Recycle Contest goes over big in North Bergen
A pilot paper recycling competition program sponsored by the North Bergen Municipal Utilities Authority (NBMUA) and the Environmental Club of the North Bergen Board of Education was a hit, encouraging students at two township schools to recycle thousands of pounds of paper.
“It was an overwhelming success,” said Tom Stampe, recycling program aide. “The children were so motivated to be a part of this competition.” In just 10 weeks, the schools recycled 10,912 lbs. of paper.
At an assembly on June 12, the John F. Kennedy and Lincoln grammar schools were congratulated. Frank Pestana, NBMUA executive director; John Shaw, recycling coordinator; and Stampe were on hand to teach the importance of recycling to the students.
Lincoln School recycled the most, with 6,289 pounds. Led by Principal Francis Pastore, and Valerie Gongora, recycling moderator, the school recycled 8.55 pounds per student. Kennedy School recycled 4,624 total pounds, or 8.48 pounds per student, under the direction of Principal Mike Guasconi and Joyce Cuervo, environmental coordinator.
Each school received a banner and a pizza party for their achievements. Each child from the schools received a certificate from the NBMUA. The program was so successful that next year it will be implemented throughout the entire public school system, according to Pestana.
North Hudson Community Health Fair slated for Friday, June 28
A free fair featuring a wide range of health and social services programs, along with entertainment for children and adults, will take place Friday, June 28 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 407 39th Street in Union City.
Sponsored by the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program and the Immigration Center of North Hudson Community Action Corp., the sixth annual health fair will take place outside of the WIC center on 39th Street between Bergenline and New York avenues.
Information and assistance will be available on nutrition, job openings, immigration, free ESL class enrollment, citizenship class enrollment, health insurance and Medicaid enrollment, pediatrics and women’s health services, rent and utilities, breastfeeding, and dental services.
“We are working very hard to integrate immigrants into the community,” said Rosemary J. Lavagnino, director of North Hudson’s Community Action Programs, “and we decided this objective could be met in a cost-effective way by scheduling an event involving more than one of our programs, and (one) that is jointly funded by the WIC and the Immigration Center.”
Registration Ongoing for Library Summer Programs
Registration is under way for the North Bergen Public Library’s summer programs, which will run from July 8 through Aug. 23.
The summer offerings are open to North Bergen and Guttenberg residents. Interested parties should register in person, and must bring proof of age and residency.
One of the programs is “U.S. Citizenship Exam Training,” offered on Saturdays from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Go to www.nbpl.org for a complete list.
For more information about the library, or any of its programs, visit the facility at 8411 Bergenline Ave. or call (201)-869-4715.
Sacco-Sarlo bill expanding DNA database clears committee
In an effort to assist criminal investigations and deter and detect recidivist acts, Sens. Nicholas J. Sacco and Paul Sarlo sponsored legislation that would add disorderly person’s offenses to the list of criminal conduct that, upon conviction, requires biological sampling for the DNA database. The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee approved the legislation on June 13.
“DNA testing provides a valuable tool for investigating unsolved crimes and ultimately removing serious offenders from our streets,” said Sacco, D-Hudson and Bergen. “We have a responsibility to act preemptively and collect DNA samples before the individual commits another offense or becomes a fugitive. For the safety of all New Jersey residents, this legislation is the right thing to do.”
The bill, S-436, would expand the DNA Database and Databank Act of 1994, which requires a person convicted of an indictable crime to submit to DNA sampling. The bill would add disorderly person’s offenses for which fingerprints are already taken under state law to the list of criminal conduct that requires sampling upon conviction.
The federal government and 28 states currently authorize DNA collection after an arrest. All fifty states require the collection of DNA from people convicted of felonies.
The bill was approved by the committee with a vote of 12-0. It now heads to the full Senate for further consideration.
Menendez announces federal HUD grant for NHCAC
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) announced nearly $700,000 in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Counseling Program to 15 agencies throughout New Jersey. The funding included $15,214 for the North Hudson Community Action Corporation in West New York.
“Providing services to help increase financial literacy – especially when it comes to housing – is not only good for New Jersey’s families, it’s good for the whole economy,” said Menendez, who led the effort in the U.S. Senate to keep HUD’s Housing Counseling Program funded in fiscal year 2013.
“This funding will help put more New Jersey families on a path to affordable housing and homeownership, and help more seniors stay in their own homes by using the equity they have built,” he said.
HUD’s Housing Counseling Program provides services to homebuyers, homeowners, low- to moderate-income renters, and the homeless in order to expand homeownership opportunities and improve access to affordable housing.
County gaining population
All 12 Hudson County municipalities gained population from 2010 to 2012, according to statistics from the U.S. Census, according to a report in a local newspaper.
The towns, and their populations in 2010 and 2012, are: Bayonne, 63,138 to 64,416; East Newark, 2,408 to 2,441; Guttenberg, 11,183 to 11,356; Harrison, 13,637 to 13,874; Hoboken, 50,119 to 52,034; Jersey City, 248,385 to 254,441; Kearny, 40,724 to 41,389; North Bergen, 60,831 to 61,960; Secaucus, 16,319 to 18,351; Union City, 66,540 to 67,744; Weehawken, 12,581 to 12,832; and West New York, 49,827 to 51,564.
New Jersey’s population grew by a tiny seven tenths of a percent, adding a little more than 60,000 people, according to the bureau.
The Census report also revealed that the state is growing grayer and more ethnic, and its residents are increasingly abandoning the suburbs and rural areas in favor of cities.
The Census reported that the number of people leaving New Jersey continued to increase.
Sacco bill limiting ‘drones’ approved by committee
A bill that limits how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used in New Jersey, was approved 4-0 on June 17 by the New Jersey Senate Law and Public Safety Committee, according to a report on nj.com.
North Bergen state Sen. Nicholas Sacco and Nicholas Scutari of Linden co-sponsored the proposal.
Sacco said that as the industry of UAVs, also known as drones, grows, safeguards must be put in place to protect the privacy of citizens. Drones were used by the U.S. military during wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The bill calls for limiting police use of the drones to only specific ongoing criminal investigations. Any information derived from their use outside that boundary would have to be disposed of within two weeks.
Further action on the bill will be taken when the entire State Senate votes on it in its next gathering.
Flag Retirement Program under way in three towns
The North Bergen Veterans Alliance is sponsoring its American Flag Retirement Program, which accepts used flags to be retired in a “proper, dignified manner,” according to an alliance spokesman.
Four sites, in the towns of North Bergen, Guttenberg and West New York, will accept the flags during regular business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The sites and contacts are:
• North Bergen: 64th Street Recreation Center, 6300 Meadowview Ave., Digger O’Dell; or Department of Public Works Garage, 6100 Tonnelle Ave., Ed O’Neill;
• Guttenberg: Police Headquarters, 6808 Park Ave., Capt. Joel Magenheimer; and
• West New York: Miller Stadium, 57th Street & Bergenline Avenue, Ken Furlong.
For additional information, call O’Neill at (201) 697-8746. Residents can call ahead before drop offs.