Sacco releases plan to improve public safety after fatal bus accident
In the wake of the tragic accident that claimed the life of an 8-month-old North Bergen resident Angelie Parades, State Sen. Nicholas Sacco is outlining a plan that he believes will improve public safety and crack down on jitney buses in Hudson County.
Sacco has long been a proponent of increased scrutiny on the commuter vans, which have proliferated in northern Hudson County in the last several years and present many public dangers.
“While they are used by many local residents these buses have been dangerous for years and now we are seeing the consequences of lax regulation and enforcement,” said Sacco. “We must improve public safety by stepping up enforcement, ensuring safe operation of the vehicles, and toughening licensing requirements on drivers to make sure that no one with multiple warrants like the driver in the accident is allowed to get behind the wheel.”
Sacco is calling for increased local enforcement of traffic safety laws, including speeding, reckless driving, and operating a cell phone while driving. He is working in conjunction with North Bergen Police Chief Robert Dowd to increase enforcement in the township and with Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari to cover county roads like Kennedy Boulevard and Boulevard East. He is also calling on the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office to resume its program of bus inspection checkpoints of private commuter vans, which produced results in the past but was discontinued.
Finally, Sacco is announcing that he will be exploring legislation in the State Senate to strengthen licensing requirements on commercial bus drivers, and has directed his staff to research what can be done legally to prevent drivers with warrants from getting behind the wheel.
Oktoberfest-in-August celebration almost here
The annual Oktoberfest-in-August celebration sponsored by the Plattduetsche Volksfest-Vereen of New York and New Jersey will be held next weekend in Schuetzen Park, 3167 Kennedy Blvd., on Saturday, Aug. 17, and Sunday, Aug. 18.
Profits from the festival will be donated to the Fritz Reuter Altenheim Home and other charities.
Activities start at 1 p.m. on Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The festival opens at noon both days.
There will be stands that offer homemade German food and souvenirs.
For more information about the celebration, call (201) 864-3245.
Rene D’Leon at summer concert series
The Town of Guttenberg will host “Rene D’Leon,” a Latin revue, as part of its summer concerts for residents on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. between 70th and 71st Streets on Boulevard East.
If Latin music is your preference, this is your concert. All but one song is sung in Spanish.
“We have a beautiful show, with dancers,” D’Leon said, urging residents to attend.
For more information about the concerts, call (201) 868-2315, ext. 128.
Creative arts explored next weekend at Dinosaur park
Children can get instructions on how to draw dinosaurs – and help create a colossal mural – during Paleo-Art Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 17 and 18, at Field Station: Dinosaurs in Secaucus.
In addition, young explorers can get their hands dirty while learning what it means to be a dig site sketcher.
Field Station is located at One Dinosaur Way. (Exit 15X off the New Jersey Turnpike, then left onto New County Road).
For more information, call (855) 999-9010.
NJMC still offering pontoon boat cruises in August
If you have an interest in riding leisurely on a pontoon boat cruise in August, you’re still in luck. The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) is offering five more of the two-hour tours this month, on Aug. 14, 16, 20, and 22 at 5:30 p.m., and Aug. 21 at 10 a.m.
NJMC pontoon ride attendees receive an up-close view of the Meadowlands District’s beauty and wildlife during the guided cruise of the Hackensack River and its surrounding marshes. NJMC staff will discuss the region’s human and environmental history, and point out birds and other wildlife along the way.
The pontoon boat cruises are $15 per person, and for ages 10 and up. Pre-registration is required. The tours depart from River Barge Park, 260 Outwater Lane, Carlstadt.
For the schedule, directions, and to register, visit www.njmeadowlands.gov/environment/tours.html, or call (201) 460-4640.
Flyway Gallery hosts multi-media exhibit
The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission’s (NJMC) Flyway Gallery will host an exhibit featuring photography and 3D art decoupage focusing on natural landscapes by artists Paula Vilela and Ilda Pinto Almeida during August and September.
The show, “Perspectives,” runs from Friday, Aug. 16, to Sept. 27. An artists’ reception is scheduled on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Flyway Gallery is located in the Meadowlands Environment Center in DeKorte Park, the home of the NJMC.
“The NJMC is pleased to showcase the unique work of these talented artists,” said Marcia Karrow, NJMC executive director. “We invite everyone to explore their perspectives on elements of the natural world.”
The Flyway Gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, excluding holidays.
Directions to DeKorte Park are available in the “About Us” section of the NJMC website, at www.njmeadowlands.gov, or by calling (201) 460-8300.