MAYORS CORNER-BAYONNE MAYOR JAMES DAVIS-Hudson County Resource Fair Comes to Bayonne Saturday, March 16

            Hudson County Executive Craig Guy is bringing several county services to Bayonne for a resource fair on Saturday, March 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The event will take place at Nicholas Oresko School (School #14), which is located at 33 East 24th Street, by Avenue E. 

            Representatives of county departments and agencies will be on hand to help you obtain services and information that deal with economic relief, childcare, small business, transportation, rental and housing assistance, mental health, senior care, employment, veterans’ services, the Hudson County Schools of Technology, the Hudson Regional Health Commission, the Hudson County Improvement Authority, Hudson County Cultural and Heritage Affairs, the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, Hudson County Corrections, and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, among others. 

At the resource fair, flu shots will be available. If you have not received your flu shot yet, please take advantage of this inoculation.

The fair will provide a great opportunity for Bayonne residents to learn about services that could help them and members of their families.  I urge our residents to stop by the resource fair to learn about county services.  You might discover something new and could meet people who would help you in a time of need.

            During 2024, there will be resource fairs in all twelve municipalities in Hudson County.  County Executive Guy is holding these fairs so that more people can learn about the services that the county has to offer them.  Last year, the State of New Jersey concluded that 30% of the state’s residents are not aware of the benefits that they are entitled to receive.  As a result, county governments and other agencies are improving their efforts to reach out to the public.  The City of Bayonne appreciates the efforts that Hudson County is making to assist and inform our residents.

            Other Hudson County resource fairs will be held or have taken place in Kearny – March 2; Union City-March 30; Jersey City-April 13; Hoboken-April 27; North Bergen-May 11; West New York-May 25; Secaucus- June 8; Harrison-June 22; Weehawken-July 6; Guttenberg-July 30; and East Newark-August 3.  Times and locations will be announced by our county government.

I would like to thank County Executive Craig Guy and all of the representatives of county departments and agencies for planning this series of resource fairs for the people of Hudson County. 

Action Martial Arts Magazine Hall Of Honors Awards Banquet 2024

Grandmaster Austin Wright (far left) proudly displays his trophy from the Action Martial Arts Magazine Hall of Honors Awards Banquet

Congratulations to Grandmaster Wright for his induction into the Action Martial Arts Hall Of Fame for over 50 years of dedication and contributions to the world of Martial Arts. 

Grand Master Wright nominated Sensei Joseph Bizarroque for Top Rated Sensei of The Year and Sempei Thomas Cushing for Outstanding Dedication to the Martial Arts.

The banquet was held at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. on January 27, 2024. 

Movie stars Michael Jai White, Benny The Jet , Don The Dragon Wilson and Cynthia Rothrock to name a few were in attendance and received awards at the Hall Of Honors Banquet along with Team Wright.

Universal Warrior Arts Team Wins Numerous First-Place Titles at the Battle of the Dragons National Championship in Atlantic City

Last month on January 28, 2024, Team Wright Won Numerous First Place Titles At The Battle Of the Dragons National Championships in AC, NJ.

The event sponsored competitors from NJ, NY, PA, MD, CA, and FL. Also, students came from international countries such as Russia, Trinidad, and Brazil to name a few. 

These are the following results:

Sempei Thomas Cushing Age 65, 2nd Dan Black Belt took 1st place in the Weapons, Forms and Sparring 65 and older Men’s division.

Abdul Haseeb Abdul Sameer Age 15,1st Dan Black Belt took 1st place in the Weapons, Forms and Sparring 14 and 15 year old Boys division. 

Jesus Ortiz Age 15, Green Belt took 1st place in the Forms and 1st Place in the Sparring 14 and 15 year old Boys division.

DJ Conyers Age 31, Green Belt took 1st place in the Forms and Sparring 30 to 39 year old Men’s division.

Lee Johnson Age 58, White Belt took 1st place in the Forms and Sparring 45 to 59 Beginners White and Yellow Belt division.

Maira Chugh Age 10, Green Belt took 2nd place in the Forms 10 to 12 year old Girls division.


MAYOR’S CORNERBayonne Mayor James Davis’s Column

Mayor Davis 2018 Inaugural
Bayonne Mayor James Davis

In mid-February, the New Jersey Department of the Treasury began mailing applications for the 2023 Senior Freeze Property Tax Reimbursement Program. The state has announced good news for senior taxpayers. The program has increased the income limit so that more people are eligible to apply. The New Jersey Treasury Department also eased the residency requirement for first-time applicants.  I would like to thank our state leadership for making these welcome changes to the tax system in New Jersey.

According to the New Jersey Treasury Department, “Senior Freeze reimburses qualifying seniors and disabled residents for increases in property taxes or mobile home park site fees on their principal residences. A new law passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Murphy…expanded the program to increase the income limit for the program to $150,000 (previously $99,735 for the 2022 season), and to eliminate the requirements that an applicant must be a New Jersey resident for ten consecutive years.”  The reimbursement takes place after the year in which the property taxes were paid.  That is why the program just announced in 2024 is called the 2023 Senior Freeze Property Tax Reimbursement Program.

According to the New Jersey Treasury Department, “To qualify for the reimbursement, taxpayers must meet all the eligibility requirements for each year from the base year through the current application year. Eligibility must be continuous; otherwise, a new base year must be established.”

The state announced the following requirements for taxpayers to be eligible for the 2023 Senior Freeze:

  • Be age 65 or older on December 31, 2022, or receive Social Security disability payments on December 31, 2022, and also on December 31, 2023; and
  • Own and live in their home or lease a site in a mobile home park for a manufactured or mobile home that they owned since December 31, 2019, or earlier; and
  • Paid all 2022 property taxes by June 1, 2023, and all 2023 property taxes by June 1, 2024; and
  • Their annual income was $150,000 or less in 2022 and $163,050 or less in 2023. With some exceptions, all income must be taken into account, including Social Security, pension, etc.

Hudson County Community College NamedLeader College of Distinction by Achieving the Dream

Hudson County Community College has substantially increased student retention and completion over the past five years. Pictured here, are joyful members of the HCCC Class of 2023

Hudson County Community College (HCCC) has earned “Leader College of Distinction” designation from Achieving the Dream (ATD), the national reform movement of high-achieving community colleges. The honor is bestowed upon innovative higher education institutions that demonstrate sustained and significant outcomes in the advancement of student success. HCCC is one of six Leader Colleges to receive this honor.

ATD is the acclaimed national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing community colleges as hubs of equity and mobility in their communities. ATD created the Leader College of Distinction Award in 2018 to recognize colleges that meet challenging student success goals. It is the highest designation of institutional success outcomes in the ATD network of colleges.

“This recognition is important to our colleges. It affirms to their faculty and staff and communities the importance of their student success work and that they are making progress on important milestone metrics in their journeys,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “Hudson County Community College is an exemplar of excellence within the ATD Network. It is driving accelerated and scaled gains in equitable student success results, which affect substantive improvements for students, families, and the community HCCC serves. Their dedication and hard work both inform and inspire other colleges, and we admire them for their work.”

HCCC joined the ATD network of 300 colleges in January 2019 and achieved Leader College status last year by demonstrating continuous improvement in retention and graduation rates, especially among Hispanic and African American students; attending annual ATD DREAM meetings; filing annual student success action plans and reports; and serving as an invited presenter at ATD national meetings and webinars.

“We’re proud to be named a Leader College of Distinction, and thank our Trustees, faculty, staff, and students for helping produce transformative results that empower our students and our community,” said HCCC President, Dr. Christopher Reber. “ATD’s mission aligns with our College’s mission of opening new pathways for our most vulnerable learners and helping ensure that students achieve their academic and professional goals. Seeing our students complete degree and certificate programs, become gainfully employed, and engage in civic participation is inspiring, and compels us to continue building upon our successes.”

Hudson County Community College utilizes evidence-based data and programs and ATD best practices to shape policy and practices that result in student success:


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.

Hudson County Community College Foundation Art Collection Celebrates the Incredible Works of African American Artists  

The Foundation Art Collection is proud to honor the works of African American artists during Black History Month

Willie Cole’s 1999 work, “Man, Spirit, Mask,” is displayed prominently in HCCC’s Gabert Library.

February 9, 2024, Jersey City, NJ – With Black History Month upon us, it’s a good time to reflect on and celebrate the rich and diverse contributions and experiences of African and African American artists. The Hudson County Community College Foundation Art Collection is proud to feature an extensive collection of works by African and African American artists and works depicting the African American experience and story.

The Foundation Art Collection is home to over 90 permanently installed works by African American artists and artworks exploring the impact of the African diaspora. Many of these are world-renowned artists, some of whom are from or live in New Jersey, like Willie Cole, Faith Ringgold, and more. 

Some of the works in the Collection are challenging to look at, serving as a stark reminder of the severe hardships and grave injustices that Africans and African Americans have endured. But the Collection also pays homage to the resilience and spirit of the people who collectively struggled against injustice and celebrates the triumph of overcoming adversity. In many ways, the works in the Collection embody famed African American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou’s words, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. It may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

One group of works that captures the poetry of this struggle is the Collection’s many portraits of renowned Caribbean artist Bob Blackburn by differing artists including Will Barnett, Paul John, Rie Hasagawa, Denise Kasof, Justin Sands, and Bruce Waldman. Born in Summit, New Jersey to Jamaican immigrant parents, Blackburn grew up in Harlem and became an accomplished artist. Frustrated that segregated printshops of the day wouldn’t let him work there, Blackburn took matters into his own hands and created his printshop in 1947 so that people of color and women (who were also excluded from printmaking workshops) had a place to work and create. Today, over 75 years later, the EFA Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop (EFA RBPMW) is the nation’s oldest and longest-running community print shop.

The Foundation Art Collection is home to three works by Willie Cole, a world-renowned sculptor and New Jersey native. Cole is perhaps best known for transforming unassuming, everyday household items like bicycle parts, high-heeled shoes, and even discarded appliances into striking sculptures. He also creates art inspired by African masks, and his 1999 limited-edition print triptych, Man Spirit Mask, is prominently displayed in Gabert Library. Beyond HCCC, Cole’s art is found at prestigious museums like the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Newark Museum.

The Collection also features two works by Faith Ringgold, who was born in Harlem and later moved to Englewood, New Jersey. As a child, Ringgold suffered from chronic asthma and was thus drawn to art as a hobby at an early age. Ringgold is known for her paintings, sculptures, mixed media, and, perhaps most of all, her narrative quilts like The American Collection and The French Collection. The Foundation Art Collection is home to the digital print with hand lithography, Coming to Jones Road, Under a Blood Red Sky, which explores the relationship between African Americans’ experience of escaping slavery by the Underground Railroad during the Civil War and Ringgold’s move from Harlem, where she was treated with dignity and respect, to her new home in Englewood, where she encountered racism and hostility. Meanwhile, a serigraph of Here Come Moses tells the story of the hopes and dreams of another formerly enslaved person as he fled northward by the underground railroad African Americans followed to freedom during slavery. Ringgold’s art can be seen in high-profile museums like the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, and the Guggenheim Museum.

Other accomplished African American artists featured in the Collection include Gordon Parks, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Carmen Cartiness Johnson, Mickalene Thomas, and Chakaia Booker. The Collection also features art from HCCC’s own African American art students, right alongside the works of world-renowned artists. Notably, recent donations have brought to the Collection of sculptures from ancient Egypt, Kenya, and Ethiopia.  

Furthermore, the Collection features many inspiring photographs of iconic moments of the civil rights movement, such as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking at the National Mall and the iconic photo of Olympic athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists in the Black Power salute during the medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympics.  The Collection’s curator, Andrea Siegel, Ph.D., explains, “The gravity of these iconic, historic moments can seem intimidating to students, but seeing these smaller photographs up close in person makes it a more manageable experience that they can take something from.”

Beyond celebrating the lives and work of African and African American artists, another primary goal of the Collection is to awaken a newfound appreciation and curiosity about African American art. Siegel says, “We want to instill and reinforce a sense of pride in the community. When the Collection can show someone something new about their heritage they didn’t know about or inspire a new passion, it has done its job.”

HCCC serves Hudson, one of the most diverse counties in the United States. Its Journal Square campus in Jersey City is located in the heart of one of the most diverse cities in the United States, while its North Hudson Campus in Union City is home to a richly diverse community of the Hispanic diaspora.  HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber says, “We are honored to serve one of the most diverse communities in the United States, and our Foundation Art Collection is a true reflection of this diversity.”

Additionally, the Foundation Art Collection supports HCCC students, many of whom are first-generation college students from traditionally underserved communities. Seeing fine art firsthand inspires empathy, ignites curiosity, and gives students newfound cultural capital. Siegel states that, ultimately, “The Foundation Art Collection reflects to our community all its diverse beauty.”

Unlike some college collections, the Foundation Art Collection isn’t under lock and key, out of reach of the public. Under Dr. Andrea Siegel’s leadership, the entire HCCC campus has blossomed into a living art museum, open to all members of the College and the wider community to experience and enjoy. Students see these pieces by renowned African and African American artists daily.

The Foundation Art Collection is proud to pay homage to the incredible contributions of African and African American artists during Black History Month and all year long. The Foundation Art Collection honors these amazing artists and works by being open to all, and HCCC is happy to give tours of the Collection.

If you’d like to arrange a tour of the Hudson County Community College Art Collection, please email Andrea Siegel at [email protected]

If you’re interested in checking the collection out online, visit

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

Jersey City Launches City-Run Animal Control and Sheltering, Expanding Services & Adoption Opportunities

Jersey City pet services

Valentine’s Event Makes Love Connections for Residents & Stray or Abandoned Animals in Need

Mayor Steven M. Fulop joins the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and community members to celebrate the successful transition to full-service Animal Care and Control now run by the City of Jersey City to ensure humane treatment and enforcement for animals in need by establishing 24/7 operations, on-site dog licensing with adoptions, expanding operating hours for more public access, and working with the community to create a robust volunteer program.


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.         

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