Saturday, April 30, 2011

Morris County Youth Art Month 2011

Morris County Youth Art Month 2011 - Emma & Mrs. Scully
"Art Sparks Genius" as we discovered this past March 2011 during Morris County Youth Art Month ("YAM"). That's when works of art by Kinnelon students at Kiel and Stonybrook schools were on display at St. Clare's Hospital in Dover from March 1 through March 19.

On the last day of the exhibit, we attended a reception at St. Clare's in Morris County. There we caught up with Kinnelon art teachers, Charleen Scully from Stonybrook School - pictured here with Emma - and Sona Santagato, from Kiel School [pictured with Emma in this post about the 2008 Kinnelon Student Art Exhibit].

[We also loved seeing Emma's very dear first grade teacher and friend, Mimi Novak.]

Talk about exuberant! The entire lobby area, including the hallways, of St. Clare's had been transformed into an 'Art Sparks Genius' YAM art gallery.

I asked Charleen and Sona to answer a few questions about Youth Art Month.

C.B.: What is Youth Art Month [YAM]?

YAM is an annual observance each month to emphasize the value of art education for all children and to encourage support for quality school art programs.

C.B.: How is YAM observed?

There are exhibits of student artwork planned in every county throughout New Jersey and at the Statehouse in Trenton. St. Clare’s Hospital is the venue for Morris County.

C.B.: How long have we been participating in the YAM exhibit at St. Clare’s hospital?

This is our third year showing students artwork from Kiel and Stonybrook school.

C.B.: Have there been other student art exhibits this year?

Kiel and Stonybrook school had a joint K-5 art show the month of December at the Kinnelon Public Library. We also submitted pieces for the P.R.I.D.E. exhibit at Rockaway Mall March 20-27.

We try to promote the Kinnelon School art program by showing the students' artwork at these different venues.

C.B.: How might parents keep art alive at home?
  • Keep paper, pencils, crayons and other supplies in a designated area set-up just for art projects.
  • Explore your child’s dream to draw and create.
  • Listen to your child’s ideas and discuss art.
  • Visit art museums, galleries and exhibits.
  • Display your child’s artwork
The more art is in your child’s life, the more artistic and creative your child will be.

C.B.: Thank you, Charleen Scully and Sona Santagato! I know Emma loves your art classes and appreciates your art inspiration...

Here are the photos I took of the Kinnelon Youth Art Month student submissions from Kiel and StonyBrook schools on display at St. Clare's in Dover, Morris County.

Morris County Youth Art Month 2011
Closeup of Emma's Mona Lisa

Morris County Youth Art Month 2011 - Stonybrook Artwork
Stonybrook School Artwork

Morris County Youth Art Month 2011 - Stonybrook student artwork
More Stonybrook School Artwork

Morris County Youth Art Month 2011 - Kiel artwork
Kiel School Artwork

Morris County Youth Art Month 2011 - Kiel student artwork
More Kiel School Artwork

What do you think? Lots of genius sparked in this art, no?

I came across the Youth Art Month in NJ blog which includes many wonderful photos of YAM across New Jersey. Unfortunately, the blog hasn't been updated for 2011.

Finally, you can learn more about Youth Art Month by visiting the National Art Education Association site.

P.S.: If you haven't already, please consider subscribing to the Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog via RSS or email updates, or forward this to a friend!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Meet Randy Polo, Smoke Rise Inn General Manager

Meet Randy Polo, Smoke Rise Inn General Manager

Have you met Randy Polo, Smoke Rise Inn General Manager?

Ted and I recently had the opportunity to speak with Randy Polo and learn more about him and what he considers important in delivering a memorable Smoke Rise dining experience.

Randy became General Manager of the Smoke Rise Inn in July 2010 and has been busy ever since... I bet you'll be as surprised as we were to realize how much has happened.

As a reminder, the Smoke Rise Village Inn is open to everyone in Kinnelon and beyond - although we recommend a reservation, given the changes that Randy describes in the interview below! Not just for dinner, but also lunch.

C.B.: Randy, please tell me about yourself and your background.

RP: I was born and raised in Whippany, NJ. After graduating Whippany Park HS, I attended Penn State University in State College, PA where I studied Hotel Restaurant Management. 

After receiving my degree in Hotel Restaurant and Institutional Management, I went to work for Pepsi for roughly 2 years. It was there that I came across this unique Club that was opening in Florham Park called Park Avenue Club. The premise behind the Club was that 100% of the profits would be returned to 11 non-profit organizations annually. These non-profits were also the ones who invested the money needed to renovate this 100 year old barn into the beautiful Club it is today. I worked there from 1994 to 2009 as the Director of Catering.

C.B.: How does the Smoke Rise Inn differ from the Park Avenue Club?

RP: The biggest difference is that at Park Avenue Club we catered to a much broader corporate clientele because of our location and that we were open breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Friday.

Everyone from doctors to lawyers to financial advisers utilized the Club for business purposes. The Smoke Rise Inn was never marketed in that way hence the reason most of our weekday business comes from a la carte dining and within the gates of Smoke Rise. That is something we are hard at work on changing.

C.B.: What do you like about the Smoke Rise Inn? What don’t you like about it?

RP: The actual building of the Inn is amazing! So much history, character and charm. Too often older buildings aren't seen for their true value to the community, rather what can be made by knocking them down to make way for something more modern. That's one of the reasons I liked working at Park Avenue Club. The building was so unique and is actually now on the list of Historic Landmarks in the State of New Jersey. I believe my admiration for older style buildings stems back to my childhood as I was raised in an old colonial home built in 1774.

What I don't like is the commute. I was spoiled with a 2 mile ride to work everyday. This winter was brutal!

C.B.: What’s most important to you in delivering a memorable dining experience?

RP: There are so many parts of the dining equation that need to be achieved to really make an experience memorial.

Great food and service are a given, the building blocks or foundation of the experience. Certainly a comfortable setting is important. It's funny how so many of our diners have such a strong preference for one or the other of our two dining rooms. I think we do a really good job of accommodating people at their preferred location and table each and every time they come in.

However what I feel is so important and often so overlooked is simply making someone feel welcome. I treat our diners like they are a guest in my home. Think about it, when we entertain guests in our own homes we pull out all the stops to make that person feel welcome and comfortable. It's an aspect of dining that I see is so often missed and one that makes me want to go back to a particular restaurant, even if I know I can possibly get a better meal elsewhere.

C.B.: What were your biggest surprises when you came to the Smoke Rise Inn?

RP: One of the biggest surprises was just how large the Smoke Rise community actually is. I had no idea there were so many beautiful homes spread out over such a large area.

Another was just how welcome the residents, staff and Board of Governors have made me feel. After spending fifteen years at Park Avenue Club, the Members and the staff were like family to me and it made leaving harder than I thought it was going to be. I certainly feel that closeness beginning to develop here at Smoke Rise and it's a wonderful feeling.

C.B.: From our conversation we know that you’ve spent a lot of time focusing on improving the Smoke Rise Inn experience. What changes have you implemented?

RP: There have been so many great changes and additions to the Inn and I have to thank Bob Morrisroe and the entire Board of Governors for having the faith in me to deliver on what I said could be done if they only made the investment in the Inn.

The Smoke Rise Village Inn Patio
Back in September we unveiled a brand new dinner menu. We removed what Chef George and I felt were tired, old selections and added many great new ones. At the same time we rolled out a much broader and expanded wine list that has more than doubled our wine bottled sales. I believe part of that also has to to with the improved stemware we purchased since what was here in the past was rather archaic.

There's also a new summer cocktail menu that's perfect for those afternoons and evenings on the patio here at the Smoke Rise Inn [e.g., the Smoke Rise Dreamsicle, Key Lime Pie Martini, Raspberry Truffle or Smoke Rise Mojito...]. We've been working hard with the staff to improve the finer points of service and getting them comfortable with servicing our guests.

There has also been a larger addition of new special events and dining offerings for our customers in the past 8 months. From our food and wine pairing dinners to our theme based events such as San Gennaro Feast, Jazz nights and next month's Cinco de Mayo celebration, all have sparked a new interest in the Inn which is great. We've added nightly specials to a la carte dining also which has helped add a new customer base. Prime Rib on Tuesdays, Lobster on Fridays and our Steakhouse features on Saturdays have been a big draw on those evenings.

On a physical level we've just finished a complete remodel of our Ballroom restrooms and they came out beautiful! The previous restrooms were so old and were an absolute turnoff to Catering clients such as brides who always look at things like that. Now when I tour the Inn I'm proud to show them off because the response is always the same, "Wow!"

We also have a plan in place to remodel the lobby area of the Inn this Summer as well. I'm excited to see that get done as it's the first impression of the Inn you come upon and right now it's out of date and style.

C.B.: Talk to us about the improvement in business, in traffic, the response from people who’ve come…

RP: Business has been strong! There's a great buzz on the street about the Smoke Rise Inn and how it has improved and it's been a great asset to us. I'm seeing and meeting new people every day who are coming in after months and even years of not utilizing the Inn. Our biggest allies are our regular customers who are now proud and excited to bring new and old customers back to the Inn and show them who we are verses what they might remember us to be.

As you already know, we've added lunch service to the Inn's dining schedule back on March 15th [see Lunch Menu] and that has been welcomed with open arms. On average we serve between 25 to 40 guests a day -- which I couldn't be happier about. I believe our increased coverage in the Smoke Rise Newsletter, in house advertising and most importantly our Facebook Fan Page has help inform our customer base of what we are planning and doing on any given day. We do special advertising and promotions on Face-book that are there reward our followers. So look us up on Facebook and "like" our page.

C.B.: What changes do you anticipate for the balance of the year?

RP: Oh, we have a few more surprises up our sleeves. I can't tell you everything! You'll have to follow the newsletter and our Face-book page closely to find out.

C.B.: Which successes are you most proud of?

RP: There's so much I'm proud of here at the Inn.

I'm proud of our food program and Executive Chef George Tavolara and his team of the dramatic improvement over the past 6 months.

I'm proud of the service staff for wanting to learn and improve themselves and to be part of the "New" Inn. 

However what makes me most proud is when customers stop in unannounced, expecting the Inn to be empty, as it always was, and they see there's not a table to be had. They all seem to smile and say the same thing, "Wow, this is great!"

C.B.: Randy, what do you like most about Smoke Rise and Kinnelon?

It's my new home!

C.B.: Welcome home, Randy!  Thanks very much for giving us a 'taste' of all that's new at the Smoke Rise Inn...

If you haven't yet visited the Smoke Rise Inn, I recommend you do so. And, when you do, please feel free to leave a comment to let us know what you think of the changes that Randy Polo and the Smoke Rise Inn team have implemented..

You can reach Randy directly at or by calling 973-838-7770.

By the way, we've invited Randy to share highlights about the Smoke Rise Inn on a regular basis. Please stay tuned.

And, if you haven't already, please consider subscribing to the Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog via RSS or email updates.

Thank you! We look forward to seeing you at the Smoke Rise Inn.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Which Were Your Favorite Books?

English embroidered binding, late 19th centuryOn our Bolt bus trip down to DC to visit my parents for Easter, Emma rapidly ran out of books to read. True, the trip lasted much longer than usual - we were stuck at the New Jersey toll booth before the Delaware Memorial Bridge for close to three hours. However, the books she brought lasted twenty minutes in the best of circumstances.

Luckily, I had an iPhone and the bus had electrical outlets and I successfully downloaded a book I thought she might enjoyed - one of my childhood favorites - Anne of Green Gables. [Pretty nifty what's possible with technology!]

In the process of searching for titles [I limited the search criteria to classics], we came across other favorites:

The Complete Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer

The Wind in the Willows

Pride And Prejudice

The Secret Garden

As I thought about these classics, I started to wonder about other favorite books - the ones you can't put down, that become friends, that you enjoy rereading over and over again. What are yours?

Emma has devoured the The Little House on the Prairie books, imagining herself a pioneer girl.

Ted loved The Works of Andre Norton and others in the science fiction and fantasy genre.

My Dad enjoyed The Tom Swift Collection and books like Don Sturdy with the Big Snake Hunters: Or, Lost in the Jungles of the Amazon...

What about you? Which books did you treasure growing up? Which ones do you recommend?

Happy Easter to you!

Image credit:  English embroidered binding, late 19th century

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kinnelon CLL Performing Arts Program 5/15/2011

Kinnelon CLL Performing Arts Program 5/15/2011
Have you attended a Kinnelon CLL [Center For Lifelong Learning] Performing Arts program yet? If not, the next one takes place on May 15, 2011, and features the Westerhoff School of Music and Art in a program of classical music.

Below you'll find details on the upcoming event and background from Ron Leavesley on the CLL Performing Arts Program.

About the 5/15/11 CLL Performing Arts program, here is how the flyer reads:

Another Center For Lifelong Learning Performing Arts program

A Program of Classical Music
Featuring the Talented Faculty and Students of the
Westerhoff School of Music and Art
Helga Westerhoff, Executive Director and Founder
David Iskowitz, Music Director

A Great Musical Experience

Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Community Church of Smoke Rise
38 North Road, Kinnelon, NJ 07405

Admission is $5.00 at the door
Students and children are free
Refreshments will be served

The Westerhoff School of Music and Art has been a dedicated supporter of the CLL Performing Arts series including their regular performances of classical music featuring the talented music department faculty. Join us for a truly stimulating afternoon of music.

These CLL Programs are supported by generous grants from the Westerhoff Foundation, Columbia Bank, and by you, the audience.

Background on the CLL Performing Arts Program:

I asked Ron Leavesley, president of Kinnelon's Center For Lifelong Learning for background on the CLL Performing Arts Program. Here is what he shared with me.

CB: Ron, when did the CLL Performing Arts Program start?

RL: The program started in 1998. At that time its objective was to make available programs on music and the arts that were not being provided by the library and that could be funded by CLL as part of the developing and expanding CLL effort. Bob Frank, our current CLL Vice President, has been the coordinator of the program committee from the beginning.

CB: How did the CLL Performing Arts Program get started?

RL: It all started with a jazz concert in November 1998 featuring a group from William Patterson University. Over the years the program has featured ragtime, classical presentations and music, Shakespeare performances, opera vocalists and individual performers and groups from Kinnelon High School. The Westerhoff School of Music and Art has been a participant and supporter since 2002.

CLL has received support from companies such as Exxon, local banks, the Westerhoff Foundation and the audience. These funds are all invested back into the programs.

CB: How has the CLL Performing Arts Program evolved?

RL: Over time, with increased library funding by the Friends of the Kinnelon Library and CLL, more and more comparable programs were by design being initiated by the library. Today the CLL Performing Arts program features a reduced schedule, but continues concerts by the Westherhoff School of Music and Art and a Shakespeare program.

We have always had a nominal charge of $5.00 and that includes refreshments. Attendance has been from 50- to 100.

In summary, we started off with a bang and were averaging 4-6 programs per year. As the program and the Library evolved, it made more sense to consolidate efforts and support and fund Library programs that could publicize and provide the same service to the community. We have all worked to get the best return on our investment and it was worked out well.

Ron, thank you for sharing with us perspective on the Kinnelon CLL Performing Arts Program. 

I hope many readers will participate on 5/15/11 in this fabulous program of classical music!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Computer Maintenance: How To Take Care of Your PC Program at Kinnelon Library: 5/3/11 7pm

Ted Whittemore, Working Computers, Kinnelon

Register for Kinnelon Computers' Free Computer Maintenance 'How To' Discussion at the Kinnelon Library with Ted Whittemore on May 3rd, 2011 at 7 PM.

Many of you may know that, in addition to reviewing hot sauces and creating Kinnelon's own SR Fresh Hot Sauces, Ted Whittemore also keeps computers in working condition in and around Kinnelon [Note: Ted runs my company IT Department :-)].

For those of you wanting to learn more about how to maintain, clean and backup your computers, look no further than the Kinnelon Libary on Tuesday, May 3rd at 7pm when Ted will be sharing advice and tips on how to take care of your personal computer.

Here are the details, which are listed in the Kinnelon Library Bookmarks Volume 29, Number 2 dated April/May/June 2011 on page 4:

"How to Maintain, Clean and Back Up Your PC for No Money!"
With Ted Whittemore of Kinnelon Computers

Tuesday, May 3, 7:00 PM

Tips include:
  • Preventing your computer from dying dust bunny death
  • Keeping your computer going for the long haul - defrag, clean, and monitor your machine
  • Protect your computer with top-of-the-line free Anti-Virus Software
  • What to do if you do get infected and how to be prepared
  • How to be back on-line in minutes after a computer failure
  • Protect your files, personal info, settings, and data with Free On-Line Backup to the Cloud (Internet)
And more!  Please call the Library at (973) 838-1321 to register for this free program.

If you have specific questions you'd like Ted to address, feel free to include them here in the comments. Otherwise, be sure to reserve a spot and be prepared to learn many valuable tips on how best to maintain your computer. And they cost ... NOTHING! Hooray!

Thanks for your help in getting the word out.

I hope to see you then!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

2011 Brake the Hunger Cycle Tour Bike Event, Kinnelon on 5/7

2011 Brake the Hunger Cycle Tour Bike Event

Preparations for the fourth annual BRAKE the HUNGER CYCLE TOUR charity bike event are in full swing! This year's event takes place on Saturday, May 7th, 2011 at St. David's Episcopal Church, 91 Kinnelon Road in Kinnelon, NJ, and includes 5 bike routes to choose from:
  • 4 miles [which we did in 2010]
  • 12 miles [this year's choice]
  • 25 miles
  • 40 miles
  • 62-mile Metric Century
According to Rodger Pisani and Mike Odian, co-chairs of the Hunger Cycle Tour bike event committee: "we have already established ourselves as the largest charity bike event in northern New Jersey. More importantly, our event has led to $120,000 in donations to the cause of hunger both here in New Jersey and throughout the world." 

Here's what Emma writes about the Brake the Hunger Cycle Tour Bike Event:

On May 7th, Saint David's in Kinnelon will be sponsoring a Brake the Hunger Cycle Tour. They will raise money and give the money to the people who need food.  My parents and I just started last year. We did the 4 mile bike ride.

This year we will be doing the 12 mile bike ride. Since I got a new bike over the summer, it will be a good ride.

You will get your very own back pack that has water, sunscreen, a T-shirt, and some lotion. In the beginning, you will get some tickets. If your number is on a helmet, gloves and other things you get to keep it. My Dad won a helmet for me.  I now wear the helmet every time we go bike riding.

Also there is a barbecue at the end of the ride with some music.

I don't know what the 12 mile bike ride is like, but I know I can do it. I hope that you can come!

Note: Click on this link for my post about last year's event: St. David's 2010 Brake the Hunger Cycle Tour Bike Event - Recap.

Friend, Kinnelon resident and Girl Scout Troup 951 Leader, Dina Fanelli, shared that her Girl Scout Troup would be supporting the 2011 Brake the Hunger Cycle Tour Bike Event. According to the release that Sondra Odian forwarded me [available on Kinnelon Patch]:

The girls in Troop 951 will be biking one of the routes as a team, and have designed their own T-shirts for the ride. Each girl in the troop has taken responsibility of one aspect of supporting the event; making school announcements, informing other troop leaders about the event, designing flyers, baking and organizing a bake sale table and recruiting other troops to host one of the four rest stops along the various routes which support the riders with food and fuel for their rides.

Girl Scout Troup 951

Troop Leader Dina Fanelli explained that this is a service project for the girls who are working toward their Bronze award, on their way to earning the Gold Award, the highest in Girl Scouting, equivalent to the Eagle Award in Boy Scouting. Assistant Troop Leader, Patricia Abderhalden, pointed out that to earn the Bronze Award the girls must complete four preliminary badge projects plus a 15-hour service award project.

Girl Scout Troup 951 Official Shirt

Although Emma already made the point, I'll remind you that at the end of you ride, you can enjoy the all-you-can-eat backyard BBQ, with live music from Nth Degree. Even non-riders are welcome to join the post-ride BBQ for $10.

A few other highlights from Rodger Pisani and Mike Odian:
  • Paul Miller BMW of Wayne is the featured sponsor!!!!!!
  • Stretching tables and professionals will be staffed by Kessler Rehabilitation, a new event sponsor, to show you proper stretching techniques and help loosen those tired muscles after the ride
  • A masseuse will be available for the cyclists at the BBQ
  • A new meal replacement drink will be available for tasting
  • A GPS station will be available for downloading routes onto your cycling GPS.
  • Ham radio operators will be located strategically at the Rest Stops and SAG Wagons to provide rapid communication to our support team
  • WDHA, a local radio station will be with us with games and giveaways
  • Free photos for our riders
Ted, Emma and I have registered and are ready for our 12 mile Brake the Hunger Cycle Bike ride on May 7th, 2011. [As we did last year, we'll be biking to St. David's from home...] Any chance you might join us?

To learn more or to register, click on

Friday, April 15, 2011

Smoke Rise Village Inn, Royal Wedding: 11:30am to 2pm 4/29/11

Smoke Rise Village Inn, Royal Wedding: 11:30am to 2pm 4/29/11

Have you made your Smoke Rise Village Inn Royal Wedding Reservations!

If not, pick up the phone to reserve your seat for the event of the year taking place on Friday, April 29, 2011 from 11:30am to 2pm at the Smoke Rise Village Inn.

This lunch event is open to everyone in Smoke Rise, Kinnelon and beyond!

Here are details:

The Royal Wedding
April 29, 2011

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, Invites You 
to Become a Member of
The Majestic Viewing Party
The Marriage of

Join Us 
At The Smoke Rise Village Inn
From 11:30am to 2pm

There Will be Nonstop Big Screen Coverage of the Most Anticipated Wedding and Party of the Year!

Have Lunch From the Royal Buffet and a Spot of Tea. 
Please Call the Inn for Reservations

Hats, Gloves and Tiaras Are Optional and Most Welcome!

Smoke Rise Village Inn, Royal Wedding

Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Resident, JoAnn Brett contacted me about the upcoming Royal Wedding Event at the Smoke Rise Inn.  I was so intrigued with it that I asked her to tell me more about how the idea came about. Here is what she says:

A few months ago, I received a flyer from the Governor Morris Inn promoting a big fundraiser using the Royal Wedding theme. The idea “tickled” me and I thought that we could probably have some fun with the idea as well. I also felt that it might be a good way to promote the new lunch service at the Inn. Inn Governor, Bob Morrisroe and Smoke Rise Inn Manager, Randy Polo agreed.

I mentioned it to Lola Burling and we were off and running. The enthusiasm has been great. A small planning committee consisting of me, Lola Burling, Jane Johnsen, Alexis Joseph and Vera Mordhorst was formed. We have wonderful supporters like Carol Nash.  Ideas and donations have been generous. “Wedding cake”, scones, flowers, decorations, 55” TV, favors etc. are all being donated by residents to support the event.

Smoke Rise Village Inn, Royal Wedding Committee
Left to right: Mary Jane Johnsen, JoAnn Brett, Lola Burling, Alexis Joseph

The Inn will be serving High Tea and a buffet with aptly named dishes such as Majestic salad & Buckingham soup will be served. The Inn is donating a Champagne wedding toast. 

We estimate that 35 or 40 people will attend the festivities and royal attire is welcomed but not mandatory. A few games are planned and a prize for the best representative attire will be given. It’s all about fun.

John & JoAnn Brett
John & JoAnn Brett
I also invited JoAnn to tell us more about herself and her husband, John.

John & I have lived in Smoke Rise for thirty years. Testament to the fact that we love the community is that instead of moving when our children left home we bought a smaller home on Laurel Lane. Over the years, we have been members of the Tennis club, Community Church, St.Hubert’s Chapel committee & the Smoke Rise Sailing Club. John recently finished a stint on the Smoke Rise Board of Governors.

Thank you, JoAnn!

Don't forget to make your Royal Wedding Luncheon Reservations at the Smoke Rise Inn, and then get your tiara polished up and your hats and gloves ready!


Added 4/19/11: I just learned about the Royal Wedding YouTube Channel.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kinnelon's 2011 Poetry Contest: April 28 Deadline

Kinnelon's 2011 Poetry Contest: April 28 Deadline
Are you ready - for the fourth annual Kinnelon Library Poetry Contest? The deadline is April 28th. 

The Poetry Contest is great fun and definitely worth getting your child involved in. In case you're still considering, here are details from Emma Whittemore, long-time veteran of the Kinnelon Poetry Contest...

Kinnelon Poetry Contest

On April 28, the Kinnelon Library will be sponsoring a Poetry Contest. This will be their 4th year doing it.  I have done it ever since.

Two years ago, I won the written poem part of the poetry contest in the Kindergarten - 1st Grade category.  My poem was titled "Oh, how I love Spring."

There are two choices that you can compete in for the Kinnelon Poetry Contest. You can submit a written poem. You can also do the Oral Recitation of your or someone else's poem.

I have done both every year. The poetry contest helps with my writing. Reciting poetry has helped me with speaking in front of people. I like the clapping at the end of the oral recitation.

If you choose to do the Kinnelon Poetry Contest, all entries must be in by April 28th.

Check out some of the older blogposts about past Kinnelon Poetry Contests. My Mom wrote about the winners and in one I'm reciting my poem.  I hope you like it:
Good luck to all poets!  Remember, no one is a loser. We are all winners.

Thank you.

For more information check out the Kinnelon Library where you can get an entry form.

Per the flyer above, the April Kinnelon Poetry Contest coincides with National Poetry Month celebrations. [ offers ideas for celebrating, including an iPhone app that flows poems to your phone. Also check out the free Poetry Foundation iPhone app which I've just downloaded.]

Kinnelon's Fourth Annual Poetry Contest started on April 1st, 2011. Deadlines are as follows:

Written Poetry must be submitted by April 28, 2011.
Sign up for Oral Poetry Recitation by Thursday, April 28, 2011.

The Oral Poetry Recitation Competition takes place Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 5pm in the Kinnelon's Children's Library. Winners will be announced and prizes [which include a $100 Savings Bond] given out after the oral poetry recitation.

Kinnelon Poetry Contest Categories:
  • Kindergarten - 1st Grade
  • 2nd Grade - 3rd Grade
  • 4th Grade - 5th Grade
You can obtain an entry form from the Kinnelon Library.

I hope to see you at the Kinnelon Library for the 2011 Kinnelon Poetry Contest.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Whitey Ford, Kinnelon's Albino Deer

Whitey Ford, Kinnelon's Albino Deer
Thank you for your comments on Emma's recent addition to the Kinnelon Critter File with her story about the Albino Deer. [We're a bit behind responding to them and appreciate your patience...]

The most exciting comment came from former Smoke Rise resident, Estelle Anderson [see New Pyramid Mountain Park Trail! and Needed: Split Rock Trail Maintainers For East Side].

Estelle shared with me the photo above of "Whitey Ford" and the following message:

Hi Christine, 

"Whitey Ford" as I used to call him, was there in Smoke Rise when I lived on Long Meadow Rd. Saw him around our property quite a bit with the rest of the herd. Here's my photo of him from 2004. I'm happy he's alive & well.

Here in West Milford, we had an albino fawn this past spring; saw it along with its sibling in proper deer tan and their mother.

Please do go ahead and share. It's really neat this guy survives!

See you on a trail someday!

Estelle Anderson

I already know that Chuck Mougalian will enjoy this story [I gave him a preview at the bus stop last Tuesday].  I expect that many of you will, too.

What are some of the 'Whitey Fords' you've come across recently? Leave me a comment or send me an email and I'll share it on the Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog!

Thank you, Estelle!

Added 4/10/11: I meant to include a link to this post titled Did You Hear About the White-Tail Deer? which includes frequently asked questions [e.g., how long do deer usually live? up to 10 years in the wild...]

If you are new to the blog and like what you read, consider subscribing to updates of the Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog via email or even RSS.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ramstein Open House and SR Fresh Hot Sauce this Saturday @ 2 PM & 3:45 PM, April 9th

Ramstein Beer Open House

Here is reminder for this weekend’s Ramstein Beer Open House and Tour, this Saturday, April 9. Directions are at the website.

This is the 2nd Tour for this year and will be the Last Call for one of my favorite Ramstein seasonal Lager beers, the Maibock. Hooray for 2011! Only comes once a year ... 

There will be 2 tour and tasting sessions, one at 2 PM, and another at 3:45 PM

Maibock, Double Platinum Blonde, Classic Dunkelweiss, and Amber Lager will be on tap.

One liter and Two liter growlers will be available as well.

And SR Fresh Hot Sauce will be there with the Fresh Cayenne-CherryHabanero Gold, and XXXXTra Hot Habanero Hot Sauce. We will also have the new Cayenne-Fresno in 2 Heat levels, Mild and Wild. We will also have our Spicy Aioli in 16 oz jars -- that's Hot and Spicy Mayo for those of you scratching your heads. Come try them! And buy them!

You Hot Sauce people can check out the SR Fresh Hot Sauce Website, where the sauces are explained and sold. Check out the Fresh Hot Sauce Blog as well.

As usual, there will be a tour and explanation of the brewing process by Greg Zaccardi, the owner. [See previous post about Ramstein Beer with videos for a primer.]

See you there!

Ted and Christine and Emma

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Albino Deer: Kinnelon Critter File

Albino Deer: Kinnelon Critter File
In the latest Kinnelon Critter File entry, here is one about an Albino Deer

Reporting for this story is Emma Whittemore.

This Winter, Chuck Mougalian - a Smoke Rise neighbor - saw an Albino Deer in his backyard.  He said that it was living there for three weeks. Mr. Mougalian explained that this deer didn't look like the other deer. It was mostly white with some other markings.

Lots of people on Fox Ledge Road in Smoke Rise have seen the deer many times.

I was lucky one day when I saw it from my school bus stop, just up the hill from where we were standing.

Once my Mom and I saw an Albino Turkey.  At first I didn't know what it was, but then my Mom told me.

My friend told me that she has seen an Albino Hawk.

The Albino Deer lives in a herd of other deer with normal colors. Albino Deer are known to have some spots on them, but not always. The other deer don't hurt the Albino Deer. They don't really care if they are white. The deer treat it like any other deer.

Please tell us if you have seen any Albino Animals. We would love to know.

Thank you.

According to Buck Manager: All About Albino White-Tailed Deer, "only about one deer in 30,000 is an albino! However, not all white deer are true albinos. Some white whitetails have normally pigmented noses, eyes and hooves. In that instance, it would only be a genetic mutation for hair color but not other pigments." From the photo above, courtesy of Chuck Mougalian, this deer doesn't look to have pink eyes, so it may not be a true albino.

Here are a few other interesting articles I came across about Albino Deer:
Thanks, Chuck, for sharing your photo and story.

If you come across other Albino Animals, as Emma asks, please do let us know.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Kinnelon Security Shredding May 7, 2011

Kinnelon Security Shredding May 7, 2011
Mark your calendars and start preparing for the Kinnelon Security Shredding Event taking place on Saturday, May 7th, 2011 from 9am to noon at the Kinnelon Public Library.

This is the 3rd year of the shredding program in Kinnelon and it benefits many parties! According to Ron Leavesley, many Kinnelon residents have been calling asking when the shredding would return.

For Kinnelon residents, it's a great way to get rid of documents, personal and otherwise that present a particular disposal problem - e.g., tax returns, legal documents, etc.... Documents that you don't want to put in the trash.

For the Kinnelon Library, it's a marvelous fund raiser.

For Security Shredding of Morris Plains, it's an opportunity to help organizations like the Kinnelon Library while keeping their folks busy.

Even the Kinnelon DPW benefits since it receives recycling credit for the total paper shredded.

Ron says that last year we totaled over 4,400 pounds of paper. That ground up paper can be further transformed into other end products.

Talk about a valuable public resource!

As the Kinnelon Security Shredding flyer states:

A Great Opportunity To Easily and Securely Dispose of Important But Obsolete Personal Information and Tax Documents and Support the Friends of the Kinnelon Library at the Same Time.

Confidential and Secure

Saturday, May 7, 2011
9:00 AM until Noon

Kinnelon Public Library
Behind Borough Hall

Economical and Safe

Just a $5.00 donation per box

Boxes should be no larger than 14”W x18”L and 10”D.

WHO: Security Shredding of Morris Plains, NJ

A unique opportunity for confidential and secure treatment of your personal information. Optimum security if you want to dispose of important but obsolete personal documents. Don’t just toss personal information in the trash…especially after tax season. Using the latest state-of-the art equipment… 
Done in the most secure way while you watch.
Fully bonded and insured.
Makes disposing of documents easy and safe.
Drive in, unload your papers, and drive out with peace of mind.

WHERE: Behind Borough Hall.

Volunteers will be there to help you.

So, what are you waiting for? Start sifting through those old documents and identify what you'll add to the Kinnelon Security Shredding pile.  Think how relieved you'll be when it's all taken care of.... securely!
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