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“A Caribbean Christmas,” featuring the Rolando Morales-Matos trio, will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 12:30 p.m. in the Atrium at 1000 Harbor Boulevard in the Lincoln Harbor section of Weehawken. (See brief.)
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West New York to crack down on drunk driving through January

The town of West New York will be ramping up enforcement against drunk driving, as part of the statewide, year-end "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign.

From Dec. 8 through Jan. 1, the West New York Police Department will work with state law enforcement in conducting saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints, to find potentially intoxicated motorists.

“During the last five years New Jersey has experienced nearly 40,000 alcohol-involved crashes resulting in more than 750 fatalities," said West New York Mayor Felix Roque, in a press release. “This is a critical law enforcement program that can save lives during a time of the year when impaired driving traditionally increases by nearly 10 percent."

If you plan to drink, WNY Police advise you to have a designated driver, use mass transit, take a taxi, ask a sober friend to take you home, or spend the night at the house the activity is happening at. If someone you know is drinking, do not allow them behind the wheel under any circumstances.

The UBS Atrium Series presents ‘A Caribbean Christmas’

The UBS Atrium Series continues its 15th season of free mid-day music with a holiday concert, “A Caribbean Christmas,” featuring the Rolando Morales-Matos trio, on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 12:30 p.m. in the Atrium at 1000 Harbor Boulevard in the Lincoln Harbor section of Weehawken.

Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Rolando Morales-Matos studied music through high school and then came to the mainland where he received his B.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University and his M.A. from Duquesne University. Currently, he is a percussionist and assistant conductor with Disney’s Lion King on Broadway and performs and records regularly in New York City with various Latin jazz groups and chamber orchestras.

Rounding out the trio will be Allen Farnham on keyboards and Ruben Rodriguez on bass.

Joining the trio as special guest will be Grammy-nominated vocalist Brenda Feliciano. Ms. Feliciano is a multi-talented performing artist who has sung many genres of music, including jazz and opera. She champions the Latin American Art Song, particularly that of her native Puerto Rico.

All performances for the UBS Atrium 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, and NJ Waterway ferry to Lincoln Harbor. For directions and more info, please check the HRPAC website - - or call the concert hotline at (201)716-4540.

Donate clothes for adults, boys, girls as part of domestic violence drive

Allstate agency owners from across New Jersey are coming together to host a supply drive to benefit the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence (NJCEDV). The donations will support the nonprofit’s mission to provide services to help end domestic violence and financial abuse throughout the state.

Now through Dec. 11, the public can participate by donating new winter coats, hats, gloves and scarves for women, boys and girls. A complete list of most-needed supplies can be found here: Through their volunteer efforts, each participating Allstate agency owner will secure a $1,000 Allstate Foundation Helping Hands grant. The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) will accept the grants and distribute the funding to local domestic violence nonprofits. The dates of the donation drives align with the 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, which NNEDV supports.

The following Hudson County Allstate locations are collecting items:

4914 Kennedy Blvd., West New York

315 Broadway, Bayonne

1317 Paterson Plank Road, Secaucus

Contact Natalie Terchek at 312-558-1770 for more information.

Do you have a piece of creative writing in the works, or a story in your head?

Reporter, editor, and published novelist Caren Lissner is bringing her one-shot writing/publishing class to Little City Books in Hoboken again in January, just four blocks from the Hoboken train station. 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.

The next "Get It Out" class takes place Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the book store. 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.

"Anyone who's working on a piece of writing is a writer,” Lissner said. “They shouldn't be shy about getting their work out there, even if they’ve never been published before. There are a lot of opportunities these days."

Lissner's humorous first novel, Carrie Pilby, was published in 2003, sold 74,000 copies worldwide, and was released as a movie this year (currently airing on Netflix). She has also published both serious and humorous writing in the New York Times,, McSweeney's, Harper's, LitHub, and National Lampoon. Read more of her writing and advice on

Those with questions can reach her via her website. The link to sign up for the class is (as a reader or as an auditor), or stop by Little City Books at 100 Bloomfield St., corner of First and Bloomfield, Hoboken, just four blocks from the light rail/PATH station. Call 201-626-READ to reach the bookstore.

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