JERSEY CITY BRIEFS
Jun 10, 2012 | 1408 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SHOUTING DOWN DRUGS – Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Executive Director Angelo M. Valente (center) is pictured with members of the band LOGIC: (from left to right) Mark Vansertima, Kevin Loarte, Christian Balbutin, Khalil Stone, and Nasir Lamarr, winners of the 2012 Hudson County Shout Down Drugs music competition. The students were awarded a $1,000 scholarship for their winning substance abuse prevention song entitled “The Influence” at the 11th Annual Hudson County Shout Down Drugs music concert.
SHOUTING DOWN DRUGS – Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Executive Director Angelo M. Valente (center) is pictured with members of the band LOGIC: (from left to right) Mark Vansertima, Kevin Loarte, Christian Balbutin, Khalil Stone, and Nasir Lamarr, winners of the 2012 Hudson County Shout Down Drugs music competition. The students were awarded a $1,000 scholarship for their winning substance abuse prevention song entitled “The Influence” at the 11th Annual Hudson County Shout Down Drugs music concert.
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Keeping kids out of the medicine chest

Prescription drug abuse among kids and teens is on the rise. Yet, many parents do little to keep prescription drugs in the household secure and off limits to family members who shouldn’t have access to them.

Thus, in an effort to educate parents on what they can do to keep prescription drugs safe, Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC), the Jersey City Public School system, and Partners in Prevention, will host the forum, “Prescription Drug Use…What Every Parent Should Know.”

The forum will take place on Tuesday, June 12 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Franklin L. Williams Middle School (P.S. 7).

A panel of four speakers will address the topic. The guest speakers include Orlando Ramos, director of the Giant Steps Program and HUMC; Lisa Canteno, senior primary therapist with the Giant Steps Program at HUMC; Sylvia Sanchez, a pharmacist at HUMC; Dr. Syed Ibrahim, a psychiatrist at HUMC; and Joseph Evensen, coalition supervisor with the Hudson County chapter of Partners in Prevention.

Transportation to the forum will be provided from the following Jersey City locations: Dickinson High School, Ferris High School, Lincoln High School, and Snyder High School. Shuttles will leave from these locations beginning and 5 p.m. and will return to these locations after the forum ends.

All parents in Hudson County are encouraged to attend. The event is free of charge, but an RSVP is recommended. To RSVP, call (201) 418-2381.

Divided Democrats pick Congressional candidates for November

In a Democratic primary election that divided Hudson County and a good portion of northern New Jersey, voters gave victories to Rep. Albio Sires in the 8th District, Bill Pascrell in the 9th and Donald Payne, Jr. in the 10th.

Unopposed, Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez was nominated for his third term and will face off in November against Republican state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos, who handily defeated three challengers.

Sires received 28,784 over his challenger Michael J. Shurin who received 3,563 votes, clearing the way for Sires to run against Republican Maria Karczewski, a former Bayonne City Council member, in November. Sires, a former mayor of West New York and former speaker of the state Assembly, will run for his fourth term. Other independent challengers include Herb Shaw of North Bergen, Stephen DeLuca of Jersey City, and Pablo Olivera of Newark. DeLuca previously ran unsuccessfully for Hudson County Executive.

Payne overwhelmingly defeated four challengers in the 10th district, with about 37,000 district wide votes, to run for the seat vacated by the death of his father, Rep. Donald Payne, Sr. Newark Councilman Ronald Rice finished second with just over 11,000 votes, and Nia Gil, who won in the Hudson County portion of the 10th District, finished third with just under 10,000.

Payne, who had the support of the Essex County Democratic organization, where most of the voting took place, will face off against Republican Brian C. Kelemen of Bayonne in the November election. Joanne Miller of Newark and Mick Erickson of West Orange have filed to run as independents in the 10th district in November.

In one of the most watched elections in the state, Pascrell overwhelming defeated Rothman after the two eight-term congressmen confronted each other in the newly reconfigured 9th District. With just under 28,000 votes, Pascrell beat Rothman, who collected 15,283 votes.

Rothman, who had been sharply criticized for choosing a primary fight rather than take on a strong Republican challenge in a neighboring district, said it was unlikely that he would seek elected office in the future

Pascrell will face Republican Schmuley Boteach and independents E David Smith and Jeanette Woolsey in November.

In the sole election for Hudson County, incumbent Hudson County Clerk Barbara Netchert beat Paul Lichstein to win the Democratic nomination.

Of 320,341 registered voters in Hudson County, about 41,000 cast votes in the June 5 primary or about 12.69 percent. Of this, about 36,000 Democrats voted, compared to just under 5,000 Republicans.

Jersey City serviceman killed in Afghanistan

For three days last week flags throughout the state were flown at half-staff to honor of Army Pfc. LeRoy DeRonde III, a Jersey City resident killed in Afghanistan on May 27.

The Department of Defense announced that Army Pfc. DeRonde III, 22, a soldier serving as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, was killed during an enemy attack on his unit.

Born and raised in Jersey City, DeRonde III joined the Army in January 2011 to help support his family. He was one of a handful of graduates to have been immediately promoted to a Private E2. He was assigned to the 125th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, based in Fort Bliss, Texas.

“Army Pfc. LeRoy DeRonde III paid the ultimate price defending the United States of America and the principles which our country was founded,” Mayor Jerramiah Healy said in a statement. “Losing such a young life is a terrible tragedy and during this difficult time, I extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends. As we mourn with them, I hope they find comfort in knowing Army Pfc. DeRonde died a hero fighting for his country. I urge everyone to honor his memory and pray for the protection and safety of our men and women in uniform who are currently fighting in distant lands. I also extend my gratitude to those who have fought and to those who stand readily to fight for our country’s honor. We will forever be indebted to them, and today, I salute Army Pfc. DeRonde III for his service and sacrifice.”

DeRonde was buried with full military honors on Saturday, June 9 at North Arlington’s Holy Cross Cemetery, in the 9/11 Veterans Memorial section.

Former Jersey City construction project superintendent sentenced to prison for Social Security scam

The former project superintendent on a Jersey City high-rise construction project has been sentenced to six months in prison and six months of home confinement for a scheme in which he hid his employment so he could collect Social Security disability payments, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced on June 6. Pasquale Zinna previously pleaded guilty to Social Security disability fraud and structuring financial transactions.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, in 1999 Zinna filed an application for disability insurance benefits with the Social Security Administration (SSA), claiming that, as of March 15, 1996, he was disabled and unable to work due to a back injury. By filing the application, Pasquale Zinna agreed to notify the SSA if there was any improvement in his medical condition or if he regained the ability to work.

In September 2005, Zinna was hired to be the project superintendent for 160 Broadway Concrete, a sub-contractor at the high-rise construction project at 77 Hudson Street in

Jersey City. According to the indictment, Zinna continued to receive SSA benefits and hid his job from the federal government by having his paychecks issued under other people’s names.

Some of his paychecks were made out to his wife, Janeen Zinna, who pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud. She was also sentenced on June 6 to two years’ probation.

Pasquale Zinna also admitted to making a series of cash withdrawals from his joint checking account with his wife at Commerce Bank, now T.D. Bank, in order to avoid the bank’s reporting requirement for financial transactions in excess of $10,000.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Katharine S. Hayden sentenced Pasquale Zinna to three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $101,753 in restitution to the Social Security Administration and to forfeit $98,000 involved in the illegal financial transactions. Janeen Zinna was also held responsible for the restitution. The defendants paid these obligations in full at today’s proceeding.

Judge Hayden imposed the sentences today in Newark federal court.

The Zinnas live in Hackettstown.

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