Al in the News…

New Providence Welcomes New Jersey Veterans Network

Pictured left to right are Councilman Matt Cumiskey, Councilwoman Lisa McKnight, Mayor Al Morgan, President New Jersey Veterans Network Michael Boll, Board Member Assemblywoman Michele Matsikoudis of New Providence, Board Member Sarah Abraham, Councilwoman Diane Bilicska, Council President Nadine Geoffroy, and Councilman Pete DeSarno
Pictured left to right are Mayor Al Morgan, New Jersey Veterans Network President Michael Boll, Board Member Assemblywoman Michele Matsikoudis, Board Member Sarah Abraham, and New Providence Councilwoman Diane Bilicska

The New Providence Borough Council and Assemblywoman Michele Matsikoudis warmly welcome the New Jersey Veterans Network to New Providence on Memorial Day at the American Legion Post 433.

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Borough Council Recognizes June 3rd as Gun Violence Awareness Day

By MARIANNE IVERS in TAPintoNewProvidence

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – With a sad coincidence the Borough Council issued a proclamation to recognize National Gun Violence Day at its Tuesday, May 24 meeting just as news of yet another school shooting spread across the nation. Mayor Al Morgan led a moment of silence to honor the victims of both the Texas school shooting and the May 14 Buffalo supermarket shooting.

Morgan noted that the proclamation is not about the Second Amendment of the Constitution, but about the dangers of illegal guns in the hands of mentally ill or dangerous people. The council fully supports the nation’s constitution, he said.

“Every day, more than 110 Americans are killed by gun violence, alongside more than 200 who are shot and wounded, and on average there are nearly 16,000 gun-homicides every year. Americans are 26 times more likely to die by gun homicide than people in other high-income countries,” Morgan read.  There are approximately 439 gun-deaths in New Jersey every year. A majority of gun homicides and assaults are concentrated in cities. New Providence is working to end senseless violence with evidence-based solutions to protect public safety.

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New Providence Second Historical Marker Placed

By Hayden LARocque Green in TAPintoNewProvidence

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The New Providence Historical Society placed the second historic marker in town. This marker has been installed in front of the former Academy School building and Borough Hall, and is currently leased by Peapack Private Wealth Management. Placed on April 30th by the Department of Works (DPW), it is the first in the town to include photos on both sides of the marker.

On one side, the former 1870 Academy School is pictured. The other shows Old Borough Hall. A description of each building is next to each image, bringing historical context to this marker. 

“When people are walking around, they can learn a lot of history, more than people realize,” said Mayor Al Morgan. 

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23rd Annual Our House, Our Run Hits New Providence Streets

-By Bobbie Peer in TAPintoNew Providence

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – After two years without a live run, the Our House, Our Run returned to the streets of New Providence for an in-person event. Saturday’s event marked the 23rd annual Our House, Our Run 4-mile run and 2-mile walk to raise money to support the adults with disabilities served by Our House.

As the morning fog was lifting, sounds of Katrina and the Waves “Walking on Sunshine” could be heard with motivators leading a group stretch. Even CBS News correspondent and personality John Elliott got into the act, as he was seen across New Providence promoting the #BetterTogether campaign.

“I have been volunteering and helping the event for years,” said Elliott. “CBS has a new campaign called ‘Better Together’ and they are encouraging us to participate, so I will be running with the residents.” The segment aired live Saturday morning on CBS News.

Volunteers helped with arts and crafts, handing out food and water, and spread awareness about Our House and the crucial services they provide to adults with disabilities.

Our House, Inc., founded in 1980, is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to provide healthy, stimulating, and inclusive environments for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through community residences, employment services, innovative day programs, social opportunities and related support services designed to help them achieve their full potential for living meaningful and productive lives.  Our House strives to provide these opportunities in a supportive, safe environment that stresses “abilities, not disabilities”.

To learn more about Our House, Inc., call the Our House Foundation at (908) 464-8008, ext. 172 or visit www.ourhousenj.org

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Mee Lane and Douglas Street Pedestrian Bridges Officially Open

By TapInto New Providence

Councilwoman Diane Bilicska, Mayor Al Morgan, and Council President Nadine Geoffroy cut the ribbon to officially open the new pedestrian bridge at Mee Lane

Mee Lane Pedestrian Bridge and Douglas Street Pedestrian Bridge are officially OPEN! A special ribbon cutting was held to commemorate the occasion. Mayor and Council are pushing hard to have the Commerce Street Bridge installed soon. The three pedestrian bridges were washed out and very badly damaged during Hurricane Ida and had to be replaced. Supply chain issues hampered installation causing many hardships and inconveniences for residents. The long awaited installations have been very warmly welcomed by the community, and have already been put to good use by walkers and bicyclists with the recent stretch of good weather. 

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Large Crowd Celebrates the Reopening of the DeCorso Center in New Providence

By EDIR CORONADO

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Mayor Al Morgan, Assemblywoman Michele Matsikoudis, New Providence elected officials, along with many community leaders were on site for the DeCorso Community Center’s “Grand Reopening” nearly a year since Tropical Storm Ida caused significant water damage to the facility.

Speaking in a room of over 100 attendees, Mayor Morgan exclaimed, “Welcome back,” and was quickly met with applause and cheers. “This senior center is such a big part of this community, you built this community, and we are happy to have you back,” he said.

“It looks terrific, I have seen the art room, and it looks beautiful,” said Linda Howe. Adding, “I live around the block I hope to be here often if they get exercise classes going again.”

Christine Maletano expressed joy, but also reflected on the path to the reopening, stating, “for us, this center has been closed since March 2020,“ due to the pandemic. “We lost a lot of members, it’s very bittersweet to be coming back here, but I am so glad.”

Allison Smith, Director of Community Activities, said the center suffered severe damage from floor to ceiling. “All the floors needed to be replaced, walls were cut four feet up and replaced all the way around; new paint, new ceiling, we had to replace everything,” she said.

During the time the center was under the repair, seniors temporarily resumed their activities in the municipal center. “Allison and the whole Recreational Department have been fabulous having us over, it’s been wonderful,” said Michelle Zack, Senior Center Coordinator.

Zack and Arthi Shri Selvaraj, Senior Center Program Coordinator, came up with a list of activities the seniors enjoyed most, and designed the new and improved space to accommodate the activities. Some changes include the flex room, which was previously a storage room and is now being used as a fitness room and possibly a rec room. The room directly adjacent to the great room, which was previously never used will be used as the treasurer’s office as well as a place for book club, knitting club, discussion, and small gatherings. The previous fitness space is now being used as the art room and is filled with art created by seniors.

The DeCorso Community Center is located at 15 East Fourth Street, New Providence. To reach the DeCorso Community Center, please call (908) 665-0046 or e-mail decorsocenter@newprov.us.

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Zumbini with Allie Celebrates Grand Opening with Ribbon Cutting

By CAROLINE PEER

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Sing, Dance, Play, and Learn at New Providence’s newly opened Zumbini with Allie.

Allie Lasota opened this new spot to be the destination for families in the greater New Providence area relating to children’s music entertainment and provide the “best” experience in music and dance starting at infancy through adolescence in a safe and energetic environment. 

Lasota and her family celebrated the grand opening of her new studio with a ribbon cutting ceremony along with Mayor Al Morgan, Councilwoman Diane Bilicska, and Michele Elefante and Cindy Reis representing the New Providence Business Community.

“Welcome to the New Providence community,” said Mayor Al after he cut the ceremonial ribbon. “There is no other facility like this in New Providence. We’re very gratified that you are here.”  

Lasota started her business after having her daughter and moving to New Providence where she quickly brainstormed and researched different music and theater programs. She found the Zumbini LLC Franchise and began offering weekday classes, after school classes, and birthday parties. She had a vision of owning a studio and has reached that goal by opening Zumbini with Allie, a children’s music and dance studio. 

“I love what I do, and I think my passion really shows,” said Lasota. “I put a lot of love into this studio and believe our community and children really need a place like this to explore.” 

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New Providence 4th Annual Race Unity Day Set for June 25

By MARIANNE IVERS

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The members of the Diversity Committee attended the Tuesday, April 12 council meeting to request the use of Centennial Park on June 25 for the 4th Annual Race Unity Day. New Providence High School students are leading the event and it is sponsored by the Diversity Committee.

This is the second year in a row that youth leaders are taking the reigns of organizing the event, Diversity Committee Sunil Abrol said. The goal of the event is to bring various cultures together and promote diversity. The program includes a series of dance and song performances representing different cultures. Discussion series are also offered and attendees can go around to different booths to learn about various groups or attend activities.

The event will run from 1 pm to 4 pm. The council unanimously approved the group’s request to use Centennial Park. “We look forward to attending,” Mayor Al Morgan said.

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New Providence Council Celebrates Winning Hockey and Basketball Teams; Recognizes Public Safety Telecommunicators

By MARIANNE IVERS

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – It was a proud moment for Mayor Al Morgan and the Borough Council as they recognized the Governor Livingston/New Providence Ice Hockey and New Providence High School Girls Basketball Teams at the Tuesday, April 12 meeting. They also recognized the National Public Safety Telecommunicator’s Week of April 10-16.

The ice hockey team won the Group C State Championship Game vs. Morris Knolls at the Prudential Center on March 7. This year marked the sixth season of New Providence High School ice hockey players participating with their peers from the Governor Livingston High School. The team finished with an impressive 18-6-1 record. Previously, the team earned conference championships in 2017 and 2021.

The mayor and council also honored Head Coach Michael Criscitello for being named the State Ice Hockey Coach of the Year by NJ.com. Criscitello has been with the joint GL/NP hockey team for its entire existence, the first two years as an assistant coach. He was recently appointed Assistant Principal of the New Providence Middle School and will not continue his coaching career next season.

The New Providence Girls Basketball team won the Union County Championship game by topping the defending county champion Westfield High School at Kean University on February 26. This marked the team’s first county championship in 32 years and it is the New Providence High School’s 13th county championship in all sports. The team finished the season ranked 11th in the entire state by NJ.com.

The proclamation honoring the National Public Safety Telecommunicator’s Week noted that emergencies can occur at any time that require police, fire or emergency medical services and when an emergency occurs the prompt response of law enforcement, firefighters and EMS personnel is critical to the protection of life and preservation of property. “The safety of our police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel is dependent upon the quality and accuracy of information obtained from citizens who telephone the Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center,” Morgan read. According to the proclamation “the Public Safety Telecommunicators of the Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center have contributed substantially to the apprehension of criminals, suppression of fires and treatment of patients,” and that “each dispatcher has exhibited compassion, understanding and professionalism during the performance of their job in the past year.”

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