Union City teachers’ union concerned about incomplete financial records
The Union City Education Association, the teachers’ union, posted information for its members on its website last week saying that the organization discovered “discrepancies” in its financial records and that some of its financial ledgers are missing. Some of the alleged missing records go back as far as 25 years.
The website has posted letters from the union's attorneys to former union treasurer Joseph Cheung, a current Union City High School teacher who resigned the role of treasurer in December. The union is requesting minutes, bank statements, and ledgers.
The letters can be viewed at http://uceanj.org/financial-records/.
According to NJ.com, two other union officers – a third vice president and the recording secretary – also resigned in December and could not be reached for comment.
A lawyer letter dated in late January said that if Cheung didn’t respond in seven days, they would assume he didn’t want to resolve the matter “amicably.”
NJ.com said that the county prosecutor’s office would not confirm or deny whether they are investigating.
Parents of infant killed in jitney accident sue driver, owner
The parents of an infant killed in an accident involving a jitney are suing the driver and the owner of the jitney.
Eight-month-old Angelie Paredes was in her stroller on July 30 when a jitney jumped the curb on Boulevard East in West New York and knocked down a lamppost onto the stroller, killing the child. The driver was charged with reckless driving and death by auto.
Since then Angelie’s parents, who are North Bergen residents, have advocated for regulations on jitney operators to ensure that the same thing doesn’t happen to others.
Now they have filed a lawsuit against the driver of the jitney involved in the accident, as well as the company that employed him and owned the vehicle. According to reports, the lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages and claims that the driver was speeding and using his cell phone at the time of the crash.
Legally, jitneys were exempt from regulations imposed on buses and other forms of transportation. As a result of the accident, local and state officials drafted a law imposing stronger regulations on jitney owners and drivers. The law, passed earlier this year, is known as “Angelie’s Law.”
The law provides stricter guidelines for owners and operators, penalties for violations, and creates a telephone hotline for complaints. It specifically bars drivers from several unsafe practices including using a cell phone while behind the wheel.
Additional components of the law will allow authorities to draw blood samples from drivers involved in serious accidents.
A framed copy of the law was presented to Angelie’s parents at a ceremony in North Bergen Town Hall on Jan. 30, exactly six months after the accident. --Art Schwartz
Cello rock band to give free concert at lunchtime in Weehawken
The UBS Atrium Series continues its midday music series with a concert by Break of Reality on Wednesday, March 12 at 12:30 p.m. at the Atrium, 1000 Harbor Blvd, in the Lincoln Harbor section of the Weehawken waterfront. The series is sponsored in part by The Hudson Reporter.
Break of Reality is a cello rock band originally formed at the Eastman School of Music in 2003. The quartet fills concert venues around the country with fans who enjoy its diverse and boundary-breaking music. Break of Reality plays its own original music as well as unique interpretations of songs by bands such as Metallica and Radiohead. Its sound can be described as cinematic, subdued, and heavy all at once. According to a release, “Whether you listen to Led Zeppelin or Yo-Yo Ma, you will appreciate Break Of Reality.”
Break of Reality has released three albums to date, The Sound Between (2006), Spectrum of the Sky (2009), and Covers (2012), which have sold over 50,000 copies worldwide. The band will be releasing its newest album, Ten, in mid-March.
For directions, late-breaking concert news, and other updates, please check the HRPAC website (www.hrpac.org) or call the concert hotline at 201-716-4540.
PetSmart adoptions every Sunday, 1 - 3:30 p.m.
Hudson County Animal League’s adoption team are available every Sunday to introduce our fabulous adoptable felines. Also, several of our cats are staying in PetSmart kitty condos and you can meet them any day of the week during business hours. Come on by -- you could meet a friend for life! PetSmart is at 400 Mill Creek Drive.
Hackensack Riverkeeper accepting scholarship applications for local high school seniors
Hackensack Riverkeeper is accepting applications for the 2014 Ron Vellekamp Environmental Scholarship. Now in its fourteenth year, the program was created to support college-bound high school seniors who excel academically while demonstrating a strong commitment to the natural world and environmental protection.
All applicants who apply must either live within the 210-square mile Hackensack River Watershed or attend a school located within that region. North Bergen and Secaucus are eligible municipalities, along with certain parts of Jersey City, Bayonne, and Union City.
Teachers and guidance counselors are invited to submit applications on behalf of deserving students, and each school may nominate one student. A panel of Hackensack Riverkeeper trustees and staffers led by Captain Bill Sheehan and Program Director Hugh Carola will review each application. The panel will consider the applicant’s academic achievements, environmental extra-curricular activities and future plans. The $1,000 scholarship is unrestricted and can be used for any required purchases during the student’s first year at college.
Full scholarship application criteria are available online at www.hackensackriverkeeper.org or by calling (201) 968-0808. Applications must be postmarked no later than Earth Day, April 22, 2014. The winner will be chosen no later than June 1.
The late Ronald Vellekamp was a science teacher in Ridgefield, New Jersey. During his life he also served as a Palisades Interstate Park ranger and Boy Scout leader, and was a founding trustee of Hackensack Riverkeeper. The scholarship that bears his name is fitting tribute to an educator whose life was lived in the service of others.