Been Away? Here’s What You Missed


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Summer is a time for escaping and we hope you’ve all had a chance for a break or two. Some of you had Internet access at the beach and the mountains, and we thank you for checking in on MyVeronaNJ while you were away. We cracked 2,000 pageviews in a single day this summer and we hope to be doing more of that in the fall.

But MyVeronaNJ has published a lot of stories this summer–more than 240 in fact–and chances are you’ve missed some along the way. So we decided to give you some highlights to help you catch up before fall comes.

In Business, we caught up with one of Verona’s best known entrepreneurs, Domenick Celentano, and discovered two new ones, Ronnie and Ina Denburg, who have a hit product for senior citizens.

In Entertainment, we discovered Ryan Smillie, a member of the Verona High School class of 2008, producing shows at Harvard. We had great concerts in town square and, for the first time, at Verona Pool.  A local children’s book author came out with a new book, while a children’s television show animator got another Emmy nomination. We listened to another Verona-based band, the Defending Champions, and discovered that Verona has a well-known stunt man and a puppet maker.

In Food, we picked fruit, preserved cooked and nursed the loss of another chance to get a Starbucks with a poll on Verona’s best coffee. Ariane and Michael Duarte’s CulinAriane was named to New Jersey Monthly magazine’s list of the top 25 restaurants.

In Kids, we went to a mountain bike race on the Hilltop, wrote about a lot of summer activities and suggested more than a dozen day trips. And a Verona family disclosed that their child has a rare disease and sought our support for research into a cure.

In News, we followed a group of residents took their concerns about Verona’s municipal spending in front of Town Council and Board of Education meetings. Calvary Lutheran Church gathered nearly 2,000 pounds of food for area food pantries, and we lost a long-time resident, Joe Vitale, who may have attended more town meetings than the rest of us combined.Monac

In Real Estate, we raised a red flag on property taxes, tracked new listings and price cuts, and did some serious house snooping, in houses old and older.

In Schools, a special education teacher from H.B. Whitehorne rallied a group of his colleagues to climb Mount Washington to raise money for cerebral palsy. HBW’s vice principal, Jeffrey Monacelli, got a new job at Forest Avenue School and his replacement, Howard Freund, stepped up from Verona’s powerhouse music program. We looked at where some of the members of VHS 2010 are going this fall. The VHS Marching Maroon and White got ready for another season of competition.

In Sports, we followed the Verona Waves Swim Team and found that a high school student best known for his swimming can shine in modeling too.

And, finally, we launched a photo contest to test your visual knowledge of Verona. If you haven’t won yet, you’ll have plenty of chances in the fall. Welcome Back!

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


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