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Latest News in Chatham Township, NJ

Two Livingston Students Earn Recognition as Eagle Scouts

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Two Livingston teens were recently honored by the township mayor and council for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, which is the highest level of achievement in scouting through the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) program.Zach Turbin of Boy Scout Troop 8 in Chatham and Evan Leung of Troop 12 in Livingston were each presented with an official citation from the township recognizing them for receiving an honor “that many young men aspire to, but few achieve.”“I know that one day you will be one...

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Two Livingston teens were recently honored by the township mayor and council for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, which is the highest level of achievement in scouting through the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) program.

Zach Turbin of Boy Scout Troop 8 in Chatham and Evan Leung of Troop 12 in Livingston were each presented with an official citation from the township recognizing them for receiving an honor “that many young men aspire to, but few achieve.”

“I know that one day you will be one of the great volunteer leaders that this town is so fortunate to have,” said Mayor Ed Meinhardt. “I know that all these boys who work so hard take pride in that, and I think whatever town you settle in, I think one day you will become one of those volunteer leaders as well.”

Turbin explained that his determination to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout led him to join a troop in Chatham so that he could also have time to pursue his other passion. In addition to scouting, Turbin also plays club hockey in Chatham and currently serves as the goalie of the Livingston High School (LHS) varsity ice hockey team, which made it to the state finals during Turbin’s 2021-2022 season.

“Scouting has been awesome for me,” said Turbin. “I started when I was a Cub Scout, and my earliest memories with PAC 16, I just remember camping and having a good time with my friends. Then I started playing hockey, and my schedule was very busy.

“Practices were, I remember, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and on Mondays, that was conflicting with the Livingston Troop meetings. But I didn't want to give up Scouting because I loved it so much, so I was talking to my dad and my mom, and we found out that Troop 8 out of Chatham had [meetings that worked with] my schedule. So I switched to that in order to be able to continue and had a really, really great scouting experience.”

Leung also spoke positively about his experience with the Livingston troop, saying that his family and the community at-large all contributed to his success.

“It has taken me around 18-plus months and a lot of years to get to where I am now,” he said. “If it wasn't for my family and my dad, I wouldn't have been here right now standing here, and everyone here has motivated me.”

According to BSA, only about 4 percent of Boy Scouts have earned the rank of Eagle Scout, which comes only after a lengthy review process and several requirements that include receiving at least 21 merit badges, an extensive community service project and more.

The Boy Scouts in attendance during the presentation also led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance and flag ceremony.

Healthcare Premium Increase To Be Challenged By Chester Council

In New Jersey, public employees, early retirees and school employees face potential rate increases of up to 24 percent for health benefits.CHESTER, NJ — The Chester Township Council intends to discuss a resolution opposing proposed rate increases to state health benefits under proposals under consideration by the State Health Benefits Commission during its council meeting on Aug. 16.Under the new proposals, hundreds of thousands of public employees, early retirees, and school employees in New Jersey could face rate incr...

In New Jersey, public employees, early retirees and school employees face potential rate increases of up to 24 percent for health benefits.

CHESTER, NJ — The Chester Township Council intends to discuss a resolution opposing proposed rate increases to state health benefits under proposals under consideration by the State Health Benefits Commission during its council meeting on Aug. 16.

Under the new proposals, hundreds of thousands of public employees, early retirees, and school employees in New Jersey could face rate increases of up to 24 percent for health benefits.

According to John Donnadio, Executive Director of the New Jersey Association of Counties, rate increases being considered include a 24 percent increase in medical and a 3.7 percent increase in pharmacy benefits for active public workers, as well as a 15.6 percent increase in medical and a 26.1 percent increase in pharmacy benefits for public workers who retired before the age of 65.

Chester Township officials plan to review and discuss a possible resolution opposing the state's new proposal, possibly drawing inspiration from neighboring towns such as Chatham Township, which recently created their own resolution.

According to a sample resolution, such proposed exorbitant rate increases will fall on local property taxpayers as well as local public employees at a time of record inflation; and the proposed premium increase for most active employees will take thousands more out of their paychecks annually and lead to huge costs for local governments, resulting in higher property tax bills for struggling families.

While double-digit increases in the state health care plan are problematic and unsustainable, increases in the NJ School Employees’ Health Benefits Program (NJEHP) are especially concerning for local school boards.

According to the New Jersey School Board Association, employees enrolled in Chapter 44 pay a percentage of their salary toward their health care, rather than a percentage of the premium, as was the case with Chapter 78. As a result, employers will bear nearly all of the costs associated with any increase in NJEHP premiums.

“NJSBA believes that the proposed premium increases are unacceptable and must be rejected,” said Dr. Timothy Purnell, executive director of NJSBA. “Should they go through as is, districts will be forced to make incredibly difficult budgetary decisions that could result in cuts to critical educational programming, services and staff. At a time of record inflation, every action must be taken to bring the premium adjustments down to a more acceptable level.”

The increases were scheduled to be approved by state health boards on July 25, but the vote was postponed due to public outrage from local governments, labor leaders and state lawmakers from both parties.

A new date for the meeting has yet to be set.

Members of the Chester Township Council intend to discuss this issue at the Aug. 16 Council Meeting, which is set to begin at 7 p.m. To view the full agenda, click here.

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New Chatham Township Recreation Director Larry McCann Has Been Preparing for the Job Since He was 14

CHATHAM, NJ -- The way Larry McCann sees it, he's been piling up the experience for his new job as Chatham Township Recreation Director since he was a teenager."My first job as a 14-year-old was organizing, coaching and refereeing an urban basketball league with Mike Dunleavy Sr.," McCann said. "Mike went on to play in the NBA, coached the LA Lakers and became the general manager of the Los Angeles Clippers."He asked me one day, do you want to help me out with this league and I said absolute...

CHATHAM, NJ -- The way Larry McCann sees it, he's been piling up the experience for his new job as Chatham Township Recreation Director since he was a teenager.

"My first job as a 14-year-old was organizing, coaching and refereeing an urban basketball league with Mike Dunleavy Sr.," McCann said. "Mike went on to play in the NBA, coached the LA Lakers and became the general manager of the Los Angeles Clippers.

"He asked me one day, do you want to help me out with this league and I said absolutely. It's funny, everything I've done from that day forward has been about recreation."

Professionally, McCann has been CPA with a Master's in Finance, while keeping his sports ties as a basketball travel team coach for St. Pat's and Corpus Christi. He also refereed travel league games for years after his coaching ended.

The Brooklyn native has been a resident of Chatham for 32 years and all three of his daughters - Tara, Caroline and Jen - played sports offered through the recreation program.

"My kids all had great experiences through the recreation program and some of their best friends today are the ones they grew up playing sports with," McCann said. "I'm looking forward to giving back to Chatham what my kids got here."

McCann will be the first Chatham Township Recreation Director in more than seven years. He will be paid a salary of $79,500.

Chatham Borough Rec Director Carol Nauta has served as the program director for both towns since 2016. The Chatham Township Committee voted, 3-2, in May to return to the separate rec director setup.

"I've known Carol Nauta for years and when it comes to the kids, I don't think there is a borough and township," McCann said. "Carol Nauta has been doing schedules for years and years. From my perspective, there will not be two sets of schedules. There can't be.

"It really is a clean slate. I'll be working with the Joint Rec Advisory Committee and Carol and working with the heads of the club sports. I look at myself as a facilitator. The one big thing I'd like to do is to be out there when the games are being played. I love going to games. I'll talk to the parents and find out what their needs are.

"We have great recreation programs here. I look at it as a perfect opportunity for me - a combination of my business background and my recreation experience - to be able to give back to Chatham. I want to work with the parents and the kids to learn what we can do better with the existing programs or find out if there are programs we can create."

McCann teamed up with parents Andy Gyves and Mark Howard Johnson to start what is now the successful Chatham High girls golf program.

"I grew up in Brooklyn and everything was spontaneous," McCann said. "You'd walk out your front door and there would be a basketball, baseball or football game to play. Maybe there is a concept of an organized pickup game. We do a great job with organized sports, but what about that time between the organized games? Maybe we can fill in those gaps."

McCann is closing out his first season as the pool manager of the Colony Pool and will concentrate on his recreation duties once the pool closes.

'Serious Field Issues' In Chatham Township: Committee Member

Grass quality, an issue with ground wasps and repairs needed for tennis court surfaces, were among the committee's discussion.CHATHAM, NJ — The Chatham Township Committee engaged in a discussion about the maintenance of township fields at its meeting on Tuesday, with one committee member stating there were some “serious field issues” that need to be addressed.Mayor Ashley Felice said that residents have approached her many times to tell her the township’s fields are not being adequately maintained....

Grass quality, an issue with ground wasps and repairs needed for tennis court surfaces, were among the committee's discussion.

CHATHAM, NJ — The Chatham Township Committee engaged in a discussion about the maintenance of township fields at its meeting on Tuesday, with one committee member stating there were some “serious field issues” that need to be addressed.

Mayor Ashley Felice said that residents have approached her many times to tell her the township’s fields are not being adequately maintained.

Committee Member Mark Lois — who is on the Chatham Recreation Joint Advisory Committee — said that he has received calls about the quality of the grass at Nash Field, causing difficulties with how baseballs roll.

He said that Esternay Field was also closed for the entire fall season because of quality issues.

“We have some serious field issues,” Lois said.

Lois showed photos of some of the fields as well as tennis courts, during the meeting, which he described as “significant situations.”

He said the baseball diamond at Mountainview field has been plagued with a nest of ground wasps living in the dirt. He also said the diamond is not in good condition.

Lois showed photos of the Colony Recreation Center tennis courts, which had cracking on the surfaces of several of the courts. He said those courts should be patched, filled and repainted. All but two of the courts are prioritized for Colony members, he said.

He showed a photo of Esternay field, with a gate down and padlocked at the entrance. He said it has been closed at times for a season because of field conditions, as well as for safety issues.

Lois also had a photo of the Southern Boulevard School field and said the township should also encourage the School District of the Chathams to adequately maintain its fields.

“They [the fields] should be in reasonable condition,” said Lois.

Felice said she has spoken to the Department of Public Works and other groups to ask what can be done to improve the municipal recreational properties.

“I believe that this is the greatest township in New Jersey and we have the residents that are unparalleled,” said Lois. “I think if we can build consensus that something needs to be done, that we can do it.”

He suggested the Township Committee needs to build an agenda to address the issues.

Administrator Robert Hoffmann said the township is exploring pricing for netting to turn the fields into multi-use fields, for lacrosse, soccer and other youth sports programs. Hoffmann said some groups do not want to use the fields, because of the loss of balls during practices or games.

He also addressed the ground wasps and said programs should schedule around the period of time that the wasps are on the field, as a temporary solution, when the wasps are not on the field in the late summer and in the fall.

“I don’t think it’s reasonable to ask our residents to change their schedule of when they want to do sports around a breeding period of ground-nesting wasps,” Felice said.

Hoffmann complimented the DPW’s work on the new split rail fencing at Esternay field.

Lois suggested that fields should begin being fertilized in March to prepare them.

Hoffmann said the tennis courts should be prioritized in 2022, which he said should be moved on “in a quick manner.”

Committee Member Stacy Ewald said the tennis court repairs were a capital project in 2022.

Ewald suggested a broad future discussion about the facilities. Felice said the planning board will be working on a mini master plan about open space and recreation.

Watch the full discussion during the meeting below:

Questions or comments about this story? Have a news tip? Contact me at: [email protected].

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Morristown Happenings: Things to Do in and Around Morristown This Weekend; Sept. 9 - Sept 11

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ - It's going to be a gorgeous weekend! In between long walks and bike rides, here are some fun events to entertain you! Have a great weekend!.Friday September 9Farmer Fridays; Fosterfields; 10am - 3pmKids in the Wild: Amazing Plants; Great Swamp in Chatham; 4pm - 5pmPebble Players Youth Theater to hold auditions for Grease; Oakes Center 120 Morris Avenue in Summi...

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ - It's going to be a gorgeous weekend! In between long walks and bike rides, here are some fun events to entertain you! Have a great weekend!.

Friday September 9

Farmer Fridays; Fosterfields; 10am - 3pm

Kids in the Wild: Amazing Plants; Great Swamp in Chatham; 4pm - 5pm

Pebble Players Youth Theater to hold auditions for Grease; Oakes Center 120 Morris Avenue in Summit; 4:30pm - 8:30pm

Friday Night Date Night Class at Morris County School of Glass;

Free Beer Tasting Fridays; Amanti Vino Morristown; 5pm - 7pm

JBMF Band, Beer and Beefsteak 2022 to support the Joey Bella Memorial Fund; Gardner Field in Denville; 5:30pm

Jarran Muse at Brookside Cabaret; 6:30pm

Jerry Seinfeld; Mayo Performing Arts Center; 7pm & 9:30pm

The Folk Project presents Open Stage; Morristown Unitarian Fellowship; 7:30pm

Saturday September 10

Pure Barre at the Urban Farm Stand; 31 Hazel Street; 9am - 10am ($10 suggested donation)

Urban Farm Stand; 31 Hazel Street in Morristown; 9:30am - 2pm

Morristown Girls Tennis vs Livingston at Livingston High School; 10am

The Morris Plains Farmers Market; 771 Speedwell Avenue in Morris Plains; 9am - 1pm

Art in the Garden with Lisa Madsen; Macculloch Hall Historical Museum; supplies provided but registration required. 10am

Fall Hike with NBD Training Zone Morristown; Hemlock Falls Trail via Lenape, Rahway and River Trail; Hike and then family lunch; 10am

Morristown Shade Tree Commission and the Town of Morristown hosts a Grant Celebration at the Jersey Cottage Playground; 10am

Chester Fall Craft Show in Chester; 10am - 5pm

Antique Tractor, Engine and Car Day at Fosterfields; 10am - 3pm

Sage Eldercare will host a Community Fair; 290 Broad Street in Summit; 10am - 1pm

Morristown High School Boys Soccer vs. Randolph; Randolph High School; 12noon

Cultural and Diversity Celebration of Madison and the Chathams; 50 Kings Road in Madison; 12noon - 5pm

Boonton Brewfest; Canal Side Park in Boonton; 1pm

Hand Lettering Workshop; Museum of Early Trades & Crafts; 2pm

Morristown High School Field Hockey vs Mendham at Mendham High School; 2pm

Morristown High School Football vs Millburn at Morristown High School Turf Field; 2:30pm

Fiddlefest Music and Food Festival; Fiddler's Elbow in Bedminster (6 bands, face painting, body art, balloon art, bounce house, magicians and games; 3pm ($75)

Sunday September 11

Morristown Farmers Market; Behind Spring and Morris Streets; 8:30am - 1pm

Fall Kickoff Sunday at the Presbyterian Church in Morristown; first sermon by Rev. Daniel and a parade, food, fun and games; 10am - 2pm

Ingathering Potluck at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship; 10am

Chester Fall Craft Show in Chester; 10am - 5pm

Knight Fights Charity Event; Ort Farms in Long Valley (beer, food and live music); 12noon - 6pm

September 11 Commemoration BBQ at Daddy Matty's BBQ in Madison; BBQ, shirts and corn hole; 12noon - 3pm

Free Piano Concert with Peter Toth; Washington's Headquarters Museum Auditorium; 1pm

Auditions for the MPAC"s Teen Performing Arts Company; 1pm - 5pm and Monday Sept. 12 from 6pm - 9pm

Grandparents Day Train Rides; Whippany Railway Museum; 1pm - 4pm

John Adams to speak at King House; 211 Main Street in Ledgewood; 1pm - 5pm

Pendulum and The Chakras; An Interactive Energy Workshop by The Rock Box; Learn about crystal energy and our energy centers; Receive a complimentary crystal pendulum as part of the workshop. 2pm

9/11 Remembrance; at Morris County's 9/11 Memorial on West Hanover Avenue; 6pm

Auditions for the MPAC"s Teen Performing Arts Company; 1pm - 5pm

Did we miss an event? Let us know. Email us at [email protected]

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