Murphy Projects Comfort in Gottheimer Country

Murphy and Gottheimer.

LAFAYETTE – When it comes to improving Internet service, “We’re all of one mind.”

So said Phil Murphy as he joined officials from both parties today to herald a plan to expand broadband connectivity in Sussex and Warren counties. The key to doing that is a $190 million appropriation coming to New Jersey through a recent federal stimulus plan.

The backdrop for today’s event was the “Chocolate Goat,” a gift shop in the center of this rural community on Route 15.

Naturally, this allowed Murphy, his fellow politicians and assorted hangers-on to visit the shop and buy some candy. The governor left with a “chocolate parfait,” which was a bag of miniature chocolates in the shape of goats (Of course).

Jennifer Koza, one of the owners, recalled that when the shop opened more than 20 years ago, technology basically consisted of a Fax machine. Times have changed, but she said Internet service is often spotty.

That’s a problem not only for her, but for residents and school children. And that problem became more acute during the pandemic when many schools were remote only.

Estimates are that from 20 to 25 percent of households in Sussex and Warren lack functionable Internet service.

So, as Rep. Josh Gottheimer put it, the incoming money is a “very big deal.”

Murphy struck a similar theme as he thanked a host of Republicans, including state Sen. Steve Oroho, Assemblyman Hal Wirths and a number of county and municipal officials for their support.

The congeniality of the day, however, didn’t carry beyond the perimeter of the event.

Sussex is solid Republican territory and while there was no organized protest, there were hecklers, one of whom yelled at the governor as soon as he arrived.

As the event ensued, a man cursed Murphy from a distance and told him to “go back to Germany,” where he was once the U.S. ambassador.

Later, a woman said the governor was not welcome in Sussex and that kids in school should no longer be required to wear masks.

Murphy took this colorful display of democracy in action in stride. He did say afterwards that the indoor mask requirement will end sooner rather than later.

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  • Kathleen Demarest

    Thank goodness for the calm, good nature of our Governor.
    The residents of New Jersey can be proud of him.
    Although he was impolitely harassed by a heckler when visiting
    Sussex County, he kept his cool and went into a local shop.
    NO, he did not chase the offending person down the street
    and into the woods as a previous governor might have done.
    He cordially purchased a bag of chocolate goats, hence
    the name of the shop, Chocolate Goat.
    Kudos, also, to our CD5 Representative, Josh Gottheimer
    who is working with the Governor to ensure that all his constituents
    have access to the internet.

    PS.. researched Chocolate Goat, a one lb. bag of goats, milk or dark,
    is $26.00. Interesting story regarding name. Stay tuned….

  • Kathleen Demarest

    Well, maybe not by popular demand, but I want to provide a little relief
    from the steady ups and downs of politics.
    As promised regarding the name of the Chocolate Goat Shop, the two
    sister owners’ last name is Koza. Koza means goat in Polish and was
    always a good natured family joke. Therefore, they named their
    Shop, Chocolate Goat and decided to sell their famous chocolate
    goats in milk and dark chocolate. I am planning to buy some for
    Christmas and tie red and green ribbons around the necks of
    these wonderful goats. But then, why wait for the holidays?
    Surely they are a taste treat any time of the year.
    Having already purchased his goats, I am sure Governor Murphy would agree.

  • Kathleen Demarest

    ENOUGH with pizza shops and diners.
    Let’s request that all politicians, candidates,
    legislators, etc. hold their photo-ops in chocolate shops.
    It would make campaigning more interesting, more stimulating.
    A whole segment of the population, chocolate lovers, is being neglected.

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