North Bergen Board of Education elections on April 17
The North Bergen Board of Education will hold its annual elections on April 17. Twenty-three people are running for three seats, including two slates.
Three incumbents are running on the Mayor Nicholas Sacco-backed Our Children First slate. They are defending their three-year seats on the nine-person board. They are: Haissam Jaafar, Claudia Rodriguez, and Ruth Shaw.
Also running, on the Save Our Schools slate backed by Sacco opponent Larry Wainstein, are Zeneida Larios, Viviana Salcedo, and Adelaida Rivera.
Other candidates include Jose Santos, Yesica Birritta Andrade, Dawn Gelpi, Kastirene Almanzar, Shannon Salazar, Rosa Fernandez, Diane Pinto, Kathleen Lagomarsino, Katlyn Lopez, Donna Cieckiewicz, Glenda Vega, Hector Lopez, Mikhail Lvovsky, Benigno Garcia, and Michael Appell.
Candidates Jeanne Wesly and Lorenza Flores told a reporter, when reached at home, that they are dropping out.
This year, voters will vote on a proposed $51 million tax levy for the upcoming school budget. That is a 5 percent increase over last year’s tax levy, according to Business Administrator Steve Somick.
Polls are open from 2 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Visit the North Bergen municipal website’s clerk’s office page at http://www.northbergen.org/Departments/clerks-office to find your polling location.
Santini’s lawyer says his client may take legal action against Housing Authority
Former North Bergen Housing Authority (NBHA) Director of Security Geoffrey Santini is mulling legal action against the agency for terminating him on March 28, according to his lawyer.
The NBHA fired Santini last month after it followed up on an NBC News investigative report alleging he barely showed up to his full-time position at the federally funded NBHA. The NBC report also alleged that Santini misused an Authority SUV for his private animal control business (which contracts with several local towns) and for other personal uses.
“He’s innocent of any wrongdoing,” said attorney Louis Zayas. “We believe that the determination was entirely unlawful and illegal.”
Zayas also said Santini never received an opportunity to defend himself against the allegations.
Unless the Housing Authority rescinds the termination, Santini intends to take legal action, Zayas said.
For prior stories on the matter, see hudsonreporter.com.
Get rid of household hazardous waste on May 6
The Township of North Bergen, in conjunction with the Hudson County Improvement Authority, will host a spring 2018 Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Tire Amnesty Program from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 6 at the Municipal Utilities Authority, 6200 Tonnelle Ave.
Anyone who wishes to drop off materials must submit a list of items in advance. Please fill out the Hazardous Waste Management Manifest at http://www.northbergen.org/_Content/pdf/MANIFEST-Spring2018.pdf and fax it to (201) 324-6206 by Tuesday, April 24.
Anyone who shows up on the HHW collection day with materials that were not manifested will be turned away with all their materials. Also please be sure to deliver these materials in an environmentally-safe manner.
The event includes a tire amnesty program. Up to four tires per household will be accepted at no charge to residents. In addition, computers will be accepted for recycling.
For information on what constitutes household hazardous waste, visit HCIA.org and at the top of the page click on Hazardous Waste>What is HHW?
Library to hold Job Fair on April 25
The North Bergen Free Public Library is hosting a community job fair from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. There will be a large array of vendors onsite.
This event is sponsored by the library, New Jersey Career Connections, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and the NJ State Library. For more information email Tracey Rivera at email@example.com. The library is located at 8411 Bergenline Ave.
Company seeks to build $1.5B power plant in North Bergen
Los Angeles-based company Diamond Generating Corp – a subsidiary of Mitsubishi – is seeking to build a power plant in North Bergen, according to a spokesman. The plant would send its electricity to New York City.
The company has been meeting for several months with elected officials, state agencies, and community stake holders in both New York and New Jersey to determine if the project is environmentally and economically feasible.
If approved by the state, the North Bergen Liberty Generating Project would be located at an industrial site at 94th Street and Railroad Avenue.
Currently, the space is used for a construction demolition recycling company, according to Diamond, but is zoned for an electric plant.
Local officials are onboard with the plans because the proposed location is isolated from residential spaces, and could be a tax boon to the town.
The proposed project would cost $1.5 billion. It would consist of multiple components, according to an economic and fiscal analysis. They include the 1,200 mega watt combined cycle electric power generating facility itself; and a 6.5-mile, 345 kilovolt underground and submarine lead cable, which would traverse North Bergen and Bergen County and ultimately connect to a substation in Manhattan.
The plant would mitigate the need to run a new gas pipeline under the Hudson River, according to Diamond spokesman Brian Hague. He said the plant would be the “cleanest” electric-generating facility in the region. The plant would also “utilize the latest combustion turbine technology, which is 34 percent more efficient than the average existing power plant serving New York City,” Hague said in a statement.
It would bring in $53 million in tax revenue for both states, according to the economic analysis.
“While this project is still in the planning stages, we believe it represents a tremendous opportunity to secure the township’s tax base in the coming decades and continue to keep property taxes stable,” North Bergen spokesman Phil Swibinski said, in a statement.
New Jersey Audubon to celebrate 35 years of the ‘World Series of Birding’
Anyone involved in the “World Series of Birding” agrees: It’s an exhilarating way to spend 24 hours. At the stroke of midnight, participants begin an all-night, all-day journey to see or hear as many bird species as possible within the 8,732 square miles of New Jersey.
This treasure hunt of sorts, which serves as a key fundraiser for New Jersey Audubon, happens every year, this year on May 12, rain or shine. That’s when the last of the wintering birds are still here, and when new migrating and breeding birds arrive.
The World Series of Birding is open to anyone, at any age or skill level. Participants can join contest categories that would prompt them to travel up to 300 miles around the state in 24 hours.
Or, for a completely different experience, participants can join categories in which they are restricted to a county, or even within a 17-foot circle. You can be part of a car full of fellow birders, out on your own, or with others on bikes, on foot or by boat.
There are obvious and non-bending rules. For example, only birds found in New Jersey can be counted.
Great local spots are the Cape May Bird Observatory, Cape May Point State Park, or the NJ Audubon Hoffman Sanctuary in Bernardsville, or Sandy Hook, Armstrong noted. There is also a separate competition for children, from grades 1-5, grades 6-8 and grades 9-12. For a full list of competitions, and for further information, visit http://worldseriesofbirding.org/.