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Black bear population, complaints double in New Jersey. Here’s where most were reported – New Jersey Herald02.04.21

Bruce A. Scruton|New Jersey Herald

West Milford NJ camera captures bear knocking down bird feeder

Bear caught on camera Tuesday knocking bird feeder in a family's backyard in the Hewitt section of West Milford.

Mark Stinziano

Sightings and nuisance reports about black bears more than doubled in New Jersey from 2019 through 2020. Theirpopulation also doubled in the last two years, figures show.

In 2019, state residents reported169 bear sightings, and a year later the number jumped to349, according to Department of Environmental Protection figures.

During the same time, damage and nuisance reports involving black bears increased from 122 in 2019 to 268 in 2020, figures show.

Black bears now inhabit most of New Jersey except a few coastal towns along the Delaware Bay,SouthJerseyand along the Hudson River.

While pro-hunting groups attribute the increase to the additionalhunting regulations put in place by Gov. Phil Murphy, state officials are chalking up theincrease to the states coronavirus shutdown and thestay-at-home crowd.

"The bear population is exploding, and with it, bear-human conflicts areon the rise like never before," said Cody McLaughlin, a spokesman for the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance. "It's a strikinglyobvious correlation for anyone with a calculator, education in arithmetic and an ounceof honesty in them."

Lawrence Hajna, a spokesman for the DEP, said reports may have increased due to more people being at home seeing bears as they disperse into habitats."

Those against the bear hunt say the issue can be resolved by educating people about bears andencouraging bettergarbage control to keep them away from populated areas.

All agree that bears will be an issue in November's gubernatorial election.

The bear numbers released by the Division of Fish and Wildlife, part of the DEP, don't include any sightings or incidents reported to local or state police.

InHunterdon County, the bear count went from 83 to 85. But in other areas there was a dramatic increase. Bergen County went from 20 incident reports to 75 and urban Hudson County went from zero in 2019 to five complaints in 2020.

Gloucester County didn't have any bear sightings or other reports in 2019 but had 23 last year, and Middlesex County went from a single report in 2019 to 16 in 2020.

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Sussex County, which has always had a black bear population, even when they were almost extirpated in the state, had the most reports in both 2019, with 274, and 2020, with504.

Passaic County's overall incidentsrose from 114 to 148 during the same time, while Warren County's increased from 142 to 191.

The New Jersey black bear population has made a strong comeback since the 1950s, when it had dwindled to the hundreds.

The estimated bear population in fall 2020 was 3,158, the third-highest this century, according to the Division of Fish and Wildlife. In 2014, DFW biologists estimated there were 3,606 bears in the woods of northwestern New Jersey. The number in 2010 was pegged at 3,272.

As with any wildlife population, the counts are the result of mathematical calculations. Hajna, of the DEP, said biologists use the widely acceptedLincoln-Peterson Index to estimate the bear population.Bears are live-captured, marked with an ear tag and a tattoo on the inner lip, and released.

But those estimates are done only for the northwestern part of the state, where bear hunting has been allowed. Thearea is roughly west of Interstate 287 and north of Interstate 78 and divided into six zones, with hunting allowed in five.

Yetaccording to dispersion maps produced by the DFW, the hunting zones cover only about one-third of what is now considered black bear range within the state.

And there have been no population studies of the areas thatinclude eastern Morris County, much ofBergen County and the rest of the state southfrom Essex and Somerset counties.

The state classifies black bear complaints into three categories:

Nuisance bear reports more than doubled in one year, from 122 in 2019 to 268 in 2020. Following that were bear-in-garbage issues, from 137 to 216, and home entries, from 10 in 2019 to 16 last year.

Vernon's Police Department has undergone bear incident training, Chief Dan Young said. The rural North Jerseydepartment recorded 42 bear calls in 2019 and 49 in 2020. However, there are many more times that officers get dispatched to an area because of a bear sighting.

He said officers often will patrol anarea and watch as the bear goes about its own routine.

"We respect that we live among them," Young said, adding that sometimes just a quick blast of the car's siren is enough to move the bear along more quickly.

"We don't get concerned when they just walk through a neighborhood," he said. The concern level does go up if there are children present or a bear is near a park.

According to the DEP management plan, hunting is themethod of population control for black bears. Since 2016, the state has held a six-day archery hunting season in October and a six-day shotgun season in early December to coincide with the annual deer season.

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However, the number of bears killed during the hunt can vary widely, depending on weather conditions.

In the past five years there have been 1,995 bears killed by hunters, and of those, 1,547 were inOctober by bow and arrow.

In the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Murphy ordered state-owned lands, including parks, forests and wildlife management areas, be closed to bear hunting.

While it is the Fish and Game Council that sets the hunting seasons, Murphy argued that he had the power, as governor, to regulate what can be done on state lands.

The state's Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy is expected to expire in late spring, andMurphy said that will allow him to ban all bear hunting.

Not so fast, claim the pro-hunting groupsthat were responsible for the first huntingpolicy, achieved through the courts in 2010.

Their legal argument is twofold: The old plan remains in effect until a new one is approved, and the black bear hunt is still in the 2021 game code.

"This is going to be, bar none, a top-tier issue in this year's election. Counton it," said McLaughlin, of the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance. "The NJOA andother like-minded conservation groups are intenton taking center-stage this year and standing up tothis governor's feckless leadership and total ignoranceof the science."

McLaughlin said the NJOA and other groups are telling the governor: "We told you so."

"Once they find an easily accessible food source, like garbage in a housing development, they will lose their wariness of people and may return to the available food source," according to Division of Fish and Wildlife guidance.

A major argument of the pro-bear/anti-hunting lobby is that the DEP does little to encourage better garbage control in areas with high bear populations.

"It is a fact that human-provided foods abundantly available to bears in human environments generates nuisance complaints not the number of bears," said Janet Pisar, a pro-bear activist. "As bears are reduced and removed, the surviving 'robust bear population'moves into the territories where dense-calorie food is available."

She said her research shows there were "a mere five violations written between 2016 and Oct. 31, 2020." She said earlier records from2005 to 2009"reveal just four violations written, three on a single day."

Pisar also distrusts the Division of Fish and Wildlife, calling it a "vehemently pro-hunt agency" and saying that because the division is the one that collects the complaints, "there can never be public trust in its self-serving reporting."

The enforcement numbers provided by the DEP, however, differ.

"Division of Fish and Wildlife Conservation police officers routinely patrol for numerous types of violations so placing a number on hours spent on just garbage enforcement is not possible," wrote Hajna.

He said that in 2020, officersissued 24 verbal warnings, 20 written warningsand foursummonses.

Other than hunting, the DEP uses the following to control population, Hajna said.

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Black bear population, complaints double in New Jersey. Here's where most were reported - New Jersey Herald

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Keeping It Real – INKED02.04.21

Fate can be a very funny thing.

Whether or not you even believe in fate or destiny, its undeniable that there are millions of little instances that must happen in an exact manner to get a person to where they end up. Even the slightest alteration in ones path can determine entire decades of the future. It can be as banal as taking a left instead of a right, taking drama instead of band in high school or, in the case of Tim Howard, experiencing his first overdose of youthful exuberance in fall, not spring.

I was a rambunctious 6-year-old and my mom said, You gotta get out of the house. Youve got to do something, pick a sport, Howard says. It was fall, so the first one was soccer, so soccer was it. I went out there and the love affair began. It was everythingI got to run around and be with my friends, yell, scream, slide on the ground, get muddy, kick the ball. It was brilliant.

At the time, his mother likely thought she was simply buying herself a couple of hours of relaxation while a young Howard ran off some steam. Theres no way she could have predicted it would alter the entire future of soccer in the United States.

Howard found so much more than an outlet for the well of activity bubbling inside of him; he found a passion that will consume him for the rest of his days. After spending two decades as a goalkeeper in Major League Soccer (MLS), the Premier League and for the United States Mens National Team, Howard has traded in his kit for a suit.

Splitting his time between serving as sporting director for Memphis 901 FC of the USL Championship and appearing as an analyst for NBCSNs coverage of the Premier League, Howard found a way to keep the beautiful game in his life even with his playing days behind him.

Howard wasnt the first American to find success playing in England, but unlike many of his predecessors, his success was sustained over a period of more than a decade. An entire generation of Everton supporters knew only of a team with Howard between the sticks. But when he first made the jump from the MetroStars of the MLS to a tiny little club named Manchester United back in 2003, English fans were very skeptical of the American goalkeeper.

Photos by Peter Roessler

The papers took aim at Howard, not because of his playing style or his youth, but because of the affliction he has been dealing with since he was 10Tourette syndrome. I signed for Man United and in the press, one of the tabloid papers, and theyre all tabloids over there, it said, Man United Signs Disabled Goalkeeper, Howard recalls. If Im being honest, Ive always been a pretty bold and confident person, even as a young kid. Really, if Im being brutally honest, I had just signed for Manchester United. I became a millionaire overnight, nothing was going to take the wind out of my sails.

English football supporters are often noted for their chants, which vary from the mundane to the profane. And much like the tabloids, Howards disorder found its way into chants from supporters of his club and from rival clubs. Manchester United fans had a song that I probably cant repeat, but it was endearing, Howard says. Opposing fans would also chant about it. Youd hear thousands and thousands of people chanting about my Tourette syndrome. In a really odd way, it was somewhat loving. I never really took it seriously. Someone once told me that when they stop talking about you is when you need to worry, so good or bad, Ill take it.

People were certainly talking about Howard when he made his debut at one of the most hallowed grounds in the sport, Old Trafford. Being the goalkeeper for Manchester United can be an overwhelming burden, particularly for a kid from New Jersey whose entire professional career had been played in the United States.

It was scary as hell, Howard remembers about the first time he walked onto the Old Trafford pitch. It was cool, as I was this kid who came from nowhere, but I was also realizing that wasnt going to pay the bills. I needed to figure this thing out very quickly, I was getting thrown into the deep end. It was one of the scariest moments of my life.

And figure it out he did. During his time at United, Howard played a key role in many memorable games, including stopping the decisive penalty against Arsenal to win the Community Shield. Despite this, his time in Manchester would be brief, as he was soon loaned out to Everton. It was in Liverpool where Howard would find his place.

I spent three years at Man United and then 10 glorious years at Everton Football Club, Howard says. Outside of my two children, Everton Football Club is the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Being able to play 400 times for that club, becoming an Evertonian myself, loving the fans and having them love me, feeling like thats home theres nothing like it in the world.

Playing at the Gwladys Street End [at Evertons home, Goodison Park] with all those Blues behind you, just willing you on, having this togetherness, he continues, yeah, Im on the field playing, but theyre there. Its just one family, one team, its really special. Like Ive said, I played for Manchester United, which is the biggest football club in the world, and Ive played for Everton, which is the greatest football club in the world.

In Europe, it was Howards play at Everton that captivated football fans, but in the United States he cemented his reputation by playing for his country. For decades the sport would enjoy a brief time in the spotlight every four years during the World Cup. More often than not the door would close on the popularity when the US Mens National Team was eliminated, usually during the group stage.

Photos by Peter Roessler

This changed a little in 1994 when the United States hosted the tournament, but even that boost was fleeting. In the 2000s things started to change thanks to a trio of stars who carried the USMNT to new heights. With forwards Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey pouring in goals and Howard keeping the ball out of the net, the USMNT became a force to be reckoned with.

Any soccer player who grows up with a ball at their feet dreams about playing for their country, Howard says. Then once you dream about playing for your country, you very quickly dream about playing in a World Cup. When you know thats the highest representation you can have as a player it drives you. It drives you to eat, sleep and breathe the game, to do everything in your power to get selected to play in the World Cup. To hear the national anthem being played before going out to play against the best teams in the world, I dedicated my life to [achieving] that.

Given the importance Howard placed on the honor of playing for the USMNT, its no surprise that some of his greatest performances came while wearing the national shirt. He bookended his World Cup career with two performances for the ages. His debut came against England at the 2010 World Cup, where he earned Man of the Match honors in a 1-1 draw against a heavily favored opponent. But it was his performance against Belgium in 2014 that he will be remembered for.

The United States was facing a Belgium team that was stacked with talent on both ends of the pitch. Howard faced an absolute barrage of shots without letting one past for 90 minutes. Belgium broke through in extra time, eventually winning the match 2-1. Even in defeat, Howard walked away with Man of the Match honors as he made 15 saves, a World Cup record.

An opportunity to move on to face Argentina and Messi slipped through the teams fingers, but that is mostly forgotten by USMNT fans who remember the joy of watching one of the worlds best keepers give the performance of his career. Ultimately, when all is said and done, people remember my career for a lot of things, but mostly for that, Howard shares. Its really nice now that Im an old washed-up soccer player and people have vivid memories about where they were and they want to talk about it. Its a really special thing to have a signature moment people care to remember fondly.

Being a soccer star in this country carries a bit more responsibility than it does in other places where the sport is more popular. Stars like Howard are expected to do more than just compete on the pitch; they are also expected to have a hand in growing the game in the sporting culture at large.

I realized that after we went to the World Cup in South Africa and we went to the World Cup in Brazil, there was a crossover taking place during our generation, Howard says. People on Wall Street leaving their jobs early to go into the park, drink a beer and watch on the big screen. NBA and NFL players wearing soccer jerseys and tweeting about the World Cupnow you know youre part of a generation that helped the sport cross over into a whole other realm.

After doing so much for the game from the pitch, Howard is now doing his part from the analysts chair. NBCSNs extensive coverage of the Premier League has been pivotal in creating a new generation of soccer fans. Twenty years ago it was rare to find an American capable of naming more than two or three English teams; now its not out of the ordinary to see somebody sitting on the bus wearing a Wolverhampton scarf.

After spending 22 years on the other side being criticized by commentators, the boot is now on the other foot. This doesnt mean that Howard is taking personal grievances into the studio with himit means hes offering up a viewpoint that can only be held by a goalkeeper who has spent a lifetime watching the game take shape from the back. Youre oftentimes not right in the thick of it, so you see this broad perspective of the field in terms of tactical awareness and spacing, Howard explains. You end up seeing the game differently than other people. Not a better perspective, but a different perspective. I try my best to offer insight in regards to what a defender is thinking in a moment because of what attackers are trying to do to defenders, how an attacking team will try to overload one side to make defenders uncomfortable.

You might not be able to tell while watching Howard on TV, but underneath his business suit hes sporting a massive collection of tattoos. Its obvious that he is a fan of black-and-grey with great taste, particularly in the portraiture he has collected.

Howard started collecting tattoos in the 90s, so just like practically everybody else who was tattooed in the 90s he has some tribal. But its his first tattoo, a Superman symbol, that truly stands out as a time capsule. I was 16 years old and I went down to this place in Jersey with my brothers fake ID, Howard laughs. It was 1996 and I think Superman was a thing. I think Shaquille ONeal had a Superman, so I was like, Im gonna get a Superman. It wasnt the smartest idea, but I was cool the next day in school. At least I thought I was cool, everybody else probably thought I was an idiot (laughs).

His own coolness may have been up for debate, but there is no denying the cool factor of a certain portrait Howard had tattooed by Emma Kierzek. Ive got some really cool portraits that are just special, they capture a moment, he says. JFK was the personification of coolness and here he is just smoking a heater, in a tuxedo, chilling somewhere.

While he adores his many portrait tattoosin addition to the 35th president he also has portraits of his children, his grandfather and othersthe tattoo with the best story behind it is the piece of script on his hand. Im a product of the golden era of hip-hop and Nas is the greatest MC of all time, Howard says. Im not a wanna meet you type of person, but I had to meet Nas. I pulled out all the stops, talked to a bunch of friends, and I ended up going backstage and meeting him.

I was like, Yo, this might be a little weird, but if you sign my hand I would love to get it tattooed, he continues. So he signs my hand. Its midnight, Im calling all over Denver trying to find one of my tattoo artists but no one is open. So I had to sleep with my hand off the bed to make sure it wouldnt smudge. So thats my favorite. For sure. Easily.

A lot of athletes have a hard time when their career is over. For some, its tough to know when exactly is the right time to hang it up. Others have trouble transitioning into the new phase of their lives. Not Howard.

Quite honestly, I have no desire to play the game of soccer, he says. My body is beat up after 22 long years. Im very thankful for what the game has given me, its given me everything. But the time was right.

What if a 6-year-old Tim Howard had never stepped foot on that muddy field so many years ago? Would people still be ducking out of their offices to watch the USMNT play in the World Cup? Would thousands of blue-clad Americans head out to the bar at 7 a.m. to watch Everton Football Club take on their hated rivals, Liverpool?

Well never know the answers to these questions simply because fate placed Tim Howard exactly where he was supposed to be.

Photos by Peter Roessler

Special thanks to the gracious team at Chelsea Piers for hosting this photoshoot.


Keeping It Real - INKED

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Jersey Shores Angelina Shows Off Her New Half-Sleeve Tattoo – TheThings01.30.21

Angelina needed a change and most recently, thats exactly what she did, getting a symbolic tattoo.

The last couple of months have been a rollercoaster for Jersey Shores Angelina Pivarnick. She made the headlines for a serious situation that nobody knew about, according to the reality star, she was harassed at the workplace during her time as an EMT, Every time Id go to work, Id do the sign of the cross before walking in, Angelina revealed on the MTV reality show. It was very hard for me to be in that situation and be the person receiving it. I kept going and I had to say something, I couldnt take it anymore.

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We saw the softer side of Angelina on the show as she revealed some of the details to Lauren Sorrentino. She made mention that it wasnt easy to deal with, especially given that she kept it to herself. Angelina claims the boys just wouldnt understand what she was going through.

Things got worse for Angelina following a fake pregnancy post. Turns out, it was a clickbait tactic, something Angelina is known for. Things got so out of hand that she was forced to disable all comments on her posts. She would even delete the post altogether.

Clearly, she needed a change and most recently, thats exactly what she did, getting a symbolic tattoo.

In order to combat all the recent hate and misfortune, Angelina got herself an Evil Eye tattoo, taking up her entire forearm. The tattoo means a lot to Angelina, I am soooo happy with how my half sleeve is coming @russotattoosnyc @inkcouturenyc !!! My evil eye is Soo detailed and sick!!!! He also fixed my rose and made it more realistic :). Andrew is not only talented but super awesome at cover-ups. If anyone wants some sick work you know who I trust. Call them and say I sent you . I cant wait to finish the rest. Thank you to Andrew and the amazing staff there.

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In addition, hoping for a new beginning, Angelina decided to activate the comments again. Fans were split, with some complimenting her on the new ink, while others still arent letting go of the fake pregnancy post. Pregnancy controversy aside, the tat looks pretty darn good.

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Jersey Shores Angelina Shows Off Her New Half-Sleeve Tattoo - TheThings

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The Masked Dancer Reveals a Reality Television Legend — And the Panel Was So Close! – TooFab01.30.21

Guest panelist Whitney Cummings orchestrated the most incredible debunking of someone else's guess in "Masked" history -- we're still laughing!

Finally, it was the moment wed all been waiting for. Not that its the Super Six on The Masked Dancer, but that we finally got to see Cotton Candy and Tulip go head-to-head.

And then, Sloth came out and made a huge statement, making it a veritable three-way tie for front-runner. Or was it? Guest panelist Whitney Cummings was on hand to try and help us figure that out.

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We will say that we were absolutely stunned when one of the contestants, whod always been consistently eh, really stepped up their game this week, turning in a genuinely emotional and beautiful performance.

The Super Six is inspiring some great dancing! We werent sure how much the emotional quality of dance could come through those silly costumes, but these performers are finding a way and were definitely excited to see more of them in the weeks to come.

This week also featured a first for all Masked'' franchises, as one panelists guess was immediately debunked in the absolute best way possible. Was it cheating? Most probably. Was it hilarious? Most definitely!

Lets jump right in with this weeks masks. And dont worry, before we get to the shocking unmasking, we're going to make you power through the terrible (and occasionally good) guesses made by our illustrious panel of Paula Abdul, Ken Jeong, Ashley Tisdale and Brian Austin Green first. We do this because we love ... to torture you.

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Cotton Candy definitely has flexibility, musicality and grace but after this performance, were leaning a little more toward a gymnast, perhaps, with some skill in floor routines. Her footwork just wasnt all that sharp, or even complex, with foreshortened lifts and flicks. Its as if she was too busy anticipating the bigger lifts coming up to fully commit. Shes still among the best, but this wasnt her best.

Guesses: With previous clues about how much she gave up through her young career, Olympian makes more and more sense. This week we saw seven diamond rings (twice) overlapping so their rings resemble the Olympics symbol.

We also saw a practice, practice, practice clue as well as her saying shed been told she cant dance. Add to that a super clue of five gold balloons, and could she have five gold medals as an Olympic gymnast or perhaps a figure skater?

This week, the panel got to ask questions, where we learned ice played a role in her life, she has a lot of tights in her house, cant do what shes famous for in heels, and is known for being fit.

Ashley was definitely feeling the ice skating vibe based on the ankle-lock spin move she did, so shes thinking Tara Lipinski. But Ken, instead, is thinking the balloons could be gold records so his terrible guess for the week is Jennifer Lopez. Oh Ken, is right, Paula.

Whitney threw out Brians guess (that he still likes) of Kristi Yamaguchi, but she took it a bit further and thought maybe the aerials was cheerleading so is it Gabi Butler of Cheer. Paula respected the guess, but disagreed, circling back to gymnastics and Simone Biles.

Twitter was definitely feeling the gymnast or ice skater vibe, with guesses ranging from Ali Raisman and Laurie Hernandez to Meryl Davis. But theres definitely a growing momentum behind Gabby Douglas.

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Exotic Bird delivered what was easily her strongest performance yet, bringing a true lyrical quality and genuine emotion through an unexpected contemporary duet. It wasnt perhaps the most technically challenging routine, but it was one that required precision of movement and synchronicity with her partner, both of which she pulled off elegantly.

Guesses: There was an unexpected artistry to this piece that almost pushes it further away from previous athlete clues. She did drop Rhythm Nation as a visual clue, which obviously harkens back to Janet Jacksons classic album.

We also saw the word Legendary spray-painted on a wall with a busted payphone and the Bernie Sanders meme (of all things). She said shed been mocked for her dancing, while also revealing that shes a mother -- oh, and her super clue was a rose tattoo.

If she is an athlete, then she has an incredible grace and musical foundation that would be a surprise in most athletes -- a secret talent? Rapid-fire questions this time taught us shes been in a music video, a campaign ad and the word model means something to her.

Ashley thinks some of the clues over the weeks, including perfume and the fact she has a baby -- and has worn a million other hats -- lead to tattoo artist Kat Von D. Brian thinks maybe its Ashley Graham, getting her mojo back after a new baby.

Whitney hilariously shot down Kens Kate Upton clue by video chatting Kate live on the air and she answered! This may be our favorite debunking of a guess weve ever seen! Thats, like, cheating! Kate chastised Whitney. But it was funny!

Twitter was picking up what the panel was putting down, echoing guesses for Ashley Graham, Kat Von D and even Amber Rose (Paula mentioned before the performance). There were also Jordin Sparks clues, matching height and earlier guesses, too, as well as Laura Prepon.

And theres one person really trying to manifest Lady Gaga onto this show.

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Sloth proved his skill on the dance floor yet again this week, with some whip-quick partnering and rock solid jazz moves. The fact he could add a playfulness to it all, much like some of the classic dancers like Fred Astaire, further cemented how much competence and confidence he has on that dance floor. His diversity in styles is serving him well, too.

Guesses: His super clue was a star mobile with the number 18 to go with a previous 18 visual clue. Adding to the baby sloth we saw was a picture of a dad, mom and child, suggesting hes married with a child (or he is the child) and danced around a Yankee St. pole.

He also shared that hes not new to the dance floor, which was becoming more and more evident anyway. Rapid-fire clues revealed that if he wasnt a sloth, hed be an elephant, the costume is not making him feel more at ease, and hes struggled being away from his family.

Ken decided that the Broadway moves and elephant (for Elephant Man) mean that his pal Bradley Cooper deigned to show up on this show. Um, no but thats three for three in awful guesses this week.

Brian went instead with the overall musicality and graceful humor to John C. Reilly, while Ashley is now thinking this might be Sacha Baron Cohen -- whos done a Broadway movie and only had 18 episodes of Da Ali G Show.

Glee star Harry Shum Jr. is still a popular guess after all those Glee clues, and he was definitely the strongest dancer on that show. That said, there is a growing momentum for DWTS pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who won twice-clued Season 18 of the show.

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Hammerhead took on a paso doble and he was pretty terrible at it. He pretty much threw his arms up and walked through the basic steps, but in a lumbering way that wasnt graceful or sharp or hard-hitting. He did have some troubles with his own cape, and it was entertaining but almost more for what a mess it was.

Guesses: This weeks new clues included the Las Vegas sign, a B.Y.O reference followed by suntan lotion and an East Coast map with the shark clearly standing in New Jersey. That certainly lends weight to the panels Mike The Situation Sorrentino guess, or the internets better Vinny Guadagnino guess from last week.

Our quick questions hear revealed that he thinks hes known for having a sense of humor, does not have stage fright, is not a solo act and has had at least one relationship in the public eye. Ken thinks the Jersey clue could lead to DJ Pauly D -- who has a residency at a club there.

Paula went younger, though, after guessing The Situation last week. She took Vegas to mean social media star David Dobrik. Brian, however, stole her Situation guess because the Jersey kids are definitely known for their tans.

That got Paula thinking maybe it was Vinny, which puts her more in line with the final guess. Plus, Vinny has his own Vegas connection with his Chippendales work. The internet was definitely feeling the JS vibe, but they werent sure which one, either though no one is thinking Mike.

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Tulip may be the most technically proficient dancer on the show, blowing us away week after week. This time, it looked like she was doing ballet and pointe (as well as she can in that costume) before getting into a more hip-hop vibe. And every bit of it was just flawlessly executed. She really is so watchable, even through the costume.

Guesses: Our new clues this week revealed that this show is allowing her to fall back in love with dance, something she apparently has done with her mother as evidenced by a 2nd Annual Mother-Daughter Dance picture.

On top of that, though, we saw that critics have told her she was not good enough, and that the style of dance we saw tonight was the first she learned. Rapid-fire questions added that shes never thought about retiring, pro at memorizing dialogue, and shed rather run out of gas than battery on her phone.

Ken was able to tie all the clues to Sarah Hyland, from mother-daughter on Modern Family to an appearance on Lip Sync Battle. Brian, however, was thinking it might be Simone Biles. But Whitney thinks she knows exactly who this is.

Whitney fell back on a previous guess for Cotton Candy, Julianne Hough, based on the dancing and the fact shes a pro at memorizing dialogue. But the internet has had this one on lock for weeks now and theyre not going to change their minds now.

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Zebra is definitely having a lot of fun up there, but you can also tell that its more about shaking his frills than bringing high quality dance moves. Hes definitely not a trained dancer, and doesnt even have consistent rhythm, but he is fun to watch.

Guesses: Was that a hint of an accent we heard in his clue package, where he talked about having two left feet and revealed he was claustrophobic. He also showed a graham (E) cracker and a K.O. t-shirt, continuing the boxing hints.

Three of his dancers had 99 on the back of their shirts, while rapid-fire taught us that hes acted, hes known for a hook and Ken has heard his music and that last clue just changed everything for most of them.

Whitney thinks the K.O. was a reference to LL Cool J, which ties in with a lot of the new clues, including the Graham-E. But Brian isnt ready to let go of boxing, so he just had to add music into it and find Oscar De La Hoya, while Paulas still thinking Floyd Mayweather.

The Twitterverse is just as confused, dropping names like Manny Pacquiao, Marc Anthony and Ricky Martin echoing the panels guesses. But Brians guess has some wheels turning and it looks like Oscar De La Hoya is picking up some steam.

Vicki Gunvalson: Lisa Rinna Snubbed Me, 'Wouldn't Have a Job If It Wasn't for Me' View Story

Theres a pretty even divide between those who seem like genuine dancers (Cotton Candy, Sloth and Tulip) and those who dont (Exotic Bird, Hammerhead and Zebra), so those latter three should go down over the next couple of weeks.

As for who should go first, it would have to be Hammerhead, simply because Zebra did have more of an entertaining quality to his movements, while Hammerhead just lumbered about. And Exotic Bird showed up in a surprising way this week for someone were pretty sure is not a trained dancer.

Turns out the audience and judges agreed with us, as Hammerhead was the first to fall post-merge. It was the right move, and encouraging to see that truly great dance is being rewarded and we get to see more of it in the weeks to come.

The panels final questions revealed hes a fan of working out, hes taller than Ken, has done a little stand-up comedy, has been to New Jersey and he loves social media. So which Jersey Shore star is it?

Look, it seemed pretty obvious by this point that this was one of the boys from Jersey Shore, so it was just a matter of nailing down which one. Theres a little too much grace out there for Mike and we just werent getting Pauly as much as we were Vinny, who can be the silliest of them.

Plus, the internet had our back on this one -- of those who agreed its a Jersey boy. So were were collectively right?

You bet we were, as Vinny Guadagnino emerged from the mask, clearly loving that the panel got so very, very close but not quite close enough. And poor Paula couldnt believe she said his name earlier in the night, but then went with David Dobrik!

We cant either, Paula. We cant either.

The Masked Dancer continues Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.


The Masked Dancer Reveals a Reality Television Legend -- And the Panel Was So Close! - TooFab

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Registration is Open – Virtual Photography Classes – Farmstead Arts – New Jersey Hills01.26.21

Farmstead Arts welcomes professional commercial/fine art photographer Thom Williams to their teaching faculty. Thom will be teaching virtual photography classes, including Black & White Photography, Introduction to Lighting, Beginner and Intermediate classes and more starting in February. Registration is open. Classes start February 4th!

Class fees for Farmstead Members is $90 and $100 for non-members.

Each 90-minute class meets weekly for 4 weeks. Classes offered include:

Beginner Photography I - Thursdays, 6:00 - 7:30 pm, Feb 4 - 25

Beginner Photography II- Wednesdays, 4:00 - 5:30 pm, Feb 3 - 24 and Thursdays, 6:00 - 7:30 pm, Mar 4 - 25

Intermediate Photography - Wednesdays, 4:00 - 5:30 pm, Mar 4-25

B&W Photography - Fridays, 6:00 - 7:30 pm. Feb 5 - 26

Intro to Photographic Lighting - Fridays, 6:00 - 7:30 pm, Mar 5 - 26

Intro to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom - Thursdays, 4:00 - 5:30 pm, Feb 4 - 25

About Thom Williams: Thom Williams is a photographic artist currently living in Troy, New York. Thom earned a B.F.A from SUNY Oswego with studio concentrations in Graphic Design and Photography. He has taken photographs ranging from fashion editorials, portraits, architecture, athletic events and street photography. Whether a gesture, expression, or angle of architecture, Thom is inspired by capturing images not otherwise seen of ordinary moments that can have a profound reflective meaning for the viewer. As an artist, he is interested in experimenting digitally with images and more recently in presenting images in a unique multidimensional way. Thom has participated in multiple community and juried art exhibitions in the Capital District area. He was the recipient of Fence Select through the Arts Center in Troy, NY, selected for the 2016 Photo Regional and awarded one of Best In Show through the Albany Center Gallery at The Times Union Home Show. His fashion editorials have been published in Saratoga Living, The Muse and Tattoo Envy Magazine

About Farmstead Arts: Farmstead Arts is a center for fine, performing and practical arts located in Basking Ridge, NJ on the historic grounds of the Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead. Farmstead Arts offers virtual and in-person art classes, workshops, art exhibits, theater, concerts, dance, childrens activities, and lectures in history and the arts.

Funds for this event have been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through the State/County Partnership Local Arts Program Grant administered by The Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

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New Jersey arts and entertainment news, features, and event previews. – New Jersey Stage01.09.21

(MONTCLAIR, NJ) --Fragile Freedoms: Maggie Meiners Revisits Rockwell,a new thought-provoking photography exhibition at Montclair Art Museum (MAM), reimagines the iconic work of early to mid-century painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell through the lens of modern America. With stunningly vivid detail, Meinerss carefully constructed photographs turn nostalgia on its head and rework Rockwells familiar imagery to address contemporary issues including racism, sexuality, gender roles, and the impact of technology. The exhibit runs from February 7 through June 13, 2021.

In our current environment of social and political unrest, a global pandemic and renewed activism, MAMs new installations, and supporting discussions, programs, and banners, are particularly relevant and will engage visitors in new ways. The hope is that it will encourage new dialog in the community about how to protect our fragile freedoms and most vulnerable neighbors. The series is on display from February 7 through June 13, 2021.

For almost a century, Norman Rockwells works have enjoyed broad popular appeal for their reflection of an idealistic American culture. Rockwell considered himself a storyteller, painting life as he would like it to be. Meinerss clever, engaging work modernizes Rockwells iconic themes, exposing the nature of our current society with an unflinching eye, and encourages viewers to see their world, both past and present, in a new light.

One of Meinerss most poignant works isDream Act(2015), which shows a young migrant girl flanked by border patrol officers, a racial slur scrawled on the wall above her head. The composition is identical to RockwellsThe Problem We All Live With(1964), showing six-year-old Ruby Bridges being escorted by U.S. marshals to the newly integrated William Franz Elementary School on November 14, 1960.

Rockwell used stage photographs as templates to produce his paintings. This inspired Meiners to revisit Rockwells work where the photograph is the final product.

As a child, I was always intrigued by Norman Rockwells prolific cover illustrations forTheSaturday Evening Post, said Meiners. [In this series] I examine whether the nostalgia of Rockwells original works translates into our rapidly changing lifestyles and his very human tableaux can reflect this moment of time, the artist adds.

With 18 photographs by Meiners on display side by side three paintings and illustrations fromTheSaturday Evening Postby Norman Rockwell, museum goers will experience the juxtaposition of these two bodies of work. While the social climate in our country has changed dramatically in the 60 years between Meiners and Rockwell, comparisons of these two bodies of work illustrate that peoples desires and fears often stay the same.

In RockwellsThe Tattoo Artist(1944), to be lent by the Brooklyn Museum, a sailor sits down for an update on an old tattoo. Crossed out womens names trail down his bicep as the tattoo artist adds a new love interest to the list. In Meinerss reinterpretation of the scene,Skin Deep, a woman replaces the sailor and both men and women are included as her former flames. Embedded in multiple layers of meaning are ideas about the rise of womens empowerment, growing acceptance of the variety of human sexuality, and the inner life often hidden by respectable, corporate exteriors.

Born and raised in Chicago, Meiners(b. 1972)debuted her seriesRevisiting Rockwellin 2016 at a solo exhibition at Anne Loucks Gallery in Glencoe, Illinois and it has since traveled to venues nationally and internationally.

Art can be intimidating, and for many people, Norman Rockwell is a gateway, said Meiners. I hope [visitors to the exhibition] will just engage in conversation about the images and their relation to current social issues. Art is a potential platform for change, and I feel I will have done my job if they feel connected.

Four Freedoms Revisited

In addition to Meinerss work, the exhibition will include four photographs from the acclaimed For Freedomsseries, an artist-led platform that investigates how art and artists can help deepen public discourse and political awareness in the United States.

Like Meinerss work,these photographs will allow visitors to compare multiple contemporary interpretations of Rockwells themes. Founded in 2016 by conceptual artistHank Willis Thomas,along with video artist and activistEric Gottesman,artistMichelle Woo, and photographerWyatt Gallery, the For Freedoms series re-envisions Rockwells 1943 paintings of the "Four Freedoms" articulated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in his 1941 State of the Union, reflecting back Americas current cultural complexity and diversity.

On exhibit at MAM are works by Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Shur in collaboration with Gottesman and Gallery. Using different elements from various photo shoots, the artists reinterpreted Rockwells classic paintingsFreedom of Speech,Freedom of Worship,Freedom from Fear, andFreedom from Want, and created highly stylized and staged images with a more accurately multicultural and inclusive representation of contemporary America.

Thomas, whose previous projects have examined race, reflects, At that time in America, it seems what it meant to be American was white Anglo-Saxon, whereas we want to shine a light on the fact that artists work is often political and shapes culture and society.To see more of Hank Willis Thomass work, visit his sculptureErnest and Ruth(2015), on the Museum lawn.

Co-curated by Gail Stavitsky and Alison Van Denend,Fragile Freedoms: Maggie Meiners Revisits Rockwellwill open in tandem withNew York to New Mexico: New Acquisitions, an exhibition of new MAM works spanning early 20thcentury to the present.

MAM has enacted recommended protocols to provide a safe environment for all visitors and staff. For up-to-date information on museum hours, related programs and events,and ways you can share your perspective on our fragile freedoms,please Montclair Art Museum is located at 3 South Mountain Avenue in Montclair, New Jersey.

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New Jersey arts and entertainment news, features, and event previews. - New Jersey Stage

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Jersey Shore: What Does Vinny Think Of Pauly D’s Bleach Blond Hair? – Screen Rant01.09.21

Pauly D of Jersey Shore debuted his new look with bleach blond hair in December to varying reactions from fans. What does Vinny think of it?

Pauly D ofJersey Shoredebuted his new look with bleach blond hair in December to varying reactions from fans. Here's what his BFF Vinny Guadagnino had to say about the drastic change.

Pauly D's hair has long been part of his signature look. The guido became famous for his towering, gelled-back, brunette do that he's been partial to since the beginning ofJersey Shorein 2009. He has said that hair is "everything" to him in interviews, and takes his routine seriously. However, he ditched the traditional look for bleach blond hair in December, showing it off in an Instagram post. Fans reactions were mixed, but his girlfriend, Nikki Hall, and other friends seemed to approve. This isn't the only recent change in Pauly's life. He added a beard to his look earlier this year, and is getting serious with Nikki, who he met onDouble Shot At Love.The two have been quarantining together at Pauly's Las Vegas home. This was a shock for friends and family of the perpetual bachelor, but Pauly seems to be embracing his new, loved up life.

Related: Jersey Shore: Vinny Makes Fun of Past Drama Between Sammi & Ronnie On Tik Tok

But what was Vinny's opinion on the new hair? Pauly and Vinny are inseparable these days, working onDouble Shot At Love, Revenge PrankandJersey Shore: Family Vacationtogether.On Instagram, Vinny was supportive of Pauly's new look, writing, "I used to be a brunette guy but now I love blondes." In a recent interview with Us Weekly, Vinny was asked what he really thinks of the bleach blond. "Well, I was a little upset," he joked, "He didn't ask my permission first." Vinny compared the change to what someone would do after a breakup. "Like when girls break up with their man and they change their hair color and they got a tattoo," he explained, "[Pauly] did everything. Booked a vacation, he went to Tulum."

But Pauly denies any big life change led to the new look. "COVID got me doing some weird things man," he said to Us Weekly, "I got too much time at home." It looks like that might be about to change, asRevenge Prankwas recently renewed for a second season by MTV. When asked if blondes have more fun, Pauly added, "It doesn't matter when my hair is blond, brunette, I have a lot of fun." Pauly was undecided as to whether he would keep the new look, but said it was, "pretty cool."

What do you think of the Pauly's hair and should he keep it? We'll have to watch out for more changes from theJersey Shorestar.

Next: Jersey Shore: Vinny Guadagnino Reveals Roomies He Would Sleep With, Marry Kill

Source: Us Weekly

90 Day Fianc: Skinny Angela Deem Looks Half Her Age In New Stunning Pic

Molly Peck is a graduate of Emerson College with a BA in Visual Media Arts concentrating in Television. She is currently based in Los Angeles, where she hopes to continue writing for and about television.

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Jersey Shore: What Does Vinny Think Of Pauly D's Bleach Blond Hair? - Screen Rant

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Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee on 2021: ‘There Is Truly a Light Ahead’ – The Village Green01.05.21

The following address by Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee was delivered at the 2021 Maplewood Township Reorganization meeting on January 1, 2021 at Maplewood Town Hall.

Happy New Year Maplewood and Good afternoon.

The Township of Maplewood is well positioned for a strong 2021 and beyond and will continue to be one of the most desired townships in the state of New Jersey to live and grow.

I want to express my gratitude to my colleagues on the Maplewood Township Committee for re-electing me unanimously to serve as your Mayor in 2021.

I want to thank my family, my amazing wife Marie and my talented daughter Madison. They have made tremendous sacrifices especially this year to allow me to serve everyone in our township. But make no mistake they have not been sitting on the sidelines. Whether its creating care packages or face shields for healthcare workers in Essex County, organizing Clothing and supply drives for families who have been impacted by the economic downturn, being a huge advocate and ambassador for our local small businesses, or speaking out against race and social injustice, they are actively involved and care deeply about our community. This is in addition to balancing their day-to-day responsibilities which for Marie includes leading communications at a global fortune 20 technology company and for Madison navigating the trials and tribulations of homeschooling, auditions, and being a teenager in a virtual COVID world.

I love you both deeply thank you thank you thank you.

I also want to congratulate Committeeman Victor De Luca and Dean Dafis on their reelections.

No one can argue about their dedication, contribution and commitment to our community. Thank you both for your service and I look forward to collaborating with you in the years to come.

As we embark into 2021 a year ago no one wouldve even imagined that this is where we would be today. How all of our lives took a drastic turn in mid March of 2020 to a new path unparalleled unprecedented and unknown. A pandemic that would impact our community like nothing in our lifetimes.

It has been an honor to lead our great community as your mayor during this most challenging and most unprecedented time. And while our Townships COVID crisis response has included working in close collaboration with our Essex County leadership, the Governors office, our Sister community, South Orange, our Assembly representatives, and our Congressional and Senatorial leadership, not to mention you our community there is no playbook to prepare for the phone calls when absolutely no one is watching, like the calls that Ive made to the family members who have lost loved ones as a result of this awful virus. And at this time, Id like to take a moment of silence to recognize the 28 individuals in our Township who lost their lives to COVID in 2020.

As we start 2021 we are moving in the right direction and there is truly a light ahead of us regarding this pandemic.

The vaccination process has begun. To date, over 1,000 healthcare workers, first responders and volunteers have already been vaccinated and more to come in the weeks ahead which will include our seniors. The Essex County infrastructure built can handle 250 persons per site per day and will ramp up to nearly 2,000 persons per site per day as we move toward the phase that includes the majority population of our community.

I for one plan to take the shot as soon as possible and I strongly advise every person eligible in Maplewood to do the same. To return to the new normal we must all do our part and take the vaccine. This is not a hoax, this is not false medicine, this is survival for our community and our country.

And I want to thank our community for their sacrifices and for doing their part in 2020, so many of you practiced social distancing, wore masks, served others or simply sheltered in place. Your great generosity and service to our community by preparing meals, creating face shields and masks, making donations to deserving families and supporting our local small businesses, first responders and health care workers. There is no doubt that your actions have saved lives, saved livelihoods and in some cases saved our sanity and restored our faith in humanity.

One year ago today, I communicated that our Board of Health promotes wellness in our community and is an advocate for mental, social and physical health and we look forward to the leadership of Candice Davenport, our new Health Officer. Today, I want to say thank you to Health Officer Candice Davenport and Health Nurse Anna Markarova on behalf of our township for your leadership, guidance, and collaboration on keeping our community informed, safe and helping over 744 Maplewood residents fight their battle with the COVID-19 virus.

But even during a pandemic our local government must go on. And with that I also want to thank our Township Team for their efforts in maximizing our operations in 2020. Our first responder EMS firefighters conducted over a hundred hospital runs during COVID, our first responder police officers conducted crowd control in key business areas and parks, our DPW first responders put up signage and snow fencing in our parks and performed other physical measures including the removal of over 90 trees and tree limbs impacted by a hurricane-like storm in August caused by ongoing climate change, which resulted in several residents living without power for nearly a week, and our health department first responders who personally delivered hundreds of aid kits to families dealing with positive cases of COVID in their homes.

Our first responders fire, police, DPW and health showed up every day during the darkest time of the pandemic. They did not call in sick because of fear of the unknown which would have resulted in a significant financial burden not to mention a disruption to our township. Instead, they showed up with perseverance and incredible resilience. They were professionals and did a great job and I want to recognize and thank them.

And thank you to our non-1st responder departments as well for their ability to adapt and conduct the business of our town from fulfilling permits and applications to conducting the work of our court.

And from a fiscal perspective, I also want to thank our department heads for their efforts to manage their budgets in 2020. Because of the impact of COVID, Township revenues across-the-board from permits, fees and rental activities were down compared to 2019. Understanding that, our department heads managed their costs diligently.

But we also experienced some highly unfortunate circumstances in 2020. In August, the township was made aware of a culture at our community pool which was frankly unacceptable. We subsequently took action to address it. These initiatives and corrective measures will continue in 2021 to reassure the establishment of a new culture where employees can focus on just doing their job at our community pool.

We are also in the process of hiring our next Township Administrator. I want to thank each and every department head for doing their job during this interim period without missing a beat and moving forward with the business of the township. I as well feel rejuvenated by your enthusiasm and positive energy.

I especially want to thank our Assistant Township Administrator Glenn Michalowski for his efforts in 2020. Although he was awarded with an employee spotlight, a program which I started to publicly recognize and appreciate those who work so hard for our Township, Glenn has been an unsung hero in our seamless and effective pivot to conduct town business in a virtual COVID culture. Thank you, Glenn.

In 2021, we will continue our commitment to sustainability and our quest to receive gold certification in the state of New Jersey by Sustainable Jersey.

In Q3, our Food Packaging Ordinance regarding banning plastics and materials such as straws, stirrers, and containers that are harmful to our planet became law. Because of the COVID environment, we will work closely with all of our businesses on implementing a phase in plan.

Forward thinking conversations are also underway with elected officials and environmental leaders from our sister municipality of South Orange to explore creating new efficiencies in our recycling operations including the bid process.

And our new Sustainable Essex Alliance contract goes into effect in March with Energy Harbor. Enhanced communications will be disseminated to our community including from our primary channels which are direct mail, our township website, and email deployments. We will also leverage secondary communication channels such as social media. Finally, the township will conduct a public ZOOM session on Tuesday, January 14, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.

Although we suffered some losses of key businesses in our community including The Kings supermarket and our local movie theater, weve also celebrated some major successes with the opening of a multitude of businesses throughout our Township including, an orthodontist practice, the number one sophisticated and stylish Islamic apparel store in Northern New Jersey AL Shams Abayas , Two Bike stores The Urban Cyclery Shop and of course the late Danny Ives Maplewood Bike Shed may he rest in peace. We also welcomed the home styling store ReMerch, A body art business Ravens Quill Tattoo and our alternative treatment center managed by TerrAscend NJ will open in Q1 on 1865 Springfield Ave. A Community Education forum is planned and the center will provide employment opportunities for our residents.

One of our flagship restaurants Lorenas will be moving into a bigger space in Maplewood Village. And there are several construction projects underway or that will break ground in 2021 including and not limited to a mixed use development at 1581 Springfield Avenue, our new Dunkin Donuts at 1992 Springfield Avenue, a state of the art renovated Audi Dealership at 2195 Millburn Ave to accommodate the number one auto dealership in all of NJ, new mixed use developments at 104 Baker St., 2210 Millburn, and 740 Irvington Ave., and a new residential complex at 285 Parker Ave. And after an amazing run in our community, The French fine-dining destination Verjus, has been sold and will become a mixed use development which will include an Irish Pub on the first floor. And there is more to come in 2021 as the work continues on our Maplewood Village Visioning Plan and several investors have expressed interest in our local movie theater space. Developers and investors continue to reach out to explore other development ideas in our township.

2021 also brings our master plan re-examination as well as our recreation open space master plan re-examination. These re-examinations occur every 10 years and these plans are important as they provide the strategic blueprint for our township for the next decade and they also provide us with the opportunity to seek grants that can result in investments that pay significant dividends for our community in the years and decades to come.

And speaking of investments that will benefit our community for decades to come, the Murphy administration awarded our township an $8.3 million construction bond. This was the 3rd highest grant allocation out of 38 municipalities and counties awarded from the 129 applications submitted. The $8.3M grant allocation represents a 9.5% allocation of the earmarked $87.5M in funds. This is a tremendous victory for our community and I want to thank Governor Phil Murphy and his team, Mary Chute, our New Jersey State Librarian, our Library Director Sarah Lester and her team, the Library Board which includes Mr. DeLuca, the Library Foundation which includes former Mayor Ellen Davenport and the Friends of the Maplewood Library. Maplewood will break ground in 2021 on our twenty-first century library!

The 2020 Census is completed. According to 2020CENSUS.GOV, our final response rate was 78.7% which beat our final 2010 response rate of 78.2%. Our 6 tracts had response rates that ranged from 92.3% to 69.9% all above the county final response rate which was 62.5% and the state response rate which was 69.5%. Thank you to everyone in our community who participated.

And our community is safe. For the second consecutive year, major crimes in Maplewood are down in almost all of our key major categories. Robbery, Burglaries, and Theft. However unfortunately Assaults are up 23%. These assaults are associated with Domestic Violence. Domestic Violence is real and no one should have to live in our community in an unsafe environment. The New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline is 1 (800) 572-SAFE (7233).

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic, the economic downturn, and ongoing climate change were not the only major events of 2020. This past year also gave rise to global protests including right here in our community sparked by the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. Weve also witnessed how simply the act of bird watching while Black, or more recently coming off of an elevator while Black with your Black child at a hotel is grounds for some to question whether you belong. So it bears repeating. Black Lives Matter. Period. And in our community this is not only a slogan placed on some well-trafficked streets, its not just the Beautiful poetry placed all over town by local and nationally-recognized poets. Black Lives Matter is not a political statement. And its not simply a headline or a hashtag. Its core to who we are, its core to our values and its core to our humanity. And personally Im so inspired by the young people in our two towns who have led the way and have demanded change.

And not only do we hear their calls for change, as a township we are actively making changes, including taking steps to reimagine our Auxiliary Police force. But this is only a starting point, collectively as a township and broader community we need to do a better job of working together to examine every aspect of our community where race could be used as a factor. We also need to look at ourselves and ask where am I falling short? How am I helping or hurting? We are all accountable. This includes the well-meaning neighbors who call 911 because they see two suspicious Black boys riding their bikes on our streets and automatically assume that they dont belong. This includes the parents and guardians who are up in arms over the idea that they may need to send their child to a school outside of their neighborhood in order to better integrate our schools. This includes the teachers and administrators who do not think that black students have the same potential as white students. This includes working with developers to ensure that Maplewood is an affordable place to live and that people of color do not get pushed out. This includes ensuring that every aspect of our criminal justice system from our local police force to the county prosecutors office operate with the utmost integrity, transparency and with the best outcomes in mind. And this also includes making room for the next generation of diverse leaders to serve because we know that talent is created equally but opportunity is not.

So lets not kid ourselves, racism, bias, microaggressions whether conscious or unconscious show up in all facets of life including right here in Maplewood.

Experience only comes from opportunity. As an African-American Mayor I embrace the responsibility to mentor the next African-American mayor so that she or he or they will have the same opportunity which has been afforded to me. I will fulfill my obligation because that is what true leadership is all about. Thats what diversity, equity and inclusion are all about providing for others and putting them in a position to succeed.

In closing, while the unprecedented challenges that we face are not over by a long shot, Maplewood is well positioned for a strong 2021 and beyond. It is a safe community to live, work, play and grow. We are a community that is thriving. We are a community with strong leadership backed by a strong infrastructure. We are forward thinking. We are a community with world-class intellectual capital, culture and other resources needed to enhance the quality of life and opportunities for our residents. We are a community built on service for all. Our community Black, white, LatinX, Asain, LGBTQ, people with disabilities from Generation Alpha to Baby Boomers and beyond, we can equally call Maplewood home regardless of whether weve lived here for 3 months, 3 years or over 3 decades. We will continue to be one of the most desired townships in the tri-State area and in the State of New Jersey.

Thank you. May God Bless you And May God Bless our Township, State of New Jersey and and the United States of America.

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Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee on 2021: 'There Is Truly a Light Ahead' - The Village Green

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Raheem Sterling’s tattoos explained: What do they mean and where are they on his body? – Goal.com01.05.21

Everything you need to know about the England star's various pieces of body art, including some pictures

Raheem Sterling has admitted, if he could turn back time, he "wouldn't have any" tattoos -but the Manchester City star also concedes that getting inked is addictive.

He explained toGQmagazine that he got the majority of his tattoos before he was 19, only adding a few more in his twenties, and revealed that his mother "despises" some of his body art.

"If I could go back, then I wouldnt have any," Sterling said in the 2019 interview with the magazine, which was conducted by Tony Blair's former spokesman Alastair Campbell.

"Its another thing that when youve started you cant stop," he added."If you get one, you get another one."

So, what tattoos does Sterling have, what do they mean and where are they on his body? Goal takes a look.

Sterling has a number of sleeve tattoos on both arms, which he has added to over the years.

On the outside of his right forearm Sterling hasa clock tower, which usually hasa meaning related to time and seizing the moment.

Above the clock tower, near his right elbow, Sterling has the letters 'Kgn' tattooed, which refers to Kingstown, Jamaica, where he was born.

On Sterling's inside right forearm, he has two palm trees - again a nod to his Caribbean heritage - with an eagle just above them. Just above those, near his inner right elbowhe has an eye.

An angel with wings and a number of black birds are situated on Sterling's right shoulder.

Sterling's left arm is covered in personal symbolism as well, with the inside of his forearm featuring a child, sporting a number 10 jersey andholding a ball in front of Wembley Stadium.

Just below that, on his wrist, is his sister's name - Kimblerly - with a crown. Above the Wembley tattoo is an image of Jesus on the cross, along with a gravestone.

The theme of Wembley - the area of London where Sterling went to school -continues on the outside of his left forearm, with a London Underground sign for Wembley Station near his wrist.

Aprayer or poem is inked onthe inside of Sterling's left bicep and on his left shoulder is an image of his daughter Melody, along with her name.

The most striking tattoos on Sterling's torso are thelarge crucifix in the middle of his chest and the two stars which flank it on either side.

Further down his body, on his rib-cage on the right side are a number of black birds surrounding the words 'La Familia' - a tribute to his family.

On the left side of his torso, just about his hip bone is an image of a red lipstick kiss, with the word 'Love' above it.

Interestingly, Lionel Messi has a similar type of tattoo, believed to be based on his wife's lips, situated on the same part of his body.

Sterling's tattoos went mostly under the radar until he appeared with what looked like the depiction of arifle on his lower right leg in the summer of 2018 ahead of the World Cup in Russia.

The tattoo of the gun prompted criticism from various quarters, including television personality Piers Morgan, who notably clashed with former England star Gary Lineker on Twitter on the matter.

As the controversy swirled, Sterling issued a brief statement to explain the meaning behind the ink.

"When I was two, my father died from being gunned down to death," he wrote in a message shared on Instagram. "I made a promise to myself [that] I would never touch a gun in my lifetime. I shoot with my right foot, so it has a deeper meaning [andis]still unfinished."

A few years later, in 2020, Sterling reflected on the controversy arising from his gun tattoo during a discussion with U.S. women's national team star Megan Rapinoe.

"The last World Cup I went to was a disappointment for me," Sterling said. "I was so up for it, I thought 'this is my time now', I had a great season with Man City, then bang, straight negative."

The City star added: "Ihad my tattoo for 10 months and just before I go to the World Cup a story comes out that I have a gun on my foot. I've had this tattoo for 10 months,why at this moment in time?

"I went [to the World Cup] that summer and I was overthinking all the negative press that I had. It was a disappointing one for me on a personal note, but at the same time it was a great experience for the team to do really well."

As well as the controversial gun tattoo on his lower right leg, Sterling has ink high on his upper right thigh, which looks like the rendering of a face. Given its position, however, there are not many clear photos of it, so it is difficult to be sure of whose face it may be.

On Sterling's left leg, he has a tattoo of himself kissing his son Thiago. He revealed the new ink in 2018 after the World Cup.

Sterling'smost recent go-to guy for tattoos appears to be Gabriel Maniak, the London-based owner of Gabriel Tattoos.

Maniak, who says hisspeciality in tattooing is realism,has also done work for television presenter Josh Denzel and the American singerAnderson .Paak, among others.

The tattoo of Sterling with his son Thiago on the footballer's left thigh was done by Gabriel.

In 2019, he shared a photo of Sterling'stattoo, visible during a game, along with the message: "It's great to see my work all over the place! I'm looking forward to our next session."


Raheem Sterling's tattoos explained: What do they mean and where are they on his body? -

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How Memorial Tattoos Can Help With The Grieving Process – HuffPost01.05.21

After Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter accident in January 2020, the basketball legends sister Sharia Washington paid tribute to her late brother and niece with a new tattoo.

The ink featured their jersey numbers circled by a snake in the shape of an infinity symbol a reference to Bryants nickname, the Black Mamba. His widow, Vanessa, later had loving messages from her husband and daughter tattooed on her wrist and neck.

Memorial tattoos have also helped others to honor lost family members and process traumatic experiences. A month after her heartbreaking pregnancy loss, Chrissy Teigen revealed a new tattoo with her sons name Jack. Billie Lourd opted for space-themed ink to match her late mother, Carrie Fisher. Robin Williams daughter Zelda has a hummingbird for her late father.

While getting a tattoo may feel extreme to some, memorial ink can play a powerful role in the grieving process for many bereaved people.

Memorial tattoos help keep someone we lost close to us. Literally, they become part of us, said Dan Reidenberg, a mental health expert and executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education.

Reidenberg noted that tattoos in visible places on the body can prompt others to ask about their meaning, which gives mourners the chance to talk about their lost loved ones and share their legacy.

Like other types of memorials, memorial tattoos honor, recognize and pay tribute to someone very special to us in a way that is always accessible, he added, noting that a tattoo is always there when the bereaved person is feeling sad, lonely or lost. People can look at, touch and relive a deep connection with someone who has passed through a memorial tattoo.

Getting a special tattoo can be therapeutic: In addition to helping people remember and maintain a bond with someone who has passed away, well-done ink can offer a sense of pride and power.

When we lose someone, we feel a loss and a loss of control, Reidenberg noted. Getting a tattoo is something we can do rather than just live in our grief that feels out of control.

Its also a way to ensure a loved one wont be forgotten, said Arianna Galligher, a licensed social worker and associate director of the STAR Trauma Recovery Center at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.

For many, memorial tattoos are a visual way of crystallizing the essence of what a person meant to them, she explained. Having a visual reminder that a person carries with them all the time can bring comfort. Its a way of keeping the person close even though theyre gone.

For some, the physical sensation that comes with having a tattoo placed also acts as a conduit for accessing and processing complex emotions inherent in the grieving process, she added.

There are many reasons behind the choices of size, shape, color and placement of a memorial tattoo. Some people may select initials, nicknames or numbers to reflect a specific date, while others opt for images or quotes.

Just like the experience of grief is different for everyone, the expression of grief varies too, Galligher said. Some people prefer the intimacy of a private or subtle image that is just for them and is unlikely to draw outside attention or questions. Others may choose larger or more obvious tributes, in part, because they want to elicit conversation and generate a reason to share with others about the person they lost and what that relationship meant to them.

Whatever a person selects, it tends to reflect something special about the connection they had with the deceased that they want to live on forever. Galligher has personal experience with this process.

When my mother passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in 2019, one of the first decisions that my stepfather made was to get a tattoo in her memory, Galligher said.

After discussions with other family members about what to get and where to put it, he went for his first ink at the age of 61. Now his forearms are covered with tattooed images of photos taken by his late wife during their travels together, along with words of advice she tried to live by, like All will be well and Be kind. Theres also a nod to her nickname, Smiley.

The process was meaningful and helpful for him as he worked and continues to work to conceptualize a life without his partner and best friend by his side, Galligher noted. Hes said, I couldnt imagine not carrying your mom around with me to show people how we would like them all to live. The photos are mostly for me, and fun to show off and surprise those who are closed-minded. I know without a doubt that my mom would have liked that part too.

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How Memorial Tattoos Can Help With The Grieving Process - HuffPost

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