Mar 16, 2014 | 2417 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODCOCK WALK AT LAUREL HILL – This free hour-long walk features a 30-minute walk around Laurel Hill County Park in Secaucus followed by a low-keyed search for American woodcocks in a section of the park. Participants will also look for Laurel Hill ravens, black-crowned night herons, and any other interesting birds. The walk takes place on Monday, March 17 at 6:45 p.m. Dress for the weather. Check for additional details and last-minute weather updates. To RSVP, contact Don Torino of the Bergen County Audubon Society at or (201) 230-4983.
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New ‘Aloft Secaucus’ hotel to open in 2016

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced last week that Aloft Secaucus will open in mid-2016 within the Plaza at Harmon Meadow, featuring 172 spacious, loft-like rooms, leading-edge technology, and a lively, social atmosphere.

The eight-story hotel will feature 3,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space, an indoor splash pool, and a fitness center.

With over 75 hotels open now and 100 soon in 14 countries around the world, Aloft is rolling out mobile Smart check-in at select properties, allowing guests to use their smart phone to check in and open their guest room door. In addition, Aloft formed an exclusive partnership with Design Within Reach (DWR) to outfit the public spaces of the hotels, and its W XYZ bars offer live, free access to local emerging artists as well as some of the hottest bands in the country through the brand’s Live at Aloft Hotels concert series.

American Dream project (formerly Xanadu) gets a boost as Giants and Jets settle with developer

The massive recreational center/shopping development on Route 3, once called Xanadu but now called “American Dream,” has reached a settlement with the New York Jets and Giants. Both parties were suing each other over the once-stalled development, which will bring indoor skiing and lots of shopping and big restaurants to the Meadowlands.

According to NJ Biz, “The settlement could set the stage for the Edmonton, Canada-based developer to move forward with construction after nearly two years of litigation, one of many delays and problems during more than a decade of efforts to develop at the site by owners. The two National Football League teams filed lawsuits in 2012 and 2013 seeking to block a proposed expansion by Triple Five, arguing it would cripple game-day traffic around MetLife Stadium.”

The settlement agreement has not been made public.

Spring Awakening at High Tech High School

Winner of eight Tony Awards, including best musical, Spring Awakening is a rock musical adaptation of Frank Wedekind's 1891 expressionist play about the trials, tribulations, and exhilaration of the teen years. High Tech students will be not only acting, singing, and dancing, but also playing their own instruments and foraying into aerial work and tight choreography.

“The subject matter in Spring Awakening is mature and not recommended for anyone under 13, but hopefully with a powerful piece of theatre, we can enlighten, teach and appreciate the power and beauty of storytelling,” says Noah Dunton, junior from Jersey City. The musical is presented by the junior and senior majors of High Tech’s musical theatre department, who have also just been invited to represent the USA as one of 22 high schools across the country to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the summer of 2015.

Performances will take place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, March 27-29, at 7 p.m., with an additional performance at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $15 at

The HT Musical Theatre is at 8511 Tonnelle Ave. in North Bergen.

This show is not recommended for anyone under 13.

Integrity House annual Golf Classic to be held on May 19

Integrity House, a nationally recognized substance abuse rehabilitation center with locations in Newark and Secaucus, will host its annual Golf Classic at the Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell on Monday, May 19. The event will benefit Integrity House’s Bate Adolescent Program, a residential setting which helps youths from ages 13 to 17 to address substance abuse and redirect their lives by providing academic and career-training, age-appropriate treatment, and family therapy groups.

Integrity House is celebrating more than 45 years of providing substance abuse treatment and support services for over 2,400 adult and adolescent addicts annually. “The annual Golf Classic brings awareness to the disease of addiction and the effects it has on individuals and their families, while raising the funds necessary to allow us to provide critical services to a number of underserved populations,” said Robert Budsock, CEO & president of Integrity House. “We are very thankful for the ongoing support of many generous business and community leaders who will once again participate in the Golf Classic and support our mission of helping individuals reclaim their lives.”

Mountain Ridge Country Club is one of the most prestigious private clubs in the Northeast. Through the Integrity House Golf Classic, serious golfers have the opportunity to play this very exclusive course, which was recently improved to meet the precise requirements and standards of the 2012 USGA Senior Amateur Open, which was played on the course.

The event will commence at 10:30 a.m. with a registration and practice range, BBQ lunch and putting contest, followed by a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Attendees will enjoy a reception and silent auction followed by dinner and awards later in the evening.

If you would like to show support but cannot attend the Golf Classic, Integrity House accepts donations of prizes and merchandise for the silent auction.

For more information or to register, visit or call (973) 623-7246.

Wear Purple on March 26 to help raise awareness about epilepsy

On March 26, please join the Cieciuch family and people from around the globe in wearing purple to raise awareness about epilepsy.

In 2008, a Canadian fourth grade student named Cassidy Megan extended a challenge to people of the world to stand up and show their support for those living with this life-altering, neurological disorder. The day took on a more local note when Secaucus Mayor Mike Gonnelli and the town council officially proclaimed the day in 2012 in support of then nine-year-old Donald Cieciuch, who had been diagnosed with epilepsy when he was five. Now a sixth grade honor student at Huber Street School, Donald has become a spokesperson to not only bring awareness to the disease, but to ensure that people know what to do if they encounter someone having a seizure.

Epilepsy affects over three million people in the United States and 50 million people worldwide. That's more than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson's disease combined. In addition, one in ten people will have a seizure during his or her lifetime.

Despite being a major national health concern, the public is often unable to recognize common seizure types or how to respond with appropriate first aid. Consequently, persons with epilepsy often face social stigma and discrimination.

Donations can be made directly to The Anita Kaufmann Foundation, PO Box 11, New Milford, NJ 07646 or by visiting the website

Independent film screening and discussion at library

The Friends of the Secaucus Public Library Independent Film Series is screening Blue Jasmine, with Cate Blanchett, on March 23 at 1 p.m.

New independent films are shown at the library at 1 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month. While programs are open to all residents, parents and caregivers should keep in mind that many of the films shown contain adult themes and may not be appropriate for children and young adults. Blue Jasmine is rated PG-13 and features a storyline that likely will not appeal to younger viewers.

The film screening and discussion will take place in the Panasonic Meeting Room on the second floor of the library. Popcorn and other light refreshments will be served. Registration is recommended, and can be done by calling the library at (201) 330-2083 or through the library’s online calendar at

The library is at 1379 Paterson Plank Rd.

Marshes of the Meadowlands: 1950 to Today

The Meadowland Environment Center (MEC) presents the program Marshes of the Meadowlands: 1950 to Today on Sunday, March 16 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Don Smith, retired chief naturalist with the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, was born and raised in Little Ferry and is a fountain of knowledge on the history of the Hackensack River and its marshes. Don has spent hundreds of hours hiking, trapping, and traversing this unique ecosystem through the years. Join Don and experience our wonderful marshes through the eyes of this seasoned observer.

The event, geared toward adults, costs $5, or $4 for MEC members. The Meadowlands Environment Center is at 2 DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst.

Registration is recommended and appreciated. To register visit For more information call (201) 460-8300.

Watercolor Pencils for Kids: Signs of Spring

Bring your “budding” artists out for this popular program. Children will learn how to create a colorful seasonal drawing and then turn it into a painting, all with the same pencil. This “no mess” medium is easy to handle, even for young children, but sophisticated enough for older students too. Supplies provided for the session.

The program takes place from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 22. Children ages five to 12 are invited and must be accompanied by an adult. The cost is $12 per child, or $10 for MEC members. (No fee for adults.)

Registration is recommended and appreciated. To register go to

The NJMC Science Center is at 3 DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst. (201) 460-8300.

Third-Tuesday-of-the-Month Bird Walk

Beat the crowd! Celebrate the arrival of spring a day early with this Harrier Meadow spring bird walk on Tuesday, March 18 from 10 a.m. to noon in North Arlington. Walk around the 70-acre natural area that is normally closed to the public and look for ospreys, killdeer and other spring arrivals, plus lingering winter waterfowl. The walk starts at Harrier Meadow, on Disposal Rd. near Schuyler Ave. The walk is sponsored by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission and the Bergen County Audubon Society. Check for last-minute updates. Participants will have to sign a standard liability release that is good for NJMC/BCAS events throughout the year. To RSVP, contact Don Torino at or (201) 230-4983.

Hackensack Riverkeeper announces 2014 eco-programs

Hackensack Riverkeeper, the clean water advocacy group, is poised to provide enjoyable and educational experience of the river, its watershed and wildlife. Combining hands-on environmental education with public service and fun, the 2014 season kicks off with EarthFest Overpeck the weekend of April 26-27, and runs through the end of October.

EarthFest Overpeck is Overpeck Park’s first-ever Earth Day celebration, a festival featuring a recycled regatta, fishing derby, green vendors, live music, food, pharmaceutical take-back, open kayaking, recovery and rescue demonstrations, beer garden and more.

Ongoing River Cleanup conservation events will give people of all ages the opportunity to give back to the environment and their communities. River cleanups are scheduled at eight different waterside locations within the Hackensack River Watershed from April through November. Hackensack Riverkeeper provides cleanup tools and supplies as well as refreshments for all volunteers. All they ask is that everyone pitch in and help rid local waterways of litter and other debris. For more information about river cleanups including group participation and the organization’s Corporate River Stewardship Program, call Events and Outreach Coordinator Sarah Menchise at (201) 968-0808 or e-mail her at

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