Anti-tax group criticizes Union City official’s two roles
Stanley Sanger, who worked for 41 years in Union City as a teacher, school principal, and superintendent of schools and retired in 2014 with a $167,000 school pension, has been hired to serve as the executive director of the federally-funded Union City Housing Authority at a salary of $163,000, on top of his school pension, according to NJ.com.
His hiring was approved by the UCHA Board of Commissioners on March 17 and the 64-year-old veteran administrator’s recently began his first day back on the public payroll.
Mayor Brian Stack, who appoints six of the seven seats on the board with the consent of the city’s board of commissioners, is a strong supporter of Sanger, and defended his qualifications to lead the housing agency, according to the article.
“Stanley Sanger, whatever he’s appointed to, I know he’ll do a good job,” Stack said. “He did a terrific job with the school district. He’s one of the best administrators I’ve known in my lifetime.”
Sanger’s compensation, $330,000 a year in taxpayer dollars, was criticized by Americans for Prosperity, an anti-tax group.
“We’re always concerned about what’s known as double dipping, whether it’s superintendents like this, or other segments of the public sector that then retire and get exhorbitant pensions, and then take second government jobs,” said Mike Proto, a spokesman for Americans for Prosperity’s New Jersey chapter, the article said. “Taxpayers have a right to be miffed.”
Stack said Sanger declined to accept health insurance, a car, a phone and other benefits from the Housing Authority, which the mayor valued at $25,000 or so.
Union City offers assistance to those affected by the earthquake in Ecuador
Mayor Brian P. Stack and the Union City Board of Commissioners have announced the collection of donations for the victims of Saturday’s earthquake in Ecuador.
“My heartfelt sympathies go out to those families affected by Saturday’s earthquake,” said Mayor Brian Stack. “We will try to assist in any way we can.” Mayor Stack announced that the Union City Parking Authority would house a trailer to be used to collect canned goods.
“In the aftermath of such a disaster, people are attempting to contact family members to ensure their safety,” said Commissioner Marjorie Martinetti. “The City is trying to assist families here, in Union City, during this difficult time.” Families may call a helpline at 1844-668-4543 if they are trying to locate family members in Ecuador.
For those looking to make a direct donation to the victims, the Consulate General of Ecuador suggests sending donations to the following:
Bank of America – USA
Pennsylvania Avenue & 15th Street NW, Washington D.C.
Account name: UNDP Representative in Ecuador Dollar Account
Swift code: BOFAUS3N
Seminar on zika virus and pregnant women to be held at NB library in May
A health seminar on the zika virus and how it affects pregnant women and women of childbearing age is scheduled for Wednesday, May 4, at the North Bergen Public Library, 8411 Bergenline Ave., North Bergen.
Check-in time for this free seminar is 6 p.m. The featured speaker, Dr. Cecilia Trujillo, MD of the Palisades Women’s Group, will discuss the many symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options available for pregnant women and women of childbearing.
Free food and refreshments will be provided, and parking is free.
Zika Virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. On Feb. 1, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a public health emergency of international concern. Local transmission has been reported in many other countries and territories. Zika virus likely will continue to spread to new areas.
To register, contact Nikki Mederos at (201) 854-5702.
‘Town Hall’ meeting on underage drinking is April 26
The Hudson County Coalition for a Drug-Free Community along with New Jersey City University (NJCU) Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program & Partners In Prevention will sponsor a “town hall” meeting on April 26 to discuss underage drinking from 6:30 to 8 p.m. with registration beginning at 6 p.m. During this meeting you will hear knowledgeable panelists discuss their experiences within the field of prevention and have questions answered. Attendees will also have the opportunity to partake of interactive activities, vote for the winner of their public service announcement contest, and enjoy many other surprises.
The meeting will take place in New Jersey City University’s Gothic Lounge in Hepburn Hall, Room 202, at 2039 Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City. At the completion, 1.5 hours of community service will be awarded to those who attend. Light refreshments will be served at the event.
To register for this event or for more information about the Hudson County Coalition, call Ernie Adames at (201) 552- 2264 or visit the website at Hudsoncountycoalition.org.
Home energy assistance is available
P.A.C.O., a nonprofit community-based organization, reminds residents that assistance is available for energy costs for those who qualify.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) allows individuals meeting various income qualifications to apply for bill payment assistance, energy crisis assistance, and energy-related home repairs. Monies are from the federally funded Department of Health and Human Services. LIHEAP bill payment assistance ends April 30.
Applicants for LIHEAP are simultaneously enrolled for the Universal Service Fund (USF), a state program aimed at making natural gas and electric bills more affordable for households. In some cases, residents may receive both LIHEAP benefits and assistance from USF. Applications for USF are accepted year-round.
New clients, as well as returning clients, can visit the P.A.C.O. Home Energy Assistance and Weatherization Office at 346 Central Ave., Jersey City, or contact (201) 217-0583 / 864-3774 or www.pacoagency.com for additional information, applications and income guidelines.
Sires votes for pipeline safety bill
Rep. Albio Sires says he voted in favor of the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016 in a Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure markup. The legislation authorizes $696 million over four years for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration’s (PHMSA) pipeline safety program, including $211 million in grants to states.
“I am pleased that the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure came together to pass this important bill with robust improvements to our pipeline safety program,” said Congressman Sires. “New Jersey is home to over 35,000 miles of pipeline that connect over 8.9 million residents to their energy needs. Ensuring the integrity of our pipeline infrastructure in high density areas like ours is vital to ensuring the safety of our communities.”
Specifically, the PIPES Act would provide the Secretary of Transportation with new authority to impose emergency safety measures on pipeline operators to address an imminent hazard. The bill would boost funding for grants to states to help administer pipeline safety programs and provide $1.5 million annually for grants to local communities and safety groups to conduct pipeline studies and public awareness campaigns. It would also direct DOT to establish safety standards for underground natural gas storage tanks.
Women in the arts fundraiser will be May 19
Dress for Success Hudson County will present the First Annual Women in The Arts Fundraiser and Cocktail Reception Art and Soul at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City on Thursday, May 19 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. 16 professional and emerging female artists, many from the New York tri-state, will showcase and sell original works of art that include sculptures, mixed media, photography, paintings, water colors and hand-crafted jewelry. There will also be a Pop Up shop in the art gallery where event attendees can purchase various works of art from these artists.
“We are very excited about this up and coming first annual fundraiser for Dress for Success. Join us for an evening of art, style, and conversation. It promises to be a fabulous evening,” says Joy Devlin, Event Chair.
The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased online at www.hudsoncounty.dressforsuccess.org. Tickets are also available the night of the event.
Lupus Y Latinos to honor Dr. Gilberto Gastell
May is Lupus Awareness Month, and the Union City-based Lupus Y Latinos Foundation will pay tribute to Dr. Gilberto Gastell of Union City at its fourth annual Lupus awareness benefit dinner next month.
Gastell, an internist, is celebrating his 30th year serving the North Hudson community in his doctors office located in Union City. His dedication to his profession along with his altruism has created one of the largest practices in the state of New Jersey, where he daily makes use of his motto, “I treat every patient as if they were my family”.
The event will be held on May 6 at 8 p.m. at La Fortuna, 430 Kamena St., Fairview. Tickets to the event are $75 per person. This includes buffet dinner, an open bar and live music by Maria “Azuquita” Rivas.
The Lupus Y Latinos Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to educating those about lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, was founded by Armando Hernandez and Tania Arteaga. Hernandez’s and Arteaga`s daughter, Joamelly R. Arteaga, died nearly four years ago from the disease. She was only 22 years old and had recently graduated from college.
It is estimated that nearly 2 million people in the United States suffer from Lupus, and 71 percent of those are minorities.
For tickets and more information, call Armando Hernandez at (201) 751-4292 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
PSE&G to upgrade aging cast iron gas facilities in Union City
Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G) will be working Union City to replace approximately 3.5 miles of older gas pipes with new, durable plastic and/or coated steel piping – ensuring a continued safe, clean and reliable gas system well into the future.
“These upgrades are part of PSE&G’s three-year program to replace up to 510 miles of aging gas infrastructure throughout New Jersey,” said Joe Forline, vice president of gas operations for PSE&G. “We are working closely with municipal officials and the department of public works to coordinate construction schedules and are committed to keeping customers in Union City informed about where and when the work will take place.”
The new pipes will improve reliability, reduce the possibility of methane leaks, and enable the installation of excess flow valves on service lines. These valves dramatically reduce gas flow if a pipe is damaged. The elevated pressure of the new gas mains will also provide better support for high-efficiency appliances like furnaces and water heaters.
Paramus Catholic High School to host prospective student open house
Paramus Catholic High School will host a prospective student open house on Wednesday, May 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. Prospective students and their families will be given a tour of the school, attend presentations on its challenging college preparatory curriculum, and hear about the many campus ministry, performing arts, and athletic programs available at the school.
The school is located at 425 Paramus Road, Paramus.
For further information call (201) 445-4466 or visit www.paramuscatholic.com.
Paramus Catholic is a co-educational high school of the Archdiocese of Newark offering 140 college preparatory courses, including 20 advanced placement courses, as well as many athletic, performing arts, and campus ministry programs. Over 1,500 students from towns throughout North Jersey and Rockland County, New York travel to the 27-acre campus and bus service is provided from most towns.
Leapfrog releases hospital safety reports
The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit healthcare watchdog organization, has downgraded Meadowlands Hospital from a ‘C’ rating to a ‘D’ in the group’s latest report, according to a story on NJbiz.com. Hospitals are graded to how well they keep their patients safe from infections, bed sores, and harmful errors during their stay.
Overall, New Jersey hospitals took a steep drop in the national rankings from fifth place last year to 22nd place in the nation. Linda Schwimmer, CEO and president of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, cautioned against comparing the latest ratings to previous reports because the group has started grading facilities on a tougher scale.
Jersey City Medical Center-Barnabas Health is among five hospitals that received straight A’s.
“There will always be more work to be done in our area to provide the best care for the families living in our communities,” said Schwimmer. “While we are proud to work with all of our hospitals and recognize the commitment they are making to improve care…we hope that the release of these scores will catalyze improvements within those hospitals and galvanize their leaders to make some serious system-wide changes to improve the quality of patient care.”