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Latest News in Netcong, NJ

Suspended Netcong VFW moves to dissolve. State office says 'not so fast'

Suspended by the state office, locked out of their building and out of money, members of Morris County's oldest Veterans of Foreign Wars post voted on Tuesday to consider dissolution and the surrender of their charter.But not so fast, said state officials, who informed Netcong Post 2347 that its suspension last week preclu...

Suspended by the state office, locked out of their building and out of money, members of Morris County's oldest Veterans of Foreign Wars post voted on Tuesday to consider dissolution and the surrender of their charter.

But not so fast, said state officials, who informed Netcong Post 2347 that its suspension last week precludes any actions − including a decision for their post to stand down.

"They can't do that," said VFW state Adjutant Ken Hagemann. "They are under the control of the state department commandeer through the administrative committee. They can't do anything. They can't even hold the meeting they held yesterday."

But post Commander Martin Bischoff said that with his members locked out of their deteriorating building and without a canteen license, which allows the post to sell liquor, he sees no way to continue.

"Suspending us and closing our canteen choked our last trickle of income," said Bischoff, a retired Army colonel. "My poor post, after 70 years what a way to go out, by our own guns."

Hagemann was more upbeat about the possibilities to revive Netcong and other posts suspended this month for administrative and other infractions by the state VFW office. Denville Post 2519 and Woodbridge Post 4410 quickly resolved their largely administrative issues and are no longer under suspension. But 10 others remain shuttered and under state control with their futures in limbo.

Hagemann said the state office will send a letter to Netcong members informing them their meeting "was unauthorized and any action taken there is null and void."

"We're going to try and revitalize the post," Hagemann said. "We want to make these posts successful. We don't want to close them down."

Hagemann said he met Tuesday with a Camden County post that had not met since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

"A lot of members transferred out because they weren't doing much," he said. "But a few people showed up who want to keep it going. We're going to help them move forward."

Hagemann said the state office did grant Netcong an operating exception to allow hall rentals in hopes of generating income. But Bischoff said rentals are not currently practical after a neighboring business prohibited VFW parking in its lot, which the hall had used for decades.

Bischoff said Netcong is down to about 62 members, but many are older veterans, some of whom live in Florida and rarely participate.

"I'm one of the younger guys, and I'm 60, which [the state] beats us up about," he said. "It's hard right now attracting new members."

"It hurts to see a VFW Post close in my legislative district," said state Assemblyman Brian Bergen, a West Point graduate who serves as commander of the Denville post. "As their Assemblyman and their VFW District 10 junior vice commander, I will actively support the members of Post 2347 in finding a new post to call home."

Bischoff said he called a special meeting to vote on the dissolution on Aug. 23. Hagemann said the state office will schedule its own meeting with members.

If Bischoff will not cooperate, "he'll have to be moved aside," Hagemann said.

William Westhoven is a local reporter for DailyRecord.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Following last week’s report about the New Jersey VFW office suspending chapters statewide for various infractions, the struggling Netcong chapter, Morris County’s oldest, unanimously votes to begin dissolution.

The VFW has around 1.5 million members, a drop of a million from 1992. The average age is 67, with 400,000 members over 80. The largest organization of veterans' clubs, the American Legion, has two million members, down from 3.3 million in 1946.

America’s largest and oldest war veterans’ organization began its new membership year earlier this month with almost 1.165 million members, a million less than its peak in 1992, yet significant nonetheless, according to VFW National Commander B.J. Lawrence, who attributes the growth to the organization being more visible on the national scene as well as in more than 6,000 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, and 11 foreign countries.

The Growing Stage presents "The Land of Forgotten Toys," a new holiday musical

(NETCONG, NJ) -- The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, located in the Historic Palace Theatre in Netcong celebrates the holidays with The Land of Forgotten Toys from December 2-18, 2022. This charming tale follows Grace, a brilliant young woman with big dreams and a passion for astronomy, who is stuck at a dead-end job at a toy store three days before Christmas. When she is transported to the Land of Forgotten Toys, ev...

(NETCONG, NJ) -- The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, located in the Historic Palace Theatre in Netcong celebrates the holidays with The Land of Forgotten Toys from December 2-18, 2022. This charming tale follows Grace, a brilliant young woman with big dreams and a passion for astronomy, who is stuck at a dead-end job at a toy store three days before Christmas. When she is transported to the Land of Forgotten Toys, everything changes. Christmas is in trouble—and it’s up to Grace and her rag-tag crew of forgotten and broken toys to save it!

The Land of Forgotten Toys has music and lyrics by Dylan MarcAurele with book and lyrics by Jennifer Enchin and Jaclyn Enchin, additional lyrics by Mike Ross and the story and characters by Larry Little. This production is directed by Danny Campos, TGS’s Director of Marketing, with choreography by Noelle Cappuzzo and musical direction by Laura Petrie.

The Land of Forgotten Toys features the talents of 18 professional and youth performers in the cast: Jeorgi Smith (Pinkalicious) of Denville, NJ, as Grace; Jessica Stanzek (Matilda) of Clifton, NJ, as Nikki; Donald Danford (Babes in Toyland) of Rockaway, NJ, as Schmedrick; Lori B. Lawrence (The Wizard of OZ) of Hackettstown, NJ, as Charlotte/Charlotta; Steve Fredericks (The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus) of Hackettstown, NJ as Santa; Nicole Deluca (The Wizard of OZ) of Netcong, NJ as Fun Oven Supreme; Liz Kent (TGS Debut) of Morristown, NJ as Karaoke; Bailey Delahanty (TGS Debut) of Andover, NJ as Queen of the Northern Sky. Rounding out the cast is a company of young performers representing Morris, Sussex and Warren counties.

Performances take place Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 4:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm.Ticket prices are $28 for adults, $22 for seniors and $18 for children. To purchase tickets, please visit www.growingstage.com or call (973) 347-4946. Group rates and Season Ticket Packages are still available.

The Growing Stage’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals.

Governor Murphy Announces More Than $24 Million to Expand Access to Public Transportation and Spur Transit-Oriented Development

DOVER – Governor Phil Murphy today announced critical funding to expand access to safe transportation and enhance areas around public transit facilities across the state. The awards total more than $24 million across three programs as part of Governor Murphy’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget. Funding for the Local Aid and Economic Development Grants line-item increased by nearly 50% over the last fiscal year, representing the Murphy Administration’s commitment to a wide range of transportation options and smart, tr...

DOVER – Governor Phil Murphy today announced critical funding to expand access to safe transportation and enhance areas around public transit facilities across the state. The awards total more than $24 million across three programs as part of Governor Murphy’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget. Funding for the Local Aid and Economic Development Grants line-item increased by nearly 50% over the last fiscal year, representing the Murphy Administration’s commitment to a wide range of transportation options and smart, transit-oriented development.

The Safe Streets to Transit Program will provide $13.4 million in funding to improve access to transit facilities and public transportation in counties and municipalities, including Dover, which will utilize its nearly $800,000 award to improve traffic signals that will help protect pedestrians and school children. Additionally, the Local Bikeway Program will provide $8.4 million to promote bicycling as an alternate mode of transportation, while the Transit Village Program will provide $2.9 million toward the revitalization and redevelopment of areas around transit facilities into mixed-use neighborhoods.

“In order to maximize the impact of our considerable public transportation upgrades, we must ensure that our transit facilities are linked not just to economically thriving neighborhoods, but to streets that bring our community members to their destination reliably and efficiently,” said Governor Murphy. “For many New Jerseyans, commutes or daily travels do not begin and end at the train station. That’s why my Administration is doubling down on its efforts to promote active transportation alternatives and ensure that – whether you’re a pedestrian or cyclist – you can safely and affordably access our nation-leading public transportation network.”

“Too many New Jerseyans do not have safe walking or biking access to our transit system, often limiting access to job and educational opportunities and increasing traffic congestion,” said U.S. Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill. “I also proudly voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which established the Safe Streets and Roads for All program, so that we can work in tandem and create better streets in NJ-11 and across the state. I want to thank Governor Phil Murphy for this important investment, which will improve the quality of life for New Jersey residents.”

“The Department of Transportation is proud to support Governor Murphy’s vision to make New Jersey more fair, equitable, and environmentally friendly. We appreciate the Governor and the Legislature providing an additional $20 million this year for Bikeways, Safe Streets to Transit and Transit Village grants,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “The increased funding means a record number of towns, including Dover, are receiving grants to create safer, more walkable and bikeable communities, and promote the use of public transportation.”

"Coming at a critical time of rising traffic fatalities and serious injuries across our state this significant increase in funding will help ensure better access to public transit for vulnerable road users and create more walkable and bikeable roads, an essential part of building a safer and more equitable transportation system for New Jersey.” said Debra Kagan, Executive Director of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition.

The following municipalities have been awarded Safe Streets to Transit grants:

The following counties and municipalities have been awarded Local Bikeway Program grants:

The following municipalities have been awarded Transit Village Program grants:

West Windsor Township ($89,000)

PHOTOS from "The Land of Forgotten Toys" at Growing Stage

(NETCONG, NJ) -- The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, is celebrateing the holidays with The Land of Forgotten Toys weekends through December 18, 2022. This charming tale follows Grace, a brilliant young woman with big dreams and a passion for astronomy, who is stuck at a dead-end job at a toy store three days before Christmas. When she is transported to the Land of Forgotten Toys, everything changes. Christmas is in ...

(NETCONG, NJ) -- The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, is celebrateing the holidays with The Land of Forgotten Toys weekends through December 18, 2022. This charming tale follows Grace, a brilliant young woman with big dreams and a passion for astronomy, who is stuck at a dead-end job at a toy store three days before Christmas. When she is transported to the Land of Forgotten Toys, everything changes. Christmas is in trouble—and it’s up to Grace and her rag-tag crew of forgotten and broken toys to save it! Photographer John Posada was on hand to take photos.

The Land of Forgotten Toys has music and lyrics by Dylan MarcAurele with book and lyrics by Jennifer Enchin and Jaclyn Enchin, additional lyrics by Mike Ross and the story and characters by Larry Little. This production is directed by Danny Campos, TGS’s Director of Marketing, with choreography by Noelle Cappuzzo and musical direction by Laura Petrie.

The Land of Forgotten Toys features the talents of 18 professional and youth performers in the cast: Jeorgi Smith (Pinkalicious) of Denville, NJ, as Grace; Jessica Stanzek (Matilda) of Clifton, NJ, as Nikki; Donald Danford (Babes in Toyland) of Rockaway, NJ, as Schmedrick; Lori B. Lawrence (The Wizard of OZ) of Hackettstown, NJ, as Charlotte/Charlotta; Steve Fredericks (The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus) of Hackettstown, NJ as Santa; Nicole Deluca (The Wizard of OZ) of Netcong, NJ as Fun Oven Supreme; Liz Kent (TGS Debut) of Morristown, NJ as Karaoke; Bailey Delahanty (TGS Debut) of Andover, NJ as Queen of the Northern Sky.

Rounding out the cast is a company of young performers representing Morris, Sussex and Warren counties.

Performances take place Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 4:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm.Ticket prices are $28 for adults, $22 for seniors and $18 for children. To purchase tickets, please visit www.growingstage.com or call (973) 347-4946. Group rates and Season Ticket Packages are still available.

The Growing Stage performs in the Historic Palace Theatre (7 Ledgewood Avenue), Netcong, New Jersey.

The Mission of The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of NJ is to nurture the development of the performing arts through education — and to create, produce and perform works that engage the entire family.

Here are more photos from the production.

The Growing Stage’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals.

John Posada is a New Jersey based photographer specializing in live theatre and music performances. For more than 10 years, John has photographed live music events where he mastered the techniques of timing and capturing fast moving action under challenging lighting conditions to capture that perfect moment that tells a story in a single image. Currently, John has photographed over 70 productions for over 40 different theatres. Click here for John's website.

The Growing Stage Brings Back "PINKALICIOUS The Musical"

(NETCONG, NJ) -- The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, located in the Historic Palace Theatre in Netcong presents the return of PINKALICIOUS The Musical. The show runs March 18th through April 10th with performances Saturdays at 4:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm and a special Opening Night Performance on Friday, March 18th at 7:30pm. PINKALICIOUS The Musical premiered at The Growing Stage in March 2020 and run for ...

(NETCONG, NJ) -- The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, located in the Historic Palace Theatre in Netcong presents the return of PINKALICIOUS The Musical. The show runs March 18th through April 10th with performances Saturdays at 4:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm and a special Opening Night Performance on Friday, March 18th at 7:30pm. PINKALICIOUS The Musical premiered at The Growing Stage in March 2020 and run for 3 performances before The Growing Stage closed their doors due to the covid-19 pandemic.

PINKALICIOUS The Musical features Music & Lyrics by Victoria Kann, Elizabeth Kann and John Gregor and Book by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann. This production is directed by Danny Campos, TGS Theatre Artist and Director of Marketing with Musical Direction by Laura Petrie and Choreography by Jillian Petrie.

PINKALICIOUS The Musical is the tale, based on the popular book by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann, of Pinkalicious, who can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe – a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this pink predicament. PINKALICIOUS The Musical is about learning the power of self-control and the importance of moderation.

PINKALICIOUS The Musical features the talents of five professional performers in the cast plus a Cupcake Ensemble of young performers. Returning to the Palace in the title role is Casey Esbin of New City, NY, as Pinkalicious; TGS favorites: Dave Cameron (Matilda, The Wizard of OZ) of Cedar Grove, NJ, as Mr. Pinkerton; Lori B. Lawrence (The Wizard of OZ) of Hackettstown, NJ, as Mrs. Pinkerton; Jeorgi Smith (Frosty, The Wizard of OZ) of Green Township, NJ as Alison/Dr. Wink and making his TGS debut is Danny Francis of South Plainfield, NJ as Peter. Rounding out the cast are Josephine Hardy of Hackettstown, NJ; Ruby Turner of Flanders, NJ; Kayleigh Hannah of Hackettstown, NJ and Madison Peralta of Budd Lake, NJ as the Cupcake Ensemble.

Ticket prices are $28 for adults, $22 for seniors and $18 for children. To purchase tickets, please visit www.growingstage.com or call (973) 347-4946. Group rates are available.

PINKALICIOUS The Musical is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW), 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036.

The Growing Stage’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. The Growing Stage continues to nurture the development of the performing arts through education, and to create, produce, and perform works that engage the entire family.

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