In a July 20 letter, Trustee Angel L. Valentin announced he will resign from the Jersey City Board of Education effective Aug. 1, “due to ongoing health issues.”
The board is expected to name a replacement at a special meeting on July 31. A special election to fill the one-year remaining in Valentin’s term will be held in November. Candidates must file for this seat as well as any other seats in contention by July 30 at 4 p.m.
Valentin, a certified social worker, has worked in the Jersey City Employment Training Program, Catholic Community Services, the YWCA of Hudson County, and other organizations. He was elected to the board in 2016. He had previously served on the board from 2002 to 2014.
“It has been a pleasure serving the school children of Jersey City Public Schools and with my fellow colleagues as we navigated both the good times and the more challenging ones,” he said in his letter of resignation. “Due to ongoing health issues and attending weekly physical therapy rehabilitation program, it is in the best interest that I step down and allow another citizen to provide a quality service to our children. As I evaluated this school year as a board member I have not been productive as I wanted to be. Another factor is that I will be relocating at the end of the year and this will give the board time to appoint someone.”
JC man charged in death of 23-month-old child
Andrew Howard-French, 28, of Jersey City, has been charged with the murder of a 23-month-old child he was supposed to babysitting, according to Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez.
On Tuesday, July 17 at approximately 3:30 p.m., Jersey City police were dispatched to 115 Van Wagenen Ave. in Jersey City on a report of a child with life-threatening injuries. The child, later identified as Bryce Sparrow of Jersey City, was transported by Emergency Medical Services to Jersey City Medical Center and pronounced dead at approximately 3:45 p.m.
On July 25, following an investigation, members of the Homicide Unit arrested Howard-French without incident at the prosecutor’s office.
The Regional Medical Examiner’s Office has declared the cause of death to be multiple blunt
force injuries and the manner of death to be homicide.
The Prosecutor’s Homicide Unit is actively investigating this case with assistance from the Jersey City Police Department. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hudson County Prosecutor at (201) 915-1345 or to leave an anonymous tip at:
http://www.hudsoncountyprosecutorsofficenj.org/homicide-tip/. All information will be kept confidential.
County tax board certifies Jersey City tax rate
For the fifth year in a row, Jersey City residents will receive a tax bill with no municipal tax rate increase, which became official on July 27 as the Hudson County Tax Board certified the city’s 2018 rate. The new rate, $1.48 (per $100 of assessed value) is lower than the initial rate that had been sent to residents earlier this year in a letter from Appraisal Systems. The official rate comes in below the $1.62 estimate.
Residents will receive their tax bills in the mail in approximately 4 weeks. While the deadline for payment of Aug. 1 is not permitted to change per state statute, there will be a no-late-charge grace period of 25 days after the mail date of the bills.
Property owners pay taxes to the municipality, the county, and the local school system. The county and school tax rates have not been finalized.
JC Library announces August events
In addition to its usual array of interactive workshops, classes, films, and social opportunities for children, young adults, families, adults, and seniors, the Jersey City Free Public Library has several new offerings in August.
The library summer reading program will conclude at its various branches (Five Corners, Greenville, Heights, Marion, Pavonia and West Bergen) and will include closing ceremonies.
TechGirlz Workshop will be held at Miller Branch on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at 5 p.m. This is for children 7 to 12 to learn how to create computer graphics and animated objects using Python.
The library Indian Culture Film Series continues at Five Corners, with a selection of films celebrating Indian independence on Saturdays at 1 p.m.
Meditation for Relaxation will be held at Five Corners Branch on Monday, Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. and the Heights Branch on Thursday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m.
Vigil leaves municipal government; Cialone to become director of HEDC
Deputy Mayor Marcos Vigil has resigned as deputy mayor and as director of the Department of Housing, Economic Development, and Commerce (HECD). His last day will be Aug. 10. He will be replaced at HEDC by city planning director, Annisia Cialone.
“Marcos has provided Jersey City with exceptional leadership during the past few years, both as deputy mayor and as director of HEDC,” said Mayor Steven Fulop.
Vigil has served deputy mayor for over three years. In January, he became director of HEDC. He has represented the city as a member of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities’ Legislative Committee and as the Mayor’s Alternate Trustee for the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority.
Ribbon cut on first low-cost spay & neuter mobile van
Exchange Physical Therapy Group, as well as company owner Jaclyn Fulop, and Liberty Humane Society, cut the ribbon earlier in July for Jersey City’s first low-cost spay/neuter mobile van during a ceremony at the animal shelter at 235 Jersey City Blvd.
The mobile van was purchased and its services made possible after a fundraising drive organized by Exchange Physical Therapy Group and Jaclyn Fulop, raising over $125,000 for the non-profit animal shelter.
In New Jersey there are very few subsidies for spay/neuter. Some towns enter into contracts with providers to pay for residents to access discounted services, but they are not very common and still can be too expensive for the pet owner, and in most cases, the town picks up the bulk of the cost. Liberty Humane in partnership with EPTG has developed a program to raise the funds to cover the low-cost spay and neuter program entirely, similar to non-profits in New York City.
Due to current capacity and resources, the program is designed initially for large dogs (40+ pounds) and outdoor cats in colonies of 10 or fewer whose owners/caretakers reside in the contracted service areas of Jersey City and Hoboken. Eligible pet owners would pay $10 to spay or neuter their dog or cat.
For more information, please contact Irene Borngraeber, Executive Director, Liberty Humane Society at (201) 748.9561 or email@example.com.
HRPAC announces August concerts
The next Wednesday night concerts set for Summer Concerts on the Hudson at Lincoln Harbor Park in Weehawken will be Ranky Tanky, on Aug. 8, and Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, on Aug. 15. Both shows start at 7 p.m.
From Charleston, S.C., Ranky Tanky released its first CD in October 2017 and by December, Ranky Tanky had been profiled on NPR’s nationally syndicated radio show, “Fresh Air,” with Terry Gross. The album then soared to the No. 1 position on the Billboard, iTunes, and Amazon Jazz Charts. This group performs Gullah music from the Georgia and Carolina Sea Islands with jazz inspiration and a New Orleans twist.
For nearly two decades, the Catskill Mountains hid singer and songwriter Arleigh Kincheloe, until one day she said goodbye to her hometown and moved to New York City to start the hard soul collective, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds. The group has performed more than 700 shows and made their national TV debut on NBC’s “Today Show.” They’ve released three full-length studio albums, including their most recent, the acclaimed "The Weather Below.”
These free concerts will take place at Lincoln Harbor Park, located just north of the Chart House restaurant directly on the west bank of the Hudson River in Weehawken, New Jersey. Free parking is available and public transportation, including NJ Transit bus 158 from the Port Authority and Light Rail, will bring concertgoers to Lincoln Harbor. Please use 1700 Harbor Boulevard for GPS directions.
For more information including the full summer concert schedule, directions, updates, and rain date info, please check the HRPAC website, www.hrpac.org, or call the concert info line at (201) 716-4540.
Christ Hospital to host seminar on managing heart or lung disease
Christ Hospital will hold a free seminar about dealing with heart or lung disease as part of its Lunch & Learn Series on Tuesday, Aug. 14 from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Attendees will hear from medical experts in the heart, lung, and nutrition fields about how to better manage congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The event will include hands-on demonstrations and a question-and-answer period.
A free, special heart-healthy lunch will be provided.
Those interested in attending should preregister by emailing Nancy.Aleman@CarePointHealth.org by Aug. 9.
Anyone seeking additional information may call Aleman at (201) 341-1310.
The seminar will be held at Christ Hospital,176 Palisade Ave., in Staff Rooms A and B.
‘Legends’ nominations sought
The Hudson County Chamber of Commerce will host Legends 11 on Thursday, Dec. 13 at Liberty Science Center. Legends have been dedicated individuals committed to the county cultural, social, non-profit, and business landscape. Each has been distinguished himself/herself as a pillar of the community who had served with longstanding integrity, service, and honor.
Chamber members can nominate individuals for the Corporate Citizenship, Public Service, Iconic Leadership and the Daryl Harrison Rand Leadership Awards. The deadline is Friday, Aug. 17. Nominees who are chamber members in good standing are strongly preferred.
Nominations can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. All nominations received by close of business on Friday, Aug. 17 will be reviewed by the committee. The final 2018 honorees who embody the qualities that have become the standard for a Legend of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce will be announced in September.
NJCU Foundation board announces new officers
The New Jersey City University Foundation Board of Directors has elected four executive officers. The officers are business executives from a variety of private-sector and non-profit backgrounds.
Peter Hernandez, senior vice president of accounting at Wyndham Destinations, has been elected chair, replacing Luke Visconti, CEO and founder of DiversityInc, who led the board since 2013 and served as a member since 2006.
Paul Silverman, co-founder and principal of Silverman Building and chairman of the New Jersey Beer Company, has been elected vice chair.
Edward O’Connor, managing director and head of Workplace Wealth and Retirement Plans at Morgan Stanley, has been elected treasurer.
Judith Wodynski, a former director of Alumni Affairs at Jersey City State College/New Jersey City University, will become board secretary. She is currently a travel agent at Swain’s Travel in Nantucket, Mass.
Deadline is Sept. 7 for Kennedy Dancers Inner City Youth Scholarship
Sept. 7 is the deadline for Kennedy Dancers afterschool scholarships for students ages 13-18 years old. This scholarship provides unlimited dance classes at no cost for up to two years.
All applicants must provide proof of residency in the following places: Jersey City, East Newark, Guttenberg, Harrison, Kearny, Weehawken, West New York, and Secaucus. Applicants must also provide a complete ICY intake form, proof of identification (parent and student) and proof of income.
Those accepted must purchase a “Dance Essentials” package ($100): Kennedy Dancers shorts, one pair of tan tights, one pair of pink tights, one dance skirt, and one pair of tan jazz shoes. They must also go through a scheduled dance evaluation appointment to determine their skill level.
For more information go to http://www.kennedydancers.org/.
JC teen convicted in Hoboken Housing Authority fatal shooting
19-year-old Keyshawn Wiggins of Jersey City was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Hoboken resident Adrian Rivera.
Rivera, who was 18 years old at the time of his death, was shot and killed on Jan. 24, 2017 in his home in the Hoboken Housing Authority in an armed home robbery.
Police later found over three pounds of marijuana and over $13,000 in his apartment, said Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez in February 2017.
Jersey City residents and codefendants Khalif Geiger, age 21, and Douglas Dixon, who was 17 at the time, both pleaded guilty to first degree armed robbery and will be sentenced on Sept. 6.
Saint Dominic Academy senior named Scholastic All-American
Saint Dominic Academy senior Danielle Prekop of Jersey City has been named to the USA Swimming Scholastic All-American Team for 2017-2018. Prekop is a member of the SDA Aqua Devils and currently holds four individual (Hudson) county records. She also swims for the Scarlet Aquatic Club in Jersey City. In the 2017 winter season, Prekop was ranked by USA Swimming as 1st in New Jersey and 17th in the United States in the 200 Meter and 1st in New Jersey and 22nd in the United States in the 400 Meter. She is currently ranked in the Top 5 in New Jersey in four events and in the top 10 in three others. She competes in Sectional meets around the country as well as state championships where she has won or finaled in multiple events.
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