NORTH BERGEN BRIEFS

North Bergen seeks donations for a town-sponsored historical archive.
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North Bergen seeks donations for a town-sponsored historical archive.

North Bergen seeks old photos for history archive

The township of North Bergen seeks old photos, historical documents, and related memorabilia to create an ongoing exhibition documenting the history of the township, to build a historical archive.

Examples of items include

  • Historical photos of town locations
  • Paper documents with historical significance including maps, postcards, letters, meeting minutes, account books, or official and unofficial documents
  • Photos or memorabilia from clubs or organizations with North Bergen connections
  • School or sports memorabilia
  • Pictures of residents, events, and gatherings in the township

To add to the archive, contact the library reference desk at 201-869-4715 ext. 2. Originals of paper items will be scanned and immediately returned unless they are being donated. Physical items can either be loaned for exhibition or donated.

The results will be displayed at the North Bergen Public Library, in the upstairs reading room, which already houses a display of relics documenting North Bergen’s past. The program was made possible through a grant from the Hudson County Historical Partnership Program.

Christmas decoration contest winners awarded

Three homes in North Bergen were awarded this year in a Christmas decoration contest run annually by Pat O‘Melia. The winners each received a commemorative plaque and $1,000, for having the best-decorated homes in North Bergen.  This year’s winners were Ben and Maria Rodriguez on 73rd Street; Jose Ariel Santos and his son, Ariel Santos on 13th Street; and Judith and Julio Matos on 70th Street.

The owners of the three homes received their awards on March 20, at the most recent municipal government meeting.

Weekly life coaching at the library

The North Bergen Public Library will host weekly group life coaching sessions on Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. New members are welcomed at each meeting on a drop-in basis.

Coaches provide support for family, career, and other life issues.  The program is free to the public.

For more information, visit www.nbpl.org or call 201-869-4715.

Dogs have a nose for narcotics  

Hudson County Sheriff Frank X. Schillari will add two new narcotics dogs to his department’s K9 Unit. Leia, a silver Labrador Retriver, and Aries, a Belgian Malinois, were trained in narcotics detection and patrol. They were trained to detect narcotics, but not marijuana.

“We are planning ahead,” Sheriff Schillari said. “If and when legalization occurs, we will be ready to go. We want to be ahead of the curve so we can still combat illegal narcotics effectively.”

The new dogs will be trained to detect marijuana in the event that it remains illegal. The current K9s are trained to detect marijuana and will remain in service because they can be used to detect narcotics. They are also trained to track and apprehend criminals.

Attorney General issues NJ Police directive for ICE cooperation

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal issued a directive to  all state, county, and local law enforcement agencies limiting the types of voluntary assistance that their officers may provide to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal immigration agencies.

The directive applies to all law enforcement agencies including police, prosecutors, county detectives, sheriff’s officers, and corrections officers. The directive seeks to ensure that immigrants feel safe reporting crimes in New Jersey.

According to the “Immigrant Trust Directive,” officers

  • Cannot stop, question, arrest, search, or detain any individual based solely on actual or suspected immigration status
  • Cannot ask the immigration status of any individual unless doing so is necessary and relevant to an ongoing investigation of a serious offense
  • Cannot participate in operations conducted by ICE
  • Cannot provide ICE with access to state or local law enforcement resources, including equipment, office space, databases, or property, unless those resources are available to the public
  • Cannot allow ICE to interview an individual arrested on a criminal charge unless that person is advised of their right to a lawyer

“We cannot allow the line between our law enforcement officers and U.S. immigration officials, or the line between state criminal law and federal civil immigration law to become blurred,” Division of Criminal Justice Director Veronica Allende said. “When that happens, we risk losing the trust that we have worked so hard to build with our immigrant communities, and we jeopardize public safety by reducing the effectiveness of our officers.

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez echoed that sentiment.

“Hudson County enjoys a large immigrant population, which is the historic backbone of our country,” Suarez said. “Nowhere in our state is it more important to strengthen the trust between law enforcement and our residents than Hudson County.”

Suez pledges to replace a portion of lead-affected pipes in region

Suez Water will remove 50,000 feet of lead pipes in more than one dozen towns and cities served by the plant connected to the Oradell Reservoir. This represents about 25 percent of lead lines that the region’s Suez plant services in Bergen and Hudson County. Nine miles of pipes, beginning with eight towns that have the highest number of lead service lines, will be replaced in the upcoming months. Those towns include North Bergen, Union City, and West New York.

Tap water with lead content has the potential to cause extremely adverse health effects, even at low but consistent levels, for those who use it for drinking or cooking.

According to Food and Water Watch Organizer Matt Smith, the plan to replace 25 percent of lead-affected pipes is inadequate.

“Suez’s lead replacement plan isn’t even a half measure; it’s a quarter measure,” Smith said. “There is no safe amount of lead, which is why Suez must replace all the lead service lines as swiftly as possible. There are other important questions to consider: Why did it take a crisis for Suez to begin this long-deferred plan? And do we really want to leave critical decisions about the safety of our drinking water to be made by profit-seeking multi-national corporations?”