Secaucus will be one busy town this spring. At the town council meeting on April 8 a packed schedule of upcoming public events was announced. The following is a roundup of some of these events in chronological order.
Arbor Day is April 25 this year. A celebration will be held at Clarendon School at 9:30 a.m., announced Councilman James Clancy.
April 25 also marks the end of Earth Week, beginning April 21. “We have a number of groups who are going to be helping in town to help the environment with the celebrations of Arbor Day and Earth Week,” said Clancy.
Included are tree-plantings and numerous site clean-ups. “If any residents would like to be a part of this cleanup celebration for the month of April, you can call (201) 864-7336,” said Clancy.
Elections for the Secaucus Board of Education will be held on Wednesday, April 23. “The polls will be open from 1 to 9 p.m.,” announced Deputy Town Clerk Michael Marra. “Normally the Board of Education elections are held the third Tuesday of every April but because of the Passover holiday it’s been moved to April 23.”
This spring in Secaucus is full of activities and events.
“On Saturday, April 26 there will be a town-wide garage sale,” said Councilwoman Susan Pirro. “If you’re interested in having your name added to the list that will be published for residents to go house to house, door to door to try to find great bargains, please call the senior center, (201) 330-2014.”
Pirro also announced a flea market for the same day, sponsored by the Secaucus Animal Shelter, but this has now been postponed to the fall.
Councilman Clancy reminded residents of the 4th annual pasta dinner to support the fire department on Sunday, April 27 from 1 to 5 p.m. “It will be held at Burger Stop on Meadowlands Parkway. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and children,” said Clancy. “Kids 4 years old and under eat for nothing.”
Clancy also provided some statistics on the activities of the Secaucus Fire Department.
“In the year to date, with all the fire companies, there have been over a thousand calls that they have made throughout town,” he said. “Also, Secaucus acts as a mutual aide, and during the month of March they came to the aid of Jersey City, Kearny, and East Newark.”
In related news, the council introduced an ordinance to establish a junior firefighter program in town.
“Many communities throughout the state have junior firefighter programs where high school age kids, sixteen years old can actually join the fire department, get the training they need so that when they become of age they can become firefighters,” said Mayor Michael Gonnelli. “From 16 to 18 they can do just about everything but fight the fires. It’s something that could really help us with recruitment.”
Rounding out the month, Councilman Mark Dehnert announced a “Dine to Donate” night at Houlihan’s on April 30. A portion of the cost of each meal will be donated to benefit the Secaucus Little League.
The month of May will begin with the annual fishing derby on Saturday, May 3, said Dehnert. Registration is from 8 to 9 a.m., with the derby taking place from 9 a.m. to noon.
On the same date, May 3, the 4th Annual Green Summer Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Xchange, 5000 Riverside Station Blvd. Councilman Gary Jeffas invited residents to attend the event, sponsored by Xchange, Field Station Dinosaur, and the Hackensack Riverkeeper.
On the following day, May 4, the senior center will host a “mystical celebration” from noon until 6 p.m. “There is a $5 admission fee. That money goes to the Secaucus Emergency Fund,” said Councilwoman Pirro. “There will be psychic readings, tarot cards, free mini lectures, and it looks like it should be a lot of fun.”
“Every year the Secaucus Emergency Fund has a drive-in movie,” said Councilman Robert Costantino. “They put up a big movie screen and you can dial into a radio station and listen to the movie in your car. It’s Saturday May 10 this year. We’ll be playing The Wizard of Oz.”
“Gates open at 7:30, the movie starts at 8:30,” he announced. “The whole car gets in for $5 and there’s hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn, soda, and water for sale. It’s a really, really good event.”
May 21 is “court night” at the Hudson County courthouse in Jersey City from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Free public seminars will be held on topics including child support, landlord-tenant issues, divorce, expunging of criminal records, and caregiver law, according to Councilman Jeffas.
More current events
“The American Medicine Chest Challenge is going on here in Secaucus in conjunction with the Hudson County Coalition for a Drug-Free New Jersey,” announced Councilwoman Pirro. As part of the challenge a drug dropbox was installed in the police station for public use.
“It looks like a mailbox,” said Pirro. “You can put in unused or outdated prescription medicines or even over-the-counter medicines. Don’t keep them in the house, it’s not safe. Don’t flush them down the toilet. Don’t throw them in the garbage. You should really dispose of them the correct way.”
“This month is Autism Awareness Month and tonight we’re doing something really special,” announced Mayor Gonnelli. “We’re going to be the first town to sign on with Spectrum Works, who are going to be doing all of our sports uniforms this year, t-shirts and the like. We’re doing a resolution tonight and awarding a contract.”
“What Spectrum Works does is they work with individuals with autism,” he said. “Ann Marie [Sullivan] gets them out of high school, gets them placed in a work environment and she partnered with a company in town called Green Distributions who does shirts.”
The company was presented with a proclamation commending them for their work, and the resolution was authorized by the council awarding Spectrum Works a contract to produce a line of Secaucus-branded clothing that will be sold online and in the school store, among other places.
Several students received awards from the town during the April 8 meeting, including a pair of high school wrestlers.
“Jan Luis Castellanos won first place in district 16, second place in region 4, and sixth place in the state championships,” said Councilman Costantino, presenting the award. “Sean Roesing won first place in district 16 as well, first place in region 4 as well, and seventh place in the state championships, so Secaucus is blessed to have two great wrestlers this year.”
Also honored were a pair of female basketball players, Andie Lennon and Julia McClure. “Both reached their 1,000 point milestones,” said Councilman Dehnert. “These two young ladies are good in just about every sport they play.”
Rahul Nagpal was presented with a plaque commemorating his becoming an Eagle Scout in Troop 22. Nagpal organized and ran a cleanup and restoration campaign of the fitness trail in Schmidt’s Woods.
“A whole bunch of the troop got together under his leadership and his direction and he worked hard organizing not only them but supplies and everything that the Eagle Scouts do,” said Councilman Jeffas.
Mayor Gonnelli asked that attendees observe a moment of silence for Joseph Kellenberger, a Korean War veteran and former grand marshal of the town’s Memorial Day parade. Kellenberger passed away on March 31 at age 79.
Art Schwartz may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.