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From the Editor school’s open! For the safety of our children, a friendly reminder to our readers: When you encounter a school bus with flashing red lights stopped on a road with no physical barrier separating lanes of traffic, do not pass in either direction until the lights are turned off. Passing is both hazardous and against the law. even without a school bus present, proceed with caution when students are walking to and from school.

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

Vice President and Director of Business Development: Christopher Bean christopher.bean@TheJeffersonchronicle.com

Deputy editor/Print copy editor: Lise Greene

something new! Mayor eric Wilsusen has been in office more than half a year. check our update on the accomplishments, challenges, and goals of his administration. something historic! Before the quaint building in the center of Milton became the township museum, it served another important purpose. read about Jefferson’s first public library in our snapshots of History column. something social! Get to know some of your neighbors through this month’s profile on the people who run the New Hope Food Pantry and Thrift shop at Milton United Methodist church. We invite you to enjoy all of these articles and much more in this issue of the DIGesT.

Kevin L.

Deputy editor/Digital copy editor: sue toth

Pattky, Jr.

senior contributing editor/consultant: Maria Weiskott


contributing Writers/Photographers: Kalen Luciano, Jane Primerano, Jim Dougherty, Carol Punturieri, tony Haryn, Janet Pfeiffer, Ulla Vinkman, erin Ackerly, Christopher Bean

Design and layout: CRK Advertising, Inc. www.crKadvertising.com

advertising sales representative: elisa DeYoung 973-464-6334 elisa.deyoung@TheJeffersonchronicle.com

contact Information: newsroom@theJeffersonChronicle.com feedback@theJeffersonChronicle.com advertising@theJeffersonChronicle.com the Jefferson Chronicle 973-384-1799

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 ©2019 by The Jefferson chronicle, llc. all rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the publisher.

Please recycle

Articles: Three swings, Three Hits for Mayor ..................................4 National attention; local solutions ....................................5 No ‘copping Out’ at Junior Police academy ..................8 a stream of Information … literally ....................................9 Township’s Hearts and arms Open Wide........................12 a Morale Booster: First Town library ................................14 adding ‘More life’ to Nutrition............................................16 For What It’s Worth ....................................................................6 J-town tidbits..............................................................................10 Insights and expertise ..............................................................12 snapshots of History ................................................................14 event Calendar............................................................................18 In Brief ............................................................................................19 www.theJeffersonChronicle.com


Three Swings, Three Hits Transparency, Efficiency, Economic Development: Mayor’s Batting Average High During First Months of Tenure By Kalen Luciano

After more than half a year in office, Mayor Eric Wilsusen is following through with his campaign promises to bring more transparency, efficiency, and economic development to the town. Last year, Wilsusen won the Republican primary on a platform of change and the promise of a new vision for Jefferson. He became the first new mayor in 20 years after running unopposed in the general election. “Any organization that I’ve ever belonged to, I don’t come in to try to light the world on fire. I don’t try to change everything,” Wilsusen said. “I just want to make it a little bit better than I found it.” Wilsusen’s first priority was maintaining a positive atmosphere in the municipal building. Viewing the town as a multi-million-dollar business that provides a service to the community, he believes that happy employees are more willing to help residents, making them happy in return.

In addition, Wilsusen created a social media page to give residents an idea of his activities as mayor. He posts everything from weddings to ceremonial occasions at Town Council meetings. Efficiency In his efforts to make the municipal government more “customerfriendly,” Wilsusen wanted to consolidate responsibilities and better plan for the future, saving residents time and tax dollars. One of the biggest responsibilities is code enforcement, including issues such as property maintenance and abandoned homes – a job often juggled among three people. When Wilsusen took office, he assigned the task to one person, alleviating the dissatisfaction experienced by residents who were previously redirected under the three-person system. “I want people to come to this building and feel customerfriendly,” Wilsusen said. “We provide a service. That’s what we do here. When somebody comes to this building looking for information or answers, they’re getting the right information or answers.” Wilsusen is also considering a company that will evaluate the municipality’s facilities and use software to help predict future maintenance costs. He hopes this change will assist the town in budgeting for the future and controlling taxes. Economic Development Jefferson faces some unique barriers to economic development. The Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act, which preserves New Jersey’s open space, prevents development on a large amount of township land. The lack of sewers is also a drawback for business. “We have quite a few challenges as far as driving economic development,” the mayor said. “Now we have to be a little innovative.” Wilsusen pushed for the Town Council to change a defunct economic advisory board from a council committee to a mayoral committee, giving him the power to appoint members and restart its work. After the council passed this change, he appointed nine people from the business community and a cross-section of the town.

Mayor Eric Wilsusen. (photo courtesy of Eric Wilsusen)

Transparency For Wilsusen, a key to ensuring that residents are well-informed is providing a transparent government that shares as much information as it can with the public. He thought performance in this regard could be improved, particularly online. After taking office, he had old information updated on the township website and wanted to go further by revamping the site altogether, as promised during the campaign. An intern recently highlighted the disarray of the website. “The first thing she said was that she went to our webpage and had a hard time finding anything,” Wilsusen said. “That’s not what I want to hear. I want people to be able to go there and get information.” Wilsusen made it a priority during the budget-making process to get a web provider to develop a new site where people can easily access information. He also ramped up the process of scanning and putting on the website basic documents that could previously be received only by filing an Open Public Records Act request. Residents will soon be able to obtain this information through an online portal being developed with assistance from a management software company. 4

“We’re basically starting from scratch,” the mayor said. The committee will gather ideas and information to create an economic development plan, reaching out to the Morris County Economic Development Corporation for help and looking at other towns in similar situations to generate ideas. Making Good on His Promises In Jefferson Township, the position of mayor is not full time. When Wilsusen is unavailable, the business administrator is in charge of implementing these changes. “I spend as much time as I possibly can in the office – more to direct and set that agenda and make sure those goals are being fulfilled, but it’s really creating a team,” he said. “It’s putting the right people in place to help get those goals achieved going forward.” After searching for the right candidate, Wilsusen hired Debra Milliken as the new business administrator. He considers her a team leader who will be key in making the changes he promised during the campaign. “You have a lot of new people, a lot of new ideas – fresh ideas,” the mayor observed about his administration. “I think that momentum is really going to pay off in the future.”

the Jefferson Chronicle DIGest • september 2019

National Attention; Local Solutions While National Media Report Algae Issues, Lake Hopatcong Commission Seeks Remedial Solutions from Locals By Jane Primerano

Lake Hopatcong is more famous than ever, but not necessarily in a good way. An in-depth Washington Post article on global warming featured New Jersey – and the lake in particular – as endangered by climate change, with the lake’s early-season algal bloom attributed to unusually hot, wet weather. The investigative report was reprinted on Sunday, August 18, on the front page of a number of newspapers, including The Star-Ledger, and shared extensively online.

View from Route 181 overlooking Lake Hopatcong on July 6, 2019. (photo by Christopher Bean)

On Monday, August 19, the Lake Hopatcong Commission entertained public comment on the lake’s problems from a standing room only audience at the Lake Hopatcong Train Station. Chair Ron Smith had difficulty in holding public comment to the limit of two minutes each as various residents presented concerns and suggested solutions. Before the audience weighed in, the commission’s environmental consultant, Fred Lubnow of Princeton Hydro, reported on the latest water testing results. Some of the tests are remarkably low-tech, he noted. For example, turbidity is measured using the Secchi disk, invented in 1865 and still the gold standard. The disk shows that the water is darker and more opaque this year. After the five-foot drawdown, the algal blooms hit the lake in June and limited light penetration. According to Lubnow, the cause of the algal bloom was heavy rain followed immediately by very hot days early in the season. His firm has been monitoring the outflow of a stream that runs from Weldon Quarry into the lake, where the amount of phosphorus entering the water is equal to the amount from a nearby control stream. Residents have been concerned that siltation from a broken pipe at the quarry might be a contributing factor to the algal bloom because the bacteria in the bloom feed on phosphorus. Lubnow said that the amount of phosphorous is not the only criterion. The percentage of dissolved oxygen also influences the amount of bacteria: With less dissolved oxygen, more phosphorous is released. The quarry stream actually has more phosphorous to feed the bacteria than the control stream. The commission addressed options for controlling other sources of phosphorous as well. continued on page 6 www.theJeffersonChronicle.com


continued from page 5

Alternatives for Control New Jersey’s prohibition against phosphorous in fertilizers should eliminate runoff from lawns, but phosphorous also occurs naturally in the soil and enters stormwater from other sources. The commission discussed purchasing a vacuum truck for cleaning storm drains in all four towns surrounding the lake. Two towns already have these machines. Jefferson’s mayor, Eric Wilsusen, an alternate member of the commission, noted that there are 11,000 storm drains in the sprawling township, which has the most lake frontage, and said that a shared vacuum truck would be beneficial. Hopatcong’s mayor, Mike Francis, said that his town does not have the manpower to clean every storm drain that needs it and that he would support a shared vacuum truck.

The Lake Hopatcong Train Station filled with residents of the lake communities. (photo by Jane Primerano)

Lubnow stated that multi-chambered baffle boxes, which are installed in many storm drains, settle particulates, removing between 30 and 40 percent of the phosphorous. Sleeves and filter socks are being installed in storm drains at the bottom of drainage areas to remove even more. In addition, using strong oxidizers is more effective than the former standard, copper-based algicides, which actually release toxins from the blue-green algae. Installing sewers in areas of the lake that do not currently have them is frequently discussed. Wilsusen noted that Jefferson identified many hurdles to installing sewers there following a study in 2002. For example, the Lake Shawnee section is located in the Highlands Preservation Area, where sewering is not allowed. Commissioner Robert Tessier, the state Department of Community Affairs representative, said that the Highlands Council could be approached about an exemption.

For What It’s Worth

Meet the New Boss – Same as the Old Boss? By Tony Haryn

The other day there was a knock on the front door and my wife answered it. Standing there was a tall, good-looking guy with magazines in his hand. “Tell him we get enough magazines and don’t need any more,” I hollered down the stairs to her. Then I hear him say, “Hello, I’m Kevin Pattky, the editor-in-chief of The Jefferson Chronicle.” I am standing there with my mouth open, looking at my boss – who could be my grandson! I am at least 40 years older than he is. My surprise is because I worked for the Aim newspaper nine years and never met my editor. I used to call him the Shadow, and wouldn’t know him in an elevator carrying two people if I was one of them. All he would do was email me with messages like “you can’t say that, it’s a family newspaper!” or “that is not a word!” – and then send me a monthly paycheck. Now I am staring at my very young boss in the flesh. I don’t know if I should offer him cookies and milk or a Scotch and water. Kevin is here to drop off the new monthly magazine and introduce himself. He is polite, articulate, and to the point. I, on the other hand, am tongue-tied and don’t know what to say to this guy – I mean, my boss. My wife is standing next to me with this cat-that-just-ate-the-canary smile. As hard as I try, I cannot get my brain and mouth to work in unison, and remember that I am wearing a T-shirt proclaiming “People, you gotta hate them.” I go to shake his hand, but lose my balance and almost fall into him. When I finally get steadied, my normal grip-of-steel handshake is more like a wet noodle. At this point, I want to say that I am Tony’s father and my son will be home later from the gym. After chatting a few minutes, we walk him to the door and I notice a woman sitting in his SUV. “That’s my mom,” Kevin says proudly. She looks young enough to be my daughter and now I want to fall under the wheels of his car as it pulls away. “How did I do?” I ask my wife. “I wouldn’t hire you!” she laughs. The next day there is another knock on the door and this time it’s Lise Greene, who edits my stories. We are the same age, but she looks 20 years younger and fit. She is wearing shorts, running shoes, and a T-shirt that says, ” Want to go dancing?” She asks, “Did you meet Kevin? Isn’t he great?”

Another possibility is connecting 50 homes on Crescent Cove to the Hopatcong Borough sewers. Francis said that is part of his plan to clean up the cove, which is known as the most problematic on the lake. Francis and others have proposed the use of sterile grass carp to eat the leafy weeds that plague the cove. Lubnow said that enforcement of septic management ordinances, such as the one Jefferson has, helps keep phosphorous out of the lake because pumping out tanks prevents leach fields from becoming anoxic. Francis reported that Hopatcong has drafted a septic management ordinance.

Well, I guess my first meeting with the boss went well, because I am still here – and hopefully, he will pay me for this story.

On the bright side, the algal bloom has reduced lake weeds over the summer by keeping sunlight from penetrating. 6

Kevin L. Pattky, Jr., president, with Lise Greene, deputy editor. the Jefferson Chronicle DIGest • september 2019



No ‘Copping Out’ at the Academy Young Residents Learn Full Scope of Police Work at Annual Training Event By Ulla Vinkman (photos by Ulla Vinkman and Erin Ackerly)

The 16th annual Junior Police Academy took place from August 5-9 at the township’s middle and high schools. The 69 cadets enrolled for the weeklong camp learned about being a police officer as well as personal responsibility and accountability. The 2019 academy was organized by the Jefferson Police Department, led by school resource officer Christopher Fabian and records clerk Erin Ackerly. The primary goal is to build bonds and trust between the police and the community. Students in grades 6-8 (ages 11-13) participate as first and second year cadets, wearing yellow and blue shirts respectively, as well as third year junior instructors, identified by light blue shirts. The junior instructors are selected through an application and interview process.


This year featured some new activities, including the Police and Security Mobile Training Lab’s Use of Force Simulator. The simulator presents real-life scenarios in which cadets must react to what is happening on-screen. Each begins with a “dispatcher” letting them know what the call is. They enter with their guns drawn, announcing themselves as police and calling for the suspects to surrender. In most cases, suspects are armed, requiring cadets to react with their weapons. After each exercise, the instructor provides a performance review of the cadets’ reactions and responses. Another new activity was a driving while impaired (DWI) simulation. Cadets wear Fatal Vision Alcohol Impairment Simulation Goggles to distort their sight while driving through a set of cones. The exercise demonstrates the difficulty of driving while impaired. The camp also includes physical training, a visit to the police academy, self defense, polygraph, K-9 bomb squad, firearms safety, and other activities in the company of friends and police officers.

the Jefferson Chronicle DIGest • september 2019

A Stream of Information … Literally Wakening Environmental Consciousness During Smithsonian Institution’s Water/Ways Exhibit By Jane Primerano (photos by Ulla Vinkman)

“What is your water story?” This question appeared periodically throughout the Smithsonian Institution’s Water/Ways Exhibit at the Lake Hopatcong Foundation Environmental and Cultural Center in Landing – more familiarly known as the Lake Hopatcong Train Station. The interactive exhibit was open Monday-Saturday from July 1 through August 10, thanks to the dedicated corps of Lake Hopatcong Foundation (LHF) volunteers who were there after office hours. The foundation noted that the exhibit included photos, objects, film, audio, and interactive activities to help visitors explore “the endless motion of the water cycle, water’s effect on landscape, settlement, and migration, and its impact on culture and spirituality.” Political and economic planning, for example, are affected by access to and control of water.

Featured writings in the display provided information on the many ways that water impacts and touches our lives.

Water/Ways is part of the Smithsonian “Museum on Main Street” project. Donna Macalle-Holly, grants and program director for the LHF, explained that the New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH) funded the exhibit on its travels through the state. Landing was the first stop, and representatives of the subsequent sites assisted in setting it up to gain experience for doing their own assembly later.

curved walls. Topics included defining what is a watershed, how climate change affects the water cycle, and how students in the community learn about water. Water gives life and shapes our world: “the ultimate architect,” a slogan on one of the walls proclaimed. Science was joined by spirituality in the exhibit, An interactive feature showed which noted that the Old how much water is needed for everyday items. Testament creation story describes the earth as nothing but darkness with the Spirit of God “hovering over the waters.” Also quoted was Lao Tzu, who said that “nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” Observing that water inspires humanity, the exhibit invited visitors to tell their own water stories. To that end, the LHF hosted a story-telling opportunity at the Mount Arlington Public Library on July 25 as one of two events it was required to sponsor along with the exhibit. The other was a Wild and Scenic Film Festival at the Palace Theatre in Netcong on July 13. According to the LHF, the six-week showing was a resounding success with more than 700 visitors. “Watching the way different people were drawn into different aspects of the exhibit really showcased how deeply humanity is connected with water, and how it resonates with us in a variety of ways,” said Jessica Murphy, foundation president.

Macalle-Holly applied for the grant in 2016. When a representative of the NJCH toured the station at that time, “nothing had been done,” she reported. She told him about the benches that would be taking up space in the waiting room, assuring him that renovations would be completed by the time the exhibit was on tour. “When they came in to set up, they were ecstatic about the space,” she said. The large, curved, free-standing exhibit walls fit perfectly in the entrance and waiting room. Visitors watched short videos and studied information on the

The exhibit featured many wave-like displays winding their way through the hall.


By Carol Punturieri

J-Town Tidbits The New Hope Thrift Shop in Milton recycles gently used clothing, shoes, boots, linens, toys, books, tools, holiday decorations, kitchenware, and household goods. Donated items are sold at low prices (from 5¢ up to about $10), and the income is used for local and global outreach ministries at Milton United Methodist Church. According to volunteer Carol Robbins, the church held periodic rummage sales for many years. When a new church was constructed, the former building at 316 Dover-Milton Road became available for a year-round thrift shop. New Hope was opened in 2014 to provide everyone, but especially those with limited incomes, a convenient place to shop for their homes and families. The recycle and reuse concept also allows the church to be a steward of the environment, keeping unwanted items out of landfills. Contributions are often exchanged between the thrift shop and Miss Elizabeth’s Shoppe at the Jefferson Township Museum across the road. Clothing that cannot be sold or stored is placed in the donation shed behind the Milton First Aid Squad building. In addition, proceeds from the shop have benefited Jefferson high school students in need through the purchase of prom tickets, yearbooks, and supplies for special needs classes. Volunteers from the church and the community sort and separate donations, price and display them in an organized manner, serve as cashiers, and help customers. Pastor Ellen Bechtold often participates, and special needs high school students provide assistance while learning valuable life skills. Shoppers may find brand name clothing, books by well-known authors, lovely pieces of china, useful household items, toys to keep at grandma’s house, or pieces to create a unique outfit or costume. A shopping adventure awaits bargain hunters as well as those who appreciate the value of gently used items. New Hope is open for shopping and donations on Wednesdays from 10-2, Thursdays from 2-7, and Saturdays from 10-2. (Note: The following items cannot be accepted: VHS tapes, cassettes, exercise equipment, televisions, computers, electronics, baby furniture, car seats, game systems, audio components.) For donation questions, call 973-697-3194.


the Jefferson Chronicle DIGest • september 2019



Insights and Expertise:

Living Your Best Life Ever

Why Me? and Tomatoes

Jefferson Volunteers Quietly Strive to Fill Necessity Gaps for Families in Need By Jim Dougherty (photos by Carene Kratzel)

By Janet Pfeiffer

“I did everything I was supposed to: I worked hard, raised my family, and helped others. Now I’m retiring and want to enjoy life and I was just diagnosed with cancer. It’s not fair!” A tearful client sat in my office steeped in anger over the injustice of her diagnosis, fluctuating between rage and despair. Life handed her a raw deal. Over and over she asked, “Why me?” She didn’t have any of the risk factors associated with cancer. Yet one day it appeared uninvited, unwelcomed, intrusively disrupting her life. Many people feel persecuted at some time in their lives: a loyal employee terminated after a lifetime of hard work to make way for hiring a younger person at a lesser salary; an innocent individual accused of a crime he or she did not commit, acquitted yet shunned by society; a serious injury sustained by a good Samaritan helping a stranger in need, leading to insurmountable medical bills and ultimate bankruptcy. In truth, none of us escapes injustices in life. We do what’s right and expect good to be our reward. When the opposite occurs, the natural response is anger. Left unresolved, it can progress into bitterness. Many query as to why this unfairness is happening to them. Yet it is not always imperative to understand why. More importantly, we need to move beyond self-pity to self-discovery. Inquire instead, “What am I intended to learn from and do with this experience?” Unexpected events can prove to be the very stepping stones we need to advance us in life – farther, in fact, than had our circumstances conformed to our initial expectations. I’m grateful to never have been plagued with self-pity. I have survived an unwanted divorce, an eating disorder, a long and painful estrangement from my children, domestic violence, financial devastation, betrayal, and more. “Why me?” has never existed in my vocabulary. Through all life’s unfairness, injustice, and pain, I have never once felt sorry for myself. I’ve always found meaning and purpose in these experiences and ultimately discovered the higher good in each. As I reflect back on my life, I can appreciate every challenge that unexpectedly interrupted my plans because I was the ultimate beneficiary. When I was a child, my dad had a large vegetable garden. His prized tomato plants grew taller than eight feet and produced the most succulent tomatoes in town. He fertilized them with common horse manure (aka sh*t) and the plants never complained when they were “manured” on. Instead, they used the unsavory compost to sweeten their fruit and to reach enormous heights. It was as if they instinctively knew the benefits being provided to them. Perhaps we could learn one of life’s most valuable lessons from some very wise beefsteak tomatoes: When life unexpectedly delivers a load of manure, use it to your advantage. Achieve incredible stature and enjoy the savory fruits of your circumstance. 12

Township’s Hearts and Arms: Wide Open, Warm, and Caring

Try to picture it: Thanksgiving dinner, Sunday brunch, summer cookouts, ice cream after the big game. Locally and across cultures, food serves as a focal point for family, community, culture, and celebration. It fills our biological need while also filling our desire for security, camaraderie, and sharing. Many households in Jefferson live in a comfortable relative abundance. At a casual glance, our neighbors and friends seem to be on the same footing as ourselves – sometimes up and sometimes down, but mostly fine. The unseen reality is that a number of food insecure families and individuals live right in our community. While this fact escapes the notice of many (even the most engaged and active among us), it has not gone unaddressed.

The variety of volunteers mirrors the variety of neighbors helped.

Milton United Methodist Church, for example, runs the New Hope Food Pantry and Thrift Shop, which draw the attention of residents from all sectors of our community. The unflagging efforts of a few dedicated individuals create and maintain a forum where those with extra can share with those who need a little more. This is done so quietly, and smoothly, and humbly, that few likely realize just how many groups and individuals are involved. Carol Robbins (a former teacher in the Jefferson school system), her husband, Everett, and a few others – Jim and Adele Wildermouth, Dotty Leonard, Barbara Horacek – help to guide operations at the food pantry and thrift shop. They coordinate contributions from individuals, local businesses, and even some major corporations. Acme has begun donating its nearly expired foods. The Feisty Pepper brings local fresh produce. Individuals contribute canned goods, dry goods, cookies, crackers, pasta, sauces, soup, veggies, and more. Proceeds from monetary gifts and thrift shop sales purchase toiletries, milk, peanut butter, jelly, fruits, meats, and even pet supplies. “We wouldn’t want any family to have to choose between having the food they need and keeping the pet they love,” says Robbins. Before our students return to school, the pantry buys bags, pens, pencils, and books to send them off well prepared for success on every level. When the holidays come around, families go home with entire meals: a full turkey dinner at Thanksgiving and a turkey or a ham for Christmas, complete with all the trimmings

the Jefferson Chronicle DIGest • september 2019

– and pie, of course. Easter baskets bring smiles in the springtime. The food and supplies are gathered (sometimes purchased), sorted, inspected, and distributed by a small army of volunteers. High school students with special considerations come out to do some of the shopping and arranging of food, Neighbors, businesses, companies, and volunteers serving their community come together to make this dream a reality. while meeting educational requirements for life skills learning. Teens, scouts, and church members give their time and energy – more hands are always welcome! Local business owners and entrepreneurs make cash donations without recognition, and one community member even set up a memorial trust (which is due to run out soon). When the food pantry began in 1999, it served 10-12 families in the township. These days, more than 100 households frequent the food pantry when the doors open twice each month. Volunteers warmly welcome families, individuals, seniors ... those in chronic need and those simply passing through a rough patch. Robbins offers a truly grateful smile when she remembers those who came to the pantry in need and eventually returned in service once they were back on their feet. “No one in our community should have to feel alone in their need,” she says. Many have issues of pride or fear, but this is all about coming together. We are more than people on the same street, shopping in the same stores. We are neighbors. The township of Jefferson marches on with the beat of time. The community of Jefferson moves to a different beat – the hearts of those in need and the hearts of those happy to serve. Some are leading the way, but they need the rest of us to find ways to do our part. Robbins sums it up in good plain English (leave it to a teacher): “This is what human nature is all about: helping each other out.” Food Pantries Available to Jefferson Residents: New Hope Food Pantry, 316 Dover-Milton Road, Oak Ridge (Carol Robbins, 973-697-3194, Robbinsrunt@aol.com) Our Lady Star of the Sea Food Pantry, 237 Espanong Road, Lake Hopatcong (Patricia Connolly, 973-663-0211, olsos@optonline.net) Hurdtown United Methodist Church, 823 Route 15 South, Lake Hopatcong (973-663-1216, hurdtownumc@verizon.net) St. Joseph Cares Food Pantry, 454 Germantown Road, West Milford (973-697-6100) Crossroads Community Food Pantry, 104 Paradise Road, Oak Ridge (Holy Faith Lutheran Church, 973-697-6060, holyfaith@verizon.net) Interfaith Food Pantry and Resource Center for eligible Morris County residents (973-538-8049 x210, interfaithfoodpantry@mcifp.org) www.theJeffersonChronicle.com


Snapshots of History A Morale Booster: Depression Remedy for Residents in Township’s First Library By Carol Punturieri

Violet Schuele Riker brought public library service to Jefferson Township. According to research by Gloria Mikowski, a member of the Jefferson Township Historical Society, Riker set out to establish a library during the Depression under the federal government’s Works Progress Administration. The 1940 census reveals that Riker was born on August 2, 1910. At 29 years old, she lived on Russia Road with her husband, Richard, and their children: Richard Carl (3) and Elizabeth Claire (4). Another child, Rosalie Ann, was born three years later. Mikowski notes that Riker, an organizer and first president of the Milton Parent Teacher Association, was asked by Morris County Library Services to find a location for a libary. She did, and then solicited the assistance of her PTA colleagues to gather books. They set up a library station in the hallway of the White Building at 54 School House Road, which had previously served as a four-room school. (It later became the Board of Education’s administrative offices and, since the 1980s, has been a senior center and county nutrition site.)

organized in 1959, and other volunteers refurbished and equipped the house. Mikowski, who worked there as Riker’s assistant for many years, recalls one of the library’s biggest events: the day Violet bought a porta-potty for the bathroom-less building. Eventually, the Library Association purchased the quaint structure. To extend library services to the Lake Hopatcong area, Riker worked with volunteers to establish two branches under the Library Association. Some residents remember that one of the branches was located above Tyler’s Lakeside Barbershop and Ronnie’s Golden Touch Hair Salon on Route 15 near what is now Bowling Green Parkway. The Morris County Free Library loaned additional books and provided other services, and both branches received funding from the township. Mayor Chamberlain proclaimed June 13, 1979, as Violet Schuele Riker Day, and a dinner in her honor was held at Michelangelo’s Restaurant on Berkshire Valley Road in Milton. In his speech, the mayor noted Riker’s service as vice chair of Jefferson’s Tercentenary Committee. Other beneficiaries of her hard work included the Garden Club, Milton Quiltin’, and Friends of the Riker Library’s annual arts and crafts shows. She introduced preschool story hours, movies for senior citizens and children, summer reading programs, bookmark contests for kids, and the county’s bookmobile service. Riker made the library more attractive and useful to college students, the business community, do-it-yourselfers, and those who read for enjoyment, the mayor added. Rosalie Ann Riker Paddock recalls that her mother was also responsible for starting the hot lunch program at Milton School.

When construction began for Milton Elementary School in 1955, the public library was moved into the front porch of Riker’s home on In 1980, a new solar-heated public When the library building (formerly the Amos Chamberlain home) Berkshire Valley Road (in the vicinity library opened in the municipal was paid off sometime after the summer of 1972, Violet Riker of today’s Village Way and a strip mall). ceremonially burned the mortgage document in a copper Iranian complex on Weldon Road, where After 14 years of growth, another chafing dish belonging to her daughter Rosalie Ann Paddock. the Violet Riker Meeting Room (photo courtesy of the Paddock family) move was required to accommodate was named in her honor. The additional books and space for Amos Chamberlain homestead patrons. The vacant Hot Lunch Building behind the new later became the Jefferson Township Historical Society museum Milton School was renamed Violet Schuele Riker Public Library – and, to this day, does not have indoor plumbing. The cherry in her honor. tree on the property was planted by Violet’s family in her The next expansion was into the old Milton House on the corner of Dover-Milton and School House Roads. Built by Bryant Norman during the Gold Rush days, his home had served as a hotel in the late 1800s and then housed summer boarders. According to Mikowski, the basement was flooded after heavy rains. The books were dried out and the library was moved again by volunteers, including local Girl Scouts. Former mayor Horace Chamberlain noted that in 1960, a centuryold farmhouse on Dover-Milton Road was leased to the Library Association for $1 by Ellsworth and Evelyn Brown, descendants of previous owner Amos Chamberlain. The Friends of the Library, 14

memory, said Mikowski. Riker moved to Sparta in 1979 and continued her volunteer efforts by helping the handicapped in Sussex County for the next 20 years. According to journalist Elizabeth McGreal (The Sunday Trends, September 1984), after being a patient in the rehabilitation center at Newton Memorial Hospital, Riker established and led the We Care Club to provide support, social and recreational activities, and public education. One of her seven grandchildren, Rebecca Paddock, recalls that Riker advised the governor on disabilities. Using a walker, a wheelchair, and canes, she also fulfilled her dream of traveling, including a trip to Germany in May 1984.

the Jefferson Chronicle DIGest • september 2019

Riker died on November 27, 1999, at the age of 89 in Garland, Texas. She left an indelible legacy for the communities and people she loved and served, taking on projects that some considered impossible and bringing them to fruition. Rebecca Paddock describes her Grammy as a powerhouse. “If she saw something that needed to be done, she stepped up to the plate and made things happen.” In Violet’s own words, “All someone has to do is say that it can’t be done, and I’ll do my utmost to see that it is.” Bobbi Paddock-Mulqueen remembers her grandmother as an outstanding woman who “did not have a judgmental bone in her body” and accepted people as they were.

A painting of the V. S. Riker Public Library by D. Joan Bishop, which belonged to Violet Riker, hangs in the home of her granddaughter Bobbi Paddock-Mulqueen. (photo courtesy of the Paddock family)

Today, the Jefferson Township Public Library is a thriving place where people gather to explore, interact, and imagine. It offers a variety of programs and events in addition to print and digital information that is free, available, and accessible. According to library director Seth Stephens, more than 7,000 patrons have library cards in addition to the many others who make use of print and audio resources, technology, services, adult and children’s programs, activities, and more. The library’s bimonthly newsletter is appropriately named “Violet’s Porch.” Sources: Gloria Mikowski; Horace Chamberlain, former mayor; Seth Stephens, library director; Rosalie Ann Riker Paddock, Rebecca Paddock, and Bobbi PaddockMulqueen; Jefferson Township Historical Society; Elizabeth McGreal, “You’re As Old As Your Ideas,” The Sunday Trends, September 16, 1984; 1940 Census; www.mylife.com



Adding ‘More Life’ to Nutrition New Township Retailer Caters to Healthy Options By Kalen Luciano (article and photos)

More Life is a one-stop shop for health and fitness needs.

More Life, an outlet selling wellness, opened its second store this summer in the Jefferson Diner Plaza. Providing everything from vitamins to supplements, the retailer also offers açaí bowls and smoothies. “More Life is a one-stop shop for all your health and fitness needs,” says owner Joe Badgley, Jr. Five years ago, Badgley’s father opened the first More Life in Stanhope. Inspired by the health shop, the son says he went through a life-changing experience to get in shape as the store grew its clientele. After taking over the family-run business, he expanded to Jefferson.

Owner Joe Badgley, Jr. and staff member Rose King at the More Life store, holding nutritional granola bars and an açaí bowl.

“We wanted to benefit other people, so we built a big following in the gyms, helping people with their supplemental needs,” he tells The Jefferson Chronicle. “We basically created lasting relationships, which has helped us start a second store in another community where we hope to build that same connection.” continued on page 17


the Jefferson Chronicle DIGest • september 2019

continued from page 16

The proprietor says he will make the shop “a welcoming and positive environment” for his customers. Offerings will include personalized training and supplement routines and unique health products, he notes, adding that“unlike some competitors, More Life does not blend the açaí with other ingredients, keeping it pure. None of the shakes or smoothies contains additives or syrups. We try to keep everything as healthy as possible.” More Life is open Monday through Thursday from 10-8, Friday from 10-7, and Saturday from 11-4. For more information, call 973-691-9663 or find the shop online at www.morelifenutritionnj.com and on Instagram at @morelife_lakehopatcong.

The store is stocked with vitamins and nutritional supplements.

Direct: 973-907-4938 juliatorsielloc21@gmail.com

f?VL:*%(?L(??OI*4*OSǪ2$$LO?:S`ILO*:SƠ * TRUSTED * RESPECTED * KNOW N LEDGEABLE * HONEST * * AWARD WINNI N NG AGENT * * #1 CENTURY 21 OFFICE IN NORTHERN NEW JERS JERSE SEY * 4ŒÈ­Œ½ËÈ­âŒá½ŒÀœŒ®ƒŒƜ眨¨Ãv®ˆȳ³¨ÃȳܳÀ§–³Àf?VƠ  165 East Main Street භRockawaay, NJ 07866 භ973-627-6800 භww ww w.JuliaTorsiello.com

Mortgage Specialist & Jefferson Twp Re esident Direct: 973-900-0985 Ɣ jrock@lendingnj.com * FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS * SECOND & INVESTMENTS * * CASH OUT REFI/HELO L C * GOOD CREDIT/BAD CREDIT *

`Œšvیó­ŒÈšœ®—–³ÀŒÛŒÀâ³®ŒƠ ¨¨³Ü­Œȳv®Ã܌Àâ³ËÀ¿ËŒÃȜ³®Ãȳˆvâ www.theJeffersonChronicle.com

48 Woodport Rd, Sparta, NJ 07871 www.lendingnj.com


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




senior Line Dancing Camp Jefferson (FRee)

Tuesdays through Oct. 8 10:00 a.m., 973-663-8404 x4

senior Chair Yoga senior Center (FRee)

Fridays through Oct. 18 54 school House rd. 10:00 a.m., 973-663-8404 x4 Or

Jt Farmers Market Firemen’s Field

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

Milton First Aid squad Blood Drive

sat., sep. 28, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. 973-697-2197

Documentary (FRee) suicide: the Ripple effect

sat., sep. 28, 7 - 9 p.m. JT High school

Morristown Festival on the Green

sun., sep. 29, 12 - 5 p.m.

81 Weldon rd. lH

750 rt. 15 south lH 45 Milton rd. Or 1010 Weldon rd. Or


14 Maple ave. Morristown

Lake Hopatcong station by Thurs., Oct. 3, 7 p.m. 125 landing rd. Water, Land and trolley (FRee) www.lakehopatcongfoundation.org landing Wrobo 5K Run/Walk

sun., Oct. 6, 7:30 a.m. 1033 Weldon rd. register: www.compuscore.com/wroborun Or

Pet Blessing st. Gabriel’s episcopal Church

sun., Oct. 6, 10:15 a.m. 973-513-0277

153 Milton rd. Or

Autumn in the Barn Banquet sun., Oct. 6, 1 - 5 p.m. Brook Hollow Winery for Rebecca’s Homestead Tickets: www.rebeccashomestead.com/autumn-in-the-barn columbia After Baby Comes (ABC) Mother’s Market

sat., Oct. 12, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. JT High school, 973-568-5508

LHF Lake Loop Bike/Run/Paddle

sun., Oct. 13, 7 a.m. register: www.lakeloop.org

260 lakeside Blvd. Hopatcong

Jt Annual Fall Festival Camp Jefferson

sat., Oct. 19, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 973-663-8404 x4

81 Weldon rd. lH

Jt Haunted House Camp Jefferson

sat., Oct. 19 3:30 - 5 p.m., Kids Matinee 7 - 9:30 p.m., scary show

81 Weldon rd. lH 973-663-8404 x4

Jt Haunted House Camp Jefferson

sun., Oct. 20 3:30 - 4:30 p.m., Kids Matinee 6 - 8 p.m., scary show

81 Weldon rd. lH 973-663-8404 x4

tricky tray our Lady star of the sea

Fri., Oct. 25, 6:15 p.m. 973-601-3028

Donagels Donut Chase 5K Horseshoe Lake Pavilion

sun., Oct. 27, 9:30 a.m. register: www.donutchase5k.com

Country Auction - Milton United Methodist Church

sat., Nov. 2, 5 - 9 p.m. 316 Dover-Milton rd. register: 973-697-3194, space is limited Or

native American stories of the Lenape (FRee)

Thurs., Nov. 7, 7 p.m. 125 landing rd. www.lakehopatcongfoundation.org landing

1000 Weldon rd. Or

204 espanong rd. lH 72 eyland ave. roxbury

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 • september 2019

In Brief

Town Receives High Praise for Recent Audit

Lake Resident Receives Girl Scout Gold Award By Kalen Luciano (article and photo)

By Kalen Luciano

Jefferson’s municipal government received praise for its centralized filing system and organizational structure from Tom Ferry, who presented the 2018 audit report. An auditor examines whether the accounts of an organization accurately represent its current standing. “Everyone is guilty until proven innocent,” Ferry joked. In presenting the nearly 200-page report, he noted that Jefferson is a model for other towns. Most departments are located within the municipal complex, unlike many other communities in which departments are spread out. This arrangement gives Jefferson an advantage in keeping records centralized, which helps the town stay on track with its financial accounts.

Cub Scout Pack #49 Selling Popcorn This Fall Council president Debi Merz presents Brittany Boetticher's Gold Award.

Brittany Boetticher understood the importance of bringing attention to suicide prevention – so much so that she spearheaded a campaign. Project Speak Out brought to the community an award-winning documentary titled Suicide: The Ripple Effect. The Lake Hopatcong resident used the campaign to fulfill the requirements for her Girl Scout Gold Award. Boetticher’s efforts earned her a presentation at the Town Council meeting on August 21 from Debi Merz, president, and Eric Wilsusen, mayor. “It’s always a special occasion when we can honor our very own,” said Wilsusen when he presented the award. “Not only did she put a lot of work into this, but it is something that our school system was really not prepared to deal with at the time.”

JTFD #1 Gets a New Look By Ulla Vinkman (article and photo)

After 30 years, it was time for a fresh look at Jefferson Township Fire Company #1. The entire exterior as well as an outbuilding received a makeover in a new color scheme. A palette of tan with red accents was selected to blend better with the historical neighborhood. Oak Ridge resident Justin Jacobus purchased the supplies and did the painting.

Cub Scout Pack #49 of Milton is selling popcorn for its annual fundraiser throughout September and October. Prices range from $10-$35 for a great variety: microwave popcorn, popcorn popper corn, flavored and pre-popped tins, and trail mix. Look for the scouts at the following locations in Oak Ridge: Dunkin’ Donuts 5748 Berkshire Valley Road (7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) – Saturday, September 21 – Sunday, September 22 – Saturday, October 12 – Sunday, October 13 Acme 5774 Berkshire Valley Road (5 to 9 p.m.) – Friday, October 11 – Friday, October 18 Scouts will be offering individual sales as well.

Jefferson Township's Fire Company #1 has a fresh new look. www.theJeffersonChronicle.com



the Jefferson Chronicle DIGest • september 2019

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The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST - September 2019 Issue  

Fall is here, the leaves are changing, school is back in session…and the September DIGEST is on the scene, keeping you up on what’s going on...

The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST - September 2019 Issue  

Fall is here, the leaves are changing, school is back in session…and the September DIGEST is on the scene, keeping you up on what’s going on...