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Zoom meeting worldwide on environment

Through a Jan. 19 Zoom meeting, the Fairview-based Silvio Laccetti Foundation will host presentations by high school students from three continents on major environmental issues facing the world.

Silvio Laccetti, a retired professor at Stevens Institute of Technology, said that each presentation will foster a real understanding of local problems and offer suggestions for young people to take action.

The program will cover the Brazilian rainforest, as well as the less-known problem of wildfires there. It will also discuss Venice, Italy’s problems of overtourism, flooding, and cruise ships. New Jersey’s Atlantic Ocean shoreline is being overbuilt and overtourismed. Greenland’s melting icecaps and other local impacts are also discussed.

Connor Cunningham is a Glen Rock High School grad and Duke University student of Environmental Studies and Policymaking. He will be the keynote speaker.

For more information about streaming the Zoom meeting, visit the foundation website.

WNY professors are proud of their achievements

Professor Roland Alum of West New York had his latest Jersey Journal op ed in the Congressional Record by Senator Bob Menendez (D–New Jersey) on December 9.

The op ed, Six Decades After Dictators Assassination, Dominican Republic Flourishes Despite Cuba Being Miserable, was posted on NJ.comThe article was published in The Jersey Journal in May. It highlighted the economic and democratic achievements of the Dominican Republic over six decades, as well as the failures and backwardness imposed by Cuba’s Socialist dictatorship by the not-elected Castro family.

Alum was also recently inducted into both the Cuban Academy of History and the Miami-based Pen Club International. Alum wrote a chapter about the significant rise of Protestantism within Iberoamerica.

Alum is vice-chair of the advisory board to the Trenton-based New Jersey Center for Hispanic Policy as well as the New Jersey Certified Psychoanalysts Committee within the state Attorney Generals Office.

Bayonne resident receives endowed scholarship

Jeremy Lewan from Bayonne has been awarded the AMS/Orville Family Endowed Scholarship. Lewan is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in meteorology at Rutgers Honors College.

This year, 23 senior undergraduate scholarships were given. These scholarships are for senior undergraduates and encourage them to pursue careers in the atmospheric, related oceanic, and hydrologic sciences. These scholarships are awarded to students who are capable of achieving in these fields and are based on merit.

Lewan has received the Elizabeth and Arthur Reich Scholarship, Cook Education Assistance Grant Scholarship (2019), SEBS Global Education Scholarship 2019 and Rutgers Trustee Scholarship 2018 among other recognitions and awards. His undergraduate interest is in broadcast meteorology. He hopes to become a TV broadcaster meteorologist in New York/New Jersey.

The Orville Family Endowed Scholarship honours Howard T. Orville (1940-1950), head of the Naval Aerological Service. His sons were the late Harold D. Orville, Distinguished Prof of Meteorology, South Dakota Institute of Mines and Technology and Richard E. Orville Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Texas A&M University.

North Bergen native supports Navy task force

Chief Petty Officer Kenya Hernandez is a North Bergen native and supports the U.S. Navy’s Task Group Greyhound while aboard USS Thomas Hudner. The task group was created to ensure warships in Western Atlantic are always ready to perform a wide range of on-demand missions, including countering Russian undersea threats to our homeland.

The Task Group refers to the World War II destroyers or Greyhounds of the Fleet that patrolled the oceans during the Battle of the Atlantic. This modern version is very similar to the way that readiness is maintained aboard Forward Deployed Naval Forces of Spain.

The USS Thomas Hudner (USS Donald Cook) will be the first two participating ships. Additional ships may be added.

HoLa teacher receives Exemplary Educator Award

The Exemplary Educator Award for the 2021 school year has been awarded by the New Jersey Department of Education to Jeffrey Maccoux, a HoLa teacher. The New Jersey Exemplary Elementary Education program selects outstanding teachers through a rigorous selection process.

Hoboken Dual Language Charter School is also known as HoLa. This bilingual Spanish immersion school teaches students core academic subjects through Spanish.

The NJ Department of Education praised Maccoux’s teaching abilities and the results he achieved for his students. Maccoux’s students have scored exceptionally well in both Spanish verbal, written and statewide English language assessments. In 2019, 93 per cent of HoLa 7th graders were able to score a 4 or 5, while 85 percent of HoLa8th graders scored a 4/5 on the statewide English Language Arts test. This is far higher than the state averages.

Maccoux founded the schools Gay-Straight Alliance (Social Justice League) outside of the classroom. These student clubs are a safe place for students to exchange ideas and discuss issues related to social justice.

La Liga, which was established during the height COVID pandemic, had such a profound impact on Julia Stempler, HoLa 6th Grade, that she wrote an opinion piece for the Jersey Journal last winter. It stated: Even though it was an incredibly dark year and has created a new era in social distance, we at Hoboken’s small school found a way to bring together students from all over the world to change the world.

Jersey City Arts Award winners announced

Jersey City Arts Council has announced the recipients of its 2021 Jersey City Arts Awards. These awards honor creative artists and organizations who are at the forefront of the art community. Each year, JCAC selects exceptional local artists from a variety of categories who have made a significant impact on the community through their medium.

This year’s Jersey City Arts Awards recipients include: Ibn Sharif Shakoor Arts Education Award. Speranza Theatre Company Arts Organization Award. #LIVEatNLKStudio Film & TV Award. Naquashahawkins Leadership Award. Daoud Williams Legacy Award. Jersey City Writers –Literary Arts Award. Kyle Marshall Performing Arts Award. JCHundredsmuralco Public Art Award. Catalina Aranguren Video Arts Award. Nandi Christina Ralph Young Artist Award.

See samples of their work and learn more about the awardees for this year’s award. Here.

Eagle Project renovates Elks facade

Through the Eagle Project of Boy Scout Troop 305, Corbin Rakauckas, the exterior of Kearny Lodge 1050 was given a much-needed update.

Rakauckas, a 16 year-old junior at Nutley, was a Life Scout and Patrol Leader for Trooop 305 in Kearny. She also helped with painting and repairs to the front of the building. They worked together for 87.5 hours to make significant improvements in the entrance.

Despite the continuing pandemic, funds for the paint, repair and other supplies totaling $1.382 were raised despite contributions from the Kearny Elks or private donors. The work was done from May to the autumn. While the crew was respectful of social distancing, they wore masks.

The transformation of Elks Lodge1050 is now in line with the volunteerism of its members, which was recently recognized with the awarding the All-American Lodge designation at 2021 National Convention.

The Kearny Elks continue giving countless hours of their talents, time, and resources to the Kearny Community Food Network, Town Giving Network and other ongoing initiatives to improve youth’s lives. Unit 305 congratulated Rakauckas and his Eagle Project for their contribution to the Elks community spirit.

Rakauckass has completed the Eagle Project of the refurbishment of Kearny Elks Lodge #1050. This will be submitted to his Eagle Board of Review to complete his Trail to Eagle.

Contact the website for more information and to join Unit/Troop Pack 305

Hudsons Heroes was a fundraising event that honored local entrepreneurs and reached its fundraising goal.

Joseph Napolitano Sr. (HCCC) Foundation Chair announced that the Foundation’s 24th Annual Holiday Gala raised $200,000 in support of scholarships. The Dec. 2 celebration, entitled Hats Off to Hudsons Heroes, celebrated the caring and achievements of individuals and organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The College’s Culinary Arts Institute (CAI), which is a winner, provided world-class cuisine that was prepared and served to the guests.

The event began in Jersey City with a tour of HCCC Culinary Conferencing Center. Natalie Akel, the College’s inaugural Student Poetry Laureate, established the context for the evening with her original poem, The Body, a Well. This work celebrates the heroism of parents and others during the pandemic.

Nicole Bouknight Johnson, HCCC vice-president for advancement and communication, welcomed guests, and introduced Dr. Christopher Reber from HCCC, who spoke about the heroes that evening.

Reber also recognized the services of frontline personnel who made it possible for HCCC’s safe operation during the pandemic and presented Jos Pepe Garcia, founder, and president, Maverick Building Services, Inc., the 2021 HCCC Foundation Distinguished Community Service Award.

After leaving Cuba in 1968, Mr. Garcia settled down in Union City. His mother worked three jobs to support her children. While attending Seton Hall University, Garcia started his own cleaning company. Maverick Building Services offers facilities services to colleges, corporate parks, office buildings and ferry terminals.

Garcia acknowledged the award in his acceptance speech. He said that he owes his success and the dedication of Mavericks staff and supervisors who put the safety of the community before their own wellbeing during the pandemic.

Online donations to the HCCC Foundation are possible Mirta Sanchez at (201-360-4004) or [email protected].

Students receive academic honors

Alina Vu is a member of Colgate University’s 2024 Class and has received the spring 2021 Deans Medal with Distinction. Vu is a Natural Science major and a McNair Academic High School alumna.

The following Jersey City residents were selected for the Deans List at University of Maryland Global Campus for the fall term: Jessica Campbell and Kareem Fagbene

Administration names Sullivan Award winner

Captain Bill Sheehan is this years Richard J. Sullivan honoree. He is a Hackensack Riverkeeper resident since childhood and a dedicated conservationist. In 1997, Hackensack Riverkeeper was founded by him and he serves as the organization’s executive director.

Captain Bill, as most people know, is a Master Licensee of the U.S. Coast Guard. He earned it in 1995. Since then, he has commanded a number of Riverkeeper research vessels. He spends at most six months a year on the water doing advocacy work and educating others as well as patrolling the Hackensack River.

Captain Bill is a founding member and long-standing member of Bergen County Trust Fund Public Advisory Committee, and the current Chair of Meadowlands Conservation Trust. The Trust is responsible for acquiring, holding, and managing conservation properties throughout the Hackensack river Watershed and Meadowlands.

Hackensack Riverkeeper was a founding member and supporter of Waterkeeper Alliance. This international coalition includes more than 350 clean water advocates who work on, along, and for waterways around the globe. Captain Bill has served on several governing and advisory committees within the Alliance, and is often called upon as a mentor for new waterkeepers.

National Guard announces promotions

Major General Ray Shields was the Adjutant Général for the State New York. He announced the promotion to the New York Army National Guard because of their leadership and additional responsibility.

Michael Grullon, a Hoboken native, was assigned to the Battery B, 1st Battalion of 258th Field Artillery. He was promoted to specialist on November 19.

Pamela Renderos, West New York, was promoted to the rank sergeant on September 12.

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