Giving Back

Press Releases


De La Selva MuralLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
John Deleski Jr. (center), Todd Bariso (right), and Salvador E. Ramos (back row) join Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski (left) Credits: Union County
Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski (purple shirt) watches work on building 7 by carpenters. Test Credits: Union County

As they hammered away, repairing the gaping hole created when a falling tree ripped through the roof, the three carpenters knew this was not just any other home repair.

On the floors below were murals painted by celebrated Nicaraguan/Mexican artist Robert de la Selva, a student of the Mexican artist Diego Rivera. And the murals, painted by de la Selva during a summer stay in the 1920s, had to be protected before rain did any further damage.

Just as this was not just simply any other house, these were not just any carpenters.  The three-- John Deleski Jr. of Metuchen, Todd Bariso of Butler and Salvador E. Ramos of North Plainfield-- are all instructors with the New Jersey Carpenters Apprentice Training and Educational Fund who volunteered their time this summer to fix the roof.

Sign Up for E-News

They worked on the house for several days, following up on initial repairs made in the spring as part of the program’s training for apprentices in the union’s educational program.

“We appreciate all the time and effort put in by the many volunteers here at the Deserted Village,” said Union County Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski.

“Many of our treasured historic buildings would be lost for future generations to enjoy if not for the individuals and organizations who give of their time to help out,” Kowalski said.

“The carpenters really came through for us on this project and their work is deeply appreciated,” said Freeholder Chairman Chris Hudak. 

“Stabilizing and rehabilitating The Deserted Village is a major challenge, both in the work that is required and the funding that will be needed for the restoration work,” Hudak said.  “But it is an irreplaceable historic site in our County and we will work to see that the Deserted Village remains a place for future generations to visit and learn about our past.”

While the carpenters addressed some of the needed emergency repairs, the County is looking for funding to restore House No. 7, following the restorations of Masker’s Barn and the Church/General Store.

Last year, Preservation New Jersey cited the home as one of the top 10 most endangered historic sites in the state. (

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the New Jersey Historic Trust, the Union County Open Space, Recreation & Historic Preservation Trust Fund; and other contributors help the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation maintain the Deserted Village of Feltville/Glenside Park and all its history.

The Visitor Center in the Church/Store Building at the Deserted Village is open weekends to the public, featuring exhibits of artifacts, photographs, maps and paintings explaining the history of the Deserted Village of Feltville since the settlement of the area in 1736. The Visitor Center will be open on Saturdays and Sundays and holidays, year-round, from noon until 5:00 pm each day.

The Deserted Village is located within the 2,142 acre Watchung Reservation, the largest of 36 parks in the Union County Park System. The site is listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

To learn more about the Deserted Village please visit  For more on programs in the County parks and facilities, go to

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Mike Zuko at Salem Roadhouse Cafe

February 19, 2018

Raised on a diet of The Beatles, Buddy Holly and The Doors, Michael Zuko was exposed first hand to the thrilling music of the legendary 70s NYC club scene. Zuko and the band show a skilled singer-songwriter who is backed by solid musical talent, bringing original, fresh and intelligent lyrics to the stage. A true entertainer, Mike engages the audience fully and leaves them wanting more. Mike and ...

German Language School of Morris County Raises $1,000 for Market Street Mission

February, the month of all things red and romantic with red, hearts, roses, and chocolates, is also a time to show our love of friends and community. Students from the German Language School of Morris County ( and, took that lesson to heart and raised $1,000 for The Market Street Mission (, a Morristown haven for the needy for more than ...

Kick Off for the Relay for Life of Berkeley Heights, Mountainside, New Providence & Summit 

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - There will be a Kick Off for Relay for Life on Thursday, March 1st. It will be held at the Gov. Livingston High School Cafeteria at 7pm.  The theme of Kick Off is Back TO GL - we envision a future that is cancer free. Everything you need to know about Relay for Life will be presented in an interactive setting. Relay ...

Home for Good Dog Rescue's Annual "Taste of Italy" Dinner & Tricky Tray

For the ninth consecutive year, Home for Good Dog Rescue's "Taste of Italy" Spaghetti & Meatballs Dinner and Tricky Tray returns to the Long Hill Community Center in Stirling, NJ. More than 300 guests will gather on Saturday, March 3, for a family-friendly Italian-themed dinner featuring a wealth of prize baskets, including but not limited to gift certificates, pet products and ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

February 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Democratic Party Would Be Making a Big Mistake by Not Recognizing Colleen Mahr's Talents

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations, Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is ...

Colleen Mahr Is The Leader Our Party Needs

Dear Editor:

My name is Patti Murgo. I am Committeewoman in Linden’s Eighth Ward. I am a life-long  DEMOCRAT, a party activist, and a believer in what being a democrat stands for. Last week, I received a piece of literature from our municipal chairman, Nick Scutari, regarding his “plans” for the County Democratic Party if he is elected county chairman.


Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, February 20

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, February 21

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, February 21, 2:00 PM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

The Underground Railroad Documentary

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, February 22

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Thu, February 22, 6:00 PM

UCEDC, Cranford

Next Level Business Planning

Business & Finance

Fri, February 23

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Invest Like a Tortoise -- Not Like a Hare

Aesop’s “The Tortoise and the Hare” is a perfect metaphor for the way people go about investing their money. As you recall in the fable, the hare brags about his ability to beat the tortoise and is overly confident about winning. In the investment world, the hare is someone who thinks he or she is great at selecting “winners” and avoiding “losers.” The ...