Local Beat: Films, Fundraisers, and Informative Dialogue  


Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey. 

A large crowd gathered this week at the Assumption Church for the premiere of The White Man on a Bicycle, a short documentary about the humanitarian work of local Morristown man, Tom Johnson. The film, according to Marie Pfiefer of Morristown Green, profiles Johnson’s volunteer work in Sierra Leone, where he lives for several months out of the year, with no running water or electricity, delivering medicine on a bicycle.

Parents and teachers from Marshall School in South Orange confronted the South Orange Board of Education and expressed their outrage over the school’s response to a “code red” alarm that was triggered earlier this month. Mary Mann of The Village Green reported that despite budget allocations and assurances that the school would be directly connected to local police departments, the South Orange Police Department was unaware of the alert and was unable to lock the outer doors remotely, as promised.

Jake Klein of TAP into West Orange reported that last week’s Relay for Life event went off without a hitch, despite bad weather and a change of location. The fundraiser, which drew participants from elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as members of the surrounding communities, raised $80,000 for the American Cancer Society.

WestOrangeStudentsFundraiserMeanwhile, Livingston residents celebrated the 42nd Soccer Circle for children with special needs, according to Meredith Prescott of TAP into Livingston. The event, which runs four times a year, celebrated its 12th anniversary last week and drew in roughly 100 volunteers.

The Westfield Town Council voted on Tuesday to restrict the city’s medical marijuana dispensaries to commercial zones, according to Jackie Lieberman of TAP into Westfield. The council was also asked to oppose the construction of a new athletic field at Union County College due to concerns that the facility would exacerbate flooding, parking, and traffic issues, and would create more noise and light pollution.

DrNancyCantonNJARTSNEWSFinally, NJ Arts News has put together a series of podcasts titled “Words Matter,” which features substantive discussions with several prominent figures in academia across New Jersey. Speakers include Dr. Nancy Cantor, chancellor of Rutgers University–Newark, Dr. Peter Mercer, president of Ramapo College, and more. The series was funded by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, and each interview is rouglhy 7-10 minutes long.


Our full roundup:

Mosque Supporters Hope To Build Bridges of Understanding in Midland Park Northwest Bergen Press*
Words Matter – Podcast Series NJ Arts News
Girls in Summer Clothes Blogfinger
Westfield Town Council Restricts Marijuana Dispensary Locations, Hears from Opponents of Athletic Field at UCC and More at Meeting TAP into Westfield*
Hip Korean Cuisine Coming to Westfield When Roosterspin Opens This Summer TAP into Westfield*
Hopewell’s Food Truck Friday PLUS Stay to Shop Local Mercer Me
New Jersey Bill Tells Cars to Move Over Mercer Me
Livingston BOE Says Hello and Good-bye TAP into Livingston*
Children with Special Needs Play Soccer on Father’s Day TAP into Livingston*
Bad Weather Is No Match For The Fight Against Cancer at West Orange Relay for Life TAP into West Orange*
West Orange Honors Late Police Officer Timothy Groves TAP into West Orange*
West Orange High School Athlete of the Year Jahir Blanton Signs with University of New Haven TAP into West Orange*
Gov. Chris Christie to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new boardwalk. Note the change in the date and time. Blogfinger
Composite boards chosen for boardwalk surface, and the reasons are compelling. Blogfinger
First Legislative Hurdle Cleared on Coaches Bill TAP into Edison*
Maplewoodian: MMS Student Continues Fight against MRSA The Village Green
Beaver Attack Reported at Watchung Reservation’s Lake Surprise TAP into Berkeley Heights*
One Community, One Book: ‘Providence’ author shares tips, and excerpt Morristown Green*
Highlights from 2014 MHS Art & Design Week include lessons in charity and seamanship Morristown Green*
Forrest Gump, ‘The White Man on a Bicycle’ speaks at Morristown premiere Morristown Green*
New Brunswick Celebrates Rich History at Annual Hungarian Festival New Brunswick Today*
Marshall Teachers, Parents Angry Over Code Red Response The Village Green

* Asterisked articles are available for reposting through the NJ News Commons Story Exchange.

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