Religions and Spirituality

Livingston Council Awards $1 Million Road Improvement Contract; Endorses Chinese Fight Against Religious Persecution

Arleen Richards explains the plight of persecuted members of Falun Gong as Huimin Vheng and Livingston Mayor Steven Santola look on at Monday's Livingston Township Council meeting. Credits: Bob Faszczewski

LIVINGSTON, NJ—The Livingston Township Council Monday awarded a contract worth a maximum of $1,076,428 to S. Brothers General Contractors for improvements to four roadways.

Township Manager Michele Meade told The Alternative Press that the streets, which will receive drainage improvements, curbing and inserts with bicycle-safe grates and barrier-free ramps, as needed, and milling and paving are: Swan Road, Burnet and West Cedar Streets and East Harrison Place.

The council also gave its unanimous support to followers of the Falun Gong religion, who are trying to gather signatures in thousands of municipalities across the United States to put pressure on China to stop persecution of members of the religion that has been going on under the Communist regime in China since 1999.

Sign Up for E-News

According to Arleen Richards, a spokeswoman for the group, hundreds of thousands of people who follow the religion, which is based on Buddhism, have been imprisoned without trial. She added more than 3500 people have died in police custody and many have been killed involuntarily for organ donation programs.

In presenting a copy of the council resolution supporting the movement to Richards and Huimin Vheng, Livingston Mayor Stephen Santola said that while the governing body normally restricts its support to causes over which it has direct influence, the support for the Falun Gong cause came about because the group is trying to build nationwide backing from communities across the United States.

Vheng said several thousand people are expected to rally next week in Washington, DC in support of the cause.

In other business, Larry Kohn of Tarlton Drive, a frequent critic of township spending on the municipal building complex, presented each of the councilmen with a “quiz” about certain facets of the project. He asked that each of the governing body members complete their “assignment” within a month and present the results in public.

Topics of the "quizzes" included alleged cost overruns, contaminated soil mitigation, change orders and the bidding process.

Santola replied in 12 years he had heard Kohn raise a number of questions on a number of township-sponsored projects and had urged the resident to run for the council or get involved in committees where he could have a forum to have his concerns addressed.

Kohn replied he had been on a committee concerning the municipal complex but had resigned because he was not satisfied that his questions were being answered as thoroughly as he would like.

Another resident, Bernard Searle, raised several questions about architectural contracts that recently had been awarded, particularly concerning what he called undefined “municipal property improvements” in one contract.

Santola asked Meade to look into the questions raised by Searle.

The mayor also announced a meeting would be held on Monday, July 9, at 7:30 p.m. to address resident concerns about recent tardy service on the No. 77 bus line, which travels through Livingston on its way into New York City. The township’s legislators are expected to be at the session.

Santola also noted the township recycling contractor had resolved most of the problems with recent pickups and a new contractor had taken over service on July 1.

He said four trucks belonging to the previous contractor had broken down. The new contractor, he added, had won the township contract through the competitive bidding process.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


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 ...