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Former Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante is returning as the city's new Public Safety Director. Photo provided by the City of Hoboken.

Hoboken launches fundraising efforts to help Ukrainian refugees in Poland

Hoboken is launching their Rent For Refugees campaign to provide housing for Ukrainian refugees living in their adopted sister city in Białystok, Poland, following the Russian invasion of the country.

The campaign, in partnership with the Hoboken Relief Fund and non-profit Welcome Home, will provide housing assistance to those fleeing the war by providing them with furnished apartments, with one for five people costing about $450 a month.

“It’s incumbent upon us to always remember that even though these horrific and tragic events are happening far away, it impacts us right here in Hoboken,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla in a statement. “We have an obligation as not just Americans, but as global citizens, to speak up and show our solidarity with the people of Ukraine. They are pleading for our help, and we must act.”

On Thursday the city hosted a solidarity ceremony for Ukraine and raised the Ukrainian flag outside of City Hall. The City Council also passed a resolution to support the country at their March 9 meeting.

To learn more about the Rent For Refugees campaign and to donate, go to welcomehomerefugees.org/campaigns/hoboken/.

Waterfront Montessori collecting supplies for Ukrainian refugees

Waterfront Montessori Middle School in Jersey City is collecting supplies to support Ukrainian refugees in Poland in the wake of the Russian invasion, joining efforts by Secaucus and North Bergen that began last week.

The school is asking the school community to donate diapers, clothing for babies and children, powder baby formula, small toys and small books, which students will deliver to Secaucus, who will use it to create care packages that will be sent to refugees in Poland.

Vainieri launches campaign for HCDO chair

County Commission Chair Anthony Vainieri has officially launching his campaign for Chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, as Chairwoman Amy DeGise has announced she will not seek re-election. Vainieri has the support of all 12 mayors, as well as County Executive Tom DeGise and Chairwoman DeGise.

Former Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante returns as new Public Safety Director

Former Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante is returning as the city’s new Public Safety Director, where he will analyze crime prevention and fire safety preparedness, update and implement strategic public safety policies and procedures for public safety, “and adjust departmental methods and protocols to increase operational efficiencies.”

A 28-year veteran of Hoboken’s police department, Ferrante started out as a police officer in 1993, and later became the city’s Police Chief from 2014 up until his retirement in July of 2021. He was also the city’s Office of Emergency Management Coordinator from 2013 and 2014.

Former Jersey City recreation clerk sentenced to prison for stealing money

Former Jersey City Department of Recreation payroll clerk Angela Rivera was sentenced to three years in state prison for stealing $80,553 by fraudulently inflating payroll hours for certain relatives and associates. She had pleaded guilty last year for second-degree theft by unlawful taking.

North Bergen Art and Writing Contest

The North Bergen Public Library invites all children and adults to join the “I♥NB” Art and Writing Contest. Submit an original piece of artwork or essay celebrating North Bergen to win a $25 gift card and library swag.

The theme is “I♥NB,” and eligible categories include: digital art, physical art, videos up to 45 seconds, or written compositions up to 500 words. Winners will be awarded in each category for grades 1 to 3, 4 to 6, 7 to 9, 10 to 12, and adults.

Submit entries by 8 p.m. on March 28 by email to nbcontest@nbpl.org or in-person at any NB Library location. Include name, grade, school, phone number, and email address. Must be a North Bergen resident to submit. For a full set of rules, visit the library’s website at www.nbpl.org.

This contest is part of North Bergen’s celebration of Local Government Week, and entries will be displayed in the Main Library during Local Government Week, from April 4 to 8.

Jersey City Arts and Culture Trust Fund open for grant applications

Jersey City has opened grant applications for the Arts and Culture Trust Fund, which will distribute $850,000 in grants to support the city’s art community. The city will be accepting applications for program, arts education and operational grants, as well as for the Individual Artist Fellowship that will be administered by the Jersey City Arts Council.

Applications for grants must be submitted before March 28 at 11:59 p.m. The grant period is during the 2022 fiscal year from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023. For more details, visit www.jerseycityculture.org/programs/arts-and-culture-trust-fund-2/.

Fire tears through North Bergen homes

A fire tore through the 1300 block of 9th Street in North Bergen on March 7. Fueled by strong winds, the blaze quickly spread from one home to the next. At least seven houses were severely damaged and 11 families displaced. All the residents made it out safely, which officials attribute to the combined efforts of local first responders.

NB C.A.R.E.S. was on the scene to coordinate efforts to assist all of the fire victims and collaborate with the Red Cross. The organization also collected clothing and other supplies for those affected in the days following the fire. The township provided a shuttle bus to transport the residents to a hotel and also provided food and emergency supplies. Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners met with residents and emergency services personnel to ensure a safe and organized operation.

Additionally, multiple GoFundMe fundraisers have been started for those affected by the blaze including: Jackson BravoScott Henriquez, Schyvonne Cruz, and the Maldonado and Navas families.

Benefit concert to support Chambord businesses

A benefit concert to help businesses affected by the Chambord fire will be held March 26, featuring live music from area bands and those who recorded music in the Chambord building.

The concert, which is sponsored by the Pulse with Peter B and Pilsener Haus, will take place at the KOLO KLUB, 1422 Grand St., from 7 to 11 p.m.. Original music and covers will be played and complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Tickets for the concert will cost $50 and can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com/e/chambord-fire-benefit-by-the-pulse-and-the-pilsener-haus-tickets-277537380777, with the proceeds being donated to the Hoboken Relief Fund.

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