HUDSON REPORTER BRIEFS

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Malikha Mallette and Jarvis Tomdio in Mile Square Theatre’s production of Dominique Morisseau’s Pipeline. Photo by David White Studio. (see brief)
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On Sept. 11, the Jersey City Council approved the renaming of the library for longtime director Priscilla Gardner. (see brief)
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Malikha Mallette and Jarvis Tomdio in Mile Square Theatre’s production of Dominique Morisseau’s Pipeline. Photo by David White Studio. (see brief)
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On Sept. 11, the Jersey City Council approved the renaming of the library for longtime director Priscilla Gardner. (see brief)

Jersey City dedicates Main Public Library in honor of longtime Director Priscilla Gardner

Jersey City’s Main branch of the public library at 427 Jersey Ave. was renamed for the city’s first African American Library Director Priscilla Gardner after 50 years of service.

Jersey City officials will unveiled the library’s new name, “The Priscilla Gardner Main Library,” during a ceremony on Sept. 16.

The Jersey City Council approved the renaming of the library unanimously on Sept.11.

Gardner began her career with the city’s public library as a Junior Library Assistant in 1969.

She became the library’s first African American Director in 2002.

Gardner ensured every resident of Jersey City had full access to all of the JCFPL’s free resources. As a result of her ongoing Library Card Drive, the number of cardholders rose from 30,000 in 2002 to more than 246,000 today.

Sacco, Stack call for closure of Keegan Landfill 

North Bergen Mayor and State Senator (D-32) Nicholas Sacco and Union City Mayor and State Senator (D-33) Brian Stack jointly sponsored a Senate resolution encouraging the New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority and the Department of Environmental Protection to close and cap Keegan Landfill in Kearny immediately.

Residents and officials in Kearny have engaged legal actions and publicly demanded that the landfill be closed. DEP inspections found that the landfill emits hydrogen sulfide levels of 30 parts per billion, which can pose health risks.

A court decision ruled that the landfill had to be shut down, but, in May, an appellate court reversed the ruling, allowing the last active landfill in the New Jersey Meadowlands to continue operating.

“It has become a serious public nuisance in the area, and it must be addressed,” Sacco said. “That is why I am working with the Hudson County Executive and my counterparts in the Assembly to pass similar resolutions pressuring NJSEA and DEP to close and cap the landfill.”

A flood of complaints regarding the odor at Keegan Landfill have been filed with the Department of Environmental Protection since at least December 2018, when the odor first became acute, according to residents.

Annual Preservation Awards will be Sept. 19 in Jersey City

Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy will host its 19th Annual Preservation Awards on Thursday, Sept,19 at White Eagle Hall, 337 Newark Ave.

This annual event acknowledges those who preserve Jersey City’s history and culture.

From 7 to 10 p.m. attendees will be able to enjoy food, drink, and live entertainment.

Tickets are available at www.jclandmarks.org/events/20th-anniversary-preservation-awards-ceremony

Prosecutor’s office attributes Union City DPW truck crash to driver error 

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced the findings of the investigation into a motor vehicle collision in Union City which involved a Department of Public Works truck, which collided with several vehicles before overturning at a barrier and falling from an overpass onto Route 495 on July 3 at about 12:50 p.m.

Suarez announced that her office’s investigation attributed the incident to “driver error.”

The garbage truck was operated by Eulalio Diaz, a 53-year-old Union City DPW employee.

The investigation concluded that, while driving on East 30th Street, the garbage truck struck a Honda Odyssey, which caused the Odyssey to strike an Infiniti G35. The garbage truck then struck a Subaru Impreza, which caused the Impreza to strike a Nissan Murano.

The garbage truck continued to travel east when it mounted a curb and traveled across a median, where it struck several planters, a traffic light pole, and a large decorative clock.

The garbage truck continued to travel across Palisade Avenue when it mounted a second curb before striking fencing. It then fell several feet onto Route 495 West. Debris from the upper-level collision struck a Bolt bus and Volkswagen GTI which were both traveling on Route 495.

A total of 12 people involved in this incident were transported by emergency medical services to area hospitals, to be treated for injuries sustained during the collision.

After an investigation and crash reconstruction, the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit concluded that the primary cause of the collision was driver error.

Suarez alleged that the driver, Diaz, applied pressure to the accelerator pedal instead of the brake pedal.

Hoboken mayor’s council slate pledges not to hire Election Day workers

Last week, the Team Bhalla council slate pledged not to hire any Election Day workers, relying on volunteers to conduct get-out-the-vote activities. It challenged all candidates running for the city council in Hoboken to do the same.

“The Team Bhalla Stamp Out Voter Fraud Pledge” is aimed at the illegal practice of candidates paying people to vote for them and then falsely reporting the payments as compensation for working Election Day.

This practice was central to the 2013 vote-by-mail scheme. This year, Hoboken politico Frank Raia was convicted in the scheme.

The Team Bhalla Slate is composed of Migdalia Pagan-Milano, Nora Martinez DeBenedetto, Lisa Sprengle, Phil Cohen, and Cristin Cricco-Powell.

According to a press release, it also pledged to adhere to the 5 Point Integrity Pledge to Protect Hoboken Housing Authority Residents, introduced by HHA Vice Chair James Sanford. The Bhalla slate agreed to the pledge, “understanding directly from Mr. Sanford that the second point in the pledge prohibits candidates from campaigning at official housing authority events, but permits direct campaign contact with HHA residents, through activities such as door-to-door campaigning, phone calls, or resident hosted meet and greets.”

The five points of the pledge are to denounce any get-out-the-vote campaign and similarly organized schemes that pay voters to volunteer for a candidate or issue-based campaign; refrain from campaigning on HHA property or at HHA sponsored events; commit to an apolitical HHA where residents and staff are free from political coercion, intimidation, and interference; donate all money received from Raia, his affiliated third party entities, and any other entity or person affiliated with similar paid voter volunteer schemes to the HHA “as contrition for the many years of serial abuses committed against HHA residents;” and hold other council candidates who sign the pledge accountable to the pledge.

‘Pipeline’ begins at Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken

The Mile Square Theatre began its production of “Pipline,” a drama by Dominique Morisseau, last week.

The play tells the story of Nya, an inner-city public high school teacher, who is committed to her students but desperate to give her only son Omari opportunities they’ll never have. When a controversial incident at his Upstate private school threatens to get him expelled, Nya must confront his rage and her own choices as a parent.

Issues of class, race, parenting, and education in the United States come to the surface as the audience is left to question the structures that ultimately trap underserved communities.

Performances run until Sunday, Oct. 6. They take place at 1400 Clinton St. in Hoboken on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $15 to $40, and $18 for students and seniors.

Tickets available at www.milesquaretheatre.org, or by calling 201-683-7014.

Group sales are available and can be acquired by emailing abaldwin@milesquaretheatre.org

Jersey City hosts 9/11 Memorial Blood Drive

The 5th Annual Jersey City Police & Fire 9/11 Memorial Blood Drive took place Wednesday, Sept. 11 and was hosted by the American Red Cross and Suburban Propane at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Jersey City.

The event included a ceremony featuring speakers, including Chief of the Jersey City Fire Department Steven M. McGill, CEO of New Jersey Region American Red Cross Rosie Taravella, CEO Suburban Propane Michael Stivala, as well as a performance by the Jersey City Police and Fire Honor Guards and the Jersey City Emerald Society Pipe Band.

Back-to-School Night at Weehawken’s Daniel Webster School 

Daniel Webster School in Weehawken will hold two back-to-school nights Thursday, Oct. 3 for Pre-K and Kindergarten classes, and Oct. 10 for grades 1-2.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.

Parents are encouraged to attend and meet with their children’s teachers to discuss the upcoming school year. Bus transportation will be provided.

Community health fair set for Oct. 5 at North Bergen Public Library 

Hackensack Meridian Health Palisades Medical Center will host a community health fair on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the North Bergen Public Library, 8411 Bergenline Ave.

There will be free health tests and screenings for diabetes, blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen content, and vision.

Vision tests require preregistration by calling 201-854-5702.

Information and services will be available on prostate exams and pap smear tests, insurance, family resources, medical resources, and legal resources.

Fundraiser for the Jubilee Center in Hoboken

The Jubilee Center in Hoboken will host a fundraiser on Oct. 10 to support its programming for children.

A Night at Jubilee Gala will include a dinner and silent auction and will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Jubilee Center at 601 Jackson St.

The evening promises comedy, games, a silent auction, buffet-style dinner and dessert catered by top local chef, Anthony Pino.

For more information, or to purchase a ticket, visit Eventbrite page:  bit.ly/Jubilee-Gala

After two years, pro-Murphy ‘dark money’ group releases donor list 

New Direction New Jersey, a “dark-money” group that supports Gov. Phil Murphy, released a list of 25 of its donors that it had previously refused to make public.
The group, which is a 501(c)(4), wasn’t required by state law to release its list of names. The group’s spokespersons reneged on a promise to release a list of its donors in 2018.
Murphy eventually signed a controversial bill into law that requires politically active nonprofits to publicly release their lists of donors after facing pressure from the Legislature. The bill was fast-tracked by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gioucester) last year.
The law now faces two federal lawsuits arguing that it is unconstitutional, one from Americans for Prosperity, another “dark-money” group run by donor Charles Koch, and another joint complaint against the state from the American Civil Liberties Union and several other organizations.
Garden State Forward, the New Jersey Education Association’s political nonprofit, donated $4.5 million, which was more than most observers expected.
The bulk of the “dark-money” came from large labor unions, including Communications Workers of America, which gave $560,000, and Local 32BJ SEIU which gave $350,000.
Politically-connected law firms and companies with hundreds of thousands, or millions, in contracts with public entities in the state, contributed a significant amount to New Direction New Jersey.
The LLC affiliated with the American Dream mega-mall, which is slated to open in October, doled out $25,000 to the group.
Here is the full list of donors, in descending contribution amounts:

Garden State Forward (NJSEA): $4,500,000
Communications Workers of America: $560,000
Local 32BJ SEIU: $350,000
Building the Future Foundation: $300,000
Decotiis, Fitzpatrick, Cole & Giblin LLP: $200,000
GP Management LLC: $200,000
United Food and Commercial Workers: $100,000
McManimon, Scotland & Bauman LLC: $100,000
AFSCME: $100,000
B.A.C. Administrative District Counciil of NJ PAC: $50,000
Bayada Home Health Care: $50,000
Samsung Electronics of America Inc: $50,000
Amalgamated Transit Union Committee on Political Education: $40,000
Ameream LLC: $25,000
Earle Asphalt Company: $25,000
G.R. Robertson Construction Company Inc.: $25,000
PKF O’Connor Davies LLP: $25,000
Utility and Transportation Contractors Association: $25,000
Sills Cummis and Gross PC: $10,000
Evan Karzhevsky: $9,500
Greg Karzhevsky: $7,500
Public Strategies Impact LLC: $7,500
Steven Litvack: $7,500
Lyft Inc.: $5,000
Diane Swaim: $25