Jun 24, 2012 | 2632 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
STRONG BEGINNING FOR COLOMBIA PARK – Actress and singer Allison Strong sang the American and Colombian national anthems at the opening of Union City’s Colombia Park on June 2. Photo by Luigi Novi.
STRONG BEGINNING FOR COLOMBIA PARK – Actress and singer Allison Strong sang the American and Colombian national anthems at the opening of Union City’s Colombia Park on June 2. Photo by Luigi Novi.

Two UC fires displace residents on blazing hot day; many firefighters treated for heat exhaustion

A five-alarm and a two-alarm fire broke out in two Union City apartment buildings Wednesday, displacing dozens of residents and sending four firefighters to the hospital for heat exhaustion as a result of temperatures that soared into the high 90s. Several firefighters were treated on the scene and released back to duty.

“The heat index was 100 yesterday, and you have to take into consideration that their [fire] gear weighs about 100 pounds,” North Hudson Regional Fire Director Jeff Welz said Thursday morning. “We usually say we have to add an additional alarm for hot weather, and in this case it was very true.”

The first two-alarm fire, called in at 3:15 p.m., began in the wall of a third-floor apartment at 525 10th St. and was under control in 15 minutes, Welz said. Fifteen residents were displaced.

The second fire which began in the three-story corner apartment building located at 2816 Kennedy Blvd. at around 10 p.m. was already visible and venting through the roof and the rear windows, Welz said.

At the fourth alarm, Jersey City firefighters were called in, and the fifth alarm was called due to the fact that “the firefighters were literally tumbling to the ground from exhaustion,” Welz added.

The building was attached to several similar buildings toward 27th Street, which posed the threat of rapid spread if the fire were not contained. Fortunately, it was.

“It was a tremendous save of the adjacent buildings considering the extreme weather and the aggressive nature of the fire,” Welz said. “The guys took a pounding but managed to keep the fire to the third floor.”

Welz estimate that around twelve families were displaced, and they were temporarily housed at the William V. Musto Cultural Center on 15th Street before being moved to local hotels.

WNY mayor denies local Democratic Committee’s claim of negative $2K balance in account post transfer

Local media reports stated Sunday that West New York Mayor Felix Roque removed $29,500 from the Democratic Municipal Committee account just before he was voted out as chairman last week, leaving a $2,000 negative balance. On Monday Roque explained the negative balance was due to a check that had not yet cleared, and that as of that day the balance was back to zero.

Committee Treasurer Cosmo Cirillo claimed there was still a negative balance on Monday morning.

In fact, on June 1, $14,500 had been transferred to the “Friends of Dr. Roque” account, and on June 4, $15,000 was transferred to the civic group associated with the mayor called “West New York Forever.” The checks were signed by Deputy Mayor Silvio Acosta, who had the ability to handle committee checks, Roque confirmed.

However, the act of moving the money out of the committee account was not illegal and within Roque's rights.

“The moving of money that was in the account isn’t illegal,” Cirillo said. “It's a matter of being unethical and inappropriate. The $2,000 is the concern of the committee and it's being looked into, which is a disservice to the committee itself.”

“I knew after being forced out of the town by the [political] machine that my chances were very slim in winning the line,” Roque said Monday in regards to his 44 to 13 loss of the Hudson County Democratic Organization committee seat vote last week. “I prepared accordingly by closing all the accounts in order to prevent the new committee from ravishing our earnings, and the money will go back to the town through our nonprofit.”

Grace Church to host flea market

Grace Church planned to host an outdoor flea market on Sat., June 23 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the church at 3901 Park Ave. in Union City. There will be excellent merchandise, terrific bargains, and great homemade food. Vendors are welcome.

For more information call (201) 863-6334 for information. No food vendors please.

Union City to hold Independence Day celebration

Union City will hold their annual Independence Day Celebration on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 from 6 to 10 p.m. along Summit Avenue from 17th to 22nd streets.

This year's festivities will include rides and activities for children, an art exhibit, classic cars, a demonstration by the Union City High School Jr. ROTC, free hot dogs and water, and live music by the musical groups Cubanoson, Union Hill, Rumba y Fuego, and the Alan Quinn Orchestra.

Admission to the event is free and everyone is invited to attend.

Free help at Dvine Konektion’s community fair

The Dvine Konektion Community Development Corporation will hold a free community fair on the third Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 5516 Jefferson St. in West New York. Residents of West New York, North Bergen, Union City, Weehawken and Guttenberg are welcome to attend the next event on July 21. Groceries and baby supplies will be distributed, and various medical screenings and other services are offered.

NHCAC to host golf classic

The North Hudson Community Action Foundation’s seventh Annual Michael A. Leggiero Memorial Golf Classic will take place July 23 at White Beeches Gold and Country Club in Dumont.

Tickets to the event are tax deductible and the proceeds are to be used to help fund the agency’s capital campaign to purchase the building that houses its health center in West New York. The agency is one of the region’s largest non-profit organizations and it is the largest provider of federally qualified health care in New Jersey, with 11 health centers in Hudson, Bergen and Passaic Counties.

A brunch buffet begins at 9:30 a.m. for golfers and non-golfers, with a dinner reception to follow at 5 p.m. Attendees may golf, or use the tennis and swimming facilities, as well.

“This year’s Golf Classic is a wonderful opportunity to see old friends, make new friends, and help North Hudson continue to provide much-needed social services and health care to tens of thousands of people in the region,” says Christopher F. Irizarry, NHCAC president and chief executive officer.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, please call Odalys Valdes at (201) 210-0100, ext. 318.

Palisades Medical Center to hold health screenings

Palisades Medical Center’s staff has partnered with North Hudson Community Action Corporation, Christ Hospital School of Nursing, and Hudson Perinatial Consortium to provide free health screenings and education programs. The New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) recognized Palisades Medical Center’s Community Outreach Program with its 2011 Community Outreach Award for its unique and effective methods of reaching out to better serve the healthcare needs of area residents.

Palisades Medical Center has scheduled a series of free health screenings over the coming months.

On July 28, a health fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Nazareth Baptist Church located at 5800 Palisade Ave. in West New York.

For more information, please call Joanne Riggs at (201) 854-5793.

For more information, call (201) 617-4484 or visit

West New York offers senior trips and events

West New York’s Senior Center will hold several events for seniors in June.

On June 27, there will be a senior trip to Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan to see Cirque de Solei’s “Zarkana.” They will depart at 12:30 p.m. and the show starts at 2 p.m. Tickets are $45.

On June 29, Hudson Hall will host its monthly seniors’ birthday party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free.

Hudson Hall is located at 6018 Hudson St., and events take place on the second floor. For more information, call the Senior Center at (201) 295-5144.

House of Worship Ministries to host music festival

House of Worship Ministries will host the First Annual Freedom Music Festival on July 7, 6:30 p.m., at the Patricia McEldowney Park located at 62nd Street and Boulevard East. Attendants will enjoy an evening of music, food, games, and community fellowship. For more information, visit or email

NHCAC announces registration for new programs

North Hudson Community Action Corporation celebrates National Community Action Month by announcing the beginning of its new programs.

They will offer two semesters of free English as a Second Language classes. The summer semester begins in June, and the fall semester in September. Call (201) 943-2410 for more information or to register.

They will also offer a financial literacy workshop series. Call (201) 866-9320, ext. 213, for more information. Both individual and corporate instruction is available.

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