The waterfront park between North Bergen and Guttenberg was the setting for a world music jam for residents on Aug. 22. See brief for more information. (Photo by Art Schwartz.)
The waterfront park between North Bergen and Guttenberg was the setting for a world music jam for residents on Aug. 22. See brief for more information. (Photo by Art Schwartz.)

Register by Sept. 7 for free citizenship courses at the library

The North Bergen Public Library is offering free 15-week citizenship courses at the main library, the Kennedy Branch, and the Guttenberg Resource Center. Beginner and high intermediate/advanced level classes are available.
Register by Friday, Sept. 7 to participate. Classes begin Saturday, Sept. 8.
The courses are funded through the Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program, which was awarded to the library by the Department of Homeland Security. The grant aims to help organizations promote prospective citizens’ assimilation into American civic life by funding educational programs designed to increase their knowledge of English, U.S. history, and civics.
Bring your green card when you register. A $50 refundable attendance deposit is required (check or money order).
The main library is located at 8411 Bergenline Ave. The Kennedy Branch is at 2123 Kennedy Blvd. The Guttenberg Resource Center is downstairs in the Galaxy Towers Mall at 7002 Boulevard East. For more information call (201) 869-4715 or visit

State Sen. Nicholas Sacco introduces anti-red light camera enforcement legislation

State Sen. and North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco have joined with two other state senators to introduce legislation that would bar the state’s motor vehicle commission from giving identifying information on New Jersey drivers to camera enforcement entities from other states.
The Camera Enforcement Inoculation Act would, consequentially, protect state drivers from receiving tickets for automated enforcement infractions, the senators said.
Sacco likened controversial red light camera enforcement to a cash grabbing scheme at taxpayers’ expense.
“These camera enforcement schemes have been proven to be about money, not safety,” Sacco said. “You go on a trip through Pennsylvania, Maryland, D.C. or New York City and you receive multiple tickets in the mail a month or more later and you have no way to defend yourself. It’s infuriating. New Jersey does not prey upon our drivers with the use of cameras. Other states are able to prosecute us through the cooperation of our MVC with their cameras. This bill will protect our motorists from this predatory practice.”
Red light cameras have received criticism in some areas, as motorists have received tickets even when the light was yellow. A 2014 study from the Chicago Tribune found no safety benefit from cameras installed at intersections with few crashes or injuries, and claimed the cameras actually increased accidents.

Reserve free museum passes at the library

North Bergen and Guttenberg residents can now reserve and borrow museum passes for free at the North Bergen Public Library.
Passes currently available to reserve are Grounds for Sculpture, Newark Museum, and Garden State Discovery Museum. Passes are available to borrow for three days (including pick up and return) and there is a $20 refundable deposit required at the time of pick up.
Call (201) 869-4715 ext. 3 for more information. You can now reserve online at

Beware phone scam citing North Bergen police

A resident recently received a phone call from someone claiming to be a police officer from the North Bergen Police Department, demanding they make a payment for outstanding charges or a warrant will be issued.
They further provided a phone number for them to call and make payment. This is a scam and the scammer can “spoof” the number to make it look like they are calling from any number they wish. No police department will call you to make a payment over the phone. If you have been victimized by this scam, you are advised to contact the North Bergen Police Department at (201) 392-2100.

Waterfront Park hosts World Music Jam

The summer concert by Freddy Larrosa and Ari & Oli at the Waterfront Park on Aug. 22 was cut short due to rain, but residents were still able to enjoy the music. Larrosa, from Ecuador, played guitar and several indigenous instruments, backed by a pair of percussionists, offering up a rhythmic World Music combination of Latin/Caribbean/African soul that got the audience dancing as the sun slowly set.
Ari & Oli followed, blending a pair of female vocals with acoustic guitar and guest percussion from the first band, before a sudden gust of wind and rain ended the set. But it didn’t end the performance, as the musicians took shelter under canopy tents and continued an impromptu drum circle jam. With the rain quickly ending, the event morphed into a casual after-party, capped by a birthday celebration complete with free cake for everyone.
Mayor Nicholas Sacco hosted and introduced the show, joined by Commissioner Julio Marenco and Assemblyman Pedro Mejia. Also on hand was Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez. A large audience showed up to enjoy the diverse multicultural performance and positive spiritual message, and kept Modern Spin busy all night selling crepes. Also serving the crowd was OrganicWorld.US, providing free drink samples and information on healthy eating.