Union City/ West New York Briefs

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Bomm and Drogo look sharp in their new tactical vests.
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Bomm and Drogo look sharp in their new tactical vests.
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Bomm and Drogo look sharp in their new tactical vests.
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Bomm and Drogo look sharp in their new tactical vests.

Police K9s receive protection

The Union City Police Departments K9s, Bomm and Drogo, received bullet and stab protective vests in a donation by Vested Interest in K9s, inc., a nonprofit organization. The vests will be embroidered with “Gifted by Hasday – Protect – Serve – Be Safe – Be Strong.”

Vested Interest in K9s is in East Taunton, Mass. Its mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs in law enforcement and other related agencies. Since its inception, the nonprofit has provided more than 3,300 vests through private and corporate donations, at a value of $5.7 million.

“We are so thankful to receive this donation,” Union City Police Chief Nichelle Luster said. “Bomm and Drogo are part of our law enforcement family, and their protection is a priority. The vests will keep them safe while out serving our community.”

Mayor Brian Stack also expressed gratitude for the donation.

“Protecting all our law enforcement officers is of the utmost importance, and we are grateful that includes our K9s, Bomm and Drogo,” Stack said. “This donation will go a long way in providing our K9s with the resources they deserve while serving the residents of Union City.”

The donation to provide one protective vest for law enforcement K9s is $950, and comes with a five-year warranty. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at vik9s.org, or by mail to PO Box 9, East Taunton, MA.

Park Theater makes list of endangered historic sites

An organization called Preservation New Jersey announced its annual list of the 10 most endangered historic places in the state, at a press conference held in Trenton, at the State House Annex. It also hosted a rally to support some of New Jersey’s most threatened cultural and architectural heritage sites, encouraging creative ways to bring these sites back to a productive life.

One of those sites was Union City’s Park Theater, known by many as the Passion Play Theater. The theater was constructed in the early 1930s and was aptly named for an increasingly popular performance put on by Holy Family Roman Catholic Church. Where there was once a stage, classrooms, an organ, and an orchestra pit, there now sits largely vacant architecture reminiscent of the Spanish Renaissance.

Aside from a few tenants who live on the upper floor, where classrooms are converted, the building is quickly degrading due to disuse. The theater is owned by the Archdiocese of Newark, which is open to selling the venue to an organization that is willing to restore the structure and convert it to a downtown entertainment hot spot similar to Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Jersey City.

Union City student honored in art contest

Emerson Middle School student Esperanza Baquedano was recently recognized by New Jersey’s Department of Human Services. She was one of 16 students in the state honored for an award-winning entry in the 2019 New Jersey Child Support Teen Media Contest.

The contest celebrates artistic and written portrayals of situations in which students felt most supported by a parent or loved one.

The contest aims to engage high school and middle school students in creative thinking through art, digital illustration, and written word. Teens can enter the contest individually or through their school. Winners are chosen based on their interpretation of the year’s theme, and the winning pieces are featured in Human Services’ annual child support calendar published each year.

Baquedano won first place in the hand drawn/ painted category.

Beat the heat

Attention all Union City swimmers. The summer pool schedule is now available on the Recreation Department website. All parks are open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Splash parks are now open from noon until 7:45 p.m.

To use the pools you must have a Hudson County photo ID. No one will be admitted to pools and splash parks without proper swimwear.

The Ron Dario Swim Center has new hours that will be in place throughout Summer 2019. The center will now be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult swim will take place starting at 10 a.m. Open swim will then take place from 12:30 until 3:30 p.m. Adult swim will then resume at 3:30 p.m. and continue for the rest of the day.

In West New York, the Miller Splash Park is officially up and and running after a grand opening on Memorial Day weekend. The park had been in disrepair due to drainage issues. It is now back with plenty of new additions: slides, fountains, and obstacles galore. The park is at 5709 Jackson St.

The West New York Municipal Pool was not open at press time, but will likely be operational soon. The opening day will be posted on West New York’s municipal website.