Dear Editor:
The insurgency we witnessed at our Nation’s Capitol this week was a shattering display of disregard for the important values that bind us as a nation. This horrific and violent riot has left death and injuries in its wake. Those who stormed the Capitol, came to usurp President-Elect Joe Biden's victory and their actions were fueled by the words of our current president. The hours of true lawlessness that we watched left us in disbelief and shook us as a nation.  Among our founding principles is the due process of law. I urge every reader to recommit themselves to our American values.

In Fanwood and Scotch Plains I am proud that while we often disagree, we resolve our disagreements with words.  Be it on property taxes, issues that surround our schools, or development; we talk to one another to settle grievances.  I pray that the shock of the attack on our Capitol will promote a deeper commitment to a peaceful society.

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Today more than 365,000 Americans are gone from us, lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Westfield Regional Board of Health, there were 53 additional cases of COVID-19 infection in Fanwood since Christmas. These are distributed evenly between gender, with ages ranging from 85 years to 10 months. Our total number of COVID-positive cases for our community is now 324.

Once again we see the rate of infection increase statewide as a result of holiday gatherings,  so it remains important to wear your mask, social distance, and wash your hands. Please try to avoid indoor gatherings as they have been proven through contact-tracing to be the source of the dramatic rise in local cases.  

As we watch the national rollout of the vaccine, you will see below that the State of NJ has developed a vaccine registry. This registry is intended to develop a good database so the state can contact you directly when it is your turn to be vaccinated. Currently, the state is vaccinating individuals in Category 1A, including first responders, pharmacists, health care workers, and nursing home staff and residents.   There is no set date for when New Jersey will move on to the next category.  No one will be forced to accept the vaccine, but in order to support the general public health, I encourage Fanwoodians who may be hesitant to speak to your health care provider. 

As always, if you need any assistance I hope you will contact me at

Have a wonderful and peaceful weekend,

Mayor Colleen Mahr
Fanwood, NJ