Jun 27, 2010 | 2074 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HEY THERE, GOOD LOOKIN’ – This American kestrel was spotted recently in the Meadowlands. Photo credit: New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.
HEY THERE, GOOD LOOKIN’ – This American kestrel was spotted recently in the Meadowlands. Photo credit: New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.

Secaucus teachers likely to take ‘no confidence’ vote on Randina

The Secaucus Education Association (SEA) will likely take a “vote of no confidence” on schools Superintendent Cynthia Randina before the end of the current school year, according to SEA President Robert Anderson.

The 2009-2010 school year ends on Monday, June 28 with the Secaucus High School graduation.

Anderson declined to specify exactly when the vote will be taken.

The SEA, a local teachers’ union with about 225 members, met on June 22 and agreed to give members an opportunity to hold a “no confidence” vote on Randina’s leadership.

The union’s decision came one week after Randina met with teachers to make amends for recent transfers and layoffs that didn’t sit well with many parents and school staff members. Most of the transfers and layoffs have since been reversed. But union members believe the school district has been on the wrong track ever since Randina’s appointment in 2008.

Teachers have opposed many of Randina’s hiring and spending decisions, in addition to her emphasis on technology in the classroom.

“Her apology wasn’t an apology,” Anderson said, referring to Randina’s meeting with staff two weeks ago. “There have been mistakes made by everybody. And I’ll admit the SEA has made some mistakes…I’ve tried to put off the vote of no confidence. But right now it’s not a happy [school] district.”

When the vote is taken, Anderson said he believes a majority SEA members will vote that they have no confidence in Randina.

In Secaucus, the schools superintendent answers to a nine-member board of trustees. If the no confidence vote passes, it will be presented to the board, which is not bound to take action on the union vote.

Anderson admitted it’s unclear whether a vote of no confidence will have any bearing on Randina’s job. But such a vote could put political pressure on board members, who are elected to their posts and who have so far have largely backed Randina and her decisions.

Meadowlands Hospital workers meet with probable new owners

On Thursday, June 24, MHA, a for-profit limited liability corporation that is purchasing Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center from LibertyHealth, held a series of “town meetings” with hospital staff regarding the pending sale. The meetings were held at press time and details on what was discussed were not available. The company has said before that they intend to keep the facility as a hospital.

However, it is clear that hospital staff members are still concerned about their futures if the sale is approved. Last week the Health Professionals and Allied Employees, a union that represents 250 nurses and other Meadowlands Hospital workers, placed ads on this website claiming MHA has yet to answer key questions regarding the sale.

One ad posted on also asked members of the community to sign a petition in support of hospital employees.

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and the state Attorney General must still approve the deal between LibertyHealth and MHA. When asked for an update regarding the sale last month, an MHA spokesman said the Attorney General was reviewing the sale.

Secaucus couple: landlord refused wife’s ‘emotional support’ dog

The state’s Division on Civil Rights last week issued a “probable cause finding” against the owner of a nine-unit apartment building on Maple Street in Secaucus and the real estate agency that lists the apartments, according to published articles. The finding means that preliminary evidence indicates there is a reasonable suspicion that the landlord (or the real estate agency that lists his rentals) may have violated state discrimination laws.

The case involves a couple who filed a complaint alleging that a local landlord denied them an apartment because the wife wanted to live with an “emotional support dog,” that they said was prescribed for her after she was treated for breast cancer.

The couple alleged that they were denied the rental after telling a real estate agent about the dog.

According to an article, “The [real estate] agency claimed that it passed along the [couple’s] documentation to the landlord, including information about the dog being medically allowed. [The landlord] denied ever receiving this documentation.”

The state’s finding is not proof of guilt or innocence, but rather a decision that there is enough preliminary evidence to support a claim.

Celebrate India’s independence on Aug. 22

In honor of the 63rd anniversary of India’s independence, the Indian Caucus of Secaucus will host a celebration on Sunday, Aug. 22. The group will hold a kick-off meeting on Friday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center. The meeting will be held in the Panasonic Room. All suggestions are welcome to make the Aug. 22 event a success. Anyone interested in joining the planning committee is encouraged to attend this meeting.

For more information, e-mail, or call Rajesh Nagpal at (201) 864-0033, or Urvashi Mishra at (201) 933-6651.

Art sale, ferry ride to benefit Integrity House

On Saturday, July 3 and Sunday July 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be an “Arts & Boutique Sale” to benefit Integrity House, the nationally recognized substance abuse rehabilitation center with a location in Secaucus. There is a $10 admission fee. Proceeds from the events will benefit the Integrity Initiative for Women & Children.

The Arts & Boutique Sale, held aboard the Yankee Ferry in Hoboken, will also provide a magnificent view of the legendary Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact Susan Lyons at (973) 623-7246 or Vivian Ahrens at (908) 766-7363.

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