Murder suspect shot in Hackensack

A Hackensack police officer on Oct. 15 reportedly shot a Jersey City man suspected of killing his girlfriend and four-year-old son.
Jose Ronald Santos-Alvarez, wanted in connection with a Oct. 7 double murder, was allegedly wielding a knife when the police officer shot him, media said.
Santos-Alvarez was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center for surgery for a non-life threatening wound.
The police officer attempted to arrest the suspect at a house in Hackensack at about 7:30 p.m. Two women, who told the officer the suspect was not in the house, were also arrested and charged with hindering the investigation.
Hudson County officials have been seeking Santos-Alvarez since the alleged strangling of his former girlfriend and smothering of her 4-year-old son in a house on Lincoln Street in Jersey City on Oct. 7.
On Oct. 7 at approximately 5:30 p.m., Jersey City Police responded to 34 Lincoln St. on a report of a female and child not breathing. Monika M. Potoczniak, 27, and her son, Christopher R. Potoczniak, age 4, were found unconscious in their second floor apartment. They were transported to CarePoint Health Christ Hospital, where they were both pronounced dead shortly before 6:30 p.m.
On Oct. 9, the Medical Examiner determined the cause of death for Monika was strangulation and the manner of death was homicide. The Medical Examiner determined the cause of death for Christopher was suffocation and the manner of death was homicide, the prosecutor said.
On Oct. 10, the prosecutor’s office issued an arrest warrant for Santos-Alvarez, 26, charging him with two counts of murder.
The New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence released a statement, “Our thoughts are with their friends, neighbors, and family. As we strive to raise critical awareness, these tragedies serve as stark reminders that domestic violence is one of the most serious public health crises plaguing our state and that we can and must do more to educate our communities in the hopes of preventing these murders…Leaving is the most dangerous time. When victims are attempting to leave a relationship by divorce or in any other way, it is the most dangerous time for them and their children. We must disengage from victim blaming and seek to understand the immense fear of further harm to themselves and their loved ones that victims face. People leave relationships all the time and while it can be stressful, most are not threatened with violence. We must hold batterers accountable in every case of domestic violence – there simply is no excuse. Strangulation is the most lethal of abuse tactics and – as occurred in these cases – can result in death days, weeks or even months after the initial assault. It is also the greatest predictor of homicide for victims of domestic violence. We are alarmed that there have been three domestic violence strangulation murders [in the state] in the last month.”

Boy shot in head after attempted robbery

A 19-year-old boy was shot in the head near Johnston Avenue on Oct. 13, and is in critical condition at Jersey City Medical Center.
“I coached the boy,” said Councilman Daniel Rivera. “This is the second boy I’ve coached that has been shot. We need to do something about gun violence. He didn’t deserve this. Not that anyone does, but this kid is great, special, a good fantastic kid.”
According to Jersey City Police, the boy was walking with his friend at about 10:30 p.m. when two armed men jumped out of a SUV and demanded that the boys empty their pockets. The two boys ran in different directions. One boy fled into a driveway, where he was shot in the head.
Rivera said the boy played baseball for a team he coached.
“He was a great pitcher and first basemen, and he is on the All-County Hudson Catholic team,” Rivera said.
Anyone with information about this incident should call the Jersey City Police Department confidential tipline at (201) 547-JAIL.

Best Side Festival scheduled for Oct. 17

The First Annual Best Side Festival will take place on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Best Side Festival is designed to be a fun, fall neighborhood event.
Grandma Downtown, The Daily Grind, Halftime Bar & Grill, Dante’s Restaurant, El Chilango Taqueria, Gusto Latino, and Andy’s will serve food. Milk Sugar Love will be on site to serve delicious organic ice cream. And Park Tavern will beer.
Nicholas Ciavatta and Friggin’ Fabulous Productions will emcee alongside West Side’s own Rich Kiamco performing, along with Drum & A Tantrum, The Sensational Country Blues Wonders, The Bottomless Mimosas, The Zydeco Revelators, Twiddlin’ Thumbs, and P@Atomic & The Bomb.
There will be family-friendly activities all day long.
For more information, contact: Brittani Bunney or 201-714-2334

Jersey City Youth Golf Program will receive a $20,000 state grant

The Department of Community Affairs announced this week the award of $585,000 in grants to two counties and 28 municipalities through the Recreational Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities (ROID) program. ROID grants ensure that the necessary accommodations are made available for full inclusion so individuals with disabilities can participate in municipal and county recreation programs. The grants also assist local governmental entities in meeting Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
ROID grants support athletic, performing arts, and leisure activities such as, after-school programs, team sports, visual arts, storytelling, and cooking classes. The activities provided to children and adults with disabilities are designed with an emphasis on positive reinforcement, social interaction and community awareness.
“The Christie Administration is dedicated to providing equal access to educational and recreational opportunities for all New Jersey’s residents,” said DCA Commissioner Charles A. Richman. “These grants enhance the lives of adults and children with disabilities in New Jersey by providing participants with the opportunity for social interaction, skill development, physical activity and personal growth.”

Public records portal launched

Mayor Steven Fulop and Jersey City’s Office of Innovation launched the next generation of the city’s open data portal on Oct. 13. The portal, accessible on, makes public data on Jersey City transportation, operations, demographics, housing and more. As of today, the site has been revamped to include enhanced data mapping and visualization features and a more advanced software platform. The original data portal is available at
“Data has transformed how we think about everything from presidential elections to baseball. We need to bring a data-driven approach to our cities, as well,” said Mayor Fulop. “That’s what we’re doing today. We’re opening the data to everyone – urban planners, developers, business owners, journalists and citizens – so they can better understand our city and help chart its future.”
The first version of Jersey City’s open data portal was launched in 2014 to provide better public access to city-wide data. Since then, the team has worked to increase the number and variety of data sets available, as well as the tools to access and visualize them. The updated version provides users with a more advanced platform for tracking basic city operations, mapping city assets and landmarks and analyzing important city collected data.
“Our mission is to make Jersey City more transparent by providing access to data and information on our resources, operations, and activities” said Office of Innovation Director Brian Platt. “We strive to provide a platform that supports data-based decision making, promotes public use of data, and strengthens citizen engagement in the democratic process.”
Since the start of the Fulop administration, the mayor’s office and the recently-formed Office of Innovation has collaborated with all city departments and agencies to create streamlined processes for collecting and sharing data. The variation in data files across departments led to the creation of customized data gathering templates for each in order to ensure accuracy and efficiency in the recording process.

Saint Dominic Academy to hold 17th Annual Leadership Awards Gala

On Wednesday, Oct. 28, Saint Dominic Academy in Jersey City will hold its 17th Annual Leadership Awards Gala to benefit the academy’s scholarship fund. The event will be held at Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville, beginning at 6 p.m.
This year’s three Dominican Pillar Award honorees, all SDA alumnae, have demonstrated steadfast commitment to their professions, their respective communities and to the education of young women. This includes Dorothy Hughes McGrath a 1946 graduate, Vicki McDonald Lindorff, a 1972 graduate, and Lynne Seborowski, a 2001 graduate.
The gala will include both live and silent auctions held throughout the evening as well as a “Fund a Scholar” segment. Proceeds from the gala benefit the scholarship fund which supports young women who are academically capable of excelling at the academy, but financially unable to do so.
For more information about the gala, interested parties can contact Ms. Carol Gaffney at

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