North Bergen weighs in on recycling for Earth Day
A pilot paper recycling competition program on behalf of the North Bergen Municipal Utilities Authority (NBMUA) as well as the Environmental Club of the North Bergen Board of Education began on Monday, April 8. Since recycling is the law in New Jersey and students spend a large part of every day on school grounds, it is important to have a program in place that enables students to practice good citizenship by recycling.
Two grammar schools, John F. Kennedy School and Lincoln School participated in this competition. The Environmental Club’s Coordinators, Joyce Cuervo, from Kennedy School, and Valerie Gongora from Lincoln School and their students along with Thomas Stampe, Recycling Program Aide and John Shaw, Recycling Coordinator for the NBMUA worked hand in hand to setup this recycling plan.
Each week, students from each school’s environmental club go to each classroom and remove the bags of paper, weigh them and record their data. At the end of each week they tally the results and send them to Stampe at the NBMUA. The winning school that recycles the most paper will have a banner made which will state that they are this year’s winner, their school name and the amount of pounds of paper recycled. This will be on display all year at their school. In addition to this competition each school sponsors a contest of their own between each grade. The grade that recycles the most paper by the end of the year will receive a pizza party.
The hope is that this pilot program will be so successful that by September it will be implemented in the whole town’s schools. After just one week these two schools have recycled over 1,200 lbs of paper.
Health seminar on weight loss surgical options
Palisades Medical Center will have a health seminar, presented in English and Spanish, on weight loss surgical options on Thursday, May 2 at their facility at 7600 River Road. The featured speaker will be Stefanie Vaimakis, MD, FACS, FASMBS. Check-in registration will be at 6:30 p.m. and the seminar will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission, food, refreshments, parking, transportation will be free. Transportation will be available from 60th Street and Bergenline Ave. starting at 5:30 p.m.
For further information contact Nikki Mederos at (201) 854-5702.
Eight High Tech students qualify to enter 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program
Director of High Tech High School Dr. Joseph Giammarella announced that eight High Tech juniors have met the qualifications to enter the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program this year.
High Tech is a countywide public high school.
The designation is based on PSAT scores and other factors. With a Selection Index score of 203 or above, each of these students – Harrison residents Mark Ma and Toshi Piazza; Sam Jacobs of Hoboken; Jersey City resident Jenny Doyle; Maximilian Ashkenazi, Dina-Simran Chotrani, and Eileen Gao of Secaucus; and Weehawken resident Kyra Baker – ranked among the 50,000 highest-scoring participants of some 1.5 million program entrants.
Semifinalists, representing the top scorers in each state, will be the only students who will have the opportunity to continue in the competition for about 8,300 National Merit Scholarships offered in 2014.
Sacco introduces surveillance bill for vehicles in New Jersey
Senator Nicholas J. Sacco, D-Hudson and Bergen, introduced legislation recently that would set specific guidelines to be followed by law enforcement agencies when employing unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, for surveillance purposes.
“Recent federal legislation has paved the way for the commercial use of drones here in the United States,” said Sacco, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. “While this technology has many useful applications, it is important that we have stringent guidelines in place to ensure the safety and privacy of our residents.”
Under provisions of this bill, S2702, law enforcement agencies are prohibited from using a drone unless there are reasonable grounds to believe that information that may be derived from an unmanned aerial vehicle is relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.
“In the future, drone technology will play a key role in law enforcement, assisting agencies in response to suspects of burglaries and murders, missing person reports, surveillance of fires, and many more,” said Sacco. “It is important that we strike a balance between preventing the abuse of this technology and not hindering its positive uses.”
The bill permits the Missing Persons Unit to utilize a drone for search and rescue missions, including but not limited to, locating high risk missing person or child or following a notification that a person is abducted or missing by an Amber Alert or Silver Alert. The bill also allows forest fire services to use drones to survey or monitor a forest fire, and for any fire department to use them to monitor the extent of a fire in situations when the drones can assist firefighters in obtaining information on the damage caused by the fire to a building or structure.
The bill includes documentation requirements that would call upon law enforcement agencies or fire departments to submit proof of annual inspection, maintenance records, and a statement of facts recording the purpose, usage, and surveillance results for each drone.
Privacy measures in the bill ensure that information derived from the use of a drone would be strictly safeguarded from the public or any third party, any records unrelated to the ongoing criminal investigation would be required to be discarded within 14 days, and any evidence obtained illegally through these devices would be forbidden from being used as evidence in a criminal prosecution.