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Radio Jarocho and Zenen Zeferino to close ‘Summer Concerts on the Hudson’

“Summer Concerts on The Hudson,” the free concert series from the Hudson River Performing Arts Center, presents Radio Jarocho and Zenen Zeferino, on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. at Lincoln Harbor Park, located just north of the Chart House restaurant directly on the west bank of the Hudson River in Weehawken, New Jersey. This is a makeup date from a postponement earlier this summer.
Radio Jarocho has been mixing the rowdy, upbeat, and at times poignant music of the countryside of Veracruz, Mexico, with the sounds of New York’s urban life for over ten years. Having recently joined forces with Son Jarocho legend Zenen Zeferino, the band delivers performances that are passionate, energetic, and authentic. Radio Jarocho and Zenen Zeferino have played concerts at festivals and venues on the East coast, including the Kennedy Center, Brooklyn Bowl, Joe’s Pub, La Casita at Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Celebrate Mexico Now! and Celebrate Brooklyn. They recently released “Rios de Norte y Sur,” their first studio production together. With this album, Radio Jarocho and Zenen Zeferino celebrate the music that unites Veracruz and New York, Mexico and the United States. It offers original songs and new arrangements for old Jarocho tunes, creating a modern take on a traditional genre by fusing it with sounds that have become part of New York City’s musical fabric — flamenco, cumbia, rock, baroque, and jazz.
Free parking is available and public transportation, including NJ Transit bus No. 158 from the Port Authority and Light Rail to Lincoln Harbor will bring concertgoers to Lincoln Harbor.

Hudson Theatre Works presents ‘Seeger – A Multimedia Show’ in Weehawken

Hudson Theatre Works opens its 2018-2019 season on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. with a benefit performance of “Seeger – A Multimedia Show with the Music of Pete Seeger,” written and performed by Randy Noojin, at the company’s new space at 80 Hauxhurst St., in Weehawken.
“Seeger” is a critically-acclaimed multimedia solo show about American folksinger Pete Seeger. Spend an evening with “Pete” as he plays a benefit concert advocating the end of the U.S.-Cuban trade embargo, where he uses a dozen of his signature songs, including “If I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” We Shall Overcome,” and “Guantanamera” to tell the story of his awakening as an activist, and his struggles with the blacklist during the McCarthy-era.
Randy Noojin onstage resurrects Pete Seeger as a folk singer, performs around a dozen Seeger classics, and performs a script that perfectly captures the spirit, personality, and passions of Pete Seeger.
“Noojin disappears into Seeger’s persona and whisks us back and forward in time through the American 20th Century. Anybody who is a Seeger fan should make a bee-line for where this song-fest is humming.” (CurtainUp.com)
“Should not be missed by anyone who loves Seeger or good music or our right and duty as Americans to stand up for justice.” (TheatreLife.com)
Tickets are $50 with $40 as a tax deductible donation. This donation helps Hudson Theatre Works continue its affordable ticket initiative so that more people can enjoy live theatre.
Tickets are available at www.brownpapertickets.com. For more information, please visit www.Seegershow.com.
Up next, opening on Oct. 11 is “Uncle Vanya” in a new adaptation by Michael Puzzo, directed by Frank Licato with Kevin Cristaldi, Vincent Sagona, Joanne Hoersch, Mike Folie and Gregory Erbach.

County contract with ICE to be terminated – eventually

Although the details have to be worked out, an agreement between the Hudson County Board of Freeholders and religious leaders who are suing them should lead to the termination of the county contract to house immigration detainees at the county jail and end the lawsuit challenging the validity of the contract. The approximately 800 detainees are there while waiting hearings on alleged immigration issues. There are also approximately 400 criminals in the jail.
Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise announced on Friday that the county would initiate a “Path to Exit” from its contract to hold detainees for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).
The detainees are awaiting hearings on alleged violations of federal immigration laws.
Religious leaders from Jersey City and elsewhere filed suit against the county in Superior Court in late August, claiming the county violated the state’s Open Public Meetings Act when the freeholders voted in July to approve the 10-year contract.
The freeholders had originally announced they would delay the vote, then suddenly reversed themselves and put the measure up for a vote without allowing members of the public and immigrant advocates time to comment. Many activists demanded that the county use an opt-out clause to void the contract.
The “Path to Exit” would have the freeholders void the 10-year then vote on a new contract that would phase out the detainee program over a two-year period, with the goal of having no detainees housed in the jail by the end of 2020.
The jail was built to house about 2,000 criminal inmates. Bail reform and other programs have caused the criminal jail population to fall to about 400. The contract with ICE, at $120 per day per detainee, had partly been used to offset the reduction of prisoners at the jail because the facility remains fully staffed. The deal was expected to provide an estimated $35 million a year to the county.
Correctional officers unions and others have raised concerns about doing away with the ICE contract because it would likely lead to significant layoffs.
To compensate for the loss of the detainee population, the county will seek to make agreements with other entities, such as the New Jersey Department of Corrections to house state prisoners in Hudson County instead of immigrants. By seeking agreements to house other prisoners, the county might be able to maintain the current work force.
Freeholder Bill O’Dea warned the county that it may have to reduce staff in the future anyway, because there is a trend away from incarceration and towards providing other means of detaining prisoners such as house arrest and electronic monitoring.
The freeholders anticipate voting on a resolution at their Sept. 13 meeting that would prohibit ICE detainees to be housed at the jail beyond 2020 “without freeholder consent.”
The plan will also direct additional funds from the contract to be spent on services for ICE detainees during this transition period. Presently, free Legal Services are provided to all detainees for their civil detention cases.
The amount, and into what areas those dollars will go, will be worked out in future meetings with the administration, members of the freeholder board and advocates for the detainees. A survey of detainees conducted by advocates may be authorized as part of the plan.
“Just a month ago, I did not see a path that would allow us to move forward on a path to exit,” said County Executive DeGise. “I’m pleased that after what I have heard from state and federal leaders, I believe we have a consensus on how Hudson County can exit the contract in a responsible manner.”
Freeholder Board Chairman Anthony Vainieri, who attended all of the discussions with County staff and the advocates, welcomed the Path to Exit plan.
“Over the last month the county executive, my fellow freeholders, state and federal leaders and local advocates for detainees have worked constructively to make this exit plan possible, and I am proud of the work that has been done to arrive at this point,” said Vainieri. “I will urge my colleagues to support this plan because it represents a humane, reasonable approach.”
One of the most prominent elected officials critical of the county’s contract with ICE, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, welcomed the announcement from the county executive today.
“With this action, the county executive and the freeholders have begun the work of dealing with this issue in keeping with our values, while dealing with the difficult realities of governing at the local level, and I applaud that,” said Mayor Bhalla.

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.

‘Therapy, Bro’ premiers at the 2018 Golden Door International Film Festival

Open Iris Entertainment’s “Therapy, Bro” will be screened at the Golden Door International Film festival Film Festival on Sept. 22 at 1 p.m. in The Landmark Loews Theatre at Journal Square.
“Therapy, Bro” stars Wally Marzano-Lesnevich, Francesco Nuzzi, Heather Brittain O’Scanlon, and Garry Pastore. The film directed by John Hedlund has received multiple awards, and is among more than 100 films that will be shown during this year’s festival.
The Golden Door International Film Festival is in its 8th year and is considered New Jersey’s premiere film festival. After taking submissions since late last year, the festival is the culmination of the awards season. The festival will present films at multiple locations throughout Jersey City from Sept. 20 to 23, with the opening gala at the Loews on Sept. 20. The opening reception will have live music and will be hosted by New Jersey’s bad boy comic, Mike Marino.
“Sarah Q,” directed by John Gallagher and starring Garry Pastore as NYPD Detective John Belson, will have its world premiere at the festival as well.
Guests attending the festival will include actors involved with Sarah Q such as Pastore and his brother Vincent; Federico Castelluccio and Tony Sirico from “The Sopranos,” Burt Young from “Rocky,” Steve Stanulis, from “The Fifth Borough” and other films, and many other actors.
The guests also include actors and staff associated with films that will be shown such as “Maternal Secrets,” “Doubting Thomas,” “The Pretender,” “Yellow Scare,” “Sisters Plotz” as well as this year’s celebrity rock star, Steve Conti.
Local moviemakers from Bayonne, Hoboken, Jersey City and Union City are also involved in this year’s festival.
Also expected to attend are actors involved in the film “Miami or BUST – A Hoboken Bet,” which includes Susan Varon, of “Boardwalk Empire,” and Chris Depirro of “Tony and Tina’s Wedding.”
For ticket information and a schedule of shows go to http://goldendoorfilmfestival.org.

HCIA announces fall Shredding Days

Hudson County residents will be able to properly and safely get rid of personal documents when the Hudson County Improvement Authority hosts its Shredding Days this fall in North Bergen, Harrison, Bayonne, Union City, Jersey City and Secaucus. The HCIA is hosting six free shredding events this fall, starting on Sept. 8 in North Bergen and continuing to Oct. 13 in Secaucus. All events are free and open to all Hudson County residents.
“This is a great opportunity for area residents to have their confidential or sensitive documents shredded at free, on-site mobile paper shredding events,” said HCIA Chief Executive Officer Norman Guerra. “Properly protecting your information and credit is most important in this day and age.”
Federal Trade Commission statistics have shown approximately 15 million Americans have their identities used fraudulently every year.
“Identity theft is a serious problem and it affects people all over the country, including right here in Hudson County,” said County Executive Tom DeGise. “All of our residents are urged to participate in these events to safeguard against it happening to them.”
All Shredding Day events are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In Bayonne, Shredding Day is Saturday, Sept. 22 at Stephen R. Gregg Park Parking Lot. Those attending should use the Parkview Drive and Kennedy Boulevard entrance.
Union City’s Shredding Day is Saturday, Sept. 29 at Troy Towers, 380 Mountain Road.
Jersey City’s Shredding Day is Saturday, Oct. 6 at the parking lot near the running track in Lincoln Park.
Secaucus’ Shredding Day is Saturday, Oct. 13 at Secaucus High School’s parking lot.