The town of Guttenberg has a new mayor as of Tuesday, Jan. 2. Wayne Zitt was sworn in for a four-year term, succeeding retiring Mayor Gerald Drasheff. State Sen. and North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco swore in Zitt to his new position, and took the opportunity to recall Zitt’s career as a former North Bergen student and high school athlete.
Mayor Zitt pledged to build a new park on the west side of town, to improve senior services, and to bring a branch of the North Bergen library into the Galaxy Towers in Guttenberg.
In front of a standing-room-only auditorium in Anna L. Klein School, three council members were also sworn into office: Richard Delafuente by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Monica Fundora by Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez, and John Habermann by County Clerk Junior Maldonado.
Outgoing Mayor Drasheff was also thanked and honored by numerous speakers for his years of service to the town of Guttenberg and the surrounding municipalities.
Among the many distinguished guests in attendance were Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, West New York Mayor Felix Roque, North Bergen Commissioners Hugo Cabrera and Julio Marenco, Sheriff Frank Schillari, Freeholders Anthony Vanieri and Caridad Rodriguez, and countless officials and administrators from throughout North Hudson.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Olivia Habermann and the National Anthem was sung by Angela Marie Cirillo, with an invocation by Father Carlo Fortunio of Holy Redeemer Parish.
Registration for North Bergen Library's winter programs beginning Jan. 8.
The North Bergen Free Public Library's Children's and Adult Winter Program Registration for both the Main Library and the Kennedy Branch will begin on Monday, Jan. 8 at 9 a.m. Programs will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Proof of age and residency are required. Registration is limited. For more information contact the North Bergen Public Library at (201) 869-4715 or visit www.nbpl.org to view the program listings.
8411 Bergenline Ave.
North Bergen, NJ 07047
2123 Kennedy Blvd.
North Bergen, NJ 07047
Meet the police in January
The North Bergen Police Department regularly hosts community meetings to get to know local residents.
This January they will host four meetings at different locations throughout the township, where residents can meet the officers who patrol their neighborhoods, and share any local concerns.
The meetings are part of a program known as N.B. TAPS (North Bergen Township Alternative Policing Strategy), designed to enhance police-community relations in the township.
Residents get to meet and discuss issues face-to-face with the officers who serve their immediate community, and the officers get to learn about any matters of concern directly from the residents.
All meetings will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. The dates and locations are as follows:
Monday, Jan. 8: Our Lady of Fatima Church, Lower Level, 8011 Kennedy Blvd.
Thursday, Jan. 11: Uptown Public Library, 8411 Bergenline Ave.
Wednesday, Jan. 17: Downtown Public Library, 2123 Kennedy Blvd.
Tuesday, Jan. 30: North Bergen Town Hall Chambers, Lower Level, 4233 Kennedy Blvd.
Need help heating your house?
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) announced that it will provide bill credits this winter that will lower monthly bills for a typical residential gas heating customer by about 17 percent during January and February. Customers will receive a credit on their PSE&G bill of approximately $50 over two months this winter.
A typical residential customer would normally pay about $300 for January and February combined. This customer’s bill for both winter months will be about $250 in 2018 with the bill credit.
PSE&G makes no profit on the sale of natural gas, and passes along what it pays to customers. Low natural gas prices and other factors have enabled them to pay less for natural gas, and they pass these savings on to their residential customers.
Since January 2009, annual bills for PSE&G’s typical residential gas heating customers are 49 percent -- or $825 -- lower due to supply rate reductions.
Wandering incidents increase harm to autistic adults, kids
With two recent deaths on Christmas and Christmas Eve, the National Autism Association is warning caregivers about the increased risks of autism-related wandering during the holiday season.
On Christmas Eve, a 15-year-old boy with autism died from injuries sustained after being struck by a vehicle. The next day, the body of 7-year-old boy with autism was found floating in a nearby pool.
Each year, hundreds of children and adults with autism go missing, but holiday-related wandering cases are especially dangerous. According to a study from the National Autism Association (NAA), incidents that occurred from a social or family gathering, such as those during the holidays, ended in death 69 percent of the time. In recent years, cases have occurred on Mother’s Day, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve.
Similar to wandering behaviors in the Alzheimer’s community, wandering/elopement, or “running” behaviors in children and adults with autism have led to countless tragedies across the country. A pediatrics study in 2012 found that half of children with autism attempt to wander/elope from a safe environment. According to NAA, accidental drowning is responsible for the vast majority of lethal outcomes, especially among younger children with autism. The second leading cause of death is by fatal traffic injury, typically in teenage males with autism.
Times of transition, commotion and stress can increase wandering and elopement behaviors, and this is especially true during the holidays and holiday gatherings. Not only do unfamiliar places, noisy settings or disrupted routines bolster the chance for a child or adult to exit-seek, it can also make it difficult for caregivers to respond. With the commotion of gatherings, caregivers may not be aware the child is missing, which can prolong search efforts.
Preparation ahead of holiday gatherings can decrease risk. It’s important that caregivers make relatives and friends aware of wandering risks ahead of time, and assign one trusted adult to closely supervise the at-risk children at all times for an agreed-upon period of time. Tools like door chimes and stop sign prompts are inexpensive enough to take to a relative’s home during visits, and items that reduce noise can also help. Consider tracking technology or distance monitors, especially if visiting someone else’s home. Having identification on your child is essential, especially if communication challenges are present. Avoiding triggers is also key, so allowing the child to do what makes them feel comfortable and happy may help decrease anxiety. In the event of an emergency, call 911 and search nearby sources of water first, even if it’s murky or icy.
For more tips, download the free toolkit for caregivers from the NAA.
Do you have a story, novel, essay, or script in your head -- or on paper?
Reporter editor and published novelist Caren Lissner is bringing her one-shot writing and publishing class to Little City Books in Hoboken, five blocks from the train station, in January. Do you have an idea for a novel, story, memoir, essay, or script, or have something partly written but don’t know the next steps? You can bring up to two pages, double spaced (500 words) for critique and publication advice, or just sit in on the class and participate in the discussions, without bringing anything. There’s a nominal fee for those bringing work to read, and a lower fee for those who just want to sit in and participate in the discussion.
The next “Get It Out” class takes place Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the bookstore, walking distance from the Second Street Light Rail and Hoboken terminal stations.
“There are so many ways to get published these days,” said Lissner. “Anyone who’s working on a piece of writing is a writer. They shouldn’t be shy about getting their work out there. I’ve known people who went from publishing nothing to publishing in a major newspaper or website.”
Lissner’s humorous first novel, Carrie Pilby, was published in 2003, sold 74,000 copies worldwide, and was released as a movie this year (it’s currently airing on Netflix). The book is available new on Amazon, as is the movie DVD. She has also published serious essays, articles, and humor writing/satire in the New York Times, Atlantic.com, McSweeney’s, Harper’s, LitHub, and National Lampoon. Read more of her writing and advice on carenlissner.com.
Those with questions can reach her via carenlissner.com. The link to sign up for the class is http://www.littlecitybooks.com/event/get-it-out-writing-and-publishing-workshop-caren-lissner (as a reader or as an auditor), or stop by Little City Books at 100 Bloomfield St., corner of First and Bloomfield, Hoboken. (201) 626-READ.