Volunteers Will 'Light the Night' on Thursday in South Orange

On April 3, "Light the Night" volunteers will hit the streets to locate gaslight outages. Credits: Adam Stiles

 SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The iconic village gaslights serve as the primary source of illumination for its sidewalks, and volunteers will take to the streets on Thursday night to report all malfunctioning lights.

The initiative is titled Project Gaslight and is being organized by Trustee Sheena Collum,, who also serves as the chairwoman of the Public Safety Committee.  

“The purpose of the event is to collect a full and comprehensive inventory of all of our gaslight outages throughout the town and have PSE&G come and fix them,” Collum said. “Particularly with the warmer weather approaching ... having all of our gaslights operational is important for public safety.”

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In a somewhat ironic twist, the outages of the old-fashioned lamps will be reported using smartphones. It will serve as an opportunity for residents to become familiar with SOConnect, a new mobile app the village recently launched that allows users to easily request services such as pothole repair and in this case, gaslight outages.

The volunteers simply stand near the outed gaslight and the GPS signal from their smartphone will detect the location of the service request. The user then selects the type of request and an email is sent directly to PSE&G.

Volunteers are asked to RSVP to Collum prior to the event in order to receive more information. 

The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Village Hall offices at 76 South Orange Avenue.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we’re all very eager to host this event and are hoping many volunteers will turn out and help us light the night,” Collum said.

The reporter is a student participating in hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.


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