Mar 10, 2013 | 3235 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
LAST EMBRACE – Union City Mayor Brian Stack and former commissioner Chris Irizarry embrace following Irizarry’s resignation at Wednesday night’s Board of Commissioners meeting. The two men praised each other at great length before introducing Irizarry’s replacement, Celin Valdivia. (See Brief)
LAST EMBRACE – Union City Mayor Brian Stack and former commissioner Chris Irizarry embrace following Irizarry’s resignation at Wednesday night’s Board of Commissioners meeting. The two men praised each other at great length before introducing Irizarry’s replacement, Celin Valdivia. (See Brief)

Union City to hold job fair March 27

A city-sponsored job fair will be held on Wednesday, March 27 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Union City High School, located at 2500 Kennedy Blvd. Over 30 companies from a wide variety of industries will attend to both accept resumes and give career advice. Attendees are advised to dress to impress and to bring a professional resume. All are welcome.

UC Commissioner Chris Irizarry resigns; Celin Valdivia sworn in

Commissioner of Parks and Public Property Christopher Irizarry announced his resignation at Tuesday night’s Union City Board of Commissioners meeting, citing an out-of-state employment opportunity and a desire to reunite his family in Florida. Irizarry served as a commissioner since 2002, and also served as the CEO of the North Hudson Community Action Corporation (NHCAC), a position which he has also resigned. (The NCHAC provides sliding scale heath services to needy people throughout the county.)

After accepting Irizarry’s resignation, Mayor Brian Stack introduced his replacement, longtime city resident and director of transportation for the Board of Education Celin Valdivia. Valdivia was sworn in immediately.

“It came as a natural to think of Celin. He’s lived here all his life, cares about our residents, he’s honest and hardworking,” Stack said. “I wish him the best of luck.”

Valdivia will occupy the commissionership until November, when a special election will be held.

Valdivia, who was sworn in with his wife and granddaughter at his side, said he knows he has big shoes to fill.

“I hope I can do the same type of job Chris Irizarry did,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working 24/7 with Mayor Stack.”

Irizarry emotionally announced his departure to a standing-room-only William V. Musto Cultural Center, and passionately praised his fellow commissioners and Mayor Brian Stack for working with him toward Stack’s “vision of Union City as a shining city on a hill.” He called the creation of seven schools in 10 years and the increased cleanliness of the city’s streets and parks as his greatest achievements.

He also was unwavering in support of Stack, who called Irizarry “closer than a brother.”

“New York has the Empire State Building, and Colorado has the Rocky Mountains,” Irizarry said, “but Union City has Brian Stack.”

Irizarry ever so briefly addressed various rumors about his reasons for leaving that have circulated throughout the past week, saying that “people will talk” but that his decision was personal, and not political.

Finally, Irizarry said he believed that Union City will only grow stronger in the future, and implored the public to work with Valdivia as they had with him over the past decade.

“Chris Irizarry doesn’t make a difference, the people of this city make a difference,” he said, referring to himself in the third person. “Mr. Valdivia will make a fine commissioner.”

Irizarry also discussed his departure from NHCAC, a federally-funded nonprofit, saying that he was pleased with the progress it made during his tenure as CEO.

“When I took over we had a deficit of $56,000, and this year for the first time we had a surplus of $1 million,” he said.

The group’s former chief financial officer, Michael Shababb, has taken over as its acting CEO.

Palisades Medical Center holding upcoming health screenings around North Hudson

Palisades Medical Center, in conjunction with the North Hudson Community Action Corporation, Christ Hospital School of Nursing, and Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey, will be holding a series of upcoming free health screenings for area residents.

Several outreach programs are planned for North Hudson throughout the spring, starting Sun., March 10, at St. Augustine Church, located at 3900 New York Ave. in Union City. The clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will include information and screenings on blood pressure, heart rate, percentage of oxygen in the blood, body mass index, sugar and cholesterol levels.

Other screenings in North Bergen will be held on April 6 at Grove Reformed Church, located at 1132 46th St. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 7 at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 8016 Kennedy Blvd., from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and April 14 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 7615 Broadway from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The hospital will make it back to Union City on April 28 for a clinic at the First United Methodist Church, 407 23rd St., from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The hospital’s community outreach program was recently honored by the New Jersey Hospital Association for its unique and effective methods of reaching out to better serve the healthcare needs of area residents.

For more information, please call Joanne Riggs at (201) 854-5793.

Jersey City church to hold local support group

St. John’s Lutheran Church will be the host site for a new support group for individuals, friends and families who are looking to connect during life’s challenging times. If you’re facing a major illness or stressful life change, you don’t have to go it alone. A support group can help. This will be a non-professional self help group.

This group will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 155 North St., Jersey City, every Monday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Coffee and tea will be available. Enter through back door of the church in the parking lot on Summit Avenue.

Support groups bring together people facing similar issues, whether that’s illness, relationship problems or major life changes. Members of support groups often share experiences and advice. It can be helpful just getting to talk with other people who are in the same boat. A support group can help you cope better and feel less isolated as you make connections with others facing similar challenges. Many are offered support by family and friends, but you may find it helpful to turn to others outside your immediate circle. We all need a caring shoulder sometimes, or a place where we can cry, laugh, hug, or pray.

For any other info, call Rose Davis (201) 214-5300 or email her at

Please call if there is bad weather to make sure that night’s meeting has not been cancelled.

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