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The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST • July 2019

From the Editor I'm pleased to welcome sue Toth to a new staff position as Deputy editor/Digital copy editor. - Kevin l. Pattky, Jr. I’m baaaack … (even though I never really left)! Many of you know me from my days at Jefferson Patch or my earlier run at The Jefferson chronicle. although absent for a bit, I am absolutely thrilled to be back at The chronicle, serving the community that I’ve called home for nearly 20 years. I get to work with the best team of writers and editors and bring you all the news you need about our terrific town.

July 2019 www.TheJeffersonChronicle.com Founder, President, and editor-in-chief: Kevin L. Pattky, Jr. kevin.pattky@TheJeffersonchronicle.com

Deputy editor/Digital copy editor: Sue Toth Deputy editor/Print copy editor: Lise Greene senior contributing editor: Maria Weiskott

On that note, you’ll want to check out this month’s issue to learn about Farmer Tom and his store, The Feisty Pepper, especially with all the great summer vegetables available for your eating pleasure. Finally, check out our new photo corkboard for memories of events around town. you can be on the corkboard! submit your photo for consideration to newsroom@thejeffersonchronicle.com. enjoy the beginning of your summer and the latest issue of The Jefferson chronicle DIGesT.

Sue Toth

contributing Writers/Photographers: Jane Primerano, April Leaver, Tyler Delp, Carol Punturieri, Tony Haryn, Janet Pfeiffer, Ulla Vinkman, Carene Kratzel

Design and layout: CRK Advertising, Inc.

ConTEnTS Articles:


Township Farmer Promotes ‘Garden state’......................4

advertising sales Manager: Carene Kratzel 973-663-6766

Partial Panacea for Former Pathmark site ........................5


advertising sales representative: Elisa DeYoung 973-464-6334

rides, Treats, Games, and Fun: The carnival ..................8 a common Thread: Quilting for 20 years ......................12 silt Berm, Other cleanup efforts continue......................13


reception celebrates student artists ..............................17

contact Information:

New Farmers Market location ........................................ 18

newsroom@TheJeffersonChronicle.com feedback@TheJeffersonChronicle.com advertising@TheJeffersonChronicle.com The Jefferson Chronicle 973-384-1799

No Ifs, ands, or ‘Butts’: environmental academy ..........19

about the DIGesT: The Jefferson chronicle was founded by lifelong resident Kevin l. Pattky, Jr. in 2016. The chronicle is Jefferson Township's only dedicated newsroom, publishing local news and information. The Jefferson chronicle DIGesT is published monthly by The Jefferson chronicle, llc, 7 Osage Trail, Oak ridge, NJ 07438

Take a Walk on the Wild side – liffy Island ..................20 For What It’s Worth ....................................................................6 Insights and Expertise ..............................................................15 J-Town Tidbits ............................................................................16

©2019 by The Jefferson chronicle, llc. all rights reserved.

Event Calendar ..........................................................................22

No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the publisher.

In Brief (short articles) ..............................................................23

Please recycle



and eggs from their approximately 100 chickens.

Township Farmer Gives Meaning to New Jersey Tag: ‘Garden State’ Feisty Pepper Grew from Family Hobby to Blooming Success By Jane Primerano

Tom Galfo may be the primary advocate for agriculture in Jefferson Township. He started the farmers market, which relocated this year to the parking lot of Firemen’s Field off Route 15, and constructed a store at his Weldon Road farm, The Feisty Pepper. He already has 50 members in his Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Early season flowers provided a decorative look at the farm stand on Memorial Day weekend. Galfo’s partner, Hazel, prepared hanging baskets and pots of various sizes, and flats lined the front of the farmhouse. Many holiday arrangements were selling. “I have family members who served in all branches of the military,” said Galfo, noting that he cooks once a year for the Kenvil VFW where his uncle is a member. The store, built in September, is the latest step in the transformation of the Galfo farm from hobby to vocation. While three generations of the family worked the land there, Tom and Hazel are the first fulltime farmers. His parents and grandparents operated it as a hobby, selling vegetables when they had extra. Tom and Hazel are both fulltime farmers, which is rare in New Jersey. “It’s in my blood,” said Farmer Tom, explaining why he decided to turn the farm into a full-time operation. Hazel worked part-time elsewhere for a while, but found her attention split – and she is too passionate about the farm for that.

The Feisty Pepper proprietors are committed to their community – so much that Galfo loaned several big pots to a mother who had to play host to pre-prom photos at the last minute. Customer service is also important to them. On that recent Saturday, Tom was telling a family Farmer Tom Galfo and his partner, Hazel, both that the CSA is for full-time farmers, in front of The Feisty Pepper more adventurous Garden Market. cooks because of the variety of vegetables offered. Hazel was explaining the care of portulacas to another visitor. “Our specialty is the attention we pay to our customers,” said Galfo, observing that the public can get flowers at other stores, but not the care and relationship provided by a local farmer. “We remember their names and their kids’ names,” he said. “Customers feel like family members.” According to Hazel, farm stands are an antidote to what is becoming a monolithic economy. She has lived abroad and seen how other countries have avoided an influx of big box stores. “Here we have a culture of convenience and have become slaves to time,” she said, lamenting that many children do not know where their chicken and vegetables come from. Serving on the Morris County Agricultural Development Board is another way Galfo exercises his passion for farming. The board has protected 143 farms throughout the county, he said. “We can’t let farms go away because people see dollar signs.” The Feisty Pepper is located at 1082 Weldon Road, Oak Ridge. Contact: 973-919-5657 (Tom), 973-459-0245 (Hazel), thefeistypepper@gmail.com, www.thefeistypepper.com.

Although they have no full-time employees, Billy Pugsley (17) is in his second year as an intern and thinking about farming as a career. Occasional help is also given by Hazel’s daughters – Dana (18) and Pia (13) Yaptangco, who live in Morristown. In addition, Tom’s parents, uncle, and niece assist as needed, keeping the Galfo farm truly in the family. Early in the season, the produce in the stand is from south Jersey, with corn from Florida, and later it comes from Galfo’s 8.5 acres. The Feisty Pepper also stocks jams from Sparta Mountain Farm, milk and cheese from Springhouse Creamery, local meat, 4

The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST • July 2019

(Photos: Carene Kratzel)

Front façade rendering of the medical building. (Photo: Parette Somjen Architects, LLC)

Partial Panacea Progresses for Former Pathmark Site

walk-in times from 4-8 p.m. The imaging center typically offers extended opening from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Specific hours of operation will depend upon demand.

By April Leaver

The traffic impact of the medical building is expected to be less than it was for the former supermarket, resulting in a slight decrease in lot coverage. Two access areas off Bowling Green Parkway will be available. There is an easement on the property for the septic connected with the BP gas station to the south.

Jefferson residents will soon be able to access orthopedic-related care in a proposed one-stop medical center at the former Pathmark site (Route 15 South in Lake Hopatcong). Final site plans were reviewed at the June 11 Planning Board meeting. The purchaser, Steve Maffei, explained the proposal to knock down part of the building, resulting in just over 43,000 square feet for a full-service orthopedic center. The goal is to create ease in sharing information among specialized areas of medicine such as MRI, X-ray, physical therapy, laboratory, and similar services. According to engineer Jeffrey Martell, the building will include six suites (tenant names have not yet been released) and possibly an urgent care facility. There are no plans to sell food. Maffei stated that the estimated construction period is 13 months. Although the hours will vary based upon department and need, the orthopedic group is usually open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. with

The Planning Board has not yet received an application regarding a proposed Wawa on the same property. Prime Law, counsel for the current site owner, confirmed that there are no pending applications. Robert Inglima, attorney for the nearby BP station, had cross-examined witnesses at the board’s May meeting in opposition to the plans. Inglima stated that he is now working with the applicant’s representatives to come to an agreement regarding the use of the property and does not oppose the medical center’s application. The Planning Board reviewed signage variances and drop-off points for the medical center, and then voted unanimously to approve the site plan and variances.



For What It’s Worth I’m on Vacation? By Tony Haryn

When my wife and I think “vacation,” we make plans to go by plane or ship to luxury resorts to experience new things, taste different foods, and see other cultures. But my childhood vacations entailed a two-hour trip to my uncle’s place in the Catskills. It was the size of a postage stamp, housing four people and three dogs, with no in-house toilet! After Dad got home from work on a Friday, we would load up the car and drive to his brother’s house. The trunk contained luggage, a fan, pots and pans, and cooking utensils. In the back seat (along with my sister) were pillows, blankets, and frozen chicken, chopped meat, and homemade pierogis. Why? My aunt did not cook, so in order to eat well for a week, Dad made meals for eight people every day. Mom’s job was to clean the house. We even brought our own water because my uncle never tested his well. After sharing hugs and kisses, Dad unloaded the car while Mom set up the fan in our bedroom window on exhaust, so the dog hair would go outside. I checked the plumbing. Yep, a kitchen hand pump and a bathroom shower … but turning on the outside light, I could see the two-crapper wood outhouse still there. The next day, Dad was up early making breakfast. Mom had already taken a handful of dog hair off the fan. My aunt and uncle came into the kitchen to eat, and my aunt asked if Dad could fix the outhouse before it fell into the hole underneath. While my uncle lit his pipe and read the newspaper, Mom cleaned the kitchen and Dad got to work on the outhouse. I was constipated because I didn’t want to sit in the wood crapper that might fall into the hole beneath it. It was only day one, and already I wanted to go home. That evening, when my uncle started feeding his dinner to the three dogs by hand, Dad lost it and reminded his brother about table manners. My uncle stopped feeding the dogs, but proceeded to eat his dinner without washing his hands. After that, my family ate at the picnic table outside while my uncle’s family ate in the kitchen. The tension was palpable. After dinner, Mom finally finished cleaning the room where we slept, only to find all three dogs lying on our beds. Mom did not say a word, but lit up a cigarette and sat outside with the rest of us. At night, Dad got an earful. The straw that broke the camel’s back came after two days of Dad’s work on the outhouse. My aunt complained about his fix. My uncle was silent. It was now Wednesday, and Dad had cooked them everything from chicken soup to spaghetti with meatballs to his famous chicken and dumplings stew. Not once did my aunt, uncle, or cousins say thanks. On Thursday morning, Dad got me alone outside and said, “You’re sick and we’re leaving early. I’ll explain to you later.” I told him he did not have to explain, and anyway I was still constipated. For the next decade, we stayed at a great hotel with a pool about 10 miles down the road. But as we pulled out of my uncle’s driveway after that last stay at the house, I remember saying to Mom, “Was this a vacation to remember?” She just smiled and lit another cigarette. 6

The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST • July 2019



Rides, Treats, Games, and Fun: The Carnival Had It All By Ulla Vinkman

The Carnival started late, but quickly made up for lost time. Initially planned for Wednesday through Saturday (May 29 through June 1), the schedule changed due to a stormy week. To make up for the cancellation of the first two days, The Carnival opened two hours earlier the following two days. Crowds came out to enjoy rides, food, games, and shopping.

(Photos: Ulla Vinkman)

Sponsored annually by Jefferson’s High School Parent-TeacherStudent Association and Middle School PTA, The Carnival is a fundraiser for both organizations. Proceeds from the games and tickets support grants and student programming. The Carnival featured many rides and amusements for all ages. There were also plenty of classic treats such as cotton candy and funnel cake to keep the carnival-goers fueled. 8

The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST • July 2019




The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST • July 2019

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A Common Thread By Maria Weiskott

Township Women Who ‘Just Like to Sew’ Quilting for 20 Years It all came together, piece by piece … literally. That piecework evolved into a quilt, meticulously assembled by a few Jefferson Township women who “just liked to sew.” The small group also evolved. Before long, the few sewing fans became many. That was back in 1999. Some 20 years and about 2,000 quilts later, the rest, as we like to say, is history … again, literally. Jefferson Township’s Piece Partner Quilters Group is reminiscent of the mid-1800s, when quilting bees were the norm. While the quilting craft has had its ebbs and swells over the decades, the social aspect has remained constant. Quilting as a group is a chance for those who love sewing to gather and express their creativity in a productive way. The group’s founder, Mary Parr, calls quilting “good therapy,” adding that she thoroughly enjoys the weekly camaraderie of sewing collectively. She notes that some have joined the quilters to learn the craft, and new members are always welcome.

Mary Parr, the group's founder, and fellow quilters Lynda MacDonald, Barbara Horacek, and Suzan Maragliano with finished quilts that will eventually be gifted to charitable and benevolent organizations. (Photo: Maria Weiskott)

On our recent visit to a Piece Partner Quilters Group gathering, the lilt of laughter was heard even before reaching the parish hall of Milton United Methodist Church, where the group meets every Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. Entering the hall truly gave credence to the adage, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” A group of women sat bonding, sewing, chatting, and responding to one another’s stories with a chuckle, much the same as their predecessors did in centuries past. Surrounded by pieces of colorful fabric, scissors, spools of thread, a multitude of needles and pins, finished patches, and an array of quilts, the women nimbly stitched, eyes focused on the patterns before them while immersed in animated conversation – obviously quite adept at multi-tasking! Although the church does not charge a fee for the group’s use of the hall, the parish’s generosity is not taken lightly. Members contribute $2 each per meeting toward helping pay for the heat and electricity. Ideas for quilt designs come from various sources, including books. Some spring from the creative minds of members themselves; other designs are picked up while attending quilting shows. All these means account for the diversity of the group’s quilts. There is also diversity in the beneficiaries of their handcrafted works of art. All the quilts are donated to charitable and benevolent organizations, including Jefferson’s own first responders – where they undoubtedly offer comfort and warmth during emergency situations.

A "centennial" quilt, which hangs in the municipal building opposite the clerk's office, was officially presented to the township by the Piece Partner Quilters Group. It depicts some of the township's earliest landmarks and historical buildings. (Photo: Maria Weiskott)

“It’s an escape,” quips Lynda MacDonald, another member. Quilters have a chance to get away from worldly cares for a few hours, doing something enjoyable without daily distractions – unless, of course, the distraction is conversation, which was (and still is) another quilting bee reality. Back in the day, the bee might have been a rare opportunity for women in a sparsely populated area to share news, stories, laughter … and likely some gossip, according to historians. 12

New Jersey’s veterans are also on the list of recipients, with quilts donated to state veterans’ hospitals as well as Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Many have been given to organizations assisting women and children such as Ginny’s House and Birth Haven in nearby Newton and Sustain Our Sisters, a battered women’s shelter. Parr and MacDonald note that the township is also a recipient of the group’s handiwork in the form of a centennial quilt, which graces the hallway across from the clerk’s office in the municipal building. Placed in a position at the heart of Jefferson, the quilt can be admired and studied daily. It links the past and the present of Jefferson within a centuries-old art form that continues to engage women who “just like to sew.”

The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST • July 2019

Silt Berm, Other Cleanup Efforts Continue By Jane Primerano

Cleanup work in Lake Hopatcong and the tributary near Prospect Point Road is continuing, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as well as information received by the Lake Hopatcong Commission (LHC) in a letter from Weldon Quarry. Commission vice chair Dan McCarthy read a letter from Bob Weldon detailing added steps his business took to ameliorate a silt flow from the quarry into the lake. A berm was installed on the tributary flowing into the lake on the north side of Prospect Point Road to alleviate a siltation that occurred after a pipe broke in a detention basin on quarry property. The additional mitigation work consisted of placing hay bale dams in the stream to filter the water coming off the quarry. Weldon said in the letter that the bales will be removed and replaced as necessary. The quarry also removed some of the silt, which Weldon reported to be “innocuous” following a chemical analysis. He said the results were sent to the DEP. Commissioner Anne Pravs stated that Weldon did not address the possibility of silt in the cove migrating into the main lake. Commission secretary Colleen Lyons noted that there is a silt curtain just before the tributary enters the lake. A resident complained that a consultant brought in by the quarry would not necessarily be trustworthy. Commissioner Eric Wilsusen, who is also mayor of Jefferson Fred Steinbaum talks about airborne particles from Township, Weldon Quarry prior to comments by Anne Pravs on silt. said that any (Photo: Jane Primerano) consultant would have to be approved by the DEP and that the commission’s consultant, Princeton Hydro, would review the findings. The resident recommended that all testing be done by someone not hired through a government agency. Weldon wrote in his letter that the quarry and the DEP are working on a plan for removing more of the silt. The DEP had also contacted the commission to explain the state’s involvement. continued on page 14



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Silt Berm, Cleanup (cont’d.) The stream is the same water course polluted by an oil spill from Valiant Trucking last year. Because residual oil can be disturbed when silt is removed, said McCarthy, state inspectors will oversee the cleanup by checking for chemicals, monitoring light penetration, and examining the bottom of the stream and cove. Pravs expressed frustration with Valiant: “The DEP labeled the case closed and we never learned what they did.” Lyons reported that they had installed groundwater monitoring wells, although an update has not been provided recently. Josh Osowski, the state’s representative to the commission, said that he would ask the DEP to look into the Valiant case. McCarthy noted that Princeton Hydro needs to pay attention to the area and that the DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife should be monitoring life in the stream and lake. Commissioner Fred Steinbaum added that the LHC must be concerned with airborne particles leaving the quarry. Osowski said that if the LHC contacts the DEP, the state will examine the airborne particles. McCarthy asked Lyons to post on the commission website correspondence from the quarry and the DEP and comments by commissioners (on which the entire commission has agreed). Commissioner Mark Crawford, who is also a member of the Roxbury Township Committee, suggested that formal statements from the commission be on the website as well.


The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST • July 2019

Insights and Expertise:

Living Your Best Life Ever

I Don’t Care What People Think Of Me – But Maybe I Should By Janet Pfeiffer

There is a popular trend whereby individuals proudly declare that they don’t care what others think of them. Many believe that not needing the approval of others indicates a strong sense of self. However, this is often an incorrect assessment. Experiencing disapproval or rejection from those we like can hurt. Apathy serves as a form of self-protection. If I don’t care, then their opinions won’t upset me. Those with poor self-images or low self-esteem are less tolerant of perceived rejections and may prefer to remain aloof rather than display any sensitivity. Denial of one’s true feelings presents itself as less risky and serves to preserve one’s state of emotional well-being. Indifference also affords us freedom to behave in any manner we desire regardless of how it may impact others. I can tell you off, behave irresponsibly, show blatant disregard for you, or act out in an offensive manner – while claiming that this is who I am, and if you can’t deal with it, it’s your problem, not mine. I take no ownership, offer no apologies, and seek no course of personal improvement. Such an attitude can lead to hurt feelings, loss of respect for the other party, arguments, thoughts of retaliation, damaged relationships, and more. Caring is the very foundation of the human spirit. It provides a great service to us as well as others, in part because it helps us to monitor our behaviors. Those who are sensitive to the feelings and needs of others take all matters into consideration before saying or doing anything. They maintain full authenticity without compromising who they are, while still showing respect for those around them. They hold others in the same high regard as themselves. Let me clarify two critical points: First, caring about what others think does not mean becoming a people-pleaser. It means being aware of and sensitive to how you are being perceived by others while remaining true to yourself. Second, caring and worrying are not synonymous. I have no control over how others feel; therefore there is no cause for worry. Keep in mind, however, that the opinions of everyone we encounter impact our lives on some level. Those who think favorably of us are more likely to be supportive, cooperative, and beneficial in our lives. Those who have a negative assessment can cause us great distress. Ultimately, others have the potential to make our lives more enjoyable or more troublesome. Caring about ourselves, others, the world, and our relationships is the very heart of our humanity. The world doesn’t need more people who disregard the opinions of others; it needs more who are confident enough to engage emotionally with those around them. In doing so, they may just learn something worthwhile about themselves. So care, but don’t obsess; monitor yourself without worrying; be authentic while considerate of others. And most importantly, be at ease with your life, yourself, and others. www.TheJeffersonChronicle.com


By Carol Punturieri

J-Town Tidbits Jefferson Tidbit #1 The calendar on the township website (www.jeffersontownship.net) lists community events to keep residents informed about many interesting activities throughout Jefferson. Local organizations holding public events are invited to submit details. Click on Events Calendar in the green bar and scroll down below the calendar to enter the following information: submitter’s name, telephone number, email address, event date, event name, and brief description. Confirm that you are not a robot and click Submit. The request will be reviewed and posted in a timely manner. All residents are encouraged to check the township calendar regularly and participate in the numerous events and activities sponsored by local groups.

Jefferson Tidbit #2 Back in Jefferson’s early days, firefighters sounded an alarm using a hand-cranked siren mounted on a fire truck. In September 1937, Fire Company No. 1 in Milton installed its first electric siren, and another was installed at Fire Company No. 2 in Lake Hopatcong about 1942. Jefferson’s sirens are still used for both fire and first aid notifications, despite modern technology and advanced emergency notification systems. Cell phone and pager batteries can die; the volunteer firefighter/squad member may not have a phone physically present or hear it ring; the signal may be spotty; text messaging and Smartphone apps can be delayed. However, there is no missing or mistaking wailing sirens! They also serve as alerts for pedestrians and motorists in the vicinity of a firehouse or first aid station that an emergency is in progress. In Jefferson, the number of siren blasts indicates the type of emergency: four for fire and two for first aid. There is also a noon siren, which is more than an audible indicator of lunch time; it adjusts the charge to ensure that the siren system is in good working order.

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The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST • July 2019

Reception Celebrates Jefferson’s Student Artists By Ulla Vinkman

Jefferson’s student artists for the school year 2018-19 were hosted at a reception on June 4 in the high school media center. The Student Artist of the Month program, founded more than 20 years ago by Jack Kelly, is sponsored by the Jefferson Arts Committee and local school art teachers. The shelves of the media center featured an impressive display of each month’s winning artwork submitted by students.

Middle school art teacher David DeVries introduced the guest speaker – his niece, Jessica DeVries, a fashion designer. She gave an inspirational talk about her own path to art, which has led her to designing active wear in the fashion business. The talk was accompanied by a slide show of her “art history,” including portfolio pieces, and concluded with actual samples of her work. The root of her message: Keep on creating, and the world is here to support you. Several of the art teachers also displayed and discussed their own works. They echoed the guest speaker’s message: Keep on creating and changing; do not to wait for others to create.

Jason Nicholas, head of the program, welcomed the monthly winners and their families. He invited each young artist individually to the front of the room to be recognized, and then a group photo was taken.

It was a proud moment for the students and their families. The evening concluded with refreshments served by members of the Jefferson Arts Committee. View the full photo gallery at www.TheJeffersonChronicle.com.

Artwork from all of the Artists of the Month was displayed around the JTHS media center. (Photos: Ulla Vinkman)



Jefferson Farmers Market Move to Firemen’s Field Offers More Space, More Parking, More Potential

Galfo stationed himself as a representative not only of the market, but also of buying local in general. He pointed out that although purchasing from local farmers may be more expensive than buying at supermarkets, it has many advantages. One is that fruits and vegetables are fresher. In addition, keeping land in farming is good for the entire community, as is teaching children where their food comes from.

The first Sunday of the Jefferson Farmers Market at its new location was busy. “It’s very airy,” said market manager Tom Galfo about the location in the parking lot of Firemen’s Field off Route 15. The original location, in the municipal building parking lot, had less parking and a narrower footprint, he pointed out.

The Farmers Market is located at 750 Route 15 South, behind Bank of America at the intersection with Bowling Green Parkway. It is open every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October, rain or shine. For more information, contact Tom Galfo at TheFeistypepper@gmail.com or 973-919-5657.

Vendors, Residents Flock to New Location for By Jane Primerano

Not everything is new this year. Returning vendors include The Feisty Pepper (Galfo’s business), Sparta Mountain Farm, and Jersey Pickles, which usually had a long line of customers. Also returning was local musician Jeiris Cook on the guitar. Galfo said there will be entertainment every week, with acts rotating from week to week. The market is totally dog friendly, Galfo noted, and among the new vendors was Mojo Dog Treats, which attracted a number of human customers with their canine friends. Jersey Girl Cheese of Branchville offered free samples of freshly made mozzarella and aged Italian-style cheeses. GrowingDirt from Great Meadows sold its pasture-raised meat. The original vendors also introduced new products. In addition to its jams and jellies, Sparta Mountain Farm sold a new line of hot sauces. Galfo handed out samples of “cottoncandy-flavored” grapes, which are not local but were popular among the youngest visitors. Township recreation director Grace Rhinesmith had a table for the Mayors Wellness Campaign. Most weeks will see representatives of the campaign at the market, she said. Among the local initiatives promoted was a wellness program that is going national: Park Rx America, a community health initiative that started in the Washington, D.C., chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Rhinesmith said that doctors can write prescriptions for activities in parks, and park managers can enter their locations in an app to enable people to easily find them and the activities suggested by doctors. According to Rhinesmith, these outdoor activities are very helpful for people with mental illness and anger management issues. 18

The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST • July 2019

(Photos: Carene Kratzel)

No Ifs, Ands, or ‘Butts’ About It

Sophomore Meghan Craig is working with the Lake Hopatcong Foundation to ensure that children in lake communities have a voice in the health of the lake. (Photo provided by Meghan Craig)

By Jane Primerano

Academy Students Proving Kids Have a Role in Environmental Future Enthusiastic high school students are enrolled in the Environmental Academy at Jefferson Township High School, offered through the Morris County School of Technology. Because Jefferson encompasses Lake Hopatcong, Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, and the site of Kean University’s Sustainability Science Center at the former Paulist monastery, it was considered the obvious location when the tech school ran out of room. Sophomore Meghan Craig is working with the Lake Hopatcong Foundation (LHF) to ensure that children in lake communities have a voice in the health of the lake. Acknowledging that the second semester research project in the sophomore year usually involves the study of a particular animal, Meghan said she asked her teacher, Nancy FitzGerald, if she could instead organize a group of young people to work on lake issues. Once she got permission, she approached the LHF for assistance. Meghan wanted her group to consist of participants from ages 12-20 with various viewpoints. “The 12-year-olds can talk about what their parents do,” she said, “and the 20-year-olds can fix problems.” She started by surveying students from Jefferson’s middle and high schools about what they see as the biggest threat to the lake. “Adults grew up with certain problems, but children have a different perspective.” The kids who were surveyed consider litter, especially cigarette butts, as the biggest problem. FitzGerald confirmed this point.

Speaking about the November cleanup of Lake Hopatcong during the drawdown this past winter, she noted that “five percent of all the trash was cigarette butts.” Many of the cigarettes found were in the shallows near restaurants. Meghan and her group are attacking the cigarette butt problem by looking for new ways to dispose of them. Josh Martorelli, a sophomore in Meghan’s group, said that fish and other aquatic animals can mistake cigarettes for food and ingest the tobacco, so the students have been talking about a new disposal unit. At a recent event, Josh showed off his project called “litter-pops.” He encased found items in resin and displayed them: tobacco, a part of a filter, shreds of tires, and micro-plastics. Other items found in volume during the lake cleanup were plastic cigarette filters, straws, balloons, and fishing line. The juniors in the academy are working to create a disposal unit for fishing line, FitzGerald said. It will not solve the problem of line that breaks during fishing, but it does provide a place for discarded line.


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No Ifs, Ands, or ‘Butts’ (cont’d.) Four freshman academy students – Owen Helfand, Andrew Henderson, Neylan Preetancha, and Conner Stevens – made soap dishes out of tires imprinted into clay, and then sold the dishes at the annual Lake Hopatcong block party and at the academy’s Ecofest. They were also brought to a Clean Communities conference in May to demonstrate the number of tires pulled from the lake, FitzGerald reported. In addition, students sold necklaces made from items she found while beachcombing.

Josh Martorelli holds the “litter-pops” he made from trash found in Lake Hopatcong during the November cleanup. (Photo: Jane Primerano)

FitzGerald mused, “When we were pulling trash out of the lake, I kept thinking to myself: It is really a shame that we can’t repurpose them in some way. I grew up with Lake Hopatcong as my backyard, so the lake is near and dear to me.”

Take a Walk on the Wild Side – on Liffy Island By April Leaver

leisurely stroll on a stone path, while the other is more rustic with some challenging hills. The second trail entrance is from Prospect Point Road near Northwood Road, with parking space across the street. Both access points take hikers to the new boardwalk that crosses over to Liffy Island. Paddlers can also access the island. Depending on the water level, kayaks and small boats can pass safely under the boardwalk, which is five feet from the ground, although many boulders are hidden just below the surface on the marshy side. A pile of large rocks on the Liffy Island side of the boardwalk currently presents a challenge for exiting from the bridge onto the island. According to Jefferson’s mayor, Eric Wilsusen, that section is still in progress as of this writing. In addition, the next phase of the project will clear the primitive island paths. Nevertheless, residents are welcome to use the boardwalk and explore the island now.

A gorgeous view from the Liffy Island boardwalk. (Photo: April Leaver)

The boardwalk connecting mainland Jefferson to Liffy Island on Lake Hopatcong is nearly complete, including the recent addition of handrails. Liffy Island was the first land protected through the Open Space and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund created by Morris County freeholders through a referendum in 1992.

The Morris County freeholders are planning an opening celebration, tentatively set for October 18, said Wilsusen. Stay up to date on Liffy Island’s progress through The Jefferson Chronicle online (www.thejeffersonchronicle.com) or the monthly TJC DIGEST print magazine. To learn more about the history of Liffy Island, visit www.lakehopatconghistory.com.

“Lake Hopatcong is New Jersey’s largest lake and Liffy Island the largest undeveloped land of any consequence on the lake,” according to James Leach, former township administrator. Leach and former mayor Russell Felter secured hundreds of acres of open space in Jefferson during their 20-year tenure. Hikers can reach Liffy Island, a former Boy Scout camp, via the “James Leach Boardwalk Trail.” Felter honored Leach for his years of work on the project in a proclamation naming him Citizen of the Year in 2017. The trail is accessible from two points. An entrance on Brady Road behind the Prospect Point Park basketball court leads to two trails created with assistance from the Lake Hopatcong Foundation through a $15,000 grant, according to Leach. One offers a 20

The Liffy Island boardwalk from the trail. (Photo: April Leaver)

The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST • July 2019



event calendar events are subject to change or cancellation without prior notice. lH = lake Hopatcong Or = Oak ridge



Smithsonian Water/Ways Exhibit, LH Train Station

Mon., July 1 - sat., aug. 10 125 landing rd., lakehopatcongfoundation.org/water-ways landing

Morris County 4H Fair Chubb Park

Thurs., July 18 - sun., July 21 morris.njaes.rutgers.edu/4h/

Gazebo Concert Series: Tequila Rose

Fri., July 19, 7 p.m. 1033 Weldon rd., Or 973-697-2032 rain venue: 1010 Weldon rd., Or

FREE Community Yoga Black Bear Fitness

Mondays 6:15 p.m. and 681 route 15 south, lH saturdays 10:45 a.m., 973-663-9300

JT Farmers Market Firemen’s Field

sundays, July 21 - Oct. 27 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 973-919-5657

FREE Line Dancing for Seniors Tues., July 23, 10:15 a.m. Black Bear Fitness 973-663-8404 x5


290 West Main st., chester

750 rt. 15 south, lH 681 rt. 15 south, lH

Gazebo Concert Series: The Dumonts

Fri., July 26, 7 p.m. 1033 Weldon rd., Or 973-697-2032 rain venue: 1010 Weldon rd., Or

37th Annual nJ Festival of Ballooning, Solberg Airport

Fri., July 26 - sun. July 28 balloonfestival.com

2019 LHF Gala – Tastings, Tapas, and Topsiders @ LHYC

Fri., July 27, 6 p.m. $125, 973-663-2500

FREE Line Dancing for Seniors Tues., July 30, 10:15 a.m. Black Bear Fitness 973-663-8404 x5

39 Thor-solberg rd., Whitehouse station 75 N. Bertrand rd., Mt. arlington 681 rt. 15 south, lH

Gazebo Concert Series: Country Comfort

Fri., aug. 2, 7 p.m. 1033 Weldon rd., Or 973-697-2032 rain venue: 1010 Weldon rd., Or

nJ State Fair Sussex County Fairgrounds

Fri., aug. 2 - sun., aug. 10 sussexcountyfairgrounds.org

Crab Fest Bowling Green Golf Club

sat., aug. 3 53 school House rd., Or bowlinggreengolf.com/events

Alfresco at the Farm

sat., aug. 3, 4 - 7 p.m. 14 Maple ave., growitgreenmorristown.org/alfresco Morristown

Gazebo Concert Series: Sunset Soundz

Fri., aug. 9, 7 p.m. 1033 Weldon rd., Or 973-697-2032 rain venue: 1010 Weldon rd., Or

Gazebo Concert Series: Reminisce

Fri., aug. 16, 7 p.m. 1033 Weldon rd., Or 973-697-2032 rain venue: 1010 Weldon rd., Or

Jazz and Blues Festival

sat., aug. 17, 12 - 10 p.m. morristownjazzandblues.com

new Jersey Uke Fest

Fri., aug. 23 - sun., aug. 25 folkproject.org/njukefest

Vacation Bible Camp our Lady Star of the Sea

Mon., aug. 26 - Fri., aug. 30 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., 973-663-0124

nJ Taco Festival Sussex County Fairgrounds

sat., sept. 7, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. njtacofestival.com

37 Plains rd., augusta

rt. 124 and rt. 202 Morristown Whippany/ Morristown 204 espanong rd, lH 37 Plains rd., augusta

See the website to view all events and to post your events online ... FREE!*

www.TheJeffersonChronicle.com/events *Selected events will be printed in the DIGEST.


Missed an issue? View archived DIGEST issues: www.TheJeffersonChronicle.com/digestmagazine The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST • July 2019

In Brief Jefferson One of Best Communities for Music Education Jefferson was recognized as one of 2019’s Best Communities for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants for showing “what can be done when teachers, school and community leaders, and parents agree that music is essential and not optional as a learning force that must be available to all students.” The award is given to districts that make music education a core part of their curriculum based on funding, staffing, standards of education, and access. “Our students and staff have a great deal to be proud of,” said superintendent Jeanne Howe. “This is the fifth year in a row we have been honored with this award, which showcases the dedication of our entire community to music education.”

Jefferson Squirt Wins League Title By Tyler Delp

Colin White, two-time Stanley Cup champion with the New Jersey Devils, meets with both Squirt and Peewee teams at the team banquet. (Photo: Tyler Delp)

The Jefferson Youth Falcons celebrated their Squirt hockey league title on April 30 with a former New Jersey Devils player. After last year’s rough season, the Falcons got their revenge, finishing the season 14-1 and ranked third best in Morris County. The Peewee hockey team also had great success, finishing third in the county. Colin White, two-time Stanley Cup champion with the New Jersey Devils, signed autographs. Mayor Eric Wilsusen, who played on one of the first Jefferson youth hockey teams, noted the large selection of sports available to township kids.

Join Our Chronicle Team! Looking for qualified, motivated and dedicated individuals for these positions: - Contributing Writers (Local Issue Reporting: Government, Schools, Environment)

- Advertising Sales Representative (Commission-based)

- Editorial Assistant See full job postings at:

jobs.TheJeffersonChronicle.com www.TheJeffersonChronicle.com



The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST • July 2019

Profile for The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST

The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST - July 2019 Issue  

Summer continues to offer Jefferson residents a plethora of great activities and events, both indoors and outside. Check the event calendar...

The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST - July 2019 Issue  

Summer continues to offer Jefferson residents a plethora of great activities and events, both indoors and outside. Check the event calendar...