North Bergen artist Robert Sundholm was set to make his New York City art debut at the Metropolitan Pavilion on Jan 19. (See Brief)
North Bergen artist Robert Sundholm was set to make his New York City art debut at the Metropolitan Pavilion on Jan 19. (See Brief)

Housing Authority receives government grant

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has selected the North Bergen Housing Authority as a recipient for its ROSS (Resident Opportunity and Self Sufficiency) Grant, according to a township press release. The $245,000 grant allows the authority more funds for its free services and positions it to form more community partnerships to assist residents.

“We are very proud to be a recipient of this prestigious grant,” said Gerald Sanzari, the authority’s executive director. “Over the next three years we will be looking to expand our current services such as health screenings, financial planning, job training, and other initiatives. I would like to thank our entire staff for their hard work; they were instrumental in securing this grant.”

Mayor Nicholas Sacco also cheered the award. “I would like to congratulate the North Bergen Housing Authority for the great work they are doing for their residents,” Sacco said. “I am excited to see the new and improved services they will be offering.”

Local Walgreens hosting blood drive, free diabetes testing

The Walgreens pharmacy at 7401 River Road will hold a blood drive on Saturday, Jan. 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., a press release from Hackensack UMC Palisade announced. The American Red Cross will also have a blood donor bus on site for those who wish to donate. Each donor will receive a $5 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card. Professionals from Hackensack will also be on hand to administer free diabetes testing and pulse oximetry screenings (the percentage of oxygen in the bloodstream). For more information, contact Richard Kim at (201) 662-6280.

Recreation Center expanding hours

North Bergen’s recreation center has expanded its hours for the new year. Starting Jan. 17, the center began operating from 2-9 p.m. The change was made to better serve children and parents at school and work during earlier hours.

There will also be more personnel on hand to assist with residents’ needs. In addition, registration for baseball and soccer at the center began the same day. Registration is for kids up to age 16. To sign up, residents must bring a birth certificate or passport, proof of North Bergen residency (i.e. a utility bill), and a $35 non-refundable registration fee to the center. Visit the town’s website at for more information.

Former North Bergen janitor makes art show debut in NYC

A former North Bergen janitor turned painter was set to celebrate the opening of his first New York City show Jan 19. In 2009, Robert Sundholm’s paintings on the walls of North Bergen’s Town Hall captured the attention of lawyer and fellow artist Daniel Belardinelli. In turn, Belardinelli helped Sundholm curate his first show in Jersey City a few months later. Sundholm, who lives in North Bergen, will be debuting with the Outsider Art Fair at the New York’s Metropolitan Pavilion’s Marianne b gallery. “An artist must be vetted to be in the OAF and the vetting committee was in awe of his work & life story,” Belardinelli said in an email. For more information, visit