Register now for Secaucus Service Day on Jan. 18
The Secaucus Junior State of America (JSA) will present Secaucus Service Day on Monday, Jan. 18 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Register today to participate.
Some activities for the day include making “thank you” cards for men and women serving in the armed forces; making Valentine’s Day cards for senior citizens; making “get well” cards for St. Jude’s Children Hospital; making lunch and delivering to homebound senior citizens; and enjoying chess, checkers, or cards with seniors. To sign up, visit the town website at secaucusnj.org and fill out the form. Children 14 and under require adult supervision.
Open gym/pool at the Recreation Center on Sundays
Each Sunday for the month of January, the Recreation Center will host an open gym. The events take place from 5 to 8 p.m. and are open to all residents in grades K-8. Each week has a different theme, starting with “Balloon Fun” on Jan. 17. Check the Community Calendar at secaucusnj.org for a complete list of the weekly themes.
Library to start poetry discussion group for adults
The Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center is launching a poetry discussion group to add to its newly expanded series of monthly literary programs. The first meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Jan. 19 in the library’s Panasonic Meeting Room on the second floor. Meetings will continue on the third Tuesday of every month.
Donna Carlson, who taught Writer’s Workshop courses as well as Advanced Placement English Literature and Language for over 25 years at Secaucus High School, will lead the workshops. Carlson also has experience as an adjunct professor at various state colleges throughout New Jersey. “Poetry can be thought of as taking a step – a step down to deeper understanding of life’s mysteries; a step up in an attempt to transcend the mundane; a step to the side to allow for alternative points of view,” said Carlson. “Reading and discussing poems within a group allows us to perceive multiple interpretations, to open doors and windows to surprising ideas which can lead to enhanced awareness of self, of others, and of the world around us.”
The first meeting will focus on the works of William Carlos Williams, a native of Rutherford, N.J. Williams (1883-1963) won the first National Book Award for Poetry, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Gold Medal for Poetry of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Poetry selections will be provided to all attendees in the meeting.
For more information or to register to attend, call (201) 330-2083 x4011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Anti-bullying presenter to speak at PAC on Jan. 20
John Halligan, an international presenter on anti-bullying, will present a program titled “If I Could Have a Do-Over: A Father’s Hard-Earned Lessons About Cyber-Bullying, Depression, and Suicide,” for all members of the public at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20 in the Performing Arts Center at Secaucus High School.
Halligan’s son, Ryan, committed suicide at age 13 after enduring four years of cyberbullying and bullying in school. Since then, Halligan has dedicated his life to sharing Ryan’s story from the perspective of the victim’s family to students and their parents. In his timely and informative talk, Halligan touches upon the role of the bystander in bullying scenarios, a message of universal love, and the need to communicate daily.
Secaucus Interim Superintendent Kenneth Knops, who has invited Halligan to present in each of his past school districts, encourages all parents and guardians to attend the evening presentation. “Mr. Halligan will be presenting in the morning to all our middle school students, and in the afternoon to high school students,” explained Knops. “His message is timely, extremely touching, and very valuable; especially coming from the perspective of the victim’s family. In order to promote attendance at this event, we have not scheduled any school sporting events for this evening. Please join us for this extremely valuable presentation.”
PSE&G customers can apply for payment assistance with winter heating bills
With chilly weather here, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) reminds customers that the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is accepting applications for the 2015/2016 heating season. LIHEAP is a program run by the State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs that helps low-income residents with their heating and medically-necessary cooling bills.
“We want low income families to know that help is available,” said Greg Dunlap, vice president of Customer Operations for PSE&G. “Under LIHEAP, those who are income eligible may receive an average of $300 toward their heating bills.”
LIHEAP eligibility is based solely on the prior month’s household gross income and household size. To be eligible for LIHEAP benefits, the applicant’s household gross income must meet specific monthly income guidelines. For more information, to download a LIHEAP application, or to find out where to apply, visit pseg.com/help or call the New Jersey Home Energy Assistance hotline at (800) 510-3102. Applications are also available at PSE&G’s 16 walk-in Customer Service Centers. Applications and copies of all requested documents must be submitted by April 30.
The LIHEAP application is also an application for the Universal Service Fund (USF). USF is a program created by the State of New Jersey that can lower the amount low-income households pay for gas and electric bills with a monthly credit of $5 to $150. Applications for USF are accepted year-round. Seniors over age 65 or disabled adults collecting Social Security Disability may also be eligible for the New Jersey Lifeline Credit program. NJ Lifeline provides a $225 yearly credit on your PSE&G bill.
PSE&G households who are not eligible for low income programs and are behind in their PSE&G bill should visit pseg.com/help for other programs like the PAGE and TRUE Grant or NJ SHARES.
Missing Union woman found sleeping in Secaucus train station
A woman from Union, N.J. was found at the Secaucus train station at 3 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 8 after being reported missing by her husband one day earlier, according to a report on NJ.com. The woman, a resident of a condominium complex on Route 22 East, allegedly went out for a walk about 9:30 a.m. on Thursday and didn’t return. Her family indicated she had trouble speaking and other health issues after previously suffering a stroke, and did not normally go for walks.
The woman was found sleeping at the Secaucus train station but police were initially unable to identify her. She was speaking only one word – “Kenneth” – the name of her husband. At Meadowlands Hospital, where she was taken, a nurse made the connection with the missing Union woman after reading about her on the Internet.
Police had initially directed the search to New York City based on information that the woman had been seen on a bus traveling to Port Authority. Upon hearing that she had been located at the hospital, her husband headed from New York, where he had been searching, to Secaucus, and the couple was reunited. Police speculated that the woman may have taken a train out of New York City, but she was unable to provide details.
Yoga and weight management demonstration at library on Jan. 21
Adele Harris of the newly opened Secaucus Body and Brain Yoga Center will present a lecture/demonstration about yoga and weight management at the Secaucus Public Library on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m.
According to Harris, “You may be surprised to learn that the secret to managing your weight is not only calories and exercises but yoga. This lecture will explain how yoga, meditation and mindfulness play a part in trying to lose weight or gain weight. Weight fluctuation is often the result of emotional stress, toxins that are not easily eliminated from your body, and careless food choices. Through the Body and Brain technique, you can learn how to release stress, improve digestion, and be more mindful of your food choices.”
For more information or to register for the program, contact Harris at (201) 864-2095.
School administrators meeting monthly with PTA presidents
In an ongoing effort to build a strong bridge of communication between home and school, Secaucus School District Interim Superintendent Kenneth Knops and Director of Curriculum and Instruction Linda Diemer are meeting each month with district PTA presidents. The meetings consist of a formal agenda informing the presidents of ongoing developments within the school district as well as an open forum to discuss timely and relevant issues. The initial meeting was held on Jan. 11 with Clarendon School PTA President Tara Rich, Middle School PTA President Karyn Taylor, and Huber Street School PTA President Mary Eccles.
KOC Comedy Night on Jan. 23 benefits autism programs
Secaucus Knights of Columbus Mary Immaculate Council 12769 will hold their annual Comedy Night on Jan. 23 to benefit autism programs in the area and the Special Olympics. The event takes place at 6:30 p.m. in the Immaculate Conception Church auditorium, 760 Post Pl. The evening includes three great comedy acts and a roast beef dinner provided by Steffens Provisions for $25 a person. For more information or tickets call Neal at (201) 223-7967 or email email@example.com.
Applications for Vellekamp Environmental Scholarship now being accepted
Hackensack Riverkeeper, the citizen-steward of the Hackensack River Watershed, is accepting applications for the 2016 Ron Vellekamp Environmental Scholarship. Now in its 16th year, the program, named in honor of the late Ridgefield, N.J. science teacher and founding Riverkeeper trustee, helps support college-bound high school seniors who excel academically and who maintain a strong commitment to environmental protection.
Seniors at 66 high schools in Bergen, Hudson, and Rockland Counties are eligible to be nominated by a teacher or guidance counselor for the award. Applications must be postmarked no later than Earth Day, April 22, 2016. A panel of Hackensack Riverkeeper trustees and staffers led by Captains Bill Sheehan and Hugh Carola will review each application and consider the students’ academic achievements, environmental extracurricular activities, and future plans. The winner of the $1,000 unrestricted award will be announced on June 1. Full application criteria are available online at hackensackriverkeeper.org or by calling (201) 968-0808.
All applicants must live within the 210-square mile Hackensack River Watershed and/or attend a school within that region. A list of watershed municipalities is available on the Hackensack Riverkeeper website. For those residing in bi-watershed communities like Jersey City, Paramus, or Ramapo, nominators are cautioned to ensure a student’s eligibility before submitting an application.
Those without a high school senior in the family but who support their local best and brightest students can participate in the program by making a donation to the scholarship fund. Donations to the Ron Vellekamp Environmental Scholarship are tax-deductible and can be made by check or online. Fully 100 percent of all such donations will go to the fund.
For more information call Program Director/Scholarship Administrator Hugh Carola at (201) 968-0808 x102 or email Hugh@hackensackriverkeeper.org.
Friends of the Library Baking Contest and social planned for Jan. 23
Show off your culinary skills and win prizes while also showing your support for local library services and programs at the Friends of the Secaucus Public Library Annual Baking Contest. This year’s event starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23 on the library’s second floor. The contest will be followed by a bake sale and social until 1 p.m. and will be open to all members of the community.
All entries must arrive by 9 a.m. on Saturday morning to be eligible for the contest. “The baker’s name and phone number should be clearly labeled underneath the baking pan or serving dish,” explained Josephine DeGennaro, head of the Friends Baking Contest Committee. “Labels will be provided, if needed.” Judges will choose one winner in each of six categories: best cake, best pie, best cheesecake, best cookie/bar/brownie, best miscellaneous dessert and best special diet dessert. There will also be one grand prize for best overall dish.
Baking contest winners will be announced during the bake sale beginning at 10 a.m. Library supporters of all ages are invited to purchase slices and samples of all baking contest entries, as well as a wide selection of other desserts, coffee, and tea. All proceeds from the bake sale will benefit the Friends of the Secaucus Public Library’s mission to provide cultural and educational programming for children and adults.
For the first time, the Friends of the Library are also sponsoring a separate baking contest for students under the age of 18, on Wednesday, Jan. 20. Children and teens interested in participating are invited to bring their homemade dessert entries to the library by 11 a.m. on Jan. 20. Winners will be announced at a free student celebration at 7 p.m. Student entries can also be brought to the library in advance between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
For more information contact Library Director Jenifer May at (201) 330-2083 x4011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Independent Film Screening and Discussion Series resume on Jan. 24
The Friends of the Secaucus Public Library starts the second year of its independent film series at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 24. The 2016 film series, which is open to all residents, will begin with a showing of “While We’re Young,” a comedy-drama written and produced by Noah Baumbach. The film stars Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, and Amanda Seyfried and was screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Following the movie, Friends’ President Zinnia Miller will lead an open discussion of the film.
“Our intention in hosting an independent film series is to give adults in our community a monthly opportunity to see smaller-budget independent movies that they might have missed in wide-screen release or that might not have played locally,” said Miller. “We also wanted to provide a chance for movie-lovers to talk about these films with other viewers. As an avid book club participant, I wanted to create a similar club using award-winning and well-received independent films, rather than books, to generate discussion.”
The film screening and discussion will take place in the Panasonic Meeting Room on the second floor of the Secaucus Public Library. Popcorn and other light refreshments will be served. “While Friends of the Library programs are open to all residents, we urge parents and caregivers to keep in mind that many of the films shown contain adult themes and may not be appropriate for children and young adults,” cautioned Library Director Jenifer May. “‘While We’re Young’ in particular is rated R, and features storylines that likely would not appeal to younger viewers.”
Following this weekend’s event, new independent films will be shown at the library at 1 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month. Registration for each film is recommended, and can be done by calling (201) 330-2083 x4011.
Participate in the 2016 Arbor Day Tree Appreciation Campaign
Secaucus is proud to be a Tree City USA participant since 1993. This past year’s drought has caused many of Secaucus’ trees to die and has stressed and damaged many more. The town aims to replace 100 trees by Arbor Day through the 2016 Arbor Day Tree Appreciation Campaign.
At $200 per tree a total of $20,000 is needed. Local businesses and residents are asked to help in this effort. The plan is to plant 100 new trees by the first week in April to coincide with the communitywide Arbor Day celebration on April 29.
Make checks payable to the Town of Secaucus and put “Arbor Day Campaign” in the memo line. Mail to Secaucus Town Hall, Amanda Nesheiwat., 1203 Paterson Plank Rd., Secaucus, NJ 07094.
12th annual Guma Foundation Casino Night is Feb. 27
The Guma Foundation will host its 12th annual Casino Night on Saturday, Feb. 27 at LaReggia’s Restaurant in the Meadowlands Plaza Hotel, 40 Wood Ave. Tickets to the event, which starts at 7 p.m., are $125 per person and include an evening of casino-style gaming with casino chips, live music by The Fez, an open bar and buffet, and numerous prizes. Attire is business casual with jacket optional.
The Guma Foundation honors the lives of the late Ralph Guma Sr. and Ralph Guma Jr. Diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of nine, Ralph Guma Jr. survived to age 33, attended local schools and earned a college degree. The foundation’s mission began in 1991with the awarding of the RMG Scholarship that resulted in more than $30,000 over the years being given to deserving high school graduates to help defray the costs of their post-high school educations.
“The Guma Foundation eventually changed its mission and we redirected our energies,” explained Pat Guma, president of the foundation. Youngsters with brain tumors are now the main recipients of The Guma Foundation’s donations. “To date we have contributed over $100,000 to the Tomorrows Children’s Fund at Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC),” said Guma. The foundation is committed to providing at least $10,000 annually to the Tomorrows Children’s Fund, and since 2000 has donated more than $10,000 directly to the families of sick children to help support their needs and fulfill some of their dreams.
To purchase tickets and pay online or for further information about the foundation, visit gumafoundationinc.org.
MetLife Stadium to host three matches in historic international soccer centennial
MetLife Stadium will host three matches in the historic Copa America Centenario, announced the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) recently. The eyes of the world will focus on the Meadowlands for a first-round match (June 12), quarterfinal (June 17) and the final (June 26) of the 2016 Copa America.
The 2016 Copa America Centenario is the historic centennial edition of Copa America – the South American championship – and will be staged outside of South America for the first time. The tournament will feature six teams from CONCACAF and all 10 teams from CONMEBOL and will feature some of the world’s best teams and players competing from June 3-26, 2016 in the United States.
Due to the magnitude of this event, the State of New Jersey and the City of New York have joined forces to form a Host Committee, creating a powerful network of local and state agencies, working together to provide tourism, marketing and governmental support on both sides of the Hudson River. The Host Committee will support the efforts of the Local Organizing Committee, formed by tournament host U.S. Soccer, who are responsible for certain logistical and organizational facets of the competition.
The New York/New Jersey Host Committee will include representatives from the NJSEA, NYC & Company, Meadowlands Regional Chamber, MetLife Stadium, New York Jets, New York Giants, New Meadowlands Racetrack, New York Red Bulls, New York Cosmos, and New York City FC. The Host Committee will be co-chaired by NJSEA President and CEO Wayne Hasenbalg and NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon.
“We look forward to welcoming the teams and their fans from across the globe as they celebrate this historic event,” Hasenbalg said. “Hosting three games including the final will strengthen both the regional and local economies and continue to showcase MetLife Stadium as a world-class venue for international soccer.”
Tickets will be available through CA2016.com. Due to the expected high demand for this premium soccer tournament, fans are urged to register early to guarantee access to information as it becomes available. More ticketing information will be released in the coming weeks. Follow the tournament news at the event’s official Twitter account and Facebook page.
Recreation registration available online
The Secaucus Recreation Department now offers online registration for most programs. Residents can sign up from the comfort of their homes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is done through CommunityPass, a comprehensive, easy-to-use online registration and payment management system. CommunityPass not only simplifies registering for recreation programs, it allows parents to keep up with their children’s schedules.
Through the online registration services residents can register for The Secaucus Recreation Center, summer programs, fall sports, winter sports, spring sports, and The Secaucus Swim Club.
Through CommunityPass, residents can view program descriptions, register, pay online, view rosters and schedules, and receive email reminders. Payments for online registration may be charged to a MasterCard or Visa credit card; it’s fast, easy and secure.
Monthly 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.