The Route 495 helix bridge in Weehawken is about to get some lovely color, courtesy of a planned mural that will show the town’s history and diversity.
According to Mayor Richard Turner, local artist Raul Rubio will begin painting the mural on Wednesday. “It should be done around end of the month, maybe around Thanksgiving,” Turner said.
The mural will feature the Weehawken Water Tower, Alexander Hamilton (who died after a duel in town in 1804), a view of New York City, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, and a collage of children from all different ethnic groups.
The mural will cost $12,000, some or all of which will likely come from local businesses. “We have some business people that are interested,” Turner said.
“It’s a very drab and dark area,” he added. “We reached out to [Rubio] to brighten it up. It’s our attempt to beautify the area. If it’s successful, we may try to do some of the other bridge walls.”
‘Gamified’ math program personalizes learning in Weehawken
Students in grades three through six in Weehawken’s Theodore Roosevelt School were introduced recently to a cutting-edge and but research-based method for learning math using video games. ST Math is meant to get students solving problems by thinking them through, instead of following steps by rote. “ST” stands for “spatial/temporal.” Instead of math questions being posed in words on a board or ditto, they are posed in graphics on a screen.
“The key to the ST program is that it encourages children to engage in strong mathematical thinking whether they have developed those language skills or not,” Weehawken School District Director of Student Achievement Denis Sheeran said. “The students have to think about the problem visually and spatially, and then try something they think is appropriate.”
Students get four chances to solve each problem, such as using the place values of 10,100 and 1,000 to move bricks together to build steps for a penguin to climb, or determining how many flower petals a bee visited. The ST philosophy is less about getting the right answer, than it is about the process of problem-solving itself. The idea is, by learning from their mistakes, students can soon grasp the concepts behind the problems.
Students who are unsuccessful at solving an ST math problem, or skipped it altogether, will automatically be presented with similar problems until they have grasped the concept well enough to solve the problem. “The program intuitively provides personalized remediation,” Theodore Roosevelt School special-education teacher Kendra Kane said. Similarly, students who excel at solving the math problems are automatically confronted with more challenging math problems.
ST Math helps students in two ways, according to Weehawken’s Superintendent, Dr. Robert R Zywicki. “First, the kids are developing a growth mindset in which they set goals for finishing levels of the game by mastering new skills. Second, research from Stanford University has shown that “number sense” rather than memorization and rote procedure is the essential element for students’ math success. ST Math forces kids to develop their number sense.”
Free legal help available for citizenship applications
Holy Redeemer Parish in West New York will offer a free workshop in partnership with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark to assist residents to receive free legal assistance to submit applications for U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization. The applicants will be solely responsible for the USCIS petition application fee. If the applicant cannot pay in full, the applicant can bring their 2016 tax return to determine if they can request a full or partial fee waiver.
The workshop is scheduled for Nov. 20, 6 to 9 p.m., at Holy Redeemer Parish, 569 65th St., West New York. There is no parish affiliation requirement. Call the parish ahead of time, 201-868-9444 to ensure the program is still running.
The UBS Atrium Series presents its opening concert on Wednesday, Nov. 15
The UBS Atrium Series begins its 15th season of free midday music with a concert by the Django Festival All-Stars on Wednesday, Nov. 15th at 12:30 pm. The concert will take place in the Atrium at 1000 Harbor Boulevard in the Lincoln Harbor section of Weehawken.
The Django Festival All-Stars bring the music of the legendary Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt (1910-1953) fully into the 21st Century. Their unique, high-energy performances pay tribute to Reinhardt, who is considered one of the greatest guitar players of all time and the first European jazz musician to make major contributions to the development of the jazz guitar genre. Reinhardt’s driving, swinging style became known as “hot jazz” and it continues to grow in popularity.
The All-Stars honor the traditions of this French Gypsy Jazz while adding their own creative interpretations, arrangements, and original compositions with stunning virtuosity.
This internationally-renowned group stars members of one of Europe’s greatest musical families, guitarists Dorado Schmitt and his two sons, Samson and Amati. Also featured are virtuoso violinist Pierre Blanchard and accordionist extraordinaire Ludovic Beier.
In recent years, the Django Festival All-Stars have played top venues round the world, including the Kennedy Center, the Newport Jazz Festival, and the Montreal Jazz Festival, to name but a few. This past summer the All Stars played the Hollywood Bowl to great acclaim. The group also plays twice a year at their New York City home, Birdland.
All performances for the series begin at 12:30 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public and the venue is wheelchair accessible. Free parking is available in the adjacent outdoor lot and public transportation options include NJ Transit Bus 158 as well as the Hudson Bergen Light Rail to Lincoln Harbor. For directions and more info, please check the HRPAC website - www.hrpac.org - or call the concert hotline at (201) 716-4540.
Philanthropist gifts Hudson Chamber and its non-profit base
The Hudson County Chamber of Commerce (HCCC) has announced the receipt of a $100,000 gift by philanthropist and former Congressman Frank J. Guarini, in recognition of the 10th anniversary of the chamber’s rebranding effort. It comes on the eve of Legends 10, the annual event at Liberty Science Center honoring outstanding members of Hudson County’s business community. The unprecedented donation was followed by additional gifts to 39 non-profit organizations who are members of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce.
“It is most important that our business community supports the good work of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce and harnesses the energy and dedication of our non-profit community. Our future depends on working together with a common purpose. Together, through the chamber, we can assure a successful and prosperous tomorrow.” Guarini stated.
The 129-year-old Hudson County Chamber of Commerce presently has a diversified membership of more than 600 businesses located throughout the County. It supports 50 programs annually and is ranked in the top 25 Chambers in the State of New Jersey by NJBiz.
Maria Nieves, president and CEO of the HCCC, recognized Congressman Guarini as a treasured leader, resource, and contributor to the energy and growth of business in Hudson County and the state:
“Frank Guarini’s timely support provides critical and immediate funding to a diverse and growing community of non-profit organizations in Jersey City which contribute greatly to elevating the city’s quality of life for all.”