School board passes new employee healthcare program

On June 11, the Jersey City Board of Education passed a new affordable health care program for school district employees that potentially saves the district about $15 million and reduces the impact of shared costs on employees, according to Board President Sudhan Thomas.
The measure would protect the school district from a 13 percent increase projected under the previous state-approved healthcare system for this year.
Thomas said the legislation was part of a 10-point resolution launched by the Jersey City Board of Education in May as a self insurance/self funded plan.
“The plan ends decades of dependence on a bloated state plan that repeatedly saddled the JCBOE with over 10 percent annual increases in premiums, forcing a $28,000 per employee per year health care cost for the district,” he said. “The current plan immediately brings about $15 million in annual savings. A comprehensive plan encompassing education, wellness program, continuous review of settlement rates with providers and direct rebates/discounts with large health care providers will allow Jersey City to take full control of the health care expenses. The measures will not only reduce costs for the district and bring about predictability in expenses, but ensure savings in reduced chapter 78 contributions for the 4,100 employees putting more money in their pay checks, and insulating our employees from these ridiculous two-digit increases in annual health care costs.”

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Correction officer charged with allegedly smuggling contraband into jail

County Corrections Officer Alex Almeida, 40, of Kearny, was arrested by members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Public Integrity-Internal Affairs Unit, for his alleged involvement in the smuggling and distribution of contraband into the Hudson County Correctional Facility
Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said that on Friday, June 15, shortly after 1:45 p.m. Almeida was arrested at the HCCF without incident during an undercover operation by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force.
Almeida has been charged with official misconduct and was processed and released on Friday, June 15. Almeida is scheduled to make his first appearance on these charges in Central Judicial Processing Court in the Hudson County Administration Building at 11 a.m. on June 26.
Prosecutor Suarez credited the Narcotics Task Force and the Internal Affairs Unit with the arrest.
Hudson County Department of Corrections Director Ronald Edwards said, “The leadership of the Hudson County Corrections Department remains dedicated to the highest professional and ethical standards of the law enforcement profession. We have a zero tolerance for any behavior that compromises public and/or officer safety and we will proactively investigate and prosecute any violation of these standards. We will never compromise these core values.”

Saint Dominic Academy holds 140th commencement exercises

On Sunday, June 3, Saint Dominic Academy of Jersey City held its 140th commencement exercises for the Class of 2018 at St. Aedan’s, the Saint Peter’s University Church on Bergen Avenue.
The 43 members of the Class of 2018 were collectively awarded $12.3million in college scholarships and grants.
Class valedictorian Kateri Arano of Jersey City addressed those gathered. Arano, a member of the National Honor Society and president of both the Asian Interests Club and the Anime Club, also received the Science and Business awards for having achieved the highest cumulative average in each of those subjects. She will attend Rutgers University in the fall.
Class salutatorian Emily Gill of Bayonne gave her address at the Baccalaureate Mass, a reflective reading of “Don’t Forget,” by Amanda Bradley. Gill, president of the local National Honor Society and captain of the National Champion Dance Team, received both the Social Studies and Mathematics awards for having the highest cumulative average in those respective subjects. She will attend Fordham University.
Sarah Degnan Moje, Head of School, along with Board of Trustees chairperson Susan Mulvaney Odenthal presented additional academic awards to the following students: English to Amanda Ros of Ridgefield; Spanish to Stefanie Osorio of North Bergen; French to Francesca Guido, also of North Bergen; Religion to Raquel Lekic of Nutley; Art to Kathryn Moody of Hoboken; Music to Joelle Francisco of Jersey City; Drama to Lexylee Martinez, also of Jersey City, and Physical Education to Sophia Feijoo of Bayonne.
Recognition for Outstanding Service to the Saint Dominic Academy community was awarded to Margaret Marano of Nutley. Megan Dowden of Rutherford and Isabella Pedrera of North Bergen were honored for having had four years of perfect attendance.
Jessica Wisowaty of North Arlington was recognized as the NJSIAA State Scholar Athlete for Saint Dominic Academy. She was also named the SDA Scholar Athlete. Emily Gill and Nicolette Racz of North Bergen were honored as Hudson County Interscholastic Athletic Association (HCIAL) Scholar Athletes.

Mana presents The New Yorkers debut

Pegasus at Mana presents The New Yorkers, a new musical group that includes violinist Eiko Kano and pianist Karén Hakobyan in the debut New Jersey recital.
Before they depart on an extensive summer tour of Japan, they will present a chamber program structured around two masterpieces, sonatas by César Franck and Claude Debussy. The evening will also feature music of Rachmaninoff, Bartok, and Gershwin.
The event is scheduled for Saturday, June 23 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. with a reception at 6:30 p.m.
General admission cost $25. The event will be held at the Mana Theater on the 1st Floor of Mana Contemporary, 888 Newark Ave. in Jersey City. Parking at Mana is complimentary.
For more information go to

Author of ‘Aburdimals’ to appear at Hudson Play

Gwendolyn Javor, author of “Aburdimals: Lola Goes to School” will talk about the book and sign copies at Hudson Play on Sunday, June 24 at 10 a.m.
This debut book is said to take a fresh look at diversity, using animals as a metaphor. The hero of the book is Belephant (half bunny, half elephant) who tries to fit in with “normal “animals at her school. For more information or for tickets go to or call (201) 963-4671.

Ruiz, Cunningham bill to require training for college board members

Legislation sponsored by Senate Education Chair M. Teresa Ruiz and Senate Higher Education Chair Sandra Cunningham which would require training for members of college governing boards passed the Senate Higher Education Committee last week.
The bill, S-1833, would require members of governing boards at public institutes of higher education to complete a training program within the first six months of their appointment. The secretary of higher education would prescribe the subject matter of the training, which would include governance responsibilities, ethical standards, due diligence, requirements of the open public meetings act, and the open public records law. It would also include issues associated with law and privacy, and board member responsibilities among other things.
The secretary could provide training directly, or specify the entities to provide the training and certify completion. The New Jersey Council of County Colleges would be responsible for carrying out the training for county college board members.
The bill next heads to the full Senate for further consideration.

Jazz for Lunch on Grundy Pier

Mattiaz Gusafsson and Manouche Bag will be featured on June 28 from noon to 2 p.m. as part of the Jazz for Lunch program on J. Owen Grundy Pier. The pier is located at the Exchange Place stations for the PATH and the Hudson Bergen Light Rail. The concert is free.

Outdoor Flea Market in the Heights

St. John’s Lutheran Church will hold its outdoor flea market in its parking lot on Saturday, July 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The church is located at 155 North Street, on the corner on Summit Avenue.
For more information or to rent a table call (201) 214-5300.

Hudson County Register’s Office selects Granicus to modernize records system

The Hudson County Register’s Office, the organization charged with recording, filing and preserving all formal written documents which affect real property, launched Granicus’ Land and Vitals Records Management solution this week to manage available records online in order to increase accessibility and convenience for citizens.
The Register’s Office manages hundreds of thousands of land records dating back to the county’s inception including deeds, mortgages, assignments, letters of attorney to convey lands and other official public records.
These land records, dating back to 1962, will now be made available online thanks to Granicus, the county’s choice for their secure records modernization partner. Granicus works with over 4,000 public sector organizations to create seamless digital experiences between government and their citizens. Hudson County chose Granicus’ Land and Vitals Records Management solution due to its simplified searching and reporting process, public viewing capabilities and disaster recovery functionality.
“Residents are accustomed to accessing information online from their private sector service providers and, as a result, have come to expect that level of service delivery, speed and transparency from government,” said Hudson County Register Diane Coleman. “Hudson County is taking the important step of digitizing records to meet modern citizen expectations and allow for greater flexibility in accessing property records. This step is also part of the county’s overall Disaster Recovery Plan; in the event our physical records are destroyed, our records are preserved in a digital format.”
Citizens can find more information at or visit the Hudson County Register’s Office located at 257 Cornelison Ave., second floor, in Jersey City.

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