Retiring library director to be honored

This Sunday, Jan. 11 from noon to 3 p.m., residents are invited to say farewell to Katherine Steffens, who recently ended her tenure as director of the Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center and who will be retiring later this month. The library is inviting the community out to reminisce about Secaucus history and Steffens’ years at the library.
Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center, 1379 Paterson Plank Road. For more information, call (201) 330-2083.

New fire chief (for now)

On Jan. 1, George Schoenrock was sworn in as chief of the Secaucus Volunteer Fire Department. William Sallick became battalion chief. Michael Gonnelli continues as deputy chief until the Town Council and attorneys can hammer out an ordinance that will remove an alleged conflict of interest involving Gonnelli. Gonnelli, who also sits on the Town Council, was in line to become chief on Jan. 1. But Gonnelli was barred from taking the position after Town Attorney Frank Leanza advised the clerk not to swear him in, arguing the move could be illegal. Leanza and the state attorney general’s office believe Gonnelli’s positions as fire chief and councilman are in conflict because the Town Council oversees the volunteer firefighters.
Leanza, Town Administrator David Drumeler, councilman and fire liaison Gary Jeffas, and attorney Ralph Lamparello met last week to discuss a resolution Jeffas submitted to the council three days before Christmas that could remove conflicts between Gonnelli’s two positions, thus clearing the way for him to become chief while remaining on the council.
Gonnelli and Mayor Dennis Elwell, neither of whom attended the meeting, both said last week that they are guardedly optimistic that a resolution to the conflict will be reached soon.
If Gonnelli is sworn in as chief Schoenrock, who was battalion chief before Jan. 1, will become deputy. Sallick will remain the current battalion chief.

Bloustein Scholars selected from High Tech

E leven High Tech High School Students were named Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholars this year. Students will earn an annual award of $1,000 a year while in college.
The Bloustein Distinguished Scholar award is a scholarship program under the Garden State Scholarship Program and honors students on the basis on having a class rank of one, two, or three in the graduating class, as well as rank within the top 10 percent of the graduating class at the end of the junior year; or class rank within the top 10 percent of the graduating class and SAT scores of 1260 or higher at the end of the junior year.
Alex Alonso, Christopher Herrera, Sarvagna Patel, Saurabh Patel and Fiona Vu of North Bergen were chosen, along with Guttenberg resident Andrew Gonzalez. Lai-San Ho and Willow Latham of Jersey City; Sara Kim of Secaucus; West New York resident Christian Garcia, and Harrison resident Donald Carpenter were also selected.

Library film series

Now that holidays are over, the free movie series at the library is back to its regular Tuesday afternoon schedule.
Film buffs are invited to view four action dramas this month: Traitor (Jan. 6) a drama starring Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce; Burn After Reading, (Jan. 13) a comedy adventure starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney; Wanted, (Jan. 20) an action flic with Pitt partner Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, and Morgan Freeman; and Appaloosa (Jan 27) a western – they still make westerns! – starring Ed Harris and Rene Zellweger.
Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center, 1379 Paterson Plank Road. For more information, call (201) 330-2083.

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