Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s birth
On Thursday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m., the Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s birth with a concert featuring many of his most beloved songs. Entertainer Dave Deluca will pay tribute to the man, his music, and an incredible era of American musical history. The concert will take place on the library’s second floor and is open to all.
Lee Penna, community outreach coordinator of Secaucus Public Library, expressed her excitement about the upcoming performance. “I am looking forward to having Dave Deluca help us celebrate this milestone in popular musical history, just a few days before the actual centennial of his birth, which is on Dec. 12. Dave engages his audience with songs, stories, and encourages the audience to sing along. Everyone is sure to have a good time.”
While registration for this concert is not mandatory, residents are encouraged to RSVP so that the library staff can make appropriate seating and refreshment preparations. Registration may be done online at secaucuslibrary.org or by calling (201) 330-2083.
Secaucus PBA kicks off annual Toy and Necessities Drive
The Secaucus Policeman’s Benevolent Association (PBA) 84 annual Toy and Necessities Drive is underway. “For many years now the officers of the Secaucus PBA 84 have been collecting new, unwrapped toys and other items to be distributed to needy Secaucus families,” said retired Police Captain Joseph Kickey. “Seeing the faces on the children and the families is so rewarding that those of us who make the deliveries around Christmas get more out of it than we give.”
As chairman of the PBA’s Civic Association, Kickey noted that in addition to unwrapped new toys, the PBA is collecting new clothing, blankets, toiletries, and non-perishable food. Items are distributed not only to Secaucus residents, but to hospitalized children and those in the Tomorrow’s Children Wing at Hackensack Hospital, and to the St. Jude Homeless Shelter. “Secaucus residents have always been very generous in support of our endeavor,” said Kickey, “and we know we can count on them again.”
As in past years, drop-off boxes will be located in the lobby of the Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center, Secaucus Town Hall, Secaucus Recreation Center, and both Huber Street and Clarendon Schools through Dec. 18. Anyone interested in donating money or retail and supermarket gift cards, or who have items they want picked up, should call the PBA office at (201) 866-1633 and leave a message and phone number.
Holiday lights illumination contest begins Dec. 12
Does your home resemble the Griswold house from “Christmas Vacation?” If so, this is for you. The mayor and Town Council invite all residents to participate in an exterior illumination contest. The three categories are Martha Stewart, Clark Griswold, and Best Block.
Winners will be announced at the Jan. 12 council meeting. Lawn signs will be posted by Impressive Printing. The contest runs from Dec. 12 to 23.
Busy day for Secaucus on Dec. 5
Several events on Dec. 5 will keep the town buzzing from early ’til late. The festivities begin with the Holiday Bazaar at 11 a.m. at the Recreation Center, 1200 Koelle Blvd. Come to purchase unique gifts, crafts, and decorations, and enjoy food vendors. The event will run until 4:30 p.m.
Next it’s the annual Holiday Parade, featuring Santa Claus. The parade kicks off at 7 p.m. at the municipal parking lot across from Huber Street School.
The party culminates at the annual tree lighting, immediately following the parade. There will be music, food, a petting zoo, wagon rides, and more.
Pictures with Santa to benefit local foster children
Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) will hold two “Pictures with Santa” fundraisers to raise money for CASA and foster children living in Hudson County. The events will be held on Sunday, Dec. 6 at Lulu’s at the W Hotel, 225 River St. in Hoboken, and on Saturday, Dec. 12 at Battello, 502 Washington Blvd. in Jersey City, both beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 5:30 p.m. Food and drink will be available throughout the day at both locations.
Last year, more than 1,100 children came through the foster care system in Hudson County. CASA provides advocacy for over 200 children each year.
December is Children’s Art Month at the Secaucus Public Library
The Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center is hosting its annual Children’s Art Show from Dec. 1 to Jan. 13 throughout the children’s department on the library’s first floor. This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Secaucus Public Library.
All residents aged 17 or younger are welcome to participate. “All types of art are welcome,” said Cecilia Mucciolo, head of Children’s Services at the library. “We are looking forward to seeing a wide variety of art, including paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, and other mixed media works. Students may submit up to two works per person, and they should have the artist’s name and the title of the work (if any) attached or written on the back. If possible, paintings or drawings done on paper should be matted or framed.”
If the artwork requires table space or measures more than 11 by 17 inches, contact the children’s department staff at (201) 330-2083 x4004 before submitting.
To celebrate the works of the young artists, the Friends of the Library will host a reception and recognition ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. in the children’s department. Light refreshments will be served, and the students will be individually recognized for their talents. RSVPs for the reception are encouraged, so that the Friends can better plan to accommodate all attendees.
High Tech High School ranked among 25 best public high schools in America
High Tech High School was recently recognized as one of the 25 best public high schools in America by Niche, an online ratings and reviews website that covers public education. The school placed 12th in the rankings, which take into account state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, student and parent reviews, and more. High Tech was the highest ranked school in Hudson County and the third best in New Jersey, according to the rankings.
“High Tech High School and our entire district have received numerous awards over the years because of the incredible work being done every day by our students, faculty, staff and administrators,” said Hudson County Schools of Technology Superintendent of Schools Frank Gargiulo. “Our district strives to continue bringing innovative new programs to our students to enrich their academic lives and prepare them for a successful future in the career of their choice. This kind of recognition is a signal to our entire learning community that their hard work is being noticed and celebrated.”
A public school located in North Bergen, High Tech High School provides students from throughout the county with a rigorous academic curriculum in a technology-centered environment. The school offers career-focused programs in many disciplines including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), performing arts, technology and visual arts, and culinary arts. The school serves 937 students in grades 9-12 and accepts applications from hundreds of Hudson County students each year.
1,000 hygiene kits packed following ‘Walk Against Poverty’
The Hygiene Project of Secaucus held a two-mile Walk Against Poverty on Sunday, Nov. 22, featuring a mural tour through town. Councilman Gary Jeffas led the walk, explaining the history and context of the murals. About 90 residents participated, along with Council Members Robert Costantino, William McKeever, and Susan Pirro.
The second annual Walk Against Poverty was designed to raise awareness of youth homelessness, and was followed by an address by guest speaker Nancy Aleman, director of community outreach for CarePoint Health Organization. Aleman brought the mobile clinic bus and explained that CarePoint provided free medical service for low income families and service to local shelters in Hudson County. Adult participants at the event were provided with a free blood pressure and cholesterol check, and children were able to visit the mobile clinic to learn about their operations.
Also speaking were Secaucus students Marissa and Matthew Grillo, both Congressional Award gold medal winners, who spoke to the youth participants and encouraged them to get involved in the service program along with their families. (See related story.)
The event concluded with the attendees packing 1,000 hygiene kits to benefit the Hoboken Shelter, St. Lucy’s Shelter, and others. Sponsors for the event were the Town of Secaucus, Citicraze Casualware, Proform Acoustics Surfaces LLC, Olive Garden Restaurant, and Legends Diner.
Hackensack Riverkeeper removes 28,000+ lbs. of trash from waterways in 2015
The clean water advocacy group Hackensack Riverkeeper took part in 24 cleanups in 2015. Volunteers removed trash and debris from the Hackensack River and its tributaries from Clarkstown, New York in the north to Bayonne in the south. A total of 1,011 Riverkeeper volunteers removed 28,660 pounds of trash from the environment, including litter and illegally dumped tires, as well as untold amounts of wooden and metal debris.
While that may seem like a shocking amount of trash, Outreach and Cleanup Coordinator Caitlin Doran notes that the piles are definitely getting smaller. “The satisfaction you get when you haul out 10 bags is equal to the feeling you get when you haul out 100 bags,” she explained. “It means you are getting ahead of the problem, and believe me, you work just as hard to get those 10 bags of trash.”
Hackensack Riverkeeper conducts cleanups annually from April through November as part of their overall program season. The final cleanup of 2015 was held on Nov. 21 in conjunction with a Boy Scout troop in Maywood. Twenty participants removed 22 bags of trash, along with debris like a washing machine tub and outdoor furniture.
Besides local Scout troops, Hackensack Riverkeeper successfully organized volunteers from area businesses like United Water and Samsung USA, and colleges like Fairleigh Dickinson University and NJ Institute of Technology. They partnered with communities like Hackensack and River Edge and groups like the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey to advance their mission of protecting, preserving, and restoring the Hackensack River.
Involving the public is at the heart of Riverkeeper’s mission, creating a wider community of watershed stewards. Leaders of community groups or companies looking to plan a similar service event are invited to call (201) 968-0808 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zombies return to Secaucus Dec. 4 to 6
Walker Stalker Con, the annual convention for fans of the wildly popular television show “The Walking Dead,” lurches once again into the Meadowlands Expo Center from Dec. 4 to 6. Last year the convention sold out several times over, with a reported 7,000 tickets sold each day for a venue that holds 2,000.
Many of the key actors from the show – living or dead – will appear over the weekend, speaking on panels, selling autographs, and posing for photos with fans willing to shell out big bucks for the privilege. Cast members of “The Vampire Diaries,” “Gotham,” and other favorites will also be on hand throughout the weekend, along with many artists and vendors.
For more information visit walkerstalkercon.com/newyorknewjersey.
County sheriff hires 12 new officers and five new investigators
With dozens of proud family members in attendance along with Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari and local elected leaders, the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office officially swore in 12 new sheriff’s officers and five new sheriff’s investigators at a ceremony on Dec. 12. Ten of the new hires are of Hispanic heritage and one is of Arabic descent, a testament to the department’s commitment to properly reflecting the diversity of Hudson County. The ceremony was held at the Hudson County Administration Building in Jersey City.
“This is a very significant day for the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office and it shows our continued commitment to hire qualified diverse individuals,” said Schillari. “These new hires have demonstrated the commitment, honor and sense of duty to protect the residents of Hudson County.”
The new hires have all completed training and graduated from the Morris County Police Academy, and will join the force shortly. Two of the new officers are military veterans that have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Two others have experience in public safety under the Departments of State Corrections and Hudson County Corrections.
The new sheriff’s investigators are Christopher Crossley, Makhil Kowlessar, Eric Negron, Mark Santos (Police Academy Academic Award winner), and Nicholas Tanelli.
The new sheriff’s officers are Michael Gregory, Angel Santiago, Jorge Orejuela, Renato Maure, Jimmy Gonzalez, Gregory Nicholson, Eduardo Mena-Ramos, Yanira Velazquez, Jonathan Gil, Biron Mendoza, Alan Elawady, and George Somarriba.
Elected officials at the ceremony included Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise and Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano, along with Undersheriffs Andrew Conti, Bruce Lamparello, and Francine Shelton, Chief Oliver King, and Chief of Staff Robert Baselice.
Secaucus water safe after water main break
After the recent water main break in Hoboken, some Secaucus residents may have experienced discolored water from time to time. According to United Water, Secaucus’s water supply remained safe and there was no need to boil water.
An advisory was sent to Secaucus residents updating them on the situation. However, not all residents are signed up to receive advisories. Because it is crucial to receive information quickly in the event of disasters and other emergencies, Secaucus residents are strongly urged to sign up for Swift Reach 911. The notification system enables the township to provide critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as severe weather, unexpected road closures, missing persons, and evacuation of buildings or neighborhoods. The system also allows the township to advise residents of important community news.
Visit the town website at secaucusnj.gov and click on the “Swift Reach 911” link in the left column to be notified in the event of critical community alerts or emergency situations. You can receive time-sensitive messages wherever you specify.
First-Sunday-of-the-month Nature Walk is Dec. 6
Join a free walk along Disposal Road, adjacent to DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst on Sunday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to noon. This is one of the very best places to watch (and photograph) winter raptors in the entire Meadowlands region. For information contact (201) 230-4983 or email@example.com.
Memoir writing workshop to start at library on Jan. 5
The Secaucus Public Library announced that the first meeting of its new memoir-writing group will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. The group will meet in the Panasonic Meeting Room on the library’s second floor and is open to all adults over the age of 18. The group will continue to meet on the first Tuesday evening of each month.
Donna Carlson, who taught writer’s workshop courses as well as advanced placement English literature and language for over twenty-five years at Secaucus High School, will lead the workshops. Carlson also has experience as an adjunct professor at various state colleges throughout New Jersey. Following her retirement from her position at Secaucus High School, she is looking forward to working with writers of all ages and backgrounds in an informal, non-academic setting.
According to Carlson, “We all have a story, many stories that we carry within us. Some are a source of deep pleasure and delight, others difficult to relive – but all in some way inform our lives and together create our uniqueness. Memoir writing, especially among a community of writers, can serve as a creative outlet for a path to self discovery.”
Library Director Jenifer May expressed her hope that the monthly workshops would appeal to beginners and established writers alike. “The format of the workshops will involve using writing prompts to recall and write about specific memories. This is a great starting place for anyone who is interested in memoir-writing, whether you are writing down your memories to share with your friends and family, writing as a way of working through your own thoughts and emotions, or writing with the goal of sharing your stories with a wider public audience. The focus is really on providing a supportive environment to explore our own stories, as well as to improve our writing technique.”
The memoir-writing workshop is one of two new literary programs Carlson will be leading at the library this January. The second program, a poetry discussion group, will start on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. More information regarding the poetry discussion group will be announced shortly. Registration for both groups is strongly encouraged and can be done through the library’s website or by calling (201) 330-2083 x4011.
Nonfiction book group to start at library Jan. 7
The Secaucus Public Library will offer a nonfiction book discussion at 7 p.m. the first Thursday of every month beginning Jan. 7, 2016. The group will meet in the NBA conference room on the library’s second floor. Discussions are expected to last between 60 to 90 minutes and are geared towards adults over the age of 18. The January meeting will focus on the recent bestseller, “Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson.”
“Larson’s book details one of the great disasters of maritime history,” said Dale Evanson, the coordinator of the book club. “It was written to commemorate the sinking of the luxury passenger liner by a German U-boat during World War I. Nearly 1,200 people, including 128 Americans, lost their lives and the event played a key role in changing America’s view against Germany, helping influence America’s eventual declaration of war.”
The group will follow up with an even more popular bestseller. On Feb. 4, they will meet to discuss “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.” by Daniel James Brown. This book celebrates the American Olympic triumph of nine working-class boys detailing their challenges and victories during the Depression through pre-war Germany.
Evanson noted, “These great books offer the opportunity for lively discussion. While many book clubs focus on fiction, a well-written work of nonfiction can also present readers with a lot of thought-provoking material. I am hoping that readers come to this discussion group with strong feeling about these books, either positive or negative, and a readiness to delve deeper into the themes and issues they raise.”
Copies of both books are available at the Secaucus Public Library, as well as a limited number of e-book copies. Registration for the discussion group is strongly encouraged and can be done through the library’s website or by calling Library Director Jenifer May at (201) 330-2083 x4011.
December event summary available on town website
The Secaucus town website now offers a complete list of events taking place during the current month throughout the community. Each month, the community calendar will be summarized on the newsfeed to make it easier to see which events are coming up. As always, residents can download the full monthly calendar or view the full interactive calendar. Keep in mind that events are often added, changed, or removed throughout the month so it is important to check the website at secaucusnj.gov frequently for updates.