North Bergen High School recognized as one of NJ’s best public high schools

North Bergen High School has been awarded a bronze medal by U.S. News and World Report magazine, recognizing it as one of New Jersey’s best public high schools. The new rankings utilize several data points to evaluate schools, including test scores, student demographics, college readiness, faculty-student ratio, and more. The bronze medal award is attributable to the district’s intense focus on reading skills, dedicated faculty, and talented students, according to Superintendent Dr. George Solter.
North Bergen’s school district is the most underfunded by state aid in New Jersey, according to the Education Law Center. Last year the district received $24 million less than what it is entitled to receive under the School Funding Reform Act formula.
“We are all very proud to see our students, faculty and administration’s hard work recognized with this ranking,” said Dr. Solter. “Despite being tremendously underfunded by the state, North Bergen High School is still providing students with a top-flight public education and preparing them well for college and the workforce.”

Three Board of Education members reelected, school tax increase rejected

The three incumbents, Luis Diaz, Elaine Nicoliello, and Kanaiyalal Patel, were all reelected to the North Bergen school board last week. Running against them were six contenders for the three available spots on the school board.
Voters also rejected a school operations tax levy increase of 8 percent for the coming year. The levy would have resulted in an increase of approximately $85 to $90 to a property owner’s tax bill, based on an average of $140,000 assessment per home.
This was the 13th consecutive year that North Bergen voters rejected a proposed levy increase. Now the school board may have to cut its budget.

Union City Chamber Players to perform Brahms

Union City Chamber Players (UCCP) will present a program featuring Brahms’s Piano Quintet in F Minor on Sunday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Emanuel United Methodist Church, 3310 New York Ave., Union City.
Guest artists Blanca Ugelli (piano), Robert Lawrence (violin), and E. Zoe Hassman (cello) – who appeared in UCCP’s November 2013 concert of Schubert’s Trout Quintet – will join Larry Fader (viola) and violinist Peter Borten for this Romantic masterwork.
Flutist Nadine Scharman, mezzo-soprano Bernadette LaFond, and pianist Marina Korsakova-Kreyn will also perform French songs by Thomas, Ravel, and Massenet around themes of love, springtime, and loss. Scharman has performed at Carnegie Hall, among many other venues, and is in demand as a recitalist and chamber musician.
The Union City Chamber Players unite locally-based professional musicians to bring low-cost, high-quality performances of classical chamber music to the Union City community.
Tickets can be purchased for $10 at the door. Audience members are welcome to join the artists for a free reception following the concert.
UCCP will also present the Brahms and French song program on May 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Crane’s Mill, 459 Passaic Ave, West Caldwell.

World premiere of Cuban film and conversation with renowned filmmaker Ricardo Bacallao

The city of Union City presents “Conversation about Cuban Film” with renowned filmmaker Ricardo Bacallao, known as “The Cuban Woody Allen.” The event will take place on Wednesday, May 21 at 8 p.m. at the William V. Musto Cultural Center, 420 – 15 St., Union City. There will be live music and refreshments. Admission is free.
The evening is dedicated to a discussion about Cuban cinema, its style, and its influence on filmmaking world-wide. The world premiere screening of the short film “Mondongo Cubano” will be followed by a question and answer period with Bacallao.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Bacallao graduated from Havana’s Superior Institute, and received his MFA in film from NYU. While living in Madrid and Berlin, he participated several times in the Berlin Film Festival, including being awarded as the first Cuban representative to the festival’s Talent Campus in 2003. In 2010, a segment he produced for CUNY TV’s magazine show Nueva York won a New York Emmy Award. Since that time, he has been working as a freelance director, cameraman, producer, and editor of documentary and fiction film.

Free informational legal sessions provided at Jersey City court house

“Court Night” consists of a series of information sessions providing practical information and resource material promoting a greater understanding of the court’s function. Attorneys and court representatives will conduct the sessions and will be available to answer general questions from the public concerning each subject matter.
Topics include divorce, child support, landlord/tenant issues, expungement of criminal records, and caregiver law. Any personal information provided to the court is confidential and will not be shared with outside agencies.
Sessions will take place at the Justice William J. Brennan Courthouse, 583 Newark Ave. in Jersey City from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21. Registration begins at 6 p.m.
Court night is free but reservations are requested. To reserve a seat, e-mail or call (201) 217-5109. When registering via e-mail or phone, please provide your name, telephone number, and the workshop you would like to attend.

Progress at American Dream megamall

Gov. Christopher Christie appeared at the signing of a labor agreement on Monday, April 28 involving the American Dream megamall in East Rutherford. The agreement, between the Bergen County Building and Construction Trades Council and mall developers the Triple Five Group, was a significant step forward for the troubled enterprise.
“One of the first projects is going to be getting that ugly outside of the building the hell off of this building,” the governor told attendees.
The orange and blue exterior of the building has frequently been cited as an eyesore. Triple Five plans to replace it with a sleek, glass façade.
In addition to a shopping mall, the complex will include an amusement park and an indoor ski slope and water park.
The mall, once known as Xanadu, encountered trouble almost from inception in 2003, with two developers exiting the project after spending nearly $2 billion.
Most recently a protracted lawsuit with the NY Giants and Jets was settled by an agreement between the involved parties, clearing the way for Triple Five to move forward. They expect to spend almost $2 billion more to complete the project.
Gov. Christie estimated that 9,000 construction workers would be needed to complete the job, and 10,000 employees would be required to staff the complex, although other groups have placed the estimate at fewer than 6,000 construction jobs.

New ‘e-waste’ recycling for North Jersey

Morgen Industries Inc. announced recently that it will offer electronics waste drop-off at its Secaucus recycling facility. Businesses, local municipalities, and residents can call to schedule drop off of obsolete servers, switches, computers, LCD monitors, laptops, printers, cables, scanners, VCRs, cell phones, and other types of electronics otherwise known as “e-waste.” Certain types of electronics such as CRT monitors may incur a service fee.
The retired equipment will be properly de-manufactured and recycled following strict environmental and safety guide lines.
Based in Secaucus, Morgen Industries Inc. works in the Information Technology sector, specializing in data center relocation and decommission of all types of IT equipment. Morgen Industries Inc. is an NJDEP class D solid waste licensed facility that is compliant with federal and state regulations.
Public or private events such as street fairs or corporate employee events can also sponsor an
“E-waste Collection Day.” Contact Morgen Industries to schedule set up of disposal bins and pick-up.
Morgen Industries, Inc. is located at 7 Penhorn Avenue, Building 7, Secaucus. For information call (201) 223-0072 or visit

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