Glen Ridge residents are ready to tackle 2023

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GLEN RIDGE, NJ — The start of a new year is naturally the time to make resolutions. Below are some made by individuals who appeared in stories in The Glen Ridge Paper in 2022.


Elizabeth Baker, Glen Ridge Shade Tree commissioner 

“Maximize the town’s vital green infrastructure and strive to do even better to ensure the health and longevity of the borough’s urban forest while continuing to strategically plant trees that promote long-term beauty and biodiversity in the face of increasing climatic challenges.”


Neil Baldwin, Martha Graham biographer

“My resolution is to reconnect with my roots in poetry.”


Rick Deutsch, resident

“Sugar free in ’23, except for my coffee.”


Tina Marie Doody, director, Glen Ridge Public Library

“My resolutions this year are to complete Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge in 2023 and to eat more unprocessed food.”

(Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge tasks readers to read outside their comfort zone.)


Sayydah Garrett, president, Kiwanis Club of Glen Ridge

“Spend more time outdoors appreciating the beautiful and wondrous things in nature. Try my darndest to cook more diverse and flavorful meals for my family and read more books.”


Kristy Graves, director, Gas Lamp Players

“My New Year’s resolution is to finally finish my musical!”


Jamie Hartop, runner, 78th place, 2022 Boston Marathon

“Challenge myself by trying activities I don’t normally gravitate towards — for example, painting and meditation classes. I believe I could grow a lot more from that than by going for a run or a trip to the gym. And also, stop biting my nails.”


William Indek, retired GRHS track coach

“My resolution is a simple one: Try to appreciate the little things in life.”


Dan Murphy, councilman, Ashenfelter Classic 8K coordinator

“Become more active in the community, be a little more successful in business and continue living a balanced lifestyle. A specific goal is to once again become competitive in my age group in long-distance running. This comes after open-heart surgery in September 2021.”


Pelle Nogueira, runner, third place, 2022 Ashenfelter Classic 8K 

“Spend time outside of my running to work on improving flexibility and core strength. Like most runners, I’ve often been overly reliant on just running faster, harder and longer (than) to slowly improve over the years. I’ve always had some weakness in my abdominal muscles and tightness in my back. And while my strength and flexibility in these areas has certainly improved through natural growth and maturity, I know that it’ll improve more with the right exercise and stretching routine. I don’t particularly enjoy doing these, but if it helps me improve by a handful of seconds, it’s worth it, because that could be the difference between winning a race or not, such as what happened on Thanksgiving 2022.”


Chloé Novoa, GRHS student

“To continue to have fun in Drama Club while I still grow my skills there and in other artistic environments.”


Julian Novoa, GRHS student, award-winning singer

“To have fun throughout the coming year while I prepare for my college auditions.”


Henry Passapera, Lorraine Street resident

“My resolution is that PSE&G will fix our problem and we never lose power again.”

(According to Passapera, Lorraine Street has frequent electrical outages.) 


Mayor Stuart Patrick

“To ensure the smooth transition of the mayor’s office in 2023. That the budget and surplus remain strong, and our efficient administration continues.”


Dirk Phillips, superintendent of schools

“Attend more school events. It is easy to get caught up in district operations and academics, but watching the students participate and excel outside of the classroom is just as important.”


Julie Raskin, mother 

“To work with others to create a viral campaign called Glucose as a Vital Sign. The purpose is to ensure glucose levels of all newborns are checked and followed whenever signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia are suspected. This campaign has the power to end the most common cause of preventable brain damage in newborns, congenital hyperinsulinism.”


Pamela Urban, retired GRHS teacher

“My resolution would be to continue to walk and exercise every day and keep my mind and heart happy and healthy.”


Eda Uzuncakara, writer

“I want to minimize reevaluating the past and planning the future. I want to focus on living the moment fully while offloading things that make my life complicated.”


Morgiana Celeste Varricchio, founder and director, Mosaic Dance Theater Co.

“Get more sleep and declutter and make sure Mosaic Dance Theater Co.’s 20th anniversary year in 2023 is absolutely fantastic.”


Rhonda Watson, member, Glen Ridge Episcopal Church

“I resolve to reach out and communicate more with loved ones and family. 2023 is the year to go for it all and have victories large and small.”


Jerry White, GRHS writing teacher and children’s book author

“My resolution is to begin writing a novel for adult readers.”


Jack Wooten, Skidmore College student and vinyl record collector

“My resolution is to be more open to new ideas and experiences outside my comfort zone. In addition, I will work towards not overthinking and obsessing over small details. Taking deep breaths and setting aside moments to reflect and relax is a priority.” 


John Wooten, playwright, director

“I have been researching/writing a screenplay about an early incarnation of baseball played by opposing sides of Americans during the waning days of the Civil War. My resolution is to finally get it finished in 2023.”


Shihong Zhang, GRHS Chinese language teacher

“My resolution is to start learning a new skill for fun.”


Michael Zichelli, borough administrator

“Make up for lost time with my family and friends.”


Photo by Daniel Jackovino