September 11 Memorial
South Orange officials gathered in front of the Fire Department exactly 12 years after the World Trade Center attacks of Sept. 11. South Orange Fire Chief Jeff Markey, now retired, addressed the community and offered encouraging words.
“As tragic as events like this are and how much they show us that there is evil in the world and there are people willing to do terrible things for the wrong reasons, it also shows us that there are people that are willing to step up and the heroism that comes out of any of these tragedies is something important for us to remember every day.” - South Orange Fire Chief Jeff Markey.
Nelson Mandela Memorial
After the death of Nelson Mandela, members of the Seton Hall University community, including students, faculty and staff, held a ceremony and brief candlelight vigil to commemorate his life and legacy.
“Nelson Mandela is a role model. He was an inspiration. He was motivational. Colonialism left an indelible scar on the modern face of civilization. But the work of a handful of people removed that scar. Now we all are called upon to heal the wound. Here at Seton Hall, we hope to not only commemorate his passing but hope to motivate the next generation. I’ll look to the future. I believe that the energy, the genius and the determination of people like Nelson Mandela, well we need to institutionalize their paradigm for the next generation.” - Rev. Dr. Forrest M. Pritchett, faculty mentor and director of Seton Hall’s Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Program
Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
Maplewood named November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in the township with a proclamation read during a Nov. 4 Township Committee meeting. Eight-year Pancreatic Cancer survivor and Millburn resident Michael Weinstein spoke on behalf of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at the conclusion of the reading of the proclamation.
“This is a special (proclamation) for me, three years and six weeks ago I was on the operating table having part of my pancreas taken out because I had a non-cancerous tumor there,” said Maplewood Mayor Victor De Luca before reading the proclamation. “Its too emotional to read how many people die, luckily mine wasn't cancerous and I'm still here to talk about it.” - Maplewood Mayor Victor De Luca
Police Officer Promotions
Three Maplewood Police Officers were promoted and sworn into their new roles in November, while surrounded by fellow officers, township officials, family, friends and supportive residents.
“I'd like to thank Mayor DeLuca of the Township of Maplewood, Chief Cimino, my brother and sister officers, my wife and family for putting up with all my craziness over the years, and I'd also like to thank Captain John Perna who retired, who gave us the opportunity to be here tonight,” - Lt. Thomas Ames Perna.
Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne Decides to Stay in SOMA District
In July, after a tense several weeks during which two school districts waited to learn his decision, Superintendent Brian Osborne ultimately turned down a job offer to become the schools chief in Ann Arbor, Mich. and decided remain in the South Orange - Maplewood School District (SOMSD).
“This was not an easy decision. When approached about the superintendency of Ann Arbor, I responded because Ann Arbor embodies the qualities and values that originally drew me to the South Orange Maplewood School District (SOMSD), and have made the work there so meaningful...I feel that the biggest contribution to public education that I can make at this time is to harness the momentum we have created in SOMSD and accelerate the progress we are making toward truly preparing all students for the myriad challenges they will face in college and career. We have a strong beginning to that journey in SOMSD, and much unfinished work in motion. ” - South Orange and Maplewood Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Osborne.