The Reporter offices will be closed this Thursday, Nov. 26, in observance of Thanksgiving. As a result, some of our deadlines have changed.
Our classified advertising deadline for the Sunday, Nov. 29 newspapers is this Tuesday, Nov. 24 at noon.
Our display ad deadline for the Sunday North Bergen, Weehawken, Secaucus, Union City, and West New York newspapers is also 12 noon on Tuesday, Nov. 24.
The display ad deadline for the Sunday Hoboken and Jersey City newspapers is 12 noon on Wednesday, Nov. 25.
The editorial deadline for letters to the editor and similar items is 12 noon on Tuesday, Nov. 24.
Call (201) 798-7800 for more information, or check out our website, www.hudsonreporter.com.
Business owner arrested in extortion scheme
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey, four men, including a Hoboken business owner, were indicted for conspiring to extort the owner of a Hawthorne landscaping and paving business.
Michael C. Sciarra, 74, of Pompton Plains, his nephew Michael A. Sciarra, 46, of Union City, Mark Ventricelli, 25, of Union City, and Peter Ventricelli, 31, of Parlin, were arrested and charged with conspiring to obtain money and property from an individual identified only as “M.H.,” owner of Harrington Landscape, through “the use of threats of force and violence.”
According to the indictment, Peter Ventricelli, who was an employee of Harrington Landscape, at various times, invested money into the company that he initially claimed were his personal or family funds. “He later advised M.H. that the money was owed to Michael C. Sciarra, whom he implied was associated with organized crime, and that M.H. needed to make significant monthly interest payments called ‘vig,’ which would not reduce the principal amount of the claimed debts,” according to the indictment.
Michael A. Sciarra, a partner in Town Check Cashing in Hoboken, allegedly facilitated the extortion by cashing certain Harrington Landscape customer checks presented by M.H. at Town Checking. The cash was then allegedly used by M.H. to make vig payments.
The indictment further alleges that Michael A. Sciarra instructed employees of Town Check Cashing not to file paperwork required by federal law and state banking regulations in order to prevent a paper trail of the vig payments.
According to the indictment, M.H. allegedly made a total of more than $200,000 in vig payments during the course of the alleged extortion conspiracy.
On Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, Nov. 25, Hoboken Housing Authority Commissioner Jake Stuiver, in conjunction with HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia, Save the Youth Academy coordinator Luis Acevedo, and Mayor Dawn Zimmer, will present the Hoboken Family & Friends Thanksgiving Dinner, a full Thanksgiving meal catered and served for residents of the Hoboken Housing Authority.
The dinner will be hosted in the cafeteria of the Multi-Service Center, 124 Grand St. Seniors will be served from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and the rest of the community from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information, call Jake Stuiver at (201) 978-8977 or e-mail email@example.com.
For other places to get free meals, volunteer, and donate, see story inside the newspaper.
New website rallies volunteers
Hoboken Volunteers, a non-profit organization founded to provide an online clearinghouse where residents can connect with other organizations, foundations, and groups who require the assistance of volunteers, announced the launch of its web site, www.hobokenvolunteers.com.
Hoboken Volunteers will be hosting a launch party for its web site, on Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Black Bear Bar & Grill. The event is open to the public with special pricing for attendees.
Founded by 4th Ward resident Timothy Occhipinti, executive director of the organization, Hoboken Volunteers’ mission is to strengthen the community by making it easier for residents to donate their valuable time to worthwhile organizations.
Hoboken Volunteers is currently partnering with 10 organizations listed on the organization’s website, including the Jubilee Center and the Boys and Girls Club.
“We feel these first 10 organizations are just the beginning,” said Ryan Orabone, a member of Hoboken Volunteers’ board. “The web site offers a convenient portal for any individual, business or organization interested in participating in Hoboken Volunteers to utilize. On the site you will find contact information about the organization and how you can volunteer.”
The website includes a user-friendly calendar of events where organizations can post upcoming volunteer opportunities. Individuals can also sign up to become a member through the web site and receive newsletters and updates from Hoboken Volunteers.
The Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse is sponsoring their first annual boathouse fundraiser on Sunday, Nov. 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Lua. The all-volunteer organization depends on community support for the free programs they offer.
For more information, contact Sandy Sobanski by phone at (201) 388-7668 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
School inclusive symposium
The New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education will present a symposium titled “Why Inclusion” for information on how inclusionary education can improve the school district and community.
The symposium will be held at the Hoboken Historical Museum, 1301 Hudson St., on Thursday, Dec. 3 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. followed by question and answer session and wine reception. The event is sponsored by the Hoboken Family Alliance.
Inclusion education refers to equal educational opportunity for special needs or disabled students.
Parents, community leaders, school board members, administrators, and teachers are invited. Education professionals will receive professional development certificates for attendance.
Please reserve a seat via e-mail at email@example.com by Nov. 25, or call (201) 795-5404 for more information.
Holiday fun at the Museum
On Sunday, Dec. 6, singers Dave Lambert and Howard Olah-Reiken will return to the Hoboken Historical Museum for the Holiday Family Concert at 5 p.m.
The family-friendly concert of holiday and winter-themed music encourages the audience to sing along and employ various rhythm and noise-making instruments (think jingle bells) to crank up the holiday spirit. All ages welcome. Admission is $5 per family.
On Tuesday, Dec. 15, the Museum will welcome a group of Christmas carolers from the St. Dominic Academy Women’s Choir from 7 to 9 p.m. Rain date is Wednesday, Dec. 16.
The group will set off on a winding path from the Museum’s entrance to spread holiday cheer throughout the neighborhood, from Hudson St. to Willow Ave., between 11th and 14th streets, stopping to sing a carol or two along the way. Anyone who knows the traditional carols is invited to join in the singing. The event is free, but the choir appreciates offers of cookies and hot beverages along the way.
The choir has performed at Carnegie Hall, and has recorded a CD of Christmas music, which will be available for sale in the Museum for $15 each.
From Wednesday, Dec. 16 to Friday, Dec. 18, Hoboken-based The Theater Company presents a reading of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” at the Museum.
Formerly known as the DeBaun Players, The Theater Company promises a dramatic interpretation to bring the world of Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and 19th century England to life for young and old alike. This family-friendly version was written and directed by Clara Barton Green.
Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evening at the Museum.
Tickets cost $15, including refreshments; just $10 for students and seniors. Tickets will be available for purchase in advance at the Hoboken Historical Museum or at the door.
For all these events, call (201) 656-2240 for more information.