In Honor of Bruce Piechocki

Jersey City Ethical Charter School 95 Broadway will honor the memory of Bayonne native Bruce Piechocki, February 28th, at a 4:30 pm at a halftime Commemorative presentation of its girls basketball team.

Piechocki passed away from Cancer on March 3rd, 2016.

Through a Memorial Fund established by Piechocki’s step-father Keith Rennar and family in 2016 and a donation made in October 2018 to Ethical Charter’s Schools Girl Basketball team; the Green and White uniforms for the girls basketball team were purchased.

The Bruce Piechocki Memorial Fund has been instumental in doing some good work througout the State of New Jersey.

Since its beginning it has sent six children to the Bob Hurley Summer Pocono Basketball Camp for a week.

Donations went to assorted groups: Newark Fresh Air Fund, Jersey City Baptist Church Christmas Help for Needy Families, Bayonne Mike Micelis Christmas Give a Kid a Smile Shopping Trip for Models and other donations.

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Hudson County Community College Library to Host Lecture by Playwright and Actor Martin Casella

hccc hosts martin casella
playwright actor
Playwright/ Screenwriter, Actor Martin Casella

February 20th event is open to the entire community;
there is no charge for admission.

A “Playwright Lecture,” hosted by the Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Library Makerspace, which will feature a nationally acclaimed playwright, screenwriter and actor.

The lecture is open to all members of the community, free of charge.

Prolific writer and actor Martin Casella, whose plays and musicals have been staged in the United States and abroad. 

Mr. Casella attended the California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts). Following his graduation, he worked as Steven Spielberg’s assistant on the films Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Director’s Cut, Used Cars, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.  He has also written for film and television productions for Steven Spielberg, Lasse Hallstrom, Kerry Washington, Whoopi Goldberg, Disney, Universal, Warner Brothers, ABC, CBS and HBO.

Mr. Casella’s acting resumé includes roles in Poltergeist, RoboCop 2, Six Weeks, andAmazon Women on the Moon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 5 p.m.

The HCCC Gabert Library located at 71 Sip Avenue on the College’s Journal Square Campus is Jersey City.
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Professor Joseph Gallo Builds a Dream Theater for Students

   Hudson County Community College Opens New Black Box Theater

By Sally Deering

Hoboken playwright and Theatre Arts Professor Joseph Gallo knows first-hand the trials and tribulations of putting on plays. He does it as resident playwright for Hoboken’s Mile Square Theater, and as Theatre Arts Coordinator for Hudson County Community College’s (HCCC) Theatre Arts program, where Gallo teaches acting, playwriting and film courses to hundreds of students who have passed through its doors. Gallo has directed all the student productions in HCCCs academic classrooms — until now.

Professor Joseph Gallo conducts an Acting Class at HCCC    (Photo:  Brion Luetjen)

On Fri, Jan. 25, HCCC debuted its newest addition to the college: a beautiful and intimate, 40-seat ‘black box’ theater like those found Off Broadway and on other college campuses. The newly-transformed space, which used to be a classroom with Formica tables and white plastic chairs, now has 28 new theater lights, a raised ceiling with a grid for the lights, a state-of-the-art lighting and sound booth that’s mobile, a prop closet, a tech closet, a film screen/SMART Board, newly-painted black walls, black curtains and gray chairs that can seat 40 theater-goers at every performance.

Ask any drama teacher, putting on plays in classrooms and makeshift venues has its drawbacks.  That’s all changed at HCCC. Theatre Arts students can now rehearse plays, perform improvs, and recite monologues in a real theater space. This makes Gallo’s accomplishment – a beautiful theater classroom in HCCCs library building on Sip Avenue in Jersey City – an incredible feat of perseverance and dedication. Gallo never gave up on his dream, and with his persistence, and funding from HCCCs Foundation, Gallo gained support from HCCCs newly-installed President Dr. Christopher Reber, as well as Vice President Dr. Eric Friedman – and they helped Gallo’s dream become a reality.

Gerard Carbone of Mast Construction in Jersey City, and theater designers Herb Alicandri and Matthew Fick of Hoboken are the ones responsible for turning the 5th floor classroom into a theater.

“I’m proud to say we came in on time and under budget,” Gallo says, leading a tour of the theater. “We started construction Dec. 20 and opened Jan. 25.”

Twice a year, at the end of each semester, Gallo and the theater students hold a play festival in the Scott Ring Room on the 2nd floor of the Culinary Arts Building. From now on, Gallo and the students will present their end-of-semester play festival in the new theater, and instead of one performance, the students will put on two shows.  

“This theater takes the Theatre Arts program and elevates it to another level,” Gallo says.   “I see this as a jumping off point for the next plateau of the program.”

The Theatre Arts program currently has 40 students who declared Theatre Arts as their major, Gallo says. The new theater enhances the educational component of the program.

“We can be a first-stop training option for any potential theater student,” Gallo says. “The tech will make our performances different. It’s our own space, so we can create here and don’t have to pick up and go somewhere else.”

The school’s new black box theater was well worth the years of hard work to make it happen, Gallo says, and it’s one of his greatest accomplishments.

“I did it for the students,” Gallo says.

For more info, go to

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St. Patrick’s Day Kick-Off Event on March 14 to Benefit Bayonne BEOF

            Mayor Jimmy Davis announced that there will be a St. Patrick’s Day Kick-Off event to benefit the Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation (BEOF), Bayonne’s community action agency.  The event will take place on Thursday, March 14, at 6:00 p.m., at the Bayonne Masonic Lodge, 888 Avenue C.  A $35 donation to the BEOF will cover Irish food, beverages, and musical entertainment.  The live band will be The Screaming Orphans, a popular, four-woman group from County Donegal, Ireland.  The Screaming Orphans have their roots in Celtic music, and incorporate pop, rock, and international styles into their tunes. Mayor Davis said, “Throughout the year, the BEOF provides social services for seniors and people of all ages who are in need.  Please join us in celebrating the St. Patrick’s season by supporting the BEOF and enjoying The Screaming Orphans.”

            The Screaming Orphans are the four Diver sisters from Bundoran in County Donegal.  In addition to their vocals, the group’s musical instruments include bass, violin, drums, keys, and accordion.  The band has toured in Europe, Africa, and North America.   Their hit song, “Taproom,” was named 2017 Folk/Pop/Rock Album of the Year by Folk ‘n’ Rock Magazine.

            The event will feature an Irish soda bread contest.  First, second, and third place finishers will win Shop-Rite gift cards.  Raffles to benefit the BEOF will also take place at the event.

             Interested parties should visit for information about purchasing reservations.  Anyone who would like to purchase a physical ticket may do so at the Office of the Mayor during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

            The lodge is located at 40th Street and Avenue C.

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Renovation Progress at Former BAYONNE Holy Family Property

Mayor Jimmy Davis announced that significant renovations are underway at the former Holy Family Academy property.  Mayor Davis said, “The Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation (BEOF), Bayonne’s community action agency, is overseeing the conversion of the former high school into the future location of our local Head Start program.”  Mayor Davis continued, “We look forward to the completion of this work, which will enable this former high school facility to serve future generations of pre-Kindergarten students.”

BEOF Executive Director Samantha Howard Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation (BEOF) said, “The staff at the BEOF have feverishly sought and obtained several capital improvement grants to assist with the renovation and repair of this facility. It is a very exciting time for the organization.”

Full asbestos remediation is taking place throughout the property. In addition, state-of-the-art electrical upgrades are currently being done throughout the building. Director Howard said, “These new electrical and fire alarm improvements are all in compliance with federal and state regulations for the health and safety of our students, parents, staff, and volunteers. 

The BEOF is continuing its efforts and its joint partnership with the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program to renovate the new school facility.  Director Howard explained, “The organization continues to seek out additional grant funding to cover the costs of classroom updates and improvements. This includes the replacement of all windows and doors in the school building to ensure the safety of our students.”

The BEOF’s Holy Family Academy (HFA) Paver Fundraiser is still ongoing. Samantha Howard explained, “These pavers will be a complement to the existing facility, making it more user-friendly. It is an opportunity for members of the community to design their own historic markers to memorialize family and/or friends, in memory of a loved one, or for corporate support, while leaving their legacy with generations to come.”

The BEOF hopes to house the Bayonne Head Start Program in one central location very soon, and, with this new facility, will be able to expand its opportunities and exceptional services to the City of Bayonne and Hudson County.

Mayor Davis concluded, “The City of Bayonne will continue our successful partnership with the BEOF, in order to ensure that it will provide important community services into the future.”

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Registration Announced for BAYONNE New Library Children’s Programs

Mayor Jimmy Davis and Library Director J.P. Porcaro are happy to announce new programs will be held at the Bayonne Public Library.  These programs are geared for children 4-6 years old. These programs will begin the week of March 12.

Beginning on Tuesdays, Just Kids Play will take place from 1:30-2:30. There will be Creative Movement, songs, and hands-on activities.

Drama Play will take place from 4:00-5:00. The children will listen to

Mother Goose rhymes and will create dramatic art to promote literacy.

On Wednesdays, the Lapsit Program will take place from 11:00-11:30. There will be stories, fingerplays, movement, socialization and creativeplay with toys. The children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.                   

We will have Crafternoon from 1:30 – 2:30. The children will create seasonal or everyday crafts

On Thursdays, from 2:00-3:00, there will be Mother Goose Rhymes. The children will create their own sing-a-long of rhymes.  The program Oh the Places We Will Go! Will take place from 4:00-5:00.  The children will visit communities through storytelling and will interact with community helpers.

 Registration will take place from Monday, Feb. 25, through Fri., March 1, 2019. Proof of Bayonne residency is required to register.  Parents MUST remain in the build during the programs.

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Mayor Jimmy Davis announced that high school seniors and juniors who live in Bayonne are invited to take part in the Louis Bay Future Municipal Leaders Scholarship Competition.

The local competition is open to high school juniors and seniors who are Bayonne residents who plan to continue their education after high school. This scholarship is sponsored statewide by the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, which is offering three $1,000 scholarships to winners from across the state.

The purpose of this scholarship is to advance the virtues of elected and volunteer positions in municipal government while raising awareness of municipal government in general.

The scholarship competition is named in honor of Louis Bay II, former Mayor of Hawthorne, New Jersey.

Qualified students who are residents of Bayonne need to do two things to enter the scholarship contest: 1) Fill out an application form, which is available at the Office of the Mayor. 2) Write an essay on the theme “What My Municipal Government Does Best.” The essay should be based on the student’s perceptions and experiences with the City of Bayonne’s municipal government. The essay should

consider the public contributions of your municipal government.The essay’s length should be

approximately 500 words. Essays must be submitted to Mayor Davis’s office in hard copy by Friday, March 8, 2019, at 4:30 p.m., along with the application form.
Judging will be based solely on the essay. Please do not include any other information such as transcripts or references. Judging criteria will include the appropriateness of the essay’s theme; effective articulation of the theme; originality; technical composition; spelling; and syntax.
A committee will judge the essays submitted by Bayonne resident students. The Bayonne committee will select the winning local entry. By April 1, that entry will be sent to the New Jersey State League of Municipalities in Trenton, along with a list of all other entrants, who will receive certificates of participation. In early May, the League of Municipalities will announce fifteen statewide finalists and three statewide winners. Later in May, awards will be presented to the three scholarship winners around the state.
The New Jersey State League of Municipalities helps communities do a better job of self-government through pooling information, resources, and brainpower. The League has been serving local officials throughout New Jersey since 1915. The highlight of the League’s activities is its annual conference, which is held each November at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

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Saint Peter’s Basketball Announces Jersey City Weekend Feb. 22-24

In celebration of Jersey City’s birthday, all Jersey City residents can register to receive free tickets to the weekend’s basketball games.

JERSEY CITY, NJ – Saint Peter’s Athletics has announced its inaugural Jersey City Basketball Weekend in conjunction with the anniversary of Jersey City’s incorporation on February 22.

A city full of diversity, art, and tons of athletic talent, Jersey City has been home to the Saint Peter’s Peacocks for 147 years. In honor of the city’s 181st birthday, Saint Peter’s will be hosting a Jersey City Basketball Weekend from February 22-24, with home games for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The Saint Peter’s athletics department is offering two free tickets for both games to any Jersey City resident who registers at

The celebration begins Friday, February 22 at 7 p.m. when the women’s basketball team takes on Fairfield. The festivities continue on Sunday, February 24 when the men’s basketball team faces off against Niagara at 2 p.m. Both games will be at the Yanitelli Center, located at 870 Montgomery Street in Jersey City.

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[Bayonne, NJ, January 30, 2019] Marist High School, home to the largest high school gymnasium in Hudson County, is proud to host the 15th Annual Dan Finn Classic on February 7, 2019. Featuring some of the best talent in the North East, this Essex County vs. Hudson County triple header match-up promises exciting games and fierce competition.


Some of the top boys’ high school basketball programs in New Jersey will be in attendance this year. In addition to Marist High School, featured schools include #4 State Ranked Newark Eastside High School, Lincoln High School, Seton Hall Prep, Saint Peter’s Prep, and Irvington High School.


Marist graduate Dennis “Pipper” Hammer ’67 was selected to be installed on the Wall of Fame at the Jersey City Armory in recognition of his excellent high school record. Dennis will be enshrined at the game.


Marist President Peter Kane said of the event, “The Dan Finn Classic and Marist High School are two noble institutions.  In Hudson County, basketball is “like a religion”.  We at Marist take both athletics and academics that seriously.  The legacy of Dan Finn will live on long after today’s players are graduated, but the values espoused by the Finn family; excellence, humility and respect, are also Marist values.”

For more information on the Marist boys’ and girls’ basketball programs, please visit


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A lifestyle and entertainment publication serving the Jersey City, Hoboken, Bayonne, Weehawken, West New York, North Bergen, Cliffside Park, Edgewater, Secaucus and Guttenberg Waterfront Communities


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