of one agency. “The jail had always been the responsibility of the sheriff,” he says. To

have it returned, made the most sense for better operations and partnerships. “Bottom line is we will work together. It’s more suitable that I take over.” As one agency- the Bureau of Law Enforcement and the Bureau of Corrections- the new Morris County Sheriff’s Office employs 330 employees, which include 160 officers at the correctional facility, 90 officers in law enforcement, and additional support staff. There is “a lot going on” with the two bureaus, says Gannon, with a unique situation and a lot to offer, such as a jail population of 245 inmates; a crime scene unit that is a shared service, assisting towns with

1,262 crimes last year; its own bomb squad; Sheriff Emergency Response Team (SERT); a new and improved Morris County Sheriff’s Trends & Analysis Team (STAT); Canine Unit that went out 500 times last year in search of missing persons like elderly and children, narcotics, explosives detention; and a warrant squad to pick up individuals with violations. “We really play into the role of all that’s going on in Morris County Law Enforcement,” says Gannon. The sheriff is also proud that “We are triple accredited,” in law enforcement, correctional side and healthcare side. “These inmates are in our vicini-

ty; we make sure they get proper care,” from dental care to mental abuse treatment. During his first 100 day transition, or phase one, Gannon spent time interviewing all personnel “seeing how we can do better.” In phase two, he wants to develop partnercontinued on next page


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Gannon Leads... continued from previous page ships and establish a new organization. One plan is to have an assessment of the Morris County Courthouse complex to strengthen its infrastructure. The county has authorized an architect for $370,000 to come evaluate the complex, from floor plan to security, “to look at it holistically to see if it can be changed to accommodate the user.” The old courthouse building dates back to 1827 and is protected by the National Registry of Historic Places. In order to provide better security for judges, crime victims and defendants, the building needs some redesigning, says Gannon. “It’s very difficult” to

get around the facility for persons in wheelchairs or disabilities, he says. “You can’t do it by yourself.” Gannon says “I’m very pleased freeholders are taking the initiative to further these efforts. There will be great opportunity for improvements.” Gannon says his “number one responsibility is the protection of the people.” He wants to ensure that people who come to the courthouse can come in to speak to the judge without intimidation. He also needs to safeguard crime victims, family members and visitors to the courthouse to prevent conflicted contact with the opposing party.

Using correctional officers to help protect the courthouse is being considered for additional safety measures, he says. “I’m here to protect all the people,” stresses Gannon. “It’s serious business; I like to have fun but I’m a real serious guy when it comes down to it.” Another issue is opiate addiction in the county and the state, says Gannon. His plan is to have a housing unit at the county jail as well as a partnership with Morris County Vo-tech so inmates, once released, can continue their services while going for their GED and eventually a job. “Last year, 62 people died in Morris County [from opium abuse], 21


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to 71 years of age, all socio-economics, all races, all age groups, all levels of education,” says Gannon. “They are addicted maybe through oxycodone, or wisdom tooth pulled or a broken arm.” Gannon says “We are developing a system to assist with interventions to bring hope to the user. These users are our family, they’re our friends, they’re our neighbors. If people are distributing, they need to be cut off; to cut the head off the snake. We are going to make a difference.” Also on Gannon’s radar is to introduce a voluntary domestic abuse program “to discontinue that cycle of violence,” he says. In March, he plans to

start a bracelet program as an alternative to incarceration, an in-home detention program for inmates not charged with violent crimes. This way those involved in minor crimes will be given an opportunity to stay home and not be incarcerated in order to continue working and care for their families. Gannon has made some personnel changes, placing an undersheriff at the correctional facility, hiring an undersheriff at the Bureau of Law Enforcement, a new administrator and senior analyst. “In four weeks we made a lot of improvements.” He also has started some new programs such as senior fraud presentations in the Bureau Law Enforce-

ment to help seniors who are victims of fraud, has been speaking to groups on counter terrorism and opium abuse and has taken “a very serious approach” to modernizing technologies and sharing information. With all that he has planned, Gannon says, “I think we have a very bright future. I came in here to make a difference. It’s been exciting for me to steer the ship. It’s a seven day week job. I have high expectations. “I report to the people of Morris County,” he concludes. “The concerns of the people are my concerns. I have to listen to the people; I take that very seriously. That’s my table of organization.”

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