Noon luncheon meetings are held on the first two Tuesdays of each month, at Charlie Brown's Steakhouse in Chatham Township. Breakfast meetings are held at 8:00 AM on the last two or three Tuesdays of each month. Breakfast meetings are held at Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse in Chatham Township. Guests are always welcomed to attend our Tuesday meetings. COME JOIN US


February 21 Program: Bailey Brower spoke on the history of The Great Swamp

Chatham Township Committeeman Bailey Brower spoke to the Kiwanis February 21 breakfast meeting at Charlie Brown’s. With him in this photo are his wife Taz Brower (Right) and Kiwanis President Mary Anne Maloney (Left).

Bailey noted that we all agree that The Great Swamp is a tremendous asset to our part of New Jersey. Having a Wildlife Refuge is unique in our metropolitan area. It all started as Lake Passaic 10,000 years ago. At that time, the ridges along Fairmount Ave. and Meyersville Road were islands in the lake, which extended from the Patterson to the beginning of the present Passaic River. When the glacier that produced the lake left the area, a depression which remained became the Great Swamp. Alluvial deposits of clay and sand hold water in the swamp.  Early Indians fished along the Passaic River and hunted in the swamp. In the 1600s Dutch settlers bought the swamp from the Indians.

The swamp changed many times over the years. At one time there were huge stands of hardwood. The trees were converted to charcoal which was used at the Speedwell forge to make cannonballs for Washington’s army. Then, the Noe family moved in. They, as well as others, were farmers. The Noe family had 800 acres, 300 in the Great Swamp. After the trees were cut in the swamp, it was a fertile area for farming. There were good drainage ditches between farming plots. You could walk across the “swamp”. Farmers had deer-hunting camps. The land had rolling corn fields. Salt hay was raised to store ice. Farmers planted peach orchards and there was a peach basket factory in Chatham. There was a lumber mill, Zanders mill, in Green Village.

A blight killed the peach trees and that signaled an end to the farming era in the swamp.

At the beginning of the 1900s dairy farming grew and many rose-growing greenhouses were built. Noe dairy was one of two in New Jersey. The greenhouses were the largest along the Eastern Seaboard. Some very wealthy families owned land in the area.

In th late 1900s, the Port Authority of New York studied the Great Swamp as an area to build a Jetport. Most residents were unaware of the early studies. A large amount of land had to be acquired to set up a National Park and block the Jetport construction. An impediment to creating a park was Miele’s Dump, now called the Rolling Knolls Landfill. A group of people were setting up a 50-year lease for 50 towns in the area to truck their waste material into Chatham Township. The garbage trucks ran continuously.

Marcellus Hartley Dodge, Sr. was a key player in the struggle to establish the Great Swamp Wildlife Preserve. He enlisted support from Frelinghuysen and others. He rounded up the funds to acquire the property. He organized wildlife supporters and with support from Congress was able acquire the first 2600 acres. Fred Treptow, a Township Committeeman, was influential in closing down the dump. When the park was first established, it was called a National Wildlife Preserve. It has grown and now the Great Swamp owns about 7,000-8,000 acres.

Today, the result of all this is a far cry from what was originally intended. The wildlife preserve has turned into a wild fowl preserve. The government flooded the land that had previously been mostly dry, except for drainage ditches. All the ditches were dammed up and water level rose. The Great Swamp is now basically wet. Deer and other animals can no longer live there.

Green Village was once an extensive farming community. Now it is too wet. As wetlands have grown, landowners sold their land to the Great Swamp and the property went off the tax rolls.

There is very little return on the investment which has been made in The Great Swamp. The environmental people don’t want to see any development or change in the municipalities surrounding the swamp.

Streams that feed The Great Swamp are closely monitored. The Chatham Township sewage treatment plant dumps their effluent into The Great Swamp. There is now interest in routing it directly to the Passaic River but the cost is tremendous.

Restrictions and regulations due to The Great Swamp are limiting the development of unused land in Chatham Township. It was very important that the Jetport construction was stopped, but that does not mean that there should be no development. A balanced approach is recommended.

Everyone in the audience loudly applauded this interesting and thought-provoking history of the area.

Drew University Circle K Club – February 21 Meeting

Drew University Circle K Club President Victoria Dayton (right) and VP Savanna Arabi-Katbi (left) gave the Kiwanis breakfast meeting an update on their status.

The reinstate Drew Circle K is making plans for the coming year.  Victoria is the only continuing member who has “stuck it out” during the process of reinstating the club. She and Bob Stannard (in photo), working with the Drew faculty advisor and university administrators, have restructured Circle K and are ready to move on. Membership is now at 19 people. Circle K is planning a “Dance to ELIMINATE” event in March, a “Pizza Dinner”, a “Walk to ELIMINATE”, and making “Hug-a-Bears” for children. Election of club officers will take place the end of March and they will send nine representatives to the NJ District Circle K Convention in March. Victoria thanked Drew University for paying the fees for the club to attend the convention. Victoria also thanked Chatham-Madison Kiwanis for helping Drew Circle-K back on their feet. Members of Kiwanis loudly applauded the speakers and the fine work of the Circle K.

Announcements: Kiwanis February 21 Meeting

Announcements: Mary Anne Maloney gave an update on NJ District Mid-Winter Conference held at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch. Our club sent five representatives who covered the four excellent workshops. She reminded everyone about the March 28 Fish and Chips dinner. Parsippany Kiwanis is having another wine-tasting on March 22 which includes a dinner. ECLC sent us a Valentine’s Day card (which displayed the new butterfly logo for ECLC).  Mary Anne passed it around for all to see. Pat Davidson announced that St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chatham will be holding a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. Proceeds will go to Project ELIMINATE.


NJ District Kiwanis International Mid-Winter Conference at Long Branch

NJ District Kiwanis International held their Mid-Winter Conference yesterday in Long Branch on the Jersey Shore. It was an awesome event with inspiring workshops. Everyone got in the mood when International Trustee Stewart Ross played “When the Saints Come Marching In” on his trombone.  Stewart also led a workshop on “Moving your Club from Good to Great”.
Chatham-Madison Kiwanis Representatives attended all the workshops and held discussions with representatives from other New Jersey Kiwanis Clubs.


February 14 Valentine's Day Meeting

For Kiwanis Valentine's Day meeting, the KI-Noters sing love songs.


2/7/2012 Program: Bill Williams spoke on "The Election, the Media, Polling, & MONEY"

Bill Williams spoke on “The Election, the Media, Polling, & MONEY” at Kiwanis. Bill last made a presentation to Chatham Kiwanis at the William Pitt restaurant over 35 years ago. He thought another good title for this program would be “A modern American Industry”, because that is what our elections are turning into.

Bill  is Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at the City University of New York – Hunter College.  In the above photo he is shown with his wife Marion at the Chatham-Madison Kiwanis 2/7/2012 luncheon meeting.

Bill started by reminding the audience of the dramatic errors made by past political polls, e.g. the NY Times headlining Gov. Dewey winning the 1948 presidential election. Polling companies began about 1920 and there were no major errors made until about 1936, when Langdon was expected to beat Roosevelt.  At that time, there were only three or four polling companies and methods were not yet perfected – data collection was a new idea. Today, there are hundreds of polling companies in business, academia and media-politics. Some are legit, others are questionable. Bill described how “numerical propaganda” leads people to act on worthless data. He also explained the difference between precision and accuracy.

In Bill’s early career, he worked on pre-data. It is important to carefully plan how data is collected. Outcome of statistical analysis is influenced by how the data is gathered in the first place.

In the world of politics, a lot of candidates have entered the 2012 presidential contest. There is a lot of money available through the Super Political Action Committees. Media (TV) follows campaign events and encourages polling so results will motivate candidates to spend more on advertisements. Candidates advertise and encourage polling to get name recognition (and candidates encourage polling methods that favor themselves).

The Republican primary campaign has had sharp swings as news (including polls) is covered by the media and candidates respond with ads. The Democrats are sticking with President Obama, who presently has a low approval rating. He is also thought to have an enormous (Billion Dollar) SuperPAC war chest. Republicans have much less money.

Media attention seems to focus on issues like Newt’s wives, Bain Capital and President Obama’s singing. Meanwhile, people are donating millions of dollars to election campaigns. Why?

The audience applauded Bill’s entertaining and thought-provoking presentation. Click here for more information.

Announcements: Kiwanis February 7 Meeting

Mary Anne announced the Valentine’s Day Luncheon next week. She also reminded everyone about the Mid-Winter Conference and mentioned that she, Marc, Betty Anne, AD, Ron and Bert plan to represent the club. There will be a 50-50 raffle. Morristown hospital asked for volunteers to work with children in the pediatric unit - a flyer was circulated. MHS Key Club is volunteering for a Bocce Ball tournament and they need donated items for the “goody bag”. Bob Stannard was acknowledged for his work in reactivating the Drew Circle K Club. A Kiwanis International Webinar will cover “Fundraising”. Karen  gave an update on planning for the Awards Reception. Marc encouraged members to consider running for NJ District officer positions. Mary Anne has application forms. Marge sent around a "get-well-soon" card for John, who is recuperating at home after a short stay at the hospital.

Program: January 31, 2012. Fundraiser for Eliminate Project

Jerry Cunningham led a fundraiser to collect contributions for the Kiwanis Eliminate Project. At the January 31 breakfast meeting, he took the microphone to each table where members put a few dollars in Jerry’s hat and said a few words. One hundred and forty dollars was collected for the Eliminate Project. See photos from the meeting below.


Remembering Clyde Zukswert, President of Chatham Kiwanis 1983-1984

Chatham-Madison Kiwanis members attended the January 31, 2012 memorial service honoring the life of our dear member Clyde Zukswert. One of his Kiwanis fund-raising projects was selling “Entertainment Books” (you know, those books filled with discount coupons). In the above photo, Clyde put on a chef’s hat to tell members about a great restaurant whose coupon was included in the book.