Stack’s chief of staff takes job with Jersey City mayor
Mark Albiez, the longtime chief of staff to Mayor Brian Stack, has taken a job in the administration of Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, who is expected to eventually run for governor.
As of press time, there was no word on Albiez’s successor.
For the political implications, see Al Sullivan’s political column on the letters page this week.
West New York announces Movies-in-the-Park
The town of West New York will show movies in the parks with free ice cream this summer.
The dates are Friday, July 11 (rain date the 18th), July 25 (Rain date Aug. 1), Aug. 8 (rain date the 15th) and Aug. 22 (rain date the 29th), all at 7:30 p.m.
The movies are free and are held at Miller Stadium, 5701 Jackson St.
For more information, contact Tiffany Marcano at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 201-295-5101.
Former WNY mayoral candidate’s son accuses cops of brutality following arrest
Stephan Betancourt, the son of former West New York mayoral candidate Carlos “Chuck” Betancourt, told NJ.com that he plans to sue the West New York police for brutality after he was arrested on June 28. The arrest came when tempers flared because police planned to tow Betancourt’s friend’s car. An argument ensued and Betancourt was handcuffed.
Betancourt’s lawyer, Mario Blanch, said that the police used undue force during the arrest. The incident was caught on videotape. The suit has not yet been filed.
DOT looks at deadly stretch of road
The NJ Department of Transportation is planning changes to the section of road in North Bergen where Route 3 eastbound meets Route 495, the scene of a deadly crash on July 3.
Three people died in the crash, at the same location where three people died in an accident last August.
A DOT spokesman indicated that the deadly section of roadway, where Route 3 curves and merges with the 495 approach to the Lincoln Tunnel, would be addressed as part of a larger project involving the 495 viaduct.
The driver of the car, a white Mercedes station wagon, was allegedly under the influence of alcohol. Authorities believe that speed was a factor in the crash.
Kids ride free on NY Waterway ferries this summer
Kids 12 and under ride free on NY Waterway ferries between New Jersey and Manhattan from July 7 through Labor Day, Sept. 1.
It takes less than 10 minutes to cross the Hudson River from Port Imperial, Lincoln Harbor, or 14th Street in Hoboken to West 39th Street in Manhattan, and service on these routes operates all day, seven days a week. It takes less than 25 minutes to cross from these New Jersey terminals to lower Manhattan.
NY Waterway’s mobile ticketing app, free and available on any hand-held device, allows customers to purchase tickets instantly, as well as locate (in real-time) NY Waterway’s free shuttle buses.
Free connecting multi-route NY Waterway buses take passengers on several routes serving New Jersey and midtown and downtown Manhattan. Buses stop at key destinations such as the Empire State Building, Macy’s, Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, Bryant Park, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
NY Waterway also offers a New York City discount program, offering up to 56 percent savings on many of New York’s top iconic attractions and Broadway shows, along with a ferry discount. For more information on NY Waterway’s “Your Key to the City” discount program visit www.nywaterway.com/MyKey or call 1-800-53-FERRY.
Sen. Sweeney held ‘private discussions’ about bringing gambling to North Jersey
State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, who has been one of the most vocal opponents of bringing gambling to North Jersey, revealed to The Record this week that he has been in private discussions with officials for the past year regarding allowing casinos in the region.
Sweeney, a Democrat from South Jersey, has repeatedly stated that allowing gambling to North Jersey would further damage the already struggling Atlantic City gambling industry. Publicly he has strongly supported Gov. Christopher Christie’s five-year ban on any discussion of allowing gambling in the state outside of Atlantic City. The ban was part of a plan approved by Christie in 2011 to revitalize Atlantic City.
However, Sweeney said on July 2 that he has been in discussion privately with North Jersey officials about the possibility of adding the proposal to a November 2015 ballot, rather than waiting till November 2016. He noted that it was too late to include a referendum on the 2014 ballot.
Sweeney said his change of heart is contingent on Atlantic City receiving financial support from gaming facilities in other regions.
The Meadowlands are considered a prime location for casino gambling if it is allowed in North Jersey, with Jersey City also mentioned as a possibility.
Revenues in Atlantic City have declined by about half since their peak in 2006. One Atlantic City casino closed its doors this past January, another is scheduled to close on Aug. 31, and a third potentially may close in August if a buyer cannot be found.
Meadowlands Hospital joins effort to speed care for veterans Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center (MHMC) President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas B. Considine announced on July 7 that MHMC has signed a contract that will allow the hospital to help alleviate extended wait times for veterans in need of medical care. MHMC will treat veterans as part of the HealthNet Federal Services’ Patient-Centered Community Care (PCCC) program, which supplements existing U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) facilities.
The PCCC program is an extension network of the VA designed to reduce wait times for primary and specialty care and supplements the federal healthcare system for American armed services veterans. In New Jersey, it is expected that the program will reduce wait times by 80 percent.
PCCC provides inpatient and outpatient primary care, specialty care, and behavioral healthcare for eligible veterans when the local VA Medical Center cannot provide the services due to a lack of available physicians or specialists, long wait times, or if there is an extraordinary distance from the veteran’s home.
Covered services under the PCCC program will be limited to medical services defined in the referral from the VA. In addition to primary care services, common specialty services covered are inpatient and outpatient healthcare services, including, but not limited to, pathology, radiology/diagnostic imaging, surgery, oncology, gastroenterology, cardiology, labor and delivery, and emergency services.
Zombie fan convention coming to Hudson County in December
Walker Stalker Con, a zombie and horror-themed convention, will be held at the Meadowlands Exposition Center on Dec. 13 and 14.
Walker Stalker Con made its debut in Atlanta, Ga. in November 2013, assembling more of “The Walking Dead” cast members than any convention ever before. Since its debut, Walker Stalker Con has also traveled to Chicago and Boston.
With cast members from “The Walking Dead” returning to the upcoming convention along with stars from other zombie and horror films, Walker Stalker Con ensures that fan access to celebrity guests is a primary focus during two days of events and panels.
Close encounters with birds of prey – seniors event on July 17
Join Bill Streeter, director of the Delaware Valley Raptor Center, on Thursday, July 17 at 1 p.m. for this free educational event at the Meadowlands Environment Center, 2 DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst. You’ll see six live raptors, including falcons, and spend a magical hour gaining a greater knowledge and appreciation of these awesome creatures of the northeast. Streeter will entertain and educate with the knowledge he has accumulated through more than 30 years of studying and rehabilitating raptors. Bring your grandchildren. Registration is recommended and appreciated. (201) 777-2431
NJMC fifth annual Butterfly Day set for Sunday, July 27
The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) is pleased to announce it will host its Fifth Annual Butterfly Day at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst on Sunday, July 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The very popular, family-friendly event includes frequent butterfly walks led by butterfly experts, short talks and slide shows, a scavenger hunt and butterfly costume contest for kids, and information tables. Last year more than 600 people attended Butterfly Day.
Butterflies commonly seen in DeKorte Park at this time of year include Black Swallowtails, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails and Pearl Crescents.
Butterfly Day is co-sponsored by the Bergen County Audubon Society (BCAS) and the North Jersey Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association. The BCAS will have tables set up with information on butterfly identification, binoculars and gardening to attract butterflies. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunches. Food will not be sold at Butterfly Day. The rain date is Sunday, Aug. 3. For more information, contact Jim Wright at (201) 460-2002.