Regional Fire once again cannot hire
North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue (NHRFR) has again been barred from hiring after a U.S. District Court Judge reversed a previous decision in a NAACP lawsuit, a decision the company’s lawyer said will be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
NHRFR Chairperson and Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner said the company had been hoping to hire by the end of this year, so they could be prepared for summer overtime. He said these plans would now have to be reevaluated according to the new court decision, which once again mandates that NHRFR must hire from a tri-county list. They can only hire from a Civil Service Commission list that includes Hudson, Bergen, and Essex County residents.
NHRFR covers the five North Hudson towns of North Bergen, Guttenberg, Union City, West New York, and Weehawken.
The NAACP sued NHRFR in 2007, alleging that its requirement that its members live in the towns it serves unfairly discriminated against African-Americans.
Turner said it is unfair that residents and taxpayers of North Hudson would now not be able to compete for jobs. He also said a clearer policy on residency restrictions is needed. NHRFR Attorney Thomas R. Kobin said the judge’s decision was a double standard, since many communities from Bergen and Essex County, like Newark, Hillside, and East Orange, have their own residency requirements in place.
“We are very disappointed in the judge’s ruling and the fact that he changed his mind from the previous ruling, and we find it a little bewildering that we have to deal with the flip-flop,” said Turner.
The new decision resurrects a preliminary injunction against hiring imposed in February 2009. After NHRFR appealed his decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals, the case was remanded back to Debevoise.
He vacated the preliminary injunction and gave NHRFR the power to hire in April. However,
Kobin said that recently NHRFR had made a motion for summary judgment in NHRFR’s favor, but Debevoise instead granted a partial summary judgment to the NAACP, reinstituting the hiring freeze.
Kolbin believed NHRFR had a “sound basis” to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals within the next week or so.
North Bergen hosts coat drive
North Bergen Township employees in collaboration with the Woodcliff Community Church will be collecting coats of all sizes, from infants to adults, which will be distributed to local families in need.
From now until Oct. 15, you may make your donation at the North Bergen Town Hall, located at 4233 Kennedy Blvd, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the North Bergen Public Library, located at 8411 Bergenline Ave, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the North Bergen Parking Authority, 7224 Bergenline Ave., Monday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; The North Bergen Urban Enterprise Zone, located at 7616 Broadway, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Woodcliff Community Church, located at 7605 Palisade Ave., Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Guttenberg to host ‘Safe Kids Day’
On Saturday, Oct. 9 the town of Guttenberg will hold its annual “Safe Kids Day” from noon to 6 p.m. on J.F.K. Boulevard East between 68th and 71st Streets.
Music, food, games, demonstrations, and much more will be present at this free event.
The rain date is Oct. 10.
Guttenberg will fine pet owners who don’t scoop
According to Guttenberg Director of Public Safety Michael Caliguiro, the town will begin issuing tickets to dog owners who do not pick up after their pets.
Pets also must be on a leash and have a license from the health department of the town. For more information, call (201) 868-2315 at ext. 120.
Free seminar on weight loss surgery
Palisades Medical Center will host a free weight loss surgical options seminar on Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m.
The event will be held at the hospital, located at 7600 River Road. Dr. Stefanie Vaimakis, who is an expert in laparoscopic gastric bypass as well as the “lap band,” is the featured speaker. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and Greek.
Free admission, parking, and refreshments will be provided, along with free transportation from 60th Street and Bergenline Avenue beginning at 5:30 p.m.
For more information, contact Nikki Mederos at (201) 854-5702.