17th ‘Fiesta in America’ showcases Asian American products, services this weekend
Fiesta in America, the largest indoor gathering of Filipinos in the northeast, is coming to the Meadowlands Expo Center on Aug. 15 and 16. With the theme of “Filipinos Mean Business,” the two-day event aims to showcase Asian American products and services.
Part trade show and part entertainment event, the fiesta will showcase products that include apparel, jewelry, shoes, cosmetics, and textiles, as well as financial services and real estate. Free workshops will cater to small businesses and self-improvement.
“It is a conscious effort to portray the Filipino American market as an important source of high-income consumers for mainstream businesses that have significant stakes in ethnic marketing,” said Vice President for Marketing Len Manansala, who expects an audience of about 10,000 attendees.
Also featured will be a food court offering native cuisine, and concerts beginning at 5 p.m. each night. Filipino and U.S. musicians and dancers will perform, along with headlining Filipino actresses Vina Morales and Maxine Magalona, and television star Edgar Allan Guzman.
The event runs from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15 and resumes at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning for Mass, ending at 9 p.m. Tickets on the day of the show are $25 per adult and $18 for students and seniors.
Ice cream party at Uncle D’s on Aug. 16 to support Animal Shelter
Come join the ice cream party at Uncle D’s Ice Cream Shop on Sunday, Aug. 16 from 5 to 9 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the Secaucus Animal Shelter. As an extra bonus, Freshpet will be serving free frozen yogurt for your dogs.
Uncle D’s is located at 1430 Paterson Plank Rd.
Secaucus joins DEP efforts to combat illegal dumping
Secaucus, along with Camden and Trenton, has partnered with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in their recent crackdown on illegal dumping on state recreational properties. The DEP’s “Don’t Waste Our Open Space” initiative was launched in April, 2014 and has yielded 34 arrests for illegal dumping in state parks and wildlife management areas so far this year, bringing to 62 the number of enforcement actions since the program started.
Illegal dumping, which includes everything from unlawful disposal of construction debris and old TVs and computers to the dumping of car parts and tires – and even entire vehicles – has been a growing problem in the state. “We hope getting more people to become aware of illegal dumping and to take action will help act as a deterrent for those who think they get away with a crime that directly impacts the environment, wildlife, and people who enjoy the outdoors,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “We want illegal dumpers to know that there will be consequences for their actions.”
Earlier this year, Secaucus launched an illegal dumping initiative based on the methods and successes of the state program. With direction and assistance from DEP’s program, the municipality is already seeing results.
“Forging this important partnership with the DEP will better enable our town to combat illegal dumping through both enforcement and education,” said Mayor Michael Gonnelli. “The town of Secaucus looks forward to combining efforts with the DEP to protect our environment, natural resources and the beauty of our community.”
A new mobile application has been launched as part of the program, allowing users to report violations so the DEP can address the debris and launch an investigation. The application can be accessed on smart phones at njwebmap.state.nj.us/DEPStopDumping, allowing users to anonymously report the location, size, and type of the dump, as well as a picture of the debris. Once the site is reported, DEP investigators will work to find the responsible party.
“We will continue to seek maximum penalties for illegal dumping in our state parks and on our recreational properties,” Commissioner Martin said.
See ‘Bandstand’ at The Paper Mill Playhouse
Reserve your spot now for “Bandstand” at the Paper Mill Playhouse on Wednesday, Oct. 10. The bus will leave the Recreation Center at 5:30 p.m. The price is $35. Must sign up and pay by Sept. 18. Limited seating. Call Lisa Snedeker at (201) 617-5917 for more information.
Secaucus FD called to extinguish NJ Transit bridge fire
On Friday, Aug. 7 at 12:43 p.m., the Secaucus Fire Department was called to the Upper Hackensack River Bridge for a fire reported by the lift bridge operator. Upon arrival they found an approximately 20 x 10 foot section of the lift portion of a train bridge (mostly wooden planks used as a walkway for NJ Transit workers) involved in a fire. NJ Transit stopped train service on their main line of the rail system for an hour and 15 minutes until firefighters could extinguish the fire, then remove all their equipment.
The cause of the fire has not been determined and there were no injuries.
The Secaucus Fire Department used Marine Units 1 and 2, along with Kearny Marine 3, to fight the fire from the river. Also, from the land, they used Engines 1, 3 and 4 which stretched 1,000 feet of hose from the nearest street, Castle Road and Meadowlands Parkway.
This incident occurred only a few days after the major truck fire on the NJ Turnpike which caused significant traffic delays during rush hour. The bridge fire occurred in the middle of the day so it caused some minor delays.
SFD Marine 1 had undergone a major overhaul that included a new fire pump about a week earlier, just in time to fight this fire.
Braddock Park Arts Festival comes to the library
Did you miss the Braddock Park Arts Festival 2015? Stop by the Secaucus Public Library during the months of August and September to view a selection of woodcuts, monoprints and ceramic tiles created by artists and the community during the festival. The exhibition runs through Sept. 30 at the Secaucus Public Library, 1379 Paterson Plank Road.
Hundreds of millions spent on scrapped ARC tunnel may go to waste
Nearly $1.2 billion from New Jersey taxpayers, users of the Port Authority’s toll roads, bridges, tunnels and airports, and from the federal government, has been spent on the so-far failed effort to expand rail access across the Hudson, and according to a story in The Record, hundreds of millions of dollars will be lost forever, spent on lawyers, environmental studies and other costs that will never be recovered.
The paper based its story on “new information obtained from the Port Authority, NJ Transit and other government agencies.”
Gov. Christopher Christie canceled a planned new rail tunnel known as Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) in October 2010, claiming New Jersey taxpayers would be unduly burdened with the cost of its construction. The project would have doubled train service between New Jersey and New York after it was to open in 2018.
So far, commuters and taxpayers have little to show for the expenditures except a fleet of new NJ Transit trains and the rights to property that may become useful in the future. But that potential hinges on the fate of Amtrak’s unfunded plan to build its own tunnel under the Hudson.
The long-term effect of Christie’s cancellation became clear in recent weeks as a series of breakdowns and electrical failures near New York Penn Station repeatedly crippled train service in New Jersey at the height of rush hour.
Experts predict failures of this sort are likely to continue and worsen until new tunnels are built. The existing tunnels are 105 years old, and are deteriorating rapidly due to flooding from Superstorm Sandy, the story quotes Amtrak as saying.
New Jersey forfeited $3.3 billion in federal support for the ARC tunnel, money that was spent instead on transit projects in California and other states. Under the leadership of Christie appointees, the Port Authority redirected another $3 billion from ARC to road projects in New Jersey, including $1.8 billion to rebuild the Pulaski Skyway.
That decision is under investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the federal Securities and Exchange Commission as to whether bondholders were misled when told the New Jersey road projects would benefit the Lincoln Tunnel.
The roads in question are miles away from the tunnel.
Amtrak has proposed a project called Gateway that calls for a tunnel, a new train station next to Penn Station, a new rail yard in New Jersey, new bridges over the Hackensack River, and two new tracks between Newark and New York Penn Station.
But Amtrak must get financing for the project approved by the Republican-led Congress, which just passed a bill to cut Amtrak’s funding by $242 million.
Then Amtrak must start planning the tunnel almost from scratch, beginning with an environmental review that could take years.
Kids invited to free tour of GRASP Robotics Lab in Phila.
Invntr, a science, engineering and robotics program based in Secaucus, has organized a tour of the GRASP robotics lab at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia on Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 2 p.m. The visit is for children ages 7 to 18 and their parents.
During the hour-long tour, participants will see demonstrations and meet the creators of the robots. The lab has created cutting-edge robots that mimic the swarming behavior in the animal kingdom and traverse difficult terrain using multiple legs. A modular robotics lab focuses on how small mechanisms are combined in a modular way to create complex things. Also on display will be autonomous soccer-playing robots that walk around, find the ball, kick, and even get up if they fall. The team at GRASP is preparing for the Robo Cup tournament in China.
Children from Secaucus and neighboring towns are welcome to attend. The tour is free. Attendees will need to get to Philadelphia and back on their own. To sign up, contact Sidd Saran at email@example.com or (201) 691-7498. Information on the lab can be found at grasp.upenn.edu
Stranded cat rescued from base of Route 3 bridge
On Saturday Aug. 8 at approximately 3:30 p.m., a passing boat notified authorities of a cat stranded on the base of the Route 3 West bridge. The Secaucus Fire Department launched Marine 2 to investigate. Upon arrival they discovered a cat walking along the wooden structure that protects the bridge pylons just above the Hackensack River. Efforts to catch the cat were unsuccessful so a trap was set and within a few hours the SFD returned with Animal Control to find the cat inside. He was safely removed and taken to the animal shelter. How the cat was able to find his way to the bottom of the bridge has not been determined.
Sign up to participate in the town-wide garage sale on Aug. 29
The mayor and Town Council invite all residents to participate in a town wide garage sale on Saturday, Aug. 29 starting at 8 a.m.
Call Judy at (201) 330-2034 to put your address on the list that will be posted. Rain date is Sunday, Aug. 30.
August food pantry donations needed
The food pantry is looking for donations of breakfast items for the month of August. Items can be dropped at the Senior Center, 101 Centre Ave., Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please call Patt or Eileen with any questions at (201) 330-2014.
The food pantry is always looking for donations of $10 gift cards to Walmart or ShopRite.
Take a pontoon boat ride in August
For those who have glimpsed the Meadowlands only from the surrounding highways or the window of a commuter train, a leisurely, two-hour boat tours reveal a whole new environment, including acres of preserved wetlands and a thriving ecosystem, all framed by a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline. Expert staff will narrate the tours, talking about the Hackensack River estuary’s storied history as they point out birds, diamondback terrapins, and other wildlife along the way. Wear comfortable footwear and don’t forget your camera; the cruises afford great photo opportunities.
Tours are for ages 10 and up. The cost is $15 per person. Advance registration and payment are required. Boats leave at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 18, 20 and 26; 10 a.m. on Aug. 19; and 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 22.
All tours launch from River Barge Park, 260 Outwater Lane, Carlstadt. For registration forms go to www.njmeadowlands.gov and click on “2015 River Tour Season.” For more information and to register call (201) 460-4640.