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EXPLOSIONS ON ACADEMY STREET – An unexpected reaction to a chemical used in construction caused residents to believe a series of explosions took place on Sept. 21. The city said the chemical used was not one approved for use by the city. The incident resulted in a lock down of the area. Windows in the area were broken from flying debris, but nobody was injured, officials said. (Photo by Richard McCormack).
EXPLOSIONS ON ACADEMY STREET – An unexpected reaction to a chemical used in construction caused residents to believe a series of explosions took place on Sept. 21. The city said the chemical used was not one approved for use by the city. The incident resulted in a lock down of the area. Windows in the area were broken from flying debris, but nobody was injured, officials said. (Photo by Richard McCormack).
Menendez, Booker announce $3.3M in federal funding for NJ Community Health Centers

U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker announced last week $3,337,881 in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to federally-qualified health centers in New Jersey to support their continued operations if Congress fails to reauthorize the National Health Center Program by Sept. 30.

Metropolitan Family Health Network, Inc., with facilities in Jersey City and West New York, and North Hudson Community Action Corp., with facilities in Union City, West New York, Hoboken, and Jersey City, will receive $175,700 each.

“Our community health centers are the backbone of our health care system,” said Sen. Menendez, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee that sets national health policy. “These important investments help keep our families and communities strong by providing essential preventive and primary care to those who might otherwise not have access. To let this necessary funding lapse would be a completely irresponsible assault on the health of the nearly half a million New Jerseyans who rely on these health centers.”

Unless Congress acts, the National Health Center Program faces a 70 percent reduction in funding by Sept. 30 when federal funding provided through the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 expires. If left unaddressed, the funding cliff could mean the nationwide closure of 2,800 Health Center sites, cost more than 50,000 jobs, and lead to the loss of access to care for more than nine million patients.

Sen. Menendez has authored an amendment to the Affordable Care Act that provided Federally Qualified Health Centers $11 billion in mandatory funding over five years for new and existing programs and activities to expand access to primary care services. This funding technically ran out in 2015, but Congress extended the funding through the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. This funding is now set to expire after Sept. 30.

Library to host permanent exhibit to former Mayor Glenn Cunningham

The director of the Jersey City Free Public Library, Priscilla Gardner, announced last week that the library will unveil a new permanent exhibit of former Mayor and state Senator Glenn D. Cunningham’s personal library and memorabilia, to be housed on the third floor of the Main Library, 472 Jersey Ave.

“This exhibit will attest to Cunningham’s lifelong history-making achievements,” said Gardner. Cunningham made history in 2001 by becoming the first and only African-American to be elected to mayor of Jersey City. Cunningham was state senator for the 31st Legislative District while serving as Jersey City mayor at the time of his death in May 2004.

The exhibit will feature not just that story, but also others, including Cunningham’s work as a United States Marshal, which he gave up to become mayor. Cunningham also led Jersey City when it became the lifeline to lower Manhattan for manpower and supplies following the Sept. 11, 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center Towers.

The exhibit will be unveiled on Wednesday, Oct. 11 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. on the third floor of the Main Library at 472 Jersey Ave.

Director Gardner stated that the unveiling is open to the public, and there will be a small reception and live entertainment.

State Senator Sandra B. Cunningham, Mayor Cunningham’s widow, was pleased by the library’s announcement. “The fact that this installation is going in opposite ends of the city from the New Jersey City University exhibit, is special because it was always Glenn’s goal to make it one city, a city of Golden Neighborhoods,” said Senator Cunningham. “While serving as an educational and historic learning tool, perhaps these exhibits in opposite ends of the city can bridge it together and work towards Glenn’s goal putting all of Jersey City first so that everybody feels the same level of pride about their neighborhoods.”

According to Senator Cunningham, Mayor Cunningham was well on his way to ending Jersey City’s “Tale of Two Cities,” or the divide between the haves and the have-nots, when he inked a deal with Goldman Sachs to completely finance a $5 million affordable housing project (The Auburn) in the city’s most neglected region, Ward F on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

“Glenn believed so much in the power of education, so much so, that it was one of the primary covenants he’d talk with youngsters about at every opportunity, especially at the Jersey City Public Schools and the Jersey City Free Public Library,” said Senator Cunningham, who made history herself when she fought for, and won her late husband’s senate seat in Trenton; she has held the post since being elected in 2007.

Director Gardner often tells employees and patrons that the late Mayor/Senator Glenn Cunningham was frequently heard to say that “the library is a poor man’s university.” Gardner said she will always remember those seven words. Soon after becoming mayor, Cunningham led an entourage of city employees and city directors to the Main Library to register for Jersey City Free Public Library cards.

“Not only would Mayor Cunningham frequent the Main Library to do research, he would spend his birthday in the New Jersey Room researching through archives to obtain information for the book he was writing,” recalled Gardner.

Kennedy Dancers present an afternoon of International Folk Dance

The Kennedy Dancers, a non-profit professional dance company and dance school, will present their 1st Annual International Folk Dance Concert, “An Evening of Folk Dance Company Presentations,” at the J. Owen Grundy Pier at the foot of Exchange Place in Jersey City on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. The event is free to the public.

The J. Owen Grundy performance pier is in the shadow of the World Trade Center, directly in the front of the New York City Skyline. This performance pier attracts thousands of visitors every summer. It is located on the Hudson River, adjacent to multiple public transportation modes. PATH trains coming from New York and New Jersey points, the Light Rail, Manhattan and New Jersey ferry lines, New Jersey Transit buses, giving people numerous ways to get to the performances.

Folklorist Dr. William Westerman, a professor of Sociology and Anthropology from New Jersey City University, will tell the audience about the vast cultures playing a role in the concert.

The concert will consist of performances by Surati Dance, Mosaic, Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey, MDN Latin Dance, and the Kennedy Dancers Repertory Company and Kennedy Dancers Inner City Pre-Professional Youth Company.

At Surati, they continue to bring Indian performing arts to international audiences, aiming to deepen the understanding and appreciate of the diverse culture heritage of India. Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey is a group of 40 young adults who are first, second, or third generation Greek-Americans, and are dedicated to perpetuating their heritage through enthusiastic performances of the regional folk dances of Greece. On 2 timing, performed by MDN Latin Dance is considered the most accurate reflection of the Afro-Caribbean ancestry of the music. Mosaic Dance Theater Company is dedicated to the dance and folkloric traditions of the Mediterranean - the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Spain. Kennedy Dancers Repertory and Inner City Pre Professional Youth Company who performs mostly contemporary and classical works also specialize in some traditional folk dance.

Trevor Rubingh, co-founder and president of New City Kids wins National Social Entrepreneurship Award

New City Kids will be awarded the $25,000 Richard Cornuelle Award for Social Entrepreneurship by the Manhattan Institute in New York City on Nov.

29. The award recognizes the non-government civil society leaders who have developed innovative approaches to helping those in need. Trevor Rubingh, co-founder and president of

New City Kids was selected as one of four leaders from across the U.S. to receive this award in


The award is designed to recognize entrepreneurs across the country who are working toward innovative solutions to our nation’s most pressing social problems, will be awarded to four organizations which share a commitment to helping those in need.

Howard Husock, director of the Social Entrepreneurship Initiative, said, “The Cornuelle Awards once again demonstrate the vitality of American civil society and its capacity to address some of our most challenging social problems: the integration of ex-offenders, the improvement of low-income neighborhoods, the teaching of science and math to disadvantaged students, and steering at-risk youth toward positive life choices.”

Trevor Rubingh, co-founder and president of New City Kids wins National Social Entrepreneurship Award.

Marionettes bring Magic & Mozart to Jersey City

JCTC-KIDS and Jersey City’s favorite string-attached theater company – Puppetworks – returns for its new season with a production of “The Prince & The Magic Flute” Sundays at 1 p.m., beginning Oct. 1 until Dec. 10, at Merseles Studios, 339 Newark Ave. Jersey City.

Advance tickets/online sales are $9 for children, $10 for adults. At the door, $11 and $12; $9 each for groups of 20 or more.

There will be no performances Nov. 12, 19, and 26.

School discounts and private party bookings are also available. To purchase online tickets visit

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