If you could not attend a recent Morristown council meeting about a proposed CVS pharmacy for the corner of Speedwell Avenue and Spring Street, you will have another chance to ask questions on Oct. 4, 2012.
A neighborhood workshop on this redevelopment project is scheduled for 7 pm to 9 pm at the seniors center in town hall, at 200 South St.
CVS wants to build a 15,000-square-foot pharmacy with 73 parking spaces on the site of an old Lincoln Mercury car dealership that has been vacant for more than a decade. The pharmacy chain seeks town approvals by November.
If CVS completes its purchase of the site from the Lotz family, and obtains redevelopment approvals from the town council and planning board, it pledges to donate property fronting Speedwell Avenue that can be converted into another northbound lane.
The result would be two lanes for through-traffic to bypass the left-turn lane for motorists heading from Speedwell to Early Street.
Senior running back Austin Roland romped to four touchdowns for the 2-2 Wolfpack, not bad for a kid who only measures 5-foot-8 and weighs 176 pounds, reports the Daily Record:
“Austin just runs so hard,” quarterback John Gutowski said. “He never quits and the line blocks very hard for him. He’s a great runner. You cannot judge him by his size. He runs with a lot of heart.”
Morristown’s Jordan Powell scored on a 77-yard run with just over a minute left to avert a shutout. The Colonials will try to get back on track at home against Parsippany Hills on Oct. 6 at 2:30 pm.
All kinds of treasures await intrepid rummagers at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown. The giant tag sale runs through 4 p.m. today, Sept. 29. The church is at the corner of South Street and Miller Road.
Always thinking ahead, we already walked away with a boogie board for surfing fun next summer… at the incredible price of $1! Catch the wave!
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“It’s going to be re-booted: The same, but much better!” promised Paul Kralyevich, the ebullient owner of Grassroots, where the motto is “Eat Better For Less, Be Honest to All.”
Paul is nailing down final details for a January opening at the 7,000-square-foot former Health Shoppe space. Shoppers will find many of the things they grew to love about the Health Shoppe during its four decades–including some of their favorite Health Shoppe staffers, nutritional supplements and natural remedies, catering, and a robust deli, he said. But pricing will be more aggressive, with a strong emphasis on certified organic produce and gluten-free baked goods.
“I want it to be a fun, positive and happy experience,” he said.
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That was the vibe on Friday at the Denville location, where Grassroots opened in 2005.
“Good service. Good organic food,” customer Karen Will of Rockaway said while browsing the organic produce.
Barbara Smith of Morris Township discovered Grassroots after the Health Shoppe closed. She can’t wait to welcome Grassroots to Morristown.
“Morristown needs a natural, holistic and organic element to the town,” said Barbara, who has raised her two kids to snack on carrots and hummus without complaining.
Paul said he will employ about 30 people in Morristown, including former Health Shoppe Manager Leslie Serao–who will be staffing the Grassroots booth across from the Presbyterian Church at Sunday’s Morristown Festival on the Green.
Festival visitors can choose from Grassroots’ gluten-free, vegan southwest quinoa or three-bean turkey chili, washed down with New Jersey blueberry ice tea.
The 55-year-old Grassroots owner, a former partner in a Greenwich Village natural foods market, said he was courted to come to Morristown by Paul Miller, coordinator of the town’s Office of Sustainability.
“A natural, organic food store is a key component to a sustainable economy,” Paul Miller said. “We educate people to make sustainable food choices, and we want to make that as easy as possible to find.”
Grassroots is committed to organic foods at a time when many “big box” stores are losing that focus, and its management is committed to treating employees and customers fairly, the town official said. Grassroots staff, suppliers and contractors rallied around Paul Kralyevich to re-open the Denville store four days after it was flooded by Tropical Storm Irene last year.
Paul Kralyevich grew up in Mets country–Astoria, Queens–yet rooted for the Yankees. And his career choice also might seem a contradiction; a quotation from Cicero hanging in his Denville office hints that he once studied history at Columbia University.
But a part-time job in a food store led to a life-changing revelation.
“I love feeding people,” he said.
It’s a trait he probably inherited from his Croatian grandmother, whose English was shaky.
“She communicated through food. I used to see the joy on her face when she brought this incredible variety out of the oven. She would sit there drinking coffee–she wouldn’t even eat!”
Few things stir greater passion in human beings than food, said Paul Kralyevich, whose zeal for natural foods approaches the evangelistic fervor of Marty Epstein, Morristown’s high priest of bicycling at Marty’s Reliable Cycle.
“What do we all talk about? What we had for breakfast, what we had for lunch, what we’re having for dinner,” Paul said.
Here is video from Thursday’s political drama in Morristown, where Toshiba Foster was appointed to succeed the late Councilman Anthony Cattano Jr.
The video starts with the deadlocked council vote, resumes with Eduardo Garchitorena bowing out after a hallway meeting with Toshiba and Mayor Tim Dougherty, continues with the Mayor officially casting the tie-breaking vote, and ends with Toshiba taking the oath of office.
Toshiba Foster was sworn in as Morristown’s new at-large councilwoman Thursday, but not before some political drama.
The council deadlocked 3-3 on the appointment, and rival candidate Eduardo Garchitorena withdrew before Mayor Tim Dougherty had to cast the tie-breaking vote.
Toshiba will serve out the remaining 14 months of the late Councilman Anthony Cattano Jr.‘s term.
After the meeting, the Mayor asked “Eddie G.,” as he is widely known, to replace Toshiba on the planning board.
“I still can’t believe it,” said Toshiba, holding her 5-year-old daughter Kylah, after getting the council appointment. Toshiba narrowly lost a bruising primary challenge last year against incumbent Democrat Raline Smith-Reid, who represents the Second Ward.
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Toshiba is co-founder of Our Youth Their Future, and said she will work hard to promote more activities for young people in town. She and Eddie both said it was an honor to be nominated by the town Democratic committee to succeed Tony Cattano, who died of cancer earlier this month at age 63.
“I think he’ll be looking down on me saying, ‘She did the best that she could in serving the town of Morristown,’” said Toshiba, 38, who works as a benefits administrator.
“Like I said before, I want what’s best for the town,” said Eddie, a tenants rights advocate who, it is believed, would have been the first Hispanic to serve on the council. “I think Toshiba will be a tremendous councilwoman… Do I feel a little disappointed? The council had a hard choice, an extremely hard choice.”
That deadlock came when Council President Michelle Dupree Harris, after agonizing for a few moments, voted for Eddie after council members Stefan Armington, Rebecca Feldman and Kevin Gsell voted for Toshiba, and Raline and Alison Deeb, the lone Republican on the governing body, sided with Eddie.
“Eddie reminded me of me when I ran the first time,” Michelle said later. “Just his demeanor, the sincerity in his voice and the nervousness. It took me back.”
The drama heightened when the Mayor, summoned from the audience by town Clerk Matthew Stechauner to break the tie, requested a timeout and huddled in a hallway with Toshiba and Eddie for five minutes.
When they returned, Eddie announced he was bowing out. The Mayor then voted for Toshiba as a formality–four votes were needed– and led a standing ovation for Eddie.
If the selection had not been made within a month of Tony Cattano’s passing, state law says the appointment then would have fallen to the councilman’s political party–the Democratic committee that sent the nominations to the council.
The Mayor said he mostly listened during the hallway discussion. “Eddie took the position that Toshiba was strong on issues from her last run, and it was her time,” he said.
Eddie, 48, said no deals were cut.
A third nominee, Michael Cherello, dropped out earlier this week, stating that he preferred to keep serving on the town housing authority.
During the special session in town hall, Toshiba and Eddie each answered questions sent to them in advance by the council. Toshiba, a single mother of two, emphasized her work on behalf of disadvantaged youths and described herself as a problem-solver in the human resources department of a 4,000-employee organization. She said she wants to improve communication between the council and residents.
Eddie, a divorced dad who rents an apartment in the First Ward, emphasized tenant issues and redevelopment around the train station.
Alison Deeb said she thought Eddie would have brought more diversity to the council, but said she looks forward to working with Toshiba. Raline expressed similar sentiments, saying last year’s primary, which Toshiba challenged in court, was “long gone.”
“I do anticipate working with her very well,” Raline said.
Stefan Armington explained his vote by saying he worked with Toshiba on the planning board, and Rebecca Feldman cited Toshiba’s campaigning and readiness to work with youths.
Mary Dougherty, the town’s Democratic chairwoman and wife of the Mayor, said she did no lobbying for either candidate.
“I think it took a huge amount of courage and humility for Eddie to do what he did,” she said.
Eddie, a native of Argentina who moved to Morristown at age 6, noted his fluency in Spanish but told the council his goal was to unite all citizens. As a field supervisor for an office technology company, he said it’s his job to make customers happy.
“I work very well with others, I’m a great listener, and I’m great at troubleshooting and finding solutions,” he said.
It appears that there is no disputing that claim.
Memorial Day will never be the same in Morristown.
J. Robert Tracey, a fiery orator who demanded the veneration of U.S. warriors for 56 straight years on the historic Morristown Green, is now part of history, silenced on Wednesday night by cancer at age 86.
A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Bob lived long enough to see his efforts on behalf of fellow veterans commemorated on July 4th with the renaming of Morristown’s Veterans Memorial Park for him.
“It meant everything to him. He loved Morristown…if he had a cut he would bleed maroon and white,” said retired Fire Capt. Tim Murphy, a lifelong family friend who continues to press for renovations to the park at the intersection of South Street and Madison Avenue.
Bob Tracey’s titles and awards could fill pages: Morristown postmaster for nearly 30 years. Charter member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in Morris County. Grand Marshal of the Morris County St. Patrick’s Parade in 2001. Boxing coach. Little League baseball coach. Parishioner at St. Margaret’s for 60 years. Alderman. Freeholder candidate. Devoted husband to his high school sweetheart, Mary. Father of four daughters.
But above all, it was his passion for making life better for wounded veterans that many regard as his legacy.
“We lost a true American hero,” said Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco (R-25th Dist.). When Tony was running for office, Bob asked him if he had ever been to the Lyons veterans hospital. He was embarrassed to admit he had not.
“Well, we’re going to change that right now,” Bob told him. The Assemblyman said he will never forget the reception that Bob got from veterans that day.
“You would have thought he was the President of the United States,” he said. “The veterans there just loved him. They knew he was there for them…He talked to every vet, knew all their ailments. You could tell he was absolutely concerned that they got the best they could get.”
Bob Tracey’s last Memorial Day speech.
When the system fell flat, Bob Tracey stepped in, rallying veterans organizations for better care at the local veterans hospitals and working behind the scenes to help veterans’ families cut through red tape for benefits, said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.), whose father’s congressional office was in the Morristown post office during Bob’s tenure as postmaster.
“There will not be anybody like Bob Tracey in the future… He was legendary,” said the Congressman.
The Morristown High School graduate helped raise $100,000 to repair and clean up veterans memorials around town. He volunteered his carpentry skills for the restoration of the Community Theatre, and pitched in around the Green, even picking up litter.
“It didn’t matter how menial the task,” said Glenn Coutts, head of the Trustees of the Green and a classmate of Bob Tracey. “Whenever you needed something to be done, you called Bob, and he was right there with you. He was a good person. This is a terrible loss.”
From his wheelchair, Bob gave an impassioned speech in March against the proposed closure of his beloved Morristown post office.
One of Tim Murphy’s earliest memories is tagging along with then-Alderman Bob Tracey to meet Robert F. Kennedy, who came through the area on a campaign swing for his brother.
With the death earlier this month of Councilman Anthony Cattano Jr. and now Bob’s passing, an era has ended in Morristown, Tim said. Bob Tracey hailed from “the Greatest Generation,” and on every Memorial Day and Veterans Day he thundered about the sacrifices made by veterans. “It’s a debt we can never pay back,” Tim said.
Battling throat cancer and crippled by leg ailments, Bob struggled to get through his final speech, at the park rededication on the Fourth of July.
“Let us keep in our hearts and our minds and our souls this wonderful, wonderful country that Almighty God has created,” he implored. “Just a small little country on this planet called earth, the greatest country God ever created, the United States of America.”
A wake is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 30, from 2 pm to 6 pm at the Doyle Funeral Home at 106 Maple Ave. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Margaret’s Church on Speedwell Avenue at 11 am on Monday, Oct. 1, with burial at Holy Rood Cemetery.
Bob is survived by his wife, Mary (Loreto), and daughters Kathleen Dabinett of Toms River; Mary Jane Cullen, of Brookhaven, NY; Deborah Morris, of Mount Arlington and Patricia Pellegrino, of Morris Township; his four sons-in-law, George, Brian, Layne and Ronald; 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the J. Robert Tracey Veterans Memorial Park, c/o the Town of Morristown, 200 South St., P.O. Box 914, Morristown, NJ 07960. Make checks payable to: Bob Tracey Contribution, Town of Morristown.
It’s a rite of autumn, like football and falling leaves. The Morristown Festival on the Green will celebrate its 18th year on Sunday, Sept.30, with something for everyone from noon until 5 pm.
Grownups can meet local business people and social service volunteers at more than 150 booths lining the historic Morristown Green–and learn some square dancing steps from the Reelers.
Little kids will find amusing games and rides–and fire juggler Keith Leaf and the stilt-walking Dynamic Dave.
Video highlights from the 2010 Fall Festival
“Traditionally, there has not been a lot for teens. I wanted to do more for this age group because it’s so important for the downtown,” said Jennifer Wehring of the Morristown Partnership, the business organization that organizes the festival.
The entertainment is free to the public; vendors pay to participate. Jennifer hopes to raise $15,000 towards the month-long Christmas Festival on the Green, which marks its 99th season this year.
Rain or shine, the fall festival is meant to show off Morristown’s many attractions–including more than 20 restaurants that will be selling menu specialties.
“It’s really a showcase for downtown Morristown, to draw people here to support the local economy, and to make people think of Morristown as a great destination,” said Jennifer.
Revolutionary Vaudeville at the 2011 Fall Festival
The festival also gives sponsors a chance to meet potential customers, one-on-one. Newcomers this weekend include Dreams Performing, an arts school moving into the former Boin Arts & Craft Shop on Morris Street, and Oxygen Pilates Studio, opening soon next to the London World salon on Market Street.
Speedway Racing, a perennial favorite, returns to North Park Place and Speedwell Avenue. The Main Stage, at South and DeHart streets, will feature the Heart of Gold Band. Teen bands and the Mayo Performing Arts Company will occupy the Family Stage at South Park Place and Dumont Place.
For the first time, the festival will charge admission to the kiddie slides and bounce rides on Speedwell Avenue. It’s $1 per ride, or $5 for unlimited rides.
Jennifer said the money will help keep entertainment free at the Christmas festival. The key entertainer–Santa–has Morristown penciled-in for December.
“I already called the North Pole,” Jennifer said. “He’s good. He’ll be here.”
Scenes from 2011 by Bill Lescohier. Click icon below for captions.