Highland Park Schools Get a Big Increase in State Aid in Governor’s Proposed Budget

Highland Park School District came out a big winner in Gov. Phil Murphy’s $531 billion budget proposal with an increase in funding of 34.2 percent. The proposed state aid for 2023/24 HP School District is $6,416,165, an increase of $1,636,138 or 34.2 percent. The biggest slice of Gov. Phil Murphy’s  budget proposal for the next fiscal year is state funding for public education. And the biggest slice of that is direct aid to local schools. Funding is set to increase for 400-plus districts, but 157 districts face cuts. READ MORE

Welcome to the OnkenVerse

“It’s really awesome when some crazy idea I have in my own mind comes true, and I meet someone else out there who also really likes it, no matter how strange It seems.”  READ MORE

Highland Park Travel Owls Baseball Offers a Winning Combo of Expert Instruction and Loads of Fun- 2023 Season Tryouts on Sunday February 5

When asked what inspired him to start a travel baseball squad in Highland Park, coach Rob Kaplan-Sherman gives credit where credit is due: to his wife. “My wife, Alicia, wanted me to get out of the house and do something besides work! So she was the one who really encouraged me to go back to coaching youth baseball.”

Serendipity combined his wife’s urging led Kaplan-Sherman to the Owls. “It was really being in the right place at the right time,” he said. “Just as I was getting back into the swing of coaching, in 2018, the Highland Park Recreation Department decided they were going to offer a 12 and Under (12U) travel team managed by Jeremy Renna. I got involved in coaching that team and started to lead the travel program in the Fall, and the rest is history.”

The program has grown since 2018, and the Owls currently have three teams – 10U, 12U, and 14U – designed for kids ages 9-14. READ MORE

HP Council Selects Foster as Mayor and Hersh as Council President

Highland Park has a new leadership team- Mayor Elsie Foster and Council President Matthew Hersh

At a special meeting of the Highland Park Mayor and Borough Council on Tuesday January 24, council members voted for Acting Mayor Elsie Foster to assume the position of mayor and complete the remaining one year in the term of Gayle Brill Mittler, who resigned on the mayor’s position on Dec. 31, 2022. Foster was one of three candidates nominated to complete the mayor’s term; the other nominees were Council Member Phil George and Council Member Matthew Hersh.Council members also voted for Council Member Matthew Hersh to assume the position of council president, which was vacated by Foster when she assumed the position of mayor. Hersh was one of two candidates nominated for council president; the other nominee was Council Member Stephany Kim Chohan.In her remarks before the vote by the council, Foster identified her priorities: safety, affordability, and downtown development. She stressed her 22 years serving on the council and her considerable experience, including having served on all the committees of the council.After the vote, she stated: “I’m complimented by the confidence my colleagues on the council have placed in me. READ MORE

Borough Council to Fill Mayoral Vacancy Jan. 24

The six remaining members of the council must take a majority vote to fill the mayor’s position through December 31, 2023. A general election for a full, four-year mayoral term starting January 1, 2024 will occur on November 7, 2023.

State of New Jersey Programs Focus on Citizens’ Health and Well Being

Plan for Your Child’s College Education With NJBEST

New Jersey’s 529 College Savings Plan, NJBEST, can help you get a head start on saving for your child’s education. Taxpayers with household adjusted gross income up to $75,000 are eligible for a one-time match of up to $750 with an initial deposit into a new NJBEST plan account for new beneficiaries. https://www.njbest.com/?utm_campaign=20221111_nwsltr&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Get Covered New Jersey: Open Enrollment Happening Now

More options and lower premiums are available for residents seeking health insurance coverage at Get Covered New Jersey, the official health insurance marketplace of New Jersey. About 9 in 10 residents who enroll through Get Covered New Jersey will qualify for financial assistance with health coverage premiums. No one will pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for health insurance through Get Covered New Jersey. The Open Enrollment Period for 2023 coverage at Get Covered New Jersey will run from November 1st, 2022 to January 31st, 2023. READ MORE

Today is Election Day

Today is Election Day. Polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Find a polling place near you. Find your ballot https://www.ballotready.org/v/

If you requested a mail-in ballot, it is not too late to return it! You can return it one of the following three ways:

Mail: It must be postmarked on or before 8:00 p.m. Election Day and be received by your county’s Board of Elections on or before 6 days after Election Day.Secure Ballot Drop Box: Place it in one of your county’s secure ballot drop boxes by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Secure Ballot Drop Box locationsBoard of Elections Office: Deliver it in person to your county’s Board of Elections Office by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. County Election Officials

If you need information about how to vote or if you are encountering any problems while voting, please call the voter hotline at 1-877-NJ-VOTER (1-877-658-6837). Find a Polling Place

Fall Back: Another Year, Another Time Change, Another Time When Nothing Changes

From the Washington Post, Friday, November 4, 2022 by Dan Diamond:

Early this Sunday morning, Americans will engage in the annual autumnal ritual of “falling back” — setting their clocks back one hour to conform with standard time. If some lawmakers had their way, it would mark the end of a tradition that has stretched for more than a century. But a familiar story unspooled of congressional gridlock and a relentless lobbying campaign, this one from advocates that some jokingly call “Big Sleep.”

A bill to permanently “spring forward” has been stalled in Congress for more than seven months, as lawmakers trade jabs over whether the Senate should have passed the legislation at all. House officials say they’ve been deluged by voters with split opinions and warnings from sleep specialists who insist that adopting permanent standard time instead would be healthier, and congressional leaders admit they just don’t know what to do. “We haven’t been able to find consensus in the House on this yet,” Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J., Highland Park’s representative in Congress) said in a statement to The Washington Post. READ MORE

Synagogue Threat: Update

From NJ Spotlight – Friday Nov. 4, 2022: The day after FBI in Newark warned of a threat to synagogues in N.J., the agency said it has identified its source and mitigated the danger.The agency did not detail what steps it had taken, saying only, “We identified the source of the threat who no longer poses a danger to the community.”The source was identified only as a man who holds “radical extremist views”; there was also no word on whether he had been charged or was in custody.The agency yesterday took to Twitter to say it had “received credible information of a broad threat to synagogues in NJ,” explaining the unusual move as a “proactive measure” as it investigated.