New Jersey Symphony Orchestra string quartet performed Broadway music at the Bayonne Museum on March 12 in a performance titled “Broadway Bound” that featured critically-acclaimed music from Leonard Bernstein. NJSO Chamber Players Rebekah Johnson, Hector Falcon, and Martin Andersen played the violin and Sarah Seiver played the cello.
Gabriel van Aalst, President and CEO of NJSO said, “There are six regular performances throughout the state with a focus on community engagement as a primary goal, which is the main reason why the orchestra decided to come to Bayonne.”
The NJSO is a 95-year-old arts organization based at the NJ Performing Arts Center in Newark. The string quartet performs for more than 60,000 people in NJ communities every year in addition to its mainstage audience.
Bayonne Board of Education purchases metal detectors
The Bayonne Board of Education purchased 13 walk-through detectors and 25 wands that will be implemented by the last week of March, according to Interim Superintendent Michael A. Wanko. All elementary schools will have one walk-through detector and two wands. In addition to the metal detector already at the high school, two more will be installed and three additional wands will be issued to security.
“Rest assured that we are working diligently in cooperation with the Bayonne Police to provide a safe and secure school system while still providing a welcoming environment for our students,” said Wanko in a letter sent to all parents last week.
First steps taken to eliminate PARCC testing
The acting state education commissioner, Lamont Repollet, has started working to end NJ schools’ participation in standardized tests from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, the New Jersey Herald reports. Repollet said in a memo to school administrators that he will form a committee to study new test options and initiate a listening tour to hear from students and teachers. He said the transition will not be immediate and will take place in a “thoughtful, deliberative process.”
Many Bayonne families opt out of the PARCC tests, while the district’s overall scores are below state average.
Man who allegedly flashed gun at La Tinaja Lounge caught and charged
On March 4 a patron of La Tinaja Lounge on Broadway between 11th and 12th streets allegedly removed a handgun from his waistband and placed it onto the bar at around 2 a.m., then put the weapon back into his waistband and left with a female friend, who allegedly later drove back to the bar. By interviewing witnesses and later, the woman who drove the man away, police found that the man hid the weapon in the trunk of the woman’s car. With her permission, the police found a .40 caliber handgun and a magazine loaded with 12 bullets in the trunk. The weapon was reported stolen in Alabama in 2004.
The Bayonne Police Department charged Ian Foley, 27 of Bayville, with unlawful possession of a handgun, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and receiving stolen property.
When police arrived on the scene on March 4, the man had already left the bar.
Permits for two-family detached homes no longer required for roofing and siding jobs
Under new rules that took effect this week, construction permits will no longer be needed for roof repairs and siding jobs on New Jersey two-family detached homes, The Record reports. The state Department of Community Affairs has reclassified those types of jobs as minor work and ordinary maintenance. That means construction permits, which can cost hundreds of dollars, and follow-up inspections will no longer be necessary.
NJ company volunteers to pay drunken rider’s $1,600 Uber bill from West Va. to NJ
A New Jersey-based company has stepped forward to pay a $1,600 bill for a Gloucester County man who mistakenly ordered an Uber ride to New Jersey while intoxicated in West Virginia, SNJ Today reports. Kenny Bachman had intended to use Uber to return to a house where he was staying near West Virginia University but instead traveled 300 miles to his home in Gloucester County. The founder of Eat Clean Bro, a food delivery company based in Freehold, has offered to pay the fare as a way to thank Bachman for not driving when he was drunk.
Jersey City teacher charged with alleged sexual assault
Sean Lora, 42, of Bayonne, who is employed as a teacher at Franklin L. Williams Middle School No. 7 in Jersey City, has been charged with sexual assault for allegedly touching a student, according to a release issued by Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez.
Lora was arrested on March 7 by members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit.
Lora allegedly sexually touched a student on March 6. The alleged incident was reported to the prosecutor’s office by the school’s principal.
Suarez said a subsequent investigation by SVU detectives led to additional victims alleging similar incidents. Lora has been charged with three counts of sexual assault by contact, aggravated criminal sexual contact, and five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Sheriff’s Office adds new patrol vehicles and K9 units
The Hudson County Sheriff’s Office purchased 10 new vehicles, five K9 units and five patrol vehicles. Five new dogs were acquired via the Render Safe Grant. Four of them are German shepherds and will be trained in bomb and explosive detection and patrols. These four are expected to begin working during the early summer months.
The department will be holding a memorial service shortly for one of its dogs who died after recently being retired from the force.
In addition, the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office is adding a Bloodhound, the first in any law enforcement agency in Hudson County. This breed of dog is specifically known for their human tracking abilities, however it will not be used to track criminals due to the breed’s nonaggressive nature. The dog will be used to track missing persons such as autistic children and elderly people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The Bloodhound will be available for service by early May.
The additions of these new dogs bolsters the ranks of the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit to a total of seven, five of them trained in explosives and patrol, one in narcotics, and one in tracking missing persons.
Cunningham parole reform plan approved by committee
A plan authored by state Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-31 dist.) that would help reform the state’s parole system by reducing recidivism and better preparing inmates to reenter mainstream society gained the approval of a Senate committee on March 5. The bill, S-761, approved by the Senate Budget Committee, would make a series of reforms, including a requirement to develop a reentry and rehabilitation plan for each inmate.
The bill would also establish “administrative parole release,” provide compliance credits, establish an inmate disciplinary database and mandate an impact study of the bill’s reforms. In addition, the bill would require the Department of Corrections to conduct a study and issue a report concerning the bill’s fiscal impact.
“Studies and experience show that reentry services are very effective in preventing past offenders from becoming repeat offenders and helping them to become law-abiding citizens,” said Cunningham.
Similar legislation was approved by both houses of the legislature last year, only to be conditionally vetoed by then-Gov. Christopher Christie.
Administrative parole would mean the release of an adult inmate who has met the criteria in the bill at the time of parole eligibility and would occur after a hearing officer reviews the pre-parole report of an inmate and the inmate is certified for release. Under current law, an adult inmate is released on parole at the time of parole eligibility, unless the inmate has failed to cooperate in his or her own rehabilitation or there is a reasonable expectation that the inmate will violate conditions of parole.
Public invited to talk on ADHD and mood disorders
On Wednesday evening, March 28, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) will feature at its monthly meeting Bruce P. Friedman, M.D. Dr. Friedman treats children, adolescents and adults. He was magna cum laude at Duke University, earned his medical degree at University of Arizona, was chief resident at NYU/Bellevue, and has been recognized for clinical excellence for NYU Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is a Diplomate in Adult & Child & Adolescent Psychiatry & TMS Neuromodulation. His private practice is in Montclair.
Dr. Friedman’s presentation will be, “An update on AD/HD medication strategies in children, adolescents and adults. Facts vs. Fads.” It will be followed by an “Ask the Doctor” session on mood disorder topics for all ages.
These educational meetings of the organization take place on a Wednesday every month at 7:45 pm using the facilities of the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road (about one block east of the Morris Museum), in Morristown. The public is cordially invited to attend all meetings; a nominal donation is requested from non-members, when possible. Free literature is available to all attendees and there is an extensive lending library of educational audiotapes, CD’s and videotapes, also free.
In addition to the lecture series, peer group support sessions led by experienced facilitators are held every Tuesday evening of the month, also using the facilities of the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship in Morristown at 7:30 p.m. Separate groups for young adults are held every Tuesday evening and separate groups for friends and family are held periodically. All are always welcomed.
Visit the Website of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance/Morristown Area at http://dbsanewjersey.org/morristownarea to learn more about the support group and to view links to other sources of helpful information. For further local information, call (973) 994-1143.
NJ Land Conservancy renews scholarship program for 2018
The Land Conservancy of New Jersey is now accepting applications for its 2018 Scholarship Program. Two scholarships are available to college students who reside in New Jersey and are pursuing a degree in environmental science, natural resource management, conservation, horticulture, park administration, or a related field. The application deadline is April 1.
Applications can be downloaded from The Land Conservancy of New Jersey website, www.tlc-nj.org or can be obtained by calling (973) 541-1010 x14. Potential candidates must be New Jersey residents enrolled in a college or university, be in good standing, have at least 15 credits completed, and have an academic average equivalent to a 3.0 or higher.
“This year we are pleased to be able to provide $7,500 to each of our two scholarship recipients,” announced Rick Simon, trustee and member of the scholarship committee for The Land Conservancy of New Jersey.