Category Archives: General

Hudson County’s Roger Muller -Taking The Bite Out Of Lionfish

Roger Muller Lionfish Hunter
Roger Muller

By Scott Murphy

How a group of passionate divers are trying to create essential awareness about a growing ocean threat…

By day, Roger J. Muller Jr. can usually be found overseeing Muller Insurance – his longstanding insurance agency in Hoboken, New Jersey. At night, friends often seek him out on the ice, where he can be spotted either captaining the Hoboken Rockets hockey team, or watching the New Jersey Devils pursue a hopeful Stanley Cup.

But every few months, as he stares at the exotic fish in his massive office tank, Muller gets the itch to go deep sea diving. “It’s like a mission,” he says. For the past 25 years, he has dived in places as varied as Cuba, Italy, Panama, Bonaire, Curacao, Jamaica, St. Croix, Grand Cayman Islands, Aruba, the Florida Panhandle, Rangiria, Mo’oria, Bora Bora, the South Pacific  and Hawaii. He’s accumulated some noteworthy stats and achievements during that time: over 2,500 dives and 132 major diving certificates. “I love it,” he says with a clear passion in his voice. “I started in 1998 in Aruba, and just kept going. I’ve gotten every certification from Open Water Diver to instructor.”

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Jersey City Awarded $8.1 Million for Traffic Safety Improvements at 33 Intersections along Summit Avenue  

Over $8.1 million in federal funds has been approved for safety improvements in Jersey City, specifically involving 33 intersections along Summit Avenue from Route 139 to Secaucus Road. 

The project, funded by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), will include upgraded traffic signals at 19 intersections, pedestrian signal upgrades, high-visibility crosswalks, curb extensions, and other improvements along the 1.5-mile corridor.  

The Summit Avenue project, which is one of 19 safety improvements totaling $188.3 million across the NJTPA region, was approved by the NJTPA Board of Trustees at its March 13, 2023, meeting.  Summit Avenue is identified on the High Injury Network in Jersey City’s Vision Zero Action Plan.   “Modernizing the intersections to be safer and operate more efficiently will build upon our broader Vision Zero efforts citywide, furthering our commitment to reach zero pedestrian and cyclist fatalities,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop, the City’s representative to the NJTPA Board.

 “With two nearby parks and several schools in the vicinity, these improvements are especially important to help keep residents of all ages safe.”   As has become the Fulop Administration’s standard policy, the project’s preliminary and final design phases will include multiple public engagement sessions to solicit community feedback.  The design phase is expected to begin later this year.  

The Local Safety Program funds high-impact, cost-effective solutions to reduce crashes and improve safety for all travelers. 

More information on the programs is available online at  Project factsheets are available at  

Funding approved for the programs doubled from the previous program cycle in 2020.  “The increases are the result of highly successful partnerships between the NJTPA and its member county and city governments to deliver vitally important projects on our local roads,” said Passaic County Commissioner John W. Bartlett, the current Chair of the NJTPA.  

“This federal support helps free up local dollars, state aid, and municipal aid for other priorities.”  

The NJTPA is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for 13 northern New Jersey counties.  Under federal legislation, MPOs provide a forum where local officials, public transportation providers, and state agency representatives can come together and cooperatively plan to meet the region’s current and future transportation needs.  

It establishes the region’s eligibility to receive federal tax dollars for transportation projects.  

The NJTPA Board consists of one local elected official from each of the 13 counties in the region (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren) and the cities of Newark and Jersey City. The Board also includes a Governor’s Representative, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the President & CEO of NJ TRANSIT, the Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and a Citizens’ Representative appointed by the Governor.  

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Hudson County Community College Earns Campus Prevention Network (CPN) Seal of Prevention (TM)

Caption: Pictured here, the Campus Prevention Network (CPN) Seal of PreventionTM.  

HCCC is one of 11 New Jersey colleges and universities recognized for exceptional commitment to digital student wellness, safety and inclusion endeavors.   Hudson County Community College (HCCC) has been awarded the Campus Prevention Network (CPN) Seal of PreventionTM. Vector Solutions for Higher Education presents the Seal of PreventionTM to colleges and universities with extraordinary leadership in digital prevention programming focused on student safety, well-being, and inclusion. HCCC is one of 11 New Jersey educational institutions to receive the honor.  

CPN Seal of Prevention TM  institutions like HCCC have created safer, more inclusive campuses through comprehensive, evidence-based preventive education on discrimination, mental health,  alcohol misuse, and sexual assault. Of the 850 higher education institutions in the United States evaluated, fewer than 12% earned this distinction.  

“Hudson County Community College is committed to creating a safe, nurturing environment where students feel cared for, develop confidence, cultivate friendships, flourish academically, and achieve their dreams and life goals,” said HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber. “The CPN Seal of PreventionTM is a testament to the College’s commitment – and our success – in producing a culture of care that leads our students to say, ‘Hudson is Home.’”  

The criteria for the CPN Seal of PreventionTM are based on the American Psychologist “What Works in Prevention: Principles of Effective Prevention Programs.” Characteristics of such programs show that they were comprehensive, included varied teaching methods, were theory-driven, provided opportunities for positive relationships, were appropriately timed, had sociocultural relevance, included outcome evaluation, and involved well-trained staff.  

“The CPN Seal of Prevention™ recipients reflect the top 12% of colleges and universities nationwide, further highlighting their commitment and investment not only to academics, but also the well-being of their students and the overall college experience,” said Jonathan Cherins, CEO at Vector Solutions. “Our team at Vector Solutions is proud to recognize the great value these leading institutions and organizations are providing to students and the commitment we share to making higher education communities safer and more inclusive.”  

HCCC programs assist in ensuring academic success and helping build the competencies and capabilities essential to becoming conscientious global citizens. Among these undertakings are the HCCC President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (PACDEI), which provides leadership and counsel in fostering a welcoming, diverse, equitable and inclusive environment; “Hudson Scholars,” the College’s innovative, national award-winning program that utilizes proven best practices and provides proactive advisement, financial stipends, and early academic intervention to ensure that a greater number of students facing financial challenges, language barriers, employment concerns, and family responsibilities complete their college education, achieve their goals, and realize their dreams; and the “Hudson Helps” program, a compendium of wraparound services, programs, and resources that focus on basic needs beyond the classroom and result in greater student success.  

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Former Downtown Jersey City Resident, The Late Sal Piro, The Rocky Horror Picture Show Superfan

By Tris McCall

Richard O’Brien, Tim Curry, and Susan Sarandon made the Rocky Horror Picture Show a hoot.

Sal Piro made it a phenomenon.

He did not do it from the screen, or from the director’s chair, or from behind a camera, or from the offices of a movie studio. The Jersey City native did it from the audience. Piro, who died at 71 after a highly unusual and consequential career in show business, spent decades as the president of the Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Club. In that role, he helped transform fandom from the passive activity it had been into the creative act that it is today — something akin to artistry.

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Hudson County Concludes Black History Month with Annual Black History Month Celebration and Awards Dinner

Tuesday’s celebration honors leaders in education, health care, public service.

Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise and Hudson County Board of Commissioners Chairman Pro Tempore Jerry Walker will welcome host of local leaders, community activists, and students to the County’s Annual Black History Month Celebration and Awards Dinner to be held at High Tech High School (One High Tech Way, Secaucus, NJ 07094) this Tuesday, February 28th, at 6pm.

Among the honorees will be Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd III, President of the Bayonne Branch of the NAACP, who will receive the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Drum Major Award; Pamela Johnson, Founder and Executive Director of the Anti-Violence Coalition of Hudson County, who will receive the Coretta Scott King Humanitarian Award; Susan Curry, longtime Jersey City Community Organizer, who will receive the Rhudell Snelling Sr., Community Service Award; Christopher A. Brown, Hoboken’s Director of Community Development,  who will receive the Hudson County Public Service Award; and Trina Boyd-Clyburn, RN, BSN, MSN, Chief Nursing Officer for Bayonne Medical Center, who will receive the Hudson County Healthcare Award.

  “We are proud to honor these outstanding individuals who mean so much to our community and have done so much for Hudson County,” said Commissioner Walker. “I am looking forward to publicly saying “thank you” to all of them as we celebrate our history and heritage at this very special event.”  

“For two decades, it has been my pleasure to salute some of the finest community servant-leaders we have ever produced in Hudson County during our annual Black History Month Celebration Dinner,” said County Executive DeGise. “This year’s list of outstanding honorees proudly continues that long tradition.”  

As in past years, attendees will be entertained by student performers and have an opportunity to hear from the award winners about their lives, their work, and their reaction to being honored by Hudson County. This public event is by invitation only. Media members are welcome and additional background on the honorees will be provided.

  The Annual Hudson County Black History Month Celebration and Awards Dinner is organized by the Hudson County Black History Month Committee, The Committee members are: Gina Hulings, Victoria Parks, Sharonda Walker, Diane Jennings, and Krista Kenny.

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