Police say be rude, not a victim
The Secaucus Police Department has issued a notice to elderly residents to not let strangers posing as the water or gas company employees or as contractors into their homes without being sure of who they are, after a series of reported “flim-flam” scams. According to Chief Dennis Corcoran, “it is better to be rude than a victim.” “Flim-flam” scams used to be more prevalent during the spring months as the weather warmed up. But the scams seem to be a year-round thing for these unscrupulous criminals, according to authorities.
Police say a suspect may show up and say his or her car broke down and he or she needs to use the phone. While the first suspect distracts the residents, a second suspect sneaks in and walks out with their valuables. Or they could pose as water company employees pretending to check the water pressure in the basement while an accomplice searches the bedrooms for valuables.
The police advise residents to ask for identification, check for a work vehicle with the logo of the company they claim to represent, and not to let anyone in who hasn’t been called to do work on the home. If there is any doubt, call the company that the visitor says he or she represents, or call 911.
Secaucus High School moves up on schools ranking list
Secaucus High School has made New Jersey Monthly magazine’s list of the state’s Top 100 Public High Schools. It was the district’s goal the past four years to join this distinguished group. Secaucus High School climbed from 102nd to 90th in overall ranking from 2010 to 2012. The district is now ranked fourth in their District Factor Group which is based on socio-economic factors.
In a statement, the administration said, “Congratulations are in order for the students, staff and parents for their obvious commitment to excellence in education as demonstrated by this wonderful accomplishment.”
The rankings are derived from the Department of Education’s NJ School Report Card, based on SAT and High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) scores in addition to numerous other factors. These include graduation rate, test scores, school environment, class-size, student-to-faculty ratio, percentage of faculty with advanced degrees, and the number of AP courses offered among others.
Other Hudson County Schools that made the list include McNair Academic, a Jersey City magnet school that topped the chart in 2006, which has the number two spot this year; and Weehawken, which is ranked at 91.
Secaucus mail carrier and her boyfriend arrested for allegedly distributing cocaine
A U.S. Postal Service employee and her boyfriend have been charged in connection with a scheme to allegedly intercept cocaine-laden packages mailed from Puerto Rico to New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced in a statement.
Christina Nunez, 30, of Lyndhurst, a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier in Secaucus, was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of 500 grams or more of cocaine, and mail theft. She was arrested Aug. 24, 2012. Her boyfriend, Luis A. Vega, 36, of Lyndhurst, was also arrested and charged with conspiring with Nunez to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of 500 grams or more of cocaine.
Both defendants were scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court last week.
According to the U.S. attorney’s office, it is estimated that Nunez, Vega and their co-conspirators have allegedly distributed more than 18 kilograms of cocaine between October 2010 and Aug. 24, 2012.
Since December 2010, Nunez has allegedly been receiving packages of cocaine that were mailed from Puerto Rico to delivery addresses along her mail route. Nunez allegedly intercepted the packages, scanned them as delivered despite never delivering the packages to their actual delivery addresses, and ultimately transported the cocaine to co-conspirators in Camden.
In addition to intercepting the cocaine-filled packages on her mail route, both Nunez and Vega allegedly received packages of narcotics at her residence and Vega’s former residence.
OSHA cites Brick, N.J.-based contractor for continuing to expose workers to falls and other hazards at Secaucus work site
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Brick-based La Conti Concrete & Masonry Inc. on Aug. 28 for nine alleged safety and health violations, including two repeat violations at a Secaucus work site, according to a press statement. OSHA’s March investigation was initiated in response to an imminent danger complaint alleging that employees were working on the fifth level of a supported scaffold without fall protection. Proposed penalties total $74,830.
The repeat safety violations, with a $53,900 penalty, involve allegedly failing to provide safe access to a scaffold and to ensure workers were not exposed to a 35-foot fall while working on an unguarded scaffold. A repeat violation occurs when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company was cited for similar violations in 2006, 2007 and 2011.
The company also allegedly failed to: Properly store propane tanks; ensure a competent person inspected a scaffold before employees worked on it; establish and implement a written respiratory protection program for workers required to wear respirators, including medical evaluations and respiratory protection training; develop and implement an effective written hazard communication program for workers exposed to hazardous chemicals, including crystalline silica; provide chemical hazard training to employees working with hazardous chemicals; and maintain material safety data sheets among others.
La Conti Concrete & Masonry Inc. employed 34 workers at the Secaucus work site. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, according to the release.
Correction: pre-kindergarten school schedule
An article on Sunday, Aug. 26, “Back to School: District enhances technology tools for students and teachers,” listed the wrong schedule for the start of the Pre-Kindergarten program and only had one session when there is actually a morning session and afternoon session. The schedule is as follows:
The Pre-Kindergarten program begins Monday, Sept. 17. Students will attend one hour sessions Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 17, 18, and 19. Morning classes are held from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Afternoon classes are held from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Regular hours begin Thursday, Sept. 20. During the regular session the Pre-Kindergarten meets from 8:30 a.m. to 10:55 a.m. and the afternoon session meets from 12:10 p.m. to 2:35 p.m.
Youth Book Clubs at the Library
The Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center will host three book club events throughout September and October. Book Worms for second and third graders will be held on Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. Book Buddies for fourth and fifth graders will be held on Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. and Mid-Grade Book Club for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders will be held on Sept. 26 at 3 p.m. Youths interested in participating in these book clubs should register online by accessing the calendar through the library’s Calendar of Events page located through the main website at http://secaucus.bccls.org/ or by e-mailing SPLYouths@gmail.com. Registration for Book Buddies and the Mid-Grade clubs should be done early so books can be requested.
Kids’ Book Bingo at the Library
Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center invites youth ages 5 to 10 to play the “literary version” of bingo on Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. Instead of numbered cards, this game will feature favorite children’s authors, book characters and book titles from classic to newly popular. Youths will have a chance to win bookmarks and other various prizes. Each participant will go home with a list of the books used and their synopsis. For more information, visit: http://secaucus.bccls.org or e-mail SPLYouths@gmail.com.
September movies at the Secaucus Public Library
Free movies for Secaucus’ adult residents are shown at the Secaucus Public Library on most Tuesdays, beginning at 1 pm. This month the library offers, on Sept. 4, “Act of Valor”; Sept. 11, “Battleship”; Sept. 18, “Five Year Engagement”, and Sept. 15, “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”
Family workshop at the library
Dr. Zhen Sullivan will host a workshop at the Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center on Sept. 16 at 2 p.m. The workshop, “You are the Best Teacher of Your Children,” will bring together local parents and teachers to discuss family involvement in children’s education. The workshop will be held in the Panasonic Room on the library’s second floor.
All are invited to join local parents and teachers who will share their views on the importance of family involvement in children’s education. Those taking part in the workshop will share their stories of raising successful children. Featured speakers joining Sullivan in the workshop are Dr. Eleni Arapaki, Mr. Rajat Bhu, Mrs. Lauren Malanka, Mrs. Rita Ting and Mrs. Pavlina Zavorotnyaya. To register for the “You are the Best Teacher of Your Children” workshop, call (201) 330-2083 or email: email@example.com.