Schundler pushes school board to search nationally for superintendent
Jersey City school board members at a special meeting on Wednesday reacted strongly to recent phone calls from the state’s education commissioner, Bret Schundler, asking them to conduct a nationwide search for a new schools superintendent. The matter is controversial because the board has made it clear that they favor extending the contract of the existing state-appointed superintendent, Dr. Charles Epps, into 2013. Some residents have protested the extention.
The phone calls to the nine board members occurred a few days after a June 22 special meeting on an extension of schools superintendent Dr. Charles Epps’ contract. Board members said they voted to enter negotiations on the terms of the contract.
The contract ends June 2011, and board members want to extend it for two years after that.
Schundler’s phone calls, according to board members on Wednesday, were meant to “encourage” them to consider doing a nationwide search. The idea was first proposed in April by board member Angel Valentin, who has since changed his view on the matter and is now in favor of extending Epps’ contract.
Board members were anything but encouraged by the phone calls. Board member Sean Connors at Wednesday meeting said when he spoke to Schundler, he asked him if Gov. Christopher Christie had carried out a nationwide search to fill the education commissioner’s position.
Beldini to report to Texas prison unless judge extends her bail
Former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini will have to report to a Texas prison on Monday, Aug. 2 unless a federal judge allows her to remain free on bail, according to a published report.
Beldini and her attorney, Brian Neary, appeared in front of U.S. District Judge Jose Linares on Tuesday to request that she remain free on $100,000 bail pending appeal of her conviction.
Beldini was one of 43 people arrested in July 2009 in a federal corruption and money laundering sting that brought down public officials and religious leaders across New Jersey. She was convicted in February on bribery charges pertaining to her accepting $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions from government informant Solomon Dwek for Mayor Jerramiah Healy’s 2009 reelection campaign.
Judge Linares said he would consider the request and either issue a ruling before she reports on Monday, or delay her prison date.
Jersey City celebrates 27th anniversary of National Night Out
On Tuesday, Aug. 3, Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, the Municipal Council, and the Community Relations Unit of the Jersey City Police Department will host the 27th Anniversary of National Night Out (NNO), a crime prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW). Events will take place simultaneously from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Pershing Field and Arlington Park.
National Night Out is celebrated by citizens, law enforcement agencies, community groups, businesses, and local officials in more than 10,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide.
For more information, please contact Jersey City Police Officer Lorenzo Tosado, Community Relations, at (201) 547-5682 or (551)265-4934.
Redevelopment Agency director to lead chapter of the Urban Land Institute
Robert Antonicello, executive director of the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, has been chosen to serve as the chairman of the Urban Land Institute’s Northern New Jersey Chapter.
Antonicello becomes the first public official selected to serve as chairman since the district council was certified on July 1, 2003. Mr. Antonicello was the 2008 ULI Public Official of the Year.
“Obviously I’m honored to be chosen by my peers in the real-estate community. I am committed to continuing the excellent work and guidance ULI provides to the industry’s professionals,” stated Antonicello.
With 51 District Councils and 16 European Councils, Urban Land Institute’s membership has swelled to 30,000 members worldwide.
Jersey City offers summer music concerts
Local non-profit the Youth Music Group will host a free special outdoor concert featuring the newly-formed Jersey City Youth Chorus.
The concert will take place in Lincoln Park by the gazebo opposite Westside Avenue on Saturday, Aug. 7 from 1 to 2 p.m. The concert will feature the vocal and instrumental talents of local Jersey City youth (especially from Jersey City Public Housing at Marion Gardens) who have participated in a special two-week summer music program. Children will perform traditional American folk songs brought to this country by many different cultures from around the globe.
The summer music concert will be directed by Beth Cohen of Cohen Arts & Education and Meera Jaffrey of the Learning Community Charter School. Rain location: Marion Gardens Community Room, 13 Dales Ave., Jersey City.
The Jersey City Youth Chorus & Summer Music Program has been funded by United Way of Hudson County and a Jersey City Community Services Block Grant.
For more information on the concert or the Jersey City Youth Chorus, contact Irene Borngraeber at Irene@youthmusicgroup.org, or call (201) 521-0345.
Summer job program opens for teens
The Urban League of Hudson County Chief Executive Program (CEO) currently has open enrollment for Hudson County youths between the ages of 14 and 18.
The program is free of charge and operates Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Urban League of Hudson County Inc. is located at 253 Martin Luther King Drive in Jersey City.
The youth program focuses on career and life choices, job skills training, health and safety, financial literacy, cultural engagement, self-discipline, and recreational trips.
For more information contact La-Trenda Ross, program coordinator at (201) 451-8888 x 219 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org.