The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC) hosted students from Ferris High School in Jersey City in celebration of Lab Day in early May.
The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC) hosted students from Ferris High School in Jersey City in celebration of Lab Day in early May.

Council rescinds ban on chain stores

Saying that the city cannot defend the ordinance against legal challenges, the City Council voted at its meeting on May 8 to rescind its law limiting chain stores downtown.

The law, which was put into effect in 2015, placed limits on chain stores seeking to open for business in buildings that get abatements from the city.

Councilman James Solomon said the city failed to follow necessary guidelines when drafting the original law that would protect it from legal challenges from chain store operators.

“We’re looking to redraft the law in the future,” he said.

Bergen Square Day scheduled for May 18

Billed as a spring festival of cultural heritage, Bergen Square Day will be held at Bergen Avenue and Academy Street from 1 to 6 p.m. on May 18.

The festival will include historical theater, interactive displays and tours, as well as kids’ activities, appearances by local artists and musicians.

For more information, email

Explore Middle School students win prizes

A group of eighth grade girls from Explore Middle School competed in the ‘Power Up Your Body Challenge’ in early May at Liberty Science Center, placing second out of more than 100 entries. The group brought back $1,500 for their school, which will be added to the student activity fund. The competition, sponsored by Cabot Creamery, tasked students with designing a campaign to educate their friends about the importance of building strong bones, brains and habits.

“Each of our students volunteered their time to participate in this competitive event and showed professionalism while presenting on such an all too important topic,” said Acting Superintendent Amy Lin-Rodriguez. “I, along with the entire administration at Hudson County Schools of Technology, am proud of the work of our young students and look forward to celebrating more successes as they prepare for high school.”

Explore Middle School’s team included Chanel Cao, Tara Pathak, Olivia Franco, Angelina Torres, Ashanti Crockett, Skye Warner, Samantha Rice and Daniela Correa. The students, along with instructors Shannon Mattern and Norrey Benito, exercised for 30 to 45 minutes daily, tracked their food consumption and logged their fitness journeys.

“We created a website where we shared our journey so that others could see what we did and learn how they could lead a healthy lifestyle themselves,” said Tara Pathak. “Originally when it came to presenting we were nervous, but very excited because we had prepared for 4 weeks.”

Students from Hudson, Bergen, Essex, Somerset, Morris, Middlesex, Hunterdon, Passaic Westchester, and Rockland Counties, Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island competed in the competition.