WEEHAWKEN BRIEFS

NY Waterway will be hosting events for customer appreciation day on April 10.
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NY Waterway will be hosting events for customer appreciation day on April 10.

NY waterway celebrates customer appreciation day

NY Waterway ferry customers can celebrate the arrival of spring with refreshments, food and giveaways from local vendors during Customer Appreciation Days at the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal in Weehawken, Wednesday April 10, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Homebound commuters Wednesday evening can enjoy samples from area restaurants such as Molos, Ben & Jerry’s, Moe’s, and House of Que, and see displays by Imperial Riverside Events, Susan G. Komen North Jersey and more.

Visit nywaterway.com/customerappreciation for more information.

Hudson County Sheriff’s Office to crack down on distracted driving

The Hudson County Sheriff’s Office received a $40,000 grant to crack down on distracted drivers and the statewide campaign is already underway.

“This is the third year we have received this $40,000 grant and my office will continue to crack down on distracted drivers throughout Hudson County,” Sheriff Frank X Schillari said. “The grant the Sheriff’s Office received differs from that of most departments in the state: the Udrive, Utext, Upay grant money most departments receive runs from April 1 to April 21. The Sheriff’s Office grant runs from April 1 to Sept. 30.”

The grant will fund additional officers patrolling with a focus on all forms of distracted driving, from any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger the safety of drivers, passengers, and bystanders alike. Texting is the most common distraction among drivers, and is the most dangerous, according to Sheriff Schillari.

Other distractions associated with dangerous driving include eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, using a navigation system, watching a video, or adjusting audio devices.

DEP to provide 60,000 free tree seedlings to communities

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is providing 60,000 free tree seedlings to residents through the New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign, an ongoing effort by the NJ Forest Service, the Arbor Day Foundation, and other partners.

Residents are eligible to receive bundles of five free seedlings at any of the 118 distribution sites across 19 counties from now until May 5.

“Trees provide many benefits beyond beautifying our communities,” DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said. “Trees clean our air, fight climate change, provide habitat for wildlife, offer shade, and improve the health of our environment.”

The program began in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy destroyed and damaged trees across the state. Since then, the program has made more than 500,000 trees available to residents. The seedlings distributed are roughly one to two feet tall, and are species that grow well within the regions they’re distributed in.

Persimmon and black oak trees will be distributed to municipalities in the northern part of the state.

For more information on this program, call 732-928-0029, or visit forestnursery.nj.gov.

To find seedling distribution locations and dates, visit the State Forest Service Facebook page at facebook.com/newjerseyforests, or go to forestry.nj.gov.

Menendez, Booker reintroduce bill to hold WWOR-TV accountable

U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker have reintroduced an expanded version of a bill that would make it easier for the public to participate in the renewal process for broadcasters in the state.

This would apply to Secaucus-based WWOR-TV, which had its license renewed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last year, despite the station shutting down its entire New Jersey news operation in 2013, and failing to provide meaningful local news coverage ever since.

“As long as WWOR continues to fail to live up to its obligations we will continue to hold them accountable to New Jerseyans,” said Sen. Menendez. “This legislation will prevent local TV stations, like WWOR, from ignoring their obligations and will strengthen the role of the communities they serve by giving local leaders and the public an active role in their programming and license renewal process.”

In accordance with a 1982 federal law, the FCC stipulated that any license holder for WWOR-TV “devote itself to meeting the special needs of its new community (and the needs of the Northern New Jersey area in general).” The FOX-owned television station shut down its entire New Jersey-based news operation in 2013, forcing layoffs while absorbing some staff at the company’s FOX 5 affiliate, WNYW-TV, in New York City.

WWOR-TV subsequently replaced its local newscast with “Chasing New Jersey”— now called “Chasing News”— a half-hour, TMZ-style program produced by an outside company. WWOR-TV now provides just three hours of weekly news programming compared to an average of 56 hours by comparable broadcast stations in the overlapping New York City and Philadelphia media markets.

The legislation would also require the FCC to issue rules to make it easier for the public to participate in the license renewal process.