Holiday Hudson Reporter advertising deadlines

Because of the Thanksgiving Day holiday, some of the Hudson Reporter newspapers will have special advertising deadlines.
For The Secaucus Reporter, The North Bergen Reporter, The Union City Reporter, The West New York Reporter, and The Weehawken Reporter, the deadline for classified and display advertising is Tuesday, Nov. 22, at noon.
The Hoboken Reporter and The Jersey City Reporter, the deadline for display advertising is Wednesday. Nov. 23,at noon.
The office will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 24, for the holiday. It will reopen on Friday, Nov. 25. If you have questions about these deadlines or any other issue, please call (201) 798-7800. Also check

Driver charged in accident that killed UC teen

The alleged driver in a fatal accident that occurred Thursday, Sept. 22 on West Side Avenue in North Bergen turned himself in on Wednesday, Nov. 9, police said. A warrant had been out for his arrest, according to Lt. Frank Mena of the North Bergen Police.
The victim in the incident, a Union City High School senior, was killed in the one-car accident. The student was a passenger in the vehicle. The alleged driver, Leonardo Luna, 20, Union City, was charged with death by auto, police say.

Controversial ex-zoning member promoted in UC schools

Critics of Union City Mayor Brian Stack who say he has a heavy hand in the Board of Education had more fodder for their theories recently when Justin Mercado was promoted within the school system to Director of Custodian Services and Governmental Code Compliance (with a salary of $93,200) at a board meeting on Oct. 27.
Mercado had served on the Union City Zoning Board from 2003 until February of 2010, when the Board of Commissioners did not reappoint him. There was a controversy surrounding his place of residence.
While Mercado’s election/voter record said he lived in Union City (which is a requirement in order to serve on the Zoning Board according to New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law), his wife and three children lived in a home in Hasbrouck Heights. At the time, Mercado responded by telling the media that he lived with his family for part of the week and stayed in Union City for the rest of the week.
The issue came to light because a developer had accused Stack of meddling in Zoning Board decisions, pointing to the Mercado matter as one instance. Developer Ralph Lieber was suing the city for $4 million in damages, alleging political favoritism in zoning and building approvals. Lieber alleged that because he was not a political favorite of Stack, Stack wanted the board to vote against a residential building he wanted to erect on his own property. Justin Mercado was among those who voted several times against Lieber’s proposal. Eventually Lieber settled out of court with the city for an undisclosed amount.
However, Mercado’s recent promotion came because someone else retired and not because of politics, said Superintendent of Schools Stanley Sanger on Thursday.
Mercado served in the school system for three years as supervisor in the same program before he took over for Lou Fusco, who retired, beginning on Nov. 1, Sanger said.
As for Mayor Brian Stack’s involvement in the school board vote, Stack spokesman Mark Albiez stated Thursday, “The Board of Education is independent of the city of Union City. The mayor does not have the authority to engage in [their] hiring processes.”

Union City schools hire Hoboken politico

After months of rumors about politically connected Hoboken resident Michele Russo possibly getting a local government job, she was hired late last month to work for the Union City Board of Education — despite the fact that the state censured her in 2002 when she was a Hoboken Board of Education member.
Russo is the mother of Hoboken Councilman Michael Russo, the wife of former Hoboken Mayor Anthony Russo, and a former head of the Hoboken Democratic party.
On Oct. 27, the Union City Board of Education voted to hire Russo for a $45,000-per-year job as administrative assistant for the medical department.
Union City Superintendent of Schools Stanley Sanger said Russo “filled a need within the district as far as the new health screening center at UCHS.” He said he found her to be the best candidate with her “quality organizational skills.”
In 2002, Russo was censured by the state School Ethics Commission for allegedly using public school students’ addresses to mail out campaign literature. According to the Resolution of Censure, in April of 2001 Russo acquired mailing labels containing student information, including addresses, student ID numbers, and homeroom numbers, to send out pro-Anthony Russo postcards. The measure did not require her to step down, and she did not.
For more on this story, see the Hoboken Reporter or

PERC accepting donations for Thanksgiving

The Palisades Emergency Residence Corporation requests donations of non-perishables and paper goods for the upcoming holiday season and for Thanksgiving.
They will also hold a multicultural public Thanksgiving dinner for those who are hungry on Wed., Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. at the soup kitchen located on 111 37th St. in Union City. They anticipate the attendance of over 200 people, so donations and volunteers are vital.
To make a donation or inquire about volunteer opportunities, or for more information, visit the above address or call PERC at (201) 348-8150.

Thanksgiving food drive in WNY

St. Joseph of the Palisades will hold a food drive for the upcoming holiday season. They are in need of canned, nonperishable items and baby food. To donate or participate in the giveaway, one may go to their location on 6401 Palisade Ave. or call (201) 854-7006 for more information.

WNY man completes NYC marathon for cancer

West New York’s Robert Jameson II, son of Patti and Robert “Bob” Jameson I, began training over a year ago in preparation for the ING NYC 2011 Marathon’s 26.2 mile course on Sun., Nov. 6.
Jameson completed the marathon in 5.25 hours on behalf of the American Cancer Society. His wife Ruth and daughter J’dah, as well as his parents, family, and friends cheered him on from the sidelines.
He was inspired to run after he lost three of his grandparents and, most recently, his father-in-law, Ramiro Perez, to cancer.
Jameson also hosted a Charity Flag Football event in West New York — sponsored by Applebee’s Restaurant — and raised over $3,500 for the American Cancer Society.

Spanish Civil War pistol stolen from WNY residence

West New York resident Joanne Olivieri’s antique Spanish Civil War flintlock collectible pistol was allegedly taken from her home on Oct. 1, she told police.
Olivieri told the Reporter that the night before it went missing, she had taken the pistol out to consider having it appraised. Then she left it on the floor. The next day she discovered the pistol was missing, and she called the police.
Police could find no evidence of forced entry, according to a police report. The pistol was not functional, as Olivieri did not possess the small cannons used to load and shoot it.
Olivieri bought the pistol as one of a pair in New Orleans in 1994 as part of her many collections, and gave the other one to her brother, she said.
“It’s a very sentimental piece,” she said, because her daughter, son, and grandchildren have used it for Halloween costumes and played with it over the years.
The pistol is very rare and would be easily identified, as she still has its brass holster piece that broke off at one point while her family was playing with it. She plans to check with local pawn and gun shops and post photos in order to get it back.
“I had planned to pass it on to my son or my grandson, and the loss of it is pretty devastating to me,” Olivieri stated.
Please call the West New York Police Department at (201) 295-5000 with any information about the pistol.

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