Category Archives: General

Lou Gomez’s Memoir “Almost Famous” details a career in Music that Spans 65 Years

Career in music had Lou Gomez close to fame and the famous

ByTris McCall

The time is 1968.  The sound on the charts is bubblegum pop: snappy choruses, bright, chiming guitar, voices in harmony, and lyrics about candy and crushes.  The Ohio Express, one of the foremost bubblegum bands, is touring behind Top Ten hits “Yummy Yummy Yummy” and “Chewy Chewy.” And the man driving the irresistible beat?  That’s Lou Gomez, drummer and singer from Bayonne, New Jersey.

Fast forward to 1975. Styles have changed, and the bubblegum era has given way to the sophistication of funk and disco.  A band called Hudson County has gotten the party started in North Jersey with an underground hit called “Bim Sala Bim.”  Though the song is a dancefloor burner, it’s got a serious message, the inspiration behind it is serious: the resilience, optimism, and wisdom of a homeless person in New York City.   Once again, the guy laying down the groove — and the writer of the song, too — is Lou Gomez.


The Annual Hudson County Black History Month Celebration Awards Dinner honors local African Americans who have served their community with distinction.

Hudson County Executive Craig Guy will join Vice Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners Jerry Walker, County Register Jeff Dublin and a host of other elected officials and community leaders to recognize Hudson County’s 2024 Black History Month Honorees at the Black History Month Celebration Dinner to be held at High Tech High School in Secaucus tomorrow evening at 6 pm.

“I was honored to nominate my dear friend, Florence Holmes, for this year’s Coretta Scott King Humanitarian Award, and pleased that the Hudson County Black History Month Committee confirmed the nomination,” said County Executive Guy. “I look forward to joining our Vice Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, Jerry Walker, Register Jeff Dublin, and other county and municipal officials and community leaders as we salute all our Black History Month honorees at this wonderful annual event.”

Vice Chairman Walker, who serves as a member of the Hudson County Black History Month Committee, noted how valuable events like the Celebration Dinner remain, even in an evermore fast-paced, online-driven world. 

“Taking time to understand who we are as individuals requires each of us to understand and appreciate our heritage and our place in history,” said Commissioner Walker. “Our Black History Month honorees’ remarkable stories of courage, creativity, and compassion we will celebrate tomorrow night remind us how that place is shaped and re-shaped for the better every day—right here in Hudson County.” 

The Hudson County Black History Month Committee accepts nominations for five traditional countywide awards recognizing the service and achievements of local residents in keeping with the theme of that year’s celebration. This year’s theme is “African Americans and the Arts.” 

The Hudson County Black History Month Celebration Dinner will include oratory and musical performances from Hudson County Schools of Technology students and an invocation and benediction by the Rev. Chester Banks of Jersey City.

The 2024 Hudson County Black History Month Honorees are as follows:

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Drum Major Award: Demetrius

Terry, of Kearny. Mr. Terry is a former aide to two New Jersey state legislators and served as the Executive Director of the Greenville Health Access Coalition, a non-profit organization that fought to expand healthcare access for local residents. He now works in property management for a real estate development company and remains active in local community affairs with a focus on bipartisanship and encouraging more participation by younger and LGBTQ voters in local politics.

The Coretta Scott King Humanitarian Award: Florence Holmes of Jersey City. Ms. Holmes has won countless previous awards for her remarkable half-century of service to her community. She currently serves as the Director of the Mary McLeod Bethune Senior Center in Jersey City, the Vice Chairperson of the Hudson County HIV/AIDS Planning Council, a member of the Jersey City Parks Coalition, a member of the Jersey City Golden Door Rotary Club and as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Patrick’s Church, where she has been a parishioner since 1970. 

The Rhudell Snelling, Sr., Community Service Award: Jovina Johnson of Jersey City. Ms. Johnson, a resident of Jersey City for more than twenty years, serves as President of the Journal Square Community Association (JSQCA). She is the first African American woman to lead the JSQCA as President. Ms. Johnson has been active in community redevelopment in the Journal Square area as a property owner and member of the JSQCA since 2019.

The Hudson County Public Service Award: Sgt. Steven Rhodes of Bayonne. Sgt. Rhodes has served for a quarter century as a member of the Bayonne Police Department. As a detective, he worked as a member of the Detective Bureau, the Narcotics Unit, and the Juvenile Aide Bureau. Today he serves as the Community Outreach Officer in the office of Bayonne’s Police Chief, Robert Geisler. In that role Sgt. Rhodes works closely with the city’s Community Policing Unit as well as community organizations and local clergy. He is a member of the Bayonne Branch of the NAACP, Bayonne PAL and the Bayonne Community Center.

Outstanding Hudson County Healthcare Award: Joan Dublin of Jersey City. Ms. Dublin holds a B.S. in Nursing from New Jersey City University and a Masters in Public Administration from Seton Hall University. Since 2007, she has served as President & CEO of Metropolitan Family Health Network. In that role, she increased the number of patients served and created health-provider partnerships to expand access to better and more affordable care for local residents. Ms. Dublin has served as Chair of the New Jersey Primary Care Association, Jersey City Medical Center’s Senior Director of Patient Care Services, and as Executive Director of Jersey City Family Health Services. 

Residents can learn more about this event by contacting the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs at 201-459-2070 or online at: The Celebration Dinner is free and open to the public.

St.  Henry Church of Bayonne to Observe the 100th Anniversary of its Pipe Organ

St. Henry Roman Catholic Church of Bayonne announced that it will be celebrating a special mass at 12:00 noon on February 25, 2024, to kick off a year-long celebration on the 100th anniversary of its Hook & Hastings pipe organ. Also included in the yearlong program is the recognition of the church’s patron, St. Henry, Duke of Bavaria and Holy Roman Emperor, and his wife, St. Cunigunde. The church is observing the 1,000th anniversary of St. Henry’s death in 1024. St. Henry’s homeland, Bavaria, is a state in southern Germany.

Hook & Hastings, a Boston-based firm, produced more than 2,000 organs from 1827 to 1935. Several of their organs remain in use.

          Constructing the church was the idea of Pastor Peter Reilly. He purchased the property on Avenue C from his brother in 1907. Father Reilly’s plan was to erect a church, school, rectory, convent, and a hospital on the property.  The groundbreaking for the church took place in June 1911. A year later, the cornerstone was laid. Four years later, on May 30, 1915, the dedication of the church took place. It included a choir loft but no organ. Other items, such as furnishings, took priority at that time. Unfortunately, in September 1919, Pastor Reilly died suddenly in the rectory.

A short while later, Father, later Monsignor, Michael Mulligan was assigned to be the new pastor.  He had a new, but incomplete, church and a large debt. It was not until he had a decrease in debt and an increase in parishioners that the idea of an organ came about. Pastor Mulligan organized a fundraising committee to raise the $15,000 for a down payment. The committee continued the fundraising until a total of $30,000 was completed. The new Hook and Hastings Company Opus 2500 pipe organ was installed in February 1924.

St. Henry Church invites the community to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the pipe organ.  The church is in Bayonne on Avenue C between 28th and 29th Streets. Parking is available next to the church and on the nearby school grounds.

Other special events for the centennial of the organ and the 1,000th anniversary of St. Henry’s passing will be announced


Mayor’s Corner- Bayonne Mayor James Davis

            When I was growing up in Bayonne, the Public Service Corporation owned the #14 Bus that ran from Avenue C in Bayonne to Exchange Place in Jersey City. The company operated numerous bus lines across New Jersey.  Each bus bore the company’s insignia, a circle that had a triangle inside it.  The same symbol was on the old Public Service building at 36th Street and Broadway in Bayonne.  (The Bayonne Adult Medical Day Care Center occupies that building now.)

            The Public Service Corporation began in 1903.  The original version of Public Service brought together an electric power business and four trolley companies.  The company added more enterprises to its holdings over the next two decades.  In 1928, the various Public Service operations were reorganized into two companies: the Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) and Public Service Coordinated Transport, which operated streetcars and buses.  Gradually, most of the streetcars were replaced by buses. The Newark Subway, which opened in 1935, was an exception.  It kept the streetcars until 2001, when they were replaced by modern light rail vehicles.  Today, the former Newark Subway is called the Newark Light Rail.

The 1970’s and 1980’s saw many changes in the transportation industry. In 1971, Public Service Coordinated Transport was renamed Transport of New Jersey.  At that time, many private railroads were going bankrupt.  In 1976, several rail companies combined into Conrail, which wanted to focus on the freight business.  In 1979, the New Jersey Department of Transportation formed New Jersey Transit, a government corporation, that began to buy out bus lines.  In 1980, New Jersey Transit acquired Transport of New Jersey from Public Service.  In 1983, New Jersey Transit took over Conrail’s commuter rail services in this state.

Long-time and retired commuters may remember that New Jersey Transit reorganized and renumbered the former Public Service bus routes in 1989.  For example, the #14 Bus in Bayonne and Jersey City became the #81 Bus, and the #9 Bus in Jersey City became the #80 Bus.

Today, New Jersey Transit owns and operates most commuter rail lines in the state, with some exceptions.  The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates the PATH trains.  Amtrak, a federal government corporation, runs trains through New Jersey along its Northeast Corridor.  SEPTA (the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority), and PATCO (the Delaware River Port Authority Transit Corporation) have trains in Pennsylvania and South Jersey.

Although ownership and management have changed over the years, mass transportation remains vitally important in New Jersey. The City of Bayonne will continue working with the New Jersey Department of Transportation, New Jersey Transit, and private transportation companies to keep transit on track in the years to come.         

Hudson County Community College Will Hold Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for North Hudson Campus Courtyard Cafe’

 Hudson County Community College students will now be able to enjoy the College’s newly constructed North Hudson Campus Courtyard Café.

 Students, faculty, and staff at Hudson County Community College’s (HCCC) North Hudson Campus will have a new place to fuel up, relax, and enjoy one another. A ribbon-cutting/grand opening ceremony for the HCCC North Hudson Campus Courtyard Café will take place on Monday, February 12, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. at 4800 Kennedy Boulevard in Union City, NJ.

HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber will be joined by Joseph Caniglia, Executive Director of HCCC’s North Hudson Campus, in welcoming guests. “The new Courtyard Café is a manifestation of our dedication to our students and promoting community,” Dr. Reber said. “The Café offers unique and healthy food options, a change from the vending machine fare, and serves as a gathering place for all. Here, you can have coffee between classes, enjoy a sit-down meal, or order something to go.”

Construction of the $1.2 million North Hudson Courtyard Café was recently completed. The 1,950 square-foot facility was designed by RSC Architects and built by MAST Construction. The Courtyard Café is well appointed and features state-of-the-art kitchen equipment to accommodate a wide selection of food choices.

The HCCC North Hudson Courtyard Café menu features breakfast bowls, bagels, burritos, soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, quesadillas, flatbreads, and other favorites like chicken tenders and fries. To save time, patrons can order ahead by using the myQuickCharge app. The North Hudson Courtyard Café will be open Mondays and Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hudson County Community College President Chris Reber to Receive Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society’s Most Prestigious Award

Dr. Christopher Reber will accept the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction
at the PTK Convention in Orlando.

 Dr. Christopher M. Reber, President of Hudson County Community College, recipient of Phi Theta Kappa’s prestigious Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction.

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the premier international community college honor society, announced that Hudson County Community College (HCCC) President Dr. Christopher Reber will be recognized with the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction. The award will be presented at PTK Catalyst 2024, the society’s annual convention in Orlando, Florida, April 4-6, 2024.

Bayonne 5th Annual Chili -Cookoff February 23rd, 2024

The Bayonne Chamber of Commerce is partnering with The City of Bayonne and The Bayonne Urban Enterprise Zone (BUEZ) in hosting the much-anticipated 2024 CHILI-COOK OFF!
This is their 5th Chili-Cook Off and without a doubt, the most fun you’ll have this winter!  It’s a night of music,with the Jalapeno’ Trio, also mingling, dancing, laughter and tons of great food!
The public’s support is vital to the success of this event and will ultimately help enable the Chamber of Commerce to bring programs and resources to the business community of Bayonne.

The Jalapeno’ Trio


Set-up must be complete and ready to serve by 5:30 P.M.
Teardown and cleanup must be completed by 9:45 P.M.

  • This is a ticketed event, open to the public. It is FREE for contestants in the tasting competition!
  • This is a fun cook-off and there are no rules for the definition of “Chili” and its contents.  Anything goes!
  • You must maintain a core cooking temperature of 155 degrees and serving temperature of 135 degrees.
  • Any known, common allergens used in preparation must be noted (i.e. seafood or nuts)
  •  You must provide your own thermometer which will be checked throughout the evening.
  • Gloves must be worn by your team members and multiple serving utensils used to prevent cross contamination. All equipment, food, and supplies stored must be at least 6 inches off the floor.
  • USDA approved sources of meat required and no more than 4 team members. Each contestant must provide a minimum 5 GALLONS of chili (250 people are expected).
  • Please label the spice factor of your chili, i.e. Mild, Medium, Hot, or Atomic.
  • Your chili must be made prior to the event at a legal, commercial kitchen, establishment, or restaurant that day. No home cooking whatsoever, or you will be disqualified.  
  • Contestants are also responsible for supplying warming dishes, utensils, foods, spices, table decorations, etc. Electricity will not be available for crock-pots. A restaurant size table will be provided for each contestant to represent & serve their chili.
  • Themes, costumes, and decorations are encouraged. An award for Best Dressed Table Display!
  • Judging will take place by Culinary Expert(s). The provider of the best tasting chili, as determined by the judge(s), will be awarded first, second, and third prizes and FREE publicity, along with bragging rights!
  • As a trade-off for your efforts and delicious chili, the organizers will promote the event, along with each participating contestant via social and traditional media outlets.

To be a contestant, please send an email to [email protected], or call 551-263-7503. A member of our committee will gladly assist you with your application.
It is FREE to sign up! DEADLINE to submit applications is February 17th.  SPACE IS LIMITED!

February 23, 2024
6:00 pm – 10:00pm


$40.00 per person
Please register online at

Research Reveals 1 out of 3 Americans think Aliens Live Among Us.

What do you think?

Photo Leo_Visons Upsplash

One in three Americans thinks aliens are living among us in disguise – and many suspect their boss, according to a new survey.

The research of 1,000 Americans saw 37 percent say they feel aliens may already be present here on Earth.

From sightings of 10-foot tall ‘aliens’ in Brazil to the recently refuted ‘extraterrestrial’ corpses found in Peru or the tourist board of Kentucky beaming messages to space to invite aliens to visit- the interest and debate around alien existence continues to fascinate.

However, many remain unconvinced. Forty-one percent of those polled disagree with the notion that extraterrestrial life may be walking and talking among us, with the remainder unsure (22%).

The out-of-this-world findings emerged from a survey conducted by Talker Research on behalf of Wealth of

When asked who they feel may currently be an alien, 39% stated their current boss as a definite possibility while a third said they feel a certain celebrity may not originally be from this planet.

More than half of the 1,000 polled believe in the existence of aliens (53%) while a third do not (34%).

Men are slightly more likely than women to feel aliens exist, according to results (56% vs. 49%).

Michael Dinich, founder of, said: “The results show that, when it comes to believing in extraterrestrial life, many Americans are open to the possibility.

“And it seems a sizable number of people have reason to question whether their boss may be of this planet or not.

“No matter a person’s beliefs on aliens, it’s great to see many people enjoying the possibility of what could be, whether that’s by embracing extraterrestrial life or a love of all things sci-fi.”

Were an alien race to officially make contact, 43% of the 1,000 surveyed feel our current world leaders are the right people to represent Earth.

But should Earth need new heroes, a confident four in ten (42%) said they believe they would be able to secure peace if personally chosen to represent Earth in talks with extraterrestrial life.

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 1,000 general population Americans was carried out between Dec. 1st and Dec. 4th 2023. It was conducted by Talker Research, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

“Warriors” presented by The Art House Gallery

– Art House Productions (Executive Artistic Director Meredith Burns, Gallery Director Andrea McKenna) is thrilled to present “Warriors” in celebration of Black History Month. This exhibition features the remarkable works of Myeisha MillerTheda SandifordDanielle Scott, and Armisey Smith, skillfully curated by Andrea McKenna. “Warriors” will be open to the public from February 3rd to February 25th, with an opening reception on Saturday, February 3rd, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Additionally, there will be an insightful artist talk on Sunday, February 18th, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Regular gallery hours are every Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. For those who prefer a personalized experience, appointments can be requested by reaching out to [email protected]. Join us in honoring Black History Month through this captivating exploration of artistic expression.

In the vibrant creations of these four artists, the concept of ‘warrior’ unfolds with profound and nuanced meanings. Each piece intricately weaves a narrative, sharing the truths embedded in their history and ancestry. This compelling exhibition resonates with strength, wisdom, and resilience, conveying a powerful message,” says Gallery Director Andrea McKenna.

All exhibited works will be available for purchase at the Art House Gallery located at The Hendrix, 345 Marin Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ 07302. Art House Gallery exhibitions are always free and open to the public. Large print versions of all literature related to our exhibitions and tactile, descriptive tours are available upon request. For more information, email Andrea McKenna at [email protected]rg

. For questions related to the gallery and this exhibition, please email [email protected]. inquiries can be sent to [email protected].



 New Jersey’s Premier Independent Film Festival is celebrating its 22nd Anniversary March 21 – 24.  The internationally recognized Garden State Film Festival (GSFF) celebrates the independent film genre by bringing a carefully curated and enriching selection of original works from locally produced filmmakers as well as from around the world. “The upcoming 2024 Festival returns to experience 200 films from over 14 countries over four days in 8 venues hosting parties, professional panels, events, special honors and more,” says Lauren Concar Sheehy, the festival’s Executive Director.

The Garden State Film Festival offers several categories for films and filmmakers of all kinds.  Among the selection include feature length and short films, documentaries, comedies, children’s, thrillers, pilots, student films and “Home-Grown” films shot in NJ. The Garden State Film Festival is pleased to announce that the film Hollywood New Jersey produced by Jersey City resident, Anthony Cupo, will screen at this year’s festival.  We hope you come out to cheer on our hometown heroes who have put so much time and talent into these productions. ?

“We are extremely proud to present DP as a part of our 22nd Annual Film Festival, and to share this work with our global audience,” says Lauren Concar Sheehy, the festival’s Executive Director.

Hollywood New Jersey will screen on Saturday, March 23, 2024 at 12:00pm at Cranford Theater, Cranford , NJ