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Citizens’ Institute Considers Empowering a great community


During the third session of the 2012 Citizens’ Institute which took place on April 18, representatives from over 40 Livingston community organizations, including houses of worship and township committees, gathered to discuss “How can we be part of building and sustaining a great community?”  Arlene Johnson, co-chair of the Citizen’s Institute, led the evening activities with a discussion of every-day situations in which individuals have an opportunity to influence the outcome.  Johnson spoke about the importance of seeing ourselves as part of positive change, through committee involvement and interpersonal relationships. Johnson reminded the group of Mahatma Gandhi’s advice to “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

A panel of change-makers discussed making a difference and what they did to activate change. The panel was moderated by Barbara Levadi, a member of the Institute Governing Board. In her opening introductions, Levadi said, “These four amazing people have devoted their time to helping the community and it is hoped that they will inspire others to get involved.”

The panel included Bob Gebroe (co-chair of Livingston Advisory Committee for Disabilities) who spoke about the development of social and recreational programs for children with special needs; Sue Fershing (Livingston Green Team, and Recycling and Reclamation Committee) discussed her involvement in environmental initiatives such as the recycling, composting, and anti-idling campaign; Tricia Idrobo, co-founder of Livingston’s Day of Service, which honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King by encouraging Livingston residents to be involved in service projects; and Marty Meyers (co-founder of Livingston Dog Park) helped to open a park for dogs where they can safely socialize and exercise off-leash in two fenced-in play areas.

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The “Citizens’ Institute Players,” Evy DeGuzman, Lois Dyer, Frank Dyer, Aimee Kessler Evans, and Hugh Mahon, demonstrated the skills for making a difference with several humorous skits which both delighted and informed the audience. The skits involved situations that Institute members identified as areas of concern.

The evening closed with Institute members writing a letter to themselves about a situation that they want to change. The letter was then sealed in a self-addressed envelope and will be sent to Institute members in two weeks as a reminder of their commitment. Members were also given the opportunity to evaluate their experience of the 2012 Livingston Citizens’ Institute and to provide feedback which will help shape next year’s Institute.

Johnson invited Institute members to attend the upcoming elective session at the Senior Community Center (May 3, 7:30 pm) on Building a Sustainable Community, featuring a presentation of Livingston’s environmental action plan and a discussion of environmental priorities.  Residents are also invited to participate in this elective session which is open to the Livingston community. In addition, there will be recognition of Citizens’ Institute Participants on May 7 at 8:00 pm in the Municipal Building Council Chamber. Johnson also encouraged Institute members to continue the dialogue and citizen engagement by visiting the website

If you have any questions about the Livingston Citizen’s Institute or are interested in participating in the 2013 Institute, please contact Arlene Johnson 973-994-2314, or Walter Joyce 973-992-8317. To register for the May 3 program, please email, or send your request to Lorri Patino, Livingston Municipal Building, 357 S. Livingston Avenue.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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Livingston Pitcher Ryan Cardona Named Athlete of the Week

April 5, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — As spring sports begin at Livingston High School, the varsity baseball team’s star pitcher, Ryan Cardona, has been named the season’s first Athlete of the Week.

The senior threw 91 pitches in an extra-inning showdown against Millburn, a Top 10 team, on Saturday morning—walking one and striking out 12 before being taken out. Although the ...

Free Wellness Event at The Joint Chiropractic

April 17, 2018

WEST CALDWELL, NJ — The public is invited to a "Wellness Event to Remember" at The Joint Chiropractic in West Caldwell on Thursday, April 19 from 7 p.m. to  9 p.m.

Guests will include:

Michael Piercy, owner of The Lab
Justyna Debski, owner of Revive Mind Body
Karen Caplan, owner of Nutrition Transitions

Join the ...

Luxury Facial Services 50% OFF

MILLBURN, NJ - DeAmour Salon & Spa is proud to announce its newest team member, Renee Rudikh, formerly of the famous Georgette Klinger Spa at the Short Hills Mall.

Rudikh has extensive experience and specializes in a plethora of facial styles including: deep pore cleansing/European, microdermabrasion with collagen, teenage, men's, back, LED and customized European ...

YMCA $0 Enrollment in April

LIVINGSTON, NJ - For the month of April, the West Essex YMCA is offer $0 enrollment. 

Take advantage of all that your local Y has to offer for the whole family!

Personal Training
Group Classes
Low monthly membership
And much much more!...

Check out all that the Y has to offer HERE

About the West Essex YMCA:
The West Essex YMCA has ...

MAX Challenge of West Orange - 2 Weeks FREE and more...

WEST ORANGE, NJ - The MAX Challenge of West Orange is about to start its next challenge.  Sign up before April 9, and you will receive maximum benefits, including two weeks free!



12 weeks for the price of 10
Unlimited fitness classes 
Nutritional ...

deAmour Salon - Complimentary Blowout with Other Select Services - $40+ Value

Millburn, NJ - Salon Profilo in Milburn has recently rebranded to deAmour Salon & Spa! In celebration, owners Roula and Grace are inviting new and existing clients to enjoy a complimentary blowout with any color service. Call (973) 379-8300 to schedule your appointment. Promo code: TAP COLOR

deAmor Salon specializes in multiple coloring techniques and stays current on industry ...

Guerrero Martial Arts Kids - 50% OFF

CALDWELL, NJ - Guerrero Martial Arts in Caldwell is offering 50% off of their regular 6 week trial program.  Regular price of $69 is being slashed in half to only $34.59 for a limited time only. 

Redeem this discount by clicking HERE and entering in coupon code: TAPKIDS

Six week package includes 12 lessons (2x per week) and a uniform!

" Martial arts ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, April 21, 10:30 AM

West Essex YMCA, Livingston

Healthy Kids Day at the West Essex YMCA

Health & Wellness

Mon, April 23, 1:30 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Monday at the Movies: LOVING VINCENT

Arts & Entertainment


Wed, April 25, 10:00 AM

Estelle Finkel Center for Learning, Livingston

Upcoming 2018 Spring SAT and ACT Courses

Man Charged With Kidnapping and Assaulting Essex County Victim

April 16, 2018

NEWARK, NJ – A New York man appeared in federal court last week to face allegations that he assaulted and kidnapped an individual who had a protection order against him, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

Rudolf Szoradi, 50, is charged by four-count criminal complaint with kidnapping, transporting a stolen vehicle across state lines, interstate domestic violence and interstate ...

Victoria Pevzner, Origin Health & Fitness Student-Athlete and Fencer, Captures Silver Fencing Medal in International Competition

April 19, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Victoria Pevzner, an 11-year-old fencer, placed second in the U-13 Girls’ Foil event at 2018 Challenge Wratislavia, an international youth fencing tournament in Wroclaw, Poland, March 22-26, 2018.

The "13 year-old and under" girls foil event included more than 180 competitors from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, ...

Letter to the Editor: Don't Complain. Vote!

April 12, 2018

Don’t Complain; Vote!

It’s no secret that people have strong feelings about what’s happening in our country. It’s also true that much of politics is local. In November, 11th District residents will have the opportunity to choose a new congressional representative who will not only serve as a critical check on the federal level, but also determine how our distract fares ...

Cluelessly Clueless

I teenaged my way through high school under the assumption that my parents had no idea what I was doing.  I like to think I was pretty good at withholding information and presenting situations in ways that were other than they really were.


Still, sometimes they found things out.  Like the time my friends plopped me on our front door step at one o'clock in the morning ...