Photo Courtesy of Poconowhitewater.com

By Taylor Smith

Five times larger than New York’s Central Park, Lehigh Gorge State Park in northeastern Pennsylvania is a 4,548-acre wilderness just 90 minutes from Philadelphia and two hours from New York City. The region is home to the Northeast’s most accessible and convenient whitewater rafting, family style rafting, hiking, and rail trail biking. This summer, encourage your kids to put down their screens and instead experience an action-packed Whitewater Dam Release weekend, biking, or hiking in the great outdoors.  more

By Laurie Pellichero

Nestled in the lush meadows of the Watchung Mountains, New Jersey National Golf Club in Basking Ridge is a premier private golf club featuring 18 holes of championship golf and the highly-rated Red Oak Grille restaurant. It is a special place to play, entertain, and relax in a family-friendly atmosphere. It also serves as the perfect venue to host corporate and charity golf events on Mondays only. more

Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center is pleased to join the Bergen County Stigma-Free Campaign, a county-wide program which aims to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, as the medical center recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month.

“We are proud to join the Bergen County stigma-free movement and declare Hackensack University Medical Center a Stigma-Free Zone,” said Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D., FACS, president of Hackensack University Medical Centermore

By Taylor Smith 

Photography by Tom Grimes

The youngest son of Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and Virginia Joan Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy has put down roots in Brigantine, New Jersey with his wife, Amy, and four children, Harper, Owen, Nora, and Nell. Amy is expecting their fifth child in May. A New Jersey native, Amy has more than 15 years’ experience working in New Jersey public schools and is the education director of The Kennedy Forum. Patrick lovingly refers to Amy as his “Jersey girl,” who grew up in a neighboring shore town. Located on the bayside of the Jersey Shore, a stone’s throw from Atlantic City, the Kennedy’s waterfront home is centered around family and the beauty of the natural setting. On the day of Urban Agenda Magazine’s visit, seagulls were dive-bombing around Patrick’s boat and fine grains of sand blew across the roadway. more

Taylor Smith

Who you choose to read your mammogram makes a critical difference in detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages.  Most mammograms are read by general radiologists, reducing the rate of early detection. more

Image from Artifact Interactive’s Garden Planner

By William Uhl

There are countless programs for landscape and garden planning available, ranging from free web apps to hundred-dollar software packages. For the average homeowner thinking of planning out a new garden or backyard pool, it can be confusing and time consuming to find an up-to-date program at a reasonable price. The following three selections are low- or no-cost options for any adventurous amateur. more

By Taylor Smith 

JCC University at Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly, NJ offers the opportunity to rekindle previous passions, ignite new interests, meet new people and stay involved in the developments that shape today’s world. Top professors and experts present on topics including science, literature, film, economics, psychology, architecture and politics. more

By Wendy Greenberg 

Princeton University freshman Jack Aiello credits a special New Jersey camp for giving him the confidence to climb the Himalayas with the challenges associated with type 1 diabetes.

Despite the unpredictable effect elevation can have on metabolism, his blood sugar numbers stayed under control. In a blog on the camp website he wrote, “Eight summers of living with peers and counselors who have diabetes have given me a tremendous amount of knowledge and confidence in managing diabetes…Camp gave me counselors who spent weeks camping in the wilderness, friends who cycled thousands of miles competitively, and dozens of role models and friends who always kept their diabetes under control—not the other way around.”  more

By Ilene Dube

“A sap run is the sweet goodbye of winter. It is the fruit of the equal marriage of the sun and frost.” — John Burroughs

Maine and Vermont may lure visitors with excursions to sugar shacks, and their tourist centers delight children of all ages with boxes of maple leaf-shaped sugary treats, but the joys of maple sugaring can be had without leaving the Garden State.  more

A $12 million investment will expand non-invasive cardiac care at JFK Medical Center

Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network, is proud to announce that JFK Health in Edison, a leading hospital system that is nationally recognized for its pediatric and adult neuroscience and rehabilitation programs, is joining the network which will expand to 16 hospitals. With now more than 160 patient care locations, Hackensack Meridian Health is the largest health network in the state. more

Stevens Undergraduate Students in Design Spine Course

Schaefer School of Engineering Revamps its “Design Spine” to Help Students Gain Interdisciplinary, Real-World Experience

Written by Stevens Institute of Technology’s Office of Communications

The broad and lasting skills that emerge when a student is at the center of the learning process is nothing short of incredible.

Whether working individually or teams, students in Stevens Institute of Technology’s Charles v. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science progress through a sequence of interdisciplinary design courses. In those courses, students not only learn engineering principles and how to apply them; they also learn soft skills like creative thinking, problem solving, project management, communication and ethics that are increasingly important in the working world. more

Photo Credit: Hugo Juarez

The winter season poses many potential risks to animal companions, from frigid temperatures to road trips, food, and holiday decorations. We spoke with some well-known area veterinarians to get their advice on what families can do to protect their beloved pets. 

By Taylor Smith 

Dr. Christopher Garruba of Nassau Animal Hospital, located at 3440 US-1 in Princeton, said that owners should be aware of salted sidewalks and roadways. “Dogs can slip and fall on the ice just like people and collect ‘ice balls’ between their toes,” he said. “Their paw pads may also become irritated by salt on the roads. It’s important to carefully examine your dog’s paws and paw pads after each walk.” more

On The Side Spa, Photo by John Keon.

By Taylor Smith

The winter season brings heartwarming moments, like time with family and holiday traditions; however, it can also bring unneeded stress. This stress may come in the form of aches and pains, increased anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and weight gain. To combat these common winter ailments, a little self-care is in order. Thankfully, our region offers a plethora of spa services, counseling professionals, and salons where you can melt the blues away. more

By Ellen Gilbert 

Recent strides in the field of genetic engineering are generating tremendous excitement. Long in the works at university and company laboratories, the implications of this treatment are far-reaching.

The rapidly emerging immunotherapy approach is called adoptive cell transfer (ACT); it collects and uses patients’ own immune cells to treat their cancer. There are several types of ACT, but the star of the show right now is CAR T-cell therapy, which made medical history this last August when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first genetic therapy for widespread use. Called Kymriah, it is being marketed by Novartis, a global healthcare company based in Switzerland. more

The NJ Audubon Montclair Hawk Watch 

By Laurie Pellichero 

It’s an incredible sight to see each fall, flocks of birds making their way down south for the winter. One of the best places to witness the yearly pilgrimage of a variety of hawks and other birds of prey is the NJ Audubon Montclair Hawk Watch Lookout, a crushed stone-filled platform that sits on a basalt ledge high on a ridge known as First Watchung Mountain in Montclair, New Jersey. more

By Anne Levin

With a mother and two paternal aunts who died of breast cancer, the two sisters knew it was important to get tested to see if they carried the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. Should the test come back positive, their risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer would be higher than average. And preventive measures—most likely mastectomy and/or hysterectomy—could be in order. more

By Taylor Smith

Describe your background and current specialty.

I am a graduate of the obstetrics and gynecology residency program at Saint Barnabas Medical Center (SBMC) in Livingston, New Jersey. While at SBMC, I served as administrative co-chief resident and am the incoming District III junior fellow chair of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, participating in community service, advocacy, and education of young physicians. more

By Taylor Smith 

Describe your background and current specialty.

I am a board-certified general surgeon specializing in evidenced-based breast care. I was born and raised in Sussex County, N.J. I graduated from UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School in Newark, and completed my residency in general surgery at Saint Barnabas in 2001. After residency I joined Dr. Jan Huston at Summit Breast Care, which joined Mountainside Medical Group in 2016. more

Photo Credit: Green over Grey Living Walls and Design | www.greenovergrey.com

The Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering is co-hosting a one-day workshop with Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey on Monday, October 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  more

 

Photo Credit: Trek Bikes

Plan your next biking adventure!

 more

Photo Credit: Wightman Farms in Morristown, NJ (www.wightmanfarms.com)

Friday, September 29

Pick-your-own apples at Hillview Farms in Gilette, producing 53-acres of locally grown goodness for almost 150 years. Also featuring locally-grown natural raw honey in the Farm Store.

Transport yourself to the Pacific Northwest by visiting the “Sea Lion Sound Exhibit” at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange. The exhibit has views from underwater in a lower level area, at water level under a “sea-side” dock structure and above water at the beach area (ongoing). more

Written by Saddle River Day School 

Saddle River Day School (SRDS) hosted a community build to finally complete the Lower School playground designed by last year’s seventh grade.The school integrates a concept called “design thinking” throughout many facets of its curriculum.  Unlike analytical thinking, design thinking encourages students to build up ideas, with few limits on breadth through a brainstorming process. This process encourages input and participation from a wide variety of sources in the ideation phases as students ‘think outside the box’ to come up with real solutions in problem solving through seven stages: define, research, ideate, prototype, choose, implement, and learn.  Within these seven steps, problems can be framed, the right questions can be asked, more ideas can be created, and the best answers can be chosen. more

By Taylor Smith 

Photography courtesy of Elements Truffles

Founder Alak Vasa was working on Wall Street, putting in long hours and filling her days sitting in a desk chair when she stumbled across a French patisserie close to her office. Going to the patisserie soon became a daily ritual. The beautiful desserts coupled with the elegant atmosphere made Vasa feel like she could “munch away her worries.”  more

Photo Credit: @athleta

Join Athleta for a Fun Friends and Family Weekend at 224 E. Broad St. in downtown Westfield, NJ!

Thursday, September 14

12–9pm Celebrate Bestfield Day with Chief Spirit Officer Meaghan Murphy! Athleta will be giving away prizes every hour donated by local businesses, the day will wrap up with a Ladies Night Out from 7–9pm featuring special guest Laurie Gelman who will be signing copies of her new book Class Mom, Mocktails provided by NosVino, Snacks provided by The Salad House of Westfield, and cookies provided by PeaPods Cookies! Books available now for purchase at the Town Book Store (270 E. Broad St., 908.233.3535). more

By Wendy Plump

No one is asking children to give up their sports. But it’s getting a little crazy out there.

In one generation, sports have gone from child’s play to a proving ground for elite athletes—many of whom haven’t even graduated eighth grade—who commit to strenuous schedules, trainers, travel teams, coaches, aggressive tactics, and year-round seasons that give a young body no quarter for rest and growth. Coaches book flights to cities far beyond their hometowns. Parents shell out thousands of dollars for participation fees. And college recruiters wait eagerly in the background until it’s time to dangle offers that are impossible to resist. more

Photo Credit: @bestfieldnj

Friday, August 4

9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Art Exhibit Hidden Under the Sea by Poramit Thantapalit at the Bergen County Administration Building in Hackensack, NJ.

8 p.m.: West Side Story presented by The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC in Englewood, NJ.

8:30 to 11 p.m.: Summer Movies in the Park presents the Lego Batman Movie at the Van Saun Country Park in Paramus, NJ. more

TEAM WORK: “The issue in aging is that everyone is an individual, and the issues are different for every family. The family dynamics are different, and the fragmented healthcare system is very challenging. We are the single point of contact, the quarterback who can help people find what they need.” Joanna Gordon Martin, founder and CEO of Theia Senior Solutions (back row, far right), is shown with the company’s team of experts.

By Jean Stratton

If indeed, as studies indicate, 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day and will continue to do so for at least the next decade, the implications for the health care system, for seniors and spouses with health problems, and for adult children of aging parents are very challenging. more

Create a sacred space within yourself

By Erika Moritz

Improving physical health, mental health, concentration, productivity, and creativity are all benefits of a meditative practice.

Before opening her meditation studio Sacred Space Living, located at 15 Broadway, Suite 204 in Cresskill, NJ, Tania Gold used meditation as part of her daily practice to keep herself grounded. As time passed, meditation began to take a more prominent role in her life and developed into a passion. As such, Gold decided to immerse herself in the study of meditation. Soon, she was signing up for retreats and workshops. These experiences led her to (in her words) “follow the signs” and realize her own mission. more

Photo Credit: Marco Catini

By Doug Wallack 

Special Olympics New Jersey (SONJ) held its annual summer games last month. June 9th, the night of the opening ceremonies, showed the Garden State summer at its finest; as the sun went down, temperatures hovered at a dry 70 degrees. Nearly 2,500 athletes of all ages had come to that weekend’s games, held on the campus of The College of New Jersey, to participate in seven sports: aquatics, track and field, bocce, powerlifting, softball, tennis, and gymnastics. For some, the New Jersey games would serve as a qualifying event for the Special Olympics USA Games — which will be held in Seattle next summer — but for all, the weekend was an opportunity to push themselves and build friendships. more

By Doug Wallack

I turned off Route 206 and wound my way southeast toward Chatsworth, in the heart of cranberry country. Within a few miles, the farmland—acre upon acre of wheat and corn—was swallowed up by thick forest. A few miles further, the maples, oaks, and sassafras trees that form so much of the state’s deciduous canopy yielded almost entirely to pitch pines and shortleaf pines. The road became an evergreen-lined alley stretching out into the flat distance, where heat waves shimmered above the asphalt — looking for all the world as though the Atlantic had crept some twenty miles inland of its usual home along the Jersey Shore. The drive continued this way for some time, punctuated by the the occasional bog, until I arrived — almost without warning — in the middle of Chatsworth. more