NORTH BERGEN BRIEFS

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Athletes competed in the Hudson County Special Olympics at Braddock Park on May 5. See briefs for more information. (Photo credit: Art Schwartz)
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Athletes competed in the Hudson County Special Olympics at Braddock Park on May 5. See briefs for more information. (Photo credit: Art Schwartz)
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Athletes competed in the Hudson County Special Olympics at Braddock Park on May 5. See briefs for more information. (Photo credit: Art Schwartz)
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Athletes competed in the Hudson County Special Olympics at Braddock Park on May 5. See briefs for more information. (Photo credit: Art Schwartz)
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Athletes competed in the Hudson County Special Olympics at Braddock Park on May 5. See briefs for more information. (Photo credit: Art Schwartz)
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Athletes competed in the Hudson County Special Olympics at Braddock Park on May 5. See briefs for more information. (Photo credit: Art Schwartz)
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Athletes competed in the Hudson County Special Olympics at Braddock Park on May 5. See briefs for more information. (Photo credit: Art Schwartz)
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Athletes competed in the Hudson County Special Olympics at Braddock Park on May 5. See briefs for more information. (Photo credit: Art Schwartz)
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Athletes competed in the Hudson County Special Olympics at Braddock Park on May 5. See briefs for more information. (Photo credit: Art Schwartz)
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Athletes competed in the Hudson County Special Olympics at Braddock Park on May 5. See briefs for more information. (Photo credit: Art Schwartz)

North Bergen commissioners pass revised tax levy for 2018 school budget

During the Board of Education election last month, the residents of North Bergen voted down the portion of the $138 million school budget that was to come from taxes, or the $51.1 million tax levy. As a result, the budget went before the Board of Commissioners, who cut $1.3 million more.
The reduction, passed on May 9, brings the tax levy to $50.8 million.
The school budget is one of the three factors that affects a resident’s property tax bill, along with municipal and county taxes. The county votes for its budget in June, and the town recently passed its municipal budget.
North Bergen residents have traditionally voted the tax levy down. When that happens, the budget goes to town officials, who decide which cuts to make before passing a revised budget levy.
Officials were able to cut $1.1 million in employee health benefits and $200,000 in instruction this year, after the school district told them that approximately 23 people will be retiring between now and the end of the 2018-19 school year. The revised tax levy will be sent to the school board for approval at their next meeting.

North Bergen library’s Taste of Greece Festival is May 19

The North Bergen Library presents “A Taste of Greece” on Saturday, May 19 at the Main Library. The event starts at 1 p.m. Admission is free. Food, literature, music, dance and demonstrations will be provided. Transportation will be available from the Kennedy Branch at 12 p.m. on the day of the event. For more information please call (201) 869-4715.

The Summer Green & Health Fair is June 2

North Bergen’s annual Summer Green & Health Fair is coming on Saturday, June 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at North Bergen 64th Street Field. Join Mayor Nicholas Sacco at this popular free event and enjoy the many activities for all family members, including live music, food vendors, a petting zoo, rock climbing, face painting, and much, much more.
Attendees can get screenings for blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, vision, glaucoma, HIV, and more. Learn about fire safety, Alzheimer’s awareness, and animal care, and donate blood. This event is presented by the Township of North Bergen Health Department and the North Bergen Municipal Utilities Authority.
There will be free giveaways, and transportation will be provided for seniors. For more information call (201) 392-2084 or visit NorthBergenHealthDepartment on Facebook.

Mistrial declared in case of local ‘sexorcist’

Jurors in the case of a North Bergen “sexorcist” failed to reach a verdict in the trial Tuesday, according to a report from NJ.com. Authorities allege 10 years ago the man sexually assaulted an 18-year-old, the outlet said.
During the trial, the alleged victim said he thought of the man as a mentor and a prominent religious figure, NJ.com says. But during a road trip to a prayer service, the alleged victim said the pastor began fondling his crotch, according to NJ.com.
He also alleged that on another occasion, the pastor reached inside his pants while they were praying inside a car.
A third allegation from the alleged victim accused the pastor of praying over his genitals, at the victim’s Jersey City home.
The former pastor on trial was reportedly convicted in 2015 of molesting a 13-year-old boy, according to NJ.com. A retrial is tentatively set for June 5, NJ.com says.

Reception and demo on May 12 for new exhibit in Braddock Park Arts Center

Guttenberg Arts is presenting a new solo exhibition of prints, sculpture, and installation work by their year-long resident artist Jeremy Coleman Smith in the Braddock Park Arts Center.
“Residence” displays Smith’s multi-disciplinary work combining the use of printmaking, sculpture, and furniture.
The artist was one of the recipients of the 2011 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture by the International Sculpture Center and his work has been featured in Sculpture Magazine and the New York Times.
He received his VFA from The School of Art Institute of Chicago and his MFA at New Jersey City University.
The opening reception is from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 12 in the Arts Center on Riverview Drive in the park, preceded by a woodblock printmaking demo at 4 p.m. and a silkscreen printmaking demo at 5 p.m. Everyone is invited to this free event. The exhibition runs through June 3.

North Bergen goes pink for women’s health

North Bergen Town Hall will once again “Paint the Town Pink” in support of women’s health, in partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health. More than a dozen other buildings in town have joined the cause, with pink banners, bows, signs, and more.
Paint the Town Pink is a community-wide effort to raise awareness of the importance of annual mammography and overall women’s wellness.
Throughout the month of May, 75 towns and businesses throughout New Jersey are participating in the 11th annual Paint the Town Pink event, featuring pink flags and ribbons to encourage women to get their annual mammogram. In 2018, women are encouraged to go even further and care for their whole well-being.
Look for pink reminders at both library sites, all the schools, the Parking Authority, courthouse, Health Department, and Board of Education through the month of May.

Seniors enjoy Brazilian music concert and lunch at Houlihan’s

More than 60 senior citizens from Guttenberg made the trip to Lincoln Harbor in Weehawken on Thursday, May 3 to enjoy the free concert “Brazil from A to Z” featuring 14-time Grammy Award winner Paquito D’Rivera, a local resident.
Named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts, and recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from Carnegie Hall for his contributions to Latin music, D’Rivera led a trio featuring mandolin player Danilo Brito and guitarist Joao Luiz through a rousing set of instrumental music.
The performance was followed by a hearty three-course lunch at Houlihan’s, including appetizers and dessert. The afternoon outing was arranged by Senior Services Coordinator Marisol Montañez with assistance from Nutritionist and Site Manager Alicia Hernandez, as part of Guttenberg’s ongoing series of activities for senior residents. Three bus trips were required to ferry the crowd of happy seniors back and forth to the event.
The concert was sponsored in part by the Hudson Reporter.