Union City Briefs

The William V. Musto Cultural Center will open a new art exhibit on Jan. 19.
The William V. Musto Cultural Center will open a new art exhibit on Jan. 19.

William V. Musto Cultural Center opens new art exhibit

On Jan. 19, the William V. Musto Cultural Center will open a new art exhibit titled “Between the Abstract and the Real.” The exhibit will feature works exclusively by Ruth Alvarado Orlich. Doors will open at 7 p.m. The opening night will feature live music performed by James Austin, Jr.

This exhibit will take the place of “Silent Screams: Where Desperation Meets Hope,” an exhibit which holds its closing night on the 18th, at which point the works by local artist Hugo Morales will receive a sendoff from the museum.

The William V. Musto Cultural Center is at 420 15th St. Admission to both the closing and opening nights is free.

Flu at high levels in New Jersey

According to the state Health Department, New Jersey is currently one of only 15 states already reporting high levels of the flu virus this year. State officials have confirmed the first pediatric fatality associated with the flu in New Jersey this season.
It is not too late to get a flu shot.

To avoid spreading the virus to others, medical professionals advise staying home while you are sick and up to at least 24 hours after your fever is gone; not visiting people in the hospital; covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; if you do not have a tissue, cough into your elbow or shoulder; avoiding touching your nose, eyes and mouth; and washing your hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing.

If your child is sick, do not send your child to school or afterschool programs until at least 24 hours after fever and symptoms are gone.

NJDOT announces Winter Weather Congestion Alert communications campaign 

New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti has announced a new communications campaign to help the public make better traveling decisions during winter weather events to improve safety and the department’s ability to clear snow.

New Jersey is the most congested state in the nation; a relatively routine winter weather system can wreak havoc in New Jersey when it occurs between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“In order for NJDOT to clear highways of snow and ice, we need roads free from traffic so our trucks can get through and do their job,” Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “Our Winter Weather Congestion Alert plan is designed to alert the media and public when forecasted weather may cause congestion, and provide tips on what to do so our crews can get through to keep the roads clear, open, and safe.”

The alerts may provide general tips such as to consider telecommuting if possible or more specific recommendations to avoid certain highways with inclines that are often problematic during a storm, such as I-280 or parts of I-78 in western New Jersey. The media and public will be alerted through press releases, the NJDOT Facebook page, Twitter @NJDOT_info, VMS boards, and www.511nj.org.

NJDOT will encourage people to telecommute, travel before the winter weather starts, and stay put while the winter weather is occurring. Wait a few hours for the storm to subside before heading out. If you are traveling during the winter weather, pull off somewhere safe and wait it out. Always stay clear of plowing and spreading trucks.  If they are behind you, let them pass. Do not pass between trucks that are in a plow formation.

NJDOT will be using Variable Message Signs to alert motorists of the campaign. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website www.511nj.org for real-time travel information.

Hackensack Riverkeeper now accepting scholarship applications

Hackensack Riverkeeper, the citizen-steward of the Hackensack River watershed, is pleased to announce it is accepting applications for the 2019 Ron Vellekamp Environmental Scholarship. The program is named in honor of the late Ridgefield science teacher and founding Riverkeeper trustee, and helps support college-bound high school seniors who excel academically and who have a strong commitment to environmental protection.

Seniors at 66 high schools in Bergen, Hudson, and Rockland counties are eligible to be nominated by a teacher or guidance counselor for the award. Applications must be postmarked no later than Earth Day, Apr. 22. A panel of Hackensack Riverkeeper trustees and staffers led by Captains Bill Sheehan and Hugh Carola will review each application and consider the students’ academic achievements, environmental extracurricular activities, and future plans. The winner of the $1,000 unrestricted award will be announced by June 1, 2019.

Additional information and full application criteria are available at www.hackensackriverkeeper.org by emailing Carola at Hugh@hackensackriverkeeper.org; or calling him at 201-968-0808 ext. 102.