Abdurrahe Ali, 31, of Bayonne, received a summons for reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident after he allegedly swiped one car near the Holland Tunnel on Dec. 22, and then went onto allegedly hit several other vehicles.
Port Authority spokesperson Joseph Pentangelo said two people had to be extricated from one of the vehicles and were transported to Jersey City Medical Center. Ali allegedly clipped one car before plowing into three others stopped for a light near the Holland Tunnel.
Menendez bill honored Monuments Men
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez in mid- December introduced bipartisan legislation awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the “Monuments Men,” a group of approximately 350 men and women from 13 countries who are credited with preserving, protecting, and restoring millions of pieces of artwork, sculptures, and other cultural artifacts in Europe during World War II. Earlier this week, Carolyn Fefferman, a senior staff member for Menendez, delivered a letter from the Senator to Rockaway resident Harry Ettlinger—a surviving member of the Monuments Men—as well as a copy of the legislation.
In a note to Mr. Ettlinger Sen. Menendez wrote: “Your work as part of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Section of the Civil Affairs and Military Government Sections of the Western Allied Armies was instrumental in safeguarding innumerable works of art that might have disappeared or been destroyed during World War II and in its aftermath. I am proud that a New Jerseyan was part of that effort and proud that I can call you my friend.”
Ettlinger, a German Jew whose family fled to the United States to escape the Nazis, is one of the few surviving Monuments Men. His entry into the Monuments Men began in Munich in 1945 because of his German language skills. Initially charged with protecting structures—churches, museums, and monuments—from destruction, as the war progressed, their responsibilities shifted to recovering art and artifacts stolen by Nazis across Europe. They were ultimately credited with recovering and restoring millions of pieces of artwork, sculptures, and other cultural artifacts from all of Europe’s major artists, from Monet to Degas to Picasso.
“Because of your work to help recover, protect, preserve, and return the many pieces of art and artifacts that were in jeopardy of being lost or destroyed during and after World War II, I wanted to personally tell you that Senator Blunt and I are sponsoring a bill in the Senate to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Monuments Men,” Menendez added.
"I'm flabbergasted," said Harry Ettlinger, reading a copy of the bill. "When I think about it, what I did, I never thought in a billion years I would get this kind of gratitude and thanks from my fellow American citizens.
The bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by U.S. Representative Kay Granger (Texas).
Sacco bill targeting gang recruitment clears state Senate
Legislation sponsored by state Sen. Nicholas Sacco and Senator Linda Greenstein upgrading existing laws concerning the solicitation and recruitment of gang members on school property today passed the Senate.
Current law makes it a fourth-degree crime if the solicitation or recruitment occurs on school grounds. However, if a violator also threatens another with bodily injury on numerous occasions over a period of 30 days, then it becomes a crime of the third degree. The bill, S-1479, would upgrade the offense to a third-degree crime regardless if violence occurs or not. Soliciting or recruiting a person under the age of 18 to join or actively participate in a criminal street gang, regardless of where the recruiting occurs, would remain a crime of the second degree.
“This measure shows that we are serious about the role of gangs in our communities. Our schools cannot be the breeding ground for unlawful behavior, and cracking down on recruitment efforts will help to root out criminal elements both in our classrooms and on our streets,” said Senator Sacco (D-32nd District). “It is my hope that by strengthening existing laws and increasing penalties associated with these crimes, we will hamper the growth of gang activity throughout the state.”
A crime of the third degree is punishable by three to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $15,000, or both. A crime of the second degree is punishable by five to ten years imprisonment, a fine of up to $150,000, or both.
NY/NJ Super Bowl host committee releases updated ‘Join the Huddle’ calendar
The NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee has announced an updated calendar for the “Join the Huddle” tour presented by P.C. Richard & Son, the first-ever mobile tour associated with a Super Bowl.
The tour is traveling throughout New Jersey and New York over the next two months, carrying a unique game-day experience for residents and fans.
Hudson County stops will be Jan. 8 in Secaucus, at the Frank R. Lautenberg Secaucus Junction Station, and Jan. 15 in Jersey City, at the P.C. Richard & Son Superstore.
The tour will visit Hudson, Bergen, Essex, and seven other counties in the Garden State.
Comcast Foundation awards grants to two Hudson County nonprofits
The Comcast Foundation announced on Dec. 18 that it had awarded $34,000 in grants to two nonprofit organizations in Hudson County.
The local recipients are the Boys & Girls Club of Hudson County, which received a $25,000 grant to support its Club Tech, and the Union League of Hudson County, which received $9,000 for its Technology Training for Youth program.
“The Comcast Foundation is proud to award these grants to our partner organizations to improve the lives of our local neighbors,” said Charisse R. Lillie, vice president of community investment for Comcast Corporation and president of the Comcast Foundation. “Through this support, we remain committed to closing the digital divide, empowering young people to become leaders, and engaging our employees and local citizens in volunteerism.”