Secaucus in national news over Super Bowl 2014 skirmish
Secaucus and Mayor Michael Gonnelli made national headlines last week when Gonnelli along with four other Meadowlands-area mayors refused to offer municipal services during Super Bowl 2014.
According to a statement issued by the mayors, MetLife stadium, owned by the New York Jets and the New York Giants, has done little to help offset any costs for the surrounding communities when larger events occur at the stadium. Should the NFL teams ask for their police, fire, EMT or OEM services during Super Bowl 2014, their answer will be clear, "don't ask."
The news made headlines across major media outlets including the Washington Post and NBCsports.com. Gonnelli also appeared on NJTV and WPIX Evening News to discuss the matter.
The public statements have stirred up reactions. NJSEA President Wayne Hasenbalg and MetLife CEO Brad Mayne are in the process of arranging a meeting with the Meadowlands area mayors to discuss their concerns.
“The teams have never been good corporate neighbors to the region,” said Mayor William Roseman of Carlstadt in a written statement. “Every football game, every concert, is nothing more than a nightmare to the towns that are either next to the stadium or towns that endure the event day traffic congestion.” According to Roseman, each event requires overtime expenses for the Police Department, which is funded through taxpayers.
In the press statement, Gonnelli “made it clear that he would lead a concerted effort to make sure the region’s towns do not participate in any Super Bowl planning or activity that will require the towns to pick up any costs.” He called the lease signed between Acting Governor Dick Cody and the New York Jets and New York Giants “a slap in the face to each and every taxpayer in the state of New Jersey.”
According to the statement, the NFL teams reportedly receive $425 million, pay $6 million for 75 acres of property, and keep all parking revenue.
“How do you give away state assets and property without proper compensation?” asked Gonnelli.
According to the statement, the state was left with $230 million in stranded debt from the old stadium that is being paid for by tax dollars.
UNICO scholarships available
UNICO offers numerous scholarships for high school seniors as well as those pursuing higher education, on the national and local chapter levels. UNICO stands for Unity, Neighborliness, Integrity, Charity, and Opportunity. The organization promotes and enhances the image of Italian Americans. All scholarship candidates must be a Secaucus resident and demonstrate that at least one grandparent hails from Italian ancestry, unless otherwise indicated.
The scholarships include four $6,000 undergraduate scholarships that will be awarded to high school seniors who will be attending an accredited college or university program. Two nursing scholarships for $2,500 will be awarded to candidates of all ethnicities who are currently enrolled in an accredited nursing degree program. One scholarship valued at $5,000 will be awarded to a candidate of Italian ancestry who is a college senior and is commencing post-graduate studies in the field of medicine or who is enrolled in an accredited medical school. One $6,000 scholarship will be awarded to a candidate of Italian ancestry who is a college senior and is commencing post-graduate studies. One $1,000 literary scholarship will be awarded to a candidate of Italian ancestry who is currently enrolled at an accredited college or university in the United States, for writing an exceptional essay or short story on a positive Italian-American experience. One candidate will be named UNICO’s Capitol Scholar in recognition for exceptional dedication to community service and volunteer work. One scholarship will be awarded to a candidate who is commencing studies in the field of healthcare.
Numerous scholarships will be awarded based on need and merit. The size and number of these scholarships will be based on our annual fundraising efforts.
All scholarship applications must be submitted to the chapter by April 15. For a full list of scholarships or to obtain an application, visit www.secaucusunico.org and click Contact.
Library to host used book sale
The Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center will host a used book sale from Feb. 21 through Feb. 24. The event will take place in the library’s first-floor lobby during regular hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The library will sell used and donated books and other media. The selections on sale will include something for everyone—children, teens and adults.
Donations from community’s residents, coupled with materials the library has culled from their shelves because of age or condition, will make for a very varied selection of materials available for the book sale.
A bag of books will be sold for $3 and can be any combination of books or other media. Individual books will be sold for $1 each. The proceeds derived from the sale will benefit the library’s programs and collections.
The library asks that people visiting the library for the used book sale do not disrupt the normal flow of traffic for other library patrons by arriving earlier than the scheduled opening. There will be an ample selection of materials to please everyone. For more information, call: (201) 330-2083.
Pascrell urges House Leadership to pass Violence Against Women Act
After passing by an overwhelming majority in the Senate, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ-09) last week urged House Speaker John Boehner to bring the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to the floor after House Republicans allowed the law to expire more than 500 days ago according to a press statement. The bill was approved on Feb. 12 in the Senate by 78-22 and must now be approved in the House of Representatives.
The Violence Against Women Act was originally enacted in 1994. It has been reauthorized twice by the Senate in 2000 and 2005. The most recent extension expired in 2011. VAWA provides federal funding for programs and initiatives designed to help victims. Reauthorization helps ensure that local law enforcement and communities are able to get the resources required in order to address domestic violence.
Pascrell is an original cosponsor of legislation to reauthorize VAWA.
"Since 1994, this law has made great strides when it comes to responses to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking in the United States,” said Pascrell. “All women deserve the protections provided by VAWA regardless of their immigrant status, race or sexual orientation. I strongly urge Speaker Boehner to put aside partisan politics and send this reauthorization to the President to sign in order to protect those vulnerable to domestic violence."