Within hours of Ravi Bhalla’s election as Hoboken mayor on Nov. 7, more than 6,000 Twitter users retweeted a photo of him declaring victory – with one user adding, “Look at all the black and brown politicians out here winning I am so proud.” Social media users and several national news outlets interpreted victories by Bhalla and other minority candidates as a win for tolerance in a year marked by a vocal (and deadly) hate march and anti-immigrant rhetoric.
But within 48 hours of Bhalla’s victory, social media users also began spreading anonymous fabricated stories saying that Bhalla had banned Christmas in Hoboken (not true), saying he’s Muslim (he’s not), linking him to terrorism (no evidence), and begging the president for help. “President Trump, please step in,” read a red banner on top of a false story about Bhalla on a website called Reaganwasright. Click here for more.
Jersey City teachers have been working without a contract since September, and lately there are signs they are getting restless.
Holding up his forefinger and thumb during the public comment period of the Jersey City Board of Education meeting earlier this month, Education Association President Ron Greco said the teacher’s union and the school district “are this close” to a contract settlement.
“All you have to do is give us the offers so we can consider them,” Greco said. He said school board negotiators had promised to present the union with several proposals.
Backing him up, hundreds of teachers bearing signs made a show of force. Some blew on whistles, others blew on horns, and still another teacher played a recording of a popular rock song, “We’re not going to take it anymore.” Click here for more.
When Weehawken High School (WHS) students Conor Cabrera, 17, and Anthony Dippolito, 18, saw the contenders at a Jan. 20 Vex Robotics competition at South Brunswick High School, they knew they had to step things up if their school’s robotics team was going to stand out. At that competition, they placed 25th out of 50 teams.
“We realized we needed a huge improvement on our robot,” said Cabrera, who captains the school’s robotics team, during a recent sit down at Weehawken High School. “So the week in between the first and second competition, we spent that whole week in the S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) room, completely redesigning our robot.”
The work paid off, as the team placed eighth out of 36 teams at that second competition on Jan. 27, and then 18th out of 64th in their final competition this season on Feb. 4. Not too shabby for a team with only two years experience under its belt. Click here for more.