Secaucus tackling prescription drug abuse

The Secaucus Coalition for a Healthy and Drug Free Community, a community-based organization focused on teen’s substance abuse prevention efforts, is launching a media campaign in Secaucus to raise awareness about the importance of proper disposal of prescription medicines.
Based on a survey conducted by the Hudson County Coalition for Drug Free Communities in 2014, at least 6 percent of teens in Secaucus used prescription drugs to get high in the past year. Of those students who participated in the survey, 28 percent indicated that they obtained these prescription drugs from their own home or a friend’s home without permission.
Opioid abuse has become an epidemic throughout the nation, drawing the attention of health and government officials. At the national level, President Obama passed a proclamation on Aug. 31 to pronounce September 2015 as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. He went on to say: “I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.”
To continue raising awareness about this issue, ads will be placed around town reminding community members about the drop box available at town hall where medications can be dropped off without questions asked. Marra’s Drug Store has been an active supporter, helping spread the message by placing posters at their business and also starting to use prescription drug bags that offer messages about the risk of addiction.
All local businesses and individuals can support community efforts to raise awareness about opioid and prescription drug abuse. Everyone is welcome to attend monthly coalition meetings the third Wednesday of the month at the Secaucus Community Center to find out more about how to support these initiatives. For more information about the coalition and for proper medication disposal, visit or call (201) 330-2000 ext. 3164.

American Dream mall names three tenants: Saks, Lord & Taylor, OFF 5th

After much speculation, the developers of the American Dream shopping and entertainment complex in the Meadowlands publicly announced three retail brands that will have shops in the mall.
Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, and Lord & Taylor have all signed on to the project, according to a press release issued jointly by Triple Five, the developers of the mall, and Hudson’s Bay Company, the retail business group that owns and operates all three brands. Both companies are headquartered in Canada.
The Saks Fifth Avenue store will be 131,906 square feet and the Lord & Taylor shop will be 119,605 square feet. The stores will be located in “The Collections,” a high-end section of the mall. The 30,000-square-foot OFF 5th store will be located on the third level’s “off-price district.”
Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor were both among the names listed earlier in a brochure detailing stores slated to open in the mall, according to a report on late last year. The brochure, distributed at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ annual retail convention in the Jacob Javits Convention Center, also listed Victoria’s Secret and The Gap as brands planning to open retail shops in the mall.
Construction has been underway for months on the much-troubled project, with a network of cranes rising over the wetlands. Triple Five took over the project after two other developers spent $2 billion and failed to bring it to fruition. Originally called Xanadu, it was renamed when Triple Five took over and expanded the scope from a megamall to a sprawling entertainment complex.
Among the other attractions planned for the American Dream facility are an indoor water park, an amusement park, an aquarium, Imax theaters, and a permanent Cirque du Soleil theater.
According to recent reports the opening of the complex has been pushed back from the 2016 holiday season to the summer of 2017.

NJ pays six Meadowlands towns to cover shortfall in hotel surcharge

Early this year a new hotel room surcharge of 3 percent was established in the Meadowlands to replace tax sharing. With that surcharge falling far short of its goal, the state recently stepped in to pay a portion of the approximately $5 million due to six Meadowlands towns.
The old tax sharing system required certain Meadowlands towns with more development to pay into a pool, while other towns with more restrictions on development would be paid out of that pool. Secaucus and North Bergen were among the municipalities paying millions of dollars annually into the fund, under the system they long argued was antiquated and unfair.
Tax sharing was eliminated in February when the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) were consolidated into one entity. The hotel surcharge was instituted at that time to ensure the towns with more development restrictions continued to receive annual payments. The surcharge was predicted to raise between $7 million and $10 million annually, enough to replace the $7.4 million produced by tax sharing. The first of three annual payments of about $2.5 million each was due to the six towns on May 15. But by that point the state Treasury Department had collected less than $1 million from the hotel surcharge. A pro-rated portion of that amount was distributed to the towns of Jersey City, Rutherford, East Rutherford, North Arlington, Ridgefield, and Kearny. The towns quickly protested, since they had factored the expected revenue into their budgets for the year.
During the period of March to August, the state collected only about $1.8 million, well below expectations.
To supplement the lagging fees, a joint legislative committee approved an appropriation of $4.5 million in August, ensuring the towns would receive the balance of the money due to them.
Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli and East Rutherford Mayor James Cassella have both advised the NJSEA that the revenue generated this year by the new hotel surcharge seems too low based on past hotel occupancy.

Wine tasting event to support Palisades Medical Center Foundation set for Sept. 24

Cork Wines and Spirits co-founders Mike Garcia and Debbie Kemp will spearhead a special wine tasting event to support the Palisades Medical Center Foundation on Sept. 24 at the Waterside Restaurant in North Bergen from 6 to 10 p.m.
Attendees will sample from 100 select imported and domestic wines. Hors d’oeuvres, a buffet dinner, and desserts are included. Shuttle buses will leave Cork’s Hoboken location at 1450 Washington St.
Tickets for the wine tasting are $100 each. They can be purchased by calling (201) 854-5008 or online at

HCCDFC will take back unwanted prescription drugs on Sept. 26

On Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Hudson County Coalition for a Drug-Free Community (HCCDFC) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will partner to launch the 10th Take Back Day event.
Take Back Day is an opportunity for the public to dispose of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs, further preventing pill abuse and theft.
Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Bring your pills for disposal at the following locations:
– Secaucus Police Department, 1203 Paterson Plank Rd.
– Hoboken Police Department, 400 1st St., Hoboken
– Hoboken Police Department, 106 Hudson St., Hoboken
– Hoboken Police Department, 221 Jackson St., Hoboken
– Hoboken Police Department, 311 13th St., Hoboken
– Kearny Police Department, 237 Laurel Ave., Kearny
– Bayonne Police Department, 630 Avenue C, Bayonne
The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
“Preventing prescription drug abuse is a high priority for Hudson County,” said Robin F. James, Administrator of Behavioral Health and Addiction Services at the Hudson County Department of Health & Human Services. “The Hudson County Department of Health and Human Services encourages residents to help us prevent the abuse or misuse of prescription drugs by properly disposing of your unused or expired prescriptions on Sept. 26. Taking the time to drop off unused or expired prescriptions could potentially save a life and ensure the health of the community.”
Last September, Americans turned in 309 tons of prescription drugs at nearly 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its eight previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 4.8 million pounds of pills.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Office of Diversion Control site or visit

Submit your pet’s photograph for the annual shelter calendar

The animal shelter is collecting photographs for their third annual pet calendar. Dogs, cats, fish, birds, rabbits, and pets of all kinds will be featured in the 2016 calendar.
To submit your photo, visit the town website at to fill out the form and attach your picture.

Register for charity Wiffle ball tournament on Sept. 27

Register for the Wiffle ball tournament on Sunday, Sept. 27 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Kane Stadium. Proceeds go to stamp out hunger in Secaucus and Hudson County.
Teams consist of at least five players. Each game is three innings. Winning teams will receive trophies. Corporate and at-large team donations are $150. Student team donations are $25 or two bags of canned goods. To register, contact Don Evanson at (201) 902-9742 or

September is Library Card Signup Month

Don’t have a library card? Getting a library card is fast, easy and free. Adults must bring two proofs of Secaucus residency, one with a photo identification and one other document (property tax bill, utility bill, or bank statement). Stop by the library and register for your free card in September, during Library Card Signup Month, and be eligible to win one of two prizes that will be chosen randomly in a raffle.
Already have a library card? Sign up to receive a monthly e-newsletter or provide your email address to receive information about upcoming events and you will also be entered in the prize drawing. Winners will be chosen at the end of the month. Prizes include a chance to win adult and teen books or a $25 TD Bank gift card.

© 2000, Newspaper Media Group