‘Angelie’s Law’ clears transportation committee
Legislation sponsored by State Sen. Nicholas Sacco (D-32nd Dist.) to impose fines for unlicensed drivers was released by the Senate Transportation Committee last week.
The bill was introduced in response to an accident that caused the death of Angelie Paredes, an eight-month-old infant from North Bergen. The bill contains many reforms aimed at improving safety for pedestrians, commuters, and all residents of areas where the vehicles operate.
Angelie died after an autobus jumped the curb along Boulevard East in West New York, knocking down a lamppost, and striking and killing her. It is alleged that the driver of the vehicle was using his cell phone at the time of the accident and he is facing up to ten years in prison on various charges.
The bill, S-3082, establishes a bill of rights providing customer protections, obligations of the owners and operators of certain autobuses and basic level of expectations and guarantees of health, safety and welfare of autobus operators. Second, it imposes fines of up to $5,000 on the owner of an autobus company for allowing drivers without a valid commercial license. Current law imposes fines on the vehicle operator, not the company. It further requires owners to post telephone numbers on the inside and outside for passengers and pedestrians to report unsafe driving. Lastly, the bill allows police officers to obtain a blood sample from an autobus operator, if the vehicle was involved in an accident resulting in the death or serious bodily injury of any person.
The Senate Transportation Committee passed the bill by a vote of 5-0 and now heads to the Senate floor for a vote.
Artists, musicians, other talents invited to join North Hudson Creative Alliance
Are you an artist, photographer, dancer, actor, writer, musician, DJ, or filmmaker? If so, you may join a new arts group now forming to showcase local talents, and bring more exciting cultural events to the area.
Open to adults over 21 only, the North Hudson Creative Alliance will host open microphones, dances, live performances, art exhibits, and unique multimedia venues.
“The main goal is to establish a thriving arts scene, where individuals can share their creativity and exchange ideas in a positive, uplifting environment,” said group spokeswoman Lynn Earley.
“If you believe that the arts are vital to a vibrant, progressive community, and wish to get involved, please contact me.” Earley’s address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jersey Cares holds its 18th annual coat drive
Here’s an easy way to make a difference this winter. Take that new or gently used winter coat and donate it to Jersey Cares for its 18th annual coat drive.
From now through early next year, Jersey Cares plans to collect and distribute more than 60,000 “gently used” winter coats to men, women, and children in need throughout New Jersey.
The Secaucus drop-off site is the Lenox Outlet, 60 Enterprise Ave. North. Coats will be accepted Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Dec. 31.
This year, The Jersey Cares Coat Drive is partnering with the 2014 NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, Wal-Mart, and New York Cares.
Over the past 17 years, Jersey Cares has collected, sorted, and distributed more than 400,000 coats to New Jersey residents.
For more information, call (201) 319-1980.
Bill creating ‘cyber harassment’ crime approved by Senate budget panel
Legislation sponsored by State Sen. Donald Norcross and State Sen. Nicholas Sacco to create the crime of cyber harassment, which would close a loophole in state law that prevents the criminal prosecution of online harassment of minors by their peers and by adults, was approved Dec. 5 by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
“We have to make sure that here in New Jersey, our children are protected by the law from online attacks,” said Sen. Sacco (D-Hudson/Bergen). “Creating the crime of cyber harassment will ensure that those who participate in this activity are held accountable. It will also provide that any adult that poses as a child in an effort to torment a young person will be met with severe penalties.”
Under the bill (S-2469), a person will have committed a crime of cyber harassment if, while online using any electronic device or using a social networking site and with the purpose to harass another, that person: 1) threatens to injure or harm a person or that person’s property; 2) knowingly sends or posts any lewd, indecent, or obscene material to or about a person with the intent to emotionally harm a person or place a person in fear of physical or emotional harm; or 3) threatens to commit a crime against a person or his or her property.
The bill heads to the full Senate for consideration.
Program on winter solstice offered by environmental center
“Winter Solstice Celebration,” a program for all ages – will be offered by the Meadowlands Environmental Center, Two DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst, on Thursday, Dec. 19, from 7 to 9 p.m.
“Welcome the return of the sun,” said spokesman Brian Aberback. “Learn about the history of the solstice, make a solstice craft, and enjoy celebratory food and drink!”
Adults must accompany children. The program cost is $5 per person for the public; $4 per person for MEC members.
Registration is recommended. To do so, call (201) 460-8300 or visit www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec.