Bayonne to Hold Health Fair on Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Rain Date is Thursday, October 5

            Mayor Jimmy Davis announced that the City of Bayonne will hold a health fair on Wednesday, October 4, from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., in Fitzpatrick Park, which is located on Avenue C, between 26th and 27th Streets. 

            The fair will offer Bayonne residents the opportunity to receive health screenings, health information, and other services.

            Participating organizations include healthcare-related organizations, public agencies, and non-profit services.  Up to thirty groups are expected to participate. Participation is subject to municipal approval.

Mayor Davis said, “The 2023 health fair will provide our residents with a great opportunity to receive health services and information in one convenient location.  This will be the first municipal health fair in Bayonne since 2019.  The event did not take place during the Coronavirus pandemic. The City of Bayonne is very happy to bring back this important health fair for our residents.”  

In the event of rain on Wednesday, October 4, the health fair will take place on Thursday, October 5, at the same hours and location.

Mayor Davis concluded, “I would like to thank the Bayonne Health Division, our Clinic Nurses, and all of the participating organizations, agencies, and services for coming together for this event.  I urge Bayonne residents to drop by the health fair and take advantage of this great opportunity to improve your health.”

For more information, please call the Health Division Clinic Nurses at 201-858-6140 or 201-858-6139.

Hudson County Community College Offers High School Students 50% Tuition Savings and a Jumpstart on College Goals

11 of the 13 HCCC Early College graduates in May 2023

HCCC Early College Program is open to ALL high school students
who attend school or reside in Hudson County.

In 2021, Bayonne resident Kate Neal earned her high school diploma and Associate in Science (A.S.) in Environmental Studies degree at the same time. She attained this exceptional accomplishment as a result of the Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Early College Program. Now a junior studying Civil Engineering at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), Ms. Neal said: “I am extremely grateful for the HCCC Early College Program opportunity. It has helped me feel better prepared to enter a four-year college.”

Renovations Are Progressing at the Bayonne Public Library

Melody Scagnelli-Townley, Interim Director of the Bayonne Public Library, has issued an update concerning the multiple renovations that have been taking place this year in the library building at 31st Street and Avenue C. 

The library’s old boiler system has been dismantled and removed.  Scagnelli-Townley reported that the new boiler “is halfway through installation.”  The mechanicals and the cab have been removed from the library’s public elevator. Scagnelli-Townley reported that “the new elevator cab will be installed soon.”

The library’s main lobby (Circulation) and the dais, where new books were displayed, “were taken down to the studs,” Scagnelli-Townley said.  A new handicap-accessible ramp has been built to the dais. To accommodate the new ramp, the entrance from Circulation to the Popular Fiction Room was relocated.  The Circulation area has been moved to the center of the lobby.   A brand-new Circulation Desk, which incorporates a circulation desk from the 1950’s, is being custom-built.  Scagnelli-Townley stated, “Brand new tile flooring for the whole lobby is coming soon.” 

The Interim Director reported that the library’s Children’s Room “was taken down to the studs.”  She added, “Now, new lighting and a new ceiling have been installed.  A brand-new Story Time area with stadium seating and special lighting is starting to take shape.”

Workers have drilled holes through the floor of the Reference Room in preparation for “new, wired charging study tables and new computer carrels.”  Scagnelli-Townley said that the library staff is still waiting for “the arrival of brand-new, ADA-compliant furniture for the lobby, the Reference Room, and the Children’s Room.”  (ADA refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal law that provides for facilities that are compatible with the needs of handicapped people.)

Scagnelli-Townley commented, “So many exciting things are happening! Naturally, such big changes take time.  We are currently anticipating that we will be open to the public at our 31st Street building by the end of November.”  She continued, “To be sure, re-opening the library will depend on making steady progress for the next two months.  We will not announce a specific date for re-opening the library until we are certain that the time is right.”

She continued, “Until such time, we will continue to be available for you at our temporary Story Court branch (16 West 4th Street), where you can access many of the same features you love at our 31st Street building: computers, printing, copying, study space, device charging, and book-borrowing and returns.”

Scagnelli-Townley concluded, “Great things are coming!”

Hudson County Community College President Named to NJBIZ “Education Power 50” for Third Year in a Row 

 HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber is pictured here with new students in HCCC’s Equal Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program.

September 18, 2023, Jersey City, NJ –  Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Board of Trustees Chair, William J. Netchert, Esq., announced that HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber has again been named to the NJBIZ â€œEducation Power 50” list.

Hudson County Community College Vice Chair Bakari G. Lee Named Recipient of ACCT 2023 Northeast Regional Trustee Leadership Award

 Bakari G. Lee, Esq., Vice Chair of Hudson County Community College’s Board of Trustees, is the recipient of the Association of Community College Trustees Northeast Regional Trustee Leadership Award.

Vice Chair Lee is the sole nominee from the Northeastern United States for
ACCT’s prestigious M. Dale Ensign National Trustee Leadership Award. 

August 23, 2023, Jersey City, NJ – For more than 120 years, America’s community colleges have played a vital role in transforming lives by creating pathways to economic opportunity and financial security. Today, community colleges face myriad challenges such as funding issues, keeping apace of rapidly changing technologies, and, most importantly, developing the means to assist students in continuing and completing their studies. Community college trustees work with college administrators and staff, local and national government entities, and area industries to meet these challenges, and to ensure opportunities abound for those who wish to successfully pursue a community college education.

Bayonne Mayor James Davis Column

THE LAST WEEKS OF SUMMER

Mayor James Davis Column
Bayonne Mayor James Davis

          As we approach the end of the summer vacation season and the beginning of school, there are some good things to do before the season is gone. 

          Clean up the litter: During the summer, a lot of people have been walking around outside.  Some of them have dropped litter in front of homes and businesses.  Now would be a good time to clean up any litter that has accumulated over the summer. It would be best to get litter off the streets, sidewalks, and ground before it gets caught under the leaves of autumn and the snows of winter.

          Cut and trim the trees and bushes:  If you have grass, trees, or bushes on your property, please cut the grass and trim the trees and bushes. It is best to make sure that your grass does not grow too tall at this time of year.  During the remaining part of summer, cutting the grass keeps down the number of mosquitoes and other bugs on your property. It is easier to trim trees and bushes before the ice and snow of winter make it too tough to do the job. 

          Clear out those backpacks: Those of you who have children in school have probably not looked in their backpacks since the end of the last school year in June. There may be crumpled-up papers still in them.  You should check the papers for anything important, and then throw the unneeded ones out.  Otherwise, they will be taking up space that should be saved for items your children will receive in the new school year.

         

For more information about the concerts, please contact Pete Amadeo at 201-858-6129, or email [email protected]Please take advantage of the time remaining in the summer of 2023!

Bayonne Mayor James Davis -PROGRESS TOWARDS A PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE

Mayor Davis 2018 Inaugural
Bayonne Mayor James Davis

          Last week, in our City Council Chambers, Bayonne residents had their first opportunity to view plans in person for the proposed 34th Street pedestrian bridge.  Once plans are finalized, that bridge will be constructed over Route 440 between the 34th Street Light Rail Station and the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor (the former Military Ocean Terminal).

          There is a clear need for better, safer ways for pedestrians to cross Route 440 than running across the highway.  Lives and public safety are at stake. Pedestrians have died in the Route 440 corridor in recent years. The need for safe pedestrian crossings has increased as economic development has taken place in the Route 440 corridor. There are various locations where pedestrian bridges could be placed along that highway.  We decided to start with the 34th Street Light Rail area because there is already a pedestrian overpass there linking the Light Rail station with the parking lot. This proposed bridge would connect directly to the existing Light Rail passenger overpass.  TY Lin, the engineering firm that has the contract for the bridge concept development study, has offered various options for solving the pedestrian safety problem around 34th Street and Route 440.  The engineers have presented options that include various types of bridges and upgrading the highway crossing without building a bridge. Let’s be clear.  We want a bridge.

The staff of TY Lin believes the best option or preferred alternative would be a single-span, prefabricated, steel truss bridge over Route 440.  This proposal would include fully enclosed stairs and an elevator building at the east landing of the bridge, across the highway from the station.  That plan would offer a sidewalk at the east landing that would connect to the sidewalk on Goldsborough Drive and at Port Terminal Boulevard.  They are major streets at the former Military Ocean Terminal. The engineers envision a twelve-foot-wide space inside the bridge to provide safe access for pedestrians and bicycles. At the public information session on August 2, members of the public suggested that the bridge be enclosed for safety reasons.  Several residents also called for more sidewalks in the Route 440 corridor.

At the City Council Caucus on Wednesday, August 9, at 6:00 p.m., TY Lin will offer a presentation about the proposed bridge to our City Council Members.  This Caucus meeting will be televised on Optimum cable Channel 78 and on Verizon Fios Channel 42.  We expect at least one more opportunity after that for the public to offer comments in person about the bridge proposal. 

This bridge project began when the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority awarded Bayonne a $550,000 planning grant.  Later, the City of Bayonne received more than $4 million in federal funds for bridge construction through the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority.  The federal money came from the Liberty Corridor program, a transportation aid package that Senator Bob Menendez championed when he was still in the House of Representatives.  

Where do things stand now?  There is a concept for the bridge, along with a preferred option for building that bridge.  We have more than $4 million for construction.  After receiving more public input, we can move towards preliminary engineering, then to the final design of the bridge, and, ultimately, to construction. 

As we continue making progress on this project, I would like to thank all of our residents who have offered ideas and expressed concerns about the safety issues on Route 440.   If you would like to offer comments or suggestions to TY Lin about the proposed pedestrian bridge, please go to https://34thstbayonnepedestrianbridge.com/contact.

We look forward to working with the New Jersey Department of Transportation to provide more safe crossings in the Route 440 corridor.  

Op Ed: Supreme Court Recent Rulings-Our Resolve is Stronger than the Setback

Christopher M. Reber, President, Hudson County Community College

As a community college located in Jersey City, New Jersey, the most diverse city in the United States, Hudson County Community College serves and supports all who walk through our doors in pursuit of education and a promising future. Our college’s commitment to this open-access mission, anchored to our shared values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, is ironclad. Unfortunately, recent rulings by the United States Supreme Court, including the Court’s decision to strike down Affirmative Action, stand in stark contrast to this mission and our core values.

Hudson County Community College, and community colleges like us all over the nation, provide a vital onramp to the American Dream for those we serve. Our Journal Square campus is located in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, an inspirational symbol of our student’s dreams and aspirations. Our North Hudson campus serves Union City, one of the nation’s most densely populated cities and a diverse and thriving community with a large concentration of Hispanic and Latino citizens.

Our location in the heart of this diverse and vibrant region provides a unique vantage point for serving traditionally underrepresented and marginalized students and community members – people who are adversely affected by the Supreme Court’s recent decisions.

We are proud to support all students in achieving their goals and dreams for a better life. Like our community college peers, HCCC is an open-access institution, so the recent Affirmative Action ruling will not directly affect our admission of all students who come to us seeking a brighter future. But it will affect many of our graduates and employees who succeed at HCCC and go on to pursue baccalaureate and graduate education, including many who apply to highly selective colleges and universities including Ivy League and Research 1 institutions.

Most HCCC students place into English as a Second Language (ESL), Developmental English, and/or Developmental Math courses when they begin their education with us. Many of these students speak little or no English. Most navigate significant financial challenges. Additionally, we proudly serve many DACA and undocumented students.

In recent years, Temple University’s Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice twice surveyed our student body and found that two-thirds to three-quarters of our students reported challenges of food insecurity, housing insecurity, and even homelessness. I invite you to reflect on the immensity of the challenge of attending college while hungry or homeless, and the monumental commitment and drive these students have in seeking a brighter future. And many students are parents, struggling to navigate these life challenges while caring for children, and other family members, and working, often full-time.

Our students represent populations that are too often overlooked and ignored, but we are proud not to overlook anyone. We embrace all students. Through their hard work and with our guidance, support, and love, our students achieve transformational outcomes.

We have worked assiduously and collaboratively to create pathways that enable our students to transfer seamlessly to four-year institutions so they can continue their educational journeys and pursue their career and life goals. While our students endure significant hardships as they strive to complete their education, they consistently overcome these challenges to achieve remarkable outcomes and inspirational points of pride, year after year.

This past year, six of our students were chosen as semifinalists for the prestigious and highly competitive Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, the most in our college’s history. In recent years, our high-performing graduates have continued their educational journeys at prestigious institutions like NYU, Columbia, Princeton, Rutgers, and Stevens Institute of Technology, sometimes with full scholarships. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court’s recent decisions restrict and discourage selective colleges and universities from continuing to serve many of our graduates in spite of these institutions’ belief in and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We are proud that our students tell us repeatedly they feel cared about and “at home” at Hudson County Community College. Indeed, our students have coined a phrase that is now our college tagline – “Hudson is Home!”

At our most recent Commencement ceremony, a record 1,505 graduates, including recent immigrants, first-generation college students, students with disabilities, and graduates from all races, ethnicities, and walks of life crossed the stage to receive their diplomas, united by their hard work in pursuit of a better life and supported by a loving and caring community. Nine of our graduates were incarcerated or reentry citizens, including two students who received their diplomas while incarcerated at the Hudson County Correctional Center.

Beyond the end of Affirmative Action, additional Supreme Court rulings that strike down previously announced plans for student loan forgiveness, and permit businesses to refuse service to LGBTQ citizens, create even more challenges for those we serve. These decisions are a setback to citizens all over the country who are striving to create a better life for themselves and their families and better communities for all.

The recent Supreme Court rulings throw new obstacles into the pathways our courageous and inspirational students traverse on their academic and life journeys, but it’s not only the Supreme Court that is making the world a more difficult and less welcoming place for many Americans. Book bans are being imposed in a growing number of states to clamp down on independent and critical thinking, the very skills we are trying to foster with a college education and the foundation that all democracies are built on. Members of our society’s marginalized communities have incredible and inspirational stories of perseverance and survival to tell. We can all learn from their courage and determination. But, sadly, book bans are being wielded as a weapon to erase these stories and silence their voices.

We have worked hard to mitigate the barriers to success that many of our students face, placing these students on pathways to the American Dream. Progress in creating a more equitable world has been hard fought, and while recent setbacks are discouraging, they ultimately strengthen our resolve to fight harder for the ideals of equity and inclusion for all. Our students are resilient, and with our full support, they will continue to pursue and achieve monumental outcomes.

We will keep going. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

We must redouble our efforts to ensure all have an opportunity for an education and a better life. The poem inscribed on the base of the nearby Statue of Liberty, Emma Lazarus’ “New Colossus,” famously tells the world to “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Lady Liberty is a powerful metaphor for our college’s mission today.

HCCC will continue to serve all who enter our doors by providing them with educational opportunities, empowerment, and love to reach their full potential. Our nation’s community colleges and all of higher education embody the best our country has to offer in the spirit of inclusion, equality, equity, and hope.

Christopher M. Reber, President Hudson County Community College

Jersey City, Union City, and Secaucus, NJ

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