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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey


Publisher's Letter

Jul 01, 2024 06:00AM ● By Jeaniesa Santiano

Change is inevitable. It is a consistent marching clock that we cannot control. Whether we plan for it or not, change happens. Unfortunately, we have no way of seeing into the future. Sometimes action can carve a groove that can influence a preferred direction, but in the long run, controlling change is an illusion.

I love the statement, “We plan, God laughs.” My observation is that as we try to control and change circumstances, we often find that we cannot. We also find that we do not have the social skills needed, and we run into the wall of needing each other. 

Over my 80 years of living, I have seen changes. I remember pizza at 25 cents a slice; party lines for phones, where switchboard operators controlled telephone calls, and neighbors had to wait for a neighbor to finish a call before you could start yours. Telegrams and snail mail as the only forms of communication. We smoked on airplanes and in hospitals, had TV with rabbit ear antennas, well, I’m sure you get the point. 

Who could have imagined cell phones, e-mails, and a billion other forms of change? Who could have foreseen the true reality of the internet and how it has impacted the societies of the world? Communication has expanded to texting, reels, data gathering, and Facebook. Knocking on our change door is AI, robotics and more is just around the corner. Verbal communications on the other hand is at a standstill. What I just went through with my 20-something young adults is regressing.  

If I had my way, I would beg that our schools taught interpersonal communication from kindergarten to doctorate levels. I would establish an ongoing mandatory course that teaches the realities of decisions and their consequences, how to define and establish healthy boundaries, how to listen to understand, how to feel empathy, and understanding our personal responsibilities—to ourselves, to the ones we love, and to everyone else in the world.   

Rote memorization, while important for education, is not as important for a society as learning how to get along, see the good, and extend personal respect. Instruction in critical thinking, how to identify root causes, and how to be part of the solution of living together as one society of the world. Building the support our families and extended families need helps lower the divorce rate. These are changes we can influence.

If there is anything more worthy than what this change would bring about, I cannot think of it. 


Accepting change, especially what we have no control over, makes life easier. Learning how to make it work in our favor seems to be the solution.

Happy 4th of July—spread the vision of hope.

Joe Dunne, Publisher

Tick Talk

Spring officially sprung on March 21. We have turned our clocks ahead. We are looking forward to warm winds, sunny skies and the smell of fresh cut grass. The daffodils and tulips have recently bloomed and we are just starting with the yard work that comes with the warmer weather.  Sadly, another season has started ramping up.  Tick season.

•             The best form of protection is prevention. Educating oneself about tick activity and how our behaviors overlap with tick habitats is the first step.

•             According to the NJ DOH, in 2022 Hunterdon County led the state with a Lyme disease incidence rate of 426 cases per 100,000 people. The fact is ticks spend approximately 90% of their lives not on a host but aggressively searching for one, molting to their next stage or over-wintering. This is why a tick remediation program should be implemented on school grounds where NJ DOH deems high risk for tick exposure and subsequent attachment to human hosts.

•             Governor Murphy has signed a bill that mandates tick education in NJ public schools. See this for the details.  Tick education must now be incorporated into K-12 school curriculum. See link:

•             May is a great month to remind the public that tick activity is in full swing. In New Jersey, there are many tickborne diseases that affect residents, including Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Powassan, and Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiosis.

•             For years, the focus has mainly been about protecting ourselves from Lyme disease. But other tick-borne diseases are on the rise in Central Jersey. An increase of incidence of Babesia and Anaplasma are sidelining people too. These two pathogens are scary because they effect our blood cells. Babesia affects the red blood cells and Anaplasma effects the white blood cells.

•             Ticks can be infected with more than one pathogen. When you contract Lyme it is possible to contract more than just that one disease. This is called a co-infection. It is super important to pay attention to your symptoms. See link.

A good resource from the State:


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